Sunday, October 23, 2005
When I was a child I enjoyed that scared feeling when I heard a ghost story or saw a scary movie. Around halloween we are bombarded with horror films, but now I have no inclination to watch them. Even as a child I couldn't understand the concept of ghosts, even though I knew or heard of people who swore they had seen them. The reason I couldn't understand how there could possibly be ghosts is because when people die their spirits either go to Heaven or Hell. If they go to Hell, there is no way out, they are not free to come back and haunt people. In Luke 16:25-31 the rich man who had died and gone to Hell wanted Abraham to send Lazarus to his family to warn them about Hell because he couldn't go himself, but Abraham told him they wouldn't believe even if someone rose from the dead, inferring that the only way for someone to come back here was to come back as a live person again. If a person's spirit goes to Heaven God wouldn't allow them to come back to scare or destroy people, God has other ways of dealing with people, he doesn't need to send back those who have died.
Ok then, what do people see or experience? I believe it's something. Here's my theory: there are really devils (or demons), the bible has many references concerning people who were possessed by devils. When the person dies, or the devils are cast out of the person, the devils that possessed them are still here, I believe they probably took on some characteristics of the person who they possessed that died or that they were cast out of, so people who think they see ghosts may really be seeing devils that had possessed that person during their life. The good news is devils or demons can be cast out, Jesus and the disciples did it all the time, Christian's do it today. I wouldn't recommend trying this if you're not a Christian or don't know what you're doing, the seven sons of the chief priest, Sceva, tried it in Acts 19:12-16 and were overcome, but not killed, by the demon possessed man. If there were such things as ghosts here on earth there wouldn't be much you could do about them, the dead can't die again. The witch of Endor who supposedly conjured up the ghost of Samuel for Saul in 1 Sam. 28, really just conjured up a familiar spirit or demon who imitated Samuel, because God didn't answer Saul when he prayed, He certainly wouldn't answer him through this wicked woman.
So where did devils or demons come from, the popular opinion is that they are fallen angels, those that rebelled with Lucifer and those that fell in the days of Noah. The problem is these angels are currently bound in Hell (Tartarus) 2 Peter 2:4. I heard Bob Yandian give what I believe to be a credible explanation of the origin of these devils, he suggests they are the spirits of the pre-Adamites who inhabited this planet before it was destroyed and re-created (See my first two posts How It All Began, and How Art Thou Fallen).
http://www.precepts.com, the links are Free Study Materials / Archives / Angels and Demons / The Origin of Demons.
There were a couple of movies I watched in my youth that intrigued me, "The Three Faces Of Eve", starring JoAnn Woodward, and "Sybil", starring Sally Field. These movies were about women who had multiple personalities that caused them to behave in different ways depending on the personality that was manifesting itself at the time. This apparently was something new to the doctors who were treating them in these movies. I soon noticed that people were using "multiple personality syndrome" as a legal defense for horrible crimes they had committed, stating that it was one of their more deviant personalities, not them, who had committed the crime. I thought this was just some scam they concocted in order to be able to commit crimes and get away with it, and in most cases it probably was. Then all of a sudden it clicked, when Jesus asked the demon possessed man in Mark 5 what his name was the devils answered "My name is Legion, for we are many", this man really did have "multiple personality syndrome", but in fact he had many different demons that manifested themselves in many different ways. Psychiatrists and pyschologists who encounter people who really do have "multiple personality syndrome" might do them a world of good by having the devils cast out of them by a bible believing Christian. Just think how many people in Mental Health facilities might be cured if their doctors only knew what they were really dealing with. I am not suggesting, however, that all mental illness is due to the person being possessed by a devil.
When a devil is cast out it wants to go somewhere, it might possess another person, or an animal (in Mark 5, when Jesus cast the devils out of a man called "Legion" they asked to be sent into pigs and Jesus allowed it). If the person from whom the devil(s) are cast out doesn't guard his or her life by accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord it may come back with more devils:
43When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
44Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
A devil can't just decide they're going to possess just anyone they please, the person has to open him or herself up to being possessed by the demon.
Now about halloween, the Celts believed a lord of death sent evil spirits into animals and they went around playing tricks on people. To escape the people wore a disguise so that the evil spirits would think they were one of them, Celtic priests, called Druids, built bonfires on hilltops to frighten the spirits away and even offered human sacrifices. Later Christians tried to change the holiday to "All Hallow's Eve" which means "all holies" or "all the saints" to change the holiday from one of fear to one of joy, celebrating the lives of loved ones who had gone on to be with the Lord. The pagans would have none of it and changed it into "The Witches Sabbath" and they met to worship the devil. This information about the origin of Halloween is taken from a children's book titled "Halloween Is It For Real?" by Harold Myra.
A lot of churches offer safe alternatives to going house to house on Halloween. Many children have been harmed participating in the activity of trick or treating.
This is a link to a site where you can look up scripture references in many different versions of the bible: http://www.biblegateway.com.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
1. That Jesus would be born, die for our sins, and be resurrected (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21-23; Isaiah 53; Psalms 16:8-10; Acts 2:22-40).
2. That the Jews would be dispersed and brought back again as a nation: they returned home and Israel was declared a nation May 14, 1948. No other dispersed peoples have ever come back again as a nation except Israel, the only one that God, in His Word, said would become a nation again. Ezekiel 11:13-20; Isaiah 11:11,12; Ezekiel 36:24-27
3. And do you recognize this...? "Know this also that in the last days perilous times shall come for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof... ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7
4...or this? But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Daniel 12:4
5. Do you see this coming? This King will make a seven year treaty with the people (Israel), but after half that time he will break his pledge and stop the Jews from all their sacrifices and their offerings... Daniel 9:27 The Living Bible
Have you watched the news lately? The point is YOU CAN TRUST THE BIBLE!
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE FUTURE ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD:
The Rapture: There are no prophesies that still need to be fulfilled before Jesus comes to take the Church (those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord) off this planet. For a little more information about this read my previous post "Me, Die? I Don't Think So!"
The Tribulation: After believers are removed from here to Heaven, there will be a seven year period of horrible events on the earth we call the Tribulation, the last three and a half years will be the worst. There will be devastation and destruction as we have not yet seen. Hurricane Katrina won't even compare to what will come. (The book of Revelation in the bible reveals a lot of what will occur during this period, it's also referenced in other books of the bible.) At the beginning of the Tribulation a leader will be revealed, which we call "The Antichrist", though I doubt he'll be referred to that way by the media or the majority of people who are still here. He will offer "solutions" and people will listen and be deceived by him. Some Bible Prophesy teachers have said that his authority will be mainly in the Middle East, but I believe his influence will extend to most nations of the world. He will establish a seven year treaty with Israel which he will break after three and a half years. There will be a lot for him and other government leaders to work with, Christians will be leaving behind a lot of land, property, and goods. Think of what the governments of the world can do with all of that! Anyway you don't want to be here during this time, though there still will be people accepting Christ. I may discuss this period more in a future blog post.
The Second Coming (or We're Back!): Jesus Christ returns to Earth with His raptured and resurrected Saints (riding on horses). He will fight and win a battle called The Battle of Armageddon with Antichrist and his armies. Satan is bound for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-30). At the rapture Jesus doesn't set foot on the earth but at the Second Coming he's here to stay! Revelation 19:11-21
The Millennium: Jesus Christ sets up His throne in Jerusalem, He will reign for a thousand years and His Saints will reign with Him. There will still be nations and natural people on the earth, they will marry, have children, live normal lives, except better than we can imagine now. Rev. 20:4-6
The Battle of Gog and Magog: Believe it or not, as good as they have it, there will still be rebels on earth. After a thousand years Satan will be loosed and will stir up these rebels, there will be another battle called the Battle of Gog and Magog. Of course the good guys win again and Satan will be permanently terminated. Rev. 20:7-10
The Great White Throne of Judgement: (You don't want to be there!) The wicked dead (or those who did not accept salvation through Jesus Christ) are judged according to their works. The Book of Life is brought out but their names won't be found there. Unfortunately they will never die nor lose consciousness but will suffer endless torment in the Lake of Fire (called the second death). (Rev. 20:11-15 ). I didn't say this the Bible does, it is my desire that everyone, friend or foe, will accept God's free gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
New Heavens and New Earth: The earth will be renovated by fire. 2 Pet. 3:5-15 The people of the nations still here will have bodies like Adam and Eve had in the beginning so they can't be destroyed by the fire. The Holy City, New Jerusalem will come down to earth and God will dwell among His people. Rev. 21, 22 There will never be an "end of the world", but it will sure be a lot different than it is now!
Recommended reading: "Dake's Annotated Reference Bible"; "God's Dispensational and Prophetic Plan" and "Prophecy Marches On! Daniel and Revelation" by John G. Hall.
This is a link to a site where you can look up scripture references in many different versions of the bible: