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Well, I believe that it is when you consider it gives a second chance to be saved after the ‘Rapture’ of the church. I will elaborate further:

I subscribe to and receive ‘Prophecy Updates’ from Pastor JD Farag because he supports Israel and I’ve found him to be a very likeable, sincere and engaging speaker. However – the one thing that mars his video presentations [ you can find them on You tube] for me, is his continual references to the soon-to-come ‘Rapture’. No matter how bad things get in this world – the Church will be ok …not because she is trusting in her Lord to get her through, but because she will “soon be out of here”!

In his last two updates he is, it seems to me, getting more foolish and extreme [I don’t mean that in a disrespectful or rude way I assure you] , even though he advocates caution and searching the scriptures for ourselves like good Bereans should.

The reason I think this, is because JD begins with an endorsement of a book called ‘Surviving the Tribulation’ and also mentions an available ‘Rapture Box’ – a box or package containing resources and information, including the Book, that is intended for those who find themselves left behind. Apparently the main message to them is ” Don’t listen to the strong delusion”.

I can’t help asking myself two questions: 1. Who is being deluded? and 2. Does this fall into the category of another gospel?Quotes:

“The Bride of Christ has been raptured by the Bridegroom and that’s why we left here” and ” We are told multitudes will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ [in the Tribulation]”

“It will be very difficult and many will be martyred/beheaded for their faith in Jesus Christ. They will be saved, but they won’t be the Bride. Only the Bride will be taken up. We call them ‘tribulation saints’ ”

“We want to get this book [Surviving the Tribulation] into people’s hands before the tribulation, it will scare people” [ NB -Is someone making a lot of money out of this book ? and how many Christians will end up using their survival boxes themselves I wonder?

The big question is – how is it possible to be saved and not be part of the body of Christ? And how can the Gospel be preached if those who are its commissioned custodians are not here to preach it? This is like the two-tiered salvation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses! One group is more holy and worthy than the other – and notice it is their vast multitudes too who are the less worthy and undeserving and not part of the Bride of Christ. If that isn’t a works- based gospel, I don’t know what is!

Part 2

In his most recent update, Pastor JD begins by saying that people from all over have been urging him to read books by Jonathan Khan and Mark Biltz. – he concentrates specifically on the ‘Blood Moons’ teachings of the latter. He says there is great excitement about things set to happen in September this year.[NB I seem to recall Sept 2012 being the last ‘exciting’ predictions for the ‘Rapture’]  JD even admits to being disappointed when the Lord didn’t return at specific times he’d expected Him to and how devastating that was…. so – WHY is he falling for it again I wonder?

He goes on to say how fascinating it is that the Solar and Lunar eclipses happen on the Jewish Feast Days. He and other pre-tribulation preachers link these ‘blood moons’ to Luke21:25-29.  But these things are set to happen after the great tribulation and distress and just prior to the Lord’s return in judgement for the world, but redemption for believers.

It seems everyone is also very excited about the predictions made by Isaac Newton in his book on Daniel and Revelation. and JD says it is compelling and exciting, but he cautions that we must live as though the ‘Rapture’ can happen at any time and to be ready and occupy until the Lord comes, but he advises that Christians get their affairs in order.

You see, this is the kind of thinking that happens if you believe in a pre-tribulation,any time ‘Rapture’. But the Apostle Paul specifically says in 2 Thess 2:1-3 that we are not to be troubled or deceived and that we will know for sure that His coming is near when we see the great apostasy or’ falling’ away from the faith happening and the man of sin is revealed.

The scriptures everywhere equate the ‘Rapture’ of the Church with the second coming of Christ. It happens simultaneously with the Day of the Lord, which is a Day that can only happen after the tribulation. Some people speculate that the Day is actually a period of time, so it could cover the tribulation. But they have to believe that, in order to try to make the false separate, imminent Rapture teaching fit with scripture.

It’s also been said that if there are specific things to happen before the ‘Rapture’ then it takes away the element of surprise because it comes as a ‘thief in the night’. But it is the Day of the Lord that comes as a Thief in the night in 1 thess 5:2  and Paul tells them in v4 that they are not in darkness and therefore won’t be ‘overtaken’ by it.

Our Gospel therefore is and must be, ‘Repent and believe now – now is the day of salvation’ – not a foolish attempt to save people afterwards with a survival box and explanation that they can still be saved if they don’t take the ‘Mark’

The Day of the Lord/ Day of Christ/ Coming of the Lord/ Appearing of the Lord/ our gathering unto Him – all refer to the same event/Day and show the judgement of the nations/unbelievers and the redemption/salvation/resurrection/rapture of those who belong to Christ in that same time frame. You can’t fail to notice this if you read without the notion of a separate, prior ‘Rapture’ in your head.  You don’t have to make an elaborate attempt at a huge Bible study on the subject, if like me, you are just an ordinary believer with no particular theological training at Bible college. But what you do have is a love for God’s word and truth nonetheless. All you have to do is take note in your daily Bible reading of any references to the end times and the Lord’s return and see what it says. That way – you will get an overall understanding of what is to happen and when, instead of taking it for granted that what you have been taught on the subject must be true. Discern right from wrong and make a stand for truth.  God is faithful to His word.

May the Lord bless and keep you,   Eileen



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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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“But speak  the things which become sound doctrine” Titus 2:1

“Holding fast the faithful word, as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers – for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers ….” Titus 1:9,10

In my previous post I mentioned my belief that so much deception has been allowed to invade the church because of a lack of trust in and obedience to the Word of God. Of course, I recognise that church Leaders would not agree with that suggestion because they all , without exception, say they use and take their authority from the Bible  –  but the question is – which one?

I think, as a result of all the many different versions [and paraphrases] now in use, the green light has been given for preachers and teachers to make the Word of God mean just about anything they want it to mean. Who’s to say anything is truly right or wrong when what it all comes down to is a simple matter of man’s interpretation?

I write this as a lay person with no authority or qualifications – it is just my humble opinion, drawn from my own observations, experience and research. My contention being that we need to have the utmost confidence that the Bible we read is indeed the infallible, inerrant Word of God, preserved and protected by Him and not a hit and miss exercise of translation and interpretation.

If we don’t have that confidence, it inevitably de-stabilises our firm foundation, so that we then turn to other sources for our spiritual security. Our ‘leadings’, experiences and trust in personal prophecies become on a par with and even supersede Scripture in our daily walk…..   it’s miraculous, it feels right – so it must be right.  The danger is that we can then be led by seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. 1Timothy 4:1

I was first alerted to a ‘problem’ with the Bible when I began to hear preachers throwing out casual comments that a certain word or passage in the KJB was a ‘mistake’  – it either was translated wrong or it shouldn’t be there at all.  It bothered me then and it bothers me now that the reliable Word of God wasn’t so reliable after all!

So, gradually, the KJB has fallen out of favour, not simply because its language is now considered [wrongly I believe] archaic and hard for people to understand, but because its accuracy has been discredited [ironic when you consider the errors and cumbersome language in the other versions].  So -it’s goodbye King James – welcome The Message ! [For a Defense of the King James Bible see my Blog archive.]

Add to this the sentimental/mystical RC inspired tv series ‘The Bible’ and the latest portrayal of Christ in the film Son of God [not to mention The Passion of Christ] and the vain imaginations of man are complete. Naive and gullible Christians fall for it hook,line and sinker!

Anyway – I digress …..    To illustrate what I mean by preachers making the Bible say what they want it to say, I will give just three examples of what I came across, almost incidentally, while looking up other things.   I have named the last one as he is so well known.

The first was a sermon on Healing by a young visiting preacher on an Australian AoG church web site.  He claims the Holy Spirit is his friend and quoting from the Message Bible, apparently when Jesus returned to Heaven after his resurrection ‘ the Holy Spirit greets Him with ‘Great job!’ and Jesus replies ‘Now it’s your turn’ and gives Him a ‘high five’![my summary]

He relates [correctly] how in a certain place Jesus could do no miraculous works because of their unbelief, but then goes on to advocate prayer and taking authority over that unbelief to ‘break’ it. But where did Jesus ever do that?

Regarding Jesus telling some people he healed not to tell anyone, he seems to impute manipulation on the Lord’s part by likening it to when God said to Eve – ‘Don’t eat that’ – she went ahead and ate !  In other words – Jesus knew what people are like and that they would do the exact opposite to what He told them, so He could be certain of  their publicity ….   How much of that idea this young preacher got from The Message , I don’t know, not having read it myself. Maybe I should enlighten myself ….

Anyway – as I see it in John 2: 23-25  the reason the Lord told people not to publicise their healings was because he knew men’s hearts and that they were just seeking after ‘signs’ and not commitment to Him.

My next example happens to be another AoG preacher – this time a young woman. Her sermon was titled ‘The Great Involvement’  – immediately changing the commission for the church to preach the gospel of repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ into ” go to hurting humanity” – a Humanist Social Gospel.

She relates the story of Paul and Silas [Acts 16] , quoting from The Message Bible and using the ‘visual aid’ of a young lady from the audience and wrapping a rope around her.  She says Paul ‘bumped into’ the slave girl but chose to ignore her. So ” this chick says, ‘ok – you’re gonna ignore me, so I’ll follow you. Not only that  – in her messed up state she yells out: ‘ He knows the way’ –  I’d like him to help me find my way – but – he knows the way!”

She goes on to say – ” This went on for several days. I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around that. Paul – do you not see that this girl is troubled, she is possessed, she’s messed up, she needs someone to involve with her? But Paul went about his way”

She continues – ” after following them around for several days – finally- fed up with her [ruining his nice, polished sermon] – I love it – it wasn’t even spiritual!  The fact is – God doesn’t care how you get there – just get there! He doesn’t care.

After saying a few words about us getting involved in other people’s lives, she refers to ” a few verses earlier, when Paul came across a woman called Lydia, who asked him if he’d stop, get involved and come to her house, Paul said ‘yes’ to Lydia, but ‘no’ to the slave girl. Lydia was a wealthy woman and didn’t look as messy as the girl. She had a nice home and food she could give to Paul- she had benefits attached. Sometimes we have selective involvement. If I involve with you there’s a benefit here for me. There was no benefit with the slave girl”

Well, I hope you are as appalled as I am at this imputed partiality of the Apostle Paul – what a hypocrite she makes him out to be!! She also appears to rejoice at his supposed lack of ‘spirituality’!  Her complete lack of understanding is aided and abetted by her use of The Message.

My last example is notorious Mark Driscoll. He claims his ‘Resurgence’ movement is anchored by a theological foundation of

1.  Jesus -centred  Theology  2. Jesus – modelled Leadership  3. Jesus – empowered living  4: Jesus’ Mission

Sounds impressive doesn’t it? Till you hear his preaching…..  I won’t go into detail here but would direct anyone  interested in his treatment of the Scriptures to visit http://www.driscollcontroversy.com  where you can read his take on Gideon and Noah. Talk about turning the truth into a lie!!

must sign off now – please – if you see any mistakes, inaccuracies , untruths , I would welcome your correction. If you simply want to comment or add anything else relevant – feel free to do so.  God bless …. Maranatha!

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The ‘church’ keeps changing and metamorphosing into something else – as fast as I think I’ve got a handle on what’s happening – it changes again , to go along with the latest fad. It’s scary that so many are now following church growth patterns [ all under the supposed guidance of the Holy Spirit] without even bothering to question or compare it all with the early Church pattern.

Rick Warren’s philosophy has invaded the church at large now , traditional, reformed or evangelical – it makes no difference, so that whereas at one time you could at least separate false doctrine from true, it has become almost too much to unravel ,  a mish-mash of influences that are affecting the very preaching of the Gospel itself.

I’ve known for some years about Marxism and what is called the Dialectic Process, but always associated it with politics, as I suspect most folks do. But I’m prone to search out the truth of a matter when faced with teachings/happenings that come across my path. I don’t like being in a fog [how well I remember being in those good old London, thick pea-soupers!] and the mental ones are even worse…..

So it is that I was able to learn more about the Dialectic Process [Diaprax] and it’s infiltration of the Church – hence everything has to change as the old ways are discredited and the new is in. The old sin- convicting Gospel has gone – enter the new Social Gospel. Even the faithful [to the Word], legitimate Churches seem to feel shamed into being more socially and politically active in the world, afraid maybe of being thought too ‘narrow?  The focus  is on ‘relationships’ with each other and the world – ultimately leading to another Jesus of course. 2 Cor 11:4

For a good understanding of what is going on, please take the time to visit the web site of Dean Gotcher  http://www.authorityresearch.com  He is also on You Tube, and Berit Kjos’  web site  http://www.crossroad.to/articles  for insights into the machinations of the UN.

I know there will be many Christians who will find it too burdensome to investigate for themselves, but it’s good to get into the habit of checking out things you hear or read with a little personal Bible study – especially if you have that little nagging doubt that something isn’t quite right.   It’s imperative that we become lovers of the Truth of God’s word – how else will we know if we’re being deceived?

Some will say – the Gospel is simple and following the Lord Jesus Christ and living in harmony with sincere fellow believers is all that God requires of us – he wants us to be as little children.

That is true initially – but God also requires that we mature and grow in our understanding and obedience of His word. [although 1 Cor 14:20 is said in the context of ‘tongues’ , I believe it applies to all spiritual things …]

The Lord gave Ministry gifts to the Church – Eph 4: 11-15  so that we needn’t be children who are tossed about by the false doctrines of cunning men. Sadly, today those Ministers are often failing us in that they tend not to want to be ‘negative’ and believe the Scriptural warnings are for others, not them – after all, don’t they pray to be led by the Holy Spirit ? Haven’t they done many wonderful things in His Name? mmm ….

I always try to approach my re-search with an open mind. I do not want to be prejudiced against any ministry or preacher because of what I’ve read or heard. This has been my position since the very earliest days of my Christian walk. I listened to what the JWs and Mormons had to say and read the literature they gave me, some of which sounded legitimate until I investigated further. I often discovered that the rank and file members , had the truth about their Leaders and origins hidden  from them. BUT – these enthusiastic cult members enjoyed the love and fellowship they had with each other and were convinced their respective Leaders could do no wrong, plus – all their thinking was done for them and even false prophecies didn’t appear  to bother them. {sounds a familiar pattern doesn’t it?}

Later, I came across an ad. by the Catholic Enquiry Bureau for anyone interested in finding out about their beliefs to sign up for a series of booklets – which I promptly did.  Again, my interest was in not wanting to dismiss them on hearsay.  Well, as you can imagine – it was even worse than I’d thought because the authority of the Pope and the church superseded anything the Scriptures might say, so they felt free to add all sorts of false ideas and commandments. Now I had it from the horse’s mouth.

It’s much easier and quicker these days to use the internet to look up the Horses’ Mouths web sites and You Tube videos of actual preaching. Plus of course the enormously helpful discernment ministries articles.

The huge deceptions that have arisen within  Christian churches are, I believe, the result of a lack of trust in and obedience to the Bible as the inerrant and  infallible word of God, together with a faulty view of eschatology [end time things]. I will enlarge on this in my next Post.

see you soon,   Maranatha!

 

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I’ve been reading through the Book of Acts lately , mainly in order to compare todays methods of evangelism with what the early church did. Among other things, I couldn’t help noticing that wherever the Apostle Paul preached the gospel, he started right from the beginning of the story – demonstrating Christ in the Old Testament scriptures. Stephen too, prior to his martyrdom , had taken the Jews back over their history.

In our own day and age, with widespread ignorance about God and the wholesale acceptance of evolution as fact, there is a need when preaching the gospel, or witnessing to individual unbelievers, to be able to present the truth about our origins in a knowledgeable and convincing way. We can then go on to present the gospel of Christ as a needful thing .If people don’t believe in God or are agnostic, they won’t see their need of a Saviour. We have to go back to the beginning to present the root of the problem.

The Apostle Paul started where people were at. When he preached to the Jews there was no need for him to convince them of God’s existence, so he went to the heart of the matter after first reminding them of their history. When he preached to gentiles who worshipped many gods, he didn’t have to convince them of a supernatural world.

Why then is the Creation/Evolution debate so neglected in our churches, when it seems such a key to reaching today’s unsaved masses? Why is it regarded  merely as a secondary issue and nothing to do with the gospel?

Of course I understand and know we are saved simply by believing that Christ died for our sins – that faith evidenced by being born again, but we first have to believe that there is a God who made us!

There are a growing number of [misguided] Christians , known as Theistic evolutionists, who believe God ‘used’ evolution as His method of creation  – but if that were the case, then He surely would have told us so?  It amounts to a lie if the account in Genesis says it took God six days but He really took eons of time. Apart from which, the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles believed and taught  Genesis literally.

Theistic evolutionists have a huge problem when it comes to the question of sin, simply because God states categorically that all that He created was ‘good’.  There was a moment in time when the curse of sin entered our world, bringing death with it. With evolution however the bad has always been here and death is accepted as a ‘natural’ thing.

But the truth is that it is the most un-natural thing – death is mankinds’ last and greatest enemy – and the norm is to do everything we possibly can to stay alive!   Why do we grieve so when our loved ones die if it’s so natural? Every fibre of our being shouts out ‘NO’ !

Let me tell you here and now that in all the years I was an atheist, I wasn’t happy to be one ….  in spite of being very happy in my personal life, with a husband who was my soul-mate and two lovely children. And even though our first-born son had spina-bifida and hydrocephalous, it had drawn us even closer together as we faced our difficulties.

But the material world was all there was and I had to face reality and  accept that fact. – after all, Science had proved we came from apes.  I certainly wasn’t aware of any counter arguments to say otherwise. I wasn’t interested in the dream world of wishful thinking that religious people lived in, however comforting that would be. I wanted Truth, and no Scientist believed in God did they??

Leaving aside for a moment, the mysterious workings of a Sovereign God, I might have found that truth sooner had  church people been educated by their Leaders to know the arguments for and against evolution/creation. But how can they defend what they don’t know? Back then [in the 60s] ignorance I suppose could be forgiven – but today, thankfully, there are several excellent Ministries championing the  truth of God’s word and the Creation cause.

But I can’t help feeling really disappointed at the dearth of churches taking regular advantage of the offers of speakers from the likes of CMI for instance. What golden opportunities are missed to equip believers and reach out to the atheist/agnostic with the whole gospel. It could be the first step to their salvation.

In these days of deception, churches would rather follow the way of ‘socialising’ to reach the unsaved. It’s so much easier to invite someone to a picnic or ‘love’ them into the Kingdom. Of course I’m not saying that people can’t be saved that way – it’s just not the scriptural method is it? Why have so many become ashamed of presenting the Gospel truth when it is the power of God to everyone who believes? Romans 1:16

I am a ‘nobody’ when it comes to authority and I’m in no position to tell anyone to do anything whatsoever, all I know is , I am passionate for God’s truth and I love to write about it, in the hope that the Lord may use it to help fellow believers to get better equipped  in these deceptive days. So this is a plea to please take advantage of the information available on creation web sites.

You can receive Creation Ministries International’s [ CMI.uk here] daily email Infobytes, or subscribe to their superb Creation Magazine. They have speakers who will do presentations in your church [Philip Bell/ Dominic Statham/Phil Robinson].

I live in West Sussex [UK] and there is an excellent ministry, The Creation Science Movement, based in Portsmouth [www.csm.org.uk]. You can subscribe to receive their Journal by post . It’s the oldest creation ministry anywhere I believe, founded in 1932.  They have recently re-opened their permanent, free exhibition called ‘The Genesis Expo’ [contact them for opening times]. I would love to visit it myself but I need to rope somebody in for a lift!

There are others too eg Answers in Genesis

with many blessings to everyone,   Eileen

 

 

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I don’t like to think that I am being overly critical and seeing error where there is none, but in the course of researching the obvious questionable teachings and practices in the current church scene, I come across what appear to be genuine, sincere ministries, committed to the gospel and to the Bible , and I have to re-examine myself and the scriptures to see if I’m wrong after all, because on the surface all seems well …..  they don’t appear to be following or part of any extreme groups.

These churches’ websites show they are very active in evangelism and almost all are proclaiming great blessings, over-flowing congregations, together with prophecies, visions and the like telling of revival in their midst and spreading throughout the whole world.  Undergirding all this is a huge desire for change – as one ministry puts it  – ‘to turn the tide of anti-christian pollution in our society’.     So why – instead of rejoicing with them – do I get an uneasiness that compels me to dig a bit deeper and look behind the scenes so to speak?

This uneasiness is usually triggered by noticing what a high opinion they tend to have of themselves. There is certainly no lack of ‘self-esteem’. Of course, I suppose you could say that their confidence comes from the belief that God is ‘showing up’ at their meetings and in answer to their prayers, sometimes over many years of lean results.  I can so easily find myself confounded in the face of so many testimonies of wonderful changed lives and miraculous moves of God,  which seem to be the proof that God is indeed at work. BUT – I have to return time and again to the solid ground of God’s word and it’s warnings of deception by seducing spirits.

Church growth seems to be what it’s all really about. They may disassociate themselves from the teachings of Rick Warren, but they nevertheless pick up on his ideas, consciously or unconsciously.

The mission these days seems to be less about saving individual souls, than ‘impacting’ and making a difference in your locality and christianising the world. The main aim is to show non-churched people how loving and friendly we are as God’s family and what better way than via a social gospel that will meet their emotional needs.

To that end also, we have to break down the old denominational barriers to achieve unity and co-operate in our common cause  –  no separation from the world for the truths sake allowed here!

Don’t they know the Church needs to be doctrinally sound to be in God’s will?  The Holy Spirit led the Apostles and the early Church into all truth and as we follow their New Testament example, so we will be led too. It’s just as important to follow the right practices and methods of evangelism too.

There is much targeting of young people – they are much easier to manipulate and influence – especially if music is made the attraction. Disturbingly, I came across this quote by James Ryles who had a dream in 1989 : ‘ And I remember the dream thinking to myself, wow – this is like the Beatles music was new. The Lord spoke to me and said, ” What you saw in the Beatles – the gifting and that sound that they had – was from me. It did not belong to them. It belongeth to me. it was my purpose to bring forth through music a world-wide revival that would usher in the move of my spirit in bringing men and women to Christ” [ Harvest Conference, Denver 1990]        I can see no Biblical precedent for using music in preaching the gospel , or ‘worship’ as a means of evangelising the lost, or    for entertaining anyone!

I don’t know when the title ‘Worship Leader’ crept into the church , but it has always made me cringe.  It misuses the word worship and in actuality is simply a ‘churchy’ name for a Musical Director.    I always thought that worship was something from the individual, redeemed heart to his/her Saviour and Creator. My Bible tells me that is the only true worship that God will accept.  ‘ But the hour comes and is now, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in TRUTH: for the Father seeks  such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit and they that worship Him MUST worship Him in spirit and in TRUTH’. John 4:23,24

        Christians are told to  ‘be filled with the Spirit; speaking to YOURSELVES in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord’. Eph:5:18

        The gospel of Christ needs no extra trappings to make it more palatable – the gospel itself is the power of God to save. ‘ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek’. Rom 1:16    Genuine gospel preaching will produce genuine conversions and teaching the truth of God’s word will produce true disciples.

           What are all these new converts taught I wonder?  Most likely that they must submit to their Leaders , attend as many church meetings as possible, find their ‘ministry’ in the Lord [ what an asset if they are a musician!] ; but will they be taught to check everything out with scripture? will they be warned to treat any ‘leadings’ with caution? will they be warned of false prophets and teachers and deception in the church? Probably not – we don’t want to be too negative do we??

          So – if todays prophetic utterances are correct and God is moving by His spirit , bringing great revival to the whole earth, in answer to  all the dedicated ‘prayer ministries’ and spiritual warfare activity – then logically, we cannot be in the Last Days – for we are told of a great falling away of the church before the Lord’s return.  And yet – the world is certainly fitting the pattern of ‘as in the days of Noah’ and it is getting increasingly difficult to live as a Christian in our sin-sick world.

           I have known great anxieties and fears in my life and some very stressful situations over the years that have almost overwhelmed me  – but it has always been the word of God that I’ve turned to and it has kept and sustained me.  Christians have been taught to run to other Christians for help, but they are not always the answer and some will let you down. Don’t live your Christian life off the faith of somebody else  – be strong in the Lord. It is the Lord and His word that we need. It is only through the scriptures that we know His will, how to follow Him, how to keep from deception and how to pray.

        I have been fortunate in having to deal with cults and aberrant Christian teachings from the beginning of my Christian walk, so I have been aware, by God’s grace ,when things haven’t been right scripturally. And now that the church at large is falling away , in spite of my own temporary doubts and sometimes confusion  – I have to be true to my own convictions and my prayer to the Lord, as always, is that in His grace and mercy He will use what I write to help others  – just as I myself have been helped by the many articles written by other concerned believers. Their insights and experiences have been of enormous value, often simply confirming what I’d only suspected.

May God bless and keep you,      Eileen

 

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