I got thinking the other night about the editorial in February’s “Thy Kingdom Come” and upon re-reading it, my eyes focused on the line, “We are in the days of circumspect, where each precept of our faith is being questioned.” I suppose it is easy to understand the enemies of our wonderful Lord and Saviour trying to denigrate our faith, they know it has sustained us throughout history, made us strong, resulted in countless blessings and kept us at the forefront of God’s Great Purpose. It is their natural desire to control us so they are attacking us as never before. They have the mechanism to do so and there is no hesitation on their part to work wholeheartedly to destroy the very faith that has given us tremendous advantages. Yet, at least they are visible, we can see their weapons of propaganda aimed at our very souls and while we weep for those caught up in the wounded lukewarm church of the Laodiceans and even more for those brethren who have totally fallen away, there have always been safe havens, like the conservative churches of the Israel nations or the Israel Truth movement itself. Yet, the attack upon our sacred walls has picked up tempo, not only, as the editorial describes, from the historical enemies of our faith, but from within, from other sheep and from some of our shepherds.
I read the Apostle Paul’s warning to the people of Corinth in 2 Corinthians 11, particularly 11: 3, 4 where Paul cautioned, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it.” It is a well-known axiom that if something is preached to us enough times, particularly from trusted shepherds, we begin to tolerate it, and then, some of us will believe it. I suppose that depending upon the charisma and reputation of the deliverer of such message, there are those of little study who might accept it instantly. Whatever, once we accept a bit of false doctrine, we will have fallen in the trenches; the weapon of false doctrine will have seriously wounded us. And once wounded, we become the fodder of the cannons to claim further victims of this new reality that has been pounded into our minds. Has this scenario taken place because we have been tolerant; perhaps it is as simple as “not wanting to offend the presenter by objecting to the message,” or, as we so often hear, “everyone is entitled to their own opinion, let the presenter speak,” not realizing that some in the audience might be easy prey. Our role model, the Apostle Paul, was certainly not one who believed in such tolerance, for he said in 2 Corinthians 11: 12, “But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.”
You know, friends, there are some pretty wonderful people who get caught up in false doctrine because of tolerance. Recently I had occasion to meet with a minister of one of the larger Protestant denominations in Canada and when I questioned him on a couple of his statements, I was astonished to hear him describe a Jesus, who, as he put it, was much like Mohammed or Buddha. To him, all paths lead to God and these men are simply messengers, none of whom are divine. In his love for all humanity, this minister is feeding his flock this and all sorts of other false doctrine and as Paul said, “they are putting up with it.” Again, at a luncheon several weeks ago, I heard the now familiar phrase “Jesus is not God, just a created being of God’s”. This is such a growing belief throughout the Israel nations that it is impacting the views of even one-time staunch Christians. Have you ever noticed how respectful they are when pushing this doctrine. My luncheon companions used this approach, “Oh, Jesus was a wonderful, loving person and yes, He did shed His blood for our salvation and He will be our future king, but He is just the son of God, not God.” In this instance, the alarm bells went off as I realized that my luncheon companion is in a position where he can almost certainly influence others. More fodder for the “false doctrine cannon.” And on it goes. This is how false doctrine progressively gains a stronger foothold.
Isn’t it strange when somebody adopts a false piece of doctrine that it doesn’t seem to matter what you say, you can’t convince them otherwise. I have a young nephew who, along with his wife, joined a sect that does not believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ. They have become so indoctrinated that only God can alter their thinking. They will say they believe the words of the Bible, yet, when confronted with the following passages (dozens could have been offered) they shrug them off without a thought. It was the same with my luncheon companion when I quoted in support of Divinity, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God……And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us……” (John 1: 1, 14) and, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5: 7). And Isaiah 9: 6, “For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. Sadly, however, nothing changed.
I recall a few years ago learning from a friend that her minister was preaching this doctrine in her church. Since it was the church of my youth, I wrote the Moderator and was completely taken back by the response. I had expected some horrifying shock of this news, instead I received a letter which in part said, “The question of who is Jesus is a 2000 year old question: “Who do people say that I am?’ Jesus asked his disciples. This is a question people both within and beyond the church are struggling with especially in the light of new scholarship and discovery of ancient documents. The Theology and Faith Committee of the General Council is currently working on a Christology document …. It will be six study sessions…. It deals with being Christian in a pluralistic world.” Well, that Church soon revealed it was opting for ecumenism and was quite willing to jettison Christ to do so. In the few years since my exchange of letters, it is commonplace for churches, theologians, individuals and the media to take aim at our Lord. Yet, what is most alarming is to note the growth of this doctrine in the bastion of Christian principles, the Israel Movement itself. No doubt God is telling us to cut off the opportunity to those who want to talk about a different Jesus than the one we have known. Not doing so can have disastrous effects. Members of a once thriving Vancouver assembly, who had embraced the Israel Truth, didn’t cut off their leaders when they preached against Jesus and ended up with a practically dead church with just a handful of members left, their opportunity to be a vehicle God would use to lift the blindness of brethren gone. They placed tolerance above the counsel of Paul.
There is another piece of doctrine that is growing leaps and bounds in the Israel Movement and has such a foothold that it has captured a high percentage of our spiritual leaders, men and women who crisscross the Israel nations to enlighten Israel groups. And they have been most successful in getting their message across. Fortunately, the doctrine has not made any great impact in Christendom as a whole and one cannot help but wonder why the Israel Truth Movement has become such a fertile field. This doctrine has become known as “The Doctrine of Universal Reconciliation” or simply “Universalism.” If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry, a few years ago, most of us didn’t. Basically it is a doctrine that states that no matter how wicked one is or no matter how atheistic, everyone one, including the devil himself, will ultimately be saved. All it is going to take is up to 49,000 years of searing in the lake of fire to refine the wicked and disbeliever to bring him or her into line with Christ. It’s kind of a take off on purgatory. The purpose of this article is not to get into the pros and cons of the doctrine, only to suggest it is not one that was embraced by the fathers of our faith and that its rapid spreading is indicative of a tolerance to, as the Apostle Paul states, a different gospel. Those who want to understand more could read the article in our June 2002 issue.
One might ask, why now? Why are we witnessing the growth of so much new or previously discarded doctrine over the past century or so, doctrine that has splintered Christendom in such divisive ways, things like the Rapture, Futurism, conflicting Sabbaths and so on. Why this splintering in the doctrine of the Israel Truth Movement, a movement once so similar that if you knew one organization, you knew them all? Of course, we know the sad answer, we are falling prey to the “falling away” prophesied by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2: 3. I suppose we have to ask ourselves, When did this falling away begin?
On one occasion in the past, I examined the prophecy of Daniel 12 (TKC May 2001) and I realized what a wonderful lesson it is on how God makes use of all three methods of measuring time, that is Solar, Lunar and Solar-Lunar (Prophetic) times. To see the terminal point of 1817-1825 AD on God’s calendar when the measurement of 6000 years of Lunar time is applied can only be appreciated as one realizes it marked the rapid advance of travel and knowledge, both good and evil, as prophesied in Daniel 12: 4. Yet, considering the onset of the lukewarm Church of Laodicea mentioned in Revelation ties into this dating as well, it marks the beginning of the “falling away,” a period that has seen the acceptance of futurism, the rapture, a different Sabbath for many, splintering of the faith, a different Jesus, universalism, and on and on and on.
It’s intriguing to note how applying 6000 prophetic years brings us to the pivotal period of 1909 to 1917, a period during which the consummation of the ages is indicated in the Great Pyramid, the period of intensified judgment beginning with the Great War of 1914, the liberation of Jerusalem, the end of the thrones of the Babylonian succession, etc. Then the 6000 solar years bringing us to the pivotal period of 1996 to 2005, marking the transfer of the Stony of Destiny, the scattering of the power of true Israel, the double fulfillment of the prophecy of Amos 1: 1 with 911 and perhaps the final judgment. Yet the 180 years (a half of a time) from the beginning of the falling away has been a time of great joy for the enemies of Christendom as the watering down has truly brought the Church of Laodecia into full bloom. It would be well for all of us to review Revelation 3: 14-21. “And to the angel of the church of Laodiceans write, “These things says the Amen, the faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth….. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me. To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne ….” I think it is not enough for us to just go with the flow and tolerate being “neither hot nor cold” as we listen to false doctrine being promulgated. As for me, I shall forthwith try to be hot, to stand up for the Faith of our Fathers and do what I can to not let false doctrine enter the chambers, whether in a small group discussion, a one on one conversation or a large meeting. How about you? Remember, we have no better counsel than that given us by the Apostle Paul when he said “cut off their opportunity to speak.” How critical it is to stop false doctrine entering any further into our Israel Truth Movement, indeed, into Christendom as a whole.