Alan Vincent https://www.alan-vincent.com Christian Commentary & Bible Teaching Tue, 09 May 2017 10:37:47 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Trusting In Lying Words Will Result in World Chaos https://www.alan-vincent.com/politics/trusting-in-lying-words/ https://www.alan-vincent.com/politics/trusting-in-lying-words/#respond Tue, 09 May 2017 10:20:40 +0000 http://alan-vincent.com/?p=374 It is strange that human beings have a tendency to prefer convenient lies over inconvenient truth. This is probably due to the fact that we are self-serving and selfish by nature. We think of ourselves rather than others. This phenomenon is seen more clearly in the post-modern I AM culture we now live in. Our […]

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trusting in lying wordsIt is strange that human beings have a tendency to prefer convenient lies over inconvenient truth. This is probably due to the fact that we are self-serving and selfish by nature. We think of ourselves rather than others. This phenomenon is seen more clearly in the post-modern I AM culture we now live in. Our lives are so wrapped up in the love of ourselves, that we now claim that we “have a right” to say, think, believe and campaign for our version of truth in the world, and act as if only our opinions count.

“Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit.” (Jeremiah 7:8) NKJV

In The World of Politics, Truth Has Become Stranger Than Fiction

 

brexit

The recent events surrounding Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump as president-elect of the United States, highlights the dire consequences of the I AM culture. No sooner has the majority voted one way or another, when the losing group claims that they have been hard done by, even cheated or disenfranchised. They even claim that those who were in the majority (voted against them), do not represent them. What they really mean, is that those who exercised their right to vote differently to them, are in some way inferior, stupid, uneducated, and therefore unworthy of having their views taken seriously. So enraged are the “losers”, that they immediately begin to campaign against the majority vote, using all kinds of reasons to validate their selfish claims.

donald-trump-make-america-great-again

french elections 2017

We Want What We Want

But this is not rocket science. It’s a matter of wanting what we want or believe we are entitled to. Now to illustrate the folly of this self-centered reasoning, let’s consider the example of cars driving along a road. If the drivers believe that they do not have to be regulated by the laws of their country and the rules of the road, chaos quickly ensues. So lets consider the results of exercising our “rights” to do as we please. Watch this video …

Israel paid the price for trusting in lying words that did not profit them

In the book of Jeremiah we read the sad history of the Israelites who chose to believe in lying words rather than the Word of God. They chose to live life as they please while ignoring the laws that God had prescribed for their well-being and success. They though that they knew better. This is a very human trait. Everyone wants to be right in their own eyes. But surely the concept of “being right” must be based on some form of truth? If everyone has a different version of truth or what is right, then society will simply become increasingly fragmented.  The video above illustrates this principle every effectively. When people choose to not conform to human laws, the disintegration of law and order ensues. So too with God’s laws.

It should therefore be obvious that this misguided belief cannot be true. The application of this logic in society soon results in chaos – just as it did in the book of Jeremiah. In the book of Deuternomy, God warned the Isrealites of the dire consequences of disobeying or ignoring His laws. He encouraged them to choose wisely; to choose life rather than death, blessings rather than curses. So why did they continue to make the wrong choices? Because they falsely believed that they were free to live as they pleased. Read God’s Laws vs Man’s Laws for more about this subject.

God’s Laws Exist for the Good of Humanity

Just as the laws of any land exist for the good of society at large, so too God’s Laws. Freedom is a myth. We are not free to live as we please (just as we are not free to break the laws  of society. We may believe we are free to do so, but in so doing, we cannot escape the inevitable consequences of breaking human and spiritual laws.

The Future is a World of Chaos

Advocates of the new world order claim that the world is heading into a utopian new age of bliss, order, prosperity and harmony. This could not be further from the truth. Unfortunately, world leaders are attempting to unify humanity without reference to God’s Laws. They believe that they can achieve their humanistic objectives on their own. But they go even further. Not only do they reject God’s laws, but proliferate their own secular humanistic laws. These man-made laws have progressively displaced God’s laws in society, resulting in progressive chaos and disorder all around us. This is the only possible outcome when God’s laws are ignored.

The Great Tribulation

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

The Coming of the Son of Man

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

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This Present Age of Evil & The Spirit of Antichrist https://www.alan-vincent.com/spiritual-warfare/this-present-age-of-evil/ https://www.alan-vincent.com/spiritual-warfare/this-present-age-of-evil/#respond Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:32:02 +0000 https://propheticalert57.wordpress.com/?p=45 This Present Age of Evil and the Spirit of Antichrist One of the key verses in Galatians is: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God […]

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This Present Age of Evil and the Spirit of Antichrist

One of the key verses in Galatians is:

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. (Galatians 1:4)

Paul refers to “this present evil age.”Since the fall of Man in the Garden of Eden, and the entrance of original sin into the world, we have lived in an age of evil. This period of world history will continue until the return of Jesus Christ to establish his eternal Kingdom on the Earth.

Satan is temporarily the God of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), meaning that he influences everything in this world for evil, causing society to resist God and Truth.

Satan is also call “the prInce of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2. He is also referred to as the “ruler of this world” in John 12:31.

Belivers in Christ are no longer under the rule of Satan (Colossians 1:13). But unbelievers are caught in the snare of the Devil (2 Timothy 2:16), lie in the power of the evil one ( 1 John 5:19), and are in bondage to Satan (Ephesians 2:2).

Satan is therefore not the ultimate authority in this world because God is still sovereign. But Satan rules over the unbelieving world in a specific way. The god of this world blinds the minds of unbelievers, so they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4).

His deceptive plan includes the promotion of false philosophies in this world – philosophies that blind unbelievers to the truth of the gospel. These false philosophies imprison people because they cannot receive the truth.

At the heart of such humanistic philosophy is pride: the assertion that man knows better – is wiser than God. As a result the creature or created being is worshipped, rather than the Creator who created all things. As a consequence of unbelief in God,  secular humanism has replaced God’s Truth. The so-called collective wisdom of this fallen world even declares that all religions worship the same god. And in so doing men reveal how foolish they have become, and the extent to which they have been blinded by Satan.

The god of this age has blinded the proud minds of men to worship themselves ; to glorify themselves, even to declare that they are gods. But the God who created all things will not be mocked.  When history has finally run its course, everyone will stand before the judgement seat of God, the doorway to heaven and hell. And all those whose names are not found in the Lambs Book of Life will face eternal damnation because of their rebellion against Almighty God.

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The Ecumenical Movement and The One World Religion https://www.alan-vincent.com/ecumenical-movement/the-ecumenical-movement-and-the-one-world-religion/ Fri, 03 Mar 2017 08:49:37 +0000 https://propheticalert57.wordpress.com/?p=16 The Ecumenical Movement is establishing a one world religion under the rule of Satan. It's the new Spiritual Tower of Babel!

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The Ecumenical Movement and The One World Religion

The Ecumenical Movement is the driving force behind the formation of a one world religion. It seeks to unite all “religions” on the basis that they all allegedly worship the same God. This is disingenuous and what I consider to be demonic sleight of hand; a doctrine of demons. The driving force behind the formation of a one world religion is that society has rejected the laws of God, and now worship a false god – Satan – the Prince of this world,  who wages war against God, His Word, and His people.

When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything. G.K. Chesterton

The creation of a one world religion is an oxymoron. It is ridiculous to believe that all religions represent truth or that they all worship the same god. Religions are distinguished by their teachings and the distinction between their teachings form the basis of their existence. Clearly, different religions describe the different deities they worship or serve. If this were not the case, only one religion would exist on the earth. This is precisely what Satan is doing; forming one world religion under the pretence of unity and love. But the fact of the matter is that he strives to unify the world in opposition against the only true God (Jehovah).

Enter the Angel of Light

2 Corinthians 11:14 explains Satan’s modus operandi. He transforms himself into an angel of light, even a servant of righteousness, in order to deceive the unwary, the ignorant, and the gullible. Yes – he even looks and talks like a Christian at times!

Satan is a master of disguise and deception. He stops at nothing to subvert the Word of God and to undermine the stature and glory of Jesus Christ.

But the nature of deception is that it is very deceptive!  It is designed to fool the unwary so that they believe a lie. False teaching is always laced with doses of truth. But the art of deception is to blend truth and error in such a way that the false teaching seems plausible – even Biblical.

Beware a text without a Scriptural context

There is a very disturbing trend in churches to use Biblical texts out of context. I call this “patchwork quilt” theology. A patchwork quilt consists of unrelated pieces of material of diverse patterns and colors. When the pieces of discordant fabric are laboriously stitched together, the end result is a seemingly impressive quilt that has a semblance of beauty, cohesion, and functionality.

But the use of Biblical texts without proper context is merely a pretext designed to undermine Biblical truth and cohesive theology and doctrine. Just as politicians “spin” the truth for the purpose of gaining political advantage, so too religious con-men (and women) subvert the truth by introducing what the Bible refers to as doctrine of demons into the church.

Wrong motives and corrupt morals

The Bible warns that there have always been those who engage in the serious business of religion for the wrong reasons. They see the gospel as a means to enrich themselves or for self-glorification. And because their motives were wrong from the outset, or because they become diverted by their love of money, status, or power, they too follow the way of Baalam and sell their souls to the devil.

Selling our spiritual birthright

Just as Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup, so do the proponents of Ecumenism. They are more interested in what is expedient rather than what constitutes truth. Therefore have no difficulty engaging in spiritual adultery and have many “spiritual lovers” with whom they fornicate.  Their consciences have been seared and their hearts hardened.

But they do so in the name of God in order to legitimize their lust.  They do not love the truth. Instead they seek bedfellows who are like-minded. They become complicit in waging war against Truth and enemies of the God they claim to serve.

There is only one true God

It is not true that all religions worship the true God just because some say so. (Alan Vincent)

The only true God (Jehovah and His Son Jesus Christ),  are clearly identied in the writings of Scripture. What is not offered to the true God is offered to demons (advertently or inadvertently).

The Bible also teaches that two people cannot walk together unless they are in agreement. What does darkness have to do with light and truth with error? They are incompatible.  But it is our adversary – Satan  – who secretly and under cover of darkness, sows the tares among the wheat in order to spoil the crop.

The distinction between the religious and the profane

In the Old Testament of the Bible we see a clear distinction between paganism and Biblical Christianity. But Satan has long attempted to blur these lines by corrupting and subverting the Word of God. So why does the Roman Catholic Church seek to gather together profane pagan religions under its authority? Is it perhaps because it wants to Christianize the pagans? Unfortunately this cannot be the case because the Latin church undermines the true Gospel at every turn while seeking to assert it’s false spiritual authority on all and sundry.

Religious Syncretism disguised as the religion of the New Age

The reality is that the Roman Catholic Church is the spearhead of the Ecumenical Movement.  The Vatican has always sought to assert it’s authority over the Christian church, and has a long history of embracing paganism.

Rather than seeking to Christianise pagans, Catholicism seeks to paganism Christians. (Alan Vincent)

Even a casual study of Roman Catholic doctrine proves that its teachings are in conflict with Biblical Christian doctrine. Almost every core doctrine of Catholicism is at odds with the teachings of the Bible.  On even closer inspection of the Catholic Catechism, this fact us established beyond doubt.

The Satanic agenda behind the Ecumenical Movement

The Ecumenists claim:

  • That the only hope for world peace is the merging of all religions. They claim that wars are waged because of religious differences.
  • Folowing this humanistic logic, the next step is the formation of a one world government. The papacy has long called for a new world order and a one world government under the authority of Rome.
  • It is claimed that what unifies all religions is love. If we show respect for all religions then surely world peace is sure to follow. But they forget that one cannot have peace without the Prince of Peace.
  • The basis of a new age one world religion is that all religions allegedly worship the same god. This assertion is made despite the fact that all non Christian religions deny the deity and unique claims of Jesus Christ.

But Ecumenists do not seek a savior. They want to save themselves through an ungodly alliance with those of the synagogue of Satan; a spiritually deadly alliance that has a form of godliness but denies the power of God.

The New Spiritual Tower of Babel

Just like the pagan Babylonian builders of the Tower of Babel, this New Age one world false religion is being constructed brick by brick, in defiance of God.  but this time they are building something more respectable and impressive than a tower. They are building a new religion that glorifies man and dishonors God.

1 Thessalonians 5:3-18New King James Version (NKJV)

For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

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The Star Wars Deception of the Good Side of the Dark Side https://www.alan-vincent.com/spiritual-warfare/good-side-of-the-dark-side/ https://www.alan-vincent.com/spiritual-warfare/good-side-of-the-dark-side/#respond Wed, 10 Aug 2016 13:12:49 +0000 http://alan-vincent.com/?p=310 The deception of the good side of the dark side can best be described as follows: that in the spirit realm, there is a neutral force that can be used either for good or for evil, such as the occult concept of white magic (allegedly used for good purposes), and black magic (allegedly used for […]

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The deception of the good side of the dark side can best be described as follows: that in the spirit realm, there is a neutral force that can be used either for good or for evil, such as the occult concept of white magic (allegedly used for good purposes), and black magic (allegedly used for harmful purposes).

Much of what we see in media today perpetuates a deep demonic lie – that the dark side of the spirit world contains a good side. This doctrine of demons is clearly designed to deceive people into believing that there is something good in the realm of evil. This is precisely the deception perpetrated in the Star Wars science fiction series.

star wars banner

But the Bible strongly disagrees. There is no good side of the dark side of the kingdom of Satan. As Christians we must decide once and for all whether we agree with what the Bible teaches, or whether we too perpetuate the lies of the enemy by indulging our flesh in the sinister world of the occult – or what the Bible describes as “the unfruitful works of darkness.”

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

Let’s consider the context of this passage:

“6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:6-15) NKJV

From this passage of Scripture we learn the following:

  • The wrath of God comes upon those who are disobedient to His divine laws and truth (v 6)
  • As children of the Light (i.e. Christians), we are not to partake of anything that is contrary to the Word and will of God (v 7)
  • The reason is that we too were once children of darkness (before we came into a dynamic relationship with the living God and Jesus Christ), but now we are children of Light in the Lord – and should therefore live accordingly. Therefore, we are not to participate in anything that encourages or demonstrates spiritual darkness to those around us, but rather the life of the kingdom of God and His spiritual Light. (v 8,9)
  • We must make it our business to discover what is good and acceptable to the Lord, so that we can please God and live as children of Light. (v 10). Unfortunately many Christians today adopt a strategy of trying to find tenuous reasons why it is acceptable for them to flirt with the world and the realm of spiritual darkness and evil, rather than to demonstrate God’s light to the world around them.
  • Rather than participating (having fellowship) in these unfruitful works of darkness, we are to expose them for what they are – evil and good for nothing (v 11). But there is also another extremely important Biblical principle to be considered in this context. The Bible states that two (people) cannot walk together unless they are in agreement. By participating in things we as the children of God know to be wrong, we have come into agreement with Satan – whether we like it or not. Rather than living as ambassadors for the Kingdom of Light, we inadvertently become ambassadors for Satan’s kingdom of darkness. Consider the implications of this! If we are involved in something that leads other astray, and into spiritual darkness, we will have to account to God for this.
  • Satan’s kingdom and his domain is shameful and certainly not something we should be proud of. In most cases those who participate in shameful practices, do so in secret (because sub-consciously we all know when we are involved in something that is wrong.) This is exactly why Adam and Eve hid their nakedness from God. Shame and guilt came upon them when they sinned. Sin causes a separation between us and God. (v 12)
  • Light exposes darkness. Light and darkness cannot exist in the same place at the same time. The Light of God’s kingdom is designed to displace spiritual darkness. We can visualize this concept by thinking of a light bulb being switched on in a dark room, and the light then illuminating (or displacing) the darkness in the room. Once that happens, we are able to “see” , whereas before, we could not see what was in the darkened room. (v 13) This is precisely what happens when we encounter God and His Truth. God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. In God’s kingdom, darkness and light cannot co-exist; they are mutually exclusive and hostile to one another. But many Christians today seem happy to exist in a parallel universe; a mixture of darkness and light, and then wonder why their lives are messed up and why their Christian life is no joy or blessing to them either. This is not surprising because the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. There are always consequences for disobedience to God and the wages of sin applies to everyone. Remember too that God disciplines those whom he loves.

We are not to  diminish the Grace and Mercy of God

As children of Light, we are not in any way to cheapen God’s free gift of salvation, His grace, mercy or love for us. We are not to take his mercy and kindness for granted,  or live careless lives. We are surrounded by what Paul describes as a “cloud of witnesses” in our daily life – people who secretly observe our lifestyles to see whether or not we practice what we preach. How then can we as Christians be salt and light to the children of spiritual darkness if we are so quick to compromise with Satan’s kingdom of darkness? It is probably because we are still indulging our sinful nature, demonstrating that we have not yet died to self and to sin, and that we are still slaves to it.

But there is more to it. According to the Bible, humanity is at war. We are at war with the dark side of the spirit world. We have an enemy and his name is Satan. He comes to kill, to steal and to destroy. He is a liar and a thief and there is nothing good, virtuous, or pure in him. He wars against God, His Word, His laws, against truth, against the people of God (the saints), and even against those who are not Christians. He wants to destroy everyone and everything that is created in the image of God our Creator. The Bible describes Satan as being like a lion who constantly prowls around looking for his next unwary victim so that he can destroy them. But any predator disguises it’s true intentions. A predator disguises itself in order to fool it’s prey. Satan does this by transforming himself into an angel of light.

Satan Transforms himself into an Angel of Light

But what is an angel of light? It is anything that promotes itself as harmless, good, virtuous, desirable or beneficial, when it is exactly the opposite. Drugs and alcohol are a good example of this principle in action. I am convinced that many people who are today drug addicts or alcoholics, did not wake up one morning deciding to become addicts. The addiction is the fruit or inevitable outcome of what the Bible calls the wages of sin, or the price we pay for engaging with things that are harmful and dangerous. But there is always a perceived benefit that ultimately lures the unwary victim of deception, deeper and deeper into Satan’s lair. There could be many perceived benefits such as escapism, entertainment, feeling accepted by those in our group, feelings of “freedom”, casual sex, drunkenness etc. The Bible says that sin is indeed pleasurable for a short while, but it always has a sting in the tail. The consequences of sin can be extremely harmful.

Every man, woman and child on the planet is involved in the greatest battle the world has ever seen. It is not physical but spiritual. And the only way we can protect ourselves from it is by using what the Bible describes as “the full armor of God”. The book of Ephesians reveals that we are not fighting against flesh and blood (i.e. other people), but against very powerful spiritual forces, and that only spiritual weapons are effective in countering the attacks of our unseen enemy. No amount of positive thinking, secular humanism, psychology, therapy, counselling or medication can cope with spiritual wounds inflicted by the enemy of our souls.

Put on the whole Armor of God

“10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20) NKJV

There is no good side of the dark side of Satan’s kingdom

I’m going to illustrate how Satan deceives people into believing lies. Let’s consider this illustration:

no good side of the dark side

In Diagram 1 we see a simplistic representation of the spirit world as explained in the Bible. In broad terms, there is one spiritual domain which consists of two aspects, good and evil. In Galatians 5:22-23 we see some of the characteristics of God’s Kingdom of Light:

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

In 2 Peter 1:5-7 we read:

“5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”

In 1 John 4:7-11 we discover that God is love:

“7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of Spiritual Light and Love. By contrast, Satan’s kingdom of darkness is a kingdom of hatred, lies, deception, evil, hatred, impurity, lust, murder and hatred.

In Diagram 2, I illustrate how Satan deceives people into believing a lie – i.e. that the kingdom of darkness consists of a good and an evil side. This deception is designed to distract people and to divert them away from God’s kingdom of Light.

In Diagram 3, we are then left with the doctrine of demons which teaches that the spirit world is a neutral force (Star Wars), and that it can be used either for good or evil. But that is no different to claiming that lethal poison can be used to heal someone or kill them. This lie is designed to completely obscure God’s Kingdom of Light and to to divert attention away from it. It also seeks to legitimize the world of the occult and all evil, claiming that there is good and bad in it, or that evil and good co-exist in balance (Yin Yang).

Make no mistake, God’s Word is true and every man a liar. We cannot ignore the warnings of the Bible, thinking that we are immune to the deceptive strategies of Satan, or to his attacks against us. If as a Christian you have slipped into a lifestyle that does not honor God, pray for forgiveness today, and make a decision to return the Lord with your whole heart, soul and mind. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, obey Him and His Word. If you do, you will see fruits of righteousness manifesting in your life, and that will glorify God.

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The Love of Money is a Root of All Kinds of Evil https://www.alan-vincent.com/money/love-of-money/ https://www.alan-vincent.com/money/love-of-money/#respond Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:24:36 +0000 http://alan-vincent.com/?p=288 The Love of Money The love of money causes all kinds of grief and the Bible warns Christians us against falling into this trap. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” […]

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The Love of Money

The love of money causes all kinds of grief and the Bible warns Christians us against falling into this trap.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10) NKJV

This short passage of Scripture is very insightful. It teaches that:

  • the love of money …
  • stems from a root (that is evil) …
  • that causes many believers to go astray from the Christian faith …
  • because of greediness …
  • and which results in many sorrows.

Roots and fruits

Roots become trees, which in turn bear fruit. The root and the fruit are inextricably connected. One cannot be separated from the other. The properties in the root will determine the nature of the fruit. In other words, a lemon tree will always bear lemons; orange trees, oranges etc. Jesus said that we can identify a tree by the fruit we see on the tree. This simply means that when dealing with people, it becomes self-evident to others where their focus is and what they place real value on. What we love motivates us. If we love God we will do the things the Bible teaches us to do. If we love the things of this world, we will be driven to do the things that the world says are important. What motivates us soon becomes self-evident to other people around us.

The love of money and covetousness is Idolatry

Jesus said about money …

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luke 16:13) NKJV

Jesus had an amazing economy of words. But his words always struck the bulls-eye on any subject he commented on. In this passage Jesus immediately identified the problem with money:  that it demands our allegiance, even our love.

“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5) NKJV

It cannot be much clearer than that – covetousness is idolatry. Covetousness describes the condition of wanting everything we lay our eyes on, and constantly wanting more and more (greediness).

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) NKJV

The drive to want more and more money, power, fame etc, is driven by selfish ambition and ungodly desires, often the desire to glory ourselves rather than God. Money, status, power and fame, are very seductive. Money gives us a false sense of security, and an feeling of superiority over others. It is the way in which the world measures “success”.

Money is the currency of this world

This world does not function without earthly currency. But money only has perceived value on earth. Have you ever tried using your local currency in another country? Well – it does not work. In order to buy things in a foreign country, you have to exchange your local currency for foreign currency (what is today known as “foreign exchange” or “forex), so that you have the means to purchase goods and services in the country you are visiting as a tourist.

The kingdom of God is no different. Earthly currency has no value in God’s Kingdom. So if we want to enter the Kingdom of God, we need to understand what currency is acceptable there.

Souls are the currency of the Kingdom of God

The Bible states that those who win souls are wise. Those who win souls and bring others into the Kingdom of God are regarded as wise because they are investing for the future where their “wealth” cannot be corrupted, stolen, or devalued. So why are soul winners described as wise? Because the currency of God’s kingdom is souls. The souls of men are precious to God because He created us. God does not desire that any of His creation perish due to the destructive power of sin. Satan on the other hand, comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The Bible portrays the eternal conflict between the powers of good and evil. It vividly reveals that every human being has an enemy that is seeking to destroy them – not physically but spiritually, and this has eternal consequences. It is this context that soul winners are described as being wise – because they understand what has eternal value in God’s sight.

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30) NKJV

According to God, there is eternal value placed on the souls of men because after death, their decisions on earth will determine where they will spend eternity.  God went to great lengths to send His only Son Jesus into the world in order that those who receive Him as Lord and Savior will be spared from the eternal consequences of sin and rebellion against God and His laws. (John 3:16)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “(Matthew 6:19-21) NKJV

Do not be concerned about your life

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34) NKJV

It’s really all about what we place our faith in. The God who created us has the capacity to sustain us. God promises to sustain those who rely on Him and who place their faith in him. Earthly children have great faith. They never questions their earthly parents, asking “where are you going to get money from next month to pay for our food, clothing and accommodation?” Children simply believe that the parents who brought them into the world, have the capacity to sustain them. It is no different with God. But the real difference is that, whereas earthly parents have limited capacity, God has limitless capacity and power. And this is why Jesus exhorts us to build our house on the rock of His Word, and not on sand. The significance of the metaphor is easy to understand. Rock speaks of permanence, and sand of the temporal. Only God can care for us now and for all eternity.

Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His Righteousness

It’s easy to miss something very important in the passage we have just read (Matthew 6:25-34). Although every Christian is instructed to not be concerned about their daily provision, there is a second instruction as well.

  1. Do not worry about your life (what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on) (v 25)
  2. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (v 33)

What this really means is that when we place the kingdom of God first in our lives (actions, words, priorities, thoughts and daily practice), then we do not have to worry about our life (i.e. our daily provisions), because God Himself will see to it that we are adequately provided for. The key phrase is “seek first”; it means to diligently seek to do the will of God in all things, to actively pursue the things of the Kingdom of God, and obey His Word.

But unfortunately many Christians have fallen for a lie. They have believed the demonic lie that if only we give God earthly wealth (money), then God will provide for us. But earthly money does not represent God’s righteousness or His kingdom. Compared to heavenly power, glory and righteousness (holiness), money is extremely mundane and even profane. It represents a false god – an idol that can be worshiped even in the name of god. But it is a (false) god that we have created in our own image or in the image of man, and not the God of the Bible. We are not to worship the image of man but the image of God in all things. Those who worship God must do so in Spirit (i.e. the Holy Spirit), and in Truth (i.e. the Truth of the Word of God). We cannot simply attach our version of truth to something and then claim that this is how god works (as do many prosperity preachers who encourage the love of self and money). It should set off alarm bells for many Christians, that the god who in whose name we are told to love money, looks strangely like the world!

The misplaced confidence of the foolish (person) Psalm 49

Pay careful attention to this passage of Scripture.

“Hear this, all peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world, 2 both low and high, rich and poor together. My mouth shall speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall give understanding. I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will disclose my dark saying on the harp. Why should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity at my heels surrounds me? Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him— For the redemption of their souls is costly, and it shall cease forever— That he should continue to live eternally, and not see the Pit. 10 For he sees wise men die; likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, and leave their wealth to others. 11 Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, their dwelling places to all generations; They call their lands after their own names. 12 Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. 13 This is the way of those who are foolish, and of their posterity who approve their sayings. Selah 14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall be consumed in the grave, far from their dwelling. 15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, for He shall receive me. Selah 16 Do not be afraid when one becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; 17 for when he dies he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him. 18 Though while he lives he blesses himself (For men will praise you when you do well for yourself), 19 he shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. 20 A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, Is like the beasts that perish.”

Here are the key points arising from this passage:

  1. Money cannot save the costly souls of men (v 7, 8)
  2. Everyone eventually dies and has to leave their possession and wealth to others (v 10)
  3. Those who love money and have worldly wealth and power, secretly believe that they will live forever (v 11)
  4. Those who believe this lie are described as being foolish, as are their posterity who perpetuate the lie (v 13)
  5. At the time of death, no amount of earthly wealth, status or power will count for anything in the eyes of God. (v 17)
  6. A man may be in a position of honor (according to the world) when he dies, but if that person does not understand the truth that it all counts for nothing at the time of death, he is no different to the animals, who perish just as man does. (v 20)

What profit is there if a man  gains the world but loses his soul?

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37) NKJV

From the perspective of the Bible there is no profit. Not only is there no profit but there is in fact eternal loss if that person has not made peace with his Maker.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) NKJV

See also The Religious Criticism of Capitalism

pyramid of capitalist system

IWW’s “Pyramid of Capitalist System” cartoon is an example of socialist critique of capitalism and of social stratification

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Signs Of The End Times And The End Of This Age https://www.alan-vincent.com/the-return-of-christ/signs-of-the-end-times/ https://www.alan-vincent.com/the-return-of-christ/signs-of-the-end-times/#respond Fri, 05 Aug 2016 13:01:37 +0000 http://alan-vincent.com/?p=229 Signs of the End Times Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple Signs of the end times are found in Matthew 24 – a particularly important passage of Scripture. In this passage Jesus predicts the destruction of what was then the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple was first built by Solomon in the Old Testament, […]

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Signs of the End Times

Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple

Signs of the end times are found in Matthew 24 – a particularly important passage of Scripture. In this passage Jesus predicts the destruction of what was then the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple was first built by Solomon in the Old Testament, then rebuilt in the New Testament, and will finally be rebuilt for the third and final time before Christ returns.

The disciples were in awe of the beauty of the Temple but Jesus startles them by predicting it’s destruction.

And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:2) NKJV

Burning with curiosity, the disciples wait for Jesus to sit down on the Mount of Olives and privately come to Him to get more information:

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) NKJV

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Matthew 24:3-13

Jesus begins his response with a very revealing statement:

 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5) NKJV

Let’s consider an outline of Jesus’ responses on the subject of the signs of the times and the end of the age:

1 Beware of deception (false Messiahs). 24:5
2 There will be wars and rumors of wars. 24:6
3 Nation will rise up against nation. 24:7
4 There will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes (the beginning of sorrows). 24:7-8
5 Christians will be delivered up to tribulation, death and hatred. 24:9
6 As a result of tribulation, many Christians will be offended and betray and hate each other. 24:10
7 Then many false prophets will arise and deceive many. 24:11
8 Lawlessness will abound, causing the love of many Christians to grow cold. 24:12
9 Only those Christians who endure to the end will be saved. 24:13
10 The gospel of the Kingdom of God will be preached throughout the world as a witness to the nations, and then the end will come. 24:14

The Great Tribulation

Matthew 24:15-28

Jesus then identifies a major sign of the end of the age which is the Abomination of Desolation spoke of by the prophet Daniel. It appears that this event is of great significance in the scheme of things and that it will trigger what the Bible describes as the Great Tribulation.

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22) NKJV

Jesus then proceeds to warn that during the Great Tribulation many false Christs will appear claiming to be the Messiah (Jesus Christ). They will even perform great signs and wonders through Satanic power to fool people.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. “(Matthew 24:23-24) NKJV

This is a very interesting statement because it poses a dilemma; can the elect of God (Christians) be deceived? This is a question that I wrestled with many years ago as I reads this passage of Scripture. Nowhere in the New Testament is the term “elect” used as a reference to Israel as an ethnic group or nation. It is always used of believers. The pronouns “you”, “your”, and “us” in all three gospel accounts of the end-time teaching of Christ clearly indicates that Jesus was addressing disciples. There is simply no contextual justification to understand that the term “elect” is national Israel and that the instruction in the Olivet Discourse is referring to anyone else other than believers in Christ. The Olivet Discourse is focusing on the parousia or second coming of Christ for believers.

But if we describe the elect as those who are believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, then surely they cannot be deceived. Surely they are ones who have received the truths of the Kingdom of God as revealed in the Bible, and have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior? While considering this passage of scripture almost thirty years ago, I decided to pray and ask the Lord to give me the answer; and this is what the Holy Spirit revealed to me:

  1. Deception is very deceptive

  2. The greatest deception will come from within the church (Trojan Horse)

  3. Picture of two diverging lines (progressive deviation from truth)

I want to deal with each point individually.

1. DECEPTION IS VERY DECEPTIVE

When the Lord spoke to me in this way it sounded really strange. But if you think about it, the nature of deception is that it it designed to fool people. It looks normal, or like truth, but is not. Think of how camouflage is used by the military, and creatures in nature. Camouflage is very effective because the enemy can be hidden from view in plain sight of it’s prey!

camouflage in the military and in nature leopard camouflage makes it almost invisible a praying mantis camouflaged to blend in with its environment a camouflaged man standing in front of a shelf containing soft drinks a camouflaged man hiding in plain site

So we can see that camouflage is designed to hide something. Usually it hides a predator. So how does this apply to Matthew 24:24?

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.  And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11: 13-15) NKJV

Satan and those whom he influences, disguise themselves into ministers of righteousness; and this is designed to deceive their unwary victims! And this leads to my second point.

2. THE GREATEST SPIRITUAL DECEPTION WILL COME FROM WITHIN THE CHURCH (TROJAN HORSE)

And here are a few of Trojan Horses already within the Christian Church. These enemies of Christ are preaching a false gospel that is designed to lead the unwary astray.

  • Freemasonry
  • The Emerging Church Movement
  • The Seeker Friendly Church movement (which preaches a watered down broad-road gospel of health, wealth, prosperity, the love of self and money, and post-modernism – which includes relative truth)
  • The New Apostolic Reformation (which is nothing less than a subversive Masonic movement headed up by the Knights of Malta)
  • The New Mystics movement (which preaches doctrines of demons and elevates subjective spiritual experiences above Bible truth and sound Christian doctrine)
  • New Age spirituality (which deifies man as god and denies Jesus Christ)
  • The Ecumenical movement (which preaches the need for a one world religion)
  • Crislam (which preaches the merging of Islam with Christianity)
  • The Word of Faith prosperity gospel (which preaches the love of money) (Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Jerry Savelle, TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Mike Murdoch, and many more).
  • The false gospel of self-help and personal development (I AM) (which preaches love of self)
  • Bible versions that are slowly but surely perverting and distorting the Word of God.
  • The Purpose Driven Movement [The Purpose Driven Life & The Purpose Driven Church] (headed up by apostate Rick Warren)
  • New Age new thought movement (metaphysics / mind science / word of faith / prosperity gospel / deification of man as god) as preached by people such as Joel Osteen, Paula White, TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Crefflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Joseph Prince, Oprah Winfrey etc.

It is not possible to go into detail on each of these right now, but I will attempt to do so in future. Sufficed it so say that the proponents of these Trojan Horses incriminate themselves.

3. PICTURE OF DIVERGING LINES  (PROGRESSIVE DEVIATION FROM TRUTH)

diverging lines

This image demonstrates the principle of diverging lines. They are lines that progressively move further and further away from their starting point, and in opposite directions. For purpose of illustration, let’s assume in this diagram, that point A is the starting point and that this starting point represents Biblical truth or absolute truth. The first diverging line (A to B) is moving in a different direction from A to C. So we can conclude that both lines are moving further and further away from truth.

progressive deviation from absolute truth

But divergence is not always this obvious. To illustrate how deceptive the outcome of progressive divergence can be, let’s consider a plane flying from London to New York. In every case, a plane is blown off course during flight (i.e. deviated from its predetermined flight path), by strong winds. The pilot uses sophisticated instruments to ensure that the passengers arrive at their chosen destination safely.

Failure to check the actual flight path alongside the intended flight path will result in disaster. The reason the pilot needs instruments is that can be very difficult to realize that the aircraft is being blown off course. Diversion often comes in small increments which have a compounding effect over a long distance. As Christians, we too have an “instrument” that we can use to test whether or not we are still on course, or whether we too are being diverted from truth. This guidance instrument is the Bible. Biblical doctrine is a crucial component that helps Christians determine whether or not they are still in the faith, or have unwittingly been deceived and diverted toward an unknown foreign destination. This is why we are instructed to study the word of God. Once we have a thorough understanding of God’s truth, we will easily be able spot deception or half truths designed to lead us astray.

Small amounts of error mixed with truth can have a profound effect on our spiritual life over a long period of time. It is the cumulative effect of compounding spiritual deception that has an almost imperceptible negative effect on us. The Bible refers to doctrines of demons. Doctrines of demons are simply demonic lies that sound like truth but are not. Remember – deception is very deceptive. So it is very important that we test everything we hear, to confirm whether or not the teaching conforms to sound Bible doctrine.

Here are some of the ways in which Satan deviates Christians from truth:

  • Through subjective emotional feelings.
  • Through the preaching of half truths and what I call patchwork quilt theology (for example a sermon that liberally borrows from unrelated texts [usually taken out of context], and various Bible translations, in order to arrive at what sounds like truth, but is in fact a lie). A Bible text referred to outside it’s proper context, is a pretext!
  • Through a poor understanding of what the Bible teaches.
  • Through accepting everything that is preached or taught from the pulpit, without testing it against Scripture (absolute truth).
  • Through not testing every spirit. (There are times it appears that we are hearing truth but it comes with a feeling that “something is wrong”, although we may not always be sure what it is. In most cases, this is a red light and a warning from the Holy Spirit to pay more attention to what is being said and to evaluate it more critically. On closer inspection we will soon notice the cleverly hidden deception).
  • By ignoring the fruit (of a persons life, ministry, teachings etc). Jesus said that we can easily identify a tree by it’s fruit. The fruit gives the game away. If it bears oranges, it cannot be a lemon tree – no matter how much it says it is or tries to be. For example, if someone say that they do not love money, but always preach about it and are preoccupied with their cars, clothes, house and bank balance, then it is self-evident that they do love money.
  • Through the influence of others who have a hidden agenda. An example of this could be a “christian” who writes a book, or writes a song, or has a ministry that is aimed at glorifying themselves rather than God. Unfortunately this problem has become endemic in the prosperity and personality-driven mega-churches which teach the love of self and the love of money.
  • Through claims that Christianity has to be modernized, or updated, or re-imagined, in order to make it more relevant to our post-modern society.
  • By getting believers to elevate other so-called truths above the Word of God (whatever is important to them, their church, or their group).
  • By preaching a false gospel of mega-grace (that as believers we are free to live as we please because God is loving, merciful and long-suffering; after all – a loving God will not send anyone to hell will he?).

Now that I have shared a bit about what the Lord showed me about Matthew 24:24, lets move on.

The Coming of the Son of Man

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31) NKJV

From this passage we can see that the return of Jesus will be immediately after the Great Tribulation.

The Parable of the Fig Tree

“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. (Matthew 24: 32-35) NKJV

This simply means that the signs unfolding around us will make it clear that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent. It will become self-evident. The words of Christ spoken to the disciples in Matthew 24:25 (“See I have told you beforehand.”), will ring in the ears of Christians as a reminder that He (as God) had foreknowledge of them.

No One Knows the Day or Hour (of Christ’s return)

 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. (Matthew 24:36) NKJV

The Bible is very explicit on this point – NO ONE KNOWS THE EXACT TIME THAT CHRIST WILL RETURN. I do not need to labor this point. Suffice it to say that Christians should avoid people who profess to know when Christ will return. Only God the Father knows the appointed time. Rather than waste time and effort trying to predict dates and times, let’s get on with preaching the gospel!

The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant

The Faithful Servant

 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. (Matthew 24:45-47) NKJV

So, the good faithful servant is one who is going about the Master’s business; one who is actively engaged in doing the world of the Kingdom and going about the Master’s business.

The Evil  Servant

But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24: 45-51) NKJV

The evil servant is one who argues that Christ will not return in the near future, using this as an excuse to live a self-indulgent, lazy life. Such a person is no longer actively engaged with the Master’s business; some times such a person is referred to as “unprofitable servant” in various parts of the Bible. There are various warnings in Scripture about lazy, unprofitable, even evil servants who claim to be servants of righteousness but who live for themselves rather than seeking to glorify God, and to promote His kingdom. May it not be so with you and me!

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Qualifications of an Elder in the Church https://www.alan-vincent.com/christian-leadership/qualifications-of-an-elder/ https://www.alan-vincent.com/christian-leadership/qualifications-of-an-elder/#respond Thu, 04 Aug 2016 12:56:23 +0000 http://alan-vincent.com/?p=208 The qualifications of an Elder are found in the book of Titus. In Titus 1:3 Paul states that God has “manifested His word through preaching”. It can therefore be derived that an Elder must be able to preach the word of God to the congregation of the saints. The Qualifications of an Elder (Titus 1:5-9) […]

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The qualifications of an Elder are found in the book of Titus. In Titus 1:3 Paul states that God has “manifested His word through preaching”. It can therefore be derived that an Elder must be able to preach the word of God to the congregation of the saints.

The Qualifications of an Elder (Titus 1:5-9)

Blameless; a husband of one wife; having children who are faithful [to the Christian faith], and who are not accused of dissipation [overindulgence in sensual pleasures; dissipated living; a descent into drunkenness and sexual dissipation; debauchery, decadence, excess, self-indulgence, wildness; squandering money, energy or resources.]. The principle is that if a man cannot manage his own [small] household and keep them in the faith, neither will he be able to manage a larger “family” [congregation] and keep them in the faith (1 Timothy 3:5). It is also clear from this passage of Scripture that a woman cannot and should not be an elder in the Church. Titus 1:6
Blameless as a steward of God; not self-willed or self-seeking; not quick-tempered; not given to wine [not a big drinker]; not violent; not greedy for money. Titus 1:7
Hospitable; a lover of what is good [according to God’s word]; holy; self-controlled (one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is self-control.) Titus 1:8
Holding fast to the word of God which he himself has been taught, and able to preach sound Christian doctrine [not his own version of Christianity]; so that he is able to exhort [strongly encourage or urge someone to do something], and convince those who contradict God’s word [either those who are Christians but do not conform to the teachings of the Bible, or to those who are antagonistic to the gospel and the Christian faith]. In words, he must be able to defend the Christian faith and base his defense on sound Christian doctrine at all times. Titus 1:9

The Elder’s Task (Titus 1:10-16)

To stop the mouths of those who are idle talkers. They are identified as those who subvert others through teaching and preaching false doctrine for the sake of dishonest gain [money, status, power, popularity etc]. Titus 1:11
To rebuke false teachers strongly (to ensure that they remain true to the word of God and sound Christian doctrine and faith.) Titus 1:13
To ignore man’s version of the gospel or Christian doctrine that is not in accordance with the teachings of the Bible. (i.e. commandments of men rather than of God). Those who preach their own version of the Gospel demonstrate that they have turned away from the truth [of God’s word and sound Christian doctrine]. Elders are therefore not to function in the fear of men but of God, because the fear of man will trap them [they will be compromised in their position as leaders of the church if they are tempted to give in to the whims of men and their perverted versions of truth]. (Proverbs 29:5) Titus 1:14

Qualities of a Sound Church (Titus 2:1-10)

Speak things that are in accord with sound doctrine. Titus 2:1
Have older men who are sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, love and patience. Titus 2:2
Have older women who are reverent in their behavior; not slanderers, nor given to much wine, and who are teachers of good things. Titus 2:3
They also admonish young women to love their husbands and their children, to be discreet, chaste, home-makers, good, obedient to their own husbands, in order that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Titus 2:4-5
Young men are exhorted to be sober-minded, to demonstrate good works, have integrity in their doctrine, be reverent, incorruptible, have sound speech that cannot be condemned (so that their opponents may be ashamed and have nothing evil to say about them). Titus 2:6-8
Bond servants (those who are employed by others), should be encouraged to obey their masters; to be well pleasing and to not answer back; not pilfering [stealing], but showing fidelity so that they may display the doctrine of God their Savior to others in their place of work. Titus 2:9

Trained by Saving Grace (Titus 2:11-15)

A healthy church and healthy believers (Christians):

  • should demonstrate the grace of God that brings salvation to all men through their conduct.
  • by denying ungodliness and worldly lusts in whatever form it takes.
  • by living lives that are sober, righteous, and godly.
  • by living a life that demonstrates that they look ahead to the blessed hope and appearance of their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ rather than for the things of this world.
  • and who speak things that exhort and rebuke with all authority (in accordance with the word of God).

Graces of the Heirs of Grace (Titus 3:1-8)

Christians …

  • should be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey and be ready for every good work.
  • should speak evil of no one; should be peaceful and gentle – showing humility to all men (because we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived – serving various lusts and pleasures; living in malice and envy – hateful and hating one another) [before the kindness and the love of God our Savior appeared, and who saves us – not according to our good works or righteousness, but according to His mercy and the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit].
  • because we have ourselves been justified by faith in Christ and His grace, and have inherited eternal life as a free gift from God, we must be careful to demonstrate the love, grace, mercy, and kindness of God to others, just as he demonstrated His lover, grace, mercy and kindness to us.

Avoid Dissension (Titus 3:9-11)

Christians …

  • should avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and striving about the law for they are all unprofitable and useless.
  • should reject a divisive man (after he has been warned twice about his wrong behavior)

Conclusion and exhortation

It is unfortunate that in many churches today we do not witness adherence to the principles and guidelines contained in these passages of Scripture. As “slaves of righteousness”, we as Christians are not free to live self-indulgent lives. The Bible speaks of the “great cloud of witnesses” who constantly observe our lifestyle. As ambassadors of the Kingdom of God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we have a great responsibility to demonstrate Kingdom principles to those who are lost or who may be seeking truth. In writing this article, I realized that even if one is not an elder in a church, the guidelines for Elders and healthy Churches contained in these passages, provide every Christian with a wonderful standard to which we should all aspire.

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