Promises and Secrets

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A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.

Right in our own eyes


Did you know that there was One who said, a long time ago, that we were not to be doing that? (Deuteronomy 12:8
8You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit,

) What He considers right in His eyes is nothing like what people think is right. Even, and especially, those in the churches who think that they are doing what He says is right to do - but are not.


For the most part, the people of the world are doing what they think is right. Often it is not the same thing as what their neighbor is doing. The same goes for those in the churches of the world.


Yeah, I know. "Here he goes again..."

Wouldn't it be nice if you could look around and actually find a list of what is really right? You know, a list that defines what God wants every human being to know and do? Yet, as soon as I say that, everyone says, "The Bible tells us what is right!" Yep. Sure does. But, most people do not do what it says. Most people use that list as a shopping list for things that they want to do. "I'll do that, and that, not that, that one's O.K., What?!? No way I'm doing that one."

When that Book says something that they or their pastors don't like, they claim that it does not apply to them - only others. You know, only to God's chosen people, not us...uh...Gentiles. Yet, some of the things that they do like, and want to obey, sitting there right next to the things that they don't like, they follow them as though those things were made for them. Yeah, just saying it out loud sounds a little confusing and accusatory. Let's look a little closer.

Where do we start?

Let's take a big one one we have already mentioned here. What is one thing that most people claiming to be children of God do at least once a week? I'm talking physical here, not thoughts or prayers, but something that they physically do. Go to church. When you meet someone and the subject of God comes up, nearly everyone asks where you go to church. Now, the answer to that question can have a real effect on a discussion, but the main thing is that going to church is a fundamental thing on the list that most Christians think is the right thing to do. As in, this is "right in their own eyes". Right? I mean, what Christian doesn't go to church?

Where you go to church matters to people

Now, how many answers are there for that question, "Where do you go to church?" Well, aside from the number of buildings, there are 45,000 different denominations in the world. So when the question is asked, and the person answers with a church for a denomination that is not approved by the asker, what happens? What if the asker is a Catholic and the one who answers is a Mormon? If the conversation continues, there is usually some effort to correct the beliefs of each other and an attempt to switch to their beliefs. Right there is the basis for making the statement "what is right in our own eyes". The general consensus is "Well, you can believe what you want, but we are right in our church."

Who is right? Everyone cannot be right if all believe differently

In some cases, the differences are small, and easily overlooked. However, when a Catholic or Baptist meets a Mormon or a Jehovah's witness, the discussion becomes stilted very quickly. However, even for those who want to really engage the other, there is one area that quickly becomes common between them. Remember the statement in the first paragraph above, "The Bible tells us what is right!" I agree, but I'll get to that in a minute. However, for the vast majority of the 45,000 denominations of the world, they do not follow what the Bible says about even that basic thing of "going to church". In fact, you should know that the Bible never says that anyone should "go to church".

"What? That's ridiculous!"

Uh oh, now I've done it. People are shouting "What about Hebrews 10:25?" OK, let's look at that verse - not in the gooey translations of today, but in the Greek of the original language. The English translation in the NIV uses the words "meeting together of ourselves". The words translated "meeting together of ourselves" were episynagogen heauton which directly translates to "assembling together of ourselves" not "our meetings together" as implied in today's translations. That could easily mean that we are "assembled together" by Someone rather than "going to church". I know, that's not a lot by itself, but let's put this into context with the rest of that passage.

What is "the Day" mentioned in the verse?

What does the rest of the passage mean? It says "and all the more as you see the Day approaching". What Day would that be? Never is Sunday, or even Sabbath, referred to as "the Day" approaching, but that must be what most people think it means. However, the Day of Jesus' return is often referred to as "the Day". So, to what "the Day" would this be referring? The Day is when Jesus returns for His faithful and does what the only other Bible verse using the same word (2 Thessalonians 2:1
1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,

) in the phrase hemon episynagoges ep' auton actually says. Notice that the word in both cases begins with the term "epi", from ancient Greek meaning "on top of":

from Wikipedia

But, this time it is translated as "our gathering together unto Him", but no one seems to think that this one means "go to church". I read this as "the last time" or even "the final time", as in "on top of all the rest" and "He will not be doing this again".

What is so hard about this?

Why do most people, including pastors, give two drastically different meanings to a word when both usages are using the same word and mentioning the same "Day"? If we give them both the same meaning, these passages will mean either "when Jesus comes to gather us together and raise us up" or they will both mean "when Jesus comes to go to church with us". The description of the Millennium does not describe a time when Jesus "goes to church" with anyone. I choose the former meaning because we are never told by the Bible to "go to church", anyway.

Then, what is meaning of Hebrews 10:25?

Now, for the real question. What was Paul trying to say to the Hebrews in this verse? I think that it was the same thing that he told the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
13Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

. Even today, people are starting to give up on the promised Lord's return, and Paul was saying, in effect, "Don't give up on Jesus' return and our being gathered to Him. He is still coming!" People in Paul's day had started to fall away because they did not see anything that gave them confidence in His "imminent return". They saw their friends dying, which made them feel like those friends now had no chance at the final gathering. The same thing is happening today. Those who believe in His return are looking up today expecting His return at any moment, but He is not there yet. People are giving up and going off to do the things of the world. They have not read the Bible enough to see that there are predictions of things that must happen before that Coming. Since those things have not yet happened, people are losing hope. That Final Event could be hundreds of years in our future.

Next, what day is the right day - in our eyes?

As I mentioned before, the Bible does not say that we must go to church. That doesn't mean we can't gather together to praise God or accomplish things for the community. It only means that we are not commanded to do what every Christian in the world thinks he must do every week on at least one day. So, what day is that? Where did that thought originate? The entire New Testament repeatedly mentions one day that is important to God and was kept regularly by Jesus. The Bible has never changed that day, and nothing was ever given as acceptable to replace it. That day? Sabbath (Saturday for you Sunday Christians).

However, that is not the day that the vast majority of the churches use for their worship services. They not only use Sunday, the first day of the week, but they refuse to keep the Sabbath that God created for them (Mark 2:27
27Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath."

). Now, when did that Sunday obsession originate? Do you even know? While you can find many different versions of why it must have been changed in the first century by the apostles or in the early second century by "Christians" who blamed the Hebrews for killing Jesus, the actual facts of history are that Roman Emporer Constantine decreed in 325 A.D. that Sunday was the official day of rest. Not only that, he made it illegal to "Judaize" by keeping the seventh-day Sabbath as commanded by God. (From the site at Life Hope & Truth)

Before that, in the early second century, many of the early church fathers began to spread anti-Semitic views to the rest of the world. In fact, the reason was likely the fact that the Hebrews of the period between the testaments and forward refused to compromise with the Romans (1 and 2 Maccabees of the Catholic Bible, considered apocryphal). This resulted in the decree that anyone who worshiped like the Hebrews would be treated with contempt by the Romans and "Christians" loyal to the Romans. So, the word went out that no one should associate with them. Thus, anti-Semitism was born. It became official with Constantine in 325.

So, what are we saying?

To sum up what we have so far, the Bible never says that we should go to church and it never says we should keep Sunday as a special day for God. But, the whole "Christian" world does exactly that, and condemns anyone who claims to be Christian but doesn't do as they do. That is something that they have decided makes them "right in their own eyes". The bottom line here is that God has some expectations of "His people" and other plans for those who would rather "go their own way". If you read the Bible for what those other plans include, it makes you think twice about telling God to "Go jump in the lake, God. I'm not doing that...keep the Sabbath? No way, that's too Jewish. And, I love bacon, ham, lobster, and Christmas presents. So, don't you dare try to take them away from me." I guess some do not want to be "God's people", but still want to be "right in their own eyes".

"Is that all?"

Well, if you have ever read the Bible, you know the answer to that, even though most people do not agree with that answer. For some reason, people think that whatever their church does is all right with God, even when the Bible says otherwise. That is what I'm calling "right in their own eyes".

That phrase a couple of paragraphs back, "God's people", says more about today's "church society" than people care to admit. When someone says the words "God's people" to you, who do you think they have in mind? No, really. Is it only the Jews? Do you think that it means anyone who claims to belong to Jesus, even if they do not do what He says? (Luke 6:46
46"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?"


Galatians 3:28-29
26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

says that when you are baptized into Christ, you become part of God's family, "God's people". Ephesians 2:19
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household,

says that we are "fellow citizens" with "His people" and members of His household.

"That's right, so now I don't have to do what God tells His people to do!"

So, now that we are considered children of Abraham, many think that they can move into Abraham's house and not follow any of God's rules. Think about that. If you allowed a close friend or relative to move into your house, would you let them have the run of the place with no rules to follow? Of course not! Most of us would require our house rules to be followed. Any shenanigans would have to be performed outside the house, hoping that no one who lived in the house would notice. If you were caught doing that at your human father's house, you would be told to knock it off or move out.

The difference here is whether or not we are really children of God or we have just "moved out on our own and have no Boss". Christians today think that it is the latter. They feel that God is only the Boss of the Jews, so they don't have to follow any His rules.

"Rules? What rules?"

Well, no modern "Christains" seem to be aware of Jesus' own words to those who claim to be His, so they do not follow His rules and still consider themselves "right in their own eyes". Remember Matthew 7:21-24
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' "

Build Your House on the Rock

24"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock." (ESV, with the true Interlinear translation of 'lawlessness' rather than "evildoers" or "workers of iniquity")

According to the Greek:

? The will of the Father is the general statement that Jesus referred to as "every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4
4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "

). The reference is to the source of the rules for how man is to live, and I take that to include the way to gain eternal life. Those five virgins were sure that they were part of the "in" crowd, but when it came down to the final decision, they found that they were shut out because they had not done that which would allow the Lord to "know" them.

I fear that many who call themselves "Christian" will be in that same position when it matters. This will be because they think that they do not have to follow the rules of "God's people", yet claim to be "God's people". That time has not come yet, but it appears that many of us will find Jesus saying go "Away from me, you workers of lawlessness!" Now, what do you think that word "lawlessness" means? At that time, all the excuses in the world will not work (Matthew 7:22-23
22On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' (ESV)

). We need to make sure now that we are in line with His will (law).

"But, what rules? I follow God and Jesus!"

That's not true. Most people either follow God or they follow Jesus, but they should do both. When people read Matthew 7:21
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

, they don't seem to understand what the words mean with regard to rules. The main reason seems to be that, because in the last four books of the Torah all the words of God were addressed directly to the Israelites, today's "Christians" believe they were not meant for anyone else.

That's ridiculous. God had just spent roughly 1650 years trying to communicate with the world, but almost no one was listening. So, he got fed up with trying to reason with man, and decided to get rid of him. However, he found 4 men, with their wives, whom He had decided would follow Him. He let them repopulate the world. During that repopulation, He began to lose the obedience of people again, so He chose one of the family lines and inserted Himself into their subsequent lives (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). They recognized His presence and followed Him as best they could. That's why He was speaking only to one "people". They were to be His messengers to the world. (Genesis 12:1-3
1The Lord had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.

2"I will make you into a great nation,
         and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
         and you will be a blessing.
3I will bless those who bless you,
         and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
         will be blessed through you."


Follow God, or follow Jesus?

That's a ridiculous decision. Why not do both? They are the same Person. When we see that Israel is trying to stay with God's plan, it makes us wonder why they did not get Jesus' message and accept Him. But, then, that is the whole purpose of Satan, to get in between man and God. (Genesis 3:4
4" 'You will not certainly die,' the serpent said to the woman."

) Some of them were sure that Jesus was trying to get between them and God, not provide a better understanding of the Father, so they stayed with only their modification of the original rules. It was only a few of them who got the message and started to learn from Jesus. They became His apostles. One devout Jew (Saul) took a while to get the idea and that only came to him after Jesus intervened physically. (Acts 9:1-6
1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

5"Who are you, Lord?", Saul asked.

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."


Now, Saul was a devout Jew. Saul was convinced that Jesus was with God, not against Him. But, Saul never renounced his Jewness. He kept all his understanding of the true word of God, and just left the Oral modification of the law behind. He knew that the Jews of the time had changed the rules of God to the point where no one could follow them, but Jesus brought him back to the truth, and informed the hypocrite Jews that they were off base. (Mark 7:6-9
6He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

" 'These people honor me with their lips,
        but their hearts are far from me.
7They worship me in vain;
        their teachings are merely human rules.'

8"You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions." 9And he continued, "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!"

) That truth is true for anyone who wants to follow God. Contrary to the popular opinion among "Christians" today, theirs is not the way to worship God - unless it follows the word of God in the Bible. In fact, most "Christians" have rejected God and His way for a make-believe new way with a new, softer Jesus. There is only one way. Remember, Jesus is God.

Right away, people start shouting, "No way! You can't think that you are the only one who knows how to worship God!" That is not what I said. There is only one way to truly worship God - His way. He told us how to do that in His Word, the Bible, but most people refuse to listen or want to add to it. They all think that they have the better way - and that way revolves around their church. And, that makes them think that they are the only ones who worship God in the right way. In other words, they are "right in their own eyes".

Now, what are these rules?

What are these rules that I keep saying no one wants to follow? First off, let's take the Ten Commandments. Here is a set of Old Testament rules that were "given only to the Israelites" according to the reasoning of every Sunday-keeping church in America. Yet, "everyone" says that we should keep these commandments. Well, sort of. That works for the first one, then, slowly for the next three, something falls apart. We should have no other god but God - yep, that one is pretty firm. Most of the world's "Christian" population feels that we should keep the second commandment about not having graven images. However, more than half the "Christian" population of the world is Catholic, with their love for images, and the rest carry crosses around their necks like they have special powers, so we are starting to slide a little. The third commandment is broken by nearly every "Christian" who gets surprised in the course of their daily living ("Oh, my God!" and "Jesus Christ!"). And nearly no "Christians" keep the fourth commandment - remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Then there is "Honor you mother and father..." Yeah, right. From there, most "Christians" keep the rest of the Ten, but not the rest of God's commands.

Sabbath, Unclean Foods, Holidays

There is an interesting article on Bibleinfo discussing the seventh-day Sabbath. It is one of the Ten Commandments, you know. Interestingly, it starts out discussing Mark 2:27
27Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath."

, but when people open the page, most will run for the hills. No one cares what the Bible says about the Sabbath, only what their pastor says is OK not to do. Reminds me of 2 Timothy 4:3
3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

. Sabbath is God's command to man, sound doctrine, and Sunday is man's tradition.

Then, there is Leviticus 11. Eat this, don't eat that. Nobody wants to hear that one. But, in the same book, there is Leviticus 18. Don't sleep with your relatives. Now, all of a sudden, everyone is paying attention because this one makes sense to them, at least according to current tradition. Come on, they are both in the same book, and that is the Old Testament. If you do one, you should do them all (James 2:10
10For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

). If you don't want to keep them all, then you can't pick and choose, keep some, and still call yourself a Godly person.

Next, there are the "prime" American holidays - Christmas and Easter. Christ was not born in December, but an ancient Sun god supposedly was. We adopted that birthday like it was made of gold so we could melt it down and get rich. And we name it with a Catholic name - Christ Mass - and celebrate it the way the pagans do. Have you read Deuteronomy 12?

Now with Easter we got a little trickier. It always falls at the Spring Equinox, which sometimes coincides with the time of the Resurrection - the first Sunday after Passover. When it does not coincide, the dates are almost a month apart, as they are in the year 2024. But, that does not keep people from celebrating the Resurrection - with bunnies and eggs - the symbols of fertility, a month earlier than the right day. That would be like celebrating Christmas in November.

What does all that have to do with this holiday? Easter is named after Ishtar (also called Eostre), a pagan fertility goddess, hence the eggs and bunnies. Pretty subtle, right? No big deal, except for Deuteronomy 12:4
4You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.

, but that's Old Testament, so we can do it anyway, right? I mean, surely Jesus would never mind if we worshiped Him using exactly the same way the pagans worshiped their gods.

"Hey, the pastor says it's OK!"

Now, the Bible says not to do it, but the pastor says that it is OK. So, if you accept what the pastor says, then it's "right in your own eyes".

Sounds like it would be better to be "right in His eyes".

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