Tuesday, 8 April 2014

When Does A Church Cease To Be A Church?

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Laodicean’s Church Will Not Be Left Behind

You Will Make It By The Skin Of Your Teeth

Photograph: Ryan Mcvay/Getty Images


“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,” Matthew 16:18.

The Church is not the one restraining the mystery of lawlessness. It is the works of the Holy Spirit.

In this commentary, I will attempt to clarify who is taken part in the rapture and to explain who is holding back the mystery of lawlessness mention in 2 Thessalonians 2:7.

I believe that those who are part of the event called the soon coming rapture are believers, saved, and are redeemed.  They received the gift of eternal life and are sealed by the present of the Holy Spirit. Then why do so many assume that, the rapture is limited only to the Philadelphia church era?

God will keep the members of the Church in Philadelphia from the hour of trail, which shall come upon the whole earth, Rev 3:10. Rev 3:8.  God describes the Philadelphians believers as having little strength, who have kept God’s word (Jesus’ teaching) and did not deny His name, which means the deity of Jesus as God in the flesh – Son of God.

Who is going to be spared from God’s judgement, which is to come to the whole earth? Believers ... not the deceived so-called Christians who call themselves Christians but are not. You could read about how to identify them in my commentary title “INTERFAITH - The Gathering Of The Tares”.

Many scholars teach that the Laodicean’s Church will be left behind because of their lukewarm attribute. My question is, since when does a Church stop being a Church?

My opening statement is firm; only believers will be part of the rapture. Jesus’ Church consists of believers sealed with the Holy Spirit, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30.

The mystery of lawlessness


Many teach that the Holy Spirit must first be removed before the Antichrist is revealed. Many come to conclude that the Church must be removed since the Holy Spirit abides in them. Is it so?

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way,” 2 Thessalonians 2:7 NKJ.

Does ‘He’ refer to the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit restricted to abide only in the body of believers – the Church? The Holy Spirit is He not omnipresent?

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” Psalm 139:7. Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:24

The Holy Spirit is He not abiding in our presence?

“the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you,” John 14:17.

“According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!” Haggai 2:5.

Most importantly, is the Holy Spirit not required for believers to receive to enter the kingdom of God?

“Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God,” John 3:5.

The Holy Spirit is He not protecting us from evil spirits?

“But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him,” 1 Samuel 16:14.

“And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” 2 Timothy 4:18

We see the works of the Holy Spirit all around us. He is the sustainer of all life including human being. He keeps the universe in order. Remove the Holy Spirit and the law of physic cease to keep everything together, Romans 1:20.

Let us examine 2 Thessalonians 2:7 NKJ

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.”

Why did Paul describe lawlessness as a mystery? He could have simply stated, “For the lawlessness is already at work.” Let us view it in a different version using the Easy-to-Read Version (ERV), this is a children version:

“The secret power of evil is already working in the world now. But there is one who is stopping that secret power of evil. And he will continue to stop it until he is taken out of the way.”

Many interpret the ‘He’ as ‘the Holy Spirit in the Church’. So let us read 2 Thes 2:7 this way: “only He, the Church who now restrains will do so until He, the Church is taken out of the way. Is it really the Church? Don’t you think that it is a bit pretentious on our part to think that the Church brought stability and security? All through centuries until this day, the Church has been persecuted. Please read: “The Frightening Rise Of Christian Persecution.” 

Did the Church stop any wars? Are we not living in the time of the gentile, and that will be so until Jesus establish His reign? We are described as having little strength, and that goes for all the Church era through centuries. We are to be a light and the salt, by witnessing the gospel of the resurrection, and not for saving our country. The Holy Spirit, not the Church is restraining evil, the mystery of lawlessness.

The mystery of lawlessness is not the abomination of desolation spoken of in the Book of Daniel 12:11. “Mystery of lawlessness’, ‘The secret power of evil’, ‘Mystery, Babylon The Great’, all referring to secret societies, which consist of the Jesuit, the Illuminati, the Freemason, the Night of Columbus... and many more.  Please watch: Octolympics - The Many Arms of the NWO (Olympic Confirmation)

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” Ephesians 6:12.

Satan is their master and he is planning the destruction of mankind before Jesus return to establish His Kingdom. There is no New World Order. What is coming soon is a world in disorder. Satan concluded that since He can’t have this kingdom, he might as well destroy all things and bring as many deceived victims with him in hell. Isn’t that what Hitler did? That is what I call a diabolical secret plan, the mystery of lawlessness. Please watch, “The New World Order- Secret Societies and Biblical Prophecy,”http://youtu.be/HL6v8nzFiUk

As were in the days of King David when he prayed for divine protection, the Holy Spirit is restraining the secret plan of Israel enemies:

“Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,” Psalm 64:2.

The Holy Spirit is presently protecting the nation of Israel from the secret council of his surrounding enemies, Psalm 83.

The Church is taught to pray for protection against evil, Matthew 6:13 “But deliver us from the evil one.”

And

“that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,” Ephesians 4:14

The Holy Spirit is holding back the secret plot of the lawlessness, and will do so until the Holy Spirit remove His restraining power upon them. Fulfillments of God prophetic plans are the Holy Spirit domain. It is not the Church, which is restraining the mystery of lawlessness. It is the Holy Spirit power over the mystery of lawlessness, the secret societies.

The Rapture


The event called the rapture is coming soon. Will all Christians be part of it and qualify?

If the Church consists of believers sealed with the Holy Spirit and the church of Laodicea are left behind, what criteria is therefore required to be part of the Rapture?

Is keeping His word and not denying His name, the only criteria required to be part of the rapture? In verse 10 of Rev. 3 shows that we are to keep His instruction to persevere.

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth,” Revelation 3:10.

Therefore, is “to persevere” the criteria? Is this command from Jesus required to be part of the rapture: Obedience and perseverance? Obedience to His command to persevere. To persevere in what? Is it to persevere in keeping His word and not to denying His name?

In Revelation 14:12 it is written, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,”

This does sounds like lots of works to qualify for the rapture. If it is so, none qualified. We are all domed. There are too many Christians as I am, who believe in the rapture, and are just sitting around with their arms cross and are waiting. We conclude that since we are guaranteed to escape God’s judgement, then there is nothing to do but kill time. There are many as I am who do not overcome personal sins and strive to become Holy as Jesus is Holy. Many as I am do not bother to share the gospel of salvation to anyone. Many as I am do not take care of the widows and the orphans. Many as I am do not visit the sick and look after the homeless. Many as I am do not take time to fellowship with God in prayers and bible study. Too many as I am observed pagan holidays, Christmas, Halloween, and Easter and lie to their children. Many as I am are not upset and outraged at the increase of sin and injustice in their neighbourhood and in the world. Many as I am do not even show up to church service to mingle with Christians. We make an annual offering, which we conclude suffice to guarantee a burial plot in our denomination cemetery. By our conduct, you cannot tell the different between us and the secular. This does describe the Laodicean’s Church in which I am part of?

“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, Revelation 14:12.

Yes, we are saved by grace and by faith alone and are sealed with the Holy Spirit. We do not received salvation from bearing good fruit. Yet,  these Christians are part of the soon coming event called the rapture? They all have the attribute of the Laodicean’s’ Church, lukewarm. Some teach that the Laodicean’s church will not be taken part of the rapture. Some profess that the Laodiceans are the New Age church. I have a problem with that. Remember, the Church consist of believers.

Some teach that all Christian’s believers are saved by grace only to be keep from the hour of trial regardless of their life style, regardless of their Christians inspiration, really? They believe that they will receive reward in the form of crowns for their good works. I agree with the rewards, and they are right we are saved by grace so that we do not perish (go to hell) but instead receive the gift of eternal life. However, does this means that they will avoid God’s judgement coming to the whole earth …be part of the rapture?

If we are living in the era of the Laodicea Church which are considered the lukewarm Church, why would they not be viewed as Christians and therefore not be part of the rapture?

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodicea write:” Jesus is clear, the church consist of Christians define as believers of Christ and follower of Christ. Hebrews 11:6, “for he who comes to God must believe that He is” and John 3:16.  Jesus could as easily address in this matter, “and to the angels of believers of Laodicea write.”

Let us go through the message given to them using the Easy-to-Read Version (ERV).

Revelation 3:14-22

14 “Write this to the angel of the church in Laodicea:

“Here is a message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of all that God has made.

Reproach

15 “I know what you do. You are not hot or cold. I wish that you were hot or cold! 16 But you are only warm—not hot, not cold. So I am ready to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say you are rich. You think you have become wealthy and don’t need anything. But you don’t know that you are really miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.

Recommendation

18 I advise you to buy gold from me—gold made pure in fire. Then you will be rich. I tell you this: Buy clothes that are white. Then you will be able to cover your shameful nakedness. I also tell you to buy medicine to put on your eyes. Then you will be able to see.

Consequences

19 “I correct and punish the people I love.

Take action

This shows that nothing is more important to you than living right. Change your hearts and lives.

Invitation

20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you. And you will eat with me.

Reward Crown of Victory - Overcome

21 “I will let everyone who wins the victory sit with me on my throne. It was the same with me. I won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Everyone who hears this should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Nowhere does Jesus say that they will not be part of the rapture and nowhere does Jesus say that they will.

Is the condition to the Church of Philadelphia to escape the hour of trial, which shall come upon the whole world, must be obedience to His command to persevere, by being faithful to Jesus, in keeping His word and not denying His name.

Is to overcome the world, its secular ways, the criteria for the church of Laodicea to be allowed to sit with Jesus on His throne? Jesus overcomes the world, so is every believer.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5

The letters are not about Salvation


Jesus is talking about works not salvation. Both Church’s will take part in the rapture. All believers are taken away. Only unbelievers are left behind. Now, why would theologian teach that the Church of Laodicea won’t make it? Do they imply that the Church would loose the present of the Holy Spirit sealed in them. This is called by some denomination, 'back-sliding'. That my friend would make God a liar, which He is not.

“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one,” John 10:28-30 .

Some say that going through the great tribulation is God’s correction toward the Church,

19 “I correct and punish the people I love.

All God’s children are corrected at any given time. I can attest to that.

“9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are,” 1 Corinthians 3:9-17.

“God will destroy him,” doesn’t mean that he/she will lose his/her salvation. It means that God will call him/her early, “he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved.”

And:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

We all go through life facing problems like all other previous church’s era. Now we can see clearly that there is no difference between the Philadelphia Church and the Laodicean’s Church, the foundation is the same. The foundation is the gospel of salvation – Christ resurrected, therefore once saved always save. What is built on it will be tested? What is built on it is your good or bad works, not to attain salvation but to obtain rewards. Is it works accomplished by yours motivation vs. works stirred up by the Holy Spirit? Have you been obedience to the Holy Spirit?

Verse 14 “If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.” coincide with Rev 3: 21 “I will let everyone who wins the victory sit with me on my throne.

Whether Philadelphia or Laodicea Church, its makes no difference, both go through fire, which is God’s correction and all made it to the kingdom in heaven even with nothing, If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. We have an old saying; ‘he made it by the skin of it teeth.’

The Church consist of believers, that received salvation through Jesus Son of God. Therefore in the two letters to the church of Philadelphia and the church of Laodicea, Jesus is not talking about keeping our salvation, but rather to keep doing good works. I agree... the Church of Laodicea had a problem producing good works.

Some scholars omit to explain the words ‘I also’ in Revelation 3:10

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

It means that in addition to all other previous church’s era, the church of Philadelphia will also be part of the rapture. All eras of the church will be taken part in the rapture, dead or alive at the time of the rapture. No One Goes To Heaven, Not Without A Resurrected Body.

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep (past church era). For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain(Philadelphians and Laodiceans) shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord,” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.

Therefore, who is left behind? We find the answer in Luc 13:23-30, when Jesus shut the door to unbelievers.

23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”

And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. 29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”

Who are those who are left behind? They are unbelievers, not the Church! Remember, the Church consists of believers.

“ They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us,” 1 John 2:19.

“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many,” Matthew 24:4-5.

And

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist,” 2 John 1:7.

Please read my commentary title, “John 6:66 – The Unbelievers”

They are those who live as a Christians but never confess that Jesus of Nazareth is Christ Son of God, therefore not saved. They are of those who received and teach a different gospel, “Receive Jesus in your heart and everything will be alright”

We are either saved or not saved, children of God or children of disobediences, we are either sealed with the Holy Spirit or not, but I can guarantee you this that once saved always saved and we will be taken part of the soon coming event call the rapture.

When is the rapture? There are so many signs to watch for. There is a lot of good commentary on that subject. It is not a “time” event. I will give you one verse only:

"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in," Romans 11:25.

This explained that Israel still have a commission to fulfill. This will happen only after the Church is taken away. The Church will be taken away when a specific numbers of believers have been reached. Only God knows that number. Therefore, keep sharing the gospel. You never know, it could be that the person you are sharing the gospel with, might be the last one.

Left Behind

To those who are left behind, they will go through the worst time of evil ever in the history of mankind. There is still hope to be part of the kingdom in heaven. The same condition applied to them as it applied to all believers through out centuries. They must believe and be sealed with the Holy Spirit. I believe that this verse is oriented to those left behind:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world,” 1 John 4:1-3.

And

“Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God,” John 3:5.

All believers of past Church era are gone, all seven Church era. However, those who go through the 7 years of God wrath must be sealed with the Holy Spirit, and this is coming out of the month of our Lord Jesus.

“Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God,” John 3:5.

Anyone who believes in the gospel of the resurrection will also receive the Holy Spirit to guarantee his or her citizenship in heaven. It will not be the Churches era anymore. It will be Israel’s era to profess the gospel to the whole world.

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2:7

The Church is not the one restraining the mystery of lawlessness, the secret societies. It is the works of the Holy Spirit.

Massage to those left behind.  

You were not left behind because your works were rejected, or because you were not good enough but because of your unbelief. Now, there are only two things left to do to receive salvation; believe Jesus is your Lord and God, and reject the mark of the beast.

Our attitude as we wait for Our Lord Jesus should be with anticipation, and appalled by all the injustice and the hurt that is taken place in the entire world.

Psalm 10:1-3
“Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?
Why do You hide in times of trouble?
The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor;
Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire;
He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord”

Ezekiel 9:4
“and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

2 Peter 2:7-8
“and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)”

Malachi 3:16
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,
And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the Lord
And who meditate on His name.”

Psalm 119:136
“Rivers of water run down from my eyes,
Because men do not keep Your law.”

Psalm 119:158
“I see the treacherous, and am disgusted,
Because they do not keep Your word.”

1 John 2:15-16
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.


Laodicean Church by Leonard Ravenhill



Please watch:

Sound the Alarm, Jesus is Coming

Rev. David Wilkerson - When Jesus Shuts The Door http://youtu.be/r9JywTliIVA

The Greatest Words in All of Scripture (Paul Washer)

Pray, Thy Kingdom Come... soon, please hurry.

c u @ d rapture all you saints