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To God be the glory, great things He has done

It is more than two months after our announced date, but here it is!

“The Priests of God: Unveiling the Order of Melchizedek”

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Watch out no one deceives you for many will come in my name claiming I am the Christ and will deceive many. (Matthew 24:4 NIV)

The Part-to-Whole fallacy may be explained this way: “Because part of a thing is true, it does not mean all of it is.”

The Galilean fisherman Simon was often right. In Caesarea Philippi, he hit the jackpot when Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16)

Like a seed, the disciple’s confession had been planted by the heavenly Father. It earned Simon a new name. From that time on, he was “the Rock.” (Matthew 16:17-18)

Peter enjoyed a new status. God spoke to him. With that heady experience behind him, he then felt qualified to contradict the word of Christ:

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.  Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:21-22)

Peter, the Rock, rebuked Jesus; though it is doubtful Simon would have been that brash. He must have been upset by what he deemed as “the Lord’s negative confession.” Peter wanted to hear only positive. He may have assumed that since he was granted special revelation about Christ’s divine person, he received divine revelation on prophecy as well. As far as who God is, even demons believe and tremble. (James 2:19)

Sharply, the Lord Jesus rebuked the Rock. “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23)

This is how it will be in the last days: Men and women will be esteemed and placed in positions of honor. They will receive wonderful revelations, even prophesying in Jesus’ name and performing miracles. They will draw large crowds and wow their audiences, thus becoming susceptible to Peter’s error (Matthew 7:22). Not every spirit is from God, so no one should assume they always speak or act for Him. Especially when it comes to prophecy, first test the spirits, or we may find ourselves opposing Christ (1 John 4:1).

Caveat emptor (“Let the buyer beware.”) Simply because our fine preacher or pastor has wonderful abilities, and rightly identifies Jesus as Lord, it does not mean he or she may not call God a liar. To assume our respected teachers or mentors know everything, without testing the spirits, places the responsibility for being deceived on our shoulders.

In Part 2, we will examine more evidence that, in the last days, the Part-to-Whole fallacy will cause many to fall into Satan’s deadly trap.

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come to him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour–when darkness reigns. (Luke 22:52-53 NIV)

Forces of rebellion that have long been suppressed, are displaying their new found strength. It is natural for those who discover their muscle, to want to flaunt it. When they were weak, they would never consider a show of force, but with their bulging bicep comes a desire to exercise it on someone. The line drawn in the sand is no longer a boundary, but an invitation.

In these days, revolt has gone mainstream. Institutions of all sorts are flexing muscle they never had before and are challenging authority. Cities are declaring their own rule of law by their non-cooperation with federal law enforcement. The state of California is not only in non-compliance, but threatening to secede from the union. The once neutral judiciary has stepped into the fray by barring long-standing powers afforded the U.S. executive branch.  Higher education has made its presence felt among the rebels. Professors are inciting, then academically rewarding students for becoming active protestors. Much of the media has fanned the flames. What was once suspected, is out in the open.

Provocative and insulting remarks are the order of the day at gatherings of TV, music and movie personalities. Remarks that formerly would cause censure, are encouraged. It seems many want in on the act.

Not to be outdone, major sports has jumped in with both feet. The one escape there has always been from politics has waded into the revolution. One professional football player refused to stand for the national anthem. A year later, a spirit of rebellion has gained a wave of support among other football players, pro basketball players, and now baseball players, as well. Refusing to stand for the Star Spangled Banner is chic. Since the U.S. president jumped in and expressed his indignation over those who dishonor the flag, the floodgates have opened. Watch for Little League and Pee Wee football players to take a knee, not because they are praying; praying is illegal. They will be kneeling in protest like their sports heroes do.

This is the onset of the hour of darkness. It is what the beginning of the end looks like. It is when rebels start to reign. All my life, I have immersed myself in politics and sports. Sports was once a god that I worshipped. I am sickened by the whole mess, the entertainers, educators, athletes–all of it. When the nation comes to ruin–as it surely will–what solace will they take from their part in their country’s collapse?

As North Korea’s leaders take their threat of a nuclear attack  to a new level, home-grown revolutionaries, from all sectors, are doing the same. No one wants peace. There is no compromise. There is only an unquenchable appetite to show off their power. They are feeling it; the rich, the powerful and the famous are turning out in a show of force. Stadiums, arenas and theaters will soon be rubble. The hour of darkness will soon be upon us.

I grieve over what I see happening. My former idols are self-destructing. For all who claim loyalty to Jesus and his kingdom, the hour of darkness is a necessity. We must separate ourselves from the world. In the process, we must destroy our idols before they lead us into carrying clubs and swords, because after that comes the darkness.

 

 

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. (Psalm 33:12 NIV)

As Christian faith continues to decline, note the proportionate increase in the world’s woes, particularly in the West. The blessings of the past have stepped aside while conflicts, trials, tragedies and tempestuous storms prevail. Might we dare suggest that God is showing his anger?

Religious people choose not to think of God in that light. At the same time, when their disobedient and rebellious children turn against them, their emotion is anger. When their sons and daughters take their inheritance and waste it in riotous living, they are not exactly pleased. Otherwise happy couples become obsessed with how they might punish their wayward kids. Anger, in this case, is normal. Predictably, we who do wrong know consequences will eventually catch up.

I ask again, “What is happening to America? Does it mean God is angry?” Of course it does. The Lord has a purpose in it: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray…”  was often quoted in the late summer of 2001. When that storm passed, the country went back to practicing every kind of evil. The lesson was quickly forgotten. Then, if wickedness grows to a never-before-seen level, what do we think will happen if not a judgment far more painful than the last. Ignore this warning and just read the future in Deuteronomy 29. 

You are doggone right God is angry! He is especially perturbed with those who call themselves Christians, yet say the Lord will do nothing (Amos 9:10). They maintain their positive outlook that life will go on as it always has, but they don’t know God.

We are all in this together. The rain falls on the righteous and the wicked. We see the innocent swept away with the guilty, but here is the difference: The Lord is able to separate the evil from the blameless. Life passes quickly, but for those who turn from their wicked ways, and cry out to the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, they will receive forgiveness and eternal life.

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7 NIV)

In every relationship, even the most loving ones, there is a time for anger. Anger, properly expressed, gives opportunity to clear the air and right the wrongs. With all the sin, corruption, hatred, violence, debauchery, godlessness, deceit and idolatry for which America is noted, we understand why God is angry. Use it as opportunity.

Let us do all in our power to show that we and our forbearers deserve our punishment–in fact, we deserve more than we get. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. Let us take what we have coming without attributing evil to God. (See Job 1 and 2.) When we rise, we must be sure to produce the fruit of repentance. For if we think God’s angry now, the insincere have yet to see real anger!

“In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king will arise, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in everything he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.” (Daniel 8:23-24 NIV)

Expressions of rebellion have made their way into the fabric of American society. A nation that was formed in rebellion is developing a culture that idealizes rebellion. The seeds of anarchy have taken root in various ways; this includes police shootings; violent protests; leaders promoting violence; officials at all levels selectively enforcing laws and who is punished; acts of vandalism against symbols of America’s history; disavowal of accepted national traditions or social norms; a press with a political agenda; a politicized judiciary and, perhaps most damaging, the unrelenting verbal attacks and physical threat directed at the U.S. chief executive and members of congress. All the above take place with relative impunity. The rebels trumpet their right to free speech, while they attempt to silence those with whom they disagree. It is now as it was in the latter days of Israel’s judges: There was no king so everyone did as he saw fit (Judges 21:25).

We are witnessing the end of a once proud republic. Soon after it all comes crashing down, the rebellion will end as well.

Nearly two centuries ago, Alexis de Tocqueville of France, observed, “America is great because she is good. When America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”  Take de Tocqueville’s wisdom a step further: When America ceases to be good, she will cease to be. “Make America Great Again” is a pipe dream without the rule of law, morality, mutual respect and goodness. Without repentance, America is destined for despotism. When barbarians finish their plundering, a tyrant will assume control. The colonists in pre-Revolutionary War days had it good under King George III of England’s rule compared to what America has coming. God have mercy on your people.

Without constraints, people rage against the Lord and rebel against authority (Psalm 2:1-2). In the end, they will not go unpunished. Their swords will be used against them. For rebellion is like the sin of divination (1 Samuel 15:23). 

In contrast to an attitude of rebellion, when the first of Judah’s exiles were settled in Babylon, the prophet Jeremiah sent a letter to the elders:

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce… Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:4-5, 7)

As for God’s people, they were to go about their lives, blessing their neighbors and Nebuchadnezzar the king. Regardless of who rules over the kingdoms of men, the saints are to turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)

Rebellion against authority was conceived in the heart of an angel of light (Isaiah 14:13). It spread throughout the angelic realm until the scourge was hurled to the earth. In these last days, we know who is fomenting discontent and hatred. We know where the rage originates. It is because the devil’s time is short. Prophecy confirms there will be rebels. In the time of the end, they will become completely wicked. A stern-faced king will emerge as their chief. He will make war against God’s mighty ones and saints. After his power is taken, he and his kingdom will be completely destroyed. The scourge on earth will cease. The meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. So says the Lord.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11 NIV)

Prophecy students owe a great deal to Thessalonian believers. Without their habit of becoming confused, distressed and led astray, we would not have clear, supportive Scriptures on subjects such as the rapture and Christ’s return. Paul loved the Thessalonians, as his letters testify, despite the fact they were easily swayed by men.

In the church in Thessalonica, they nightly turned out to listen to Paul. Afterward, they probably shook his hand and told him how nice his message was. Unfortunately, they may have forgot what they heard by the time they reached home.

The dear folks were no doubt polite and thoughtful, making sure Paul, Luke and their companions always had enough to eat and comfortable lodging, yet something was amiss. Luke, the writer of Acts,  did not compare them favorably with the Bereans. As we read above, only the Bereans listened eagerly then examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 

Friendly people, but the Thessalonians failed to employ critical thinking. They did not test the spirits to determine if what they heard was of God. One can imagine the Bereans had questions, sought clarity, and were hungry to learn the Scriptural basis for what Paul taught. (The Reformation-era Pietists were much like the Bereans. Their famous reply to a never before vetted statement on doctrine was, “Brother, where stands that written?”)

The Bereans compared Paul’s Bible passages with other Scriptures. They reviewed the full context. Among their band, some took detailed notes. On the other hand, the Thessalonians contributed a part of the New Testament simply because they failed to retain Paul’s teaching on prophecy, or failed to familiarized themselves with his Scriptures. As a result, they easily fell into error.

We still have Thessalonian Christians around, wouldn’t you say? Dear folks, who would give the shirt off their back and sit through every service. They seem attentive to the teaching, but they leave everything behind at the double doors. (“That was a good word from Pastor today. What was it again he talked about?”)

Thanks to the Thessalonians we have a record of what Paul taught. In one he chastised them for being easily led astray by a false prophecy, false letter or false report supposedly coming from him. “Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:5)

The Thessalonians were not equipped to catch an error in interpretation or in sound biblical teaching, but the Bereans were right on top of it. The lie never had a chance, because they interacted with what they heard and the inspired word of the Old Testament. False prophets may have avoided the Bereans altogether, which might explain why no letter was necessary to correct them. As a false teacher, why deal with being exposed when down the road, in Thessalonica, he could be treated like a star?

Revisiting what Paul taught about the events preceding Christ’s return and the rapture are to our benefit, but should it have been necessary? The Thessalonians probably treated every teacher with hospitality and an open door to their mind. If they did remember something, they lacked the discipline to put it to the accuracy test. Scriptural authority was not that big of a deal to the Thessalonians. The entertainment value of the experience had more importance.  Do you know of any Thessalonian churches with Thessalonian Christians near you? I hope you are acquainted with other Bereans.

 

For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”  Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:19-20 NIV)

What permanent advantage is there in supporting a lie? If conventional wisdom urges toleration on some matters, but rabid opposition in others, should we go along with it? To do so is to risk sharing in their destruction. We must consider all matters with a Christian mindset, that means rationally. Anyone who tells you otherwise, should be considered suspect.

Last time, I shared my frustration. I had an argument. After what seemed like an hour, it ended in a truce. No one gave an inch. I lay part of the blame upon my reliance on my ability to persuade, and part on this dear one’s “Christian” fellowship. This is no knock on the people for they are precious souls, but on their church’s way of teaching disciples. Some of their more controversial views are protected by a wall of bad reasoning and poor Scripture interpretation. Leaders are entrusted with the pulpit after demonstrating skill in defending long-held doctrines. Whenever challenged, their rote training kicks in. They have ears but cannot hear. Anyone who differs, is an enemy. They stand on their version of truth, no matter what. (For that reason, many regard them as a Christian cult.)

This group is not alone. Much of Christianity has become illogical. Our diversity of doctrines is the result of lawyer-like argumentation more than seeking truth. I could site many examples. Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) is one. Again, it is not a knock on the people, but on the illogical nature of their arguments, a reliance on intelligence and the lack of a Christian mind.

Logic and reasoning will protect us from the deceitful but clever-sounding arguments of our day. Next time, we will briefly look at the skillful way unbiblical and illogical teachers have succeeded in persuading much of Western Christianity. Did I say “unbiblical” and “illogical”? So what!

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Romans 1:18-19 NIV)

The road to perdition begins with a first step. The path leading to LIFE begins the same way though they are diametrically opposed. Each takes us to a destination.

Joshua was told to proclaim blessings for Israel on Mount Gerizim and to pronounce curses on Mount Ebal. Two mountains that represent two outcomes. One could stand on one mountain or the other, but not simultaneously on both.

Blessings or curses are a choice with each step. At one time, we all stood in the middle. Would we love the truth or suppress it? Would we hate the lie or delight in wickedness? Then we decided.

In Romans 1:18, initially on the road to perdition our attention is turned to those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.  Paul does not focus on the liars–not at first. It is the “truth-suppressors” who incur the wrath of God. We could write volumes about how truth is being suppressed in our universities, in the news media, in government, in business or in the halls of justice, yet we ignore suppression in the church. It is not what is said in pulpits, but what is omitted that stirs heaven’s indignation.

Placebos are not a lie, they just substitute for what is meaningful. It is common for spiritual leaders to feed entire congregations placebos. In doing so, they suppress the truth, though God has made it plain to everyone that His judgment is close at hand.

While in Florida this Spring, my wife and I visited a large retirement village. As I scanned the community’s newspaper, I asked our host if the paper had any political leanings, left or right. He said, “It is a feel-good paper.” For their readers, everything was always rosy. There was no evil to report. No lies needing exposed. No hard truth to declare. This is what we mean by truth-suppression. It’s where the road to perdition starts for the good folks.

Truth-suppressors have exchanged the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25). Truth-suppressors set their Bible aside and reject God’s counsel. So, without a truth orientation, they are unwittingly led up Mount Ebal. The lie is a default position. If we do not stand firmly on Scripture, we will fall for the lie.

They have lied about the LORD; they said, “He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.” (Jeremiah 5:12a)

No one who loves the truth sets foot on the road to perdition. “Christians” whose prophets prophesy lies, and priests who rule by their own authority, are living in La-La Land. But what will these people do in the end? (Jeremiah 5:31)

The substitute for the truth is where the road to perdition starts. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Beware, my friends, of the suppressors.

While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.   (1 Thessalonians 5:3 NIV)

Last January, a report surfaced from the U.S. West Coast that billionaire businessmen were building a secure underground community. Though they don’t fear God, these Silicon Valley titans of technology want to be saved from that which they do fear.

Mentally, American Christians are being encouraged to take a similar approach. They live under an illusion of peace and safety. “If there is a disaster, Jesus will keep me safe” –or so they believe. The Lord will shelter them “from” rather than his actual promise to take them “through” (ex. Isaiah 43:2-3a).

God’s desire for his servants is to obey and believe, not doubt or fear. Escaping trials is the exception for the saints, while enduring them is the rule.

In the last days, teachers of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) position will be responsible for a great multitude of those who fall away. They paint a picture of safety that does not square with Bible prophecy. Amillennial teachers will be accountable also. Denying the literal warnings of the Bible’s prophets, with intellectual-sounding arguments, is the devil’s work. The signs of a looming day of disaster are unmistakable or why would rich people be digging big holes for condos in Kansas?

Doing nothing is not an option. Noah’s ark of refuge had to be under construction long before the deluge began. What the saints need to build are self-supporting communities around prophets in the mold of Elijah, watchmen who are sounding the alarm of impending disaster. (God has raised up contributors to this blog for this purpose.)

One of Satan’s schemes for destroying God’s people is to cause them to sin, so the Lord himself slays them as punishment for disobedience (Exodus 32, Numbers 25, Joshua 7, 1 Kings 13, et. al.). The peace and safety crowd are rebelling against God’s Word by ignoring the commands to be ready, to watch and to pray (Luke 21:34-36). They add more guilt to their sin by ignoring judgment and proclaiming disaster will not befall them. They are being deceived. They live under an illusion of safety.

 All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’ ” (Amos 9:10 NIV)

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5 NIV)

With most people, new creates a conflict. New technology is welcomed by a small number who like it for the reason it is new. Leaders in the tech industry love this open-minded group. As with the developers, they think outside the box. They receive invitations to the unveiling of revolutionary new products. How this group, the “first wave”, responds will determine if the innovation becomes a business success.

Typically, people remain loyal to the familiar. This “third wave” is invested in “Group Think”. They prefer to wait and see what the first or second wave consumer thinks. This principle applies to anything new, not just technology.  The first wave, the pioneers, who review the new, open the door for the second wave; the second opens it for the third, and so on. There are many more in the second wave than in the first, but the greatest number belong to the third wave. This is the mass number that want to know if it is safe or if it is popular. By the time the fourth wave decides, ideas are already passe.

The Lord is making everything new. No improvement will be possible. Yet, because it is new, it is strange. Few are testing what the Spirit is now unveiling. Take, for example, the series, Prophets, Priests and Kings. I would classify it as first wave material. Strange, perhaps, in comparison to others on the subject, the public at-large remains unaware or dubious as to its value.

The test market of a select first wave of readers has offered their feedback. It is very positive. Any “problems” are minor and easily fixable. The importance to the reader is beyond calculation. Next up, The Priests of God should be unveiled in 45 days. It details more of the new thing Jesus spoke of in Revelation 21. 

The third wave of Group Think traditionalists; well, they may never get it. By definition, true reform must come from the outside. The third wave is stuck on the inside while the fourth wave is prisoner to the status quo.

If the motivation was to sell books, I would never write The People of God, The Prophets of God, The Priests of God and Lifesaver. There is no best-seller waiting to happen. The reason we, at this site, faithfully proclaim His strange, new design is to please Him. If we can help usher in the age’s last great move of the Spirit or awaken His chosen people to prophetic truth, then we will have succeeded. If we can alert those untouched by Group Think to God’s new thing, we will have done our job.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. (Isaiah 43:19-21)

Lifesaver Book

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Prophets of God

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The People of God

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