Friday, June 17, 2011

The Seduction of the Modern Day Church


The perversion of the true Gospel in the world was foretold by Christ himself concerning those who would attempt to destroy the faith.

"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."
Acts 20:29-30

The hireling (false prophet) that preaches from the church pulpit today has replaced the true Word of God with humanistic psychology…in other words, the study and belief that people are innately good; it stresses the importance of personal choice. The humanist will speak out against ideologies, beliefs and practices which they say holds down a people.

This is also the stand they take on 'religion', that it is merely the means to keep a people and nations in line to accomplish economic and political ends. Through this influence who has not heard it said to them that 'religion is a crutch for the weak'?!

Yes friend, these ideas have crept behind the pulpits of the modern day church. The opinions of man are given precedence over God's Word.

In church congregations everywhere we find a growing indifference and carelessness in the handling of Biblical doctrine. Nobody cares whether the message preached is true or false. Christians who claim a 'simple faith' are far from the Biblical example that was set before us and found in the Bereans… "What sayeth the Lord?"

There is no search for truth.

Multitudes are led astray as they are too busy to concern themselves with what God says in his Word.

2 Thess. 2:9-12  

"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

Today's contemporary churches have become feel good, seeker friendly social centers with hand clapping and pop groups performing under a guise of 'Christian entertainment'. There is no longer any fear of God or reverence when worshipping Him. Deluded congregations everywhere are living in self serving complacency.

The modern church has become one with the world. This apostate church (Babylon) sets itself up as being of God; when in truth, it appeals to the unregenerate man of the world. It has invented a false god (of love only) in order to attract many but offend none. Pride and vanity have replaced a life of holiness and dedication to God. Sin has become relative. We are told to be 'tolerant' to avoid dissension. There is no longer any right or wrong. Biblical discernment is frowned upon today. Man now calls it judging!

Gone are the days when we last heard the words sin, repentance, God's judgment and eternal damnation. The true holy God of love and of justice (judgment) has been eliminated. Men have become their own gods.

That which takes the place of Christ:

Saving faith is no longer an act of God, but an act of the will of man. Man believes he plays a role in saving himself. This work is called, 'making a decision for Christ'. In contrast, the true message of Christ is centered upon the Grace of God and His free gift to man.

Man is born in sin as a result of the fall and thus incapable of any good thing. This truth is unacceptable to the carnally minded man. It is vain man who claims that he is essentially good, and can therefore 'make a decision' for Christ (or deny him), all according to his own 'free-will'. They believe it is man and not God who determines their eternal state. It is the Tower of Babel all over again in the modern day church.

Ephesians 5:6
  "Let no man
deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."

He has convinced himself of God's favor, so therefore believes God is pleased and will guarantee him a spot in heaven. It is a false gospel with a false notion that God is waiting in hopeful anticipation of yet another coming to 'accept him'.

In all this, God is taken off the throne and relegated powerless. With the simple act of raising a hand and walking down an aisle, men and women are assured that they are now "saved" and told to never doubt their
'salvation.' God's word tells us, examine yourselves!

2Corinthians 13:5
 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

Nowhere is there a mention of repentance from sin nor, living a life of holiness. To follow Christ is a separation from the ways of the world. We are commanded by God to "come out from among them"! This is both the false church and the world, for they are one, "and be ye separate".

2Corinthians 6:17
  "Wherefore come out from among them, and
be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"

The depravity of man is totally unacceptable to the modern church. It is contrary to the 'decision making' and 'free will' now spread throughout the 'evangelical' world.

Modern theology denies that man is wholly dependent upon the grace of God in order to be saved. In contrast, the true believer bows before a sovereign and holy God whose mercy and grace he acknowledges.

Imputed righteousness is given by God, through faith in Christ alone, whereby the elect are able to believe the promise of eternal life through the forgiveness of their sin, as a result of Christ's all sufficient sacrifice. As man is dead in sin, he is utterly incapable of doing anything of himself to obtain this faith, including putting up a hand, coming "to the front", or "making a decision". Faith is the merciful gift of a loving God to those who are naturally his enemy.

What is the reason for so many denominations in the world since there is only one truth? Man simply wants to choose and select what doctrines or beliefs he is willing to follow. Man as gods. This also goes for what church he feels comfortable in. 'Feel-good worship' and ecumenical unity, has become a major influence in the evangelical church.

Genuine salvation manifests itself in a desire for personal holiness. The regenerate heart is evidenced by a mortification of sin; and separation from the ways of the world. The man and woman of God will never forget that their battle and their faith are spiritual; they are wholly dependent upon the one true God whose face they constantly seek. Through Gods' work in our lives we come to recognize our own depravity and selfishness. Our lives become God centered rather than self-centered.

The Biblical Gospel is not to be presented as a proposal or as an 'offer of Christ.' It does not matter whether the hearer likes it or not. Properly presented, it is a call to holiness and a separation from the things of the world. The true man of God does not try to 'win the world to Christ' but witnesses against the world and its works.

The preaching of the Gospel is how God brings the message of salvation through Christ to His own. It is a call into the kingdom for the true child of God. The Gospel does not try to 'entice' the unregenerate, or young and old alike to "accept Jesus", yet the message of Christ is proclaimed to all as no man knows whether the elect are present before him or not. The Holy Spirit alone applies God's truth to the heart.

Reconciliation with God is only possible by a turning from sin (sin separates us from God) and a turning to the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we draw nearer to Christ's return God has been withdrawing his restraining hand. Satan was "bound" until the gospel was proclaimed throughout the world. Evil did not cease in the world with the binding of Satan, but that evil which would hinder the spread of the gospel was held back. Once the gospel of Jesus Christ was established throughout the world, the bonds that limited Satan and prevented him from interfering with the spread of the gospel were loosed.

In our day, faithful preaching and true doctrine is rare and certainly not often found in the modern church, if at all. The 'beasts' found in the book of Revelation are symbolically the ministers and agents of Satan. Their followers are hypocrites disguised as true believers.

The Holy Spirit reveals to us those who will enter into apostasy:

"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
2 Thessalonians 2:10,

Modern Translations cast doubt on God's Word:

A false Christianity is maintained through a false gospel (together with false and corrupt 'bibles').

What had already started in the early years of the church has become characteristic of the modern evangelical church… it has disowned the Word of God. The modern church has replaced God's true Word with the false…these are bible translations which include alterations, corruptions and omissions.

The world has little desire to be transformed by the Word of God. They change the Bible, rather than yearn for God's work to bring about a change in them.

Some modern Bible versions carry deceptive footnotes which are added to cast doubt concerning God's Word. An example of this is seen below:

"The earliest and most reliable manuscripts do not have, etc. etc."

This statement along with similar ones willfully
suggests that the Bible is not reliable. Once doubt is cast the validity of the Word of God is called into question.

These footnotes are the opinions of the supposedly 'enlightened' men and women who wrote them… some are so-called 'evangelicals', others are liberals, apostates, atheists, or feminists. Yet the modern church remains unconcerned.

A popular excuse used to support the doctrine altering modern "translations" is the claim that they are easier for modern readers to understand; surely, these bibles appeal only to the sloth and laziness of modern man.

But hundreds of omissions, alterations, and doubt-casting footnotes are seen in the modern bible translations, most notably concerning the deity of Christ. These translations butcher the Hebrew and Greek; and omit the doctrines of God that do not suit their tastes.

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2Timothy 2:15

Confusion is in the churches.
With the many available translations sold today it is no longer possible for people attending services to read along together from one Bible.

*The Authorized Version 1611 (King James) is a faithful translation of the Textus Receptus. It is exceedingly rare that the translators departed from the original, literal Greek wording.
Another is the Geneva Bible.

**Any obscure text must agree with the Bible as a whole. Isolated texts must take into consideration all others found in scripture.

Antichrist- denotes not merely that which is opposed to the cause of God and the kingdom of Christ in this world; but also,

that which takes the place of Christ in this world.

Sadly, the modern church has been subtly seduced …away from the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ; their attention has been turned to a false Christ and a counterfeit gospel… that which takes the place of Christ.

Christ gives us this sombre warning:

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

Matthew 24:24

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Return of Christ

Dear Friend,

In recent days the entire world witnessed a unique moment in our time. An American minister grabbed the attention of all by using mathematical calculations and the Bible to try and predict the end of days and the return of Christ. By his calculations Saturday May 21, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. was to be that day and hour.

His prediction prompted skeptics and believers alike to spend huge chunks of time to blog about it while newspapers wrote detailed articles and television news programs spent valuable air time on the subject. All had an opinion. A few took the time to recall that in just a few short months, the year had brought earthquakes, many tornadoes, a volcanic eruption, and a major tsunami/nuclear crisis to Japan.

One thing is important to remember- Christ Himself declared NO ONE knows the exact hour or day when His return will be, only the Father.

Can the days we are living in now be likened to the conditions that Scripture tells us will foreshadow the return of Christ?

Let's look at Luke 17:26-30

"And as it was in the days of Noe (Noah), so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man."
"They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe (Noah) entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."         

Yes, just like any other day for the unbelieving.

"Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;"
"But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all."
"Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."

And to the wise:
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." 1Thessalonians 5:4

The word Rapture itself is not found in the Bible but is used by Christians to describe a certain event in Scripture, meaning to be
caught away or to be caught up. It has been conveniently used to avoid repeating the whole verse whenever speaking of this event:

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:"

"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess. 4:16-17

Some have not completely understood the term Rapture
are unsure as to the order the Bible says this will occur. Many mistakenly believe this occurs before the great tribulation. They feel that God has not appointed the Church to wrath and use the scripture verse found in 1st Thessalonians below to erroneously prove their point.

"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,"
1 Thessalonians 5:9

But the tribulation is not the wrath of God which is reserved for unrepentant sinners in judgement.

True believers are still here during the great tribulation though Christ warns us there will be many false prophets and false Christs. The below verse should help make this clear to us.

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

"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not."
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
"Behold, I have told you before."
    Matthew 24:21-25

This short period of the great tribulation is that time when Satan will be loosed from the pit to deceive the nations (Rev. 20), and then the end will come. The Rapture occurs with the Sound of a great Trumpet and the Lord will descend with a shout!

The unsaved have been living in darkness. To them, His coming will be as a thief in the night. They are not expecting Him!

2Peter 3:10
  "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

Many will be caught unaware at His coming, but all will know as every eye shall see Him.

Revelation 1:7
  "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."

This occurs at Christ's second advent, at the last day, the end of the world.

Matthew 24:29-30
"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:"
"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."

It is after the tribulation that Christ returns to gather (rapture) His elect.

Mark 13:27
  "And then shall he send His angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven."

When Christ returns on that last day, it will be to raise up believers to everlasting life and unbelievers to judgement.

1Corinthians 15:52
  "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

For the world, the Great Tribulation period will come either as judgment or as a test of our faith.

2Timothy 3:13
  "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."

We are commanded to watch so that we are not deceived.

"And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them."                                                     Luke 21:8

Friday, May 20, 2011


God's Judgment Against Sinful Man?

"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, Babylon THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Revelation 17:5

Dear Friend,

Have you ever wondered who or what is Mystery, Babylon that the Bible speaks of? It is often described by Bible scholars as the world of false religion. The meaning of Babylon means confusion. Previous generations were of the popular opinion that it was surely Roman Catholicism. Many say the same thing today. Others say Babylon is part of the church which will fall away into apostasy. Others add that it is God's judgment against sinful man.

God's true Church is made up of all who have been born again of God's Spirit (those who by the grace of God have been regenerated).The false church (the imitation), made up of unregenerate man, has always been around but has rapidly gained strength in these last days.

Unsaved man, ruling in the churches, is preaching an overwhelming number of false gospels made to fool and to deceive the unsuspecting. These false prophets teach doctrines of devils and every unclean spirit.

Jeremiah 23:11
"For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD."

God gives us a description of this apostate church found in Revelation 18:2

"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."

Babylon, the Great Spiritual Harlot

This harlot or whore mimics that which is righteous and holy.

In Rev. 17:1-2 God speaks of a great Harlot that sitteth upon many waters,

1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Rev. 17:3-5

3 "So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns."

When we look at the next verse, God tells us she has an appearance of Christianity. She has a form of Godliness but hasn't experienced the power thereof, nor does she have the Grace of God and has never known regeneration. In other words, she (the apostate church) is this woman which is blind and poor yet thinks she can see.

4 "And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:"

Man has replaced God's true Gospel of Grace with the Abomination (anything man must do for Salvation is a false gospel).

The Law has shown us how much we need a Savior, but man will not come to Christ. Is this not the Abomination? Man trusts not in the Grace of God but in his own Works. We are told in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 God will send unbelievers strong delusion because they have not believed the truth preached in love.

Free grace is the great enemy of sinful, works oriented man. Man makes war with the fact he must come to God His way, through the Cross of Salvation. A Works gospel denies that we are already bought with a price by Christ.

God's true Gospel of Grace is through Jesus Christ alone….apart from the Law and the works of man.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 is in reference to this unsaved church (Babylon) who will be deceived and goes into apostasy.

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
2 Thess 2:3-4

Who is that man of sin but any and all who are without respect to God and His Law. Listening only to the counsels of their own hearts, they are as gods believing themselves capable of judging between good and evil.

Christ warned us in the last days our enemies would be, 'of your own household'. Our enemies are hidden right in the church, the household of faith.

When the testimony of the faithful is completed, Satan will be loosed from the pit and lead the nations, as a ferocious beast, to come against the camp of the saints.

Let us turn to Revelation 11:7 "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them."

The Book of Revelation is steeped in symbolic imagery. 'They shall overcome them and kill them' speaks of the time when the voice of God's prophets (His children), declaring the true Gospel message, will no longer be heard in the world's churches. They have been silenced. God's true message of Salvation is rejected in the congregations led by unsaved man.

As we see the signs approaching we are told to flee from Babylon, the Lord's vengeance is on her!

" Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD'S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence." Jer. 51:6

Revelation 18:4 may signify the last irresistible, effectual call into everlasting glory.

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

The time when iniquity will abound, or comes to a full, coincides to the time when Satan will be let loose. Satan was destroyed at the Cross but will be released for a 'little season' at the end time. (Rev. 20:3)

Daniel 8:23-25
"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up."

24 "And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people."
25 "And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many."

Smooth words which offend none is the message of peace preached in today's churches. None are convicted, none are alarmed, none are called to war against the enemy of our souls. Many are unconcerned….they sit as if in peace and safety. The stage has been set.

The time is coming that God's entire spiritual Church will be built and all remaining in the apostate church (Babylon) will be destroyed.

Jeremiah 51:1
"Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind."

We come to one more question many still wonder about:

Is Rome the Mystery, Babylon of scripture?

Let us read some history concerning the early days of Rome. The Web Bible Encyclopedia tells us:

The literal Babylon was the beginner and supporter of tyranny and idolatry.

Rome eventually succeeded to the power of old Babylon after conquering the Macedonians and it was her method to adopt the worship of the false deities she had conquered.

She became the successor of all the Babylonian idolatry that was introduced into it by the immediate successors of Babylon and consequently of all the idolatry of the earth. Rome pagan and papal is regarded as one power.

The O.T. kingdom of Babylon prefigured the apostate, visible church (Mystery Babylon, the great) which God will bring judgment upon prior to Christ's return.

Revelation 17:18
"And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."

Surely, Roman Catholicism follows man (known as a Pope) and not the God of the Bible. Obviously, she is and always has been a huge part of Mystery Babylon, but she is not alone.

Presently, more and more of those in Protestant denominations are following this influence which originated out of Rome. Many claim that they are saved yet do not possess God given faith that Salvation is by Grace alone through Jesus Christ. (God's work of Salvation in us from beginning to end). Deception, going hand in hand with confusion, has crept into the mainstream Churches. It is the lie that is thriving, not the Gospel of Christ.

Let us review Revelation 13:3-9
"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast."

This could only be Satan who was bound at Christ's victory of the Cross. He will be let loose again for a short time at the end to deceive the nations.

Revelation 13:4
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"

The great deceiver will manifest himself in man.

The dragon (Satan) gives his power to the false prophet, spiritually a 'beast'.

5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Things have not changed since the beginning of time.

Would you recognize Babylon?

Have you believed the lie, "surely, you will not die"?

Let us make certain we are following Christ, and not the 'tares' planted by Satan.

No friend, without Christ we are capable of being easily deceived. Many are on that road leading to Babylon.

"O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Jeremiah 10:3

Are you a sinner? Then God is talking to you.

Have you heard His call? Hearken unto it.

Christ tells us, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Luke 5:32

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Captivity of the Israelites by Babylon

As good parents to our own children, we tell them about Jesus and teach them from stories in the Bible.

What child does not love hearing about Jesus and want to learn more about Him?

But it seems as they grow and mature into teens and then young adults, most have lost that enthusiasm for God's truth; they've been captured by the persuasions of the world.

Since the time of Adam, man has rejected God's rule over him and has continued to desire forbidden fruit.

This is just what happened when the Israelites told Samuel they wanted a king as the nations around them had. They weren't content with a heavenly King and gave Samuel the excuse that it was because of his wicked sons.

Let us turn to 1 Samuel, Chapter 8

After praying to God for guidance the Lord said unto Samuel, "Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."

God knew their hearts and told Samuel to warn the people what a heavy price they would have to pay in their desire of earthly man to rule over them.

"Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles." 1 Samuel 8:19-20

Thinking that their own works were not wicked, notice one of the things these people wanted, "that our king may judge us."

God gave these people who did not want to serve Him their own earthly king(s).

What happened throughout the Babylonian captivity will be our main focus, keeping in mind that much of what is revealed to us from Old Testament scriptures concerning this subject will point us ultimately to the Babylon and the remnant of our day. By seeking to understand this captivity through God's Word we ourselves should benefit from it and come to a better understanding of Who God is, His ways, and how He works in the lives of His children.

**Statue of Nebuchadnezzar**Proverbs 23:26 "My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways."

God allowed Babylon to capture Israel and carry them away to a strong country.

There Nebuchadnezzar became their new king. He put a yoke of iron upon the necks of all nations he ruled over.

Let us consider some things about this king who would rule over them.

Nebuchadnezzar (more accurately Nebuchadrezzar)

We will read some very interesting scripture verses concerning him, yet at first they can be difficult to understand and even confusing.

Who was this mysterious person Nebuchadnezzar that God would give him power over the whole earth? In Jer. 25:9 The Lord calls him 'My Servant', and yet he is King of Babylon! One thing is important to understand: God rules over the whole earth and gives to whomever He wills to govern it, but as followers of the One true God we must always obey Him rather than man.

Nebuchadnezzar was a heathen king, meaning Gentile, not an Israelite; and although Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom seem to have been shown favor, it is important to remember he is an enemy to the Israelites.

By the time of Zedekiah (Israel's last king) the Israelites had sinned worse than their fathers who forsook the Lord and walked after and worshipped other gods. Their children walked after the counsels and in the imaginations of their own heart.

Jeremiah 7:24 "But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward."

When God brought Babylon against Israel Jeremiah counseled the Jews to come under Nebuchadnezzar's yoke. His counsel from God was in essence: don't fight against Nebuchadnezzar but rather bear this oppression. If you don't come under the yoke to Nebuchadnezzar you'll be destroyed. Yet Israel continued to rebel against God, they fought against Nebuchadnezzar and were taken into captivity by Babylon.

The message to the Jews was that they ought to accept this chastisement from God.

God's desire was that they acknowledge their iniquity and return back to Him in repentance and contrition.

We find throughout the earlier history of the Israelite people that God constantly brought heathen nations against His elect to trouble them and chasten them so they would hearken more diligently to Him. When God's people are slack in seeking His face and obeying Him, God chastises.

Understanding this captivity can be confusing, not because the Israelites are punished for their disobedience but because of how God accomplishes His will in them. His commandment to them is, 'to come under the yoke' of Nebuchadnezzar and the heathen nation of Babylon.

Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD."

When God brought Babylon to chastise Israel, Jeremiah's counsel was not to bow to the wickedness and tyranny of Babylonian Laws, but to accept God's chastisement through the captivity of Babylon. We find in Jeremiah's letter to Israel (Chapter 29) a message from God carefully instructing them on how to live while in their captivity.

We also see the principle that when sin is discovered in the camp all are punished until it is removed.

In a raid by Nebuchadnezzar a few years earlier, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were brought to Babylon along with others but purposed in their hearts they would not offend God.

Hence they did not eat of the portion of the King's meat. This 'meat' is a figure of the Abomination (false gospel).

God raised them up as prophets in the land of Babylon.

Daniel and his three friends represent how all true believers should live in the world.

Babylon, a figure of the unregenerate church is also pictured as the world. Many see the world ruling in the churches today, replacing God's Word with the teachings of Man.

Let us turn to Jeremiah 43:10

"And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them."

Incredibly, we see a type of Christ in Nebuchadnezzar!

'My Servant' can only be a revelation of Jesus Christ. (God's elect are 'these stones that I have hid').

Nebuchadnezzar can be seen as God's Perfect Law. He comes against a rebellious Israel with his Holy Law, the yoke of iron (hard bondage).

(The New Testament saints, who are also Israel circumcised of heart, are chastised by the Spirit as he uses this rod of correction upon them).

Proverbs 3:11-12

"My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."

Traditionally we think of Satan as the Adversary, the accuser of the brethren. Nebuchadnezzar is also a picture of the adversary (though not of the fallen, angelic being), as God's Holy Law it accuses and convicts the sinner.

The Law of God because of sin is the enemy of man. The Holy Law is an adversary (an accuser) because of sin.

God uses His Law for humbling purposes. It is the power of God's Word which destroys the workings of the flesh (indwelling sin).

"For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished." Jer. 30:11

Let's find out what this chastisement from God accomplished in the Israelites, once again, keeping in mind Mystery Babylon and the small remnant remaining in our day.

Turning to 2 Chron. 36:13-21 we find some lengthy but detailed verses important to study and understand,

13 And he (Zedekiah) also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel. 14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

The reason God sent them to Babylon. Listen carefully!

15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:

16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

We have just read the compassion the Lord had upon the Israelites. How could this be compassion?

To slay with the (S)word through God's Law, His Word, accuses the sinner and convicts all who are in rebellion. It is this which 'slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary'. In other words, when God's people come together, in the house of their sanctuary (Church or wherever two or more are gathered) to hear His Word, it brings conviction to the sinner.

"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword." -Hebrews 4:12

The Elect, the vessels of God's mercy:

18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.

19 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof.

The only thing that destroys the workings of the flesh is the Law of God. It is the power of God's Word which aids in the destruction of the flesh. It is "the flesh and the pride of life" which the Lord brings destruction upon and is a correcting discipline.

20 "And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:"

Those who are not of His seed He gives up to their own depravity and the power of sin. Within the great assembly called the Church are both the unregenerate and the true saints. His chastisement is brought about for the true saints only, that they may profit from it. This remnant will persevere and return to God in contrition and repentance.

Reading on, 70 years later; Cyrus, the King of Prussia, sounds very much like Nebuchadnezzar as he proclaims, "all the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord given me". God stirred up Cyrus to free the Israelites with a remnant returning to Jerusalem. In Cyrus also is a picture of Christ…the Savior of His people. I believe many times God both teaches us and continually reminds us of His spiritual truths through the physical pictures He gives us throughout the Bible.

"Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up". 2 Chron. 36:23

The Elect are the 'stones' God uses to build His spiritual house in Jerusalem.

In Ezra, Chapter 2 you can see how this captivity brought a remnant of many thousands back to the Lord; the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

Ezra 3:11 "And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid."

What did God accomplish by this captivity and why did it change some hearts and not others back to God? For one thing, it brought humbleness back to God's people, His Elect. That they would seek after Him with all their hearts. It also separated His Own from the unregenerate of the world, bringing the remnant back into the land. (spiritually, into His kingdom).

God will not have His heritage associated with the abominations of the world, nor His Land (kingdom) defiled,

Jeremiah 2:7 "And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination."

Listen to Ezra's beautiful prayer of repentance found in Ezra 9:5-15

5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,

6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.

7 Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.

8 And now for a little grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

9 For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments,

11 Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness.

12 Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.

13 And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this

14 Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?

15 O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.

What happened next was a great multitude came and wept before the Lord.

"Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore." Ezra 10:1

Nebuchadnezzar's praise of God,

Daniel 4:37 "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase."

Christ's life, death, and resurrection was sufficient to secure the salvation of man.

He succeeded in saving all those for whom He died and not one was lost or in vain.

There is no flesh that will glory in God's presence, the Law of works cannot save. The salvation of man is by God alone and for the glory of God.

We have just seen throughout these scriptures how Babylon was used by God for chastisement through the Law, but there is coming a time when God will bring Judgment upon Babylon. Let us take a closer look at that subject next time.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jer. 29:11

Sunday, March 27, 2011

“What was it Satan Really Said to the Woman in the Garden?”

We cannot read too far along in our Bibles before God reveals to us the condition of the human heart.

Sinful man thinks that he has no need of God to direct and guide him in his life and so he rebels against the Lord. Readily leading man into believing the lie is his own pride and vanity.

Satan approached the woman in the garden and said to her, 'Ye shall not surely die'.

What did he mean by that?

Let us turn to Genesis, Chapter 3 to examine what happened at the very beginning of time:

1"Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

2  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

What was he really telling the woman?

Just this…. if she did not listen to the voice of God, she needn't worry. She would not die. Things would continue to go well with her. She did not need God to guide her, nor keep her in the way she should walk! She too was intelligent. Why she herself could 'be as a god', knowing good and evil. After all, she was not walking in darkness! Didn't she also have knowledge of how things should be?

Yes, he appealed to her pride and vanity.

The woman listened and believed Satan's lie. (the man was not deceived. See 1Tim 2:14).

She and the man 'ate' from that forbidden tree.

Afterwards, realizing they were naked (in sin),

Eve told the Lord, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat".

(Let us clearly understand, the Bible is not talking about a physical tree, it is not talking about eating a physical piece of fruit!)

The forbidden tree brings death and is representative of the original lie started by Satan but continued by man who believes and teaches this very same lie, "You surely will not die". Its fruit is sin and death.

God tells us:

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

We must eat from the 'Tree of Life' which is Christ.

He died on the 'Tree' (the Cross) which gave us life.

John 6:53
  "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."

What happened next?

This sin continued on in their son Cain, who remained in rebellion, and refused to bring the proper sin offering before the Lord.

Though all men are in darkness without God, they believe their eyes are open and listen only to the counsels of their own heart.

Yes ... "ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

Sin is, simply put… not obeying the voice of the Lord. Man listened to another voice; a voice that would lead him astray.

Jeremiah 23:16-17

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD."                        

"They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, no evil shall come upon you."

Turning to Genesis 10:8 we will find the story of Nimrod.

Nimrod was descended from Cush who was a son of Ham, one of Noah's three sons.

8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

The English language is lacking in translation of the original Hebrew word 'Nimrod'. It is a description of a rebel and in all likelihood this was not his name but a derisive term. He led rebellion against the Lord.

The original Hebrew says he began to be a tyrannical hunter before the Lord (meaning in opposition to the Lord). He hunted men by strategy and force.

The beginning of his kingdom was in the land of Shinar, Babel being one of those cities. Those who gathered together to follow him built the tower at Babel, "whose top may reach unto Heaven." They rebelled against the true God and desired to make a name for themselves.

Gen. 11:4  "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

Let us stop for a moment and examine the phrase "let us make a name". The people of Babel were in rebellion against the Lord and wanted to make a name for themselves, rather than giving to God all the Glory due Him.

Is that not like the world of today?

Man is moved by pride and ambition, looking for their own self elevation and glory.

But what does Christ tell us? We must humble ourselves, and yes, even deny ourselves:

 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23

By obeying the Lord, we gain life, not lose it.

"He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
Matthew 10:39

We become more Christ-like.

"He must increase, but I must decrease."
John 3:30

Two other examples who taught rebellion are Hananiah and Shemaiah. Let us read what Jeremiah says about them.

Jeremiah 28:15-17

 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. 

Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD

So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

Jeremiah 29:32
  "Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the LORD; because he hath taught rebellion against the LORD."

Another interesting story is found in
John 10:33-37

Man as Gods:

33  The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for
blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36  Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

What they wrongly accused Jesus of doing is exactly what they were doing. Though they knew the scriptures they did not know God, they were walking in the counsels of their own heart, man as gods.

Jeremiah 16:20 "Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?"

Turning to the book of Jeremiah we find a much more in-depth study concerning the problem of rebellion; God reveals what is in man's sinful heart and how it is so easily deceived by the lie.

Let us also look at just a few verses found in this book.

"wherefore say my people, we are Lords; we will come no more unto thee?" Jer. 2:31

"Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?" Jeremiah 2:5

 Isaiah 47:8

"Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. "

Yes… men as gods! No longer following after the One true God but walking after the counsels of their own hearts.

God warns us of man's lie:

"Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."
Jeremiah 17:5

Today man teaches that God is a God of Love (only), therefore, many are unconcerned about their sins and where they will spend eternity. They have been given confidence their sins will not keep them from entering Heaven. Many do not even consider that they are sinners and will think of themselves as good persons.

In other words: "surely you will not die".

Another version of this same lie: surely you will not die….. If.

The unregenerate man believes a false Gospel of Salvation, this always through some sort of works. He wants to claim a part in his own salvation… even saying, "it was I who chose to follow Christ!"

The Gospel of God's Grace is through Jesus Christ alone, apart from the Law and the works of man.

Anything other than this is a false gospel.

Matthew 23:4
  "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

Let us always remember what the Lord tells us concerning the hearts of man….

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9

Sunday, March 13, 2011

“Tares Among the Wheat”

Dear Friends,

In the coming weeks ahead we will be looking at the subject of "Mystery Babylon".

To fully understand some of the scripture verses pertaining to that study it may benefit us to first look at how Mystery Babylon came to be.

One subject in connection to this, and which will be appearing on this site soon, I have titled "What Was it Satan Really Said to the Woman in the Garden."

The other is seen below.

Throughout the New Testament (also hidden in the O.T.) God tells us that His true children and the children of the enemy would grow together until the Harvest.

He also shows us how this will occur.

Let us briefly review some earlier history of this region.

The Ancient Near East was composed of many powerful kingdoms that preyed upon smaller less fortunate ones. These smaller kingdoms that were unable to defend themselves would have no choice but to look to other kingdoms more powerful than themselves to protect them against these invaders. They would make a treaty with the kingdom defending them in which everything was outlined in great detail. In exchange, they would also promise how they would serve them. The greater king was known as the Suzerain and the lesser was called the vassal, or lesser lord. The lesser lord represented all the people under the protection of this great king.

This treaty would also contain the blessings and curses of the Suzerain if the vassal failed to meet the stipulations.

The most common ceremony used to ratify this was the cutting in half of certain animals and positioning them in two rows where both parties of this treaty would walk side by side, vowing as they walked between these pieces, "May what has happened to these animals, happen to me if I break this covenant with you".

What must surely come to our minds as we read the above is God's Covenant promise with Israel. Yes, it was just like that. See below!

Genesis 15:17 "And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces."

Yes, God Himself passed between those pieces. He could swear by none other greater than Himself.

God (the Suzerain King) promised to protect Israel (the vassal people) as long as they listened to His voice. God told them exactly what he expected from them (Exodus 20-23). In return He told them of all the blessings He would provide them. This was a covenant promise never to be broken!

Of course, all of us have broken our side of this covenant, both regenerate and unregenerate man.

Every human being in the world, through Adam, was given all the commandments.

Yet, it is only the eternal and elect church who are restored by Grace.

It was Christ's Work (His Perfect Life) which fulfilled the Law for us.

The Law is Perfect but it must be kept to the letter. It knows no forgiveness. There is no Grace found in it.

It was meant to show us our sins and how we are incapable of keeping the whole Law. Sinful man can never enter Heaven and stand before a Holy God! God is unapproachable to a sinner.

God tells us we are NOT saved by the keeping of the Law. The Only Sacrifice He accepts is through Christ, His Sacrifice alone. It is His Righteousness (His sinless, perfect life) which is imputed to us through the Atoning Blood of the Cross.

The earlier above history review of the ancient near east may help explain this next story which is found in Joshua. It should be read in its entirety for a better understanding on our subject. (Joshua 9:1-27)

At the time of Joshua the atmosphere was yet the same, w/ kingdoms and peoples continuing to band together seeking mutual protection and safety against their enemies.

God had previously told the Israelites that when they came up against certain peoples in battle they were to save nothing alive.

See Deut. 20: 17 "But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:"

Let us turn to Joshua:

See Joshua vs.1 The Hivites were people who also mixed among other various groups in the region, (these being the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, and the Jebusites).

Yes, the same peoples God said to utterly destroy in Deuteronomy 20:17.

They came to Joshua and told him they were from a far country, presenting themselves as 'strangers' thereby likening themselves to the children of God who are 'strangers and pilgrims in the world. They lied and were actually neighbors who had gathered to fight against Joshua.

4"They did work wilily,"

This people had disguised themselves in humbleness:

5"old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them,"

They appeared as people who had come searching for knowledge of the Lord. They feared for their lives after hearing of all God did for Israel to protect them.

Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them.

But after finding out that they were actually their enemies, Joshua could not go back on what they had sworn to them by God's name.

19 "We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 20 This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them."

22 And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, we are very far from you; when ye dwell among us?

Joshua told them they are cursed and made them "hewers of wood and drawers of water."

"but let them be hewers" (meaning to strike with cutting blows, to cut down)

"of wood" (wood and tree are terms representative of man)

"and drawers of water" (living fountains of water are found only in Christ but God tells us there are also broken cisterns which hold no water.)

What is interesting is that we will later find these words in Jeremiah 6:6.

God uses this phrase, "Hew ye down trees and cast a mount against Jerusalem" as the enemy comes into Jerusalem to carry them away to Babylon!

Important points to consider:

Joshua made a league with them and swore by the Lord's name! He did not consult with God, nonetheless it is a treaty honored between God and them. Once again, what were the promises made from this league:

Joshua's side –they let them live and dwell in peace.

Hivites side – as servants, they would be hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation of God, but yet they are a cursed people never to be freed from being bondsmen.

Verse 27 tells us that these 'hewers of wood and drawers of water' are with us "even unto this day, in the place which he should choose"…Joshua is sometimes seen as a shadow of Christ.

These deceivers, the enemy, are disguised as true children of God; and yet at this time they will live and dwell in peace according to the oath Joshua made in the Lord's name.

Turning to the book of Ezra we will find the Israelites did not separate themselves from these bondsmen.

Ezra 9:1-2

Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

Some verses to also remember here are found in Matthew 13:24-30

24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

God's true children, though they are in the world, will never be fooled by the imitation….the lie!

Let us turn to II Kings 4: 38-44 38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets. 39 And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. 40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof. 41 But he said, then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot. 42 And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat. 43 And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. 44 So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD.

The wild vine is the imitation, those (imitators) who would almost pass for the true children of God. The 'wild gourds', a false gospel.

But the true children recognize the poison and death 'in the pot' and will not eat.

It is only the true Gospel of the flesh and blood of Christ we eat:

John 6:56 "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."

Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit


The difficult passages found below are some those knowledgeable in God's Word have gone to great lengths to explain. In brief, here is how they explain this sin, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit: it is a sin which can be committed only by those who have had the true witness of God's Word. They had been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, being among the fellowship of true believers; but after having had the knowledge of God's truth they walked away, returning back to the world (the world of lusts and desires they had seemingly been set free from). It is much stressed... this sin is not committed by the unchurched, it is not using God's name in vain, nor is it a temporary backsliding! They have rejected God's truth wholly, counting it as unworthy, or an unholy thing. They have betrayed Christ and have now become His enemy.

The first scripture of study is found below:

 Mark 3:22-30

 "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.

 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?

And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:

But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit."

The second is found at:

Luke 12:9-10

  • "But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
  • And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven."

The two scriptures, along with the prior brief explanation, certainly offer a sound interpretation regarding this particular sin, and yet it cannot be misunderstood . . . . Jesus is telling us this sin is not greater against Him (the Son of God) but is an unforgiveable blasphemy against the Person of the Holy Ghost.

Experts on the Bible also point to Judas, the betrayer of Christ, in regard to this sin of blasphemy.

Even as he dwelt among the body of believers the heart of Judas was not changed. The Bible called him a 'thief'.

John 12:6
  "This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein."

This identifies him with the evil one, Satan.

John 10:10
  "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Let us also look at another story found in Acts 5:1-11

It is the story of Ananias and Sapphira. Satan filled their hearts to lie to the Holy Ghost, to keep back part of the price of the land.

Peter said, "Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God". "Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost"

Later, when Sapphira came in, this same judgment awaited her.

The Bible describes their sin: they 'tested the Spirit of the Lord'.

Let us not be found guilty in any way of sinning against the Holy Spirit. We must study and know God's Word.

One last story we cannot forget here: Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot's wife, who God turned into a pillar of salt.

God gives us a perfect picture in this story of what we have been describing. While fleeing the coming wrath and destruction of God upon sinful man, Lot's wife revealed all her heart by looking back at her true desire. . .the world and it's pleasures. We all know what happened next!

Some excellent scripture verses often used in connection to this unforgiveable sin are:

Hebrews 6:4-6

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

2 Peter 2:20-22

"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

We are told in 1 John, that they were not of us. Even though they were among us they were not the truly saved who are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of Redemption.

1John 2:19
  "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."

Let us go back and take a closer look at verse 30 in Mark Chap. 3:

"Because they (the scribes) said, He (Christ) hath an UNCLEAN SPIRIT."

The 'unclean spirit' was the blasphemy directed at the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also known as the Spirit of Truth so to call Him an unclean spirit is the greatest of blasphemies.

The previous verses reveal that the Scribes accused Christ of casting out devils through the power of
Satan. This blasphemy was towards the Holy Spirit (Ghost) who performed all miracles through Christ.

See Acts 10:38
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the HOLY GHOST and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him."

*Another name given the Holy Spirit is the'Comforter.'

John 14:16-17

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."

We should understand the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost can be committed today…but not by a true believer.

Ephesians 1:13
  "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

The Holy Spirit indwells all true believers. Any and all of God's children may be and will be ridiculed by the world; as Christ was, and not only by the
Scribes but by the world then and now. We are told to expect this. . . it will be.

Yet, even as God's truth is preached today with power from the Holy Spirit producing conviction, repentance and the leading of souls to Christ, it is ridiculed, mocked and sometimes called a 'lie' (again, comparing the truth to an unclean spirit). Could it be that mocker or blasphemer is committing this same sin against the Holy Ghost?

Christ gives us the Holy Spirit. He indwells and empowers the children of God.

Acts 1:8
  "But ye shall receive power, after that the HOLY GHOST is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

God's true Gospel has the power to save! It is the Word which God uses to bring us to Christ. The greatest
miracle ever performed is Salvation. And
YES, part of this miracle includes the 'casting out of devils'. This miracle of casting out demons happens even today, every time someone is truly saved!

And not how one of the world's leading influences might want you to believe it happens... no, not by calling in the priests to perform an exorcism.

How does God's Word reveal to us by which means demons are cast out?

God's truth!

"The truth shall set you free"!     John 8:32

Contrary to what some churches may be teaching . . . Demons cannot, NO CANNOT, NOT EVER…. reside in the same individual as the Holy Spirit.

"Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?"

"And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7: 21-23

Christ tells us to go into all the world to proclaim this powerful message of Salvation.