So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spew you out of My mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, I have made myself wealthy, and I need nothing.’ But you do not know that you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white clothes so that you may dress yourself and so the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed, and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. – Revelation 3:16-18, TLV
None of us who claims to be Yeshua’s Disciples will want YeHoVaH to cancel our right to be in His Presence. However, the truth of the matter is that there are far too many carnal Yeshuaians who want a relationship with Yeshua on their terms instead of on His terms. These carnal Yeshuaians are today’s Laodiceans – individuals who serve the Yeshua of their own making.
Yehovah says that He will spew these carnal Yeshuaians out of His Mouth. In other words, the Holy Spirit (the Presence of YeHoVaH) will leave them the second they miss the Rapture.
TheLaodicean believers who end up being left on Earth while the true Bride of Overcomers is in Heaven need to know that the Holy Spirit left some of them because their unbelief caused them to leave YeHoVaH – they departed from the Truth and became apostates. The Holy Spirit left other Laodicean believers because they loved the world and the things of the world – had one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom of YeHoVaH.
Let the true Bride of Yeshua pray for everyone who does not know and has not accepted the Lord. Let the true Bride of Yeshua also pray that YeHoVaH will open the eyes of the Laodiceans’ understanding so that those believers who currently are fence straddlers might become Overcomers who prepare and watch for their Bridegroom. Shalom.
20 But you, loved ones, continue building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 21 Keep yourselves in the love of [YeHoVaH], eagerly waiting for the mercy of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who are wavering— 23 save them by snatching them out of the fire; but on others have mercy with fear—hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. – Jude vv. 20-23, TLV (the bracketed word is my emphasis)
I used to be unable to understand how apostates could creep in anywhere unaware. That changed while I was evangelizing in South Korea.
Sadly, at the South Korean Christian school where I taught English, there were professed Christians who, as Jude describes, were “…bellyaching grumblers, following after their own desires. Their mouth speaks grandiose things, showing favoritism for the sake of gain” (Jude v. 16, TLV). They were believers in Yeshua who also possessed knowledge of Yeshua’s Gospel; however, they were way too much like the metaphorical seed that falls on rocky soil and springs up quickly only to wilt when the scorching sun of trouble shines on them or when they are under the roasting pressure of persecution.
For sure, it was their love for more money, larger schools, more curriculum knowledge, and/or better-paying jobs that had caused them to fall away from what they at one time must have believed. Put differently, they were not walking in obedience to Yeshua, as it was evident that, as backsliders, they were following the desires of their flesh.
They were behaving like the kind of apostates Jude says the apostle Paul had warned about – “…theones who cause divisions—worldly-minded, not having the Ruach” (Jude v.19, TLV). Indeed, the people who worked at this school when I was there were definitely spiritually divided – that is to say, those who kept the faith were spiritually separated from those who had sincere doubt. It also didn’t help that the school’s Christian owners also physically separated certain staff members from each other. In other words, the backsliders or those who were wavering — those who had not become committed apostates – were isolated. These segregated backsliding apostates are the ones that Jude advises the overcomers to “…save…by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude v.23a).
At this school, there also was another kind of apostates – those who willfully rejected the Gospel of Yeshua. These were the apostates that not onlydistorted YeHoVaH’s Truths but also denied those spiritual Truths and biblical doctrines that defined the genuinely saved believers in Yeshua. In other words, these apostates were no longer backslidden believers but rather they had become the kind of unbelievers that the writer of Hebrews says cannot be brought back to repentance (see Hebrews 6:4-6).
There were the kind of apostates who had passed the point of no return – those whom Jude describes as the apostates that overcomers should “…have mercy with fear—hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude v.23b), as they are apostates whose damnation had already been secured (Jude v.4). Additionally, the apostle Peter describes these apostates as the proverbial dogs who return to their own vomit and pigs who return to wallowing in the mire (see 2 Peter 2:22 and Proverbs 26:11).
Now, the reasons why these apostates were able to creep into our churches, our schools, our business, etcetera is because so few of today’s believers in Yeshua are spiritually savvy enough to discern when believers have departed from the faith, or when wolves have joined flocks, or when a backslider’s conscience has been seared, or when so-called Christians have a form of godliness, and so forth. For sure, there are many believers in Yeshua today who are living and/or behaving as the apostates who are described above, BUT far too many professed Christians either are clueless or indifferent about these apostates who clearly neither are clinging to the Holy Spirit nor are controlled by (cooperating with) Him. In other words, these professed Christians have not crucified their own ‘self,’ and they have not been filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. They, instead, are sensual, which means they live in accordance with their senses because they are too soulish. This truth is why they are walking after their own lusts instead of being in accordance with the Holy Spirit.
Lastly, Jude makes it clear that believers in Yeshua can have victory over apostasy but only as overcomers who stay filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only One who is able to keep believers in Yeshua from falling away from the faith. He also is the only One who is able to present believers in Yeshua as blameless before their Lord and Savior, but only if they allow Him to change them into overcomers.
Becoming overcomers begins when believers in Yeshua realize their assured victory does not mean that they don’t have to fight to win. Every genuine believer has to contend for the faith – the kind of faith that will help them to become victorious over sin, the world, and their flesh. However, living a holy life will keep those believers who are progressively becoming overcomers on the battlefield. Put differently, there is no way that contending for the faith won’t be dangerous at times. That is why it is important to remember what Yeshua and His apostles taught, which is that those seeking to become overcomers will obediently do the following: 1. Build themselves up on their most holy faith; 2. Pray in the Holy Spirit; and 3.Keep themselves in the Love of YeHoVaH (Jude vv. 20-21). This is how they not only survive apostasy but also how they become victorious over sin, the world, and their flesh. Additionally, this is how they will have the power to snatch backsliders out of the fire – apostates who have NOT passed the point of no return.
Once again, the ultimate solution to apostasy is believers’ proximity to Yeshua, which is achieved through the Holy Spirit. This Divine Truth is why believers in Yeshua must always stay close to Him, and they must always keep preaching His Gospel. By contending for the faith, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, and by staying close – via the Holy Spirit – to the only One who is able to keep believers in Yeshua from falling, Yeshua’s believers will be able not only to survive apostasy but also able to thrive as holy overcomers in spite of the fact that apostasy is everywhere in today’s world. Selah . . .
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” – Matthew 24:43-44, TLV
Not everyone who claims to love Yeshua, as well as not everyone who claims to be born again and saved, will be “caught up” on the clouds where he/she will meet Yeshua before the Tribulation Period begins. That’s right! Not everyone who defines him or herself as a follower of Yeshua will be in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. Let there be no doubt about it, regardless if a professed Yeshua believer no longer believes in a pre-Tribulation Rapture, or if he or she never believed in it, the pre-Tribulation Rapture will happen.
In the Holy Bible, more than once, YeHoVaH shows His Children that His Wrath or Judgment cannot come until His Righteous Children are secure/safe. For example, in the Old Testament, only Noah and his family were considered righteous enough to enter the Ark and be secure/safe. Put differently, Noah and his family didn’t have to feel YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment that was poured out upon the entire earth (see Genesis 6:6-7, Genesis 6:13-22; Genesis 7:6-24; The Flood). Similarly, in Genesis 19:22 and Genesis 19:24-25, Lot and his family safely escaped to Zoar before judgment was poured out on Sodom and Gomorrah (Fire and Brimstone). These Scriptures make it clear that only the folks YeHoVaH considered to be unrighteous felt His Wrath or Judgment.
Likewise, in the New Testament, YeHoVaH shows His Children that His Wrath or Judgment will only be poured out on the individuals who are considered to be unrighteous people. This Truth – YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment is not meant for those who are considered to be His righteous Children – is why there will be a pre-Tribulation Rapture. Once again, more than once, YeHoVaH says in His holy Scriptures that His Wrath or Judgment cannot come until His Righteous Children are secure/safe.
The above-stated Truth about who feels YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment is why there will be several types of unrighteous people who will miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture – YeHoVaH’s Ark in the end times. The following are the three groups of unrighteous people who will not enter the pre-Tribulation Rapture:
1. Unbelievers –the people who haven’t accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior. Specifically, they are the ones who are described in Revelation 21:8; their final judgment, once the Tribulation period is over, will be the Lake of Fire.
2. Unbelieving believers – saved individuals who profess they know Yeshua, yet they don’t believe in what the Scriptures say about becoming overcomers, nor do they believe in what the Scriptures say about the power of YeHoVaH. Unbelieving believers, who are unrighteous because of their unbelief, can’t be raptured. Now, the precise kind of unrighteous unbelieving believers is described in Hebrews 2:1 as the individuals who didn’t pay close attention to what they heard and ended up becoming deceived apostates. These unrighteous unbelieving believers are also described in Hebrews 3:7-8 as the individuals who hardened their hearts to the Holy Spirit’s teachings and then fell away from the Truth; and in Hebrews 6:6, these fallen away from the Truth unrighteous unbelieving believers are devoted apostates who can’t be renewed again to repentance.
3. Unbelieving believers –in their unbelief, they mock the Truth that they hear and claim it will not happen (e.g., those who mock the pre-Tribulation Rapture) [see 2 Peter 3:3-4].
The above-mentioned three groups of unrighteous unbelieving people will miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture; however, the unrighteous unbelieving Yeshua believers will also miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture because they failed to meet Yeshua’s five godly conditions that would allow them to be counted worthy/righteous enough to be raptured. Here are the five godly conditions that must be met in order for believers in Yeshua to be prepared for and worthy to be chosen in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. Believers in Yeshua must be and do the following:
1. Must be an overcomer – Revelation 21:7 (see also Revelation chapters 2 & 3 . . . the one who overcomes references); all Yeshua believers must overcome the world, or the desires of the world; must overcome the flesh; and must overcome the devil
2. Must watch and pray for Yeshua’s thief in the night appearance – Mark 13:33
3. Must pray to be accounted worthy to escape the things that will happen in the end times – Luke 21:36
4. Must look for/anticipate Yeshua’s second appearance – Hebrews 9:28
5. Must cleanse themselves (get rid) of all filthiness so that they can achieve holiness – 2 Corinthians 7:1 (to get rid of every weight and entangling sin) – Hebrews 12:1
To be sure, there are things that only YeHoVaH via His Holy Spirit can cleanse in Yeshua believers. However, there are some things believers in Yeshua can do/can sacrifice to show YeHoVaH how much they hate sinning, how much they love Him, how much they want to be obedient and faithful, and how much they want to be like Yeshua.
Sadly, just as most believers in Yeshua won’t even try to purge themselves of every weight and entangling sin that is within their power to get rid of, there also are far too many professed Yeshua believers who refuse to believe/accept that Yeshua will come for His own like a thief in the night. The latter uses the fact that Yeshua is no sinner as their reason for their disbelief in the Scriptures that use the thief in the night simile. These Yeshua believers fail to understand that the thief in the night simile (image) is 100% figurative language, and, as figurative language, this simile means Yeshua isn’t a literal thief. However, the uncomfortably Truth they miss when they refuse to accept and believe the Scriptures that describe Yeshua as a THIEF is that, like a thief, Yeshua will indeed come secretly for His own.
This thief simile is found in the following biblical verses and found in one verse as a metaphor:
43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what time the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. – Matthew 24:43, TLV
2 For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. – 1 Thessalonians 5:2, TLV
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, so that the Day might overtake you like a thief. – 1 Thessalonians 5:4, TLV
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the elements will melt and disintegrate, and the earth and everything done on it shall be exposed. – 2 Peter 3:10, TLV
3 So remember what you have received and heard—keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. – Revelation 3:3, TLV
15 “Behold, I am coming like a thief! How fortunate is the one who stays alert and keeps his clothes on, lest he walk around naked and they see his shamefulness.” – Revelation 16:15, TLV
It is in an Olivet Discourse’s mini-parable that Yeshua also compares His Overcomers to a collective Goodman who actually not only is prepared for the Thief but also watches for Him. Once again, Yeshua’s Overcomers are the righteous believers He is coming to get so that He can TAKE them with Him to a safe place before YeHoVaH pours out His Wrath and Judgment upon the entire earth for the very last time.
Now, right before the Goodman mini-parable (see Matthew 24:43-44), Yeshua describes the pre-Tribulation Rapture in two mini-parables. The Lord teaches about an individual who is working in the field and about a person who is grinding at the mill who are TAKEN by Him, while the second field worker and the second grain grinder are left behind (see Matthew 24:40-42). A similar pre-Tribulation Rapture description is also in Luke 17:34. In this mini-parable, Yeshua teaches about one of the two who are in bed is TAKEN, and the other is left behind. This mini-parable in Luke 17 is followed by the mini-parables about the two field workers and, in some translations, the two grain grinders.
In Matthew 24, the two pre-Tribulation Rapture mini-parables end with a warning to believers to be prepared and to stay alert so that they won’t miss the One who comes for them like a thief in the night (see Matthew 24:42). This warning is then restated as a parabolic statement in the Goodman mini-parable (Matthew 24:43-44). The Goodman (homeowner or master of the house) is robbed by a thief all because the Goodman was neither prepared nor on the lookout for the thief’s unannounced coming and, as a result, was not able to prevent the unfavorable outcomes – his house broken into, and his possessions stolen.
Just like the Lord is using the TAKEN righteous field worker and grain grinder as metaphors for His righteous Vineyard Workers or Overcomers, He also is comparing, by contrasting, the Goodman metaphor to His righteous Overcomers – His truly righteous believers. The bottom line is this: Yeshua’s parabolic statement in the Goodman mini-parable is that His Overcomers must stay prepared and stay alert because none of them knows the precise hour when Yeshua will return. In other words, Yeshua’s parabolic statement explains, by contrasting the Goodman in the mini-parable with the righteous Overcomes in the two preceding mini-parables, how serious Yeshua is about His righteous Overcomes being ready/prepared and staying alert so that they will not miss meeting Him in the air when He returns for them.
Now, while the Greek language has different meanings for the verbs to “take” and to “receive,” and these different meanings have different Greek verbs, the Greek verb paralambano is the same to TAKE verb that is used in John 14:3 (“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am you may also be”), in Matthew 24:40 (“Then two men will be in the field, one taken and one left”), in Matthew 24:41 (“Two women will be grinding at the mill, one taken and one left”), and in Luke 17:34 (“I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken along and the other left”). In all four of these verses, paralambano means that the individuals who are TAKEN (snatched away/caught up) are Yeshua’s Overcomers who are saved from YeHoVaH’s Wrath or Judgment. Additionally, in all four of these verses, the folks who are left behind are the ones who receive YeHoVaH’s Judgment – His Wrath. In this case, YeHoVaH’s Judgment or Wrath is the seven-year Tribulation Period.
What is important to mention here is that the righteous Overcomers who are TAKEN in Matthew 24:40-41 (also see Luke 17:35-36) are TAKEN during a daylight moment while they are doing daytime jobs. In contrast, the one TAKEN from the bed who is sleeping(Luke 17:34) is TAKEN during a nighttime moment. It should be evident that these referenced Scriptures show how Yeshua has dealt with the issue of different time zones on this earth – some are rapture during the day (daylight time) and some are rapture in the night.
In Luke 17, some manuscripts add the following verse: “There will be two in the field. One will be taken along, and the other left.” – Luke 17:36
Finally, believers in Yeshua can only receive from YeHoVaH that which they believe He will do for them. Put differently, if believers in Yeshua don’t believe it is possible for something to happen; for example, if they have unbelief about what is presented in certain Scriptures about a pre-Tribulation Rapture, then they will not be in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. They can’t receive that part of salvation because they refuse to believe in it.
So, once again, the reasons why so many who say they are saved, born-again believers of Yeshua will miss the pre-Tribulation Rapture are because they will not take to heart the Scriptures that warn them about their need to get prepared, stay ready, and stay alert – keep looking out for Yeshua’s Return – and because they don’t believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture. Matthew 13:58 says “And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Romans 11:20 says “True enough. They were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith….” First Timothy 1:13 says, “even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a violent man. Yet I was shown mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,” but then Paul says in Hebrews 4:6, “So then it remains for some to enter into it; yet those who formerly had Good News proclaimed to them did not enter because of disobedience.” Lastly, Paul in Hebrews 4:11 says “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through the same pattern of disobedience.” The point here is crucial. If Yeshua believers do not believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture, their unbelief not only prevents them from being raptured before the Tribulation Period begins but also because their unbelief is a form of disobedience they cannot enter into the Shabbat rest.
It should be clear from the above-cited verses that apostle Paul also describes Yeshua believers’ unbelief as disobedience (see also Hebrews 3:18-19). This unbelief and a lack of trust/faith prevent unrighteous unbelieving believers from entering into eternal rest. Their kind of unbelief is the same as the unbelief that caused many Israelites to perish in the wilderness – to never see the Promised Land. In comparison, just like the unrighteous unbelieving Israelites couldn’t enter the Promised Land of Israel, Yeshua believers with unbelief won’t be able to enter into the Shabbat rest with Yeshua in Heaven (the Promised Land for believers in Yeshua) – see Hebrews 4:9, and see Hebrews 4:1-2). All believers in Yeshua must be Overcomers in order to receive Overcomers’ promises, but they will never be Overcomers if they have any bit of unbelief.
To be sure, not believing that a pre-Tribulation Rapture will happen is indeed unbelief. This unbelief is also the same kind of unbelief that prevented Yeshua from doing any miracles in His hometown synagogue. It is also the kind of unbelief that will prevent Yeshua from TAKING the unrighteous unbelieving believers during the pre-Tribulation Rapture – the only rapture event that no one will know or be able to figure out the day or the hour of Yeshua’s Return.
Any raptures that happen during the Tribulation won’t be hard to figure out, as the Scriptures mention Raptures happening at a particular time during and after the seven-year Tribulation. Therefore, neither the mid-Tribulation nor the post-Tribulation Rapture will happen secretly, so Yeshua will not be returning like a thief in the night for those raptures.
If Yeshua believers think that a pre-Tribulation Rapture is hooey, then they will not be TAKEN (caught-up) in it. Furthermore, their unbelief in a pre-Tribulation Rapture is a form of disobedience, so they also may not enter into Yeshua’s Shabbat rest. It will depend on whether they are able to renew their minds to righteous thinking during the Tribulation Period.
I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting Him Who invited and called you by the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ (the Messiah) [and that you are transferring your allegiance] to a different [even an opposition] gospel. Not that there is [or could be] any other [genuine Gospel], but there are [obviously] some who are troubling and disturbing and bewildering you [with a different kind of teaching which they offer as a gospel] and want to pervert and distort the Gospel of Christ (the Messiah) [into something which it absolutely is not]. ~ Galatians 1:6-7, AMP
As the CHURCH Age draws to a close, the “Age of Confusion”—the time when Christians are mixed up about what the HolyBible really teaches (the time when believers are confused, or lack stability, about the exact meaning and intent of much of the HolyBible)—is growing by leaps and bounds. Scriptures depict the Age of Confusion as being both the time of the Tower of Babel, when God confused the people with different languages (cf. Genesis 11:1-9), and the end of the Age—the end of the CHURCH Age or Age of Grace (cf. Matthew 24:4-14; also see Daniel 12:4 and Amos 8:11-12).
Where the last days or end of the CHURCH Age is concerned, the HolyBible repeatedly refers to the overlapping, swiftly spreading “Age of Confusion” as the time of great falling away (apostasy)—an abandoning, defecting, rebelling, rejecting, and/or turning away from what professed Christians once believed about biblical Truths, Principles, Faith, God, and Christ (cf. Matthew 24:10, 12; Galatians 1:6-7; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 11; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; Hebrews 6:4-8; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 2 Peter 3:17; Jude 1:1-25, etc.). Indeed, the 21st century is the “Age of Confusion”—a time of not only apostasy but also a timewhen the Holy Bible is being questioned and abused by pastors and/or theologians who are using so-called “higher criticism” to determine the mind of God, and a time when the actual biblical Scriptures are being used to prove erroneous theological systems (faulty belief systems).
One of the major reasons why so many Christians lack stability in their belief systems (why they are so confused) to the point that they are falling away from biblical Truths, Principles, Faith, God, and Christ is primarily because false teachers have infiltrated the church, bringing with them “another gospel” (teachings that are about a different kind of gospel—teachings that primarily affect/change who Christ is or how people relate to Him, as well as teachings that distort God’s Grace by subtracting or adding work. Thus, this “another gospel” is nothing more than a mixing of Divine Truth with error—an admixture of the Holy Bible AND para-biblical literature. Para-biblical literature is a literary genre that pertains to literature that paraphrases and/or supplements the canonical Scriptures (the Holy Bible), like, the teachings and theological persuasions found in the commentaries, philosophies, or explanatory translations of the Holy Bible that theologians use in Bible Colleges, Theological Seminaries, and Divinity Schools’ classrooms.
A very good question to ask at this point is: How has this admixture happened? It has happened primarily because most of today’s churches will not allow a man or woman of God to become their senior pastor, youth pastor, Christian education director, worship leader, and so on, if that person has not graduated from a Bible College, Theological Seminary, or Divinity School, preferably with degrees such as M.Div., Th.D., Ph.D., or D.Min. Moreover, this aforementioned admixture of the Holy Bible and para-biblical literature is exacerbated when Bible Colleges, Theological Seminaries, and Divinity Schools’ faculty treat Christianity (God’s salvation plan) like “a major religion” that MUST be educational in nature.
Thus, another reason why Christians have come to be so confused today is the fact that many, if not most, of modern-day professors who teach biblical and/or religious studies believe that holyScriptures can be understood best when “religious” leaders take into consideration the truths that the philosophies of men/women impart, which means ministry and Bible students, for example, are expected to go beyond the written Word of God to external or secondary sources for their biblical/historical information and spiritual understandings. For sure, if Bible Colleges, Theological Seminaries, and Divinity Schools did not require their ministry and Bible students to study ancient and/or modern-day para-biblical literature, then maybe today’s pulpit preachers, Sunday School teachers, church youth leaders, church worship leaders, and so on, would not be bewildering their congregations with the information and understandings they (these so-called “spiritual” leaders) have gotten from the external or secondary sources and resources they absolutely have come to rely on and believe in for their ability to not only illuminate but also corroborate what the Holy Bible (the mind of God) teaches as Divine Truth.
The problem with requiring men and women “called” by God to minister to God’s children to first receive one or more of the above-stated degrees from one or more of the above-stated institutions of higher learning is that obtaining knowledge and understanding of the Holy Bible via para-biblical literature does not mean that the persons who have acquired such knowledge and understanding are now spiritually mature. Furthermore, without the aid of the Holy Spirit (spiritual discernment), it is difficult for some clergy and lay members (the church’s hiring committee) to determine if their prospective ministry or Bible graduate is saved, and perhaps some could care less.
Be that as it may, the point here is that it is very possible that another reason why today’s believers are confused about the exact meaning and intent of much of the HolyBible is because, either somewhere between their seminary training and their weekly pulpit sermons, or sometime after they accept a pastorship, many of the trained men and women who become pastors, Bible teachers, Christian Education directors, youth leaders, worship leaders, and so forth, have accepted the false doctrines they were taught (or exposed to), and they in turn slowly but intentionally begin passing off these accepted false doctrines to their congregations as Divine Truths. In other words, they mixed the accepted traditional true Gospel Truths with false doctrines, either because they (the pastors, etc.,) were never saved when they were hired as a church’s pastor, or because they fell away from the faith after they became pulpit pastors. In either case, the sad truth is that many of these individuals do not stop claiming to be teaching the true Gospel!
Read “From Fundamentalist Evangelical to Agnostic Atheist” by Ken Pulliam. Certainly, the writer of this article proves that the 21st century is the “Age of Confusion”—a time of not only apostasy, for he falls away from the faith, but also a time when the Holy Bible is being questioned and abused by pastors and/or theologians who are using so-called “higher criticism” to determine the mind of God, as Mr. Pulliam confesses that he studied “every book and article on PSA” (penal substitutionary atonement) that he could find to determine if the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement was true. The end result of his studies was that none of the para-biblical writings could change his mind about it being evident to him that it is both “unjust to punish an innocent man” and wrong for a “righteous and holy Judge of the Universe [to] accept that punishment as the means by which his wrath against sin is propitiated.” Consequently, he could not preach and teach what he no longer believed was true. Thus, his article also proves what the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy about last days’ individuals who are “…forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth” (2 Timothy 3:7b, AMP). Personally, this blog’s writer believes Apostle Paul’s description is not limited to one gender. Lastly, Mr. Pulliam’s article proves that the “Age of Confusion” is a time when the actual biblical Scriptures are used to prove erroneous theological systems (faulty belief systems).
Now, traditionally speaking, theologians who end up teaching para-biblical literature, as well as those theologians who produced the para-biblical literature that said ministry and Bible students now are studying, had to have experienced a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship. In other words, God must inspire theology. Theology, therefore, cannot be the word of a human being, for theology ALWAYS must be the Word given by the Holy Spirit and pronounced by human lips. However, contemporary Academic Theology is based on philosophy and traditions of men and women, and not on the Holy Bible, which the Holy Spirit teaches. As a result, some studies on today’s theologians who are teaching in Bible Colleges, Theological Seminaries, and/or Divinity Schools have pointed out that too many theologians are NOT born again—they are not saved; they are not Christians—so it is more than likely that the Holy Spirit has not and is not giving unsaved theologians any spiritual wisdom about the Holy Bible’s Divine Truths.
Moreover, it is evident that too many of today’s pastors and other spiritual leaders have received their degrees from institutions where they have been required to study books, articles, etcetera, that have been written not only by saved theologians but also by theologians who were/are atheists, agnostics, or apostates, and these para-biblical works by some misguided saved theologians or by those theologians who were/are atheists, agnostics, or apostates often not only are presented as factual, historical, and scientific, but also as Divine Truths! Read “The Pastor’s Secret: What happens when preachers don’t believe?” Also click on the link with in this article to read the original research done on this subject.
The end result of pastors being exposed to para-biblical literature while they were attending a Bible college, or a Theological Seminary, or a Divinity school is that the visible church of the 21st century has believing and non-believing “spiritual” leaders who have adopted without reservations many false teachings and theological persuasions that are confusing believers, both those standing in the pulpits and also those sitting on the pews. A few of those false teachings and theological persuasions include those that have: either stated that the people who died in the Age of Grace without accepting Christ can get out of Hell, or declared that the spiritual gifts of the first-century apostles have ceased, or claimed that both God and Satan do not exist, or suggested that Christ took on the nature of Satan while He was on the Cross and took on the sins of the world, or alleged that Satan tortured Jesus while He was in Hell, or maintained that divorce is okay as long as it is for reasons of fornication and/or happiness, or asserted that there are many roads/paths to Heaven, and so forth.
However, this confusion about what the exact meaning and intent of much of the Scriptures began in the first-century church. For example, the Apostle Paul had to make the Galatian believers understand that there is no other gospel, only the Gospel he preached to them and they received (cf. Galatians 1:6-7; also see 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; and Colossians 2:8). The apostle makes it clear that he knows that there are professing Christians who are presenting their ideas as gospel to other Christian Galatians; however, the Apostle Paul wants these other Christian Galatians to know that the ideas these so-called professing Christians are promoting are perversions of the true Gospel’s Divine Truths—perversions perpetrated by people who are trying to cause confusion in the Galatian churches that ultimately would lead to believers turning away from God.
For this reason, Apostle Paul advises the believers in the churches of Galatia that they must give rigorous attention to doctrinal clarity, and that they also must remain faithful to the true Gospel the apostle taught, if they are to have any hope of being able to avoid losing their faith, or have any hope of being able to avoid permanently falling away from their faith (apostasy). This advice, thus, is useful for modern-day believers, as well!