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.”


Back to top

Continue to the next article,Judgment at death.

Put Salt on Facebook

salt on facebook or twitter

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.)

While you are at it, be sure to LIKE this site by clicking the FACEBOOK widget in the sidebar (or at the bottom of the page on mobile devices.)

Using Context in the Bible

context in the bible

Context in the Bible

Facebook includes lots of images (memes) showing encouraging Scriptures from the Bible. Most are accurate quotes of a verse but is the concept they suggest Biblically sound? What about the people who quote a single scripture as a “proof” of some doctrine? Is that proper? What could be wrong if they have a Scripture to back them up? To find out, we need to learn how to  “correctly handle the word of truth.” Read the entire second chapter of 2 Timothy to learn more:

2 Timothy 2:15, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

There are some defined rules for studying the Bible. Dr Tremper Longman III has posted his “Seven Keys to Understanding Scripture” while Ron Rhodes and Richard Anthony have “Eight Rules of Bible Interpretation.” Both of these lists (and many others) are great tools for guiding us in the proper methods of studying God’s Word. Although there might be slight differences of opinion between the lists, one thing that is common in virtually every guide is to consider the CONTEXT of each verse.

Google’s definition of context:

con·text ˈkäntekst/  noun
1) the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.
2) the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.

When reading a verse of Scripture, we must consider the verses prior to and following the verse – and how that concept is covered in other parts of the  Bible. Rarely can a verse stand on its own without us having to weigh the other verses in the chapter where it is found. And, always, a verse must be taken in the broader context of the entire Bible. If a verse seems to “conflict” with other verses, we must try to ascertain why and attempt to resolve the difference.

Look at Matthew 4:6 (the temptation of Jesus), Read more

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes

Prior to getting started with the study of Prophecy in the Bible, we need to set some boundaries. The teachings held by some groups depend upon verses found in the book of Ecclesiastes. Can they be trusted? Why, or why not?

The Meaning of LifeUnderstanding the Book of Ecclesiastes

Solomon (King David’s son and the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes) spent many years trying to find the meaning of life. In the first 11 chapters of the book of Ecclesiastes, he reported many proverbs – things that seem to be common sense, but, under scrutiny, they are not always true. (This is why not all proverbs are to be followed. See Ezekiel 18:1-4)

Proverb: a brief popular saying (such as “Too many cooks spoil the broth”) that gives advice about how people should live or that expresses a belief that is generally thought to be true, Mirriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary

An example from Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing new under the sun”, Ecc 1:9. It is like the more contemporary phrase, “It’s the same old drag every day!” Although commonly accepted and never called a lie, neither of these statements is factual. Actually, tiny changes are occurring all the time. (Like the loss of our hair and the increase in our weight!) See our article on Change Blindness.

False Doctrines

Many false doctrines have their basis in the teaching of these first 11 chapters of the book. The phrase “under the sun” is often by Solomon.  In Ecclesiastes, it describes events as they are seen from man’s eyes (vice God’s view). From our view, everything seems futile and a waste of time. A prime example is Solomon’s statement (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.” Indeed, from man’s view, this is all there is… we are born and we die. It is the same with humans and with animals. But the New Testament clearly teaches that some souls will go to heaven while others will burn in the lake of fire. (Rev 21:15)

Purpose of the Book

God’s purpose for Scripture is to help us understand – the Bible is not meant to be confusing. Evidently, the purpose of these chapters in the Bible is to expose the “meaningless” of life, as viewed exclusively from man’s viewpoint. A life (such as Solomon’s) lived without God is futile, vain, and meaningless.

Folly

In the first portion of the book, Solomon tells us how he tried to find meaning in all manner of human endeavors, from the folly of chasing wisdom (Ecc 1:17,18), to pleasures of the flesh (Ecc 2:1), to fun, alcohol, and other follies (Ecc 2:2,3). He tried good works (Ecc 2:4-6) and wealth and it’s benefits. He tried various sexual delights, (vv. 7,8). He went so far as to say, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure” (v.10). But Solomon found no lasting benefit in any of them. He wrapped up his feelings: “[E]verything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (v.11).

Conclusion

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes requires reading the last chapter of the book, where the picture changes drastically when we “remember [our] Creator”, (Ecc 12:1). Our lives cannot be viewed exclusively from “under the sun” (man’s understanding). We must keep God (the Creator) in the equation if life is to make sense. And, when viewed from ABOVE the sun, (e.g., from God’s eyes), a man’s life clearly has purpose and meaning. In Ecc 12:13 Solomon states that after one has heard all the facts, “here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. (14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.“`

So, the bottom line for Christians today: The book of Ecclesiastes has real value but it has to be read with care and discernment. A major portion of the book is a compendium of Solomon’s false steps toward fulfillment. And his repeated statement of the futility of trying to live a fulfilling life outside of God. In common language, Solomon is saying, “I have been a bad example. Don’t follow my mistakes.”

That concept is summarized in the last chapter. Therefore, any doctrine that depends on a very literal reading of verses from the first 11 chapters (man’s viewpoint – not God’s) is automatically questionable. Only Solomon’s comments in the last chapter can be accepted as stating the plan of God.


This article is another illustration of how context can reverse the true meaning of a verse. To learn more about using context in your study of the Bible, visit our article on “Using Context in the Bible. ”

Now that you have a better understanding of how to study the Bible, begin your study with our series of articles on the Judgments which individuals must face. The first article is “What Happens When I Die?

 

01 – What happens when I die?

What Happens When I Die

 What Happens When I Die?

I have made a very unscientific study of what goes on at funerals. According to the religious preferences of those involved and according to the societal influence, the style and tone of funerals may vary widely. Some are short and sweet (well, maybe not “sweet”) while others are long and drawn out affairs. Aretha Franklin’s funeral in 2018 lasted eight hours! Some are very formal while others seem to be off the top of the head. Some are restricted to just the family and others are community events. But one thing that is common to all is what people say.

In every funeral that I have ever attended (regardless of whether the deceased was a “saint” or a self-proclaimed atheist), more than a few people said, “He/she is in a better place.” Has there ever been a funeral where that phrase was not uttered? I think not. Read more

Why Study End-Time Prophecy?

Why Study End Time Prophecy?

There are some significant issues related to end time prophecy  – both positive and negative. Here are some such issues that will illustrate the point:

Issues that may not be appropriate reasons to study prophecy:

  • Idle curiosity: Scripture is not written to satisfy our curiosity (Acts 17:21-23 & Is 55:5-11)
  • Test of fellowship: If a questionable doctrine must be accepted in order to belong .
  • Spiritual pride: Some act like “professional prophecy teachers” who claim to know everything about the future (2Pe 1:20,21)
  • Absolute symbols: Don’t look for a “concrete” definition of every symbol. Symbols in the Bible are intentionally vague so as to apply in varied situations and over a long period of time. (Symbolism in Revelation)

Reasons why we SHOULD study prophecy: Read more

Copyright Material

© 2009-2018, Ray Waldo. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Unless otherwise noted, all quotations of the Bible are from the New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

copyright material

Everything on this website is copyright (c) 2009-2018, Ray Waldo,  Loranger, LA, 70446 – Short quotes may be used in reviews. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this site may be republished in any form (including an RSS feed) without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Users of this site are allowed (encouraged) to post links to individual articles on social websites such as Twitter or Facebook.

Use of any of these articles within the context of Christian ministry is allowed (without cost) if:

1) You give me proper attribution (and link back to this site if posted online), and

2) you use the article in a manner that supports its content (do not use this material to argue an opposing viewpoint), and

3) you make no attempt to compile articles into a larger body of work, and

4) you accrue no financial (or other) benefit from the use of an article (beyond what you would have received if the article was not used).

IMPORTANT! See our Terms of Service (TOS) for more precise information about using this website.

Prophetic Timeline of Future Events

Time Line of Prophetic Events

Prophetic Timeline

(Updated Oct  26, 2018)

(c) Copyright 1999-2018, Ray Waldo,  Loranger, LA 70446. All rights reserved.

This single sheet Prophetic Timeline has a wealth of information about what future events. It reveals what will happen, and when, in reference to other prophetic events. Biblical references are given for each event with links to the NIV.

I hereby release the users of this site to make a small number of paper copies for personal distribution to friends. No charge can be made and no further distribution is allowed. Of course you are always encouraged to share this page on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc). Any other use of this material must be first approved in writing by the copyright holder.

Events on the Prophetic Timeline:

  1. Day of Grace/ Day of Wrath – from the cross to the rapture
  2. Saints begin eternal life
  3. First half (3.5 years) of tribulation
  4. Second half of the tribulation (“great tribulation”)
  5. Satan is bound
  6. Millennium – 1000 years under the righteous rule of Christ
  7. Rebellion at end of millennium
  8. Great White Throne judgment
  9. Endless eternity
TimeLine-1018c

Hover over the image to see the toolbar at the bottom. Use the curved arrows to move between pages. If you wish to copy/print this document, just click on the download button (looks like a down arrow – on toolbar). Then click on either the little printer (upper right) to print, or the second down arrow to “save as…” and follow the prompts. The image will be saved to your local drive and you may print it with whatever software you have installed. (Please comply with the copyright notice at the top of this page.)

This is my outline for explaining the timeline:

Prophetic-Timeline-Class-outline

Your comments are encouraged. Please add your questions in the comment area below.

1 2 3 4