0 – Biblical Rules of Death

rules of death

Biblical Rules of Death

The Biblical Rules of Death: Who, What, Where, & Why we have to die.

This is a summary list of the articles in the “Biblical Rules of Death” series. Click the link for an article to read it.


Rule #1: Everyone has an appointment with death (Heb 9:27)

Published Oct 20, 2015


Rule #2: God cannot look on sin (Hab 1:13)

Published Oct 21, 2015


Rule #3: There is no forgiveness without blood (Heb 9:22)

Published Oct 22, 2015


Rule #4: Satan claims the souls who sin (Hebrews 2:14,15)

Published Oct 23, 2015


Rule #5: Everyone will go to either Heaven or Hell (Matthew 25:46)

Published Oct 24, 2015


Rule #6: Paradise is temporary (Matthew 27:53)

Published Oct 25, 2015


Rule #7: Rapture is real (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Published Oct 26, 2015


 

J2 – Judgment at DEATH (Where will you go?)

Everyone will go to either Heaven or Hell

Judgment at Death

The judgment that determines a person’s eternal destination is, without question, the most significant judgment for each of us. The Judgment at Death is that judgment.

The Judgement of Actions and Consequences could be considered a law (like the law of gravity). It condemns all who commit sin to die a physical death (Romans 5:12). But the Judgment at Death is the point where the consequences of an individual’s sins are dealt with. It is the event where a person is either allowed entry into heaven, or condemned to hell. 

So, how good must I be to enter heaven?

Question: From the list below, pick the person(s) from the Bible who, because of their personal righteousness, God allowed into heaven:

  1. Saint Paul
  2. Apostle John
  3. King David
  4. ___(fill in the blank)____
  5. None of above

Read more

03 – Why God Judges Us

Why God Judges Us

Why God Judges Us

The cause of Judgment and death

It just seems that life is not fair. Some folks are smart, rich, and beautiful while the rest of us have little or nothing to brag about. Our jobs are dead-end and our lives are a rat race. Our financial problems lead to family problems which end in divorce and pain. All the while, there are people who inherited money, good looks, and ease. Why do I deserve this? Life is not fair! And after all this life’s problems, we die! WHY?

Why God judges us

Why God judges us is a question that demands an answer.

Read more

Faith and Prosperity Teachings with Generational Curses

Generational Curses

Faith and Prosperity Teachings 

(With Generational Curses)

Many popular TV evangelists and teachers base their studies on what is commonly known as the “prosperity teaching.” In its simplest form, it says that God wants all of His children to prosper in every way – including in health and finances (3 John 1:2).

One of the first such evangelists was “Rev. Ike.” Since the early 1970’s, he has taught that listeners can “have what you want to have, be what you want to be, and do what you want to do” – just send him money. He also taught “You can’t loose with the stuff I use” and, “You will UNLEARN sickness and know health.But he died in 2009 after failing to recover from a stroke two years previous.

It is blatantly evident that not every Christian is financially prosperous and also that practically all people die of some sickness/disease – even Rev. Ike. So, these prosperity teachers add two other questionable teachings: The “Word of Faith” teaching and “Generational Curses.” (Others, like Joel Osteen, return to the Rev Ike formula and simply say that we should look inside ourselves and our self-image to “Live our Best Life Now.”) Read more

Foreword

Prophecy With a Pinch of Salt

Purpose of “Prophecy With a Pinch of Salt

The ultimate purpose of writing the book, “Prophecy With a Pinch of Salt” is three-fold:

First, to encourage those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. No matter how despairing the situation, and regardless of the chaos in our world, and despite the “doomsday prophets” and naysayers, the future is bright for the Child of God. The “end of the book” (Revelation in the Bible) tells us that Christ Jesus has won the war with Satan! Moreover, all who love Him will share endless ages of joy in His presence!

Second, to help the child of God understand the book of Revelation (a revealing of God’s plan for the end of the ages). And, having understood, to prepare God’s children to live in joy, even though some trials and hardships may come.

Third, to warn the non-believer that the wrath of God will be released on the world in a very short time. NOW is the time to accept God’s gracious gift of salvation and be spared from both the fury of His wrath and eternity in the “Lake of Fire.”

Why say, “With a Pinch of Salt”

There is an old adage that some things should be “taken with a pinch of salt.” Meaning, of course, that one must apply some common sense (or even skepticism) when considering that statement. Unfortunately, some of the people who claim that they can look into the future, speak things that fall into the category of “needing some salt.” Their view of the future is often too theoretical (or even too far-fetched) for the non-theologian. A common person would say, “That just doesn’t make sense.” I agree. I would suggest applying a “reality check” to such teachings.

Back in the ’70s, a national evangelist (who is still active on TV today) was conducting a crusade meeting near my home and the radio stations were advertising it with quotes such as, “During the meeting, I will identify the antichrist and show slides of him and of his home country…” I am not sure how that turned out since I did not attend any of the meetings. I felt that his statement was in opposition to the Biblical teaching that NO ONE knows such things except God the Father.

But over-the-top, outrageous predictions get a lot of attention today. People are very interested in what is going to happen in the future. That’s the reason for such a surge in interest in the writings of Nostradamus and the like. “Inquiring minds want to know.” But most of the interpretations of Nostradamus’ writings (along with the ideas of some present-day teachers) have to be “taken with a grain of salt.”

A current day example is Harold Camping, Founder of the Family Radio network. He predicted at least four dates for the end of the world (1988, 1994, and two in 2011). Each time, “revising” his calculations to another (yet future) date. His prediction for May 21, 2011 was broadcast worldwide on his 140 radio stations, displayed on over 5000 billboards, and circulated via 100 million pamphlets. Thousands of followers quit their jobs and converted their assets into cash, which they donated to Camping to finance the media blitz. They marched, carrying signs, and drove cars, vans, and motor homes painted with signs announcing the date. Harold Camping died on December 15, 2013 and the world is still standing. (“Google” the name or the date to learn more.)

What we NEED is solid teaching that will not have to be changed next year, or even thirty years from now. We need an encouraging word – not a date or a name.

This book is written with the “pinch of salt” already applied (grin). By that, I mean that I have tried to run all of the concepts/statements/teachings through the “reality check” filter BEFORE I write it down. I have not tried to find a concrete answer for every symbol. What I have tried to accomplish is to help ordinary people see the past and present as “windows” for viewing the future. I hope that you agree and find that the content here is such that you will not need to have a salt shaker in one hand as you turn the pages with the other. Most of all, this book will not be made obsolete by the passing of some arbitrary date and another unfulfilled “prophecy.”

Lastly, I would like to quote an old radio teacher of prophecy. Although I have long since forgotten his name, his final statement of each program lingers in my head: “If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you don’t have anything to worry about (regarding the future and Biblical prophecy). But if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have everything to worry about.

Ray


The next logical article would seem to be “Why Study End Time Prophecy?

If you would like to help me write the book by reading each article through the eyes of a non-theologian, and giving me feedback, visit the “How to Read This Book” article.

02 – Where Do We Go At Death?

Where do we go at death?

Where do we go at death?

At any point in time (since the cross), God views humankind in at least three classes:

  • The blessed dead: Made up of glorified O.T. saints and the souls of saints temporarily kept under the altar awaiting their glorified bodies. (Few – if any – of the N.T. Saints have yet to receive their glorified bodies.)
  • The living: Made up of unbelievers, Jews (chosen but have not accepted Christ as Messiah), Laodicean christians (churches and people who are part of the church but for some reason, they are not ready to be caught away at the coming of Jesus), and Philadelphia saints (rapture ready). There are other classes of living persons after the rapture.
  • The unforgiven dead: These are tormented souls who are physically dead, living in unimaginable suffering, in hell, waiting on the Great White Throne Judgment and the second death.

For the present, each person alive on earth is a triune being, consisting of body, soul & spirit (compare 1 Thessalonians 5:23). It may seem strange, but each element of our being is dealt with differently at death and, the destinations are also different. All who have less than all of these elements are anxiously awaiting their resurrection (see Note 1, “Reunion of Body and Soul”).

Regardless of our spiritual standing with God, when we die, our BODY is buried and eventually returns to dust. It may be burned beyond recognition or buried at sea or even melted in an atomic blast but, one way or another, it returns to the earth. This is just a visible reality of life. It is often rehearsed by a priest or minister as the undertaker lowers a casket into the ground and they drop soil into the grave, “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” (from the 1662 version of the Book of Common Prayer). This is clearly why Solomon would (wrongly) declare in Ecc 3:19 that “the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both… (v.20) All go to the same place.” (To understand why this verse is in error, read our article on “Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes“. Each time we visit a funeral, we are reminded that our existence in this body is limited to a few short years of increasing pain.

But there is a resurrection! And the bodies of those who have been “born again” are miraculously changed! They will no longer be just mortal “dust” but these become the immortal (eternal) bodies that will never again experience pain or suffering. (For more about this, see our article on the “Rapture”.)

The SPIRIT (of life) returns to God who gave it. In the Bible, the words “spirit” and “wind” (or “breath”) are often used interchangeably. (If you read the original languages, you will understand that they generally are just different translations of the same original word.) Jesus used the two words in John 3:8 to describe being born of the Spirit. When the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples (in Acts 2), they described the event as including a sound of a “rushing mighty wind.”

In Ezekiel 37:9, it was the spirit/breath/wind that brought the dry bones back to life. At the creation (Gen 2:7), God breathed life into Adam and he became a living soul. (See John 5:21 to understand that all life is given from God the Father, or the Son). So, when He chooses, God can withdraw His spirit (breath) and we die (physically).

We have no real control over when or how we die, where our body will be buried, or the return of the Spirit to God. Our family determines where and how our body is “put to rest.” Someone might say that we can control the time and manner of our death – we can kill ourselves. But I am not so sure that is absolutely true. It appears from Scripture (See Note 2, What is the #1 cause of death?) that God can keep people alive even if they try to die.

In the larger scope of things, God chooses when we stop breathing the breath of life. And, since He gave the spirit of life, He can reclaim it at any time. In Ecclesiastes 12:7 (see Note 3, How to study the book of Ecclesiastes), Solomon wrote a profound truth, “the dust [body] returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit [of life] returns to God who gave it.”

In summary, the Judgment of Actions states that since all have sinned, then we will all die a physical death. At death, the body is buried and returns to dust. And the spirit of life (or breath) returns to God the Father who gave it. That just leaves us with the soul‘s destination:

Where does the SOUL go at death?

The question of where our soul goes when we die must be answered if we are to have peace in this life. The Judgment of ACTIONS is involved but, I believe that the soul’s eternal destination is determined in a separate judgment, the Judgment at DEATH.

Logically, the next article is “Why God judges us“.


Notes

Note 1, Reunion of Body and Soul. There are many references in the  Bible to Resurrection. Although some near-death experiences may differ, TRUE resurrection is the point where a person’s soul is reunited with their body. The process varies for different groups, so we will deal with it more completely in a future article.

Note 2, What is the #1 cause of death? An interesting thought was revealed to me a few years ago… We do not die of heart attack, stroke, or cancer – we die because God withdraws His spirit, or breath of life (Rev 9:6).

Note 3, How to study Ecclesiastes. See our article here about how to study the book and see this article about how to use context to understand the Bible better.


 

J1 – Judgment of ACTIONS & Consequences

judgment of actions

Judgment of ACTIONS

Why do we have to die?

The first level of judgment is: There are consequences to every action! In everyday life, we have to give account for our actions to our supervisor at work or our teacher at school – or even worse, we must give account to our wife! 😉  When we disobey the speed limit, we must be prepared to pay a fine.

There are also physical (natural) laws that extract consequences to specific actions. If you jump from a 10-story building, there is a consequence. It is a physical reality in life. To quote a law enforcement motto, “If you do the crime, you serve the time.”

Although such laws (of the land, and of nature) were initially set in place by God (Romans 13:1), that is not what the “Judgment of Actions” is really all about. The Judgment of Actions is a judgment by God that is described in the Bible. It refers to the fact that anyone – and everyone – who commits sin will die.

Ezekiel 18:1-4 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “‘The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.

Read the entire chapter of Ezekiel 18 to get a better understanding of our individual accountability. Some teachers talk of “generational curses” and say that we must be forgiven for the sins of our ancestors. Although there are some personality traits that are handed down from others, this portion of Scripture clearly states that we are NOT responsible for the sins of our fathers (see Note1, Generational curses), or our children, or our national leaders, or anyone else. We must give account to God ONLY for what we have done.

Ezekiel 33:17-20  “Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their way that is not just. 18 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, they will die for it. 19 And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so.20 Yet you Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to your own ways.”

Since all have sinned against God, then all must die. The only possible exception to the Judgment of Actions is that some people will be “changed” at the Rapture (see Note2, The rapture). But that is a different judgment so we will just skip over that thought for now and discuss it further in the article on the Judgment at Rapture. In this study, we are looking at how each person is accountable to God for his or her actions and how those actions result in physical death.


Notes

Note1, Generational curses. Please read Ezekiel 18 (the complete chapter) to see that, although some physical and emotional qualities are passed from one generation to another, and although some Scripture seems to suggest it, God disallows the idea that we are accountable for the sins of our fathers. For more, see our article on Generational Curses.

Note2, The rapture. The word “rapture” is not found in any of the common translations of the Bible. But, it is a commonly used term to describe the church’s elation at the event described in 1Cor 15:51 – which says that we (the members of God’s true church) will be “changed.”


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Continue to the next article,Judgment at death.

Put Salt on Facebook

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NOTE: Facebook does not display posts from this site!

Please SHARE “Salt” articles on Facebook 

Most people are unaware that the articles posted on our pages do NOT get displayed to everyone! A recent post of mine showed that it was seen by exactly ONE PERSON – ME, evidently! That is not the way FB started out but it is the way that Facebook is FORCING page owners to pay for advertising our pages. Either I pay, or my posts don’t get displayed.

I believe that the articles of the “Prophecy with a pinch of salt” book will be of great interest and value to my friends and their friends – and beyond! We just have to get the message to them.

Promoting pages on Facebook

salt on facebook or twitter

“Promoting” is Facebook’s term for PAYING to get your post or page displayed to more people. 

So far, I have spent almost $30 of my own money trying to advertise the Prophecy with Salt page on Facebook, and gotten very little results. As reported today (see the image to the right), For $25.81, I have gotten almost nothing. Although over 4,100 people POTENTIALLY saw the advertisement, only 61 people actually clicked on it. That works out to costing me $.42 a click!!

And, even though we increased the number of likes by 19, ALL of those likes came from our friends and their friends! NOT a single Page Like came from the ad!!

So, I need your help. Would you SHARE some of our posts with your friends on Facebook? Share the articles that you feel would be of interest to your friends (probably NOT this one). Posts such as our TIMELINE article deserve widespread sharing! Such personal sharing (& commenting) does more to spread the message than anything else. And, it will save me a few of my (very limited) personal dollars.

At the bottom of each article are sharing buttons for the major social media sites. Just click a button and follow the instructions! Simple!! (Works best if you are already logged in to the social media site.)

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