Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Trucking Smarter, Not Harder Updated
I know trucking is a hard way to make a living. Especially as an owner/operator. I retired a few years back for health reasons, but some of the things I learned over the years might help others. I started with a union flatbed company where I stayed for three years. Then progressed through several jobs including produce and chicken hauler. My success was because of people willing to share their knowledge with me and also because of my willingness to adapt and learn from my mistakes. It is a struggle no matter how you get into it. I started my career as an owner/operator basically with the money in my pocket. All the money I did have was used for the down payment on my first truck. In 1995 I started out with a 1973 W-900 with a coffin sleeper, which I quickly learned needed a new seal, a disconnected crossover line on the tanks and no power steering, or air and rear ends that limited me to about a 58 MPH top end on a worn out 400 Cummins. Ah, The Good Ole Days.
The company I started with is gone now. Moon Freight out of Bloomington, Indiana. Yes I was a Moonie. It was good while it lasted, but eventually it became time to move on. Moon was a specialized carrier and we hauled mostly cut stone to the east coast and any other place they might be using Indiana Limestone as the facing material for a construction project. You have not lived till you spend two days unloading in Lower Manhattan. The company paid percentage of the load, which meant when you were deadheading you got nothing. The head of the company was an older man and had some very definite ideas about how to truck. His ideas helped me get through some hard times and survive. His creed was, 'If the freight ain't moving where you are, you move to where it is." Needless to say we did a lot of deadheading. It taught me that it in the long run deadheading costs less than sitting empty.
One day upon returning to the company and having done a lot of deadheading. The opportunity presented itself to ask the head of the company why we deadheaded out of New York City and New Jersey clear over to Pittsburgh or the Youngstown, Ohio area so often. He explained his view of trucking to me in a nutshell. "If a truck is not moving, it is not making money. If freight is not moving where you are at, you move to where it is. Finally you take any load available and follow the freight to where it is going."
Getting off the ferry in Plattsburgh, NY
When I became an owner operator those pieces of advice kept me trucking when I had friends going under financially. Sitting and waiting for the perfect load, to the perfect place can be expensive. Sitting costs money and you are not making money. The truck payment, insurance and your living expenses keep coming due regardless of what you are doing. Many times I took short loads to places I did not want to go, I took them for two reasons. First they were handy, no deadheading and second they got me moving out of an area that did not have much freight going where I preferred to go.
Usually the short load, or sometimes a long one, would connect me with another load going somewhere. The idea was to work the freight till you got home. Yes I sometimes spent three or four weeks out on the road, but when I got home I had made enough to take a few days off at home, not sitting in some truck stop in the middle of who knows where. Also paying to have my maintenance done instead of doing it myself. That point got me a lot of arguments when I was driving. My answer, " You spend and do what you want with your time and money and I will do the same with mine," I'd rather take an ass whipping than do mechanical work. I will do enough to get me to a repair place.
Deadheading can be expensive, but in the long run it can save you money. I ran an awful lot of New England. Actually I ran all the lower forty-eight and most of Canada. New England paid good going in and there was usually something coming out going somewhere. Sometimes I did not want to go to Florida, but the rates were good. After putting two good loads together I would have my mind made to leave Florida empty, which was ironic as the company I worked for was out of Jacksonville.
Once I did my deadhead to Georgia or Alabama the load taking me home paid half ways decent also. My willingness to deadhead was from what my time as a Moonie taught me. After a period of time it became clear to me that the days I deadheaded off the east coast I had a good week. The freight out of Youngstown/Pittsburgh area paid decent. If you did not deadhead you sometimes did not load till late in the evening and it was a relatively cheap load. If you did not load or deadhead you sat around burning up money and then often times would deadhead the second or third day. The weeks I deadheaded to Youngstown/Pittsburgh usually turned out good. The ones I sat or hauled cheap freight were a totally lost week.
When it became my decision whether I sat or deadheaded it was not a hard decision. Some of my friends would not deadhead, many of my friends went out of business for the same reason. Deadheading is not all bad. The companies I worked for had their absolute best freight in the Midwest. Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. more than a few times I deadheaded from LosAngeles to Indiana (home) Their might have been freight along the way, but if it did not pay good I did not stop. One rule for going to an area you might have to deadhead out of, make sure the load pays enough to deadhead out, going in. In other words do not take a cheap load to an area you might have to sit and wait for a load out of. It can empty your wallet quick. The other point is do not haul cheap freight to get out of an area.
One Christmas holiday season I was in Massachusetts and an agent called me with a load paying a whopping eighty-eight cents a mile, of which I got only seventy-five percent. He could not find anyone to take it. It weighted like 45,000 pounds and I told him I was deadheading to Indiana. He argued I should take it as I would be going by Cleveland anyhow. Basically it was a "No Brainer" that load could rot on the dock as far as I was concerned. I got almost eight miles to the gallon deadheading. With that load I would have knocked my mileage down to almost five miles per gallon for about 470 miles and lost a day diddling with the loading and unloading. Living eleven hours from Cleveland after the fuel cost it would have paid about two hundred dollars to the truck. So instead of getting home at ten or eleven PM on Christmas Eve, my choice was to get home early morning on the 24th and spend time with my family and not with a bunch of dock hands. That is one of the decisions you get to make being self employed. There are more important things than money.
The final thing I learned was to change how I trucked. I know all truckers can not do it, but I could and I did. My goal was to haul as light as I could, better fuel mileage and less wear on the truck. As far as I could, more miles. For as much as I could get. I did a lot of tailgating. The loads I hauled my last few years paid fifty dollars a stop and twenty five dollars for unloading. That is seventy five dollars every time I hit a dock. Most of my loads had eighteen to twenty stops and my record was thirty four stops. Some unloading was one piece and others were half a truck. The loads also paid all routed miles and close to three dollars a mile. The way I considered it was simple. The unloading and stop pay, which paid one hundred percent to the driver was my pay. The truck money, mileage pay, was for the truck. Unloading was my choice, but it was my paid exercise program, at least that was how I viewed it.
It was not that I was that smart, but one day I was getting tires put on my truck and I had been working hard hauling whatever and running lots of long miles. Most of the loads I hauled were in the forty five thousand pound range. Another driver from my company was also getting tires. My tires had just over two hundred thousand miles on them and were pretty well gone. He had almost five hundred thousand on his he said. They still looked good. He explained that he took them off early and sold them. With the company discount and what he got out of his used tires he was running on new tires all the time and doing it cheaply.
The secret was hauling nothing but light freight. Once I got it figured out I hardly ever hauled over ten to twelve thousand pounds. It cuts your maintenance to nothing and on my truck gave me almost twenty five percent better fuel mileage. Can everybody do this. I doubt it, but it is something to consider and it is how I survived till I retired. My Detroit engine had one million six hundred and seventy thousand miles on it when I overhauled it. It had two million, one hundred fifty thousand when I retired and sold the truck. My last few years my average was around one hundred twenty five thousand miles and working forty eight weeks per year. Earlier I made money but I was running myself ragged getting in one hundred sixty to one hundred seventy five thousand miles per year and spending tons more money on maintenance.
Yes I was kind of blessed and I really enjoyed the years of trucking. Yes I am glad I do not have to fight the fuel prices and all the new regulations. Just thought this might help someone who is just starting out as an owner operator. If you are just starting out keep your eyes and ears open and you might learn something that makes life a lot easier. Would appreciate any comments, input, or suggestions. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Hope you enjoyed it. You can find me on twitter at @sclaus2u or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
This is a free copy of my book with 10 recurring signs/events from the Bible that repeat themselves 4 times and say we are at the End Time. It was seven posts and I condensed it to one and got rid of a lot. It is a long post, but still free and now all in one piece.
A Little Further Down the Path
(This is a Meat Only Version)
A Question Asked
Many years ago when I first started walking the way the Lord wanted me to walk. At least I felt it was the way he wanted me to walk. Many things troubled my
mind. Some things I could not grasp. The rest of what I am about to write started because I asked this simple question “If you are a kind, caring and loving God and if the Jewish people are your Chosen People, how could you allow what happened the Jewish People in World War Two to happen to them?”
The question was answered one day shortly later as I was going through the Bible and came to the verses in Jeremiah the sixteenth chapter. It talks about the Lord bringing the Jewish people back into the land of Israel and tells in detail how he will do it. However when I got to verse eighteen it jumped out at me. Suddenly it was all clear and made sense to me. God punished the people when he kicked them out of the land. He also punished them again before he bought them back. He punished their sin double for their iniquity just as he had said. Double, just as his Word said. That is what the King James Version of the Bible says. It was not the answer I had expected, but it was very clear to me. God said it and God did it. That gave me a certain peace that even in this day and age God could and can still be counted on to honor his Word. It especially touched me as the second part happened within the span of my life. There is a warning that comes with it though. The Bible says all the prophecies shall come to pass before this generation passes from the earth.
That verse has been preached to me all my life. I was born on December 7th the day World War II started for America. Not the same year though. My father was born on August 6th the day it ended, or at least the start of the end, as it is the day they dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. My father often quoted the verse that says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. This Bible study has bought that verse home to me.
Sometimes the road of life takes a detour. As a truck driver, or should I say a retired truck driver, that is one thing I do know about. At forty some pages into this I went on a long break. However my own mortality is pushing me to get this finished. My God is an awesome God. Just before sitting down here I was reading a story in Chicken Soup for the Soul. The story related how sometimes in life it isn’t about winning, but about finishing. Well this story has been forty one plus years in the writing. Hopefully the Good Lord will let me stick around long enough to finish.
My goal is to try and explain my understanding of a revelation or experience I had back in January 1967. More correctly it is an ongoing revelation that has unfolded itself over an extremely long period of time. It has taken long enough that I have been dead once already. I have come to understand the concept of mortality. Since my experience in 1967 this has been an ongoing thing. It all started, at least the revelation part, from asking the Lord a simple question. At least I thought it was simple.
At this point let me clarify one thing. Do I feel called in a special way? The answer is a great big “NO”, but I do feel blessed? Yes I do beyond measure. The revelations I am speaking of are not some great new thing that nobody else knows, but revelations in the sense that I have read some things many, many times and never got them, but suddenly for whatever reason it makes sense in a new and powerful way. Things that make me see God’s hand has always been and still is working for the benefit of mankind.
Suddenly the light came on and it finally became clearer to me where the Lord had been leading me. About 1992 when I was helping my daughter Angelica, do a paper on Martin Luther and his impact on the world, things started to come into focus. As we studied I realized that from the time Martin Luther nailed his treatise on the door of the church in Germany. It had been exactly four hundred thirty one years later that the nation of Israel had been founded. My heart almost skipped a beat when I realized what I was reading. When I consider the other events and people who were contemporaries with Martin Luther which is just a coincidence I am sure, except the Word of God says In Daniel that there will be an explosion of knowledge and understanding. I find it strange that at about the same time the printing press was invented. Leonardo Da Vince, Michelangelo, Columbus and Galileo were some of his contemporaries. It was an explosion which opened the whole world up to the Bible which was predicted many times in the Bible.
The prophecy in Daniel 12: 4 also agrees that this is the end time. Knowledge is definitely being increased and the whole world is going to and fro, just as the prophecy says. Traveling and knowledge are both in explosion modes. You would have to live in a cave or be in total denial not to see these things going on in the world around us. My goal is not to prophesy, but to present the events contained in scripture in a manner that anyone in the world may plainly see it. Then they can decide what to do with it.
A verse from Exodus 12:41, had been stuck in my head for years and I did not know why. However the Lord started opening my understanding. Soon I would have four periods of 430 years rolling around in my head. Then I found the verse in Micah 7:15 and I knew I was onto something and it would not let me rest. It kept drawing in more numbers, dates and events that all fit together like the pieces of a puzzle.
As intrigued as I was at finding this time span, it did not work. It had to be “four hundred thirty years to the day” to confirm and coincide with prophetic scripture given in Exodus 12:40-41, which had troubled me for years. Maybe I was wrong in my understanding. My belief was that Israel had become a nation in nineteen forty eight. So I got out the World Book Encyclopedia and researched Israel’s history.
Much to my surprise I was wrong. Israel had been officially approved as a nation by the United Nations in November 1947. It was not a physical fact till May of 1948. However I understand at the moment God says it, it is fact. There are several Bible scriptures that bear that truth out. It had to be the very selfsame day as proclaimed in Exodus 12:40-41. It had to be 430 years to the day. At present it is only twenty days off, but if one goes back to day they started writing the paperwork, it may be exact. That is something I will have to do some research on.
Over the years I had discovered three periods of 430 years in the Old Testament and a verse from Micah 7:15 which made me sure that there was some significance. Then reading in Amos it talked of God judging nations for three times and then a forth. Having found three time frames in the Old Testament this time frame from Martin Luther, till the founding of Israel made a forth. Just like all the other nations.
As I said there is a 430 year period mentioned in Exodus and I think we are in one now. The other two are pretty easy to find Ezekiel 4:5-6 lays out a period, but you have to use a little math as one period is 390 years followed by a 40 year period which totals 430. A 430 year period is also mentioned in Galatians 3:17 which references from the rebuilding of the temple till coming of Jesus.
The 430 year periods alone are significant, but there are about ten other events that I have found that have a recurring patterns. Together they all say we are in a time that was prophesied from the beginning of time. The fact that Jesus spent his last night on earth warning us to be ready for the end says it is important. He would not have mentioned it or wasted His time if it had not been something that would affect us. Especially if we are that end time generation.
The Killing of Children
Some things come in steps and they kind of slap you in the face when you are least expecting them. I was reading in Matthew about the birth of Jesus and how the king sent and killed all the children less than two years of age. His seers and prophets warned him that an heir to the throne of Israel was due to be born according to the historical writings. That it was time for the Messiah to come. His method of dealing with the situation was to eliminate the problem, namely the children.
This reminded me of the story of Moses and how as a baby his family had hid him. It had been because the ruler of Egypt was worried that there were too many Jewish slaves and that they should be reduced in number. The Pharaoh passed an edict that all Jewish male children should be drowned. However the girls would live. At this time it became clear to me that Satan works in the same way all the time. Some may not believe in Satan, but if you believe the Word of God then you do.
These two events did not take long for me to connect them with the abortions happening in this day and age. There is definitely a pattern of Satan trying to prevent God from bringing forth his messengers to each age. Knowing there are to be two witnesses to the end time, this made the pattern plain. So I started looking for a connection to the 430 years that led to the Babylonian captivity and found it in Isaiah 57:5. It wasn’t till I read Leviticus 20:2-5 that I saw God’s view on the matter and then I realized quickly why America has had such a fall from Grace and decline as a country. If you would like further confirmation take time to read Deuteronomy 28 and the Blessings and Curses the Lord puts on nations that follow him or fail to.
In John 10:10 it says “the thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” It does not say devil or Satan in this verse. However John clarifies it in 1st John 3:8 when he makes it clear who Jesus was talking about. In chapter ten it was Jesus talking about the thief. However in 1st John it is John speaking when he says “He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil was sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Any group that uses murder to accomplish their goals is working for the devil or Satan. They certainly are not working for God. Therefore if Allah condones murder, he is not representing the God of Abraham. Sorry but you can’t have it both ways. On the other hand you can’t be a Christian nation and have a constitution that guarantees the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and be killing newborn children. If God creates life in both cases you are acting against God.
In Genesis 9:6, which is long before Abraham, it says “Whoso sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” This is long before the Ten Commandments. It shows God considers taking a life a very serious offense. God abhors violence. Any group that advocates it is certainly not speaking for God. John made it clear who they are speaking for. In Genesis 6:5-11 it makes clear that man’s heart was evil and that the earth was filled with violence. That is why God bought the flood on the earth. It was to punish evil.
In Leviticus 20:2-5 God makes it very clear what his opinion of people who destroy children is. God says it is society’s duty to destroy a person who kills children. If society does not punish the individual they will share in his judgment. God has no tolerance for it. Just as it happened in Moses time, God judged the people of Egypt before he took the Israelites out by killing all their first born.. It also happened in the time period that caused Israel to go into captivity in Babylon.
It makes clear that Solomon in 1st Kings 11: did build a place for Molech before Jerusalem. 2nd Kings 23:10 that King Josiah had to deal with the alter’s of Molech. Molech was the God children were sacrificed to. In Jeremiah it is made clear as to how God felt about the issue. In Jeremiah 32:30-36 God tells them what their short comings were and that there was a price to pay. Verse thirty five in particular refers again to the sacrifice of children. Even Isaiah spoke of the matter in 57:5.
In this day and age people think nothing of sacrificing the children to get what they want. Is it a house, a car, a career, or maybe they just do not want the problems of raising children. Me, Myself and I are the most important things to most of this generation. Anything that interferes with their personal wants and desires is not acceptable to them. If it feels good do it. Consequences do not matter. They will deal with that when the time comes. Then they wonder why their lives are so messed up. Why no one cares about them and what they want. Hate to say this but caring is a two way street. When they treat the world like their door mat why are they surprised when the dirt comes back on them?
Realizing the attitude toward abortion and sex in this day and age made me realize we are ripe for the pouring out of God’s wrath on the world. Remember in Amos it said and for a fourth time. Is this the fourth time. Does the time we live in have similarities to the earlier times? Looking at the violence alone is enough to make one realize this is not the best of times. Are we as Christians to blame for not showing the world there is a better way? When Christianity is mass marketed and made to fit in the garbage bag the world has become one has to wonder.
Ten minutes of watching television and your morale values will take a serious beating if you have any. It is okay though it is just part of the package. At least that is what most of the world believes. Am I saying there is nothing good on television? No I am not, but I am saying what little good it offers is buried under a pile of garbage. Who or what is the guide to determine the path we walk? A life without direction is a life without hope as far as I am concerned. It is not my responsibility to change the world is it?
In Isaiah 57:5 that tells of the destruction of children. It is part of the reason they were sent into the Babylonian captivity. So now if I count the killing of the children in this day and age, there are four times the killing of children is mentioned. So are we are in a 430 year period at this time in history. It is clear God’s time clock is still ticking. Discovering this made me take a harder look at recurring events in the Bible, especially events that are in or follow 430 year periods.
The Seventy Year Periods
With the discovery of the 430 year periods came another time frame. Israel went into the captivity in Babylon for seventy years. The Bible makes clear that they went into the captivity for polluting the Sabbaths. They did not observe the Sabbath as a day of rest as they were supposed to do. Think that might have anything to do with the falling standards in America. It seems pretty possible to me. Especially when looking back on my youth and knowing just sixty years ago America pretty much observed the Sabbath and the churches were full of people.
With very little research I found that from the birth of Jesus to the destruction of the temple in Israel was a period of seventy years. That was fine and dandy but I did not see a seventy year period at the time of Moses, but it did not take me long to find one. God is good to His Word. I found the seventy year period entirely by accident while reading in Joshua.
In Joshua 14:7, Joshua says that when Moses sent him in to search out the Promised Land he was forty years of age. That means after wondering in wilderness for forty years he was eighty years old when he actually entered the Promised Land. It then says in Joshua 24:29 that Joshua having done all God gave him to do laid down and died being 110 years old. Well forty years from one hundred and ten leaves a period of seventy years. It means it took him thirty years to conquer the Promised Land once they entered into it.
Each age or period of time had or has a messenger also. In the time of Moses it was him. In the time of the captivity it was the prophets. In the time of Jesus it was Jesus, in the final time is to be the two witnesses to the end time. The Bible says the two witnesses will be slain for their testimony and the whole world will see them lying in the streets of Jerusalem for three days. At the end of three days they will be called up to heaven with a shout from God. You would find that in Revelation 11:7-12. They shall be raised from the dead. Fulfilling the scripture that says the dead in Christ shall rise first. Lastly those that are left in Christ shall be called up. One point that definitely makes this is an end time event, and in the here and now. Is that the whole world shall see them. That is something that could not have happened till this present time and the advent of satellite technology.
In Matthew 24:6 Jesus is giving a description of the things that are going to come to pass and what must happen. He clearly says they shall hear of the things to come. In 24:14 Jesus states once his gospel is preached in all the world, the end shall come. He follows that in verse 15 by saying, they shall “see.” That is not a slip because the rest of the way through his description he continues to use the word see. I believe it is significant and intentional.
God gave or sent His Word to each age also. In the time of Moses, God wrote on the tablets and gave them to Moses to share with the people. During the period of the captivity II Chronicles 34: 15-18 tells the story of finding God’s Word behind the alter and bringing it out and reading it to the people. Jesus was the Incarnate Word of God and gave the Word to his time. Finally the one I find interesting is that the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1946. After World War II but before Israel physically reoccupied the land. The scrolls prove God’s Word is unchanged over almost a 4,000 year period. God confirmed the Bible we have is still valid especially the Old Testament.
It amazes me and makes my head spin. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the short period between the end of World War II and the birth of the nation Israel. The scriptures found after more than two thousand years verify the truth of the Bible we have today. That they were found by a shepherd boy is another proof of God’s being in the details. He revealed many of his plans through shepherds he called up as prophets.
It was as if God was saying here you go. This is no coincidence it is all in my plans and here is proof I said it. Yet they did not bring it out and read it to the people. The powers that be hid it and supposedly studied and verified it. That is appropriate for the mind set in this day and age. When they found a lost book of the law in II Chronicles 34, they bought it out and read it to the people and they repented. Today mankind is not in the mood to repent or be bothered by such matters.
Some people do want to know what God has to say, but in this day and age they are searching in a dry land. There is a great thirst that needs to be tended to. In this day and age many of the mega ministries are too busy proclaiming the eminent doom of the world to preach the gospel of salvation. Spreading the gospel is what Christ commanded us to do. He did not tell us to go out and meddle in world affairs and try and set the stage for his coming. That is what many mega churches are trying to do.
Each time period in the Old Testament had a tie to Egypt, or Africa, in some way also. Moses led the people out of Egypt, Jeremiah was taken to Egypt during the captivity. Joseph took Jesus and his family and fled to Egypt till kind Herod would no longer be a threat. What about this day and age. We need to keep looking but it is interesting that Obama’s Father was from Africa. I do not think he is the Anti-Christ, but he could definitely be the fore runner. Just as John the Baptist was for Christ.
When the Israelites prepared to come up out of Egypt they spread the blood of the lamb on the wooden doorposts as a sign for the Passover. During the captivity it says in Habakkuk 2:11 that the pouring out of blood was a sign and the doorposts (wood) would cry out. Christ was crucified on and wooden cross and it was his blood on the cross. This one is a stretch but think about it. Martin Luther nailed his treatise, on the Word of God, to the wooden door of the church. To me it signals the return of Christ in the Spirit. I say that based on Acts 1:11 and that the Angels said as they saw him go up, so he would return. He went up nailed to the Cross. At least that is where it started.
Each period has a period or test of fire. In Deuteronomy 4:20 it says they came up out of the furnaces of Egypt. At the time of the captivity it tells how in Daniel 3 they were cast into the furnace. Jesus several times spoke of and warned of the fires to come. Finally in Revelations 9:18 it speaks of a third part of men being destroyed by fire and brimstone.
God’s Timetable not Mans
One last revelation from scripture at least as I see it. First Peter 3:8 says a day with the Lord is as a thousand years. Also in Matthew 16: 4 Jesus states the only sign that shall be given is the sign of Jonah. That has been a problem for many people as in Matthew 12: 40 Jesus says he shall be in the earth three days and nights as Jonah was.
Many say Jesus was killed on Friday and resurrected on Sunday that is only three days and two nights. It has made for many interesting speculations and interpretations that sometimes are a stretch. Well here is another one. Using First Peter 3:8 as a basis, or time frame, it works out a little different. If the period before the cross was at the end of the fourth day it makes for some interesting speculation.
It was followed by two thousand years or two days on the Lord’s timetable. So when Jesus breaks the eastern sky it will be the start of the seventh day, or the Day of the Lord. It says in Revelations 16: 10 that the beast and his kingdom is full of darkness. With a concordance and looking up the word darkness one discovers from Jesus word that those who do not follow him will be in darkness. Those that are caught up to be with him are in his presence and that God is the light of heaven
It is also interesting that since the Biblical start of the world we are entering the seventh day or the Day of the Lord. There were roughly four thousand years before Christ’s birth and two thousand years since. At a thousand years for a day we are definitely dawning on the seventh day. Another reason to believe we may be nearing the end. Actually there is no end. There is only a change of situation and relationship.
Mark of the Beast
Another thing people are dwelling on is the mark of the beast. That can get very weird, but there may be a simple explanation for it. If one takes the alphabet and attributes numbers for letters. Such as A= 1 B=2 C=3 and so on. Then take the Hebrew alphabet and the letter that translates into the English W is the sixth letter. Based on that the letters WWW in Hebrew could be translated 666. As Satan is not omnipotent the web is as close as he can come. It is something to ponder.
If you turn on the news channel on your television it quickly becomes clear who is at work in the world today. It says in Isaiah 54:16 God created the waster to destroy. In other words Satan does all God allows him to do. It will all work out the way God plans for it to in the end. That is something Satan does not seem to grasp. He has no power over us other than what we give him. We chose to be weak and surrender to get things and our way in this world. What many do not realize is that God’s way is the High Way. If we are not living in line with God’s Word we are living a dangerous life.
The purpose of this writing is not to try and set a date for the end. Jesus made it clear we would not know the hour or the day. However he did say we would be able to discern the time. Seventy years from 1947 would be 2017. That would be the end of the 500 year period, but in Daniel he speaks of a 490 y He also mentions and additional forty five years. ear period. That would put the end in 2007 but guess what we are still here. Was the first half of Daniel’s seventieth week fulfilled at the time of Christ? It is not why he informed us of the events that were to come. He informed us so we could help lead other souls to the Lord. That is our purpose for being and it should be the focus of our lives.
It is funny Jesus taught in parables and most of us do not get them. When you consider his first miracle was in essence a parable it would pay us to get it figured out. The Word of God makes it clear that knowledge can keep us from destruction. Yet many wander aimlessly without a clue. Not knowing and not caring. Often I hear it said God’s love is unconditional. That is not true, because if it were we would still be in the Garden of Eden and Satan would still be in heaven. However we are not, so that means he expects things of us. One of the principle ones is obedience and reverence for him and his Word.
The parable I was speaking of is when Jesus turned the water into wine. He took six [the number of man] earthen vessels [what man is made from] and filled them with water [the substance of life] and turned it into wine [filled it with the spirit]. That is pretty neat I think. Even with that God created plants at a higher level than us. Why is that, well plants make oxygen, they can live without us but we can’t live without them. They need carbon dioxide to survive, but they can get that from the smoke of fires. God loves green things. That can be proven by reading Revelations 4: 3 where it states God’s throne is surrounded by and emerald [green] rainbow. If you have ever flown you have seen some of the many shades of green that make up the earth. It also says in the Bible that God hates those who destroy the earth. Just some points to ponder if you are one of those that has it all figured out.
Basically if we are lost it is because we do not want to be found. Many Christians do not want to deal with issues and problems in their lives. They feel they would have to give up to much. The truth is they would be free from the
bondage of life if they would surrender to the Lord. That is hard to do. God won’t force His Will on us. Satan does not hesitate to try and make things look good and enticing, but that is how he operates.
If one is not walking in the way one should that can be a very humbling experience if you are smart enough to learn from your mistakes. If God or the Bible mean nothing to you it may be easy to overlook it all. However my understanding is that ignorance is not bliss. It is just a way of heaping fire on the coals so to speak. In James 2:19 it makes it clear even the demons know God and tremble. The Bible also says all one has to do is look at all the signs of creation before us and we cannot help but believe. Some say I do not believe all that stuff. I believe in evolution.
It is far easier for me to believe some divine force created it all than believe that order springs from chaos. It really denies the laws of physics as I understand them. Once things come into existence they begin to decay not create or become something new. The only thing evolution does is deny the view that we are responsible for our actions. It is much easier to go thru life, for some, not feeling the need to be accountable. After all I am just “surviving” is the logic they operate from.
Creation means things have order and from order comes purpose and reason. Things do not just happen. As for me that means a lot. It gives me peace and a sense of direction in my life. I am not hopelessly drifting waiting for the next asteroid to wipe us out. Even if it does wipe us out. My life had purpose and meaning while I was here. God does not answer to me. He is in charge and there is purpose in all he does.
To me one that has no direction, no purpose and no meaning to life is a person I cannot understand. If all we can do is hang on till we die. Why waste the time. It is not going to matter anyhow. Why not just get in the checkout line. Which is what a lot of the people on substance abuse are doing one high at a time. After all it does not matter. We are not going to get out of here alive anyhow. If one can truly believe all that, it makes for the saddest state of existence I can even imagine. It seems to me that somewhere down the line they missed something. Of course they say I found something that does not exist or matter.
In answer to that I have to say this. I can’t prove either one of us is right beyond a shadow of a doubt. However if I am wrong, all I have done is lived a life where I tried to hurt no one and help others as much as I am able and make my existence mean something. If I am wrong, and they are right, according to them, all that happens to me is nothing. Yet if I am right and they are wrong where does that leave them? Well I do not even like to think about that. That is scary.
Are We in the End Times?
The question of if we are in the end times is one of the most frequent questions I hear as I travel around and talk to people. What is surprising to me it that people who do not believe in the Bible or God do believe the world is headed towards destruction or an end as we know it. What is strange is that many of the reasons they give are the same ones that Jesus gave as signs of his coming.
Even the apostles believed it was the time of the end and that the end was eminent. When you read in Revelations 22:12-13 and 19-20 Christ says, “Surely I come quickly.” Also James 5:8, 1st Peter 2:9, 1st Peter 4:7 for a few references. It also says in Jude 18 that many will mock those who say it is the end time. Peter reinforces that in 2nd Peter 3:3-4 by telling how there will be scoffers walking after their own lusts and saying where is the promise of his coming. They will argue nothing has changed since the beginning of creation. They go even farther today and even question if there was a creation at all.