Saturday, December 28, 2013


The Jewish rituals were exciting, yet mysterious and serious...deathly serious. God set them in motion at that time so that the world would look at the Jews, see their holiness and know that God lived among them. Everything from what type of cloth and what color the priests wore, to the washing, to the spoken liturgy, to the Sabbaths both weekly and annual were instigated that God could remain with them--a taste of the Immanuel, “God with us” that would be fully come in the future Messiah. The rituals themselves were holy, Messianic prophecies. The Jews were a living prophecy and their rituals, an anticipatory drama daily performed in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Old Covenant was the road map to the New. It was a sign to point to who Christ would be.
Jesus fulfilled the purpose of all the Jewish Temple rituals and regulations. He became our passover Lamb, our sacrifice, our high priest. Because of Christ the old law was absorbed into the new. The new fulfilled the old. All the old laws and rituals were shadows of the more perfect that were to come in the New Covenant with a new priesthood and a new law. Let’s look at how the inspired writer of Hebrews put it: 
Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek..? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.....For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. And inasmuch as it was not without an much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.[Jewish laws] serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises...For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says, "Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I willeffect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt...When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. 
For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance...For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things...He takes away the first in order to establish the second. (Excerpts of Hebrews 7-10)

The sacrifices and laws and Sabbaths of the Old Covenant point to Christ and His New Covenant. But let us focus on the Sabbath and its fulfillment in Christ and why Sunday is part of this fulfillment.

Many Christians misunderstand how the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday complement each other. The Jewish Sabbath is completed in and made perfect in Sunday, not because Christians have a new Sabbath, but because Christ became our eternal rest, our eternal “Sabbath.” Sunday is holy, not because it is a Sabbath, but because it is part of the new covenant plan of Salvation! Yes Sunday! 

From the very beginning, Sunday was part of the gospel mystery because God chose the first day of Creation week to announce, “let there be light” and God chose the first day of a new world of grace to announce the light of the gospel--Christ Himself who is the truth and the light.

This atoning for our sins was fulfilled when Christ ascended to heaven to offer His blood to the Father on Sunday.  The Resurrection Sunday wasn’t an accident, Christ didn’t overlook it and then regret rising on Sunday because so many of His followers made that a false day of worship. No, Sunday was planned from the beginning. It fit into the Messianic prophecy. 

But how did the Old Testament Jewish sacrifices and the Sabbaths point to Sunday as part of the Passion and Crucifixion week of Christ? We need to look closely at the rite of the sacrifice itself. We will examine how t
hree actions (common to all Jewish bloody sacrifices) correlated to the Cross: 

  • The bringing forward of the victim:
    (Ex. 29: 42; Lev. 1: 5; 3:1; 4: 6) There was a procession of the animal and the sacrificer to the altar. Then a confession of sins (Lev. 16: 21; 5: 5; Nu. 5: 5) which, according to Rabbinic tradition, was verbal (Otho, "Lex rabbin," 552). 1

    The Cross: Friday. The Via Dolorosa is where Christ carried the cross through the streets to the hill of Golgotha. There they placed above his head a description of his crimes. (John 19:   Mark 15: 26)
So by this, Christ was fulfilling the procession of being the sacrifice and the public confession of the "sin" of being the Messiah and Savior.
  • The slaying: to be performed by the sacrificer himself (Lev. 1: 3.) That the act of slaying or the destruction of the victim was not the chief element, is evident from the precept that the sacrificers themselves, who were not priests, had to care for the slaying.2

    The Cross: Friday and Saturday. Jesus freely lay down His life for us. He was the sacrificer and the priest both. (John 10: 15, 17.)
But the sacrifice was not yet complete. 
  • The sprinkling of the blood and acceptance by God: The real sacrificial function began with the sprinkling of blood by the priest, which, according to the Law, pertained to him alone (Lev. 1: 5; 3:2; 4:5; 2 Chr. 29: 23). If a layman undertook the blood-sprinkling, the sacrifice was invalid (cf. Mischna Sebachim, II, 1). The oblation of the blood on the altar by the priest thus formed the real essence of the bloody sacrifice.3
Jewish tradition also expressly designated the priestly sprinkling of the blood on the altar as "the root and principle of the sacrifice". The explanation is given in Lev. 17:10.: "...the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you, that you may make atonement with it upon the altar for your souls, and the blood may be for an expiation of the soul." Here the blood of the victim is declared in the clearest terms to be the means of propitiation, and the propitiation itself is associated with the application of the blood on the altar.4 
The Cross: Sunday. Christ presented His sacrifice to the Father at His resurrection on Sunday finishing the Atonement. 
Is it possible that Jesus is giving us a clue as to when He applied His blood when He spoke to Mary?

Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' " John 20:16-17
We can be certain that Christ applied the blood of His sacrifice on Sunday because He told Mary He had not yet ascended to the Father to whom the blood must be offered. Yet later that day, in the evening, He went to His disciples, evidently having returned. From then on people touched Him.

We also have another possible clue as to the day the blood was presented to the Father. In Revelation 1: 10 we read that on the “Lord’s Day” St. John went into vision and saw:

...a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders... And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.... In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever! 

Christ chose to atone for the sins of all men on Sunday by presenting the Father with His precious blood. 

  • Christ chose Thursday to instigate the Lord’s Supper and the New Covenant. 
  • Christ chose Friday to sacrifice Himself just as the Passover Lamb was being slaughtered in the nearby Temple of Jerusalem. And the Old Covenant was finished. Done. Completed. Sin and death were conquered. 
  • then Christ chose to rest on SabbathGod’s Sabbath was given to the Jews to point to the final Sabbath of Christ! 

It was the final Sabbath when, in His rest, Christ descended to the dark place of rest for all generations up until that point and released His people from sleep. The Sabbath now was Christ. He is the true rest.
  • Then Christ chose Sunday.
A new day dawned. A new light--the sun of
righteousness! (Malachi 4:2; Wisdom 5: 6) A new heaven and a new earth. Prophesied in the Old Testament, not as a replacement for the seventh day of the week, but as the new first/eighth day symbol. (See: Ex. 12: 16; 22:30; 40:2, 17, Lev. 9:1; 12:3; 14;10,23; 15:14, 29; 22:27; 23: 7, 35, 36, 39-40, Num.6:10; 28: 1829:35, I Kings 12:32, 2 Chr. 2: 9; 29:17, Neh. 8:18, Ezek. 43:27; 45:18, Luke 1:59; 2:21, Phil. 3:5)

The sacredness and holiness of Sabbath was never transferred to Sunday. Saturday Sabbath didn’t become Sunday Sabbath anymore than a lamb became Christ. Sabbath was a rest from labor in preparation for the eternal rest in the Messiah. Sabbath was our prophetic clue to what the New Covenant would be like.

Sunday was also planned from the beginning.

It was on Sunday that Christ chose to rise from the dead (Matt. 28:1), ascend to His father, consecrate His disciples. On that Sunday, He revealed Himself at the breaking of the bread (Luke 24: 31), breathed on His Apostles and they received the Holy Spirit (John 20: 19-21). A week later on Sunday, Christ came to doubting Thomas and showed him the wounds in His side. On pentecost Sunday the Holy Spirit was given at the birth of the church. 

Fundamentalists will claim, "Since Paul said there are no more holy days, Sunday cannot be holy.” But Gal. 4: 10, Rom. 14:5 and Col. 2: 16 do not prevent observing Sunday as a holy day, it just says we are not to return to Judaism and let others judge us on our holy days. We are at liberty to observe or not observe. 

Adventists will claim, "Since there is no specific prooftext that records God making Sunday holy, I won't ever believe it. Au contraire. Even if not explicitly recorded, it is most definitely implied. 

[Some of what Christians believe do not have an explicit prooftext in the Bible: The Trinity, the full divinity of Christ. Not all was explicitly revealed in the Old Testament about the Messiah. Jesus never calls the New Testament "holy." Only the Old Testament is called sacred and holy and yet the vast majority of Christians agree that the New Testament is holy.]

Yet, please Adventists do not misunderstand me. Sunday is not a New Covenant Sabbath as the 7th-day is the Old Covenant Sabbath. But worshipping on Sunday as a holy day can deduced several ways:

We can deduce that Sunday is holy because Christians are holy. (I Cor. 3:17, I Cor. 7: 14; Eph. 1:4, Col. 1: 26; 3:12, I Thess. 4:8, Heb. 3: 1, I Peter 2:5, Rev. 20:6). We are the church and the holy temple (Eph. 2: 21; 5: 27) and when we worship, where we worship it is holy. Because everything we do should be holy, even our kisses!(I Cor. 16: 20; 2 Cor. 13: 12). In a sense, since the Apostles met daily (Acts 2:46), each day in the New Covenant is holy--including Sunday. But Sunday was special (Acts 20:7, I Cor. 16:2). 

But there is a much greater reason to celebrate Sunday as a holy day:

The church has placed emphasis on Sunday because Christ placed an emphasis on SundaySunday was chosen by God Himself to birth a New Covenant. It is the birthday of our righteousness by faith. It is a very holy day, for on it Christ broke the bonds of death and sin. Sunday was the day the blood was offered to the Father--the end of the Atonement ritual. Sunday is the first day of our adoption as children of God. 

Sunday is all over the Old Testament hiding mysteriously awaiting to be revealed at the resurrection. 
(All footnotes from Catholic Encyclopedia, “Sacrifice.”)

Friday, December 20, 2013


Freedom of Speech; we all want to use it all the time. We all want to express ourselves and be heard. But what does freedom of speech really mean? Is it just a right to publicly express oneself? Or is there something  more important than getting to publicly hear one's own voice? Why is this freedom to speak so sacred to us?

Let’s examine the following type of conversation:
A: “Sarah Palin is an idiot and a hater and a bigot.”  
B: “That is a horrible slanderous thing to say. You should not say such things.” 
A: “I have the right to freedom of speech and can say anything I wish to.” 
Insert any conversation you wish where the end is one person replying, “It’s America and I have the right to say what I want.”

Technically person A is correct in that in America, we have the right of freedom of speech. But notice the defensiveness. Person A feels if someone is arguing with them or tells them they shouldn’t say the things they are saying, then their free speech is being impeded. 

Person A has a wrong premise of freedom of speech. He or she is assuming that the freedom to publicly express oneself is given so that the world can know their opinion--as if their opinion has some democratic or equal rights. And if someone then argues with their opinion, it is somehow suppressing their opinion's sacred rights. 


Person B has the exact same right of speech to disagree. There is nothing in Person’s B’s statement that was attempting to take away Person A’s right to free speech. They were merely saying that person A shouldn't express a flippant or wrong opinion that could distort or falsify the facts. Person B was using his rights also to attempt to get to the truth of something.

Americans have a right to publicly disagree and tell others their opinion is stupid. Opinions aren’t sacred. Personal views have no sacred rights. 

Let me explain by going back. America’s founding fathers understood that governments could suppress truth. They had the power to control and disseminate wrong information to control the populace. This totalitarian power over information brought terrible injustice. Imagine a courtroom not allowing a witness to speak or the accused not allowed to defend themselves. For justice to occur everyone with pertinent information needed to be able to share it. Hence, the sacred right of free speech. 

The point of free speech being sacred is that the truth can be known--so that the truth couldn’t be deliberately suppressed by powerful forces. Free speech isn’t so that everyone has an equal opportunity to be creative and express themselves. They can be heard, but they can be argued with in order for the truth to get out!

Freedom of speech is sacred because truth is sacred. 

Some in the United States tend to become defensive because they assume their opinion, or expressing their opinions, is sacred. That is what is behind the conversation above. That defensive reply, “I have the right to speak” shows an ignorance of what their right means. It shows a lack of understanding of the point of free speech. We protect your words so that we can get to the truth, not because we think your words have some innate value or are sacrosanct. They are valuable if they further us along in getting to truth. 

If you wish to exercise your freedom of speech, please do so, but keep in mind that your self-expression has no rights and is valueless and needs to be disagreed with if it doesn’t shed more light on something or lead to truth. In America truth is sacred, not opinions. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013


"Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock [petra];

and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock [petra].

And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it." Matt. 7: 24-27; see also Luke 6:48

If you do a search of the word "rock" in the Old Testament, you will soon discover that it is often used to describe God. God is a rock. The Greek words for rock "petra" and "lithos" are also used for Christ Himself:
"for they drank from the spiritual rock [petra] that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ." I Cor. 10:4 
"The stone [lithos] which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner." Matt. 21: 42; Mark 12: 10; Luke 20: 17; Acts 4: 11; I Peter 2: 6, 7

 Jesus gave Peter the title of rock, a description of Himself:

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock [petra] I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matt. 16: 18 
And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone [petros]. John 1: 42

His other disciples are considered part of the stone foundation. 
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  Eph. 2: 20

So when the Jesus talks about the rock, He is describing the authority of the Kingdom, both Himself and Peter, His chief administrator and Prince of His Apostles, as well as the other Apostles. All of these leaders are the foundation of His church. Yet they are one stone foundation, not many. One. 

The Rock. 

When Christ tells His disciples that a wise man builds his house upon the rock, He is speaking of the foundation of not only Christ Himself, but of Peter and the Apostles. They are all the rock foundation.

Then, Christ tells us that a foolish man builds his foundation on the sand. 

Why would Christ choose the image of sand as a false and foolish foundation? Why not mud or water or air? No, Christ chose the image of little rocks. Little false rocks--many, many of them. What could be these little rocks? 

It seems to me a fairly easy guess. Protestantism brought in the idea that the church isn't one, organized body. There are now thousands of little foundations in denominationalism and even more people who reject church altogether who have become little independent foundations. If you call yourself a Christian but build your foundation upon some other rock than the rock Christ gave us in Peter and the Apostles, you are in for a big shock when a spiritual storm blows. 

Jesus knew that this rock foundation of Himself and the Apostles would offend the independent-minded, those who wish to be their own church and their own spiritual authority. 
I lay in Zion, "a stone [lithos] that causes men to stumble and a rock [petra] that makes them fall." I Peter 2: 8; Rom. 9: 33 See also: Matt. 21: 44; Luke 20:18.

Build your foundation on The Rock of Jesus and Peter. You will be safe.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


With the recent popularity of the book: Pagan Christianity, many scholars, among them Dr. Mark A. Snoeberger, professor of Systematic Theology at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, believe it is time to thoroughly root out and purge Christianity of its false practices. Among these despicable rites is: tithe.

Archeology has uncovered the deep, sordid and surly practice of giving a tenth of one's income to false idols by ancient cultures. From time immemorial, back to the very primeval dark times of witchcraft and sorcery, tithing has been a part of man's demonic rituals. 


We now know that the people of Babylon tithed to the Babylonian gods. And this sad tale of tithing spread across the world with ancient records showing that the ancient tithing rites of the Akkadians, Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Cretans--think about that for a moment. Ponder that the Cretans tithed! And tithing was even known during the time of the Romans. And that dear friends is why some, pagan-influenced Christians today tithe. It was introduced into Christianity by the Romans who got it from Babylon. Seriously? Do you want to be tithing as did the ancient Whore of Babylon?

Can you see the obvious connection between the roundness of the offering plate in church and the solar disk used by ancient pagans to worship the sun god? And when you place your offering of the  U.S. dollar with its pagan symbols into the round solar disk offering plate, you are in essence committing idolatry by that offering to the sun god. 

In Dr. Snoeberger's conclusion, he reveals, "the pre-Mosaic tithe did not originate with divine revelation. In fact, the evidence suggests identifying the practice of the patriarch's pagan neighbors as the basis for patriarchal tithing practices."

Wicked, wicked practices! Paganism. Time to cease and desist from continuing the ancient rites of Babylon of tithing. 

World’s Goods [New York: Revell, 1939], p. 88). Cf., how- ever, Joseph M. Baumgarten, "On the Non-literal Use of ma'aser/dekate," Journal of Biblical Literature 103 (June 1984): 245-51. Landsell, Sacred Tenth, 1: 1-38; Arthur Babbs, The Law of the Tithe As Set Forth in the Old Testament (New York: Revell, 1912), pp. 13-24; E. B. Stewart, The Tithe (Chicago: Winona Publishing Co., 1903), pp. 7-13. Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 5 (Fall 2000): 71-95 The Pre-Mosaic Tithes: Issues and Implications,  Mark A. Snoeberger, Copyright © 2000 by Detroit Baptist Seminary.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Revelation Today 2013: Ron Halverson Speaker

When I attempt some  constructive criticism of Seventh-day Adventist televangelists usually these men are within a decade or so of my age, so I don't feel my critique is disrespectful to an elder. But this year, I am cringing because Revelation Today, the  annual Seventh-day Adventist seminar for proselytizing,  is being performed by Pastor Ron Halvorsen. (I wince.) 

Pastor Ron was the pastor of the Keene Seventh-day Adventists Church in Texas when I grew up. We often drove from Dallas to the little Adventist town to see relatives and attend the yearly camp meetings.  

Keene was a scary place back then because it was so wild compared to Dallas. So it needed Pastor Halvorsen. I remember the scandal of the Keene SDA teenagers sitting up in the balcony gambling during his fiery sermons. I heard that once he stopped in mid sentence at the pulpit, stomped up there and confronted the kids! I kept up with whom his son was dating, because I planned on marrying a pastor (I was called to be a pastor's wife, I thought) and figured he was a prospect, a tall, tall prospect. (Ron, Jr is like six foot ten or something.) 

Then years later when my family moved to Keene so that we could all attend the Adventist college there, that same son, Pastor Ron Halvorsen, Jr., was my pastor.  I think the world of all the Halvorsens and wouldn't want in any way to insult them. So I am praying I can write this in a way that is not seen as disrespectful,  mean-spirited or personally critical. But it will, I am afraid. It's part of the pain of constructive criticism. It never seems constructive. 

Well… on to it and I pray I can write this as sweetly as I mean it. 

This year's Daniel and Revela-thon is being held in Charlotte, North Carolina and is basically the same old, same old. A few weeks of building up to tell us that: we soul-sleep after death, we are being judged investigatively  we need to worship on Sabbath and the mark of the beast is popery. And Adventists are all going to be persecuted for keeping the Sabbath by Catholics and Apostate Protestantism. 

[My family really tries to make it seem like the Adventist church is past its Ellen White last-day prophecies. But it's not.  These seminars prove it year after year.]

I know many Adventists sincerely believe their doctrines. They were weaned on them and are utterly convicted of them and are loyal to the deepest parts of their souls to this message. And they will go to their deaths believing the SDA message is solidly Biblical. But the message is founded upon false information. It is largely based from the mind of a young, uneducated woman who was in a accident and suffered "visions" as a result of a tragic head wound.
The SDA prophetess Ellen G. White twisted history and the Bible to fit what she thought she was being "shown" in visions by her accompanying angel. 

And Revelation Today is recycling these same old inaccuracies.

It is hard for me to understand how grown-ups can  blindly pass on historical fiction year after year. I am so embarrassed for them. It makes them look like cultists. I just don't get it. These men all seemed so much smarter and more holy than me! They were who I looked up to as a kid. And they, I pray, are just either completely blind to the inaccuracies of what they preach or they are, gulp…not brave enough to face the truth. But that turns my world upside down. They were my heroes! They are supposed to be teaching me these things. 

But for the sake of those who might really want to know the truth about the SDA yearly mantra of Daniel and Revelation prophecies, I will force myself to comment.

I hope that refuting a few of Elder Halvorsen's claims will be enough to prove the entire SDA theology suspect and unreliable. And to make certain this post isn't too long, I will be linking you to some answers rather than reposting them here.  

We'll deal with the Mark of the Beast, one of the last of this year's topics. 

To watch the video I am discussing, click here:
  • At minute 38 in the video, Pastor Halvorsen begins to identify the remnant of Revelation 12:17 as those who keep the commandments. (Spoiler alert: It will be the SDA church. Adventists teach that they alone are the remnant church.) 

This is wrong because Adventists really only teach one of the ten commandments: the fourth. I have never heard another Revelation Seminar dedicated to preaching that adultery, stealing, coveting or idolatry is a sin. They focus on one commandment. And notice the text says that the remnant are those who keep--not teach--the commandments. How many Adventists would admit they keep all ten commandments? The remnant keep them, not preach them. 

Also, the official SDA church's position on abortion is pro-choice and some of their  hospitals do abortions on demand. Therefore, they are exactly like all other churches they claim only keep nine of the ten. Because of the "thou shalt not murder" commandment (that would include abortion), Adventists cannot consider themselves a ten commandment preaching church.

At minute 45, Pastor Halvorsen refers to the Donation of Constantine which is a document known to be a hoax for centuries. Even if it were an authentic document, the mythical exchange wasn't even what the pastor presented it as. The Donation of Constantine didn't give Pope Sylvester rule over the empire, it was an honorific.  When Constantine died, he gave the empire over to his four sons. 

  • As always, much is made about the pope being called the "vicar of Christ." Which is simply used to show that the pope represents Christ. 
Here's a video that gives a short explanation of how Catholics see the church which might help Pastor Halvorsen understand why some of his accusations are false:

What we need to realize is what the word Christian means. In Antioch where followers of Christ were first called Christians, it was to mock them as being little Christs. Little Christs would be as much as a title of authority of Christ as vicar! We are in one sense all vicars (representatives) of Christ on earth.

  • Then Revelation 13: 3 prophecy that the "world wandered after the beast" was introduced (the papacy.) Can you show me when the entire world was following the papacy? Never. Christendom was only in the west. And please read history. The Vatican was always in a power struggle with the Catholic kings. They never had any real ubiquitous power. 

Then the SDA interpretation of Rev. 12:14, "times, time and half a time" as the beginning and end of papal rule. This 1260 day prophecy timeline of papal power supposedly began in 538. Yet, Pastor Halvorsen just "proved" the papacy was given power in 318 AD with the Donation of Constantine? So, which is it? Why would the fall of Rome two centuries later be when the papacy gained its power? And then the fatal "wound" was when Emperor Napoleon took the pope into captivity (1798). 

Yet why not choose the wounding of the papacy as the 14th century captivity of the popes in France? Why not choose the sack of Rome by Catholic Charles V in the 16th century or when the papal states were taken away in the 19th century? These were much bigger wounds to the Vatican than Napoleon's. The Vatican has been under siege many times and lost and won back its power. The use of Napoleon as the point where the papacy was "wounded to death" and the 1929 Concordat with  Mussolini as the definitive moment the wound was healed is simply picking out dates to make things fit SDA eschatology.  The pope lost power and land many times and it made concordats with many nations before WWII. These dates are forced and contrived.

  • Then Pastor Halvorsen perpetuated the myth that the Catholic Church killed 50 million people as heretics. (I don't blame the pastor, his sermon topics were already predetermined.)
  • The pastor attacked (as it has become almost obligatory)  the sacrament of confession to a priest.
Here's a bit of a rebuttal on that. Then came the idea that the pope believes himself to be God on earth and the attempt with some misunderstood quotes pulled from billions of words written by the popes. The pope claims to have the chair of Peter. The pope isn't God nor teaches that he is.

Were there a few popes (out of the 266 that have faithfully served God) that abused their power and acted as if they thought they were God? Maybe even written that way? Yes. But look to official titles, official theology. Pulling a few quotes from the ocean of written material by the popes and cardinals and priests to force a point that perhaps one isolated pope or priest or bishop thought the way the SDA's prophecy needed them to think…. is simply bad history.

That would be like a Catholic pulling a quote from Doug Batchelor reporting that the televangelists admits publicly that the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists went against scripture and promoted women's ordination. Or quoting Cliff Goldstein about evolution and then assigning his position to all Adventists. Bad form.
  •  As far as the pope's title "Vicar of the Son of God": 
The Latin, "Vicarius Fili Dei" is not and never has been an official title of the pope, nor is there any evidence that it was imprinted on a tiara. (All photographic evidence have proven to be hoaxed.) Yet, even if it had been an unofficial title, is that truly evidence that the pope is the antichrist? What is so amazing is that Pastor Halvorsen doesn't tell you that Ellen G. White's name adds up to 666 also! ELLen GoVLD VVhIte 50+50+5+50+500+5+5+1=666).
Vicarius Christi is one of the popes titles and it adds up to 214. So the SDA church has some real credibility problems here. Keep in mind that the antichrist isn't mentioned in Revelation. The number of the beast isn't directly related to the antichrist, that is a conflation of the two. In his letters, St. John warns that the antichrist denies that Jesus is the Christ. (I John 2: 22) and that Jesus if from God (I John 4:3) and that He came in the flesh (2 John 1:7). No pope I know of denied these things.

St. John also clearly says that the antichrist comes out of the true church. So if the antichrist comes from the Catholic church it would identify the Catholic Church as the true one. If the SDA church would like to think of itself as the true remnant church, then they would predict the antichrist comes out of it. (Perhaps being a former Adventist.)
  • One of the persistent claims by the Adventists is the idea that some pope or church decree changed the seventh-day Sabbath to the first day of the week. Completely false. The Catholic Church did not change the Sabbath to Sunday
Link: The official documentation. I would extend a challenge to my SDA friends about the supposed change of the Sabbath. And, here's a link the early church writings about the Sabbath and Sunday.
It is hard to watch people I love perpetuate distortions and mislead Christians. And do not be naive, Adventists target ignorant Catholics. They are not out there bringing the gospel message, they are trying to bring all  Christians into their church by convincing them that other churches haven't really been obedient to Christ and scripture. Every other church is Babylon. 
They alone are not apostate from truth. They twist history and scripture to convince other Christians that they are the true and only remnant. 

What is heartbreaking is that by their zealousness to confuse and mislead other Christians they break the commandment, "thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbors."

I hurt for the Halvorsens because I love them. I don't write that flippantly. Ron, Jr. has helped me out in ways he will never know. He is a good man.

Yet…. (despairing sigh) Pastor Halvorsen is  leading the children of God into error. This is a very, very serious situation, for God says it is better that a millstone be place upon the neck of one who leads the little ones astray. He is bearing false witness against his Catholic and Protestant neighbors.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Caring More About How You Die, Than How You Live

"Tobacco is an evil weed and from the devil doth proceed. Stains your fingers, stinks your clothes and makes a chimney of your nose."

Some Christians love to hate tobacco. I don't particularly like it. I wouldn't want any of my family to smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco or have an addiction to it. But lets face it, if it is a sin at all, the sin is in the addiction to it. Christians live their life in a way that is just as unhealthy as smoking but won't demonize their own personal unhealthy preferences. 

Tobacco is enemy number one to Christians because it is so obvious and smelly (but Taco Bell can cause some really offensive odors too.) And dying of emphysema is a lot more gruesome than dying of a heart attack.
The same person that will condemn tobacco will sit down to a huge meal of fried foods and pastries. Some might eat a half a dozen donuts. (Let's admit it, Little Debbie's are Adventist cigarettes. Or maybe I should say Stripples are the SDA smoke.)

Perhaps these same people will eat occasionally at fast foods restaurants. Or sits in front of a computer or television for hours a day without exercise.
Or eat salty or processed food (such as Loma Linda and Worthington vegetarian meats!) Or eat high sodium, processed foods that are microwaved in plastic! Or drinking soda daily or worse yet, fake sugar, chemically infused flavored soda. 

All of that is just cigarettes in a different form. (Thanks Jim Gaffigan and your McDonald's routine.

We all do things that are not healthy. For some reason tobacco has become the big, bad unhealthy demon of choice.

Addictions are what we should avoid. 

Tobacco addictions are harder to conceal than coffee or chocolate or cola addictions. Yet as a Christian we really need to ask, when Christ said our bodies are a temple, was He really speaking primarily about eating habits that might hurt our body or something deeper, perhaps, say, addictions that can kill our souls? Our bodies house our souls and since we are looking at eternity--perhaps addictions that kill our spirits are much worse than physical addictions. 

I know of a lot of men who have a tobacco addiction but that does not wreak the horror on his family that a pornography addiction does. 

Christ told us not to worry about what goes into our mouths but what comes out! (And I am certain Christ would rather smoke come out of your lips than a lie or salty language or gossip.) Jesus also warned us not to worry about him who can kill the body but about Him who can kill both body and soul. 

I am not promoting tobacco use, but only a use of our logic and reason. 

  • What is worse: smoking cigarettes or being a part of a church that has hospitals that do abortions and honors one of the most notorious child-murderer abortionist in the history of the world? 
  • What is worse: having an occasional pipe or cigar or sitting in front of the filth on television each night? 
  • What is worse: smoking a cigarette or pride? 
  • What is worse: smoking a cigar or not being kind to your neighbor?
When it come right down to it, we demonize the  habits we personally don't like and excuse the habits we have. 

One more word. Yes, smoking isn't good for you. I don't recommend it. Yet, isn't it more important for a man to live with integrity and courage, working hard for his family rather than spending a lot of time obsessed about what unhealthy habit will eventually kill him? When we look over the focus of our choices, isn't it more important to care how you live than how you die?

Thursday, October 10, 2013


By Teresa Beem

  “Who was the greatest capitalist in the Bible?” Pastor Sleepy questioned his congregation that Sunday morning. 

     “Noah!” the pastor shouted back answering his own question, “He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation!” The praise group drummer played a rimshot as a new wave of laughing erupted from the worshippers. The down-home southern fundamentalist pastor continued:

   “And who was the female capitalist in the Bible?” The audience paused and dabbed their eyes from the tears spilling out with amusement.

   “Why it was Pharaohs' daughter, o’course! She hightailed it down to the Nile and drew out a little prophet!’ As the roar crescendoed he tried to calm them down with his hand.

   “Wait! Wait! I got one more: Who was the greatest comedian of the Bible?” Sleepy himself was now chuckling so hard he could hardly finish. 
   “It.... it,” he caught his breath, “It was Samson. He brought the house down!” 

  Sleepy was Pastor John Whitewasher’s nickname. After graduating from The Opti-Mystics Seminary (known for their rose-colored glasses), Sleepy and his wife had settled in the nice little Christian village of Berea. Their town’s quaint slogan was “K. I. S. S.” (Keep it Simple, Stupid.)

       Every house was freshly painted white with a big, bright welcome mat on each threshold. And nary a discouraging word was uttered by those in the town, for they had such simple faith in Christ. They joy of the Lord was their strength and each family wanted to prove how strong their faith was. Their smiles were their proof and their talisman against the wiles of the devil.

   The pews were always packed in Sleepy’s church. Each sermon was flanked with upbeat songs about eternal safety in Christ. “God is good all the time. All the time He is good” was repeatedly chanted until the upraised hands fell from the exhaustion of such glorious feelings.

   Sleepy’s sermons made the congregation feel they were all in an airplane going to heaven. Each Sunday they would mentally buckle up in their imaginary overstuffed leather first-class seating, turn up the celestial air-conditioning, put on headphones and watch the inflight movie, which of course was the entertaining sermon part.

    To close the program, Pastor Whitewasher always told them to keep their eye on the prize--heaven--and don’t worry too much about what happens on earth in the meantime. Be good, but remember that believer’s good works would never be anything but snow-covered dung hills. Faith-imputed justification without any actions on their part--"so, fellers and gals, no worries! If we really wanted to win the world for the gospel don’t get caught up in dead works, Christians should follow the formula of the three p’s: be positive, be at peace and be righteous partiers!" 

     Will B. Simpleton and his wife Ima, smiling and swaying to the music that morning, were appreciative that the pastor kept the service relevant, inclusive and non-judgmental. Oh don’t misunderstand, they were New Covenant Bible-believers and had daily devotions (Ima called them her “snuggle time with Jesus.”)

     But the spiritual terrorism from the dark forces were never actually spoken of by any balanced Christian in Berea. It made them uncomfortable and above all Jesus would never want anyone to feel uncomfortable. It just wan’t nice or polite to make people feel bad or guilty or humble. And talking about the growing evil sometimes started arguments which gave them negative feelings and after all, genuine Christianity was about feeling warm and cozy and good about ourselves and others. Arguing wasn’t nice. The sermons really needed to stay upbeat and positive in these troublesome times. 

    And the times were troublesome. Just last month the slashers had taken out another Christian. And even Will’s wounds were becoming infected. But no one spoke about it because he tried to keep his slashes covered with high collared necklines and long sleeve sweaters.
       It made people feel uncomfortable when they saw the slashes. They didn’t make any big deal about it. Everyone has slashes, right? It was written, “No one is without slashes, no not one.” So rather than focusing on it, they had all learned to keep themselves busy with the best medicine of all: laughter.

     Laugher didn’t stop the slashings, but it helped the pain. Everyone everywhere was arming themselves with sarcastic jokes and entertaining quips to anesthetize themselves and others. They kept their iPhones next to them to tweet a link to a funny Youtube video or episode of the newest sitcom. 

   A few days after the Sleepy’s sermon, the Whitewasher’s teenage daughter walked into her parents bedroom after having been up late facebooking with her boyfriend.

   “Daddy, there’s one in my room,” she whispered, her white body shaking with terror as her parents pretended to sleep. They didn’t want to know.

      “Daddy.... daddy,” she sobbed pleadingly, “it’s standing next to my computer!” The room was silent.

   Pastor Sleepy figured his daughter was exaggerating the situation. She was a high-drama teenager, after all. Mrs. Whitewasher didn’t want to make waves. A confrontation between her husband and the slasher could get violent. Violence wasn’t nice nor Christian.

    “Be real sweet to it and say a prayer,” her mother whispered back. “Trust Jesus.”

    The girl stood for the longest time trembling, too afraid to return to her room. Then she curled up on the floor next to her father. Even there, she awoke with some deep slashes.

    Mr. Simpleton had a quip he would say with every new slash his family received, “Cheer up, it’s only going to get worse!” And he laughed to lighten the mood.

    When people saw the girl they felt so badly for her, but they didn’t want to say anything. They prayed a quick “marana tha” and tried to stay positive. This was the new normal for the town and they figured the new normal for the world.

      When Will B. Simpleton was hospitalized with sepsis from his slashes people came to see him and they sang happy praise songs bringing handfuls of jokes and funny iPhone videos.

       A male nurse came in and told the family that they needed to keep their doors and windows locked. The only way to keep the slashers out was to take action and keep their homes safe.

       “Mine came through my iPhone, not through a window.” Mr. Simpleton whimpered.

    “Then get rid of your iPhone,” the nurse replied.

      One of the visiting church ladies was offended for the Simpletons and scolded the nurse for being judgmental.

    “We are not that kind of Christian. You just don’t understand the slashers, they mean well. I think they are sincere in what they believe.” And the church lady meant it. She had a few slashes herself and it was normal, normal, she told herself.

   “We don’t worry about the slashers.” Ima Simpleton retorted to the nurse trying to keep the conversation light and positive. “Jesus died so that we all can live with each other in freedom.” She nervously giggled, “No worries!”

     “I am pretty good about keeping the doors and windows locked but the dang things are gettin’ in through the TV or phones. Whadam I supposed to do? Live in the 18th century?” Will Simpleton took up for himself as he lay there in pain squeezing his wife’s small hand.

     “You’re making it too complex, darling.” Ima Simpleton soothed her husband’s brow. “All our methods of keeping out the slashers is of no use, no merit. We have to have faith in Jesus to save us from the really bad slashers.” She spoke confidently, “Jesus paid it all.”

     The nurse looked at the family like they were insane. Then added, “Well in any case, if the slashers got to you, they can get to your family too.”

      “If we could just get rid of Obama." She began and then restarted...."We are saved! We all have a relationship with Jesus and are born-again!” Ima cried.

     “Glad to know it ma’am. But while your still on planet earth, I suggest you bolt the doors and windows and if the slashers are coming through other things, get rid of them. Mr. Simpleton, don’t be naive. Have courage and don’t let the slashers slip in.” The nurse left to the indignant mutterings of the friends and family who then sighed and began watching American Idol.

      Mr. Simpleton died. 

     It grew. It grew worse in the darkness of the nights in Berea. The adults thought they were more immune and convinced themselves they could even have a bit of a relationship with the slashers, that their cuts didn’t run so deep. But the children were being silently terrorized and mutilated as a general hysteria of laughter and silliness echoed in each home. Instead of barring the doors and windows or at least staying awake at night armed for battle, the Christian families slept and were slashed. 

     At church as the congregation bled, the songs of faith from well-dressed, smiling Christians became happier and the dance of joy more frenzied. 

     Pastor Sleepy was sitting in front of his computer one Sunday evening watching Arrested Development on Netflix and his wife was sitting next to him texting a friend about what a good time the women’s spiritual weekend had been--with the young girls coming for the edgy Christian music.

   “Where is the first tennis match mentioned in the Bible?” Mrs. Whitewasher texted to reminded her friend of the joke told by the main speaker at the women’s conference. She finished the text,       “When Joseph served in Pharaoh's court” and giggled.

     At just the same second her husband burst into laughter when on the sitcom he was watching, Michael’s brother, Buster said “Hey, hermano.”

      In their 8-year-old son’s dark room, just off where they were sitting comfortably enjoying the amusing relaxation, a Youtube video of Miley Cyrus was being watched and a deep gash was being carved in his soft youthful flesh by a demonic slasher.