Friday, November 4, 2016
Today in Western Christianity many pastors don’t even preach the elementary things of Christ, not to mention that the more difficult meat of the Word is largely avoided like the plague. But Christians must move beyond elementary truths to discover what produces overcoming power, discernment, wisdom and endurance. And that’s the job of a true pastor and teacher.
After salvation if the meat of the Word is not brought to bear upon the heart, it will lean to its own understanding, and in time disregard even the elementary things. The absence of spiritual meat produces an over-simplified and under-preached gospel, approving spiritual immaturity that’s unequipped to recognize and deal with the deceptions and arrows of Satan, our enemy.
There’s danger in not maturing in Christ. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness” (Heb. 5:12–13). Unbelief of mature truths is the result of spiritual malnutrition.
Regarding unbelief, Steven Kozar writes, “Confirmation Bias: Why You Are Protecting Your False Beliefs – Confirmation bias is the name for a very common trait that all human beings share. When we favor information that validates our pre-existing beliefs but refuse to consider information that threatens our pre-existing beliefs, we are demonstrating confirmation bias”.
Kozar continues, “When you are confronted with undeniable proof that your favorite pastor/teacher is actually saying stuff that isn’t in the Bible at all, and when you discover that they’re actually contradicting the Bible, you will say something like, “Well… I know pastor so-and-so, and he knows what he’s doing; he’s a good man and I trust him!” When you are doing this, you are putting the teachings of a man above the Word of God.”
The Holy Spirit spoke clearly regarding the six elementary truths of Christ with the command to move beyond them. These foundational but vital truths are: 1) “repentance from dead works”, 2) “faith toward God”, 3) “the doctrine of baptisms”, 4) “laying on of hands”, 5) “the resurrection of the dead”, and 6) “of eternal judgment” (Heb. 6:1–2).
Because God has called me to teach the end-times, coupled with the urgency that ours is the final generation of this present age based upon Jesus’ parable of the fig tree at (Matt. 24:32–35), I will focus my attention on the “resurrection of the dead” because most Western Christians disbelieve a critical aspect of this elementary truth vital to one’s maturity and endurance to the end.
I’ve learned through much study and teaching that many saints are armed with mere assumption regarding the number of resurrections Christ taught and, importantly, when they occur. And the reason for that ignorance is, again, most pastors and teachers refuse to teach whole truth because it destroys the cozy lie of the pre-trib rapture tradition. Therein tradition trumps God’s Word.
From WND, “The number of professing Christians is declining in America. And it’s not just because of the media, the public schools or even activism by atheists. It’s because Christians themselves are genuinely ignorant about the tenets of their faith, according to a new study. Americans, who still overwhelmingly identify as Christian, hold contradictory, confused and even heretical beliefs when it comes to God, according to the “State of American Theology Study 2016.” This spiritual chaos is the result of an over-simplified and under-preached gospel.
Regarding the, “resurrection of the dead”, we begin with the teachings of Christ who said, “for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28–29). Those two resurrections are separated by 1,000 years.
In the Apostle Paul’s day teaching the resurrection of the dead was very unpopular among unbelievers. Because of that teaching the apostle was persecuted making his defense before Governor Felix, saying, “unless it is for this one statement which I cried out, standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day’” (Acts 24:21).
But persecution of the Word and its messenger continues today as men like me defend Jesus’ teachings for both resurrections but we are silenced by organized church leaders, all while they talk of their love for God and loving others. What a massive contradiction! It’s hostile to Jesus and His saints to disallow the contextual end-time teaching of God’s well detailed resurrections.
In the Apostle Paul’s day Satan tried, already then, to silence the truth of when the resurrection of saints occurs through false teachers whose message “spread like cancer” for they had “strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some” (2 Tim. 2:17–18). Please note: because the church teaches the pre-trib rapture lie, many falsely believe the resurrection of saints occurs before the tribulation, a lie from Satan.
Let’s not pretend as though Jesus didn’t thoroughly teach the resurrection of dead saints and exactly when it occurs, because He clearly did. And you will do well to believe Him. Jesus said that, “everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40), then repeated Himself two more times at verses 44 and 54.
You should find it utterly reprehensible that any Christian church, including yours, while acknowledging the resurrections of the dead, will not permit the whole truth of when the first resurrection occurs, especially since God said, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:6). Please study “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6) and know that it occurs, “at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51–52) and, “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54).
Having a dialogue with Martha concerning her dead brother, Lazarus, Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again” (John 11:23), to which Martha replied, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:24). You see, Martha listened to and believed Jesus regarding when the resurrection of saints occurs. Must we not also believe Jesus Christ!
If we truly believe what Jesus said, then our faith will act upon and prepare to endure to the end, for He said, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13). However, since Jesus’ Words disagree with the heretical pre-trib rapture tradition of the church, the church largely does not permit Jesus’ teaching of when the first resurrection occurs. Friend, that’s not love for Christ.
And all it took was your credentialed pastor to say that Christ gathers His elect, pre-tribulation, and most all evangelicals believe it regardless of how clearly Jesus taught the exact opposite that He gathers His elect, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31). This is the epitome of confirmation bias, mocking even an elementary truth, holding people in the bondage of unbelief.
Most people blindly believe their pastor and refuse to study the Word for themselves. The snare of unbelief has been set, and the fruit of that unbelief will yield great offense when the tribulation is revealed, for, “then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another”.
What does it say about your pastor who is willing to defraud the Word of the Lord just in order to maintain the evil, unbelieving pre-tribulation rapture lie of church tradition? There was a day when we all thought we could trust ministers, educators, food manufacturers, doctors and local and federal governments, only to learn that deception and lies abound for the love of money!
In his 10/30/2016 article entitled, “The Shocking Reason Millions of Born Again Christians Will Still Vote For Hillary”, Mario Murillo says of, “Modern Preaching”, “It teaches there is a higher standard than the Bible. This comes at you in all kinds of ways. There is the preaching that omits scripture. There is the preaching that magically mixes opposing ideas so they fit together in blissful repose, i.e. Chrislam. You don’t even notice the teaching is not anchored to the Bible.”
Murillo understands exactly what’s occurred today. He reveals the perils of modern preaching from the standpoint that many in the church are spiritually blind to the co-mingling of Christianity with Islam and political issues. I reveal the perils of modern preaching from the standpoint that many are spiritually blind to the end-times and they love it that way because of false traditions.
Murillo continues, “A pastor tosses his Bible values and suddenly becomes a darling to millions who declare that pastor open-minded, inclusive and tolerant. Regardless of how glaring the evil, this preaching refuses to offend. Joel Osteen said to Larry King, “I know Homosexuality is a sin but I am not going to preach it.” Thus, many pastors love the ungodly culture more than Christ.
You must know you live in an era when much preaching and teaching is extraordinarily and overtly watered-down and covertly opposed to the Word of the Lord. But do you discern truth from the compromise and lies? Is your church more of a social club than a holy place of mature meat and God-fearing truths? Have you checked your confirmation bias against God’s Word?
Just as there is a political establishment bent on hiding whole truth and subverting people to its agenda, so too, there is a religious establishment bent on hiding whole truth in order to subvert people to its agenda and tradition. The question is, do you discern that truth and love Christ enough to openly stand against antichrist traditions?
“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).
Marlin J. Yoder