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Author Topic: The End Of The Church Age  (Read 37368 times)

Peng Bao

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2005, 06:40:57 AM »
If the church age mentioned is speaking of the corportate church, I don't know if God was ever fully into that to begin with.

Raybob

On the contrary. God established it, making rules, setting up leaders and ceremonies. That would be like saying God never established the rituals of the old testament Church. They have their high priests, sacrifices, sabbath worship and circumcisions, we have our Bishops, Deacons, communion, sunday worship and baptism.

Tony Warren

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2005, 09:33:19 AM »
>>>
Personally, I suspect that the reason "none" of the more biblical posters are commenting on this issue is that they understand that there is an end of the Church age. Or at least they understand the very biblical rationale for such a belief. It's not like it doesn't have any foundation.
<<<

I can only speak for myself. I haven't commented because I really haven't felt any need to, as I think my position on this issue is very clear from my many articles on the subject. But just to recap, I do think that there will be an end of the external covenant church as a corporate entity. And that being a complete/total collapse of the external church because of Satan's influence in it. We have to remember and keep in mind the very reason that Christ bound Satan in the first place. It was so that His church could be built among the nations. That's a very important Biblical fact. Because it means that God understood, and wants us to understand, that the church could not be built with Satan loosed. Thus when God's restraint is removed, it would logically, Biblically, and rationally follow that the church would not be able to operate nor continue to be built. Which is the scriptures declare that all had to be sealed/saved prior to Satan's loosing.

2nd Thessalonians 2:5-12
  • "Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
  • And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
  • For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
  • And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
  • Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
  • And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
  • And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
  • That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

This is the judgment of the church, but not of the true witnesses of God (the two witnesses of Revelation 11), because God has from the beginning chosen us to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. In other words, we are sealed prior to Satan's loosing, and thus we are secure. And because we have the Spirit of Christ, we come out of the church that is unfaithful and has for all intents and purposes left her God for the spiritual harlotry of serving another.

In this 2nd Thessalonians we see that iniquity was let (restrained) by Spirit of Christ that the church went forth making disciples of men. But when the Spirit of Christ is "taken out of the midst" of the church, then is that wicked revealed, which is after the working of Satan. ie., the spirit of antichrist. Then Satan rules in the holy Temple, which is the external covenant church. Then iniquity stands in the Holy place where it ought not, and the true believers have to either flee to the mountains, or serve the ruler, the man of sin, now seated there. So it is very clear all the corporate church falls just as all Israel did (the Old Testament Corporate church), and only true believers remain "outside of the church Babylon," mourning what a glorious place the church use to be.

This is what God speaks about in the passages that have been mentioned, Matthew 24, Revelation 11, Revelation 17 and Revelation 18. I see the prophesy of the two witnesses being killed in Revelation chapter 11 as a forerunner of the complete fall of the corporate church. But none of this can take place until "after" the testimony of the true believers is finished (the reason Satan was bound). i.e., after all are sealed that God intends to seal. Then and only then will the true believers be silenced in the churches, they all being apostate.

Revelation 11:7-8
  • "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
  • And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."

Note the true believers are lying on the streets of Jerusalem, dead. Jerusalem is a figure of the corporate church here, there is no question of that. The streets of Jerusalem where they are martyred is symbolic of the complete apostasy of all churches (all churches), because "all believers" will be killed because they will not take the mark of the beast. If "all" are killed in the streets of the church Jerusalem, then "CLEARLY" that leaves exactly none left alive in the church. Spiritually speaking, there is not one body of life left in the church. The light has been "TOTALLY" extinguished in this unfaithful city.

Revelation 13:15-17
  • "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
  • And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
  • And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

As many as won't worship the beast are killed. we shouldn't skip over this because that means "ALL" true believers in the church are killed. This precept cannot be ignored. All believers are killed in the church, and no one is left there but the buyers and the sellers who "WILL" worship the image of the beast. It is the end of the church age, for this city (Jerusalem the church) will never rise again. Anyone who is not is killed in the church, has received the mark of the beast that they can buy and sell.

So yes, I would agree that "the scriptures teach" that there is going to be an end of the church age as it becomes completely apostate, kills ALL who are the true believers therein, and in their delusion and harlotry, rejoices for a season in their demise.

Revelation 11:9-10
  • "And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
  • And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth."

The two witnesses are the indivisible church "within" the external corporate church (Jerusalem) body. And clearly, the power of the Witnesses of God is then gone from there. There is no more torment by the word of God for the unrighteous from the witnesses in the church. Because they are dead (spiritually speaking), making "ALL" the churches become abominable to God. The world rejoices because they can hide in the darkness now, for the light of the true church has gone out because of the smoke and darkness released from the pit.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

NeilM

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2005, 11:10:54 PM »
Tony,
I must be missing something!
If all believers are killed when Satan is loosed and no more can come to faith after that point, who are those that are "changed in the twinkling of an Eye" and "meet Him in the air" on His return.
Are only those believers who left the corporate (apostate) churches  preserved ?
Thank you for all your efforts and insights!
Neil

judykanova

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2005, 01:46:13 AM »
Quote
This is the indivisible Church "within" the external corporate Church (Jerusalem). And clearly, the power of the Church is then gone from there. There is no more torment by the word of God for the unrighteous from the witnesses in the Church. Because they are dead (spiritually speaking), making "ALL" the Churches abominable to God. The world rejoices because they can hide in the darkness now, for the light of the true Church has gone out because of the smoke and darkness released from the pit.

Tony,

Thank you for your post.  I found it very helpful and insightful.   

I do however continue to have questions which stem primarily from my view of what constitues a church.  Do you, for example, regard any body of believers who physically and routinely assemble together, to be a "church" -- biblically speaking?  And if so, are they are in danger of apostasy by virtue of this alone?

A related concern involves the role of pastor/elder.  Do you believe the time has come (or will come) that such roles/gifts are no longer applicable?

Also, when the two witnesses are killed/silenced, is the context primarily within the church, or within the world at large? 

Rev 11
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
13  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.


Like in Noah's day, it appears that the world at large shall rejoice in the silencing of the true Gospel, including the apostate church -- having gone the way of the world and no longer having the Spirit of God.

But then... after 3 days God raises the 2 witnesses back on their feet again.  And once raised (which is before the 'third woe') I wonder what their testamony will be, given that God said earlier that their testamony had ended, and given there are still 5 "woes" remaining till the Lord returns.  Perhaps, the Lord comes so soon after the two witnesses are killed, (and the remaining woes come so "quickly" together) that my questions/concerns become a mute point.   This would actually resolve/reconcile both viewpoints, though it may not be the case.

So lastly, I again want to say I appreciate and am in agreement with your post --- as far as it pertains to mainstream churches (for lack of a better word) who "obey not the Gospel of Christ".  And I concede that during the 3-day symbolic period when the two witness lie dead in the street of Jerusalem, the corporate church, ironically, signs its own death-warrant by "killing' them. 

These questions/concerns all originate from the Scriptures I posted earlier, which I'm still grappling with.  Any further clarification from you or others would be appreciated.

judy
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

Reformer

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2005, 07:14:38 AM »
Thank you Bradley and Tony for your enlightening and biblical comments. It really shouldn't surprise me that you are the two are the most honorable people here, and are the only ones to speak up with scripture on this most unpopular and important issue. It shouldn't surprise me, but it does!

You two have been the glue of this site for some time and we really appreciate your thoughtful insights. I just think that there are a lot of spiritual cowards out there. And before my post gets deleted, I'm not referring to any people here, but to the church in general. They are so afraid to say anything for fear of offending someone. And that is the downfall of the church. It's almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn't it? People won't stick up for the scriptures, and so the church gets worse. And the church gets worse and worse because people won't stick up for the scriptures. What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Revelation 17:1
 "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:"


 The judgment of the great whore. That in itself should tell us that the church will be judged, if we believe Babylon is a symbol of the church. So I would say only those who don't believe that Babylon symbolizes the church should protest against the fall of the church.


Reformer

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2005, 07:30:24 AM »
Reformer,

To answer your question, my dislike of the term "end-of-the-church-age' stems from the fact that it is frequently substituted for and treated as part of the Scriptures -- much in the same way as people read commentaries and equate what they read with what the Scriptures actually say.  

 I understand that if you believe that the church age doesn't ever end. But if you believe as we do, that the church age will end at some point, then it is a part of scripture, isn't it? If the church ends at some point, and scripture shows that, then I think it is part of scripture.


Quote
And, as a point of clarification, I said nothing against the use of "church age", although your post defends its use as though I have objected to its use.

OK, I understand that. But you have to also admit that to say there is no end of the church age, is in effect to deny the church age ends, doesn't it? So from my point of view, that would be a contradiction of the scriptures that I believe says the church age ends at some point. The end of the testimony of the saints in the church to me signals the end of the church age. Like dsouzaanthony, I also want to distinquish between the visible and invisible church. We know the invisible church will never end.


Tony Warren

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2005, 11:27:09 AM »
>>>
Thank you for your post.  I found it very helpful and insightful.   

I do however continue to have questions which stem primarily from my view of what constitues a church.
<<<

I think that may be primarily because you might be confusing the "two ways" that God uses the word church. God uses it both in a corporate or external Covenant sense (as Israel, His assembly was), and also in an indivisible eternal sense (as two "true" believers gathered together). These are not the same church, and one is often "within" the other. And one can most certainly end. For example:

Revelation 2:4-5
  • "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
  • Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

God here talks to the messenger of the external Covenant church at Ephesus. Thus He is not threatening the indivisible eternal church of removal, but the corporate or external Covenant church. He's declared if the messenger didn't repent and return to the firstfruits, his Candlestick (church) would be moved out of it's place. If one of these visible churches can fall, then it is not an impossible thing that all of them can fall. Because obviously this proves the visible church doesn't have any "eternal" security. Does this mean that any two witnesses inside this church will fall along with the visible church? No, God will, by the scripture, through the Spirit move them to come out and flee from such apostasy.

2nd Corinthians 6:16-17
  • "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
  • Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"

A holy and unholy body cannot exist together. This is a general principle that applies even more as the day grows near, and the temple more apostate. And ultimately (from other scriptures) if the true believers are all killed and no churches remain that haven't been removed out of their place, then all churches have fallen. That doesn't mean that the "few" Witnesses who are made to see the abominations, and have fled, are then the corporate external covenant church. They will remain the body of believers, the indivisible church that flees to the Mountain Retreat, which is the Zion of God. But what they are fleeing from "is" the Covenant church. Because outside of it is the only refuge from God's judgments that are poured out upon it.

Isaiah 25:4
  • "For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall."

To really understand this judgment, one should do a careful study of the "Covenant Relationship" that God has with the visible church that is full of unbelievers and believers. It is still the church until and unless it is moved out of it's place by God. The point of loosing Satan is the trying/testing or "proving" those within the church during these times. Will they be faithful witnesses in time of great tribulation and be killed because of it, or will their tongues cleave to the roof of their mouths? Will they have sufficient oil, or will they be those who were not prepared of the Spirit? Will they reject the pressure to conform to the worldliness in the church and be reviled, or will they be those protesting against these witnesses and receive the mark of the beast? That's the test of endurance. Many will be deceived by this time of temptation, but the elect will endure this onslaught that is overrunning the church, and thus "MUST" be killed. They then cannot remain in a Holy Temple that has the unclean thing, the man of sin as ruler.

Romans 3:4
  • "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."

If we ask, what's the difference between a corporate church, and the believers who come out and assemble together, I would "defer to the scriptures" and declare that the difference is as illustrated by God. The true witnesses are "all" killed in the streets of the church, and when the Spirit moves them they must come out. It's not incidental that God uses the terms that He does in scripture. Calling those within the church the "two witnesses," and calling the church that they are in "the great city." It is a sign of individuals versus the collective corporate body. Witnesses in the city versus the city. It's not something inspired by accident. Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets are what these two witnesses come with. Jerusalem in the church age is a figure of the New Testament church. "THUS" the two witnesses in Jerusalem (Revelation 11) must be believers testifying in the church, and ultimately put to silence. What can we deduce from the Biblical fact that the witness, their testimony finished in the New Testament church (Jerusalem), are killed? Unequivocally that means the church age is over. At least that is the "ONLY" conclusion that I can come to based on all the available information in scripture. Scripture declares that The testimony is finished, so the end is upon them, and the city is falling. This fall of Babylon is a Catastrophic event to the elect, but a fear of possibility to the non-elect. It's why God calls that whore, "mystery" Babylon. Because no one believes that the church can be this woman. ie., her "true" nature is a secret to most people. That's why when John wonders after this woman, and the messenger of God asks, why?

Revelation 17:7
  • "And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns."

It is cryptic imagery John is seeing in secretive or mystery form. Thus he "marvels," and is made speechless by what he sees. The word mystery [musterion] is from the root word [muo] meaning something that makes one speechless, and by implication, something one cannot explain.

But the messenger of God then declares that He will tell John (and by extension, us) the mystery. In other words, he will reveal to John the secret of what this woman represents. And He proceeds to illustrate that it is the church that has gone whoring after other gods and that will be made naked (a symbol of sin exposed), burned with fire (a symbol of judgment) and her flesh eaten by the kings of the beast (a symbol of her being devoured by false prophets, the wolves in sheep's clothing), and brought to desolation because of her abominations. This is the unfaithful covenant church just as surely as Israel was the unfaithful covenant church that was brought to desolation by this exact same Harlotry. ..there is nothing new under the sun.


Quote
>>>
A related concern involves the role of pastor/elder.  Do you believe the time has come (or will come) that such roles/gifts are no longer applicable?
<<<

I believe that the time comes when the church has fallen, and therefore the question of Pastors and elders will be a moot point. I think what most Christians think is that there will be this great collection of believers gathered together somewhere here or somewhere there that might start a new church, I do not believe that is the case. The "true" believers will be very few and thus most certainly not concentrated. Many are called but "few" are chosen. Because we are human, with very human feelings and desires, very few is the very difficult thing for us to fathom. But "few" will leave the unfaithful church because her true nature is a "mystery" to them. This is what the cryptic imagery in revelation symbolizes. They are unaware that she is fallen. They are deceived by her Name, by her Power and her "Outward Appearance" so that they can't see the abomination of her "doctrines" and teachings.

Revelation 13:11
  • "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon."

You see, it looks like a lamb, signifying Christ. That's the deception. ie., Christians don't think doctrines are that important, as they are deemed "non-essentials," taking a back seat to what they call grace and salvation beliefs. ..as if one could be separate from the other. As if the false doctrines of the Priests, lawyers, Scribes and Pharisees, had nothing to do with their individual salvation. That "human" quality (rank Humanism) allows professing Christians to look at the doctrines of people in the church with rose colored glasses, saying, who am I to judge that it's unbiblical. The old "judge not lest ye be judged" mis-application to everything from works  gospels to homosexuality. But the word judgment also means decision making and application of scripture (Revelation 20:4). Every time we preach the scriptures, we are coming with judgment. And rightly so!

The point of all this in relationship to your question is that the pastors and elders will be the buyers and sellers in the church preaching to the many. The "few" scattered on the Mountain Retreat are not many together who can start another church. Look to the scriptures as our example. And at a time when tribulation was much less than this period will be (as it's worse than ever has been, or will be again). Elijah in time of famine was not saying, I have to get all these people around me together and have an assembly. What was he saying?

Romans 11:2-5
  • "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
  • Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
  • But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
  • Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."

A mere "TINY" fraction of the whole. Elijah looked around at all the abominations and without the help of Radio, Telephones, or the Internet, thought that he was the only true believer left alive. Well he wasn't right, but he wasn't far from wrong either. In other words, they were Scarce! I'm sure the other seven thousand scattered across the land probably felt similarly separated. That's the nature of apostasy, famine of the word of God, and judgment upon this people. There is not many, just a tiny remnant. And in the Great Tribulation, so few in fact that God declares if these days of tribulation weren't shortened, there wouldn't be any flesh left on earth to save.

Matthew 24:21-24
  • "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
  • And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
  • Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
  • For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

It's Mystery Babylon the mystery woman or church that has everyone looking at her outside appearance of gold, rather than her insides of abominations. Doesn't sound at all like great groups of people gathered together in other churches of Christ, but more like deception, and those saying here is [a church of] Christ, and there is [a church of] Christ. Because people are so deceived by the false prophets that arise, that if not Spirit led, the very Elect themselves might be deceived. But as with John, we are shown the mystery of the woman.


Quote
>>>
Also, when the two witnesses are killed/silenced, is the context primarily within the church, or within the world at large?
<<<

The church. This great city Jerusalem that they are killed within does not represent the world, it represents the external church. That is the context. It is in this city's streets (where also our lord was crucified) that the witnesses lay dead until revived by the Spirit of God. Within the streets of the Holy City. Remember, the church is the city which is the light of the world (Matthew 5:14) through Christ. Thus the church holds back the darkness of the world while the church "is" the light. When the light is put out, then is there darkness in the world that they can now be comfortable with.


Quote
>>>
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
<<<

Yes, the church is as a great city set upon a hill. Everyone sees that city so they see the light has gone out, and the world (being at enmity with God) rejoices because of it. The New Testament Jerusalem is a city worldwide among the nations, not as Old Testament Jerusalem was primarily the Jews. All we have to do is look around us to see the enmity against the true witness of Christ all over the world. The church is set among peoples and kindreds and tongues and nations, yes! And the false churches without the true witness prosper, while churches coming with the truth are condemned. Because they say things the world doesn't like. Things like homosexuality is an abomination unto God, and free will doctrines are an abomination to God, and divorce is an abomination to God, dispensationalism is an abomination unto God, and women ministers are an abomination to God, idolatry is an abomination to God, and tongues, miracles and wonders are an abomination to God. The world wants all the churches to speak peaceably to them. But the child of God can only speak what God says. Thus he is reviled and hated.

2nd Chronicles 18:12-13
  • "And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good.
  • And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak."

It's no wonder that when the true witnesses are silenced in Jerusalem that the people and kindreds and tongues and nations see their dead bodies and don't care to bury them. It is a "sign" of disdain! They rejoice because these voices "Within the church" were a torment to them. They love these new professing Christians with smooth words (Isaiah 30:10), the compromising Christians, the love Christians that say peace, Peace, when there is no peace. The so-called judgmental Christians who stood up in the church to say that all these things were an abomination to God, they cannot abide. The scenario is that the "church" is no more, as their testimony is finished, and the world rejoices. That is very clear. As the five virgins who trim their lamps and leave their sleep to meet the bridegroom, so are the two witnesses who leave the streets of the church when they (by the Spirit) see the signs of it's abomination unto desolation and leave it.


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>>>
These questions/concerns all originate from the Scriptures I posted earlier, which I'm still grappling with.  Any further clarification from you or others would be appreciated.
<<<

If you are talking about the scriptures of not neglecting assembling together, they only pertains when one can assemble together as they see the day approaching. It is not germane when one is dead in the street of the church and has to leave "because" there are not those in the church to assemble and keep it alive. As Elijah, these few are alone, with only God as their Mountain Retreat or Solid Refuge in Zion. Yet as in the days of Elijah, God will reserve for Himself a remnant. A small residue, a few remaining who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Personally, I believe that the church today has this erroneous idea that the remnant is a lot larger than it actually will be, because professed Christians have so degraded that they don't really know abomination when they see it (Matthew 24:15), for the Spirit has not revealed it unto them. Thus, like the five virgins without the oil of the Spirit, they fall asleep unprepared for any Call to "go out" to meet Him.

Matthew 25:3-6
  • "They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
  • But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
  • While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
  • And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."

It's like thinking the 10 virgins will be saved, when only 5 will. Here it is not yet the end of the world, as the foolish virgins have time to go seek oil from the "buyers and sellers," and later to return to the door seeking entrance. But "in the time they went to buy," the bridegroom came, and the door was shut. i.e., they were not sealed. Only those who were already sealed with sufficient oil before they slept (those virgins with wisdom and foreknowledge of the Spirit) were allowed in, because they were prepared of the Spirit.

So we see though all the virgins slept (as the Apostles did when Christ was betrayed) neglecting their office, the wise still had sufficient oil of the understanding of the Spirit, that they could go when the call was made to "go ye out to meet him."

Habbakuk 2:2-2
  • "And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
  • For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
  • Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith."

Selah!

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Tony Warren

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2005, 11:32:34 AM »
>>>
Tony,
I must be missing something!
If all believers are killed when Satan is loosed and no more can come to faith after that point, who are those that are "changed in the twinkling of an Eye" and "meet Him in the air" on His return.
<<<

Revelation uses "symbolic" language. The Two Witnesses are not killed "physically" in the churches, rather they are killed spiritually in the sense that they will not bow down to false gospels in the church, and so are silenced. In that sense they are as "lifeless" in the churches because they can't bring the living word. It can be likened unto what Amos talked about.

Amos 8:11
  • "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:"

It is a time of symbolic or spiritual famine, not of a lack of actual worldly or physical bread, but a lack of the spiritual bread of the word of God. Without the bread of life, people starve in the spiritual sense. If believers are not allowed to bring the bread of life, then life is removed from them in the symbolic spiritual sense. Because (spiritually speaking) they have no life to give. Sacrifice and offering has ceased, their testimony of life is finished so that spiritually they are dead. Killed by the Beast! This is all "according" to the unadulterated word of God.

Revelation 11:7
  • "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them."

These aren't physically dead people laying in a physical street in a physical city, but in the sense that they are the life of the church (in Christ) and they have been overcome by the Beast, they are killed. There is a famine of hearing the word of God that brings life.

Those changed in the twinkling of an eye at Christ's return to meet Him in the air, are all these who were killed in the streets of Jerusalem symbolically. They are the faithful who would not bow the knee to Baal. These are all those who would not receive the mark of the beast. The "few" who would not fall for the church line of, "Peace, Peace," when there was no Peace. They are those who recognized the abominations in the church, the lack of bread, and after they were killed ultimately come out of the church and flee to the "spiritual" mountains.


Quote
>>>
Are only those believers who left the corporate (apostate) churches  preserved ?
<<<

Yes! Because the corporate church will be an abomination unto God at this time and under judgment.

Revelation 18:4
  • "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

I don't believe there will be any believers left in the corporate or external church, they will have been either forced out, persecuted to the point they leave, silenced, reviled and spiritually killed, so that they will (by the Spirit) see the Abominations. They will then come out of the corporate church.

Thus those "professing" believers who are deceived in the corporate (apostate) churches and blind themselves to the abominations therein (the vast majority) will fall and receive of the plagues of God for the spiritual harlotry or unfaithfulness. Those who come out will not!

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

judykanova

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2005, 11:38:43 AM »
>> If the church ends at some point, and scripture shows that, then I think it is part of scripture. <<

Reformer,

Thanks for your additional comments.  Your inclusion of "at some point" brings a different message which I am  inclinded to agree with.  For that is not quite the same thing as saying that all churches everywhere are now dead.  I don't think that it's our place to say this, and there is still the issue of what constitutes a church in God's eyes, and if fellowships would be included.

Hopefully someone will deal in a straight-forward manner with these questions and the Scriptures already given from which they emanate.

judy
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

Tony Warren

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2005, 12:09:11 PM »
>>>
If the two witnesses are killed, and their bodies lie dead in Jerusalem (the great city), wouldn't this mean that these are put to death, (spiritually speaking) and yet have/are remained/remaining to stay in the church?  They lie dead in Jerusalem; in the church?  True believers remaining in fallen churches even though the truth is heard no more?
<<<

Indeed. That's why in the parable of the ten virgins, when the bridegroom tarried, all ten virgins were sleeping when they should have been watching. Ala, the apostles slept while Christ watched. But eventually, they get it.

Matthew 26:40-41
  • "And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
  • Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Yes, believers are human, they are unsure, they have to be "moved" to come out! See the example of Lot, who tarried and had to literally be pulled from the city so God could rain fire and brimstone upon it. ..Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun. 


Quote
>>>
Are we certain that all true believers are commanded, or even conscienciously driven to leave every church?  Can we say with all certainty that every professing believer must come out of the church on earth because every one of them has become apostate?
<<<

If this great city represents the corporate body of the church, and if "ALL" who will not worship the beast who comes out of the pit there "are" killed, and if the two witnesses killed there represent the true believers, and if their testimony is finished, then Yes, we must Biblically conclude that no one remains alive in this city except those who receive the mark of the beast, and who are not the two witnesses. Since God's word tells us ALL are killed of the beast who don't receive the mark of the beast. Not some, All!


Quote
>>>
When the two witnesses are raised to life again, how can it be to bring further testimony, since we are told (Rev. 11:7) they are killed only after their testimony is finished?
<<<

I never said it was to bring further testimony. Perhaps you are addressing some other person's views. That certainly is not my view or, in my opinion, the Biblical view. When the testimony/Witness is finished, it's over. Babylon then falls! There is no testimony that will save anyone after that.


Quote
>>>
Those who are covenantal in practice and faith acknowledge that God's covenant people includes those who are not among the elect of God.  These external covenant people are found in the church on earth, and they are said to receive of many of the benefits and blessings that are reserved for the elect of God.  Are there verses of Scripture that tell us to make distinction between those who are among the covenant people, yet are not the elect, and those who are the elect of God?
<<<


..Of Course!

2nd Corinthians 6:14-16
  • "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
  • And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
  • And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

We cannot be yoked together in the same Temple with unbelievers serving other gods. This is a basic "FUNDAMENTAL" principle. It was the cause or reason for the Reformation of all Protestants. Distinction from false gospels and diverse sects are a given for true believers.

Romans 16:17-18
  • "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
  • For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."

Avoid or move away from them. Shun them, separate yourself from them. We are not to be joined together with those whose doctrines are contrary to the doctrines of Christ. These are deceivers and an antichrist.

2nd John 1:9-11
  • "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
  • If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
  • For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

Should we remain in any unfaithful church together with unbelievers, whether it be a Catholic church gone astray, a Presbyterian church gone astray, a Reformed church gone astray, or a Baptist  church gone astray? If we do so, we are then partakers with them in their deeds, and will be judged right along with them. That is just plain rational Biblical thinking. Again, it's a fundamental principle. No one will stand before God at the judgment day and excuse themselves by saying they followed their Priest, or they though the evil wasn't so bad, or they thought they had no warrant to come out of an unfaithful church. At least not righteously. If we are in the church Babylon when it falls, THEN we deserve every plague that will be poured upon us. Selah!

Revelation 18:3-4
  • "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
  • And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

What should we reply, "I'm not sure I should come out," or "where is the warrant to leave that body?" God forbid!


Quote
>>>
If we say there is an end of the church age, then aren't we implying that there was a time when there was a perfect representation of Christ, or a perfect, wholy pure church on earth at one time? 
<<<

No, if we say there is an end of the testimony of the saints, then whether we like it or not, we are saying that there is an end of the church age. An end of the period of the church when it is going forth with a testimony unto salvation. We're saying nothing more or less than God''s word itself says. The testimony, witnessing, the work of the church is done!


Quote
>>>
Do we find this to be true in Scripture?
<<<

Unequivocally! When the whore Babylon falls, it is the end of the church age. No question about it if we surrender to scripture and "allow" the Bible alone to be our authority. For the scriptures teach that Babylon is the unfaithful church, which was formerly a great and precious city where the voice of the bridegroom was heard, and the witnesses testified in, and where when their testimony is finished, they will be killed.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Erik Diamond

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2005, 12:26:22 PM »
Quote
>>>
When the two witnesses are raised to life again, how can it be to bring further testimony, since we are told (Rev. 11:7) they are killed only after their testimony is finished?
<<<

I never said it was to bring further testimony. Perhaps you are adressing some other people's views. That certainly is not my view or, in my opinion, the Biblical view. When the testimony is finished, it's over. Babylon then falls!

I believe that when these dead stand upon their feet, it is an illustration that they are now empowered by the Spirit (of Life) to again declare God's Word.  Not in testimony of Salvation like before, but in testimony of warnings - in a sense of blowing the trumpet. Becaue we can spiritually understood the abominaiton of desolation taking place in the churches, we we depart out of Great City (Spiritual Babylon). 

For example:

Rev 18:9-11
  • And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
  • Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
  • And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

Joe 2:1
  • Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand

Mat 25:6
  • And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Rev 11:11
  • And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

 
The kings of the earth are believers. While we were killed in the streets of the City (spiritually speaking), we were 'committed fornication' with the church UNTIL the midnight cry made or Spirit of Life came that will spiritually awakening us, now that we can see the abomination of desolation taking place in the city. Then, moved by the Spirit of Life, we must left the church, 'mourning' over the city knowing that the 'church age' have come to an end, as far as salvation is concerned, knowing that...

merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more

No man will no longer buy our merchandise (of salvation) anymore, for God have completed sealing His people and that the Satan (and his Locusts - men with spirit of antichrists have already been loosened.

Hope this helps,

Erik
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Sandy

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2005, 01:54:07 PM »
Tony,

As you point out Scripture clearly warns us to be ye separate from the sin of unbelievers.  There are those among the covenant people of God who are very obviously unbelievers.  These are those who come with another doctrine, and serve not the Lord Jesus Christ.  Its relatively easy, and absolutely necessary for believers to make distinction between these antichrists, and true Christians.  But also mixed within the covenantal people of God are those who identify with Christ.  These claim to be like-minded, and for all intents and purposes show themselves to be 'in Christ' in manner, and testimony.  And yet they find themselves before the Judgment Throne with Christ professing He never knew them.

These are the external covenantal people of God.  They are those who can turn away from the gospel of salvation, they can be cut off from the True Vine.  They look and sound like every other believer, and only God can distinguish between who is real, and who is false.  These make up the tares that grow alongside the eternal people of God until the last day. 

This is the covenant I ask about in regards to the end of the church age, or more importantly believers being commanded to separate ourselves from them.  How is this possible?  How can believers turn away from what God calls His covenant people on earth?  This is what I was asking about.  What about the covenant???  Does God tell us to turn our backs, altogether abandon His covenant people on earth, knowing that His covenant people is made up of both believers and unbelievers alike?

Sandy   

Bradley

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2005, 02:45:03 PM »
>>>And although I don't belong to a church, I also say God's judgment will first begin with "us" -- none here are excempt from God's assessment, for when all is said and done, it's boils down to the heart of each individual.<<<

The judgment begins at the house of God, but the judgment is not upon the true elect of God.  Christ has already been judged in our place for all of our sins (Romans 5:9-10).

1 Peter 4:15-19
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
16 Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

The judgment will begin in the corporate church, and the judgment will be upon all those who "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thes 2:10).  These will be the same one's who will become murderers, thieves, and evil doers.  They will murder or kill the true witness and will then become the false buyers and sellers.

Revelation 9:18
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

Revelation 11:7
7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Matthew 21:12-13
12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

These same people who "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" will not even recognize the judgment of the Lord.

Jeremiah 8:7-22
7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.
8 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.
9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?
10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

God's true children will know the difference and will recognize the false message of peace and will recognize the abomination and will depart from it. 

1 Thessalonians 5:2-5
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

1 John 2:18-22
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Bradley




 

judykanova

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2005, 08:03:41 PM »
>>>And although I don't belong to a church, I also say God's judgment will first begin with "us" -- none here are excempt from God's assessment, for when all is said and done, it's boils down to the heart of each individual.<<<

The judgment begins at the house of God, but the judgment is not upon the true elect of God.  Christ has already been judged in our place for all of our sins (Romans 5:9-10).


Bradley,

As point of clarification, I realize all true believers will no longer be judged.    I was making reference to this Scripture

1Pe 4
17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?



Thanks.

judy

'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

judykanova

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Re: The End Of The Church Age
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2005, 12:47:27 AM »
>>>
Thank you for your post.  I found it very helpful and insightful.  

I do however continue to have questions which stem primarily from my view of what constitues a church.
<<<

I think that may be primarily because you might be confusing the "two ways" that God uses the word Church. God uses it both in a corporate or external Covenant sense (as Israel, His assembly was), and also in an indivisible eternal sense (as two "true" believers gathered together). These are not the same Church, and one is often "within" the other.


Thanks Tony for your reply. 
No, this is not a source of confusion for me, for I know the difference between the corporate/external church and the true church comprised only of the elect.


With regards to these related comments...

Quote

Does this mean that any two witnesses inside this Church will fall along with the visible Church? No, God will through the Spirit by scripture move them to come out, and flee from such apostasy....

But what they are fleeing from "is" the covenant Church. And outside of it is the only refuge from God's judgments poured out upon it....

If you are talking about the scriptures of not neglecting assembling together, they only pertains when one can assemble together as they see the day approaching. It is not germane when one is dead in the street of the Church and has to leave "because" there are not those in the Church to assemble and keep it alive. As Elijah, these few are alone, with only God as their mountain retreat or refuge in Zion. Yet as in the days of Elijah, God will reserve for Himself a remnant. A small residue, a few remaining who have not bowed the knee to Baal. ...


Everyone appears to 'talk around' the crux of the matter concerning fellowships which are fairly prevalent today.  One sizable fellowship, as some know, is the Alameda, CA fellowship led by the person who began this doctrine.  Since you did not disagree with my definition of what constitutes a church in God's eyes, then can one rightly declare that all fellowships  are now ruled by Satan?  No, I don't think this can be said, although this doctinre, if applied evenly across the board, demands it.

Does no one else see the contraction in this, which gives the appearance of hyprocrisy, (although I don't believe that is their intent)??  A straight-forward, honest answer of this repeated question by someone would be much appreciated. 


Quote

I believe that the time comes when the Church has fallen, and therefore the question of Pastors and elders will be a moot point. I think what most Christians think is that there will be this great collection of believers gathered together somewhere here or somewhere there that might start a new Church, I do not believe that is the case. The "true" believers will be very few and thus most certainly not concentrated. Many are called but "few" are chosen.


I noticed you said it "will be" (future), and I agree it may become a moot point.   But what about currently? 


Quote

But the word judgement also means discision making and application of scripture (Revelation 20:4). Everytime we preach the scriptures, we are coming with judgment. And rightly so!


Yes I agree, the Word of God is a two-edged sword that cuts both ways, and there are definite times when judgments of false doctrines and ungodly behavior is not only warranted but commanded.  I recognize what true love and kindess is (as I've attested to in prior posts) -- the faithful testimony of biblical truths.


Quote

The point of all this in relationship to your question is that the pastors and elders will be the buyers and sellers in the Church preaching to the many. The "few" scattered on the mountains are not many who can start another Church. Look to the scriptures as our example. And at a time when tribulation was much less than this period will be (as it's worse than ever has been, or will be again). Elijah in time of famine was not saying, I have to get all these people around me together and have an assembly. What was he saying?

Romans 11:2-5
  • "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
  • Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
  • But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
  • Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace[/i]."
A mere "TINY" fraction of the whole. Elijah looked around at all the abominations and without the help of radio, telephones, or the Internet, thought that he was the only true believer left alive. Well he wasn't rigyt, but he wasn't far from wrong either. In other words, they were Scarce! I'm sure the other seven thousand scattered across the land probably felt similarly separated. That's the nature of apostasy, famine of the word of God, and judgment upon this people. There is not many, just a tiny remnant. So few in fact that God declares if these days of tribulation weren't shortened, there wouldn't be any flesh left on earth to save.


Tony, I especially appreciate the above which speaks directly to some of my concerns. 

You draw a likely scenario, which I have also considered and have commented on in prior posts, of true believers, at some point, being so scarce and geographically isolated,  that assemblies (church/fellowship/congregation/whatever-label-one-wants-to-use) would not be possible. 

IF things were at that stage currently, then indeed, this becomes a moot as I also stated in my earlier post.  BUT, it doesn't appear that we've yet reached that point, given the aforementioned prevalence of fellowships -- unless we are willing to concede that they too have been abandoned by the Holy Spirit.

So we come to the issue of God's timetable.  For several years now, I've consistently supported that idea that one should 'depart-out' of a church if/when they "see" the abominations -- as I saw in mine and left.  I know this is the 'whore' spoken of in Revelations.  By the same token, I have also said that God alone knows His timetable, methodology, and I've never denied that alll churches may at some point fall.  BUT until/unless the issue of assembling does become a moot point because true believers are so isolated, this avoids the question...  Can we currently rule out the possibility that God has allowed a remnant of churches to remain standfast in the faith?  And IF the complete fall of the church comes right on the heels of Christ's return, doesn't the stance that "all churches are now apostate"  become not only a presumptous statement, but a moot point as well?   

I've often cited the 2 faithful churches in Rev 2-3 who were depicted as doing so, in the context of GT.  As as we've been quoting familiar passages, I'll do the same...

Rev 2
8  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Rev 3
7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9  Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10  Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.


These passages are clearly addressed to two covenant bodies in the context of GT.  All I'm saying is, let God be the judge.


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Yes, the Church is as a great city set upon a hill. Everyone sees that city so they see the light has gone out, and the world (being at enmity with God) rejoices because of it. The New Testament Jerusalem is a city worldwide among the nations, not as Old Testament Jerusalem was primarily the Jews. All we have to do is look around us to see the enmity against the true witness of Christ all over the world. The Church is set among peoples and kindreds and tongues and nations, yes! And the false Churches without the true witness prosper, while Churches coming with the truth are condemned. Because they say things the world doesn't like. Things like homosexuality is an abomination unto God, and free will doctrines are an abomination to God, and divorce is an abomination to God, dispensationalism is an abomination unto God, and women ministers are an abomination to God, idolatry is an abomination to God, and tongues, miracles and wonders are an abomination to God. The world wants all the Churches to speak peaceably to them. But the child of God can only speak what God says.
2nd Chronicles 18:12-13
  • "And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good.
  • And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak[/i]."
It's no wonder that when the true witnesses are silenced in Jerusalem that the people and kindreds and tongues and nations see their dead bodies and don't care to bury them. They rejoice because these voices "Within the Church" were a torment to them. They love these new Christians of smooth words (Isaiah 30:10), the compromising Christians, the love Christians that say peace, Peace, when there is no peace. The so-called judgmental Christians who stood up in the Church to say that all these things were an abomination to God, they cannot abide. The scenaio is that the "Church" is no more, as their testimony is finished, and the world rejoices. As the five virgins who trim their lamps and leave their sleep to meet the bridegroom, so are the two witnesses who leave the streets of the Church when they (by the Spirit) see the signs of it's abomination unto desolation and leave it.


Thanks also for these comments.  I agree entirely.  I also noticed that, at least currently, you seem to acknowledge that there may still be "Churches coming with the truth", although the picture will change over time.


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[Matthew 25:3-6
  • "They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
  • But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
  • While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
  • And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him[/i]."
It's not yet the end of the world, as the foolish virgins have time to go seek oil from the "buyers and sellers," and later to return to the door seeking entrance. But "in the time they went to buy," the bridegroom came, and the door was shut. i.e., only those who were already sealed with sufficient oil before they slept (those virgins with wisdom and foreknowledge) were allowed in, because they were prepared of the Spirit.

So we see though all the virgins slept (as the Apostles did when Christ was betrayed) neglecting their office, the wise still had sufficient oil of the understanding of the Spirit, that they could go when the call was made to "go ye out to meet him."


Thank you for clarifying the significance of why the 5 wise virgins also "slept".  I never understood this before.  This also seems to support the idea that at some point, the scarcity and isolation of true believers will be so great near the very end, that no church/fellowsip will be in existance that has the true Gospel.  Only the apostate church ruled by Satan is "selling" false doctrines that true believers will refuse to "buy".


I'm sure some think I'm defending the corporate church, but God knows my heart, and that I am defending what I believe the Scriptures allow and don't allow.  And in light of the current situation, I think it is important to bring to light some of the inconsistencies and double-standards I see in operation here, although they may never be confronted to the extent that I think they should be, given, as you yourself noted, the decline in standards by which we meaure truth.

I too will end with this passage.  God Bless you and the participants of the MR.

Habbakuk 2:2-2
1 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
2 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
3 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith


judy
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

 


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