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The Approaching Darkness
The approaching darkness is warning for those wise enough to understand it. Do you?
The Approaching Darkness Increases
NOTE: The article "Jesus Has A Twin Brother" does nothing to help the cause of Christianity. It is a fancy title designed to capture your attention only and does not attempt to stick to historical data. It does not tell you how to live righteously in an evil world. The writings of the Gnostics are anti-Chrisitan even when talking about Christianity and the Lord Jesus Christ because they attempt to correct the Bible.
It is my advice to the wise, do not dabble in them or believe their claims. They are lies straight from Satan whom the Apostle Paul deplored and accursed. I want you to think about something.
Purely, speculation on my part. Seven is the number of completion in the land of Judah in the days of Jesus Christ. Jerusalem and Israel were not in the picture of Eschatology until May 14, 1948, just before I was born.
On May 14, 2018, Israel will be 70 years old. A provocative thought to think about. Oxymoron! Dates matter to God and He has used them in important events in the past. Will He in this one; stand by, watch, pray, and we will see.
Spiritual darkness in a visual sense is encroaching and increasing exponentially and has been increasing incrementally for thousands of years really. The geopolitical power is firmly entrenched in the west and no longer in the power centers of the east as it has been coming for hundreds of years. The United States is now a borrower and not a lender.
Darkness for this short article can be defined as man’s evil hearts in all areas of their existence. Evil not just in the sense of killings or war which are obvious and increasing, but evil in the hearts of men, women, and children all over the world to only do what is right in their own eyes. (see Proverbs 21.2) Evil is even tolerated and glorified.
Our children are turning away from the Church in large numbers in favor of smartphones, social media, video games, movies, and books about zombies and the dead coming back to life and both terrorizing people. This evil is increasing at a phenomenal pace. Your children are not in and of themselves evil, but dabbling with evil can be very dangerous. History is a great teacher.
One only has to watch the news on their favorite cable channel or the newspaper to become convinced. Evil killings in Northern California, New York City, Texas, Las Vagas, Paris, Amsterdam, Israel, Iraq and the list goes on and on at a fast pace.
The enlivened Christian with a Godly worldview will recognize the evil occurring in a Spiritual sense and hardly anyone else will even care that it is happening. The real Christian is likely to face many scoffers that tell them that they are wrong with imaginings or plainly insane thoughts to believe the Bible.
In fact, we are under heavy Spiritual warfare and moral relativity attacks with the results of this war all around us. One can find the darkness and evil within:
- Our entertainment conglomerate,
- Our schools and universities,
- Our churches,
- The highest levels of government,
- and Courts that reverse juries and amend laws through adjudication.
The Spiritually wounded for a variety of reasons are everywhere in our society as well. Wounded even if they do not recognize they are. Never forget we ourselves are targeted by the fiery arrows of our enemy on a daily basis. However, thankfully most Christians are protected by the Holy Ghost.
To win in this Spiritual warfare, and win we must, we should mount a Biblical defense just as Jesus did in engaging Satan for forty days. (see Matthew 4.2) We must pray for the United States that God will forgive the country and open the Spiritually blind eyes to see the path to salvation. Otherwise, millions of souls are at risk.
This is where Christians overall fail miserably due to a majority not even believing the Bible is what it says it is. We must get motivated to seek to save the lost. More on this later in this essay.
We See In a Mirror Dimly and In-Part
The Studies Do Not Lie - Christianity is Falling Short
Remember Paul said, "We see in a mirror dimly." (1 Corinthians 13.12)
When we engage the forces of evil we must keep in mind our enemy is led by a cunning, powerful, and devastatingly real spiritual being whom our Lord Jesus has called "the ruler of this world," the devil. (re. John 12.31) Keep in mind the devil can only be in one place at any time.
This fact, the devil, a large number of Christians do not believe incredibly. Jesus Christ said, "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out..“ (John 12.31) If Jesus Christ said Satan was a real creature, it is a fact.
Those who do not believe this fact are sinning in fact by calling our Lord a liar. I tend to be straightforward where it is called for. Our greatest tool and ammunition in this warfare is to:
- Truly praise the Lord for everything He has done and will do,
- Pray for God to forgive us personally and to forgive the United States, and
- Know the Word of God.
Do we need bold and different people in a counter-culture who is the very opposite of the people of the world? You bet we do! We are the Lord’s hand, legs, eyes, and feet in a world of approaching darkness and evil.
Christianity needs people trained and willing to recognize the evil, witness and evangelize the lost on the frontlines around the world as the world becomes even eviler.
After all, almost every cable network carries channels devoted to Christianity. How is it then that only thirty-six percent of so-called Christians even believe that the Bible is true? What? This figure astounds me. However, the statistic is a cold hard fact in our relativistically society where the lines are drawn on the truth of the Bible.
George Barna and the Barna Research Group, a leading research organization focusing on the relationship of faith and culture, have discovered less than 1 percent of the young adult population in the United States has a Biblical worldview. Even more startling, the data shows that less than one half of one percent of Christians between the ages of 18 and 23 has a Biblical worldview.
A Lifeway Research Study results show 23 percent have either never read or read-only just a sentence or two. Another 45 percent have read a few sentences to half of the Bible. Some 22 percent have read most or all of the Bible. That leaves some 9 percent have read all of the Bible or read it several times.
The Christian Church has failed our youth in learning the basic truth about the Word of God. Prove me wrong on this point. One only has to understand the statistics found in the Barna Research study. Our culture was a gentler, kinder, and less violent society with a Christian worldview.
The courts in America and those in the halls of Congress and the House expelled God from the public forum. God, who had a perfect record on education, the government, and society from 1972 forward was replaced by relativity and secular humanism. We are paying dearly for those decisions by all power groups. We are the Lord’s defense against these untruths as well.
Thirty-six percent believing the Bible is true, is a major reason to evangelize. How can you be a born-again Christian and not believe God’s roadmap to the future, the Bible? The obvious answer is you are at least deceived and at most you are not even a born-again Christian who needs to be told the truth in love.
This leaves sixty-four percent of so-call Christians that are on a life road to a spiritual death, going straight to hell for eternity. The command of the Lord Jesus Christ was to “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16.15)
Matthew 28.19 completes this verse, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Christianity has failed miserably in making real disciples. The Barna Research Group study highlights the need for making real disciples.
A real disciple is someone who has turned their lives completely over to God and the Lord Jesus Christ. They are learning all that He commanded them to do from the Word of God. In other words, walking with the light of the universe in a Spiritually dark world being precise when using the words from the Bible.
You cannot make a disciple if you are not one yourself.
Those who do not preach in a pulpit preach with their life.
Share the Gospel Wherever You Are!
Where do you live? Wherever that is, it is part of the world He told us to proclaim the Gospel to.Tell of your faith in Christ to your friends and co-workers. Keep in mind the world is covered completely by satellite.Most families in the world have television stations nearby and television sets in their home.
If this worked as it should every born-again Christian would evangelize the Gospel in their own realm of every part of the world. I have written that the number of non-believers has increased significantly, many of them former believers who are now agnostic or atheist.They evangelize where they work, in education, the government, in businesses and wherever they go telling people Christianity is not real.
The forces of evil are everywhere around and they mask themselves as angels of light at times. (re. 2 Corinthians 11.14) Jesus had a somber warning to the disciples who were closest to Him before His time was due. He said to them “See to it that no one misleads you,” (Matthew 24.4)
The provocative question then leads to how can we make sure that we are not misled.’ I believe that the answer is to examine Jesus Christ eschatological message as He continues to tell the disciples of the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem.
Jesus Christ even told them about the delay in the Roman forces due to the death of Emperor Nero. This gives the disciples time to escape the death and total destruction by the Roman forces under Titus after Vespasian became the Emperor of Rome.
The corruption exists everywhere in our society. As previously mentioned it reaches the highest levels of government, a corrupt and evil entertainment and media industry, our schools, and universities, and even in our churches.
In a more honest time in the past, many of the officials in the corridors of power of all segments would be incarcerated after a trial for treason. I am told that legislators sign bills they have not even read.
Executives and others are allowed to ignore the laws of the land. We have judges that have reversed the decision of juries, legislated by adjudication, and have engaged in social engineering. Leaders who fail to exhibit even the most elementary ethic principles is the world we live within.
Moral relativity reigns. Christians with a Christian worldview believe in the moral absolutes of our Father. He alone decides what is moral or not, not mankind. God's morality does not change at the whims of evil hearts and minds over time.
To Know God is to Know His Word
Remission of Sin
There is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. (see Hebrews 9.22)
Know the Word of God
As the approaching darkness continues onward the litany of non-Constitutional abuses continues undiminished everywhere. Self-destructive polices extend their tentacles from every area of governments worldwide into our very lives. The United States debt load, personal debt, and our debt to God continues to stretch beyond sensibilities. The United States used to cherish separation of powers. The rule of Law, and Habeas Corpus, Posse Comitatus, trial by Jury, every person of education at one time understood the difference between Common and Civil Law. That being Common Law for the protection of the individual and Civil for the protection of the State.
Jesus Christ issued an important command that some may have overlooked Jesus Christ was leaving the Temple as his close associates asked him an important question with three parts. Peter, James, Andrew, and John (re. Mark 13.3) asked him “Tell us when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age.” What a provocative question.
Then Jesus answered in a command in a way we all should pay attention to, “See to it that no one misleads you.” (Matthew 24.3) He did not directly answer their question directly right away but warned them of something we need to be aware of on this day of social media. How do we avoid being deceived?
The corridors of corruption are everywhere as pointed out previously in this paper and many others. Outright deception and outdated science that masquerades as truth when in fact it is a lie.
1. The Use of Precise Terms
The number one thing we can do is “use precise terms.” We are to know and quote the Bible to the lost. This is important: Make sure everything can be verified that you say.
We are to know what the Bible says about the end times, or Eschatology, in the Word of God as well. The agnostic and atheist are often more knowledgeable than the average Christian about the Bible and science.
An example of this would be the term “seven-year tribulation” which is really two separate three-and-a-half year periods the first being relative peace divided by the abomination of desolation in the Temple in the final three-and-a-half year period of God’s wrath on sinful mankind who failed to believe and turn their life completely to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The seven-year is divided by two events spelled out in Daniel chapter 9. Jesus Christ is the one who labels the second half as “the Great Tribulation.” Matthew 24.21 is where Jesus says, “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”
I know you have heard it said that the Antichrist “signs a treaty” in the middle of Tribulation. However, that is not what the Bible says. Daniel 9.27 says, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to the sacrifice and grain offering.”
So it clearly says “firm covenant” not “signs a treaty.” It is advisable that we be precise in our terms.
2. Hermeneutical Hygiene
Another concept that is closely associated with above in our no one misleads you toolkit is “hermeneutical hygiene.” Let me be clear, “hermeneutics” simply stated is the science of how one interprets the Bible. The Bible is literal in a vast amount of the text. Where it is not literal in symbology it is defined elsewhere what the terms used mean.
I give total credit to this term to Dr. Chuck Missler, one of my former teachers. Chuck states, "The Bible is an integrated whole which bears evidence of supernatural engineering in every detail." What did Jesus say when He said this?
"Think not that I have come to destroy the Torah and the prophets; I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
(Matthew 5.17 & 18)
As Christians, with 36 major denominations, one thing binds us together is the Bible. Then we can work on how one interprets the Bible.
3. Take Care of Your Vocabulary
Do not forget “All Scripture is God-breathed.” (2 Timothy 3.16) If one gets casual in the way they recall a Scripture it can make a big difference in the impact it makes to the one listening. Again, make sure everything you say to those not saved can be verified later.
It is my belief we need to show much more care in our vocabulary when it comes to the Word of God. We need to respond to life's circumstances according to the Word of God instead of our emotions and feelings. This is a decision we make on a daily basis.
When writers talk of the Talmud, for example, we need to know what they are talking about. Messianic Jews use the Torah while others who practice Judaism used the Pharisaical Torah to which was added the oral Law. This Jesus Christ called them down on in the strongest of terms.
4. Know Biblical History not Taught in Secular Schools
Biblical history will not be taught in any secular schools that I am aware. But atheist and agnostics will know Biblical history, and so should you. A very minute portion is presented here for your enjoyment.
A Very Small Amount of Biblical History
1. Hebrew Sages of Jesus time had brilliant minds placed on high by the Pharisees. But Jesus Christ was quick to criticize the Sages for the use of men's ideas instead of God and His Word which they had available in the Septuagint. (Haggai 1.1-15)
2. I have written in other essays of how Judaism was crushed when the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the forces of Roman troops led by General Titus. Know this: "There was no remission of sins without the shedding of blood" and they had no formal place to do so after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. (see Hebrews 9.22)
3. After the Temple was destroyed it took the Jews some 20 years to begin to reassemble and revise their religious practices in the council of Jamnia in 90 A.D. It was in this council the Jews began to modify the Talmud without the Temple.
4. But even of more importance was the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. S. Michael Houdmann states, "The Council of Nicea took place in A.D. 325 by order of the Roman Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantine. Nicea was located in Asia Minor, east of Constantinople. At the Council of Nicea, Emperor Constantine presided over a group of church bishops and other leaders with the purpose of defining the nature of God for all of Christianity and eliminating confusion, controversy, and contention within the churches. The Council of Nicea overwhelmingly affirmed the deity and eternality of Jesus Christ and defined the relationship between the Father and the Son as “of one substance.”
It also affirmed the Trinity—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were listed as three co-equal and co-eternal Persons.
5. Constantine, who claimed conversion to Christianity, called for a meeting of bishops to be held in Nicea to resolve some escalating controversies among the church leadership. The issues being debated included the nature of Jesus Christ, the proper date to celebrate Easter, and other matters.
The failing Roman Empire, now under Constantine’s rule, could not withstand the division caused by years of hard-fought, “out of hand” arguing over doctrinal differences. The Emperor saw the quarrels within the church not only as a threat to Christianity but as a threat to society as well.
Therefore, at the Council of Nicea, Constantine encouraged the church leaders to settle their internal disagreements and become Christlike agents who could bring new life to a troubled empire. Constantine felt “called” to use his authority to help bring about unity, peace, and love within the churches.
The main theological issue had always been about Christ. Since the end of the apostolic age, Christians had begun debating these questions: Who is the Christ? Is He more divine than human or more human than divine? Was Jesus created or begotten? Being the Son of God, is He co-equal and co-eternal with the Father, or is He lower in status than the Father? Is the Father the one true God, or are the Father, Son, and Spirit the one true God?
A priest named Arius presented his argument that Jesus Christ was not an eternal being, that He was created at a certain point in time by the Father. Bishops such as Alexander and the deacon Athanasius argued the opposite position: that Jesus Christ is eternal, just like the Father is. It was an argument pitting Trinitarianism against Monarchianism.
Constantine prodded the 300 bishops in the council make a decision by majority vote defining who Jesus Christ is. The statement of doctrine they produced was one that all of Christianity would follow and obey, called the “Nicene Creed.”
This creed was upheld by the churches and enforced by the Emperor. The bishops at Nicea voted to make the full deity of Christ the accepted position of the church. The Council of Nicea upheld the doctrine of Christ’s true divinity, rejecting Arius’ heresy.
The council did not invent this doctrine. Rather, it only recognized what the Bible already taught. The New Testament teaches that Jesus the Messiah should be worshipped, which is to say He is co-equal with God. The New Testament forbids the worship of angels (re. Colossians 2.18; Revelation 22.8, 9) but commands worship of Jesus.
The apostle Paul tells us that “in Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2.9; 1:19). Paul declares Jesus as Lord and the One to whom a person must pray for salvation (Romans 10.9-13; cf. Joel 2.32). “Jesus is God over all” (Romans 9.5) and our God and Savior (Titus 2.13). Faith in Jesus’ deity is basic to Paul, Peter, John, Luke, Matthew and Titus theology.
John’s Gospel declares Jesus to be the divine, eternal Logos, the agent of creation and source of life and light (John 1.1-5,9); "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6); our advocate with the Father (1 John 2.1-2); the Sovereign (Revelation 1.5); and the Son of God from the beginning to the end (Revelation 22.13). The author of Hebrews reveals the deity of Jesus through His perfection as the highest priest (Hebrews 1; Hebrews 7.1-3).
The divine-human Savior is the Christian’s object of faith, hope, and love. Again and this is important, the Council of Nicea did not invent the doctrine of the deity of Christ. "Rather, the Council of Nicea affirmed the apostles’ teaching of who Christ is—the one true God and the Second Person of the Trinity, with the Father and the Holy Spirit." (Got Questions Org.)
Constantine may or may not have been a Christian, only God knows for sure. But his purpose of the above was partially called to create peace between factions of the religions of the time. Sun worshippers, agnostics and atheist, Jews, and Christians.
The academic writers of today who say Nicea was the end of Jesus being a co-eternal are:
1. Distorting history
2. and history revisionist.
Don't believe them. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are One.
Of the two versions of the Talmud, the Jerusalem, and the Babylonian versions the Babylonian Talmud was by far the most enduring one. The Talmud equivalent today would be like a Bible Commentary and not the Bible itself.It was a book written by man.
So we Gentiles must keep in mind the Talmud is not the Word of God and in fact deviates from it sustainably. A Christian must not draw their vocabulary from the Talmud or their hermeneutic would suffer - because it is not the Word of God.
For the Christian, our terminology “must be rooted in the Bible” containing the words of our Lord. Jesus asked Peter, "Who do you say I Am?" (Mark 8.29) If He came back on the streets of Broadway in NYC what would the answer be today?
There is an obvious statistical movement away from the Bible among Christians. There are literally several thousand books on the market today with much information similar to the Talmud.
Commentaries exist by some of the best minds of the Christian era. But they are not the Bible. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of them and I have a number of commentaries in my library.
Again, our language must be “rooted in the Bible.” Paul and Peter continuously spoke of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord whenever and wherever they spoke.
5. Do Not Be Biblically Ignorant!
Another area that Christians are deceived and this one is a big one – they are Biblically ignorant. Nearly seventy percent do not believe the Bible is God's inspired Word to mankind.
Our world is:
3. frequently lazy and
4. a shallow culture, that wants everything handed to them, including their religion, in pre-digested, convenient little packages and is giving less and less heed to in-depth Biblical study and understanding, which leads to right doctrine.
As a culture, we have substituted entertainment for solid Biblical study. Eric Schumacher says in part, “books like ‘Experiencing God’ are so popular, as opposed to ‘Knowing God’. This is demonstrated in our Christian book stores which sell so many collections of inspirational stories, how-to-books, novels, and Christian-entertainment, instead of profound, concentrated doctrinal teachings!”
This is why the depth of so many church-goer's theologies goes no further than a collection of Biblical-sounding, pop-Christian slogans, and catch-phrases. Their theology is summed up in
- · ‘Let go and let God do it!',
- · ‘Do your best and God will do the rest',
- · ‘You need to expect to meet God when you...'
- · ‘What would Jesus do?'
We must "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalms 37.4) or "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12.14) Try that one on for size.
Too many are content to read devotionals of familiar passages of Scripture linked together with a few inspirational stories and jokes, instead of studying Romans chapters 1 and 9, the Trinity, God's wrath, grace, and sovereignty, or what Christ did when He died.
That is better than those that have abandoned the Bible altogether. This is all tough to swallow. Please read it carefully.
Christianity, I included, have a long way to go in convincing mankind the Bible is the truth given to men by the Creator. I am especially concerned about the youth of today who have been feed outright outdated science in public schools convincing them that evolution of Darwin was the beginning of creation. It was not, and science knows it was not.
There are articles that mask themselves as the truth and are nothing but lies. Calling the Apostle Paul an apostate for example. Jesus Christ had a twin for another. Shame on you. There would not be a Church today without Him. Do you homework and repent.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might." (Ephesians 6.10) Peace and God's blessings to you and yours. Gary
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© 2017 Gary E Hill