About stephenmendes

I am a native of Barbados, a small tropical island in the Caribbean

TOTAL TRUTH

As we read and study the Word of God….. we encounter passages that may be hard to understand…. and while seeking for answers, we discuss the word with others…. or do some research online… and it’s not long before we encounter all sorts of doctrines that others have formulated to ‘explain’ the issues we are mulling over.

And so it was with me….. trained in Physics from a young age and with a father who was an avid Astronomer …… I had to reconcile my Bible with scientific facts….. and it seemed to me that what is called the ‘Gap theory’ was a plausible solution….. I was particularly influenced at that time by the book, ‘The Invisible War’ by Donald Grey Barnhouse.

So for many years this was what I believed and taught….. then I encountered some New Earth Creationists and thought they were nuts (scientifically speaking of course)…. but as I did further research  it became clear that if I accepted that DEATH was a result of SIN (and I really knew this to be true) then the fossil record could not possibly be as old as the scientific community believe it to be…… after meeting Dr.  Russell Humphreys in person (he actually has a solution to the ‘distant starlight’ problem) and  finding him to be a man of academic integrity as well as a devoted and humble man of God….. I changed my beliefs on the origins of the material Universe (much to the dismay of some of my scientific colleagues)…… so what is the point of my story….. simply this….

Many humans are far too DOGMATIC about stuff that is, at best, speculative…… it is only PRIDE that would cause one to believe that ‘they have all the answers’ for stuff that, in reality, no human could know for sure.

So ….. if we are genuine seekers after TRUTH….. not only must we be willing to abandon some of our ‘pet theories’ along the way…… but we must also have the WISDOM to realize that we CANNOT know everything…… it is not good for us to know everything…. and we must earnestly ask God that He would give us the TRUTH that He knows we need….. which is a far cry from knowing the ‘total truth’ about EVERYTHING under the sun.

Millennial Matters

One of my greatest problems accepting the amillennial arguments are the many passages in prophecy from Isaiah, Ezekiel and others  that indicate a marvelous future of an EARTHLY kingdom in which not only will the Jews fulfill their God given function… but Jesus Christ will be acknowledged as the supreme ruler of all the nations.

Particularly consider that the second coming of Jesus Christ will be with power and great glory…… if this ushers in the ‘new heaven and new earth’ i.e. the ‘eternal’ state as amillennialists  believe …… what do we do with all those unfulfilled prophetic passages that refer to Israel and the Jewish remnant ?….  also I do not find the concept of ‘nations’ in the ‘eternal state’ to be too convincing….. ‘nations’ is an EARTHLY concept that agrees with present world reality.

Amillennialists claim that ALL prophetic passages referring to the Jewish nation have either been already fulfilled or abrogated due to their sinful behavior….. to me that stands in contradiction to how God operates…. the sin of man is never allowed to defeat the Word of God when He proclaims something or makes a promise …..  look at Abraham as an example, God fulfilled His Word exactly even though Abraham did foolishness in listening to Sarah in the matter of Hagar and Ishmael.

The Jews have constantly rebelled against their God ordained function since the days of Moses…. and have suffered greatly for their rebellion unto this day….  but God plainly states that He WILL be glorified in them….. of necessity, the prophecy must come to pass that Christ rules not just one earthly kingdom, but the entire planet…… Isaiah 2:3 and 60:3 , Micah 4:2,  Zechariah 8:22 and 14:16,.

Nobody can tell me these passages have already been fulfilled…. and it is clear to me that they have not been ‘set-aside’ either…  because the purposes of God are not ‘set-aside’ by the behavior of man, particularly when God makes UNCONDITIONAL statements about the matter.

The Bible is written for humans to understand…. if we cannot accept an unconditional statement of God literally…. how can we ever hope to be ‘guided’ by the Bible ?…. it’s open season on creative imagination…. and a single passage could have a million fanciful ‘interpretations’ with new ones being invented all the time !

Not only that but whenever God repeats Himself through multiple prophets and across many centuries ….. we better take note…. He is serious about what He is trying to get across to us….. and clearly our errant behavior between those ‘centuries’ has not altered His pronouncement.

The facts are God intends tor Jesus Christ to be vindicated on EARTH…. where He was mocked and scoffed at His first coming…… the Jews WILL fulfill their function as a kingdom of priests and administrators of righteousness and holiness ….. not only to fulfill God’s promises to the fathers but because the sin of man must not be allowed to derail the plans and purposes of God.

Part of the defeat of Satan….. is simply that though He ‘ruined’ the Jewish nation in their calling and purpose…. though He incited the mobs to kill and mock Christ…. though, in fact, he ‘destroyed’ the human race through sin.

Jesus Christ….. as the ‘second Adam’ (if you want to use that comparison)…. UNDOES it ALL……  reigns supreme over ALL THE NATIONS of humans …… (not newly created ‘spirit bodies’ in some ‘eternal state’) …. but simple humans on a simple planet….. just as God had intended in the beginning….. where ‘the EARTH is filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea’ (Habakkuk 2:14)

 

 

 

The Millennial Kingdom

Why would I start an exposition on prophecy with a discussion of the Millennial kingdom ?

Well, in a nutshell, your views and attitude towards the Millennial Kingdom reveal how you deal with prophecy and, in fact, all Biblical exegesis.

Once you start viewing portions of the Bible as mere allegory, it’s a field day on interpretation…… and there is no authoritative framework on which to build.

The most basic premise…. that the Bible is a guidebook to God’s character, purpose and contains precise instructions  for the human race  is undermined…. if it can mean any of a number of things …. how can we be certain what it means ?

If we accept that God’s intention in the Bible, is to provide  instruction to the human race in the important matters of life and death and how we should live our lives in relation to Him and to each other…. does it make sense that He would write it in such a way that any of a number of meanings (some of them completely contradictory) could be equally valid ?…. surely the correct interpretation is the simple literal one unless, it is completely obvious that, although not literal, the figurative  meaning is still clear (for example, the passages ascribing hands or ears to God is not literal, since He is a Spirit, but it is still completely clear what message is being conveyed).

Many people read the Bible and come to the same conclusion, if they take what it says ‘as is’…… but conclusions differ widely, once people start treating it as some sort of allegory.

In the case of the above topic…. Pre-millennial doctrine holds that Jesus Christ returns before the Millennium….. Post-millennial doctrine holds that Jesus Christ returns after the Millennium …. and Amillennial  doctrine holds that there is no such thing as a Millennial Kingdom on earth.

The popular belief today is Amillennial …. only the fundamentalists hold the Pre-millennial view…. and the Post-millennial view has been abandoned (two world wars and the abundant evidence of the failure of Christianity to convert the world to God has ruined the belief that the Kingdom of God on earth can be realized in any other way but by supernatural Divine intervention in world affairs).

It is instructive that Amillennial arguments focus on discrediting the Pre-millennial position without offering credible alternative interpretation of the passages that support Premillennialism ……. there is no sound Biblical exegesis coming from Amillennials and in fact, variations of the Amillennial viewpoint often  contain heresies that even other Amillennials reject…. it would be fair to say that confusion reigns supreme in the Amillennialist camp….. with much disputing over other prophetic interpretation and Biblical doctrine.

The Premillennialist  fits into a ‘watertight’  and coherent explanation of the entire Bible record that leaves no orphaned passages or controversial loose ends, which is the hallmark of liberal theology…. the reformed, the modern liberal and the Roman Catholic eschatology.

 

 

A Brief History

When I started Stephen’s Bible Insights in 2010, I could not decide how to organize the posting content so some of the titles were Scripture references (book,chapter,verse) and some of the titles were topical (angels, demons, heaven, hell, homosexuality)….. as the years rolled by I found myself posting more to Facebook and less to this blog and my post titles on Facebook where always 2 – 4 words beginning with the same letter (a habit I had developed when posting newsletters on the Barbados Photo Gallery  between 1997 and 2004)….. then because the Facebook timeline is all about ‘the now’ and hardly anybody ever goes back through the timeline beyond a couple of months, I realized that a lot of messages were being wasted (in the sense that they would never be seen by people who they might actually help)….. so periodically, I would ‘flood’ my readers on this blog with up to 5 or 6 posts that I copied over from Facebook at one go…..  the main advantage of putting them here is that when they are properly tagged, they can pop up in google searches under the keywords….. therefore the ‘lifetime’ and ‘usefulness’ of each individual post is superior to posting on Facebook…… so now, I have taken the decision to return to posting on this blog first…. and working in the opposite direction, that is taking selected content from here and putting it to Facebook, instead of the other way round.

Finally, over the years, I have changed my opinion on some of the content (and may not have updated it as yet) ….. for example, until a couple of years ago, I was a proponent of Old Earth Creationism …. because from the perspective of my scientific training, I could not see how the distance-time dilemma could be satisfactorily solved…… the speed of light and the red-shift make very compelling scientific ‘facts’ on which to build cosmological model….. then I met Professor Russell Humphreys in person ….. and he had found a credible solution to the ‘distant-starlight’ problem…. moreover he was able to show up some major inconsistencies in the old-earth idea that I currently had (the Gap Theory)….. finally, as a Bible believer, I knew it to be true that death (of the creation) started after the fall of man and was a result of  sin and this fact is also inconsistent with all Old Earth models…..  so folks this blog is a work in progress…. but I have promised to go into detail on the future of the planet and of the human race, before I return to writing on it’s past.

Thank you for being a faithful reader and I do welcome any comments you might have on any of the material I have published.