Which Church Is Right?
E. M. Zinn
In Matt. 16:18 Jesus said, "I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." "My church" indicates sole possession. The thought which naturally comes to mind is, what church did He mean, or which did He build? Was it a church comparable to the rest of the churches? Or is it a separate, distinct body in which all its members have salvation? The fact that Jesus said, "I will build my church," definitely shows that He was the builder and organizer. One popular opinion is that the Church of God is a church among the rest‹on par with them and like them in formality and association. Jesus said in St. John 10:9, 10, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture." We go through the door (Christ), which is the only process by which we obtain salvation and membership in His church.1
Different bodies call themselves churches of God. Some have had light and in reality were a member of Christ's body or Church, but have departed from the truths that made them the Church of God. Some have substituted man's ideas, and are now a church among the rest, with the Biblical name only as a marked difference to designate them. It is as the Prophet Isaiah said. "In that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach." Isa. 4:1. The Church of God name has become common to many Bible students, but to see the exclusive body is quite another thing. Some have the idea that all sects or denominations comprise the Church that Jesus built. But Jesus never built a sect. He is the Head of His Church, His Body. Men are the heads of the churches they build. For instance, the Lutheran Church was founded on the teaching of Martin Luther; John Wesley's teaching became the Methodist Church from the methods he taught. Sectarian churches individually teach some truth, but omit much truth. Any joinable church has both good and bad in its membership. But God's true church contains only saved men and women. The Psalmist declared, "Of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her; and the highest himself shall establish her." Psa. 87 :5, 6. She carries the true nature of God, being born of His Spirit, having His divine nature. Her members are raised up and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Paul described this church as glorious and without spot or wrinkle‹that it should be holy, and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27
Jesus also prayed in St. John 17:22, "And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one." .Jesus had great joy in seeing His children one. The most glorious church is where the members see eye to eye and flow together. There the fellowship runs from heart to heart. The Psalmist declared Mt. Zion (the Church of God), beautiful for situation (Psa. 48:2), the joy of the whole earth. When the Holy Spirit is in each heart and divine love flows toward each other, why wouldn't it be a place of divine satisfaction? No joy can equal the sublime, glorious unity brought about by the Spirit of God. It is joy unspeakable and full of glory. One divine taste forever spoils one for the darkness of the denominational world. My heart aches when I think of the condition of souls groping in denominational darkness; perhaps honest, but not knowing that God has a pure church, a city set on a hill illuminated with the light from heaven with no darkness in her. There the true character of Jesus is reflected through men and women whose hearts are filled with His divine nature (love), walking in light, each having fellowship with God and with each other‹sublime and heavenly! Is the Church of God organized? Yes, most surely so. Jesus said He would build His Church and furnish it with "apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors, and teachers." Eph. 4:11. As these work under divine inspiration there is unity among believers. Sectarian churches are often organized through human wisdom; therefore none are alike because human wisdom without the Holy Spirit can never come to the unity Jesus prayed for. I have set before you some Biblical truths so that you may measure them to churches in existence today. Jesus has a church that comes up to the Bible standard, which you can find as you keep an honest heart before God and diligently seek for His truth. .
Will there be a Millennial Reign??
All scripture in Bold: christ's words in Red
When Christ was transfigured, Moses and Elias appeared with Him: Moses as representing the law, and Elias, the prophets. Peter wanted to build three tabernacles: one for Moses, or thy Law; one for Elias, or the prophetic dispensation; and one for Christ, or the Christian dispensation. In the meantime, Moses and Elias faded out of the picture leaving Christ alone with Peter, James and John. Then God's voice sounded from heaven saying: “This is my belovid Son, hear Him.”
Heb 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
I shall quote scripture almost exclusively from the New Testament----Christ's own words and the words of those whom He inspired to write the New Testament. These scriptures completely explode all the fanciful ideas Millennium teachers have built around the Old Testament prophecies. They tell us that Christ will come and quietly, silently, steal away His Bride, the Church. This is what they term as the rapture: and after a period of time (seven years I believe they say) Christ is coming back with His Bride, the Church, and set up His Kingdom here, and reign here on earth a thousand years. For their rapture theory they use the last few verses of the 4th chapter of 1st Thes.4:14???
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
(See Enoch's Prophecy.) --Jud 1:14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
(and these correspond)
1Th 4:15-16 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: That does not sound to me as if it is going to be a quite coming-----that is before we are caught up with Him.
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
I say emphatically, Paul was not dealing with the subject of general resurrection here, he was merely comforting the saints with facts concerning their eternal reward as it is clearly seen in the last verse of this chapter. Turn to and read1Co 15:50-52 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
This is the very same incident related to the Corinthian brethern. That flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God( The body returns to dust from whence it came and the spirit returns to God who gave it .Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Now we all agree that the trump of God will raise the dead; then if only the righteous dead are raised at the last trump, how can the wicked dead ever be raised? How can there be any more after the last trump?
If the millennial teachers are right, then Paul must have gotten his scriptures badly mixed. If the wicked dead are resurrected a thousand years after the righteous, then another trump of God will have to sound a thousand years after the last trump.
Now turn to-- Joh 5:28-29Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Does this sound like there will be a thousand years between the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked? Now read:--Joh 11:23-24 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
Joh 6:39-40 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
.Joh 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
All four verses are spoken from the lips of our Saviour, and He plainly declares that He will raise or resurrect His people at the last daay. In--Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
The wicked be judged a thousand years before they are resurrected??
Mat 25:31-32 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Both the good and bad will be there on the last day, or at the close of the last day.
Rev 20:11 “ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven [ the stary canopy over the earth] fled away; and there was found no place for them.”-- Now if Jesus if Jesus has not misinformed us, and all this takes place at the last day----the heaven and earth fled away and no place was found for them----how can there be a thousand year reign on earth after it has passed away? Now read:--Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. --The folowing corrosponds exactly with Rev. 20:11 --2Pe 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Not this old earth, but a new one. --Jesus said “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” Let us be sure that we have the truth.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. -- It does not give the slightest hint where they will reign. This same great body of martyred saints is pictured in:Rev 6:9-11 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And the last verse of Rev. 20 says:
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The above two scriptures show plainly that the first resurrection is the resurrection of a dead soul when it is quickened to life by the power of the gospel of Christ ( salvation)and the name is recorded in heaven.--Jesus said in-- Joh 5:24-25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live
Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;-- These scriptures and others plainly teach the first resurrection, and Rom 8:11 shows the second resurrection.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. --The quickening or resurrection of the dead body plainly shows the first and second resurection.
Concerning Christ's Kingdom, the scriptures plainly declare it to be a spiritual and not a temporal kingdom, which is clearly shown in the following quotations from the New Testament. The New Testament clearly teaches that Christ's Kingdom was established here on earth when Jesus came more than 1900 (when this was written) years ago, and that all who will get into His Kingdom must get in before Christ comes the second time.
Mar 1:14-15 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. -- Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”
This statement, “The law and the prophets were until John,” corresponds exactly with what has been said in this article concerning the transfiguration. Jesus answered those who asked Him when the Kingdom of God should come:-- “ The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here or lo there, for behold the kingdom of God is
.within you. --In John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. --This shows clearly that it is a spiritual kingdom not a temporial kingdom.
Col 1:12-13 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: --also read-- Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. --Now my dear millennium teachers, how in the name of honesty, can you read these plane statements in the New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, set forth so clearly, and still argue that Christ will set up His Kingdom here on this earth and reign here a thousand years? In accordance to the inspired word of God, there is no time, place, or need of a thousand years of the so-called millennial reign.
In conclusion I want to quote one scripture from the Old Testament: --Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create [not refine with fire as millennium teachers teach] new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. --Now compare this prophecy with one in Rev. 21:1 and you shall see they correspond exactly. --Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: [ not this old one refined by fire] for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. God's Holy Word says: “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.”
Dear readers, beware of false teachings! “Study to shew thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the world of truth” --”and abstain from all apparance of evil.”
Your humble servant,
Geo W. Stephenson .Written over 100 years ago
GIVEING AND RECIEVING ------By Fred Pruitt
There are religious bodies of people in the world today who at one time trusted the Lord and honored Him with faith; but now we see them grown cold and faithless, and are fervent to get dollars from others to further their carnal, worldly, religious desires and fleshly ambitions. They have lost sight of the true riches and are filled with their own ways in carrying on that which should be God’s work. The work in many unbiblical ways-beg, urge and force money out of those under their influence to carry on what they call “God’s work.” I am persuaded that God does not accept any gift unless it is given freely from the heart as unto God. If one is urged, begged, trapped, or decoyed into giving, there will be no eternal reward in such giving for them. Those that lose faith in God often wrest the Scriptures from their proper meaning and force the law of tithing upon their followers. There is not a single Scripture in the New Testament, if properly interpreted, that teaches tithing as binding upon the righteous in Christ Jesus. Jesus says in Matt. 5:17, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” When He died on the cross, the law was fulfilled and the prophets. Under the law they gave tithes, but under grace the law is fulfilled insomuch that we now give all into His hands. he moves on us by His Spirit to take and give of His as he directs, and in that way the soul is kept alive in Christ, for it is God that is working in us both to will and do of His good pleasure. Binding the law of tithing on a soul will kill the free-will giving and the continual looking to God for the Spirit to work in you, directing you in your giving as to when, where, and how much.
Where folks do not know that the tithing is abolished when in Christ and they sincerely and freely give a tenth, I believe that God will bless those souls and honor the giving. But when forced upon them as a New Testament doctrine by faithless, covetous, would-be religious priests, they will receive no eternal profit. The New Testament way is: “Freely ye have received, freely give.” Matt. 10:8; II Cor. 9:7-8.
READ MORE at: http://www.churchofgodeveninglight.com/giving-and-receiving/
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT ASTROLOGY (HOROSCOPE)
Deuteronomy 4:16-19 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
Deuteronomy 17:2-5 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
"Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from [these things] that shall come upon thee."
Judging by the number of newspapers that carry daily horoscope columns, astrology continues to be very popular. Unfortunately, even many Christians have more than a passing interest in astrology.
Interest in astrology goes back thousands of years. And so do God's warnings for His people
MORE THOUGHTS ON THE RAPTURE AND THE ONE THOUSAND YEAR MILLENNIAL REIGN
Will there be a Rapture followed by an earthly reign of Jesus?
Followers of this doctrine believe that there will be an earthly millennial reign of Jesus on earth following an event where Jesus Christ will “snatch away” his saints to heaven. This event is called the "Rapture". Following this event, Jesus will supposedly reign on Earth for a thousand years. The doctrine of millennialism and the rapture contradict some very compelling Biblical scripture.
First, if the Rapture is true, there will have to be more than one resurrection in the future separated by a significant time period. The Bible clearly states that the resurrection of the just and the unjust will happen in the same hour.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
If "all that are in the graves" are resurrected to their final reward in the same hour then there can be no time span of centuries between resurrections.
Second, if the Rapture is true, Jesus Christ will have to return to earth and live in the flesh again. The Bible clearly states that Jesus is no longer known in the flesh.
2 Corinthians 5:16
"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." (KJV)
Did you know that the phrase "1000 Year Reign of Christ" does not appear anywhere in scripture? Nor the word "millenium"? Does this surprise you? Notice in the above title, we did not spell out the word "thousand," but used "1000" instead. This is because numbers are fictions in numerical form and have no substance. And the "1000 year reign of Christ" is also a fiction according to Scripture, which has has no substance. It is born and bred from the doctrines of man, not from the Holy Scripture.
The "thousand year reign" appears nowhere in the sixty-six books, 1,189 chapters, 31,173 verses of the Bible except in this one passage where it occurs six times in six consecutive verses (Revelation 20:3-8). It is not solid study to build an entire system of beliefs about the end of the age and the status of the kingdom on such a highly symbolic passage. More especially when that interpretation conflicts with other plain passages of scripture.
Revelation 20:3-8 is the only passage in the entire scriptures that the so-called premillinialists have as the basis for the "1000 year reign." What endless variations of concocted fables have resulted! Clearly it does not contain the detail that they attribute to it.
First, it should be pointed out that scripture does not speak of "the thousand year reign of Christ." Revelation 20:4 says, "...and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God,...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." It's not Christ that reigns 1000 years, but those who were killed for God's sake that reign with Christ 1000 years.
To illustrate, consider the phrase, "John Doe reigned with the king for one year." Does this mean the king reigned for only one year? No, it does not. The king could reign for many years, but the point is not how long the king reigned but how long John reigned with the king. The king isn't the subject, it is speaking about how long John reigns with him. Likewise, Revelation 20:4 is not about how long Jesus will reign, but how long others will reign with Jesus. There's a big difference.
First, it does not mention the second coming of Christ.
Second, it does not mention a reign on earth.
Third, this passage does not mention a bodily resurrection.
Fourth, it does not mention Christ on earth.
And fifth, it does not mention us, it says "they" lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Who are the "they" that lived and reigned with Christ? The souls of them that had been beheaded for their testimony of Jesus. In an earlier chapter of this same book of Revelations, in Chapter 6:9-11, the picture is of the souls of martyrs who had been slain for the word of God under an altar crying for vengeance. Here the martyrs are on thrones, God's inevitable judgment has come. The victory came in the spirit world (not the physical), and God assured their victory. This passage only speaks of the "dead" reigning with Christ, this passage does not speak about those who are "alive" reigning with Christ.
The passage also mentions the first resurrection, which is in contrast with the second death. The point is not that the righteous is raised a thousand years before the wicked, for a physical reign on earth, but that the cause of Christ for which the martyrs died is triumphant. Evil is not forever on the throne. God has overcome.
This passage says nothing about Jesus coming to this earth and establishing a worldly kingdom at Jerusalem -- those that so teach are duty-bound to prove their doctrines with scripture, not just their imaginations.
Revelation 20:4, "…and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
Let us now compare scripture with scripture to interpret the "thousand years." In scripture, the term "thousand," when in reference to time, is always used symbolically of a predetermined time that God chooses. In other cases, it is always used symbolically for a large number of people or things. Surely, nobody can honestly interpret the following "thousands" as literal:
Rev_20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev_20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Rev_20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev_20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev_20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Rev_20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
People or Things:
Job 9:3, "If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand."
Psalms 50:10, "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills."
Ecclesiastes 7:28, "...one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found."
Song of Solomon 4:4, "…whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men."
Daniel 5:1, "Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand."
Daniel 7:10, "...thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him."
Days, Years, and Generations:
Deuteronomy 7:9, "…which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that…keep his commandments to a thousand generations;"
1 Chronicles 16:15, "Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;"
Psalms 84:10, "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand."
Psalms 90:4, "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past,"
Psalms 105:8, "He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations."
Ecclesiastes 6:6, "Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?"
2 Peter 3:8, "...one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
It should be obvious from the above that every occurance of the word "thousand," by itself, throughout scripture, is not literal but symbolic for a large number or long period of time. Then, why is it when we go to the book of Revelation (the most symbolic book of them all), many interpret this thousand years as literal? Especially when there is no scriptural warrant for doing so?
Futurists make the same mistake that the Jews who crucified Christ made -- they were not satisfied with a spiritual kingdom; they had to have a literal, worldly, physical kingdom. The Truth of the matter is not that Christ will reign for a thousand years some time in the future, but that Christ is reigning now, and will continue to reign for eternity. We do not have to wait for His Kingdom to come sometime in the future before He starts reigning over our lives, for Christ's Kingdom is here now, and He desires that we reign with Him now, whether we choose to recognize it or not!
NOTE: :Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
to stay away from astrology. However, it is only within the last 50 years that science has subjected astrology's claims to careful testing. Studies have turned up all sorts of problems with astrology. For example, as the Earth rotates, it also wobbles. As a result of that wobble, the zodiac upon which astrology is based has changed by nearly one entire constellation in only the last 2,000 years. Astrologers have never accounted for that change.
Likewise, studies have shown that horoscopes themselves are inaccurate. A study of men reenlisting in the Marine Corps from 1962 through 1970 showed that their astrological signs were just as likely to be ruled by Venus, the planet of love, as they were by Mars, the god of war. In a study of nearly 3,000 couples, researchers found that astrologically incompatible signs were no more likely to be divorced than astrologically compatible signs.
The Bible opposes astrology for a more important reason than that it is false science. God warns His people away from astrology because it encourages us to trust in created things, like the stars, instead of the true God who made us and loves us.
Prayer: Father in heaven, so many created things ask for my trust, a trust which belongs only in You. When I am tempted to place my trust in something that was created, let me see what I am doing and cling once again only to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for forgiveness. In His Name. Amen.
History: Astrology originated in Mesopotamia and Babylon (the seat of evil and confusion).
Gods and planets In Mesopotamian astrology planet-names reflected association with dominant deities. For example, the basic association of the planet Mars was with the ill-boding war-god Nergal, by which it was referred to as the ‘star of Nergal’. Likewise the basic association of Saturn was with the destructive god Ninurta, Jupiter the creative god Marduk, Venus the fertility goddess Ishtar, Mercury the scribe god Nabu, the Sun the revealing god Shamash, and the Moon the measuring god Sin.
Nergal means a "dunghill cock
Ninurta (Nin Ur: God of War) The cult of Ninurta can be traced back to the oldest period of Sumerian history
Marduk (was the Babylonian name of a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon; planet Jupiter was associated with Marduk
Ishtar was the god of love and war, above all associated with sexuality: her cult involved sacred prostitution; her holy city Uruk was called the "town of the sacred courtesans"; and she herself was the "courtesan of the gods". Ishtar had many lovers; however, as Guirand notes,
"Woe to him whom Ishtar had honoured! The fickle goddess treated her passing lovers cruelly, and the unhappy wretches usually paid dearly for the favours heaped on them. Animals, enslaved by love, lost their native vigour: they fell into traps laid by men or were domesticated by them. 'Thou has loved the lion, mighty in strength', says the hero Gilgamesh to Ishtar, 'and thou hast dug for him seven and seven pits! Thou hast loved the steed, proud in battle, and destined him for thehalter, the goad and the whip.' Even for the gods Ishtar's love was fatal. In her youth the goddess had loved Tammuz, god of the harvest, and—if one is to believe Gilgamesh—this love caused the death of Tammuz.
Ishtar was the daughter of Sin or Anu. She was particularly worshipped at the Assyrian cities of Nineveh, Ashur and Arbela[disambiguation needed ] (Erbil).
In the Babylonian pantheon, she "was the divine personification of the planet Venus"
Nabu (in Biblical Hebrew Nebo נבו) is the Assyrian and Babylonian god of wisdom and writing, worshipped by Babylonians as the son of Marduk and his consort, Sarpanitum, and as the grandson of Ea. Nabu's consort was Tashmetum.
Babylonian astrology, Nabu was connected with the planet Mercury.
Shamash (Akkadian Šamaš "Sun") was a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria; Shamash is designated as the "offspring of Nannar"; i.e. of the moon-god
Sin (Akkadian: Su'en, Sîn) or Nanna (Sumerian: DŠEŠ.KI, DNANNA) was the god of the moon in Mesopotamian mythology. Nanna is a Sumerian deity, the son of Enlil and Ninlil, and became identified with Semitic Sin. The two chief seats of Nanna's/Sin's worship were Ur in the south of Mesopotamia and Harran in the north.
Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: KJV
All of the planets and the moon have no light of their own they reflect the light of the sun.
The practice of astrology and using a horoscope is pagan and is worshiping false Gods.
The movements of the sun, moon and five planets were regarded as representing the activity of the five gods in question, together with the moon-god Sin and the sun-god Shamash, in preparing the occurrences on earth. If, therefore, one could correctly read and interpret the activity of these powers, one knew what the gods were aiming to bring aboutThe influence of Babylonian planetary lore appears also in the assignment of the days of the week to the planets, for example Sunday, assigned to the sun, and Saturday, the day of Saturn
2 Kings 23:5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. KJV
HOW THE APOSTLES DIED.
Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, Killed by a sword wound.
Died in Alexandria, Egypt , after being dragged by Horses through the streets until he was dead.
Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.
Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge Basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered From death.
John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison Island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos . The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve As Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey . He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully
He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross.
According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die In the same way that Jesus Christ had died.
The leader of the church in Jerusalem , was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his
enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club.
* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.
7. James the Son of Zebedee,
was a fisherman by trade when Jesus Called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer Walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and Knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.
Also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.
Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: 'I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.' He continued to preach to his tormentors For two days until he expired.
Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the Sub-continent.
Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.
Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many
epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational Doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.
Perhaps this is a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles and disciples during their times For the sake of the Faith. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Pass on to encourage other Christians
Why Do we feel sleepy in Prayer,
But stay awake through a 3 hour movie?
Why are we so bored when we look at the HOLY BOOK,
But find it easy to read other books?
Why is it so easy to ignore a msg about God,
Yet we forward the nasty ones?
Why are Prayers getting smaller,
But bars and clubs are expanding
Why is it so easy to worship a celebrity,
But very difficult to engage with God?
Think about it, are you going to forward this?
Are you going to ignore it, cause you think you will get laughed at?
Forward this to all your friends.
80% of you won't forward this.
If you deny me in front of your
friends, I will deny you on the day of judgment:
When one door closes , God opens two : If God has opened doors for you.