Friday, March 30, 2007

Indiana University, Bloomington

Touring Indiana was very refreshing, for many people came out to our meetings with sincere questions and open hearts. IU, Bloomington was one such campus. It was great to have some local brothers join us during our time here.

"I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel..." (Romans 1:14-15)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Concise Outline of End Time Events

This is in no way meant to be exhaustive, but solely for the purpose of creating a framework for reference with my other writings. I personally do not believe charts and timetables are usually reliable, because the authors attempt to make them too extensive than allowed for, trying to explain things that are simply not revealed in the Bible. I have endeavored to present only what is given in Scripture, and that briefly.

1. The last days began on the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit of God was poured out upon the believers. (Acts 2:16-21)

2. From that moment until the return of Messiah there shall be birth pangs, becoming more and more frequent and intensified as we draw closer to the end (Matthew 24:8). In the days immediately prior to the appearing of Christ, the pressure will be at it's greatest; Jesus referred to this as megas thlipsis, "big pressure", or as it is commonly known: great tribulation.

3. It is prophesied that a Wicked One shall be revealed in the last seven years before Jesus Christ returns, the antichrist, who will set himself up as God, with the assistance of a false prophet, and will make war with the saints and prevail against them (Daniel 7:21, Revelation 13:7). There will be a great apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and the true believers will be hunted and killed. Sons will betray fathers, and daughters their own mothers... true Christians will be handed over to stand on trial before kings and rulers (Luke 21:12-13). In this way will the Bride of Christ be refined and the gospel will be preached throughout all the world.

4. This seven year period is divided into two halves: the first time, times and a half time (three and half years) will the antichrist establish a false peace with Israel and rebuild the temple. Then will happen what is called the abomination which causes desolation, when this man of sin sets himself up as God in the temple and reveals his true wickedness (Matthew 24:15). Many will be deceived into worshipping the beast and his image. This event ushers in the final three and a half years. "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:21-22)

5. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days 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 in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:29-31) Immediately following the tribulation of those days shall Jesus Christ gloriously return in power upon the clouds and shall gather the elect from earth to be with Him forever (John 14:1-3, 2 Thessalonians 2:1)! The resurrection and rapture, meaning the catching up of the saints, takes place when Jesus Christ bodily returns to earth the second and final time: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which 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." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

6. After being gathered to Him in the air we shall all descend upon the Mount of Olives, where the feet of the King shall land with a great earthquake, splitting the mountain in two (Zechariah 14:4, Acts 1:11). The Lord shall smite the nations and make war, consuming antichrist and his armies with the "spirit of his mouth and the brightness of his coming." (2 Thessalonians 2:8) "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." (Revelation 19:15)

7. The scattered remnant of the Jewish people shall be drawn out from among the nations and brought back to Jerusalem in repentance and restoration, and so "all Israel shall be saved." (Romans 11:26, Zechariah 12:9-10) Jesus Christ the King shall establish upon this earth His millenial Kingdom, where the saints of God shall rule and reign with Him for 1000 years (Matthew 25:31-34, Revelation 20:4) During this time the devil is bound.

8. At the end of the 1000 years, the devil will be loosed for a little season to deceive the nations and rally the armies against Jerusalem one last time (Ezekiel 38-39, Revelation 20:7-9). The Lord shall utterly destroy them and cast that old serpent into the Lake of Fire.

9. Then follows the second resurrection, when the earth and sea give up their dead, and all that are raised will stand before the white throne of judgment. "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15). The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

10. Last and best of all, the Lord shall make a new heaven and a new earth, old things will all pass away (Revelation 21:1). And so shall we live forever with Him, our God! "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Revelation 21:3)

Amen! Come Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Purdue University

"But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)

One of the great obstacles in preaching the Gospel to university students are the intellectual strongholds that have seized their minds due to the heavily atheistic and antichrist education that they are receiving in the classrooms. The plain truth of Christ is muddled and becomes a stumbling block to the enslaved mind. Paul warns in Colossians 2:8, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Where there is an increase of evil there must also be an increase of prayer; and as we read and learn of the preaching of the apostle Paul when he confronted these challenges, there must also be a reasonable presentation of Biblical truths in order to counter vain imaginations and bring restoration to the corrupted mind.

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

"And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus." (Acts 19:8-9)

"And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled..." (Acts 24:25)

Our time spent at Purdue University, Indiana, was just that. Jude called it, "Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints", and Peter said, "Be always ready to give an answer to every man that asks you for a reason of the hope that is within you." In our generation, Christianity is under incredible assault from the ruler of this world. Modern culture permeates with Satanic influences while truth lies fallen in society. I believe this is because we are drawing nearer and nearer to the end of the age when Jesus will return to the earth in great power and glory. As that day approaches, evil will come in like a flood; sorrows will grow greater in intensity, and deception with cause many to fall. We need men and women with the kind of valor that Gideon had to rise up and proclaim boldly the Gospel of salvation and everlasting truth to a dark and dying world.

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) All attempts to dethrone Christ are absolutely futile; I have seen it again and again. Of all the campuses we've been on I have never heard a reasonable argument against the Lord of lords and King of kings... men seek only to serve themselves and their sin. They justify their deeds by suppressing truth... they cannot run from the inescapable knowledge of God! "Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?"

Here is a video from Purdue University:


We stayed at Purdue for only one day. After the meeting was over, a Christian brother was so excited about what we were doing that he asked us to come to a gathering that evening and share about apologetics, open air preaching and Biblical evangelism. It was a wonderful time spent with them. Many of the believers had never known how to defend their faith against the waves of secular opposition. It was refreshing for them and for us to see their faith strengthened.

Dear saints, we serve the Living God; we serve the risen Lord! I challenge you to be bold in your witness and stand up for Jesus within our godless societies. "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." (Matthew 5:14) Never let fear hold you back from confessing Christ before men. Never let timidity rob you of your honor to be Christ's ambassadors here on earth. God is for us, who can be against us? Stand up for Truth and watch God do mighty exploits through you unto the praise and glory of His Name.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mizzou, Columbia

Miles was in his element at Mizzou, Columbia. He gathered a large crowd of civil students to sit and listen to what he had to say and then held them for over two hours. There were lots of questions from students and just as many answers.




After Miles preached Evan got up and took over:

God blessed our time spent at Mizzou. Many students heard us preach and magnify the Name of the Lord. We thank God for His grace in giving us these opportunities to spread His Word.

"I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

University of Missouri, Kansas City

This campus had hardly any people on it, and yet we came back for two days! Miles preached the first day and drew a handful of people to hear Christ proclaimed.


The structure above was a very strange human rights protest.

Brother David Tennett witnessing to a UMKC student.

Though there were not many people on campus during our stay, still lost souls heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and the time was not spent in vain.

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:6-11)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Oklahoma University

We had two wonderful days of Gospel preaching at Oklahoma University in Norman, Oklahoma and God graciously blessed our labors. Both days drew large crowds of inquisitive students who listened to the Word of God for hours and hours, and what was a great blessing was that a lot of Christians attended our meetings and were completely supportive of what we were doing.

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14)


The man in the red T-shirt avidly opposed us both days, but made a spectacle of himself by his uncouth and immature behavior. The entire crowd was against him, telling him to be quiet so they could hear us. He wrote some blasphemous statements on the sidewalk but some students went and got some paper-towel and water to wipe it off; but after he left, the entire crowd was totally silent wanting to listen so I just preached an entire gospel message to them without interruption!

Here is a clip from OU:


Dear saints, please continue to hold us up in prayer as we make our way home through the mid-west, fulfilling the call to preach the Gospel to every creature. May the Name of Jesus Christ be exalted above the nations, above our cities, and in our lives!
God bless,
-Eli

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Grounds for Apostasy

When I awoke yesterday morning, I felt the Lord pressing upon my mind with unusual keenness the word ‘deception’, to which I quickly got out of bed and turned open my Bible to 2 Thessalonians 2:3 which read, “Let no man deceive you by any means…” Those words, especially “by any means”, the Spirit seemed to enlarge. I began to jot down various means of deception as I felt compelled and very fluently penned a list down of serious warnings that had been bearing witness with my spirit for many months now, but up until then had never put them to paper. I believe these warnings of last days deceptions are of paramount importance to the Body of Christ. The prince of the power of the air is currently preparing the world for the revealing of that Wicked One, who even now is at work in the children of disobedience, but will be ruthlessly unleashed upon the earth when his time is short. It is now when the Church must take heed to the admonition of Christ, and of the apostles and prophets, “…knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Romans 13:11) God is again calling His people out of their slumber.


DECEPTION FOREWARNED

The major expectation of Biblical eschatology is a coming time of worldwide tribulation characterized by a great falling away, or apostasy, from the truth. This apostasy is made possible because of powerful spiritual deception, and this deception is made possible because of hazardous grounds that Satan is cultivating to prepare the heart to fall. Deception is the theme of all end time prophecy. In the Olivet Discourse, recorded three times in Scripture by Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus’ first statement concerning the things of the end was, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” It is because of the utmost seriousness of coming deception that Jesus said this before anything else and that the Holy Spirit confirmed this in all three gospels. Paul again reasserts this first above all in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, “Let no man deceive you by any means.” The Scriptures are giving us no excuse for being ignorant or taken by surprise. Deception is coming!

The truth is that many so-called "Christians" will be deceived, or else it would not be called “apostasy.” Because of the numerous devices Satan is utilizing, he is tilling the soil of men’s hearts today, preparing them for the seeds of deception tomorrow. These devices of Satan are the ‘means’ that Paul is talking about in 2 Thessalonians. Dearly beloved, do you heed the warning? Even now I fear so many "Christians" are ripe for apostasy; so many are ready to fall. Hear the trumpet in Zion! I call to your attention the words of Peter: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

I present before you now the twelve grounds for apostasy that God has laid heavy upon my spirit. It is by these preemptive means that Satan is preparing the hearts of men to fall away in the days of deception. Let us, as many as take heed, guard our hearts and our minds before it is too late.


THE GROUNDS FOR APOSTASY

1. Failure to take heed - “Take ye heed, watch and pray.” (Mark 13:33) Far be it from us that we should not hearken to the commands of Jesus. Scripture cannot stress enough the absolute essentiality of taking heed; to watch, to be alert, to pray… but sadly so many people treat these commands with contempt. I have heard so many call watching unimportant and unnecessary. Rather than hearkening to the watchman’s trumpet blast, these are the people who shut their ears and remain shortsighted amid their own fabricated reality. Ignoring the warning signs, they continue on until they are suddenly overtaken. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

2. Received not the love of the truth“Because they received not the love of the truth.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10) The greatest defense against deception is to love truth. A person who loves truth will seek truth and will not be satisfied with anything else until he has obtained truth. Those who love truth will expose and repel all lies. Jesus prayed on the night He was betrayed that His followers would be sanctified by the truth, which is the Word of God, and thus to love truth is to love the Scriptures: to read, study and obey them. But this is not the case with everyone. Those who do not build their lives upon the teachings of Christ will be swept away when tribulation strikes, for they chose the sinking sand above the solid Rock. The Bible teaches that, “for this cause [because they received not the love of the truth] God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:12)

3. No understanding“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Jesus tells us of ten women who were waiting for the bridegroom to appear. Five were wise, because they had oil for their lamps, and five were foolish, because they did not have oil for their lamps. The reason they had lamps is because they knew there was a time of darkness coming. However, many people miss the point of this parable by stopping right there, and saying that we must have oil, which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. But the parable goes much deeper… for what does the oil do? The oil fuels the lamp so that it gives light, and it is the light that allows them to maneuver when the darkness falls. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psalm 119:130) Light always represents revelation. Light is what we so desperately need when the time of darkness comes upon all the inhabitants of the earth. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:5, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” There are scores of people who are totally ‘in the dark’ when it comes to the prophecies concerning the end. It is this same ignorance that will cause the oblivious soul to be deceived.

4. Unwillingness to suffer“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) The cost of discipleship is that of suffering, and yet we live in a day when even so many "Christians" are unwilling to suffer. Paul tells us plainly in the epistle to the Philippians, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” (Philippians 1:29) Tribulation is one of the promises we are granted as disciples! A person who is unwilling to suffer will cease from following and quickly depart from the faith when times of testing come upon him. He is like the seed that fell on stony ground: “Yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” (Matthew 13:21) Christianity is not for the dainty! Those who desire the comforts of this world will succumb to the pressures of adversity and will forfeit the world to come. We must be willing to suffer for the One who suffered on the cross for us! We must esteem the reproach of Christ far greater than the pleasures of Egypt.

5. Love waxed cold“And because iniquity shall about, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12) Jesus warned us of a most serious condition that would befall mankind in the last days: the love of many shall grow cold. This is both love for God and love for one another. When a person’s love grows cold they are in grave danger of being cast away, for any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6) The fruit that Jesus commands is that of love, and by our love will all men know that we are His disciples, but the fruit that this backslidden state bears is just the exact opposite: hatred, betrayal and murder. “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” (Matthew 24:10) Why does the love grow cold? Scripture tells us: because iniquity shall abound. Sin creates murderers out of us once it has dominion over us, just as it did to Cain. We are seeing in our day that Satan is executing a relentless campaign of saturating the world with immorality and iniquity. A person must be even more determined to guard his mind against temptation and passion or else he will be overcome by sin, and his godly love will be replaced by a devilish hatred that will render him a castaway.

6. Anti-Semitism“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” (Revelation 12:13) The Bible teaches us that in the same way God loves the Jewish people and chose them to bring forth the Seed of Promise, Satan despises them and is bent upon their total and utter annihilation. This explicit hatred for the sons of the Jacob has it's origin in "that old serpent, the devil", however, to the disgrace of the name Christ, this evil has found its way even into the sphere of the Church! It is the spirit of anti-Semitism, which poisons the mind and the heart, causing enmity against the will of God. Paul warns us: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits.” (Romans 11:25) Throughout history, men and women who named the name of Christ have persecuted the Jewish people because they allowed themselves to be influenced by the deceitful lies of Satan. The Roman Catholic Church slaughtered thousands of Jews during the Crusades while wearing the cross of Christ as their standard. Nazi Germany was full of Christian churches which supported the murder that was taking place right in their own country. Scripture tell us that during the last days, Satan shall attempt to destroy the Jewish race once and for all by a worldwide persecution and global genocide. Yet even today, anti-Semitic propaganda underscores our society, and many Christians are being influenced with its ungodly effects. What a devilish perversion for Christians to persecute their Jewish roots! If you allow the bitter roots of anti-Semitism to take hold of your heart in these precursory days, when the day of temptation comes upon the whole earth you will be swept away with the forcefulness of its delusion. Remember Martin Luther, who fell prey into this very error. You must have the mind of Christ towards these people, even though "concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the Fathers' sakes." May we as Christians bless the Jews until the very end. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14-15)

7. Preoccupation with signs and wonders“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.” (Matthew 12:39) While I am a sincere believer in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I have observed an erroneous frame of mind that often accompanies people within these theological circles. Many Christians have elevated the authority of miracles and experiences above the authority and counsel of the written Word of God. This sensationalism is how so many false teachings are started (consider Mormonism and Islam). Experiences must be tested with Scripture. Paul warned the Thessalonians that the coming Lawless One would awe the world with overwhelming displays of signs and wonders that will deceive many: “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9) Those who will not be drawn away by the influence of this deception will be those who uphold the authority of Scripture above all else and who espouse themselves unwaveringly to the faithful oracles of God. “Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.” (Psalm 119:33)

8. Spiritual naivety “When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44) Adolf Hitler wrote, “In the primitive simplicity of the minds of people, they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie… It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” (Mein Kampf, Vol. 1; Chap. 10) Is this not the conspiracy of Satan himself? I have met many na├»ve Christians who assert that no one would be so foolish as believe that the antichrist is the ‘this same Jesus’ of Scripture, but these do not know the supernatural nature of the power of deception. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) Was not “Christian” Germany swept off their feet by Hitler who caused them to do the unthinkable?

9. Following the majority“And [he] causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the beast.” (Revelation 13:12) Scripture tells us that, presently, the whole world lies in wickedness, and that Satan is actively deceiving the nations of the earth, bringing them under the subjection of his will. However, when the time is fully come, and the seventieth week is at last about to begin, Satan, that old serpent the devil, will be cast down to earth for his final and darkest hour. “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12) At that time the vast majority of people on the earth will fall victim to deception and worship the beast who sets himself up in the temple as God. Because of how enormously influential such a massive worldwide paradigm shift that will be, millions of people will collapse under pressure and be swept along in the popular current. True believers must prepare themselves for severe isolation and rejection from the entire world. “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.” (Matthew 24:9) Many Christians cannot handle being a little different today! How quickly will those fall who are ashamed of the name of Jesus and unequally yoked with the world! “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:3-4)

10. Love of money“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark.” (Revelation 13:17) One of the defining characteristics of the coming tribulation period is the institution of what Revelation calls “the mark of the beast”; a mark concocted by the devil himself which enables those who receive it to buy and sell merchandise and consequently disables anyone who does not receive it from buying and selling anything at all. In this way antichrist will gather to himself the multitudes like a magnet. Out of economic necessity men and women will crowd the inoculation stations anxious to receive the mark, for mankind has allowed itself to become totally dependent upon the financial systems of this world. In Mark chapter 10, a rich young ruler came to Jesus on his knees asking, “What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” (for he was an avid keeper of the commandments since the days of his youth). But Jesus told him to go, sell all that he had, and come follow Him. At this, the rich young ruler went away sad because he was bound by the love of money and could not part ways with his possessions. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21) Those people who have set their hearts upon the treasures of this earth will not be prepared to pay the price of following Jesus when the time for abandonment is come. Then how appropriate will Jesus’ words be in those days: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Luke 12:22-31)

11. False Doctrine“These things I have spoken unto you, that ye should be not offended.” (John 16:1) There shall be such a major theological shaking in the last days that whole hosts of "Christians" shall depart from the faith because of the ultimate end that certain false doctrines will finally achieve. Jesus told us before hand that this was going to happen; namely, that false teachers would come in among the flock and deceive many. These wolves have one purpose in mind: to steal, kill and destroy. Even Paul declared, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:29-31) Once again the exhortation is to watch, and also to hold fast to that which was originally delivered by the apostles of Christ. Today, many churches are being drawn away from Christianity’s apostolic foundations by deceptive words and cleverness of speech. “Let no man deceive you by any means!” False teachings are covered over with Biblical half-truths and orthodox terminology, but we must learn to distinguish good from evil. Here are some examples of such false doctrines that are spreading today:

-Pretribulationism (the “secret rapture”)
-Darbyism (also called Dispensationalism)
-Preterism (Jesus has already returned)
-Once Saved Always Saved (as opposed to the Perseverance of the Saints)
-Replacement Theology (the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people)
-Cessationism (the gifts of the Spirit have ceased)
-Postmillennialism (Reconstructionism; Manifest Sons of God)

These doctrines are designed to strip you of your armor and make you unready in order to cause you to fall away when the day of evil comes. I plead with you, beloved… earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints! "Take heed unto thyself, and unto thy doctrine! For in doing so thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." “But now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:26-27)

12. Fear“Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” (Luke 21:26) Perhaps the greatest of all obstacles people have concerning future tribulation and the affairs of the end is fearfulness, for who can deny the alarming and frightening nature of the prophecies shown forth to us in the Scriptures? The most common response to these sober matters is for people to simply ignore them altogether as a means of false security and comfort. This is why so many Christians are apathetic toward eschatology, but this is just the strategy of Satan, and this is not the disposition the Father wants His children to have! “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) We are not to fear the wrath of man, nor are we to fear the rage of the devil, for greater is He that is within us than he that is within the world! What if Christ was too afraid to climb the place of the Skull and shed His precious blood at Calvary for you? What if the apostles were too afraid to risk their lives and preach the Gospel to every creature as Jesus commanded? What if those heroic saints recanted their faith in Jesus for fear of the lions or of losing their heads? God forbid! The historical banner of the Church of Jesus Christ is dyed red with the blood of martyrs throughout all generations: Shall our generation fail to lift it up one last time?

“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.”
(Mark 8:35) Those who succumb to the fear of the sword will find themselves denying the Lord Jesus Christ and forfeiting their very souls. In trying to preserve their lives they will only end up losing them. “As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.” (Amos 5:19) Such will be the days of deception. Oh, to be faithful even to the end! Our essential victory must not be self-preservation but Christ-glorification; truly this is the high calling of a Christian. I have often said that Stephen was a dead man long before he was martyred. He had already died to his old self-life and therefore had nothing to lose when the stones were raised against him. In this same way every disciple of Christ is called to be a martyr. If you do not take up your cross now, and mortify your flesh now, there is no reason to believe you will be prepared to do so in the time of tribulation. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11)


HE THAT OVERCOMETH

"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." (Revelation 3:5)

It is my prayer that by these examining these grounds you would see that the possibility of Biblical last days deception is a very factual reality; a reality that would rouse you to begin preparing your heart for the road of tribulation that is before us. This is not a word to instill fear in you, but a rallying cry for the Body of Christ to arm itself with the spiritual weapons that God has provided for our confrontation with the forces of evil. "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:11-13) In obedience and trust, we shall find in Christ the faith and the courage to stand against the enemy and defeat him in the day of temptation.

When Jesus Christ died upon the cross He made the ultimate sacrifice; He surrendered His will to the will of the Father and suffered death at the hands of wicked men. He who knew no sin became sin for us, and in laying down His life He completely destroyed the works of the devil, disarmed principalities and powers, make a public spectacle of them, won the victory over sin and overcame the world.

Because Christ destroyed the works of the devil, we who believe shall destroy the works of the devil. Because Christ won the victory over sin, we who believe shall win the victory over sin. Because Christ overcame the world, we who believe shall overcome the world. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4) Faith in what Jesus has already done is how we shall always triumph over every test and every trial. Let us, as many as take heed, hold fast to our profession and demonstrate that victory wherever we are: over the world, over the flesh and over the devil.

Take heed, watch, pray. Are you prepared for the coming deception?

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Repentance from Dead Works

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit." (Hebrews 6:1-3)


REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS

The message of repentance is God's fundamental message to the world. Ever since the prophets first began to speak the oracles of God, the primal declaration has been the solemn word of repentance. Our Lord Jesus was preceded by His forerunner, John the Baptist, who cried out to Israel: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight", and the Lord Himself first preached to men: "Repent, and believe the gospel."

The seriousness of the issue is this: if repentance in the gospel is omitted then there is no hope for anyone to be saved. If there is not a change in a person than there is not a change in that same person's eternal destination. A sinner who fails to repent will steadfastly gaze upon the gates of hell until he has finally passed through it without a single distraction. Oh, the necessity of repentance! It is the provision of heaven for the sojourner to hell.

What then is repentance? Is it a reformation of our moral behavior? Some would think it to be just that, but our text does not allow it. "...repentance from dead works." It is of utmost importance that our definition of repentance be the true definition or else we will find ourselves running the well-trodden course of vain self-righteousness. The true meaning of the word metanoeo is to change one's mind; it is to think differently toward God, to think differently toward sin, and to think differently toward Christ. Hymn writer William Newell wrote:

Years I've spent in vanity and pride
Caring not my Lord was crucified
Knowing not it was for me He died at Calvary


Notice the particulars of this verse: vanity; pride; caring not... It is not so much that the sinner is unaware that Jesus indeed died on the cross... but the problem lies with his attitude toward that death, and the utter ignorance of the fact that Christ died FOR HIM on the cross, to destroy the sin which he so wickedly enjoys. He has not had a change of mind towards God and sin and Christ that would break his carnal self, causing him to tremble upon his knees.

When a man repents, his mind changes toward God. No longer does he see himself as god upon the throne, but he bows the knee to the one true God and freely confesses that "Jesus Christ is Lord". A revelation of the absolute sovereignty of God causes the man to give up his futile rebellion and submit himself to the Lord's rule and authority. Then his mind is changed toward sin. No longer does he see sin as a desirable means of satisfying his carnal lusts, but sin becomes utterly repulsive and evil, for it is the transgressing of God's righteous law which deserves inexplicable punishment. How he then sees the corrupted nature of his own vile self in the light of God's unspeakable and unapproachable holiness! "Woe is me, for I am undone!" And thus, his mind changes toward Christ. At last he looks upon the cross, not as an object of scorn, but as the ultimate triumph of redeeming love where Jesus rescued his perishing soul.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.


The repentance described in Scripture is the turning from self-saving to the saving God. "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." (Isaiah 45:22) It is a humbling thing to repent. It is death to all that is self.

And it is here that the righteousness of God displayed. "...repentance from dead works." Dead works are all that man tries to do to save himself; all the self-righteousness we deceive ourselves into thinking will procure our own salvation! What folly of the Pharisees! "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:3) But the righteousness of God... I don't think there is a sweeter sound to the truly redeemed soul!... the righteousness of God, which is by the faith of the Son of God: "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe." (Romans 3:20-22) The righteousness of Jesus Christ is worth more than a million endless lifetimes of man's attempt at Law. Glory to God!

There is only one gate into heaven, let us not be confused. Christ is the gate, and by Him only we must be saved. If any man tries to get in any other way he is a thief and a robber. The surrender of the will is to turn aside into this living Way. Turn aside, sinner! Flee from wrath to come! Repent, or you shall perish.

Repentance is not moral reform. This frame of mind has damned many souls. Repentance is a change of the mind towards God, towards sin and towards Christ. It is throwing yourself down upon the nail-pierced feet of the risen Son of God. It is the only escape from the path that leads to death.

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight." (Colossians 1:20-22)


PRAYER

Thank you Jesus for the victory that You secured for me by Your death on the cross and Your resurrection from the dead. I repent of my dead works today and place my hope in the righteousness that is by faith in You. Help me to live everyday for the glory of Your holy Name.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

An Interview with Benji Van Fleet



If you remember, during the last week of October 2006 our team was preaching at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and I wrote in my report:

"One professing Christian opposed us the first day, ripping up his own Bible in front of me, but later that night fell under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and fell on his face before God, weeping, and came a totally changed person the next day. He spent the rest of the week aiding us, preaching about repentance, and encouraging the work." (see: Texas Tech, Oct. 2006)

Well, after we left New Mexico for Oklahoma, we passed through Lubbock once again and stopped at Texas Tech to meet Jesse who was there preaching. It was great to be able to visit a campus twice, as there were many people we befriended and were able to catch up with. One of those friends was Benji, who, when we first came through, ripped up a Bible right in front of me as I was preaching, but the next day came to the meeting a totally changed person! Benji told us it was that evening when his whole life changed and Jesus claimed the throne of his heart. Glory to God!

It was wonderful to see him again, and it was our privilege to make this video about his story. Just another testimony of the Lord's transforming power in this world.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

University of New Mexico

To the precious saints of God,

I am so blessed and honored to have you dear readers inquire of me and of the particulars of this trip. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I apologize that I am usually behind in my updates; this is only because of limited internet access on the road, but I am giving all diligence to bless you with information on our progress. Thank you for your patience and prayerful involvement in these travels.

We spent four tremendous days in Albuquerque, New Mexico, preaching the everlasting Gospel at UNM, drawing large crowds consistently, dealing with many important issues, and seeing scores of lives impacted. Our ministering extended, not only on the campus itself, but also in the home we were staying at (more on this later). I truly felt God's presence was with us during this time. Praise the Lord!

When we first arrived Miles began preaching at this certain walkway, but failed to draw any sort of hearing, so we sat down on some benches to wait. I began to pray silently, and felt that we should move right out into the huge courtyard in the center of campus. Miles asked if I would like to preach and I said I would. When we got to the courtyard, I felt the need to just preach a sermon, as a opposed to taking questions. So I preached the plain old Gospel message: Creation, the fall of man, and the cross of Christ. The acoustics were so good that the entire courtyard and beyond was booming with the Word of God! A large crowd gathered, sitting all around the courtyard, listening to the Gospel! After I finished, Evan took over and the meeting continued as normal, taking questions. The whole day was excellent, and when we had to go, late into the evening, many students still were hungry for more. "Tomorrow", we had to say.

Miles, introducing Day Two:



The next day took a totally different turn. A large band of Muslims (young and old) came out specifically to oppose us, and set up a table right in the courtyard where we were going to preach. Nonetheless, we preached, and drew a huge crowd all day, though the topic throughout was Islam. I must add this, however, and I really don't know any better words to put this in, but the entire day Islam took a severe theological beating and both they and the crowd acknowledged it. We presented irrefutable arguments which they simply could not answer, and I believe many of the Muslims who came out to debate us had their faith radically shaken. Praise God! "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)

I preached almost the whole day with the Bible in one hand and the Qur'an in the other.

The crowd got so large and kept pressing in that we had to move several times all around the courtyard, so that our final place at the end of the day was not even where we began in the morning.



Another interesting thing that happened on Day two was that an orthodox Jewish man came out to the meeting and debated with me for a while about the Messianic prophecies in Scripture. At one point he put his finger in my face and shouted, "You're a heretic!", ensuing that because I am part Jewish I was an apostate from Judaism. It was strange; I imagine Jesus and the apostles were accused of the same thing. However, the next day this dear man came over to me before we started preaching and apologized for his outburst, shook my hand, and we exchanged a warm "Shalom" as he left. Oh, may God open his eyes to see Jesus. "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)

Day three held another great meeting. Evan and Miles did most of the preaching, because the day before I preached almost all day to the Muslims, but I sat to the side and spoke to small groups and did one-on-ones with people. Many Muslims has deep and honest questions for me on this day about their own faith and about Christianity. After the meeting, over supper, we each had incredible stories to share about people who were touched that day. Evan spoke with a young woman for a long time and she left with a new Bible. Miles also had some very similar conversations. I spoke with a young man who was into strange spiritualism and I believe he was convinced afterwards of the foolishness of it, and he told me with bright eyes about the deep faith of his Christian grandfather. Another young man was heavily into Roman Catholicism, but we all had a chance to talk to him and gave him a lot to think about. Glory to God! It was a day full of good fruit.


And lastly, day four, of which I have already posted a video: Apologia Evangelion. The meeting we had on this day was wonderful, with great apologetics caught on camera, something we wanted to capture for quite some time. By this point, the whole campus knew who we were by name, as we were in the newspaper and had been preaching for four days. Usually the final meeting consists of serious inquirers and relatively few hecklers. It was a honor to defend the Word of God and preach Christ to these students on at UNM.


Watch video: Apologia Evangelion

Miles closed the meeting by giving his testimony, and our time spent at UNM was completed. It was such an excellent stay, that the Christian community on campus was thrilled to have us there and we made a lot of great new friends.

Our host home, as well, was blessed by our presence; we lodged in the house of a very old lady, and as we talked about the things of the Spirit from day to day, she came over and asked us: "What is this baptism of the Holy Spirit you guys keep talking about?" We explained from Scripture that it is Jesus' promise of power to Church in these last days. Asking if she'd like to receive that gift, she said, "Yes, I would!" So I read to her from Joel, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." (Joel 2:28-29) Right there in the living room we took her hand and prayed that God would fill her with the power from on high! Afterwards, she was glowing, and gave us a great big hug as we were leaving, bless the Lord! Thank you Jesus for Your promises both to young and to old.

"Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:3)

Glory to God for all these things. Bless you dear saints... may our Heavenly Father pour out upon you grace upon grace and may you in return exalt and magnify the Name of His dear Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. He is worthy! Much love to you in Christ,
Your servant,
-Eli