Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Catholic Defender: American Nomads

In researching a report, I was preparing to take a look at an art exhibit held at our local college (Central Texas College, CTC).

I went there with the intent of picking up some "extra credit" and in doing so, I came away with much more.

I have always held to a strong conservative position supporting legal immigration, but I was never fully aware of the problems many face.

I never have been around those in America who find themselves caught in the middle who have no homeland. They are not accepted as legal anywhere.

The Artist of the display is Lupita Murillo Tinnen who is an art teacher at a nearby college.

Ms. Tinnen was born to Mexican immigrants and was raised in an "undocumented culture" in America.

She knows first hand what it is for many who have been brought to the United States as a child who are not citizens.

I arrived to the exhibit considerably early and had the chance to talk with Ms. Tinnen to some great extent.

I personally have strong feelings that the will of the American people must be to control our borders with Mexico.

At this point the illegal immigrants who come into the United States seem to have little barriers many bringing drugs, guns and violence.

We must change the public will to get our Government to fix this problem. Until we can fix this problem, what do we do with those among us who were raised here all their lives (through no fault of their own).

Ms. Tinnen's display focuses on pictures she has taken of some of her students who come to her seeking help. Because of the passion that Ms. Tinnen has for this problem, she is a strong proponent for the "Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors" (DREAM) Act.

This is a bipartisan proposal intended to help these "undocumented workers" who went through the public school system and have graduated college with a degree. There are no easy solutions. I feel there should be a distinction from someone who came into America illegally, however, there is room for recognizing situations that warrent special consideration.

Arizona for the past three years have been trying to get the Federal Government to do their job in fixing the problem with the border of Mexico.

Phoenix Arizona has a huge problem with violence and kidnapping much of it due to illegal immigrants.

These non-desirables who are criminals should be either placed in jail or sent back to Mexico.

The problem with the latter is these criminals find it easy to come back with little hindrance.

Many Americans traditionally group all of the "undocumented culture" as one large class of people. This is a position that I was not aware of until this event.

Ms Tinnen will appear on our radio ( show soon to share her story which is ingrained with the story of many of these people who are caught in the middle of two cultures.

As an American, I welcome "legal" immigrants who come to our Country. However, they must learn English, they must learn American history. I cringe every time I have a recorded message telling me to choose 1 for English or 2 for Spanish!

What I am hearing taking place in American schools in Arizona where students are being taught anti-American rhetoric is highly upsetting. If there is going to be a positive outcome for many of these people raised in America, they must accept American principles and culture.

I feel that for many of these people, whom Ms Tinnen is representing, they should be able to apply for citizenship as anyone in the world can. This is a very long process that can take years. One of my Soldiers wounded in Iraq was born in Brazil and I was able to help him through the process legally and today he is a U.S. citizen.

Can some of these students who are seeking to be Americans be fast-tracked in this process? Those who have been model people living in this country all their lives? I will keep an open mind towards those who are model good citizens.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Ross Earl Hoffman show official debut

Another milestone for Deeper Truth. Tonight is the official debut of the Ross Earl Hoffman show. This now means that the regulary weekly schedule of Deeper Truth's Blogtalkradio show will be 3 night's a week;

  • Monday, 8 PM Eastern for The Rosary Patrol

  • Tuesday, 7 PM Eastern for The Ross Earl Hoffman show

  • Friday, 7 PM Eastern for The Deeper Truth show

Deeper Truth will continue to schedule other special shows from time to time as warranted.

Please join in!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

The Catholic Defender: I won't back down

I've been defending the Catholic Faith for a long time and I wanted to play this song in honor of my co-host and sidekick John who is really coming of age!!!

Have any of you checked out any of the recent debates we have had here at deepertruth. John is doing great.

John, this one is for you! From your Brother, The Catholic Defender:

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Catholic Defender: The Seven Habits

Recently, I've been looking at the concepts of Stephen R Covey, who wrote a book entitled, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People".

Mr. Covey compartmentizes these "seven habits" into three areas.

The first three concern independance or self-Mastery, the second three concerns interdependance, working with others, and the last habit relates to "self rejuvenation.

So the seven habits according to Mr. Covey are:

Independence or Self Mastery

1. Be Proactive

2. Begin with the End in Mind

3. Put First Things First

Interdependence, working with others

4. Think Win-Win

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

6. Synergize


7. Sharpen the Saw

( Be Proactive) Through these "effective" seven habits, from the first grouping, "Independence" people seek to take initiative in life looking at their decisions made. To take responsibility for those choices and consequences good or bad.

(Begin with the End in Mind) To take self inventory, to rediscover your core values and goals. What kind of crowd did you hold closely around you. Envision a new direction to learn from past roles and goals and relationships in life.

(Put First Things First) To plan and execute your weekly tasks based on importance. Evaluate your efforts based on your values, goals, the roles you have held and the relationships you have known.

(Think Win-Win) Develop solutions or agreements among your relationships, your organization as you value and respect others. A strong leader will develop a winning positive attitude.

(Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood) Grow in the art of listening. Be open to listen to others in your organization creating an atmosphere of respect especially in the area of problem solving.

(Synergize) To take the strengths of your team and work to achieve goals as a team effort. To appreciate the contribution of others, to encourage and foster participation from everyone in the group. To lead by example.

(Sharpen the Saw) Renew your committments to your goals and relationships, take your energy and create a vision to improve your long term vision establishing an effective lifestyle.

This is Stephen Covey's basic outline and I wanted to take a closer look to see if I can apply this in the world of our holy Faith. Obviously, I can certainly group certain areas of our teachings to compare with the importance of Mr. Covey's seven habits.

Be Proactive: Take initiative in discovering what the Catholic Church really is. Many people oppose it because of what they think it is. Take responsibility for your choices. I had abandoned the Catholic Faith several years ago and I do not blame the Church nor my parents because of my past mistakes. I blame myself for my past mistakes. I am thankful for His mercy and forgiveness.

Begin with the End in Mind: Our true north goal should be the ultimate goal of salvation. To recognize this time in life as but a pilgrimage as this is fleeting, temporary. To rediscover the importance of your relationship with God, with your family, friends. To develop those values centered on the Gospel, "faith, hope, and love (charity).

Put First Things First: To plan and execute faithfulness during the week, first going to Mass, preparing to go to Mass by reading the scriptures for Sunday, prayer, devotions such as the rosary. The family that prays together stays together. It's important to lead your family on the road to faith in the practice of it. This will enrich your other aspects of life in your work relationships, and your play as well.

Think Win-Win: Seek that unity in the family that fosters peace and love in valuing each member of the family. This will help give you a foundation in your personal relationships and hopefully keep you from exposing yourself to sin. Keep a positive outlook, keeping your commitment to Christ as a foundation. If you see Christ in others, maybe you would respect them more.

Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: I can't help thinking that Stephen Covey had to have known about St.Francis! This one is St. Francis! To listen to God's word, and act upon what you know. To be humble in your love of God and your family. To respect and love each other living out the Commandments of God.

Synergize: Combine the strengths of everyone and value everyone. To encourage them to grow in their strengths and work on their weaknesses. If they have an interest in music, nurture that interest, especially where they can give their talents back to God in helping others. To lead by example. How can you develop your children's love for going to Mass if you yourself do not go? How can your children learn to pray if you do not pray?

Sharpen the Saw: To celebrate your faith in a living relationship with God. To renew your desire to know God, love God, and serve God! To let your life shine before all so that by your lifestyle, you can set an example for yourself and for all that will set a person on a journey greater than oneself. It is in giving that the opportunity of greatness can be given to those who serve.

This was my quiet reflection this morning and I hope that through this you might benefit a value from it. God bless you all this day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A truly great video about Mary

It is a privilege and honor to share it.

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The Catholic Defender: All The Nations

Today's Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 86:10, says, "All the nations you have made shall come and worship you, O Lord, and glorify your name. For you are great, and you do wondrous deeds; you alone are God".

The Old Testiment is filled with such passages that depicts a universal glorification of God. That was only possible with the establishment of the Catholic Faith.

Jesus sent the Church to go into all the nations to bring them the gospel. In teaching the gospel to the nations, the Kingdom of God is established preparing the world for the coming judgment when Jesus returns.

There are weeds that the enemy has planted among the wheat, but we are not to become dispair. Today there are many voices who want to challenge the Catholic Faith.

We are living in a tough time where the lack of knowledge is everywhere and many are crying out for the truth. At the same time, there are many who want tobe in the light of God's grace and seeking for Christ.

The Catholic Church is the light of Christ in the world. It is the city set on a mountain so all can see it.

We can shin like the stars in the heavens simply by being faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Faith.

When you go to Holy Communion, you have the chance to renew the Covenant with the one who created the stars! The Catholic Church is the one true Faith founded by Jesus Christ. Can it be much more simple than that?

When you choose to follow Christ through his Church, you have opened yourself to the fullness of His truth. The Vatican is literally heaven's royal embassy and the earth is the mission field.

Some day Our Lord will send out his angels to gather the elect from the four winds and all of us will be brought for judgment.

Today is the opportunity to take advantage of his mercy. He offers it so freely in the Sacrament of Confession, that great Sacrament of Mercy!

When you stand before him in judgment, would you not want to have this mercy he offers so freely?

Now is the time, the day of salvation. You might be a Catholic for a whole lifetime, yet, you need to go to Confession again! Do it with your heart and dedicate yourself to his service.

By doing so, you will be an affective witness to the nations who desperately need you this day. I am so thankful for the gift of grace offered to me through the Church.

Today, I recieved Jesus in the Eucharist. It cost me nothing, there are millions who would love to have this freedom but can't because of darkness in their land.

We need to be thankful for this opportunity. The Church persecuted needs our prayer, but in many ways, we need their prayer! How many Catholics have abandoned their faith for less than 30 piece's of silver? Many of them far less than that.

Think of the heart of Christ who bears the lash of each and everyone? There is no such thing as a victimless sin because Jesus is the victim of every sin.

Do we want to be the light? Then we need to be ready to go the long haul because the Lord wants total commitment.

He does not call for half stepping nor nominal consent. He wants you! It's time to wake up and get ourselves on track because many souls will depend on it.

Just this morning in our Bible Study, a lady who had been out of the Church for years was present. She had married a Southern Baptist and abandoned the Catholic Faith for her lover. Thanks to some friends of mine at the Bible Study, she has decided to come hom after several years.

I watched her at Mass this Morning as she folded her arms to recieve a blessing.

She came back to her seat with tears in her eyes. She is home. This is exactly what I am talking about.

We need to develop a holy attitude to do the right thing. To be that light so others can see and to have the wisdom to know when God is calling you!

It's been a while that I have released some of my heart, I too have been hit with everything but the kitchen sink.

But I try to always keep my heart open for any opportunity to serve my Lord. I want to thank John for this opportunity to share this apostolate with him on deepertruth.

Our mission statment is to know God, love God, and serve God. We are the one, holy, Catholoic, and apostolic, Church! We are part of a family that has God as our Father, Jesus our Brother, Mary out Mother, the Saints and angels our extended family.

That should get your exciters going!

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Catholic Defender: In The Light

Psalms 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path".

How true this is! Jesus is the word made flesh: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,and the Word was God" (John 1:1).

St. John goes on to say, "What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race" (John 1:3).

Jesus said, "I am the light of the worl. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).

This is important. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house" (Matthew 5:14-15).

The Catholic Faith is the foundation that the light is given we all share in. The Household of faith "built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone" (Ephesians 2:20).

The Catholic Church is the Pillar and foundation of truth, St. Paul instructs the Church, "Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. So do not be associated with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says: Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Ephesians 5: 6-14).

To be faithful to the Catholic Faith is to live in the light! Jesus is the light of the world. May we rest in this light!

When a sinner converts to the Catholic Faith, or returns to the Faith, the Lord will save the dead person (James 5:19-20).

We are living in a time when there is much darkness and I have know Catholics who have abandoned the Faith for just about everything.

The number one reason is their knowledge, wisdom, and understand is not there.

They are "lukewarm" so they are easily shaken.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

*BEST OF DTB #97* The Catholic Defender: Clean

Luke 5:21 states, "Then the Scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?"

The Religious leaders of the Jews did not recognize Christ's authority to forgive sins.

Jesus asks what is easier; to tell this man your sins are forgiven or pick up his mat and walk.

Jesus astounded the crowd when the man picked up his mat and walked.

Jesus states, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you".

When I read John 20:23 I find that Jesus did instruct his Apostles to forgive mens sins and hold them bound. This is an authority commanded by Christ!

It is Jesus who forgives in the action of his Ministers. The question becomes, do you believe in Jesus, and does he have the power to forgive sins?

I say, yes he does! Can Jesus use his Church? Yes, he can!

He has commanded it! Jesus gives this authority to forgive sins to his Church saying, "Recieve the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retaned" (John 20:23).

St. Paul would refer to this Ministry as the Ministry of Reconciliation. I've heard some say they do not need a "middle man" for forgiveness, they believe you can go straight to Jesus.

I encourage to take all concerns to Jesus everytime. However, when dealing with sin and reconciliation, I must say that we are to go to the Catholic Priest to recieve absolution. St. Paul writes, "And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their traspasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).

St. Paul continues, "Working together, then, we appeal to you not to recieve the grace of God in vain. For he says: In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6: 1-2).

James sees this "middle man" important for the sick man saying, "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven" (James 5:14-15).

I prefer to have this "middle man" as well, those who are present that the Lord is working through.

The Ministry of Reconciliation was important to the poor sinner who has strayed from the truth, "My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20).

When you confess your sins, the Lord takes those confessed sins and throws them into the sea of forgetfulness and he remembers them no more.

You also recieve a judgment in the Confessional, a judgment of mercy. The Confessional is the mercy seat of God.

To be truly free and clean of sin, the Lord gives us his "Ministry of Reconciliation!

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Ross Earl Hoffman on a special tuesday edition of Deeper Truth

Catholic Apologist Ross Earl Hoffman will be on the Deeper Truth show on Tuesday, July 12th at 7 PM Eastern time. Link The call-in number is 646-595-2071

He will tell his conversion story and talk about our faith! Don't miss it!

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*BEST OF DTB #96* "The wages of sin is death"

In a very recent article, I answered some questions regarding the false rapture doctrine. One more question has arisen and I thought it appropo to deal with it as a second post.

My friend wants to know how to reconcile 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16* For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.

With Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[Emphasis mine]

An excellent question.

First, let's explore the context.

Regarding the verses in 1 Thessalonians 4, they refer to the second coming and the last day, that is the Great White Throne Judgement. (Revelation 20:11-15). John 6 tells us quite clearly that the dead in Christ will rise from the grave on the last day.

However, it isn't just the dead in Christ. All the dead bodies will rise from the grave.

John 5:28-29

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.”

So, at that point, there IS no more death, in the earthly understanding. At this point, there is only eternity. Eternity in Heaven or Eternity in hell. The Bible is clear that the dead cannot rise from the grave before Jesus returns and the alive cannot rise up to meet Him until the dead have risen first.

When this occurs, all of the people who have ever lived will be divided into two groups- the saved and the doomed. Those who did God's will and those who did not.

Matthew 25

31* "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32* Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34* Then the King will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35* for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?' 40* And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' 41* Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44 Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' 45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' 46* And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Physical death is the normal transition for us from this world to eternity. The Bible records at least two persons (Enoch and Elijah) as having gone straight to heaven (and I would add two others) but that is a article for another day.

For most of us, there will be 2 judgements;
  1. The particular Judgement. This occurs between You and Jesus and will occur at the moment of your death. Your soul will then go to Heaven, Hell or Purgatory (Yes, some will go there temporarily, we can discuss it later)
  2. The General Judgement (spoken above). You will be judged along with all mankind. Your body will be raised and reunited with your soul and both will go to heaven or hell. Earth and Purgatory will pass away.

This will be the case for everyone who dies from now until the second-to-last day.

For those fortunate (or unfortunate) souls who are still alive on the last day, they will pass straight from this life to both Judgements and will, that day, be in Heaven or Hell, Body and Soul.

This is why there is no contradiction between Jesus saying we will be raised on the last day and saying to the Good Thief "This day you will be with me in paradise".

I welcome more questions!

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

In Heaven's Arms

Tonight's special show on Deeper Truth, explores the music of composer Eric Genuis and one song in particular.

First, the Composer, himself- an astounding talent. His music is equally deep in it's technical brilliance as it is in it's spiritual depth.

You will hear a variety of samples of this music, as well as information of where to hear it and order it and the very special ministry Eric is a part of, called the Radix Guys.

Our interview will eventually lead us to his haunting song "In Heaven's Arms"

Donald and I will take the theme from there,in the second hour! Don't' miss it! Click here

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

*BEST OF DTB #95* Questions regarding the rapture

A good friend, a godly man, called me with some honest questions regarding the doctrine of the rapture. His questions were actually insightful and showed me that he is truly seeking the truth on this matter. I gave him my best summation, then promised I would follow with Scriptural support of my position. My friend's name is Rodney.

This is an important issue of our time and one that I feel should be addressed. Therefore, I have decided to make public, my response to my friend.

The doctrine of a rapture of the church was born in 1830, as the result of an alleged vision by a young girl named Margaret McDonald, a disciple of a Church of Scotland minister named Edward Irving.

McDonald stated that it was revealed to her that Christ would return in two stages. The first was an invisible stage where the righteous would be taken to heaven and then, later, in Judgement against the unrighteous.

Irving held to the belief that all Christians would manifest the charismatic spiritual gifts of the infant church, of prophesy and speaking in tongues. As a result of the chaos of some of his church gatherings, he was dismissed from the church of Scotland and went on to become the father of modern Pentecostalism. Irving would go on to say that "voices from heaven" instructed him to preach this doctrine. I will not speculate on what he actually heard or didn't hear. I can only give the irrefutable facts.

  1. Prior to Irving and McDonald's testimony, there had never been a historical figure that suggested this doctrine.
  2. The Bible is clear on these kinds of new doctrines;
    Galatians 1
    6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel-- 7 not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8* But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

Some have speculated that Irving's views were shaped by the 1827 writings of a Spanish Jesuit priest. Whether this is true or not cannot be known. What we do know, for a fact, is that the belief in a rapture of the church is less than 200 years old, by even the most generous estimation of it's origin. So, this is a doctrine that has emerged in the last 10% of the duration of the time from the birth of Christ So, the only question that remains is whether an infallible Biblical case can be made in support of this doctrine. As I will soon show you, it certainly cannot.

John Darby, founder of The Plymouth Brethren movement became fascinated by Irving's new doctrine and traveled to Scotland to interview him.

Darby's devotion to this doctrine, led him to search for Scriptural support. Believing he had found support for this doctrine, in Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4, his theories caught the attention of Cyrus Scofield, he published the same in the cross-notes of Scofield Reference Bible

This was, essentially, the beginning of the modern dispensationalist movement and would lead to an almost unbroken succession of date setters for Jesus Christ's return including the Jehovah Witnesses, the Seventh Day Adventists and the recent fanatic who predicted Christ's return on May 21st of this year.

The guy who really put the rapture doctrine on the map is one of the most famously wrong date setters in American history. I mention his famously wrong prediction because it strikes to the very heart of how very wrong this interpretation of Matthew's 24th chapter is and why it doesn't support a rapture doctrine at all.

The man's name is Hal Lindsey and his work The late Great Planet Earth revolutionized the way the people looked at the end times and the Book of Revelation (to great detriment, I'm afraid).

Lindsey is the man responsible for taking Dispensationalism from the extreme to the mainstream but he interprets Matthew 24 very wrongly.

To understand Matthew's 24th chapter is difficult but if you cling fast to Our Lord's own words, and do a bit of research, you can come to get it.

So, let's start there-

Taking the chapter apart, piece by piece, we start with verses 1 and 2, and a pretty straightforward account;

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down."

So, even as the disciples are marveling at the amazing buildings of the Jewish Temple, Jesus is predicting it's utter destruction. Do not lose sight of this. Jesus first prediction deals solely with the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

To the people of Jerusalem in Jesus' day, this would be more unthinkable than the destruction of the Titanic or the World Trade Center was to our time.

So, The disciples ask Him when this will occur but they don't stop there. They add two additional questions. Read carefully.
3* As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, 1when will this be, and 2what will be the sign of your coming and 3of the close of the age?"
  1. When will this be? That is, when will the Temple be destroyed?
  2. What will be the sign of your coming? That is, the sign of the second coming.
  3. The close of the age. That is, the end of the world.

If you fail to recognize that these three questions are asked in order and answered in order, you reduce Matthew 24 to a frustrating and unsolvable mass of contradictions. However, if you follow this model, Jesus was, indeed, promising to return twice but not in a Rapture and then Judgement. He is promising to return twice in Judgement, first on the city of Jerusalem and then, on the world. The first Judgement would occur within a specific period of time and the second, at the end of the age at a time we do not know.

Read along and you will see. Jesus takes the longest amount of time to answer question 1 and, if you are not careful, you might think this is an end-times prophecy. However, He actually assures us that it isn't. Allow me to walk you through it and please pay close attention. My commentary is in Bold Red. This may be a little long-winded but it is important, so I can tie it all together.

4 And Jesus answered them,
Very important. Jesus is directly answering the disciples question. Understand this as Jesus speaking personally to them about what they will see and what are their instructions. Resist the temptation to see an end-times prophecy where there is none. If you follow the words closely, it is very clear that Jesus answers each of the 3 questions in order.
"Take heed that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
As you will see, the end that Jesus refers to here is still the end of the city of Jerusalem. His discourse on the end of the world comes later.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: 8 all this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.
These events are recorded as having occurred in the time leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem.

9* "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.
Here he is predicting the martyrdom of the Apostles. Only John definitely escaped this end, surviving miraculously, the attempt on his life. Both Peter and Paul, were dead before the Temple was destroyed as was James.
10 And then many will fall away, * and betray one another, and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because wickedness is multiplied, most men's love will grow cold. 13* But he who endures to the end will be saved. 14* And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.
It is very tempting to interpret "preached throughout the whole world" as meaning the whole world according to our reckoning but the following 20 verses make it very clear that this is not the case. Continue to pay close attention and you will see this. Remember that, for the Jews of Jesus time, what was under Roman rule was the whole world.

15 "So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;
What Jesus says here is inescapable and attempts to escape it have ranged from the misinformed to the absurd. Jesus, in referring to Daniel, is giving us a very specific timeline on when these events will commence and you have to make Jesus a liar to propose they refer to the end times. It refers to a specific event, a specific time and a specific people in a specific place. It refers to the Holy place. At that time, only the Temple would have qualified. Further, it specifically instructs those in Judea to flee to the mountains when the abomination Daniel spoke of is seen. The Bible is clear about that, as well, telling us precisely when this will occur.
The prophecy is recorded in the 9th chapter of Daniel and is a prophecy given to Daniel by the Angel Gabriel.

24 "Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

A week of years= 7 years. Therefore, 70 weeks of years is 490 years by the Jewish calendar or 476 years by our reckoning. After that time the sacrifice ends, so do the prophets, the Messiah is brought in and the Jewish religion comes to an end, culminating with the end of the city of Jerusalem.

25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.

That decree was made by King Artaxerxes of Persia approx. 443 BC and the rise of Ezra the prophet, about seven years later, fulfills the first week of years, up to 436 BC.

Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26 And after the sixty-two weeks, *an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing;

Literally translated, "the Christ", this takes us forward another 62 x 7 years, that is 434 Jewish years or about 428 years by our reckoning. When the prophesy is converted to days, it takes us to April 3rd, 33 AD. The date of a known eclipse and a Friday immediately preceding the Passover.

To say that this fulfills the "the Christ is cut down" part of the prophecy goes without saying. April 3rd, 33 AD is the date of the crucifixion.

and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its * end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed. 27* And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator."

Now, once again, the prophecy is pretty straightforward and it is impossible to make this an end-times prophecy honestly. Yet, inexplicably, they do JUST THAT. Lindsey, and others have speculated that a sort of ''stopwatch" is clicked, separating week 69 from week 70. He proposes that Daniel's 70th week is fulfilled in the end times. There, of course, is zero Scriptural evidence to support such nonsense. They literally created this interpretation out of thin air in order to futurize Daniel's 70th week. However, such an interpretation makes Gabriel a liar in verse 24! Seventy weeks means SEVENTY WEEKS.
Reading this prophesy correctly shows that the beginning of the events leading to the end of the city of Jerusalem begin at the halfway mark of the 70th week. This takes us to 37 AD and the placement of the bust of Zeus Olympus on the temple wing by the Roman emperor Caligula. This is the Abomination that leads to desolation. In other words, precisely the desolating abomination Jesus spoke of.
It was at that point that the fate of the city of Jerusalem was sealed. It's destruction was sealed and it's destruction was no longer a question of if but only of when. This is why, returning to Matthew 24, we see Jesus exhorting people to get out of that city and quick.
17let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; 18 and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. 19 And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 Then if any one says to you, 'Lo, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Lo, I have told you beforehand. 26* So, if they say to you, 'Lo, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out; if they say, 'Lo, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 28* Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

29* "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; 31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Once again, it is easy to say that this points to the end times unless you understand that the sun and moon being darkened and the stars falling from heaven, and the powers of heaven being shaken are referring symbolically to the violent fury being poured about on the city of Jerusalem. Jesus is coming here, on the clouds of heaven, in retribution against the city of Jerusalem. In verses 32 to 35, He leaves no doubt.

32 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
Hal Lindsey points out, and is correct in pointing out that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel. Curiously, though, he misses Matthew 21

18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it, and found nothing on it but leaves only. And he said to it, "May no fruit ever come from you again!" And the fig tree withered at once. 20* When the disciples saw it they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree wither at once?" 21* And Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will be done. 22* And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."

Jesus statement to know he is near, at the very gates, is speaking specifically to the gates of the city of Jerusalem. Remember that Jesus said these desolations are decreed from the moment the abomination of desolation (the bust of Zeus) is placed on the temple wing. He now gives us a firm promise of how soon they will come to completion.
34* Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. 35* Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Verse 34 clinches it. Jesus is testifying that everything He has spoken of since verse 4 takes place in the current generation. The word generation comes from the Greek genea and denotes a period of about 40 years. So, the only way to properly interpret this prophecy is that it is fulfilled within 40 years of the time Jesus made it. This would mean no later than 73 AD. The city of Jerusalem and it's Temple, and all the Priests within it, were destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans, exactly as Jesus predicted.

Luke 21

20* "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfil all that is written. 23* Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; 24* they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Thus, all 70 weeks of Daniel's prophecy were fulfilled. There was no stopwatch. Only be inserting the wholly unsupported stopwatch theory, is Lindsey able to manipulate the text to be referring to the end times. Lindsey then re-starts his stopwatch at the date the UN recognized the Nation of Israel (1948). Lindsey then totally misinterprets the following;

30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; 31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The earth is to mourn because the Lord is coming in vengeance against the City of Jerusalem. In fact, the Jewish historian Josephus actually records that figures were seen in the clouds! Misinterpreting this to be a gathering up of the saints, a rapture, Lindsey adds the 40 years for a generation, and predicts that Jesus would rapture the church in 1988. One of the most famously wrong predictions in history.

Just as Jesus prescribes a definite time-frame (one generation) for His first return (Judgement against Jerusalem, not a Rapture), He is just as clear to distinguish it from His second coming.

36* "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, * but the Father only. 37* As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 40* Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. 42* Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43* * But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
You see the distinction? When will Jerusalem fall? Within one generation. When will Jesus return? No one knows- not even the angels of heaven. And the Final Judgement (question 3) follows immediately after

45* "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed,' 49* and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, 51* and will punish him, and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.

So, the sentences 40 Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left, that people like Lindsey refer to as referring to a rapture, and Tim Lahaye has made a fortune off of with his left behind book series, do not refer to a rapture at all but to what will occur at the second coming. In fact, Jesus, Himself compares it to the days of Noah. In the days of Noah, the ones who were taken were the evil. So, it will be this time.

Now, let's look at the other chapter, used to defend this doctrine 1 Thessalonians chapter 4. Again, my commentary is in Bold Red.

13* But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14* For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.
That clinches it right there. The dead in Christ must rise first and that happens on the last day (John 6: 39-40, 44, 54)

* For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Notice that those who are alive are called up in the sky to meet the Lord. The terminology speaks to meeting or welcoming. The people will actually escort Him back to earth where Judgement will commence. This meeting of the Lord is actually expounded upon in 2 Thessalonians 2 where we are told that this cannot happen until the Anti-Christ comes first. Paul calls him the son of perdition (literally, the son of hell)

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition.
Anti-Christ is a specific person. The rapture is impossible.
  1. Anti-Christ must come before Christ's return.
  2. The dead must rise first when He returns.

I hope this helped.

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*BEST OF DTB #94* The Catholic Defender: Personal Thoughts on Harry Potter

I know there are a lot of people who see the Harry Potter books and movies simply as children's books.

Fantasy, strict entertainment. The bible and the Church has much to say about spells and incantations directed towards other gods or the devil.

With the rise of the Harry Potter sensation, so has the Wiccans benefited.

They have 1-800 numbers and witchcraft books where ever Harry Potter is advertized in book stores or libraries.

Some have even tried to "christianize" Harry Potter? The following are some of my thoughts:

The casting of spells is not a natural but a supernatural occurance. They are the product of demons who do the bidding of the one who summons them. There are specific incantations for different spells. It may appear laughable but it is not what God wants us to entertain ourselves with (1 Samuel 15:23).

What is magic? Especially when a supernatural power is attributed to it. A sorcerer. Magic is the "use of means as charms and spells believed to have supernatural power over natural forces". I know we try to look for the good in all these movies, but a duck is still a duck, no matter how you clothe it.

This is typical for the average American. We feel that we are old enough and mature enough to enjoy what we want to watch. It is a personal right.

Ephesians 5:11
"Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but expose them".

How we have lifted ourselves up in our own eyes! Rebellion is the same as witchcraft!

I'm not saying that watching Harry Potter will cause you to become a witch, though I do think it may cause people to become desensitized to it. If it's OK to create a story line that makes magic and spells fun that opens the box that magic and spells are fun. How many people out there can tell the difference from a spell that is genuine and one that is fabricated. Where does the fabrication get the source that makes it fiction?

For me, this is a question of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If it is offensive to Him, I could care less if it has an impact on me or could sway me. If He says don't play with it, I'm going to stay clear of it. I might think I could handle it, but He knows better! Satan's power is deception! He certainly has been given a lot of play!

What is a spell? Is that associated with Christianity? Does dressing yourself with a pentagram mean your a witch? Does that mean you practice witchcraft?

What about fads that become popular? What about those who wear their pants baggy and halfway down their butt, does that mean they are from prison and homosexual? Maybe not, but it's not a good fad to form the next generation.

Demons can be a lot of fun in fantasy, but I would hope that we can see it for what it is.

There is a great difference from a crucifix and a pentagram, from holy water and a wand, from the miraculous medal and tarot cards, from the bible and crystals.

The wicca (white light) believe that their spells are from goddesses that are good.
It's not fantasy that I'm opposed to, but the origin from where it comes. Just reading the Cover to the DVD which informs us to join HP on his "amazing journey into the world of wizardry" and talks of their "magical abilities and courage in this spellbinding" book.

What is a wizard? They are a sorcerer having magical power. Worthy of the highest praise.

Wizardry, the art or practices of sorcery.

Jesus says,
"But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, SORCERERS, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death".

Consider the continued rise in popularity of witchcraft. More young people are getting involved in it. I've had soldiers who practiced it and they thought of Harry Potter as free advertizement. people might not be affected by it, your salvation might be intact, but what about your neighbor, the girl down the street? Are we to the point that we don't care about our fellow man? That's not what the Church is about! We are suppose to bring the gospel to every nation. Seems like we have retreated and consorted with the enemy!

Another example: George Harrison (former Beatle) donated thousands of dollars to the Krishna movement, wrote a forward to a book encouraging Krishna consciousness in the western world, had a number one song dedicated to Krishna "My Sweet Lord". The Beach Boys would have Mahareshe Mjewinf speak at their concerts. They would dim the lights down and encourage people to become followers. Mike Love would prance on stage dressed as a Krishna monk. It was ugly especially for me who loved the Beach Boys. Sadly, after about one year of this, nearly 1,000,000 young Americans became followers.

Is this harmless? For many people, it elevates curiosity. I know Psychiatrists who will say that few sins are brought on by a spur of the moment, but usually planned, developed through thought. People don't wake up one day thinking that they want to be a witch or something, it is a process, moral, spiritual, and physical. But to a child who sees this as fantasy, many today are trying to get out of reality and are moving to the supernatural. They understand what they know and experience. They see nothing wrong with HP and so they do not see spells as evil.

From the CCC
"All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity."

Now of course, the situations change when it involves a child's book or a movie!

One final thought, have we ever thought to consider what the sin was that Judas Maccabees discovered among his fallen Soldiers? "On the following day, since the task had now become urgent, Judas and his men went to gather up the bodies of the slain and bury them with their kinsmen in their ancestral tombs. But under the tunic of each of the dead they found amulets sacred to the idols of jamnia, which the law forbids to the Jews to wear. So it was clear to all that this was why these men had been slain" (2 Maccabees 12:39-40).Making occult symbols into fads of fantasy does not change the Lord's position of such symbols! The following video is dedicated to all the deepertruth friends out there!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Can you be a Harry Potter fan and a practicing Catholic at the same time.



Are there any questions?

The attack comes after the Potter series was also
slammed by Pope Benedict XVI who said the seven books contained ''subtle
seductions'' that undermined children's religious development by blurring the
line between good and evil.

I have been saying this for about a decade now. Why in the heck won't you listen?

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