Sunday, July 26, 2015

Where Are Enoch and Elija? By Churches of God Outreach Ministries!


Enoch was translated that he should not see death. Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Yet the Bible reveals they are not in heaven today! WHERE ARE THEY? Here's the astounding truth.

Where Is Enoch?

ENOCH was "translated." Where did he go? Was he immediately taken to heaven? NO! Because Jesus Himself said: "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man" (John 3:13). Here are Jesus’ own words that no man, except Himself, had ascended into heaven!

And how did He know? Why, He came from there! Then where is Enoch? Let’s see what the Bible says.

Enoch Walked with God.

At the age of 65 Enoch had a son named Methuselah. "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters" (Genesis 5:22).

Here was a man that PLEASED God, a man that WALKED WITH GOD.

Enoch had to have faith, for in Hebrews 11:6 the Apostle said, "But without faith it is impossible to PLEASE Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." So Enoch walked with God. He obeyed God, and followed Him in His paths BY FAITH.

No one can walk with God unless he is in agreement with the will of God and doing it. Amos the prophet said: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3.) So in his generation Enoch was the only recorded person who followed the ways of God—even though it possibly took him sixty-five years to learn to walk with God!

But how long did Enoch walk with God? The Scripture says that he "walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years." So Enoch followed God’s ways for three hundred years. Notice that Moses did not record that Enoch is still walking with God. The Scripture says that Enoch WALKED with God for three hundred years and not one year more! Then Enoch is not still walking with God! Why?

Because "all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years, (Genesis 5:23).” All the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Not just part of his days, but all his days! If Enoch did not die—if he was changed to immortality—and thus continued to walk with God, then his days would have been more than three hundred and sixty-five years. But the Bible plainly says that ALL his days were just that many and no more!

This expression "all his days" is used in the same fifth chapter of Genesis about a dozen times and always it means that the person lived for that length of time ONLY "and he died." So Enoch lived NO MORE than three hundred and sixty-five years because "all his days were three hundred and sixty-five years." As he lived only for this length of time THEN HE MUST HAVE DIED!

But what about his translation? Does that mean he didn’t die?

That’s what most people carelessly assume without proof

What Really Happened at Enoch’s Translation!

Remember, Moses didn’t write that Enoch did not die. Rather Moses wrote that "Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen. 5:24). Paul records the same event by saying that he "was not found, because God had translated him" (Heb. 11:5).

Thus the Scripture records that Enoch was not found because God took him, or "translated" him. THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY THAT ENOCH WENT TO HEAVEN when he was translated. Instead it says he was not found.

Certainly Enoch was "translated," but what does the word "translate" mean?

Strange as it may seem, nowhere in all the Bible does "translate" mean to make immortal!

The original Greek word for "translate" is metatithemi. According to Strong’s Concordance it signifies: transfer, transport, exchange, change sides. The same Greek word is rendered "carried over" in Acts 7:16. Here we read that after Jacob DIED his body was "carried over"—transported, TRANSLATED—to Sychem WHERE HE WAS BURIED! That’s what your Bible says! Jacob was transported or TRANSLATED to the place of burial!

That is why Moses said that God TOOK Enoch. God removed—translated—him so that he was not found. God took Enoch and buried him!

In Deuteronomy 34:6 we read also how God took Moses from the people after which he died and was buried by God. "But no man knoweth his sepulcher unto this day." God removed Moses—God translated him—and he was not found either!

So Enoch was not made immortal after all! He was taken away and was not found. ALL his days were three hundred and sixty-five! That’s as long as Enoch lived.

Notice another proof that "translate" does not mean to make immortal. It is found in Col. 1:13: the Father "hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath TRANSLATED us into the kingdom of His dear Son." Here the Bible says that Christians are already translated—but Christians still die! We are not immortal bodies, but mortal flesh and blood. Although we were once part of the darkness of this world, now we are TRANSLATED, removed from darkness into the light of the kingdom of God.

Didn’t Receive the Promise!

Enoch is included by Paul (in Hebrews 11) among the fathers who obtained a good report through faith; but "ALL these, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise" (Heb. 11:39). What promise? The "hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began (Titus 1:2).

So Enoch therefore is one of "ALL THESE" who have not yet obtained the promise of eternal life and inheritance. Enoch and all the worthies of old will receive the promise of eternal life at the return of Christ, the same time Christians obtain it (Heb. 11:40). That is yet future!

Since Enoch has not yet inherited eternal life he must be dead! This is exactly what Paul writes in Heb. 11:13! Paul says Enoch DIED! Notice it! "These ALL died in faith, not having received what was promised:’ Who were these "ALL"?

Paul tells us: Abel, ENOCH, Noah, and the patriarchs and their wives. Hebrews 11:1-12 lists those who had faith and Enoch is included among them. Then in verse 13 Paul proved that they had not inherited the promises by saying: "These ALL [including Enoch] died in faith?’

But what about Paul’s saying that Enoch "should not see death"?

Which Death Did Enoch Escape?

Enoch lived only three hundred sixty-five years. Then what could Paul possibly have meant by saying: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found because God had translated him?" This verse nowhere says that Enoch did not die. Rather, it says that Enoch "should not see death." But what does it mean?

Remember, there is more than one death mentioned in the Bible. There is a first death, and there is a second death (Rev. 20:6). Which death did Paul mean?

The first death is appointed unto men (Heb. 9:27). That death cannot be humanly evaded. It is inevitable. That death Enoch died, as we have already proved.

But Paul was not writing about that death. The phrase "should not see" is in the conditional tense of the verb, having reference to a future event. It is not in the past tense, that he "did not see" death—but that he "should not see death." So this death that Enoch escaped by being translated is one that he can escape in the future ON CERTAIN CONDITIONS!

Did Jesus ever speak of a death that might be escaped? He certainly did! In John 8:51 Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my sayings, he shall never see death"—shall never see— that is, suffer—the second death! And again in John 11:26, "Whoso liveth and believeth in me shall never die"—or "shall not die forever."

This death is one that can be escaped on condition that men keep the sayings of Jesus and believe Him. This death is not the first death, because Christians who keep Jesus’ sayings die this first death. Then the death which Enoch should escape must be the second death which will NEVER TOUCH THOSE WHO ARE IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION (Rev. 20:6). And Enoch will be in the first resurrection because he met the conditions!

Enoch had faith. He believed God and walked with God, obeying Him. In keeping the sayings of God, Enoch kept the sayings of Jesus too; because Jesus did not speak of Himself, but spoke what the Father commanded Him (John 14:10).

Thus Enoch met the conditions so that he should not see death. The second death shall never touch Enoch, because of his faith and obedience.

Two Translations

Now we can understand Hebrews 11:5: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."

This verse plainly mentions two translations.

Examining this verse fact by fact, we notice that Enoch had faith and was translated. This translation—removal, transference—was on condition of FAITH. NOW what translation mentioned in the Bible is on condition of faith? Why, the one we read about in Colossians 1:13. The Father "hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son."

This is a FIGURATIVE translation—a FIGURATIVE removal or transference from the spiritual darkness of this world to the light of the family or kingdom of God and Christ. In verse 10 Paul shows that to abide in this kingdom we must "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing." This is exactly what Enoch did. He walked with God, and pleased God.

Then Enoch, the same as Christians, was delivered from the power of sin and darkness in which he had been living for sixty-five years. He was removed (translated) from the ways of the world and lived three hundred years according to God’s ways so that he might inherit eternal life at Christ’s return, and should not suffer the second death.

By faith Enoch was separated—removed or translated—from the world, the same as Christians who are not to be a part of the world, although living in the world.

Not only was Enoch FIGURATIVELY taken from the society of his day, but he was also LITERALLY removed—translated—so that he was not found.

God took him physically away from the people, just as He later took Moses. And God buried each so well that neither has ever been found since! Enoch had completed this present normal life. "All his days were three hundred sixty-five years." This was the second translation—a literal removal at death.

God gave Enoch this sign of physical removal as a type for all those who should later follow Enoch’s example of faith. He was taken physically from the people just as Christians are to be spiritually removed from the ways of the world. The physical translation or carrying away of Enoch was also a sign to him from God that his faith had been accepted.

Like every true saint, Enoch is awaiting the hope of the resurrection and the return of Christ (Jude 14, 15).

Did Elijah Go To Heaven?

You have been told that Elijah went to heaven. Yet over 900 years after Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind Jesus Himself said. "NO MAN ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man!" (John 3:13.)

Is this a Bible contradiction? Did Elijah really ascend to the heaven where God’s throne is—even though Jesus said he didn’t?

If Elijah is not in heaven today, then where did Elijah go?

Which Heaven?

There are three heavens mentioned in the Bible, not just one! And if, as Jesus said, no man, which included Elijah, had ever ascended to the heaven where He came from, then the heaven into which Elijah was taken was a different heaven!

Which one was it?

The third heaven is the heaven of God’s throne, where Jesus is today. Jesus, being the High Priest of God, is the only one who has the right to be in that heaven with the Father.

Notice why! Hebrews 8:1-5 explains that the original earthly tabernacle under the Old Covenant, with its most holy place, or compartment, was the type of the throne of God in heaven. Only the high priest—type of Christ as High Priest now—was allowed to enter!

The second heaven represents the expanse of this great universe—the space where we find the sun, moon, stars, comets and planets. How often do we find the Psalmist admiring the "heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon, and the stars, which Thou has ordained" (Psalm 8:3; Genesis 1:15-17).

Beside the heaven of the stars, we find that the atmosphere, the air that surrounds this world, is also called heaven. Birds fly "in the midst of heaven"— certainly not God’s throne in heaven—for we read in Genesis 1:20 of "fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." In blessing Jacob, Isaac said; "God give thee of the dew of heaven:’ and Moses joyed that the "heavens shall drop down dew" (see Gen. 27:28 and Deut. 33:28).

This first heaven, from which dew comes, means the atmosphere, where the clouds and the wind roam. Everyone of us is right now breathing the air of heaven!

Since Elijah could not have gone to the heaven of God’s throne, then to which heaven did he go?—for the Scripture reads: "and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (II Kings 2:1, 11).

The answer ought already be quite obvious! Elijah "went up by a whirlwind into heaven"—not to the heaven of God’s throne, but into this earth’s atmosphere, the first heaven.

There could be no whirlwind in any other place but in the atmosphere surrounding this earth—in the first heaven, in which the birds fly. You certainly have seen the great lifting power of a whirlwind, haven’t you?

Why Taken Up?

What was the reason for this unusual act of God? Why did He take Elijah up into the atmosphere? Was it to make him immortal? No! The Scripture says no word about that! The ancient prophets—including Elijah—did not receive any promise of immortality prior to or apart from us. Notice it in Hebrews 11:13 and 39: "These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise!" And we shall not receive it until Christ returns (Heb. 11:40).

So Elijah was not to be made immortal—for that would give him pre-eminence above Jesus. But what does the Bible reveal as the reason for his removal? II Kings 2:3 and 5 has the answer.

Notice now what the sons of the prophets said to Elisha: "Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today?" Or as the Smith and Goodspeed translation has it, "Do you know that today the Lord is about to take away your master from being your leader?" Christ is the head of the Church today as Elijah was the head or leader of the sons or disciples of the prophets in that day. God had sent Elijah as His prophet to wicked king Ahab and to his son Ahaziah. Now God wanted Elisha to direct His work, as Ahaziah the king had died (II Kings 1-18) and a new king was ruling.

So what did God do?

He could not allow Elijah to be among the people with Elisha directing the work now. That would have been the same as disqualifying him! God never takes an office from a man when that man has been performing his duty well, the only thing God could do would have been to remove Elijah so that another would fulfill the office.

This God did do. When he was taken up, Elijah’s mantle dropped from him and Elisha picked it up. See II Kings 2:12-15.

And what did the "mantle" mean?

In Clarke’s Commentary we note that it was "worn by prophets and priests as the simple insignia of their office." (Vol. 2, page 484.)

The purpose of God in removing Elijah was to replace him with another man who would occupy Elijah’s office in Israel for another fifty years. This work had to start under a new king, for Ahaziah had just died. And Elijah was already aging. So as not to disqualify Elijah in the sight of the people, God took him away from the sons of the prophets and the people, allowing the mantle which signified the office of Elijah to drop into the hands of Elisha. Thus God preserved the name and office of His prophet.

How Taken Up?

Having crossed Jordan near Jericho, Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind in what appeared to be a chariot and horses of fire. The violent motion of the wind pulled the mantle off the prophet as he was seen to ascend into the sky. You probably remember reading the promise of Elijah that Elisha would have a double portion of the Spirit of God if he would be allowed by God to see Elijah taken up (II Kings 2:9). All this meant that Elisha was to be the leader, the new head of the sons of the prophets.

Having ascended into the air, Elijah was borne away out of the sight of the new leader—beyond the horizon. But—

Where Did Elijah Go?

This has been the perplexing problem to so many!

He did not ascend to the throne of God. Jesus said so! Yet he couldn’t remain in the air forever.

And God did not say that Elijah was to die at that time. If he were, Elisha could have assumed his new office without the removal of Elijah, for we know that Elisha died in office after fulfilling his duty (II Kings 13:14).

The sons of the prophets who knew that their master was to be removed also that Elijah was not to die then. That is why they were fearful that the Spirit of God might have allowed him to drop "upon some mountain, or into some valley" (II Kings 2:16). Elisha knew that God would preserve Elijah from falling, but at their insistence he permitted men to go in search for him—to no avail.

Elijah was gone!

And where to? Certainly the whirlwind used by God could not take him beyond the earth’s atmosphere. Neither does the Bible account leave Elijah in the air!

The Answer Unfolds

Let us notice the next few years and see what further events the Scripture records. The new king of Israel was another son of Ahab, Jehoram, or Joram as he is sometimes called. The beginning of his reign marked the year of the removal of Elijah (II Kings 1:18 and 3:1). During this king’s reign Elisha was the recognized prophet of God (II Kings 3:11). In the fifth year of Joram king of Israel, the son of the king of Judah began to reign along with his father in Judah (II Kings 8:16). His name also was Jehoram. The first thing he did to establish his kingdom rule was to put his relatives to the sword lest they should claim the throne from him (11 Chronicles 2 1:4). For nearly six years he followed the ways of the nations about him and did evil in God’s sight.

Almost ten years had now expired since Elijah was taken from the people. But what do you think was about to happen?

A Letter Comes from Elijah!

Yes, after this wicked rule by the Jewish king, God chose Elijah to write a letter and have it sent to the king!

The contents of the letter are found in II Chronicles 21:12-15. In part it reads: "Because thou hast not walked in the ways of. . . thy father . - . but hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel.. . and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself. . . thou shalt have great sickness by disease."

From the wording of the letter, it is clear that Elijah wrote it after these events had occurred, for he speaks of them as past events, and of the disease as future. Two years after the king became diseased the king died—having reigned only eight short years (II Chronicles 21:18-20).

This proves that the letter was written about ten years after Elijah had been taken to another location by the whirlwind.

God used Elijah to convey the message because he was the prophet of God in days of the present king’s father—and the son was not going in the ways of his obedient father, Jehosophat.

The letter he had others deliver was recognized as his—proving that he was known to be alive someplace. Just how much longer he lived, the Bible does not reveal. But in that "it is appointed unto men once to die"—Elijah must have died somewhat later. See Hebrews 9:27. All human beings born of Adam, and that includes Elijah, must die—for we read: "In Adam ALL DIE" (I Corinthians 15:22). Elijah was a man "subject to like passions as we are" (James 5:17)...subject to human nature and death! The prophet, being mortal flesh as we are, could not have lived much beyond his seventy years.

To suppose that God gave him the power of an endless life of nearly three thousand years already is to read into the Bible what is not there! He was mortal, subject to death, and after being lifted into the atmospheric heavens, spent the remaining years of his separate life at some little-known location on the earth, living as every human being, before he naturally died.

Was Elijah on the Mount?

The only remaining texts that puzzle people are those relative to the appearance of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. The record of the event is found in Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36.

Leaving the mountain, Jesus told his disciples: "Tell the vision to no man (Mat. 17:9)." A vision is not a material reality but a supernatural picture observed by the eyes.

Moses died, and was buried (Deut. 34:5-6). Both he and Elijah were still dead in their graves, but in vision both they and Jesus were seen in the glory of the resurrection—an event to which Moses and Elijah have not yet attained (Heb. 11:39). The vision was granted the disciples after Jesus had spoken of the glory of immortality in the coming kingdom.

How plain the Bible is! Elijah is dead in the dust of the earth awaiting the resurrection of the just. Elijah, some years after being removed in the whirlwind, went to the grave, but will rise again to live forevermore!

Churches of God Outreach Ministries
PO Box 54621
Tulsa, OK, 74155-0621

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Will You Endure the Time of Great Testing?

According to the belief held by proponents in their secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture escape to heaven theory, the Christian Church will not have to endure any form of persecution before The Second Advent. Instead, it will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air and then whisked up to reside safely in heaven during a time of great tribulation that supposedly will last between three and a half to seven years.  The Christian Church, then, supposedly returns with Christ after this a period of great tribulation on earth, which is to include the punishing of the Jacob’s descendants (Jews) unto repentance.  As their theory goes, the Christian Church will be Raptured (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) before this awesome period they call The Great Tribulation

The above statements come for this author’s book, “Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation,” words that were written over 25 years ago. Basically this sentiment continues to be the primary doctrine being promoted by most preachers and authors amongst most evangelical Christians. This is also the mantra being extolled through chat rooms on the Internet by many novice theologians, who have built thousands upon thousands of web sites promoting the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Basically these folks have read (and bought into) books which have been written by many financially successful authors for the last 25 years, the likes of Tim LaHaye, Chuck Missler, Mike Evans, John Hagee, Jack Van Impe (and the prince of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture mythology, Hal Lindsey) just to mention a few. Their basic premise is that the Bible clearly states (in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) that the dead in Christ are raised first and those who are still alive at that time are “caught up together” to be with the Lord in heaven. In essence, born again Christians will be rescued up to Heaven, will have VIP seats in heavenly grandstands, from where they can view those unbelieving sinners (the so-called Left Behind crowd) who will suffer great tribulation as all hell breaks loose on earth. Then after seven years, they will return to earth with Jesus Christ to rule and reign with Him for 1000 years.

They also preach from the scripture 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 that that day (not the Pre-Tribulation Rapture), but the coming of the Lord, to rule and reign for 1000 years, will not come until the rebellion (the apostasy of the church) occurs and the man of lawlessness (the Anti-Christ) is revealed. At this point in time (as the discussions as to who is Left Behind, who is the Antichrist, is the rescue to heaven a pre, mid, post or even a pre-wrath Rapture) the theories are many and confusing to say the least. But the most important issue in this post is the “Apostasy!”

What is Apostasy?

In a recent article that appeared in Christian Newswire Service (March 23, 2010) it stated that “Nearly 40% of churches across the country (speaking of the USA) experienced a decline in church giving and offerings in 2009, representing two consecutive years of significant decreases, according to the 2nd annual "State of the Plate" research by Maximum Generosity and Christianity Today International.
The article went on to say that "Churches today are in unchartered waters financially," says Brian Kluth, founder of Maximum Generosity. "After the October 2008 stock market drop, 29% of churches experienced a decline in giving and this past year the number has climbed up to 38% of churches. Multiple research projects last year documented the sharp decline in church giving and our research this year shows things have only gotten worse for a growing number of churches."

This phenomenon (among several other frailties impacting those of the Christian faith) is a vivid example of the apostasy that was predicted over 2000 years ago that would precede the imminent return of Jesus Christ. I wrote at great lengths in my book (Why Christians Will Experience Great Tribulation) about this (as previously stated above) during the prosperous times of the early 80’s, before America experienced the largest stock market crash since back in 1929. 
While many ersatz prophets point to news items such as political and civil unrest in the Middle East, wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in diverse places, to validate their claims that the end is near, and the Rapture is right around the corner, I have always believed that the issue of finances would impact the Christian faith more so than natural calamities and a political atmosphere that has been prevalent in that region throughout history. Americans (especially) do well during earthquakes, floods and fires, always rising to the occasion and helping their fellow man. But, when economic crisis’ hit home, this is when most folks’ faith in God buckles under the pressure, including self-avowed Christians.

Many theorists pose the theory that the Apostasy is not describing the Christian community, because most believe in that old adage that “once saved, always saved.” In other words, Christians, once they accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, can never lose their salvation. They believe the Apostasy has to do with mankind’s overall declination of things spiritual or religious as it moves downward from a once revered moral paradigm to a more enlightened secular belief that mankind has the inner power to chart its own course through life, without God’s wisdom or help.

The word “apostasy” means an “abandonment of one's religious faith, a political party, one's principles or a cause. It comes from the Middle English apostasie, from Old French, from Late Latin apostasia, defection, from Late Greek apostasi, from Greek apostasis, revolt, from aphistanai, aposta, to revolt!” The word apostasy is used only twice in the Bible, in Acts 21:21 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the latter being the one verse that speaks about this revolt. Obviously, from its true rendering, the word cannot be applied to people’s evolution from a moral state to and enlightened one; it can only be applied to those folks who once believed in the true faith in Jesus Christ.

Theorists contend that the apostasy mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 does not apply to the Christian Church because it will have been secretly caught up from earth to heaven before the increasing times of great tribulation.  They contend that the apostasy here should be applied to the so-called “Roman Church” or other humanistic oriented religious groups, which will be more prevalent during this time.  But, if they apply their theories solely to these groups, or to unbelieving Jews, how can they see someone fall away from something they never had, which is true faith in Jesus Christ?

Since the time of Christ’s resurrection, ascension and subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit (which sealed the down payment on God’s redemption program), the single most important requirement for the true church has been to preach the Gospel and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith and “Thou shalt be saved, (Romans 10:9, KJV).” Throughout the beginning of time, and even more so since the resurrection of Christ, it has been Satan’s primary mission to hammer a wedge between the believer and God.  This historic war has been waged from the time of Adam and Eve and continues to this very day.  However, during the last days (when tribulation will increase exponentially, leading to Christ’s return), the battle will intensify as never before.  One of the missions (if not the primary one) of Satan (during this period) will be to try even harder to separate as many believers as he can from their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, because he knows his time is short.  This is why during this period of persecution we should be witnessing the greatest evangelizing season in history, a time of reckoning where all of humanity (including Christians) should be choosing their allegiance to God regardless of the consequences that may befall them! Sadly, the church has turned away from God and is more focused on its finances; many of its preachers extolling soothing prosperity messages rather than preparing the church to deal with the more important subject of tribulation.
Many in the Christian Church today believe that when they accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior they now have immunity from persecution and a safety net in what theorists call The Rapture. They believe that by merely accepting Jesus Christ in their hearts, everything in their Christian journey from now on will be one smooth ride to Heaven. The debate between those who believe that “once saved, always saved” continues to this very day. The author will not enter this debate other than to say scripture clearly says two things about this issue. One is found in Romans 8:1, 35-39, which basically states that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. However, even though He will always be committed to loving us, can we say the same thing about our commitment to love Him to the very end, regardless of the horrendous circumstances that await the ecclesia before The Second Advent? Therefore, the proverbial question begs to be asked: Can a person lose their salvation after coming to Christ?”  The answer is “Yes!” (Hebrews 6:1-6) Can our salvation be lost or taken away without our acquiescence?  The author believes the answer is a resounding no!  In Romans 8:35-39, it emphatically states that nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.  He will forgive those who seek His forgiveness. However, during the times of increasing tribulation, many that profess to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will rebel and will turn away from their faith in Christ! During these times of trials and testing, many will renounce Jesus Christ as Lord and savior merely to survive tribulation (financial and otherwise) at the hands of the money-changers of the world!
One of the greatest phenomena being experienced in evangelical circles today is the massive rallies and crusades that feature dynamic preachers extolling the gospel of Jesus Christ.  At these events, many are moved to a so-called conversion by the charisma of the speakers and the great emotional swell that springs up from the crowds.  The author believes that many are sincere when they come to the forefront and truly surrender their hearts to the calling of the Holy Spirit.  But have they surrendered all, everything, to follow Christ? Have they made a commitment to pick up their cross and give up everything, even their life to do his will? The author believes that many are caught up more so with the swell of emotional and euphoric experience produced by the theatrics of the event, and possibly experienced a brief moment of remorse. But, for the most part, many have not really made a true commitment to the totality of the Christian walk.  While many enjoy the healing, forgiveness and the blessings contained within Christianity, most are not prepared to surrender everything and make Jesus the Lord and Master of their lives. They love the blessings, but won’t pick up their cross! Instead, they are more pre-occupied with their finances than they are with one of the church’s most important missions. They now withhold what little they may have given to help the poor and needy to stock up for their own financial salvation. They now voice overzealous acrimony at an impotent government and cast negative epithets at anyone or anything they believe is causing their economic woes, such as blaming those who merely seek work in this country to provide food to their impoverished family members, while the faithless overindulge their own cravings and predilections.  
Throughout history, satanic forces have waged a spiritual warfare against God and His people, and they continue to this very day.  However, as the persecutions increase throughout the world, many Christians are abandoning their faith in God in droves. While many in the evangelical community continue to feed their coffers through much commercialism and theatrics, Satan’s power is being felt with greater measure because he knows his time is short.  A quick cursory glance in media reports, we can see Satan intensely pumping the bellows of his furnace of deception, hatred, violence and chaos, which, unfortunately (due to the incessant exploitation of these maladies by media) has numbed much of Christendom throughout the world, thereby fanning the flames of apostasy as never before.  These flames are reaching greater heights and, unfortunately, we see way too many Christians falling away in order to preserve their mortal lives rather than enduring the testing and working towards bringing more lost souls into the Kingdom of God.
But yet, there are a few, way to few, who trust in God to supply all of their needs, staying in the front lines, working with the poor, the downtrodden, the homeless, orphans, and others in a far worse financial state than they, invoking the Gospel of Jesus Christ through charitable action, not just through words. The Apostle Paul, in his missive to Timothy, shared what he has experienced throughout his ministry, and what the truly devoted to Christ would and should experience themselves!

"You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings – what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured.  Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.  12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scripture, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3:10-17, NIV)."
These faithful ones that Paul alluded to will be the called out ones of Christ, God’s ecclesia, who will be victorious in this increasing spiritual warfare, such as never been witnessed by mankind. These will be God’s Christian Soldiers of the Cross, who will be preaching the gospel to the end, even if it means giving up their lives so others can live in eternity with Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God!

Will you be among those who will endure and persevere under this time of great testing?

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Charismatics & Pretrib Rapture by Dave MacPherson


     "Is the gift of healing still for today? If so, I need your prayers!"
     This recent headline, seen recently on my good friend Joe Ortiz' "End Times Passover" blog, inspired me to share what you are now reading.
     (First, let me say that I hope you all have been asking the Lord to give Joe enough miracles of healing for each and every one of his physical maladies!)
     My initial question here is this: Why on earth would any charismatic believe in a pretrib rapture?
     You may recall my recent article unveiling "Dallas Seminary Secrets" that Joe aired. In it I wondered why DTS president John Walvoord, when publicly opposing my pretrib origin research, would lean almost exclusively on a biased, Darby-idolyzing, no-theology-degree-holding fanatic like R. A. Huebner instead of his own seminary profs!
     And here's something else about the late Huebner that will make charismatics cringe.
     The 1973 Huebner booklet that Walvoord leaned on had a chapter titled "The Allegation that the (Truth of the) Pretribulation Rapture Came from a Demon." 

     Huebner's goal was to deviously portray Margaret Macdonald and Irvingites (all of whom taught pretrib before Darby did) as "demonic" or under "demon" influence so that no one would believe that Darby (whom Huebner saw as the pretrib originator) would ever have been influenced by Macdonald (whom he visited in mid-1830) or any of Edward Irving's followers!
     My book "The Rapture Plot" quotes several that Huebner quoted who wrote about pretrib beginnings. Here are the quotes. I have added, in parentheses, the way Huebner dishonestly summarized the quotes later on in the same chapter in order to see "demons" where none existed:
     In 1864 S. P. Tregelles wrote: "It came...from that which falsely pretended to be the Spirit of God." (Huebner: "In 1864, he said it came from a demon.")
     In 1903 William Kelly referred to the Irvingite "oracles." (Huebner: Kelly was talking about "Irvingite demon-inspired utterances.")
     In 1956 H. A. Baker said that pretrib came from a "spirit." (Huebner: Baker said it came from a "demon.")
     In 1957 Oswald J. Smith declared that pretrib came from "a vision received by a woman" in Irving's church. (Huebner: Smith said it came from a "demon.")
     In 1962 J. Barton Payne traced pretrib to "a woman...speaking in tongues." (Huebner: Payne traced it to a "demon.") 
     [I should add, for the sake of accuracy, that Margaret did not begin to speak in tongues until several months after she had her history-making pretrib rapture revelation in the spring of 1830. Therefore, the pretrib rapture concept did not spring from "tongues," as a few have wrongfully asserted.]

 Note Huebner's gross exaggeration while creating his "demon" straw men. Tregelles mentioned pretense and lack of spirituality, Kelly spoke of human mouthpieces, Baker's "spirit" can mean "force" or "mood," Smith's "vision" can mean "interpretation," and Payne merely credited a woman tongues-speaker!

     My "Plot" book summarized the above by saying:
     "Charismatics will be happy to learn that leading pretrib authority John Walvoord, when opposing my research, leans not on just a non-charismatic like Scofield but on a Huebner who's so violently anti-charismatic he can easily, and glibly, and repeatedly equate charismatic gifts with Satanic demonism!"
     I now go back to my earlier question: Why on earth would any charismatic believe in a pretrib rapture?

About the Author, Dave MacPherson:

 Born 1932 of Scotch/English descent, Dave (left) is a natural for British historical research. His calling was journalism. Receiving a BA in English in 1955 he spent 26 years as a newsman reporting and filming many notable events persons presidents and dignitaries.