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zt:Christian and Numerology
送交者: mean 2011年02月24日08:43:47 于 [彩虹之约] 发送悄悄话
The Christian and Numerology

Numerology has invaded the church every tome there is a major event.

Published by Ralph Brandt in Christianity on March 12, 2007

Every time there is a major event there is so much mystic numerology that follows it. An example here is the frenzy about the numbers surrounding 9/11/2001 and what was worse, Christians got caught up in the frenzy. I got one piece of speculation after another in my e-mail for months. Let me simply say that it is not Godly nor is it profitable. Brethren and Sisters, this should not be. We are not to be tossed to and fro on winds of doctrine and witchcraft and these counting letters, playing with ASCII values of names or progressions of dates are just that. Just because it comes from the Jewish meaning or is deduced from scripture does not make it of God.

People sometimes get upset with me because I do not always recognize their pet idea as the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have also been known to read something people thought was a pearl and call it a rhinestone because it did not meet the muster of being in line with scripture. Let me give it to you straight because I don’t know any other way. I failed the course on fence straddling and they insisted I retake it before I could take one on Religious Correctness so I didn’t take that one either. When it comes to these peripheral and tangential doctrines, don’t bother me with them. If it does not bear fruit in bringing people to Christ, seeing people healed or maturing saints to do His work, why do it? Why spend time with it? Why teach it? I see the Kingdom of God the same way I see a business. If it doesn’t contribute directly or indirectly to the bottom line, why are we doing it? The bottom line in the Kingdom is bringing people to Him and caring for His people. If the only thing it does is bring in more money for your tapes and CD’s, I am not interested.

The “numerology” and “end time theories” are marginal pursuits at best. I have been in the church since I was a child and have held ministry roles for over 30 years. I have seen these two theological conjectures tear up the church. I have seen them drive people into fear. I have seen them give up good jobs (to avoid taking the mark of the beast by using a computer). I have seen them split the church over mid, pre, post and pan trib (pan is my pet theory if you are interested in hearing a new one), and a whole host of other things that makes the devil smile. We don’t seem to be getting any smarter. We keep doing it. We recycle the devil’s devices and we are cutting the cycle time. Brethern (and sisters) these evils should not occur in the church.

Most of this occurs because the church has fallen victim to the world’s system which is not the decried and fictional Egyptian System of the public school but the concept that whatever sells is what is preached, taught and written. (I’ll deal with the false scriptural basis of home schooling some other time.) Get angry with me if you like but then go to the book store and look at the books on maturing saints and winning souls. There are some but the pile is small and they are not out at the door where you see them when you come in. The catchy sermon full of whipped crème and fluff or the one that violates scripture and promises some private interpretation or some great new revelation of Hebrew characters is the one that gets people to buy books and tapes. Yes, some of the books and preachers on TV teach things that violate scripture and God help us some of the sermons from the pulpit on Sunday morning are just as ungodly. Look at the available merchandise on numerology and end time in the bookstore. You can spend your whole pay-check and not get them all. Let me go one more step on this. I believe that in five years the church will see the “Left Behind” series as what it is, the work of the devil. And the people who write these are shameless. In the 70’s one preacher sold a set of tapes, “One world Government 1974″ and when it didn’t happen in 74 he sold a smaller set that explained why it would be later, but you had to buy the full first set to understand the shorter update. That was how he sold them. Don’t blame the PT Barnum preachers and flimflam artists for their activities. There seems to be a religious sucker born every minute.

If we demanded the meat of the word or at least the milk, not the fluff and cotton candy, and would settle for nothing less, we would not be getting this fare. If we got up and walked out of churches when this trash was passed on and take our offerings and tithes (another old testament concept that has no place in the new covenant) it would stop. Let me digress here. I have missed it here a couple of times. I should have made a statement with my feet and failed to do so. If we did that some preachers would go back to driving a truck while others would start proclaiming the gospel of our Lord. I intend no offense to truck drivers. They earn an honest living. People who preach what it not His word do not.

I have been in the pulpit and I gave them what God gave me. Funny thing, they liked it. No kidding! They did. It surprised me too. I thought the average church member was too shallow to be interested in getting closer to God and being committed. I thought they wouldn’t pay attention. I had to repent for that. What people thought about what I gave them doesn’t matter so much to me but it is gratifying to see that the congregation is interested in knowing more about Jesus or about how to serve Him. Sometimes they are more interested than the pastors. Call those false shepherds. That is what the scripture calls them. As John said, “I have no greater joy than to see that my children walk in truth.” If you want to see some of my sermons they are on my web site, two are called “One Life” and “COD or AWOL”. They are the gospel, simple. But then I am a pretty simple guy. I have been told that in derision and I don’t try to refute it. When it gets complicated I get lost. When I get complicated, I loose people. I have a Bachelors degree in Math and have programmed computers for forty years this month but the value of counting Hebrew letters and assigning them numeric values and symbols confuses me. And Jesus didn’t mention it. I was commanded to follow him.

I believe the bible. I believe the Jews are God’s people. I have taught the book of Romans. The Jews are the tame olive plant in case you haven’t read that part. But the Gentile, the wild olive plant has been grafted in because of the Jews’ unbelief. We were given grace to lead them to Christ! However they failed in the Old Testament because they kept God to themselves. God was not willing to be kept in a box called Israel and he is no more willing to be kept in a box called the church today. Solomon saw it when he dedicated the temple when he said, “The heavens could not contain you, much less a house I have built.” God help us to understand that we must recognize this today. If you don’t know that story read the “lost books” of the Bible, Numbers and Leviticus. They are the ones that Christians consider too heady to read. The Jews failed to bring the word of God to the other nations and they were grafted out. What will save us from that fate if we do not bring his word to the world? How will we escape if we neglect the salvation of the Lord while chasing the latest thing? If we chase this are we not like the Greeks chasing the “unknown God?”

Sure the bible is symbolic. The parables of Christ are very symbolic. He used the symbols to teach the people the kingdom. He taught in parables so they would understand. But there is nothing in the symbolism in scripture that lays a foundation for counting the letters in the scripture and where they appear in any alphabet. If that turns you on or puts you to sleep, fine, do it, but keep it to yourself. Don’t bother me with it. Don’t try to profit from it. Let me repeat that. Don’t try to profit from it. And if you present it as a significant revelation in my presence I will not consider it a pearl and I will personally trample your rhinestones in the hog dung while you watch. Why am I so hard nosed? Why am I that negative? Because of the damage I have seen this do. I have seen people in fear over it because they were fed a steady diet of this trash from the pulpit and the TV. If it does no other damage it has people wasting their time reading the swill. The devil has to see that as great. During that time they could be reading the Textbook (the bible) rather than the Cliff Notes.

I could not count on my fingers and toes the number of times I have read some “Fantastic New Revelation” like this. Some of them were written as far back as the 30’s. Over the years these people have predicted that Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, John Kennedy, Nakita Kruschev, and Henry Kissinger would be the anti-Christ. Russia, USSR, Germany, and several others are the nations Gog and Magog. One prediction after another has fallen as false. God is not the author of confusion. He is not the author of failed prophecies. He is bound to dot every “i” and cross every “t” of His word but He is not bound to bring my predictions to fruition. And he is no more bound to honor anyone else’s.

My role in the church has been as a teacher, counselor and pastoral care. I have done demonic deliverance. I get to help clean out the garbage that has been put into people. I have little use for anything that may increase the number of Hefty bags we need.

Before you respond to call me a sorehead, remember they called Habakkuk the equivalent of a sorehead too. And pray, ask God if you should be winning souls, encouraging the brothers and sisters, or if he wants you counting Hebrew letters, speculating on His return date, mapping leader’s names or refuting me.
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