Does The Bride of Christ need to get out of sin before the Rapture?
This is a review of of Phillip B. Brown's "The Bride of Christ must get out of sin before Christ returns". It investigates Brown's claims that the "Remnant" referred to in Scripture, is the Church, how the Church as a whole needs to repent before Christ comes for us at the Rapture or be left behind, and his belief in a Partial Rapture of the Church. The original article in it's entirety can be found on Brown's website: www.newwine.org
(False teacher/prophet quotes are in purple and indented, my
comments are in plain text and scripture is in teal. False teachers rarely use scripture. I have only included those portions I intend to comment on.)
Confusing The Church with the US Gov.
Romans 13:1-3 teaches that "there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." So, why are there authorities in history such as Hitler? I believe that the authority which God places over nations are reflections of the people of the nation itself. Some have speculated that our Mr. Bill [Clinton] is the man of sin. If Mr. Bill were the man of sin, it would be because the United States is the nation of sin.
The key word in Romans 13:1-3, which Philip Brown left out, is "governing authorities". This is the context in which the text should have been read. As you will see by the rest of this article he is using this to compare it to the Church. However, what he is doing is comparing a secular man-led organization (the US government) to the Church, which has Jesus Christ as it's head, i.e., Christ is the governing authority of the Church. In debating circles this is called a False Analogy.
Confusing the "Remnant of God" with the Church
Sometimes, the remnant of God pray, and God gives the nation a better leader than is deserved by the nation as a whole.
This time he has misinterpreted scripture. The phrase "remnant of God" does not apply to the Church. If you will do a study on the words "remnant", you will find that it always applys to Isreal. There will be no remnant of the church because once the Church is raptured that is the end of the church and the church age, the age of Grace. There will indeed be more believers but they will not be a part of the Church (Bride of Christ).
Confusing the US Nation with Individual Believers
Our nation commits adultery all the time, and the people are not ashamed. Our nation curses God all the time, and the people are not ashamed. Our nation kills babies all the time, and the people are not ashamed.
Yes, we are living in a sinful nation, however, he is comparing apples and oranges here. Our nation is a secular organization run mainly by unrepentant unbelievers. This has nothing to do with individual members of the body of Christ who may, or may not be, walking in holiness. The Church is made up of individuals who are all responsible for their own sin. They will not be judged corporately such as God judges nations.
Can Christians Get Completely Out of Sin?
We must repent, and get out of sin, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Christ is coming back very soon as King of Kings, ruler of this earth. But we must be pure in heart, without sin, as we will become the moral reflection of Christ. The Bride must make herself ready (Revelation 19:7). To get ready for the rapture, we must get completely out of sin.
There are several things in the above paragraph that are not scriptural. First of all a sinner becomes a member of the Body of Christ the moment they believe what Christ did on their behalf and become a member of the Church. THEN the Holy Spirit takes over and continually works with that person to lead them out of other sins they will eventually fall into (John 16:13). We will NEVER be "completely out of sin" on this side of heaven.
Is the Kingdom of Heaven for the Church?
The "Kingdom of Heaven" is the earthly kingdom promised to the Jews (not the Church) which begins after the Tribulation. Also the scripture he is referring to in Rev. 19:7 shows the Bride already in heaven, and the text says she "HAS made herself ready," i.e., she has already been deeded pure--it is past tense. Please notice that he quoted other scriptures, but not this one. Those who failed to look up this verse for themselves wouldn't know this. Therefore, it appears that Phillip B. Brown is distorting scripture for his own ends.
If the Church at this time has to repent corporately then what of all the other members throughout the church age for the last 2,000 years that didn't have this opportunity of a corporate repentance? Does this mean all those godly folks are doomed because they didn't hear this message? No. Each of us is responsible for our own sin, and Jesus promised that he would not loose even one of his sheep (John 10:27-30). Either we are his sheep the moment we believe or Christ died for nothing.
Can Christians Attain Perfection?
"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." (Ephesians 5:25-27)
May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (1st Thessalonians 3:13)
The Church has been declared righteous through acknowledging Christ's shed blood on our behalf. Our soul and spirit are saved now, if we believe. We are sanctified now. However the glorification of our sinful bodies, and our perfection due to a release from sin, will not be attained until after the Rapture.
Are Christian's Sanctified?
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1st Thessalonians 5:23)
All believers are sancitifed already. When Christ arrives we will be accounted as blameless because of his blood, not because of what we did, or did not do for Christ. What Brown is describing here is a heirarchial system of salvation--only the most sinlessless ones will get in the door. However, God is not a respector of persons.
All believers, who are true believers will be raptured. We will indeed receive different rewards after the rapture for the service we performed for Christ in the form of crowns at the Bema Seat Judgment in 2 Corinthians 5:10, but this is not what Brown is discussing here.
Are Christians Declared Holy?
I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy. (Leviticus 11:45)
We need to keep in mind that God was talking to the Israelites in the above verse, who had to not only believe, but also had to "work" at their salvation--attend festivals, sacrifice for sin, etc. However, the Church is living in the Age of Grace. We are indeed supposed to pursue holiness, but where it regards our salvation no further sacrifice is needed other than acknowledging Christ's shed blood on our behalf. See what Jesus said to the thief on the cross to confirm this:
Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." (1st Peter 1:14-16)
I am going to refer to Wuest's "Word Studies in the Greek New Testament" because on the surface these verses do appear to be saying what Brown is implying. However, from my experience of studying Greek I know that what appears on the surface in English is not necessarily so, and especially when taken out of contect.
In Vol. II Wuest states, regarding this verse that the word "holy" is to be translated as a noun, not an adjective, and means "set apart", i.e., this person has been set apart from sin unto righteousness. Also the word "be" is from ginomai and should be translated "becoming," not as a state of being already attained, as it is in the ingressive aorist tense here, signifying entrance into a new state. In other words, they have a new state of being because the Holy Spirit is residing in them and they should live their lives accordingly and not hide their light under a barrel. Also the word "I" in "I am Holy" is in the intensive tense, i.e., "I, in contradistinction to anyone else, am holy."
Following is how Wuest translates these verses:
"As children of obedience not assuming an outward expression which would not be true of your inner life, an expression patterned after that which you formerly had in the ignorance of your passionate desire, but after the pattern of the One who called you, the Holy One, also yourselves become holy persons in every kind of behavior, because it has been written and as a present result is on record, Holy ones be ye, because I am holy."
In other words this verse is saying we are to seek after holiness, not that we are expected to attain it.
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (NIV Hebrews 12:14)
Again, according to Wuest the holiness spoken of here is referring back to Heb. 10:14 "By one sacrifice he has made perfect FOREVER those who are being made holy" and also in vs. 22 "let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water," i.e., this verse is saying that we should aim to be a worshipper in continual fellowship with God.
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. NIV 1st John 2:6)
Wuest claims that this verse needs a thorough study of the word "abide/live in him" and in this instance should be translated "living in close fellowship" and the word "must" should be translated "obligated", i.e., if we claim to live in close fellowship in Him we are obligated to walk as Jesus did. This verse is not saying that one who doesn't walk as He did is doomed to hell or to miss the rapture--it is the goal we are to pursue if we claim to "live IN Him."
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.
He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. (1st John 3:4-9)
It should be obvious by reading this verse that the one who habitually sins doesn't know Christ. We all sin occasionally, but if we keep on sinning and are not eventually convicted by the Holy Spirit, which was given to all believers, then it may be proof that we don't really know Christ. The unbeliever habitually sins. The believer, however, habitiually tries to not sin but fails occasionally. John does not deny that a Christian sins at times. Look back in John 1:9. He is saying that a true Christian will not habitually sin, he will not indulge in a life of sin at all times. This is describing an unbeliever who does not repent from sin because he does not have the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The need for the Church to get out of sin is the central theme of by [sic] book, Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath because He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the Sabbath Millennium. Jesus is also Lord of the Sabbath because it is only through Him that we can enter into God's Rest. To enter into God's Rest, we must get out of sin, because as long as we are continuing to sin, we are fighting with God.
Again, Brown is referring to a corporate body, the Church, which indeed may have those in their midst who are habitually sinning, i.e., those who follow the laughter movement, Toronto Blessing, allowing practicing homosexuals to become priests, approving of Pro-Choice, etc., etc.
However, according to the TRUE definition of the Church, it is made up of those who have the Holy Spirit leading them out of sin as a continuous action, i.e. we continually sin and we also continually repent and progressively sin less and less as we grow in Christ.
There is a difference between pseudo believers and true believers. It is the pseudo believers who need to repent or they won't be saved, but the true believers have already been bought and paid for and stamped with the ownership seal of Christ himself.
The Purpose of the Tribulation
God often uses bad things to bring about good. I believe God is allowing the Great Tribulation to occur for the one-and-only purpose of getting his Bride out of sin.
This is totally unscriptural. The tribulation is for the purpose to bring Israel to its knees and to judge an unrepentant world. I would highly suspect, because he keeps switching the Church/Isreal roles around that Brown also believes in Replacement Theology.
So, in these areas, I boldly stand and preach what I believe God has spoken to me.
Because of the plethora of misinterpretations of the scriptures, we have seen above, I would say that God was not the one speaking to Philip B. Brown. I would also like to point out the numerous times Brown had taken scripture out of context or used false analogies to try and prove his point. This is the sign of a false teacher and he is using one of Satan's favorite tactics to mislead people--you usually can't get people to swallow a lie but if you sugarcoat it with half-truths those who aren't that familiar with their Bible just might believe it. Therefore, I would highly recommend that you don't believe anything he says.
© Copyright 6-20-99 - Updated 12-10-20