It is human nature to distrust anything which is different from that to which we are accustomed. And when differences of religion are added to the mix, the differences are magnified. In fact many of the differences exist, because of the religious teachings, which by their nature create some customs. When those customs clash, the gods tend to be quick to go to war.
Although the need to worship is inherent in all of us, religion is an acquired thing, and has evolved in various ways around the world as different societies have arisen. That is because having a need to worship, and knowing what and how to worship, are different things. After God created Adam and Eve, He came at times and talked to Adam. I assume they were friendly visits at first, but it was definitely a relationship between the Creator and the created. So we must assume that God gave Adam some particular instructions concerning how he and his offspring should approach unto Him, and perhaps how to behave.
When Adam and Eve’s first two sons had grown to be about a hundred years of age, one a herdsman and the other a farmer, they each offered a sacrifice to God. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but He did not accept Cain’s. So Cain, in his rejection of God, and full of envy, resentment and malice (and unable to kill God), killed Abel (Genesis 9:6). As a result, God drove Cain, and all of his evil thoughts, into exile, and commanded the other descendants of Adam to remain separate from them.
Later, when men began to multiply upon the earth, the descendants of Seth began to mingle with the descendants of Cain, and fell into the same pattern of wickedness; even intermarrying with them. They left God no choice, but to destroy all of the humans on Earth, except for those who took refuge on the ark with Noah, lest all righteousness should have failed from the earth. This time it was God Almighty who was angry, and He led the attack against “the god of this world.”
After the flood, it did not take long for a new group of rebels against God to emerge. The descendants of Ham definitely believed in the existence of a god. But they had the same animosity against God that Cain had. They rebelled against the true God, and began to “create” their own gods and their own religion. It seems that they much preferred the “way of Cain” over the “stringent” rules of the Creator.
That rebellion and idolatry became strongly established during the three generations of Ham, Cush, and Nimrod. Cush may have been the originator of the movement, but Nimrod was its driving force. He was such a mighty man that, when he died, they began to deify him. In the same time frame, there were four generations of Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, and Eber: Heber, the Father of the Hebrews (Genesis 10:21 and14:13).
When they came off the ark, they worshipped God and offered sacrifices unto Him; and God made a covenant with them, and He gave them a law. However, from the life and death of Nimrod, there grew a powerful religion which the people took with them when the confounding of their language caused them to be dispersed around the world.
By the beginning of the third millennium from Adam, approximately 330 years after the flood, the descendents of Shem had fallen into the error of the idolatrous worship of the Babylonians (Joshua 24:3-15). Therefore God chose Abraham out of all the children of Eber, and called him out of the land of the Chaldees. God said to him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).
By the time Abraham was 100 years of age, Ishmael was about 18, and Isaac was being weaned, the ancient animosity which Cain had demonstrated was manifested again as Ishmael saw that his younger brother was more favored than he was. The gods began to prepare for war, but Abraham prevented the problem from developing by sending Ishmael and his mother away. Thereby he averted another Cain and Abel type war. The separation did not fix the problem however, and to this day the descendants of Ishmael (and Abraham’s six sons by Keturah) harbor a deep resentment and hatred for the descendants of Isaac. (That animosity is so ensconced in Islam, that they insist that Israel, and Christianity, must be “wiped off the face of the earth.”)
Then Isaac begat Esau and Jacob. God again chose the youngest, and the eldest bore great hatred for him and began to plan to kill him. This time Isaac sent Jacob back across the Euphrates to find a wife among the descendants of Terah; where he stayed for 20 years. A change in the pattern of things occurred, and Esau and Jacob were reconciled; at least until Israel came out of Egypt.
God had determined to never again destroy all people from the earth by water, and that He would work with a group of people who would manifest a degree of godliness that would make them to mankind as salt is to food, in the eyes of God. In order to maintain that small margin, God had to make a choice from time to time, and again separate the righteous from the people of “the world” (1 John 2:16). Then, in Jacob, God proceeded to the next phase of his plan: to make a holy nation of that people. He sent Jacob and his family into the great, idolatrous country of Egypt for about 270 years, until they became a nation, great, mighty and populous (Deuteronomy 26:5). He then brought them out of Egypt, and gave them the land that He had promised to Abraham.
When Abraham left his family to obey God, he seems to have left that idolatry behind him, and began to learn the religion of the Almighty God. But, they still had to go back across the great river Euphrates to get their wives. When Jacob did so, his beloved Rachel brought her father’s gods with her. However, when God told Jacob to “Go up to Bethel and dwell there, and make there an altar unto God,” he had to purify his family from that idolatry.
“Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Bethel. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob” (Genesis 35:2-5).
The line between Babylon and the Household of God had been drawn. The gods of Babylon required their worshippers to bow down to idols, but the God of the creation required that “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.”
During those periods of time in which Israel was faithful and obedient to this commandment, God defended and protected them. If Israel was attacked, God would do something to confuse the attackers, and they would go away fighting each other. When Israel would be unfaithful, and disobedient to God, He would sell them into slavery in the hands of their idolatrous neigh-bors who hated them. Afterward, God would raise up a leader among them to restore their sovereignty.
When the people of Babel were scattered abroad, each language group modified the Babylonian religion to suit themselves, but the seven major religions of the world still look similar today. Even the oldest and largest “Christian” sect today – Roman Catholicism – is also one of the most Babylonian groups in the world (Rev. 17), and, for hundreds of years, it was one the greatest enemies of those who served and worshiped God in the spirit.
The Church of God of the first century A.D. made its metamorphosis into Roman Catholicism by the end of the fourth century. By 325 A.D., the execution of dissidents was already underway, but God had a plan. Near the beginning of the seventh century, God began to raise up a powerful Ishmaelite sect by which He would punish, preoccupy, and deter the apostate church from its inclination to destroy those who faithfully clung to the truth of God. An Ishmaelite adherent to the Babylonian religion named Mohamed got rid of all of the gods at the holy shrine, except for one, and began to build his army. This “new” religion worships the god of war, and had to be spread by military force. The gods were angry, and in this way, God Almighty restrained them enough to preserve a remnant for the work of God’s plan for the last half of the sixth millennium.
Mohammed’s Islam raged against apostate Christianity for about nine hundred years, before Protestant Christianity broke away from the Church of Rome; many of whom moved to the Western hemisphere, to North America, and established a nation which would allow Christianity to flower and bear the fruits of The Kingdom of God.
From Adam until Jesus, God used carnal men to work in his service: prophets, judges, priests and kings. During that 4,000 year period, the chosen lineage swung back and forth between worshiping God and worshiping idols. When they provoked Him with their idols, God would withdraw His favor and punish them. When they turned to worship Him, He would turn again, and embrace them, and bless them. The Apostle Paul explained to the Greeks on Mars’ Hill that day, saying, “The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
When Israel came out of Egypt, God gave them the Law so they would understand every aspect of what is righteous, and what is not righteous, but He did not change their nature. As a result, most Israelis continued to worship idols. Occasionally, a judge or king such as Samuel or Hezekiah would turn the people away from their idols, and back to God, but it did not take root. Therefore, God eventually “divorced” Israel, and sold them into the hands of the kings of Babylon, the Medes and the Persians, Greece, and finally Rome. Israel never existed again as a sovereign state until 1948.
God offered Israel a last, great opportunity to become part of the new thing He was doing by Jesus Christ. A remnant accepted, and the rest did not; therefore, God finally brought total destruction upon the nation of Israel. Those who accepted the “new and living way” were promised great rewards in the resurrection. They also died, but as martyrs for Christ.
Before the born again segment endured that martyrdom, they had made an outreach to the Gentiles, and had begun a great Christian revival among them. That Gentile faction soon found themselves in the place of the Israelis, fulfilling the commandment to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16;15-16)
Even though the newly chosen lineage was a group of new creatures in Christ Jesus, they too fell short of the glory of God. They fell into all of the traps which Satan offers, and the flesh yearns for. Early in the second century, false teachers had slipped in among the true ministry and had “turned the grace of God into lasciviousness.” Corruption and idolatry prevailed, and what had been the glorious Church of the Living God began to slide swiftly into the captivity of Christianized Babylonian idolatry. It is no wonder that God sent Islam to chastise the “Church of Rome.”
In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella drove the last of the Moors out of Spain, and sent Christopher Columbus on his historic voyage. It was not long until both Catholic and Protestant Christians were moving into the Americas. In less than 300 years, the great political phenomenon of The United States of America emerged on the scene, and Christianity moved into a time of restoration, spiritual growth, and maturity.
The knowledge of “Justification by Faith” was restored to us by a German Catholic monk named Martin Luther in the early 1500s. That began the great reformation: the restoration of the long hidden, God-given plan of salvation. The knowledge of Sanctification of the spirit, the second work of grace, was also restored to us in the 1780s by two British men of God: John and Charles Wesley. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit, as it is described in the New Testament, was poured out in North Carolina in 1896. Seven years after that great “Pentecostal” revival, God began the restoration of the Church of God by the ministry of A. J. Tomlinson.
That reformation was like a great fire which, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon those sanctified ones, became a roaring furnace. The time had come, and the means had been given, for us to be guided into “all truth.” One of those great truths is the fact that within “the Kingdom of Heaven,” God has an elect group which is called “the House of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
God’s Church is to Christianity what the tribe of Judah was to the nation of Israel, as it is written in Psalm 114:1-2; Judah was God’s sanctuary, and Israel was His dominion. The arrangement was not always acceptable to those in “the Dominion,” but the Lord used that to prophesy of the Grace Age, and the attitude of the churches today who vehemently deny that God has chosen some particular group of Christians to be His House. Jesus Christ built the Church first, and later multitudes were added to the Lord, who did not join that Church (Acts 5:11-14). And when the leaders of Israel saw that God was favoring and blessing Jesus and His Church, their god – their father – went into a rage and waged war against that great work of God Almighty. Jesus won that war, because only His heel was bruised when He died on the cross, but Satan’s head was bruised (Gen. 3:14-15).
When that early Church waned, the kingdom of heaven continued on without its “temple.” Today the reverse is happening. The kingdom of heaven has been with us since the resurrection; and now God is, once again, raising up the “Sanctuary.” However, from its debut in 1903, the Church of God swung back and forth from righteousness to unrighteousness, just as Israel had done. The major points in its swing were 1923, 1957, and 1972, as the Church of God completed the fulfillment of Ezekiel 21:24-27. God overturned it for the third time, and He said, “It shall be no more until...” Those organizations have continued to exist, but the Church did not. As in the letter which the Church at Ephesus received from God, Jesus, and in which the Spirit of Love protested, God went to those churches, each in their turn, and took their candlestick (not their redemption) away from them (Eph. 4:3-4; 1 Cor. 12:13; Rev. 1:20).
At some point in the progress of that work of God’s Elect, the five gifts of the ministry will be working in their ministry “For the edifying of the body of Christ; ‘til we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Ephesians 4:11-13). We are now very near to that point in time.
The great revival of the late 1800s and the first half of the 1900s began to cool down after World War II. The ministry began to glory in a “formal education,” and allowed that to take the place of an extensive personal search of the Holy Scriptures, in an effort to know the truth of God. They had gone out to meet the Bridegroom, and went to sleep in their waiting.
Meanwhile, they revelled more and more in the idolatrous pursuit of such pagan practices as Christmas: the celebration of the Winter Solstice, and Easter: the worship of Ishtar, the Goddess of fertility. Now the Protestant millions have been caught up in the worship of the God Mammon: following the money, and preferring all kinds of fiction stories to the words of Jesus. In Luke 16:13, Jesus said, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” They are in the trap of their own doctrine (Psalm 69:22).
The stage is set. There are, at least, two major enemies of Christianity which are poised and ready to wage total warfare against Christianity. They are the Ten Horns on the “beast” (the G-10), and the Nation of Islam. “Ishmael’s hand” – Islam – has been against every nation, openly waging against the whole world, since the 1970s. That is not to mention the lesser enemies of Christianity which we will also face, when the gods officially go to war this time.
Christians like to believe that God Almighty will defend them in this coming time of unimaginable carnage which is swiftly being prepared against the “believers.” God has offered His counsel, and His reproof, but Christians are hoping in a doctrine of vanities which cannot but fail them. How could it not fail them? for it is not even mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.
The onset of this time of trouble shall come suddenly, and there will be only one escape. If you can find the Man of God, and the means of escape which he is preparing, and gather yourselves together [unto him], and seek the Lord, and seek righteousness, and seek meekness: “it may be that ye shall be