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My in-box last night contained notes from friends alerting me to a matter Glenn Beck is presently underscoring in his media world. I’m delighted this is all getting revisited. Below I decided to paste a redacted chapter section from my forthcoming book The Fall Away Factor. In chapter three I listed not standing with Israel as a significant factor in the Great Apostasy foretold in 1 Timothy 4:1 and elsewhere. Most of the chapter is a denouncement of Replacement Theology. The part I’m pasting below is the latter third of the chapter where I introduce the reader to what I dub Recognition Theology, which is what Glenn Beck is basically putting forth. Another recent book on the topic is Timothy Ballard’s book: The Covenant: America’s Sacred and Immutable Connection to Ancient Israel. You can also read a related post from me on this topic here and here. The best source are the four books by my friend Steven M. Collins which I cite in the footnotes below. His books are available here.

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Out with Replacement Theology, in with Recognition Theology

In my view, Israel issue is the greatest oversight in the history of Christianity. Hosea 1 is a passage on a previous list I mentioned of one hundred fifty chapters in the Bible relating to the end of the age. Hosea 1:10 tells us the Israelites will be innumerable at the end of the age. “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted.”

We know God made promises to both Isaac and Ishmael regarding their descendants. We also know that today there are nearly 400 million Arab people in the various Arab tribes (Ishmaelites). Yet, it’s commonly stated that there are somewhere between 12-14 million Jews today (only .002% of the present population of the world). The math here is straight forward and stunning actually: 400 million Ishmaelites today and only 14 million descendants of Isaac. Did God keep his promise to Ishmael but not Isaac or could it be God did keep his promise and the descendants of Isaac are a far larger group today than those we presently recognize as Jews.

Considering a world population now exceeding six billion people, we are either still a millennium or longer away from the end of the age or God’s covenant promise did not come true. Or, more likely, God considers “Israelites” to be a far broader group than merely the Tribe of Judah. Either we are still many, many generations from the end of the age, or there are more blood descendants of Abraham than are presently recognized right now. In fact, that is what we read next in Hosea 1:10. “In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’” For reasons known to God, the true identity of masses of people at the end of the age is presently veiled.

The next verse speaks of an end-time reunification of the people of Judah and the people of Israel. “The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited…” From the time of the divided kingdom, the designations Judah and Israel ceased to be synonyms either in Scripture or in historical records. These verses in Hosea suggest the identity of the House of Israel will be veiled and not recognized until that latter time when the tribes are reunited.

During the reigns of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, the twelve tribes (thirteen counting Joseph as Ephraim and Manasseh) divided into two kingdoms. Two/three tribes made up the southern kingdom of Judah, ten tribes made up the northern kingdom of Israel. Soon after that we find passages in the Bible that speak of the “Jews” going to war against “Israel.”[1] They were separate peoples from this point forward and this is a critical point in correctly understanding Biblical prophecy.

Recognition Theology[2] is a term I coined a few years ago to refer to the unveiling of the identity of millions of the blood descendants of Abraham who presently do not even know who they are. The reason I call this Recognition Theology is because in the providence of God, he has kept this veiled until its forecast recognition or unveiling at the end of the age.

Recognition Theology contends that numerous nations and peoples, including America, are absolutely identifiable and recognizable in Bible Prophecy[3], archeology, genographic migration studies and haplotype studies.[4] The promise to the descendants of Abraham was that they would grow into “a nation and company of nations.”[5] No doubt the nation Israel is that nation. However, as that verse clearly indicates, the descendants of Abraham were not limited to that nation. We know that Israel today is by and large made up of descendants of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, as those were the two tribes that returned from the exile. Interestingly there is a company of approximately one hundred “Christian” nations today, most of whom support Israel.

In 586 B.C., when the First Temple was destroyed and twelve tribes were exiled from the Holy Land, it is estimated that they numbered around ten million. During the time of Nehemiah and Ezra, only a remnant returned (43,000 families which may number approximately 250,000 people). The remnant was mainly, though not exclusively, from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Millions of blood descendants of Abraham, almost entirely from the other ten tribes, assimilated into the surrounding pagan nations. Over the last twenty-five hundred years these covenant people migrated and literally populated a number of the nations on earth today. At present, only God knows exactly who and where they are, but we are certain that his promise for those people is irrevocable.

Imagine that millions of the blood descendants of Abraham, those we now consider the lost ten tribes, assimilated into pagan nations and migrated far from home. They did not vanish or disappear from the face of the earth, nor did the unconditional and irrevocable (Abrahamic Covenant) promises of God for their future get forfeited or canceled. God knows their identity in him even though they have no recognition of it. Jesus and his disciples were sent to the lost sheep of Israel.[6] Their whereabouts were not unknown. They were lost in a spiritual sense. These tribes and people groups have since increased into many large nations—innumerable, exactly as prophesied —increasing even more by adopting many “foreigners” into their national (covenant) family. And precisely as the Bible predicted, the descendants of David still sit on the thrones of nations[7] and possess the gates of their enemies.[8]

God’s promises to the descendants of David came true. They did and still do sit on the thrones of nations and historically they have and still do control the main geo-political gates of the world; Gibraltar, the Suez Canal, Singapore, and Hong Kong to name a few. In the fifteenth century, Mary Queen of Scots traced her royal lineage back to King David and this was made plainly evident in the Scottish Declaration of Independence, also called the Declaration of Arbroath, which expressly states:

Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that… the Scots… journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long time in Spain… Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they live today…[9]

It is apparent that five centuries ago the Scots considered themselves blood descendants of Abraham and were aware of the specific migration routes that brought them to their new homeland.

Queen Victoria, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the abdicated King Edward the 8th, the Duke of Windsor, and notably, Winston Churchill recognized vast populations of Israelites (blood descendants of Abraham) as distinguished from those presently identified as Jews or Judahites. Of the various other notable examples, my favorite is President Harry S. Truman. That historic afternoon of May 14, 1948, State Department officials informed President Truman the new nation would be called Israel, which surprised him, as he noted that he thought they would name it Judea after the people, not Israel after the land.[10] Obviously he was aware that what we call Israel today is mainly populated by the tribe of Judah.

This is an enormous and fascinating study, potentially permanently changing how we read the Bible. However, to continue on this will detract from the point of this chapter. Many will fall away at the end of the age because of an animosity toward Israel, fed by a total lack of awareness as to how this nation and company of nations fit into God’s end-time plan.


[1] 1 Kings 12:21, 2 Chronicles 11:1

[2] Recognition Theology has several related but not-identical sub-streams including Two-House Messianics, British Israelism, Israelite Identity and various others who have interest in the identity of the so-called ten lost tribes of Israel. Recognition Theology vigorously rejects Replacement Theology, Mormon Theology, anti-Semitic or racial supremacy and Aryan race movements and other aberrant racialized theology variations. Recognition Theology celebrates the God who grafts the foreigner into his family and keeps every promise to raise up children of Abraham to be innumerable, a nation and a company of nations, blessing them to be a blessing to all nations.

[3] If this interests you please read a superb article by my friend Steven M. Collins called The United States of America in Biblical Prophecy available here – http://stevenmcollins.com/html/usa_in_prophecy.html I also highly recommend his four books which deal exhaustively with this topic – Volume One: The Origins and Empires of Ancient Israel; Volume Two: Israel’s Lost Empires; Volume Three: Parthia – The Forgotten Ancient Superpower and It’s Role In Biblical History and Volume Four: Israel’s Tribes Today.

[4] Entrine, Jon. Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People. Grand Central Publishing, 2007.

[5] Genesis 35:11

[6] Matthew 10:6, 15:24.

[7] Jeremiah 33:17.

[8] Genesis 24:60.

[9] The Scottish Declaration of Independence reprinted in The Declaration of Arbroath, The National Trust for Scotland, 1970.

[10] The May 14, 2007 issue a Newsweek included an exclusive book excerpt entitled; “A Case for Courage.” The excerpt was from a chapter called “I Am Cyrus” about Truman and the birth of Israel from leading presidential historian Michael Beschloss’s book, Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989.

Here is another chart from me relating to the theme of persecution and martyrdom. These realities have been my focus this season of Lent in my Martyrs Guide to Life message series. Earlier charts included The Skyrocketing Cost of Discipleship and the Degrees of Persecution.

To be in the clutches of something is to be in the grip or hold of something; a strong clasp, tight and sudden. This word describes the last week in the earthly life of Jesus… “the Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men” (Matthew 17:22).

Reading the last week of the earthly life of Jesus, an analogy occurred to me to help illustrate Jesus in the clutches of persecution. For three years he had slipped through various clutches but the last week he succumbed to them. Think of the chuck of a typical household power drill. The chuck is basically a clutching mechanism comprised of three hardened steel jaws held by a tightening sleeve or collar. When you turn and tighten the collar/sleeve, teeth turn a spiral scrolling gear which self center each jaw together equally and mercilessly around a drill bit.

Clutches of Persecution

The three jaws which gripped Jesus were; 1) the whims of people, 2) the religists or religious rulers of the day, and 3) the secular authorities. Knowing that ultimately our battle is not against flesh and blood, the surrounding sleeve or tightening collar relates to evil principalities in heavenly places which were orchestrating all these hostilities toward Jesus.

Here’s a key point: as intense as the clutches of persecution are, notice the entire tool is in the hands of the Lord and he is using it for his purposes. He is building something even when it seems the adversary is tearing it all down.

When I read the last week of the life of Jesus I don’t read any panic at what the devil is doing. I get a strong sense of resolve in what God is doing. The persecuted derive stamina from the perspective of sovereignty. It may feel like and appear that we have been snatched into the merciless hands of others. However, even in persecution, God does not let hold of us.

Bonhoeffer reminded us of the Cost of Discipleship. For a few weeks now in a series I’ve titled Martyrs Guide to Life, I’ve been talking about the Skyrocketing Cost of Discipleship. Basically I’m referring to the forecast Jesus gave us in Matthew 24:9-14.

In light of the fact that more have died for their faith in Christ in the last century than in the first twenty centuries combined, and in light of the fact that the Bible forecasts a greater age of martyrdom at the end of the age, it seems helpful to talk about the skyrocketing cost of discipleship in a latter age of (unprecedented) persecution. By unprecedented I mean to underscore how the latter age will be far more intense and global than the first two centuries which we typically consider the “Age of Persecution.”

Yesterday I posted a new chart I’ve titled Degrees of Religious Persecution to illustrate how there is a discernible continuum with persecution from mild to moderate to severe. (Actually mild is normal as persecution is an indicator all systems are normal.) Here I offer a chart to illustrate the skyrocketing cost of discipleship.

skyrocketing cost of discipleship chart

Obviously, I don’t subscribe to the Left Behind bestselling notion that we will be rescued via a Pre-Trib Rapture. Extensively in other places I’ve shown that to be a recent, extra-Biblical and dangerous error as it leaves us ill-prepared for what is coming. My chart is based on a Classical or Historic Pre-millennialism understanding that the Rapture and the Second Coming are different stages of the same event.

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was stripped naked and hung by his neck on April 9, 1945 in Hitler’s concentration camp at Flossenbürg. In his now classic Cost of Discipleship he wrote: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

The world is increasingly a dangerous place for Christians. Globally, in unprecedented numbers, Christians are being beaten, imprisoned and killed. Yet here in America, pastors preach “dying to ourselves” to people sitting in comfortable chairs and then they serve them jelly donuts and Starbucks after the service.

Though there is this uniquely American deception among Christians that Jesus suffered so we don’t have to, or that we will escape it—the Bible actually says the opposite: “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12) It’s time to revisit the central Christian message of suffering for Christ. Even in free nations religious liberties are being taken away.

This season of Lent through Easter as Christians worldwide remember Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection, Pastor Steve will underscore how the LIFE of Jesus is revealed in ridicule and mistreatment, mockery and martyrdom. You won’t leave forlorn, fearful or depressed.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Messages are free for downloading or streaming here.

Here are some of the highlights of the first three messages in the series:

- This aversion to Christian suffering and persecution is extra-Biblical and uniquely American.

- There is a grace for suffering and persecution; martyrdom is a spiritual grace/gift. How could it be a gift? Certainly that would be a gift no one would want?! Spiritual gifts aren’t toys to play with they are graces for spiritual breakthrough. There is a grace to give up your life for Christ. Martyrdom is the one spiritual gift you aren’t sure you have until you need it and it’s the only spiritual gift that you can only use once.

- The propellant behind the grace of martyrdom is love. Martyrs are sustained by grace and propelled by love. (1 Cor 13:3, John 15:13)

- Martyrdom is simultaneously a holy detachment and a holy attachment as we love Jesus not so much our lives. (Revelation 12:11)

- You can’t even be a disciple without taking up your cross and following him. (Mt. 16:24)

- Martyrdom was the expectation of the early Christian Church, not the exception.

- The cost of following Jesus is about to skyrocket. There have been 45,400,000 twentieth century Christian martyrs – more in the last century than in the previous twenty centuries combined. We typically refer to the first century as the Age of Persecution or martyrdom. However, the Bible teaches the latter age of martyrdom will be far worse and we are in that latter age of martyrdom. (Matthew 24: 9-14)

- Lots of wasted human life these days. Yet there is no such thing as a martyr dying in vain.

- If grace is what sustains a martyr and love is what propels him, loyalty is what describes him. The epitome of love and loyalty is martyrdom.

- If grace sustains martyrdom and love propels it, loyalty is what describes it and willingness is what allow it. Martyrdom isn’t accidental or unavoidable, it’s a choice. It’s choosing to follow Jesus down the path he took. Hebrews 11:25 says “Moses chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”

- Fear of death is not a Christian concern. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said “do not worry about your life…  who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” He was saying don’t worry about preserving or prolonging your life.

- When the martyr dies, who wins and who really loses? Tertullian said: the death of the martyr is the seed of the church. Something greater comes forth. But we think of death as a horrible defeat. That’s not how God sees it. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. (Ps 116:15).

- This confidence in facing death comes from good theology. This fear of death among Christians is evidence of a shallow theology. Many have ungodly beliefs about death and dying.We have this ‘fraidy cat view of death, that it is this travesty. We see it as final, as the worst thing that could happen. God views it very differently. Jesus took the sting out of death for the believer and the believer doesn’t have to face the dreaded second death (Rev. 2:11).

- Self-preservation is not a Christian virtue. It certainly is a human instinct but it is not a Christian virtue. A Christian virtue is… greater love has no one than this, that he lay his life down for others…

- Letting go comes natural for the martyr as they lived a life of faithful giving in the little things.

-If you can’t give your stuff, you won’t give your life. If you can’t give your money, what makes you thing you’d be willing to pay the skyrocketing cost of discipleship?

- Giving your life to Christ means giving your life up for Christ.

A friend of mine wrote the following little paragraph and sent it to me with this PDF: United States-Israel Enhanced Security Act of 2012.

Obama signed this Act into law on the weekend of Tish B’Av 9 –date of the “bad report” from the 10 spies, date of destruction of Solomon’s Temple in 586 BC, date of destruction of Herod’s Temple in 70 AD, date England expelled the Jews in 1290 AD, date Spain expelled the Jews in 1492, the date WW1 began, the date of the “Final Solution” of Hitler, and the date Ariel Sharon abandoned Jewish settlements in Gaza.

It is now official US statutory law to divide the land of Israel.

If a building has not collapsed on you, it is a merciful call to repent. Luke 13:4-5”. – John Piper Twitter feed, 9/11/12

The theology behind that statement is: when disasters happen, it’s not why did some die? It’s more the question… we all deserve death, why do the rest of us or, why do so many survive? It’s a mercy that life goes on considering our national rejection of God.

Lots of “Remember 911″ and “Never Forget” posts today on Facebook and Twitter. Of course we never will and we are praying today for those who lost loved ones that day.

As I was praying for America today I thought I heard a still small “repent or repeat” type word. The Sunday after September 11th, I said “if in six months the only change in our nation is we have tighter airport security then all those people died in vain.” America didn’t turn to God. We responded with a Isaiah 9:9,10-type defiance. Read The Harbinger. So additional shakings have come, economic shakings for example, and more will come. It’s simply Amos 4:6-12. God may not cause every calamity, but he certainly uses them for our good.

At the 9/11 Memorial ceremonies today don’t hold your breath today waiting for our President to say “radical Islam built this” though it certainly did. Obama’s pastor once said “America’s chickens came home to roost.” The Bible has repeated accounts of God lifting the hedge of protection off Covenant nations and letting invading merciless pagan nations be instruments of his judgment. We can’t say for sure can we? Certainly even in judgment there is mercy and I love the stories of angels at Ground Zero and fully believe God’s grace was felt by victims and sufficient in those horrible moments.

I’ve been saying for five years now, America needs an Amos – there is no more relevant book of the Bible to our nation right now than Amos. Amos was prophet to the prosperous northern kingdom, Israel.  Like America, Israel thought they had reached an untouchable status. They were deluded in a false security that all this wealth and nice living can’t be taken away. Wow, were they wrong.

“…established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.” Psalm 89:37

Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on church services, programs and activities catered to every age group. And yet, what kind of “Christian” is the result? Are we producing hit and miss cultural Christians who are really functional atheists and spectators?  Or, are we producing “faithful witnesses” as they are called in the Book of Revelation.

Tomorrow I start a new three-part message series called Faithful Witness which is focused on the caliber of believer the Bible says will reflect God and prevail in the hard times to come. A faithful witness is one who shines bright in the darkness, as Psalm 89:37 says, like the moon. They will be unwavering, established and bold during a coming time when darkness rules.  They will testify to what they’ve seen first hand. As “night” falls over the nations of the earth, they will be faithful to embody and announce the entire Gospel of the Kingdom, not just the parts of it that are easy or that people want to hear.

Sixty-five years ago today (April 9, 1945), German pastor/theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hung in the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp for his participation in an assassination plot against Hitler. With this anniversary in mind today, Thomas Nelson Publishers released the first new biography of Bonhoeffer in forty years — Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.

(((If you missed it, click here for my earlier post/pics on my recent visit to the Bonhoeffer home in Berlin.)))

Fox News did a story today on this newest Bonhoeffer book:

“There were many German churchgoers, whether they were Christians or not I don’t know, but they went to church and somehow they made peace with the Nazis,” Metaxas says. “They thought there was nothing wrong. Bonhoeffer had such a devoted faith he knew without any question that the Nazis were anti-Christian and they were evil, and if he didn’t stand against them he would have to answer to God.”  Bonhoeffer believed he was called by God to help those who wanted to assassinate Hitler. “Bonhoeffer was not a pacifist,” Metaxas says. “And that will be news to a lot of people who think of Bonhoeffer as their hero, as some kind of pacifist.” He was willing to be involved in a plot to kill Hitler. “He wasn’t helpful as a gunman; he was helpful with contacts all around Europe,” Metaxas says. “He had the ability because he had ecumenical church contacts to work as a double agent, and that is what he was, he was a double agent.”

Read that first sentence again, the part about church-going “Christians” making peace with evil. Bonhoeffer was a prophetic voice to a church paralyzed by false grace, cheap grace.  Metaxas writes:

What was left in its wake was the murder of 6 million Jews and a legacy that has tarnished the Christian faith in Europe. But the legacy that Bonhoeffer leaves future generations is of the untold dangers of idolizing politicians as messianic figures. Not just in the 1930s and ’40s, but today as well. “It’s a deep temptation within us,” says Metaxas. “We need to guard against it and we need to know that it can lead to our ruin. Germany was led over the cliff, and there were many good people who were totally deluded.” Bonhoeffer, says Metaxas, was a prophet. He was a voice crying in the wilderness. He was God’s voice at a time when almost no one was speaking out against the evil of the Nazis.

Good church-going people in Germany were deluded and led over a cliff,,,, by four hundred years of a Lutheran theology of non-engagement with society. As I say in my earlier post:

Bonhoeffer criticized Luther for two things; 1) focusing the Reformation only on the church (whereas Zwingli sought to influence – salt and light – all of society). Bonhoeffer believed Luther’s views on this set the stage for the German Church of the 1930’s to stay out of Hitler’s business. In the 1000+ plus pages of Reformation history I’ve read this month, I’ve had the sense that had Zwingli been in Germany and not in Switzerland, the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened. Bonhoeffer also was one of the earliest voices in the German Lutheran Church to renounce 2) the anti-Semitism and treatment of the Jews.

Recently I’ve been encouraged to make available past message series I’ve done. We put a TON of work into these in terms of graphics and quality but mostly what we aren’t wanting to waste is what is really there – dump-truck loads of content– Biblical exposition and revelation.  Some people cut corners at work, however when it comes to teaching on the weekends, I don’t.  In fact, I do agree with those who are telling me it is a shame that this stuff just goes in and out our ears only once. So, I’m going to start featuring past series here and you can order them here.  More to come.

I did a seven part series called The Fall Away Factor back in 2007 as a follow up course to the Omega Course….

The Spirit clearly and explicitly says that in the latter times some will abandon the faith.” (1 Timothy 4:1) Of all the glorious and much anticipated facets surrounding the Second Coming of Christ for his Bride the Church, there are significant horrors as well. One being a foretold great falling away of those who were previously settled in the fold. The soft spirituality and hardly-committed American Church will surely see the greatest defection when being a follower of Christ really starts to get difficult. This abandonment will go beyond backsliding and backpedaling and into the realm of betrayal and renouncing core Christian beliefs. In a message series that runs parallel to The Omega Course, Pastor Steve walks through six factors fueling apostasy underscoring how we can ensure our lamp oil does not run dry.

Contains seven audio messages;

  • Part 1 – Don’t Let Your Love Grow Cold
  • Part 2 – Standing on Unstable Doctrines
  • Part 3 – Standing With Israel
  • Part 4 – Mad at God
  • Part 5 – Half-heartedness
  • Part 6 – Understanding the Times to Come
  • Part 7 – Bonus Message – The Days of Noah

$15 plus shipping – order here.

Last Thursday Glenn Beck started a little firestorm over the topic of “social justice” and the Church. MSNBC hammered him…

First off, I have trouble listening to Rev. Jim Wallis talk about justice when he has no regard for the plight of the unborn. His “gospel” is good news for the trees on the planet but bad news for the smallest most vulnerable people on the planet. But putting that aside, he does what any marginally Biblically literate person could do, he lays out a watertight case showing that the Bible speaks volumes about justice and God’s heart for the poor. However, Wallis refuses to acknowledge that much of what passes as “social justice” is rooted in politics, humanism and the rejection of Jesus as the Savior of the World.

But he does do a good job of making Glenn Beck look like an idiot. Beck says “social justice” has become a code word. Here are those controversial comments;

I beg you, look for the words ’social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words…. Am I advising people to leave their church? Yes! If I am going to Jeremiah Wright’s church,” he said, referring to the incendiary black pastor who led the church attended by the Obama family members when they lived in Chicago. “If you have a priest that is pushing social justice, go find another parish. Go alert your bishop and tell them, ‘Excuse me, are you down with this whole social justice thing?’ If it’s my church, I’m alerting the church authorities: ‘Excuse me, what’s this social justice thing?’ And if they say, ‘yeah, we’re all in that social justice thing’–I’m in the wrong place.”

“Social justice was the rallying cry–economic justice and social justice–the rallying cry on both the communist front and the fascist front.” … “Nowhere does Jesus say, Hey, if somebody asks for your shirt, give your coat to the government and have the government give them a pair of slacks.”

I wouldn’t say the term “social justice” is a code word and I disagree that each time it is used that it is a veiled Communism or Fascism. I do think however social justice is a thoroughly Biblical theme that has been undeniably hijacked by humanists who reject the revelation of Jesus Christ as THE answer to what ails the poor of the world. It’s unfortunate (for Beck) that he dove head first into this seemingly lacking a broader understanding of what he was getting himself into – theologically, Biblically, and historically.

Listening to these clips of him speaking on this topic makes me think he’s not aware the debate and controversy these past 125 years over the notion of a “social gospel” – something which has divided mainline and evangelical churches for a century.  As you can see in the video he set himself up for a major smack down. I saw that coming a mile away. 

Fire away at me for saying this but I view Glenn Beck as an emerging prophetic voice to a nation – he is the loudest voice right now pointing this nation back to its Christian Foundations – and yes I am aware he is a Mormon. God can speak through donkeys.  And right now the MSM wants us to think he’s an ass.

It’s not true that every church that uses the term “social justice” is speaking in code. However, it IS true those who have no tolerance for how the Bible says justice will come to the earth have hi-jacked the term. And, in my view, it is true that many evangelicals are falling fast into a false justice movement that is taking root in the earth.  In my view, Beck is on to something, although it appears to me that he’s not fully aware of what he stumbled onto.

At the End of the Age a counterfeit justice movement will emerge that will set the poor up to receive the anti-Christ (Rev. 13:16-17). Stuart Greaves writes;

…a false justice movement is emerging in the earth that will seek to serve the poor, but will end up seducing them with lies and leading them to eternal ruin. Multitudes of the poor of the earth will bend the knee before a demonized man… the very movement that claims to be motivated by compassion to serve and liberate the poor is, in fact, preparing them to be swept up into the harlot religion and receive the Anti-Christ…

In that article (sited below), Greaves differentiates the false justice movement with the Christ-Centered Justice Movement. Greaves says:

Pursuing social action outside the context of the apostolic gospel is opening up the door to preaching a false version of Jesus, a Jesus who is nothing more than a sympathetic humanitarian with a gospel of social reformation.

The basis of the false justice movement will be in humanism and in the rejection of Jesus Christ but it will appear compassionate.  To quote an important book from a couple decades ago – there is a beautiful side of evil –and that is how many will be deceived – counterfeits are masked as the real thing.  The stage is set for that and Beck, though hardly an articulate spokesman on the topic of the false justice movement, has, for better or worse, stumbled onto it. Regarding Jesus (as the One who returns to bring true justice to the earth), the Bible says righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. The false justice movement rejects righteousness – they “pursue social activism at the expense of holiness of heart.” (Greaves)

Here is the link to the Stuart Greaves article Pursuing Christ-Centered Social Justice.  Greaves also has a good teaching on God’s Vision for Justice.

I’m a week late in posting about our Christmas message series.  This week is week two.  Last week Pastor Dennis kicked it off with a message titled “I Told You So.”  I pick up the baton this week.

Here are some of the big ideas which are behind this series FORETOLD: A Prophetic Christmas

  • People today are hungry for prophetic insight
  • God does nothing without first revealing it to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7)
  • Prophets foretold Jesus’ first coming with specifics and detail
  • Many missed Jesus’ first coming in part because they were prophetically-challenged.
  • Jesus’ Second Coming is foretold and therefore we need to immerse ourselves in the prophetic revelation of his Second Coming or we’ll miss that too.

A few months ago I stirred the pot with a post called “Why we aren’t going to Urbana 09.” I needed to hear the honest responses I got from leaders at Urbana. Even so, here is a plug for what I am fully behind during that same time slot– onething’09 – December 28-31.

This year onething’09 will focus on the theme “What is the Spirit saying to the Church?” I appreciate the consistent, unwavering message coming out of Kansas City and here’s why.  I recently heard of a US Senator who went to seven major ministries in America with the question, what is God saying right now to our nation? Sadly, he reports he got seven very different responses.

Maybe this letter from Lou Engle and Mike Bickle will fire you up as it does me. My initial comments on the IHOPU Student Awakening are here. Paragraph by paragraph, from the evangelism explosion on school campuses to the false justice movement embedded even in evangelicalism, I couldn’t agree more with what is written below.

Dear Friends,
 
We stand at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. It is time to encounter God and to take action. The Holy Spirit is visiting His people with power. At the same time, the powers of darkness are raging against the moral fabric of our nation. The light is getting brighter as the darkness gets darker.

Many of you will have heard of the spiritual awakening at our Bible school. On Wednesday, November 11, the Spirit fell on a class for more than 15 hours. The word spread quickly, and over 2,000 people spontaneously gathered in the auditorium from all over Kansas City, as deliverance and physical healings continued to increase. We canceled our classes for the next week so that each one of our 1,000 students and interns could receive from the Spirit in an extended way.

We decided to meet four nights a week from 6:00pm to midnight because His manifest presence continues to increase. Visitors are pouring in from many places across America to partake of this spiritual awakening.

We will continue these evening meetings until our onething conference, December 28-31, 2009, when we are expecting 20,000 young adults to gather to worship, hear teaching, and participate in the supernatural ministry of the Spirit.

Last year, over 16,000 young adults attended this conference. We are still hearing testimonies of lives that were changed. This year, we are expecting to receive even more from the Spirit. We believe that this will be a historic and important conference, and encourage you to attend.

The theme for onething’09 is “What is the Spirit saying to the Church?” Our team will proclaim what we believe the Spirit is prophetically speaking to the Church in this hour. We will also share practical ways in which we can “adopt” high schools and colleges across our nation as we envision young people impacting each sphere of society with works of justice and acts of compassion. At the conference, we will have extended ministry times to receive healing, renewal, and impartation from the Spirit. We believe that the Spirit will release His power at this conference, as evidenced by what He is currently doing in our evening meetings.

Mark Anderson, a senior international leader in YWAM (Youth With A Mission), who also works closely with Campus Crusade for Christ, will host forums for leaders to discuss how we can systematically evangelize entire cities and campuses in partnership with the houses of prayer in their area. Mark has remarkable insight that comes from his thirty years of successful ministry in evangelism. The Lord has given him some bold new strategies for this hour.

The crisis in our nation is real. The serpentine stranglehold of abortion continues to squeeze the life out of over 4,000 wombs daily. Sexual immorality, both heterosexual and homosexual, is reaching epic heights of perversion. The number of women and children being trafficked into the dark underbelly of the sex industry in our cities is growing at an alarming rate. Entire school systems are giving way to darkness. The sanctity of marriage is under siege, threatening to destroy the moral foundations of our nation.

We will also address the growing crisis that is emerging in many churches across America. A new wave of confusion is systematically seducing many young adults into deception. Sincere young people whose hearts were once ablaze for Jesus are being allured into compromise on foundational biblical truths and practices, while at the same time they are increasing in works of compassion and justice. No amount of increased ministry activity can “balance out” their profound spiritual compromises. In the name of tolerance, they are settling for a humanistic and “politically correct” theology that trivializes the glory of Jesus. Many young adult ministries are falling prey to this as they are seeking “relevance” that dulls the razor’s edge of truth for the sake of man’s approval. It is not enough to mention Jesus’ name if they deny foundational truths about Him. Our works of justice must flow from deep allegiance to Jesus and the Scripture.

Our nation has never stood on such a precarious footing as today. The onslaught of spiritual darkness is increasing in our classrooms, boardrooms, courtrooms, and bedrooms. We must confront the confusion that is pouring forth from many pulpits as well as from the halls of Washington. It is time to draw a line in the sand. We must hear what the Spirit is saying, and we must act on it. The Spirit will confirm the truth with demonstrations of power.

It is darkest before the dawn. Our hearts are full of faith. We know another historic “Great Awakening” is soon to sweep across our nation. We look with confidence to God’s promise: “In the last days . . . I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh” (Acts 2:17-21). All nations will receive the witness of the kingdom with power (Mt. 24:14; Rev. 7:9). What a privilege to live in this awesome hour of history.

At this very hour, Jesus is raising up young adults who are being mobilized to cry out in night and day prayer, win the lost, heal the sick, and do works of compassion and justice as they impact the very fabric of our society. Join us in Kansas City from December 28–31. The onething’09 conference is FREE. You can register at IHOP.org.

With passion for Jesus,
Mike Bickle and Lou Engle

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