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Who are the ‘elect’? April 20, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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There seems to be much confusion particularly amongst pre-tribulation rapturists concerning the identity of the “elect” in Matt 24:

 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 Could the elect mentioned here be Israel as some ministers teach? Indeed in we know from the scriptures that Israel God’s elect:

 4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. (Isaiah 45:4)

 So clearly under the Old Covenant, at least, Israel was very much God’s elect. But under the New Covenant dispensation is it only Israel that constitutes God’s elect? According to the scriptures the answer to that is no. Here are some scriptures which defines God’s elect as pertaining to the New Covenant:

 1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; (Tit 1:1)

 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (Rom 11:7)

 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (Col 3:12)

 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Pet 1:10-11)

 We can now see from the above scriptures that the faith of God’s elect is the gospel of salvation which Paul was made an apostle of. We also see that we can only obtain this faith through the election of grace and we are called to put on the fruits of the spirit (mercy, kindness etc) as God’s elect and give due diligence in making our calling and election sure. It is clear then that the elect as pertaining to the New Covenant is the church, which includes a remnant of Israel but who are no longer regarded as Jews (see Rom 11). We should remember here that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek (Gal 3:28, Col 3:11). The elect which are mentioned in Matt 24 which Jesus will gather at His coming are therefore the church. There can be no doubt about this since the Old Covenant decays and vanishes away and under the New Covenant there is neither Jew nor Greek (or Gentiles).

A Brief Perspective on Luke 21:36 and Rev 3:10 March 16, 2010

Posted by Henry in Eschatology & End Times.
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I have decided to put this post out to address those two verses which are used to support the pre-tribulation rapture viewpoint, primarily because I do not want to be accused of running away from “key” evidence. On the face of it these two scriptures might imply that believers will somehow escape the prophesied events leading up Christ’s physical and bodily return earth. However these verses should not be read in isolation but be read in conjunction with the other verses of the passage. In Luke 21: 31 for example Jesus says, “when you see these things happening (the signs of the end), you know that the kingdom of God is near.” (Emphasis mine)

 If Luke 21:36 therefore meant that the church would not witness the signs why ever would Jesus say “when you see these things happening”. Here are the scriptures:

 Luke 21 

30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32“ I tell you the truth, this generationb will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 34 “ Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (constrast with Rev 6:15-17)

 Again looking at verse 36 Jesus admonished the Disciples (and the rest of the church) to watch. If Jesus’ return is “imminent”, and He can come at anytime without warning to rapture the church, why does He give this exhortation to watch? Clearly the exhortation to watch is in relation to the signs given and this is supported by verse 30 where Jesus related the sign of summer when the trees start to sprout leaves. It must be noted though that the admonition to watch is also in relation to the condition of ones heart and state of readiness to meet Christ as per verse 34. So then if the church were to “escape” these things by way of the rapture then there would not be a need for watching for these signs. Could the use of the word “escape” mean something different then? Perhaps a clue to the meaning can be gleaned from 1 Cor 10:13:

 1 Cor 10:

11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

 In this portion of scripture we learn that God will not suffer us to be temted above what we are able to bear and that with the temptation He will also make a way to escape that we may be able to bear it. Note here that though there is a way of “escape” this does not mean one will not witness the temptation but the “escape” allows us to be able to bear it. Could it be then that the same thing was meant in Luke 21:36, in that we will not be miraculously whisked away from the evils of the day but that the Lord will enable us to bear it by means of an “escape”? Bear in mind that the scripture of Luke 21 is saying “when you see these things” when it uses the term “escape”.

 So then in relation to Rev 3:10, could the term “keep you from the hour of trail” have a similar rendering to the use of the word “escape” in 1 Cor 10:13 above?

 Rev 3

10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it.

 This verse of Rev 3 however should really be conflated with Rev 2:10 for further understanding:

 Rev 2:10

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

 Is there any promise here that the church of Smyrna will miraculously escape these things by way of a rapture? No! Yet Jesus is saying to them to fear none of the evil that will befall them. Could it therefore mean the “escape” relate to Jesus aiding them to be able to bear what shall befall them?

What does it mean to be a Christian? January 12, 2010

Posted by Henry in Matters of the Faith.
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A common definition of a Christian is: a follower of Christ. But is that all there is to it? In looking at this definition one could argue that Christ was simply a philosopher who existed over 2000 years ago and that His followers are simply adherents to His teachings thus ranking Christianity as just one amongst many religions from which anyone can choose. Indeed some see Christianity as little more than a “moral code” expressed in allegory, denying the existence of God and His Son Jesus Christ. It is easy to see how such a distorted view might come about if one does not know exactly what Christianity is all about and especially given that some religious figures have claimed over the years that “all paths” lead to God. But do they really?

Scripture (the Bible) tells us that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came into the world as the Messiah, first to the Jew and then to the Gentiles (Rom 1:16). Jesus came to deliver the “Good News” which is the Gospel unto salvation. Jesus said He came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). But salvation from what some might ask? To answer this question we need to go back to the beginning.

In the beginning (see the Genesis account) God created the world and everything in it and He made man (Adam and Eve) and gave him dominion over everything on the earth. God set Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and everything God created was good. But sin entered the world as a result of Adam’s disobedience in eating the fruit of the tree that was forbidden to him to eat of.  God warned Adam that the day he ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree he would surely die (Gen 3:3), and since that time man has been at enmity with God because of sin. Man no longer had the communion with God he enjoyed in the Garden and he was now separated and condemned to eternal death because of his sin. Adam did not die physically as it were, but he died spiritually. But the “story” did not end there because God purposed even before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8, 1 Pet 1:18-20) to save mankind from his sins so that man can inherit eternal Life.

Scripture tells us that we are all sinners who have come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Scripture also tells us that “it is appointed unto man once to die but after that comes the judgement (Heb 9:27).” It is for this reason that we need to be saved. To be saved means to be restored to a state where we can again have full fellowship and communion with God like Adam and Eve did before the fall, and indeed to be saved from eternal damnation. Salvation can be found in no other than Jesus Christ however. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6).” Jesus is the Lamb of God who was made a living sacrifice to take upon Himself the sins of the world. Heb 9:28 says, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” This was the plan God had put in place to redeem mankind from their sins and to reconcile mankind to Himself. Jesus was prophesied of by the Prophets of old, was born of the virgin Mary by immaculate conception, He was crucified at Calvary and on the third day he rose and he later returned to sit on the right hand of the Father. This really is the Gospel, the Good News of salvation, the reason for every Christian to rejoice as he awaits the blessed hope of Jesus Chrst returning to claim the saints (the Church) to Himself!!

For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosover believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting Life (John 3:16)

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)

We had become as disobedient children, full of sin and all deceivableness, but in spite of this God loved us so much that He made a way for us to be saved, otherwise we would have been dead in our sins. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).” Jesus came in order to establish the Kingdom of God on earth and all that we need to do to inherit this Kingdom is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ’s Kingdom we surrender our lives to Him as His subjects, submitting to His governance, will and purpose as outlined in His Word and through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit of God that enables us to believe in Christ Jesus and to repent of our sins and seek salvation in Him. When we come to faith in Christ therefore, we must be born again, born of water and of the Spirit (John 3:5). This is the “secret” to becoming a Christian.

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. (Isa 55:1-3)

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isa 55:6-7)

In spite of the provisions that God has made, freely given to us all without money and without price, however, there are those who still believe that God doesn’t really exist. But the scriptures say, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” The Bible is not simply a story, a moral tale based in allegory. God truly does exist and His Word given to us in the form of the Bible is where we will learn of Him and find Life (John 5:39)! Moreover Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6:63).” These very words are what is written in the Bible and handed down to us today. Christianity is therefore unlike any other religion. It is not a path among many to God but the ONLY path. In this respect God is not an idea created to establish social or moral norms, neither is God simply a “gnosis”. But God, the creator of Heaven and Earth is real, and He lives. Jesus came into the world to testify of Him and to become a Christian is to believe and have faith in Jesus Christ even without having seen.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:29)

Do you dare to believe in the Lord Jesus in order to receive salvation? For this is the way of the Christian

False Prophet Simon and the Church Today November 26, 2009

Posted by Henry in False Doctrines.
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There are many false prophets parading in the church today professing to be God’s mouth-pieces. Seemingly they have caused the church (at least those they oversee) to become mesmerized to the extent that the people are unable to discern Biblical truth from the false doctrines they promote.  This scenario however is not new to the church as this very same thing was occurring during the early days of the church. Acts chapter 8 records that there was just such a “prophet” by the name Simon who had put the people of Samaria under a spell and convinced them that he was the true prophet of God.

Acts 8

9

But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

10

To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.

11

And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

What we see here in this passage is no different to what is currently happening in Christendom today. Jesus warned us that many false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many. The problem with “churchianity” however is that they do not exercise discernment nor do they believe that discernment should be applied in church. In fact one of the tricks used by these false prophets is to discourage the church from questioning anything they say as this is seen as attacking the “Lords anointed” and therefore challenging their “authority”. To support this position they misuse scriptures such as Psalm 105:15, which says, “Touch not the Lords anointed and do my prophets no harm.” Many people however fail to see the context in which this scripture was delivered and that it in no way related to exercising Biblical discernment. Scripture admonishes us on the contrary to, “Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom 16:17). In churchianity today however we have a situation where all churches and all doctrines are accepted as being relevant even where there is a blatant contradiction of scriptures. To many, our differences shouldn’t separate us but rather what we have in common should bind us. This is of course a departure away from scriptures and is termed ecumenism.

In churchianity today there are people who claim to be Christians but who also claim to equally belong to other religions at the same time. An example of this was seen in a news article about an Episcopalian female priest who claimed to be both Christian and Muslim at the same time. How can these things be one might ask. Scripture however warns us in 1 Tim 4 about this departure from the faith.

1 Tim 4

1

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

One of the endemic problems in churchianty today, however is that people have become convinced that such departure away from Biblical orthodoxy is actually a “new move of God” or an “end-time revival”. The “Florida Outpouring” springs to mind here as a classic example. The situation is so bad that it is as if people have literally taken leave of their senses. They have allowed themselves to become so wrapt up in deception to the extent they are not able to discern between truth and falsehood. What is certain though is that the false spirit of Simon is rife in the church today and this type of spirit is bewitching the people and blinding their eyes to the truth.

May the Lord have mercy upon us that our eyes may be opened to the truth of His word and that we will be able to exercise discernment and do not so easily become so deceived by false spirits.

Deceitful Use of Scriptures October 8, 2009

Posted by Henry in Teaching Things They Ought Not.
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One of the things I find amazing in church circles today is how easily church folk can be fooled by this minister or that who can seemingly make scriptures appear to say something it actually doesn’t. For example, leading up to this year’s International Gathering of Champions (IGOC) conference, which was held back in August 2009, I received a flyer through the post informing about this conference. The title of the flyer was “Step Up” with a partial quote from Revelations 4:1, “come up here” which appeared to underpin the overall heading. For the main theme which was also imposed on the front of the flyer were the words, “Step Up out of…. Poverty, Obscurity, Bondage; Step Up and FULFIL YOUR DESTINY.” Needless to say I of course did not attend but on reading this at first glance and without prior knowledge of this scripture many might readily assume that what is being spouted here is Biblically based in scripture, that being, based on Revelations 4:1. I am also confident that thousands rushed out to this said conference without checking the scripture, as the Bereans (Acts 17:11) would have done, to see if what is being claimed here has scriptural merit.

Scripture admonishes us not to be carried away with every wind of doctrine but these warnings however seems to go unheeded by the church. The pertinent scripture here is as follows:

14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14)

It would be to our profit however to obey the cautions of scripture which would save us much trouble in the end. Going back to Rev 4:1 however, does it actually say or support any of the things being claimed on the IGOC flyer? Lets look at what it actually says:

1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Rev 4:1)

Anyone who has read Revelations would clearly appreciate that this scripture is part and parcel of a much larger revelation which the Apostle John had received. In fact if we read the verses following on we soon see that John was having a vision of heavenly places and truly spiritual things which the angel took him up to see:

2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. (Rev 4:2-3)

Now how do these scriptures relate to what is being claimed on the flyer as aforementioned? The truth of the matter however is that John was being taken up to see God being worshipped and glorified. In contrast, the claims on the flyer of stepping up out of poverty and out of obscurity, seeks to achieve one goal and that is for man’s self-glorification – to put man in the limelight of self-illumination. To use scripture to make it appear to support this position therefore is quite deceitful to say the least. These conferences in any event are just more opportunities by which the organisers prey on the greedy and also the vulnerability of those who are desperate and in dire need, in order to fleece them.

The State of the Church Today October 6, 2009

Posted by Henry in Matters of the Faith.
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The church today, or at least I should say the visible church, seems to be characterised by false doctrines, which promotes the pursuit of wealth and prosperity over salvation by faith through the Gospel of Christ. These days people seem to be falling all over themselves in their pursuit of breakthroughs. They seem to follow every mega church conferences, conventions, miracle concerts etc in their pursuit of a “word from God” and even opportunities to sow their “seeds” in desperate hope of “receiving” blessings from God. They have ignored the teaching of Christ who said, “….but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt 6:33). They ignore Christ’s teachings and instead heap unto themselves teachers, having itching ears, without the ability to discern truths from falsehood. They seek to apply this incantation or that and apply seven point plans or formulae to “wrest” blessings out of God’s hands without discerning God’s sovereignty in giving His blessings to whomever He chooses to bless. In fact some even teach that we can demand blessings of God after sowing seeds or even to command angels to bring us wealth.

These false teachers have enabled the church to develop an infatuation with the world and the things of the world, teaching that God would have us be rich in direct contradiction to Christ’s teachings. Today we see career pastors, some who “divine” for money (Mic 3:11) and “sell indulgences” for profit.  In fact many of these pastors today have become like greedy dogs who can never have enough and who look to their own way for their own gain (Isa 56:11). They have infiltrated the church with many false doctrines and heresies which have caused much problems in and to the faith. Because of them many have turned away from Christianity in the mistaken belief that this is how Christians behave. Today these pastors parade on TV in front of mega audiences and are not ashamed to flaunt their thousand dollar suits, Golf Stream Jets, Rolex watches and Roll Royce cars and their congregations don’t think there is anything wrong with it. Perhaps they don’t see a problem with this because they themselves desire to one day possess these things themselves? They become so misguided into thinking that these men earned their money because they sowed and reaped or worked hard but fail to realise or accept that these men got rich off their tithes and offerings.

The church has become so brainwashed into thinking that their pastors infallible and can do no wrong or say anything wrong. As a result the church has developed a culture of being too all-inclusive and accepting of any and everyone who stands on their pulpits and declare themselves to be anointed. The church is discouraged from applying any form of discernment in light of scripture as this is seen as “judging” and so is completely forbidden. As a result anyone can declare any old hash from the pulpit and this goes unchallenged in light of scripture. Wonders never cease as to the garbage that is spewed out from the pulpits these days and the church in the main seems to be spiritually dead to it. Today there is much talk of revival but in actual fact what is observed is a growth in false doctrines, which is gaining growing followership. The church today seems to be performing a charade which purports to be revival but nothing more than religious apostasy and a falling away of the church.

In spite of all these ills however we rest in the hope that God will shine His light on those who are willing to open their eyes to the truth and come out of the growing deception. We thank God for His mercy and praise Him for His continued saving Grace that is able to keep the true church steadfast and to save those who would be saved.

The Kingdom of Heaven September 18, 2009

Posted by Henry in Matters of the Faith.
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Many people may have heard this faithful saying, that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand”, especially being preached from street corners and in market places but few would even bother to pay attention to what they might perceive as fanatical drivel, much less to believe or accept it. Instead many people mistakenly think that these preachers are simply deluded mad men or women or religious fanatics especially when in our day we have bold adverts being posted on the sides of buses saying, “There is probably no God, so quit worrying and enjoy your life”. But I have news for you friends, “repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”! Yes, John the Baptist uttered these very words over some 2000 years or so ago now and no doubt many people thought he was crazy then because he was not a man who wore smart apparel and esteemed in society but rather a dishevelled man dressed in animal skins and lived on the edge of (polite) society. Many must have wondered what on earth is this “lunatic” talking about! But still many believed on his message and were baptised by him.

We should note here that the “Kingdom of God” and the “Kingdom of Heaven” are synonymous. The first mention of the Kingdom (for ease of reference) in the New Testament is in Matt 3:1-3:

1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

In the passage John did not say plainly what the Kingdom is precisely but he left no doubt as to the significance or importance of it, if we look further along in the passage. The key point here to note though is that we should repent of our sins because of the Kingdom.

We see in the passage where John baptised all those who repented of their sins because they wanted to “partake” of this talked about “Kingdom.” But at this point the Kingdom had not yet (fully) come so this baptism was in a sense a prelude to the future Kingdom which John hinted at in verse 11, which was to be established by Jesus Christ. The interesting thing to note here though from verse 7 is that pursuing the Kingdom also represented a “fleeing from the wrath to come”. Though it is not spelt out here we can conclude therefore that the Kingdom of Heaven represented “salvation” for all men who would actively seek “it” through repentance and turning away from sin, and which is evidenced by “good fruit”. We also get a sense from verses 10 & 12 that the Kingdom is governed by a Righteous Ruler (Jesus Christ) who will separate (Judge) those who have attained to the Kingdom (i.e. produces good fruit) from those who don’t.

Jesus made it clear to us that the Kingdom of Heaven should be our primary goal in this life – it is of paramount importance. In Matt 6:33 Jesus implored us not to seek after worldly things or to worry about food, raiment etc but rather to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is important to us because the Bible says in Heb 9:27:

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

There will come a time at the end of the age when God will judge the world. Those who are His children will inherit eternal life but those who are not will be cast out into eternal damnation. The Kingdom of Heaven is therefore the only path to salvation and Jesus Christ is the only “Gateway” into this Kingdom. For He said in John 14:6:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Do you want to enter into this Kingdom? If so you need to enter by way of Christ.

Revival or Religious Apostasy? September 18, 2009

Posted by Henry in False Doctrines.
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We live in an age where churches are growing up rapidly on literally every street corner and talk of revival echo from Christian TV channels across the globe but are we really seeing a revival? Is there a scriptural basis to support such an idea? Many of course would argue that we live in the “last days” but if this is so does scripture support a latter day revival?

It is important that we heed the warning of scriptures and not be swayed by every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14) but we have a responsibility to test every spirit to see if they are of God or not (1 John 4:1). In the name of “dwelling in love” and not seeking to judge however, many have become complacent and compromising with regards to these warnings. As a result of this many false prophets have entered into the church claiming to “hear from God” on matters such as revival and many accept them in with open arms. If we look at the case of Paul in Berea (Acts 17:11) however, we see that although he was a genuine minister from God the Jews did not readily accept his words on his say so but “searched the scriptures daily to see if those things were so”.

Many Christians have forgotten that one of the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit is discernment (see 1 Cor 12:10), yet many would say we should not judge or call a minister into question but to leave it to the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth and impose any sanctions on the individual’s ministry. This position is taken supposedly so as not to “cause division among the brethren”. If this is indeed the correct posture to hold why then was the gift of discernment given? Evidently the gift of discernment was given with the intent that it should be exercised by the Church along with all other gifts for the edification of the whole church. In Paul’s encounter with the Bereans, for example, he counted them as being “more noble” than they of Thessalonica because they exercised discernment by comparing his message to scriptures. How much more should we as Christians exercise discernment?

Many “new age prophets” and “anointed men of God” have been declaring a “new outpouring” which they claim is the “new move” of God but on close examination of their doctrine we can see that they are not in line with scriptures. On hearing these things, a question that one should ask oneself therefore is whether the Holy Spirit could declare things that are not in accordance (and even contradicts) the written Word! The interesting thing about it though is that these “new age prophets” are the ones that are amassing huge gatherings culminating into mega-churches. On the face of it this might seem like revival to the undiscerning. After all, church growth and revival amounts to the same thing doesn’t it? But if the message of Christ isn’t being preached in these places and souls aren’t being saved then we have a serious problem. Scripture has warned us many times that in the last days many false prophets shall arise and shall deceive MANY (Matt 24:11,24)! Are we therefore mistaking a growing deception of religious apostasy for revival?