It might be tiresome for some to follow me through the teaching of the beliefs on the end times. Some might be saying, how does this affect me, and why is it important? There are a number of things we can talk about today that will help you to see why a false belief of the second coming might have negative repercussions.
When you embrace the Holdeman teaching about the second coming, you do not believe in a tribulation period. You tend to believe that the end could come at any time and there are no more prophecies to be fulfilled. Samuel Byrnes states as much in his book, The Testimony of Jesus: His Kingdom is Now! On page 132 he says “I do not believe that world conditions will have to get any worse than they are today before Jesus Christ returns. Nor do I know of any prophecies which have to be fulfilled before he can come back.” This is a rather shortsighted view. Because Mr. Byrnes is not aware of any unfulfilled prophecies, he thinks it’s all over? It is possible that he has missed something. If he would have included a study of the feasts he might have discovered a different timeline. Because he believed, when he wrote this book that things would not get any worse, he gave the people a sense of false security. This is as bad as it gets. Therefore, we should enjoy everything we have to the fullest. What if something else is true? What if we are going to endure a time of great tribulation, a time of trouble the likes of which has never been seen before? (And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. Daniel 12:1) What would we be doing differently? The ministers try hard to lecture the people about affluence and wealth, they stalk materialism like it is a beast they can overtake and kill with their bare hands. They do not seem to realize that once again, they are dealing with the fruit, instead of the root. If the tree was right, the fruit would be different.
Consider this possibility. If the people could embrace the idea of being an overcomer, and taking part in the first resurrection, they would approach their lives in a completely different way. The present mindset encourages people to do just enough to get by. “I just wanna make it,” they say. I hope I can get by. This is a very weak way to view the future. If one believes that this earth life is a time of proving and testing, and those who overcome will rise in the first resurrection, and rule and reign with Christ, they are automatically motivated to confront life in a different manner. I will get into more depth on this later, but consider for a moment the difference in believing that the end could come at any time and that things could not get any worse than they are right now, and believing that there is a time of trouble ahead of us that will try those who are living to the very depths of their being. Are people too soft to contemplate that? Is is it possible that their faith does not extend to being able to deal with such a time? Therefore, they console themselves now with making and spending money. They are in good standing with the church, and they believe that when Jesus splits the heavens and returns with a great shout, they will be among the 20,000 or so who will be ready when he comes.
Consider the alternative. All as we know it is going to fall apart. Fine homes and a bank account will be of no use to us. We will have to rely upon God supernaturally providing for us. Therefore, anything that we plan for or purchase is considered in the light of whether or not it will be of use to us in the coming trouble. Do I need a houseful of new furniture, or could my efforts be better spent preparing myself spiritually and emotionally? Am I looking at things from a standpoint of being prepared to endure great suffering? I think many will agree with me that the Holdeman people do not know what it is to endure great suffering.
The problem is not wealth and affluence, the problem is false doctrine! Every year at revivals the minsters pluck at the fruit of false doctrine. They speak of a drift, they speak of affluence, they nag about electronic devices and the internet. They interogate young people about their sexual thoughts and feelings. They punish mothers with children for being wrong somehow, and it’s impossible to even know what is wrong. They bark up this tree and that. They speak of the forefathers, the lineage and the old path. Let us not depart from the ways of our fathers, they say. All the while they are ignoring the fact that they are plucking the fruit of the tree that is growing in the yard. I had an apple tree in my yard that bore rotten apples every year. There was never a good apple to be found on that tree. I cut the tree down, pulled out the roots and planted a good apple tree. Now I pick nice juicy red apples. It didn’t matter how many times I looked that rotten apple tree over, it had only bad apples. Could this be a parallel to the tree of false doctrine? The tree of false doctrine will continually bear the fruit of legalism, rebellion and disobedience. Cut down the tree. Forget the lineage. It has no power to save or heal. It only breeds pride and self righteousness. Forget the ways of the forefathers. The way they lived was suited to the day in which they were living. Some of them believed it was a sin to have curtains at the windows. Shall we cling to that example, take down the curtains and call ourselves good? Every wrong teaching bears it’s own bad fruit. Every false doctrine has behind it a secret agenda and that agenda always involves power. These thoughts may seem a bit random, but dwell on them and see if you agree. The truth is a lovely tree that bears the fruit of love, gentleness, compassion, peace and willingness to suffer.
Bless you my friends,