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Where Do We Stand?
We unashamedly stand OUTSIDE what is called "Christianity" today. As Jesus rejected and opposed what was called "Judaism" in His day (Matthew 23; John chapters 5, 8, & 10; etc.), so we reject and oppose what is typically called "Christianity" in this present evil age (Philippians 2:15). Incidentally, for those who have ears to hear (Revelation 3:22), this is exactly where the Lord has called all believers in Christ to stand.
Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. (Hebrews 13:13)
Over the past few years, we have been seeing how the "Church" of today is steeped in false doctrine, lies, hypocrisy, sin, and deceit. It has been very appalling for all of us, as we study the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21), to see how steeped in error the "Church" at large is. Should we be surprised at this? Actually, No. We have been warned.
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Just by way of introduction, let's look at just a few examples of the above:
1. "lovers of themselves" - Josh McDowell, in his book "The Secret of Loving" says, "I can go back to the motel room, look in the mirror and say, McDowell, you're cool! I like you." (p. 31)
Then, in speaking of buying five dozen flowers, and placing them all over his room he says,
"And every time I look at a dozen flowers, it's going to be God saying to me, 'Josh, I love you. Josh, I accept you. Josh, I forgive you. Josh, as the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Josh, you're special!' I'll look at each dozen flowers and hear God saying, 'Josh, you're of great value. I created you in My image. Josh, you're unique.'" (p. 34)
2."lovers of money" - In a 1995 Grant's Pass (Oregon) newspaper the following ad was placed.
CHRISTIANITY IS REAL to life whereas religion is like putting blinders on a horse. If you accept a false premise as truth, you will also think the end result is truth too; but it may very well lead to death now & for eternity instead of life now & for eternity. Here Jesus' Amazing Answers spoken & explained by Evangelist Bob Bivens in his 7 audio cassette album entitled "The One Step To Life's 7 Riches". $99.95 (includes S & H) to Mission Possible, PO Box 211, Canyonville, OR 97417.
$99.95 for a seven tape album!
How about a letter sent out by pastor Pat Horner dated May, 11, 1995 (Community Baptist Church, 5697 Labus Road, Elmendorf, TX, 78112; Ph. #210-621 2110),
The purpose in relating our vision and burden is to inform you that we are seeking to establish a fund to help these men, and others with this urgent ministry. This is a crucial time in our ministry. We covet your prayers and your interest. Should you, before God, feel you would want to become financially involved in helping us establish local churches please know that we would appreciate every dollar and would use them to one great end -- the spread of the gospel!
Pat Horner COVETS YOUR MONEY ("your interest" he calls it). These kind of letters are sent out ALL THE TIME by ALL KINDS of "Christian" ministries begging people for their money. You might get the impression that God is poor! Not true. God does not need one dollar to spread the gospel! Nor do they, nor do you, nor do I! God is not lacking funds, people are lacking faith! Letters like this one reveals their trust is not in God, and it also reveals that they want your money ("lovers of money").
3. "blasphemers" - One of the most well-respected men in the "Christian" community is Dr. James Dobson. Check out the blasphemy in his book, When God Doesn't Make Sense (copyright 1993).
There is only one cure for the cancer of bitterness. That is to forgive the perceived offender once and for all, with God's help. As strange as it seems, I am suggesting that some of us need to forgive God for those heartaches that are charged to His account. You've carried resentment against Him for years. Now it's time to let go of it. Please don't misunderstand me at this point. God is in the business of forgiving us, and it almost sounds blasphemous to suggest that the relationship could be reversed. He has done no wrong and does not need our approbation. But the source of bitterness must be admitted before it can be cleansed. There is no better way to get rid of it than to absolve the Lord of whatever we have harbored, and then ask His forgiveness for our lack of faith. (p. 238)
Corrie forgave an S. S. guard who shared responsibility for the deaths of her family members; surely, we can forgive the King of the universe who sent his only Son to die as an atonement for our sins. (p. 242)
Forgive God? That's blasphemy!
4. "disobedient to parents" - 2 Timothy 3:1-2 says "for men will be . . . disobedient to parents." Does your pastor teach even adults should obey their parents?
5. "boasters, proud,...unthankful,...unloving, unforgiving, slanders,...despisers of good, traitors, headstrong,...brutal...haughty" - You will experience these when you expose false doctrine in a "Church". A few of us have been kicked out of different churches and treated quite "unlovingly" for exposing their false doctrine.
6. "unholy" - Xmas. Almost every church in America celebrates this unholy "holy day". It's a lie. It is a Catholic holiday that Protestants continue to celebrate. It's a form of worship, and those who worship God "must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). For more see our report on Christmas.
7. "without self-control" - An example of this can be found (at least as of 1995) on the campus of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in the discipleship support groups that meet on Friday evenings at 7:20 in room MCA 202 where they have a time of worship and Bible study and then break into groups "to grapple with special needs." One such group is for overeaters, "For those who compulsively eat." (from a flyer distributed by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, 3800 Fairview, Santa Ana, CA 92704; 714-979-4422 ext. 303).
8. "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness" - Of course, it is all white washed with a false form of godliness (otherwise it wouldn't be deceptive), just as it was in the past with the Jews (Isaiah 58:1-2 Yet, they were wicked ; Jeremiah 9:3 6) and in the days of Christ, Matthew 7:15; Matthew 23:27-28.
2 Timothy 3:5 says to turn away from such people. Therefore, so that you might know where we stand, and for the record, we want it to be very clear, that we reject the false Christianity of our day and hate it (Psalm 119:104).
What we teach and stand upon (i.e. the Word of God) sets us apart from the lies, hypocrisy, and deceit that has prevailed upon the "Church" (both now and in its history). The following are a few doctrinal distinctives that the Bible clearly teaches, but is sorely lacking in the "Church" today.
I. THE POWER OF GODLINESS.
2 Timothy 3:5 speaks of the false Christianity that will prevail in the last days with these words; "having a form of godliness but denying its power".
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the statement is made very clearly that a person who believes in Christ is a new creation. The book of 1 John is abundantly clear that a person born of God can not sin (1 John 3:9). There is no such thing as a true believer living in a lifestyle of sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). To say otherwise, is to deny the power of godliness. This is not to say that true Christians don't ever sin. This would be contrary to the truth (1 John 1:8 10; Romans 7:7-8:13). But, no one who has truly been born of God can live in sin.
He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. (1 John 2:3-5)
The false Christianity of our day denies the power of godliness either overtly (openly) or covertly (secretly; 2 Peter 2:1). This is basic to much of the deceit that is found in the realm of Christian Psychology and the false Biblical Counseling movement today [Tapes are available for documentation on such false teaching] . There is no such thing as a "crazy" "insane", "mentally ill" Christian.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Furthermore, there is no such thing as a "Christian" who is suffering from bulimia (an overeater who seriously lacks self control, Philippians 3:17-19) , or anorexia (self-consumed, Galatians 5:20), or homosexuality, or alcoholism (1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:5-6), or hyperactivity (no self-control, Galatians 5:23), or teenage rebellion (1 Samuel 15:23), etc. Yet, many of these sins are pushed aside as a "problem" that some Christian has. The bottom line is this; you are NOT a Christian if you have these "problems" (i.e. this is your lifestyle). To say otherwise is a denial of the power of the gospel (the power of godliness) and the changed life that takes place in every heart that truly believes (Romans 1:16; 6:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
This denial of the power of godliness becomes apparent when you see how the "Christian" community deals with a suicidal "Christian". Typically, they pamper the person. What they need is rebuke and warning! They are murderous in their thoughts and are in rebellion against God (1 Samuel 15:23). No murderers enter the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 3:15). They had better fear! If they kill themselves, they would go to hell! The very fact that they are suicidal (and ready and willing to kill themselves) proves them to be reprobate, in rebellion against God and still at odds with Him (Colossians 1:21; Romans 5:1)! Yet, these things are typically not taught in the "Church" today.
Typically preached, it is watered down to a reverential awe excluding actual fear (being afraid). It is amazing preachers today can get away with this. But, the truth of the matter is, when God says "FEAR", He means FEAR (Psalm 25:14-15). Note Job 23:13-16.
But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His Soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him. Therefore I am terrified at His presence; when I consider this, I am afraid of Him. For God made my heart weak, and the Almighty terrifies me;
Note also Job 1:8; & 2:3 were God testifies that Job is one who truly and rightly fears God. Note also Isaiah 8:12-13; 66:2; Psalm 2:11; Luke 12:4-5; and Philippians 2:12.
The believer who is trusting Christ for His salvation (1 Peter 1:13) need not fear condemnation from God (i.e. fearing hell, 1 John 4:17-18; Romans 8:1), but he definitely would fear God for who He is, Isaiah 6:1f, and what He can do (Luke 12:4-5). And, we should fear, lest we fool ourselves, and fall into unbelief (Hebrews 3:12-13; Romans 11:20-22; 1 Peter 1:17). We have an awesome God who is a consuming fire who shows no partiality. As Hebrews 12:28-29 says,
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
III. CHRIST IS THE WORD
I had a "good" "Christian" friend tell me that I was a cult leader because I taught this! Please read Hebrews 4:12-13 (1 Peter 1:23-25); John 1:1, 14; 14:6; Revelation 19:13. These all make it abundantly clear that Christ is the Word of God. In other words, God does not separate Himself from His Word. Someone may say, "You worship the Bible." We would respond, "Indeed! Not the print on the page or the physical material of the book, but what it says, we worship (live by)." In fact, in Psalm 138:2 the Psalmist says,
I will worship toward your Holy temple, and praise Your name for your loving kindness and Your truth; for you have magnified Your word above all your name.
IV. MAKE SURE.
A major theme is eliminated in much of "Christianity" today. It is the theme of 2 Peter 1:10-11. Every believer is exhorted to make sure they are in the faith, working out their salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).
In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul makes a statement that most would like to ignore.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
The Greek word translated "disqualified" (not standing the test, unqualified, worthless, base) can be found in Romans 1:28; 2 Corinthians 13:5-7; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:16; and Hebrews 6:8. Every time it is speaking of someone who is not saved (i.e. a reprobate). So what is Paul saying? He is living out the same thing Peter exhorts all of us to do.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble. (2 Peter 1:10)
Summed up? Make sure you know the Lord and you are living accordingly, lest you fool yourself and find yourself disqualified (a reprobate, i.e. on your way to hell).
This same idea can be found in 1 Timothy 6:11-12 (lay hold on eternal life), 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Philippians 3:12, 1 Corinthians 10:1-12, Romans 11:20-22, etc..
V. THE "TRINITY" FALLS SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD
This is a hot one. Typically and classically taught (see He Is Holy Gods, point V. An Unholy Creed) the "Trinity" falls short of what is revealed in the Word of God about who God is.
It is true that there is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as God (i.e. three in One, Matthew 28:19-20). It is true that God is plural in personhood (Genesis 1:26-27; 11:7-8; Isaiah 48:16).
But, the word that "Christianity" (starting with the early church fathers who were Catholics) has used to describe Him (i.e. the "Trinity") falls short in their rejection of both the seven Spirits of God and Jerusalem (and more). Please see Revelation 1:4-5; 4:5; 5:6; & Zechariah 4:1-10. There are seven Spirits describing the Holy Spirit clearly portrayed in Scripture. Also, please see Psalm 48:12-14; 137:5-6; & Jeremiah 33:16. The city of Jerusalem is clearly declared to be God.
Typically, the seven Spirits of God are brushed aside by preachers today as the seven-manifold manifestations of the Holy Spirit (read the commentaries on the Revelation passages above). If we simply take the Bible for what it says (take God at His word), we see that the Holy Spirit is described in Revelation and Zechariah as seven. Just as there is only one God, yet we have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (plural in who He is). There is one Spirit (Ephesians 4:4), yet in describing this one Holy Spirit the Bible reveals Him to be seven (plural in who He is). This may be hard to understand, but nonetheless this is what the Word reveals (Romans 11:33-36). For more on the seven Spirits of God, please see our report The Seven Spirits of God Are God.
Likewise, even though the Bible explicitly calls Jerusalem God (Psalm 48:12-14; Jeremiah 33:16), this fact is typically denied. Just ask around if you question that. Nevertheless, it is the teaching of the Bible. For more on this, see Jerusalem Is God.