Walking The Tightrope


Being a fundamentalist today is like walking a tightrope. You’ve got to make it past Lordship Salvation without getting wrapped up in it.. You’ve got to make sure you’re a dispensationalist. You’ve got to avoid Ruckmanism/Pearlism/Hyles-ism/ Riplinger-ism. You’ve got to avoid THeological liberalism.

Every teaching tool you turn to, you’ve got to be careful. Many commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, harmonies, teaching tools of all kinds, are written by theological liberals.

Logos is the most serious Bible study tool I’ve ever owned. But I’ve got to wade through interviews of people who’ve uncovered “Startling new discoveries on salvation” on the homepage – and what it boils down to is, it’s a heretic with a new book Logos is triyng to sell. Logos runs it by their resident scholars, who are theological liberals, and they see nothing wrong with it, because they don’t believe ether.

Accordance is written by a woman who’s devised a great study tool, but it’s clear from her blog entries on the Accordance web site that she too is caught up in THeological Liberalism.

Bound up in ALL of this is CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and Roman Catholicism, because all Christian denominations should be one and united, despite serious doctrinal error and the basic facts that most people who claim to be Christian are not saved.

We need to be TOGETHER, and UNITED! It would be RUDE to tell someone who believes in Salvation by works that they’re hellbound! Why, it might make them feel bad!

“What about the eternity in hellfire part?”

“That’s not my responsibility.”

It IS your responsibility. If you partner with some theological liberal and don’t bother to tell him he’s hellbound, what will you say to him at the Great White Throne judgment when he says, “Why didn’t you say something?” Yes, you’re going into heaven. But he’s going to Hell. I have ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that the resident scholar at Logos is not going to be with me in Heaven, but will be screaming in torments forever, in the lake of fire. So much so, that when his materials are free giveaways by Logos, when his classes are avialable, I avoid them like the plague. The same goes for NT Wright, and this new guy that looks so grim when he talks about his new discoveries about salvation being works oriented. The same goes for David Stern, the mis-translator and author of the Jewish New Testament translation. And CS Lewis. Etc.

I can understand why many IFB just lock themselves away with their King James and plug their ears. I’ve been tempted to do that myself. But I’m learning HUGE amounts about the Bible.

THe single hardest thing for me is, staying away from other translations, to stay away from other denominations. Wow, it would be GREAT to stop fighting, to stop swimming against the current. But we’re in the middle of the great falling away, the great apostasy. To give in is to join up, to help establish the wordwide faith that will help the Antichrist move into power. And I don’t want my eternity in heaven to be tainted with the knowledge that because I gave up, because I stopped fighting, I helped establish the Antichrist.

WAAAY too many people are going to have their eternity tempered with that realization. Way too many.

Don’t you be one of them.

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How to find a Biblical Church


How to find a Biblical church.

In today’s world, finding a Biblical church sooner or later is going to become a necessity. The church you’re in right now probably has plans to turn into something that’s not a church, if they haven’t already.

The first thing you should ALWAYS do is ask to see the statement of faith. If they don’t have one on the website, be worried. A statement of faith nowadays has to be incredibly long, not a short little three paragraph thing.

  • What’s their stand on the Bible? Any Bible? The Message? Do they believe the Bible was inerrant and Inspired ONLY in the original manuscripts, or do they believe the one in your hands is inerrant and inspired?
  • What’s their stand on Salvation? I ask this becase literally, the most popular and famous Christian writer today – N. T. Wright – is preaching heresy, and so many Christians are dazzled by his writings that they’re not stopping to say “wait a minute…” Does this church believe salvation is a free gift of God and not of works, in accord with Eph. 2:8-9? Don’t assume they believe a Biblical message of salvation. If their altar call doesn’t mention Repentance… worry about it.
  • Do they baptize by immersion? If they teach baptism is not for today, avoid that church. I mentioned Jason Cooley a couple of times on this blog until I realized that was his stance, and now I reccommend people avoid him. If they offer you a choice, or baptize infants, leave that church.
  • Does it feel like a house of God, or a rock concert? I strongly feel that churches should play doctrinally strong hymns and not rock music for the service. While there are strong arguments for and against Christian contemprary music, there’s one thing you cannot deny – once a church makes a move for including modern music in its service, the doctrinal positions soon change. That’s not even a 70% type of statistic from what I’ve seen, that’s a 100% statistic. That alnoe should make you nervous. find me one church with a drummer, a bass player, and guitar solos that preaches the wrath of God against sinners and a literal eternity in burning fire and torment for anyone who is not born again. You can’t play half the service of universalist man-centered music and then preach a God centered message – it won’t last that way for long.
  • Do they preach a literal eternity in a fiery Hell for any who are not saved?
  • Do they accept EVERYONE who names the name of Christ as saved, despite evidence to the contrary?
  • Are the Deacons saved? Big question.
  • Are the walls painted black in the sanctuary? Really. I’m not kidding. There are several churches in my town whose walls are painted black, so that the light show works better.
  • Do they preach the whole word of God?
  • Do they make their doctrines based upon emotions, feelings, and what’s pleasing to the flesh – or do they base their doctrinal stand upon the Bible? THat’s a strong question nowadays. Believe it or not, David Cloud’s latest book makes the charge that Southern Baptists respond institutionally more by emotions than the word of God – and I can’t refute that.
  • Do they join hands with those who take unBiblical doctrines, or do they advocate Biblical separation from those in error?
  • Do they preach a Biblical pre-tribulation rapture, or do they assume somehow that there won’t be a rapture, or that “The Church” must go through part of or all of the Rapture? This is a big issue. Like the contemporary music issue, it’s the tip of the iceberg that something is wrong.

Okay, now let’s examine the other side of the issue.

  • Does the congregation look like they’re afraid to raise their eyes to look at the pastor?
  • If you try talking to someone before the service, do they cast a fearful eye at the pastor first before answering you?
  • Do the congregation member’s eyes pass by you as if you don’t exist? I learned in seminary that “As the congregation is, so is the Pastor first.” If the congregation ignores you, so wil the pastor.
  • Do they kick the homeless and needy out of the church – or does the Deacon pull them aside and give them money so they can get some real food? Big issue for me. I saw the Deacon in my old church pull a homeless man who was begging during the service out of the sancutary – and then empty his wallet into the man’s hands. That deacon remains my hero, dsepite my leaving that church. By the way, that Deacon was a military retiree, on a fixed income.
  • Is there a constant theme of, “you’re not getting this kind of Biblical truth anywhere else!”
  • Does the church have pictures of Jack Hyles or Peter Ruckman prominantly displayed?

As we get farther and farther into the age of apostasy, it’s getting harder and harder to look for a Biblical church. So many churches are starting to remove denominational names from their church name (Baptist is not a denomination, but you know what I mean). And some are even removing the word “Church” from the name.

If they’re taking the word Church from the name… it’s a hint.

The Effectual Bible Student #5


Effectual Bible Student, Part 5 – Bible Study: A Daily Habit (cont) from Way of Life Literature on Vimeo.

The Effectual Bible Student 1


This series comes from David Cloud. There’s a free ebook on it, here. I highly recommend you get it.

Plan on 32 minutes a day (average) to watch these videos. These videos are life changing. He’s going to teach you how to study the Bible for yourself, one of the most important lessons to learn. Trust me, if I had a church right now, I’d make it a Sunday School lesson to watch these videos together. I’d probably print out all the pages, and have them all arranged so people could take notes.

Here’s lesson number one…

Effectual Bible Student, Part 1 – Introduction from Way of Life Literature on Vimeo.

Correct Doctrine 16


4.12 Jesus Christ will come as foretold and promised “like a thief in the night” before the Tribulation to catch away His church in a literal physical event called the Rapture, catching away the dead in Christ first, then we who are alive will follow. We will meet in the clouds for the Judgment of the believer and the giving of rewards, then will ascend to Heaven to await the end of the Tribulation (Luke 21:28, Col. 3:4, Matt. 24:37, Mark 13:27, 32, 1 Cor. 15:51-52, 1 Thess. 4:15-17, Titus 2:13, Rev. 16:15).

28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:28 (KJV)

4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:4 (KJV)

37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:37 (KJV)

27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. Mark 13:27 (KJV)

32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Mark 13:32 (KJV)

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (KJV)

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 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: 17 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 4:15-17 (KJV)

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13 (KJV)

15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Revelation 16:15 (KJV)

There’s a lot to be said on the subject of the Rapture. In many ways the Rapture is often the litmus test for determining how far off base in correct doctrine you are.

There’s all kinds of objections to a pretribulation rapture, none of which really hold water. The most common is that Christians today face death, tribulation and imprisonment. Why should those in the great tribulation be any different?

That’s losing sight of what the Tribulation is. The Tribulation is the outpouring of God’s wrath, not the hatred and afflictions of the world against Christians.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:15-17 (KJV)

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (KJV)

We are not appointed to wrath. Rather, the last time God’s judgment and wrath descended on the world, Noah and his family were kept from the flood. In this case, we will be bodily removed from the earth, and taken to heaven to wait out the tribulation, when we will return at the end of it with the Lord.

1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. Revelation 4:1 (KJV)

The door opens, and we are taken up to heaven. For the next 15 chapters, John describes everything as he sees it from heaven. Amazingly, John MacArthur insists Rev. 4:1 is not referring to the rapture, even though he insists rightly the rapture happens before the tribulation!

I’m not trying to be rude, but really… it happens right before the tribulation, he is commanded to rise and come up hither, and then… the tribulation starts right away. I’m sorry, but Macarthur is wrong. There, I tried to say it nicely!

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 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. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; Revelation 19:11-17 (KJV)

notice, again a door opens – this time for the return of the Lord, in time for Armegeddon. On the way, John describes an Angel standing in the sun! So, the two door openings (these are the only ones in Revelation) show us the Rapture, and the Second Coming.

There is also the facts that the churches are mentioned many times in Reveleation 1-3, then… stop. It’s as if the church has ceased to be on the earth. The saved are in heaven, but now thanks to the Two Witnesses (Moses and Elijah) and the 144,000, there is also a great multitude of believers on earth. Many are martyred almost immediately, but many more survive through the tribulation.

Additionally, we must look at the differences between the Rapture, and the second coming. The Rapture He comes for His saints, the Second Coming He comes with His saints. Just before the Rapture, we are on the earth. just before the seocnd coming, we are in heaven with Him.

If you are uncertain whether or not you will be in the Rapture, this is the time to get it right. We don’t know when we’re going to be caught into heaven. Repent, and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save you.

Training Your Replacement


This article is for anyone in ministry.  If you think it’s appropriate, consider sharing this with your Pastor.

Pastors do a tremendous job, very difficult, often thankless. A number of studies have been done on how difficult the job is. I’m not talking about YOUR job, but your replacement’s job today.

Can you imagine millions of people looking for answers when all those born-again people disappear??? One thing we discussed in Seminary over and over again is this…. the contention of my seminary that your calling to the ministry is evidenced almost immediately, at Salvation. Very often we make excuses, sometimes try to run from it. God makes it inescapably clear.

You’re going to (very, very soon, I’m sure…) disappear off of this earth. I’m getting even more convinced every day. Anywhere from ten seconds to a couple of days after you’ve heard the trumpet, your name called by a loud voice, and you suddenly hurl skywards at a speed unimagined…

…someone’s going to be walking into your church, looking for answers. They’re going to find your computer. They’re going to find your Quickverse, or your Logos, or your PC Bible Study, or (if you’ve been paying attention to my recommendations) your WordSearch program. And they’re going to face an immediate call to the ministry, and only a short time after the signing of the peace treaty, they need to be in hiding, or face being hunted and killed.

Your laptop or your desktop computer with your Bible software on it can be a treasure trove of information. If you start today.

All Bible programs have a way to write commentary on verses. Imagine your commentary as being sitting down face to face…. training your replacement.

Because it may end up being this very thing.

They’re going to have only seven years until the return of Jesus Christ. The sixth seal heralds the start of mortal persecution of Christians worldwide. The Bible talks about many martyrs for the Christian faith during the Sixth Seal, being kept underneath God’s throne, because their deaths are so precious to Him. If we posit 21 judgments in the tribulation and 14 in the first half alone, that gives an average of three months between judgments. That’s… ummm… a year and a half into the Tribulation. Not anywhere enough time to go through seminary.

There are devices that can charge up electricity through the act of pedaling, and can be used to recharge a laptop. Consider loading up your laptop with Christian books and articles your replacement will need. They won’t have the luxury of your Pastor’s office like you have for very long.

So, write that commentary you’ve always wanted to write. Train your replacement. Because someone is going to have to pastor the flock of Jesus Christ while we’re in heaven after the Rapture. Explain what amounts to good doctrine in your notes. Give info on how to pastor a church. Forget how to deal with pulpit committees and unscriptural things like Deacon boards. Focus instead on how to help with mourning, with troubled times, with the rise of heresy, how to answer critics of the Bible.

Because the churches of the Tribulation are not going to be brick and white buildings with a steeple, but people hidden in a warehouse, people off in the wilderness somewhere,  or people in the bombed out ruins of a major city, long evacuated after World War III that happens in the Second Seal.

Help them out. Train your replacement.

Troubled on every side


8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (KJV)

I never cease to be amazed by how God pushes me to the task. Every time I think to myself, “I finally am done dealing with false teachings, and can get back to teaching of ‘the common salvation’ Jude spoke of…”

…Another heretic or false teacher finds me.

Emergents. Messianics. Salvation by works teachers. Cult members like JW’s, Mormons and Roman Catholics. People with strange doctrinal axes to grind.

It’s amazing that most of them end up getting irritable and often insulting when I disagree with them. Well, not too amazing – I’ve found its pretty commonplace. I’ve had better dialogue with Atheists, one of whom was genuinely funny.

I’ve just come to the conclusion that this is the primary ministry the Lord has placed me in. To combat false teachings and false teachers, to call them out on the carpet for what they teach.

I am, however, troubled by what’s going on in today’s mainstream Christianity. Many Christians are blindly swallowing political rhetoric, without stopping to check facts.

Now, I try to avoid politics in this blog. I’m trying to save souls, not win elections. I’m sure if people wanted a blog on politics, I could write one with my usual grumpiness and some would be amused.

What I’m talking about is political correctness being allowed to affect your doctrine.

Now, seriously, this is where a robot should start flapping its arms and talking about warnings and danger.

Your politics should not be allowed to dictate your doctrine. In the United States, Christian should not be synonymous with any particular political party.

If a particular political party starts telling you how to believe, you should kindly remind them of the first amendment of the United States Constitution, that we do have freedom of religion, and that guarantees “the free exercise thereof.”

If you don’t like that, sorry – that’s the US Constitution, and you’re welcome to pack up and move to another country that does not have it. I understand that the United States and at one time Liberia were the only countries that followed the US Constitution.

No political party may dictate how you believe. If you find yourself swayed by rhetoric into changing your beliefs, strong warnings…

  1. make sure you’re attending a Bible believing church.
  2. Make sure you’re attending regularly.
  3. Make sure you’re reading the Bible for English Speaking people, the King James. Everyone says it doesn’t matter what translation you read, but oddly enough, the more you read only the King James the more you become a fundamentalist.
  4. make sure you’re saved.

Saved people continue in “the apostles doctrine”, as Luke put it when writing down Acts. If something as ephemeral and slight as political rhetoric can make you change your beliefs, then… you’re scaring me.

You need to make sure your belief structure is conformed to God’s word, and not to the current political fads.

Read your Bible. What that says… believe. Follow. Let that be the sole rule of faith and practice, not Facebook sayings, not commercial, political speeches, sound bytes, what have you.