All posts by Nate

About Nate

I am founder and pastor of Burning Bush Temple of Christ. I have been preaching and teaching the word of God since 1986. I also have a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit named: Burning Bush Community Enrichment Services. I worked for Chrysler (FCA, LLC) for 23 years. I am married to a wonderful woman, Teresa, and together we are invested in helping people and communities.

THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT

The watchman

The president of the United States of America is our watchman.  We expect him/her to be the first to sound the national alarm when there is danger.

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:” Ezek. 3:17 


As we approach the fourth quarter of the year 2020 the moral of the country has fallen to a level not seen for over two generations.  In the first three months of the year we witnessed, what came to be known as, covid-19 or, coronavirus.  A deadly virus that would eventually get the attention of the whole world.

By mid-January word of this virus had already breached the White House.  The President received word of this deadly intruder in his daily briefing.  Unfortunately, this was an election year, and to this President, all things were political.

Danger! Should have rang out across the country like the sound of a five-alarm fire.  But instead we were comfortable in our homes recuperating from long Christmas family get togethers and, the New Year’s parties, oblivious to the danger lurking in our country.

The President and his men were huddled in the west wing coming up with a strategy to keep everything on the down low.  After all, he couldn’t have anything in the media that could hurt his re-election chances.

In the Bible, God commissioned Ezekiel to be a watchman for the nation of Israel.  He was appointed to guard the nation, keep watch over them and, to alert them of any danger that threatened so that they could take action to save their lives.

Covid-19 has completely ravaged our nation.  We are like a rudderless ship in a storm.  Scientists and experts project that by the end of the year we will have lost an estimated quarter of a million lives to this virus.  What was once unthinkable is upon us.

If there was any nation on earth that should have been prepared and able to meet and deal with this pandemic the United States of America should have been the one.  We are the richest, have the best medical universities the world over and, we have the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).  We set the global standard that every other country looks to for guidance and support.

Is it fair to say our leaders have failed us?  Well, recent reports have been revealed that our president openly admitted playing the dangers of the virus down.  He knew as early as March that it affected children just as badly as adults.  Despite there being no national plan, he encouraged large and small businesses, as well as churches to reopen.  He discouraged the use of masks and belittled anyone who did wear them.  He even threatened to withhold federal funds from states that refused to go along with him.  He held in-door rallies where people didn’t wear masks or social distanced.  In the wake of reckless governance tens of thousands of innocent people lost their lives.

Our president, commander in chief, leader of the free world was supposed to be helping us.  But instead he was helping the virus.

 

Nathaniel Stalling Jr.

 

BEING FULLY TAUGHT

Acts 18:24-26 (Appollos); Revelations 2:12-16 (Nicolatians)

John identifies the teaching of Balaam with two problems: “eating food sacrificed to idols” and “sexual immorality”.

The early church constantly struggled with compromises with paganism, as we see in Paul’s long discussion in 1 Corinthians 8 – 10, as well as in the conclusions reached in Acts 15:20, 29.  Both of these center on food offered to idols, Paul’s conclusion being that one could eat such food if purchased in the marketplace, but one should not go to a meal in a pagan temple.

Following this Pauline rule, however, would cut one off from membership in trade guilds, patriotic celebrations (including ceremonies honoring the emperor, considered essential to good citizenship) and many family celebrations.  We can easily see the pressure to rationalize and thereby develop a compromise.

The issue of sexual immorality is more difficult, for it is also mentioned in Revelation 2:20, 22, in the case of Jezebel (an Old Testament code word for a New Testament woman leader of the church in Thyatira, indicating her spirit and God’s evaluation, rather than the woman’s actual name).  On the one hand, sexual immorality was a problem in the early church, as Paul’s discussions show (1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:12-20; compare Hebrews 13:4).

In the middle of a pagan society that accepted the use of prostitutes (although wives were expected to remain faithful), it was difficult to remain obedient on this point and relatively easy to compromise.

On the other hand, “sexual immorality” was used in the Old Testament for involvement with pagan deities.  For example, the Old Testament Jezebel was not to our knowledge physically immoral – she was likely faithful to Ahab all her life – but she did lead Israel into Baal worship.  Since Israel was Gods’ “bride”, such involvement with other gods was called “adultery” or “sexual immorality”.

If then, John is taking the Old Testament examples as the basis for his discussion; the sexual immorality is figurative, standing for their worship of other deities, which was implied in their attending feasts in idol temples.

The Nicolatians, then, appear to be a group that corrupted Gods’ people by suggesting compromise with the culture of the day.  Whie the exact issues are different, similar compromises face the church today.  Each society has its own “idols” that it expects all its citizens to worship, whether those idols be the government itself or some values or practices of the society.  Furthermore, the Nicolatians are still with us under a variety of names, for there are always people who in the name of being “realistic” or under any number of other theological justifications counsel compromise with the dominant culture.  This passage warns us that Jesus will not “buy” these justifications.  He demands nothing less than total loyalty to his own person and directions.  Anything less than this will put those who compromise in danger of his judgement.

PROVIDENCE

PROVIDENCEn03122_esther[1].gif
We live in a world governed by a system of laws, natural or spiritual. But in the back of all law, natural or spiritual, there is One who upholds and controls them all, and uses them for His glory:
“…who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power,” … Hebrews 1:3 NKJV
With so much going on around the world, especially in the United States of America, it is no wonder anxiety is high. Many people are forced to stay home from work because safe distancing has become the new order of the day. Then there are others who must work to keep the rest of us safe. The first responders, emergency medical technicians, police officers, doctors, nurses; they all stand on the front line to thwart the invisible dangers head on. They too, are beginning to fall victim to this ravaging virus that have broken out among us.
I would like to offer another perspective on what appear to be a hopeless situation. I would like to steer your attention to a book that I hold above every other book on the planet. The Bible. In this book there’s a story titled after a woman named Esther. If you ever want to see and understand the Providence of God, how He work behind the scenes and, bring everything to a good and perfect end, this is the book for you. The intelligence and wisdom of Providence is revealed in this book.
A man once said, “Fate is blind. Providence has eyes. Fatalism says, whatever is, must be. Providence says, whatever God ordains must be.”
What’s really peculiar about this book is that the name of God is not found in it. Yet, His fingerprints are everywhere. From the time Esther’s’ name was placed in contention to replace Queen Vashti in the Persian empire God stood at a distance, not showing Himself openly.
This is the distinctive feature of Providence in a broad sense. Providence is secret, mysterious, and even unintelligible until its ends are revealed.
We can be sure that God is working for our good, even if we can’t see it, or understand it we can rest with confidence that:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”. Romans 8:28 NKJV

Nathaniel Stalling Jr
Elder

THIS TOO, WILL PASS.

Jesus-Christ-on-the-cross[2].jpg
If there is one thing, we the human race, know to be true, it is we will survive. After all, we are the crown of Gods’ creation. For there to be any other outcome would not prove we failed, but that He (God) did. We know for sure God does not fail.
Let’s look at some examples:
• When we (humans) threaten to use the divine law of unity for evil (Genesis chapter 11) God had to intervene to save us from ourselves. 4They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” 5The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. 7“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 9Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth”.
• When we (humans) had sank low into immoral depravity and ungodliness during the days of Noah, a preacher of righteousness, God provided safety for eight people to start again. “And every living thing on the face of the earth was destroyed–man and livestock, crawling creatures and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth, and only Noah remained, and those with him in the ark”. Genesis 7:23
• Persecution of the early church had occurred sporadically and in localized areas since its beginning. The first persecution of Christians organized by the Roman government took place under the emperor Nero in 64 AD after the Great Fire of Rome.
These are only a few instances, out of many, that we as Christians and, as human beings, survived.
This virus that is plaguing the whole world, this Covid-19 virus, will not win. We have faced plagues, floods, famines and, persecutions before. None have proven to prevail. I can say with complete confidence that ‘THIS TOO, WILL PASS.
Nathaniel Stalling Jr
Elder

When God Speaks In Turbulent Times

WHEN GOD SPEAKS IN TURBULENT TIMES
COVID-19
A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
What does God say about times like this?
Solomon, Israel’s wisest king, wrote this in the book of Ecclesiastes:
“In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider- God has made the one as well as the other So that man will not discover anything that will be after him”. Eccles. 7:14 NASB

Just a few weeks before Easter Sunday the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is giving his daily briefing on the novel coronavirus sweeping through the United States and particularly, through his State or New York.
New York, as governor Cuomo puts it, is the proverbial canary in a coal mine. He lays out the staggering number of cases and deaths that seem to double daily. He seems to make it plain that this isn’t some foreign far away problem. He implies that what you see happening in New York is coming to your neighborhood, soon.
Washington State, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and, Louisiana are beginning to show signs of internal stress on their hospitals/medical systems. All fifty states are under some form of government shelter-in-place order. For the first time in modern history all of the major institutions of worship closed. The Vatican cancels public participation at pope’s Easter events due to Covid-19. These are unprecedented measures in modern times.
There are some that refuse to adhere to such restrictive measures that our scientists, medical professionals and, ministers of faith are suggesting. Instead, some are going about saying that God does not want us to live in fear. I beg to differ. You had better fear. Anything less would leave you and your loved ones vulnerable to a needless death.

Paul, writing to the Christians at Corinth, said:
“I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling…” I Cor. 2:3 NASB
The light and shade in man’s life are equally under God’s ordering and permission.
Fear is not something that we can altogether do away with. It has a place and, a part to play in our lives. It keeps a proper restraint on our, sometimes, abuse of freedoms:
“And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy but with fear, loathing even the clothing spotted and polluted by their shameless immoral freedom”. Jude 22, 23 AMP
My hope and prayer is that you stay safe and not abuse your freedom.

Nathaniel Stalling Jr
Elder

The Worlds’ Only Superpower

        
 

THE SOLE SUPERPOWER ON EARTH

August 1, 2019

Only a few nations have risen to superpower status over the centuries, but without exception, they have all fallen victim, primarily, to the same enemy. I will talk more about that shortly.

As an American I can tell you with reasonable confidence that a majority of Americans take great pride in being the ‘Sole Superpower’ on the planet. I can only imagine how the people of a previous ‘Superpower’ felt when it was said of them in the 19th century, “The empire on which the sun never sets”. This of course was the British Empire, of which its territory spanned the globe. There was nowhere on the planet where the sun didn’t always shine on ‘some part’ of British ruled territory.

The decline of the British Empire was on public display in 1997 when Prince Charles wrote in his, then private journal, while flying back from attending the handover of the colony of Hong Kong to China, “Such is the end of Empire, I sighed to myself,”

While researching another ‘Superpower’ that enjoyed this status some 2,500 years ago I came upon something exceptionally astonishing and unique to great empires. I happened upon J.R Fears and something he wrote entitled, “REFLECTIONS ON THE RISE AND FALL OF EMPIRES”.

After clicking on the above link and reading the article by J.R Fears I’m sure you came away with the same thing I did. We are living in a perilous time for our country. Everyone of us should be concerned. We are witnessing for the first time in American history ALL the signs that toppled every empire from Darius, the King of the Persians, to the present time.

“The greatest mistake made by those in power, like Darius, was the sin of hybris.  That Greek word means “outrageous arrogance.”  Hybris (and that is the way it should be transliterated) is the outrageous arrogance that marks the abuse of power.  Only those invested with enormous power can commit the sin of hybris.  Hybris is the imposition of your will, at all costs.  The Greeks believed that hybris was preceded by ate or moral blindness that makes you believe that you can do anything you want to and there will be no consequences from either Gods or men.  It was this hybris that led Darius to undertake a preemptive war against Athens.  It was his moral blindness that believed he would never know defeat.  He ignored all the warnings that the Gods sent him because he felt so secure in his power”.


By: J.R Fears

Does this look and sound like America today? If we fail to learn the lessons of the past, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

Nathaniel Stalling Jr.

nstalling@gmail.com

About Christianity

“I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion (faith), and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity, I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man”.

-Alexander Hamilton

 

Claim

  • Christianity is a relationship. It is the only faith that embraces the concept of God intermingling with His own creation as a human being.

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”. John 1:14 NIV

From the very beginning the bible states that “It is not good for man to be alone”. Genesis 2:18;

then under the New Covenant it says “Where two or three come together in my name there I’ll be”. Matthew 18:20 NIV

Again, we read, “Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” Ecclesiastes 4:11 NIV

https://www.gotquestions.org/Christianity-religion-relationship.html

 

Reasoning

  • Always be prepared to give an answer (Reason) for the Hope you have in what you believe.

    “But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord.

    Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident

    assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect”. 1 Peter 3:15 AMP

 

  • When the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ was discovered in a series of twelve caves around the site known as Wadi Qumran near the Dead Sea in the West Bank (of the Jordan River) between 1946 and 1956 by Bedouin shepherds and a team of archeologists it gave ample proof to the validity of the Christian Scriptures.

Manuscript evidence for superior New Testament reliability

by Matt Slick
12/10/08

The New Testament is constantly under attack, and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics.  If the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer.  This is because the New Testament documents are better-preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writings.  Because they are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy . . . and they are very consistent.

There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.1 If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity.2

 

 

Author

Date
Written

Earliest Copy

Approximate Time Span between original & copy

Number of Copies

Accuracy of Copies

Lucretius

died 55 or 53 B.C.

  

1100 yrs

2

—-

Pliny

A.D. 61-113

A.D. 850

750 yrs

7

—-

Plato

427-347 B.C.

A.D. 900

1200 yrs

7

—-

Demosthenes

4th Cent. B.C.

A.D. 1100

800 yrs

8

—-

Herodotus

480-425 B.C.

A.D. 900

1300 yrs

8

—-

Suetonius

A.D. 75-160

A.D. 950

800 yrs

8

—-

Thucydides

460-400 B.C.

A.D. 900

1300 yrs

8

—-

Euripides

480-406 B.C.

A.D. 1100

1300 yrs

9

—-

Aristophanes

450-385 B.C.

A.D. 900

1200

10

—-

Caesar

100-44 B.C.

A.D. 900

1000

10

—-

Livy

59 BC-AD 17

—-

???

20

—-

Tacitus

circa A.D. 100

A.D. 1100

1000 yrs

20

—-

Aristotle

384-322 B.C.

A.D. 1100

1400

49

—-

Sophocles

496-406 B.C.

A.D. 1000

1400 yrs

193

—-

Homer (Iliad)

900 B.C.

400 B.C.

500 yrs

643

95%

New
Testament

1st Cent. A.D. (A.D. 50-100)

2nd Cent. A.D.
(c. A.D. 130 f.)

less than 100 years

5600

99.5%

As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing.  The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure.  That is an amazing accuracy.  In addition, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages.  The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

Almost all biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the First Century.  If Jesus was crucified in A.D. 30., then that means the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned–people who could have contested the writings.  In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out.  But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the First Century that contest the New Testament texts.

Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing (John Rylands Papyri A.D. 125).  This is extremely close to the original writing date.  This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing, and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a First Century document.

Below is a chart with some of the oldest extant New Testament manuscripts compared to when they were originally penned.  Compare these time spans with the next closest, which is Homer’s Iliad, where the closest copy from the original is 500 years later.  Undoubtedly, that period of time allows for more textual corruption in its transmission.  How much less so for the New Testament documents?