Part 1: Why the House Church
1. Underground churches are not terror organizations.Why did Christians in the past gather in secret and not openly? A superficial answer could be, because they would otherwise have been arrested. But this reason could also apply to terrorist groups.
What is the difference then for Christians?
The most common reason was when the Governing bodies, as during the middle ages the catholic church, required things from Christians that they, the Christians, could not submit to by means of conscience, as it contradicted what they understood as the Will of God as is expressed in the Bible.
Pastor Wilhelm Busch in a sermon put it like this:
In the earlier years, before we were confronted with the State police, we were already experiencing dangerous conflicts at work and with the “parties”, although we were still “allowed”, if you know what I mean. There was not explainable reason for the conflicts but they existed. Where did they come from? It was a result of a foundational question of the day. Now pay attention! Who has the right to dictate our conscience?
The young guys who came to my Weigle-House, the youth center; they were taught that our conscience must be bound by the Word of Got. Luther said at the Reichstag in Worms, Germany: “My conscience is held captive by Gods Word. “
This means we all know there is good and evil. But, who determines what is good and what is evil? To whose lordship do we pay homage to? Who has the dictate over our conscience? Do public opinion or our co-workers have the right in matters such as sexuality, financial matters or truth and lies to dictate to our conscience what is good and evil? “
Luther said: “My conscience is held captive by Gods Word.“ The young guys learned: The Lord Jesus Christmust dictate our conscience! - And now, the state came with the party, the Nazi-Party, and said: "We say what is good and what is evil."
Why are those born again Christians dangerous, who do not belong to a church approved of by the State or other governing institutions? (Don’t forget that it was the churches that submitted to the authorities under the third Reich who were tolerated!)
Pastors in the state- approved churches during the third Reich and later in Russia, were only allowed to preach what was mandatory to preach. This is the case today in modern China.
A genuine shepherd and preacher will teach the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:27) All believers, who have been purchased by the blood of Jesus and follow Him, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, are bound to the truth.
With diligent study of the Word of God, believer learn to discern what is truth and what is a lie; what the bible says and what it doesn’t say. (See 2 Tim. 3:16) One cannot expect to hear the absolute truth preached as it would please God in a state tolerated church or Christian organization. For this reason many Christians feel compelled to organize secret or private assemblies.
2. Biblical Christianity is an affliction for manyWe have already read that our conscience must be bound by the word of God.
In contrast to the Islamic terrorists and fundamentalists; Christians do not become suicide bombers, blowing themselves up along with others. Christians love their fellow man and are concerned for their welfare.
Christians do not seek revenge. And some countries, due to respect to God’s commandments have actually experienced prosperity.
Christians do not lie and cheat (with their taxes for example).
They do not yearn to commit adultery (they have stabile families).
They do not murder, or steal. (Thus reducing the Polices’ work load)
The first hospitals were built by Christians. And many charitable works were established upon the basis of Christian principles.
In a letter to the empire Hadrian (117-138 BC) Aristides, the orator of Athens wrote this about the heathens who had converted to Christianity:
“The Christians know God and trust him. They forgive those who oppress them and become their friends. They are good to their enemies. Their wives keep the marriage pure; their daughters are chaste. They love one another. They do not hesitate to help the widows. If they see a stranger, they take him in and are rejoice over them as over a brother. If one is poor or needy amongst them, they fast two to three days in order to provide them with the necessities. They obey diligently their messiah’s commandments. They praise and thank God for His goodness every morning and every hour. Everything that is lovely in this world comes from them, but they do not brag in public about their good works. Much rather, they are careful that they go unnoticed if at all possible. This indeed, is a new kind of people, and there is something divine about them.
Why then, are biblical Christians not left alone, although they are a blessing? What is the fundamental problem?
Man, who wants to live without God, wants, himself, to decide what is good and evil. Modern man does not want God. They want no God who tells them what is right and wrong. This is the reason why the theory of evolution is so highly propagated. Because if there is no God of creation then there is no sin, and man can live as he likes without having to give an account.
3. The church of tomorrow must prepare itself for persecution.Previously we took a short look at the churches and how it conformed in order to be tolerated during the third Reich, in Russia and in China. But how will the church of tomorrow look? Is it possible that Christians in Europe and America will be forced to go to establish underground churches?
Let us look at the following objections coming from various directions:
a. The church will be raptured before the Antichrist appears.
b. In our land we have freedom of belief and security.
c. There will be a great revival in the end times and this will gain the whole earth for Jesus.
If these were the case, we would have no need to prepare ourselves.
a. The rapture of the church before the appearance of Antichrist
If this is true and the rapture comes beforehand than that is good. But this still would not mean that we should not be watchful or be unprepared. Persecution could happen in Europe long before the Antichrist comes on the scene.
There is another interesting false doctrine that says that those who will be raptured are not worthy to build the kingdom of God here on earth.
It is important to read what Jesus said regarding His return (or appearance):
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
The first passage tells us that it is not our business to know the times and the seasons. It is not possible to calculate or determine when the rapture will occur.
I understand that to mean that I am not even to speculate about it.
In the second passage Jesus tells us that only the Father knows the timeframe in which events will take place. Not even Satan, who knows the whole bible by heart, knows the time, nor is he able to calculate it out.
The point Jesus wants to get across is, “Be prepared.”
Jesus said that even He did not know the hour. I would not be surprised in the midst of all kinds of events the call goes forth, “Go and take your bride.”
b. Freedom of Religion and Security
The arrest of all Christians and the confiscation of their bibles to destroy them would cause a great part of the world to be very alarmed and upset. It would even further the cause of Christianity by the drawing attention to their cause. But by discrediting biblical Christians and making them a focus for ridicule, then possibly that no one would pay attention to them. God, the Bible and His commandments are ignored. Those that still believe in them are brand marked as fanatics or fundamentalists. Creationists (people who believe in the divine creation of the world) are being ridiculed. They are accused of being a danger to democracy and becoming enemies to the State.
Jesus’ last command to his disciples to make disciples of all nations, is being refuted.
Following are a few chosen reports given as examples:
Anyone who reads bible verses in public that could be interpreted as anti-homosexual, risk being arrested by the police. A Christian Lawyers Association in London have taken on a street preacher who has been threatened in this way by the law.
When Christian Stars speak about Jesus these sections are edited, removed and not made public. Only during live performances do they have a chance to confess Christ and have it heard.
Christians in Great Britain are experiencing more animosity than in other European countries. In a survey that was done for the British weekly paper, “The Sunday Telegraph” every fifth participant confirmed this fact. More than half of those asked, who attended church, admitted to suffering some form of persecution due to the fact that they were Christians.
Leonie Seifert writes in an article in “Zeit-Online” on August 11, 2009 under the title of “Discrimination - Gay Hunt, strictly scientific”; that evangelical fundamentalists want to convert and change homosexuals.
Meanwhile in Germany, fathers and mothers have been arrested because they refused to allow their children to participate in sex education, Karnival (Fastnacht is a night where inhibitions are allowed to fall and ANYTHING is allowed), or a visit to the theater as it went against their conscience. For this reason they refused to pay when they were fined and supported their decision with the Basic German Law and their right to freedom of conscience. This did not interest the judge at all.
On August 3, 2009, the Dalai Lama, the head of Tibet Buddhism and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was awarded, the title of Honorary Doctor by the Hessen University in Marburg. Preceding this event was a four-day, buddistish teaching Conference on the subject, “The Art of Living”. Tens of thousands attended the Dalai Lama’s lectures. His final speech received the greatest applause. In it, he pleaded for the freedom of religion; meaning that no one should force their religion upon another and if possible one should not change their religion.
Professor Mark A. Gabriel is probably the most significant and well known figure to leave Islam. He is an Egyptian who taught Islamic science at the Al Azhar University in Cairo. Gabriel removes any illusions from an attentive listener, that there could be a temperate European Islam. Islam can not be different, not even in Europe. This religion has rules for its believers who are in non-islamic countries. At first they should be discreet, drawing no attention to themselves and quickly multiply their population. Then, they should slowly begin to making claims and subtly bring changes to the “unbelieving” society by increasing their power and influence. In this way they ultimately gain a majority by which the rule of Islam can be enforced. Europe is considered a house of war, as it has of yet no Islamic nation. And Islam will not perpetually allow non-Muslims to have authority over the Muslim. Muslims are intended to rule over the unbelievers. This is how the Koran wants it. We all know what the Christians experience living in countries where Muslims are in the majority.
The former chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, who is on the membership role of the Bohemian Grove (an occult society), wrote the following on pages 297 and 298 in his Bestseller “Out of Service”: ”I have always respected believers regardless of what their religion was. For this reason I found religious tolerance absolutely necessary. This is why I found the Christian mission to be an infringement upon humanity. When a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu or a Jew uses their religion as an excuse to fight for power, conquest and repression, they violate the dignity and the freedom of those who believe differently. They are an evil fellow human being. The same also applies to those one who see it as their duty to lead their religion to victory over another religion. Everyone must allow each person to have their own beliefs and religion, to also include the right to have no belief. “
Weekly, the list grows longer, as the many articles of Christian news agencies confirm.
c. A Revival in the Last Days
Nowhere in the bible does it speak of a revival in the last days. But, we can read of a great Apostasy happening right before the Man of Sin, the son of perdition is revealed. For decades hundreds of Prophets have been proclaiming that there will be a great revival. Charismatics even blame evangelicals of frustrating a revival by thwarting the Holy Spirit.
An ecumenical program was initiated amongst Charismatics and the Catholic Church. By the year 2000 they wanted convert more than half of the world’s population as a birthday present to the Lord. We will have a great revival, but what will it look like, and where will it lead to?
All of the major religions are expecting their “Messiah” who will deliver the world from injustice. Because they reject Jesus as Messiah, the Jews are still waiting for their messiah. The Muslims are waiting for their Mahdi. The Buddhists await their Maitreya that they say is already among us. The Hindus talk about a Kalki.
Christians who know their bible also know that one day the antichrist will appear and claim to be this Messiah. This is for that the world and Christianity is being prepared for, along with those awaiting a revival.
Concerning the antichrist, Dave Hunt once wrote:
In the beginning the whole world will be paralyzed by fear, but much rather they will worship and adore him (see Rev 13:8). This lets us conclude that he will have a very strong charismatic attraction, which will even draw out their affections. The prefix "anti" comes from the greek and normally means "counter". But it can also mean "substitute" or "imitation". Of course the Antichrist will come against Christ, but with a great diabolical craftiness that has never been seen before. In presenting himself as Christ he will lure even Christianity to his side by posing as their leader.
The chart shows us six elementary developments:
We are experiencing a transformation that is affecting the whole human race to include Christianity.
Biblical Christians do not fit into this world. They are a “threat” and need to removed, especially when they take their duty seriously to be salt and light to this world and their communities.
II. Weeds or Wheat? The Bride or the Harlot?There are many clear indications that we are in the last of the last days. With this in mind we want to study two scripture passages pertinent to our thesis.
1. Tares amongst the wheatThen Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
In the Bible lexicon from "Rienecker", following the keyword weed, you can read:
The Greek word used by Luther for “tare” in Matt. 13: 23-30; 36-42, was the word “zizanion”. Zizanion (lolium tremulentum) Darnel, poison darnel or cockle as it is known, is a stiff grass that grows up to about 80 centimeters tall. It grows between the sommer grains. Referred to as "false wheat”, it bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears. The small black kernels are often infected with a fungus and become poisonous causing headaches and dizziness when eaten. They can lead to impaired vision and can even cause death. Due to its close resemblance to the wheat it was very difficult to weed out. Therefore it was usually left standing and sifted out with a special sieve.
So we see how important it is to learn discernment by reading the Bible and listening to good shepherds. The teachings of false shepherds and teachers belong to the “tares” and are spiritually poisonous. Judas Iscariot is a good example of how difficult it can be to differentiate between tares and wheat. While the other disciples were being positively changed under Christ’s teachings, Judas was developing negatively.
John MacArthur writes in his book “Twelve Ordinary Men”:
“It is equally obvious; however, that Judas was not attracted to Christ on a spiritual level. He followed Jesus out of a desire for selfish gain, worldly ambition, avarice, and greed. He sensed Jesus’ power, and he wanted power like that for himself. He was not interested in the kingdom for salvation’s sake or for Christ’s sake. He was interested only in what he could get out of it. Wealth, power, and prestige were what fueled his ambitions.”
When the apostle John wrote the gospel he said:
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
But up until this time none of the other eleven noticed what was wrong with Judas. They thought up until the very end that he was one of them. They did not even understand what happened as Judas left to betray Jesus.
When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
No one thought Judas would become a betrayer. Jesus even said it straight forward, yet they thought he was just going to buy some things. It is also interesting to note that Jesus called Judas the son of perdition as the antichrist is called in II Thess 2:3.
2. The Bride and the Harlota. The Bride
Believers, both Jews and Gentiles together make up the people of God. (Gal 3:28, I Pet. 2:9) They in turn are called the Bride of Christ:
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
John MacArthur in his commentary writes:
Hebrew weddings consisted of three phases: 1) betrothal (often when the couple were children); 2) presentation (the festivities, often lasting several days, that preceded the ceremony); and 3) the ceremony (the exchanging of vows). The church was betrothed to Christ by his sovereign choice in eternity past (Eph. 1:4; Heb. 13:20) and will be presented to him at the rapture (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). The final supper will signify the end of the ceremony. This symbolic meal will take place at the establishment of the millennial kingdom and last throughout that 1,000-year period (cf. Rev. 21:2). While the term "bride" often refers to the church, and does so here (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22-24), it ultimately expands to include all the redeemed of all ages, which becomes clear in the remainder of the book.
b. The Harlot
She is the very opposite of the Bride, who has kept herself undefiled from sin and the world in preparation for the day of the Lord. (II Pet. 3:14; Jam. 1:27; Heb. 13:4; Jud 1:23)
Many Christians in the past and present believed the harlot to be the Roman Catholic Church. The characteristics match very well. Yet even if the catholic church is not specifically meant here, it gives us a pretty good idea of what the religious system will look like that is meant;the catholic church being the forerunner.
In chapter 17 verse 5 of Revelations we read:
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
All of the world’s religions have their roots, one way or another, at Babel. This is significant. Today they exist in various forms. In the Babylonian Texts the name “bab-ilani is found and means the gateway to the gods. It points to the idol worship of the time. Babel is the root of all spiritual fornication (idol worship and witchcraft) and things that are an abomination to God.
As we read Rev. 17:6 we are reminded, that not only the Catholic Church killed Christians, but also all other false religions did the same in the past. The present time shows no change and the future will prove to be the same.
In Revelations chapter 18, verse 3 it says:
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
In his bible commentary John Mac Arthur writes concerning this passage:
wine...of her sexual immorality. Religious Babylon (ch. 17) lures the nations into spiritual drunkenness and fornication with false gods (17:2,4); commercial Babylon (ch.18) seduces the unbelieving world into a materialistic stupor, so that the people of the world will become drunk with passion because of their relationship with Babylon. kings...merchants. Political rulers and corporate leaders alike are swept up in this worldwide system of commerce (14:8; 17:2).
In the following verse, God commands his people to get out of Babylon. And the reason is obvious. We will adapt ourselves to our surroundings.
Should we even still belong to a church that is not keeping itself pure? The mixture of Christianity and idol worship in the Catholic Church is obvious when we look at its many practices, past and present. But it is not just the Catholic Church that does in this way.
It was mentioned that the ecumenical movement is the counterfeit to the body of Christ. It is a man made unity at the cost of fundamental biblical truths. Many churches, fellowships and congregations of various dominations and confessions have already integrated occult practices, spiritism, Christian mysticism and Shamanism into their programs. This also includes several similar to Gnostic and Esoteric teachings. This can be called spiritual harlotry.
Maybe the Harlot has not yet fully developed her system as it is described in revelations, but we definitely see the preliminary stages. The world’s powers are making great endeavours to create a new world and new world order based on humanistic and self-made religious inventions. “Babylon” is already being built. Many churches not only participate in these efforts but support them both spiritually and financially.
III. What characterizes a church that has taken a wrong course?A church that has an affinity to the antichristian ecumenical movement will have the following distinguishable characteristics and no longer possess the spiritual strength to discern it:
1. The Bible itself is no longer the sole standard of measureAnytime a seductive path of compromise is chosen, we see at the root of the problem, a departing from the Holy Scriptures as God’s inspired truth. The Scriptures are intended to direct our thoughts and actions. The modern movements to push church growth tend to ignore those inspired teachings in the apostolic letters that conflict with the worldly principles and lifestyle they have chosen. Most modern evangelicals are in full accord with these movements.
These compromises apply to the Gospel as it is being preached. Important passages that address God’s wrath and judgment, the sinner’s absolute corruption and their need for repentance, submission to Christ, to name a few, are watered down, changed or completely left out. Examples are those found in the letter to the Romans. This includes those teachings that address a Christians lifestyle as well. No clear instruction is given in matters concerning being crucified with Christ or personal holiness and separation from the world. And such matters, dealing with holiness of the church as Christ’s bride, God’s holy temple, the true church’s separation from the world and the eminent rapture are barely touched upon, and if so, in a distorted manner.
2. The Church is occupied with the man’s interests and not God’s.This modern church growth movement has as its main focus the catering to the unbelievers in a way that makes it is easier for them to come to church and develop a relationship to Jesus Christ in an atmosphere where they feel comfortable.
In order to not scare people off an atmosphere of reverence, sobriety and holiness is avoided. Admonishment and teaching is avoided if at all possible along with long prayers. The atmosphere is to be relaxed and modern to creat an optimistic environment where any newcomers will be left with pleasant impression; thus encouraging their returned visit.
The experts of these movements defend this change in course from a biblical church structure by reasoning; one must, at any cost, reach those far off to bring them into the church, so that they can hear the gospel. They use Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter nine, to support this. What they choose to not mention is, that the command was to, “go and preach the gospel”. This means to go and reach out there where the unbelievers are, not “bring them into their churches”.
Of course this does not mean there are times when unbelievers visit a service and are not ministered to there. (See I Cor. 14: 24-25)But the bible makes it clear, that the assembling of the church is intended for worship and the edification of the saints and children of God by teaching, preaching and admonition not primarily to preach the Gospel to unbelievers. (See I Cor 14:1-5,12,22,26; Col 3:16; I Tim 4:6-16; II Tim 4:1-4; Tit 1:9,02:1, 6-8, 15)
3. A false “positive” Gospel is being preachedNot only do churches conform themselves to cater to modern man but the message of the Gospel is being altered as well. This false Gospel leaves out any “hard” truths that the listener might find unacceptable causing them to leave the church. By means of modern rhetoric and advertising methods large numbers of unbelievers are brought into the church, where they believe that they are born again. These souls, still in darkness, bring along with them their worldly thought patterns and their fleshly lusts into the church. The message of the Lord Jesus Christ and his redemptive work on the cross is being taught in a washed-down and unbiblical way. Jesus Christ is hardly proclaimed as Lord of all and soon coming judge. Much rather, He is presented to the sinner’s as a gentle servant. The truth that Jesus Christ is the only way and man’s ONLY source of salvation is carefully avoided, if not completely eliminated, as well as the fact that all heathen religions are idolatrous leading to destruction. Biblical repentance is no longer proclaimed as a prerequisite to salvation. People are not being told that in order to be saved, they must completely turn from their sins and submit to Christ’s authority. God’s righteous commandments and requirements which expose sin for what it is; an abomination to God, are not explained whereby working conviction in the lives of the listeners. Much rather they are led to believe that all they need to do is “accept” Jesus and “believe” in Him. And usually after a superficial prayer is spoken they are considered children of God having a relationship with Jesus. By this means the Way and the Gates are being so widened that a large crowd could comfortably walk its path with all believing that they are on their way to heaven. Yet the words of our Lord as testified in Matt 7:13-15, will never pass away.
4. The Seduction of the Holy Church to conform to the sinful spirit of this ageThe fruit of these new strategies for church growth are not neither leading the world to Christ nor the lost to true salvation (although this does upon exception truly happen). Rather the church is becoming worldly, corrupting itself and destroying itself from within. According to the Holy Scriptures, the true church is being called and saved out of the world in order to live undefiled from the world, as a pure and holy bride preparing for her heavenly bridegroom. (Eph 5:25-27)
The spirit of the world has no place in the true church. She is a holy temple of God and a Temple of the Holy Spirit, called to serve God in a holy and spirit-filled manner. This is only possible when she does NOT conform to the world.
This worldly church has indeed experienced awesome growth. People flood these places as they no longer have to enter the narrow gate of true conversion. They can come “as they are”, with all of their sinful, impure and rebellious ways. They are told how much God loves them, unconditionally. They hear how God accepts them as they are and only wants to bless them, bringing them success and fulfilment. The mighty ones of this world attend and encourage this harlot church. She has her service to bring renewal to this world.
The church is being channelled to a Power to bring change to the world.
5. A false teaching called reconstructionism is gaining more and more influence within the church.This teaching is actually quite ancient and has in the past contributed to a degradation of biblical churches. It teaches, the church is called, here and now to erect the kingdom of God by permeating the whole world with Christian philosophy, culture and politics and in the end subduing it completely. The denial of the Kingdom of Peace, which Christ will erect as proclaimed throughout the old and new Testaments, often accompanies this false doctrine.
According to these teachings it is the churches duty to present Christ with a “Christianized” world, so He can reign over the peoples. Other false teachings stem from this doctrine such as worldwide revivals, spiritual warfare and Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. Plan.
More about this plan is found at distomos.blogspot.com:
“Each letter of the acronym P.E.A.C.E. states the methodology for achieving the plan as Rick Warren believes to be the fulfilment of the great commission. For Warren the implementation of the PEACE Plan is finally the establishment of God’s kingdom here on earth.”
Behind “dominionism” is the thought that man can without Christ establish peace and righteousness and overcome poverty and disease. Often it is difficult to discern between dominionism and postmillinialism.
In the above mentioned Homepage one can also find:
“He believes that Christ will first return when the church has “Christianized” soiety through a Christian power, he calls, “Joel’s army”. Christ will not rapture his chosen ones because they were victorious here on earth. Jesus Christ will not return bodily to earth. Much rather his return will take place in “His Church”, by which he reigns through His Spirit here on earth. Postmillenialism denies the bodily return of Christ as ruler and judge over this world.”
Ebertshaeuser explains it this way:
Here we see the modern evangelicals’“social” gospel as is found in the liberal apostate world churches. (For example: The world council of churches) The outward wrapping looks different but the contents remain the same. The motto of the antichristian powers is that the solution of the world’s problems lie in a “new way of thinking”, a “new spirituality”, a worldwide religious unity and a unified world government. This plea for a new world order comes from various influential movements to include the Freemasons, the New Age Movement, the Catholic Church and the United Nations. Somehow they are all in this together.
When Christians allow themselves to be brought under this yoke, to usher in a “new world order,“ they are being finely and unnoticeably spun into the antichrist’s web. This web has sought to influence and undermine the Christian church for centuries with his leaven of teachings and occult practices. (See I john 4:1-6.) Many believe they are working for Christ with all of their activities to improve and Christianize the world, when in fact; they are serving the antichrist by providing a disguise for the erection of his deceitful power.
Contrary to this the true church is fully aware that this evil godless world can never be improved or “Christianized” as it is. She knows that she has been called and saved out of a hopelessly corrupted world (John 15:18-19). She knows that in the end this world will not experience “reformation” or “healing”, but rather the grim wrath of God. (II Pet 3:1-18) She separates herself from the world and testifies of Him by her holy lifestyle. She preaches the gospel with authority, that is that only the Lord Jesus Christ can save us and keep us from the coming judgement.
This by no way means that she does not help unbelievers and people in distress. This is done together with the proclamation of the gospel. But this is not her main strategy and she makes no ungodly pact with the world. (Compare II Cor. 6:14-18)
IV. The Decision
The seduction in the last days will be so subtle that many Christians will fall right into its trap. Just as in the third Reich, in Russia and in China now, where will be two kinds of churches, there are will be two directions to choose from: There will be the body of Christ on one side and Ecumenism on the other.
The body of Christ is a unity of true believers who have been in truth added by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ecumenism is a manmade unity brought about at the cost of the truth.
Christians will never hear the pure Word of God in the churches that are a part of the ecumenical movement and those that sympathize with it. TheWord of God will be adapted.
Only in the true body of Christ will the whole counsel of God be taught. These in turn will have no choice but to eventually meet as non-denominational groups meeting in homes or privately. This will eventually lead to persecution as experienced by the Huguenots, the Waldensians – or as today our brethren in Mexico, China, North Korea and Iran experience.
Jesus once said:
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Here is an excerpt taken from John Mac Arthur’s Bible Commentary to verses 10 and 13:
Literally to "cause to stumble"---suggesting professing believers who fall away ---and even turn against "one another" in shocking acts of spiritual treachery....To say that God secures our perseverance is not to say that we are passive in the process, however. He keeps us "through faith" (1 Pet. 1:5) -our faith. Scripture sometimes calls us to hold fast to our faith (Heb. 10:23; Rev. 3:11) or warns us against falling away (Heb. 10:26-29).
Further Jesus says:
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
The greatest test of our faith when put under pressure to decide between denying Jesus Christ or remaining faithful, will be when one’s own children or loved ones must die for our decision.
These words from Jesus sound absolutely hard.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
God has children but no grandchildren. In view of eternity it is of utmost importance know whether He is my Lord and Saviour or not.
An InvitationAt one point in time all must decide if they will swim with the current or set themselves apart. One can wait until everything truly begins to happen, or one can decide today to prepare oneself for what is coming. Wise Christians in China began many years before the Cultural Revolution to found house assemblies.
You can decide to join such a group later, unprepared. That is if you find one. Or, you can begin helping establish this kind of assembly now.
All notes are in this Free-PDF-Dokument (434 KB)