|The Truth Which Sets Free - Destiner Press|
For free online reading simply click on the Chapters listed below.
An exposure of the false teaching of Christianity concerning the reason for evil and suffering. This is one of the most challenging and deepest areas in the Word of God.
The following four booklets are now also included in the Addendum of The Truth Which Sets Free.
Chapter 15. Church Gospels
"Gospel: godspell, a word of Anglo-Saxon origin," literally meaning "good story," "good tale," or "good speak," depending on which dictionary you choose. In Bible translations the church has inserted this word wherever the Greek word evangelion, "proclamation" (of grace) occurs in scripture. It is not as huge a mistake, nor as deliberate an evil as the word church but nevertheless it does have significant problems and is a very useful term for deceit in the false body. First, please note that the word "evangelion" is rarely used alone. It almost always appears with other words, paired with them to give the sense of a revelation, exceedingly good or even astonishing tidings, proclamation of Gods grace, message of salvation, news of the kingdom, glorious message, word of truth, news of Christ. Depending on the scriptural context it may be called the gospel of the kingdom, of God, of Christ, of the Son, of grace, of hope, of truth, of peace, of glory, of the resurrection, of deliverance, of scripture, of the Word, and of the everlasting. (Matthew 9:35; 24:14; Luke 1:9; 4:18; 8:1; Acts 8:4,12,25,35; 15:35; 17:18; 20:24; Romans1:1,9,16; 15:16,19; Ephesians 2:17; 6:15; Philippians 1:27; Colossians 1:5,23; 1 Thessalonians 2:8,9; 1 Timothy 1:11; 1 Peter 1:25; Revelation 14:6)
Why is it paired like this? For a start it would be much more difficult to take those full phrases and secularize them. Alone, "gospel" can be used by anyone. Pagans will speak of their gospel. Even presidents and politicians will say, "this is the gospel truth," to subtly imply that God Himself agrees that what they are saying cannot be a lie. That is surely the time for the greatest skepticism and suspicion. Then there are all the different gospels of the churches. The apostle Paul declares there are most certainly "other gospels" which try to emulate the one true evangelion and yet are not of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-9) One message alone leads to the narrow gate. All the others, however diverse, pagan or Christian, so-called secular or humanist, are all beliefs which lead to the wide gate. There are not many gates, just two, and all going to the wrong gate are entwined together in their destiny. And the most powerful of these other gospels are the ones invented by Christians. They cannot all be right. Indeed, if even two say different things, then one is wrong, or both are wrong, but both cannot be right. How often I have heard error defended with the words, "This is gospel truth," and I have to refute it, saying, "Now show me that in the Word of God."
That was exactly the reason for the power of John Bunyans Pilgrims Progress, his maintenance of the one message against all who would deceive, his exposure of the gospels of all kinds of worldly professors and different churchmen. It has always been so; the elect must journey through the sham of the world and also run the gauntlet of the churches. Yes, there is one true evangelion, but the church will constantly try to distort it, just as the monks on Holy Island defaced the New Testament with pagan images. "Gospel" alone is not a good word, having too many loose meanings. How much better if the writings of Matthew, Mark and John were titled, "The eyewitness record of Jesus Christ according to Matthew" and so on. That is how the apostles referred to their accounts. "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Peter 1:16) Luke, whose account was once used in many universities as an example of how to record historical events, mentions these numerous "eyewitnesses." The apostle John begins his first letter, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life." (Luke 1:2; 1 John 1:1)
I have seen doubters taken off-guard and aback when they so easily bandy the word "gospel" in derision because they associate it with the compost they hear from televangelists, or sickly Christian radio shows, and so dismiss the whole thing as myth. And then I say, "Yes, I entirely agree, that is all disgusting, but what is wrong with an eyewitness account? After all, we have far more first hand details about Jesus than Julius Caesar. Do you think Caesar is a myth?" Then they say something like, "What do you mean, eyewitness accounts?" They have no idea that "there is more manuscript support (5,000 in Greek alone) for the New Testament than any other body of ancient literature." (Preface, The Holy Bible, New King James Version, Nelson, 1988) Of course, there is always some fool who says, "So what, people have seen Elvis at the supermarket, and flying saucers." But those hoaxes do not generally cause people to go to the death for their gospels. They do not equate with the eyewitnesses of whom I speak, nor do the fanatics of terror who will die for their bent beliefs. I speak of those who lived exemplary lives, giving up on self, lucid and reasonable, yet prepared to face even crucifixion rather than deny their conviction. Such ultimately tested faith is indeed worthy of inspection. It is incredible. How did the name "gospel" manage to steal this sense from those critical writings? Simple, it is a church word, which has been applied to many worldly subjects, as well as to the church messages. There are so many out there it is hard to keep track of them all.
The chapter on church feasts has already examined the ever-popular gospel of accommodating both God and the world, of pretending faith in the scriptures and suiting all others, of being acceptable to everyone. This might also be called the gospel of political correctness or gospel of social acceptance, the faith perfected in popular newspaper column and television advice. They will tell you, "Its okay for a man dressing to make himself look like a woman, folks, God wont mind, He was only kidding when He said what would happen to them." Who do these people think is coming to judge them, Ann Landers? Oprah Winfrey? Perhaps that is who you believe in reader? Perhaps you are expecting Saint Anne or Saint Abby to bail you out with advice on the last day? Landers daughter said of her, "She was about fixing the world." (LA Times, Associated Press files, June 2002) Try explaining that to the Son of God. There is a future shock on the way, and it will be too late to wake up after that. Jesus says you cannot have it both ways, you will not get away with having your feet in both camps. (Matthew 6:24) Variations of this gospel of social acceptance are the gospel of Christmas-keeping and the gospel of sabbath-worship, related because they not only promise indulgence but also carry such tremendous social obligation for the goats to conform. We also tasted a little of the gospel of non-confrontation, the "Im all right, youre all right" gospel. Fallen man is far from all right, living under the impending wrath of a consuming God, every minute drawing sixty seconds closer to that destiny. Into this darkness God sent the light of His prophets and finally His Son, and they were very confrontational, especially to the "brood of vipers," the blind guides, the clergy. Yes, the Word is confrontational; it reproves and corrects. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)
The revelation of God is not some gentle graph sloping ever upwards through history, it is a jagged line, repeatedly sliding downwards as mens eyes are dimmed with religion, and then spiking upwards violently as a new messenger appears. When the church kills the messenger the graph slides downward again until God sends another to confront them with their sin and need for repentance. God does not always send a prophet, leaving many to die in the church, giving them over to their desires. Some messengers he keeps on hold a long time. When it comes, Gods Word is not acceptable to any but a chosen few, to all others his message is distasteful. Jesus himself is odious, not only the cornerstone for the elect but the very Rock of offence which the goats stumble over to their doom. Jesus said, "Blessed is he who takes no offence at me." (Matthew 11:6) The church has no concept of an offensive Messiah or a message that is a stench to the goats "who are perishing." (2 Corinthians 2:16) Bible colleges pour out feeble pastors who will affront no one, keep and respect every pagan and multicultural tradition, join hands in ecumenical bliss, until they find themselves and their flock in the lake of fire. Then all hell will literally break loose, and it will be extremely offensive. One can hardly imagine the gay-bashing and priest-hounding, sacramental fights and Christmas-keeper riots which will take place when the lid finally comes off the church. How will they ever forgive themselves or those who led them all to that place? They wont. As Jesus said, it would be more tolerable to be in Sodom or Gomorrah because they at least would have listened to him. (Luke 10:11-13)
When Moses was given a message to take to Pharaoh he did not want to go. When Jeremiah spoke up as commanded, kings and clergy put him in and out of jail like a jack-in-the-box, preferring to listen to the other prophets and priests (classic churchmen) with a more acceptable message. When Jonah was directed to deliver the message of repentance to Nineveh, he fled by sea in the opposite direction until God turned him around most violently and sent him again. Even the pagans, crying out to their gods in the sinking boat with Jonah, were terrified when they realized that he was the real thing, a servant of the LORD Almighty. (Jonah 1:5,9,10) Churchmen have no intention of delivering this kind of message, nor do pagans have anything to fear from them. Christians, like the secular priests of psychiatry and counselors of political correctness, hate confrontation and unbending truth. They cannot hear or believe the prophets, apostles or Christ (unless permitted, John 3:27; Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25,26). They think they are connected to those lights, just as the priests thought they were children of Abraham. (Matthew 3:7-10; John 8:39-47) They are not, and will not stand fast for the granite truths for which those lights shone. They do not want to offend anyone, so theirs is a world of compromise. They want to accommodate everyone, which is exactly why the Roman church, the mother of all cults, was founded by the evil one and prospers until its appointed destruction. The elect belong to no sect at all, no "ism" where the goats would dearly like to pigeonhole us so that we might be conveniently classified and dismissed. We offer no such easy-believism, no sugar-coated fodder. Salvation is an awakening and repentance, which flees from Christian traditions and Church authority to the Word of God. It is not just a turning around but being turned completely upside-down and shaken until the religious rubbish falls out of our pockets. Churchmen may hold the message of God in their own hands but fail to come to Him, paying lip service to the Name but not bending the knee in obedience; so His Word proceeds onwards and saves tax collectors, street people, even prostitutes, bringing them into the feast and the kingdom instead. (Matthew 21:31-33) That is absolutely stunning, and certainly not a message heard in the church. Jesus Christ is the Rock of Offence, predestined from all eternity to reveal His sheep and unmask the goats. The goats trip over Him to their doom.
"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; and he who believes in him will not be put to shame." (Romans 9:33) "I am laying in Zion a cornerstone, elect and precious To you therefore who believe, he is precious, but for those who do not believe, The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner, and A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall; for they stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do." (1 Peter 2:7-8) "Why do you not understand? Because you cannot hear I tell you the truth yet you do not believe me He that is of God hears the words of God, you do not hear them because you are not of God." (John 8:43-47) This is Jesus speaking not to Roman soldiers, governors, tax collectors, thieves or prostitutes but to church clergy. He is the Rock, "rejected by men (especially priests and religious people) but elect and precious to God," (1 Peter 2:4) one so offensive to churchmen that they plotted and clamored for his death, sending him outside the city to be crucified. Prophets, apostles and disciples may fare better, depending on His mercy and plan, and then again they may not. Any disciple may be required to pay dearly under both Church and State. Nevertheless we belong with Him, and the others chosen for the good fight, this guerilla war, outside the metropolis of goats, free from their boundaries, free from their circles, free in the fields with our Lord and Master. "Let us go forth with him outside the camp and share his reproach, for here we have no continuing city but seek one to come." (Hebrews 13:13,14) "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9)
Earlier we also touched on the gospel of the visible kingdom. Augustine was the prime lover of this gospel of the City of God, a foundation stone of Roman Catholicism. Calvin said it best for Protestants and the Reformed camp with his Institutes of the Christian Religion. And every other church sect has a variation on this visible church. Be it people or a building, it is a house made by man. I once sat and listened to an Australian "pastor" preaching about establishing the visible kingdom of God on earth, and naturally all he could talk about was the church, and how its attendance and services were to be observed. Most tragic was his story of an ordained friend who came from a family of four generations of clergy. Imagine that, over a hundred years of serving up churchdom! What a dreadful legacy to be accountable for on the last day. That perpetual mistake. Gods house is not one of this world, and the church is not His creation.
Closely related to the gospel of the visible kingdom is the gospel of political reverends. The church is full of them, those who use church positions and titles for civic and political advantage, as though this makes their message more credible. Take for instance the "reverends" Jesse Jackson, Alan Boesak, or a classic Roman Protestant, the "most reverend" Desmond Tutu. There is nothing for the elect to revere in these churchmen, and it does not surprise me at all to hear of extramarital affairs, or stealing funds, or Tutu excusing and addressing the gay forum. To the Metropolitan Community of Churches (foremost in serving sodomites) meeting in Johannesburg in 1997 this "reverend" said, "Some people always want to take the Bible literally and legalistically. Quoting the Bible is not enough." Ah, yes, a foundation stone of Christianity throughout its history, that the Word of God is not enough. Try telling that to the One on the great white throne on the last day. I have listened very carefully for hours to these men and never once heard the truth, only the gospels of church, state or civil rights. These do belong in the same bed, and it would be better to be free of church and state altogether. That day is coming. Then men will see that there were no civil or human rights in the Word of God, they were a figment of the United Nations. There are only privileges and responsibilities for creatures fully accountable to their Creator. These civil rights "reverends" love to compare their movements to Moses bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. Poppycock! Gods people were not just being freed from physical slavery but primarily from the suffocating world of pagan religion, and they were the only nation He selected to save. This was not an internal civil rights movement but an external and miraculous redemption by another Hand. It was not a campaign to "proclaim liberty to all men" as the actor playing "Moses" declared at the end of the gospel of Hollywood movie, The Ten Commandments. That was not Moses commission and he never said anything like it. The Egyptians were not freed from their pagan chains. God commanded Moses to tell Pharaoh, "Let My people go," and this was a foreshadowing of the real Redeemer saving an exclusive people from the darkness of the world, especially from the neo-paganism of the Antichrist and his "reverend" clergy.
The "reverend" Martin Luther King was one of the most successful in manipulating this gospel, particularly in the use of the gospel of the holy voice, the sing-song drone. Ever wonder why those "pastors" alter personalities on television, strut around the pulpit in "sunday dress" and get into that most odd praying tone or peculiar preaching voice as though they just went through some holy gearshift? Hear this clearly, that is the immediate sign of a fraud, a complete lack of integrity, a hawker of the worlds biggest business, religion. And does it ever work! Note the personality change, the sales pitch with carefully timed emphasis or hand thumping. It rallies people to causes and fills the churches to the brim with goats. No way did Christ or the apostles transform from their real everyday selves, nor did they adopt such Fuller-brush peddling or money-begging techniques. You can hear what the prophets and apostles sounded like just by reading their amazing words. They had no special preaching or praying voice and their hearers recognized plain folk from Jericho and fishermen of Galilee. Jesus was the same person his peers had known in Nazareth. He did not change his speech or manner or dress. It was his words they could not believe they were hearing. The same man, but with a religion-blasting message. Nor did he get drawn into the political arena in which many churchmen tried to snare him. That was not his mission, nor was it the commission he gave his elect. Gods children are to be ambassadors for Christ; leave the entanglements, the compromise, the party spirit and deceit of the world of politics for the goats; that is where they belong.
Now let us look again at one of the all time favorites of North America, the God loves you gospel, or Jesus loves you gospel, which I also call the gospel of Disney (childish make-believe). There is a form of temporal earthly favor, that God makes the sun shine on the just and the unjust for a season (Matthew 5:45), but the unrepentant are, as Jonathan Edwards book title so succinctly put it, Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God. He who does not believe is "condemned already," "Gods wrath hangs over him." He who does not abide in Christ "dies in sin" and is "cast into the fire." (John 3:18, 36; 8:24; 15:6) Christ did not extend love to the clergy who harassed him with their deformed scriptures, he gave them a tongue-lashing. Only the sheep hidden in the righteous perfection of Christ are acceptable to God and receive the love of Father for child. The elect have no authority to tell unbelievers that God loves them while they remain in that state. There may be sheep whom God brings to life amongst those carrying a false gospel, but that does not justify the message of error or continuing in it. Luther and Tyndale awoke surrounded by the gospel of churchdom. I know one rock-solid disciple who was regenerated while listening to the gospel of enthusiasm in a Pentecostal revival, them wanting to have sex with him, and him fleeing for joy, knowing that the real thing had happened, and that he should run for his life! Churchmen are all too eager to promise Gods love to every kind goat on the planet, which is why their churches prosper and grow, pews filled with people drugged with this fantasy. They even offer them the worlds goods with the gospel of prosperity, already exposed in the chapter on Christians, and their gospel of the abundant life. As though Jonah or Jeremiah would have been caught peddling such syrupy fables. Jesus promised abundant life to his sheep, not the goats, (John 10:10,26) and that life involves sacrifice and suffering, including loss of family and loss of life. (Matthew 10:34-39; Hebrews 11:36-38; 1 Peter 4:12)
The gospel of providence is similarly treasured in Christians hearts. The churchy word "providence" is flogged incessantly, in common talk and catechism, as though it means that God will necessarily provide something nice for every need or calamity, or an escape. He does meet needs and rewards faith, and sometimes offers relief and a way out, but very often not. Christian providence is no providence, they provide for themselves, feathering their own nest, standing for little, incurring almost no cost for which any protection is required. How often, when they bandy the word "blessed," they mean financial gain. Try to tell them this and see the look in their eyes, the same dull gleam that a few hundred years ago put non-conformists to the stake as the persecutors praised the Lord and considered it very provident or fortuitous that He had delivered such dissenters into their hands. I do not see Christian providence, I see Christs Plan, ordained from eternity, the whole world in His hands. The Master sends his servants one after another into the vineyard, where the lord of the air prowls and deceives so many. Some emissaries they beat, some they kill. (Matthew 21:33-44) Is this not what Jesus taught, and Stephen told the clergy to their faces before he received the ultimate in church providence? And the Son of Man stood for that, rising from the throne to take him up. (Acts 7:51-56) Some they do hear, a Whitefield or Spurgeon with free reign, a Luther provided with armed escort. But these are rare. The first to be sent to the vineyard may go blithely, thinking all will be well. But as reports trickle back of ill treatment, it becomes harder to go so lightly, or at least one goes without delusion. And especially so when the elect know that the world has no regard for the Masters Son, church conniving with the state to kill him. He sweated blood while accepting his Father's ordained will and told his own not to expect an easier time of it from churchmen. Indeed, may God deliver us from church providence. Not a sparrow falls without his knowing, but they do fall, sometimes by the thousand. Not all have their fortunes restored like Job, or are released from the muddy jail cell like Jeremiah. Some are just stoned or sawn in two. (Hebrews 11:36-38) "All day long we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." (Romans 8:36) Churchmen want nothing to do with this kind of providence. Like Mr. Pliable in Pilgrims Progress they will soon abandon the Way and return to a comfortable pew.
Then there is the gospel of invitationalism, the belief that those dead in sin, dead to God, can respond to Him. The goats who preach this love to quote, "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any one opens I will come in and sup with him and he with me." (Revelation 3:15-22) These verses were not spoken to rank unbelievers, or even to a church (since that word does not occur in scripture) but to an ekklesia, those whom He already loved, to reprove and chasten them because of their lukewarm faith. It is very likely that this group at Laodicea was seriously infiltrated by goats, much like the ekklesia at Corinth, and in danger of becoming a church. Holman Hunts famous painting, "The Light of the World," which shows Christ knocking on a door, is a classic picture of the fallacy of invitationalism. Every time you see that painting he is still there, knocking and waiting. God does not wait ineffectually for those he intends to save, or they would be lost forever. He will break down doors to save his elect, "He who has the key of David, who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens." (Revelation 3:7) But the goats imagine they can invite Christ into their hearts with a mere prayer, and turn on the Holy Spirit like a light switch, just because they have uttered a mantra or formula from a Christian handbook. No wonder these fakes repeatedly "fall away" or need to form organizations like the Promise Keepers. If you need to make a second promise to your wife then you have just admitted that your first was not valid. There are no remarriage vows for the elect, this is the behavior of goats unmasked. Likewise it does not matter how many invitations to God you concoct if Gods summons did not ordain and confirm your calling. You cannot save yourself by your own efforts. Closely related to this fiction is the gospel of human ability, the belief that because God tells man to do something he must be able to do it. Far from it. God tells men to keep the Ten Commandments without exception. None but Christ has done so. Christ tells men to, "Be perfect," even as perfect as God himself. (Matthew 5:20,48) They cannot do it, no, not even one of the Spirit-filled apostles ever claimed they attained this. It is the ever valid goal, but not achievable before death and final completion. (Philippians 1:6; 3:12) Only clothed with the righteousness of Christ do the sheep become perfect in Gods eyes in this life, even though they continue to stumble. God does not invite but commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30), and yet they cannot unless He in His mercy permits repentance and grants saving faith. (Acts 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:25,26)
Christian evangelists have no intention of restricting themselves to the promises which God makes. That would not fill their pews, pay the church utility bill, nor line their pockets and organizations with wealth. They must have a gospel, which any man can respond to, the gospel of human commitment, also called the gospel of decisionism and do-it-yourself gospel. Ive sat through Billy Graham crusades, and many others, to hear that word "gospel" used incessantly. Ive heard many scriptures misquoted, but I have never heard the unadulterated Word of God there. Never. It is always that Roman concept of grace, the cooperation of man. Pagan religions may say it is up to man. The Word says it is entirely dependent on God. Christians, having no concept of the utter deadness of fallen man, mix the two and say it is God and man together. Ive seen the preposterously contrived conversion calls, the raised hands, heard the seductive emotional music, and watched the walking to the front, all the works of the flesh imaginable. The elect followed the apostles after hearing words which cut to the heart (Acts 2:37: 16:14; 17:34), but never coaxed by anything like these fake invitations and commitments. After these fabrications people are led to inquiry and confirmation rooms to "establish" them in "faith." As if the Lord God Almighty is not capable of calling, regenerating, sealing and keeping His people whom He predestined from the foundation of the world. The victims of these evangelists are established only in the religion of goats. This gospel of contrived faith is no better than Catholic or Anglican confirmations, or what Calvin was attempting with his faith enforcement patrols. These evangelical "crusades" are well named, they are as fake as the original Church Crusades which sought a physical "holy land" and enriched themselves in the process, by stealing and converting to churchdom, and leaving a wake of death behind them. These evangelists send their "converts" back to the churches full of the same neo-paganism. Why on earth would they point them back there if they needed to hear something outside in the first place, unless both are founded on the same sand? Indeed the most common destiny for the goats from these revival circuses is either "falling away" or returning to that desolate "house from which they came" to be even more firmly glued to the pew. As the Lord and his apostle Peter said, the "waterless mists" are deceived by those who "promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves," the wrong spirit goes back to the same old place, the "dog goes back to its vomit," the "pig to the mire," and "the last state becomes far worse than the first." (2 Peter 2:22; Matthew 12:45)
Now we come to the gospel of eloquence. "So the world is a Sea and for fishing in this Sea, this Gospel is our net. Eloquence is not our net; Traditions of men are not our nets; onely the Gospel is. The Devill angles with hooks and bayts; he deceives, and he wounds in the catching; for every sin hath his sting." (John Donne, 1572-1631) In his time this great preacher and poet, considered by many as equal in words to Shakespeare, was not allowed to see the weakness of the term "Gospel" or the rank error of "Christian" and "church" but he obviously realized something was seriously wrong. He knew the church gospel was false, a demonic message which sears the conscience rather than saves, and he wrote of an imaginary visit to Hell, a kind of "purgatory progress," to view the various chambers where the Jesuits, the Papacy, Muhammad, and so on, were imprisoned. (John Donne, Ignatius and his Conclave) Although caught in a world almost completely held by the grip of Romanism or Anglicanism, his friend and biographer wrote that Donne was not taken in by the exclusive claims of either, declaring, "There is no sin of schism, if adherence to a visible church is unnecessary." (Izaak Walton, Biography of John Donne, chapter 1) Kings were impressed to hear Donne preach because of his skill with words, and yet he understood that articulacy was not the gospel. The apostle Paul likewise dismissed eloquence and "lofty words" as no substitute for the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:1-5) Yet churchmen, especially the clergy, like all paid professionals, love their smooth words and sales pitch. A school chaplain once invited me, as a young man, to describe my faith to the students at general assembly. Afterwards he criticized me for not being "polished enough" and his wife said that it was a pity I had no "Sunday school training." I laughed and read them Pauls words, admitting that my knees were knocking just like Pauls during my speech. I said I thanked God I had no such church training or polished talk, or else I might still be lacking in faith, not trusting in Gods real power. They did not like those verses at all, and I suddenly realized that they were dead, and had made a mistake in asking me to speak, not realizing that I actually believed what I was saying. They wanted to win and conform their students to the church. That is not the Way, that is the path to the wrong gate, the road from which the Shepherd saves His sheep.
Lets not forget the gospel of popular acclaim. Christians love this one, where they copy the awards of the world and invent church honors, "Christian of the Year" or "Churchwoman of the Year." And of course they love titles directly from the world. Hey, our deacon was just voted "Citizen of the Year!" Can you imagine any town in the first century so honoring an apostle, Pergamon pinning a medal on John perhaps? Ephesus honoring Paul? It is totally inconceivable. They may honor the church goats with so many awards that they are too exhausted to bleat, but the world is at odds with Gods elect. Consider all the prophets, rejected by men, right up to John the Baptist and Christ himself. "No deals whatsoever with the ways of the peoples around you, I set you apart for myself," says the Lord. What men hold in high esteem is an abomination to God. (Luke 16:15) God elevates his own people to a quiet stardom which is not of this dark world, but the world does not like such light. (John 1:11; 3:19) God raises his elect out of dead stones, making a new creation altogether, bypassing the pretenders. As Jesus said to them, "The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it," while the churchmen tripping over Him would be "ground to powder." (Matthew 3:9; 21:43-45) There is no way the church will bestow awards on the elect if they stand fast in the truth, it would rather silence or destroy them. And there is no way the elect should decorate the goats either.
Many Christians actually give their game away, revealing by their very crabwise approach that what they are spreading is false. How many times, reader, have these churchmen of every sect and creed sidled up to you in carparks or on sidewalks, with the gospel of the hidden agenda? They tell you they are conducting a demographic survey, or are offering booklets concerning family healing or environmental solutions, but the real plan is to snare you into their church. Sometimes their magazines do not even reveal which cult they represent. Hear this, that is the immediate unmasking of a goat, the hireling who tries to sneak in through a side or back door. No apostle or disciple of the Lord ever used such deceit. Any one who does not come to you with their real intention straight and true comes from the dark side. "Every one who does evil does not come to the light lest his deeds be exposed to the light, but he who does what is true comes to the light." (John 3:19-21)
Churches are packed with these counterfeits. How many of these goats do you know, who have raised their hands in one of these Christian gospel charades to be "born again," whose children have made a "commitment" and have no change in word or deed other than becoming devout churchgoers? We are not talking about being "born from above" here, which was what Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus, and what that churchman could not understand at all. (John 3) Nicodemus thought it meant an act initiated by man, and that is exactly what religion teaches. Anyone can be "born again," practically all religions have this experience, even with nonsensical tongues and mysterious utterances, if desired, which convert men to their sect and circle. Perhaps you know the story of the Canadian Sunday school teacher, who said to her children, "Anyone who wants to stay behind afterwards and be born again can have a cookie." The very churchmen who laugh at that joke perversely turn a blind eye to the fact her theology is identical to their own, and to that held by countless Bible college theologians and evangelists alike, the gospel of mans freewill. Man is dead in sin and trespasses. Salvation is by grace, by the will of the Sovereign God. The Word says those who are granted to truly receive Christ, the children of God, are not born of man (by persuasion of others), nor by blood (through kin), nor by flesh (by self-effort) but solely of God. (John 1:12,13) Freewillers love to quote verse 12 and leave out verse 13, just as they love to quote the last part of John 6:37 but not the first part, nor verse 65 which capped it and drove away the frauds "following" Jesus.
These goats love to take the scissors to scripture and change the meaning, as the churchmen did when they tested Jesus, and Satan himself when he tempted Christ. They hate the full Word of God, yet they call themselves Full Gospel Churches. Their pews may be full, and they definitely have a gospel, and they are most certainly churches. Yet none of that is the fullness of the message in scripture, the "every word" which proceeds from the mouth of God to give life to his sheep. (Matthew 4:4) There is a story that when the last great elect preacher to be sent to the English speaking world, Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), arrived at a place to speak on Gods grace, many agitated churchmen were there to drive in their spikes before he even started. One said, "How can you possibly reconcile predestination and human responsibility?" He answered, "I never reconcile friends." Another said, "Do you mean to say that you really believe that what will be will be?" He countered, "Certainly, do you believe that what will be wont be?" During one speech it was reported that the grinding of teeth was audible in the pews. That is what the true evangelion can generate, especially in a church. Yes, there is one Word of God for the sheep, for the goats there are many church gospels to tickle their fancy, including a fiction which has been made so popular by many Christian books that it will be considered separately in the next chapter. It has now been over a hundred years since Spurgeons popular writings were widely translated across the globe, the last time a messenger of Gods sovereign grace was ever that well received. If God left the Israelites for 400 years in Egypt, He may well leave the whole world in the dark without a prophet for a lot longer. America has hardly heard the Word of God at all, only gospels like those mentioned above, and Christian authors which the next chapter will discuss.