Thursday, June 2, 2016

Does the Bible mention anything about extraterrestrials?

It is a far stretch of the imagination for most people, especially Bible believing Christians, to remotely consider that the Scriptures contain anything about aliens from another planet or universe. The notion that the Earth was visited by advanced beings from outside our Solar System belongs to the genre of Sci-fi movies, comic books, or television shows, but not as real events that are included in the holy Scriptures; but is all the skepticism just a smokescreen for the fact that the inhabitants of the Mesopotamian Basin and across all the continents of Earth have had contact with scientifically advanced and/or godlike beings? This study will explore that possibility and determine if authors like Sitchin, Von Daniken, Leon, Hill, Blumrich, Bergier, Downing, Shellhorn, etal, have caught on to something profound that will dramatically alter the way we view the universe, God, and our place in the cosmic scheme of things. So, let’s begin the journey.

Genesis 32: 1
Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw them he said, “This is the camp of God.” So he named the place Manahaim (“two camps”).

NOTE: Was the place that Jacob came upon some kind of observation post for a small crew of alien astronauts, and contact with them was more or less routine?

Exodus 19: 9, 18
The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come down to you in a dense (dark??) cloud. Mt. Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord descended [not suddenly appeared] on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like the smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.

NOTE: The cloud could be the ionized particles forming a vaporous cloud and the smoke could be exhaust fumes. The fire might be the igniting or firing of retro rockets to slow the descent of the cloaked landing craft setting down on the top of the mountain. The main thrusters would undoubtedly produce the effect of a loud thundering noise or roaring sound [trumpets/the sound of many waters??].

Exodus 24: 9-10
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.

NOTE: This would seem to be the description of some sort of spacecraft or celestial vehicle which had deployed landing gear (“feet”), and underneath was some type of material or substance which might be an energy field?? Whatever Moses and company saw, it does not appear to be that of an ethereal, incorporeal, transcendent, invisible, or conceptual being; or at least not in the usual way that God is thought of. In this instance what they saw was perhaps an inter-dimensional being of a nature that leaves very little to get a clear picture of.

2 Samuel 22: 10-12a
He parted the heavens and came down [landed/descended??]; dark clouds were under his feet [landing gear]. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared [lifted off??] on the wings of the wind. He made darkness (exhaust??) his canopy (covering) around.

NOTE: Again, this would appear to be a rocket or some kind of craft lifting off and the fuel source from the rockets igniting produce dark smoky vapors underneath retracting landing gear (feet??)

Ezekiel 10: 13-14a, 16
I heard the wheels being called the whirling (spinning/rotating??) wheels. Each of the cherubim had four faces. . .  When the cherubim moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the cherubim spread their wings to rise from the ground the wheels did not leave their side.

NOTE: If the two above texts are combined together it gives a picture of a type of flying craft, perhaps an inter-dimensional one where the ‘deity’ (God??) mounts (enters) the cherubim and then takes off. Could the whirling wheels be propeller blades or rotors? The cherubim could be part of the engine of a celestial transport craft of some kind??

Exodus 33: 18, 19a-21
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness (glory??) to pass in front of you but you cannot see my face; for no one can see my face and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will place you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen [why??].

NOTE: This is most puzzling- why does God not want Moses to see his face as opposed to seeing the back of deity? Later on in the book of Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the Israelites that they heard the voice of God speaking out of the fire but there was no form thereof  (Cp. Deuteronomy 4: 12)

Exodus 33: 9
As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down (descend) and stay (hover) at the entrance while the Lord spoke [from the cloaked shuttle craft??] to Moses (Cp. Exodus 34: 5).

Exodus 23: 20, 21b
See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way. . . Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion since my Name is in [not upon??] him.

NOTE: Could this “angel” be some kind of high tech protector robot, or maybe an alien probe with artificial intelligence (A.I.)? Interestingly, this angel has the “Name” in him (it) [like a set of preprogrammed instructions??] instead of ‘on’ him.

Exodus 40: 38
So, the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and the fire was in the cloud by night in the sight of all Israel during their travels.

NOTE: There is the possibility that instead of a small scout ship or shuttle, an unmanned aerial device (UAD) or drone with stealth technology and holographic capability could project the appearance of a cloud and/or a fire. Maybe the “burning bush” which did not consume itself that Moses saw was just a holographic projection- just saying!!

Now, let’s take a look at some other examples:

Genesis 28: 12-13a
Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on [not merely touching??] the earth, with its top reaching to heaven [up in the sky], and the angels of God ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and Isaac.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

Genesis 11: 4
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens [up in the sky], so that we may make a name {Shem??] for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the earth.

NOTE: If the two separate accounts are taken together it might indicate that a stairway [launch tower/ramp??] was securely in place where angels [“astronauts”??] were embarking and disembarking from up there in heaven [celestial spaceship??] and after the ship de-cloaked and the hatch or door was opened the Lord was seen standing there overhead-just saying!! Maybe the ‘stairway’ is like Bifrost, the rainbow bridge in Norse Mythology linking Midgard (Earth) to Asgard (Heaven), and instead of  seeing the lone guardian Heimdall, it is the All-Father Odin standing at the top-maybe/maybe not?? If one reads Zechariah Sitchin’s novels, he alleges the Hebrew word Shem usually translated as “Name” actually means rocket (ship). Well, I don’t know if one could build a ‘tower’ that reaches the heavens but a rocket ship could go that far. What the Genesis narrative above is describing might just be the ancient counterpart to NASA and Cape Canaveral in Florida- just saying..

Continuing further:

2 Kings 2: 1, 11, 15a-16
When the Lord was about to take up Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses appeared [materialized/de-cloaked??] and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen [not horses??] of Israel!” The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, “Look, they said, “we your servants have fifty men, Let us go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or valley.”

NOTE: If the other prophets knew that the Lord would take Elijah to heaven, why would they expect Elijah would be sent back to earth? Also, Elisha saw chariots and horsemen [astronauts??] as opposed to the description of a fiery chariot [singular] and horses. The ‘whirlwind’ could be the atmospheric disturbance due to the effect of the powerful engines from the celestial craft?? This might be the most plausible example of what might be an alien abduction-or perhaps not to others.

Acts 8: 39b-40
The Spirit of the Lord took Philip away [beamed him up]. . . Philip, however appeared [he was beamed down] at Azotus.

NOTE: The narrative does not reveal the reason behind this brief snatching away [abduction] and returning of Philip, and I don’t have any good guesses, either.  

CONCLUSION: This study is not to suggest that the human race, starting with Adam and Eve and the Semitic Bedouin tribe who settled in the land of Canaan, descending from the lineage of the patriarch Abraham, progenitor of the Jewish people (Israelites), did not have contact with the eternal God and angels from the highest heaven. It is just as plausible, however, that Earth could have been visited by an advanced race of extraterrestrial astronauts and/or godlike inter-dimensional beings who manifest abilities, technology, and knowledge far exceeding the evolutionary development of the people they encountered untold millennia ago. If such events happened today as recorded in the Bible, would a moveable pillar of cloud and fire; thundering sound of a human [man’s] voice; angels [astronauts??] ascending/descending on a stairway; cherubim with retractable wings and whirling wheels; fiery chariot, the Spirit snatching someone up- would all of these situations be seen as the interaction in human affairs from the celestial realms of the Creator of the Universe or the effects of high-tech wizardry from advanced denizens from unknown worlds or universes? You can make that choice for yourself and as the old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” Jesus said in John 5: 37, “No man has seen God at any time; you have neither heard his voice nor seen his form.”

 
Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt 701
Tacoma, WA 98402
June 2, 2016
robertrandle51@yahoo.com

Friday, May 27, 2016

Should women preach in the Church?

I read an article that appeared in The Christian Chronicle, which is a publication of the Churches of Christ on the matter of women preaching from the pulpit. This is really an old issue that has been debated for decades, among this fundamentalist religious organization as well as others, and the verdict is a resounding, “The New Testament does not authorize women to be preachers.” This position extends beyond standing in front of a lectern and delivering the homily, but praying/benediction, Scripture reading, participation in the Eucharist, administering the baptismal rite, collecting tithes/freewill offerings, or any other activity in the presence of congregants which includes men or teenage males past the adolescent stage. The study that I will provide is to delve a little deeper into the biblical texts under consideration to help determine, if possible, what prevailing attitude might have influenced the way over one half of the world’s population and an ever higher percentage of the faithful who make up the spiritual body of Christ are regarded.

Since the apostle Paul is quoted for establishing the rule governing a woman’s role in church government or administration, let’s take a look at his perspective on women in general, as in the following:

1Timothy 2: 13-15a
Adam was formed first, then Eve. Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing. . . [what-really??]

NOTE: So, what was Adam’s excuse? I have heard preachers say Adam listened to his wife’s voice instead of God’s and that is why we are in the mess we are today. In other words, if Eve would have just kept her big mouth shut [be silent and in subjection to Adam], then. . .

-Continuing on:

1Timothy 2: 11
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission [to her head/husband]. I do not permit a woman to teach, or to have authority over the man; she must be silent

NOTE: Does the mere fact that when women deliver a word of encouragement or preach/teach in the congregation or assemblies of saints, this action in some way undermine the authority of the men? By the way, it should be noted that he does not say this was a command.

1 Corinthians 14: 34b-35
As in all the congregations of the saints, women should [must??] remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak [at all??], but must be in submission, as the law [Torah??] says, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

NOTE: A couple of things. First, I have not found anything in the Law of Moses that says such a thing. Secondly, the apostle Paul is the main one teaching that believers in Christ Jesus are not under the law, so why is he using that rule or principle; even it could be found?

Keeping the above Scripture in mind, let’s look at another, like this one:

1 Corinthians 11: 5, 16
And every woman who prays or prophesies [presumably in the church] with her head covered dishonors her head [“the man” Cp. verse 3b]- it is as though her head were shaved. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice [of this sort??]- nor do the churches of God [in Christ].

NOTE: If the apostle is giving instructions regarding praying or prophesying (in the church), then it stands to reason that “being silent” or “in subjection” doesn’t apply to the exercise of a spiritual gift- so why would preaching or teaching be any different?

There’s more:

1 Corinthians 12: 1, 4, 7, 27
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers [I would think sisters, too], I do not want you to be ignorant. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. Now to each one the manifestation [anointing/gifting] of the Spirit is given for the common good. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one [not some] of you are a part of it.

Now, taking a look at the Apostle Paul’s background:

Galatians 1: 13a, 14a
For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism. I was advancing in Judaism far beyond Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

Philippians 3: 4b
If anyone else thinks he has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more- circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law [Torah] a Pharisee (Cp. Acts 23: 6).

Wrapping this up, then, it is curious that the apostle Paul wrote in Galatians3: 28, “There is either Jew or Greek, slave nor free, male or female; for you are all “one” in Christ Jesus. In Romans 16: 3a, 5 it reads: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. Greet also the church that meets in their house. It is rather doubtful that Aquila would have agreed to a subservient role to her husband, and in point-of-fact they might have actually been the modern equivalent of co-Pastors of their congregation (esp. Cp. Acts 18: 24-26). I
It is doubtful that Eudoias and Syntyche (Cp. Philippians 4: 2) were ‘silent’ and not having had some type of disagreements in the presence of mixed company [the brothers in the church]. In Acts 21: 8-9 the Evangelist Philip had four daughters who prophesied, and it is very unlikely that they did not exercise this gift in a public manner at the church in Caesarea; and probably in mixed company with their father’s blessing. Besides all this, are “only” men to lift up holy hands in prayer and not the women (Cp. 1 Timothy 2: 8)? While this study may not dissuade anyone from their particular POV in this matter and it is not intended to. I am just offering this information that will hopefully encourage further investigation, if needed. As in anything, it is up to the reader to determine the truth for themselves, and as a final thought, 1 Thessalonians 5: 21- Prove all things, hold fast to that what is good.

 
Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt 701
Tacoma, WA 98402
May 26, 2016
robertrandle51@yahoo.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Prophesy of the House of Israel (Part 2)

I wrote an earlier article in 2011 regarding the land of Israel (the ten northern tribes) that split away, after the united monarchy under king David fractured when Solomon’s son Rehoboam acted upon some bad advice. Actually, this event was already in the making after Solomon let his heart be led astray by marrying women from pagan nations who enticed him to introduce the worship of foreign gods among the people of Israel. The prophet Ezekiel introduces a rather interesting prophesy regarding the nation as far as the duration of this national sin that does not seem to match up with the years of their rebellion, even if one includes the years of Solomon’s reign.

Ezekiel 3: 4-5
Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side. I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin for the house of Israel.

Chronology of the kings of Israel (after Solomon):

 1 Kings 14: 20                                                
Jeroboam did evil (22 years).                          

1 Kings 15: 25
Nadab did evil (2 years).

1 Kings 15: 25, 33-34
Baasha did evil (24 years).  

1 Kings 16: 8-10

Elah did evil (2 years).

1 Kings 16: 10, 16-18                                     
Zimri did evil (7 days).                                   

1 Kings 16: 24-26
Omri did evil (12 years).
1 Kings 16: 29-34 thru 22: 38                        
Ahab did evil (22 years).                               

1 Kings 22: 40b, 51-55
Ahaziah did evil (2 years).
                                                                                                                                                                                2 Kings 10: 1, 11-25                   
Joram did evil (12 years).                            

*2 Kings 10: 35*
 Jehu did good (28 years).

2 Kings 13: 1-2                                             
Jehoahaz did evil (17 years).                        

2 Kings 13: 11
Jehoash did evil (16 years).

2 Kings 14: 23-24                                         
Jeroboam II did evil (41 years).                    

2 Kings 14: 29: 15: 8-11
Zechariah did evil (6 months).

2 Kings 15: 13-15                                         
Shallum did evil (1 month).                         

2 Kings 15: 17-18
Mehahem did evil (10 years). 
                                                                                                                                                                               
2 Kings 15: 23-24                                         
Pekahiah did evil (2 years).                          

2 Kings 15: 25-28
Pekah did evil (20 years).

2 Kings 17: 1
Hoshea did evil (9 years)
2 Kings 17: 23b
So Israel was carried away from their land to Assyria, “as it is to this day.”

NOTE: Assyria [Asshur] anciently comprised the whole region between the Armenian mountains of the North, the South country of Baghdad [Iraq], and on its Eastern boundary are the mountains of Kurdistan, and Westward it was bounded by the Mesopotamian desert as it reached the Euphrates (REFERENCE: Holman Bible Dictionary).

2 Kings 17: 6
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and by the Habor, the River Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes (Cp. 2 Kings 18: 11).

NOTE: Halah is a region in northern Mesopotamia, possibly northeast of Nineveh the capitol city of Assyria. The Habor is a major tributary of the Euphrates River and the Gozan is a Syrian city-state and probably modern Tel Halaf in northwestern Mesopotamia on the southern bank of the River Khabut. Cities of the Medes is a designation for Media proper- An ancient Iranian people and sister nation of the “Persians.” Their empire stretched from the Southern shore of the Black Sea and Aran province (Republic of Azerbajani) to North and Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (REFERENCE: Holman Bible Dictionary).

CONCLUSION:
Although the years don’t quite add up to the 390 years as mentioned in Ezekiel’s prophecy, the interesting thing is that the original ten tribes who were the original settlers are never heard from again; at least as far as the Biblical record is concerned. The peculiar twist of fate called irony is that a lot of the modern anti-Semitism or adversaries who want to destroy the political State of Israel or the Jews are themselves of the same bloodline. Just think about it for a minute- the people of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Azerbajan, North and Central Asia,  the Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan, and Pakistan are undoubtedly mixed with some of the Israelites who were deported there thousands of years ago and became part of the indigenous culture.
 
Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt B11
Tacoma, WA 98402
April 13, 2016

 

 

Friday, March 25, 2016

In search of the real Moses

There is probably no other person in the history of the world who is more respected than the great man Moses, with the exception of Abraham, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth, of course. Yet, was he the adopted son of an Egyptian princess as the Bible claims? The character of Moses is portrayed as greater than life, especially to those in the Western world who have had the opportunity to watch Charlton Heston’s superb acting skills of the great lawgiver in the holiday classic “The Ten Commandments.” Still, is this the man or the myth-perhaps we will never know for sure. This study will undertake the task of presenting the Biblical record and then pose some questions for consideration, always leaving it up to the reader to determine the truth for themselves.

Exodus 1:21
The Pharaoh gave this order to all his people, “Every boy that is born [of the Hebrews} you must throw into the Nile; but let every girl live.”

Exodus 2: 1-2a, 3-7
Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. But when she could not hide him any longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed it among the reeds of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

NOTE: There are several things to consider, namely, why would Pharaoh’s daughter defy a royal order to kill any Hebrew male, and even if she did feel pity for the infant, would she have someone nurse the baby instead of sending it back down the Nile to meet whatever fate was waiting? Also, it was quite fortuitous for the infant’s older sister to be not only nearby but be able to walk up to Pharaoh’s daughter and suggest that she take care of this abandoned and lonely Hebrew boy who has a death sentence hanging over his head. Was the older female sibling the same slave girl to Pharaoh’s daughter?

Exodus 2: 8-9a, 10
She [Pharaoh’s daughter] said, “Yes, go,” she answered. And the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and raise him for me, and I will pay you.” When the child grew older she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

NOTE: The name Moses is apparently Egyptian and not from any Israelite tribe or clan name. In fact, the Egyptian word Moses is depicted as a hieroglyphic symbol translated as mose (s) which means “to give birth to” as stated by Stephane Rossini in her book, EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHICS How to Read and Write Them (p. 6). For instance, the name Rameses (Cp. Exodus 1: 1b) would be shown as the solar disc representing the sun followed by the glyph or character for mose (s); meaning the son of or born of the Sun [Ra-meses/Ra-mose (s)]. The narrator or editor in Exodus may or may not have been aware of the Egyptian meaning of the word and interpreted it according to the circumstances and placed those words in the mouth of Pharaoh’s daughter, it seems.

Exodus 2: 11a, 12a, 15a
One day after Moses had grown up he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. When Pharaoh heard about it he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian.

Exodus 2: 16a, 18, 19a, 20
Now a priest of Midian had [only??] seven daughters. When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds.” Moses agreed to stay with the man who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.

Exodus 3: 1a
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian.

Exodus 6: 20
Amram married his father’s sister [Amram’s Aunt??] Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses.

NOTE: Why wasn’t Miriam mentioned?

Numbers 10: 29
Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law.

NOTE: Didn’t Reuel only have seven daughters (Cp. Exodus 2: 16a)?

Numbers 12: 1
Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite [Ethiopian] wife, for he married a Cushite.

Judges 4: 11
Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab Moses’ brother-in-law.

NOTE: I would think there is a distinction between a Cushite, Midianite, or a Kenite, for that matter.

Numbers 26: 59
The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed; a descendant of Levi, who was born to the Levites in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam.

1 Chronicles 4: 17b, 18b
One of Mered’s wives gave birth to Miriam (??). These were the children of Pharaoh’s daughter Bithnia, whom Mered had married.

NOTE: It is unlikely that Bithnia was the Egyptian mane of Pharaoh’s daughter, just like Esther was the Persian name of Mordecai’s cousin Hadassah (Cp. Esther 2: 7). If the real name of Pharaoh’s daughter were known then it would have helped to know the identity of the Pharaoh of the Exodus who came after him.

Acts 7: 22-23
Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and deeds. When Moses was forty years old he decided to visit his fellow Israelites.

Exodus 4: 10
Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past [in Egypt??] nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

CONCLUSION:
So, is Moses a real person and if he was, are the things attributed to him, including the adoption of Pharaoh’s daughter and raised by her in defiance of a death decree on all Hebrew males a plausible scenario? The proximity to Pharaoh’s daughter by Moses’ older sister Miriam who could have been one of the attendants or the lone mentioned slave girl, and the events that transpired which changed the course of Moses’ life (literally) and certainly the Israelites who were slaves in Egypt, an historical fact or not? Also, let’s consider Moses’ talking with God, where in Exodus 3: 20, it says, But the Lord said to Moses, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me [my face] and live.” However, it says in verse 11a, The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend (Cp. Numbers 12: 8). Be that as it may the main thing that can be gleaned from the story of Moses and his subsequent impact upon the major World Religions  as Moshe in Judaism, Moses in Christianity, and Islam (Musa in the Koran) is the certainty and unwavering faithfulness of God, and having the confidence to trust in him no matter how dire and hopeless the circumstances might appear to be; because God never fails nor does his promises not come to pass if we keep on believing; and oftentimes God will still rescue us even when we have given up on him.

 
Robert Randle
776 Commerce St. Apt B11
Tacoma, WA 98402
March 25, 2016
robertrandle51@yahoo.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When gods cry

The title is little more than a way to engage the reader’s attention, and I admit to having co-opted the idea from Pop megastar recording artist Prince’s song “When Doves Cry.” The point that I want to offer in this brief study is that not all gods mentioned in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, are objects made from materials such as a tree, stone slab, or molded metal. It may come as a surprise to some that those idol gods mentioned in the Bible narratives are real persons or beings superior to humans. It must also be kept in mind that persons could be worshipped as a ‘god’ such as the Pharaohs of Egypt or Caesars of imperial Rome. If such were idols the carved images would not necessarily what the petitioner or suppliant believes the deity looks like but rather is an aspect of some characteristic and used as a fetish to channel, attract or draw in the power or energy from that source and is used for protection, healing, and some other benefit; or even for destructive purposes as well. The following examples are offered for consideration.

2 Kings 1: 16
He told the king, “This is what the Lord says: “Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron”?

NOTE: Baal-Zebub might be like the oracle of Delphi among the Greeks, giving a glimpse in the future by foretelling of events yet to happen and the eventual outcome. Interestingly, this same name is the corrupted form [or the other way around??] used in the New Testament concerning Jesus in Matthew 12: 24, where it says: But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub [Baal-Zebub] the prince of demons that this fellow drives out demons. It would seem that this being has the same identity and in all probability is some kind of entity or being, non-human and definitely not a carved or graven (man-made) object.

2 Kings 17: 31
The Sepharavites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

2 Kings 19: 37a
One day he (Sennacherib) was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer cut him down with the sword.

NOTE: It is very possible that Sennacherib’s son Adrammelech was worshipped as a god by the Sepharvites. Besides, can a thing (idol) kill someone with a sword, or does a person have to do it?

Jeremiah 43: 12
The Lord will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; He will burn down their temples and take their gods captive.

NOTE: What would be the value of taking captive inanimate objects as opposed to teal people? Of course, even if these idols were made of gold, silver, or some precious stones (jade, rubies, topaz, diamonds, etc.) the narrative still wouldn’t make sense.

Jeremiah 46: 25
The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says, “I am about to bring punishment on Amon the god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on [the people of] Egypt, and on her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh.

NOTE: You cannot punish lifeless things, hurt them or make them feel pain so the god Amon and some, if not all the other gods worshipped in that part of Egypt, as well as the Pharaoh and other kings must be flesh and blood persons.

Jeremiah 48: 7b
“. . . and Chemosh will go into exile, together with his (not it’s) priests and officials.”

NOTE: Only a person can go into exile, be deported or banished.

Jeremiah 49: 1b
Why then has Molech taken possession of [the territory of] Gad? Why do his people live its towns?

NOTE: Does an inanimate object or idol take possession of some land and have people of its own? Besides, the narrative used “his” and not its people.

Jeremiah 50: 2b
Bel will be put to shame and Marduk will be filled with terror.

NOTE: Can an idol of wood, stone, or metal be shamed or made to feel terror?

Ezekiel 8: 14b
I saw women sitting there mourning for Tammuz.

NOTE: Why would women shed tears for an carved image [Tammuz the slain or crucified fertility god??]

 
Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt B11
Tacoma, WA 98402
March 15, 2016
robertrandle51@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Canaanite settlers of Jerusalem were Black Africans

It may come as quite a surprise to readers of the Bible that the land flowing with “milk and honey (Canaan),” was originally settled by Black people, or more specifically, people of African origin. Not only that, but the holy city of Jerusalem and the “Beautiful land” were also settled by one of the Black tribal clans (groups). The tenth chapter of the book of Genesis gives much of the information.

Genesis 10: 6, 15-16, 17b-19
The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn, and the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girhashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Later the Canaanite clans (tribes) scattered [migrated] and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim as far as Lasha.

Joshua 10: 1, 5
Adoni-Zedek, King of Jerusalem. The Amorites were in the land.

Joshua 11: 3
Jebusites were in the hill country

Joshua 15: 8, 63
The Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem) Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.

2 Samuel 5: 6a, 7
The king (David) and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites who lived there. Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the city of David.

NOTE: It does not say that David killed everyone with the sword, like Moses or especially Joshua did. However, it is quite possible that the remaining Jebusites accepted the God of Israel or were made slave laborers like some of the other defeated Canaanite clans.

So, one last and important detail in all of this which tends to prove my point is that Noah’s son Ham is almost universally regarded as synonymous with Black-skinned (burnt of skin); which makes sense in this way- Mizraim is another term for ‘Egypt’ and Cush is associated with Ethiopia. Even Put is believed to be the name of an African tribe designated as Punt [possibly pygmy or Twa people??]. The reason I think this is interesting stems from the fact that the land or territory of disputed claims by Palestinians or the Jewish settlers who came from Europe leading to the establishment of the State of Israel may in point of fact be invalid, after all.

 
Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt B11     
Tacoma, WA 98402
February 24, 2016
robertrandle51@yahoo.com

Monday, July 20, 2015

The faith once delivered to the saints


I want to start this article with a familiar story found in the New testament, and later expand on it to better explain the subject matter for our study. In Luke’s gospel, chapter 18, verses 1-8 is the “Parable of the Persistent Widow” in which God is pictured as an uncaring or insensitive judge. A widow constantly appears before him to dispense justice against her adversary, and although the judge is indifferent to her situation since in the narrative this judge had no regard for anyone, yet he acts on her behalf simply to keep from being worn down by her persistence and constant appearing before him.


Although it is not a flattering representation of God but this is not the main point anyway; which is actually found in the first verse. Jesus tells the disciples that they should always pray and never give up. There is a powerful and subtle message here, too. It says that God can be influenced by humans if we are so strongly committed that our cause is just and righteous that even the Creator will be moved to act; even if the initial response from on High was silence. That being said, however, I want to focus the reader’s attention to verse 8 where Jesus asks the question, “When the Son of man comes again will He find ‘faith’ on the earth?” That’s a really good question and the follow-up to that statement is found in the book of Jude where much of the answer is found.


Jude 3
Dear friends, although I was eager to write to you about the salvation we [commonly] share, I felt that I had to write and urge you to contend [struggle and fight to keep/preserve] for the ‘faith’ that was once for all entrusted to the saints [for safekeeping until Jesus returns].


I want to leave this point for now to take a look at this ‘faith’ and try to unpack it and see what all of this means. Many, if not all Christians have been taught and agree wholeheartedly that they are saved by faith in Jesus Christ; this is undeniably and certainly true as far as things go. The thing is though, more importantly, we are saved by the faith of Jesus, as found in the following:


Galatians 2: 16
Know that a man [person] is not justified by observing the law [Torah] but by the faith of Christ Jesus.


Philippians 3: 9
. . .  and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law [Torah], but that which is through the faith of Christ- the righteousness that comes from God and is by [and through] faith.


Now, what is the connection between the faith of Jesus and righteousness?


Luke 22: 41b-42
Jesus knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup [suffering, pain, and death] from me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.


Hebrews 5: 7-9
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears [like great drops of blood] to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission [to the will of the Father]. Although he were a son [the Son], yet He learned obedience [and trust??] from what He suffered, and once made perfect [being perfected], He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him. . .


NOTE: From these passages that have been previously cited it seems that the ‘faith’ of Jesus is an obedient faith resulting in righteousness through submission to God’s will.


So, to wrap this up by returning back to the book of Jude where some of the things listed there are so familiar, as if taken from today’s news headlines, using Jude 3b as a basis and supported by the next part as referenced below:


2 Timothy 3: 1-5, 7b, 8b
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the Last Days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents [and any other authority figure], ungrateful, unholy, without love [love will grow cold], unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control [intemperate], brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous [disloyal, unfaithful], rash [impetuous/impatient], lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying [blocking through hardness] its power. Have nothing to do with them. Men [persons] of depraved minds, who as far as the ‘faith’ [the faith once and for all delivered], are rejected (reprobate).


Jude wraps it up by including more negative characteristics of believers who have departed from the true faith of Christ through disobedience and way of life in these ways:


Jude 10:
These men speak abusively (derisively) against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct [or through tradition, history, cultural experience] - these are the very things that destroy them [are stumbling blocks??].


Jude 16
These men are grumblers, faultfinders and they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for [or to] their own advantage.


Jude 19
These are the men who divide you (Cp. Romans 10: 17-18), who follow mere natural instincts (verse 16) and do not have the Spirit.


To sum it all up then, just believing in Jesus is not enough because as James writes in chapter 2 and verse 19b of his epistle: Even the demons believe God and tremble. As a matter of fact there are several examples of demons confessing Jesus as the Son of God (Cp. Matthew 8: 29; Mark 3: 11; 5: 7; Luke 4: 41), but there is no record in the gospels that mentions any of them being converted or were saved through their obedience to His will. The original faith is the one entrusted to those who were first changed by it and passed it down through the centuries, as the Holy Spirit bore witness to these things. It is a life of devotion, commitment, and obedience to whatever God commands, as the Apostle Paul puts it this way:


Galatians 2: 20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live [as in the flesh], but Christ lives in [and through] me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in [and of] the Son of God.


Now, when Jesus returns, will He find [the former and original] “faith” in the earth, or more importantly, will He find His type of ‘faith’ in the Church?


 
Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt B11
Tacoma, WA 98402
July 20, 2015
robertrandle51@yahoo.com


Thursday, June 11, 2015

What exactly does it mean to have a “culture of violence?”

There is literally no escape from the inevitable touch of violence, and like death’s merciless and icy grip, there seems to be no way to avoid being touched by it in some way. But before one gives in to the dark clutches of despair and futility, perhaps the thinking about “violence” needs to be reexamined from another perspective that is basic to its intrinsic nature; the propensity to which all living things are imbued with. The first thing to realize is that violence is not a social phenomenon, cultural pathology, or moral transgression. In its basic and primordial essence, it is the natural and instinctual struggle for survival, and as such, human life or any other type could never come into existence. It might be easy to blame the media or entertainment industry for the upsurge in violence but our prehistoric and ancient ancestors seemed to have done a pretty good job of killing and waging war, even making other civilizations and cultures extinct without having the advantage of being exposed to modern technology. Let’s just see what the Bible has to say about the subject of violence.

Isaiah 51: 9b
Was it not You who cut Rahab to pieces, Who pierced the monster through?

Psalms 74: 13b-14
You broke the heads of the monster in the [cosmic] waters. It was You who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert.

NOTE: This is poetic imagery taken from earlier pagan mythology about the Creation and the struggle against monstrous and violent cosmic forces [Rahab] in making the universe.

Genesis 4: 6a, 7b
The LORD said to Cain, “But if you do not what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it’s desire is to have you, but you must master it.”

NOTE: This is probably the most overlooked, and yet, the most revealing lines of text in the Bible-one of those precious spiritual gems of great value and of which contains invaluable or immensurable truth. According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the word (de)sire is derivative of sidero/sidereal-‘astral’ (Latin astrum [“star”]; Gr. astrom- relating to or coming from the stars. Next, the word (m)aster comes from Latin aster; Gr. aster (“star”). The Biblical narrative tells the story how Cain killed Abel after getting into an argument with him.

Now keeping in mind the root words for ‘desire’ and ‘master’ presented in the dictionary,

Genesis 3: 19b
For dust you are and back into dust will you return.

NOTE: Astrophysicists, Cosmologists, and scientists in related fields of study engaged in researching the origins of the universe and the existence biologic life on earth, have concluded that it originated from n interstellar dust cloud in some far distant galaxy. This seems to greatly support the pronouncement by God that Adam [human race] was created from and will return back to the substance that God created and formed Adam from, namely [star] dust. Metaphysicians claim that the only existence possible consists of energy and consciousness, and I wonder if this is possibly what is meant by Genesis 1: 27, where God [Heb. Elohim] creates Adam [man/mankind] in the image and likeness of Elohim.

Let’s consider a very interesting passage found in the Bible.

Revelation 12: 7, 8, 9b
And there was war [violence] in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. That great dragon was hurled down. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

NOTE: It was a battle of unimaginable proportions and the unleashing of cosmic forces/energy beyond human comprehension. I can also imagine that the crash landing by the dragon [Satan] and his angels after their defeat in the celestial war was none too gentle.

So to wrap it up then, the cause of violence is ingrained and has nothing to do with morality because it is amoral forces or energy but it is a moral choice [based upon societal norms and values] to commit a violent act, either for good or for harm/evil. It is not an unsolvable dilemma and there is hope because Jesus told His disciples in John 16: 6 “In this world you will have trouble but take heart, for I have overcome [mastered the world]. Isn’t this the very word that Cain was told, that he must overcome the desire/urge to do wrong, that we must become the master over our impulses and inclinations? The cause is supernatural and the cure must also be supernatural because human effort, no matter how good it is, doesn’t tame, neither mortify the deeds of the fierce LEO within each of us, but salvation can only by faith in the Lamb [ARIES] of God who gave Himself as a ransom for our sins by shedding His precious blood on the Cross of Crucifixion. The apostle James sums it up nicely: What causes fights and quarrels among you, don’t they come from your desires that battle (wage war) within you [your mind]? You want [desire] something but you don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot [do not] have what you want [desire] (Cp. James 4: 1-2a).


Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt b11
Tacoma, WA 98402
June 11, 2015
robertrandle51@yahoo.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Do angels really have wings?

Angels are supernatural beings that help administer the government of God throughout the universe, including earth, and are almost always depicted as having wings; whether in art or based upon the recollection of dreams and visions. Angel is more of a generic term, though, because there are several classes of them, but the question that remains to be answered in this study is whether the angels that are usually associated with appearing to humans, do indeed have wings.
 
1 Kings 8: 7
The cherubim spread their wings over the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles.


NOTE: This involves the symbolic representation of the creatures that overshadowed the mercy seat in the Ark of the Covenant.

Isaiah 6: 2
Above the LORD were the seraphs, each with six wings, with two wings they covered their faces, with two wings they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.


Ezekiel 1: 4b-9a
The center of the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their forms were like that of a man, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed [shone] like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had the hands of a man. All four of them had faces and wings, and their wings touched each other.


NOTE: These four living creatures are mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

Daniel 4: 17
The decision is announced by the Watchers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men. . .


Zechariah 5: 9
Then I looked up- and before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.


Revelation 8: 13a
As I watched, I heard an angel that was flying in mid heaven call out with a loud voice. . .


Revelation 14: 6a
Then I saw another angel flying in mid heaven, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth-



NOTE: It does not say anything about either angel having wings. So, to sum it all up then, in all the instances where an angel appears to humans, no matter how awesome their appearance [like lightning, radiant, and clothing imbued with divine light, etc.] no mention is made of having wings. I would think that such an important detail like that would fail to be omitted if it were true and factual.

Lastly, the angel Gabriel flew very quickly to the prophet Daniel while he was praying around the time of the evening sacrifice (Cp. Daniel 9: 21), but it didn’t describe that the angel had wings. Sometimes “wings” can be used metaphorically, like coming on the ‘wings’ of the wind to mean that the person came in a hurry; which was probably the case with the angel Gabriel’s urgent rush to be sent by God to instruct Daniel. Angelic baby cherubs with wings and golden hair or adult ones with strong and powerful wings like those of Asgardian Valkyries may exist in dreams, fantasy, the imagination and folklore of Northern European and Scandinavian legends, Western European Greek or Roman mythologies, as well as those in Asia and probably Africa, but the Bible is silent on winged angels that any Bible personage tells us about, specifically.


Robert Randle
776 Commerce St Apt B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
June 10, 2015
robertrandle51@yahoo.com