Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Jesuit-planted 'free will' gospel

Arminianism appears as the gospel of Christ, but in reality is 'another gospel.' It is a heresy, deadly and soul-ruining, and all the more so because subtle, plausible, and popular. "It is a scheme," in the words of Dr. Cunningham, the renowned theologian, "for dividing or partitioning the salvation of sinners between God and sinners themselves, instead of ascribing it as the Bible does, to the sovereign grace of God, the perfect and all-sufficient work of Christ, and the efficacious and omnipotent operation of the Holy Spirit."
Arminianism is the very essence of Popery. Christopher Ness of St. John's College, Cambridge, a Puritan divine, in his treatise "An Antidote Against Arminianism," recommended by the great Dr. John Owen, writes, "As blessed Athanasius sighed out in his day, 'The world is overrun with Arianism; so it is the sad sigh of our present times, the Christian world is overrun, yea, overwhelmed with the flood of Arminianism; which cometh as it were, out of the mouth of the serpent, that he might cause the woman (the Church) to be carried away of the flood thereof.' [Rev. 12.15.] He quotes Mr. Rous, Master of Eton College, as saying, 'Arminianism is the spawn of Popery, which the warmth of favour may easily turn into frogs of the bottomless pit,' and Dr. Alexander Leighton who calls Arminianism 'the Pope's Benjamin, the last and greatest monster of the man of sin: the elixir of Anti-Christianism; the mystery of the mystery of iniquity; the Pope's cabinet; the very quintessence of equivocation.'"
During the Arminian regime of Archbishop Laud, the persecutor of the Puritans and the Covenanters, zealous Arminians were promoted to the best bishoprics. A famous letter written by a Jesuit to the Rector of Brussels and endorsed by Laud himself was found in his study at Lambeth. A copy of this letter was found among the papers of a society of priests and Jesuits at Clerkenwell in 1627. The following is an extract: 'Now we have planted the Sovereign Drug Arminianism which we hope will purge the Protestants from their heresy; and it flourisheth and beareth fruit in due season… I am at this time transported with joy to see how happily all instruments and means, as well as great or smaller, cooperate with our purposes. But to return to the main fabric: OUR FOUNDATION IS ARMINIANISM.' (S.G.U. Publication No. 173, p. 142).
In reference to the Calvinistic doctrines—the doctrines of free and sovereign grace held by the Reformers in England, Toplady observes, "Queen Mary and her Spanish husband well knew that Calvinism is the very life and soul of the Reformation; and that Popery would never flourish till the Calvinistic doctrines were eradicated." Her efforts to destroy by sword and faggot those who upheld the Truth earned for her the unenviable appellation of 'Bloody Mary.' The charge on which many of them were burnt at the stake was that they held to the doctrine of predestination and rejected the Arminian and Popish doctrine of free-will.


An erroneous presentation

"In giving the gospel call, take heed to the warrant wherewith you accompany it," said the Prof. R. Watts, D.D., LL.D., an eminent Calvinistic theologian of his day in an address—'The Gospel Call'—which he gave to divinity students of the Assembly College, Belfast, in 1867. "In calling upon men to believe, beware that you give no other warrant than what God's Word authorizes you to give.... The warrant of faith which consists in assuring all men that Christ died for them, is, in view of the awful fact that all men are not saved, utterly derogatory to the work of the Redeemer, as well as to the honour, the justice, and the truth of the everlasting Father. You will be led to conclude that the professedly unlimited atonement is really so limited as to be no atonement at all. The giving of such a warrant, in view of the unquestionable fact that millions of those for whom it is alleged the satisfaction was made, have perished, involves an impeachment of the love, and truth, and justice of the Father, or of the all-perfect righteousness of Christ. Whatever difficulties you may feel in giving the gospel call, you must not attempt to obviate them by the adoption of a theory of the atonement which strips it of all its glory and abstracts from it all that renders it efficaciously redemptive, or that really constitutes it a ground of the faith of God's people and a guarantee for their full and final salvation. A desire for success has led many an ambassador to fall into the error. Commissioned to 'preach the gospel'—to preach Christ and Him crucified—to proclaim the unsearchable riches which are treasured up in His person and work—the ambassador has reduced the gospel, the inexhaustible theme to one sentence, and shriveling up his message, has discharged it in the one utterance—'Christ has died for you!' Out of this prime error has arisen all his embarrassment. Such a warrant of faith requires, as its background, either a special revelation in regard to the parties addressed or a universal atonement. Not being possessed of the former, the herald has endeavoured to find relief by adopting the latter.

"The preaching of the gospel does not consist in the utterance of one or two laconic [concise] invitations to come to Christ. The object of preaching is to 'produce both faith and repentance, and such invitations are fitted to produce neither You are to expound and proclaim to all men the way of life, by exhibiting Christ in the infinite dignity of His person and grace of His official relations and work; you are to urge upon men the duty of accepting the salvation offered by God in Him, and of submitting to be saved in the way which, in the infinite mercy of God, has been provided. In doing this, you are to ply those you address with all the arguments furnished by the worth of the soul, the bliss of heaven, the unutterable woes of the lost, the justice and wrath of God, revealed in His law and in the history of its administration, and by His love and mercy exhibited in Christ and His work. This done, you can assure them that all who obey this call shall be saved. This done, your work as an ambassador is done. You have said all you have authority to say. In the execution of such a commission, the question will come to you again and again—Can these bones live? But in your felt incompetency to quicken the dead which strew the valley of vision into which the Head of the Church may carry you, call to mind the truth to which attention has been already directed; remember that you are a co-worker with God; that whilst you have charge of the external call, there is another—an internal call—given by the Omnipotent, life-giving Spirit, whose it is to shine into the hearts of men, and give them to behold that glory of God in the face of Christ which it is yours to display before the minds of men in their natural estate." (Free Presbyterian Magazine, Vol. 37:1). 

from http://www.truecovenanter.com/gospel/arminianism_another_gospel.html

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gospel Basics


Ecumenical betrayal in Wittenberg


Gospel power

(1Co 15:1-4)  "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures".

What Gospel did Paul preach over and over? 'how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures'. Bear in mind Paul was addressing believers, as verse one makes clear, 'brethren'. Also notice Paul says "Christ died for OUR sins", he's referring to believers. He doesn't say 'the sins of the world', he isn't addressing the world is he? This is important, for many today add to God's word and claim Christ loved and died for the 'world'. They also add various forms of 'works' in order for the sinner to secure their salvation; but Paul doesn't do that does he? If Paul doesn't, why do so many do so today, and why do so many defend those who do?
Paul says the Gospel he preached is the Gospel that saves the brethren; only the true Gospel has the power to save sinners.  This is HUGE! Therefore, if one adheres to an accursed gospel, anything other than what Paul has stated, they cannot be saved. There is NO POWER in any other gospel. Notice Paul's Gospel is Christ-centered and Christ-exalting, 'Christ died, He was buried, He rose on the third day'. Also notice Paul does not tell anyone to accept Jesus, he doesn't remind them they made a decision, or invited Jesus into their heart. If Paul did not do such a thing, why to so many do so today?


Today's 'gospel' is accursed, for it has been added to. The focus of the 'free will' gospel is on who? The sinner!! The sinner MUST do something in order for this 'gospel' to take affect. Christ is powerless and plays second fiddle to the 'free will' of the sinner. The truth is, the accursed free will gospel is powerless to save sinners. I make no apologies for stating that IF you believe you are saved because of your free will, you are still dead in trespasses and sin, for the gospel you cleave to has no power to save you.
Only those who cleave to the biblical, Christ-centered, Christ-exalting Gospel, and hold fast  to it will be saved, as Paul states in verse 2. Notice he also says 'unless you have believed in vain'. You MUST believe in a crucified AND resurrected Christ; you MUST rest on HIS finished work and NOT on any 'work' of man. This is crucial, for Romans 1:16 makes it crystal clear, 'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for IT is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also the Greek'.


Paul states 'according to the scriptures, which is another vitally important point. The man centered gospel must twist the word of God, add to it and take from it in order to make it 'fit' their heresy.  This is a tragic display of the LACK of reverence for God's truth, there is no fear of God, no trembling at His word in the hearts of those who take such a flippant approach to it! They gnash their teeth when corrected and rebuked, attacking the elect, falsely accusing, name calling. etc. For the elect, bear in mind Isaiah 66:5, "Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed." 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Mr. Facing Both Ways

Even bad men praise consistency. When you know where to find a man, he has one good point at any rate; but a fellow who howls with the wolves and bleats with the sheep, gets nobody's praise, unless it be the devils. To carry two faces under one hat is, however, very common. Many roost with the poultry and go shares with Reynard the Fox. I read the other day an advertisement about reversible coats; the tailor who sells them must be making a fortune. Holding with the hares and hunting with the hounds is still in fashion.
You may trust some men as far as you can see them, but no further, for new company makes them new men. Like water, they boil or freeze according to the temperature. Some do this because thy have no principles; they are of the weathercock persuasion, and turn with the wind. Their mill grinds any grist that you bring to it if the ready money is forthcoming. And they go with every wind – north, south, east, west, north-east, north-west, south-east, south-west, nor'-nor' east, south-west-by-south, or any other in all the world. Like frogs they live on land or water, and are not at all particular which it is. They believe in the winning horse; and are to be bought by the dozen, like mackerel, but he who gives a penny for them wastes his money.
Others are shifty because they are so desperately fond of "good fellowship." "Hail fellow, well met," is their cry, be it traveller or highwayman. They are so good-natured that they must needs agree with everybody. They are cousins of Mr Anything. Their brains are in other people's heads. If they were at Rome they would kiss the pope's toe, but when they are at home they make themselves hoarse with shouting "No Popery." They admire the vicar of Bray, whose principle was to be the Vicar of Bray whether the Church was Protestant or Popish. They are mere timeservers, hoping that the times may serve them. They have no backbones; you may bend them like willow wands, backwards or forwards, whichever way you please. They try to be Jack-o'-bothsides, but deserve to be kicked like a football by both parties.
Beware of those who come from the town of Deceit – Mr. Facing-both-ways, Mr. Fair-speech and Mr. Two-tongues are neighbours who are best at a distance. Though they look one way, as boatmen do, they are pulling the other. They are false as the devil's promises, and as cruel as death and the grave.
Hypocrites of all sorts are abominable, and he who deals with them will rue it. He who tries to cheat the Lord will be quite ready to cheat his fellow men. Great cry generally means little wool.
Surely when the devil sees hypocrites at their little game, it must be as good as a play to him. He tempts genuine Christians, but he lets hypocrites alone, because he is sure of them. He need not shoot at lame ducks; his dog can pick them up any day.
Depend upon it friends, if a straight line will not pay, a crooked one won't. What is got by shuffling is very dangerous gain. It may give a moment's peace to wear a mask, but deception will come home to you and bring sorrow with it. Honesty is the best policy. If the lion's skin will not do, don't try the fox's. Let your face and hands, like the church clock, always tell how your inner works are going. Better be laughed at as Tom Tell-truth than be praised as Crafty Charlie. Plain dealing may bring us into trouble, but it is better than shuffling. At the least, the upright will have their reward, but for the double-minded to get to heaven is as impossible as for a man to swim the Atlantic with a mill-stone under each arm.
C.H. Spurgeon

Fundamentalism vs. Apostasy

Friday, November 17, 2017

Billy Graham's ecumenical past

I contacted Pastor Ralph Ovadal to get a copy of Rev. Ian Brown's booklet, 'Billy Graham, Custodian of the faith or figure of compromise? This is a fascinating read concerning the ecumenism of Graham; his subtlety did not escape some, and it didn't stop him either when confronted. 
I am posting an excerpt from chapter two, 'the love of devilish ecumenism', which outlines Graham's connections with modernists, infidels and a host of others who do not hold to the fundamental doctrines of the faith.  Here's that excerpt.....



In Graham’s committees and on his platforms there is always plenty of room for liberal and modernistic scholars who deny many of the fundamentals of the Christian faith and readily pour scorn upon the scriptures as containing grave errors, myths and a multitude of historical inaccuracies. This was not formerly the norm.
Writing to Dr. John R. Rice, the editor of the ‘sword of the Lord’ weekly evangelistic newspaper, Billy Graham assured: “Contrary to any rumors that are constantly floating about, we have never had a modernist on our Consecutive Committee, and we have never been sponsored by the council of churches in any city, except Shreveport and Greensboro, both small towns where the majority of the ministers are Evangelicals.  I do not think you will find any man who has sat under my ministry in any of these campaigns who would testify that I ever pulled a punch. I deeply appreciate your friendship and fellowship in the promotion of the cause of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ.”
Such a policy was reinforced by the contents of a letter which Dr. Graham wrote to Dr. Chester Tulga, dated 27th December, 1951.
“None of us will ever agree on everything, but we do agree on fundamentals. My separation and my theology have not veered one iota from that of W. B Riley” {cf. Pg 9}
However, Graham has most definitely moved from that stance since. Not only has he adapted his policy to tolerate modernism himself, he has shown himself to be intensely eager for their support.

To Luis Palau, another big-time American evangelist in the same mold as Graham, he stated, “Wherever you go, be sure you have the support of the major denominations. If you don’t you will always stay on the periphery” - Burlington County Times, 29 June, 1984

That piece of advice was given against a backdrop of thirty years experience of cooperating with modernists in his own campaigns.
As far back as the summer of 1954 Graham’s desire to harness the support of liberal churches was evident. At that time he rejected an invitation from a number of evangelical ministers led by Rev. Jack Wyrtzen to conduct a crusade in the city of New York. In rejecting their invitation, he stated that not enough churches were represented. About the same period, the predominately liberal Protestant Council of New York asked Billy Graham to come to their city under their flag. Some delay ensued…then the word was relayed that Graham had accepted their offer!
Many of those men who had willingly and enthusiastically lent their support to Graham in the past were horrified. They proceeded to expose the new, unscriptural alliance. The evangelist promptly defended his actions. The ‘Christian Beacon’ of April 4, 1957 quoted Graham as having remarked before the National Association of Evangelicals the previous day…
“Our New York Campaign has been challenged by some extremists on two points. First as to sponsorship, I would like to make myself clear. I intend to go anywhere, sponsored by anybody, to preach the gospel of Christ, if there are no strings attached to my message. I am sponsored by civic clubs, universities, ministerial associations and councils of churches all over the world. I intend to continue”.

Of course it was a case of ‘and continue, he did’. Dr. James Bennett expressed his feeling that Graham’s executive committee for the NY crusade "consists of 15 men of whom perhaps five may hold to the fundamentals of the faith, and the others are reputed not to be fundamental”--Christian Beacon, 24 April, 1957

On the NY Central Crusade committee sat men such as Ralph Sockman, the Methodist Modernist; John Sutherland Bonnell, pastor of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in NYC, a man who’d written an article published in ‘Look’ magazine, that stated it was NOT necessary for a Presbyterian Minister to believe in the virgin birth of Christ; and Henry P van Dusen, another modernist, from Union Theological Seminary. The last-mentioned was the author of a book, entitled ‘Liberal Theology’, in which he makes the comment about the Chalcedon Creed which defined the nature and person of the Lord Jesus: “to the logical mind, it sounds like distilled nonsense”.
Sockman and Van Dusen helped in the sponsoring of the Temple of Understanding in Washington D.C., an unholy mixture of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity and Islam.

In the ‘Herald of His Coming’ Dec. 1956, Billy Graham referred to the modernists, liberals and infidels who had issued the invitation to him to come and conduct the crusade in NY as “godly men seeking to reach NY’s vast population with a testimony of the risen Christ”. That statement may be dismissed, at best, as false optimism, since many of those to whom Graham was referring either harbored serious doubts, or else scornfully denied the truth of Jesus’ resurrection!
Subsequent crusades followed the same pattern. With the precedent being openly set in the NY campaign for modernists and liberals to have an input into the organization and actual meetings of the crusades, further rallies established this change as policy.
San Francisco, in the fall of 1957, is an example. Support came from Bishop James A Pike, the Episcopalian Bishop of the diocese of California. Who exactly was Bishop Pike? Good question. The answer in none too cheering!
It was the ‘Los Angeles Herald and Express’ of Feb. 14, 1961 that carried the following comments about the persuasions of Pike.
'In a pastoral letter which he ordered to be read in all churches of his diocese Bishop Pike said: “Religious myth is one of the avenues of faith and has an important place in the communication of the Gospel.” He referred to the ‘myth’ of the garden of Eden which was used, he said, to explain a ‘complicated truth’. The virgin birth, he stated, is a “myth which churchmen should be free to accept or reject”.
In Oct. 1965 Pike visited England. At that time ‘The Guardian’ carried an article detailing his ministry. Extracts from that piece of prose are reproduced below…
Bishop James Pike has just arrived in England. It is likely that before he goes home to San Francisco next March he will have made the Church of England sit up and take notice, even though he has no great intention of trying to. He is here specifically for a sabbatical period of refreshment, mostly in Cambridge, but he finds it difficult to resist invitations to preach; and if he does this he can be sure that his sermons will be well marked. For Bishop Pike’s position in the American Episcopal Church corresponds roughly to that of the Bishop of Woolwich’s over here. He is the maverick who has cut loose from the mob. Within the past month he has been charged with, and cleared of heresy, and it has happened before. He is the Roman Catholic who became an agnostic before he was an Anglican. But he is quite ready to concede his theological unorthodoxy; he even defines it more bluntly than they do on the south bank of the Thames. He believes that the gospel narratives about the virgin birth are mythological and cannot be taken literally. He thinks the trinitarian doctrine is irrelevant, that it can only connote a committee God and that it is ‘now obviously out’. He questions the classical conception of Christ’s divinity, believing only that he was a man so open that God, the ground of being, was showing there. He is stumbling over the notion of bodily resurrection.”


Now, those are nothing other than the opinions of an outrageous infidel. Yet, at the invitation of Dr. Billy Graham, this man led in prayer at the 1957 San Francisco Crusade! Despicable!!" 
The Los Angeles Mission , conducted in 1963, witness the same influx of men in prominent positions who stood opposed to the basic tenants of the word of God and who made loud, unrepentant profession of their devilish modernism. Bishop Gerald Kennedy of the Methodist Church was chairman of the General Crusade Committee. He was also upon the Executive committee and was announced by Graham as one of the ten greatest Christian preachers in America. What were his credentials? A few quotations will be sufficient to construct a composite picture. In one of his books entitled 'God's good news', he denies the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"The Council of Churches has reached a formula which seems to be satisfactory to the vast majority of Protestantism. Its statement is that we must think of Jesus as God. I am glad that so many Christians have come together in a great unity and I would not for one moment make it more difficult by raising stumbling blocks for this unity. I shall continue to urge further co-operation by my own denomination in this Council rather than less, but I am frank to confess that the statement does not please me and it seems far from satisfactory. I would much prefer to have it said that God was in Christ, for I believe the testimony of the New Testament taken as a whole is against the doctrine of the deity of Jesus, although I think it bears overwhelming witness to the divinity of Jesus. ...after all, what is divinity? Is it humanity at its best? ...how can the divine and the human mix in one person?" 
March 25, 1954 saw the publication of Bishop Kennedy's complaints about the theme for the World Council at the Evanston meeting on "Christ, the Hope of the World", in the Christian Advocate'. Opposing the emphasis placed on the second coming of Christ, Kennedy wrote:"Stripped of the sophisticated theological jargon, they appear to be talking about the Second Coming, with a few notable exceptions, as if it were the crucial issue facing Christendom. With the exception of a few very narrow sects, this has not been a relevant issue in American Christianity for 25 years. But it does not seem to us that the Christian hope is a mere waiting for a return of our Lord. Is this to be the central theme dominating the Evanston Conference? God forbid...I shudder to contemplate the effect on the intelligent laymen of American churches of a great world wide conference of Christians discussing the Christian hope as if it were dependent on a second coming". pages 22-26


I will stop here, surely there's enough evidence in this short excerpt to show Billy Graham was ecumenical even back in the 50's. This heretic has broadened the mouth of hell! ANYONE who defends him is in grave danger, ANYONE who refuses to speak out against his heresies and ecumenical ways is in grave danger. May God uphold His elect and keep them from wolves like this man. 



"I like that word “against.” There are things that you and I are against. Yes, we are against them. I am against the pope. You remember that. I am against the World Council of Churches. I am against the National Council of Churches. I am against the great apostate denominations whether they be Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist or called by any other name. I am absolutely and totally against them from the top of my head to my big toe. I am against them, every bit of me against them. And I want to tell you, brethren, when you go to a little country town to start a church you let people know you are against something. You let them know you haven’t come as a sob voiced sissy to be another pulpit ornament two times on Sunday, that you are not a  soft pedaling, fence straddling cream puff pie preacher, that you are a man of God with fire in your belly and you are going to preach the Word with power.
I had a woman came to me some time ago. She said to me, “I don’t like your church. You are always battling. There is always a scrap, a fight on. You are always fighting.” She says, “In our church we have perfect peace.” I said, “Madam, I have been in many a graveyard. There’s plenty of peace there, the peace of the dead. You can have that. We don’t want the peace of the dead. We want to be in the battle for the Lord.” And the Lord declared war upon the devil. Apostasy is the offspring of hell, the begotten of the pit. That’s what apostasy is. That’s why it hates the blessed Son of God, challenges the deity of my Savior and the sinless purity of the incarnate Christ. So it is of the devil. It is begotten of the pit, apostasy. ...  I know preachers and when Billy Graham comes to town they say, “Well, I am not going to say anything.” Well, Billy Graham came to my town and he preached in the big Presbyterian Church that our congregation originally came out of and I put a huge advert in the press and I preached on him. Both services on the Lord’s Day I called his number, told the people. And people said of me, “You’ll hurt yourself.” I said, “I don’t care whether I hurt myself. I am not going to let the Lord be hurt. No matter about...” If you are looking, my friend, to yourself you will never get anywhere. You look to the Lord. Honor the Lord and the Lord will honor you. But if I had only started on preaching on Billy Graham when he came to town people would have been confused. But I have been preaching against Billy Graham for years and I have my people well taught. If he comes to Belfast, I’m telling you, he will be in trouble because the people know all about him and his romanizing and his apostatizing and his backsliding and his compromise. Tell the people. Let them know. Yeah, let the people know. Don’t run around whispering in their ears. What you have heard in secret, shout from the housetop. That’s what the Lord says. Make no apology. Don’t clear your throat and blow your nose and say, “I’m terribly sorry. I have to say these things.” Nobody has any time for a man that makes apologies for what he is saying. Say, “I’ll not apologize. I’ll not take anything back I am going to say. This is what I am going to say and if my speech could be a thunderbolt and every word a lightning stroke, glory to God, let it be!” That’s the way you preach. Get at it. Get at it. It is not pleasant language. It is Holy Ghost language and I pray every day that God will give me Holy Ghost language in my preaching like the prophets of old, what men they were. I wish Elijah was around today. I would love to be with Elijah when he would be challenging the prophets of Baal. Man, he really went. And he mocked them, too. Imagine mocking them. Oh, if you did that today these lovey-dovey crowd would say, “That’s not Christ like to mock them.” Let me tell you something. The only standard of Christ likeness is revealed in the New Testament. Christ likeness is not what some old apostate professor thinks Christ was like. Christ likeness is what God says about his Son. And when the Lord went after the apostates in his day he didn’t say, “Lovely liars, delightful serpents, beautiful sepulchres.” No, sir, he didn’t preach like that. I want to be like my Lord. Just let me come up to the Lord’s standard. You know, the way the Lord started his ministry? He started his ministry by cleansing the temple. He went into the temple with a whip and he scourged them. And he overthrew the money changers and he let all the pigeons off to fly around the temple court. And he cleared them out. Tell you, “Oh, you should deal with them in love.” I’ll tell you what love is. True love “rejoiceth not in iniquity.” That’s true love. It doesn’t rejoice. It rejoices in the truth. It’s a devilish thing, a damnable thing and it has got to be fought with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind. Oh to be a pure son of Levi, to stand outside the camp with the Lord in this evil day. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”

" Ian Paisley , from https://media.sermonaudio.com/mediapdf/6863.pdf

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Only ONE Gospel

The accursed gospel of 'free will, decisionism, works-based, invitation style' salvation is wildly popular and defended staunchly by many 'Christians'. It's roots can be traced back to Pelagius, a heretic from the 5th century- https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/pelagiannatural.html

Billy and Franklin Graham both proclaim an accursed gospel, using invitation style methods made popular by Charles Finney, one of Graham's 'heroes' {https://www.monergism.com/disturbing-legacy-charles-finney}. This same gospel is powerless to save sinners, so why do so many defend it and those who preach it?!? Where is the boldness needed to stand against error? Non-confrontational Christians are the very reason this heresy has grown like a cancer. How can one be a Christian and be indifferent towards God's truth? You can't.


Here is a message on this very subject by Rev. Ian Brown, there truly is only ONE gospel ....



Sunday, November 12, 2017

A hill to die on

Standing for the gospel of grace, by Rev. Ian Brown...


WATCH

We all know the verses that tell us to "watch", sadly too many take this as a simple admonition or suggestion, a 'take-it-or-leave-it' thing, and some simply dismiss it. But it is a command to all believers. Matt. 24:42 & 25:13; Mark 13:33; and Luke 21:36 all tell us to "watch" with the definition being to stay awake! It's the same word used by the Lord to His disciples as He prayed alone in the Garden of Gethsemane when He found them asleep (Matt. 26:43 & Mark 13:40). In Matt. 26:41 the Lord said to Peter: "The spirit indeed is willing , but the flesh is weak." Is not the same true of us today? The only honest answer is "yes." "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming." Admittedly, it is a struggle to maintain this watchfulness and to stay awake concerning our Lord's coming.

There may be many factors contributing to our slumber in this matter. There is one that is stark and subtle at the same time. It goes far beyond "date setting" into the realm of the highly intricate and mostly convoluted "criteria setting" such as "X" must take place before "Y" setting in motion "Z" which is the 'last necessary event' to "allow" the return of the Lord Jesus. Nearly all of these fantasy scenarios have dominionism, in one form or another, at the root. We are given scant such "criteria" throughout the Scriptures, perhaps the main one being "As in the days of Noah"; but the case would not be too difficult to make that the "days of Noah" have been with us for millennia. Delving into just one of these fantasies is enough to cause a deep spiritual sleep with all of it's incumbent proof-texting, twisted logic, and endless conjecture beyond Scripture. The authors of such nonsense rarely, if ever, consider Scripture presented that contradicts their pet and will reject all attempts at reproof and/or correction, not matter how idiotic their fantasy may be. When a nerve is struck, they usually ignore the verses presented and seek to demean the one that dared to challenge them. This is a common trait of all false prophets, no matter what they are hawking today. Most of these spurious ideas relating to the Second Advent end up in the same boat, all rowing the same way. But is such an exercise proper? I think not.

The plain text of Matt.24:36 should set to rest the convulsions of those seeking a name for themselves who perfectly (in their mind) describe the events leading up to and the very moment of our Lord's return. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." The Words of the Lord Jesus are not negotiable, nor subject to revision, nor are they to be ignored by ego-driven men, but this is exactly what evil men attempt to do every day on every front. Mark records an even bigger conundrum for these 'ignorers of Scripture' to ponder in Mark 13:32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only." If the Son of God does not know when He is coming back, how is it possible for even the most arrogant of men to know? Could it be lack of trust (in the Lord and His Word) that motivates men to attempt to explain away this verse in order to fit their pet doctrine? No doubt.

Man has lusted (and still does) for everything forbidden beginning in the Garden of Eden. Full knowledge of the moment of our Lord's return and all the days prior to that moment have been forbidden to us. We are not told the extent of what was revealed to Daniel except for what is recorded by him. Some of that knowledge has been forbidden to world (Dan. 12:4) and will remain as such 'sealed in the book until the time of the end.' Dan. 12:8 & 9 "Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, 'My lord, what shall be the end of these things?' And he said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.'" It seems that we have prophets greater and more beloved than Daniel in our midst today. Who knew? Lucky us! Likewise, John was told to seal up the 'seven thunders' in Rev. 10:4. But such is not sufficient for today's theological wonks and religious pundits who must, for ego's sake, be the one with fresh "revelation" and new knowledge of the age old question: "When is the Lord coming." They are all useless thugs, selling their books and  their faces to millions who love their lies for, a like amount of dollars. They have turned themselves into scoffers and mockers.

Is there  a solution? Absolutely! WATCH! Watch for Him, just like Paul did some 2000 years ago. Heb. 9:28; 1 Cor. 1:7; and Phil. 3:20 all tell us to 'eagerly wait' for our Lord to return. Do not allow yourself to be lulled to sleep by all the different and conflicting scenarios concerning our Lord's return; it only dampens the Hope and expectation of meeting the Lord in the air. The next major event in every believer's life will be when he/she stands before the Lord. The anticipation of that moment should be primary in the heart of all those that love His appearing. Isn't it enough to know that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is? 1 John 3:1-3. "If you love Me, keep My commandments."

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the Hope that whether we die or meet You in the air, we shall be like You and forevermore with You. Amen!

Friday, November 10, 2017

All Roads May Lead To Rome - But The Best Road Leads Out

This is an excellent, highly recommended sermon by Rev. Ian Brown - -

The Christ of Arminianism

The Bible warns us that in the last days in which we live there will be many false Christs-those who claim to be Christ but who are imposters.
Jesus said, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5).
We who profess to be Christians must take heed. We must be very careful that we are not deceived. Our calling is to trust, love, and follow the true Christ and Him only. We may have nothing to do with the false Christs who are so numerous in our day. We know about the Christ of the cults and other religions. He is a good man, a prophet, the first creation of God, a great spirit, a divine idea, or even a god himself. But he is not true and eternal God. He receives his existence from another who is greater than he. He is not the Christ of the Bible. We are not deceived by this Christ. He is a false Christ.

Dr. Billy Graham, the Pope's cheerleader

This message/interview is from 2005, from Rev. Ian Brown...  How refreshing is it to hear men  of God who fears God and NOT man NOT compromise and tell it just like it is! Ralph Ovadal speaks with Ian concerning Graham in a phone interview.., 


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Christian Unity

In 1962, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addressed a British ministerial fellowship on the matter of Christian unity. At the time, the question of unity and how to achieve it was a burning issue in Britain. There were calls from various quarters for unity on many different bases, and by many different methods. In our last article, we began a series of questions and answers on the subject of Christian unity, based on his speech.
Today, spokesmen for various movements around the globe are calling for unity on various un-Biblical foundations. Among these are the spokesmen for the Purpose-Driven Church and Emergent Church movements in Evangelical circles, and the Federal Vision and New Perspective movements among Reformed churches. A common theme in all of these movements is the teaching that membership or participation in the visible church is the basis of Christian unity - a teaching that these movements, tellingly, hold in common with Roman Catholicism.
Dr. Lloyd-Jones faced the same false teaching in his time. In his 1962 speech, he addressed it with his customary forthrightness and Biblical logic in his third point:
  1. We must never start with the visible church or with an institution, but rather with the truth which alone creates unity. Failure to realize this point was surely the main trouble with the Jews at the time when our Lord was in this world. It is dealt with in the preaching of John the Baptist, who said, "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham" (Luke 3:8). Our Lord teaches the same thing in John 8:32-34. The Jews had objected to His saying "the truth shall make you free," their argument being that they were Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man. He draws attention to their rejection of His Word and their attempts to kill Him, and concludes: "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.. Ye do the deeds of your father.. Ye are of your father the devil" (John 8:39, 41, 44). Their fatal assumption was that the fact that they were Jews guaranteed of necessity their salvation, that membership of the nation meant that they were truly children of God. As John the Baptist indicated, the notion was entirely mechanical; God could produce such people out of stones.

    The apostle Paul also deals with this confusion when he says in writing to the Romans: "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God" (Romans 2:28, 29). He repeats this in the words, "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" (Romans 9:6). This is further enforced by the statement, "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham" (Galatians 3:7). And also, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29).

    The same mistake of starting with the visible institution rather than with truth was also made at the time of the Reformation. What Luther was enabled to see, and what accounted for his courageous stand, was this selfsame point. He refused to be bound by that mighty institution, the Roman Catholic Church, with her long centuries of history. Having been liberated by the truth of justification by faith he saw clearly that truth must always come first. It must come before institution and traditions, and everything - every institution, even the church - must be judged by the Word of truth. The invisible church is more important than the visible church, and loyalty to the former may involve either expulsion or separation from the latter, and the formation of a new visible church.

To do anything which supports or encourages such an impression or appearance of unity [apart from firm loyalty to Biblical truth] is surely dishonest and sinful. Truth and untruth cannot be reconciled, and the difference between them cannot be patched over. Error is always to be exposed and denounced for truth's sake, and also, as we have seen, for the sake of babes in Christ. This is also important from the standpoint of the statement in John 17:21, "that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me." Nothing so surely drives the world away from the truth as uncertainty or confusion in the church with respect to the content of her message.

That is undoubtedly the main cause of the present declension in religion.


Excerpts from Paul Elliott's Unity in the Church series

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Rapture

So many theories about this, even the very existence of anything about a "rapture" when the word itself is not to be found in the Scriptures. [Neither is the word "Trinity" but hopefully the last post will give the naysayers more to complain about.] A post of this nature usually invokes two things: more questions than answers and heated arguments over pet theories that have little to no basis in Scripture. I seek to avoid both, but reality may dictate otherwise. For me, Scripture must be read slowly, with a lot of stops to think of what was just said, never in a rush to just 'read words on a page.' It is God who is speaking to His children. May the Lord be pleased to open our minds and hearts to Him, who is and always should be our focus.

A side note: I did not consult any commentary, books, articles, etc. I have read many a blog and listened to many a speaker whose ideas mostly conflict with Scripture which I hope to present in a cogent manner here. I found few, very few, that I saw eye to eye with on all points, and such is not expected of the reader here. Hopefully, the following will be an encouragement to learn for yourself, to dig deeper into the Word to know all that we are allowed to know on this subject, and to pass on the blessing of the knowledge of this forthcoming Miracle, one that is surpassed only by all that the Lord did during His First Advent. For me, the rapture is "next up" on the agenda of our Lord. As always, expose any and all errors you may find. Two verses are at the heart of all my studies: Matt. 5:6 and James 1:5.

2 Peter 3:3 & 4: "knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, 'where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.'" There are plenty of these types floating about the world today from outright atheists, to the religious whose interest is in themselves and not the glory of God. In contrast we are commanded, by the Lord, to watch, specifically for His return. "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming." Matt. 24:42. "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." Matt. 25:13. "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." Luke 21:36. What 'things' are we to escape? Vs. 34 & 35 tells us that it is the 'cares of this life' that lead us away from Him and to the slumbering characteristics of the aforementioned scoffers---putting "watching" asleep. The admonition of Heb. 9:28 should not be overlooked: "so Christ was offered one to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." Is there a lack of expectation, of anticipation, of patient waiting for Him to come and claim His Bride? "Ask and you shall receive..." that which may be lacking in this matter of "watching."

Many Second Advent scenarios attempt to lump the catching away of the Bride of Christ when we meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:17) with the time He comes to execute His righteous wrath against all of mankind referred to as "The Day of the Lord" or the "great day of His wrath." Rev. 6:12-17. There is mention only of the lost in these verses, nothing whatsoever concerning the Church, the Bride of Christ. These two days, the day when we are caught up to Him in the air, and the day of His wrath are two separate, distinct days, separated by (IMO) seven plus years---no, there is no proof of this, but Scripture does bear this out, starting with 2 Thess. 2:1-12. V. 7says "...He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way." The "He" in this verse speaks of the Holy Spirit. Many have said, in order to jamb this verse into their own theory, that this verse does not refer to the Holy Spirit but someone else. But who? as there is no viable personage presented to do the necessary restraining. Perhaps Michael? No, although Michael was successful in the battles he fought (Daniel 10: 13 & 21; Jude 9 and Rev. 12:7) it was battles, not a world-wide 24/7/365/millennia style restraining. It is the Holy Spirit who does this restraining of the "mystery of lawlessness"; He will be "taken out of the way" when the Bride of Christ meets the Lord in the air (rapture) because all those alive in the Body of Christ on that day are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and have been instrumental (albeit in a very small way) in this restraining and thus must be "removed" from earth before His wrath is begun. Many have said that the Church, the Body of Christ, His Bride MUST suffer through the Great Tribulation(GT). A variety of reasons and intricate logic are employed to make their case, but relevant Scripture is never offered---mainly because there is none. Twisted Scripture and convoluted logic is the order of the day as it is with all who do not seek to glorify Christ. It has been objected that Matt. 24 is the "cog in the wheel" for the rapture, but such a conclusion is drawn from making unwarranted and unbiblical assumptions about certain verses. Specifically, vs. 11-14. For those who contend that the Church must go through the GT it must be assumed that Jesus is speaking about His Bride in these verses for who else can preach the Gospel in all the world, or endure to the end in order to be saved, or whose love is in danger of growing cold? In order for this to "work" Rev. 7:1-8 must be ignored. [An interesting exclusion from this list of tribes is the tribe of Dan.] Further, the rest of chapter seven is ignored as well, the "great multitude" of saved (and yet not part of the Bride of Christ) "who came out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb" seems to be neglected. In Matt. 24:15-28 Christ is speaking exclusively to "those who are in Judea"; but again this is massaged into the Bride of Christ for the purpose of the deception that the Church must endure the GT.  In verse 30 who sees the coming of the Son of Man? It is the lost world, not the Church. The "elect" of verse 31 refers to those of Rev. 7, not the Church. Verse 37, are we in the "days of Noah?" without doubt the similarities are stark and growing daily. Noah, what a wonderful foreshadowing of the rapture (as was Enoch, the seventh from Adam and Elijah) but rejected by those who would subject the Church to the fear of the GT in order to produce their idea of "obedience." Verses 40-42 is a parable of the rapture as well as Matt. 25:1-13, rejected again by those who would rather instill fear in the heart of a believer rather than love and expectation of being "caught up." Note the warning of the Lord to the naysayers, the complainers, the "evil servants" in 24:48-51 and 25:10-13. It is no fluke or coincidence that the Lord spoke of "two men in the field" and 'two women grinding' as both are pictures of service to Him (compare Luke 17:33-37). Hopefully, the preceding will cause the reader to stop and think, considering the Scriptures presented and the conclusions drawn.

Consider further Matt. 24:36 and it's companion verse in Mark 13:32 which states: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father." These verses are ignored by all the 'date setters' who claim special knowledge and privileged, even exclusive revelation from the Lord as to when the Lord will return (most lump the two separate days together). All have been proven, by their own words, to be false prophets and still they plod on to gather disciples under them and to deceive all who hear them. None of the elect are privy to the exact time the Lord will catch us away or when He will begin His administering of His Righteous wrath on mankind and the earth. Paul didn't know; Peter didn't know; none of the Apostles knew, no one knew in olden days and no one knows now. But lack of knowledge as to the precise moment does not preclude or negate the hope that should be within every believer. The main purpose of this hope should be that we will henceforth, from that glorious moment forward, be with the Lord. Being released from pain, disease, persecution, or even death should not be the focus of our hope---not even escaping the GT. These are true side benefits, but pale in comparison to the Person of Christ when we are made like Him and we see Him as He is (1 John 3:1-3); such is the real and "purifying hope."
Of note in Mark 13:32 is the phrase "not the Son" meaning that even the Son does not know the moment of His return, so why should we be so demanding (arrogant) to think we do? I have no plausible explanation (not even a good guess) as to why this is as it is, but will leave it in the category of things we are not allowed to know.

There are other verses that speak to God's people escaping the GT, a few are offered here (no doubt there are more that have eluded me). Nahum1:2 "... He reserves wrath for His enemies." It is inconceivable to me that the Church, the very Bride and Body of Christ must suffer the wrath reserved for His enemies. It is a disgusting scare tactic of the wicked one worthy of instant exposure and rejection. Did not Christ die for ALL the sins of the elect? Yes, He did. To say that the Church must go through the GT because of her sins (that is the mantra used by many) is too similar to the Arminian nonsense that Christ died for all the sins of all mankind and yet many find themselves in hell despite Christ's sacrifice---this is tantamount to saying that God punishes the same sin twice. They also conclude that the sin of unbelief was not covered by Christ's oblation and yet the only sin declared to be unforgivable was that of blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. Some have hinted that the GT is a much deserved "chastening" for disobedience by the Church, this is also presented with no Biblical proof. If the elect of today are so bad---worse than all previous generations of believers---perhaps it would be a justification for the Church to suffer the GT (consider the seven churches of Rev. 2 & 3). Again, there is no Scriptural mandate or hint at such a thing. The punishment for all the sins of all the elect was accomplished on the cross; our justification was accomplished at His Resurrection (Rom. 4:25). Discipline and chastening we will not escape, but the final judgment of all our works on earth will be done at the Judgment Seat of Christ, not the Great Tribulation (2 Cor. 5:10).
Consider also the final battle at the close of the GT in Rev.19. Note especially v. 11-14; It is you and me and the rest of the saints of God who are described as "the armies in heaven." If the rapture is at the end of the GT as many say it is, how did we get to heaven, why are we riding white horses behind our Lord in this final battle? Why do men seek to diminish, even delete the rapture with all sorts of ill-gotten beliefs that do not glorify Christ? Some may think this is a group of angels, but v. 8 deletes that notion handily; the "fine linen" spoken of in v. 14 is defined in v. 8 as being "the righteous acts of the saints"---not angels.

The goal of this post has been to glorify Christ. Secondly, to incite the Lord's people to watch for His imminent return, to seek His Face and His Wisdom on this and all that concerns Him and ourselves,  to search His Word in all things, and to pray more earnestly as we see His return for us approach.

A special thanks to Sheryl for stirring me up to find as answer to her question about the Feast of Trumpets (FT) and it's relation to Christ's return. Just with the Scriptures cited above I can find no such criteria subjecting the timing of the Lord's return to the FT---or anything else. Your question caught me off guard since I have never heard it before. Thank you for making me search the Scriptures for the truth of the matter. Although all the Jewish tradition, festivals, etc. played a huge role in pointing to the Messiah, I can find no role for any of them for us now or in any end-time scenario. The only reference I found was Paul's affinity to the Day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16 & 1 Cor.16:8) and of course the Baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the believers shortly after the Resurrection. I do not know if any of these days are still celebrated today in Jewish circles, but even if they are it would not indicate any connection to the Lord's return. For me, it would be a nightmare to think that I had to wait until next fall, and maybe the next, or who knows which fall season to anticipate my Lord's return. Such a thing would destroy Hope and make me a scoffer.

"And the Spirit and the Bride say COME. And let him who hears say, COME."

It is way past time

"My church isn't preaching the Gospel or Biblical morality anymore, and our pastor mostly tells stories and doesn't teach from the Bible. But I don't think I'll leave. I'll wait and see. Maybe things will get better."
I didn't make up that quotation. I've been amazed to hear many people, whose nominally Evangelical and Reformed churches have descended into apostasy, actually utter those sentences or very similar words. The wait-and-see attitude is one of several responses to apostasy that rests on the false assumption that separation from error is somehow always premature.
On the contrary, when a church is no longer committed to the one true Gospel because it either doesn't preach it or preaches a false gospel; when a church is no longer committed to Biblical morality because it tolerates un-Biblical divorce and remarriage (the Bible calls it adultery) and cohabitation outside of marriage (the Bible calls it fornication); when a church is no longer committed to Biblical preaching because the pastor is a great story-teller but he (or increasingly and un-Biblically today, she) either neglects expository preaching or simply doesn't know how to do it - it is not simply time to leave, it is way past time.
Just What Are Your Waiting For?
I have asked some who hold the wait-and-see position, "Just what is it that you are waiting for?" The answers are vague, and usually reflect a hope for some sign of "movement in the right direction." But this is not a situation where mere movement in the right direction is by any means sufficient. Souls are at stake - including your own, your spouse's, and your children's.
Often, in conversation with wait-and-see folks, it becomes apparent that they don't want to leave their friends. They find it difficult to face these questions: Are you really being a friend if you remain in a church that is steeped in error? Wouldn't a true friend set the example for his friends by taking a Biblical stand? And if your "friends" are actually part of the problem in your church, don't you realize that the Bible says that friendship with the world is enmity with God, and the one who wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4)? Don't you realize that your own presence in your current church is complicity with error? As we quoted Charles Spurgeon in an earlier article in this series:
Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. If any body of believers had errorists among them, but were resolute to deal with them in the Name of the Lord, all might come right, but confederacies founded upon the principle that all may enter, whatever views they hold, are based upon disloyalty to the truth of God.2
Biblical Examples Abound
There must be a clean and uncompromising break with error, and a clear and unequivocal condemnation of heresy and the heretics. With neo-liberals in control through the aid of the doctrinally indifferent, and "go along to get along" as their operating principle, the majority of Evangelical and Reformed churches today demonstrate by their inaction that they have no stomach for the fight for truth, despite the fact that the Bible clearly tells us the only course that is acceptable to God, over and over again. Let me mention once more a most dramatic case that we cited earlier in this series. Christians whose churches have descended into error need to follow the example that we find in Numbers chapter 16:
So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the congregation, saying, 'Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.' " Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spoke to the congregation, saying, "Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins" (Numbers 16:23-26).

Paul Elliott

Should I leave?

In our current series we are addressing these questions: "My church is no longer true to the Word of God on essential Christian truths. What should I do? Should I leave? Should I stay and try to fight error and compromise? Will I be guilty of schism if I do either one?"
In previous articles we have presented the only response that Scripture commends, and commands - Biblical separation. I must put these words before you again, because they are so vital:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)
Forsaking the Church?
When anyone sets forth this clear imperative, the friends of compromise and those who are doctrinally indifferent react in horror. As more than one person has put it to us, "Compromise is the reality in the church today. It is everywhere. You cannot escape it. If you 'separate from compromise' you will be forsaking the church of Jesus Christ."
Do these assertions pass the test of Scripture?
To understand the Biblical answer, we must remind ourselves of the nature of the true Church of Jesus Christ: It is a supernatural body. It is made up of those who have been regenerated by the Spirit of God, washed clean of their sins by the blood of Christ, the temples of the living God in this present evil world. They alone constitute the general assembly of the firstborn, of Christ, whose names are written in Heaven.
The supernatural Church of Jesus Christ is not a building. It is not a local organized group with a membership roll. It is not a denomination, association, council, or convention. Every one of these is, at best, a mixed gathering of those who are truly born from above, and those who make an outward profession of Christ without inward reality.
Because the Church is in the world, the world is often within the physically gathered church. Believers are not perfected in this life. Therefore the local assembly can never exist in the absence of many problems until Jesus returns. But one of the marks of the true Church of Jesus Christ is that it deals with such matters by exercising godly discipline according to Scripture. And when local assemblies fail to do so, Scripture commands us to separate ourselves from compromise and apostasy.
No Crisis?
Many who read this may say, "Oh, things are not really as bad as that. There is no crisis. In every community there is still some church that is basically sound." At one time, not that many years ago, I would probably have concurred. But not today. We live, especially in America, in the midst of an epidemic of compromise in the church on vital, non-negotiable issues of the faith.
Some of these compromises take obvious forms: the entertainment mentality in place of Biblical worship; the dearth of expository preaching; the dearth of the Word of God itself; the over-humanization of Christ at the expense of His deity and Lordship; the de-emphasis of sound doctrine generally, because so many pastors have believed the lie that "doctrine divides"; the preaching of watered-down pseudo-gospels ranging from feel-good psychology to social-justice humanism; the widespread absence of any exhortation to truly sanctified thinking and living; and in many places, legalism in its various manifestations.
Other, more insidious forms spring from these basic evils: the toleration of immorality among church leadership and membership - today, including not only fornication, adultery, and un-Biblical divorce and remarriage, but also a growing tolerance of homosexuality and greater openness to so-called homosexual "marriage"; the continually expanding, un-Biblical influence of women who assume roles of spiritual authority that Scripture unmistakably reserves for men; the growing atmosphere, in so many places, of a "church" that is in reality nothing more than a man-centered social club rather than the assembly of Christ's blood-bought remnant reverently worshipping their Lord, fellowshipping around His person, and receiving instruction in His righteousness.
To say that things are "not so bad" in the churches, that there is no crisis, is to deny reality, and to deny Scripture.
A Spiritually Dry Time
We live, especially in America, in a dry time in spiritual history. Sadly, American churches have for several decades exported the products of this spiritual poverty, often deceptively clothed in worldly riches, to other nations far and wide. In the age of the Internet and other forms of instantaneous communication, the seeds of compromise and spiritual deadness travel across the globe literally at the speed of light.
We live in a time when the majority of churches follow the pattern of Laodicea in the book of Revelation. These are the words that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke against that church:
And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
"These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
"Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked - I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." (Revelation 3:14-22)
Revelation 3:20 ("Behold, I stand at the door and knock...") is often quoted as a salvation verse - and indeed it is. But notice to whom it is addressed: to a church that is rich in the things that will burn in the fires of final judgment, but destitute of the things which endure for eternity, because it values compromise and apostasy over God's "gold refined in the fire."
What Is Truly Important to God?
What I am about to say, in view of these things, is bound to bring a great deal of criticism my way, but I believe that on the authority of Scripture it must be said.
Fleeing from spiritual compromise does not mean that you have left Christ's Church. On the contrary, taking such a stand involves loyalty to Christ and His true Church. Christians, especially in America, tend to think in terms of the "local church" as the one just around the corner, or within a few minutes' drive. That is a function of our time and technology. But it was not always so. In the pre-automobile age, American Christians were accustomed to often traveling an hour or more to attend a faithful church.
Christians in other parts of the world are still accustomed to this. A few years ago I had lunch with a preacher who had just returned from preaching a series of meetings in Zimbabwe. Believers traveled on foot from miles around to gather for worship under the shade of a solitary tree. They hoped someday to construct a building, but in the meantime that tree was all they had. They were poor in this world's goods, but rich in the faith. This preacher told me of people coming up to him and the leaders of the church after a service had ended, and saying, "I want to repent of my sins. I want to live for Christ." That is the need of our time - and of all times, in all places.
If it takes traveling an hour or more each way to get to a sound church, but there is one even at that distance and you are able to go, then by all means go there.
But if there is no faithful church where you are, then you are better off to stay at home and worship privately, as a family, or with even one or two others of like mind. Christ has promised to be present in the midst of even two or three gathered in His name - and Christ is not limited if perhaps the rest of those "two or three" are in a church service you are watching that is taking place hundreds of miles away.
If necessary, watch a doctrinally-sound service online, listen to a good recorded sermon by a faithful man, or read one together. Sing "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" together; if no one among you can carry a tune in a basket, then just read the words! You are on far more Biblical ground doing these things than you would be to attend a church that is in the grip of compromise.
Dear Christian, it is a question of what you are seeking. Are you looking for the truth? Do you understand the Biblical definition of the Church? Are you looking for the true fellowship of true believers in Christ - "the apostles' doctrine and fellowship" (Acts 2:42) - whether that takes place in a formal church building, in someone's home, or if necessary, via the Internet?
Or, are you looking for a postmodern "full-service church" - one with a well-staffed nursery so that your main goal on Sunday morning can be a mini-vacation from your infant or toddler; one with empty, soul-numbing programs for your older children rather than instruction in the foundations of the faith that will make them think about the issues of this life and of eternity; one that entertains the teenage and adult senses rather than feeding and challenging the soul?
What is truly important to you? More vitally, what is truly important to your Lord? Here is the answer:
...that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
He has delivered us [the members of His true Church] from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14)


Separating from false churches

Recognizing the Conditions in Which We Live
We live in a time when many nominally Evangelical churches have ceased to bear (and in some cases have never borne) the marks of a true church of Jesus Christ that we discussed in a previous article. The apostles of compromise - those who tolerate or even propagate false teaching concerning the Gospel and much more - are in control of individual churches and even entire denominations, with the aid of the doctrinally indifferent. Typically this does not happen overnight. The downgrade takes years, sometimes even decades.
Under such conditions, there can be but one possible Biblical response from those who continue to stand for the truth. Scripture commands true believers to separate from apostasy. Separation involves a Biblical attitude toward a church that has failed to recognize false teachers for what they are, has failed to deal with them in accordance with the commandment of God, and instead has actually placed them in charge.
The Example of Israel
Just as Israel was commanded to make no covenant with the pagan nations of Canaan (Deuteronomy 7:2), Christians are commanded not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. The church at Corinth had made such compromises, but Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 instructed the Corinthian believers on the imperative of separation:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial [literally, Satan, or a pagan god]? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them, and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
Therefore, "Come out from among them and be separate," says the Lord. "Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters," says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Fellowship With False Teachers Is Never Christian Fellowship
We are commanded to recognize that fellowship with unrepentant false teachers and their adherents cannot possibly be true Christian fellowship. We are commanded to separate from a church that has not dealt with the evil in its midst; it is, in fact, no longer a true church of Christ. We are commanded to recognize what is at stake: light versus darkness, truth versus error, belief versus unbelief, worship of the true Christ versus worship of an Antichristian counterfeit. It is a matter of spiritual life versus spiritual death. Those who remain in the truth can have no part with false teachers - no communion, no harmony, no accord with them. We are commanded to come out from among them, to be separate, to stop even touching that which is spiritually unclean. Only then, says the Lord, can true believers themselves be in proper fellowship with Him.
Not The Easy Path
Truly these are hard sayings. This is not the easy path. But these are the commandments of God. We must rely on God to tell us the truth about the situation in which many Christians find themselves today, and to enable us to do what must be done.
Man looks on the outward appearance. We tend to rely on our own variable opinions and emotions, and the opinions and emotions of others. But God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He has told us what is really in the hearts of false teachers - even when they themselves are blind to their own heart-condition. We tend to make judgments based on human standards. But the Lord has been gracious to give us an infallible standard by which to clearly identify false teaching and false teachers.
The question is: Will we read it and heed it? God has warned us to separate ourselves from them, just as the children of Israel were commanded to get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram when they rebelled against God, lest they be destroyed with them (Numbers 16). Ministers of Satan are masquerading as apostles of Christ in many self-described Evangelical and Reformed churches. In many others, men who tolerate and even befriend the apostles of deceit hold sway. Separation from spiritual compromise is imperative in our time.