Sunday, December 7, 2014

Divine Warning: You Will Be Betrayed!

   "It's Duck season!""Wabbit season!""Duck season!""Wabbit season!" So goes the gag from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon where he & frenemy Daffy each try to persuade Elmer Fudd which of the two he ought to be hunting (likely a reference to McCarthyism). Well, dear Reader, one day it will be Kwistian Season! It is written:
 "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.....and he had power to give life unto the image of the Beast, that the image of the Beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the Beast should be killed." (Revelation 13: 7, 15)
   During the McCarthy era, people were accused of "un-American activity"; in the new era, those of us who will not worship the image shall be accused of "intolerant and unloving activity" perhaps! The fallout from that is, to save their own necks, people will be naming you & me as enemies of global harmony and peace. According to Jesus Christ Himself:
"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another." Matthew 24: 9-10
"Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death." Mark 13:12
"And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death." Luke 21: 16
This is a message so vital that it was included in all three synoptic Gospels, yet how many are preaching this?
How much easier (and more lucrative) to simply tell Christians we're all going to a big party in Heaven before the junk hits the fan? And it don't get no better, guys, for David says:
" was not an enemy that reproached me: then I could have born it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him;
But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.
We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company." Psalm 55: 12-14

   OUCH! People from your own church will backstab you!? The Prophet Micah adds, (7:5-6)
"Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide; keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house."
   It is a grim picture, and tough times to be living in. Here's the takeaway: 1) do not be bitter against those who do this- they'll be under a lot of pressure to do so. 2) don't you do this to others! Pray for the strength to keep your mouth shut and not give away anyone else! I know this one was tough, but the warnings of Jesus don't get any easier from here.
   I remind you, brethren, Jesus didn't say these things for no reason. He wants to prepare us for what is coming our way, so we won't be caught off-guard when it happens.  Remember the "Ebola scare"? One person died. They are false prophets, but Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness! Of Whom the Father says, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him." 
Th-th-th-that's all, folks!
Peace to the brethren. Fight the good fight. God save the faithful.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Divine Warning: You Could Be Deceived!

   Halloween night, 1938: the U.S. is invaded- by Mars! Orson Welles' famous radio broadcast was just a drama---but many thought it was real! Forrest Gump showed LBJ his butt- or did he? What is real, what's not? It's getting harder to tell.
"Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, 'I am Christ': and shall deceive many....and many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many...there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24: 4,5,11,24
   Don't think you can be deceived? We live in a world of illusion. The world is real, but just the way light & sound behave, the ways our eyes & ears work, illusions are everywhere! Ever see a baseball game? The players on the field look about an inch tall. Perspective is an illusion, as is the Doppler effect. Our own minds play tricks on us.
   The truth is, if you think you're too sharp to be fooled, you're a prime target for deception! In fact, the one deceiving you doesn't even need to be smarter than you. Believing lies just comes natural to us! We are highly susceptible to deception. And Jesus warns us to be on our guard.
   "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.",  Paul told Timothy. And to the church at Thessalonica he warned: "Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie..." 2 Th 2: 9-11
   And speaking of 9-11, (just kidding, I won't go there).
   Anyway, when the Antichrist arises, do you think he'll appear in the form of Baphomet, or have horns and a 666 tattoo on his forehead? "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field..."  And he's had a few thousand years to perfect his craft. "And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14
      No, rather: but he'll come in a non-threatening, appealing guise. Christians will be fooled. "Not me! I'm Spirit-filled!" How many people believe Disney is good, wholesome family entertainment? His films are in nearly every Christian home in this country. Yet these movies are filled with occult themes and sexual subliminal messages, as well as racism.  He was a high-level Mason and a pedophile. We were all fooled!
   Friends, we need to take the warnings of Jesus seriously. Don't think for a moment you can't be deceived. Stay humble before God, and pray for His wisdom to discern what's real & what's not, what's of God and what's of the Devil.  Jesus told the Samaritan woman, "You worship you know not what". That's a scary thought.
   Brothers and sisters, we can't be too careful. "Trust no one, question everything!" is good advice in these days. And please don't think someone else has already checked it out for you. "Yeah, but, So-and-so is in the Truth Movement".  The Truth isn't a movement; He's a Person- Jesus Christ!
   We can get through this mess if and only if we follow Jesus' warnings. Stay thirsty for the truth, my friends. Fight the good fight. God bless the faithful.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

More Than These?

"Did you ever have to make up your mind? did you ever have to finally decide?" asked the Lovin' Spoonful. After His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?" These what, Jesus? These fish? These other disciples? I believe the Holy Spirit intentionally left this space blank; I believe He's asking each of us, you & me, "My child, do you love Jesus more than ____________?"
    Remember that movie Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory? Six kids each won a Golden Ticket, but one by one they forfeited their prize as they gave in to the temptation of their own peculiar obsessions. The Bible is full of stories of characters just like them: Esau, who sold his birthright for one bowl of soup; Eli, who honored his sons above God; Achan, who siezed plunder from Jericho; Gehazi, who claimed the offering meant for Elisha, to name a few.
   How about King Herod? At his birthday bash, his little step-daughter starts prancing around like some slut in an MTV music video. He gets such a kick out of it, he offers her half his kingdom! When she asks for the head of John the Baptist, what does he do? He chooses sex & entertainment over the kingdom of God. Have you heard that 78% of Pastors admit to regularly viewing internet porn? That means, if we sat five pastors down here, there's just ONE who doesn't! (I hope your pastor is that one.)
   Have you ever gone to download & install some software and just clicked that little accept box without actually reading the Terms and Conditions? Well, newsflash, Jesus has some Terms & Conditions too. Such as:

  •     Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
  •    I am He which searches the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Amos prophesied, "Take thou away from Me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols." (Amos 5:23) What if, what if, the Holy Spirit told your church, "I hate Contemporary Christian  music! I hate Christian Rock!" What would you do?
   I believe the days are coming, and are here now, when the Lord is calling for a deeper dedication and commitment from His chosen people. And I believe He is asking us, as He asked Peter, "Do you love Me more than your: parents/ children/ spouse/  friends/ career/ money/ reputation/ entertainment/ internet/ political party/ cigarettes/ alcohol/ pornography/ popularity/church affiliation/ pet doctrine/ music/ Halloween/ Disney/  country / your very life itself?"
   Thomas Paine wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, sink from the service of their country." Well these are the times that try the faithful's souls, and the summer Christians and sunshine believer will also sink from service to their Lord. The Apostasy is upon us, and "many shall depart from the faith".
   The old church chorus, based on Proverbs 8, affirms," Lord, You are more precious than silver; Lord, You are more costly than gold. Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds, and nothing I desire compares with You."  May this genuinely be the cry of our hearts.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Keep Calm and........

   We've been studying the warnings of Jesus to His church, and to balance that out, we'd just like to look at some passages of assurance. Without further commentary from me, here we go!

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength." Isaiah 26:3-4

"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10

"And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." Isaiah 32:17

"Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:1-5 

"I have been young, and now am old;  yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."  Psalm 37:25

   "These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD." John 16:33

   Amen and amen. Thank you, Lord Jesus.  Let us never forget. Next time. : )

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Divine Warning: Leave it all Behind!

   You've heard the warnings: the geeks warned us the computers would meltdown in Y2K; Nostradamus predicted the AntiChrist would rise to power in AD 2000; the Mayan calendar said time would run out in 2012. And people listened. If we listened to the prophets of this world, ought we not listen to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ? Ought not a people listen to their God?
   Therefore, we are taking a fresh look at the warnings of Jesus to His disciples. Today's warning: you may have to evacuate! Tom Petty sang, "You don't have to live like a refugee". Jesus said you might have to!
"Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes." (Matthew 24: 16-18)
   You say, "That's nice, but I ain't in Judea & won't see the Abomination of Desolation." True! But the principle's the same. See, no one can buy or sell without the Mark of the Beast: means you can't pay your bills, rent, mortgage, taxes, insurance, or whatever! You're gonna have to leave! Because they're going to kill anyone who refuses to take the mark! Jesus instructed us: "...when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another..." Matthew 10:23
  The Lord said not to go back and get anything out of your home. May I add, don't bring your devices either? Cell phones, Ipads, nav systems; your credit & debit cards as well: anything they can track you with!
Escape! Question is, could you do it? Would you? Will you? Could you leave your house & all your stuff for Jesus? Or would you keep your stuff & take the mark of the Beast?
"Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's,  the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, 
and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Mark 8: 34-37
   Remember, many are called but few are chosen. What is the criteria? Jesus asked Peter three questions- really the same question each time:
   This is what it comes down to, folks. One day, you'll have to choose between your stuff and your Saviour! Settle it in your hearts now, what matters more to you? You've been warned.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Divine Warning: You Will Be Hated!

   Warning! Objects in mirror are closer than they appear! Warning: the Surgeon General has determined cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health! Warning! Warning! Danger! Danger! Everyone, it seems, is warning us about something. I have a smoke detector that goes off any time I make toast! I just get annoyed with it and turn it off. It's practically human nature to ignore warnings; in fact that's how Adam & Eve screwed things up in the first place.
   Well, Jesus gave His followers some warnings, too, and we would do well to listen to what He's said, and not shut Him off like some noisy smoke detector. "And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake..." Jesus told us in Matthew 10:22. Why? Because we tell them their gods AIN'T God, their ethics AIN'T righteous, their way AIN'T the way, and, BTW, they're going to Hell when they die. Pretty sure it's that last part that bugs them the most.
   Now, these people: your family, friends, classmates, co-workers; they're gonna play a little game, and say, like the Doobie Brothers, "Jesus is all right with me." See, you da problem; you're the jerk, the hypocrite, the legalist, the narrow-minded bigot, the homophobic self-righteous, pontificating, judgemental hater.  It isn't Jesus they have a problem with, it's you.
   But Christ said, "If the world hate you,  you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:18-19) Like everything else the Bible says, they're going to turn this upside down and say it's not Jesus they hate, just you. After all, they'll say, Jesus never called their habit a sin, nor said their sin of choice was evil, nor called their deeds wicked. (as if they know what He said from reading the Bible perfunctorily once or twice.)
   The Apostle Peter wrote, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when Hs glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye..." 1 Peter 4:12-14
    If I may so say, we've had things relatively easy in this country up 'til now; we haven't seen hatred like we're going to see! As the darkness spreads and deepens more and more, their hatred for us will grow even as their love for Lucifer grows. The Duck Dynasty brothers, for example,  took flack for statements they made against homosexuality; we should expect more of the same if we want to live for Christ.
"For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." Hebrews 12: 3-4 "Not yet"? Means one day it will cost us some blood! Be prepared.
   Brothers and sisters, let us take seriously the warnings of Jesus. He's not a bubble-headed booby.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Divine Warning, part 2

   Is anyone listening? We get warnings from the FDA, CDC, FAA,FCC, the AMA, the FBI; isn't it time we harkened to the LJC? The Lord Jesus Christ has issued serious warnings in the Sermon on the Mount, the Olivet Discourse, and the Messages to the 7 Churches, as well as other places. He has forewarned us what the world shall do to us when we obey Him, and what He shall do when we don't!

  • You will be hated.
  • You could be deceived.
  • You may need to evacuate.
  • You will be betrayed.
  • You will be persecuted, slandered, stereotyped, ridiculed.
  • You may have to kill someone! (God forbid. )

  • I will remove your candlestick (church).
  • I will spit you out.
  • I will come on you like a thief.
  • I will kill your children!
  • I will take what you have, and give it to someone more faithful.
   Some of these are very disturbing, and you may be thinking, "Jesus would never say that!" May I remind you, when John sees Christ at the opening of Revelation, He's armed with a sword, and has fire in His eyes: He doesn't show up in a white sports coat and a pink carnation! He's not picking us up to drive us to a party!!! We will be looking at each warning in more detail, and I'll give you the Scripture references to meditate upon.
   We hear so many alarms from so many sources, we can grow numb to them; but it's crucial we hear what the Lord Himself has warned us about. You don't want to take HIM lightly! He doesn't speak just to hear Himself talk! When Jesus speaks, it's what you need to hear!
Fight the Good Fight. Peace.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Divine Warning, part 1

   We live in an age of alarm. Global warming, Y2K, 2012, the Right Wing Conservatives are taking over, the Left Wing Liberals are taking over, this causes cancer, that causes cancer, Ebola, H1N1, ISIS, on and on and on.Every day Dr. Oz says something else is bad for you. We hear so many warnings we stop listening after a while.
   Well Jesus gave some warnings, too. The time is come to pay attention and give heed to the warnings the Son of God gave us. As one playwright put it, "A lion may speak if many asses do."  The warnings of Jesus are of three kinds:

  • Precautions to would-be converts that there is a price to pay for following the Lord, and He requires nothing less than 100% commitment;
  • Assurance to His followers that when we stray, He will send chastisement to correct our course;
  • Solemn warnings to those who turn back from Him of severe consequences in this life and in that to come!
    Jesus told His audience to count the cost of discipleship before joining up! He told us, " the world you shall have tribulation" and that if they hated Him, they'll hate you also. On the one hand, if we obey Christ and walk close to Him, the world will hate us and try to make our lives miserable (because we make them look bad). On the other hand, when we disobey, the Lord Himself will punish us because He loves us.
   "Great!", you say, "either way we suffer, so what's the difference?" The apostle Peter says it's better to suffer for well-doing (like the 90-year old pastor feeding the homeless) than for evil-doing. There are rewards for obedience! In fact, Christ assures us that whatever we lose on His account, He will give us back a hundred times over. (Matthew 19:29 & Mark 10:29-30) Don't worry, I'm not getting all Prosperity Gospel on you, for the things Jesus speaks of here are not of financial value, but of sentimental value: your family, friends, homeland, loved ones: stuff you can't put a price tag on! Oh, and btw, something comes with that hundredfold return: persecutions.
   I tell you emphatically that Jesus says what He means and means what He says. And He has this annoying habit of being right all the time. "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:" 2 Peter 1:19
   We will look more closely at the warnings Christ gives His church. That's not just jib-jab, fear-mongering, nor sensationalism. It's words to live by. Peace. FTGF!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

As in the Days of Noah

   LORD, who has believed our report? Back in '98-'99, when the buzz about the Y2K bug was all around, people heeded the warnings, and stockpiled food & other necessities. (Yours truly took no action, but assured viewers of Reality Calling [the public access program I had in those days] all would be well.) Again, when the Mayan Calendar prophecies came into vogue, people were alarmed enough to take action, some more than others (I was telling my folks it was nothing). Now rumors are going around that NASA predicts the sun will blackout for three days this December; and I'm telling you now- "NO!"
   The points I'm making here are A) I'm no Chicken Little, sounding false alarms; and B) People believe the false prophets of the world.  Bottom line, if you believed the reports of the world, should you not take seriously the warnings of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself? Ought not we, His church, take action on what He told us? Ought we not to prepare for the calamities He says are coming our way?
   "...And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all."
Luke 17: 26-29
   Now some have said that "as in the days of Noah" refers to Genesis 6:1, and the interbreeding between humans and fallen angels/ Nephilim/aliens. I'm not debating that. But that's not the main point Jesus was making here. He's talking about the complacency that characterizes this generation. They'll listen to the babblings of Nostradamus, or the news media, or Hollywood, or the Internet; but try to warn them about the Mark of the Beast and they'll  brand you a conspiracy nut!
* * * * *
   I am starting a series on the warnings of Jesus to His church. It's time we take seriously what He says is heading our way. Generations of Christians have been deluded by the likes of Hal Lindsay and his school of "prophets" (or, profits) to believe Christ's warnings are not for us, because we'll be raptured before the Tribulation.
   It's time to open our Bibles and see what the Spirit of Truth actually said through His apostles & prophets- not to mention Christ Himself! We can no longer pretend it will be business as usual for the rest of our lives. The people of Lot's days & Noah's days couldn't care less what God was saying to them, and they all perished for it! Let us not be like them. Peace.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Judgement and the Church

   Will Christ judge His church in these last days? You say, "God reserves wrath for His enemies". True! But what about His children? Can we do no wrong in His eyes? Are we beyond reproach? Or will we be called on the carpet? "For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17-18) Ooops! Looks like ol' Pete didn't get that memo about the pre-trib rapture and the 7-year party for all Christians!
   Notice the apostle tells us God's judgement will start with us! No, no, no! you say: "we're redeemed by the blood!". So, that means we'll be held to a lower standard than the scribes & Pharisses?  "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment , suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:28-29) It will be worse for those of us who go off after the world's ways!
   "You don't understand, Matt: God is GOOD! All the time!" God IS good all the time, but we ain't humble all the time, and when we get into pride, we step out of grace! We've got to get rid of this image of God like He's some big cuddly Teddy Bear that just loves everybody all the time no matter what! " For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." (Romans 11:21-22) Think the Roman Church missed it just a little bit???
   If we do what the scribes & Pharisees did, we'll get what they got. And if we do what the Roman Catholic Church did, we'll get what they get!  Moreover, church leaders & teachers will be held accountable for what we allow: see Hebrews 13:17, and James 3:1 "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account..." "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation."
   It amazes me the people who think they're qualified to teach the Body of Christ! Like internet access is all that's required! I know I will give account for every idle word I blog or comment! (Matthew 12:36) It's no joke, folks! Still don't think the Church will be judged? Ask Ananias & Sapphira!
   I'll have more on this next time! Peace!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's About Choices

   When God determined there weren't enough righteous persons in Sodom & Gomorrha to justify sparing those cities, He called Lot & his famiy out. Lot dilly-dallied, but he & his daughters decided to go. HIs sons-in-law thought it was all a big joke, and stayed behind. Lot's wife couldn't make up her mind to stay or go; she was walking this way while looking that way, her heart divided. Only three survived.
   When God showed Noah His judgement was coming on the earth, Noah & his family obeyed and built the ark, stocked it, brought the animals in, and went aboard themselves. They chose God. Enoch chose God every day of his life, and preached against the wickedness of his generation constantly.  Because of his devotion  and committment to the Lord, God took him home.
   Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
   Jesus said he that saves his life will lose it, but he that loses it for Jesus & the Gospel will be saved. We all have to make that choice, folks; God is not taking that out of your hands. Each of us must decide between the world and the kingdom of God. As Bob Dylan put it, "It may be the Devil, or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody." You can't have both, and ya can't pick neither "He that is not with Me is against Me" Jesus said.
   Many churches give an altar call, and exhort the congregation, "Every head bowed, every eye closed, no one looking around!" so that people can choose Christ without being self-conscious, as if choosing Jesus was something to be ashamed of. Well I got news for you: When the servants of AntiChrist demand you take the mark of the beast, or lose your head, it won't be "every head bowed, every eye closed, no one looking". It's going to be broadcast nationally on every channel: everyone will be watching to see what choice you make.
   Many have deceived the church into thinking we shall never have to make that choice between our lives and our Lord, but we shall all be raptured before it comes to that. Wake up, church! If it could happen in Syria & Iraq, it could happen here. God didn't take those precious brothers & sister's out of ISIS's way, what makes you think He'll let you off the hook? Why are you special? Did not Jesus say, "the servant is not above his master"?
   "Let us go forth therefore unto Him, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come." Hebrews 13:13-14 settle it in your hearts: there is nothing in this world worth losing your salvation.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Counterfeit Christians! part 2

"Just because the mouse is in the cookie jar, doesn't make him a cookie!"
   People around us may not always be what they seem! And not everyone in your congregation is a washed-in-the-Blood, born again, Spirit-filled believer! There are enemies among us- moles, if you would, planted in our churches by Satan to mess things up. Our review of Jesus' Parable of the Tares (Matthew 13) showed us Satan planted bad seed in the same field with God's good seed. "Tares" are weeds that look like wheat, and represent sinners that look like saints.
   We saw numerous warnings in the Epistles of such people. So, how can you tell if the "brother" or "sister" sitting next to you in the pew is a counterfeit? Sad news is, often, we can't until the damage is done! Remember the O.T. story of Achan, who skimmed some loot from the conquest of Jericho? He brought trouble on his whole nation, and one bad apple could bring trouble on a whole church!
   I've seen my share of "tares" (Don't worry, I won't name names or describe situations), and I can tell you by experience, it takes just one or two in the right postion to hinder the work of the Kingdom. They can keep a pioneer work from ever getting established, break up an established church, or just get a Pastor off his God-given vision and mission.
   Let me tell you any city that has a Masonic Temple around doubtless has Freemasons sitting on the board of directors of basically all the denominational churches in town, and has had them there for decades, if not centuries. They may bring in counterfeit Bibles, such as NIV and newer "translations" that distort God's Word. They may turn churches away from the work of the Great Commission and turn them onto other social agendas (Green Movement, Ecumenical Movement, etc.).
   A really weird and creepy phenomenon is MPD. Bear with me, I have trouble wrapping my head around this one myself. When a child is exposed to Sexual Ritual Abuse, they crack up, literally, their minds split up into separate compartments. It's possible for one part of their mind to think they're Christian while the other personalities are stil under demonic control. "That's blaphemous!", you say, "how could a person be only partly saved?" I don't claim to know.But just because I can't explain it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
   I'll leave that to the experts. But I have known people who I thought were strong believers, 'til one day something triggered a transformation, and they got all weird. Don't believe counterfeit Christians exist? What then did Jesus mean when He said, "Not everyone who saith unto Me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?' And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7: 21-23)
   SCAR-RY! Is it possible some of the people we know and love and admire can be counterfeits? Only God knows a person's true heart. Let us pray the the LORD will expose and remove any false believers from our midst! A heads-up, here Pastors: the Devil seems especially fond of hiding his counterfeits right in the worship team. Screen your musicians & singers carefully & prayerfully! And watch who you place in leadership & youth ministry: "Lay hands on no man suddenly!" Peace.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Counterfeit Christians!

   We begin a series on a disturbing subject. In our last series, I touched briefly on Jesus' Parable of the Tares; we will now look at another matter brought up in the parable. The story can be found in Matthew 13: 24-30 & 36-43. "Tares" are a kind of weed that resembles wheat, but produces no usable grain.  In the illustration, a farmer sows good wheat seed in his field, but his enemy puts in the tare seeds.
   Jesus explains: "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil..." Folks, not everyone in the church is what he or she appears to be! There are counterfeit Christians: they look like us, walk like us, talk like us, sing like us: but they ain't us!
   Don't think there are none in your congregation- Jesus said, "Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" Jude warns, "...there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men..."  John: "They went out from us, but they were not of us..." Paul: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ..."
   You don't know who's sitting next to you in the pews! Dennis Rader, known to police as BTK because he would bind, torture, and kill his victims, was in the same church 25 years, and no one suspected a thing! His own pastor didn't know there was a devil among them! An example in Scripture is seen in Acts 16. A slave girl possessed by a spirit of divination "...followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of salvation." Like she was part of the ministry! Phony!
   The problem is, these counterfeits can be found in church leadership as well; a little leaven leavens the whole lump, and a few well-placed phonies can bring down a whole church. They can  be Elders, Deacons, Teachers, musicians, pastors! They may be big-name ministers or denominational presidents!
   What does this mean for the rest of us? How can we tell, or can we? How can we get them out?!
We'll have more to say next time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Right Ahead- Final Word

   Then some of His disciples came to Him privately saying, "What shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" And He answered them, "Take heed that no man deceive you. For tens of thousands of believers shall be caught up to heaven in an instant, and planes shall fall from the sky, and trains derail, and cars and trucks shall crash. And at that time, because the people shall not know WTF just happened,  great fear shall take hold upon them.
   "And in their fear shall they anoint themselves a king, who is antichrist. Then shall they to whom ye witnessed, yet they believed not, then shall they see ye were right all along, and in those days they shall believe the gospel. Upon these will I build my new church. As for thee, ye shall not worry;  for ye shall be with Me in paradise, where we shall party like unto a rock star seven years."
   Then His disciples ask Him, "Lord, what of those who believe after that we be gone? Shall they not party with us?" And He answered them, "I tell thee nay; but because they believed thee not, neither came to thy Wednesday Bible Study, therefore that is their friggin' problem: into tribulation shall they go!" And His disciples were like, "Damn!"
* * * * * * *


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

One Way

   Have you seen Larry King's interview with Joel Osteen? King asks Osteen whether he believes Jesus is the only way to God. What would you say? Here's my take.
   Naaman the Syrian general was afflicted with leprosy. When his servant girl suggests he go see the prophet Elisha for help, the king sends him to Israel with a generous offering. Elisha's answer dismays Naaman: "Go dip in the Jordan River 7 times and you'll be healed." Naaman cops an attitude and starts to sulk. But his servant encourages him, "If God had asked you to do some great thing, would you not do it? How much more when He says, 'Wash and be clean'?" Naaman gets his head straight and follows Elisha's orders: he is instantly healed! Yeah, there were other rivers around Naaman could have bathed in, but God specified, "Jordan".
    Remember the Passover? When God sent the 10th plague on Egypt, a death-angel who would kill all the firstborn in each household, what were Moses' instructions to his people? When they killed the Passover lamb, they were to sprinkle the blood on the posts & lintels of the doors to their homes. Then the angel would pass over that house and not hurt anyone in it.
   What else could they use for protection? Goat blood? Beef blood? No, it had to be a male lamb a year old. Couldn't they just sit in the Lotus position and chant mantras? No, they needed the blood of the lamb to survive the night. Nothing else would save them.
   When God sent the flood to destroy the world, how many arks were there? Was there a Gilgamesh ark, a Nimrod ark, a Carl Sagan ark, a Shirley MacClaine ark, a Steven Hawkins ark? There may have been a lot of boats out on the water when the flood began, but only one left standing when it ended. God has a history of making just one way out.
   "Is Jesus Christ the only Way to God?" Osteen's infamously wimpy answer was, "I dunno. That's up to God." Right. It is up to God, and God says, whoever believes on the only begotten Son of God shall not perish, but have everlasting life.You all know John 3:16. The less popular John 3:18 says, "he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
  Stait is the gate, and narrow is the way the leads to life, and few there be that find it. Maybe 'cuz they're not looking.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Step by Step....

"And he shall speak great words against the Most High,
 and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand 
until a time, and times, and the dividing of time" Daniel 7:25
"And it was given him to make war with the saints, 
and to overcome them: and power was given him
over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Revelation 13:7
Most Christians in my country have been deceived into thinking the AntiChrist rises to power overnight after the Rapture of the Church. The reality is, he's been gaining power little by little over the decades, especially since the end of WWII. Again, many in the Body of Christ believe the AntiChrist can't rise to power while we're on the earth: but really he's been taking control of our lives more and more and more. Remember, his strategy is to wear out the besiege us, surround us, wait for us to give in. And make no mistake my friends: Satan is indeed making war with us already!!
   How many people do you know who are in bondage to credit card or other debt they can't repay? Financial institutions are growing in their power over us- they can charge all they want whenever they want while we go bankrupt. Remember when you used to pay cash for everything? Now you pay with your cell phone. They've been leading us down a path, step by step, to the mark of the Beast.
   Sexual immorality increases constantly. We have to warn our children to watch out for their teachers! Every kind of sexual vice is tolerated as a lifestyle choice or excused as a disease.
  Occultism  fills our movies, books, television, games, toys, and music. Idolatry is accepted and occult imagery floods the marketplace.
   The government gains more power over us with each president who comes along. They record every keystroke and monitor all our activity. We surrender our freedoms in the name of security. We surrender our privacy to the god of Convenience. We surrender our standards in the name of tolerance.
When will we wake up? 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Right Ahead part 7: the You-Know-What!

   "...So they weighed for my price 30 pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them!" Zechariah 11:12-13
[Just in case some of you thought I'd lost my mind when I said God is sometimes sarcastic in the Bible.]
   Anyway, back to the topic. In 2 Thessalonians 2:6, Paul tells us something restrains the Anti-Christ from being revealed until the appointed time, and states casually the Thessalonicans know what that something is.
   Now there's been debate over what the you-know-what is over the years, and some speculate Paul meant either the Holy Spirit, or the Church itself, was preventing the AntiChrist's rise to power. Some see this as proof of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, reasoning that AntiChrist can't come on the scene until the Church (or the Holy Spirit, Whose temple we are) is removed.
   First, I really doubt Paul would disrespect the Holy Spirit by calling Him "you know what". The Holy Spirit isn't a what; he's a Who.  Secondly, how can the Two Witnesses perform the miracles of Moses & Elijah without the Holy Ghost's anointing? Or how could believers stand up to the Devil's pressure to worship the image of the Beast and take the mark, unless the Holy Spirit girds them up with strength? The Holy Spirit ain't going away folks: He's with us until the end of the age!
   Now what of the theory that it's the Church that is preventing the AntiChrist from doing his thing? In the very next verse we're told, " For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." Even in the times of the Apostles, Satan was laying the foundations for what is happening today. John writes, " ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists..." (1 John 2:18) Surely Nero was an antichrist, as was Caligula; the presence of the Church in the world didn't hinder their dictatorships.
    Nor did the Church in Germany in the 1930's & 40's do much to trouble Hitler. The story goes, that when they heard the cries of the Jews bound for the death camps, they just sang louder to drown it out! Nor has the Church in our generation been much of a nuisance to Satan's initiatives worldwide. He's pretty much doing whatever he wants.   : (
   "And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end." Jesus tells us in Mark 3:26.  One thing hindering the AntiChrist's kingdom is all their in-fighting: everyone wants to be numero uno. Another problem was our lack of technology to fulfill his ambitions.
   But the Holy Ghost ain't leaving folks; neither is the true Church!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Marriage Supper of the Lamb, part 2

   We continue our study of the Biblical version of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The popular version says it's a 7-year long party in Heaven; but what do the Scriptures actually say? Our text is Revelation 19, see also Psalm 45, Joel 2, Ezekiel 39, and Jude v. 14-15. We learned last time when it happens: "after these things" foretold in chapters  17 & 18,  God's judgement on the  Great Whore, and the Fall of Babylon. Not during, not before, but after writes John in 19:1. Next we see the citizens of heaven praising God for what He has done (judging the Whore) and rejoicing that the Bride is finally ready!
   So when the "Supper" gets here, what happens?
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteaousness doth He judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fieceness and wrath of Almighty God." Revelation 19: 11-15
With this agrees the Royal Wedding Psalm (45: 3-5). Notice the wedding begins with the groom conquering the King's enemies! Folks, this "party" is for the birds-literally! The Holy Spirit is being very sarcastic* when He calls this a "supper": check out what's on the menu! (Re 19: 17-21 & Ezekiel 39: 17-20) Ewww! This supper is for vultures and ravens and whatever else scavenges roadkill! The only one drinking at this par-tay is the sword!  Like the song says, "This ain't no party! This ain't no disco! This ain't no foolin' around!"
It's not a party: it's a massacre!  Really, who goes to a wedding reception with fire in his eyes, armed with a sword, and his clothes drenched in blood not his own?
   (What's cool is that even that little boy in Heaven is For Real foresaw this!) Brothers & Sisters, the Rapture of the Church is not an evacuation, it's a mobilization. We ride with Jesus into Armageddon to wipe out the AntiChrist and his forces! (See Psalm 149: 5-9) You know The Battle Hymn of the Republic? 
That's what the song is about!
   For now we have to turn the other cheek; but then, in the words of Benjamin J. Grimm, "IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!!" And really, what goes on for seven years is just the clean-up operation, disposing of the enemy's weapons, and bagging up their bones (Ezekiel 39: 9-12). Again, not a party!
   So you see, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is nothing like what everybody says it is. Just read yer Bibles, folks. Peace.

  *Don't think God can be sarcastic? Remember how Jesus called Judas Iscariot "Friend"? Did you think He was being just super-nice? 


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Ask the average Christian what the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is, and he'll tell you instantly, "It's a 7-year long party in Heaven!". Ask him where he read that in the Bible, and his answer won't be so fast! Those who believe in the whole Left Behind thing would say, that without any other prophecy to be fulfilled first:

  • The Church is "raptured", i.e. all believers living and passed are cught up to heaven to be with the Lord.
  • In the chaos that ensues after our departure, the AntiChrist rises to power and the Tribulation begins.
  • Seven years to the day later, Christ returns visibly and the Tribulation ends.
  • Throughout that 7-year period of God's judgements on the earth, we're up in heaven whooping it up big time.
Sound about right? Is that what you've heard? OK, let's do a little exercise: you'll need a Bible, and a set of highlighters. I want you to turn to Revelation chapter 19 where the Marriage Supper occurs, and, with your orange marker, highlight the part that says it's seven years. Next, highlight in pink where he says it's a party. Finally, highlight with blue the part that says it happens in heaven. Ready?
   Well! Is your Bible all colored in now, or is it still black & white? I wish I had a nickel for each time a believer told me the Marriage Supper is a 7-year long party in heaven; not one part of that is in there!!!!
Notice, my friends, the Wedding does not start at the outset of the Tribulation! Revelation 19:1 says, "after these things". What things, John? The things that happened in chapter 18: Babylon has fallen and the Great Whore is judged!
   Then and only then are we told, "...the Marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready". She ain't ready until after the Tribulation! And this so-called "party" is actually Jesus and His saints attacking and destroying the world's armies at Armegeddon! It's only a party for the vultures and other hungry birds!
   More on this next time; suffice to say,  what the Bible says is a lot different from what people say it says.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Right Ahead part 6

We are looking at the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory, and comparing what everyone tells you with what the Bible actually says. Some of you say, "You've made your point, we get it; why are you beating a dead horse?" First, the horse ain't dead as millions of Christians still believe this doctrine. Second, I want to address this from as many angles as possible so as to leave no doubt. I told you last time we would look next at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, a related topic that will also give us some clear direction.
   I'm going to do things a little different this time. Before I throw in my two cents, I want you to get some background info. Here's your homework: read the following passages in your Bible~

  • Revelation 19
  • Ezekiel 39
  • Psalms 45
  • Ephesians 5
  • Hebrews  1
   Without any further commentary from me (cuz I don't want to pre-color your thinking), just read what you see on the page with your own two eyes. Read aloud, take notes, highlight verses, however you study! I like to read several different translations. Meditate on these passages, pray, ask the Lord what they mean! I think you'll get it before I tell you what I see.
   What I wanna say is, don't let those guys on TV razzle-dazzle you with their fast talk. These self-proclaimed "Bible Prophecy Experts" want you to think they've got some insider information. Listen, they have the same Bible you & I have, and we can read it same as they can. You don't have to know Hebrew, Greek, or Latin: just English. "After" means after, "first" means first, "last" means last, and "then" means then.
Studying archeology, or Nostradamus, or making trips to the Holy Land, doesn't give you an edge on truth.
And it doesn't give you the right to break accepted laws of hermenuetics.
   So: when we come back---the Marriage Supper of the Lamb: what is it? where is it? when is it? 'Til then, grace & peace, and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Welcome to our study on the timing of the Rapture of the Church (no doubt you've figured out I titled this series "Right Ahead" because it's the opposite of Left Behind). Last time, we looked at Jesus' Parable of the Tares, and saw that the Lord said, at the end of the world He would send His angels to take the wicked out from among the righteous (Matthew 13:24-43, 47-49). That is, He will take away the evil ones first; it's His children that will be left behind, not the other way 'round!
   Now we trun our attention to Paul's prophecy of the Rapture-as part of his teaching on the Resurrection- in I Corinthians 15: 51-54.
"Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed, for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."
There are some important clues here as to when Paul believed the Rapture would occur. Notice the phrase, "at the last trump". Now we all know there are seven trumpets sounded during the Tribulation. So, is the last one before those seven? Obviously, for it to be last, it has to be blown after those seven! duh. I'm not playing games here, folks: just going by the plain meaning of the words on the page. 
   Paul informs us the Rapture is the resurrection, and is the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, "Death is swallowed up in victory." You know where Isaiah wrote that, don't you??? It's chapter 25, verse 8. This verse also contains the prophecy, "God will wipe away tears from off all faces", which is fulfilled in Revelation 21: 4 with the arrival of New Jerusalem.
  So, when in time does the prophet place this event? Chapter 25 is Isaiah's song of praise to God. Praise for what? What He did in chapter 24. Like?  He kinda smushed the whole planet, and all the evil people on it. And not the people only, but the evil powers & principalities ruling over them (verse 21). Read it yourself! "Death swallowed up in Victory" is after Satan & his demonic hierarchy are dethroned. Isaiah is post-trib.
   Why aren't you?
 Next: the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Right Ahead part 4

To review, we've been looking at the question, "Should you believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture?" We saw that in His Olivet Discourse, Jesus told the apostles "immediately after the tribulation" He would send His angels to gather the elect (the church). Further we saw Paul prophesied that "we who are alive and remain" will be caught up to be with the Lord when He returns, and learned there shall be a great falling away (apostasy) prior to that. Not everyone will remain in the church! Just like Gideon's army was thinned out, the Body of Christ shall be also; many will cave to the world's pressure to conform.
   Now I turn your attention to the Parable of the Tares, found in Matthew 13: 24-30, with Christ's explanation in verses 37-43. For those not familiar with agriculture, a "tare" is a useless weed that looks just like wheat when it's young. What does the farmer tell his workers? "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (v. 30)
   Jesus explains: "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity..." Matthew 13: 38-41
Then, using an illustration of how fishermen separate the fish they catch, adds, "So shall it be at the end of the world; the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just." (v. 49)
   See how Jesus plainly tells us the wicked shall be taken away first from among the just! Pre-Trib Rapture says God will evacuate the believers and leave behind the sinners-exactly the opposite! Notice there are phony Christians mixed in with the real ones....the Lord is going to take the counterfeit "Christians" Satan created out from among us. He's not taking US from among THEM! He will take away all things that offend (see Revelation 2-3 for what kinds of things).
   Or haven't you read Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper: "I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil." (John 17:15) Would the Father do exactly what the Son asked Him NOT TO DO??? Next time: I Corinthians 15!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Right Ahead part 3

   We've been examining the validity of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory which has permeated end-time thinking in the evangelical church for over 40 years. We've already seen that Christ tells us twice in Scripture (Matthew 24 & Mark 13) He will gather His elect (the Church) immediately after the Tribulation. Why people wanna believe the exact opposite of what Jesus plainly, clearly said is a topic for another day!
   We're looking now at one of Paul's prophecies about the Rapture, that used most often by Pre-tribbers to make their case, 1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17. The Apostle tells us twice just who is eligible for this wondrous event: "we which are alive and remain"! "Alive" is easy----it means our hearts are still beating. But what about "remain"? Oh, remain on earth, you say.
   Can I tell you that not all Christians living now will "remain" Christians? Some will leave voluntarily; others will be thrust out! "Why dooya say that, Matt?" Because 2 Thessalonians 2:3 warns, "Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first..." There is a coming Apostasy before the Day of the Lord! "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils..." (1 Timothy 4:1) And again, "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." (Matthew 24:113) Those who endure shall be saved, those who remain will be caught up!
   Moreover, the Lord Himself will purge His Church of counterfeit Christians among the true believers! John the Baptist predicted Jesus "...will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather His wheat into His garner, but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable." (Luke 3: 17) "The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity:" (Matthew 13: 41). We shall study the Parable of the Tares in greater detail next time. The point I'm making here is, the Rapture doesn't happen until after the Falling Away....He's  not going to catch up all "Christians", but those who remain through all the temptations to leave. Not everyone in the church is a Cristian, ya know...jus'sayin'. Meantime, study Paul's other Rapture prophecy in 1 Corinthians 15.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Right Ahead part 2

  We're examining the question of the timing of the Rapture, an event most American Christians place just before the Tribulation. We saw last time that Jesus tells us twice in Scripture that it's actually after (Matthew 24: 29-31 & Mark 13: 24-27). And don't you think Pre-Trib preachers know that? They can read just like you & I can. And they've persuaded many of you to ignore what you can read right there on the page for yourself and instead listen to their reasonings.
   So now let's jump right into the passage most pre-Trib believers go to as their proof text (because they think nothing in it is post-Trib): I Thessalonians 4: 15-15
"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we be ever with the Lord.
Because it reads, "meet them in the air", people  believe Christ hasn't descended completely to the surface of earth, but is orbitting up in the atmosphere somewhere...kinda like a first-and -a-half coming before the actual Second Coming. And the story goes that in the ensuing chaos, the stage is set for the AntiChrist to rise to power- so that the Rapture is basically the catalyst that launches the Tribulation. Pre-Tribbers further hold that we who were thus caught up spend the next 7 years having a big blowout party in heaven while our families, friends, and neighbors who got left behind suffer the plagues of divine judgement. Hmmm.
   Really what I'd like you to focus on is this phrase, "and remain". Remain through what? Remain after what? Remain despite what? Well. Read II Thessalonians and meet me back here next time. Something else to ponder: the Parable of the Tares.
   And this concept of Christ coming back secretly before He appears publicly? Pretty sure He warned us not to believe it. I'll have more to say later.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Right Ahead: Should You Believe the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory?

 I remember back in High School, my younger brother & sister coming home with tales they'd heard from a friend that the Rapture of the Church was going to happen on September 24th that year. I was just a baby Christian then, as were they, but I knew Jesus took the tiime to tell His disciples what to do during the Tribulation, so it didn't really make sense that He would air-lift them out before it ever started. Yet that is exactly what they were told, and exactly what many Christians still believe!
   There was a book out back in the day called, "88 Reasons the Rapture Will Be in '88". Well, even though it didn't happen in '88, '98, or '08, millions of believers still hold to the basic premises that led to this conclusion.  You'd think they'd step back and ask why this guy was wrong? To take a fresh look at the Scriptures and examine the underlying assumptions behind this book? Does not the Bible itself command us to "prove all things"?
   Now I don't dispute that Christ will gather all believers, living or "sleeping", when He returns. The question is when. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory holds that Christ will come to earth secretly before the Second Coming, and beam up (for lack of a better term) His Church prior to God's judgement on sinners, and prior to the advent of the AntiChrist as world ruler. But is this what your Bible actually says?
   As I mentioned earlier, Christ gives us specific instructions how to survive the Tribulation (when you see this, do that; when you hear this, do that) in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24 & Mark 13). But He also says this, "immediately after the tribulation"  there will be signs in the sky, Christ will appear, "And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" (Matthew 24:29-31 & Mark 13: 24-27).
   There it is kids, in Jesus' own words, "after the Tribulation", right there in black & white (or red & white).
  That should settle it, but I see you need more proof! Not a problem. I have plenty. Guys, don't just believe anything everyone tells ya. Search the Scriptures whether those things are so: just read what's actually  there on the page, in the book! Our doctrine must be based on what the Bible says, not on how we'd like things to be. Come back next time, we'll look at some more stuff!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Days of Elijah?

   Many churches play the anthem, "These are the Days of Elijah". But where are the Elijahs? Who will stand up now against the false prophets of Baal that have crept into the Church? Why do so many just go with the flow and allow compromise? When will we take a stand and say, "NO! This is not of God, and we will not have this in our church!"
   Jude exhorts us to "...earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude vv 3-4). This is not the time to remain silent! Men & women of God, arise!
   Second Kings 18 tells the story of Governor Obadiah who had hid 100 of God's prophets by 50 in a cave to protect them from Ahab & Jezebel. And maybe a lot of God's people, like these prophets, have been hiding out in "caves", merely dropping out of the churches that have compromised rather than confronting the leadership and congregation. I've been guilty of this myself. Maybe it's time to stand up and draw the line.
   Jesus said, "Truly Elijah must come first, and restore all things" (Mt 17:11). Malachi prophesied, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Malachi 4:5) I don't pretend to know when that day shall be, but I know it's time for the Church of Jesus Christ in America to clean house! We have allowed too much ungodliness in the sanctuary and grieved the Holy Spirit!
   Listen to God's call on the prophet Jeremiah: "See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant." (Jeremiah 1:10) In case you didn't get it, that's one part construction, one part landscaping, and four parts demolition! Yeah, folks, I'm an iconoclast from way back, so I ain't the most popular guy around. What I'm saying is, it's time for some righteous indignation, and for speaking up against spiritual compromise in our churches.  Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Council members, take charge, do the right thing, draw the line!
   Elijah was a guy like us, James reminds us, but he had a zeal for the Kingdom of God that wouldn't let him shut up even when he felt like dyin'. Folks, let's listen to that still, small voice and get out there and make a difference!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ears to Hear

  You know you can read a passage of Scripture 1,000 times and not get what God is saying? How many times have you read a verse of the Bible and said, "I never saw that!"? But how often we can read a passage over & over, yet see nothing but our own church's or denomination's view? How often God's word goes in one ear & out the other! Or the thing is so cryptic, so hard, all the commentaries & translations you own can't make heads or tails of it? We've all been there.
   BUT I DON'T WANNA BE THERE!!!! Isaiah wrote it, Christ and Paul quoted it: (Isaiah 6:9-10, Matthew 13: 14-15, Acts 28: 26-27)  "Go, tell this people, Hear ye indeed but understand not; and see ye indeed but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes..."
   Lord, I DO NOT want to be one of those people! Don't know about you, I'm tired of not hearing what God is saying; tired of thinking I know what His word means when I'm not even close! In these days we're living in, we need to know what the prophets have written, what God has spoken, what the Spirit has revealed! "He that has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" God, if I don't have ears to hear, "clean the potatoes out" as my Dad used to say! Anoint my eyes with eyesalve that I may see!
   I think a lot of people are hypnotized; they go to church each week, hear the Word preached, but it has no effect; it bounces right off like seeds the sower dropped on the sidewalk! "Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts..." (Psalms 95 & Hebrews 4) How hard is my heart? How much bitterness & unforgiveness dwell there?
   Listen, I'm not content to jump on the bandwagon and just accept everyone else's eschatology! I know there are holes in their arguments! Remember when so many thought the Rapture was in 1988? I was sayin' "NO" And when they all thought the computers were gonna crap out in 2000? I said it wouldn't happen. There's a ton of stuff people are saying today, and some of it's good, a lot I agree with, but I don't want to miss God. If possible, even the Elect will be deceived. Count me out, no thanks!
   Jesus promised the Holy Ghost would lead us & guide us into all truth; that if we ask for wisdom , He'll give it liberally! He said the words of Revelation & Daniel were sealed unto the time of the end...LORD, I pray open those seals! Make us understand; we confess we don't get it with our natural minds! The Bible told us 1000's of years ago what would come to pass....yet we didn't get it! God, You're not the author of confusion....soften my heart, open my eyes, give me ears to hear....

There All Along

    As time goes by, I am amazed by how much of Bible prophecy is right on the money, and more so how it's been right in front of us for thousands of years, yet we just didn't get what God was saying. We could judge the Saducees & Pharisees who didn't get that Christ would come from Nazareth, but we've been just as blind to things He's telling our generation!
   One particularly disturbing passage of Scripture, the well-known axiom from Ecclesiastes, "there is nothing new under the sun", affronts our pride over our innovations and technology. Here is the passage in its entirety:
               "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us." Ecclesisastes 1: 9,10
   This goes against our natural minds and human pride, yet we see case after case of "advanced" technology showing up in "primitive" civilizations. (FYI: The Bible records metallurgy showing up in the 7th generation from Adam.) Skeptics scoff at the dimensions of Noah's Ark, saying a ship that large couldn't be built from wood; but really we don't know how advanced ship-building or other technologies were in Noah's day, since obviously, it was all washed away! If the Egyptians could build a really big pyramid, Noah could build a really big boat. It shouldn't surprise us to find "modern" technology in ancient cultures, since Solomon told us it was here before us.
    Another Scripture that was right there all along comes from Revelation 16: 13-14: "and I saw 3 unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world..." OK: what are frogs like? They have no hair, green skin, long thin limbs & digits, big bulging eyes....and "aliens"? Same thing. Any of you not persuaded yet that aliens are demons, this verse spells it out nice & clear, ok? Seriously, what other race of beings are like frogs? Notice these "aliens" come out of the mouths of the beast, dragon, & false's stuff they made up and are speaking to us thru the media! So are world leaders in cahoots with demons/aliens? Duh. Cuz X Files says so? Because the Bible says so!
    What else has God been telling us all along that we're just figuring out now? And what haven't we figured out yet? I'll have more next time. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Noah They Didn't!

   Imagine a film about the American Revolution where George Washington doesn't want us to win, Benedict Arnold stops Franklin from killing Jefferson, and the Nazis help us defeat the British. This gives you some idea of how backwards, upside-down, and inside-out "Noah" turns the familiar Bible story! Watching this travesty is like taking some leftovers that have been in the fridge a bit too long and eating them anyway.
   From start to finish the film spits in God's face, depicting Noah as a family anhililator who doesn't want mankind to survive the Flood, can't hear God, and won't let his single sons take wives on board. Weirder by far is the notion that "the Watchers", fallen angels cast down to earth (i.e. demons) looking like giant scorpians molded in Play-doh help Noah build the Ark. In this absurd tale, God is sending the Flood because humans hunted down these Watchers: what? Moreover the Watchers are ticked off at us because we betrayed the Creator (like they didn't?).
   Once a-sail, Noah recounts the story of Creation....while accompanying video unabashedly portrays the Big Bang and Evolution! I kid you not! When Shem's wife gives birth to twin girls on the Ark (news to me!), Noah wants to kill them to keep Ham & Japheth from having mates. But the CGI babies are so adorable, Noah can't go through with it, and has a change of heart.  Mrs. Shem tells Noah God gave HIM the choice whether the human race survives or not!
   Honestly, I found Jack Black's Year One less offensive! This New Age, humanistic, feministic, Ancient Alienistic version of the Biblical epic has been out since March, but I hadn't heard any protests or objections from any Church leaders. (Maybe I missed it: you hear anything?) Had someone made a film painting Mohammad in as bad a light as this film depicts Noah, surely Hollywood would be a pile of smoldering ruins by now!
   In a vision the Apostle John saw "a great mouth speaking blasphemies". I know the feelng.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Red Meat for the Soul

Greetings once again! Let's get right into our text, Hebrews 5:11-14, KJV:
"...we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. for when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. for everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
   The Writer(s) of the epistle say it was difficult for them to communicate with their audience due to their lack of spiritual maturity! The "strong meat" spoken of here means deep spiritual truths, revelations way over some believers' heads. We're talking Theology & Doctrine here....too "boring" for many believers who just want candy! Paul warned Timothy, "...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
   That is, immature Christians who just wanna hear junk will surely find "teachers" who will feed them a steady diet of spiritual junk food. The more they listen to junk, the less able they will be to process TRUTH!
Christ rebuked the Church of Pergamos for allowing Balaam, the for-profit prophet whose motto was, "Show me the Money!". We have so many hucksters out there writing books & blogs, giving seminars & conferences, airing TV shows & movies, getting rich and famous as "Bible Prophecy Experts". (There are at least 3 who call themselves "THE LEADING Bible Prophecy Expert"!
   Moses & Jesus both said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD OF GOD" : EVERY word has to include sound doctrine and Theology. Believers need to be taught the ABC's of the faith before they can go on to maturity. People say, "Doctrine divides!"; yea, it divides those who want to grow up from those who don't.
   I'll have more to say. Grace,  peace, and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Who is a False Prophet?

"False Prophet" is a term that gets bandied about quite often in some circles. But what is a false prophet? To some, it's pretty much anyone who doesn't accept their eschatology! When the Bible uses this expression, it has a specific meaning.
   A false prophet is NOT someone who misses a prediction.  I could look at data & analyze trends, review history, consult experts, construct a hypothesis and make a prediction based on the available data & my understanding of it. If I say, "I think the New England Patriots win will the Super Bowl this year" and they don't even make the playoffs, am I therefore a false prophet? No, because I was just telling you WHAT I THINK, and made it clear that's what I was doing.
   A few years ago, comedienne Tina Fey did a skit where she impersonated Sarah Palin and said, "I can see Russia from my house". People got confused and thought that was an actual quote from Palin. She never said anything like that! And Palin never authorized Fey to speak on her behalf. What Fey did to Palin is just what the false prophet does to God!
   A false prophet claims to speak for God, saying, "God told me" or "thus saith the LORD" as if God spoke in their ears a word to give the rest of us. They act presumptuously! Just as Sarah Palin never gave Tina Fey permission to speak in her place, so God never called or anointed the false prophet to speak for Him. "I sent them not, yet they ran" Scripture says (Jeremiah 23:21).
   Do you even know what a true prophet looks like? He or she will be heart-broken over the sin of God's people. When they intercede, they include themselves in confessing the sins of their people. The true prophet fears God, and is careful what he says & how he says it. The true prophet will warn people to turn from their sin.
   A false prophet, on the other hand, denies Divine judgement on sin is coming! "It's OK; God understands; we're only human, it's natural, blahblahblah!" A false prophet condones sin, excuses it, allows it. He or she uses the same logic as the serpent in the Garden: no, God didn't really mean that, nothing's going to happen, go ahead, have fun.
Under Mosaic Law, a false accuser would receive the penalty for the crime he accused the innocent person of. So be careful who you call a false prophet: it's a serious charge, and you'd better be able to back it up.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Date Setters, Beware!

   I recall years ago a little book came out called, 88 Reasons the Rapture Will Be in '88. I never read the book, 'cuz I knew it wasn't going to be in '88. But, Dude, how does it feel to be wrong 88 times?! Yet the date-setters continue: 2000, 2012, etc. "Family Radio" guy announced Big Day three different times! I think he should have retired after the first miss! So what's my problem?
   It's that the Church has like zero credibility with the unbelievers after all the foolish talk and predictions that don't come true. They're laughing at us: The Simpsons did a parody of Left Behind! The Scripture says, "My Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you." (Isaiah 52 & Romans 2) Newsflash folks: unbelievers can read the Bible too, and they can see it doesn't say what you're preachin'.
   Don't you realize you can't possibly predict the day of the Lord's return? For Jesus said, "The Son of Man comes at a time when you think not". So any date you pick is automatically wrong because it's not a day you think not! Some of you, that went right over your head. If you say He's coming next Christmas, then next Christmas is a time you think so, not a time you think not.
   Moreover, Christ told the Apostles, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons" concerning the end & the Second Coming. If it ain't for us to know, then the Holy Spirit ain't telling, and you're only guessing. I don't care how many trips you've made to the Holy Land, or how many years you've studied Greek! Nobody knows, OK? Here's a tip: next time you think you got it figured out when the Rapture happens, just keep it to yourself, huh? Then when nothing happens, no one will label you a false prophet.
   It's like these guys who think they've ID'd the AntiChrist cuz they tallied up the letters in the dude's name and it works out to 666 with a little creative math. (FYI: no one was ever named DCLXVI) Well, your Bible says the Son of Perdition will be revealed in his time. So it won't be revealed until then, and trust me, your puny mind ain't twisted enough to figure out Satan's plan for global domination. Plus, he's had a 5,000 year head start on you.
   Bottom line:  God "...frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes diviners mad; that turns wise men backwards, and makes their knowledge foolish." (Isaiash 44:25) Those who presume to figure out hidden knowledge just make themselves, the Church, and God look bad.  You don't know, and can't know, so just say you don't know. You'll look a whole lot smarter. Pardon my attitude.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Birdcage

    REVELATION 18:2 reads, "...Baylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." It is the story of a once great nation that has declined and decayed into a rat's nest of demonic activity. Particularly disturbing is John's repitition of the word every.
   America was once a people that did fear God; they acknowledged the Bible as His true Word; they had standards of decency. Yes, we've always had evil with us: racism, imperialism, and greed, to name a few. And there have always been pockets of the occult. But we've reached a stage in our culture & society where devils feel right at home and act like they own the place!
   Look around! Our books, TV shows & movies, kids' cartoons & toys---what do you see? I could list specific examples: I'd be here all day! There's weird stuff going on out there! And we are opening doors to all kinds of evil.
   Roughly 70 years ago, America & her allies defeated Hitler. BUT DID WE WIN??? We imported the Nazi's evil here....took the treasures they had stolen from the Jews; put Nazi scientists to work for us; used their spies against the Communists. It's as if Satan transferred his headquarters from Berlin to Washington, D.C. Not long after the end of WWII, stange things emerged here. A new technology- television- came into every home. A new musical genre appeared: Rock 'n' Roll.....which parents had dubbed "the Devil's music".
Strange sights were seen in the skies, and the whole UFO pheomena took off. The 60's & 70's brought mind-bending drugs and legalized abortion.
   And here we are today, where many people believe we were created by alien races....that man himself is a GMO, a hybrid between aliens & apes. Where deceased Pop stars magically appear singing & dancing on stage. Where people believe in vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, mermaids, dragons- you name it. Where they worship not only every god & goddess from ages past, but make up new ones for themselves.
   "...And I heard another voice from Heaven saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues..." (Rev 18:4) Amen.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Bottle or the Well?

In the 21st chapter of Genesis, we read the story of how Abraham & Sarah sent away Hagar & Ishmael. We're told Abraham gave her a supply of bread, and a jug of water for their trip to nowhere. After a while, the water was used up, and the woman and her son faced death by dehhydration. But God had already promised to make a great nation of Ishmael, so He sent an angel to help.
   Guess what? That angel didn't bring her another bottle of water!!! No, HE OPENED HER EYES so she could see the WELL that was right there! Now she could go and fill the bottle herself. Simple enough? Sure, but like most Scripture, there's a deeper meaning here. Jesus told the Samaritan woman, "Lady, if you knew Whom you were talking to, you would ask, and I would give you that Living Water!"(John 4) Your spirit needs God just like your flesh needs H2O.
   This imagery of water representing the Spirit of life is used throughout the Bible. Now notice that Abraham (a prophet) gave Hagar a bottle of water. So many believers walk into church Sunday morning to get their weekly bottle of water from their Pastors, then go their ways, and in a few days dry out again! They go to service, get refreshed & revived by the fellowship, the worship, and the teaching, but by mid-week they're running on fumes! Would to God they would learn, like Hagar, to go to the Well themselves!
   I want all Christians to reach that level of maturity where they're not dependant on the Pastor or others for their RDA of God's Word & Spirit! To be able to get into God's presence and tarry there, to get into the Word and get fresh revelation and a Rhema word on their own! Where they can find encouragement for themselves, and be able to reach out to others with God's power & grace!
  How can I help anyone else, either to reach out to the lost, or to edify the saints, if I myself am drying out? "I am the Vine, you are the branches" says the Lord, and unless I abide in Christ, I cant' bear fruit or be of any use to anyone. Pastors, teachers, elders: we've got to train our people, show them, teach them, how to get God's anointing and inspiration themselves: Our folks need to be "weaned" like Isaac was!
  Moses struck the Rock and water flowed out (foreshadowing Christ's crucifixion where blood & water flowed from His side). Afterward, Israel sang to it, "Spring up, o Well!"(Numbers 21:17) Let the Spirit of Christ spring up in all His children as it is written, "He that believes on Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water!" Amen! Grace, peace, and as always, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why Am I Afflicted?

   "Many are the afflictions of the righteous" is a passage we often take comfort in, and offer comfort by. And that's legit. But what about those times in our lives when it's one crisis after another, "all Thy waves and billows are gone over me", and we're just buffeted with all kinds of junk!? Are we being tested like Job?
What's the deal?
   Proverbs 26:2 tells us, "the curse causeless shall not come". Now far be it from me to accuse any of you of harboring "some secret sin" when your life is upside down and you need answers. My plan here is to give you a checklist to pray over, and ask the LORD to show you the cause of the curse.

  • The most obvious- and least likely- is open unconfessed sin. Faithful believers really can't go long without conscience buzzing our ears. It can happen: think David & Bathsheba- but it's the exception, not the rule.Probably not your problem.
  • How about disobedience? I don't mean willful disobedience, but maybe you got too busy, or you forgot, or weren't really sure it was God talking to you in the first place. It's happened to me- you think it's your own daydream, don't realize it truly is a vision inspired by the Holy Spirit. Remember how Moses almost died, because he hadn't circumcised his kids? Ask God to remind you-then do it!
  • Our associations can bring trouble. "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" is sound advice! We can't always pick who we work with. I have a friend in law who also got involved with politics. Many judges and politicians are deeply into Freemasonry; being around them can expose you to their demons! Short of quitting your job, what can you do? Pray for their salvation & deliverance.
  • The cursed thing. Remember how Achan brought spoils into his home? It ruined his whole family! Now you may not go out & buy something accursed, but someone may give you an item, and you accept it to be nice Some items are charged: it may be nothing to you, but to another it's a talisman or charm. Book, decoration, album....could be a conduit for evil forces, a very lightning rod!
  • Last one, and easiest to fall into, is unforgiveness. Problem is, it's a passive sin, not an active one. We all know the parable of the servant who was forgiven but wouldn't forgive. It opens us up to spiritual assault!
   So brothers & sisters afflicted & tormented, pray and ask the Lord if any of this is going on to open a door in your life. The Holy Spirit will be happy to show you, as will your guardian angel, whose job will be a lot easier with the cause removed! If it is just a test, may God grant you the patience & faith to endure.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Loaded Cross

   Years back, I was visiting a church, and the Pastor was giving a sermon tiled, "The Empty Cross".  He was going on about how mainline churches depict a crucifix with Christ nailed to it, and how they oughtn't do that since He isn't there any more. OK, point taken. But if your cross is empty, I feel sorry for you: because mine is full! It's loaded! With what? Glad you asked!
   First off, I'm on it! I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ Who lives in me" according to Galatians 2:20. My flesh and its lusts are nailed there: Galatians 5:24. The world and its ways are condemned there to me, Galatians 6:14.
   It gets better! All my sins are tacked up there: "...having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us and took it out of the way,nailing it to His cross!" Colossians 2:13-14. The Old Testament legal requirements are also there; I don't have to be concerned with crossing my t's and dotting my i's to please God!
   Hallelujah! Know what else is on that old, rugged cross? ALL MY SICKNESSES AND DISEASES!
"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed!" Isaiash 53:4-5, as if you didn't know!
   I might just start preachin'! There's one more tihng on that ol' cross. An ugly, stinking horrible thing: MY PAST. All my failures, mistakes, disobediences, foolishness, and faults of any kind are posted there for it is written, "IF any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new and all things are of God"! 2 Corinthians 5:17
   So you see my friends, I don't have an empty cross. My Saviour isn't there, but everything He saved me from IS! Grace, peace, and thanks for stopping by!