The Red Thread

“Lot was a Christian. Remember, he followed Abraham.”

That rather intriguing comment was made by the seminary professor teaching the class I am currently auditing at Dallas Theological Seminary. It was made in the context of looking at the Book of Genesis and reviewing what is disclosed in Scripture regarding people who believe the promise of Messiah, the promise first disclosed all the way back in Genesis 3:15, the people who follow the seed of the woman as opposed to the seed of the serpent. Now by the logic of the reasoning of that comment, Abraham, the father of many nations, was a Christian as well. As was probably most of the line of Seth, at least that portion of it detailed in Genesis 5 (remember that these individuals had many sons and daughters besides the men named). You would think that Adam and Eve, after the Fall and facing God, believed the promise of redemption a stated by God (although Eve might have originally believed in the promise manifesting itself in Cain, and we know that wasn’t right), making them the very first Christians under the caveat of following the logic of that opening quote.

The point being made in class was that there was a promise of Messiah that runs through almost the entirety of Scripture, and that the Bible isn’t being viewed correctly if the meaning doesn’t center on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. A kind of red thread is woven into Scripture, and it proves to be unbreakable, and it proves to be unbeatable. People following the promise of the seed of the woman of Genesis 3:15 are woven deeply into the Biblical story, and one can do worse than to call them Christians, although their faith predates the knowledge any on earth would have had of the person of Jesus Christ.

There is, of course,  the portion of Acts 11:26 that states “…And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” And that is true, believers, the body of Christ, followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians there. As such, all believers are woven into the red thread, because we believe in the promise of Messiah, for we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. We believe in the promise manifested in the person of Jesus. But there were many who believed God’s promise before Christ came to save us through His death, resurrection and ascension into heaven; these are woven into the red thread as well.

I called the thread unbreakable and unbeatable, just think of all that was done to try to stop fulfillment of the promise. Think of the twists and turns of the lives of those God selected to be in the line of the seed of the woman. Think of the triumphs and tragedies, think of their failings as humans but their sustenance through faith in the promise.

Think of the crucial pivot of history in the earthly ministry of Jesus, how He obeyed the Father’s will, how He accepted that will in the Garden of Gethsemane and vanquished the enemy once and for all, if even the final victory has been deferred. Think of the power and durable strength of the red thread at that moment in time. Think about what transpired after.

Remember, Jesus was mocked, lied about, beaten, spat upon, scourged, stripped naked, and in fact, Jesus Himself was abandoned by all of His disciples except John when He was nailed to the cross.”

This I quote from an earlier blog post on our site. We put our Savior through hell on earth. But even what we put Him through could not snap the red thread, tempered by the sinless and obedient nature of Christ on earth, and woven by the love and grace of God in heaven.

Nothing can break the red thread. We, as believers, as members of the body of Christ, are blessed to be called Christians. Those who believed the promise before there was a church are deeply blessed as well. I have no problem thinking of them as Christians, for they believed the promise before it was manifested in Christ’s sacrifice, and isn’t belief the bedrock to anchor one’s faith on?

The red thread began before eternity passed and flowing, runs into eternity future. And we are woven into it in Christ. So share that thread with someone today, for all need to be woven into it as we are.

Signs of the Times: Are There Any Pre-Millennial Millennials?

I read an article on FoxBusiness dated August 7, 2014 entitled “The America Ahead: How Millennials Will Reshape the National Landscape.” It made me think quite a bit about the Millennial Generation, those born in the period between 1981 and 2000 if I understand the definition correctly. The article noted that there are 80 million of them in the United States, a generation even larger now than the Baby Boomer Generation (1946-1964), which for the most part is the parental generation of the Millennials. The article noted that many believe this generation may be the first which may have a lower standard of living than that of their parents. Looking at the affairs of this country; the uncontrolled rising level of national debt, our waning influence in world affairs, and our diminishing respect in world opinion, this belief cannot be dismissed out of hand as foolish or outlandish.

Millennials marry later in life, have families later in life than previous generations (a good thing if more maturity and wisdom is attached to those decisions), and Millennials take longer to establish themselves in careers. Millennials are the generation which will have to squarely face the stresses on this country’s social safety nets; the shrinking ability of the country’s finances to be able to maintain the promise made to previous generations.

Given the recent events as they relate to immigration, legal or illegal (and I do not wish to address that controversial topic here), the Millennials will also live in a more ethnically diverse country than the US has ever been before. Time will tell (though the Lord already knows) whether this is a good thing or not.

Clearly the Millennial generation is different from that of their parents and grandparents. And, time will tell (though the Lord already knows) whether that is a good thing or not. But the article didn’t make me keep thinking about the reshaping of America, I started to think about the faith beliefs of the Millennial Generation, beliefs that will be eternity shaping for each and every one of them, depending on what they believe.

According to Pew Forum research, Millennials are less likely to regularly attend church, less likely to identify themselves with a specific denomination or religion, and less likely to believe in the existence of God. Less likely, but not dramatically so, than previous generations at the point in time when they were the same age of Millennials today. They are not a godless generation, but they do believe differently. As with any generation,  a belief in god does not necessarily mean a belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Bible, identified as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Where it becomes most disturbing is in the area of evangelical Christianity. Millennials from evangelical Christian backgrounds are markedly less likely to believe Scripture is the inerrant, literal Word of God. They are more accepting of homosexuality. They hold similar views on abortion as older evangelicals, but feel less threatened by Hollywood social values and prefer the government to deal more with social issues than do their elders. Statistics go on, but there is a shift, not seismic yet, but a shift away from the more conservative, fundamentalist views of evangelical Christianity as a whole.

Are there pre-millennial Millennials? Does the younger generation believe Jesus is Coming Soon, and that we are anxiously awaiting an imminent pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church wherein Jesus Christ will come to take His Church (His Remnant Church) home with Him before the tribulation? The seven-year period of the Antichrist’s reign during which Satan will ravish those who believe in Jesus Christ? That time of Great Tribulation wherein God pronounces and enacts His judgment upon an unbelieving world? The answer is yes, but in lesser numbers than ever before. Go to any of the major prophecy conferences held annually, and you will see an aging population in attendance, which year by year grows grayer and smaller. Oh, there are younger folks there, but they are in the minority. Going to one actually makes me feel young again for a few days, then life’s reality sets in and I realize that I too am aging year by year.

What can be done? We need to better engage this generation in the eschatological conversation. However, we must realize for better or worse, the primary means of communication with them is through the various avenues of social media. It can be fast paced, perhaps even rapid fire, with a tendency for more superficial interaction than a sit down face to face conversation would allow. We must develop ways of reaching through these mediums, in culturally relevant ways, without diluting our message or distorting our beliefs. It will be no easy task to show the love of Christ, and the very mind of Christ in 140 character sound bites. But we need to engage, and thereby draw into a more meaningful discussion, this generation. Think about how Jesus engaged Nicodemus in John 3:1-21, then look at how He did it with the woman at the well in John 4:1-42. He drew them in based on the level of their understanding of Scripture; He contacted, engaged and drew them into a deep, life changing discussion. Eternal life changing.

We can do this also. Because we are imbued with the Holy Spirit to know and share the mind of Christ, we can have the ability, and are given the responsibility, to tell others that trust in Jesus Christ alone is the only way to salvation and eternal life.

Are there pre-millennial Millennials? Yes, but not enough. And, quite frankly, there are not enough in the older generations either. There are never enough, but we are called to spread His Gospel, not keep tally of the score of unsaved. Only He knows whose are His. Ours is to bring Him to them, and let the Spirit bring them to Him.

Let us be diligently doing so until He calls us home, either individually, or corporately as His Remnant Church when He steps out on the clouds of glory and with a great trumpet shout says; “Come up!”

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Read Part Two here:

Read Part Three here:

Anti-Semitism, by any other name…

It is still anti-Semitism, whether you call it; Supersessionism, Replacement Theology, Liberation Theology, or the BDS movement, it is still the unadulterated hatred of the Jewish people because of their race. Anyone who embraces any theology or position that denies Israel’s right of possession of the land which their Nation State now occupies, is denying a literal translation of the Bible, which is frankly a denial of its veracity, and places them outside of a position of true faith in Jesus Christ who is in fact the Word.

Unfortunately these false teachings, false doctrines, and patently unscriptural theologies have plagued the Jews through the “church” for 1900 years. By allegorizing, spiritualizing, and otherwise denying a literal translation of the Scripture, the proponents of this doctrinal error have throughout history promoted anti-Semitism which led to Jewish persecution and extermination from the ghettos in Eastern Europe, to the Spanish Inquisition, and to the Holocaust of World War II.

It is essential that True Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, approach the Word of God with a clear understanding that God breathed His infallible Truth to the writers of the Old and New Testaments (2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Peter 1:19-21), and in doing so has given us the mind of Christ (John 1:1-17, 1 Corinthians 2:16). When Peter teaches in his second epistle that “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” he is telling us to read the Bible literally, interpret the Bible literally, and if we will simply do this we can avoid doctrinal error.

In the book of Genesis 17:7-8 we find God’s promise to Abraham. “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants (Israel) after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” A covenant is a promise, and this promise God made Abraham was not conditional, it is clear in this passage that the covenant is everlasting, that means it will never be canceled.

This passage, in and of itself, is all the evidence we need as Christians that we (the Church) do not replace Israel in God’s plan. God does not change His mind, and He certainly is not a liar. In Leviticus 26:44-45 God says; “Yet for all that, when they (Israel) are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.’” In Psalm 105:7-12 we find these words written; “He is the LORD our God; His judgments are in all the earth. He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac, And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan As the allotment of your inheritance, when they were few in number, indeed very few, and strangers in it.” Again, God’s promise to Israel is “as an everlasting covenant” and “He remembers His covenant forever.”

For anyone to deny the eternal covenant or promise that God made with Israel you have to ignore the Holy Spirit inspired words of the apostle Paul in the book of Romans. Romans 11:1-2 “I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.” And little further down in the passage he writes; “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable“ Romans 11:29. The plain sense understanding of the Scripture is this, the reason that God has not cast away His people (Israel) is that God’s gifts and calling are never rescinded. God does not take back His gifts, He does not break His promises, His word is truth. The nation of Israel is mentioned 71 times in the New Testament and never is represented as the church.

In Ezekiel 37:11-14 we find the Dry Bones Prophecy which is a prophecy about the restoration of Israel at the end of the age. It says; Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD.’” God clearly says the Jews will be “my people” after the nation is restored.

In the last book of the New Testament, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, we find from Revelation 4:2 through chapter 19:3 the future record of God dealing with the nation of Israel and punishing the nations for their persecution of Israel and rejection of God. God is not through with Israel, and the teaching that the Church has permanently replaced Israel as God’s people is a false doctrine. I could write volumes and quote much more Scripture as proof that God’s promise to Israel is eternal, but unless one’s mind is truly open to the Word of God they are going to continue to wallow in the error of the false doctrine which spawns anti-Semitism.

This week it was announced that the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) has joined the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement and approved divestment from 3 US companies (Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions) doing business in Israel. The stated goal of the BDS movement is to delegitimize the State of Israel and even dehumanize the Jewish people. This movement calls into question Israel’s right to exist and seeks to make them a pariah state. While I view this news as tragic, I am not surprised because they long ago embraced Replacement Theology. So the apostate Presbyterian Church joins the ranks of those who accuse Israel of human rights violations while ignoring the fact that it is the Palestinians and Israel’s neighbors who kidnap, torture, abuse, attack, and bomb Israel as they vocalize a desire to wipe her off of the map. This is anti-Semitism in its basest form and in my opinion anyone who is a member of this denomination and does not leave it and denounce this apostasy, in truth has no relationship with Jesus Christ.

The BDS movement is anti-Semitic at its core demonstrating a hatred for the Jews by singling out the nation-state of Israel for supposed human rights violations while ignoring human rights violations documented in other nations, especially those of her Islamic neighbors. The BDS movement has no real desire to help the Arab citizens of Israel or those living in the territories administrated by Israel, but instead desires the destruction of the Jewish state through economic and social warfare. Make no mistake, the anti-Semitic BDS movement isn’t preaching peace but rather hatred. The fact that this movement is growing in intensity in the US and being embraced by so-called “christian” denominations is simply more evidence that this nation and much of its population has turned its back on God.

The knowledge that our government has abandoned Israel and is increasingly persecuting True Christians is telling proof that the US is in desperate need of a spiritual revival. As apostasy grows by leaps and bounds in the “church” which has also turned its back on Israel and Israel’s God, those of us in the True Church must be willing to stand together and with Israel. The Rapture is imminent, the End Times are upon us and;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Israel ~ “Palestine” and a failure to make peace! Nearing Midnight!

Every day as I open God’s Word to study, I am increasingly more aware that the world in which we now live, is truly nearing midnight in God’s prophetic time. In an earlier post I stated that Israel is God’s timepiece, and in fact the restoration of Israel to her homeland and the reestablishment of Jerusalem as her capital is the “super sign” of God’s prophetic “Last Days.” Each week as I scan the headlines of the many Internet news organizations around the world, I attempt to view the events reported on in the perspective and light of biblical prophecy. In doing so, it is apparent to me that we see evidence of the prophetic “Signs of the Times” being fulfilled in our lifetime. And so, my Tuesday post usually involves commentary and analysis on these events worldwide. While I could (and maybe should) continue in that pattern, today I instead want to focus on Israel.

We have established God’s prophetic plan for Israel, and His eternal covenant relationship with the Jews, in some of our past teaching posts on this blog (I certainly hope you have or will read the past posts), and we will continue that teaching in future posts. However, today were going to focus on the recent events in the “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Almost immediately after his confirmation as US Secretary of State, John Kerry announced that he, on the behalf of the Obama administration, would once again initiate a dialogue between the nation-state of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to establish a lasting peace involving a two state solution which would allow the Palestinian Authority to achieve nation-state status. Kerry’s boast was that this would be accomplished in a nine-month timeframe. The nine months have come and gone, and the result is the same failure that has been experienced by every US administration since the Palestinians best friend, Jimmy Carter, was president. The reasons for the most recent failure are the very same reasons that these negotiations have failed for the past 40 years. They are very basic:

• The “Palestinians” (who are not a nationality, but an amalgamation of Arabic speaking people’s from the surrounding countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and others; and have been disenfranchised by their own people) along with every other Arab nation continue to refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Nation State.

• The “Palestinians” along with most of the UN member nations (now including the US under the leadership of Barack Obama) would at the very least require Israel to divide Jerusalem, putting part of it under the control of the PA for their capital (while nearly all of the rest of the world, including the US, refuses to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital).

• The “Palestinians” along with the UN, EU, and now the US have called for Israel to return to their pre-1967 borders (effectively the border established at the end of their war for Independence in 1949). Borders which are patently indefensible (and absolutely everyone including Israel understands this).

• The “Palestinians” continue to refuse to renounce terrorism, and in fact preach and teach intifada in their “schools” which are in fact hate filled terrorist training academies.

With the impending collapse of these most recent talks, Mohammed Abbas (through his political infrastructure), leaked information stating that if Israel did not accede to their demands (demands which included the release of up to 400 more convicted Palestinian terrorists), or if the US was unable to pressure Israel into doing so, Abbas was ready to cancel the Oslo Accords and disband the PA. This would effectively re-institute the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization). This news was met with consternation by the US State Department, while the Israeli government simply stated that if that was Abbas’s desire they would do nothing to stop him. A spokesperson for the US State Department said that this was unacceptable as the United States and the international community had invested millions of dollars in the Palestinian Authority and these negotiations. Israel on the other hand let it be known that they were more than able to handle the security problems which might arise if the PA were disbanded. I am of the opinion, and I’m certain that it’s the opinion of the Israeli government, that the Nation State of Israel would in fact be much more secure without any help from the Palestinian Authority.

The day after the PA made this announcement they began to backtrack saying that this information had not come from the PA or Mohammed Abbas. And then immediately, they announced negotiations between the PA and Hamas, which control Gaza, to reunify as one political entity. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of these developments (after rockets had been fired from Gaza into Israel); “Today we see the Palestinian Authority, which yesterday spoke about disbanding, talking with Hamas about unity. They should decide whether they want to disband or have unity, and when they want peace, they should let us know,” he then added; “on our holiday today, our enemies fired missiles at our communities and our policy is clear — to respond quickly and strongly. We strike at whoever comes to attack us. This is what we have done and this is what we will do.” His statement obviously shows resolve and an unwillingness to cave in to the demands of terrorists. Naftali Bennett, Israel’s finance minister told reporters; “Israel does not negotiate with a gun to its head.”

Fundamentally you must understand, that Mohammed Abbas has no intention of dismantling the PA. He and his cronies have amassed extreme personal wealth by stealing from the funds supplied to the Palestinian Authority, from the United States, the European Union, the UN, Saudi Arabia, and other Arabic states. Disbanding the PA would not only kill his “Cash Cow,” but it would also almost certainly signal an end to his political power in the Palestinian territory. While the vacuum resulting from a disbanded PA might cause short-term security issues for Israel, it would certainly spell the end of the PLO, throwing open the doors for other jihadist organizations to gain more control.

God’s eternal promise to Israel in Genesis 12:2&3 states; “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Unfortunately, it is apparent that very few people (especially those in the Obama administration and the US State Department) open the Word of God and read it today.

God’s hand is on Israel, and at some point in the future (during the Tribulation described in the Revelation of Jesus Christ) He Himself will deal with the nation of Israel and then redeem His chosen people the Jews. Until that time any nation interfering in God’s plan for Israel will face His wrath up to and including complete destruction.

We are living in the Last Days, God’s prophetic time clock continues its march toward midnight for this fallen world, and each person on the face of this earth should be making preparation to either accept God’s free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ or face His wrath, judgment and eternal damnation.

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

You can always contact us through the form on our “About Us” page on the blog site.

For additional information about the origins of “Palestine” and its relationship with Israel, I would refer you to an excellent article by a brother in Christ for whom I have the greatest respect; LTC Allen West. Simply follow this link to the article: http://bit.ly/1iFnYdG