Friday, March 25, 2011

Revelation Chapter Three, Part 5 of 7

3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
The word “quickly” in this verse does not mean immediately; it means that when Christ begins to come, when the Day of the Lord arrives, things will happen rapidly. The Rapture of the saints is always imminent; that is, there is nothing stopping our Lord from coming at any given moment. This is why Jesus was so careful to warn us to watch and pray; to be diligent and vigilant, because He would not want to come upon us and find us sleeping.

Jesus likewise told Thyatira to hold fast what they possessed, Revelation 2:25. We have seen that crowns symbolize reward at the judgment seat of our Lord. There is the martyr’s crown for being faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10); there is the crown of glory for being a faithful shepherd (bishop) to the flock of Christ (1st Peter 5:4); there is a crown for enduring temptation and resisting it (James 1:12). Paul warned believers that they (and he) could lose their crown to another by carelessness, 1st Corinthians 9:25. Paul also attests that those who have loved Christ’s appearing will receive a crown of righteousness, 2nd Timothy 4:8. These are likely those who are “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,” 2nd Peter 3:12.

Are all of these separate crowns? I won’t speculate; my only desire was to point out that crowns strongly suggest rewards. Anyone who tells you otherwise is perverting the gospel of Christ by making retention of salvation a “crown” that the faithful shall in due time receive, rendering our Lord’s title of Savior moot; because in effect we have been busy saving ourselves and now Christ will reward us for how good a savior we are. Frame this statement any way you wish; if you derogate the concept of crowns to simply mean “eternal life” or “immortality” you are twisting Scripture to suit your own human wisdom.

3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out
The city of Philadelphia, historically speaking, was something of an epicenter for earthquakes. The church was on shifting ground in every sense of the word, and there was no stability on where they met and when, since an earthquake could seriously hamper anyone’s fellowship gathering. Our Lord was telling the church that one day they would be made pillars in the temple of God; something sturdy and immobile, as opposed to their former life of being shaken frequently. “For [they] looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God,” Hebrews 11:10. They will go in and go out no more; this might reference evacuations of the city when it was being shaken. They would have to leave their homes and places of worship to go outside. Someday there would be a time when the saints of this church would never go out again. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever,” Psalm 23:6. To the one in Christ Jesus there will be a time when we shall all go in and come out no more. Presently we are in Christ as Christ is in God, and our salvation is assured in this respect, Romans 8:38-39; Colossians 3:3. One day positional salvation (justification) will give way to absolute salvation (glorification). Then will we be pillars in the temple of God.

3:12 and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
When we are saved we receive the Holy Spirit as an earnest of our forthcoming inheritance, Ephesians 1:13-14. When we come before Christ and are perfected we have reached a maturity, a Christ-likeness that allows us to enter into the possession of our inheritance. What was vouchsafed to us has been faithfully delivered at last. Paul held this same hope, 1st Timothy 1:12. He was not trusting in himself but in Christ Jesus to keep His servant until that Day: the day of our redemption. It may be that when we come before our Lord in Heaven that He bestows these names on us, as it is with the parallel of the slave and his master under the Law:

If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing… And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever,” Exodus 21:2, 5-6.

In this picture the slave is set free from servitude, and out of love for his master presents himself as a willing slave for life. To consecrate this agreement, the master brings this slave to the doorpost of the tabernacle and bores a hole in the man’s ear as a sign that this slave willingly gave himself to his master’s care and service forever. What an honor it must have been for a master to have any servants refuse to leave; and rather become his slave for life! It says something about the character of the master. To that end Jesus marks His saints with the names of our eternal Master and our eternal abode. We are jewels that reflect the character of our Savior God for eternity, and the Lord is marking us with His name to reveal who we belong to; who we have willingly submitted ourselves to out of love produced by God’s bountiful mercy.

3:12 which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God
It sounds as if this heavenly city shall descend out of the heavens from God. It may well be that this amazing event occurs during the thousand years, and the city of the New Jerusalem is where Jesus Christ reigns from as David’s heir, and where the saints dwell and travel to and fro out of. While this is quite fascinating we shall not dwell long on it, since there is precious little to expound, and such a topic would only lead to fruitless and distracting debates.

3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the… the beginning of the creation of God
We arrive at the seventh church: Laodicea. Jesus introduces Himself to this church as the Amen, which is perhaps a way of referring to Himself as the truth; since Amen means “it is true.” He is also the true and faithful witness. But it is the third title that arrests my attention: the beginning of the creation of God. Here is something most interesting indeed.

Now first of all, this verse is badly abused to teach that Jesus is presently referring to Himself as a created being; which is patent nonsense, John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-18; Hebrews 1:1-3. The same Greek term for “beginning” used in this verse, “arche” is likewise used in 1:18 and 22:13 when the Lord says He is the “beginning (arche) and the end; the first and the last.” These are terms used of God to define His eternal quality, that He is self-existing and uncreated. Rather, the Greek term “arche” can be translated “origin,” which is clearly what the context intends to convey in this verse, and the other two mentioned. Jesus Christ is the origin of God’s creation, Genesis 1:1; John 1:1. It was Jesus our Lord who created us (Colossians 1:16); so when we read that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and that Jesus was the one who actually did the creating, we understand that Jesus is God who originally made us in God’s image and will re-make us into that image anew, Colossians 3:10.

With that in mind, note that Jesus uses this term for the seventh and final church, this apostate and materialistic church, this blind, impoverished and spiritually starved church. It is a church that has compromised so much that they have forgotten that Christ is God, and that God created all things; man is the product not of chance arrangements of chemicals but of direct omnipotent interposition. This was a church that had forgotten or disregarded that God created the Heavens and the earth, and He created each living thing after its kind. It is a church that has bought into the lie of Evolution. Do you think Evolution is a new concept originated by Charles Darwin? Not at all; Plato, Socrates, Hesiod and other ancient philosophers believed the universe spawned the gods and men, and therefore the universe was self-creating and self-sustaining. This was 2000-3000 years before Darwin’s infamous 1859 book, On the Origin of Species.

Pope Benedict XVI recently declared that God was behind the Big Bang, and that God guided evolutionary processes. He also maligned Genesis as a fictional account with no grounding in how man actually came to be. The leader of two billion Roman Catholics denies the sufficiency or even any truth in the Bible’s foundational book! Yet in this book we find the universe’s origin, man’s origin, our fall into sin, and the promise of the Savior when death entered through sin. If this is fictional, then the salvation Jesus Christ offers is pretend, because death existed before mankind arrived and the Bible is wrong regarding this most important doctrine, Romans 5:12, 16-17; 8:19-22. In effect, there is nothing to save us from if death is not the result of sin but simply an evolutionary process that existed billions of years before mankind evolved, 1st Corinthians 15:56.

Likewise inspired of the Holy Spirit, Paul states: “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds,” 1st Corinthians 15:39. There was no transition from fish to reptiles to mammals to man; each is of its own kind—as it was also stated 9 times in Genesis chapter 1 (1:12, 21, etc.). Paul was apparently deceived into believing that Moses wrote truthfully when he recorded Genesis, and that death was a consequence of sin; death did not exist in the creation until man sinned, Genesis 2:17. Death is not a natural part of God’s creation but a constant reminder of our rebellion against God. The Pope not only maligns Genesis, but also the epistles of Paul and the words of Christ who affirmed that “from the beginning of the creation” God created male and female as is, Mark 10:6. If we doubt origins as the Bible explains it, and God was wrong or lied, then where do we draw the line as to what IS true in Scripture? If God was mistaken about how mankind came to be, then why should I trust Him regarding the doctrine of salvation? Human wisdom and opinion become the rule by which we measure God’s word; instead of submitting ourselves to His truth and allowing Him to teach us genuine wisdom which is from above, James 1:5.

God warned that death is the result of sin; namely rebellion from the revealed word of God. But if death was used to advance living organisms via macro-evolution for billions of years before man arrived (all guided by a “benevolent” God) then the Fall of mankind and our redemption by Jesus Christ is a sorry joke. Sin is a social invention meant to bring people into the line of conformity or subjection to the religious institution, and death is only at work in advancing us to greater states of evolution, presumably even to godhood, as Satan originally declared we would achieve.

With all due respect, any “Christian” leader that treats God’s word with such contempt and steps onto the shifting sands of untested scientific speculation, is not worth listening to, much less following. Since the days of Darwin his champions have been using frauds to perpetuate their theories. Nebraska Man, Piltdown Man, Archeopteryx, the recapitulation theory of an embryo passing through evolutionary stages (courtesy of Ernst Haeckel’s colorful imagination)…all of these have been discovered as frauds. Doctored by men more devoted to Darwin than the truth, macro-evolution discredits itself by its unabashed efforts to foist itself as the only explanation to man’s origins when it can’t even begin to answer rudimentary questions.

1. It has never been witnessed, experimentation fails to produce it, scientific laws and theory are opposed to it (Thermodynamics, Biogenesis) and the fossil record fails to provide any “transitional” fossils of upward progress; and there should be billions of such fossils were macro-evolution true.

2. Evolution cannot explain how random mutation and natural selection (which only shuffle information or reduce its complexity) can eventually create a superior animal; where does a supply of NEW information come from to increase the complexity?

3. How does mutation (which is shown to be only benign or harmful) work in favor of macro-evolution? Cancer is a famous mutation; it is hardly helpful.

4. How could natural selection “select” anything before organic life began? It would need something to begin with; an organic life-form with genetic material, before such a system could be helpful.

5. How did non-life become alive by pure chance, if mutation and natural selection had no original part? And where did the foundational material come from?

6. How did information (DNA) arise from physical, chemical processes? Information ONLY comes from an intelligent source: a mind. Like the information you’re presently reading, it was the direct result of personal, intelligent deliberation; not chance plus time. No one would ever believe otherwise…until you turn to macro-evolution; then the impossible becomes the norm.

This is the tip of the iceberg. Macro-evolution is the conceit of men who refuse to relinquish a dead theory because Design is the only other option available, and Design implies a Creator. In short, macro-evolution lacks evidence, credibility, and testability and is disconnected from real scientific endeavor, which tends to be grounded on what is observable in nature.

While micro-evolution (changes within a species “horizontally”) has never been challenged and is frequently observed, this is not a reliable or logical argument to advance macro-evolution (changes from one species to another “vertically” from less to more complex). It is a death knell for the Christian faith to capitulate to such a godless theory. It is like the Pharisees who worshiped and served money, and also tried to serve God; they hated one master and loved the other. A man CANNOT serve two masters; this much hasn’t changed. Remember: Jesus Christ is the origin of the creation of God; Christ our Lord is God.

1 comment:

  1. Einstein broke with the scientific community because they were using his work to claim things he insisted he had not proven, resulting in false conclusions and claims. Too many church leaders are trying to meet this false science's claims rather than teaching he truth. They are either Satanically deceived, or Satanically inspired, and should not be followed.

    Great post.


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