Must Listen

Must Read

What Art Thinks

Pre-Millennialism

Today's Headlines

  • Sorry... Not Available
Man blowing a shofar

Administrative Area





Printed News Letter

March 2008 Issue

A Bent World
Mar 1st, 2008
A & B Kjos
Uncategorized

To a world bent on social unity and moral laxity, the cross stands as a divisive and humiliating obstacle. Attempts to minimize its offense through laws and intimidation have bullied both secular and church leaders into continual compromise. Public crosses are demolished or hidden; Bibles are forbidden in schools, the traditional days for celebrating the resurrection have been renamed “spring break” and countless corporations and government agencies ban cross-shaped pins or jewelry. Even Jesus Himself has become a popular target for media mockery and ridicule!

Results-driven churches and Christian colleges are marketing a new, more inclusive form of Christianity. Afraid to offend unbelievers, they present a watered-down version of the gospel that veils the significance of the cross. Trained to pursue self-esteem rather than self-surrender, few share Paul’s delight in the source of our salvation.... more

Artificial Milk
Mar 1st, 2008
T. A. McMahon
Uncategorized

Apostasy is rampant within the evangelical church today. At least that's my perspective as one who has observed religious trends and developments for three decades. Before I present my specific concerns, let me define some terms. The use of the word “evangelical” in this article simply refers to those who would say that the Bible is their authority in all matters of faith and practice. “Apostasy” consists of those teachings and practices that are contrary to the Word of God yet seduce and deceive both professing Christians and true believers. @ “Biblical apostasy” is a falling away that will result in a false Christianity under the control of the Antichrist: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away...”( 2 Thessalonians 2:3 ). Although the culmination of the Apostasy takes place after the Rapture of the church, various aspects of this apostate religion have and will continue to ensnare many believers throughout its development.

At a certain point in the future, there will be a total rejection of biblical Christianity, succeeded by the religion of the Antichrist; it will maintain a veneer of Christianity that will prove acceptable to all religions. This perversion of Christianity doesn't just suddenly happen once the Antichrist appears. The deception process began long ago in the Garden of Eden with Satan's seduction of Eve, and it is becoming more and more of a corrupting influence within Christianity as the time of the appearing of the false messiah, whom the entire world will worship ( Revelation 13 ), draws near.Satan began his dialogue with Eve by planting seeds of doubt regarding what God had commanded: “Yea, hath God said...?” ( Genesis 3:1 ). This opening line of the Adversary has been the basis ever since for his principal strategy in inducing rebellion against God. Its implications impugning the character of God and sanctioning the rationalizations of man seem endless: Why would God keep something good from you?; Is He really in charge?; Does He make the rules?; You misunderstood His commands; There are no absolutes; You need to consider what He says from your own perspective, and so forth. Eve, although reiterating God's command for the most part, adds her own erroneous thought to what God actually said: “...neither shall ye touch it” (3:3).

This is what happens when dialogues take place regarding absolutes: the truth is either added to or subtracted from. Tragically, many Christians see nothing wrong with rewriting God's Word. They are perfectly content with Bible versions that have done exactly that.

In response to Eve, Satan blatantly rejects God's warning that death would result from sin: “You will not surely die.” Making God out to be a liar or dismissing Him altogether has always been Satan's game. The Serpent then convinces Eve that obeying God's command would rob her of enlightenment, godhood, and knowledge—and thus severely limit her potential: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (3:5).

Variations of these basic lies from the one who was a liar from the beginning ( John 8:44 ) have successfully deceived humanity throughout history. “Yea, hath God said...?” (Satan's direct attack upon God's Word) has even led both professing and true Christians into the Apostasy.

Questioning or rejecting what God has said in the Scriptures is at the heart of instigating religious rebellion. The reasons should be obvious: 1) If the Bible cannot be trusted as God's specific communication to mankind, then we are left with nothing more than man's opinions and guesses about God and what He desires; 2) Finite humanity's speculations about its infinite Creator are not only terribly erroneous—they are evil, because they are generated by man's sinful, self-serving nature; 3) Even a true believer could be led into darkness without the light and lamp of God's Word ( Psalm 119:105 ).

Although the Bible has been under various attacks for centuries, the latest “Yea, hath God said...?” strategy may be the Serpent of Old's most deadly. The process involves weaning evangelical Christians away from the knowledge of, an understanding of, and a dependence upon the Word of God. The objective is to produce biblically shallow Christians who are functionally illiterate regarding what the Bible teaches, and who therefore have no accurate basis for, or interest in, discerning biblical truth from error. By “functionally illiterate” I mean that such evangelicals know how to read, and they have Bibles (of some sort), but they rarely read them, preferring to get their biblical content from some other source.

Conditioned by a subversive weaning process, these biblically shallow Christians have little or no concern about doctrine. They major in the experiential, with their feelings almost exclusively determining what they believe. The Apostle Paul, speaking prophetically of the Last Days, seemed to have these specifically in mind: “For 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 ). Sensual “lusts” of the flesh and imagination are implied here.

A couple of decades ago, the extreme Charismatics and Pentecostals would have been the obvious reference point regarding Paul's warning, given their obsession with healing, prosperity, and a spirituality energized by seeking after signs and wonders. Today, experiential Christianity has extended far beyond the bounds of what was considered a fringe evangelical element. It now pervades the entire church, including those denominations and movements once known for their conservative doctrinal views and biblical adherence. They have vigorously blocked the lying signs and wonders seduction at their front doors while opening wide their side entrances and youth rooms to the purveyors of the experiential in less obvious yet equally disastrous forms.
Before examples of today's antibiblical experiential Christianity are presented, it needs to be understood that true Christianity is both doctrinal and experiential. It includes a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that begins when one has understood the doctrine (i.e., biblical teaching) of salvation—the Gospel of Christ—and has accepted it by faith. When this happens, the Spirit of Christ indwells that person ( Ephesians 1:13 ; 4:30, Romans 8:9 ). As one understands all that He did for us, true love for Jesus follows.

Then, as one grows in his relationship with Jesus through knowing and obeying the Scriptures, one's affection for Him increases. Furthermore, as one matures in the faith, the fruit of the Spirit is increasingly manifested: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. These certainly involve the experiential. So what is the problem, then, with experiential Christianity?

The chief error today in the evangelical church is that experiences (feelings, emotions, passions, intuitions, etc.) have become the guide for entering into and attempting to establish true spirituality. Rather than subjective feelings and emotions being present as a result of one's adherence to sound doctrine, they have become the judge of whether or not something is truly Christian. Instead of testing a teaching or practice or situation by the Word of God, the arbiter becomes “how one feels about it.” This puts the human imagination in the seat of judgment. That thought alone should provoke an emotion in the heart of every Bible-believing Christian: sheer horror! Doctrinally however, it's even more frightening.

Twice in the Book of Proverbs, in almost exactly the same terms, we are told, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” ( Provers 14:12 ; 16:25). In other words, if a man goes by what he thinks or feels, independently of and in opposition to what God has declared, the consequences for him will only generate destruction. Death is separation, the spirit and soul from the body; moreover, the ways of death include separating man from the light of God's truth. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” ( Isaiah 8:20 ).

Experientialism (what feels right to man) is a leaven working its way through the entire church as it undermines biblical truth. Today there are many infectious manifestations, with heavy emphasis upon the following: signs and wonders, faith-healing and prosperity, logos vs. rhema, the new apostles and prophets, kingdom-dominion, redeeming-the-culture missions, strategic spiritual warfare, inner-healing, 12-steps, Christian psychology, evangelical social-activism; ecumenism, church growth, purpose-driven, emerging church, contemplative/mysticism, church entertainment, contemporary worship, culturally accommodating Bible versions, and visually translated Bibles. All of these movements are in opposition to the clear teaching of God's Word, yet multitudes follow them eagerly.

Although these diverse endeavors often overlap in terms of concepts and methods, they share a common trait: while giving lip service to the Scriptures, they all, whether through ignorance, self-delusion, or planned deceit, critically subvert its teachings. The way that seems right to a man—the way that feels right, produces numerical growth, seems more spiritual, moves one emotionally, appears to move God on one's behalf, brings people together, makes people feel closer to God and better about themselves, is more positive, fills more pews, impresses the world, is not judgmental, etc.—that way is systematically eliminating any concern for sound doctrine in the church. This is experientialism in opposition to doctrine among evangelicals, and it has the church helping to usher in the Apostasy.

There is not enough space in this article to explain all the movements listed above. We have been writing about most of them for years. Many of them can be found by searching TBC's website for related articles or the books we offer. Although they are connected at times by individuals, similar methodologies, or goals, the basic glue that essentially holds all of the movements together is the propensity for subjective experience over the written Word. All are working from this same unbiblical premise.

Extreme Charismatics and Pentecostals have a foundational teaching that God's mode of communication today is to speak outside the Bible directly to His people, particularly through a new breed of apostles and prophets. This “new way” is called the rhema of God, a supposed contrast to logos, which is categorized as the old written form. One of it's foremost leaders, C. Peter Wagner, claims that God is instructing the church in new ways of doing things through His modern prophets. Therefore, the Bible is of little or no value for judging what's being promoted. This teaching is not only antibiblical but it has been the catalyst for the most spiritually spurious rituals of the last century, from the proliferation of false prophets to the so-called binding of territorial spirits to taking dominion over cities, countries, and ultimately the world “for the Lord.”

Hearing from and drawing experientially closer to God through techniques (e.g., occult visualization and meditation) is the practice of today's evangelical contemplatives and mystics. Richard Foster and others have derived their so-called spiritual formation approach from Catholic “saints” and mystics. Foster created The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible to biblically support his mystical approach, yet its commentaries libel the Scriptures and demean sound doctrine. Foster introduced Eastern mystical techniques to the church decades ago in Celebration of Discipline (quickly adopted as mandatory reading for Campus Crusade leadership). Now his spiritual formation agenda is foundational to the Emerging Church, a widespread movement of 20-to-30-year-old evangelicals who are attracted to the sensual liturgies (candles, incense, chanting, vestments, rituals, statues, icons, etc.) of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy as a supposed means of enhancing their spiritual formation.

Eugene Peterson, a contributor to The Renovaré Bible, has his own extremely popular Bible version (The Message). Experientialism through alleged poetic license is blatantly manifested throughout this humanistic and culturally acceptable perversion of God's Word, which Rick Warren has done much to promote. Consider Matthew 16:25 in The Message: “Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.” Try finding any hint of one's “true self” in any other Bible translation of this verse! This is the leaven of psychotherapy (which is wholly experiential and subjective) that has permeated the church.

Although on guard against the biblical abuses of the Charismatics, even the most conservative evangelical churches have been seduced by the self-oriented and feelings-sensitive methodologies of psychology. Nothing in contemporary Christianity has raised the cry of “Yea, hath God said...?” in challenging what the Scriptures clearly teach as has so-called Christian psychology. From psychobabble-ized and Christianized 12-Steps programs (e.g., “Celebrate Recovery,” which Saddleback has spread into thousands of churches) to the occult-ridden inner-healing ministries (e.g., Elijah House of John and Paula Sandford) to the humanistic self-teachings of Focus on the Family, the psycho-spiritual leaven spreads unabated.

The seeker-sensitive church-growth movement has pushed experientialism (and its close kin, pragmatism) into overdrive through the power of marketing. Sound doctrine, necessarily, is left by the wayside while churches meet the “felt needs” of consumers who are targeted as potential Christians.

Conviction of sin doesn't feel good, nor does it sell well. The wishful thinking of a purpose-driven church that would attract the lost by turning to the world's methods has become a Titanic that has ignored warnings and jettisoned its compass of the doctrine of Christ. While the orchestra searches for a contemporary chorus replacement for “Nearer My God To Thee,” the vessel is sinking into the depths of compromise while dispensing temporal lifejackets to save the world from its problems. This is the way that seems right to the world and to an astounding number of those who profess to believe the Bible.

Ironically, our day is seeing more Christian media and entertainment, and more Bibles of every sort. Yet, the result is a corruption of God's truth because there is no heart for sound biblical doctrine, especially since marketing departments are now leading the way! At best, the evangelical church in the U.S. reflects the lukewarmness of the Laodiceans ( Revelation 3:14-17 ): rich and increased with experiential goods that can only yield shallow Christians; at worst, it has become a willing contributor to the end-times delusion.

Yet even in the face of so troubling a situation, we have reason to be both encouraged and fruitful, that is, if we will obey Paul's inspired exhortation: “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee [from the growing apostasy]” ( 1 Timothy 4:16 ). Let us pray for one another to that end.


... more

C.h. Spurgeon
Mar 1st, 2008

Uncategorized

“The danger lies, at this time, in setting up theatricals, semi-theatricals, concerts, and so forth. Until I see that the Lord Jesus Christ has set up a theatre, or planned a miracle-play, I shall not think of emulating the stage or competing with the music-hall. If I mind my own business, by preaching the gospel, I shall have enough to do.”

... more

Child Sacrifice
Mar 1st, 2008
Joseph Farah
Uncategorized

The following are exerpts from Joseph Farah's article from "Whistle Blower" magazine entitled "CHILD SACRIFICE"

Subtitled, "How the Islamist death cult is destroying a generation of youth," this groundbreaking edition unveils shocking insight into what's really behind:

  • Reports of children's television programs that feature demonic clones of Mickey Mouse, Sesame Street characters and other kids' favorites, in which the "lovable" stars teach children lies, hatred and murder.

  • Reports of rape victims being flogged and imprisoned, as when a Saudi court recently sentenced a 20-year-old female victim, who had been gang-raped by seven men, to 200 lashes and six months in prison for the crime of being in a car with a man not her husband, brother, or father. (Thanks to intense international pressure, Saudi King Abdullah finally pardoned the rape victim.)
  • Reports of "sermons" delivered by top Islamic clerics openly calling for mass murder, such as this one by Dr. Ahmad Abu Halabita, former acting rector of the Islamic University in Gaza: "O brother believers, the criminals, the terrorists, are the Jews, who have butchered our children, orphaned them, widowed our women and desecrated our holy places and sacred sites. They are the terrorists. They are the ones who must be butchered and killed, as Allah the Almighty said: 'Fight them: Allah will torture them at your hands, and will humiliate them and will help you to overcome them, and will relieve the minds of the believers' ... Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them. Wherever you are, kill those Jews and those Americans who are like them …"
  • Reports – perhaps 5,000 every year, according to the U.N. – of "honor killings" in which fathers, brothers or mothers brutally murder their own daughter/sister merely for being seen in public with a male or similar "offense." For example, two Jordanian brothers used axes to hack to death their two sisters, aged 20 and 27, in an "honor killing" after the older sister left home to marry a man without her family's permission. Her younger sister later ran away to join her. "It was a brutal scene," one official said, according to the Jordan Times. "One victim's head was nearly cut clean off."
  • Reports of young girls tortured and raped into converting to Islam. Mary, an 18-year-old Egyptian girl, was brutally abducted, raped and held captive for nine months by Islamic kidnappers who poured sulfuric acid on her wrist to remove the tattooed cross she wore as a statement of her Christian faith. Along with enduring the sexual abuse, she was required to fast, pray and memorize portions of the Quran. Though at first she refused to wear the traditional Islamic veil, Mary later told reporters, "They warned me that if I removed it they would throw acid on my face." Eventually, under unbearable pressure and abuse from her captors, she signed official papers of conversion to Islam.
  • Reports of maniacal "religious police," such as those in Saudi Arabia who on March 11, 2002, allowed 15 young girls to die horrible deaths when a fire broke out in their school in Mecca. The religious police literally stopped firefighters from saving the girls because they weren't dressed in the proper Islamic way for girls and women to be seen outdoors. With helpless firemen watching, the religious police literally beat the girls – those who were not wearing their headscarves or abayas – back into the inferno.
  • "This is full-fledged, criminally pathological madness," says WND and Whistleblower Managing Editor David Kupelian. "It's rooted in a lethal combination of hatred and insane philosophy, both so deeply implanted and so massively reinforced that there is barely a person reading these words that can even begin to comprehend such extreme child abuse."
... more

National Pastor's Conferene Opens with Yoga
Mar 1st, 2008
True Discernment
Uncategorized

From slice of Laodicea - Yes, folks, it is time again for the Zondervan's National Pastors Convention in San Diego. Cue the sitar players, start up the incense, and drag out the yoga mats! You think that I jest about the yoga, and you are wrong. Under the heading, Christian Yoga, it reads:

“Join Shelly Pagitt for a time of prayer, stretching, and meditative reflection as you begin your day at the NPC. If possible, please bring a mat with you for the stretching time.”

Shelly Pagitt, wife of emerging Pied Piper, Doug, will be bowing before the pastors and their wives and saying, “Namaste”. That’s how a yoga session starts, and the words are Sanskrit for “I bow to the divine within you.” Yoga journal describes “Namaste” this way.

“The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

When the pastors are done with their Hindu worship, they can cruise into a workshop with Roger Olson. His is a harmless enough sounding name that evokes images of a guy in a flannel shirt up in Duluth somewhere, serving lutefisk or making Swedish meatballs. This Roger Olson, however, will be redefining evangelicalism. He has quite an agenda. He will be speaking on the following:

How to Be Evangelical without Being Conservative

“Are ‘evangelical’ and ‘conservative’ synonymous or even inseparably linked? Not necessarily. In some cases it is possible to be more evangelical by being less conservative. We will look at how history sheds light on radical evangelical faith that breaks with the status quo and forges new paths in theology, worship and service.”

Well, Roger, we’ve seen where those new paths in theology, worship and service are leading the church. Witchcraft. (See the post below.) As if this wasn’t enough, Roger will be going further.

Postconservative Evangelical Theology

“Evangelical theology is breaking out of and moving beyond the traditional “left/right” spectrum of liberal to conservative. That spectrum is based on responses to modernity. What happens when evangelical theology interacts with postmodernity? Can there be a postconservative evangelical theology as there is a postliberal mainline Protestant theology? What do they have in common?”

I know, I know. Lemme answer the question. They have rebellion in common. These movements have rebelled against God by denying the authority of His Word. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. That’s why young people are actually attempting to Christianize real stuff. It’s all the same thing, folks.

To prove my point, Ruth Haley Barton is another speaker at the National Pastors Convention. After sewing her seeds of contemplative mystical spirituality at Willow Creek under Bill Hybels, she has now moved on. Look at her bio.

Ruth Haley Barton is a spiritual director, teacher, and retreat leader trained through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and the Pathways Center for Spiritual Leadership in Nashville, Tennessee. Ruth is cofounder of The Transforming Center. She is also the author of several books including Sacred Rhythms and Invitation to Solitude and Silence.

But wait a minute. I’m on the mailing list for the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. It’s an organization dedicated to the use of contemplative practice by people of all religions to encounter the “divine”. Founder Tilden Edwards said this about contemplative spirituality.

“This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality.”
—Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Friend, p. 18.

So the pastors at the National Pastors Convention will sit back, refreshed from their yoga, and listen to Ruth Haley Barton, who was trained at Shalem, tell them how the mystical stream of contemplative prayer can enhance their ministries.

As if eastern spirituality wasn’t bad enough , Zondervan, who sponsors the NPC, has brought in political liberals like Shane Claiborne and Jim Wallis to make sure that left-wing theology matches left-wing politics. You can see the full line-up of speakers here.

The National Pastors Convention is an indication of evangelicalism’s future. Only those whose feet are on the rock of the unchanging Word of God will not be swept away by this tsunami of spiritual deception. The deception is not the exception, it is the norm now. Contend for the faith.


... more

Outside the Camp
Mar 1st, 2008
Charles H. Spurgeon
Uncategorized

LET US GO FORTH THEREFORE UNTO HIM WITHOUT THE CAMP, BEARING HIS REPROACH. Hebrews 13:13

JESUS, BEARING HIS cross, went forth to suffer outside the gate. The Christian’s reason for leaving the camp of the world’s sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master.

Christ was “not of the world.” His life and His testimony were a constant protest against conformity with the world. Never was such overflowing affection for men as you find in Him; but still He was separate from sinners.

In like manner Christ’s people must “go out to Him.” They must take their position “outside the camp,” as witness-bearers for the truth. They must be prepared to tread the straight and narrow path. They must have bold, unflinching, lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and His truth next, and Christ and His truth beyond all the world. Jesus would have His people “go forth outside the camp” for their own sanctification.

You cannot grow in grace to any high degree while you are conformed to the
world. The life of separation may be a path of sorrow, but it is the highway of safety; and though the separated life may cost you many pangs, and make every day a battle, yet it is a happy life after all.

No joy can excel that of the soldier of Christ: Jesus reveals Himself so graciously, and gives such sweet refreshment, that the warrior feels more calm and peace in his daily strife that others in their hours of rest. The highway of holiness is the highway of communion. It is thus we shall hope to win the crown if we are enabled by divine grace faithfully to follow Christ “outside the camp.”

The crown of glory will follow the cross of separation. A moment’s shame will be well recompensed by eternal honor; a little while of witness-bearing will seem nothing when we are “forever with the Lord."

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin whichdoth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1,2

From Morning and Evening......April 6

 

 


... more

PreTrib. Rapture
Mar 1st, 2008
Dave Hunt
Uncategorized

DOES IT REALLY MATTER

"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be....Surely I come quickly" (Rv 22:12,20). These, Christ's last recorded words, confirm His earlier promise: "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (Jn 14:2-3). Paul refers to the fulfillment of this promise: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, ...and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive...shall be caught up together with them...to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thes 4:16-17). In response to these promises from Christ, "the Spirit and the bride say, Come" (Rv 22:17), to which John adds his glad "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Who is this Bride? After declaring that husband and wife are "one flesh," Paul explains: "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Eph. 5:22-32).

Neither the words of Christ and John nor those of the Spirit and the Bride would make any sense if this coming to catch away the believers to Himself had to await the appearance of Antichrist (prewrath view) or the consummation of the Great Tribulation (post-trib view). A post-anything coming of Christ for His bride simply doesn't fit these words of Scripture. If the Great Tribulation must occur first, for the Spirit and the Bride to cry "Come, Lord Jesus!" would be like demanding payment on a debt that wasn't due for seven years!

A post-anything rapture flies in the face of many scriptures which clearly demand a coming of Christ that could occur at any moment. Christ himself said, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord..." (Lk 12:35). Such a command would mock us if Christ could not come until after seven years of tribulation.

That the coming which Christ's bride longs for will bring the resurrection of the dead and the transformation of the living into new bodies is clear not only from 1 Thessalonians 4, but from other passages such as "...from whence [heaven] also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil 3:20-21). Many other passages also call upon believers to watch and wait expectantly. Such exhortations make sense only if Christ could catch His bride to heaven at any moment:

...waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:7); ...ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven... (1 Thes1:9-10); Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of...our Saviour Jesus Christ (Ti 2:13); ...unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time... (Heb 9:28); Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord (Jas 5:7); etc.

Opinions about the Rapture do not affect salvation -- but we would seek to understand what the Bible says. The early church was clearly expecting Christ at any moment. To be watching and waiting for Christ if Antichrist must appear first would be like expecting Christmas before Thanksgiving. Yet Christ exhorted, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh ...Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch" (Mt 25:13; Mk 13:36-37).

Nor does the following from Christ fit a post-trib coming: "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Mt 24:44). It is absurd to imagine that anyone who had survived the Great Tribulation and had seen the prophesied events (the plagues and judgment poured out upon earth; Antichrist's image in the temple; the mark imposed to buy and sell; all killed who would not worship Antichrist's image; the three witnesses in Jerusalem killed, then resurrected and caught up to heaven; Jerusalem surrounded by the world's armies, etc.), and who had counted the foretold 1,260 days, could possibly imagine at that hour that Christ was not about to return! There is simply no way to reconcile a post-trib coming of Christ with His warning that He would come when He would not be expected.

That statement alone distinguishes the Rapture (catching the church up from earth to heaven) from the Second Coming (to rescue Israel at Armageddon), for the latter will surprise almost no one. In contrast to His warning that even many in the church will not be expecting Him, numerous scriptures foretell another coming of Christ when all the signs have been fulfilled and everyone knows that He is coming. To unbelieving Israel, Christ declared, "when ye shall see all these things, know that it [My coming] is near, even at the doors" (Mt 24:33). Even Antichrist will know: "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army" (Rv 19:19).

Either Christ is contradicting himself (impossible!) or He is speaking of two events. Christ says He will come at a time of peace and prosperity when even His bride will not expect Him: "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not" (Lk 12:40). Not only the foolish, but even the wise, will be asleep: "While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept" (Mt 25:5)!

Yet Scripture says that the Messiah comes when the world is almost destroyed by war, famine and God's judgment and Israel is about to go down in defeat. Then, Jahweh declares, "they shall look upon me whom they have pierced" (Zec 12:10) and all Jews alive on earth will recognize their returning messiah as the "mighty God, the everlasting Father" (Is 9:6) who, exactly as their prophets foretold, came as a man, died for their sins, and has come again, this time to rescue Israel. Of this climactic moment, Christ declares, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" (Mt 24:13). Paul adds, "And so all Israel [still living] shall be saved.... " (Rom 11:26).

It is inescapable that two comings are yet future: one that could catch even His bride by surprise, and another that will hardly be a surprise to anyone. These cannot be the same event. But where does the New Testament say that two comings remain? Every Christian believes in two comings: Christ came once to earth, died for our sins, rose from the dead, returned to heaven and is coming again. Yet nowhere did the Old Testament say there would be two distinct comings.

That fact caused confusion for the rabbis, for Christ's disciples,and even for John the Baptist. "Filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb" (Lk 1:15, 41, 44), John had testified that Jesus was "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (Jn 1:29). Yet this last of the Old Testament prophets, of whom there was none greater "born of women" (Lk 7:28), began to doubt: "Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?" (Lk :19).

Only one coming of the Messiah was anticipated. He would deliver Israel and establish His kingdom upon David's throne in Jerusalem. Thus the rabbis, soldiers and jeering onlookers mocked Him on the cross (Mt 27:40-44; Mk 15:18-20, 29-32; Lk 23:35-37)! In spite of all the miracles He had done, the disciples likewise took His crucifixion to be conclusive proof that He could not have been the Messiah. The two on the road to Emmaus said, "...we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel" (Lk 24:19-21)-but now He was dead.

Christ rebuked them for failing "to believe all that the prophets have spoken" (Lk 24:25). That was the common problem -- failure to consider all prophecies. Israel had a one-sided view of the Messiah's coming (and still does today) which allows her to see only His triumphant reign and blinds her to His sacrifice for sin. Even many Christians are so obsessed with thoughts of "conquering" and "dominion" that they imagine it is the church's responsibility to take over the world and to establish the Kingdom so that the King can then return to earth to reign. They forget His promise to His bride to take her to heaven, from whence she shall return with Him to help rule the world.

How could Christ come from heaven to execute judgment upon earth "with ten thousands of his saints [i.e., multitudes]" (Jude 14) if He had not first taken them to heaven? Here we have another reason for a pretrib rapture. Amazingly, Michael Horton, in Putting Amazing Back into Grace (p. 198), imagines that 1Thessalonians 4:14 refers to Christ's Second Coming "with the saints" ("so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him"). On the contrary, it is the disembodied souls and spirits of physically dead believers which Christ brings at the Rapture to be reunited with their bodies at the resurrection and takes them and the transformed living to heaven. At the Second Coming it is living saints who have already been resurrected and previously taken to heaven whom He brings with Him back to earth.

Prior to Christ's return with His saints there has been a wedding in heaven of the Lamb to His bride (Rv 19:7). Having undergone the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:12-15; 2 Cor 5:10, etc.), the saints are "arrayed in fine linen, clean and white" (Rv 19:8). Surely they must also be the army "clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (19:14) that comes with Christ to destroy Antichrist. When were they taken to heaven? Certainly not at the Second Coming, for that would leave time neither for the judgment seat of Christ nor for the wedding. The Rapture must be a prior event.

Those who are looking forward to meeting a "Christ" with their feet planted on this earth have forgotten that the true Christ will catch us up to meet Him in the air and take us to His Father's house. They have forgotten, too, that Antichrist will establish an earthly kingdom before the true King returns to reign. Sadly, those who are working to establish a kingdom on this earth are preparing the world for the counterfeit reign of "that man of sin."

How could anyone in Old Testament times have known that there would be two comings of the Messiah? By implication only. Either the prophets contradicted themselves when they foretold that the Messiah would be rejected and crucified and yet that He would be hailed as King and reign upon David's throne forever-or they were speaking of two comings.

There was no way to put into one event what the prophets said. There simply had to be two comings of the Messiah: first as the Lamb of God to die for our sins, then as the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Hos 5:14-15; Rv 5:5) in power and glory to rescue Israel in the midst of Armageddon.

And so it is in the New Testament. Notice the many contradictions unless these are two events: 1) He comes for His saints and at a time when no one expects Him; but He comes with His saints and at a time when everyone knows He is coming; 2) He doesn't come to earth but catches the saints up to meet Him in the air (1 Thes 4:17); but He comes to this earth, His "feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives" (Zec 14:4) and the saints come to earth with Him; 3) He takes the saints to heaven to His Father's house of many mansions to be with Him (Jn 14:3); but He brings the saints from heaven (Zec 14:5; Jude 14); 4) He comes for His bride at a time of peace and prospering, business and pleasure (Lk 17:26-30); but He comes to rescue His people Israel when the world has practically been destroyed and in the midst of earth's worst war, Armageddon.

Christ declared: "And as it was in the days of Noe...they did eat, they drank, they married wives;...also as it was in the days of Lot;...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....Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed [to His own]" (Lk 17:26-30). These world conditions at the Rapture could only be before the tribulation period; they certainly could not be at its conclusion!

Rapture? Critics claim that the word "rapture" isn't even in the Bible! In fact, it is and has been since Jerome's fifth-century Latin Vulgate translated the Greek harpazo (to snatch suddenly) as raeptius, from which "rapture" comes. The KJV renders harpazo "caught up." That is what Christ promised in John 14-to catch us up to heaven.

Other critics parrot Dave MacPherson's myth that a pretrib Rapture came from Darby early in the nineteenth century, who learned it from a Margaret MacDonald, who got it from Edward Irving, who learned it from the writings of the Jesuit Emmanuel Lacunza. That is simply not true (see Reprints, June 1995). A number of much earlier writers expressed this belief. One is Ephraem of Nisibis (306-73), well-known in Syrian church history. He stated, "All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord...." That sermon was popularly circulated in several languages.

Yes, there is a post-trib coming: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days... they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Mt 24:29-30). For His angels to "gather together his elect from the four winds" (vv. 29-31) is certainly not Christ himself rapturing His church to heaven, but the gathering of scattered Israel back to her land at the Second Coming.

Christ associated evil with the thought that His coming would be delayed: "But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming" (Mt 24:48; Lk 12:45). Again, that statement is senseless if the Rapture is post-trib. There is no greater motive for holy living and diligent evangelism than knowing that Christ could take us to heaven at any moment. May the Bride awaken from her sleep, fall in love again with the Bridegroom, and from her heart and by her daily life call out continually, "Come, Lord Jesus, come!"


... more

Separation From Apostasy
Mar 1st, 2008
A Sadlier
Uncategorized

When our Lord returned to heaven He instituted the church on earth. The church is comprised of “called out ones”, those who are called out of the world to be Heaven’s representatives on earth. The church, corporately, and through each individual believer, is to reflect the holy character of Christ the head of the church and to declare the truth of God’s Word.

The Prince of Darkness has other plans. He sought from the beginning to hinder the church by contaminating it with unholy people and unholy doctrine.

Very early, even in the first century, the Devil was successful in his attacks on the church. His goal was, and still is, to cause the believer and the church to become apostate. Apostasy is a falling away, a departure from the truth of God’s Word. It involves wrong beliefs (doctrine) and as a result, wrong practices.

Three of the representaive first century churches of Asia Minor fell away and became apostate (Rev 2 & 3). As a result of that apostasy, those churches lost their testimonies and were terminated from the earth by our Lord. Apostasy ultimately brings about the termination of a church.

Apostasy was the primary issue of the first century church, apostasy has always been the primary issue of the church. Apostasy is the primary issue of the church today.

Theoretically, if the churches of the first four or five centuries had not become apostate, the world may well have been evangelized 1,500 years ago.

If a church does not become apostate, it will be blessed of God. It will grow strong and souls will be saved. Its love for Christ will grow, and God will be glorified in the church. John 14:21, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."   

The mission of the church is evangelism, to bring the gospel to a lost world. However, the priority of the church is not evangelism. The priority of the church is the Apostles Doctrine, to know it, to believe it to practice it. Out of obedience to the priority of sound doctrine, the mission of the church (and the individual) will be accomplished, souls will be saved and effective evangelism will take place.

New Evangelicals have seriously erred here. The issue is not Evangelism, not church growth, not methods and programs, not nickels and noses. The issue is sound doctrine. Out of sound doctrine will come an understanding of what the church is to be, what it is to be doing and how it is to be done.

In the environment of sound doctrine, God will move by His Spirit, souls will be saved, the church will be blessed and Christ will be glorified.

There has always been a remnant of believers who have sought to maintain purity of doctrine, purity of life and separation from Apostasy.

In the first 50 years of the 20th century the lines were clearly drawn. There were two sides, Liberals and Fundamentalists. There was no deception and no compromise and the true church was never stronger.

The Liberals denied the fundamentals of the faith. The Fundamentalists held firmly to them. In the 1950’s something happened which totally changed the whole situation. Ecumenical Evangelism began and turned black and white into gray. As the two sides rubbed shoulders, the clear lines of distinction were smudged.

Out of that situation there arose New Evangelicalism. This group wished to disassociate themselves from the Fundamentalists. They ceased to contend and battle for sound doctrine. The earnest contending for sound doctrine by the Fundamentalists was an embarrassment to the New Evangelicals.

Instead of confronting Liberals, they began to dialogue with them. From that point forward, the Evangelical church compromised an inch at a time. Today, the Evangelical church is a mile from where it ought to be. Almost everyone decries the mile but few are willing to contend for the inch. We have had 50 years of small compromises, each one seemingly too small to contend.

Jude said we are to “earnestly contend for the faith." We have failed to do this and sadly, many who call themselves Fundamentalists have compromised.

We need to understand that what we believe determines how we act and live and how we serve the Lord. Out of the loss of a clear understanding of what the Scriptures teach regarding what the church is to be and what the church is to do, has arisen the apostasy of the Church Growth Movement, the Seeker Friendly Church, The Purpose Driven Church and the Emergent Church.

These churches have turned away from what the Lord of the church has clearly taught regarding what the church is to be, to do and how it is to be done. These movements are the natural product of New Evangelicalism.

This turning away is absolute apostasy and God’s people need to recognize and reject this apostasy for the error it is and separate from it.

The issue is not whether those involved in apostasy are actually brothers and sisters in Christ. The Scripture teaches we are to separate from disobedient believers. The following texts show this principle. Matthew 18:15-17, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."   

1 Corinthians 5:11, "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat."   The issues may vary but the principle of separation is clearly set forth in these and other Scriptures.

One of the reasons for separation from brothers or sisters in Christ is their failure to hold to sound doctrine. 2 Thessalonians 3:6, "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."

Romans 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

False doctrine and wrong practice will destroy the church and must be isolated in order to preserve the church. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” Galatians 5:9. “Beware of the leaven (false doctrine) of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

Matthew 16:6, "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven (false doctrine) of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

In order to preserve the church it is necessary to separate from those who are involved in apostasy even if they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we get to heaven, if those we separate from are truly believers, wrongs will be made right and we will be restored to fellowship with them. Nevertheless, in order to be obedient to the Lord and His Word, we need to separate from apostasy.

New Evangelicalism has been the single most important factor in the compromise of sound doctrine in the church for the last 50 years. It is important to separate from New Evangelicalism.

... more

Striving for Numbers
Mar 1st, 2008
A W Tozer
Uncategorized

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest … think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

In Christian circles today, the church that can show an impressive quantitative growth is frankly envied and imitated by other ambitious churches.

Numbers, size and amounts seem to be very nearly all that matters – with a corresponding lack of emphasis on quality!

This is the age of the Laodicians. The great goddess, Numbers, is worshipped with fervent devotion and all things religious are brought before her for examination. Her Old Testament is the financial report and her New Testament is the membership roll. To these she appeals as the test of spiritual growth and the proof of success or failure in most Christian endeavors.

A little acquaintance with the Bible should show this up for the heresy it is. To judge anything spiritual by statistics is to judge by another then scriptural judgment. Yet this is being done every day by ministers, church boards and denominational leaders. And hardly anyone seems to notice the deep and dangerous error!

... more

The Church Walking With The World
Mar 1st, 2008
Poem Unknown - Commentary Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

The Church and the World walked far apart
On the changing shores of time,
The World was singing a giddy song,
And the Church a hymn sublime.

“Come, give me your hand,” said the merry World,
“And walk with me this way!”
But the faithful Church hid her gentle hands
And solemnly answered “Nay!

  I will not give you my hand at all,
And I will not walk with you;
Your way is the way that leads to death;
Your words are all untrue.”

“Nay, walk with me but a little space,”
Said the World with a kindly air;
“The road I walk is a pleasant road,
And the sun shines always there.

Your path is thorny and rough and rude,
But mine is broad and plain;
My way is paved with flowers and dews,
And yours with tears and pain.

The sky to me is always blue,
No want, no toil I know;
The sky above you is always dark,
Your lot is a lot of woe.
There’s room enough for you and me
To travel side by side.”

Half shyly the Church approached the World
And gave him her hand of snow;
And the old World grasped it and walked along,
Saying, in accents low:

“Your dress is too simple to please my taste;
I will give you pearls to wear,
Rich velvets and silks for your graceful form,
And diamonds to deck your hair.”

The Church looked down at her plain white robes,
And then at the dazzling World,
And blushed as she saw his handsome lip
With a smile contemptuous curled.

“I will change my dress for a costlier one,”
Said the Church, with a smile of grace;
Then her pure white garments drifted away,
And the World gave, in their place,

Beautiful satins and shining silks,
Roses and gems and costly pearls;
While over her forehead her bright hair fell
Crisped in a thousand curls.

“Your house is too plain,” said the proud old World,
“I’ll build you one like mine;
With walls of marble and towers of gold,
And furniture ever so fine.”

So he built her a costly and beautiful house;
Most splendid it was to behold;
Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there
Gleaming in purple and gold.

Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held,
And the World and his children were there.
Laughter and music and feasts were heard
In the place that was meant for prayer.

There-were cushioned seats for the rich and the gay,
To sit in their pomp and pride;
But the poor who were clad in shabby array,
Sat meekly down outside.

“You give too much to the poor,” said the World.
“Far more than you ought to do;
If they are in need of shelter and food,
Why need it trouble you?

Go, take your money and buy rich robes,
Buy horses and carriages fine;
Buy pearls and jewels and dainty food,
Buy the rarest and costliest wine.

My children, they dote on all these things,
And if you their love would win
You must do as they do, and walk in the ways
That they are walking in.”

So the poor were turned from her door in scorn,
And she heard not the orphan’s cry;
But she drew her beautiful robes aside,
As the widows went weeping by.

Then the sons of the World and the Sons of the Church
Walked closely hand and heart,
And only the Master, who knoweth all,
Could tell the two apart.

Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,
“I am rich and my goods increase;
I have need of nothing, or aught to do,
But to laugh, and dance, and feast.”

The sly World heard, and he laughed in his sleeve,
And mockingly said, aside:
“The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;
And her shame is her boast and her pride.”

The angel drew near to the mercy seat,
And whispered in sighs her name;
Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,
And heads were covered with shame.

And a voice was heard at last by the Church
From Him who sat on the throne:
“I know thy works, and how thou hast said,
‘I am rich, and hast not known

That thou art naked, poor and blind,
And wretched before my face;’
Therefore from my presence cast I thee out,
And blot thy name from its place.”

But out from the side of harlot church,
While she sleeps in indolent shame,
Will be taken the remnant who keep God's Word,
And honor His holy name.

By the word of their testimony, and the blood of the Lamb,
They overcame the world.
For those who keep their garments clean,
Shall walk with Him in white,
In the day when He comes to claim His own,
To make them His jewels bright

The above poem tells the story of the evangelical church of our generation, in this Laodicean age. New evangelicalism is the root cause of the disaster which has befallen much of the evangelical church. New evangelicalism with its inherent neutralism, its refusal to contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints, and its refusal to separate from error, has spawned the apostasy that Jesus said would be so deceptive in the last days.

When a navigator sets a course by his compass, a small deviation at the beginning of the course will result in his ending up miles from the right destination. Back in 1948; when Dr. Ockenga determined a course for new evangelicalism, he did not intend to make much of correction. He just intended to repudiate separatism, to add some invigorating social involvement and win over some liberals with erudite dialogue. However that seemingly small deviation from obedience, has led the evangelical church far, far from where it once was.

Now, many new evangelicals find themselves on a totally different road. Unless fundamentalists obey the Bible by separating from disobedient brethern we will find ourselves with them on a broad road, totally different from the one on which we set out. When the disciples asked Jesus about the days prior to his return, he warned of religious deception, that if it were possible even the very elect would be deceived. It breaks my heart to see so many of God's people deceived by the neutralism and pragmatism of new evangelicaliam in this hour just prior to the coming of Christ.

Some say, don't worry about the church, the Lord will look after the church, the church will be just fine. I am reminded of what Israel said to Jeremiah, just prior to the O.T. Day of the Lord. They said, Jeremiah don't worry about us we are the people of God, God is not going to judge us, Jeremiah, your a false prophet.


... more

The Contrast
Mar 1st, 2008
A Sadlier
Uncategorized

The Fundamentalists say, “I believe in and will practice separation from apostasy”. The New Evangelicals say “I do not believe in and will not practice separation from apostasy”. They say “we will not come out; we will sit down and talk”.

The watchwords of the Fundamentalists are “Be not unequally yoked”, “come out from among them”, “be ye separate”, “touch not the unclean thing”, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness”.

The watchwords of the New Evangelicals are “stay in”, “associate”, “infiltrate”, “dialogue”.

Only the first set of watchwords is scriptural.

In the last 50 years New Evangelicalism has swept over the church. The church has never been weaker than it is today, regardless of any great crowds or great programs.

The following chart by Thom S Rainer demonstrates the decline associated with New Evangelicalism.

Estimated Proportion of Each Generation Professing Faith in Christ

Generation Name............Birth Years .................Percent

Builders..........................1910-1945 ...................65 %

Boomers.........................1946-1964....................35 %

Busters.......................... 1965-1976....................15 %

Bridgers..........................1977-1994.................... 4 %

Post Moderns.................. 1995- ?.......................... ?

The apostasy ot the New Evangelicals has brought the world into the church and it has literally  destroyed the church.

 

 

 

 

 

... more

The Midnight Hour
Mar 1st, 2008
A Sadlier
Uncategorized

The prophetic end-time scenario continues to develop. The fanatical determination to destroy Israel has reached a fever pitch. The EU is developing along the lines predicted in the prophetic Scriptures. World government is looming larger and larger on the horizon. America’s power is receding in accord with the last days’ scenario. Moral decline has reached free-fall status. Persecution of Christians is unprecedented, even by first century standards. Apostasy in the church has now arrived at the proportions Paul warned about for the last days. The last days’ scene Jesus painted, earthquakes, pandemic diseases, warnings of insufficient food production which could bring wide-scale famine along with wars and rumours of wars are now present with us.

I know I sound like a broken record, or more currently a scratched CD, but my friends, the message is that the signs of our Lord’s soon coming are overwhelming us. Paul, in speaking about the Day of the Lord, taught that there would come a generation who would see the signs of the approaching Day of the Lord. “But ye brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thess. 5:4. We are that generation!

As I understand the way the Day of the Lord scenario will unfold, the church must first be raptured (2 Thess. 2:1-3). The peace treaty will be signed under the sponsorship of antichrist, the head of the RRE (the EU). Very early in the tribulation period the war of Ezekiel 38 & 39 will take place. During that war Russia and Islam will be very near annihilation. That will leave only antichrist standing. He will have the only army, west of China, and he will have the mid-east oil.

The Scripture does not reveal clearly what will happen prior to the tribulation period. We have some clues from Scripture and we have some scenarios unfolding today.

It seems almost inevitable that there will be a nuclear exchange of some kind.

Iran is very near to obtaining nuclear weapons. If poor countries like Pakistan and North Korea could do it, it seems unreasonable to believe that a rich country like Iran can not do it.

A news item on February 21, 2008 said that the US was alarmed by mounting evidence that North Korea gave nuclear assistance to Syria. Iran and Syria could develop nuclear weapons or buy them from rogue states like Pakistan or North Korea, or obtain them from Russia.

The level of hatred by Iran and Syria toward Israel is beyond comprehension, it reflects the hatred of Satan toward Israel.

Listen to Ahmadinejad in recent remarks about Israel. “World powers have created a black and dirty microbe named Israel.” He has repeatedly declared that Israel is doomed and soon to disappear. Syrian hatred for Israel is just as intense, though less verbal.

Israel, on the other hand, has a policy called the “Samson Option”. It is named after Samson who sacrificed himself to destroy his enemies. In the event of Israel’s imminent destruction, it would launch its nuclear weapons to destroy its enemies.

It is now obvious that Syria is totally committed to utterly destroy Israel. The capital of Syria is Damascus; the Bible has some ominous words for Damascus.

Isaiah says, “The burden of Damascus. Behold Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1

Damascus is the oldest city on earth, though it has been conquered many times, it has never been destroyed, but has remained in tact until this day.

The timing of the destruction of Damascus is revealed in verse 4, at a time when Israel is greatly threatened and is reduced to a state of peril and fear. That could be the scenario of Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria attacking Israel with thousands of missiles.

Another indication of the timing of this attack is implied in Ezekiel 38 & 39. The fact is that although Syria is now closely allied with Russia and Iran, yet Syria is not mentioned as being a part of that war, implying that the destruction of Damascus may well be imminent.

It is obvious that Syria, with the help of Iran, Russia and North Korea, is preparing an arsenal of biological and possibly nuclear weapons to destroy Israel. I believe the moment Israeli Intelligence is alerted to such an imminent attack they will exercise the “Samson Option”.

Israel has low yield weapons which give a minimum of radio active fallout. These weapons could be used with pinpoint accuracy.

The whole scenario is falling into place. It is amazing how after 2,800 years Isaiah’s prophecy seems about to be fulfilled.

Israel may use nuclear weapons to destroy Iran’s nuclear potential but a full scale nuclear war by Iran does not fit into the end time Biblical scenario, nevertheless the whole Mid-east crisis is rushing toward some kind of cataclysmic event which would finally set up the world for a peace treaty, even though it will be a false peace, by a false Messiah.

We do not know all of the details for the events which lie ahead, but these are awesome, momentous days in which we live.

... more

The Present Apostasy
Mar 1st, 2008
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

All down through the ages, the failure of the Professing Church to maintain a clear witness to the truth has caused those who love the truth to seek to perpetuate a witness outside the religious establishment. The departure from the truths of God's Word within an organized body of professing Christians, demands reaffirmation of the truth in newly established churches.

It has been a continually repeated tendency for the visible church to drift from sound doctrine to false doctrine. Apostasy grows subtly until those who long for a pure church remove and begin again in new assemblies of God's people.

The great characteristic of apostasy is always deception. Apostasy itself is not ignorance or lack of instruction, apostates are deliberate rejecters of divinely given truth. Nevertheless, those who through ignorance of God's Word, are deceived by apostates, are greatly injured by apostasy and they in turn help to spread apostasy which greatly harms others and dishonors God.

It is also true that every generation must fight its own battles, the war is never won! The issues of apostasy change with each generation. Just when the battle seems to be won, Satan shifts gears and deceives God's people in some new apostasy, carrying away great crowds with him into some new defection from God's Word.

The great issue of apostasy in this present hour is an issue that perhaps has never been raised in past generations. The issue of apostasy in these last days is incredibly deceptive, just as our Lord said it would be in Mathew 24:5.

The subtle deception of the present day is the departure from what God's Word teaches the church is to be, what the church is to do, and how it is to do it. It seems to be an insignificant issue and yet it is nothing less than the total reversal of God's plan for the church, it is the total destruction of the church.

It casts aside God's plan and purpose and brings the unsaved into the fellowship of the church. It brings in the world's music, casts away the church's song. It brings in the world's methods and ignores God's methods. It waters down the teaching of the Word of God to make the carnal and unregenerate comfortable. It fails to ground believers in sound doctrine by the faithful teaching of the whole counsel of God. It preaches easy believism and reaps a harvest of psuedo christians.

It is a disaster, it is a calamity, it is the total destruction of the church. The numbers they attract are deceptive and cloud discernment.

The word "Church" is the greek word, "Ekklesia", it means "called out ones". The Church of Jesus Christ is a group of born-again believers who are called out of the world to worship and serve Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church.

Paul said in 2 Cor. 6:14, "Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers." He continued in vs. 17, "Therefore come out from among them, and be ye separate." The writer to the Hebrews emphasized this same principle of separation for the church in Heb. 13:13, "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach."

The church is not to bring the world into the fellowship of the church, to do so, is to change the church in the very essence of what Christ calls it to be.

In Acts 5: the pattern of holiness and purity was set for the church, when the Lord took the lives of Ananias and Sapphira for lying and hypocracy. As a result those outside the church knew that they were not to identify with the church unless they were saved.

Acts 5:13 says, "And of the rest durst no man join himself to them:" In essence they were saying they are a separated group, don't join them unless you become one of them. The verse concludes with, "but the people magnified them". They stood in awe of what God was doing in the midst of those believers, but they dared not try to join with them.

It is the greatest of apostasy to turn this truth around, and change the very purpose and nature of the church. It is apostasy to bring the world into the church and to destroy the separation of the church.

The Church Growth Movement started this process, the User-Friendly and the Purpose Driven Church brought this apostasy to full fruition.

I believe that at this point we are to do what Jude instructed us to do, "Earnestly contend for the faith." We must declare that this is apostasy and call others to separate from it. Apostasy spreads rapidly, the only way to stop apostasy is to isolate it.

When the church offers the world programs and entertainment, and the music of the world, and the world's methods, it is simply offering the world more of what it already has. The church has lost her purpose and has been changed to the very core of her being. The church that does this has sold her birth-right and is no longer the Church of Jesus Christ.

It is time for God's people to be counted. The time is past when we can let others do all the contending for the faith once delivered to the saints.

It is time to recognize that New Evangelicalism is the real issue. In New Evangelicalism, believers will not take a stand against apostasy, they will not rebuke apostasy, they will not separate from apostasy. The attitude is, that because it is fellow believers who are involved in the User Friendly, Purpose Driven scenario, they will not separate from them. In fact their toleration actually results in an endorsement.

It is in that climate that we have watched apostasy grow in the Evangelical Church, over the last 50 years.

Paul said, "Now we COMMAND you, brethren in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every BROTHER that walketh DISORDERLY (out of step), and not after the TRADITION (teaching) which ye received of us," 11 Thess. 3:6.

In Romans 16:17 Paul said, "Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine (teachings) which you have learned; and AVOID them." It is the User Friendly PARADIGM that has brought a DIVISION (discord) into the church about what God's Word teaches the church is to be, and do, and how it is to do it.

... more

The Triumph of the Truth
Mar 1st, 2008
Exerpt - "When iron gates yield"
Uncategorized

“If you believe Him for forgiveness, you must believe Him for deliverance. He Who saves us from the guilt of sin can deliver us from the power of sin… He can cut the chains that bind him to his former master… He purchases us that He might possess us…

If we want deliverance from the power of indwelling sin, we must rely in simplicity upon His Word, accepting without question what God says to us about it. We must still move in faith …

The aim of the Lord involves two things: the praise of God and the perfecting of the believer, that is to say His glory and our glorification …

He is prepared, for His glory and our good, to go all lengths with us. In occupying our vision with Christ, He seeks to show us what He desires our likeness to become. In this way, the more we behold Him the more we are prepared to endure that we might be conformed to His beauty...

When a person who believes God is put through harrowing experiences, God waits, as it were, to see whether that person will consider Him worthy of his trust to the bitter end. His glory in that circumstance is linked up with that man’s faith. When faith triumphs in the sufficiency of God’s grace, then God is glorified in the world …

The entrustment (by God) of trial and discipline is one therefore of highest honour (to us). He dares to expose Himself, to see whether in the darkest hour we will really respond to Him who is invisible, more than to all the visible terror about us; to see whether we will love Him more than life and count His joy more to be grasped at than the moment’s excitement of an apparent security.”

... more

The World is to Blame
Mar 1st, 2008
Yehuda Poch
Uncategorized

For dozens of years, the world has screamed at Israel. Hundreds of resolutions have passed in the United Nations General Assembly condemning Israel for every offense imaginable. Diplomats and statesmen from every country on the globe have urged Israel in all possible terms to "withdraw", "end the occupation", uproot "settlements", and otherwise abandon Judea and Samaria ("the West Bank") and the Gaza Strip. For decades, it was assumed as part of that Great Evil, conventional wisdom, that if Israel only got itself out of the "Palestinian territories", then peace would prevail and all of the world's evils would be made right again. What hogwash!

We now see the truth of all of those claims, demands and encouragement. For in 2005, after decades of being browbeaten by the world, Israel's most powerful personality, no less than Ariel Sharon himself, uprooted 21 Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip, rendering close to 10,000 people homeless and unemployed. Thriving schools, synagogues, community centers and organizations, and all other aspects of community life were summarily destroyed and cast into the trash heap of Israeli history as the world cheered and complimented Israel's "courageous leadership."
What nonsense!

That "courage", that "leadership", that cowardice shown by Israel's bravest fighter, resulted very quickly in the takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas terrorists intent on pressing their advantage. From the time Ariel Sharon announced plans to withdraw from Gaza, Palestinians from the area have been shelling the Israeli city of Sderot. Close to a dozen people have been killed in such attacks. And as the missiles have grown more sophisticated, as their range and firepower have been increased, and as the number of attacks has multiplied, the residents of Sderot and its surrounding communities have become collective victims. Babies are being born already suffering from post-traumatic stress, parents are afraid of allowing their children to go to school, just across the street, and 25,000 residents of the city leave their homes every morning never knowing whether they will arrive at their destinations - or come back home.

Over the past week, Gazan terrorists added a new element to their on-going war against Israel. Iranian-imported GRAD missiles were fired at Ashkelon. These missiles have longer ranges, increased firepower, and greater accuracy than the Kassams. And Ashkelon is not "just" a small town of 25,000 people like Sderot. Ahskelon has 120,000 residents, and is among Israel's larger cities. Ashkelon is home to a hospital which has been called on to treat many of the Kassam victims from Sderot and the other communities in the area. Ashkelon has an oil refinery and an electricity production plant that supply power to about 1/3 of Israel's population - and all of Gaza.
Ever since Israel expelled the Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip, at the world's behest, the world has been urging Israel to deal "proportionately" with the missile terrorism emanating from that area. Of course, it is completely lost on the world that "proportionate" means "of equal size or quality." And while the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip purposely target civilians, schools, hospitals and the like, we are all sure that the world did not mean that Israel should do the same.
Throughout the missile war that Israel has been facing along its border with Gaza, statesmen and diplomats around the world have been saying that they "support Israel's right to defend itself, but...." Always there has been that very small, very meaningful "but" at the end. And that "but" speaks more loudly than all the condemnations of the missile attacks and all the expressions of condolences over Israel's losses. That "but" belies the anti-Semitism that underpins all of the world's encouragements, pleadings, condemnations and other statements.

For those who doubt the veracity of these words, we must only put one and one together. The very same diplomats and statesmen who for years and years pleaded with Israel to leave the Gaza Strip finally got their wish. The Palestinians in Gaza were allowed their own self-determination, without the specter of Israeli soldiers watching their every move. They elected a government headed by Hamas, which proceeded to overthrow the Palestinian Authority much the same way that Hitler overthrew the Weimar Republic. And within two years, the Gaza Strip was turned into the world's largest base for terrorist activity.

As Israel stands by and allows a city of 25,000 people to be slowly bled to death by the terrorists next door, those very same diplomats and statesmen urge restraint. They offer two-sided condemnations that basically equate terrorist missile fire on a civilian population and the purposeful targeting of civilian infrastructure with the military response that such attacks bring about.
It is the fault of these statesmen and diplomats when an Israeli is killed by a Kassam rocket fired at Sderot or a GRAD fired at Ashkelon. The trauma and terror that these civilians live with every day of their lives is the fault of the world's diplomats and statesmen. That there is no peace in Israel or in Gaza is the fault of these same statesmen and diplomats. And it is the fault of these same diplomats and statesmen when Palestinian children are killed in IDF response attacks.
And it is these same statesmen and diplomats who show quite plainly that Israel is very much justified in ignoring the pleadings of the world and finally acting in the interests of peace and justice. It is likely no more than a pipe dream to hope that perhaps the world's statesmen and diplomats would be able to realize just how wrong they are. But it is not too much to hope - and to demand - that real statesmen stand up in Israel who are prepared to take such action. After all, when it comes down to it, that is really the only hope for peace.




... more

What is Fundamentalism?
Mar 1st, 2008
A Sadlier
Uncategorized

Fundamentalism is the militant belief and the proclamation of the basic doctrines of Christianity leading to scriptural separation from those who reject them.

Three ways in which Fundamentalists differ from New Evangelicals.

1 - Militant Belief - The teachings of God’s Word are vitally important and we must hold them with conviction.

2 - Proclamation - The doctrines are not only to be believed but to be preached to the church and to the lost.

3 - Separation - To fail to separate from apostasy is to deny the authority and the importance of God’s Word.

                             Truth is not  optional.

... more

What is New Evangelicalism?
Mar 1st, 2008
A Sadlier
Uncategorized

The man who first used the term and founded New Evangelicalism defines it for us.

Dr. Harold Ocenga said, “New evangelicalism was born in 1948 in connection with a convocation address which I gave in the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena. While reaffirming the theological view of fundamentalism, this address repudiated its ecclesiology and its social theory. The ringing call for a repudiation of separatism and the summons to social involvement received a hearty response from many evangelicals … It differed from fundamentalism in its repudiation of separation and its determination to engage itself in the theological dialogue of the day.”

New Evangelicalism declares itself to be different from fundamentalism in three basic ways.

1 - It repudiates separatism. This contradicts the clear teaching of God’s Word.

2 - It is committed to the social gospel. This is a serious difference with the Apostles doctrine.

3 - It is committed to dialoguing with liberals. This now includes both Catholics and Muslims.

In a New Evangelical church you will hear teaching from the Bible, but it is coming from an entirely different perspective than the message from the pulpit of the fundamentalist. One has strange fire and one is faithful to the Word of God.

... more
go back button