S2E12: The church and prophecy today

In Today’s episode we begin to delve into the Bible as we talk about the church and prophecy.

As an elder and a former member of the Presbyterian senate, I ask detective Small about the church and how it is different from other christians churches.

Through discussion I learn about how he was tasked to deal with perceived racism and the church.

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We then discus the state of the Church today and reference reports on child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic church.

How can a church of God behave this way?

This groundbreaking reporting is only a few months old.

If you have not heard about it or read about it, I urge listeners to visit the NY Times reporting on this:

Child sex abuse Roman Catholic church of Pennsylvania.:

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/organization/roman-catholic-church-sex-abuse-cases

Jesus Cast Out Demons

 

Next, we discuss the devil’s role in the world today.

When Jesus walked the earth he would cast out demons.

As told in Matthew 8:28-34 they would cry out against him:

“When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.

29 And they cried out, saying, “[a]What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before [b]the time?” 30 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. 31 The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.”

32 And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.” (NIV translation)

Jesus as The Way

Next, Detective Small talks of “Christism” by quoting  John 14:6 in which Jesus says:

“I am the way and the truth and the life.” (NIV translation).

What did he mean by this?

Peter, “the rock”.  What does it mean?

 

Then we discuss the meaning of Matthew 16:13-17 which says:

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[a] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[b] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[c] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[d] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. (NIV translation)

The “rock”, as referenced by Jesus, that the church would be built on, according to Catholics, is a reference to Peter who is called by many the first “bishop of Rome” or pope.

But there are many interpretations that challenge this, some calling it a “myth” and a play on Peter’s name which can be translated to mean rock.

Others realize its is a misunderstanding of the Bible by Catholic missionaries.

The Prophecy of Daniel

 

Finally, as we talk about why the Church is in trouble today, we discuss the significance of Daniel in the Bible.

Daniel was a slave with his brothers in Babylon.

For context, Babylon was located in Mesopotamia and Mesopotamia is now known as Iraq.

During Daniel’s time in Babylon, then under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, he was blessed with visions and the ability to interpret dreams.

One of Daniel’s most significant biblical contributions was interpreting a dream that plagued the ruler of Babylon.

This is discussed in the Book of Daniel chapter 2.

In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his mind was troubled and he could not sleep. So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers[a] to tell him what he had dreamed. When they came in and stood before the king, he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me and I want to know what it means.[b]

31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

39 “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

We discuss the meaning of this dream but this video helps illustrate the frightening image:

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