Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

The greek word for sorcery

January 28, 2008

Speaking of Babylon:

Revelation 18:23 (King James Version)
23And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived

Do you know of anyone who struggles with sorcery?

When we think of sorcery, we normal think of Hollywood’s portrayal of sorcery. Spells, chants….dark religious stuff, right?

I heard something interesting about this in a sermon that I heard online today (after hearing it in an interview right before that). The speaker, former hip hop artist ivor myers, brought up the original definition of the word that is translated to “sorcery.”

According to blueletterbible.org, it’s:
pharmakeia
1) the use or the administering of drugs
2) poisoning
3) sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
4) metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry

According to Myers, this word is related to the modern word “pharmacy,” and the Biblical definition is “Anything that medicates the mind so that it will not follow the will or the Law of God” or “Anything that disconnects the mind from the mind of Christ.”

According to Myers this can apply to…Marijuana, television, music, and many other things that a lot of people struggle with. We might not realize this, but a lot of us might struggle with sorcery.

Just something to think about… ūüôā

If you want to check out the Sermon(click), he talks about this specifically about….20 minutes into the sermon. It’s interesting stuff….check it out ūüôā

The sermon itself is largely about the entertainment industry, and things that could be keeping us from God.

Advertisements

Doctrinal Discussion and Debate

October 7, 2007

For anyone who is interested, I have started a group for doctrinal discussion on myspace….it’s just one small group, check it out if you’re interested ūüôā

http://groups.myspace.com/doctrinaldebate

2 Timothy 3 and 4

September 2, 2007

I’ve heard this chapter quoted from many times today, at a time when…well, I knew He wanted me to pay attention.

I thought I’d share….

2 Timothy 3
1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,
4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

I’m afraid that’s me >.< but I don’t want it to be, and I’m working on it. I could use some prayer. (That’s not the only thing this post is about….though….but as a sidenote…fee¬†free¬†to¬†send¬†up¬†some¬†prayer : )

In the last days, there will be many people displaying these traits. I can’t think of a time when they apply more. It’s especially interesting, imo, that this scripture seems to be talking about people who do love God, but love pleasure more.

6For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,
7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.

It’s interesting….from what I understand (what I recently learned), we don’t know who Jannes and Jambres are Biblically, but historically, it seems likely that these are the magicians who stood at Pharo’s side and….when moses presented God’s miracle by turning a staff into a snake, they “opposed” him with counterfeit miracles, turning their staffs into snakes. Something interesting to think about, imo.

9But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also.

This whole scripture, so far, seems to be talking about people who are trying to act Godly, trying to impress people, but are actually counterfeits themselves. People who have the traits listed above, but are still trying to represent Christianity at the same time….people who are still of the world, but claiming not to be of it….etc…

10Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance,
11persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

of course, not all who are persecuted for from Jesus, either, we can bring persecution on ourselves, but this is something to keep in mind. When we step out for God, and start living for Him, we will run into resistance, and this is often when we make the most difference. but…if we recede and become of the world, the devil might leave us alone. my thoughts…

13But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

imo, Paul is saying this to those whom he is confident have had the truth : )

16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Moving on to chapter 4….because it’s good : )

2 Timothy 4
1I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

===
A couple of things I get from all this. Firstly, we really need to look at where our priorities are (myself included, probably more than many). We need to remember that we aren’t of this world, that we shouldn’t become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, and that we need to remember to focus on the ministry that God gives us.

Another thing I get….this scripture really makes me feel that we are living in the last days. I know that these traits have existed in all times, but I can’t think of any time in history when they apply more than now.

I just heard a startling yet very believable statistic. By the time an average kid turns five, he has spent more time watching tv then he will spend talking to his father in his entire life. That’s the type of society we’re living in…..truly, lovers of pleasure, lovers of escapism, lovers of….the world ūüėõ

The Woman at the Well

May 28, 2007

Sinning Repeatedly

May 20, 2007

My Pastor spoke today about sin, and the guilt and fear that often accompanies it. He mentioned a Chinese proverb, which said something along the lines of…..if you commit the same sin twice, you no longer feel guilty.

That’s a true statement….maybe not twice, but when we sin again and again, we eventaully don’t feel anything. If we cheat on our taxes every year, we might try to justify it at first, but after a while, we don’t even need to justify it, because it doesn’t bother us.

There’s one thing that many internet junkies and many kids of my generation do without even thinking about……

“It’s Not a Religion, It’s a Relationship”

May 12, 2007

I hear those words uttered frequently from my fellow Christians….”It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship.”

I¬†do¬†believe¬†that¬†a¬†relationship¬†with¬†Jesus¬†is¬†the¬†most¬†important¬†things that we can experience, and the most important part of Christianity. That being said….I still have to argue with those who claim that Christianity is not a religion. ¬†I do believe that it’s a relationship, but I believe that it’s a religion as well.

Religion is a belief (spirituality, some might say), and the practices associated with those beliefs.  God created us, and reveals Himself to us, so we do have that belief in Him. We also have practices associated with that belief, such as baptism, ministering, helping the poor, etc.

God basically created Judaism, giving priests instructions to teach the knowledge God gave them and the practices He commanded. Man might have changed it a bit, but God created it.

The Bible does seem to speak of true religion on a positive note….So I can’t help but disagree when people say that Christianity isn’t religion, or that we shouldn’t be “religious.”¬†¬†Religion is belief and practices, and we shouldn’t forsake the belief in God, nor should we forsake the practices that He has commanded.

Are you in a rut?

May 6, 2007

Here are some words of encouragement….from someone else ūüôā

Why I Don’t Believe in Eternal Torment

March 13, 2007

This is a post I made for another discussion forum, but I spent some time on it, so I’ll throw it on here.¬† This blog lists some of why I don’t believe in the mainstream concept of hell, aka eternal torment.

I definitely don’t believe there is a hell now, because the Bible says that the dead know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5).¬† If we went to heaven or hell when we died, Lazarus probably would have said something about it worth writing down (John 11:17, 43).

I believe that the dead are dead until they are resurrected. ¬†The dead in Christ are resurrected first, then the rest (Revelation 20:4-6). ¬†Notice it says the “second death” has no power over the people who are part of the first resurrection.¬† Again, as we see in Ecclesiastes 9:5, the dead know nothing. ¬†That’s enough for me to be confident that the dead are destroyed, not kept alive in suffering.

More scripture supporting the destruction of the wicked includes:

Ezekiel 18:4, Ezekiel 26:21, Ezekiel 28:18-19, Malachi 4:1, Psalm 37:20, Psalm 104:35, Isaiah 47:14, Nahum 1:10

I believe that it’s important to remember that words like eternal and forever aren’t always literal, things can be lost in translation.¬† If I say “may the king live forever,” that’s not necessarily literal.

2 Peter 2:6 and Jude 1:7 might be compared…..the fire might be eternal, the punishment might be eternal, but the life isn’t eternal. ¬†Sodom and Gomorrah are obviously no longer standing, right?

The promise of eternal life was promised to God’s people, to those who have righteousness, by faith.

Romans 2:7, Romans 6:23, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54, 1 Timothy 6:16, 2 Timothy 1:10, and…

John 3:16
16″For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

I believe that there are two kinds of people, those who will receive eternal life, and those who won’t.

I’ll try to wrap this up by showing that the lake of fire, which is called the second death(Revelation 20:14), is on earth(Revelation 20:14), and it seems earth is destroyed(Revelation 21:1).


I do admit that there are a few verses that are hard to understand, I see where people are coming from on each side, but this is what I believe. ¬†The weight of evidence on the subject points to destruction, not eternal torment.¬† If anyone has any questions….ask.¬† I certainly haven’t covered it all in this one short blog, but I think the scripture speaks for itself.

I could probably expand on all this, but for now, I’m done.¬†

God Bless ūüôā

The Law

February 21, 2007

As a Seventh Day Adventist, I get asked about “the law” from time to time…people want to know why I keep some parts of the law (such the Sabbath, obviously), but not other parts (most mosaic law).¬† Most of the time it’s the Sabbath specifically they want to know about (or the dietary laws).

I can easily show that the Sabbath is blessed and Holy, which has nothing to do with the law.¬† I did, however,¬†write a brief summary on “the law” for another discussion forum, so I’ll share that here.

Before I even start, I’ll point out, intuitively, that it makes sense that the Ten Commandments would be ten timeless principles, not nine timeless principles and one temporary standard. Each of the Ten Commandments are principles that we should live by, and would certainly be principles to live by even if the Ten Commandments were never given. They all existed even before they were given.

While the book of the law does contain moral principles, the letter of the law was done away with. The book of the law was given after the Ten Commandments wer given, because of transgression. The book of the law contains instructions for atoning sacrifices and stuff like that. This wouldn’t have been necessary if not for the stubbornness of Israel (and Man).

A brief summary of the history of the law:
God speaks the Ten Commandments to all Israel, for all to hear (Ex 20:1-17). The People ask Moses to be their go-between guy with God (Ex 20:18-19). God speaks to Moses the words of the covenant with Israel (Ex 20:22-23:33). Moses recites the covenant and its judgments to the people (Ex 24:3). Moses writes the book of the covenant, builds an altar, and confirms the covenant with sacrificial blood (Ex 24:4-8). Moses goes up the mountain for forty days and nights (Ex 24:12-18). God writes the Ten Commandments in stone, with His own finger, and gives them to Moses(Ex 31:18). Moses breaks the two tablets (Ex 32:19). God writes the second set of tablets with His own finger and gives them to Moses (Ex 34:1). The second set was the same as the first (Deut 10:1-4). –The Ten Commandments: Twice removedwas used as a quick reference for this timeline.

As we can see, the Commandments were treated differently from the start.  Obviously the Ten Commandments were special, spoken to all Israel by God, written on stone by His own hand, placed in the most holy place of the most Holy room in Israel (where as the book was placed beside, Ex 40:20). 

– > For those interested, the book “Ten Commandments: Twice Removed” discusses this in depth, going over tons of scripture showing the differences, how the Commandments are spoken of as glorious, while it’s known from the start that the book of the law is a witness against Israel(Deut 29:20-21 and much other scripture I might include later). The way I see it, the book contains the Holy Justice system, which Jesus fulfilled.

Let’s take a closer look at the book of the Law, shall we?
The book of the law contains several different types of Law, which I’m sure should be obvious. Firstly, there are moral laws, or moral principles. Laws such as….not sleeping with men, and other stuff like that. These things should be obvious. There¬†are also ceremonial laws, which were added because of transgression, to atone for laws which have been broken, for sins which had been committed. Finally, since Israel was a very real nation (a theocracy, I believe), they obviously had civil laws….laws for governing the people of the government, determining government structure, punishment….just like the laws of the governments that exist today.

So yeah….There’s my view on “the Law,” some of why I believe that the Ten Commandments are special and timeless, as well as why I believe other parts of mosaic¬†law should be kept(dietary laws, for example, are for¬†our health, and taking care of our bodies is definitely a Biblical principle).¬† A good book for more info is The Ten Commandments:¬† Twice Removed, as well as the Holy Bible (obviously).

I hope to write a little more on the Sabbath in the future, giving further scriptural support, as well as write about a¬†few other things.¬† I’ll try to blog at least once a week, if not more.

God Bless you all, and happy Wednesday ūüôā