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Tag Archives: The History Channel

Is This Really Happening?

In 1997, Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts starred in Conspiracy Theory.  Gibson plays Jerry Fletcher, an outspoken critic of the government who is obsessed by numerous theories that he believes to be true.  Paranoid by the thoughts in his mind, Gibson’s character is portrayed as crazy, a lunatic that needs to be locked up in a mental hospital.  Meanwhile, Roberts plays Alice Sutton, a sympathetic lawyer from the Justice Department who humors Fletcher until some of his theories turn out to be true.

At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another, Matthew 24:10.

Early in the first century, a man from Nazareth developed a large following.  Without any formal education or schooling, this preacher puzzled religious leaders.  Experts of the law, Pharisees and Sadducees were amazed by his authority, communicating the Old Testament like a biblical scholar.  However, when Jesus prophesized about the end of days, public officials began to label Jesus as a lunatic and liar.  Following his death on a cross and resurrection, those who once mocked Jesus began to say, “is this really happening?”

But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2 Timothy 3:1-4.

I watched the History Channels version of Revelation: the End of Days the other night.  As a former seminary student, it wasn’t hard to recognize the various theological errors, stretching the truth to appeal to an American audience.  Nonetheless, when you read the Bible, listen to conspiracy theories espoused daily and watch reports of great stress and trouble on cable news, the end of days may be closer than I once thought.  When I reflect upon Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 and the apostle Paul’s comments about societal trends in 2 Timothy 3, to a certain extent these events have arrived.  According to the Bible, no one will know the time of Jesus’ second coming, but if I were you, I’d make my reservations for heaven immediately, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

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Forged by Fire

In an age of reality television, few careers, fields and occupations are left out of Hollywood.  This inclusive environment has given bladesmiths a voice in the show Forged in Fire.  Beginning in 2015, the History Channel has featured competitions to see who is the best according to panel of three judges.  Four seasons later, it appears that this series hosted by Wil Willis has found it’s niche, likely to continue a fifth season in 2018.

John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,” Luke 3:16.

During the first century, Jesus eludes to a different kind of fire.  Instead of a typical black smith forging metal with fire, Jesus introduces a spiritual fire.  Referred to as the Holy Spirit, a local doctor is intrigued by Jesus’ use of vocabulary in the passage above.  This symbolism suggests God will anoint those who are baptized with an invisible force.  This power will replace the natural with a capacity to do supernatural things.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed, 1 Peter 1:6-7.

One of Jesus’ disciples expands upon Jesus’ words.  According to Peter, trials in life are used by God as opportunities for growth.  Like pottery being placed into a kiln, faith is refined by extreme conditions.  As the heat intensifies, imperfections are slowly glazed over as souls are forged by fire.  While Jesus is no longer present, the Holy Spirit was sent following his ascension into heaven to continue this process today.  Although it’s never pleasant to endure difficult and hard times in this life, this process is necessary so that faith may be refined, forged by an invisible fire.

by Jay Mankus

A Sad Sign of Troubled Times

The History Channel has a series of shows related to prophecy.  Nostradamus programs tend to get the most publicity, concentrating upon his published collection that first appeared in 1555.  While there are shows dedicated to Bible prophecy, there is one author who gets overlooked.  The apostle Paul makes a prediction in a letter to one of his disciples which is like a headline from one of the major tabloids.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 2 Timothy 3:6.

Apparently, there was a growing trend of bad boys having a negative influence on woman during the first century.  Based upon the vocabulary used in the passage above, Paul suggests that men were preying on gullible women, then manipulating females to get what they want.  Based upon the amount of children born out of wedlock and dysfunctional homes in America today, Paul’s prophecy is a sad sign of troubles times.

Always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth, 2 Timothy 3:7.

The notion that love is blind applies to this moral dilemma.  While many individuals often say, “I’ll never do that again,” when push comes to shove several repeat the same mistakes time after time.  Thus, bad boys continue to intrigue naive woman, curious what it would be like to date them.  Unfortunately, despite having a knowledge of right from wrong does not stop the desperate or tempted from tasting temporary pleasures.  May the Holy Spirit pierce through this darkness so that these sad signs of a fallen society will turn around soon.

by Jay Mankus

The First Pawn Star

Prior to 1950, pawning was the leading form of credit for consumers in the United States of America.  While chess players refer to  a pawn as the least valuable piece on their board, pawning is when someone exchanges an object or possession for cash, used as collateral in case this person can’t pay back a broker or business owner.  The History Channel’s hit show Pawn Stars, starring 3 generations of the Harrison family’s Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, has popularized this ancient practice.

As I read Genesis 47:13-26, I realized that Joseph, governor of Egypt during the great 7 year famine, became the first pawn star on earth.  When the Egyptians ran out of money after the first few years of this drought, Joseph began to barter food in exchange for cattle, donkeys, goats, horses and sheep.  Once residents had pillaged all of their possessions, land and labor were offered up for food.  Ahead of his time, this shrewd business man developed a plan, similar to a tax, pawning grain at a 20% interest rate, expecting to be repaid once their fields were restored.

Whenever you think you’ve had it tough in this economy, please read Genesis 47:13-19.  After hearing this sad story of poverty, may God help you see how blessed you truly are today.  This passage serves as a reminder to be prepared for a rocky future by saving as much as you can now.  If God didn’t give Joseph a vision for the future, Egypt would have been caught off guard.  Therefore, take this message as a wake up call, ready to bare down, living a frugal life so that when famine returns you and your family will survive.

by Jay Mankus

The Media’s Double Standard

While the scene was different, the Navy Yard in Washington DC, Monday’s mass shootings follow the patterns of Columbine High, Virginia Tech and Fort Hood.  Unfortunately, this tragedy will likely inspire Congress, nudged by the media, to take drastic measures to restrict or take away more freedoms of Americans.  Based upon the initial coverage, the gun or guns used are to blame, not the individual, Aaron Alexis, who has been portrayed as nice and quiet with a few instances of hearing voices in his past.

New York Daily News

Meanwhile. the media appears to have no problem with reality shows like Amish Mafia that promotes revenge and violence, displaying several of these acts on camera, with a few containing guns.  In response to the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting last December, the Discovery Channel did cancel American Guns despite regularly promoting gun safety and offering self defense classes for women.  Nonetheless, when the latest frenzy over gun control subsided, the History Channel has since added God, Guns and Automobiles.  As long as it continues to have good numbers and makes the network money, this show will remain until the next crisis.

I wish networks could apply the same principles they portray in horror movies into real life massacres.  Saturday Night Live had a regular skit with Dana Carvey playing the Church Lady with the famous quote, “could it be Satan?”  Well, if Aaron Alexis did hear voices before planning this and eventually pulling the trigger, why isn’t anyone in the media talking about Genesis 4:6-7.  Cain allowed envy and jealousy to build up within him until it exploded, resulting in murder.  Demons and the Devil is real, not just something from Friday the 13th flick.  May God convict the media of their ignorance and open their eyes to the powers that push individuals toward evil acts, Ephesians 6:12.

by Jay Mankus

Git R Done

Last night I found out that I had to work on Thanksgiving night. Since my finances are not what they use to be, I don’t have an option. As the great American Larry the Cable guy once said, “Git r done!”

Although I will miss Thanksgiving dinner, sometimes in life you have to do what you need to do. In these times, life’s luxuries will have to be put aside until I re-establish myself in the corporate world. As for now, I have to earn the trust of my managers so that I can recover from the events earlier on in 2012.

The hope of achieving the American dream is still in my sight. While this will be harder than ever to attain, I am motivated to give it a shot. If once if you do not succeed, try, try again. In other words, “Git r done!”

by Jay Mankus

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