True Grace for True Disciples

David Wilkerson was truly a modern-day prophet, calling people to repentance, and especially calling out the “church” for its apostasy. He was unapologetic in his criticism of the false teachers and preachers of the “Prosperity Gospel” and “Word of Faith” movement and of those who expect favor from God without submitting to His will. Our excerpt today is from his message “True Grace” from 1993.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

According to Paul, we are not walking in grace until we have broken from worldly corruptions. Unless we are endeavoring through the power of the Holy Spirit to lead godly and righteous lives, looking for the Lord’s coming in our every waking moment, we do not know God’s grace.

Many Christians want forgiveness, but that is all. They do not want to be delivered from this present world, because they love it. They are attached to their sins, not wanting to give up the pleasures of this earth. So they cling to a doctrine that says, “I can live as I please — as long as I say that I believe.”

They do not want to hear about obedience, repentance, self-denial, picking up their cross, taking on the yoke or burden of Christ. They simply want to be excused on Judgment Day — to have all their iniquities overlooked. They expect Jesus to open up the pearly gates, put His arms around them, and lead them down a golden street to their reserved mansion, even though they have never broken from the spirit of this world!

Paul writes, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). We are to break from this world completely and be conformed to Christ alone!

Words of Grace for Strength

Unfortunately, the “church” today is filled with “Christians” who reflect the very attitudes that David Wilkerson spoke of 20 plus years ago. More than ever before the church has adopted the ideas and appearance of the world. Rather than being separated to Christ, the church has embraced materialism, and humanism in a culture of tolerance and compromise. In today’s culture, man’s will rules supreme.

Those who call themselves “Christian” in many cases are no different from those who claim to be atheist, or agnostic. Not only have they not broken from worldly corruption and desires, they have no intention to. They speak of a god of love who will not condemn anyone to a literal Hell because of his love for man. Unfortunately, they are half right. God is a loving God, but it is they who condemn themselves to Hell because of their unrepentant disobedience to His will.

So, the problem with many who identify themselves as “Christian” today, is that they believe Jesus is the Son of God (but even the Demons believe this), and that He loves them (which He does), and that He died on a cross and rose from the grave (which He did), but they have never truly repented and turned from their sinfulness, they are still living worldly lives. Because this is the state of their belief, they believe Jesus is God, just not their God. Their gods are all of the worldly pleasures and things they will not turn away from. Ultimately then, they are their own god, which means they have completely bought into Satan’s lie. They have not placed their faith and trust in Jesus  as their Savior, faith and trust in Him alone as the means of their salvation. Their faith and trust resides elsewhere, as a result it resides nowhere of significance and eternal import.

True Christianity requires one to have experienced God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness is conditional on man accepting the gift of Grace which Jesus Christ provided and paid for by His finished work at Calvary. By accepting the free gift of Grace, man acknowledges his sinful state, the debt he owes, the need for repentance, the price which was paid, and the need to surrender his life and his will to the sovereign will of God. When one accepts the gift of Grace, he is acknowledging Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of his life, he is forgiven and becomes a follower or disciple of Christ. It is at this point that obedience, repentance, self-denial, picking up his cross, and taking on the yoke or burden of Christ becomes important in his life. This is what it means to experience True Grace, he has become a disciple of Jesus Christ. One can only do so because he has faith and trust in Christ to carry him through.

Disciples of Jesus Christ expose and reject ungodliness, they have broken away from worldliness and worthless pursuits, they do not tolerate or compromise with unrighteousness, they Study the Word of God so that they may live in obedience to God while pursuing God’s will for their lives. Disciples of Jesus Christ are indwelt by His Holy Spirit who opens the Word to them as their teacher and comforter. The Disciple of Jesus Christ desires a closer relationship with Him as he longs for and looks for His return. True Disciples of Jesus Christ have experienced forgiveness and deliverance because of True Grace. And, that is the reason for the transformation which takes place in their lives. True Disciples do not just believe in Jesus, they know Him as their Lord and Savior. True Disciples have counted the cost of walking away from the ways and values of the world, and have counted it as nothing when compared to the incomparable riches of a life with Christ, a life in Christ.

Do you know Him? Are you His disciple?

Grace in the Church Age

In Acts 2 we find the birth of the Church at Pentecost, and in 1 Thessalonians 4 we find the description of the Rapture of the Church. The entire period of time between these two events is the Church Age, and the Church Age is encompassed in its entirety by the Age of Grace. Extending from the Cross of Christ, to His Glorious Appearing at the Second Coming to establish His Millennial Reign, the Age of Grace is typified by God’s offer of Eternal Salvation through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ, to all who would trust in Him as their Lord and Savior.

The Church Age within the Age of Grace is the Age of the “ecclesia,” those who are “called out” as the Body of Christ. These “called out” ones, identified as Christ’s Church, exist for the purpose of revealing Christ to the world by carrying out His will as a revelation and example of His Grace. The command to the disciples by Christ in Acts 1:8 “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” is for them to be witnesses, to share with all mankind the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, within the Scriptures there is not one single passage which states that the whole world will be converted during this Age. In fact, Christ Himself shared this fact within the parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13. In Acts 15:7 -17, in the account of the Jerusalem Council, we find that God’s purpose for this Age is the calling out of a people for His Name which includes both Jew and Gentile. As the Church we are then told in 2 Corinthians 6:17, that because we are called out of the world, that we are to be separate from the world.

The first mission given to us as the “called out” followers of Christ, the Church, is the evangelization of the world, and not the conversion of the world. It then follows that the purpose of God for His Church in this Age is not the reformation of society, or the enrichment of the faithful, and it is certainly not the establishment of His Kingdom.

The Church is the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:17-23), which is joined together to serve one another as we serve God; the Church is the Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-30), whose purpose is to glorify God; the Church on earth is the habitation of God (Ephesians 2:19-22); the Church is an example and illustration of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:5-7), which in fact is what gives unique character to this Age; and the Church is a royal priesthood (2 Peter 2:4-10), to serve God among men in this Age.

The second mission given to us as the “called out” followers of Jesus Christ, the Church, is to understand the promise that, for the cause of Christ, we will suffer and endure persecution (Matthew 5:12, John 15:20, Romans 12:14, Philippians 1:29, 2 Timothy 3:12, 1 Peter 3:14, 1 Peter 4:16, Revelation 2:10) because of the ever-increasing wickedness of the world in which we live. Yet the blessing in this promise is another promise, the promise of a great inheritance and reward (Matthew 5:12, Colossians 3:24, 1 Peter 1:3-5, Hebrews 11:6, Revelation 3:7-12) for having remained faithful to the calling.

I believe today that the “church” we see in the world has moved very far away from its calling, from the divine purpose for which it was intended. What most people today see as the “church,” has no real resemblance to the Church of Jesus Christ. Today’s “church” has failed to be separate from the world, a “called out” body for the purposes of God. In the “church” today we find that many have embraced socialism, humanism, environmentalism, hedonism, and the worship of Mammon. While in still other “churches” they endeavor to appropriate from Israel, the promises which God intended for Israel alone, which I believe has done more to turn the “church” from its appointed course than any other. This error alone causes the “church” to turn away from a literal interpretation of Scripture, which in turn creates a denial of prophetic truth. By embracing this false theology the “church” relegates itself to a place in the world and defines its mission as a responsibility to improve the world.

So the “church” today defines itself by building magnificent structures, acquiring earthly things, courting political power, embracing social and societal conventions, embracing tolerance, compromise and inclusiveness, in an effort to coexist with all religions. All of this is in direct opposition to the Word of God, and an appointed call to separation and holiness in anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ. The “church” which is most evident in the world today is certainly not the Church of Jesus Christ.

Yet there is still a remnant of believers, who are truly following the mission given by Jesus Christ, who comprise the True Church today, what we see as His Remnant Church of the Last Days. I believe it is the ministry and mission of the Church to be witnesses for Jesus Christ until He returns for His Church (1 Thessalonians 4), and that He alone can effect change in this world, and will do so when He sets up His Millennial Kingdom at His Second Coming (Revelation 19).

I believe the Rapture of the Church is imminent, we are living in a time when prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. It is my prayer that in this last remnant of time before the “called out” Church is called up to meet our Savior, that a Holy Spirit inspired awakening will take place among mankind, and within the apostate church. It is my prayer that we will see souls saved, and the church restored to its original mission and calling. The end of days is at hand and;

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