76 Comments

Rules of Engagement

Rules of Engagement

1). This blog is operated and maintained by the DefCon team. You are a guest on this blog (think of it as our home) and your readership and participation are greatly appreciated. However, your ability to leave comments is a privilege, not a right. If all you want to do is express how much you dislike what we say here, then don’t expect us to oblige your comment by allowing it to be posted.

2). If you become a disturbance or nuisance, we are under absolutely no obligation to allow you to leave comments. Likewise, if you do not like what you read here please be aware that you are under absolutely no obligation to remain here nor are you required to return once you leave. We will not tolerate anyone who camps on this blog merely to disagree with everything that is posted here. DefCon does not need a resident troll or hall monitor to be a “counter-balance.” If this is your intention, consider taking up residency elsewhere.

3). DefCon wishes for all involved in discussions and debates on our posts to conduct themselves in a courteous and civil manner. We understand that many people are deeply passionate about what they believe but please be careful to refrain from demeaning, harsh-toned, vitriolic, abrasive, coarse, condescending, snarky, vindictive, abusive, insulting, disrespectful, and mean-spirited comments.

4). DefCon does not encourage, condone, or tolerate personal attacks of its contributors or other commenters. However, this does not exclude one from identifying a spade as a spade and a wolf as a wolf.

5). If you leave comments under the guise of being a true Christian, but consistently espouse ideals that are antithetical to the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, then expect that your charade will quickly be uncovered and you will be prohibited from leaving comments. We will not provide with you a platform to spread your “Hath God said” seeds of doubt and soul-damning heresies.

6). We will not tolerate your intolerance of our intolerance. We have truly grown weary of those criticizing and judging us for criticizing and judging others.

7). If your comment contains any of the following remarks . . .

“Judge not!”

“You’re a Pharisee.”

“You’re Self-Righteous.”

“Touch not God’s anointed.”

. . . then there’s a good chance your comment will not see the light of day. Although we are not averse to disagreement and debate, we do not have the time to deal with such baseless, biblically illiterate, blatant twisting of Scripture, and shallow platitudes. It’s equivalent to calling the proponent of legal immigration a “racist” without ever intellectually discussing the matter. It slyly changes the focus of the debate from the issue itself and places it onto your opponent’s character. This sinisterly clever polarization of your opponent puts him on the defense and then you think you’ve won the debate. We seriously do not have the time to play these games. Your argument should be the persuasive element to the debate, not your Orwellian-style doublespeak.

8). DefCon is a blog for Christians by Christians. We are here to defend the Christian faith and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you leave a comment with links to heretical, apostate websites, do not be surprised when the links are altered or removed. We also reserve the right to add links to your comments in order to direct readers to the truth, not further errors.

9). If any comment you leave is simply for the promotion of a false religious system (i.e. Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehova’s Witnesses, Atheism, etc.) then do not expect your comment to be published.  It will be removed post haste.  This site is for the defense of the Christian faith and the edification of the saints.  No comments which attempt to draw readers into a man-made system of false worship will be permitted.

If someone leaving comments on DefCon cannot restrain themselves from violating the above conditions, do not be surprised if your entire comment is deleted without notice (we are not responsible to just edit your comment or remove the unacceptable content). We reserve the right to hold, moderate, and delete any comments that we deem unacceptable.

These Rules of Engagement do not mean that we fear dissenting opinions or ideas that are contrary to the beliefs that we hold (and that of the revealed Scriptures of the Holy Bible). However, since some abuse the use of comments on DefCon, these Rules of Engagement are simply necessary.

Sincerely,

- Mark Escalera

DefCon Administrator

76 comments on “Rules of Engagement

  1. Hello,
    I was just wondering if I am suppose to join as a member at your site? I enjoyed reading a few of the articles posted and would like to return again, if thats possible. Thank you, Vairy Boutwell

  2. Dear Vairy:

    Welcome to DefCon. No membership is required. Return as often as you like.

    STAY THE COURSE & NEVER COMPROMISE!
    – The Pilgrim

  3. I would like to change my gravatar to something cooler than an upside down drunken green triangle who looks as if he’s been punched in the eye, and I confess I’m too ignorant to figure out how to do it on my own. Any advice?

  4. This avatar is self-generated by WordPress for those you leave comments that have not signed in.

    To change this, just sign-up with WordPress (it only takes a moment). You do not have to create a blog. After you’ve signed up, upload the picture of your choice for your avatar.

    Then log-in when you leave comments and your avatar will appear.

  5. @Ministry Addict: If you don’t wish to sign-up to WordPress you can use Gravatar (which is owned by the guys who own WordPress). It will recognise your email address and display your picture on any site that is Gravatar enabled.

  6. Nathan & Pilgrim:

    Thanks. I think I have a gravatar, but somehow I’ve disabled them for this site. I know this is not tech support, but it’s driving me nuts. Do you have any idea how to make everyone’s gravatar reappear on my screen?

  7. Hi, I liked the photo above…I did not see the wolf at the right until I looked closely…mmmh I understand the meaning. Tim

  8. I’m thrilled to find your blog. We (my husband and I) have been so grieved by the ‘evangelical church’, or maybe, what is put forth as the evangelical church. It seems like truth, Biblical truth, is so seldom preached and even more rarely lived. We are striving to live fully and only for God-to truly hold all things up to the Word and see if it is truth. How encouraging to find a place with truth defended and so many resources and sermons to listen to and look up. Thanks for your work. Praying that God blesses you in it.

  9. I to believe we as Christians have allowed a lot of fringe teaching to be taught as truth. However, we need to be sure that what we take a stand against is truly contrary to Gods word. I have been saved by Gods grace through faith for 30 years. Plus nothing, minus nothing just accepting the completed work of Christ on the cross and inviting him into my heart. Let me add that salvation is not an anytime deal, but only when the Holy Spirit is convicting unto salvation. Now to the point. I watched your piece on hirelings with Perry Noble and would challenge you to visit Newspring Church to see exactly what GOD is doing there. I am not saying I am on board with all of the things Perry says or does, but lives are being changed. The real issue I have is with is he really a pastor. Pastor or preacher, elder or bishop. We all call our preachers, pastor, is this accurate. Clearly in the book of Acts the first deacons were chosen to attend to the needs of the flock. Maybe they are the pastors. In reality pastor is only mentioned a handful of times in the New Testament. Must not be all that important to God. I know the shepard, pastor, parallels and the feed my sheep thing. However, if we are depending on someone else to feed us, we must be babes. Peter, was the first preacher in any church, and the Holy Spirit was not yet given when Jesus told him to feed my sheep. There were no sheep either save the 12 and possibly some of the other close followers. Maybe family and people who had received miracles. The Holy Spirit has always been the real teacher and the one who guides in to all truth. We need to examine words like pastor, bishop,elder,and deacon. Check them with the Greek originals. By the way, your rules of engagement are the same things you acuse Perry of. I do not attend Newspring, but I have been there. Great people! You know the more I learn and study the more I see I KNOW NOTHING. Keep contending, just be sure where God really is with issues. MacArthur is good I agree. But I still have need that no man teach me or disciple me. God in the form of the Holy Spirit is sufficient. JUST PREACH THE GOSPEL as it is the power of God unto salvation. The Holy Spirit will disciple.

  10. I like your rules of engagement. I can share that sentiment regarding rude comments. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and I love it. I hope you don’t mind my suggesting that in the rules of engagement, near the bottom (second to last paragraph), where you say that you are not “adverse” to disagreement and debate, that what you really meant to say was that you are not “averse” to it (no D). It’s a common mistake. Thanks for the blog.

  11. Heya DefCon team.

    Lately I’ve been in constant Defcon 1 Maximum Readiness mode. These rules of engagement are brilliant. I hope you don’t mind if I use some of your rules to assist me on my blog. Having a bit of a rough time right now, a posse of Emergent’s giving me a hard time for exposing their horrific blatant satanic teachings in South Africa

    South Africa ploughs forward in writing the DIY manual on how to accept all faiths, and how to transcend to higher levels of godliness, sorry I mean godlessness

    South Africans seem to have it down to a fine art when it comes to insulting and degrading Jesus Christ our Saviour, our King of Kings and have the audacity to insist they have in no way said anything demeaning about Jesus Christ.

    Their ‘Christ’ is not the same as the Jesus Christ the Only Son of God that we as genuine born again Christians believe and love with all our hearts.

    I feel like I am in a constant ‘stop, drop and roll’ action movie. Thank goodness I have the Word of God to hold onto for dear life.

  12. Hi DefCon,

    Can I use parts of this “comment policy” to put on my site?(Based on some recent comments designed to start debates – which I don’t want.)

    I don’t want to do a copy/paste thing, but I would like to read through this and tailor it to my site, but I wanted to ask since this would be the base, and I am not about stealing people’s stuff.

  13. Sure Adam. Have at it.

    – The Pilgrim

  14. I’ve spent several hours reading this blog, and I haven’t found anything that Jesus would take exception to. I like the quotes from Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He is my father’s “patron saint.” Mine is St Tikhon the Confessor, Patriarch of Moscow.
    Yes, we are in the age of apostasy that St Paul mentioned in 2 Thess 2:3-12. Most Evangelical pastors would do well to read I Cor 3:5-17.
    Roman Catholics pray to Mary but Orthodox Christians don’t. We ask her to pray for us. There’s a big difference.

  15. DefCon folks,

    Recently had a post that didn’t make it through. I’m guessing I’ve been tagged as a #3. I don’t expect this to be posted. . . . but I have hope for your mission.

    Thanks for your time, learned a lot from readings on Washer and McArthur.

    I have done my best to empathize or understand the basics of the draw to reformer theology, but I just can’t get my head around the accusations and your number 4. Makes no sense.

    The DefCon folks I’ve encountered seem like vigorous scholars within their house. I just hope that those efforts can be redirected to the real antichrists that seek to destroy our homes and children.

    I have spent the last 15 years alone in academia, at the highest debates and platforms. Alone with only Jesus, which was enough.

    I come back to “the church” only to find our hands pointing at each other in a self-declared civil war. The world could care less. I wish your catagories would include Foucalt, Derrida, Chomsky, Agamben, Churchill, Kato . . etc.

    But church drama sells and addressing the true antichrists is too much work. . .

    for most. . .

    Off to the road less travelled.

    Please email me if interested in extending dialogue, really.

  16. Grace and Peace be with you in the Name of our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

    I just wanted to commend you for taking a stand for Biblical truth. I just read the article about Rock Band P.O.D. in which you called all those who were commenting to Biblical discernment. Before God regenerated me I listened to P.O.D. I always felt that they were Christian, but when I had been given a new nature, God opened my eyes to see the twisted and deceptive message, image, and intent of this group. I am saddened at the fact that so many genuine Believers are deceived in so many ways in this hour that we now live. The only conclusion I can come to as to why anyone would listen to a group like this or any other so called “christian” band is simply because they do not study the Word of God or they are false converts. I was pleased to see that you had posted a link to Paul Washers sermon “Shocking Message.” God has been using that sermon in to change so many life’s. I praise God that he has placed men in the Church who will stand for truth no matter the cost. We need more Christians to armor up and grow a back bone! Pray for Revival, Pray for Reformation, Pray for a rediscover of the TRUE GOSPEL, Pray that the Church in America would wake up! Pray that the Church would once again understand that the LORD is Holy, Holy, Holy, and we cannot worship him in our “own way.” May our God and Savior Jesus Christ be magnified!

    I hope to be in contact with you. In Christ.

    Benjamin

  17. love number 6! :) It’s my favorite!

  18. Hi DefCon,
    I love your site, it’s right up my alley. Have been enjoying nyour articles and videos and will be inhaling the rest as the days go by (like a kid in a candy store!).
    I have stood by watching the enemy walk to and fro throughout the fold killing, destroying and stealing from God’s people unmolested and to try and tell people (espeically the so-called watchmen), you get laughed at, told not to be judgmental and told to grow up, “you’ll understand one day…you’re still young”. AARRGGHH! Thanks for all the work, and hope God blesses you and your ministry for your obedience to submission at all costs…one final note, go to wikipedia and look up the word Avatar and Gravatar, and you’ll make good and sure that you’ll have nothing to do with this EVER!

    R&R

  19. Hi. I enjoy your blog and have learned a lot.Recently you have posted video connections which are blank with a small icon in the upper left corner and I don’t know how to open them. Please tell me how to open them as I am encountering this on other Christian blogs as well.
    Thank you in His Precious Name.

  20. I was wondering if you would look at our Web Site, ‘ Help for Nazarenes ,’ on Yahoo.com, and let us know what you think of the site. The site deals with apostasy in the churches. Thank You. In Christ, Richard and Janice Fisher

  21. I realize this comment won’t make it past your “rules of engagement” but can I ask how you who write this blog are currently witnessing to the world around you? You have spent a lot of time going after anyone and everyone who disagrees in any way with all the things you believe about the Bible, etc…I already know you will probably say you are protecting the church. Isn’t God big enough to protect His church…He’s done it for thousands of years?!
    “They will know you are my disciples by your love for one another” and yet you say all those who aren’t as strongly opinionated on certain issues are “not your brothers in Christ”.
    I’m just saddened, as someone who passionately loves Jesus and passionately loves the Lost, that you spend countless hours correcting “heretics” instead of seeking and saving the lost as Jesus did.
    May God give you wisdom & discernment in how you & I spend our time.

  22. you spend countless hours correcting “heretics” instead of seeking and saving the lost as Jesus did.

    So, according to you we should throw out most of the contents of the Epistles because they are correcting, rebuking, and not evangelizing.

    Pff.

  23. Dear Jeremy:

    I am disappointed that you have unfairly judged us as being so one dimensional. And I am sorry that you consider what we do here as unimportant. However, I have two questions and a challenge for you.

    Question 1: I agree God is “big enough” to “protect” his Church, but can you please tell me by what means he has used for “thousands of years” to protect the purity and the doctrinal integrity of His Church?

    Question 2: You said,

    “I’m just saddened, as someone who passionately loves Jesus and passionately loves the Lost, that you spend countless hours correcting ‘heretics’ instead of seeking and saving the lost as Jesus did.”

    Does your compassion for the lost not include those deceived by heretical teachings? Or are you suggesting that heretics are not lost?

    I’m also saddened that you have chosen to judge our hearts, motives, intentions, and passions by suggesting that we are not “seeking to save the lost.”

    Challenge: I would like to ask you to provide me with all the New Testament books which DO NOT deal with the negative aspect of addressing heresy and false teachers. As a bonus (and if you have time) you can even include all the Old Testament books that DO NOT deal with the negative aspect of addressing heresy and false teachers. Let me know how much you come up with.

    Sincerely,
    – Pilgrim

  24. I just left a post (1) rebutting your criticism of “Chris” for allegedly misrepresenting the Mormon doctrine of salvation and (2) giving what I believe is a clear explanation of the role of faith and works in the Mormon doctrine of salvation.

    I wrote in strong terms but I did my best, considering my temper, to stick to your Rules of Engagement.

    Although I think it is obvious from the contents of the post that I am a Mormon, I forgot to specifically so state. Please feel free to edit the post or otherwise note that Murdock is a Mormon.

  25. Jeff H…please read my post again. I said nothing about getting rid of books from the Bible.

    Pilgrim. As someone on the blog editor list…you didn’t answer my first question about how you are witnessing to the world around you. Maybe you missed it but I put it first so you wouldn’t think I was “judging” you.
    I was trying hard not to assume or judge by asking a few questions…but you took it that way anyways. You assumed I “consider what [you} do here as unimportant” and you assumed that I “unfairly judged us as being so one dimensional” when I never said anything of the sort.
    Please just read my actual words that I typed without trying to read into them. I’ll be thinking about your questions and would appreciate you answering mine.
    And no, I have NOT “chosen to judge our hearts, motives, intentions, and passions by suggesting that we are not ‘seeking to save the lost.'” I never said you weren’t, I just asked how you were…which you didn’t answer.
    Thanks.

  26. Jeremy,

    Jeremy,

    Jeff H…please read my post again. I said nothing about getting rid of books from the Bible.

    You read what I wrote again.

    You said:

    you spend countless hours correcting “heretics” instead of seeking and saving the lost as Jesus did.

    You rebuke us for spending our time defending sound doctrine (‘rather’ than evangelizing — as if we can’t do both)… However, defending sound doctrine is what Paul, John, Peter, and Jude do in their letters to the early Churches. You should try reading them once. They speak volumes

    We are following the biblical model… Are you?

    Following Christ,
    – Jeff H

  27. Jeremy,

    I believe that Jeff was saying that you would have to chop out passages like the following:

    Acts 20:27-31–For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

    Romans 16:17–Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

    2nd Corinthians 11:3-4–But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

    Galatians 1:9–As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

    Ephesians 5:11–And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

    It’s a shame that the apostle Paul spent so much time correcting “heretics”!

  28. Jeff,
    Why do you feel you must be insulting? You have no idea how much I’ve read or haven’t read and you are questioning how much I’m following the biblical model. Speak the truth in love…that is biblical.
    And I never said we shouldn’t correct teaching that is wrong…but Jesus spent most (not all) of his time with people who didn’t believe and He spent some of His time with the Pharisees.
    You haven’t answered my first question…is it that hard of a question? I didn’t say you couldn’t do both…I just asked why the ratio was so high?
    I’m not trying to attack…but it seems like you believe I am…is that true?
    Jeremy

    (Corrected per commenter request–Admin.)

  29. I didn’t say you couldn’t do both…I just asked why the ratio was so high?

    How do you know? Do you have access to my planner?

    Stop presuming.

    I go back to your statement:

    you spend countless hours correcting “heretics” instead of seeking and saving the lost as Jesus did.

    HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS?

    What do you do with Paul’s admonition in 2 Timothy 3:16-17?

    “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

    Now, stop throwing rocks and get busy doing BOTH: sharing the true Gospel AND defending and contending for the faith… or is false doctrine ok by you?

  30. Jeremy:

    If you will permit me, I’d like to also help you understand us here. In addition to defending the Faith, as commanded by Scripture, we also spend our lives ministering to others. We minister to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, to the extent we are able with food, clothing, shelter. When possible, we provide transportation to those who have none. We minister to those in rest homes, nursing homes, and hospitals. We teach the young in Christ by patient example, and by teaching God’s word to them. At work, we attempt to show Christ to our fellow workers, employer, vendors, suppliers, and business associates. We help those broken down on the side of the road. And in any other way, when we are aware of a need, if we are able, we attempt to meet those needs with the love of Christ.

    Does that help to answer your question on how we witness to the world around us?

  31. Pentecostal Nonsense
    To
    Prison Ministry

    The prisons that I conducted bible studies were :

    Virginia Department Of Corrections– Fairfax Detention Center– Quantico Marine Base
    Fairfax, Va- Fairfax, Va- Marine Brig Quantico
    Yours In Christ

    Bob Scruggs
    507 SE Maple Terr
    Port St Lucie, Florida

    Good Morning !

    The reason I am writing this is because I rarely see encouraging articles from people in the “word of faith” movement. It’s always miracles, signs and wonders, most of which they just talk about rather that show true evidence of. It is always, “send me money so God can bless you.”

    I’ve read many of your articles concerning the false prosperity prophets we have today and thank you for exposing them on your web site or You Tube. I would like to point out that this is nothing new, my first exposure to this false teaching was back in 1954 at a Pentecostal church. I left the hospital, recovering from a severe burn accident with my arms infected and was in great pain. A friend of the family started taking me to several Pentecostal healing services in the Washington, DC area. When there were no results the preachers blamed my lack of faith etc,. The friend also took me to a “faith healer” and tent “evangelist” Jack Coe, who turned out to be another false teacher, died a year later. I just could not understand why God would not heal me. I was thirteen, saved and thought, based on the teachings I was getting that I did have enough faith to be healed . Several preachers looked at my swollen arms would pray and then say “you have to have faith”, then walk away leaving me feeling like I had no faith and questioned my salvation because of the “Fire And Brimstone ” teaching being taught. After months of pain I did recover even though the healing wasn’t instant. GOD was working in my life in spite of the spiritual leadership I was getting. It was years later that I realized what “JESUS” meant when HE said “My Grace Is Sufficient For You” but the Pentecostal preachers left more scars on me than my burns did.

    While attending these loud, out of order and scary services, the pastor would bring in “special anointed” evangelist that traveled around going from church to church, “preying” on the people, usually on a Friday night (pay day) preaching the same nonsense that you see today. The “pay me so God can bless you” ministers. Even though I did not attend these services often, one night several years later, just before going into the Marines, the preacher said that “GOD” was going to give a special blessing to all those that would give $100, then $50, then $25. Since I’d just been paid (I cleared around $45 a week) and was leaving home in a few days, I felt I could give $25.00. People lined up with their money in hand, the preacher laid his hand forcefully on their foreheads and they would fall down with the “Catchers ” behind them. When it came to my turn I was prepard to fall down, which I did, not because of the so called power of the preacher but because everyone else was falling, as I laid there I even looked around to see if others got up so I could. What a hair raising experience, I stayed away from these “ fake” signs and wonders” for years.

    Many years later I got involved with a prison ministry. I was to meet my mentor inside a prison for my first volunteer bible study but he did not show up and I had to conduct the bible study on my own. I had never done this before, was unprepared and couldn’t wait to it was over. When I walked out of the prison I felt miserable thinking I let God down, but He gave me the desire and compassion for this type of ministry. I was determined to learn what the bible teaches instead of relying on what someone else was teaching in church or on TV and ask the Lord to help me. I really felt inadequate for the task but found that the Holy Spirit really does the work, I have to be willing. I started going to this prison every week and after awhile started conducting bible study’s in several prisons. Of the many laymen volunteers that taught ” God’s Word “, none ever had there names in “Lights”, asked for money to go to more prisons or portrayed The Lord as some personal benefactor that needs an intercessor (them) to answer prayers. They all talked of forgiveness, personal responsibility, obedience, love, that the Lord is with us through it all, not that He will ALWAYS heal, ALWAYS prosper but that He will ALWAYS be with you. – NO- COPELAND- HINN-PARSEY-ROBERTS, ETC. , no offerings or preach the “WORD OF FAITH” movement . If they had, I doubt if they would have gotten out alive. Which brings up the point, if the “WORD OF FAITH MOVEMENT” is correct, it would be easy to convince the lost to come aboard the gravy train, obtain wealth and health. The problem is that only the preachers are prospering by preaching this evil deception. How many inmates would continue to come to the bible studies if they were told they could get wealth and out of prison sooner if they would accept the “word of faith” gospel and quickly found out it was a lie. Of course, most of these Word of Faith ministers do not go to prisons, partly because they won’t get any money there. It is bad enough that some of these “ministers” raise millions of dollars for themselves, and give precious little to anyone, any organization or ministry in need, but they are puffed up with their own self-importance, some threaten to “curse” anyone who dare speak against them or disagree with their message and they clearly are teaching a gospel other than that in the bible. The true gospel should and is being taken throughout the world with the same results as the first apostles had, sharing the salvation message and people coming to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior and His plan of salvation. Most of these men and women of God struggle financially, are in a position to help many if they had proper funding but get $0 from these “pay me so God will bless/heal you people”.

    One of the biggest lessons I learned was that a person doesn’t have to be cleaver with “GODS WORD” but to teach the basic salvation principles, encouragement, and that great “LOVE OF GOD” and how through “Grace Are We Saved By Faith”. I also learned to trust “GODS WORD”, LUKE 22:35 NIV JESUS told the disciples “When I Sent You Without Purse, Bag Or Sandals, Did You Lack Anything?” “Nothing” They answered. I had just started a cleaning business to support my family but I did learn to trust God for my needs and my business grew over time and gave me the opportunity to devote more time to the ministry not with a lot of excess or instant wealth but we made enough to meet my needs. Once I was ask to take over a ministry at a brig at a military base that was over 50 miles away. Not really being able to afford it I prayed that God would provide my needs, and He never let me down. Have you noticed that the “Faith Teachers” want your support money before they go to the next conference?

    “Signs And Wonders”- “Fire Conferences” … Think about this, if I put up posters in the prisons saying there is going to be a special “Signs and Wonders” Conference, would the inmates think that this was a ticket to a magic or freak show? If it was called a “Fire Conference” would the warden greet me with armed guards stating that it’s against state law to start fires or bring explosions in prisons. These terms are misleading.

    There comes a time in ministy and our personal lives that we ask ourselves is God’s Word real and does it really work? In my years of prison ministry I’ve seen hundreds come to the simple salvation message with changed lives and with future hope. Not by a fancy sermon or cleaver words but of bringing the words of our savior Jesus and letting the Holy Spirit do His work. “THE TRUTH Will SET YOU FREE” to the lost.

    What of all the miracles that we hear so much about from the “TV FALSE PROPHETS”. I’m convinced that God does miracles in all our lives but that He’s the one who deserves the credit, these people talked as if God needs their help and we must go through them for God to act and usually for a price. While in the prison ministry I saw many subtle signs of God’s intervention, I saw lives changed, hope, forgiveness, restoration, understanding, and above all – new “hearts”. The Holy Spirit does give a new conscience, I experienced it and saw it in many. Only God can change someone’s mind and heart without indoctrination. The biggest response I ever received for salvation was when I didn’t want to go, it was a cold rainy night and I was in a bad mood and not prepared but went out of obedience. I was shown it is definitely God, not me.,One night I came home during an ice/snow storm and was hit from behind at a stop light. Since I was prayed for by the guys and was doing “God’s work” I was a bit disappointed that I got hit and had slight injuries that’s when we really need to trust The Lord when things go bad.The biggest miracle I personally witnessed was when a murderer had accepted the gospel message and ask Christ in his life, regardless of my inadequacies. I had volunteered at a county jail as an assistant chaplain that housed about 2000 prisoners and had about 40 requests a day to see me. On one occasion I went to a special security cell and noticed the person’s name on the request form had been on the nightly news several weeks before. He had murdered his mother-in-law in front of his wife and kids while high on drugs. Well, this just didn’t set well with me, I pre-judged him and kept my visit short no “Love Of Christ Here”. Later I was really convicted of my sin and letting down Jesus. I went home and ask the Lord to forgive me for judging him, being in a bad mood and not showing the love I needed to show and besides, that is what I was there for, to try to bring others to the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

    The next day I went to visit him and ask the guard to let me take him out of the cell to the chaplains office. The guard refused since he was considered very violent and had to be watched 24 hours a day and besides, he said the inmate was twice my size and he could he not be responsible for my safety. I said that God will protect me and something like “This Is God’s Business “. He went up the chain of command to get permission and I was able to bring him to the office. The first thing I did was to apologize for not being the christian that I should have been the day before and for pre-judging him. I ask his forgiveness he was shocked. I gave him some coffee and treats I snuck in. He ask me what kind of sentence he could expect and I told him most likely the electric chair in a few years. He stated that he wanted to die for his crime and ask if God could forgive him. I ask him if he ever heard about King David the giant killer and about his life etc. Even though he was responsible for taken a life God forgave him !

    We discussed Jesus plan of salvation and read scripture and prayed for the Lord’s Forgiveness. Holding my hands he accepted Jesus into his heart. Was this just a jailhouse conversion or was it real? I know it was real by his response to the simple salvation message, the look in his eyes and his countenance change. The chaplain in charge also saw the change in this man’s life and arranged with the sheriff office to allow him to attend bible studies with other inmates without deputy escorts. Now that is a miracle!

    As I watch these “False Prophets” on TV always raising money for their ministries, their false prophecies, lavish lifestyles etc, I see the same repeats of the 1950’s except they have have a much larger audience to deceive due to the world wide TV coverage. Also, I used to pray for their salvation etc, now I realize that they are one of the delussions that God has sent for those who do not know God’s word. These preachers know what they are doing, laughing their way to the bank and gathering followers the ones that do not know Jesus or are just ignorant of Gods word and continue to search for Signs And Wonders, etc. following these “False Christ” just as Jesus said they would in the last days.

    I’m retired now and as I look back I wonder, as many of us do, did I do enough? Did I fail Jesus because I wasn’t cleaver with my bible study, not a great speaker, what more could/should have I done? I guess we all evaluate what we should have done, but I do know this by teaching God’s Word as instructed by Jesus we can’t go wrong, we are His disciples and His word proves that if God could use me with all my flaws He can use anybody. I’ve been reluctant to write this article for various reasons. First, I don’t take any credit for what the Lord has done in my life or to make it appear that I’m this great man of faith. Rather, I hope that others might realize that Jesus is working in their life as He did mine, perhaps bringing His subtle caring ways to the surface in your life. Think about this, when I started in the prison ministry I was still a federal prisoner on probation, had to get permission from the prison warden to visit any state or federal facility due to having spent several months at “camp fed” after losing a tax case. They rarely allow this. Yes, God can use anybody! Comments Welcome!

    Love In Christ

    Bob

  32. Nice look, much fresher and not so Seattle grunge…I like your Rules of Engagement, if you or I or anyone else for that matter, calls a spade a spade and stands up for truth, he will offend. Jesus wasn’t crucified for being popular, but for being the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    Bless you guys, you have enriched my walk with Christ so much. Thank you.

  33. Is this the look you had before or am I mistaken

  34. Ok, I like this one better

  35. “We believe that the policies, practices, and worship of the church should be ordered by the Word of God. The Word clearly says that the local church is “the house of God, the church of the living God” (1 Tim. 3:15). As such the will of God revealed in the Word of God must regulate church life. `Lord Pragmatism’ (`what-will-work’) and `Lord Tradition’ (`the-way-we’ve-always-done-it’) rule in many churches, not the Lord Jesus. Our modern generation of church-goers needs to be told that when these two `Lords’ rule the church the result is condemned as “will-worship” (Col. 2:23) by God’s holy Word!”

    So concludes a brief portion of testimony from a modern day baptist confession. In Titus 2, Paul exhorts a young under-shepherd to teach sound doctrine and more importantly – to live it in reverence to a Holy living God. He ends by stating, “Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

    I know a church claiming such confession where the Senior Shepherd has lived a life of reproach and shame both by the words of his mouth, the thought life those words betray, documented immoral and unprofessional actions, witnessed, documented, and recorded false witness, bending local ordinances and breaking laws for selfish causes. All this is excused because the Senior Shepherd is loved by his people.

    In the same church, the worship leader will not talk to the individuals in laws and has not for years, even though they attend the same church – because of family dispute. This same leader allows all kinds of evil entertainment into the home with the excuse that if they did not, their children would not “fit in” with others. This same worship leader is adored by the church because of great skill in the lead musical instrument which is played in service and because the father of this individual has always been involved in worship leading, even though the other facts are common knowledge. Ephesians 4:30 says that such behavior [specifically within the body] grieves the Holy Spirit. Christ says in Matthew 5:24 not to worship before being reconciled to one another.

    In this same Church, the elders have on several occasions, chosen to protect these and other individuals rather than obey Gods Word to correct and rebuke these individuals. Paul tells the Corinthians [1 Cor] in 5:11-13 not to associate with someone inside the church who claims to be a Chrisitian, but acts in such manners. He actually says to “cast them out” of the local body and calls them “evil”. He later says that doing so publicly with love, reminds everyone that God is Holy, and not to be mocked. These men continually uphold their actions and decisions by referring to every conceivable authority except for the Word of God.
    I know because I served as an associate Pastor at that Church.
    When men choose to love each other over Gods holiness, they have deceived themselves into believing they are demonstrating love. Anything that denies a love for God’s holiness, a respect and fear for His Word, and a humility that the Kingdom belongs to Him first and foremost, is not real love. It is a false love and a masquerade of peace. Proverbs calls such people who continue to operate as such are misusing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and calls them fools.

    The Lampstand has been removed from that Church and their first love is not the Lord Jesus Christ and His sovereignty, but their own proud establishment. To remain with them if not possible to cast them out is a direct disobedience to God in lieu of Titus 5:11-13. God wants true worshipers. He is interested in His glory and His kingdom not ours. This is the problem with the emergent church and church leaders [elders] who do not know how to rightly divide the Word of truth.

    The sad thing is that many churches today are like this. Leaders rule ignorant congregations through ungodly manifestations of authority, loyalty, and truth hoarding. Their are many buildings filled with dead people every weekend singing songs about themselves and thinking they are praising God and thinking they are headed for heaven, but Jesus says he will tell them that he never knew them.

    The time has come for people who claim to know God and His Word to become leaders of the Church of Christ. The Church is the greatest Living Image Bearer of our Great and Holy God. Problem is, the lost world is justifiably disgusted by the dead, man-centered zombies claiming to be the Living Churches. There is a difference between fallible and being a foolish steward.

    I am angry. I am angry at weak willed, apathetic, poorly educated, unqualified, and subjectively prejudiced men leading others to their destruction in the name of Jesus. Thank God for His grace. May He bless the blind to see and worship Him in Spirit and Truth that all may know the Glory and majesty of our God. It time to stop pretending that we are all ok.

    With you for His glory

  36. found you from another site i love the thoughts etc love the reformers especially John MacArthur
    have been a supporter of his for 16 yrs do you have a feed where you can get these in your emails? a lot of blogs do..i am also on FB if you can find me:)) do you have a FB page? thanks will bookmark you so i don’t lose you..have a blessed day
    March 15 2011
    Savannah Ga

  37. Just found this site while looking for information to compare bible translations. I could not help but get caught up when I saw defending…contending…ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR RULES OF ENGAGEMENT….I can tell I will be a frequent visitor!
    June 27, 2011
    Teaneck, NJ

  38. I enjoy the site. As a new Christian I always finding ways to defend my faith. Thank you for all the information posted.

  39. Hello,
    I have a concern and perhaps the owner of this Blog can provide some help or answer. Recently I posted a few replies in regards to celebrating Christmas. There was some response to my posts, which is fine. Yesterday I noticed while visiting this responser’s blog, that to my great surprise he had “copy and paste” my comments on his blog WITHOUT my permission nor knowledge about this. Since it is now on his blog he can do what he wants with it and even slightly change the wording, for example, and still leaving my name below it.
    I contacted him, but his response was very poor and ignorant. What he did is “contents theft” or plagiarism. He replied that your site, we did post on, is public domain and posts/replies can be used, copied etc anyway one likes.
    If so… then nobodies’ post/replies are safe here, not even the posts of the owner of this website. This also may mean that PART of our posts here can be used elsewhere, and may give a false picture of the poster’s intention of the whole contents.
    I really would like to know if anyone is allowed or can do this with posts of other people on your Blog defendingcontending.com
    Sincerely,
    In Christ
    Trudy

  40. Pilgrim,

    please see your email.

    -Jim

  41. Greetings in Christ. I attend a Calvary Chapel in the Dallas area. Our church is going to play the videos by Mark Gungor “Laughing Your Way To A Happy Marriage” I looked up his name and it pulls up lots of videos on YOU TUBE. He has a 5 min. video entitled WANT SEX ALL THE TIME. This man is very funny, and he does make some good points. Over all there is NO SCRIPTURE, NO TEACHING ON THE COVENANT YOU MADE WITH GOD, There is lots of un-scriptural advise, like don’t give your husband sex, if he doesn’t do what you want. My complaint is, the total lack of what is appropriate. The Pastors, and Elders should hold up the scripture and teach doctrine to these young men in a setting that is appropriate. Mark Gungor has a mega church called Celebration, that is in Green Bay Wisconsin. Could you please check this out, when it is convenient for you. I think this seminar will cause much destruction in the lives of young married couples, because he is teaching a wrong foundation. The focus is lust, rather than the love given by God to a married couple. It is all fleshly principals. We are living in the falling away of the faith, I am 64 years, old and the contrast I see is incredible. Thanks so much for your time.
    Ann in Dallas Texas

  42. Like all Christians I am a former sinner saved by the grace of God thru Jesus. I have found as I mature in my faith that I have become much less tolerant of sin especially that sin of professing Christians. Like Paul, I was once the chief of all sinners and struggle with the flesh for most of my Christian life. I say all that so that I do’nt appear to be self – righteous. I have in the last few years been making a strong, hard stand against sin in my family and community and have been recieving alot of chriticism for that stand. It has been great to stumble upon this sight to find that there are other followers of Christ who are trully sick of the watered down religious redorick that we are being served up in our churches these days. I sometimes feel very alone in my stand and wonder at times if I’m doing the right thing.( but only when I’m weary). Although my wife does’nt always understand my ways she is very supportive, she never disagrees with what I say, just “How I say it” I have even been told by a couple of “pastors” that I need “soften” my spirit and learn to be more tolerant in “Love” I have been inspired by the bloggs and look forward to reading more!!!

  43. I have a question concerning Rev. 20:1-3. Specificly with 3b…..”that he should decieve the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended.” I was attempting to read the plain text, in chapters 19 & 20, while setting all preconceptions aside. A plain reading of the text seems to state that God SEALED Satan to prevent satanic deception of the nations (ethno). This is reinforced with :7b ,8 …”satan will be loosed from his prison 8 and will come out to decieve the nations.” It seems to say that if there is currently any Satanic activity then this cannot be the so called thousand year period.
    Adding further to my question is 20:5b “This is the first resurrection.” Using the specific word FIRST would indicate at leat one more resurrection by its inclusion. I then read in :12 “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne.” that sounds a great deal like another rsurrection at the end of the thousand yeas. This seems to fit MATT 13:36-43 PERFECTLY. Jesus puts this event at the end of the age where His angels “first” gather the tares the unredeemed and cast them into the fire. I know the three major escatologies but this seems to lead to none of them.

  44. Tris Ivan Miller,

    Interesting questions. Satan isn’t deceiving the nations any more because the gospel is going out into all nations and has been spreading massively since the ascension of Christ. So He is restrained and in the Already and Not Yet theology, he is already bound and defeated, but it is not yet fully consummated until the return of Christ.

    The First resurrection was Christ and the 2nd would be the believers and the ushering in the kingdom. Both point to the kingdom is now…i.e. the millennium is now.

    Its good that the systems don’t fit, because man makes systems to try to explain scripture but it never works out completely.

    In Christ,
    -atg

  45. to abingin grace
    Thank for your response. But this leads me to more questions if you do not mind. You state that Jesus is the first resurrection therefore when John wrote that the resurrection of the 144000 was the first resurrection John was errant? The scripture cannot be broken to fit a theological bias. John wrote that it was indeed the first resurrection therefore it is the first resurreection. As for the now and not yet regaurding Satanic activity the word is “sealed” not merely bound or restrained. Only God can unseal what He seals. To deny the reality of current satanic deception in the world and in the visible church, irrespective of the gospel, seems do deny reality to me.

  46. Tris,

    Thank you for the reply. I didn’t do my due diligence in responding to your question and answered incorrectly (and sloppy). My apologies. Let me start over:

    Your first question was regarding the binding of Satan – I stick with my answer on this, but with more detail. Satan has been bound (restrained, limited, hands tied) at the cross and will be bound until the very end of the millennial reign of Christ before His second coming where Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire. Between the cross and the brief release of Satan, he can tempt and is a roaring lion…however, he is NOT able to deceive the nations. The gospel has gone out and is making huge progress since the first century. Satan has influence, but he has been defanged. Satan has been defeated at the cross. He’ll be released and deceive the nations and persecute in ways we’ve never seen. But right now he has his hands tied. Being bound doesn’t mean he isn’t active or dangerous towards us. The believer can resist his temptations through Christ, the gospel is still going out, souls are being saved. This isn’t denying reality as you suggest because I am confirming the activity of Satan in the church and in the world, but it is limited because he is bound. He’ll be released at the end of the age and will go bananas like we’ve never seen for short time, but Christ will triumph and he’ll be finish for good.

    Your second question was regarding the first resurrection – I’ll approach it this way:

    Rev 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

    ***Who was beheaded? Whose souls are these? They seem to be people on Earth during the church age martyred for Christ who rejected the world through Christ…the ones with the mark of the Lord. They came to LIFE – Life = spiritual life, regeneration. ***

    Rev 20:5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.

    *** The Rest = those who didn’t receive spiritual life during church age…the unsaved. They came to spiritual life at the end of millennium on their way to judgment. ***

    Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

    *** Blessed are those who share the First Resurrection – salvation/regeneration/entrance to glory through judgment because they don’t suffer the 2nd death, which is being cast into hell…it has no power over those with the first resurrection – those in Christ. Those who have the first resurrection are with him.

    I agree that this seems to fit Mat 13:36-43 – at the end of the age that we are in now.

    The 144,000 represents God’s Elect who come from all tribes and nations and would be those who have the first resurrection…being in Christ.

    I hope this clarifies and helps.

    in Christ,
    -ATG

  47. Well stated, ATG. Soli Deo Gloria!

  48. I ditto Manfred! You did a great job explaining that ATG!! :)

  49. to abidingthrough grace
    Thank you for your detailed explaination. Allow me to make a very dry joke to my beloved brothers in Christ. Are amillinialists literaly saved or metaphorically saved? Sometimes the word says what it means and means what it says. There can be literal interpretations of metaphorical expressions. Sometimes we need to stop pounding round pegged passages into our square holed escatological bias. In Dan. 11:41 We read that Edom and Moab and the main part of Ammon shall be delivered out of his hand…. I know of no time, decades before, during or after 70 AD that these people were not under Roman rule. This then is problematic at to the timing of the tribulation. Further those passages in Rev. plainly state a literal enduring presence of a physical Christ on earth. A literal physical Christ who rules and reigns with those beheaded by the beast in the tribulation. Satan I repeat is not merely bound he is SEALED. As with the seals on the scroll only the Lamb is worthy to break a seal of God. Satan cannot break or escape or ignore such a seal or his power is comprable to Gods. May it never be said. God will demonstrate that even apart from satanic influence the human heart is still desperatly wicked above all else. Further Isa. 11 fits into this 1000 year period and no where else. The text indicates that it is Gods decreetive will that there be zero satanic deception during the 1000 ear period.

  50. Tris, I am sorry that you do not interpret scripture the way that some of us here do. However, I ask you how are we supposed to take you seriously when you criticize me for “pounding round pegs into square holes” through scriptural bias while you demonstrate your own bias with sarcasm and insults?

    I’d be happy to hear your detailed explanation of where I am wrong with the text related to your original question regarding Rev 20:1-6. Why don’t you help us understand from your perspective? If you choose to do this, please leave your animosity towards Amil theology (and any others) at home…it isn’t profitable in a discussion of the text.

    Faithfully in Christ,
    -atg

  51. abiding, I agree with Tris and I don’t think he was overtly trying to be insulting to you or anyone who holds your view but trying to tell the truth about how amils treat God’s word…

    I don’t agree with your views neither and the truth has to be said somehow. whether you take it as an insult or a rebuke is according to what’s in your heart and not necessarily that the other person is meaning this to (you) on a personal level.. I thought he was gentle and yet upfront about what amils actually are doing…

  52. Quote from Tris
    Further those passages in Rev. plainly state a literal enduring presence of a physical Christ on earth. A literal physical Christ who rules and reigns with those beheaded by the beast in the tribulation.
    End quote

    Tris , I would challenge you to read Rev 20:4 honestly , and see exactly where the claims you have made can be substantiated. The passage makes no mention of a ” physical Christ” ruling on earth,and perhaps while you’re revisting this passage you could explain why John see’s the ” souls” of those who were beheaded.

  53. Tris,

    I highly recommend the book “Amillenialism” by Kim Riddlebarger. He is highly educated in this area and explains all the things you have trouble with concerning Amil positions. :) You can also find audio you can listen to here: http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/

    Right now, Christ (seated at the right hand of the Father) is reigning (in these last days…including all days from Christ’s death on). *This* is the period of the thousand years that we are in. Satan is bound until a (short) time when he is let loose to deceive the nations.

    Kindly,
    Katy

  54. Linda,

    Please explain from your quote above” “how Amils treat scripture.” This needs clarification as it is a pretty serious accusation.

    After clarifying what that comment means, can you please explain from the text (Rev 20:1-6) where and how I misinterpreted it?

    In Christ,
    -ATG

  55. abiding, honestly this would require a huge time consuming, long drawn out discussion in which I’m not prepared to get into and really don’t have the desire to.. Where pray tell do blogs do justice in this area really? If this were about defending the faith I’ll always go for the long haul…

    It’s very serious how amils mistreat God’s word by allegorizing it where it is not supposed to be allegorized…We ARE to recognize figures of speech, metaphors and genres but we are not to try and allegorize passages to shoehorn them in to fit where they don’t.. Thus the statement Tris made “round peg in a square hole”..

    What happened to the “golden rule of interpretation”?

    “When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.” Dr. D.L. Cooper

    as far as flaws, I’d have to back up to previous statements you have made that I disagree with and I believe God’s word does as well…

    My main concern in this combox was when you thought his comment was rude to you when all he was doing was describing what Amil’s are doing is all.. He did not level any rude or uncouth comments at you.. he was not calling you any names

    You are free to describe what you believe premils do as well and I respect that.. The problem I have is when people begin calling the other person’s camp names and belittling them–either way it’s wrong at that point.

    I have a brother who is Amil. He used to be Premil -left and went to college and then lo and behold came back changed. I don’t agree with him just like he doesn’t agree with me. My mother never forced us to believe either way. However He has forced his beliefs on his kids and gets angry at them if they even believe that there is a hint of premil or the rapture… This is not how my mother treated us. I’m not saying YOU are like this at all but I have met many amils who are very vitriolic whenever they encounter brothers and sisters who don’t hold such a view…

    Sincerely in Christ, Linda

  56. Linda,

    I hope you know that I am sincerely in my conversations with you. You have been very vocal and committed to your disagreement with me on eschatology. I would really appreciate it if you would take a moment to briefly answer these questions I have for you:

    In this first passage from Matthew, I don’t have any sheep or goats at my church. So how are we supposed to deal with this passage?

    Matthew 25:32-33: [32] Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. [33] And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.

    In the second:
    Revelation 1:16: [16] In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

    Is Jesus really holding 7 stars in his hand? Does Jesus really have a sword coming out of His mouth?

    I want to know how you classify these verses. Literal or figurative?

    For the record, you have grossly mis-characterized and demonized the Amil position. I sincerely believe you have a misunderstanding of Amil doctrine. Amil DOES NOT allegorize scripture at all…it simply recognizes the figurative types and shadows of the OT like Jesus = the true temple and now the church = the temple of God. I would hope that you would agree with these since both are found clearly in scripture (John 2 and 1 Cor 3:16) and is part of Covenant Theology, which sees 1 plan of redemption for all of God’s elect, not 2 separate plans of redemption like dispensationalism.

    In the love of Christ,
    -atg

  57. dear abingthroughgrace,
    Im am sorry about my attempt at humor. I am in the covenant camp. I am reformed except for my escatology. I will answer your questions. I noticed you did not answer most of mine. Iron sharpens iron. My intent is to create light and not heat.
    Rev. 1 is of course figurative of what I see as a future reality.
    Matt. 25 says nothing to me about the church specifcully rather the entire world in general. It aso seems to me to fit at the time known as the end of the 1000 years. further if you have no goats in your visible church I am happy for you. I see goats in the pews and in many pulpits. I see books written by goats in almost every book store. I see goats in Matt 7
    Also it is obvious to me that Satan has decieved every Islamic nation at the very least.

    Yours in Christ,

    Sollopa

  58. Tris, Thank you. Those questions you answered were for Linda and not for you because she was stating that Amil allegorizes the text. My question for you was to address the text Rev 20:1-6 rather than criticize Amil theology. Since you don’t agree with my explanation above, it would be most profitable for you to layout your interpretation of Rev 20:1-6 with attention to verses 4,5,6 as was originally requested in your first post.

    in Christ,
    -atg

  59. Linda
    I take umbrage to the fact that you accuse Amills of mistreating scripture , and then follow this up with this Quote.

    abiding, honestly this would require a huge time consuming, long drawn out discussion in which I’m not prepared to get into and really don’t have the desire to..
    end quote

    This is a disingenuous and dishonest reply. I am more than happy to discuss this further with regards to debating the scripture. I have no problem with your Premill leanings , but you should be prepared to defend them at any time, just as you would with other doctrines that you hold to.

  60. … My reply is not a dishonest reply and no I’m not being disingenuous… I gave the MAIN reason as to why I replied to this convo and yes I did speak out of what I truly believe Amils are doing. Simply because I don’t want to have a long discussion like boxers in a ring does not equal me being rude. I’m simply not up to it..

    I DO think NOW that maybe I was rude in just giving my comment and stance into this foray when I should have just stayed out of it. I DON’T care to be dragged nor jeered by anyone …. Could I discuss this with you? Yes I could but I really have a hindrance that I believe is from the Holy Spirit that this is not where I should go.. If however someone was needing help and wanted to know more about eschatology I would be more than happy to discuss it with that person since they would be docile and not combative about it… On the other hand to debate with a brother or sister where BOTH sides are both adamant and ardent about their positions is UNFRUITFUL….

    My (main concern) in this combox was when abiding- thought Tris’ comment was rude to him when all (I thought) he was doing was describing what Amil’s are doing is all and not a platitude leveled at him on a “personal level”.
    –Tris has spoken for himself and I do apologize for putting any words or thoughts in place of what he was thinking…

    Sincerely in Christ, Linda

  61. Just a thought: I came across your site this evening and will take a few weeks to peruse, listen and most importantly pray. Something that I think would be beneficial (I am working toward this in my own center of influence (ie. my location, congregation, etc.) is to provide a continual way of showing grace and rebuke alike in a way that would also offer a corrective platform for some. I was one of the hard-nosed “get out of my face” types when others came to me years ago asking for me to defend some of the doctrine I preached. Now that God has revealed much error to me through His word, these once brothers are now unwilling to fellowship because of errors that I had as a young pastor from which I have now repented by the grace of God.

    If you have any thoughts on this, it would be helpful. I too am praying for your ministry.

    For His Glory by His Grace,

    James

  62. James Tippins – welcome! And many thanks for your gracious and kind words and prayer. A couple things to consider: Each of us has been a jerk at one time or another. You are not alone in how you behaved. That does not excuse it, however. You have ought against those brothers you were a jerk to and you should, as much as is possible with you, be at peace with them. You should seek their forgiveness and show fruit of repentance. But you cannot live in the shadows of the guilt of sins past, if they do not show you the kindness in Christ to forgive you. Press on toward the prize that will not tarnish.

  63. I just recently developed this working theory. As it happens the core of my outline is 1n 20:1-6.
    In my recent reading ” that he should decieve the nations no more, till thousand years shoul be ended. ” it seems all to obvious that it is Gods decreetive will to remove all satanic deception for the entire 1000 year period. This is irrespective of the when and the what the 1000 year period is. I contend that that which God seals is sealed period. If my common sense tells me that today there is rampant satanic deception then Satan cannot be sealed. and if not sealed this cannot be the 1000 year period. If satan entered Judas and sought to sift Peter and walks about like a roaring lion he is not sealed, period. It seems apparent that Satan is indeed decieving Nations today. Or barring that, Gods will and His binding and sealing is an ineffectual joke. Releasing Satan at the end of the 1000 years would change nothing. Irrespective of the who concerning the beheaded souls the flow of the text indicates these were killed by the and during the reign of the beast. They reign WITH Christ. They must have someone to reign over and that cannot be the bride. God is not redundant so the word FIRST means there is at least one more. The rest of the dead refers to everyone except the 144. ( this section does not deal with the events known as the rapture so I leave it alone for now). In six we know that the 1000 yearts ends and the 144 are preist of God..and reign for a thousand years. The resurrection of the rest of the dead at the end of 1000 years includes :15 “names written in the book of life”. In addition I metioned that Dan 11 speaks of Edom and Moab escaping the world wide rule. I know of no history that records this region/peoples escaping Roman rule during nor decades before or after 70 AD.
    I hope that and my previous entries make my working theory clear enough for all to understand it.
    Please if my logic is flawed by all means demosnstrate its implausiblity.

    In Christ,
    Tris

  64. Tris, here are some questions related to your interpretation of the passage to think about:

    1. How does “that he shall deceive the nations no more” = “no satanic activity at all?” This is a big leap from the clear reading of the text.

    2. How do you know that 1000 years is a literal 1000 years if the clear reading of “deceive the nations” doesn’t mean deceive the nations?

    3. Your reference to Judas doesn’t fit because Satan is bound after the cross, not before. As I stated earlier. Satan has lost his fangs. He is active, but bound. He can not longer deceive the nations as the Gospel is going out to all nations and people groups.

    4. How are you sure that the beheaded people are under the reign of the beast? It doesn’t say that. The passage describes thrones, which are heaven thrones by the greater context of Revelation, and it says those beheaded didn’t accept the mark of the beast. Not having the mark of the beast = salvation.

    5. There is not “everyone else other than the 144″

    6. This section doesn’t deal with the rapture because it is imposed on the text and not of the Bible. There is no text that deals with the rapture. So this is a clear place where framework has to be imported into the text to make a premil timeline fit.

    7. Why would the peace and rescue be earthly? Isn’t that shooting low? The peace and freedom has nothing to do with Roman rule. Looking for this will always come up empty. Christ was a spiritual Messiah who brought spiritual rescue and spiritual reign in this age. In the age to come we’ll be transformed and resurrected and be in glory in our inheritance face to face with God.

    I hope you ponder through these and see that the text is much plainer than you are making it. Your original comment to me was a question regarding why can’t we just read the text and let the plain meaning be the meaning? I ask the same question. Premil imports way too much into this passage to be the plain meaning of the text.

    In His Grace,
    -atg.

  65. to abingthroughgrace,
    I recently developed this theory. I wanted to have it tested. I thank everyone who did so. i have accomplished what I wanted if not the results that I wanted. I am reticent to continue. I would like to take at least one more response.
    I never ever said anything about a literal thousand years. ….irrespective of the duration is what I wrote.
    The language is highly figurative yet I believe God literal sent and angel to literaly seized Satan to put Satan into the bottomless pit with a figurative chain to literaly bind Satan and then to literaly shut it and seal it for a figurtive or literal period of time. With this one purpose in mind. That during this afore mentioned time period Satan should no more decieve the nations. Then after said time period Satan will be released to again decieve the nations. Does the text in any way demand that we parse the meaning of bound and sealed. I note that you have judicously avoided the fact that the angel shut and sealed Satan in the pit. I see nothing about Satan being merely defanged or merely limited. I reafirm that I am reformed and covenental not dispensational. I love the 5 solas and the 5 points. So I only want all of theology to fit the scripture. for me personally I cannot escape that this passage stops me in my tracks. I see abundant evidence that Satan is this very day and hour currently in fact decieving the nations. Therefore I conclude that this cannot be the period known as the thousand years. i further contend that what God seals only god can unseal. This true of the 7 seals. this is true of the believers being sealed by the Holy Spirit. So when I read that God had Satan sealed I contend that it is logical to assume this to be Gods decreetive will. I further contend that if Satan can easily thwart being bound and shut in and sealed then it seems to me to diminish God. I am also aware of the students of the Apostle John.. Polycarp, Iraneus and Hypomylitus ( excuse my memory) writings speculating about the yet future event known as the tribulation.
    Thank you all for the discussion. It seems to be a moot point. Neither has convinced the other. This for me was a fun in house discussion.
    Thank you
    In Christ

    Tris

  66. Tris, I suppose there are too many items int the discussion to make any headway on it and not just run in circles. One thing that I do think is import is that we should NOT us Revelation 20 (the complicated passage) to define our eschatology. The Gospels and epistles layout the end times for us much more clearly. We should use the clear passages to explain and interpret the difficult and confusing passages…not the other way around. As an example for you to think about from Luke:

    Luke 20:32-38
    [32] Afterward the woman also died. [33] In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.” [34] And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, [35] but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, [36] for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. [37] But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. [38] Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.”

    We Jesus here talking about “This age” and “that age”, which is consistent in the Gospels (~ 18 times) as this age and the age to come. This world and the new world. Jesus talks about 2 ages. Paul talks about 2 ages.

    In this passage, people in “this age” are married and have children. Sounds like today. Those who obtain the resurrection of the dead…when Christ comes back is the age to come…neither marry nor are given in marriage, they cannot die any more as sons of the resurrection…in the age to come.

    In a premil view, the reign of Christ on Earth for 1000 years with resurrected believers mixed with early believers since the Church comes down with Christ to reign. Who are the people alive on earth at the end of the millennium? They aren’t given in marriage, not having babies, won’t the unresurrected world die off before the end of the 1000 years? Then Satan is released at the end of these 1000 years and there is a huge war? Who is there to fight? In the age to come, at the age of the resurrection, humans are like the angels, not given in marriage.

    Just something to think about regarding a simple passage from the gospels in Jesus words to help us understand Rev 20.

    in the love of Christ,
    -atg

  67. Dear atg,

    I agree that this format is not proper for such a big topic. It has run its course. Your hermenutical approach seems sound. Some final observations. What do we do with 2 resurrections? There is the mention of the “first” resurrection at the beginning of the 1000 years. It only mentions resurrecting the souls beheaded for not worshipping the beast. It also states that the rest of the souls are not raised until the end of the 1000 years. The sequence also indicates the final resurrection happening after Satan is released. He is released to again decieve the Nations. You never did explain how Satan is able to over power Gods seal. You never did explain to my satisfaction, that it is Gods will to forbid Satanic deception during the entire 1000 year period. If the only people living in the 1000 year period are the glorified saints who could Satan decieve? Who can he lead into a post armeggedon rebellion? Lastly what AGE is the age of the new earth after the great white throne judgment. Questions I cannot claim to resolve either. God will not be put in a box as they say.

    In Christ love,
    Sollopa

  68. Tris – since you asked additional questions…here are my answers…they are very easy to answer:

    – I explained the 2 resurrections above in my 2nd comment to you at July 28, 2012 at 9:09 am above I won’t repeat it here. as a summary, the 1st resurrection is regeneration and being with Christ in this age (before He comes again). The 2nd resurrection is in the age to come.

    – Satan is released at the end of the age and will again deceive the nations. this is before Christ returns. This is probably where the beheaded saints will have the first resurrection since there will be great persecution. this is sometime between now and the return of Christ

    -Satan is released from his prison…not sure why you think he breaks the seal. Satan is bound now as he cannot deceive the nations any longer in this age. I don’t need to explain this to your satisfaction because you are reading a dispy premil framework into Rev 20 and you are not letting the Gospel passages of “this age” and “the age to come”, which are clear to define this unclear passage. I cannot satisfy you if you are only willing to read it as dispy premil. If you read it as the plain text states, and use the 2 Age doctrine to explain it it is clear that now is the 1000 years (figurative), Satan is bound now, Satan is not deceiving the nations and will be released for a short time before Christ returns.

    -The people living in the 1000 years are us and the people who live on earth before Christ returns. They are NOT in glorified resurrected state…that only occurs at the transition between this age and the age to come. (see comment above regarding Luke 20). Satan will deceive those living on Earth at the end of the age after he is released and before Christ returns. Includes armeggedon and rebellion…at the end of the age.

    – The age to come is the age of the new earth, of course. there are only 2 ages. This age, now, which will end when Christ returns and will judge and the new Jerusalem will come down and the 2nd resurrection will happen. Its beautiful.

    You mentioned previously that you were in the Covenant Theology camp, but you are talking about Dispensational dualistic redemption (separate salvation plans for jews and gentiles) and a pretrib, premil eschatology that requires a split of God’s people. This can’t fit a Covenant Theology in any way.

    I hope this helps you see the position clearly.
    -atg

  69. I really really really love your rules of engagement! Did I stress enough how much I like them? LOL! As someone who comes under so much attack for being unapologetic about being a biblical Christian – I really respect what you are doing! I’m not sying that there is no room for real and genuine questions and differing ideas on what scripture may mean by what it says – but to just come out of left field with wild anti biblical ideas and try to pass them off as another legitimate “view” of truth is so tiresome!

    I also find it silly and annoying when so-called Christians say “it’s so sad” that we as Christians don’t agree – and “isn’t God big enough to take care of his truth” it makes me wonder if people who say stuff like this have ever read any of the epistles at all?? Have you not read how many times the apostles differentiated for us between unity with our Christian brothers and sisters versus accepting false prophets and false doctrine??

    It reminds me of the diversion tactics used in sick relationships! You know – when the husband calmly but frankly brings up to his wife that he is upset that his wife was disrespecting him in front of their friends at a party and that he’s noticed she’s been really passive aggressive with him and bitter lately and asks her what is going on? And she responds with a long winded tirade that his “tone” is hostile, that in fact she feels he’s being abusive and that frankly he is so unreasonable she just can’t talk to him right now….diversion tactics!!

    God Bless you guys for this blog!!!!!

    xoxo
    Layla

  70. ishiwoman, you are right about Christians disagreeing or having disapproval amongst each other….

    1Cr 11:19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.

  71. ATG,
    Have you read. “Why every Calvinist should be a premillennialist” through “Grace to You”?
    rather than waste time and space I will let that rather impressive article address my objections to the amill. escatological interpretation. He, not I, has the doctorate.

    In Christ

    sollopa

  72. Tris Ivan Miller,
    Yes, of course. There are many PhD’s on the amil side that have books on the subject.

  73. I have enjoyed your site. The quotes are correct, the comments are true, very impressive. I have one suggestion, if you could get it so that the most current comments are posted first, and the first last it would help with more individuals commenting.

  74. Your comment on the doma vote was EXCELLENT!!! I believe in the near future we will start to see real persecution and jailing of regenerate Christians in AMERICA. Those who are playing church will not have any spiritual strength to survive and will be totally DECIEVED by the evil one. I believe GOD’S PATIENCE with America is growing thin. To all fellow believers, we must realize our home is with the LORD, but our work as disciples is here on earth. Keep looking up, HE REIGNS,,,,,

  75. Just stopped by to say hello! It has been awhile! LOL

    Love your rules of engagement, and how you wrote them!

    Thanks to each of you for your continued loyalty to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ>

    The new format is nice as well.

    Mickey Merrie

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