Tag Archives: Christianity

Will we End up Being a Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 4)

I am seventy-three years old.

You can call it pride or whatever, but I have always wanted to see the Lord return in my lifetime. That is until recently when I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “I am not returning in your lifetime. Help prepare your children and grandchildren for the End-Times.”

Whatever disappointment I might have felt at the time was erased by the urgency of His words.

Many preachers talk about the “great falling away” as if it will be just a slight bump in the road for the American church. After all, America has the greatest concentration of Christians within its borders of any nation in the world. 80 to 90 million Evangelical or born again Christians by many estimates.

Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed] (2 Thessalonians 2:3 AMP)

Do you actually believe the Apostle Paul was talking about a slight bump in the road when he wrote about the “great falling away?”

I don’t.

It’s my belief that if we don’t take drastic steps that 50 to 75% or more of America’s Christians will abandon their faith during the soon coming End-Times period. That’s forty to seventy million believers!

Why such a large number?

Corrie Ten Boom’s 1974 letter about the Rapture explains most of my reasoning:

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days.

In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution.  Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly, “We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when tribulation comes — to stand and not faint.”

Somehow, most American believers have swallowed the same poisonous Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine and believe we won’t suffer even though Jesus said –

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. See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:21-22, 25)

We believers are the elect and He is warning us to prepare ourselves ahead of time.

The number two reason for being a part of the Great Falling Away – now or in the future – will be holding onto bad teaching not supported by scripture.

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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God’s Love Must Torpedo Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 10)

Eleven years ago, I somehow found myself in a long discussion with Dr. Michael Brown, who I admire, on his website. An aide of his had written an article about prophets and prophecy. The discussion centered on these few words: “From this we can learn that a ‘go alone (New Testament) prophet’ is not good, nor biblical..”

I disagreed with the writer’s assertions that God would no longer send an individual prophet to a city or a region to prophesy to the people like He did in the Old Testament. I felt there was no scripture to back up their words. I believe God will do whatever He wants. He’s God!

Dr. Brown’s belief was that in the New Testament there are leadership teams or a leadership hierarchy over a city. This would mainly be a group of pastors. Thus, God would work through this governing hierarchy and the individual prophet would go to these chosen pastors and speak his words to them.

Looking back, I missed an important point.

Dr. Michael Brown and the others were thinking and commenting from a traditional church mindset. They saw – and probably still do – pastors as CEOs and heads of churches. I don’t believe this is scriptural!

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5)

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are not go-betweens or middlemen between God and men. They are not under-shepards. None are needed to fill that role because Jesus already fills that calling for us. Jesus is our middleman, go-between and mediator between God and us.

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (five-fold callings) are gifts to the Church. These five callings are supposed to equip the members of the Church for the work of ministry, build up the members and help us attain the unity of the faith and maturity. But these callings are absolutely not given authority by God to rule over believers.

So, when I wrote about a white prophet going into an inner city to bring the word of the Lord to black people, I never considered a governing body of pastors over that city. I was thinking about setting the captives free. It was the same when I wrote the fictional story about a black prophet going to a mainly white, small town.

Is this important for the inner cities? And the rest of America?

(Continued in Part 11…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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God’s Love Must Torpedo Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 9)

I have used the fictional story about a black preacher walking into a small town with mainly white citizens to hold a healing crusade many times in the past. (See here.) But today, I want to offer a fictional take-off from that one and write about a white prophet going into an inner city to speak the word of the Lord to its black citizens. 

Can you imagine an old white guy driving a red Ford pickup into the middle of a crowd of people at a rally? And honking his horn at the same time? I couldn’t imagine something like that ever happening until it did last Saturday afternoon.

Maybe I should start at the beginning and tell the whole story, okay?

My name is Jalen Simmons. I write a syndicated newspaper column entitled, “Unashamed Angry Black Voice.” The column appears in sixty major newspapers throughout our nation. I also appear on TV as a contributor on inner city happenings.

A week ago, a friend suggested I should attend a black activist rally taking place in West Englewood at Ogden Park. This inner-city area of Chicago is the city’s most dangerous neighborhood where poverty and crime are off the charts and lives matter little to police and politicians.

On that day, I positioned myself in the middle of the crowd, estimated at five thousand black people, to better hear and understand the crowd’s reactions to the fiery speakers. The first three speakers raised their voices against the city of Chicago, its police department and white supremacy for the wrongs done to black people. Each moved the crowd closer and closer to its emotional edge.

But just as the militant keynote speaker, Deshaun Lewis, was being introduced on the platform, new sounds could be heard. A honking horn. An engine being revved up. And people screaming, “Look out! He’ll run us over!”

I looked over my left shoulder and saw a red pickup truck heading straight toward me. I jumped out of the way along with the rest of the crowd. The truck stopped right in front of me.

The driver, a seventyish white male, jumped out of the Ford pickup and into the back of the truck almost in one motion. He held a wireless microphone in his right hand which was connected to a speaker system.

“Listen up,” he said, “I have come here today to speak to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

A united “No” was shouted by the crowd. Black men stepped forth to remove the so-called white prophet and his truck.

“Do not touch my truck or the hand of the Lord will come upon you and strike you blind for a time,” said the white man.

The crowd laughed until twenty-three men touched the pickup truck and began screaming, “I’m blind. Help me! Help me!” Then, the laughter stopped and fear gripped the crowd.

“Men, keep quiet. Sit down and when I’m done I will lay hands on you and your sight will immediately return.”

The twenty-three men sat down.

The old white man had the attention of the whole crowd. Everyone stood in silence, even those on the speakers platform.

“The Lord has sent me to tell you,” proclaimed the white man, “your problems are not caused by the city of Chicago, its police department or white Americans. Your problems are caused by your sins and your bitterness. You need to first ask the Lord for His forgiveness and then most of you will have to ask forgiveness of white Americans for your hatred toward them, too.

“If you choose to humble yourself before God and men, God will pour out a blessing on West Englewood. Murders will stop. Crime will end. Jobs will open up. You will be able to walk on the sidewalks of your neighborhood without fear once again. West Englewood will be known as a place of light and a refuge for all.

“But if you ignore these words and continue in the direction you’re heading, your streets will be covered with the bodies of your dead sons and daughters. And this will happen soon!”

He paused and looked around at the crowd. His blue eyes looked right into my heart.

“God’s words to you are the same ones Moses said to Israel, ‘I have set before you life and good, death and evil.” Now, you must choose which way you will walk from this day forward.”

The white prophet jumped down onto the ground. He laid hands on and prayed for each blind man. They all received their sight again.

Then, he climbed into his pickup and drove off.

Was he a prophet sent by God?

Twenty-four men have no doubts and I pray all of the crowd will agree with us.

(Continued in Part 10…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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God’s Love Must Torpedo Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 6)

The following was my post on July 18, 2019. I’ve included ti again to remind us that God’s word is meant for both white and black Americans.

We can learn much about the Kingdom of God and also the Church by looking at God’s first kingdom venture on earth (after the fall): Israel.

God’s desire for Israel was that the nation would have no king and no standing army. God would be the Israelites’ King and their defense. Israel was divided up into twelve parcels, one for each tribe. The leaders for each tribe would be elders, heads of families and families. Israel was set up to be a loosely governed confederation of tribes and families, unlike any other nation at the time.

In approximately 1043 BC, the elders came to Samuel the prophet and said, “Samuel, you are old. Now make for us a king to rule over us like all of the other nations.”

Samuel felt bad, but God told him, “Listen to the people. They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should no longer reign over them.”

God warned Israel, telling them all that the kings would do to abuse their authority over Israel. Yet, the people of Israel still said, “We want a king so we are like the other nations.”

From 1043 BC with King Saul until the fall of Jerusalem under King Zedekiah in 586 BC, Israel and Judah had a government headed by a king. They were like the other nations with a hierarchal governmental system. It was a total failure.

Why?

God said it would fail and it did.

Okay, now let’s look at the American Church system.

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

Thousands of American believers are praying for revival, which they hope will bring a move of the Spirit to America’s churches and change our nation. Hey, if it happens, I will join my brothers and sisters in celebration.

But…I don’t believe it will happen.

Most of America’s churches resemble Israel with a hierarchal government reigning over them. The New Testament name – pastor – sounds better than king, but make no doubt about it, the American pastor is generally an overlord in charge of the membership. He’s the CEO! This type of church system has been in place since Martin Luther reformed the church in 1517. Five hundred years!

Now, many will say that God has often revived the Church in times past. And yes, He has, but He also sent some good kings to Israel and Judah until He didn’t send them anymore. Maybe the American church system is in the same season that Israel was when its hierarchal government failed.

So don’t stay with the same-o same-o attitude about traditional churches just because God has not reformed the wineskin in times past. Seek the Lord.

I believe God will totally reform the church, preparing it for the End Times.

So what if the men I saw in my vision of a black river flowing out of the inner cities of American were black apostles sent by the Lord to reform our traditional church system? Would we submit to them and change?

(Continued in Part 7…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

 

 

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God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 4)

“American Christianity would collapse if the pastors were removed.” (Frank Viola)

The Greek word poimēn is translated into the English word pastor(s) only one time in the New Testament.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11)

The other seventeen times the Greek word poimēn is used in the New Testament, it is translated into the English word shepherd(s), as in –

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (John 10:11)

But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. (John 10:12)

There is no evidence in the New Testament of a pastor – or shepherd – being the scripturally chosen person to preach a sermon every Sunday to a church and also being the CEO in charge of the affairs of that group of believers. Not one mention!

Even Paul in his letters to the churches did not address his messages to pastors. He wrote to all of the believers. Only in one letter did Paul make a special reference to elders, and that was a fleeting one in the first verse of Philippians.

So, how does a modern pastor justify his position as the CEO of a church?

Mainly through tradition.

Where did the tradition of the pastor begin?

Martin Luther dropped the title of priest from himself during the reformation and added the title of pastor instead. From that point forward, pastors became the heads of the Protestant churches.

Now, just so you know, I do not disagree that God has used many pastors over the centuries as His anointed leaders. Yet even so, we are in the last days, and I believe God wants His Son to take His rightful place in His body —

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, ( 1 Timothy 2:5)

I think Frank Viola exaggerated a little bit about American Christianity collapsing if the pastors are removed because many hundreds of thousands of strong believers have already walked away from the traditional church. These believers would not be affected by pastors being removed from the religious scene.

But if Viola would have narrowed his focus and said, “Black Christianity would collapse if its pastors were removed,” then I believe he would have been closer to the truth.

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 3)

“I’m here because somebody marched,” Obama said in a speech in Selma, Ala. “I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants.” (Barack Obama, Selma, Alabama, March 2007)

During his first run for president, Barack Obama seemed poised to achieve many of the goals that activists like the Greensboro Four had first set. It was a mantle that he explicitly took up, calling himself a member of the “Joshua Generation.” As in: Moses got the Hebrews out of Egypt and nearly to the Promised Land, but he couldn’t cross over the Jordan. That task was left to Joshua.

“The previous generation, the Moses generation, pointed the way. They took us 90 percent of the way there. But we still got that 10 percent in order to cross over to the other side,”Obama said in Selma, Alabama, in March 2007. “So the question, I guess, that I have today is what’s called of us in this Joshua generation?” (David A. Graham, The Atlantic, October 12, 2016)

In one of the ironies of ironies, whites brought the gospel of the kingdom of God to the blacks. Some heard about Jesus from Moravian missionaries that boarded slave ships to the West Indies. There on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix they preached the good news to the slaves.

But most black slaves received the gospel with the backing of their Southern white plantation owners who were mainly Baptists. These same owners allowed certain black men to receive a little schooling so they could read the Bible and become pastors to the slaves.

These black pastors who could read studied how God delivered Israel from Egypt. This became the slaves’ hope – “if God delivered Jewish slaves, He will do it for black slaves, too.

Negro spirituals, such as “We Shall Overcome,” “Go Down, Moses,” “Wade in the Water,” and others gave voice to the slaves’ faith in God and encouraged other slaves. The songs were acts of faith and prayers at the same time.

There’s not much good which can be said about the evils of slavery, except that it produced a depth of the spirit in black Americans. This spiritual depth brought forth the Civil Rights marches and men like Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy and others who were determined to see the blacks set free.

The importance black churches played in the Civil Rights Movement and the years afterward can not be overstated. They focused their communities on the long-held promises of freedom and kept them moving toward their goal.

Yet, I believe Barack Obama spoke prophetically that black Americans “still got that 10 percent in order to cross over to the other side.”

How will this be achieved?

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Does God Ever Let Us Down?

Another believer and I recently listened to the Christian song, King of My Heart. The words of the chorus – “You’re never going to let me down” – prompted a discussion between us.

“Those words aren’t always true,” said the believer.

“Really?” I said, not having a better answer at that moment.

“Those words certainly haven’t been true for me!”

Then, the believer proceeded to list various times how God had let the believer down. Most of these were financial disappointments with a couple of unexpected family deaths tossed into the mix. Our conversation died after a few minutes.

I returned to my work, but I spent the next few days meditating over the words of the song before I came up with a better answer.

So, does God ever let us down?

YES!

That is, God will always let us down if we view Him through our uncrucified American mindset which believes God is our Sugar Daddy in the sky who will keep us from any hardships or disappointments while we live here on earth.

Jesus warned us ahead of time about this when He said: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Brother Yun gives a pick-up-your-cross-daily point of view in his biography, The Heavenly Man:

Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, “I’ve been praying that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in peace.”

“This is not what we pray!” said Brother Yun, a Chinese house church leader. “We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus: ‘The government will be on His shoulders.’ 

“God has used China’s government for His own purposes, molding, and shaping His children as He sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.

“Don’t pray for the persecution to stop. We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure. Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects His love and power.”

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:28 AMP)

Once, we give our lives to the Lord, we become clay in the Potter’s hand. He uses every disappointment, affliction, persecution and whatever to mold and conform us into the image of His Son. The Father’s desire is that we might count everything else in our lives as rubbish when compared to knowing His Son.

So, does God ever let us down?

No!

None of us will stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ and accuse our Father of letting us down. This won’t happen, but sadly, many of us may be shown how we have let the Father down.

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