VOL.10 NO. 1 © 2001
IN THIS ISSUE:
FEAST OF TABERNACLES
DIFFERENT DEGREES OF CHRISTIANITY
THE ANT AND THE CONTACT LENS
REASON FOR THE SEASON
COULD YOU HAVE PASSED THE 8th GRADE 1895?
FEAST OF TABERNACLES, OCTOBER 3 THRU 10,2001
by Mark Carr
We urge all of you to join us for eight days of worship and fellowship. This year there are two beautiful sites to pick from. Arrangements have been made to hold the Feast of Tabernacles at Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville, Tennessee and also in beautiful Lake Worth, Florida. Both are attractive settings in which to keep God's Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day. Please make your reservations TODAY and let us know you are coming.
Observing the Feast of Tabernacles is an important spiritual event. Many other denominations recognize the importance of spending a week living in a temporary dwelling worshiping God. However, no amount of camp meetings, etc., can replace the eight days of exclusive worship that God commands us to observe at the time that He sanctifies. Only God can create "Holy Time". If we are faithful and obey His commandments, He will bless us spiritually. Please come and recharge your "spiritual batteries". The best way to do this is worship, relaxation and fellowship at the Feast of Tabernacles.
We must never forget that the Feast is a sacred celebration that God has given to us as a gift. He has commanded us to set aside a small portion of our wages each week, so that in the fall we can spend eight days with our family and friends worshiping Him. No debt, no worries and no pressure. To assure our enjoyment, He commands us to take the money that we save and "buy whatever our heart desires" (Deu 14:26). What a great and awesome God we have! Why would anyone refuse to obey Him?
CUMBERLAND MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
To observe this sacred Festival we have reserved the beautiful Cumberland Mountain State Park. It is situated on the Cumberland Plateau, a segment of the great upland, which extends from western New York to central Alabama. It is said to be the largest timbered plateau in America. This 1,720-acre park is on the Cumberland Plateau, we hope that you will join us there.
This beautiful park has a lake surrounded by mountain timber. There are paddle boats, canoes & row boats available. There are playgrounds, tennis courts, a baseball field, volleyball, badminton nets, a basketball court and picnic areas for our use. The meeting room holds 450 people and has a large kitchen for pot luck dinners.
This is really a Biblical setting to worship God in. We look forward to eight days of worship, with singing, wonderful sermons, great Bible studies, fellowship with old friends and hopefully some new ones. Please make your reservations today!
We have several activities planned. Each morning at 9:30AM there will be a song service to worship God with contempory praise music. At 10AM the regular worship service with traditional hymns will begin. On the Sabbath and High Days there will be a 2:30PM service in addition to the morning worship.
There are activities planned for several afternoons. There will be hikes, games and singing with "jam sessions" that include Bluegrass, Country and Praise. In the evenings there will be Bible studies, a fun show, Bible millionaire and some teen only events.
We have reserved this beautiful site for our exclusive use. You must contact us before July 1st with your reservation at (1-865-922-5545). There are 39 cabins nestled in the woods at Cumberland Mountain State Park that have fully equipped kitchens, cable TV, fireplaces (except duplex cabins), linens, picnic tables and grills. Wood is provided for those cabins with fireplaces. Parking is provided in the front of each cabin. We have negotiated special rates; the rates listed below are for 8 nights.
There are 8 AAA Deluxe cabins with 2 bedrooms that sleep 10 people at $813.75 for eight nights.
There are 3 AAA Timberlodge cabins with 3 bedrooms that sleep 10 people at $813.75 for eight nights.
There are 5 AA Rustic cabins with 2 bedrooms that sleep 6 people at $530.25 for eight nights.
There are 11 AA Rustic cabins with 1 bedroom that sleep 6 people at $530.25 for eight nights.
There is 1 AA Coon Hollow cabin with 3 bedrooms that sleep 6 people at $530.25 for eight nights.
There are 8 A Duplex cabins with 1 room that sleep 4 people at $367.50 for eight nights.
There is 1 Group Lodge cabin with 2 bedrooms that sleep 16 people at $483.00 for eight nights.
If you want to be put on a cancellation list for the rented cabins, contact us.
Cumberland Mountain Park has a combined total of 147 tent and RV campsites with hookups provided. Picnic tables, grills and a bathhouse facility are also provided. There is a $2 shower fee. Reservations are not taken for campsites, they are first come, first served. Campsites are $17/night, seniors are $15.50/night.
Best Western 800-528-1234 $68/night
Comfort Suites 800-517-4000 $77/night
Hampton Inn 800-426-7866 $74/night
Heritage Inn 800-762-7065 $49/night
Holiday Inn 800-465-4329 $69/night
Inn of Cumberland 800-272-6232 $50/night
Ramada Inn 800-272-6232 $69/night
Remember to bring your musical instruments for song services, special music and the fun show. Ideas and volunteers are needed for special events to be held each afternoon and evening. If your children are planning to participate in the children's services, please contact Linda Lewallen, Mary Carr, or Pat Myers, or mail them at PO Box 70635, Knoxville, TN 37938.
If you have any questions about the Feast, wish to volunteer for helping out or speaking, or have an idea to share, contact Mark Carr 865-922-5420 PO Box 70635, Knoxville, TN 37938 firstname.lastname@example.org
We can look forward to having a great time this year. Please consider joining us in worshiping God this year. This could be the best site we have ever had. I hope to see all of you at the Feast this year.
For those of you who choose south Florida, Neville Gilbert and the Lake Worth Church will be observing the Feast in Lake Worth again. They are a loving and caring group who welcome everyone. Give this site serious consideration, for more information, call Neville at (561) 585-4580.
When we present God's holy law,
And arguments from scripture draw,
Objectors say, to pick a flaw,
Though at the first Yahweh blessed
And sanctified His day of rest,
The same belief is still expressed,
Though with the world this rest began,
And thence through all Scriptures ran,
And Yehshua said "'twas made for man"--
Though not with Jewish rites, which passed,
But with the moral law 'twas classed,
Which must exist while time shall last,
If from the Bible we present
The Sabbath's meaning and intent,
This answers every argument--
Though the disciples, Luke and Paul,
Continue still this rest to call
The 'Sabbath day', this answers all:
The gospel teacher's plain expression,
That " Sin is of the law's transgression,"
Seems not to make the least impression--
They love the rest of man's invention,
But if Yahweh's day we mention,
This puts an end to all contention:
O ye who thus GOD's day abuse,
Simply because 'twas kept by Jews,
The Saviour, too, you must refuse,
The Scriptures, then, we may expect
For the same reason you'll reject;
For if you will but recollect,
Thus the apostles, too, must fall;
For Andrew, Peter, James, and Paul,
Thomas, Matthew, John, and all
So to your helpless state resign
Yourself in wretchedness to pine;
Salvation, surely you'll decline,
DIFFERENT DEGREES OF CHRISTIANITY
by P Myers
Over the years, I have come to realize that there are basically four different degree's of Christianity. The first type is, someone who professes Christ with his mouth, then does absolutely nothing to serve Him. Unfortunately, we all know people like this. Perhaps we even have them as family members. What can you do for someone like this? They don't even see the importance in attending church. They say, "Well, I'm a good person and I believe that Jesus is God's Son, so I know I"m saved." They may even know what the Bible says on certain subjects, and they'll gladly discuss these with you. But try to give these folks any kind of insight on a subject they know nothing about, and they'll reject it every time. They won't even look in their Bibles to see if what you are telling them is true. I call these people, "Cold Christians."
The second kind of Christians are the ones who do go to church, but are completely content in warming the pew. They see no need in serving God, no matter how small the task. I used to attend a Baptist church and it seemed like there was always something that needed done. It was always the same 5% of the people doing 100% of the work. It always amazed me, that these others would never offer to help. These people don't even do the basics of Christianity ...telling someone about Jesus. They would just go to church once a week, and think that they had blessed God with their presence. I like to call these people, "Lukewarm Christians."
The third type, are the ones who really do love the Lord and are anxious to serve Him in any way they can. They are at church every time the doors are open. They go out of their way to help others. They sing in the choir. They may even go out for church visitation, telling others about Christ. Having come out of a church full of people like this, many of them were our friends. We loved them very much. When we told them that God was leading us into a higher degree of obedience, many of them disowned us completely. Remember, these are people that love God and yet they are willing to turn their backs on us, because we were being called to be something that didn't "fit the mold." The few that didn't turn on us, have remained our friends, yet they care nothing about how or why God called us to come out of the church. They don't want to know. They are happy doing what they are doing. I have named these, "Warm Christians."
Finally, the fourth kind of Christian, is one who will follow Christ, no matter what the cost. Being different from the rest of Christianity is sometimes very difficult. We seem to the rest, to be outcast's. They are ready to ridicule our beliefs, without just cause. They try to ignore us like we're invisible. The truth is, they don't want any thing to do with us. They say, "You don't celebrate Xmas and you call yourself a CHRISTIAN?" Explain as you may, they still think you're sick. You can show them the same Bible verses that made you see the truth, and they won't see it. No matter how hard you try, you can't make them see it. It's not that they are blind, God just hasn't revealed it to them yet. Does that make us better than them? Certainly not! Jesus came and died for EVERYONE who will believe. It is not our place to judge anyone. That is God's job. If He chooses to reveal a truth to someone, and they do nothing about it, they will have to answer for it. On the other hand, because He HAS revealed truth to us, and we ARE being obedient to Him, we are what I call, "Hot Christians." It is not up to us to second guess God. The Scripture that comes to mind is; "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth." Revelation 3:16
To me, this is saying; you have to know what you are in Christ. Is it enough to be called a "Christian"? Do we really have to obey Him if He calls us to do so? You bet! I believe our salvation depends upon it.
DIETARY LAWS, IS IT A SIN TO EAT PORK?
By Ted Maynard
God's dietary laws are part of the 613 laws that are found in the Old Testament. These laws are vital for all people to observe today. We keep them not for salvation, but for our own good, to worship God, and to show God that we love Him. After all, Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments", John 14:15.
When people find out that I keep the 7th day Sabbath, first they ask, "Are you a Seventh Day Adventist?" When you tell them, "No and that The Ten Commandments are to be kept today", they seem to ask the same question concerning whether or not I think that eating pork is wrong. Why they focus on this issue and this particular food, I'll never know. I would rather talk to them about the Sabbath, as it was God's first law, pointing back to creation itself. But, if people want to know about the dietary laws first, that is fine by me. I often wonder if they are looking for the so-called "weak link" in the whole structure of ideas concerning the issue of law keeping. They are looking for a place to start discrediting God's very own words as trivial and of no apparent use for the modern individual.
None of God's Laws are suggestions and yet we live in a society that balks at the mere suggestion that we should live under anyone else's rules...Even a holy and omnipotent God's instructions as to how to live! We certainly do need to humble ourselves, to study God's Laws and to implement them into our lives.
It is important to determine whether the dietary laws are for Christians today, and if that indeed can be proven, then it would follow that the other laws, statutes, and judgments need to be observed as well. God is not offering up a smorgasbord of laws for you to pick and choose from. It is all or nothing. No more should churchmen reach back into the Old Testament and glean the tithing laws but reject the rest. They create and recreate 'God' at their own whim.
Leviticus 11:45 "For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy." [This is not a suggestion, but a command, You shall therefore be holy! We ought to find out how to become holy!]
1Cor 3:16 "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? :17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are."
We are commanded to be Holy and to sin no more.
For every one of God's Laws there is a spiritual and a physical aspect. If we eat unclean foods, it physically and spiritually defiles our temple, the temple where Jesus lives within us. The Holy Spirit is given out in measure, to those that obey Him. How much Holy Spirit do you want? I don't know about you, but I want as much as I can get!
The closer we follow God's Laws, the closer God will draw near to us.
When we become ill, we should be looking to Jesus for healing. Will He answer our prayer for healing if we have ignored His health and diet laws? God forgives us of sin, but we still may have to suffer the consequences of that sin.
Exodus 15:26 "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you."
Many Jews gave up their lives during the Maccabean revolt in 167BC. Among other things, these Jews were being forced to eat pork and abandon the dietary laws spelled out in Torah. Many died rather than comply with this, they were absolutely convinced of the importance of the dietary laws and were willing to be martyred for it. The gospels tell us that Jesus kept Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Dedication, that reminds us of this event. The fact that He kept that feast affirms that the Maccabeans where doing God's will by refusing to disobey His Law by eating pork. Even unto death.
The dietary laws can be found in Leviticus 11
Leviticus 11:1 "Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, :2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the animals which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth: :3 'Among the animals, whatever divides the hoof, having cloven hooves and chewing the cud -- that you may eat. :7 and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. :8 Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. They are unclean to you."
Go back and read the entire chapter of Leviticus 11. Some of the more popular foods that we are NOT to eat are pork, crab, lobster, catfish, and shrimp. You may think, "These are old Jewish laws...they are not for me"! This passage is addressed to the children of Israel. Gentiles are included in this group, if they are believers in Jesus then they are grafted into Israel. Also consider, the children of Israel that were led out of Egypt by God through Moses, were a mixed multitude of many races...they weren't all racially Jewish people. These "strangers" were grafted in also.
The dietary laws were in effect from the time of Adam. Look at this reference about Noah and the Ark.
Genesis 7:2 "You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female;"
Here, again, is the concept of clean and unclean animals. Moses was not even born yet. No Jews existed yet in the days of Noah, so you can't say that these laws were just for them. God does not change. Like the origin of the 7th day Sabbath, it can be traced back before the flood. Notice also the character of God Himself as changeless throughout time;
Malachi 3:6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change;"
Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
God does not establish laws and then cancel them as Jesus reaffirms in Matt 5:17"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." (Jesus came to amplify, clarify, exalt, and live the Law by example) :18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." (None of God's laws have been done away with...all is not fulfilled) :19 "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
Many people teach that God's laws are done away with. That is an abomination to God. People teaching this doctrine of lawlessness serve Satan the devil, who is bestowed with the title of "the man of lawlessness"...he is the one who invented lawlessness.
Does Col 2:14 say that the Law was nailed to the cross? No, it does not! The only two things that were nailed to the cross were our Savior, Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha Machiac, and our SINS!
Next time you sing the old hymn, "It Is Well, With My Soul", check out the words. Some how this hymn slipped through the censors as it has the sins (not the law) nailed to the cross!
God does not make laws in an arbitrary fashion.
All His laws benefit mankind. God created us and He created our food. If He told us to not eat a specific food, He undoubtedly had good reason to do so. And this is the case with pork. We are not to eat pork.
On the topic of the dietary laws, a great book to read is "What the Bible says about Healthy Living", by Dr. Rex Russell (1996, Regal Books). It can be found in most of your big discount bookstores. It is an easy and interesting read, I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to look at this topic. The following information comes from Dr. Russell's book:
There was a study done in 1953 by Dr. David Macht of John Hopkins University, about how the toxic effects of animal flesh affected a controlled growth culture. A substance was classified toxic if it slowed the cultures growth rate below 75% of normal growth. Remember the higher the number, the cleaner the food.
Here are some of the results: deer 98%, sheep 94%, calf 82%.
Now remember, anything below 75% is toxic or unclean: cat 62%, dog 62%, bear 55%, rat 55%. Guess where pork falls in: pork 54%....right under the rat at 55%. Rat is less toxic than pork!
Pigs are gluttonous, never knowing when to stop eating. Their stomach acids become diluted because of the sheer volume of food, allowing all kinds of vermin to pass through this protective barrier. Parasites, bacteria, viruses, and toxins can pass into the pig's flesh because of overeating. These toxins and infectious agents can be passed on to humans when they eat pig's flesh.
Cooking at high temperatures does not kill all these effects. Microwaving is particularly unsafe as it heats the meat unevenly.
Writes Elmer A. Josephson in God's Key to Health and Happiness, "Senator Thomas C. Desmond, who served as chairman of the New York Trichinosis Commission stated, 'Physicians have confused trichinonosis with some 50 ailments, ranging from typhoid fever to acute alcoholism'..."
"It has been reported from a lab of our northern universities that the trichane-laden swine flesh was heated to unbelievably high temperature and then put under a microscope. To the amazement of the technicians, some worms were still alive and moving about. The supposition that all of these worms can be killed in cooking is not to be relied upon".
So why were pigs created if not to eat? For one thing, they serve a useful role just cleaning up the place. As is well known, pigs will eat anything and everything. They were designed to clean up decaying flesh and pollution. Pigs have eaten Philadelphia's garbage and sewage for more than 100 years, saving the city $3 million a year in landfill costs. This is a wise use of hogs. They are designed to clean our environment.
Even when stacked in cages, piglets thrive on offal from the rest when only the pig in the top cage receives food. Farmers have increased their profits by feeding free raw sewage to pigs. Chicken farmers often kept a hog so they can dispose of dead chickens without having to bury them.
Lets go to the Word of God for more direction on this subject:
Isaiah 65:3 "A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; Who sacrifice in gardens, And burn incense on altars of brick; :4 Who sit among the graves, And spend the night in the tombs; Who eat swine's flesh, And the broth of abominable things is in their vessels" [eating swine provokes God to anger!]
Isaiah 66:3 "He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man; He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog's neck; He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine's blood; He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol. Just as they have chosen their own ways, And their soul delights in their abominations, :4 So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear" [God spoke in His Word: Do not eat swine's flesh! But few people hear Him] "But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight."
Isaiah 66:17 "Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, To go to the gardens After an idol in the midst, Eating swine's flesh and the abomination and the mouse, Shall be consumed together, says the LORD."
God calls eating swine's flesh an abomination. Do you want to risk doing any action that God says is an abomination? It's a no-brainer!
Notice that these verses are set in the future. God was seeing his people return to the ways of the heathen. He was seeing how God's people were ignoring His word by eating ham at the pagan holidays of easter and x-mass.
Does it really make any difference to God what we eat? The prophet Hosea wrote:
Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. :7 The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame."
What becomes of people who are translated in the first resurrection? They are made priests and kings, that rule and reign with Christ on earth for 1000 years. So if we forget the law of God, "I also will reject you from being priest for Me."...Then it follows that we will not participate in the first resurrection.
If we reject the truth of God, He says He will reject us! Very simple; God Says, "You do this, and I'll do that" "You ignore My Law, I'll ignore your children, and refuse to bless them.""You turn your back on Me, then I'll turn My back on YOU".
Were all meats made clean in the New Testament?
Mark 7:1 "Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. :2 Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. :3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. :4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. :5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?"
Notice: This is a dispute over traditions of men, not God's Laws!
Mark 7:6 "He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. :7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' :8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men -- the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do. : 9 He said to them, All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition."
Jesus did not accept tradition or custom when it conflicted with God's Laws. He rejected the add-ons by the Rabbis and others. He stood up against them!
Mark 7: 18 "So He said to them, `Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, :19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?"
Note: it does not say purifying all meat. It says purifying all foods. God's Word says that pork and other unclean meat is NOT food!
Mark 7:20 "And He said, `What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. :21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, :22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. :23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man."
This is not about clean/unclean meats. The subject under discussion was the Jewish traditions of eating with unwashed hands, unwashed cups and saucers, pots and pans, and similar traditions. This was about food eaten with unclean hands, perhaps with a little dirt on them. The Jews NEVER considered pork, or other unclean flesh, to be food at all.
Romans 14:1 "Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. :2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. :3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him."
This is not about clean/unclean meats. This is about vegetarianism. Some people think that this is the way to go. The scriptures say that this issue is not a big deal.
Rom 14:14 "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. :15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
The word unclean above was translated from the Greek #2839 'koinos' (koy-nos') which means 'common'. Notice that Acts 10:28 has the same Greek word 'koinos' plus the Greek word 'akathartos' (ak-ath'-ar-tos) which is the true Greek word for unclean.
Acts 10:28 "Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean."
Rom 14:14 "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing COMMON of itself; but to him who considers anything to be common, to him it is common."
Common in this sense means things strangled. Remember, that is one of the laws that are part of the minimum requirements for Gentiles to keep in order to allow them to fellowship with the rest of the believers. Heathen people strangle animals rather than cutting the throat and allowing them to drain off the blood. When you strangle an animal there is no way to get the blood out. It pools inside the meat and putrefies. Blood is full of toxins and waste products. That is why we are commanded not to eat blood.
If a brother invites us over to dinner, there is no way of knowing how the food is prepared. We are to assume that the meat (clean meat, of course) is okay unless your conscience really bothers you about it. Otherwise, God says that it is all right to go ahead and eat. God will bless the meal. We are not to make a big deal and offend our brother.
So you see that Romans 14:14 has absolutely nothing to do with making it okay to eat pork.
Here are some verses from 1 Corinthians that some people say do away with the restrictions, but again this is referring to meat sacrificed to idols.
1Cor 10:25 "Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake; :26 for the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness. :27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake. "28 But if anyone says to you, "This was offered to idols," do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience' sake; for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."
Here is a passage from 1Timothy, which some people use as proof text that pork and other unclean flesh is now made clean and appropriate for food, but nothing could be further from the truth.
1 Timothy 4:1 "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, :2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, :3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. :4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; :5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."
Lets break this down:
1 Timothy 4:1 "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,"
We are in the latter days now. We are warned to be aware that deceiving spirits with doctrines of demons, will try to undermine our faith. This is happening now and is called the doctrine of lawlessness. Remember the man of lawlessness?
:2 "speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, :3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods"
Does this ring a bell? Can we think of any religions that forbid marriage and forbid eating a certain food? God's word says that pork is not food. Lets not forget that point.
"which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth."
God created clean meat for food. Jesus ate meat...and remember that God's Word is Truth. We may not always understand why God asks us to do something, but we are called into obedience just the same.
:4 "For every creature of God is good,"
When God created all the animals, He said that it was "good"...not necessarily "good for eating", but good to whatever purpose that it was created for.
"and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; :5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."
What does this mean? If you are not careful, you might think that as long as you give thanks, any meat is now fit for eating. But, stop and think a minute. God has sanctified certain food suitable for eating. Have you gone out and eaten any poison oak lately? There are many foods poisonous and hazardous to your health like creepy-crawly lizards, bugs, toads, poison mushrooms and toxic berries, hemlock, etc. So, is God saying that we can eat a sea snake as long as we give thanks? No! That would be taking it out of context. The Word of God has sanctified some meats for food, as we are instructed in Lev 11 and Deut 14.
There are no contradictions in the Bible. When one passage seems contrary to another, it is only a lack of understanding. God's Word is Truth.
Some people think that Peter's vision in the book of Acts made all meat clean to eat. Most of us are familiar with this passage. Read the whole 10th & 11th chapter of Acts on your own. Here are the highlights:
Acts 10:9 "The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. :10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance :11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. :12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. :13 And a voice came to him, `Rise, Peter; kill and eat.' :14 But Peter said, `Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.' :15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, `What God has cleansed you must not call common.' :16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again. :17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate. :18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there. :19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, `Behold, three men are seeking you. :20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.' :21 Then Peter went down to the men who had been sent to him from Cornelius, and said, `Yes, I am he whom you seek. For what reason have you come?' :22 And they said, `Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you.'...." (here is the punch line) :28 "Then he said to them, `You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any MAN common or unclean....' :34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: `In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. :35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.'"
Peter's vision is not about clean/unclean meats at all! Peter says that God showed him that no man should be considered to be called common....this is not about meat...it is about MANKIND! The entire context of this passage is about Gentiles being able to receive the Holy Spirit, to be worthy of receiving the gospel of Jesus. Peter was raised from the cradle to believe that he should have absolutely no fellowship with Gentiles, they were unclean. Peter was a hard head at times. Jesus used the vision to shock Peter into understanding this new development.
Here is a verse from Colossians, which is often used as an excuse to relax the dietary laws.
Colossians 2:16 "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths,"
Paul was writing to brothers that were converted out of the pagan Greek people. When the new converts started keeping the Sabbaths and the laws, they were scoffed at and mocked by their old pagan buddies. There is nothing here at all about anyone being allowed to eat swine's flesh!
Nowhere in the entire Bible is there any evidence that God's Laws, including the dietary laws, are done away with. So let's keep them the best that we possibly can, to show God that we love Him through our obedience. And in answer to the original question posed, "Is it a sin to eat pork?"; yes, it most certainly is sinful to disobey God's commandments. This is especially so, when one does in the full knowledge of God's word.
Luke 12:47 "And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. :48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."
THE ANT AND THE CONTACT LENS
A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona
Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens.
Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there. Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found.
She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth."
She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."
Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"
Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it. Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why You want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I'll carry it for You."
I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will." God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Yes I do love GOD. He is my source of existence and my savior. He keeps me functioning each and every day. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
REASON FOR THE SEASON?
by John & Marlys Hardcastle
As we approach the season that abounds with x-mas parties, take a few moments to read this story and consider its meaning.
WIFE TO HUSBAND: Darling! I have decided to have a big birthday party for you!
HUSBAND: Wonderful! When?
WIFE: On December 25th.
HUSBAND: That's not my birthday.
WIFE: I know, I know, but we'll just SAY it's your birthday.
HUSBAND: That's your ex-boy friend's birthday!
WIFE: That's okay, I have decided to call it your birthday.
HUSBAND: No, its not okay. Why don't you just pick any day that is NOT your ex-boy friend's birthday? Aren't you interested in what is true? In what is pleasing to me? Even enough to find out my real birth date?
WIFE: Now, now, don't get upset. I have decided that we'll just SAY it is your birthday. I've sent out the invitations and everybody is doing it so that makes it okay.
HUSBAND: It does?
WIFE: Yes, and you wouldn't want me to change the date and inconvenience anyone. I have decided it is okay.
HUSBAND: You've decided. I would be pleased if you would just take my hand and follow me and spend a few moments with me.
WIFE: Later, later. No time now. I have invited ALL the family. My Father and Mother and Uncle Bill and Cousin Betty and Ernie and all the kids and grandkids and, Oh, the children will love it! We'll do it for the children! They deserve it!
HUSBAND: For the children. I see, a day to exalt family...and you call it my birthday. Makes me think you love family more than me.
WIFE: Oh, you'll love it, too, I have decided. And we'll all give gifts to each other.
HUSBAND: This is supposed to be MY birthday? Yet you give gifts to others? Why?
WIFE: And I'll decorate the house...red ribbons and bows and...
HUSBAND: Red? Red is your ex-boyfriend's favorite color! I like blue and green. Blue skies, blue seas, green grass, trees, birds...
WIFE: Oh, I'm putting up a green tree decorated with gold and silver balls and we'll put gifts under it!
HUSBAND: Like the idolaters throughout history....every green tree... That is idolatry.
WIFE: And I'll have to buy gifts and do lots of shopping and...
HUSBAND: ...so the God of Mammon will get his.
WIFE: It will be worth it! I'll decorate and bake cookies and fruitcake and...
HUSBAND: Sounds like you'll be really busy. Come away my beloved and spend a little time with me...a walk by the river, a...
WIFE: Later, darling. I'll be busy, but you'll love it... I've decided. The hustle, the bustle...oh, yes, and I've decided to have a nice baked ham...
HUSBAND: Charred swine's flesh! On what you SAY is my birthday and is not! Who is in charge here? Why do you just do YOUR THING and assume that I will put my stamp of approval on it? If you love me, why do you not DO the things that I say? Why do you not do things MY WAY? You don't even KNOW me! I suppose the next thing you'll do is dress your ex-boyfriend in a red suit and have him drop down the chimney!
WIFE: Uhhhh. Well...
Could You Have Passed the 8th Grade in 1895?
Shared by Kay Bentley
This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 from Salina, KS. USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS - 1895
Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. per bu., deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per m?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates:
Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e'. Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono,super.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd,cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences,
Cite, site, sight,
fane, fain, feign,
vane, vain, vein,
raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
Geography (Time, one hour)
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fermandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.
Imagine a college student who went to public school trying to pass this test, even if the few outdated questions were modernized.
Gives the saying of an early 20th century person that "she/he only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning!
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