NOTE: This for the most part is the concluding chapter of a book called WCDWYTH or “What the Churches Don”t Want you to hear?” A free download of which is offered at the bottom of this blog.
This will only take a few pages to wrap up as I think based on what we have looked at in Mark and in the supporting passages of the Word, you know what to expect. Brieﬂy we will look at the subject center around the following points:
1. What Have We Come To?
2. Buildings versus Kingdom
3. What Churches Keep from You
4. What Church Refuse to Hear!
5. The Inﬂuence of Christ
What we have really come to is an unseen kingdom which can not be shaken as Paul wrote in concluding the book of the Bible on the Falling Away, Hebrews and in Hebrews 12:28.
Hebrews 12:28 New King James Version (NKJV)
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
Exegesis of Hebrews 12:28:
(1). While Scofield theology strives to put off anything of the kingdom to a fictitious millennium kingdom, someday pie in the sky, Paul makes it clear here for eyes to see and ears to hear that (a) we as Christians now serve patiently this kingdom that is within us, as Jesus said, and (b) we are in the process of receiving a forever kingdom that can not be shaken.
(2). Scofield theology has the audacity to change the Bible to say “Indeed, Jesus did come at first to preach the Kingdom of God; but changed His mind when it was rejected by the Jewish nation; so much of what Jesus and the rest of the Bible says about the gospel and the gospel of the kingdom is put off after a false second rapture (second to the real Bible one at the Second Coming of Christ) to happen at a later dispensation of a Millennium Kingdom.
(3). The word Millennium is never to be found in the Bible, and all that smoke in Scofield theology about a literal Bible is to deceive you and get you to think that the “a thousand years” or “the thousand years” found 6 times in Revelation 16 is ONE THOUSAND YEARS. If the Bible had wanted to say one thousand years, it would have literally said one thousand years; but it did not, it said “a” and “the” thousand, which is sort of like a placeholder for a long time between where the coming of the Holy Spirit in power on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension (Peter quoting and explaining Joel in Acts 2) UNTIL the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from earth as predicted in II Thessalonians.
(4). What is shaken and will be shaken is itemized from Daniel, the rest of the Old Testament where you have a great deal about The DAY of the LORD and Lord, and Matthew 24 from Jesus with the book of Revelation. With those last words of Hebrews 12:28,29 why would Paul want to tell of all people, church members about God as a consuming ﬁre. Because in one day alone the carcasses fell in the wilderness of 23,000 children of Israel who thought they also were the elect of God; and they fell as the result of a consuming ﬁre from God. That falling was much more than physical as the record in the Old Testament and in Hebrews informs us that they also were not allowed into the eternal rest of God.
1. What Have We Come To?
Well, we have come to something much more serious than that experienced in instruction by the 23,000 children of God. We have even come to something much more serious to heed than what the children of Israel experience at Mount Sinai, with the sight of smoke and burning from the special presence of God, with the awesome sight of blackness and dark- ness that only God the Father can muster, with the physical touch of a physical mountain which was untouchable in that any man or animal that did, died; with the sound of the trumpet of the angel announcing the special presence of God, and with the awesome holy and piercing voice of the many words of God which cause the children to beg, “please, let it be spoken no more”; nor have we come to the sight so terrible that the Prophet Moses himself said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.” (Hebrews 12:21 and Deuteronomy 9:19).
We are come and are coming to just as much sound, and sight, and touch, and felling’s; and more in that—
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living
God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of
angels, to the general assembly and church of the ﬁrstborn
who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to
the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator
of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that
speaks better things than that of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:22-24)
Paul doesn’t want you to think that you have come to something as small as a local church where you have a new large brick or stone building, not to think that you have come to somethings lesser like Mount Sinai with the awesome special appearance of God with sounds, hearings, sights, and feelings. And although all of these entities are now invisible,
just like the faith that Paul has been talking about in Hebrews before, THEY ARE FAR MORE REAL AND ETERNAL AND PERMANENT; and therefore Paul would summons by way of all your physical senses of sound, sight, and hearing the challenge of things of faith, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And even as there is a lot of evidence in the Gospel of Mark, also reinforced by the Old Testament, Paul, Jesus, and the other Gospel writers of whom Simon Greenleaf, the former dean of the Harvard Law School and a legal authority on evidence, said that “the testimony of the four evangelists would stand up as a prima facie case in any court of law, so in Hebrews is offered a large roll call from the Old Testament of the heroes of faith which made the unseen entities clearer, although invisible, by the lives they lives. What was in the abstract in that it was faith in the unseen God, in the unseen Jesus Christ, in the unseen Holy Spirit, and in the unseen kingdom of God and the unseen assembly of the ﬁrstborn written in heaven, it was put in the concrete by these real men and women who lives real lives of real faith. And what we can come to at the End of this Age is very, very real. Our God is a consuming ﬁre, and that is literal; in that God not only exercises judgment like a consuming ﬁre, but the fate of all unbelievers is the eternal lake of ﬁre and brimstone.
2. Focus your eyes on Jesus, on the kingdom of God, and on whether you have member- ship in the assembly of the ﬁrstborn written in heaven, then your focus, pride, and efforts will be less on that large and comfortable building where you have chosen to focus all your attention.
Have you ever noticed that when people want to talk to you about religion, it is centered around their own local church? As if, their local church was the center of the universe, or at least the center of the kingdom of God. No, the center of the kingdom of God is the place where the will of God is currently being done with squabbling and compromise, in heaven where the will of God is done as it will some day when Christ comes again be done on this earth. That is what you pray for in your local church, remember, “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” If you pray for it, and you accept that word as well as hear it, then you might as well be putting your efforts into the kingdom rather than into a large brick and stone building.
We could talk about how Jesus during His life took the focus off that large Temple in Jerusalem of stone, the same stones that inspired the admiration of the disciples of Jesus to say, “look at these stones”, expecting a similar admiration from them; but were surprised when Jesus gave the warnings of stone destruction in the famous passage on eschatology of Matthew 24 and Mark 13. True, God gave the pattern for the building of the ﬁrst tabernacle, for the building of the ﬁrst Temple, and even the building of the second temple; but there came a time in the Old Testament Prophets when God said “no more” emphasis on buildings made with hands and stones, about the same time that He rejected Israel as the elect; and the emphasis became of an invisible kingdom, a tabernacle and temple not made with hands, a building not to be taken with pride and conﬁdence of brick and tone; but on the invisible assembly or church of the ﬁrstborn, Jesus Christ, on the total body of Christ, on God Himself who is invisible although He is the Judge of all things and will ultimately be the Judge of all things, to the vast roll call of men and women of faith whom you can not see, but who still live and exist with the living God in the city of Jerusalem and around the temple in heaven.
You can pretty well see the demise in the kingdom of God and Christ of any church or denomination when they build a new and large brick and stone building. Although being like my good and former friend Dr. Charles Meister maintained, a symbol of the righteousness and godliness of American people, it has become a symbol of demise in the kingdom of God. The emphasis has thereby been taken off the spiritual unseen things and placed on that which can be seen, that of status in the community, in the denomination, and in the country. You see, when we build those large new church buildings, it is in order to become part of the “establishment”; and
since the establishment is worldly, then we likewise become part of the world which is for- bidden in many ways and many times in the Bible. This is not to mention the inﬂuence in the local assembly that the “tares” and the leaders of the tares have on the kingdom of God.
3. What the Churches Do Not Want You to Hear?
It strikes like the lightning on the cover of this book with the statement that begs for ap- approval. THE CHURCHES DO NOT WANT YOU TO HEAR THAT THEY ARE LEAD- ERS IN THE FOLLOWING AWAY! They must be since they have more to fall away from. Like the children of Israel who saw the mighty works of God for 40 years in the wilderness before their Falling Away, these church members have seen for 40 years or more the works of God; yet allowing the tares in the kingdom of God to exercise a dominant voice of un- sound doctrine, and by selecting pastors and teachers with itching ears to hear what they desired more than what they needed of the Word of God, teachers who continue to comfort them and tell them that they are the elect of God. Like in the time of Jeremiah, the life lived during the week has nothing to do with the God who is worshipped at the Temple of God; the church members are like a “den of thieves” who rob the people and mistreat the people in the land, who substitute the teachings of men for the commandments of God and worship and serve a god who is not the God of the Bible and the God of Jesus Christ. Like the people who refused to listen to Jeremiah, instead saying when faced with their contradictory lives and living, “we are safe” in the temple of God, contemporary church members are saying in increasing numbers as the gap between church membership and Christ grows into the Falling Away, we are safe here in our local church with this big, beautiful building and the status of the community, and in our large and stable nation. NOT SO!
What you don’t hear from the churches is, and you be the judge of this for yourself: (1) The reality of the Falling Away which must come before the Second Coming; (2) that these churches are the leaders in the Falling Away just as the children of Israel were leaders in the ﬁrst Falling Away; (3) that this is not a criticism, as they would tell you, of the youth or the younger generation, since if the second Falling Away–that is, the Falling Away of our generation–is like the first falling away then those younger than 20 years of age will not be part of it, unless by choice; (4) you will not hear about the Falling Away from them because you will notice that every church or denomination has THE ANSWER, so how can they admit to you that they are also part of the Falling Away; and (5) by the way this would also include the vast number of weirdos on television and in so-called Bible conferences which by their proliferation prove that we are in the time of intolerance toward sound doctrine, in that we are “heaping up”–boy, are we heaping up teachers with itching ears that sound weird and look weird but who succeed in the worldly sense of success be- cause they are popular like the world and because they tell people what they want to hear.
4. What Churches Refuse to Hear!
You want to hear about the sound doctrine of the Falling Away from them, because they refuse to hear it from their own pastors and teachers. Have you not wondered why over 50% of pastors marriages end in divorce, why over 50% of the church members practice and believe in the adultery of divorce, and why so many pastors are run off from their churches in a short period of time. Well, if the people have already rejected Christ, the Master, as their head of government and Lord, then they are also going to reject, thought in a subtle and skillful but worldly manner, the leaders which Christ has ordained and sent to their church. What they are motivated by now is: (1) a desire to hear about their own desires; (2) an intolerance toward sound doctrine; and (3) a tickling of the ears for comfort.
5. The Inﬂuence of Christ
What we after when we give priority to the kingdom of God and of Christ is to extend the inﬂuence of Christ! The building can take care of itself, sufﬁcient unto the day is the evil thereof of he world and the tares, and the leaders of the world and of the tares! You will ﬁnd that this is the real “peacemaking” of the Bible. Christ is the only means of peace between God and man, and between men and men, so that as we extend the inﬂuence of Christ through the kingdom we are also promoting peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
You are welcome to free download both this blog and the complete book of “What Churches Don’t want you to Hear?” from two of the Web sites of SunGrist: