Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Are The Nicolaitans Alive & Well Today ?

Who are the Nicolaitans and why is it important for us to know?  Just 3 verses in the biblical text refer to them, but much more is written about them by the early "Church Fathers". (See Acts 6:5; Rev. 2:6; Rev. 2:15)

[Note: it's best to always read at least a chapter at a time to get the full context]

The Nicolaitans were an early church group known for their heresy.  Over history, their heresies have been adopted into mainline Christianity and other practices have been added.  Here are some of the things they practiced and things that have been added later - see if they have a familiar ring:

- Sunday as the “commanded” day of worship. (... do you ... "Remember the Sabbath"!?!)

- Veneration of Church leaders. (... whoever would be first must be last!)

- Hierarchical church Government. (the individual church, Jesus, and the 12 - that's all there's supposed to be folks! We individuals have direct access to the Holy of Holys.  Massive Church organizations are contrary to Jesus' teaching))

- Use of idols such as the Cross and Making the sign of the cross.

- Prayers to the dead.

- Use of statues to bow and pray to such as what is named the Virgin Mary. (During the first centuries of the church, no emphasis was placed on Mary whatsoever." - Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 14, p. 309.)  (... "no other gods before thee"?)

- The pagans baked cakes to offer to their female deity who they called "the queen of heaven" 1000 years before the birth of Christ. Today they're called "cross buns" and are offered in the name of, "The Queen of the Universe"; Mary. (... "abstain from food sacrificed to idols"?)

- Use of old pagan Feasts such as Christ-mass, and Easter. (December 25 was the "celebration of the victory of the unconquered Sun". - Gieseler's Ecclesiastical History; Edinburgh, 1846.)

- Yule log burning on Christmas Eve and a Christmas tree appears the next morning. The tree represents Zero-Ashta (a pagan god). The Yule log also represents the dead stock of Nimrod, cut down by his enemies, but is reborn the next morning to shine again. Represented by a tree carrying lighted candles.

- Use of Halos around the heads of statues and pictures of those considered Holy.

- Sun Rays coming from behind what is considered holy such as statues and pictures of people, crosses, doves, and even the bible.

- Infant baptism.

- Worship of angels.

- Mass instituted. (vain rituals)

- Extreme unction (Last Rights).

- Doctrine of purgatory which the Catholic Church ~ instituted in 593 A.D.

- Use of Holy Water.

- Rosary (prayer beads instituted).

- Good Friday being taught as the day Jesus was slain.

- Teaching that the dead go to heaven at death.

- Teaching that without baptism even an infant cannot enter into heaven.

- Tradition granted equal authority with the Bible ~ instituted in 1545 A.D.

- Engaged in sexual immorality (pedophile priests? "gay priests?)

Jay Atkinson has written a terrific primer on the subject of the Nicolaitans.

I offer it here as a reference read! It's well worth the time.  Folks, we need to wake up and smell the heresy!
The Observer

Friday, August 12, 2011

3 Great Movements Most Christians Are Ignoring

It isn’t often that Spiritual Movements occur in history. But when they do the mainstream either ignores them, refutes them, or attempts to destroy them.  BTW, the "World" in general doesn't matter in this discussion, because they don't care anyway.  It is my opinion that, by far, the vast majority of the "World" is lost.  The "mainstream" I'm referring to in this context are modern mainline Christians and their churches - you know, the "church" of Laodicea.

The Spiritual Movements spoken of here are the game-changing ones, the ones that matter - not necessarily these.

At this point in history, and over the last 100 years or so, at least three great movements have risen to inordinate prominence.  Among these are; a sincere and genuine movement back to the First Century church, the Rise and Support of the Nation of Israel, and the growth and Support of the Underground Church.

What? What are you talking about, Tiger?  Maybe I've heard of one of these but not all!  If this is the case with you then you have not been paying attention!  Or, you have been comfortable listening to that automaton of a minister masterly manipulating his audience into sleepy stupor on Sunday!

We'll take on these movements one by one.

The First Century Church Movement

The Apostolic Church; the one that existed for the first 100 years, the one that still celebrated on the Sabbath; the one that celebrated the Feasts of the Lord, the one that celebrated Passover, the one that mixed Jew and Gentile, the one that did not consider the 10 Commandments unimportant, the one that read from the Torah (the Pentateuch) and the Tanach (Old Testament), the ones who believed in a Jewish Messiah (Yeshua/Jesus), the ones who worshipped at a Synagogue and Church, the ones who took care of their own first (Joseph's Storehouse); - one could go on and on.  Yes, that Church; the original, is, in fact, alive and well today; in as much as it can be in modern times!

The most God-fearing group that exemplifies the First Century church today is Messianic Judaism.  All of the above and more apply to them.  They are, in fact, a movement; not having any "parent" organization to pay for or grow.  The group does have "associations", such as the MJAA and the IAMCS, but not a parent hierarchy such as exists in the 7th Day Adventist, Baptist, Methodist, or Roman Catholic churches; to name a few.  It is important to note; these folks are Jews - NOT "Jews for Jesus" who have effectively blended in with the Christian mainstream, but ethnic Jews who have come to realize and believe (like their first century brethren) that Yeshua (Jesus) is the promised Messiah!

If you have ever been to a Messianic Jewish service you will understand what I'm saying.  This mixture of Jew and Gentile (mostly Gentile, actually) truly represents what we modern people would say is the First Century church!  It is a realization of Israel, the physical nation and all believers in the Messiah - becoming one.  Folks, if you didn't realize it, the Bible prophesies this would happen - and it has!.

Jer 16:19
O LORD, my strength and my fortress, My refuge in the day of affliction, The Gentiles shall come to You From the ends of the earth and say, "Surely our fathers have inherited lies, Worthlessness and unprofitable things."

IMO, this movement makes the mainstream Christian church look so much like Babylon, it makes one cringe!  The mainstream has indeed inherited lies and they are still espoused from the pulpit every Sunday; on the pagan day the lies were intended for.

Messianic Judaism

Messianic Judaism has a symbol it uses, shown on the far right.  This symbol is perfect in it's intent.  Notice the Menorah, the Star of David, and the Fish Symbol identified with early Christians.  It turns out that this very symbol was used by the First Century Church in Jerusalem.

Additionally, this group also has a special mission.  It seeks to restore the physical nation of Israel to the Messiah, just as biblical prophecy proclaims.  We can disagree on whether or not a rebuilt Temple is necessary for the "end times" but scripture is very clear that Israel will be united and brought under Yeshua.

The Rise and Support of the Nation of Israel

On May 14, 1948 the modern nation of Israel was (re)born following the outlines of the British Mandate for Palestine.  The Mandate's implementation left lots to be desired.  If you follow the link and view the map you'll notice that much, much more territory was set aside for Israel than they have nowadays.  This setting aside of land has biblical significance and is land designated by God.

Since that time, Jews from the diaspora have converged on Israel and made it strong and prosperous.  It is, however under constant attack by the forces of evil.  Whatever you may think of the situation in the middle east, you cannot deny Israel's biblical significance!  It's reemergence is simply miraculous!

And every time my country, the U.S., does something to harm her - we suffer!  It does seem that all the nations are aligning against her (Israel).  To my utter dismay, the Obama administration is particularly anti-Israel.

Zec 12:3
And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.

Zec 12:9
It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

The Growth and Support of the Underground Church

The Holy Bible states it very clearly.  The "Word" will be taken to the ends of the earth and then the "end" will come.

Mat 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Imagine being tortured for giving a friend a small writing of scripture.  Imagine having your wife and daughter raped in front of your eyes because you dared preach and witness the loving Word of God in public.

No, you won't hear about this on FOXNEWS or CNN and it won't be a subject of discussion for the U.N. Security Council.  Why?  Because the main perpetrators are most likely member nations on the Security Council!

And, you probably won't hear about organizations like the Voice of the Martyrs in your Sunday sermon.  (FYI: Messianic Judaism Synagogues support V.O.M.)  Your preachers may find it politically incorrect to distribute bibles in Saudi Arabia!

These modern-day Martyrs for Christ are real!  They are written about in a very famous book.  A book that should be required reading in public schools, IMO.  It's Richard Wurmbrand's; Tortured For Christ.  You can also read about them here.

Folks, the "Word" is being spread throughout the planet - whether you accept it or not!

These 3 Movements are real and engaging.  They are producing good works and appear to be locked and linked with end time prophecy.  I beg of you folks - start paying attention before it's too late!

The Observer