The Pre-Trib Rapture 1


25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:25-28 (KJV)

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3 (KJV)

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:11 (KJV)

10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:10 (KJV)

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)

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. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (KJV)

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 (KJV)

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

Events in Order

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3 (KJV)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-15 (KJV)

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: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (KJV)

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 4:16-17 (KJV)

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1 Corinthians 15:51 (KJV)

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:53 (KJV)

10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:10 (KJV)

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. Matthew 10:42 (KJV)

9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Romans 12:9-19 (KJV)

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matthew 24:21 (KJV)

13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 (KJV)

7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 (KJV)

15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:15-16 (KJV)

8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8 (KJV)

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:28 (KJV)

8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. James 5:8 (KJV)

4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:4 (KJV)

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10 (KJV)

28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 1 John 2:28 (KJV)

14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Jude 1:14-15 (KJV)

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Revelation 22:12 (KJV)

The Tribulation

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3 (KJV)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-15 (KJV)

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: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (KJV)

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 4:16-17 (KJV)

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1 Corinthians 15:51 (KJV)

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 Corinthians 15:53 (KJV)

10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:10 (KJV)

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. Matthew 10:42 (KJV)

9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Romans 12:9-19 (KJV)

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matthew 24:21 (KJV)

The Soon Coming Rapture 2


Yay! Another Rapture article. These cheer me up.

Let’s say that I could list every Bible verse proving the Rapture is Pre-trib. Let’s say I can do expository Bible study on the ENTIRE BIBLE, proving the Pre-Trib rapture – and don’t convince a single person (which is what would happen, because people love ideologies, not truth).

What then?

I’m counting on all of you post-trib, mid-trib, no-trib and Pre-wrath believers to stock up food. Supplies. Ammo. Tools.

Why?

Because when, to your embarassment, you are raptured.. all those supplies will be left behind.

For people who within a few months… are going to desperately need them.

If you stock up for them now… lives will be saved. If you don’t… people will die.

Horrible to meet someone in heaven, and ask… “how did you die?”

“I starved to death. And there was no water.”

And you hang your head thinking, “I meant to stockpile for people left behind.” Well, don’t open your mouth and admit it, I guess!

And if you REALLY believe that despite the Bible, you believe you personally are going through the Tribulation… buddy, you’d better get busy and stockpile now. Because after the midpoint, you need the Number of the Beast to buy food.

So, how long is it going to take for you to buy everything you need? quite a while.

You may not have that much time to do it.

The Soon Coming Rapture


It takes roughly 45-90 minutes to write articles on how to do sermons, so those who’ve been interested in the series, my apologies – but I’ve been so busy that lately I’ve only been able to keep up because I can write seven articles quickly on a weekend.

To mention the Rapture in modern Christianity is like pulling a knife and darking people to fight you! I can think of few topics that engender such arguments and name caling as… this topic.

To those who do not agree… you have the absolute right to be wrong. I’ll tell you you’re wrong. I’ve described the issue of the Rapture as being the canary that coal miners in Wales used to detect deadly gas in the mines. If the birds collapsed, everyone knew to get out as fast as possible.

SAme here. When your eschatology (doctrines of the end times) begins to wander, it’s a sign EVERYTHING is beginning to wander. Am I saying the myriads of Independent, Fundamentalist Baptist preachers who have adopted an unScriptural Mid-Trib position are losing a pure doctrinal stance?

Why… yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying. You have not kept your doctrine without spot. You’ve listened to vain and foolish tales, and adopted the vain philosohpy of this world, instead of a reliance upon pure Scripture.

I’ve mentioned before the explanation of a man who had the right viewpoint of the Rapture. He was asked by his nephew if he was SURE the Rapture was before the Tribulation. His response was classic, and one that those who hold incorrect Eschatologies always miss…

“What is the point of the Tribulation?”

For many Christians, they’ll suddenly go quiet, and all you’ll hear is, “Uhhhh……”

The way I’ve described it is this. I’ve pointed to a church congregation (nicely split down the middle thanks to the aisle…) That… God spoke and dealt with this side over here, for 2,000 years. But that means THAT side isn’t being dealt with. Okay, God’s temporarily turning to THAT side. But the book of Revelation (not Revelations) shows that suddenly God’s focus is back on THIS group again, and THAT group suddenly seems to be missing.

Why is THAT group missing? Because God’s now returning to THIS group, who’s been somewhat rebellious. So, to reach them, He’s going to give the only thing they respond to…

…signs.

Okay, when you substitute the words “Gentiles” and “Jews” for THAT and THIS, it makes perfect sense. God dealt with the Jews for 2,000 years. Then the Lord came ,and the Jews are temporarily put away.

Note the word temporary.

“Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:12–15, KJV)

Read verse 15 and verse 12 again. How much more their fulness? What shall the receiving of them be?

God is not “Through with the Jew.”

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25, KJV)

What does this mean? spiritually, it means… blindness is happening in part to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

If anyone wants to argue, here we go with Greek! πλήρωμα Pleroma means fulness, completeness. When the complete number of those Gentiles who will accept Christ is reached before the Tribulation, then the Lord will come. What’s that number? Clearly, we see from other passages of Scripture that the number is… I don’t know.

Does this argue in favor of Calvinism? No it argues in favor of Baptist doctrine (there’s no such thing as a Calvinist Baptist – it’s like saying a Carpenterish plumber) – God predestines according to foreknowledge. God knows in advance who will accept the Gospel and who will not.

Can you imagine being in the Millennium, and attending the Temple, and you’re talking about “I wonder who the last Gentile was to make the Fulness complete?” and at that moment the Lord is standing with you and He says… “Why… it was you.”

We should all feel that way. Well, I can’t, because I’m not a Gentile. But there. You Gentiles should all feel that way – you personally are the one the Lord was waiting eagerly for.

Where am I going with this? God turns His attention from the Jewish people to the Gentiles, then He will return His attention back to Israel during the Tribulation. So… where did the Gentiles go?

It’s a well attested fact – often completely ignored by Mid and Post Tribulationists – that the word church and churches is used 21 times in Revelation 1-3, and then not again until the very end of the book.

The rules of Hermaneuticsc demand we pay attention to that. It tells us something.

“Aha! But Holy omes and Saints can be found!”

Sure. That’s the Jews and all the Gentiles who get saved in the Tribulation. But the fact remains, the word church is missing for most of the book, until after the Lord returns.

There’s two open doors in Revelation – immediately after the final mention of the churches, and then not again until the Lord and His armies begin to travel back to the earth.

And then after that, it’s Israel, and Tribe… the 144,000 are from the tribes of Israel. They are those who “keep the commandments”.

“Matthew 24!”

You’re not understanding Matthew 24. Read it again. You’ll spot that the Lord gatheres His elect from the four corners of HEAVEN. They’re already in Heaven at that point.

The bottom line is this – if you believe in mid trib, post trib, pre-wrath, no-trib… you do not distinguish between the Gentile and the Jew. You confuse the words churches and Israel. Yet an honest reading of Romans differentiates between the two. If the Bible differentiates between Israel and the churches… so should we.

NOW, with that understanding, go read all of Revelation 7 times in a row. Won’t take long. Only 22 chapters. By the time you’re done, here’s your study questions…

Where are the churches?

Who is Israel?

Who is Revelation speaking of and to, mostly?

What is God’s method in the Tribulation?

Does it resemble the manner in which God dealt with Israel in the Old Testament? Or how God communicates with the churches in the New?

If you agree it resembles how God dealt with Israel in the Old Testament when they were Rebellious… what then does this lead you to conclude? Who is Revelation speaking to?

It’s speaking to my people. We’re a little stubborn. And trust me, it’s going to take the seas turning to blood to get most of Israel to admit that the Rabbi’s are wrong, and Jesus is the Messiah.

It’s going to take demonic attacks that leave people in agony for months.

It’s going to take hail that sets fires.

Start comparing Revelation to Exodus.

If you honestly study Revelation (for which there are blessings promised)… you will come to only one conclusion. It’s speaking of the Jewish people.

And the Gentile churches have… vanished.

Issues with the Faithlife Company


I’m going to take the time to discuss my wife’s conclusion about Logos, that it is not a Christian company. I do have to agree with her. It’s a business. The prices they charge, and the tactics they use to force people to constantly give them money may be sound business practice, but it’s not Christian principles. Christian principles is that the laborer is worthy of his hire, and to pay your people fairly, and charge an honest price for your software. Bibleworks was an honest contender until I found out that they really didn’t give you much in the way of Bible dictionaries, grammars, etc. At least with that software, you pay one price… and you get everything.

But let’s not forget Logos was started by a Christian employee of Microsoft, who went on his own. He turned it into a major software business, eventually creating the greatest Bible software package.

And then recently, he began offering packages for cults and unSaved people, as if lending legitimacy to them. You can buy Verbum, for Roman Catholics. He must have hired some Roman Catholics for the Content teams, because now you get Roman Catholic materials in almost every base package of Logos. What, pray tell, am I going to do with the Roman Catholic lectionary, or the Confessions of “St.” Augustine? The Standard Silver package has a devotional to Mary!!! Are they offering Baptist materials in Verbum, I wonder? Hmmm… let’s see… no.

So, sadly, Logos will probably after the Rapture be instrumental in building a one world religion. I’m not saying that Christians do not work at Logos. I am not saying that there’s something wrong with the software, or the materials they offer (except the RCC stuff). But if you’ve learned to spot agendas (something I taught my readers to do two years ago) – these facts should be setting off alarm bells.

Logos 7 Upgrade


Okay, Logos gave me a credit because I bought version 6 just two days before 7 came out. We knew 6 was afraid of 7, because 7 8 9.

Anyway, the credit was almost completely enough money to get into the Bronze package, meaning I only needed $77 to get all of the features of Logos. Before this, you had to spend thousands to get all of the features in Logos. Now, they’re all available in the Bronze package.

How do you buy this Bible software when it’s so ridiculously expensive? THe pricing is so steep that the average Independent Baptist pastor cannot even dream of affording it. But here’s the trick – the dynamic pricing.

Once you buy something in Logos, they remove the discounted price of that object from the packages. I started out with the free engine, and the $9.99 KIng James. I have only rarely bought anything from Bible companies, because I really believe that the pricing for these things should be much lower. And if Logos ever were to hire me for product innovation or some such job, I would argue vociferously that the King James should be a free download with the engine, because that’s INDUSTRY STANDARD. Logos remains the only company who charges for the KIng James, a royalty free Bible translation.

When I came into a work bonus, and I bought the first package (Baptist Starter), the price of every single Logos package dropped. Their website knew what items I had, and discounted every package to compare to those datasets that I had.

Then of course 7 came out. I upgraded last month. I couldn’t afford much, so I bought the standard package Starter. It was heavily discounted, since I already owned Baptist Starter.

Then just a week ago, I got the postcard in my mailbox, telling me I had a credit if I upgraded before the end of the year. So I called, and upgraded to Standard Bronze. You should have heard the sales rep’s voice when he recommended the Baptist Bronze package, and I told him that it was too over-loaded with Calvinist material and had almost no traditional Baptist material! I think it was the first time that anyone working for Faithlife ever heard the words “Too much Calvinism”, or even the suggestion that Calvinism is not Baptist, or that Baptist is not Calvinism.

The good news is that Logos has fixed everyone’s criticism. Now when you buy Logos, yes… you do own your books. Logos 7 is guaranteed to keep working with new operating systems, and you will always own your library. This is a big deal for them. It means they’re cutting off the robbery they used to do to existing customers who just want to upgrade the package they own without being forced to add many books, a tactic that fills the comment section of their blog routinely with nasty comments.

Now I just have to learn how to take advantage of all the new tools.

“Open Fire” by Paige Patterson


http://www.sermonaudio.com/new_details.asp?ID=46571

A Southern Baptist seminary president said Nov. 29 that Baptists who adopt Calvinistic theology and practice ought to consider joining another denomination.“I know there are a fair number of you who think you are a Calvinist, but understand there is a denomination which represents that view,” Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said at the close of Tuesday’s chapel service. “It’s called Presbyterian.”

As a former Southern Baptist, I can say this is “open fire” almost at the very last second before losing the convention forever. There are too many Presbyterians in the SBC holding teaching positions. As I said before, if you’re Calvinist… go get your own convention. There is no such thing as a “Calvinist Baptist”. There is only a Baptist with confused soteriology, or there is Presbyterians.

Other posts on the same topic…

What’s Wrong With Baptists?

Southern Baptists Need Their Sovereign Grace Heritage

Your sermon to listen to courtesy of Marc Monte!

http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=41706211051

Those Fundamentalist Pharisees by David Cloud


Updated September 24 2014 (first published August 2, 1996)(David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

Christians who have strong biblical convictions are often labeled “Pharisees.”

The following are a few examples of the probably hundreds of times people have written to called me a Pharisee.

“I wonder what makes Mr. Cloud so sure he’s right and everybody else is wrong? Look at the Pharisees, Mr. Cloud, and then look in the mirror!”

“You’re the best example I think I’ve ever seen of the Pharisee who sits at the front of the synagogue giving thanks for not being a sinner like everyone else.”

“I figured you were a Baptist organization. You are nothing more than modern day Pharisees! Judgmental ignorant people. Get a grip.”

To label a Bible-believing Christian who is passionate to honor Christ and to obey God’s Word a Pharisee is a slander, because the error of Phariseeism was not their zeal to obey the Scripture. They had no such zeal. They were zealous, rather, to create their own religious system and to exalt their own self-righteousness.

A biblical definition of Phariseeism is as follows:

1. Phariseeism is supplanting the Word of God with man-made tradition and thereby making the Word of God of none effect. “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat. 15:7-9).

2. Phariseeism is rejecting Jesus Christ. “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Mat. 12:22-24).

3. Phariseeism is perverting the Gospel of the free grace of Christ into a work’s salvation. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Mat. 23:15).

4. Phariseeism is self-righteousness. “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Lk. 18:9-12).

5. Phariseeism is the practice of religious hypocrisy. “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Lk. 12:1).

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great error to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they loved God’s Word and took it too seriously.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they were careful to honor the details of God’s Word. Never did Jesus reprove them for such a thing.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they judged by God’s Word. They didn’t judge by God’s Word; they judged by their own vain tradition. Jesus warned against hypocritical judgment, but He encouraged judgment based on truth.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they marked and avoided false teachers. Jesus Himself warned about false teachers and instructed His people to beware of them (Matthew 7:15-23). Jesus commended the church at Ephesus because they had “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars” and for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:2, 6). Imagine that! Jesus commended the church for hating the deeds of false teachers. Obviously, that type of thing is not Phariseeism.

Zeal for God’s Word is right and godly. The following testimony expresses the very essence of true spirituality and godliness:

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:128).

Was the Psalmist speaking here as a Pharisee? Of course not. It is spiritual to esteem all of God’s precepts concerning all things to be right and to hate everything that is contrary to God’s precepts. Note the emphasis on ALL precepts and ALL things and EVERY false way. This is the very strictest sort of Biblicist mindset, and it is encouraged in the pages of God’s Word as the correct mindset and attitude of the man who loves God passionately.

Jesus reproved the Pharisees for turning the law of Moses into a way of salvation, which it was never intended to be, and for their hypocrisy and for their lack of love and grace and compassion. Consider the following reproof:

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

Jesus didn’t say, “You Pharisees make far too much of tithing and other such things in God’s law. You are much too zealous for God’s Word. Don’t you know that God never intended you to take everything so strictly. Why don’t you lighten up?”

No, Jesus said they did well to take God’s Word strictly by honoring even the details of tithing. What He hated was that they had missed the heart and soul of the law of God, which was judgment, mercy, and faith. Observe that “judgment” is commended by Jesus!

The law was not given as a means to obtain righteousness; rather, it revealed God’s extreme holiness and man’s fallenness and pointed to Christ as the believing sinner’s justification (Rom. 3:19-24; Gal. 3:10-13, 24-25). The Pharisees missed the heart of the law which is to love God with all one’s heart and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The fact that they were complicit in the death of the Son of God is clear evidence that they did not love God.

Candidly, there are a lot of fundamental Baptist preachers that I have little respect for, but I don’t know of any full-blown fundamentalist Pharisees. In my experience, every fundamental Baptist preacher believes too much in grace and delights too much in God’s free righteousness to be a Pharisee. There has been a lot of hypocrisy, though, and there is an element of true legalism within some aspects of the fundamental Baptist movement. I have warned about this often. (See, for example, my free eBook THE HYLES EFFECT, which is available at http://www.wayoflife.org.)

While I can’t speak for everyone, I can speak for myself. And I don’t preach works for salvation and I don’t preach works for sanctification. Everything is by God’s grace and His grace alone. Everything is Christ in me the hope of glory. The essence of the Christian life is not me doing something for God. It was described by Paul as follows: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

This might not come across in every single sermon, but it is clear in my thinking and in my personal life and in the overall perspective of my ministry.

As for hypocrisy, I don’t always live up to what I preach. Far from it, but I confess my sins to God (and to man when the situation necessitates) and don’t pretend to any self-righteousness. I know at every moment that the only righteousness I have that is acceptable to God is in Christ and in Christ alone. That is not the thinking of a Pharisee.

We see in Matthew 23:23 that Christ did not rebuke the Pharisees for paying attention to the less weighty things in the law. He rebuked them for focusing on the lesser matters to the neglect of the weightier ones.

The Bible-believing “fundamentalists” that I know do not neglect the weightier matters of the New Testament faith. They aim, rather, to follow Paul’s example and to give heed to “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). They preach Christ’s virgin birth, blood atonement, resurrection, and ascension. They preach justification by grace alone and the Trinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit and the other “weightier” matters of the faith. They also preach church discipline (1 Cor. 5) and the divine restrictions upon the woman’s ministry (1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:34) and other things that are less weighty.

When a Christian today preaches against pop music and Hollywood’s moral filth and calls for modest dress, he is called a Pharisee, but the Bible demands a very strict separation from the world, and this is not Phariseeism; it is New Testament Christianity.

Following are just some of the commandments on this issue, and they are indeed commandments and not suggestions.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

“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. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).

Separation from the world by a born again, blood-washed, saved-by-grace-alone believer is not Phariseeism. It is obedience to God and conformity to His character and will.

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great slander to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-gospel-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

The modern Pharisee would be more akin to the Roman Catholic priest with his sacramental gospel and his traditions exalted to the place of Scripture and his long history of persecuting the saints. The ecumenical crowd doesn’t call Catholic priests Pharisees, though. They don’t seem to be concerned about all of the souls who have been led astray by these contemporary Pharisees.

The only men they seem to be concerned about are those dreadful old “fundamentalists” with their strong Bible convictions and their refusal to smile at error.

Oh, those dreadful fundamentalist Pharisees!

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