The Mountain Cast Into The Sea

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree

Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.

When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Jesus was most likely speaking of the mountain they were on: They had left Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives is between Bethany-Bethphage and Jerusalem. Jesus spoke to Jews who knew their own history: The Mount of Olives was, according to Jewish history, used by Solomon to erect altars to false gods and the fig tree (Israel) was “shriveled” by God due to idol worship- Hosea 9:10. Josiah had to desecrate the mountain with dead men’s bones to halt this pagan worship; To keep Israel’s priests off the mountain (high places).
I am inclined to believe that the woman “Babylon” (Rev.18) is organized religion which profits from God’s kingdom and has brought idol worship into the church. Present day Pharisees are still doing it; living sumptuously, giving power to false images and imaginations. A common thread in the Bible is God’s indignation toward idolatry- It pollutes our minds and our worship; our very concept of God. The old fashioned Molech-Baal-Ishtar worship is still very much alive today, just working in a more insidious manner; we don’t even recognize that half of what we profess is birthed from pagan idolatry. The pious Israelites brought pagan idols into the Temple of God to worship them, are we more devout than they? (Lest your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees…) For example, Ishtar the goddess of fertility and Ashtaroth the prince of hell are admired and feared today, polluting our worship and our minds (the temple of God.) Such horrible things (abominations) never entered the mind of God and are only a product of the carnal mind (read Jeremiah 7:31). Paul exhorts us to cast down imaginations that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.
God desires our worship to be in a pure form, the “fig tree” was shriveled because of idolatry. However, lest you would be left in fear for Israel, fear not, for all Israel will be saved (Rom.11:26). God’s plan is still working toward the redemption of mankind.

Jeremiah 8:13

“‘I will take away their harvest,
declares the Lord.
There will be no grapes on the vine.
There will be no figs
on the tree,
and their leaves will wither.

What I have given them
will be taken
from them.’”

Hosea 2:12

12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers;
I will make them a thicket,
and wild animals will devour them.

Joel 1:7

7 It has laid waste my vines
and ruined my fig trees.

It has stripped off their bark
and thrown it away,
leaving their branches white.

Jeremiah 5:17

17 They will devour your harvests and food,
your sons and daughters;
they will devour
your flocks and herds,
devour your vines and fig trees

With the sword
they will destroy
the fortified cities
in which you trust.

Isaiah 7:23

23 In that day, in every place where there were a thousand vines worth a thousand silver shekels, there will be only briers and thorns.

Below from Web Article accessed at:

The Mountain Cast into the Sea
By Don Walker
The failure of many scholars and Bible commentators to recognize the significance of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. is evidenced through much of their interpretation of the New Testament. One clear case of this is found in Matthew 21:21-22 where Jesus says: “Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it shall happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”
This passage has been “fodder” for many sermons on “Mountain-Moving Faith.” I have heard sermons on “a mountain of debt,” “a mountain of worry,” “a mountain of problems,” “ a mountain of sickness,” on and on ad nauseam. Time and again this passage, along with Mark 11:23-24, becomes the “launching pad” for a “faith rocket” aimed in any direction we want it to go. This is a clear example of “a text taken out of context becoming a pretext for just about anything.” As an aside, having heard many of the so-called “faith preachers” expound on these verses about how they are to be taken “literally,” I have not, as of yet, heard of any one of them casting a “literal” mountain into the sea.
In order to properly interpret this passage we must note that Jesus did not say, “a mountain.” Jesus said, “this mountain,” which holds great hermeneutical importance. He is not speaking about “any mountain,” He is speaking about a specific one. The Greek language is quite clear on this point, there is a definite article following the word “oros,” (meaning mountain). Without the definite article it would mean that this would be translated as “a mountain.” Obviously, “a mountain,” and “this mountain” makes a difference in how one interprets what Jesus was referring to.
What mountain was Jesus specifically speaking about? I believe Jesus’ Jewish disciples, steeped in the language of the Old Testament, knew exactly what Jesus was referring to in this instance, and which mountain was to, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea.’
Mountains in the Scriptures symbolize nations and people (Isa.41:14-16, Zech. 4:7).
Exodus 15:17 tells us that God that would “plant” Israel, “in the mountain of Thine inheritance.” Throughout the Old Testament the nation was spoken of as “Mount Zion” (example: Ps. 48:11, 74:2, 125:1; Isa. 8:18, 10:12, 24:23, 29:8; Joel 2:32). The disciples were well aware of this and understood the implication of Jesus’ words. In addition, William Telford in his book, The Barren Temple and the Withered Tree, states that the phrase “this mountain” was a standard expression among the Jewish people for the Temple Mount.
“This mountain” was understood, by the disciples, to be in reference to the nation of Israel which was directly related to the Temple. Coupled with this statement from Jesus, in the midst of His warnings about the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 20-25), is His cursing of an unfruitful fig tree, as a symbol of judgment upon Israel.
Jesus was not suddenly changing the topic, away from the destruction of Jerusalem, but focusing in on the role of His followers to pray, in faith, for its destruction. Commenting on this passage in his book, Days of Vengeance, David Chilton writes:
“Jesus was instructing His disciples to pray imprecatory prayers, beseeching God to destroy Israel, to wither the fig tree, to cast the apostate mountain into the sea.”
In Revelation 8:8 we see the fulfillment of the prayers of the saints (Rev. 8:3-4), when we are told, “something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea.” This is also the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the judgment of Babylon, which Jerusalem had become, “a destroying mountain” on which God unleashed His wrath. The imagery of Revelation 8:8 parallels that of Jeremiah 51:25,42; which declares:
“Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain,
Who destroys the whole earth,” declares the Lord,
“And I will stretch out My hand against you,
And roll you down from the crags
And I will make you a burnt out mountain….
The sea has come up over Babylon;
She has been engulfed with its
tumultuous waves.”
The apostate mountain that is “cast into the sea” speaks symbolically of the Diaspora, the dispersion of the Jewish people across the earth, into the “sea of humanity.” The mountain was not only “taken up” but also “cast into the sea” in the language of the Scriptures. It was therefore, an actual fulfillment of the prayers of the saints who obeyed Christ’s instructions.
The “this mountain” that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 21:21 was replaced by “the great mountain” of Daniel 2:35. We see the replacement of the Harlot with the Bride, Israel with the Church, and Babylon (earthly Jerusalem) with the heavenly Jerusalem.
The failure of most Bible commentators to see the significance of the fall of Jerusalem “clouds” their interpretation of this and many other passages of Scripture. It has also hindered the Church of Jesus Christ from seeing the surpassing greatness of the New Covenant, which has made the old obsolete (Heb. 8:13).

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Milton Florida Home Bible Study Group 1 Corinthians 5, 6 and 7.

This Sunday we met at Carpenter’s Park in Milton. It was a beautiful day, the children had fun on the sandy playground and we grilled lean hamburgers and chicken. There was a delicious bean salad, brownies, etc. Our study was in 1 Corinthians, chapters 5, 6 and 7. We read chapter 5 last Sunday and continued to 6 and 7 this weekend.
We rotated the readings, using the New International Version and we paused at times to comment and discuss.
In chapter 5, Paul addressed the issue of sexual immorality in the Corinth Church a man with his father’s wife! Paul advises the church: (verse 11) But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. It seems clear that Paul was not slack in dealing with real-life issues in the churches.
Moving on to chapter 6: Paul directs believers to avoid lawsuits- If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? But then, Paul gives insight into God’s eternal plan…“Or do you not know that the Lord’s people 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!” We discussed how the simple traditional idea of the next world contrasts with this theme in the Bible.

Another interesting concept raised by Paul; (verse13) “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both. God seems to have only a temporary use for this natural body… But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. (verse 17) Much good content in these chapters.

Chapter 7 (on Marriage)- Apparently, the church had written and asked for Paul’s direction concerning marriage. This is a great chapter that clarifies an issue that has previously been left, scripturally speaking, in somewhat of a contentious state. (1 Corinthians 7:1-7)

Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

It was a wonderful day at the park, with fellowship, food and sharing spiritual truths from Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. Thanks to all who came and participated.

Grace and Peace to All


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Erasmus Manford Refutes a Common Argument Favoring Eternal Punishment of the Wicked

Quoted from his book, Twenty Five Years in the West, Erasmus Manford refutes a common argument used by the proponents of the theory of eternal punishment. This popular assertion of “endless torment” proponents was likely invented by Augustine around 400 A.D.

Twenty Five Years in the West, Page 57:  In Bedford Indiana, a Presbyterian minister abruptly attacked me at the close of a discourse. “If the pains of the damned will cease,” said he, “so will the joys of the saved; for the words that express the misery of the one, express the happiness of the other.” Never, I replied, was a man more mistaken. The Bible speaks of endless life, but not a word about endless death. The terms “endless death,” “endless misery,” “endless woe,” “endless damnation,” “endless hell,” found in the creeds of men, do not once occur in the Bible. Read all that Moses and the prophets, Jesus and the apostles, said or wrote, and you will not find those terms once, not even once, in the Old or New Testaments… The Bible says, “O hell, I will be thy detruction;” but where does it say, O heaven, I will be thy destruction?!

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Universalists in American History: Sylvanus Cobb, 1799-1866

Sylvanus Cobb, clergyman, born in Norway; Maine, in July, 1799 ; died in East Boston, 31 October, 1866.
In 1828 he was settled over Universalist churches at Malden and Waltham, Massachusetts, and in 1838 took charge of the “Christian Freeman,” which he edited for more than twenty years. He was for many years a leader in the anti-slavery and temperance movements.
Dr. Cobb’s published works include “The New Testament, with Explanatory Notes” (Boston, 1864); “Compend of Divinity” and “Discussions.”–His son, Sylvanus, author, born in Waterville, Maine, in 1823; died in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, 20 July, 1887, was editor and publisher of a paper called “The Rechabite,” edited the ” New England Washingtonian,” and was a principal contributor to “Gleason’s Pictorial,” ” Flag of Our Union,” and the New York “Ledger.” He published ” The Autobiography of Rev. Sylvanus Cobb,” with a memoir (Boston, 1867), and numerous tales, including “The King’s Talisman” (Hartford, 1851): “The Patriot Cruiser” (New York, 1859)” and ” Ben Hamed” (Boston, 1864).–Another son, Cyrus, artist, born in Malden, Massachusetts, 6 August, 1834, was graduated at Lyman school, East Boston, in 1848, and afterward studied the higher mathematics and classics. He and his twin brother Darius studied art together, and refused opportunities for European study, wishing to have no master but nature. While perfecting themselves in art the brothers retired together at midnight and rose before sunrise, and they have since been closely identified in their work. At this time they practiced mental mathematical calculation, as an exercise to prepare the mind for future work, and attained great proficiency, for example, in multiplying large numbers mentally. Cyrus began the study of law in 1869, to enable himself and his brother to bring out their large historical works. He was graduated at the Boston University law-school in1873, and practiced till 1879, when he resumed his art work. Among his sculptures are a bust of Be Po Shillaber (1867), the Cambridge Soldiers’ Monument (1869), an heroic bas-relief of Prospero and Miranda (1883), heroic statue of Abbott Lawrence (1885-‘6), ” Ancient Celtic Bard contemplating the Future Woes and Dawning Light of Ireland” (1886), and a bust of Theodore Parker (1886). His paintings include “Jesus Condemned,” containing about thirty figures, those in the foreground of colossal size (1879); ” Warren at the Old South” (1880); and portraits of Dr. A. P. Peabody and Dr. J. Appleton.

Source: March 4 2012

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Universalists in American History: Thomas Whittemore 1800-1861

Thomas Whittemore (Universalist)

Thomas Whittemore (January 1, 1800 – Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 21, 1861) was an influential member of the Universalist Church of America and founder and editor of The Trumpet and Universalist magazine (1828), which succeed the Universalist magazine of Hosea Ballou.
Like Ballou and Ballou’s grand-nephew, Hosea Ballou 2nd, first president of Tufts College, Whittemore contributed to Universalist historiography claiming precedents for Universalist beliefs in earlier Christianity[3] He co-founded with Thomas J. Sawyer of New York the Universalist Historical Society (1834).[4] The These histories were influential in bring many readers to think of the Christians of the first centuries as Universalists.
[edit] Massachusetts Legislature
From 1831-1836 Whittemore served as Cambridge’s representative in the Massachusetts legislature, being involved in chairing the committee that led to the disestablishment of the Congregational Church and Unitarian Church, to whose special status Whittemore was opposed, from their privileged position written into the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Whittmore viewed that “no civil government has a right to compel the citizens to support any system of religion whatsoever.” and supported calls for a popular referendum for separation of church and state in 1834, the result of which brought Massachusetts into line with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia online.

The Modern History of Universalism 1830, revised 1860 – a companion to Ballou’s Ancient History of Universalism which deals with 1500-1800
The plain guide to Universalism: designed to lead inquirers to the belief of the doctrine, and believers to the practice of it 1840
article Universalists sustain the Bible
Life of Rev. Hosea Ballou, 1855
The early days of Thomas Whittemore: An autobiography 1860

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The First Commandment Should Lead Us to do God’s Will

“Our Father who art in heaven…Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

It is human nature to seek for a set of rules to follow, but Jesus came to shatter the rules. The Pharisees, et al, had perverted the will of God into hundreds of manmade rules. Jesus spoke of the “traditions” of man. He was speaking of the interpretations and commentaries of scriptures that yielded hundreds, maybe thousands of often nonsensical rules at the hands of the scribes (Pharisee, Sadducee, Scribes, etc.) Jesus said of them: “They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” (NIV) Our innate human nature drives us to devise laws and rules by which we can demonstrate our own righteousness and, on the other hand use to condemn and control others. God desires us to shed off human nature and embrace a kind of God-nature. We should become a new creation, having a pure heart that guides us in all things. Laws are requisite for lawbreakers and rebels, not for those with a heart after God.(1 Timothy 1:9) Dropping legalism is difficult and uncomfortable to do, requiring much faith. “Just give me a uniform set of regulations to follow, I can do that better than anyone.” But then where is the evidence that we are mature enough to do what is right? We only have proven that we are good at following prescribed rules, not thinking, not demonstrating good judgment.

God’s Way or Man’s Way?

Many denominations today bind heavy burdens upon the shoulders of their members. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” We often take up heavy, unGodly burdens in the name of righteousness (thinking it is a Godly thing to do), or worse yet, advocate for heavy burdens to be placed upon others (in the name of righteousness…), yet we are sinning in the same manner as the Pharisees. For example, the Pharisees wanted to stone Jesus because he healed a person on the Sabbath- that was according to their rules; man-made traditions, perversions of God’s will. Now, (as Jesus demonstrated) which is closer to God’s will; that a person is healed on the Sabbath, or that a man is stoned for doing good? You see, mindlessly following the rules will get you and others into trouble. We are not created to be rule-followers, but to be seekers of God’s own heart (His will.)

Adam’s Sin

Before Adam sinned, he enjoyed fellowship with God which indicates that Adam had enough invested in the relationship that, because of love, he sought to do God’s will continually. This was not enough for Adam, he sought rules to follow rather than communing with God.  Remember, Adam sought the “knowledge of good and evil;” in other words, he desired a life of “do this, don’t do that” rather than walking and talking with God. He desired mindless rules to follow which would not require good judgment (mercy, forgiveness, etc.) and would avoid a personal relationship with God: “just the rules, God, not you.” What does God require of thee? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God,(Micah 6:8) not to blindly follow a strict set of rules.

The Good Samaritan

Jesus tells of a Samaritan, one despised in the eyes of the Jewish priestly elite, who came to the aid of a beaten and dying traveler who had been attacked on a lonely road. Earlier in the day, two very pious priestly men, had in successive order, already detoured around the dying man, justifying themselves because of religious rules. You see, according to Levitical law if a dead person is touched by a priest, or even if blood is contacted, the priest has been defiled and ceremonial cleansing must be performed to restore to status of the priest. So the religiously righteous men avoided helping the dying man. In this parable, who was seeking the will of God and who was blindly following “Godly” rules (traditions of men)? The priests were justified in their own eyes, possibly in the eyes of men, but what about in the eyes of God?

Commandments or Exhortations?

Do Christians today make laws and load them on the shoulders of others? A common “commandment” that Christians use to condemn others (and to shame them into filling pews) is “Forsake not the gathering of the brethren.” This was written by Paul in a letter to Hebrews. It is not a commandment spoken by Christ (context is important.) Paul’s intent was in “exhorting” the brethren, not laying heavy burdens upon their shoulders. We often mistake exhortations for commandments. God is not interested in robotic rule followers, He desires those who will seek His heart and do accordingly. Jesus boiled it down: Love God (because He is good and loves His creation.) and love your neighbor as yourself (because God loves your neighbor also.)

May God’s grace and peace rest upon you.

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The Doctrine of Last Rites: A Product of a Merciful Creator God or of Man’s Imagination?

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

The Aaron Burr– Alexander Hamilton duel was a duel between two prominent American politicians, the former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and sitting Vice President Aaron Burr, on July 11, 1804. At Weehawken in New Jersey, Burr shot and fatally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton was carried to the home of William Bayard on the Manhattan shore, where he died at 2:00 p.m. the next day.(source: Wikipedia)
Hamilton died shortly after the duel, but he received absolution and communion from the Episcopal bishop of New York just before his death.
Christian tradition, for the most part, embraces a sort of “spiritual condition at the moment of last breath” doctrine. I have heard it called “light switch salvation.” One moment you’re saved, the next moment you’re destined for eternal torment, only determined by a fleeting evil thought, or the ability to summon a priest, or possibly the strength to whisper a last-second petition of forgiveness. Jesus seems to indicate that God is more concerned about how we live, rather than how we die: “He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

The common church doctrine gives immense power to religious professionals, especially when coupled with a belief that the dying soul (person) really needs a recognized or “certified” priest to “administer last rights” to ensure (or grant) eternal salvation. But, is this way of believing based on valid Biblical instruction, or is it based on traditions concieved of men? Throughout history, men of “the cloth” in collusion with political rulers, both lusting to expand their own power have asserted their exclusive privelege to grant eternal bliss or impose eternal torment, thereby holding eternal sway over the minds of common man.
Such is the dilemma created by eternal torment theory. Universal reconciliation resolves the “heaven or hell” “light switch” theological problem as well as others, such as traditional belief in a God who creates billions of human beings with “free will” yet “predestined” so that only a few of His own creation will enjoy salvation, the remainder to spend eternity in physical, mental and spiritual agony. Does the Bible say anything about the practice of Last Rites and what does it really say about “hell?”

When Lazarus died, the proposal to Jesus was not, “if you had been here, you could have ministered Last Rites.” 

If we are able to subdue our human imagination while we endeavor to find valid Biblical answers and if we practice rendering accurate meanings of ancient Greek and Hebrew scriptures in proper context, then the truth of the matter may be surprising as well as refreshing to the troubled spirit. Yet, the challenge of such a scholarly effort may be likened to Saint Peter’s walk on the Sea of Galilee: a seemingly impossible feat. Be of good cheer, all things are possible with God.

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Universalists in American History: Charles Chauncy (1705-1787)

Charles Chauncy (1705–1787) was an American Congregational clergyman in Boston.

Chauncy received both his undergraduate degree and his master’s in theology from Harvard. He was ordained at the First Church in Boston in 1727, where he spent the rest of his life: 60 years as pastor of “Old Brick,” as his church was called. It was the oldest Congregational church in Boston and one of the most important in New England.
In his book, Old Brick: Charles Chauncy of Boston, 1705–1787, Edward M. Griffin presents a thumbnail summary of Chauncy’s life and work:
[Chauncy] played a role in the major events of his time: not only the Great Awakening, but also the French and Indian wars, the controversy over the proposed establishment of the Anglican episcopacy in America, political events from the Stamp Act through the Revolution, the rise of the Enlightenment, the growth of “liberal Protestantism,” social changes in Boston, and the development of Unitarianism.

Chauncy published his major theology work, The Mystery Hid from Ages and Generations, in 1785, two decades after he had completed it. He had held back publication because he recognized the rigorous logic of his arguments ended up affirming an innate moral sense in man, a belief in human free will, an affirmation of universal salvation and thus the spiritual equality of all. These claims undermined the doctrinal traditions of his own Calvinist faith tradition and the social hierarchy he extolled from the beginning to the end of his life. The construction of a rational, Enlightenment foundation for a theologically progressive but deeply embedded, socially conservative liberal faith tradition began with Charles Chauncy. Thanks in no small part to Chauncy’s life and work, by 1804 a liberal Christian view was the dominant one in Boston. This complex conservative man had inadvertently sparked a new American liberal theological tradition: American Unitarianism.

In a sermon entitled “All Nations Blessed in Christ,” preached at the ordination of the Rev. Joseph Bowman, in 1762, he first shadowed forth the doctrine, which he afterwards more openly defended, of the final salvation of all men. It is said that this had been with him a subject of severe and earnest thought during the greater part of his ministry; but it was not until the year 1784 that he finally published the results of his inquiry in a work entitled “The Mystery hid from Ages, or the Salvation of All Men.” He published one or two other books, about the same time, bearing upon the same subject.

In these works he affirmed the restoration of all souls, denied the Calvinistic doctrines about future punishment, and questioned the doctrine of the Trinity. Though he knew himself to be unorthodox on these points, he, nevertheless, felt himself in sympathy with the prevalent theology of his own age and neighborhood.

Sources: search Charles Chauncey (1705-1787),

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As I See It

Clearly the bible says different things to different people. Some find comfort in what is written, some find much condemnation. Each one of us is unique; God doesn’t seem interested in creating CLONES, whereas man seems mainly concerned in trying to conform others to his own image and liking, even to his concept of God. Ah, there’s the rub! Could that be the reason for so many separated branches of so-called Christianity? Only in the maturity and perfection of love can we find what we are looking for, the true bonding with other humans without friction, for GOD IS LOVE. The classic model of God’s love, which He desires us to mature into, is found in 1Cor Chap. 13. 4-8. The KJV bible uses the word “charity” instead of love. [a rather sad translation of this magnificent passage]; a familiar passage to many newly-weds, but too seldom heeded:
.”Love suffers long and is kind [even while it is suffering] does not envy, does not promote itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly [brashly], seeks not its own [satisfaction]is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all [good] things endures all things, LOVE NEVER FAILS…”.
Some say “oh, I just take what it says literally.” But the Bible is chock-full of allegory, symbolism and parables, with good reason. The pure truth is called “hidden manna;” and it is hiding in the verbiage of the whole loaf of what we know as the Bible. Only the whole-hearted person finds it, and that usually over a long period of time. Little by little, the light grows, bringing with it a sense of joy.
“If your eye is single your whole body shall be full of light, but if your eye is evil your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.”[Matt.6:12,13] The Pharisees and Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day were great examples of this double-mindedness. They thought they had a monopoly on the truth but what light they had became darkness to them and they rejected the true light, Jesus, who was standing before them. The Living Word which offered them life, had become the letter of law, and so of sin and death, to them. So it was then, so it is today. We prefer the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” to the sanctity of the “tree of life.” Here in the first book of the Bible, in the first chapter, is our first obvious metaphor. All through the bible trees are used as symbols for beings, human or angelic, individually or in groups. The tree of life symbolizes to me Jesus Christ. I’m sure many people would agree.I believe the tree of knowledge of good and evil represents our self-centered [carnal] nature epitomized by Satan. Both trees were present in the garden of Eden. The mystery is that God evidently allowed, even enabled, Adam to choose what he would eat, knowing what he would do. For what reason? He ate and HIS EYES WERE OPENED. Up to that time, he was innocent of good and evil, even as animals are. It appears evident that this whole thing was foreordained since Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God was already considered as slain even before the foundation of the world.[Heb.4:3, Eph.1:4, Rev.13:8]
Then God said,”Behold THE MAN HAS BECOME AS ONE OF US, KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL”. Was this perhaps the first step in making man in His image? We may think of His image in a physical sense, but GOD IS A SPIRIT [John 4:24] Now, having experienced evil, we must overcome it, by God’s power that He willingly gives us, when we ask Him. I am led to believe that this is all tied in with God’s judgment of Satan, who was already established in the garden of Eden, cast down out of heaven because of prideful ambition. His portrayal as a snake is very apt. A snake hides, slithers along secretly on his belly, then strikes. A deeper study reveals that his “belly” is his appetite for flesh,[carnality]and man’s flesh is his preference; we are the dust of the earth, and our carnal, or earthly, nature is his meat. Thank God, he can only destroy our flesh, which keeps us bound in sin, although our soul may also be affected and have to go through a death.
God safeguards our spirits even at the expense of our flesh. [our natural life] Several passages of scripture attest to this: [1Tim.1:20, Acts. 5:1-10, 1Cor:5:4,5, 1Pet.18-20, & 4:6, 2Pet.2:5. 1John5:16] Some believe that Jesus himself went, while in the tomb before his resurrection, and preached to the spirits of those souls lost in the great flood. My personal understanding is that Christ preached by the Spirit of righteousness through Noah, as 2Pet.2:5 seems to indicate: “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” Noah’s preaching and actions of faith judged them. 1Pet.4:6 “For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” 1Cor.5: 4,5 “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1John 5:16 “….there is a sin unto death. I do not say that he shall pray for it.” It may be that the rebellious angels, including Satan, have had their spiritual understanding darkened, so that they do not “savor” spiritual truths, [Matt. 6:23] and are “reserved in chains of darkness”unto judgment. [2Pet:2:4] they are limited [chained] to, and by, darkness perhaps as part of their judgment. Who knows, but that God in His great wisdom has ordained that the one who caused the fall of angels and men, would be the unwitting instrtument of their salvation, even to the point that man, who was made a little lower than the angels, may himself rise up to judge angels. [1Cor.6:3]

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The Kingdom of God; The Sign of Jonah and Seven Demons in the House

The Kingdom of God; The Sign of Jonah and Seven Demons in the House: Matthew 12

A Look Again at the Word of God

Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, (let us) see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

(Adulterous generation: In the Old Testament the Hebrews going after idols were charged by the prophets as adultery, whoring and prostitution. The Jews were supposed to embrace and marry the world with the Good News of God’s Kingdom, yet had failed to do it, rather chasing after everything ungodly, including lusting after wealth and power and worshipping idols throughout history, even to the point of sacrificing their own children by burning them to Molech; Divorcing the world, so to speak, dooming the Gentiles to remain in a degraded world of Pagan worship. Also see Christ’s admonition on divorce and adultery in Luke 16; a brief, seemingly out-of-place arrangement, indicating that He was addressing the corrupt religious leaders rather than providing instruction for personal life.)
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Jesus the Christ is the Son of Man; He is the sign that will not be heeded.)

41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

(The sign of Jonah: Jesus preached to the corrupt religious leaders of the Jews and Jonas had preached to the Ninevites. The Ninevites repented when Jonas preached, but the Corrupt Religious did not repent when Jesus preached, even though Christ was greater than Jonas, therefore Christ’s antagonists were judged by the Ninevite example.)

42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

(Jesus here claiming to be greater than Jonah, even greater than Solomon (the wisest man ever, by Jewish custom) had to be a great affront to the Pharisees.)

(The Queen of Sheba is believed to be the Queen of the South in Solomon‘s day, from Ethiopia and Yemen (also in Luke 11:31.) Jesus indicates that she and the Ninevites will judge this generation of Jesus’ contemporaries who rejected Him on account that she did not reject the wisdom of Solomon).


43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

(The unclean spirit is the spirit of the Pharisees, et al. White-washed sepulchers, dead men’s bones…Cast out of God’s kingdom, yet came back in as re-formed Jewish religion, bringing many more religious structures of man along; Dry places: A common description of God’s rejection: wandering in dry places and never finding rest; See Luke 16’s rich man desiring a drop of water and in torment. Jesus had just healed the man of an unclean spirit (vs. 22) and the Pharisees accused Him of doing it by the power of Satan.)

44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

(Christ prophesys: After eviction by Christ, the evil spirit personifying corrupt religion saith, I will return…really to God’s House, but in the mind of the elite religious, thought of as MY house, as they had used it for their own selfish gain for thousands of years; thought it was theirs exclusively for all time.)

(The House of God was cleaned out by Christ who judged the corrupt religious elite. However, numerous corrupt religions have pressed back into the House of God even after Christ‘s intervention. If we truly knew the will of God, we would surely be very indignant about the things going on in the House of God since the time Jesus cleaned it out. However, all things work to good for those who love the Lord more than they love their own gain. Hence, when the seas of humanity sweep in to God‘s House – the seven spirits – all will not be for loss. Many will seek the light out of the darkness of Corrupt Religion – the first fruits.)
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

(Seven: likely the corrupt religions from each of the continents of the globe.) (Corrupt religion dwelling in the House of God, Satan loosed for 1000 years to build more corrupt religious divisions and structures, deceives many, yet Christ will not tarry, all works will be judged, the elements -structures- of this world the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare and burned up. II Peter 3); (The state of Christianity today; Worse than at the time of Christ’s first intervention?)

(God’s Kingdom on earth was, and is still, composed of mankind, both good and evil; Vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor fit for the trash heap, just as the corrupt religious leaders controlled the Kingdom of God before Christ, so many, by human lusts and passions, corrupt it today. This does not make Christ’s work invalid, for Christ atoned for our sins if we repent and abandon selfish ambition, especially ambition and gain derived from the abuse of His Kingdom. But we remember that Satan uses every temptation imaginable, for even Peter was admonished: “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” We can easily read the same admonition while thinking of Christ in confronting the Pharisees, yet Peter was assuredly solidly in the Kingdom. If we think we cannot slip, we fool ourselves, but God does not easily, nor permanently, forsake His children – even the prodigals.)

45 continues: Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

(Unto this wicked generation: Verifying the context and application of this passage as a direct affront by Christ to the Corrupt Religious system. I see no reason to adopt any theories here pertaining to demons being cast out of individuals; there is a greater message about the Kingdom of God. The Jews held exclusive control of the Kingdom, yet would not share the Good News with any other civilization, considering all others as unworthy of the blessings and salvation of God. In so doing, the Corrupt religion of the Jews had become more vile than the heathens surrounding them. The very nature of the Good News demands that it be shared. Yet, one has to know Good News before they are able to share it. Is your news good or bad?)

(I will look again upon the one I have forsaken; Israel.)

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