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Left Behind? You Can Be Saved!

Since I got saved in 1979, I have been excited about the possibility of perhaps never experiencing physical death!

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ESV

If this event, known as the rapture, has happened, you can still be saved and gain eternal life. But, it is much more difficult! There are three basic things.

  1. You have to believe that Jesus paid the price for your sins, just as did those who disappeared in the rapture believed in Jesus.
  2. Do not take the mark of the beast! Salvation is impossible if you take the mark!
  3. Know that you will probably have to die for your faith.

Life will be difficult when you cannot buy or sell. You may starve.

Also it 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 unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.
Revelation 13:16-17 ESV

But taking the mark results in eternal death.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
Revelation 14:9-11 ESV

Besides eternal death, taking the mark brings pain!

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
Revelation 16:1-2 ESV

You will most probably have to die for your faith.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.
Revelation 6:9-11 ESV

You will have much to overcome, but you can do it!

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Revelation 7:13-14 ESV

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Revelation 21:5-7 KJV

See Robert Breaker’s The Tribulation Gospel, and What to Do if you Miss the Rapture, if they haven’t been censored. These links on Red Moon Rapture are very good too.

2017-09-19_11-52-05

More information in this post: “The Sign” and Left Behind Resources

If you are reading this before the rapture, please carefully consider these links below! It is much easier to get saved now, before the rapture!

Believe in Jesus

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

 

Job – Statements of Faith

God allowed Satan to kill Job’s children and take his property, and give him a painful sickness. But from the beginning of his troubles to the end, Job did not let his words get him in trouble. The first chapter.

In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
Job 1:22 NKJV

The last chapter of Job.

And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.
Job 42:7-8 NKJV

When things are not going well for us, we should follow Job’s example and control what we say. Here are some of the things he said in the midst of his suffering.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job 2:9-10 NKJV

15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
16 He also shall be my salvation,
For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
Job 13:15-16 NKJV

14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait,
Till my change comes.
15 You shall call, and I will answer You;
You shall desire the work of Your hands.
16 For now You number my steps,
But do not watch over my sin.
17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You cover my iniquity.
Job 14:14-17 NKJV

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
Job 19:25 NKJV

10 But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to His steps;
I have kept His way and not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.
Job 23:10-12 NKJV

27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it;
He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.
28 And to man He said,
Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”
Job 28:27-28 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

1 Timothy – Keep a Clear Conscience

The book of 1 Timothy talks about the conscience four times. The first definition of conscience at dictionary dot com is

the inner sense of what is right or wrong in one’s conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.

1) Interesting to me, love needs a good conscience.

The goal of our instruction is the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 BSB

2) Fight the good fight and hang on to a good conscience, or your faith may become shipwrecked.

18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
1 Timothy 1:18-19 NASB

3) Deacons need a clean conscience.

Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.
1 Timothy 3:8-9 NKJV

4) If you don’t keep a clean conscience, you can fall into error and depart from the faith.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1 Timothy 4:1-2 KJV

Keep a clean conscience! It is part of Jesus’ gift to us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:13-14 NKJV

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:22 NKJV

Because,

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

1 Timothy – Once Saved, Always Saved?

There are six passages in 1 Timothy that teach against the doctrine of Once Saved, Always Saved.

1) A bishop must not be a new believer.

He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same condemnation as the devil.
1 Timothy 3:6 BSB

The devil’s condemnation is harsh.

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Revelation 20:10 NKJV

2) Some will fall for lies.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1 Timothy 4:1 KJV

3) Not taking care of relatives God treats very seriously.

If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Timothy 5:8 BSB

4) Study the context of this verse for yourself.

For some have already turned aside after Satan.
1 Timothy 5:15 NKJV

5) Some fall because of the love of money.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 NKJV

You cannot serve God and money!

No one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Matthew 6:24 BSB

6) Beware false “knowledge.”

20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.
Grace be with you. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:20-21 NKJV

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

Praise for the NIV

I have been blessed using my NIV One Year Bible these past several months. The KJV and many other versions are fairly literal translations. That is, the Hebrew and Greek words are just translated into English. But the NIV and other translations take an interpretive approach. That is, in some passages, many original-language words are translated into an English phrase that may bear little resemblance to a literal translation, but that the translators believe conveys the everyday meaning of the original. Do they always get it right? Probably not. But it has stimulated my thinking and made me research the Hebrew and Greek for myself.

I know some people think that the New International Version of the Bible is a product of hell. I don’t, not anymore. But that discussion is for another post. Most people don’t know that the KJV was not the first “authorized” English translation of the Bible. Or that King James wanted a new translation because he didn’t like the marginal notes in the Geneva Bible – one of them said, essentially, Obey God Not Men.

King James cited two passages in the Geneva translation where he found the marginal notes offensive to the principles of divinely ordained royal supremacy :[45] Exodus 1:19, where the Geneva Bible notes had commended the example of civil disobedience to the Egyptian Pharaoh showed by the Hebrew midwives, and also II Chronicles 15:16, where the Geneva Bible had criticized King Asa for not having executed his idolatrous ‘mother’, Queen Maachah (Maachah had actually been Asa’s grandmother, but James considered the Geneva Bible reference as sanctioning the execution of his own mother Mary, Queen of Scots).[45] Further, the King gave the translators instructions designed to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology of the Church of England.[8] Certain Greek and Hebrew words were to be translated in a manner that reflected the traditional usage of the church.[8] For example, old ecclesiastical words such as the word “church” were to be retained and not to be translated as “congregation”.[8] The new translation would reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and traditional beliefs about ordained clergy.[8]

(Source: King James Version)

Oops, better stop. I still use and like the KJV, but it’s a little hard for me to believe I used to be KJV-Only.

Ephesians 1:17

Ephesians 1:17 is part of a cassette tape I made to pray safely while driving. I don’t know how many times I have prayed this verse. Certainly well over 1000 times.

[I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
Ephesians 1:17 NKJV
  (Greek)

That was the NKJV. This is the NIV.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Ephesians 1:17 NIV  (Greek)

Wow! My insides jumped when I read the NIV. So that you may know him better has so much more meaning to me than in the knowledge of Him. Honestly, I’m not sure what I thought in the knowledge of Him meant when I prayed this 1000+ times.

“I receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.”

Something vaguely spiritual I suppose, like not listening to deceiving spirits. It certainly wasn’t a “power phrase.” I wish I had prayed this 1000+ times instead.

“I receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know You better, Father.

Looking at the Greek, the KJV and NKJV get the literal translation exactly right: in the knowledge of Him. But for me at this point in my spiritual growth, I assert that the NIV is the better translation for my understanding the true meaning: so that you may know him better.

Psalms 86:16

One more example. Psalms 86:16. Multiple translations: BibleGateway and BibleHub.

Most translations say some form of “save the son of Your maidservant.”

Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me!
Give Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your maidservant.
Psalms 86:16 NKJV

The NIV is very different!

Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
    just as my mother did.
Psalms 86:16 NIV

Looking at the Hebrew, (be sure to read right-to-left,) we see that the NKJV is literally correct. I’m no Hebrew scholar so I can’t judge whether the NIV’s insertion of the word “because” is reasonable. But it made me think and study. The “because I serve you” is compatible with verse 2, earlier in the Psalm.

Preserve my life, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Psalms 86:2 NKJV

Then I recalled the story of when God sent Samuel to Jesse, to anoint one of Jesse’s son as the next king of Israel. Read about it in 1 Samuel 16. Jesse didn’t even have David in the lineup of his sons! David was out tending sheep. Did David and his dad Jesse have a poor relationship? Was David’s mother the primary influence for good on his life?

Then I thought about David as a father. He was a great man of God, a man after God’s own heart, but his family had major, serious issues. For example, his son Absalom killed his son Amnon, and David was glad Amnon was dead. (Amnon had raped his half-sister Tamar.) Could it be that David’s relationship with his father gave him a poor foundation to be a father himself? And is there a story behind this verse?

When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.
Psalms 27:10 NKJV

Is the NIV translation of this verse accurate?

Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
    just as my mother did.
Psalms 86:16 NIV

I don’t know. But it does seem possible that it could be compliant to the Hebrew. I am thankful the NIV translated it this way, because it made me think. And, I will certainly be looking for more clues about David as I continue Bible study.

In Conclusion

These are just two of many NIV passages that startled me and made me think. I am finding the NIV an excellent translation for increasing my understanding and sparking my interest into further research. I suggest that you try it if you haven’t.

Oh, and if you’re a KJV-Only person who read this far, and you don’t have an issue reading commentaries – think of the NIV as a commentary and read it. I used to be KJV-Only, but then I learned more about the historical documents, including the fact there are known errors in the Textus Receptus!

Returning to the specific texts, Westcott-Hort vs. the textus receptus: in truth, both texts necessarily fall short of presenting the true original. Obviously, those readings in the textus receptus which are without any Greek manuscript support cannot possibly be original. Additionally, in a number of places, the textus receptus reading is found in a limited number of late manuscripts, with little or no support from ancient translations. One of these readings is the famous I John 5:7. Such readings as this are also presumptively not original. And if one holds to the “nose count” theory of textual criticism, i.e., whatever the reading found in a numerical majority of surviving Greek manuscripts is to be accepted as original, then the textus receptus falls short in the 1,838 readings where it does not follow the majority text.
(Source: Westcott & Hort vs. Textus Receptus: Which is Superior?)

I benefit by using many translations.

Additionally, I have heard many sermons by people skilled in Hebrew and Greek. I have come to believe all English translations are limited because English is limited: “I love God and I love tomato soup.”

Give the NIV a try.  🙂

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

“Is That Not What It Means To Know Me?”

I like how this passage reads in the NIV.

15 “Does it make you a king
    to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
    He did what was right and just,
    so all went well with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
    and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?
    declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 22:15-16 NIV

Getting to the heart of the matter:

“… He did what was right and just, …
He defended the cause of the poor and needy, …
Is that not what it means to know me?
    declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 22:15-16 NIV

What we do matters.

He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord,
But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.
Proverbs 14:2 NKJV

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:5-7 NKJV

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV

Thank God for forgiveness!

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 NKJV

Notice the blessings for obedience.

15 “Does it make you a king
    to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
    He did what was right and just,
    so all went well with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
    and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?
    declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 22:15-16 NIV

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.

Kissing Through a Screen Door – Bible Translations

Sometimes I get a little frustrated in Bible study, but I think that may be a good thing. I recently read 2 Thessalonians 1:11 in my NIV One Year Bible.

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 NIV

That’s pretty cool – God is doing the work in me! But as is my habit, I read the passage in another translation, and the verse is quite different.

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2 Thessalonians 1:11 KJV

Uh oh! “… count you worthy …” is very different from “… make you worthy …” To me the King James translation denotes that God is evaluating how I’m doing, to give me a pass or fail grade. Looking at all the English translations of this verse on BibleHub and BibleGateway, some translations have a form of make you worthy, but most are a form of count you worthy.

What is the correct interpretation? Is God making me worthy, or is He judging how I’m doing? To me, it is kind of a big deal. I looked in the original language at the word being translated, but it’s all Greek to me. If the highly-educated translators have different opinions, what chance do I have of figuring out the correct meaning? By myself, none. No chance. I know a lot of languages, but all but one are computer programming languages. In human speech and reading, I’m English-only.

Frustrating.

But, perhaps also a good thing.

See, once upon a time I may have shrugged off a translation difference like this. I can’t anymore. I am not content to kiss through a screen door. I want to know the truth, so I can be free.

So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32-32 BSB

Jesus is the Word of God, and oh, how I long to see Him face to face!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
John 1:1-3 NKJV

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
Revelation 19:11-13 NKJV

Smith Wigglesworth is making more and more sense to me as time goes along. I need to rely on the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
John 14:26 NKJV

Smith Wigglesworth Read Bibles Hebrew Greek Holy Spirit

Are you following God's plan for your life? 
   You should.
      Your plan sucks.
      It really, really sucks.
      Suckage Maximus.

Most people are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

Jesus is coming.
   Are you ready to meet Him?
   Give your life to Jesus Christ.
   Time is running out.