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Image In 1 Thessalonians 4:18 it is written that the body of Christ is to “comfort one another” in their shared hope that their Lord Jesus Christ is returning to gather them together with their deceased friends and relatives in Christ.

When professing believers converse about the second coming of Christ, however, all too often their words tend to be prideful, divisive and hurtful rather than humble, uniting and encouraging. It’s a sad reality that many seem to be ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of this truth. I believe some sincere pastors avoid the topic rather than deal with the potential fallout in their local body which might result from dealing with it.

Sound doctrine on the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ can be developed through simple word searching and scripture cross referencing. Truth hungry, believing and teachable hearts can understand the coming of the Lord without any bible college or seminary training. If you have had trouble trying to figure out what to believe about the coming of the Lord, simply follow the narrow road of scripture below. This teaching isn’t opinion, it’s written as “thus saith the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 records some very clear and simple truths concerning the next descent of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth.

This scripture was first written to converted Gentile and Jewish believers in Thessalonica, Greece. These believers were addressed as if they could be on earth when their Lord returns. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

The fact that both Jewish and Gentile believers will be on earth when Jesus returns is pictured in Revelation 7:9. Here we see an innumerable number of all racial nationalities worshipping God together after the Lord has returned to “wipe away all tears from their eyes” from the suffering saints who were waiting for him. (Revelation 21:1-7; Isaiah 25:8-9)

I Corinthians 15:51 also tells us that there will be some believers alive when the Lord comes. Both dead and living believers can hope with confidence that their faithful Lord will in that day gather them together to be with their Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14,18)

The descent of the Lord to earth and the gathering together of his children with him (2 Thessalonians 2:1) is outlined step by step in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

His descent to earth or coming isn’t imminent. In other words, the coming isn’t ready to happen yet. It is written that a falling away or defection from truth has to occur beforehand. During this time that Wicked Antichrist, the man of sin, the son of perdition will reveal himself and make war against the converted Jewish and Gentile believers referred to as “the saints” throughout New Testament scripture. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; Revelation 13:7)

The gloriously bright manifestation and spoken word of Christ at his coming will destroy that Wicked Antichrist. (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

The following broad sequence of events listed below will occur in the coming of the Lord.

In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

The dead in Christ (all previously deceased believers from every race and nationality) shall rise first. (1 Thessalonians 14:16)

Then we (live believers of every race and nationality) which are alive and remain (on earth) shall be caught up together with them (the prior deceased believers) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

This entire sequence of events was previously outlined by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:27-31 in response to the question recorded in Matthew 24:3: “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?” Mark 13:26-27 also touches on these same things.

1 Corinthians 15:52 calls “the trump” referred to in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “the last trump”. Jesus Christ refers to the great sound of this trumpet in Matthew 24:31 as the great sound signaling the gathering of his elect children together with him.

Michael is the archangel or chief angel. (Jude 1:9) He blows the great trumpet. (Daniel 12:1) Two resurrections follow at different times after this great trumpet sounds.

The first resurrection is the resurrection of the just to life. (Revelation 20:4-6; Luke 14:14; Daniel 12:1-3; John 5:25-29) “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6)

Those that had received the mark of the beast are not resurrected at this time. Scripture gives no indication that receiving the mark of the beast is a pardonable sin like teachers John MacArthur, Tim LaHaye, Jimmy De Young, Brannon House, Chris Pinto and others falsely teach.

http://www.gty.org/Blog/B131030

It is written that receiving the mark of the beast is an act of blasphemous worship of the beast state and its identifying mark or image.

Globalization 4.0: The Mark of Revelation 13:16-18

It is written that being of the number 666 is unpardonable blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and is absolutely not a pardonable sin. (Revelation 13-14:11; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:4-10)

Those who were deceived to mark themselves are resurrected after the 1000 years at the resurrection of the unjust to damnation. (Acts 24:15; John 5:29; Revelation 14:9-11; Revelation 20:7-15)

Rather than avoiding the doctrine of the coming of Christ because it might divide our local church, let’s simply receive the clear teaching based upon 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Let’s use this teaching to “comfort one another” in the hope that the Lord Jesus Christ will return to gather us, whether we be alive or dead in Christ when he returns, together with him and our deceased friends and relatives in him.

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Introduction

The intent of this message is to present the mind of Christ, as revealed to us in the scriptures, with regard to politics, business, and theology in order to help unite the body of Christ.  

This summer I’ve seen that the Lord Jesus Christ and professing believers can be 180 degrees apart in their thinking with regards to issues surrounding politics, business and theology.

Religion and Theology

Beginning with the subject of religion; author Frank Schaeffer,  son of the late pastor-theologian-evangelical teacher-author Francis Schaeffer, expresses distaste for those of us who believe that the Old and New Testament scriptures are given by inspiration of God.

In his November 16, 2012 article entitled,  “If Jesus Hates Anything Maybe It’s Theology.” Schaeffer has exchanged the awesome certainty of experiencing fellowship with God through repentant faith in scripture, prayer, and Holy Spirit controlled relationships for feeling human love through participation in the uncertain religious mystery of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Schaeffer feels that “Orthodox liturgy is aesthetically pleasing: no guitars or historic preaching, lots of candles to light, incense to smell, things to kiss, stuff to march around with in processions,  and no one cares if you arrive late.” He says he “encounters the part of his brain that feels like its encountering God.” He expresses the misled belief that humanity is not separated from Holy God due to an inherit sinful nature stating “who you are, not what you believe is what’s important. In that sense you could be a “good Orthodox” and also an atheist– at least some of the time because doubt is not looked down on.” It’s also worth noting that this statement indicates that he believes that the visible actions of an organized religious group trump faith in the teachings of scripture; that church practices are more authoritative than the biblical truth of God’s Word.

Schaeffer’s heretically mocks bible study and authoritative biblical teaching stating that the Bible “has flaws and is just plain crazy in places so they spend lifetimes working to make “sense” of something nonsensical, mean and stupid.”  Rightfully disturbed by extreme Calvinism which twists the loving nature of God;  rather than balancing the reality of God’s sovereignty with biblical truth, he mocks the sovereign and omniscient power of God and divine ability to directly influence human choice. He attributes key life decisions to “genetics, psychology and brain chemistry and where I happen to live and in what time”. He scoffs at the importance of believing the right things about the nature and character of God as revealed to us in scripture. He forgets that true faith in God and his word expresses itself in charity toward others. (I Corinthians 13; James 2; 1 John 5) Furthermore, he dismisses the ability of the Holy Spirit of God to make fellowship with God and others an experiential reality for us as we live in repentant obedience to the God’s commandments and principles as taught in scripture. (1 John 1:5-10) He even claims Jesus was a backsliding Jew who repudiated and rejected the law while attacking the Bible of his day. The truth is that Jesus fulfilled the law; kept the commandments,  and said:

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-20)

The reasons for Schaeffer’s rejection of the Bible as truth are a reminder to us that the correct interpretation and application of biblical truth is an eternal issue. Here is a man who has rejected the true biblical Jesus and created another false Christ in his mind. His rejection of biblical truth seems to be an immature over reaction to poor handling of the word of truth by the body of Christ. How many people like Frank have turned away or are in the process of turning away from the truth because the body of Christ has minimized the importance of properly interpreting the intended meaning of scripture? Yes, we all “see through a glass darkly”. We are incapable of understanding all mysteries, however, spiritually blind teachers need to “anoint their eyes with eye-salve, that they may see” the true character and values of God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Revelation 3:18)

Based upon his own statements it’s absolutely clear that Frank Schaeffer doesn’t fit the biblical definition of a child of God.  His actions may reflect the character of Jesus in some ways, however, he speaks as if he has no love, or use, for those of us who love the word of God.

Frank Schaeffer is teaching dangerous heresy; acting as an enemy of the body of Christ while professing to be our friend. He must be shunned as a heretic. (Titus 1:10-14; Titus 3:10-11; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 6:3-5)

What does the Lord think about theology; does Jesus hate it more than anything as Frank Shaeffer says?

Webster defines theology as follows:

 “Divinity; the science of God and divine things; or the science which teaches the existence, character and attributes of God, his laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice.

Theology consists of two branches, natural and revealed. Natural theology is the knowledge we have of God from his works, by the light of nature and reason. Revealed theology is that which is to be learned only from revelation.

Moral theology, teaches us the divine laws relating to our manners and actions, that is, our moral duties. theology, teaches or explains the doctrines of religion, as objects of faith.

Scholastic theology, is that which proceeds by reasoning, or which derives the knowledge of several divine things from certain established principles of faith.”

From these definitions it seems that Jesus Christ would appreciate his children devoting mental energy to loving him with all of their mind; learning more about his divine nature and using their God given intellect to muse about their Heavenly Father; His nature, character, life, values, work, and more. We are to  love the Lord thy God with all our mind; let the word of Christ dwell in us richly; study to show ourselves approved unto God, workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth; and be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Matthew 22:37; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 12:2) King David said “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”  (Psalm 1:1-2)  This is how we progressively become more Christ-like; not through mysterious feel good sacraments which hide our dark side. There is a little bit of Judas in us all; however, through sometimes emotionally painful personal interaction with the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit of God heard in divinely inspired scripture,  and remorseful repentance over our sinful nature, we can be forgiven and receive unmerited favor to overcome our ugly, sinful, un-Christ-likeness. 

Politics and Business

Concerning politics and business, many professing believers unknowingly believe in a shrunken God. All members of the body of Christ should be growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. However, there are those among us that should be teachers of truth that are bowing to a God whose values are foreign to the Holy God of the Bible.

Although most would agree that the God of the Bible is holy, all knowing and everywhere present, many professing Christians separate business practices and socio-political beliefs from the commands and principles of scripture. This shouldn’t be; God is everywhere at every moment. He expects his children to obey him without moral compromise in business and politics.

The lopsided American 501-c3 government incorporated religious organization/church emphasizes “preaching the gospel” to the exclusion of “teaching all nations” and the greatest of all virtues, charity. Due to IRS rules regarding the exercise of gifts to needy individuals, 501-c3 church leadership has subtly reduced the meaning of the most important way in which people show themselves to be followers of Christ to polished politeness and a selfish “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” mentality. Have we forgotten the truth of Proverbs 24:7 that ” iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”? Have we forgotten the benefits of brotherly reproof and instruction? The heated friction that will occur between spiritual brothers and sisters as the iron hard truth and spiritual wisdom of one rubs against the earthly wisdom of another is necessary and normal. A satanically deceived  Peter overcame and grew more like Jesus because he listened to the blunt reproofs from Jesus like ” … Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:23)

Webster defined charity as love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother and candor; liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to think and judge favorably, and to put the best construction on words and actions which the case will admit. The 501-c3 church will teach this; probably because 501-c3 church leaders know that positive interpersonal relationships among church members and their families helps attendance and financial giving. Most of these guys are ultimately about their bottom line cash flow; so much so that they are even willing to hide from and or suppress the truth in various areas if they fear knowing and or teaching the whole truth  might jeopardize the special IRS tax exemptions they receive that their members don’t.

The whole truth, however,  is that charity; in a theological sense,  includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men. In a socio-political sense it includes liberality to the poor  to relieve them in distress; liberality in gifts and services to promote public objects of utility-educating like poor children, support of life saving, truthful,  independent media sources of all types and charitable government representatives.

The Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t have a separate set of commandments and moral principles for home, church, work and politics. God is holy! He is a God of justice and judgment. His people are to be people that help execute justice and justice as Abraham and David did and the returning King of Kings Jesus Christ will do. (Genesis 18:19; 2 Samuel 8:15; 1 Chronicles 8:14; Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 21:3; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 56:1; Ezekiel 45:9; Jeremiah 23:5; Isaiah 58-59)

Instead of letting the mind of Christ be in us and control our beliefs and opinions, we are trusting in our own understanding and or ignorantly burying our heads like a horse would in a bale of hay; enjoying the fine fruits of Babylon with those we love while reneging on our responsibility to be salt and light in this evil world. At best we are confining religion to the excellent things of Bible reading, prayer and sexually pure and nice relationships with family and friends. We need to understand that it is a false Christ who doesn’t mix his Christianity with business or politics. The living Christ brings moral light and truth to every corner of society because his eyes are open with a heated love for those he has created and suffered to death to redeem.

It might shock us to know that politics isn’t inherently evil. Webster defines politics as follows:

“the science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation or state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals. Politics, as a science or an art, is a subject of vast extent and importance.” 

Politics should be biblical morality, Christ-like ethics, and true religion lived out in the workaday. This obviously isn’t the case, however;  the hypocrites, puppets, liars, whores, thieves and traitors typically representing us in government who are failing to model biblical morality in their decisions are simply living out the lust and evil within their hearts. They are only revealing what they really are in light of God’s truth. Their political performance can be measured against the benchmark of true biblical morality. Their decisions and actions will one day be evaluated by a holy God in accordance with the commands and principles of his Word.

At root, political decisions are moral decisions.  Moral decisions are based upon moral law. Moral law is given by God. God is the judge. We are the judged.  We are responsible for what we know to be morally right. We are responsible to promote good and stand against evil. Children generally know this to be true while educated adults may conveniently rationalize their way around it for self and or mammon sake. Our moral stands for or against their morally based political decisions and actions made by our representatives on our behalf will also be judged by God’s unchanging moral law; his commandments and the true biblical principles.    

Moral politics puts legs to righteous supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, made for all men; for kings, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Politics isn’t just about voting for candidates and taking a stand on issues. Our military and other agencies under government control are part of politics. The stands we take for or against their decisions and actions impact human lives around the world for good or evil. We have been given much; we are accountable for much. God desires society be quiet, peaceable, godly and honest. To accomplish this he has given his body on earth, the church, the responsibility to pray, preach the gospel, and salt the earth by living and teaching his truth in hopes of reconciling as many as possible to his moral life, light and truth. 

We pay our military and expect them to be willing to lay down their lives for us. God has paid for our sins and expects us to lay down our lives for him and others. (Romans 12:1; 1 John 3:16) We need to be willing to speak the truth about things political in order to protect and defend human life;  even if it means that we could be killed if as a result. To do so will take courage. Cowards without the courage to do so will share the same eternal hell with the same murderers they were afraid to take a moral stand against. (Revelation 21:8; Matthew 25:31-46)

Conclusion

Our works in the context of social, political, business, and body  of Christ (church) life reveal the truth about our profession of faith; whether we are sheep or a goat; a wheat or a tare.

The heavenly home of truly repentant  professors of faith in Christ is sealed. (Ephesians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30; Romans 8:5; Galatians 4:6; 1 Peter 1:8). These children of God are presently working out their faith in every arena of their lives; even as they joyfully suffer the consequences of their alien belief system at the hands of hardened hearts. (Philippians 2:12; Hebrews 10:32-39) They are  expressing their faith, though still imperfect,  in sacrificial love toward others in preaching the gospel, sharing personal resources (time, money, property, talents, spiritual gifts, natural abilities) and teaching the truth in love to people. (Galatians 5:6; Matthew 28:19)

Tares and goats, on the other hand, unrepentantly delude themselves in a false spiritual pride over their professed religion; even though they don’t live by the truth in every area of life; including politics and business. They purposely neglect and compromise the commands and principles of God’s word for selfish gain. They close their eyes to evil they have been warned against. They continue to support slavery, injustice, treachery, murder, theft and all sorts of un-Constitutional lawlessness when they should be exposing and confronting it. They hoard resources out of selfishness and fear and only invest or share for the sake of return.  Lukewarm, self-satisfied, proud and content in the riches of Babylon, they are good for nothing when it comes to helping preserve liberty and justice for all in their own workplace, neighborhood, community, state or nation. Instead they rest deluded in the lie that the troops they support are sent overseas to kill enemies of goodness and freedom. They close their eyes to the truth that the muscular weapons and the unending war is ultimately about economic globalization and western financial control;  targeting sovereign Middle Eastern nations for economic rule set export and forcing the integration of all nations into a globally interoperable economic system. (Barnett, 2004)

Unless they anoint and illuminate their morally blind eyes with the healing eye-salve of socio-political and biblical truth they will be judged as useless good for nothings by God; trampled underfoot in their own nation by the tyrannical power of evil.  (Matthew 5:13; Revelation 3:14-22)

The hope and healing of those children of God who will overcome the beast and his world system rests upon repentant faith; not faithless, unrepentant, self-satisfied avoidance.

“…These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:14-22)

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Introduction

My daughter and I were at the dirt track that we regularly venture to for exercise and give Mom a breather. Periodically between laps we’ll play various games of chase. One game we’ve enjoyed from time to time is an old playground game from my youth called “Gingerbread Man”. One of us yells out; “Run, run, run as fast as you can…you can’t catch me I’m the “Gingerbread Man!” and then the other person chases the one that just yelled the old rhyme.

This semi-oval dirt track located in the outskirts of our town surrounds a grassy field. Any area of tall grass in the region is a good hiding place for a potentially dangerous snake so my daughter is taught to stay out of tall grass.

Recently one bright summer morning about one half of the grassy field inside the track was mowed. The mowed area included a straight and narrow strip about four feet wide. This narrow way spanned the radius of the track. As I was chasing my daughter around the mowed half of the field she suddenly decided to detour onto the straight and narrow path in her gallant effort to escape my restrained pursuit. I quickly reminded her of the need to stay within the mowed path and how we’d have to stop playing if she decided to turn off the narrow path into the broader area filled with tall grass. It was at that moment of reminding her of the consequences for straying from the strait path that thoughts about the importance of God’s children staying within their narrow road were quickly activated within me. My mind ran to thoughts based upon verses like the ones found below.

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (Luke 13:23-24)

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:25-27)

Throughout much of our remaining time at the track I pondered the different temptations we all face to listen to the deceitful voice of our heart and justify broadening God’s narrow way in order to accommodate the desires of our sinful nature. I considered ways in which the narrow way was currently being broadened, why this broadening was occurring and what can be done about returning the body of Christ to the strait way. The remainder of this article reflects upon the answers to these questions. 

Self deceived

God knows how long the professing American Christian church has failed to teach the whole truth concerning the works of the flesh. The word of God is being handled deceitfully. (2 Corinthians 4:2) Some sinful works of the flesh are addressed more than others by church leaders. I believe that the main reason this truth famine exists is that leadership is generally more interested in damage control and eliminating threatening obstacles to church growth instead of developing mature disciples of Christ.

In short, most 501-c3 churches face debt. In addition, ambitious narcissists craving attention, wealth and power control these churches. Rarely will 501-c3 pulpit beasts actually desire to take social security income from elderly members in order to support their religious operations. Ambitious pulpit predators prefer to take from compliant, generous younger folks that make them feel successful.   

Jesus Christ warned us to beware of wolves disguised as sheep. (Matthew 7:15) Savvy wolf websites may even rudely welcome us to their religious business with an on-line giving banner immediately reaching for our wallet. Yes, evangelism makes excellent cover for greed. Families are good fish for these greedy dogs to fry because families are usually attractive and come with a network of contacts to be mined. There’s no biblical basis for the wolves’ carnal methods. Many works of the flesh are justified in the name of church growth required to support 501-c3 religious works of the flesh that American professing Christians call “churches”.

Inside each of us lives an enemy that many of us don’t fully recognize or understand.  This enemy is the works of our flesh. Though these works may be a greater daily threat to the believer’s relationship with God than Satan’s intermittent, localized attacks infrequently occurring whenever the devil finds a vulnerable Christian to devour, many professing Christians remain quite ignorant concerning the ever present enemy within them. As a result we remain extremely vulnerable to self deception.

Did you know that Galatians 5:19-21 lists sixteen major categories of works of the flesh or sins of human nature? Within these categories there are even subcategories of sinful works that could be listed. How many of the 16 works of the flesh can you name? Of those that you can name, how many of them can you define?

Do we understand that these works are among the non-negotiables of true religion?  If we live in these works, we don’t live in Christ. (Romans 6) If we continue in the works of the flesh without turning from them by faith in Christ, we remain separated from God eternally facing a future in the lake of fire.  (Galatians 5:13-26)

If we stumble and get entangled in works of the flesh as a believer; even falling to the point of enjoying the temporary pleasure of something we know to be sin, it’s never too soon to put that sin to death through confession and faith. Don’t listen to that lying voice accusing you that you’ve gone too far and can’t be forgiven. For it is written in Matthew 12:31 and 1John 1:9-2:2; 

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

God is holy and expects his people to be holy. (1 Peter 1:15) God doesn’t overlook the sin of his children. He reproves and disciplines them so that they can continue to share in his holiness. (Hebrews 12:1-14) Willful sin isn’t the same as “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” which can’t be forgiven. When Matthew 12:31 is properly interpreted within its context, we see that what Jesus calls blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is permanently rejecting his true identity as proven by his miraculous works.

The sixteen major categories of the works of the flesh and their biblical definitions are as follows:

  • Adultery: fantasizing about or actually having any form of extra-marital sex. Divorcing a faithful spouse in order to marry someone else or marrying someone who has wrongfully divorced their spouse in order to marry you.
  • Uncleanness: unrestrained, excessive, immoral thoughts, words and actions.
  • Lasciviousness: any form of male gay or female lesbian homosexuality; any form of pre-marital sex or fornication; incest; bestiality; loosely running around indulging animalistic sexual desires.
  • Idolatry: attachment and devotion to any group, person, place, symbol or thing in the world above the Lord Jesus Christ with such excessive allegiance or covetous desire for it causing disobedience to the principles or commands of His Word.
  • Witchcraft: sorcery; the art and science of using demonic forces to cause change to occur according to your will through white magic witchcraft to manipulate people and or circumstances for personal gain and in black magic witchcraft for destructive purposes.
  • Hatred: deep rooted, unforgiving opposition to someone; the opposite of friendship toward a person.
  • Variance: quarrels based upon differences of opinion, interpretation, or altered legal conditions.
  • Emulations: malicious, unrighteous heated jealousy or indignation.
  • Wrath: fierce, violent, extreme, uncontrollable, selfish, vengeful, unrighteous anger.
  • Strife: any form of competitive rivalry or contention for superiority for the purpose of promoting yourself above someone or placing them below you.
  • Seditions: opposition to moral, lawful civil authority.
  • Heresies: cultic or sectarian beliefs unique to an individual or a group which are contrary to the sound teaching of the Holy Scriptures.
  • Envying: feeling ill will or spiteful jealousy at the superior condition and happiness of another.
  • Murders: premeditated killing from extreme hatred or ill will.
  • Drunkenness: overwhelmed or overpowered by intoxicating alcoholic drink to the point where one becomes physically and mentally impaired.
  • Revellings: letting loose, carousing, partying or feasting with noisy music and hilarious laughter arising from self-indulgent entertainment.

The root cause of breaking God’s commandments can be traced back to one of these sixteen characteristics. A sprinkling of them is found in every human being.  Throughout all ages and generations the father’s sinful nature on the side of the mother and father has been transmitted to each newborn.  

It’s worth noting here that as a result of this curse, we know that it’s possible for someone to be born with an inborn tendency to lasciviousness. This tendency can include a tendency towards homosexuality or lesbianism. This truth doesn’t justify these sinful works. Living in this sin is always a choice. This is true whether these sinful tendencies are inborn or they’ve developed later in life for emotional or psychological reasons, rebellious bitterness against the opposite sex, or for one reason or another at some point in their life they enjoyed an experience. 

Unlike global warming and climate change, sin is a truly global problem knowing no boundaries. (1 John 1:9; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12) Because God is love, God has already sacrificed his one and only perfect Son the Lord Jesus Christ to cover the global sin debt for all time. The problem continues to exist, however, because people love the moral darkness of sin more than the light of truth. (John 3:16-21; Romans 3:23-25; 1 John 2:1-2; 1 John 4:10)

If the global sin problem has a solution then why does it still haunt humanity? Why are we plagued by this “speciesism”? Why does sin still haunt the country like the U.S. where you’d have to literally be physically deaf and blind to avoid hearing the gospel? Jesus told us it was because people love their sin more than God’s truth. (John 3:16-21) Many people won’t admit that until they encounter great personal loss or face death. This is to be expected since human beings are born liars. (Psalm 58:3) If sins slaves were honest they’d admit they love themselves and the comfortably familiar security of their world. They wouldn’t deny that it’s too costly for them to exchange their fit with the broad way of their world for a radically new life on a narrow road alien to them.  

Hypocrites believe the truth intellectually and profess faith publicly; however, they broaden the narrow way to accommodate their favorite sins of the flesh. The 501-c3 pulpit predators have created good religious cover for hypocrites to feel comfortable in. It’s also a great situation for unbelievers to use as a scapegoat for their unwillingness to assume responsibility for their sin. A massive demonic stronghold of self-delusion was created when this religious cover was combined with decade’s worth of teaching aimed at building self-esteem instead of God and others-esteem in children. As a result, nearly two generations of Americans are now covered with a mountain of prideful self-love rendering them incapable of responding in selfless, unconditional love to God and others. Many professing Christians now live with a mentality that nothing or nobody is going to come between me and my desires. Although God has promised to comfort his children amidst much tribulation, persecution and suffering, many professing American Christians act as if whatever it takes or whomever I hurt I’m entitled to enjoy that materialistic “Life Is Good” American Dream (John 15:18-21; Acts 14:22; Romans 5:3; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 3:4; 2 Timothy 3:12; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 2:9-10) 

Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also (John 15:20)

We must take very seriously the fact that Jesus warned that MANY will end up in hell because nice pastors with impressive religious resumes deceived them to believe they could enjoy both their best life now and heaven later by detouring around the difficulties of the narrow way on the broad and easy road. (Matthew 7:13-23; Luke 13:22-30)

Heresies of the flesh

No nationality or race of people is exempt from sin’s curse. There is no overall superior flesh. Racial strife is a work of the flesh. God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34) Our inherent sinful nature or flesh separates each of us from a holy God unless that sin is confessed and atoned for. (1 John 1:5-10) Each of us is a mixture of the characteristics of our inherent sinful nature, intelligence and temperament. Each of the works of the flesh is destructive to life and liberty. Some destructive works of the flesh are accepted as legal in society because they serve the overall plan and or financial purposes of the demonically enlightened evil elite running the world system. (Ephesians 6:12) Elite programming and social engineering has led us to falsely believe that the covetous idolater or greedy glutton is better than the drunkard, smoker, or sloth; that one socio-economic class is superior to another, that the formally educated are better than the informally educated, that Jews are better than Gentiles, that CEO’s are better than those they employ and that the financial elite are superior to their slaves. Let’s not be deceived. No one is good except God alone. (Matthew 19:17) In our flesh dwells no good thing. (Romans 7:18) The first shall be last and the last first in God’s kingdom. (Luke 13:23-30)

Matthew 7:13-14 reads as follows:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to  destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The Geneva Bible comments on these verses that “the example of life must not be taken from the multitude.” 

 

“The example of life must not be taken from the multitude”

(Geneva Bible Comments)

In spite of this truth, the professing Christian church in America has done just the opposite. Over the last century I believe that Satan has progressively conditioned the church to believe that bigger is better and faith is God guarantees worldly success. Mass Evangelistic Crusades and Revivals, Televangelism, The Moral Majority and Mega-Churches have subtly conditioned us to believe if God was blessing our work it would successfully reach many while thriving financially. As a result of accepting this false paradigm of success with God, the professing American Christian church isn’t deeply rooted in unselfish obedience to biblical truth. Instead, the church has thrived numerically as a spiritually lukewarm religious club through appealing to the culturally acceptable desires of our flesh and providing false temporary psychological cover for sin’s guilt. This has filled the professing church with many tares[1] that profess but don’t possess Christ.

Heresies arise from within man’s sinful nature. (Galatians 5:20) The operative heresy at work in selling the lie that if God is blessing our work it will successfully reach many and thrive financially is the false doctrine of “Gain Is Godliness”. False teachers have added another lane to God’s narrow road in order to accommodate professing Christians tending to idolize material success and faithless tares needing constant signs of affirmation that God is alive and working on their behalf. To overcome this heresy we must simply believe the following truths:

More isn’t better. Greed isn’t good. The rich aren’t superior to the poor or vice-versa. They simply have greater responsibility before God to share with those in physical need. (Matthew 19:16-26; James 2:1-9; Isaiah 56; Proverbs 1:19; 1 Timothy 3:3, 8; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Members of the controlling super class aren’t better than their slaves. They too have greater responsibility before God for the harm they’ve sown and the good they failed to perform. (James 5:1-6)

Financial gain isn’t related to godliness. The godly can be content having food, clothing and shelter for the day. Great gain is godliness with such contentment. (1 Timothy 6:3-10)

Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us that the world system is ruled by demonic forces operating through wicked elite.

 

“The birth of TV was a magical event foreshadowing its satanic significance. The first commercial broadcast was aired on Walpurgisnacht, April 30th, 1939, at the New York World’s Fair. Since then, TV’s infiltration has been so gradual, so complete that no one even noticed. People don’t need to go to church anymore; they get their morality plays on television.”…”We can use TV as a potent propaganda machine. The stage is set for the infusion of true satanic philosophy and potent (emotionally inspiring) music to accompany the inverted crosses and pentagrams.” (Anton LaVey, The Devils’ Notebook, 1992) 

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”

Truth is under attack by these demonic powers. When the mind isn’t renewed with truth it’s vulnerable to devil speak. Ephesians 6:14 tells us to have our minds “girt about with truth”. “Girt about with truth” is a figure of speech based upon military terms. The loins refer to the seat of man’s power. The girdle refers to a soldier’s belt pulled tightly around the waste to strengthen the warrior’s mid-section. Our minds are spiritual weak and vulnerable to enemy attack unless wrapped with the truth of God’s holy word.

One front in the war on truth is fought against our minds in the following simple terms. Elite controlled mass communication media is designed to lead us to desire the social pattern established for us by elite controlled educational institutions and corporations. Media programming uses demonically inspired messages and imaging designed to appeal to the desires of our sinful nature in hopes of leading us off the narrow way to our best life now. Elite controlled organizations feed our flesh entertainment specifically chosen to socially engineer us into the mold envisioned for us by the elite and distract us from spiritual realities.

High priced distraction: Michelle & Barry

The church has now been fully indoctrinated and conditioned to lovingly embrace this world of the elite. The church now affirms the use of world system and its idols as tools to reach non-members. The church now supports murderous and illegal state doctrines essential to the establishment of Antichrists “United States of the World”. 

Greedy dogs and their sleepwalking saints tell us a world system friendly church is a growing church. They ignore the truth that becoming a friend of the world system and its idols means becoming an enemy of God. (James 4:4) Professing American Christians are generally led to believe that as long as they publicly profess Jesus as Savior and Lord, get baptized, submit to church and state authority, pay taxes, attend church religiously, read the Bible, pray, tithe, oppose abortion, believe in Creation, spread the gospel and avoid addictions to smoking, drinking, gambling and pornography that God would be pleased with them. Is this what the scriptures teach though?

The reality of our own salvation should be tested against the following truths taught by the Apostle John as written in 1 John and not against an experience like speaking in an unknown tongue or accepting Jesus into our heart at an altar after walking a public aisle. 

  • Do we believe Jesus Christ is the one true God? (1 John 4:2)
  • Do we have an inward sense that God is our Father and confess that Jesus came as God our Savior? (1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:2; 1 John 4:13; Romans 8:14-16)
  • Do we keep God’s commandments? (1 John 2:3; 1 John 5:1-3)
  • Do we hate the world system and separate ourselves from its evil and idolatry? (1 John 2:15-17; 1 John 5:3-5)
  • Do we love true believers by sacrificially meeting their needs and obeying the God’s commands? (1 John 3:11-1; 1 John 4:7-12; John 5:1-5)
  • Do we believe Jesus Christ is God? (1 John 4:2)

In its culturally re-engineered mindset, the church has exchanged God’s values for the values elite programmers’ desire for her. Because of this apostasy, it hasn’t mattered much to the professing church how professing Christians earn their income as long as their Federal Reserve Notes were earned legally. It became of little or no consequence how many people might be indirectly or directly hurt or wrongly offended in the course of one’s work as long as they worked diligently, honestly and obeyed their employers’ rules.

It didn’t matter if a career separated a father or mother from their family if it paid well enough. It didn’t matter if Mom forsook her role as “keeper at home” or homemaker as long as the family lived in a nice home, drove nice cars, looked and acted nice and faithfully supported the church. Putting Mom to work outside the home allows elite controllers to reap tax benefits and socially engineer children through the weapons of mass education and worldly peer influence (socialization).Instead of being a useless eater; an unproductive branch of the US Federal Reserve System, a working Mom becomes a productive person for their system.

It didn’t seem to matter much if the church functioned according to the principles and commands of scripture or if church leadership taught the whole counsel of God accurately. It was of no consequence that our government and financial system functioned illegally and un-Constitutionally. It didn’t matter that wars were justified under false pretexts and used to murder those standing in the way of covetous American interests and our elite ordained role in policing the process of economic globalization on behalf of the kings of the earth.

Church leadership was now unequally yoked with the antichristian state as a 501-c3 religious organization as the powers had planned. Biblical truth was now compromised. The Holy Spirit was quenched. A famine of hearing the word of God had developed. The narrow path had been broadened. In order to justify this whorish relationship, the deceitful hearts of 501-c3 church leaders told them that this is Christian America and their members better stop exposing evil and questioning policy because the USA knows and does what’s best for the world.

The power of American patriotic pride would rise up and rid the congregation of anyone considered brash enough to throw biblical truth in the face of elite inspired error. What mattered now to the elite conditioned 501-c3 church leadership and their fans was that the sheep were in attendance, in submission and in support of church and state operations. What mattered was that the sheep played in tune with music written by the unbiblical 501-c3 IRS tax code regulations. It didn’t matter if the music was written wrong. It didn’t matter that their tune was out of tune. The sheep were still expected to play their role in the band well. If they couldn’t bring themselves to cooperate with the band conductor they risked being told by him to find a new band in another country.  

Black Magick believers in the late idol Aleister Crowley, whom they refer to as “the beast 666”, believe in the concept of freedom. Though slaves to witchcraft and demonic powers they believe the essence of their freedom lies in freedom from restriction. In other words they’re slaves to sin; however, they believe they’re free because they deny sin exists. Professing American Christians take a parallel path denying the reality of encroachments to true freedom they can encounter in efforts to conform their entire lives to the whole counsel of God.

True believers have spiritual freedom in Christ. They’ll also face restrictions unique to believers because of their faith. 501-c3 church leaders are prone to remind the sheep of the freedom they enjoy as Americans.This inevitably leads to praising our troops and the wars they fight to keep us “free”.

What do these deceived and deceiving leaders mean by free though? Does freedom from economic restriction mean we’re a nation of true liberty? If professing Christians don’t evaluate our moral values by looking at our face in the mirror of God’s Word and evaluating the true nature of our work and its methods; the moral quality of our financial investments; the moral fruit of the people, corporations, politicians, political parties and institutions they promote, and the conformity of the teachings and methods of our ministries with biblical truth, it’s easy to deceive ourselves to believe we’re a good, free and faithful servant when in reality we’re either indirectly or directly enslaved to iniquity.

Yes, thank God true believers are absolutely spiritually free in Christ! It’s foolish to believe that true believers in Christ enjoy total socio-political freedom in the U.S.A. though. Americans currently enjoy freedom of choice when it comes to using our earnings and off work hours. Is this alleged freedom truly freedom though if what we spend our money and time on is the result of elite programming or if we have to deny some aspect of truth to remain employed or involved with a group of professing Christians? 

We live in a time when the narrow way is under construction. Our religious, sexual, economic, political and other heritages are being radically altered at an accelerated pace. Key 501-c3 church leaders have worked for decades modifying God’s way according to visions aiming to increase their financial profit through increasing traffic flow to their church. They’ve committed spiritual adultery by marrying profane music with sacred lyrics; secular psychology with biblical counsel; financial capitalism with biblical principles of free enterprise; antichristian state policy and 501-c3 IRS tax code regulations with body life and a U.S. Constitutional Republic with antichristian Israel and the New World Order. 

Revival is the answer

What is the answer to this spiritual dilemma? Should we keep playing the 501-c3 death dirge because it feels good even though it’s dreadfully out of tune with the Holy Spirit on numerous critical issues?

The answer lies in submission to truth. Not submission to church and state but in submission to the pure, unadulterated, raw truth.

 

If we’re a believer and not a tare, we don’t need to attend revival services or a deliverance ministry to experience revival if the Spirit of God lives within us. All we need is a completely transparent self examination of our lives for active infestations of the sixteen works of the flesh found in Galatians 5:19-21.

Some bible teachers have placed mountains of unnecessary work in front of people hindering them from receiving God’s grace. We need to understand that our sin, no matter how heinous or minute it is, is ultimately against God only. (Psalm 51:4) Our forgiveness with God is based upon our humble, contrite confession of sin to him. (Psalm 51; 1 John 1:9) The Apostle Paul couldn’t make things right with the Christians he’d murdered before God forgave him for those atrocious murders. God didn’t demand that Paul go and make things right with the families of his victims either before he transformed Paul’s life. (Acts 9: 1-19) The criminal crucified with Christ didn’t make restitution with his victims before being forgiven. (Luke 23:39-43) No, each of these sinners was freely forgiven by God. Their forgiveness was based exclusively upon a faith based contrite response to the debt paid for their sin laden past by God’s sinless Son.

Apologies and restitution remains the means of restoring broken human relations.  A sincere confession of sorrow over our wrong behavior towards a true believer can restore broken relations if we’re willing to confess our role in the break. This confession is entirely independent of the confession of sin towards God that restores contact with him.  

Revival can begin when we’re willing to examine ourselves and sincerely confess our sin to the God whom we’ve sinned against. After this confession we need to begin a steady diet of reading the word of God, praying and obeying truth as God reveals it to us. (1 Peter 2:1-5; 2 Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 6:10-18; Jude 1:20; James 1:19-27) In response to renewed faith and obedience, our revived relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through God’s Holy Spirit will defeat the power of our flesh and the devil in our lives.

Faith without works won’t sustain a revived spiritual connection. (Ephesians 6:10-18; James 2:20-26) Faith doesn’t make us an empty shell that’s automatically moved by God’s Spirit to do what pleases God. Keeping our relationship right with God involves faith which leads us to yield our will to the truth of God’s word. God’s Spirit uses our knowledge of God’s word to counsel us to choose to walk in obedience to God’s word. (John 15; Colossians 3; James 1:19-2:26)

Apologies and restitution are means of restoring broken human relations.  A sincere confession of sorrow over our wrong behavior towards a true believer can restore broken relations if we’re willing to confess our role in the break.    

Conclusion

The other night the U.S. Air Force did another one of its illegal low altitude flyovers above our small neighborhood.  The thunder of the shockingly low flying bomber rumbled loudly across the sky above us.

Young neighborhood children hid their faces crying out in fear over the fearful presence of the fighter.  Later that night, however, this opening satanic act was completely overshadowed by the evening’s main act. Holy God shook the neighborhood with a severe thunderstorm. His hour long display of lightning and thunder dwarfed the man-made rolling thunder of the fighter aircraft. As fearful as the cruel flyover of the F-15E Strike Eagle was, its power was truly pitiful in comparison to God’s truly awesome weather display.

Scripture warns supporters of a global beast military about the complete and eternal annihilation awaiting a global beast nation, its patriotic supporters and antichristian leaders.

The power of pride empowering a demonically deluded global military will cause its armed forces to engage in a senseless battle with the omnipotent armies of God. The human remains of Antichrist and his global beast troops will be consumed by God’s flying creatures. Their Christ-less souls will boil for eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone God’s prepared for them. (Revelation 19:11-21; Zechariah 12-14; Ezekiel 39)  

What a fearful fate; a future far exceeding the emotional pain of the most torturous of nightmares, awaits many abominable human beings who’ll proudly and defiantly pledge their shortsighted allegiance to the global beast nation and its Commander in Chief, Antichrist.  What incomparable blessing awaits the patient saints of God! (Revelation 14:12-13; Daniel 12:1-3)

The huge contrast in power between human engineered thunder and Gods natural thunder amplifies the innate gap between the armies of the beast and the armies of God and between a Holy God and sinful humanity. It illuminates the irreconcilable contrast in moral power between a life controlled by our sinful flesh and one controlled by God’s Holy Spirit.

Returning to the narrow way isn’t a restrictive experience at all! Spiritual revival is a powerful and victorious encounter with God freeing us from the godless restrictions imposed upon us by our sinful nature!


[1] Tares are false professing Christians that Satan has planted amongst true professing Christians. (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43)

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Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (1 John 2:22-23)

The inter-faith document A Common Word Between Us and You may be old news to some of you, however, it managed to fly below my radar. I was quite shocked this morning in reading about it. The website link associated with this antichristian effort is http://www.acommonword.com/  The excerpt below from that site summarizes the intent of the document.

A Common Word Between Us and You’ is an inter-faith theological document initially released on October 13th 2007 as an Open Letter, signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars and intellectuals (including such figures as the Grand Muftis of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Oman, Bosnia, Russia, and Istanbul). It was addressed to the leaders of the Christian churches and denominations of the entire world, starting with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. In essence, the Open Letter proposed, based on verses from the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible, that Islam and Christianity share, at their core, the twin ‘golden’ commandments of the paramount importance of loving God and loving one’s neighbor. Based on this joint common ground, it called for peace and harmony between Christians and Muslims worldwide.

(http://www.acommonword.com/en/a-common-word/11-new-fruits-of-a-common-word/354-two-years-summary-oct-2007-oct-2009.html)

The Yale Center For Faith and Culture issued what they called a “Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You”.  This response can be read at the link http://www.yale.edu/faith/acw/acw.htm.

Below is a partial list of influential professing Christian leaders that signed this document which called for religious harmony and spiritual unity between Islam and Christianity based upon the arguments found in “A Common Word Between Us and You”. I recommend that you read this list of leaders carefully. It’s truly shocking to see some of the names and institutions it contains.

  • Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals
  • Dr. Don Argue, Chancellor, Northwest University, Former President, National Association of Evangelicals, Commissioner, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • David Augsburger, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Rev. Dr. Stuart Briscoe, Minister at Large, Elmbrook Church, Brookfield Wisconsin, USA; Founder, “Telling the Truth, Inc.”
  • David Yonggi Cho, Founder and Senior Pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea
  • Rev. Richard Cizik, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals
  • Robert E. Cooley, President Emeritus, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts
  • Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA
  • Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary, Reformed Church in America
  • Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Lynn Green, International Chairman, Youth With A Mission
  • Bill Hybels, Founder and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL
  • R Peter Kuzmic, Eva B. and Paul E. Toms Distinguished Professor of World Missions and European Studies, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Rektor, Evandjeoski Teoloski Fakultet, Osijek, Croatia
  • Robert K. Johnston, Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Warren Larson, Director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies, Columbia International University, SC
  • Brian D. McLaren, Author, Speaker, Activist
  • Richard Mouw, President and Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • David Neff, Editor in Chief & Vice-President, Christianity Today Media Group
  • Rev. Roy Oksnevad, Institute of Strategic Evangelism at Wheaton College
  • Steve Robbins, Pastor and Director, Vineyard Leadership Institute
  • Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., Professor of Church History and Ecumenics, Fuller Theological Seminary and the Director of the David du Plessis Center for Christian Spirituality
  • Rev. Herschel Rosser, Associate Pastor, Vineyard Church of Sugar Land, Stafford, TX and Texas Area Church Planting Coordinator, Vineyard, USA
  • Rev. Dr. Robert Schuller, Founder, Crystal Cathedral and Hour of Power
  • Marguerite Shuster, Harold John Ockenga Professor of Preaching and Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Rev. Dr. John Stott, Rector Emeritus, All Souls Church, Langham Place, London, UK
  • William Taylor, Global Ambassador, World Evangelical Alliance
  • Michael W. Treneer, Internation President, The Navigators, Colorado Springs, CO
  • George Verwer, Founder and former International Director, OM
  • Rev. Berten A. Waggoner, National Director, Association of Vineyard Churches
  • Dr. Dale F. Walker, Affiliate Professor, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY
  • Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners
  • Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church, and The Purpose Driven Life, Lake Forest, CA
  • John R. Franke, Professor of Theology, Biblical Seminary, Hatfield, PA

I imagine that some of these prominent signatories rationalize their support of the document because they believe that evangelical Christians must use common religious ground as a bridge to convince Muslims that Jesus is both God and Savior. Good intentions can pave the road to hell though. Jesus never bonded with Satan even though the serpent can talk scripture with the best.

Christianity Today issued responses to the controversy surrounding this issue which can be read at the links:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/octoberweb-only/143-42.0.html

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2008/02/wheaton_college.html

Scholar rational underlying professing Christian support of the document can be read at the link:

http://www.theledger.com/article/20080301/NEWS/803010459

Abuse of Muslims and Christians is a 21st century atrocity. Great powers have used both religious groups as pawns on the Grand Chessboard.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/12834177/How-Jimmy-Carter-and-I-Started-the-Mujahideen

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7718

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html

Radical Islamic violence against Christians and pre-emptive military attacks by right-wing extremists against Muslim nations terrorize this world. I pray that Muslims and Christians peacefully coexist while true believers wisely work to convert Christians to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior. Support for the interfaith document, however, is blasphemous and counterproductive to the cause of converting Muslims to Christ.

The divinity of Jesus Christ is the essential non-negotiable core doctrine upon which Christianity is based. Islam denies this fundamental doctrine. For that reason alone I believe that supporting this interfaith document is an act of apostasy. This is especially true for professing Christian teachers well versed regarding the sound biblical doctrine of Christ.

Yes, I truly believe that apostasy is the most appropriate word that could be used to describe the support of professing Christian leaders for “A Common Word Between Us & You”.  The Apostle John would consider these supporters to be tares, liars and antichrists. If you think that this is too severe, please consider the following truths taught by Jesus and John.

Jesus claimed equality with God. (John 10:25-30; John 14:8-11; John 17:21) He said that dishonoring him dishonors God. (John 5:23; John 15:23) He claimed power over life and death and miraculously proved it. (John 5:22; John 6:35-40; John 11; John 17:1-3; John 20)

Jesus’ beloved disciple John taught that Jesus Christ is the true God. (1 John 5:20) He revealed that Jesus made the world. (John 1:10) He proclaimed that anyone denying the truth that Jesus is the Christ is a liar and antichrist. (1 John 2:22-23) He said that anyone who doesn’t believe these things is making God out to be a liar. (1 John 5:10)

In light of these truths how can evangelical leaders say that Christians share common religious ground with Muslims? The foundations of these two faiths are diametrically opposed to each other in many areas. Do these evangelicals now believe that Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet? Have they accepted the Koran as God breathed? How can so many prominent Christian leaders claim to share common religious ground with lying antichrists? How can so many evangelical leaders miss the mark that sinful human nature is the common ground that should be used as the bridge to Muslims in order to reconcile them to God?  This is evangelical apostasy! Christians should do good to Muslims. They should treat them with respect. Embracing a false theology that neglects the truth that God is in Christ reconciling the sinful to himself, however, provides a false comfort to lost Muslims, false peace to the world, and false teaching to the church.  Christians must faithfully speak the same truth John did about those who denied that Jesus was the Christ:Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. (1 John 2:22-23)

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Oh, no…

Some December 25th 2009 thoughts:

“Oh, no…they can’t stay with us! What they’ve done is shameful! They should be stoned to death! We certainly aren’t going to make room in the guest chamber for them. I don’t care if they’re family!  No family of ours acts like that! He hasn’t even divorced her! I guess that’s because it wasn’t him that she slept with.  What is he thinking, though? Doesn’t that tell him that she’s one of those…

“One of those…”

Scripture tells us that Joseph and Mary weren’t what some people  thought they were. Scripture tells us Joseph was a just man and Mary a virgin.  Some who knew them were convinced otherwise. Joseph intended to divorce Mary. At that time, betrothal was a binding commitment. If broken; it was dissolved by divorce. Before he could make the mistake of divorcing her,  however, he was informed by God’s messenger that the Holy Spirit was responsible for this shocking conception.  (Matthew 1:18-23)

Although Joseph returned to his hometown of Bethlehem with Mary and the unborn Jesus, there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7) The word inn can refer to a guest chamber, not temporary commercial travel lodging. The fact that Joseph and Mary were unable to stay in a guest chamber in their hometown may indicate that their relatives had written them off.  I believe Joseph and Mary were a misjudged, misunderstood, and mislabeled pair; rejected due to pride and prejudice.

Proverbs 18:13 says that ” he that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” It’s reasonable to assume that  the false perception of Joseph and Mary’s relatives led them to reject those that God had especially chosen to glorify himself through. 

The uninformed relatives didn’t realize that Joseph and Mary were privy to inside information.  They rejected the couple, however,  being mind conditioned to shoot the messenger first before asking questions. They probably felt that they didn’t have to talk about the situation with the couple. After all,  they could see that Mary was pregnant and unmarried. What was there to talk about? It was so obvious to them that Joseph and Mary were adulterers.

What folly and shame when one jumps to conclusions and rejects a person and or their message because one thinks they already know the truth.  Far worse, however, are those that reject others purely because they hate the truth, or they fear the truth, or they fear association with a person, or they’re too selfishly arrogant to waste time on someone they think has nothing to offer them.

Think about your current relationships.  Think about the beliefs you hold that have caused you to reject others who don’t see things the same way you do.  Think about why you might have written someone else off.

Is their anyone that you have rejected because he or she is “one of those…”  I’m not talking here about disassociating with a person because they refuse to repent of intentional immorality, idolatry or abusive behavior.  I’m referring to someone with whom you have a difference, however, for whatever reason,  you’ve never discussed that issue with the person. Instead, you’ve simply rejected the person. 

Have you ever asked them with an open mind and heart why they believe and or act the way they do?

Have you ever humbled yourself and considered that you could learn something from them. 

Before we continue any further in writing people off,  we need to be warned that we risk finding ourselves shamed on that day in which we will all stand before a holy and all-knowing God who promises that he won’t forgive us if we don’t love and forgive someone else. 

We might even be shamed before that if the truth is made known to us before we have taken the time to really here the matter from one who is truly informed.

“He that hath an ear let him here what the Spirit saith to the churches.”

David

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