The Rise of the False – Part One

Recently in a conversation with a pastor in the Network that I help to lead we were talking about apostles in the Church that Jesus is building today. He is an apostle-in-training whom I am discipling and he is watching as Jesus grows a wonderfully dynamic church under his leadership, love, and preaching of God’s Word. He was asking about how to defend or explain apostles today to one of his people who is completely convinced that apostles are not for today and that this role in the Church ended when the original 12 apostles died. We have this discussion often with sincere believers who have adopted this non-biblical stance while working hard to reintroduce this powerful foundational ministry to the Church today.

In the midst of this conversation the names of several well known preachers came up. They are on radio and television here in North America and around the world (I have seen their programs dubbed into the Russian language). These powerful men of tremendous influence are preaching that all those who call themselves apostles are impostors and that there are no such thing as apostles today. This pastor I was speaking to was trying to find out how to defend his calling and the role of apostles today to this biblically literate young man who is sincere in what he believes – even though sincerely wrong. A young man who is naively following these ‘preachers of the gospel.’

Well, let it be said that there are many preachers out there posing as apostles when they are anything but apostles. They are what Jesus called “false apostles.” Because along with the real deal – men who are called to be apostles and who are doing the work of apostles as they fulfill their calling – there has arisen a substantial number of false apostles. After all, the devil has never had an original idea and only sets up counterfeits of what the Lord has already done. So, as the Lord reintroduces the ministry of apostles to His true Church the devil has been a few steps behind introducing false apostles to his man-made and false church. There would be no need for the false today if there were not the real deal happening out there in the Kingdom. The devil would just be wasting his time.

As God restores the ministry of the apostle, as has happened with other things the Lord has reintroduced, Satan is hard at work to destroy it. He does this by adding false apostles into the mix and, due to the lack of biblical understanding and discernment, most believers cannot tell the difference between the true and the false. So, as a result, depending on who they listen to and follow – they will either accept all those calling themselves apostles or reject everyone who is carrying that label. Both situations are not healthy or beneficial.

It is sad that well-intentioned but biblically inaccurate teachers are painting all “apostles” with the same brush stroke and are so busy tearing down what others are doing and sincerely building in the Name of the Lord and the truth of God’s Word all in the name of dispensationalism – long proven to be utter nonsense. If any of those who are preaching again ALL who call themselves apostles today and do not believe in this role and function in the Church today – would like to explain to me how you can hold that belief in light of the many comments made by Jesus and the numerous verses talking about the importance of the ministry of the apostles in the Church as well as the historical existence of apostles throughout the Church age – I am open to that discussion. However, let’s talk Bible and not your theological camp or denominational stand. And, I invite you to come along on one of our apostolic trips overseas (at your own expense – put your money where your mouth is) and see the work that is being done through the ministry of many apostles working hard in their nations.

More tomorrow…

The Heart of the Apostle

An apostle has a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus. Someone who knows God – the heart of God and the plans of God and thus is passionate regarding the purpose of God to seek and save the lost. The apostle walks in the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:17) and receives revelation – new understanding of old truths – and expresses them in relevant and practical ways in the teaching of God’s Word. The apostle is also highly prophetic and moves in all of the revelatory gifts – Prophecy, Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, and Discerning of Spirits.

The apostle’s whole life is deeply rooted in a healthy fear of the Lord. He is passionate about the Lord and His Church but also focused on the expansion of the Kingdom through the planting of new churches. He is therefore serious about soul winning and is an aggressive evangelistic force that overcomes obstacles others would simply be discouraged by. As a result an apostle is working to fulfill a Kingdom agenda and not their own personal agenda. His ultimate goal is to prepare the way for the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because of the extreme passion for the Lord and the focused lifestyle an apostle leads they are often seen as unbalanced. They certainly fly in the face of the generally accepted teaching of ‘living a balanced life’ taught in many areas of the Kingdom today. When you examine the life and ministry of the early apostles their lives were seriously anything but balanced – and were, in fact, extremely focused and dedicated to their calling. They were totally sold out to the task at hand – of bringing the Gospel of the Kingdom to every people group – so that the Gospel of the Kingdom became a spiritual influence in every society, race, culture, and language group in the then known world. The same is true today – apostles are not known to lead or live either a balanced or a comfortable lifestyle.

As I minister prophetically I often call out young people and speak the Word of the Lord over their life – that they are called to be an apostle. Of course, this is just an announcement of God’s plan and purpose and the first very small step towards them actually fulfilling that call. They are now at the start of a decade or more of intense character development and serious training, equipping, and mentoring. However, in the Word being given there is often the phrase – “you will travel the nations and feel like you don’t have a real home – always remember, My heart is your home.” This is so true for any true apostle of the Lord today. For this reason – intimacy is the key both for a dynamic spiritual life but also for a powerful ministry.

The apostle is certainly a different breed of minister today – but an essential one for the Church to become all that the Lord designed her to be. They are being added back to the Church and becoming part of the leadership mix of many local churches so that the Church is being built upon a correct biblical foundation and can fulfill the divine call upon her to literally take the Gospel to the seven billion people living on the planet called Earth.

A Season of Sever Shaking

The apostle is a special breed of minister. One who lives with an intensity, an excitement, a passion to see the true Church of Jesus Christ arise in the world today. An apostle understands, like the Old Testament Sons of Issachar, the times and seasons in which we live. They live in today’s world but live for another day when the Church will rise in power and fulfill the mandate that Jesus gave to her so many centuries ago – to “go into all the world and make disciples.” An apostle understands that we are in a season of restoration (see yesterday’s blog) and even a season of reformation.

Apostles knows deep in their heart that we have entered a season of sever shaking. The book of Hebrews states, “So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words…one last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern. The phrase ‘one last shaking’ means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.” (Hebrews 12:25-27 The Message Version) They are strong leaders and will guide and direct the Church through what will be, at times, a very difficult and often trying season.

The apostle is a person commissioned by God – chosen, called, and commissioned – to lead in this new season. They are foundational (Ephesians 2:20), first (1 Corinthians 12:28), functional (equipping – Ephesians 4:11-12) and focused (seek and save the lost – Luke 19:10) They are very special as they are gifted with different characteristics – they are bold, visionaries, pioneers with a fighting spirit. They are serious about being spiritual fathers to the younger generation and are full of divine wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17) as they have a deep understanding of the heart of Jesus who is the Head of the Church they are called to help build. This wisdom and revelation is based in a very deep, personal and intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Himself.

God has added to His Church the leaders needed to take her into the future and it is a glorious future. Between now and then there will be trying and difficult times but with God’s leaders in place and working hand-in-hand with the true prophets they will build His Church. This “building phase” will see some of the existing churches and fellowships open their hearts to what the Lord is doing and they will be transformed, changed, and literally undergo a total renovation or makeover. Of course, many existing churches will not want to change and so will not become involved in this “new thing” the Lord is doing but they will still see a season of shaking none-the-less. Along with this there is arising a massive number of new churches and networks of churches that will be planted and established. They will see many come to the Lord as they build biblically under the able and powerful leadership of the apostle.

In The Past Fifty Years

Early in the history of the Church we began to see things disappear from the life and fabric of the Church. Then for about 1600 years, slowly but surely, the Church lost a drastic number of vital, life-giving ministries, doctrines, gifts, and callings. The study of the order in which these things – from the ministry of the apostle to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and so much in-between – were lost, stolen, and disappeared is an exciting journey through history and made a serious “history buff” out of me. The Church lost a great number of ministries and a depth of understanding that robbed her of much of the very life and nature of God and certainly derailed her in the pursuit of fulfilling her mandate to “go into all the world and make disciples...” (Matthew 28:19).

However, the Scriptures state that we are in a “time of restoration” (Acts 3:21) During this time (1650’s until now) God has been restoring that which was lost in and to His Church. The interesting thing is that He is restoring or adding back what was lost in the opposite order in which they disappeared. That which was lost last was restored first – and so on through to the season in which we now live. We are well on the way to seeing the Church restored to its fullness as there are just a few things left to restore and bring to full functionality and then the Lord can return. Thus the Bible states: “He (Jesus) must remain in Heaven until the restoration of al things, as He promised long ago through the prophets.”

Throughout this time the Church has continued to be the ‘light of the world’ and the ‘salt of the earth.’ The Bride of Christ has continued to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and seen people come to a glorious salvation found only in Jesus Christ. God never disappeared from the scene. Many of the things now being restored have existed in small isolated pockets of the true Church even as they were totally annihilated from most of mainstream Christianity. But, in general the Church was crippled and did not fulfill her calling to win souls and transform lives in every nation, tribe, and tongue.

As I look back into the years that I have been alive God has been hard at work restoring a great deal of truth to His Church. The key ones I want to highlight are the restoration of the full five-fold ministry. The Church for many centuries had been led by priests and pastors. These were solo leaders who carried the weight and responsibility of the local churn and the ministry of that church on their shoulders. All that began to change in the early 1940s and has continued to change decade-by-decade ever since. Let me give you a brief summary of what has been added back – only with respect to the biblical ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11)

Between 1940 and 1950 God restored the ministry of the biblical pastor
Between 1950 and 1960 God restored the role, function and ministry of the evangelist and thus the evangelistic ministry
Between 1960 and 1970 the Lord restored the ministry of the teacher
The prophetic ministry and the role and function of the prophet was restored during the 1980’s
And, since the middle of the 1990’s God has been at work restoring the ministry of the apostle

The apostles are being raised up and equipped to lead the Church that Jesus is building into her glorious future. They are being given an understanding of what that Church will look like and how it will function. They are Master Builders (Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 3:10) and thus have the strategic master plan to strengthen and build the Body of Christ in every nation of the world in this season of the Church.

We are living in seriously exciting time…

We Are Scrambling

As I look at the Church today – in North America where I live and overseas in numerous nations where I work on a regular basis – I have noticed that many churches, groups, denominations and unions are “scrambling.” I can’t think of a better word for what I am seeing other than “scrambling.”

What they have always done is no longer working, no longer bringing the results they have been use to, expect, and need. What they do they do well – with excellence. But, the results are not there as they use to be. People are not getting saved and churches are not growing. In fact, in many cases, churches and ‘groups of churches’ have plateaued or are in serious decline – in numbers of people, finances, and community impact. And, in the worse case their numbers have decreased past the point of critical mass and they are on the verge of closing.

I believe this is a result of the lack of biblical understanding of how Jesus is building His Church. I believe this is because man has built his church and it has not and is not working. The Bible states in 1 Corinthians 12:28 that “First apostles, then prophets…” and yet most churches do not recognize the ministry of the apostle today and many others give lip-service to the “postion” but do not receive the ministry of the apostle. As a result the ministry of the apostle is not “foundational” in any way (Ephesians 2:20).

Example – and there are many – They invite an apostle to come and minister and receive them as a teacher, a prophet (a little more acceptable ‘title’ than apostle), or a pastor. So, they are not receiving or accepting the ministry of an apostle, which is foundational and focused, but are receiving the anointing and ministry of a preacher, prophet, pastor, teacher…

I understand that when the Holy Spirit is reintroducing and restoring a ministry into His Church that man’s church is going to reject what the Lord is doing. But, even in most local churches that have some understanding of the ministry and position of an apostle today and invite them to come and minister – it seems they are still, mentally and spiritually, receiving a teacher or pastor. Even in something as simple as they way they are introduced we can see this problem. I am introduced as a teacher, a pastor, a prophet, a prophet-apostle, an apostle-prophet, and – once in a while – as an apostle.

If people see me, for example, as a teacher (because apostles teach) then they receive a “teacher’s anointing.” If they see me as a prophet (because apostles are very prophetic) then they will receive a prophet’s reward and anointing. If they see me as a pastor…You get the idea. But, for a church to be healthy and moving in the same direction as the Lord of the Church they must receive the ministry of an apostle which is “first,” “foundational, “functional,” and “focused” asthe ministry of an apostle. Then that church can and does move forward in the plans and purposes of God for today – and will be healthy and whole, fruitful, and fulfilling the Great Commission ad mandate of His Church – to “go into all the world and make disciples.”

So, because the ministry of an apostle is so often missing or misunderstood I would like to spend some time during the next few weeks to simply look at the ministry of the apostle. I hope you receive as much from reading this series of blogs as I expect to receive writing them…

The Colorado Movie-Massacre and the Real Dark Knight

I thought this worth republishing…
By Greg Stier republished from

Along with the rest of America, I’m shocked and saddened at the mass shootings that took place in Aurora, Colorado, at this morning’s 12:01 am premiere of Dark Knight Rising, the latest and last of the Batman trilogy. As of this writing, twelve people are confimed dead and many more are in the hospital. My heart breaks for the victims and their families, as I’m sure yours does, too. I hope we are all committed to praying for these families and the recovering victims in the days and weeks to come.
I live in Arvada, Colorado, only 24 miles (a 30-minute drive) away from the Century 16 Movie Theaters at the Aurora Town Center. So this shooting hits especially close to home. I also am only 22 miles away from Columbine High School, where a similar tragic shooting unfolded just over 13 years ago. For some reason, the Denver area seems to be a haven for this kind of tragedy.

This morning I got a text from my friend and fellow preacher, Derwin Gray. He is a church planter and pastor in Charlotte, North Carolina, but he is best known for being “The Evangelism Linebacker.” Derwin traveled with Dare 2 Share for two years, and we have grown a powerful friendship as a result.
Our text exchange was this:

“It’s crazy how shootings take place in Colorado.”
“I don’t understand.” (my response)
“I meant Columbine and now the shootings last night at the Batman movie.”
“I know. I just meant I don’t understand why this happens so much in Colorado.” (my response)
“I wonder if there is a demonic stronghold…”
My one word response was “probably.”

This little text exchange got me thinking. It got me thinking about another “Dark Knight” who ruled the heart of a gunman in Aurora last night. It got me thinking about Satan’s role in the Columbine massacre on April 20, 1999, when he invaded the hearts of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. It got me thinking about Satan and the stranglehold he has in the souls of so many. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that this dark knight “comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” and he did just that last night. He used the trigger-finger of this twisted madman to steal innocence, kill people, and destroy hope.

Frankly, as brokenhearted as I am for the victims, I’m infuriated with Satan. I’m sick and tired of his twisted, anti-God, anti-life ways. Yeah, yeah, I know that James Holmes is the 24-year-old suspect the police have in custody, and the judge won’t buy “the devil made me do it” defense. But, according to Jesus, we can’t hate James. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 that we are to love and pray for our enemies.
But in times like this, we have to hate someone, and the best person to hate is the worst…Satan himself. I hate him for the deception he unleashes in the hearts of so many. I hate him for the destruction he has been directly or indirectly involved with since the beginning of time. I hate him for his hatred of everything God and everything good.

I’m dedicating myself afresh and anew to destroying his kingdom through intercessory prayer, rescuing lost souls from his grip, and wreaking havoc amongst his demonic minions. Join me. Join me in this holy uprising against the unholy dark knight—that dark knight who once led worship for all of heaven and was the chief guardian of the mountain of God (Ezekiel 28:12-15), that dark knight who led a mutiny against the King of kings (Ezekiel 28:16-19), that dark knight who was cast out of the presence of God and thrown to the earth in disgrace (Isaiah 14:12). That same dark knight who whispered in Hitler’s ear whispered in another ear last night.

And I am sick of it. I am asking you to be sick of it with me. I am angry and I’m asking you to be angry with me.

So here is our battleplan against the dark knight who rages and raves against God’s kingdom and rips and ravages the people God created:

1. We are going to start praying with passion.

We are going to pray for Satanic strongholds to be torn down (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) and for God’s kingdom to be built up (Matthew 16:18). We are going to pray for the lost people in our spheres of influence to experience the hope, forgiveness, and transformational power of Jesus Christ. We are going to pray for our communities to turn to the only One who can rescue them from Satan’s strong grip. We are going to intercede on behalf of the surviving victims, the familes of all the victims, and for the gunman himself to experience the forgiveness of heaven (along with justice on earth in the form of a stiff sentence).

2. We are going to reach out.

The gospel ain’t going to preach itself. We must preach it. We must love those around us and reach out to them with the gospel message. Who knows? Your next-door neighbor may be the next lone gunman that does something crazy, stupid, and dangerous. In either case, you have the gospel message that can rescue your friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and co-workers from sin and Satan, from crimes big and small, from a wasted life.

3. We are going to live our lives to the fullest.

We are not going to hole up in fear. We are going to live life in faith. We are going to live our lives in boldness because, for those of us who have faith in Christ, Satan can’t ultimately win against us. Hebrews 2:14,15 makes it clear that Jesus, “…too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Jesus’ death on the cross destroyed Satan’s ability to keep us afraid of death. How? Because Jesus destroyed death for those who put their faith in him. Sure we will die physically someday, but we will live in eternity forever through faith in Jesus!

On December 9th, 2007, there was a shooting at the YWAM center in Arvada, Colorado, a mere three miles away from my house. Two people died in this shooting. This hit especially close to home because the YWAM center is on the same campus where my kids go to school. As I was driving my then seven-year-old boy to school the next day, I asked him if he was afraid. He said “Yes.”
I asked him, “What’s the worst thing that can happen to you?”
He thought for a moment and said, “I could get shot and die.”
I asked, “What happens when you die?”
He thought and exclaimed with a smile, “I’ll go to heaven!”
I reassured him with these words, “Jeremy, as Christians who’ve put our faith in Jesus, we can’t lose. The worst thing that can happen to us is the best thing that can happen to us.”

He went to school that day with a spring in his step because of the hope he has in Jesus Christ. You can do the same…if you’ve put your faith in Jesus. If you haven’t, do so now. Go to to find out how.

Let this tragedy remind us to live life to the fullest, to pray to the max, and to reach out with a renewed sense of urgency. And let it remind us to live lives of love, drenched in the power of God and alive with hope. For it is these kinds of lives that will destroy the kingdom of the true dark knight.
 Used with permission from Dare 2 Share Ministries. Dare 2 Share Ministries is committed to mobilizing teenagers to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Dare 2 Share’s youth evangelism training conferences, curriculum and books motivate and equip teenagers to share the gospel with their friends.

More from Greg Stier or visit Greg at

Are You Ready To Die?

Yesterday I was talking about men like C.T. Studd … later in the day I was reviewing a book I read on a recent flight overseas. In this book the author recounts a story of Christian leaders in Communist China whom he worshipped with on one of his recent visits to that nation…

Let me simply quote him…

To lead a Chinese church requires a great deal of courage and boldness. I was told that probably half of the participants had served time in prison, just for serving Christ! As I heard them worship and watched them pray, I felt unworthy to be there.

One morning before I was to speak, they lifted their voices in Mandarin, singing praises to God. I watched as they poured out their hearts in song. Then my interpreter translated some of the words for me. The gist of the chorus went something like this:
Since you died for us, We now offer ourselves to die for you. Since you gave yourself on the cross, How can we do less than give ourselves for you? So, come what may, Whether we live or we may die for you, We belong to you.

That’s not the typical praise and worship song we sing in North America every Sunday, is it? Singing those words and meaning them takes great courage. It was sung by Christian leaders who knew the meaning of suffering for Christ. Some of the most courageous believers today are found in Asia and in Muslim countries where suffering for Jesus is a real possibility…How do Christian under such opposition stand so boldly for the Lord Jesus? They stand only through the Holy Spirit, who was given to the Church so that bold witness for Christ could be made no matter what the outcome.

And here we live in relative safety and comfort….and we have the same Holy Spirit given to us so that we too can be empowered to be a witness for Him. Are we willing to tell others about Jesus no matter what others may think of us? Are we will to sacrifice pleasures and comfort so that others can hear? Even deeper still – are we willing to suffer and die for the faith once delivered for the saints? Believers have died so that we could hear the Gospel and be saved. Are we willing to suffer and die? If not – why not?

Good question to ponder on a quiet summer weekend.

Not Afraid to Die

I read a lot of life stories – biographies of believers who have made an impact on their world for Jesus. Some have been long gone and enjoying their reward in heaven – others are still pushing on through daily obstacles here and now. In the summer I take the opportunity of a slightly slower pace and a few free evenings to sit outside under a large tree (I planted it 30 years ago) and read while sitting in the shade. People like John Paton, Jim Elliot, C.T. Studd and many others have become good friends.

These great men and women of God all illustrate one fundamental truth: your life is free to be radical when you see death as reward. This is the essence of what Jesus taught in Matthew 10, and I believe it is THE KEY to taking back your faith from the world, the flesh and the devil. The key, it seems, is realizing – and believing – that the world is not your home. If you and I ever hope to live our lives free from worldly desires, worldly thinking, worldly pleasures, worldly dreams, worldly ideas, worldly values, worldly ambitions, and worldly acclaim, then we must focus our lives on another world. We must fix our attention on “a better country – a heavenly one.”

Though we find ourselves surrounded by the lure of temporary pleasure, we must fasten our affections on the One who promises eternal treasure that will never spoil or fade. If your life or my life is ever going to count on Earth, we must start by concentrating on Heaven. For then, and only then, will you and I be free to take radical risks, knowing that we are citizens of Heaven and it is in Heaven that we receive our reward.

Listen to the reward that C.T. Studd* was living for…

“Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past!…Should such men as we fear? Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm. faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust God…and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing loud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in God than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.”

That is what it means to live for Heaven and not be afraid to die for Christ…and thus to make a real impact on your world for Jesus.

* C. T. Studd (1860-1931) was a cricketer and a Christian pioneer who help to found a number of organizations and did mission work in both China and Africa while having a worldwide impact for the Gospel. For more information go to Wikipedia…

A Listening Ear and a Hearing Heart

In the New Testament era, a simple believer named Ananias received Christ’s instructions to go to the recently covered Saul of Tarsus and minister to him. He wasn’t a prophet, but he heard from God a message, not of new doctrine, but of personal direction. This is a key for those who walk in the Spirit today.

First – every believer can hear from God and receive what we know as a “revelation.” A revelation is simply God speaking to us as He has promised to do. John 10 states that “My sheep hear My voice.” When we do we call that a revelation because God has revealed something to us. Maybe we should simply call it “normal.” Regretfully, because most believers have not learned to differentiate God’s voice from the other voices we hear it is not “normal” – and those who do hear God regularly appear special and their “revelations’ gain extra importance in the life of believers and the local church.

Second – because those who do walk in the revelatory gifts apparently are few and far between, their word becomes much more powerful than it should be. People flock to their services if they are known as a prophet or apostle because they want to receive a word from the Lord. If they are a member of a congregation – people value their insights and opinions more than those of others because “they hear God.” This gives them and their words more influence than they really should have and that influence is often misused. Everyone should be hearing God for themselves – and those who do hear God and minister prophetically then simply confirm what believers have already heard for themselves. This places the revelatory gifts back where they really belong.

This sometimes leads to people who are prophetic then beginning to go past receiving simple personal direction and helping people to know what the Lord is calling them to do and how, when, where, and with whom they are to do it. They begin to receive fresh revelation from the Lord – new teachings, new insights, new doctrine … most of which are not even biblical. However, the Church is often not very discerning and these teachings are openly accepted as “from the Lord” because these people hear God. This is how the church goes into apostasy and heresy becomes a regular part of the life of the Church.

When someone walks in the revelatory gifts and ministers prophetically – their revelations must line up with what the Bible states and teaches. When they receive a revelation – it should be a new insight into an old truth – not a new truth or doctrine that is being established. Revelation brings new light and fresh insight into biblical truths and the work that the Lord is currently doing in His Church and in the world. Fresh insight into established biblical truth. Of course, this should be happening every Sunday from every pulpit in every nation as the teacher or pastor brings fresh revelation, new and timely insights into the Word of God – the Bible.

So, be careful what you hear or read – in the end times, Paul wrote, many will teach doctrines of demons, myths, and strange fables – and this has now become a reality and even the “very elect are being deceived.”

The Little Lady at the Lottery

Christians today are in love with themselves. We pamper ourselves. We purchase things for our pleasure not just for our comfort. These purchases are way past our basic necessities. We are absorbed by “self” and so accumulate – things, money, vacation memories – and always bigger and better. All of this often without much thought for those who we can “brothers” – believers in other nations who cannot, through no fault of their own, even supply their children one basic good meal a day. Luxuries here – basic necessities missing there.

I am reminded of this when we have a major run every Friday night on the lottery booths. I was standing in line at a drug store last Friday and an elderly lady (I mean much older than me and that means o-l-d) was purchasing a lottery ticket along with her other purchases. She suddenly realized it was Friday and that the lottery was being drawn that night and so she had better get her ticket – her chance at the big one. And, I admit it, I wondered if she would live long enough to even spend it if she had won it. When the prize is super large – the line-ups get super long… Must we remind ourselves that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) Not money itself – simply the love of it – and both the ultra rich and the extremely poor can share a “love for money” even if their incomes are literally worlds apart.

I believe it is time for all Christians to examine the way of life that we have adopted – the one we demand as our right because we live in a free, democratic society. I believe it is time we examined the gospel that we believe; a gospel that is heavy on the rewards and light on the obligations and responsibilities. I believe it is time to look at the lifestyle we have adopted and see if we can really justify it when we place the words and the commands of Jesus Christ up next to it. It is certainly time to stop kidding ourselves that everything is great and that when the Day of personal Judgment comes we will simply step across the line and be welcomed into Heaven without anything being said – or any consequences being suffered (yes, I used the word “suffered”). This is not what God’s Word states.

Jim Elliot (1927-56) who was a martyr for the Christian faith wrote: “Consider the call from the Throne above, “Go ye,” and from round about, “Come over and help us,” and even the call from the damned souls below, “Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place.” Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas (the tribe he wanted to reach for Jesus) perish. So what is the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. …believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.”

Jesus wrote:What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Mark 8:36) And, it seems to me anyways that many believers today are simply living their lives in the same manner as those who do not believe in Jesus Christ. And, then we wonder why we are not having an impact on our town or city and why no one appears interested in the Christian faith. My observation, for what it is worth – non-believers would be seriously interested and fascinated by Christ and what He taught about a radical, alternate lifestyle if they could simply see someone living it out in their world today. However, we are too busy standing in line for a ticket to the next big Lotto 649 along with the millions of others who worship at the altar of Mammon.