Kamis, 25 Juni 2009

THOSE FUNDAMENTALIST PHARISEES

Updated June 23, 2009 (first published August 2, 1996) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

Christians who stand for the details of the Word of God and preach against that which they believe to be error, who exalt biblical morality and preach against immorality, and who have strong biblical convictions are often labeled “Pharisees.” Many of the Promise Keepers supporters who have written to me to rebuke me for reproving their movement, call me a Pharisee. Consider a couple of examples:

“Rev. Cloud says ‘Our sole authority is the Bible.’ No one who participated in the Council of Carthage in 387 which settled for all time the canon of the NT would agree with Rev. Cloud on this issue. ... Such arrogance! ... I take it then, that you’re the only one going to heaven. It’s going to be awfully lonely there. Such arrogance! ... Such arrogance! ... I wonder what makes Mr. Cloud so sure he’s right and everybody else is wrong? Look at the Pharisees, Mr. Cloud, and then look in the mirror!”

“You’re the best example I think I’ve ever seen of the Pharisee who sits at the front of the synagogue giving thanks for not being a sinner like everyone else.”

Henry Morris III of the Institute for Creation Research has also called fundamentalists Pharisees. Commenting on Matthew 23:13, Morris said:

“It is interesting to note that Jesus condemned both groups (Pharisees and Sadducees) for the same problem. Yet they were much different in their positions. The Pharisees would be analogous to the fundamentalists of our day and the Sadducees to the liberals. Both camps claimed belief in ‘inspiration’ and both camps prided themselves on their knowledge of Scripture. Their common error was distorting the truth of God with interpretations that clouded the message--thereby shutting up the doors out of unbelief that led into the ‘glorious liberty of the children of God’ (Romans 8:21)” (Morris, “Shutting the Kingdom,” March 20, 2009, ICR website).

To label a Bible-believing Christian who has zeal to obey God’s Word a Pharisee is a slander, because the error of Phariseeism was not their zeal to obey the Scripture. They had no such zeal. They were zealous, rather, to make up their own religious system and to rule over the people.

It is important to note that Jesus Christ did NOT rebuke the Pharisees for their zeal in obeying the details of the law. He said to them: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matt. 23:23).

Christ did not rebuke the Pharisees for paying attention to the less weighty things in the law. He rebuked them for focusing on the lesser matters to the neglect of the weightier ones.

The Bible-believing fundamentalists that I know do not neglect the weightier matters of the New Testament faith. They aim, rather, to follow Paul’s example and to give heed to “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). They preach the virgin birth, blood atonement, resurrection, and ascension of Christ and justification by grace and the Trinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit and the other “weightier” matters of the faith, but they also preach church discipline (1 Cor. 5) and the restrictions upon the woman’s ministry (1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:34) and due order among men and women, which even touches on their hair styles (1 Cor. 11:1-16) and other things that are less weighty than salvation by grace and the deity of Jesus Christ.

We can see what Phariseeism is by examining what Christ rebuked them for:

(1) Phariseeism is supplanting the Word of God with man-made tradition and thereby making the Word of God of none effect. “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:7-9).

(2) Phariseeism is rejecting Jesus Christ. “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Matt. 12:22-24).

(3) Phariseeism is perverting the Gospel of the free grace of Christ into a work’s salvation. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matt. 23:15).

(4) Phariseeism is self-righteousness. “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Lk. 18:9-12).

(5) Phariseeism is gross hypocrisy. “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Lk. 12:1).

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great error to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace gospel-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

I can’t speak for all Bible-believing fundamentalists and fundamental Baptists, but I can speak for myself; and I have no confidence in my “righteousness.” I know that I have no righteousness apart from Jesus Christ. I look down upon no man, for I know that any spiritual victory I have enjoyed and any blessing in my life is only because of the grace of Christ. When I attempt to expose false teaching and sin, I am not looking down upon other men; I am simply striving to obey the Word of God.

The modern Pharisee would be more akin to the Roman Catholic priest with his sacramental gospel and his traditions exalted to the place of Scripture and his long history of persecuting the saints. The ecumenical crowd doesn’t call Catholic priests Pharisees, though. They don’t seem to be concerned about all of the souls who have been led astray by these contemporary Pharisees.

The only men they seem to be concerned about are those dreadful old fundamentalists with their strong Bible convictions and their refusal to smile at error. Oh, those dreadful old fundamentalist Pharisees!

BROTHER CLOUD, I HAVE A QUESTION

Updated June 23, 2009 (first published June 21, 2006) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -

Hello, friends. I have been writing books since 1973 and have been receiving letters from readers ever since. Until a few years ago I tried to answer every piece of communication that included a question, unless it was merely an angry “hit piece.”

In 1993, the Way of Life web site became active and e-mail came into play. Since then the amount of communication I receive has increased dramatically.

In 2001, we returned to the mission field in Asia and are continuing the church planting ministry we began in 1979.

I also travel three or four months out of the year on preaching and research trips to many parts of the world.

All of this is in addition to researching and writing O Timothy magazine every month and Friday Church News Notes every week and the several new books we publish each year and new volumes of the Advanced Bible Studies Series (20 of them since 2002) and new and updated articles for the Fundamental Baptist Information Service (about 200 per year) and playing with the grandchildren and many other things.

What I am saying is that I just don’t have time to answer all of the questions that people want to ask me these days via e-mail. To do so would detract from other things that I consider more important.

The Fundamental Baptist Information Service is not an answer-on-demand or research-on-request service. I am not the fundamentalist “Bible Answer Man”!

I could easily spend four and more hours every day answering questions.

I have supplied God’s people with a lot of information that is freely available on the Web site. The answers to vast numbers of questions can be found in the articles there.

We also publish the much larger Fundamental Baptist CD Library, which is available from Way of Life Literature and is a resource that you can have at your own fingertips. It contains 100,000 pages of information in 6,000 books and articles. It is a contemporary church issues research library, a Bible Encyclopedia, a preacher’s information database, a church directory, a Baptist history library, a Bible Version library, and much more. This is not merely a batch of material thrown on a CD. Everything in this electronic library is carefully selected to be of benefit to a fundamentalist in his Christian life and ministry. The vast majority of this information is unique to the Fundamental Baptist CD-ROM Library and cannot be obtained from any other source.

Answers to multitudes of questions about Christian music or the Bible version-text issue or ecumenicalism or the church or alleged contradictions in the Bible and countless other subjects can be found in my books and video presentations. See the online catalog for a listing.

Many of our books provide virtual libraries of answers to questions. These include the Bible Version Question-Answer Database, Things Hard to Be Understood: A Handbook of Biblical Difficulties, Contemporary Christian Music: Some Questions Answered, The Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity, Dressing for the Lord (it includes a lengthy section answering 36 questions on that subject), Evangelicals and Rome (a virtual database of popular evangelicals and their ecumenical relationships), Judge Not: Is It Legalism to Judge Sin and Error (this book contains answers to 21 of the most common charges brought against a strict fundamentalist approach to Christianity), The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements: The History and Error (a huge collection of information on the men and organizations and doctrines of this movement), The Modern Bible Version Hall of Shame (this book contains information on practically every textual critic and modern Bible translation of any note) ,

When it comes to questions on church history, massive resources are available. There is the Advanced Bible Studies Series course “A History of the Churches from a Baptist Perspective.” There is the book Rome and the Bible. There is the huge electronic Church History Database that is part of the Fundamental Baptist CD Library.

When it comes to doctrinal and Bible questions there is the 6000-entry Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity. There is also the Advanced Bible Studies Series (Acts, Bible History and Geography, First Corinthians, The Four Gospels, Genesis, Give Attendance to Doctrine, Hebrews, How to Study the Bible, James, The New Testament Church, The Pastoral Epistles, Proverbs, Psalms, Revelation, Romans, and Understanding Bible Prophecy).

I can say right up front that if you write and ask me about this or that author or speaker or this or that organization or this or that movement, you probably will not get a reply. If I have written on that particular thing, the report can be found at the Web site or the Fundamental Baptist CD Library, both of which have search engines. If I haven’t written on that particular thing, it is exceedingly doubtful that I will give you a private statement.

I can also say that if you write to ask me to read some article or web site page and reply about it, 999 times out of 1000 you will not get a reply.

Also, if you write to ask me to give my opinion about what is going on in church, it is very doubtful that you will get a reply. I have learned that when I try to deal with such things with complete strangers and I don’t have the whole story but only their side of it, I am not only wasting my time but am positively wrong in getting involved.

Please understand that I’m not saying don’t write. I still reply to many of the e-mails that I receive, and you are welcome to write.

I sincerely wish I could help everyone, but the reality is that I only reply as I have time and as the Lord leads.

You must understand that you will not necessarily receive any sort of reply, not even a confirmation of receipt.

And writing repeatedly with the same question will not increase your chance of receiving a reply!

Yours in Christ,

A very busy but grateful and satisfied and excited in the Lord

Brother Cloud


THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

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FBIS News Service, 23 Juni 2009

Updated June 24, 2009 (first published May 2, 2003) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –

The following is enlarged from the Way of Life Advanced Bible Studies Course UNDERSTANDING BIBLE PROPHECY (third edition, March 2009). This thorough and practical course enables the student to understand and enjoy Bible prophecy. It deals with the interpretation of prophecy, dispensationalism, the covenants, the kingdom of God, the nations in prophecy, and Messianic prophecy. A large section is devoted to “a prophetic overview of the future,” detailing the Bible’s prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled. Other sections deal with the prophecies of Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation. 219 pages, $9.95


_____________________________

The word “rapture” does not appear in the Bible, but it is a term used to describe the catching away of the saints of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The term “caught up” in 1 Th. 4:17 is also translated “pluck” (Jn. 10:28), “take by force” (Acts 23:10), and “pulling [out of the fire]” (Jude 23). It refers to a forceful seizing and a snatching away. It is used of the Spirit of God snatching away Philip after the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:39). This is exactly what Christ will do to the New Testament believers before the onslaught of the Great Tribulation.

Notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18:

1. The Rapture is (1) a resurrection of the dead in Christ (v. 14-16), (2) a catching up and translation of the living New Testament saints (v. 17).
2. The dead in Christ are with Him in heaven (v. 14).
3. The Rapture is the believer’s hope (v. 13). It is what we are looking forward to.
4. The Rapture is certain. (a) It is as sure as Christ’s resurrection (v. 14). (b) It is the word of the Lord (v. 15).
5. The Rapture is a comfort (v. 18). If this translation did not occur until the end of the torments of the Great Tribulation, it certainly would not produce solace for the Christian standing on this side of the Tribulation.
6. The Rapture is before the day of the Lord’s wrath (5:1-5, 9).

This event is also described in 1 Corinthians 15:51-58.

1. The Rapture is a mystery that was not revealed in the Old Testament (v. 51). The Old Testament prophets taught about the resurrection, but they did not teach that some would be caught up without dying. The translation of the New Testament saints will involve an instantaneous change from morality to immortality. Those believers living at that hour will never see death.

2. The translation of the church-age saints is said to be a source of comfort and encouragement (1 Co. 15:58). Again, if this translation did not occur until the end of the torments of the Great Tribulation, it would not be a comfort.

Among those who believe in a literal Rapture of church-age saints, there are three general positions. All of these pertain to the timing of the Rapture in relation to the Great Tribulation. The three views are (1) Pre-tribulational, meaning the church-age saints will be raptured before the Great Tribulation. (2) Mid-tribulational (also called Pre-wrath Rapture), meaning the church-age saints will go through the first half of the Tribulation. (3) Post-tribulational, meaning the church-age saints will go through the entire Tribulation period.

THE EVIDENCE FOR THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE

For the following reasons we are convinced the Bible teaches a Pre-tribulational Rapture. In the following study, we are using the term “church” in a general, institutional sense:

1. CHURCH-AGE BELIEVERS ARE PROMISED SALVATION FROM WRATH (1 Th. 1:9-10; 5:1-9; Rom. 5:9; Rev. 3:10).

The Great Tribulation is expressly called the day of God’s wrath. Today the Lord is withholding His anger; He is seated upon a throne of grace, but the day approaches when He will take the seat of judgment. Then “the day of his wrath” will be upon all the world (Ps. 110:5; Isa. 13:6-13; Rev. 6:16-17). It is true that in every century, Bible-believing churches have been subjected to persecution, but this is quite different from the Great Tribulation. The general persecutions of the saints are caused by the wrath of wicked men and the devil, whereas the seven-year Tribulation is a period especially pertaining to God’s wrath (Rev. 6:16-17; 14:10). Some feel that the church will not be saved out of the time of wrath, but will be saved through it. This cannot be true, since the Bible clearly reveals that those who are on earth during the Great Tribulation will not be delivered from wrath but will be overcome (Rev. 13:7). The Scriptures that promise church-a ge believers deliverance from wrath must refer to salvation out from the very presence of the wrath. Concerning the Great Tribulation, we are told that “as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth” (Lk. 21:35). Therefore, church-age believers must either be physically removed from the earth, or they will be involved in the day of wrath. God promises removal. “... I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). This verse does not say that God will keep the church age saints through the temptation but from it.

2. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TO BE REMOVED BEFORE THE TRIBULATION (2 Th. 2:1-8).

In other passages of the Bible, the Holy Spirit is said to be the restrainer of sin (Ge. 6:3; Is. 59:19). The Holy Spirit came into the world in His present dispensation at Pentecost (Acts 2), when He came to empower the church for the Great Commission (Acts 1:8). He will remove the church-age believers before the time of God’s great wrath. This does not mean the Holy Spirit will not be present in the world at that time. He is God and is omnipresent. It means that He will not be present in the same sense that He is in this age.

3. CHURCH-AGE BELIEVERS ARE PROMISED MANSIONS IN HEAVEN (Jn. 14:1-3).

When the Lord Jesus returns to the earth at the end of the Tribulation, He sets up His Messianic kingdom. If the Rapture occurred at the end of the Tribulation, the promise to church-age believers pertaining to Heaven would not be fulfilled. Church-age believers are a heavenly people with a heavenly hope (Eph. 1; Ph. 3:20; Col. 3:1-3). Some dispensationalists teach that the church-age saints will live in heaven during the millennium. I believe they will live both in heaven and in earth. Jesus promised the apostles that they would reign with Him over Israel (Matt. 19:28).

4. THE TRANSLATION OF CHURCH-AGE SAINTS IS SAID TO BE IMMINENT (it could happen any time) whereas the Second Coming is said to be preceded by specific signs.

Christ taught this (Matthew 24:42, 44; 25:13; Mark 13:33). Paul taught it (Phil. 4:5; Titus 2:12-13). James taught it (Jam. 5:8-9). And Peter taught it (1 Pet. 4:7). The early Christians were living in expectation of Christ’s return (1 Th. 1:9-10). The apostle Paul instructed the church at Thessalonica that they did not need to heed signs and times, because the New Testament believer has been promised redemption from the “day of darkness” that shall overcome the whole world (1 Th. 5:1-9). The church is not waiting for the appearing of the Antichrist, but for the redemption of the Son of God.

5. THE CHURCH IS A MYSTERY UNREVEALED IN THE Old TESTAMENT (Eph. 3:1-11).

The New Testament church has no part in the chronology of events foretold by the Old Testament prophets. They clearly foretold the first coming of Christ, His miraculous birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. The same prophets described Christ’s Second Coming in glory, preceded by a time of unprecedented worldwide tribulation, and followed by the establishment of the glorious Messianic kingdom centered in Jerusalem. But these prophets did not see the present church age--“which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:5).

Between the first and second coming, there is a time gap that was not seen by the Old Testament prophets. This gap is the church age. The prophets did not see that Israel would be set aside temporarily while God called out from among all nations a special body of people. After He has accomplished this purpose and the fullness of the Gentiles is come in, God will restart Israel’s prophetic clock and will fulfill all Old Testament prophecies in relation to His ancient chosen nation. “... blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25).

The Great Tribulation deals with Israel, not with church-age believers. This present mystery period will end with the removal of the church-age believers from the earth; and the Lord will then take up His plan for the nation Israel as He fulfills the Old Testament prophecies of the time of Jacob’s trouble, the coming of Messiah in glory, the regathering of the remnant, and the establishment of the Messianic kingdom.

6. THERE ARE EVENTS INTERVENING BETWEEN THE TRANSLATION AND RESURRECTION OF THE CHURCH AND THE SECOND ADVENT.

According to 1 Cor. 15:51, EVERY saved person will be translated at the Rapture. Yet Mat. 25:31-46 shows that when Jesus returns to the earth at the Second Advent He will find many true believers in their natural bodies. There must, then, be a period of time between the Rapture of the church-age saints and the Second Coming to allow for these folk to be saved. It is reasonable to believe that this period is the seven years of the Great Tribulation.

7. THE BOOK OF REVELATION SHOWS THAT THE CHURCH IS NOT ON EARTH DURING THE TRIBULATION.

(a) The church is not seen on earth in chapters 4-18.

(b) The witness for God in the earth during the Tribulation is Israel, not the church (Rev. 7).

(c) The prayers of the saints in Revelation 8 are prayers for judgment. Only Israel prayed such prayers. The church-age saints are instructed to pray for her enemies, not against them (Lk. 9:51-56). These prayers of Revelation are those of the Psalms and are based on God’s promise to Abraham to curse those that cursed Israel (Gen. 12:1-3).

(d) The scorpion-like creatures of Revelation 9 are given freedom to hurt all earth-dwellers except those Jews who were sealed by the angel of Revelation 7; if church-age believers were on earth, they would be subject to this horrible judgment of God.

(e) Revelation 10 identifies the events of Revelation 4-18 with those foretold by Old Testament prophets--the days of the Great Tribulation, the “day of the Lord.” The church age was never in the view of these Old Testament prophecies; it was an unrevealed mystery. The church has a different purpose and program than national Israel. It is Israel that is in view in Old Testament prophecy and in Revelation 4-18.

(f) The ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation 11 identifies them with national Israel and with Old Testament prophecies of the “day of the Lord.” The two witnesses minister from Jerusalem, Israel’s capital. The churches have no such capital, her hope being heavenly, not earthly (Col. 3:1-4; Phil. 3:17-21). The two witnesses are clothed in sackcloth, typical of Old Testament Israel, not New Testament believers. Nowhere are the churches seen in sackcloth. They are told, rather, to “rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). The church-age believer’s judgment is forever past, and he is to keep his mind centered in the heavenlies where, in position, he is seated eternally victorious with Christ (Eph. 2:5-10). Revelation 11:4 identifies the two witnesses with Old Testament prophecy. Zech. 4:3, 11, 14 is a prophecy of Israel, not the church. Further, the two witnesses call down judgment upon their enemies in Rev. 10:5 -6. Jesus rebuked his disciples for desiring to do just this and instructed the church-age believer to pray for the well-being of his enemies, not for their destruction (Lk. 9:54-56; Rom. 12:14, 17-21).

(g) The devil persecutes Israel, not the church, during the Tribulation (Rev. 12). There can be no doubt that the woman in this chapter is identified as national Israel. Verse 5 shows the woman bringing forth Christ; it is obvious that Jesus was brought forth by Israel, not by the churches (Isa. 9:6-7; Rom. 9:5). Also, the symbols of Rev. 12:1-2 recall familiar Old Testament typology of Israel. She is referred to as a woman (Isa. 54:5-7). The sun and moon and the 12 stars of verse 2 remind us of Joseph’s dream regarding Israel (Gen. 37:9). The words of Rev. 12:2 are almost an exact quote from Micah 5:3, again referencing Israel’s delivery of the Messiah. These symbols are not used in the New Testament of the churches.

THE ATTACK ON THE PRE-TRIBULATIONAL RAPTURE

The doctrine of the pre-tribulational rapture is under severe attack today. Consider some examples from the emerging church:

Brian McLaren mocks the “fundamentalist expectations” of a literal second coming of Christ with its attendant judgments on the world and assumes that the world will go on like it is for hundreds of thousands of years (A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 305). He calls the literal, imminent return of Christ “pop-Evangelical eschatology” (Generous Orthodoxy, p. 267) and the “eschatology of abandonment” (interview with Planet Preterist, Jan. 30, 2005, http://planetpreterist.com/news-2774.html). McLaren says that the book of Revelation is not a “book about the distant future” but is “a way of talking about the challenges of the immediate present” (The Secret Message of Jesus, 2007, p. 176). He says that phrases such as “the moon will turn to blood” “are no more to be taken literally than phrases we might read in the paper today” (The Secret Message, p. 178).

Jonny Baker of Grace in London, England, rejects dispensationalism as “escapology theology” and “advocates that Christians need to invest themselves in the current culture, not live on hold until time runs out” (Emerging Churches, pp. 78, 79).

Tony Jones says that the emergent church, in contrast to the dispensational viewpoint, is characterized by “an eschatology of hope” (An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, p. 130). He says: “What I mean is that the folks who hang around the emerging church tend to see goodness and light in God’s future, not darkness and gnashing of teeth. While that may seem obvious to some followers of God, pop theology today is facing the other way. ... Those novelists and the theologians who provide them their material take the view that we’re in a downward spiral, and when things ‘down here’ become bad enough, Jesus will return in glory. But those of us represented in this book take the contrary view. God’s promised future is good, and it awaits us, beckoning us forward” (p. 130).

N.T. Wright, who has a great influence on the emerging church, warns that the doctrine of an imminent rapture is dangerous because it interferes with kingdom building and environmental activities. “If there’s going to be an Armageddon, and we’ll all be in heaven already or raptured up just in time, it really doesn’t matter if you have acid rain or greenhouse gases prior to that. Or, for that matter, whether you bombed civilians in Iraq. All that really matters is saving souls for that disembodied heaven” (“Christians Wrong about Heaven, Says Bishop,” Time, Feb. 7, 2008).

Tony Campolo says: “I mean all of this stuff [about the imminent coming of Christ and a literal Tribulation] comes out of not only fundamentalism. It comes out of dispensationalism, which is a weird little form of fundamentalism that started like a hundred fifty years ago. ... I think that we need to challenge the government to do the work of the Kingdom of God, to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. That whole sense of the rapture, which may occur at any moment, is used as a device to oppose engagement with the principalities, the powers, the political and economic structures of our age” (“Opposition to women preachers evidence of demonic influence,” Baptist Press, June 27, 2003).

Mark Driscoll refers to the pre-tribulational rapture as “pessimistic dispensationalism” (Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, p. 146). He has said that “eschatology-minded Christians” are not welcome in his church.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PRE-TRIBULATIONAL RAPTURE

The doctrine of the pre-tribulational rapture is not a peripheral one. As we have seen, Christ, Paul, James, and Peter taught that the return of Christ was imminent and was to be expected at any time (Mat. 24:44; Phil. 4:5; Jam. 5:8-9; 1 Pet. 4:7). The early Christians lived in expectation of Christ’s return the literal fulfillment of the prophecies. “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

The doctrine of a pre-tribulational Rapture is a great motivator for purifying one’s personal Christian life.

1. It encourages the believer in trials and persecutions. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

2. It keeps the church’s focus on the Great Commission (Mat. 28:18-20; Mk 16:15; Lk. 24:44-48; Acts 1:8). It teaches us that preaching the gospel, winning people to Christ, and establishing churches as the pillar and ground of the truth is the most urgent matter. D.L. Moody had it right when he said: “I look upon this world as a wrecked vessel. God has given me a lifeboat and said to me, ‘Moody, save all you can.’”

3. It motivates us to be busy in the Lord’s work (1 Cor. 15:58).

4. It motivates us to live obedient lives (1 Jn. 3:1-3; 1 Th. 5:4-7).

5. It motivates us to separate from evil (Tit. 2:13-14).

6. It keeps believers on the outlook for heresy and apostasy (2 Timothy 4:3-4; 1 John 2:24-28).

Sabtu, 20 Juni 2009

Berita Mingguan 20 Juni 2009

Sumber: Way of Life Ministry, Friday Church News Notes
Penerjemah: Dr. Steven E. Liauw
Graphe International Theological Seminary
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PELAJARAN SEKOLAH MINGGU STAR TREK
Pentakosta "Star Trek" adalah judul sebuah seri pesan-pesan audio "di mana Kapten Kirk, Spock, Bones dan Scotty berangkat dengan berani dalam suatu perjalanan pencarian akan Roh Allah." Diproduksi oleh GFR Christian Radio, pesan-pesan yang disampaikan dimaksudkan untuk memberi "materi-materi yang menggugah pikiran" bagi kelas-kelas sekolah minggu. Adalah kekonyolan yang menyesatkan untuk masuk ke dalam dunia mitologis Star Trek guna mencoba menemukan kebenaran rohani! Gereja-gereja kontemporer, seperti para Yahudi yang sesat di zaman dulu, telah menukarkan Allah dalam Alkitab dengan berhala modern (mis., allah yang cool dan tidak menghakimi seperti dalam buku The Shack) dan telah menukarkan Firman Allah yang murni dengan doktrin-doktrin yang kotor. "Sebab dua kali umat-Ku berbuat jahat: mereka meninggalkan Aku, sumber air yang hidup, untuk menggali kolam bagi mereka sendiri, yakni kolam yang bocor, yang tidak dapat menahan air" (Yer. 2:13).


STAR TREK SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS (
www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org) - Star Trek Pentecost is the title of a series of audio messages “where Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty go boldly on a voyage of discovery in search of the Spirit of God.” Produced by GFR Christian Radio, the messages are intended to provide “thought-provoking material” for Sunday School classes. It is heretical folly to delve into the mythical world of Star Trek in an attempt to find true spiritual insight! Contemporary churches, like the apostate Jews of old, have exchanged the God of the Bible for a modern idol (e.g., the cool and non-judgmental god of The Shack) and have exchanged the pure Word of God for adulterated doctrine. “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

FATIMA: MARIA ANTAR-AGAMA MILIK ROMA DEMI SEBUAH GEREJA DUNIA
Berikut ini disadur dari buku yang bagus sekali, The European Union and the Supra-Religion by Robert Congdon (Congdon Ministries, 2007,
http://www.internetbibleinstitute.com, robertcongdon@bellsouth.net). "Sebagian dari penampakan-penampakan Maria yang paling terkenal terjadi di Fatima. Desa Fatima diberi nama sesuai dengan putri Muhammad, pendiri Islam. Nama Arabnya memiliki arti `yang bersinar.' .....Pada bulan Mei 2004, Dalai Lama mengunjungi dan berdoa di kuil Fatima. Setelah seorang imam Hindu, Sha Tri, berdoa di altar tersebut, Rektor dari kuil itu mengatakan bahwa pertemuan-pertemuan demikian memberi mereka kesempatan untuk `mengingatkan kita semua bahwa kita hidup dalam komunitas.' Imam Hindu itu menaruh sebuah syal khas imam Hindu, yang bertuliskan kutipan-kutipan dari Bagavad Gita, `pada pundak perwakilan tertinggi Gereja di Fatima.....Vatikan, bersatu dengan PBB, mensponsori sebuah kongres antar-agama di kuil Fatima pada tanggal 10-12 Oktober 2003, yang berjudul `Masa Kini Manusia - Masa Depan Allah.'..... Pemilihan desa Fatima berdasarkan fakta bahwa kuil Fatima telah dengan cepat menjadi pusat penyembahan banyak agama-agama dunia. Lebih dari 4,5 juta orang mengunjungi Fatima setiap tahunnya. Kongres yang terakhir ini melibatkan Hindu, Muslim, Yahudi, Ortodoks Timur, Buddha, dan perwakilan orang-orang kafir Afrika. Di Kongres tersebut, rektor dari kuil berkata, `Masa depan Fatima, atau penyembahan terhadap Allah dan ibuNya di Kuil suci ini, harus melalui suatu penciptaan sebuah kuil di mana agama-agama yang berbeda dapat bercampur... .'" (Robert Congdon, The European Union and the Supra-Religion, hal. 219, 221, 222; untuk dokumentasi, lihat kutipan-kutipan di buku ini).


FATIMA: ROME’S INTERFAITH MARY FOR A ONE-WORLD CHURCH (
www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org) - The following is excerpted from the excellent book The European Union and the Supra-Religion by Robert Congdon (Congdon Ministries, 2007, http://www.internetbibleinstitute.com, robertcongdon@bellsouth.net). Some of the Mary’s most famous apparitions have occurred at Fatima. The village of Fatima was named after the daughter of Mohammed, founder of Islam. Her Arabic name means “shining one.” ... In May 2004, the Dali Lama visited and prayed at the Fatima shrine. After a Hindu priest, Sha Tri, prayed at the altar, the Rector of the shrine said such meetings gave them the opportunity to “remind ourselves that we live in community.” The Hindu priest placed a Hindu priestly shawl, engraved with inscriptions from the Bagavad Gita, on the shoulders of the highest representative of the Church in Fatima. ... The Vatican, uniting with the United Nations, sponsored an interfaith congress at Fatima’s shrine on October 10-12, 2003, entitled “The Present of Man-The Future of God.” ... The choice of Fatima reflected the fact that the Fatima shrine is rapidly becoming the center of worship for many of the world’s religions. Over 4.5 million people visit Fatima each year. This latest congress included Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Buddhist, and African Pagan representatives. At the congress, the shrine's rector said, “The future of Fatima, or the adoration of God and His mother at this holy Shrine, must pass through the creation of a shrine where different religions can mingle...” (Robert Congdon, The European Union and the Supra-Religion, pp. 219, 221, 222; for documentation of the quoted statements see the book).


BERHENTILAH MAKAN DOMBA DAN SELAMATKAN DUNIA
Para penasihat pemerintah di Inggris telah memberi peringatan bahwa mengkonsumsi domba adalah ancaman yang serius bagi lingkungan, karena mereka "menghasilkan sedemikian banyak gas metan" ("Burping of the Lambs," The Sunday Times, 24 Mei 2009). David Kennedy, chief executive dari Komite Perubahan Iklim, mengatakan bahwa "merubah gaya hidup kita, termasuk apa yang kita makan, akan menjadi salah satu elemen penting dalam pengurangan emisi karbon." Untuk menghasilkan 1 kg domba, katanya akan membebaskan gas metan yang sama denagn 37 pon karbon dioksida ke atmosfir. Untuk memproduksi jumlah daging sapi yang sama akan membebaskan 35 pon CO2. Saat ini, para agensi pemerintah sedang "menyarankan, " tetapi waktunya akan tiba mereka mengatur apa yang boleh orang tanam, jual, dan makan, atau minimal mereka akan menetapkan pajak yang sangat berat terhadap produk-produk yang kata mereka membahayakan lingkungan. Mitos tentang global-warming yang terjadi karena manusia bukanlah bertujuan untuk menyelamatkan planet; ini semua bertujuan untuk meningkatkan kekuasaan pemerintah.

STOP EATING LAMB AND SAVE THE WORLD (
www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org) - Government advisers in England have warned that eating sheep is a serious threat to the environment, because they “burp so much methane” (Burping of the Lambs, The Sunday Times, May 24, 2009). David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, says that “changing our lifestyles, including our diets, is going to be one of the crucial elements in cutting carbon emissions.” To produce 2.2 pounds of lamb allegedly releases the methane equivalent of 37 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To produce the same amount of beef release 35 pounds of CO2. Right now, government agencies are suggesting, but the time will probably come when they will legislate what people can grow, sell, and eat, or at least they will impose heavy taxes on products that are alleged to be a danger to th e environment. The man-made global warming myth is not about saving the planet; it is about increasing the power of government.

MENGELUS SERIGALA
Berikut ini disadur dari John Ashbrook, Axioms of Separation (Mentor, OH: Here I Stand Books, n.d.): "Bertahun-tahun yang lalu, saya makan malam bersama dengan seorang muda yang lulus dari Fuller Seminary. Tamu saya itu berkata, "saya menganggap diri sebagai seorang fundamentalis; tetapi saya harus mengaku bahwa fundamentalis sering tidak penuh kasih dalam pendekatan mereka kepada para liberal. Mereka menolak untuk berdialog dengan mereka dan telah gagal menunjukkan kasih Kristiani kepada mereka." Orang ini rupanya telah menyerap filosofi Fuller. Sekarang saya tanya kepada anda, di manakah dalam Kitab Suci ada pengajaran bahwa kita harus berbaik-baikan dengan para pengajar palsu dan rasul-rasul sesat? Ini adalah kebalikan dari pengajaran di 2 Yohanes: "Jikalau seorang datang kepadamu dan ia tidak membawa ajaran ini, janganlah kamu menerima dia di dalam rumahmu dan janganlah memberi salam kepadanya. Sebab barangsiapa memberi salam kepadanya, ia mendapat bagian dalam perbuatannya yang jahat" (2 Yoh. 1:10-11). Kitab Suci menyebut orang-orang yang menyebarkan doktrin-doktrin sesat ini sebagai "serigala-serigala yang ganas" (Kis. 20:29). Para gembala yang setia sepanjang sejarah tidak berdialog dengan serigala-serigala ganas."


PATTING WOLVES (
www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org) - The following is excerpted from John Ashbrook, Axioms of Separation (Mentor, OH: Here I Stand Books, n.d.): Years ago I sat at our dinner table with a young man trained in Fuller Seminary. Our guest said, "I think of myself as a fundamentalist; but I have to confess that fundamentalists have been very uncharitable in their approach to the liberals. They have refused to dialogue with them and have failed to demonstrate Christian love toward them." He had absorbed the Fuller philosophy. Let me ask you, where in Scripture do you find the teaching that we are to treat false teachers with charity and the apostles of apostasy with Christian love? That is exactly the opposite of the teaching of 2 John. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. Scripture terms the purveyors of false doctrines as "grievous wolves.” The faithful shepherds of history have not dialogued with grievous wolves.

SEORANG ANAK PEREMPUAN YANG MENGUJI DISIPLIN ORANG TUANYA
Berikut ini disadur dari Training Your Children to Turn out Right, sebuah buku yang sangat bagus oleh David Sorenson (Northstar Ministries, 1820 W. Morgan St., Duluth, MN 55811, 218-726-0209,
www.northstarministries.com, dhs.northstar@charter.net) -- "Anak-anak kami perlu belajar bahwa setiap kali mereka melanggar sebuah aturan rumah tangga, maka akan ada pengalaman yang sudah dapat diprediksi dan yang tidak menyenangkan. Anak-anak sepertinya berpikir bahwa jika mereka mengikis orang tua mereka untuk waktu yang cukup lama, maka orang tua akan kecapekan dan akhirnya mengalah. Pertahankan aturan-aturan anda secara konsisten. Ketika salah satu anak perempuan kami masih kecil, dia memutuskan suatu malam bahwa dia tidak mau tinggal di tempat tidurnya. Dia telah dimasukkan ke dalam tempat tidur, tetapi dia memutuskan dia mau bangun. Dia memanjat keluar dari tempat tidurnya dan keluar ke ruang tamu. Dia diceramahi mengenai fakta bahwa ini sudah jam tidurnya dan bahwa jika dia keluar dari tempat tidurnya lagi, dia akan dipukul pantatnya (spanked). Dia dimasukkan ke dalam tempat tidurnya. Beberapa menit kemudia, dia keluar lagi. Sepertinya telah dijanjikan, dia dipukul dan dimasukkkan kembali ke tempat tidurnya di tengah tangisan yang cukup memberontak. Lalu dia mulai marah-marah. Setelah beberapa lama dia mulai lagi keluar dari tempat tidur dan masuk ke ruang tamu. Sejauh yang dapat kami periksa, tidak ada alasan yang sah bagi dia untuk bangun. Dia hanya tidak mau berada di tempat tidur. Sekali lagi dia dipukul. Ini berlanjut sekitar setengah jam, tetapi akhirnya dia mengerti pesannya; jika dia dengan terbuka menantang Mama dan Papa, dia akan dipukul. Ini terjadi secara konsisten. Ini terjadi setiap kali....Malam itu, sebuah pertarungan yang besar telah dimenangkan. Kehendaknya yang kecil dan pemberontak telah dipatahkan. Dia telah mencoba sekeras-kerasnya untuk menantang otoritas orang tua, dan dia telah kalah....Apakah kami sebagai orang tua merasa senang memukul anak perempuan kami? Kami sangat membenci setiap detik dari pemukulan itu. Dia adalah kebanggaan dan sukacita kami. Tidak ada yang dapat memberi kami kenyamanan yang lebih dari saat-saat dia duduk-duduk berpelukan dengan kami di ruang tamu. Tetapi kami tahu bahwa dia memerlukan pengembangan disiplin dalam hidupnya" (Training Your Children to Turn Out Right, 1995, hal. 71, 72).


A LITTLE GIRL WHO TESTED HER PARENTS DISCIPLINE (
www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org) - The following is excerpted from Training Your Children to Turn out Right, an excellent book by David Sorenson (Northstar Ministries, 1820 W. Morgan St., Duluth, MN 55811, 218-726-0209, www.northstarministries.com, dhs.northstar@charter.net) -- Our children need to learn that every single time they violate a household rule, there will be a predictable and unpleasant experience. Children seem to think that if they whittle away at their parents long enough, the parents will wear down and then give in. Consistently enforce your rules. When one of our girls was small, she decided one evening that she did not want to stay in her bed. She had been put to bed, but she decided she wanted to get up. She climbed out of her bed and came out into the living room. She was lectured about the fact that it was her bed time and that if sh e got out of bed again she would be spanked. She was placed back in her bed. A few minutes later, she came out again. As promised, she was paddled and placed back into her bed. ... A few minutes later, she came out again. She again was paddled and placed back into her bed amidst rather rebellious crying. She was throwing a tantrum. After a while she proceeded to get out of bed and come out again into the living room. As far as we could tell, there was no legitimate reason for her to get up. She just did not want to stay in bed. Again she was spanked. This went on for about a half an hour, but she finally got the message; if she openly defied Mom and Dad, she would be spanked. It was consistent. It happened every single time. ... That night a major battle was won. Her rebellious little will was broken. She had tried her hardest to challenge parental authority, and she had lost. ... Did we as parents enjoy spanking our little girl? We hated every moment of it. She was our pride and joy. Nothing would have pleased us more than for her to cuddle up to us out in the living room, but we knew how she needed to have discipline developed in her life” (Training Your Children to Turn Out Right, 1995, pp. 71, 72).

MATA YANG SANGAT SENSITIF
Berikut ini dari Creation Moments: "Mata manusia sedemikian sensitifnya, sehingga ia dapat mendeteksi satu partikel cahaya – sebuah foton. Faktanya, mata manusia sedemikian sensitifnya, sehingga kalau bukan karena fitur-fitur spesial di dalam mata yang memproses milyaran informasi yang masuk setiap sepersekian detik, kita pastilah terbanjiri oleh cahaya. Walaupun mata dapat mendeteksi satu foton cahaya, ia tidak akan meneruskan suatu gambar kepada otakmu kecuali ada minimal enam foton yang mengenai bagian mata yagn sama. Jika tidak demikian, maka pada malam hari yang gelap kita tidak akan dapat melihat apa-apa selain statis, karena terang yang kurang dari enam foton tidak dapat difokuskan menjadi suatu gambar dan yang telihat hanyalah statis. Hal-hal seperti ini membuat kita bertanya-tanya apakah mata didesain oleh seorang Pencipta yang mahabijak? Karena bagaimana mungkin kebetulan-kebetulan yang tidak disengaja dan mutasi dapat mengetahui hukum-hukum dasar fisika yang mengendalikan perilaku cahaya? Rentang sensitifitas mata juga jutaan kali lebih besar dibandingkan dengan film-film fotograifk modern kita, dan memberikan kepada kita rentang dinamis antara 10 milyar hinga satu. Sementara sensitifitas yang terbesar diperlukan pada malam yang gelap, ada kontrol internal dalam mata yang menurunkan sensitifitas itu untuk situasi hari yang terang benderang. Ilmu pengetahuan sama sekali tidak menyingkirkan Allah! Pengetahuan kita tentang cara kerja mata menuntut kesimpulan bahwa kita adalah ciptaan dari seorang Allah bijak dan kuasa.

THE INCREDIBLY SENSITIVE EYE (www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org) - The following is from Creation Moments, http://www.creationmoments.com/radio/transcript.php?t=2295: The human eye is so incredibly sensitive that it can actually detect a single particle of light--a photon. The truth is, the human eye is so sensitive that were it not for special features inside the eye that process the billions of pieces of information coming into the eye every spilt second, we would be overwhelmed. While the eye can detect even one photon of light, it will not pass an image on to your brain until at least six photons strike in the same area of the eye. If this weren't the case, on a dark night we would see nothing but static, since less than six photons could not be focused into an image and would appear to us as just static. This special provision makes one wonder if the eye was not designed by an all wise Creator. After all, h ow could mindless chance and mutations know about the basic laws of physics that control light's behavior? The range of the eye's sensitivity is also a million times greater than our modern photographic films, providing us with a dynamic range of 10 billion to one. While the greatest sensitivity is needed on dark nights, an internal control in the eye reduces that sensitivity for bright daylight. Science doesnot rule out God at all! Our knowledge of the eye's working demands the conclusion that we are the creation of a wise and powerful God!


Diterjemahkan dari

FRIDAY CHURCH NEWS NOTES

June 19, 2009, Volume 10, Issue 25


ROBERT SCHULLER APPOINTS DAUGHTER TO LEAD THE CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL (
www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org) - Robert Schuller has announced that his daughter is the new leader of Crystal Cathedral Ministries. Sheila Schuller Coleman steps into the shoes that were previously worn by Schuller’s son, Robert Anthony, who resigned last year under mysterious circumstances. When the son’s removal as the host of the Hour of Power television program was announced last October, the elder Schuller simply said that they had a different ideas as to the direction and the vision for this ministry. Those differences were never spelled out. The son has subsequently partnered with his son-in-law Chris Wyatt, founder of GodTube, to acquire AmericanLife TV, which they plan to use to broadcast “family-friendly” programs (Schuller’s Daughter to Lead Crystal Cathedral, Orange County Register, June 10, 2009). On June 7, the elder Schuller told his congregation that from now on Scheila is “the leader of leaders”. Robert Schuller has had a vast influence on modern Christianity. He has been one of the most popular religion television personalities in America for decades. His books sell by the millions. Schuller reinterprets the Bible to conform to his heretical self-esteem philosophy. To Schuller, sin is the lack of self-esteem. His christ is a psycho-savior who is “self-esteem incarnate”. His gospel is to replace negative self-concepts with positive ones. Schuller believes that all men are the children of God. Robert Schuller wants to create a new kind of Christianity: one that accepts the Fatherhood of God, that is positive and non-judgmental, that worships a self-esteem Christ, that denies the necessity of Christ’s blood atonement. (For documentation of Schuller’s heresies see Robert Schuller and Evangelicals at the Way of Life web site)


PETER MASTERS WARNS ABOUT WORLDLY EMERGING CHURCH CALVINISTS (
www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org) - Dr. Peter Masters, pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England, has sounded a warning against the worldliness of American pop-Calvinists such as Mark Driscoll and John Piper. Driscoll calls himself “theologically conservative and culturally liberal and his Mars Hills Church in Seattle has rock & roll champagne parties, watches R-rated movies, learns how to brew beer, and hosts secular rock concerts. In an article in The Sword and Trowel, 2009 No. 1, entitled “The Merger of Calvinism with Worldliness,” Dr. Masters says: “The new Calvinists constantly extol the Puritans, but they do not want to worship or live as they did. One of the vaunted new conferences is called Resolved, after Jonathan Edwards” famous youthful Resolutions (seventy searching undertakings). But the culture of this conference would unquestionably have met with the outright condemnation of that great theologian. Resolved is the brainchild of a member of Dr John MacArthur’s pastoral staff, gathering thousands of young people annually, and featuring the usual mix of Calvinism and extreme charismatic-style worship. Young people are encouraged to feel the very same sensational nervous impact of loud rhythmic music on the body that they would experience in a large, worldly pop concert, complete with replicated lighting and atmosphere. At the same time they reflect on predestination and election. Worldly culture provides the bodily, emotional feelings, into which Christian thoughts are infused and floated. Biblical sentiments are harnessed to carnal entertainment. In times of disobedience the Jews of old syncretised by going to the Temple or the synagogue on the sabbath, and to idol temples on weekdays, but the new Calvinism has found a way of uniting spiritually incompatible thi ngs at the same time, in the same meeting. ... Truly proclaimed, the sovereignty of God must include consecration, reverence, sincere obedience to his will, and separation from the world.

CONCLUDING NOTE FROM BRO. CLOUD: While we do not agree with Dr. Masters sovereign election theology, we could not agree more with his reproof of worldliness and we are thankful for the stand he has taken against the contemporary program. The Bible call to not be conformed to the world, to not love the world, and to come out from among them and be separate refutes the ridiculous philosophy of cultural liberalism (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 5:11; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17).


POLL SHOWS THAT AMERICANS ARE OPEN TO NEW “WAYS OF EXPERIENCING GOD” (
www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org) - According to a new Barna poll, a large percentage of Americans are open to new ways of experiencing God apart from traditional church structures. 75% said they sense that God is motivating people to connect with Him in different ways and through different types of experiences than in the past. “71% say that they want to develop their own religious beliefs rather than to accept an entire set of beliefs that a particular church teachers.” 64% said they are open to pursuing their faith in an environment that differs from that of a typical church. This is the product of the rock & roll pop culture that has captured American minds and hearts with its message of individuality and resistance to authority. The pop culture wields far more influence on the average prof essing Christian than the Bible does. The contemporary philosophy of doctrinal tolerance and the multiplicity of modern versions have helped create an appetite for a spiritual smorgasbord.

Jumat, 19 Juni 2009

The Antichrist’s One World Economy

Artikel dalam bahasa Indonesianya bisa dibaca di SINI

translated by Mrs. Krista Ang


The Cause of Crisis in US

The world was shocked when several US financing companies went bankrupt since this would impact other financing companies, even the banking sector. The first impact was the crash of stock prices in Dow Jones Index. Henry Paulson, US Finance Minister, immediately devised a US$700 billion bailout plan. When the first proposal was rejected by the Congress, the fall of stock prices was even worse. So Paulson, who was back up by George W. Bush, stated that if US Congress was not willing to accept this proposal, not only US but also the whole world would experience a severe economic crisis. Finally, the Congress had no option but to approve this bailout plan.


Indonesian financial analyst, Christianto Wibisono, stated in 13 October 2008 Suara Pembaruan Newspaper that US financial crisis was not caused by George W. Bush, but by the lifestyle of Americans who tend to spend much more than what they actually earn. Many people are still unaware that although the world is temporarily saved by the US$700 billion bailout, the credit card crisis is still looming ahead. It is estimated that US credit card debt reached US$1 trillion. We in Indonesia are also being encouraged to use credit card and make credit card debt as part of our lifestyle.


So why could this US financial crisis happen? The answer is because the world relied heavily on US democracy system and free market economy. All people wanted to deposit their money in US. Even the third world countries’ corruptors put their money in US banks! This made US banks experienced what was called over-liquidity (too much money), so they offered low interest rates. Due to excess of funds, they offer loans easily to housing financing companies. Because the easiness of getting funds out of banks, many financing companies made unwise decisions in order to achieve their target of loan granted. So, without proper customer feasibility study, they granted housing loans to people who actually could not afford it. On the other hand, the customers who were used to live on loans, without due consideration, greedily grabbed this opportunity to buy big and expensive houses. Finally, the amount of non performing loans increased so much that many financing companies went bankrupt. This problem created a severe impact to the banks that loaned money to these companies. If the amount involved was small, its influence would be limited. But because the amount reached billions of dollars, it became not only national but also an international problem.


Lucifer’s Heroin

Credit card debt became a common thing not only in US but in the whole world. People with credit card tend to purchase anything without further thought since “buy now, pay later” becomes their motto. Older generations used to advise their children to save money. But today, people are used to owe money, sometimes even until several levels. Banks that issue credit cards wish that the credit card holders spend as much as they can and only pay the minimum amount because they cannot afford to pay in full, since this will generate high interest income for the banks.


People living at the end of the age are so pampered with technology. Technology itself is not evil or wrong. Using hand phones is of course more convenient than using monolog phones that must be connected through wire. Other technological inventions also add more to our comfort. But this comfort is not for free. It has a price and it is not cheap. To buy it, people need much money so they must work hard to afford it. Those who are not patient enough to wait can use credit card to buy it even if they don’t enough money yet.


So, through technological advancement and “buy now, pay later” principle, people can fill their houses with all the technological gimmicks through debt. This kind of lifestyle has spread to most, if not all, people of this age. People no longer give second or third thought when buying things. With credit cards, they still have one month lag time and also the minimum payment facility.


Every country with free market economy encourages its citizens to be economic human beings. They work so hard day and night to get money in order to buy material things that they scarcely have enough time for their family or their church. They go to work so early in the morning and go home so late at night. This financial chaos in US is only Lucifer’s test case to see how panic people would be when facing financial problems. He will hold this power to cause all people to worship him. This chaos in the end will lead to the unitization of world economy under one monetary policy. Nancy Pelosi urged George W. Bush to invite all G8 countries to sit down together to discuss joint actions to solve this economic problem. This crisis will ultimately lead the world to one single economic policy.


The US presidential election could be a test to Americans. Would they prefer economy to Christian virtues? Apparently Americans will choose the candidate who is able to lead them to economic welfare rather than family values based on Christian virtues. Americans cannot afford to face an economic hardship after enjoying economic welfare for so long. They don’t really know how to save money or to survive an economic crisis. After all, finding jobs has never been difficult before. Why do they need to save money?


So, the moral of the US president candidate is no longer important. The most important thing is whether he can lead US to economic improvement. Therefore, it is not surprising if one day Lucifer comes in the open and state his position against biblical Christians, people will still choose him. Lucifer will be fully back up by the homosexuals, people from all religions, untruthful Christians, Hollywood movie stars who practice free sex, and other communities. Lucifer has been successful in offering “heroin” in the form of leisure living and freedom to borrow money. He knows for sure that most people will die without him.


No One Can Sell and Buy

In Revelation 13:16-17, it is written that “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy and sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” In your opinion, what are the factors that will enable Lucifer to control the world economy, to the point where no one can buy or sell without his permission? There must have been a monetary unitization so the monetary authority for the whole world is held by one ruler.


Lucifer will be successful in unitizing the world politics so that one world government is established. It is possible to have one federation country with 200 states. US will become one state, and so will Indonesia and China. The world president must be a very prominent person and will be elected by all people in the whole world. Don’t you know that we have already had a World Parliament? And do you know that in October 2008 Indonesia has proposed Agung Laksono as a candidate for the chairman of the world parliament?


We are heading toward one world economy and one world monetary policy. We have already had World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) which help many countries to solve their financial problems. Can you now see that a global anti-Christ government which was revealed by God in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as a great image whose feet were made of iron and clay is now being formed?


Revelation chapter 13 which was quoted above told us that anti-Christ would rule the world and control the economy so that no one can sell and buy without his permission. Many people reading Revelation chapter 13 were shocked by the number of the anti-Christ, 666, while unaware that they themselves were in the program.


The Kingdom of Iron and Clay

Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, and it was recorded in Daniel chapter 2. There was almost a slaughter in the Babylonian Kingdom because no one was able to interpret the dreams of the great king. However, since those dreams came from God, only God could reveal the meaning, and this was done through Daniel. We were told that the head of the image made of gold represented the Babylonian Kingdom at that time. It was also said that after this kingdom, four more kingdoms would emerge before another kingdom symbolized by a rock rolling down from a mountain destroyed them. Because after 2,600 years have passed after Daniel got this revelation, it is very easy for us today to understand that the breast and arms made of silver were actually the Median-Persian Kingdom that came after Babylonia, the belly and thighs made of bronze were actually the Greek Kingdom with its “Alexander the unGreat” and the legs made of iron were actually the Roman Empire (European Union) that crucified Jesus Christ.


So what does the kingdom of iron and clay actually mean? It is surely not Singosari or Sriwijaya (Indonesian local kingdoms before Indonesia became an independent country), or England. Since the Roman Empire collapsed, there has been no other kingdom or government as global as it was. Because this fifth kingdom was described as made of iron and clay, then the iron must be Europe, which was the identity of the fourth kingdom. Now the question is, what is represented by the clay?


It appears that the financial crisis happening today is the process of the forming of the “clay.” Christianto Wibisono and other economists view that through this crisis, US will be more “damaged” and China will be more “triumphant.” Don’t forget that the Arabian countries (Islamic countries) are not affected by this crisis. Media Indonesia Newspaper on its 13 October 2008 issue stated that Saudi Arabia planned to construct a building complex which height was more than 1 Km and cost about US$26.7 billion.


Can it be that what was meant by the “clay” was actually China which is very famous for its ceramic? Or could it be that the clay was actually the Arabian countries (Islamic countries) or the combination of both? If the “iron” represented the Western world (Europe), can it mean that the “clay” was the Eastern World (the combination of China, Arab, etc.)? So will the whole world unite like iron mixed with clay? Let us wait for the final event. It can be that you will experience it.


He Will Infiltrate the Church

Chapter 13 of Revelation is being fulfilled and the antichrist with the 666 sign is forming itself. The fifth kingdom that is the iron and clay mix which was described in the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, is revealing itself. The real antichrist is actually a person who claims himself to be Christ. The word “anti”is a Greek preposition which means against someone by impersonating the person against whom he is fighting. So antichrist is against Christ by claiming himself as Christ or in other words, antichrist is a phony Christ. Christ in Greek has the same meaning with Messiah in Hebrew. So, the antichrist will come not from the leaders of other religions, but from Christians.


He will preach about Christ according to his version, and he will call himself as the Anointed One, which is the meaning of the word “Christ.” He calls himself or his office as the replacement of Christ. Before the main antichrist comes, he will send his spies pretending as Christians to all churches. He will tell everyone not to talk about doctrines, because in the absence of the teaching of true doctrines will make his covers more secured. He will lead the churches to lower the moral standards and introduce pop music as Christian songs. He will concoct a doctrine, in which everyone who will go to heaven has been chosen before the world was made, so eliminates the need to spread the Gospel. He will lead all churches to one institution. In his book, All Roads Lead to Rome, Michael de Semlyen declared the Roman Catholic Church as the final station of antichrist.


He will unite the world under one power, and all economic policies will also under his. But those are not the ends but mere tools, since the deepest desire of Lucifer is to be worshiped not only by human beings, but also by God, his Creator (Matthew 4:9). He will unite the churches in his clutch and proclaim himself as Christ. This will happen after he gives a quasi power to his disciples to perform miracles in the name of “Christ” (which is himself), and at the same time he will destroy pure Christian doctrines, moral, and motivation (the three measures of flour) with yeast.


Advice for Christians

Beware, be wise, and pay attention to the doctrines because doctrines were the differentiating factors between one religion and another. If you don’t like to learn about doctrine, then you will not be able to differentiate one church with another, and slowly but sure, you will not be able to differentiate one religion with another. Examine the teachings of each church, and differentiate one teaching with another. Learn carefully to make sure that you accept only the most biblical and logical teachings. Don’t be amazed only with one doctrine, but each doctrine of one church must be harmonious with others of the same church. Don’t forget to compare the teachings of GRAPHE with those of other churches’. Should you have any questions, feel free to email us at church@grapheministry.org or gits@grapheministry.org. The true teachings will allow all who hear them to examine them. Delicious food can only be offered but not forced to be eaten. Make sure that you join a biblical church while we are waiting the second coming of our Lord, because the Lord once said sardonically, “. . . when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” He is pessimistic to find true faith when he comes again. It must be that true faith is being eroded by churches with false doctrines.


Does it mean that you can still use credit to buy a car or a house? Of course you can, but you have to make sure that the amount of the installment is within your affordable range. Can you still use Credit Card? Of course! But control your spending. Try to be content with what you have, and save as much money as you can to anticipate troubled days. We have to help other Christians who are proved to be faithful, not just pretending to be, as a proof that we are brothers in Christ.