A Letter To The Church At Large
"For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy [conspiracy](1), to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion." Isaiah 8:11-18
There is a Conspiracy in the Land
There was a farmer who was once known throughout the land for the bountiful harvests he was blessed with each year. So great was the fruit of his labors that he could give vast quantities of grain to feed the poor, and still his silos were filled to the brim. His generosity was so renowned that year after year the poor would arrive with buckets, burlap bags, wagons or whatever container they could find. No one left empty handed, indeed, the farmer would fill each container to the top until everyone had grain to eat. After the last of the poor left satisfied, the farmer would fill his own silos. God was always faithful to reward the farmer's kindness.
One day, a traveling salesman drove his wagon to the porch where he found the farmer resting. The salesman told the farmer of a sure-fire way to increase his yields and cut his work load by half. "Weather!" exclaimed the salesman. He went on to explain if the farmer could predict the weather, he would know when to plant, what to plant, when to water and how much to water. The farmer could see the wisdom in this.
The salesman stayed just long enough to collect the cost of the contraption, point to the manual, and then down the road he sped.
The farmer set the contraption up in an extra room and began to study the manual. He was astonished. Why, this machine would take in to consideration the sun, moon and all the planets. It would analyze every cloud in the sky, every breeze that blew by, the humidity, and each high and low pressure system that moved through the region.
Before long, the farmer had the walls of that room covered with graphs and charts. The farmer was amazed at how accurately he could predict the times and the seasons! He made weekly and monthly charts. He learned the names of each type of cloud. He knew when the sun would rise and set, when the moon would be full or new. His charts showed when the rain would begin, how much water it would leave behind, and exactly when the sun would break through the clouds. He had tracked the last seven storms, and his predictions were perfect.
The farmer had soon become the local expert on the weather. After a while, the farmer did not need the contraption at all: he could sit on his porch in the wee hours of the morning and predict exactly how the weather would go. He sat there with great pride and watched the day go by and seeing that it happened just as he knew it would.
Soon it was harvest time again, and the poor began to gather. Again they brought empty sacks, barrels and wagons looking for the gift that would sustain them through the year. As the farmer saw the puzzled faces of the gathering throng, he slowly raised himself from his chair. It was then that he realized the truth: while he was busy studying the times and seasons, he had neglected to plant any crops.
We have been charged by God with a two fold mission while we sojourn on this orb. We must abide steadfastly in the Lord Jesus Christ2, and "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them"3 into the Lord Jesus Christ.
We need to be wary of anything demanding too much of our time, time that is precious to Jesus Christ. He is the foundation upon which our lives are to be built. He is the reason why we "live, and move, and have our being,"4 and that without His strength flowing through us, we "can do nothing."5 We labor here on earth not only to help others with their earthly needs, but in hopes they might find a permanent solution. If they cannot see Jesus Christ in us, if because of our actions or lack of action they are prevented from finding repentance and faith for salvation, we have failed to help them at all. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."6
We are seeing a trend these days for many "ministries" to focus full-time on subject matter that distracts the Body of Christ from its' God given responsibilities, all under the guise of "prophecy."
There are several topics so closely related they bleed together and are difficult to distinguish apart. These teachings include the "Imminent Rapture," "End Times" and the "Demonic World."
Please understand, these subjects are not "evil" in and of themselves, in fact, there are times when instruction on subjects such as these may be necessary for Christian awareness and growth. Yet a constant and continual diet of this kind of teaching will have a negative effect on the Body of Christ. Instead of Love, Joy, and Peace, it produces such spiritual fruit as fear, frustration, and despair.
Below we will give a brief description of each, and then afterward will be presented our response.
These teach Jesus Christ could come at any minute. They hold that the Church will not go through the 'tribulation,' and that the 'Rapture' is a separate event from the second coming of the Lord. They believe all prophecy needing to be fulfilled prior to the return of Jesus Christ for His Church is complete. They do teach that they "know neither the day nor the hour"7 when the Lord will come, but they will continue, "He may come at any minute."
These spend their energy educating us about every geopolitical activity in the world. They scour the daily newspaper, television reports and now the internet, trying to tie each event to Bible prophecy. This is all to prove the end is near, all hell is ready to break loose and we better get ready.
They seem to believe our energies are best spent preparing ourselves for the hard times ahead. Their idea of preparedness may include stock piling gold, silver, food and weapons. It may also mean moving to rural areas, building bomb shelters or both. They believe their mandate is from God, and if you are not preparing as they are, you either don't know God at all or aren't listening.
The Demonic World
There are also "ministries" run by self proclaimed experts who make their bread and butter by the telling of one yarn after another about the latest conspiracies. They somehow have access to secret inside information pertaining to the occult dealings of all the latest public figures. They claim first hand knowledge of all the tawdry and titillating details about the mysterious "They," and their activities around the world in preparation of global domination. Others focus on Satanism, symbology, rock music, or demonic possession, to list a few.
What's Wrong With That?
Has the Gospel of Jesus Christ become a religion of fear? People constantly feeding on these teachings are more apt to become isolationists than evangelists. Why is it more important to concentrate on the times and the seasons than to help a fellow citizen of earth find repentance and a saving faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ?
Most of us know by now there has been a conspiracy going on for thousands of years, started in the Garden of Eden by the serpent. This same enemy has been deceiving his way through history like "'a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"8
The enemy will use any means he may find at his disposal, even smoke and mirrors, but he only has one agenda, the destruction of your eternal soul.
Yet you have nothing to fear! "Greater is he [Jesus Christ] that is in you, than he that is in the world."9 As long as you are abiding in Him, He will abide within you!
As our text above commands us "neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid." We have nothing to fear from what man may do to us. God will be with us in every situation. Do you remember Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah? What more extreme circumstance could you find yourself in than Nebuchadnezzar's furnace? Yet God protected them even from the smell of smoke.10
This brings us to another, more painful question: who are these who have intimate knowledge of the secret works of darkness? How do they know the names and practices of all the evil participants? We need to require verification of their credentials and testimony. Too many false claims have been exposed too late, bringing shame on the Name of Jesus Christ. Do you remember Mike Warnkie, Peter Popoff, or John Todd, to name a few? There are still wolves in sheep's clothing today, looking for a free meal at your expense.
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."11
Don't follow a teacher or teaching just because it agrees with something you already believe. Prayerfully check the documentation and compare it with the Word of God. All teaching should lead us to look "unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;"12 All teaching should leave us blessing God with a renewed hunger for His Word, not gripped by fear or anger. We should be growing daily in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Again, we must spend our lives growing in the knowledge of God, and work to bring others to a saving knowledge.
We can and must love everyone who claims to be a Christian, but we don't have to be their disciple! If we are abiding in the Lord Jesus Christ, and if we are going about doing the will of our Father, don't you believe God will keep us in 'the know' and tell us when it is time to "lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh"13
We need to know Jesus is coming back, this is absolutely true. We should be ready for the return of Jesus Christ, and our meeting Him in the air, whether or not we have to go through the tribulation to see Him.
We need to be aware of the time in which we live. "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." 14
We need also to understand that the "god of this world"15 will continue to work through any and all agencies willing to submit to his reign. Yet through prayer God will remove the enemy out of our way.
The yard stick we use to measure ourselves and our lives is Jesus Christ! We all have the same book. That book says; "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." 16
Jesus says that because He went to the Father, those who 'believeth on' Him would do the same works He did and even greater works. What kind of works are you doing today?
"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods." 17
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The following is a list of the references used in the writing above. All scriptures are taken from the King James Version.
- All brackets added by the authors. You should look up all references in your bible, reading them in the context of the text surrounding. Also, a bible dictionary would be a nice aide in your study.
- John 15
- Matt. 28:19
- Acts 17:28
- John 15:5
- John 15:5
- Matt 25:13
- 1 Peter 5:8
- 1Jo 4:4
- Dan. 3:27
- 1John 4:1
- Heb 12:2
- Luke 21:28
- Rom 13:11
- II Cor. 4:4
- John 14:12
- Matt 24:45-47