Tag: THE RAPTURE

RAPTURE: THE CHURCH AFTER REVELATION CHAPTER 4

Welcome to part three of my up-dated study on the rapture. Herein read more challenges to the politically-correct position…

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IS THE CHURCH MISSING FROM REVELATION CHAPTER 4 ONWARD?

Update November 2018: You can get my new book on the rapture, from Amazon-paperback or e-book. The link is at the bottom of this post.

Pre-Tribulation believers say that while the Church is spoken of in the early chapters of Revelation, which they believe represent the Church age, the word “Church” is nowhere mentioned in the rest of Revelation, which covers the Tribulation. This is taken to be evidence that it will no longer be on the earth during that time. However, what they don’t consider is that all the prophesies of Revelation are given to the churches-not just the first four chapters. After the prophesies are all given, we read:

“I Jesus have sent my angel to give you this testimony FOR THE CHURCHES” (Revelation 22:16).

THE  ENTIRE BOOK OF REVELATION IS A TESTIMONY TO THE CHURCHES

Jesus said that the entire book of Revelation is a testimony for the churches. We first hear of this “testimony” at the beginning of chapter 1, where we’re told that Jesus Christ’s revelation was concerning “what must soon take place”. This includes not just the prophesies but the letters to the churches: the entire thing is:

“the testimony of Jesus Christ” (verse 2).

The churches-supposedly part of the church age-are given the same “testimony” as those who are martyred during the Tribulation.

So one message is told throughout the book. There are not separate testimonies for the rapture candidates and the failures. The book is a unit – not divided in two – and is as relevant to the Church as it is to Jews or anyone converted during the Tribulation. The prophesies, says Christ himself, are for the Church, and not for others who are “left behind”.

TESTIMONY, CHURCHES, SAINTS

There are common terms and phrases used in John’s words in both Revelation and his other New Testament writings. He used the phrase “testimony of Jesus”, in Revelation seven times, as well as using the word “testimony” separately several more times. However, “Testimony” was also a common theme in his gospel (e.g. John 21:24), much more common than it was in any other gospel or the writings of Paul. He also used the concept of “the testimony of Jesus” in two of his epistles to Church age disciples (1 John 5:6-11; 3 John 13), just as he used it to describe Christians living through the Tribulation in Revelation.

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THE SAINTS WHO BORE TESTIMONY TO JESUS

If it’s true that the Church is nowhere to be found on earth in the prophesies of Revelation, who are “those who hold to the testimony of Jesus”, being persecuted by Satan and Antichrist (Revelation 12:12; 14:12; 20:4)?  Those killed by the antichrist are identified by John as “those who bore testimony to Jesus”(Revelation 12:17). However, it’s important to see that this phrase is not reserved for those being persecuted during the tribulation. The same term is also applied to the people who are known as the saints of Church history who have been killed by the Harlot…

“…those who bore testimony to Jesus” (17:6) …

It’s applied to John and his companions-who were first century Church-age Christians-by the angel relaying the revelation:

“I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus(19:10).

John, a first century, Church-age believer, also applied the term to himself at the beginning of the book, and related it to the suffering of his own persecution:

“I John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the testimony of Jesus(Revelation 1:9).

Here is evidence of an undeniable oneness between all the believers of the real Church age-including the Tribulation: between all who “hold to the testimony of Jesus”. There are no second-class believers consigned to be “left behind” for the Tribulation.

Similarly, John spoke of the Tribulation saints ‘who obey God’s commandments’ (Revelation 12:17 and 14:12). We can’t necessarily describe this as a reference to Jews as some prophecy teachers want to, because in John’s letters he used the same Greek word when he wrote to Church-age believers of the importance of obeying God’s commandments (1 John 2:3-4; 1 John 3:22-24; 1 John 5:2-3; 2 John 1:5-6).

THE WORDS “CHURCH” AND “CHURCHES”, AND INDIVIDUALS

The word “Church” is not used in a singular sense even in chapters 1 to 4 of Revelation, and is only used to speak of “churches” in a plural sense. This word “churches” speaks of organized gatherings of believers. Perhaps the word “churches” is absent from chapters 4 to 21 because there will be no churches: they will be outlawed. Instead, there will be individual “saints” struggling to survive in a hostile world where they cannot congregate.

It’s never mentioned by the prophecy “experts” today that John did not use the words “Church” or “churches” at all in his first or second epistles (or in his gospel) even though they were written to Christians of his day. When he did say “churches” he was referring to an organized gathering. This is the same definition used by Paul and others. For example, when referring to groups of believers Paul used the word “churches” sometimes:

“Paul… and all the brothers with me , to the churches in Galatia” (Galatians 1:1-2).

However, Paul used the term “saints” for individual believers, and complimented it or contrasted it with the term “churches”:

“To the church in Corinth…together with all the saints throughout Achaia” (2 Corinthians 1:1).

Paul used the term “saints” many times for individual believers, which substituted nicely for the word “church”. For example:

“To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1).

He also used the word “believers” at times, in place of “church”:

“…let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10).

ISRAELIS ARE NOT THE MARTYRED BELIEVERS OF REVELATION

It’s not accurate to see the saints of Revelation as the people of Israel or the 144, 000, because they are clearly seen to be separate in the dragon’s persecution of them. When he fails in his attempt to wipe out Israel in chapter 12, (and this is long after the beginning of any seven year period-verse 14) he turns his efforts to trying to wipe out Christians instead:

Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (12:17).

WHO ARE THE SAINTS OF REVELATION CHAPTERS 4 TO 21?

There are “saints” in the Tribulation – we read about them being persecuted by Antichrist, the dragon, and unbelievers. For an example, see Revelation 14:11-12. The question is: who are these saints? Pre-Tribulationists claim that they are not Church age believers, but some other form of saint, perhaps specially anointed Messianic Jews, or Gentile believers saved after the Rapture. I will later comment on the “end of the Church age”, so please refer to that for a complete understanding of this subject.

In truth, the same Greek word translated “saints” is used throughout the New Testament, and it doesn’t change after Revelation chapter 3 : saints are saints. Not only that, but the Tribulation saints are “faithful to Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). How can they not be Christians? Alright, they are not called “Christians” by John, but then, John did not use the term “Christians” anywhere else in Revelation, including Christ’s letters to the churches (and neither did Jesus or the angel), or in his epistles, or in his gospel. Neither did he use the word “believers” anywhere, except once in his gospel.

The word “saints” is, however, used many times throughout the New Testament for Church-age believers, for example:

Paul…to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi…” (Philippians 1:1-2);

On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints…(not the churches) ”… in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them” (Acts 26:10);

As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda” (notice that Luke did not say that Peter “went to visit the church in Lydda” Acts 9:32).

Antichrist will make war against the “saints”- and not the “churches” – because his design is not just to eradicate organized gatherings, but to wipe out believers completely:

He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them…This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints” (Revelation 13: 7a and 10b).

THE BATTLING BRIDE?

When Christ returns to the earth with those dressed in fine white linen – those who most evangelicals regard as the raptured Church (Revelation chapter 19) – the words “Church” and “churches” are not used to describe them.

THE BLOOD OF THE SAINTS

Famous “last days” prophecy teachers speak and write about the “Mother of Prostitutes” of Revelation chapter 17 as though she had been killing saints (and the scripture doesn’t say “churches”) over the two millennia since Jesus was on earth. The corrupt church and false religion has persecuted saints down through history, they say. Alright, if this is true (and it is), then the “saints” killed by the Harlot are regular Church-age believers, and called “saints” in Revelation, are they not? So what makes them any different from the “saints” mentioned in other places in Revelation, such as those who are called to patiently endure, in 14:12?

WAS JOHN’S TRIP TO HEAVEN A TYPE OF THE RAPTURE?

The calling of John into heaven before the prophecies of the judgments (chapter 4:1) is seen as a type of the Rapture, showing that the Church will similarly be called into heaven before the judgments take place.

In response, we can observe two things here. First, there is no statement that John’s trip into heaven represents the rapture of the Church. Secondly, John came back to earth as a mortal.

THE BLESSED HOPE

The pre-tribulation rapture is being called by some the “blessed hope”: it is not. The blessed hope is the appearing of Jesus:

“…while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:13).

MY NEW BOOK on the rapture, NOVEMBER 2018! HERE’S THE LINK:

 

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RAPTURE: THE COMINGS AND THE GOINGS…

Welcome to part two of my up-dated study on the rapture of the Church…

1: THIEF IN THE NIGHT: WILL THE SECOND COMING BE IN TWO STAGES?

Pre-Tribulation believers see the second coming of Jesus Christ happening in two stages, separated by a time period of at least seven years. 

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The first, they say, will be in secret, like a thief in the night, in the air, to ‘catch up’ the Church into heaven (Revelation 16:15; 2 Peter 3:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:2; Matthew 24:43; 1 Thessalonians 4:17). The second stage, they say, will be for all the world to see, to bring judgment on those who are left behind (Revelation 19:11-16; Matthew 24:30; Zechariah 12:10).

The phrase ‘thief in the night’, taken from 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4, is used by teachers to conjure up visions of the Lord snatching away his Church before any tribulation starts, taking everyone by surprise, and leaving pilot-less planes to fall from the sky. However, the “thief in the night” phrase is taken out of its proper context.

According to Paul it was the day of the Lord which would come like a thief in the night:

“…for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5:2).

So what exactly is the day of the Lord? Paul described the day of the Lord not as the “snatching up of the Church”, but the time of destruction of the unsaved:

“While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety’, destruction will come on them suddenly…”(verse 3).

Peter also likened the day of the Lord, not Jesus and the rapture, to a thief in the night :

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire…” (2 Peter 3:10).

Peter also said that the day of the Lord would come AFTER the sun turns to darkness and the moon turns blood red:

:“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord” (Acts 2:20).

Peter was repeating the order of events described by Jesus:

“Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light…At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky…They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29-30).

Christ says in Revelation 16:15, “Behold, I come like a thief”. Note that this is stated between the sixth and the seventh bowls of God’s wrath, near the end of the Tribulation, just before the battle of Armageddon. This coincides with the recognition by people on the earth that the time of God’s wrath has come, which will be after the sun turns black and the moon turns red, and between the sixth and the seventh seals:

They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17).

Talking of the day of the Lord, Paul went on to say, “you are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:4). This means that those who know God and their Bible will not be unprepared for the events taking place around them.

2: IS IT TRUE THAT AN IN-THE-AIR GATHERING AND A GLORIOUS APPEARING OF JESUS ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE?

The idea that believers can only join Christ “in the air” if the rapture is before the Tribulation is not logical, because whether the rapture comes before the tribulation, in the middle, or at the end of it, Christ would have to come ‘in the air’ to gather his saints (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), unless he comes by road in a giant bus, or expects everyone to catch buses, planes and trains to get to wherever He is.

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3: WILL THE CHURCH GO TO HEAVEN WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT?

In 2 Thessalonians 2:5-8 Paul tells us that the lawless one, or Antichrist, can only be revealed to the world when the Holy Spirit of God, who is now holding him back, is “taken out of the way”. One view drawn from this verse is that the Spirit is going to be taken back into heaven from the earth, and since He indwells all believers (Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:9-11), then all those believers must be taken into heaven with Him, before the Tribulation.

It seems to me that when He is ‘taken out of the way’ (verse 7) He may simply stop restraining the flood of evil, and will not necessarily leave the earth at all. There’s no scriptural statement about the Holy Spirit leaving the earth to go into heaven.

Second, the Antichrist will not be revealed to the world until the mid part of the Tribulation, at the time when he enters the temple and claims to be God (Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 13:5-6). This, and not before, is the time when the restraining power of the Holy Spirit is removed, mid -way through the Tribulation!

Paul spoke to the believers in Thessalonica as though they would witness the revealing of the antichrist. In fact it’s given as one of the two signs to believers that the “day of the Lord” had truly come (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). Jesus spoke of the same initial sign to his disciples (Matthew 24:15-21).

4: THE IMMINENCE OF CHRIST’S COMING

Pre-Tribulation believers say that Christ’s coming is ‘imminent’, so that we cannot know the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36-42). According to this view the rapture will come before anything else that’s prophesied, because in contrast there will be plenty of warning signs of His visible return to the earth. If Christians were around when the “seven year” Tribulation starts, they say, we would know that it would be exactly seven years to the coming of Christ-something we can’t know, since Jesus said we can’t know the day nor the hour. The same people will tell you that there are plenty of signs of the coming Tribulation to be seen now. Hmmm!

In response, I would first like to point out that this view assumes the beginning of the final seven years, including the time of day, will be known by all, so that the date and time of the visible return of Jesus could be marked on a calendar. I suggest that that is not the case: we may not know anything about the covenant being signed-it could be an agreement made behind closed doors. Paul said that the first-not the second-unmistakable sign that the of day of the Lord was coming would be a “falling away”, which surely can’t be fixed to a time or day, and the antichrist going into the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus said that the first unmistakable sign would be antichrist standing in the Holy Place of the temple, and didn’t mention any covenant (Matthew 24).

Secondly and more importantly, this view assumes that if we were to see the signing of the covenant, the rapture would have to occur at exactly the same time as Christ’s visible return to the earth. But there is no reason to make such an assumption. Compounding this fact are the three mysteriously different number of days given to Daniel (Daniel 12). These further confuse the issue, so that we really don’t know the day nor the hour of the rapture, even if we do see Daniel’s covenant being signed.

When Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour” in Matthew 24:36, what had He been speaking of? Was it the rapture? No, in the previous verses He had been speaking solely of the events of the Tribulation and of His physical appearing for the whole world to see (verses 15-35). He was referring to the “day of the Lord”, not the rapture.

I’ve heard one well-known prophecy teacher say that when Jesus said his disciples would see the antichrist in the temple he was not talking to Christians but to Jews. Jews, he said, would be in the Tribulation, but not Gentiles. I instantly realized that Jesus was in truth talking to his closest disciples who, although Jewish, were born-again Church age disciples. There is really no reason to assume that Jesus was speaking of “left-behind” Jewish believers, without using circular reasoning (“We know that Gentile believers will be raptured by then so Jesus must be speaking of Jewish believers”).

Of course we will not all have to flee Jerusalem and Judea, but worldwide television will show the whole world the antichrist entering the temple. Paul gave the same message to the Thessalonians, who were for the most part Gentiles (Acts 17:4; 1 Thess 1:9-10).

RAPTURE, WRATH AND REALITY

Will some people be “left behind” when the prophesied “rapture” occurs? Are Christians going to escape the final years of upheaval on the earth?

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Here is the first part of my updated study on a subject which will be confusing and perhaps weird to those who’ve never heard of the “rapture”, and to such readers I apologize. However, it’s primarily intended to be a challenge to those who have heard of the rapture, who hold to the “pre-tribulational” view, and who are brave enough to test their viewpoint.

For the first years of my Christian life I believed in a pre-tribulation rapture, but the more I wrestled with scriptures I once allowed the “experts” to interpret for me, the more I became convinced that I was wrong for all those years. This post reflects my changed position.

It’s my conviction that a large number of Christians have been willingly fooled into believing that they will be whisked away into heaven before anything nasty happens, and they’re completely unwilling to consider any alternative. Consequently, in my view, they’re unprepared for what may happen in their lifetimes.

I’ll publish parts of this series perhaps once a week. Part one covers the issue of “wrath”. (Most scripture quotes are from the NIV)

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NOT APPOINTED TO WRATH?

The most common rejection of any view of the rapture other than the pre-tribulational position involves Paul’s phrase, “God has not appointed us to wrath” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). People think that the entirety of a prophesied “seven year” period sees an outpouring of God’s wrath. Therefore, they say, Christians won’t be around during that time because God wouldn’t allow or inflict suffering on his own people.

Let’s put this phrase from Paul’s letter into its proper context. The complete verse which this much-used phrase comes from reads,

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ “.

Jesus said something very similar which is pertinent:

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36).

Yes, Paul’s subject is about being ready for “the day of the Lord”, but when we put the entire verse together like this rather than splitting it up we see that Paul was contrasting wrath with salvation from sin, not announcing a pre-tribulation rapture: the choice is salvation or wrath. Believers can be prepared for the day of the Lord by salvation in Jesus, and in this way, in this eternal sense, believers are delivered from God’s wrath.

SOME OF THE PROPHESIED EVENTS ARE NOT A PART OF THE WRATH OF GOD

God’s will is not and never has been to always deliver us from suffering in this world: you only have to look at the current attempted genocide of Christians by ISIS in the Middle-East to see that. God’s will is to deliver us from the eternal consequence of sin. This consequence is separation from God, which is far worse than temporary physical suffering.

Christians have been persecuted throughout history. It’s important to see that while tribulation saints will be persecuted and martyred (Revelation 12:17; 20:4) persecution and martyrdom do not come from the wrath of God.  Those martyred during the tribulation will be considered to be blessed, not cursed:

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on” (Revelation 13:12-13. See also 14:12 and 20:4).

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WHEN WILL THE WRATH OF GOD FALL ANYWAY?

People assume that the beginning of the seven-year period spoken of by Daniel marks the beginning of the wrath of God. Is that true? Let’s take a look at when that prophesied wrath falls, because if it’s physical wrath that you believe you will be delivered from, its advent may be a clue to the real timing of the Rapture.

Well-known pre-tribbers tell us that in the first half of the “seven year” tribulation Antichrist will fool the world by making peace in the Middle East and beyond. This peace will be broken, they say, when he enters the temple in Jerusalem, claiming to be God. Is it logical that the world could be “at peace” when the wrath of God is falling? The answer must be “no”: there surely cannot be wrath in the form of war, plague and famine in the world at the same time as there is world peace. So even in their own reasoning they are admitting that there can be no physical wrath from God until after the mid point of the seven years. According to Jesus, God’s wrath will not fall until at least some time after Antichrist makes himself known in Jerusalem and begins his own destructive onslaught (Matthew 24:15-30). This is not seven or more years before the visible return of Christ, it’s the mid-point of the seven years.

The symptoms of this time of “great distress” spoken of by Jesus (Matthew 24: 21) are war and deception. Its culmination-its end-will see the sun being darkened,the moon turning red, the heavenly bodies being shaken, and the visible return of Jesus in power and glory (verses 29-30). And according to John in Revelation chapter 6 the wrath of God is not seen on the earth until the sixth seal, not the first, because when the sun turns black, the moon turns red, the stars fall and the sky recedes like a scroll (6:12-14) it’s then, and not before, that the people of earth attempt to hide from God, in recognition that God’s wrath is falling:

“They called to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6: 16 and 17).

The judgments that then follow in the seventh seal bring devastation directly from God to the earth, rather than the man-to-man evil we see in the preceding seals.

Another sign of the timing of God’s wrath is that according to Paul, people persecuted for their faith will not be given relief before the tribulation starts, but at its end, when Jesus appears to the whole world:

“He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels…on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).

According to Paul, the day of the Lord, which is the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:6-10) will come after Antichrist is revealed in Jerusalem:

“Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed…” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

This is not seven or more years before the visible return of Jesus!

According to Zechariah, God’s wrath will not fall until Jerusalem is surrounded by the armies of the world and facing defeat (Zechariah 12 and 14). This will be after any “covenant” or peace deal arranged by Antichrist, and so is not seven or more years before the visible return of Jesus.

IS SUFFERING IN OUR DAY CAUSED BY GOD’S WRATH?

Many Christians in the West say that “God is too loving to let us suffer by living through the Tribulation”. If this is the case, why, I ask, are Christians around the Muslim world being killed and persecuted? In fact, down through the centuries many thousands, no, many millions of Christians have been martyred and persecuted. Was that God’s wrath? Of course it was not, but they still died in their own stand against evil. I agree that God does not pour out his wrath upon his own people, but what we see happening to our brothers and sisters around the world does serve to blast out of consideration the myopic, selfish view that we are all going to be whisked away in the rapture before anything bad can happen to us. The prophesied “wrath of God” is not even due to fall until some time during the last three and a half years before the return of Christ, or even at the end of it, but the wrath of man and the wrath of Satan will. Get real! Get prepared! Get informed!ing ready for the

MIND BURP 8: MONSTERS, COUSINS AND BICYCLES

 

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FAMILY DINER!

Here’s a thought: if you believe in evolution and you’re a carnivore, you’re eating your cousins. Come to think about it, even if you’re vegan you’re eating your cousins, and so is everything else. We could call Earth one big “family diner”.

(ABOUT BLANK “Humanoid”)

THE FACES

There are now over seven billion people on the face of the earth. Although there are face “types”, and some people seem to have doubles, every face is unique!

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WHO PUSHES THE PEDALS ON THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE?

“You belong to your father, the devil…He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him” (John 8:44).

WHO IS THE ANTICHRIST?

It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).

MY FAVORITE MOVIE

Well, not really my very favorite, but one of my favorites is “Dr. Strangelove”, which I gave myself the pleasure of watching again a couple of days ago. I think it may be Peter Seller’s best movie. My favorite line is when Sellers, as President Merkin Muffley, upbraids US General Turgidson and Soviet ambassador Alexei de Sadeski, saying,:

You can’t fight here-this is the war room!”

DEAD FAITH HEALERS

When a faith-healer gets sick why doesn’t he heal himself? Why do faith healers die? (That’s a rhetorical question).

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SILENCE OF THE

It’s amazing to me that although I express strong opinions on some things, nobody challenges me. This is worrying, because we should all have strong opinions and not be afraid to politely but firmly defend them. This phenomenon has to be somehow related to the fact that the government, politicians and judges get away with so much while “we the people” sit in front of our TVs and push more food into our faces.

HOPEFUL MONSTERS OF OUR DAY

In the 20th century Otto Schindewolf, Richard Goldschmidt and others proposed the “Hopeful Monster” mechanism of evolution. This theory, not widely accepted, resulted in the suggestion that the first bird hatched from a reptilian egg. In other words, evolution can happen in sudden leaps, not gradual change as we were all taught at school. The idea received renewed support in the 1970s from Stephen J. Gould, one of the main spokesmen for evolutionists in the U.S. at the time. In his 1977 article, “The Return of Hopeful Monsters, ” Gould not only admitted that the fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change, but he also asked the question (asked by creationists ever since Darwin), of what possible use are the imperfect incipient stages of useful structures?

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Even more contemptable, in my book, are the hopeful monsters of today’s prophecy “experts”. I heard one recently tell us:

“We know that the first trumpet (of Revelation) sounded at the time of World War I”.

How he “knew” this I can’t figure out, and it can’t be any more than guesswork, unless “the Lord told him”.

Another very prominent expert said recently:

“We know that God never brings judgment without removing his people first”.

This is of course a reference to the Rapture, which most evangelical ministers believe will facilitate our trip to heaven before anything bad happens to us.

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You only have to look at the references in Revelation to those who are beheaded for their testimony for Jesus to realize that at least they won’t get raptured before facing the trials of the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4).

You can read my posts on the Rapture in which I discuss my view of the claim that we will escape all the troubles of the Tribulation. But it annoys me that such ministers are living the high life by speculating and guessing, and by failing to prepare the Church for what is already happening in some parts of the world. The most common word used by these people is “if”.

I’ve outlined previously the fact that the Wrath of God, according to Scripture, is not prophesied to fall until some point in the last three and a half years of that seven year period, so the idea that God will not pour out wrath on his people does not mean that we will all be gone before the seven year period of prophesied events begins. What we see now happening in many parts of the world, where many thousands of Christians are being persecuted and martyred in horrible ways while these prophecy experts make their money, is the wrath of man-the wrath of Satan.

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FULFILLING BIBLE PROPHECY

The above discussion, particularly bearing the word “monsters” in mind, leads me on naturally to the fact that there are people in the world at this time who are, without meaning to, fulfilling Bible prophecy. From the extremist Muslims beheading and crucifying Christians and promising to wipe the Jews off the earth, to the world leaders who are anxious to divide Jerusalem, to those saying “where is the promise of his coming?”, to the multitudes around the world who are believing the media hype that the nation of Israel is committing senseless atrocities and has no right to defend itself, the Word of God appears set to be fulfilled in our time. See my posts on Jerusalem and Israel.

THE GOSPEL TRUTH

I should-since it’s a while since I did-let the reader who is not aware, know that Jesus Christ died for our sins. That is, if we accept his sacrifice on the cross and apply it to ourselves, and if we believe (accept) that God has raised him from the dead, and if we associate with him and change our ways, we are forgiven by God the Father, and we are promised eternal life, and given salvation from the consequences of everything we have done, said, and thought which offended the holy Creator of the universe. You don’t need a priest, you don’t need to give some minister all your money, you don’t need a religion, and you don’t need to “feel” anything: you are just one prayer away from God.

CHURCH LEADERSHIP SHOULD BE EQUIPPING US

 

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Our world is under the full frontal assault of immorality and deception, and the leaders of our churches are too worried about keeping their jobs and keeping their businesses going to equip or prepare the body of Christ for the onslaught!

My sons are 14 and 11. They attend a public school where they are taught that they evolved from a puddle and that any kind of sexual expression is natural and normal. They, and millions of others who leave the churches in droves because they are so brainwashed and wooed by the lies, should be getting the antidote to the poison from their churches-but for the most part they are not.

If I were in such a position of responsibility I would spend at least every other Sunday morning in my church presenting prepared information from creationists, believing archeologists and historians, psychologists and apologists, preparing the people for what they will face the moment they step out of that church building. I’m speaking of the lure of ungodly sexuality, and I’m speaking of the lies of the dragon which have already convinced most in the churches (yes-IN the churches) that life evolved from nothing and that God had little to do with it-thereby making a lie of the Word of God with which we use to claim the moral high ground and eternal life.

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I would schedule regular special events and seminars on such subjects, to which, I believe, people would flock. And they would flock because they want answers. They want answers to the drivel and nonsense of evolutionism which is stuffed down their throats every time they open a book or turn on a TV documentary or try to have a conversation about anything meaningful. If the unbelieving Church can have an “Evolution Weekend”, why can’t the believing Church have a “Creation Weekend?”

And all this talk about us all popping off to heaven any time now without having to suffer anything is just wishful thinking- and isn’t Biblical- at a time when those who hate the gospel of Christ are at work even and especially in the West, and are now in the highest positions of power.800px-Boeing_720_Controlled_Impact_Demonstration

People want answers to the lie that open and uncontrolled sexual expression is where the joy of life is to be found. In fact, what they want is real genuine love instead of the unfulfilling substitute being thrust into their faces.

These subjects go hand-in hand with Biblical doctrine: an on-going, in-depth study of what our God requires of us and what the nature of Truth is.

And people want and need fellowship. I’m not talking about five minutes of coffee and inane small talk before going out into the big bad world again, I mean love and laughter and care and concern and fun. Where is it all?