Open Blogging

You may also like...

56 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    I’m teaching through Revelation in church after teaching through Daniel.

    When I start a new exposition of a book I always buy new commentaries on that book to see where the scholarship has gone since last I taught it…God is always revealing more as we go.

    The newer commentaries have dispensed with date setting and speculations…and focus on faithfulness to death while living in exile in hostile Babylon.

    I think I hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches….but it could just be the painkillers…

  2. Michael says:

    “Make Something Wonderful: Steve Jobs in his own words” is available as a free download from the Steve Jobs Archive.

    https://stevejobsarchive.com/book

  3. Rapturesaint` says:

    Through the years I have seen several well-known bible Pastors fall-away because some immoral sin. I am sure they have repented and God have forgave their sin.

    Why are they allowed to get back into their pulpit at their Church? Look at Jimmy Swaggart, his sin was forgiven and has been back in the pulpit at his church.

    These Pastors has been awesome in their sermon, drew hundreds to Christ Jesus. I am not condoning to what sin they committed, I am saying that I am sure God would allow them in the pulpit and finish the work God have them to do.

  4. Officerhoppy says:

    Michael
    “ I think I hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches….but it could just be the painkillers…”

    That’s always my challenge!!

    Is it the Lord instructing or something else?”

  5. Michael says:

    Rapturesaint,

    First, the rapture is religious fiction.

    Second the Bible is clear that there are standards for leaders and if those standards are broken, they are disqualified.
    God doesn’t need ’em…

  6. Michael says:

    Officerhoppy,

    I’m trying to be really careful…between the pain and the painkillers I know I’m not thinking real clearly…I have to teach tonight and I’m scripting it so I stay on track…

  7. Michael says:

    James MacDonald is in the news for “allegedly” assaulting a woman… to no ones surprise except that poor woman.

    The church that has been platforming him wiped all his stuff off their website…the church that platformed him before contacted me via an old friend to check his character…as if his lack of character wasn’t already a matter of public record.

    They believed his lies and I haven’t spoken to my former friend since…

  8. Linn says:

    Michael,

    I do believe in the rapture, but I don’t believe in date setting. And, my theological friends range from rapture to pre/post and beyond…we do all agree that Jesus is returning.

    As to # 2, I think one of Satan’s biggest lies is the express train from sin to “repentance” to pulpit. We wouldn’t let a real engineer back running a train after the accidents the likes of people like MacDonald have had.

    And, God always blesses in spite of sin, but there needs to be lasting fruit. Many failed leaders just have dry, naked branches.

  9. Michael says:

    Linn,

    I don’t divide over eschatology…but I believe that it might become the next place of division in the church, especially in America and the West.

    When one studies the text itself there is no escape from what is coming…just call after call to faithfulness and endurance until He comes…

  10. Michael says:

    Scruffkit died unexpectedly last night.
    Scruffkit was a cat on Twitter…a grizzled old FIV positive cat that found a forever home and almost 30,000 followers online.

    I loved old Scruff and it hurt when I read that he was taken suddenly.

    I invested emotional capital into a cat I didn’t own and whose online persona was as much that of his owners as his.

    I wonder why…and I wonder why so many others did the same.

    I’m wondering if we’re all looking to invest our emotional capital somewhere safe…and people are not safe these days…

  11. Michael says:

    Working my way through the letters to the seven churches…still looking for any place where Jesus tells the churches to fight the culture…there are commands not to participate in certain aspects of it, but Jesus is concerned with the church getting its act right…and is down right harsh in some of His assessments.

    That wouldn’t set well with my critics…

  12. Linn says:

    Michael,

    I have to confess that I’ve found my last three cats over the past 20 years a lot more dependable than some people I know. I won’t say all, because I know some great folks, too.

    People have always followed other people but it’s easier now. I will confess I don’t always understand the degree of emotional attachment to celebrities, but it may be the trust issue again. When Princess Diana died I was sad, but it wasn’t like I had lost a family member. But it was that way for a number of my friends.

    And maybe that is why it is so hard for us to detach from our fallen Christian leaders? We follow them virtually, we buy their books, listen to all their sermons, and we just can’t leave them to the ignominy they deserve?

  13. Michael says:

    Linn,

    I’ve never had a cat betray or backstab me.
    I’ve never had a cat decide that I was unworthy of friendship over some political issue.
    My cats have often surprised me with demonstrations of love and care.
    The only problem with cats is they die too soon.

    I have a small circle of people that I love and trust…the years have showed them faithful.

    I have many who I thought were friends…but the years have shown otherwise.

    I think the problem with detaching from fallen leaders is twofold…they were gifted and their work was valuable to us…and then we fell into idolatry…

  14. Em Wegemer says:

    Date setting?
    “Only the Father knows the day and the hour.”
    That said, it IS hard to believe that we’re not getting close…… 🤔

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    “Today, the church in America has become so identified with its secular culture that it is difficult to tell them apart. Wanting to retain our last vestiges of power, popularity, and privilege, our churches and Christian movements often seek to grab the headlines. We try to build a kingdom through press releases, crowded stadiums, programs, and “relevant” communication. Like news celebrities, we pander to particular constituencies in order to gain a larger share of the market, instead of simply keeping to our script, proclaiming Christ and him crucified.”

    Michael Horton

  16. Michael says:

    Em,

    We always a day closer…tomorrow would be good…

  17. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Mike is right…and we’re losing market share anyway…

  18. UnCCed says:

    Michael,
    Without dates and/or hipe from eschatology, you can’t fleece anybody.
    Just a warning.

  19. Michael says:

    UnCCed,

    True.

    I suspect that as history unfolds many will be seeking the truth about these matters…and they may get a tad upset with those who led them astray…

  20. Captain Kevin says:

    That Horton quote is absolutely spot on.

  21. Captain Kevin says:

    “… I am saying that I am sure God would allow them in the pulpit and finish the work God have them to do.”

    You are SURE? On what grounds other than sentimentality can you be so sure? Try asking the Apostle Paul what he would say about that.

  22. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael, just to clarify, when you say the rapture is religious fiction, do you mean the popular escapist version of it, or that any notion of a future catching up is fictional?

  23. Michael says:

    CK,

    My contention is that the “rapture” and the Second Coming are the same event.

    The “catching up” comes from the word “parousia” which is a picture of how the residents of a town would go out to welcome a conquering king…and then head right back to town…

  24. Michael says:

    Because I’m half stoned at the moment, I will also say that I think the pre-trip rapture is nonsense and requires a assault on the text to teach…

  25. Captain Kevin says:

    Thanks Michael. Only half stoned? Lol!

  26. Michael says:

    “Only half stoned? ”

    Yea…I’m trying to take just enough pain med to function and not enough to slobber…

  27. pstrmike says:

    What I find interesting about the Horton quote, is that both the JW‘s and the Mormons have resorted to “headline grabbing“ here, locally to try to bolster their numbers and gain larger market shares.
    I am becoming more convinced that true Kingdom work is rarely worthy of being printed in the newspapers.

  28. Michael says:

    ‘I am becoming more convinced that true Kingdom work is rarely worthy of being printed in the newspapers.”

    That is a fact.

    I know a couple who do elaborate parties through the year for all the kids in their neighborhood.
    It amazes me how much time and effort they put in and how they’ve done so for years.

    You wouldn’t know about them unless you lived near them…but that is kingdom work…

  29. Muff Potter says:

    Michael Wrote:
    “I will also say that I think the pre-trip rapture is nonsense and requires a assault on the text to teach…”

    Back in the halcyon olden days of Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel, rapture fever was theee thing.
    I was a young Army vet just out of the Long Beach VA hospital and I got reeled in.
    It was something you didn’t dare and question in those circles.
    Over the years, I’ve learned to read Scripture for myself and decide for myself what it means or doesn’t mean.

  30. pstrmike says:

    “It was something you didn’t dare and question in those circles.”

    Among other things……….

  31. Terry says:

    I’m reading in Luke and, when speaking of The End, Jesus shifts easily between describing the AD 70 event and the actual consumation of all things. More interesting is that chapter 21:34-36 says “It will come, you see, on everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Keep awake at all times, praying that you will have strength to escape all these things that will happen, and stand before the son of man”. This verse applies to each one of us regardless of which century we happen to live in.

  32. Officerhoppy says:

    I no longer know when Christ’s return will be. I’ve listened to 100 prophecy up dates With a news paper in hand, the prophecy updaters claim, “he’s coming very soon”. The first prophecy update began with the apostle Paul. He was writing to a group of people who were persecuted and scorned. He told them to hang tight becuase Jesus was returning. It’s my opinion he was writing to that specific group of Christians no necessarily to us in 1974 or 1973.

    All I know is he’s coming one day. So, I hope there is a rapture before the tribulation. If I see the abomination that makes desolate take place then I will switch to the mid trib or pre wrath eschatology. If that doesn’t work out I’ll change my theology to the post trib theory.

    In other words, I’m dragging my feet all the way—constantly looking for Christ’s return. I think that’s what Paul is instructing his readers.

  33. Michael says:

    I stopped thinking about eschatology much at all for some time because I felt the discussions took away from actual discipleship.

    I’m doing a deep dive again without regard for the rapture positions that were unheard of for most of church history.

    What I think I’m seeing is hard to teach and harder to embrace…because I think that (if Jesus tarries) generations to come will be dealing with the reality that all kingdoms rise and fall and all become beasts that oppose God and His people…

  34. Captain Kevin says:

    “I’m dragging my feet all the way—constantly looking for Christ’s return.”

    I can identify.

  35. filistine says:

    I’ve given up any sense of a corporate hope–I’m trying to hang tough enough to make it until I die. I don’t know what eschatology to believe, I only know I used to be a pre-mil rapturist who tired of the gymnastics it took to sell the position. I bounce back and forth between the Gospels and Epistles trying to integrate the words of Jesus regarding himself and those of the apostles who spoke about him & his followers. That’s enough to keep me busy.

  36. Em Wegemer says:

    Michael @ 11:30 am – Yep

  37. Alan says:

    Yes I agree the Revelation is a book of Christian discipleship in the midst of ever cycling antichrist entities. The ‘rapture’ is a nonsense fiction that’s as coherent as the current gender craze. Both I Thess 5 and I Cor 15 are about exactly what they purport — The resurrection of the dead.

    The earliest antichrist nation was Israel, then Rome, then every other empire that spewed its ideological garbage. America is not the latest but it is the greatest of the antichrist nations but it too will soon pass away.

    The whole theme of the book is overcoming. The hardest thing to overcome is the first problem presented, namely overcoming the antichrist ideas that fill the churches. Which is why I argue that the myth of some kind of corporate noble early church era is crazy.

    Always in the church there are noble heroic ones who rise above the din of the age. Those heroes sometimes shine so bright we think they represent a beautiful whole. They do not they represent true martyrs (witnesses) in the midst of a new crooked generation.

    Dread is Alive and Remains

  38. Michael says:

    Alan has landed on the spot we need to address.

    I can’t define “soon’…but America is in decline and will pass from the scene.

    The Bible in general and the books of Daniel and Revelation in particular laugh at any notion of nationalism.

    I have roughly formed in my drug addled mind a proposition that says the attention of “the church” should be fully turned to the letters to the seven churches…to bring rebuke and correction and also encouragement to separate from Babylon and help each other to live in faithfulness as we dwell there…

  39. Alan says:

    Discipleship on the Edge by Darrell Johnson was a book from the sermons by this author on Revelation. I guess it was re-released in 2021 after originally being available in 2004. I heard one of his messages in about 1997 and said “Amen” so much the presbyterians were scandalized and hoping for ushers to become hushers. No matter it was but one fleeting hour – like the nations.

    But Johnson captures the idea of John making disciples rather than survivalists or rapture pundits.

  40. Jean says:

    “I can’t define “soon’…but America is in decline and will pass from the scene.”

    The frustrating this is that America’s decline is not the result of external pressure, but is the result of internal rot.

    And lest someone Amen me and point their finger at the rotten ones, I see the rot coming from both sides of just about every important national debate.

    America’s decline is not being compelled, so much as being allowed or permitted. We are watching it happen before our eyes. We theoretically could alter our downward tradjectory. But we instead double down on the things that are slowly destroying a great nation.

    Such a shame!

  41. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Amen…I completely agree.

  42. Michael says:

    Although the prophetic books seem to indicate that all nations grow into beasts, I wonder if such is always inevitable or can be delayed…and I wonder if a big part of the problem is that the church has left its prophetic calling in search of temporal power…actually I think that’s the case…

  43. Alan says:

    One of the beasts is a false prophet. That is a religious beast. Within the religious corpus is the antichrist spirit. Whenever true heresy arises in the church we cannot be surprised. It has been forewarned. The same was true of Old Covenant Israel. The false prophets abounded.

    Reading the earliest post apostolic literature reveals an obsession with rebuking these lying spirits. “false prophets” and “false teachers” are everywhere warmed about. Ignatius was pugnacious about it. The church itself must confront them.

  44. Michael says:

    Alan,

    Thanks for the book recommendation…I’ll own it shortly.

    Yes, the church must confront and discipline the false prophets and teachers…and any who want to compromise with Babylon.

    I was stunned to find that I had been wrong about a doctrine I held to after reading the letters to the churches… 🙂

    I have always believed that God’s judgment was withheld until the eschaton…and that may be true for the world…but according to Jesus, judgment begins in the house of God and He exercised that judgment after threatening it against the churches He named for the reasons He named…will He do so again?

  45. Alan says:

    Thanks Michael, P T Forsyth has a chapter on these “Saving Judgments” in The Justification of God

  46. Michael says:

    Bought them both…this study has been expensive, but I think the Spirit is stirring…

    For those reading who may be interested in a different take on Daniel and the Revelation I heartily commend Tremper Longman III’s commentaries on both…scholarly, but accessible.

  47. Michael says:

    Scott MacKnight also has a new commentary on Revelation that is helpful when he’s not trying to be a hipster…

  48. pstrmike says:

    “I stopped thinking about eschatology much at all for some time because I felt the discussions took away from actual discipleship.”

    Same here. Almost without exception, those who I know who are obsessed with the rapture (let the reader understand) do not demonstrate maturity as a disciple.

  49. Jean says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, the premise of the pre-trib and mid-trib rapture theology is that God will rapture the church before Christians suffer too much before Christ returns. I guess the pagan world would be left without a Christian witness when they need it the most. In addition, not a few commercial airline pilots either.

    Query: Did Jesus and the apostles get raptured before their tribulations?

  50. Michael says:

    Pre-trib îs kind of an identity badge for many fundamentalists.

    It takes more than a little work to unlearn it…but when a person does, they don’t go back…

  51. Em Wegemer says:

    My late husband had a book that makes a very good case for the Church going out mid-trib
    Me? I’d rather go out pre-trib, BUT…..

  52. Officerhoppy says:

    Jean
    Just to clarify, i think Revelation says there are two witnesses in the tribulation. Who those three are, i dunno. But some speculate it’s Moses and Elijah.

    Whether there is a rapture or not, I dunno. But i hope there is. As I said before, when it comes to eschatology, I don’t know what to believe and I no longer hold tightly to any position. All I know is, I’m looking for his return. And I hope it is soon.

  53. Officerhoppy says:

    Two, not three

  54. filistine says:

    dang it, was that a slight stirring of interest within my dead little soul…

  55. Muff Potter says:

    Officerhoppy wrote:

    “Whether there is a rapture or not, I dunno. But i hope there is. As I said before, when it comes to eschatology, I don’t know what to believe and I no longer hold tightly to any position. All I know is, I’m looking for his return. And I hope it is soon.”

    Que sera, sera
    Whatever will be, will be
    The future’s not ours to see
    Que sera, sera
    What will be, will be
    — Doris Day —

    From the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1956).

  56. Reuben says:

    The Horton quote is reminiscent of every single quote that has come with every single shift of American Christianity for as long as I can remember. It was the “new age” scare, the “emergent church”, mega churches, rock bands doing worship services, Christian rock entirely for that matter. I get it, but nah, nothing new under the sun with quotes like that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Phoenix Preacher

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading