Joseph Herrin (08-13-09)
Note: I will be continuing the series Living Epistles after I pass along some of these pertinent items in the news.
Tetelestai - It is Finished
The following news report follows up on the recent shooting of a number of women at a Pittsburgh area health club. It is disturbing due to the evidence of a great falling away from truth among Christians today. A main focus of the article is the church the shooter attended. The pastor says the church are serious students of the Bible, but it is evident that they have fulfilled the words of Paul, “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
'Once saved, always saved' — Deacon says killer rests in heaven
By Michael Aubele
VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH
Saturday, August 8, 2009
George Sodini rests in heaven now because he professed a faith in Jesus years before his shooting rampage, a Tetelestai Christian Church leader said.
Jack Rickard, a deacon at the Plum church Sodini attended for years, said the Bible makes it clear that "professing a faith in Jesus as savior means you will have complete eternal salvation."
Rickard, 80, of Indiana, Pa., said Tetelestai members "are firm believers in 'once-saved, always-saved.'"
He said the church, which is in process of moving to New Kensington, focuses on the intense study of Scripture.
Rickard conveyed his belief that Sodini attained eternal life.
"George is going to heaven, but he's not going to get his rewards," Rickard said. He said that Sodini won't be offered all of heaven's benefits because of his sin.
"George was a professing believer," Rickard said.
Shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sodini walked into the LA Fitness Center in Great Southern Shopping Center in Collier and opened fire in an aerobics room filled with women. In addition to killing three, he wounded nine others before killing himself.
Sodini wrote in his online diary that the pastor at Tetelestai convinced him it was possible to commit mass murder and still be welcomed into heaven.
In his blog, Sodini alleged that the Rev. Alan "Rick" Knapp taught Tetelestai members that committing such a crime could be forgiven...
Rickard said Tetelestai, an unaffiliated, independent Christian congregation, has about 400 members. The name is a Greek word that translates to "It is finished" and is purportedly the last word spoken by Jesus...
"We are not a cult," Rickard said. "We are solely involved in an in-depth study of what the Scriptures say."
The sidebar to this article contains another report with the following information:
Tetelestai members study 'weaponry'
The Valley News Dispatch published a photo Thursday of a National Rifle Association sticker on a window at the Tetelestai Church in Plum.
The sight struck some as odd.
It shouldn't, said Jack Rickard, a deacon at the church attended for years by fitness center killer George Sodini.
"We are firm believers, all of us, in the Second Amendment," Rickard said. "That's Constitutional."
Rickard, an Indiana County resident who said he is a retired military officer, carries a gun. So do most, if not all, of Tetelestai members.
"Everybody there is a student of weaponry," he said.
When pressed to explain why church members carry weapons, Rickard said the church had been threatened.
"Our church is protected," he said. "We have had people try to take over the pulpit."
Rickard downplayed the gun issue, saying it was "no big deal." He said that Tetelestai doesn't preach violence or advertise its beliefs about gun rights.
"We preach nothing political," he said.
Besides manifesting the bizarre beliefs that Christians are arriving at in this hour as they are interpreting the Scriptures according to the leading of their soul, I was struck by the name of this church. I had remembered that a dear brother in Christ, Andrew Eberly, had shared with me some time back that the Father had spoken this word to him. Andrew did not know what the word meant, or even how to spell it, but was able to find its meaning with a little research. God used it to speak to him concerning the lateness of the hour.
I remembered Andrew mentioning this word last year, so I forwarded to him this article to get his response.
Thank you for sharing this with me. I believe that there is some significance that this word has been brought back to my attention. I looked in my journal when the Lord spoke this word to me and it was from 8/6-8/8 of 2008, which has been almost a year ago exactly. I wondered if there was some reason why the Lord would bring this back to my attention almost a year later.
The following is what the Lord spoke to me on 8/7/08 after asking the Lord at that time what He was trying to communicate to me regarding the word 'Tetelestai'.
(Joseph’s Note: The date of the article cited gives the same month and day as Andrew’s writing a year earlier.)
"America is finished. The cup of my wrath is about to pass to her, because she has filled it up with her iniquities. Very soon, America will fall in one hour. Prepare your heart for what is coming because many will see the devastations and fall away, but you must declare, "just and true are your judgments." Shall not the judge of all the earth do right.
It is right for me to judge this wicked nation that calls evil good and good evil. America has run her course and it is time for me to act because my law is being broken and truth has been cast down in the streets. Arise my son and declare my judgments in a wicked and adulterous land. Stand firm and be not dismayed and I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. You will be hated by all for my name's sake and for the message that you must declare, but remain faithful and you will endure to the end and be saved. I have decreed a bed of suffering for you, but take heart, because I myself suffered and I will comfort you in the midst of your suffering. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. I am your only place of refuge, so you must flee to me."
Regarding what the Lord spoke to me back in August 2008 (08/08) and this news article, a couple things stand out. First, the deacon from the church was proclaiming a 'once saved always saved doctrine' and I found it interesting that the Lord highlighted in this word to me the scripture that says in Matthew 10:22, "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." It doesn't say that he who commits mass murder and kills himself will be saved...
Second, if for no other reason, I believe that the Lord wanted to bring this word back to my attention to remind me of the call that He has on my life and the lateness of the hour... Here was Jeremiah's complaint to the Lord in 20:7-9, " O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name," his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."[End Letter]
Truly, I believe that the Lord is declaring “Tetelestai” over the church. It is finished. The fruit of the church is revealed in this mad gunman’s distorted reasoning. Encouraged by the pastor and congregation, he was led to believe he could commit mass murder and still go to heaven.
As extreme as this may appear, it is not significantly different from myriads of Christians who believe they can pursue whatever course their soul imagines and be numbered among the overcomers. Millions falsely believe they can lead a life of materialism, pursuing the same comforts and entertainment and pleasure as those who are lost and children of the Devil, and God will welcome them into heaven with open arms.
The tragedy is that so many who believe such things consider themselves to be serious students of the Bible, doing in-depth Scriptural studies. The fruit of their beliefs is death.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap destruction...
Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
God will now bring judgment to His body that a remnant might be purged, purified and refined. The end of the age is at hand. The time for the church to walk as a harlot in her affections is truly finished.
No Cross + No Salt = Judgment
A second testimony to this is observed in the damage done to a church building in Salina, Kansas this past week. A brother in Christ wrote to me and said that at 10:00 A.M. the sky became as dark as night. The wind blew 70-80 mph, and in the aftermath this picture was taken.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
For Yahweh of hosts will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty, and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be abased.
Behold, the Lord, the GOD of hosts, will lop off the boughs with a terrible crash; Those also who are tall in stature will be cut down, and those who are lofty will be abased.
The local news in Salina reported that the cross broke off of the steeple before the steeple went through the roof of the church. The cross is also missing from the preaching of most churches today. It is definitely missing from the lives of myriads of professing Christians who are at ease in Zion.
Significantly, Salina is in Saline County. Saline is a word meaning “containing, or impregnated with salt.”
"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”
"Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Is it time for the church that has lost its saltiness to be cast out and be trodden on by men? Judgment must begin with the house of God. The Spirit is testifying that these days are at hand. Tetelestai.
Words Fallen to the Ground
I Samuel 3:19
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
This Scripture brings forth a very poignant truth. Those who are true servants of the Lord, who obey Him in righteousness and walk in the fear of God, will speak words of truth. Those who prophesy in this same spirit will find that God will not allow any of their words to fall to the ground. In other words, everything they have proclaimed will come to pass. It is not so with those who prophesy lies and who do not walk in the fear of Yahweh.
Barack Obama’s Shattered Teleprompter
In the middle of July, President Barack Obama was just beginning a speech to a group of gathered dignitaries and press when the glass teleprompter from which he was reading inexplicably fell to the ground and shattered into pieces. It was all the more significant due to what he was saying at the time.
The President was midway through a sentence that stated, “and that’s one reason why we took swift and aggressive action in the first months of my administration to pull our economy (glass shatters) back from the brink.”
The moment was captured on video and can be viewed here.
Even as Obama was speaking the word “economy” the teleprompter to his left fell to the ground and shattered. Even as he was boasting of his swift action to save the American economy from falling off the edge of a cliff, pulling it back from the brink, the very words he was reading fell to the ground and were shattered.
What is signified is that the President’s words are empty. Unlike Samuel’s words that God would not let fall to the ground, Barack Obama’s words have fallen. Like Humpty Dumpty, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot put them back together again.
The Spirit is testifying that America’s economy will be shattered into pieces. These things are coming swiftly. Do not believe the glowing reports of economic recovery. Do not begin making plans for a return to prosperity in America. Yahweh has determined judgment, and it will not be turned back by the actions of government, nor will it be delayed.
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