Sep 09

Faith and Prosperity Teachings with Generational Curses

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Miscellaneous

Faith and Prosperity Teachings 

(With Generational Curses)

Many popular TV evangelists and teachers base their studies on what is commonly known as the “prosperity teaching.” In its simplest form, it says that God wants all of His children to prosper in every way – including in health and finances (3 John 1:2).

One of the first such evangelists was “Rev. Ike.” Since the early 1970’s, he has taught that listeners can “have what you want to have, be what you want to be, and do what you want to do” – just send him money. He also taught “You can’t loose with the stuff I use” and, “You will UNLEARN sickness and know health.But he died in 2009 after failing to recover from a stroke two years previous.

It is blatantly evident that not every Christian is financially prosperous and also that practically all people die of some sickness/disease – even Rev. Ike. So, these prosperity teachers add two other questionable teachings: The “Word of Faith” teaching and “Generational Curses.” (Others, like Joel Osteen, return to the Rev Ike formula and simply say that we should look inside ourselves and our self-image to “Live our Best Life Now.”) Continue reading

Aug 25

Where Do We Go At Death?

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Death

Where do we go at death?

(Updated Feb 1, 2016)

Each of us is a triune being, consisting of body, soul & spirit (compare 1 Thessalonians 5:23). It may seem strange, but each element of our being is dealt with differently at death and, the destinations are also different (see Note 1, “Reunion of Body and Soul”).

Our BODY is buried and eventually returns to dust. This is just a visible reality of life. It is often rehearsed by a priest or minister as the undertaker lowers a casket into the ground and they drop soil into the grave, “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” (from the 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer). Each time we visit a funeral, we are reminded that our existence in this body is limited to a few short years.

There is a resurrection and the body of the “saved” is miraculously changed. It is no longer mortal “dust” but it becomes the immortal Continue reading

Dec 03

1- Judgment of ACTIONS & Consequences

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Judgments

Judgment of ACTIONS

Why do we have to die?

The first level of judgment is: There are consequences to every action! In everyday life, we have to give account for our actions to our supervisor at work or our teacher at school – or even worse, we must give account to our wife! 😉  When we disobey the speed limit, we must be prepared to pay a fine.

There are also physical (natural) laws that extract consequences to specific actions. If you jump from a 10-story building, there is a consequence. It is a physical reality in life. To quote a law enforcement motto, “If you do the crime, you serve the time.”

Although such laws (of the land, and of nature) were initially set in place by God (Romans 13:1), that is not what the “Judgment of Actions” is really all about. The Judgment of Actions is a judgment by God that is described in the Bible. It refers to the fact that anyone – and everyone – who commits sin will die.

Ezekiel 18:1-4 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “‘The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.

Read the entire chapter of Ezekiel 18 to get a better understanding of our individual accountability. Some teachers talk of “generational curses” and say that we must be forgiven for the sins of our ancestors. Although there are some personality traits that are handed down from others, this portion of Scripture clearly states that we are NOT responsible for the sins of our fathers (see Note1, Generational curses), or our children, or our national leaders, or anyone else. We must give account to God ONLY for what we have done.

Ezekiel 33:17-20  “Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their way that is not just. 18 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, they will die for it. 19 And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so.20 Yet you Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to your own ways.”

Since all have sinned against God, then all must die. The only possible exception to the Judgment of Actions is that some people will be “changed” at the Rapture (see Note2, The rapture). But that is a different judgment so we will just skip over that thought for now and discuss it further in the article on the Judgment at Rapture. In this study, we are looking at how each person is accountable to God for his or her actions and how those actions result in physical death.


Notes

Note1, Generational curses. Please read Ezekiel 18 (the complete chapter) to see that, although some physical and emotional qualities are passed from one generation to another, and although some Scripture seems to suggest it, God disallows the idea that we are accountable for the sins of our fathers. For more, see our article on Generational Curses.

Note2, The rapture. The word “rapture” is not found in any of the common translations of the Bible. But, it is a commonly used term to describe the church’s elation at the event described in 1Cor 15:51 – which says that we (the members of God’s true church) will be “changed.”


Back to top

Continue to the next article,Where do we go at death.

Nov 26

Using Context in the Bible

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series How to Study the Bible

Context in the Bible

Facebook includes lots of images (memes) showing encouraging Scriptures from the Bible. Most are accurate quotes of a verse but is the concept they suggest Biblically sound? What about the people who quote a single scripture as a “proof” of some doctrine? Is that proper? What could be wrong if they have a Scripture to back them up? To find out, we need to learn how to  “correctly handle the word of truth.” Read the entire second chapter of 2 Timothy to learn more:

2 Timothy 2:15, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

There are some defined rules for studying the Bible. Dr Tremper Longman III has posted his “Seven Keys to Understanding Scripture” while Ron Rhodes and Richard Anthony have “Eight Rules of Bible Interpretation.” Both of these lists (and many others) are great tools for guiding us in the proper methods of studying God’s Word. Although there might be slight differences of opinion between the lists, one thing that is common in virtually every guide is to consider the CONTEXT of each verse.

Google’s definition of context:

con·text ˈkäntekst/  noun
1) the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.
2) the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.

When reading a verse of Scripture, we must consider the verses prior to and following the verse – and how that concept is covered in other parts of the  Bible. Rarely can a verse stand on its own without us having to weigh the other verses in the chapter where it is found. And, always, a verse must be taken in the broader context of the entire Bible. If a verse seems to “conflict” with other verses, we must try to ascertain why and attempt to resolve the difference.

Look at Matthew 4:6 (the temptation of Jesus), Continue reading

Nov 22

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series How to Study the Bible

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes

Prior to getting started with the study of Prophecy in the Bible, we need to set some boundaries. The teachings held by some groups depend upon verses found in the book of Ecclesiastes. Can they be trusted? Why, or why not?

The Meaning of LifeUnderstanding the Book of Ecclesiastes

Solomon (King David’s son and the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes) spent many years trying to find the meaning of life. In the first 11 chapters of the book of Ecclesiastes, he reported things that seem to be common sense, but, under scrutiny, they are not always true. (This is how a “proverb” is defined and why not all proverbs are to be followed. See Ezekiel 18:1-4)

An example from Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing new under the sun”, Ecc 1:9. It is like the more contemporary phrase, “It’s the same old drag every day!” Although commonly accepted and never called a lie, neither of these statements is factual. The phrase “under the sun” is often by Solomon.  In Ecclesiastes, it describes events as they are seen from man’s eyes (vice God’s view). From our view, everything seems to change very little. But actually, tiny changes are occurring all the time. (Like the loss of our hair and the increase in our weight!)  Continue reading

Nov 21

One Judgment by God? Or, multiple?

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Judgments

Will There Be Only One Judgment?

Many people believe that, after death, there is just one judgment – the Great White Throne Judgment mentioned in Revelation 20:11-15. They believe that everyone (in either body or soul) is gathered together at that time and God chooses those that can go to heaven and sends the rest to hell (or the lake of fire). Is that Biblical? Or, are there multiple judgments by God?

As I mentioned in a previous post (What Happens When I Die?), people at funerals frequently assume that the deceased is “in a better place.” But, if the Great White Throne Judgment (GWTJ) does not occur until at least 1000 years later, how can that be? Continue reading

Nov 20

What happens when I die?

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Death

 What Happens When I Die?

I have made a very unscientific study of what goes on at funerals. According to the religious preferences of those involved and according to the societal influence, the style and tone of funerals may vary widely. Some are short and sweet (well, maybe not “sweet”) while others are long and drawn out affairs. Some are very formal while others seem to be off the top of the head. Some are restricted to just the family and others are community events. But one thing that is common to all is what people say.

In every funeral that I have ever attended (regardless of whether the deceased was a “saint” or a self-proclaimed atheist), more than a few people said, “He/she is in a better place.” Has there ever been a funeral where that phrase was not uttered? I think not. Continue reading

Nov 20

Ultimate Judgment – Will it be just?

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Judgments

Ultimate Judgment – Will it be just?

Judgment

For many people, just the mention of the word brings a chill in their being! And, many Christians visualize God’s judgment as a time of uncertainty and fear. It is like (only infinitely more fearful) standing in a courtroom today, waiting for the jury to announce their verdict. It is especially fearful, knowing that you are guilty but hoping that the prosecution did not prove it to the extent that the jury will convict you. Continue reading

Sep 07

Why Study End-Time Prophecy?

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Introduction to Prophecy

Why Study End Time Prophecy?

There are some significant issues related to this question – both positive and negative. Here are some such issues that will illustrate the point:

Issues that may not be appropriate reasons to study prophecy:

  • Idle curiosity: Scripture is not written to satisfy our curiosity (2Pe 1:20,21 & Is 55:5-11)
  • Test of fellowship: If a questionable doctrine must be accepted in order to belong
  • Spiritual “pride”: Some teachers seem to be “professional” prophets (Acts 17:21)
  • Uncertain symbols: Prophecies include symbols that lead to confusion (1Co 14:33)

Reasons why we SHOULD study prophecy:

  • Fact of presence in the Bible (31,000 verses are prophetic in nature)
  • Assurance (previous fulfillment of prophetic Scriptures authenticate those still unfulfilled – Gen 3:15; 12:1-3; 18:21; 19:24; Is 7:14;Lu 1:30-33; Jn 1:29; Heb 11:8,12)
  • To understand God’s ultimate plan for us (Is 8:20)
  • Incentive to labor for Christ (2Pe 3:9-11; 1Jn 1:1-3
  • Blessing promised when we read or hear it (Rev 1:3)

Beyond all these issues, just the state of our current world leads us to be concerned about the future. There are several groups of people with varying interest in the matter:

Are we living in the “last days”?

There is a lot of interest today in what is beginning to happen in our world. Many people are searching for answers about the constant and unexpected events that are occurring around them. Some are trying to understand the deep secrets that may be hidden in the writings of Nostradamus and others who seem to have predicted the current events. Many wonder if the “antichrist” of the Bible is actually alive today.  Some even compare President Obama to the antichrist. The “Left Behind” series of books authored by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins has been tremendously successful. These books have been on Amazon’s Top 10 Book List for years. All of this speaks to the question that seemingly is in the back of everyone’s mind, “Are we  living in the last days?

Is the “rapture” about to take place?

However, there are a lot of Christians who believe that the “rapture” (catching away) of the church will occur and all true believers will be caught away into the arms of God before the “great tribulation” occurs and the “antichrist” is revealed. With this belief, it may seem unimportant to study the events that may happen “after I am gone.”

Even though these Christians may hold the answers to the questions asked by others, many of them do not seem interested in trying to express those answers. Some may even discount anyone who has not accepted the “salvation” that they endorse. Since they are “not saved, it really doesn’t matter, does it?”

Does it make any difference?

Then there are those who have a fatalistic view and state that we do not have any control over the future so why bother? They generally live by the philosophy that “The glass is half-empty and it is drying up. You had better get yours before it’s all gone!” They try to live life in such a way that they will not miss out on any of this world’s pleasures and push everything about tomorrow out of their minds.

Does anyone have any answers?

Then there is another group – those self-styled “experts” that claim to have all of the answers. Every symbol has a concrete fulfillment and everything they teach is absolute. They are so dogmatic about their doctrine that it becomes a test of fellowship. You must not be a true Christian if you cannot agree with them.

Then why write this book?

I don’t fit well in any of these groups – especially the last group. Although I have spent the past 40 years reading and studying Bible prophecy, I do not claim to have many answers. I am writing the book partly to encourage other Christians that – even if they don’t have all the answers – that does not mean they are forever doomed to hell.

This book may pose as many questions as answers it provides. However, the idea is to provide a foundation for each person to work on in their journey to a better understanding of the future that we are “barreling” toward. And, along that journey, I am convinced that our Heavenly Father WILL provide the needed answers to His children.

Still, even if I do not have all of the answers… and even if I am already born into the Family of God… and even if the catching away (“rapture”) of the church does happen in the immediate future…” and even if I cannot alter any of those events… I still need to study what the Bible has to say about the events that are just now starting to unfold.

Do not take the approach of the group that says, “You don’t need to worry about the future – just be prepared for the rapture!” There are too many people who are urgently seeking answers and the place they SHOULD be able to find some answers is with those who are “born again” and “rapture ready.” We do have many answers – including the most important one (how to be born again). And the hoards of “inquiring minds” in this world deserve whatever answers we can give.

But before we start, we need to establish some principles of proper Bible study. Start with the article “Using Context in the Bible.

Apr 02

Prophetic Timeline of Future Events

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Miscellaneous

Prophetic Timeline

(Updated January 30, 2016)

This single sheet Prophetic Timeline has a wealth of information about what future events. It reveals what will happen, and when, in reference to other prophetic events. Biblical references are given for each event.

This document is (c) copyright 1999-2016, Ray Waldo,  Loranger, LA 70446. All rights reserved.

I hereby release the users of this site to make a small number of paper copies for personal distribution to friends. No charge can be made and no further distribution is allowed. Of course you are always encouraged to share this page on social media (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc). Any other use of this material must be first approved in writing by the copyright holder.

Events on the Prophetic Timeline:

  1. Present Time – from the cross to the rapture
  2. Undefined time – rapture to the revelation of Antichrist
  3. First half (3.5 years) of tribulation
  4. Second half of the tribulation (“great tribulation”)
  5. Undefined time – From end of tribulation until Satan is bound
  6. Millennium – 1000 years under the righteous rule of Christ
  7. Rebellion at end of millennium
  8. Great White Throne judgment
  9. Endless eternity
Prophetic Timeline

Timeline of prophetic events. Reproduction for personal, devotional use is allowed. All rights reserved. No other use of this document are allowed. No reproduction & distribution is allowed without express written approval by copyright holder.

If you wish to copy/print this document (be certain to comply with the copyright notice at the top of this page), just right-click on the image and “save as…” From that point, the image will be saved to your local drive and you may print it with the normal application or whatever software you have installed.

Your comments are encouraged. Please add your questions or comments in the comment area below.