A PROUD DEMOCRAT



By Ken Blue
June 23rd, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES.



A PROUD DEMOCRAT

1. WE WANT TO DISARM ALL AMERICANS.
2. WE DON’T WANT ANY BORDERS.
3. WE DON’T CARE IF TERRIORAST ENTER THE COUNTRY.
4. WE DON’T BELIEVE IN MORALITY.
5. WE SEE NOTHING WRONG WITH A WOMAN KILLING HER UNBORN CHILD.
6. WE SUPPORT SUCKING THE BRAINS OUT OF THE INFANT WHILE IT IS IN THE BIRTH CANAL.
7. WE BELIEVE THE CONSTITUTION IS A “LIVING” DOCUMENT. SOCIETY SHOULD RULE AND NOT A RULE OF LAWS.
8.. WE BELIEVE PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO RIOT, LOOT AND BURN PROPERTY.
9. WE BELIEVE STUDENTS SHOULD CONTROL UNIVERSITIES AND NOT THE FACTUALITY.
10. WE ARE SOCIALIST, PROGRESSIVES, AND COMMUNIST.
11. WE HATE ALL WHO REJECT OUR AGENDA TO BRING DOWN AMERICA.
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WHEN A FOX TURNS OUT TO BE A PIG



By Ken Blue
June 22nd, 2017. Filed under: Poems.
“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is witout discretion.” Proverbs 11:22.
By Ken Blue
 I saw her on the boardwalk, as she was standing there.
Men turned their heads to look, I couldn’t help but stare.
She was dressed to the max, in some frilly exotic thing.
Her eyes were ebony, black hair as a raven’s wing.
Jewels graced her neck and rings her hands and toes.
But most striking was the jewel that beautified her nose.
Then I became aware that I appeared hypnotized.
As I could tell she too was responding to my eyes.
With her subtle invitation, I walked to where she stood.
I sought for a pickup line, I’d better make it good.
I thought she was a fox – until her first verbal phrase.
Looks sure are deceiving if all you do is gaze.
She ask if I had a #@%! cigarette, I said, I don’t smoke.
She ask if I had a #@%! drink of whiskey and I said, nope.
Are you a @#% ! Sunday school boy. I said, yeah, that’s my deal.
She spewed out more profanity, and like a pig did squeal.
It may be hard to tell if you’re looking at a pig or a fox.
Don’t be deceived by the painted eyes or the gorgeous shiny locks.
Just wait till she opens her mouth and you’ll soon get the gig.
You’ll know for sure if she’s a fox, or just a dolled up pig.
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Dispensationalism Misunderstood



By Ken Blue
June 19th, 2017. Filed under: Bible Studies, Bible Study, Dispensation.

Dispensationalism Misunderstood

By Dr. Ken Blue

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15


Introduction

Before a child of God can move forward in serious Bible study, he must understand the different dispensations. Failure to understand the true teaching of dispensations has led many to make false applications of the Bible. Some, who do not understand the truth about dispensations, have attacked the teaching of dispensations and even refuse to believe they exist.

The purpose of this booklet is to answer these objections and to help the reader understand the true nature of dispensations. Perhaps a clear definition of the word at the beginning will help.

Definition: the act of dispensing or something dispensed; a specific arrangement or system by which something is dispensed. Moses dispensed the Law. The word dispensation does not mean a period of time. However, the dispensing of a particular message or ministry will usually have a beginning and an ending.

The steward of a household is given the responsibility of dispensing the affairs assigned by his master. Thus Moses was entrusted with the dispensing of the Law. He was God’s steward of that dispensation. The gospel of the grace of God and the Church age was committed to Paul. It was his responsibility to dispense the good news to the Gentiles. He was God’s steward for that dispensation.

With that understanding, it should be easy for us to identify the various dispensations within God’s plan. We will know the difference between the Jew, the Gentile and the Church of God.

The History of Dispensationalism

As the decades come and go, so do the issues surrounding what the Bible actually teaches. One decade saw the battle over the virgin birth. The next witnessed a battle for the preservation of the King James Bible. The most recent debate is over the pre-tribulation rapture verses the “pre-wrath” or mid-tribulation rapture position.

Some critics assume that dispensationalism is a recent doctrine invented by Dr. C. I. Scofield, editor of the famous Scofield Reference Bible, and J. N. Darby; implying that dispensationalism is a doctrine of modern times and does not have Biblical authority. However, research will show that neither C. I. Scofield or J. N. Darby are the inventors of dispensationalism or the final authority on the subject.

From the first century, writers believed in different economies or administrations. Bible instructor Larry V. Crutchfield, of Baumholder, West Germany, has written an article titled Ages and Dispensations Of The Ante-Nicene Fathers. In it he points out that the Fathers of early church history believed in divisions of history based on God’s dealings with man. He states, “Among those whose doctrine of ages and dispensations has survived from the Ante-Nicene period are Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and to a minor degree Victorinus of Petau.”

Crutchfield says that “Barnabas’ year-day tradition is the earliest budding of the dispensational understanding of God’s dealings with man.”

Justin Martyr (AD 100-165): according to Crutchfield, Justin believed in four phases of human history in God’s program. The first was from Adam to Abraham; the second was from Abraham to Moses; the third was from Moses to Christ; and the fourth was from Christ to the eternal state.

Irenaeus (AD 120-202): The dispensational scheme of Irenaeus is four in number. They are: 1. From the Creation to the Flood. 2. From the Flood to the Law. 3. From the Law to the Gospel. 4. From the Gospel to the Eternal State. He taught that there were four zones of the world and of mankind. He saw a connection between these zones, the faces of the “four living creatures”, the four gospels and the four dispensations.

“Some Fathers set forth only four such dispensations, others came very close to making nearly the same divisions modern dispensationalists do,” says Crutchfield.

He continues, “Irenaeus, Victorinus of Petau, and Methodius’ number of dispensations is artificially restricted to four … the dispensations are most often spoken of the early fathers in terms of the prominent persons.” He lists the persons as; Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Christ. “Dispensational divisions were customarily made along the boundaries of these five men’s lives and times,” concludes Crutchfield.

Scofield more closely follows this pattern. Dr. Scofield taught: 1. Innocence (Adam), 2. Government (Noah), 3. Promise (Abraham), 4. Law (Moses), 5. Grace (Christ).

It was John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) who first gave systematic form to the ages and dispensations. However, he was by no means the first to discover different ages and dispensations in God’s Word.

We must thus accredit willful ignorance to those who reject the dispensational teaching of Scripture by ascribing the late date of the 1800 and 1900’s.

The Scofield Reference Bible attempted to set in order the right divisions of God’s purpose as Scofield understood it. There is very little similarity between the writings of Scofield and the writings of Darby.

We are obligated to search the Scriptures to see if the Bible teaches different administrations. If it does, we must embrace its teaching. If we find that the teaching of dispensations is not a Bible doctrine, then we are bound to reject that teaching.

OBJECTIONS TO DISPENSATIONALISM

1. It disregards the whole Bible

One major criticism of dispensationalism is that its adherents do not believe the whole Bible. It is assumed that when one divides the Word of God as instructed by Paul, he is to reject those divisions not specifically written for the Church age. For example, you will hear someone say, “those who believe in dispensations don’t believe the book of James or 1 & 2 Peter. They don’t even believe the Old Testament.”

However, a belief in dispensations does not in any way affect one’s belief in the whole Bible. Believers in dispensations also believe what God said from Genesis to Revelations. They believe the account of the flood to be literal and the call of Abraham to be historically accurate. The exodus, the conquest and the dispersion are all true accounts of God’s dealings with Israel. The cries of the prophets are believed by all who understand the true teaching of dispensations.

An understanding of Biblical dispensations will acknowledge that the laws and diets of the Old Testament were given exclusively to Israel. They do not question Scripture which deals with that subject. A belief in dispensations in no way conflicts with one’s belief in the tabernacle, the law, the priesthood and the covenants. It simply acknowledges that they were given to Israel and not to the church of this dispensation.

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that the above items were for the Jews. “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:3-5).

One must distinguish between “application” and “interpretation.” All Scripture has a historical, doctrinal and practical teaching. This is where the major misunderstandings are found. When we interpret a text, we must be true to the rules of interpretation. The place where the passage is located must be considered. The context rule must be obeyed. Who was speaking and to whom is the passage directed?

Finally, all Scripture should be take literally unless it does violence to the text. This is the departure point between the teaching of dispensations and those who fail to see their importance.

Many confuse application with interpretation. All the Bible has application. For example, Abraham was commanded to offer Isaac, his son, as an offering. He understood the command to be literal; applied God’s word to himself and proceeded accordingly. As a result, he was called “the friend of God.”

No one in this age, we hope, would be so foolish he would take a knife and offer his first-born son just because Abraham was commanded to. Yet, there are many “lessons” in this story we may learn and apply to our lives. We learn that God must be obeyed even when we don’t understand His plan.

Strong faith must be exercised in God’s Word. Finally, we must not put anything before God, even if it is our only earthly hope. That is application and is always in order.

We are expected to learn from every story in the Bible. We are not expected to duplicate the actions of those involved. For example, the Passover is a wonderful story of God’s salvation of the nation of Israel. We are moved to worship Him because of His love, wisdom and power as demonstrated in the Passover events. None of us believe God expects us to observe the literal Passover as He did Israel.

The difference between “interpretation” and “application” is where much of the misunderstanding lies. One must believe in dispensations and still believe the whole Bible. We are commanded to rightly divide it. To be scriptural, we must also let the Holy Spirit speak to our heart and make application as He chooses.

2. Dispensationalism is against equal inspiration of Scripture

Some may think belief in dispensations places one portion of Scripture on a higher level of inspiration than another. Those who understand and believe the dispensational teachings of the Bible teach that the Pauline epistles are specifically for the Church, the body of Christ. They make a clear distinction between these and the Hebrew epistles or the four Gospels.

However, let us leave no doubt here. Bible believers do not place any portion of Scripture or one word of it above another. We believe in plenary inspiration, which means it is complete in all respects; unlimited or full. The word inspiration means “God breathed.” A Biblical teaching of dispensations never questions full inspiration. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).

God breathed out His Words. In fact, this is the way all words are spoken. There is no such thing as “partial inspiration” in the Bible. Many of those in the Bible were wicked people. However, the Scripture’s record of what they said is accurate. The words which came out of their mouths were not spoken by God. Yet the record of what they said is true.

One example is the lie told by Cain. When asked by God where his brother was, he said he did not know. His words were lies.

We should note that it is possible for God to overrule even the words uttered by the wicked. That is, the words of wicked men can be the words of God. For an illustration of this, see Numbers 24:15-25. God is not limited.

Inspiration extends to the recorded documents. The receiving and recording of the “words” in the Bible are inspired by God. Therefore, the events recorded therein are a complete and accurate record of what was said.

The teaching of dispensations does not teach that parts of the Bible are more or less inspired than others. God preserved His Word for the English-speaking world in the King James Version. Inspiration does not apply to the originals only. All Scripture is given by and is equally inspired by God.

3. Dispensationalism is a departure from God’s principles

Dispensations have beginnings and endings; principles remain steadfast. For example, Moses and Israel found grace in the eyes of the Lord while under the Law. “Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest” (Jeremiah 31:2).

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord while under the dispensation of conscience. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8).

Even Lot experienced God’s grace while in Sodom. “Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life” (Genesis 19:19).

Grace is a principle of God and is as eternal as God Himself. He always has and always will show grace to His creation. However, there is a “dispensation” or a “stewardship” of grace, which was committed to Paul. It had a beginning and will have an ending. We call it grace because it extends to all without works, without the Jews or the law.

Another principle is that of the law. Although we are not under the dispensation of the law, we are not without law. Paul makes it clear that we are not only under law to Christ, we are also under the law of love and the law of the land. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10; see also Romans 13:1-6). We know of no one who teaches that transference from one administration to another absolves him of God’s abiding principles.

The conscience should not be ignored just because we are under the administration of grace. Let no one assume that the move from the Old Testament to the New Testament is a move from abiding principles. However, there is a difference between dispensations and principles.

4. Dispensationalism is an abandonment of local church practices

Hyper-dispensationalism abandons many church practices. Some forsake the local church. They teach that the church started after Acts 28 and that Paul was not sent to baptize: therefore, baptism has no place in the Church age.

However, this abuse of a Bible truth is not a license to reject the true teaching about dispensations. Paul did baptize some of his converts. He, himself, was also baptized. He baptized the Philippian jailer. He gave a list of some whom he had baptized at Corinth. He confessed that there were others whose names he could not remember.

Paul’s baptism has a different significance than that of John the Baptist. However, there is no scriptural grounds for rejecting water baptism today.

Hyper-dispensationalists also reject the Lord’s Supper, assuming it to be a Jewish rite. Yet it is the Apostle Paul who gave instruction to a Gentile church at Corinth on its order and purpose. Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are local church ordinances and should be practiced as the Lord commanded.

Many who reject dispensations are guilty of the same mistake the “Hypers” make. The Hypers throw out the local church practices mentioned above. Others throw out all dispensations and make ship wreck.

5. Dispensationalism is in opposition to the scope of scripture

In order to arrive at some systematic conclusion about God’s eternal plan, we must make some observations. We must first consider the structure of the Bible itself. It is the parts that make the whole. We believe the structure provided by J. Edwin Hartill in his Principles of Biblical Hermeneutics(page 9) will shed light on the importance of Biblical structure. Although this structure may not be 100% accurate, it is not artificial or forced.

A bird’s eye view of the Bible will be a great help in the understanding of the Word.

History – God’s history of the past

1. Heavens and earths were created.

2. Satan’s first rebellion.

3. Earth prepared for man.

4. The headship of the first man.

5. Man’s subjection to Satan.

6. Mankind dealt with as a whole.

7. Construction of Babylon.

8. Israel called and blessed.

9. Times of the Gentiles.

10. The first advent of Christ.

11. The ministry of Christ covers life and death.

12. Church called out.

12. Church called up.

11. The ministry of the AntiChrist.

10. The second advent of Christ.

9. The times of the Gentiles – close of Tribulation.

8. Israel recalled and given blessing.

7. Destruction of Babylon.

6. Mankind dealt with as a whole.

5. God’s subjection of Satan.

4. The headship of the Second Man (Christ).

3. Earth perfected for man.

2. Satan’s final rebellion.

1. The new heavens and new earth.

The reader will notice that the italicized numbers answer to the numbers above. Also, God’s specific dealings at different times are clearly seen.

There are three things to keep in mind as we study dispensations. These are:

A. Keep Israel and the Church distinct. Failure to distinguish Israel from the Church shows one’s inability to make right divisions in Bible study. The distinction between Israel and the Church is as clear as the distinction between the church and the nations.

One should never ignore this distinction. “Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32). It is clear that there is a difference between the Jew, the body of Christ and the Gentiles.

B. Dispensationalists hold to the literal principles of interpretation of Scripture. Someone has said that men spiritualize because they have no ‘spiritual eyes.’ The most dangerous method of Bible interpretation is that of spiritualizing a text or making everything a type.

Illustration: God promised Adam and Eve that the Seed of the woman would come. He did. Noah was warned of a flood. It came. Abraham’s seed were promised a land. They received it. Moses was promised victory in leading Israel from Egypt; he did it. Rebellious Israel was warned of their coming dispersion; it came. The prophets promised Israel that God would return them to their home-land. He is doing it as we write. The virgin birth was foretold. It came to pass. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ was prophesied. It took place. The destruction of the temple and of the nation was prophesied. It happened.

If these and hundreds of prophecies like them were literal and proved to be so, why should the Bible believer assume that remaining prophesies are to be spiritualized and applied to the church? One opens himself to serious error when the literal approach to the Bible is rejected. A study of dispensations demands a literal interpretation of Scripture.

C. Dispensationalists believe God’s purpose is much bigger than the salvation of mankind. God’s purpose centers in His glory. Thank God for the cross! It was at the cross we get in on God’s blessings and purpose. However, the cross is not the center or the end of God’s plan.

The Bible is about God’s kingdom and His Son ruling over it. There is a place for the Jew, the Gentile and the church of God in this eternal purpose. Those saved in this age are in the church, the body of Christ.

However, there have been and will be saved Jews and Gentiles who are not part of the present body of Christ. There will be a thousand-year rule of Christ on earth. During that time Israel will be the head of nations and Jerusalem will be the center of government. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?” (Isaiah 60:1-8).

We may call the dispensations by different names; however, their existence is obvious to this writer.

A major change took place after the fall of Adam and Eve. They were driven from a perfect environment and from unhindered fellowship with God. This was followed by an account of the flood. Thus we have at least two different administrations.

The next obvious change is from the call of Abraham to Moses. After that, the Law came into effect. Now there are four divisions. Only a Seventh-Day Adventist or a Jew would question that the Law ended with the advent of Christ. All professing believers accept a change at some place during the ministry of Jesus. If a change did occur, there are at least five clearly defined administrations in the Bible.

Believers may not be in agreement as to how this present administration will end, yet all believe a radical change will take place. Most believe a thousand-year reign of Christ on earth will follow. If so, six different economies are identified.

One may find more divisions than we have listed here; others may argue for fewer. Nevertheless, these listed do exist.

The scope of Scripture is determined by its structure and it structure demands that a dispensational view be accepted. Views may be extreme or moderate, but no less than seven dispensations can be found in the body of Scripture.

6. Dispensationalism is to be ignored by God’s people.

Is a rejection of the dispensations a rejection of God’s Word? Some who teach dispensations go to the extreme and should be avoided.

Any form of dispensationalism that rejects the institution of the local church, water baptism and the Lord’s Supper, is extreme and must be rejected. However, to ignore the Biblical teaching about dispensations is to err in the opposite direction. Paul said that a dispensation of the gospel was committed to him. (1 Corinthians 9:17). He refers to the future dispensation of the “fullness of times” (Ephesians 1:10). He said that the dispensation of the grace of God was committed to him (Ephesians 3:2).

Thus to ignore the dispensations of Bible makes it impossible for one to obey 2 Timothy 2:15, and forces one to ignore 1 Corinthians 10:32.

The practice of 2 Timothy 2:15 requires one to seek the divisions in Scripture and obey them. A proper division between the Jew, the Gentile and the church of God, and a knowledge of which group one is in, should lead to those parts of God’s Word which are intended for us.

Therefore, the study of dispensations cannot be ignored by any believer who hopes to study God’s Word. However, hyper-dispensationalism must be rejected.

7. Dispensationalism is dangerous to your church and ministry.

Another objection to the teaching of dispensations is the belief that it is dangerous to churches. This objection seems good because many dispensational ministries are mishandled. This happens when one goes too far with a good thing. A classic example of this is the teaching of the Missionary Baptists. This group has taken the doctrine of the local church to the extreme. They reason that the local church is the bride of Christ. Next they reason that the local church is their Baptist Church. Their conclusion is that their Baptist Church is the bride of Christ. All other churches are excluded.

Certainly we would not reject the doctrine of the local church because a few Baptists or Catholics have abused its teaching. Although their teaching is sectarian and divisive, we must not let it dampen our zeal for the local church. Likewise, there are some who have gone to extremes when teaching dispensations and have done harm to their local church. Still, we dare not reject this Bible teaching because of abuse by others.

The Bible talks about a good thing gone too far. The book of Proverbs says one should eat honey because it is good. Yet too much of this good thing causes one to vomit (Proverbs 25:16). Here is a good thing which, when mishandled, results in sickness.

Extreme views on any doctrine are dangerous and must be avoided. We have seen Calvin’s abuse of the sovereignty of God. The Church of Christ’s view on water baptism has led to a false plan of salvation. The extreme view on the Baptist church by some has led to the view that only a few Baptists constitute the bride of Christ.

Likewise, some (Bullinger, Stam, Baker, O’Hair, Welch) have taken the doctrine of dispensationalism to its extreme. Hyper-dispenastionalists are usually hyper-Calvinists. This is a deadly combination for any church.

A church must be about the Father’s business of soul-winning, missions and Bible preaching. One should keep the pulpit hot and the saints under conviction of sin, service, soul-winning, stewardship and the second coming. Don’t shy away from seeking to rightly divide the Word of God. However, extremes must be avoided.

CONCLUSION

One must not neglect the important study of dispensations. The Bible clearly teaches their existence. Church history reveals that the early fathers believed in different administrations and economies within the Scriptures and that belief in them does not have a late date.

The teaching of dispensations does not lead one to the conclusion that other parts of the Bible are unimportant or uninspired. Dispensationalism must not be ignored by God’s people, neither will it harm any church if it is taught properly and extremes are avoided.

The local church is to baptize converts and observe the Lord’s Supper. We believe that the winning of souls and sending missionaries into all the world with the gospel is the main business of the Church. We are to feed the flock of God, edify the Saints and preach the Word. However, the only way these can be biblically obeyed is to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Obedience to that one command forces one to teach dispensations.


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WHAT DID IT MEAN TO BELIEVE IN JESUS’ NAME?



By Ken Blue
June 8th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Bible Studies.

BELIEVING IN JESUS’ NAME

BelieveBy Ken Blue

What did the Jews believe in order to have eternal life during Jesus’ day? We have examples to show what they believed. Below are accounts from John’s gospel, Matthew’s gospel, and Acts:
  1. Nathanael’s Faith

Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.  Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.  And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. John 1:49-51
  1. Martha’s Faith

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. John 11:25-27
  1. Peter’s Faith

And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:14-16  
  1. The Ethiopian Eunuch’s Faith

And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8:34-37

…John 3.16 has nothing to say for salvation today.



The above testimonies have a common thread. What one believed for salvation during Jesus’ earthly ministry and shortly afterward, what “believing in Christ” meant during this time was believing Jesus was Israel’s Messiah and the Son of God. When we read the following passage we must understand what it meant at the time. John wrote:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

This passage is probably familiar to more people than any other passage in Scripture. Most misunderstand it, however. The gospels reveal that Jesus ministered to Jews only (Matthew 10:5-6; John 12:20-26) with two exceptions (Matthew 15:21-28; 8:5-13; cf. Luke 7:1-10). In context, this passage has to do with Jewish salvation, the gospel of the kingdom, not Gentile salvation. Interpretatively, John 3.16 has nothing to say for salvation today. It becomes meaningful today in light of Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

(THE ERROR IS READING PAUL’S WRITINGS BACK INTO THESE AND OTHER TEXT LIKE THEM.)
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WHY PASTORS AND MISSIONARIES FAIL TO TRAIN LEADERS



By Ken Blue
May 8th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES.

WHY PASTORS AND MISSIONARIES FAIL TO TRAIN LEADERS

Baptist And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.  And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.  Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.  Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.  And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.  Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.  Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.” Nehemiah 2:12-18.
  1. MANY DON’T KNOW HOW TO TRAIN LEADERS
  2. MANY ASSUME NO ONE WANTS TO SERVE
  3. MANY ASSUME NO ONE IS SPIRITUAL ENOUGH TO SERVE
  4. MANY WANT TO DO IT ALL, THAT WAY THEY GET THE GLORY
  5. MANY ARE TOO INSECURE TO TRAIN OTHERS. THIS MAY BE THE #1 REASON
  6. MANY FEAR THAT OTHERS WILL EXCEL THEMSELVES IN LEADERSHIP
  7. MANY LOVE DOING IT ALL. THAT IS THEIR SELF-FULFILLMENT
  8. MANY WANT TO KEEP THE CHURCH SMALL FOR SELFISH AND PERSONAL REASONS
  9. MANY HAVE WIVES WHO DON’T WANT LEADERS WHO MIGHT COMPETE WITH THEIR HUSBANDS
  10. MANY DON’T REALIZE THAT JESUS SPENT MOST OF HIS MINISTRY TRAINING LEADERS
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THE MORMON CULT



By Ken Blue
March 26th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Religions.
MORMON SCIENTIST DISPROVE MORMONISM THROUGH DNA, AND THE LACK OF LINGUISTIC, AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE. mormon By Ken Blue Did you know that Mormons believe in millions of gods? These gods are dispersed throughout the universe and have their own world, just like the Mormon god of the earth. The god they worship has a multitude of spirit wives. Their god has sex with his wives, and you were born a spirit baby. The reason they taught polygamy, was so the earthly wives could have as many children as possible to provide bodies for the spirit babies. When Mormons speak of Jesus as the “Son of God,” and of a virgin, they mean that their god literately had sex with Mary, thus Jesus is a son of god. They also believe Jesus and the Devil are brothers, having the same father.   Below, you have it from their own mouth. They are a deceptive cult.

The picture of Brigham Young and his wives.

Mormon.org “Your life didn’t begin at birth and it won’t end at death. Before you came to earth, your spirit lived with Heavenly Father who created you. You knew Him, and He knew and loved you. It was a happy time during which you were taught God’s plan of happiness and the path to true joy. But just as most of us leave our home and parents when we grow up, God knew you needed to do the same. He knew you couldn’t progress unless you left for a while. So he allowed you to come to earth to experience the joy—as well as pain—of a physical body.” Let us break down what they say, and then fill in the blanks with the real truth.“Your life didn’t begin at birth…your spirit was created by…” What you aren’t told is that your spirit “creation” was a birth resulting from the gods having intercourse with their many celestial wives. All these gods and their wives were once human just like you. Now you too can become a god with your own world and your multiple wives if they have pleased you on earth, and you call them from the grave in the resurrection. “Your life won’t end at death.” You aren’t told why you are here, and what you are supposed to do. You see, Mormons believe the god they worship and talk about, was at one time a man (Perhaps Adam). Through “progress” he attained the status of a god and was assigned to populate the earth and make more gods. So, when you die, if you are “lucky,” you and your many wives will be assigned a planet, yes, and a planet to populate and keep the process of making more gods. The only way that can be accomplished is moving through a process of progress. Some of these rituals are public knowledge, much is secret. The more you study Mormonism the more you understand that it was built on sex in this life, and in the afterlife, somewhat like Islam.

I challenge any Mormon to refute what we have said.

Mormons use Bible and Christian terminology for two reasons. One, they believe they are the only true Christians. They are the “Latter Day Saints.” In other words, there was no true gospel from the time of the first Apostles, until Joseph Smith discovered golden plates. Thus, the truth was rediscovered, and the “Latter Day Saints” emerged. Also, Mormons are avid “missionaries.” That is one of the requirements, plus mandatory tithing, for a special place in the heavens. They use Bible language to make naïve Christians think they have much in common. I assure you that Mormons and Bible Christians have absolute nothing in common. Lastly, Mormonism is an ever evolving religion. That is if you point to what their prophets and founding fathers said in the beginning, more recent prophets may get newer revelations to negate what they object to. The example is their teaching that the black race came from following the Devil. However, when Civil Rights came along, they got an updated revelation from their god and adjusted their theology. I challenge any Mormon to respond and refute what we have said. DON’T BE DECEIVED!!!  
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THE PLANNING STEPS



By Ken Blue
March 25th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Planning.

THE PLANNING ARROW

planningBy Ken Blue NEED, THEN PURPOSE GO IN THE TARGET. OBJECTIVES GO ON THE LINES ON THE SHAFT. THESE MUST SUPPORT YOUR PURPOSE. GOALS ARE DETERMINED FROM THE OBJECTIVES. GOALS MUST BE:
  • S – specific, significant, stretching.
  • M – measurable, meaningful, motivational.
  • A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented.
  • R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented.
  • T – time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable.
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The Book of Mormon



By Ken Blue
March 19th, 2017. Filed under: Insights.

The Book of Mormon –Part 1

mormon

Colonizer, territorial governor, and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young (1801-1877) was born in Whitingham, Vermont, on June 1, 1801. Brigham and his 21 wives.

Those who call themselves Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, point to Ezekiel 37:15-20, Isaiah 29:11, and John 10:16 to prove that the Bible prophesied about the book of Mormon. Could you give me some insight into what these passages are talking about? “The verses you cited are the most common verses in the Bible that Mormonism uses to try to show that the coming of the book of Mormon was prophesied about. As you are undoubtedly aware, Mormonism contains many teachings which are contrary to what the Bible says, (e.g. Adam was our God and Father; Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost; men are not spiritually dead by nature in Adam; Lucifer was a spirit brother to Jesus). It also is full of teachings of which the Bible makes no mention, (e.g. their doctrine of celestial marriage; the Army of Redeemers). However, it is also interesting to note that many of Mormonism’s cardinal doctrines and teachings cannot be found in the book of Mormon either. For example, the book of Mormon does not speak of ‘baptism for the dead’; of celestial marriage; of progression to godhood; or of a host of other essential Mormon teachings, ordinances, and the like. These teachings are found in the subsequent writings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and in the so-called other revelations given to them through their priesthood. In truth, though the book of Mormon is by necessity honored by them, it is not their main source of faith and practice. Nor is the Bible. Their other books and writings are actually their main source of faith and practice. Mormons naturally deny this. However, their doctrines, ordinances, and practices say otherwise. In my experience with their doctrines the book of Mormon is primarily used by them as a tool to bridge the gap, so to speak, between the Bible and their other books like “Doctrine and Covenants” and the “Pearl of Great Price,” in which their essential doctrines and ‘gospel ordinances’ are to be found. And what they want converts to Mormonism to do is to pass from the Bible to their other books of revelation by going over the bridge that the book of Mormon functions as. Hence the last of their Articles of Faith states, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” With this statement, they first of all pay lip-service to the Bible, while at the same time impugning the reliability of the Bible, since to them it has not been consistently ‘translated correctly.’ By so saying, they also conveniently leave themselves the ability to discard, disregard, and/or adjust any of its teachings that they don’t like, or that they want to adjust to say something different, by simply saying that a particular statement, or verse, or passage in the Bible has not been properly translated. They then translate it, or interpret it, in such a way as fits their needs. So though this particular Article of Faith professes the Bible to be the word of God, it does not state this to be so unreservedly. However, no such reservation is made in connection with the book of Mormon. This, the Article states, is simply “the word of God,” with no question as to whether it is translated correctly or not. And later on, the reason for this becomes apparent when the book of Mormon is used to move a convert’s confidence away from what the Bible says, to what the book of Mormon says, and then to move it ultimately to what their books of other revelations have to say. The Bible is honored by them; the book of Mormon is revered by them, but their other books of revelations are what are actually believed and followed. Nevertheless, the book of Mormon is essential to Mormonism. And as such it goes to great lengths to persuade people that the Bible prophesies about its coming; that it is ‘another testament of Jesus Christ’; and that it is the testament of Jesus Christ that not only pertains to those in the Americas, but to all men, seeing that (as they teach) it contains the “everlasting gospel in its fulness” and Mormonism is the only “True church on the earth.” Now with respect to the verses and passages in the Bible that Mormonism uses to promote the book of Mormon, an honest handling of them in their particular contexts makes it plain and clear that they do not say what Mormonism says they say. (However, Mormonism is not counting on anyone handling the verses honestly within their contexts. It doesn’t do this itself, and it figures others will not do so, or be able to do so.) So by paying attention to their contexts, and by paying attention to the outworking of God’s program and dealings with Israel, the following briefly and simply sets forth what the verses are talking about.”

The Book of Mormon –Part 2

 Those who call themselves Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, point to Ezekiel 37:15-20, Isaiah 29:11, and John 10:16 to prove that the Bible prophesied about the book of Mormon. Could you give me some insight into what these passages are talking about? Re: Ezekiel 37:15-20 — The immediate context of this passage, along with the overall context of the outworking of God’s program with Israel, make it plain and clear that “the stick” that is written upon with the words “For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions” is not the Bible, and “the stick” that is written upon with the words “For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for the children of Israel his companions” is not the book of Mormon. Nor does the joining of them “one to another into one stick” in Ezekiel’s hand prophesy about the Bible and the book of Mormon becoming the combined word of God in the latter days.

Mormonism is not counting on anyone handling verses honestly within their contexts.

This is basically what Mormonism teaches, but the context forbids any such interpretation. For the context itself interprets what God “meanest by these” in verses 18-25ff, and it is plain and clear what they mean in the interpretation that it gives. As verses 18-25 set forth, the “sticks” with the names of the two particular tribes of Israel written on them, along with the reference to the other tribes that became “companions” of either Judah or Joseph/Ephraim, represent the “two nations” “divided into two kingdoms” that the whole nation of Israel had become following the death of Solomon. As I Kings earlier on recorded, the whole nation was divided into two nations, and two kingdoms, after Solomon’s death. The prophecy and meaning of the two sticks is self-interpreting in verses 18-25. And as such, it is blatantly obvious that what Mormonism says about it is a deliberately corrupt and false interpretation. What Mormonism says is of their own concoction. It is a lie that is dishonestly forced on the passage, and it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the immediate context, or with the doctrinal role of Ezekiel’s prophecies in the outworking of God’s program and dealings with Israel.

The Book of Mormon- Part 3

Those who call themselves Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, point to Ezekiel 37:15-20, Isaiah 29:11, and John 10:16 to prove that the Bible prophesied about the book of Mormon. Could you give me some insight into what these passages are talking about? John 10:16 — According to Mormon publications, “the promise concerning ‘other sheep’ was realized by the appearance of Christ to the Nephites,” and it is the book of Mormon that testifies to this. However, God’s program with Israel says that John 10:16 means something else. God had already identified the “other sheep” when He prophesied in Ezekiel about coming to “search my sheep, and seek them out”; when He prophesied about He Himself being “the good shepherd” in contrast to “the shepherds of Israel” who have been cruel to the Lord’s flock; and when He prophesied about setting up “one shepherd” over them when they are no more “two nations.” In Ezekiel 34 God begins prophesying about these things and begins describing His actions as Israel’s “good shepherd.” Then in chapter 37, (where we have already noted that He describes reversing the “two nations” judgment of the Second Course of Punishment of Leviticus 26), God goes on to describe how when all Israel is no longer “two nations” but “one nation in the land,” that at that time “they all shall have one shepherd.” The nation therefore, will no longer be “two nations” with two folds of sheep. So then in view of this prophecy, the Lord in the opening portion of John 10 is describing those aspects of His ‘shepherd ministry’ that were in effect at that time in accordance with the fulfillment of Ezekiel 34. But as He said in verse 16, “other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” In accordance with Ezekiel 37, those “other sheep” are the sheep belonging to Joseph/Ephraim and the house of Israel his companions, who are also known in the Gospel accounts as the Samaritans. These “other sheep” were not being dealt with at the same time as the rest of the sheep of Israel because God had said that He would deal with Jerusalem and Judea first. The “other sheep” are the Samaritans, and in perfect accordance with the prophesied outworking of God’s program with Israel, the time would come in the program when these “other sheep” would be called. But not until the sheep of Jerusalem and Judea were dealt with first. So then these are the issues that are being spoken about in these three particular passages. It is plain and clear from their respective contexts, and from the outworking of God’s program with Israel, that what Mormonism teaches from these passages is not only false but a deceitful lie.    
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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREACHING, TEACHING, AND TRAINING



By Ken Blue
March 13th, 2017. Filed under: ARTICLES, Ministry.

PREACHERS SHOULD PREACH, TEACH, AND TRAIN

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” Matthew 4:23. “Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.” Acts 15:35. “Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” Acts 28:31 Preaching is the message announced by preachers and is primarily for the purpose of conversion. We could say, with accuracy, Jesus preached to the multitudes, and taught His Disciples. Perhaps the Twelve taught the Seventy and the Seventy, the hundred and twenty. Teaching consist of the message taught by preachers that explains, clarifies, and applies, with exhortation. It is primarily for building faith, Christian conviction, and character. One of the qualifications of a pastor is he must be “apt to teach.” (I Tim. 3:2. II Tim. 2:24). Paul seemed to have his greatest success by teaching. Many pastors are excellent preachers, but they also need to distinguish between the two, and master teaching. Training is a task whereby preachers develop skill sets in trainees.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of training is: the act, process, or method of one that trains. The skill, knowledge, or experience acquired by one that trains. The state of being trained. A young doctor who’s still in training. She’s in training for the Olympics.

Training others may be the greatest weakness of many good preachers.

Synonyms: drill, practice (also practice), routine, exercise, workout, assignment, homework, lesson; brush up, refresher, review, spring training, a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job. The process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc. It is the skill, knowledge, or experience acquired by a person or animal who has trained. Thus, training is showing how, assisting in the task, the trainee performs the task. Correction and encouragement are given as necessary. Training others may be the greatest weakness of many good preachers.
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The Outer Darkness



By Ken Blue
February 11th, 2017. Filed under: Bible Studies.

The Outer Darkness

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley I’ve received several questions lately asking for clarification of the term “Outer Darkness”  so here’s an updated and expanded version of a study I did on the subject several years ago.  The outer darkness is mentioned a total of 4 times in the New Testament, three by name and one by implication, and always by Jesus. The term is not used any where else, Old Testament or New, by anyone else.  Those who ask about the outer darkness want to know if it’s another name for the place of eternal punishment, or if it’s some place different. And they want to know who’s going there. The problem I’ve had in researching this is there’s no general agreement among scholars as to what it is, where it is, or even for whom it’s intended.  While most experts say it’s for unbelievers, some actually teach that it’s a place where believers who have not properly sanctified themselves will go after the rapture.  According to these teachers,  some believers will be taken in the rapture because they believe Jesus died for their sins and rose again.  But instead of beginning their eternal life of bliss in the presence of the Lord, they’ll spend the Millennium “outside, in the darkness”  learning to live a holy life so they’ll be fit to dwell in the Lord’s presence during eternity.  Thankfully, there’s not a shred of Biblical evidence to support this view.  On the contrary, at the moment of the rapture all believers will be made perfect, conformed to the likeness of the Son (Romans 8:29, 1 John 3:2), having become in fact that which we currently are by faith (2 Cor. 5:17). There’s also no agreement as to whether the outer darkness is a physical location or simply a state of being. The phrase outer darkness literally means, “outside, where there is no light”.  But the Greek word for darkness can be used metaphorically to mean spiritual ignorance or blindness.  An accompanying phrase describes it as a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, which denotes extreme anguish and utter despair.  So whether you think it’s a state of mind or a physical location the outer darkness is obviously not a nice place to be. For many generations it was simply thought to be another name for Hell. But Hell, or more accurately Hades, is not a permanent destination. It’s a temporary one that will be thrown into the Lake of Fire at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:14). What I read about the outer darkness leads me to believe it’s a permanent state. So let’s take another look at its four appearances to see if we can answer some of the lingering questions about the Outer Darkness.

Matt. 8:5-12

The first time Jesus mentioned the outer darkness was in Matt. 8:12 at the end of His encounter with the Roman Centurion. When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 8:5-12) In this reference to the outer darkness, Jesus was clearly speaking to and about Israel. He was criticizing the Jews because a Gentile Roman soldier was demonstrating a stronger faith in Him than they had. He said that their lack of faith would result in people from all over the world (Gentiles) inheriting the Kingdom, while the Jews, who were the Kingdom’s intended subjects, would be thrown into the outer darkness, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Israel was then (and will be again) God’s Kingdom on Earth. The Lord repeated His warning to them in Matt. 21:43 when He said, “Therefore I tell you that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” It’s obvious that the Lord believed they were the subjects of the Kingdom or else why would He threaten to take it away from them? So in His first mention of the outer darkness the Lord warned the Jewish people of His time that at the End of the Age, Gentile believers like the Centurion would join the Jewish patriarchs at the Feast inaugurating the Kingdom Age while they themselves would be thrown outside into the darkness for failing to recognize their Messiah.

Matt 22:1-14

The next time He mentioned it was in Matt. 22:13 as part of His parable of the Wedding Banquet. Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:1-14) There are three things to keep in mind here. First, the bride is never mentioned in this parable. Second, a bride is not considered a last minute guest and in any case could never be thrown out of her own wedding.  And third, the banquet follows the wedding, so in the context of the parable the wedding has already taken place. To accept the view that this parable is about the Church you have to ignore these facts. Then you have to assume that some in the Church are the Bride while others are not.  But the Bible never even hints of that. It’s a man made conclusion without any support. If we’re saved, we’re in the Church and if we’re in the Church we’re the Bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2). In parables everything is symbolic of something else, and the Bible always explains what they stand for. Isaiah 61:10 explains that the wedding clothes represent righteousness; I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Here’s how I see it. In Rev. 16:15, just after the 6th Bowl judgment and long after the church has departed, the Lord said, “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” He was alluding to the fact that the Doctrine of Eternal Security will expire with the Rapture, a fact that Jesus also taught in the Parable of the 10 Virgins. Tribulation believers will be saved by faith, just like everyone else, but will be responsible for keeping themselves saved, or as John said, keeping their clothes with them. Rev. 14:12 says they will do this by obeying God’s commandments and remaining faithful to Jesus. The man ejected from the banquet was a last minute guest. He represents tribulation survivors, none of whom are part of the Church. He was trying to receive the blessing of those invited to the wedding banquet that occurs at the time of the 2nd Coming (Rev. 19:9).  The wedding banquet represents the Millennium.  But He either hadn’t remained faithful and had lost his salvation, or never was saved at all.  Remember the servants invited both the “good” and the “bad” and it isn’t clear whether this man had wedding clothes and lost them, or never had them in the first place.  Either way, the point is He was there in His own righteousness and it was insufficient.  When he tried to gain entrance into the banquet, he was discovered and ejected. So the 2nd reference applies to unbelieving survivors from the Great Tribulation who will be denied a place in the Kingdom for lack of the righteousness that comes by faith, and banished to the outer darkness instead.

Matt. 24:45-51

Next is the Parable of the Servants Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 24:45-51) This parable has only an implied reference to the outer darkness, calling it a place for hypocrites where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 24:51). Since the phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” accompanies every other mention of the outer darkness, I think it’s safe to include it in our study. The timing of this parable was established as early as Matt. 24:29-30 which makes every thing that follows pertain to people on Earth at the time of the 2nd Coming. As a matter of fact, all the Olivet Discourse parables describe the destinies of Tribulation Survivors. You can easily confirm this by also looking at Matt. 24:36-37, Matt. 25:1, and Matt. 25:14. The Parable Of The Servants is about those who will have held positions of spiritual leadership during the Great Tribulation. In the Millennial Kingdom, the Lord will elevate leaders who have kept the word of God through the intense hardship and persecution of the times, and have taught sound doctrine to the flocks entrusted to them, to a place of authority.  (Remember, no Tribulation survivor will enter the New Jerusalem, but will dwell on Earth during the Lord’s Millennial reign.) But having forsaken the truth, the wicked servants will no longer be watching for the Lord’s return, ignoring the obvious fulfillment of prophecy all around them and ridiculing those whose child-like faith sustains them. They are the worst of all enemies because they’ll look and sound like friends. They’re like the one John describes as appearing to have the authority of the Lamb but who speaks the words of the Dragon (Rev. 13:11). The Greek word translated hypocrite was often used to describe an actor or pretender, someone who appears to be something he’s not. So for the third time we see the Outer Darkness as a place for unbelievers. In this case it’s those who have betrayed the trust placed in them.

Matt. 25:14-30

The Lord’s final reference to the outer darkness appears at the end of the Parable of the Talents. “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. ” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matt. 25:14-30) Like the other Olivet Discourse parables, the timing of this one is after the 2nd coming, the judgment is on Earth, and the man who had his only talent confiscated demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge of and faith in his master. He thought of Him as a hard man who accepted credit He didn’t deserve and he was afraid the master would treat him unfairly.  This person can’t be a believer because no believer feels that way about Jesus. His punishment is to be consigned to the outer darkness. So in all four cases, the ones being judged are unbelievers and their punishment is to live in a state of total obscurity where they will experience extreme anguish and utter despair. The fact that there’s no expanded teaching on the outer darkness elsewhere in the Bible leads me to believe the Lord was speaking of a place we’re already familiar with, but describing it in a way that helps us understand how it will feel to be there. Remember, the words obscurity, extreme anguish and utter despair are associated with the outer darkness. To be there is to be cut off from the presence of the Lord and everyone else, existing in total obscurity. The dictionary defines anguish as excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain, and despair as a state of utter hopelessness. That, my friends, is the consequence of unbelief. Whether you call it Hell, Hades, Gehenna, the Lake of Fire, or the Outer Darkness,  you wouldn’t want your worst enemy to spend even an hour there. 05-02-15
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