That’s why God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe a lie. Then everyone who did not believe the truth, but was delighted with what God disapproves of, will be condemned.
What is one to understand concerning the term Emerging Church?
In military terms, ‘emerging target’ would refer to a target that is selected by military personnel during the course of combat, as opposed to one that has been selected prior to the start of fighting. Whereas in economical terms it would refer to a new market set for growth: a national market that is in an early stage of economic development and is expected to grow rapidly.
In terms of ‘church’, it is a more complex matter to define. The worldwide happening termed ‘Emerging Churches’, is it an ‘up-and-coming church’, a ‘budding church’, or a church expected to grow rapidly? On the other hand, is ‘The Emerging Church’ a church that emerged ‘during the course of combat’?
Only if one understands the meaning of ‘church’ can one attempt a definition for ‘Emerging Church’. Would it be correct to assume that ‘church’ has reference to ‘Christianity’, Act 11:25-, “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch”? If so then the ‘followers’ of Paul and Barabbas were the one’s called, Christians.
From the above, ‘church’ would have referred to a selected group of people especially a religious congregation, a Jewish synagogue or some sect. The early ‘church’ consisted of ‘groups’ of people gathering at different homes known as disciples or believers. And by their ‘enemies’ they were termed Nazarenes, Galileans and people of the way or sect, Act 24:5-, “For we have found this man (Paul) a perfect pest and an agitator among all Jews throughout the world. He is a ringleader in the sect of the Nazarenes.”
Jesus’ parting words were, Mat 28:19-, “So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”
Important, concerning this ‘study’, is Luk 22:31-, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee; that thy faith fails not. And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
History had repeated itself. Here, Satan accused God of Him protecting the apostles, as was the case with Job, Job 1:6-, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Whence comest thou?’ Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down upon it.’
“And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and shunneth evil?’ Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, ‘Doth Job fear God for naught? Hast not Thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth Thy hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee to thy face. And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”
I believe Peter erred in that he insisted on a replacement for Judas, Act 1:16-, “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.” Yes, Peter was powerfully used of God after the Pentecost event, Heb 2:1-, “For this reason we must pay closer attention to the things we have heard, or we may drift away. Because, if the message spoken by angels was reliable, and every violation and act of disobedience received its just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect a salvation as great as this?
“It was first proclaimed by the Lord himself, and then it was confirmed to us by those who heard him, while God added his testimony through signs, wonders, various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” Those early miracles were necessary as a witness concerning eternal salvation brought about by the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Jews had rejected Jesus as their Messiah.
This rejection of Jesus, being the Messiah, became the downfall of that early Church of which Peter was the so-called founder because of those of the ‘circumcision’, Act 15:1-, “Then some men came down from Judea and started to teach the brothers, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the Law of Moses, you can’t be saved.’”
The instruction was, “Make disciples of all nations. Baptise them…” However, Peter and the rest of the disciples did not leave Jerusalem until ‘the man after God’s heart’, Saul, appeared on the scene at the time of the stoning of Stephen, Act 8:1-, “Now Saul heartily approved of putting Stephen to death. That day a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and everyone except for the apostles was scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.
“Devout men buried Stephen as they mourned loudly for him. But Saul kept trying to destroy the church. Going into one house after another, he began dragging off men and women and throwing them in prison. Now those who were scattered went from place to place preaching the word.”
Were it not for Saul’s persecuting the church, Peter would not have come to Lydda or Joppa where he tarried with ‘one Simon a tanner’. While at Joppa God had first to give Peter a vision before Peter would be willing to enter Cornelius’s house. Worse still, on Peter’s arrival, back at Jerusalem, he had to give account to the ‘brethren’, Act 11:2, “And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, “Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.” Such was the situation concerning the ‘church’ at that time.
In contrast to the appointment of Matthias as one of the Twelve, Paul writes the Galatians, Gal 1:1, “Paul, an Apostle sent not from men nor by any man, but by Jesus Christ and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from among the dead.”
Then, after a space of more than twenty years after Paul’s calling, he and others were appointed to defend their ‘gospel’, Act 15:1-, “And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, saying, ‘Except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved.’ And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and questioning with them, the brethren appointed that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.”
The outcome of that meeting was that when they perceived the grace that was given unto Paul, James and Peter and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to Paul and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship that he and Barnabas should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision.
By that time the ‘church’ was in such a state of confusion that Paul’s frustration is obvious, Gal 1:6-, “I wonder that ye thus quickly change, from Him that called you by Christ’s grace, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some that trouble you, and desire to pervert the glad tidings of the Christ.
“…But if even we or an angel out of heaven announce as glad tidings to you anything besides what we have announced as glad tidings to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, now also again I say, ‘If any one announce to you as glad tidings anything besides what ye have received, let him be accursed…’ O senseless Galatians, who has bewitched you, to whom, as before your very eyes, Jesus Christ has been portrayed, having been crucified? …but now, knowing God, but rather being known by God, how do ye turn again to the weak and beggarly principles to which ye desire to be again anew in bondage?
“To freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that, if ye receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing. Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace.”
The logic behind Paul’s teaching is that circumcision was given as a sign of the promise made to Abraham, Gal 3:8, “Through you all nations will be blessed.” The family that believed that, that Seed would come, circumcised their sons. Jesus was that Seed, Paul’s ‘glad tidings’. Anyone who now still insists on circumcision or, teaches that ‘baptism’ is a substitute for circumcision and ‘baptises babies, is denying that Jesus was that Seed and is expecting another.
Paul further defends his apostleship, Gal 1:11-, “For I make known to you, brethren, as touching the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not after man. For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Paul went so far as to mention Peter’s hypocrisy when Peter visited Antioch, Gal 2:11-, “But when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, Peter used to eat with the Gentiles: but when they had come, he withdrew, and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision.
“And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; so that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
“We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we may be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law. For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? By no means! For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I may live to God.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness is attainable by the law, then Christ hath died in vain.”
However, Peter did ‘come to conversion’, 2Pe 3:13-, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found by Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
“And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, hath written to you. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
The Emerging Church then was that early church that emerged because of ‘the circumcision’. It was in Antioch that the term ‘Christian’ was coined of which Paul and Barnabas were, so to speak the founders, Act 11:25-, “Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
Sad to say, Satan, the deceiver, too was active, 2Co 11:1-, “I wish you would tolerate a little of my foolishness. Yes, please tolerate me! I am jealous of you with God’s own jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to the Messiah. However, I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by its tricks, so your minds may somehow be lured away from sincere and pure devotion to the Messiah.
“For if someone comes along and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or should you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you are all too willing to listen. I do not think I’m inferior in any way to those “super-apostles.” Even though I may be untrained as an orator, I am not so in the field of knowledge. We have made this clear to all of you in every possible way…
“But I will go on doing what I’m doing in order to deny an opportunity to those people who want an opportunity to be recognized as our equals in the work they are boasting about. Such people are false apostles, dishonest workers who are masquerading as apostles of the Messiah. And no wonder, since Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their doom will match their deeds!”
And Satan sifted, 1Co 1:10-, “Brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, I urge all of you to be in agreement and not to have divisions among you, so that you may be perfectly united in your understanding and opinions. My brothers, some members of Chloe’s family have made it clear to me that there are quarrels among you. This is what I mean: Each of you is saying, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos,’ or ‘I belong to Cephas,’ or ‘I belong to the Messiah.’ Is the Messiah divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? You weren’t baptized in Paul’s name, were you?”
And, Satan kept on sifting, 1Co 11:-16-, “But if anyone wants to argue about this, we do not have any custom like this, nor do any of God’s churches. Now I am not praising you in giving you the following instructions. When you gather, it is not for the better but for the worse. For in the first place, I hear that when you gather as a church there are divisions among you, and I partly believe it. Of course, there must be factions among you to show which of you are genuine, who’s opinion is Scriptural.”
Still, Satan kept on sifting. And Paul wrote Timothy, 2Ti 1:13-, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good Deposit through that holy Spirit indwelling in us. This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.”
Satan might have temporary succeeded in his attempt but Paul did not budge an inch, 2Ti 4:1-, “Then I solemnly witness before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, He being about to judge the living and dead at His appearance and His kingdom. Preach the Word, be urgent in season, out of season, convict, warn, encourage with all longsuffering and teaching. For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts, they will heap up to themselves teachers tickling the ear; and they will turn away the ear from the truth and will be turned aside to myths.
“But you be clear-minded in all, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully carry out your ministry. For I am already being poured out, and the time of my release is here. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. For the rest, the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me in that Day, and not only to me, but also to all the ones loving His appearance.”
Indeed, Paul did fight the good fight. However, sad to say, at times, it was in vain. Notice his parting words to the elders of Ephesus, Act 20:18-, “You Elders well know, from the first day of my setting foot in the province of Asia, the kind of life I lived among you the whole time, serving the Lord in all humility. And with tears and amid trials which came upon me through the plotting of the Jews. And that I never shrank from declaring to you anything that was profitable, or from teaching you in public and in your homes, and urging upon both Jews and Greeks the necessity of turning to God and of believing in Jesus our Lord.
“And now, impelled by a sense of duty, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit, at town after town, testifies to me that imprisonment and suffering are awaiting me. But even the sacrifice of my life I count as nothing, if only I may perfect my earthly course, and be faithful to the duty that the Lord Jesus has entrusted to me of proclaiming, as of supreme importance, the Good News of God’s grace.
“And now, I know that none of you among whom I have gone in and out proclaiming the coming of the Kingdom will any longer see my face. Therefore I protest to you to-day that I am not responsible for the ruin of any one of you. For I have not shrunk from declaring to you God’s whole truth. Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has placed you to take the oversight for Him and act as shepherds to the Church of God, which He has bought by means of the blood, the blood of his own.
“I know that, when I am gone, cruel wolves will come among you and will not spare the flock. And that from among your own selves men will rise up who will seek with their perverse talk to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, be on the alert; and remember that, night and day, for three years, I never ceased admonishing every one, even with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace. He is able to build you up and to give you your inheritance among His people.
“No one’s silver or gold or clothing have I coveted. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have provided for my own necessities and for the people with me. In all things I have set you an example, showing you that, by working as I do, you ought to help the weak, and to bear in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘’It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
“Having spoken thus, Paul knelt down and prayed with them all. And with loud lamentation they all threw their arms round his neck, and kissed him lovingly, grieved above all things at his having told them that after that day they were no longer to see his face. And they went with him to the ship.”
Not far from Ephesus is the Isle of Patmos. John found himself there on account of the Word of God and the truth told by Jesus. He writes, Rev 1:1-, “The revelation given by Jesus Christ, which God granted Him, that He might make known to His servants certain events which must shortly come to pass: and He sent His angel and communicated it to His servant John.
This is the John, who taught the truth concerning the Word of God and the truth told us by Jesus Christ–a faithful account of what he had seen. Blessed is he who reads and blessed are those who listen to the words of this prophecy and lay to heart what is written in it; for the time for its fulfilment is now close at hand.
“John sends greetings to the seven Churches in the province of Asia. May grace be granted to you, and peace, from Him who is and was and evermore will be; and from the seven Spirits that are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, the truthful witness, the first of the dead to be born to Life, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins with His own blood, and has formed us into a Kingdom, to be priests to God, His Father–to Him be ascribed the glory and the power until the Ages of the Ages. Amen.
“He is coming in the clouds, and every eye will see Him, and so will those who pierced Him; and all the nations of the earth will gaze on Him and mourn. Even so. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘He who is and was and evermore will be–the Ruler of all.’
“I John, your brother, and a sharer with you in the sorrows and Kingship and patient endurance of Jesus, found myself in the island of Patmos, on account of the Word of God and the truth told us by Jesus. In the Spirit, I found myself present on the day of the Lord, and I heard behind me a loud voice that resembled the blast of a trumpet. It said, ‘Write forthwith in a roll an account of what you see, and send it to the seven Churches–to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyateira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.’”
The seven above-mentioned churches are of the churches that Paul founded. This is Jesus’ message to the church at Ephesus, Rev 2:1-, “To the minister of the Church in Ephesus write as follows: ‘This is what He who holds the seven stars in the grasp of His right hand says–He who walks to and fro among the seven lamp stands of gold. I know your doings and your toil and patient suffering. And I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, but have put to the test those who say that they themselves are Apostles but are not, and you have found them to be liars.
“And you endure patiently and have borne burdens for My sake and have never grown weary. Yet I have this against you–that you no longer love Me as you did at first. Be mindful, therefore, of the height from which you have fallen. Repent at once, and act as you did at first, or else I will surely come and remove your lamp stand out of its place–unless you repent. Yet this you have in your favour: you hate the doings of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Let all who have ears give heed to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. To him who overcomes I will give the privilege of eating the fruit of the Tree of Life, which is in the Paradise of God.’”
Did they repent? According to Paul’s writing Timothy, “This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes,” it is obvious that they did not repent. If that be the case then the churches of Asia were no longer ‘Christians’ and that ‘Christians’ had become the heretics by the year 66 and the so-called ‘Orthodox Church’ the ‘Emerging Church’ of that time.
Yes, I know that some would argue to the contrary arguing that John was a bishop at Ephesus long after the year 66. Well, I beg to differ. Yes, John was a bishop, in Ephesus, after or during the time of Timothy and then ‘found himself in Patmos on account of the Word of God and the truth told by Jesus’. Having been a bishop there he was instructed to ‘write the seven Churches in the province of Asia’, of which he was thus, well acquainted.
It is clear from Joh 5:2, “Now there is a pool at the Sheep Gate at Jerusalem, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches,” that, at the time of John’s writing, it was before the year 70, the destruction of Jerusalem. Furthermore, John is the only one who used the word ‘Antichrist’, 1Jn 2:18, “Little children, it is the last time. And just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have risen up, from which we know that it is the last hour.”
The idea of the term ‘Antichrist’, could only have sprung from what John ‘was shown’ on the Isle of Patmos say between the years 59 and 68. In the meantime, Paul accompanied by Titus and Timothy, after his first imprisonment in Rome in the year 62-left Titus in Crete, on his way to Judea. On their return from Judea, early in the year 64, Paul left Timothy in Ephesus and ended his ‘tour’, back in Rome, via Nicopolis, towards the end of 65. Paul went to Rome to encourage the ‘Christians’ in the time of Nero’s holding them accountable for setting Rome on fire.
Paul was prisoned in Rome and executed, according to tradition, 29th June 66. It was from this imprisonment that he wrote his second epistle to Timothy. The theme of this letter, so to speak his ‘parting words’, was warning against ‘the emerging churches’ with their false doctrines, 2Ti 2:4-, “No soldier on service entangleth himself in the affairs of this life; that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier. And if also a man contends in the games, he is not crowned, except he has contended lawfully.”
Paul explains, 2Ti 2:19-, “However, God’s solid foundation still stands. It has this inscription on it: ‘The Lord knows those who belong to him,’ and ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord must turn away from evil.’ In a large house, there are not only utensils made of gold and silver, but also those made of wood and clay. Some are unto honour and some unto dishonour. Therefore, if anyone stops associating with these people, he will become a special utensil, set apart for the owner’s use, prepared for every good action.
“Flee from youthful passions. Instead, pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace together with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart. Do not have anything to do with foolish and stupid discussions, because you know they breed arguments. A servant of the Lord must not argue. Instead, he must be kind to everyone, teachable, willing to suffer wrong, and gentle when refuting opponents. After all, maybe God will allow them to repent and to come to a full knowledge of the truth, so that they might escape from the devil’s snare, even though they’ve been held captive by him to do his will.”
The above reminds one of the ‘good seed’ and the ‘tares’, Mat 13:24-, He put out another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came, sowed darnel among the wheat, and went his way. But, when the blade had sprung up and had produced fruit, then the darnel also appeared.
“So the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then where have the darnel come from?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the darnel you also root up the wheat with them. ‘Let both grow together until the harvest. And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the darnel and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.’”
Important to note, darnel ‘ζιζανια—zizania’ unlike weeds is a false grass, degenerated, or bastard wheat. On the other hand, tares or weeds are of a different kind and bear no resemblance to wheat. The following translation tells, “But, in the sleeping of the men his enemy came and over-sowed cockle among the wheat and went his way,” in this way, people can easily be deceived as the ‘other gospel’ even appears more logical. An typical example of the ‘other gospel’ is Joh 1:33 (KJV), “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.”
The ABP translation reads, “And IG2504 did notG3756 knowG1492 him G1473; butG235 the oneG3588 having sent me forthG3992 G1473 to immerseG907 inG1722 waterG5204, that oneG1565 said to meG1473 G2036, ‘UponG1909 whomG3739 everG302 you should beholdG1492 theG3588 spiritG4151 descendingG2597 andG2532 remainingG3306 uponG1909 himG1473 heG3778, isG1510.2.3 the oneG3588 immersingG907 by/inG1722 [2spiritG4151 1holy]G39”’. The Zondervan Interlinear reads, “And I knew not him, but the (one) having sent me to baptize in water, that (one) to me said, On whomever thou seest the Spirit coming down and remaining on him, this is the (one) baptizing in Spirit Holy.”
The Greek reads,“Καγω ουκ ηδειν αυτον αλλ ο πεμψας με βαπτιζειν εν υδατι εκεινος μοι ειπεν εφ ον αν ιδης το πνευμα καταβαινον και μενον επ αυτον ουτος εστιν ο βαπτιζων εν πνευματι αγιω.” Now, some ‘emerging churches’ baptize (sprinkle) their children with water but remain silent concerning a Holy Spirit immersing. On the other hand other ‘emerging churches’ immerse adults after they had believed and then ‘tarry’ until receiving a baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Before judging consider Act 19:1-, “And it came to pass, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper districts, came to Ephesus, and finding certain disciples, he said to them, Did ye receive a Holy Spirit when ye had believed? And they said to him, We did not even hear if there is a Holy Spirit. And he said, To what then were ye baptised? And they said, To the baptism of John. And Paul said, John indeed baptised a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him that was coming after him, that is, on Jesus.
“And when they heard that, they were baptised to the name of the Lord Jesus. And Paul having laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.”
The truth of the matter is, a Holy Spirit baptism had occurred after their baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus after which Paul laid hands on them and then only did the Holy Spirit come upon them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Of this ‘baptism in a Holy Spirit’ Paul explains, 1Co 12:12-, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also the Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” Being baptised into the Body of Christ, which happens at one’s baptism in water—the dying to sin, one is ‘made to drink’ Christ’s Spirit—eternal life.
Paul further explains, Gal 2:19-, “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I may live to God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness is attainable by the law, then Christ hath died in vain.”
And Rom 8:5-, “For they that are according to flesh, do mind the things of the flesh: but they that are according to Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, they that are in flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in flesh, but in Spirit, since a Spirit of God dwelleth in you. Now if any man hath not a Spirit of Christ, he is not His…”
The rugby song comes to mind, ‘We learned to scrum upon mother’s knee…’ When reading concerning Timothy’s lifestyle one can appreciate the input of parents, 2Ti 3:10-, “But you have observed my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance, and how I was persecuted and suffered in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in union with the Messiah Jesus will be persecuted.
“But evil people and impostors will go from bad to worse as they deceive others and are themselves deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and found to be true, because you know from whom you learned it.
“From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to give you the wisdom you need for salvation through faith in the Messiah Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good action…
“For a time is coming when they will not tolerate wholesome instruction, but, wanting to have their ears tickled, they will find a multitude of teachers to satisfy their own fancies; and will turn away from listening to the truth and will turn aside to fables.”
The ‘founder of the Christian Church’ ends his life with this warning, 2Tim 4:3, “For a time is coming when they will not tolerate wholesome instruction, but, wanting to have their ears tickled, they will find a multitude of teachers to satisfy their own fancies; and will turn away from listening to the truth and will turn aside to fables.”
And Peter’s parting words are, 2Pe 3:12-, “Looking for and hasting to the coming of the day of God, in which heavens being ignited will be unloosed, and elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness.
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found by him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, hath written to you. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
John, the beloved, in his parting words again stresses the necessity of rebirth. Rebirth is not the act of believing neither is it repentance. Rebirth necessitates a dying. ‘Begotten’ is the rebirth, the resurrection so to speak, as is written, Rom 6:1-, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? By no means: how shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we are dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.”
Because God brought Jesus back to life, He, Jesus, became God’s ‘begotten Son’. Then, Jesus was the ‘only begotten Son’. As John explained in the time of his writing Joh 3:16, ”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Luke describes the ‘begotten event’, Act 13:26-, “Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and all who, with you, fear God, to you is this word of life sent. For, those inhabitants of Jerusalem and their chiefs, did not apprehend it; neither [did they apprehend] also the writings of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath; but they condemned Him, and fulfilled all the things written.
“And while they found no ground for [his] death, they desired of Pilate that they might kill Him. And when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross, and laid Him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead. And they who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem saw Him many days; and they are now his witnesses to the people. And lo, we also announce to you, that the promise, which was made to our fathers, lo, God hath fulfilled it to us their children, in that He raised up Jesus; as it is written in the second psalm: Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
Since then, there are many more ‘begotten sons and daughters’ as is written, 1Jn 3:1-, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
Now, it is not necessary to know or understand these precepts, they follow naturally, when this instruction is carried out, Mar 16:15-, “And He said to them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel (the good news that I have been risen from among the dead) to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
This is the ‘rebirth event’—the ‘dying’ and ‘begetting’. By faith, one now receives ‘the Spirit of Christ’, which witnesses with our spirit, Rom 8:-15-, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Christians are not under law but under grace. They have received grace, the fullness of grace, instead of, of grace.
At the time when the Jews received the law, it was because of God’s grace towards them. If, and only if they kept the Law, they would live, Gal 2:15-, “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of law, but by reason of Christ Jesus’ faith. Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order that we might be justified by Christ’s faith, and not by the works of the law. For, by works of law shall no flesh be justified.”
Jesus had faith in God and, in believing in Christ Jesus, one’s hope too, is on God, 1Pe 1:21-, “The one’s through Him believing in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, because of God’s living and remaining word. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word, which, by the gospel, is preached unto you.”
John writes and for reason of clarity, the definite article is inserted, the God, even the Father. Not only was Jesus baptised by the Baptist, not that He was in need of that baptism, moreover, He had to come by the way of the cross, too—by blood. Believers only come by water. John writes, 1Jn 5:1-, “Whoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of the God: and every one that loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten by Him. By this, we know that we love the children of the God, when we love the God, and keep his precepts. For this is the love of the God, that we keep his instructions; and his instructions are not grievous.
“For whatever is born of the God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of the God? This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ, not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth testimony, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that bear testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that bear testimony on earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three relate to that One.
“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of the God is greater: for this is the testimony of the God, which He hath testified concerning the Son of Him. He that believeth on the Son of the God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not the God hath made Him a liar, because he hath not believed the testimony that the God gave of the Son of Him. And this is the testimony that the God hath given to us eternal life: and this, the life, is in the Son of Him. He that hath the Son, hath the life; and he that hath not the Son of the God, hath not that life. These things have I written to you in order that ye may know that ye have eternal life, to the one’s believing unto the name of the Son of God.”
James’ parting words are often misunderstood because of the many translations. He writes, I believe, either in response to what his ‘step-brother’, Jesus, no doubt spoke about or, in response to, Gen 4:6-, “And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door: and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
James writes born again people who have put off ‘the old man’ and have received a holy spirit. He writes, no doubt, with the following event in mind, Mat 12:43-,”But when the unclean spirit goes from a man, he goes through dry places seeking rest and does not find it.
“Then he says, I will return to my house from which I came out. And coming, he finds it standing empty, swept and decorated. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and entering dwells there. And the last things of that man become worse than the first. So it will be also to this evil generation.
“But while He was yet speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. Then one said to Him, Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You. But answering, He said to the one speaking to Him, Who is My mother? And who are My brothers? And stretching out His hand to His disciples, He said, Behold, My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven, that one is My brother and sister and mother.”
James writes, Jas 4:1-, “From where do wars and fightings among you come? Is it not from this, from your lusts warring in your members? You desire and do not have. You murder, are jealous, and are not able to obtain. You fight and you war, and you do not have, because you do not ask. You ask, and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order that you may spend on your lusts.
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whoever, then, purposes to be a friend of the world is put down as hostile to God? Or do you think that vainly the Scripture says, ‘The spirit, which has dwelt in us yearns to envy’? But He gives greater grace. Because of this it says, ‘God sets Himself against proud ones, but He gives grace to humble ones. Then be subject to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners! And purify your hearts, double minded ones!”
Jude’s parting words carry the same message as that of Paul, Peter and James’ Repent! He writes, but to no avail. He says they have died twice. They ‘put the old man to rest’. Yet, kept on sinning; becoming withered uprooted trees without any fruit. “Dear friends,” he writes, “I had intended to write you about the salvation we share. But something has come up. It demands that I write you and encourage you to continue your fight for the Christian faith that was entrusted to God’s holy people once for all time.
“For certain men are secretly entered in (who were written of long ago unto this judgment), ungodly men, turning the grace of our Lord God for sexual freedom and denying the only sovereign Ruler and our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to remind you about what you already know: The Lord once saved his people from Egypt. But on another occasion he destroyed those who didn’t believe. He held angels for judgment on the great day. They were held in darkness, bound by eternal chains. These are the angels who didn’t keep their position of authority but abandoned their assigned place.
“What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities near them is an example for us of the punishment of eternal fire. The people of these cities suffered the same fate that God’s people and the angels did, because they committed sexual sins and engaged in homosexual activities. Yet, in a similar way, the people who slipped in among you are dreamers. They contaminate their bodies with sin, reject the Lord’s authority, and insult his glory. When the archangel Michael argued with the devil, they were arguing over the body of Moses. But Michael didn’t dare to hand down a judgment against the devil. Instead, Michael said, ‘May the Lord reprimand you!’
“Whatever these people don’t understand, they insult. Like animals, which are creatures of instinct, they use whatever they know to destroy themselves. How horrible it will be for them! They have followed the path of Cain. They have rushed into Balaam’s error to make a profit. They have rebelled like Korah and destroyed themselves. These people are a disgrace at the special meals you share with other believers. They eat with you and don’t feel ashamed. They are shepherds who care only for themselves. They are dry clouds blown around by the winds. They are withered, uprooted trees without any fruit. As a result, they have died twice.”
No doubt, with tear-filled eyes, Jude ends his writing with, “These are they who murmur and complain of everything, while they walk according to their lusts; and their mouth speaketh shocking things; and they flatter people, for the sake of gain. But as for you, my dearly loved friends, remember the words that before now were spoken by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ–how they declared to you, ‘In the last times there shall be scoffers, obeying only their own ungodly passions.’
“These are those who cause divisions. They are men of the world, wholly unspiritual. But you, my dearly loved friends, building yourselves up to, of yourselves, the most holy faith, praying by a Holy Spirit, you must keep yourselves safe in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, which will result in the Life of the Ages.
“Some, when they argue with you, you must endeavour to convince; others you must try to save, as brands plucked from the flames; and on others look with pity mingled with fear, while you hate every trace of their sin. But to Him who is able to keep you safe from stumbling, and cause you to stand in the presence of His glory free from blemish and full of exultant joy. To the only God our Saviour–through Jesus Christ our Lord, be ascribed glory, majesty, might, and authority, as it was before all time, is now, and shall be to all the Ages! Amen.”
Church history tells the full story. It tells of wars, of killings and of divisions. Some claim to be of Paul, some of Apollos others claim to be of Cephas. Others claim to be followers of Christ. Can Christ be divided someone may ask. The answer is, “No, indeed not.” We, who have ‘emerged’ from that ‘emerging church’, are, in the year 2012, the ones asking that question. The million-dollar question is how are ‘we’ going to ‘unify’?
Not only is it the so-called Christians, who are seeking unification but people of other faiths too. We, after all, they say, are serving the ‘same God’. How it will come about, only future will tell. Of the hurdles to cross are:
1 Act 4:8-, “Then Peter, having been filled with a Holy Spirit, said unto them, `Rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we today are examined concerning the good deed to the ailing man, by whom he hath been saved, be it known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye did crucify, whom God did raise out of the dead, in Him hath this one stood by before you whole
“This is the Stone that was set at nought by you–the builders, that became head of a corner; and there is not salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under the heaven that hath been given among men, in which it behoveth us to be saved.’”
2 Joh 3:3-, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you. If one is not generated from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of the God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How is a man able to be generated, being old? He is not able to enter into his mother’s womb a second time and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you. If one is not generated out of water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of the God. That having been generated out of the flesh is flesh, and that having been generated out of that Spirit is spirit.
“Do not wonder because I said to you, ‘You must be generated from above.’ The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice; but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes. So is everyone having been generated from that Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said to Him, How are these things able to occur? Jesus answered and said to him, ‘You are the teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things?’”
3 Mar 16:15-, “And He said to them, ‘Going into all the world, preach the gospel to all the creation. The one believing and being baptized will be saved. And the one not believing will be condemned.’”
4 Luk 16:18, “Everyone putting away his wife, and marrying another, commits adultery. And everyone marrying her who has been put away from a husband commits adultery.” Remembering, 1Co 6:9-, “Or do you not know that unjust ones will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be led astray, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous ones, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor plunderers shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
The good news, however, verse 11, “And some of you were these things, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of the God of us.” As is written, Rom 8:8-, “And those being in the flesh are not able to please God. But you are not in flesh, but in Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, this one is not His. But if Christ is in you, the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of the One having raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One having raised the Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies live through the indwelling of His Spirit in you.”
5 1Co 11:3-, “But I want you to know that the Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and the God is the head of the Christ. Every man praying or prophesying, having anything down over his head shames his Head. And every woman praying or prophesying with the head unveiled dishonours her head, for it is the same as being shaved.”
In addition, 1Co 14:33-, “For God is not of confusion, but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the saints. Let your women be silent in the assemblies, for it is not allowed to them to speak, but to be in subjection, as also the Law says. But if they desire to learn anything, let them question their husbands at home. For it is a shame for a woman to speak in an assembly. Or did the Word of God go out from you? Or did it reach only to you? If anyone thinks to be a prophet, or a spiritual one, let him recognize the things I write to you, that they are a command of the Lord.
Moreover, and for a good reason, for Adam blamed his wife for teaching him to eat of the forbidden fruit. Never again will a man can blame a woman. For God has protected her; adding a safe childbirth in spite of (Gen 3:16-, “He said to the woman, ‘I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception; you shall bear sons in sorrow, and your desire shall be toward your husband; and he shall rule over you’”).
1Ti 2:11-, “A woman should quietly learn from others with entire submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach, nor have authority over a man, but she must remain silent. For Adam was formed first, and then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but his wife was thoroughly deceived, and so became involved in transgression. Yet a woman will be brought safely through childbirth if she and her husband continue to live in faith and love and growing holiness, with habitual self-restraint.”
So the list of differences continues. Emerging churches are mushrooming world over causing great concern for those seeking amalgamation.
Amalgamation, at the cost of compromising? No, the differences are too great. However, amalgamation will happen in spite of some denominations not believing in ‘the rapture’ (1Th 4:16-, “For 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 shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord).”
It is written, 2Th 2:1-, “When our Lord Jesus returns, we will be gathered up to meet him. So I ask you, my friends, not to be easily upset or disturbed by people who claim that the Lord has already come. They may say that they heard this directly from a Holy Spirit, or from someone else, or even that they read it in one of our letters.
“Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because it will not be unless the apostasy has first come, and the man of sin has been revealed, the son of perdition. He will brag and oppose everything that is holy or sacred. He will even sit in God’s temple and claim to be God. Don’t you remember that I told you this while I was still with you? You already know what is holding this wicked one back until it is time for him to come.
“His mysterious power is already at work, but someone is holding him back. And the wicked one won’t appear until that someone is out of the way. Then he will appear, but the Lord Jesus will kill him simply by breathing on him. He will be completely destroyed by the Lord’s glorious return.”
Yes, the amalgamation will happen but not without bloodshed as was the attempt to keep that early emerging church from splitting. Our concern is not necessarily the mushrooming of the so-called emerging churches. No, it’s the Emerging Church, the Apostate Church, the Darnel. In Jesus’ parable, the ‘Great Harlot’ that sitteth upon ‘Many Waters’ she’s the one of concern. She is the one who will be holding back Antichrist an even worse scenario, holding back the Great Tribulation.
When a woman becomes the Precedent of that ‘World Church’, ‘The Emerged Church’ then what John witnessed in Rev 17:1- will be fulfilled and the parable concerning the darnel, :15-, “And he saith to me, The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and languages. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman whom thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”
Jesus too, spoke of these happenings. He spoke about wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes. These, He said were only the beginning of sorrows. “Then,” said Jesus, Mat 24:9-, “will they deliver you up to be afflicted, and will kill you: and ye will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. Then will many be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another. And many false prophets will rise, and will deceive many. And because iniquity will abound, the love of many will become cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a testimony to all nations; and then shall the end come. When therefore ye shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever readeth, let him understand). Then let them who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe to them that are with child, and to them that nurse infants in those days! But pray ye that your flight may not be in the winter, neither on the sabbath. For then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
“Immediately after that tribulation,” says Jesus, Mat 24:29-, “shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light. And the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Therefore, according to Scripture, the sequence of events is as follow:
1 The emerging of ‘The Emerging Church’, the Apostasy, 2Thess 2:1-.
2 The ‘making desolate’ of that Emerged Church, Rev 17:15-.
3 The revealing of Antichrist, the man of sin, 2Thess 2:1-,
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, which gave power to the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast?
“Who is able to make war with him?’ And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
If any man hath an ear, let him hear… And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save him that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty six.”
5 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a testimony to all nations; and then shall the end come,” Mat 24:14. And the gospel will be preached before the rapture event, Rev 14:6-, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and language, and people. Saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
“And there followed another angel, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her lewdness.’ And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If any man worshipeth the beast and his image, and receiveth his mark in his forehead, or in his hand. The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receiveth the mark of his name.
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
Then John heard these encouraging words from heaven saying, :13, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth.’ ‘Verily,’ saith the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labours; and their works follow them.’”
6 The rapture and what follows, Rev 14:14, “And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap. For the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”
Yes, the ‘falling away’ has been a continual process. Soon it will ‘Emerge’, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH, drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Of it too, has been said, “You are weighed in the balances and found lacking,”
Rev 18:2-, “And he cried in a strong, great voice, saying, Babylon the great has fallen! It has fallen, and it has become a dwelling-place of demons, and a prison of every unclean spirit. And a prison of every unclean bird, even having been hated, because of the wine of the anger of her fornication which all the nations have drunk, even the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her; and the merchants of the earth became rich from the power of her luxury.
“And I heard another voice out of Heaven saying, ‘My people! Come out of her, that you may not share in her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues.’ Because her sins, joined together, even up to Heaven, and God remembered her unjust deeds. Give back to her as also she gave back to you, and double to her double, according to her works. In the cup that she mixed, mix to her double. By what things she glorified herself, and luxuriated, by so much give back to her torment and mourning. Because she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen, and I am not a widow; and I do not see mourning at all.’
“Because of this, in one day her plagues shall come: death, and mourning, and famine; and she will be consumed with fire, for the Lord God judging her is strong. And the kings of the earth will weep for her, and will wail over her, those having fornicated and having luxuriated with her, when they see the smoke of her burning; standing from afar because of the fear of her torment, saying, Woe! Woe to the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment came.”
So, will the world come to an end on 21st December 2012? Indeed no neither would ‘Babylon’ have ‘emerged’. However, learn the parable of the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and it puts out leaves, you know that the summer is near; so also you, when you see all these things, know that it is near at the doors. Truly, I say to you, ‘In no way will this generation pass away until all these things have occurred.’ ‘The heaven and the earth will pass away, but My Words,’ says Jesus,’ will not pass away, never!
“And concerning that day and the hour no one hath known–not even the messengers who are in the heaven, not even the Son—if not the Father. But as the days of Noah, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as they were in the days before the flood: eating, and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the ark. And they did not know until the flood came and took all away. So also will be the coming of the Son of Man.
“At that time two will be out in the field; the one is taken away, and the one is left; two grinding at the mill, one is taken away, and one is left. Watch, then, for you do not know in what hour your Lord comes. But know this that if the housemaster had known in what watch the thief comes, he would have watched and not have allowed his house to be dug through. Because of this, you also be ready, for in that hour you think not, the Son of Man comes.”
Do recall Satan’s words, he being ‘the housemaster’, Luk 4:5-, “And the Devil, leading Him up into a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the Devil said to Him, ‘All this power I will give you and the glory of them; for it has been delivered to me. And I give it to whomever I will. Therefore if you will worship me, all shall be yours.” For this reason, Jesus has to come as a ‘thief in the night’. However, ‘we’ are not in darkness, 1Th 5:1-, “But of the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I write to you. For you yourselves know accurately that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night.
“For those sleeping sleep in the night, and those being drunken are drunken in the night. But, let us, who are of the day, be calm, having put on the breastplate of faith and love and the hope of salvation for a helmet. For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we watch or sleep we should live together with Him.”
‘We’ will, by the rapture, be saved from the ‘wrath of God’, the seven vials of the anger of God, Rev 16:1-, “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the vials of the anger of God on the earth. And the first went and poured out his vial on the earth. And a bad and grievous sore fell on the men who had the mark of the beast, and on those who worshiped his image. And the second angel poured out his vial on the sea. And it became like the blood…”
“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And the one hearing, let him say, ‘Come!’ And the one thirsting, let him come. And the one desiring, let him take of the water of life freely. For I testify together with everyone hearing the Words of the prophecy of this Book, if anyone adds to these things, God will add upon him the plagues having been written in this Book. And if anyone takes away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and of the things having been written in this Book.
“The One testifying these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ ‘Amen, Yes, come, Lord Jesus!’ However, ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen,” Rev 22:17.