Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Coming Full Circle

I've been studying in Revelation again recently, specifically the letters to the churches. As I studied today I was struck yet again at how we as believers, the Church--the body of Christ and the world in general have come full circle since it started. Of course it makes sense that would happen at the end of an age, and I see this as yet another sure sign that the rapture is indeed very close. I've only studied about the churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, and Thyatira so far today but even that is more then enough to show how much like them we've become today.

There's a lot about false teachers from within the church itself leading the people astray, and as we know that is certainly very true today! What's more amazing is that the things these false teachers taught is the same that's being taught today; it just has a different name now.

Today pastors preach for monetary gain because they're greedy and con people out of their hard earned money. They teach that God wants you to be wealthy and of course the first thing you have to do to be wealthy is give them your money. If this wasn't done under the guise of religion, they'd be locked up instantly as con artists and no one would believe them! God says they're just like Balaam and makes it clear that they will be judged as will their followers.

Today they teach people that immorality is perfectly ok, that you're still saved even though you practice it regularly and that there's no need to repent of it. Makes me think of the many threads in the Today's Teacher's forum about today's pastors doing sermons and writing books about sex and having disgusting public displays to promote it. It reminds me of the homosexual pastors teaching that homosexuality is perfectly normal and ok.


Balaam also got the Israelites to start eating food sacrificed to idols by getting them to marry aliens and accept their customs. When the Jews did that, they became tolerant of sin and began doing it themselves, because "it wasn't a big deal after all". So it is today as well. I don't know how many pastors we've posted about that claim we're to be tolerant of evil and sin and that it's even ok to do it ourselves at least to a certain extent, after all, just like the Jew's thought before God killed 24,000 of them because of it, they were just being "good neighbors" and that's what the false teachers tell us today.

The false teachers told them it was perfectly ok to light incense, affirming your loyalty to Caesar, after all, we're supposed to obey the government and we really don't worship Caesar, we worship God; it's not an actual lie because we're not actually saying that we think Caesar is a god...and God wouldn't want us to lose our jobs and not be able to work anywhere and go hungry would He? What purpose would that serve? God wants us to be able to worship Him and give money for the poor but we can't do that if we're the poor ones...and that's assuming they don't kill us for not doing it! Sound familiar to you? It sure does to me! I can't even begin to count how much as been posted here about pastors who teach that today.

In Thyatira, the Lord commends those who have not fallen for the false teachers and tells us something important about those teachers too. He says they teach the "so called" deep secrets of Satan. To me that says these teachers hooked people into what they taught by telling them that they would learn the "deep secrets about God" which is what the Gnostics taught then and still teach today. On the other hand, God tells us that everything we need to know is in His Word and that if we're obedient He will reveal His secrets to us. We don't need to go anywhere else, join any organization or listen to any teacher to learn them. The Lord tells us Himself, quite freely in His Word if we will but study it with Him.

Another similarity hit me hard too and that's was about
Pergamum
. That's where the great medical school was and it's symbol is still used today for doctors and hospitals: It's the symbol of a snake curled around a staff. The snake is also a symbol for Satan but it was used there for the god of healing, Asklepios. What struck me about it was that then medicine was mixed in with a lot of superstition and the superstition was all centered around the false gods which we know were and are demons. Medicine eventually cleaned up it's act, thanks in large part to God and Christianity, but today it is once again become greatly mixed with superstition surrounding the demons still worshiped by eastern religions. Those "superstitions" have gone from being consider cultist and on the outside of real medicine to being fully accepted by the medical field today.

Like I said though, God wasn't happy about it then, and He most certainly isn't happy about it now either. Another thing that struck me as interesting was the way God said He would destroy the false prophetess and her followers. He said He would give them a bed of sickness and kill them. The word used actually means "pestilence" and is also translated as "plague" in some verses. God said He wasn't going to wait to judge this particular false teacher and her followers, that it would happen soon if they didn't repent. From what we know of history, they obviously didn't repent because the city is no longer there. God indeed removed their lampstand. The point I'm getting at though is that we are seeing this again now too. It reminds me of Aides right off the bat as well as other things that even now the doctors are beginning to call a plague--like that skin eating disease or the super infections etc.

So today like in Ephesus we have people who are zealous for the Truth and doctrine but who don't have a close relationship with Christ; they've lost their first love. Like Pergamum and Thyatira, we have people who have plenty of love for Christ, but have no discernment and so go along with and are tolerant of evil. Thankfully we also have people like those in Smyrna who love the Lord and His Word, know it well and stand up for the Truth, even though it means suffering for them here and now. And last but not least, we have the Lord's assurance that He is in control and that He is coming soon! Because things have so very obviously come around full circle, it tells me that the rapture cannot be very far away!
(originally written over a year ago) 

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