“In a comparatively few years Satan has accomplished with his new weapon [Modernism] from the Abyss, what Rome was unable to do by centuries of persecution.” (Howard Rand, A Study in Revelation page 138)
Mr. Rand added, “Under its teachings [Modernism] the Bible is subjected to attack, the Old Testament particularly, for it is the foundation on which rests the New. Theological, Bible, and Secular schools, in varied types of modernist teachings, have systematically undermined belief in the Bible. The atheism of the past is sugar-coated, and has now become the highest “scholarship” of the present and its devotees occupy the pulpits of our land. Thus as wolves in sheep’s clothing they are guilty of leading God’s people astray. Because of this type of evil teaching hundreds of thousands of professing Christians do not now accept the Old Testament as true and many, in some instances, are denying the miracles recorded in the New…….The result of such destructive doctrines has brought the Bible into disrepute and created a state of spiritual decadency throughout our land.”
It’s hard to think of the kind-hearted, grey-haired man that I see on the occasional Sunday, standing in the pulpit speaking to his congregation, as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Yet, sadly, he is, because he has bent his knee to Modernism in every respect. In the summer 2004 issue of The Watchman, Pastor Dan Gayman summed it up clearly when he wrote that the clergy is under indictment from God . He said, “Never in recorded history has the silence in the pulpits been more deafening than now. We are not hearing in America today what we should be. Our clergy’s lips seem sealed. They see nothing! They know nothing! They are bent on being “politically correct”…….In the face of the greatest assault Christianity has ever witnessed, our clergy have chosen to seal their lips, turn their heads, and abandon God’s truth.”
If you think about it, if it wasn’t for the rock bands, the hip music, the milk-toast sermons and the social aspects of today’s churches, they probably couldn’t stay financially afloat, because, in the large, the congregations are lacking of the true word of God; that if suddenly delivered, would send the majority of the Congregationalists scurrying in all directions. Indeed, there is no doubt that the false doctrine of the past has been sugar-coated, so to speak, and is now accepted as the true word and/or intentions of God by these churches. The apostasy that seriously began in the Protestant churches nearly two hundred years ago has steadily gained strength, to the point where today any new change to Christianity can be accomplished at will. Take, for example, the recent ordaining of homosexual ministers. Voices of dissenting members of the cloth soon gave way to acceptance, at least by the vast majority, and soon, it will not really be an issue at all. For, as Pastor Gayman wrote, we have “Silence in American pulpits.” And sadly, this silence is not a new aberration; it has been nourished gradually as Satan has reshaped Christianity through his weapon of modernism.
Should we be surprised? Not really! We were warned there would be apostasy. We only have to recall the Apostle Paul’s warning in 2 Thessalonians 2: 3 about the falling away. More importantly, nothing is clearer than the words of the Lord Jesus Christ from Revelation 3: 15-16 as he describes the seventh church age, the church of the Laodiceans. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that you wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” This should be a terrible revelation to every Christian today. His very next words demonstrate that it is our generation to whom He is referring, “Because thou sayest, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”” Isn’t this an apt description of our society today?
Still, it is time for the Christian, and particularly, the preachers and teachers, to sit back and make an honest assessment of what we are embracing. Pastor Gayman writes, “Ministers who remain silent in the face of evil, who refuse to identify sin, and who do not speak the truth and stand up for God and the right are often the recipients of God’s wrath and eventual judgment.” This is so true but let’s never shut our eyes to the fact that all Christians who remain silent, or who remain unequally yoked, are in the same boat. In this age of Laodicea, the very church which was founded with the Lord God Jesus Christ as its centerpiece has actually shoved Him outside the church. Even so, to those in this Laodicean age who are willing to receive His chastisement and repent though changed lives, Jesus offers these comforting words, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
John Fox in his “A Flood of Light upon the Book of Revelation,” page 36, writes, “Today many of His called ones, inspired by Him with love and understanding, and with his virile revival messages proclaiming His Blood-bought forgiveness and the soon-coming of His Kingdom, are excluded from the organized sanctums of religion, so they have to go into the highways and byeways and there compel outsiders to come in.” I dare say that those who have been blessed with the knowledge of the Israel Truth and accepted it wholeheartedly are among those who find themselves outside of organized religion, but, that’s all right, we’ve discovered the path of truth and there is nothing more precious than this.
Still, we must ask ourselves, “Has modernism also found its way into the midst of those individuals outside of organized Churchdom, including those of us within the Israel Truth movement?” The sad answer is “yes.”
In His plan, God has employed all three of His time measurements, i.e., lunar, prophetic and solar.” I believe a good example of two of them appears in Daniel 12 where we have “the time of the end” and “the end of these wonders.” (See The Prophecy of Daniel 12 TKC May 2001) Of course, prophetic time (360 days or years) is seen often in prophecy, for example, God demonstrates beyond any shadow of a doubt by revealing in Revelation 12: 6 & 14 that a time must be 360. Space prevents me from going further along these lines, but in considering (1) God’s Great Week, that is six days shall we gather, one day shall we rest (paraphrased), (2) converting a day to God’s day (2 Peter 3:8) and (3) calculating each time measurement from the fall of Adam, projected from 3996 BC to 4004 BC by scholars like Ussher, Panin and Rand, we can arrive at the following time periods.
- The lunar measurement brings us to 1818-1826AD – Is this the beginning of the end times? Quite likely! In Daniel 12: 4, the prophet Daniel was told it would be a time when many would run to and fro and knowledge (both good and evil) would be rapidly increased. i.e., it was to herald a period of increased travel and knowledge. By this time in history, steam powered boats were beginning to speed up waterway traffic and the first railway was in the planning stages. From then on, knowledge, travel and cunningness (knowledge with a selfish twist) accelerated rapidly. Did the falling away coincide with the expiration of six lunar days? It seems so since scholars who have made exhaustive studies on the historical unfolding of the Book of Revelation have determined that the beginning of the Church of Laocidea period dates from the early 1800’s. Certainly, since that time, we have witnessed complacency, false doctrine, ecumenism and the constant blitz by the false prophet (the media) to soften the tenants of our faith.
- The prophetic measurement brings us to 1910-1918 – During this period, we witnessed the liberation of Jerusalem, exactly seven times or 2,520 years from the Babylonian aggression against Jerusalem in 604 BC, as prophesied. (Leviticus 26:18) We saw the end of the thrones of the Babylonian succession (Austria-Hungary/Germany/Russia) exactly 2,520 years from the capture of Jerusalem in 603 BC, and as foretold by Daniel 7: 9, “I beheld until the thrones were cast down.” The Great War began in 1914, 2520 years from the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign over Babylon in 607 BC. The Federal Reserve Act of the United States became law in 1913; the Income Tax became law in 1917 and between the two of pieces of legislation tens of millions of Americans and Israelites elsewhere have subsequently become impoverished. Prophetic time falls approximately mid-way between lunar and solar times, perhaps separating the early period of the end times from the last days of the end times.
- The solar measurement brings us to 1997 – 2005 and the Bible student probably agrees that the Bible verse that best describes this period and its ultimate application, is Isaiah 5: 20-24, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil …..which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him ………because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.” Our leaders, theologians and most of True Israel will have much for which to answer! Since the prophetic measurement ended in 1918, the last days ushered in the Esau dominion over True Israel, the Communist menace, a depression that saw our industries taken over, World War 2, the abomination of desolation, the scattering of our power to the one world interests and the United Nations, the killing of nearly forty-million babies through abortion, mental bondage, loss of Christian values, the transformation of Christianity into a watered down version, influx of strangers into the land, affirmative action, a drug culture, terrorism in our lands, wars without purpose and a world-wide growth of evil. No wonder the Bible refers to it as the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jerermiah 30: 7).
The thrust of this article is to show that the “time of the end,” the “ Church of Laocidea” and the “Falling Away” all began in those first years of the 1800s. If you think about it, they are really just three ways of describing the same event, more than one witness, as per 2 Corinthians 13: 1, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” Anyway, if such is the case, then as Bible students we can quite quickly discern the hand of Satan employing his weapon of modernism throughout the Christian lands. A good example for the early years of the “end times” is the false doctrine of the Rapture, originally developed in the 1600s to take the heat off the papacy, first scorned and thrown to the dust heap, then picked up around 1850 AD and gradually accepted until today probably 90% of Christians believe Christ is going to secretly return to take them away. A bold Satanic stroke because instead of standing against evil, most Christians simply take the position, “I can’t do anything about it, besides, I won’t be here, I will be raptured.” Another disgraceful false doctrine making the rounds today is that Jesus Christ is not Divine, in fact, it is speculated that a full third of ministers in North America do not believe He is God.
I could go on and on but the message I really want to convey is “should we be on guard?” That is, in every case when doctrine presented to us is different than what the founding fathers of our faith embraced, “should we be wary?” Certainly we will have to be able to differentiate, determining if the something new in doctrine, even though a seed of it may have existed for centuries, is indeed a new revelation to some pastor or lay person, or, is it really just Laocidean doctrine, i.e., a part of the falling away. Perhaps as examples I will touch on a couple of doctrines that are receiving wide approval in our movement. I personally don’t ascribe to them but each of us has to form our own opinions. One that is being preached by many pastors today is the doctrine of universal reconciliation, a doctrine that says that every person will ultimately be saved, even Satan. Another is the “overcomer” doctrine that I mentioned in last month’s TKC. In reaching our opinions, we do have to recognize that each of these doctrines have arisen in the Laocidean period, so should we ask ourselves, “have our well intentioned teachers come down with a case of modernism or have those teachers been blessed with an insight not given to our founding fathers?”
Then too, churches with vastly different doctrine have emerged during the Laocidean period. For example, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) stems from Joseph Smith’s vision of 1820, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses was founded by Pastor Charles Russell in 1872. Both these organizations deny the Divinity of Christ, yet both have attracted millions of adherents from around the world. Probably these millions represent former Christians who rejected the modernism of organized religion, only to be drawn to more radical modernism. Either way, Satan is the winner for now.
A final point, the Apostle Paul knew how easily our minds can be turned and warned against the danger of listening to teachers of doctrine not in accord with Christ’s teaching. Here’s what he wrote in 2 Corinthians 11: 3-4, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus whom we have not preached,or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” In other words, if a well intentioned, well regarded, persuasive minister addresses a group and teaches new doctrine not in accord with Scripture, he or she is bound to change the mind of at least someone in that audience. I imagine this has been the pattern for the acceptance of the Rapture.
What advice does the Apostle Paul offer? In 11: 12, he said, “But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion…” Rand is quoted at the outset of this article, “Thus as wolves in sheep’s clothing they are guilty of leading God’s people astray.” Paul actually ties them in to doing Satan’s work and this can simply be equated as becoming a part of Satan’s great tool of modernism. What is needed? I think Pastor Gayman sums it up quite nicely, “ America [and all of Christianity] needs a generation of preachers who will stand up and speak the truth of God. We need men who will not compromise one iota of God’s Word and will risk everything, including their reputation, for the cause of Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word.”