May 29, 2015

The Laodicean Church and the Great Deception

Who is the Laodicean Church?  The last church mentioned in the Revelation role call of the churches Chapters 2 and 3.  This will be the last great church born of the Church age and corresponds directly with the Emergent or Community Church.  The Bible says they are neither hot nor cold and the Lord is disgusted with them and spits them out of his mouth.  They say they have everything, that they are rich but the Lord says they are naked and wretched. (See past work on Modern Laodicea).

What is the Great Deception?  This is the lie that the Lord sends to people who have heard the Gospel and hardened their hearts against it prior to the Rapture.  The Bible says that because they have refused to believe the truth, God sends them a deception and they will believe the lies of the Anti-Christ.  (See past work The Great Deception and Days of Awe)

The Rapture will be the biggest world wide miracle the Planet has seen since the Flood.  How then might the Anti-Christ fool those left behind?  What could he possibly put forward that would cover why the Christians and the children are all gone?
Mega Church designed for Unbelievers
He's had thousands of years to work this out, don't forget he is the father of lies, and has deceived the whole world.  I put forth that he also will take/abduct non-believers in conjunction with the Rapture.  Think about it for a second, you are a member of a church.  You faithfully attend, you tithe, you pack lunches for the poor but you and your church are still here.  Your unbelieving co-worker, who you've tried to get to come to church with you, is missing also.  Then the broadcasts start where we see all sorts of "missing" men and women on "space ships" or "new lands" assuring us that they are okay and so thankful to have been chosen.

The first Sunday after the disappearances you head to church and the pastor says, "There has been no Rapture!  Look we are still here.  You've seen the news clips, the people have been removed to a safe place by our new friends who have come to save us."

In the coming days, the church leaders that are left will join together and proclaim their unity.  The one world church will be formed and these, that have been left behind, will be as sheep to the slaughter.

Attending a church does not make you believer.  These new churches are designed to appeal to the unbeliever, the gospel they preach is watered down and false, and there are millions of people who think they are Christians but are not.  They want the bread without the blood.

In the days after the Rapture, the Lord will appear at the door and knock.  Instead opening the door, falling on their knees, and repenting, they will respond with the classic Jilted “Bride” song, “I will survive.” *

*Note, when I was praying about this blog, it was late at night and I was walking in my quiet neighborhood.  Out of no where I heard the Lord whisper in my spirit, "They have always wanted the bread without the blood." (John 6:26 and John 6:51-52)  I stopped in my tracks, it is so true.  As I walked on my heart hurt for those lost in dead churches and out of no where and I mean no where, a haunting line of "I will survive" boomed through the air and I felt him again whisper in my spirit, "This is the song they will sing to me."

May 27, 2015

Waiting on the Due Date

Very Pregnant Lady
Abigail and Dolley readers I've been contemplating Birth Pangs and waiting on the Lord.  I've written about this for years; from a plaintive cry in May 2011, to Warning Signs in 2013, to the Convergence of Signs in Sept 2014.  I was hit anew with the realization that the labor pains are coming fast and furious now.  Anyone who has ever eagerly awaited the birth of a child knows what this feels like, the waiting is long.

From the moment of conception, it becomes a hope.  As the baby takes root and the test results are positive, the loved ones and the expectant mother celebrate the happy news.  They settle in to wait.  They plan, they shop, they decorate, they visit the doctors to check on the signs but most of all they wait and wait and wait...  For the Fathers it does not really seem real, for Mothers it is real because we can feel it, we live with it, and waddle with it every day!

Toward the end, rounding the last corner, the final month I thought I would be pregnant forever!  I was bed ridden and grumpy; I was huge and swollen without a definitive due date.  The baby measured much larger than he should have at the first ultrasound so we were not sure if he was due at the end of April or the end of May!  It was terrible - we knew there was a baby coming but we just did not know when.

Because of this ambiguity, the anxiety level began to peak.  This picture was at the end of April, after 6 weeks of bed rest.  I started to lose it contemplating another month.  I cried to my Dad, I just could not stand the thought!  He calmed me down and told me to relax and take it one day at a time.  I remember being irritated at him about that advise!

Finally, they set a date.  In the days leading up the appointment, I was exhilarated that the wait was over but nervous.  Each day it got closer, each day was a new realization that the wait was finally over but it still wasn't quite real.  Driving to the hospital was almost surreal...

What I described is exactly what the Body of Christ is going through now.  We know He is coming, we've been waiting a long time.  The signs are here, the birth pangs are upon us, we just aren't quite sure when the due date is!  We are on bed rest, sick, swollen, and miserable and the thought of going through this indefinitely is just more than we can take.

When I began to study the Festivals, the moedim, the divine appointments it struck my Spirit that God has set the appointment already.  In the fabric of time, from the foundation of the world, the appointment was set we just have to stay strong and take my Dad's advise - one day at a time.

May 25, 2015

A Letter to My Middle Age Friend

Dear Friend,

     It was so nice to see you, I know we say it every time we get together but it's true, we really should get together more.  This middle we find ourselves in isn't fun, nothing about the middle is easy; the young and the new are behind us and the relief and freedom of the old is still some time in the distance.

     We are in the middle of a career and we wonder why we are still doing it and if there isn't something better.  Have we made the right choices and have we learned to live with our regrets? Our marriages have survived tough times and we've settled into that strange "Middle" area here, too! We are in the middle years of our kids with all the upcoming struggles of teens but miss the babies and know that they will be adults in the blink of an eye.  We worry if we've done enough or even if we've done too much.  Our parents are aging and this new role does not quite fit either of us yet.

Perfect Hobbit Hostess
       It seemed though, that our biggest area of angst was the loss of our youth.  Let me tell you what I see when I look across the table, I see my friend.  Yes, I'll admit it, we are rounder around the middle and what the heck has happened to our thinning eyebrows and hair but so what!  Your eyes are still alive and dancing with fun and humor and I helped give you a couple of those laugh lines.  The white hair around your temples is dramatic and it gives you an exotic Elvira sort of look.  Those sun spots on your face?  We got those hanging out on the Carolina Beaches laughing until we were hoarse.  Yes, our bodies aren't the same and they were better 5 years ago but we've had surgeries and health problems but most of all we've both quit smoking.  I see what is inside of you, over that temporary shell we fret so much about.  I know you and love you well enough to just see you.  My friend.

Hobbits Dancing
     When you look in the mirror, see yourself as I see you, and I will do the same.  Laugh at the ridiculous and no, you don't look like what that picture claims, because the camera sees a costume on a digital screen, and they have not invented a camera that can see what I do.  No camera captures the life, the spirit, and the warmth - the storm of nature that makes you who you are.  My dear friend, let us settle into this time and enjoy our lives.  We'll cook good food, make a nice home, love people around us, garden a bit, and read a good book.  Yes indeed, there IS something to be said about being a Hobbit.


May 23, 2015

Jesus Refutes Replacement Theology

Abigail and Dolley readers I've got to tell you, I was raised in a denomination that believed that when the Jews rejected Christ they were cut off from the Lord and that the church took the place of Israel.  It made sense to me so I parroted this idea in a 12th Grade Drama Class; I was challenged by a Jewish Student, who I did not know was Jewish, until that moment.  He refuted that notion with the simple words, "That's not true."  I was taken aback and ashamed of what I'd said; the Holy Spirit convicted me.  What I'd been taught was wrong.  God does not break his covenants, ever.  There is a deeper truth and one that had I stayed within my denomination I would never learn.  

This doctrine is taught to multiple millions in Christendom.  It's origins go back to the early days of the church, where the Greek church refused to receive the Apostle John (3 John 1:9-11).  Some early church Fathers attempted to exclude the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation.  Thus, the stage was set from the beginning for this replacement doctrine that the willfully excludes the Jews and the teaching of prophecy.

This church persecutes believers who hold fast and true to the teachings of the Bible.  They marginalize us, using lofty tolerant words that paint us as haters, when they are in fact enemies of truth and the Word of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ has the final say in this and His words are chilling:  Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Read it carefully and let the Holy Spirit give you understanding.  This says that those that preach replacement theology, that say they are Jews but are not, will become the final church of Satan, this apostate Tribulation church.  They will be made to bow at the feet of the church that held fast to the Word of God.

Oh, Brothers and Sisters I beseech you, do not believe these lies coming from the pulpits across the world, these doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1), this wide gate theology that convicts and reproofs no one.  1 John 2:19 implores you to not believe the lies and warns that they are trying to lead you astray 1 John 2:29.

May 20, 2015

What Would You Know?

This morning we were discussing the article, "No Man Knows the Hour or the Day?" and lamenting the fact that most pulpits would never touch this subject, nor most of what this blog teaches and explores.  What would you know about your faith if all you knew was what you'd been taught in church?  Think about that for a minute... what would you know?

Pew Warmers
Let's surmise that most would know the Christmas story, even the unchurched know the Christmas story.  You'd know the Easter story but the unchurched have vague ideas that Easter Sunday is actually Good Friday and that completely confounds them...  You've probably heard different vignettes about David, Moses, and Abraham.  A Sunday Morning Christian knows the stories, a couple of scriptures, and perhaps a creed.  All good things but are they enough?  

Chinese Lecture
Think of it this way:  Every week, for one hour, you sit in on a Chinese Language lecture. When you come home you don't read the text book, you don't listen to tapes, you don't speak Chinese with anyone.  As the weeks and the months go on, you pick up a couple of phrases.  Years go by... can you write the characters?  Remember, it's a lecture you've been attending, not a class room.  Can you honestly say that you speak Chinese?  Can you honestly say that you are fluent or can you just fake your way through?  Do you lie to yourself?  If you meet the King of the World and He speaks Chinese will you be able to provide an answer or will you hear:  

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

May 16, 2015

The Reluctant Servant

Why do we always assume that God’s calling on our lives is something we hate?  Why have we been regaled with stories of the reluctant man used by God?  Where are the testimonies of people who sought God and He gave them a path that they loved?  The path was something that they were created for and they did not resist?  Why do we think that God’s calling is something we should dread?  Why have we glorified those stories in having glorified them planted within the minds of young and old that God’s calling on our life will automatically be something horrible that we do not want to do?
Struggling with God's Calling
Think for a moment, does this notion jive with what you know about the Living God?  Have you never sought the plan and purpose for your life because you dreaded what god would give you?  I did, and regret my rebellion.  When I finally submitted, when I finally let go, (see Being an Ant) I was blessed some weeks later with my dream job.  It was exactly what I was made for, it was a fulfillment of decades of work, and it was His good work.
God is a Loving Father
Instead of filling young people's heads with "Dreaded Calling", we need to encourage them.  We need to tell them that their Father in Heaven does not call them to drudgery and loathing but to their perfectly suited occupation and life.  I am not saying that it will be easy, because we know that life is not easy, but when you are operating in His will your soul will prosper.  After all, the Word says that we were created for good works, that He foreordained for us to do while we are on this Earth so that we might have His rewards in Heaven.

So, in this Season of Graduations, let me encourage you.  God has not called you to drudgery.  He has called you something perfectly designed for you.  Do not be afraid, He's your Dad.
Accepting God's Calling

May 15, 2015

Modern Laodicea - The Community Church

In general, the gathering/emergent/community/seeker friendly is identified as the last church, Laodicea.  Historically, they are the last to develop, having come to prominence and existence largely in the last 30 years.  Who were the Laodiceans and what does the Bible have to say about them?

Church Cafe
The text of Revelation 3:15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! Note, this is a busy church.  They have tons of events, social hour, coffee time, life groups ect - but they are lukewarm.

Revelation 3:16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! Jesus rejects the lukewarm, these people think they are saved but they are deceived.  This may refer to the water supply available in Laodicea and two nearby cities, Hierapolis and Colossae. Hierapolis was the site of hot, spa-like waters, used for medicinal purposes. Nearby Colossae was known for its cold and pure drinking water. (source)  If only the message was as hot as the designer coffee.

Revelation 3:17-18 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.  Clothing in the bible, is righteousness and only given to believers through coming to the cross in faith.

Mega Screen
Revelation 3;19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.  20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

The community church is Laodicean with a form of godliness devoid of power. Speaking in general terms and from a congregant that wandered around in this pathetic scene for a decade searching for a church that would feed me, this is what I observed:
  • The hipster pastor downloads his sermon series. 
  • The music is thumping but it is inward focused and reads like a 1st grade primer. 
  • The special effects show is entertaining with trapeze acts and fairy dust coming from the stadium rafters. There are life groups (dysfunctional group counseling sessions), sports ministry (where coaches cheat and parents scream from the sidelines), and manly men's groups called Bible Study in a Bar. 
  • There is Gay Sunday where everyone wears rainbows and talk about how the Jesus they love celebrates homosexuality. 
  • They pour their money into the offering plates and the hipster pastor and his wife live in $6 million houses but claim not to take a salary from the "church". 
  • There are 40ft screens for audio video presentations, a cafe, book store, but no cross. 
The worst offender in the group is that there is no meat preached, ever.  New Christians are never fed anything approaching solid food.  If they do actually get saved, they remain perpetual babies in the faith, carnal, and easy prey for wolves.

Mature believers that wander into this mix can't quite put their finger on the deep dissatisfaction they feel.  Everything is so nice and new!  The people are friendly, the musicians are good, then why are they so empty?  They convince themselves that it's just them, after all, this is the 5th church they have tried in as many years.

It's Vacation Bible School for Adults, every Sunday.  They should pass out crayons with their sermon notes and connect cards, at least then people would know what they were getting into.  On second thought, I got more meat in my 5 year old Vacation Bible School Class so maybe that isn't such a witty observation.

Jesus says, "I stand at the door and knock", He wants in Community Church but fair warning, to paraphrase CS Lewis, He is Good but He is not Tame.

(Disclaimer - this is a commentary, written from a broad stroke perspective, there are of course exceptions to these rules and many churches that are structured like this doing God's work.)

May 5, 2015

Yom Kippur 2015 - Convergence of Signs

Abigail and Dolley readers in these times, there are conspiracy theories EVERY WHERE.   One can fall down Alice's Rabbit Hole and find all sorts of interesting theories!  On prophecy there are pretrib, midtrib, post trib, pre-wrath, post wrath, Americacentric, Anti-Catholic, Anti-Israel replacement theologies all hanging out with secular end times, FEMA camp, Climate Change, Illuminati, UFO/Aliens, Zombies, 9/11 Truthers, and Chem-Trail watchers all prepping for the storm about to come!  Thus, I have begun to look at what other schools of thought are putting forth and I am finding interesting tidbits that I'd like to share.

Yom Kippur this year seems significant, we touched on this in our study of the Significance of Yom Kippur 2015 but apparently there is quite a bit more to the story. There are dozens of examples of the dates Sept 22-28 being used in TV, movies, and speeches given by public officials.  Renee M's YouTube Channel has an interesting perspective on these occurrences:

The above is part 1 of a 4 part series where Renee fleshes out dozens of examples of Yom Kippur 2015 and the weight of evidence is pretty compelling.  Combine these events, with the studies we've done and patterns emerge of what might be happening in the days after the Rapture.