Can the dead visit us?

July 17, 2018

Here’s a story from the Old Testament where someone appeared to talk to a dead man of God:

1 Sam 28:
3: Now Samuel was dead …  And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
6: And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
7: Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her.  And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
8: And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
9: And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
10: And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
11: Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee?  And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
12: And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me?  for thou art Saul.
13: And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou?  And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
14: And he said unto her, What form is he of?  And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle.  And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
15: And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?  And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. 

There has been much debate about this story, whether it really was Samuel or not. But scripture answers this. Saul was deceived, for he had stopped following God. In verse 7 it says the witch had a familiar spirit, which is a demon.

We learn more about these demonic powers in:

Acts 16:
16: … a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18: And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

We can see that these spirits are not of God, but what they say can seemingly sound like the words of God. The spirit in Acts said: “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.” That phrase could be considered a Godly proclamation, but yet it wasn’t, it came from a demon. So it was, with the witch at Endor with Saul. It was a familiar spirit. It is proven here:

1 Chron 10:
13: So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; 

That verse ends with the word “it“, it was a familiar spirit, it was not Samuel the prophet, this verse tells us so, by saying what “it” is, it is a familiar spirit.

Even if you disagree with this conclusion, Saul was reprimanded for using such a source, as it says in the verse above.

It is not permitted in scripture to communicate with the dead. And Jesus even gave us the following telling us directly on the subject:

Luke 16:

19 ¶ There was a certain rich man who was customarily clothed in purple and fine linen and making merry in luxury every day.
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores
22 And it happened that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. The rich one also died and was buried.
23 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted and you are tormented.
27 And he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,
29 Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.
30 And he said, No, father Abraham, but if one should go to them from the dead, they would repent.
31 And he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even though one rose from the dead.

Jesus tells us that Moses and the Prophets are enough to persuade us about heavenly matters, and it was Moses and the prophets who wrote the scriptures, therefore it is the Bible alone which we put in our trust for matters of heaven. We do not listen to spirits. The Bible warns us about such visitations!

1 John 4:1: Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God…

2 Corinthians 11:14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Galatians 1:8: But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

 

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Prophetic Message

June 27, 2018

Today, Jun 27, 2018, I had a tongue and interpretation. I gave both. That which is in bold is the message (as remembered) and the rest is my understanding and interpretation.

God told me to buckle down tighten things up. Things are about to get rough. Loosen and get rid of those things that are not of God and tighten up. But when the worst hour is about to arrive I will come and pull you out.

I had a sense it would be national or world wide distress.

While God did not use the word ship, the words given gave me the impression of preparing a ship for a storm to tighten the hold, and throw overboard that which is not necessary.

He said to hang on. We are about to go for a ride. The ride, is the trouble we are about to see and face.

But at the hour of its worst, referring to when I think I may think it can’t get any worse, He will come and take me (us) out.


Best Family Friendly/Christian Friendly Board Games

June 25, 2018

I am a board game hobbyist, and own about 200 games. You can see my collection here: https://boardgamegeek.com/collection/user/DomaGB…

But I have played between 400-500 board games, as I know people who own more games than me! Before last September I was extremely active in the hobby but have since scaled back. I even sold some games. I have bought more since then but very few. Now days I mostly play games with my family. I also maintain a top 100 favorite board game list which you can view here: https://boardgamegeek.com/user/DomaGB

I know some Christians have reserved feelings about the theme and nature of certain games, and this is understandable, there are some games I won’t play. It’s all a matter of faith, and folks may have different levels of acceptance than others. I talk more about this subject here:

The Entertainment Page

I even list a small list of “safe” games there. But that list is small and old and have played more games since then. I am doing a bigger updated list here and making the list even more discriminatory. I want to make a list which should offend the least number of people possible who wish to play board games.

Please note some of these games are “out-of-print’. Thus finding them for sale may be difficult, and while it may be possible to find out of print games new in stores, some may not be and you may have to find used sources like Ebay. Here are the best sources in finding games:

https://www.boardgameprices.com/ – the best place to compare prices among most online stores and see if it is available at all!

https://www.miniaturemarket.com/ – my favorite online board game store, as they will send multiple games for only around $5.99 and have competing low prices of most games available!

https://www.cardhaus.com/ – my previous favorite online board game store. Many times they have the lowest price of games, but not the lowest in shipping prices

https://www.coolstuffinc.com/ – an excellent online board game store, a place I have made several purchases

Used games:

Ebay – everyone should be familiar with this

https://boardgamegeek.com/ – THE website for information about board games. People sell and trade their used games here. You need to go to the page of the game your interested in and look for used copies at that page.

https://www.nobleknight.com/ – they have an Ebay presence but you can buy from them directly. They also sell new games but do not have the best prices. They do have a great collection/assortment of used games for sale though!

Here is the list, remember I have played nearly 500 games, and these are the best in my opinion. So I can recommend even those on the lower end of this list. Many games I like I don’t own and other people I know do own them. These are all great games!

1. Tikal – This is a classic “euro” style game, heavy in strategy. It is not a child’s game, but ages 10 & up can play. It’s theme is reminiscent of Indianan Jones and archaeology as you represent an archaeologist digging up ancient temples in South America. While Christians we oppose such temples, there is no use of the temples, or even thematic understanding of what the temples were used for. It is only the discovery of them. This game has sat as my #1 game for a time.

2. Agricola Family Edition: This is a family edition of a Euro game called Agricola, which I have not played, but have played its cousin Caverna. These 2 games are grandiose, but do not recommend them for the beginning gamer and only a certain type of gamer likes them, however, the family edition of Agricola is amazing! The games theme is farming, which may sound boring to some, makes a very fun game however. This game is in my top 10! Ages 8 & up. Great for all ages, even adults.

3. Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers: This is a spin off of the very popular Carcassonne, which many non-gamers may even have heard of. Carcassonne is what they call a gateway game, and is great for non-gamers to start with, but is also popular among gamers. It is a tile laying game where everyone works on building a giant map of sorts. It is more like a giant overview scene of an area than an actual map. And you place tokens called meeples on the tiles to score points. Hunters and Gatherers is my favorite rendition of this game and is out of print. But I found used copy and love it. Ages 8 & up. This is a top 10 game on my list!

4. Insider: This is my absolutely favorite party game.  Non-gamers should even understand the term “party game”. This game may be hard to find, I actually found it at the bgg store:

https://boardgamegeekstore.com/

It is a very short game and we usually lay it 5-8 times in a row. It is similar to “20 Questions” but has more elements and roles. It is a blast! Ages 9 & up and a top 10 game!

5. Queendomino: This game is actually a 2nd ramped up edition of another game called Kingdomino. Both are extremely easy to play, but Queendomino adds more “meat” to the game but is still very light. The games are relatively cheap as of now, and recommend owning both and mixing them together! These are tile laying games but players build their own areas and score them based on a score sheet at the end of the game. get Queendomino, and if you like it buy Kingdomino and add it. Ages 8 & up.

6. Pillars of the Earth – Considered one of the grandfather games of “worker placement” type games and is still considered by many as one of the best. It also is fairly light and easy to play but has unique game play. The theme is the players are working together to build a grand cathedral (a lavish grand church), but there is no religion in the game its just a contest of points who can build the cathedral more efficiently. This game is based on the book, but you need no knowledge or interest of the book to enjoy this game, as I have not read it. The game has recently been reprinted. Ages 12 & up.

7. Ark of the Covenant – The Bible version of Carcassonne. This is extremely out of print and hard to find and is my 2nd favorite version of Carcassonne. I actually saw this game years ago when looking at Christian board games but did not buy it then. I bought it used a couple years ago and love it. Ages 8 & up.

8. Modern Art – a card game based on buying and selling art. This is a purely auction style game. If you like auctions, this game is for you. There are many versions of this game, many out of print. But different art versions may be displeasing to tastes, so don’t be turned off by the art of the game when you can find other versions. This game is prone to “king making” when playing with new players. I suggest playing this game more than once to get the game flow down and played right and well. Ages 10 & up.

9. San Juan – This is the card version of the fairly popular game Puerto Rico, which you will find lower on this list, as I prefer the card game, but the original board game is fine. The card game is unique as the cards are used in different ways through the game as you build buildings and collect resources. It also has the fun and unique element of choosing a role to give you a different bonus each round.  Ages 10 & up.

10. Carcassonne: Amazonas – My 3rd favorite version of Carcassonne, and as you can see I prefer Carcassonne variants to the original, as they are smoother in my opinion. This version is more new and easier found and is based on the Amazon jungle and has a unique race element to it.

11. Isle of Skye – This is Carcassonne with a twist. This game has moved up and down my top 100 and is very enjoyable, but drops when played often. Each player builds an area around his castle, similar in Carcassone style. Each game is unique in that it scores points differently based on randomly chosen scoring elements. Players buy tiles from each other. Ages 8 & up.

12. Power Grid: the Card Game – based off of the popular board game Power Grid. Power Grid was very popular even among those in my board game meet up so I bought this card game as it was cheap. I actually preferred it. And most fans of Power Grid also liked it, but most of them still preferred the board game but agreed the card game was shorter and thus more able to be played.

The card game just like the board game is mathy. And I am not a fan of math nor good at it but still like both games. But those with low math skills and low in strategy may not like this game, but many who like strategy and math will! This game is not easy to learn if you have not played Power Grid, so I recommend watching online tutorials (BGG).

The games theme is about buying and building power plants: coal, nuclear, wind, and so on. Ages 12 & up.

13. Balderdash/Beyond Balderdash – My 2nd favorite party game and this one has been around awhile and is more of a mass market game than others found on this list, but is still amazing. The original Balderdash had only 1 category but in recent years they changed Balderdash into its actually younger Beyond Balderdash brother. So if you buy a new version of Balderdash you are getting the older Beyond Balderdash game which is better. Note play more players by scoring on paper rather than using the board! The game is about writing fake definitions to fool your opponents in voting for you. Great bluffing game! Ages 10 & up.

14. Say Anything (Family Edition) – I play the regular edition, but want it more safe? buy the Family edition. Currently my 3rd favorite party game. This game replaces Apples to Apples for many people, although I have not played that. In this game each player takes turns asking a question about themselves and everyone writes and answer. The player secretly chooses which one is closest to what they agree with and the other players vote on all the answers given. Not a good game for strangers. Ages 8 & up.

15. Sagrada – A newish game at the time of this writing, and fairly popular among the hobby. This is a unique game (only know of one other like it), where you place dice in a grid to score points. The theme here is you are building stain glass windows. Similar in the theme of Pillars of the Earth where there is no actual religion involved just the building of materials. This game is just about the stained glass windows. And this is the most beautiful game I own. Note: I tend to “bling” out my games and replace components with upgraded thematic and better looking parts. But as is this game is amazing looking! This game is a bit thinky, but is not heavy in rules or game play. Ages 14 & up.

16. Oh My Goods – My wife discovered this game! This is a card game, similar in style to San Juan (above) where the cards have different abilities to use them. You also build buildings and produce resources in this game. This may be easier to learn and play than San Juan and may be cheaper too! Ages 10 & up.

17. Colt Express – This game is probably the most controversial on the list, but is very very mild. Nonetheless some may disapprove of the theme. In the game all players are robbing a train in the old west.

There is shooting in the game but people do not die. The shooting is only a mechanic that only “water downs” your deck.

The board in this game is a 3D train! It is amazing to look at and play with. It is very family friendly if your okay with the theme. In the game you rob the train of loot worth various amounts, and can shoot the other players, punch them and take their loot. But no one gets hurt even in the game. Each player has their own deck of cards to play with, and this is a programming game. You will program your outlaw to move down the train, pick up loot, punch or shoot. After everyone has chosen their program it is played out to see what happens. When you punch another player, they are thrown into the next car, unhurt. When you shoot them, you place one of your bullet cards in their deck, so it gets bogged down with useless cards.

This is an amazing game and highly recommend the 1st expansion Stage coach, but not the 2nd one Prisoners. The 2nd expansion has lowered my opinion of the game otherwise this would be much higher on the list and used to be on my top 10! Ages 10 and up.

18. The Sheriff Of Nottingham (with the expansion) – This is a favorite among many in my family. I thought it good and not great until I added the expansion which made it great in my opinion.

This is a bluffing game. You play a merchant in the realm of Robin Hood. You are trying to bring your goods to the market and each player takes turns being the crooked Sheriff. Some goods are illegal, because the crooked king demands he alone may have them (green apples for example, nothing overtly evil here). At the end you score the game based on which goods made it to the market and who got the most of each and so on. Ages 13 & up.

19. The Quest for El Dorado – This is an amazing family weight game. And while I had tinkered with “deck building” games like Colt Express above, this game had more pure elements of deck building and enjoyed it, as other deck building games in the past did not interest me despite themes.

In this game, another similar to the theme if Indiana Jones, you are an explorer/archaeologist racing through the jungle to the lost city of gold El Dorado. The board is modular and you can build a different “race” each time, but they give instructions in how to build about 8 different races of varying difficulty. An extremely light game, easy to learn, ages 10 & up.

20. Havana – I really enjoyed this game but have only played it 3 times, and do not own it. Its also been awhile since I played it. It is similar to San Juan in that you build buildings and gain resources, and also has the ability to choose roles in getting bonuses, however, each player has their own set of these roles to choose from. Ages 10 and up.

21. Telestrations – another party game. I only recommend this game for large groups. There are varying versions of this game, but the differences are player counts, perhaps 6, 8, & 12 player versions (I own the 12 player version). And since I recommend this with highers player numbers do not play this with 6 or less.

Many people are reluctant to play this game, including me, when 1st hearing about it, as it is a drawing game. But the worse you are in drawing, the more fun this game is. Thus you can enjoy this game even if your a bad artist!

This is more of an activity than a game, the 3rd time we played this we stopped scoring and only played for fun. My family loves this game and when we have a large gathering we play this. Ages 12 and up.

22. Terraforming Mars – Perhaps the meatiest and longest game on the list. Not for the beggining gamer. But it is very non-offensive and is very friendly in this nature. The game is about Terraforming Mars as the title suggests. It is a science based game, and there is no fantastic here. I really enjoy the game, my only marks against it, is its length. Ages 12 and up.

23. Power Grid – I discussed Power Grid earlier when relaying about the card game. But yes I do enjoy the board game version as well. It is longer, it is still mathy, but is fun. The games play very similar, the board game only adds one more element/mechanic and that element is cities. A very popular game. Ages 12 & up.

24. Belfort – This is a unique game and may rival Terraforming Mars in meat and difficulty but not quite, I guess depending on player skills. It’s unique theme may concern some people as it has elements of the fantastic. But is very superficial.

Belfort is a strong Euro game but with the theme of elves and dwarves. There is no magic, no fighting, or any of that kind of stuff. It has all the elements of a Euro, but with a fantastical but silly theme. It is an odd beast where it is silly and fantastical in theme, but has none of this in mechanic and game play!

In the game, you control areas by building buildings, who has the most in an area scores that area. And that is the basics of the game. Ages 12 & up.

25. Tumblin-Dice – The 1st Dexterity game here. What is a dexterity game? Think Jenga.  But this game is not about building blocks, but is about rolling dice down a stair case like structure. This game can be quite expensive and comes in and out of print often. I had my copy built by my brother-in-law.

Players take turns rolling dice down the structure to score points. The farther down they roll, the more points you get, but if they fall off you get no points.

26. Zooloretto – a fun and very light game. Each player is building a zoo. Not much in the building part, although there is some, its more about collecting animals. each player has there own zoo and there is some very unique mechanics to the game. Very fun, but also very light. This game is also currently out of print. Ages 8 & up.

27. Jamaica – One of the 1st modern board games I got for my family. Also slightly controversial for some people. It is a pirate racing game. The game is very light and fun and the pirate thing is non-offensive and even the shooting of cannons at each other is very non-offensive. No one dies, no one gets hurt, no one is eliminated. Players race their pirate ship around the island of Jamaica. You collect gold for points, and add that to your scoring position. Thus the 1st one around the island is not necessarily the winner. Ages 8 & up.

28. Las Vegas (the dice game) – another slightly offensive theme, many people dislike Las Vegas, me included. But the theme here is very thin. The players roll dice and gather the same numbered dice into different locations to win money. Whoever has the most dice in those locations wins the money. Very simple, very light and fun. There are 2 editions out there. One edition has a very Las Vegas thematic 70’s looking box cover. The other is a die shaped box. Ages 8 & up.

29. Carcassonne (basic game with some expansions) – here we go, the classic Carcassonne. A fun decent game. See the above variants for basic game play.

30. Black Fleet – Perhaps another slightly controversial game. Another game with pirates. Each player owns a merchant ship and a pirate ship. You take your merchant ships to ports to pick up good and deliver them to other ports to sell them. You use this money to buy cards that activate abilities. The 1st one to activate all their cards wins. The players can use their pirates to steal goods from the other players merchant ships. All the players share the use of 2 navy ships which attack the pirate ships. When ships are destroyed they come back the very next turn so there is no elimination. Very light game play with incredible production value. The game looks great! Ages 14 and up.

31. The Pursuit of Happiness – a modern version of the Game of Life. New modern mechanics of a game themed about modern day life. Find a partner, get a job, buy items, participate in activities, doing all this to score points. This is a secular game and not christian, nothing overtly diabolic here. There is an absence of the word “marriage” and the use of the word partner. Players can choose what kind of social activities to participate in so you are not forced to be an environmentalist and such. This is not the game of Life, nor a reworking of it. But uses the same theme in a brand new game. Ages 12 and up.

32. Heroes Incorporated – My favorite superhero game. I am a fan of the super hero genre, and this genre may displease some christians. I am not a fan of the games that center and concentrate on fighting. I am not a war gamer. Thus most superhero games are not my style. And while this game has fighting, it does add other elements, mostly character building which I enjoy.This game is out of print, and there are very limited copies in existence. It is not a popular or well known game, thus while out of print shouldn’t be expensive. I highly recommend getting the expansion if you get the game. Ages 9 and up.

33. Crude: The Oil Game – This is an older game, with perhaps some mass market to it. It is not well balanced and has limited replayability, but I quite enjoyed it. It is about the oil business. Ages 13 plus.

34. RoboRally – Once my favorite game of all time. This was one of 2 modern games I owned for many years before I was a hobbyist and thus got burned out on it. But it is fun. There are 3 editions out there, and the 1st edition which I own is best in many opinions but is out of print and expensive. There is a new edition which a strong amount of people think has better rules and game play but inferior quality of components, and I can recommend that edition which can be found cheap.

This game has shooting. But it is robots shooting at each other not people. It is in essence a tag the flag race game but there are other ways to play.  Like Colt Express this is a programming game. There are some who hate programming games and hate RoboRally. This is a divisive game in this way, some love it and some hate it. It is disliked because it is random, and even a good player can have his program messed up because another player pushes him out of the plan. If you can handle this randomness, then this game is great. If you hate that kind of thing, this is not for you. Ages 12 plus.

35. The Chameleon – another party game that has been fairly fun with my family. Some enjoy it more than others. A card is drawn of 1 theme or topic with perhaps 18 words with in it. Dice are rolled to determine the word in that category. Every player has a key card that shows what the word is based on the roll except 1 player who is the Chameleon. The players all think of a 1 word clue to the word determined. Then each in turn gives their clue. The Chameleon is unknown and does not know the word. He must try to guess the word by the clues given and give a clue himself to hide he is the Chameleon. Ages 14 plus.

36. Captain Sonar – This is a party/convention style game. There is a more family light version I think called simply “Sonar”. I really love this game and would be much higher on the list but is not a game you want to play often. It is a high energy game. And is just not suitable for frequent play. But is very fun.

Captain Sonar could be considered a live action version of Battleship. 2 teams of up to 4 players each are in separate submarines looking to find each other on a grid and destroy each other. Teamwork is vital and there are 4 separate roles in each ship. Ages 14 plus.

37. Takenoko – a Japanese themed game. Players take turns controlling a Panda and its human caretaker to score points by collecting bamboo. A very light but attractive game. Ages 8 plus.

38. Puerto Rico – an older and very popular board game, I discussed earlier in the card game San Juan which I enjoy more. I am fairly certain this was once the #1 game on Board Game Geek many years ago. Players build building and collect resources. They take turns using differing roles to activate varying abilities. Each time I played this game I liked it more but it has never risen very high on my top 100.

39. Twin Tin Bots – Like the idea of RoboRally but not the randomness? This game may be for you. It is another robot programming game but with more control. I only played it once but quite liked it. In this game you are delivering I believe crystals with your robot. It is much less aggressive. Ages 10 plus.

40. Port Royal – another pirate game. But this is a card game and is not very hostile. It is about collecting goods. The cards like a couple other games above are used in more than one way. This is more of  press your luck style game. Ages 8 plus.

41. The Gallerist – I put this on the list with hesitation, not because of its theme, but only because I played only a half a game of it! It is another heavy game, as comparable to Terraforming Mars, but cannot say if heavier or not since I only played half a game and its been 2 years ago! The game has been popular among the community and so wish to recommend it. The theme is about being a gallerist where you get art, sell it, and hire artists. Not recommended for beginning gamers! Ages 13 plus.

42. Castles of Mad King Ludwig – This game needs more plays from me, and may rank higher is played more. It is about building a castle. Not as one would think from a video game perspective from the outside, but from an overview looking down from the inside. You are adding rooms. Each player builds their own castle to score points. The rooms are tiles as you lay them. Fun game. Ages 13 plus.

43. Karuba – another Indiana Jones adventure style game. This is a unique game as each player has their own board. You create paths for your explorers to reach the lost temples.  Each player races to get to these temples on their own boards and scores points. This game has either won awards or has been nominated for such. It is a very light game. Ages 8 plus.

44. Rush & Bash – This is Mario Kart the board game! that should be enough of a description. It is not themed with Mario, but is basically the same theme. Players race their karts around a track picking up treasures, weapons and so on. No one is eliminated when shot. Ages 7 plus.

45. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – This is a remaking of one of the 1st co-operative board games: Lord of the Rings. This is the only co-op board game on my list. Players work together to win or lose. And win and lose as such. The game is themed from the film and not the book and centers around dice instead of tiles as from the original game. If you are okay with the Hobbit, then this game is okay for you. I know some Christians do not approve of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or Hobbit. Ages 15 plus.

46. M.U.L.E. – based on the 70’s & 80’s computer game. This is similar to Terraforming Mars, but is economical in nature rather than scientific. It also displays aliens, but in a comical way as the player characters. This is in essence a stock market game. If you like stock market games, economical games, or the original MULE computer game, this is for you. I played the original MULE on the NES Nintendo) as well as the Commodore 64. Ages 14 plus.

47. Diamonds – Do you like classic trick taking games? then this may be for you, it is similar in style to the classic trick taking games but with modern mechanics, particularly abilities for varying suits. Ages 8 plus.

48. Automania – needs more plays by me, but has great reviews. In this game you run a car factory, make and sell cars. It is moderately light, and not complex. Ages 12 plus.

49. No Thanks! – a very short and light card game. Players must decide to take the card face up or pass and put a chip on it. In the game you want the lowest score, but only score the lowest point card in any straight you have. You can only pass if you have a chip, and chips are considered negative one point. Ages 8 plus.

50. Wits & Wagers Family Edition – There are 3 versions of Wits & Wagers, and recommend the Family edition, not only because of the family friendly content, but also because the mechanics of the game are more fun. This is the only trivia game you will find on this list. A person can win this game by not knowing the answers to trivia, instead they vote on the player they think knows the answer. This is a great game to mix adults with kids because of this mechanic. Ages 8 plus.


June 21st High Watch Date

June 15, 2018

June 21st consideration…

From the Rev 12 sign in Sept 23 to June 21 is 271 days.
The scientific average of human conception = 271 days. The Hebrew words: birth, nativity, pregnancy, and conception all have a numerical value of 271.

June 21 is the end of Spring and beginning of Summer.

Matt 24:Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh

Christopher Hitchens death (an atheist, who even on the day he died, spoke at a University declaring there is no God) – 6 years 6 months 6 days on June 21!

120 days from Billy Graham’s death.

 

 

 


The Resurrections

June 14, 2018

After many years of study, I think I can bravely say I have 2 theories concerning the Resurrection.

I believe there are 2 main resurrections. But blessed are those who partake of the First Resurrection!

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

The 1st Resurrection started with Christ Himself.

1 Cor 15:20 But now Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruit of those who slept.

The next step or phase of this resurrection is at the rapture.

1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Thess 4:
16: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  

It is my belief that not all who are saved will be resurrected at this time. As I have discussed elsewhere, not all who are saved are part of the kingdom, as I discuss here:

The Gospel of the Kingdom vs. The Gospel of Salvation

So if this is indeed true, then Rev 20:6 tells us then those who are in the kingdom are the ones who get resurrected at this time!

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

And we can paint this picture more clearly with more scripture. The 2nd half of Rev 7 I believe describes those who have been resurrected at the rapture.

Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palms in their hands.
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God sitting on the throne, and to the Lamb.
11 And all the angels stood around the throne, and the elders, and the four living creatures, and they fell before the throne on their faces and worshiped God,
12 saying, Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.
13 And one of the elders answered, saying to me, Who are these who are arrayed in white robes, and from where do they come?
14 And I said to him, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation and have washed their robes, and have whitened them in the blood of the Lamb.
15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and they serve Him day and night in His temple. And He sitting on the throne will dwell among them.
16 They will not hunger any more, nor thirst any more, nor will the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will feed them and will lead them to the fountains of living waters. And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.

This very large group discusses salvation, this shows that these people have participated in saving all 3 aspects of their life: spirit, soul, and body.

Not only did they save their spirits, by believing in Christ, but saved their souls as well, and now their bodies have been saved by the Resurrection! I discuss the difference of the salvation of the soul and spirit here:

The Salvation of the Soul

These also are before the throne and serve God through eternity as opposed to those:

Rev 21: MKJV
24 And the nations of those who are saved will walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.

Now after the rapture, during the Tribulation, many will die for Christ who were not prepared for His coming. I discuss this preparation here:

Are You Prepared for the Blessed Hope?

And those who became Christians after the rapture. Many of these will be killed. It is interesting to note how they respond when they arrive in heaven:

Rev 6:9 And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, Until when, Master, holy and true, do You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given to each one of them. And it was said to them that they should rest yet for a little time, until both their fellow servants and their brothers (those about to be killed as they were ) should have their number made complete.

We read how John saw their souls, as these were not resurrected. I believe that not only do they wish for justice but long for their resurrection, and thus are told to rest.

So it is entirely possible that in heaven at this time, only those who died ready, in Christ, or were alive ready in Christ partake of the resurrection. The rest will be resurrected later.

I also believe that this group who is resurrected will be separated and be given rewards at the Bema Judgment.

Eternal Judgment: of the Believer

But shortly after this, judgment will be made on the rest. This judgment will seem extreme, and may shock many non-catholics, but scripture states:

Mark 9: MKJV
49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

1 Cor 3: LITV
15 If the work of anyone shall be consumed, he shall suffer loss; but he will be saved, but so as through fire.

Jesus went to Gethsemane, which was an oil press.  One of the Baptisms we need to follow is the denial of self, the Baptism of Suffering. Jesus said we need to deny our self, and there would be consequences if we do not.

Math 16: NKJV
25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Luke 9: MKJV
23 And He said to all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.  

The following is not about sin, it is about soulishness, or selfishness. There is no place for this in heaven. The following I believe is the very act of purging the soulishness from those who are saved, and have not denied themselves. The carnal Christians, or even the Earthly ones.

1 Cor 15:47 The first man was out of earth, earthy; the second Man was the Lord from Heaven.
48 Such the earthy man , such also the earthy ones. And such the heavenly Man , such also the heavenly ones.
49 And according as we bore the image of the earthy man , we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man .
50 And I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
51 ś Behold, I speak a mystery to you; we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed;
52 in a moment, in a glance of an eye, at the last trumpet. For a trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

What happens to Earthy Christians?

Revelation 14
13 And I heard a voice from Heaven saying to me, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they shall rest from their labors, and their works follow them.
(I believe verse 13 eludes to the idea there will be no more carnal christians after this point, thus why judgment can occur)
14 And I looked, and behold, a white cloud. And on the cloud sat one like the Son of man, having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying in a great voice to Him sitting on the cloud, Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth was dried.
16 And He sitting on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
17 And another angel came out of the temple in Heaven, also having a sharp sickle.
18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had authority over fire. And he spoke with a great cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.
19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the anger of God.
20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even to the bridles of the horses, for the space of a thousand, six hundred stadia.

This winepress is the diluted wrath of God, it is not full measure, as seen just a couple verses earlier:

10 he also will drink of the wine of the anger of God, having been mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath. And he will be tormented by fire and brimstone before the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.

The saved are saved! But they need to be purified from their soulishness. We can read more about this group from the response after this, as seen in the next chapter:

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire. And those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are Your ways, O King of saints.
4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteousnesses were made known.

The nations need to fear God, and if they don’t this is the result. And this is indeed the nations, as described as those outside New Jerusalem, as mentioned in verse 4.

Rev 21: MKJV
24 And the nations of those who are saved will walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.

I know this winepress thing is a difficult thing to believe, but it is scriptural.

Lamentations 1:15 The LORD has trampled all my mighty ones in my midst; He has called a gathering against me to crush my young men. The LORD has trod the virgin daughter of Judah, as in a winepress.

Rev 19:15 And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, so that with it He should strike the nations. And He will shepherd them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the wine of the anger and of the wrath of Almighty God.

And what happens immediately after the winepress and the song of Moses?

Rev 15:5 And after these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony was opened in Heaven.

The Temple is opened! Thus those who are saved, while they may have to live outside New Jerusalem, may have access to the throne of God.

How can everyone be kings if there are no nations to rule? Remember:

Rev 21: MKJV
24 And the nations of those who are saved will walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.

Luke 14: NKJV
34 “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?
35 It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

They are not fit for the land which is the Kingdom, nor are they fit for the dunghill which is Hell or the Lake of Fire, so they are cast out. Out where? Outside New Jerusalem.

Thus I believe this group will not yet be resurrected. Although it is possible, thus I have 2 theories. One theory is those who have not been prepared, will be resurrected after the Millennial Reign.  The other is the 2nd Resurrection is for the wicked. But Rev 20 seems to speak otherwise:

Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.

And yes, even the wicked who go into the Lake of Fire are resurrected and given new bodies as well!

Daniel 12
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

John 5:28 Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice,
29 and shall come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced evil to the resurrection of condemnation.

So while it is possible, that at the rapture all who are dead will get their new bodies, it may be only those who died ready. Just as it may be only those who are alive and ready will be raptured. So if there is a partial rapture, why can’t there be a partial Resurrection?

Those not prepared, will be prepared shortly after, but before Jesus returns comes to destroy the anti-christ and his armies.


 

Part 2: The blood

I am now going to discuss the relevance of the blood, and this isn’t about the wonderful work of the Blood of Christ.

Leviticus 17:11

For the soul (or life) of the flesh is in the blood… Jubilee Bible 2000 translation

for the soul of the flesh is in the blood; Darby Bible Translation

When Jesus was in Gethsemane, He sweat tears of blood.

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Jesus blood is precious but it also represent the soul. Jesus NEVER sinned , but He did have a moment of soulishness. He, Himself dealt with this and said three times in Gethsemane:

Matt 26:

38 Then He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Wait here and watch with Me.
39 And He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will .

42 He went away again the second time and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.

44 And He left them and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same word.

So not only do we need a new Body for the new Earth but blood is not allowed in heaven.

1 Cor 15:50 And I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

Thus this is why Jesus will take out the blood of those unprepared, they are full of soulishness which must be emptied because they did not deny themselves.

Rev 14:20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even to the bridles of the horses, for the space of a thousand, six hundred stadia.

I have my doubts this is real physical blood, as blood is part of the body and does not go with us to heaven when we die, but our soulishness does!

——————————————————-

Part 3: Do all partake of the Fire?

This was the million dollar question for me. Will those who have been Born Again taste the fire? I have preached that there are the 30, 60, and 100 fold Christians, as well as those who bring no fruit. Do the 30 & 60 have to go through fire? Let’s reread 1 verse from Rev 7 again:

16 They will not hunger any more, nor thirst any more, nor will the sun light on them, nor any heat.

So, no, not any heat will they suffer. As there is an angel in charge of the fire, who will participate with the judgment on the nations who are not born again.

Rev 14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had authority over fire. And he spoke with a great cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.

This angel, will not bring any fire upon the vast multitude listed in Rev 7, but only upon those listed in Rev 14.

Now I still believe that those with 100 fold fruit will gain greater rewards, as these scriptures say:

Matt 25:14 For it is as if a man going abroad called his own servants and gave them his goods.
15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to each according to his ability. And he went abroad at once.
16 And going he who had received the five talents traded with them, and made another five talents.
17 And likewise he who had received two, he also gained another two.
18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the earth and hid his lord’s silver.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and took account with them.
20 And so he who had received five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, Lord, you delivered five talents to me. Behold, I have gained five talents above them.
21 His lord said to him, Well done , good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
22 He also who had received two talents came and said, Lord, you delivered two talents to me. Behold, I have gained two other talents above them.
23 His lord said to him, Well done , good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
24 And he who had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew that you were a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter.
25 And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the earth. Lo, you have yours.
26 His lord answered and said to him, Evil and slothful servant! You knew that I reaped where I did not sow, and gathered where I did not scatter,
27 then you should have put my money to the exchangers, and coming I would have received my own with interest.
28 Therefore take the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will abound. But from him who has not, even that which he has shall be taken away from him.
30 And throw the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

As for the Outer Darkness, it is not what most people have been taught, and I discuss this here:

Outer Darkness

Remember:

2 Tim 2: (MKJV)
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.
21 Therefore if anyone purges himself from these, he shall be a vessel to honor, sanctified and useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

1 Cor 3: MKJV
12 And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble,
13 each one’s work shall be revealed. For the Day shall declare it , because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try each one’s work as to what kind it is.
14 If anyone’s work which he built remains, he shall receive a reward.
15 If anyone’s work shall be burned up, he shall suffer loss. But he shall be saved, yet so as by fire.
16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?


Something to Watch…

May 28, 2018

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/07/five-star-movement-govern-italy-corruption-economy-berlusconi

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/01/europe/five-star-movement-italy-intl/index.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/italys-populist-youth/554408/

https://www.thenation.com/article/italys-five-star-movement-may-be-the-heir-to-mussolinis-fascists/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Di_Maio

https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/luigi-di-maio-35866.php

 


Pre-Trib Rapture

May 26, 2018

There are some who have been leaving the pre-trib rapture ranks recently and am sure it is for various reasons, one I am sure is because several dates have gone by without a rapture. But we must not lose hope. I wish to reiterate the main reasons why a pre-trib rapture is Biblical:

Lets start with the reason of hope!

1. Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

Notice the word “and” these are 2 distinct happenings, the blessed hope and the appearance of Jesus. There is the hope that we will escape, this is a great hope, that we will escape the trials of this world. To be “looking” means that we live each day in continual anticipation and expectancy, with the conviction that Jesus could come at any time. There is no need to look, if there is not a pre-trib rapture. There is no need to watch, because all the events during the Tribulation including His 2nd coming are numbered. It is only a pre-trib rapture that requires watching.

2. OUT OF Rev 3: 10: Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 

This verse shows it will happen before the hour of temptation (the tribulation). Then goes on to describe this temptation.

The word “from” in Rev 3:10 (Greek,ek) literally means “out of”.  Here are some other examples of OUT OF in the Bible.

Math 2:
15: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, OUT OF Egypt have I called my son.

Math 7:
5: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote OUT OF thy brother’s eye.

Math 27:
53: And came OUT OF the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Rev 3:
16: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee OUT OF my mouth.  

There is no getting around this specific Greek definition and direct text in scripture. We will not go through the tribulation, we will be taken out of the tribulation. We will be taken out to be kept from it.

3. God has also promised us that the church is not appointed to the wrath of God, or the Tribulation:

1 Thess 1:
10: And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

The context of this passage is the rapture, for christians are not waiting for the glorious appearing. Paul tells them in 2 Thess 2:1-12 that the glorious appearing will not occur until the anti-christ is revealed.  – Tim LaHaye: Revelation Unveiled; Are We Living in the End Times

1 Thess 5:
9: For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,  

This passage follows the strongest passage on the rapture, and must be considered in light of its context… Paul takes the reader to “times and …seasons” of the “Day of the Lord”. This scripture makes it clear that God did not “appoint us to wrath” (the Tribulation) but to “obtain salvation” or deliverance from it, since so many saints will be martyred during the Tribulation. This promise cannot mean, then, that He will deliver believers DURING or THROUGH the time of the wrath.  – Tim LaHaye: Revelation Unveiled; Are We Living in the End Times

Do we know that the tribulation is the Wrath?

Rev 6:
16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? 

God is faithful to His promises. How could He mean He will deliver believers through the tribulation when we read this:

Rev 6:
9: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.  

and

Rev 13:
4: … Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
7: And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them… 

The anti-christ is given authority to overcome the saints. There is no promise or hope to go through. Thus you lose the blessed hope!

Isaiah 26:20  Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 

Some say that the Seventh Trumpet blown in Rev 11:15-18 is the same last trump Paul spoke of in 1 Cor 15:52. However, they fail to take into account the fact that John wrote Revelation 40 years after Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians. How could Paul refer to something that was not yet revealed?