WHY AIN’T THIS WORKIN’?

man staring at phone2.jpg

“WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS THING?!”

Recently, a friend suggested that we play a Bible game by asking what are some things we say about the Bible that are not actually in the Bible. For example:

These quotes seem harmless enough, and the intentions are good. But, sometimes, when acted on, the consequences can be profound.

“So, what’s wrong with that?”, you might ask. The Biblical answer is that “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12

Many people are asking why is what we read in the Bible not seen in “real life” now-a-days? Was it all just hyperbole or metaphors? Was it real?

Here is an amusing, but true, example.

I have an elderly friend who has a problem with technology. From cell phones to iPads, from Smart TVs to laptops, they all drive my friend crazy. If you are around my friend for any time, you are bound to hear, “Why doesn’t this crazy thing work? I feel like throwing it out and going back to my flip phone. I don’t care about all these new (fangled) features, I just want a phone!”

But, the problem with these “crazy things”, most all the time, is the “operator”.

Yes, much of the new technology is complicated, and even though instructions come with all these new devices, the operating instructions can be just as confusing as the device itself.

As a result, many devices with new technology go unused or underused.

This, in a strange way, reminds me of church. Or, at least, I think it does.

I read about how the early Christian movement, although severely persecuted and under funded, was unstoppable. Its growth was exponential.

But, when I see the post-modern church, it is quite another thing.

What has happened? What is happening?

Like my elderly friend’s problem with the complexities of new technologies, it seems that many Christians feel the same way about church in the 21st century. It is complex and has become complicated.

And, like the hard-to-understand instructions which come with advanced techno-devices, the same could be said with many of the current-day sermons and doctrines and denominational differences. I can hear folks saying, “I don’t care about all this other stuff, I just want to hear the Bible”.

There is undoubtedly a problem in our churches in the 21st century. But even discovering the problem is a complicated task.

Here are a few of many “hot button issues” which I think have created confusion in the Church and might just be symptoms of a that deeper problem. See what you think:

Some people say women can be pastors, preachers and Bible Teachers in the pulpit of the church. They say that the Bible is OK with it, because, “There is no distinction between Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male and female.”

But the Bible actually says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, “for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:28

These verses are clearly about being “Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise”, but, it is being used as justification in many churches to allow women to become pastors and teachers over men.

1. It has become a standard and accepted practice for women to speak up in church and even to speak in churches. But the bible says click this Bible link

2. It is considered an oddity for a woman to cover her head while praying or prophesying as a symbol of authority. But the bible says click this Bible link and this commentary https://bible.org/article/what-head-covering-1-cor-112-16-and-does-it-apply-us-today

3. It can be controversial to suggest that a woman submit herself to her husband’s authority, even in Christian homes and churches. But the bible says click this Bible link

4. Men rarely consider it their duty to “love their wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her”. But the bible says click this Bible link

5. The Bible says to do all things in moderation, but, is drinking “in moderation” acceptable among Christians, although one may get ‘tipsy’ (a polite word for drunk). But the bible says click this Bible link

6. Speaking messages in tongues to the congregation is acceptable and encouraged in some churches. But the bible says click this Bible link

7. The requirement of ‘church membership’ is the practice of most churches, and it is a requirement to have a voice in that local Body of Christ, even if you “tithe” and have attended regularly over many years. But the bible says click this Bible link

8. The practice of homosexuality is becoming a tolerated if not an accepted “alternate lifestyle” by some in the church. Many Christians now believe that perhaps one could have been “born that way”. But the bible says click this Bible link

9. Gossip in the church and bullying “from the pulpit” or in the church has become a standard of church practice by some pastors and church leaders as a means of control. But the bible says click this Bible link and this commentary.

10. etc

It’s dangerous to play “head you win, tails I lose” with The Truth of the Bible. Biblical Truths are either being ignored as being “old-fashioned” and out-of-date or grossly misunderstood (or both). Perhaps this is the reason so many people ask, “Why isn’t this thing working?” It is a dangerous game.

Please, let’s all remember, that our Lord and Teacher says in,

Matthew 5:17 , “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.

Verse 18.  “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Verse 19.  “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

So, let’s not leave these matter to a “flip of the coin”.  Let’s accurately handle the Word of God. Our life depends on it!

Your Brother and Friend

Mike Young

2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Verse 16. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

Verse 17. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,

Verse 18. who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

Verse 19. Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

Verse 20. In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.

Verse 21. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Now please click these links and to go to:

It is for Freedom

Who me? Repent?!

Separated from God?

“GOD SAYS”

ACCURATELY HANDLING

 

FRACTURED

 

divided split.jpg
DIVIDED CHURCH AHEAD?

Whether it is money, status, position in the Church, religious hierarchies, pastoral preferences or personal biases, there are factions that exist in our churches, and they are fatally dividing the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:10, says, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. Verse 11.  For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.”

1st & 2nd Corinthians: Some “Not-so-Key points”:

(1) Things were not going so well for the (New Testament) Church in Corinth

(2) It seemed like the people in the Corinthian Church had rejected the Apostle Paul’s teachings and had rebelled against Paul’s authority

(3) Paul had to make a “painful visit” to the Church in Corinth. After his visit, Paul wrote the Church in Corinth another letter with “great anguish and tears”

*As a result, the Church at Corinth wanted to reconcile with Paul.

*Paul then wrote another letter, we know as Second Corinthians, to express his love and commitment to the Corinthian Church

*The Church in Corinth repented of their arrogance (sins), and reconciled with Paul

NOTE:  Corinth was known for its excessive moral decay. The word “Corinthian” was used by the Romans for someone who was immoral and excessive in that immorality.

The shipping trade made many people rich. But there were many more poor people in the city. There was a chasm between the two groups. These people did not socialize with one another.

The people in the Church at Corinth reflected the city and society in which they live. They practiced worldliness of the excesses of wealth, selfishness, arrogance, moral depravity and rebellion against authority.

The people could not or would not detach themselves from the world they lived in, and they were having problems shaking off the ways they lived before they were introduced to Jesus Christ. And, they were bringing the world into the church.

The church at Corinth was racked with divisions. The factions were a reflection of the different beliefs and backgrounds the people had before becoming Christians. The Bible speaks frankly about divisions within the church.

It is not much different from the Church of today.

Whether it is money, status inside and outside the Church, religious hierarchies, pastoral preferences, personal bias, there are factions that exist in most churches in America today, and they are dividing the Body of Christ.

Reconciling the Church

(1) Paul begins to approach these problems in 1 Corinthians – this problem of sinfulness – with a greeting to “the church of God that is in Corinth,” in which he offers thanks for the faith and strength of the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 1:2).

(2) Next, he immediately begins to list and address the problems that plague that church.

The first problem, to which he devotes almost four chapters, concerns factionalism within the church.

(2a) Paul stresses that each preacher of the Gospel is merely a servant of Jesus, and that all believers should be united in Jesus. The faithful should put aside their differences and remember that “all things are yours. . . . You belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God” (1 Corinthians 3:23).

(2b) The place of the preacher is not to establish themselves as leaders among men; instead, “people should think of us as servants of Christ” (1 Corinthians 4:1).

(3) Paul speaks of the regulation of spiritual gifts in the church of believers. There are many instances in the Corinthian church of people prophesying and speaking in tongues.

These spiritual gifts are important because they help to strengthen the community. All Spiritual Gifts, and all believers, are indispensable to the church.

But Paul prioritizes prophecy, with its clarity of message, over speaking in tongues, which is generally indecipherable and therefore cannot provide instruction to the community.

(4) He charges us to “keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13–14).

All of this is only possible if we understand and stay focused on our role and responsibilities as Servants of Christ & Stewards of the mysteries of God.

God’s model, God’s remedy, for the divided Church is that

  • You – as “living stones” – are being built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, and
  • you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession,
  • So that you will proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

Our Lord is calling us to GET BACK ON MISSIONNo soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:4

The time is short, and the workers are few, indeed.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Related Post: Servants & Stewards

 

Footnotes:

SERVANTS (of Christ) =Strong’s concordance #5257 huperetes

1) servant

1a) an under-rower, subordinate rower

1b) anyone who serves with hands: a servant

1b1) of anyone ministering or rendering service

1c) anyone who aids another in any work

1c1) an assistant

1c2) preacher of the gospel

A CORD THRICE BRAIDED

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

There is a saying, a proverb, in the book of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, which goes like this:

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

“Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?

“And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

TYRANNY, MARXISM, ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT

 The ancient wisdom of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is as true today as when it was written, and is becoming increasingly necessary if we are to resist the evil and darkness of Marxism spreading across the world, we must unite.

We have read the news stories, during the Obama administration, when factions of the FBI rounded up what they called “insurgency groups” or “white extremist groups”, arrested and charged them for sedition or as terrorist cells. These so-called ‘dangerous’ groups were usually men in their advanced years who, while drinking coffee at a local coffee shop, were overheard griping about government overreach and what they wish could be done about it. Obama’s ‘brown shirt Socialists’ were creating political a shock wave, creating fear and paranoia, silencing any dissent and free speech and sending a message to the masses:  “Comply with our agenda or pay the consequences”.

Then there was the ‘weaponizing of the IRS’ and of other government agencies to intimidate and deprive conservative and Christian groups and individuals of their rights. Again, a clear message that we, Socialists and Marxists (under the guise of the American Democrat Party), will not tolerate dissent.  (NOTE:  Coincidentally, the Biden Marxist-Democrat party’s  $3.5 trillion spending plan, contains a provision to spend $80 BILLION of your tax dollars to hire 87,000 new IRS agents to come after your money.)

How are they getting away with this blatantly un-American and illegal activity? They pick us off, one by one. We are not united, we are not organized, and our elected ‘conservative leadership’ is, by their actions, either ineffective, bumbling fools or are complicit with the Socialist-Marxist-Globalists.

WHAT ARE WE TO DO?

We thought the Tea Party movement which was formed 2008 was going to be our  ‘grassroots’ answer to the spreading virus of Socialism. The Tea Party began inside the Republican Party and, tragically, was quickly absorbed by Republican Machinery. Many of the Tea Party leaders became intoxicated with political aspirations and joined the duplicity of the Republican Party, becoming an ineffective, squabbling herd of wannabes.

A quick footnote to mention that Donald Trump was an effective leader, a conservative and a friend of Israel, of Christians and of all Conservatives. Both political parties and the corrupt FBI turned on him with vicious lies, attacks on his personal businesses and family with outrageous and illegal political deceit.  The welfare of America was jeopardized by the corruption which emerged in our legal and political systems, all designed to destroy Donald Trump and his presidency.

This has a chilling effect for anyone who might consider a run for president as a conservative, unless he or she is a Marxist collaborator, the likes of George Bush, Mitt Romney or John McCain.

IS ANYONE OUT THERE?

There are scores of political action groups you can join. But, they are being largely ineffective. Their plan is to win at the ballot box, but, we have seen that process thoroughly compromised and corrupted in the last presidential election – and no one was charged with a crime. So, why bother with PACs?

You can find “Patriot Groups” and “Conservative Militia Groups”, but, from what I can tell, they are mostly just bluster.

There are many conservative broadcasters using non-traditional means (internet, podcasts, etc.) to get their message out and to influence, but, it is mostly just talk.

ONE LAST NOTE

There was one recent event when hundreds of thousands of Conservatives and American Patriots ‘stormed the halls of congress’. The problem was that the LEFT knew it was about to happen and left the gates open, then co-opted a peaceful demonstration, calling it “a sad and tragic time in our democracy”. They had seeded the demonstration with Democrat-Marxist infiltrators who caused troubles, casting a bad light on an otherwise good intention. Still, a message was sent. A shot had been fired across the bow of the invading Marxist hoards who have illegally taken up residence in our nation’s highest offices. This demonstration seemed to get their attention and put them on notice as to what we could do, if Conservatives acted with a united and single purpose.

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?

And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Now is the time to step forward and unite in action, as Conservatives. But, there is no leadership. I recognize that I am a lone and unqualified voice, calling out in the wilderness, “Who will lead us?”  But, if we do not act quickly, decisively and will iron clad resolve, we are finished as a Constitutional Republic. In fact, it may already be too late.

Please help. Write a letter to your Congressional Representative and your State Representatives. Ask for help to defeat the LEFT with definitive action.

“Dear ___(Senator or Congressman or Congresswoman)_______,

I am writing you out of great concern for the future of our Nation. It seems to me that the Democrat party and their supporters are increasingly made up of people who endorse the agenda of Globalists, Marxists, Socialists and Communists, are dissolving our sovereignty, erasing our borders, violating and voiding our constitution, breaking our laws, raiding our treasury, promoting burdensome and onerous taxation and corrupting our society with debauchery and perversions which were unthinkable only a few decades ago. We are losing our freedoms and may have already lost our country and our way of life.

The political system and the ballot box, in our last national election, proved to be ineffective against the corruption, the tyranny and deceit of the LEFT.

We need strong, decisive leadership to fight back against this spreading virus of Marxism. We need men and women who, like our founders, are willing to say, And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. (From the Declaration of Independence – click the blue text)

I am confident that here are hundreds of millions of American who will act in concert with a call to action by Conservative Leadership in our cause to save America. I am one of those.

Respectfully,

(Your Name, address and State and District)

 

Next, please, pray for our Nation and your efforts.  Appeal to local Christian leaders, to local businessmen and businesswomen, and anyone else you think is willing to help lead this fight.

IN THE MEANTIME

 Please click the following link titles to read what you and I must know and what we can do – must do – as a response:

  1. American Under Siege.
  2. Go on the Offensive, part 1.
  3. Go on the Offensive, part 2.
  4. Go on the Offensive, part 3.
  5. How to deal with Marxist in the Church.
  6. Be ready for the coming judgment and the return of Christ.

I realize this is a fairly long article.  But, please take you time to study each link and the information provided.  Then, if you are inclined, write to me at whitestonefellowship1@protonmail.com.  Let’s put a RESPONSE into action.

Your Friend and Brother,

Mike Young

A Grassroots Response to the Overthrow of America by Socialist-Marxists, a.k.a., the Democrat Party

Immediately After the Tribulation of Those Days, the Sun will be Darkened.

THERE IS A COSMIC STORM COMING

You and I need to be ready for what is at hand, because we are expected to endure to the end of our appointed time, then God will intervene and take us home.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I have admired and listened to Dr. David Jeremiah for 35 years.  Over the last 14 years, however, I have not agreed with his view of Bible eschatology.  I listened to a recent message by Dr. Jeremiah, on his website, title, “Where do we go from here?”  In that message he gave 3 points on HOW we are to respond to the troubles in these Last Days:

#1. Worship the Glorified Christ – the more you worship, the less you worry

#2. Embrace your Global Mission – We have a mission that is global.  Take the Gospel to the entire globe.

#3. Anticipate your glorious Hope – Never fear.  He is coming back to establish His eternal Kingdom.

(Oh.  And, yes.  #4. Buy his books.)

So, this is the answer of “Where we go from here”?  (1) We stare skyward, worship, embrace evangelism and anticipate Jesus’ return.  Let’s get honest, here.  (2) We sit. We do that pretty well.  (3) We worship.  We do that OK, probably once or twice a week for about 15 minutes each time.  (4)  We evangelize the world.  We are not doing to good at that one.  We actually ‘give, because we can’t or won’t GO’.  We tend to stay separate from the world and leave this one up to the ‘professionals’.  (5)  We are really good at anticipating Jesus’ return, because most Christians just ‘stare skyward’, but do very little more than that.

So, I guess what Dr. Jeremiah is saying is nothing new for the 20th and 21st centuries.  But, he is not alone in this type of teaching and assessment.  (Could this may be reason the church and church attendance is in decline?

The pastor of a church we used to attend, is preaching on these same matters.  His advice is the same. (1) When are the end times?  “Near (1 Peter 4)” (However, If you read Acts 2:14-21 you will see it is NOW, not near)   What are we to do?  (1) Thrive  (2)  Love  (3)  Worship, etc.  All good things.

But, I am certain that they are either underestimating the urgency of our mission and the severity of what is at hand or they really don’t know what to do beyond what they have listed (and, for certain, those are good things).

However, we are on a Mission.  And, God has never, ever, been gentle to those who shirk or draw back from the Mission. Even Jesus says, “Why do you call me Lord, when you do not do the things I have told you?  I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work lawlessness.”

Somehow, these preachers think the ‘End Times’ (more correctly, Last Days), won’t intensify until the Church is raptured off the earth.  It is true that the Judgments of God will intensify as He moves from the Seal Judgment to the Trumpet Judgments and then into the Bowl Judgments.

BUT LET ME BE CLEAR – BECAUSE THE BIBLE IS ABUNDANTLY CLEAR –  there will be an intensifying BEFORE the “rapture”.  And, you must be ready or you will pay a high price.

(Pleae note:  my commentary on the following Bible verses are in parentheses and color coded blue)

Matthew 24:4 says, “And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.

(this includes misinformed pastors, preachers, bible teachers)

Verse 5.  “For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ, and they will lead many astray.

( (1) this can be someone literally saying ‘I am the Christ’, (2) but, it is more likely it will be someone who considers themselves as an emissary of Christ – such as ‘ordained pastors’ – who speak for Christ, but are blindly following denominational doctrine which are incorrect; or, (3) as we are clearly seeing, now, in our day, it is ‘institutional deception’, where entire denominations fall away from the clear teachings of Jesus and lead millions astray)

Verse 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 

(There have been wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes since recorded history.  So, concerning the ‘End Times’, which wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes should we refer to?  These things must occur in conjunction with ALL THE SIGNS and WARNING from Jesus and the Bible

(And, don’t miss the little phrase, “but the end is not yet”, as verse eight will elaborate.)

Verse 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

((1) The phrase “the beginning of birth pangs” is a statement made by Jesus in or around the year AD 30 and is a translation of the Greek archē ōdin (ἀρχή ὠδίν). The meaning of the phrase, translated in the KJV as “the beginning of sorrows” is a direct reference to preliminary birth pangs that ultimately lead to the full scale contractions and travail, which leads to the actual birth.

Recognizing the Old Testament reference that Jesus was hearkening to is an essential, but often overlooked key to determining the timing of the prophecy. Jesus was pointing his disciples to two key passages from the prophet Isaiah.

The first passage is Isaiah 26, a portion of Scripture found in the middle of what is sometimes referred to as “Isaiah’s little apocalypse”. There, the Lord speaks through Isaiah, specifically contrasting the expectations of the Jewish people regarding deliverance, redemption and physical resurrection with the reality of the pain, suffering and travail that they had corporately experienced. In verses 16-18, the complaint of Israel is raised that despite having endured the great suffering of labor, the expected “birth” of deliverance, redemption and resurrection had not arrived (the preceeding 3 paragraphs were taken from the “Daniel Training Network”)

This makes clear that the Last Days and the opening of the tribulation Seals began in our around AD 30.  Other references which confirm this date are   Hebrews 1:2, Hebrews 9:26, Acts 2:14-17, 2 Timothy 3:1, 1 Peter 1:20, 1 Peter 4:7, 2 Peter 3:3. as spoken by Jesus and the Apostles Paul, Peter and Timothy.

Verse 9. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.

(This is so clear and in such plain language, I regret having to point it out:  “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death”.  So, “YOU  WILL BE DELIVERED UP TO TRIBULATION”.  How much more intense can this be, than being put to death for Jesus name’s sake? The tribulation, Seals 1 through 4 have been described as having started, by Jesus, Himself, in the year AD 30.)

Verse 10. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.

(First – This is the hallmark of the Great Apostasy, found in these verses and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. Furthermore, “And then” translates from the Greek word, “tote”, in this case means of the future, also in consecution, i.e., the act of following, or the condition of being in a series; that which is consecutive; succession; sequence.

 (Secondly – “fall away” is the Greek word skandalizó and means to entrap, i.e., trip up (figuratively, stumble) or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure).

This is further explained in the following verses and can also be found in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. For more detail see Has the Great Apostasy begun?”)

Verse 11.  And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

(Verses 11 through 14 give us a major time line identifier through a concurrence of events: (1) many false prophets will arise and lead many astray; (2) lawlessness will be increased; (3) the love of many will grow cold.)

(“The one who endures to the end”, must be kept in context of the surrounding verses.  So, the one who endures to the end of these events – Which Events? – The tribulation seals ONE through FIVE)

(“And then the end will come”.  Once again, this is clear, plain, face-value language. After these first FIVE TRIBULATION SEALS, which began in or around AD 30, and have continued progressively to overlap and gain in intensity, THE END WILL COME.)

Matthew 24:29, says, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light

(Perhaps it would be a good idea to read this verse again. It begins with “IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days”.  This is rich with information.

( The tribulation of THOSE DAYS are the days from AD 30 through the current date; tribulation Seals ONE through FIVE.)

(“Immediately after the tribulation of those days”, should explain itself.  But, just in case, let me say, “THOSE DAYS” refers to the days already discussed (tribulation Seals One through Five).  Now , Jesus is moving our attention to what follows the first 5 Seals of the tribulation:  THE SIXTH SEAL.)

(“the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light” is also found in Revelation 6:12-16, and uses the exact language.  It is the SIXTH SEAL of the tribulation, which is yet a FUTURE EVENT.)

NOTE:  ANYONE WHO SUGGESTS OR SAYS THESE VERSES ARE SIMPLY METAPHORICAL WILL NOT PLAY OUT AS DESCRIBED, ARE FALSE PROPHETS, FALSE TEACHERS AND ARE AIDING THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST. (Other places in Revelation, you will find metaphors, allegories, imagery and similes to describe what was indescribable, such as, “The Lamb of God” to describe Jesus, “The Dragon” to describe Satan, or “The Four Beasts” to describe Satan, Babylon and Lucifer. The reader must learn to distiguish the difference.)

Many protestant pastors, preachers and Bible teachers adhere firmly to the John Nelson Darby version of the pre-tribulation rapture. These people with good intentions and most are good men and women, yet, they are sorely misinformed; or, perhaps, some are lazy in their study of scriptures or they could be ignorant about what scriptures say and mean. None-the-less, they are guilty of false teaching and of teaching a false prophecy.

What I have described known as the Pre-Tribulation, Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church. Here is a link and several videos and teachings explaining the Pre-Tribulation Pre Wrath Rapture of the Church.

 Listen, friends. Things are getting worse, even as I write this, and, things are going to get a lot worse as the time of the Rapture (The 6th Tribulation Seal) draws near.  You and I need to prepare, both Spiritually and physically, for these difficult times.

I have presented the Spiritual side of the coming day of the Great Tribulation and of the coming day of God’s Wrath in this article.

 Please go to these links, “New World Order”, also, “Agenda-21, Cover of the U.N., One World Government”, and find the physical and earthly manifestation of this cosmic battle and of the spirit of anti-Christ, which is already at work.

The Bible tells us to be ready, for we do not know the day nor the hour when the Lord will return, and if you did know, you would be on the alert, and would not have allowed your house to be broken into. For the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

In conclusion, let me ask you, if you knew a hurricane or a major destructive storm was coming, what would you do to get ready?  (Please answer this.  Make a short list using these lines).  I would:

1.                                                                                                                              

2.                                                                                                                              

3.                                                                                                                              

4.                                                                                                                              

Well, A Major ‘Storm’ is Arriving as I write these words.  We must be ready!

 Your Brother and Friend

 Mike Young

What we should be doing while we expectantly await His Return to take us to our Eternal Home:

 

IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE:  Don’t be deceived.  There is only ONE Second Coming of Christ.  There will be only ONE Rapture.  There will be only ONE Armageddon.

Know your Bible.  Know the sequence.  Be Ready, found doing as He has said.  Endure to the end and be saved !!

The 2nd Advent of Christ (the second coming of Jesus) is one event which can be seen from TWO PERSPECTIVES:  One perspective as seen from the earth;  the other perspective, from John’s prophetic vision, is seen as it unfolds  – a Spiritual and Heavenly perspective!

Look at it this way:   When Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. it was a category 5 storm;  As Irma progressed up the peninsula of Florida, it became a category 4 storm;  then as it entered Alabama it became a category 3 storm;  and finally as it entered Georgia, Irma became a tropical storm; and later as it entered Tennessee, it became a rain event.

To those in the various states which hurricane Irma entered, it would have appeared to them that Irma might have been 5 different storms, occurring consecutively; first a Category 5 storm, then, a Category 4 storm, then, a Category 3 hurricane, then, a Tropical storm, and, finally, a rain event.  But if viewed “From Above” it was ONE CONTINUOUS STORM, progressively unfolding to its conclusion.

SO IT IS WITH THE ‘LAST DAYS’ AND THE 2nd COMING OF JESUS as seen in the breaking of the ‘Seven Seals of the Book’ as recorded in Revelation chapters 5,6,7 and 8; although, the breaking of each Seal may seem like seven different events, if viewed “from above” it is ONE CONTINUOUS EVENT (eschatological STORM), progressively unfolding to its conclusion.

  • Breaking of the 6th Seal of the Tribulation,
  • The beginning of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord,
  • The beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week also known as the final 7 years of the Great Tribulation,
  • Jesus’ SECOND ADVENT,
  • The Rapture of the Church,
  • The heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True,
  • From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and
  • He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty

Why does it matter?

  • Jesus tells us that it matters because we must ‘endure to the end’ and know the sequence of events will help us to ‘not lose heart and faint’.
  • The apostle Paul tells us that it matters, because “God takes no pleasure in the one who shrinks back”, and knowing that our ‘salvation draw near’ will help us endure to the end.
  • Jesus tells us it matters and that we must stay alert be found doing what He has commanded when He returns, or we may be “assigned a place with the hypocrites”. Knowing the day is near will help us stay focused and ready for His return.

 

THINK – Part 3 – Where are you going?

ANYONE GOING DOWN?

The Gallup organization reported In April 2021, that for the first time since they started polling in 1937, fewer than 50% of Americans claim membership is churches, mosques or synagogues. Sociologists have tracked these burgeoning declines for several decades, with attrition that runs from 70% claiming membership in the 1990s, to 50% in 2019, to 47% in 2021 (with no plateau in sight).

In Gallup’s study, these fissures in religious participation seem evident among every American demographic age group, including “traditionalists,” born before 1945, down from 73% to 66%; “Baby Boomers,” dropping from 63% to 58%; Generation X, from 57% to 50%; and “Millennials” from 51% to 35%, as indicated in 2020 studies.

SO, WHAT’S UP?

The Covid-19 outbreak is being blamed for the recent decline in church attendance, but, that is an anomaly.  Here is some information from a George Barna study reporting on five standing reasons people give on why they drop out of church (the comments are my own):

1. The church is irrelevant, the leaders are hypocritical and leaders have experienced too much moral failure

Yes, I know. That’s three reasons in one. But the Barna study groups all three reasons together as one reason.

2. God is missing in the church

People go to church looking for God, but are having difficulty finding him.

This one hurts, but in an age where perception is reality, you can’t ignore this criticism.  The paucity of personal experience with God is disturbing.

3. Legitimate doubt is prohibited

Honestly, I simply agree with this criticism. It is very difficult to have an honest conversation in many churches today.

4.  They’re not finding community

Sometimes expectations are too high; sometimes expectations are unrealistic; sometimes people really don’t want what they say they want; sometimes a church has metastasized into cliques.  This is a tough one – but can be true on many levels. At any rate, this is not acceptable for the Body of Christ.

5.  They’re not connecting with God

It does not amaze me to hear that people come to church seeking God, and they get some good sermons ABOUT GOD or ABOUT THE BIBLE, then they are discouraged when all they get is a religious pep talk, a religious rock concert or a religious lecture ABOUT GOD or ABOUT THE BIBLE.  They aren’t as interested in knowing ABOUT God, as they what they want to KNOW IF GOD CAN DO, IN THEIR LIVES, WHAT PREACHERS SAID HE CAN DO.  They don’t come to church to get stories about the Bible, they want to KNOW IF THE BIBLE can direct their lives,

Or perhaps, this is what is referred to the “Great Apostasy” (a falling away from the faith) of the Last Days, as mentioned in scriptures?

In either case, you and I need to be very careful because Jesus has warned, “See to it that no one misleads you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.”  This can be both individual and institutional deception.

HE SAID WHAT?

So, what was your experience in church this past month?  And, what did your pastor or preacher preach on this past Sunday, and how did he preach on it?  Now, be very honest; was it something ‘about the bible’ or ‘about Jesus’?  Or, was it something the Bible or Jesus said to you and for you to do and, you are doing it?

Just for the ‘fun of it’, let’s compare what you are hearing and seeing in Church versus what Jesus taught and did in ‘churches’ and along His way.

Let’s do a little ‘time travel’ and imagine we can go back in time to when Jesus begins His ministry.  Here’s the scene found in:

Matthew 4;12, “Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. Verse 14.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Verse 15.  “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—

Verse 16.  “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light,
And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death,
Upon them a Light dawned.”

Verse 17. From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The First Disciples

Verse 18. Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Verse 19. And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Verse 20. Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Verse 21. Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. Verse 22. Immediately, they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”

Calling and making and sending disciples is what Jesus does.  In fact, that is exactly what He told us to be doing.  (see Matthew 28:16-20)  

Did your pastor or preacher say something even remotely like Jesus when He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” or when He said, “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded; and remember, He is with you always, even to the end of the age.”?  Or is this something to be left to the ‘professionals’?  You know, ’you invite your friends, family and neighbors, and he’ll take it from there’.

But, that is not what the Bible says.  It says, YOU GO, and YOU MAKE DISCIPLES, and YOU BAPTIZE THEM.  Is your pastor teaching, training and sending you to DO WHAT JESUS SAID?

Put people on mission and let them run with it.  Let the pastors pastor, the teachers teach, the evangelist evangelize, etc., and watch what happens.

Ministry in Galilee

Matthew 4:23  “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.”

Notice that Jesus does not just ‘talk a good game’, He leads by example.  In fact, Jesus’ pattern and method of ministry and of making disciples is to ‘Say the Words; Show the Wonders; Send the Worker”, and this is consistent throughout His ministry.

How about your pastor or preacher and ‘church leaders’?  What do they do?  Are they leading by example, then sending YOU to follow Jesus in like manner?  Remember, it’s all about YOU making disciples who, in turn, make disciples.

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?

Matthew 4:24  “The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Verse 25.  Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.”

THE POINT?

The point is that Jesus did not sugar-coat the Gospel Message nor did He devise slick advertising gimmicks to get people to ‘come to church’.  There were no worship teams, no missions budgets, no building programs.  Jesus just told it straight, did what He said, and made disciples who did likewise.

The point is that, even under constant and severe persecution, the early church grew exponentially because the Gospel Message was preached and practiced!

The point is that, THIS IS OUR MODEL and God will provide the increase.

Now, stay tuned for “THINK – Part 4 – THE SERMON?”

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Previous article:  “THINK – Part 2 – Repent and Live”

(Here is a website link to THE LAST REFORMATION and video links.  These folks started in the Netherlands.  Their methods were too unconventional for the state Lutheran Church, so upon appeal to the government, THE LAST REFORMATION was banned in the Netherlands, and they were granted asylum from religious persecution in the United States in 2019. You may not agree with all you hear or see on this site, but, the results are undeniable.)

NOTE:  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about JESUS, first, foremost and only.  He has secured a salvation for you to save your soul from perishing in the most horrible way.  He has prepared a place for you as your eternal home, in His Kingdom.  The other things that happen to and through a believer and follower of Jesus, are the blessing and benefits that follow. – Michael Young, Pastor / Teacher, Whitestone Fellowship.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

(Please note, links are used in place of footnotes for references and citations.  Please review each link in order to get the full teaching on these matters.  Also, you can pause the Audio podcast to follow a link and resume the audio when ready.)

John 21:25 tells us that,   “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”

There are millions and millions of books, articles, commentaries and opinions describing and defining “What is a Christian”, and, how a Christian should think, behave and what they should do.  It can be a bit daunting and confusing, but, it need not be.

The Bible, if read in context of itself and read at face-value (except for the obvious metaphors, idioms and similes) the Truth clearly emerges.

Here is an example of KEEPING IT SIMPLE when asking…

1. What is a Christian?

2. How does a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, think?

3. How does a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, behave?

4. What is a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, to do?

Here are some, out of numerous scripture verses, that may help answer this important, but basic, questions – all without opinions.

1. WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?

Acts 11:21-26 ” And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.  The news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. Then, when he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with a resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord. And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul;  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they [ac]met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”

John 13:34  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Acts 1:8  “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

John 15:5  “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”

 

 2. HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST, THINK?

Philippians 2: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [h]on a cross.

 Philippians 2:1  “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any [a]affection and compassion, make my joy complete [b]by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;  do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

 

3. HOW DOES A CHRISTIAN, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST, BEHAVE?

 John 5:19  “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever [e]the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

 John 5:30  “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

John 12:49-50  For I did not speak [s]on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”

 

4. WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST, TO DO?

 John14:10  “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

 MY CONFESSION

(memorize and repeat as your confession, and be strengthened)

 Think.

 Philippians 2: “I will have the attitude in me which is also in Christ Jesus, Who, although existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:1  “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, I will make His joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose as Jesus. I will do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind I will regard others as more important than myself; I will not merely look out for my own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

 Behave.

 John 5:19  “Therefore as a follower of Jesus, is say, “As the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing, I will do the same; for whatever the Father does, these things the I will also do, in like manner.

 John 5:30  “I can do nothing on my own initiative. As I hear the Holy Spirit, I judge; and my judgment will be just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of God through the One He sent, that is Jesus.

 John 12:49  “For I will not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Jesus has given me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Jesus has told me.”

 Do.

 John14:10  “I believe that Jesus is in the Father, and the Father is in Him, and He is in me.  The words that I say to you, I will not speak on my own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works through me. Believe it when Jesus says that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him, and He is in me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Jesus, the works that He does, He will also do through me; and greater works than these I will do; because Jesus has gone to the Father. Whatever you ask in Jesus name, that will He do, so that the Father may be glorified.  If you ask Jesus anything in His name, He will do it.

Let’s pray for one another and hold one another up, until that day – may God find us faultless when He comes.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

More valuable resources at these links:

Knowing and Doing the Will of God.  Do you ever wonder about “The Will of God for your life” or for your life’s circumstances?  It is recognizing and continually doing God’s Will in the course of my life that determines the outcome of His Will for my life

Experiencing God’s Will.  Have you heard this ‘funny definition’ of Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.”  I guess it is sort of funny, but because it bears so much practical truth, it’s really not that funny, especially if you are struggling with an issue. Sometimes it seems, the harder we try, the worse it gets. We might have success for a while, but then we slip back into the same old patterns. We try to lose weight, or we try to stop a habit, over and over and over, we keep using the same old methods, and nothing changes, permanently.   The Bible says to “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

What We Believe.  Our saving faith in Christ Jesus and our Biblical Christian World View determine how we approach all ares of life. We express our Christian World View through politics, theology, art, sociology, philosophy, ethics, anthropology, the humanities, science, history, law and government. But, in the end, this music video (creed and confession) captures the essence of what we believe.

 

A SERMON THAT REACHES TO “THE NEXT LEVEL”

I am sharing today’s message, via a video sermon (at the end of this page), by Pastor Trent Casto, Covenant Church of Naples PCA, Naples, Florida, that will answer some of the most daunting questions about our covenant relationship with God.

I have been a Christian for about 45 years.  I have been taught and trained in Christian theology and the study of God’s Word and I still study God’s Word, daily.  And I still have questions about what and why God has unfolded our salvation and world history the way He has done it.

Why did Jesus have to suffer so horribly and die so shamefully, for our sins?  Couldn’t God have done it any other way?

How does Jesus’ death excuse my sins?  (I know the doctrinal explanation, but, really, HOW does that work in LIFE?)

When did this all start?  Men and women had become so evil that God destroyed most of them.  I mean, Jesus wasn’t a ‘sudden idea’ of God, so He wouldn’t have to destroy us again, was He?

Where is this all going?

What does ancient Hebrew law and Israel have to do with me and God’s plan for my life?

This sermon answers the most daunting and most sought after explanations about WHYs, HOWs, WHENs, WHEREs and WHAT of our faith, SO ANY CHRISTIAN CAN UNDERSTAND and have their faith strengthened.

I am sharing today’s message (sermon) by Pastor Trent Casto, Covenant Church of Naples PCA, Naples, Florida, that answers those questions.  Listen to the end, and you will be deeply and greatly encouraged.

In Deuteronomy, God re-establishes Israel as his covenant people. What does it mean to be the covenant people of God, and what are the implications for our lives today?
Get ready to be encouraged in a very BIG way!
Your Brother and Friend,
Mike Young
Sermon Outline:
I.   A Promise of Land, People, and Blessing.
II.  The Establishment of God’s Covenant People.
III. Deuteronomy as a Covenant Treaty.
IV. The Long Way of Disobedience.
V. Living as God’s Covenant People Today.

SHIPWRECKED – Enemies Within the Church

SHIPWRECKED?

And, what is “Big Eva”?

Before I introduce my main point, I want to point out, that it was common for Jesus and His Apostles to deal with false teachers and false prophets within the Church.  Here are some links for your study:

FALSE PROPHETS WITHIN THE CHURCH- Biblegateway.com

HYPOCRITES WITHIN THE CHURCH – Biblegateway.com

FALSE TEACHERS WITHIN THE CHURCH – Biblegateway.com

SOUND DOCTRINE – Biblegateway.com

We are hearing about and reading about so many being SHIPWRECKED with regard to their faith. What is this world is going on? And how is this happening?

SHIPWRECKED – a noun

  • The destruction or loss of a ship, as by sinking.
  • The remains of a wrecked ship.
  • Destruction or ruin: the shipwreck of one’s hopes.

Verb (used with object)

  • To cause suffering in shipwreck.
  • To destroy; ruin.

Just in the small area where I live, in the past few years, there have been and are, at least 3 major Christian SHIPWRECKS on public display.  I will point out on one, but, here is a link to others:  CHURCH SHIPWRECKS IN NAPLES, FL

First Baptist Church, Naples: Crisis

These videos are produced by http://www.EnemiesWithinTheChurch.com

“Conservative church members labeled racists, purged by elite Southern Baptists” (Capstone Report)

“F.B.C. Naples leadership sinfully violated Matthew 18, smeared church members concerned about pastoral candidate’s support for pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ Democrat” (Capstone Report)

“Report: Coup forced out longtime pastor who wanted period of transition to new leadership” (Capstone Report)

Neo-Marxists turn Stalinist after election defeat (Capstone Report)

Now, finally, what about Big Eva?

Big Eva” is not a large German who works in border control for the Bundesrepublik.  Big Eva is a term for the network of large evangelical organizations and conferences that seeks to shape the thinking and strategy of the American evangelical churches. (“Big Eva” = “Big Evangelical Churches, organizations and conferences”)

“What Big Eva has done is, create an economy of power, people, and indeed money which is non-ecclesiastical but highly influential within evangelical churches. It is a populist movement of tremendous influence and minimal accountability. It provides an identity for its most passionate acolytes.

“And because it promises rewards to individuals and organizations – influence, students, platform – it is both very hard to criticize and functionally unaccountable to any but its own. The Trinity controversy of two years ago was a case in point: no church creed had ever taught the nonsense that had become so pervasive in evangelicalism. Quite the contrary – the creedal history of the church was arguably constructed to exclude precisely the kind of views that were being espoused. But key conferences and key organizations had a vested interest in sidestepping orthodoxy and demonizing any who pointed that out.

“An aspiring movement, to direct and shape the policies and testimony of the church, is quite another thing. (This is what has been done, or, put more bluntly, ‘What have we done?’ Selected and edited (comments from Carl Trueman, “Revoice, Evangelical Culture, and the Return of an Old Friend”  July 31, 2018).

Here are links to several other notable and tragic recent SHIPWRECKS:

Willow Creek, Chicago, Illinois and Bill Hybels

Willow Creek, Chicago, Illinois and Bill Hybles, II

Harvest Chapel, Sandwich, Illinois and James MacDonald fired by Harvest Bible Chapel

Harvest Bible Chapel in Naples, Florida sent eviction notice by landlord

This article and its content was collected from various “identified sources” and is reprinted as originally posted by these “identified sources. Some parts are editorialized and contain the opinion of this author.   White Stone Fellowship.

The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:18, saying, “This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them, you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.”

This is advice to all Christians.  Let’s heed the words of the Apostle Paul and stay vigilant and “fight the good fight”, and God will be with us.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Eschatology of the End Times – Simplified

Table of Contents

Introduction – The prevailing view of the TRADTIONAL DENOMINATIONAL TIMELINE OF THE “END OF DAYS” – SIMPLIFIED.

  1.   In the Beginning
  2.    Prophecy of things to come
  3.    Foreshadowing of things to com
  4.    Events missing in the Outline of the End Times
  5.    The tribulation’s days of distress begins
  6.    The Signs
  7.    The Events
  8.    The Eschatological Clock – The 5th Seal
  9.    Daniels 70th Week – The Great Tribulation – The 6th Seal
  10.  The Rapture of the Church – The 6th Seal- The Interlude- The 144,000- A Multitude from the Revelation
  11. The Wrath of the Lamb – Trumpet & Bowl JudgmentsThe Battle of Gog and Magog
  12. The Abomination of Desolation
  13.  The Battle of Armageddon
  14. The judgment of the nations
  15. The binding of Satan
  16. The Great White Throne Judgment
  17. The new creation.

Eschatology of the End Times –  Chronology 

  1.  In the Beginning – Prophecies of the coming New World Order.  God creates mankind, with a flaw.  Failure is planned; a Savior is provided; The Plan has begun.
  1.  The Tower of Babel– Then and Now.  Man rebels and reaches for the heavens.
  1.  The coming of Messiah.  The Messiah is foretold.
  1.  Prophetic warnings1st century AD.  No one is listening.
  1.  The Days of Distress of the tribulation.The End has begun.
  1.  The countdown – The first 4 Sealsof the Days of Distress
  1.  The World Events of the Seals.  ONGOING.
  1.  The 5th Seal is broken. The Great Apostasy begins,the falling away from the faith,The Antichrist is revealed. After the church is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7–8), a satanically empowered man will gain worldwide control with promises of peace (Revelation 13:1; Daniel 9:27). He will be aided by another man, called the false prophet, who heads up a religious system that requires worship of the Antichrist (Revelation 19:20)
  1. The rapture of the church. Christ comes in the clouds to “snatch away” all those who trust in Him (1 Corinthians 15:52). At this same time, the “dead in Christ” will be resurrected and taken to heaven, too. From our perspective today, this is the next event in the eschatological timeline. The raptureis imminent; no other biblical prophecy needs to be fulfilled before the rapture happens.
  2.  The Breaking of the Sixth SealThe Great tribulation, Daniel’s 70th week begins. A period of seven years in which God’s judgment is poured out on sinful humanity (Revelation 6–16). The Antichrist’s rise to power is associated with this time period. During the tribulationon earth, the Church will be in heaven. It is thought that at this time the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will occur in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 19:6–10).11. The Battle of Gog and Magog. In the first part of the tribulation, a great army from the north, in alliance with several other countries from the Middle East and Africa, attacks Israel and is defeated by God’s supernatural intervention (Ezekiel 38–39). (Some commentators place this battle just before the start of the tribulation.)12. The abomination of desolation. At the midway point of the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel and shows his true colors. The Jews are scattered, and many of them turn to the Lord, realizing that Jesus is their Savior. A great persecution breaks out against all those who believe in Christ (Daniel 12:11; Mark 13:14; Revelation 12:17).13. The Battle of Armageddon. At the end of the tribulation, Jesus returns with the armies of heaven (Mark 14:62). He saves Jerusalem from annihilation and defeats the armies of the nations fighting under the banner of the Antichrist (Revelation 19:11–21). The Antichrist and the false prophet are captured and thrown alive into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).14. The judgment of the nations. Christ will judge the survivors of the tribulation, separating the righteous from the wicked as “sheep” and “goats” (Matthew 25:31–46). (It is thought that at this time the Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead.) The righteous will enter the Millennial Kingdom; the wicked will be cast into hell.15. The binding of Satan. Satan will be bound and held in a bottomless pit for the next 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1–3).16. The Millennial Kingdom. Jesus Himself will rule the world, and Jerusalem will be the capital. This will be a 1,000-year period of peace and prosperity on earth (Revelation 20; Isaiah 60–62). Memorial sacrifices will be offered in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40–48).17. The last battle. At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will be released from his prison for a short time. He will deceive the nations once again, and there will be a rebellion against the Lord that will be quickly defeated (Revelation 20:7–10). Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, never to reappear.

    18. The Great White Throne Judgment. All those in hell will be brought forth, and all the wicked from all eras of history will be resurrected to stand before God in a final judgment (Revelation 20:11–15). The verdicts are read, and all of sinful humanity is cast into the lake of fire.

    19. The new creation. God completely remakes the heavens and the earth. It is at this time that God wipes away all tears and there will be no more pain, death, or sorrow. The New Jerusalem descends from heaven, and the children of God will enjoy eternity with Him (Revelation 21–22).

There are multiple views of the chronology of the Biblical End Times.  I do not want to pursue or repeat what has already been written.  The following outline is a generally accepted chronology and is from the pre-tribulation view.

Almost every such outline or chronology of this sort, is the same.  They begin with the rapture of the church and go from there.  They usually ignore the prophecies about the coming End of Days, the events which foreshadow the coming Day of the Lord (a.k.a., End Times) and the most recent first century warnings which are leading up to the tribulation and the Great Tribulation periods.

I will use this outline, taken from https://www.gotquestions.org/end-times-timeline.html, as my template and fill in the missing parts.

  1.  IN THE BEGINNING

It is difficult to imagine that God planned the entirety of time.  We cannot go back far enough to discover when this began, because there is no beginning with God.  In so few words, such an incomprehensible statement:  “God has always existed”.

It is equally difficult to imagine “a world without end”, but God is eternal, even beyond “the new heavens and a new earth”.  (Revelation 12:1)

But, God has spoken to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, and in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.  And it is by these ways that we can know.

  1.  THE PROPHECIES

First, God has spoken to us through the prophets in various ways.  God’s warnings are warning of coming judgment for His people’s rebellions and disobedience.  God’s judgments followed His warnings, and each of these events, known as The Day of the Lord, are a foreshadowing of what is yet to come.  A time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation.  (Daniel 12:1)

The words and the imagery of the destruction during the great and Terrible Day of the Lord would be difficult for most to accept or to understand.

(The good news is that God’s people, everyone who is found written in the Book of Life, will be rescued.)

Here is are those prophecies:

Isaiah 13:9 See, the day of the LORD is coming –a cruel day, with …

See, the day of the LORD is coming –a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger–
to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.
//biblehub.com/isaiah/13-9.htm – 18k

Lamentations 2:22 “As you summon to a feast day, so you summoned …

 terrors on every side. In the day of the LORD’s anger no one escaped or survived;
those I cared for and reared my enemy has destroyed
//biblehub.com/lamentations/2-22.htm – 19k

Ezekiel 30:3 For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near– a …

For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near– a day
of clouds, a time of doom for the nations.
//biblehub.com/ezekiel/30-3.htm – 17k

Hosea 9:5 What will you do on the day of your appointed festivals …

 What will you do on a festival day, on the day of the LORD’s feast?
//biblehub.com/hosea/9-5.htm – 16k

Joel 1:15 Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is near; it …

Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is near; it
will come like destruction from the Almighty.
//biblehub.com/joel/1-15.htm – 17k

Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For …

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day
of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
//biblehub.com/joel/3-14.htm – 17k

Amos 5:18 Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you …

….. Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why
//biblehub.com/amos/5-18.htm – 17k

Obadiah 1:15 “The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you …

….. The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As
//biblehub.com/obadiah/1-15.htm – 18k

Malachi 4:5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before …

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that
great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.
//biblehub.com/malachi/4-5.htm – 17k

Zephaniah 1:7 Be silent before the Sovereign LORD, for the day of …

….. Be silent before the Sovereign LORD, for the day of the LORD is near.
//biblehub.com/zephaniah/1-7.htm – 18k

Zephaniah 1:8 “On the day of the LORD’s sacrifice I will punish …

“On the day of the LORD’s sacrifice I will punish the officials and
the king’s sons and all those clad in foreign clothes.
//biblehub.com/zephaniah/1-8.htm – 18k

Zephaniah 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near– near and coming …

….. The great day of the LORD is near– near and coming quickly.
//biblehub.com/zephaniah/1-14.htm – 18k

Zephaniah 2:2 before the decree takes effect and that day passes …

 the decree takes effect and that day passes like windblown chaff, before the LORD’s
fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the LORD’s wrath comes upon
//biblehub.com/zephaniah/2-2.htm – 18k

Zechariah 14:1 A day of the LORD is coming, Jerusalem, when your …

A day of the LORD is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will
be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
//biblehub.com/zechariah/14-1.htm – 17k

1 Thessalonians 5:2 for you know very well that the day of the …

for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
//biblehub.com/1_thessalonians/5-2.htm – 18k

Each of these prophecies tell us what is past, what is present and what is yet to come.  This is important because in order to look forward, we must look back.  This is how prophecies work.

III.  FORESHADOWING OF THINGS TO COME

Besides the prophecies in the Old Testament, we can foreshadowing of what is to come.  It is as if we “see through a dark glass dimly”.

  1.  Genesis 6– The Flood shows us God’s judgment on a global scale.  A catastrophe for mankind.  God judged the world because (Genesis 6:5) “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”

Genesis 6  –   The Corruption of Mankind

Building the Ark of their Salvation

Genesis 7  –   The Flood; purging, cleansing the earth of sin

Genesis 9  –   The Covenant; restoring

  1.  Danielgives us a glimpse into our present and future.  We know this by looking back.  (the Book of Daniel chapters seven through 12)

Daniel 7 – Daniel’s vision of the 4 Beasts and a future Tribulation

The “Ancient of Days” – The Son of Man presented – The Vision Interpreted

Daniel 8 – Daniel’s vision of the Goat and the Ram

-The Little Horn

-The Vision Interpreted

Daniel 9 – Daniel’s Prayer for his people

Seventy Weeks and the Messiah

Daniel 11 – Conflicts to Come

Daniel 12 – The Time of The End

These are just two of many foreshadows of the coming Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.

  1. *MISSING FROM“THE TRADITIONAL DENOMINATIONAL OUTLINES” of things to comefrom https://www.gotquestions.org/end-times-timeline.html, as my template:
  2. *MISSING FROM THE TRADITIONAL DENOMINATIONAL OUTLINESof thing to come:The rapture of the church. Christ comes in the clouds to “snatch away” all those who trust in Him (1 Corinthians 15:52). At this same time, the “dead in Christ” will be resurrected and taken to heaven, too. From our perspective today, this is the next event in the eschatological timeline. The rapture is imminent; no other biblical prophecy needs to be fulfilled before the rapture happens.’
  3. *MISSING FROM“THE TRADITIONAL DENOMINATIONAL OUTLINES” of things to come:Prior to the rapture of the church.  We are told by Jesus and some of the Apostles that the End of Days, also known as the “times of distress” had begun as early as AD 1, but more likely between AD 60 and AD 100.

(1)  Jesus called this period the LAST DAYS or the END OF THE AGE in Matthew 24:3-8

(2)  The Apostle Peter called this period the LAST DAYS in Acts 2:16-17

(3)  The Apostle Paul call this period THESE LAST DAYS in Hebrews 1:1-2

The Bible tells about the END OF DAYS and the Tribulation.  It is important to know that the Tribulation period actually is called by three prominent, although variant names:

(a)  The beginning of Sorrows, Birth Pangs, The End of The Age or the Last Days

(b)  The Tribulation also known as The End of Days

(c) The GREAT Tribulation also know as the Wrath of God or the Wrath of the Lamb.

The beginning of Sorrows, Birth Pangs The End of the Age or the Last days, begin with the opening of Tribulation Seal ONE began between AD 60 and AD 100, and perhaps as early as AD1.  

 Seals ONE through FIVE have been broken, progressively, up until this day.

 the 1st Tribulation Seal  –  Global conquest and political intrigue

the 2nd Tribulation Seal –  Wars and Rumors of War

the 3rd Tribulation Seal  –  Famine

the 4th Tribulation Seal  –  Death

the 5th Tribulation Seal  –  Martyrs, persecution,Anti-Christ, falling away

 We are now standing at the precipice of the breaking of 6th Tribulation Seal . 

 

 4.  *MISSING FROM“THE TRADITIONAL DENOMINATIONAL OUTLINES” of things to come:  The Denominational Outline says His Return is IMMINENT. BUT,

1.  2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no one in any way deceive you, for

    •  it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and

 

    • the man of lawlessness is revealed,the son of destruction”

There are two events that must take place before the day of the Lord can come. First, the apostasy must come. Second, the man of lawlessness must be revealed.

  1. The rise of the Antichrist. After the church is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7–8), a satanically empowered man will gain worldwide control with promises of peace (Revelation 13:1; Daniel 9:27). He will be aided by another man, called the false prophet, who heads up a religious system that requires worship of the Antichrist(Revelation 19:20).
  1.  MISSING FROM “THE DENOMINATIONAL OUTLINE”:  

 First, as has already been stated from 2 Thessalonians 2:3, “Let no one in any way deceive you, for

    •  it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and
    • the man of lawlessness is revealed,the son of destruction”

There are two events that must take place before the day of the Lord can come. First, the apostasy must come. Second, the man of lawlessness must be revealed.

Secondly, a simple face value reading gives you a timeline.  That timeline is deliberately blurred by denominational bible teachers who have to make the Bible fit their doctrinal statement.  This can be confusing for the Christian Bible student and dangerous for those preparing in earnest.

  1. The tribulation. A period of seven years in which God’s judgment is poured out on sinful humanity (Revelation 6–16). The Antichrist’s rise to power is associated with this time period. During the tribulationon earth, the Church will be in heaven. It is thought that at this time the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will occur in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 19:6–10).
  1. The Battle of Gog and Magog. In the first part of the tribulation, a great army from the north, in alliance with several other countries from the Middle East and Africa, attacks Israel and is defeated by God’s supernatural intervention (Ezekiel 38–39). (Some commentators place this battle just before the start of the tribulation.)5. The abomination of desolation. At the midway point of the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel and shows his true colors. The Jews are scattered, and many of them turn to the Lord, realizing that Jesus is their Savior. A great persecution breaks out against all those who believe in Christ (Daniel 12:11; Mark 13:14; Revelation 12:17).6. The Battle of Armageddon.At the end of the tribulation, Jesus returns with the armies of heaven (Mark 14:62). He saves Jerusalem from annihilation and defeats the armies of the nations fighting under the banner of the Antichrist (Revelation 19:11–21). The Antichrist and the false prophet are captured and thrown alive into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).7. The judgment of the nations. Christ will judge the survivors of the tribulation, separating the righteous from the wicked as “sheep” and “goats” (Matthew 25:31–46). (It is thought that at this time the Old Testament saints will be raised from the dead.) The righteous will enter the Millennial Kingdom; the wicked will be cast into hell.8. The binding of Satan.Satan will be bound and held in a bottomless pit for the next 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1–3).9. The Millennial Kingdom. Jesus Himself will rule the world, and Jerusalem will be the capital. This will be a 1,000-year period of peace and prosperity on earth (Revelation 20; Isaiah 60–62). Memorial sacrifices will be offered in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40–48).10. The last battle. At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will be released from his prison for a short time. He will deceive the nations once again, and there will be a rebellion against the Lord that will be quickly defeated (Revelation 20:7–10). Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, never to reappear.11. The Great White Throne Judgment. All those in hell will be brought forth, and all the wicked from all eras of history will be resurrected to stand before God in a final judgment (Revelation 20:11–15). The verdicts are read, and all of sinful humanity is cast into the lake of fire.

    12. The new creation. God completely remakes the heavens and the earth. It is at this time that God wipes away all tears and there will be no more pain, death, or sorrow. The New Jerusalem descends from heaven, and the children of God will enjoy eternity with Him (Revelation 21–22

Finally, here is a table showing the alignment of World History, an historical overview of Daniel’s 70 Weeks and a Biblical Historical outline:

Click on this The Timeline Link

I know that this is a long read/study, but, (#1), it is important for you, as a Disciple of Jesus to know where you are on God’s Timeline, (#2), what it means to you, (#3) what is required for you to be ready, and, (#4) what it means to be ready for what is at hand and (#5), how to prepare.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

AS A MAN THINKETH

Hey, “pastors”, “church leaders”, “Christian”, here is an urgent reminder:

IT IS GOD’S CHURCH.  

The Church was created by God, in His Name and for His Purpose.  His Church is empowered by His Spirit and enabled by His Presence.  And, we are That Church.

Hear Ye:  Now, we “see through the mirror, darkly”.  No man or woman can fully understand the things of God, because no one can fathom the Mind of God.  No one can understand His thoughts or His Ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Therefore, no one can fully understand anything of God, or His Church, except what God has revealed through His Prophets, and, in these last days, through Jesus, His Son, (Hebrews 1:1-3) Who is The Word. (John 1:1)

Furthermore, no man or woman has any right to proclaim or teach any doctrine or ritual or any practice that Jesus has not already taught or practiced. (Matthew 5:17-19)  There is no “vision”, except that of Jesus.  There are no practices, except those of Jesus. There are no good ideas, except those of Jesus.  No buildings will prosper you.  No projects will elevate you.  There is nothing except Christ crucified; Who died and was raised to life on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:-34); Who ascended into heaven and is seated at the Right Hand of The Father! (Luke 22:69, Ephesians 1:20)

You are to teach Jesus, alone.  We need to know nothing more than Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. (2 Corinthians 2:2-6)

And, please, ask yourself, “Who do you think you are to reinvent God’s Methods and Ways?  Who do you think you are to advise God on anything?” (Job 38)   You must retract and repent in dust and ashes, as did Job. (Job 42:6)

Let’s remember, Jesus is gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29), and we  are to be the same.  So, remember ‘pastor’, ‘church leader’, ‘Christian’, you are to treat your brothers and sisters in Christ just as Jesus has treated you.  That is, you are to consider them as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  (Philippians 2:3-8)

Be warned.  The Word is saying to you, this day, ‘preacher’, ‘church leader’, ‘Christian’, “Remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

Here is a message from Pastor Trent Casto, of Covenant Naples Church, Naples, Florida, to help along our way.

Let’s pray for one another, that we continue, in all humility and in His Grace, to be the good and faithful servants of our Lord, Jesus.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

The Message to the “Laodicean Churches” in 2021

PREAMBLE:  If you come away from church services without having a sense of repentance of sin and a fervency for the work of God, you probably missed the point of going to church.

If you come away from church thinking you are a “Better You” or that you are going to give God some kind of special favor this week, you probably missed the point to going to church.

Read this letter to the Chruch a Laodicea and see how you are measuring up.

Revelation 3:14-22

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

      The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

      ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; 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 will dine with him, and he with Me. ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down 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.’”

Laodicea = Word Origin from laos and diké;

Laós (the root of the English term, “laity“) – a people, particularly used of “the people of the Lord” (= Heb ʽam).  (From Strong’s Concordance #2992)

Díkē – penalty, punishment; properly, right, especially a judicial verdict which declares someone approved or disapproved; a judgment (just finding) that regards someone (something) as “guilty” or “innocent”;  judgment, punish, vengeance. See 1343 (dikaiosynē).

A city in Phrygia, in the Lycos valley in the Roman province Asia, near Colossae and Hierapolis.

NOTE: It is important to know, (#1), the CONTEXT of these, or any Bible verses, and, (#2), what the original Biblical Greek words mean.  Secondly, most ‘translations of the Bible’ are NOT TRANSLATIONS at all, they are VERSIONS of what man thinks the Bible should say.  A Bible concordance, such as Strong’s Bible Concordance gives details of the words usages, root words, context, parts of speech and more.

Start with the ‘plain, face value statement of the verse’; ask, ‘what does it say’ at face value.  Next, study the context of the verse, first by the surrounding verses, then, in the usual context of the entire Bible.  Then ask, ‘what does it mean’?

There are also social, economic, political and geographic influences to consider when reading the Bible. Then, you should consider the style, whether it is historical, poetic, prophetic, etc., and, whether the verses are literal, metaphorical, idiomatic, allegorical or parables.

But, most of this has less to do with the Truth you are to learn, than does the intention of the writer and the MEANING of the words he writes.  You can do the research and get to the Truth, if you want.  Pray, ask God for illumination, understanding and wisdom.

Finally, ask yourself, ‘what do these verses mean to me’, and apply it.

Never let anyone tell you the Bible was ever written only to a specific group of people or that it is just a story.  The Bible is the eternal, inerrant Truth of God, written to you and for you so that you can go do it and live it!

I have quoted these Bible verses in Revelation from the NASB 1995 version.  The Bible text is in RED and the re-quoted version with more detail of the words used, immediately follows in parentheses.

Revelation 3:14-22 says,

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:  The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

Question #1. To whom is this letter written?

Question #2. For whom is this letter written?

Question #3. Is is applicable to people and ‘churches’ today?  (If, not, why do we care it was written at all?  If so, is this your church?  Is this you?

Verse 15 says, I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; (In other words, “I know your works, you are neither cold-hearted nor are you fervent about your works as a church”)

Question #4. What does this say about God’s watchfulness?

Question #5. Who is “The Church”?

Verse 15 goes on to say, I wish that you were cold or hot.  (In other words, “I am wishing for the unattainable when I say that you were either fervent or cold-hearted about your works, because I see you cannot be anything but lukewarm.”)

Question #6. Why would God prefer the Church at Laodicea to be either hot or cold?

‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. (In other words, “Because you are unrepentant and continually tepid and lukewarm about your works, I am repulsed and I vomit you out of My Mouth to show My utter rejection and total separation from you; a rejection of extreme disgust.”)

Question #7. Why does being ‘lukewarm’ disgust God?

Questions #8. Does God actually reject and separate Himself from ‘lukewarm’ church members?

Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked”

Question #9. What makes a persona wealthy?

Question #10. How can a person with wealth be considered wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked?

The world’s view (non-Christian view) of wealth is found in material things. God says, that real wealth is found in relationship with Him, who is the source of all things.  Material goods are temporary and fading away.  God’s riches are eternal.

 We see this Truth taught and repeated in Matthew 6:19-21, when we read, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

And, again in, Matthew 6:31-33, we read, “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Again, in Matthew 19:21-24, “Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.

“And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

And again, in Matthew chapter five, we see Jesus teaching that we are blessed when we are are dependent on God, alone.

(NOTE: An earthquake devastated the region in a.d. 60 and, Laodicea refused Imperial help to rebuild the city, successfully relying on their own resources. They didn’t need outside help, they didn’t ask for it, and they didn’t want it. “Laodicea was too rich to accept help from anyone. Tacitus, the Roman historian, tells us: ‘Laodicea arose from the ruins by the strength of her own resources, and with no help from us.’” (Barclay)

 Verse 18 says, “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.

Question #11: What does it mean to buy ‘gold refined by fire”?

Gold:  From Strong’s #5553 xrysíon – gold, viewed in terms of its purchasing power, i.e. what it brings about. “unlimited ability to purchase (acquire).”

Refined by fire:  From Strong’s #4442 pýr – fire. In Scripture, fire is often used figuratively – like with the “fire of God” which transforms all it touches into light and likeness with itself

God’s Spirit, like a holy fire, enlightens and purifies so that believers can share more and more in His likeness. Indeed the fire of God brings the uninterrupted privilege of being transformed which happens by experiencing faith from Him. Our lives can become true offerings to Him as we obey this imparted faith from God by His power.

[This is illustrated by God’s fire burning continuously at the entrance of the Tabernacle where the priests made sweet-savor offerings. Compare Lev 6:12,13 with 1 Pet 2:5,9.]

1 Peter 1:6-7 also tells us, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Daniel 12:10 also tells us that, “Many will be purged,purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.”

God says, in Zechariah 13:9,  “And I will bring the third part through the fire,
Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’
And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”

(Revelation 3:14-22, and specifically, verse 18, are too rich and too full of meaning to be fully explored here.  Suffice it to say, for now, that this verse encapsulates all the teaching of the process of salvation and sanctification. You can discover more on these matter by reading “A Tutorial on Effective Spiritual Warfare”, which is a work still in progress.)

God tells us in Verse 19, ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”  (In other words, “Those whom I love, I expose you and convince you and convict you as guilty” so you will be fervent, hot and zealous and change you way of thinking.)

Reprove:  From Strong’s #1651 elégxō – properly, to convince with solid, compelling evidence, especially to expose, prove wrong, show to be guilty.

 Verse 20 says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Verse 21

“He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Question #13:  What does it mean to “overcome” in the Biblical sense?

Question #14:  How does one “overcome” in a Biblical sense?

(click on any of the text of verse 21 for a detailed commentary and explanation)

Verse 22 says, “‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Verse 22 is a word to you, the reader, and to me the writer, and to everyone who calls themselves a Christian.

These verses in The Revelation transcend the argument among the churches whether one is ‘once saved, always saved’ or if on can ‘lose their salvation or can turn away’.

This is a warning and a call to everyone to check yourself:  Are you “hot” or “cold” toward the Gospel and toward the work of the Church?  Or, do your actions tell of a “lukewarmness” that spells doom?

Dear friends, loved ones and reader:  Christianity is a dangerous game to be trifled with. It can give you safe harbor and hope during this life and save your soul for all eternity, or, it can spell doom to those who are deceived into thinking you can casually stroll along with Jesus.

Christianity is a purging, a refining a cleansing and a preparation to follow Jesus and do the works He has done, and even greater works; and, then, eternity with Him.

Following Him means to be blessed, made safe, whole and full of purpose.  Following Him means doing what He says to do, just as He has done it.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

HAS THE APOSTASY BEGUN?

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HOW CLOSE ARE WE TO “THE DAY OF THE LORD”

IN PLAIN LANGUAGE

(AND WHY YOU SHOULD YOU CARE)

2 Thessalonians2:1- 4 Now we request you, brethren, (1) with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you (2) not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

(3) Let no one in any way deceive you, for (4) it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and (5)the man of lawlessness is revealed, (6) the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that (7) he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Outlined, verse by verse (easy-to-understand; just read slowly and take it at face value)

1. With regard to the coming of our Lord and the gathering together to Him

2. Do not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

3. Let no one in any way deceive you

*4. For the day of our Lord and the gathering together to Him will not come unless the apostasy comes first

*5. For the day of our Lord and the gathering together to Him will not come unless the man of lawlessness is revealed

6. The man of lawlessness is the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship,

7. He takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

WHAT IS THE APOSTASY: In Christianity Apostasy is the rejection of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. It has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, Christianity.

WHAT IS THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS / ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION:

Mattew24:15 “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

1. You will see him

2. He will be standing in the Holy Place

3. Then, there will be a great tribulation

WHAT IS THE DAY OF THE LORD:

The Day of the Lord” is a biblical term and theme used in both the Hebrew Bible (יֹום יְהוָה) and the New Testament (ἡμέρα κυρίου), as in “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come” (Joel 2:31, cited in Acts 2:20).

Matthew 24:21 “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22“Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

Matthew 24:29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31“And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

1. For then / Immediately after the tribulation of those days (prior to the day in question, i.e., (the 5th seal)

2. THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken (The 6th Seal)

3. They will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory

4. “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

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(Look on page 17 and following on the presentation  for relevant explanation of verses noted; also, see video links below presentation)

Deception within the Church

And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.
“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT.  WE MUST TURN AWAY FROM WESTERN POST-MODERN RELIGION, AND RETURN TO JESUS AND HIS GOSPEL AND PRACTICE THESE THINGS

Come and join in the harvest, as we go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that He commanded; and lo, He is with us always, even to the end of this age. Contact me above here for further information or click the invitation link below.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

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More on  HAS THE GREAT APOSTASY BEGUN?

HAS THE GREAT APOSTASY BEGUN?

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The GREAT APOSTASY

The “falling away from the faith”

(The 5th Seal of Tribulation)

2 Thessalonians2:1- 4 Now we request you, brethren, (1) with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you (2) not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

(3) Let no one in any way deceive you, for (4) it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and (5) the man of lawlessness is revealed, (6) the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that (7) he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Pew Research and Barna Research, both, are revealing what the corporate Church is unwilling to admit, that many are leaving the church and are not returning. But, the other half of this ‘equation’ is that many are LEAVING THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS – falling away from the faith – but are staying in the church .

This “falling away from the faith”, alone, may not signal what prophetic scriptures has foretold regarding the “Great Falling Away” (The Great Apostasy) but, considering all has already come to pass (the breaking of the first four Tribulation Seals) you can be confident this is what is prophesied.

We are so very close to the 6th Seal. So, please LISTEN you who are Pastors, teachers, Bible “scholars” and all Christians. Please, let’s get off our religious and denominational ‘high horses’ and sound the Shofar!

THE FIFTH TRIBULATION SEAL IS NOW BEING BROKEN and the DAY OF THE LORD and the Rapture is near.

The SIXTH SEAL of Tribulation will be broken soon, and it will be too late for those who are procrastinating or for those who think they are saved but have never surrendered their lives to Christ as Lord.

We must be DOING what Jesus said we were to be DOING, or face the consequences:

Matthew 24:48 But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ 49and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 50The master will return unannounced and unexpected, 51and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

God has commanded us to follow Jesus, to carry on His Works, to love one another and to preach the Gospel, make disciples and to teach them to follow Him.

Let’s be ready!

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

More on “Has the Apostasy Begun?”

Pulpit Bullies, False Teachers, Apostates, Heretics – The Postmodern Church

 

The title of this article might suggest that misbehavior and apostasy is a recent malaise of the church.  Apostasy, from the Greek word, “apostasia”, means “a defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith.” In the first-century world, apostasy was a technical term for political revolt or defection.   Actually, just like in the first century, spiritual apostasy threatens the Body of Christ today.

I have personally experienced pulpit bullies, false teachers, apostates and heretics in our postmodern church.  These same men seem to have started right, but, over time, their ‘true selves’ emerged, and they are the ravenous wolves which scriptures warn about:   Matthew 7:15-23  says, Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.  “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  “So then, you will know them by their fruits.

      “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Before I go further, please watch the first 15 minutes of Pastor Trent Casto’s sermon broadcast (Senior pastor of Covenant Naples Church, Naples, Florida) to get additional background and context.  (If you prefer to shorten your viewing time, watch at least from the 4:42 minute mark of this video to the 13:35 minute mark.

The men, (and, now, women), as referred to in Pastor Casto’s sermon, are in pulpits and on TV screens, leading thousands and tens of thousands astray.

Finally, please, familiarize yourself with what the Bible says, since it is the way to life!  I have copied the following text from the website from the website GotQuestions.org as an excellent resource for details on the Biblical qualifications of a pastor.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Here are some additional links on this matter, for you to consider:

https://whitestone2020.com/christian-betrayal-of-jesus-in-2019/

https://whitestone2020.com/warning-the-gospel-of-accomodation/

https://whitestone2020.com/fractured/https://whitestone2020.com/the-false-church-emerges/

https://whitestone2020.com/ekklesia/https://whitestone2020.com/god-is-saying-to-his-church/

https://whitestone2020.com/2021/02/25/a-calling-or-a-cult/

https://whitestone2020.com/shipwrecked/

https://whitestone2020.com/church-scandals-abuse/

https://whitestone2020.com/christian-betrayal-of-jesus-in-2019/

I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH

(You can listen while you read by using the podcast audio, above.  I use page links in lieu of footnotes and references, so, you can pause the audio to follow a link for details and references, then, resume the audio when you are ready)

The pastor, at a recent church service, congratulated the congregation for ranking high among church organizations within their denomination in mission giving.  He also praised them for meeting the financial needs of their local church budget.  “Go ahead and congratulate yourself”.  There was self-applause.  Bragging, of sorts.

Now this pastor says his church would embark on a building program to increase their size, exposure and influence in the community – all for Jesus and the Kingdom, of course.  (I cannot help but suspect it is also for his competitive stature and ranking within this denomination.  I have seen pastors ‘glean out’ those who do not ‘support their vision, methods and ways’ and ‘humbly brag’ about their church’s accomplishments.)

An internet search will quickly show you this is nothing out of the ordinary, though. 179,000,000 hits on Google search show the undying popularity of building more and more church buildings:

AD 1 The Church of Jesus Christ, The Body of Christ, had no buildings, little money and no wealth. The Church was a Movement.

Matthew 16:18, says,And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. verse 19. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” verse 20. Then He gave the disciples strict orders that they were to tell no one that He was the Christ. 

Jesus said to make disciples; collect no money except to make your journey.

Although the penalty for becoming a Christian was often death. The Church grew exponentially.

AD 49. The Church expanded into Greece. The Church became a philosophy to many. The Church grew and size and influence.

AD 313.  The Church expanded into Rome and it gained recognition. It grew in power and popularity. It obtained wealth, buildings, property and influence. It became an institution.

AD 380.  The Church expanded into Europe. It was becoming a worldwide phenomenon. It grew in wealth, stature, power and influence. It had become a culture.

AD 1607.  The Church reaches America.

AD 1681.  The Church became corporate. It had became a business and incorporated. It became regulated by the government.

The Corporate Church grew. It needed money to support growth and expansion, which meant the Corporate Church needed more people.

AD 1777.  The state of Virginia granted tax exemption to houses of worship.

AD 1894.  The corporate church was granted tax exemptions by the Federal Government.

AD 1954.  The Federal Government regulated what a church could and could not say in order to retain tax exempt status.

The church continued to grow, and in order to attract more people the Corporate Church lowered its membership and doctrinal standards. More people became ‘members’ and gave more money to support more growth.

The Church corporation is complete with leaders, boards and membership and a business model.

Local churches compete against one another for members (customers). The church is selling itself in “three line slogans”.

The Church members now have choices and have become religious consumers. Church people can shop around for the religious brand and standards that best suits them. (2 Timothy 3)

The Leadership (pastors and preachers) have become CEOs, disciples have become church leaders, growing their 501(c)(3) business models.

Record numbers of pastors quitting because of stress, burnout or are being fired by their congregations (some stats say 1500 – 1700 leave “the ministry” each month).

Church debt in America soars; church foreclosures soar.

AD 1968.  The church ordains homosexuals as clergy.

AD 1972.  The United church of christ ordains homosexual clergy

AD 2010.  The Lutheran church ordains homosexual clergy

AD 2012.  The Presbyterian church ordains homosexual clergy

The Episcopal Church in the United States and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have also allowed ordination of openly gay and lesbian candidates for ministry for some years.

Internationally, churches that have ordained openly lesbian or gay clergy include the Church of Scotland, the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Norway, the Church of Denmark, the Church of Iceland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Evangelical Church in Germany, the Methodist Church in Britain, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, the United Protestant Church in Belgium, the Swiss Reformed Church, the United Protestant Church of France, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Anglican Church in Canada, the Old Catholic Church, the Czechoslovak Hussite Church and the United Church of Christ in Japan.

Millions of people (approximately 52 million) “attend church” in one of the 300,000+ churches in America, at least once a week each month. However, when people were asked the topic of the “sermon” they heard after 24 hours, only about 10 percent could tell you. When asked to cite the most important lesson they received, most just shrugged.

An estimated 1.2 million hours each week (1) are spent in sermon preparations; it takes about another 300,000 hours in delivery of these sermons (2) at a staggering potential cost of over $750 millions dollars nationally, each week (3). Yet, only 5% of those hearing these sermons, remember anything about them after 72 hours.

BUILDING MORE

AD 2021.  The church is losing and has lost influence. The church in 2021 is losing members and adherents. (George Barna research; Pew Research)

AD 2021.  The church is teaching and living a different Gospel than that of the Apostles.

THE ROCK

Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. verse 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”  verse 20. Then He gave the disciples strict orders that they were to tell no one that He was the Christ.”

Look back a few verses and we can see “THIS ROCK” that Jesus speaks of:

Mathew 16:13  “Now when Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  verse 14And they said,

  • “Some say John the Baptist; and others,
  • Elijah; and stillothers,
  • Jeremiah,or
  • one of the other prophets.” verse 15. He *said to them, “But who do you yourselves say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the
  • Christ, the Son of the living God.”

verse 17And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. verse 18.  And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. verse 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

It is important to understand the nuance of the language Jesus uses here.  He calls Peter by name, Pétros in the Greek language, which is an isolated rock or a stone as one would throw.  But, the ROCK upon which Jesus will build His Church is the word “pétra”, which is a huge mass of interconnected rock, a “solid or native rock, rising up through the earth”.

This is important because Jesus is telling you, and all of His followers, about your position, your ability, your responsibility and your authority in His Church:

  • I will build My Church, you and others like you; and
  • the gates of Hades will not overpower you and others like you.
  • I will give you and others like you the keys of the kingdom of heaven;
    • and whatever you and others like youbind on earth shall have been bound in heaven,
    • and whatever youand others like you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

Finally, Jesus says He will give you and others like you, that is, His Church, the keys to the kingdom of heaven.  We can pursue this as a metaphor, but, there are specific references to these KEYS in the scriptures.

The most significant is The Key of David is a term found in Revelation 3:7 and Isaiah 22:22.

A key indicates control or authority; therefore, having the Key of David would give one control of David’s domain, i.e., Jerusalem, the City of David, and the kingdom of Israel.

The fact that, in Revelation 3:7 Jesus holds this key shows that He is the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, the ruler of the New Jerusalem, and the Lord of the kingdom of heaven.

And (you) coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by people, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture:

Behold, I am laying in Zion a choice stone, a precious cornerstone,
And the one who believes in Him will not be ]put to shame.”

This precious value, then, is for you who believe;   (1 Peter 2:4-7)

 You and I must take up our appointed positions.  We must shake of the lethargy of the 21st century postmodern religion we call ‘church’ and take the Gospel of Jesus to the streets, the byways, the hedges and towns, into our neighborhoods, and as scriptures tell us, BECOME THE LIVING STONES, A LIVING SACRIFICE.

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

Living sacrifice

The False Church Emerges

What are you getting for what you are doing?

The One World Church

FOOT & STUDY NOTES:

I “SAY” to you:  3004 légō (originally, “lay down to sleep,” used later of “laying an argument to rest,” i.e. bringing a message to closure; see Curtius, Thayer) – properly, to say (speak), moving to a conclusion (bringing it to closure, “laying it to rest”). Aorist active

You “ARE”:  1510 eimí (the basic Greek verb which expresses being, i.e. “to be“) – am, is. 1510 (eimí), and its counterparts, (properly) convey “straight-forward” being (existence, i.e. without explicit limits).

”PETER”:  “4074 (Pétros) is an isolated rock and 4073 (pétra) is a cliff” (TDNT, 3, 100). “4074 (Pétros) always means a stone . . . such as a man may throw, . . . versus 4073 (pétra), a projecting rock, cliff” (S. Zodhiates, Dict).

Upon this “ROCK”:  4073 pétra (a feminine noun) – “a mass of connected rock,” which is distinct from 4074 (Pétros) which is “a detached stone or boulder” (A-S). 4073 (pétra) is a “solid or native rock, rising up through the earth” (Souter) – a huge mass of rock (a boulder), such as a projecting cliff.

I will build my “CHURCH”:  1577 ekklēsía (from 1537 /ek, “out from and to” and 2564 /kaléō, “to call”) – properly, people called out from the world and to God, the outcome being the Church (the mystical body of Christ) – i.e. the universal (total) body of believers whom God calls out from the world and into His eternal kingdom.