sermon: Are You Being Brainwashed? (Part 3)
Socialist and Communist Deceptions in Religion
Martin G. Collins
Given 13-Jan-07; Sermon #809; 72 minutes
Martin Collins claims that the dominant media has viciously attacked the fundamentalist wing of mainstream Christianity, while tolerating the 'progressive' wing which embraces globalism and a socialist one-world system. The media's steady stream of brainwashing has painted 'fundamentalists' with a broad brush, ridiculing faith, belief in God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible, replacing it with a world-centered, globalist progressive Christian socialism, emphasizing material over spiritual goals, becoming servants to the world. The purpose-driven churches emphasize burgeoning numbers rather than purity of doctrine, which is the hallmark of God's true church. We, as God's called out ones, need to guard against being absorbed into this harmless appearing, but deadly and sinister globalist one-world system and one-world — religion, based upon 'communitarianism.' The intense sifting and pruning processes going on now have the positive effect of cleansing and purifying God's true church, making it doctrinally pure.
People's religious beliefs are being subtly changed. The movie industry, television shows, scandals, and the national news media, are discrediting Christianity at every turn. Even within mainstream Christianity, progressive Christians attack fundamental Christians. By mainstream Christianity, I am referring to the worldly religious organizations that misuse the terms "Christ," "Christian," or "Christianity" in this sermon.
It is common knowledge today that these avenues of media constantly depict Christians in a very derogatory manner. In movies or sitcoms, Christians are depicted as silly, cowardly, half-crazy, demented, or perverted. Christian leaders and clergy are especially favorite targets.
The mainstream "Christian" churches (such as the Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, most Presbyterian groups, Congregationalist, Southern Baptists, American Baptists, Anglicans, and others) have joined forces with The Ecumenical Movement, as typified by the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches, founded by the Communists and funded by the Soviets to get it started.
These groups are already marching toward the accepted global religious system of the false christ. This system is already very well entrenched in the global society today. It has already arrived and is now sifting out those who believe that the Bible is the inspired written word of God.
How did mainstream Christianity arrive at this point? I am referring to the 20th and 21st century demonic influence behind this conscious effort to completely overhaul the Bible believing mainstream Christianity of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and early part of the 20th centuries, to completely remove the biblical (Judeo-Christian) influence from western society.
Why is this important to families of God's church? Through decades in God's church, I have observed the tendency of some members to barely be able to differentiate between God's biblically-based church and pseudo-Christian traditionally-based churches that we might call part of the world.
Some people see the surface differences of their non-biblical beliefs such as Sunday keeping, pagan holiday observances, and eating of unclean meats, but they really do not believe that these churches are worldly and Christian in name only. We saw an extreme example of that, in what happened to our previous organization, when the Worldwide Church of God went into apostasy.
Jeremiah's prophecy of the justice of God's judgment against Israel and Judah directly refers to false teachers perverting doctrine.
Jeremiah 5:26-31 For among My people are found wicked men; They lie in wait as one who sets snares; They set a trap; They catch men. As a cage is full of birds, So their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich. They have grown fat, they are sleek; Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the fatherless; Yet they prosper, And the right of the needy they do not defend. Shall I not punish them for these things?' says the LORD. 'Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?' "An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?
So, we see God's prophet, Jeremiah, prophesying of a serious weakness that the descendants of ancient Israel tend to have. "The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?" He is hitting us right between the eyes with this, and saying that those who are misleading them are right in among them. He is talking about the nation of Israel at that time and, then prophetically, down through the ages, toward Israel. We can apply that in our nation today, that the same thing is happening, and that he is warning us against it.
The liberal or progressive part of mainstream Christianity no longer poses a threat to the globalist plan. Only fundamental, Bible-believing Christian churches still represent a threat. That includes both God's congregations, His true church, as well as those more conservative professing mainstream Christian churches. They are the ones that offer the threat toward that globalist movement. Therefore, they have been the target of insidious stereotyping. Arab terrorists are now called "fundamental" followers of Islam. The news media and other sources of news have been linking fundamentalist Arab terrorists, which are hated and despised by many, and fundamentalist Christians. In the final analysis, Bible-believing Christians are as much a danger to society as are the Arab terrorists in the mind of the powers behind the scenes.
In fact, we see this stereotype most clearly when the media automatically denounces all of "fundamental" Christianity, for example, for the bombing attacks on abortion clinics (which is absolutely wrong). They lump everybody in together. The bombing of those clinics has been done by a very small number of unstable individuals who claim that they are Christian.
In this world, especially in the United States, powers are systematically discrediting Bible-believing, fundamental Christians. The brainwashing of the American public has been going on for decades. Soon, they will reach the "critical mass" in the minds of too many Americans—that fundamentalists are dangerous, and that society must "deal" with them.
Brainwashing, or mind control, is the successful control of the thoughts and actions of another without his or her consent, and often without their knowledge. Generally, the term implies that the victim has given up some basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes, and has been made to accept contrasting ideas. "Brainwashing" is often used loosely to refer to being persuaded by propaganda.
The Bible is full of examples of the conflict between good and evil. In the New Testament this conflict, or struggle, is seen more clearly for its spiritual nature.
Ephesians 6:11-14 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [many] wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [We are in that evil day, so this is very important to us.] Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Truth is extremely important. Having true doctrine is essentially important to us today. As soon as we come into Christian life, we become part of this ongoing conflict between the forces of God and the forces of Satan and the world. We are involved in it, whether we like it or not; we have no choice. It is important that we realize not only that we are in the conflict, but also the nature of that conflict. We also much realize that the equipment that has been given us, enables us to meet and combat it. That equipment is listed right here in Ephesians 6, and we have been given the armor of God, which we must put on, but many neglect to do this.
Ephesians 6:15-17 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
We see there, at the very end, that the "word of God" is a very important part of truth and doctrine, and it is the source of it. The word of God is the inspired Old and New Testaments complete, and what we call the Holy Bible. All doctrine must conform to what these precious scriptures say. In addition to this, it is vital that we realize why we must resist this damaging power and maintain the good fight of faith.
We are all well aware that we are living in a very difficult, critical and confusing time. There has been a great falling away from God's truth by tens of thousands of professing Christians. Along with this dwindling of the number of attendees, there have been an increased number of attacks from the outside against anything associated with Jesus Christ. It has been an attack against a better way of life. As a result, persecution and deceit takes its toll on the spiritually weak.
Just this week on January 11th, the Church of the Great God had its fifteenth anniversary. It is hard to believe that it was that long ago that we were forced to leave the Worldwide Church of God because of the apostasy and the doctrinal changes that they made. I think that you are going to find this interesting as I give you part of the reason for that. We have heard the reasons for it spiritually, but I have another reason I would like to share with you today as well.
As if the attack and the falling away of tens of thousands of professing Christians is not bad enough, political leaders are moving ahead, without the knowledge of the general public, to install a one party one world system fashioned after the socialist and communist philosophy. Socialism and communism have more of an impact in their meaning to the older members of the church than the younger ones. Because, since the wall was taken down, and supposedly Mikhail Gorbachev moved Soviet Russia into democracy (which never happened), most Americans think that the socialist and communist threat is over. But we are about to see that that is not the case at all.
Socialism and communism, by their very definition and nature, are atheist, humanist and deceptive. The methods used, by those who deceptively promote such a wicked form of government, are nothing less than brainwashing, and mind controlling on a global scale.
Mainstream socialist political parties use such terms as social democracy and democratic socialism. Other variants of socialism include Marxism, communism, and libertarian socialism. Most forms of anarchism are branches of the socialist movement.
Communism calls itself a form of socialism, usually based on Marxist theory of dictatorship of the proletariat and the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need," in addition to the socialist belief of public ownership of essential services. (That is, not everyone is expected to work for what he gets, but it depends on his ability. He might not be capable of working very hard.) Socialism is the philosophical tool used to transition democracies and republics to communism.
It usually includes a political form of social Darwinism in that communism, being superior to capitalism (in their mind), can only develop by evolving from the inferior and decadent capitalism of industrialization. This means countries like the Untied States, Britain, Australia and so on, especially Canada, which has already moved well into socialism. Communism includes a religious worldview whose major ideology includes atheism, dialectical materialism, and socialism. I want you to zero in on that term "religious worldview," because socialism and communism are the methods that are being used to move the global citizenry over to that one world religion.
Infiltration and deception have been tools of conspirators throughout the ages, and the church has been a primary target. After all, God warns us in I John 5:19, "the whole world is under the sway of the evil one." One of his most effective schemes is to redefine God's word and divert Christians from His unchanging truth to man's shifting ideals.
Today's world-centered church illustrates a kind of service designed to please man, rather than God. It trains its servers to hide the "offensive" truths of the gospel. Like Rick Warren, it uses the Bible to validate its purposes, but emphasizes organizational behavior rather than biblical beliefs. So, it is moving the professing Christian churches as far away from biblical-based beliefs to a world-based belief of serving people. Behind its noble appearance hides a postmodern version of the century-old "Christian Socialism."
After extensive research, Berit Kjos, in her September 2006 article, "Treason in the Church: Trading Truth for a Social Gospel," gives some of the background of this world-centered church movement. Here is just a fraction of what she found:
The Rockefellers and other powerful "change agents" fueled the socialist movement. Their funding swayed universities, seminaries [which is critical to understand], and churches from coast to coast. It supported psycho-social research through Hitler's eugenics program, through London's Tavistock Institute, and through various American universities and institutions. This new "science" would raise propaganda, persuasion, and mind control to ever more sophisticated levels.
With Rockefeller support, Walter Rauschenbusch (a Baptist minister and social gospel theologian) and John D. Rockefeller Jr. protégé Dr. Harry F. Ward (who was an American liberal Methodist churchman and promoter of the Communist Party for the first half of the 20th century) helped establish the Federal Council of Churches (FCC) in 1908.
Dr. Ward, through his Soviet connections and influential positions, would become the main source of Communist infiltration into the Federal Council of Churches (later renamed National Council of Churches), Christian seminaries, and compassionate unsuspecting pastors and congregations across the country.
Also, I would like to interject here that John D. Rockefeller, Jr., as well as his son David Rockefeller, actually funded hundreds of the seminaries in this nation so that this communist, socialist, globalist viewpoint could be taught to the leaders of the churches, as well the society as a whole. This has been going on for over a hundred years now, but in a very organized way in just under a hundred years.
I am asking you to bear with me as I read the following testimonies which were given under oath before the Committee on Un-American Activities of the U.S. House of Representatives, 83rd Congress, in July, 1953. Robert Kunzig, chief counsel for the committee, asked the questions. Manning Johnson, formerly a top member of the Communist Party, answered this particular set of questions. These are eye opening and they show you where things are headed within the religious community as a whole.
Page 2266 of the Congressional Record:
KUNZIG: "...the name Harry Ward has appeared in so many of these various organizations and groups. It seems as if there is almost an interlacing tie-up... through various sects and denominations. Have you any comment to make on this situation?"
JOHNSON: "Yes, I have. Dr. Harry F. Ward, for many years, has been the chief architect for Communist infiltration and subversion in the religious field."
Side Note: According to this Congressional Report, Harry Ward also taught "Christian ethics" at Union Theological Seminary [funded by the Rockefellers], presided over the Federal Council of Churches, chaired the American Civil Liberties Union, and worked with the Y.M.C.A., Y.W.C.A. and the Interchurch World Movement.
Here is one of the top communists in the United States heading and working with the leaders of these organizations.
Page 2170 of the Congressional Record.
JOHNSON: "I would first like to read to you what William Z. Foster [General Secretary of the Communist Party USA] had to say on this matter."
"Communists must ever be keen to cultivate the democratic spirit of mutual tolerance among the religious sects.... A still greater lesson for us to learn, however, is how to work freely with religious strata for the accomplishment of democratic mass objectives...."
In recent years, however, the Communist Party, with its policy of 'the outstretched hand,' has done much to overcome the harmful left-wing narrowness of former years and to develop a more healthy cooperation with the religious masses...."
KUNZIG: "Was deceit a major policy of Communist propaganda and activity?"
JOHNSON: "Yes, it was. They made fine gestures and honeyed words to the church people which could be well likened unto the song of the fabled sea nymphs luring millions to moral decay, spiritual death, and spiritual slavery....."
Page 2278 of the Congressional Record:
KUNZIG: "... could you give us a summary of the overall manner in which the Communists have attempted to infiltrate and poison the religious organizations of America wherever possible?"
JOHNSON: "Once the tactic of infiltrating religious organizations was set by the Kremlin, the actual mechanics of implementing the 'new line' was a question of following the... church movement in Russia, where the Communists discovered that the destruction of religion could proceed much faster through infiltration of the church by Communist agents operating within the church itself.
"...the infiltration tactic in this country would have to adapt itself to American conditions.... In the earliest stages it was determined that with only small forces available it would be necessary to concentrate Communist agents in the seminaries and divinity schools. The practical conclusion drawn by the Red leaders was that these institutions would make it possible for a small Communist minority to influence the ideology of future clergymen....
"...the idea was to divert the emphasis of clerical thinking from the spiritual to the material.... Instead of emphasis towards the spiritual and matters of the soul, the new and heavy emphasis was to deal with those matters which, in the main, led toward the Communist program of "immediate demands" [or "felt needs"].
That "felt needs" is something that we also hear in the outcome-based religions.
Does this last point sound familiar? It should, to those who are concerned about the worldwide Purpose-Driven movement. Rick Warren prompted that same shift from "the spiritual" to "the material." As he told thousands of pastors around the world through his "Ministry Toolbox," the focus of his ministry has shifted from faith in God's Word, to service to the world:
Rick Warren was brutally frank when he said,
The first Reformation clarified what we believe. This reformation is all about how we act and operate in the world. It involves the key components of purpose, decentralization, lay mobilization, use of technology, and continuous learning. Churches that change are thriving and growing more effective. Churches that refuse to change will miss the reformation, and are dying.
This mainstream Christian movement that we see will probably not die in the tribulation. It will probably become a major part of that one-world government, as designed by both Satan and his influence of pushing communist and socialist tactics and philosophy.
In the 1980s and 90s (maybe even in the 1970s), leaders of the Worldwide Church of God began taking classes at the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. It was founded in 1947, and Ambassador College was founded in 1948. So, Satan plans way ahead, and he placed it there a year before the college was founded out there, knowing that eventually he would be able to entice leaders of the Worldwide Church of God to take classes there. Fuller Theological Seminary is the largest multi-denominational seminary in the world, having three schools specializing in Theology, Psychology, and Intercultural Studies.
Fuller is influential today as a "progressive" (another catch phrase many times used for communism) evangelical institution, with strong commitment to scholarship and training of Christian leaders, as well as (in their own words) "striving for 'social justice'" (another catch phrase for socialism).
What they are doing with this propaganda is they have changed all of the terms, including the terms within the church, many of the doctrines of the church, and many of the words that we are familiar with, have been totally redefined to take on more socialist and communist meanings.
Fuller Theological Seminary, under its notable alumni, (which I read off their website) lists Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback church, and author of the Purpose-Driven Life series of best selling books.
Several leaders of the Worldwide Church of God were trained there prior to, and during, the doctrinal overhaul of the Worldwide Church of God. What the members of the Worldwide Church of God got was social justice, religious socialism. They were subtly brainwashed into accepting religious forms of socialism and communism.
You are very familiar with what Christ foretold:
Matthew 24:23-24 Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Tens of thousands of professing Christians in the Worldwide Church of God are now in that globalist religion.
We know that Satan is the one who ultimately did this, but we also know that God allowed it so that the people in His church could be sifted, refined and perfected.
John 17:14-17 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
The Worldwide Church of God moved from truth, from biblically based doctrine, to the socialist justice belief system. Were they really converted in the first place? Only God can answer that question.
God's uncompromising and eternal church can never die! As Jesus, the head of His church, told His disciples before His crucifixion, "My kingdom is not of this world." Nor are His followers of the world. Yet, He sends us "into the world" so that we, "speaking the truth in love," may demonstrate His truth and love (not man's humanistic ideals) to all who will hear.
We should not be surprised at what is transpiring in the religious world. John warns us of these things in his first epistle.
I John 2:18-19 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
In a sense, there is nothing that tests our knowledge of the Bible and our faith so thoroughly as our reaction to the situation in which we find ourselves today as a result of what happened to the Worldwide Church of God those many years ago now, and how it has influenced our understanding and made us more firm in the doctrine of the church and God's truth. If we are given to panic or a sense of despair, it may be because we have not really read and studied the scriptures as thoroughly as we should.
The Bible is literally full of warnings of the kind of thing which we are experiencing today. Those who know their Bible should not be surprised by the state of the world as it is, nor at the state of the church.
There is nothing at all which is so false and so far removed from the biblical image of the church as the idea that the Church of God, from the beginning, should go on to continually increase, so that every century should see the church visibly stronger than she was before, and that this should go on until the whole world has become Christian in this age. That is exactly what the outcome-based religions are teaching.
The biblical evidence is overwhelmingly the exact opposite. The book of the Acts of the apostles and the epistles show that the first preachers of the gospel warned the early believers. They warned that the church is in a spiritual conflict and a subtle adversary is opposed to us, and he will fight to ruin and destroy the church.
There are prophecies before us in this inspired written word of God about the man of sin, the antichrist, and so on. Christ Himself warned of the attacks on His own elect and that He would punish the persecutors.
Luke 18:7 8-14 "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?"
And we do feel like He is bearing long with us, because we are feeling like we can barely survive this onslaught of false teachings from the world.
Luke 18:8 "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
I find it interesting that the very next verse begins the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.
Luke 18:9-14 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
We see this outcome-based movement in the world, this religious global movement, being very haughty and forward and cramming the belief down their throats as they put down the fundamentalist Christians around the world.
This parable spells out the characteristic difference between the wheat and the tares who both attend in God's church together until the wheat matures. The Pharisaical "tare" was "an accuser of the brethren" and "prayed with himself" about himself; whereas the tax collector "wheat" accused no one and confessed his true self in humility.
The idea that the church was going to be an institution which would forever increase in numbers is not based upon scripture, but upon a false philosophy, a false teaching. In reality, the very state of the church and of the world is one of the most striking and amazing confirmations of scriptural teaching that one can ever find.
There is a paradoxical truth in this, that the seeming weakness of the church today should confirm our faith and be an assurance to us of the truth of the word of God. What is happening is exactly what we have been told by the inspired written word of God would happen. So far from being cast down, we should be able to say, as we confront the present situation, that man, in spite of himself, is confirming the word of God; it is proving it to be true.
Listen to these quotes that show that religion is being used to achieve global socialism, or worse.
Edgar Bundy, in his book, Collectivism in the Churches:
The leaders of the social-action movements in the churches decided to do away with Christian individualism and turn to outright collectivism, using the church as their instrument.... Religion was only a means toward achieving socialism. And, like all other false prophets who have infiltrated religion through the centuries, [these modern false prophets] used a 'front' or disguise. This disguise ... was 'The Kingdom of God'. The Kingdom was not pictured as a spiritual society into which men and women had to be born as individuals through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior, but as a collectivist society which would be brought about by... eradication of poverty, redistribution of wealth... and 'economic justice'.
He says there that one of the things that they push is eradication of poverty. I do not know if you noticed this, but John Edwards, potential presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, has decided that his main goal and his main focus was ridding the world of poverty.
Dr. James W. Wardner, in his book, Unholy Alliances: The Secret Plan and the Secret People who are Working to Destroy America, writes:
"Rockefeller promoted universal ecumenism by stating in December 1917... 'I see all denominational emphasis set aside.... I see the church molding the thought of the world... I see it literally establishing the Kingdom of God on earth'".
It is interesting that the globalists are intentionally calling what used to be called more popularly the One World Government, or One World Religion, the Kingdom of God on earth. That was established by him in 1917.
The social gospel of the early 20th century shifted the focus of many church leaders from God's unchanging word to the world's pliable illusions. Socialist seminary professors, pragmatic pastors, and deluded idealists validated their visions with hand-picked Bible verses that "fit" their social message. "Offensive" words like "sin" and "redemption" were redefined, contextualized or ignored. In their minds, there is no need for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ since all people are considered essentially good.
Naturally, as socialist ideals tore away at the old biblical "burdens" and barriers to doing what is right in ones own eyes, the change process accelerated. Even "conservative" pastors, like their purpose-driven guides, began to view Christianity primarily as only good "deeds."
The apostle Paul warns that the elect of God should be beyond being able to be deceived by titillating new ideas that seem good, but go against God's word. It gets down to truth. Everything must be weighed against the only source of truth—the inspired written word of God. Once you throw that out, or discredit it, then you are running strictly on human reasoning influenced by demonic powers.
Ephesians 4:14-15 . . . that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.
It is interesting that Christ is reduced to just another prophet in the world in this one world religion.
The church's first consideration, at a time when we are being bombarded by a concerted brainwashing effort, should be the purity of the doctrine. This is something that the Church of the Great God has emphasized for fifteen years now.
The concern for the church is not the number of people coming into the church (God determines that), but rather about the purity of the doctrine of the church. So much of the talk and interest within religious organizations centers on numbers and organization. This is one of those subtly distracting and misleading temptations to most people in the religious circles. This is very natural, very human. We like facts, figures and statistics, because it makes us feel like we are in control of things.
The apostle John, as well as the apostle Paul, emphasized the purity of the church, and not her size. We must prepare ourselves to face the fact that the church of God in this age and generation may have to go into hiding someday in the near future. There are already people who are facing that in varying degrees, in various places around the world, especially in Muslim areas.
Look at what has already happened to the church. Members of the church are meeting in the home of so and so, as it was during the writing of the New Testament. And we must realize that the church is just as much the church as a handful of people, as if she were a large crowd of people.
The thing that matters in the church is the purity of the doctrine by which we learn to understand and live God's way of life—the way of love.
This is no time for becoming easily offended by one another, or arguing with each other. It is a time in which it is essential that we stand in unity together against a common enemy. We are all very familiar with King David's statement in his song of unity.
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Better a handful of people who believe that Jesus is the Christ, than a crowd who is uncertain as to whether He is or not, and who falsely use the word "Christian" to describe themselves. In other words, we must realize that true unity can only be obtained in terms of truth. You can have organizations apart from the truth, but it is impossible to have the unity of the spirit except in terms of truth. The Holy Spirit binds people together who are agreed about the doctrine. There can be no real spiritual union without a common and true doctrine.
It is ironic in a way that the whole Bible, from beginning to end, focuses on a remnant of special people. Paul quoted Isaiah regarding the small number God has decided to work with in this age.
Romans 9:27-28 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: "Though the number of the children of Israel is as the sand of the sea, The remnant will be saved. For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, Because the LORD will make a short work upon the earth."
Paul assures us that God is not about to discard us in any way.
Romans 11:1-6 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, "LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life?" But what does the divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
The apostle Peter was inspired to tell us who the remnant is:
I Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;"
Go through the scriptures and see how God often deliberately reduced the numbers of the church. Read the story of Gideon and see how he gets rid of a great crowd until he has only a handful left. They are the people who come to realize that their doctrine is pure and that God can vanquish the powerful enemy.
It is the power of God's Spirit that matters. We have a power behind us and in us which is far greater than the enemy, and that power always prevails, but God only protects and provides for those who seek and abide by true doctrine.
The apostle Paul recognized that many were leaving the church at that time, and poor Timothy had become depressed. He could see the people going away and following false teaching, believing those who said that the resurrection was past already. He had been sending his despondent letters to Paul, and Paul's reply is found in II Timothy 2.
II Timothy 2:14-19 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
Paul is emphasizing the solid foundation of truth here. He says that in spite of the rebellion, God's solid foundation stands firm. That solid foundation involves the doctrines of the church—the truth—the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. He is the chief cornerstone of the church.
This "seal," in verse 19, has two inscriptions, two mutually complimentary parts. First, the fact that God knows who are His in a way that protectively oversees and benevolently provides for those He has chosen. And second, the acceptance of the source of salvation by the chosen one and his recognition of his call and responsibility to be holy as God is holy. We know that the present situation of the world must not be allowed to depress us, and that the purity of doctrine is essential.
The next thing to do is to examine ourselves. The mere fact that we claim that we are Christians, and that we belong to the church, does not prove that we are Christians. Earlier we read that the apostle John said:
I John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
There were many antichrists whom John denounced. They were people who believed they were in the church. They had joined the church, and had claimed to be Christians, but they were contrary to doctrine and had broken away from the true saints, proving they were not true members of God's church.
This is a serious and important thing for us to realize. The biblical approach is directly opposite from human reasoning, made evident by tradition. The worldly way is trying to drag anyone and everyone into their church. The church has doctrinal standards of truth she must uphold. This is why it must be God who calls people into His church—He is able to read the heart of a person.
According to Richard Cizik, who represented the National Association of Evangelicals at the prestigious 2006 Clinton Global Initiative Conference, regarding Mitigating Religious and Ethnic Conflict:
It's not just tolerance, it's to go beyond tolerance, to principle pluralism, which... means no religion has a privileged place. I would say one step even further, which is to say partnership.... The fundamentalists have a pessimistic view of the future and they have this perception, unlike evangelicals and liberal Christians, that there's an unbridgeable divide between the believer and the unbeliever.... We don't believe that.
Jesus Christ explained why there is this unabridged divide. These are not conspiracies that we are talking about here today, this is all out in the open. You can go on any of their websites and read these things. We are way beyond conspiracies at this point. Jesus Christ explained why there is this unabridged divide:
John 15:19-20 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
We see that it is absolutely impossible for the true churches of God to in any way be in agreement, or follow under the authority of this coming one world government.
The apostles Peter, John and Paul tell us that it is possible for people to be in the church and yet not be of her. There are many strange and curious reasons for why non-believing people to attend church: It may be a habit or a custom; it may be a social thing; it pays for business people to go to church as a networking tool for sales (such as real estate and insurance); or to search out job prospects. All of these reasons are why some people will go to the professing Christian church or even God's true church.
Since we know that there have always been "tares" in the church, and there are still, it is wise for us to examine ourselves and to make certain that we are truly of the faith and truly in Christ. The crucial test is that we are of the church. Remember how John put it:
I John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
What does this mean exactly —"of us"? True Christians are those who are truly unified with the church. They are not loosely attached to it; they do not just have their names on the roll. They do not merely recognize a general sort of allegiance once a week on the Sabbath. No, they are bound by the Holy Spirit in unity.
Remember what I read in Psalm 133:1: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" The world readily accepts the help of Christians in the form of charity and willingness to help the needy.
In order for the globalists to succeed in this assault against those who believe and adhere to the doctrine of God's word, they have had to fine-tune the Soviet Communist strategies. I want to mention only two; there are so many.
1. Infiltration, then mass conversion to a counterfeit system.
Here are a few more revealing testimonies given by former Communist leader Manning Johnson before the Committee on Un-American Activities of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1953.
The plan was to make the seminaries the neck of a funnel through which thousands of potential clergymen would issue forth, carrying with them, in varying degrees, an ideology and slant which would aid in neutralizing the anti-Communist character of the church and also to use the clergy to spearhead important Communist projects....
This policy was successful beyond even Communist expectations. The combination of Communist clergymen, clergymen with a pro-Communist ideology, plus thousands of clergymen who were sold the principle of considering Communist causes as progressive... furnished the Soviet apparatus with a machine which was used as a religious cover for the overall Communist operation.
Of course, it was never called communism. Words like compassion and world service feels much better. This is what they emphasize, is doing what feels good. The saying in the late 60's was, "If it feels good, do it".
2. Communitarian partnerships.
Today, long after the supposed "death of communism," a new spin has been put on Communist propaganda and brainwashing. It has been upgraded to a more pleasing version and it has a new label—Communitarianism! If you hear that term, which you will probably quite often, especially coming up in the near future, just translate it straight over to communism, because that is exactly what it is. Communitarians believe that individual values, such as freedom and autonomy, must be constantly restricted and regulated.
Like the old system, this upgraded version controls the masses through universal surveillance, personal data files, and a hierarchy of groups or councils (originally called soviets). It is already being marketed to the public as decentralized leadership, sustainable development, supportive networks, and voluntary service. In one sense, our voluntary military is actually part of the form of the communist agenda. Next they want to start drafting those who do not want to be part of that.
Does it sound confusing? God is not the author of this—Satan is!
Here is a simple formula describing communitarianism: Communitarian systems are based on networks of "partnerships" between the public sector (government), private sector (business) and the social sector (civil society, including churches).
In other words, social sector "volunteers" would serve the government (ultimately the United Nations agenda) providing most of the "social services" needed for the global welfare state. Did you catch that? Churches are being drafted to provide social services for the world. Keep in mind the communists are atheists, they do not believe in God but they see a way of using religion to their benefit. They are pigeon-holing the churches of the world into being the socialists of the world to provide welfare and social services to the world.
In August, they either started or ended, a process where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) went around to each of the pastors of the major churches and trained them in what to do in the case of an emergency, because the pastors are going to be used to control, direct, and even pass out the food to the people in the communities. The pastors have been guaranteed that they will get the first of the food. Where does it end? It does not.
Its standards already include "mental health," which involve pop culture guidelines for religion and values. So, within this "compassionate" and "tolerant" socialist system, Christians would no longer be free to serve God as He instructs by His inspired written word, the Bible. They are phasing out the Bible in every way that they can, and anybody that will not go along with that will be the fundamentalist terrorists.
Purpose-driven and church growth movements, as well as the secular transformational networks, emphasize collective thinking. As Manning Johnson testified, group thinking and interdependent relationships are powerful weapons against individual resisters and a Bible-trained conscience:
Communist strategists counted the effectiveness of their forces not so much on numbers alone, but on the importance of individuals loyal to communism in key spots where a small group can influence large numbers.... Thus, one professor of divinity, lecturing to future clergymen, who in turn will preach to thousands of churchgoers, is, in the long run, more dangerous than 20 Red preachers, singing the praises of communism from the pulpit...
In order to actually be of the church we must see the purpose of the plan of God. We know that the true gospel of God is the message of the coming Kingdom of God. This is why Satan has also decided to use that as the goal of the one-world religion and to pervert it. For the church, the coming Kingdom of God is an immutable doctrine of God's church! As Christians, we must prepare ourselves for His Kingdom. God is holy, His Kingdom is holy, and He tells us that we are to be holy like Him.
According to the apostle John, God has to thrust those who are not of the church out of the church so that a distinction can be made between the holy and unholy—between the pure and sinful, in order to expose the false and reveal the true. It keeps getting back to truth and doctrine.
I John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
There is a positive side to this ongoing exposure of those who are not of the church. A time like this, in the last hour, is very beneficial to the church; it is a time that tests us. So, we take courage as we remind ourselves of this.
Today, in the present world, the 'thing to do' is not to worship God, to avoid following the teachings of Jesus Christ, to label Him just another prophet and lump Him in with the prophets in other religions. The fact that we are concerned about, and saddened, by these things, in and of it-self, proclaims a great deal regarding us. A time like this tests God's people.
We are being sifted and examined; we are seeing articles in the written media and watching things in the televised media that are opposed to us; we see the majority going the other way, and still we remain steadfast.
John the Baptizer prophesied that Jesus Christ would perform this separation of the converted and the unconverted.
Matthew 3:12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
This is a time of sifting of the wheat and the chaff. A time like this obviously gets rid of that which is wrong and false, and thereby cleanses the church. The loose adherents eventually leave the church, the people with the uncertain beliefs go, and in this way the dead branches are removed and the church is cleansed, purged and purified.
It is the idea of sifting, pruning, and getting rid of the dead leaves and branches, so that the church may be purified and cleansed. And the time that we are living in now, is doing just that.
Jesus Christ knows who His sheep are; and He is very protective of us. But, we have a responsibility to remain focused on our Shepherd's voice and follow that voice of truth.
John 10:24-30 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, "How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one."
Christ's sheep are true, they are being sifted and tested, and they are of Him and can never be removed.
So, we should look at a time like this in that way. It is a time of apostasy—of falling away; and it is a time when the faith of many is failing. But, we are not seeing the end of God's church. No, the church is indestructible and will be going on to glory.
The church belongs to God, and all that belong to Him truly are members of His glorious, glorified body. Therefore, in this extraordinary and amazing way, there is a sense in which we should be thankful for the fact that we are in the church at this present difficult time, and living among the world in this last hour.
We mourn the fact that so many are outside of God's church; we mourn the fact that the church is seemingly weak, helpless and small. Nevertheless, we must be concerned about the purity of the doctrine, the purity of the church herself. If we are faithful members of God's church that means we are to be pure.
To be "pure" is to be free from contaminating matter; to be spiritually clean; to be free from evil or sin. It means to be "holy." The definition of holy contains the word pure, even in the secular definition. Webster's dictionary defines "holy" as "spiritually perfect or pure; untainted by evil or sin; sinless." Only God can declare us holy. And He commands the members of His church to "be holy, for I am holy." The apostle Peter wrote:
I Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
"Obeying the truth" means to do what Jesus Christ taught. What He lived, and taught, is recorded in the Old and New Testaments. We purify ourselves through obedience to God's inspired written word, not to the traditions and philosophies of men. All religious doctrine must be weighed against the Holy Bible—the pure scriptures of God.
We should find excitement in the fact that at a time of apostasy and falling away we belong to the remnant, and we should look to the crowning day that is coming, to the day of the return of Christ with all of His saints. Though small and despised today, if we are of Him, of His church, we will certainly share in the glory that is to come.
Remember Jeremiah's words of warning to the descendants of the Israelites:
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?"