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Archive for the ‘Christian Testimony’ Category

 

I feel I must apologise for the delay in writing a follow-up post as promised [God’s reconciliation]. My only excuse is that age-related ailments again are unpredictable and sap one’s energy – so things tend to take a bit more effort ….. plus, I’m not as efficient as I used to be!

I find that the false teachings in the Church do not affect me in such a ‘personal experience’ way since not being involved in a local Church – that lack of involvement not being out of design or desire on my part I assure you. So I do not have specific things to write about.

My connection therefore with all things spiritual comes through Christian friends,  on line Ministries and of course, my own personal walk with the Lord, prayer and Bible study.

I have found many really good ministries, sermons, articles and videos that are faithful in preaching the Gospel and nurturing believers in the Faith ‘once delivered’ and they are also not afraid to speak out against all the ghastly practises and teachings that are rampant in these Last Days.

I’m convinced though, that the Gospel and the true remnant of believers will, by God’s grace and certainly by His will, grow stronger as tougher  times go on. God is faithful to His word and as we rely on Him more and more- so accordingly He will never leave nor forsake us. Indeed – His strength is made perfect in our weakness. 2 Cor 12:9

Since my husband died suddenly nine years ago, I have lived alone and been fairly restricted by my circumstances. It’s been lonely and difficult at times and if the Lord had ever failed me, I would be in dire straits I can tell you! My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever’ Psalm 73:26

So – to return to the purpose of this Blog – my writing has been very intermittent for some time now and I had thought with what few posts I write, maybe I should focus on the unsaved – however – my audience likely are people who already know the Lord. So I’ve decided [I’m loathe to claim guidance from the Lord!] that I’ll take a slightly different tack.

When I read my Bible, I tend to write notes about things that occur to me and I try not to bring any of my own pre-conceived ideas to a passage. What I read can often make me question things I’ve been taught in the past and  it sets me off on a little scripture reccy. So my idea is that I will sometimes pass these thoughts on here. Whether this would be of help or of interest to anyone else remains to be seen!

My other bright idea is that I will now be  re-blogging  other peoples’ posts – having only just realised I can do this on WordPress at the touch of a button …  neat eh?  This will I hope introduce fellow believers to Ministries of mutual interest. These Ministries tend to have their finger on the pulse of what is currently happening in the Church/false church scene, as well as Bible prophecy fulfillment and Israel. I’m doing this because they write things so much better than I can and are much more qualified to do so. They seem to say exactly what’s on my heart too ….

May the Lord bless and keep you,   Eileen

PS: No promises from now on about the frequency of my Posts !!

 

 

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In spite of the fact that so many people in our Post Modern age have rejected belief in the Creator God of the Bible and so many others [increasingly so] are turning to false gods – the One true God has not given up on mankind yet – His offer of eternal life hasn’t been withdrawn. It remains valid and in operation while this life remains.

No matter who you are, what your life has been, how old you are, what you have done, whether you follow another religion, are an occultist, are a complete atheist, humanist, or simply consider yourself an ‘ordinary’ person doing the best you can –  and that pretty much covers everyone I think –   God’s offer in Christ the Saviour is open to you.

‘Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; all things are become new. And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ and given to us the ministry of reconciliation, to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you, in Christ’s stead, be reconciled to God. For He has made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.’

So – the big question is – will you believe it?  Ultimately there’s that little matter of ‘Faith’.  Your choice – believe it and be reconciled or carry on ignoring it?

If you’ve read this far , you could well be thinking it simply boils down to personal preference eg ‘I’m not a religious person so I don’t need to bother myself with all this – God isn’t relevant in my life so this message is meaningless for me personally. What’s right for you isn’t necessarily right for me thank you very much. But I’m happy for you.’

Well – the reason it is urgent and applicable to every single person on the planet is because the Gospel addresses your eternal destiny when your life is over – what then?

My next post will cover the answer to this important question –  I do hope you will join me,

blessings,   Eileen

                                                                                                                                                                  

 

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Waterscapeb

Ifield Pond

Before the madness of Political Correctness and Gender dismantling gripped the world, the word ‘Man’ could be freely used and understood as a convenient generic term for Mankind or people in general – just as it is in the Bible. So that is how it is used  in my posts.

I always hoped that my Blog, even though the focus has been primarily on the false teachings and apostasy invading the Church, might also be found by non-believers, and so to that end I occasionally posted a Gospel message. I do know that among those who ‘follow’ this Blog are a few New Agers, occultists and even Antitheists [atheists]. Plus I know that some simply follow  to get their own Logos on more sites – not because they are interested in what is said – and I’m not just being cynical here – it happens!

That said, as our world sinks lower into the mire of its own making, I feel the urgency of writing the Gospel message even more and so I hope to purposefully engage with that in future.

Of course, if things concerning the apostasy of the Last Days cross my path, I hopefully won’t neglect to comment.  But, as I’ve often reminded everyone, I’m no expert and in the world/Churches eyes I have no standing or ‘qualifications’  {But – I know whom I have believed [2 Tim 1:12]}  I simply offer my warnings and cautions to anyone who may be puzzled, afraid, confused or even dis-interested in spiritual matters or the state of the world we live in.  And I do this as someone who loves the only true God of the Bible, because in His mercy He found me and gave me a new life and fresh start. My testimony to His amazing goodness and grace is my only qualification and reason to write this Blog. I hope to be writing a Gospel offering this week DV, in the hope that a ‘lost soul’ may come across it …

May the Lord bless and keep you in His care,    Eileen

“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  2 Cor 5:7

 

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A very Happy New Year to everyone !

Sad to say – it won’t be for this world, but for we who believe, the Lord tells us to ‘fear not’ as we look to Him. Psalm 27 is good to read when going through trials and tribulations. v14: Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

The ending of an old year and the leading into a new inevitably brings a mood of looking back and looking forward and WordPress is no exception. They kindly supply me with my statistics for the past year, and I must admit I was somewhat surprised, not to say disappointed with myself to see I’ve only managed to post three times !

However – because my advancing age seems to be bringing a change in my ability to write as often as I would like, plus the lack of stamina to do the necessary research, I feel maybe it’s time to hang up my pen and call it a day …..

I have been toying with the idea of changing direction and maybe just writing comments on current events in the world’s politics/news, but I would have been without proper direction. After all – I started writing this blog because I was so concerned about false teaching within the Church and the tolerance of it by those who should know better. But now I believe many more Christians are concerning themselves with these matters and are studying the Word of God for themselves instead of simply relying on their favourite preachers, not because of my own writing of course, but because  many Ministries and individuals are doing an excellent job in pointing Christians to the Word of God and away from false prophets and their deceit, and are not afraid to name names and call things what they truly are.

I think more Christians too, because of their study of the Bible, are seeing the falseness of the Pre-trib Rapture doctrine, with its emphasis of escaping what is to come upon this earth. We need to be prepared for persecution and we can only do that by knowing the Truth and being filled with the Spirit of God and Comfort.

When Jesus walked upon the Earth, the limitations of His physical body meant He couldn’t be with all of His followers all of the time and in all places. He told them that He had to return  to Heaven so that the Holy Spirit could come and do that very thing – for them and all those believers who come after, throughout history ! He said the Holy Spirit would be with them and in them. see John 14:16-18 and  John 16:7   These two chapters give us a lovely picture of how the Godhead [Trinity] works in co-operation and purpose. It is our privilege and joy that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit make themselves known to us through the Ministry of the indwelling Spirit, revealed to us by His Word.  Jesus is the Living Word, the Logos. The Names of the Holy Spirit are so appropriate to our needs as weak and fallible human beings.

Oh how we are going to need the strength, guidance and  comfort of the Holy Spirit in these times, whether it be within the bigger picture, or in our own personal struggles in life. Our Father in Heaven knows our needs and sees every sparrow that falls. Jesus is faithful and true and will never leave us nor forsake us.  Maranatha !!

 

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    Because Revelation TV is currently under scrutiny by the Charity Commission for its accounts, it was out of curiosity that I wanted to see what it was all about. I’ve never had occasion to think that Rev.TV were ever fraudulent about funds, even though I had some reservations about their fund-raising methods at times.

It was during my internet searches that I learnt about the God TV crisis with their Leaders [Rory & Wendy [?]], which in turn led to a video on Rev.TV by Howard Condor on the matter.[ A google search for ‘Revelation TVs statement regarding God TV’ will find it]. They had obviously had a lot of concerned Christians contacting them – so – how does Howard react? In typical style – treat it all as from unloving  Christians who should examine their own sins! True to form – it’s the critics who are wrong and the accommodating who are right in Howards opinion.

Predictably he quotes words of scripture ‘Let him who is without sin cast the first stone’ [taken out of context] and ‘Love covers a multitude of sins’. Which is true of course – we should be loving, patient and kind, but should it mean that we abandon truth? We must rightly divide the word of God. And , as usual, Howard shows no love towards those who have obviously been shocked and saddened  but choose to deal with it in a Biblical manner, indeed he accuses them of gossiping [ how often have I heard that one used to stifle any dissent!] and of looking for the faults in each other.

In Ephesians 6:12-18 we see how to combat spiritual wickedness, and if truth and righteousness are not our first priorities then we are in dire straits – no matter how we may fall short , we still must strive for them and walk accordingly.

The whole of 1 Corinthians 5 is devoted to Paul’s directives to them in how to deal with sin in their midst because they’d obviously not dealt with it as they should. He says: “And you are puffed up and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from you”  and 

“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened.”  and

“But now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator,or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not you judge them that are within? But them that are without God judges. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

I do not see here Howard’s admonition to understand what a difficult position it is to be in Leadership, facing all sorts of temptations so we shouldn’t cast stones. So – the Leaders are the poor victims then – not those who have been so badly wronged in the first place? I’m simply amazed at his total lack of discernment of right and wrong! But this has been the trend in the church for years and is why it’s in such a state of apostasy now because the Leaders tend to close ranks, try to hush up scandal and ‘restore’ any guilty people without any reference to their  followers’ spiritual growth or Paul’s directives.

I remember two incidences in the past, when my husband and I were quite young Christians, where we were very surprised and disappointed at the Ministers’ loose attitude toward sexual immorality in the congregations we belonged to at the time. One was a very young Christian woman in an unhappy marriage [ her husband was an unbeliever] who began living with a young man, also a member of our church. It confused and upset us that this was going on with the full blessing of the minister and his wife. I guess their reasoning was that it was better for her to be living in adultery with a ‘believer’ than living in a legitimate, though unhappy marriage with an ‘unbeliever’.  I think they thought it would it drive both of them away from the church if the congregation  didn’t ‘accept them as they were’ … a mentality I fear is prevalent now.

The other instance was in a house group that we hosted for a while. We had an older [in years] divorced woman who became a Christian but continued to live with a much younger man. In our naivety we hadn’t realised that was the case. It was only when the man who we regarded as our pastor [ who was teaching Latter Rain doctrines as it turned out] suggested to us in private that we have a special meeting to ‘bless’ their union that we really understood the situation. We just could not believe our ears!! How can anyone ask God to bless that which His word so plainly condemns – let alone a church ‘Leader’ ? But woe betide anyone who dares to question their wisdom or authority.

As with Howard’s foolish remarks – instead of obeying God’s word in the matter – making a stand for the truth of God’s word becomes a cause for division so that evil becomes good and good evil – just as His word says it will in the Last days. So, the chickens are coming home to roost as we see more and more apostasy with the truth and the Gospel being abandoned … but, the good news is that for those who really love the truth of God’s word and are obedient to it – all things are working together for good as we look to the Lord. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

 Added Footnote:  It seems Tim Vince suddenly left Rev.TV but nobody knows why because again, true to form, Howard and the team won’t be honest, above board and open about dissenters. 

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It’s Christmas Eve 2014 and as the years have rolled by since the birth of the Baby who was to become the Saviour of the world, it seems more and more people no longer believe it ever happened, let alone understand the actual meaning of it all.

But the fact is that the Christmas Story is really the Gospel Story and the two are intertwined because the unique purpose of Jesus, God’s Son, coming here to be born as a baby, was to DIE – specifically because the human race is bound by the curse of sin and death.

The message from the Angel of the Lord to the shepherds was an announcement of good tidings and peace on earth because the special Baby was born. That peace on earth was not to be a patched- up truce between conflicting sides in our  war-torn world though. It was an offering of peace and reconciliation from God Himself to to His sinful and rebellious creation. We all die because every one of us is born in the condemnation of God’s judgement on sin.

Christmas time reminds us what it cost God, in His mercy, to send His Son into this world as a man, to ‘taste death for every man’, to release us from the power of sin and death by His own death and resurrection.

Because Jesus lives – we will too if we believe Him. He requires a response from each individual to His offer. In John 3:16-18 we read :

For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it , but to save the world through Him. He who believes on Him is not condemned: but he who does not believe is already condemned because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God.

In John3:36 we read:

He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: he who doesn’t believe the Son will not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.

He is more willing to give than we are to receive, but may the light of the glorious gospel of Christ shine in your heart this Christmas.  Many blessings,   Eileene

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Since my original post I thought I needed to add and clarify something that I’d taken for granted every Christian would do. That is that they would be grounded in the basic, historic and traditional doctrines of the Faith, once delivered to the saints [Jude 1:3]  The Apostle Paul especially tells us that we should follow his teaching and example – what he wrote he had received directly from the Lord.

Every Christian should know what the Gospel is of course. When I was born again I knew that I was saved, but a complete theological understanding of what that meant came gradually with study of the scriptures. I knew God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in a truly personal way, but understanding of how the Trinity doctrine was formed, again came with study. I was fortunate enough after moving from London to Crawley, to join a newly formed Elim church where the emphasis was on the Bible and not on our ‘experiences’ – except that of our salvation. The choruses and hymns for the most part were doctrinal too. It was while there the Pastor loaned me a book called ‘In Understanding be Men’ which set out all the historic Bible doctrines. [As a sad little note – Elim as a denomination has now strayed far – and imagine my shock and sadness to see that my old Elim church has been rebuilt into a Mosque!! If we could have seen into the future, we wouldn’t have believed it…]

I was brought to the Lord in a high Anglican church so my initial grounding in the faith, fortunately, was in the repeating of the Apostles’ Creed every sunday. However, although I believed it, there were many there who didn’t – it was simply just trotted out as a ‘tradition’. More attention seem to be paid to the Book of Common Prayer than to the Bible. The sermon was usually based on explaining away Jesus’ miracles eg. the feeding of the five thousand was simply that Jesus had made those in the crowd who had brought food with them, feel guilty so they shared their sandwiches with everyone else!!

Anyway – the point is that we really need to know what the great Christian Doctrines are to be able to refute the teachings of Cults eg – their favourite is to attack the Trinity doctrine, so we need to know exactly how the scriptures describe the Godhead. Yes – the cults may well use the names Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but their meaning is totally different to ours.  I think I may have taken that grounding for granted, when I advocated that believers should always check out what they hear from their Leaders – especially their latest revelations and prophecies and what they all claim God has ‘laid on their heart’ or has outright ‘told’ them. Time was when I naive enough to believe them and give them the benefit of the doubt if I had any.

If we don’t know really what Bible truth is, then how can we tell truth from error? We will be ripe for deception because we are impressed with man and his ‘ministries’.  The worst deception of course is when we think the Leader/Preacher must be so close to the Lord that he/she couldn’t possibly lead us astray. Being Christian believers, we are loathe to criticise or ‘judge’ anyone [ a misapplied term if ever there was one] , let alone a respected Leader – so the false is allowed to fester along with the true … and that is precisely why things have got so bad in the Church today.

Because Doctrine is considered dry and almost a dirty word now, it gives the green light to relative truth … the teaching that if something works for you then that is your ‘truth’ – mine may be different to yours but all truths are valid. So if there are good testimonies coming out of certain questionable ministries, then God must be in it, and if it’s good enough for God it should be good enough for us too. How dare we question God’s anointed? We should just eat the meat and spit out the bones [ a saying I find really horrible]. I’m not saying that in His sovereign grace, God doesn’t ‘work’ in an individual heart and circumstance – but that doesn’t mean His overall approval of what is going on.

Anyway – enough of all this seeming negative stuff. You can only discern and stand your ground if you are confident in your own scriptural foundation. There is plenty of help out there if you look in the right places. A google search for the historic, traditional doctrines of the Christian faith [ not Roman Catholicism] will be profitable I’m sure. Of course – it goes without saying that we first and always look to God for help. It is He who guides us and if we feel we lack incentive and desire to to study His word, He will instill a love for His word in us if we but ask Him.  It is our food after all and He doesn’t give us a stone instead of bread.We need the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment as we read and we should ask for wisdom in our reading and application. In 2 Tim 2:15  Paul’s advice to Timothy was ‘Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  See also 2 Tim 3:13-17

Never doubt God’s words – always doubt man’s if they are bringing ‘new’ revelations and teachings – search the scriptures.

till next time, Maranatha!     Eileen

 

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1 Cor 12:2     You know that you were Gentiles carried away to these dumb idols. even as you were led.

We are in the world and of the world when we are not born again by the Holy Spirit. We belong to the Devil’s kingdom and are led by him – albeit unknowingly and ignorantly. But when God saves us, we are translated [moved] into His Kingdom instantly. We are His new creation with His Spirit dwelling within us. Our lives are transformed as we believe and obey His word.

However – we can still be influenced by, deceived by and led astray by false teachers and prophets. Our best safeguard against that is to bring everything to the light of God’s word and ask the Lord to reveal the intents of our heart to us. [Heb 4:12] I learned a long time ago not to simply trust my own feelings and ‘leadings’ – which from experience could easily turn out to be either right or wrong.

In Heb 5:13,14 the writer [Apostle Paul] addresses the issue of believers who live on the milk of the word and do not progress onto the meat of learning to discern between good and evil. And we have ended up today when it is considered bad form and unloving to do just that when it comes to church leaders, so that the sheep are fed the milk of excitement, signs and wonders and entertaining ‘worship’. Doctrine is considered to be dead religion – the exact opposite of what the Lord Jesus and His Apostles taught.Who should we follow do you think? Shouldn’t it be a no-brainer for us?

Of course, many believe that they are ‘into’ their Bibles and check things out – but are they – or are they just ‘into’ the bits that their favourite preacher is giving them – his own slanted revelations? It all seems so Biblical and true ….  But – does the said preacher’s anointed, impressive ministry supersede any doubts there may be, so that it no longer matters if what they say is true or not?  Particularly pernicious are the Dominionist/Kingdom teachings that are at the root of the social gospel now taking over the true gospel. Do they even bother to search out the roots of any teachings they are hearing and believing? Or is it simply too thrilling and exciting to even consider the possibility that there may be deception at work here? Oh – so what if their foolish prophecies don’t come to pass? well that’s ok – they’ll get it right next time maybe. Is that what God’s word says??

It grieves me to say that I have Christian friends who are not yet discerning evil from good in their enthusiasm to see God ‘work’ in the signs and wonders ministries they support. Please don’t think that I in any way am questioning their sincerity, love for the Lord or their salvation, but I am questioning their lack of wisdom. I can do this because I was once exactly the same.

Often they will share their latest experiences, churches they have visited or the latest prophecy. They will also promote favourably books [The harbinger, Jesus Calling etc] that they couldn’t possibly give credence to if they had any Biblical discernment. I’m afraid I can’t rejoice with them and feel at a loss to tell them why without causing hurt or anger on their part.

Even when I’m as diplomatic and gentle as I can be, the outcome is usually ‘we have to agree to disagree’ or they avoid any future contact. Some, mistakenly thinking I’m either a ‘know-all’ looking down on them or that I’m a complete apostate!  I find this very frustrating and unsatisfactory, but I take a step back, knowing it’s all in the Lord’s hands.

Many times Christians get involved in certain ministries and practises because they are sincerely seeking to be ‘closer to the Lord’, want ‘more of God’, or are seeking a ‘deeper’ Christian life or the ‘Presence of God’. They think they will find this by going to where they believe God is doing something wonderful, something new, or to experience uplifting ‘worship’. Some, in the Emerging church, follow mystical practises that were once the domain of Roman Catholicism, for the same end.

I agree with this quote from a recent article by Sandy Simpson :  ” Apparently the “love of God” is not complete in those who want more,more,more. They want more excitement, more manifestations, more signs and wonders, more ability to do a transferable impartation, more money, more false prophecies, more titillating mythological stories passed off as truth that have no basis in actual, provable fact.    True believers have fullness in Christ, persevere in faith and obey the written word.”

I would add to that – they also have contentment …..

It is by reading and studying God’s word that we learn discernment and the false will become as clear as a pikestaff to us, as we do so. Deliverance from all the dross we’ve been drowning in will come with that first decisive step to lay aside all that we thought we knew, our experiences, our favourite preachers and admired prophets etc and commit to reading the Bible and seeking God’s truth. The scales are guaranteed to fall away from our spiritually blind eyes if we do. 1 John 2:26-28  In practise, it doesn’t happen all at once but in a gradual ‘dawning’ on us. 

If you are thinking ‘nobody has a monopoly on the truth’ or ‘you can’t cross every T and dot every i’  – my reply would be – because we fall short of the mark, does that mean we set our sights lower? Haven’t we the promise that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth – so shouldn’t that at least be our goal?  No – we haven’t yet attained Phil 3:13-18 and we are told to earnestly contend for the faith. Jude 1:3  

And no – we do not defeat the object and  get ‘puffed up’ with ourselves. We should always esteem others better than ourselves , for whatever we are – it is by the grace of God and given to us to rely on Him and help others, not to glory in ourselves and our perceived spritual ‘achievements’.

Believe me – the more you read, the more God’s word cuts you down to size. My rightful position before God is as a forever-grateful sinner, saved by His grace through His wonderful gift of faith. Thank God my righteousness is in Him and not in myself! Amen.

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The title of this post is a play on the word change of course, as every Bible believing Christian agrees [I hope] that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to this earth, we will all be changed [living and dead believers] and have new bodies.  We see a description of what will happen in 1 Cor 15:51-53 and 1 Thess 4:13-17,  so the fact is established. The thing that divides however, is the timing of this event – whether it will happen before or after the prophesied great tribulation that is to come upon the earth.  Referred to for convenience as pre-trib or post-trib.

The change in our bodies and our gathering together has come to be known as ‘The Rapture’ – a word not found in scripture, but like the word Trinity it is simply a convenient descriptive word for a Bible truth.

I am writing here more as a personal testimony to my change of view from pre-trib to post-trib belief, and I am not alone as I have discovered.  It is not an in-depth study of the subject by any means, as others far more knowledgeable in the scriptures than I, have covered it so well and comprehensively. In particular there is an excellent free e-book by Steven Straub that can be downloaded at http://www.theposttribulationrapture.com

As a new Christian 50 years ago, I was taught the pre-trib rapture view, accepted it as fact and never took seriously any other viewpoint – it seemed so right, so why would I? Pre-trib theorists [for that is what it really is] are so convincing in presenting their case that it has become THE most predominant view among Christians. However, for me , there were always little things that made me wonder because they didn’t seem to fit the scenario, but I suppose I just shelved them.

The trigger that forced me into re-examining what I believed and what the Bible actually teaches on ‘the day of the Lord’ and the rapture, happened roughly three years ago when I attended a presentation given by a young woman at my then church.  She was very much caught up in the misplaced excitement surrounding  Elenin and blood moons at that time [too distracting for me to go into here]. She thought it her duty to warn us that these planetary happenings and related earthly disasters of one sort and another, were signs and indicators that the Rapture could happen at any time soon and come upon us like a thief in the night, so everyone better be ready, with oil in their lamps etc to avoid being left behind. I’m sure you’ve all heard sermons saying exactly the same thing [maybe not the Elenin bit].

What exactly constitutes being ‘ready’ is never quite quantified, so how can we ever be really certain of our ‘readiness’ in order to qualify?  Well, of course, we qualify by being a Christian believer, with our righteousness’ in Him’ and not in ourselves …..  you are either born again or you aren’t  – you can’t be half-way saved!

I can imagine it was something similar that was exercising the Thessalonians when Paul wrote to reassure them that two things MUST happen before the Rapture on the day of the Lord:  a falling away [from the faith] and the revealing of the Man of Sin [Antichrist] Thess 2:1-3  and in 1 Thess 5:1-11 Paul clearly tells them that they already know the times and seasons, so they are not in darkness and fear about it, but they are the children of light and that Day will not overtake them with shocked surprise, like a thief . They are not appointed to wrath, as the wicked are, but that day is to be their day of salvation instead. So meanwhile, they should live soberly, in faith and love, comforting one another with this knowledge.

Just to go back to the ‘falling away’ spoken of in 2 Thess 2:3   – as far as I’m concerned, it has always referred to the apostasy that is to befall the church, brought about by the deception of false teachers/prophets in the last days. So I nearly fell off my chair when I heard the young lady confidently say it means a ‘departure’ or catching away of the church [ therefore happening before the appearance of Antichrist]   Wow – so we had it wrong all these years?  I don’t think so!

We see then, if we take this verse as it stands, it clearly gives us a timeline for two events: the falling away followed by the revealing of that man of Sin, both to happen before the Day of the Lord.  A short study of what will happen on the Day of the Lord/ Day of Christ shows that the rapture and gathering of the saints/church happens alongside the wrath/judgement of God . Good news for us, bad news for the wicked!

If we are unwilling to accept the implications of the plain statements of scripture, meanings have to be changed to fit what we want to believe and that is manipulation of God’s word. If Paul meant the physical removal/departure of the church I think he would have referred to it in the terms he used elsewhere.  As it is – a huge  ‘departure’ from the faith IS prophesied eg 1 Tim 4:1,2  and  2 Tim 4:3,4  so ‘falling away’ in that sense is in total harmony.

Pre-trib believers also seem to have trouble distinguishing ‘wrath’ from ‘tribulation’.  But tribulation is not  God’s wrath – in fact it is considered in scripture to be a great blessing and honour to suffer for Christ  and be counted worthy to do so.  Jas 1:2 & 5:10.11    God’s wrath is poured out on the wicked  in judgement on that Day.

In John 17:14,15  after stating that the world will hate His disciples, the lord Jesus prays, not for them to be taken out of the world [Rapture escape route] , but that God would keep them from evil – which I believe to mean with their faith intact.  Noah is often used as an illustration of the pre-trib rapture, but Noah and family were still on the earth while all the terror of God’s wrath on mankind was going on all around them.  They were safe ‘in Him’ no matter what – the exact opposite of pre-trib teaching.

When the Lord Jesus Christ comes again it will be heralded with the sound of the last trumpet and everyone will see it. God, in His mercy and  for the sake of believers ,will cut the Tribulation short by His coming, otherwise, we are told, nobody would be left.  There will have been no prior secret removal of the Church, seven or three and a half before the Tribulation, because the resurrection and rapture of believers happens at the last Trump! this is called the first resurrection. The ‘changed’ saints will then rule with Christ in His millennial Kingdom over those who are left, Jew and Gentile, after the destruction of the wicked nations that came against Israel in the battle of Armageddon see Zech 14:16   A most poignant verse is Zech 12:10  ” And I will pour upon the house of  David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem , the spirit of grace and of supplications and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn”  This of course links with Matt 24:30   

I believe the teaching of a pre-trib rescue for the Church ill – equips believers  to be able to face the trials that are to come. We have had an easy time of it in the west when it comes to suffering for our faith in Jesus Christ – but we can see the changes that are beginning to happen even now where our stand on the word of God will bring persecution as our freedoms are being eroded by laws and restrictions. I don’t doubt that the Bible will once again become a banned book for it’s uncompromising truths.  No – I do not look forward to persecution, trials and tribulations – in myself, I suspect like many others, I am just a coward.  But the good news is that we have a wonderful God and Saviour who is with us in our trials and will show Himself strong on our behalf when we trust Him and believe His word.

During my own ‘sortie’ into the subject I have come across web sites and blogs by Christians who have taken a similar path to myself and I have been pleasantly surprised to discover their thoughts and misgivings have matched my own, which has given me confidence that I’m on the right track.  Their own studies have helped me enormously in what could have been an overwhelming task in my old age!  I’m sure I haven’t covered everything that may be in question, but I hope it may be something of a stimulation to begin your own ‘as is’  Bible study. May the Lord make us lovers of His truth for His glory.  Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts – they are most welcome.  Maranatha!

 

 

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Lately I’ve been feeling very down and, having suffered a couple of bouts of severe anxiety and depression in the past that really incapacitated me , I found myself dreading that it was happening all over again. But I cried out to the Lord and He heard me!  I reminded myself that God hasn’t given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.[2 Tim 1:7]

When you live alone and you’re getting on in years it’s so easy to go down in a spiral of dark thoughts, pessimism and fear, because it brings its own stresses and strains. And you can feel particularly guilty if you are a Christian; so your self- condemnation only adds to your misery!

I have always been prone to not wanting to burden others with what I know can only be resolved by my walk with and trust in the Lord Himself. Everyone  has enough illnesses and problems of their own anyway ….     Over the years, unfortunately and very sadly, I found that ‘Church’  wasn’t always as helpful as you would have expected – indeed, it could even add to your stress, so that, instead of being an oasis from the world and personal trials – it was the exact opposite.  I am not complaining about that as it simply threw me more on the Lord’s grace and mercy – I’m just stating facts.

So it was I learned to take my woes to the Lord and cry out to Him. His word taught me to bring my thoughts captive to Christ, wait upon Him and trust in His care.  It can be very much a difficult learning process though, but He is faithful and answers our prayers in the perfect way for us.

While recovering from a particularly bad bout of depression some years ago, I’d gone into a shop and the title of a book jumped out at me from the shelf. It was ‘Peace From Nervous Suffering’ by Dr Claire Weekes and it was just what I needed!

I am always wary of self-help books based on psychology and psychiatry as they can be full of humanistic philosophies and occult practises, but this book was as practical, insightful and helpful as it gets, and apart from the Bible it turned out to be the best book I could have read, as it speeded my recovery with understanding.

So, having for so long been fine , it came as something of a shock  the other day to experience the return of those same old familiar, but horrible symptoms. however – I was more able to deal with them this time. After crying out to the Lord, I dug out some notes I remember I’d written from Dr Weekes’ book and refreshed her advice.

Out of curiosity I did a google search to see if her books were still available so that I could recommend them, and yes, they still are.  Not only that, I came across a Blog written by Peter Stone  http://cornerstonethefoundation.blogspot.co.uk   He has an inspiring testimony and has written very helpful posts, plus an excellent Forum.

I can guarantee that fellow sufferers will be greatly enlightened and helped by both Dr Claire Weekes and Peter Stone ‘s insights.

The morning I was feeling so down, I read psalm 18 and I will close with verses 28-33 followed by  Spurgeon’s commentary on it.

” …. For you will light my candle; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God I have leaped over a wall [ at 77 yrs old that’s some feat! lol]    As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him. For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?   It is God that girds me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and sets me on my high places”

Spurgeon’s commentary on verse 28:     ” It may be that my soul sits in darkness; and if this be of a spiritual kind, no human power can bring me light. Blessed be God! He can enlighten my darkness, and at once light my candle. Even though I may be surrounded by a ‘darkness which might be felt’,  yet He can break the gloom and immediately make it bright around me.

The mercy is that if He lights the candle none can blow it out, neither will it go out for lack of substance, nor burn out itself through the lapse of hours. The lights which the Lord kindled in the beginning are shining still. The Lord’s lamps may need trimming, but He does not put them out.

Let me, like the nightingale, sing in the dark. Expectation shall furnish me with music, and hope shall pitch the tune. Soon I shall rejoice in a candle of God’s lighting. I am dull and dreary just now. Perhaps it is the weather or bodily weakness or the surprise of a sudden trouble; but whatever has made the darkness, it is God alone who will bring the light. My eyes are unto Him alone. I shall soon have the candles of the Lord shining about me  and further on in His own good time I shall be where they need no candle, neither light of the sun. Hallelujah!

You are most welcome  to leave  comments, testimony or advice and help for other sufferers.

see you next time     God bless, Eileen

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