February 2012 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2012
CHINA IN PROPHECY
China contains one-fourth of the world's population. Yet precious little is said about China in prophecy circles, and what little they do teach about it IS WRONG:
The MYTH that China will send a 200-million man army to destroy one-third of the world's population is thoroughly debunked on this website, [check out Myth #23]:
Jesus loves the Chinese, just like He loves everyone else. He died and shed His Blood for them, just as much as He did for Americans, Native Americans, aborigines, Africans, or Europeans.
So, what's in China's future? Though there is a vibrant, growing and threatened underground Church (a brother named Manny recently shared that ABOUT A MILLION people come to Christ each month, Jesus be praised), it will remain predominantly atheist.
Chinese Christians will, obviously, go in the Rapture like all other Christians.
China will go thru the tribulation.
China will be subject to the Antichrist.
But, there's Good News for China in the Millennium.
Unlike Russia, who rebels against Jesus, at the end of the Millennium, follows Satan, and is destroyed at the battle of Gog and Magog [Revelation 20:8], China WILL TURN TO JESUS.
There's a wonderful prophecy in Isaiah 49:12 that refers to China and says [in context, after the 12 tribes are restored to Eretz Israel]:
"Behold, these shall come from far, and behold, from the north and the west, and these from the land of Sinim [China].
Sing, heavens. Rejoice, earth. And break forth into singing, mountains [I didn't know mountains could sing, did you?] for Yahweh has comforted His people, and will have compassion on His afflicted."
They will come to Israel to pay homage to King Jesus and celebrate Tabernacles, the Jewish Feast on which He was born, on which He began His public ministry, and on which He will set up His everlasting Kingdom on earth.
The tribulation notwithstanding, there's a long-term HAPPY future for China.
And that didn't come from a fortune cookie, but from God's SURE Word.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2012
KING EDWARD'S CORONATION
"...whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted" (Luke 14:11).
Just when I thought ridiculousness couldn't get any worse in certain segments of Christendom, it surpassed even my expectations.
Three weeks ago the congregation of the so-called New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, and anyone else who cared to watch the spectacle on YouTube, were treated to the coronation of "King Edward THE ZERO" a/k/a prosperity gospel pusher, hand-caught-in-the-cookie-jar (not to mention "other" places) Eddie Long.
Unless you're a hermit, you've doubtlessly heard of the allegations brought not by one, nor two, nor three, but FIVE young men - all of them underage at the time the offenses were committed -- of improper homosexual activity between the "bishop" and themselves.
And how the "good bishop" used your generous charitable donations to ply these young men and buy their silence with extravagant gifts, and luxurious trips where they would get to meet celebrities then share a luxury hotel suite, and Lord knows WHAT ELSE, with the "bishop".
How these young men sued the bishop and settled out of court for a very secretive and undisclosed amount of $$$.
How even his wife didn't buy his story and recently filed for divorce.
And how, for good measure, the "good bishop" is also being sued by some former members of his own congregation for losing their life savings in some real estate refinancing scam he endorsed and authorized to be pitched right in his church.
So, is the "good bishop" in rehab?Is he seeking forgiveness and restoration? Is he seeking the Lord with ALL his heart, humbling himself, and repenting of his sins? Is he contrite and at least TRYING to reform?
He's getting CROWNED!
He's being exalted and celebrated!
He's being REWARDED for his infidelity to Christ --not to mention his wife -- for his manipulation of youth, his homosexual behavior and pedophilia, and for scamming the sheep who trusted him, which he was supposed to "oversee".
For those who may not know, the title "bishop" means OVERSEER.
With "overseers" like that, NO WONDER the sheep are confused. No wonder they are lost. No wonder they are being led to the slaughter.
The qualifications for the title "bishop" are clearly given in the New Testament. He must be:
1. Above reproach.
2. The husband of ONE wife.
3. Vigilant, sober, OF GOOD BEHAVIOR, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
4. Not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, NOT A LOVER OF MONEY. (THAT disqualifies 99.9% of the "bishops" on Kristian TV)...
5. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church? (GOD SAID IT, I didn't).
6. He must not be a recent convert, or he may BECOME CONCEITED and fall under the same judgment as the devil.
7. He must also have A GOOD REPUTATION WITH OUTSIDERS, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap (1Timothy 3:2-7).
By my count, the "good bishop" fails miserably EACH AND EVERY biblical requirement.
That, however, DID NOT STOP him from appointing himself "bishop", nor did it stop supposed Messianic "rabbi" Ralph Messner from singing his praises, declaring he was no longer a commoner but a king, then ENTHRONING HIM as "king", as he was literally LIFTED UP by his loyal courtiers after the "coronation" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVkoQHCXSK8
It did not stop "king eddie" - who doubtlessly knew of this infamous ceremony well in advance -- from ALLOWING IT, or from ACCEPTING such dubious and ill-deserved honors.
Nor did it deter the "good rabbi" from wrapping the "good bishop" in a torah scroll, to allegedly "protect him" from "attacks from the devil".
He can wrap him in cellophane and put a red bow on him for all I care...
We all know, of course, that the bishop bears NO RESPONSIBILITY WHATSOEVER for his underhanded, sinful, unchristian deeds.
Don't you know, by now, that it's all THE DEVIL'S fault?
I'm only surprised that Flip Wilson didn't take part in the ceremony.
Well, don't you believe in forgiveness and restoration?
I believe in such things for those who confess (admit) their sin, SEEK forgiveness and restoration.
I believe in such things for those who show repentance and CONTRITENESS for their sin.
I believe in such things for those who at least show A DESIRE to change and mend their ways.
I believe in such things for those who HUMBLE THEMSELVES before Jesus and seek Him with ALL THEIR HEARTS, instead of seeking men's accolades and being "crowned" for their UNGODLY behavior.
Some in the Jewish community are outraged. Can't say I blame them.
The "rabbi" as well as the "bishop" are AN EMBARRASSMENT TO ALL BELIEVERS ALIKE.
Oh, Jesus, please PUT AND END TO all this buffoonery!
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2012
Warning: the descriptions you are about to read, and any similarities to preachers, living or dead, are TOTALLY INTENTIONAL.
I don't know about you, but I tend to classify preachers into different categories.
Today, I thought I'd share some of these with you. There's:
THE POMPOUS PREACHER
These guys are totally in love with themselves and their theological education. They are so prim and proper and always LOOK perfect: their hair is perfect, their suit neatly pressed, a perfectly folded, three-pointed handkerchief on its pocket. They speak, slowly, reverently, with grandiose cadence and perfectly eeee-nun-cee-ate every word.
These are the guys who call Big Daddy "Gaaaawd", instead of "God".
Despite their gigantic egos, and religious insecurity, they generally preach God's Word.
THE "PAIN IN THE BUTT" PREACHER
These are the ones who are always telling you WHAT YOU CAN'T DO, the ones who push legalism.
They wallow in religious fear and negativism.
Their favorite word is "DON'T".
"DON'T do this, DON'T do that. DON'T wear this. DON'T use that".
Their message can be summed up in three words:
"DON'T, DON'T, and (did I mention) DON'T".
These are miserable creatures who can't stand anyone enjoying themselves, or having any fun.
Since they're distressed and unhappy, they feel you should be, too. After all, misery loves company.
They equate godliness and spirituality with THE EXTERNAL, instead of THE INTERNAL: it's ALL about how you ACT and LOOK, not about whether Jesus lives in you or not.
Their message is about procuring YOUR OWN righteousness, instead of trusting God's Grace.
They preach a murky "gospel" of grace plus works.
Consequently, their congregations are confused and live in fear, since they're never quite sure of being "good enough" or "obedient enough" to "merit" salvation.
They've never understood salvation IS A GIFT, which CAN'T BE EARNED, either before or after, you receive Jesus.
They have a FORM OF godliness, but deny the power thereof.
Their misguided souls have drowned in religion. They want everyone around them to be ugly, drab, and depressed, just like they are, and have no business being in ministry.
The ones with the ridiculous hair, or hair piece (as the case may be), wearing tons of make-up and hair spray, with the phony accent, peculiar mannerisms, claiming even phonier "miracles", wearing the white suit, with a red rose on the lapel, or even worse, an embroidered dove . . . or (Lord, have mercy!) ALL OF THE ABOVE!
These are the ones with the "cute" religious clichés... "let go, and let god", "don't get bitter, get better". "earthly brokenness brings heavenly openness", "if you want to lead, you must follow". "I'm not retiring, I’m re-firing", "the word will work if you work it"... yada, yada, yada . . . and, of course, the ever-present pleas for money: "in order to reap a harvest you must sow a seed". Yeah, well, when I buy a farm in Iowa, I'll be sure to contact you guys. (No offense to Iowans).
They claim superior "anointing" for themselves, but seem to excel in only two areas: fund-raising and theatrics.
These are the ones who claim to "get people out of wheelchairs". What they really do is get themselves into private jets and multi-million dollar mansions.
The one "miracle" that takes place in their "crusades" is that, despite all the phoniness and hype, occasionally someone really does get saved.
When it happens, it's entirely due to God's mercy, not their preaching.
THE "SNAKE OIL" SALESMEN
These are the religious pimps and prostitutes. They have no integrity, no convictions, and no scruples whatsoever... and don't even pretend to. They've tossed all that "inconvenient baggage" out the window.
They're after your money and make no bones about it!
Their entire infomercials are geared to "selling God", hustling you for money, making false promises and making you think God's blessings are for sale.
They ask you to "make a vow". They'll SELL YOU "water from the River Jordan", which probably came from the faucet, "miracle prayer cloths", "specially anointed oil", or any other gimmick that proves profitable.
These guys are religious phonies pure and simple! They no more preach the gospel than Simon the magician.
The best thing you can do when one of these greedy, cunning hypocrites pops up on your screen is change the channel as quickly as you can click that remote!
Finally, (thank God, and not a moment too soon . . .) there are
THE TRUE PREACHERS OF THE GOSPEL
These are the real men and women of God, who don't sell out, who have integrity, who mean business, who really want to serve God, and care for your eternal soul.
Sadly, this group is getting smaller and smaller... but there are still some out there.
It's made up of those who realize that, regardless of how well they preach, how much they know, how many theological degrees they have, or how many souls they've won, they are just as human, fallible, and in need of God's Grace as anyone else.
They are not part of the "Je$u$ bu$ine$$". They're not into SELLING books, tapes, seminars or cruises. They're not interested in boasting about how many stations carry their broadcast, or how many people attend their service.
They just want to do the Lord's work, fulfill His Purpose, and answer the HIGH CALLING of God on their lives. . . no matter what.
They preach the Word of God without bias, partiality or preconceived agendas.
They're HONEST and not afraid to admit when they're wrong, and to CHANGE THEIR TEACHING ACCORDINGLY.
Sadly, the Church today, for the most part, values style over substance. They seem to prefer the "buffoons" and "snake oil salesmen".
Which preacher style do you favor?
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2012
PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS
In recent interviews with various media, Franklin Graham has shed light on two important topics: that Mormons AREN'T Christians (they can CALL THEMSELVES "Christian" ‘til they turn Joseph Smith blue, but they AREN'T) and about the persecution of Christians, particularly in the Islamic world.
You'll SELDOM hear either issue discussed at your local church or on Kristian TV, where Truth is regularly sacrificed on the altar of financial expediency and political correctness.
A brother recently sent me an article (see link below) on how most American Christians are OBLIVIOUS to the horrible persecution many of their brothers and sisters suffer in other parts of the world.
Why isn't this topic addressed in most local churches, or even on Kristian TV?
Because, according to a recent survey by Barna Research, it's considered "a downer": http://www.wnd.com/2011/11/363681/
That's right: It's NOT a popular, upbeat, feel-good topic. It's NOT a proven fund-raising winner. Therefore, it DOES NOT FIT their "positive thinking, prosperity gospel, give-to-us-and-you'll-get-rich" agenda.
May Jesus have mercy on their GREEDY, Judas Iscariot souls.
My Bible says when ONE member of the Body suffers, ALL other members SUFFER WITH IT (1 Corinthians 12:26).
My Bible teaches we're to STAND IN SPIRIT with and for our brothers and sisters, who risk their lives for Jesus and the Gospel (Philippians 1:27-29).
My Bible teaches that, when members of Christ's Body are persecuted, OUR JESUS TAKES IT PERSONALLY (Acts 9:4).
But NONE OF THAT matters to traffickers of Christianism.
WHO CARES that our brothers and sisters are being murdered, raped, mutilated, and displaced, their churches, businesses and homes burnt, and sentenced to death SOLELY for their faith?
We can't be bothered with their misfortune. We're too busy basking in our opulence to even INTERCEDE. Just leave us alone: let us enjoy our mansions, Rolexes and Rolls Royces.
TO THE ETERNAL SHAME of Je$u$ HUCKSTERS, we've come to hear about the plight of our brothers FROM SECULAR SOURCES.
My God in heaven, even Newsweek - hardly a sympathizer to the Christian cause - just ran it as THEIR COVER STORY.
We can blame our politicians all we want - and there's enough blame to go around, to be sure - but other than Franklin, we haven't heard EVEN A WHISPER from so-called "Christian leaders", and NOT EVEN A WHIMPER of protest from so-called "peace loving Muslims".
But hasn't this persecution been going on for quite some time? Yes, it has. However, IT HAS GREATLY INTENSIFIED since the so-called Arab spring.
Say what you will about Hosni Mubarak, but under his rule, the 22 million-strong Coptic Christian minority in Egypt were protected and lived in relative peace. NOT ANYMORE.
In Iraq - the same Iraq so many of our brave soldiers shed their blood and lost life and limb to liberate and protect - Christians have either gone into exile or underground due to the hatred and vicious persecution against them.
I could go on and on about places like Nigeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Burma, North Korea, Viet Nam, China, etc.
This discriminatory bloodshed, however, was predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24:9-10, ALONG WITH strong and frequent earthquakes, volcanoes, religious deception and national insurrections, as the "beginning of sorrows" or "birth pangs".
He also predicted it in Revelation 6:9-11 where we read:
"And when he had opened THE FIFTH SEAL, I saw under the altar THE SOULS OF THEM THAT WERE SLAIN for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, HOW LONG, O Lord, holy and true, DO YOU NOT JUDGE AND AVENGE OUR BLOOD ON THEM THAT DWELL ON THE EARTH?
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little while, UNTIL THEIR FELLOW SERVANTS ALSO AND THEIR BRETHREN, THAT SHOULD BE KILLED AS THEY WERE, SHOULD BE FULFILLED".
The clear implication is that, AS SOON AS the number of Christian martyrs (known only to God) is fulfilled, God WILL JUDGE the wicked bastards who've persecuted them with GREAT and UNPRECEDENTED TRIBULATION, which they richly DESERVE.
This increase in persecution is PROOF POSITIVE that we're living THE FINAL MOMENTS of the 5th Seal.
The Rapture happens when Jesus opens the 6th Seal (Revelation 6:12; 7:9).
Jesus told us it wouldn't be pretty, and it isn't.
All these events are taking place RIGHT ON SCHEDULE, just as He predicted.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2012
IT'S ONE OR THE OTHER
One thing that makes this ministry unique is that we minister to various segments in the Body of Christ:
Evangelicals who visit the site, see us as Evangelicals.
Catholics who visit the site, see us as Catholic, or at least Catholic-friendly. And so do Messianic Jews see us as "one of them".
About the only ones who KNOW WE'RE NOT PART OF THEIR GROUP are heretics. And, frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Which of these groups are we members of? NONE.
And yet we "belong" to ALL of them.
We belong to the ENTIRE Body of Christ, irrespective of denominational label, or lack thereof.
We often hear from Messianic brothers and sisters who boast about observing the weekly Sabbath, eating kosher and of being "torah observant".
I must say that, while I attended a Messianic congregation many years ago, and was baptized in water as an adult by a Messianic rabbi, I cringe when they make those legalistic claims.
For starters, everyone who CLAIMS to be "torah observant" IS LYING.
Repeat: EVERYONE who CLAIMS to be "torah observant" IS LYING.
There's only been ONE HUMAN BEING in all history who has been PERFECTLY torah observant, and who both observed and FULFILLED (ETERNALLY SATISFIED) the requirements of the torah.
His Name is Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 5:17).
EVERYONE ELSE HAS FAILED TO OBSERVE THE TORAH, NOT ONCE, BUT THOUSANDS OF TIMES.
And, in my case, it probably runs into the MILLIONS.
The Apostle James, and half brother of Yeshua told us point blank that EVEN IF we kept ALL the commandments our whole lives, and broke JUST ONE, the ENTIRE TORAH COMES CRASHING DOWN ON OUR HEADS, AND WE BECOME GUILTY OF BREAKING ALL THE TORAH (James 2:10-12).
So much for BOASTING about being "torah observant"...
By the works of the torah (law) SHALL NO ONE BE JUSTIFIED (Galatians 2:16).
Can't say it ANY CLEARER than THAT.
We are saved BY GRACE THRU FAITH, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES, it is THE GIFT of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest ANYONE should BOAST (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
So much for boasting.
You CANNOT be justified both by God's Grace and by ALLEGED torah keeping. It's one OR the other (Romans 10:4; 11:6).
Fact is, THE ONLY ONE who CAN and HAS kept the torah is THE SAME ONE who GAVE IT.
Fact is, THE ONLY WAY to be accounted "torah observant" before God is to RECEIVE Him WHO PERFECTLY KEPT the torah ON OUR BEHALF, and TRUST His holiest, most precious Blood which He shed for our sins.
There is NO OTHER WAY to be justified before a HOLY God.
There is NO OTHER WAY TO BE SAVED.
Make up your mind, legalistic brothers and sisters.
You CAN'T serve TWO masters.
Either trust your own FALSE "torah keeping", or trust Jesus COMPLETELY.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2012
CREATION AND RE-CREATION
Readers often ask how old I believe this planet to be.
My usual reply is that I'm not a scientist, that even scientists DO NOT know for sure, and neither do I.
Even though many of us were present when God created the earth (Job 38:4-7), we DO NOT retain such memories this side of heaven.
Genesis 1:1 says "in the beginning God CREATED the heaven and the earth".
NO ONE in this earthly realm knows for sure WHEN that "beginning" was.
The very next verse (Genesis 1:2) says "the earth was without form and void (empty) and DARKNESS WAS UPON THE FACE OF THE DEEP"...
... and the Spirit of God moved upon the face OF THE WATERS".
We DON'T KNOW how much "time" transpired between verses 1 and 2, however, we can infer from the text that SOME time went by and SOME monumental event took place.
Why? For one thing God is a God OF ORDER. He doesn't create ANYTHING "without form and void".
He doesn't create ANYTHING in a chaotic state and engulfed in water.
And He is Light; in Him is NO DARKNESS AT ALL (1 John 1:5).
So, if the earth were still in the pristine condition in which God had created it, WHY would it be desolate and empty, covered in DARKNESS and ALL underwater?
God created a flawless earth. It was initially populated with humanoid, pre-Adamic beings.
Sometime between verses 1 and 2 the satanic rebellion took place.
The humanoid beings, whose evil, disembodied spirits we know today as "demons", rebelled along with Satan.
Their rebellion against God prompted them to devastate the earth which, in turn, caused God to send the FIRST flood (Isaiah 14:12-17, 20).
Thus, until verse 9, the earth was COMPLETELY COVERED WITH water.
Everyone on the earth had perished.
Noah's flood was not the first, but THE SECOND flood.
That's why God promised He'd NEVER AGAIN destroy the earth with a flood, because He'd already done it TWICE (Genesis 9:11).
What we read in verses 3-31 is, therefore, the RE-CREATION of the earth after the satanic rebellion.
That re-creation, which God accomplished in 6 24-hour days, is estimated to have taken place some 6,000 years ago.
Is any of this essential to Salvation?
Is it O.K. to have different points of view on this?
Although I'm personally convinced of the above, I wouldn't waste any time arguing about it.
Even born-again Christian and Jewish scientists differ somewhat on their theories.
What I don't believe for a split second is that such indefinite period of time (between verses 1 and 2) consisted of MILLIONS OR BILLIONS of years, as some so-called scientists would have us believe.
The ONLY reason to tack on all those MILLIONS is because that's THE ONLY WAY they can make their FALSE, anti-God and anti-Christ theory of evolution REMOTELY viable.
After all, NO ONE in recorded history has EVER seen an ape turn into a human, or even a frog turn into a fish.
So, the ONLY WAY an evolutionist can make their theory seem somewhat feasible is to TACK ON MILLIONS OR BILLIONS of years with the same ease you and I put ketchup on our French fries.
If Christians want to debate EVOLUTIONISTS, that's one thing, but to argue with fellow believers about such inconsequential matters is, in my humble opinion, a complete waste of time and energy.
We'll soon find out who's right, anyway.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012
CHRISTIANS IN IRAN
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21).
I've always said that Christians in America have it TOO EASY.
That's why SOME have nothing better to do that nitpick and criticize those who serve Christ and MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
That's also why they have time to roam the internet in search of some "new", EXCITING, never-before-heard heresy.
Would you like to know what it's like to be Christian in Iran?
Our brother Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34 year old Christian pastor with a wife and two young boys, was ARRESTED two years ago for "apostasy".
That's right: he was arrested NOT BECAUSE he committed a crime, not because he scammed money from anyone, not because he got caught in adultery, pedophilia or drugs, BUT SOLELY for being Christian.
God only knows what sort of abuse he's had to endure for the past two years. Most recent reports are that his health has greatly deteriorated during his incarceration.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the demon-possessed Iranian court has just sentenced him to death - his ONLY "crime" being CHRISTIAN -- and, reportedly the execution could take place "at any time, without warning".
Our brave and faithful brother COULD HAVE been released from prison and his life spared had he recanted and embraced the satanic religion of Islam, but he said 'Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?' Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2105024/Christian-pastor-faces-execution-Iran-refusing-renounce-faith.html#ixzz1nB06gzBa
I COULDN'T HELP contrast his courage and spiritual strength with the spineless, compromising "Christian superstar" COWARDS we have in the U.S., who live in mansions, fly around in private jets, live better than most heads of state, and are too chicken-sh*t to even say before a TV camera, with NO ONE THREATENING THEIR LIVES, that Jesus Christ is THE ONLY WAY to be saved.
After all, they're not out to evangelize: ALL they care about is SELLING as many copies as possible of the latest piece of religious trash they (or some ghost writer) wrote.
Makes you wonder how they'd fare if they were faced with brother Youcef's challenge.
Other Christians in Iran face the same evil, suppression and persecution.
I also CAN'T HELP wonder about all the SUPPOSED "peace-loving" Islamic leaders in places like the U.S. and Britain - where THEY, who attacked the Pentagon and destroyed the Twin Towers in N.Y.C. taking OVER THREE THOUSAND LIVES -- are allowed TOTAL religious freedom.
WHY AREN'T THEY raising their voices IN PROTEST and asking their "Muslim brothers" in Iran to SHOW SOME LENIENCY?
WHY AREN'T THEY advocating for the same religious FREEDOM they enjoy in the West?
NOT ONE of these religious hypocrites has uttered A WORD. In fact, their silence has been DEAFENING.
I ask those of you who walk in the Spirit, who really live in connection with Jesus, to pray fervently IN SPIRIT for our precious brother.
Pray for STRENGTH, for the COMFORT of the Holy Spirit, and the Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ - which passes all understanding - to manifest in Youcef's spirit, soul and body.
Pray also for strength, comfort and peace for his family, his wife and children. That they will be supernaturally protected and for God's provision in their lives.
Come on, fellow believers... Let our brother EXPERIENCE and KNOW that he's NOT ALONE.
That he's surrounded by a GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES, both watching from the heavenly realm, as well as imparting strength and faith to him here on earth.
That's what the "communion of saints" is ALL ABOUT.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2012
WORLD WAR III
This world has already experienced two large-scale wars which involved the major world powers, WWI which took place in 1914-1918, and the global conflict known as WWII which gave us the horrendous and enduring memories of the Holocaust, and which took place 1939-1945.
However, WWIII is about to break out. And, according to the Bible, it will make the previous two pale by comparison.
Revelation chapters 8 and 9 describe this war as ENTIRELY CONSUMING ONE-THIRD OF THE EARTH, burning up one-third of crops and vegetation, destroying one-third of ships, presumably war ships, contaminating one-third of drinking water, destroying one-third of marine life, turning one-third of the sea into blood, darkening one-third of daylight, and destroying ONE-THIRD OF MANKIND.
What we're seeing in the Middle East right now, and the rumblings of war between Israel and Iran, is merely the tip of the iceberg. There's MUCH MORE to come. When it does, it will be of a scope and magnitude UNPRECEDENTED in human history (Daniel 12:1).
It's not called "the GREAT tribulation" for nothing (Matthew 24:21).
It's in the aftermath of those terrible calamities that Antichrist emerges from the bottomless pit, resurrected from the dead (Revelation 17:8) to rule the devastated world.
BEFORE all that happens here on earth, the Church (true believers in Jesus Christ) is taken to heaven (Revelation 7:9, 14).
Unfortunately, every so-called prophecy teacher I've ever listened to, or read, acts as though Revelation chapters 8 and 9 AREN'T EVEN IN the Bible.
They'd have us believe the Antichrist is living incognito somewhere in Europe or the Middle East, that everything remains normal, and one day he just pops out of thin air and says "I'm here to provide a solution to all your problems", then all the present superpowers (U.S., China, Russia) immediately and VOLUNTARILY surrender their sovereignty.
NO SUCH STUPID FANTASY is taught in the Scriptures.
But lack of Scriptural basis, and lack of logic, has never stopped prophecy traffickers before, so why should it now?
And why should they even CONSIDER changing their tune when foolish Christians KEEP PURCHASING -- and DEFENDING -- their unbiblical lies?
By the time Antichrist emerges, the aforementioned superpowers WON'T EXIST in their present condition because they will have been decimated by war.
They will have NO VOICE and NO INFLUENCE in world affairs, and by "world" I mean WHAT'S LEFT of the presently known world.
If the Second Coming of Jesus, per Daniel 9:25, is to take place in the fall of 2016, then this mother of all wars should break out later this year.
Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Are you born-again of His Spirit?
Please don't wait ‘til it's too late.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2012
ESTABLISHED BY GOD
The LORD has established His Throne in heaven, and His Kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:19).
A while back, a Judaizing heretic wrote that Paul was a false prophet because "no one who truly believed in God could say, as he did, that everyone should submit to the authorities and that there's no authority which God hasn't established".
He was appalled that Paul would make such statement when cruel Rome was ruling the world.
I reminded the Judaizer that two of the greatest prophets in Israel, Daniel and Jeremiah, had said THE SAME THING (Daniel 2:21; 4:17; Jeremiah 27:5).
I realize this message is not something most people want to hear, especially in an election year.
Matter of fact, I don't like it either.
But do we receive ONLY those portions of God's Word that we like, and reject the portions we DON'T like, OR DO WE RECEIVE ALL OF IT?
If we truly believe in the One true God, if we truly have Jesus living in our hearts, WE DO NOT GET TO PICK AND CHOOSE where His Word is concerned.
We do not use the Bible "selectively".
We do not focus only on the portions we "like" and DISREGARD those we DON'T LIKE.
That would make us religious hypocrites.
Every godless "Christian" cult that exists was born out of such selective misuse and UTTER DISREGARD FOR the INERRANCY and ABSOLUTE TRUTH contained in God's Word.
Either we believe ALL OF IT, or NONE OF IT (Matthew 4:4).
The fact is that God is Almighty.
The fact is that God "changes the times and the seasons: He removes kings, and sets up kings" (Daniel 2:21).
The fact is that He "rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to WHOMEVER He will" (Daniel 4:17).
We may not like whom He gives that kingdom to, we may not always like the rulers He sets up, we may not fully understand with our limited vision and intellect WHY He allows some wicked person to rule certain countries, but He's God, He knows everything and, ultimately, He ALLOWS IT.
Even in democracies, where people get to vote and purportedly choose their leader, God knew the outcome IN ADVANCE and He allowed it.
I know, I know, those who've witnessed or experienced the horrors of ungodly regimes, the oppression and injustices committed during the Roman Empire, the atrocities of the Holocaust, or the ruthlessness of Stalin's purges... those who've lived under the draconian dictatorships of Saddam Hussein, Muammar Ghadaffi, or Hafez Assad, or even those closer to home who've lived in Castro's Cuba or Chavez's Venezuela, have every right, humanly speaking, to question how a loving, merciful God could allow SUCH EVIL.
He often allows it because WE allow it.
Those regimes are often A REFLECTION OF the collective consciousness of a nation.
We are quick to blame God but we forget that we live in a sin-infested, fallen world, filled with corrupt men with corrupt minds.
The fact is that the Antichrist gets to rule this world ONLY BECAUSE that's what mankind WILL WANT and deserve (Revelation 9:20, 21; 13:4; 16:11).
And, for 42 months, God WILL allow it (Revelation 13:5).
The fact is that even when God Himself rules this earth during the Millennium -- EVEN AFTER 1,000 YEARS OF PERFECT JUSTICE AND WORLD PEACE -- a rather large number of humans WILL REBEL, side with Satan, and TRY TO TOPPLE Jesus' RIGHTEOUS RULE (Revelation 20:8-10).
It's ultimately OUR SIN, and the evil desires in men's hearts, that have brought about such tyrannies.
Has God allowed it? Absolutely.
Did God give man FREE WILL? Yes and Yes.
Has man, throughout his tortured history, ABUSED that free will to his own misfortune?
Let me count the ways...
Unfortunately, I don't see TOO MANY PEOPLE who've lived in those hellholes, fall on their faces before God, cry out to Him, seek His Face, repent of their sins, and beg for mercy.
I DON'T SEE THEM TRYING TO MEND THEIR WAYS and seek His will with ALL their hearts.
What I see is that the VAST MAJORITY invariably TURN MORE DEFIANT AND VIOLENT.
What I see is that evil never wanes, but INCREASES.
Are there exceptions? Yes.
But, unfortunately, they are PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS FEW.
God gave man power over the earth realm. Thus, He will usually allow men to get PRECISELY what their evil imaginations, and wicked hearts, desire.
After all is said and done, WHO'S RESPONSIBLE for all the evil?
God may ALLOW it.
He, however, DIDN'T CAUSE IT.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2012
"Love NEVER fails" (1 Corinthians 13:8)
There's NO END to Divine Love
Praise Him (Jesus) FOREVER!
And we are PREDESTINED to become Divine Love, just like Him.
That is the ENORMOUSLY GLORIOUS DESTINY of EVERY child of God.
That's OUR Destiny in Him.
This TEMPORARY earthly existence is BUT A SHADOW (James 4:14).
Like all shadows it's destined to VANISH.
And when it does, it will give way to OUR TRUE IDENTITY in Christ.
We're chips off the Old Block, so to speak.
Partakers of His Divine Nature... (2 Peter 1:4).
Chosen and PREDESTINED in Christ, before the foundation of the world, to be MANIFESTED sons of God, like Jesus, and to CONFORM to His Image, like Jesus (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:29).
There will be A WHOLE BUNCH of "Jesuses" ruling with Him during the Millennium.
Of course, He will always be FAR GREATER than the sum of all His parts, as in parts of His Body (1 Corinthians 12:27).
The apostle John was entrusted this Divine Revelation and GREAT TRUTH.
He put it this way:
"Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM, FOR WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS" (1 John 3:2).
Are you IN Christ?
Are you part of His Mystical Body?
What glorious Destiny awaits those who KNOW HIM !
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19. 2012
FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
If you being evil know how to give GOOD GIFTS to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to THOSE WHO ASK HIM?" (Luke 11:13)
When we invite Jesus Christ to enter our hearts, His Holy Spirit comes to LIVE in us.
There is, however, a further experience that every child of God should seek and ENJOY: being FILLED WITH that marvelous Holy Spirit.
The FULLNESS of the Spirit usually manifests by speaking in unknown tongues. It's usually accompanied by a tingly feeling of joyful peace, and a sensation of FULLNESS, as if something wonderful were GROWING and RISING inside your stomach.
Like every other good and PERFECT gift that comes from the Father of Lights, it is given to us BY GRACE, thru FAITH.
Those who wish to be filled need ONLY ASK their heavenly Father, in faith, TRUSTING He will fill them. Set yourself apart, SEEK Him -- ASK HIM trusting that He will -- and stay focused on Him, until it/He happens.
Being filled with the Spirit is NOT - repeat, NOT - a once in a lifetime experience. After the initial "filling" there will be MANY MORE.
This is taught in Ephesians 5:18 "be not drunk (filled) with wine, wherein there is excess, but (literally, in the Greek) BE BEING FILLED (continuously) WITH the Holy Spirit, singing and MAKING MELODY IN YOUR HEART to the Lord".
One more thing: the fact we are Spirit-filled, the fact we speak in tongues as the Spirit GIVES UTTERANCE, is NEVER to be used to brag about how "spiritual" we are, nor to feign "spiritual superiority", nor to PRETEND we are "anointed", or "better Christians" than anyone else.
And -- UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE -- is the gift of tongues EVER to be used as a "fund raising" tool TO MANIPULATE OTHERS INTO GIVING. NEVER, EVER!!!
THE MOMENT YOU DO, you're NOT in the spirit, BUT IN THE FLESH.
THE MOMENT YOU DO, you're serving Satan, NOT GOD.
THE MOMENT YOU DO, you're FAKING IT.
Being spirit filled doesn't make us "better Christians" than those who DON'T speak in tongues.
All it means is that our loving Father has taken notice of our weakness, and has given us a Helper to strengthen our feeble humanness, aid in communicating with Him, and build us up in the faith.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2012
When we say "baptism", most people think of water baptism.
Did you know that there's more than one "baptism" spoken of in the Bible?
The book of Hebrews, speaks of the doctrine of "baptisms" (plural), and says it's a foundational doctrine [Hebrews 6:1, 2]. It's part of the A, B, C's of Christianity.
The word "baptism" means "immersion".
There are four different baptisms (IMMERSIONS) taught in the New Testament:
1. Baptism by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ [1 Corinthians 12:13].
2. Baptism in water [Matthew 3:16].
3. Baptism with the Holy Spirit, a/k/a being filled with the Spirit, which usually manifests by speaking in unknown tongues [Matthew 3:11; Acts 2:4].
4. Baptism of fire, which we will talk about in a different message.
Is baptism necessary for salvation? Baptism #1 is.
Baptisms #2, #3 and #4 aren't.
Baptism by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY and AUTOMATIC when we receive Jesus into our hearts, and are born again of the Spirit.
Baptism in water, despite what certain man-invented denominations teach, ISN'T NECESSARY.
Having said that, EVERY Christian SHOULD BE baptized in water in obedience to our Lord's command [Matthew 28:19].
Water baptism is simply a symbolic, outward representation of what has taken place inwardly, in our spirits, when we're born again. Namely, that OUR SINS HAVE BEEN WASHED AWAY.
But what about the scripture that says "he who believes and is baptized shall be saved, he who believes not shall be damned"? [Mark 16:16].
That scripture refers to baptism #1 which, as I just stated, takes place automatically when you believe [trust] in Jesus' finished work of Salvation.
If it referred to water baptism, which isn't automatic, it's a separate act of obedience, then the scripture would have to read "he who isn't baptized in water, after believing, shall be damned".
Fortunately, it DOESN'T say that.
Some Christians refer to speaking in tongues as "the baptism OF the Holy Spirit". That terminology is incorrect.
The correct name is "being filled WITH the Spirit" or "baptism WITH the Holy Spirit" [not "of"].
A person doesn't need to speak in tongues in order to be saved.
Forget what some forms of hyper-charismatic, man-created religion teach. NO SUCH THING IS TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE.
Speaking in tongues is a gift of the Spirit TO THOSE WHO ALREADY ARE SAVED.
Although speaking in tongues PRIVATELY is very beneficial and desirable, it is not necessary for salvation, neither is water baptism. Being immersed by God the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body, on the other hand, is ABSOLUTELY necessary.
The reason being: IF YOU'RE NOT IN CHRIST, YOU'RE NOT SAVED.
By One Spirit were we ALL baptized [immersed] into one Body [1 Corinthians 12:13]. This is the baptism that saves.
No other form of baptism saves.
So, how is a person baptized into Christ's Body by the Holy Spirit? I thought you'd never ask...
By earnestly inviting Jesus to enter your heart. When you really give your heart to the Lord, His Holy Spirit enters, transforms your inner being, and comes to live permanently in your heart.
His Spirit then immerses [baptizes] you into the Body of Christ.
That's the ONE AND ONLY baptism that saves.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012
DO JEWS NEED THE ARK?
Entire movies, books, DVD's and websites have been devoted to SPECULATING about the location of the "lost ark" of the covenant.
Indiana Jones notwithstanding, the ark may be "lost" to mankind, but it's NOT lost to God. He knows EXACTLY where it is, since it was placed there at His behest.
One prophecy expert after another has stated that the Jews can't build their third temple until the Ark is located.
Are they right? Of course not!
Jews built their second temple by 516 B.C. and IT HAD NO ARK. Never did.
Roman general Pompey came to Jerusalem in 63 B.C. and, after murdering the temple priests, and despite being warned of the possible consequences of entering the Holy of Holies, he entered anyway.
He was shocked to find... nothing, an empty room.
That's right: the Holy of Holies in the second temple was EMPTY.
There was NO ARK, nor any statue of a "deity" as Pompey expected.
Pompey lost his head, LITERALLY, sometime later in Egypt.
Jews, of course, were forbidden in the torah to make any "graven image".
That, by the way, was the same temple Jesus later visited, preached in, and the one He threw the money changers out of.
He also referred to it as "my house".
So, this myth that the ark must be found in order for the Jews to rebuild their temple, is just that, MYTH.
Does the Ark still exist? And if so, where is it located?
The Bible doesn't say.
According to 2 Maccabees 2:1-7, the ark was secreted away by Jeremiah in 586 B.C., prior to Jerusalem's destruction by the Babylonians.
Jeremiah said it would be "forgotten" and its location unknown for many years until God re-gathered all Israel again, and decided to reveal its location.
There are various theories of Ark replicas floating around, but nothing's been proven. There are also various theories as to where the genuine Ark was hidden.
Possible locations of the Ark, according to Christian "experts" include Jordan, Ethiopia, Babylon, Egypt, and - this just in - Yemen.
Jews KNOW it's hidden somewhere below the Temple Mount.
Ever since David brought the Ark to Jerusalem, Mount Moriah has been its designated dwelling place, and still is today.
So, Jews can and will build their third temple without it, when the Two Witnesses appear.
It's true location won't be revealed until the Millennium.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2012
NO FEAR HERE
Fear is responsible for ALL - and I mean ALL - the evil in this world.
You're wrong, Martel. You mean SIN is responsible for all the evil.
NO, I mean FEAR, since it was FEAR that caused man to sin.
When God recreated the earth, and placed Adam (male and female) on it, there was NO FEAR.
It was Satan who introduced fear into the Garden of Eden, into the human mind and, by extension, into the rest of this fallen, decaying world (Genesis 3:7-10).
It was the venomous FEAR that the serpent injected into Eve's natural mind -- fear that God might be withholding something desirable, like Godhood, from her -- that deceived Eve and, ultimately, caused her to DISTRUST God and sin (Genesis 3:4,5).
It was fear of losing the only being on earth like himself -- that he'd so eagerly waited for -- that caused Adam, who was NOT deceived, to bite into the pomegranate or "forbidden fruit" (Genesis 3:6).
God had already predetermined that He would right this wrong, caused by fear, in 6 days, or 6,000 earth years (2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 13:8).
Thank God those 6,000 years are just about to expire.
Satan is a spirit. Fear is a spirit (2 Timothy 1:7).
In fact, the spirit of fear IS SATAN HIMSELF.
Fear separated mankind from God.
FEAR IS THE ONLY THING separating us from our Creator and Father.
Why? Because God is Love.
Because PERFECT Love (God) CASTS OUT fear (1 John 4:18).
If we had NO FEAR, we would see God as He is and would LEARN THE TRUTH that He's never forsaken us.
"Separation" from God our Creator is merely the FALSE PERCEPTION of our corrupt IMAGINATION.
The antidote for fear is Love.
Divine Love CASTS OUT fear (1 John 4:18).
Divine Love CASTS OUT Satan, since Satan IS the spirit of fear.
Divine Love is NOT A THING. Divine Love is A PERSON (1 John 4:16).
Divine Love (Jesus) wants OUR UNCONDITIONAL TRUST.
He wants us to FORSAKE FEAR. He wants us to TRUST Him.
That's why Salvation is BY FAITH (trust).
Have you EXPERIENCED Divine Love?
Has He taken residence in your heart?
When He does, He's guaranteed to drive out fear.
When Divine Love APPEARS, ALL FEAR AND ITS nefarious EFFECTS, WILL BE FOREVER CONSUMED.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2012
When was the last time you prayed for your enemies?
The 5th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, where Jesus delivered the "Sermon on the Mount" is, without question, one of the greatest passages in the Bible, and literature in general.
Jesus didn't merely suggest we pray for our enemies, HE COMMANDED IT [Matthew 5:43-45].
And Jesus is ALWAYS RIGHT.
He went even further by saying that if you pray ONLY for your friends, if you LOVE ONLY those who love you, there's no merit, or reward, in it whatsoever.
Even the UNSAVED can do that [Matthew 5:46,47].
WHY would Jesus give us such COMMAND?
Because He knows you can't do it on your own.
Because He knows we can't do it APART FROM HIM [Mark 2:7].
Because He knows that to LOVE someone who hates you, wants to harm you, OR HAS HARMED YOU, is downright impossible for your natural human nature.
He knows that such LOVE requires a SUPERNATURAL nature.
Such LOVE requires God's OWN NATURE in your heart [2 Peter 1:4].
The ONLY WAY you can obey that commandment is to LIVE, AND LOVE, IN GOD HIMSELF [1 John 4:8].
Only God's Holy Spirit, living inside your heart, can produce such unnatural, SUPERNATURAL LOVE.
He commanded it, because He wants you to be PERFECTED IN LOVE, as He Himself is PERFECT LOVE.
Has someone hurt you? Have they harmed you? Taken something from you? Stolen something? Have they offended you? Mocked you? Spoken evil of you? Accused you falsely?
Jesus doesn't merely want you to forgive them... He wants you to take it to an even higher level. He wants you to LOVE THEM!
He demonstrated PERFECT LOVE, not only by dying on the cross for our sins, BUT BY PRAYING FOR HIS ENEMIES, EVEN THOSE WHO HAD CRUCIFIED HIM.
On that old rugged cross Jesus epitomized PERFECT LOVE.
Jesus PROVED His Deity by BEING PERFECT LOVE: by dying for, praying for, and LOVING, even His enemies, critics, accusers, blasphemers, mockers, AND EXECUTIONERS.
He LOVED THEM even as He gasped His last breath [John 13:1; Luke 23:34].
PERFECT LOVE is victorious in EVERY SITUATION.
God IS Perfect Love. Perfect Love is INVINCIBLE.
Perfect Love will TRIUMPH over EVERY THING, OVER EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE, and OVER EVERY LIE.
If you doubt it, just LOOK AT where JESUS was then.
Then LOOK AT where HE IS NOW (Philippians 2:9-11).
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2012
THE GREATEST LOVE
Every problem in the world stems from fear, which is lack of love.
Since God is love, lack of love is lack of God (1 John 4:16).
Every problem, therefore, is due to lack of God.
Please note I didn't say "lack of religion". I said LACK OF GOD.
Let's be honest, regardless of how "tough" we are, or pretend to be, all of us need love... hence, all of us need God.
On this day when love is celebrated all over the world, are you lonely? Do you feel unloved?
If so, have I got a Valentine for you!
For women, he's tall, handsome, rich, famous, influential, romantic, tender, a terrific LOVER, and totally faithful. He's also a great listener.
He PROTECTS you, and with Him you'll always feel SECURE.
For men, He's fun, dependable, trustworthy, never boring, and loves you unconditionally. He's interesting, non-judgmental, understanding, and great to hang around with.
You can tell Him your deepest, darkest secrets and He won't betray you. He's the BEST friend you could EVER have.
I'm talking, of course, about the Incarnation of God, Christ Jesus.
I'm here to tell you that NOBODY has ever loved you, or will ever love you, like Jesus:
"GREATER LOVE HAS NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT HE LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS" [John 15:13].
I'm telling you that, if you really knew Him, as He really is, not as legalistic religious stiffs portray Him, you'd find Him simply irresistible.
Nothing this world offers [sex, drugs, money, booze, food, fame, human "love"] can remotely compare to His never-ending, never-failing love.
If you realized just how far He went and sacrificed to gain your love, if you had Love Himself living in you, you'd never, ever again feel lonely or unloved.
You'd let go of ALL FEAR, and simply REST in His strong, protective, and loving arms.
Jesus is TOTALLY in love with you. He wants to ENTER YOUR HEART and be YOUR Valentine.
Will you receive His love?
Will you give Him YOUR HEART?
Will you be His Valentine?
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2012
I'm not referring to what this world calls "love" which is mere LUST.
I'm not even referring to being "in love" which is nobler, but still CARNAL.
Nor am I referring to familial love as one would have for a parent, son or daughter.
I'm talking about Divine Love. I'm talking about God Himself, since HE IS LOVE.
In Greek He is called agape.
God (Divine Love) is invincible.
He will ALWAYS come out on top.
He will ALWAYS WIN!!!
He always OVERCOMES.
There's a wonderful song written by Michael Card entitled "Love Crucified AROSE".
It contains the lyrics:
Love crucified, arose
The Risen One in splendor
Jehovah soul Defender
Has won the victory.
Love crucified, arose
And the grave became a place of hope
For the heart that sin and sorrow broke
Is beating once again.
You can CRUCIFY Divine Love and He'll rise.
You can KILL Divine Love, but He won't die.
You can send Divine Love INTO HELL ITSELF, where He (Jesus) spent three days and nights, and HE'LL EMERGE VICTORIOUS.
(Yes, His Salvation is SO COMPLETE that He even took the hell you and I deserved).
He even crushed the head of the bastard who had Him crucified (Genesis 3:15; 1 Corinthians 2:8) and EMERGED with THE KEYS of hell and death (Revelation 1:18).
Divine Love ALWAYS triumphs.
If Love could triumph over ALL of Satan's predatory onslaught and evil machinations, if He could triumph over death, and over hell itself, there's NOTHING and NO ONE that can keep Him down.
Divine Love is THE ANSWER, THE SOLUTION TO every adverse circumstance.
When we receive Jesus into our hearts, we are spiritually reborn of Divine Love.
Love (Jesus) has penetrated our hearts and deposited His Incorruptible Seed in us.
God's Seed of Divine Love -- NO MATTER WHICH FORM HE TAKES -- will INEVITABLY crush Satan's seed and Satan's head.
Rejoice, born-again brothers and sisters, for the Love THAT LIVES IN YOU knows NO DEFEAT.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2012
Why is there so much confusion and misinformation about Bible prophecy?
There are THREE major reasons:
1. Prophecy gurus refuse to question C.I. Scofield's teachings, accept them at face value, and never bother to subject them to biblical scrutiny, as they MUST.
2. They don't keep Revelation's 7 seals in numerical order. God gave each seal, trumpet and bowl a number for a reason. God is a God of order, not disorder. Disorder is confusion.
You can't take something that happens under the 7th seal, and stick it under the 1st seal to suit your whims.
You can't take the tribulation, which happens entirely under the 7th seal, and stick it under the 6th, just to agree with Scofield.
You can't take the Antichrist which doesn't appear until the 7th seal is opened, and the 6th trumpet is blown, and stick him under seal #1. Not happening!
3. THE FORGOTTEN CHAPTERS.
I've talked often about the previous two reasons. What are the forgotten chapters?
They're chapters 8 and 9 of the Book of Revelation.
So-called prophecy experts would have us believe the Antichrist is already alive on earth, living incognito somewhere in Europe or the Middle East, and that he'll suddenly unveil his identity, come up with some brilliant idea to solve the world's problems and, magically, everyone will be swept into his web of deceit.
That the world will remain pretty much "as is" and that this mystery man will show up and IMMEDIATELY all the present superpowers (The U.S., China and Russia) will hand over their sovereignty and say "here, rule over us".
That's NOT AT ALL what the Bible teaches.
For starters THERE ISN'T A SINGLE SCRIPTURE -- from Genesis to Revelation -- that teaches the Antichrist will be living among us at the end of days. NOT ONE!!!
That teaching, therefore, is FALSE and unscriptural.
This false belief that he's already living among us, has in turn led to an unfortunate "guessing game", where different "pundits" try to guess which world leader will turn out to be the feared Antichrist.
The list reads like a Who's Who of incompetent, unqualified, ridiculous -- unsupported by the Scriptures -- and FALSE Antichrist "candidates".
Hey, "experts", read chapters 8 and 9 of Revelation!
And after you READ THEM, TEACH THEM!
You can't jump from chapter 7 to chapter 13 and ignore the rest.
There are at least three scriptures that PLAINLY STATE the Antichrist won't be living on earth but rather, will emerge from the bottomless pit about 4 years prior to Jesus' Second Coming [Revelation 11:7; 17:8, 10; Isaiah 14:19].
He won't show up until AFTER the Church has been raptured [Revelation 7:9].
He won't show up until after 5 of the trumpet judgments have taken place [Revelation 9:15; 11:9; 13:1].
He won't show up until there's a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem [Revelation 11:2, 7].
He won't show up until the world we know has been decimated by war, famine, disease and the deployment of WMD'S [Revelation chapter 8 & 9].
He won't show up until the major powers (U.S., China, Russia) have been nearly destroyed, and more than one-third of mankind has been annihilated [Revelation 8:11; 9:15].
ONLY in the aftermath of such horrendous calamities, will he APPEAR RESURRECTED BEFORE A DEVASTATED, STAR-STRUCK unbelieving world, which has been laid waste and is yearning to mount a strong, viable challenge to Jesus' IMPENDING RETURN.
He'll sell himself and his well-deserved reputation of "invincibility", by being resurrected, and demonstrating supernatural knowledge and power [Daniel 8:23-25; Revelation 13:2].
He'll defeat Israel, conquer Jerusalem, then rule the entire world for 42 months [Zechariah 14:1-5; Revelation 13:5, 7].
He'll put an end to Iran's quest for world domination (Daniel 8:7,19-21).
I appreciate some of brother Scofield's teachings. Some of them are correct. But they're NOT all correct (most aren't).
And they're definitely NOT inerrant.
Challenge Scofield [and while you're at it, challenge your favorite prophecy guru], keep those 7 seals IN ORDER, and DON'T NEGLECT chapters 8 and 9.
You'll be surprised just how much FALSEHOOD has been taught and SOLD as "Bible prophecy".
You'll be surprised what God's INFALLIBLE Word of Prophecy REALLY says.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2012
SEALS, TRUMPETS, AND BOWLS
The Book of Revelation is largely chronological, with a couple of parenthetical chapters [10-12].
Most, if not all, of the wrong teachings on prophecy stem from the fact that people fail to realize that, from chapter 6 onwards, God gives John [and us] a prophetic outline of our "future".
If we paid attention to the outline, THERE'S NO WAY we could misunderstand what God intended us to KNOW, nor would there be the disastrous theological splits about whether the Rapture is pre, mid, post, or pre-wrath, post trib.
The first four seals are the four horses. That's already in our past.
We are living right now between the 5th and 6th seal.
The Rapture happens when the 6th seal is opened [Revelation 6:12, 7:9].
The entire tribulation happens under the 7th seal [Revelation 8:1].
The judgments of Trumpets 1-5 happen at the beginning of the tribulation [Revelation chapters 8-11].
The reign of Antichrist, which is the last 3-1/2 years, including the 7 bowl judgments, happen under the 6th trumpet [Revelation 10-19].
The 7th trumpet signals the end of the tribulation, the Second Coming of Christ, and the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom on earth [Revelation 10:7; 11:15-18]:
Last 3½ years
Reign of Antichrist
7 bowls of wrath
Second Coming of Jesus
Like the Geico commercial says, it's so easy a caveman could see it. Am I comparing prophecy gurus to cavemen?
Draw your own conclusion.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2012
Nobody DESERVES to be saved.
I don't care how "good" you are, NOBODY will ever make it to heaven based on good deeds.
The Pope won't make it.
Billy Graham won't make it.
Mother Teresa won't make it.
You and I won't make it.
Salvation can NEVER be earned. So quit trying.
Salvation is a gift.
Does God give us the gift of Salvation, then take it away, then give it back, then take it away,then give back... Based on our "performance".
No, no, no.
You were undeserving when He gave you the gift. You continue to be undeserving AFTER He gives you the gift.
You can follow "commandments" till you turn into a shriveled old prune.
You can go every Saturday to that religious building ‘til you turn into a mummy...
You can eat kosher ‘til pig farmers go on strike.
It will NEVER earn Salvation.
None of that will ERASE YOUR SIN.
Having your sins erased is a gift.
Salvation is a gift...
Like everything that comes from God, it is A PERFECT GIFT [James 1:17].
If it's perfect, that means it's COMPLETE.
It's ALL been done FOR you.
You can't add to it. You can't take away from it.
You only got TWO CHOICES:
You can reject the gift, or you can RECEIVE the gift.
Ain't NOTHING ELSE you can do about it.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2012
"I FEEL YOUR PAIN"
As most of you know, this became former President Clinton's mantra when he ran for office back in 1992.
I dislike clichés but this one seems rather apropos for what I'm about to teach.
An integral part of being Christian, particularly if you're a minister of the Gospel, is BEING THERE for the needs of others. And by "needs" I'm not talking ONLY about spiritual and material needs, but EMOTIONAL needs as well.
We should speak the Word in love, pray for those in need, give to the poor, AND we should provide emotional support for those who are hurting.
This is an aspect of Christianity that MUST be emphasized, because there is SO LITTLE one-on-one comfort and empathy going on in the Church, not to mention the world.
Jesus Christ was ANOINTED by God to HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED [Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18]. To set at liberty those who are BRUISED.
As Christ-ians we must use His anointing in us to do the same.
And, trust me, you'll encounter more than your share of "brokenheartedness" in our decadent, FALLEN, mixed up society.
Take this ministry, for instance. We never set out to do anything but reach the lost, and dispel errors in biblical prophecy.
Yet, we hear, on a daily basis, from dozens of heartbroken individuals:
Somebody lost a loved one, lost their job, has a sick family member, are sick themselves, is going thru divorce, their spouse is cheating, they're estranged from their loved ones, comes from a broken, dysfunctional home, has a drug dependency, is suicidal, spousal abuse, ex-spouse won't allow them visitation, is going thru depression... the list goes on and on.
We got three choices: we can turn our backs, we can give them a religious lecture, or we can COMFORT.
BEING THERE doesn't mean you'll wave a magic wand and make their troubles disappear.
It means that YOU LET THAT PERSON KNOW that you STAND in solidarity with them, and are praying for them. That you UNDERSTAND. That you have Christ's love in your heart for them, and then provide a BRIEF, PERTINENT, LOVING, BIBLICAL Word of comfort.
If they're talking apples and you're talking oranges, it won't help them one bit.
When someone's going thru hell on earth, they don't need lectures, they don't need sermons, they don't need you to talk about something IRRELEVANT, they don't need you to sing hymns, demonstrate how "spiritual" you are, go off on some mystical dissertation, talk down to them, or give them some "one size fits all" advice from a religious manual.
And for God's sake, DON'T tell them to "have more faith". THAT'S the most USELESS, ANNOYING and crappiest piece of advice anyone can give.
They NEED TO KNOW that you HEARD THEM, that you UNDERSTAND what they're going thru, and that YOU GENUINELY CARE.
They also need your prayers. If you don't know HOW to pray, or WHAT to pray for, allow the Spirit to pray thru you in unknown tongues. That's one of the purposes for which this gift was given to the Church [Romans 8:26].
At some point or another, the tables will turn.
The time may come when the brokenhearted one may be YOU.
If and when it happens, YOU'LL wish others had done unto you as, hopefully, YOU DID UNTO THEM.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012
DON'T TALK TO US, GOD
Can you imagine someone REJECTING God's Voice?
Can you even comprehend the Creator of the universe, the Almighty, SPEAKING and people NOT listening?
Oh, come on, you're out of your mind. That would never happen.
Really? THAT'S WHY you need to stop reading those STUPID websites with man-invented fantasies.
THAT'S WHY you need to stop watching those EVEN MORE STUPID and FALSE "Christian" videos.
THAT'S WHY you need to shun "Christian entertainment" and seek SOLID Truth.
THAT'S WHY you need to study His Word, the Bible.
THAT'S WHY you need to SEEK JESUS WITH ALL YOUR HEART, not just for 5 minutes on Sunday morning, BUT EVERY SINGLE DAY.
God's people are destroyed for LACK OF KNOWLEDGE (Hosea 4:6).
God's Word is JESUS!!! (John 1:1).
You'd think that those who claim to believe in God would seek Him, seek His Face, and seek His Knowledge, which is SO SUPERIOR TO ours (Isaiah 55:9).
When the children of Israel came out of Egyptian bondage and camped around Sinai, God SPOKE TO THEM CLEARLY, DIRECTLY, AND OUT LOUD.
He spoke to them in an AUDIBLE Voice.
But THEY REJECTED HIM!!!
They told Moses "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But DO NOT have God speak to us or we will die" (Exodus 20:19).
God had already spoken and they HADN'T died.
But that's what religion AND FEAR do to people.
It caused them TO REJECT HIS WORD.
They'd rather get it FILTERED THROUGH MOSES.
And, sure enough, they've been listening to Moses, and NOT to the God they claim to serve and believe in, EVER SINCE.
It's no wonder, then, that some 1,400 years later, when THAT SAME GOD appeared to them in human form, when THAT same Word of God became incarnate, THEY STILL REJECTED HIM.
They still REFUSED His Word. They still turned a deaf ear to His Voice.
And they're still doing it 2,000 years later.
By the first century A.D., their ears had become so dull and their hearts so hardened, that they NO LONGER FEARED DYING from hearing God's Word, they just wanted Him CRUCIFIED!!!
They no longer feared being killed by the Word, they'd completely turned the tables and now WANTED TO KILL Him!
They were stubbornly resolute in their decision NOT TO LISTEN to Him.
No wonder Jesus repeated time and again "He who HAS EARS, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15; 13:9,43; Mark 4:9,23; Luke 8:8; 14:35; Revelation 2:7,11; 3:6,13; 13:9).
Rejecting the Word of God IS rejecting God (John 1:14).
He IS His Word.
But it's not JUST the children of Israel who, for the most part, reject Him.
Those who claim to be His followers, who profess to be Christian, ALSO REJECT HIM.
They have both His RECORDED Word in the Bible, and they supposedly have the Living Word, JESUS, living IN THEM.
But they'd rather NOT hear Him.
They'd rather NOT seek Him, or have Him speak DIRECTLY TO THEM.
They'd rather get Him FILTERED THROUGH some fearful religion, through some demonic cult, some false preacher, some confused religionist, or some greedy televangelist.
They'd rather get Him FILTERED THROUGH some nitwit who posted a video which no more contains God's Word than Mein Kampf.
Or from some biased website with a preconceived agenda and utter disregard for The Truth.
When all the while Jesus Himself is available to them 24/7.
When all the while their Bible is sitting on a shelf, TOTALLY NEGLECTED and collecting dust.
We've become TOO LAZY AND TOO LUKEWARM to SEEK Jesus ourselves.
We want SOMEONE ELSE to do "the work" for us.
Seeking the One we're supposed to KNOW and LOVE has become toilsome. It's become A BOTHER.
So, we'd rather hear MORTAL MEN'S BIASED AND OFTEN DISTORTED VERSION of what He supposedly says.
Are you rejecting the Word of God?
Are you REJECTING JESUS, without even realizing it?
How can you REJECT HIS WORD and call Him your Lord?
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012
Does belief in "God" save anyone?
IF by "God", you mean the ONLY, ONE TRUE GOD, Jesus Christ...
And IF by "belief" you mean you TRUST HIM to save you, and His Holy Spirit has taken residence in your heart, the answer is "YES!".
If you mean ANYTHING ELSE, the answer is "NO".
Believing that there's a "God" out there, somewhere, or that there's some sort of Supreme Being, whatever he/it may be, won't cut it.
Believing in your religion, no matter what it's called, won't save anyone.
Believing that Allah is God, won't save anyone.
Believing that Krishna is God, won't save anyone.
Believing in Buddha, or his teachings, won't save you, or get you to "nirvana". Buddhism is an outright lie, from beginning to end.
Even believing in Yahweh won't save you!
But isn't Yahweh the God of the Bible? Yes!
But it pleased Yahweh to make Salvation available ONLY thru His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9; 1 Timothy 2:5].
"There's NO OTHER NAME under heaven, given among men, whereby we MUST be saved" [Acts 4:12].
Even believing in Jesus WITH YOUR HEAD, rather than WITH YOUR HEART won't save you.
Jesus MUST ENTER YOUR HEART and REPLACE your sinful nature with His Own Holy Nature.
When this happens, you are BORN AGAIN [2 Peter 1:4].
So, I ask you today: are YOU SAVED?
Who LIVES in your heart?
Who's YOUR God?
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2012
Acts 5:1-10 tells the story of Ananias and Sapphira.
The Church had just been born, and believers in Jerusalem had "all things in common". They were selling their possessions and bringing the money to the apostles to distribute (Acts 4:32-37).
Ananias and Sapphira were a couple of believers who sold some real estate and agreed to keep a portion of the proceeds.
They brought PART of the money to the apostles and LIED claiming they were bringing the full price.
The Spirit revealed to Peter that they had lied, that they were testing Him, and when Peter rebuked Ananias, he literally dropped dead.
A bit later his wife Sapphira showed up. She also lied and she also dropped dead.
Many Christians read this passage and totally miss the point.
They think: "what did they do that deserved death?
They told a little lie, so what? After all, they were GIVING MONEY to the apostles and the Church".
It wasn't just the lying that ticked the Holy Spirit off.
If lying to God or lying in His Name caused death, there'd be HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of dead preachers and televangelists lying around.
It was the fact they were TESTING TO SEE IF the Spirit REALLY KNEW the Truth or not.
Likewise, their death had nothing to do with bringing only a portion of the sale price.
Peter made it clear in verses 3 and 4 that they COULD HAVE kept their property. Or, they COULD HAVE sold it and kept ALL the proceeds. Their deaths, therefore, had nothing to do with money, how much or how little they gave.
It had EVERYTHING to do with THEIR LYING.
It had EVERYTHING to do with TEMPTING God.
Acts 5:9 clearly says that Ananias and his wife had PREMEDITATEDLY AGREED TO LIE and TEST the Holy Spirit, whom they had just received (in chapter 2) to see whether He really knew (or NOT) whether that was the correct price they had received for the land.
As Jesus had already indicated in Matthew 12:31, you don't mess with the Holy Spirit.
Needless to say that the Holy Spirit, who is God, KNEW the right price, KNEW it was a lie, KNEW they lied ON PURPOSE in order to test Him, and didn't like it.
Peter merely acted as His mouthpiece.
In Matthew 4:7, Satan suggested that Jesus throw Himself down from the temple AND PRESUME that God would save His human life. And what did Jesus reply? "It is written: YOU SHALL NOT TEST the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 6:16).
In Jesus' case there would have been NO LYING involved, and no testing God in the sense of DOUBTING whether He really knew something or not, but He still didn't do it in order NOT TO violate Scripture.
Ananias and Sapphira only died physically. As believers, they went to heaven.
But the point of the message is that the Holy Spirit KNOWS EVERYTHING and He knows what is in our hearts and minds ALL THE TIME.
It's highly disrespectful, not to mention FOOLISH and downright blasphemous to try to deceive Him, or TO TEST His omnipotence, omnipresence or omniscience.
Those who think they can fool God are only fooling themselves.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2012
ARE YOU HOLDING UP THE RAPTURE?
"The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some people understand slowness, but is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to perish, but wants everyone to repent" (2 Peter 3:9).
That verse says that one reason Jesus hasn't reappeared is because He's being patient with you.
He doesn't want you to perish. He wants to save you. He wants your heart.
Jesus knows his sheep by name. He knows who they are and where.
He even knows WHEN they'll choose to INVITE Him into their hearts.
So, if you HAVEN'T given your heart to Jesus.
If you're trapped in some man-invented religion that constantly teaches you TO TRUST WHAT THEY SAY INSTEAD OF trusting Jesus and WHAT HE SAID.
If you want to be free of fear...
Repent, receive Jesus into your heart as Lord, God, and TOTAL Savior.
If He's your TOTAL Savior that means you TRUST HIM (and Him ALONE) COMPLETELY.
It means you trust that He did EVERYTHING necessary to ETERNALLY SAVE YOU (Hebrews 10:14).
It means you REST in the ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE that He took care of ALL your sins (past, present and future).
It means that His PEACE has settled in your heart.
Are you holding up the rapture?
Could YOU be THE LAST ONE that Jesus is waiting patiently for?
You might as well GIVE UP and turn to Him with all your heart NOW.
Cause we're NOT LEAVING WITHOUT YOU.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2012
"Send me some material to help me grow spiritually" is a request that we usually get either from new believers or from those who've turned from cults to true faith in Christ.
Of course, we have material that we provide freely to both, to guide new believers in their relationship with Jesus and in taking those first steps in their communion with the Lord.
Of course we have material to help those who want to be free of religious legalism.
We even dig into our archives and send material to those who ask about specific topics. We also share our teachings with ministries abroad.
But there are those who get those materials, and STILL WANT US TO SEND MORE.
They think we have some magic formula that'll make people grow spiritually. We DON'T.
Invariably, we refer them to the New Testament.
There isn't a "one size fits all" spiritual growth program because there aren't two people on this planet who are at the same place or the same level of spiritual development.
If you're a new believer who recently invited Jesus into your heart, there isn't a better guide or "instruction manual" IN THE ENTIRE WORLD than your Bible, especially the New Testament. In fact, it's a "MUST READ".
Likewise, if you're someone who has forsaken some man-invented religion in favor of the true Gospel of God's Grace, there's NO BETTER resource on this planet to strengthen your faith, and TO DEVELOP YOUR TRUST in God's undeserved Goodness (Grace), than that New Testament.
We can provide GENERAL guidance on both, but the bottom line is:
I CAN'T IMPROVE ON what GOD SAID.
Matter of fact, the New Testament must be THE BASIS OF our faith.
Had you KNOWN the New Testament, had you known DIRECTLY what Jesus and His disciples believed and taught (instead of what some SINFUL MORTAL CLAIMS they said) many of you would have never been deceived into following some legalistic, man-invented, fear-based religion.
God doesn't want His children living in fear, or filled with insecurity and anxiety. He wants them to ENJOY fellowshipping with Him.
You can't read God's Word in a hurry. Spirit revelation can't be rushed.
You need to study it, taking it in slowly, meditating on it deeply, to the point you're still thinking about it AFTER you closed the Bible and are doing something else.
You need to seek and ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance and revelation.
He inspired the Word. He's THE ONLY ONE who can reveal ITS TRUE MEANING.
If you run into some portion that you don't understand, of course we're willing to help to the best of our God-given revelation.
Scripture that DOESN'T STAY WITH US is useless to us.
Scripture we DON'T KNOW won't do us ANY good.
Those who've entered into relationship with Jesus Christ NEED TO KNOW what Christ said, taught, and thinks.
There is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR individual, one-on-one spiritual connection and communication with Jesus.
When we enter into relationship with anyone, when we care for that person, we FIND OUT about their thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes.
HOW MUCH MORE should that be true in our relationship with Him?
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2012
Every time I come across TBN, someone's being introduced as "apostle" so-and so.
I've never seen so many "apostles" in my life!
The word "apostolic" is also thrown around a lot.
When asked what makes them "apostles", their answer is that they "empower" and "release" others into ministry.
Is that what the Bible teaches? Not at all.
NO ONE but God can release or empower someone to minister in His Name.
Incidentally, any minister who is NOT CALLED DIRECTLY BY God is NOT a real minister OF God.
We have too many SELF-APPOINTED "apostles", "prophets" and "bishops" called by MORTAL MEN, by their denomination, or their flesh, and NOT BY GOD.
Real apostles in the Bible, were called directly by Jesus.
They didn't just sit around, wearing nice clothes, claiming to "release" others to minister. They did the work of the ministry themselves!
Read the Book of Acts, for goodness' sake!
Read the epistles!
It's true that the apostles did mentor certain individuals: Paul mentored Timothy, Peter mentored Mark, John mentored Polycarp. But they didn't go around "releasing" people and "empowering" people.
Those who often accompanied them, and were taught by them, had been called directly by God, and they, as REAL APOSTLES, RECOGNIZED THAT CALLING BY THE SPIRIT.
The apostles did more preaching and teaching, and achieved more conversions than all their disciples put together. They endured extreme hardship and, in most cases, were murdered for their faith.
The word "apostle" [apostolos, in Greek] means "one who is sent". Only God can do the "sending". No mortal man can, or should.
Calling someone apostle doesn't make them one.
ONLY Jesus can make them apostles.
Nothing else does. NO ONE ELSE CAN.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2012
There's this myth circulating lately that there's no evidence Jesus even existed.
That there's nothing, apart from the New Testament account, no historical evidence of any sort, to indicate there was a Jesus of Nazareth.
I've heard it on TV, and seen ads on the internet, including a couple of Christian sites (go figure) advertising a DVD set that, supposedly, offers "proof" that Jesus never existed. He's merely the invention of some religious loons.
Well, if someone invented Jesus, and His marvelous, unparalleled teachings, they weren't loons at all... they were geniuses.
If someone just "invented" the notion that God so loved sinful humanity, that He decided to become human, and DO THE JOB of redeeming us HIMSELF... there's nothing in literature anywhere that even REMOTELY comes close to it in sheer greatness, idealism, loftiness and perfection.
However, let me stop right there and say, this sudden "discovery" -- 2,000 years after the fact -- that Jesus "never existed", and that He was merely "invented", is nothing but pure trash, and not worthy of anybody with half a brain to even consider.
NO LESS THAN FOUR reputable contemporaneous historians, namely, Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius and Pliny the Younger, all testified as to His Existence, his earthly Life, His ministry, His crucifixion, His claim to Resurrection, and the fact He had an ever-increasing number of followers WHO WORSHIPPED HIM AS GOD.
So much for the stupid, ludicrous, UNFOUNDED, "no evidence apart from the New Testament" argument.
Not to mention that THOUSANDS of people who lived in Israel and Jerusalem saw Him, heard Him, touched Him, were taught by Him, believed in Him, witnessed His crucifixion, and believed in His Resurrection, to the point they were willing to die, rather than deny His Existence.
So, in addition to historians, we have THOUSANDS OF CONTEMPORARY EYEWITNESSES, who were so sure of Jesus' Existence and who He is, they chose martyrdom, rather than saving their own lives, by denying the Undeniable.
But let's, for one nanosecond, PRETEND that He never existed.
That a non-existent individual could inspire such devotion, from people who KNEW He didn't exist, and that faith in Him would spread throughout the world,
to the point it would change history, the calendar, and society in general...
That millions throughout the world are able to EXPERIENCE that "nonexistent" Person, and have a PERSONAL, JOYOUS, LIFE- CHANGING RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM (who, supposedly, doesn't exist), that they can love and worship Him...
THAT would be an EVEN GREATER MIRACLE.
So great, in fact, that there's no explanation for it OTHER THAN SUPERNATURAL, DIVINE INTERVENTION.
Oh, foolish atheists! I pity your miserable, blind hatred!
You feel THREATENED by someone who, according to your unsubstantiated crap, and irrational fear, doesn't even exist.
Hence, you keep coming up with all this nonsense to try to discredit the EVER EXISTING ONE.
This isn't the first time it's been tried. In the past two millennia, THOUSANDS have tried, in various ways, to discredit Jesus.
Guess what? NOBODY remembers them.
Just like NOBODY will remember you.
Jesus, on the other hand, has more followers today than He ever did!
From EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING HE IS GOD.
That's A FACT.
You CANNOT disprove it. And there's NOTHING you can do to change it.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2012
GOING TO "CHURCH"
Most pastors or ministers will tell you Christians are COMMANDED in the Bible to attend church services.
They rely on A SINGLE VERSE of Scripture to make their false claim:
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much more, as you see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
Sounds good, doesn't it? There's only one problem: when that verse was written, THERE WERE NO CHURCH BUILDINGS.
So, it COULDN'T POSSIBLY refer to attending what we know today as "churches" or "church services", because THERE WERE NONE.
Those buildings we INCORRECTLY call "churches" were not INVENTED until some 400 years AFTER Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. That's HISTORIC FACT.
Before they were invented, believers used to meet in each others' homes (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2; Acts 8:3).
They didn't meet because it's a commandment, but because it was THEIR CUSTOM. They did so BY CHOICE.
So, what is Hebrews 10:25 referring to ?
IN CONTEXT, it's talking about coming together ("assembling ourselves") SPIRITUALLY, NOT PHYSICALLY, since it would be impossible to assemble all believers into a single physical structure.
The previous verse in that passage (24) talks about "Provoking one another unto love and good works". This isn't talking about gathering in a building. The "assembling" he's talking about is SPIRITUAL in nature.
God is talking about believers coming together in love and spiritual unity with one another, especially as they see the day of His return approaching.
It obvious such unity doesn't come from gathering in buildings. If it did, we wouldn't have 230 major denominations, often in discord with one another.
The word for "assembling" in Greek, episunagoge, means "a COMPLETE collection".
Collections are NEVER made up of ONLY ONE PIECE, but of many DIFFERENT PIECES.
As long as parts of His body are hacked off, discarded, segregated, or marginalized, the "collection" is incomplete.
The Body is mutilated.
We must, therefore, unite SPIRITUALLY into a complete "collection" of Christians.
Such collection must contain ALL TYPES of worship styles, music, doctrine, teaching, and spiritual gifts, as long as they don't violate the basic tenets of the Christian faith.
Otherwise, there's NO COLLECTION of anything.
And, no, we DON'T HAVE TO "agree" about everything.
Paul gave us this marvelous principle in 1st Thessalonians 5:21:
"Test (examine) all things, hold fast to that which is good".
Divisions in Christ's Body MUST come to an end.
Christians must RECOGNIZE (whether they like it or not) that they are One in Spirit with Christ and with each other.
There's nothing wrong with going to a building, if you so desire, and gathering there with other Christians, but NOWHERE IS THIS A COMMANDMENT.
And you certainly DON'T NEED TO attend services in order to be saved.
This verse is telling us to seek spiritual unity among believers, both individually and collectively, and to seek that unity, even more intensely, as the day of Jesus' return draws near.
Such spiritual unity doesn't come from man-made buildings, it comes from the born-again spirit inside your stomach.
The Church isn't a building, the Church is US !
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