By: Steve Daskal,
CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS
** A brother in Christ recently asked me about a seeming inconsistency in the Exodus account of Moses’ interactions with God and the Israelites at Mt. Sinai. He thought it appeared as if the number of trips up and trips down didn’t match. I had never actually sat down to work this out, though I’ve been hearing and reading this story repeatedly since I was in grade school. This is what I found:
Ex 19 — The Israelites are three months after leaving Egypt via Rephidim [located in the Sinai desert]. They’ve reached Sinai, and set up camp in front of the mountain. Moses goes up the mountain the first time [v3], he returns to the people [v7] and warns them that they are going to get the terms of the Covenant, and they agree to them — without having heard them — based upon God’s taking them out of Egypt and providing for this huge mass of people in the desert for 3 months.
The unbelievers in our schools and universities often teach that the existence of so much evil in this world negates the existence of a holy and righteous God. Life itself proceeds with no discernible purpose. Events that occur in the cosmos appear to be totally random. The First Law of Thermodynamics proves since energy cannot be created or destroyed the universe has always existed.
Since we cannot argue that creation exists then how can creation exist apart from an act of creating initiated by an unseen Creator?
Most people throughout history believed or practiced their religion because they were raised to do so, made to feel guilty if they failed to do so, or coerced by social pressure to “fit in” with their family/clan/neighbors/local elites. Prior to the 20th century, there was generally little questioning of authority, and swift, vigorous punishment for those who dared to do so. What people learned in the home and school was also not all that demanding – it took an hour or so on a sabbath-day, or was the “price” for a feast day off from one’s work demands, or on fairly rare occasion required some self-denial for a fast day. There were always privileged, authoritative “religious” to obey: priests/monks/nuns on up through archbishops, or rabbis, or imams/mullahs, or the like, many of whom in turn had still higher human authorities to whom they were held accountable. These religious did not share their shortcomings, therefore many of the laity were convinced that they, unlike themselves, didn’t have any.
SELF ASSESSMENT: WHAT KIND OF A FOLLOWER ARE YOU?
Counterfeit Christianity occurs when people identify with being Christian but then practice and promote a lifestyle that violates the essence of what Jesus taught. Counterfeit Christians have a hard time describing how the Holy Spirit has changed or is directing their life. They are worldly by most accounts—that is they are focused upon worldly pursuits. Evidence of that person’s change in behavior and world view would not be evident. If loving is not a word that would describe the person stating they are Christian then it indicates one who is counterfeit. People who have interests that are more important than Jesus, those who worship possessions, use the Lord’s name in vain, disrespect parents, speak of harming people, lie, steal, have sex outside of marriage, don’t attend Church, and lust after the possessions of others. They generally do not display joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. A counterfeit Christian is not advocating Jesus’ point of view and cannot articulate the concept of Christian Biblical salvation. Counterfeit Christians also identify more with an ethnic, religious or other group affiliation more than Jesus as their main objective. People can see these professing Christians as weak or failed. Christians who are genuine also sin including what I’ve described above. The difference is that Christians who are the real deal are convicted by the Holy Spirit and ask God’s forgiveness and don’t persist in the same behavior.
WAS THE MESSIAH REALLY REVEALED IN THE 20TH CENTURY?
Rev. Sun Myoung Moon was born in Korea around 1920 and he was raised a Presbyterian. He claimed he was visited by Jesus on Easter in the year 1935, in what is today North Korea, and was chosen by Jesus to finish the task Jesus was unable to finish. Later he also claimed to have communed with Buddha, Krishna and Moses. Apparently Jesus failed to save and redeem the world so Moon was chosen to have sex with 70 virgins, 70 married women and 70 widows so that he might procreate the Kingdom of God on earth. In 1946 he was arrested by North Korean communists and later released. The Presbyterian Church excommunicated him in 1948. In 1954 he formed the Unification Church and in 1957 published the Divine Principle which is his interpretation of the Bible.
The Hope of some for one united faith
Freemasonry’s roots go back to 16th century France. It was being practiced in England by the 18th Century. It was a secret fraternal order binding together professional men and master tradesmen [and, later, government officers and commercial men] who were Deist Rationalists, and who were opposed to the existence of established churches, mandatory church attendance, and any sort of monarchial or nobility-based political order. What follows is generally true concerning Freemasonry however there are variations of how it is practiced in the United States.
When folks consider becoming a Mason they must begin in the Blue Lodge. If a person persists they will attain the Entered Apprentice Degree then the Fellowcraft Degree and finally the Master Mason Degree. At this point the Mason has the choice to stay in the Blue Lodge or seek advanced degrees in the Scottish or York rite. The Scottish rite has the 4th through 32nd degrees. The York rite has 13 degrees. Once the 32nd degree is attained the Mason can petition to join the Shriners. Those who have mastered the advanced rites of Freemasonry and are accepted join The Ancient and Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
Did the Church get it wrong for the first 1900 years?
Charles T. Russell is the founder of the Jehovah Witnesses. Although raised a Protestant, he departed because he did not agree with the teaching of eternal judgment (hell) and the Trinity. He predicted that Jesus would return in 1874. After that did not happen, he recalculated to 1914. Once this event was not apparent he said Jesus in fact returned as a ghost. Joseph Franklin Rutherford took over in 1916 after Russell’s death. Rutherford determined that Jehovah Witnesses constituted God’s government on earth and decreed all other Christian sects as satanic. Witnesses do not pledge allegiance to any country. They deny the incarnation and bodily resurrection of Jesus and declare that Jehovah alone is God. Jesus is really Michael the Archangel. Rutherford predicted Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would return to earth between 1925 and 1929. He also predicted that only 144,000 people would go to heaven. When Witness membership exceeded this number in 1935, he said everyone who became a Witness after 1935 would live in a new paradise on earth. He died in 1942 being proven a false prophet. The same year Nathan H. Knorr took over. He created a new version of the Bible which fits Jehovah Witness doctrine. Knorr predicted that Armageddon would occur in 1975. By 1976 over one million Witnesses left their religion. Knorr died in 1976. After all these failures Witness now believe the organization is the prophet. To reject the organization is to reject God. Only their decrees are true. They believe the Trinitarian doctrine was inspired by Satan. Jesus was not killed on a cross, but rather on a straight poll. Only his spirit resurrected.