Category Archives: Theology

Mystery Babylon

What is Mystery Babylon of Revelation chapters 17 and 18?

First of all, it is called by John a “mystery.”  This means that either it is not easily understood or solved, or that it cannot be solved until due time. John is astonished when he sees her.  He would never have expected her perhaps.

A list of traits of Babylon:

1. “has rule over the kings of the earth.”  Rev. 17:8  It takes 10 kings to defeat her.  A Superpower.
2. Great wealth and luxury and high prices.
3. Responsible for the murders of saints and prophets, and indeed “all the slain upon the earth”

Candidates for Babylon I have heard of are: Rome, Jerusalem, New York, London, and Babylon itself rebuilt in Iraq.  Another, non-city candidate I have heard is “the ungodly world system.”

Rev. 17:18 “And the woman which you saw is that great city that has rule over the kings of the earth.”

This one eliminates Jerusalem.  And Rome as well, unless you go with a preterist interpretation, where it was already fulfilled.  But then I would ask, so did “my people come out of her” out of Rome?  No, they did not. And Rome was not burned in one day by the beast and 10 kings.  Present day Rome certainly does not “have rule over the kings of the earth.”

Rev. 17:16 “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and they will lay her waste, and bare, and eat her flesh, and burn her up with fire.”

So, the 10 kings and the beast will hate this city.  They are the ones who will actually attack and burn Babylon.  This eliminates certainly, the idea that Babylon is the ungodly world system.  Why would the beast and Satan hate its own?

This also tells us that we are talking about maybe a world superpower, because it takes 10 kings to gang up on it to defeat it.  Also, it had had “rule over the kings of the earth.”

I declare that Rome, Jerusalem, and “the ungodly world system” are eliminated as candidates.

That really only leaves New York, London, and Babylon resurrected.

Why New York? (and by extension USA) It has rule of the kings of the earth, both since the United Nations is there, and because other world government entities are there, like the International Monetary Fund, etc.  Also that the USA is a military power throwing its weight around everywhere.

Why London?  Well, that is the heaviest concentration of super-wealthy people in the world, plus the British Intelligence has more control in the world than people realize.
I say that it is the club of the super-wealthy that are generally responsible for more human deaths than any one.

A re-built Babylon is remotely possible.  That would have to be quite a distance in the future.

There is no entity in the past, like would be needed in a preterist point of view, that would fit Babylon, in my opinion.

Where is America in end times prophecy?  It is gone by then, unless America is Babylon.  I am beginning to think that in 2 Thessalonians, where Paul said, “and you know what is restraining the beast, until it is taken out of the way,” I’m beginning to think that only America is in the way.  And that is what must be “taken out of the way” with its pesky constitution.

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Acts 2:47 KJV

In the Greek text in Acts 2:47, the Textus Receptus, Tregelles’ GNT, and Von Soden’s, those three alone have σωζομένους, and Tyndale and the KJV render it “such as should be saved.  But all the other Greek editions have σῳζομένους, and render it something like “those who were being saved.   If anyone has insights on the Greek manuscript basis for the TR reading, let me know.

The Sura of the Jinn

Here is a Sura in the Qur’an in which Muhammad quotes the Jinn, or evil spirits, demons, fiery spirits.  (Qur’an chapter 72)

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

072.001 Say: It has been revealed to me that a company of Jinns listened (to the Qur’an). They said, ‘We have really heard a wonderful Recital!
072.002 ‘It gives guidance to the Right, and we have believed therein: we shall not join (in worship) any (gods) with our Lord.
072.003 ‘And Exalted is the Majesty of our Lord: He has taken neither a wife nor a son.

[Note that in verse 1, the Jinn liked the Qur’an.  In verse 2, the demons believe in the Qur’an, and they agree with the spirit of the Qur’an that only their Lord should be worshiped.  In verse 3, we see that their Lord is not the same God as the God of Christianity, because their God does not have a son.  Allah does not have a son, but the God of Christianity does.  They are certainly not the same god or the same lord.
072.004 ‘There were some foolish ones among us, who used to utter extravagant lies against Allah;
072.005 ‘But we do think that no man or spirit should say aught that untrue against Allah.
072.006 ‘True, there were persons among mankind who took shelter with persons among the Jinns, but they increased them in folly.
072.007 ‘And they (came to) think as ye thought, that Allah would not raise up any one (to Judgment).
072.008 ‘And we pried into the secrets of heaven; but we found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires.
072.009 ‘We used, indeed, to sit there in (hidden) stations, to (steal) a hearing; but any who listen now will find a flaming fire watching him in ambush.
072.010 ‘And we understand not whether ill is intended to those on earth, or whether their Lord (really) intends to guide them to right conduct.

[The demons are not sure whether the Lord of the earth intends harm on the earth or not.]
072.011 ‘There are among us some that are righteous, and some the contrary: we follow divergent paths.
072.012 ‘But we think that we can by no means frustrate Allah throughout the earth, nor can we frustrate Him by flight.
072.013 ‘And as for us, since we have listened to the Guidance, we have accepted it: and any who believes in his Lord has no fear, either of a short (account) or of any injustice.
072.014 ‘Amongst us are some that submit their wills (to Allah), and some that swerve from justice. Now those who submit their wills – they have sought out (the path) of right conduct:
072.015 ‘But those who swerve,- they are (but) fuel for Hell-fire’-
072.016 (And Allah’s Message is): “If they (the Pagans) had (only) remained on the (right) Way, We should certainly have bestowed on them Rain in abundance. …”

[In this, the Qur’an agrees with the Bible, insofar as it states that some of the angel-spirit beings follow God, and some follow Satan.

The point of this post, is to show that the God of Islam, Allah, is not the same God as the God of Christianity; and in fact they are enemies.  Allah, the more you read the Qur’an and other Islamic writings, shows himself to be Satan.  The god of Jesus Christ and the apostles, that god has a son, named Jesus Christ.  Anyone who says God does not have a son, is antichrist, according to the apostle John in 1 John 2:22: “Who is the liar, if not someone denying as follows, “Jesus is not the Anointed One”?  This is antichrist, someone denying the Father and the Son.”  To deny that God as a son, is to be antichrist.

 

Diotrephes the First Pope

It seems to me the purpose of the 3rd epistle of John was primarily to combat the error of Diotrephes, the error of the idea of one leader being supreme over the other leaders.  He “wants to be the leader over them,” and disallows the visiting brothers to have any authority in his church.  This is contrary to the teachings of the apostles.  First of all, the apostles were co-equal to each other.  Secondly, they were careful to appoint multiple, co-equal elders in each church.  The wisdom of disallowing one human being to have all the power, is confirmed by the wise men and wise cultures and wise political systems of many or all eras.

Separation of Church and State

In America today, we have the opposite of separation of church and state.

My brethren in the USA, I urge you once again to work toward the separation of church and state. It will become more and more evident what a mistake it is that your churches are creations of the state, and your pastors are agents of the state. For it is incontrovertible in law that since your churches went to the IRS and asked them permission to be a 501(c)(3) corporation, that your church is therefore a creation of that law, and of that government. And that since your pastors went to the state and asked them permission to be a pastor, and received a license to be so, with all its conditionalities, that those pastors are agents of the state. My brethren, the situation of churches being corporations organized under certain statutes, and pastors being licensed by the state, IS THE VERY OPPOSITE OF SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

Moreover, to do these things is in direct contradiction to the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” You see, rendering unto Caesar things that are God’s, is direct disobedience to this.

You know or should know, that when a church is a 501(c)(3) corporation, the IRS can dictate what a pastor can or cannot say from the pulpit, and can demand accountability of certain records about the church members, etc. And they can change the terms anytime and in any way they want, in the future. Do you think this is wise, especially in these end times?

Why not be like the apostle Peter, who said, “We ought to obey God rather than men”? And this is contrary to the constitution of the USA, which says Congress shall make no law concerning an establishment of religion. And this would be anathema to the American founding fathers. Patrick Henry was inspired to say his famous saying “Give me liberty, or give me death,” in 1775 after he witnessed a pastor being beaten to death in Culpepper, Virginia, for refusing to get a license to be a pastor.

Don’t you know that in America, the constitution says that you are already endowed by your Creator with certain inalienable rights? The bill of those rights includes the right to assemble, the right to freedom of religion, and the right to free speech. Why would you then think that you need permission from any government to do what God has already commanded you to do, and that your government’s charter says you already have complete freedom to do? Surely you would not give away your birthright for a mere tax deduction?

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Intelligent Design

Micro-evolution and Macro-evolution

Change over time, micro-evolution, within one species, is undisputed. But macro-evolution, one species to a new species, has no evidence.

Homology, the universality of DNA

Homology, that all species have DNA, proves a common designer, not a common ancestor. Dawkins is guilty of circular reasoning, because he has predetermined to exclude a common designer. Many scientists look at the evidence with polar glasses, never considering intelligent design, so cannot interpret the evidence correctly.

Gradualism in the fossil record?

The fossil record shows no gradualism. Most all the phyla suddenly appear in the Cambrian stratum, without precursors.

Experiments on E-Coli bacteria, over enough generations to make it equivalent to 1 million years of human generations, could not break the bacteria out of its own species. Only variations of the same species.

As for transitional phyla, 99 of every 1,000 frames is cut out of the movie, according to National Geographic. There are not missing links, but missing chains. Well, the chain simply does not exist.

Make a list of species to which there are no other similar species whatsoever, either in the present or in the previous to them. Such species are numerous.

Science does not say evolution is true; scientists say it is true.

http://youtu.be/8Ab4IMtq7MQ

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Most Important Greek Textual Variant

Is This the Most Important Greek Textual Variant?

Revelation 14:9-11 says that if anyone takes the mark of the beast, that person will be tortured in fire and sulphur for ever and ever.

So it is very important not to get the mark. But how will it happen that people take the mark? Will it be forced on them by the beast, or will they give it to themselves / get it for themselves? Because of this question, I think that the textual variant below from Revelation 13:16 is the most important textual variant in the Bible.

In the first set of manuscripts, “they” are giving the mark. In the second set, with the Textus Receptus alone among the editions, “he,” that is, the beast, is giving the mark.

“they” Aleph A C P 046 82 94 141 172 175 181 241 256 367 424 459 469 616 627 792 920 922 986 2059 1611 1678 1732 1778 1828 1854 1862 1888 2019 2020 2026 2028 2048 2067 2070 2080 2081 2138 2256 2349 2351 2436 sahidic WH VS TG RC AT PK NA27 HF RP SBL

“he” 051 2053 2065 2302 2329 2814 TR

Download this chart in the Swanson style for the variant in 78 manuscripts and 11 editions.

Rev. 13:16

KJV: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:”

NIV: He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead,

NASB: And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,

DRP:

DRP: And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to provide themselves a mark on their right upper limb or on their forehead,

Rev. 14:9-11: And another angel, a third one, followed those, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or on his hand, he shall himself also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, mixed undiluted in the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulfur before the holy angels and before the Lamb. And the smoke of their torture goes up for ever and ever, and they have no relief day or night, those who worship the beast and the image of him, and anyone who takes the mark of his name.”

I have received criticism of my rendering of this verse. Here is a copy of some of that discussion, from a discussion board:

Critic: “Surely the unmentioned subject of the plural verb δωσιν does not refer to those included in παντας, but rather is generic, namely, ‘He makes it so that they (generic) should give all a mark on their right hand or forehead,’ hence why most translations simply say ‘receive’ instead of the unnecessarily wooden-literal translation.”

My response:

Rev. 13:16 καὶ ποιεῖ πάντας, τοὺς μικροὺς καὶ τοὺς μεγάλους, καὶ τοὺς πλουσίους καὶ τοὺς πτωχούς, καὶ τοὺς ἐλευθέρους καὶ τοὺς δούλους, ἵνα δῶσιν αὐτοῖς χάραγμα ἐπὶ τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῶν τῆς δεξιᾶς ἢ ἐπὶ τὸ μέτωπον αὐτῶν,

Let me get this straight. You are saying that ποιεῖ, 3rd person singular, should be rendered “He makes it,” where there is no Greek word present for “it.” So you supply an object for the verb. And you are saying that δῶσιν, 3rd person plural, which means “they give,” agrees in grammatical concord with an un-named subject you supply, rather than agrees with the 3rd person plural πάντας, which immediately and naturally follows our verb ποιεῖ.

So, you are supplying both an unwritten object, and an unwritten subject. All in one sentence!
Call me unreasonable, but how is this “surely”? I don’t see anything sure about it.

If you truly honestly believe that that is what the Greek means, then you should write that in your translation, like this, “And he makes it so that they give everyone a mark…” That isn’t so wooden. But literal it certainly is not. That would be very far from literal.

And I want to state, in case some readers don’t know, that the pronoun αὐτοῖς can and often does mean “themselves” as in ἑαυτοῖς. There is a contraction in the Greek of that time for ἑαυτοῖς as follows : αὑτοῖς. Notice the difference between αὐτοῖς and αὑτοῖς? There is a huge difference. The first has a smooth breathing mark, so it means “them,” and the second has a rough breathing mark, so it means “themselves.” Reflexive meaning. But the earliest Greek manuscripts did not necessarily always have breathing marks and punctuation. One of the most common Greek textual variants in Revelation, about which I am very knowledgeable by the way, and won’t apologize for it, is this confusion between αὐτός and αὑτός in the minuscules.

I thus find it easy to defend my rendering of this verse in my translation of Revelation. Your defense on the other hand of “most translations” is a great example of why I do not trust “most translations,” and am doing my own.

To download my translation of the Revelation of John, use this link.

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Should Christians Hire an Attorney?

Before you hire an attorney, there are some things you should know. Here are some quotes from the Corpus Juris Secundum (Complete Restatement of the Entire American Law as developed by All Reported Cases) – Title 7 C.J.S. Secs. 2, 4.

When you hire an attorney,

1. you “commit your cause to his management…”
2. you become the attorney’s “client.”
3. “Clients are also called ‘wards of the court'” 7 C.J.S. § 2
4. “Wards of the court,” according to Black’s Law Dictionary are: “Infants and persons of unsound mind.” Davis’ Committee v. Loney, 290 Ky. 644, 162 S.W.2d 189, 190.
5. You are making your case and your rights secondary or tertiary in importance to the court and to the public. “An attorney occupies a dual position which imposes dual obligations.” …”His [attorney’s] first duty is to the courts and to the public, not to the client, and wherever the duties to his client conflict with those he owes as an officer of the court in the administration of justice, the former must yield to the latter.” 7 C.J.S. § 4

Attorneys are only one kind of lawyer, and their “Bar Association” has interests that are not the same as those of a Christian, and a pilgrim on this earth seeking the kingdom of God.

“A holy war will now begin on America, and when it is ended America will supposedly be the citadel of freedom, but her millions will unknowingly be the loyal subjects of the Crown.” British General Cornwallis, quoted in the book Legions of Satan, Williams, Jonathan, (1781)

General Cornwallis went on to say that the churches in America would help Britain tax Americans once again. Though he did not know the exact details, this is has been accomplished by convincing the churches to become registered, State incorporated churches with licensed pastors, who would preach that their congregations should pay the tribute tax to British-controlled entities.

Another way that Cornwallis’ prediction came true is when Americans started hiring an attorney.

Cristians, when the government or some association pretending to be government is persecuting you, take heeed to Mark 13:11 “So when they take you delivering you to trial, do not concern yourself beforehand what you will speak. Rather, whatever is given you in that hour, that you are to speak. For you are not the ones speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”

In civil matters, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:1-7: “If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother goes to law against another–and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” (NIV)