TRUTH

Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself. - Irenaeus



Monday, January 2, 2017

Mormon Sticks

Two Sticks
Or Four?
Our Mormon friends tell us that God took two books (the Bible and the Book of Mormon) to fulfill a prophecy in Ezekiel chapter 37:15-19 which they claim points to their so-called restored church.  The two sticks Ezekiel refers to is the stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim which were the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel at the time.  There are many problems with the Mormon analogy but for those not familiar with Mormonism one might think that the Bible and the Book of Mormon are the only books of the Mormon religion.  However as this photo shows there are actually three additional books aside from the Bible that Mormons consider divine revelation, Scripture or "sticks". They are the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.  So why does Ezekiel not mention these others?

Ezekiel actually explains what these two sticks really mean.  “And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, ‘Will you not show us what you mean by these?’— say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.” ’And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes.“Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God." (Ezekiel 37:18-23) 

So there you have it.  It has nothing to do with the Mormon church.  But it has all to do with the nation of Israel in a historical context.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Russian Cross with a Crescent

Russia has had a long history of conflict with Islam after the fall of Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453 and before.  The Russian Orthodox cross with a crescent at the bottom speaks of that history.  For a time Moscow was referred to as the "Third Rome" (complete with the seven hills like Rome and Constantinople) and it was said there will be no fourth.  Manuscripts had been brought to Russia in Slovanic and Greek early when the church was first being established.  Russia and the Ukraine had been a land in which the Muslims would raid in the summers to collect slaves for the slave market in Crimea.  Then in 1652 the "Raskol" or schism happened when the Patriarch Nikon tried to update the church literature with the help of Greek scholars and manuscripts from the Greek Orthodox in the south.  The Old Believers and their tradition were not convinced and they were pressured out.  They can be found in various places in Siberia,  Manchuria, Oregon and Alaska where they fled.  This painting depicts a debate between some Old Believers and Patriarch Joachin.  The Old Believers held up two fingers while the reformers under Nikon held up one when they prayed.
Strange as it may sound we had an experience in Homer, Alaska with some very friendly Old Believers would not pray with us simply because they did not know how we would hold our fingers.  A persecuted church can become quite paranoid regarding outsiders.  This schism eventually lead to a weakening of the Russian church making it easier for Peter the Great to take an autocratic position over church and state thus the Czar (Russian equivalent to Kaiser or Caesar) could deal directly with schismatics like any dictator might.  In 1721, the Tsar did away with the Patriarchs and the Church Council assuming total control which alienated many.  When the state run Orthodox Church could no longer communicate with the Old Believers things began to unravel.  This paved the way for the Socialist October Revolution in 1917 in which atheists stepped in to solve the religion problem once and for all.  The rest is history, at least that is what they thought.  Islam continues to plague Russia as it always has, and the church in various forms continues to march forward. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trump election exposes sin

When protesters go so far as to threatened to rape our President's wife we are seeing an all time low in the morality of our society.  In the book of Genesis just before Sodom was destroyed there were those who demanded the rape of Lot's guests in similar fashion of depravity.  Then we have civil leaders who even after the election were inciting rebellion and riots.  One in particular was Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawan who proudly posted this photo on her Facebook page.  This is an example of those who have been elected to positions of leadership by a society drowning in sin.
The Bible claims these are those who by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.  They revile the things they don't understand.  These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.  (Book of Jude)

Apostle Paul sums up the picture in this way, "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these." (2 Tim. 3:1-5)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

TRUST JESUS BALLOONS

For a number of years we have distributed helium balloons with the message "TRUST JESUS" during the hot air balloon rally in Prosser, Washington.  Thousands of people come to this event and many have kids that are more than eager to have a balloon.
The funny part is watching Jesus haters work to keep their kids away from a balloon.

https://youtu.be/sv2cW-DvzBI

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Time to Hate

Yet this do you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 
Jesus Christ (Rev. 2:6)


Friday, September 9, 2016

Dirty Birds in Babylon

In many ways modern America parallels how the bible describes ancient Babylon.  It was a mighty empire with much national pride that encompassed many cultures.

God used this historic empire to judge Israel and in fact Nebuchadnezzar it's king took many of the leading Jews captive back to Babylon where they lived for some seventy years.  Babylon was eventually conquered by Cyrus the Persian (539 BC) who was kind to the Jews because he was working to build a multicultural kingdom therefore allowed the Jews to go back to their homeland in Israel. Some of this is recorded on the famous Cyrus Cylinder.
Many political leaders since that time have studied the model of Cyrus as an example to emulate. The weakness for Christians of course is that to put every culture on an equal plain there has to be some degree of compromise and evangelistic outreach becomes taboo.

Fast forward six hundred years or so and there is a cryptic illustration of Babylon in the Book of Revelation that was written by Apostle John while in prison a few decades after the crucifixion of Christ. It speaks of a powerfully seductive and wealthy nation or system that boasts of her glory as did ancient Babylon.

Everything must come to an end, and its fall is describe like this. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” (Rev. 18:2)
I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;  for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.  Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.  To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’  For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.

Many wonder how long it might be before America collapses in mire of its own moral decay.  It is not like we can "come out of her" in the literal sense as did the early Pilgrims when they fled Britain.  We might find ourselves having to separate from a religious group however that endorses ideas or theology that fly in the face of true Christian faith.




Sunday, August 21, 2016

Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable

Joseph Smith sleeping with Muhammad
Mormons will do just about anything these days.
They even hold interfaith meetings with other religions cults
Both Muhammad and Joseph Smith would roll over in their
graves to see swirling dervishes in the Mormon Tabernacle in
Salt Lake.  Who is going to get the women in the afterlife?
Yet some naive people think Mormons are Christians