“My vine…My fig tree”

Friday, October 19, 2018

The groundwork has been laid for the ushering in of the final seven years of this age, but most people are oblivious to it due to its subtle and normalized approach. The technologies that will bring into existence the mark of the beast through biometrics, artificial intelligence, genetic and DNA manipulation and robotics, are already being used today. But when did all this begin?

The event that began the end-time clock is the rebirth of Israel. Though people who witnessed WWI and WW2 believed those wars were the event, their beliefs were not based in truth. While wars, which have been waged for millennia, are synonymous with the time of the end, they are not the biblical event that began the beginning of the end; rather it was necessarily the rebirth of the nation of Israel. Since that time, the end-time beast-technology has progressed exponentially.

Israel was reborn on May 14, 1948 in fulfillment of the prophet saying, “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?…Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” (Isa. 66:8–9).

Looking to that future day, then, Jesus said, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place” (Matt. 24:32–34).

We know “the fig tree” is Israel. “For a nation has come up against My land, strong and without number; his teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the fangs of a fierce lion. He has laid waste My vine, and ruined My fig tree; he has stripped it bare and thrown it away; it’s branches are made white” (Joel 1:6–7). Also see Hos. 9:10. Rome was that destroyer nation who in AD 70 caused the decimation of Jerusalem, and Israel ceased from being a nation.

In about AD 476, however, Rome itself fell from global domination by marauding Vandals and Visigoths causing Rome to also lay dormant until just after WW2 when the European Union was formed, beginning the revived reign of Rome as spoken by the prophet Daniel. About a year later the United Nations was formed. But Israel being reborn in one day was the single event that led to the revival and start of the second and final rule of Rome, and creation of the United Nations.

Those three entities, reborn Israel, revived Rome, and the United Nations have grown alongside each other and are specific entities on the end-time stage. But by the world’s media, and sadly even much of the Church, life is perceived as normal; and progress beneficial to all, as many false prophets magnify global unity and ever-increasing American greatness. Many are ignorant of the signs of the end-times as technology marches toward the mark of the beast.

End-time events are now occurring swiftly, intentionally, deceptively, and on the guise that all is normal. But life is far from normal for anyone paying attention and exercising discernment. The pre-tribulation rapture promised by the Church is a lie from hell, deceptively designed to deceive people of faith in Jesus Christ. The mark of the beast is now in plain sight and the Church is fast asleep concerning it. But you can remedy that for yourself and those in your sphere of influence.

PLEASE PAY ATTENTION. PLEASE TAKE 27 MINUTES TO WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBDGabKZA6s Rick Wiles, of TRU NEWS, is a trusted Christian brother with relevant headlines from around the world. In this video you will see that India has already implemented their form of the mark of the beast.

The system used by India is obviously not the actual mark of the beast of Rev. 13:16–17, but is a precursor, a forerunner, a beta test of the true mark of the beast to come. And what’s remarkable is that 80% of the population is voluntarily accepting of the cashless system, replaced with a biometric system that enables fiscal accounts for all, whether rich or poor, to buy and sell.

Modern technology is mostly deceptive. It’s ostensibly marketed for our convenience, but is realistically designed to track, listen and record the behaviors, actions, responses, likes and dislikes of people. Governments will ultimately unite under one head, Antichrist, and gathering profiles on people will be vital to that end. We will see biblical prophesies fulfilled that previous generations only thought of as science fiction. And behind it all is Lucifer, the god of this age.

In the tribulation, many who believe and trust in the pre-tribulation rapture will embrace the actual mark of the beast, disbelieving its reality as just another technology enhancing our lives, and pointing to the fact that they haven’t been raptured and are still here on earth. Why? Their teachers, pastors and leaders sold them the pre-trib rapture lie, because they loved not the truth.

Leaders of nations are now in turmoil and perplexity as the spirit of Antichrist is increasingly unrestrained, forcing all nations to unite under a U.N.-mandated globalism. Leaders like U.S. President Donald Trump are opposed to globalism, as national borders are being erased, that all become one under the dictate and rule of the U.N. Nationalism with borders was God’s idea, but globalism without borders is Antichrist’s idea, and these are now in great conflict as we see the liberal Left increasingly inciting violence against the conservative Right.

But we must “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape [not meaning the rapture] all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36). That’s something that only you can do. The Church and its leadership will not lead you in this, because it has a vested interest in protecting its false pre-tribulation rapture narrative. I implore you in the love of Christ: know God’s Word and recognize the signs of the times.

Jesus’ rebuke of the religious leaders of His day are justly applicable today, saying, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (Matt. 16:2–3). Let that not be true of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ, but that we are wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Marlin J. Yoder

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“Examine yourselves…”

Friday, October 12, 2018

Today, I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to issue a loving but sincere warning for those who hold to the theological traditions of John Calvin, otherwise known as Calvinism. Many hold to his theology knowing little to nothing of his life other than the assumption that he was a great theologian. Yet, his persecutions of those he judged heretical agree with the loveless works of Saul of Tarsus before he was born again and converted, and became the Apostle Paul.

Did Saul of Tarsus have great theological and academic credentials? Yes. Did he persecute those he judged heretical? Yes. Did John Calvin have great theological and academic credentials? Yes. And did John Calvin persecute, imprison and cause to be murdered the one he judged a heretic? Yes. But truth says, “though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2). Did Saul of Tarsus or John Calvin demonstrate love for their fellowman whom they judged a heretic? No. But true Christians love their fellowman, friend or foe.

Therefore, why would anyone, knowing these historical truths follow after the theological works of either Saul of Tarsus before his conversion, or John Calvin after his professed conversion? For God said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit…Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7:15–20).

Like Saul of Tarsus before his conversion, and John Calvin after his professed conversion, the popes of Rome also pursued, persecuted and murdered those they judged as heretical. Calvin’s theology, therefore, of no ability and thus no responsibility, suits the natural heart of man. But God said, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18), for we in fact have ability and responsibility. Man’s fall did not render him so depraved as to be without will or choice.

Anyone holding Calvin’s theology has the obligation to declare it openly. But most will not because Calvin’s first theological point of “Total Depravity” is dreadful. It claims that mankind does not have the ability to choose between good and evil, right or wrong, God or the devil; that humanity is so depraved as to have zero ability to choose. That doctrine itself is depraved, for the Holy Bible is rich with many examples that fallen mankind has the ability to choose.

I will not highlight all of Calvin’s falsehoods here, but I encourage you to examine them in light of all biblical truths, not ignoring Scriptures that fully oppose Calvin’s claims of predestination’s total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints, meaning once-saved-always-saved. And beyond that, sincerely “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13:5).

Consider any Protestant evangelist today. How would you view them if they influenced the government to burn alive at the stake or behead those they judged heretical? Would you follow their doctrine? Certainly not. Yet, John Calvin did it unapologetically and his theology attempts to absolve him of his responsibility. Today, if the masses understood and knew the truth, they would run from Calvin’s teachings. Why, because “by their fruits you will know them”.

Radicalized Muslims of Islam behead and burn alive at the stake those they count heretics. During the great tribulation Antichrist will behead millions of Christians because he will judge them to be heretics. That’s also the historical works of both Catholicism and Calvinism. You should see a pattern here, because “he who is spiritual judges all things” (1 Cor. 2:15).

Documented historical truth reveals that for centuries the creators of Roman Catholicism, its papal throne and Jesuit priests, pursued, persecuted and murdered those judged as heretics. With the onset, however, of the “increase of knowledge” (Dan. 12:4) and the information age of the 20th century, Catholicism by necessity changed its image to a kinder and gentler one, otherwise, Catholicism would not have endured to our day, but the same spirit(s) that created her, remained.

Documented historical truth also reveals that the creator of Calvinism, John Calvin, pursued, persecuted, and in at least one instance caused to be murdered those he judged a heretic. During his reign there was a chilling similarity of Calvin’s hatred and persecution of those he judged a heretic to that of Catholicism. But Calvinism, by necessity of survival, also had to change its public image to a gentler and kinder one, but the same spirit(s) that created it, remained.

The foundational works of violence and death by the sword of both Catholicism and Calvinism altogether miss the mark of biblical humility, dying to self, and love for God and neighbor that’s the hallmark of true new-birth conversion faith in Christ. In fact, Jesus said “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:44–45).

Calvinism’s dreadful form of predestination says that fallen mankind has zero ability to hear or respond to God, to choose to believe His Word by faith and so be saved. Calvinist’s believe that God, by His will, saves those He wants, even against their will, but damns others to death, also by His will. Thus, John Calvin having no ability or responsibility for his so-called salvation felt conveniently justified in pursuing, persecuting and even killing whom he judged heretical.

That is not from the God of the Bible. “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all” (Rom. 6:10), with emphasis on “for all” which includes “all” people made in the image of God, “who desires all men to be saved” (2 Tim. 2:4); “who gave Himself a ransom for all” (2 Tim. 2:6). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16–17). That’s the God of the Bible, and in the love of Christ don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Marlin J. Yoder

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“there will be false teachers”

Friday, October 5, 2018

Jesus Christ and His apostles taught the full gospel which includes the end of this age for the two are inseparable. And while many churches claim to be full gospel, they’re not because they don’t include Jesus’ end-time teaching, nor prepare people for it. Consequently, the full gospel is often silenced by traditions of men and what pleases crowds. And that partial or twisted truth is a half-truth and is delivered by those God calls false prophets and false teachers.

The Spirit reminds us that from ancient times “there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1). And because false prophets and teachers will not expose themselves, you and I are tasked with it, which requires that we personally know God and His Word, and that we have and exercise Spirit-led discernment. We cannot join the happy crowds in relying on partial truths.

False prophets and teachers defend traditions of men that tickle the ears. They expertly spin God’s Word to make their teachings sound authentic to the spiritually ill-equipped, to draw them into false theological beliefs regardless of their error. That’s how the popes of Rome lorded their authority over people which led to the 16th century Reformation. But the reformers themselves then created falsehoods and divisions that remain to this day, and we must discern them.

If one desires knowledge and truth of an occupation or business, he will not simply listen to a favorite teacher, but will study proven texts of truth and success that his efforts are not in vain, that failure is not an option, that his work is rewarding and provides for those in his charge, that he is not offended at a false teacher who taught error. He studies long and hard hours, days and years to learn the truth. That’s what intentional people do, those who desire whole truth.

The same is true regarding Scripture. It is foolish to simply listen to one’s favorite preacher or teacher and assume that he speaks the truth. He who truly loves God and His Word, being born again by the Spirit of God, will spend time in personal prayer and long hours of personal study to assure himself that he knows and understands the truth, not deceived by ear-tickling teachers who sound good, and whose false theologies gain followers but oppose biblical truths.

The false teacher doesn’t really care if you endure to the end as Jesus taught. In fact, the false teacher will even tell you that you don’t need to endure to the end; that God will secretly snatch you off the earth before the promised seven-year tribulation. He makes you feel secure in his deception, but unless you know the truth of God’s Word for yourself, you will be deceived.

Christ gathers His elect saints “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), at “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6), “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54), “at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51–52), when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven” (1 Thess. 4:16), when “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15), because “He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets” (Acts 3:21), which cannot and will not occur until immediately after the last day of this present age.

If you are part of the elect, that promise includes you. But if you are not part of the elect because you didn’t repent of your sins and unbelief, then you will be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth; which is also God’s promise. The choice is yours. He will not force Himself on anyone, because a true relationship with Him is not will-less, choice-less or robotic but truly genuine, yielding one’s will to Christ and in repentant confession receive His redemptive sacrificial work at the cross of Calvary by true faith. The choice is yours.

Salvation is a choice of one’s will: “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9–10). Beyond that, it’s incumbent on each one to remain in the faith and not be deceived by false teachers, because, “consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Rom. 11:22). And again, we are secure in the faith “if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Col. 1:23).

If you’ve been deceived by Calvin’s false teaching that it’s impossible for one to lose their salvation, please know that that’s deadly unbelief, because eternal security is conditioned on faithful continuance in the faith as revealed by Rom. 11:22 and Col. 1:23, together with many other Scriptures. And if you’ve been deceived by Darby’s false pre-tribulation rapture promise, please know that Jesus said that He gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” and that “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:29–31 and Matt. 24:13 respectively).

Note how Jesus details the problem: “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you” (John 5:39–42), with special emphasis on “But you are not willing…”

May we be so mindful “for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9) as was John the revelator, that we would endure persecution for the truths of Jesus. God promised those who hold to His truths will suffer persecution. And it will come from both the unbelieving world and from the organized denominational churches. The tribulation will prove it. Are you ready?

Marlin J. Yoder

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“it will come as a snare”

Friday, September 28, 2018

The New Testament is replete with the warnings, “do not be deceived”, and “let no one deceive you”, and “let no one deceive himself”. Some deceive by denying the physical Christ; others His divinity; others His miracles; yet others that His end-time teachings were dispensational and not intended for the Church but only for the Jews of Israel; and yet others, that one cannot choose to accept Christ by faith and so be saved, that if God wants you saved He will do it without your intellect, your will, your choice or your decision being involved, but don’t you believe it!

Each of the above deceptions, together with others not mentioned here, are snares designed by Satan, the enemy of God and man, to disrupt, distort, disqualify and nullify God’s truth in such a manner as to ensnare anyone by his own free will from actually believing the Word of Truth. That’s how false doctrines and traditions of men like the T.U.L.I.P. of Calvinism and the dispensational pre-tribulation rapture have taken root and ensnared people in the Church.

No one, free of the influence of traditions and doctrines of men, doing their own Spirit-led study of the Word, would believe the pre-trib rapture nonsense or the T.U.L.I.P. claims of John Calvin. Yet, by man’s pride, deceptive snares of an easy pre-tribulation rapture road to heaven, and easy way of a choice-less salvation with the false promise of once-saved-always-saved, attracts and ensnares multitudes from the burden of independently studying the Word for themselves.

John Calvin (1509–1564), not as an unbeliever, but as a so-called Christian theologian, influenced the Geneva government to murder by burning alive Michael Servetus simply because Calvin judged Servetus a heretic. Calvin’s theology, then, attempts to absolve him of hatred and murder while providing for his own eternal security. And today millions follow Calvin’s false theology. They believe salvation is not their choice; and that God saves or damns whomever He wills, and that mankind is altogether choice-less in that process, but don’t you believe it!

Godly love for all is the biblical hallmark of a Christian. “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20). And “Love does no harm to a neighbor” (Rom. 13:10). “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2). And Jesus said, “I say to you, love our enemies…that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:44–45). In the face of these truths, Calvin premeditatedly murdered Servetus.

One of Merriam Webster’s definitions of the word snare is: “something deceptively attractive”. And the truth is that both Calvinism and the dispensational pre-tribulation rapture teachings are deceptively attractive to the flesh. Both have ensnared many by the promise of an easier way of gaining eternal life through a will-less and tribulation-less road not found in God’s Word.

Yet, from Genesis to Revelation it’s clear that humanity has a choice to believe and obey God and His truth, or not. Man’s fall did not render him intellectually unable to obey God who said, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen. 4:7). Nor is humanity unable to “choose life” (Deut. 30:19), or “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Jos. 24:15), or as Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20). One’s will is absolutely clear.

For many, the testimony of Jesus Christ and His apostolic God-breathed Words, are insufficient. Church leaders and pastors trained in the tradition of their personal choice teach their subjects to approach the Scriptures from their prerequisite theological slant of this or that theologian from whom they received their theological pleasure. This should not be! And the refusal of many to protect God’s Word absent assumptions, conjecture and traditions, gives many the approval to believe according to their own pleasure, and not according to what God so clearly said.

Here’s a 03/04/2015 recommended link: https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-warfare/22701-5-marks-of-the-false-grace-message. Warning! This good article states in part: “The number of people who subconsciously or unwittingly embrace a theology of exemption [Calvinism] is far greater than those who explicitly pronounce their agreement with this doctrine. Many subscribe to false-grace doctrines without realizing their deception.”

Equally deceptive, we live in an increasingly tech-savvy world that’s hostile to God, and seducing spirits deceive many by distraction and the cares of this life, exactly what Jesus warned saying, “take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly” (Luke 21:34).

“But know this, that in the last days…men will be lovers of themselves” (2 Tim. 2:1–2). Ours is the selfie generation, where it’s culturally imperative to be liked on social media, to do or say anything to gain “Likes”. And that imperative has infiltrated the Church and its leadership with negative results as much truth is exchanged for traditional opinion and what’s pleasing to the flesh, rather than defending the testimony of Jesus, dying to self and submitting to Christ.

The end is indeed coming as a snare, just as it was in Noah’s day, but not many are aware of it. John Calvin’s theology of a choice-less and will-less salvation, and John Darby’s dispensational pre-tribulation rapture theology, are both pleasing to the flesh, but depart from the clear teaching of God’s Word. One must deliberately twist the Scriptures to accommodate Calvin’s and Darby’s theological pleasures.

Man’s choice was abundantly on display in Noah’s day as he preached righteousness and the coming judgment for 120 years as the Ark was built. Did the people listen? No, for “there were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God [fallen angels] came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. [the Nephilim] Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown” (Gen. 6:4). And these demonic beings are returning, albeit, not necessarily in the physical form of giants, but quite possibly in alien form.

Judgment floods from heaven above and the earth beneath was unheard of. But all that changed in the space of one day, for, “on that day all the fountains of the deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Gen. 7:11–12). Judgment came with sudden shock and awe! By God’s promise, a flood will never cover the earth again, but this time the end will come with much blood, fire and hail.

And Jesus clearly warned, that, “as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37). Noah’s flood came as a snare – an unheard of, unimaginable snare, and none were prepared except those who had believed God and prepared accordingly. And so it shall be again at the end of this present age. It’s the promise of God and I pray you believe Him.

Marlin J. Yoder

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“Your gold and silver are corroded”

Friday, September 21, 2018

God gave ancient Israel the law of the Year of Jubilee…and for good reason. Every fifty years all fiscal debts were cancelled and Jews got a fresh start. But that system could only work controlled by God’s theocratic rule, because in the realm of fallen mankind, everything, especially finance, tends toward entropy. Man’s creation, exchange and use of money is destined for chaos, love of money, greed, and corruption. And in the last 42 months of this age money will be exchanged for the mark of the beast under authority of “the son of perdition”. Are you prepared for that?

The current fiscal collapse of Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain are examples of the failure coming to all nations as their debt levels are unsustainable. Now the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires the eradication of world hunger and poverty by the redistribution of wealth from industrialized wealthy nations to underdeveloped third world nations, making all nations and their citizens economically equal. To accomplish this the fiscal reset of every fiat currency must and will occur. It’s not a matter of if but when, and it’s near. It’s also part of the end-time gospel message and we are wise to prepare for it.

Global fiat currencies are an imaginary, worthless band-aid for unsustainable debt – more is being printed, but not based on the value of physical gold and silver. And in my opinion it’s wise and prudent for every Christian to hedge his coming losses to the fiscal reset with a reasonable amount of physical gold and silver, because in the first 42 months of the tribulation it will be those with gold and silver who will have purchasing ability to sustain their families.

From RT International, 09/15/2018: “No lessons learned: Next financial crisis to be much worse with US dollar collapse – Peter Schiff – According to the investor, all the problems that caused the 2008 financial crisis loom even larger now. The even worse monetary and fiscal policy since the last crisis guarantees the next one will be much worse. The crisis will be similar in that government will be the cause, everyone will be caught by surprise, and capitalism will be the scapegoat, but it will be much different in that it will be much worse, Schiff said….Treasury debt will be the focal point of the next crisis, and the dollar will collapse and gold prices will soar. The ensuing recession will be much worse as consumer prices will also rise sharply.”

Do not be deceived, you will not be raptured before these events occur! Preparation by wisdom requires you to believe the testimony of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures speak wisely to these truths and Christians who believe God and prepare will be able to provide for their families, for the day is now near when paper money will have little purchasing power. But ignoring God’s truths is not good. And in the days ahead, gold and silver will have purchasing power because it retains usable value for sustainable trade, but even they, are both limited.

BECAUSE, the time is coming when even gold and silver will be utterly worthless and have no purchasing power. That begins when Antichrist breaks his covenant, when, “in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering” (Dan. 9:27) which is the beginning of great tribulation when “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:16–17).

The middle of the tribulation is the time of which the Holy Spirit spoke through the apostle, saying, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days” (James 5:1–3). In the day of the mark of the beast when even gold and silver fails, then those who believed and prepared in the Word of the Lord will flee to God’s provision and safety for the last 42 months of great tribulation. Are you prepared for that?

Great tribulation and trouble are coming to the believer and unbeliever alike. And Jesus, in His parable of the unjust steward, commending him, said, “the sons of this world [the unbelievers] are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light [believers]” (Luke 16:8). Then Jesus said, “And I say to you, [to you and me] make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, [by money] that when you fail, [and we will fail when we can no longer buy and sell] they may receive you into an everlasting home” (Luke 16:9).

Note the phrase “they may receive you”, with emphasis on who “they” are? It’s certainly not the unbelievers, for they have no everlasting home to offer. The word “they”, here, corresponds to the word “they” in The Revelation concerning the time of great tribulation when the Spirit said “Then the woman [the prepared believer, the true Church] fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that ‘they’ should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Rev. 12:6). Clearly, the “they” in both passages are agents of God, namely angels, of whom the Spirit said, “Are ‘they’ not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14). [My ‘’ emphasis added]

Therefore, believers are to wisely use unrighteous mammon of this world to their benefit as long as possible. But the time will come when even gold and silver will fail the believer because we will not accept Antichrist’s mark of the beast. And the Spirit says again, “But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent” (Rev. 12:14).

That takes preparation! Who do you believe, Christ, or the false pre-tribulation rapture doctrines and traditions of men? As for me and my house we have chosen to believe the Word of the Lord, and prepare accordingly. In this context Christ reminds us of those dreadful coming days, “For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:35–36). Are you prepared for that?

Marlin J. Yoder

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“A prudent man foresees evil”

Friday, September 14, 2018

Earlier this week a Fox News headline stated: “MILLIONS AT RISK – Track the path of Hurricane Florence as storm roars toward US – Intensifies to Category 4. The storm, which is poised to affect millions this week in the southeastern U.S., is “expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall” to North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, and parts of the Mid-Atlantic states, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said”.

To ignore authoritative warnings of impending disaster is foolish. But to ignore the warnings of God for the coming apocalypse is immeasurably far more foolish. Yet, in this regard many in the Church believe the ear-tickling dispensational pre-tribulation rapture rather than Christ who gave us many details of the end-time apocalypse. As a result multiplied millions are at risk!

It’s the fall harvest season, and given the rebirth of the nation of Israel in May 1948, and many more signs of the end being revealed, the logical question is, will the harvest season of 2018 be the year “a covenant with many” (Dan. 9:27) is confirmed? It will consist of a temporal Middle East peace at which the world rejoices, but is drafted by “the man of sin…the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3), biblically called the Antichrist. The world eagerly awaits this prophetic event.

This will occur in the fall season, for Christ returns to “gather together His elect” (Matt. 24:31) seven years later “at the time of harvest” (Matt. 13:30), “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), at “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6), “at the last day” (John 6:40), when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven” (1 Thess. 4:16), because Christ “must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21 NIV). But many disbelieve the truth.

When believers and unbelievers, alike, hear warnings of an approaching disaster, they prepare for the disaster in order to save themselves and their families. When authorities warn people to make special preparations, most do not ignore those warnings. Hurricane Florence now lashes the east coast and many have wisely made preparations accordingly.

So, why is it that when Christ, the highest Authority of the universe, warns the believer of the coming apocalypse, that most people in the Church turn a deaf ear and blind eye? It’s because they’ve been led to believe the lies of dispensationalism. But God said “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished” (Prov. 22:3). And so it shall be.

In the love of Christ, I ask: are you prepared for the seven years of tribulation for which Christ lovingly gave us much warning and detail? If Jesus is the God of your salvation, then I pray for you to believe Him and prepare before the tribulation disasters and offenses fall upon this final generation, giving way to the great and sudden falling away of 2 Thess. 2:3.

Are you prepared for the fiscal calamity to soon envelop the world when all fiat currencies suffer a dramatic reset – a reset projected to be seventy percent? The dollar would lose seventy cents in value. Trillions of dollars would immediately vanish. Bank and savings accounts and 401K Plans and investment accounts would lose seventy percent of their value overnight. This will occur as a preparatory step to Antichrist seizing control of global finances, also the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda.

Are you prepared for martial law as the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is enforced, first with voluntary then mandatory confiscation of firearms at the hands of foreign agents? In the midst of calamity, are you prepared to make known faith in Christ, and be His ambassador in those first forty-two months of tribulation? Do you know of God’s safety and provision at the middle of the tribulation for those prepared?

Are you prepared for the seven-year rule of Antichrist who has already, through deceit, united religions of the world to himself? Have you identified the beast system of Revelation 13 as the Vatican, the false Church “arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls” (Rev. 17:4)? Here’s a link to a one hour video that I encourage you to watch, it’s worth your time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EclnR63AeRY&feature=youtu.be

Since early 2007 I’ve taught that the Vatican’s papal throne is the seat of Antichrist. And more recently, with the March 13, 2013 conclave election of Pope Francis, I’ve taught that he fulfills the role and biblical description of Antichrist – he’s uniting the world.

Have you believed the truth that the Church is “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:14–16), and are you prepared to hide yourself and loved ones to find the safety and provision of God in the last 42 months of great tribulation according to Isa. 26:20–21; 27:1 and Rev. 12:6, 14? Are you prepared to endure to the last day as Jesus taught at Matt. 24:13? Increasingly, there will be earthquakes, wild weather, raging seas, and famines that engulf the world.

“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household” (Heb. 11:7). Does that describe your faith? Had Noah not by faith built the ark in preparation for the coming deluge, he and his family would have perished with the unbelievers. Had Joseph in ancient Egypt not by faith prepared for the foretold seven-year famine, Egypt, Israel and other nations would have perished in that famine. The same principles of working faith apply to Christ’s prophesied end-times apocalypse.

“But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?…You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only…For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:20–26).

Yet, many pastors and Bible teachers, because of their faith in the dispensational pre-tribulation rapture, rebuke as faithless the idea of prepping for the coming apocalypse. Consequently, many will not have prepared for the saving of their household as did Noah, Joseph and so many other biblical figures who demonstrated true faith by their works of preparation. The choice is yours. Allow Hebrews 11 to minister to you in this regard and prepare to endure to the end.

Marlin J. Yoder

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Suicide Is Never An Option

Friday, September 7, 2018

A character trait of the end-times is that Christians are being shamed into silence about truths that should be boldly proclaimed. And too often that silence is caused by the misuse of Jesus’ command “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt. 7:1), which contextually is hypocrisy. In other words, we have no business judging another if we ourselves are guilty of the same sin. In that context Jesus concludes with “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:5).

Being born again and made alive in Christ, God commands Christians to judge “all things”. Many would say that’s not Christian, but that’s because men have spun God’s Word in a way they ought not, because God said “he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one” (1 Cor. 2:15). In this context today’s Letter addresses the issue of suicide.

Suicide is the cause of death being reported with alarming frequency…especially in the Church. It’s increasingly the cause of death among pastors and those in ministry. Why? There should be a great outcry against this work of Satan, but the Church is largely silent. And why is suicide cast by many as a sickness absent of responsibility and even made to appear as a viable way to God as if its results were eternal life? As with every matter of life, the Bible is not silent on suicide.

While many proverbially sweep this under the carpet, we must not be silent, but speak God’s truth. Love for Christ and fellowman cannot be silent about the reality of suicide. Again, God is not silent on this and neither should any Christian, pastor, teacher or layperson, but boldly speak the truth that lovingly, warns, instructs and leads people from erroneously thinking that suicide is an option that leads to God and eternal life, because suicide is never an option.

Now, to be clear, I am not teaching here that suicide by the mentally retarded or those in mental institutions having a documented history of psychiatric mental illness are spiritually responsible for their actions. Rather, I refer to those in the Church professing faith in Christ, which creates a renewed mind of hope, peace, and love for God, family and fellowman, who yet commit suicide.

What brings this to the forefront, again, is a 08/27/2018 article by CBN News headline saying: “California Church Shocked After Pastor Commits Suicide” – “Lead Pastor Andrew Stoecklein died Saturday after taking his own life. The pastor left behind three young children and his wife.” Now, while we grieve and pray for the living in this tragedy, we must allow God’s Word to have the supremacy lest anyone be deceived by evil spirits of depression, anxiety and hopelessness.

God says to His saints, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, [evil spirits] because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Therefore, “your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…and you are not your own” (1 Cor. 6:19).

First, suicide is self-murder. And God said that “no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). Now, we must “let God be true but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). God is the Author and Finisher of our lives, not we of ourselves. Our breath is borrowed from God, and we do not have authority to decide when our last breath is drawn. But some, over time, by deceiving spirits have become their own god, not content with faithfully seeking the Creator’s will, purpose and plan for their life in the midst of particularly painful struggles of life.

Secondly, suicide is selfish, not considerate of the lack of love, teaching, instruction, provision and caring for the family left behind. Yet, Pastor Andrew’s wife, Kayla, wrote on her Instagram, “Last night, the love of my life, the father of our children and the pastor of our incredible church took his last breath and went to be with Jesus”. Really? What does God say? “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8). Suicide selfishly rejects all familial relationships.

Third, suicide serves the purposes of Satan who, “does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). Whether it’s the killing of our fellowman made in the image of God, or one’s own self, be it by war, murder or suicide, these all serve Satan, the god of this present age.

Fourth, suicide disregards and rejects the vital truth that our bodies are the dwelling place, the habitation of, and temple of the Holy Spirit. This is very important, for God said, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles [meaning, “destroys”] the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Cor. 3:16–17). While many reject this truth, it’s God’s promise.

Neither depression, anxiety nor fear are of God. Salvation faith is a matter of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). Christians are people with salvation faith in the Lord Jesus, the God of all peace, hope and confidence. From ancient times the Holy Spirit said, “You [God] will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength” (Isa. 26:3–4). Our mind being “stayed” on the Lord is entirely our choice. And our choices have consequences.

Kayla Stoecklein said, “Please pray for me and the boys. I don’t know how I am going to face this, I am completely broken, lost, and empty. Never in a million years would I have imagined this would be the end of his story.” Please join me in praying for the living Stoecklein family.

Here’s an article referencing suicides by many pastors, as the Church remains largely silent: https://www.christianpost.com/news/isolated-world-pastors-churches-mum-clergy-suicides-220763/. Suicide is no stranger to the unbelieving, unsaved, hopeless world. But a pastor and/or professing Christian? Really? What message does pastoral suicide send the lost world except to say that Christians really have no more hope and reason to live than the unbeliever? But we do! We have hope in Christ and rejoice in the victory of the cross! We celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, for if we remain faithful, “at the last day” (John 6:40) we too shall be raised to eternal life!

Silencing the truth of suicide, and Jesus’ testimony for the now-present end-times before us will only exacerbate and further weaken the witness of the organized Church. Now is not the time for silence, but time to boldly love, warn, instruct, defend and teach the Word on everything facing the end-time Church, otherwise its great commission also falls silent.

Marlin J. Yoder

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The “wise” vs the “foolish”

Friday, August 31, 2018

The spiritual and physical tribulation perils that lie directly ahead of us are well-detailed in God’s Word. And the victories, safety and provision available to the saints are equally well defined. The question is, however, is God’s knowledge of those end-time perils and victories within us by faith in such capacity as to both discern and prepare for them?

Jesus taught a parable of the generation that sees His return: “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’” (Matt. 25:1–6), contrasting the pre vs. post-trib return of Jesus.

This parable reveals the right and wrong spiritual condition of believers. First, it must be noted that all ten virgins were believers. They all knew the Bridegroom was returning. While the wise knew Christ would be “delayed” because they believed His testimony and prepared to endure to the difficult end, the inference is very clear that the foolish believed an imminent pre-tribulation return and were thus unprepared to endure to the end, and were rejected at the wedding banquet. How terribly sad for those five believing, yet foolish, virgins. Their unbelief and unprepared state of being cost them their entry into the glory of the Bridegroom’s Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

This parable demonstrates that while there are many believers, not all actually believe Christ for His return. The inference clearly contrasts the unprepared, foolish, and imminent pre-trib rapture believers from the prepared, wise, post-trib rapture believers who actually believe and prepare in the testimony of Jesus to be equipped to endure the long dark night of tribulation to the end.

The question must be asked: “At what, would believers in the Church be offended as Christ promised?” Answer: the false teachers who promised them an imminent pre-tribulation rapture whereby they would avoid the promised seven-year tribulation. It’s not difficult to understand that when that false teaching proves false (and it certainly will) and people are confronted with the biblical apocalypse, and must endure what they were promised would never happen to them, then understandably, many will indeed be highly offended, hate and betray one another.

Many pre-tribulation rapture believers will be unprepared in heart, mind, spirit and soul to not only see, but deal with the apocalyptic catastrophes that engulf the world. The now present New World Order, the Prophet Daniel’s revived and final fourth beast kingdom of Rome, see Dan. 2:40–45, in union with the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will create wars that will kill and depopulate humanity by fifty percent! See Rev. 6:7–8 and Rev. 9:13–15.

Great famines will come as Jesus said, diseases and pestilences will destroy crops. Earthquakes will increase, kill and destroy. The seas will roar and men’s hearts will fail them for fear of those things coming upon the earth, see Luke 21:25–26. In the great tribulation when transgression and iniquity are heavy upon the earth, it will reel to and fro like a drunkard, see Isa. 24:19–20. Fiscal calamity will ravage when Antichrist issues his mark of the beast, see Rev. 13:16–18. And most pre-trib rapture believers will not have prepared for these things.

Fire and hail mingled with blood thrown from the heavens will burn up a third of the trees and all green grass, see Rev. 8:7. A third of the sea will become poisoned and a third of the sea creatures will die, see Rev. 8:8–9. A third of the rivers will be poisoned and many men will die as a result, see Rev. 8:10–11. A third of the sun, moon and stars will no longer give light, see Rev. 8:12.

There will be innumerable demonic creatures that come upon the earth in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that “as the days of Noah were” (Matt. 24:37). They will be hybrid beings, powerful in strength and intelligence, the result of Satan’s ancient work, see Gen. 6:1–4. These beings will be Satan’s revived ancient seed of “as the days of Noah were”. Ancient false gods, demonic spirits and creatures from the pit will spread across the earth. These will work in unity with the beast of Rev. 13:1 to create the persuasive “image of the beast”, see Rev. 13:11–18.

And in the midst of it all, murders, suicides, lying, thefts, sexual immorality, wickedness and evil will escalate at unprecedented levels as Satan makes his final effort to destroy mankind made in the image of God. That was his intent from the day of his fall, and it will remain so till the day he and his demonic hoards are thrown into the lake of fire.

The world is rapidly and eagerly advancing end-time technologies that fulfill God’s end-time promises while the Church largely sleeps like the virgins in Jesus’ parable. The old adage that “Ignorance is bliss” is true. But this isn’t about ignorance, it’s about willful unbelief which will war against Christians in unprecedented trials by fire and testings in the furnace of affliction.

Who do you believe? – Jesus, or the doctrines and traditions of men? Who do you say Jesus is? Is He the God who came to conform you and me to Himself, or did He come to give us what we desire? We must believe the God of the Bible who promised us tribulation, and that “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13). It’s truly a matter of being wise or foolish.

Do you believe “concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him [to]…Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:1–4)? It’s a matter of being wise or foolish.

Marlin J. Yoder

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Love “rejoices in the truth”

Friday, August 24, 2018

God said that love “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6), which is necessarily true because Jesus said He is “the truth” (John 14:6). Therefore we who know Christ by faith rejoice in His truths. But if our rejoicing is based in traditions of men and not Christ’s truths, we’re deceived and rejoicing is futile, laying the seedbed of offense and “the falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3).

We hear a lot about love and unity these days, but our culture has redefined those by allowing whatever pleases. But true love teaches, chastens, reproves and corrects in the righteousness of Christ because He is “the truth”. For example, true love trains up a child in the way he should go, so that, “when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). But in these evil days the world scourges Christians for disciplining children according to God’s command that “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Prov. 13:24).

Likewise, true love teaches Christ’s end-time truths so that when the tribulation is revealed one will not be “offended” or “betray” and “hate one another” (Matt. 24:10). Love does not hide the testimony of Jesus for the end-times but boldly declares all end-time truths taught by Him, that His followers not be caught unaware in the snare of offense. Similar, then, to Prov. 13:24, it is hate and not love for mankind that silences Christ’s post-tribulation rapture of Matt. 24:29–31.

Yet, due to the traditions of men, the Church largely silences the testimony of Christ for the times of the end which will cause many to fall away from the faith. So, consider: “Who is he who truly loves his fellowman – he who defends the false pre-trib rapture tradition of men for which not a single verse of Scripture can be found, or he who teaches, instructs and warns his fellowman according to the testimony of Jesus Christ? Surely, it is the latter who truly loves!

What one believes matters greatly, as one’s faith, hope, love and expectation is based on what he believes. If we rejoice in the truths of Christ we are overcomers and prepared to stand firm in the coming seven-year tribulation, and to find His promised safety and provision for the final 1,260 days of great tribulation, because the true Church is “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16). However, if our rejoicing is based in the false pre-tribulation rapture, we are deceived, believing a tradition of men based wholly in assumption and conjecture, which does not abide in the love of Christ.

Satan, our enemy, is overtly and covertly arrayed against humanity and especially against the saints. And the ever-popular pre-tribulation rapture narrative is also covertly arrayed against the saints, but few are wise to it, preferring their own desires in fulfillment that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3–4).

What causes your rejoicing – the truth and testimony of Christ, or the traditions of men? The former, in truth, leads to eternal life, but the latter leads to offense, betrayal and hatred. At the first sermon of the New Covenant God said “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send Jesus…whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19–21).

The Scriptures plainly reveal that God does not restore everything until immediately after the seven-year tribulation, else there would be no tribulation. God also plainly reveals that Christ must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, at which time “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess. 4:16). Yet, false teachers, loving the praise of man, draw many away from the truth into their false teachings.

There are numerous false teachings and doctrines of men in the Church, and the saints are tasked with having holy spiritual discernment to identify and expose them, and to more importantly flee from those who promote falsehoods and their enticing influence. In the judgment one’s rejoicing and love will either be proven to be for Christ and His testimony, or for the traditions of men. In the meantime, God is giving people time and space to repent of unbelief and hardness of heart.

The Holy Spirit warned that “he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). Yet, in the face of this truth, thousands of pastors and teachers in the evangelical Church, continue, undaunted, to preach and teach the utterly false hope of the pre-tribulation rapture, and it will sweep many to a departure from the faith when they realize they have been led to believe a lie. And their reasoning will be justified: “If you lied about the tribulation, the first resurrection, and the return of Christ, in what else have you also lied!”

Truly, love “rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6), and Jesus Christ is “the truth” (John 14:6). But if rejoicing is based in the traditions of men that neither Christ nor His Spirit taught, then rejoicing will turn to anger, weeping and mourning. In the tribulation the pre-tribulation rapture hope will become hopeless as what tens of millions of Christians had been promised by false teachers falls fruitlessly to the ground. You can change that by removing yourself from false teachers and turn to faith in the testimony of Jesus, putting to flight deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.

While many will fall away from the faith because false teachers led them to hopelessly believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, that fact will not excuse any for their personal responsibility to Christ for having disbelieved Him. Jesus promised that “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt. 7:22–23).

Matthew 7:22–23 is one of God’s extremely sobering promises, for it refers to workers in the Church, but who work errantly, not actually believing Christ, yet using His name, and teach in His name, not to exalt Christ, but to gain the favor and approval of man and to gain a following for themselves. But God commands to, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:17–18).

Marlin J. Yoder

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“Is Christ divided?”

Friday, August 17, 2018

Had Facebook existed 2,000 years ago, Jesus and His apostle’s would have received very few “Likes”, as Jesus and nearly all His apostles were murdered for their preaching. Yet, many of today’s culture-pleasing churches are in worldliness governed by “Likes”, avoiding at all costs, “Unlikes”. In that process, however, many are falsely led to believe they are the body of Christ.

God’s Spirit warned the first century Church saying, “Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul’, or ‘I am of Apollos’, or ‘I am of Cephas’, or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:12–13).

Many years ago God opened my eyes to the grave divisions in the Church. I discovered that what the Spirit warned of in the above passage, was again true today. It was a bittersweet moment that resulted from a painful and difficult trial in my life. But praise God, in His faithfulness, He used this difficult but enlightening time for my good as whole truth prevailed!

Unfortunately, affliction is often required to shake one free of the mediocrity and conformity of false doctrines and traditions; things we were told to believe without question. Exhibit A is when bold Christian men said to Roman Catholicism’s evil traditions, “Enough!”, and the 16th century Reformation was born. And there resulted a much-needed revolt against, and mass exodus from “the great harlot who sits on many waters…The woman [who] was arrayed in purple and scarlet” (Rev. 17:1, 4). But a return to her wicked idolatries now threatens the evangelical Church.

When the Reformation occurred, those who led it were not prepared for the devil’s onslaught of division. Pride in the reformers led to great divisions. Ultimately, that division “According to the Dictionary of Christianity in America [Protestant] (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1990): “As of 1980 David B. Barrett identified 20,800 Christian denominations worldwide . . .” (“Denominationalism,” page 351).”

That was 38 years ago! Today with the increasingly popular non-denominational churches that break from their denominational roots, that number is far beyond the 20,800. These truths should motivate every Bible believing Christian to examine why he or she attends/believes an organized church that’s so divided against another while claiming to follow the same Bible and its Christ.

The Church is largely without unity today because men (and women) desiring power and control want to build their empires. This leads to the watering-down of the gospel and a smorgasbord of beliefs according to human desires. It creates mega-churches. But the true Christian who desires to follow Christ and His unchanging truth, who desires to see Christ exalted rather than man, must swim upstream against the flow of division to make some difficult decisions.

Divisions in the church today speak loudly, that, “This or that church is of Luther, Arminius, Calvin, Farel, Knox, Tyndale, Simons”, while more modern names include “Darby, Scofield, Kenyon and Hagen” just to mention a few. Here, we must ask ourselves, “Why and how have we, the body of Christ, been so duped as to participate in such division? In the Words of the Holy Spirit, “Is Christ divided?” Certainly not! There is no division in Christ.

Yet, while many church leaders and pastors speak of unity and their tolerance for nothing less, their own denominational doctrines and traditions create divisions that divide people! And were one to cite the testimony of Jesus and His Spirit that exposes false traditions in the Church, he is labeled as “divisive” or a “troublemaker” by leadership. But the Scribes and Pharisee’s labeled Christ the same way. Therefore, exposing false traditions puts one in very good Company.

These are serious spiritual issues that you and I as Christians must discern by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. If one’s tradition does not accord to the contextual testimony of Jesus Christ, reject it! Eternal life depends on making right decisions, bringing one’s will subject to the Words and teachings of Christ and His Spirit. And you have free will, so exercise it in Christ!

With the end of this age in sight aren’t you tired of men (and women) telling you what to believe according to their doctrines and traditions? You should be. One should not be content to be told what to believe. Otherwise one has a serious problem with authority because the Holy Spirit said “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29 NIV). What part of that command do so many Christians not understand? Again, ask yourself, “Is Christ divided?” Certainly not!

Paul said by the Holy Spirit, “But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us – by me…was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:18–20). In the gospel there is no room for the glory of man!

In fact, God said, “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. [The affliction or tribulation that’s so often required for us humans to see the truth] For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another” (Isa. 48:11); including all who seek social media “Likes”.

Consider, of whom are you: “Luther, Arminius, Calvin, Farel, Knox, Tyndale, Simons, Darby, Scofield, Kenyon and Hagen”, or any of the other 20,800+ denominations, or are you of Christ, and Christ alone? The true Church is not Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, Quaker, Mennonite, Assemblies of God, Puritan, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Reformed, Holiness, or any of thousands of names. The true Church is “the remnant” (Rev. 12:17 KJV), the believing, the faithful, the set apart, the uncompromised, who take God at His Word.

Webster’s Dictionary says a “remnant” is “1, a; a small part, member, or trace remaining; b; a small surviving group”. Applying this to the redeemed of the Lord, it fully accords with Jesus’ teaching, that, “narrow is the gate and difficult is the path which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:14); and that, “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14).

As end-time events escalate, it is vital that each Christian closely examine his or her doctrine and traditions of belief outside the influence of organized churches, and allow the testimony of Jesus and His Spirit to dictate what one believes. Otherwise it will be easy to be like one of the five foolish virgins of Matt. 25:1–13. But God wants us to be like the five wise virgins, prepared to endure the long, difficult night of tribulation, to greet the Bridegroom when He finally arrives.

Marlin J. Yoder

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