My interview for I AM series

In January 2018 I was interviewed in relation to my own personal salvation experience. The interview was used in a documentary series called “I AM”, produced by Adventist Media. See IAM.org.au Here is the segment.

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Does Isaiah 65:17-25 refer to an earthly Millennium rule of Christ on Earth?

I have been told by many Bible commentators that the passage in Isaiah 65:17-25 refers to a Millennium period on Earth when Christ rules the nations directly before the Final Judgement of all men. They say that this is a period when nothing shall kill or hurt on Earth in the animal of human realms because God will directly be ruling the earth. Satan will be bound and have no influence on humans or the animal kingdom. Often the picture is shown of a lion and lamb sitting together. It portrays the idea of the Garden of Eden before the Curse.

lion lamb

I believed this idea for a long time. But is that really what these verses refer to? I held that view when I believed in the futurist eschatological view that the thousand-year period in Revelation chapter 20 was a reference to some sort of millennial rule of Christ on Earth before His Final Judgement on the unsaved. I no longer believe such ideas.

Now I believe the (so-called) Millennium is symbolic of the Church age — the period of time beginning with the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross and ending with the Final Judgement called the Great White Throne Judgement (Revelation 20:11-13). There are no others but the saved (in the new heaven and new earth) and the damned (sent to Hell). All are judged at the Great White Throne of God.

Now let’s look at these verses. Continue reading

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Martin Lloyd-Jones on the book of Revelation

Some years ago I abandoned my former belief in the Futurist eschatology that most of the evangelical churches believe today. That was what is called the pre-millennial return of Christ and where the 70th ‘week’ of Daniel is pushed off into the distant future. I believed that as I was first taught that as a babe in Christ. But 35 + years later I really started to doubt it, and by about 2013 I discarded it entirely. Instead I studied the Historical interpretation, which seemed to be much better.

I began to accept the Historical: Continuing interpretation, but have to admit that it has its drawbacks. It needs a detailed knowledge of history for one thing, which the average believer does not have. Some of the key time line seems to not match, especially after Napoleon. (This interpretation is what the SDA church promotes).

I never believed in the alleged secret Rapture (also called the pre-Tribulation Rapture), but even the pre-millennial return of Christ has multiple returns of Christ before the Great White Throne Judgement (of Revelation chapter 20).

Anyway the Futurist doctrine was developed in the 17th century by a Jesuit, Ribera and later another Jesuit, Bellamine. It is obvious that this was an attempt to get the protestant churches eyes of the papacy, since the Reformers believed it was the AntiChrist. After 1830 the teaching was added to by John N Darby, who promoted it into the evangelical churches. Nowadays it is widely believed.

Recently I have been listening to sermons by Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones on the books of Daniel and Revelation. As a result, I have now learned that even the Preterist interpretation–that all prophecy was fulfilled by the close of the 4th century–was also developed by a Jesuit in 1603. You gotta admire the Jesuits’ efforts to overturn the Reformation. I have also learned that there are 3 forms of the Historical interpretation.

  1. Historical: Precis (which the Reformers largely believed) – a summary (not detailed) of events from St John’s time to the present. Hence it does not include all events in detail.
  2. Historical: Continuing — a detailed description of historical events that have happened from Christ to the New Heaven and Earth. This requires almost a continuous timeline from Revelation chap 4 through to chap 22. But many times the descriptions hearken back to what appear to be earlier events. Chapter 12 starts with Christ’s first Advent again.
  3. Historical: Spiritual — a spiritual principles behind the battles and events encountered by Christians through all ages from Christ until the final Judgement, but not that each description in the book of Revelation applies to only one event. Similarly to the 7 churches described in Chapters 2 and 3 applying to many different churches through the ages, also the descriptions in the prophecies could apply to many different agents, battles and events. The spiritual forces, like Satan are clearly identified, which act through many earthly agents.

Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones explains these in the following lectures and gives criticism as he sees it. He promotes Historical: Spiritual as the best interpretation.

In this blog you’ll find many Bible studies that follow the Historical: Continuing interpretation. I still believe a lot of it may be correct but many events could be explained by the same symbolic descriptions in the book of the Revelation. This much better the supports the notion that God gave the final revelations to the Apostle John for the benefit of all believers throughout all ages.

I strongly recommend you take the time to listen to what he teaches. See below. Continue reading

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“Slaying in the spirit” is hypnotic suggestion

Have you ever wondered about this phenomenon of “slaying in the spirit” that you might have seen in some Pentecostal churches? It usually occurs where a “faith healer” lays his hands on a person, gets them to pray or repeat some words, gently pushes them backwards and they fall to the floor. The phenomenon is not confined to the evangelical churches either. It is practiced by some Roman Catholic priests. See below, for example.

People slain in the spirit after receiving prayer from faith healer and Catholic priest Fernando Suarez Credit: Wikipedia

The phenomenon does not appear anywhere in the Scriptures. In fact, the Scriptures tell us that  “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” 1 Corinthian 14:32 The same applies to all saved servants of the Living God. The Holy Spirit indwells them and they do not yield to another spirit.

Chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians is all about maintaining order in the church in relation to the gifts of the Spirit. But I do not believe that the Apostolic gifts are continuing now because we have the written Scriptures and there is no longer any Apostles writing new Scripture. However I do believe the Holy Spirit speaks to His servants, heals some at His discretion and gives gifts like tongues, but that tongues is not essential to salvation.

On that basis I have always believed that this so-called “slaying in the spirit” is not from the Holy Spirit, and therefore it must be demonic in nature. It was first brought to my attention decades ago with those spreading the false teaching of the Vineyard church, often referred to as the Toronto Blessing and involved “holy laughter”. Well, it was a lot more than just laughter, they would bark like dogs and behave in very uncontrolled ways. People like Rodney Howard Brown was very popular in the 1990’s spreading that in the Pentecostal churches in Australia.  Today we see the same stuff coming from Torben Søndergaard–leader of the so-called Last Reformation cult.

What I have learned from the following YouTube video is that Søndergaard and all these other practitioners are using well-known hypnotist techniques. Through prayer they get their subjects to yield their will to them and the rest follows. Please watch!

So this is not just about “slaying in the spirit” but about these so-called faith healers who “heal” people, which turns out to be either only temporary, due to an adrenaline rush or completely faked, like in the example shown with Søndergaard moving a person’s shoe, while faking the lengthening of the person’s leg. Where are those who grow new limbs? Torben Søndergaard is a total charlatan — deceiving gullible people and being deceived.

But evil men and seducers [impostors] shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13

I know God can miraculously heal but He heals at His discretion. God is not flipped on like a light switch. He cannot be turned on at a moment by a “healer” or by the prayers of the one who wants to be healed.  That is a works religion.

You can pray for healing and if it is within His will He can and does heal. But if there is anything that Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy should teach us is that in the last days there will be deceivers among the church, leading the sinful astray. We are told to resist them and to expect persecutions and afflictions. God’s way is not generally one of health and wealth. But He will eventually deliver us all in the end. Read the whole chapter yourself.

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White Ribbon Australia supports violence against the unborn

According to an online Catholic publication the Australian charity “White Ribbon” supports late-term abortion. Their claim is supported by White Ribbon’s own position statement on abortion.

That is quite ironic considering that about half of all aborted babies are female, and White Ribbon advocates ending violence against women. Of course the latter is a laudable goal but it is inconsistent with killing babies in the womb, don’t you think?

The following is excerpted from the Catholic Leader:

WHITE Ribbon Australia, known as the “Say no to violence against women” organisation is under scrutiny for supporting late-term abortion.

The nationally-recognised charity has also entered the Queensland election fray by supporting the “It’s Not 1899 Campaign” by Pro Choice Queensland.

White Ribbon is named alongside organisations supporting candidates in the current Queensland election who have made a “pro-choice” pledge to “vote to remove abortion from the criminal code”.

Ahead of White Ribbon Day on November 25, South Australian Christian high school teacher Trevor Grace and his wife Robyn, who runs Pregnancy Help SA, are leading a national campaign to inform organisations of the charity’s pro-abortion stance.

“Few people are aware that White Ribbon supports and endorses full-term abortion,” Mr Grace, a long-standing political activist, said.

He has contacted churches and Christian schools alerting them of White Ribbon Australia’s position statement on women’s reproductive rights which states that the charity believes: “Denying a woman access to contraception and abortion is a denial of basic rights to health care”.

“It is a woman’s right to choose if and when she gets pregnant. It is a woman’s right to seek an abortion,” the White Ribbon statement says.

Read the whole article here.

Continue reading

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Pope warns against direct personal relationship with Jesus Christ

Watch the following embedded video of part of the pope’s speech and read the transcript on a Vatican website. The content of the pope’s speech is irrefutable. There it is written what he said to a general audience in Peter’s Square on Wednesday, 25 June 2014. Here is one excerpt:
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“There are those who believe they can maintain a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and the mediation of the Church. These are dangerous and harmful temptations.”
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Of course by ‘church’ Francis means the Roman Catholic Church, but the true church are all those who are born-again regenerate Christians.
Pope Francis told a crowd of 33,000 in Rome that "a personal relationship with Jesus Christ" must be avoided at all costs.
Pope Francis on camera warning against “having a personal relationship with Jesus” as “dangerous and harmful”
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In the transcript Francis also says that we should

“… ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, for the grace never to fall into the temptation of thinking we can make it without the others, that we can get along without the Church, that we can save ourselves on our own, of being Christians from the laboratory.”

This is Catholic works doctrine and not salvation by grace through the atonement that our Lord Jesus Christ made for all those who trust in Him. There is no grace through Christ’s earthly mother. Only through the Lord Jesus Christ.

But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

There is nothing you can do to save yourself. No amount of praying to Mary as Queen of Heaven will do. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can save you.

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

And he continues with:

“On the contrary, you cannot love God without loving your brothers, you cannot love God outside of the Church; you cannot be in communion with God without being so in the Church, and we cannot be good Christians if we are not together with those who seek to follow the Lord Jesus, as one single people, one single body, and this is the Church.”

But thank God you don’t need to belong to any organisation, especially the Roman Catholic Church. Christ can and does save all those who turn to Him, those who repent of their sins and put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone, not the papacy, the RCC or any church for that matter.

Recommended Reading

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Futurism: Jesuit deception of the church

The following is copied, without alteration,  from The Evil Empire of Jesuit Futurism, which was itself taken from Chapter 3 of  book “The Left Behind Deception” by Steve Wohlberg. Bold brown text indicate my added emphases.

Imagine a pair of supernatural, high-tech, Heaven-inspired eyeglasses that can give a Christian the instant ability to see one of Lucifer’s greatest end-time deceptions. Such X-ray eyeglasses do exist. The purpose of this chapter is help you find them and put them on, and then you will be able to understand the almost unimaginable Evil Empire of Jesuit Futurism.

Modern Christianity has largely forgotten the importance of the Protestant Reformation, which took place during the 1500s. “The sixteenth century presents the spectacle of a stormy sunrise after a dismal night. Europe awoke from long sleep of superstition. The dead arose. The witnesses to truth who had been silenced and slain stood up once more and renewed their testimony. The martyred confessors reappeared in the Reformers. There was a cleansing of the spiritual sanctuary. Civil and religious liberty were inaugurated. The discovery of printing and revival of learning accelerated the movement. There was progress everywhere. Columbus struck across the ocean and opened a new hemisphere to view. Rome was shaken on her seven hills, and lost one-half of her dominions. Protestant nations were created. The modern world was called into existence” (H. Grattan Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation, p. 122).

For almost a thousand years, Europe had been ruled by the iron hand of Rome. Only a few Bibles existed then, and Christianity was largely permeated with superstition. Faith in Jesus Christ, heart-felt appreciation for His love, and a simple trust in His death on the cross, were almost unknown. The New Testament truth about grace, full forgiveness, and the free gift of eternal life to believers in the Son of God (Romans 6:23), had been buried under a mass of tradition. Then Martin Luther arose like a lion in Germany. After a period of tremendous personal struggle, Martin Luther began teaching justification by faith in Jesus Christ (being declared “just” by God), rather than through reliance on “creature merits,” or any human works (Romans 1:16; 3:26, 28; 5:1).

Eventually, Martin Luther turned to the prophecies. By candlelight, he read about the “little horn,” the “man of sin,” and “the beast,” and he was shocked as the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart. Finally, he saw the truth and said to himself, “Why, these prophecies apply to the Roman Catholic Church!” As he wrestled with this new insight, the voice of God echoed loudly in his soul, saying, “Preach the word!” (2 Timothy 4:2). And so, at the risk of losing his life, Martin Luther preached publicly and in print to an astonished people that Papal Rome was indeed the Antichrist of Bible prophecy. Because of this dual message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ apart from works and of Papal Rome being the Antichrist, the river of history literally changed its course. Hundreds of thousands of people in Europe and in England left the Catholic Church.

“‘There are two great truths that stand out in the preaching that brought about the Protestant Reformation,’ American Bible Commentator, Ralph Woodrow, reminds us, ‘The just shall live by faith, not by the works of Romanism and the Papacy is the Antichrist of Scripture.’ It was a message for Christ and against Antichrist. The entire Reformation rests upon this twofold testimony'” (Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome, Dorchester House Publications, Dorchester House, England, 1991, pp. 202, 203). It has been said that the Reformation first discovered Jesus Christ, and then, in the blazing light of Christ, it discovered the Antichrist. This mighty, Spirit-filled movement, for Christ and against the Antichrist, shook the world. Continue reading

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My drug addiction story

How I got addicted

About 15 years ago I started to develop leg pains. I sought medical help and after much investigation the doctors could not diagnose the cause. In the early years with this developing pain I started taking the over-the-counter paracetamol as a reasonably effective pain-killer but I became tolerant of the paracetamol and the pain developed to the point I needed to find something else for relief. Doctors suggested various drugs and even acupuncture without success.

Chemical structure of codeine.  Credit: Wikipedia

About 6 years ago my doctor started me on prescription pain-killers, where each tablet contains 500 mg paracetamol with 30 mg of codeine. Codeine is an opiate, a morphine derivative; it, in fact, is converted to morphine by the liver. Codeine is a drug of dependency, but no doctor told me about the downside of taking this medication long-term. More on that later.

Initially I’d only take one or two tablets per day and it was reasonably effective. Also I took up talking a lot as that seemed to alleviate that pain, while I was walking at least. But as time passed the effectiveness of the codeine reduced and I increased the number of pills per day. By 2014 I was taking 4 per day and by 2016 it was 6 per day and even some times 8 pills.

Chemical structure of morphine. Credit: Wikipedia

In 2013 a new doctor diagnosed the cause of the pain as peripheral neuropathy resulting from untreated coeliac disease, which I have apparently had my whole life but only started to manifest symptoms about 15 years ago. About 6 years ago I was formally diagnosed with coeliac disease and have been on a gluten-free diet ever since. But the damage to my nerve fibres was done and I was told I could only mask the symptoms with strong pain-killers.

For the most part I was able to manage with the daily pain and some relief using the codeine pills. However in the last 4 years there were times where I started to develop unexplained symptoms like headaches, digestive problems (even though on a strict gluten-free diet) and a very unwell feeling, but they would come and go.

Pain goes to my head

Then on my last trip to Japan in March/April 2017 I started to feel ill almost daily, and by early April headaches started to develop. I developed not only what you would call tension headaches but something like ‘brain fog’, which was very disconcerting.  I noticed myself taking the codeine pills just to try to relieve those bad headaches. The headaches developed into migraines and it became difficult to do my job there, working at a national research facility AIST in Tsukuba. Continue reading

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Is the name ‘Yeshua’ written over a hundred times in the OT?

An article was sent to me, by a friend, where the author claims that Jesus’s name in Hebrew — Yeshua — is written over a hundred times in the OT. I have reproduced the article entirely below (blue indented text) with some comments following.


YESHUA IN THE TANAKH

(The Name of JESUS in the Old Testament)

Arthur E. Glass

In dealing with my Jewish brethren for the past many years in Canada, the United States, Argentina and Uruguay. I had one great difficulty, and it was this: My Jewish people would always fling at me this challenging question, “If Jesus is our Messiah, and the whole Old Testament is about Him, how come His name is never mentioned in It even once?

   I could never answer it satisfactorily to their way of thinking, and I admit I often wondered why His name was not actually written in the Old Bible.  Oh, yes, I could show them His divine titles  in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 and Jeremiah 23:5,6, and even the word MESSIAH in several places; but the Hebrew name that would be equal to Jesus, that I could not show.  Then one day the Holy Spirit opened my eyes, and I just shouted.  There was the very NAME, Jesus, found in the Old Testament about 100 times all the way from GENESIS to HABAKKUK!  Yes, the very word – the very NAME – that the angel Gabriel used in Luke 1:31 when he told Mary about the Son she was to have.  “Where do we find that NAME?” you ask.  Here it is, friend: Every time the Old Testament uses the word SALVATION (especially with the Hebrew suffix meaning “my,” thy,” or “his”), with very few exceptions (when the word is impersonal), it is the very same word, YESHUA (Jesus), used in Matthew 1:21. Let us remember that the angel who spoke to Mary and the angel who spoke to Joseph in his dream did not speak in English, Latin, or Greek, but in Hebrew; and neither were Mary or Joseph slow to grasp the meaning and significance of the NAME of this divine Son and its relation to His character and His work of salvation.  For in the Old Testament all great characters were given names with a specific and significant meaning. Continue reading

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Daniel’s Seventy Weeks

–a short study on Daniel 9:24-27 by Jim Gibson

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:24-27)

These four verses found in Daniel constitute one of the most controversial passages found in the Bible. From the early church fathers to the modern commentaries, this prophecy has been interpreted with a plethora of views. There are those who maintain that this prophecy was fulfilled in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes in approximately 168 B.C. However, many place its fulfillment during the time of the life of Christ. Still, others say that its ultimate fulfillment extends to the time of the antichrist toward the end of the church age. Let’s see if we can wade through the maze of difficulties that this passage presents and, hopefully, discover its true intent and meaning.

Before I begin to explain this passage of Daniel’s prophecy, I will share with the reader the more popular dispensational view. Continue reading

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