The State of the Church Today
STATE OF THE CHURCH
FALSE TEACHERS-FALSE SALVATION
This may be the most important article I have ever written: in it I intend to show first that millions of Christians who believe they are about to be raptured will never be raptured and secondly I hope to show that millions of Christians who think they are saved, will die
outside the Kingdom. First off, let me say that I am writing this article as a reminder to myself and secondly, as a warning to many of my readers. Our sad state of affairs is due in large part to the false teachers, who have come preaching another Gospel and another Christ. But it is also due to the people’s failure to "love the truth".
BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in SHEEP’S CLOTHING but inwardly, they are DEVOURING WOLVES."- Matt. 7:15
". . . GRIEVOUS WOLVES shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise SPEAKING PERVERSE THINGS to draw away disciples after themselves." -Acts 20:29,30
"For if he that comes preaching another Jesus, whom we have not preached or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or ANOTHER GOSPEL, which ye have not accepted you might well bear with me." . . ."For such are FALSE APOSTLES, DECEITFUL WORKERS, transforming themselves into APOSTLES OF CHRIST." - II Cor. 11:4, 13
"For there are certain men who have crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the Grace of our God into lasciviousness and denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." - Jude 4
From the foregoing passages, we see prophecies of a time when the Church would become full of false teachers and false prophets and false apostles. Such persons are likened to devouring wolves, who wear sheep’s clothing to deceive the people. But as I mentioned
earlier, the people are very much at fault because these false teachers who turn the Grace of God upside down to preach another gospel, could not do so if the people truly were seeking after the truth. And we are not talking about a mere handful of people who
follow cult leaders. We are talking about the body of Christ, the Church. "For the time will come when they will not ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE, but after their own desires, having itching ears, they shall heap to themselves teachers. And they shall turn away their ears from the TRUTH AND SHALL BE TURNED TO FABLES." - II Tim. 4:3, 4
"But just as there were false prophets among the people, even so shall there be FALSE TEACHERS among you, who privately shall bring in DAMNABLE HERESIES, which deny the Lord that bought them and they shall bring upon themselves swift destruction. AND MANY SHALL FOLLOW THEIR PERNICIOUS WAYS; by reason of whom the WAY OF TRUTH shall be spoken evil of." -II Pet. 2:1-2
Now, please notice that not only will these teachers preach a watered down gospel of ‘easy believeism’, they will also speak evil of those who teach the Ancient Path. They tell their followers that they are saved the moment they become converted and that there is
nothing left for them to do except ‘trust in Christ’. They call the true Way ‘legalism’ or ‘mysticism’ or ‘ritualism’. To those who follow them, God says: "Because you have rejected Knowledge, I will also reject you." - Hosea 4:6 Not only do these reject the
Ancient Paths, they become missionaries and travel to foreign countries preaching their damnable doctrines. Jesus says to them: "Woe to you . . . for you traverse land and sea to make one proselyte but when you have made him - you make him two-fold the child of Hell, more then yourselves." - Matt. 23:15
One of the damnable doctrines being preached by T. V. evangelists and pastors of churches is that the Christians will be raptured to heaven before the coming time of ‘tribulation’. The simple fact is that very few will be raptured.
MILLIONS OF CHRISTIANS WILL MISS THE RAPTURE
At this point our study will begin to deal with the ‘few’ versus the ‘many’ and the ‘worthy’ versus the ‘unworthy’. No doubt my reader has seen ads on T.V. for movies that were created for the unsaved after the ‘rapture’. These ‘prophetic ministries’ encourage believers
to buy these movies and give them to their friends and to unbelieving Jews who will have to go through the ‘tribulation’.
Do I believe in a ‘tribulation’? Yes, of course I believe in a tribulation. The Church as gone through tribulation ever since its inception. But I will agree with those who foresee terrible times coming upon earth. In fact, we are already entering those times. But to tell Christians that they will be raptured before these terrible times come is pure heresy.
Christ does promise a small group, "Because you have kept the word of my Endurance, I will also keep you from the HOUR OF TEMPTATION THAT IS COMING UPON ALL THE WORLD, to test those who dwell upon the earth." - Rev. 3:10 The Greek word
for ‘keep’ here is the word ‘tereo’ which means to preserve through or to keep. It is used in John 17:15, where Jesus prays to his heavenly Father: "I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you keep (‘tereo) them from the evil [one]." The only verse that I know of that was placed in the Bible twice says: "A prudent man foresees the evil a great way off and hides himself but the simple pass on and are punished." - Prov. 22:3; 27:12 While we
may wish to be prudent, there may come a time when we will be tested. "Whosoever will come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it." - Mk. 8:34, 35
We are specifically told, "Unto those who LOOK FOR HIM, shall he appear second time, without sin unto Salvation." - Heb. 9:28 We are further told to: "WATCH AND PRAY THAT YOU
MAY BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man." - Luke 21:36 Most Christians will counter that they are looking and watching for Him but are they?
We read of ten virgins who were waiting for the Bridegroom to come. "And at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold the Bridegroom comes; go out to meet him.’ Then, all the virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your
oil, because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No, said the wise, lest there be not enough for us and you; rather go to those that sell [oil] and buy some for yourselves.’ While they were gone, the Bridegroom came and THOSE THAT WERE READY went in with him to the Marriage and the door was shut." - Matt. 25:6-10
The wise virgins had their lamps (wicks) trimmed and ready to go. They were not encumbered with a lot of baggage. "Then the king said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready but THOSE WHO WERE INVITED WERE NOT WORTHY." - Matt. 22:8
MILLIONS OF CHRISTIAN ARE DECEIVED ABOUT BEING SAVED
Many of the preachers who are deceiving their people fail to discern between conversion and regeneration. These are not one and the same thing. They promise their followers instant salvation with no pain or suffering or hardship. They make no distinction
between being ‘called’ and being ‘chosen. At the time one becomes converted, he receives the power to become a son of God but that is a process. "As many as received him, to them, he gave the power to become the Sons of God, even to those that believe on his name." - John 1:12 "FOR MANY ARE CALLED, BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN." - Matt. 22:14
"Then someone asked him, ‘Lord, are there only a few that will be saved? He answered them, ‘STRIVE TO ENTER in the strait gate: FOR MANY I SAY UNTO YOU THAT MANY WILL SEEK TO ENTER IN AND SHALL NOT BE ABLE TO.’ - Lu. 13:23, 24
"LAYING UP IN STORE FOR YOURSELVES a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life." I Tim. 6:19
"You have a FEW NAMES in Sardis which have not defiled their garments and they shall walk with me in white FOR THEY ARE WORTHY." - Rev. 3:4
Why would the Apostle Paul write, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling", if Jesus had already done everything for us and all we have to do is simply believe? - Phil. 2:12
I am reminded of the little boy who came upon a caterpillar, who had spun a chrysalis and was attempting to struggle out and become a butterfly. The little boy took his pocket knife and cut the chrysalis open, thus freeing the struggling caterpillar, who was only
half way out. What the little boy did not realize is that it is necessary for the butterfly to struggle out and in the process of coming out, push all the fluids back into his newly forming wings. Without that fluid, he cannot become a butterfly and learn to fly. He
must remain something half butterfly and half caterpillar. That is what a lot of preachers do to their followers. They laugh at the concept of the divinization of the soul.
"Therefore, we pray always for you, that our God would COUNT YOU WORTHY of this calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of his Goodness and the WORK OF FAITH WITH POWER." -II Thess. 1:11
WHAT IS SALVATION? ARE THERE DIFFERENT PLANS OF SALVATION?
Here, it would not be inappropriate to ask what does one have to do to be saved. The New Testament reveals four levels of Salvation. Paul gives the first one saying: "For whoever shall CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.’ - Rom.10:13 He
further adds, "That if you will CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, the Lord Jesus and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, YOU SHALL BE SAVED." - Rom. 10:9 An example of this is the thief who was crucified with Jesus. While the other thief reviled Jesus with insults, the penitent thief confessed
that he was a sinner and asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his Kingdom. Jesus took pity upon him and said, "This day shall you be with me in Paradise". - Lu. 23:43 This is a case of a man, whose works were burned but he was saved; yet so as by fire. - I Cor. 3:15
The false preachers divorce faith from works. They obviously have never read the 11th chapter of Hebrews, where faith is shown to inspire to good works. James put it eloquently, when he wrote, "What does it profit a man, my brethren, if he says he has faith and does not have works? Can faith save him? . . . Yes, a man may say,
You have faith and I have works: show me your faith without your works but I will show you my faith by my works." - James 2:14, 18
Secondly, we are taught the need to be baptized in order to be saved. "He that believes and IS BAPTIZED SHALL BE SAVED, but he that believes not shall be damned." - Mark 16:16 "Now, why do you tarry? ARISE AND BE BAPTIZED AND WASH AWAY YOUR SINS, calling on the name of the Lord." - Acts 22:16
Since baptism is a symbol of the death of Jesus and our being buried with him, "baptism does also now save us." - I Pet. 3:21
Thirdly, we are instructed by Jesus that it is necessary to partake of the Holy Grail (holy blood). "Verily, Verily, I say unto you Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. WHOEVER EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD HAS ETERNAL LIFE; and I will raise him up at the last day." - John 6:53, 54
Fourthly, it is necessary, in order to be counted worthy, to become continent or better yet, remain a virgin in order to be saved.
"But they WHICH SHALL BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY to obtain that world and the Resurrection from the dead, NEITHER MARRY NOR ARE THEY GIVEN IN MARRIAGE; neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels and ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD, because they are children of the Resurrection." - Lu. 20:35, 3
Once, when I was young, I was injured on a job and began receiving workers compensation. But while I was laid up, I foresaw that my fellow employees were going to go out on strike. Because I loved my wife and did not want her to worry about bills etc, I kept
on drawing compensation from the Insurance firm. When the strike was over I went back to work but my conscience began to bother me because I knew I should not have continued to take the Insurance money after I was well. So I went to the Insurance firm
which happed to be located in Chicago and told them what I had done and asked them if I could repay they. I paid them in cash that day but it was a very embarrassing time for me. The simple fact of the matter is, that I loved my wife more than I loved God. This is called ‘loving the world’.
We are advised, "Love not the world, neither the things in the world. If any man love the world, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM. For all that is in the world - the desire of the flesh,
the desires of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world and the world will pass away with the desires thereof, but he who does the will of God remains forever." - I John 2:15-17
I pray that these thoughts may bless and inspire you. Your editor, Jeffrey Brackeen