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 saints....to 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, "...as 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!