The Rider on a White Horse

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. (Revelation 6:1-2 NIV)

Ever notice how some responses purposely deceive? Evasive answers surface in investigations because the truth incriminates. Since deception is meant to throw us off the trail, the answer will sound believable, but is it truthful? Once untruths happen in our church pulpit, we should question everything we have heard.

The rider in the important Revelation 6:1-2 passage (above) is an example. Many Christian teachers have said this is Jesus on the white horse. The illustration at the top is entitled “Jesus on White Horse with Bow and Arrow.” “Well it could be,” we say. “Western good guys, like the Lone Ranger and Zorro, rode white horses, so it fits a stereotype.”

“Is it Jesus?” This is a serious question with huge implications. Is stating “Jesus rides out” in Revelation 6:1-2 a desperate attempt to veil the rider’s true identity? Believing it is Christ can be only for one reason: Because we want to!

Utilize the “Major Rules of Bible Interpretation” to learn the facts. Is it “Jesus” because of his horse’s similarity with that of Revelation 19:11-16? Examine and compare. What does the rider in Revelation 19 have that the other is missing? Absent in Revelation 6:1-2 are crowns, many in fact, and eyes that blaze like fire. In 19:11-16, we have names signifying he is the glorified Christ. There are different weapons: the sharp, two-edged sword from Jesus’ mouth versus a bow.

“Is rider one Jesus?”  The context of Revelation 6 shows four riders, not just one, and woes on the earth with each opened seal. Jesus does not fit the immediate context.

To resolve seeming conflicts, we gather all relevant Scriptures, then let the evidence speak for itself.

Imagine you have reviewed the above. Teaching on our subject is “an expert.” He confidently declares the Revelation 6:1-2 rider is Jesus. You raise your hand.

Teacher: “I’m sorry, I am lecturing. I do not take questions during my lectures.”

Student: “Excuse me, but this is a point of clarification. I want to be sure I understand what you just said.”

Teacher: “I thought I was quite clear. What don’t you get?”

Student: “From Chapter 5, we agreed that Jesus is the Lamb of God. Isn’t that correct?

Teacher: “Yes, but…”

Student: “In Chapter 6 the Lamb opens the first seal, and out rides the one you say is “Jesus.” Correct?”

Teacher: “That’s, uh-er, but…

Student: “Then, in 6:3, it reads, ‘When the Lamb opened the second seal…’ Please help me see how ‘Jesus the Lamb’ can open seven seals and ‘Jesus the rider’ be out conquering at the same time?”

Teacher: “What’s your name? See me after class.”

There is no substitute for common sense. Check the references in Matthew 24:4-5, 10, 22-26, and 2nd Thessalonians 2:9. Ask “who” might be behind the confusion about identities, then we will know the “why”.

Put Scriptures together and we see why those with a false message of “peace and safety” (1st Thessalonian 5:3) would like Christ’s followers misled. Any questions?

Independent Contractor Christians-Pt. 2

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:20-21 ESV)

There’s nothing wrong with being an independent contractor unless an “I’m the boss” and “I can do or say anything I want to” mindset is adopted. This attitude is why we often see personality clashes among Christians. The pastor or the caring brother or sister who confronts the Independent Contractor Christian’s sin will pay a price. No accountability to the fellowship or any recognition of God’s authority means we can beat up on His servants (Matthew 24:48-51).

What we are describing is someone with a superiority complex. They reject servant status and refuse any restraints placed on them by the Holy Spirit. When confronted by a believer, an Independent Contractor Christian may angrily charge, “Who are you to judge me?” They forget someone might love them enough to attempt saving them from God’s wrath. As far as they are concerned, Scripture’s warnings apply to others. Moving on–as they usually do when their ungodliness comes to light–they eventually find a church where everything is permissible. No questions asked.

By definition, Independent Contractor Christians cannot possess a loving heart. Lacking true humility, they must be catered to and coddled. They can never be wrong or denied.

Recently, I listened to a brother’s testimony. Afterward, I told him how it touched my heart. It was my impression we had a friendly relationship.

Later on, I privately brought to his attention that he had recently insulted a dear sister. She claimed she was deeply hurt by his “body-shaming” comment. For the sake of unity, and as a concerned brother, I asked that he try and patch things up between them.

Figuratively-speaking, Mount Kilauea erupted. His eyeballs popped. I couldn’t believe the look on his face. Indignant barely describes it. My witness to his cruel words to our sister was nearby and heard the commotion. She was intimidated into silence and retreated. It was most unpleasant. On Sunday, this man and his wife were no-doubt in their Bible-believing church, sitting in their usual spot.

It dawned on me that his position places him as a boss among bosses. For decades he has functioned in that environment. Do I expect an apology? Not really. In his world, every tirade is justified. (If he ever reads this, he should know I love and forgive him.)

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV)

There’s no fear of divine retribution when you are an Independent Contractor Christian. “You are in charge. You don’t have to endure difficult people, or honesty from a friend. Tell them all off. Why not? You’re the king!”

Herein is the big lie: From the Satanist’s Bible, “The Law of Thelema,” Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

There will be no unrepentant Independent Contractor-types in heaven. The last one who tried was thrown out and is destined for hell’s fire. Guided only by their passions, pride and self-interests, those who do not consider themselves true servants of God will tragically join the devil. jf

“The Priests of God” in ebook. It’s Here!

With joy, at last I share the great news that for $2.99, you can now purchase for your device, the revised edition of “The Priests of God.”

Click to purchase “The Priests of God” at Booklocker.com.

Click to purchase “The Priests of God” on Kindle.

Click to purchase “The Priests of God” on Nook.

Click to purchase “The Priests of God” on Apple books or iTunes.

Click to purchase “The Priests of God” on kobo

If the book blesses you as it did me to write, please give a review for those considering a purchase but need a little encouragement. I’d love to hear from you.

Our next project is the remodel and update of our blog. We will be moving this site to thepriestsofgod.com. We’ll let you know as soon as it happens. Thanks for being a part of this very exciting, provocative and future-oriented blog. Why not tell your friends?-J

Interpreting Bible Prophecy, Encouraging God’s People

Right after I officiated at my sister-in-law, Patty, and husband, Ray’s wedding, one of her bridesmaids approached me in a huff. It was many years ago yet I still remember that young lady’s verbal shot at me. It was my confidence that seemed to upset her. During the ceremony I declared that Christ was the only way to salvation. So this young woman proceeded to upbraid me for my intolerance. She was certain there were other roads to heaven for non-Christians. But since when is having assurance that salvation is through Christ alone “wrong”?

Sometimes contemporary Christianity reminds me of the upset bridesmaid: Tolerance is only extended so far. Everything is fine as long as we agree, but do not step out of line.  In regard to our understanding of what the Bible says about the second coming, Christians have our own version of the Taliban.  Dissent is quashed. But how can we arrive at an accurate interpretation of Bible prophecy, if we refuse to gather all the pertinent verses or listen to pieces of conflicting evidence? All admissible facts need to be heard, not just those that support the opinion of the majority.

Do we see why Christians have muddled heads on the subject of the Bible and the future. When it comes to understanding the future, we hear but one side. We tend to submit to the false premises that all true Bible-believing Christians are in agreement or there is only one side that should be heard. In some places, Bible students cannot even broach the subject of the Pre-Wrath rapture of the church or that believers will be called on to endure great tribulation globally in the last days, without being accused of heresy.

That is the way with puzzles. You know it is solved when all the pieces perfectly fit the creator’s theme.

Here’s the best way I know to explain how I know what I know. Each weekend the New York Times Magazine publishes and distributes a challenging crossword puzzle. Across the land thousands of minds go to work to solve this puzzle in as short a time as possible. Some can zip through it in an hour or so. Others, like myself, take quite a bit longer.

Let’s say we challenged an experienced NYT cruciverbalist (crossword solver) about his or her answers. We may get a “What are you asking me that for” type of look. At some point, they would probably tell you that their answers fit. Yes, they are confident because they have discovered what’s in the mind of the puzzle’s creator. That is the way with puzzles. You know it is solved when all the pieces perfectly fit the creator’s theme. Is it to say one is superior because they solved a NYT puzzle? Of course not, but the solvers are confident and exhilarated. It was Archimedes who grasped the physics of water displacement. At his epiphany, he  made the bold but perhaps rash declaration, “Eureka! I found it!” It was as if he was saying, “Problem solved!”

Why am I confident the Pre-Wrath Rapture position is correct? Because I am a puzzle solver and I tell you it fits. (Those who are not puzzle solvers have trouble with this concept.) Other answers do not quite fit regardless how hard one tries or how sophisticated one sounds or how much one beats the table while raising their voice. Simply, it will not come together as designed.

There is great satisfaction in puzzle solving. In my book, “The People of God,” I present twenty-six different clues to prophecy solvers. My goal is not to tell other explorers of the mysteries surrounding the end of this age what to think (i.e. the answers) but how to get in the mind of prophecy’s Creator so they can figure it out. As with math or science, there is only one correct solution.

If this is what you call arrogant, then so be it. I call the one that makes that judgment bigoted and narrow. (Two can play that game!) What would one call dismissing conclusions that were based on hundreds of Bible verses without ever giving them fair treatment? Intolerant is perhaps one descriptive word that comes to mind.