Archive for June, 2016


by Bill McPherson  (Published by Permission)

Below are a few words for curious and inquiring minds, the pith of which few have ever considered. You will read religious sounding words, but this is far from what you may expect. Try to read with an open mind, not attaching sentiment or emotion, rather with intellect and common sense.

It appears evident from the words of Jesus Christ himself that many people are deceived and worship Him in vain. How can this be and where are these “many”? One would think that “many” people could be identified – that they are ubiquitous.

Notice these words:

Matthew 24:5 “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” These are not people claiming themselves to be the Christ, but that Jesus is the Christ. Notice again in context Matthew 24:11 “and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”


Jesus Christ also said it is possible to worship Him in vain and that “many” would be doing that. It sounds like these “many” are well intentioned people yet going about their worship incorrectly. Is it possible to incorrectly worship God?

Look at :

Matthew 15:8,9 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”


Notice again in…

Mark 7:6,7 “He replied, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 In vain (fruitlessly and without profit) do they worship Me, ordering and teaching [to be obeyed] as doctrines the commandments and precepts of men.”


Webster’s dictionary defines “deceive” as: “to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid.” Deceived people generally do not know they are deceived. Who would admit they willfully accept being deceived? Exploring the possibilities of this deception is quite fascinating and is set forth in the following.

Consider how many words and phrases, generally thought to be valid by the “Christian” world, cannot be found in the Bible – the source from which “Christians” base their beliefs, customs, traditions, etc. First, there are the myriad denominations: Church of Christ, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Quaker, Mormon, Presbyterian, Catholic, Pentecostal, Episcopal, etc., etc.

These are essentially inventions of men. Each of these denominations and countless others found their origin at some point in history, most of which during the past 500 years. Even the Roman Catholic organization wasn’t founded until over 300 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Given the often radical differences within these denominations, one would wonder how they all could represent the true organization mentioned in the scripture, for Jesus Christ did say He would build a Church (organization of people). One would have to have quite the imagination to reason that all these denominations represent God’s best effort. The point is that none of these organizations are mentioned in scripture; they are the inventions of men.

Other words and phrases not found in scripture are also universally accepted: trinity, rapture, lent, rosary, sacrament, purgatory, easter, christmas, palm sunday, mass, etc. Myriad professing Christians have deep emotions about these although there is no biblical reference for them. The origins of these false concepts are often founded in Pagan ritual. Indeed, the Sunday – first day of the week – observance has a pagan origin from the 3rd Century. Many people are deceived into what they’ve been taught by man rather than by God Himself. Evidence of this is easy to unearth.

According to Jesus Christ, many will have thought they were worshiping Him correctly:

Matthew 7:22,23 Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied through “your” name, and through “your” name cast out demons, and through “your” name done many works of power? 23 and then will I avow unto them, I never knew you. Depart from me, workers of lawlessness.


Have the “many” who are deceived been identified? Certainly, many people are involved in and believe in the litany of unscriptural “Christian” jargon, pagan rituals and traditions passed down through time. One could easily reverse this deception by researching the origins and searching the scriptures. Of course, this takes considerable effort and who would make a concerted effort to disprove what they so strongly believe? But, the fact is unless one tries to disprove a belief how can they have confidence what they believe is true?

One final point: One might ask, “how could all these denominations be wrong? After all millions, no billions, of professing Christians are associated with them. The Bible refers to Christians as being a “little flock” and few in number as clearly stated in the following. All this confusion could easily be cleared up by researching the validity of dearly held beliefs we’ve assumed since childhood.

Matthew 7: 13,14

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.



Our Hope and Promise

by Robert Knarr

Sabbath greetings from Central Pennsylvania!  What a sad week it’s been. What terrible times seem to be on the horizon!   But what a great future, a great hope we  look forward to!

The Orlando shooting of the past week is another small glimpse of the trials and punishments that are coming on this world as we continue to march towards the end of the God-rejecting age of man….leading up to the amazing and glorious Kingdom promised by our merciful Father.


Hosea 4:1-6 ESV  Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land;  (2)  there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.  (3)  Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away.  (4)  Yet let no one contend, and let none accuse, for with you is my contention, O priest.  (5)  You shall stumble by day; the prophet also shall stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother.  (6)  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

2 Timothy 3:13 KJV  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Genesis 9:5-6 ESV  And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.  (6)  “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

Lamentations 2:5-6 ESV  The Lord has become like an enemy; he has swallowed up Israel; he has swallowed up all its palaces; he has laid in ruins its strongholds, and he has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.  (6)  He has laid waste his booth like a garden, laid in ruins his meeting place; the LORD has made Zion forget festival and Sabbath, and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.

Isaiah 10:20-22 ESV  In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.  (21)  A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.  (22)  For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.

2 Peter 3:1-18 ESV  This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,  (2)  that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,  (3)  knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.  (4)  They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”  (5)  For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,  (6)  and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.  (7)  But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.  (8)  But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  (9)  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.  (10)  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.  (11)  Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,  (12)  waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!  (13)  But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  (14)  Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.  (15)  And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,  (16)  as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.  (17)  You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the ERROR OF LAWLESS PEOPLE  and lose your own stability.  (18)  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Not pretty, what is happening now and will continue until HE returns to set things right.

Leviticus 26:13-39 ESV  I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.  (14)  “But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments,  (15)  if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant,  (16)  then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.  (17)  I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you.  (18)  And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins,  (19)  and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze.  (20)  And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.  (21)  “Then if you walk contrary to me and will not listen to me, I will continue striking you, sevenfold for your sins.  (22)  And I will let loose the wild beasts against you, which shall bereave you of your children and destroy your livestock and make you few in number, so that your roads shall be deserted.  (23)  “And if by this discipline you are not turned to me but walk contrary to me,  (24)  then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will strike you sevenfold for your sins.  (25)  And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant. And if you gather within your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.  (26)  When I break your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven and shall dole out your bread again by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.  (27)  “But if in spite of this you will not listen to me, but walk contrary to me,  (28)  then I will walk contrary to you in fury, and I myself will discipline you sevenfold for your sins.  (29)  You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters.  (30)  And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you.  (31)  And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas.  (32)  And I myself will devastate the land, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled at it.  (33)  And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.  (34)  “Then the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its Sabbaths.  (35)  As long as it lies desolate it shall have rest, the rest that it did not have on your Sabbaths when you were dwelling in it.  (36)  And as for those of you who are left, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues.  (37)  They shall stumble over one another, as if to escape a sword, though none pursues. And you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.  (38)  And you shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.  (39)  And those of you who are left shall rot away in your enemies’ lands because of their iniquity, and also because of the iniquities of their fathers they shall rot away like them.

Think to yourself “I am a gentile, this was only for the JEWS”?  Think again.

Romans 11:13-33 ESV  Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry  (14)  in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.  (15)  For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?  (16)  If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.  (17)  But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,  (18)  do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.  (19)  Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”  (20)  That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.  (21)  For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.  (22)  Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.  (23)  And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.  (24)  For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.  (25)  Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  (26)  And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;  (27)  “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”  (28)  As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.  (29)  For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  (30)  For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,  (31)  so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.  (32)  For God has consigned all to disobedience, THAT HE MAY HAVE MERCY ON ALL.  (33)  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Hmmm… Think hard about that!

2 Timothy 3:1-7 ESV  But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  (2)  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  (3)  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  (4)  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  (5)  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.  (6)  For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,  (7)  always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV  (9)  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,  (10)  nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Hmm… Do we think we are too righteous to have been any of those things?

Job 13:7-12 GNB  Why are you lying? Do you think your lies will benefit God?  (8)  Are you trying to defend him? Are you going to argue his case in court?  (9)  If God looks at you closely, will he find anything good? Do you think you can fool God the way you fool others?  (10)  Even though your prejudice is hidden, he will reprimand you,  (11)  and his power will fill you with terror.  (12)  Your proverbs are as useless as ashes; your arguments are as weak as clay…

Now, we do have hope.

Job 16:19-22 GNB  There is someone in heaven to stand up for me and take my side.  (20)  My friends scorn me; my eyes pour out tears to God.  (21)  I want someone to plead with God for me, as one pleads for a friend.  (22)  My years are passing now, and I walk the road of no return.

1 Timothy 2:3-6 ESV  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,  (4)  who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,  (6)  who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

1 Timothy 2:1-6 GNB  First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people;  (2)  for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct.  (3)  This is good and it pleases God our Savior,  (4)  who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and human beings together, the man Christ Jesus,  (6)  who gave himself to redeem  THE  WHOLE HUMAN RACE. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved…

The WHOLE human race!  Think about that.  How does that possibly fit the modern day theology of the wicked going to a place of eternal torment and the “righteous” going to heaven to play harps?  It doesn’t.

Job 14:1-15 ESV  “Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.  (2)  He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not.  (3)  And do you open your eyes on such a one and bring me into judgment with you?  (4)  Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one.  (5)  Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,  (6)  look away from him and leave him alone, that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day.  (7)  “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.  (8)  Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil,  (9)  yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.  (10)  But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he?  (11)  As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up,  (12)  so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.  (13)  Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me!  (14)  If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come.  (15)  You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands.

Ecclesiastes 9:4-12 ESV  (4)  But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.  (5)  For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.  (6)  Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.  (7)  Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.  (8)  Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.  (9)  Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.  (10)  Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.  (11)  Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.  (12)  For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Again, there IS hope.

1 Corinthians 15:12-23 ESV  (12)  Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  (13)  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  (14)  And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.  (15)  We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.  (16)  For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.  (17)  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  (18)  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  (19)  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.  (20)  But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  (21)  For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.  (22)  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  (23)  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

AT HIS COMING!  Not now, not everyday, on one specific day!

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ESV  (13)  But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.  (14)  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.  (15)  For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  (16)  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  (17)  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.  (18)  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJV  (16)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:…

Again, at a specific time, on a specific DAY, not every day, not today, not yesterday!    We have this HOPE.  This PROMISE.

Romans 8:18-25 ESV  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  (19)  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  (20)  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope  (21)  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  (22)  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  (23)  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  (24)  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?  (25)  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Hebrews 11:1-40 ESV  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  (2)  For by it the people of old received their commendation.  (3)  By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible… 35 KJV  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:…. (38)  of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  (39)  And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,  (40)  since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Revelation 20:4-6 KJV  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years….    (6)  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Now note:

(5)  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

What purpose is there of a resurrection at the return of Jesus Christ if the dead are already living in heaven or hell?   Think about it.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV  (16)  Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Robert Knarr is a Christian Author from Central Pennsylvania
Published by Permission