April 22, 2023
Water may not be the most interesting topic to many people. It is often taken for granted and many people today have so little interest that they don’t even drink enough of it. Sadly, many don’t realize that you can avoid a large majority of sicknesses simply by drinking the proper amount of water daily. I remember years ago while serving in the United States Navy in San Diego, California I was attending a local Pentecostal Church with more of a Word of Faith background. One of the Assistant Pastors was an African American woman named Sandra Bibb. One day she was speaking in a session and asked the audience, of which I was a part, how many people drank the proper amount of water daily. I don’t recall what her message was or what else she said in that session, but for whatever reason that question resonated in me. Even though I was not at the time drinking much water and it would be years before I realized how important that question was, it stuck with me and I can still envision her standing there asking the question. It really wasn’t until shortly after I had finished my education at a Bible College when I heard a man speak about health from a Scriptural perspective that I started to look at this and other related topics more seriously. If you have read some of my messages on Biblical health principles you have likely heard me talk about the sessions I attended with speakers like Ted Broer and Jordan Rubin. While they both put a lot more focus on dietary practices from Scripture, they did both make it a point to talk about the importance of drinking the proper amount of water. Water has long been an important part of society as it is the most critical substance to maintaining life. Having studied wilderness survival for a large portion of my life, I know that finding water in a survival situation is the most important thing you do. Your body has a very short window of time that it can survive in the wild without water; so finding a source of water becomes a literal life and death scenario if you were to find yourself in such a situation. Historically people and nations made water a priority. Many people in antiquity would settle and develop societies around a source of water. The great Egyptian Empire, for example, was built along the Nile River. Even going back to Eden we find that God initially placed His people in a garden that was thriving with life, as it was a place where four rivers came together. Other societies would dig wells to draw fresh water out of the Earth. In speaking about the importance of water, Pastor Rod Parsley of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio says in his book Ancient Wells, Living Water:For nations throughout history, wells have brought both blessing and burden. Wells that were the only convenient source of fresh water have been both central to the survival or failure of many societies throughout history. Great cultures have flourished when water was pure and plentiful; others have collapsed when the wells ran dry, became polluted or were overtaken by an enemy. Neighbors and nations fought one another over the muddy water holes. Some worshipped rain gods. Others sought to “witch” for water with divining rods. When the heavens turned to brass and the rains failed, crops withered and starvation spread across the land. Wells gave life.
The Debt Note in Prophecy
Sin Reckoned as a Debt
In Exodus 22:1-4 God gives us a key provision of divine justice and mercy. It says that if a man is guilty of theft, he is NOT to be executed, but is required to work in order to pay back his victim at least double. This law teaches the thief to take responsibility for his actions as well as to make the connection between labor and property (or money). Exodus 22:3 and 4 says,
3 … He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4 If what he stole is actually found alive in his possession, whether an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double.
In other words, if a man steals a sheep, he would owe TWO sheep to his victim, unless the thief sold it to someone else or killed it–in which case verse 1 says that he would owe his victim FOUR sheep. If he stole a million dollars, he would owe his victim TWO million dollars.
Biblical law is based upon the principle that sin is reckoned as a debt. That is why Jesus’ parables about debtors always referred to sinners, such as in Matt. 18:23-35. Likewise, in the Lord’s Prayer, Matt. 6:12 says,
12 And forgive us our DEBTS, as we also have forgiven our DEBTORS.
In Luke 11:4, the same prayer is recorded in a little different way:
4 And forgive us our SINS; for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is INDEBTED to us…
One of the great keys to understanding Scripture is to know that sin is reckoned as a debt. This is because in biblical law, a sinner owes a debt to his victim that is directly proportional to the amount of the theft or the destroyed property.
In the case of Jesus’ parable in Matt. 21, the vine-growers stole the fruits of the vineyard. When we compare this with Isaiah 5, it becomes apparent that God planted a vineyard (the Kingdom) in the land of Canaan during the days of Joshua. At some point, God expected to receive the fruit of His labor, but the people refused to render the fruits to Him. In other words, they “stole the fruit” and assumed control over the vineyard in rebellion against its true Owner.
The book of Judges tells us how God handled this theft. Judges 3:8 says that God “SOLD THEM into the hands of Chushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia” for eight years. In other words, they were SOLD FOR THEIR THEFT according to the law in Exodus 22:3.
The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 10: The Gift of the Spirit is Genetic
In Romans chapter 5 Paul described how not only the children of Israel but even the entire Adamic race has a sure promise of eternal life in Christ. In chapter 6 Paul explained that obedience to the law remains necessary in spite of the fact that men would not be judged by the law. In chapter 7 Paul explained how Israel was freed from the law in Christ, and also explained how the law should encourage men not to sin, how by it men should learn the nature and consequences of sin, and how it should help men to understand their own sinful nature whether they succeed or fail on any given occasion, as opposed to their spiritual nature by which they can overcome sin and the weaknesses of the flesh. The law being spiritual, those with the Spirit of Yahweh can indeed conform themselves to the law, and agree with it even though there may be times when they fail, being in the flesh. These things are necessary to recall, since Romans chapter 8 in its entirety is a long conclusion to the several chapters which precede it. Romans chapter 8 both concludes and also confirms many of the things which Paul had said in the previous chapters.
1 Now then, there is no condemnation to those among the number of Christ Yahshua.
The words ἐν χριστῶ ἰησοῦ are literally “in Christ Yahshua” but here they are “among the number of Christ Yahshua”, representing an idiomatic meaning of the word ἐν which Liddell & Scott explain in their definition of the word at ἐν, I. 3. “in the number of, amongst”.
The Codex Alexandrinus (A) and some later manuscripts add onto the end of this verse the words “who walk not in accordance with the flesh”, to which the Majority Text and other later manuscripts, and therefore the King James Version, further add the words “but in accordance with the Spirit”. The text of the Christogenea New Testament is supported by the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B) and Claromontanus (D). The same phrase appears in the verse 4 of this chapter where it is attested by all manuscripts and where it certainly belongs. This is a significant interpolation. It is my opinion that interpolations such as this one support the Catholic ideas of heaven and hell which, according to Flavius Josephus, belonged to the ancient Pharisees. Indeed, Paul wrote only that “there is no condemnation to those among the number of Christ Yahshua” because all the seed of Israel shall be justified, as the Word of Yahweh says in Isaiah chapter 45.
Paths of Old – Ancient Paths
Jeremiah 6:16; 18:15; Acts 15:21
“Thus said יהוה (Yahweh), “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves….” (Jeremiah 6:16)
“But My people have forgotten Me, they have burned incense to what is false, and they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in bypaths and not on a highway.” (Jeremiah 18:15)
Regular public reading of the Torah was introduced by Ezra the Scribe after the return of the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity (c. 537 BCE), as described in the Book of Nehemiah 8. In the modern era, adherents of Orthodox Judaism practice Torah reading according to a set procedure they believe has remained unchanged in the two thousand years since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE).
“For from ancient generations Mosheh has, in every city, those proclaiming him – being read in the congregations every Sabbath.” (Acts 15:21)
Bible readings for April 22, 2023. In the 4th solar month of the Hebrew 2nd month of Iyar (April/May).
This week, we have a double Torah Portion reading.
- Leviticus 12:1—13:59
- No Haftarah reading.
- Matthew 8:1-4, 11:2-6; Mark 1:40-45
- Leviticus 14:1—15:33
- 2 Kings 7:3-20
- Matthew 9:18-26
- Luke 17:1-37; Hebrews 13:4
If you are interested in downloading the annual Torah reading schedule with projected new moon sightings, Feast Days, click HERE.
Three Year Bible Reading Schedule
Genesis to Revelation
Exodus 2:23—3:22 | 1 Samuel 20:1—21:15 | Psalm 53:1—54:7 | Isaiah 56:1—57:21 | Mark 15:1—16:20
If you are interested in downloading the complete 3 year Bible reading schedule, click HERE. You can break up your Bible reading into 5 days of your choosing or combine the above readings of your choice.
Charles Stanley, whose Christian broadcasts spanned the world, dies at 90
ATLANTA — Charles Stanley, a prominent televangelist who once led the Southern Baptist Convention, died Tuesday at his home in Atlanta at age 90, In Touch Ministries announced.
No cause of death was announced.
Born in rural Dry Fork, Virginia, Stanley was senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta for 50 years. The church grew rapidly after he became its leader in 1971, moving from central Atlanta to a suburban campus in 1997 to accommodate a growing flock in the sprawling urban area.
“We are forever grateful for his enduring legacy of faithful leadership and spiritual guidance,” the church said in a social media post.
But his greatest fame came from his role in hosting “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley,” a Christian teaching program that began airing on the newborn Christian Broadcasting Network in 1978. That led to the creation of a separate nonprofit, In Touch Ministries, that sent Stanley’s broadcasts across the nation and world through radio and television. It even created solar-powered audio players containing the Bible, some of Stanley’s sermons and other materials that are available in more than 100 languages. Stanley also wrote more than 40 books.
When Stanley stepped down from First Baptist as senior pastor in 2020, he said he wasn’t planning to stop preaching, instead focusing his energies on In Touch Ministries.
“I’ll continue to preach the gospel as long as God allows, and my goal remains the same: to get the truth of the gospel to as many people as possible as quickly as possible in the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God,” Stanley said in a video message to the church when he took on the title of pastor emeritus.
IS HELL ENLARGING ITSELF? NASA Is Tracking A Huge, Growing Anomaly Inside Earth’s Magnetic Field
NASA is actively monitoring a strange anomaly in Earth’s magnetic field. “The magnetic field is actually a superposition of fields from many current sources,” geophysicist Terry Sabaka from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland explained in 2020. The primary source is considered to be a swirling ocean of molten iron inside Earth’s outer core, thousands of kilometers below the ground. The movement of that mass generates electrical currents that create Earth’s magnetic field, but not necessarily uniformly, it seems. A huge reservoir of dense rock called the African Large Low Shear Velocity Province, located about 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) below the African continent, disturbs the field’s generation, resulting in the dramatic weakening effect – which is aided by the tilt of the planet’s magnetic axis. “The observed SAA can be also interpreted as a consequence of weakening dominance of the dipole field in the region,” said NASA Goddard geophysicist and mathematician Weijia Kuang in 2020…
Are We The Byzantines? Ancient Culture Never Woke Up In Time To Understand What They Had Become. Will Americans?
When Constantinople finally fell to the Ottomans on Tuesday, May 29, 1453, the Byzantine Empire and its capital had survived for 1,000 years beyond the fall of the Western Empire at Rome. Always outnumbered in a sea of enemies, the Byzantines’ survival had depended on its realist diplomacy of dividing its enemies, avoiding military quagmires, and ensuring constant deterrence. Generations of self-sacrifice ensured ample investment for infrastructure. Each generation inherited and improved on singular aqueducts and cisterns, sewer systems, and the most complex and formidable city fortifications in the world… Yet this millennium-old crown jewel of the ancient world that once was home to 800,000 citizens had only 50,000 inhabitants left when it fell. There were only 7,000 defenders on the walls to hold back a huge Turkish army of over 150,000 attackers. The Islamic winners took over the once magical city of Constantine and renamed it Istanbul. It had been the home of the renowned Santa Sophia, the largest Christian church in the world for over 900 years. Almost immediately, this “Church of the Holy Wisdom” was converted into the then largest mosque in the Islamic world, with minarets to follow. So what happened to the once indomitable city fortress and its empire? Christendom had cannibalized itself. Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy fought endlessly. Westerners often hated each other more than they did their common enemy…
PART 4: LIES OF MEN AND GODS—The “Apostate Superchurch” Cult of Antichrist
Let’s compare these words super quick:
APOSTASY…. A public denial of a previously held religious belief and a distancing from the community that holds to it. The term is almost always applied pejoratively, carrying connotations of rebellion, betrayal, treachery, or faithlessness.[i]
In biblical eschatology studies related to the coming Apostate Superchurch—“the apostasy comes first, and [Antichrist] is revealed” (2 Thessalonians 2:3; NASB)—“apostasy” refers to “a great ‘falling away’ or ‘rebellion’ (apostasia) from the Christian faith before the day of Christ.”[ii] Even more simply put, from the Dictionary of Latin Forms, it refers to a “departure from one’s religion, [or a] repudiation of one’s faith.”[iii]
As the scholars and commentators acknowledge:
Before that great day [the Tribulation] comes, Paul declared, the rebellion [apostasia] must occur.… [T]here will be a great denial, a deliberate turning away by those who profess to belong to Christ [Christians]. It will be a rebellion. Having once allied themselves with Christ, they will abandon him. Within the recognized church there will come a time when people will forsake their faith. Throughout history there have been defections from the faith. But the apostasy about which he wrote to the Thessalonians would be of greater magnitude and would signal the coming of the end.[iv]
In other words: A rebellion of the Christian Church from the inside out will happen, and then Antichrist will rise with his One-World-Order government and One-World Religion (his cult, the grandest deception of the world, which we, as you’ve likely noted by now, have coined “the Apostate Superchurch”).
But what is a cult, exactly?
Contemporary dictionaries give some form of the following takeaway: “Cult: a system of religious beliefs and ritual…a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also: its body of adherents.”[v] (Truthfully, the word points directly to an Apostate-Superchurch agenda, as well as a modern, anti-Christ-spirited itinerary that normalizes and celebrates false religion. For now, it’s only important to understand that the word “cult” used in this work will refer first to “an unorthodox/spurious religion,” and, by extension, to Antichrist’s supremely unorthodox/spurious “veiled Christianity” of the End Times. It may surprise you to read that, underneath all the convoluted semantics games, “apostasy” and “cult” mean the same thing…more on this later.)
By suggesting that an off-track Christianity precisely fulfills the definition of a cult, not only is that how most get started, but neither are we saying anything that God didn’t say first: In the End, the Apostate Superchurch under Antichrist’s reign is going to entice and deceive countless multitudes of people who think they’re a part of the Remnant Church. They will absolutely be “religious,” but Christ cannot authentically be their Lord.
PART 5: LIES OF MEN AND GODS—The Day All Religions Are Destroyed
When I (Donna Howell) first started to read the book of Revelation, I found myself slowly drinking it in and understanding it fairly well. But when I came to the part about the Beast devouring the Harlot, all of a sudden I thought, Where did that come from? I thought she, the Harlot, was in control!
Scholars and theologians have long acknowledged that the Harlot of Revelation represents both: a) the city of Babylon (most likely Rome, though a minority believes this to be the historic Babylon rebuilt), which includes the power and authority that this city will have over the earth (Antichrist’s “system” and policies, etc.); and b) false (pagan) religions of the world. The former is taken from Revelation 17:18, where the Harlot is specifically referred to as “that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” The latter requires an understanding of how, in biblical typography and symbolism, the Church is likened to a woman (1 Corinthians 11:1–2; Ephesians 5:23–32; Galatians 4:21–31; Revelation 19:7–8; 21:2). But, throughout the Bible, when we read that “woman” (God’s people) is unfaithful to God, “she” is a “harlot,” like Gomer, the adulteress God told the prophet Hosea to marry as a symbol of the Israelites’ idolatrous spiritual infidelity (Hosea 1:2ff). Elsewhere, the Apostle Paul clearly demonstrated that God will not “share” His people with the “harlot” called false religion. In a letter to the church at Corinth, in a verse that would have been a shocking string of words for that early culture, Paul challenged: “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:16–17).
Therefore, the Harlot of the End Times is understandably interpreted to represent “false religion” and the unholy alliance that false religion has with the “kings” of the One-World Government (Revelation 17:1–2). Upon her very forehead is “a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth” (Revelation 17:5).
In the beginning, as the Great Tribulation begins to unfold for the first three and a half years, approximately (according to the “forty-two-month” mathematics behind the “time, times, and half a time” prophecies [Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 12:14]), the Harlot is perched atop the Beast, riding him like a steed.
Many scholars interpret the woman to be in complete control over the Beast, as if to suggest that Antichrist is not yet powerful enough to take over. Others believe that, due to her seemingly instant downfall, Antichrist will have been strong enough to devour her all along but chooses instead to take advantage of her ability to draw people into false religion to further weaken resistance from real Christians. In either case, Antichrist will decide to play nice and share his toys with the Harlot while his rule strengthens in the background. When the Beast is through with the Harlot—when Antichrist has successfully built a “peaceful,” “benevolent” rule with the help of all the “beautiful” religions and philanthropic economics she represents—he will “hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” (Revelation 17:16) in the second “forty-two-month” (or three-and-a-half year) time slot of his command.
PART 6: LIES OF MEN AND GODS—The Sci-Fi We Are Living
After opening this series with a hard look at the contemporary Church’s shortcomings, you may have expected us to proceed by outlining how the religious institution should revamp itself to more fully reflect what God desires of His Churches. Not to worry—we will get there, but as mentioned in the introduction, this series is about more than just Western Christianity. This is a vital point, because modern culture is made up of more than just those who follow Jesus. In fact, a vast majority within our society today are unsaved. So if we speak only to the Church, we are “preaching to the choir.” Furthermore, since many Christians have, in recent years, found it difficult to maintain relevance to secular culture, anything that isolates the religious institution as a topic fails to bridge the cultural and communicative gap when it comes to the world outside the Church. While we believe that God’s transformative power has the means to change the world when people look to Him for direction, we also understand that God has allowed humanity to be agents of free will. As such, when we look for answers within the four walls of the church that would apply to the troubles that pillage the world outside, we often hit a disconnect. The transformative power of God accompanies the willing heart, and society is filled with those who aren’t ready to surrender. Because of this single element, our biblical solutions are limited outside the Church or the Christian home. For the Church to become relevant to culture again, we have to understand where people are, and where they’ve come from.
In the meantime, we’re able to see fairly accurate reflections of where our society is headed when we study the media. Movies, books, television shows, and other means of storytelling outline where society has previously projected itself to be, and how we have fared along the journey. When fiction writers construct a good story, they often imagine where mankind’s depravity and technological advances will take us in the future. Then, based on their imaginings, they approximate a story they believe will be thrilling, scary, or engaging. At the time they’re written, many of these speculations seem impossible; yet, the possibilities become more realistic as the years go on. In this entry, we’ll show only some of the many ways that we’re currently living the sci-fi movies our grandparents were afraid of. Likewise, we’ll reveal how dangerously close we are to living—in the not-so-distant future—the seemingly impossible entertainment that viewers take in today.
If we were to say that we’re living in a horror or sci-fi movie, most folks would probably say, “No way.” After all, such productions reach for the fantastical, while combining out-of-reach technology with an escalated and even dehumanized level of human depravity. The blend of such things, in the realm of entertainment, is what makes a great book or movie. In fact, the perfect balance of these elements is often what sets a work apart as really gripping or even downright scary. Yet, once a piece of media crosses over completely into the realm of what viewers perceive to be the impossible, it’s no longer considered “scary,” but mere “fantasy.”
Humans Are On Track To Achieve Immortality Without God In 7 Years, Futurist Says
Futurist Ray Kurzweil is still making waves years after his initial singularity claims as artificial intelligence continues to progress. With singularity milestones coming, Kurzweil believes immortality is achievable by 2030. Kurzweil says one crucial step on the way to a potential 2045 singularity is the concept of immortality, possibly reached as soon as 2030. And the rapid rise of artificial intelligence is what will make it happen. Kurzweil believes that our technological and medical progress will grow to the point that robotics—he dubs them “nanobots”—will work to repair our bodies at the cellular level, as reported by Lifeboat, turning disease and aging around thanks to the continual work of robotic know-how. And then, voilà: immortality….
EXPERTS WORRIED RITUAL ROBOTS MAY WORSHIP GODS BETTER THAN HUMANS–“ROBOTS, UNLIKE PEOPLE, ARE SPIRITUALLY INCORRUPTIBLE”
Strangely enough, Hinduism is the latest venue for robots and automation — and worshippers as well as religious experts are freaked out by it. While the aarti robots and several others — like a life-size animatronic elephant used to make a Kerala temple “cruelty-free” — are exciting to some worshippers, others have plenty of reservations about what their use might mean for the future of religion. “There are concerns that the proliferation of robots might lead to greater numbers of people leaving religious practice as temples begin to rely more on automation than on practitioners to care for their deities,” Waters writes, citing research that has found that younger people are, indeed, going to church less. To the anthropologist, these concerns appear to be linked to pervasive spiritual anxiety. “Scholars often note that these concerns all tend to reflect one pervasive theme – an underlying anxiety that, somehow, the robots are better at worshipping gods than humans are,” she wrote. “They can also raise inner conflicts about the meaning of life and one’s place in the universe…
Reaching for the Mark of the Beast
Evolution proceeds from Monkey to Man to the Machine
Authorities want to require vaccines in order to buy, sell, or trade. Christians are alarmed. Anyone else with a brain should be, too.
The new totalitarianism is getting a test run in the wake of COVID-19. Across the globe, every person must submit to “health and safety.” So long as officials “can save just one life,” any draconian policy is justified. In response, millions of Christians are refusing the ‘rona vaccine for fear it’s the Mark of the Beast. Their refusal has invited waves of weaponized condescension from dogmatic doctors and Rainbow Xians alike.
On September 9, Joe Biden demanded that the entire nation receive the jab — young or old, with or without natural immunity. Addressing unvaxxed Americans, the nominal Catholic warned, “We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin.”
For many Christians of all races and nationalities, the supposed president’s aggressive tone carried the weight of prophecy fulfilled. They see present-day history as manifesting the Bible’s symbolic structure.
Are they wrong?
The thirteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation — received as a vision by St. John on the Greek island of Patmos — describes the rise of two Beasts who will institute a one world order. Channeling the power of Leviathan, the first blasphemous Beast emerges from the sea:
“It was given authority over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all the inhabitants of the earth will worship it.”
A second Beast then rises from the earth:
“It performs great signs, even making fire come down from the heavens. … [I]t deceives the inhabitants of earth, telling them to make an image for the [first] Beast…it was allowed to give breath to the image of the Beast so that [the image] could speak.”
It’s no surprise that vigilant Christians perceived something ominous in the invention of the television, the desktop monitor, the smartphone, and especially in the holographic images that will populate augmented reality. A two thousand year-old symbol has been realized by the glowing Cyclops.
“Also [the second Beast] causes all — both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave — to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell who does not have the mark, that is, the name of the Beast or the number of its name…six hundred sixty-six.”
Imagine smartphones in every person’s hand and virtual reality helmets strapped to every forehead. Whatever the Revelation’s final meaning may be, if we look beyond the specific phantasms of St. John’s vision, a troubling motif of world domination and universal tracking comes into view.
The Mark as a Tracking System
There are countless ways to interpret the Mark of the Beast. Fundamentalists tend toward a literal reading. Convinced we’re living through the End Times, they look for exact correlates between the Book and the world.
In the 1930’s, it was supposed to be a social security number for every citizen. In the 1980’s, it was a scannable UPC bar code — allegedly marked with three 6’s — stamped on every product. In the 1990’s, radical ministers were sure it would be an RFID tracking chip stabbed into every palm. In the early 2000’s, it was biometric identification.