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Posts Tagged ‘Augustine’

Luke 14:23’s Compel Them To Come In Refers To Irresistible Grace

Posted by Job on March 27, 2011

Luke 14:16-24 reads

And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden , Come ; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse . The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused . And another said , I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said , I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come .So that servant came , and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said , Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded , and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in , that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

As useful as was Augustine in combating the heresy of Pelagius, we must never forget that this fellow in many other respects oft labored to promote the political interests of the Roman Empire and its state religion, including but not limited to laying the groundwork for such endtimes views as preterism, amillennialism and postmillennialism because the Roman Empire wanted Christians to see it as the fulfilment of the kingdom of God, which make Christians far less likely to oppose it. The error of Augustine’s allowing the pulpit to be used to advance a state agenda was exposed when Catholicism later cast aside Augustine’s work against Pelagius and instead adopted what is clearly semi-Pelagianism when it suited its political interests. Contemporary pastors who wish to mix the doctrines of the holy God with the ambitions of the fallen state should take note.

But far more harmful than Augustine’s endtimes doctrines in service to the Roman state was his misappropriation of Luke 14:23. His wicked, evil use of this scripture was employed to justify a state doctrine that over the centuries caused the deaths of untold people by the sword, and kept scores of others in religious darkness with the threat of force. Though there were others before him and after him, it was Augustine who most effectively made the case that it was God’s will for the state to use the threat – and reality – of force to make membership in the state church compulsory. This made the ambitions of the state and the church shared, and allowed one to not only tolerate but promote any amount of corruption and wickedness from the other so long as it advanced the interests of both.

Augustine’s malevolent butchering of Luke 14:23 occurred during the time of the Donatist rebellion. Now history records the Donatists as heretics, a vicious smear which shows just how truthful the proverb “the winners get to write the history book” is. Any idea that the Donatists were heretics motivated primarily by political, nationalistic and ethnic/racial considerations to break from the Roman church in order to pursue strange doctrines was convincingly shattered by Leonard Verduin’s “The Refomers And Their Stepchildren”, and that so many church historians have disseminated Catholic propaganda regarding this sad incident is something that will have to be answered for by them.

The truth is that the Donatists should be considered to be as among the earliest Protestants. While it is true that some of their motivations were not entirely religious, it was clearly superior to what motivated the Anglicans (Episcopalians) to separate from Rome. Also, it is ridiculous to call them heretical based on doctrine because on most points the Donatists beliefs were similar to the Roman church from which they attempted to break, and where there were divergences, the Donatist position must be preferred. So, the only reason why history denounces the Donatists is because the Catholics call them so, and as the Donatist attempt to separate failed where other separatist efforts (the Eastern Catholic churches and the Protestant Reformation) succeeded, the unjust Catholic judgment against them stands.

So, during the time of the Donatist protest, even though the entity known as “the Catholic Church” was not yet fully formed in doctrine and organization, the Roman Empire had already started appointing “priests” for political and other reasons. Cronyism, nepotism, political payoffs and other forms corruption were oft used for the basis for selecting church officers, and this resulted in vain fellows with unsavory backgrounds and behaviour and questionable training – unqualified and unsuitable on many counts – being appointed as priests by the politico-ecclesiastical hegemony all over the empire, and the region of the Donatists (north Africa) was no different. When the practice of elevating unqualified individuals to the priesthood was challenged, the Catholic Church responded that the measure of qualifications of a priest is being ordained and appointed by the church, and not the spiritual or moral state of the church itself. When the sacraments (i.e. baptisms and the rite of communion) offered by priests who were deemed by those in a position to know (the parishioners that they were presiding over) to be unbelieving were challenged, the hierarchy took the position that the legitimacy of the sacraments were not a function of the priest who gave them, but rather of the church that ordained the priest. (This remains the position of the Roman Catholic Church to this day, and is used to retain any number of priests who exhibit severely aberrant doctrines and behaviour.)

The Donatists, then, took the “radical” position that church offices should be held only by those qualified to do so, and that ensuring this required that the officers be chosen by the local churches themselves. The Donatists stated that the baptisms performed by illegitimate priests were illegitimate, and had to be performed again. (Donatists were the original Anabaptists.) Further, Donatists held that the church must be “a church of saints, not sinners.” Now of course, this is not necessarily an unqualified defense of Donatists and Donatism. For example, they were still very much “Catholic” in doctrine and practice, believing in such abominations as a human priesthood, rites of penance, and the Eucharist.

The Roman church responded predictably to the Donatist protest: with brutal military action. They did not succeed in totally eradicating the movement. (That was accomplished by the Muslims in the 7th and 8th century.) But they did persecute the Donatists mightily, and as a result kept their ideas, influence and numbers within the empire to a minimum. So, while they did not succeed in wiping out the Donatists, they did accomplish their primary goal of preventing the widespread challenge of the authority of the Roman church, and please recall that challenging the authority of said church was the same as challenging the authority of the Roman empire.

However, some men of conscience did protest violent action being inflicted on other people who professed to be Christians, and also demanded to know what in the Bible justified compulsory church membership enforced by the state, especially since those who dissented did have strong Bible-based arguments on their side. Make no mistake: the Roman empire was being challenged on one front by the Donatist defection and another by their reaction to the former, and both fronts exposed the Roman church for the spiritual fraud that it was.

Into this crisis stepped Augustine. Now as a north African and one who so convincingly expounded such positions as justification by faith, one could have well expected Augustine to side with the Donatists. Instead, Augustine sided with those who paid his salary and elevated him to a position of prestige and power. In addition to siding with the imperial position concerning their right to appoint unregenerate officers and the legitimacy of sacraments administered by such officers, Augustine searched the scriptures to find something that would justify using murderous force to eliminate dissenting movements and thereby make church membership universal (save whom the church excommunicates!) with the sword. (Please note: this remains the goal of the Roman Catholic Church to this day … a global institution where everyone is a member … or else. In this way, the rule of Christ over the earth is accomplished through the church, and then Jesus Christ will return for the church.) And Augustine found Luke 14:23’s “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in , that my house may be filled.” Of course, this grotesque misinterpretation and misapplication of a Biblical text was more than good enough for the Roman empire, because it suited the purposes that they already had anyway. It is similar to the true but sad tale of the woman who used Ephesians 4:22-24’s “take off the old man and put on the new man” to justify her desire to un-Biblically divorce her current husband and marry a new one without being considered an adulteress. In her rebellious heart, she had already determined that what she was doing was not only permissble, but the will of God, and merely needed a Bible text to misconstrue to justify it, and would not be deterred, even when her pastor informed her of that text’s correct meaning and application (and of the Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage).

Augustine’s actual interpretation (eisegesis!) of Luke 14:23 is of little consequence, for it was used to arrived at an illegitimate meaning for an illegitimate intent in service to an illegitimate institution. Unless one agrees with – or is willing to in some context defend – the state using the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction to compel membership in a “church” who regularly ordains and retains atheists, homosexuals, occultists and child molesters as its officers, then that could be taken for granted, and therefore there is no need to violate Proverbs 26:4 with regards to it. Instead, let us simply declare Augustine’s efforts to be thoroughly wrong and evil – with its use throughout history to justify many evils (including the magisterial church-state Reformers’ murderous actions against Anabaptists – whom the Reformers ironically politicized as Donatists! – Michael Servetus and others) as evidence of its great error – and move on to a proper interpretation.

In this parable, the “lord” is God the Father and the “servant” is “God the Holy Spirit.” It came to pass God the Father accomplished salvation (through the sending of His Son for atonement), and established the kingdom of heaven. (One does not have to reach far to arrive at this interpretation, because immediately prior to starting the parable, Jesus Christ stated “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God“.) The establishment of the kingdom of heaven is the meaning of the reference to “for all things are now ready.” Now the Bible declares that salvation is for God’s called (or elect) but first the Jew and then the Gentile. (We should also realize that Matthew 20:16 and 22:14 state that “many are called but few are chosen.” While all election of God is unconditional, not all election of God is unto salvation, but rather only the election as “chosen.”) So, the initial call goes out to the original olive tree, the natural seed of Abraham; the Jews of Israel. Due to their faithless condition (as faith comes from God) because of their not at this time being chosen for salvation (the salvation of the Jews will not occur until after the fulness of the Gentiles comes in), the original branch (save a few) demurs and defers.

So, the mission then goes to the Gentiles, who having not known the special revelation of Yahweh because of their not being in the Jewish nation and therefore not having received or lived under the Sinai covenant or benefited from instruction of the law, the writings and the prophets, are spiritually “poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” These may have been the ones who for some reason were aware of their sinful condition and the benefits of the kingdom of heaven (i.e. they are Gentiles who have already attached themselves to Judaism to some degree – such as the God-fearers, the Ethiopian eunuch and the centurion Cornelius – but did not fully convert to Judaism, but were yet “within the city” based on their faith and partial observance) and immediately with gladness believed the gospel of Jesus Christ when they heard it. If one recalls the account of church growth in the early portions of Acts, there was indeed a pattern of angry Jewish rejection on the part of all but a few, but enthusiastic acceptance and rapid growth among the Gentiles that had already been praying to YHWH, fasting, giving alms, attending the synagogues and worshipping in the outer court of the temple.

But after adding the relatively few Jews who had been with Jesus Christ and witnessed His resurrection, the Jews who believed after Pentecost and thereafter, and the Judaism-observant Gentiles who received the gospel with very little effort because of possessing pre-existing faith (some theologians refer to those such as these who lived between the advent and passion of Jesus Christ and the destruction of the temple as “transitional period faithful” akin to Old Testament saints), there was still “room at the table.” That was when this famous case took place. The lord, again in this parable God the Father, told his servant, representing God the Holy Spirit, to go out of the city into the highways and hedges (meaning away from the confines of believing Jews and Gentiles who merely needed to transform their faith from an Old Testament one where Jesus Christ was concealed to a New Testament one where Jesus Christ was revealed) and into the realm of the faithless.

Now the faithless, due to their original sin condition (doctrine of total depravity) these folks were not going to come “to the supper”, or into the kingdom of heaven or participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb with His bride, willingly. Instead, these unwilling people first have to be given faith and converted. Who gives faith? The Holy Spirit, or the servant in this story. Make no mistake: faith does not come from or is not produced by man, but is a gift of the Holy Spirit, see 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. After the Holy Spirit gives the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is the One who regenerates the sinner, see Titus 3:4-7. Make no mistake: this does not happen because the sinner wants it to. The sinner because of his total depravity is thoroughly unwilling, and thus comes into the kingdom not by way of a free will decision, but by God’s compulsion. God’s sheep, declared so before the foundation of the world, hear the voice of Jesus Christ and come when He calls, but Luke 14:23 reveals that a great many come because the Holy Spirit is the Staff that the Great Shepherd uses to pull them in with Its crook on their necks! This is the doctrine of irresistible grace, and gives support to the theory that the rider of the white horse of Revelation is not the anti-Christ, but instead is the Holy Spirit, and the conquering that the rider on the white horse goes about doing is not the nations, but of those called and chosen by God the Father from out among the nations to be the bride for God the Son.

So, in this parable you see 3 of the “5 points of Calvinism” (total depravity, unconditional election, irresistible grace) explicitly or nearly explicitly at work. Also, perseverance of the saints is implied, as those brought in by the Holy Spirit remain to fill the house and eat of the marriage supper of the Lamb; they do not fall away. Only limited atonement is missing, and this is only because this parable is not expressly Christological, but instead deals primarily with the decree and election of the God the Father and the work of drawing in  and regenerating of the Holy Spirit. So, in telling this parable, there was the Second Person of the Holy Trinity describing the role of the First and the Third Persons of the Holy Trinity in salvation, to the point that though the Third Person of the Trinity is the servant of the First, the Third Person is still sovereign in salvation because men do not have the option of saying no to the Holy Spirit! Those that the Holy Spirit compels must come, because the Holy Spirit is God, and God is Sovereign! Soli Deo Gloria!

Now the compulsion of the Holy Spirit is by no means limited to Gentiles. Instead, Romans 11 is clear that sometime after the Gentile mission is complete, all Israel will be saved. The Jews are currently “not in the house” or “even in the city” but like the Gentiles are faithless, but at the return of Jesus Christ will be drawn and regenerated by the Holy Spirit according to the election and decree of God the Father, and at that time the olive tree will be complete, with the original branches together with the grafted in formerly wild branches.

So, the compulsion of Luke 14:23 is not the servants of the state forcing church membership with the threat of the sword. Instead, it is the Servant of God conquering those captive to original sin and therefore because of their fallen natures and corrupt wills are unable to come to God, and for that matter do not even have a true desire to. (At the very most, they may have a desire for morals, ethics, religion, cultural conformity, tradition, pleasing the expectations of others, to assuage their guilty consciences, to avoid the lake of fire, or to receive the benefits of heaven. It is those things that man can come to and decide for himself of, and not truly of God, and indeed lest we forget a multitude of false religions offers all those things also.) Jesus Christ has bound the strong man and led his captivity captive, so now the Holy Spirit is free to go and spoil his goods. So against the false teachings and applications of Augustine, this is the true meaning and intent of the passage and in its correct context.

Thus, please know that membership in any church cannot save you (even if it is a legitimate New Testament local congregation headed by Jesus Christ) and neither can being the beneficiary of any sacrament, ordinance or ritual. Instead, only membership in the true church will save you, and membership in that church is only granted to those who are saved by the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ that is granted by that same Holy Spirit. If this does not describe you, then you are currently separated from God, at enmity with God, and the Bible states that all those who are found in that status on judgment day will receive an eternal punishment in the lake of fire. Do not let the doctrines of election, predestination and irresistible grace cause unnecessary confusion. Just as God’s sovereignty in salvation is a truth clearly set forth in the Bible, so is the responsibility of man to believe the gospel and submit Himself to Jesus Christ as his Lord. They are two truths that are not in conflict with each other, but are both true in their own right and work together in ways that are beyond our understanding to give God the glory. God is glorified both by being sovereign over salvation and by seeing those formerly trapped in original sin do what was impossible for them prior become possible with God (see Matthew 19:25-26’s “When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed , saying , Who then can be saved ? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”, and over against not only their own sinful natures but also the desires and machinations of Satan.

So make no mistake, those chosen by God have as their duty to make their calling and election sure. If you have not done so, I entreat and implore you to do it, do it quickly, indeed do it today, and moreover right now!

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

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Four Views On The Tribulation and the Millennium

Posted by Job on May 25, 2009

Please click on link to access document.

The Tribulation and the Millennium: Four Views

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Regarding Carrie Prejean, Evangelicalism And The Culture War

Posted by Job on May 12, 2009

I recall a very recent incident where I purchased my first
Christian rap CD, certain that it would provide edifying entertainment for my
very young son during our frequent automobile trips. However, when the music
began to play, my son put his hands over his ears, and began yelling for me to
turn it off, the reason being “it sounds like the devil’s music.” Now
as I was very much enjoying the CD in question, I tried to explain to the child
that it was in fact Christian music. The child replied that he would much
rather listen to one of HIS CDs. So, the Christian rap went out, and one of his
several CDs of classic hymns, Negro spirituals and similar took its place,
which included “Standing On The Promises of God.” I confess to not having
learned the lyrics to this song, but I do remember something about “standing on
the promises that cannot fail.”

And now I find myself reading Pilgrim’s Progress by John
Bunyan for the first time. I not long ago passed the section where Christian
succumbed to the temptation of one Worldly Wiseman to depart from the hard path
given to him to the Celestial City by Evangelist and instead set out for what
was promised to be the easier path over Mount Sinai to Mr. Legality and his
handsome son civility in the nice village Morality. And this reminds me of the
Carrie Prejean tempest: this where beauty pageant contestant lost the Miss
America pageant (which is owned by Donald Trump, who considers twice divorced
prosperity preacher Paula White his friend and pastor) for speaking out against
homosexual marriage.

As a result, this Miss Prejean has found herself many
supporters in the evangelical Christian community for fighting the good fight
in the culture war, having had the privilege of such experiences as being
interviewed by James Dobson, speaking at a prominent evangelical Christian
university, and being a presenter for the Dove Awards. Miss Prejean’s Christian
advocates have presented her as an example of a bold Christian woman who has
risked and suffered in warfare.

While this is certainly true, as Prejean clearly lost the
Miss America title, was very nearly stripped of the Miss California title, and
has had explicit pictures (some that she acknowledges to be real, others that
she alleges are fake) released by those seeking to force the Miss California pageant
to strip her of her crown for violating her contract, I have to ask: what battle
is it that she is fighting anyway, and is it a worthwhile one?

Again, go back to “Standing On The Promises Of God.” God’s
promises cannot fail, which means that God’s battles cannot be lost, because in
God’s battles, it is not us that are fighting, but rather God Himself that
fights for us. So as long as remain obedient and faithful to scripture and
adhere to the things that Jesus Christ commanded of us, we cannot lose. Our
success is guaranteed, predetermined, predestined.

However, when we depart from the path, leave behind the
commandments of Jesus Christ, and start seeking our own agendas, failure is
inevitable. Oh, we may win a victory or two here and there, but it is only a
temporary fleeting battle won at a huge cost – not the least a great diversion
of prayers and works by well meaning Christians – in a war that will ultimately
be lost. The person who bears witness of this best is none other than James
Dobson, the very same who interviewed Prejean. Upon retiring from his leadership
of Focus On The Family, Dobson acknowledged that he, his organization and its
fellow travelers had lost every single battle, including that against
homosexual marriage, which will become legal in many parts of the country
within a few years. And let us never forget that the great legal victory that
made homosexual marriage possible was a court decision, Lawrence versus Texas,
given to us by a Supreme Court stacked with appointees of the very conservative
Republican presidents that Dobson and his peers spent a generation getting
Christians to not only vote but contribute, volunteer, fast and pray to get
elected in the first place. What do we know from this? As Jesus Christ promised
us that so long as remain faithful to Him and do His Will that we shall not
fail, the very failure of Dobson’s efforts, shows that Dobson and those like
him were never fighting the Lord’s battle to begin with.

And consider further the supreme irony: the biggest defeats
have come from the very people aligned with Dobson! Recall that Ronald Reagan,
when given the opportunity to appoint justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade,
instead put not one but two pro – abortion judges on the court, and George H.
W. Bush, who became president due to being the vice president of Reagan thanks
in no small part to people like Dobson, appointed a third pro – abortion judge,
and yes all three of those judges cast their votes in the Lawrence versus Texas
decision to pave the way for homosexual marriage as well.

So gentle Christians, what we should learn from this is that
Jesus Christ, God’s own Word and thereby God Himself, did not come to earth as
a human to be slain on a cross to pay the debt of original sin, in order to
redeem the culture. He did not do so in order to lend political support to any specific
nation, whether the United States or Israel, or any cause. The reason is that
cultures, nations, and causes are worldly things, and the result of the death
of Jesus Christ was to create the church, which is ekklesia in Greek, and
ekklesia means “called out.” What is the church called out of? The world and
worldly things. Instead of trying to change the world in some vain, idolatrous,
blasphemous quest to transform its sin and wickedness into the image of the
holiness and righteousness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, instead of
trying to give that which is destined to die the image of that which through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ will have eternal life, the only duty that I
have seen given through Jesus Christ and His apostles and prophets to the New
Testament church is that of saving and discipling sinners. Even the good deeds
and charitable works that Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to love our
neighbors and by this way to also love Him was towards that end; acts by which
the unsaved are reached and the saved are to learn to grow in the grace and
knowledge of our only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Now let it be known that evangelical Christians are supposed
to be sola scriptura Protestants. After all, the term “evangelical” was taken
up as a self – descriptive one by the Protestant Reformers. So, I challenge any
sola scriptural Protestant to identify me the Bible verse that commands
Christians to put aside the work of evangelizing the world and discipling those
who by and according to the grace and prerogative of God the Father (those that
the Father gave to the Son) respond to the gospel and start working to give the
unregenerate masses the appearance of righteousness, a form of godliness that
denies the power thereof, show it to me and I will repent of this missive. If
no such verse exists – and I have never encountered it in the New Testament –
then those who continue with this behavior should cease to call themselves sola
scriptura, which means they should cease to call themselves Protestants, which
means that they should cease to call themselves evangelical, which means that
they should cease to call themselves Christians.

This is no mere doctrinal dispute. Again, Jesus Christ gave us in His Holy Spirit – inspired word promises that work done in His Name would
never fail. The end result of not only decades of the religious right but many
centuries of church – states and church – cultures has been nothing but massive
thoroughgoing failure. If you refuse to consider me to be one qualified to
speak to this matter, then heed Søren Kierkegaard; read his Attack Upon Christendom (that is if you can abide theistic existentialism long enough to). So by committing all of these
efforts to works, by fighting all of these battles, that we claim to be in the
Name of Jesus Christ, what witness does the church bear to the promises, the
veracity, the power, the faithfulness, the very Name of Jesus Christ by which
we are saved and are to overcome death, be resurrected from the dead, and
inherit the Celestial City when these things fail? When WE fail?

Because like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, we have abandoned
the path to the Celestial City and Mount Zion to the Morality Village, the
abode of Mr. Legality and Civility by way of Mount Sinai, that same is the way
of death. We have abandoned the counsel of the apostles, prophets and Jesus
Christ Himself for that of Worldly Wisemen politicians and hucksters, in
addition to not a few very sincere but ultimately misguided and sincere pastors
and theologians, which unfortunately included not a few of the very same
Reformers themselves, who were not long removed from the murderous yoke of the
Roman church – states themselves began drowning Anabaptists and burning
heretics. Indeed, John Bunyan himself spent twelve years in the dark prison of
a Christian nation, separated from his church and family, for the crime of preaching
the gospel.

Morality, legality and civility. Sound like “Christian
values”, “family values”, “American values”, “Judeo – Christian values”, “Judeo
– Christian heritage” and all the other buzzwords to you? It certainly sounds like
that to me. Well, those are legalism, an external righteousness of the
Pharisees, devoid of the religion of the heart that Jesus Christ gave us. It is
darkness devoid of the Light that came to this world that the darkness does not
comprehend. Of course, a person, a group, a movement, a nation can impose
morality, legality and civility for a period of time by expending no small
amount of energy or cost. Keep in mind however: such moral societies do not
have to be Christian … homosexuality, abortion, crime, divorce etc. are very
much kept under control in not a few Muslim societies, and such was also the
case in fascist regimes like those run by Pinochet and Franco. Also, a
democracy cannot maintain “moral societies” anywhere nearly as long as a
monarchy, totalitarian regime or dictatorship.

But it is only for a time. Remember Lot’s wife. Or better
yet remember the Holy Roman Empire! When Constantine allegedly converted (but in
truth began to exploit the faith for state power – including appropriating the
symbol of the Prince of Peace for warfare, a fact that we should think of when
so many evangelicals unconditionally support the war in Iraq as well as torture)
Eusebius and many other pastors and theologians of the time insisted that the
whole thing was the work of God, that Constantine’s making Christianity the
religion of the empire was part of God’s redemptive-historic plan for mankind,
and that through the Roman Empire the whole world would be subdued for Jesus
Christ. What happened? It failed. The Holy Roman Empire broke apart, falling to
the Muslims.

The reason why is that Jesus Christ did not come to earth,
conduct His ministry, die from the cross, and rise from the dead in order to
bring such things into existence. Those things are not wrapped up within the

promises of God, so they will fail. They are works of the flesh, not of the spirit, so they are vanity. You can fight it, you can delay it, but ultimately, as a dog returns to his vomit (Proverb 26:11) that which is sinful will return to sin. A system of laws and rituals can control an unregenerate person for a time, but that sinner will ultimately go back to sin just as
Pliable, Simple, Sloth, Presumption, Formalist, Hypocrisy, Mistrust, Timorous
and all the rest abandoned the true pilgrim Christian on the straight and
narrow path to the Celestial City. And as societies are by definition going to
contain large majorities of unsaved and in many instances shall be ruled by
them, they will go the same way.

This was the failure of the doctrine of the ecclesiola within
the ecclesia, the actual church within the political and cultural church-state
that was advanced in some form by Augustine (representing as he did Catholicism),
Calvin (representing church – state Protestantism) and various others, and it
is the same failure of the various modern dominionism movements -including but
certainly not limited to the religious right and some of the more robust forms
of premillennial dispensationalism and Christian Zionism – whose adherents
proclaim themselves to be taking (or taking back) cultures, nations and
ultimately the globe for Christ.

I am reminded of the words of the pastor character in Frank
Peretti’s novel The Visitation (not exactly Pilgrim’s Progress granted,
but a good read nonetheless!) who upon hearing an inexperienced and zealous
pastor state “we are taking this town for Christ” replied “not even Christ took
a town for Christ.” As Jesus Christ’s own nation, the Jews, rejected Him, what
more evidence is there that Jesus Christ did not die for a nation, a culture, a
political agenda, or any other worldly thing, but rather to redeem the church?
Now Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection did, against all odds, succeed. The
church was born, has existed for going on 2,000 years, and will live forever.
However, the failure of all of these movements proves that no matter the
sincerity, fervency, and honorable motives of many of the people who inspire
and are caught up in them, are sadly due to fail because they have no part in
Jesus Christ’s promises and thus will have no part in His resurrection.

I keep hearing Christians speak of how this can be changed
with a revival, and have taken it upon themselves to try to initiate one. They
recall how society was transformed in America and Britain through the Great
Awakenings, and long for another to happen. I remember the claims that great
outpouring of national unity and people returning to churches after September
11th 2001 may spark just such a revival, a return of this nation to
its “Christian values and heritage.” It was easy to suffer such fantasies when
George W. Bush was in office. Well, not only did George W. Bush prove to be
someone who does not believe that the Bible is literally true and the final
authority and also that Muslims and Christians (and presumably other religions
as well) all pray to the same god, but this nation is now saddled with a
president about whom no one can entertain such delusions. Alas, it was just
another failure by people who were never seeking the true Will of Jesus Christ
to begin with.

While Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield and the other
revivalists of these awakenings may have had some state – church or state –
culture sympathies, the reason why their revivals as well as the missionary
revival started by William Carey and Adoniram Judson and before them Zinzendorf,
Spener and the Moravians succeeded was because their aim was to preach the
gospel and save souls! Their goals were not social or political but spiritual.
That was why they could not fail. They accomplished the results that they were
seeking because the results were the Lord adding to the church such as should
be saved (Acts 2:47). And yes, that verse does say THE LORD adding to the
church, not man through his own efforts doing so. Why? Because as stated
earlier … it was the Lord’s doing, the Lord’s work, the Lord’s battle to begin
with. Do the Lord’s will, and the Lord fights for you. Do your own will, and the
Lord fights against you. Do you deny this? Well then ask King Saul. His
kingdom, his portion was taken from him and given to another because he stopped
fighting the Lord’s battle the Lord’s way and started fighting his battles his
way. Instead of establishing God’s kingdom, it became about Saul’s kingdom.
When Saul’s son asked him for what cause did he seek the life of David, who had
never done any harm to Saul, King Saul cursed his son, calling him the son of a
dog, and asked “don’t you realize that as long as David lives you will never
have MY KINGDOM?” But it was never Saul’s kingdom to give. Saul and his sons
died, God’s kingdom went to David, and through the One Jesus Christ who
descended from David, it will last forever.

So, Christian, are you laboring for Mr. Legality with
Civility in the village Morality for things that, like the Holy Roman Empire,
the Reformed church – states, and Saul’s kingdom, will not last because they
are of this world and are things that Revelation 20 and 21 states will be
destroyed with fire and replaced with a new heaven and a new earth? Or are you
going to love Jesus Christ by keeping His commandments, and thereby laboring
for things that will last forever, in the Celestial City where the rust and
moth cannot destroy?

Gentle Christian, I sincerely entreat and implore you to
turn aside from all that which is pertaining to Mr. Legality, Civility, and the
village Morality … things of Sinai that will fail. Instead, join Pilgrim on the
narrow path to the Celestial City so that your works will last forever. In
closing, let me give you some words by Russell K. Carter, circa 1886.

  1. Standing on the promises of Christ
    my King,
    Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
    Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Refrain:
    Standing, standing,
    Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
    Standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises that
    cannot fail,
    When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
    By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises I now can
    see
    Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
    Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises of Christ
    the Lord,
    Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
    Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises I cannot
    fall,
    List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call,
    Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

    The Early Church Fathers: Amillennialism and Universalism

    Posted by Job on October 15, 2008

    According to William J. La Due, who can hardly be considered fundamentalist (he has been a professor at St. Francis Seminary and Catholic University of America) in The Trinity Guide To Eschatology (which I do not recommend) Irenaeus of Lyons, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Hippolytus were millennialists. It was those who came later, such as Origen, Jerome, and Augustine who rejected it, and Origen and Augustine in particular for amillennialism.

    What happened? Simple: the influence of Greek paganism. From La Due’s writings, it is easy to connect the dots and come to the conclusion that 1) amillennialism was required for universalism and 2) universalism was needed to resolve the conflict between Christianity and Hellenism. Despite the claims of universalists that their interpretations are more consistent with the overall body of scripture, the truth is that Origen and the rest simply used a grotesquely out of context interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15:28 (When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all) to justify their refusal to reject Greek pagan religion.

    La Due further stated that the first prominent theologian to try to merge Christianity and Hellenism was Clementine of Alexandria, who died in the early 3rd century. This Clementine was the first Christian advocate of purgatory. By this Clementine imported the Greek mythological concept of purgatory into Christianity as a key component of universalism. (The Vatican II returned to Clementine’s doctrine by using purgatory to facilitate “all religions and good people who follow them lead to heaven” pluralism as opposed to “everyone whether religious or not and good or evil goes to heaven” universalism.)

    Augustine incidentally rejected universalism. Further the Roman church did not get around to officially condemning Origenism in 543 and 553. (Augustine’s view of purgatory, by the way, were much closer to Jesus Christ’s parable of Lazarus and the rich man than they were to contemporary or historic Roman Catholic doctrine on the matter.) However, only Origen was so condemned, not Gregory of Nyssa, Clement of Alexandria, or the many others that played with this doctrine, including Ambrose of Milan. La Due suggests that the real reason why Origen was condemned while the many other universalists were not was Origen’s proto – Mormon doctrine of pre – existence, not universalism. Perhaps condemning universalism would have meant condemning purgatory as well?

    In any event, it certainly looks like Origen and his fellow travelers rejected the endtimes views of the early church because millennialism (and ultimately eternal punishment) made doctrines that conformed to the worldviews of the Greeks unworkable. We see the same thing going on today, with not only so many leading evangelicals following the lead of Vatican II Roman Catholics and theological liberals in adopting pluralism to please the current philosophical mindset, but many also adopting annhiliationism (the belief that sinners will simply cease to exist based on the notion that the worth of man is so great that God cannot judge mankind as He sees fit without being considered cruel and tyrannical). By contrast, Augustine taught that the reason why sinners would be resurrected and receive new incorruptible bodies on judgment day would be so that the flames of the lake of fire would never consume them!

    Alas, it is regrettable that so many Reformed evangelicals either believe in the pre – tribulation rapture (i.e. John MacArthur or Albert Pendarvis) or amillennialism (e.g. R.C. Sproul). It is even more regrettable that many Reformed amillennialists insist that amillennialism was the mainstream position of the early church. On the other hand, it does appear that my oft – proposed theory that the Constantism (the Roman imperial church and the Roman Catholic Church) adopted and promoted amillennialism to justify its goals of co – opting Christianity for political and military ambitions – dominionism or official theology – is problematic, as amillennialism has to go with the practice of worshiping saints and Mary and the doctrine of purgatory as yet another thing that cannot be blamed on Constantinism because it predated his takeover of Christianity by at least 100 years. Amillennialism is not evidence of how the Roman Empire took Christianity off its path, but rather how the Roman Empire adopted a faith that had already long veered from its apostolic foundations.

    So instead, amillennialism, purgatory, saint and angel worship, and the heresies concerning Mary were simply attempts to make the faith acceptable, conformed with, and relevant with the world. Am I exaggerating, then, to say that Clement and Origen of those days are the emergent leaders like Rick Warren, Erwin McManus, Rob Bell, and Dan Kimball or political Christians like James Dobson, Barry Lynn and Bill Moyers today? Not a whole lot, and probably not at all. Whether it is Hellenism or enlightenment rationalism or postmodernist consumerism, James 4:4 and Romans 12:1-2 still applies.

    Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

    Who Would Jesus Bomb? War, Peace, and the Christian

    Posted by Job on December 4, 2007

    For me, this column did not live up to its promise. Dr. Moore basically endorses the conservative position in favor of our nation’s militarist predilection, including our current “war on terror” adventure, with the only caveat being that we should try to wage it humanely (minimizing civilian casualties) and not outwardly appear overly enthusiastic about it. To me, that sounds like the John Kerry Hillary Clinton Barack HUSSEIN Obama Rudy Giuliani abortion – on – demand supporters that pretend to be “oh so morally conflicted” about the issue. Look, I don’t want to hear about the inner pain and moral turmoil of some doctor death as he rips a fetus that dreams, plays, has a personality (which the Georgia State University psychology department is studying right now) and feels fright and pain. I want him to admit that what he is doing is savage cold – blooded murder, to stop doing it, and to do whatever he can to prevent others from doing it. By the same token, instead of making the “Jessica” in his column the antagonist for her “nuke ’em” pronouncements and her cheering casualties, he needs to acknowledge that in the final analysis whether the supporter of the war is cravenly hard – hearted or philosophically introspective, the results are still the same: the same number of people are dead.

    Our self – righteous genuflecting on the horrible necessity of war is not going to save one life, and it is not going to make us safer. Instead, what we Christians really need to be genuflecting on is whether these wars actually are necessary and if not try to stop them. And that brings us back to this whole “civilian casualty” sham. If you are fighting a just war for legitimate reasons, you are not going to care about civilian casualties. Quite the contrary, you are going to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible in hopes of demoralizing your enemy and forcing them to surrender. Why? Because if you fight that way, you actually save more lives – both yours and theirs – than you do by allowing the conflict to drag on. Another sham: our concern with our own casualties and our trying to limit them. Of the cause is righteous and just, we should be willing to sacrifice as many of our men as it takes to get the job done without hesitation and without looking back.

    The very notion that people like this need to contrive false feelings of compassion and moral conflict over warfare (and I say false because these feelings do not lead the one experiencing the emotions to declare certain conflicts to be illegitimate, let alone do anything to stop or prevent them … again like abortion safe legal and rare yeah right) and then start handwringing about casualties on either side demonstrates to me that in their hearts these people know that our Iraq excursion is wrong according to the Bible. Even if Iraq did pose a terror threat to us, then we should have dealt with the threat by killing their leaders (done) and destroying their capacity to threaten us (done). “Teaching them democracy” (Greco – Roman paganism for which there is virtually no support in the Bible … the only example that I can think of was the selection of elders/presbyters in the early church)? Please.

    There are two related reasons why fellows such as this are not willing to directly criticize the war (which you can do and still support it on some level … I admit that I myself supported the war in the beginning). 1. Cultural and political beliefs that he is unwilling to betray. 2. The conviction that the life of an American is worth more than the life of an Iraqi. Show me where either is supported in the Bible, even in the Old Testament?

    Now I must be honest: I cannot bring to my remembrance a single New Testament verse that would tend to support warfare, especially that which is not in self – defense. Of course, there are legitimate context issues to consider (Jewish and Gentile Christians in the Roman Empire had no ability to wage war or influence military policy, and the New Testament is mostly about doctrinal and ecclesiastical matters as opposed to matters of state) but the fact remains: it is not there. So then, from whence comes the Christian theologies and doctrines that would support waging war in any but the most extreme circumstances? I am not a pacifist but I have to say it: if the issue is a literal interpretation of a Bible that is taken to be Holy Spirit inspired, inerrant, and the final authority in all matters, the pacifists have far more going for them than do most politically and theologically conservative Christians. The only thing that I can take from the New Testament that would support warfare is the general principle that Christians are to resist evil and injustice, and even then we beg the question of precisely HOW we Christians are to do this: to wait on and trust God, or to take up arms? Is the deist “God helps those who helps themselves” doctrine then the fundamentalist or evangelical position on warfare?

    I just see this as another example of a Christian defending the indefensible. But I may be wrong, and if I am wrong let me know. I will repeat something that I said in an earlier post: the war in Iraq and the war on terror in general DOES NOT meet the standards that Augustine set forth for a just war, and it is amazing that virtually no fundamentalist or evangelical Christian leader that I am aware of has stepped forth and admitted it, especially now that it has come out that the President George Bush that led us into this war with his “God is on our side” rhetoric was invoking the universalist god that all religions allegedly worship instead of the One True God of Christianity.

    henryinstitute.org/commentary_read.php?cid=416

    Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

    I Have No Choice Left But To Join The Predestination Camp

    Posted by Job on November 22, 2007

    Update: though I am now TULIP, I will not take the chauvinistic attitudes against LILAC Christians as exhibited by things like this link: The “god” Of Arminianism and this: Free-Willism Preaches Another Jesus. Claiming that free will Christians aren’t going to heaven cannot be supported by honest interpretation of scripture. Thank you. 

    I was raised in free will Christianity and had an entire worldview shaped around it that seemed quite logical to me. However, it is now based on that same logic that I must reject the doctrine of Jacobus Arminius with regards to the salvation of man. The tipping point for me was reading an excerpt of a letter from Pelagius, opponent of Augustine and Jerome, to Demetrias. In it, Pelagius, who espoused free will and denied the existence of original sin, asserted that God had given all men the strength to choose good or evil, and that it was our responsibility to use it. He did allow that said strength was somewhat limited, but that God knew that limitation for He knew how much strength He gave us. Still, God gave us sufficient strength to continuously exercise good over evil.

    Keep in mind that this is a holy God who hates sin and loves His creation. So then, why then would this God not give us enough strength never to sin at all, knowing that the result would not only be the corruption that He hates but the damnation of His creation to eternal wrath? It it has to be because either He would not or that He could not. Go one way and God is not a God of love. Go another way and God is not all powerful. The result of either is having no God at all.

    Also, consider that man does have the ability to choose salvation, even if this ability is not inherent in man but rather a gift of the same common grace that is available to all men. That, then place the responsibility on God to get men to accept salvation. To use a business analogy, God would then be the salesman, humanity would be the consumer, and Jesus Christ would be the product. If this is so, then that makes God the worst salesman in the history of the universe! Consider that fast food restaurants have no problem selling expensive unhealthy low quality food that any benefits derived from eating will disappear like chaff in a furnace (the negative health effects will last somewhat longer especially if you consume such “food” with any regularity) but God’s Son is available for free with immeasurable benefits that accrue over time and last an eternity.

    And what are the consequences of passing up McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, or the Chinese food buffet? Missing a meal or having to “settle” for a sandwich made from whatever you can find in your refrigerator. (I suggest living with those consequences whenever possible.) But the consequences of passing up Jesus Christ is eternal wrath. So is our God so incompetent a salesman that He is unable to convince even an utter fool of the merits of His FREE merchandise? Considering not so much that the sovereign holy righteous God would never immolate and humiliate Himself before man in order to beg His acceptance in the first place, but this scenario requires believing that He would do such a thing only to be grotesquely incompetent at it.

    Make no mistake, the existence of free will makes every the failure of each and every man that rejects God a failure of God … a failure due to some flaw, unrighteousness, or lack of knowledge in God that cannot be blamed on man. And this is very important in questions regarding the goodness or fairness of God. You may with your human judgment condemn God for being partial, arbitrary, and even cruel for refusing to save everyone. That is fine with me. The reason is that for me the existence of God is made self evident by virtue of creation. I find the existence of a God that may appear less than fair according to limited human understanding by refusing to save everyone preferable to that of a God that is clearly incompetent by any understanding that wants to save everyone but is not only incapable of accomplishing it, but moreover only succeeds in saving a small number! It appears that we are so often needful to believe in a God that is “fair” to suit our own purposes that that even a reasonably competent God – let alone the God of the Bible that is sovereign, holy, high and lifted up, righteous, loving, gracious, and powerful – gets rejected in the process.

    So I am now forced to cease resisting the meaning of John 10:25-28Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

    Are you willing to accept the free gift of salvation? If so, please follow the Three Step Salvation Plan.

    Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, election, predestination, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 104 Comments »

    You Should Preach Like a Dying Man To Dying Men!

    Posted by Job on November 20, 2007

    From Theology.Wordpress.com

    Preach like a dying man to dying men

    Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Can We Do Anything To Speed The Return Of Jesus Christ? Why I Say NO!

    Posted by Job on November 20, 2007

    Up until very recently I sincerely felt that Christians could speed the return of Jesus Christ by doing works, such as spreading the gospel. But now I find out by reading “Messiah In The Old Testament” by the (rather liberal but still orthodox) Walter Kaiser out that the Pharisees had that same error. They were correct in presuming that their failure to keep the law resulted in their nation being sent into captivity and subjected to brutal subjugation. They were correct that the prophets who foretold their current fate also spoke of a coming Messiah. So then, what was their error? A perfectly understandable mistake: that if disobeying the law caused them to lose their nation, monarchy, and sovereignty, then keeping the law would cause these things to be restored by the Messiah that their prophets spoke of. Of course, the natural progression was that the Jews could speed the return of the Messiah by being VERY ZEALOUS, but that being “less than zealous” would hinder his coming. That is why their actions against Jesus Christ, who like John Hagee His being Messiah they rejected, were very understandable … they thought that His using His influence with the people to disobey their interpretation of the law was hindering the restoration of Israel and the Messianic age.

    This belief did not die, incidentally. The reason why Jews went from tolerating Jesus Christ’s Jewish followers as a sect within Judaism (if an errant bothersome one … though they far from the only ones considered errant and bothersome) to expelling them from their synagogues as apostates and heretics was because they were ultimately scapegoated for the destruction of the temple in 70 AD and Jerusalem in 117 AD. Why? Because they were following the Man who taught them to disobey the law, causing God to punish us as He did in 586 BC. (Of course, this is not said directly, instead they say that the reason why the second temple was destroyed was “the lack of unity.”) And though this is similarly rarely spoken of, some Jewish leaders blamed the Holocaust on a number of Jews going after secularism and liberalism (Conservative and Reform Judaism) and a general failure to keep the Sabbath. And to this day, the goal of rabbinic Judaism is to cause God to grant the Jewish nation their Messiah.

    Is it an oversimplification to say that the Pharisees were too preoccupied and self – assured in their doctrines that they could bring cause the Messiah to come through works that they did not recognize the Messiah when He came to them not by their works to do their Will but by God’s grace to do God’s Will? For it must be said: the Word of God says that if a man labors, he must reap the benefits thereof. If even the ox that treads the corn should not be muzzled, how much more so should a man that labors be? So the inevitable conclusion is that with anything that man produces with works, man can take some credit for it. Man can take some ownership of it. Man can have some control over it. As such, the Messiah produced by works would have been THEIR Messiah to do THEIR Will, even if only least in part. So when Jesus Christ came to do not their Will in any sense but God’s, and was so not owned by or beholden to man that He did no so much as have a human father, they rejected Him because He was not the creation of their own hands. Nay, He was not the creation of ANY, but rather the uncreated God, the Word of the Trinity.

    That is why our own salvation cannot be the result of works. If we labored in any least sense, in any jot or tittle, then that would give us that much ownership rights and control over our souls. That would deprive God not only of His due glory, but His ownership rights as our sole creator and sole managers of our destiny. And since works produce works, it would give preachers and evangelists ownership rights over those converted by their efforts! Now imagine the effect of this … the great masses of the redeemed dwelling with God in heaven, not only with each having a claim on himself and many having claims on others, but the combined net worth effect of their collective claims! For eternity! (Believe in interest perhaps?) So I say “God forbid!” Such a thing cannot not be and will not be. What say you?

    And that brings us to the Imminent return of our Lord and Savior Y’shua HaMashiach, better known as Jesus Christ. If it were possible to facilitate or speed His return by the gospel or any other works, we would have a claim on His Return and Him with it! Since all things were created by the Word (John 1:3) through Him we would have a claim on the entire creation. And since He is one with the Holy Spirit, we would through Him have a claim on the Holy Spirit. And since He is one with the Father, we would through Him have a claim on the Father. And because sinful man would have a valid legal claim on the Father, the Father would no longer be holy and no longer sovereign. The result? He would be a false god, no god at all! God forbid that such a thing should happen. So now, Christian, do you see the error of works based theology?

    Yet works based theology is alive and well in Christendom, and it is not limited to the Roman Catholic Church. It is alive and well in the Protestant movement too. Let me give you three ways.

    1. Tithing. The practice was for the Old Testament only and for a specific purpose: to support the priests who stood before God’s presence as man’s mediator. The Book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus Christ is our priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. From that, if you continue to tithe to your pastor or church, two things can reasonably be inferred. A. It is your pastor and your church and not Jesus Christ that is the mediator between you and the Father. Please realize that such is the position of the Roman Catholic Church. I cannot help but – after a somewhat whimsical fashion – wonder if Matthew 23:9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” is a prophetic polemic against the Roman Catholic practice to come. B. That Jesus Christ either never came, never died, or never resurrected. Those who continue this practice in ignorance of the truth do so in ignorance of the truth. But to those that have come into the knowledge of the truth, new covenant giving is to be directed by 2 Corinthians 9:7 which reads: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

    2. The prosperity/Word of Faith movement, where we are taught that we receive things from God not according to grace, but by works. The prosperity doctrine the works are actually somewhat indirect through obedience (to quote Jesse DuPlantis, “the prosperity doctrine is an obedience doctrine”) and compulsory giving (John Hagee teaches that those who do not tithe will have their wages cursed by God, and that you will receive a greater blessing for giving to Jews and Israel than elsewhere). But the Word of Faith movement is more direct in telling people that you can bit a bridle and harness in the mouth of God, hop upon His back, and drive and command Him to use His Power to control nature and history as you see fit! It was from Albert Pendarvis of http://www.radiomissions.org – who ironically is located a few miles away from Jesse DuPlantis – whom I first heard warn Christians against those preachers that were “commanding God, not respecting Him, and misusing His Name” in the charismatic movement, especially the faith healers. Of course I was a full gospel Kenneth Hagin Word of Faith/prosperity adherent at the time so I rejected him at the time, but now I must acknowledge the truth in his preaching in this matter. These doctrines deny grace and try to co – opt, manipulate, and control God.

    3. Christian Zionism. If you are a dispensational pre – tribulation rapture doctrine adherent, I shall not speak against you for believing in that doctrine. What I do speak against is how so many pastors who hold this view teach that we can speed or facilitate the return of Jesus Christ based on it! For instance, some Christians are helping finance the return of Jews to Israel. But the Bible says that it is the Messiah’s job to do this in Jeremiah 23:3-6. Some Christians are helping Jews breed red heifers so that the Jews can restart their sacrifices in the temple. Why are we facilitating that which we no there is no profit but instead is a snare, an act of rebellion against everything that Hebrews says? Are we helping the Muslims practice their religion? Why not? Are they not the children of Abraham too? Are we aiding the Hindus, Mormons, and Scientologists in their abominations? Did Jesus Christ come in the flesh, die on the cross for our sins, and rise again on the third day or not? Did He do such a thing for the Jew first and then the Gentile or did He not? Are we ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Jews’ presence? For the Jews’ sake? Well what John Hagee is now preaching is merely the fruition, the logical conclusion of that mindset!

    And speaking of John Hagee, it is not enough to speak of his dual covenant theology, though it is bad. Hagee, Robertson, and their fellow travelers use “defending Israel” as an license to justify whatever level of atrocity and militarization of the Middle East they desire. With Hagee, his running a “Christian AIPAC” gives a third tier televangelist from San Antonio great wealth and power. And as for Robertson, who does own oil interests, how much is his personal wealth increased by oil being over $100 a barrel? And how much higher will the price of oil go if our government assassinates Hugo Chavez as Pat Robertson suggested? How much higher will it go if we invade Iran as Hagee demands? Now Hagee prophesied (back when I was a fan of his show) that we would be at war with Iran by now and that Jesus Christ would come back a few months later. Put all the details in his best – selling books. A false prophet that no one has held accountable? Of course!

    But consider what would happen if Hagee was RIGHT. That would mean that it would be possible for even crooks, liars, thieves, and false prophets to have a claim on God if works doctrines be true. Though they are false preachers, the gospel is preached through these fellows, and people are saved by it. But you can see the effects of people perceiving works doctrines to be true? These pastors have tens, possibly hundreds, of millions of people at their command, onward Christian soldiers marching to war! Blood, violence, disease, starvation, death, and poverty for the many. All for the profit of a few. Is that the gospel of Jesus Christ? Maybe a false Jesus Christ that you can own through works, but not the true Jesus Christ obtained only by grace. We are to show love to God’s people and His holy city, certainly, but the way that the Bible tells us to. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Support the legitimate needs of Jews out of love and obedience to God, not expecting blessings in return or in support of a political agenda. And to also give aid to the Palestinians so as to not show partiality.

    So in the final analysis we must come to the conclusion that man can do nothing to speed the return of Jesus Christ. No one knows the day or the hour. Jesus Christ is returning when the Father sees fit. The sovereign God will determine when Christ will return. God is not hindered by man, He is not frustrated by man, He is not dependent upon man. God is sovereign. 2 Peter 3:9 declares that it is by the grace of God and not the works of man that has hindered the coming of Jesus Christ to this day, and it will be by that same grace that Jesus Christ comes to rescue the church from this life and punish all else for its uncleanness. Yes, it is said that Christ will not return until the gospel is preached throughout the world, and that does mean that evangelism and missionary work should be done in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth from the least to the greatest, the youngest to the oldest. But even that will not be our doing lest any man should boast, but rather God’s doing. I am going to co – opt the words that so offended the renowned missionary William Carey and say that when it pleases God to evangelize the world He will do it without your help or mine. He will do it without the ecumenical movements. He will do it without the TBN satellites that Paul Crouch asserted in one of his mass mailings was the angel flying around the world proclaiming the gospel in Revelation 14:6.

    The sovereign God will do this by His grace! And when history comes to a close, all creation will see that God does not need us. Instead, it is we that need Him. The only question is whether people realize this in due time or in past time. Those who do so in due time will receive eternal life as a reward. Those who fail? Eternal wrath and destruction. Will you do so know? Will you bow before the Great King of creation, acknowledge that you need Him, and submit yourself to Him? I urge you to do so now, for tomorrow is not promised. There are many people that were here yesterday that presumed that they would be here today that are not. Are you better than they are? If so, how? I say this not to frighten or manipulate you but rather because I am concerned about you, and also because it is undeniably true. If you have not acknowledged the sovereignty of God, please do so. Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan right now.

    Posted in Calvinism, catholic, child evangelism, christian broadcasting, Christian hypocrisy, christian left, christian liberalism, christian right, Christian salvation, christian worldliness, Christian Zionism, Christianity, Christians United For Israel, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church state, church worldliness, dual covenant theology, election, endtimes, eschatology, evangelism, false prophet, fascism, George Bush, GOP, Islam, Israel, Jesus Christ, John Hagee, Kenneth Copeland, missionary, Moshiach, Muslim, New Age, oneness pentecostal, palestine, Pat Robertson, predestination, prophecy, prosperity doctrine, Republican, TBN, TD Jakes, televangelism, trinity broadcasting network, venezuela, Word of Faith, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach, Zionism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

    The Pentecostalism Movement Was Started By A Homosexual Klansman Mason!

    Posted by Job on October 24, 2007

    Please read this important article by IndependentConservative. Also take note of the comments following the article. Now of course, this is not a condemnation of all charismatics. That would be impossible because, well I happen to be one! Instead, it is incumbent upon us charismatics to practice our Book of Acts – based worship in spirit and in truth according to how the Bible tells us to: right belief and right practice. The early church set the example, and we have to follow it! Otherwise, we are not true charismatics, but rather synagogues of Satan. One interesting nugget: one of the links used by IndependentConservative asserts that Augustine of Hippo, Francis of Assisi, and Martin Luther exhibited gifts of the spirit. Also, John Wesley experienced gifts of the Holy Spirit (and he also incidentally contended against FALSE charismatic activity, which apparently was going on even back then)! So we charismatics must remember: everything must be obedient to and confirmed by scripture. Otherwise, we will be found to be in violation of Revelation 2 and 3 … warnings given to the churches, not sinners!

    How Fake Moves of the Holy Spirit Started in America

    Posted in charismatic, Christianity, homosexuality, masonry, warning given to churches in Revelation 2 and 3 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

     
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