Archive for the ‘The Church’ Category

Is the Great Tribulation Upon Us?

July 13, 2014

There’s an ancient Chinese curse that goes something like this: “May you live in interesting times”.

It seems like, we are living in “interesting” times, indeed.

There’s more than just a few people out there resurrecting the ghost of the post-tribulational rapture theory. This is more in response to current events than it is to biblical eschatology. As Dispensationalists, we must judge everything by the Word of God, rightly divided.

The Tribulation is described in the Word as something “such as has not happened from the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21). Again: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the sons of thy People [Israel]: and there shall be the great Tribulation, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time…” (Dan. 12:1). It is also referred to as: “… the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jer. 30:27). All of these references come contextually from Scripture that concerns itself with Israel, not the Body of Christ.

The Great Tribulation is declared to be the Wrath of God: “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” (Rev. 15:1), yet since the Body of Christ is delivered from that wrath: “Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom. 5:9), why is it that so many professors insist upon dragging The Body into that wrath through the post-tribulation rapture theory?

WARNING!

Warning

Dangerous Truth Ahead.

Mankind is made up of Biblically-defined sinful creatures. There’s no denying it. The proof is in the pudding: everyone still dies and death, Biblically, is the wages of sin.

Sin corrupts everything it touches. It takes our very best intentions and turns them into filthy, stinking lies. ” Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 53:3).

“Every one of them …”. We are “them”. All of us. The Christian, a truly converted member of the Body is still one of “them”; with this single distinction, we have been declared righteous by virtue of the faith of Jesus Christ. And we are mostly alone because we have chosen to leave the “great house”, (II Tim. 2:20) and it’s “form of godliness” behind. We are persecuted by the religious system we have turned away from. They see us as weak and needy. Objects of ridicule and scorn. “All the brethren of a needy one do hate him: How much more do his friends withdraw from him? He seeketh words of friendship, But there are none.” (Prov. 19:7) Still, we have this comfort: “Yea, and all that desire to live godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted.” (II Tim. 3:12). Yes, that’s a comfort because it’s a conformation. We are comforted because we hold to the Head (Col. 2:19) and live in Christ.

So what does that have to do with the question of the Great Tribulation? Much, indeed. For, it separates us from those professors who are more concerned with this world and the things of this world than they are with God and the things of God. Matthew 24 was not addressed to the Body of Christ. It is addressed to the House of Israel, through the Twelve. It pertains to the coming earthly Kingdom which will be established as fulfillment of the promises made to Israel. All those things happen after the Body of Christ has been manifested with Christ in glory (Col. 3:4). We see events today which are pointing towards the Second Coming and the establishment of that Kingdom but, for us, the Body of Christ, we should continuing to “… press toward the mark unto the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil.3:14). There’s no shout. No voice of an archangel. No trumpet peal here, as in 1Thess._4:16 (which was an event for Israel, had they repented). In this event, Christ Himself is manifested, silently and invisibly. He receives those running the race. That’s “the Rapture” for the members of the Body of Christ. It’s a resurrection from out from the dead. The Greek is: anastasis nekron, the “out-resurrection”. It’s as though the Body has been surrounded by the dead since it’s inception. This event removes it from the dead which has encompassed it for so long.

Let us join with the Apostle Paul in leaving the “great house” of man-made religion, religious tradition and imagination behind, forgetting it all, and pressing on to the mark.

“Let us therefore, as many as be mature, have this in mind: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal also this unto you. Nevertheless, to which point we have already come, let us walk by the same, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, become fellow-imitators of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for a pattern. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly [own self], and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our citizenship exists even now in the heavens; from which we eagerly wait for the Saviour also, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change the fashion of our body of humiliation, to be conformed unto the body of His glory, according to the working of His ability even to subject all things unto Himself. ” (Phil. 3:15-21).

Remember: “If ye then were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Mind things above, not on things on the earth. For ye died, and your life has been laid up in store with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall be manifested, then shall ye also be manifested with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:1-4).

Even so, come Lord Jesus. I can hardly wait! How about you?

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The Friends and Followers of Jesus

April 10, 2012

Well, it’s happened again. Someone calling themselves a “follower of Jesus” chose to follow me on Twitter. In case you hadn’t guessed by now, I really resent this sort of thing.

Understand that, since I can count my friends on the fingers of one hand, writing about this will, more likely than not, be very costly for me. It’s not pleasant being unwelcome in places where many Christians congregate; Being told, in no uncertain terms that your words are of no value. But, that’s okay. I believe that I’m in good company, as I read Hebrews 11, which teaches that, those who decide that following God is better than pleasing Man, are usually rejected and ostracized by almost everyone they know, even by those who profess to serve God.

So, let’s get on with it.

No, I don’t resent the Twitter followers. What I resent is the tag some of them have been hanging on themselves lately.

“Follower of Jesus.”

What does that mean? Are these “followers” like the “followers” we read of in John 6?

“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” John 6:66 (KJV) [Look at that! I’ve never taken notice of that before. Is that possibly or coincidently, a characteristic of those who will become followers of the Beast?]

This happened after the worldly “followers” of the Lord Jesus found that the spiritual truth the Lord was trying to teach them was just a little more than they could swallow. “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” John 6:60 (KJV).

And, what, pray tell, was this spiritual truth these “followers” found so distasteful? You may be asking.

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” John 6:53 (KJV).

These “followers” couldn’t, with their worldly eyes, recognize a spiritual metaphor.

Why? This is the first scripture which comes to my mind: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I Cor. 2:14 (KJV).

So, those people in John 6 were so worldly-minded they were unable to grasp the metaphor the Lord Jesus was using. The only thing His words brought to their minds was cannibalism, which was scripturally forbidden. Gen. 9:2-6 (KJV). They were offended by His words, and turned away from the Lord of Life.

Fast-forward to 2012 A.D.

Being called a “Christian” has become politically incorrect. Secular society has, in the minds of many, successfully associated the word “Christian” with child molesters, right-wing radicals, the socially intolerant, the scientifically ignorant, and a host of other “nasties” that offend popular society. Sometimes, being a Christian, even in the West now, comes at a cost. That scares the Professors out there. Sadly, corrupt doctrine comes to their rescue, teaching that the Church needs to make accommodation for the world if it hopes to be relevant and reach the lost with the Gospel. (Actually, it’s so the Church Growth Movement hucksters can enlarge the borders of their tents and expand the capacity of their purses, but that’s another story altogether.) So now, the Professors have chosen to twist and ignore scripture. Compromising their faith to avoid what the Lord Jesus said would be one of the characteristics of a faithful Believer:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (KJV).

Compromising with the world, to gain wealth and avoid persecution. That’s the fruit of this corrupt neo-orthodox Christianity of the West. It’s a Christianity that requires nothing nor does it demand anything from it’s adherents.

So, what does all this have to do with the “friends” question above?

“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” Acts 11:26 (KJV)

The Bible, the complete, inspired, fully authoritative, inerrant, Word of God, is made-up of “words”. That should come as no surprise to anyone. What seems to escape a lot of Christians, especially those who are employed by Bible translation societies, is that the WORDS of the Bible were CHOSEN by GOD to communicate a particular message to those who were to read it. While changing those words to make the Bible support a particular theological, social, or political agenda, using texts found in some ancient archaeological trash bin, virtually guarantees the one committing the act, a one-way ticket to the Lake of Fire, Rev. 22:18-19, there is a deeper issue of Professing Believers IGNORING the CLEAR direction of the Word of God, because they”re offended by the Word or fearful of persecution because of the Word, and they’ve been given the “all clear” to do so by their “leaders”.

That is the problem I have with all these people running around calling themselves “friends” or “followers  of Jesus”.

The Word of God teaches that people who have become disciples of the Lord Jesus, are to be called “CHRISTIANS”. Not “followers” or “friends”, (that relationship is reserved for only a few of the original disciples, not everyone who claims the Name), of the Lord Jesus, but CHRISTIANS. The word was chosen by God to communicate a particular message. as were all the rest of those words. Just because that message offends the world:

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” Mat. 24:9(KJV);

That does not mean we have the authority to change or alter either the context of the message, or the biblical designation of the messenger.

Some of you know me better than others. You know that, where Scripture is concerned, I am uncompromising, and I don’t care if feelings are hurt over it or not. I know, as Isaiah knew that “… I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips …”. I know that the world is full of false prophets; wolves in sheep’s clothing, who teach damnable doctrines of demons that can even deceive the Elect. So, when I am accused of being judgmental, because I am critical of those who treat the Word of God too lightly, I warn those accusers that they will be held responsible before God for the loose way they handled the Word of Truth; for their failure to rightly divide that same Word, thereby teaching and adhering to doctrines which arose from corrupt sources. My defense before God is that, to the best of my ability, I heard all that God had said, I believed all that God had said. I repented of my sinful life, and I trusted God for the rest of it. That’s the narrow gate, and adding to that, frequent self-examination, II Cor. 13:5, I John 5:15, I trust God to keep me on the narrow way. Matt. 7:14.

Are Professing Christians so ashamed of the Lord Jesus that they reject the title by which the Word states His disciples are to be known? How does that affect one’s unique relationship with the rest of the Body of Christ? I believe that such people are walking on deadly ground. I don’t believe these are actually saved (the “gospel” preached in most Western churches over the past 40-years or so, couldn’t save Green Stamps, let alone sinners and that’s what most Professors heard and believed). I do believe, however, that these Professors are running the risk of having their hearts hardened and their minds closed to the extent that they may never comprehend what God has said. That makes it difficult to comprehend and believe in the need for repentance unto salvation.

If you’re a Christian, embrace the title. God gave it to you. The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus made it possible for you to receive that righteous title and the salvation that goes along with it. Wear it in humility. You don’t deserve it. You didn’t earn it. It was a gift. It’s worth far more than any moniker you could invent out of your own imagination.

Christlam? Say What!?!

May 16, 2011

“Say What?!?”

Yeah, that’s what I said the first time I came across that expression. That’s what we’re going to look at in this entry.

So, before I go on any further, let me say this first. I believe that Islam, the religion of the Mohammedans, is Satan’s ANSWER TO Christianity, not something to be merged with it. The professors who have perpetrated this obscene and foolish attempt to corrupt what God has said with the doctrines of devils shall drink from bitter waters, not only in this life, but in the Judgment to come. The God of the Bible is not the god the Mohammedans worship! The Prophet Jesus of the Mohammedans is not the Only Begotten Son of the Living God and very God Himself! You CINOS (Christians In Name Only), who preach and teach that they are the same have deliberately violated the First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Ex. 20:3). Do you really think you’ll get away with this blasphemy? God will judge you and you’ll be found wanting.

1 Tim. 4:1 says: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

Welcome to the “latter times”.

Luke 18:8 states in part: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

The Lord was encouraging his listeners to pray about everything. The implication in the context here is that people were trusting too much in themselves (in their self-righteousness), to take the time to pray concerning any given situation. That phrase “when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth”, I think speaks loudly and clearly to the modern, Western church.

Leaders of the modern church seem to be either so preoccupied with fleecing the sheep that they cannot recognize the evil that has infiltrated their numbers; or, they are more concerned with getting a good Republican elected as President (things of this world), that they just have no time for the things of God.

Had the professing church actually heard what God has said and believed what He had said, they would have the indwelling Holy Spirit raising red flags left and right whenever the subject of ecumenicism comes up; Especially when the subject of said ecumenicism are Mohammedans.

Jesus Himself taught, as recorded in Matthew 7:15-20, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

It appears that today’s modern church member now looks to Wall Street, military might, politicians and their political schemes for their salvation, instead of to the One who shed His blood for their sake. Having the good life, in this life, is what counts to these. And is it any wonder? The gospel of prosperity they preach can save no one at all. The gospel of compromise with the world may increase their numbers but all they end up doing is making their converts twice the disciples of hell that they themselves are. Jesus said it so much better in Matthew 25:15, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

Christians who are prayerfully and doctrinally lazy all run the risk of being deceived by the modern-day false prophets who sing the pretty, popular songs on stage, speak from behind pulpits and sit next to them in pews on Saturdays and Sundays.

It’s time that all who name the claim of Christ stop listening to these lies and the mouths from which they spew. It’s time to stop reading books ABOUT the Bible. Time to put down the commentaries; Open the Bible and learn from God Himself, without the interference of Man’s sordid opinions and his corrupt imaginations. There is still time to turn from the path that leads to destruction. The time is short. Chose wisely and chose quickly.

“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.” (Deut. 4:29-31)

Biblical Church, Holiness Happens, et. al.

January 3, 2008

Here we are entering into another New Year and, if nothing else, the search for an Biblical Church has reached it’s conclusion. That Church, is the one which meets in your (my) house, is led by Elders who have been raised up in and are accountable to each other and that Church; which celebrates the Lord’s table as a full meal; the Church where in no one leads from the front; it is, in fact, the church that operates more like a family than it does an organization led by “our Leader”. It’s the Church which holds to the Tradition passed on to the Corinthians: “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.” (I Corinthians 11:2); and the Thessalonians: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” (2 Thess 2:15); “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” (2 Thess 3:6). The words “ordinances” and “traditions” are both translations of the Greek word παραδόσεις (paradosis), which basically means “a handing down”. So, most all of the nonsense and the division we see in the post-modern church comes, not from Holy Spirit led interpretation of the Scriptures, but from interpreting the Scriptures through the cloudy lens of the distorted teachings of the early Church Fathers (where this idea of church as an organization came from.) It has hung on for as long as it has because sinful flesh loves its traditions more than it loves God’s truth.

Above, I mentioned holiness. “Holiness Happens” would make for a good Tee-shirt slogan, I believe. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:13) That describes holiness and how it “happens”. It’s a sign that one is really saved. I John is loaded with similar signs. It’s because we don’t get saved by praying a superstitious prayer once, then going out and living like the devil. These tests are to help us know weather we have eternal life or not. Even Paul encourages self-examination of our position: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II Cor. 13:5) That is something we all need to do, but especially the youth who profess Christ. Some of you are hanging by a horse’s hair above the flames. You’re trying to walk the walk, but every step comes hard. You look like the world; you talk like the world; you dress like the world; you engage in the activities of the world; you listen to the music of the world. Face it, God hasn’t changed you: you’ve been trying to change yourself (assuming that you’ve been trying at all).

Well, I do carry on at times; Don’t I? It comes from frustration with something that is pretending to be the supernatural work of God. The “church” in this country is an embarrassment, and it’s a colossal failure, from a spiritual standpoint. Most don’t notice it because they define success and failure with carnal gauges and, more importantly, they never read their Bibles. These “professors” defer to “experts” and have not the wisdom to recognize when their favorite expert has gone completely off the rails. They just follow blindly along, acting as though nothing whatsoever is wrong. If you’re meeting in an converted football stadium or your leader has sold multiple-millions of his books, then God must be blessing you, right? NO!! God is not blessing that which distracts from His glory! When a professing Christian laments over how they cannot stomach reading and/or listening to the Word of God for more than 15-20 minutes a day, what good is that profession? Either you love God or you don’t.

Would you show your deep love and devotion towards your wife by keeping her locked away in a closet all but a quarter-hour each day? Of course not. (If you would, then you need to be locked up.) It’s a contemptible thought. Don’t you see, we show the same contempt towards God when we limit His influence upon our lives to a time of daily “devotions” and an hour on Sunday.

Little children, I honestly believe that the Dispensation of Grace has nearly exhausted itself. Once it’s over, and the Body of Christ has been taken from this earth, a Dispensation of Judgement will begin — the Day of the Lord — and then it will be too late for those who have heard, understood and rejected the Gospel of God, for there is a terrible, everlasting judgment awaiting them. A judgement from which there will be no appeal.

Don’t be one of them. Seek the Lord now, while you still can!

Building a Biblical Church

October 2, 2007

I really intended to update this before now, but I’ve been engaged in, as the title of this article states: “Building a Biblical Church”.

Now, that doesn’t mean a building full of plebes, being led by one man who stands up front, six-feet above correction. What it means is allowing the Lord to build his own Church, the Body of Christ, according to the pattern He established through the Apostles, and in His own time. That pattern is Family. That’s what Jesus wants His Church to be about. Not buildings or Pastors, but Family. Such a church is led by Elders. There is only one person in charge, and that’s our elder Brother, Jesus.

That is the message which comes through so clearly, it’s amazing that for some 2000-years, from Clement of Rome’s letter to the Corinthians, wherein he applied the order of the Jewish Temple to the Church, Christians have passively permitted their leaders to build a system that fails to conform to the pattern established by the Scriptures for church organization. This is hypocrisy, plain and simple.

All the nonsense that has been a bane upon the Church came from the imaginations of the Early Church Fathers who, because they didn’t have the fully-compiled Bible at their disposal, came up with a lot of strange things. But, once the Church had the complete Bible to test itself by, they pulled shenanigans similar to those of the Scribes and Pharisees, developing Traditions through which they judged the Scriptures, instead of judging themselves by the Scriptures. What Jesus condemned and called the “Traditions of Men”, separated Man from the knowledge of God, and the Traditions of the Church have produced similar fruit.

The Church is now in bondage to buildings, pastors and a load of anti-biblical traditions. It rejects the clear teaching of the Scripture in so many areas. The only solution is to allow the Church to be rebuilt by the Lord Himself, according to the Bible; not Traditions or the imaginations of theologians and men.

I would ask you, dear Reader, to pray that the Lord would continue working in this area, and that willing workers would be raised up, for the task at hand is tremendous.

Dispensationalists ~vs~ Traditionalists

March 8, 2007

Dispensationalists, like myself, who have regular fellowship in an traditional evangelical church, face some serious difficulties. You see, most of the people who attend these traditional churches, to one extent or another, hold to some dispensational positions in their theology; usually concerning the relationship between Israel and the Church, and eschatology. I usually referred to these folks as “Partial Dispensationalists” (after all, everyone “must” have a label — right?) However, when it comes to interpreting much of the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation, we generally part company.

Some may ask: “Why stay in a fellowship that you have so little in common with?” The answer is because I believe that God placed me there for a reason that He has not yet revealed to me (Deuteronomy 29:29).

In the coming weeks (or months – depending how long it takes me to explain the details of the situation), I will explore why I believe this distressful situation occurs, and what can be done to reestablish unity in Truth. I will also define just what I mean by “Dispensationalist”, what dispensationalism is to me, and why I hang a moniker about my neck that is so distasteful to so many.