Friday, December 27, 2013

GOD'S BESTSELLER. Thanks too Nancy Canwell and Signs of the Times Jan.2014 issue

    Preface:    NO BOOK, has ever sold so many copies as the Bible--- and it keeps on selling! Nancy Canwell explains why it's so popular.  P.37.

       They are letters----love letters. And I've kept every one of them. A few months after I met my husband -to-be, I had to return to college to finish my senior year.
       That meant we'd be separated by 400 miles. Without computers or cell phones for instant communications, we mostly relied on letter to get to know each other better.
       Those letters taught me a lot about the young man I would later marry. They were his words, in place of his physical presence--words that showed me his character and were expressions of love.
      The Holy Bible is a lot like that.  Because God, isn't here in human form, He's given us the Bible---letters from Himself, as it were. And in that Book, we learn about His character and how much He loves each one of us. The Guinness Book of World Records states that "although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world's best-selling and most widely distributed book." And, according to the Gideons, more than six billion bibles have been printed.
    Why is this? Why is the Bible still a best-seller?  Because the Bible is relevant to every generation. It  teaches us what God is like, it teaches us about salvation, as well as the future,. { (j.b.) something no other can do]

       Marion never had believed that there was a God. The evolutionary theory was taught in her high school, [(j.b.) and taught as fact, even-though it is only just a theory] and she accepted it. But years latter when her husband began reading the Bible, she became curious. So at the age of 31, she picked up a Bible for the first time.
     "Something kept drawing me back," she told me. And this was the text that helped her to discover what God is like.
        2 Peter 3:9  "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
      This woman, who had never picked up a Bible, now reads it through every year from Genesis to Revelation. So if YOU want to know what God is really like, read His 66 Love Letters to YOU His child! It is so full of text that speak to His character such as:
    1 John 4:8. "God is love."
    Psalms 103:8  "The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy"
    Romans 5:8  "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."


      A pastor I know once told me, "I often have church members come and ask for my opinion on how they should live. They'll say 'Pastor, what do you think of couples living together before marriage'? or, Pastor, what your opinion on the kinds of movies I should watch"?
     He replied, "I tell you my opinion doesn't matter, but I'll show you what God say, and then I open my Bible."
      The Bible is full of instructions on how we should live, including the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. And there are many other texts that direct us, such as.....
      Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
     1 John 2:15-16. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
  .    Matthew 22:36-40. " Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. "

Note (j.b.) B I B L E  means Basic Instructions before Leaving Earth  read John 14:1-3 and last two -three chapters of Revelation.


     "I CHOSE to accept Jesus Christ by faith. " Allen told me, "When I decided to give my life to Him, [(j.b.)it belongs to Him anyway, YOUR very next breath is at His mercy,  PLUS He gave His life for YOUR sins, other wise all would be under Stan's ruler-ship, and humans, who where not his allies, would be extinct] I knew I wasn't worthy. I did not feel good enough to be saved, but the Bible gave me the assurance, and I chose to trust what it told me. The text that really got to me was ....
     John 6:37. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

    IF, you haven't given your life to Jesus and worry about whether you can be saved, go to God' s Word, it'll reassure you with texts like these....
    John 3:15-17. "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
    Ephesians 2:8-9. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
   NOTE [(j.b.)  one big denomination DOES teach that your salvation comes from this church and YOUR works!  But what does the Bible teach?}
   Romans 1:17. " For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
   John 14:15. "If ye love me, keep my commandments."  [all 10, not 9, or even 8 as billions do for they have not been taught the BIBLE"s TRUTH., but only the traditions of men.

      John 15:12-15  "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

Note (j.b.) All shall face the Judgment, and Christ is this Judge, so think you it matters if He is also your friend? Get to know Him by the study of His Word, John 1:1-3, 14.


       When Irene's son was dying from terminal cancer, it was the Bible that saw her through. She searched it for hope that see would, see her son again, and she underlined every text that promised she would. Her favorite passage was...
     1 Corinthians 15:51-53. "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on in corruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
John 14:1-3. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."


(J.B.) NONE has EVER found any hint of any EXPIRATION DATE on God's Word, and none shall!

    The following are but a small sample of what's awaiting your heart and eyes.....
     Does Jesus care that I am hurting?
      Psalms 34:17-19. "The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all."
    Does God actually listen when I talk to Him?
     Psalms 34:18-19. "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all."
    Will Jesus actually forgive me when I sin and repent of it?
     1 John 1:8-9. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
     I left God years ago, will He now take me back?
    Isaiah 44:22. "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee."
    Is there hope for better life than this one?
    Revelation 21:3-5. "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 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."

     Psalms 119:105. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
   His Word, those 66 love letters He caused to be written FOR YOU! They are His words, in His physical absence--- until the day when (at Resurrection Morn) He will again, as with Adam and eve, communicate with us face to face!  AMEN?

                        BIBLE DISCOVERY with Errol Webster.

      A recent survey from the Barna Group, commissioned by the American Bible Society, found that 88% of Americans own a Bible, including 79% of Millennials [ people 18-28]. Eighty percent identify the Bible as a sacred Book. An interesting surprise is that a large percentage of Millenials are interested in the Bible' s wisdom on how to deal with illness and death, dating and relationships and parenting.
The BIBLE as a sacred Book.

   2 Timothy 3:16-17. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
   The word "Inspiration," in the Greek is "breathed", thus breathed by God, via the Holy Spirit, therefore stresses both the Divine origin and Authority of the Holy Bible. [(j.b.). the King James Version Revised is the most accurate of all, however none printed to date, will by its study rob you of salvation,  I F  and only if YOU are willing to surrender self unto Christ, in loving obedience, and prayers for wisdom.
     2 Timothy 3:1"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

How did God communicate what is written in the Bible?
   2 Peter 1:19-21 " We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. "
Plus we have this promise:
     Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
    Prophets are persons God called to speak and write for Him.

    John 20:29-31 "Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

    The whole Bible's all about Jesus and God's plan for humanity' s salvation to everlasting life. Thus rescuing all who have chosen Jesus from sin and death and evils.HE is the Promised Messiah of the Old Book [Genesis 3:15 the 1st]  John 5:39-40 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. " Luke 24:44-46 "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:"

What has Christ done for us?
    Romans 5:6-8 "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

What did Jesus say would never pass away?
    Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
The distribution of the Bible world-wide is growing. According to the United Bible Societies, in 2011 there were 32.1 million Bibles printed distributed across the world- an increase of 11.2 % over 2010. A "Google" search for "Bible" produced 350 million hits.

What can the Bible do for YOU?
What did Jesus say He wants us to have?
   John 10:10 "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

If we lack wisdom what should we do?
    James 1:5  " If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

Whom did Jesus say will guide us in life?
      John 14:26-27 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

The Holy Spirit is the 3rd Member of the Godhead, The Father, the son and the Holy Spirit remember? One of His names is Counselor meaning "One along side to help."
    In the above survey, 61 % of people responding said they would like to read the Bible more. Know that it says this.....
      Psalms 34:8 " O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."

Note: (j.b.) The proof my friends is in the tasting, so prove the "pudding" of God is good, for your self, read it, find the answers to life's complexities and relief for your hurts. Accept Christ's love with your your own love, and by love with which you desire to surrender your self unto Him. Then at His return you also shall be with Him and the Father forever and ever, and travel with Him through His creation in utter joy, comfort and peace.

Many thanks to to Sigs of the Times magazine Jan.2014 pp.37-41 and  the authors Nancy Canwell and Errol Webster.

Wish to know more?
Visit your Seventh day Adventist Church, any Saturday/Sabbath @ 9:15 A.M. You just may be very glad that you did.

Thank YOU dear reader, for your time
John B.



Thursday, December 12, 2013



Many Thanks to both.

       "You are are new Pastor? Well give'em hell!"
         These are among the first words of 'encouragement' that I heard when I left the seminary to begin work at my first church. The laugh that trailed my friend's advice clued me in to the fact that the irony wasn't lost upon him.
      It really wasn't until that conversation that I began to wonder about how often we connect the idea of hell with out lives.
      While most people believe that no one experiences hell until sometime after death, we still insist on associating it with the present through a variety of idioms and proverbs: "War is hell," "I 'm going through hell," "It will happen when hell freezes over, " and "All hell is breaking loose."  On the flip side, we say things like: "This ice cream is heavenly," and "It's a match made in heaven."
      Even our everyday language is heavenly laced with statements of faith that we make without even thinking. Whatever this phenomenon may mean, it cannot be denied that heaven and hell have a foothold on our human imagination.

                                           LIVING THE AFTERLIFE.

      BUT, there's also an element of truth in our unconscious habit of making the afterlife a part of this life. The Bible is clear that the choices we make now already begin to transform us as we go through each day. We art told that if  we respond to God' s love, we will be like Him.
     1 John 4:17  "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world."  [j.b. all quotes from KJV.]

     Logically, we have to assume that the opposite is also true: The more we make choices apart from God, the less we will resemble Him [in character}. So, from that perspective, in a very real sense, the heaven or hell on our horizons shall begin in this life, and culminate in the life yet to come. Hell, or going into it, is not an abrupt and unexpected punishment for the wicked but the logical direction [j.b. can we say extension of life's choices each makes daily?] in our present lives? It's an environment of our own making, governed only by our choices and decision.

     The evidence of our choice of heaven or hell can be seen clearly  [by anyone who knows us. j.b.] When someone claims to be a Christian, the apostle Paul tells us to expect certain "fruits," or 'by-products' of a life committed to Christ. They are....
     Galatians 5:22-26 . "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."

      Sadly, however most today fit within this warning of Paul's...
       Galatians 5:19-21 . "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance,[quarrelsome] emulations, [malice-jealousy] wrath, strife, sedition, [causing dissensions] heresies, Envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
      With but a few moments of inward reflection we should be able to judge self, and ask "Is my life trending towards these virtues, Paul wrote of, or am I with that he calls 'works of the flesh'?

      There can not be a doubt, that there is a huge conflict on earth between the forces of of good and evil, which can be reduced to a simple statement: " A battle between the principles of love and lust, selflessness and selfishness." [ Please know Christ did not suffer and die, for His own sake, but for ours! j.b.]  
      God's kingdom is a place where love is the principle governing ...force {if that word can be used}  or as Paul was guided to write it so beautifully.....
     Romans 13:10 . "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

Note (j.b.) What Law? Exodus 20:1-17, God's Royal Law, the reflection of HIS character!Matthew 5:22  "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."                                                                                                    The passage above is the spirit of the law, the word RACA, means fool, so even calling another a fool, in anger,can put you in danger of hell-fire, unless and until you seek him/her out, apologize and ask for forgiveness from that person, and then in prayers seek and do the same in Christ's name to your Father which art in Heaven! This will help you to refrain from such words in the future.

     In short, to love, is to know God, and the more we learn to love others, the more we will act as citizens of God's kingdom.

     Conversely, hell [on earth] is a place of restlessness, that results in selfishness, that results in loneliness, bitterness, anger, and finally absolutely no peace of mind, because such a mind is the playground for Satan! As usual God said it best......
     Revelation 14:11  "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. "
Note (j.b.) Revelation relies heavely upon symbolism, to "paint word pictures." Nevertheless, the Lake of Fire, shall come tp oass on this earth which shall burn up and reduce to ashes, all the sins and sinners. [Revelation 19:20;20:10,14-15.] Malachi 4:1  "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch."
Yes truth can be fearsome, but knowing the truth and living as God wants us to, all this can be avoided, that's what Freewill allows us to do, to chose how we live this life, according to God's way, or to Satan's way!
     Ezekiel 28:17-19 " Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more."
   So chose God's ways, and live eternally, or follow Satan, be reduced to ashes, and ever more be "Blotted out", for in the Hebrew this term means, "Never ever existed".  So all who will be "blotted out", will have willingly chosen this path! This is why the road to destruction is wide, so anyone can make a "U-Turn", even at high-speed. But the gate and path of Christ, is narrow!

    Yet, this restless begin long before anyone will be cast into the lake of fire's one and only time of use. Look,,,,,
      Isaiah 57:20-21  "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."
Note (j/b.) Believers on the other hand, do know peace of mind, a far greater peace that the worldly can understand, for we take care of what we are able, and give the rest of our problems and worries to Christ to carry and solve! As all can understand from Isaiah, the wicked are like a storm-tossed sea, never at rest. Long before death seals their fate, because there can no repentance nor forgiveness asked for in the grave, as death seals our judgments. and none knows their own time of the end of life, so claim Christ today, right now!
      Please, let's be clear, the Bible isn't speaking here of a restless night, now and then, nor of getting enough sleep, but a lack of Spiritual Peace of mind. Hell, as per the Bible, is a spiritual atmosphere that envelops a person the further he or she moves away from God, until it finally turns into a physical reality, once God removes Himself from you and the world.

                           IS GOD PRO-CHOICE?

       SOME CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN TAUGHT AND BELIEVE,  that God has Predetermined, in some cosmic lottery, who will or who will not, be in Heaven and who will, be cast into the fire. Therefore we each will live our lives as if we were automatically designated to so do!
    John Calvin, the Swiss Reformer, taught this as ," All [people] are not created on equal terms, but some are pre-ordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and accordingly, as each has been created for one or the other of these ends, we say that he has been predesignated to life or death.
    Note(j.b.) My sincere apologies to all within the Calvinistic Faith, but this statement is well, hogwash! It by-passes so many Bible verses to the contrary, and it totally ignored the God given gift of our free-will. We can chose to sin or not to sin, knowingly!

   However, on it's surface it can be understood for humans to accept as did Calvin by Paul's  words...
       Romans 7:14-15  "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I."

      Have not most of us also fallen short of our goal, to be consistently good? Is due to the fact that all  ALL are predestined to burn? If so please explain.....
     2 Peter 3:9  "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
     Romans 2:4  "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
     1 Timothy 2:3-4  "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth"

NOTE (j.b.) As you can read, from God's own words, these words of John Calvin are wrong! It is for this reason, I say, "Never take the words of man/men for the Word of God, learn this for self!" That includes this man, and the reason why you see all these verses, for God's point of view and not mine! Only God can see the future, and as most have trouble learning the past and know not even one second of any future, agree?

     Let's face it, to view Paul life, as John Calvin thought, Paul is destined for hell fire, yet we can tell that his life was NOT characterized by restlessness by separation from god, but by the fruits of heaven: love, joy, peace...
      Galatians 5:22  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,"
      Can we then say, "In God's perspective, hell is avoidable for everyone: it's path is chosen, by those who refuse God's entreaties to the contrary"?   YES or no?

     C.S. Lewis wrote: "There are only two kinds of people in the end, those who say to God 'Thy will be done' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done' " All those who end  up in the lake of fire, will have made a conscience choice to reject God and His ways. No human being, that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it, those that seek shall find.....
        Matthew 7:7  "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"  + Luke 11:9 ; 15:8. John 7:34,36. Acts 17:27.

     On the other hand..... there shall come a time when.....
      Revelation 9:6  "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them"

                                                            THERE IS NO NEUTRAL.

     All shall chose to obey God, or obey Satan via laws of men! The fact that heaven and hell are the result of the sum of our choices.MUST not lead us to think that life on earth is a perpetual "fork in the road", where we spend every waking moment of our lives having to make the decision which way to go. To view lives her as neutral is to ignore the fact that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God " Romans 3:23 The  sad truth is the human race has already walked away from God, and the fact that GOD call us to repentance shows our hostility towards heaven, right?
   Lewis also warns us of this fallacy in his book, "The Great Divorce", "Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if you put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself."

Note: (j.b.) Please read Revelation 21-22 chapters, and learn that earth shall again be the Garden of Eden, so Lewis knew his Bible!

     We are all part of a cosmic conflict between God and Satan, between rest and restlessness. Only eternity can afford us the clarity of hindsight that will reveal fully the direction of our life choices, which perhaps we didn't see or perceive in the fog of our won mortality.
     Yet the truth is that we are all, on a path either to heaven or hell, even if we cannot, as individuals, fully accept nor appreciate the distance of each footstep. But we can tell by the fruits of our lives whether we are increasingly restless and empty inside, or whether we are brimming with peace and hope, saying with the psalmist...

    Psalms 34:8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.


     SPEAKING of those who reject God, the Bible says... Revelation 14:11  "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."

     It, then becomes easy to understand, why many people believe this means that h ell is a place where those who refuse to accept the grace of God, will suffer pain..."burning in hell"... for the rest of eternity.
   This must be placed upon the doorstep of Biblical ignorance, as the Bible clearly shows....
     Revelation 20:9-10  "And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
     Revelation 20:14  "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."

The word devoured in red, in the Greek is katesthio ( kat-es-thee'-o) to eat down, lit/fig to devour!  So how can a "Devoured body" that has been reduced to ashes by a brimstone or sulfur fed fire, which burns extremely hot, can there be but a momentary level of pain until the person dies?
In the Bible when it speaks forever and ever, it means that no force can stop the action, until, the job's intent is finished! Sodom was burned by eternal fire, if it never when out why was it its location so long hidden, when the fire still burns?

                                                 An Everlasting HELL? 

      Speaking of those who reject God, the Holy Bible says. "The smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." [Revelation 14:11]

   It is easy to understand why so many people believe this means that hell i a place where those who refuse to accept the Grace of God will suffer in pain---"burn in hell," for the rest of eternity.
   However, the Bible teaches thet when the world ends, fire will devour the devil and his followers [Revelati on 20:9]. DEATH itself will also be thrown into the lake of fire [Vs.14], and  we will then end up living in a clean and peaceful universe.
     Please note the word DEVOUR. How can someone or something still remain to be tormented forever, if it or they have already been swallowed up, which the word devour suggests?
      Malachi 4:1-4  "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments."

NOTE: (j.b.) Please inform me, as to how one can still feel pain, when one is nearly instantly reduced to ashes?  The is but yet another of Satan's lies, in his efforts to pain a wrong picture of God! Satan IS and does  what he accuses God of doing!

Want/need to learn more?
Visit a Seventh day Adventist Church, Any Saturday/Sabbath @ 9:15 Am. You just may be very glad you did.
Again many thanks to both Matthew Lucio and all the people at Sings of the Times magazine of Nov.2013.


Thank you for your time
John B. ------



Sunday, December 8, 2013

"WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?" by David Jarnes Sign of the Times Nov.2013.

My thanks to both David Jarnes and the Sings of the Times magazine of November 21013 pp. 18-21.

    As. Mr. Jarnes explains in his prologue, this question has been examined, debated for close to 2,000 years by many a theologian.

    However, as J.B. I know that there's still much confusion of the topic of the Holy Spirit, even within the ADS church members.  Some within hold that the Holy Spirit, is not a person, but the Spirit of God, ONLY! Well, if this is so, please explain these passages: 

        Psalms 51:11  "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me."           Matthew 28:19  "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"                                                                                                                      John 14:16-17  "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."      

      Note: I count four (4) pronouns in John's passage, as HE. This is a personal pronoun,j used only regarding a individual, and NOT used to describe a force, but a Divine Being!   But lets get back to this article.

     Last October, my wife and I spent a weekend with our daughter and her family, to celebrate two birthdays..... our granddaughter's third an my.... well that number isn't essential to this story.
     We had all piled into a van and gone out to enjoy the fall day. On the way back to my daughter's house, I noticed the black cats and witches and spiderwebs with which some people, anticipating Halloween, had already decorated their years. Seeing a particularly spooky ghost mounted on the side of a house, I assumed my scariest quavery voice and stared to call my grandchildren attention to it.
     Before I could say any more than a word or two my daughter cut me off, warning that if my granddaughter saw that ghost, someone would have to stand guard by her bedroom door for hours that night.
      Halloween's ghosts are scary things... supernatural and other-worldly, and more often than not, downright evil. Why in the world then, is the Third member of the Godhead [David used the word Trinity] called the "Holy Ghost" (mostly in the KJV and other older versions) ?  Should the emphasis be Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit? The two words don't seem to belong to each other.
     Another word for ghost is spirit, which isn't as spooky but still close. We commonly think of bot spirits and ghost as wispy, ethereal beings that skulk around invisibly and reveal themselves only when they want to, And often when they do, someone gets hurt.
     Is the Holy Spirit some kind of a faceless divine power we can't relate to?
     In both the Old Testament Hebrew and the New Testament Greek, the words translated as "ghost" and "spirit" can also be translated as "breath" and "wind." For example, Genesis 2, describing the creation of the first human being, [Adam] in these simple terms:
     Genesis 2:7  "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." The Hebrew word Neshamah, translated as "breath",
in this verse is the same word translated as "wind" and "spirit", in other places.
    It would seem, that's what Jesus conveyed in this story to Nicodemus.....
     John 3:5-6  "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
    He compared the Spirit to wind. He said that just as the wind goes wherever it wants to and no one can control it, so the Spirit takes us to places we never have thought of going without His guidance. Vs.8
     John 3:8  "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

     Please, note, that I said, "His guidance," The Greek word for "spirit" ( pheuma) is of a neuter gender, so technically [ (jb) by proper grammar]  the Spirit should have called an "IT". But the writers {GOD USED} for the New Book all used "HE" and "HIS" to refer to the Holy Spirit, as in John 16:7 and Romans 8:26-27.
      John 16:7-8  "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"
       Romans 8:26-27   "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
    I think they're telling us that despite the fact that the word spirit suggests something that is less that a real deity, a personal being, the Holy Spirit is every bit as much a Person as re the Father and the Son. In fact, speaking of God the Father, Jesus said that "God is spirit" John 4:24. The Bible certainly pictures the Father as a Person, and the Holy Spirit has the same essence as the Father. If the Father can be fully both a Spirit and a Person, then so can the Holy Spirit.
     The ceremony through which people proclaim their (jb Public) commitment as Christians gives the Holy Spirit equal terms as the other members of the Godhead...
       Matthew 28:19 . "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
     Can you, dear reader, see any distinction here between the Father and the Holy Spirit?
      Plus notice this, from the then Church leaders of the Christian a letter.....
      Acts 15:28  "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;"
      Plus Paul told the Corinthians that he was praying that the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with them all...
     2 Corinthians 13:14  "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."
     Would not both both seem proper ONLY while addressing a genuine Person? Rather that some force?
    In the Holy Bible, { (jb) IF one accepts it as from God, via His chosen servants the writers] the Holy Spirit is pictures as contending..Gen. 6:3
     Genesis 6:3  "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
      Luke 12:12  "For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say."
     John 16:8  "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of      judgment:"
     Acts 13:2  "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them."    (jb a force that thinks and speaks?)
     Romans 8:26   "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
     1 Peter 1:21  "Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."
(JB "Who by HIM do believe in God..." Question how think you, that an impersonal thing as a 'force' can make one believe anything?
     1 Peter 1:2  "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."
NOTE (JB) Sanctification, is the gradual changing of a believer's character, into becoming more and more as the character of Christ. SO HOW, can a impersonal force do this? But a Divine Person as the Holy Spirit can and DOES! I know, I can remember what I used to be like!
    These are not the activities of some impersonal force. They imply independent intelligence, will and personality, do they not? The Holy Spirit is a real Divine Peron in His own right!  In point of fact, WHEN you study the Bible, you'll realize that what it says about who the Holy Spirit is, and what He does , makes sense ONLY if He has omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, and all the other characteristics of divinity---including that of Person hood.

     Luke 12:10  "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven."

Note (jb)  This word Blasphemy , in other translations the word evil is used, so I ask my friends in the J.W. faith, how can we possibly insult, or speak or use evils against a force? Just asking!

     From the perspective of years of study, within the Holy Bible, many have come to the conclusion that the WORK, of the Holy Spirit can be fitted into two categories:
1. He leads people to Jesus Christ.
2. He helps people to stay true to their commitment to Him.  

     It IS only by people who feel their Spiritual need, who will turn to Christ. Thus by His turning the world of guilt in regard top sin and righteousness and judgment   { John 16:18} that the Holy Spirit makes people feel this need. As Paul spoke in ..
     1 Corinthians 12:3  "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."
     Therefore, the Holy Spirit is essential, in His role convicting people of a deeper need, that Christ only is able to fill.

     (jb) Please allow me the digression of telling David's Story, by this passage first:
      John 14:1-3  "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

Now here's David:  "Several children, playing in the front room, noticed their Mon, putting on her coat, while heading to the front door. One child asks, "Where are you going "?
     "I am going to my Father's house, to prepare a place for you"
      "Can we go with you?"
      "Not now, but I will come back and take you to be with me."
       "How long will you be gone?"
      "Just a little while"
       "Who will take care of us while you're gone?"

     Now, that was, and is THE key question, agree? The disciples also asked Jesus that same basic question of their concern, and Jesus answered....

     John 14:16-17  "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

     James Somerville, the man from whom this illustration came, said, "I don't know that the Holy Spirit has ever been compared to a babysitter. But if YOU can picture Christ as a mother, then it may not be so hard to imagine the Spirit in this role, as The One who cares for the Church in the interim between Jesus' departure and return, as One Who comforts, and yes sometimes even romps with the sons and daughters of God.
     Jesus' promise to His disciples is a promise to us also. He may not be physically and visibly present with us, but through the Holy Spirit we can  have the benefits of Jesus' divine guidance and teachings just as surely as did those who followed Him when He walked on this earth.
     And Jesus said that while we wait for His return, far from scaring us, the Holy Spirit will be our Comforter,. He substitutes for Jesus in the interim. Therefore He must be a Person just like Jesus.

  (jb) Yet unlike Jesus, who left Heaven to be be born of flesh woman, as flesh men and women, Christ Jesus is still a flesh man in body, Glorified yes but as the Just shall be also! Flesh can only be in one place at any one time, Yet a Person who is a Spirit being as is the Father, can be everywhere at the same time, flesh can not! That's God's purpose for this His "Office" for the Holy Spirit!

Need more info?
Visit your Seventh day Adventist Church any Saturday/Sabbath @ 9:15 AM You just might be very glad you did.

Thanking YOU for your time
john B.