Hypocritical or Too Content

I’m writing this at McDonalds—the one near me. They are finally open for service after months and months. It has been one of my favorite hang-outs, where I can do my reading and blogging.

Today is Sunday. I love to come and worship with friends at my church. And the pastor always has a good message. But I hate it that he is missing so much in his doctrine in that he doesn’t ever preach on bible prophecy or the coming of Christ. As you know, I write on that subject frequently. For some reason I think God has called me to stay in this church. I am strong enough in my faith and beliefs that I will not be affected, and maybe someday I will speak up (to him and others) more on what I believe. But for now, I feel content in just writing about it. That almost sounds hypocritical, but I’m not sure that bible prophecy is something to be used as a witnessing tool or to be preached just for the sake of sounding my futuristic beliefs. It seems that when Paul wrote about it, it was always in response to a problem (1 Thess. 4) or as a matter of the course of his doctrinal message (1 Cor. 15). Anyway, I pray that someday soon I will be more vocal and excited about His soon coming. It is just really hard to do now since so many have different views and many reject the Rapture of the church. I know that that is not a good excuse for me. I kind of wish that I was more like Hal Lindsey. When he was younger, he used to preach outside in the open on college campuses about the rapture and future things. That was when he wrote his famous book, The Late Great Planet Earth. As far as I know he is still alive (about 90 years old) and he has a weekly program on line. God bless him.

Beware Of the False Prophets; Be Fruit Inspectors

Matthew 7:15-16a

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits…”

The most dangerous person is not the one who is a persecutor of Christians, but those who pretend to be Christians but are not. Even more, it is the pagan who seeks to make money as a preacher and to seek out those gullible young Christians to profit off of them. Jesus knows this kind, that will steer people away from the narrow way into the broad way—the way of the world. Hence, he says, Beware of them! Beware of these false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing. You will know them by their fruit.

What is meant here is that the true nature within a person is bound to express itself. It is bound to show up in his teaching and life. That is, what is in the center of the heart (what a man really is) is certain to proclaim itself. So, as a man thinks, so he is and does.

It is D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ opinion that we should discipline ourselves to look carefully for the fruit—in ourselves and in others. Otherwise, why would Jesus insist that we can know them (the false prophets) by their fruit. I think we too often, when we come into a church, just accept the pastor for whatever he says, and believe that he is a good man. I think we should observe carefully to see if he is a true prophet of God or not. And we can do this for everyone—even ourselves. In my reading of Lloyd-Jones sermon on this passage, I collected the following ways to check the fruit in people, especially preachers, to see if they are true Christians or false.

  • Try to identify a person’s motives. If he tries to live a good life for any reason other than for Christ than he is false.
  • The false prophet does not have the character of a true Christian. Their outlook on life is secular, their entire attitude is worldly, and they lack the joy of the Lord.
  • The false prophet does not exemplify the beatitudes: being poor in spirit, mourning over sin, being meek, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, etc.
  • The false prophet does not have the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, etc.
  • The false prophet does not have the same joyful appearance of a Christian. For what is in the nature of a Christian will show in his whole personality. He has the joy of the Lord that is easily shown on his face. (Of course, if a Christians is not walking in the Spirit, that inner Christian nature will be hard to see.)
  • The true Christian is humble, but the false prophet is full of the pride of life and is full of worldliness.
  • The false prophet, and generally the non-Christian has idle words. When he is off guard (when he is joking with his friends) he may show who he really is; his real ungodly nature comes out.
  • The way in which a preacher preaches is more significant than what he says. If he laughs and jokes about serious things as God’s holiness and the judgment, this will reveal his nature. We give ourselves away by our unguarded actions and words.

Ten Descriptions of a False Prophet

Matthew 7:15

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

This verse (and the following few verses) follows directly after where Jesus spoke on entering by the narrow gate and walking along the narrow way (v. 13-14). Hence, what Jesus is suggesting here is that we beware of those who will try to persuade us not to enter at the narrow gate and walk in the narrow way. These are false prophets.

We will now take a closer look at these false prophets, according to what D. Martyn Lloyd Jones has preached on in his Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. In my reading and note taking, I have come up with ten descriptions of the false prophet.

1. They will appear as Christians. They will come to us in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they will be ravenous wolves. Therefore, they will look like good people and no one will suspect anything false from them. They will be nice and pleasant and appear to be Christians. They will use Christian terms and talk about God, and Jesus, and about the cross, and about the love of God, etc.

2. We will know them by their fruit. When we really get to know them, we will discover that their teaching is wrong and also their life (their conduct).

3. We may recognize them by what they do not teach. As far as recognizing the falseness, it is not so much recognized by what they say, but rather by what they do not say. They will tend to leave out or pass over certain important biblical teachings. And they do this in order to not offend you or to be more popular.

4. His teaching is absent from doctrine. His preaching is almost entirely absent from doctrine. He does not like doctrinal preaching, and when he does preach doctrine, it is vague and in error.

5. He does not speak on holiness. The false prophet rarely speaks about holiness and righteousness and justice and the wrath of God. He will not say that he does not believe these things, yet he says next to nothing about them.

6. He leaves out bible prophecy. The false prophet fails to talk about bible prophecy and future things. This is true of most preachers these days. But I have a remedy for them. If they would just preach through the bible one verse at a time, they would be forced to preach on bible prophecy, since almost one-third of the bible is prophetical.

7. He fails to preach on sin. He will not emphasis the doctrine of sin and the sinfulness of sin.

8. He will not preach on what Jesus did for us on the cross. He will talk about the cross and about the death of Christ, but he will fail to preach on what Jesus’ death did for us—that God made Him to be sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21) and that He paid the penalty for our sins.

9. He dislikes self-examination. He will not emphasize the necessity of entering the narrow gate or walking in the narrow way. He is not interested in true holiness; thus, he dislikes the process of self-examination and the mortification of sin as taught by the Puritans.

10. They reject the idea of being a Christian warrior. They reject talk about fighting the good fight of faith, and they do not see the need for putting on the armor of God. They would rather practice easy salvation and living an easy and prosperous Christian life.

The State, National, and World-Wide Prayer Ministry

Prayer A to Z

These are large and far-reaching ministries, but I think they are just as important as the others.  God wants us to prayer for all people, far as well as near.  This is how these prayer ministries may be designed.

They may operate through the following avenues:

Magazines and newspapers. There are a few good Christian magazines and newspapers out there that focus on prayer. I get Herald of His Coming, which is jam packed with articles on prayer and it also provides the reader with about eight or ten News Briefs with prayer requests from various countries. I think newspapers and magazines like this one is an excellent way to recruit prayer ministry members, provide the reader with world-wide prayer requests, and to keep him or her motivated to pray.

A prayer letter. A letter may be mailed to all magazines and newspapers subscribers. Its purpose will be to invite…

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The Community and Citywide Prayer Ministry

Prayer A to Z

These ministries are very important.  The goal for each of them is to get Christian people praying together for their city or community, so that, according to 1Timothy 2:2, they may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  Here are a few ideas of what I think this ministry should look like:

1.  There should be a clear focus of ministry.  That focus must be on interceding for the needs of the city or community.  Those needs will be at least three-fold:

(1) For its leaders. Prayer must be made for all the city or community leaders, that they be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth; but also, that God would work through them, so that whether they are believers or not, they would rule and make decisions with God’s wisdom.

(2) For churches. Prayer should be made for all Christian churches…

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Five Functions of a Prayer Ministry

Prayer A to Z

The function of a prayer ministry is its purpose; and its function will tell us what it does; it will give us the reasons why we should have it. In this post we will discuss five functions of a prayer ministry.

Five Functions of a Prayer Ministry

1. It provides for teaching on prayer.Every prayer ministry should do some-thing to teach its people what prayer is and how to pray. If your ministry is in a church, and you are the head pastor, you should see to it that sermons are preached on prayer and that prayer is taught in Sunday school classes and bible study groups. Wherever your ministry is located, I think it would be good if you had prayer retreats and prayer conferences, where speakers would teach on prayer and where workshops would be given to learn about prayer. Moreover, you should encourage your people to…

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John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in 2020

I’m sure many of you have heard stories of what has been going on at Grace Community Church (GCC) in Sun Valley, California, near Los Angeles. To put it mildly, they have been under attack. But, as I heard John MacArthur say today, 2020 has been a very clarifying year; the forces that have come against them have give them a great clarity (of what is really going on in the world and with Satan against the Church; and what is the churches purpose in the world).

My notes are very sporadic, but I will try to give you what was said in John MacArthur’s sermon. I will break it down into five parts.

GCC Has Been Under A Massive Assault

  • Since the spring of 2020 GCC was forbidden to meet together, to sing together, or to have any fellowship meetings. But they did it anyway, probably citing Acts 5:28-29, saying “we must obey God rather than men.”
  • GCC has been fined every Sunday since August, and has had nine court hearings. But so far, no judge has dared to convict the church. 
  • In October four church employees out of about 300 tested positive for Covid-19, and the media declare it “an outbreak.” But since then, they had to detract that declaration as untrue. Four cases are not an outbreak.

GCC Has Seen More Growth Than Ever Before

  • In the last ten months the offering plate at GCC has not been passed, yet during that time frame more money has come in the history of the church.
  • GCC has had a greater ministry with the police department than ever before.
  • In 2020, 25,000 MacArthur Study Bibles went out to prisons. A new record.
  • GCC have done weddings and funerals
  • GCC has grown in numbers because of covid-19.

The Churches Continuing Purpose

  • Though the new administration says they will support religious freedom, MacArthur says religious freedom sends people to hell—because being free to worship as we choose is not biblical. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life.” There is no other way to believe than through Jesus. We should support only the truth.
  • The churches purpose is to support the truth and to expose all lies as lies.

Many Churches Are Compromising

  • The shift of evangelical leadership is to compromise, because of the social justice issue. But social justice is not equal justice. Social justice is now working to give money to homosexuals and to abortion clinics and to let criminals out of jail and to invite criminals and drugs into our country in the name of social justice.

The Future of the Church

  • MacArthur said “We don’t win down here. But we win on the eternal battle field.”
  • We are entering into an era of injustice and death for the church.
  • Christianity is about two deaths: we died with Christ when we were saved; and we die to self and to the world when we live in the world as a Christian.

Looking for the Perfect Church?

I think many of us are constantly looking for just the right church—with a pastor who really preaches the word of God. And we would like to be in a small group where the people treat everyone with respect, and a group that knows what true Christian fellowship is. And a group that is on the right side of politics. Churches these days are much too liberal and even anti-Christian it seems. Aren’t churches supposed to be Christian?

These are some of the grievances that I think many of us have—and that I often have. But I was reminded today in my reading, that, being as things are in the world, that that is not practical or even possible. And Jesus said that the wheat (Christians) and the weeds (non-Christians) should be allowed to grow together until harvest (the judgment).

I don’t think it is wrong to seek good fellowship with people of like mind. But at the same time, we are called to be salt and light, even to those who say they are Christians but are not, or they are weak (or carnal) Christians. Jesus said He did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life for many. That should be our attitude as well. I often forget that—much too often.

John MacArthur Says Open your Church

In this video, https://video.foxnews.com/v/6199606162001#sp=news-clips, John MacArthur, a popular California pastor, points our that the rate of covid-19 infection in California, at .000015%, is ridiculously low and not a reason to call off church. He said that they have been holding church services as they normally do. His church holds 8,000 on a Sunday and the church has been packed. No one wares masks or social distances. But he reports that for the last 7 months no one has gotten sick from covid. No one!

When asked why the government insists on the lock-down of churches in California, but permits BLM marches and riots, he stated simply that they favor one over the other. And he also insists that the constitution favors religious freedom; and that is why he feels that he is right in allowing his church to continue meeting as usual.

I’m not sure that I would be as bold as MacArthur, but I’m impressed by his stance. I heard him say one time that if the government puts him in jail, he will accept it as God’s will. He said that he always wanted to have a prison ministry.

Update: Bahrain, Mice, Racism, and more

Bahrain is a very small Island/ Country just west of Qatar.

Work. It’s Monday, not a lot going on as far as work. I have a small job on Wednesday; I just have to paint three doors, Tarrytown green. Fun.

Mice. Following up on my latest article about my mouse problem: I haven’t seen any mice for a few days. But I am convinced that I did have one or two mice—and I was not hallucinating. My evidence, besides seeing them, was finding a few black, small droppings under the stove, in back of the juicer, and on the bathroom floor in the corner. Gross! I am more motivated now to clean and make sure I have nothing laying around where they can nest. I would be mortified if I found a nest with baby mice in it. And I asked around to all the other apartments in my building, and no one has seen any mice. Why is it just me?

Bahrain. Just too days ago, Bahrain came on board with UAE. Now we have two nations at peace with Israel, which confirms my previous article on the fact that bible prophecy is now happening; and so, the Ezekiel Invasion (Ezek. 38, 39) is coming soon—which also means that the Rapture is coming soon. It is so exciting to see these things falling into place.

My church looking at racism. I tend not to want to talk about or hear anyone talk about racism. I think that is mainly in our past. And for the most part I think it was dealt with back in the 60’s. But our pastor has chosen to tackle it. Well, so far, I think he is doing a great job. His main motivation is evangelism in our community, which has a mixed race. So, we figure that our church should really have a mixed race of people. And, for the most part, we do.

His text was from Revelation 7:9: “After these things I looked, and behold a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…”

So, he got from that verse that in heaven there will be a mixed race of people: all nations, tribes, and languages. It is a beautiful picture. We should not see heaven as a blend of the races, say all brown people. No. It will be multi-colored. Very colorful! And we will love and accept each other as we are. So, the main message is that we need to humble ourselves, face up to, and talk about where we are concerning how we feel about each other—people of other races. Sin wants to hide; but redemption demands honesty, humility and transparency.

But we also need to be careful and wise. Riots are not the way to deal with anything. Anger will not solve anything. And we know now that there are anarchists that want to take advantage of any hurtful situation in order to destroy our country. We don’t need another civil war. We need prayer and revival, and we need law and order to go along with it.

My reading. I just started reading Live Free Or Die, by Sean Hannity. Good grief. I had no idea that the book would be so deep. I mean, it is like a text book with tons of research. It’s a book I could definitely read more than once. There is so much in it. It is not that hard to read, just so much in it. Oh well, I will just read it slow, a little at a time. It is good. A lot of good information about our great country.