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Old 11-10-2008, 07:29 PM
 
1,111 posts, read 1,379,058 times
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The End of the Church Age . . . and After
We See Churches Falling Away from the Truth of the Bible
Everywhere we look, we see that the churches are increasingly falling away from the truth of the Bible and following their own wisdom. They are departing from the rules of the Bible and developing their own rules. Also, we see that there are very few in the churches who are concerned about the faithfulness of their church or their own doctrines. There may be concern that “those liberal churches” are unfaithful to God or that this “cult” is bad. However, we do not see individuals looking at and analyzing their own doctrinal positions or the positions of their church. In many churches, effectively, the confessions are the highest authority. The confessions have been around so long the church leaders will not change them. Any new idea is tested against the confessions rather than the Bible. If the idea does not square with what the church believes or the confessions, it is rejected.
A few believers in a church may get nervous and speak with their pastor or an elder, but their suggestions do not have much impact. In fact, these people will probably find that their church continues to depart further in doctrine and practice from the truths of the Bible.
If we honestly examine our own church or the churches in general, we find many areas in which the truths of the Bible have been set aside. If we had made the same examination 50 or 100 years ago, we would have to conclude that most of the churches then were much more faithful. Here are a sampling of areas in which the churches have departed from the Bible. A careful examination could add many more items to this list.
(a) Divorce and remarriage. The Bible clearly commands that the wife is bound to her husband until death (I Corinthians 7:39, Romans 7:1-3). Therefore, there is not to be divorce and remarriage. Passages like Matthew
5:32 and 19:9 are being used to teach that divorce and remarriage are permissible. However, a careful study of the Bible shows that this is not the case. The church traditionally has correctly understood this, but in the last 50 years, this rule has been completely set aside, so that the divorce rate is as high in the churches as in the secular world. Virtually every denomination has made provision for divorce, and the result of this has been great damage upon society. There are broken homes, mixed-up children, single parents, etc.

However, no denomination is dealing with the root problem, namely, how can we stop the divorce plague and return to the sanctity of marriage? The solution is to go back to the Biblical rules of no divorce and remarriage, but we do not see this happening. (For more information about the Biblical rules for marriage, please “What God Hath Joined Together.”)



I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.

Galatians 1:11-17 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism, beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His son in that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

II Corinthians 4:1-6 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handing the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shown in our heart to give light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
THE AGE TO COME

Hebrews 4: 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Ephesians 2: 1 - 3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
II Thessalonians 2: 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that
day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.
I Peter 4: 17 and if it first being at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Matthew 24:1 -28 Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon anther, that shall not be thrown down.”
Revelation 2:18 - 29 And unto the Spirit of the church in Thyatira write; these things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like fire, and His feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works, and the last to be more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants unto idols. And, I gave her space to repent of Her fornication; and she repented not.
Behold, I will cast Her into a bed, and them commit adultery with Her into great tribulation, except they rent of their deeds. And I will kill Her children with death;
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
And all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will put upon you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths Of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nation: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
John 3: 10 – 21, 27 – 36: Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Last edited by TheWordIsOne; 11-10-2008 at 08:45 PM.. Reason: Adjusting Words
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Ruidoso NM
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We do need to pray for the church, you even see it here on this forum people who call them selves Christians and yet there beliefs are so contrary. Christians who are walking contradictions.
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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Let us pray
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Michelle1210 View Post
We do need to pray for the church, you even see it here on this forum people who call them selves Christians and yet there beliefs are so contrary. Christians who are walking contradictions.
Hummmmm? Michelle what do you belive? Are you a christian?
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:59 PM
 
17,752 posts, read 15,063,109 times
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The falling away was observed. It was seen in John's epistles and the book of Jude in its entire.


Jude
11Woe to them! For they have gone (AJ)the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into (AK)the error of Balaam, and (AL)perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12These are the men who are hidden reefs (AM)in your love feasts when they feast with you (AN)without fear, caring for themselves; (AO)clouds without water, (AP)carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, (AQ)uprooted;
...

17But you, (BC)beloved, (BD)ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by (BE)the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18that they were saying to you, "(BF)In the last time there will be mockers, (BG)following after their own ungodly lusts."
19These are the ones who cause divisions, (BH)worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
20But you, (BI)beloved, (BJ)building yourselves up on your most holy (BK)faith, (BL)praying in the Holy Spirit,
21keep yourselves in the love of God, (BM)waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
22And have mercy on some, who are doubting;
23save others, (BN)snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, (BO)hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.



The text shows a fulfillment of Jesus' prophesy in the Gospels complete with identifying once again that it was the end times then.


The reality shows the sad Western centric view the op really has.


How Christianity is Growing Around the World
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:09 PM
 
1,111 posts, read 1,379,058 times
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Lightbulb There Would Be an End of the Church Age

an End of the Church Age ?
God prophesied that finally, there would be an end to the church age, and then God would complete the harvest of His elect, those who were chosen by God to become saved (Ephesians 1:3-6), by bringing the Gospel to individuals who were outside of any church authority. When we search the Bible, we find that the Bible teaches that there will be a final tribulation, which in Matthew 24:21 is called “great tribulation.” We read there:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Significantly, we live at a time in history when we can look back on almost 2,000 years of history that came after the Bible was completed. As we learned earlier in this study, the available historical information from non-Biblical sources concerning the history of the churches teaches us that the church age was as unsuccessful as the Bible predicted it would be.

But that brings us to a very big question. It has always been understood by Bible students that finally, there would be an end to this world, at which time the unsaved would receive the full penalty of God’s wrath, and the saved would be eternally secure with Christ in the new heavens and the new earth. Further, it has been commonly believed that the end of the world would come when Christ would come as a thief in the night. That is, it was understood that we cannot know with any precision the time of the end. This was so even though at various times in history, when severe persecution of Christians was particularly in evidence in some parts of the world, there were those who dared to speculate that they knew the year of Christ’s return. Of course, in every instance, they were proven wrong. This was so because they did not base their conclusion upon a careful analysis of everything the Bible has to say about the return of Christ.

In fact, throughout the church age it appears that the normal understanding of the churches was that the churches would continue to the very end of time, and suddenly, this world would come to its end as Christ came as a thief in the night.

A major variation of this concept became popular during the last century when the so-called premillennial doctrine was taught, especially in the Baptist churches. That doctrine declared that Christ would come as a thief in the night and rapture the church, that is, take all the people in the churches to heaven. At the same time or shortly before that, there would be a seven-year period of great tribulation. Immediately following this seven-year period, Christ would physically return to the present earth to reign 1,000 years from the present literal city of Jerusalem. After this 1,000-year period, the end of the world would come. This kind of teaching, which is altogether inaccurate, is possible because there are many chapters, especially in the Book of Revelation, that obviously speak of the end of the world but which are extremely difficult to understand. It is only in our day that we can begin to clearly understand these Biblical references to the end of time.

The Third Period of Revelation
However, in our day, when we are very close to the end of time, God, for the third time, is revealing much additional truth that has always been in the Bible, but it has remained a mystery throughout time. Thus, it is almost like God has given us an addition to the Old and New Testaments, but the Bible, of course, has not become enlarged. No new words have been actually added to it. The Bible we use today, in the languages in which the Bible was originally written, is exactly the same Bible that was completed about 1,900 years ago. It is simply that now, the full glory of the Gospel can be seen as God, in our day, has opened our understanding to most of the truths that previously had been hidden. In Hebrews 8:8, the Bible declares:

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

In this verse, the phrase “I will make a new covenant” should have been translated “I will finish a new covenant.” The new covenant is the New Testament of the Bible, but it is at the end of time, in our day, that God is finishing our understanding of that covenant by opening our eyes to so many new truths. They have always been in the Bible, but in our day, they are being revealed to us so that we can understand them. It is as if God is finishing the writing of the covenant, which is the Bible. This is in exact agreement with such a verse as Daniel 12:9:

And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Last edited by TheWordIsOne; 11-10-2008 at 10:14 PM.. Reason: Adjusting letter
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:38 PM
 
3,553 posts, read 4,378,149 times
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Quote:
In Hebrews 8:8, the Bible declares:

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

In this verse, the phrase “I will make a new covenant” should have been translated “I will finish a new covenant.”
I disagree. The writer of Hebrews is quoting scripture in:

Jeremiah 31:31
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:


Hebrews 8:8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

karath in Hebrews, means "make", or "cut off"! It is never used as "finish"
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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"Liberal churches" are only trying to reconcile the awkward inconsistencies between the bible and reality. If they didn't, there would be A LOT LESS people who call themselves Christian.
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by LogicIsYourFriend View Post
"Liberal churches" are only trying to reconcile the awkward inconsistencies between the bible and reality. If they didn't, there would be A LOT LESS people who call themselves Christian.
And some of us simply recognize that the orthodox church soon turned Jesus' message into really really bad news instead of the original good news...
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:11 AM
 
1,897 posts, read 3,038,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWordIsOne View Post
an End of the Church Age ?
God prophesied that finally, there would be an end to the church age, and then God would complete the harvest of His elect, those who were chosen by God to become saved (Ephesians 1:3-6), by bringing the Gospel to individuals who were outside of any church authority. When we search the Bible, we find that the Bible teaches that there will be a final tribulation, which in Matthew 24:21 is called “great tribulation.” We read there:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Significantly, we live at a time in history when we can look back on almost 2,000 years of history that came after the Bible was completed. As we learned earlier in this study, the available historical information from non-Biblical sources concerning the history of the churches teaches us that the church age was as unsuccessful as the Bible predicted it would be.

But that brings us to a very big question. It has always been understood by Bible students that finally, there would be an end to this world, at which time the unsaved would receive the full penalty of God’s wrath, and the saved would be eternally secure with Christ in the new heavens and the new earth. Further, it has been commonly believed that the end of the world would come when Christ would come as a thief in the night. That is, it was understood that we cannot know with any precision the time of the end. This was so even though at various times in history, when severe persecution of Christians was particularly in evidence in some parts of the world, there were those who dared to speculate that they knew the year of Christ’s return. Of course, in every instance, they were proven wrong. This was so because they did not base their conclusion upon a careful analysis of everything the Bible has to say about the return of Christ.

In fact, throughout the church age it appears that the normal understanding of the churches was that the churches would continue to the very end of time, and suddenly, this world would come to its end as Christ came as a thief in the night.

A major variation of this concept became popular during the last century when the so-called premillennial doctrine was taught, especially in the Baptist churches. That doctrine declared that Christ would come as a thief in the night and rapture the church, that is, take all the people in the churches to heaven. At the same time or shortly before that, there would be a seven-year period of great tribulation. Immediately following this seven-year period, Christ would physically return to the present earth to reign 1,000 years from the present literal city of Jerusalem. After this 1,000-year period, the end of the world would come. This kind of teaching, which is altogether inaccurate, is possible because there are many chapters, especially in the Book of Revelation, that obviously speak of the end of the world but which are extremely difficult to understand. It is only in our day that we can begin to clearly understand these Biblical references to the end of time.

The Third Period of Revelation
However, in our day, when we are very close to the end of time, God, for the third time, is revealing much additional truth that has always been in the Bible, but it has remained a mystery throughout time. Thus, it is almost like God has given us an addition to the Old and New Testaments, but the Bible, of course, has not become enlarged. No new words have been actually added to it. The Bible we use today, in the languages in which the Bible was originally written, is exactly the same Bible that was completed about 1,900 years ago. It is simply that now, the full glory of the Gospel can be seen as God, in our day, has opened our understanding to most of the truths that previously had been hidden. In Hebrews 8:8, the Bible declares:

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

In this verse, the phrase “I will make a new covenant” should have been translated “I will finish a new covenant.” The new covenant is the New Testament of the Bible, but it is at the end of time, in our day, that God is finishing our understanding of that covenant by opening our eyes to so many new truths. They have always been in the Bible, but in our day, they are being revealed to us so that we can understand them. It is as if God is finishing the writing of the covenant, which is the Bible. This is in exact agreement with such a verse as Daniel 12:9:

And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
There is no end to the Church age! The Old Covenant age ended; the church age does not. What is your scriptural support for your contention?

All of Matthew 24 is directed at Jesus' disciples standing right there with Him. It was they who were to endure great tribulation. There is no reason to assume that Jesus was predicting that this tribulation would entail the killing of the most people at any one time as many suppose. This tribulation was to be directed primarily at those stiff-necked, reprobate, apostate, idolatrous Jews of Jesus' day--the Jews He condemned in Matthew 23. It was to be the worse tribulation of all time against those He had once called His people. In other words, it is the fact that it is God direct judgment upon a people that makes it the worst of all time. He will never again bring such a judgment against His own.

Look at the entire context of Matthew 24. There are at least 20 "yous" in this passage. WE are not the YE! All the things Jesus spoke of were to take place in that generation. He could not have been more clear--"This generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place"--including the great tribulation! Every time, without exception, when Jesus said "this generation," He meant His contemporaries. Always! Look them up. There are twenty!

Notice that Jesus said to His disciples right there with Him--"When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet . . . (vs. 15). They were to be killed; they were to be hated and persecuted for His name's sake; they were to not be deceived; they were to hear of wars and rumors of wars, they were to recognize the signs of His coming as easily as they recognized the signs of the coming of summer in the budding of the fig tree (and of "all the trees" as Luke adds [Luke 21]), they were to watch and be ready, etc.

There is no end of the new covenant! Let's consider all of Hebrews 8. We see the the new covenant was a better covenant than the old because it was based on better promises (8:6). The necessity for the new is found in the insufficiency of the old (8:7f--Jeremiah 31). Nowhere here does the Lord indicate that this new covenant will end. The word in verse 8, sunteleso, is from a quote of Jeremiah 31. It is a looking forward from that time--Jeremiah's time--not from ours! This is a prediction of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and the new covenant in His blood.
All who are born again from above have His laws written in their hearts; all know Him, "from the least . . . to the greatest."

Notice, however, that there is a time when both covenants exist side by side for a time. The new was not at the time fully ratified (sunteleso) or established. It would not be until the old was completely taken out of the way. The timing for that is clearly given:

"In that He says, "a new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away" (vs. 13). When Jesus "came" in judgment in A.D. 70 and destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem through the instrumentality of the Roman armies, the Old was fully abolished and done away with never to be restored. The new was then fully established (or "finished" if you will). It has no end!

Furthermore, Daniel spoke of the "time of end" and not the end of time. There is a big difference. Note also that Daniel was told to seal up the words of the prophecy because the time for its fulfillment was not near in his day. John, on the other hand, was told to not seal up the words of the prophecy because the time was near in his day!

The tribulation, the great gathering together of God's people into one body (the "rapture"), the judgment and the resurrection are past events, not future events!

Paul spoke of the judgment which was in his day about to come (See Acts 17:31 and 24:15, 25! (especially note the use of the time word mello in the Greek text).

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