Remnant Report – November 17, 2016

It’s been over a week since the U.S. presidential election, and things have remained interesting (to put it mildly!). All around the world, things are happening. In Portland, violent protestors (many of whom who didn’t even vote) are throwing a colossal anti-Trump tantrum. In Israel, prime minister Netanyahu had a much different reaction – looking forward to working with the new president. The Palestinian Authority was less friendly, by instead looking forward to unleashing all weapons if Trump moves the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Hmmph. That would be a bummer. Well, whoever said “you can’t please all the people all of the time” was right!

In the Remnant Report, we don’t forget the Biblical perspective. Whether the news looks good or bad to man, there’s always God’s perspective as well. And that’s what we’ll strive to see, in this issue of the Remnant Report.

“No Fake News for You!”

That’s essentially what Google is now telling it’s users. This past week Google made clear their position regarding what they call “fake news”: sites that publish fake news will essentially be penalized by Google. Currently, Google and Facebook are preventing ads on their ad networks from appearing on “fake news” sites. It’s a way to hurt these websites by denying them income.

The next step in this new policy will come later: outright censorship. Imagine a user searching for a topic – for instance, “President Trump” or even something like “modern Christian martyrs” or “Islamic terrorism” – and Google only showing search results that link to what it classifies as acceptable news articles. No more of those fake news articles for you!

It sounds perfectly safe and reasonable until we ask questions, such as: “Who gets to decide if something is ‘real’ or ‘fake’?”, “What is ‘fake’ or ‘real’?”, “What if a real news source is falsely labeled ‘fake’?”, and “What’s the deeper agenda behind this?”. Some people (in mainstream news) are talking about the dangers of Google’s censorship.

So…the world’s biggest search engine and social media site are gonna decide what’s OK for people to see. What could possibly go wrong?

The implications for Christians are obvious. Once all major media start censoring unacceptable news or opinions, the downward progression won’t stop. The next casualty will be so-called “hate speech” – opinions which aren’t politically correct. When that happens, traditional Biblical opinions and thought will be purged from the web. It’s happened to at least one Christian site already, NowTheEndBegins.com, which was placed on one list of “fake” news sites – a list that contains other non-mainstream legitimate news sources.)

Censorship of Christian viewpoints is coming, because the world system (a.k.a. “New World Order” or just “globalism”) is at odds with God and His Word. Biblical viewpoints are seen as “hateful”, “divisive”, “bigoted”, and backwards. Besides all that, the Bible says things that hurt some people’s feelings – especially in the places where God speaks against specific sinful behaviors! So this development is what is to be expected.

What should a Christian do? First of all, know that God Himself doesn’t “censor” – He allows people to make decisions and evaluate things on their own. The Creator gave us a brain that can reason (Is. 1:18), and we are expected to use it; He doesn’t shield us from ideas or decide things for us – although He instructs us in what is right! Second, know that there are many “alternate media” sources that are true – and maybe less biased – than the “mainstream media”. Read those sources instead, and the media won’t be able to dictate what you get to hear.

Regarding separating truth from lies, Jesus repeatedly admonished people to both think (“What think ye?”) and to “be not deceived”. Today, we hold the same responsibility (not a search engine!) to “buy the truth and sell it not”. God holds each individual responsible to think, reason, search the scriptures, evaluate if something is right (or not), research, and know the truth.

The Bible: Hard to Understand?

An old excuse people give has been “the Bible is too hard to understand”. I’ve heard it for decades, and I expect to hear it until the Rapture. When people say this, they often mention the “thees and thous”. I’d like to address this mindset with a few observations.

First off, it’s simply an excuse to not read the Bible.
Life has a lot of distractions. There are lots of easier things to do than sit down and read. Watching TV takes no effort, and browsing the internet is an easy way to spend waste an hour (or three). But reading the Bible takes some brain power, and it requires an attention span of at least a few minutes at a time. The excuse that the Bible is “hard to understand” is a way for someone to justify ignoring it.

Second, the Bible actually isn’t a difficult book in its style or structure. At most, many sources place it at a 12th grade reading level. Other sources say it’s approximately written at a 7th grade level, and one source placed it at a 5th grade reading level. In my own experience, I’ve seen many children read and comprehend what it says – in parts – once they take the time to read it carefully. They might have to ask what certain words mean, but they can certainly understand it with some help. This is to be expected – for a child. But most grown men or adult women really can’t cling to this excuse.

Third, the definition of words is a non-issue. We have dictionaries these days. They’ve been around for a while, actually! A dictionary is a book that shows people what words mean…which is great for when there’s a word you don’t know the meaning of…which is part of the excuse people give for not reading the Bible. And we have the internet. And we also have dictionaries on the internet. We also have Bible lexicons on the internet. We also have searchable Bible encyclopedias on the internet. All for free. There’s never been a time when we’ve had so much knowledge available to so many people, so easily, and so cheaply. So there’s no reason to let obscure or new words stop anyone from reading and understanding what a passage is saying.

Fourth, everyone knows what “thee” and “thou” mean. Come on. Everyone gets it. And the word “ye” just means “ya’ll”, which is a word that any civilized person uses.

Fifth, the Bible is a spiritual book. It has to be approached as such. It’s not a science textbook. It’s not a history textbook. It’s not an adventure story. It’s not a genealogical record. It does contain aspects of all of these things…but above all it is the Word of God. No one should expect to truly grasp a spiritual book unless they have spiritual understanding, and to have that a person much first be saved (1 Cor. 2:14). Salvation is essential to understanding God’s book.

Sixth, the Bible is inexhaustible. It’s bigger than the human mind. It’s a book that the smartest person could read 100 times, and still discover new things. We should expect that there are some things we won’t immediately comprehend (2 Peter 3:16). When that happens, try to understand…and move on. Keep reading! The thing that was hard to understand might might become clearer eventually.

I contend that the Bible is not truly hard to understand. It can be understood just fine, on a few levels, if someone will read it – that’s the real obstacle. On a purely technical level, armed with a dictionary and a high-school reading level, it can be understood. On a spiritual level, equipped with the Holy Spirit, it can be understood as well.

But without ever opening it’s pages reading the words, it’s impossible to understand.

Remnant Report – November 7, 2016

It’s the last day before Election Day in the US, and there’s been no shortage of news, controversy, and high weirdness. In the last week, WikiLeaks has continued to reveal major email scandals and something called “Spirit Cooking” connected with our possible next president, and to the surprise of many the Cubs won the World Series. That alone amounted to and end-times signs for some people, but we’re looking at bigger things than baseball!

Let’s see what’s new in this week’s Remnant Report

A Limited-Time Offer!

For a short time, you too can become part of an exciting opportunity: to serve God! It’s a limited-time offer, so act now.

Remember “…we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works…” but very soon “…the night cometh, when no man can work.”

This opportunity is subject to cancellation at any time, without notice. The night is coming; don’t be like the servant who hid his talent in the earth (Matt. 25:25).

So you might ask “what can I do for the Lord?” While the specific methods and calling are different for everyone, you can know a few things for certain. We know that God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9) and we know that Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17), and we know that God wants lost people to get saved (John 10:10 and many other verses). We also know that God draws people to Himself (John 12:32), and uses His Words spoken by people (Romans 10:14) to do it. That’s you and I!

God does have specific callings for certain people. Ask God to show you yours. But in the meantime, you can do what we all know for certain God wants us to accomplish: to be “fishers of men” (Mark 1:17).

So spread the gospel however you can, this week. Tell somebody personally. Send a letter. Post a message on Facebook. Leave a tract somewhere. Whatever you do, do something.

Celebrity (Deathbed) Confessions

A deathbed confession you may not have known about: “November 7th is the anniversary of the death of actor Steve McQueen (born March 24, 1930, died November 7, 1980). The many well-publicized exploits in his tempestuous life and his enduring persona are well known. However, the end of his life is actually the most noteworthy part of his legacy, even though it seldom gets much publicity outside of Christian circles; he came to Jesus after he had been diagnosed with mesothelioma. He died with his forefinger pointing to his key verse in his Bible – Titus 1:2.” (Source) and (More Info)

God’s Math

The Lord of creation deals extensively in numbers. You might not enjoy math (it never was my favorite subject in school!), but God seems to. His Word does happen to give significance to numbers. (He designed numbers and the principles behind them, after all.)

Numbers – and mathematics – are evident throughout all of the Creation. Everyone can observe “God’s Math”, whether or not they acknowledge the Creator. Romans 1 informs us that all of creation can plainly see evidence of God as Creator, and the numbers that are intertwined throughout the universe are just one part of that evidence.

Consider the Golden Ratio (a.k.a. the Golden Number or Phi), for instance. It exhibits unusual characteristics that have been noticed by scientists, mathematicians, artists, designers…and even theologians and mystics. This special number is shown to be embedded in the dimension of the Ark of the Covenant and also Noah’s Ark. Strangely (or, not so strangely if you believe numbers can have spiritual significance) the number 666 is said to be an “anti-Phi” number.

If you’re looking for “signs of God”, you don’t need to delve into Biblical numerology. Romans chapter 1 tells us we can simply look at the Creation. But if waterfalls, birds, stars, and oceans don’t do it for you, look no further than the numbers God has embedded everywhere in aspects of this created physical world. God is a God of order (1 Cor. 14:33) and truth (John 17:17), and there’s nothing more orderly (or requiring more strict truth) than mathematics.

Some people see the hand of God in circumstances, and if you’re looking you might see God’s signature in numerical anomalies. A contemporary example is the fact that if Donald Trump is sworn in as president on January 20, 2017, he will be 70 years, 7 months, and 7 days old. The number seven in the Bible is rich with meanings, as is the number three. (E.W. Bullinger wrote about Bible numbers long ago, and some of his findings are very interesting.)

Is this convergence of “777” with Trump a coincidence? It could be nothing more that just chance. Is it meaningless? Perhaps it is. Is it significant? It could be. We don’t know, and the prophecy teachers on YouTube probably can’t tell us much either. In the end, it probably doesn’t matter – but it’s interesting and a bit entertaining nonetheless!

One thing is for sure, however: numbers in the Bible do have significance, and God does work in the world of numbers. As far as what to watch for, it’s not signs of Trump. Primarily, we should be watching for signs of the impending Last Trump!

“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 Corinthians 15:52)

In this Hebrew year of 5777, anything can happen. No matter what, keep watching (Luke 12:37) and waiting for the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13).

Science Proves the Soul?

Every so often, science gets updated with the superior knowledge found in the Bible. In other words, while the Bible is not a book of science, whatever it speaks of is scientifically correct. God’s Word is Truth.

In regards to any subject humans have studied (history, sociology, biology, archeology, etc) the Bible is always proven correct – even if the skeptics say otherwise. Science might contradict or disregard the Bible quite often, but eventually science seems to catch up to the Bible and get things right. Everything from weather patterns to the shape of the earth to the validity of the Hebrew’s connection with the land of Israel, to the existence of King David’s palace in Jerusalem – things come to light that validate what the Bible plainly said all along.

The matter of the human soul’s existence after physical death could be another example of this. Even though their terminology is different, scientists at the respected Max Planck Institute are on the right track: they claim that human consciousness lives on after death. If you’ve read (and believed) the Bible, you knew that all along: Jesus spoke of it extensively, Paul spoke of it, John spoke of it, and even King David mentioned it (among others). We call it a “soul”. The scientists don’t fully understand and aren’t claiming proof of the eternal soul…but they know there’s more to human existence than just a physical body that dies and gets buried.

While the researchers and scientists in the article above might be on the right track, unless they read and believe the Bible they’ll never arrive at the full truth. (Bible believers can fill in the blanks for these guys, if they’re interested.) The truth is, humans will exist eternally after death – and either be with the Lord (Luke 23:43, 2 Cor. 5:8, 1 Thess. 4:17) or eventually be sent to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). It’s very serious but also very simple, and doesn’t require extensive scientific research – just simple belief (Acts 16:31).


There’s more to come next week, assuming the Rapture gets delayed another seven days! Until then, this concludes another Remnant Report. See you next time!

Remnant Report – October 31, 2016

Welcome to our new blog – the “Remnant Report”. My name is Shawn Plep, and as a member of Heritage Bible Church – and webmaster of this site – I’d like to invite you to not only listen to Greg Durel’s messages each week, but also read this blog as I post summaries of current events viewed through the lens of scripture.

Seeing this planet through spiritual eyes is important, because it’s the only way to form a clear and complete understanding of world events. When we try to comprehend the daily news – and it’s implications – without having the mind of Christ, we’re doomed to either limited knowledge or to reach totally false conclusions. So get ready to both think big, and see with spiritual eyes…as we start this first edition of the Remnant Report!

October Surprises
Daniel said that God “changeth the times and the seasons”, and this political season was in constant change (upheaval, more like it!). What does this mean?

October was a tumultuous and truly unique final month in the 2016 US presidential campaign. No matter which candidate you favor, everyone can agree there’s not been a campaign like this in basically ever. The world didn’t just get one “October Surprise”, but many! For political news addicts, the 2016 US Presidential campaign was (and still is) the gift that keeps on giving. (And no, I don’t know how to combat the impending withdrawal symptoms when it’s over.)

For those who have eyes to see, this election is about some truly yuuuge issues – with earth-changing possible outcomes. No wonder, since the passage in Daniel 2:19-23 also tells us God “removeth kings, and setteth up kings”. If God could possibly have something to do with all this, what could be at stake? I’m not prophesying the future, but here are a few small things to consider:

  • US-Israel Relations. Donald Trump has stated on a few occasions that he will finally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and move the US embassy there (from Tel Aviv). This defies the current global position, which seems to be intent on denying Israel it’s credibility and legitimacy on many levels. (Hmm, wonder who would be behind that sentiment.)
  • National Sovereignty and Borders. In Genesis 11:8 and more clearly in Acts 17:26 you can see that these little things called distinct “nations” were God’s idea. If you know anything about Trump, you know he (in)famously promises to build a wall on the southern US border. If you know anything about what’s hip in political belief today, you see the contrast: Globalism is what’s popular, politically-correct, and inevitable. But for how long, and how will the world ride off into the sunset of a supposed utopian New World Order? People might disagree with Trump’s goal of building a wall, but the ancient “landmark” of borders is a Biblical concept.
  • US-Russo Relations. When we went to Tennessee once to visit the Smoky Mountain National Park, my family and I encountered a bear on the trail we were hiking. I did not poke it; instead, we had a quick family meeting and made an immediate change in our route. (“EVERYONE RUN!!”) I prefer peaceful relations with bears, and most Americans would prefer peaceful relations with the Russian bear as well. We’ve had some rough patches under the current administration, and heard some critical comments of Putin/the Russians from the other candidate. To be fair, we don’t know how US-Russian relations would be under Trump…but he seems to not want to poke any bears. Either way, Syria looks like it’s gonna be Russia’s stomping ground for a while anyway. But we already knew that, didn’t we?

Iron and Clay
If you’ve noticed a lot more robots lately, don’t get paranoid (yet). There are more robots – everywhere. Not only can you eat chips and watch your smart TV while your Roomba vacuums your living room, but you don’t even need to get out of bed on Saturday morning to mow your lawn. Your Robomow can do it for you! How did grandpa ever manage without one?

What a life! I’ve seen the future, and it is…happening now! From the time you wake up from your artificially-intelligent computerized alarm clock, your can interact with devices powered by AI (“artificial intelligence”) all day. During your morning drive, you can talk to Siri on your iPhone to plan your tasks. When you get home you can tell your Amazon Echo to pick some music for you (based on what it “knows” you would enjoy). You never have to leave this “web” of connectivity if you don’t want to! (In fact, you probably can’t leave…even if you really want to.)

All this AI and all these computers and robots can save us mere humans a great deal of time. And we don’t need to be afraid of technology, because it’s not here to hurt us. Right? Riiiight? Uh-oh:

We might not at “Terminator” levels of robot infestation yet, but SkyNet could be around the corner. (After all, our skies DO seem to filled with drones nowadays.) The thing we never expected in our sci-fi would be that the robot takeover would take the form of Transhumanism: the melding together of humans with technology. Never heard of it before? Well, it’s big-time stuff – even if you haven’t been conscious of it.

Many of the big-brained innovators at Google are improving AI and ways people can interface with machines. HBO is currently producing the popular show Westworld, maybe showing what they’ll be able to accomplish. A company in California named Abyss Creations is building robots meant to “replace” humans for certain types of companionship. And just like the beast out of the abyss, the Bible saw it all coming. Daniel specifically, was shown and foretold what would happen during the time of the last days:

(Daniel 2:43) “And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”

This verse has layers of meaning, which only today can we begin to understand. One thing that’s obvious, however, is that in the end times, the devil will influence and inspire mankind towards ever-improving technology in a false promise of increased knowledge and immortality. I suspect that there may be more than just man gaining some conveniences with transhumanist tech: there’s a ghost in the machine. (Or, more likely, it’s a demon.)

And all I ever wanted was a flying car.

Jack Chick, This Was Your Life!
Finally, we say goodbye to Jack Chick – who went to be with the Lord on October 23. Jack Chick was the somewhat mysterious (and legendary) creator of comic gospel tracts including the well-known THIS WAS YOUR LIFE. That “Chick tract” and others like it have been left in countless phone booths, laundromats, newspaper racks, and bus stops since they became popular in the 70s.

As a teenager in the early 1990s, this author remembers being handed a Chick tract outside a K&B Drug Store in New Orleans. (And yes, the tract was THIS WAS YOUR LIFE.) I got saved a couple of years after I’d read that tract – so I give Jack Chick at least partial credit for the gospel finally having an impact on me!

There could’ve only been one Jack Chick. Thankfully, he used his unique talents to influence others for the gospel of Christ. He used his opportunity, and now his race is done.

Each of us reading this is still here, however. We’re still running. What can you do for the Lord, in the time you have left? Let’s all make sure we use our time wisely, and do all we can do for the Lord while there’s still opportunity.


Well, that’s all we have for this launch of the Remnant Report. Until next time, Vaya Con Dios.