"Should I flee America the Babylon now?"
"How Will We?"
"I'm worried about having kids due Jesus' warning 'woe to the pregnant and nursing.'"
Jesus' warning (Mt 24:19) is in a very specific context about those who witness the Abomination of Desolation happen on Adar 1 (1290 days point) and yet have not fled to safety already. They must now drop everything and go in a "dead run" to the safe location that the faithful are already at (maybe having left for at the 1335 days point, 45 days earlier).
Even the 1335 day point of casual fleeing under the leadership of Elijah will probably itself come after an extended period of worldwide warning rumors (I think lasting two years - Jer 51:46). If you are paying attention at that time, I bet you will know when it's best to stop having children, if that is even the advise at the time to the faithful.
Besides the points above, one thing that the history of people believing "the end is near" surely proves is that it's unwise to put your life on hold over end time speculation or let it influence your major life decisions. Normal life so far has always turned out to go on longer than anyone expected without an interruption by the end. I trust God to step in and tell us when that is about to change so we can make any changes that are needed in our plans.
"What is your church affiliation?"
I used to like to answer this question with "I have the same church affiliation as Abraham and Jesus." But Christians didn't seem to get it :(.
So to spell it out... The first point of this answer was that just like all OT or NT saints, I have no church affiliation (as in a denomination or other manmade organization). Because this is strange and disturbing to Christians, the second point I was trying to make with this answer was that from the perspective of all saints in history, this is completely normal and acceptable. Jesus and Abraham were part of the church according to the original correct definition: the ekklesia or "called out ones." They were both called out of the world to be set apart or different for God. No organization has ever been needed to serve God, to grow spiritually, to be safe spiritually or even to encourage each other to good works (Heb 10:25).
"What are your credentials? Are you a pastor?"
I have been given no credentials by any institution. I've not been ordained as pastor by any denomination. I have not been to a theological seminary, either. But according to the Bible, all that is about as relevant to having true Bible wisdom as me never having gone to college for a computer science degree was to my successful twenty year computer programming career.
These are the verses I am referring to:
Acts 4:13 (KJV) Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
John 7:14-15 (NIV) 14 Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.
15 The Jews were amazed and asked, "How did this man get such learning without having studied?"
MacArthur NT Commentary has this to say on it:
It was most likely the indignant and hostile Jewish authorities, who continually felt threatened by Jesus, who led the attack on Him by questioning His credentials. They exclaimed, "How has this man become learned, having never been educated?" (Later, they would be similarly stunned by the powerful preaching of the "uneducated and untrained" Peter and John [Acts 4:13].) Their point was not that Jesus demonstrated ignorance, but that He had received no formal training in the prescribed rabbinic schools. In today's terms, He had not been to seminary or been ordained by any formal ecclesiastical body. Since they could not refute Jesus' teaching, they questioned His credentials challenging His authority to teach because He lacked an authorized education and legitimate right to teach. The implication was that His words should be disregarded as merely the opinion of a self-styled intruder who had no true connection to the established and authoritative fraternity of teachers.
Thus, by modern (Christian) religious standards, I am an unlearned man just like Jesus and the apostles were by First Century religious standards.
But if the question about credentials is simply a way of asking what makes me an expert worth listening to, then my recommendation is to not listen to me or anyone else on that but decide for yourself. Read my many free articles and verify what I say against the Bible. This is the Berean test that the Bible says is the noble way to go about it (Acts 17:11). Don't substitute anyone's judgment for your own. This is the approach I take in assembling my own teachings.
"Have any well-known Christian authors or leaders endorsed your book?"
Not that I know of so far (2012) and I would not hold your breath. Anyone with fame and leadership roles has too much to lose by endorsing a posttribulation rapture prophecy book. Nevertheless, several pastors have bought my book and liked it. Even some "pretribbers" have bought the book to my surprise and appreciated what was in it even if they still maintained their rapture position. However, I would submit that judging Bible teachings by mainstream Christian endorsements or lack thereof is not going to help you find the books with the most truth.
"Why do you link sites with false/incorrect/contradictory/blasphemous information?"
Short answer: Because that's the only type of sites there are in the world =).
Long answer: When I link a page, usually the context will tell you the reason for the link or the specific information there I thought would be helpful to the reader for further detail or explanation. Of course there is always other information there I was not sending you there for. A link to a page does not mean the page cannot have statements I disagree with or know are false. There is no perfect page or site to link to. You either accept that or you stop researching out of fear of getting false ideas.
I used to attend a church that discouraged reading dissident or questionable literature. They made us afraid to investigate what the other side said on things. Investigating these ideas cannot hurt us, but it can exercise our minds and improve our discernment:
Hebrews 5:14 (ESV) But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
I hope this explanation helps you feel less bothered by any questionable information you may find at sites I link to.
"Do you live in Costa Rica to escape the Tribulation or other end times events?"
I live in Costa Rica for the wonderful weather and cultural experience. My plan to "escape all these things" as Jesus said (Lk 21:36) is to do exactly what the Bible says all his servants will be told to do in the end times which is move to a place prepared, and it is definitely not Costa Rica. See my book for the full story from the Bible.
"You say Planet X is Revelation's Wormwood that does not directly hit us but Revelation says Wormwood is a star not a planet that falls upon 1/3 of the waters. How do you account for this?"
The first answer is that "Planet X" is a misnomer. It is the term coined by NASA for any as yet undiscovered planet orbiting the sun after Pluto, the 9th planet (X of course being the Roman Numeral for 10 or tenth). However, the little information leaked from NASA and other scientists that we have says that Planet X is actually not a classic non-luminous planet (except only by reflected light) but a red or brown drawf (a small star). This fits with what Revelation says about Wormwood as a star that "burns like a lamp" in the sky.
The second answer is that the 3rd trumpet does not say Wormwood directly hits the earth but only that it "falls upon 1/3 of the waters." If you want to see Revelation describe a direct impact on the earth from an extraterrestrial object, see the 2nd trumpet, or even the 1st trumpet for multiple where each time the complete collateral damage is itemized. The language there is much different. Its impossible for an impact to affect only 1/3 of the waters and not also damage land, people, crops, etc. as you see described for the major direct impacts of the 1st and 2nd trumpets. Also, if an object large enough to shine on its own hit the earth, all life would be over right then (or even if our own moon hit us). A direct hit is clearly then not what is being described given all of this. Instead, it must be referring to the tail (that we must be passing through) raining down and poisoning the waters. If we are not passing through a tail of Wormwood, then there is no way to explain the progression of tiny to large objects impacting the earth from the 6th seal through the 3rd trumpet while Wormwood is described as seen shining in the sky after it all (instead of lodged in the side of the earth!).
"If you are a doing God's Work to warn people, why do you charge for your research? Are you in this for the money?"
Actually, unlike a ministry, I make no claim or pretense that I have a "calling from God" to do what I am doing. (If I did make such a claim, I had better show you some miracles as proof of this like Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha, Jesus, the apostles, Paul, etc. all did-in addition to teaching according to the Scripture.) Instead, I have chosen on my own to write on Bible topics because A) I enjoy it, B) I have been told I have good writing style and understanding, and C) in all honesty, yes, I am partly "in this for the money",not exclusively but as Paul said:
1 Corinthians 9:14 (HCSB) — In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel.
So I see no shame in admitting that I expect to and need to make money from Bible teaching as I have a family to support. If I could not charge for my research then I could not justify spending the time it takes to write it down and share it. I am responsible for "taking care of my own" (1Ti 5:8) and I do not consider the typical begging that goes on an acceptable way to discharge that responsibility (see Ps 37:25 for why). On the contrary, the Bible teaches that the "laborer is worthy of his hire" (Lk 10:7). In other words, rather than begging, we should find work we are skilled at and can get paid for. This is the principle I am operating under in bringing EscapeAllTheseThings.com to you, instead of claiming some apostolic calling that I frankly do not see anywhere today.
"Doesn't 'freely you have received, freely give' mean you cannot charge for anything teaching God's Word as you are?
This misconception comes from applying a statement directed at Jesus' apostles in the first century, to me in the 21st century. He called them for a special mission of evangelism to all nations. They freely received what they needed including teaching and equipping in order to accomplish that mission. Today, I have not been given their mission nor the free equipping to accomplish it. I have had to pay for my Bibles, PC, electricity to run it, food and rent while I research and study the Bible and spend years figuring out things that they were told plainly. It costs money to write and print books; it's not free.
On the other hand, if someone would like to support me financially to make it so I do "freely receive" my necessities while I write, then I would gladly "freely give" the fruits of my labor. Any takers...? (Didn't think so!) =)
When Jesus told the apostles, “Freely you have received; freely give,” he was NOT talking about the preaching or teaching (or by extension teaching by selling books)! We can know this for sure if you go down further where he tells them they are “worthy” of their hire/wages for that. The teaching they did came from their own mind and time and effort which it is fair for everyone to be paid for.
In contrast to that, the one thing they received freely and could not charge for (just as Elisha refused to accept payment for – 2Ki 5:16) is for healing and deliverance. Luke records how Jesus gave both the 12 and the 72 “power and authority over demons and every disease.” This supernatural/divine power was not to be used for financial gain because it was given freely to them for ministry.
So this “freely you have received/give” passage is not a universal instruction to all believers telling them they are not allowed to charge for anything related to the Bible or the truth, etc. as Christians love to wield it against teachers.
More on this question of why it is OK to charge.
"Are both the electronic and printed versions of your books the same?"
Yes, and the reason why the page counts differ is because the eBook is formatted to fit the standard Letter printer page format while the printed book is using a smaller paperback half-page size. This way you can buy my eBooks and print them yourself on your printer. This is what the term "printable eBook" means.
Tim, didn't you make enough money already from your "Left Behind" series!?
Does two people in one year mistaking me for Tim Lahaye count as a frequently asked question? I'm not making this up. (I guess Tim McHyde and Tim LaHaye are somewhat similar at a glance). Both times they were upset that I was charging people for "vital survival information that God had shown me" (their words!). See next question.
"How can you charge people for information that is vital for survival / is God's Word?"
While my end time Bible prophecy breakthroughs to understand Revelation literally in its plain sense is helpful and thrilling, I would never call it "vital for survival" nor "the word of God." I'm not a prophet who received revelation from God. I am just someone who diligently researched and analyzed the words of someone who was a prophet, namely John, who did receive the Word of God and wrote the book of Revelation.
The price on my book is not stopping someone from studying their Bible themselves. Buying my book will save them time and of course reward the teacher as Paul talked about (1Cor 9:14). But regardless, this information is not vital for survival. It would be unfair of God to make it so that you have to understand such a difficult prophetic book in order to survive. Nevertheless, it is a thrill and great blessing to understand and "keep the sayings of this book" as Revelation 22 says.
"Don't You Know Jesus' Real Name is Yeshua? Why Do You Use Jesus (a Pagan Name)?"
For Christians this is not a frequent question but a strange, even offensive one. But it is common from well-meaning Messianic, Hebrew Roots or "sacred namer" folks.
And that leads directly to my reason for not using Yeshua, even though I know it is the more accurate transliteration of the Messiah's name into English. My audience is primarily Christian so I use the word they know for the Messiah (Jesus) instead of one they don't (Yeshua).
And more importantly, seeing the word Yeshua in place of Jesus is an unnecessary distraction for my visitors. Remember, they came here looking to get answers on Bible prophecy, not to be confused by seeing sacred names which by the way imply to them that Jesus is a bad word (or why avoid using it?). But Jesus is not a bad or pagan word; it's just a poor transliteration of the Messiah's Hebrew name. People are saved, healed and do miracles in the name of Jesus. God knows who we mean even if probably few of us pronounce the Messiah's Hebrew name right.
The important thing is doing what the Messiah said to enter the Kingdom (love thy neighbor for God)(Mt 19:17-19); it's not about how accurately we try to write or say his name. So let us not make an issue out of what names different parts of the Body use to refer to Christ (and God).