Discipleship: Fully Committed to Christ

In Luke 14:25-33 we find a passage that describes what is required to truly be a disciple of Christ.

“Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, ‘”If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”’

Many would consider this passage as some of the “hard sayings” of Jesus. At the point in His ministry at which He made these statements, He had been attracting great crowds which followed Him everywhere to hear His teaching. Yet many of them were following Him expecting temporal reward or at the very least, reflected glory for themselves. And so, Jesus delivers to them this message in order for them to understand what truly would be required of anyone who desired to be His disciple. Additionally, He shared with them examples of counting the cost of being His disciple.

When Jesus spoke to them in verse 26; “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” the implication was not that they would truly hate their own family or themselves, but in fact, that as much as they loved their families, they must love Jesus infinitely more. And in verse 27; “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple,” He is saying, in order to be His disciple, not only should one be willing to face unspeakable persecution and suffering, but one willingly commits to following Christ even if it means his death. In verse 33 Jesus said; “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Again, the inference is that if we are to be disciples of Jesus Christ, we must be willing to put our love and service to Him above all of our material possessions. My friends this is a total commitment that He is requiring. You must follow Him completely or not at all. It is all or nothing. Jesus Christ is either Lord over everything in your life, including your life itself, or He is not Lord at all.

To be a true disciple of Jesus Christ one must count the cost. One must realize that sacrifice is required, suffering and persecution is to be expected, and we very well may be required to forfeit our very lives. In teaching on discipleship I often say it is not for the weak at heart. Again, remember Jesus told us in John 15:20; “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you,” and they crucified Him.

So, we have looked at what Christ says is required to be a disciple, but how does that relate to being a Christian? Let’s look at Acts 11:28; “And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” In this passage, which is telling about Barnabas taking Paul to Antioch, disciple is synonymous with Christian. I’m wondering if that puts a whole new light on your understanding of your relationship to Christ. Let’s look again at the words of Christ, this time in Mark 8:34; ‘“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”’ There are three imperatives here:

  • First, is self-denial. This again is putting Christ before anything, anyone, and everything in your life;
  • Second, is self-sacrifice. Again, being willing to suffer and lay down your very life for Jesus Christ if so required;
  • Third, Jesus said “follow me” and there have been volumes written about the meaning of those two words, but the short version is this, having embraced self-denial and self-sacrifice,
    • commit to the life of a disciple by studying the Word of God,
    • grow more Christ-like by living by the Word of God,
    • share the Word of God with others,
    • and defend the Word of God without fail.

Here then is the bottom line. Jesus, the very Son of God, was born into this world to become the Christ. At Calvary He took on the sin debt owed by all humanity, paid it with His own life, was buried, and resurrected Himself into life. By His victory over sin and death, He has offered to all mankind the free gift of salvation and eternal life for all who will believe in His finished work at the cross and recognize Him as their Savior, and Lord of their life. In understanding this, we comprehend that discipleship as a Christian is voluntary. In accepting Christ’s gift we willingly are giving over our will to His Will. In that respect, becoming a Christian and a disciple is intentional.

Unfortunately, there are many who call themselves Christian, yet have not counted the cost. They never really surrendered their will to His Will. If you take an honest look at your life, can you truly say that you have surrendered your will to Christ? If not, you must seriously question your commitment. Are you truly following Christ? Are you His disciple? Again, if not, there is no better time than now, no better day than today to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and surrender your life and your will to Him.

True discipleship begins at the cross of Christ. It requires sacrificial devotion to Christ without compromise, it requires putting the needs of others ahead of one’s self for the sake of the gospel, it is an absolute commitment to God’s Will in the disciple’s life.

Are you a disciple of Jesus?

America You’re Too Young to Die!

In the 1970’s a ministry was born under the leadership of Del Fehsenfeld Jr. whose message is to call God’s people to repentance, restoration, and revival; especially here in the USA. From 1980 to 2000 the primary program of the ministry was entitled “America You’re Too Young to Die” and was a call for spiritual renewal and revival in the church and its people to ensure God’s continued blessing on the church and the United States of America. The ministry continues today under the able direction of Byron Paulus who was named national director, after the Lord called Del home in 1989. In the late 1970’s I was a member of the “Action Ranch” staff which at that time was the youth camp ministry of Life Action. While I was not a member of the revival “Teams” or even the counseling staff of the camp (I was the resident “Real Cowboy” overseeing the trail ride horses and barns), I did experience firsthand the powerful message being delivered to churches and individuals alike. The revival message which called for the real and essential need to return to a true biblical understanding of what a relationship with Jesus Christ is, and that a failure to do so would in fact doom America as a nation to an ungodly future.

There are three things which I gained during my short time with Life Action which remain with me today. First, Del Fehsenfeld taught me how to pray. During a road trip, as I drove him from headquarters to meet one of the teams for a revival, he asked me to pray with him for the revival. I learned from his example on that trip, that prayer is part adoration, part thanksgiving, and part supplication; all accomplished in a conversational manner which can be done anywhere anytime. The second thing I learned from Del (though it would be years before I fully embraced it) is a passion for the calling of God in your life. He literally lived every day filled with passion for God’s people to be revived and have a restored, living, obedient, fruitful relationship with Jesus Christ. And the third thing I learned from Del, may have been wholly unintentional on his part, but fully intentional by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. During another road trip Del explained how God in His sovereignty blesses nations or destroys nations depending on their obedience to Him (he used Nineveh in the Old Testament as example). This of course was in reference to the United States and whether it would continue under God’s blessing. My take away from this conversation was that God in His sovereignty has always had a plan, and that plan has been laid out in His Prophetic Word.

My passion is Bible Prophecy. Understanding the Prophetic Word of God, and then to the very best of my ability, in subjection to the Holy Spirit, teaching that Word so that others in the Body of Christ can understand it as well, and then act on it in their lives. As much as 30% of the Bible is Prophetic in nature, yet most mainstream churches seldom teach prophecy, and the majority of pastors in the pulpits of these churches could not begin to explain the significance of the book of Daniel to the Revelation of Jesus Christ as recorded by John. Even worse, their poor theological training or willful ignorance of a literal translation of Scripture, causes, even enables, them to disseminate un-biblical teaching, such as ascribing the promises to the nation of Israel falsely to the church. It is a fact that seminaries have turned from a literal translation of Scripture, and embraced un-biblical liberal theologies that are rife with secular humanism, humanistic psychology and pluralism. Of the literally hundreds of so-called evangelical seminaries, it would be far easier to name the few who remain true to Scripture than to name the vast number of those whose liberalism relegates them to a place of opposition to the teachings of Christ and His Apostles.

We are as a nation, plagued with a form of Christianity which has a “form of godliness” but is “denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). Recently at his Bible conference, Dr. David Reagan shared the results of a Barna research study which said that 85% of Americans consider themselves Christian, and approximately 40% as evangelical Christian; but when asked a series of questions as to whether they were “born again,” or believed Jesus was the Son of God, or that the Bible was God’s inerrant Word, only 9% could affirm a true Biblical Christianity.

My passion for Prophecy brings us back to the plea, “America You’re Too Young to Die!” which was the revival message of Del Fehsenfeld. Unfortunately, in the 40+ years since his call to revival began, America has continued its moral and Spiritual decline into ungodliness. Understand, it is not for lack of dedication on the part of Life Action or the many other ministries (such as our own) who continue “rightly dividing” (2 Timothy 2:15) the Word, and calling for revival, but it is actually rooted in the Prophetic Truth of God’s Word. I believe the United States of America, like many other nations before it, as well as other nations extent, is under God’s judgment. As a nation we have turned from the very things which brought God’s blessings on us, and embraced those things which bring about our own condemnation by Him. Many have twisted and turned and tried to find in God’s prophetic Word, the United States in End Time Prophecy. It isn’t there. That doesn’t mean that the continent is gone, or that the country is gone, or that society is gone, or that there are no people there, but what it does mean is that it has no relevance in the world of the End times.

America isn’t too young to die, but there yet remains millions within her borders who need not face an eternal death. Spiritual revival is still possible in America and in the world. In order for that revival to take place the 9% who have a True Faith in Jesus Christ must be willing to pray for personal revival in their own lives, keeping their sins confessed before God. The 9% must be willing to make a spiritual stand for Jesus Christ. The 9% must find a true passion in their lives for studying the Word of God and applying it to their lives. The 9% needs to understand and affirm that Scriptures which speak to Israel are for Israel, and those which speak to the Church are for the Church. The 9% must develop a distinct prayer life which involves adoration and thanksgiving before supplication; which is both continual and effectual. The 9% must embrace the need to understand, teach, and defend the prophetic Word of God because of the times in which we live. The 9% needs to be actively sharing the importance of biblical prophecy with their children and grandchildren. It is quite probable in my mind that those who are described as being a part of the millennial generation today, or “millennial’s,” who do not come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ may in fact experience the Tribulation and could survive to see Jesus Christ return in power and great glory to establish His Millennial Kingdom. How tragic that would be, to survive in unbelief only to be destroyed at His return.

Pray for revival, pray for it to start within your own life, to start within your family, within your local church, within your community, within the United States of America. Pray for revival because the Rapture of the Church is imminent, the time of Tribulation and the Day of the Lord are near, pray for revival because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Speak the Truth in Love, Becoming an Effective Witness

In these Last Days our responsibility to be witnesses for Jesus Christ grows more important than it perhaps has ever been. We are living in a time when civility, morality, and godliness have been abandoned and are in fact ridiculed. As followers of Christ we must be boldly standing for the Truth of Scripture and Speaking Truth in such a way as to show mankind that Jesus Loves them and desires a relationship with them.

How do we do this?

• First we must be willing to let Christ have complete control over us to the point that we can say as the Apostle Paul did; “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 Paul understood that by surrendering his will to Christ’s will, he would be used of God to bring others into a relationship with Christ. In Romans 12:1&2 Paul wrote; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

In order to be Witnesses for Christ we must be willing to let Christ not only use us, but have preeminence in our lives. We must be willing to personally live within His will, turning away from all sin. The allure of the world should not cause us to desire to turn from our calling, because Christ has replaced self in our lives. We must give Him absolute lordship over our desires, thoughts and actions. Daily we must be growing in grace, desiring to be more Christ-like, having the Mind of Christ, in order to accomplish His will for our lives… to be Witnesses.

• Second we must have a Christ-like love for Lost Souls. In Romans 5:8 we read; “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ shed His own blood for the Lost, and at one point that included you and I. How much less should we love the lost? 2 Peter 3:9 tells us; “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Jesus desires that all men to come to Him, and we should have that same desire.

Too often we tend to turn away from being a Witness because of the way someone looks or acts. My Grandfather, R.H. Marlin, once said: “If we understand and believe that God is the Blessed creator of all things, then we can never see anyone as ugly or unredeemable. Everyone’s Soul is important to Jesus, because He loves us, we must love them.” Jesus Loves the Lost! So must you and I if we are to be effective Witnesses.

• The third thing we must do to be effective Witnesses is to have a working knowledge of the Scriptures. God’s Word is what brings men to Christ, it is the instrument He has provided to us, which He uses to convict sin, reveal Christ, and regenerate a lost Soul. In Romans 1:16 Paul writes; “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” So, we are told to know and use the Word of God. In 2 Timothy 2:15 we are instructed to; “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We can only be “rightly dividing” the Word when we are actively studying the Word.

We need to know how to use Scripture to show those who are Lost:

o They need a Savior (Romans 3:10-12; Romans 6:23)
o Jesus is the Savior (John 14:6; Romans 5:8-11)
o They need to accept Jesus as their Savior (Romans 10:9-13, 1 John 5:13)
o That the Savior can meet their needs (Romans 8:1; Hebrews 13:5&6)
o That they can live successful lives In Christ (John 20:31; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 4:4; Galatians 2:20)

Remember the words of the psalmist, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11) It is never too late to begin to memorize God’s Word.

• A fourth thing we need to do to be an effective Witness is to have a consistent prayer life. We must Pray for wisdom as we witness, we must Pray for guidance as we witness, we must Pray for the words to speak as we witness, and we should always Pray for a greater desire to be Witnesses. We need to Pray for the Lost, about the Lost, and to see the Lost turn to Christ. We must be warriors for Christ in Prayer!
(Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, James 5:16, 1 John 5:14&15, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22)

• A fifth thing, is that we must have a heart to serve Christ. A good Witness will have a servant’s heart. This means we are willing to show the lost the same unconditional Love Jesus expresses toward us. We must be willing to meet them where they are, where their need is, however difficult it may be. When we have a servant’s heart as Witnesses, Souls will be saved, lives will be changed, and Christ will be glorified. (1 Peter 4:7-11, Galatians 5:13&14, Colossians 3:23&24)

• The last thing we must do to be Witnesses for Christ, is to know that until He returns to establish His kingdom, He has commanded us to do so. “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8

Because of the times in which we live, because we all have family and friends who need the Savior, because the world is filled with lost souls in need of the Savior, because the Rapture of the Church is imminent, because Tribulation will soon envelope the world, because His Second Coming will soon follow; we need, more than ever, to be Witnesses of and for Jesus Christ!

Because He alone is Salvation, because He is the Hope of the Church, because He alone judges the nations, because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

The Rapture and the Glorious Appearing, Part 2

In our first part of this study we established that the Rapture of the Church and the Glorious Appearing or Second Coming are indeed two separate events. As we continue to look at this subject, in order to defuse any possibility of confusion we need to first understand the fact that the Bible is to be translated literally (here I refer you to our article Biblical Prophecy ~ Part 4 ~ Teachingposted on April 17, 2014). If we apply a systematic, analytical approach to interpret the Word of God literally, we will see that it makes perfect sense. The Holy Spirit did not deliver the Word of God to the writers of the Old and New Testaments in an ambiguous or allegorical way, God means what He says and says what He means. Therefore, as we examine the passages of Scripture delineating the Rapture and Second Coming we can discern the truths taught of the two events.

For instance, in the first part of this study we saw that in the Rapture Christ comes for His Church (1 Thessalonians 4:17) and at His Glorious Appearing or Second Coming He comes with His Church (Revelation 19:14). In other words at the Rapture we meet Jesus in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and at the second coming, Jesus literally comes down to the earth setting His feet on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4, 9; Matthew 25:31-32). In the Rapture, the Church leaves the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:17) and at the Second Coming the Church comes back to the earth (Revelation 19:14).

The Rapture is the removal of the Church from the earth for deliverance (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, 1 Thessalonians 5:9) whereas the Second Coming involves the removal of unbelievers in an act of judgment (Matthew 13:36-43; Matthew 13:47-51; Matthew 24:40-41).

The Rapture will happen in an instant and only those who are looking for Him will see Him (1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 John 3:2), yet the Second Coming will be visible to all the world (Matthew 24:29-30; Revelation 1:7).

There are no signs that precede the Rapture, it is imminent and could take place at any moment (Matthew 24:36; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:13) while there are many signs which precede the Second Coming (Matthew 24:15-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 6:1-Revelation 19:10).

The Rapture of the Church precedes the time of Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10) and the Second Coming will be the culmination of the Tribulation (Revelation 19).

At the Rapture of the Church, Jesus gathers His Bride in preparation for the Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9) and at the Second Coming, Jesus establishes His Kingdom (Zechariah 14:3-4; Revelation 19:11-21).

After the Rapture of the Church the Antichrist will appear and go forth conquering (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9; Revelation 6:1-2) but at the Second Coming the Antichrist will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).

At the Rapture peace will be removed from the earth (Revelation 6:3-4), because the Holy Spirit is all that is restraining Satan at this time (2 Thessalonians 2:6-12), but peace will be restored to the earth at the Second Coming (Isaiah 9:6).

At the Rapture Satan’s activities on Earth increase (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 13:2) but at the Second Coming Satan will be bound and cast into the Bottomless Pit (Revelation 20:1-3).

Clearly when we read the Scriptures in a literal way we find there are no contradictions or confusion regarding the Rapture and Second Coming (Glorious Appearing) of Jesus Christ. In each event the nature of Christ’s return is different. At the Rapture Jesus is the Bridegroom calling out His Bride, the Deliverer calling out His Church, while at the Second Coming He returns as conquering King to exact judgment, by pouring out the wrath of God on the wicked nations and peoples who rejected His free gift of grace. At the Second Coming, His Bride follows with Him as He establishes His Kingdom. So even though a comparison of 1 Thessalonians 4 and Revelation 19 display an emphasis on Jesus Christ, in truth they have nothing else in common.

The Rapture is the Blessed Hope of the Church, and the Second Coming is the Glorious Appearing of Jesus Christ as King of Kings, Lord of Lords as He establishes His Kingdom.

The Blessed Hope is imminent, Tribulation and the end of days is at hand, His Glorious Appearing will follow, for;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

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

The Disciplined Life

The Bible says, “If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10 Days of adversity are bound to come. The weakling will faint by self-induced illness, by blaming others, by resigning, by displays of “nerves” – almost any method which presents the possibility of escape. Only by consistent disciplined living can that strength of character be developed which can face adversities without fainting.

The flood of moral looseness which, in this generation, has so blighted our youth and undermined our homes is in my opinion directly related to the self-indulgence of the age. And the church has not escaped. The easy style of living and spending of these years of plenty has seeped into Christian circles too, even into our personages. As a result we have a lot of flabby saints and playboy preachers. We have given lip service to the altar of the Lord but in practice we have bowed at the shrine of the swank. We have been mesmerized by materialism ourselves even while protesting against it in others. We have been thrown off balance by the prevailing false standards of value.

The remedy is not poverty and economic depression, but discipline. ~ The alarming tide of moral casualties of recent years in both pulpit and pew is without question the result of that inner softness born of undisciplined, self-indulgent living.

Excerpted from “The Disciplined Life” by Richard Shelley Taylor – Copyright 1962

Words of Grace for Strength

In our efforts to teach Biblical Prophecy in these Last Days, we are continually surprised at the things that we find which have been written over the course of the past 100 to 150 years, concerning the spiritual state of mankind, and the very fact that much of it could very well have been written today. Maybe we should not be so surprised; the wisdom and truth of the Bible is timeless, those who write of it or preach such biblical truth may well seem to speak timeless wisdom. Such is the case with Richard S Taylor’s little book “The Disciplined Life.” While our excerpt is from the forward of the book, the body of the writing contains an excellent treatise on developing a disciplined life and we highly recommend it.

Today it seems that discipline is little practiced in the self-indulgent, superficial culture we find ourselves living in, and in fact personal responsibility and accountability are nearly nonexistent. Those who seek to live in such a way are often ridiculed or despised. However, as Christians, discipline should be an inseparable characteristic of who we are. As Christians we are disciples of Jesus Christ. Disciple and discipline are formed from the same root word, therefore as disciples we should be living disciplined lives. As disciples we should be troubled, convicted by the Holy Spirit if we do not.

Personal spiritual discipline is developed by habitual practice of biblical disciplines and principles. Some of these disciplines are; personal Bible study, corporate Bible study (i.e. with your church family), having an active and fervent prayer life, developing your spiritual gifts, living an evangelistic lifestyle, demonstrating worship, praise and thanksgiving. Disciplines that are grounded in the wisdom and truth of the Bible, not in our personal feelings or need for self-actualization. In other words, to develop a disciplined Christian life we need to allow God to teach us and discipline us through His written and spoken word.

Developing spiritual disciplines in one’s life is an expression of a desire to serve God. It should be the desire of every Christian, so that we might become all that God plans and desires for us to be. It is the conscious act of placing our will under His will, allowing Him complete control of our lives so that we can say as the apostle Paul did, “for to me to live is Christ” Philippians 1:21.

As Paul encouraged the Christians in Rome; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2, we also need to be reminded to live as Christian nonconformists in the world today. For how can we conform to a world that defies the living and Holy God, turning further from Him every day?

Christ’s return for His Church is imminent, yet as His disciples we may still face persecution before we are raptured out of this world. Develop spiritual discipline in your life and in so doing you will be prepared until He comes. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Rapture, the Tribulation, then Judgment. All of this because…

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

The Church Breaks Bread

Sitting down together to share a meal with family and friends is one of the oldest examples of friendship and community which exists, even to this day. In our last article on the Church built by Jesus Christ, as found in Acts 2:42-47, we discussed the component of fellowship and in particular where the fellowship took place. As we continue this teaching we will examine the third component given for the establishment of the Church which is the “breaking of bread.” The “breaking of bread” is itself at once an extension of fellowship within a community of believers, and yet in practice becomes even more.

During the time in which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ lived, the phrase “breaking of bread” was common in the vernacular of the people of Israel and in fact is commonly found to be idiomatic among a great many peoples of the world, historically and currently. In nearly every culture the act of sharing a meal and eating together is an activity which promotes community, friendship, and harmony. This is one of the reasons this practice was instituted in the early Church. God’s people gathered around a table together and broke bread for the express reasons of developing a family relationship within the body of believers and to share in the memory of the One who is the Head of the body.

I believe within this passage, Acts 2:42-47, we find a duality of meaning in the phrase “breaking of bread.” During the period of Jesus’ earthly ministry among His disciples, the Scriptures record instances which shows that they often ate together. Sometimes it was in the homes of friends such as Mary and Martha in Bethany, and at other times in public places, such as when He ate with the publicans and sinners, and yet others when they were simply eating together on their own. On most of these occasions it is recorded that Jesus presided over the meal and therefore was the One who would break bread and give thanks.

Mark 14:12-26 records the last Passover meal that Jesus shared with the twelve disciples. Today we know this as the Last Supper, and it was at this meal that our Lord Jesus gave them instruction by example, to share in the breaking of bread and drinking the fruit of the vine from the Cup, in remembrance of that which He was about to accomplish until He returned to set up His Kingdom. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26) This “breaking of bread” we now know and participate in as the “Lord’s Supper.”

The Scripture record is clear that after His resurrection, the disciples of Jesus began to meet together and fellowship in the sharing of a meal. The risen Christ Himself upon occasion joined in eating these common meals with them as is evidenced in Luke 24:29-31; Luke 24:41-43; and John 21:9-15. After the Lord’s ascension, the practice continued and it is at one such meal we find the disciples gathered at the Feast of Pentecost in Acts 2:1.

So as we look together again at Acts 2:42 we read; “And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” And in Acts 2:46-47 we read; “So continuing daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.”

In 1874, C. H. Spurgeon wrote; “Their own houses were houses of God, and their own meals were so mixed and mingled with the Lord’s Supper that to this day, the most cautious student of the Bible cannot tell when they left over eating their common meals and when they began eating the supper of the Lord.” Unfortunately, the institutionalization of the “church” in all of its many denominational forms has removed the “breaking of bread” for “Lord’s Supper” from its original setting as a part of church fellowship, and placed it within ritualistic confines. I believe the scriptural record is clear that the “breaking of bread” in a fellowship meal and the “breaking of bread” for the Lord’s Supper were intentionally intimately connected. It is my opinion that turning the remembrance into a ritual destroys the intimacy of fellowship for which the remembrance was intended, and that the Lord’s Supper as well as the Body of believers, have been diminished by the Church having allowed it to happen.

What then is the remedy for this situation in the “church” today? Again, I believe that True followers of Jesus Christ need to return to the model and pattern which Christ gave us for His Church in the book of Acts. Doctrine, Fellowship and Breaking Bread, and Prayer. Obedience in this area will help identify those remaining groups of believers which are His Remnant Church in the Last Days.

I encourage you to take a good look at, and evaluate, how the church where you worship compares to the model and pattern of the church established by Jesus Christ in the book of Acts. Next we will look at the Church in Prayer, but until then remember that;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome