On Oct. 31, millions will celebrate Halloween. But did you know many Christians reject this dark holiday? What are some reasons not to celebrate Halloween?
According to a Markets Insider report, fewer than 60 percent of Americans are planning to celebrate Halloween this year. The coronavirus pandemic has made trick-or-treating and parties more difficult and complicated, so many are just forgoing the holiday for 2020.
But just because people aren’t celebrating the holiday as they normally do doesn’t mean they are abandoning it all together. The same article reported that it seems consumers will spend a record amount to celebrate the holiday in “safe” ways—such as with cards and decorations.
It is estimated that Americans will spend $8 billion to celebrate Halloween this year (down slightly from last year’s $8.8 billion).
What will you be for Halloween?
Have you decided what you will be for Halloween this year? I actually have a suggestion:
Be a Christian for Halloween this year.
You may ask, how does someone dress up like a Christian? The answer: by not dressing up like anything at all!
In other words, ditch Halloween completely!
What is the origin of Halloween?
Did you know that thousands of Christians around the world have made the choice to completely scrap Halloween for good? They didn’t make that decision because they are grumps or cheapskates—or because they don’t like candy. (Actually many of them appreciate candy very much!) They made that decision because there are serious spiritual problems with the celebration of this holiday.
The origins of Halloween are not very hard to discover. All you have to do is Google “what is the origin of Halloween?” (Interestingly, an average of more than 4,000 people Google that search phrase per month.) You will find a plethora of information on where Halloween came from.
Here is its origin in a nutshell:
Halloween is a combination of two separate observances—All Saints’ Day (All Hallows Eve) and the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sah-win).
Halloween is a combination of two separate observances—All Saints’ Day and the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.All Saints’ Day was an observance created by the Roman Catholic Church to honor “all” the “saints” who weren’t assigned a specific day of commemoration. In Roman Catholicism, many saints are assigned a specific day to be honored on.
After Catholicism was legalized and became the state religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century, the Roman Church developed a tradition called canonization. This was the process of declaring a man or woman a saint because of some heroic deed or act of faith. Those declared saints could then be venerated and prayed to as an intermediary to God. Eventually the tradition developed to honor each particular saint on a certain day of the year—becoming that saint’s day. For instance, as I write this on Oct. 26, today is the Catholic feast day for Pope Evaristus, who is believed to have died in 107.
By the seventh century, the Roman Church had canonized so many “saints” that they couldn’t all have a calendar date, so May 13 was declaredAll Saints’ Day—in honor of all the saints who didn’t have a particular day of veneration. All Saints’ Day was officially moved to Nov. 1 by Pope Gregory IV in the ninth century.
Why was Nov. 1 picked for All Saints’ Day?
It is a generally accepted historical fact that Nov. 1 was selected to “counteract the pagan celebrations held on that date” (Strange Stories, Amazing Facts, p. 285). In other words, to appeal to the pagan masses, a day was selected for the celebration that was already being observed by pagans. This was to help them transfer their loyalties. They could continue keeping their former celebration and many of its customs, but now under a “Christian” banner. This is the basic origin of most of the holidays kept by mainstream Christianity.
The pagan festival that All Saints’ Day replaced was Samhain—an ancient Celtic festival that had many meanings and costumes. Samhain marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter, and it was celebrated by lighting large sacrificial bonfires where crops were burned to honor the gods and costumes were worn to ward off the spirits of the dead that were believed to rise and wander around on the evening of Oct. 31.
Knowing these facts about Halloween’s origins has convinced thousands of Christians to stop celebrating it. Perhaps you will consider becoming one of them?
Three reasons not to celebrate Halloween
With the origins and the practices of Halloween in mind, here are three reasons why we believe you should consider ditching Halloween from your (and your children’s) lives:
God forbids the merging of pagan customs into our lives.“You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:31). God demands purity of worship from His followers—not combining paganism with Christianity.
God wants us to avoid darkness.Halloween is all about darkness. It glorifies and emphasizes dark characters of mythology—witches, wizards, vampires, ghosts and zombies. These are all associated with either death, Satanism or the occult. The Bible is clear that we should “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11). No fellowship means no participation! For more insight on God’s view of darkness, read “Casting Out Spirits of Darkness.”
The whole celebration is based on a lie. The entire celebration of Halloween—from the celebrations it sprang out of to the present, commercialized holiday—is based on the unbiblical idea that humans have an immortal soul and live on in another form after death. The ancient Celts believed the souls of those in the Underworld wandered around on Samhain, and the Catholic All Souls’ Day is predicated on the belief that “canonized saints” are serving as mediators for God in heaven. Read “4 Keys to Understanding the Afterlife” to learn what the Bible actually teaches on this subject.
This year has been a pretty dark year in many ways. Perhaps it’s a good time to rethink this holiday dedicated to death, darkness and the macabre?
Join the thousands of Christians around the world who have made the decision to ditch Halloween!
Don’t we all need a little less darkness in our lives?" From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/blog/3-reasons-not-to-celebrate-halloween/?
Handwriting on Today's Wall
The United States Presidential election is just a few days away. The long pre-election season will be over and we will have one less big item to discuss. Of course, it will be replaced by more big items. And we all know this year has given us a lot of big items to think about.
I want you to step back from the polarizing partisan politics and consider a key element of a biblical worldview. It is this: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding”(Daniel 2:20-21).
Daniel tells us God controls the overall course of history and of nations. While we watch and carefully discern major political events like a presidential election, godly Christians will always decide for the Kingdom of God and place ultimate hope in that coming Kingdom.
I am very concerned about the direction of America. I have written about it many times in this space—and of course spoken about it on Beyond Today TV and in our magazine. Audiences I speak to across the country also realize this is the most critical election of our time. The stakes are high. We are close to seeing the America we have known disappear and become something very different.
This reality stirs me to a sober assessment of what God’s Word says about the times prior to the coming of Jesus Christ. It stirs me to greater effort to make clear the truth of the gospel of God. I admit to being a political junkie and student of history and current affairs. I care deeply about what happens in this world. But I always base my conclusions on an understanding of what the Word of God says.
In a recent Beyond Today television program titled “The Handwriting on the Wall,” I went through the fifth chapter of the book of Daniel and discussed this eerie event in light of the recent events in our news. We are living in big times. We all need to step up to the challenge of this moment, shed the fear and timidity and gain courage from the truth that God is involved in events—they are not running wildly out of control. God can give you wisdom and courage to handle the news and its impact on your life brought on by challenging economic events. Do not be discouraged!
I encourage you to watch this program. The story of the handwriting on the wall of the king of Babylon’s palace is one of the most dramatic in the Bible. Watch this program and gain greater insight into how you can keep the big spiritual perspective surrounding today’s events." From: https://us1.campaign-archive.com/?e=72c729d811&u=1d04480cefc2e7c4492fe4a04&id=0be0308f8e
3 Reasons Christianity and Politics Are Incompatible
"The U.S. is about to select its next president. Are the practices we see in politics compatible with Christianity? Do they hold spiritual dangers for Christians?
On Nov. 3 the American people will go to the polls to select a president. Either President Donald Trump will be reelected or former Vice President Joe Biden will be elected as the 46th president. The rhetoric and tone of the election seems to be as nasty and hateful as ever—with both candidates viciously attacking each other’s character, age and even physical appearance.
This comes at a time when the United States and the world face some of the most grave and serious challenges since the two world wars and the Cold War of the 20th century. Some of those challenges include the coronavirus pandemic, domestic unrest, an increasingly aggressive Russia and China, and a significant vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Just when it seems America needs steady leaders of character and judgment the most, many voters feel they have to choose a candidate solely on the basis of how much worse his opponent is.
The sad reality is that American politics is filled with what the Bible calls carnality. The carnal mind is described as “enmity against God” and “not subject to the law of God” (Romans 8:7). Essentially, carnality is living and conducting oneself outside of God’s influence.
So is there anything we can learn by analyzing the practices of our politicians? In fact, there is. One of the interesting things about the Bible is that it often teaches spiritual principles through the bad examples of individuals.
I believe there are some important lessons we can learn by examining the practices of politicians and striving to do the opposite. This list should also make us pause and consider whether or not we should even participate in the political process at all.
Three ways to get elected president
1. Find, expose and attack the flaws of your opponent to make yourself look superior.
In the world of politics, it seems a person cannot get elected by focusing only on his or her positive ideas and vision for the country. Though candidates often claim they are going to run a positive campaign, the reality is that nearly every candidate engages in attacks on his or her opponents—sometimes directly and sometimes through surrogates.
In the present election cycle, we have seen both candidates try to discredit each other by attacking and exposing alleged abuses, past failures and character flaws.
It doesn’t matter if someone is president or running for the office—answering evil with evil is carnal behavior.But this behavior is 100 percent contrary to how God expects His followers to live. Instead of attacking and mocking our enemies, Jesus taught a revolutionary concept: “Love your enemies” (Luke 6:27). He even showed how serious He was by giving the extreme example of showing kindness to an enemy who strikes or steals from you (verse 29).
Unfortunately, in politics, character attacks are often reciprocal. When one candidate attacks, the other candidate will answer with another attack—often even more vicious and personal.
But this kind of behavior is wrong, period. It doesn’t matter if someone is president or running for the office—answering evil with evil is carnal behavior. Notice these scriptures:
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men” (Romans 12:17).
“See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all” (1 Thessalonians 5:15).
“Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).
Tragically, it is practically impossible to run for high office in our world today and genuinely practice this principle—even though those who live by this principle are the kind of people we need as leaders.
In Galatians 5:19-21 the apostle Paul listed traits he labeled as “the works of the flesh”—essentially 17 examples of carnality found in human beings. Consider how some of them perfectly relate to our politics today:
Hatred: Do we see good will and congeniality in our politics, or do political opponents often express open hatred and contempt for each other?
Contentions: Do politicians engage in contention through attack and slander?
Dissensions:Is not politics about organizing against those who think differently?
Envy: Do not politicians envy political power so much they are willing to destroy their opposition’s reputation in any way they can?
So what is the lesson for you and me?
If there is a person we disagree with or consider to be our opponent (or enemy), we should not engage in attacks or smear their reputation. Instead, we should practice kindness and forgiveness. The apostle Paul wrote: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification [building up]” (Ephesians 4:29).
Researching an opponent’s past mistakes and trumpeting those mistakes in ads and speeches to discredit the opponent is hardly “necessary edification.” The proper Christian approach is: “He who covers a transgression [of another] seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9).
Can we imagine one of the presidential candidates discovering a past mistake or flaw in his opponent’s past and intentionally deciding to practice this principle and leave it in the past, not using it as an attack? That scenario seems impossible to imagine—yet it is a standard God expects us to live by.
Unfortunately, politicians would likely claim the above cannot realistically be applied in modern politics—and they’re probably right. That is why Christians should seriously consider whether they can, in good conscience, participate in any part of the political process.
2. Ignore your weaknesses and deny you’re wrong.
If you have ever watched a presidential debate, you can see very clearly how political candidates respond to attacks on their character and record. It is very simple:
Do not acknowledge or address the issue that was raised.
Counter with an even greater flaw of your opponent.
When we are confronted with genuine wrongdoings on our part, we should be introspective and carefully consider if there is truth to the accusation.In the presidential election four years ago, this scenario was played out when a candidate was confronted about explicit comments he had made about women years earlier. In his answer, he diminished the seriousness of his past comments and then brought up the past sexual infidelities of his opponent’s spouse. It is a classic human reaction when confronted with our own wrongs—ignoreand deflect.
This approach goes all the way back to the first human beings. When God confronted Adam about eating the forbidden fruit, his first response was to ignorehis sin and deflect responsibility by focusing on thegreater guiltof his wife, Eve (Genesis 3:12). Eve, likewise, tried to deflect fault by blaming the serpent (verse 13).
So what is the lesson for you and me?
When we are confronted with genuine wrongdoings on our part, instead of attempting to deflect attention by countering with another person’s mistakes, we should be introspective and carefully consider if there is truth to the accusation. If, in fact, there is, we should admit our wrongdoing and genuinely commit to true repentance and change: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
Lying is something that seems to be part and parcel of running for political office. Oftentimes, when candidates are faced with something positive about their opponent, they will answer with a fabrication of the facts. They will twist the fact about their opponent to portray it as a negative.
And when confronted with their own past failure or something negative about themselves, they will embellish it to present it as a success, blame it entirely on factors outside their control, or refuse to acknowledge it ever happened.
For those who take the Bible seriously, lying should never be considered necessary.Even when candidates don’t directly lie, they often allow their subordinates and supporters to spread untruths for them.
Could candidates seriously compete for higher office in today’s world if they were resolutely committed to speaking truth at all times (and requiring that same standard of their subordinates and supporters)? The sad truth is that it is probably impossible.
But for those who take the Bible seriously, lying should never be considered necessary. We understand the 10 Commandments define it as sin (Exodus 20:16). There are many scriptures that emphasize how important it is for us to always be honest and truthful in our communications. Here are a few:
“A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies shall perish” (Proverbs 19:9).
“These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor” (Zechariah 8:16).
“But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
“Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25).
We can’t control what our leaders do, but we can commit ourselves to this standard and always strive to be honest and truthful in what we say. For more insight into the topic of lying, read our article “Lying vs. Telling the Truth.”
The alternative to politics
A sad reality of our society is that in order to attain elected office, one must engage in unchristian behavior. We have just shown three examples—but many more could be cited. The reality is that modern politics and Christianity are entirely incompatible. This is one reason why Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).
Because Jesus was uncompromising in His fidelity to truth and righteousness, He remained separate from the politics of His day.
Judean society in the first century was just as divided politically as our world today—in some ways, even more so. Instead of just two parties fighting each other, Jesus lived in a society that had many more factions struggling for influence and power. They had a far right (the Pharisees) and a far left (the Herodians), as well as radicals (Zealots) and fringe ultraconservative groups (the Essenes).
But Jesus (and His disciples) worked and operated entirely outside of the political spectrum. Instead, He pointed people to the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33; Mark 1:15; Luke 16:16).
Not only should we commit ourselves to the same standard, we should also consider that God’s Word warns us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11). That’s why Life, Hope & Truth avoids politics and instead proclaims the message about the Kingdom Jesus said is “not from here”—a message about a new, righteous government that will be established at the return of Jesus Christ.
That government will end the petty politics of today and replace it with a government based on truth, justice and perfect leadership.
Transcript of YouTube: https://youtu.be/bG4PWVKVEgs
[Steve Myers] "I was watching a nature program the other day, and it was talking about the plight of honeybees and the challenges that there's been. It seems that so many pesticides and other things have caused such a tremendous problem with just the numbers of honeybees that have been pollinating.
And one of the things that really caught my attention, other than just the issue itself, was how honeybees work. And I went through a number of different statistics and it talked about a honeybee going to crimson clover to collect the pollen in order to make honey for the hive. And one of the things that was interesting is it talked about this particular clover that there's an eighth of a grain of sugar that's in that clover. And then it went on to say that it takes 7,000 of those grains to make a pound of honey.
So as the program went on, it was emphasizing the fact of how often a honeybee would have to do that in order to get enough honey for a pound of sugar or a pound of honey. So do you know how many times that would take? It would have to visit that clover 56,000 times to get enough for a pound of honey.
Now, the other thing that's, kind of, interesting about this is that that clover isn't just one head of the flower. It has multiple tubes in that clover, something like 60 or more. And so when you begin to translate that into numbers, that honeybee has to go through this particular operation, get this, 3.6 million times in order to get enough of that sweetness for a pound of honey.
And as I considered that, I think about, well, why do they continue to do that? You talk about...talk about a tenacity, talk about a commitment and a persistence. Boy, they've got it. Of course, they've got all their friends of the hive to help out as well. But for you and I, do we sometimes face the challenges of life? We go through these things over and over again, and sometimes it just feels like, well, maybe we should just forget it and give up. You see, when we look to this honeybee, I think there's some inspiration there that God really wants us to take to heart.
Peter put it a little bit differently, but I think it connects to this story that I saw in this nature program. 1 Peter 1:6 is something that I think does connect. And Peter says this, "In this, you greatly rejoice. Though now for a little while, if need be, you've been grieved by various trials."
Yeah. We're trying to collect this honey in our life. We're trying to live God's way. We're trying to have the mind of Christ. Sometimes it's challenging. We go through difficulties. We go through trials, we go through suffering and we are grieved. But ultimately Peter writes, "Yeah, we go through these trials that the genuineness of our faith being more precious than gold that perishes though it's tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom not having seen, you love."
And so he in a sense is telling us our life is, kind of, like that honeybee at times. We have to do these things. We have to face challenges over and over and over again. But you know, at the end of that, there's gold or in the bee's case, there's honey.
And so God has a remarkable promise for us. So let's keep at it. Let's have the persistence that we need. Let's remember that to have the tenacity in order to keep going because, ultimately, Peter says, we'll receive the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls. And so we look forward to that ultimate promise that God gives to us. So let's keep that in mind and let's be persistent as we face the challenges of life.
That's "BT Daily." We'll see you next time."
Well, neither my laptop or desktop are friends with OpenLiveWriter anymore, so I have to use Blogger, which is a lot more difficult for me. But doing anything technologically new is a little challenging for me at my age. I am gradually getting used to my 'Smarter Than I Am' phone, buy rely on my house phone for most things.
Each day here is full, and I still haven't got got caught up with a lot of things. Like getting the few family pictures that I have left after the house fire in 1989 and the flood in 1994, into an album, and then getting others into frames to hang on the wall. But I do a lot of research on different subjects on this computer. Some about the Bible, some about feline hyperthyroidism, some about nutrition, etc.
The weather has turned cooler, so I will have to get out my cardigans and winter coats soon. I hate being cold, but then my temperature is usually below normal so I feel the cold more than most. But that has it's advantages in TX, because I don't suffer in the heat like a lot of people.
We three Sabbath keepers here at the senior apartments had our usual Friday morning Bible study, and then two of us went to church to the Sabbath School there today.
What’s the Significance of Turkey’s Hagia Sophia Decision?
“The Hagia Sophia was a church, became a mosque, then a museum, and is now being turned back into a mosque. What’s the significance of this latest change?
The Hagia Sophia was originally built by Emperor Justinian I (527-565), also known as Justinian the Great. Justinian was emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire, in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, Turkey).
After a failed attempt to conquer the Persians, Justinian set his eyes on reviving the glory of the Roman Empire, which had fallen in the west to the Germanic tribes. Through a series of brutal and fierce wars, he expanded the empire to include the territories around the Mediterranean, once again turning the Mediterranean into a Roman lake.
He tried to unite the empire under the “most holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God.” He defended the Catholic Church by establishing new laws against paganism and heretics.” Continue Readingand see pictures of the interior of this building.
Covenants, Priests, Plants and Pigs. Does God's Law Ever Change
Does God’s Law Ever Change?
All laws are an extension of the lawgiver’s character. God’s character never changes, therefore his Law has always existed and can never change.
Yet, we have God telling Noah that he can eat animals and telling Moses to set up a national priesthood for Israel and restricting all sacrificial worship to a single location.
Clearly something changed. What gives?
Your mother likes a clean house and she has rules to keep it that way: Take your muddy boots off before you come inside. Don’t eat on the sofa. If she lived in the city, her instructions might include leaving your raincoat and umbrella by the front door. If she lived near a river in the wilderness, she might say to clean your fish and game outside and away from the house and not to leave trash where it might attract bears.
These are your mother’s house rules, but, as you can see, the specific rules she chooses to spell out might be different, depending on circumstances. If she replaces her wood burning stove with a gas fireplace, some of the rules are going to change because the things that the rules governed have changed.
But Mom’s character hasn’t changed, only the circumstances into which her character is expressed have changed. The specific rules she spells out are instructions for aligning your actions with her character in a specific time and place–her torah–so they might shift somewhat over time. However, Mom’s character dictates that many of those rules are going to be constant across all circumstances. Don’t spit on the floor. Say please and thank you.
God’s Law Is an Expression of God’s Character
God’s Law and instructions are similar. The rules he gave Moses are an expression of God’s character in a specific set of circumstances. If God gave them today, they might talk about coveting your neighbor’s car instead of his donkey. That doesn’t mean that his Law changes, only that how it was expressed might have been different if it had been given at a different time, to different people.
This is confusing in part because God’s character is too huge, too complex to explain to us in a list of rules, so we have a list of rules, plus lots of stories of how he has interacted with people over time. One thing we can learn by reading the stories in the Bible is that the relationship between man and God requires a priesthood. We are tainted by sin and direct exposure to his presence would destroy us, so we appoint mediators, build altars, and offer sacrifices to facilitate approaching him. (How exactly sacrifices and priests accomplish that is another topic.)
Changing Covenants and Priests
More at: http://www.americantorah.com/2020/08/04/does-gods-law-ever-change/
I had figured out what was wrong with my van, and found a reasonable mechanic to install the new belt. I tried to get the belt at O'Reilly"s, but their computers were down. That puts the whole store at a loss, they don't even have books to look up the part number or price any more. They were dead in the water. Fortunately there is one other parts house here in Navasota, so it was NAPA to the rescue.
More problems with technology. Both my computers, desktop and laptop, are acting up and won't be friends with OpenLiveWriter, so I am doing this through Blogger and it is very difficult for me.
Finally getting used to my Smart phone for texting, but it is still difficult to answer the phone. I can swipe to the next county and it still doesn't answer the call. Why couldn't it be a simple button, like my old phone?
We three Sabbath-keeping residents here at the senior apartments had our usual Friday morning study ready for the Sabbath School. We always enjoy that, learn new things, and have some laughs too. Now that my van is fixed I have been able to go to the little grocery store, the thrift shop, and drive Sherry and me to the church for the service the next day.
Saturday, the10th was not only a Sabbath, but a High Sabbath, “The Eighth Day”.
The Eighth Day, Eternal Life Offered to All
“What does God have in mind for those who have never believed in Christ or understood any of God's truth? How does the Creator provide for them in His plan?
Juan Ignacio Tapia/Unsplash
Thousands of millions have lived and died with their deepest spiritual needs unrealized. When will they be refreshed by the life-giving power of God’s Spirit?
The Bible makes abundantly clear in Acts 4:12 that "there is no other name under heaven" than that of Jesus Christ by which human beings can be saved.
This particular passage raises troubling questions for anyone who believes that God is desperately trying to save the whole world in this age. If this is the only time for salvation, we must conclude that Christ's mission to save humanity has largely failed. After all, over the centuries billions of people have lived and died without once hearing the name of Jesus Christ. Even now thousands die every day never having heard of Christ.
In spite of the missionary zeal of so many over the centuries, far more people have been "lost" than "saved." If God is truly all powerful, why have so many not even heard the gospel of salvation? The traditional portrayal of conflict between God and Satan over mankind leaves God on the losing side of the struggle.
What is the fate of these people? What does God have in mind for those who have never believed in Christ or understood any of God's truth? How does the Creator provide for them in His plan? Are they lost forever without any hope of salvation?
We should notdoubt God's saving power! Let's examine some common assumptions and come to an understanding of our Creator's marvelous solution.
Jesus explained how this will come to pass. John 7:1-14 describes how Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He appeared publicly and stood in the midst of the people, crying out: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38).
Christ's message recorded here most likely was given on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Scholars vary on whether this was the seventh day or the day following, but the weight of evidence and the series of events indicate that John 7 describes incidents on the seventh day while the setting moves to the eighth day in John 8 and 9.
It is also possible that Christ's teaching recorded in John 7:37-38 came at the end of the seventh day or the very beginning of the eighth day (God's Holy Days begin with sunset and end at the following sunset), as the chapter concludes with people returning to their homes after sundown for the night. The theme of Christ's teaching then continues in chapter 8 (which is clearly the next morning, John 8:2) and includes the offer of salvation to all mankind.
In Leviticus 23:39, we see that this day immediately follows the Feast of Tabernacles but is a separate festival with its own distinct meaning. Based on Christ's words and the theme of offering salvation to all mankind, this festival is sometimes referred to as "the Last Great Day," although the Bible simply calls it "the eighth day."
“Immediately following the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles is another Holy Day or Sabbath—referred to in Scripture simply as “the eighth day” (Leviticus 23:36, 39). This day pictures the most joyful of all events yet to take place in God’s great plan.
We should consider that the celebration of the ingathering of all humanity is not complete with the 1,000-year reign of Christ. For what about all those who died in this age who were not called as part of God’s firstfruits? There will yet remain billions of people from this age who are not saved.
So are they forever lost?
Many Bible students realize that one day we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). What most don’t realize is that for those who died without the true knowledge of the plan of salvation, the time will come when they will be resurrected to physical life and given their first opportunity to really understand God’s plan and make an informed choice about it.
Revelation 20:11-15 speaks of this time yet to come 1,000 years after the “first resurrection” (verse 6), when “the rest of the dead” will in a second resurrection be restored to life (see verse 5). Ezekiel 37:1-14 describes the same period—a time when those who seemed doomed with all hope lost (verse 11) will be raised to life again. They will be astonished to find out that God will offer to them His Holy Spirit (verse 14) and give them the opportunity to really know for the first time just who the true God is (verse 13).
This vision, then, speaks of the time when all humanity who never sufficiently understood God’s truth will at last come to know it. It will be at this time that they will have to decide whether or not they will submit to and serve God. In other words, their salvation is dependent on whether or not they will choose to accept Jesus’ shed blood for their sins and serve God faithfully once they come to know Him.
This will be a time of judgment in the sense that the new lives of these multitudes will be under evaluation. Those who stay on the right path with God’s help will be saved. Those who ultimately reject God are the only ones who will be condemned in the end. Undoubtedly, most of humanity will make the right decision to obey Him and continue in His ways.
God, in His great wisdom, has a plan to offer everyone who has ever lived an opportunity to inherit eternal life. He is calling some to repentance now, and the rest He will call during the millennial reign of Christ and the second resurrection period that follows.
June, my neighbor, drove Joe, another neighbor, and I to Bryan, TX to the Social Security office. Joe hadn’t called ahead and we didn’t realize that they are now closed and all applications can only be done online. Joe has no computer knowledge at all, so he will have to learn in a hurry. He still uses a flip phone.
Well, I nearly went back to a flip phone, too. This new Smart phone is way too smart for me. My old Samsung looked kinda like a Blackberry with the little qwerty keyboard on the bottom, and it was great for me. But it was so old that it didn’t even have a SIM card. So I got a Smart phone and couldn’t even use it, it kept on going places that I had no use for, so June took all the “bloat” off it, like FaceBook, gave me a stylus, and now I can text and just barely make phone calls. I am just getting over having to part with Windows XP, and getting used to Windows 8 on one computer, and Windows 10 on the other! New technology and old age don’t necessarily go together.
While we were in Bryan June tried her card at Kroger’s, after all, it is Fred Meyer in other parts of the USA, but it wouldn’t work there, so it was back to Walmart. She got some of the food that she wanted, but we will have to find another store for all the organic foods that she wants. I can’t get all the foods here that I would like to eat either. There are no health food stores here in Navasota, and no big box stores of any kind, it is mostly antique stores and Victorian show homes. Nearly everything you need has to be done at another town.
As usual on Friday morning, June, Cherry and I, the three Sabbath keepers here in these senior apartments, got together to study this week’s lesson ready for the Sabbath School.
The next dayJune was celebrating “The Eighth Day” with her friends on Zoom, but when I started the van to go pick up Sherry to take her to church, it was making funny noises, I think it is the alternator belt. So one of the elders came to take us to church, and we learned even more, had a good time and fellowship there. Then the pastor was going to give his sermon at some apartments near here and broadcast it on FaceBook. But we didn’t go there for that because Sherry can’t sit that long. So we were brought home for the day.
The true cost of a thing is how much "life" must be surrendered to possess it.
"ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is not a new problem...Native Americans used to call it WHITE PEOPLE."
Life is what happens when you are making plans to do something else !
The Journey Counts.
If we agree that the bottom line of life is happiness, not success, then it makes perfect sense to say that it is the journey that counts, not reaching the destination. —Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that is why they call it the present" Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)
...Saving just one pet won't change the world...But, surely, it will change the world for that one pet.....
Don't breed or buy while homeless pets die!
EVERY LITTER BIT HURTS
Spay or neuter your pet
Low Cost Spay/Neuter
From: 'Healing Animals' by Dr. Michael W. Fox
“Our perception of animals determines how we treat them, and whether they suffer under our dominion or not. Behind our perception and treatment of animals lie our needs, wants, values, and cultural and religious traditions.
Until these are addressed and our perception changed so there is empathy, respect, and communication, the holocaust of the animal kingdom will continue. And those qualities or virtues that make us human – humility, compassion, and selfless benevolence – will continue to be crushed by arrogance, ignorance, and the selfishness of our species.”
"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." - John Muir
What is Man Without the Beasts?
"What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself." (Chief Seattle, 1855)
As Gandhi once said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated".
Is There An Animal Abuser Near You? Please Report it!
Can They Suffer?
The basic issue is simple:
"The question is not, can they reason?
Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"
(Jeremy Bentham, philosopher and animal rights activist; 1748-1832.)