What Does “Likewise” Mean Anyway?

Luke 13:1  There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2  And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4  Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

What does “likewise” mean anyway? The word is homoiōs and means “likewise, equally, in the same way.” It is used in the following verses:

Matthew 26:35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Luke 10:31  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

So what was Jesus saying to these people in Luke 13? That they would die like the Galileans and like those whom the tower of Siloam fell on, or that they wouldn’t die at all but instead would live forever in unending torture and flames? It’s a head scratcher.




Did Jude Lie?

Act 2:15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.

Act 2:16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

Act 2:17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;

Act 2:18 even on my male servants  and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

Act 2:19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;

Act 2:20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

When we read Peter’s words above, we understand that he was telling these people to whom he was speaking that Joel’s prophecy was in the process of being fulfilled as Peter spoke. More than once in the New Testament we see inspired men state that a particular prophecy is coming to pass. We know, when we read this kind of language, what is being revealed–that the prophecy is finding its fulfillment in that day and time.

Since that is the case, what should we understand about the following mention of Enoch’s prophecy when Jude says “these” were the people about whom Enoch was prophesying? Was Jude saying that this prophecy was coming true right then or was he saying that this prophecy would come to pass thousands of years from that time?

Jud 1:11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion.

Jud 1:12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted;

Jud 1:13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

Jud 1:14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,

Jud 1:15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Jud 1:16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Jud 1:17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”

Jud 1:19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

Just as Peter stated that Joel’s prophecy was coming to pass at that time, so Jude declared that Enoch’s prophecy was coming to pass at that time. We have never had any trouble believing what Peter said. We have accepted that Joel’s prophecy was indeed fulfilled in the first century. But I wonder: Why do we believe Peter and apparently think Jude was lying?

I have asked this question of many people, including lots of preachers, and nobody will touch my question with a ten-foot pole. I have to wonder why. Perhaps they miss the connection between Jude’s words and what Peter said in 2 Peter 3:

2Pe 3:3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.

2Pe 3:4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Jud 1:17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”

To whom but Peter could Jude be referring here? Think, my dear friends and family, THINK! Peter predicted that scoffers would come in the last days, scoffers who would say that Jesus must not be coming because too much time had passed and nothing had changed. Jude said those scoffers had arrived and it was indeed the last time. He also said that Enoch’s prophecy of Jesus’ coming to judge His people was imminent.

Let me point out one more verse in Jude.

Jud 1:4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Did you catch that? Enoch prophesied about those people that were alive in Jude’s day. It was the people Jude said had crept in unnoticed. Peter prophesied about them. Then Jude said, “Beloved, they are HERE!” Jude even said these people were designated for the condemnation that Enoch had prophesied about. And what did Enoch say? Here it is again:

Jud 1:14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones,

Jud 1:15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Do not be deceived! Jude was not talking about you and me. Nor was he talking about people who will appear at some “end of the world.” Open your eyes to this truth! It is right here in front of you. Jude made it crystal clear that both Enoch and Peter’s prophecies were coming true at that time.

We cannot deny the truth of this short book. To do so is to deny the word of God. Whether Jude’s words fit our beliefs or not, we must accept them for what they say. If we have to change something, let’s change our own teaching. We cannot change the word of God, and we do not want to be caught trying.



Hot Begonias and Purple Petunias

Okay, I’m a-gonna say my piece. And I’m also most likely fixing to offend you. So be forewarned.

We strain at gnats and swallow camels. We have a “taste not, touch not, handle not” religion. We know Jesus came to set us free from law but, hot begonias and purple petunias, we are bound and determined that we WILL have law! We WILL and we MUST! I mean, after all, we cut our teeth on LeRoy Brownlow’s Do’s and Don’ts for Christians.

We tithe our mint and anise and cummin! We will put our money in that collection plate no matter WHAT they spend it on. But let some poor person ask for a dollar and we’ll fall all over one another making every excuse in the book why we shouldn’t give it to him–he’s got family to help him or he’s most likely not even got a job (which means he shouldn’t eat!) or you know he’s probably going to use it to buy alcohol.

But giving of our means is one of the five acts of worship we have conjured up by combing the New Testament through and piecing together a passage here and a passage there, so we HAVE to put something in the collection plate. But ONLY on SUNDAY, of course!

Never MIND that Paul told each person to “lay by HIMSELF.” Never MIND that he ALSO said that the gatherings of money would STOP when he arrived to collect the money! And NEVER MIND that Jerusalem wasn’t collecting any money on the first day of the week and, according to OUR invented five acts of worship, was therefore an apostate church these people were helping!

We know we are to sing psalms to one another so that MUST mean we all have to sing at the SAME TIME! I mean, what else could it possibly be saying, right? Never MIND that we are also to comfort one another and exhort one another, but NOBODY says THAT has to be done at the very same time. And never MIND that the very chapter in the New Testament (1 Co 14) that we use to PROVE how our “worship service” is supposed to be carried out says that EACH ONE is to present his doctrine or his psalm in TURN!

Oh yeah, and instead of letting each person offer his own thoughts in his psalm, which MIGHT give us something new to think about, we repeat the same old worn-out songs over and over and over. NEVER MIND that Jesus said not to DO that with PRAYERS and SOME of the songs we do it with ARE prayers.

We know Jesus instituted the Lord’s supper on a week day. But it is POSSIBLE that Troas, at least once, partook of the supper on a Sunday. Maybe not. Maybe it was just a common meal for all we know. For that matter, maybe it was even on Saturday night. Or wait, maybe it was on Monday morning!

Oh whatever! We HAVE TO HAVE OUR LAW! We will just DIE without it! So we decide for sure and for certain that it WAS the Lord’s supper and it WAS the first day of the week when they ate; and therefore we, and everybody else we know, MUST partake of the supper every single Sunday and no other day BUT Sunday–or we’re all going to hell to burn forever.

Oh, and if those church doors are open we are THERE! Never mind that nothing anywhere ever TELLS us we must or even SHOULD be there, as we might have more important work to do for the Lord, but that’s our creed and we’re going to live by it. Never mind too that we never read in the New Testament anything ABOUT a “church building”–door, window, or especially steeple and cross! Yes, we will basically run out on a sick person on Wednesday night to get to Bible study at that church building we were never told to build.

Jesus came to set us free. And, believe you me, if He had WANTED to give us a new law, He knew very WELL how to do it. He was WELL versed in giving LAW. Never MIND that He came ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and said Himself:

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

He never transgressed the law of Moses, and one of the laws was that nobody could add to it. If Jesus had added to it or, especially, CHANGED it He would have been a sinner. But that’s not a problem for US! Noooooo, if it fits our creed we’ll let Jesus sin up one side and down the other. We’ll just make excuses for Him. Like we think the Jews wouldn’t have strung Him up right then and there if He HAD given them some new law that contradicted Moses!

And, yes, Matthew 5:17, where Jesus said He wasn’t changing the Law, comes RIGHT BEFORE:

5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

That’s to us, right? Because we are always bringing burnt offerings to the altar in our churches with our steeples and our crosses, aren’t we?

And it also comes right before:

32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

So, I’ll just throw this in here for free: whatever that verse means, it doesn’t go against the law of Moses! You can take THAT to the BANK!

Since Jesus DIDN’T choose to give us any law, we figure He wanted us to make one up for ourselves. So that’s what we spend our time on, making up laws out of the New Testament and condemning everybody who doesn’t make up the same laws we make up. Well, we also spend SOME of our time on judging people who make up laws that don’t agree with ours–because if we see somebody take a sip of beer we condemn him to hell to burn forever. Never MIND that Jesus drank wine.

Oh yes, and we will redefine every word in the Bible if we have to in order to make one tiny sip of alcohol a sin. That’s one drink drunk, you know. The strong drink God said they could spend their money on in Deuteronomy 14:26? It’s just a sweet drink of some sort, not alcoholic at all. Oh, but other places, like Proverbs 20:1, where the abuse of strong drink is cautioned against, THAT IS intoxicating alcohol. Not sure what the rule is about how to decide; but I think it’s that if God said we can use it, we know it’s non-alcoholic–because we just know in our own little hearts that God would NEVER condone a single drink of alcohol.

How many of us give to those who ask of us? And if somebody compels us to walk a mile–COMPELS, not asks politely–how many of us walk two? Any of us sold everything we have lately and given it all to the poor? Didn’t think so. How many of us who say we follow Jesus would give our lives for a friend or righteous man, let alone a rank sinner?

No, we’ve got no time for that sort of thing! We spend most of our time on making sure we have our LAW right and we don’t accidentally give a little money to somebody who might not need it. Well, that and condemning those horrible denominations who make up their own laws, of course.


Et Tu, Brute

Jam 5:7

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.

Why would James say this to these people when he knew full well they could not be patient until the coming of the Lord?  Patience is a virtue, but nobody can be patient 2000 years. Some might say James thought the Lord was coming in their lifetime, but then what are they saying? James was wrong? So is the book of James inspired of God or not? GOD knew when Jesus was coming.

Jam 5:8

You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

That sounds like an out-and-out lie if Jesus’ coming wasn’t at hand. These people were told to be patient until Christ came because His coming was nigh or at hand. And, yes, the word means the same thing in James 5 that it means here:

Mat 3:2

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mat 10:7

And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Luk 21:20

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.

We believe all the above has actually come to pass. And yet 2000 years later, after the people James wrote to are all dead, Jesus still has not arrived? I am not sure I would believe anything else James had to say.

Rev 2:25

Only hold fast what you have until I come.

Now Jesus Himself is telling the people of Thyatira to hold fast to something until He comes.  Et tu, Brute?

Rev 3:10

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

Rev 3:11

I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.

Now Jesus is telling yet another church, the one in Philadelphia, to hold fast till He comes, all the while knowing He isn’t coming? He says He will keep them from the hour of temptation. How? By killing them all off? Well, if that’s it, He also kept all the churches He spoke to from the hour of temptation AND all the evil people of that day as well. So how was Philadelphia being rewarded for keeping His word?

If Jesus and the apostles told people something was coming in their lifetime—which it would have to be if they held fast or were patient until it happened—and it didn’t happen, then why should we believe anything Jesus and His apostles said? If they weren’t even faithful to the people to whom they spoke, we have no hope. We sure ought to think twice before we start proclaiming, “Jesus is coming soon!”

Oh, yeah, I forgot–He really IS coming soon to US.:) What is it, December 21, 2012? Just in time for His birthday.



When Is It Going to Happen?

Matthew 16:27  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28  Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Revelation 22: 10  And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 12  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

This is so difficult. I just can’t figure out when it’s going to happen. Can anybody help? Let’s see, here’s what we have:

Matthew: Christ coming in glory, in His kingdom, rewarding every man according to his works–while some He is talking to are still alive

2 Timothy: Christ appearing, in His kingdom, judging every man–don’t know when

Revelation: Christ coming, rewarding every man according to his works–time is at hand, quickly

Shew, I wish I could understand this. It’s just so unclear! Somebody help!



At Hand and Coming to Pass Shortly

Romans 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ . . . 7  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints

1 Corinthians 1:1  Paul . . . and Sosthenes our brother, 2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth

Philippians 1:1  Paul and Timotheus . . . to all the saints . . . which are at Philippi

Colossians 1:1  Paul . . . and Timotheus our brother, 2  To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse

1 Thessalonians 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians

1 Timothy 1:1  Paul . . . 2  Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith

Titus 1:1  Paul . . . 4  To Titus, mine own son after the common faith

Philemon 1:1  Paul . . . and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon . . . 2  And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia

We understand that the letters written to the Corinthians were actually written to them about specific problems within their congregation; and, while these problems and situations might have some application to us, any events that are spoken of as happening are occurring in that church and that city at that time (WE don’t have a man in our congregation married to his father’s wife). We understand that Philemon was actually written to Philemon about something specific to Philemon with regard to his servant.

Why can’t we understand the same thing about the book of Revelation? Yes, this book was written to the churches of Asia about things that were shortly to come TO PASS in the first century, NOT to the churches in the United States in the twenty-first century about things that will take place thousands of years from when the book was written (most likely while WE are living). God wanted those people to whom the book was written to be prepared because, believe it or not and contrary to popular belief, the time really WAS at hand.

What does “at hand” mean?

Matthew 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 26:18  And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

Matthew 26:45  Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Matthew 26:46  Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

Mark 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Luke 21:30  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

Luke 21:31  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

John 2:13  And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

What does “at hand” mean? Well, it doesn’t mean 2000 years. Jesus begins and ends the book of Revelation by making sure those to whom it was written would know that the time truly was at hand.

Revelation 22:10  And he saith unto me,  Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.Will we deny the words of Jesus, clinging to the traditions and creeds of men, or will we uphold the words of our Lord and let every man be a liar?