Tuesday, April 23, 2013

St. John’s Apocalypse – Revelation Chapter Two (cont)

The Church of Ephesus - Conclusion

Before we can move on to the next church of Smyrna I am constrained to look closer into the reason John stated in his writing the form of terminology put forth from LORD Yeshua. If I may once again mention the verse that so intrigues me.
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:” Revelation 2:2 KJV

There are two evil entities at work here for us to take serious notice. First Christ says, “How thou canst not bear them which are evil”. Does anyone have a clue where this statement comes from? Is this evil in the church congregation or outside the church congregation? Sadly, the evil has infiltrated the church congregation. From all the efforts of Bible study, I found the reason for this statement. The reason is found in the Bible because in the Apostles’ time there had arisen a ‘counterfeit Christianity’ that so few Christians are aware of to this day. Simply because Christians are a part of it unconsciously the fact is that there is a ‘counterfeit Christianity’ alive and well with us today. The Apostle Paul mentioned this evil contamination in his letter to the Corinthians because this counterfeit had already exposed itself.

“Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” II Corinthians 11:1-4

Whom in this world is Paul talking about? I believe he is talking about the magician encountered by John and Peter, a man named Simon Magus and his followers.

Paul continues in his letter:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”  II Corinthians 11:13-15

Wow! Is Paul saying there could be evil men in the synagogue pulpit? If not in the pulpit, these scoundrels were definitely in the congregation working as subtly as Satan does. That is exactly what he is saying and with very good reason. In succession, we have the second point shown to us through Scripture, “thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars”.

As we can see, all of the Apostles had some dealing with those who were steeped in mystery and mysticism, brought into the country through the switcheroo that transpired in the Scripture according to II Kings chapter 17. In my last writing, I touched on the subject of the Gnostics, false apostles, and general troublemakers that pestered the church. In this extension of Ephesus, it is my intention to focus on the beginning source of these problems. Problems that once were a molehill have now become the mountainous plague of the church that so few even recognize, much less aware of. However, to that end, we will have to go back to the Old Testament to the recordings in II Kings.

I am mentioning a man known as Simon Magus[1] and there is a good reason for this. In this man lies the history of the problems the Disciples and Apostles encountered at one time or another. By now you might be asking, just who is this Simon Magus and where did he originate? We will get to that later but have you ever heard the cliché cause and effect? With everything that happens, there are repercussions to follow. I like to call this governing dynamics, dynamics either through the forces of good or through the forces of evil. Nevertheless, the Bible describes it by another law that is in effect[2] and is known as the law of sowing and reaping. The evidence against Simon Magus and his kind begins here. If you have never read this Scripture before it would pay great dividends to do so now as to acquire a better understanding of this dilemma in the congregation of God.  REQUIRED READING 2 Kings 17:1-41 KJV

This single chapter in the Bible contains more explanation than we can ever imagine. Therefore, it is very important that we read it carefully to ascertain the evidence needed to complete the accusations against Simon Magus.

After the death of King Solomon and 40 years of peace, the nation of Israel divided into two kingdoms because of disputes that arose from jealously and mistrust. The Northern Kingdom was known and named after Jacob, or better known by his new name Israel. The Southern Kingdom was known as Judah. Israel included ten tribes and Judah included two tribes. In this account of II Kings chapter 17, we can see that it was Israel, not Judah, which was captured and carried off into captivity by the Assyrian king. That left the two tribes of Judah to be dealt with another day. What we need to focus on here are the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel. These ten tribes are known today as the ‘Ten Lost Tribes of Israel’ because they never returned to Samaria and if they did, it was not in sufficient numbers to make any difference after being assimilated by Babylon. It is presumed that throughout history the lost tribes were assimilated into the world and as a result have lost all rights to the inheritance of national Israel.

Let it be known for the sake of Bible eschatology that at the Second Coming of Christ, the lost tribes of Israel will be re-gathered from the four corners of the Earth only to recognize Christ as their Messiah. With the purpose of being grafted again onto the spiritual olive tree to be established along side of the Church to commence the Millennial Kingdom on Earth with Christ as our Saviour and King. Amen, to God be the glory, Amen.

The problem we are going to deal with concerning Simon Magus stems from the fact of verse 24 of II Kings chapter 17.

“And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.”

In the Old Testament, the concept of the ‘church’ did not exist. However, through governing dynamics the root of the entire problem of the early 1st century church had already manifested itself in the nation of Israel. What happened here is that when the five tribes of national Babylon came into the Samarian territory, the original home of Israel, they brought with them their false gods. These pagan people had never heard of Jehovah God but that was about to be remedied or so it was intended.

(28)  “Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.  (29) Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans[3] had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.” II Kings 17: 28, 29

This Scripture explains many things for us. First, the priest of Israel that the King of Assyria sent back to Samaria was as corrupt as the Babylonians were and more than likely the very reason for their demise. As the Scripture attests, God always blames the corruption of His people on the pastors, priests and evangelists, which are in charge of leading God’s Holy People in the paths of righteousness and holiness. The pastors, prophets, priests and evangelists, of whom I am accounted of are supposed to know right from wrong, evil from good. Therefore, we are all the more responsible for the welfare of the congregation of God. We are to remind the people of God of God’s Word; it is not to be taken lightly and applied into our daily lives. As it was then and as it is now, most pastors, prophets, and evangelists are ‘on the take’ of the worldly congregation and have gone by the way of Balaam.

Secondly, the truth of the matter was the men and women and their families, which occupied Samaria, were Babylonian nationalists and Gentiles by birth; they were not Jews. Therefore, they had no knowledge of the God of Israel, Yahweh. These people of Babylonia/Samaria were looking to this corrupt Israelite priest to guide them in the ways of the Mosaic Law. The next thing that transpired over the following years was a blending and fabricating of false worship of pagan gods into Judaism worship of Jehovah God. Does this ring a bell now? This is the origin where the Samarian Synagogues sprang up by imitating the Jewish Synagogues. All over the country, these Samarian Synagogues became better known by the name of ‘Synagogues of Satan’ by our LORD Yeshua, which will be covered in the next church of Smyrna. The stage is now set for Simon Magus to appear.

Simon the Sorcerer, Simon the Magician or simply Simon Magus in Latin allegedly became a convert to Christianity and baptized by the Evangelist Phillip recorded in the Book of Acts penned down by the Apostle Luke.

But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:  (10)  To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.  (11)  And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.  (12)  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  (13)  Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.  (14)  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:  (15)  Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:  (16)  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)  (17)  Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.  (18)  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,  (19)  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.  (20)  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.  (21)  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.  (22)  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.  (23)  For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.  (24)  Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.  (25)  And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.” Acts 8:9-25 

As we read here, Simon made a profession of faith but failed to receive the Holy Spirit because of the condition of his heart. The Holy Spirit of God is nobody’s fool and very capable of knowing who is serious and sincere with a repentant heart and who is just going through the motions, insincere, and mimicking Christianity, usually because of peer pressure. Simon, rejected by the Holy Spirit, went on to claim his new powers and became so enamored with his new ideas, it became common knowledge amongst the Samarians that Simon was now presenting himself as an Apostle of Christ and later on in his escapades, as Christ himself. Simon the Magician is recorded in church history as spreading heresies and establishing so-called ‘Christian Synagogues’ everywhere he went. This scourge of the church spread like wildfire throughout the entire Christian realm.

Surviving traditions about Simon appear in anti-heretical texts, such as those of the early church fathers Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, and Epiphanius, where Simon Magus is often regarded as the source of all heresies. Early church father Justin wrote that nearly all the Samaritans in his time were adherents of a certain Simon of Gitta, a village not far from Flavia Neapolis. Irenaeus held him as being one of the founders of Gnostic philosophy and the sect of the Simonians[4].

By the end of John’s life, the letters to the ‘Seven Churches of Revelation’ was being penned down; this philosophy of the Gnostic sect had already infiltrated the church of Ephesus. This is the very battle that John and his next in line Polycarp had encountered and were trying their best to eradicate on a permanent basis, but to no avail. It is recorded in second century church history that Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, went as far as to take a pilgrimage to Rome to seek out the heretics and Gnostic teachers that had infiltrated the Christian synagogues[5] already established in Rome. Roman Christian Synagogues and the ‘Seven Churches of Revelation’ had been compromised and they have never recovered to this day. The damage had been done, thus the commendations and reprimands of LORD Yeshua in the letters to the churches. If we would be honest with ourselves and you know what to look for, we will admit that there is a known fact that in every assembly, parish and congregation of every denomination, the spirit and teaching counterfeit Christianity of Simon Magus can be found. If we refuse this truth, and are adamant to deny this accusation, then the letters to the ‘Seven Churches of Revelation’ can and will be nothing more than a fairy tale to everyone who reads it. The evidence of this is found in most every congregation on the earth in the form of preachers, teachers, and evangelists not willing to tell the truth about sin in the Christian’s personal life. They now invoke poetry, anecdotes, and niceties, and pass down philosophy into their sermons with underlying moral ideas that will not upset the listener as to ensure their gain. For the sake of truth, another name for these so-called men of God is simply “disciples of Balaam.”

More specifically, Christ and all of His Disciples were attacked in their day by the doctrine and philosophy of the sects of the religious groups described in the New Testament accounts of the Gospels. Below is a list of warnings starting from Christ all the way through the New Testament Disciples, and throughout the Seven Churches of Revelation. Warnings that were so serious that it threatened the very existence of the fledgling church. Satan was determined to stop what Christ had started and used every means available.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”  Matthew 7:15.  Notice that Christ calls these Gnostic philosophers ‘false prophets’, curious isn’t it? Their true intensions were to cloud the minds of the followers of Christ. Did it work? You had better believe it did. The evidence of this success is the evolution of many hundreds of denominations that surround us in church congregations today. Everyone with their own brand of philosophy claiming that theirs is the only way that is right. The truth of the matter is every one of them is off the path of the Bible and Christ’s original teachings to his Disciples. None of them, I say again, absolutely none of them is 100 percent accurate. More realistically, it is like 50 percent or less and in all denominations that adhere according to Bible doctrine. This was the spiritual battle that was raging in Jerusalem before its fall in A.D.70.The spiritual battle continued right through all the churches of Asia, including John’s church at Ephesus. For the record, we are still in the battle against evil forces, the false prophets of Satan.

“But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;” Matthew 10:17. This future prophesy from Christ happened very early to Paul, Peter, and Stephen, and too many others that confronted the religious and pious Pharisees and Sadducees in Jerusalem. Let us remember it was Stephen who was killed by these false teachers and philosophers because he was out to expose them in public. This cost Stephen his life. It will also happen to any of us who take a serious stand for Christ.

“Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Matthew 16:6. The leaven Christ is talking about is the blending of manmade philosophy and Christian doctrine together, in which will in its upholding lead captive people, God’s people, in a state of dismal spiritual growth that is stunted if adhered too. For this reason alone, Christians today are such spiritual babies and in a state of stupor that it seems they cannot be weaned from the milk of the Bible. Christ is warning us that philosophy and Christian doctrine has no ground to walk together. Thereby, any spiritual growth is nil.

“How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?” Matthew 16:11. CODE RED: Christ is trying to get His Disciples to understand His meaning of unwanted philosophy by using the simplest of examples of kneading bread with leaven or yeast added to it.  

“Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Matthew 16:12 It is my prayer for the church to wake up before it is too late and see the false doctrines being taught throughout Christendom.

“And he charged them, saying, ‘take heed; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15  

“And he said unto them in his doctrine, ‘Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,” Mark 12:38. The warning here is to let the church know that it was these scribes, probably on someone’s payroll, or in today’s language, stenographers had access to the writings, scrolls, and valuable information from scholars of Gnostics sects and could contaminate the Christian writings that were forthcoming of Christ’s Disciples. These scribes would present themselves in public as someone who was ‘in the know’ and possibly share secrets that made them appear as highly educated. This is the very reason the letters of Paul and all the others of the church were kept so closely guarded, and most all the time hand delivered to avert any mix-ups through the wrong hands. The very writings of the Apostles were in imminent danger in these perilous times. Unfortunately for the church, this happened when the ‘Synagogues of Satan’ got a foothold in Christianity starting in Jerusalem, then in Rome, and is still with us today through the publishing of the many different bibles that come down the pike right through the so called ‘Christian Book Stores’ of America. It is no wonder Christians are so confused about their beliefs for they do not know which version of God’s Holy Word to take for the truth.

As difficult as some claim it is, I have chosen to stay with the King James Version of the Bible. I have read all versions against one another and yes, you might be able to find fault with the KJV for one reason of another. Nevertheless, over many years of study, I have found the KJV to be the most reliable, useful, and ever-faithful, version of the Bible in the ministry God has placed me in.

“In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, ‘Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” Luke 12:1. Once a Christian sister talked to me about the reasons their family no longer attend the congregation of the church denomination. Many others have done the same since this encounter. The sister in front of me explained that there was so much hypocrisy in the church it was sickening to the stomach. That might sound like a lame excuse to a lot of people but when you look at how worldly people live and how the church accommodates them, one can start to realize that something is amiss here if we are to adhere to the New Testament teachings for the church.  The problem with this explanation was that this person was telling the absolute truth. I feel that people like my wife and others as well as me, have and are being led to dismiss ourselves from this hypocrisy of the church and separate ourselves so that we are not accounted as one that upholds the philosophy of the unsaved that have taken hold of the congregation of God. Where does this authority come from? Surprisingly, the Scripture commands us when we are in this position to come out from among those who uphold sin and compromise within the church.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:4-5

Did we ever believe we would see the day in which we who hold the truth are commanded by our God to come out of the wicked church? The Apostle Paul saw this also and upon this wisdom wrote two letters to the church of Corinth with this warning and admonition.

Hypocrisy does abound in the church and the reason is that anywhere you witness hypocrisy there most assuredly is the blending of philosophy and Bible doctrine. I point out the formula and the equation of the mixture of one full measure of wheat (born-again Christians) plus and one full measure of tares (unbelievers/lost) equals philosophy (religion) plus Christianity equals counterfeit Christianity, or better known as Christian dualism. This is the final product of today’s church. The people who are faithful to this counterfeit Christianity will attempt to make you feel guilty about being on the outside and claim it is you that is out of the will of God. Through much prayer and Bible study, I have found this to be quite the opposite. According to the Bible, it is they, which are out of the will of God and on the path of destruction. All I did was to adhere to the warning of the Bible and followed the leadership of the Holy Spirit, God’s volition, as to save myself and my family from being judged along with the wicked and unbelieving in the church.

The age-old adage has been asked repeatedly, ‘am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer to that question is most assuredly yes, I am my brother’s keeper according to the Bible.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Jude 1:21-23

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”  II Corinthians 6:14-18. This admonition was written to the Church of Corinth from the Apostle Paul. The Church of Corinth was already a corrupt assembly in Paul’s day.

These worldly atmospheres within the church accommodates the breeding ground of compromise, double standards, and then open to sin. I have made this statement many times and will say it again, it is impossible for born-again Christians to worship in truth and spirit along side of a lost and unbelieving people. The lost have no place in the congregation of God and God says so in the preceding verse of Scripture. This is why the LORD instructed His Disciples to go out into the highways and hedges and witness to the lost in the world, THEN, bring them back with them after they had accepted Christ as their Saviour into the congregation of God, and to make a testimony of their conversion in public. This practice of bringing the unbelieving lost into the congregation of God is against Bible doctrine and is a hindrance to the Body of Christ. Satan will see to this.

Another example of hypocrisy is because the Gnostics philosophy teaches us to be religious and pious on the Holy Sabbath days but allow loose living like the devil in social drinking of alcoholic beverages with banqueting and reveling. Just like it was when Emperor Constantine adopted Christianity as its religion for the state. This merger of Church and State came with a great price for it married paganism with all its holidays and festivals into Christianity to appease everyone in the state. This merger of Church and State forced the wheat (Christians) to rub shoulders with the tares (unsaved) and accept them as their own. We have carried the brunt of this compromise and betrayal ever since. Nothing much has changed. For every denomination compromises somewhere in adhering to manmade philosophy and is the messenger of error according to Bible doctrine. Any true believing Christian will know to stay clear of open sin as to protect their testimony of Saviour Christ in control of their lives. A sincere Christian that loves the LORD Jesus will not perform an act that has the potential of harming the name of Christ and His Kingdom.

Another point to mention is for the life of us, I cannot understand the church for allowing rampant divorce and abortions amongst so-called Christians only to mention men marrying men, women marrying women, and pedophiles protected by the church. Again, signs of the how the sin of world philosophy views has crept into the church. No doubt, we are in the last days according to the Bible. This is done and with the stamp of approval of the church in order to appease the state no matter where you live. This is the evidence of pagan philosophy carrying its weight throughout the church realm in every denomination. What is with this that the church allows and is proud to take a stand with these evil at heart? These people lead a double standard life in their homes, on the job, and bring it all into the church, the place of worship in the face of a Holy God. These religious philosophers most assuredly have a death grip on the congregation of God. The religious love their Marti Gras and circuses right on the church grounds and proudly put all their might into it right out in plain sight for everyone to be a witness to their degradation and use every excuse to up-hold their sins of the flesh. I have seen with my own eyes the numerous trashcans filled with empty beer and wine bottles the day after such events at the church. The Apostle Jude[6] called these people clouds without water, wells that are dry, vain men, evil men at heart, and men that will lead the flock to disaster. Evil men making merchandise of the flock of God all along the journey of life.

By now, you might be asking yourself the question, Brother Albert, if you and your wife no longer attend a church of the denominations, where do you worship the LORD? The answer to this is simple, right here in our home. But not only in our home, but everywhere I go in life for Christ says my body is the temple of the LORD and have the ability to worship at will, anywhere, anytime. For many years, our home has also served as our place of worship as to avoid any chance of philosophy integrated with the Bible doctrine. Our home is our refuge from the world, and open to all who are looking for a place to assemble in the name of the LORD JESUS without the influence of the world. The example of this exercise in worship comes from the example of the First Church of Jerusalem in the Book of Acts, in which the born-again met in the homes of Christians to foster love and admiration to the LORD Jesus. To be free to worship Christ Jesus in spirit and in truth.

For the record, I want it known that I do not teach religious philosophy but every precept of the Word of God straight from the King James Version of the Bible. This is why I post all my works and writings on the web as to let people see for themselves just what it is that I do in the name of Christ Jesus (the Saviour) and His Church. If you and your family are looking for a place to worship God without the influence of the world, then I want to extend an invitation to join us here at our home where you will be loved and nourished in the admonition of the Holy Spirit of God.

“Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;” Luke 20:46. These people like to show off their wealth and prosperity amongst the church. Does any of this look and sound familiar? The LORD warns us to stay away from these people. It is the old classic division of social classes in which the wealthy scorn the poor and needy, which might be some of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. The poor are and have always been blight in the eye of the wealthy and well to do, the do-gooders in the world. I call them do-gooders because their works are in vain and count for nothing. The Bible plainly tells us these things. They have the spiritual cart before the horse, so to speak in defense of the Apostle Paul in his writings to the Christians of Rome. As Paul has stated, the truth of the matter is and according to the Bible, good works done before one’s salvation give credit to the individual as to say, look at me, look what I have accomplished, I am a good person and deserve to go to heaven. The truth is that no one can earn his or her merit with God. On the other hand, good works performed as a born-again child of God, as described in the Book of James, gives all the credit and glory to the one who empowers us to perform good works, God the Father, God the Son, and God’s volition, the Holy Ghost of God.

“Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;” Acts 13:40.  This Scripture is referencing the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk in which he states: “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” Habakkuk 1:5.

In short, do we really believe the Word of God?  This was and still is a warning to those who know God and how He can bring judgment upon a disobedient people. Nevertheless, still are determined to commit compromise and sin, knowing all along judgment is coming for us in the end and so it is with this warning to the ‘Seven Churches of Revelation.’

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.” Philippians 3:2.

Code RED: Stay away from philosophy!

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Colossians 2:8.  The Apostle Paul laid the warning out on the table plainly to the Churches of Philippi and Colossae so there will be no misunderstanding. Paul is trying to get the church to see that if they are willing to compromise their form of doctrine handed to them from the Apostles, their judgment will be just and swift from the LORD as to purge the church from all evil. This is judgment is coming to the world according to the Bible; events that will unfold when the Great Tribulation commences in which the entire church will be a witness just before the Rapture takes place. As I have stated before, this is how God will separate the wheat from the chaff.

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.” II Peter 3:17.

It would be in our best interest to adhere to this warning and stop with the compromising of vain religious philosophy. As it was in their day, so it is today when pastors, teachers, and evangelists have compromised themselves right into harm’s way and have brought the church with them. This warning is addressed to the churches of all ages and all times using Ephesus as the example. It would pay us to consider ourselves warned and to avoid being judged with the evil and wicked that turn a deft ear and close their eyes in the wake of destruction. The true believers in Christ are not called the ‘Elect and Ecclesia’ (called out) for naught.

Just what has become of the Church of Ephesus? For the most part, it lies in ruins due to a series of massive earthquakes. It is ironic I suppose because the church has never recovered from the onslaught of manmade philosophy that is still propagated today. I feel that Ephesus is still with us today in spirit and is still in its struggle for truth, but still surviving because of the efforts of the Apostles. This event of church history was the Apostle John’s finest hour. Our Lord and Saviour Emmanuel of the church will see to it that none of these events are forgotten and left behind in the dusty annuls of history.

[1] Book of Acts 8: 9-25 John, Phillip, and Peter’s encounter with Simon Magus
[2] Galatians 6: 7, 8
[3] The original Ten Lost Tribes of Israel
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Magus
[5] Meeting places to assembly were called Synagogues, because the church building as we know it was not a concept of this time.
[6] Jude 1: 12, 13