There is nothing more important than the Gospel message. -cr
Reading through the Bible recently, I came across these verses from a true Prophet named Jeremiah:
20 “The anger of the Lord will not turn back
Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart;
In the last days you will clearly understand it.
21 “I did not send these prophets,
But they ran.
I did not speak to them,
But they prophesied.
22 “But if they had stood in My council,
Then they would have announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way
And from the evil of their deeds.
Prophecy has a major role in the Bible. One source states that there are 1,817 prophecies which are found in 8,352 Bible verses. If this subjective number is close to correct, then 26% of the Bible is prophetic. If even 1% of the Bible is prophetic, its value cannot be understated.
A good example of true prophesy is found in the book of the prophet Nahum. In it Nahum wrote specific prophecies that God had given to him. He used the words “Thus says the Lord” (1:12) to describe upcoming events involving Nineveh, the great city of the Assyrian Empire.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments there are warnings about false prophets. The deceitful prophets mentioned in the verses above were not sent by God, but they ran with zest to announce self-produced words.
As I read the verses, I could not help but think of the past year and a half and how, in that short time, many of today’s false prophets have been dramatically exposed.
Many of today’s false prophets who imply or say without hesitation “Thus says the Lord” meet with or hear from God on almost a daily basis. It is a serious problem that needs to be discussed and unmasked. People are being duped.
The false prophets of our time have been consistently wrong about recent momentous events. Not one of them that I’m aware of warned us that something like the coronavirus was coming. Almost all of them stated or “prophesied” that Mr. Trump would win the 2020 election. If election fraud was as bad as some think, wouldn’t God have told them about that? I have watched videos about the messages that “God gave them” for the upcoming year as 2020 approached. Most of it turned out to be woefully erroneous. One common theme was that huge amounts of wealth would be redistributed to “God’s people.” Another theme was that God’s spirit was going to move in wondrous ways.
These modern day false prophets are nothing like the prophets in the Bible.
An evangelist who knows a lot about the subject is Justin Peters. He is featured in the two videos I have shared below. The first video discusses the problem. The second video is a round table discussion about the recently published Prophetic Standards Statement which has been signed by 685 people. They have allowed us to see some of the more “prominent” signers. The statement was designed to blunt the criticism that the “prophets” have received over the past year or so.
Some of the statement is pretty good but there are seriously flawed sections:
“WE REJECT the notion that a contemporary prophetic word is on the same level of inspiration or authority as Scripture or that God always speaks inerrantly through prophets today, since the Bible says we only know in part and prophesy in part (1 Cor. 13:9).“
Really? Then why in the world would anyone even listen to these people and why are they called prophets?
The second to the last paragraph describes three types of prophets.
There are only two types of prophets: real ones and fake ones.
The first video is aptly named and is divided into six sections (approx. times):
- Introduction 00:00 – 4:28
- Major missed events (by the false prophets) 4:28 – 27:30
- Presidential prophecies pre-election 27:30 – 58:45
- Post-election prophecies 58:45 – 2:12:00
- Interview with Dr. Nathan Busenitz 2:12:45 – 3:05:55
- Conclusions 3:05:00 – 4:28:00
The “missed events” and the “presidential prophesies” are difficult to listen to. The interview with Dr. Busenitz is very interesting. The second time I watched the first video I realized that near the end Justin uses the same scripture that inspired this post.
I can’t help but wonder if this situation is going to get any worse. I recognized a number of the false prophets exposed in the first video. I also recognized a few signatures on the Prophetic standards statement but there are a lot I had never seen before. Obviously, the real Christian Church, the true Bride of Christ, needs to be informed about this sad sign of our times.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
***Evidently, I am not the only Christian blogger who has been thinking about this subject lately. “False Teachers” is the name of a poem Deborah Ann published a day before I got this post up. HERE IS THE POEM IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ IT.
(Tune: The First Noel)
The first Noel of this new decade
Sees nations divided, people sick and afraid
Truth and Myth are thrown in the same heap
And “they” tell us that prejudice runs very deep
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is The King of Israel!
But today is not very different from then
The shepherds were not highly thought of by men
Out alone with the sheep on a cold winter’s night
While the cities were bustling, Caesar’s soldiers on site.
And lo, a bright Star shown upon earth’s plight
Those poor “lowly” shepherds saw angels that night!
Theirs was the privilege to go forth and tell
That King Jesus was born, Emanuel!
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is The King of Israel!
Praise God that His ways are much different than ours
He’s not impressed by political powers
Timing and healing are in His Control
Yet He’s more concerned for the state of our souls.
While this year might seem a nightmarish long night
Our Hope is the One Who said, “Let there be Light”
We don’t know what the next year will bring
Maybe we’ll see the return of THE KING!
And so from the Reimers, A Joyous Noel!
We’ve been mostly homebound, not much else to tell!
It’s peaceful and quiet here out in the woods
It’s been 25 years now, Isn’t God Good?
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is The King of Israel!
“My people shall dwell in quiet resting places.”
Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate, they are the peculiar possession of the Lord’s people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation. Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that his words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of his word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of his grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter. The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of his people, and when we draw near to him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to him to be the return of peace to our spirits.
“I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood,
I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.
‘Tis everlasting peace, sure as Jehovah’s name,
‘Tis stable as his steadfast throne, for evermore the same:
The clouds may go and come, and storms may sweep my sky,
This blood-sealed friendship changes not, the cross is ever nigh.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
(Mr. Spurgeon finished this devotion with a portion of the Hymn “I Hear the Words of Love” by Horatius Bonar.)
The other day I was talking to a young man about last days issues. It is a subject which is on the minds of many these days. The Rapture is one of the topics that usually comes up in such a discussion. Why spend time on the possibilities when someone with far more knowledge than I has made a concise video that does an excellent job of helping others understand the main four Christian views? Brother Dorgan not only describes the prospects, he does it in a very appropriate manner. He thinks that Christians should not be arguing over the different theories and his goal is to interest and inform those who never hear the topic discussed from their pulpits. He is not trying to convince anyone of his view (which he spends little to no time on in this video.)
I have studied this topic (the Rapture) enough to know that I do not hold a strong view in any direction. This video interested me enough to go on to view Mr. Dorgan’s next two sessions (where his view is spelled out) and I plan to eventually get to the final three sessions to complete the series.
I always appreciate kind, simple, and knowledgeable instruction. It is why I recommended this video to my young friend. If you are interested, I recommend it to you as well.
Currently, I hold to the “Pan-Trib” view. It will all pan out just the way God has planned it. In spite of my indecisiveness, I do think it is important to know the possibilities.
In education, “why” is generally the highest level question that one can ask. Teachers are encouraged to use Bloom’s Taxonomy to create high-level questions. For example, instead of asking, “Which U.S. President, authorized by the U.S. Congress, sent the American military into the Iraqi conflict in 2003?” a teacher could ask, “Was President Bush justified in sending U.S. soldiers to Iraq and why do you think that?”
Here are several articles that I have read that relate to the title above and a few of my thoughts on each:
Whenever someone comes up with 10 reasons to think the coronavirus is a judgment of God, like Peter Leithart does here, I’m curious to see what he thinks. I am not only curious about his thoughts, I always try to find out a bit about him. I have done both.
Mr. Leithart asks the question “Why?” and his 10 reasons represent his thoughts about his home country, the U.S.
Each one of his reasons is a possible answer for “Why?” and “Why now?”
In answering the first of the two questions in his article, Dr. Land states:
So, when people ask, “Did God cause this to happen?” the answer has to be, “No, He did not.” Why? The Bible tells us that “no one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). The Psalmist tells us that “the works of his hands are faithful and just” (Psalm 111:7) and “God is light and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
I particularly like Dr. Land’s reliance on scripture. I also liked it that he started the article with:
Whenever we seek to answer such questions, we must first express our humility, remembering the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” (Rom. 8:23-24 CSB).
Dr. Land has impressive educational achievements and yet he says we need to remember our position in relation to God.
Did God allow the coronavirus? Dr. Land gives an interesting illustration using the Rose Bowl of 2006 (U.S.C. vs. Texas) to explain how God views human history. (It is an article worth your time.)
Dr. Land’s opinion:
“Did God cause the Coronavirus pandemic?” No. “Did God allow the pandemic to happen?” Yes.
Also, he states this:
Can God ultimately redeem the pandemic for good? That depends entirely on how we as Christians and as a nation respond to this terrible tragedy.
This is the title of N.T. Wright’s article that appeared in Time magazine.
No doubt the usual silly suspects will tell us why God is doing this to us. A punishment? A warning? A sign? These are knee-jerk would-be Christian reactions in a culture which, generations back, embraced rationalism: everything must have an explanation. But supposing it doesn’t? Supposing real human wisdom doesn’t mean being able to string together some dodgy speculations and say, “So that’s all right then?” What if, after all, there are moments such as T. S. Eliot recognized in the early 1940s, when the only advice is to wait without hope, because we’d be hoping for the wrong thing?
Since Mr. Wright calls certain reactions to the virus silly and “would-be Christian,” what is his view?
Rationalists (including Christian rationalists) want explanations; Romantics (including Christian romantics) want to be given a sigh of relief. But perhaps what we need more than either is to recover the biblical tradition of lament. Lament is what happens when people ask, “Why?” and don’t get an answer.
Is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow what happens when people don’t get an answer? I would agree that the answer is sometimes “yes.” But Christians I know don’t get answers and still call faith “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I’ve never heard one quote the T.S. Elliot version of hope Mr. Wright uses:
What if, after all, there are moments such as T. S. Eliot recognized in the early 1940s, when the only advice is to wait without hope, because we’d be hoping for the wrong thing?
Christians know the hope that they have. It is a blessed hope.
They are “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus…”
I’m always concerned when someone thinks they have all of the answers, which is the tone of Mr. Wright here. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. He did use the term “perhaps.”
The article ends with:
As the Spirit laments within us, so we become, even in our self-isolation, small shrines where the presence and healing love of God can dwell. And out of that there can emerge new possibilities, new acts of kindness, new scientific understanding, new hope. New wisdom for our leaders? Now there’s a thought.
We become small shrines? What is that supposed to mean? I’m all for new acts of kindness and I’m all for new scientific understanding, but Mr. Wright seems to clash with himself when he criticizes “Rationalism” at least twice in this endeavor.
I understand lamenting and I verily understand groaning. I don’t understand Mr. Wright.
John Lennox has written a book named “Where is God in a Coronavirus World?” Mr. Lennox is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and an Emeritus Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford University. I have not read his book, but I have watched this video:
I have always appreciated the views of Mr. Lennox and had no different experience here. John is asked, “Why have viruses at all?” I’d recommend you watch the video.
I could continue to share opinions and make my own speculations but the truth is, I do not know why the Corona virus has hit our world now and I do not know why. I do think three of the four gentlemen above have given good possibilities for these questions. The fourth view (that of N.T. Wright) is also a possibility.
I do know one thing. If I understand the tribulation as Christ describes it in Matthew 24 (along with other passages in the Bible), COVID-19, at least to this point, is like a mosquito bite compared to what is eventually coming. Many people I talk to think that we are living in the days of “birth pangs” described in Matthew 24:8. I think this is very possible. Whether we are closing in on or are in the last days or not, here is a passage that we all should keep in mind:
1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, 4 but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. 11 Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ 12 But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
This parable is stated directly after the chapter about the Tribulation. It is found in Matthew 25.
If I see any other interesting views on “Why?” and “Why now?” I may add them as time allows.
Alistair Begg’s Easter Sermon 2020
“Thou art my hope in the day of evil.”
The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God’s Word, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;” and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be “As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer’s sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the “green pastures” by the side of the “still waters,” but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, “Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen.” Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in darkness. The best of God’s saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of his children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.
Charles H. Spurgeon
When I read this today, the verse seemed to fit our day in other ways as well. The deity of Christ is under attack perhaps more today than ever. Just this week, I’ve stumbled across several different religious leaders who do not give Jesus his full position as God as the Bible teaches. (30 “I and the Father are one.” – John 10)
Add to that the many false prophets, prosperity teachers, New Apostolic Reformation leaders, New Age thought, Unitarian positions, cults, etc. (I’m not even including other religions here) and we have a time where Bible verses are twisted to make Jesus someone to fit personal wishes instead of the true Jesus found in scripture (Tota Scriptura).
We need to be familiar with the entire Word of God so that we are not fooled by these impostors. I think it’s time for all of us to go back to the basics and study why we believe the things we do believe. I think this because basic Christian Orthodoxy which has spanned the ages is in question (i.e. the diety of Christ).
Just like my church (and yours) Parkside Church is full of empty seats until further notice. Pastor Begg gives a sermon to his congregation through his church’s website. It is relevant to our times. The message starts at 16:45. May God bless you by His Holy Spirit through this recent lesson.
A Sermon by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (An excerpt)
Let me put it to you like this. Christianity is not a philosophy. What is a philosophy? Well, a philosophy is made up of ideas put forward by men, in an attempt to try to understand life and our problems and how to deal with them and how to solve them. It is a matter of ideas, of thoughts and of teachings. My point is that while there is obviously a teaching and a doctrine which is a vital part of Christianity, that is not the first thing. What differentiates this is that it is first and foremost a record of historical events and historical facts. What mean these stones outside Gilgal? All that they mean is that certain things happened to these people-history. Let us be clear about this. There are so many people today who talk about the Christian attitude-towards war and peace, a Christian attitude towards education, a Christian attitude towards art, drama and literature. Now all that tends to turn it into a philosophy, into a teaching, into a theory, into a point of view. But that is really not to be true to our position. So Christianity, we must remember, is not one of a number of theories and ideas and philosophies with respect to life. It is quite unique because it is teaching which is based upon history.
I can go further and I can say this. That this is the thing that differentiates the Christian faith from religion-from any kind of religion. You take these religions that people, some of them, are turning to at the present time. Buddhism or Confucianism or Hinduism, or any one of these ‘isms’. What are they? Well, they are all something invented by men. They are all teachings. They involve a kind of worship, but they are not based upon facts and upon events. They are all based upon ideas-and they are ideas that are supposed to lead you and to help you to arrive at the particular deity that you want to worship.
Now here again, you see, our Christian faith is entirely different. It calls attention to facts. And that is why this building in a sense is going to do exactly the same as the bread and the wine do in a communion service. They again are calling attention to facts. So, we must start with this all important matter-this principle-and realise that it is vital to our whole situation. The uniqueness of the Christian faith depends upon a series of historical facts and events and the teaching which results from them.
It is probably not altogether right to excerpt from one of the greats, though I think the good Doctor would be happy with my reasoning here. How many were saying in 1977, when the sermon was given, that the Bible was a good book but that much of it consisted of “meaningful fables” and “nice stories” and that its historicity was in serious question? This type of liberal Christianity, already quite popular then, was something that Martyn Lloyd-Jones abhorred. How much more are the historical parts of the Bible under attack today? Yes, parts of the scriptures are beautiful poetry and some are eschatological wonders. But there are the parts that, until the past few centuries, were always considered history and still are by men in agreement with Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Remarkably, currently and in the recent past, men are calling what has always been considered history poetry or allegory. There is the “Documentary Hypothesis” and a myriad of similar criticisms which weaken the inspired intentions of the text. Some go so far as to question the miracles.
I admire men like David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Walter Martin, and Charles H. Spurgeon and I agree with them. All great scholars, they upheld the Bible as the inspired word of God in times of question. We are living in times when many consider the Bible as just another book on the shelf. In their time, these great men were astonished that anyone could have such an opinion and if any were with us today I think they would receive more mocking than they did in their day and would respond no differently than when they were alive.
This is a sermon that needs to be heard more today than ever. I am including a link to the text of this sermon and another to the recording of the actual sermon. Either would be more than worth your time.
A sermon WITH THE SAME TITLE was preached at Newport; South Wales; in 1977. Martyn Lloyd-Jones often used this text at the opening of new churches. It was on this text that he last preached at the opening of Barcombe Baptist Chapel in 1980.