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Sunday, January 17 2016

Amos 8: Broad Is The Way That Leadeth To Destruction

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction"

Humanity has created many religions for itself. Humans, it seems, are capable of making just about anything, or anyone, into a "god" for themselves. Has that become a correct statement for "Christianity" too?

Although the number of Christian-professing people in the world presently total more than 2 billion, they have deep divisions in practices and beliefs - so much so that they seem very much like different religions, while all claiming Jesus Christ as their Saviour. How did that come to be?

Many disregard the stark differences between the "churches" as merely people taking "many different roads to the same place" through their "freedom of religion." But is the Messiah bound to the terms and conditions of their churches and their supposedly Christian religions? No. The Messiah in fact warned against that false idea. There are indeed "many different roads to the same place," but that place is hell fire, not salvation in the Kingdom of God (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?).

"7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14 KJV)

"7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven [see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?]; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23 KJV)


How did the confusion begin - and what caused it every time?

The sectarianism of "Christianity" began very early, keeping in mind that the religious authorities of Judah, some of whom (such as the Pharisee who became the apostle Paul) became followers of The Messiah, had deep doctrinal differences too.

"23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both" (Acts 23:8 KJV)

The apostle Paul was formerly a member of one of those "sects" (see Was Paul Among Them?).

"26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee." (Acts 26:5 KJV)

Paul later realized that those divisions were caused by power-lusting men who sought to be "leaders" of Christ's Church - creating a following for themselves i.e. "For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly."

"16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Romans 16:17-18 KJV)

The "leader" mentality, the idolizing of a man's word (most "Christian" churches are named after men, or nations of men), is not Christian.

"1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Corinthians 1:10-13 KJV)

Man-made "churches" are not Christian - they are carnal i.e. "for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men."

"3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase." (1 Corinthians 3:3-7 KJV)

The apostle Peter also warned of those who "through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you."

Elmer Gantry

"1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:20-21 KJV)

"2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." (2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV)

How then can we make true Christianity our "religion"? (see the Fact Finder question below)

"5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21 KJV)

The Israelites repeatedly suffered the self-inflicted consequences of claiming the Name of the LORD while ignoring and defying His Law (see A History Of Israel's United And Divided Kingdoms). Their example is for everyone.

"8:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou?

And I said, A basket of summer fruit.

Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.

8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again." (Amos 8:1-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: How is "strait" and "straight" used in the Holy Bible?
See Strait And Straight

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This Day In History, January 17

38 BC: Octavian (who became the first emperor of the Roman empire; see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) divorced Scribonia and married Livia Drusilla, thereby ending the political peace between the Second Triumvirate (see The Politics Of Rome) and Pompey.

Newfoundland 395: Upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I, the original Roman Empire was no longer ruled by a single leader. As a political and military entity, it thereafter began to be moved northward, where it became officially known as "The Holy Roman Empire of The German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

683: The Battle of al-Harrah. A Syrian army supporting the Umayyad caliph Yazid I defeated the rebel forces of Medina.

1287: King Alfonso III of Aragon invaded the Spanish island Minorca.

1377: Pope Gregory XI restored the papacy to Rome from Avignon, France, where it had resided for 72 years. It had been moved there by French Pope Clement V in 1305, to escape the political turmoil in Italy at the time (see The Struggle For The Papacy).

1524: Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed from Madeira in search of a route to the Pacific Ocean.

1562: The Edict of St. Germain took effect by which the Huguenots (French Protestants) were recognized in France. On the same day, the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine formed a union to block the edict.

1595: Henry IV of France declared war on Spain.

1601: The Treaty of Lyons was signed between France, Spain and Savoy under which Henry IV gained Bresse, Bugey, Gex and Valromey.

1648: England's "Long Parliament" passed the "Vote of No Addresses," ending negotiations with King Charles I and setting the stage for the second part of the English Civil War.

1773: The Resolution, under England's Captain James Cook, became the first ship to enter Antarctic waters. Cook and his crew explored and charted vast areas around the world.

1775: 9 women in Kalisk, Poland were burnt as witches, accused of causing bad harvests (see also Innocent Unless Proven Guilty and What Is Sorcery?).

1811: The Battle of Calderon Bridge during the Mexican War of Independence; a force of 6,000 Spanish troops defeated a Mexican revolutionist force of 100,000.

1852: The United Kingdom recognized the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal.

1912: Robert Falcon Scott's expedition reached the South Pole, a month after Roald Amundsen of Norway.

1939: The Nazi government in Germany prohibited Jews from working as dentists, veterinarians and chemists (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1945: The Soviet Red Army liberated and occupied Warsaw, Poland, from German forces.

1946: The United Nations Security Council held its first session.

1957: Canada's last aircraft carrier (Canada had 3 aircraft carriers during the Second World War to Cold War era), HMCS Bonaventure (shown in the photograph), was commissioned. The ship was ordered scrapped in 1969 by the Liberal regime of Pierre Trudeau.

HMCS Bonaventure 1961: Former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was murdered. He had been a leading proponent of the Congo's independence from Belgium.

1961: U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower delivered a national televised farewell address, warning of the self-destructive influence of the "military-industrial complex" i.e. arms manufacturers making billions in profits for "defense" by getting gullible or puppet politicians elected to start or provoke wars all around the world.

1966: A U.S. B-52 bomber collided in mid-air with a refueling tanker over Spain. 8 people were killed, and the bomber released its H-bomb into the Atlantic.

1977: Double-murderer Gary Gilmore became the first person to be executed in the U.S. since the reintroduction of the death penalty. He chose a firing squad.

1991: Operation Desert Storm began the Gulf War against Iraq.

1991: Harald V became King of Norway. He succeeded his father, King Olav V.

1994: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Northridge, California. Damage was estimated to be over $20 billion, making it one of the most expensive disasters in U.S. history.

1995: More than 6,000 people were killed after a strong earthquake struck central Japan. Measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, the earthquake, centered around the port of Kobe, was the biggest quake to hit Japan in half a century.

1996: The Czech Republic applied to become a European Union state.

1998: Matt Drudge broke the story of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair on his website The Drudge Report.

2007: The "Doomsday Clock" was set to five minutes to midnight in response to nuclear testing by North Korea.


Copyright © Wayne Blank