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Living Springs Institute
Where Sound Doctrine Endures
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men.  After the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:8
Issue #17 March & April 2005

Following the Biblical Stream:
By Philip Busby

Last issue we talked about most of verse 7 in the third chapter of Genesis. We talked about how they were compelled to do something about their nakedness, but the last line tells us what they actually did. It says they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. This action is important to remember. As we talked about last time, this fig garment was not good enough, but they did what they could with what they had. They went with materials from vegetation, specifically leaves. Today, man knows how to use a great deal of materials to make cloth, but Adam and Eve did not have the time to develop the loom at just that moment. There is much to be said about the later verse which tells us God used skins to cover them, and mostly we talked about the animals the skin must have come from as being the first sacrifices. However, without God creating some material or showing them a new technology, what other choice was there? In this, I believe we see how much God intended to stay within the parameters of creation He had laid out. God would get them through the immediate crisis, but it would still be up to them to figure out their world and what to do with the raw materials they had.

It probably never crossed the minds of Adam and Eve to take the life of an animal for the sake of covering their nakedness. That is why they went with something like fig leaves. The experience of animals dying for their sin had to be quite disturbing, and the wearing of the skin had to be a little nauseating. Remember, they had never killed animals. Killing animals, even for food, was not allowed until after Noah's Flood. This one small example demonstrates the dilemma of humans living in sinful flesh. At first, the taking of a life would have been dramatic, but as time went on most humans would cease to be disturbed; and even the sacrificing of animals for no other purpose than to shed its blood, as an illustration of repentance, would fail to have the impact it should!

Verse 7 tells us they made aprons. It's true we don't know exactly what these looked like, but the word truly designates something that would have only covered from the waist down, a girdle of sorts. It should be pointed out there is no indication in the verse that they failed in this task. Some may have the picture of Adam and Eve running for the bushes desperately holding together this sloppy mess of leaves around their waist, but that is not what the verse says. It simply says they sewed the leaves together and made aprons. The reason Adam and Eve still felt naked was in the fact they knew these aprons were not good enough. I believe they realized, especially at the voice of God, they had not covered enough, and they obviously knew that leaves were not a lasting material. It was only a matter of time before the leaves would wilt, and they knew they had to figure out something more lasting. Sin may bring pleasure for a season, (Heb. 11:24-25) but the consequences are far more lasting. Ultimately, our sin can only be washed away by the blood of Christ! (Eph. 2:12-13, 1 Peter 1:18-21)

Verse 8 tells us they heard the voice of God in the garden. Now, we have no idea what they heard God saying. Some will tell you God was calling to Adam and Eve, but that is a presumption. The next verses tell us God called unto Adam and Adam responded. However, here in verse 8 it simply tells us they heard God's voice, and their response was to hide. If God was calling to them, why did they not respond as they did in verse 10? Verse 9 does not say God called to them again or for the second time!

This first part of verse 8 is a wonderful verse which I believe we miss because of the circumstances which surround it! Take some time to think about it! What was God saying? Maybe God was singing; maybe He was laughing. This verse tells us God's voice was heard walking in the garden in the cool of the day. God was there, in the garden, on this planet. He was walking in the cool of the day! He was enjoying what He had created! This should bring joy and understanding to our hearts. God wants and has always wanted to enjoy us and the rest of His creation! He is not a God who desires to reside far away. He is a God who longs to be with us! It is our desire for the ways of sin, which separate us. When the tabernacle was built, God told Moses the design would include a Holy of Holies. This room is where the presence of God would reside. It would be inside the tabernacle and behind a thick veil. 1 Kings 8:12 tells us, God said He would dwell in thick darkness. If we look at the Bible as a whole, we find this is not because God wanted to be separated, but because man's sinfulness made it necessary.

From the time of verse 8 forward, we see God's presence being less and less direct until times such as the flood, when there was only found one righteous man who would listen to God. This is why God says it grieved Him that He even made man. (Gen. 6:6) We need to understand that it pains God to be separated from us. This has to do with why God came down in a fleshly form and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) Matthew chapter 1 tells us they were to call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us! How exciting is that? Once again God walked with us, not just in the cool of the day but in the everyday struggles which we created for ourselves. God touched people with His healing hands. Humans heard God's voice with their ears, seen Him with their eyes, in spite of all the separation sin had caused. Jesus truly broke down the wall of separation which sin had built! (Eph. 2:13-22) Should there ever be a day we do not praise the Lord Jesus for the work He has done? Is there ever a time we should not long for His return? So, we pray again, come Lord Jesus!

The next part of verse 8 says Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God. This is one of the saddest verses in all the Bible. There is never a time we should try to hide ourselves from the presence of God, especially when we have made a mistake! These are the times we need to come running to the Lord for His mercy and guidance. Come, let us reason together, though our sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow. (Isa 1:18) We have sinned, let us fall into the hands of the God who is love! A broken and contrite heart He will not despise. (Ps. 51:17) When we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Hiding was not the answer; coming to repentance before God was the answer! (2 Peter 3:9)

Verse 9 says God called unto Adam, and asked Adam where he was. We should all know, God knew very good and well where Adam was. The trees verse 8 tells us Adam and Eve hid in, were no cover from God. These verses remind me of the verses in the book of Jonah. Jonah 1:3 tells us Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of God. Jonah runs, gets on a boat, finds himself in the midst of a terrible storm, is thrown over board and gets swallowed by a great fish! The second chapter of the book of Jonah tells us the prayer Jonah prayed in the belly of that fish. Jonah says he cried out of the belly of hell and God still heard him. We can try to hide from the presence of God, but He always knows right where we are. If we will cry unto Him, He still hears us!

God knew where they were and what they had done. So, why did God call to Adam? The answer is simple. God is always trying to let us know He is there for us. It's human instinct to run and hide; but again, God wants to be with us! The Bible tells us Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev.13:8) From creation God had a plan, even if we took of the tree which He told us not to. God loved us so much that He gave His only Son for us, (John 3:16) but God knew when He made us that He would need to. If that doesn't bring us understanding about how much God wants to be with us, and how He knew us before we were ever formed, (Jer. 1:5) then nothing will!

Paul said it this way: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39)

I'll see you next time!



Living Springs' Questions and Answers

What is your belief concerning Deliverance Ministries, and born again believers needing deliverance?

Let me start out by saying there is almost no way for me to answer a question like this without offending a certain number of people. When it comes to "ministries," it seems there are always those who feel certain kinds of ministries have helped them or harmed them. This is why we need to talk about the truths in the Word of God, instead of just looking at anything which calls itself, Christian or Bible believing, as good. There is a proper structure to things according to God's Word, and we need to follow it. There should be a greater effort made on the part of true believers not to get themselves caught up in using popular terms, when those terms, ministries and/or callings are not specified in the Bible!

So, let's take this question in the two parts it was asked. First, what is my belief concerning "Deliverance Ministries"? Due to the fact, groups and organizations which use this title can claim to deal with a very wide range of issues, we really have to talk mostly about the appropriateness of using the term "Deliverance Ministry." Well, according to the Bible, any true ministry should be teaching Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. (1 Cor. 1:25-2:13) This is the gospel pure and simple. Jesus said, He came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) This means Jesus came to deliver us from death, hell, and the grave. He came to deliver us from the wages of sin which is death. (Romans 6:23) However, it also means He came so we could experience freedom from sin even in the here and now.

This point is where many people get confused. This is why there are those who will tell you, you have no choice but to sin and suffer the scars of that sin. Then there are those who go all the way to the other side and believe once you've come to Christ there should be nothing but prosperity in your life, especially if you have enough faith. In reality, the teaching is far more simple than all that. When people make the choice to turn their lives over to Christ and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour, they put their feet on a path. Jesus said that path is narrow. (Matthew 7:13-14) It leaves no room for continuing in actions which we know are sinful. So, as we walk this path, it leads us into greater righteousness. This is why Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33) Our focus should be on the furtherance of the kingdom of God and that comes through a simple process, the growing righteousness of each individual who seeks to serve God. This makes us a greater example of God's Word, therefore, a better witness to those around us!

So, what is righteousness? Jesus tells us, all the law and prophets hang on two simple rules. First, we must love the Lord our God with everything we have. Second, we must love our neighbor as ourself. (Matthew 22:35-40) This truly covers everything. Every action we take should be examined under these rules. As we find things in our life which do not line up with these rules, we need to work to remove those actions, whether mental or physical. This is where the idea of deliverance comes from. People seeking to serve the Lord need deliverance from the sin that so easily besets them. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

This brings us to a simple truth, Jesus has already paid the price and overcame sin. (Col. 1:12-17) He has made deliverance possible for all! There only remains two questions; one, do we recognize the sin in our lives, and two, are we willing to give it up? We just talked about the first point, examining our actions under the two commandments Jesus laid out, but we also have help through the work of the Holy Ghost. He was sent to bring us in remembrance of the things Christ gave us. (John 14:26, Luke 12:11-12) He brings conviction into our lives, which shows us our sin. (1 Cor. 2:12-14, Titus 3:1-7) Without the work of the Holy Ghost, no man would come to Christ in the first place. (1 Cor. 12:3)

The second part, is the choices we make everyday. The Bible teaches us to live in a place of repentance. If we do this, then we are ready to turn from anything we find in our lives which is not pleasing to God. Further, it is not just about choosing to turn from something wrong we have just found in our lives, but also about whether we will follow temptations to do something we already clearly understand to be wrong! Will we live in sin or will we live in a place of repentance, is an on going choice we make while living in this flesh.

All this should lead us to understand one simple point, all true Gospel ministries are deliverance ministries! We have been told to be perfect even as our Father in heaven is perfect, (Matthew 5:48) but this is a goal which none of us have obtained! So, every time we read our Bible we should be seeking to gain deliverance from our sin. Every time we pray, we are trying to learn to overcome. Jesus said to pray: "Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil." (Luke 11:3-4)

Christ has already provided a way to heaven, and we could never have done it on our own. So, even our point in going to church should be to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. If it is not, then we go for the wrong reason. Whether during worship, prayer or preaching, our goal is to know more of the ways of God, who is perfect, so that we may follow in God's footsteps. Living in repentance is about doing this now, not just waiting for heaven! Just think how different a group of people professing Jesus Christ would look, if everyone in the group made this their goal! The fact so many people don't understand, a life lived for Christ is not just about making it to heaven someday, is sad indeed!

When we use terms like "Deliverance Ministries" to designate a specific ministry action, we are not really fostering understanding of Christian living. The Bible tells us, when Jesus ascended He gave gifts unto men in the form of individuals whom He had and would call to what is best described as full time ministry. (Eph. 4:8-24) It is to say, they are asked, just as the twelve Disciples, to give up everything and dedicate their lives to the preaching of the Gospel. We are told, there are five specific callings. They, are many times referred to simply as the "five fold ministry." These ministries, do have slightly different focuses. There are Apostles: who have a focus on breaking new ground for the gospel to be brought unto the uttermost parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8) Prophets: who focus on bringing God's Word directly to each generation, each group of people, each individual and the circumstances which surround them. Evangelist: who focus on the preaching of repentance from sin. Pastors: whose focus is feeding the everyday needs of the flock, and Teachers: whose focus is on the technical expounding of God's Word. This five fold ministry is as specific as the Bible gets when it comes to differences between full time ministers; and the differences only exist in the focus of the way they present the Gospel message.

Beyond these, the Bible tells us the body of Christ is made of many members and those members can have various gifts. (Romans 12:5-18, 1 Cor. 12:1-31) So, in the Church there can be feet, hands, eyes, etc. These are ministries, but they work together to make a whole body. This concept is much of what I was talking about above. All true ministry is about deliverance. It's what the body of Christ stands for! So, these gifts focus on making the body of Christ work as a whole in spite of the imperfections that exist.

As believers in Christ, we always need to guard against acting like a bunch of pagans. Unfortunately, acting like pagans is what I fear we are doing when we single out a ministry and call it a "Deliverance Ministry." We go at our problems as if they are specific fires which need specific solutions to be put out. Instead, we should understand, all our problems really boil down to one need, a closer walk with the Lord. When we talk about having specific "Deliverance Ministries" it's a little like talking about the local witch doctor. We act as if we need to go and be freed from some curse we are afflicted with.

Many people may feel they need deliverance from many things. They can be addicted to a substance, and/or an activity. They can feel they have trouble controlling their emotions, such as anger issues. There is no end to the specific things people feel they need deliverance from. God can deliver people from these things immediately, but more often than not in today's world, people simply turn back to those very things again. What people really need is good Biblical teaching and training. They need to be taught how to lean on the Lord in general, not just how to overcome substance abuse specifically. Sadly, there are many who do not want to learn. They will not endure sound doctrine. (2 Tim. 4:1-5) Far to many people are looking for the quick fix. The pill that will cure their ailment or relieve their symptoms. When we advertise ourself as a "Deliverance Ministry," we many times end up catering to and encouraging this kind of behavior. What people really need, is to make the choice to turn from their evil ways. In a life dedicated to following the example of Christ, we will find the strength to overcome the flesh and its desires.

We need to understand, God is in the business of saving souls, not just fixing peoples problems in general. It is not God's will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) The bottom line is this; if people believe there is some formula they can use to solve their specific problems, then people will be less likely to turn their lives completely from the sin which brings these issues in the first place. I believe God is looking for people who are sincere about repentance from sin, not just those who want to relieve the consequences. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you! The fact that so much of the church does not understand this, and feel they need to run to some specific "ministry" for every specific problem they face, is why the church is losing ground, and the love of many is growing cold. (Matthew 24:4-13)

Just to be clear, I'm not saying there will never be a time when we need to take a look at a specific issue we are struggling with and find out how to apply Biblical truths to that issue. Many times we need to turn either to our Pastor, find a truly called of God Teacher, or someone who is called to a branch of the ministry. They can help us find our way. That is why they are referred to as gifts God gave to men. We do not need to struggle alone. However, we need to understand that even the idea of "Christian counseling," if it is truly Biblical based, is far more about learning the true ways of God and how to apply those truths to every area of our lives than it is anything else. We should never feel our only option is to set in service with the entire congregation, and never have one on one time with the ministers of God. If you are in a church which makes you feel your only option is to come to scheduled services, and the ministers don't have time for you, then find a new church!

I'm also, not saying some ministers will not have greater experience in some areas. Because of certain experiences in their own lives, certain ministers may understand where you are coming from better than others. You may see benefit in finding that one who better speaks your "language," but no one can promise or tell you they are that person. Only the direction of the Holy Ghost can lead you to the specific minister which may relate to you better! In short, no one should advertise themselves as a "Deliverance Ministry," no matter how much experience they believe they have with any specific issue or area. The first priority of any good ministry is to teach the Gospel.

Now for the second part of the question. Do born again believers need deliverance? I've already talked about the Christian life being one of growth, so in many ways we've talked about this. As we feel the Holy Ghost's conviction on certain issues, we may be surprised to find we are so attached to that certain thing, or the problem goes so deep into our lives. However, we need to understand, Jesus has already provided victory over sin, we are really only struggling with the desires of our own flesh! (Romans 6:17-21, 7:14-8:2)

There is one issue I feel I need to cover specifically as I give this answer, and that is the issue of demon possession. Many people or groups which call themselves "Deliverance Ministries" claim to specifically deal in the subject of demon possession. As this issue relates to the first part of the question, I can simply say, just as Paul said about baptism, God doesn't call anyone to specifically cast out demons! (1 Cor. 1:14-25)

Now, when it comes to the issue of demon possession, we need to clarify the point. In our English language we sometimes use the word "demon" to describe the problems we face. Most of the time we use it as a way to describe a problem which we have great trouble overcoming. People will say that drugs or alcohol are their "demons." Though this may be a legitimate term in language, it is not what we are talking about when it comes to Biblical demons or demon possession. Demons are specific beings, not just hard problems. Demons can speak and they have thoughts of their own.

People tend to think of the Devil as God's arch enemy. However, to use the term arch enemy implies that he has power equal to God, and he uses them for opposite reasons. We will all do well to understand the Devil is nothing more than a fallen angel. Though he has great ambition, and wants God's position, he by no means has equal power. The Devil is a being created by God just as all beings are. The Bible tells us when the Devil rebelled against God he led a third of the angels with him. All these angels were cast from heaven. The word demon is simply the word we use to describe these fallen angels.

This leads us to one of the first things we need to understand about demons, they are not all part of Satan's plan. They may have followed Satan in his rebellion, and they will certainly suffer the same fate in the end. However, there is nothing in the Bible which tells us all these fallen angels continued to dedicate their existence to the Devil. The story in Luke 8:26-35 is a prime example. This man was possessed by many demons who apparently stuck together. When Jesus came by, they pleaded with Him not to send them into the deep. They definitely didn't believe that Satan was going to prevail against God in the end, so they definitely did not believe what Satan believes!

Demons can have different purposes for their actions. Some are simply tormented by their hopeless circumstances. They realize the mistake they made and they really have no purpose anymore. This is an example of how humans will feel if we allow this life to pass without making the choice to turn our lives to God. (Hebrews 11:24-26) Other demons have their own ways of occupying their time until the end. This can range from simple involvement with a person, place, or thing, all the way to starting a worship that revolves around them. Of course, there are those who still follow Satan and his plans, but understand there is really no specific thing that demons do.

The Bible tells us that hell was made for the Devil and those angels which followed him. It also tells us that hell has been enlarged because so many humans chose to separate themselves from God as well. (Matthew 25:41, Isa. 5:11-14) Some demons are working the will of Satan directly, some are working their own will; but when they choose to possess a person, they are all limited by certain factors. The greatest of these factors is the yielding of will on the human's part. Let me be perfectly clear on this point, no one can forcibly be possessed by a devil! Some people open themselves unwittingly, but a human has to do something to open themselves to possession. A demon can not just decide to take over someone's life, and this answers the question to a great degree. If you are a true believer, you have made a decision to follow Christ. Anyone who is possessed by a devil is not going to make that choice for real, without the demon leaving them or trying to stop them. To be a true believer, you must profess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, and the Bible tells us, at the name of Jesus, demons have to flee. Just as with anything in our lives, the person must believe this scripture is true or they will never be truly free. Even if God filling people caused the demon to flee, many demons will simply come back if the possessed person does not truly turn their life over to God and believe God can overcome the demon (Hebrews 11:6) which had possessed them. So no, people who are true believers in Jesus Christ do not need deliverance from demon possession. That deliverance will come, if the person who is possessed truly wants to turn their life over to Christ. Again, that person may need the Holy Ghost to lead a person truly filled of God into their life, but the Holy Ghost will do this work for anyone who desires salvation. (Rev. 22:16-17)

Jesus told His disciples that some demons come not out but through prayer and fasting. Remember, even in the case of demonic spirits, we are not talking about a magical curse. We are dealing with a being with a will of its own. Jesus was simply pointing out that to overcome the persistence of some demons, there will need to be a clear channel for God's power to flow. Humans can not overcome demons on their own. We must have the power of God in our lives! All true believers should seek to have the power of God in their lives; and we should have the faith to know we can overcome the powers of demonic spirits through the name of Jesus Christ!

There is a great deal of teaching and expounding that people need on this subject and related issues! However, in the course of a Q&A, I try to limit myself. Every question could lead to teaching the entire Word of God, because it is all interconnected. So, in an attempt to wrap up what I am saying as a whole in this answer, let me say this; there are far to many people who lead others (whether intentional or unintentional) to believe issues are more complex than most Christians can handle. This is not helpful, it is harmful. We should be careful not to lead people to believe they will always need someone special to deal with the issues in their lives. We need to realize that as we grow in Christ, we can do all things, by allowing Christ to strengthen us! (Phil. 4:13) Growth in God may not be easy; it takes devotion and dedication. God wishes to see all His people have the power to overcome all things. It may be true we need help in many situations; this is what the body of Christ is for, (Romans 15:1) and this is what the gifts are for. However, every situation should encourage us to grow. It should lead us to realize we need more of the power of God in our lives. We need to be careful not to become satisfied with being dependent on those who already have the ability to help! So, utilize the ministry gifts God has given, but never stop seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness in your own life!

Questions submitted to the Institute, answered by Philip Busby.

If you would like to submit a question please visit our Q&A page at or write us at Living Springs' Questions &
Answers, P.O. Box 271, Loveland, CO 80539

What A Difference Five Years Make!
By Philip Busby

It's interesting how people run to and fro through this world until they come to something which catches their attention. What is really interesting is what escapes most people's attention. When the calendar turned from 1999 to 2000, people really took notice. I'm not talking about the Y2K bug. That was another story of human short sightedness, or not, as the case may be. I'm talking about those who were really scared some big spiritual event was going to happen. There were those telling us the Lord would surely return in that year or there would be some huge catastrophe. Well, none of those things happened and most people went back to their to and froing.

I bring all this up because if you're going to be scared about a big catastrophe every two thousand years, it needs to be two thousand years since something, doesn't it? So, why did so many think things like this in 2000? Of course, it is because of the calendar we use and how the years were supposed to be set. For centuries, the western world, and many other places, have used the Gregorian Calendar, or a slightly refined version of it. We have been told, this calendar marks the years starting from the birth of Christ. The "A.D." designation is for "anno Domini" which is Latin for "in the year of our Lord." So, if the year 1 A.D. was the year of Jesus' birth, then the year 2000 A.D. would be a big deal, right? Well, at the very least that is what a lot of people thought!

Typical human error played a part in the facts not being what they were advertised to be. Because of mistakes made by those who originally put the calendar together, the year 1 A.D. was not set on the year of Christ's birth. Later, scholarly work revealed this fact, but the calendar was already in too great of use before the error was realized, and/or enough people had agreed there even was an error in the first place. So, nothing was done to correct the mistake. The year 1 A.D. stayed right where it was, and the calendar would go forward without the original meaning it was intended to have! Over the years these facts would be lost on most people, and most would still teach and look at the calendar years as counting up from Christ's birth. So, the truth would not stop people from freaking out when the mistaken year 2000 A.D. rolled around!

Now, it's important to note, not everyone was oblivious to the truth as the year 2000 approached. This information was not a secret held by an elite few in a back room somewhere! Actually, for all the time we like to spend pointing out the secular media's bias and all the harm it does, this was an incident where they got it right! It's fascinating how the facts about the calendar mistake actually made it into the media. It was even pointed out by some very large media organizations in 1999 before the calendar rolled, and again in 2000 after the bells and whistles were silent. However, few people seemed to care. Some in the religious establishment looked at this as the media trying to rain on their religious hype parade. So called ministries, who were trying to get people to send them money based on the new millennium's coming, were certainly not going to be in favor of publicizing the mistake. Though these people had little to worry about, it would seem. In this particular case, people did not hear the media; they only seemed to care about what their calendars told them.

For quite sometime now, many scholars have believed Jesus was actually born on April 1st of the year 5 B.C. If they are correct, this of course means the year Jesus would have had His 2000th birthday would have been, 1996; but did you hear of anyone being scared about the end of the world at the start of 1996? If scholars are right about Jesus' birthday, then we could even have a different view. April 1st of that year could have been the big day, not Jan. 1st; but did you hear anyone warning of a big catastrophe? By the time everyone was worried about the year 2000, they were almost five years too late!

There is relevance to the dates of events in the Bible. As scholars do more and more work on the chronology of the Bible, it is interesting how significant events, hundreds or even thousands of years apart, actually seem to take place on the same date. However, the two thousand year mark shows us something the Bible has tried to point out to anyone willing to listen. Too much of the time, humans allow silly things to panic them. We get all concerned when we believe the end is near, but if events we think are telling us the "end is near" come and go without incident, we just move on. It is sad how easy it is for us to get hyped about a number on a calendar, and then how easy it is for us to simply let it go, thinking nothing more of it in just a short time.

The other point is the fact we are so easily led by man-made things instead of the Word of God. Looking back on events of the past, we see God had a plan all along. As God has intervened into the lives of men, He has done so in a way which tells us He is real. That is why we see certain dates and timings, lining up. The Bible proves it is true over and over, yet instead of hearing the words God has spoken, we would rather go by an error ridden idea of man.

This is how people unwittingly become part of Bible prophecy and never even see it coming. Awhile back, I was asked if I thought American presidents, who claim to know and read the Word of God, had any idea how much their actions were playing a part in what the Bible tells us will and is happening. Further, if they did understand, why do they take some of the actions they do? The answer to the first question seems to range from, they only have a vague sense to all out "no." I can say this because of the answer to the second question. I do not believe anyone who understands the Word of God, could take some of the actions certain of these men take, especially when it comes to Israel and Jerusalem.

The leaders of today are no different than the examples we see in the Bible of leaders in the past. Even when a prophet comes in and lays it out for them, very few ever seem to understand, just how much they are bringing on the very events which the Bible tells us lie ahead. That being said, I want to point out, this new millennium issue shows us just how much we get the leaders we deserve. Many times they simply reflect the people they lead. It's not just the leaders who refuse to see, but the people in general, who seem to want to be oblivious to the facts!

The Bible tells us to study to show ourselves approved. (2 Tim. 2:15) Paul, through the umption of the Holy Ghost, tells Timothy to make full proof of his ministry, because there is coming a day when people will heap to themselves false teachers because they have itching ears. He warns that people will not endure sound doctrine. Paul tells Timothy, it is not because the truth is unavailable that people believe a lie, but because people will choose to turn from the truth for the purpose of believing a lie. (2 Tim. 4:1-5)

Concerning the time of His return, Jesus told us no man knows but the Father in heaven. (Mark 13:24-33) He said His return would be at a time we did not expect, (Matt. 24:40-44) and this millennium issue really shows us how that will happen! Jesus also told His disciples to look out and see that the fields were white and ripe for harvest. (John 4:34-35) At another point, Jesus tells them the end will be as it was in the days of Noah, and only eight people boarded the ark. (Matt. 24:35-39) These scriptures do not contradict each other, they simply show us how times change, and peoples hearts grow cold.

We look for a date to be marked by a big physical catastrophe or great event, but the big catastrophe is already going completely unnoticed by most! If the fields were white and ripe for harvest two thousand years ago and Paul was warning about itchy ears not even a generation later, then our time puts us squarely in the gleaning season. Man-made things are unreliable at best, but God's Word will last forever! (Matt. 24:35) Since we really don't know if scholars still have Jesus' birth date right, we may never have an idea of where to actually start the new millennium. Maybe just the "B.C." part of the 5 B.C. date is off and Jesus was born in 5 A.D. That would mean the new millennium would start on April 1st of this year; 2005! Do we really know our Bible, or are we just listening to the popular teaching of the day? People are too easily turned from the truth. Which means, just as the Bible says, the day of the Lord will come upon them as a thief in the night! (1 Thess. 5:1-2)

Welcome to the new millennium


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