The Biggest Dangers to Christianity


No, no fancy shmancy format today. I’m just speaking from my heart.

Photo by Joey Banks on Unsplash

There are several dangers facing Christianity today. I’ve got to say, in every time in history when Christians were in danger, they always got much more dedicated and LIVED for the Lord! Today, not so much.

Today, you run a real risk of being fired and going to jail for your beliefs (California and New York are trying to pass legislature that will put anyone in prison for using “the wrong pronoun” to describe a person).

I’m going to list the dangers facing Christianity not in any particular order, because I just don’t know which is the biggest danger – but it seems to me the dangers from within are the most dangerous.

  1. The Democratic party. I’m aware that most Christians in the United States are Republicans. There are many who are Democrats because they say things like, “Well, my heritage has always voted Democrat.” Well, stop the madness… Democrats are fiercely dedicated to making sure that their agendas are legalized, and any disagreements with the Democratic party are punishable by lengthy jail terms and whopping fines. They want to legalize mind altering drugs and every form of immoral and sinful behavior (trust me, they’re not content with what they’ve got now – they’re going to make participation in immorality MANDATORY), but they want to penalize Christians. For things they don’t penalize other Middle Eastern religions for refusing to do.
  2. Ecumenism. I used to aim the writings of this blog at Evangelicals. I’ve pretty much stopped that, because I became aware a couple of years ago that a). They weren’t listening and b). They weren’t listening. You CANNOT tell an Evangelical that Mormons are not Christians anymore. You can’t. They won’t hear it. They accepted Seventh Day Adventism, Messianics and Roman Catholics as well – and those are not Christian either. Ecumenism – the unBiblical mindset that all churches should work together despite doctrinal stands – threatens Christianity to its core. What are you going to say at the Great White Throne to all those Roman Catholics you befriended and never shared the Gospel with? How does that help them if you don’t witness to them, and just buddy buddy with them – and then you see their terrified faces on the Left on Judgment Day? You know what’s coming – and so do they. You failed to warn them. Evangelical Christianity and Ecumenism has failed Christianity.
  3. Textual Criticism. Do you think this is just a matter of Bible preference? It’s not, and here’s why. Listen to a hundred sermons on SermonAudio, and you’re literally going to hear 99 of them question or deny the word of God. “That’s not in the original Greek manuscripts.” “The Original Greek omits that verse/word/phrase.” “That was added by some pious scribe.” What you’re saying to me is, “I don’t believe the word of God, and I’m going to use textual criticism to justify my unbelief, and whatever agenda I want to push.” And believe you me, they do! If we were more Biblically grounded, Kenneth Copeland would have abandoned the ministry and gone on to cargo piloting as a career. There are many men in stolen pulpits around the world who are not called by God, not gifted by God, and not ordained of God. And they’re going to have to answer to God, the same way that someone who was called of God would. It’s going to be an ugly day for them.
  4. Theological Liberalism. Theological Liberalism is rampant today, far more than during the past. We’re talking the vast majority of pastors in the United Methodist, Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations are all to one extent or another Theological Liberals. The Presbyterians have had to divide time and time again over this issue. My visit to a Pastor’s Conference a few years back showed me the Southern Baptist convention is flooded with them as well. I’m going out on a limb here and say that 89% of Pastors in any denomination are to a greater or lesser degree theological liberals. Today they call this “progressive” – the same code word the Soviet Union used to describe communist propaganda. Odd that it should be the same word. Who’s the most famous theological liberal today? Andy Stanley. Ask him his opinion of the Bible. He doesn’t accept the Bible, because he doesn’t believe in it. People have heard him speak, and were shocked at how he dances around the truth on this issue.
  5. Neo-Barthianism. RAMPANT. Barthianism is rampant. Essentially, it is Theological Liberalism disguised with a whitewash of Post Modernism and a clever shell game of words and definitions. MOST of the materials advocated by Faithlife (the company who produces Logos) absolutely are Neo-Barthian – and the spokesmen and teachers Faithlife hired are all theological liberals or Neo-Barthians as well. To my knowledge, there are NO Fundamentalists working for the greatest Bible software company in the world. I’ve written about Neo-Barthianism, which is essentially the modern rush to follow the writings of a man named Karl Barth, who was a theological liberal who disguised his unbelief by mentally redefining words. Francis Schaeffer was a Barthian at first, but apparently Schaeffer radically changed at the end of his life, and decried Evangelicalism and Theological Liberalism at the end of his life. I lack the time to go over it again, but STAY AWAY from the writings of Karl Barth.
  6. Charismatic/Pentecostalism. Here’s the hugest Trojan Horse out there. Pentecostalism is the results of several untaught men who made huge theological errors – and of the group, all of them were trying to keep up with Frank Sandford, a man who was so deluded he very possibly had a nervous breakdown early in his ministry, and thought he was somehow Elijah the Prophet, King David, and one of the Two Witnesses who was to die in Jerusalem. The poor terrified man thought each time he sailed to Jerusalem he was about to die. He was the first to push Pentecostalism, and it was quickly taken up by Charles Parham (one of Sandford’s Students) and John Dowie (one of Sandford’s rivals, who also thought he was one of the two witnesses to die in Jerusalem – and also thought he was Elijah). This is the roots of Pentecostalism, and it is not creeping into every church today – it IS in every church today! No kidding, in the Southern Baptist church I preached at for a while, I was offered Dodie Osteen’s book and also a book by Joyce Meyers. The Southern Baptist church adopted ten years ago a statement they would no longer oppose “a private prayer language”. The Freewill Baptists are struggling with it right now, and losing that battle as well. If you stop struggling against Pentecostalism and embrace it, sooner or later you embrace Kenneth Copeland and the Charismatic word faith heresy. It’s inevitable. You say your church takes a firm stand against speaking in tongues? You’re already losing the battle against this stuff if you adopt any of the Vacation Bible School stuff sold by Lifeway. I literally heard code words for Word Faith disguised in the song lyrics, and nobody was checking this stuff. You are against it, but thanks to the VBS materials, your kids are already indoctrinated, and your church has lost the battle.

When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b, KJV)

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Sons of Jacob


Jerusalem

Photo by David Rodrigo on Unsplash

I’m going to ask specific questions, because some people read their Bibles and they’ve got tinted glasses that color what they’re reading. My intent by asking these pointed questions is to shock you awake, and make you begin to read the Bible with what is called the normal literal dispensational thinking.

Who is Abraham?
This is first year Sunday School kind of questions. You shouldn’t have any problems. Abraham, known as Avraham Avinu (”Our Father Abraham”) among Jews, left Ur in response to God’s command, and lived a nomadic life in the land of Israel, briefly living in Egypt from time to time, but returning to a land promised him.

Who is Isaac?
Isaac, son of Abraham.

Who is Jacob?
You should know who Jacob is.The Son of Isaac, correct? Isaac, son of Abraham.

Who are the sons of Jacob?
It’s not a trivia question, but a serious question. The sons of Jacob are Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Gad, Asher, Judah, Joseph, Benjamin, Issachar, Dan, Zebulun, Naphtali, and extended to Ephraim and Manassah. When the Bible speaks of the “Sons of Jacob”, it is always referring to physical descendants of Jacob.

Who is Israel?
Biblically, it’s Jacob.

“Wait!!!”

Nope. I just maneuvered you into a trap, an admission. Israel is Jacob. Israel is the Jewish people, the sons of Jacob. How can I say that?

“And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:” (1 Kings 18:31, KJV)

“Thou art the God that doest wonders: Thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.” (Psalm 77:14–15, KJV)

“And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people As a dew from the Lord, As the showers upon the grass, That tarrieth not for man, Nor waiteth for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people As a lion among the beasts of the forest, As a young lion among the flocks of sheep: Who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, And none can deliver.” (Micah 5:7–8, KJV)

“For I am the Lord, I change not; Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6, KJV)

The phrases sons of Jacob are used in the Bible to denote the physical descendants of Jacob. No Gentile Believer in Jesus Christ can say they are a son of Jacob.

So if you cannot say you are a physical son of Jacob, you are not a son of Jacob.

Children of Israel and sons of Jacob are interchangeable.

“Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.” (Genesis 32:32, KJV)

So if you are not physically Jewish you are not Israel…

Do you grasp that?

“BUT!!!”

Yes. But. A believer in Jesus Christ is considered a son of Abraham by faith – and thus ingrafted into Israel.

Ingrafted.

Not replacing.

You are PART OF, a wild olive branch, grafted in. You are not the root. Do you grasp that the branch is Jesus Christ? Do you grasp that you are ingrafted into Jesus Christ? Do you grasp that Christians are fellow heirs with the Jewish people?

I’m speaking as a physical son of Abraham.

To my brothers in faith, the Gentile believers in Jesus Christ.

You are grafted in – but that does not mean you replace.

It’s common for many Calvinists to read the Bible through Calvinist tinted glasses, reading and misunderstanding. You read “Covenant”, and think it applies to Calvinists. You backread “Israel” in the prophetic books, and somehow think it applies to Calvinists.

The covenants are with Israel. The Jewish people. You partake in the New Covenant – but that’s it.

You do not inherit the land away from us. You do not replace us.

John MacArthur advocates that Calvinists should be Dispensationalists, and should read the Bible with what is called the Normal-Literal-Dispensational method of understanding. He’s right. You should.
Better yet, you should drop the Calvinism, read your Bible, accept it literally and understand it literally, ensure you’re saved, and grow as a Christian.

And get busy, because the Lord has work for us!

Charity and Lakewood Church


Give.

But not to Joel Osteen.

Interestingly enough, he refused to open his megachurch to storm victims, but instead his website continued to encourage people to donate to him.

Um… he lives in a 17,000 square foot mansion. His church can seat tens of thousands of people.

Eventually, after being shamed by the press, he did open his church, and gave lame excuses.

And I understand social media went nuts over it. Someone created a graphic saying “You cannot serve God and mammon both.” And a picture of Osteen with the caption, “Challenge accepted!”

If I owned a church that size.. And a home that size… you know what? Let’s get people to donate sleeping bags. I just betcha that I could get 10,000 people to crash inside a warm, dry Lakewood Church – and probably another hundred or so in my house!

I don’t know how much Osteen is worth… but I’m pretty sure he could afford to put a few thousand aside to order food for everyone. Or order pizzas.

So it would cost a man (with what 50 million in savings), what, $250,000?

Ever consider the fact that maybe, just maybe, the Lord allowed Osteen to have that kind of wealth for just such a moment?

The owner of Dell computers donated $35 million for disaster relief. Not from his company, from his own bank account.

What if, just WHAT IF… Osteen had opened Lakewood as an emergency shelter, and then got up there after feeding everyone and preached a BIBLICAL gospel?

Sure, most would have just kept chewing and nodding, but a few might have gotten saved.

What’s it worth to you to not see someone burn in hell forever?

Osteen turned a golden moment to be a witness to Christ just ONCE in his life, into a moment to make Christianity look embarrassingly bad.

Rent 10,000 cots. Buy bulk food. Get church members busy in the kitchens. “Give them food, water. Someone go out to the thrift stores, get clothes. We’re giving stuff away today.”

That’s what Osteen should have done. That’s what I would have done. “Can we get stuff delivered by helicopter?”

See, this wasn’t about Joel Osteen, but about Jesus Christ. And Osteen made the Lord look bad.

At this point, Joel, it’s clear. You’re stealing someone else’s pulpit. Turn it over, and step down.

Or go to a seminary, open the books, LEARN something about the Bible, and stop preaching this “You need to get a bigger vision” recycled Norman Vincent Peale teachings.

Preach THE WORD. Be instant, in season and out of season!

Not health, wealth, and self esteem.

Robert Schuller eventually lost the Crystal Cathedral.

Lakewood is next.

Ways in which Fundamentalists are discriminated against


I’m often astounded when I hear Evangelicals call themselves Fundamentalist. They have no idea that in many ways, they are so NOT Fundamentalist, it’s crazy.

But what I see is the rabid anti-Fundamentalism sweeping Christianity – the same ideology the Lord decries in the letter to the Laodecian church in Revelation 3. “Be lukewarm, like us!” They cry. And many of them resort to calling Fundamentalists “Pharisees.” Good to know that not only are you Biblically ignorant and PROUD of it – but you’re also Anti-Semitic.

A Pharisee is an enemy of Jesus Christ. A Fundamentalist is not. Fundamentalists stand for the Christian faith, a literal belief in the Bible – and usually God’s Bible, not rejected and heretical texts which the unBelieving and unSaved “scholars” prefer.

So, let’s say you discover overnight, that the Bible is God’s word, inspired, inerrant, preserved. Now, there’s a lot of “Christians” who call the Bible “Inspired” the same way you’d call Mozart’s music “inspired”. When I say inspired, I mean, we believe God dictated the Bible to men who wrote it down.  Many “Christians” claim Fundamentalists don’t believe that anymore.

Huh.

No, that’s an article of faith that Fundamentalists will not let go of. When they say, “Luke wrote the book of Luke”, they’re saying “It might have errors because Luke wrote it, and Luke was a man.” I say instead, “God wrote it and gave Luke the words to write down. It has no errors – God wrote it.”

So, if you became a Fundamentalist, you’d find yourself having problems with a LOT of Christian materials. Commentaries that question God’s word. Bible dictionaries that try  to present the unSaved “Scholar’s” view of things – which usually is their wish or pet theory being passed off as truth to unsuspecting Christians. You’d have to reject a lot of Greek handbooks, because many of them ascribe to “Textual Criticism”, which is Atheism passing itself off as Christians. If you’re trying to tell me Mr. Aland or Mr. Metzger are saved, you’re going to have to cite some serious evidence, because based on their testimonies, I’m going to come out and say – no, they can’t be.

You’re going to have trouble with a lot of Sermon starter books, that have little “tidbits of the Greek” because they push – again – a heretical manuscript instead of God’s Bible. You’re going to end up rejecting most materials on Revelation because – let’s face it – most of them are written by persons who allegorize the Book of Revelation, or accept the heretical manuscripts instead of God’s Bible. I have a commentary on Revelation that seems really good, but I’m having to wade through a lot of “the scholars now say…”. I’m sorry Mr. Seiss, but had you any idea they were lying to you?

You’re going to have a lot of trouble with pre-printed Sunday School materials. I’ve found so many elementary doctrinal errors and “Scholars say” references, I don’t know what to do.

You’ll grit your teeth over the way people praise Billy Graham, ignoring his outright heresies. Yes, he used to be great. But once he started promoting Baptismal Regeneration, there’s a problem.

So… is this Hypocrisy? No. I don’t quote from heretical greek texts. I quote from God’s Bible. When I refer to the Greek, I refer to the Textus Receptus. When I look at “The hebrew”, I’m looking at the Hebrew Masoretic Txt, the Ben Chayim text. When I give my opinion on the Bible, it is “The Bible says…”

So, I’m not a “Pharisee.” I promote the Bible as the word of God, not the Talmud. I promote only one way to heaven through Jesus Christ, certainly not a trait associated with Pharisees.

So… what does that leave the people who question the word of God? Who promote other ways to be saved? Who refuse to disassociate with heretics and false teachers?

What does that imply about them?

Soul Sleep Part 2


I assumed I was done with soul sleep when I finished my article on the SDA.

Incidentally, Nobody who was SDA ever challenged the first point of my articles. As a matter of fact, they recieved zero challenges.

Until a gentleman who is SDA tried emailing me, and made his first point, and doggeldly refused to give ground despite my citing several passages of Scripture, and asking him point blank 3 times if he was SDA. He simply kept repeating point one. I should put his email exchange online, with his name and email address redacted, because they’re such a classic case of someone in a cult repeating their pet doctrine ad nauseum when you defeat their argument right out of the gate.

I kind of feel like that now. I’ve met TWO Christians who believe in soul sleep. I gave the first one 2 Cor 5 as I described it yesterday. That christian simply repeated herself. Okay, I can see that you chose your doctrines, and you’re not going to let inconvenient things like, I don’t know, Scripture change your mind.

The second one actually had scriptural reasons why she believed in soul sleep – except it was 2 Cor. 5! She moved the “Rather” into the second half of the verse, and triumphantly pointed out Paul was saying “I would RATHER be with the Lord, but I can’t, because we sleep!”

I immediately asked, “you checked this against Luke 16?”

Two weeks later she simply repeated the argument, and said she hadn’t read anything in the Bible to change her mind.

So, the answer to that would be – no, she never checked it against Luke 16.

This is the problem we run into while contending for the faith. Sometimes, we have to answer other Christians who’ve fallen for the doctrines of devils. You can’t answer a Christian the same way you’d answer a Mormon or Roman Catholic apologist. A fellow Christian is someone who you answer more gently. I was listening to a sermon yesterday in which a missiionary to cults was explaining how to answer mormons (because I’m still not happy with my exchanges with the Mormons!), in which it was pointed out there are two kinds of Mormons – those who fon’t know they’re in a cult, and those who do know and continue anyway.

It’s like Messianics – those who don’t know they’re in a cult, and those that do, but continue anyway.

So, let’s look at other verses that answer soul sleep.

SDA and other soul sleep believers will sometimes break one of the cardinal rules of bible interpretation by citing Ecclesiastes.

5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Ecclesiastes 9:5 (KJV)

We have to be wary when citing Ecclesiastes, which is a book of fleshly wisdom. It’s like quoting from Job, where 3/4’s of the doctrines espoused there are in error, and God finally answers with His wisdom.

The answer to that is the very next verse!

5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. 7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Ecclesiastes 9:5-7 (KJV)

The understanding of Ecclesiastes, as in a couple of the psalms, contrasts living, where one has your only chances to earn rewards for heaven, and the state of the physical body after death.

AS for the soul… let’s look at Ecclesiastes!

7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Ecclesiastes 12:7 (KJV)

Oh! So, the soul goes back to… God!

One pf the points that was raised was that none have ascended save the Son of Man – Jesus. None have seen the Father except Jesus.

So the soul sleep in the grave. That’s why we have the Rapture, so the Lord can wake the dead!

That’s a completely erroneous conclusion based upon – I have to say it – tunnel vision and isogesis. Does the speaker forget that Paul arose and went to heaven – whether in the body or not he could not say???

18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. 19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. 20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death. Psalm 68:18-20 (KJV)

This one was forgotten about.

8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) Ephesians 4:8-10 (KJV)

This teaches the understanding that before the death of Christ, the dead were in two places – Paradise (Abraham’s bosom) and Hell. Both were deep in the earth, and both were apparently right next to each other. The dead could see one another, talk to one another. But Luke 16 reveals there was a great gulf fixed between the dead, and Abraham and Lazarus were unable to cross and rescue the rich man, who was in torments.

Ephesians 4 and Psalm 68 teach us that Jesus Christ, after He died, went into Abraham’s Bosom, and took those awaiting, and “Ascended on high”, bringing them to heaven. No man HAD seen the Father but the son, and no man had ascended save the Son – but that ended in AD 30. Now, instead of journeying DOWN when a believer dies, we ascend into Heaven.

And Ephesians also speaks of the rewards. That’s great if you get gifts and rewards while you’re unaware of them and sleeping in the grave! Clearly, we are to be awake and aware to receive them.

Paul said, “to be absent from the body is to be Present with THE LORD”. This means you are in the Lord’s presence!

20 And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? 21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. 22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 1 Kings 17:20-22 (KJV)

29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, Genesis 49:29 (KJV) 10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. Judges 2:10 (KJV) 20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again. 2 Kings 22:20 (KJV) 28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again. 2 Chronicles 34:28 (KJV)

If death is a sleep, then this creates problems. Lazarus came forth, the child;s soul came into him again, the righteous are gathered unto their fathers.

Sounds like a journey. You have to be aware to be in a journey. Otherwise – you’re aware of nothing. you know nothing. The Bible would refer to this as “thou shalt sleep and awaken on the last day.”

If the Bible describes death as a journey, we should as well. Jacob and the other Old Testament saints describe being “gathered unto their fathers”. This means their fathers will be aware – and they will be as well! – that they are together. A journey, unto my fathers, willl be with me, I will go to him…. The Bible uses this language. “Bury me next to my wife” means one thing, but “was gathered unto his fathers” says something completely different! They are together, meaning they are aware of each other.

5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude 1:5-7 (KJV)

The final point is, there is a great number of people present in heaven throughout Revelation. A great number. And they are all aware.

the very presence of them in Heaven contradicts soul sleep. the very fact they cast their crowns on the glassy sea, and cry out praises to God, and even beseech God for vengeance on those who killed them! – all speak to the dead being aware.

We derive our doctrines from the Bible. We read them, compare them diligently against each other. WE derive no doctrine from unclear verses, but rather, from clear verses first, and unlcear verses then shed additional light. But when we read many, many verses describing the dead being aware, and four or five unclear verses – we go by the more clear and obvious verses first.

So why the unclear verses?

They shed additional light. The very verses that the cults misunderstand help us to differentiate between breathing and soul, between the state of the flesh and the state of the soul.

Read your Bible. Study your Bible. Take it literally. Compare scripture with scripture. Clear verses are taken first, and unclear second.

A good warning sign is this – if al of Christianity reads their Bible and says “a” and you read it and it says “B” – be careful. Start studying. Compare. Let the Bible choose your doctrine, and not the other way around.

Soul Sleep Refuted


I thought I’d deal with this one again, since this one keeps popping up.

6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 2 Corinthians 5:6 (KJV)

8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)

Now, I’ve got to deal with 2 Corinthians 5:8 word by word, as I actually had someone cite this verse to PROVE soul sleep, which absolutely dumbfounded me as the worst case whatsoever of Biblical Isogesis I have truly ever seen.

The first thing we do is… read the verses.

Okay, verse 6 says if we are absent from the Lord we are present in the body. You can’t be in Heaven and on earth at the same time unless you’re Jesus Christ.

Looking at verse 8, it seems to contrast verse 6, unless I’m really missing something.

To be absent from the Lord is to be present with the body. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

That’s what I’m getting, aren’t you?

Well, not soul Sleep advocates.

THey see this as Paul saying, “i would rather be present with the Lord, but it’s impossible, so I won’t.”

Okay, it’s time to open our Textus Receptus now! Going to Accordance, I looked this up. Here it is.

θαρροῦμεν δέ, καὶ εὐδοκοῦμεν μᾶλλον ἐκδημῆσαι ἐκ τοῦ σώματος, καὶ ἐνδημῆσαι πρὸς τὸν Κύριον.

“Uh, I don’t read Greek. What’s it say?”

You do know I’m teaching Greek, right? If you’d started in December, you’d be up to snuff by now!

Anyway, here it is parsed. Parsing, in this case, really robs us of our major tools, which is tense-voice-mood. But I’ll get back to that.

We are confident G2292 θαῤῥέω tharrheo

I say and G1161 δέ de

– G2532 καί kai

willing G2106 εὐδοκέω eudokeo

rather G3123 μᾶλλον mallon

to be absent G1553 ἐκδημέω ekdemeo

from G1537 ἐκ, ἐξ ek, ex

the body G4983 σῶμα soma

and G2532 καί kai

to be present G1736 ἐνδημέω endemeo

with G4314 πρός pros

the Lord G2962 κύριος kurios

Ready? Here’s the analyzsis. And.. if you were reading in in context in the English, you’d have gotten all this!

Confident and Willing are linked by Greek tense. θαρροῦμεν δέ, καὶ εὐδοκοῦμεν oumen and oumen. They are linked by Greek tense, which we see in the suffix.

ἐκδημῆσαι and ἐνδημῆσαι are linked by tense. Absent and present.

Paul cannot be saying, “I would rather be present, but I can’t.” The construction of this is contrasting – just like in the English – absent and present, τοῦ σώματος and τὸν Κύριον, from the body and with the Lord.

Here’s what it would boil down to – exactly what is written in the King James Bible. To be at home in the body is to be absent from the Lord. While Paul is with the Corinthians, he is not physically with Jesus Christ, which is where he’d rather be. I get that from reading verse 6. Anyone disagree so far?

Paul then shows, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, that he is willing and confident to be absent from the body amd present with the LOrd.

Next we turn to punctuation. The verse is split in two by two marked thoughts. The thought process is shown by the very punctuation of the King James.

8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV)

the word rather is in the first half of the sentnence. If the Bible had meant to say “I would rather be with the Lord”…

…then the verse would say that. The word “rather” would be in the second half of the verse and connected to “present”, and not connected to “absent”.

To say this is to separate 5:8 from 5:6, and the apparent contrast and the entire context.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (KJV)

1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 2 Corinthians 5:1-11 (KJV)

The entire context of the verse (rule 1, read the Bible and accept what it says, rule 2, read in context, rule 3 compare spiritual things with spiritual) is that if we die, we have a place prepared for us (verse 1). We cannot wait to be there, because when we are there we will be clothed in immortality and glory (verses 2-4). We have been given the down paymentof the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of eternal life (verse 5). While we are at home in the body, we are absent from the LOrd – but we walk by faith in eternal life, not by any demonstrateable proof. Thus we have confidence and are willing to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. (verse 8) Thus, we labor whether in the body or not to be accepted of the Lord.

WAIT!

Verse 9 of itself crushes the soul sleep argument. 9 “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”

How can you labor while you are absent (dead) if you are UNAWARE IN THE GRAVE?

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16:19-31 (KJV)

The entire soul sleep argument is put aside once and for all reading Luke 16.

Lazarus and the rich man are dead. Abraham is dead.

This is not a parable, even though every commentary seems to call it that. David Cloud points out that Abraham’s name and Lazarus’s name are mentioned. The only name not mentioned is the rich man.

Names are never mentioned in parables. Luke 16 is a real account.

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS. Some claim the story in Lk. 16:19-31 about the rich man in Hell is a parable. This is usually claimed by those who deny that Hell is a place of eternal torment, or by those who believe in Soul Sleep. The Seventh-day Adventists are an example of this. They claim that the fire and other descriptions of Hell are not real. We know that this was not a parable for the following reasons: (1) Christ used the proper names of two people, Lazarus and Abraham, and this He never did with parables. (2) The description of Hell in this passage corresponds with Christ’s descriptions of Hell in other passages (Mk. 9:44,46,48). (3) There is no indication that this is a parable. It is not called a parable and does not have any of the key expressions associated with true parables (such as “like,” “as,” “like unto,” or “likened unto.” (David Cloud, Way of Life Encyclopedia)

 

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:39-43 (KJV)

If the soul sleeps until the Rapture… how then was the thief on the cross with Jesus Christ in Paradise?

The Bible teaching on this is plain. Upon death (the separation of the body from the spirit)… we go to Heaven… or Hell.

We are aware. The souls in Heaven rejoice and praise God.

9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:9-11 (KJV)

Those in Hell raise their eyes, crying out in torment and agony.

10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 20:10 (KJV)

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Luke 16:24 (KJV)

Soul Sleep is not Biblical.

Signs of the Times


Evangelicals have begun to oppose the Bible.

Evangelicals have begun to link arms with the unsaved.

Evangelicals are beginning to reject Fundamentalists, in favor of the unSaved, such as those who sprinkle babies and call it salvation. Such as Mormons. Such as Catholics.

We hear that over a billion people are Christians, and we assume that means people who understant “ye must be born again”.

While in Seminary, my teacher asked the rhetorical question of how many people were saved? He guessed 5%, and everyone in the class was scandalized.

I took the Operation World manual, and took their statistics. It was very simple. I took out all the denominations that assume you are predestined to be saved. Why? Because by the second generation, they are relying on their infant baptism as a sign of their “election”.

I took out all the Protestant denominations that believe that being baptized saves you.

I took out the Mormons.

I took out the Roman Catholics.

It left Charismatics and Baptists. I didn’t take out any of those numbers, because I was estimating a “fudge factor” of, “Some of those Protestants must have gotten saved despite their denominations’ stand”.

I ended up with 1.67%, if I recall correctly.

Right around 85 million people.

I did the statistics in reverse, and ended up with the same number. And now I’m thinking I was optimistic.

With that in mind, let’s look at the problem – Evangelicals prefer the company of all those people the Bible rules out as being saved.

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15 (KJV)

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1 (KJV)

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:19 (KJV)

The last verse is the bottom line. If you’re an Evangelical Christian, and you reject Fundamentalist as “pharisees”, and use phrases like “I don’t view the Bible as the fourth member of the Trinity”…

The Bible is saying you many not be saved.

Just saying.