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The Christian Counter

   

THE MAKING OF THE REMNANT
Page 2 of 2

Counterfeit 2

Knowing that Jesus, our High Priest, is concluding a very special service in heaven is crucial to understanding what is going on in heaven at this time. This wonderful truth has almost been totally obscured by Satan. He has led most Christians to ignore the Old Testament sanctuary services by causing them to believe the ceremonies were only for the Jews. For this reason, most Christians never investigate this subject. Since the rituals and ceremonies attached to the earthy sanctuary are not part of Catholic/Protestant heritage, most Christians are unsure why Paul directs us to the heavenly sanctuary in the book of Hebrews. Paul clearly says, “The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.” (Hebrews 8:1,2) Since the sanctuary in the wilderness was a model of the real one in heaven, shouldn’t we understand what the services meant? Since Jesus is our High Priest, shouldn’t we understand why we need one in the heavenly sanctuary?

Satan doesn’t want us to know about the sanctuary in heaven, for if we don’t know about the true tabernacle in heaven, we don’t need to understand the importance of 1844, we won’t know when the “appointed time of the end” began. If we do not know the appointed time of the end began, we will not suspect the coming wrath that occurs when Jesus opens the fourth seal. Neither will we suspect the rapid and climactic culmination of earth’s events that occurs during the trumpets. If we do not understand the Old Testament trumpets that warned of the approaching Day of Atonement, we cannot understand the purpose of Revelation’s trumpets. Even worse, Revelation’s story makes no sense apart from the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary! Satan has led Protestantism to believe that the law of God and the law of Moses were nailed to the cross. By doing away with both, the purpose of both has been forgotten.

Counterfeit 3

The third truth that Satan has counterfeited is the truth about death. Satan has lead most of Christendom to believe that when a person dies, he really does not die! On the surface, this counterfeit may not seem too bad. If you have ever lost a loved one or close friend, there may be some consolation in the idea that they are better off in heaven. On the other hand, if you have lost an enemy, there also may be some consolation in the idea that he is worse off than before!

However, the issue of consolation is not the essence of the matter. Two elements stand at the heart of this matter. First, Satan has caused many people to distrust God, even to the point of hatred, by leading them to believe in the doctrine of eternal torment. By misrepresenting the character of God before the human race, Satan has blinded many to the loving character of God. (Remember, he deceived one third of the angels too!) Secondly, the idea that people go to heaven (or hell) immediately after death gives credence to spiritualism, psychic powers and so-called “metaphysics.” Through mysterious supernatural manifestations, Satan is already deceiving a large number of people. However, his best demonstrations are yet to come! He will cause apparitions of deceased people to appear on earth! These apparitions will be nothing less than demons in the form of human beings sent throughout the earth to deceive people into believing that Satan is God. John saw these apparitions and said, “They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.” (Revelation 16:14)

Again, the point must be made. Satan has strategically set the stage for his final deceptions. Since most people would rather depend upon their senses than trust their knowledge of the Word of God, they will be easy prey. When these demons appear, they will be an overpowering deception. If possible, the remnant could be deceived, too! When they come, these counterfeits will appear to be just as real as your Mom or Dad. How can you argue that the dead know nothing when the form of a dead person stands “in the flesh” before you? The Bible is clear that the dead are dead. “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing…” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) Jesus said that when He comes, “Those in the graves will hear his voice.” (See John 5:28 and 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.) You can anticipate that the devil will use the lying testimony of many apparitions to disprove the Word of God.

Counterfeit 4

The fourth deception of the gospel that Satan has given the Christian world is the truth about the second coming of Jesus. He has many other Christians either believing that there is a “secret rapture” or that the second coming is in the distant future. Most Christians are either unaware of the coming tribulation or they believe they will be spared the awful agony of the testing time that is coming upon the whole world.

The secret rapture counterfeit holds two fatal flaws. First, this doctrine eliminates the urgent need to understand Revelation and the timely preparation for the things coming upon the earth. Since many Christians believe the rapture occurs before the second coming, they are lulled into false security by thinking they have nothing to prepare for. Secondly, and even worse, is that when Satan comes, this group will likely receive him as “the Christ” because the second coming has not taken place! The net effect of this deception is that when the trumpets begin, these people will be immediately overwhelmed, and in great panic they will go along with the idea of appeasing God through legislative action.

In the other camp, many Christians scoff at the suggestion that the Lord is about to return. They see no reason for all the excitement. They say, “All things continue as usual – why all the fuss?” These people are content in their spiritual poverty. They have no idea of the things coming upon the earth, and even worse, they do not want to hear about it! They like spiritual programs that feature talented singers and gifted speakers with clever ideas. They do not want to hear about the coming wrath of Jesus.

Therefore, Satan has the Christians world convinced that they are either safe from the tribulation, due to the rapture, or that life continues as usual-no worry. Unfortunately, his deceptions are widely accepted.

Those receiving the everlasting gospel are not focused on gloom or doom. These people are focused on the greatest and most awesome event in earth’s history: the revelation of Jesus at the second coming. These know the testing time precedes the second coming, they know about the future rise of Babylon and the appearing of Satan claiming to be God. They know that their faith will be fully tested-yet they are positive about their relationship with Jesus and they have peace in their hearts, for they claim the promises of God. They are committed to being “over comers” because they “have ears” to hear what the Spirit is saying to them.” They walk by faith and they are prepared for a mighty work when the trumpets sound.

Counterfeit 5

Satan has led most of the world to deny the importance of the seventh-day Sabbath. Friday is the day of worship for more than one billion Moslems. About fifteen million Jews recognize Saturday as God’s holy day, and one and a half billion Christians (all Christians faiths combined-Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Anglican, etc.) believe in the sacredness of Sunday. Nearly three billion have no regard for the sacredness of any day of the week.

It should be very clear that worshiping on Saturday does not now, nor can it bring salvation to a person. If an illegal alien sneaks into America and keeps all the laws, he does not become an American by obeying the laws. Rather, an alien becomes an American by submitting to the immigration process of becoming an American. Part of the process involves an oath stating that he or she will be loyal and obedient to the laws of America! Salvation, in a similar way, comes when we submit our lives to Jesus. This means we are willing to go, to be and to do as He directs. The doing part of the process involves obedience to all the Ten Commandments. Thus, the remnant is identified as “keeping the commandments of God and having faith in Jesus.”

The change

The history of the change from Sabbath to Sunday worship by early Christians is important reading for anyone wanting to understand the everlasting gospel. Each person should look into this matter and understand from a historical perspective how it came to be. A few paragraphs follow to briefly explain how it happened.

Since Christianity was born in the cradle of Judaism, Roman rulers did not see much difference between Christians and Jews. Consequently, Romans persecuted Christians just as they did the hated Jews. Even more, early Christians were soon forced to disassociate themselves from the Jews because the Jews persecuted them too!

When Rome destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the Christian Church was dispersed. Christian theology was in its formative stages at this time and as Christians scattered all over the world, they took with them “partial knowledge” about the gospel. The Apostles wrote a number of letters over a period of 50 years to establish the Christian faith. However, it was inevitable that Christian leaders would arrive at different theological conclusions. Without the benefit of communication, Christians in Alexandria, Egypt arrived at doctrines that were different from the Christians in Rome. As a result of time and distance, arguments broke out between Christians over various doctrines.

When Paul was imprisoned at Rome, he established the Christian faith there. Since Rome was the capital of the world, it was only natural that the new Christian Church in Rome should gain more power and influence with Roman leaders than other Christian churches that were geographically far away from the hub of civilization. It is also a well-known historical fact that Christians in Rome soon compromised their beliefs to avoid the fierce anger of Caesar. Christians in remote areas however, remained less affected.

After 300 years, the undisputed center of Christianity was Rome. Constantine became the first Christian emperor (he saw that Christianity offered an expedient way to unite the disintegrating Roman empire), and he is distinguished historically for implementing the first Sunday laws in March, A.D. 321.

An early church writer, Socrates, tells us that Christians in Rome were “feasting” on Sunday (the weekly holiday of the Romans honoring the Sun-god) by the fourth century while the rest of the Christian world still worshiped on Saturday. Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, Book V, Chapter 22, Ante-Nicean Christian Library, Vol II, (Boston, 1887), p.132.

As time passed, the primacy of the head officer of the Church (the pope) became even greater. Eventually he engineered the destruction of the Heruli, Ostrogoths and Vandals. These three tribes, followers of Arius of Alexander, believed that Christ was not eternal God but a created being. When they were finally destroyed, the authority of the pope became universal. (Remember the three horns that were plucked up by their roots in Daniel 7?)

Sunday observance

Early Christians in Rome did not understand the importance of God’s law. To gain wider acceptance and increase the number of converts among the Romans, they adapted a philosophical approach to worship that reflected Roman practices. Thus, Sunday, the “holiday,” became Sunday, the “holy-day.” Historically, Sunday was transmitted throughout the Christian world without any biblical support!

It is important to note that neither history nor Roman Catholicism offers any scriptural support for Sunday worship or sacredness. The following statement given at the Council of Trent, appropriately places the authority for the change in the day of worship with the “Roman Church,” not with the Scriptures. (The Council of Trent, Italy, was held from 1545 to 1563 to deal with outrageous charges by Protestants that the Church was disobeying the plain teachings of Scripture.) On January 18, 1562, the Archbishop of Reggio made a speech in which he openly declared that tradition stood above Scripture: “The authority of the church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scripture because the Church had changed Sabbath into Sunday, not by the command of Christ, but by its own authority.” (Canon and Tradition, Dr. J.H. Holtzman, p.263.)

In the late 19th century, Dr.Edward T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual said: “There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath Day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges, and sanctions.

Earnestly desiring information on the subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament, absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change on the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week. I wish to say that this Sabbath question, in this aspect of it, is the gravest and most perplexing question connected with Christian institutions which at the present claims attention from Christian people; and the only reason that it is not a more disturbing element in Christian thought and in religious discussions, is because the Christian world has settled down content on the conviction that somehow a transference has taken place at the beginning of Christian history.” (A paper read before a New York Ministers Conference, Nov. 13, 1893).

By denying the requirements of God’s Ten Commandments, Americans have reaped a harvest of lawlessness. Yes, most people will casually agree with the validity and importance of nine of the commandments. However, question the validity of the fourth commandment and the response will likely be that all Ten Commandments were nailed to the cross.

It is clear that the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross when Jesus, the Passover Lamb, died. It is also true that civil laws that related to Israel’s legal economy in ancient times are not applicable today. (However, many of the principles found in our civil laws today are taken from the Jewish civil laws of the Old Testament.)

But, Israel received several types of laws from God:

  1. Moral (Ten Commandments)
  2. Ceremonial (pertaining to divine services)
  3. Civil (pertaining to the theocratic government)
  4. Health / Lifestyle

Satan has led Christians to erroneously combine these four groups of laws into one group and then nail them to the cross! The cunning and sophistry of Satan is unbelievable! By leading the human race to abandon the health and lifestyle laws, we see unrestricted use of injurious foods, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, crack, heroin and drugs. Some say that the drug problem is America’s greatest problem. But is it? Could our greatest problem be lawlessness?

We see homosexuality and other gross sexual practices overtaking our society. America has become polluted with every vile and imaginable sin because we have received counterfeit teachings from Satan. We have put our faith in the doctrines of the devil!

The road to self-destruction does not end with the abandonment of health and lifestyle laws. By leading America to abandon the great code of moral behavior, Satan has gained control of this country. Our great printing presses roll out billions of evil magazines offering the bodies of young men and women to those having an appetite for sexual immorality. Those having an insatiable thirst for money and possessions have plenty to feed their appetite on in this form of idolatry. People interested in gossip and slander find food for their depraved souls in the supermarket checkout line-food suitable to their warped senses. Some interested in these awful pleasures have a hard time deciding what to read, for there is more available than any perverted mind can possibly absorb. The printing industry of America has been taken over by Satan and he feeds Americans with soul-destroying garbage!

 How ironic! The printing press was invented for the express purpose of printing the Bible! Radio and TV development in America exceeds any other nation on earth and Satan has gained control. These great and extensive powers promote evil on every channel by the minute. We may talk about environmental pollution, but it is far behind the pollution of our hearts and minds. The very airwaves have become polluted!

Satan has almost succeeded

The devil has counterfeited every truth in the gospel! This is why the trumpets must sound and the 144,000 appear. Jesus will gather His remnant through a proclamation of the gospel. Do you want to be part of the gospel movement?

The gospel is called “eternal” or in the King James Version, “everlasting,” because it has always existed! It has not changed, for God has not changed. What is changing is our understanding. We now see and understand more of God’s holy word-the Bible!

Your turn

Just as surely as knowledge has dramatically increased during the past century, our knowledge of the gospel has also increased. If you believe this study has treated the Scriptures fairly and if you see the reasonableness of the gospel message presented here, you need to do three things:

First, completely dedicate (or rededicate) yourself to Jesus. This simple means that you are willing to be what He wants you to be, willing to do what He wants you to do and lastly, willing to go wherever He sends you. This is what the life of faith is all about.

Secondly, you need to study these lessons again. You will pick up many things that you missed the first time through.

Lastly, find a friend who is open to this material and share this message with them. Your active support, influence and dedication to the gospel will cause heaven’s choir of billions of angels to rejoice. The angels are anxious to come and retrieve us from this planet. Jesus is anxious to deliver us. Since the only thing we can take with us to heaven is our friend’s, let us win as many as we can! Come, be a part of the remnant while there is still mercy!

“…The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here…” (Romans 13:11,12)

Notes


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