Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SOBRIETY is no laughing matter.

SOBRIETY. Is sobriety entirely extinct? Is everything in the world laughable? I am appalled at the near-total absence of seriousness about things of God among so many professing Christians, and especially ministers.

Over the years, I have followed the threads of so many people as they discuss crucial Biblical issues, and am utterly blown away by the comedic mockery and irreverence that often prevails in such discussions. But I do not see one, single, solitary joke in the Bible. I cannot find even one tiny instance where my Lord or His Apostles resorted to silly banter or nonsensical jabs in matters of salvation or discipleship.

One of the principal elements of humor is the use of unrelated, impertinent responses to get a laugh. One of the most prevalent ways of getting people to laugh is by saying things that are totally unexpected, unfitting, or surprising. After that, mockery, insults and debasement are oft-used tactics to get a laugh.

Where in the Church of the living God is there any legitimate use of impertinence, mockery, insults or debasement in the teaching or learning process? There is none. Any claimed benefit to such shameful practices could easily be bested with sober, wiser and more mature alternatives. (I am sure that at least somebody reading this is sorely tempted to mock me even as I speak, as I am frequently told that I take myself too seriously, or that I am "too religious," or that I need to "get a life.")

But the premise here is comparable to the temptation of Adam and Eve. Satan persuaded them that they would "be as gods, knowing good and evil." But Adam and Eve experienced nothing of any positive value. Their sin in the Garden was a total, net loss. Doing inadvisable things will never yield a learning experience as valuable as what might have been had by sober, wise and obedient methods. The alternatives to sobriety are not better, they are just funnier, more distracting, and ultimately counterproductive. Our use of inappropriate methods such as cheap humor, mockery and insults in the ministry can never produce the needed results that sobriety and wisdom could better produce.

Why can't we simply be sober? That is what the Bible tells us to do.

We have a much-too-large segment of our body of believers who seem to know no other way to communicate than by mockery and making light of everything from speaking in tongues, shouting, preaching, collecting an offering, or the way someone combs his/her hair. Is it necessary? I say that it isn't. Is it beneficial? I say no. Should such practices be abandoned. I say, "Unequivocally."

Will you mock me now? Then you are the very person I am addressing.

The Church was meant to be like a lifeboat on a raging sea, not a cruise ship for party-goers. "The end...is at hand: be...sober." 1 Peter 4:7.

Christianity is stuffed with cheap filler, like Styrofoam in a shipping crate. It's time to toss out frivolity, and sober up. Preach God's WORD.

Cut the cancer off the Church. Get rid of entertainment, comedy, sports and general nonsense. Soberly, wisely, preach and teach God's Word.

We are making a deadly mistake by turning the Church into a party environment. Heaven, Hell, Eternity are sober issues. We laugh too much.

Many people only live from laugh to laugh. They block out the weightier, sober things of life. 12 Bible verses say "be sober". Get serious.

"The grace of God ...Teach[es] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly," Titus 2:11.

"Be SOBER, be VIGILANT; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may DEVOUR," 1 Peter 5:8.

The Church would benefit profoundly by categorically throwing out ALL nonsensical humor and stupidity from the Church platform. BE SOBER.

"In all their jollity in this world, the wicked are but as a book fairly bound,..when it is opened is full of nothing but tragedies," Richard Sibbes.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," Galatians 6:7-9.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Prophesied Chronology of the Last Days

The Great Tribulation will NOT last seven years. It will begin in the MIDDLE of Daniel's Seventieth Week. When the Assyrian Man of Sin stands in the newly-built Third Temple, he will commit the Abomination of Desolation prophesied in Daniel 9:27, and by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:15. For the FINAL 42 MONTHS, the new Temple will remain desolate. The World Government will control the Temple Mount under a Muslim pretext/puppet. The Mark of the Beast will immediately be launched. True Christians will have no choice but to REFUSE to take the Mark. Those 42 months will be the Great Tribulation. Jesus Christ will supernaturally seal (with the Holy Ghost) 144,000 virgin male Jews, and they will be the firstfruits from the earth. The Sixth Trumpet war will unleash the greatest global holocaust of all time. One-third of mankind will die. Russia and Iran will be the strongest survivors of the Sixth Trumpet, and will launch the final battle against Israel to utterly annihilate it.

Shortly before Armageddon begins, enemies of the Roman Catholic Church (probably Muslims) will destroy it. Then God Himself will pour out His wrath on Rome. A world-wide earthquake will leave Rome utterly destroyed. Physically, Rome will be broken into three land masses, and fire from Heaven will utterly consume it, never to be inhabited again.

The Seven Vials of God's Wrath will be poured out on those who have taken the Mark of the Beast (but NOT on the saints of God who still survive). Then Jesus Christ will thrust in His sickle and reap the Wheat Harvest: the First Resurrection and Rapture of the Church, at the SEVENTH Trumpet (the LAST Trumpet). Angels will gather together the Grapes of Wrath: the rabid enemies of Israel and Christ, and gather them together in the Valley of Megiddo for Christ and His Hosts to utterly destroy at the Battle of Armageddon.

Suddenly, Jesus will appear in the skies over Jerusalem, with all the saints of all the ages with Him. He will destroy the armies that have come against Israel. He will destroy the Beast of the European World Government and the False Prophet of the Roman Catholic Church - the Pope. He will destroy the Assyrian Man of Sin on His Holy Mountain - the Temple Mount. An angel will cast Satan into the bottomless pit. A great earthquake will open the Eastern Gate which has been closed for 1400 years.

Jesus will lead His saints onto the Temple Mount from the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there they will crown Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We will celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and Jesus will order the construction of His Millennial Temple. All the Jews will have been resurrected from the dead, and will look upon Jesus whom they pierced. They will mourn and repent of their great error, and He will fill them with His Spirit and write His laws in their hearts. For 1,000 years, Jesus Christ will rule the World from Jerusalem. David will rule Israel as the Prince under Christ. The twelve Apostles will rule the 12 tribes of Israel in the Holy Land.

The Christian saints will rule all the nations and cities of the world during that time. Mortals who survived Armageddon will be ruled by Christ's immortal saints. At the end of 1,000 years, Satan will be loosed and attempt to pull off another Armageddon, but the fire of God will fall on him and he will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever. All the wicked dead will be raised to face their judgment at the White Throne, where they will be cast bodily into the eternal lake which burns with fire and brimstone. All the saints will meet Christ at the White Throne where they will receive their eternal rewards for their righteous works.

Heaven and Earth will melt with a fervent heat. A New Heaven and New Earth will appear, and the NEW JERUSALEM (the saints of God) will appear descending upon the New Earth. For all of eternity, the saints of God will dwell with Christ in His infinite Kingdom of Heaven. Sin and Satan will have been banished forever. All these facts are explained in great detail in THE DANIEL PROPHECIES.

Get it and read it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Christian Music Wars - Part 2

It's time to drive the world, the flesh
and the devil out of our Churches.
I have been a Church musician all of my life. At eight years old, I was the Church organist in a congregation of about 150. At 14, I was heavily involved in preaching, singing and music ministry, holding weekend revivals even in my school years. At 19, I was a professional Gospel musician and performed on stage with almost every well-known Gospel group in those days. I played keyboard for many of the best-known Gospel singers in those days. And for almost thirty years, I literally pastored Churches from the keyboard, leading worship services from the keyboard or from the Hammond Organ, directing praise singers, chorales and choirs.

But today's Christian music has very nearly turned me against all Church music. I am absolutely nauseated and repulsed by the sickening shallowness and emptiness of modern Christian music, and the worldly, spiritually null-and-void phoniness of its musicians. I have eyes to see, and I can see the whole congregations of people standing there in a stupor, not knowing what to make of these near-meaningless songs. I have watched them over and over again. They don't sing along because the songs do not connect with them. When they do sing them, it is often a forced response, a desperate attempt to worship, despite the pathetic over-simplicity and dreadful redundancy of the lyrics of the songs being sung.

You could combine ten or twelve of some of the most popular "worship" choruses and still not have enough meaningful lyrics to convey a truly worthwhile scriptural message.

There are very few Gospel hymns written in the past 100 years that I have not played or sang at one time or the other. Thousands of songs. There is hardly a single song in all of the old songbooks that do not express some truly meaningful Gospel message. But the new songs are without precedent. Never in my life have I heard so much chanting, so much meaningless repetition, so many hard-driving, ground-shaking songs that say absolutely nothing of significant meaning. More songs than ever contain few if any complete sentences. Many of the most popular songs are nothing but buzz phrases repeated over and over and over and over and over again. They often have no sentence structure, which means that they do not convey a complete thought. There is no noun and verb, and that means nothing is actually being said.

Call me old-fashioned. Call me out-dated. Call me cynical or old-fogey, or anything else you can think of. I don't really care. But there is one problem. What I am saying is absolutely true. A vast majority of the Christian musicians of our day are almost completely biblically illiterate. Compared to the songwriters of the past, this generation is prayerless, godless, Bible-less, and clueless of the great doctrines and teachings of the Bible. Their lifestyles are devoid of real biblical sanctity. They are frivolous, worldly, and materialistic. They specialize in wall-pounding, earth-shaking drumming and bass thumping and dancing and jumping and flailing themselves in what is purported to be some never-before-seen, over-the-top, awesome spirituality. That would be laughable if it wasn't such a tragic deception.

They categorically dismiss virtually all the Christian music of the past because it is "legalistic," "antiquated" and "does not relate" to this generation. But there is a reason it does not relate, and that is because so many of this generation do not want to be bothered with the sober realities of godliness, holiness, piety, true Bible doctrines, or living the straight-and-narrow life. They are cement-headed about jumping and dancing to their shallow choruses, and viciously resist ALL the vernacular of historical Christianity.

Too many in this generation arrogantly believe that they have finally perfected worship, and that all other generations were helplessly and pathetically uncool. It is the Rehoboam Syndrome. Rehoboam was the son of King Solomon who categorically rejected the wisdom of his elders, and followed only the counsel of his own peers. The result was disastrous. Today's "Christian" sound stages are conspicuously absent of real godly elders. No elders for miles.

They are youth-driven. Inexperience-driven. Naivete-driven. Arrogance-driven. Presumption-driven. They believe that all the teachings of previous generations were ignorant and unlearned, and they are the first and greatest champions of true "grace" and "liberty." They demand that God does not require the keeping of any of His old rules anymore. They demand that they are free to live as they please as long as they confess Christ as their personal savior. Awesome worship, in their way of understanding, satisfies all the requirements of being saved. If you make good, hard-driving music, you are spiritual. If you don't make awesome music, you are irrelevant and uncool. But that is one of the biggest, fattest lies ever perpetrated or believed.

Today's Christianity could stand a complete purge of its music. It is arguable that one of the best things that could happen in today's "church" is to throw out ALL the music for a while and force everybody to sit and listen to hardcore, Holy Ghost-anointed Bible preaching for an entire year without music. At the end of that year, I have no doubt whatsoever that there would be a radically different view of both the role and usefulness of music in the Church. I guarantee you that after a full year of hard Bible preaching, a big part of today's Christian music and musicians would NOT be welcomed back onto the Church platform.

But WHY should it take a year of abstinence? Why can't we face the facts? There have been God-fearing, Bible-believing, Holy Ghost-filled, Jesus' name baptized believers somewhere on earth for 2,000 years. And they did NOT have million-dollar, music-driven sound stages. Preaching and teaching characterized the Church for two thousand years. Why have we turned Christianity over to the musicians? It was a terrible mistake that must be corrected immediately.

Let us search out men of God who will lead us back to God by the preaching of the pure, unadulterated Word, and without the endless sensual pounding and beat of the jungle. There are literally hundreds of powerful, truly awesome Gospel hymns and songs that beg to be sung again. Their messages are profound, convicting and life-changing, and have absolutely no use for the mind-numbing, trance-like chanting and heart-stopping pounding that is now considered indispensable.

We are responsible to God to re-sanctify the Gospel in our day. To separate the profane from the holy; the carnal from the spiritual; heresies from truth; deceivers from true men; phonies from the real; the worldly from the godly; compromisers from the truly consecrated; the defiled from the pure; the meaningless from the meaningful.

Then and only then can the Church begin again to actually be the holy Church - the Ecclesia; the "called-out," "chosen," and "separated" Church - that Jesus died for. Not a "Christian" nightclub, dance hall, or entertainment center that so many have now become. Ichabod. The glory of the Lord has departed, and they don't even know it.

See Part 1 - Christian Music Wars