The Lord sent an angel to check out a disturbing report about a gathering of people. The angel watched as men and women began staring into a great light, seeing what their ascended masters wanted them to see. A voice over the region spoke saying, “All who know the way to bow, bow before me now!” Everyone in the room fell prostrate — some laughing, some crying. The floor was a shiny surface that reflected the image of everyone and everything in the room. Worship truly began when everyone’s eyes were opened to the wisdom they were seeking to obtain: each was a god in his or her own right who now had their very first worshiper — SELF. The angel shook his head and turned away, awaiting the day that people would turn to Jesus Christ instead of religion made in the image of man.
“Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless.” (Hebrews 7:18 NLT)
The Melchizedek Order of Priesthood is humanity’s only real hope for a biblically founded, holy and non-dysfunctional ministry. The entire religion of Christianity — including its denominational heads, the way its ministries function, its connection to the kosmos, and its supposed God-given authority — is not found in the Word of God. And since Jesus is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:1-4, 14), Christianity is not found within the resurrected Christ or His Kingdom. Not being found in Christ, it is “weak and useless” and will inevitably and eventually pass away.
The disambiguation of the above statements is not to imply that blood-washed believers are not found within Christ or His Kingdom. Saints are simply not meant to be found within the religion or priesthood of Christianity. This is also not to imply that there shouldn’t be gifts or callings or ministries functioning with Christ’s Body. But there shouldn’t be ministry/layman distinction, and there shouldn’t be ministries that could not or would not operate without parishioners’ “faithful” giving. All Yahweh’s sons and daughters are meant to function in some capacity within Christ’s Body and potentially for the benefit of humankind, but not within an unbiblical principality of a religion called Christianity.
We will now look at some of Christianity’s weak and useless belief-systems and practices:
“GOING” TO CHURCH —
“God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.” (Ephesians 1:22 NLT)
Humankind has many concepts of the church. Some people think it to be an organization raised up to house and care for God’s people. Some think it to be a place for saints to come and worship. Some think it to be a family-based, morally-founded organization. Others think it should be a Bible-based one. Still others see it as a building on the corner open every Sunday morning and Wednesday night to come hear “good preachin’.” None of these concepts are correct.
The church of Jesus is a spiritual and physical entity; it is a many membered body (cells and body parts) that together forms the Body of Jesus Christ. People who are filled with and living by God’s Spirit are the Body of Christ; nothing else is the Body and nothing else is the church. Part of the Body of Christ is on earth and part is in heaven. The church is not a building or an organization or denomination or any such idea. The church of Jesus Christ meets together under the headship of her Husband and Lord, but the church cannot be and is not meant to be a physical meeting place.
The practice of “going” to church (or mass or cell group) every Sunday after Wednesday after Sunday is an unscriptural paradigm. How can a person go to something they are? Jesus and His disciples met in gardens, on the road, and on hillsides; the Early Church met in homes and wide-open spaces. Only the spirit of religion would presume to organize the gathering and presence of the Holy Spirit. The true church of Jesus Christ would never wear an organization for a robe; the manmade church does. This is not to imply that there are no true Christians within the organized church. There are many wonderful and anointed individuals who haven’t been freed — or even seen the need to be freed (and sometimes fight like ogres not to be freed) — from the world-religion of Christianity. If these people will continue in a vibrant relationship with the Heavenly Father, He will seek to set them free from worldly entanglements — and this will include religion.
[NOTE: Both Jesus and Apostle Paul went into synagogues. They did so to fulfill the Law and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. They sought to set people free from religious bondage. But unless you are Jewish, this probably doesn’t apply to you. The foundation for worship for the Jewish people, including Jesus and His disciples, was the Temple/Synagogue system, which was originally designed by Yahweh. All the requirements of the Jewish religion were fulfilled on the cross. The foundation for the gentile (non-Jewish) person isn’t the same; it is rooted in paganism and pagan temples. The religion of Christianity is a mixed bag. A few ideas spoken by Jesus have been mixed with the Mosaic Law, religious paganism, and a whole lot of ignorant Christians — along with their usually legitimate giftings and anointings. Unless a person is going into the religious system to set people free from bondage and/or to preach the Kingdom, as did Jesus and Apostle Paul, it’s best to steer clear from the whole twitch-worthy mess.]
“All those who want to be my disciples must come and follow me, because my servants must be where I am.” (John 12:26 NLT)
Sunday School, Bible School, Seminary, parachurch training and other human concepts of training and discipleship do not qualify people for ministry in the Kingdom of God, but only in the world system of Christianity. One does not need a denomination’s authority or license to be qualified to minister to Christ’s Body, but only to minister to that particular organization’s body. It is vain to seek advancement in a church as to receive the exalted position of “Senior Pastor,” just to find that there is no such position — in title or in deed — anywhere in the New Testament. Honor is given to people who humbly serve the Lord and His people by giving their time, lives and resources away. Honor is not reserved for people of mixed intentions who seek position, leadership or money.
Instead of attempting to climb some imaginary ladder of success, men and women should be seeking truth and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. By diligently seeking Him, they will be trained in spiritual matters by sitting at the Master’s feet, looking into the Master’s face and presence, hearing the Master’s voice, and doing what the Master commands. The training Yahweh gives sons and daughters is exceedingly more useful than can be gained through Bible School, Seminary or Sunday Morning sermonettes.
FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY —
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13 NLT)
Christ’s five-fold ministries are being conducted today with extreme mixture within Christianity. Its apostles are being sent by “mother” churches to birth and raise “baby” churches everywhere. Others are using their apostolic and administrative proclivity to “cover” already existing churches. (Money and/or power, of course, are involved with the “covering” service.) Prophets are prophesying apocalyptic messages from street corners; others are encouraged by the all-too-polished pastor to prophesy only “uplifting” words during church gatherings. Evangelists are converting people into Protestantism, Catholicism, Lutheranism, Assemblyism and every other “ism” except repent-ism. Pastors often act like corporate CEO’s leading 10,000 member congregations; teachers are teaching people how to lead 20,000 member ones.
Is there anyone with enough light (and guts) to stop the madness?
The Melchizedek Priesthood of Christ is significantly different. Titles such as “Senior Pastor” or “Father” or “Bishop” are unnecessary because sons and daughters of Almighty God get crucified to the self-nature, no longer needing to flash badges. They often function in Jesus’ roles of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher, but not in the way seen in churches today, but in the way Jesus operated in them while upon the earth:
Jesus fathered men because He is the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6); this made him Yahweh’s Apostle. Jesus spoke and lived by an eternal reality not connected to time and space; this made Him Yahweh’s Prophet. Jesus had a very spiritual and charismatic draw about Him; He also had a unique and compelling message; this made Him Yahweh’s Evangelist. Jesus followed the Heavenly Father as a sheep to a shepherd; this made Him the “Way” to follow, Yahweh’s Pastor. Jesus was a storyteller — very esoteric, very parabolic. He revealed His life — the life of the Kingdom of Heaven — through His stories; this made Him Yahweh’s Teacher. And this is exactly how we, the Body of Jesus Christ, are meant be functioning within Jesus’ five-fold roles. The Heavenly Father visits the earth through the five-fold ministry of Jesus Christ found within His Body. He uses selected sons and daughters to reveal the person of Christ: Evangelist; the path of Christ: Pastor; the mind of Christ: Teacher; the heart of Christ: Prophet; and the passion (the death, burial and resurrection) of Christ; Apostle.
ORGANIZING THE HOME CHURCH —
Many Christian gatherings begin in homes. When they grow, leaders often do the wrong thing and organize the gathering with the world-system (tax exempt status, name and bylaws, leasing property, establishing roles and paid positions, etc.), as to make growth happen and within a building.
Inventive and exploitive “apostles” today are creating a hybrid concept of church-life by organizing home meetings, yet under the headship of an organization. Though the members usually meet in home-groups, the groups periodically come together for worship. The organization and inventive apostles (of course) get something out of the deal ($).
Many denominations and organized churches have taken their prompts from Seoul Korea and have organized “cell” meetings in homes as a form of outreach and personalization and accountability. These meetings are never as vibrant as real church life, because they are not solely under the headship of Christ. “Cell” meetings should happen in prison cells, but not in homes under the headship of a “mother” organization.
The authentic church meets in homes without the interference of denominations, “mother” church or political kosmos. Just Jesus and His Body. It is just like religious-kosmos to take something natural and beautiful and dress it in snappy clothes. It would be nice if gifted Christian men with Babylonian hearts would take their gifts to the marketplace and make some money, instead of further exploiting the church.
LAWS AND LEGALISM —
“Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.” (Colossians 2:20-22 NIV)
“For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.” (Hebrews 7:19 NLT)
Laws and legalism are big problems in the church today. Jesus is the only standard and law there should be. To love Him with all the heart, soul and strength, and love others because of His powerful love inside us, causes people to live out the obedience of Jesus’ heart without external and legalistic bondage. Laws seek to change people from the outside in; Jesus changes people from the inside out.
Practices such as sixty-minute-a-day prayer disciplines, scripture-memorization rituals, accountability partnerships, covenanting with television ministries, searching for keys to sinless living (and listening to people who purport such intent), submission to people higher in the food chain (denomination or non-denomination), claiming and confessing only positive scriptures, voting republican, kissing holy relics, evangelizing the neighborhood with silly “Jesus is the reason…” signboards, and a thousand and one other vanities connected to the world of religion, are usually empty attempts at achieving things that can only be found in an intimate relationship with the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Living the Christian life externally, obeying ancient laws and traditions, also more modern notions and rules and moral guidelines set up by ignorant and arrogant men, is hollow religion and the error of fallen angels. To live by the grace and life and love of the Lord Jesus Christ is true religion that benefits self and benefits others.
“‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ Then he looked at those around him and said, ‘These are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’” (Mark 3:33-35 NLT)
For the disciple and son of God, the Body of Christ must take precedence over the natural family (Luke 14:26). The covenant bond between Christ and His Church is spiritual and eternal. Natural relationships are transitory and of the earth. Perhaps if we stopped focusing on the family so much, and instead would give our lives and attention to the Master, our natural relationships would miraculously and impressively fall into order within the Kingdom design of God. Once we have matured enough within the heavenly family to see our spouses as brothers and sisters in Christ, and our children and parents as younger and elder saints, then we have been set free from natural limitations, becoming greater servants to the whole Body of Christ.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3 NIV)
Christians tend to prioritize. They often think they are giving God their first and best, but then everyone and everything else is found in the pie chart too. Such as family, friends, work, vacation from work, church, social work, shopping, paying off what was bought while shopping, movies (without much sex or violence, of course), time to relax, a little evening news, a tiny sin or “goof-up” here or there, a bit bigger sin there or here, an abomination once in a blue moon. Shall we continue?
The only true priority within God’s Kingdom is (meant to be) Jesus Christ:
“…You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind….” (Luke 10:27 NLT)
Jesus Christ is meant to mean everything. Everything.
When we were called to follow Christ, we were called away from everyone and everything — including family, friends, home, job and the self-life too (Luke 14:25-33). God’s wisdom in this was to separate us from everyone and everything as to become wholly dedicated to and dependent upon Him. Single-minded devotion and dependence upon Christ should have become our way of life. It should have.
When reading the New Testament Gospels it is strikingly apparent that Jesus loved the Heavenly Father with all His heart, soul and strength. The Father was His Pearl of Great Value, His magnificent obsession. Because of love, Jesus lived out the nature of the Heavenly Father (a person will typically be transformed by what they obsessively behold) to the point of saying:
“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30 KJV)
Most everything Jesus said and did was the Father’s heart and voice and actions through Him (John 15:15). Jesus’ transparency and sacrifice and compassion toward humanity had everything to do with the love of the Heavenly Father through Him. Similarly, we as believers have the Lord Jesus Christ living inside us. Similarly, we as believers have the power and mandate to love the Lord Jesus with all our hearts, souls and strength, and then love our neighbors as ourselves. With the Holy Spirit living and reigning inside us, the Lord Jesus and the Heavenly Father will express their passionately loving and sacrificial heavenly life through us as we abide in Him and walk by faith.
So much for priorities and pie charts.
CHRISTIAN COUNSELING —
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:24 NIV)
Christian counseling, therapy and self-help are mostly useless to the spiritual life, mostly only useful for strengthening and establishing the already too strong self-nature. Jesus never analyzed or counseled anyone, instructing them to better themselves. Instead, He taught them to die to themselves, becoming resurrected into His own selfless nature. Apostle Paul never analyzed or probed anyone. Instead he instructed his churches to put off the old and corrupt nature, instead putting on the new nature of Christ:
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV)
Most Christian counseling and therapy would be useless if Christians would stop striving and simply PULL THE PLUG on the old nature, trusting Yahweh to resurrect them into Christ’s spiritual nature. Seeking to improve the old nature into a more righteous version is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil arrogance, far from the intention of Jesus and the intention of Apostle Paul.
When we were born again, we became new creations within the Second and Last Adam Jesus Christ, translated from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of God’s Dear Son. The Heavenly Father has no intention of fixing up the first Adam and old creation; His intention is to raise up a whole new creation within His Beloved Son Jesus Christ. “PULL THE PLUG” is some of the best advice you can offer a brother or sister in Christ.
PROSPERITY GOSPEL —
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)
Word of Faith churches are growing at superabundant rates. These congregations are learning how to be healthy, wealthy and wealthier. Much of the doctrine being taught is positive and necessary — faith, healing and deliverance — but some is misleading. Mostly, people are being misled by their own secret desire for gain (greed). They desire all the riches of Abraham, and know with all their scripture-quoting hearts that it’s God’s will to give — that is, if they faithfully do their confessing and bowing and standing calisthenics. So they follow their misdirected beliefs all the way to the illogical conclusion: God eventually corrects bad doctrine by correcting the heart.
The true gospel of prosperity is Jesus Christ — Jesus alone. The way Jesus lived and lives His life is the way people in Him should live theirs. If that does not seem prosperous enough to us, perhaps we should be examining our hearts.
KINGDOM BUSINESS —
“Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!” (John 2:16 NIV)
Christian business organizations and businessmen teach believers “Kingdom Business,” yet there is no buying, selling or trading in Christ, and only Christ is God’s Kingdom. People today are shaping more and more bricks to help the Babylonian system grow tall and strong, often deluded into thinking they’re helping the Kingdom of God along. The business world as we know it is part of the kosmos, not part of the Kingdom of God. Most of the church today is operating their churches and church finances fully within the Babylonian system. Christians who run businesses are doing so within Babylon.
[NOTE: When Satan took Jesus, in the realm of spirit, to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the kosmos, no doubt He looked at all future denominations, tax-exempt ministries, Christian websites, Christian marketplaces, and other fish-symbol related kingdoms. After seeing all those dazzling “Christian” works, Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” (Luke 4:8 NIV)]
The Kingdom of God is a spiritual Kingdom, not one needing successful businesses and their resources. Jesus was a carpenter trained by His natural father who grew up to become the builder of the church trained by His Heavenly Father. As Christians grow up, they too must abandon their natural talents to walk in the Heavenly Father’s divine plan. Not so much with the goal of becoming successful or rich, but with the desire to fulfill Yahweh’s better Kingdom plan.
[NOTE: None of this is to imply that making money is bad or evil, for many of Jesus’ parables taught the faithfulness of stewardship and the wisdom of turning a buck. But, we should not deceive ourselves into thinking that there are businesses and buying and selling and trading within God’s Kingdom. All commerce is part of the world-system (kosmos, Babylon). We should simply keep our focus on Jesus while we’re in Babylon and the Babylonian marketplace. Hopefully, we can turn some hearts toward the Master while we’re there.]
THE TITHE —
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple.” (Malachi 3:10 NLT)
Though clearly not the same thing, the religion of Christianity feigns privileges similar to that of Old Testament Judaism. They should not.
Biblically speaking, the Temple of God in the New Testament is the multimembered Body of Christ; it is not the unbiblical religion of Christianity that presumes to organize, house and lead people, actually exploiting them (albeit ignorantly — usually) in the process. Yahweh’s Temple is people (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) and not a religious order or church building or doctrinally enlightened thinking paradigm. By New Testament standards, Malachi’s “storehouse” would equate to individuals within the Body of Christ (and perhaps their pocketbooks), and not a church order (and their pocketbooks).
Giving ten percent is called tithing. The first mention of the practice began with Abraham who gave King Melchizedek a tithe of battle plunder (Genesis 14:20). Over 400 years later when Yahweh ordained Israel’s Levitical Priesthood, he also ordained a national tithe to support the priesthood — also to support the needy of the land. As New Covenant people, we should honor the example of our faith forefather Abraham who yielded tribute to someone who exhibited the nature of Christ. But understand this: Abraham is not the father of religious expectations; and we should not be duped into thinking that some newer form of the Levitical Priesthood and Jewish Tabernacle/Temple system exists for the New Testament believer. It does not. The law of tithing is not a New Testament law or expectation. But the practice of yielding tribute to a person who exhibits the nature of Christ, as did our faith-example Abraham, is a smart and beneficial idea.
[NOTE: Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21 KJV). It would be a wise idea to sow into sons of God and the Kingdom of God, because that’s where the Heavenly Father’s heart is — and will be in the future). It would also be a smart idea to cease sowing into religious kosmos, because the future of it is destruction along with the rest of Babylon (Revelation 17 & 18). A person’s heart will always follow his or her treasure, so if you desire a Kingdom heart and the heart of a beloved son then sow into the Kingdom of God and sons of God.]
People love money. It’s part of the fallen human nature. And religion has a special exploitive advantage they have been using for millennia: Threaten people with heavenly displeasure and even damnation if they don’t comply with the Priesthood’s (and they say “God’s”) financial demands. It was for the sake of freedom that Christ went to the cross. It would be best to throw off the demands of religious strong-arms and follow Christ’s heart and leading on how and where to give. Apostle Paul meant it when he said:
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Galatians 5:1 NLT)
SUBMISSION AND AUTHORITY —
Some apostles and prophets are propagating a more advanced theology today, one that uses the terms “kingdom” and “dominion” for more profitability. They teach top-heavy and often heavy-handed authority concepts, usually stressing submission to people higher in the church and kingdom and home. Children are to submit to parents, women to men, and men to God — and, of course, everyone is to submit to God’s ministries who are God’s voice and representatives on the earth.
Kingdom churches use what they believe to be true biblical principles to purport their intent: To see the Kingdom of God reign upon the earth by preparing the saints for reigning. They train people in prayer and warfare, healing and deliverance, positional truth and righteous living, but are also being trained in dominion and authority concepts — in actuality being drafted into paltry acquiescence to people higher in the chain. The authority this movement wields is mostly human and devilish, not much different from other authoritarian powers.
True apostles and prophets understand that the foundation of a house is UNDER the house and not over it. They understand that five-fold ministries are there to build up the Body of Christ and not lord it over them. They understand that a husband’s role is to love and follow Christ, leading and loving his family as an overflow to that relationship. They understand that submission and authority scriptures and concepts work wonderfully in concert with humility and love. The church would be in better shape if ministers would spend less time biblically ranking people for lordship purposes, and instead get to know the love of God.
CHRISTIAN RIGHTS —
Today’s Christian Rights mindset is weak and useless. Christians are being taught to stand up for social rights, not allowing the world to push ‘em around anymore. They campaign against abortion clinics and do their civil duty by voting men and women with “Christian” or “family” values into office. Jesus never taught this, thought this or acted this way. His mind was not set on the kingdoms of the kosmos or on making them Christian. His mind was fixed on someone higher.
People with a Christian Rights mindset desire social change. Jesus requires repentance and faith (Luke 13:1-5, Hebrews 6:2). People of prayer (they like to call themselves “prayer warriors”) pray and pray. In their prayers they push God, push faith and push angels to do what they ABSOLUTELY know to be God’s will. Sometimes God acts, and sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes by acting He allows to the Kingdom of God to be built; other times the domain of Babylon. Believers need to understand that Christ’s focus is not on social change or a more Christian looking kosmos. The kosmos will keep growing until God judges it fully. And the Kingdom of God will continue being formed in hearts as to provide a new and righteous way of life, government and economy for the people of His pleasure.
[NOTE: Jesus spoke to seven churches in Revelation 2 & 3. The last church was much like this current church age — very rich, very worldly and much in need of Jesus. The name LAODICEA means: JUSTICE OF THE PEOPLE; RULE OF THE MAJORITY; DEMOCRATIC.]
“Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.” (1 Corinthians 10:21 KJV)
Communion is meant as the establishing and remembering of the New Covenant, Jesus Christ. It is the remembrance of our Covenant Mediator’s pact with His Father, and His invitation to us to become one with Him. Taking communion is a remembrance of the bond we have with Christ, also the bond we have with every other member of the Body of Christ. Taking communion without properly discerning the Body of can be a risky thing. Apostle Paul said:
“That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.” (1 Corinthians 11:30 NLT)
Communion being offered today within religious kosmos is risky and sometimes dangerous. Many ministers are ignorant of covenantal things, making them propagators of potential covenant violations and curses. Disciples of Jesus would do well to follow the Master’s biblical example: Jesus shared a covenantal meal with His twelve closest friends only once after three or four years of discipleship. Before the table had even been cleared, one of Jesus’ disciples jumped up and betrayed the Lord. It’s always wise to share communion circumspectly, with Christian brothers and sisters who share a similar bond with Christ.
MANMADE HOLY-DAYS —
Manmade holidays taught and observed by most believers today are weak and useless and primarily pagan. The main ones, Christmas and Easter, are not biblically based Holy-Days, but are sham imitations of Yahweh’s ordained festivals: Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. Christmas and Easter are not part of the Kingdom of God, because the realm of the Kingdom of God is Jesus Christ, and there are no non-covenantal (not biblically established) celebrations in Him. Biblically ordained festivals are natural reflections of Christ (Colossians 2:17), celebrated automatically, supernaturally and eternally by those who are in Him.
Jesus is the reason for sunrises… and sunsets… and kittens… and mama’s home cooking… and fingernails growing. But is He really the reason for Christmas?
The word CHRISTMAS derives from the Old English word, Crīstesmæsse (Christ’s Mass), and has been around since the eleventh century. Its roots are found in paganism, the worship of winter deities. The Early Church reportedly refused to celebrate anyone’s birthday as was pagan custom, but lost out to secular ideas when Constantine, world ruler in the fourth century, mixed a few Christian ideas into his primarily pagan bag. Most Christians today use Christmas as a time to celebrate Jesus’ birth, insisting that “Jesus is the reason for the season,” not realizing — and mostly not caring — that the Heavenly Father did not ordain the festival. The Christmas celebration is not found in Christ — nor was December the likely time of His birth — therefore the many things ascribed to Him, e.g., plastic nativity sets, Yuletide miracle stories, Christmas candlelight services, Advent Season and “Peace on Earth” cards, are mostly done in vain.
[NOTE: People who send “Peace on Earth” cards should balance things out by getting ones inscribed with Jesus’ own words: “Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to bring strife and division!” (Luke 12:51 NLT)]
The word EASTER reportedly came from the name Ēostre, the pagan goddess of fertility and dawn. Easter was given to religious Babylon as a way to celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection. Easter, unlike biblical Passover, is not a picture of Christ Himself, but merely a festival about resurrection and fertility passed on to humanity from a few imaginative, fallen angels. The Jewish Passover festival celebrated about the same time of year, bereft of Jesus Himself, is equally empty and vain.
[NOTE: For the past number of years, Christians — inspired mostly by Christian television ministries — have been substituting the pagan name Easter with a newer and more righteous sounding title, “Resurrection Day.” We should understand that changing the name of something doesn't somehow make it biblical. Spray painting a pea to look like a pearl does not make it a pearl; it makes it a spray-painted pea.]
There is a popular belief in some Christian circles that the righteous will eventually be removed from the earth. Many call the event THE RAPTURE; some call it THE CATCHING AWAY or SNATCHING AWAY. Though the highest percentage of Christians do not support such a belief — nor does the Word of God use the term “rapture” — this eschatological stance is taught and believed by multitudinous people. The concept first came into being in 1830, through a vision from a fifteen year old girl named Margaret Macdonald, then was later scripturally dressed and popularized by men such as John Darby, Clarence Larkin, C.I. Scofield, then further popularized during the Azusa Street Revival (modern Pentecostal movement), and later by the Dallas Theological Seminary (evangelical Christianity). Today it is heavily promoted by TV preachers and teachers; it was also the basis for a dizzily successful fiction book series.
The concept of a “catching away” is a thirtyfold escapist doctrine that causes many evangelical believers to give up their birthright, inheritance and position as priests, kings and inheritors of the earth. The Holy Bible teaches the return of Christ, and not the escape of the saints. This manmade doctrine revolves around mankind’s need to escape “tribulation.”
Pre-tribulation, Mid-tribulation, Post-tribulation, Amillennialism, and Preterism are all non-biblical terms that describe end-time doctrines of men, not from God. Jesus is Yahweh’s only end-time doctrine. To understand the design of God regarding His Body, one simply needs to look at the life, crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We, the members of Christ’s Body, will experience exactly what He experienced; no more and no less and certainly not within the context of any set doctrinal or dispensational understanding.
The idea that the righteous are meant to be removed from the earth is non-covenantal (not supported in the Abrahamic, Davidic or New Covenant), and is actually opposite from what the Word of God teaches. The Bible teaches that the righteous are the ones that the Lord will embed and establish upon the earth, and the wicked are the ones slated for elimination and death.
With that in mind, here are some supporting scriptures:
“For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” (Psalm 37:9-11 KJV)
“For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.” (Proverbs 2:21-22 KJV)
“The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.” (Proverbs 10:30 KJV)
In light of what Jesus understood from Old Testament scriptures regarding the wicked being cut off, He said:
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30 NIV)
“Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.” (Matthew 13:47-49 NIV)
“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken [removed, judged], and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken [removed, judged], and the other left.” (Matthew 24:40-41 KJV, brackets added)