Monday, January 30, 2012

Off to Pathfinder Camp

Here are some pics of the pathfinders getting ready to leave for camp.  It started drizzling shortly after this so not many pics.  We should have sent the camera with C over the w/e!  Apparently they had a wild and wonderful time!

Some Friends

Falling in....but the rain is starting!

Some local Tennessee land

Pics of fields and trees...


Frost poking through the soil

The greenhouses going up

Wet weather wash (WWW)

Plastic over one frame or so.

Lots of cedar trees

Saturday, January 28, 2012

More on Daniel 11

The following is a summary of a handout given us by the presenter, Tim Roosenberg.  He has a website which has more information on this:  I believe he may be changing the website so I'll keep you updated if and when this URL becomes outdated.

OK, so back to business.  (Since I'm basically a lazy resourceful, ingenious, efficient person, I've decided to take a photo of each page and put each one here.  Then you can click on it to enlarge and actually read it yourself!)     {Later:  Oh blogspot, what art thou doing now?  No enlarging??}

As I may have said before, in no way, in any modern day reference are individuals referred to as "evil".  He is talking about the religio-political "systems", not individuals.

Here's a summary of the page shown below:  The first part of Dan. 11 starts at the kingdom of Persia.  As you may know, Dan 2, 7 and 8 explain the sequence of coming kingdoms starting at Babylon.  The reason this chapter starts at Medo/Persia is because Babylon is already no more in Dan 11. All the kings of the north attack Jerusalem from the north, even if they exist to the east or west. In this part of Daniel 11, until v. 25, the king of the south is Egypt for the most part.

The first three quarters or more, of Daniel 11 has already occurred (for us in the 21st Century) so these are historical facts for us.  For Daniel and the people in the 6th or 7th century B.C, they had not yet occurred.  So for us, the book is "unsealed" as we look back on historical fact and match up the events. 

Here we see reference to Antiochus III (Antiochus the Great).  Many might think he is the fulfillment of the little horn of Daniel  8 but he doesn't fit there - in time, place or character.  You'll see further on in Daniel 11 who the little horn is. 

In verse 22, reference is made to Jesus who is the "prince of the covenant" - see Dan 9:25.  (In fact, Daniel 9:24-27 is a prophecy of Jesus, the coming Messiah.) In this section of Dan.11, the kingdom of the north becomes religio-political - pagan Rome becomes papal Rome.  The king of the south now enters its Islamic phase.

Entering the pre-reformation and reformation part of history.   This would be in the 1500's to 1600's I suppose.

 Now we enter the "time of the end" - starting in the mid 1840's.  The third "woe" is yet to happen.  I imagine some think or thought it could be the attack on America on Sep/11/01.  I suppose it could be that but the way it's described, it might be much bigger.  Verse 41 says many countries shall be overthrown.  So perhaps this hasn't happened yet.

The "news from the east" is that of Jesus' soon coming.  That infuriates the devil who attacks with greater vehemence than before (through his agencies).  We know it's the time of the end because as it continues into chapter 12 (no chapter distinctions in the original language). Michael "stands up" - remember, he sat down (to judge) in Dan 7:9,10 - so His work as judge of the saints (Dan 7:22) has ended and it's time for them to possess the kingdom.  The 7 last plagues fall, causing a terrible time of trouble.  Then the two resurrections occur (each separated by 1000 years as described in Rev. 20 {eg:v.6} ).

May we all be found ready for Jesus' return and if we die before then, that we will be raised in the first resurrection, never to die again!  Right now, death is still our enemy -  death is the last enemy to be destroyed/conquered. (1 Cor. 15:26) and it won't be destroyed until there is death no more - that means at the end of the 1000 years. 

Praise God for the prophecies of the Bible and the hope we are given!  (And I also praise God there is no eternally burning hell to torture people forever!)

Here is a lecture on the King of the North:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Daniel 11

Daniel 11 is fascinating.  It seems to be one of the easiest prophetic chapters to interpret because it is so chronological and follows history until the present. Revelation, as you know, is written in a chiastic pattern and sometimes can be hard to follow.  For example, you're reading along about all the trumpets and suddenly at number six it stops and gives some other information before finally coming back to the 7th trumpet a chapter or more away!  Same with the seals, woes, angels and other things.

Last Sabbath I was able to attend a seminar on Daniel 11 and they gave us a hand-out.  I'll give you more details from that coming up - interesting stuff! 

I'll mention some basic principles regarding the interpretation of Daniel 11 here. (I'll see if I can remember some of the basic ones without running upstairs to get my notes....)

Although it speaks of the "King of the North" or "King of the South", these refer to various kings that come (attack) from the north or south - it isn't just one literal king.

Near the end of the chapter, it also refers to religio-political powers, not necessarily just a physical king or country.

When one king or kingdom is overthrown, it isn't mentioned again, and thus when continuing to speak of the "king of the north" (for example), it is now referring to the NEW king/kingdom.

The ultimate King of the North is Jesus, as is the King of the South - He is the King of Kings!  The ones mentioned in this chapter are "imposters" and "usurpers" to the real throne of God's kingdom, which only Jesus can claim.

OK, that's a teaser for the blog with all the details.  Get out your Bible and read Chapter 11 now to get that overview....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year

Yes, it's 2012 - as you all know, being on the same planet and all....However, you cousins in Australia and New Zealand all reached the new year before we stragglers on the other side of the world did!    Perhaps we should move the date line every so often - just to be fair! 

On a serious note, (my oldest brother) Dave, passed away some years ago while in the middle of writing a series of pamphlets on the meaning of life....well, here are his own words describing them:

"In this series of pamphlets I have sought to present the most fundamental facts of life and their implications and show how they point to a God of love.  I have tried to provide sound reasons for the things I present, but, because the topics are very concisely presented, a little contemplation may be necessary to understand them.

Due to the rapid progress of an incurable form of cancer, I have had to combine my last three planned topics into one -- making 5 pamphlets in all.  I had also planned a further series but now must refer you to others who I believe can carry on from where I have left off."

He wanted them distributed to anyone who might be helped by them.  I'm going to start with the last one and work backwards, because I know the posts usually go from latest to earliest.  They'll be clearly numbered. And since I can't seem to help myself and keep my big mouth shut, I've added one or two words to his writing - and colored them blue. I'm also going to be adding some pictures for illustration.

So - I'll post this short introduction today, then put each of the others in separate blogs, and only post the whole lot when all 5 are done. (Later:  Well, isn't that great!?  I posted numbers 3 and 4 in the wrong order and can't change it!  Blogspot, I don't want to "delete" anything and re-do - what can I do to rearrange the posts? Answer: Go to the editing mode, click on "Post Options" and change the time!  Thank you, Google!)

Feliz nuwe year! (3 languages in one!)

EXISTENCE - Something instead of nothing (Part 1 in the series)

Have you ever wondered

*  about existence - the fact that there is something instead of nothing?

*  about the properties of the very first thing to exist?

*  about our relationship to nature and the "Infinite" behind it?

This most basic of all facts has within it implications which place us at the great divide between truth and error.


What if there had ever been absolutely nothing,

* no matter, energy, or forces of any kind?

If such a condition had ever existed there would still be nothing - absolutely nothing.

There would not even be a consciousness anywhere to know that there was nothing - forever and ever.

Therefore, since there is existence, we know that "something" must have always existed.

The "Always-Existent"

When we try to describe the features and attributes of the very "first" thing to exist, we come across some rather perplexing and unique problems. Because it is the very "first" thing, it could not be made of anything - there would be no pre-existing thing (matter or energy) from which to have made it. It could not have a natural design, since there would be no pre-existing forces, materials, or designer to impose constraints on it. And, because this "something" always existed, it could not have had an origin.

Such an "existence" cannot be defined, confined, or limited in any way - there is simply nothing by which it can be limited.

Anything which is not limitable in any way is necessarily unlimited in all ways - and that is the definition of "Infinite God".

Because he has no necessary or imposed characteristics, the character and the form (or forms) by which we know Him, the infinite God, are entirely of his own choice and revelation.

Two categories of Existence

All existence is either uncreated or created - that which has the characteristics of God,(which IS God) and that which does not. Because nature is restricted, it is not infinite. Because it is not infinite, it is not God. Even energy and the forces of nature (gravity for instance) are finite and operate within defined bounds. Because they have inherent limitation, they are excluded from being God. They are therefore dependent on God for their existence - and so it is for the whole of creation. God is quite distinct from his visible and invisible creation


From this most basic of all facts (the fact of existence) comes the most basic of all truths - the truth that God is the infinitely mighty creator of the universe and that we owe every aspect of our existence to Him. Any conditions He set for our existence would be rightly and justly given.

The most basic response to this truth should be for us, with awe and respect, to acknowledge Him as our creator and God. As we see His interest in us, through what He has created and how it operates, we can know that we are in the hands of a loving creator/father and that we can find rest as we put our trust entirely in Him.

CONSCIOUSNESS - The awareness of existence (Part 2 in the series)

Have you ever wondered

*  about consciousness - the fact that we are aware of existence?

*  about the vital difference between animals and humans?

*  about whether a "soul" or "spirit" is necessary for matter to have consciousness?

There can be no greater loss than the permanent loss of consciousness.


Rocks respond to the heat of the sun by physically expanding.

Plants respond to stimuli according to their genetic design.

Animals respond to subjectively felt sensations which cause them to interact appropriately with their environment.

Computerized robots can be made to use tools, interpret information, and respond to nearly any type of physical stimulus - all with amazing speed and accuracy.

Subjective Sensation

But, although robots, plants, and rocks can "sense" a physical stimulus, for instance light, they have no mental mechanism (as animals do) with which to subjectively experience it as sight.

Subjective sensory experience, such as the experience of sight and sound, and even emotional feeling, memory and mental visualization, is the conversion of physical stimuli in the brain into a mental experience. Until it is converted by the brain, in its appropriate centers, into a subjective sensory experience, pain has no reality as pain, a falling tree makes no crashing sound, and the memory of a particular person is not "pictured" and felt emotionally.

(The experience is the final step in the transfer of information, as represented successively in a variety of possible media - radio waves, magnetic tape, light, etc - between the original stimulus and the brain. The experience is thus a representation of the original stimulus or message.)

True Consciousness

But, although animals may have the mental features necessary to convert a physical stimulus into a sensory experience, and obtain meaning from it, their "minds" are blank to the higher, (objective) knowledge that they are experiencing these things.

(It is because animals cannot "know" that they are doing or experiencing things, that they can never be held morally accountable for their actions. Animals do not have objective consciousness.)1

Humans have a higher awareness which allows them to be objectively conscious of the drives, emotions, and environment which they subjectively feel. Humans need the subjective "animal" experience of sensation in order to have something to be objectively conscious of.

(This essential human ingredient would appear during childhood as mental structures developed sufficiently to allow it.)2


Consciousness allows us to know of existence. It is our most precious possession and its permanent loss would be the greatest loss that we could ever have. Without consciousness, nothing would exist for us - we would not even know that we know nothing.3

Consciousness and awareness of existence develop as the genetic design, placed in us by God, unfolds from innocent, trusting childhood into full, analytical questioning, and accountable adulthood. When our brains are unable to support consciousness, due to physical reasons, we lose all awareness of existence.4

Consciousness places mankind in a unique position among creatures in that we alone are able to question our origin and acknowledge God as our creator.

Indeed, this greatest of all gifts from the hand of God, places on us the just obligation to acknowledge with thanks, Him, who not only created this world and us living, feeling, and creative beings in it, but who also made us able to be aware of it all.5

Supporting Biblical References

1  Psalms 32:9

2  Exodus 21:22 (fine for life of fetus);
    Exodus 21:23; Leviticus 24:21 (life for life of adult).

3  Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10

4  Psalms 146:3,4

5  Genesis 2:7

INIQUITY - The nature of sinfulness (Part 3 in the series)

Have you ever wondered

*  about sin - its origin, nature and results?

*  about freewill - the fact that we are able to make decisions which really count?

*  about what the highest form of freedom is?

The awareness of our thoughts and actions, in full consciousness, and the ability to control them, implies freewill and makes us morally responsible beings.


As the story goes,
         there was a garden -- Eden

There was a perfect and holy pair --
         Adam and Eve

There was a test -- the tree of knowledge of good and evil

and the forbidden fruit,1 - the taking to themselves the right to say what would be counted as good and what would be counted as evil in their lives.

The Fall into Sinfulness

They accepted the offer of the serpent - the offer of the "highest form of freedom" - and chose self-rulership above God's rulership in their lives.

God honored the freewill which he had given them and they and all theirs became self-centered rivals of Himself, - by nature.

The nature to consult our own wills, above the will of our creator and rightful ruler, is the essence of all sinfulness and the open door to all sin.

The Source of Sin

This condition of sinfulness opens the way for the perversion of our own God-given physical drives, desires, and needs. The "king" indulges his appetites and passions at will, with little regard for the debasement and hardship caused. He seeks honor and recognition, power and glory, with little regard for the way he obtains it. He loots and hoards and grabs for himself, lest he should suffer hardship at any time.

While alienated from God, we are mistrustful of Him and we feel insecure. Our self-centered wills are the cause of the misery in our world. As long as we unrightfully possess the rulership of our lives, we cannot escape the results - disease, hurt people, and want.2


The awareness of our thoughts and actions and the ability to control them in full consciousness, infers freewill and makes us morally responsible beings. We must give account for the things we do or think - unless, of course, we are the highest authority in our lives.3

Since we owe all that we have and are to God, our creator, we should be subject to His authority and law, and should give account to Him. Justice demands our submission to Him.

A Period of Grace

The moment Adam became his own god, he should rightfully have had to support his own existence (since he cut himself off from Creator God by choosing his own way). Since all existence is dependent on God, he should have been immediately annihilated.4   His continued existence is evidence that God did not allow the just results of his choice to follow their course. Instead, He has provided a period of grace - an unmerited period during which a plan has been put into action to resolve the problem of sin and sinfulness.5


Through the choice of Adam, the first human being created by God, we have inherited sinful natures.6   And since we are responsible (to our creator) for the things we do in full consciousness, we are accountable before God for the sins we commit.7

We have been able, through many generations, to see the results of self-godship. We are now able to make a clear judgment as to its non-desirability in society.   Laws are instituted to prevent sin, but we fight against them by nature, and we are all found to be faulty and guilty members of society.8

The fact that we live in a period of grace, gives us hope that God, in His love, has a plan whereby we can be made free of this terrible sinfulness.

Supporting Biblical References

1  Genesis 2:8,9; 3:1-6

2   Romans 7:21,23

3  Hebrews 9:27

4   Genesis 2:17

5   2 Peter 3:9

6  Romans 5:19

7  Romans 2:2

8  Romans 3:10

ALTRUISM - The love of God (Part 4 in the series)

Have you ever wondered

*  about altruism - the reflection of God's character of love?

*  about the nature of human love and where it comes from?

*  about what the standard of love is that God demands of us?

The feelings of natural family love were given to us to teach us of true altruistic love - the love which we must have in order to conform to the law of God.


A mother will, without hesitation, risk her own life to save the life of her baby.

A father knows that there is no power on earth that can stop him from honoring (or trying to honor) the utter trust of his little boy.

A couple in love know very deeply that neither of them would intentionally do anything to hurt the other.

And how parents will watch over an ill child and how they grieve at its death.

Such is the nature of human love.

Chemical love

And such is the nature of electrical charges, neurotransmitters, and hormones as they are experienced in the brain. These particular feelings, which we call love, are among the strongest and purest that we can know. The effect is to produce actions that resemble very closely the unselfish, bottomless love of altruism - but they are not altruism.1

As fallen (self-centered) children of Adam, altruistic love is foreign to our hearts and experience. Even our seemingly unselfish acts, when examined honestly, reveal some self-centered motive.

The feelings of natural family love were given to us to teach us of true altruistic love - the love which we must have in order to conform to the law of God.2

Altruistic love

The content of the law of God, which is a reflection of His character, can be summed up in one word - altruism.3

Altruism is love, similar to the purest love we know among ourselves, but with an important difference - it is infinite in nature. The supply from which the goodwill is drawn, has no limit. It can therefore not be generated by finite beings.4

This love never fails.5   It is like the love of an (ideal) mother (unconditional and accepting). It is the kind of love we would like to continually receive from others.

This love does not tolerate injustice. It zealously recognizes God as the creator and rightful ruler. It comes to the aid of those who have been wrongly treated. It warns those in danger. It treats, with tenderness and mercy, those who have been hurt.

This love is others-centered. It seeks humbly to serve rather than to be served. It places a priority on self-improvement - not for self, but to improve one's ability to unselfishly help others. (Of course, in the kingdom of God, we are also recipients of this love.)

One's own passions, drives and appetites, are held in check for the sake of others. There is no clamoring for status or position. Imposed hardship, abuse, and injustice are accepted, not only with patience, but with a joy untainted by any thought of self-righteousness or retaliation.


Clearly, the purity of thought required by the moral law of God (altrusim), disqualifies us from ever entering the utopia of His kingdom.6  When the period of grace ends, the lives of those who are still sinful, will end with it.7  Because our sinfulness is an integral part of our natures, we have a problem which we ourselves cannot solve.8

But, because God is altruistic, He will come to our rescue. Surely we can wait on Him, with childlike trust. This trust He, as our loving and all-powerful father in heaven, will not disappoint.9

Supporting Biblical References

1  Isaiah 49:15

2  Matthew 22:30 (Human love is temporary teacher)

3  1 John 4:7,8

4  John 15:4

5  1 Corinthians 13:8

6  Romans 3:10-12

7  Revelation 20:9,10,13-15

8  Romans 7:24

9  Isaiah 25:9

REVELATION - Communication from God (Part 5 in the series)

Have you ever wondered

*  about revelation - the opening to us of the methods and plans of God in our salvation?

*  about Jesus Christ - did He need a nature like ours to be able to save us?

*  about the relationship between the law of God and our salvation?

In representations of reality, God has spoken to us.  In the lives of His people and in symbols, He has revealed His plans and His method of saving us from our sinfulness.


In multiple forms and with chosen roles, each member of the triune God, seeks to reveal to us the character of God.

God, the awesome but kindly Father, reveals it in the content of His law.

God, the faithful and obedient Son, reveals it in perfect compliance to that law.

God, the Holy Spirit, reveals the character of God in the love of those whose minds He influences.

Living symbols

To illustrate His plan of redemption, God intervened in the lives of the patriarchs. In the roles played by their first and second sons, He revealed the nature of the two great dispensations to be in effect during this earth's period of grace.1

Cain's sacrifice was not accepted, Abel's was.

Jacob received the blessing instead of Esau

The first dispensation was one associated with bondage -- bondage to the self-centered system of Satan.

The second dispensation revealed God's provision for our release from that bondage.

The Sacrifices

Through sacrifices and ceremonies, God enabled the children of Israel to participate, by faith, in the realities of the second dispensation.2

The "burnt offering", (an animal totally consumed), represented One whose dedication to God would be perfect.3

The "sin offering" represented One who would receive the guilt of sins committed, and carry the penalty of them before God. The life of the animal, represented by the blood, was proof that the penalty for their sins had been paid.4

The Incarnation

The long-awaited messiah was to be one of Adam's children, with a (human) self-consulting nature, as we all have, but also with the altruistic heart of God. Although He was God, he needed the fallen nature of man to be able to overcome the temptation to consult His own will, and so become man's perfect substitute.5


Through Adam's choice of a self-consulting nature for mankind, and our alienation from God, we have not been able to fulfill our duty of perfect compliance to the law of God.6

As the "burnt offering", Christ lived a perfectly sinless (God-consulting) life on behalf of mankind. And as the "sin offering", He paid for the guilt of our sins - as His life was wrung out on the cross.7
Through faith and trust in the altruistic love of God, as shown in this act of sacrifice, our submission to God is restored and our alienation terminated.8

Faith in this same love, as impressed on our minds by the Holy Spirit, enables us to forfeit our own desires and needs, and trust God's will instead. When tempted to consult our own wills, we trust that He knows best and will provide for us in our need. Through faith, we overcome sin - as Christ overcame it.9

(If we refuse to confess and forsake any sin, as pointed out by the unchanging moral law of God, we reject God and revert to self-consultation by conscious choice and once again fall under the sentence of death.)10

We can be thankful that God is a God of altruistic love. When justice demanded our death, He, through Christ, bore the pain of it. We know that we can trust Him at all times. We can face death without fear as we trust in His promise of the resurrection. Let us make sure that we are not unsubmissive in any one point, so that we can enjoy the favor of a loving God forever.11

Supporting Biblical References

1 Galatians 4:21-31

2 Hebrews 8:4,5; 10:1

3 Leviticus 1:3,4,9

4 Leviticus 4:2-7; Hebrews 9:22

5 Hebrews 4:15

6 Romans 5:19

7 Hebrews 10:8-10

8  2 Corinthians 5:14,15

9  1 Corinthians 10:12,13;
    Revelation 14:12;  1 John 5:4

10 Hebrews 10:26,27

11 John 11:25; James 2:10;
     Psalms 23; Revelation 2:7