Today is Pentecost calculated by Western Christianity as fifty days after the Sunday of our Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead and return to Heaven to be glorified. As the Father promised, the Lord sent the Holy Spirit on this occasion to come upon and indwell His disciples He had commanded them to wait to receive in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49-53; John 7:37-39, 14:15-17, 20:19-23; Acts 1:4-14). Accordingly, when the Holy Spirit dramatically arrived on Pentecost among around 120 of Christ’s disciples assembled to Him, He came upon and filled them giving birth to the Church the Lord builds, not sinful, mortal flesh as an historic and ongoing falsehood (Acts 1:15, 2:1-4)!
This day then, is the birthday of the Church of Jesus Christ He plainly declared, ‘“I will build,’” (Matthew 16:16-18, NKJV). His intention to be actively engaged in His building project is asserted after His resurrection in the many commands and instructions given to the apostles; ending one instance stating, ‘“…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,’” Matthew 28:18-20, NKJV). He also made it very clear who the converts to faith in Him belonged to as He commanded Peter to ‘“Feed My lambs,’” ‘“Tend’” and ‘“Feed My sheep,’” (John 21:15-17, NKJV). On Pentecost and going forward, Christ began building His Church (ex. Acts 2:5-47, 4:1-4, 5:14, 6:7, 9:31-43)!
The Christian and Jewish calculations of Pentecost which means fiftieth in Greek differ due to dating methods. Interestingly, it is also known as The Feast Of Weeks or Harvest and was instituted by God as one of seven required feasts for the Jews to observe (Leviticus 23). Shavuot in Hebrew was also one of three feasts that all of the males were to assemble “before the Lord,” (Exodus 23:14-17, 34:18, 22-24, NKJV). The feast celebrated the firstfruits of the wheat harvest. Prophetically in the commanded wave offering of the feast, the priests offered two loaves of bread “baked with leaven” always associated with sin and picturing Jew and Gentile as the Church (Leviticus 23:17, NKJV).1
Despite being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the reality of Christ’s mortal Church He builds on earth is that sin still resides in us even though He made perfect atonement for it. My continual praise to God the Father with thanksgiving is that He keeps on forgiving our sins as we confess and repent from them according to His plan from eternity and righteousness to do so through the finished work of Christ until we depart to Him or He returns to perfect us (1 John 1:5-2:2, 3:1-3)! Too, all throughout history some as gullible brethren, impostors, dead religionists, rebels and apostates used of Satan have dwelt in the midst of the mortal Church (2 Corinthians 11:1-21; Galatians 2:1-5; Titus 1:10-16).
Knowing the reality of sin in His mortal Church, the Lord and His apostles gave warning and instructions about how to deal with it and wicked infiltrators of its authentic local assemblies (Matthew 18:15-20; Romans 16:17-20; 1 Corinthians 5; Titus 3:9-11; 2 John 7-11).2 Now, this all presumed such men were not pastors, elders and other leaders in the main! For we are to submit to and obey “overseers” the Holy Spirit assigns to lead us who do the same toward Christ the Head of His Church “as those who must give account;” following their instruction and example (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:15-23; Colossians 1:15-18; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-4, NKJV).
However, when these men are “savage wolves” as foretold and readily identifiable by their failure to submit to and obey “the whole counsel of God” embodied in His written Word if one knows it through regular, fruitful study, we are not expected by the Lord to follow them to their certain destruction without repentance (Acts 20:25-27, 29-31; Philippians 3:17-19; 1 Timothy 5:17-22; 2 Peter 2; Jude 3-19; Revelation 18:1-4, NKJV).3 Yet, because many do not study God’s Word or really care about what it says as gullible brethren, impostors, dead religionists, rebels and apostates in their assemblies of manmade Christianity the religion, the savage wolves devour them by every carnal means as they build their doomed made to order churches (Habakkuk 2:12-14; Revelation 18:5-8)!4
Some have deluded themselves into believing the means however unbiblical with marketing gimmicks and entertainment is justified by the end of multiple church campuses and large numbers filling Sunday services.5 Others are well intended in their desire to make the local church appealing to the surrounding community and culture to attract prospective members. They do so though, by purposely choosing not to preach or obey God’s whole Word; allowing women for example, to take authority over the men (1 Timothy 2:11-15).6 But on this birthday of His Church, the Lord reminds all He is her Builder, not sinful, mortal men with their selfishly ambitious visions, plans and failures.7 Faithful believers are only granted the privilege of working alongside of Him as He does the building!
1 See The Feasts of the Lord, Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal, Thomas Nelson Inc., Nashville 1997, 22, 89-100. The Lord used the two authors to fully open my eyes
about this prophetic assertion of Jew and Gentile assembled before Him as wheat in a future harvest of souls pictured in the Old Testament’s Feast Of Weeks. They fur-
ther well present His work as the Messiah to make it so in the New Testament citing the “mystery” of His Church revealed and explained by the Jewish apostle Paul
(Ephesians 2:11-3, NKJV).
2 Read the two-part post beginning January 5, 2020, Revelation’s Seven Churches In Time, under the category, Bible Prophecy. The Lord leads me to make it clear in this
post that membership in a local church is not necessarily equal to membership in His Church!
3 No professed Christian that knowingly followed and endorsed church leaders in their disobedience to God’s written Word will be able to claim innocence before the Lord
in the Judgment. You had a choice (1 Timothy 5:24-25; James 4:17)! A Christian that will recognize and faithfully stand against evil in these latter days must know the
whole Word of God attained through the spiritual discipline of Bible study and understanding He provides! To help you, the Lord has led me to produce the Fruitful Bible
Study Self-Paced Video Course now, featured on our Strong Man Virtual Institute’s YouTube Channel. The video course and optional Study Guide is available for free
download in the Strong Man Store. It replaces and expands upon the one sheet free document download this Ministry formerly offered.
4 See the September 27, 2015 post, Empire Building On God’s Program, under the category, Call To Repent. Many of those that build their made to order churches today
are of my baby boomer generation that stayed put under the tutelage of corrupt and compromising leaders building theirs back in the day I said nothing about in a recent
post--read the March 27, 2022 post, No Baby Boomer Free Lunch, under the categories Biblical Worldview and Call To Repent. They stuck with the manmade religious
systems of rules, rituals, priorities and activities in Christianity the religion and paid their dues. But if the religious systems of manmade Christianity the religion are cor-
rupt, what really has been achieved in the sight of Christ who judges in accord with righteousness (Isaiah 11:3-5; Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46-49, 12:35-48)?
5 Read the September 16, 2018 post, Justifying The Means By The End, under the category, Instruction.
6 If God in His Word commands the leadership of men as pictured in His perpetual requirement on Pentecost of three times a year they were to assemble to Him in Israel,
then, by what authority are guilty pastors and elders rejecting it? The Lord leads me to deal with this willful act of disobedience nullifying His commandment (1 Corinthians
14:34-37) in many blog posts (type “feminism” into the blog search window). I also address the issue in my book, The Strong Man Of God Back To Basics. It is available
with the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet bookseller
or brick and mortar bookstore.
7 Operating in the flesh as it is, no one should really be surprised at the extent to which pastors of churches large and small are falling like dominoes in moral failures and
ethical scandals particularly those that enabled them as objects of their idolatrous worship; the cult of personality worship saturating the surrounding culture extant in the
Two days after celebrating the one hundred and fifty-fifth year since the end of slavery here in America on Juneteenth and now, for Father’s Day, I write as the Lord leads to speak to the globally seen first degree murder of black American male, George Floyd, by a white male Minneapolis police officer as three other officers watched back on May 25, 2020. All of the men have since been fired and brought up on charges in the case which is righteous. In the meantime, violent rioting, looting and protest marches broke out in cities across America. While the rioting and looting have calmed down, protest marches demanding the end to national systemic racism and police reform persist.1
I have said little publically as is typical when these all too frequent events occur since I am not my own, but the Lord’s watchman/prophet speaking what He puts in my mouth and at the time He wants it spoken (Ezekiel 33:1-9).2 What I have written in social media posts as the Lord led has been directed to black and other angry protesters calling for peaceful protest and thoughtful consideration of the fact the problems of racism and police misconduct are larger and more difficult to overcome systemically than a few changes in laws, policies, procedures and in the extreme, defunding the police which no society built on the rule of law as ordained by God can afford to do (Romans 13:1-7).
To be sure, as with the Law of God, so, the laws of man are made not for those that are righteous, but those that are “lawless,” (1 Timothy 1:8-11, NKJV)! To keep order, the police are hired among other reasons as agents of society to enforce its laws amid those that for whatever reasons break them. Depending on the law, an encounter with police can occur for those that are otherwise law abiding.3 For credibility, the police are expected by God if not the governments that hire them or the people they serve to be law abiding--the same as us preachers who supposedly discipline ourselves so, after preaching to others, we are not “disqualified,” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, NKJV).
Without a doubt though, in only the news clips I have viewed the white police officer that kept his knee on the neck of George Floyd cold-heartedly murdered him.4 It was shocking, sickening and infuriating to watch as it surely has been for blacks since our forefathers as slaves began to make their inhumane voyages from West Africa to this land. For as in those days among heartless slavers and on May 25th, the evil eyes of that white police officer displayed utter contempt and disregard for George Floyd as a human being; the same contempt and disregard for human life that is in the thoroughly evil heart of Satan who hates all (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-11, 17-19; John 8:44, 13:21-30).
It is therefore, understandable that most black Americans are outraged. What has been new and amazing to see is the unprecedented numbers of white, other Americans of color and those around the world that have risen up in protest too. Watching a man being murdered as he pleads that he cannot breathe while the police officer responsible and those with him ignore this, should be more than any normal human being can take without some kind of moral offense and need to act! For this reason, I appreciate the largely peaceful uprising that has occurred in the stand many are making against systemic racism and for police reform in our society.
I am also glad my children and grand-children old enough get to see this brief moment when all but a relative few willful white Americans that refuse, finally understand our righteous cry to end the bigoted, contempt driven mistreatment of black Americans and especially our men who have been strategically targeted since slavery.5 Nevertheless, I urge that all move away from the street protests for your health since God’s Coronavirus judgment remains and because you have the attention of the nation and world--changes man can make are taking place! Keep vigilant through every legal means to hold government authorities accountable. Lastly, check yourself too, as I have urged in social media posts--racism is an issue and evil of the human heart (Mark 7:20-23)!
As such, not only our police officers that are guilty, but you also need what only God has the power to do and that is transform hearts. He has made His power available to all through repentance and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day; sending His power through the Holy Spirit into the hearts of those that believe to make loving our neighbor possible--or if you are white, do you only intend to march for, but refuse to love your black neighbors (Matthew 18:1-5; John 3:1-8; Titus 3:1-7)? This is a clarion call for authentic Christian white Americans to redeem the failure of your forefathers to be true ambassadors of reconciliation and represent biblical Christianity as God intended to all (2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2).
Still, I must caution particularly my fellow Christian black Americans that will please God and do His will biblically not to walk again into the snare of believing we have arrived at what we have waited for so long: a widespread permanent change of heart among and acceptance by our white neighbors.6 Indeed, we have seen this movie before and already the call to defeat is being sounded by those who lead the Civil Rights Movement today; who make our righteous quest for racial, morally equivalent to gender and sexual justice.7 The dream of racial harmony well articulated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963, yet awaits the Second Coming of Jesus Christ because as He foretold, even natural human love that could get us close is diminishing as lawlessness increases (Matthew 24:12).
1 Before I could begin to reflect good before the Lord about this post, another black male, Rayshard Brooks, was shot in the back in Atlanta, GA by another white officer
while fleeing arrest on Friday, June 12th. That officer was fired immediately and has since been charged with murder.
2 See the July 29, 2018 two-part repost addressing the Trayvon Martin tragedy, The Racial Double Standard, under the category, Call To Repent.
3 I have had a few traffic violations over the course of my more than fifty years of driving, for example, and a couple of incidents that brought me into direct encounter
with the police. Most officers were professional and courteous. But as a black male, I have also had the humiliating experience of being disrespected by a few arro-
gant white police officers that were overbearing in wielding their authority.
4 Those that have watched the entire video time out the episode at eight minutes and forty-six seconds.
5 Read especially part two of my 2015 Father’s Day post, Mama’s Boys, under the category, Black History that began on June 21st. While it is an ancient tactic of war-
fare to target men for death when subduing peoples because of their natural will and ability to protect their families if given the opportunity, the prolonged and cruel
acts of guilty white males from slavery to thoroughly oppress, humiliate, dominate and demoralize black males with religious sanction surely ranks high among all of
the evil acts of mankind. I urge all men to read my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics to understand how to handle our business in the image of Jesus
Christ as God wills. Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple
(digital only). You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
6 Does anybody remember the 1978 Allan Bakke Affirmative Action Reverse Discrimination case and the Supreme Court decision? Also, see the November 29, 2015
post, When The Glory Comes, under the category, Glory To God! The counsel the Lord gave me in this post stands and will be fulfilled sooner than anyone reading
this can imagine! However, ‘“the just shall live by faith,’” (Hebrews 10:35-39, NKJV). We do not wait for sinful man, but the living God!
7 A man I have deep admiration and respect for as one of the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, Congressman John Lewis, expressed the politically and socially
liberal heart of today’s leaders and participants in an interview on June 7th while visiting the DC street painted “Black Lives Matter” with its Mayor and reported by
BET.com. Search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation to see if God ever sanctions racial injustice (Deuteronomy 1:17, 10:17-19), calls mortal man other than male
or female (Matthew 19:1-4) or sexual perversion righteous in His sight (Romans 1:18-32). You automatically kick the God of the Bible to the curb and assure certain
eventual defeat when you advocate for and make coalitions with those in active rebellion against Him (Psalms 2, 33:12-22; Isaiah 31:1-3; 1 John 5:4-5).
It is only fitting coming to the end of the made to order considerations built on falsehood within professing Christianity the Lord has led me to address over the past weeks, that I conclude for now, with a false doctrine of the end. As with the Bible, divergence and confusion surrounding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and gathering of His followers to Him unnecessarily exist within professing Christianity because many have developed their own made to order end.1 This would not be so if everyone would start in the Bible, interpret what it says about the matter in its wholeness using the same principles and event chronology with which it is written!2 The confusion is destroying some.
As with all other sound doctrine, addressing the end of this present age and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ must begin with what the Bible actually says, not falsehood or sinful, mortal presupposition! The teaching that Christ returns secretly to quietly fulfill 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 before the beginning of the last seven years of God’s seventy weeks timeline vision He gave to Daniel is not stated anywhere in Scripture.3 It is presupposed by those that remove the passage from its natural connection to and contextual flow with 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. Also, all of what takes place as tribulation during God’s final seventieth week is wrongly considered His full-on wrath at work.
The secret rapture as a made to order event taking place before the onset of God’s seventieth week is largely and forcefully espoused as an end time doctrine by many evangelical Christians. I wrote about the recent origin of this doctrine launched by a false prophecy as the Lord led in a 2014 post.4 So, I will not address that again here. However, it is important to know that where you start in interpreting Bible prophecy is absolutely essential for accuracy. God has wonderfully given His people knowledge about the future only He has had from eternity! So, we must always start with what He actually says or is deduced contextually in His written prophetic Word about future events.
The fore stated is well known by scholars, prophets, pastors and Bible teachers, but for whatever all of the reasons they do not always follow this common sense principle when it comes to end time doctrine. One major reason, of course, is loyalty (publically at least) to denominational and sectarian employers or donors that will separate them from their income for deviating from the party line which is righteous if the party line is entirely biblical (1 Timothy 6:3-5)! Another is a compromising tolerance many engage in because of the prevalence of so many end time scenarios that include those that reject even the prophesied millennial reign of Christ plainly written (Revelation 20:1-10).5
The ancient Jewish sect of the Sadducees missed the awesome instruction of God revealed in the resurrections He performed plainly written in the Old Testament as well as reality of Christ’s because they chose to reject all but the first five of its books and the possibility of resurrection. The Lord answered them directly: ‘“Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God,’” (Mark 12:18-27, NKJV)? If there is any place to be doctrinally dogmatic it is where the Word of God is plain regardless of whether or not it fits comfortably into one’s or someone else’s carefully constructed theology. As the Lord showed, error is to be confronted!
For this cause, I rejoice in the memory of and pay tribute to godly men like Marvin Rosenthal, a Messianic Jewish brother and Founder of Zion’s Hope Ministries who departed home to the Lord earlier this year, but not before some years back publically changing his mind about the timing of the rapture.6 As a typical evangelical Christian he had towed the party line from his conversion that the event would occur suddenly and secretly prior to God’s final seventieth week. But after studying Scripture more closely as a lifelong dedicated Bible student, he realized such a thing did not arise naturally from an objective, straight forward reading of prophetic texts and reversed himself.
He very humbly, graciously and respectfully made his personal findings public in the magazine his Ministry publishes, Zion’s Fire, speaking opportunities and a book he wrote titled, The Pre-Wrath Rapture Of The Church. He was ostracized. His book’s title accurately presents what would be the outcome of objectively interpreting the words of our Lord Jesus in the Gospels as He answered His disciples about the “sign of” His “coming, and of the end of the age?” This should be everyone’s starting place! He gave several signs to precede His return and the end including “tribulation” and martyrdom (Matthew 24:3-14, NKJV).7 The Lord’s broad event summary to the end links with the first six seals fastening a “scroll” of prophecy God later gives Him to open (Revelation 5:1-10, 6, NKJV).8
1 Read the May 29, 2022 post, Made To Order Bible?, under the category, Instruction.
2 As I also footnote in the Made To Order Bible? post, there are an excellent set of uniform Bible interpretation principles widely taught in reputable seminaries the world
over. Scholars, pastors and teachers to include those that major on Bible prophecy however, do not always apply the principles. As the Lord has led, I have put the
major Bible interpretation principles and other information in our new Fruitful Bible Study Self-Paced Video Course now, featured on our Strong Man Virtual Institute’s
YouTube Channel. The video course and optional (but recommended) Study Guide available for free download in the Strong Man Store replace and expand upon a
free one sheet document this Ministry formerly offered.
3 See the January 30, 2022 post, The Right Side Of History, under the categories Bible Prophecy and Biblical Worldview for an introduction to God’s seventy week time-
line vision given to Daniel.
4 Read the two-part post that begins March 16, 2014, The Prayers Of The Saints, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
5 Though a millennial reign of Christ is not specifically stated anywhere else in Scripture, it is strongly hinted at through the prophets (Psalm 90:1-4; Isaiah 65:20-23; Ho-
sea 6:1-3). Since “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” is “prophecy,” we should not be surprised that God includes details and events in it never before revealed (Revela-
tion 1:1-3, NKJV).
6 Out of love for and desire to see the Jewish people come to their own Messiah, our Ministry has been a supporter of Zion’s Hope Ministries for many years. Learn more
about it at https://www.zionshope.org/.
7 The fact the Lord gives signs He instructs to watch for clearly indicates they do occur before His return contrary to the secret rapture doctrine. These signs in Matthew
are also found with little variation in Mark 13:3-13 and Luke 21:7-19.
8 The total of seven seals that fasten the scroll are not judgments as some teach. Instead, they affirm and preview what has already been foretold about divine permitted
or initiated future events while in some cases disclosing new details. For example, the first seal in line with the proclamation of the Old Testament prophets and Christ
in the Gospels, confirms again man’s violent conquering will continue until the end of the age. This is seen historically, now, in Russia’s war with Ukraine and on through
to the last evil conqueror, the Antichrist (Daniel 7:1-8, 15-27; Matthew 24:6-7a)!
While the Lord Jesus most assuredly initially speaks to the seven messengers and the corporate assemblies of Asia they lead, He concludes every message speaking to the individuals that make them up. The proof of this beyond His repeated use of the phrase “He who has an ear...” in Revelation 2-3 I have already referenced is another like it: “To him” or “He who overcomes.” The Lord unmistakably addresses Himself to any individual within the particular church He is speaking to that will give heed to His words. This is not unusual since His Church is made up of individuals that have believed on Him as “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:13-18, NKJV)!
Nevertheless, an elementary truth Christ knows, but many religionists especially fail to grasp is that not everyone assembled together in a local church is truly a born again believer in Him (John 3:1-8). There are “false brethren,” “impostors” and de facto apostates in many ostensibly “Christian” churches that even hold titles of authority (Galatians 2:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:13; Titus 1:10-16, NKJV). This is due to a number of reasons to include the lowered, unbiblical standards of membership many have tied to the practice of Christianity as a religious invention of men and the purposeful infiltration of Satan’s emissaries (2 Corinthians 11:10-15; Jude 3-4). Thus, a local church anywhere on the planet is not necessarily the Church in miniature!5
As a consequence, membership in a local church is not tantamount to membership in the Church of Jesus Christ either. So-called “opening the doors of the church” to invite non-members “to join” without ascertaining their actual spiritual status or presenting the biblical Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) with the requirement to repent and believe it is traditional in many religion bound Protestant churches desperate to fill empty pews.6 However, it is not membership with benefits as in a worldly social club affiliation that the writer of Hebrews advocates in his exhortation, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NKJV).7
His advocacy is for the regular gathering together of the Lord’s faithful as individuals to Him in any number and kind of settings to include jails and homes (Acts 1:12-14, 2:40-47, 12:1-12, 16:23-25; Romans 16:5). The well intended and wicked religionists that have made membership, regular attendance and participation in local, corporate brick and mortar churches alone the standard and core of the Christian experience rather than relationship with Christ and the New Testament understanding of assembling together as His Church have set the unknowing, biblically illiterate and weak among them up for spiritual disaster in these latter days. Truly, what will these folk do when they can’t “go to church” anymore as is the case for our persecuted brethren in many places?
The Lord Jesus also speaks to the individuals that make up the seven churches of Asia because His standards of Church membership and discipleship are high. This is the second part of His prophetic warning. Contrary to popular manmade Christianity, people are not just going to get into Heaven and receive immortal glory “any old how.” Repeatedly the Lord declares it is “him” or “he that overcomes.” The two churches of Asia He commends in full are composed of saints that have endured persecution driven “tribulation,” “poverty,” “prison” and testing; persevering as our Lord “Faithful and True” to the death in faithfulness (Revelation 2:8-11, 3:7-14, NKJV). These faithful saints keep His “works until the end,” (Revelation 2:26, NKJV).8
That the end for persevering faithful saints on earth includes going through “the great tribulation” is bound up in the unfolding prophetic content the apostle John is to write concerning “the things which will take place after this;” that is, prophetic reality contemporary with the seven churches of Asia, but also beyond them (Revelation 1:19, NKJV). Revelation 5:1-10 shows Christ as the “Root of David” and “the Lamb” along with “the saints” and His Church to that moment already in Heaven (NKJV). In the overview prophetic sweep of earth activity up to Christ’s Second Coming embodied in the seals of Revelation 6, the fifth seal (vs. 9-11) makes clear martyrdom in suffering among His saints on earth will be God’s permitted norm--something they are prepared for (Romans 8:31-39).
Revelation 7:9-17 indisputably shows individual saints from “all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues” “come out of the great tribulation” which along with what God does in the heavens and upon the earth, involves all manner of suffering and martyrdom in the all out war finally prosecuted against us by the Antichrist (think Hitler’s “final solution”) as other parts of Bible prophecy and Revelation corroborates (Daniel 7:15-25, 8:15-25; Matthew 24:9-22; Revelation 12:7-13:18, 14:6-13, NKJV). God will also permit the Antichrist to destroy brick and mortar church buildings as is already occurring in many places amidst all of his destructive acts; eliciting a cry from Heaven for God’s people to exit she that is “The Mother Of Harlots” and owns treasured property (Revelation 17:1-18:8, NKJV).
Nevertheless, at the end of the three and a half years of the great tribulation and before the full outpour of God’s wrath, as He promised, the Lord will suddenly appear in clouds of glory. With His thunderous shout, the commanding voice of an archangel and blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will gather all of His saints to Himself in the sky. The dead in Christ will be raised first and take flight to Him, while the remnant of faithful saints still alive will bypass death, be translated and follow after them (Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; Revelation 14:14-16, 16:15, 19:6-16)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
5 It is the universal Church made up of His faithful followers that Christ builds “and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18, NKJV) not every
single local church calling itself Christian (2 Timothy 2:19-21).
6 When unbelievers “join” they are by default impostors, false brethren, devils and tools of Satan as are willful or de facto apostates whether they realize it or not. Is
it any wonder the inevitable historic real life carnal church drama created is making for great film and television drama in these latter days while simultaneously
bringing shame to Christ?
7 Temporal membership in a local brick and mortar church certainly does have its benefits, but they do not exceed the greater benefits of membership in the univer-
sal Church of Jesus Christ! As a result, the value of membership in a local church apart from authentic relationship with Christ and membership in His Church is
exalted well beyond its value and over sold. Moreover, churches that use joining as a test of loyalty to them especially when they are unfaithfully sinning against
Christ are hypocritical and wicked (Matthew 23:15)! Even so, a local brick and mortar church that faithfully preaches the biblical Gospel for salvation, teaches and
diligently strives to model obedience to God’s Word as it is written, equips the saints for and facilitates them in biblical ministry and mission as a priority is well
pleasing to the Lord and useful in His Kingdom causes during the time that is left to operate openly. See the July 23, 2017 post, Churchmen In The Two Minute
Drill, under the category, The Cause. Also read the timely essay, What Hath The Church Fathers To Do With Your Local Church by Stephen Presley, in the Fall
2019 edition of Southwestern News, P. 54-57, to see that even in scholarly circles there is an appreciation of the consequential increase in hostility of Western cul-
tures including our own toward Christianity and discussion of the right response among the churches.
8 Such is every aspiring strong man and great woman of God I write and instruct about from God’s Word in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. If
you want to learn the foundational biblical expectations of Christ for His followers and be equipped to faithfully live them out to the end, get a print copy or digital
download of my book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy
of the book in the Strong Man Store. If you would like a foretaste of what is taught in the book, read my two-part 2019 post that begins August 18, Lined Up Be-
hind Jesus, under the category, Instruction.
A great falsehood in professing Christianity in our day is that somehow God is pleased with its multiple forms by way of thousands of denominations and sects as if there are many faiths. Nothing could be further from the truth since His Word in the Bible teaches there is only the single faith rooted in Jesus Christ (John 12:20-26; Colossians 2:6-7)! So, how is it that there are multiple made to order forms of Christianity? God has historically tolerated these made to order forms of Christianity up until now, as an outcome of His war with Satan who has well used his weapon of deception to seduce the guilty into the sin that has created them. Made to order Christianity is counterfeit and cannot save!
While the Lord and His apostles are clear Spirit-filled Christians do not have to be rigidly uniform in the way we fellowship with Him and each other or express and experience “our common faith” that is known as Christianity (Mark 9:38-41; Luke 9:49-50; Romans 14-15:6; 1 Corinthians 8, 10:23-33; Colossians 2:8-23; Titus 1:1-4, NKJV), all are to obey the commandments, transcendent spiritual principles, morality and ethics presented in God’s whole Word (Matthew 5:17-20, 28:19-20; John 8:31, 14:15-24). Chief among the Lord’s commandments is for His disciples to “love one another” as He has “loved” us (John 13:34-35, 15:9-14; 1 John 2:3-6, 3:10-24, 4:7-5:3, NKJV).
The Lord’s command for His disciples to love each other runs deeper than a sentimental wish for disconnected people to try their best to do this in their own strength as I have encountered so many times in churches during my journey. The Lord gives a command He expects to be obeyed and supplies the means He knows we do not naturally have to do so through the agency of the Holy Spirit within us (Romans 5:5)! As well, His Spirit-filled disciples are more than just people brought together without any formal or lasting connection except faith in Christ, but we have been made eternal spiritual “family” with God as our “Father,” (Romans 8:14-17; Ephesians 2:19-22, 3:14-21, NKJV)!
Because of the foregoing positive spiritual realities, the apostle Paul easily implores us as Spirit-filled sons in the family of God “to walk worthy of the calling with which” we “were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” He follows this with the staggering declaration: “There is one body, and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all,” (Ephesians 4:1-6, NKJV). What are we missing in professing Christianity currently? How about love and one!
Would someone really try to convince me that the warfare, divisions in disunity and multiple made to order forms of Christianity in America alone are the outworking of God’s supernatural love and the best that can be done? No, but God in His Word as it is written reveals the truth that it is foretold apostasy, falsehood, sin, carnality, spiritual adultery along with manmade religion weakly trying its best in the flesh and failing miserably (Matthew 24:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Galatians 5:13-15; James 3:13-4:5)! And with the focus on self, who cares what the Bible teaches about there being only one Body, Spirit, hope of our calling, Lord, faith, baptism and Father?1
Indeed, the multiple forms of Christianity today are a foretold spiritual madness and successful work of Satan after centuries of tempting professed Christians God has permitted (James 1:12-18).2 For it is the direct result of “deceiving spirits” generating many false “doctrines” leading to disobedience and apostasy, outwardly religious men walking in the flesh that view the faith as a religion they control, “impostors” and the purposeful rejection of “sound doctrine” plainly contained in the pages of the Bible many do not regularly study for themselves; preferring instead to be taught by those who teach them what they want to hear (1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 13, 4:1-4, NKJV).
Nevertheless, whether professed Christians comfortable with the present spiritual madness of disunity in multiple forms of Christianity accept the truth or not, Heaven recognizes only “the faith” of Scripture “which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Ephesians 4:7-16; Philippians 1:27-28; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Jude 3, NKJV). All other forms of Christianity as manmade religion are counterfeit, being judged and will be destroyed even before Christ returns as He has led me to write in previous posts (Revelation 17:1-19:4).3 Thus, it is imperative the Christianity we have be of the Bible and that we know it from study as our authoritative source!4 For it is certain that none other but biblical Christianity can save and is worth dying for (Revelation 6:9-11, 7:9-17, 12:11, 13:1-18, 14:9-13).5
1 Read the April 26, 2020 post, There Is Only One..., under the category, Instruction, where the Lord led me to call for unity in the face of the clear paradigm shift He initiated
with His Coronavirus judgment.
2 See the two-part post beginning June 7, 2020, Days Of Separation, under the category, Bible Prophecy. God has allowed Satan to tempt those that are supposed to know
Him as testing since Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). It continues within professing Christianity at this hour as the Lord separates out His faithful from the wicked (Psalm 11:4-6;
Revelation 2:8-11, 16:15).
3 See for examples the August 23, 2015 post, Babylon Is Falling!, under the category, Bible Prophecy and on June 10, 2018, God’s Judgment Upon His House also under
the category, Bible Prophecy as well as God’s Creatures. Finally, read the two-part post that begins August 23, 2020, The Churches Under Judgment, under the category,
4 For instruction on how to get the most out of your Bible study take the free Fruitful Bible Study Self-Paced Video Course the Lord led me to produce on our Strong Man
Virtual Institute’s YouTube Channel. An optional (but recommended) Study Guide is available for free download in the Strong Man Store.
5 This is the heart of aspiring strong men and great women of God I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God Back To Basics. It is available with the companion
Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar
Divergence and confusion unnecessarily attend to God’s written Word within professing Christianity during these latter days in part because many have developed their own made to order Bible. As the Lord led me to write about in my first post of the New Year, there are over nine hundred just English language translations of the Bible in whole or part today as evidence of the problem.1 A related cause are the falsehoods involved in lying on the Holy Spirit as the source in every case for that many translations rather than owning what it is in ego and the presumed divine concurrence with the right of American free enterprise to produce and bring them to the marketplace.
Surely, it is not God behind the multitude of English language translations, their divergences, resulting confusion and desolation of souls as well as humiliating scorn of the Christian faith by the watching unsaved world or would someone really try to convince me the Holy Spirit is the “author of confusion” contrary to what Scripture as it is written says (1 Corinthians 14:33, NKJV)?2 Indeed, would He who inspired Scripture millennia ago now, in these latter days actually cater to individual preference in doling out interpretations of it after having the apostle Peter emphatically write, “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,” (2 Peter 1:20-21, NKJV)?3
No, but the same folk that have historically lied on the Holy Spirit otherwise, have not been afraid to tamper with and alter the written Word inspired by Him to benefit all mankind and especially those that are saved through repentance and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Deuteronomy 31:9-13, 24-26; Psalm 102:12-22, Romans 15:1-6; 2 Timothy 3:14-17)! The Word of God is “life” to those who love it (Deuteronomy 32:44-47; John 6:63, NKJV). Consequently, the Lord has commanded that no one should “add to” or “take away from it” without punishment for causing His people to “stumble,” (Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Mark 9:42-48; Revelation 22:18-19, NKJV)!
The ultimate source and beneficiary of the resulting divergence and confusion from the made to order Bible is Satan as I wrote in that January 9, 2022 post! Moved to gain successes by any means in his war of hatred against God, Satan has deceived and taken advantage of persons as individuals or through sectarian organizations to follow their egos and selfish ambitions to create the many types of English language translations that exist.4 Ostensibly however, their objectives are the benevolent good of making the Bible easier to read, understand or less offensive pandering to worldly desires. Naturally, a number of these such as cults, wittingly produce corrupt, self-serving Bibles.
The solution for the time left is for biblically conservative leaders to come into consensus that word for word translations from the original Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic languages be the standard Bibles of primary authority and use. After this, encourage other types of translations vetted for accuracy and free from modern cultural influence, bias, corruption of or compromise with the plain meaning of word for word translation texts be only supplemental. Finally too, dissuade the marketing of any new designer translations that cater to vanity, personal preference or present the interpretive slants of preacher media stars as so-called “study notes” that engender divergence and confusion.
Alas though, fallen, sinful flesh being what it is, the foregoing is just too easy and fraught with unthinkable injury to ego, selfish ambitions, carefully crafted legacies and income.5 The kind of doctrinal divergence and confusion that exists within professing Christianity not only from the made to order Bible, but the pride of self-exalted hearts is not new, but a continuation from the time of the Lord’s apostles in the first century when they had to contend sometimes with each other to bring the truth of God’s will in His Word to light with it (Acts 8:9-25, 11:1-18, 15:1-29; Galatians 1:1-10, 2:11-21)! Shamefully, divisions rooted in narcissism, human loyalties and profit remains prime obstacles to leaders saying “the same thing,” (Acts 20:28-31; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13a, 3; 1 Timothy 6:3-10, NKJV).
While we live in a nation of freedom, Christians are not free to opinion or teach what we please from God’s Word! Our first citizenship is in Heaven where we answer to our sovereign Lord reigning with absolute authority (Colossians 3:1-2). What is written in the Word He Personifies, authenticated, taught and obeyed during His sojourn on earth as well as had the Holy Spirit further disclose to His apostles for us, we are expected to fearfully treat as sacred and live out (John 1:14, 8:13-20, 16:13-15, 17:17; 1 Peter 1:13-21)!6 Doing so will give rise to a biblical worldview toward all of this mortal life.7 Free enterprise may grant the right to create the made to order Bible, but this does not mean God does or that it will be “helpful,” (Proverbs 14:12; 1 Corinthians 6:12-13, 10:23-24, NKJV).
1 See the January 9, 2022 post, Easier To Read Bibles, under the categories Bible Prophecy and Instruction.
2 Read the May 22, 2022 post, Made To Order Spirit?, under the category, Instruction.
3 There is an excellent set of uniform Bible interpretation principles that are well presented by Dr. R.C. Sproul in his book, Knowing Scripture, and widely taught in reputable
seminaries the world over. Sadly though, even many of the scholars, pastors and teachers that are taught these principles do not apply them! For this reason, as the
Lord has led, I have sought to put the principles and other information into the hands of ordinary Christians to help the willing properly interpret the Bible and get the most
out of their study of it in the Fruitful Bible Study Self-Paced Video Course now, featured on our Strong Man Virtual Institute’s YouTube Channel. The video course and op-
tional (but recommended) Study Guide available for free download in the Strong Man Store replace and expand upon a one sheet document this Ministry formerly offered
also as a free download.
4 As I asserted in the sixth footnote of that January 9th post, Satan’s attack on the Bible is a very important strategic move meant to undercut the good God intends through
its purity (Psalm 19:7-8) and destroy the corrupters along with those corrupted by its altered content (2 Peter 3:14-17)!
5 I have repeatedly and painfully not only witnessed this truth, but experienced it among church pastors, elders and other religious authorities during my born again journey.
Most recently, I could not in good conscience join or accept the pastorate of a church because the pastor’s legacy tainted by disobedience to God’s Word they expected
me to uphold, was deemed more important than the repentance that would have allowed me in. In all of my similar experiences over the years, the religious have chosen
to view me as lacking the requisite humility to pay my dues and follow leadership rather than see the biblically taught priority behind my choices and actions (Acts 4:7-19,
6 This is the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God Back To Basics. It is available with the compan-
ion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and
7 A biblical worldview stands on the foundational practice of objectively reading, understanding and purposely applying God’s Word as it is written just as the Lord Jesus
and every godly person named in the Bible does. Once again, it is not what you or I think, feel or believe, it is what does God’s Word say? See my May 31, 2015 post,
What Does God’s Word Say?, under the category, Instruction. At this hour lack of a biblical worldview is widespread in professing American Christianity and among its
leaders as a recent study by the Cultural Research Center directed by Dr. George Barna at Arizona Christian University reports. This means that many are already com-
promised and ill-equipped to make a faithful stand for Christ in a culture that is intensifying its hostility toward our God and His Word they are failing to fully love and em-
brace as “the truth,” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, NKJV).
As foretold by the Lord, tribulation and martyrdom for the faith have followed faithful Christians during this nearly 2,000 year period since the first century. Today, because the Gospel has spread to nearly every nation on earth, persecution fed tribulation and martyrdom are experienced by the Lord’s faithful in unprecedented numbers to grow much worse leading up to and during God’s seventieth week.9 Before those final seven years, though, the saints with everyone else will also be dealing with God’s escalating warning judgments to include ‘“great earthquakes…,’” ‘“famines and pestilences…;’” the Lord adding in Luke, ‘“fearful sights and great signs from heaven,’” (Luke 21:11, NKJV).
Just as we have had to cope in His provision and strength with persecution, wars, lawlessness, various calamities, famines and pestilences, still to come are what the Lord describes as “fearful sights and great signs from heaven” that will work destruction on earth, affect the cosmos, our solar system and time as we know it along with bring great pain and death to some of mankind. Among the Almighty God’s purposes in these coming, more severe judgments as those now, is to cause willing souls to recognize His reality and power, repent and believe the Gospel to be saved; the preaching of which has been a major reason for His long delay in bringing the end (2 Peter 3:1-9)!10
The shockingly terrifying events as signs and severe judgments from God prior to His final seven years also warn of His approaching full-on wrath.11 The sixth seal previews what God will do to protect His foretold preserved “remnant of Israel” He calls “My elect” that they might endure through His judgments as “trumpets” of warning which actually begin when Christ opens the seventh seal of the scroll fully unfurled thereafter (Isaiah 10:20-23, 65:8-10; Joel 2:30-32; Revelation 7:1-8, 8:1-9:21, NKJV). These plagues with all to follow that intensify in severity have a precedent in what God did to bring Israel out of Egyptian bondage--something the world will quickly catch onto.
For to appease Him, the world will allow Israel to rebuild their Temple! The rebuilding of the Jewish Temple during the period of or shortly after the severe judgments of Revelation 8-9 is inferred by the fact the structure is already standing when God’s final seven years are formally launched at the beginning of Revelation 11! Besides more warning judgments from God at the hands of His “two witnesses” during the first three and one half years of the seven, if not already, “the falling away” of professed Christians may take place here (2 Thessalonians 2:3a; Revelation 11:1-14, NKJV). Could this mass event be in part due to the realization the secret rapture has not occurred to this juncture?
Because His faithful already bear the living mark of the Holy Spirit, they will not be touched by the creatures God sends to hurt, but not kill those without Him in the fifth trumpet judgment (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Revelation 9:1-12). Otherwise, Christians will be at least indirectly if not directly impacted by God’s severe judgments then, as we are right now! Christ plainly taught following Him entails tribulation and death by whatever means, but that we would overcome them in Him (Luke 9:18-26; John 11:21-27, 16:1-4, 33)!12 Therefore, equipped with the Holy Spirit, Christians that will be faithful are fully prepared to endure tribulation from all sources to God’s appointed end.13
This is why instead of protection like the mortal Jewish elect, the sixth seal previews Christians in glory after coming “out of the great tribulation,” (Revelation 7:9-17, NKJV)!14 The “great tribulation” in Christ’s chronology occupies the last half of God’s final seven years. It is the apex of what will be worldwide suffering from all sources, but especially the activity of the Antichrist. Indeed, so severe are the trials of the great tribulation at the ascendency to world rule by the Antichrist with the aid of Satan in “great wrath,” the Lord warns about those days from the prophet Daniel and adds His prophecy to it. Later, from Him, two of His apostles also give warning (Daniel 8:23-25, 9:27, 11:31-45; Matthew 24:15-22; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 John 2:18; Revelation 12:7-13:18, NKJV).15
With the aid of demonic works, the Lord warns ‘“false christs and false prophets’” will arise to assert He has come secretly ‘“in the desert’” or ‘“inner rooms.’” ‘“Do not believe it,’” He also warns. Faithful Bible students will not! Then, He plainly instructs His only Second Coming will be globally seen (Matthew 24:23-28, NKJV)! Too, He plainly says this occurs ‘“Immediately after the tribulation of those days.’” Following foretold cosmic signs He comes ‘“with power and great glory;’” sending ‘“His angels…’” to ‘“gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other’” after which the full-on “day of the Lord” wrath is “poured out" (Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Revelation 11:15-19, 16:12-21, 19:11-21, NKJV).16
While I have already cited two major reasons many American evangelicals in the main may cling to the falsehood Christ is going to secretly come to remove Christians from tribulation even before God’s final seven years contrary to Scripture objectively interpreted, two others that come to mind are pride and fear. The pride is of the same kind that will not let many repent from obvious sin!17 Fear of pain and suffering is normal; giving into it to the point of inventing ungodly means of escape is not, nor does this follow the example of our Lord (Luke 22:39-46; Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Peter 2:18-25, 4:1-6, 12-19). The evil outcome of pushing this made to order end is overthrowing “the faith of some” who cannot reconcile it with what they see or God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:16-18, NKJV)!18
9 Visit https://www.opendoorsusa.org/ a Ministry to persecuted Christians this Ministry supports.
10 See the February 6, 2022 post, The Divine Delay, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
11 Scripture teaches the full-on wrath of God is cataclysmic destruction whether widespread as in Noah’s flood or localized as it was with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis
7:17-24, 19:23-29). The foretold coming full-on wrath of God is part of His “Day of the Lord” launch and will violently shake both the universe and the earth; causing
the earth to move from its current orbit along with upending and changing its topography (Isaiah 13:6-13, 24:17-20, 40:3-5, 42:14-15). It is from God’s full-on wrath
Christians have been promised deliverance through Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 5:2-10)!
12 Learn more about following Christ into suffering as He teaches in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available with the companion Strong Man Of
God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
13 Consequently, as the Lord has led, I have been calling believers in need to repentance and revival! Read the May 22, 2022 post, Made To Order Spirit?, under the
14 Clearly, this passage shows the close of the great tribulation includes partial displays of God’s wrath directed specifically upon those with the Antichrist’s mark still re-
fusing to repent, the water resources they in the majority rely on and the sun to burn them with the heat of global warming at its peak without killing off all air breathing
life indirectly affected due to the shortened days involved (Matthew 24:21-22; Revelation 16:1-11).
15 Read the two-part post that begins February 13, 2022, War Of The Ages End, under the category, Bible Prophecy. Please note in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, the apostle
Paul opens up referencing “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him” (the rapture) as tied to the “day of Christ” which is also the Day of
the Lord. He further instructs “that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed…,” (Emphasis Mine, NKJV).
16 All mortals on earth will see the Second Coming of Christ including faithful remnant Christians who immediately thereafter, are made immortal and join those resur-
rected gathered to Christ in the sky (1 Corinthians 15:50-57). See the August 15, 2021 post, The Honor Of Bypassing Death, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
17 See the September 26, 2021 post, I Have Sinned, I Repent, under the category, Call To Repent. Consider too, the joy and peace of Marvin Rosenthal when what he
understood about the rapture’s timing at Christ’s Second Coming and just before the outpour of God’s full-on wrath fully lined up with what Scripture objectively inter-
18 Believers should have only the truth of God’s Word to inform their understanding, not the opinions of men! This means as this “made to order” series of posts has
steadfastly urged, studying the Bible for oneself to learn the truth therein.
Strong Man Of God Resources
Get Your Copy Of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
Your purchase supports restoring men, families and communities through Strong Man Ministries!
Purchase It Now