Posts Tagged ‘prophecy

02
May
17

Watch out that no one deceives you (end time warning)

When Jesus’s disciples asked him about the signs of the end, and Jesus (2nd) coming, Jesus prefaced His answer with the warning:
“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.”

I’m sure that preface wasn’t insignificant or merely a throw-away line, not was it placed at the beginning of his answer by accident. End time teaching, speculation and prophetic claims are considerably prone to error and therefore we should be extra-wary – making sure we search the scriptures for ourselves, testing everything.

I started my Christian life at a time when “the end times” were a favoured topic, with best selling books devoted to near future events and the imminent fulfilment of end time Bible prophecy. In particular Hal Lindsay’s The Late Great Planet Earth was considered essential reading.

In keeping with Lindsay’s pre-trib. rapture message, I displayed a sticker in my car warning passengers of the danger of the car becoming driverless should the rapture occur during the journey.

The “threat” of an imminent rapture was commonly used in evangelism. Churches would screen a film Like a Thief in the Night and its sequels, showing the scary outcome for those who missed the rapture and were “Left Behind” (as in the popular, more recent, series of novels). It seemed many people could no longer be motivated to faith by a fear of hell, so fear of future events, of God’s wrath upon a post-rapture world were utilised instead.*

But how much of all of that was REALLY in line with biblical accounts of the end time?

Not a lot. That’s what I discovered when I finally took the time to study what scripture itself said, in contrast to what popular Christian media was promoting; or what was so often being preached in the churches I attended.

So much of what was stated as “gospel truth” turned out to be wrong. Henry Kissinger wasn’t the antichrist. The imminent rapture didn’t happen. Life went on and my passengers weren’t left alone in a driverless car. The antichrist’s Europe grew well beyond the beast’s ten kingdoms (and more recently has shown to be prone to imploding).
Most of the speculation that had been heralded as “biblical” has long become out-dated.

Maybe all of that has led to a weariness, instilling a feeling of disillusionment and forcing a reassessment of the importance of the “end times”, where the attitude has caused people to consider:

“Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

And that is the danger of unbiblical teaching. It leads to unbiblical conclusions and expectations and can make us weary of very important matters.

Regarding the end times, maybe more than many other issues, we NEED to be sure our understanding is grounded in the truth of scripture. As mentioned above, Jesus prefaced His prophecies of the end times with a warning: “Watch out that no one deceives you”. And he didn’t leave it there with a solitary statement. The whole section where He details end time events is full of warnings intended top equip the believer to overcome and survive through very difficult times, when it will seem easier to go with the flow instead of standing out from the crowd to proclaim the truth.

____________________________

* I would argue that fear isn’t necessary the best motivation to get people interested in the gospel – especially fears based on false expectations, such as missing out on a pre-trib rapture.

06
Apr
17

Biblical Response to the Crisis in the Middle East

Biblical Response to the Crisis in the Middle East

What Is a Biblical Response to the Mounting Crisis in the Middle East? // Dalton Thomas from FAI on Vimeo.

 

From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him

 

11
Dec
14

Psalm 110

Psalm 110

 

The Lord says to my Lord:

‘Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.’

The Lord will extend your mighty sceptre from Zion, saying,
‘Rule in the midst of your enemies!’
Your troops will be willing
on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy splendour,
your young men will come to you
like dew from the morning’s womb.

The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest for ever,
in the order of Melchizedek.’

The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
He will judge nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
He will drink from a brook along the way;
and so he will lift his head high.

10
Dec
14

Psalm 2

Psalm_2

Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

15
Jan
14

Jesus the Baptist

The attack* on Spiritual gifts is part of a bigger picture – an attack on the Holy Spirit Himself. I’ve been noting how much importance that the NT gives to the role of the Holy Spirit within the believer, and yet that importance is barely recognised.

It seems significant that one of the first things said about the adult Jesus was John the Baptist’s statement:

“I have baptised you with water, but He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit

The fact that this simple statement is referenced so many times (in Matt 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1, Acts 1, and Acts 11) and linked with the events at Pentecost and what happened to Cornelius, should encourage us to think about the relevance to believers today. And also make us wonder why the majority of the church ignores or tries to repudiate what is described.

So what does the NT say about the Holy Spirit and His relationship with believers? There are far too many references to go into in a blog post, but here are a few examples from the gospels and Acts.

1) Jesus will baptise believers in the Holy Spirit (Matt 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1:33. Acts 1, Acts 11)
2) He is given by the Father to those who ask (Luke 11)
3) He is the Helper, sent by the Father in Jesus’ name (John 14)
4) He provides power enabling believers to be witnesses for Jesus (Acts 1)
5) He is poured out by Jesus and fills believers, resulting in clear evidence of that filling (including tongues, praise and prophecy (Acts 2, 10 and 19))
6) He is a gift given to those who repent and are baptised in the name of Jesus. (Acts 2)
7) He gives boldness to speak the word of God (Acts 4)
8) He is given to those who obey God (Acts 5)
9) He is received through prayer (Acts 8)
10) Jesus was anointed with the Spirit and power, and went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil and Paul was filled with the Spirit (Acts 9 and 10)
11) He is poured out “even on the Gentiles” (Acts 10)
12) Believers have not necessarily received the Holy Spirit (Acts 19)[refer again to points 2, 8 and 9 above for posssible reasons]

I wonder how relevant these things have been to our own Christian lives – or are they things we’ve never considered?

_____________________

See previous post.
* I see this attack comes from two camps. The cessationists who deny the present day validity of the gifts, and also the unbiblical excesses of sections of Pentecostal/Charismatic groups that give cessationists their entire argument against the gifts.

10
Jan
14

Why Do The Nations Rage?

Why do the nations rage
Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

09
Oct
13

Belief: Evidence Based or Mirage?

Two months ago I wrote an article called “What a UFO Taught Me About Faith”* and in that article I wrote the following statement:

…people will believe what they want to believe, they will see evidence to support what they what to believe and they will refuse to accept any contrary evidence no matter how definitive that contrary evidence may be.

Mirage Men

I have recently finished reading a book, Mirage Men by Mark Pilkington, about the way UFO related “evidence” has been used as a disinformation tool by the US Military and Security Services. Pilkington makes the point that despite the clear and recognised evidence of this happening, people choose to go on believing far stranger alternative views.

Here are some quotes from the book about this tendency of people to “believe what they want to believe”.Quote one is an epigraph, credited to Louis Pasteur, introducing chapter 11 of the book

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so

Quote 2 comes towards the end of chapter 11

The believers don’t want to know the truth, they only want to have their pre-existing beliefs confirmed and elaborated upon.

Quote 3 comes from chapter 12

Festinger found that if someone believes something to be true, and all of the evidence suggests that it isn’t true, then, rather than restarting their life with a new set of beliefs, they will often cling more fervently to the old ones, generating new explanations for the conflict in their reality.

Leon Festinger was the author of a 1956 book When Prophecy Fails, about a UFO cult that, through “extra-terrestrial messages” had been led to believe prophecies of a global deluge in December 1954. Pilkington notes that when the destruction “failed to take place, rather than leave the group, many of [the] followers became more dedicated in their beliefs”.  Compare to similar responses in the “christian” world demonstrated at the links below **.

* https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/what-a-ufo-taught-me-about-faith/

** See the following links
https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/prophecies-failed-and-prophecy-fulfilled/
https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/new-year-and-false-prophecy/
https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/the-14-predictions-apology-were-still-waiting/
https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/another-christchurch-prophecy-deja-vu-all-over-again-with-few-lessons-learned/
https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/the-convenience-of-dated-prophecy/




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