Thus Departeth Warren

Rick Warren, Tony Blair, John Piper – Togetherness?
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And I'm really glad I have a Savior. Paul Sheppard can be grateful too that he has a Savior who will walk with him in this ongoing part of his life. Can we be the body that supports and encourages and doesn't "break the bruised reed"? The Spirit of God can help us to be just that to Paul. If we allow him to I am glad that there is a place of dialogue for this heartfelt issue. I moved out of the area so I am no longer a member but my prayer is that the family of ALCF will allow its members to really feel the pain of this before moving on to our deeper spiritual "understanding".

Its a healthy part of the process although I know most ALCF members know the Word and what this means in the eternal perspective. Lets still take some time and cry out to God. This hurts really bad. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm Religion, the root of all evil. Its not enough that we have race and language to devide us.

In the name of "God" we go to war. In the name of "God" we don't let others marry. In the name of "God" It goes on and on. This was quite a shocking revelation, as sin is on many occasions. No one expects to "fall" into a sinful situation, but we are hum,an and subject to many. We have one judge, who will judge every one of us on judgment day. That is who Pastor Paul is answering to and whom will restore him to His place in ministry. We have a faithful, able and mighty God who allows situations to happen so that we stand.

This, no doubt, is a test of faith in God for all who listen by radio, conference or are able to attend Pastor Paul's church. God can work in and through all things, for such a time as this, that we might be able to stand. God will take care of the sins the world has committed and every one of us is with sin of some kind.

Rick Warren

The Bible says that there is no sin uncommon to man - none. We are all tempted in the same way - by the world, by satan and our flesh. God has a purpose and plan for Pastor Paul, his family as well as the congregation at Abundant Life. You are all in my prayers. This crisis is not only for pastor Paul Sheppard.

All of spiritual leadership can decieve by enemy. I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour". We are all human and we do all fail. I know that had we as a church and radio listeners not raised you so high on a pedestal than you would not have had so far to fall when you did fail. However too much is given, much is required. You were an inspiration to me on my morning drive.

I changed my work schedule just so I could start my day by listening to your sermons. I am not bitter towards you, and pray that God can restore unto you a clean heart and renew a right spirit in you. God can cut away the sin and make you new again, but I have to look at you as a diamond. Being a pastor is not to be taken lightly. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility from not only the sheep, media, but of God. Though sin is sin, I know a school teacher or police officer is usually given a much stiffer penalty for transgressions of things they are to look out after because of the trust factor awarded them by their position.

Now is the time that we must stand together and pray for protection for our family, church, and pastors. Satan is working overtime trying to get us to fall into sin, especially the elect. May the presence of the Holy Spirit minister to you in this time of difficulty and give you that strange peace that only he can give in times of trouble. God bless you. Sorry to ruin your "party" mr "evildoer" You may not understand this, for it is to be discerned spiritually Certainly we the christian community in all, are saddened for what has happened in the life of our fellow brother in Christ We are praying with you and for you!

May the Lord completly restore you! I'm very sorry to here what has happened and will pray everyday for Pastor Paul and his family. I hope he gets restored and raise with his head high, the devil is a dirty trickster, and sadly great men of God fall, but Pastor Paul, get up, wipe the dust off, and lets get going! If they don't want you in Georgia, we love you here in Texas! Lets pray for Pastor Paul, and remember, who of us is without sin? Read Mat 7: God Bless you all, now I do believe the end is getting near.

The self-described atheists here, claiming to decry intolerance, represent the only intolerance to be found in this comment thread. Though we welcome a conversation on religion, it must remain respectful rather than self-righteous and disparaging. Alex, happymom, evildoer, spatula: if you can't handle that, go post somewhere else. Pastor Paul was not the only Pastor who resigned this month. My Pastor also did. I am so sad and hurt about how these annointed leaders of God slowly decreasing in numbers.

Please pray for ALL the Pastors - they need it very much. Pastor Paul was a prime example of how we need to not take all our spiritual leaders for granted. We need to continuously pray and encourage them - not destroy them especially when situations like this happens. We love ALL of you Pastors. You're all missing the point Pastor, his wife, and his family, have to figure out how to live their lives in light of God's standard.

I'm glad that truth has stepped in to their lives to relieve the pressured sepsis of "moral failure," so that we can watch the truth of God's living Word, and living Church, lovingly help them through these times. As for the atheist comment, there is no hypocrisy here That said, God never changes!

We're all figuring how to live our lives out in a time when all and I mean, ALL around us is falling apart - our government, our state, our education, our safety, and yes, our leaders. And yet, there's hope! As we come upon the reason for Christmas, Christ came so that we may be forgiven of our moral, character, and ethical failures, to be individually empowered to fight off sin which includes self-righteousness while successfully loving our neighbors, resulting in living with other saints eternally with God. Again, it's about living ;-. I have looked forward to pm every week day to listen to Pastor Paul.

Not because his message is unique; rather, it is a very pure scriptural message. What is unique is his presentation. He was blessed with the gift of communication. He can clearly explain both the simple AND complex issues found simultaneously within most Biblical principles. Plus, he can do this in a down-to earth and entertaining yet respectful manner.

Also, he makes the connections between the scriptual ideas and practical application. Of course he has to step down. As a pastor he is held to a higher standard not that "moral failure" is excusable with anyone. But, the goal should be reconciliation--with his wife, family, congregation, and, most importantly, with God. We are all sinners,including all Christians, whose only advantage over unbelievers is our desire to not be driven by our sinful nature, even as we sin.

Of course out of all of the churches to have a scandal.. I remember the last article that was written about the "over-population" of the church and commented on how disgusted I was with the way the attendees frolicked around the street before and after service as if they owned the street. I have tuned into AM pm for years, I would not miss his program. I tuned today and what do I hear not pastor, so I loged on the net and what do I see The thing is he has touched so many lifes, he has changed many that may have been headed the wrong way.

Pastor Paul has a higher calling ahead. I am a member of ALCF. I am sorry that this has happened, however, Pastor Paul is cloaked in the same flesh as you and I. We often esteem our leaders as superhuman, but they are mortal. I possess no anger and I commend this man of God who realized that he must do as the Lord commanded.

I believe that the Lord will perform a restoration that will open the eyes of men and women everywhere revealing His miraculous power. So many pastors are committing sin and mounting the pulpit each week, without guilt or fear. It is honorable for this man of God to realize the error of his ways and be subject to the Lord.

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For his part, Ferdinand seems schizophrenic. But now to our purpose. After this the castle of John La Cie at Dunnington was taken and laid flat to the ground by commandment of the king, who, having accomplished his will in those parts, drew towards Yorkshire, and at his coming thither destroyed the houses, towns and manors of those lords and gentlemen which were against him. For an illustration:. For the pope sith King John was become his obedient vassal, and the apostolic king easily granted to gratify both him and his lords herein, and so was the grant of the liberties corroborated and made good with a double confirmation, and so sealed that it was impossible for them to be separated in sunder, the king's grant being annexed to the pope's bull. And is it so, that the barons of England do go about to expel their king, which hath taken upon him the cross, and is remaining under the protection of the Apostolic See? If you wish to download it, please recommend it to your friends in any social system.

I've not EVER seen this in all my days. My prayers are with my church, the Sheppards, and the congregation. I pray that the Lord seals the lips of those who would judge Pastor Paul. Man should be careful of what manner by which ye judge men; by that manner might ye also be judged. The Lord has already forgiven you, and so do I.

Soon after, our hearts were grieved to hear that this giant of a Christian man had fallen to such human failures. Pastor Sheppard we are praying for your wife and family, members of the local church, and for your restoration Galatians The Spirit of God thought it necessary to show in His word how infallible believers could be — such as Peter. To all saints, please pray for all of our spiritual leaders and recognize that they are more so subject to the same formidable enemies the flesh, the world and Satan as any other man or women.

God is still working with His Church, so count it all joy James 1: and be encouraged knowing that our Father in Heaven is in charge, in spite of our failures and continuous disappointments. Here we go again with another report of moral failure in leadership. It's almost as bad as that report that we heard a little while back of that leader who committed adultery with another man's wife, and then had the nerve to try and cover up the whole affair by having the woman's husband killed.

I believe his name was David. No one should applaud moral failure in leadership, but it's happened before, and will no doubt happen again. But God who is rich in mercy is a God of restoration For He restoreth my soul. Prayers are with you Pastor Shepherd and I commend your stance of stepping down until that time.

For God is not only the God of creation, but He is the God of restoration as well. I think you mean you welcome a conversation on religion, so long as religion cannot be criticized Of course atheists and atheism are subject to your harsh and bitter criticism, and that is indeed an entertaining double-standard, which just goes to demonstrate the very hypocrisy in question. I'm not intolerant of religion or religionists.

I am, however, rabidly and unapologetically intolerant of hypocrisy and hypocrites who presume to want to tell me how to live, judge me, criticize me, and level all kinds of unfounded accusations and lies about me, while writing themselves a free pass to behave in whatever deplorable manner they like because they're "only human" and "fallible. Here is a news flash for you stone throwers: God loves sinners Deal with it! If you are saved, you are saved by grace I love Pastor Paul with all my heart.

The church MUST pray for its leaders, they are on the front lines. We wanted Pastor Paul to help us with all our issues but we never took the time to see where we could pray for his issues. The wicked people out there just want to see people fall. Just like satan does. Stop trying to tear others down - that is an evil thing to do. I don't notice anyone here judging you or criticizing you. In fact, they seem to be gamely ignoring you, despite your name-calling.

Are many of the Christians' comments here self-righteous? But they're directed at themselves -- not outwardly, as your comments are. Some commenters above like "a child of God" seem to think highly of themselves -- but they don't think lowly of you, or even seem to think about you at all.

This is to their credit. You, on the other hand, along with the other commenters I mentioned, feel the need to direct acrimony at them. That is why your notion of applying "the same standard to everyone" doesn't fit here. Pastor Shepphard, thank you so much for all of your messages. YOu have no idea how many of your sermons have touched my life so powerfully and made me a stronger woman in my walk with God.

I am so blessed to have heard of your teachings, and I am saddened to hear of the news that you have stepped down due to "moral failure. I as sooo glad that Jesus Christ is my Savior, judge and jury, and not some of you - with your mean and hurtful comments. Pastor Paul, I have forgiven you. I am in prayer for you, your wife and family. You are paying a price for your failure, but our Savior is loving and forgiving. As everybody who loves the LORD, it hurts to hear what has happened to our brother Pual but as many had said God is in control and my prayer is that what satan has meant for evil GOD will turn into a bigger blessing for the shepherds family and for the whole body of Christ.

Nice attempt at deflection, but nonetheless a failed one. This megachurch, other megachurches, and religionist hypocrites in general have a solid, longstanding, and deserved reputation of hostility and intolerance toward others, individual posters to one small comments forum on one article notwithstanding. I apply the same standard to everyone: I expect people to practice what they preach, or in other words, to apply to themselves the same standards they set for others.

I do not apologize for calling out hypocrisy where it's deserved, and never have I seen it more deserved than what I'm seeing here. They preach on and on about the "sanctity of traditional marriage" as the megachurches and funadmentalists love to do, while at the same time they're cheating on their wives? Then when they get caught, the judgment they have for others is suddenly reserved and any number of excuses are provided that would never be afforded to anyone outside their compound.

That's hypocrisy in a nutshell. These are, by the very definition, hypocrites. This church has lost its moral authority to tell anyone about marriage or relationships, but somehow I suspect that won't stop them. I tuned in just a short while ago to listen to my favorite radio broadcast and was quite saddened by the fact that there wasn't one.

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I immediately knew that something was wrong and searched to find out what had happened. It is unerving to see how the ememy is trying to bring division amongst the Body of Christ and people in general. But as someone stated and I wholeheartedly argree this is about living - fighting the good fight. Do not grow weary. There are millions of warriors standing on the wall and we will join you in the fight. Remember that love covers a multitude of sin. I implore you not to respond to the negative comments that you hear and read, unless it is with wisdom and love.

It's a deceptive trick of the ememy to ruin your testimony and take away your enfluence and authority. This has very little to do with Pastor Paul. It's about the Name of Jesus being lifted up. And in the end Pastor Paul and his family will be all right - just continue to pray and stay rooted in the sound doctrine that God has used him to teach. THAT my brothers and sisters is what will enable us all to persevere and prevail!

All Glory to the Most High God! Merry Christmas! I'm praying for the both of you, This too Pastor and first lady shall Past I've also have been through this.

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I can really appreciate a man of God that can admit his or her mistakes and repent get up and go on with life, remeber that it is God that forgives. First Lady you be encouraged I feel your pain, I am a former first lady I know the hurt but you can forgive,Love your husband all Satan needed was just a moment of weakness, and for the woman satan used you should really be praying asking God to forgive you!

God said touch not my annointing and do my prophets no harm Shame on You!!!! I too, am sad to learn of Pastor Paul's alledged indiscretion. As it has already been stated, he is a human being, in spite of his title, and he not immune to sin. None of us are. This is a time for all Christians to band together to pray for healing in his marriage and for his spiritual rebirth.

May God bless Pastor Paul and his family, as they take time to pick up the pieces of their shattered life. It's not deflection, it's the central point. And you keep missing it. You've come to this comment thread with an agenda against "religionist hypocrites" that seems specifically geared toward the gay marriage debate.

That's your agenda, not the Voice's -- we don't have any specific agenda -- and so it's a bad fit here. You say these people "have a solid, longstanding, and deserved reputation of hostility and intolerance toward others, individual posters to one small comments forum on one article notwithstanding. You say "They preach on and on about the 'sanctity of traditional marriage'" You'd know this if you'd read our original story on the Abundant Life church: Web Link.

If you can think of a way to point out the alleged hypocrisy of whoever it is you dislike without the use of acrimony and name-calling, then great. So far, you've been unequal to the task. Spatula, It appears to me that you need therapy to deal with your anger issues and understanding. If Pastor Paul had caused you any direct pain, then I would definitely understand your position. Your passive agressive behavior is ridiculous and I pray that you seek the help that you need. I have visited over churches in my profession and I can personally attest to the fact that Abundant Life may have been characterized as Charismatic by numbers, but not the message.

Stop judging and listen to some of Pastor Paul's messages. The format was a message directed at a diverse group of people. He didn't preach, but he taught. You are definitely way off base and I think that you know this deep inside. The one thing that binds all humans to God is our spirit. I believe that you are so angry because your spirit is disturbed.

I will definitely pray for you. How can you be happy about someone else's mysery? As a Believer, I may not believe in homosexuality. However, if you as an obvious homosexual was hurt or in need, I would assist you. Not because of redemption, my ego, or a need to make myself feel better, but because God applies the same grace and mercy to my life. Furthermore, instinctively I know that it is the right thing to do.

This is the message of "Good News" that was being taught and applied at Abundant Life. While the environment was filled with Believers that love Christ, I wouldn't call it religious. You should do your research before judging. I think you are miserable in your own skin and need psychological help. I pray that one day, you find "truth and peace" within. Have a Blessed Day!

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It was a shocking news but we are all sinner. We are living in a world that full of temptation. Satan is using every weapon to destroy the church and God's people. Let's stay strong and not to condemn Pastor Paul. Love cover multiple of sin. And we believe in God, not human being. God is trust worthy and righteous. Let's continue to pray for Pastor Paul and his family for healing and restoration. If you don't have any specific agenda, how can any topic be a bad fit?

I have a problem with religious hypocrites who apply one set of standards to people outside their compounds and a different set of standards to themselves, period. If you presume to tell others how their marriages should be while at the same time you're cheating on your wife, you very well deserve to be called a hypocrite. Maybe more people OUGHT to respond to hypocrisy with acrimony rather than giving the hypocrites a free pass to behave as badly as they choose because they happen to be hypocrites that they like. What kind of moral authority can people claim to have while holding two sets of standards like this?

Menlo Park, Would you like it if I assumed you were unintelligent because you practice religion? If not, then why do you presume that I'm miserable because I don't practice religion? I'm just fine, thanks. Your prayers are not required, though I appreciate your feigned concern. There is no joy in hearing the news about Pastor Paul in this area. Know that we too are praying for him and his family as well as ALCF.

And what the negative posters don't realize is that the same God who the members of this great church serve also loves them, and that we believers are also praying for them. If they choose to see those who teach about the love and forgiveness that God offers as hypocrites because of teaching something that they don't agree with, that's their choice. Just know that despite that, we're also praying for you - whether you know it [and accept it] or not. Not surprising. When one wraps oneself in the cloak of an alleged supreme being, supported by the circular logic of an alleged holy scripture, and hold oneself and ones' disciples and followers up as superior to everyone else on the planet as pastors like this do, the fall is simply a matter of time.

Because as so many have noted here, we're all human. The crutch of "god" will last only so long before it collapses into the nothingness it really is. Longing for the day when we can finally be free from the persecution of christianity and the horror and havoc it wreaks on this world. Fully expecting this comment to be deleted by the intolerant moderator of this board. Who, interestingly enough, defends his church and his religion and cares little about the trashing that does on in other threads.

Happy Winter Sosltice, everyone! My prayers go out to Pastor Paul and family. Please, let us not judge him let us pray for restoration and healing for his family. Let us not forget all the lives he has touched and the countless hours of service he has given. Pastor Paul fell short like we all do he has repented and has stepped down as Pastor, so, let the healing begin.

Spatula, Stop over generalizing. You are obviously hurting and in a lot of pain. You should be addressing Congress or the Governor. Pastor Paul doesn't make the laws. The state of California voted against "same sex" marriages. Some wanted a vote, but wasn't pleased with the outcome. I don't believe that you would be here blogging your disgust if the vote would've been in your favor. In any case, this is hardly the platform for that. Your heart is very dark and you need to find a healthy environment to discuss your pain and correlation fallacies.

Therapy is the first step. You will definitely remain in my prayers. Life is too short for you to allow anger to overcome you. Pastor Paul and the ministry at Abundant Life have blessed many lives and merged a diverse community of believers that would otherwise be separate. God forgives your ignorance and still loves you, despite your darkness. Well said, Bemused. Not only was this not surprising, it was fairly predictable. Pride goeth before a fall, and ministers, priests and republicans are possesed of of a pride so great it rises to the level of hubris -- and practically guarantees their eventual fall.

You're right, I do have an agenda. It's our Terms of Use Web Link. And so on. As for your contention that all these people from Abundant Life are busy being hypocrites and you're here to strike a blow in the name of Truth: that's exactly what's NOT going on here. You've launched your crusade against the one megachurch that specifically doesn't do those things -- doesn't take a stance against gay marriage, doesn't make a big deal out of family values, etc.

It's kind of funny actually. From our story in June: "Abundant Life's recipe for growth involves a certain tolerance for diversity, both ethnic and political. For example, the church does not take political positions on issues such as gay marriage or abortion, because they can be "incredibly divisive," explained assistant pastor Tilden Fang. And if you're still inclined to attack, so so someplace else. I don't ask that apologize for anything, or that you believe any certain thing. I only ask that you abide by the rules set in this privately owned and operated online forum.

For my part, I won't apologize for redacting or removing your comments should you fail to do so. I wonder why we never see rabbis or imams in situations like this? Perhaps its because they don't practice the self-aggrandizing, self-promoting, self-worship that christian clergy do.

Well, ok god too. After reading the reader comments I am astounded at the number of times the devil has been blamed for this persons affair. I'd say it was human desire not controlled to our societies expectations, but the devil seems like as good an excuse as any Bemused: Your post seems perfectly fine to me. Spatula might use it as an example of how to bring rational criticism to the subject of religion and belief without resorting to acrimony.

Incidentally, I'm not defending my church and my religion. I've never even been to this church. Though raised Catholic, I'm not a very religious man. I'm only doing my job. What "trashing" on other comment threads were you referring to? There's so many of you it's hard to keep up.

Through Pastor Paul, God was able to reach out and bring my shattered life back together and rebuild my faith. Let us all pray to God, and ask Him to guide Pastor Paul and his family. Pastor Paul's gift for bringing the gospel to us all has not been squandered. He has helped so many find their way to Christ. Let us all remember that Jesus instructed us to love the sinner, not the sin, and not judge him. His judgement come from the most holy judge, our Lord. Pastor Paul, the prayers and love of my entire family of 7 go with you and your family.

There is great need for love — Hug a Homeless person today, they are seldom touched. I am thoroughly amused by everyone's comments. Human's control their actions, NOT the devil. Abundant Life Pastor Paul Sheppard steps down for unspecified 'moral failure' At this point all we know is there has been a confessed "moral failure". Let us not assume or speculate on what the failure was, but let us pray. For those that wish not to pray, please don't assume I have loved your ministry for years and looked forward to listening to you on a regular basis!

I was brought to tears when I heard the news and said a prayer for you and your family Paul. You are a mighty man of God and He has an awesome plan in mind for you still. Don't you dare let the devil convince you of anything else! My prayers also go out to pastor sheppard.

Has anyone stopped to realize that this happens to numerous pastors and members and most will be held acocuntable by their elders and continue to teach after 6 months or so. This man was known in all 52 states and has a congregation of almost 7, and a radio ministry and on the board of directors of NRRB.

He made the decesion, not his elders, to resign and restore his marriage after realizing after some time that he could not work on it fully becuase of the busyness of all God has called him to do. That is honarable. I am no way condoning whatever happened; as far as were concerned it could of been a emotional affair.

Nevertheless, he left everything for his marriage. Trust me most churhces would of welcomed him back in a year after he got his marriage back to where it needed to be. Lets just pray. Why would you give people details. People only want details to be nosy and spread the gossip. Would details make members feel beter, no it was a moral failure; thats all you need to know.

What do you want to do interview the people involved? Think about it, the man is ashamed and hurt. I dont know very many men of God that would give up all that to make sure their marriage was saved and sustained. Oh and his wife forgave him. Thats what matter most. I fell in love with the church for Pastor Paul's strong, direct, practical, easy-to-understand sermons.

Every weekend I was surprised by how he takes the smallest nuisances from scripture and turn them into wonderful truths that help our walk with the Lord. He has clearly influenced my life to be have a more confident and assuring relationship with God. Last Sunday, I was shocked to hear the news. To step down from what he has poured his all into would have been devastating. But I remember that there are two things having priority over the church in his heart. I pray for his prompt reconciliation with God and quick restoration of his family. Our prayers are with Pastor Paul and his family.

I really don't believe any one who says they are Godless or atheists. I thought I was once until I found myself in a combat zone with some fanatic trying to kill me on a daily basis. Or until my child was sick. Or when a dear friend passed away. As a former member of Abundant Life, Pastor Paul brought himself down, his wife and family down, and everybody else down. They allow their past to control their future.

They often unconsciously punish themselves by sabotaging their own success. Cain never showed any conviction of guilt, only a regret of his punishment. The only thing that will matter is, did you accept what Jesus did for you and did you learn to love and trust him? On the other hand, if you reject his love, forgiveness, and salvation, you will spend eternity apart from God forever. Rather, the Bible teaches that no one can be saved without recognition of his own sin personally against Holy God, and without repenting from that sin. So, while it is true that it is important to learn to love and trust Jesus, this love and trust is impossible unless the Holy Spirit has convicted a person that he is a depraved sinner without any hope of doing anything for his salvation.

If you are not sure you have done this, all you need to do is receive and believe. What Warren has neglected in his teaching of John is in the following verse, verse thirteen. Leaving out this essential point alters the focus from God to man. Such a change of focus from God to man is lethal to salvation because there is no power within man to change himself. This grace must come from God alone. If, however, Warren were to teach his readers to look to God for His grace alone , he would not have a worldwide, ready-made message that is marketable and profit making.

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Such is the written purpose of God. Warren advances in his counterfeit message. He writes,. Believe God loves you and made you for his purposes. Believe you were made to last forever. Believe God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died on the cross for you. Receive Jesus into your life as Lord and Saviour. Receive his forgiveness for your sins. Receive his Spirit, who will give you the power to fulfill your life purpose.

If you sincerely meant that prayer congratulations! Welcome to the family of God! Warren merely gives a whispered prayer in place of the Gospel. It is difficult to envisage a greater insult to the Lord Jesus Christ, whose perfect life and perfect sacrifice are the basis of genuine salvation. God granted mercy and forgiveness, sin had to be punished and true righteousness established. This omission makes it possible to delete the concept of grace as the means of obtaining that perfect righteousness. He deletes repentance and inserts a whispered prayer, which insults the meaning and application of redemption.

The following are some examples,. I, Sec. Rome states,. Once we come to truth on this matter Scripture will then open up to us with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and many more marvelous truths will then begin to fall into place.

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The true worshipper of Christ must know and understand who we really are! Because Jesus Christ is the Israel of Scripture! Exodus - And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: Matthew 14 - When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15 - And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

He is God incarnate. Mountains many times throughout Scripture represent kingdoms, thus the Mountains of Israel is a term denoting the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. This is where the real and invisible battle in the latter days will be raged and not some literal war upon the mountains of the nation of Israel. Christ warned us in Matthew Chapter Twenty-four that when we see Satan residing in the church holy place , then we who are in spiritual Judaea a term for the true Church 6.

If this were to be understood in a literal manner, then we would be forced to admit that Christ is speaking only to those people who are living in the nation of Israel, that is the ancient land of Judaea, and that certainly cannot be the case. Matthew 15 - When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso readeth, let him understand: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: We who are true worshippers of Christ must flee from this abomination of desolation that is turning the global church of Jesus Christ into an abominable desolation.

Satan and his host - Gog and Magog - are bombarding the earthly church of Jesus Christ the mountains of Israel to such an apostate extent that true believers must flee from this apostasy. How dare the apostate congregations to exalt the U. We will now briefly cover an overview of the New Testament believer - the true spiritual Jew: Romans 28 - For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 - But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 - Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. Once we come to a full understanding of this truth we can then read and study Scripture in a new light as it opens up to us as never before and the pieces begin to fall into place. Hebrews 13 - For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 - How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Therefore the battle of Ezekiel chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine appear in all probability to be the battle mentioned in Scripture as Armageddon. This of course is spiritual in nature as opposed to what the corporate church is teaching - a great and literal war upon the physical mountains of the Middle Eastern nation of Israel.

Matthew - For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Luke 35 - Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus states that a carcase, which is a dead body, will attract eagles. In order to understand what Christ was referring to one must study the Olivet Discourse of Matthew chapters twenty-four and twenty-five. Matthew 23 - Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

Christ was most certainly warning His disciples and all of true Christendom of a dreadful time to come, after Satan has been loosed at the Abomination of Desolation, wherein the masses of professing followers of Him false Christians would claim, and many with signs and wonders, that Christ is in their assembly or congregation. Christ says believe it not. The most potent warning in Scripture: Do not follow false Christs or false prophets false doctrines disguised as true Christian doctrines , whether they carry with them great signs and wonders makes no difference.

Christ was comparing all the multitudes of the world who would seek after many various deceptive doctrines as buzzards who feed upon dead carcases! A carcase is a dead body with no life in it. That is what the corporate end-time global church has become or is becoming at a rapid pace. Revelation - And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

What then was Christ warning of or alluding to when He stated that the eagles or vultures gather wherever the carcase is? Remember He is speaking of false christs false doctrines that would prevail in the church turned apostate during the last days. He warns us not to believe them or not to follow them because they are dead doctrines and therefore have no spiritual life in them.

In Old Testament days all non-Jewish people were considered pagans or Gentiles. By that we mean this is in reference to the apostate global church that Satan ravishes after he has been loosed from his spiritual prison. God has given it over to the gentiles or to the pagans! When we see this happening in the churches of today, we are to flee or depart out. These are those who come from the symbolical earth the desecrated harlot church , Revelation , who are disguised as Christians. Why is the corporate church said by many to be apostate at this time in history?

Most people do not realize this. They believe that they can live as they want and God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is such a loving God that He will somehow forgive them for not truly believing in Him. God is not really in the forefront of their lives, He is simply a good-luck charm to them when times get tough. Isaiah -Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. There are many more such passages in the Old Testament that speak to us of our fallen destiny.

If Christ and His Holy Spirit remained in the outer court corporate church after the Abomination of Desolation, why then would He command us to depart out? Mark 21 - And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 - For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

It is at this particular time after Satan has taken his seat in the global church of Jesus Christ, known as the Abomination of Desolation, that Christ and His Holy Spirit will presumably no longer be found within the congregations of the world. As the early Church of the first century was expecting Christ to return during their lifetimes, God clarifies the matter in the second chapter of the Book of Thessalonians. This is the loosing of Satan at the time of the end as he is released from his prison of the bottomless pit. This is but a short time of vengeance upon the earth but is prophesied much of throughout Scripture.

God gives us many titles for His true Church. God releases Satan as a tool or a means for the purpose of judging this global apostate church and turning her into the harlot that she becomes. Once Satan is released or loosed from the bottomless pit he then invades not the world, but he discreetly invades and deceives the organized global churches as he takes his seat within them. As we have stated over and over again, this is the Abomination of Desolation that Christ warns us of!

It is at this time that Christ issues the command to flee to the mountains, Matthew ; Mark and Luke Revelation 7 - And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 - And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. Satan is loosed for the purpose of silencing the true Word of God, and he accomplishes this by means of spiritually ravishing the Christ preaching congregations of the world.

He deceives and dilutes the Gospel message within the global corporate church to such an extent that it is finally termed a harlot in Revelation chapters seventeen and eighteen. Returning back to 2 Thessalonians 8 - And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [Cross Reference: Revelation 7 - And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 - And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Seeing the delusion is precisely the problem. We teach Christ in our church, so where is this deception they ask. But for the very elect to be nearly deceived during this time would require a great amount of spiritual insight. How can the hundreds of thousands of church members recognize this deception if they do not study the Word of God for themselves? They are simply feeding upon the spiritually dead congregational carcases that they choose to attend. What are some of the red flags that should be noticed in these congregations?

There are many to say the least, none of which is more important than recognizing a congregation that plays games with the triune nature of God. However, there are far more deceptive ideologies than this in the organized churches of today. Even the deceptive ways in which the masses are deceived by means of manufactured miracles great signs and wonders, Matthew is still not the most deceptive tactic used by Satan.

What about the doctrine of eternal darkness; the abyss, hell, outer darkness, where the worm dieth not? Can you walk into a carcase church and hear this truth being proclaimed? This doctrine is a pertinent part of the narrow way to eternal salvation and it is very doubtful that you would be able to find a congregation willing to preach the real truth regarding this subject.

Christ taught it fervently and passionately in the Gospels! We can also say with certainly that the masses within the harlot or carcase congregations are forbidding their members to believe in the precious doctrine of predestination in exchange for a free-will blasphemous notion that man has the spiritual ability to literally save himself. This appears to be one of the most deceptive falsities in the organized church today.

By being born from above and knowing the scriptures, one will always recognize the truth of Scripture in that God Almighty does it all and man cannot add one iota in order to save himself. From Genesis to Revelation we read that it is God the Creator who accomplishes everything that is good and fallen man cannot possibly become eternally saved apart from God first calling him into salvation. Another troubling trend that we see today in virtually all apostate congregations is the strong teaching of love and love alone.

What could possibly be wrong with this scenario you may ask? The love that they are propagating is not the love that Christ wants us to have. Matthew 37 - Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

These commandments must be understood in conjunction with the overall teachings of Scripture. There are millions of unsaved people throughout the world who hold dearly to some sort of a love doctrine and yet abhor the teachings of Christ. As far as is noticeable within the apostate congregations of today, the dangers of this so-called love at any cost doctrine may well be one of the most dangerous.

Now what in the world could be wrong with such a slogan as this, many may ask. In addition it is specific doctrines or biblical passages that seem to cause a self-righteous despising or hatred of the true Gospel. Perhaps passages such as these: Luke - If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. For this is contrary to Christ. Be honest with yourselves, can you go to a local congregation down the street and hear these truths being proclaimed from the pulpit?

Philippians - And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The only way to accomplish this super natural peace is through the sword of Christ which is the Word of God! And this is the sword of which few men desire: Hebrews - For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Might we hear this doctrine preached in the many congregations of the world? Or how about love not the world? If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Many who attend the thousands of churches throughout the world are madly in love with this life and with this present world. They are certainly not willing to pick up their cross and follow the narrow way of Christ.

This is the boundary that separates the carcase from the true and living body of believers in Christ Jesus. Those in the carcase congregations are there for many reasons, mostly social, but certainly they are not there because they want to follow Christ in all truth and doctrine. For in conjunction with the loosing of Satan we see the depravity of man in its worse state. As Christ was tempted in the wilderness, Satan offered Him the glory of this world in return for His worship.

Satan's ability to bequeath the glory of this world upon another has been limited, but we are told that in the end Satan will bestow this world into the hands of an entity called the "beast". The loosing of the beast upon mankind is accomplished by man's rejection of the truths of God, and their embracing of the lies of Satan.

It is extremely interesting that many Hebrew scholars insist that in the original language, Gog means: "under the roof" while Magog means "out from under the roof.

Magog, they say, refers to Satan being unloosed. As Magog, he bursts forth from where he had been bound, under the roof. The scriptural references to Gog Satan is once again being loosed, this time to gather the nations of the world to Armageddon, which is the long-awaited or long-dreaded Judgment Day. Revelation 16 -And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. Revelation 8 - And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

As more and more people in the world cleave to the great falling away and the revolt against the once accepted things of God, there is now a major shift toward downgrading and humiliating Christian teachings in favor of upgrading the philosophies of those who oppose God. God is speaking to the prophet Ezekiel and thus to all humanity down through the centuries who read his God inspired word.

CHAPTER ONE As stated in our Introduction, Gog and Magog represent all peoples of the earth, but there is more: Revelation 7 - And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 - And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. They also say that the Revelation account refers to Gog and his land of followers Magog.

Gog then would represent Satan who was bound, but now is loosed and leads Magog all the unsaved of the world to their final destruction. However, it is easy to become confused when reading of Satan being loosed and going out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them to battle, etc.

How can Gog represent Satan if Satan is loosed in order to deceive the nations of the earth - Gog and Magog? How is it that Satan will deceive Gog if indeed Gog is Satan? It appears quite clear then that Gog and Magog are two names that represent the peoples of the world even if Gog represents Satan before being loosed under the roof and Magog represents Satan after being loosed out from under the roof. Satan is Satan and cannot be Gog and Magog but rather Gog and Magog appear to be the armies of Satan; the armies of the world; the armies from the four quarters of the earth.

Before we can actually begin this study we must fully understand the biblical fact that Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, does not represent the country of Russia today, nor does it represent any single or specific country of today in any way whatsoever. Magog clearly represents all the nations of today who are being drawn hooks in thy jaws, Ezekiel to this final spiritual battle for the souls of men.

Throughout Scripture and in so many of our studies at spiritualbiblestudies. The purpose of this unleashing is not to attack, deceive, or even to kill the masses of humanity in the world. Because the masses of the world ARE the emissaries of Satan! So then the loosing of Satan is accomplished for the sole purpose of spiritually killing or let us say silencing the true Gospel of Salvation through Christ Jesus. To Again, how is this accomplished?

God will or has already released Satan from his prison abode for the purpose of deceiving all nations Gog and Magog and to gather them Gog and Magog for this great spiritual battle. Ezekiel 2 - Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 - And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: There will certainly be a great multitude of biblical understanding that we will surely miss in this study of Ezekiel chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine.

However, on the other hand there have been many truths revealed concerning this prophecy during the past few decades. It is certain that these two chapters and the Revelation Chapter Twenty account are indeed teaching the same prophecy. The Ezekiel study gives us many names to ponder. They are filled with a false sense of exhilaration and enthusiasm simply because these ancient nations that are mentioned in our study of Ezekiel are all located in the Middle East!

They now see a grand literal battle forming in and around the mountains of Israel. In regard to what they believe they are seeing, we need to proclaim to them It is quite evident that the time when Ezekiel penned this prophecy the known world to him could be only these Middle Eastern territories that he speaks of, believing that he is speaking of the nations of the world.

These nations, territories, or geographical areas were indeed the known corners of the earth at the time that God inspired Ezekiel to write the prophecies. See there! Therefore at the onset of this study we must realize that the many nations or territories mentioned in Ezekiel chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine are representative of the entire world and may hold spiritual implications as well.

End of Chapter One. Chapter Two Ezekiel 4 - And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:. All others who call themselves princes are imposters and thus Satan is the chief imposter or Chief Prince.

Let us understand that Gog and Magog represent the peoples of the world Revelation and Satan can still be perceived as Gog and Magog in representation, thus he would be the chief prince of Gog and Magog to include all of the peoples of the world that are mentioned in these two chapters of Ezekiel. They were, as all tools and utensils represented, foreshadows in one way or another of Christ the Messiah and those who worship Christ in His spiritual and eternal temple.

This is the merchandise that is under attack and will disappear from the corporate Ezekiel Chapter Twenty-seven, along with Revelation Chapter Eighteen, give us many details in highly spiritual fashion for those who have ears to hear. At this time it is necessary to take a detour and examine the twenty-seventh chapter of the Book of Ezekiel. At this time we will try to skim over these verses as briefly as we can in order to get back to our original study. As we read from Ezekiel Chapter Twenty-seven we are doing so in order to determine what nations or territories are mentioned here that are also mentioned in our Ezekiel study.

In addition, we want to make comparisons to our Revelation Eighteen study of Mystery Babylon, which is also a lamentation against the spiritual city Babylon that was once the earthly representation of the heavenly city - the church of Christ. Tyrus Tyre in Ezekiel Chapter Twenty-seven appears to be the same heavenly city church of Christ turned apostate at the end of time. Both of these cities, in their studies, are teaching the same spiritual truth.

The once faithful earthly church of Christ Tyrus or Trye has finally become the harlot and is the same city that we read of in Revelation Chapter Eighteen. As we begin reading through Ezekiel Chapter Twenty-seven it should be emphasized that all ancient Old Testament history indeed transpired precisely as God declares. Many of these Again, every Old Testament occurrence that took place did so literally in the physical realm.

Having said that, we also must realize that there are portions of Scripture, such as Ezekiel Chapter Twenty-seven the lamentation against Tyrus that do not record ancient Jewish history, but rather puts forth or displays heavenly truths through the use of metaphoric portraits, which are not ancient Jewish history. Much of Scripture carries a physical fulfillment as well as a spiritual one, or even a double or triple meaning in the physical and the spiritual, etc. Old Testament history is precisely just that, events and occurrences that literally unfolded during that time.

Metaphorical teachings within the Old Testament are not necessarily ancient Jewish history, but again they are spiritual teachings and truths that God lays down for us in the form of picturesque language that hold their own terms of truth hidden within specific wording or terms that God uses. This chapter is the Revelation Eighteen of the Old Testament.

It deals with a city of merchants; a city that trades with the world; a city that has finally fallen. This city is symbolically portrayed by the ancient city of Tyrus. The parallels of this chapter to Revelation Chapter Eighteen are staggering. Tyrus has arrogantly declared: "I of perfect beauty," Ezekiel The harlot church of Revelation Eighteen has declared the same thing: " I sit a queen, and am no widow Tyrus was adorned in fine linen, blue and purple Ezekiel The wise men of Tyrus were her pilots shipmen in Hebrew, v.

She traded in vessels of brass v. Tyrus also traded in wheat, oil, honey, balm v.

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Tyrus traded for iron, cassia, calamus v. Verse twenty-one tells us that she traded in lambs and rams and goats, along with spices, and gold, and all precious stones vs. Tyrus was rich in blue clothes, broidered work, and rich apparel bound with cords signifying the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Cedar was among her v.

All of her merchandise indeed was real and physical. However, the ultimate teaching of these parabolic passages is spiritual in nature, figuratively picturing the Gospel of salvation through Christ Jesus. In Luke Christ states " Unfortunately, the King James translation should have been a more precise rendering.

The Revised Standard also translates "occupy" as "trade. This "business" is the spiritual task of proclaiming the good news of salvation through Christ Jesus. And so Tyrus was said to be very glorious in the earth, which denotes possessing glory and honour. She was glorious as the bride of Christ. Finally, she falls cf. Babylon is fallen, is fallen into spiritual decay, Ezekiel This seems to be yet another entire chapter depicting the fall of the corporate church and the abomination of desolation at the end of time.

Her mariners merchants are bitterly crying and casting dust upon their heads. They are girding themselves with sackcloth, while weeping and wailing vs. Why are they crying? Because no one buys her merchandise anymore! The spiritual merchandise of salvation through Jesus Christ is no longer being preached. Everything in this chapter confirms and identifies with Revelation Chapter Eighteen. Tyrus enriched the kings of the earth with her merchandise of the Gospel. In verse eight mariners is also defined as "rowers. Scripture teaches that Christ is the true manna which came down from heaven.

As the children of Israel wondered in the wilderness, God rained down upon them literal food called manna, which was a picture or symbol of Christ, our spiritual food from heaven. In Exodus we read of the people seeking and gathering this manna: "And the people went about [same Hebrew word as "mariner"] and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.

To travel to and fro with the Gospel. The children of Israel daily "went about" mariner gathering the manna which spiritually typified traveling to and fro for the Gospel. Could this signify running back and forth or to and fro? This phrase means to travel back and forth. In Jeremiah we read the following: "Run [mariners] ye to and fro [mariners] through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.

However, the great commission is to take the Gospel into all nations. That is precisely what the mariners of Ezekiel Chapter Twenty-seven are doing. They traded with all nations; they traveled to and fro as spiritual mariners with their spiritual merchandise. When the merchants traded fine linen, they presented the Gospel, spiritually speaking.

When they took the wine and the bread into other nations, they took the blood of Christ to the unsaved. Tyrus commissioned mariners to take her precious wood and precious stones to the heathen nations as well as to the civilized nations. She presented scarlet and thyine wood abroad for the souls of men. She offered rams, lambs, and goats, which pictured God's perfect sacrifice - His only Begotten Son - that many would spiritually trade with her. The mariners of Tyrus traveled to and fro that many would buy this truth and sell it not Proverbs As God begins to judge His corporate church for its unfaithfulness, we expect to see much of the true Gospel silenced.

Amos says: "And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run [mariners] to and fro [mariners] to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. Does scripture not teach that it is the mariners who travel in the seas? Are they not merchandising in God's Word? When we say merchandising in God's Word, we do not mean that they are physically merchandising or making money by marketing God's Word.

No, the merchandising that Scripture focuses on is the taking of the Gospel of Christ to the unsaved world. Helmsman, i. From "koo-ber'-nay-sis" [kubernao] of Latin origin, to steer; pilotage, etc. From ; a boatman, i. Much of what is taught pertaining to Mystery Babylon is also taught concerning Tyrus. These sections of scripture seem to be describing the same dreadful event at the end of time. While it is true that they had partial fulfillments in Old Testament history, nonetheless they appear to ultimately be focusing in on the Church of Christ as God brings judgment upon its corporate and outward body.

When Revelation Chapter Eighteen states that the voice of harpers shall be heard no more at all in thee, we see in the Greek that the word "voice" is also translated as noise or sound. The harpers will be heard no more at all in this religious harlot. But don't we see a vast number of churches today singing and praising God with many instruments and huge choirs? True, but we must realize that music of praise brought forth from a congregation that is no longer faithful to God's Word will not be praiseworthy to God. Therefore, the sound or voice of harpers shall be heard no more at all in thee.

We also read in Revelation that the voice of the bride and the voice of the bridegroom shall be heard no more at all in this harlot. We need to fully understand that the Word of God which is the "voice of the bridegroom" is not being faithfully declared any longer from most congregations. Therefore, it has become another gospel in most cases. When God declares that the voice of the bride and the voice of the bridegroom is no longer heard, it is because God has taken the truth of His Word from these unfaithful congregations.

The word "harper" simply means one who plays the harp. Whenever scripture mentions the playing of a harp, we can rest assured that this music is - in most instances - played for the worshiping of the God of creation. In other words scripture does not speak of the playing of the harp in any worldly sense, or for one's own glory.

They are the true worshipers of God. All that remain, for the most part, are harpers harping to the music of defiled gospels. Isaiah confirms this: "The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. There is no Gospel to be found. The city is left in desolation cf. A "piper" is defined in the Greek as a flute player. Naturally, it is this true musical praise that, along with the spiritual merchandise, is no longer to be found in this great city.

How must we interpret the remainder of verse twenty-two? This, however, will not harmonize with the rest of the chapter. It is translated also as "builder," specifically a trade or skill. We do not have to limit ourselves to literal or worldly interpretations simply because a certain Greek or Hebrew word will be used in many literal ways. Let us not forget that Christ speaks in parables, and a parable will always leave a heavenly and spiritual meaning to be interpreted.

In Revelation we find that the pipers, harpers, trumpeters, and musicians are symbolizing the worship of the one true God through music. The word "craftsman" and "builder" same Greek word carries a highly spiritual and symbolical connotation to God Himself, and to all of His elect who are partaking of the body Temple of Christ. In verse twenty-two we see that all of the craftsmen "of whatsoever craft he be" are found no more in thee Mystery Babylon. Could these "craftsmen" be a reference to the spiritual builders, makers, or craftsmen of the New Testament Temple?

We know that Christ Himself is the chief cornerstone of His Church, the Temple, and all true believers are spiritual stones and builders of this Temple. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. We are to build upon Jesus Christ, who is our only foundation. The above usages of the word "build" and "buildeth" carries the strict meaning of building thereupon, as does the following references: "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

We are to continue to build upon Christ's' foundation; that is we are to continue to build upon the Word of God and the works of Christ as spiritual sacrifices to God, our heavenly Father. Going back to Revelation we now should have a clearer picture of what is meant when we read that no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in this harlot woman of the wilderness.

Those who are spiritually building a spiritual house, and whose foundation was laid by Christ Jesus, are exercising their spiritual craft by building upon the foundation of Christ. This is the true born-again Christian. They have left the corporate church and have fled to Christ! It was one of the most ancient major trading cities of the world.