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July 7, 1998

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Q/A Topics:
Baptist Altars (re: July Article)

-paste from article-
When a person is invited to the "altar" in a Baptist church, where did that "altar" concept originate? From O.T. law? From heathen paganism? Carry-overs from the Catholics from which they weren't "quite" fully "reformed"?
-endpaste-

Comment:
Brother, if we "Baptist" didn't invite people to the "altar", how could our preachers keep a score card on how really good they are? And also, we have to brag, (OH! pardon me) I mean talk about something else in are denominational newspapers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was a Catholic for 27 years, till the Lord saved me through Jesus Christ. PLUS NOTHING! Believe me this "alter" thing has always puzzled me.

Also this embracing of Catholics by the New Evangelicals sickens me. For one thing I know when I was a Catholic I hated what I would now call a (true) born from above Christian. I would never fellowship with them are they with me. BUT I drank and caroused with many a Church Member, that now call themselfs "The New Evangelicals"!

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Bill Gates..antichrist?

Q.
My friend forwarded this to me, I wonder what you think of it, Bill Gates being the Antichrist, but I thought the antichrist will be in Rome, and I wouldn't thought of Bill Gates signing a peace treaty with Israel!

ed: the "forward" contained ascii-value computations on various things associated with "Bill Gates" "Microsoft" "William Gates" and some of the software produced by Microsoft, as well as "WWW" etc. All these various computations adding up to instances of "666"

A.
I've heard/read all these figures and numbers before. And they are rather fascinating, aren't they. However, Bill Gates is not the first to have these kinds of calculations done on him. There are things in the pope's crown, which, when calculated, supposedly come up with "666." Some had calculations for Hitler similarly. And I suppose...if a person were to look hard enough, they might be able to contrive a "666" for Jesus using the Bible "code" too...it wouldn't surprise me.

One thing we do know...the antichrist won't be "revealed" until after the Rapture.(2Th2:8) And that hasn't happened yet. Jesus said, "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. (Mt24:23) Since it's not yet quite "time" for antiChrist, I should think the same holds true of him.

However, the use of computers will play quite heavily into the scenario. I remember recently when the whole "antitrust" thing was on the news, they showed a brief clip of Gates...huffing away in anger about the justice department. What I saw in his face during that clip certainly was a far cry from "angelic" ...if you get my meaning.

Things I have read about Windows98, I expect I will not be getting it. I am very "skeptical" of any operating system that requires 160Mb of HD space, just to sit in one's computer. Win95 is bad enough at 50-60Mb. And when I think back to the days of DOS (at 2-3MB) or Windows 3.1 (at 3-10Mb) ...my mind wonders "what" is in all those files? ...and...yes. What are they "hiding" somewhere...undocumented?

But...the "mark" of the beast I don't believe is the computer. The mark is going to be placed "on" their right hand or forhead.(Rev13:16) The word "on" carries with it the notion that the mark is "attached" somehow...not simply "used." The more likely scenario for that is these microchips...??

But yes...we see things "lining up" don't we. The time is quite imminent! 'Gotta keep looking up!

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Microchips

Comment:
I've received a couple of these junk mails in as many days. Personal tracking devices? What's next, a micro chip implanted on the forehead or wrist? The Euro, "New World Order" Y2K etc................

These are exciting times for "True Believers" Bless the Lord oh my soul! I am truly grateful He choose me.

A.
It certainly would appear that the microchip will be *THE* device which becomes the "mark" eh. Unlike all the other technologies which read what is already there i.e. fingerprint, blood vessels, cornea, etc. this is a device which a person "receives" (Rev13:16)

"Exciting times" ...indeed!

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God and religions?

Q.
Does God treat different religions the same? ( Like is a catholic better than a born again christian / a jew better than muslem ) How does God look at all these different beliefs?

A.
In God's eyes there are only "two" kinds of people. "Saved" and "lost." He is not the One who created the catholics, muslims, etc. All these systems are in rebellion against God...beginning at the tower of Babel...the beginning of "Babylon."

The ones God looks upon with favor are the ones for whom... "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Rom8:1) And during the infancy of the Church, these Believers were first called "Christians" in Antioch.(Acts11:26) "Christians" because they were people who were "in Christ" (2Cor5:17) and Christ was "in [them]" (Col1:27) As Christ accomplished on the cross (Jn17:21,23)

Anything which does not agree with this, whatever its label (catholic, baptist, muslim, hindu, christian), God will judge. Yes...I typed "christian." Not everything labelled "christian" is of Christ. But, you already knew that, right?

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How long to build the ark?

Q.
Could you please tell me if the bible actually says how long it took Noah to build the ark, I thought it was 120 years but were does it say that? I think it is where it says in Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. But is that the only place because it doesn't actually say it took him 120 years?

A.
I don't know that it really says, point-blank, "XXX" number of years. However, by context I believe most people assume it was around 100 years.

Genesis 5:32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Genesis 6:10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And then in vs13 it records God talking to Noah about building the ark.

And then, when the flood came and they went into the ark, Noah was 600 years old (Gen7:6) So, I would guess it was 100 years...OR LESS.

The vs (Gen6:3) you mention about 120 years is what the life expectancy of men became after the flood. Moses, for instance, lived to be 120. But then, by the time the psalmist comes around it is down to 70 years (Ps90:10)

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Gospel music?

Q.
I AM REPLYING WITH HONEST SINCERITY. I AM NOT TRYING TO CHANGE YOUR VIEWS OR ARGUE WITH YOU IN ANY FORM. I OBVIOUSLY DISAGREE WITH YOUR STATEMENTS ABOUT "CHRISTIAN ROCK" MUSIC. I HAVE ONE SIMPLE QUESTION TO ASK THAT WILL ALLOW ME TO SEE YOUR FRAME OF THINKING...WHAT KIND OF MUSIC, THEN, IS EITHER CHRISTIAN MUSIC, CHRIST-LIKE MUSIC, OR MUSIC THAT GLORIFIES CHRIST? IN THE SAME MANNER THAT YOU HAVE DEFINED "ROCK MUSIC" WILL YOU ALSO DEFINE "CHRISTIAN MUSIC." ONE MORE QUESTION... DID GOSPEL COME OUT OF JAZZ MUSIC OR DID JAZZ COME OUT OF GOSPEL MUSIC.

A.
Let me answer your last question first. When you ask about "gospel" you would need to define terms. There's "gospel" and then there's "gospel." If you are asking about that which the world, even, accepts as "it's own" and gives awards for...the "southern gospel" or "black gospel" etc. well...in reality...what is the difference between that and jazz? In that, both jazz and gospel came from another ("same") source. The "blues." And before that...the native black music which came from Africa. That kind of "gospel" is NOT "Christian." And certainly could fit along with the modern "christian" Rock. However, I don't know that jazz, blues or gospel...as musical "styles" could be considered intrinsically "bad" as is the case with Rock...although, people could argue 'round in circles on that, too, if they wanted to speak of "shadings" within the genres, because some forms of jazz ARE intrinsically "bad" and others perhaps are not.

However, if you are talking about "gospel songs" as one finds in a hymnal, songs like "When I see the Blood" "At Calvary" "True-hearted, Whole-hearted" "Send the Light" etc. those are "core" to what "Christian music" is all about amongst English speaking people. And as the selection increases little by little, those will be appearing in VW's website "Song Book."

What is "Christian" music? That which is doctrinally sound, adhering to Scripture, and in which the music "complements" the words, aiding the person to see God...where the music, on it's own, is not the focus. With Christian music the senses are not titillated...the heart overflows in worship, self-examination, exhortation towards God and His holiness and righteousness. Truthfully...this does NOT happen in most gatherings today. And how can it? ...most are not His Children. This is music which only Believing Christians can sing. The world cannot. ('reminds me of Rev14:3)

"Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord."(Eph5:19) "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Col3:16)

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Music is "neutral"?

(ed. the following is greatly truncated from this person's original note. 'just too much to include here. The contributor may feel I have pasted this together, with comments out-of-context with each other. What is pulled together here are what I feel are the "important" matters to "observe", and reply to.)

Comments:
This is not another railing attack...I sent you last week sometime a thesis of my own belief, that music in and of itself, even charismatic type, is not occultic. The use of it, however, is nuetral. It can be used either for the Satan's purposes, or for God's.

Being that many people have a personal relationship with God, it is impossible to make a good judgment as to what is good and evil to a Christian. For some, it is good. For others it is bad... And in my own case, I must measure the Holy Spirit within myself to determine if that really is worship music

Funny enough that I've known God to speak to me through certain phrases of unGodly music that I was just walking down the hallway and by chance heard the words, and was convicted... we are a diverse people, that are all unique, with worship characteristics and attitudes all our own. It is their responsibility to walk with fear and uprightness in their personal walks with the Lord. The Lord is their only provider, and what you term as "occultic " may very well be the only link to God they have.

I do not condemn you for what you believe, but you must separate the gospel from your own personal conviction for which the Word of God does not necessarily apply.

Music is neutral, in that was created by God and can be a wonderful instrument of praise; but, being that Satan is also a master of it, it can serve to glorify him as well. It is up to the individual to discern which is which.

A.
(ed. some of this exchange became the catalyst for September's article, "Right in their own eyes")

"You shall not at all do as we are doing here today--every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes--(De12:8) In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Jdg17:6) "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. (Pr12:15) "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.(Pr21:2)

Now, the context of the Judges 17:6 passage is preceeded with: "The man Micah had a shrine, and made an ephod and household idols; and he consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest."(vs5) Doing what was "right in their own eyes" was the backdrop for "idolatry" for which God judged Israel.

Sorry. Not to sound "harsh" here...but "free-for-all" is not God's way. Nor, is music "neutral" ...as you wishfully suggest. All it takes to understand this, if you wish to do so "honestly" is to read a few basic paragraphs in music history texts, as well as to understand the whole psychology and motivations of the advertising industry. They know quite well that music is NOT "neutral" ...as they purposely use certain kinds to elicite certain "buying responses." And the Rock musicians know that music is not "neutral" as their avowed purpose is to seduce the world's youth into depravity. They make open, blatant boasts to that affect as they receive their awards.

What makes anyone thing these things are any different when it comes to "worship" and "church" matters. They aren't...

And we are not even touching on this person's comments about a "relationship with God" making it impossible to judge what is good or evil for a Christian, receiving admonition from admittedly "unGodly music", the occult "link" to God, or how about the comment... "separate the gospel from your own personal conviction for which the Word of God does not necessarily apply." If a Believer has the "mind of Christ" (1Cor2:16) as he "judges all things"(vs15), how can it be separate from the "gospel" and/or "the Word of God"!?! The Word of God is *THE* core and foundation for living the Christian Life!!(2Tm3:14-17) It DOES "APPLY"!!

This kind of double-talk is from the evil one!! Not a Christian!

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Voodoo curse on VW?

Comment:
I am a servetuer of Vodun. Or how you write it voodoo. I am not here to put a curse on you or anything like that because that's not what my religion dwells upon. Unlike common belief my religion is a loving one that tries to help others.

(ed. This person then went on to point out a few Vodun beliefs, in case I was interested, so that I would not "offend" people when I make references to "Voodoo".)

A.
If you are the practitioner you say you are, I'm sure you must realize that you are not capable of putting a curse on someone who is truly a Child of Jehovah, God Most High. There are many who claim to name the name of Jesus Christ, but they are merely "pretend christians" and so a curse might be possible. But if you attempt to curse a True Child of God, you are attempting to curse God, Himself...because one of the distinguishing characteristics of a True Christian is the fact that the Holy Spirit of God indwells that person. (Rom8:9)

And, believe me, during the past few years that I have been following the Lord fully, after He specifically assured me of His protection... satan's emissaries have tried various things...but they are never allowed to harm me. So...even if you were to do so...it would have no effect. As God said, "Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good." (Jer10:5b)

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