Ancient Israel is Biblically known as God’s “church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38). The English word “church” in Greek is “egglesia,” meaning a congregation of people. The same word applies to the modern day two-headed, multi-bodied conflicting, contesting, contentious body known as Catholicism/Protestantism, a loosly-united religious body made up of the descendants of the wilderness church which, previous postings have shown, contained both Israelite and Gentile people. Today’s version of the egglesia has turned her back on God and has “gone awhoring” after another god–Satan. She is Christian in name only. God’s true Israelites (His true church) are few and far between. See Who and Where is Israel Today? currently found on page 37. Incredibly, the same spiritual traits embraced by the ancient egglesia can be found in the modern version. Just as the church in the wilderness rebelled against God and paid a terrible price, the end-time Laodicean version described in Revelation 3:14-17 is paying dearly, and for the same reason. And she has much more to pay. For some 1900 years she has “sown the wind” and has now begun to “reap the whirlwind.”
She has not suffered alone. In her rebellion against her Creator she has created much “collateral damage.” The so-called “Christian nations” in which she is found are also feeling the weight of God’s curses. As terrible as His curses have been, and continue to be, they were/are only harbingers of what is coming. The current codis-19 pandemic, racial strife, foreign invasion, war, “natural” disasters, etc. are only “the beginnings of (the) sorrows” Jesus promised to send upon sinning man in Matthew 24. Here He warned that a time of unparalleled terror and suffering would come upon mankind just before His return to earth to establish His Father’s kingdom. Remember that the entire Bible was written to, for and about both the wilderness church (Acts 7:38) and the modern church (Eph. 2:20/ 1 Cor. 10:11). In the Scriptures Gentiles were mentioned only when they came into contact with the nation of Israel. In His Word God declares that He is the same yesterday, today and forever, that in Him there is no shadow (hint) of turning, and that He is the Lord who does not change. God is the same, the church is the same, His dealings with the church are the same. To know the spiritual condition of the modern church and where she is headed one need only study the history of her Israelite ancestors. The news is not good. The Old Testament tells us where we have been spiritually. The New Testament tells us how we got here and where we are going,
That time has arrived. The seals of Revelation 5 and 6 reveal the future of the church and the nations she has led astray through her false gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). Because of her perverted gospel, the Institutional Church has become God’s #2 enemy. The top slot belongs to the god of that church–Satan. Why have the so-called church and their so-called Christian nations embraced the devil? Why did those who call themselves God’s people not learn from their ancient ancestors? Why was Satan allowed to take over the modern church and run it as his personal empire? God provides the answers to all such questions. As the Apostle Paul told the church at Corinth, the Lord’s dealings with their Israelite ancestors was recorded and preserved by the prophets to be used “for our instruction.” The rebelliousness of our ancient ancestors serves as an “example” to warn those “upon whom the ends of the world have come” not to follow in their spiritual footsteps (1 Cor. 10:11). Through the Scriptures God warns those in the end-time church how to avoid receiving the curses the “church in the wilderness” received. Unfortunately, her descendants have continually failed to heed His “voice” and must therefore suffer the same fate as did she–military defeat, slaughter and enslavement of the survivors in the lands of her conquerers. Sadly, the nations in which the modern church dwells have followed her into Satan’s trap and must therefore suffer the same fate. Truly, as goes the church, so goes the nation.
Back to the question of “Why?” Why did the modern church ignore God’s repeated warnings so plainly laid out in His Holy Book? Why did the church in the physical wilderness of the Middle East become Satan’s servants? Why did the church in the spiritual wilderness of today’s world make that same mistake? The Lord’s prophets, whom He calls “holy men of old,” spoke to Israel under the power of His Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). But to no avail. Today, God’s holy men speak the same message to Israel’s descendants. But to no avail. Again, “Why?” Why do those who call themselves God’s people reject His Scriptural “voice” as did their ancestors? In both cases God lays the blame on local leadership. He had some choice words for Israel’s ancient priests. Through His prophets he says the same thing about todays pastors, teachers, evangelists, missionaries, etc. Let us examine some of those Words in order to learn why the church is floundering in Satan’s religious sewer while believing that they are basking in God’s spiritual pool.
The Prophet Isaiah had little good to say to the Israelites of his day who, like their ancestors at Mt. Sinai, were in rebellion against their God. Isaiah lays the blame for the catastrophe squarely on the heads of the religious leaders. Remember that it was Aaron, Israel’s first high priest, who led them in their first act of idolatry. In 56:10 Isaiah describes Israel’s spiritual leaders as lazy, slothful, dumb dogs who refuse to “bark” (warn) so as to alert the people of clear and present dangers. He depicts them as worthless sleep addicts. His words were recorded to warn Israel’s modern descendants. Today God’s few true ministers warn professing Christendom about the enemy in her midst, but to no avail. Not only do the people refuse to listen to such men, their “dumb (silent) dogs” preach against them, even when they know what God said. These men are God’s “watchmen on the wall” whose job is to sound the alarm. The church’s enemy is not only within her, it is cherished and exalted as a “right.” Its name is sin, and “none goes to war” against it because its victims claim to have “grace” which those calling themselves “sinners saved by grace” use to explain why they can sin and get away with it. The Apostle Jude called this attitude “lasciviousness,” meaning a license to sin (vs 4). None goes to war against sin because sin is the thread that holds church fabric together. We are told that to war against sin is futile due to Adam’s universal sin infusion miracle. We are told to just “believe in Jesus” and all will end well. The evening news will quickly dispel that notion. But still Satan’s followers believe him. And he smiles, just as he did while Adam and Eve made their way to the forbidden tree.
Why are church leaders silent (dumb) concerning the CAUSE OF MAN’S PROBLEMS? Why do they remain silent concerning the Biblicly-defined cause of such horrors as war, disease, poverty, floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, homelessness, etc. that affect the churched and the unchurched alike? The answer is that the churches false prophets REJECT GOD’S WORDS. Isaiah explains why in 56:11: “The shepherds … have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain ….” The church’s hirelings (Jn. 10:12,13) tell her what she wants to hear. The more convincing the hireling, the larger the congregation, the larger the congregation, the larger the “love offering,” which equates to a larger pay check.
Anyone desiring to know how a God-led, God-empowered church leader conducts himself need only study the life and ministry of Samuel. As God’s chosen leader Samuel believed what God told him and led the people accordingly. He served as the extension of God Himself. When Samuel spoke it was God speaking through him, and the people knew it. God’s men today also carry that trait, and receive the same treatment.
The people eventually grew tired of Samuel’s God-commanded, no option dictates relative to their lives. Though they knew he was God’s man, they rejected him. They asked God to give them a king like the kings of the people around them. They wanted a ruler who was like themselves. They did not want a leader who was like God. God gave them what they wanted. The rest is history. Today’s pulpits are filled with modern day false prophets–puppets of Satan who, as in the days of old, lead the people in the way they want to go. And as was the case with the Old Testament prophets, today’s ministers are ignored, rejected and dismissed as reprobates. But a time is soon coming when God will remove His true church, including His ministers, by taking them to “her (God’s church’s) place,” an area of safety (Rev. 12:14) which I believe will be Petra in the nation of Jordan. There God will protect His Very Elect while the world faces the Great Tribulation (Satan’s wrath poured out for 2 1/2 years) and the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord (God’s wrath poured out for 1 year) which will ravage sinning man and the world he has created. During that time of unprecedented terror sinning man, including church man, will feel the wrath of both Satan and God. Realizing that they had rejected God’s Word, people will “run to and fro” in search of His Word but will not find it (Amos 8:12). They will have to contend with the Lord’s “two witnesses” who will wreak havoc on them and the earth (Rev. 11).
There is a way to avoid all of the above. To do so one must leave Satan’s Counterfeit Church and his counterfeit prophets. Then one must listen to God’s men who will lead you to Him through His Word. Then one must believe and obey that Word–and hang on. The ride is about to get very, very rough. L.J.