Apr 30, 2012

Are We Living in the Last Days?

I've always been annoyed by presumptuous pastors who plot the demise of the human race with more detail than even the Bible predicts. Something in me always seems to be drawn back to Jesus saying that "No man knows the day or the hour." Yet there has always been a subtle intrigue by which believers regard Revelation.

If a church does a series on Revelation the attendance will go up. When a book is published on this subject it could sell in the tens of millions. Even a movie that is apocalyptic in nature will have a healthy haul at the box office. So, am I writing this post to increase web traffic? No, although it probably will. I just want to point out a few things worth noting.

When I was a kid I heard that Saddam Hussein may be the antichrist (this was during the first gulf war). Then President Clinton was elected and people said the same thing about him. President Bush and President Obama have had similar rumors. So do we just always suppose everyone in power is going to become the antichrist?

President Obama was perhaps the most interesting of the comparisons. People were skeptical of his birthplace and even his religion. Many still claim that he is a closet Muslim. For the record I do not believe he is. The reason this is interesting is that Christians over the years switched from believing the Anti-Christ would come out of the U.S.S.R. or the Catholic church to someone from Islam.

What reasons would we have to suspect Islam? Well lets look. Antichrist literally means counterfeit Christ. They are both supposed to be the God of Abraham, the "only" god, and the sole creator of the universe. Sounds counterfeit doesn't it?

Well, no not really. You see the Muslims consider it an abomination to say that the Father has a son. They may have a counterfeit god, but definitely not an counterfeit Christ.

So what prominent religion clearly worships a Jesus that is not the Jesus of the Bible. Until recently there wasn't a prominent religion that did this, just some misguided views in different belief systems. But now Mormonism has moved into the public eye. With commercials on TV that give "hope", a prominent TV personality (Glenn Beck), and even a presidential candidate (Mitt Romney).

Are they a Christian denomination? You tell me. Here are some of their beliefs:

-God the father used to be a man on another planet who became a god through good works.
-God literally had sex with Mary to produce Jesus.
-Jesus and Satan are brothers (Satan wishes that he was on Jesus' level)
-If you are male you can one day be the god of your own planet.
-Each person on your planet will be created through having sex with many wives to produce the spirit babies for insertion into the humans.

My friends this is a cult. Those who pledge themselves to a cult and follow its teachings are prone to demonic influence. The antichrist doesn't start off as a "bad" guy, he becomes possessed by Satan himself after coming to power.

While some are still worried about our current president being a Muslim, I suggest they think twice when considering who to vote for for president this year. If these are our choices I will highly consider an independent or third party. Not because I believe I can stop the rise of the antichrist or even that someone running will be the antichrist. I just don't want to end up in heaven as one of the few duped into helping him rise to power.

Again for the record I am not saying that Mitt Romney will be the antichrist. In fact we may not see the rise of the antichrist for thousands of years.  I do believe we should be discerning in these areas and weigh the risks and consequences of every decision. What do you think? I would love to discuss this with you below.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a great read. You really brought some interesting insights into this presidential election for me.

I supposed I always took the "lesser of two evils" approach in considering whom to vote for. As I have often prayed for wisdom in my decision, very rarely do I get a straight up answer from the Lord.

Thanks for the insight. Your blog is always a good read!

Donovan Dock said...

I love this post, personally I think you could make a pretty good case for Obama as well. Kenya used to be part of the Babylonian province which would make him a Babylonian King in the West. So we have two eligible leaders depending on which scriptures we are evaluating.

Melinda said...

In the last few weeks Pat Robertson said not to worry about a Mormon on the 700 club. I read this post: http://m.christianpost.com/news/joel-osteen-mormon-romney-is-christian-obama-is-too--73826/. With religious leaders telling others these things it is important we use our voice to speak truth. I'm sharing this post for that reason.

Nate Garrett said...

Thanks Donovan, remember that Babylon may be a spiritual analogy as well.

Melinda thanks for sharing it, Pat Robertson has long ago (since the Moral Majority) demonstrated that Republicans in office is the most important thing. It is hard to be objective when toeing a party line.

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is your choice sentence here:

"The reason this is interesting is that Christians over the years switched from believing the Anti-Christ would come out of the U.S.S.R. or the Catholic church to someone from Islam."

You highjack the word Christian and seperate it from Catholic as if the two are not the same. Protestants attempt to do this, but the reality is the Catholic Church is Christianity, theres nothing more Christian. The Church gave birth to the Bible, the Bible didn't give birth to the Church. The Bible says the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth, not the Bible. In fact you can't even find the contents of what is and isn't the Bible from the Bible alone and thus must look to an outside authority to determine what books belong in scripture thus scripture alone fails.

Nate Garrett said...

Anonymous,
I know plenty of Catholics that are Christians just as I know plenty of protestants that are not. Church affiliation does not make one a follower of Christ.

That being said, I was simply stating a fact that many speculated that the antichrist would be Catholic and they were wrong.

As far as my seperating it out, I feel it seperates itself. This does not mean that someone in the Catholic church cannot be a believer, but that the church itself has strayed from scriptural teaching.

In the first century church Jesus was the cornerstone. Jesus called Peter Petras meaning "little rock" and then said and on this Petra "big rock" (himself), I will build my church. Every messanger who spoke for God lived simply: Isaish, Elijah, John the Baptist, Peter Paul and even Jesus. There is something strange about the messenger who speaks on behalf of God living in the equivalent of a palace in luxury.

The Bible says that God's word will never pass away and even calls Jesus the Word.

Salvation is by grace through faith alone (Eph 2:8-10)

Here are a few misguided doctrines that fly in the face of the Bible with NO scriptural support:

indulgences (not anymore, but at one time you had to pay money to get loved ones to heaven)

Praying to anyone other than God: Mary, apostles etc.

Purgatory (the entire concept)

confession to a priest (we are all of the preisthood in Christ, the veil was torn and anyone can have an open relationship with God.

My prayer is that you have repented of your sins to God and given your life to Jesus to mold and make new, regardless of trasdition or church affiliation.

Thanks for commenting :)

And lastly and most importantly, Salvation through grace + works

Anonymous said...

You didn’t answer my answer as to the inspired table of contents. Furthermore where in the Bible does it say everything must come from scripture? If not then how can you hold to an idea that is outside of scripture and foundational to your beliefs?

Purgatory is scriptural but I won’t post the verses as you will simply claim they are teaching something else, which I don’t want to get into all of that at the moment.

The scriptures tell us to pray for one another and that the prayer of the righteous is powerful, we are all one body in Christ and God is the God of the living not the dead, thus those connected to Christ in heaven now through Christ our one mediator can in fact hear our prayers. Revelations gives us a clear picture of the Saints in heaven receiving the prayers from earth. The idea that those in heaven wouldn’t be doing what we are called to do as Christians on earth is silly, Christians ask others to pray for them and intercede for them all the time, the real question as to the communion of saints is rather or not they can hear us. And we know Christ can and we know they are one body in Christ thus through Christ they can and fact hear us and who is more righteous then those already in heaven?
Confession is all over scriptures, from the Apostles being given the power to forgive sin in confession it is not the forgiveness of a man that forgives sin, but it’s the forgiveness of Christ. Christ through the priest forgives our sins if we are truly repentant of them. God always always man to share in his ministry and his roles. This is why he founded a Church, selected apostles, and this is why it is through men that his gospel is shared. Christ is about Unity, and communion and thus people come to God by God through people sharing the Gospel and forgiveness of sin works the same way.

But it should be noted that God can and does work outside of the sacraments as his grace is not confined to them but the sacraments are the norm for receiving the grace of God.

Furthermore it should be noted that ALL Catholic doctrines can be found throughout time since the time of Christ. No protestant doctrines can: example

“Peter, who is called 'the rock on which the church should be built,' who also obtained 'the keys of the kingdom of heaven...'” Tertullian, On the Prescription Against the Heretics, 22 (c. A.D. 200).

We have many early church commentaries which confirm all catholic doctrine and understanding protestants have none because it didn’t exist until Luther.

And furthermore educate yourself on greek, the words petros and petra were synonyms in first century Greek. They meant "small stone" and "large rock" in some ancient Greek poetry, centuries before the time of Christ, but that distinction had disappeared from the language by the time Matthew’s Gospel was rendered in Greek. The difference in meaning can only be found in Attic Greek, but the New Testament was written in Koine Greek—an entirely different dialect. In Koine Greek, both petros andpetra simply meant "rock." If Jesus had wanted to call Simon a small stone, the Greek lithos would have been used. Furthermore one is feminine and the other masculine it makes sense that Peter would not be referred to in a feminine sense. Also the Bible account records a true occurance, the conversation truly happened. What language would the conversation of occurred in? Aramaic which there is only one word for rock and its Cephas which Peter is also referred to many times in other parts of scripture; Not to meantion the Fact that Jesus changed his name to Peter for a reason. The evidence is overwhelming, from scripture and history.

Anonymous said...

Oh and the only time faith alone is used in the Bible is when it says that a man can't be saved by faith alone. Salavation is an on-going event not something in the past, look at John 3:16 the word believes implies present and future tense, our salvation is a distanation not a past event. Santification and Justification are one, not broken apart, we are to be perfect as our father in heaven is perfect, for no unclean thing shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, praise God for Purgatory because without it theres only one other place we would be going, as no one I know is perfect.

Nate Garrett said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for your well thought out response. Again I will reiterate that there are Catholics and Protestants that are in Christ and there are Catholics and Protestants that are not.

Secondly please refer to the following site. It would take fare to long to answer everything you have said here, and as I may not have time to do so this week I wanted to show the work of others who already have.

I will however remind you of how Paul exhorted the Berians for checking to make sure that what he was preaching was actually scriptural. Yes, regular Christians were told that it is ok to question even an Apostle if his teachings contradict scripture.

Anyways here is the link: http://carm.org/bible-alone-sufficient-spiritual-truth

Nate Garrett said...

Also talking to the dead is expressly forbidden in scripture Deut 18:11

Anonymous said...

I agree that talking to the dead is forbibben, but Jesus spoke with Moses during his life and what was moses? See the mt of transfiguration.

Also our God is the God of the LIVING not the dead - read scripture plainly says that.

Nate Garrett said...

Jesus never spoke to those who had died in his earthly body, he became transfigured even to have a simple conversation, and therefore did not violate the law. But either way I respect the fact that you are merely asking saints who have moved on into eternity to pray for you rather than praying to them, it appears clouded when there are statues people kneel before. Either way I respect your opinion and practice. I would remind you however that as Jesus is the ONLY mediator between God and man that you can take your requests straight to the father through him. Although I ask others to pray for me, I still pray to God on my own and so can you.

Pietro Armando said...

One of the main problems with "scripture alone" is that it ignores literally centuries of church history. If "The Bible" is the end all be all, then it stands to reason that christians in times past , from the earliest days of the church, would have thought so. Also which bible? There is no one "The Bible", which is a mistranslation of the Greek "ta biblia", the books.

The following is from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia "the books") is any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the contents and the order of the individual books (Biblical canon) vary among denominations. The 24 texts of the Hebrew Bible are divided into 39 books in Christian Old Testaments, and complete Christian Bibles range from the 66 books of the Protestant canon to the 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Bible.


Also why do some protestants ignore the eastern churches? It seems as only the "Roman" Catholics are the evil ones. Is it Catholics in general that are disliked? Only the Romans? What of the eastern Catholic churches? How about the eastern Orthodox churches? I often thought that from a historical standpoint, Protestants were the rebellious daughters of the Mother Church (Rome). The eastern churches were sisters to Rome, and Judaism was the mother faith. Oh well. Thanks for listening......uh reading.

Nate Garrett said...

The reason the Protestant Bible ignores the Apocryphal and dueterocanonical books is because of the appearant lack of inspiration. The Bible must be without flaw. The book of Enoch did not appear until within 200 years of the life of Christ yet it claims to be written before the great flood of Genesis 6. In Tobit we are told that if bird poop gets in your eyes you will go blind (not true). I wish I had time to elaborate, but Jesus warned us to avoid Jewish fables and that means all of the books claiming to be written by old testament authors years after their deaths.

We are not anti-catholic but are less the rebelious daughters and are more like freed slaves the way Jesus freed people for m the old system put in place by the Pharisees.

Pietro Armando said...

http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/

Up until the 1880’s every Protestant Bible (not just Catholic Bibles) had 80 books, not 66! The inter-testamental books written hundreds of years before Christ called “The Apocrypha” were part of virtually every printing of the Tyndale-Matthews Bible, the Great Bible, the Bishops Bible, the Protestant Geneva Bible, and the King James Bible until their removal in the 1880’s! The original 1611 King James contained the Apocrypha, and King James threatened anyone who dared to print the Bible without the Apocrypha with heavy fines and a year in jail. Only for the last 120 years has the Protestant Church rejected these books, and removed them from their Bibles. This has left most modern-day Christians believing the popular myth that there is something “Roman Catholic” about the Apocrypha. There is, however, no truth in that myth, and no widely-accepted reason for the removal of the Apocrypha in the 1880’s has ever been officially issued by a mainline Protestant denomination.

Pietro Armando said...

".... are less the rebelious daughters and are more like freed slaves the way Jesus freed people for m the old system put in place by the Pharisees."

I have to tip my hat. Well put. Not that I agree with it, but well put none the less.

Nate Garrett said...

The 66 books can actually be traced back to Origen and other church founders. The apocryphal books are not found in the Dead Sea scrolls even the every O.T. Book but Esther is represented there. They were also not mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus when he sited all of the books still in use by Protestants as inspired works.

We may have to disagree on this one, but I am open and do own and read the Apocrypha. I recognize they are still important historically.

Pietro Armando said...

How does that explain the fact they were originally included in Protestant bibles, and later removed? This "66 books" mantra appears to be a relatively recent invention, that most Protestants I suspect do not know, and to be fair, Catholics for that matter as well.

A few other points on the "bible only" approach to Christian faith.

It seems to ignore, marginalize,or completely dismiss centuries of church history. I don't know that if geography had something to do with that. Protestantism, historically took root in northwest Europe, Ireland excluded. The versions that came to America, were in many respects, protestants protesting European reform Christianity, primarily Anglicism. The increased geographical distance between them and the historic patriarchal centers of historic Christianity, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Rome, served to sever Anglo-American Protestants from those roots. Add to that a sense of independence, and distrust of things "foreign", embedded in the American DNA, and naturally the bible only approach became a foundational tenent of Anglo American Protestant Christianity, or at least some stands of it.

"The Bible" or the individual books, have evolved over time,from virtually the moment it left the author's hand.

-There is no complete agreement on who actually wrote some of the books. for example, there is a broad consensus of scholarship, both religious, and secular, that Paul did not write all of his letters. Catholic bibles, some of them, will acknowledge this.

-There are no origianl copies of any biblical books. What we have are copies of copies of copies, all written by hand. The first complete copy of any NT books appears approximate 200 years after the event. The NT books were written in koine Greek, and translated in to Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, and Latin, long before the English language, or at least as we know it today, existed.

-Martin Luther, "The Father of the Reformation", wanted to remove books from the canon. He translated a text, (From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Bible):[Romans 3:28 controversially so that it read: "thus, we hold, then, that man is justified without the works of the law to do, alone through faith"[8] The word "alone" does not appear in the original Greek text]. Another example of change.

I've gone on long enough. Once again thanks for listening

Ciao
Pietro Armando