Posts Tagged ‘eschatology’
Posted by Job on October 12, 2014
Posted in Christianity, devotional | Tagged: Adrian Rogers, comfort, deliverance, doctrine, eschatology, heaven, hell, lake of fire, last things, preaching, salvation, sermon, teaching | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Job on February 1, 2012
Posted in Jesus Christ | Tagged: Baptist, Calvinism, charles spurgeon, Christianity, damnation, doctrine, endtimes, eschatology, eternal damnation, eternal punishment, final state, final status, heaven, hell, lake of fire, last things, new jerusalem, Particular Baptist, Reformed Baptist, saints, salvation, sermon, sinners, soul sleep, video | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Job on February 1, 2012
Posted in Jesus Christ | Tagged: assurance of salvation, Baptist, Calvinist, Christianity, endtimes, eschatology, eternal, eternal salvation, eternity, forever, once saved always saved, perseverance of the saints, preaching, reformed, salvation, sermon, video | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Job on February 1, 2012
Posted by Job on January 26, 2012
All right folks. I said that I was going to give this online discernment ministry thing up. The first reason was that there were too many false teachers and doctrines to keep track of. The second reason was that based on my interactions with those following these false preachers even after their unBiblical scandalous doctrines and behavior had been exposed that folks were going to believe what they choose to believe anyway. The third was that I had felt that I had adequately addressed the issue with the 3 years of blogging that I did dedicate to the topic. The fourth was that I felt that the best way to combat error was with the truth, so I decided to take this site in a more exegetical direction. And the last of those was also chosen for practical reasons: I no longer have the time to answer comments and interact with people that I did back when I made exposing false teachers so writing about scripture’s meaning and application seemed to be a superior use of time (and yes I do need to get back to writing about the Bible).
But the T.D. Jakes issue is timely right now due to Jakes’ recent appearance at a respected evangelical event of some estimation where he was “interviewed” by Mark Driscoll, where the topic of Jakes’ rejection of the Holy Trinity was discussed. Now I don’t mean to attack anybody, but one Christian blogger quickly proclaimed Jakes’s statement satisfies me that he is a Trinitarian and that we should celebrate that Jakes has joined the Trinitarian camp. (Which, er, makes all his time as a false preaching modalist heretic and the people that he deceived during that time “ok” I guess. The truth is that at best he was an unregenerate false teacher when he was in the pulpit before, and even if he believes in the Holy Trinity NOW and is born again NOW, he has no business in the pulpit. His previous experience and service is worthless, and he needs to take his place in the pews learning from an actual Christian pastor. Otherwise, we can go get Jewish rabbis, Catholic priests, Buddhist monks, Muslim imams, and liberal “Christians” who perform homosexual “marriage” ceremonies and put them into the pulpit immediately after they say a salvation prayer.)
Another Christian blogger made a similar – though more guarded – statement: “By far, the session that was most anticipated was the one in which T. D. Jakes was asked to clarify his position on the Trinity. Thankfully, he did so – though perhaps not in a way that would satisfy all of his critics. I believe we should celebrate his affirmation of the truth that there is one God in three Persons.”
The problem with doing so: Jakes own words on the Holy Trinity in the past and present. Now, here is a link to the transcript of the Elephant Room session, judge Jakes for yourself. But what follows is MY evaluation.
Part 1: I used to follow T.D. Jakes. Now … not so much. Without calling him a liar (while actually, you know, calling him a liar) allow me to propose that just because Jakes says something does not make it so. So … just because Jakes says that he believes “One God three Persons” DOES NOT MEAN that we should take it at face value. Jakes has been “less than forthcoming” on many issues in the past, so he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. Just because Jakes is in the pulpit and calls himself a Christian does not mean that we should believe what he says. So no, listening to what he says and being “satisfied” requires a presumption that he is telling the truth, a presumption that he does not merit. Does that sound harsh, the bitter words of someone who has “church hurt” as it is called? Well keep reading.
Now in one context I can be SYMPATHETIC to Jakes’ views because I don’t like the wording or terminology used by the Cappadocian fathers myself. But this unease with the Cappadocian formulation needs to be addressed by someone other than Jakes. Why? Because Jakes has been known to be less than honest with the truth, and not merely on this issue. Recall that when Jakes was first challenged on the Trinity doctrine by Christianity Today, he submitted a modalist doctrinal statement that he insisted be accepted as Trinitarian!
Do not take my word on this: another ministry came to the same conclusion, that Jakes was dishonestly trying to pass off modalist heresy for orthodoxy. When challenged on it, he dissembled, claiming that his views on the Trinity were adapting and growing, that he was studying and learning more about it, and how Christians need to stop all this infighting and arguing about such things as minor differences in phraseology and get to the weightier matters of the kingdom, and such excuses for retaining and defending heresy as “these things are too mysterious to be comprehended or explained.” Jakes even resorted to race-baiting, stating “Christians will never agree on every theological issue any more than the colors of our skin will all suddenly match.” So, if Jakes was a liar and a demagogue on this Trinity issue in the past,why should we presume that he is any different now? What has changed to make us presume that Jakes has changed? Especially since he is still preaching heresies in other areas, such as the prosperity doctrine and trying to pass off ecstatic babbling done by mystics in many false religions as “speaking in tongues”?
Part II: From the transcript, it really does appear as if Jakes is fine with “persons” in his Trinitarian statement so long as “persons” is synonymous with “manifestations.” Basically, he says, “well, so long as I can call a ‘person’ a ‘manifestation’ then I am Trinitarian.” He says “My doctrinal statement is no different from yours except the word” – and Driscoll finishes his thought – “manifestations.” What he says next is a amazing.
“Manifest instead of persons. Which you describe as modalist, but I describe it as Pauline. When I read…let me show you what I’m talking about…when I read I Timothy 3:16 – I didn’t create this, Paul did.” And then he goes onto the time-honored modalist lying techniques from the pit of hell: “I think it’s important that we realize that our God is beyond our intellect. And if you can define Him and completely describe Him and say you are the end-all definition of who God is, then He ceases to be God. Because the reason Paul says it is a mystery, is that we deify the fact that God does things that don’t fit our formulas. And because people’s formulas and understandings of a description of an unbiblical God did doesn’t make them demonic.”
Let us go to his abuse of I Timothy 3:16. Yes, the King James Version that many oneness pentecostal liars claim is the only translation – and I used to be KJV-Only myself, and still today am KJV-Preferred, but not because of the translation itself but the texts used to produce the translation, as I believe text criticism used to produce the new manuscripts is a false science – reads “manifest” as its rendering of the Greek word phaneroō. But other versions translate phaneroō to be “appeared” and “revealed!”
Another thing: phaneroō’s definitions: “to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way.” So, rather than being a “mode” or “state” or “relationship” after the doctrines of the oneness heretics (for example, as water has a liquid, solid and gas manifestation as water, ice and vapor) phaneroō’ in this context merely meant how God was shown to men! That is revelation, after the same manner that the Greek word apokalypsis was used in Revelation 1:1. Paul could have just as easily used apokalypsis instead of phaneroō!
Further, according to the definition, what can phaneroō “reveal” or “manifest”? A PERSON! It is right here in definition 1d in a common Bible lexicon placed online via BlueletterBible.com:
1) to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way
a) make actual and visible, realised
b) to make known by teaching
c) to become manifest, be made known
d) of a person
1) expose to view, make manifest, to show one’s self, appear
e) to become known, to be plainly recognised, thoroughly understood
1) who and what one is
Jakes is exposed as a liar by exegesis of the very text that he used to claim that he was telling the truth! In this Jakes fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 10:2, which reads “The wicked in [his] pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.”
Now the dictionary entry makes the Cappadocian utilization of “Person” more justifiable in my mind and it who knows, the Cappadocian fathers might have relied heavily on 1 Timothy 3:16 when they formulated their Trinity doctrine (which would make Jakes’ abuse of that text still more ironic) because that text refers to the revelation of the Person of Jesus Christ and not the mere exhibition of a mode of existence or relationship (and moreover this revelation refers to Christ’s existence being shown to the world; for phaneroō to have the meaning that Jakes claims that it does, THE TERM WOULD HAVE TO REFER TO HIS INCARNATION IN THE WOMB OF MARY, NOT HIS EXISTENCE AND WORKS BEING WITNESSED BY MEN, WHICH IS THE TRUE CONTEXT OF 1 Peter 3:16 AS WELL AS REVELATION 1:1, WHICH AGAIN IS WHY APOKALYPSIS COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN USED INSTEAD) but I confess to still uneasy with it. But the difference between me and Jakes is that JAKES IS LYING. That is the bottom line.
But you know what? This is not truly about Jakes anyway. The reason is that anyone who goes and clicks on the T.D. Jakes category on this blog will know why no legitimate Christian pastor should touch Jakes with a 10 foot pole, unless that pastor has been instructed by God to smite Jakes with it. Instead, it is about the people that are embracing him. It is one thing for the decadent TBN (who has their own tag) Pentecostal abomination to embrace Jakes, and please recall that it was TBN who made Jakes into an international figure. TBN is run by a man who paid off a TBN employee with whom he had a homosexual encounter with, and has since been sued by another man making the same charges. These charges and the many other scandals are commonly known by those who patronize that network anyway and … well now you see why I felt that there were better uses of my time than exposing people who have already been exposed because people simply do not care!
But now, TD Jakes is being embraced by the “more respectable” corners of evangelical Christianity as represented by (ironically named) The Gospel Coalition, which includes some of the most prominent pastors and theologians in evangelical Christianity today. Now of course, there was significant “debate” over inviting Jakes. The fears of those objecting were quite founded, as it resulted in Mark Driscoll, himself a very troubling personality, doing very much to rehabilitate Jakes, largely because of Driscoll’s own desire to push his false anti-cessationist doctrines into the Reformed/Calvinistic evangelical movement. Also, those who would have challenged Jakes rather than accommodate him were not allowed to participate. But the fact that there was even a debate at all shows how far gone the evangelical landscape is! Having Jakes in the Elephant Room should have been as much a nonstarter as having Richard Dawkins or Pope Benedict!
And that brings us to the real issue: further evidence that the evangelical church in America is veering off the rails. (It is such times that even people who MILDLY stand against Jakes and his lies are the ones to be mocked, opposed and condemned.) Is the great apostasy, the great falling away of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 upon us? This event is prophesied in scripture, and will come to pass. It is a very tragic development in and of itself, but 2 Thess 2:3 tells us that the great falling away is a precursor to – or more accurately a precondition for – the coming of the beast, the anti-Christ, the man of sin, which occurs during the great tribulation. It is my position that the church will experience this great tribulation, and not be raptured from or otherwise escape it, as many pastors and teachers propose. So as difficult as things are now for the church as evidenced by its willingness to not only suffer but endorse and promote such false teachers as Jakes, it is only paving the way for even tougher times to come. Christian, watch and discern the times. Pray. Be strengthened and encouraged in the Lord so that you will not be deceived, that you will resist temptation, and stay in the faith.
For those of you not in the faith, realize that the proliferation of false doctrines and those who gain wealth, fame and power by teaching them does not undermine Christianity, but rather is evidence that the Bible is true, for Jesus Christ Himself and His apostles predicted that such a time as this would come thousands of years ago; Christ referred to men such as Jakes as ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing. That many will follow such people is evidence that narrow is the gate that leads to salvation, and wide is that which leads to destruction!
Enter into the narrow gate. Be saved in the Name of Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ. Follow
Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ | Tagged: anti - Christ, apokalypsis, apostasy, beast, discernment, elephant room, endtimes, eschatology, evangelical, evangelicalism, faith, fulfilled prophecy, great apostasy, great falling away, heresy, holy trinity, homosexuality, man of sin, Mark Driscoll, modalism, oneness pentecostalism, online discernment ministries, online discernment ministry, phaneroō, prophecy, prosperity doctrine, Prosperity Gospel, sound doctrine, T.D. Jakes, TD Jakes, trinity | 4 Comments »
Posted by Job on April 13, 2011
For those not predisposed to Christian rap, perhaps this will be more to your liking :-)!
Posted by Job on April 1, 2011
On September 11th, Muslim men hi-jacked several airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and one of them crashed in rural Pennsylvania due to a passenger uprising that prevented it from hitting its target. This was only the second attack by Muslims on the World Trade Center, and followed a pattern of escalating violence by Muslims against our interests, such as bombing our embassies in Africa and an attack on the U.S.S. Cole.
Since these events, America has conducted military action against three Muslim nations – Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – while supporting military actions of other nations against some other Muslim nations, namely Ethiopia against Somalia. Further, America would have also attacked Iran by now were Iran not so strong militarily and economically, and may yet attack Iran also down the line if forced to.
So, we are in a war against Islam, correct? A thousand times no. No less than George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton and a number of other people in positions of power have made it clear: this is not a war against Islam! Instead, it is a war against terrorism, or a war on terror. In other words, this is not a religious war – for the United States and its principle allies are secular – but an ideological war. So, the United States, and indeed a international community which now must necessarily include the United Nations thanks to their recent resolution authorizing military force in Libya, is committed to waging ideological warfare.
Make no mistake: the problem with Saddam Hussein, Usama bin Laden, Muammar Qadaffi, the Republic of Iran etc. is not that they are Muslims. If you want further evidence of that, witness Peter King’s hearings. Despite the claims of the liberals in the media otherwise, the target was not Muslims as a religion, or as a people or culture who are given over to this barbaric cult born of a demon who abused and entered into M0hammed. (Please note: Christians are to love our neighbors and our enemies, so the teachings of the sermon on the mount of Jesus Christ most certainly applies to our interactions with Muslims.) Instead, it was “radical” Muslims, meaning those who are “anti-American”, or “anti-western” or “anti-democracy.” (Please note: opposing Israel is just fine.)
One may wonder why Great Britain, our most reliable ally in going to warfare in the Middle East, cares about a bunch of anti-American Muslims. Or why the United Nations, which is weakening Iran with sanctions, did the same to Iraq, and now authorized military action against Libya, cares about being “anti-western.” The answer: these things, especially being “anti-democracy”, are merely euphemisms, stand-ins, for opposing the new world order. That is why Abu Mazen, or Mahmoud Abbas, despite being a Muslim terrorist with the blood of innocent Jews on his hands and longtime member of the terrorist P.L.O., is not the target of a war on terror. This Abbas is the leader of a U.N. funded and supported Palestinian Authority, and oft states his desire to create a democracy in Palestine that will be pro-western and pro-United Nations, and a model for other Arab and Muslim regimes. That is why Abbas gets a blank check (both literally and figuratively) from the international community, and Qaddafi gets bombs. (And keep in mind: the international community, including the Bush administration, courted Qaddafi for years, including endorsing his plans to work to centralize the governments and militaries of Africa, before turning on him when he refused to step down in favor of a democratic government.)
So, if being a “terrorist” is not a function of A) your religion, B) your nationality, C) your culture, D) your own membership in a known terrorist organization that affiliates with other terror organizations and regimes and E) your own personal terrorist acts (again, all of which would indict Abbas) but is instead being one who opposes the prevailing worldly ideology, where does that leave Christians who adhere to a legitimate New Testament faith? Precisely.
Rather than going to war against Muslims, the goal is to get Muslims to join the U.N., to join NATO, to join the EU, to participate in these globalist concerns. Muslim Turkey, which persecutes Christians to the outrage of absolutely no one of influence, is very influential in the U.N., a member of NATO and will ultimately join the EU. Right now, a carrot or stick approach is being taken with the Muslim world. Join the emerging world order, and you get a carrot. Refuse, and you get a stick, and replaced with leaders who will take the carrot. Again, this is not a function of the Muslim faith, culture or proclivity to violent jihad. Instead, it is a function of the support for the coming global consensus.
As it is with Muslims, so will it soon be with Christians. Germany, who persecuted legitimate Christians during the reign of Hitler, is now jailing Christians who object to their wicked public education system. One family took their case to the EU on religious freedom grounds, and the EU sided with the German government. At least one African nation is now taking similar actions against Christian parents who homeschool, claiming that it violates the United Nation’s “rights of the child” treaty. Many other examples abound.
Make no mistake: one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. The day will come when being willing to publicly stand for the freedom from sin that comes from being a bondslave to Jesus Christ will cause you to be labeled a terrorist. This will not be merely because of the stands that Christianity takes against abortion, homosexuality and other moral/family issues. As the movie “The Time Changer” succinctly stated, Satan is not against good morals and values, but he is against Jesus Christ and His church, those who keep His commandments and bear His testimony.
Merely being a Christian will be a crime, whether you are a conservative culture warrior who pickets abortion clinics and hands out tracts at “gay pride” events, or a Christian who is relatively liberal on all points that do not transgress the Bible. And when that day comes, the terrorist will be the Christian, and the war will be against the Christian. These days will climax during the time of the great tribulation, when the anti-Christ will be given power to make war against the saints, and to overcome (most of) them. Many Christians will endure great tribulation, including a martyr’s death. Will you stand in those days?
So, Christian, knowing what the “war on terror” will ultimately lead to, how counterproductive is it, how worldly and revealing the lack of a mind renewed from it, would it be to support this abomination NOW? The answer is yours.
If you are not a Christian, make no mistake: being an enemy of the world and its wickedness is part of friendship with Jesus Christ. The good news is that this world and its wickedness will be destroyed and Jesus Christ and His saints will reign forever! You can be a part of this reign by repenting of your worldliness, your sins and:
Posted in abomination, anti - Christ, Bible, catholic, Christianity, church state, civil rights, endtimes, globalism, government, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Jesus Christ, Judaism, late great planet earth, Left Behind, man of sin, mark of the beast, Middle East peace process, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood | Tagged: eschatology, globalism, new world order, one world government, one world religion, prophecy, war on terror, war on terrorism | 1 Comment »
Posted by Job on February 25, 2011
At the time of this writing, for the past several weeks have seen “democracy protests” in the Middle East and in Arab and Muslim nations. They apparently began in Tunisia, have resulted in the demise of at least two governments (Tunisia and Egypt), seem to have Libya at the point of crisis, and show signs of spreading to other nations like Iran, Iraq and Jordan, and have seemed to inspire political demonstrations and rallies in many various places of the world. I haven’t had the spare time required to follow these events with any intensity and detail – whether over the Internet or on TV – as I most certainly would have in years past. Also, I haven’t attempted any detailed speculation to these events “from a Biblical perspective”, especially as it relates to prophecy and eschatology (such as the endtimes, Israel and the coming one world government and religion). So, other than a personal suspicion totally lacking in factual basis than the American intelligence community (CIA et. al.) has had a hand in coordinating and driving this, with regards to specifics I don’t have much to say.
However, in terms of the general issues that these protests raise, I can and will contribute a little bit, primarily about how so many people, including not a few Christians, are absolutely, totally convinced that these protests are a good idea, that the general wishes of the protesters should be respected, and that it has the potential to lead to good, positive changes in the Middle East. This honestly does seem to be the consensus opinion. Further, the primary basis for dissent from the main opinion – that these protests are good and positive – is that these developments are negative only because it may lead to violent anti-western groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian government to step into the leadership vacuum and assert themselves. Based on this, we can presume that even the dissenters would be supportive of this massive movement to overthrow civil governments if the new governments that resulted were more to their personal liking.
So, most people believe that these protests are a positive development, and most of the rest would also if they could be assured a “pro-western” ultimate outcome. And to me, that is absolutely incredible, and not in a good way. It is appalling, shocking, disturbing, frightening, and any number of “bad ings”. That most people apparently do not share this view – or if they share it, they do so for reasons of self interest – shows just how deep the 1960s protest ideology has embedded itself in our modern culture, so deep that it is no longer oft directly challenged even by Christians. And that is evidence of how our modern culture has so thoroughly embraced a humanistic mindset marked by a complete and total rejection of God and a Biblical worldview.
Let it be known that the Bible does not not endorse rebellion or anarchy. Quite the contrary, the Bible refers to those as evil and sinful, and judges the men and ideologies who promote them the same. And if rebellion, anarchy, lawlessness and violence isn’t what happened on the streets of Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and what have you, what is? Also, we are told what a “great thing” it is that this protest movement is being led by young people in their 20s and 30s, just as was our own 1960s counterculture. Are we not aware that the Bible says that the young should be instructed, trained and led by elders who are prudent and wise, and that societies where the prideful, vain and presumptuous youths cast off and usurp the place of the older, more tested leaders are those that are going to soon collapse? Didn’t we learn ANYTHING from the turmoil in the Old Testament, such as in the time of the Judges, or in Israel (the Northern Kingdom) when they rebelled against the Davidic monarchy in Judah?
And no, the fact that these people are rebelling against authoritarian regimes in favor of democracy does not make things any better. It must be clearly stated: the Bible at no point advocates democracy. Quite the contrary, when the Bible appears to deal with the general concept, it lends a negative judgment to it, as if it is the product of proud people who reject God’s governance in favor of self-rule. I am reading through the late Merrill Tenney’s “Interpreting Revelation” right now, and the author did note the tendency to desire to rule oneself apart from God’s guidance or law was evident in both Cain’s building a city and in the building of Babylon and the Tower of Babel.
Make no mistake: when the Bible calls civil government “the servant of God” in Romans 13 and instructs us to be render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to be subject to and pray for our leaders elsewhere in the New Testament, there was no “so long as the governments in question are democracies” caveat. Quite the contrary, the governments in view – and the only governments that the ancient world that produced the Bible were aware of – were regimes that by our modern western standards would be considered brutal, authoritarian, repressive etc. and begging to be overthrown and replaced with a modern, progressive one with a representative parliament, a constitution guaranteeing individual rights and separation of powers, and of course consenting to the ultimate overlordship of the United Nations.
And consider another angle: the Bible clearly speaks of and declares the absolute monarchy of Jesus Christ over the church (and ultimately creation) with pastors as His representatives and the Bible as His ruling document. What better method of subverting this model than promoting a mindset where individual human free will agency is the highest, most cherished prize, and that anything that would tend to limit this – such as a monarchy – is evil and oppressive? Far better to cast off ideas of “organized religion” in favor of self-styled “spirituality” where each person is his own ultimate authority (imagine no pastors, and no authoritative canon of scripture or interpretation thereof!). Or alternatively, ecclesiastical bodies with elected representatives can sit as judges. Women pastors? Won by majority vote! Homosexual church officers! The majority carries the day! Many paths to heaven? The majority sided with the newer, more inclusive hermeneutics. The inerrancy and authority of scripture? Sorry, that idea didn’t get to 50% among the delegates to the convention!
But let us go back to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and these other places where these brave young democrats are willing to die – and kill – for these new societies, where Twitter and Facebook are apparently changing the world (with the help of . First off, apply this to our own countries in the west … America, France, Canada, Germany, Great Britain etc. Imagine if all of a sudden our own young people took to the streets for a week, a month, a year, or five years and demanded that OUR governments be replaced. Imagine if it were our own high school and college students (helped by the government of Iran or Russia) creating some Facebook page about how we need to get rid of our oppressive, restrictive uncool governments in favor of something proposed by George Clooney and Lady Gaga. And imagine if the other governments of the world – and the United Nations – sided with these kids and told us that we should hand over our own perfectly legitimate and functional governments … or else. Sound like a good idea to you? Of course not. So what on earth makes it a good idea for Egypt or anyplace else? Either the people who are backing this actually WANT the mass confusion (which just may be the case) or we in these last days actually have gotten this far removed from concepts of right and wrong, order and disorder, propriety and impropriety, decency and vulgarity that we now believe that pressuring sovereign nations to hand over control of their governments to a bunch of violent seditious kids somehow represents progress.
And it wouldn’t shock me the least if there wasn’t at least one preacher or pastor out there who would call it just that. And I am not just talking about the liberation theology pastors who believe that overthrowing authoritarian regimes and powerful corporations in order to provide economic, political and social benefits to oppressed populations is the aim of the Bible. Instead, not a few conservative evangelical or fundamentalist Christian pastors would fully support what is happening in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Iran, Iraq etc. so long as the result is a pro-western democracy rather than a sharia law state that sponsors terrorism. That is because so many western Christians have wedded and melded representative democracy, capitalism, individual human rights, and other western ideas into their view of the Bible. Romans 13 and similar? Situational. Open to interpretation. Not the highest or final authority in every society in all times!
In order to try, challenge and prove this “democracy revolution”, we need to go to the streets – or the Twitter pages – and ask these bold revolutionaries what they want. Many will say “We want freedom.” I say “fine, but what is freedom? How will you exercise this freedom? What is it that you want the freedom to do? And the things that you have not been free to do before today, what effect does their absence really have on your life?” How many of these 28 year old men and women that have been willing to face down folks toting guns (or should I say, the legitimate representatives of their legitimate governments!) would be willing to give a satisfactory answer to these questions? I will tell you the answer to: none of them. Why? Because none exists. The reason is that outside of Jesus Christ, no freedom exists. Instead, all there exists is a soul’s bondage to sin, and the soul that sinneth shall die.
OK, so forget about freedom. What else do these MTV generation revolutionaries (assuming that anyone even watches MTV anymore, so I guess I should say “YouTube generation”, and that’s assuming that’s still popular either) care about? They’ll tell you that they want money. Class mobility. The ability to earn money, to earn even more money, to keep and invest it. OK, fine. How much money do you need? $1,000? If I give you $1,000, will you get out of the streets and stop doing your part to allow the United Nations to take over your country? Oh, you want more than that. You want $5,000 and a car. Or maybe $15,000 and a house. Maybe you want $50,000 and a college education. Or $1 million, a yacht, a summer home in Dubai, and VIP status in Las Vegas. Will that make you happy? Truthfully, of course not. Money doesn’t make people happy. You can find more miserable people in an expensive American gated community with million dollar homes than you can in some third world village where everyone is living in tiny mud huts. The reason is that true riches, true wealth, is only through identification with Jesus Christ. Everything else is something that rust can corrupt and thieves can steal. Or something that won’t make a bit of difference to you if you are lying on your deathbed with a few hours to live. I guess in such an instance, a few dollars for drugs to ease the pain in your last moments on earth would have some merit, but we all know that the folks on the streets working to overthrow their governments don’t have that on their minds. Instead, they are convinced that they are going to live forever – or at least a very long time – and want more money to do it with, thinking that it will make them happier with their lot if they do. The prosperity doctrine according to Middle Eastern street revolutionaries. Well, the true gospel of Jesus Christ says that godliness and contentment are great gain.
Or what about the principle of the matter? What about simply wanting a better, more honest, more open system of government? What about justice, fairness and truth? To the revolutionary allow me to ask you the same question that Pilate asked Jesus Christ: “What is truth?” What piece of knowledge or system of knowledge is there that will satisfy you? Will make you truly happy? Will answer all your questions? Will meet all your needs? The answer is simple: outside of Jesus Christ, there is none. All else is an inadequate partial truth at best, or a delusion and a lie.
It is inescapable, then, that this battle for democracy in the Middle East is the same as is all worldly battles: vanity. We know this from Solomon. Freedom? Solomon had it, for he was king. Truth? Solomon had it, for he was the wisest man that ever lived. Wealth? Solomon had it, for he was the richest man in the world. All of those things and more Solomon had, and they didn’t make him happy. Instead, Solomon found them to be vanity. Why? Because God’s Holy Spirit had departed from him because of his idolatry and apostasy. Despite having everything in his hands what these people in the Middle East are killing and dying for and more, Solomon was unhappy. As a result, everything that he had and possessed, everything that he even wanted and aspired to, was worthless. They were worthless precisely because of their very temporal and therefore attainable (at least for some) nature. By contrast, the things of Jesus Christ are the things that truly matter, and they last forever.
So, liberation theology and other religious movements that are primarily concerned with ideas and other things of this world, are vanity. The same can be said with any number of economic, social and political movements: vain, light limited and flawed things that will not last the test of time. Or, as it were, things that will no longer be when time is no more. And that is why despite living in an evil, authoritarian repressive pagan Roman Empire that was wicked to the core, Jesus Christ, Paul and Peter were still able to tell us to be subject to our government and leaders, and even to pray for them. The reason is that these governments only have rule over us for a time. We should be able to endure their inefficiencies, their imperfections, and even their outright wickedness because these things are only for a time. When that time – our time on earth – is at its end, they have no more rule or power over us. Instead, that is when we pass from the temporary, limited flawed rule of man to the permanent, unlimited and perfect rule of Jesus Christ. How is it that we can be counted worthy to enjoy the benefits of the latter if we so reject and despise the cost of the former, even if that cost is persecution unto death?
And this is not merely New Testament doctrine. Remember David as he was being persecuted by the wicked government of his day as embodied by King Saul and his soldiers as they hunted and sought to kill him, and later by Absalom and those loyal to him when they rebelled against David and tried to do the same. It was in the power of David to personally overthrow the wicked human government of Saul and institute a new government to his own liking by killing Saul and becoming king instead. But David refused to do such a thing, because David knew that by doing so, he was not actually rebelling against a wicked government, but against God. David knew that his own miserable circumstances did not justify taking matters into his own hands to correct them.
Instead, David was willing to let God deal with the problem in God’s time and in God’s manner. As David was a man after God’s own heart, should we not do the same in response to our own turmoils and crises? That is not a popular idea in an American society that glorifies our own Revolutionary War with its tea party and “no taxation without representation” and Declaration of Independence and George Washington, but that is just more evidence that human ideas, Cain and Babylon inventions, are always going to be more popular than what the Bible says. That is why our duty as Christians isn’t to do what is popular with the people as King Saul wanted to do, but instead to do what God commands us as King David did! We are to do what God commands as opposed to what feels good and seems right in our own eyes! What a radical concept!
And allow me to point out with regards to democracy, that Absalom nearly succeeded in deposing and murdering King David because he gained popularity with the people. And that Jeroboam was able to keep the Northern Kingdom of Israel from rejoining the house of David in Judah by appealing to the people. And that during the time of Israel’s apostasy there were a multitude of false prophets who were very popular with the people. And the children of Israel in the desert provoked God to wrath by receiving the wicked report of the ten spies that was popular with the people.
So after all, what is democracy but power to the people who want to seek their own way instead of God’s? Just as it was in the days of the Old Testament, it is so in the Middle East, that very same region of the world today. And just as King Rehoboam rejected the wise counsel of the elders in favor of the foolish counsel of the young when confronted with the first crisis in his kingdom, and had ten of the twelve tribes rebel against him as a result, the rulers of the world are siding with the foolish young leaders in the Middle East today. And how many Christian churches today are following the young because they are desperate to be hip and relevant? As it was then, it is today, and as they are, far too many of us are because we are worldly and carnal.
I cannot speak to the long term results of this Middle East turmoil. Its direct implications on issues like the church, Israel, the world governments and economy I do not know, and those are things that God knows and controls. For now, it is enough to say that the very fact that these demonstrations are being embraced, supported and promoted by so many people all over the world is a very troubling thing. It is evidence of how many rulers, leaders and people of this current world order have completely given themselves over to a strange, evil and wicked mindset that rejects order, decency and propriety in favor of presumptuous decadent confusion. I do not know what age or time this Middle East crisis is leading us into, but it is sufficient to say that the reaction to and support of the rebellious demonstrators in the streets over and against the legitimate rulers and governments of these nations is a judgment of the wickedness, depravity, hypocrisy and moral vacancy of our own times. And all such evil and wickedness is not just against man but also against God, and this is the same God that one day will judge all wickedness.
All one needs to do is read Revelation and realize that this judgment and punishment is a serious matter indeed. What a person must do is come out of this wickedness so that they will not be part of this judgment. When that time of judgment comes, do not be counted among the riotous, the seditious, the rebellious, and of the people who have vicarious pleasure in those who do such things. Instead, be counted among those who love the order and peace, which are those who love and trust Jesus Christ, who when He comes into His kingdom will not suffer any such rebellions but instead will rule the nations with the rod of iron. When Jesus Christ returns for His friends, even the last enemy of God’s system of order and stability, death, will be defeated and cast into the lake of fire. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Posted in Bible, Christianity | Tagged: anti - Christ, arab revolt, beast, democracy, demonstrations, demonstrators, ecclesiastes, egypt, endtimes, eschatology, humanism, Israel, liberation theology, libya, new world order, prophecy, protesters, protests, sanctions, sedition, tunisia, United Nations | 3 Comments »
Posted by Job on January 2, 2011
It is the Christmas – New Year season, which means time for certain Christian broadcasters to air their cache of rapture/endtimes movies. Though I turned away from advocating a belief in the rapture a few years ago, I have never declared the doctrine to be clearly false and stated that its supporters are knowingly adhering to a false doctrine. (Now I should point out that some doctrines by some rapture/premillennial dispensational advocates are abominable heresies, but it appears that few pastors who teach the rapture and even fewer Christians who believe in it consent to them, and many of them are not not aware that these strange, outlandish doctrines exist.)
However, for those who do believe in the rapture, consider the “Left Behind” movies (and similar ones that were made before and since, not to mention a large number of novels) that depict this mass panic that grips the world upon the disappearance of a significant percentage of the world’s population, and that this panic is exploited by the one world government and the anti-Christ. First off, the “global hysteria” doctrine appears nowhere in the Bible, but appears to be based entirely on assumptions. Of course, it is very logical, but God’s works – and not just miracles – often exist outside of the boundaries of human logic. Second, the idea that the global hysteria will cause the one world government, one world religion and the rise of the anti-Christ is problematic, because – according to a literal reading of Revelation that assumes a literal timeline (the preferred hermeneutic of rapture adherents) the beast does not truly take power until halfway through the seven years. This contradicts popular rapture movies, which show the beast taking over – and in many depictions taking over a pre-existing political/military/economic/religious apparatus – almost immediately after the rapture as a direct response to the global emotional trauma and economic, political, etc. upheaval that it causes.
However, Christians who adhere to this doctrine should consider the opposite perspective: after the rapture, will the world even know that you are gone? Will they miss you? Consider three angles to this question.
1. According to every single survey on religious attitudes and beliefs, the vast majority of Bible believing Christians, whether evangelical, fundamentalist or traditional, do not lead lives that distinguish them from non-Christian people. Every ounce of data exists shows that these Christians exhibit no outward evidence of their faith other than showing up to church on Sunday. Almost none of the fruit-bearing that the New Testament speaks of is present in the lives of such Christians, many of whom do not even so much as invite their neighbors or co-workers to church on Sunday or into their homes for Bible study. So, were the rapture to occur, what is it that would make people notice that it is a rapture of Christians, as opposed to just a bunch of random people going missing? More to the point, if you personally were to be raptured, would most/half/any of the people who know you consider that it might be because you are a Christian?
2. Related to 1, minority of Christians that adhere to the rapture belief only believe in a partial rapture, stating that not all born again believers who will eventually enter heaven will be raptured, but only those who are counted most faithful and fruitful. This view has its advantages, as it does deal with the various Bible references to believers who will be alive and suffer during the great tribulation. (The “complete rapture” believers who espouse such doctrines as the persecuted believers are those who will be converted after the rapture – such as by the 144,000 Jews – do so despite a ton of logical consistencies in this belief, such as the Bible evidence in places such as Romans 10 that it takes an believer’s preaching the gospel to convert an unbeliever, and also that conversion cannot take place without the Holy Spirit, which many/most “complete rapture” adherents believe will leave the earth with the church at the time of the rapture.) It also appears to be the view among the rapture adherents that makes the best use of scripture, including Jesus Christ’s promise to the church in Revelation 3:10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
But if this doctrine is true, then only a small percentage of the members of Christian churches and megachurches will be raptured. Instead of the practically empty churches that you see depicted in many of these rapture movies, instead, most or nearly all of these churches will be mostly filled with believers that are lukewarm (i.e. the Laodicea church) or possess varying degrees of the ills identified by Jesus Christ in the other 6 churches. If Revelation 2 and 3 are a guide and should be interpreted literally and mathematically, only 1 out of every 7 Christians will be raptured, and (again using the Laodicea example) virtually none of those will be in the churches that show outward signs of piety (i.e. large size, huge amenities, middle/upper class congregants taught by eloquent erudite pastors with huge support staffs, etc). Again, now this is not to say that these people won’t be saved and ultimately wind up in heaven, but rather that they won’t be raptured. And since the vast majority of people who regularly, faithfully attend Bible-believing churches and even perform good works won’t be raptured because Jesus Christ will “have something against thee” (His common rebuke to 5 of the 7 churches, to all but Philadelphia and Smyrna, and it is pointed out that Jesus Christ didn’t promise to keep Smyrna from great tribulation but rather to strengthen them as they endure it!), how will this be recognized as “a Christian rapture”? Especially since many of the left behind will in fact be Christians who adhere to the complete rapture doctrine, and may likely be ones who deny before the media and the world that a “Christian rapture” occurred because they will (truthfully I might add!) state that if there was a rapture of the entire church, they would have been included! Again, if it is only a partial, seemingly random number of Christians raptured, other explanations for their disappearance may abound, and the continuing presence of born-again Christians will be the main enabler of those alternate explanations.
3. This is somewhat related to the prior point. Consider the great falling away that the Bible states will happen before the return of Jesus Christ. If this is applied to the larger rapture doctrine framework, it fits the teachings of a lot of dispensationalists that the information to the seven churches in Revelation were of 7 church ages, which the last age being the Laodicea one. If the church falls into widespread apostasy similar to that of Old Testament Israel (which was a type that pointed to the church in many respects) just before the northern and southern kingdoms fell to Assyria and Babylon, then whether the issue is a full rapture or a partial one, there will be very few Christians to be taken up in the rapture indeed.
4. Consider that the Bible speaks of a strong delusion being sent by God in the endtimes that will cause people to believe a lie. If this can be interpreted with respect and applied to the rapture, it can either be in terms of 3.) the great apostasy resulting in a very tiny legitimate church when the rapture occurs or the fact that when the rapture occurs, people will delude themselves, lie to themselves about these missing persons in the first place. Many have interpreted this to believe that the strong delusion will cause people to deny the rapture and contrive other reasons for the disappearances (including alien abductions according to one such movie), but it is very plausible that the delusion will be of the nature that denying that the raptured souls ever existed in the first place, something that many in the mental health profession would describe as a trauma-induced dissociation as a coping mechanism.
Add it all up and Christians who believe in the rapture must challenge and question the idea popularized by so many rapture teachers that we are so precious, beloved and important to the world that our presence will cause a worldwide turmoil of the people of this world. Of course, it strokes our own egos and vanity to regard ourselves as being so important … how once we are gone, the world will literally go down the tubes because we will no longer be around to be police officers, bankers, teachers, spouses, parents, community leaders etc., and that people of the world will be so frightened, grief-stricken and left leaderless and impoverished by our loss that they will obviously turn to the anti-Christ and his system!
Wow. Think how that sounds. Think of how that sounds to Jesus Christ, the One who came not bragging about Himself, but who emptied Himself, made Himself of no reputation, humbly submitted Himself to the Will of the Father, and suffered the humiliation and torment of public rejection and public execution. When Jesus Christ died and returned to heaven, the world continued. But we are so important than when we depart this earth, the world spins out of control?
Also, it rejects a key thing about what Jesus Christ teaches about the church: we are not loved, cherished, exalted, embraced, even liked by the world. Instead, we are despised, hated and rejected by it. The world hates, persecutes and rejects us just as it does to our Head and Master, Jesus Christ. If we are Christ’s own body, how can the world love us while hating Christ? If the world hates Jesus Christ because His light exposes that the world’s deeds are wicked, then how on earth can the earth love our light?
Again, we are beloved, treasured and adored by God. We were important enough to God that He sent His only Son for us, and we were important enough to Jesus Christ that He obeyed and died for us. But the world views us as precisely the opposite. The world’s father is not God but Satan, the prince of the power of the air, the same who was a murderer from the beginning and the truth is not in him, the same dragon who persecutes and afflicts the church.
So have no prideful delusions of our own importance, or of anyone loving and treasuring us but God. If the rapture doctrine is true and the event does occur, when it happens, rather than being driven to anguish and grief over our no longer being present, the world will rejoice and say “Good riddance … now we can REALLY get on with what we need and want to do!”
Any false notions otherwise are the product not of honest Bible study and interpretation but of human pride. Well please recall that pride comes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. This includes the fall of Satan, and the fall of Adam as well. Do not walk in their ways, but instead in the ways of Jesus Christ, who humbled Himself, lowered Himself, gracefully accepted His hard task, and never at any point deluded Himself about how hated and despised He was, not only by His own people, but even by one of His very own twelve that betrayed Him!
As Jesus Christ is our Master, those who adhere to the rapture doctrine must take a step back from what is commonly being taught and instead seek interpretations and applications of this doctrine that is consistent with the teachings of our Master and honors our Master.
If Jesus Christ is not your Master, then Satan is your master. If that is the case, when judgment day arrives, you will receive from Jesus Christ, who is Lord, the same punishment that Satan receives, which is eternal destruction in a lake of fire with no hope whatsoever of reprieve. Please turn away from your sins and submit to Jesus Christ as your Master. Do not delay, but do it quickly, for why would you wish to delay such a blessed thing as entering into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? What is it that the world offers to make any delay worthwhile?
Posted in Bible, Christianity, evangelism, false doctrine, false teaching, Russia | Tagged: anti - Christ, beast, caught up, Dispensationalism, dissociation, endtimes, eschatology, Holy Spirit, Left Behind, new world order, one world government, one world religion, Premillennial Dispensationalism, prophecy, rapio, rapture, strong delusion, vanity, worldliness | 2 Comments »
Posted by Job on January 1, 2011
Posted in Bible, Christianity, evangelism, Jesus Christ | Tagged: audio, comfort, endtimes, eschatology, faith, hope, Iain Campbell, joy, peace, preaching, prophecy, salvation, sermon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Job on December 26, 2010
Upon leaving the dispensationalism that I was reared in, the question of precisely what position that I as a Christian should take towards the Jewish people and the Jewish state vexed me. Should I take the hostile position towards both that has been exhibited by many Christians throughout history, a position that cannot be reconciled with either the New Testament text or the wise words of Augustine? Should I continue the dispensational practice of preferring Judaism and Israel over other false religions and nation-states established around them? (What, for instance, justifies the Christian’s being any more supportive of Jews and Israel than of Muslims and Saudi Arabia or Hindus and India?) I resolved this theological, intellectual and emotional internal conflict by choosing the path of Sweden, which is neutrality. I attempted to wash my hands of all things concerning Israel and Jewry and began to try to concern myself only with Christians as part of an attempt to remain more faithful to the Bible.
That is, until, I recently encountered a snippet of knowledge, the source of which I have since forgotten. It appears that in some setting at some time, some Christian was challenged to justify his faith in God by providing evidence or proof. This fellow responded to the effect that the best physical, tangible evidence of the existence of God and the truth of the Bible was the continued existence of the Jewish people. And it should be mentioned that the person who provided this bit of wisdom was no premillennial dispensationalist.
And the wisdom of this cannot be denied. Of all the people groups that have existed and passed into history, of all the languages, cultures, religions and traditions, what accounts for the dogged perseverance of the Jews? And has there been a more uniquely persecuted, hated, marginalized, discriminated against, and despised group of people throughout recorded history than the Jews? The attempts by the ungodly to destroy the Jews date back to the stated desire of Esau to murder Jacob and climaxed with Hitler’s final solution, which nearly succeeded because no one, no nation stood up in their defense. And yet the Jews still exist while people groups have perished. Indeed, they have existed despite not controlling a sovereign homeland since 586 B.C. Why? It is not because of their strength, nor because it is of their great numbers. The only logical, rational, reasonable answer to the conundrum that is the continued existence of the Jewish people is that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob still lives, and is still protecting them.
But why is this? The mission of Israel has been completed. Though national Israel failed to accomplish the task, the Son of Israel, God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, did so, and the result of Jesus Christ’s fulfilling the law of Moses and dying on the cross for our sins is the church, composed of both Jew and Gentile. The law was a schoolmaster to point us to Jesus Christ, who has come from the Father, walked this earth in perfect obedience to the Father, returned to the Father, and now is in His high priestly role as intercessor between God and man, awaiting His second coming. So then, why is the continued existence of the Jewish people necessary?
The answer is found in Romans 11:25-27, which reads “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
We cannot be naive as touching this prophecy. Satan and the other enemies of God know this prophecy. They do not want this prophecy to be fulfilled. So, the enemies of God have been hard at work trying to prevent it from being fulfilled by attempting to destroy the ones who will be heirs to this prophesy and its promise from the face of the earth. Their attempts can be described by Psalm 2:1-3 “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”
And who can deny that these attempts are ongoing? The attacks against Israel and the Jews are increasing in their vehemence and frequency. And what is being done about it? Nothing. Now, I have toned down my “new world order” talk in recent months, but who can deny that this “new world order” of secularists, socialists, nationalists, Muslims and Catholics is very bad for both Jews and Bible-believing Christians? Look at what is going on in the world … Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, the European Union, and even a coalition of Latin American countries led by Venezuela constantly saber-rattles against Israel. Most other nations, including the United States, China and Russia, are openly collaborating with Iran and Israel’s other enemies. The same is true of the United Nations and the other leading NGOs. Now I do not subscribe to “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” thinking, but simply looking at the geopolitical currents is enough to challenge the “neutral towards Israel and the Jews” thinking. We cannot deny that these evil people and groups are bent on destroying Jews from the face of the earth as an act of defiance and rebellion against God and His Word.
So what, then, are Christians to do? There are a lot of things that are currently being done, and many of them I used to support. However, beware: so many of them rely on human methods – the arm of the flesh – in support of a religion and a nation state that honestly does explicitly reject Jesus Christ. We cannot and should not use those methods. Similarly, we are also not to succumb to the temptation of becoming anti-Israel or anti-Jew, nor can we fall into the trap of apathy, or as I called it for myself , “neutrality”, as the Bible commands us to study the scriptures and discern the times.
What is the answer, the solution, then? Prayer. We must pray that the prophesy of Romans 11:25-27 come to pass, that all Israel be saved! After the manner of the prayer that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gave to us, we must pray that this thing be done on earth just as it is God’s Will in heaven. This is something that all Bible-believing Christians regardless of background, political beliefs or theological/eschatological system must do: pray for the salvation of the Jews. That is the answer – the only answer – that resolves all the issues involved.
Yes, we are to bring the gospel to all nations as commanded to the Great Commission, and yes, God has no respect of persons. Yes, Galatians 3:28 and Colossians 3:11 are still true … in Christ there is neither Jew or Gentile, male or female, free or slave, rich or poor etc. However, we cannot be ignorant of the fact that Romans 11:25-27 (and the entire context of Romans 11 for that matter, which begins with “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.”) is not universal in scope but instead applies only to Jews. So, it is for the salvation of the Jewish people that we must pray. And yes, this does mean we must pray that the Jewish people continue to exist and have God’s protection during the times of the Gentiles, so that at the consummation of the times of the Gentiles, this prophecy will be completed. This thing is God’s will, as Bible-believing obedient and submissive Christians it should be our wills as well, and God’s will shall be done to the glory of God alone. So, then, in this fact, let all of God’s people, Jew and Gentile alike, rejoice!
And whether you are Jew or Gentile, if you are not one of God’s people, I urge that you become one today. Turn away from your sins, flee the judgment of death and destruction that God will inflict on His enemies, and
Posted by Job on March 29, 2010
First, allow me to say that nothing in the Bible justifies having a “Christian” militia. Quite the contrary, when Peter assaulted the Jewish temple guardsman who came to arrest Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ rebuked Peter, healed the man whose ear Peter cut off, and told Peter “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” The early church faced severe persecution, with the Roman Empire killing millions of Christians over 300 years, yet never at any time was there an armed resistance against the persecution. Those people took the words of Jesus Christ literally when He said that those who would be persecuted for His sake would be considered blessed, and followed the example of Peter and John who considered it a blessing and honor to be counted worthy to suffer mistreatment for Jesus Christ’s Name.
And it goes without saying that threatening violence against a Muslim or anyone else is – as this Hutaree “Christian” militia allegedly did – clearly incontrovertibly a sin. People like this have to realize that Jesus Christ began His ministry during the time of armed uprisings by Jews against a very evil, tyrannical Roman government. (However, it should be noted that had the Jews not taken up arms against the Romans, the Romans would have generally left them alone.) The Jews were looking for a political messiah to defeat the Romans and re-establish a sovereign, Davidic kingdom. Many false messiahs promising just that came, and many followed Jesus Christ hoping that He was a messiah of that sort. They even mistook the miracles that Jesus Christ performed as evidence that He would use power from God to defeat the Romans.
However, when Jesus Christ made it known that His mission was not to establish an earthly kingdom, many lost interest and followed others, the ones who Jesus Christ referred to as “thieves and robbers”, which in the vernacular of the day referred to the seditious false messiahs leading rebellions. Jesus Christ repeatedly and consistently told His followers that it was wrong to rebel against Rome (especially violently) and that was what the significance of issues like paying taxes to Rome were all about. Later, Paul wrote Romans 13 about submitting to Rome as opposed to rebelling against them, and Peter wrote that Christians should pray for their leaders rather than rebel against them. And in the Olivet discourse, Jesus Christ told His followers not to defend Jerusalem from the attacking Romans, but instead to flee.
Needless to say, Jesus Christ’s words were rejected. He who came in the Name of God they did not follow, but those who came in their own name, including the false messiahs, they followed. This pattern of rejection of the true Messiah and His spiritual message and their embrace of false messiahs who offered a message of this world (i.e. political liberation, which included many economic benefits as well) was best symbolized when the Jews demanded that Pontius Pilate release the seditious murderer Barabbas – one of those involved in the violent liberation movements – in the place of Jesus Christ. By continuing to reject Jesus Christ and follow such people in their violent uprisings against Rome (they failed to listen to not only Jesus Christ but to even secular and Jewish leaders like Josephus and Yochanan ben Zakkai), the Jews brought the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD upon their nation, which resulted in the death of over 1 million Jews and the destruction of the temple (which fulfilled the near term “this generation” prophecies of the Olivet discourse). And in 132 AD, still following false messiahs like Simeon bar Kochba who promised that God would use them to defeat the Roman Empire, the Jewish liberation movement suffered their final defeat by the Romans, who burned what was left of Jerusalem to the ground, renamed it, and made it a capital crime for any Jew to re-enter the city. So, no Jewish liberation projects would exist for over 1700 years until 1897 when Theodor Herzl formally created the Zionist movement (although pre-Zionist movements had existed since at least the French Revolution).
So, by forming “militias” and certainly by threatening Muslims, these people do nothing but reject anything resembling the true literally interpreted teachings of the New Testament. By doing so, they reject Jesus Christ for Barabbas, and for that matter Jesus Christ for the Jews who delivered Christ to the Romans to be killed, and had Barabbas released in His stead. So let it be clear … the teachings of the New Testament and the unfolding of history (not only Jewish history, but the violent, failed “revolutions” of certain Anabaptist and Donatist Christian groups, as well as the violent death of the very vicious Ulrich Zwingli) supports nothing of the kind.
Still, we must wonder why it took mere threats against Muslims to bring the FBI down against these people. Unless, of course, they had evidence that these groups were going to act on their threats. So far, the FBI has everything sealed. Right now, a lot of LEGITIMATE Christians and a lot of conservatives are wondering about the double standards … why were these “Christians” arrested when other groups – including Muslims – who make similar threats all the time go free? I do not deny that there is not some element of this going on, or that the Obama administration does not have a propaganda motive to do this shortly after the passage of health care legislation and during the rise of the Tea Party movement and things of that nature. So, this is as good a time to go after conservative anti-government groups as any, and this provides fodder for anti-Christians who have long wanted the government to start ramping up their activities against Christians, starting with illegitimate Christian movements but only until going after their real targets – legitimate Christians – can be justified.
However, we must have the ability to acknowledge that in general, if armed groups make threats, the government shouldn’t just sit around and wait for them to act on their threats. (For instance, “making terroristic threats” is indeed a crime.) So, the issue should be whether the threats against Muslims made by these groups were legitimate. If the government doesn’t reveal the nature of these threats the way that they did with the many Muslim terror suspects that they have arrested, then that is indeed a cause for concern. Especially since “making terroristic threats” is a common offense, so common that a lot of people don’t even know that it is illegal.
Now as a Christian, my position is always going to be not to make terroristic threats. It is not only a sin in and of itself, and it is also against a legal code that does not cause Christians to violate scripture, which makes it also a sin by violating Romans 13. However, Paul according to the Acts narrative asserted not only his Christianity, but also asserted his Roman citizenship when it was in the interests of the gospel of Jesus Christ to do so. Now again, though this Hutaree group is not a legitimate Christian outfit, as a law abiding citizen of this country I am curious as to precisely what it was that made the FBI go after this group of people making terroristic threats while ignoring the many others. We do have a right to know precisely such a thing, and it is in our interests to pursue these rights to their fullest extent. The reason is that Jesus Christ commanded us to discern the times, and if these charges against the non-Christian Hutaree militia are spurious or are evidence of clear double standards, legitimate Christians can use it to take note of the times that we are entering.
P.S. I purposefully resisted making an issue of the Hutaree militia’s premillennial dispensational beliefs. The reason is that I am 100% certain that there are very many legitimate Christians who are dispensationalists. The Hutaree group is not a legitimate Christian group. So, associating legitimate Christian dispensationalists with people like the Hutaree militia that have rejected the true teachings of Jesus Christ while adopting some themes or ideas … how is that different from associating Christians with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or, say, Muslims who affirm the virgin birth? Now though I am no longer a dispensationalist, I am not going to use this as an excuse to go after Christians who are.
Now so-called Christians who use their dispensationalist beliefs in a manner like John Hagee (who demanded that George W. Bush attack Iran to “defend Israel”, and gave one of his many failed prophecies that the attack would happen before the end of Bush’s presidency with the rapture to occur soon after) and to whip up a fearful frenzy and hatred against Muslims that may lead to threats and violence … THOSE associations (between one false Christian who rejects the Bible but finds dispensationalism useful like Hagee and another) I can countenance, though I will not pursue them myself at this time. The issue is not differing views on eschatology, but those who accept the teachings of the New Testament versus those who reject it. Using premillennial dispensationalism to have your feet in both camps (meaning the church and the world) is what leads to stuff like this. However, this is by no means limited to premillennial dispensationalism. After all, Ulrich Zwingli, who massacred members of his own Bible study because they refused to join his church-state, was an amillennialist.
Update: Confederate Yankee says that the FBI claims that the militia was plotting to kill police officers. That angle is repeated here. Confederate Yankee is skeptical, but his reasoning for being skeptical – that police officers represent the local and not federal government – is wanting.
Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ | Tagged: barabbas, Christian militia, discernment, Dispensationalism, endtimes, eschatology, failed messiah, false messiah, FBI, Hutaree, hutaree christian militia, hutaree militia, Islam, John Hagee, Muslim, New Testament, Obama, Premillennial Dispensationalism, prophecy, rapture, Roman empire, Romans 13, simeon bar kochba, tea party | 42 Comments »
Posted by Job on October 15, 2009
And in the modern world, with the strange and inexplicable discoveries of quantum physics, scientific treatises on the nature of reality sound remarkably like ancient mystical writings. The more we learn about the shocking contradictions and improbable mechanics of the subatomic world, the more it appears that the universe is less like Isaac Newton’s giant clock and more like one giant dream, imagined from within an implicate order that transcends human reason. Such a vision would be familiar to the Sufis of Islam, along with their counterparts among Buddhist masters, Kabbalists and Christian mystics like Meister Eckhart.
So, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and “Christian” mystics all agree on this stuff. Fascinating. In addition, the “dreamtime” religious myths of Australian aborigines can be compared to this also. (Incidentally, Kabbalist means Jewish, as Kabbalism is part and parcel to the accepted Jewish religion. Kabbalism is in no way pseudo-Jewish cultism. Instead, esoteric knowledge and magic are all over Judaism, and is the acknowledged but seldom spoken of underpinnings of the Talmud and other rabbinic Jewish books. Kabbalah, which at best is a syncretism between some elements of the Hebrew religion and the Babylonian pagan mystery religions and is more likely the Babylonian mystery religion in Jewish guise, can be considered “higher Judaism.” Jews are encouraged to master the Talmud and the other books first, and the brightest and most devoted then go on to study Kabbalah. From a Jewish website: Kabbalah is also part of the Oral law. It is the traditional mystical understanding of the Torah. Kabbalah stresses the reasons and understanding of the commandments, and the cause of events described in the Torah. Kabbalah includes the understanding of the spiritual spheres in creation, and the rules and ways by which G-d administers the existence of the universe. More information that “Christian Zionist” preachers and leaders never tell the laymen, though they certainly know about it. So, we should not be surprised that Kabbalists and Muslims agree on this topic, because it is “knowledge” that not only spiritually but also quite literally has the same origin.)
This also seems to correlate to the religious worldview pushed by people such as Dan Brown and George Lucas (theosophy and New Age sorts), where knowledge (or more accurately consciousness), matter and energy themselves are worshiped as god. Reminds me of a couple of articles I read (see below). One world religion anybody? The interesting thing is that this religio-scientific worldview very much accommodates evolution, the big bang theory and similar. As a matter of fact, the article points out that believers in this worldview include Francis Collins, the current director of the National Institutes of Health (Barack Hussein Obama appointee). Despite his belief in and advocacy for evolution, Collins is considered to be an evangelical Christian (and is indeed embraced as one by evangelicals desperate to see one of their own ranks represented in mainstream culture, especially in the elite academic, scientific and government arenas, and Collins represents all three), and is working to get evangelical Christians to abandon their opposition to evolution. I should point out that in this Francis is far from alone, as not a few Anglican evangelical theologians, including Alister McGrath, have been trying to get evangelicals to submit to evolution for decades. And incidentally, you should know that the Roman Catholic Church, with its long history of mysticism, is slowly accommodating evolution as well. Again, one world religion maybe, perhaps?
Posted in Christianity | Tagged: aborigines, Alister McGrath, big bang theory, catholic, Dan Brown, dreamtime, endtimes, entertainment, eschatology, Francis Collins, George Lucas, hollywood, indiana jones, Islam, Judaism, kabbalah, mass media, media conspiracy, Muslim, mysticism, natural theology, New Age, occult, one world religion, physics, popular media, prophecy, religion, Roman Catholicism, science, star wars, Stephen Spielberg, theosophy | 8 Comments »