Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

The Lies and Viciousness of Leftists

June 13, 2017

A day ago, Ivanka Trump appeared on Fox and Friends and lamented the viciousness and ferocity being spewed against her father and family. She is absolutely correct! There is no doubt about it that the lies and viciousness of the attacks by the leftist Democrats is truly disgusting! Readers who have been paying attention know about all of the more recent attacks.

  1.  Kathy Griffin decapitated head of Trump photo session (sick and evil, to say the least!)
  2.  The fact that she was quoted in an article that she intends to “get  to Trump by “going after 11-year-old Barron” is unconscionable!
  3.   The play where Trump is mimicked in an assassination attempt.
  4.    The 7 month old LIE where the media of mass deception attempted to accuse Trump of collusion with the Russians; and there is much more that I could list.

In another disgusting display of hatred, viciousness, and vitriol, crazy Bernie Sanders went ballistic against Russell Vought in a hearing for his confirmation as President Trump’s pick for deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget.

The following is a copy of a post at FRC.org

June 12, 2017

What does a man’s theology have to do with the U.S. economy? A lot, if you’re Russell Vought. The respected economist, President Trump’s pick for deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget, thought he’d have to answer some tough questions at his Senate hearing last week. But like most of us, he thought they’d be about finances — not faith.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) flipped that script, launching into an aggressive and bizarre attack on Vought’s Christianity (which Sanders called “hateful,” “indefensible,” and “insult[ing]”). Shouting until he was red in the face (see the video below), he accused the president’s nominee of being an Islamaphobe for believing what the Bible says about salvation. In a tantrum that made the James Comey hearing seem tame, Sanders managed to expose one thing: which one of them is truly intolerant. To Sanders’s crazy, Vought was the picture of poise, calmly explaining that he believes every person is made in the image of God, but that Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation and path to heaven.

It was an eye-opening display for most people, who may not have realized the level of contempt many liberals hold toward the majority religion in America. Just think: this is a senator who almost won the Democratic Party’s nomination for president — a man who thinks there’s no room in the public square for people who believe the Bible! I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that the same party who wanted God out of their platform also wants Him out of public service. As far as the Left is concerned, Christians in government have four options: they can hide their faith, deny it, recant it, or work elsewhere. Ironically, that makes most liberals guilty of the same prejudice they’re trying to pin on men and women of faith!

As Emma Green wrote for the Atlantic, “It’s one thing to take issue with bigotry. It’s another to try to exclude people from office based on their theological convictions. Sanders used the term ‘Islamophobia’ to suggest that Vought fears Muslims for who they are. But in his writing, Vought was contesting something different: He disagrees with what Muslims believe, and does not think their faith is satisfactory for salvation. Right or wrong, this is a conviction held by millions of Americans — and many Muslims might say the same thing about Christianity.”

Unfortunately, liberals like Sanders have no problem hauling someone’s personal views into the limelight and judging them on those beliefs — whether they impact a person’s public policies or not! Sanders’s Oklahoma colleague, Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) could hardly believe his ears.

“Bernie Sanders questioned an OMB nominee this week about religion in a way that is dangerously close to crossing a clear constitutional line for how we evaluate qualifications for public service. Article VI of the US Constitution clearly states, ‘no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.’ The First Amendment is crystal clear that the federal government must protect every American’s right to the peaceful and free exercise of religion. We cannot say we have the free exercise of religion and also require people to practice their faith only in a way that government officials prefer… The freedom to be Christian, Yezidi, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, or another religion, or practice no religion, is an American right, and the United States Senate must not waver in our protection of that diversity and freedom. If we waver on the First Amendment, all of our constitutional rights, like free speech, freedom of assembly, and many others, become at risk.”

The Framers saw the possibility for the kind of conflict Bernie Sanders ignited and did everything they could to stop it. As James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution, observed, “a zeal for different opinions concerning religion” has throughout history “inflamed [men] with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other, than to co-operate for their common good.” To stop those divisions, the Framers made it clear in the U.S. Constitution that there was to be no “religious test” and deferred to the states (many of which had state religions at the time) if they wanted to demand orthodoxy as a condition of public service.

What Bernie Sanders is doing is imposing his own test, a reverse religious test — that people have no religious convictions. But that was never what the Founders intended. It was John Adams, after all, who said “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” If anyone’s on the wrong side of that equation, it’s Bernie Sanders — not the millions of Christians whose faith this nation was founded on. Join the 46,669 other Americans who are demanding an apology from Sanders for his bigotry. Sign our petition here and ask his colleagues to pledge that they won’t oppose nominees on the basis of their religious views. /end of transcript

*******

Even if crazy Bernie manages to “apologize,” it would most likely be out of obligation rather than sincerity of heart.  This man’s atheistic communist ideology is nothing new.  However, it is amazing to me that so many young people followed him during the Dem primary, attended his rallies, and likely voted for him in the Democratic primary.  Perhaps the man didn’t reveal this vicious side of himself?  Maybe the young followers did not know the history of his type of belief system because they weren’t taught about it in either high school or college?  So many were fooled by this awful man!

Sander’s hatred of Christianity and Christian believers who actually read the Bible and follow the true Gospel of Christ was foretold 2,000 years ago by Christ Himself.

Jhn 15:18

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Jhn 15:19

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Sanders is an example of someone who is “of this world.”

Jesus continues:

Jhn 15:20

“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

Jhn 15:21

“But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Jhn 15:22

“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Mr. Russell Vought was being persecuted for his faith.  Jesus told us to expect this.  However, people like Sanders have “no excuse for their sin.”

Jesus continues:

Jhn 15:23

“He who hates Me hates My Father also.

Jhn 15:24

“If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.

Jhn 15:25

“But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’[fn]

Jesus’ words here were indicative during the time and events when they were spoken.  However, since the Bible is a miraculous book, we know that such truth was also spoken for all the ages to come.

I used to think that Bernie was treated unfairly by the Dems.  The super delegate methods imposed in order to get HiLIARy the nomination was a nefarious political move to push him out of the contest.  After hearing the truth about Bernie’s horrible views of Christianity, I feel that America had dodged a second  political “bullet” of disaster.  He might have been even worse than HiLIARy – if such a notion is even possible!

Be prepared.  The ongoing far-leftist Dem vitriol will most likely continue throughout Trump’s presidency.

I will continue to rely on my Savior, Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit is here to guide me unto all truth, and I can rely on Him no matter what comes my way.

Jhn 15:26

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

Jhn 15:27

“And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

My recommendation?

Romans 8 is a great portion of Scripture to refer to any day, but especially in this day and age!

The vicious vitriol we face here in America pales in comparison to what Christians are facing in other countries that are battling ISIS.

Rom 8:35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36

As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[fn]

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Even in death, we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ!

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hat tips to all  links.

Quote:

“When someone is vicious like that towards a person, it is often the result of a deep spiritual problem.” – Charlie Watson Jr.

Col 3:15

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Col 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Col 3:17

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

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The Supremacy of Christ and Your Map for Life

May 10, 2017

This post is the follow-up to my previous post entitled The Serpent’s Old Lie in an Updated Package. I suggest reading that link first.

In today’s world of “political correctness,” the title of this post would be frowned upon by those who hold to relativism – especially moral relativism. As was stated in my previous post, many people don’t like the thought of absolutes; especially when it comes to moral absolutes. They don’t like to be told what is sin and what is holy and the truth. This is one of the big reasons why Christianity, in general, and those who hold to biblical Christian faith are chastised, mocked, ridiculed, called bad names, targeted by those who don’t agree with them, and told to “just shut up and keep your religion to yourself.”

This is not new. The early churches (such as the church in Colossae) needed encouragement from the Apostle Paul, and to be assured of the preeminence of Christ. Why? Because almost immediately, those who hated and disagreed with believers in the resurrected Christ tried to squelch the spread of their faith. This is even more prevalent today! And, it’s currently a really sad state of affairs here in America.

The important thing to remember, however, is that we were told throughout Scripture that this would happen. The naysayers would attempt to belittle our faith and downplay its significance, not only here in America but around the world.  Their goal is to attack the Gospel message and those who share it.

Whenever the raging voices in the media of mass deception continue to spread lies and propaganda because they don’t like what is happening in our current government, I am reminded that administrations will come and go…but the Word of God stands forever!

In Colossians 1:9-14, Paul requests that the people “may be filled with the knowledge of His will.”

Dr. David Jeremiah’s Bible notes tell us:

The rest of the passage describes its result in the believer’s life (4:12). Knowledge alone is never enough. God’s Word must change one’s life and pattern of thinking (Romans 12:2); James 3:13), literally filling the believer’s life and motivating every area of his or her being (Phil. 1:27). Sometimes Christians fail to live by the will and Word of God because they fall prey to false teaching; others fail through neglect, neither reading the Word nor applying it.

That last paragraph describes why there are so many “Christians” who can support leftist causes (i.e. abortion, homosexual behavior and “marriage”, transgender issues, Islamism, radicalism on any and every issue, etc.) while ignoring God’s Will and His Word. The anti-Christian groups may celebrate them and their misplaced ideology, but the question remains, are they truly reconciled in Christ? To support such issues (and, often the violence that accompanies such “causes”) shows that their Christian walk is off, their work is misplaced, their wisdom  has not come from God, and probably their worship is misplaced as well.

Here’s one example.  When I see how committed and virulent abortion advocates are to their “cause” it’s unbelievable to me!  How can anyone justify killing a baby in a mother’s womb?  Yet, there are women and men who claim to be “Christians” who place the “woman’s right to choose” above the life of that innocent baby in the womb.  It’s unconscionable to me!  How could anyone be so hard-hearted?  What’s more, their attitude towards those who hold to the pro-life position is absolutely poisonous!  They are intensely bitter, violently hostile, and malicious in their verbal attacks against Christians who believe that life begins at the moment of conception.

Why are they like that?

I think that it has to do with fear.  The fear that this so-called “right” will one day be taken away.  It’s also a huge money-making deal for those in the industry, so the fear of losing millions of dollars must have a lot to do with it, too.  To them, it’s a “business” and they must not be in the least mindful of the killing of a human being in the womb.

Dr. Jeremiah writes in his Colossians 1:9,10 Bible notes:

The will of God and the wisdom of God are inseparably linked with saturation in the Word of God (Psalms 1:1, 2).  Godly wisdom is gained by studying His Word, spiritual understanding is how his children discern His will.  Both wisdom and understanding are gifts of the Spirit (spiritual); they do not come from a unspiritual or “fleshly” mind (2:18).  Such spiritual knowledge provides insight into God’s will.  However, no one can anticipate the will of a stranger.  Christians who long to discern the will of God discover it in their growing knowledge of who God is and what He wants (Ephesians 5:17; 2 Peter 3:18).

So, being unspiritual and fleshly in the mind can lead a person to think nothing of killing a baby in the womb; not to mention making money off of the horrible procedure.

The abortion issue is just one example of the unspiritual and fleshly minds of those who have not been truly born again in Jesus Christ.

Just for the record, the sin of abortion can be forgiven just like any other sin, at the foot of the Cross of Christ.

Norma McCorvey (the plaintiff in Roe vs. Wade trial that disastrously legalized abortion in all 50 states in 1973) had a tragic life as she got caught up in the culture wars.  But she died in Christ through conversion from her past sins into salvation in the Lord Jesus.  She was an example (extreme one, to say the least!)  of persevering in stress, despite so many haters clamoring around her because of her conversion to pro-life beliefs through her conversion to Jesus Christ.

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

When believers please the Lord constantly, that is their Christian walk (Ephesians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 4:1).  When they produce fruit consistently, that is their Christian work.  When they progress in knowledge continually, that is their Christian wisdom

When they persevere in stress cheerfully, that is their Christian welfare (2 Corinthians 8:2).  When they praise God correctly, that is their Christian worship.  The better a person knows God and His Word, the better he or she knows what is pleasing to Him – a knowledge that becomes second nature, producing confidence by discerning God’s will rather than fear.  This knowledge produces fruitful character, conduct, conversation, and contributions (giving of resources).  It also increases becoming a part of who they are.  They no longer rely solely on experience; they progress in their understanding of God as they progress in their understanding of His Word (2 Peter 3:18).  People who take God’s Word seriously don’t just read it to see what it says; they make it a map for life so they can learn what to do–then they do it.

I like that phrase!  They make it a “map for life.”

The book of Colossians is just one of many of the books of the Bible that answers the age-old questions of “why am I here?” and “what is the meaning of life?”  It also gives us direction regarding “what am I supposed to be doing in this life?”

Colossians 3:1-4 reiterates to “2 Set your (our) mind(s) on things above, not on things on the earth.  3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

Dr. Jeremiah’s notes:

Christ’s death enables Christians to die to their old life and makes their new life secure (John 10:28, 29; Galatians 2:20).  Through Jesus, God has placed a double lock on the security of their lives –nothing can harm them, for His followers are in Christ and Christ is in God.  A Christian’s true identity and purpose in life are hidden with Christ, so people outside of Christ will not understand the believer’s motivations and goals.

Paul has covered every phase of life:  God’s people have been raised with Christ in the past.  They are hidden with Him in the present, and they will appear with Him in the future.  They may be hidden now, but they will not be hidden forever.  Scripture points to the One who can supply everything their hope expects.  This is every Christian’s destiny with Christ.

The Trinity All Around Us

December 2, 2016

While replying to the post entitled, Infinity and Infancy Crossed at Bethlehem my friend L replied:

L Says:

November 30, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Chris, I totally agree. Until I read your blog I never really thought of the significance of his age being 33 before. It has new meaning when you think of life in threes. The father, mother, and baby. Then on the other side you have the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Numbers play a huge part in the Bible. There is always a reason for specific numbers.

I wrote:

Yes L!

The triune nature of God is often rejected by skeptics and non-believers. They let their own minds govern their thoughts (about everything, in fact) and allow themselves to believe that Intelligent Design in God’s Creation is “unscientific.” Therefore, the blinders they have on regarding their temporal views reject the fact that we are always trying to “catch up to God” in all matters concerning life.

The miracle of Creation is downplayed into the “cosmic soup” of Evolutionary theory. However, in a blog post at my former blog, the late Dr. James D. Kennedy wrote an awesome explanation as to how and why we who have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” will see The Trinity All Around Us!

Today, I have decided to bring that post over to this blog!  Here it is in its entirety:

Understanding the Trinity

At another blogsite, a commenter named Bob said:

“Now, for the Holy Trinity. As I understand it, the Trinity refers to God the Father, God the Son, and God of the Holy Spirit. I realize the importance of it from the standpoint of the Christian Teaching. What I cannot understand is the concept of three persons being ONE.”

Bob is certainly not alone in his difficulty to understand the concept. Many people have felt that way too.

I would like to encourage fellow Christians to post comments that might help in the understanding of the Trinity.

I have done a lot of study on it and have read several books and pamphlets that I have found to be quite helpful. Maybe what I (and other participating Christians here) share will give a better understanding of the concept. Of course, it is a matter of faith, first and foremost.

I have gotten into discussions about this with Jehovah Witnesses. The one portion of scripture that I refer them to is:

Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Mat 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mat 28:20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Notice the singular of “name” used in the Mat. 28:20 verse.

Plus, how could Jesus be with us always? Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the heart of each believer.

Plus, where does Jesus’ authority come from? God the Father.

Now, keeping this in mind, I will share one of the most intriguing analogies of the Trinity (Triune nature of God) that I have read so far.

The following essay is a portion of a booklet called “Understanding the Trinity: Evidence for God in Three Persons” from Coral Ridge Ministries. Most of the booklet is written by D. James Kennedy. He uses lots of Scripture to back up the evidence. However, there was a portion that contained an excerpt from a book written by Dr. Nathan Wood.

The first few pages of the booklet discusses various Biblical references to the “God in Three Persons” nature of God. I can post this later if anyone here is interested in a more detailed explanation. [Bob – If you venture over here, perhaps that portion of the booklet might more specifically answer your questions. Please let me know if you would like me to include it in this post.] For now, I will just share a few brief points:

1. The first verse of the Bible we read, “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). In Hebrew the word for “God” is Elohim. That word is plural. El is singular, but Elohim is plural. We know it is plural because it contains within it the personalities of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. We also read where God said, “Let us make man in our image….and in the image of God created he him”…in his own image (Genesis 1:26-27). “Us,” “Our,” “His.” And so over and over again, even in the Old Testament, when God speaks, He goes back and forth between the singular and the plural, the plural to singular, because He is the singular-plural God.

3. The facts of the Triunity of God are clearly seen in these four facts within the Bible:

* The Father is God, said thousands of times.
* The Son is God, said hundreds and hundreds of times.
* And the Holy Spirit is God (Spirit of God in OT) is said dozens of times.
* Finally, there is but one God.

In Dr. D. James Kennedy’s booklet entitled “Understanding the Trinity; Evidence for God in Three Persons,” Dr. Kennedy describes that the universe itself explains the Trinity.

Dr. Nathan Wood, formerly president of Gordon College of Theology and Missions, wrote a magnificent book called, “The Secret of the Universe.” In it he spells out for us the result of years of searching in the natural realm for some kind of analogy that was correct for the Trinity. He finally came up with the universe itself.

It is so simple. It is right there in front of us. We can never get away from it. It is always there. We ought to see it very clearly. He points out that any man who manufactures anything or makes anything with his hands is going to inevitably leave his fingerprints upon it. If you were to create a table or chair or something in your workshop, it would contain your fingerprints.

Dr. Wood says that the universe is covered with fingerprints of the Trinity because it was made by the Triune God. The Bible says that the Father created the universe, the Son created the universe, and the Holy Spirit created the universe – the Triune God created the universe. What does Dr. Wood mean by that? Well, there are fingerprints everywhere. We just don’t see them.

I would suppose that there are literally millions of fingerprints in this very sanctuary. Did you see any today? Not a one. We are blind as a bat when it comes to fingerprints. We just don’t see them. First of all, we’re not looking for them. Now you might see them at home on a mirror or something like that, but ordinarily, we don’t see fingerprints. However, if a detective were to come in here and begin to dust the wood on the pew in front of you, he would find thousands of them. So let’s put on our Sherlock Holmes cap, get out our dusting brush, and see if we can see the fingerprints of Him who made all things.

What does the universe consist of? If you were to ask a scientist, he would tell you it consists of space, time, and matter. Now amazing to tell, we find all of those three things everywhere in the universe – not that we have a universe where some of them exist sometimes and not at other times. It is also true that each of the triune parts of the universe is, in itself, triune.

SPACE

Let us look at each one of them. For example, consider space. What is space composed of? It is composed of length and breadth and height. Always. There is nothing you could name that is not composed of all three of those things. If you were to simply take a pencil and draw a line on a piece of paper, it would have length, it would have a little bit of width, and if you looked in a powerful microscope, you would discover it has quite a bit of height. You can’t see it with your naked eye; however, it’s always there.

Something that I think is amazing about this is that God always consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – not one or the other. It is not a piece of the pie; it’s the whole thing, always. Imagine a square block that a child would play with. Draw a picture of it in three dimensions. Then you could take that picture, and with a pencil and using all length, you could make a bunch of lines and fill in that entire block with nothing but length. I have done that sometimes in fancy lettering. Maybe some of you have as well. Or you could take the same block and make the whole thing out of width, or out of height. The fact of the matter is that it is all length, it’s all breadth, it’s all height all of the time. That’s a perfect illustration of the Trinity.

TIME

Or take the matter of time. Of what does time consist? Obviously, it consists of the past, the present, and the future – those three. Any time we have ever known in this universe always consists of those three. Usually we have the idea that we come out of the past, that that really is first, because that is where we came from. The fact of the matter is, time comes from the future, and we meet it head on.

For example, today, yesterday was called tomorrow, and now it’s today. A week ago it was called next week, and now it is today. A year ago, it was called next year. So as time approaches us and we move through it, that is what always happens. Anything is first in the future, then in the present, and then it disappears into the past. That is the way time always works. That in itself is an amazing story when you examine it carefully. Past, present, and future.

Dr. Nathan R. Wood gives a fascinating quote that is so remarkable I would like to share it with you. I would challenge you to try to see if you can follow his drift.

He is going to give a long paragraph. Then he is going to give it again, only this time he is simply going to change four words. These four words are “time,” “future,” “present,” and “past”. They are going to be changed into “God,” “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Spirit.” You are going to find out something some of you never knew before – that time, which you live by, which you look at constantly in the way of clocks you wind up every day, and which you make your lives run by, is an incredible illustration of the divine Trinity. Read carefully:

“The Future is the source. The Future is unseen, unknown, except as it continually embodies itself and makes itself visible in the Present. The Present is what we see, and hear, and know. It is ceaselessly embodying the Future, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. It is perpetually revealing the Future, hitherto invisible.

The Future is logically first, but not chronologically. For the Present exists as long as Time exists and was in the absolute beginning of Time. The Present has existed as long as Time has existed. Time acts through and in the Present. It makes itself visible only in the Present. The Future acts and reveals itself through the Present. It is through the Present that Time, that the Future, enters into union with human life. Time and humanity meet and unite in the Present. it is the Present that Time, that the Future, becomes a part of human life, and so is born and lives and dies in human life.

The Past in turn comes from the Present. We cannot say that it embodies the Present. On the contrary, Time in issuing from the Present into the Past becomes invisible again. The Past does not embody the Present. Rather it proceeds silently, endlessly, invisibly from it…

The Present therefore comes out from the invisible Future. The Present perpetually and ever-newly embodies the Future in visible, audible, livable form; and returns again into invisible Time in the Past. The Past acts invisibly. It continually influences us with regard to the Present. It casts light upon the Present. That is its great function. It helps us to live in the Present which we know, and with reference to the Future which we expect to see.”

That is an exact description of the way time operates. It is a perfect analogy. I’m using “analogy” not in the common sense of the word that something is like something or a simile or metaphor, but in the mathematical meaning of the word, which means it is an exact replica as far as every line, every angle, every corner is concerned.

SUBSTITUTE FOUR WORDS

Now let us replace the words. “Time” is replaced by “God”; the “Future” by the “Father”; the “Present” by the “Son”; and the “Past” by the “Holy Spirit” (every word the same but these four). You will see that perfect analogy and you will see the divine Trinity you have been swimming in all of your life!

The Father is the source [every word the same, but those four]. The Father is unseen except as he continually embodies Himself and makes Himself visible in the Son. The Son is what we see, and hear, and know. He is ceaselessly embodying the Father, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. He is perpetually revealing the Father, hitherto invisible.

The Father is logically first, but not chronologically, For the Son exists as long as God exists, and was in the absolute beginning of God. The Son has existed as long as God has existed.

God acts through and in the Son. He makes Himself visible only in the Son. The Father acts and reveals Himself through the Son. It is through the Son that God, that the Father, enters into union with human life. God and humanity meet and unite in the Son. It is in the Son that God, that the Father, becomes a part of human life, and so is born and lives and dies in human life.

The Spirit in turn comes from the Son. We cannot say that He embodies the Son. On the contrary God, in issuing from the Son into the Spirit, becomes invisible again. The Spirit does not embody the Son. Rather He proceeds silently, endlessly, invisibly from Him…

The Son therefore comes out from the invisible Father. The Son perpetually and ever-newly embodies the Father in visible, audible, livable form, and returns into invisible God in the Spirit. The Spirit acts invisibly. He continually influences us with regard to the Son. He casts light upon the Son. That is His great function. He helps us to live in the Son whom we know and with reference to the Father whom we expect to see.

That, my friends, is an exact mathematical analogy that each of the portions of the tri-unity of the universe are in themselves triune.

MATTER

What about matter? What is matter? Ask the scientist and he will tell you that matter is very simply energy in motion producing phenomena. Energy is composed of atoms which are made up of tiny electrical charges with the electrons whirling around the nucleus at speeds anywhere from one trillion to one quadrillion miles per second – at such incredible speeds we can’t even imagine what they are. Of course, if you look at an atom, it’s very much like the solar system, and the solar system is made up primarily of…nothing – space. And so it is with every atom.

If the chair you are sitting on could suddenly stand still and you could see with microscopic eyes what it really is made of, you would have the feeling that you are sitting on air. You see, this energy in motion is producing phenomena, such as the hardness of the chair you are sitting on, the chair in front of you, the softness of your coat or dress, and the color of your tie. Everything we know – from aromas to colors to concrete skyscrapers – is made up of those same little atoms whirling about at tremendous speed and producing these various phenomena.

So we see that space is made up of length, breadth, and height. Time is past, present, and future, and matter also is triune in that it is energy in motion producing phenomena. Not only is the universe triune, but it is made up of three different things, which are each in themselves triune. We see that the fingerprints of God are everywhere about us.

This is my Father’s world. He made it, and it bears His fingerprints, if we only have the eyes to see or to consider or to think about it. Surely the book of nature reveals in an unmistakable way to anyone who has the eyes to see that this is a divinely created world, created by the Triune God.

RELATIONSHIPS

What are some other things we can learn from that? I think one other thing the Trinity teaches us is the importance of relationships. God has not been sitting, as I said, singularly, solitarily alone forever in darkness, but rather He and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have been carrying on intimate communion among themselves forever. So we see that relationships are very important. They are important to God; they should be important to us, and thus God has set us in families. He has set the solitary in families.

We see that families are important. Marriage is important. We live in a time when there are millions of people who don’t take those things to be very important. We have more unmarried people than we have ever had before in this country.

UNITY

Secondly, we see also that in that relationship there is the importance of unity. We are to reflect God in our family, in relationships, and in the unity of our family. When there is discord or strife or faultfinding or argumentation, we can see that we are, indeed, bringing discord into the picture that God would have us to know of the Triune God.

Not only relationships and unity are important, but thirdly, also, purpose. This, I think, is really astonishing. I don’t think I ever really saw this as clearly as I did this week, but we don’t know what God was doing before He created the universe. He didn’t just come into being; He has existed eternally. For all we know, before this universe, there was another one, and before that one, another one, and before that another one and another one. We don’t know. That is mere speculation.

But one thing we do know, and that is what He is doing in this universe, that His principal work, as revealed to us in Scripture, is that the Father elects and predestinates a people for Himself. This is repeated over and over again as the purpose and the task of the Father in what is called the economic Trinity. It has nothing to do with money, but about the various functions the members of the Trinity have divided up among themselves for their own purposes.

* We see that the Son has the purpose of being incarnated in human life, living a perfect life in our stead as our substitute, dying an atoning death upon the Cross to pay for our sins, rising from the dead to show that that sacrifice was accepted, and there is life beyond the grave and ascending to the Father, where He now makes intercession for us;

* And that the purpose of the Holy Spirit is not only to inspire the Scriptures for our edification, but also to regenerate and quicken us that we might be born anew by the Spirit, and to sanctify us all through the life of our Christian experience, until finally He glorifies us when the last vestiges of sin are removed and we are made perfect in the sight of God.

All of these tremendous activities occupy the time and the thought and the energy and the emotional output of the great Triune God. Astonishing as it may be, we are the center of their purpose.

What can we learn from that? Scripture tells us that “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God” (John 17:3). God tells us that we should become more like Him. Dear friend, if you want to become more like Christ, I am going to tell you how. Apart from this, it is not possible. You can’t enter into a sympathetic union with the Triune God without entering into what is the passion and purpose of that God, which is, astonishingly, the salvation of the world.

Recognizing Spiritual Delusion

February 18, 2016

Yesterday’s post is just one example of the difference between man’s human wisdom vs. “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” (see 1 Corinthians 2:4)

When we read and study the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 2 we see and understand “the spirit of this world” vs. “the Spirit who is from God that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” (See 1 Corinthians 2:12)

The Bible teaches us to “speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy [fn] Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (see 1 Corinthians 2:13)

Paul goes on to instruct us: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

This is why those who are spiritually discerned can think that there is nothing wrong with homosexual behavior (or any other type of sin). It appears to be “foolishness to him.” And, as the verse above states, “nor can he know them.”

Paul concludes the chapter with:

1Co 2:15

But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.

1Co 2:16

For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” [fn] But we have the mind of Christ.

Having the “mind of Christ” means that the indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to discern good from evil. Even as Christians, we may not want to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit within on certain issues, but the guidance is there for us to behold and utilize if our free will allows it to sink in.

Years ago at my former blog I wrote a blog post entitled “Recognizing Spiritual Delusion.” It contains important information for every Christian believer who may be struggling with the secular tug-of-war between human wisdom vs. God’s wisdom in the Bible.

The essay discusses the rise of false prophets and the increase of spiritual delusion that will take place the closer we get to the end times.

Once born again in Jesus Christ,  it is ESSENTIAL for Christians to study God’s Word so that they will not fall into such spiritual delusion and thus be taken away into heresy and apostasy.

It is my hope and prayer that visitors here will take the time to read this essay!

In Christ’s service,

~ Christine

*******

Recognizing Spiritual Delusion

When it comes to studying and understanding the “shadow of coming events” predicted and prophesied in the Bible, no one does a better, more accurate job of communicating exactly what Scripture reveals than Dr. Ed Hindson. If you go to that website and read his impressive resume’, you will, without a doubt, see how knowledgeable he is regarding end times events, Scriptural truth, and biblical prophecy.

One chapter, in Dr. Hindson’s book Antichrist Rising, has stood out in my mind over the past few days. It is the chapter called, “Rise of False Prophets.” The Bible informs us that false prophets and teachers have always been with us. Knowing God’s Word is essential to being able to spot them. We are warned, however, that as the end times draw closer and closer, there will be a rise of false prophets in the world. So, how do we recognize them and most importantly, avoid being caught up in their deception?

According to the Old Testament (OT), we are told that true prophets of God must do three things in order to be considered genuine:

1. must speak in the name of the Lord, not some other god.

2. must have a message that is in accord with God’s revealed truth in Scripture.

3. must give predictions of future events that come true exactly as stated.

Ed Hindson writes:

One of the most scathing denunciations of false prophets in all of Scripture is delivered by the prophet Jeremiah. In his time, Jeremiah had to deal constantly with false prophets who opposed his ministry, contradicted his message, and even conspired to have him killed. They kept telling the leaders of Jerusalem that the people had nothing to fear from the Babylonian invaders, but Jeremiah knew differently. Jerusalem was on the verge of destruction, and the people were about to be taken into captivity for 70 years.

“My heart is broken within me,” Jeremiah confesses in his agony over these false prophets who “…follow an evil course and use their power unjustly” (Jeremiah 23:9,10). “Both prophet and priest are godless,” the Lord responds (23:11). Then He tells Jeremiah His opinion of these false prophets:

Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD (verse 16).

I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied (verse 21).

I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, “I had a dream! I had a dream!” How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? (verse 25)

Yes…I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues….Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams….Because every man’s own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the LORD Almighty, our God (verses 31, 32, 36).

Jeremiah could not make his complaint any clearer or his case any stronger. God is against those false prophets whose spiritual delusion causes them to invent their own message apart from God’s truth. The Bible presents these people in seven categories…

Before I post those categories, I want to mention a few things that are crucial to this message.

In OT times, the Holy Spirit of God would “come, minister, and then depart from” the prophets of old. Any basic study of the Bible would bear this fact out. The fact that God is depicted as “being with a prophet or person,” but then “leaving that prophet or person” shows this to be true. He is often called, “The Spirit of God” for “The Spirit of the LORD.” For example:

Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Jdg 3:10 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

Today, the Holy Spirit works both outside, in the world to influence the unsaved towards repentance and acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior; as well as inside each saved believer. When a person is born-again (see John 3),  the Holy Spirit resides within the heart of each believer. According to the Bible, Jesus told us that on the day of Pentecost, He would send a Helper for the disciples (and for us today as well):

Luke 11:13   If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Notice that Jesus mentions we must ask for the Holy Spirit to indwell us. After repentance of our sins, we ask Jesus Christ into our hearts and he resides there in the form of the Holy Spirit. Jesus refers to Him as “another Comforter.”

Jhn 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Jhn 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Jhn 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

When Jesus was here, physically on earth during his 3 year ministry, he could only be present in one place at a time. After defeating evil, sin and death on the cross for the sins of the world, and His subsequent resurrection to life, he ascended to the Father and now resides at the right hand of the Father in heaven. The Comforter (Holy Spirit) can be in all places at all times and thus indwells each believer in Christ.
We are then promised that He will never leave nor forsake us.

Hbr 13:5 [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

This is why, no matter what happens to us on this earth, we can have the peace that surpasses all understanding precisely because we belong to Jesus! We can have absolute faith in Him! He’s such an awesome Savior and Lord!

Now, back to the topic of this post.

I left off just before sharing the seven categories that false prophets and teachers can fall into:

Hindson:

1. Self-deceived. Some false teachers may be sincere, but they are still wrong. They have deceived themselves into believing their messages are true. As Jeremiah points out, their messages come psychologically from within their own minds and are not from God.

This is why I have stressed the point that the Holy Spirit of God will not lead you into thinking that contradicts Scripture! The “messages” may come “psychologically” from within one’s own mind, (or, even worse from demons), but they are not from God if it contradicts God’s Word!

Hindson:

2. Liars. Some false prophets are deliberate liars who have no intention of telling the truth. The apostle John says, “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the anti-christ – he denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).

Now, admittedly, deliberate liars are easier to spot. However, sometimes the lie is so subtle, that even Christians can be fooled if they don’t have a firm foundation in the truth of the Bible. Notice in Ed Hindson’s second definition of a true prophet, he states:

2. [A true prophet] must have a message that is in accord with God’s revealed truth in Scripture.

God’s revealed truth in Scripture is the operative phrase. Anyone can read, study and even teach from the Bible. But if their ideology does not match up with God’s revealed truth in the Scriptures, then beware! You may be led astray from a false teacher!

Hindson:

3. Heretics. These are those who preach heresy (false doctrine) and divide the church. Of them John said, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us” (1 John 2:19). The apostle Peter said, “There will be false teachers among you. they will secretly introduce destructive heresies….These men blaspheme in matters they do not understand” (2 Peter 2:1, 12).

The phrase, “blaspheme in matters they do not understand” could refer to those under delusion and/or deception. We can all recall several examples of blatantly obvious heretical movements. The Jim Jones cult, the Heaven’s Gate group, and David Koresh. However, there are more subtle groups that would qualify as being called “heretical.”

Hindson:

4. Blasphemers. Those who speak evil of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the people of God, the kingdom of God, and the attributes of God are called blasphemers. Jude calls them godless men who “speak abusively against whatever they do not understand….They are clouds without rain…trees, without fruit….They are wild waves of the sea…wandering stars” (Jude 10,12,13).

We even have a recent example of these types of people! Look no further than This debate between the “Rational Response Squad” and two Christian evangelists.

However, some examples of “blasphemers” are not always as obvious as the atheists who participated in that debate. The ability to subtly “speak abusively against whatever they do not understand.” can apply to false converts, as well. They are often referred to as “sheep in wolves clothing.”

Hindson:

6. Seducers. Jesus warned that some false prophets will appear with miraculous signs and wonders to seduce or deceive the very elect, “if that were possible” (Mark 13:22). Our Lord’s implication is that spiritual seduction is a very real threat even to believers. This would account for the fact that a few genuine but deceived believers may be found among the cults.

Did you catch that? It bears repeating:

A few genuine but deceived believers may be found among the cults!

Now, I am often accused by gay theology proponents of “being judgmental,” or “displaying hate,” or “not being willing to discuss our differences,” or “not living in harmony with,” or “not being willing to accept that which they are preaching,” or “not being willing to compromise,” etc. I could go on and on, (as one well-known blog is named).

But now, we have an example of someone in the gay christian movement who demonstrates, through his own words, his unwillingness to compromise. Besides, it is not written in the Bible anywhere that we should compromise on any issue regarding the Gospel of Christ!

Here’s Mel White’s “gospel”:

“I will sit down with anyone who comes to the table with certain basic positive assumptions about us: that we are here, millions of us, and have the right to be; that our sexual orientation, too, is a gift from our Creator who is pleased when we accept the gift with gratitude and pride; that on average we live productive and responsible lives; that we are perfectly capable of loving, committed relationships and are as equipped as heterosexuals to have families of our own; that uncounted millions of us are people of faith who serve our faith communities with creativity and commitment and patriotic Americans who serve our nation with courage and with honor; that we don’t seek “special rights” just the rights and protections guaranteed all Americans by the Constitution. Our dignity, our integrity, our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, our unqualified acceptance by our Creator are not up for debate.”

Gcmwatch quote:

(Our bold.) What is there to discuss, when he demands 100% concession from us?

Can you see, now, why groups like the “Equality Riders” cannot possibly reconcile with Bible-based Christian believers? Their leader unequivocally states that in order for us to do so, it would require 100% concession (a.k.a. compromise) to his ideology.

It ain’t gonna happen…people.

Why? Because there will always be a remnant of the faithful who will never compromise God’s Word! That’s why!

Hindson:

7. Reprobates. This term means “disapproved,” “depraved,” or “rejected.” Paul refers to those who have rejected the truth of God and turned to spiritual darkness. Consequently, God has given them over to a “reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28 KJV). They have so deliberately rejected God that they have become “filled with every kind of wickedness” (verse 29). As a result, they are “God-haters” (verse 30), whose behavior is “senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless” (verse 31). These people are so far gone spiritually that they know it and don’t care. In Jesus’ own prophetic message, the Olivet Discourse, He warned, “Watch out that no one deceives you….Many will turn away from the faith….And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people….For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles” (Matthew 24:4, 10, 11,24). Our Lord warned His disciples of the possibility of spiritual seduction by false prophets.

There are different levels of reprobation going on out there. From the most severe kinds of reprobation to the more subtle, and perceived “harmless” type like Mel White’s Equality Riders.

Hindson writes:

The Bible describes Satan as the “father of lies” (John 8:44) and pictures him as the ultimate deceiver. His name means “accuser,” and he is depicted as the accuser of God and His people (Revelation 12:10). he is opposed to God and seeks to alienate people from the truth. He misled the fallen angels (Revelation 12:3,4). He tempts men and women to sin against God’s laws (Genesis 3:1-13; 1 Timothy 6:9). He denies and rejects the truth of God and deceives those who perish without God (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Ultimately, he inspires the false prophets and the very spirit of Antichrist (1 John 2:18-23).

The Bible clearly warns us that in the last days people will “abandon the faith and follow deceiving [‘seducing,’ KJV] spirits and things [‘doctrine,’ KJV] taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). These false teachings will come through hypocritical liars whose minds have been captured by Satan’s lies (1 Timothy 4:2).

Thus, the process of spiritual deception is clearly outlined in Scripture:

1. Satan – Father of lies
2. Demons – Doctrines of Devils
3. False Teachers – Messengers of Deceit

The term angel (Greek angelos) means “messenger.” God’s angels are His divine messengers (Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 1:1), and His true prophets and preachers are called the angels of the churches (Revelation 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14). By contrast, Satan is pictured as a fallen angel, the leader of other fallen angels, who deceives the world (Revelation 12:9). He is revealed as the ultimate power behind the Antichrist and the False Prophet who deceives mankind with false religion (Revelation 13:14, 15). Thus, the messengers (angels) of deceit are Satan-inspired false prophets and teachers whose messages are the very spirit of Antichrist.

A century ago, A.T. Pierson, the Bible teacher who often spoke for Charles Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, wrote,

“Evil spirits acquire their greatest power from their subtlety. They are masters of the art of deception, and aim to counterfeit that which is good rather than suggest what is obviously and wholly evil.

A Christian friend once wrote something that was quite simple, but extremely profound (paraphrased below)!

“The greatest deception is not believing that we can be deceived.”

So, as Christian believers, how can we be guaranteed not to fall into deception?

1. The first step, of course, is through repentance for all sin and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior over our lives.

2. The second step is to read and study Scripture; but the most important point in this second step is what Dr. Hindson stated, “we must have a message that is in accord with God’s revealed truth in Scripture.”

3. This leads to the third step. It is knowing and recognizing the seven categories (discussed above) and the types of people who could lead one into spiritual deception and delusion.

Hindson shares why we must be spiritually discerning:

The lure of false doctrine is that it presents itself as the truth. It appears as a corrective measure to established doctrine. It is propagated by those who are certain they have discovered some new revelation of truth or a better interpretation of old, established truth. Either way, they are convinced they are right and everyone else is wrong.

This is Satan’s oldest trick. He appeals to our self-conceit and leads us into self-deceit. When he first approached Eve, Satan questioned the integrity of God’s command and appealed to her selfish desire to be like God – the same desire that led to his own fall. And there is something selfish enough in all of us to want to believe that we can know what no one else knows. C.S. Lewis said,

“What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could “be like gods.”…Out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we can call human history…the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

Today, the seduction is even more subtle than Hindson states here (IMHO). We could take one line from above and add to it:

“Either way, they are convinced they are right and everyone else is “intolerant,” or “hateful,” or “uncompromising,” or “out of harmony with,” or, as Mel White stated above regarding his non-biblical view that ‘that our sexual orientation, too, is a gift from our Creator who is pleased when we accept the gift with gratitude and pride,’ and ‘our unqualified acceptance by our Creator are not up for debate.’ “

In the second post on this topic, I will cover warnings that once spiritual deception sets in, it leads, ultimately, to spiritual darkness.

Some thoughts to preview:

1. Pride and arrogance are the sins that lead a person to become spiritually deceived.

2. Satan tempts us with our own self-centeredness and lures us into spiritual darkness with the bait of our own pride. The Bible calls this the “pride of life” (1 John 2:16 KJV).
3. Having been hooked by our arrogance, we are reeled in by our ignorance.

I know. All of this is so devastating and heart-breaking to read. However, there is hope!! It is found in none other than Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible. Anyone can come out of spiritual deception and darkness! It’s happening every single day!!

I sincerely believe that some people just don’t even realize that they are being deceived. Others, however, know it full well. But for those who may be currently studying under any number of ‘sincere’ preachers who have gotten off the theological track because they don’t know enough theology to realize their errors, you can give them a “test” to see if they are worthy to be in the mission of preaching the Gospel message of Christ.

Just ask them if they are willing to be checked, according to the absolute truth of God’s Word, on the accuracy of a certain doctrine, point, sermon or message that they have preached.

As my pastor has told us several times, he is only human and can make mistakes. That is why our “plumb line” to stay on track when it comes to sharing the gospel and God’s Word, is to stay true to it (utilizing the proper apologetics tools of exegesis, hermeneutics, Sola Scriptura, and Scripture interprets Scripture), to the best of our ability.

If a preacher or leader says that they are not willing to do this, (and/or are also not willing to back up what they have said with Scripture) that could be a good indication that they may be in danger of being off of the proper theological track.

Bottom line? My faith has to be anchored in the truth if it is going to do me, and others, any good. The same is true for you!

In the next section, Hindson mentions that “once theological error falls into ‘ecclesiastical cement’ it is virtually impossible to eliminate it.”

Once a false doctrine is accepted, it can be organized and perpetuated by a religious body, then perpetrated by a false defense (apologetic) which is based upon a false premise. It is then when we see such groups fall down that slippery slope as they accept false doctrine [no matter how much biblical Scriptural truth has been shown to them and has exposed their error(s)] as their “new truth.” They can organize it, categorize it, debate it, systemize it, teach it, and/or demand it; but that doesn’t make it true!!

When it comes to false teachers, the real problem is that the love of their own, skewed, erroneous teaching may drive them to the point where they will refuse to repent of it, even when their error is exposed!

The Bible says, “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Ephesians 4:18).

Quotations Source: Antichrist Rising by Ed Hindson Copyright 2003 Ed Hindson; Published by 21st Century Press, Springfield, Missouri U.S.A. pp. 40-48 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever or stored in any database or retrieval system without written permission except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews.

 

Mary Did You Know?

December 28, 2015

One of the most beautiful songs ever written about Jesus Christ is “Mary Did You Know?”  It not only covers the birth of Christ but includes the future miracles done by our Messiah and the purpose for which he came to us in the form of a pure Child to save people from their sins.

 

If video doesn’t play here, please view on Youtube:

Mary Did You Know? by Pentatonix.

 

This video has been viewed over 57 million times!

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
Mary did you know that your baby boy will some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

[Verse 2]
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

[Verse 3]
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I Am!

What ever information Mary had, or did not have, we know what her two responses and one question was to the angel who came to her with the glorious news.

Luk 1:26

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,

Luk 1:27

to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

Luk 1:28

And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” [fn]

Luk 1:29

But when she saw him, [fn] she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Luk 1:30

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Luk 1:31

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

Luk 1:32

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

Luk 1:33

“And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Luk 1:34

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Luk 1:35

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Mary’s response?

Luk 1:38

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Truly a woman of great faith! The end result would be that her Baby Boy that she delivered would one day deliver her – as well as all who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is not only a beautiful Christmas song – it is a song that reminds us daily of our desperate need for Jesus who saves people from their sins.

Another woman (Elizabeth) of great faith (who was filled with the Holy Spirit) had the following verses to say to Mary when her baby (John the Baptist) leaped in her womb upon the greeting of Mary!

Luk 1:39

Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,

Luk 1:40

and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.

Luk 1:41

And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luk 1:42

Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

Luk 1:43

“But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Luk 1:44

“For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luk 1:45

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

It was after Elizabeth spoke with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that Mary understood much more!

Luk 1:46

And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

Luk 1:47

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Luk 1:48

For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

Luk 1:49

For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.

Luk 1:50

And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.

Luk 1:51

He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Luk 1:52

He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.

Luk 1:53

He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.

Luk 1:54

He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,

Luk 1:55

As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

One comment sums it all up quite well:

dotrocka1 Dec 30, 2014 at 8:38 pm

It has become increasingly clear to me that at the cross, every aspect of the character of God, His holiness, His righteousness, His justice, His wrath, His love, His mercy, His grace, all converged at one point in time, accomplishing our redemption. Between this awareness and the song, Mary Did You Know, This Christmas I was in a nearly constant state of worship. It’s too big to put into words, but thank you for this song that sums up the purpose of Christ’s coming so well.

Amen!

Headlines Cause Us to Eagerly Await Christ’s Return for His Own

July 29, 2015

My blogging friend Black3Actual has two posts up that every person who happens to come to this blog should read today!

Oil For Your Lamp: UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE: God’s Love Will NOT Save You From Hell!

Within the post, Rob Bell is described as an “ex-pastor” who now falls more in line with those teaching heresy because this ex-pastor does not adhere to the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. As our author at the link excellently points out, Bell is more of an “itching ears” type of preacher. [See 2 Timothy 4:3-4]

Myths like Bell’s views do not save ANYONE. In fact, he is guilty of turning people to the wayside where they will miss the true totality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and thus end up lost for all eternity. It REALLY MATTERS who you listen to in this day and age of deception!

Next, Black3Actual wrote a post entitled News Headlines Affirm OYL Posts: Islam Working Toward End Of Days!.

Excerpt:

I have written about the importance of the black flags of Islam and how the Obama/Iran deal is setting the stage for Christ’s return.  I am fully aware that those who do not believe the Bible do not believe what I have been trying to explain, but I cannot help them.  They have chosen to remain willfully ignorant.  For those who wish to see and understand, the signs are coming more often and more clearly every day.  Just this week the news has started to affirm and support everything I have been trying to explain.  This story is just one such example:

Islamic State recruitment document seeks to provoke ‘end of the world’

Whether you believe in Bible or Islamic prophecy or not, ISIS does and it is working to bring about the fulfillment of their prophecies.  Ignoring them is no different from the Allies ignoring the clear declarations by Hitler of what he intended to do.

Read the rest: News Headlines Affirm OYL Posts: Islam Working Toward End Of Days!.

Oil For Your Lamp is a blog that I highly recommend as a daily read! Add the link to your favorites so that visitors to your own blogs will find this Holy Spirit led writer’s posts!

The Gospel of Christ can be revealed and understood by a child!

Mat 11:25

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Mat 19:14

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mat 18:3

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

However, once a person trusts in Christ and is saved, the next step is the study of Scripture (including knowing about end times prophecy) for it is a life-long endeavor!  We have “never arrived” while here on this earth regarding the Wisdom, Knowledge, Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness and the All Encompassing Love of God!  However, the Bible tells us that one day we will know!

1Jo 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

There are certain individuals who will not heed the warnings that Christians are sharing. However, we know that there will be (and are, right now!) a remnant who are born-again in Christ.  We also can celebrate the fact that there are Christians who are well-informed regarding Bible prophecy. We are heeding what Jesus told us regarding “the signs of the times” and sharing this information with the lost.

My hope is that there will be many more who are quickened by the Holy Spirit of God, knocking on the door of their hearts,  to come to repentance at the cross of Christ. Only His shed blood can… not just “cover” sins temporarily as was the purpose of the shed blood of unblemished animals in the Old Testament… but permanently take away our sins!  Belief in Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life;  for only He provides the mercy and grace in order to be reconciled back unto God.

Jesus Christ was the final sacrifice for sins, and His resurrection back unto life proves His claim that He is the Son of God, the Messiah who was long awaited throughout biblical history. Jesus Christ brings us back unto God for the “it is finished” forgiveness that we all so desperately need!

As we eagerly await Christ’s return for His own (the Rapture), we need to preach the true Gospel, watch for the signs of the times, work for His kingdom, and evangelize those who do not know Him. All that we can do is share the Gospel, as Jesus instructed us to do just before His ascension into heaven.

It is God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, who ultimately does the saving!  He will be with us ALWAYS – even unto the end of the world!

Hat tip:
Oil For Your Lamp

Please see:

How To Know God Personally.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” – Gandhi

July 7, 2015

Years ago, I ran across a post that contained a statement attributed to Gandhi at another blog:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Ouch!

At first glance it is a most sobering condemnation against those of the Christian faith. Granted, Christians make mistakes while trying to witness to others. Jesus chose his followers, imperfect human beings that we are, to be his representatives here on earth. We are to spread the Gospel message throughout the world.

We have a whole range of evangelists. A preacher like Billy Graham who has been an awesome representative for Christ and we have other preachers who may be hurting our cause. But God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. The reason Billy Graham is loved by millions and rarely, if ever, condemned for his preaching is because he focuses on Jesus Christ and the Gospel message.

This, then, makes me wonder. Should Gandhi have been judging his personal decision regarding Jesus Christ only upon Christs’ followers (whom he disliked and condemned) or should he have made the judgment strictly upon Jesus Christ and who He is as revealed in the Scriptures?  Tim Challies has a great answer to that question.

Another popular argument of non-Christians is their claim that because there are so many denominations that conflict with each other, how is one to find the truth?

There are certain facts that tie and bind all true Christians.

1.  The first one is the fact that we have been born again in Christ. In order to be born again in Christ, we confess and repent of our sins and invite Jesus into our lives to guide us into all truth. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit reminds us of what Jesus taught and refers us to the Scriptures.

2.  The second fact is that we teach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

When the movie “The Passion of the Christ” came out, there were many different denominations in agreement on most aspects of that movie. You could name any Protestant, Evangelical, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, (can include many others too) branch of Christianity here and it is the one thing that they all agree upon.

Why is that?

Because at Pentecost, Jesus sent the Helper, that is, the Holy Spirit. He guides Christians into all truth. The side issues and traditions that may divide the denominations fall away.

It all comes down to this: the Gospel message is the uniter of all true Christians.

We must “beware the ‘cross-less’ Gospel.”* [See explanation at end of post.]

Those “churches” who do not teach the need for repentance for sin are guilty of heresy. Yes. There are some sects/cults that are “severed branches,” if you will. We are told in the book of Jude to avoid them because they lead people into heresy and apostasy. This is why you must be diligent and read the Scriptures so you can “rightly divide the Word of Truth!” If you are attending a church that teaches “the cross-less Gospel,” run! Find another church immediately!

I have met many born-again, Bible believing Christians via message boards and blogs. Genuine Christians whom I have never met personally, are in full agreement with the main message of the Scriptures. You see, there is a difference between those who would use exegesis, hermeneutics and Sola Scripture (which are tools to extract the original meaning of the writers in the Bible) vs. those who use “eisegesis,” (which means determining their own interpretations) of what Scripture is saying.

We see “eisegesis” being utilized very vividly in the homosexual behavior affirming churches. The only people who have been caught up in the sin of homosexuality (or any other sin, for that matter) and will make it into heaven with God are the repentant ones.

Even repentant murderers who confess and are born again after their crimes and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior avoid hell and will live for eternity in heaven with God.

In eyes of men, that may not seem “fair.” But the thoughts of God are infinitely higher and are certainly not limited to the thoughts of man.

“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

God affords grace and mercy to those who look upon Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death as the only substitutionary propitiation which is acceptable to God the Father for the forgiveness of their sins.

People who know Jesus and become children of God will avoid the penalty of death (the second death…an eternity away from God in hell).

The unsaved who refuse the quickening of the Holy Spirit, (who is urging them from outside their souls to make that decision for Christ) will die with their own sins on their souls. That is the choice for all of mankind. We either agree with God that we are sinners who are desperately in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ, or we die in our sins and remain reprobate and separated from the God who is trying to save us…forever.

Eternity is a long, long….time!

Dear reader, what is your decision?

I pray that you change your heart towards God!  If you are currently of the mindset that leads you to “hate Christians,” I plead with you not to let Satan use your obvious dislike and hatred for many Christian believers as an excuse to reject Jesus. Knowingly or unknowingly, Satan is influencing you to focus on the behavior of other Christians and not on Whom you should be focusing on…Jesus Christ. Jesus was the only Perfect Man who ever lived. You won’t find perfection in anyone else…including Christian believers.

Once born again, a Christian does not have his/her free will taken away. We still live in a fallen world and have that fallen nature. The huge difference is, he/she has the added influence of the Holy Spirit indwelling within the soul to guide us into all truth. Our love for Jesus compels us to live righteously for Him because He alone is Holy. If you would focus on what is being shared about Christ, and not judge the person who is sharing it, then you will not let a Christian’s imperfect nature affect you so negatively.

My daughter once gave me a license plate frame for my car which poignantly reads: “Christians are not perfect;  just forgiven by a God who is.

*******

*Beware the Cross-less Gospel

by Roger Chilvers

I watched a television program that featured interviews with a number of people at a well-known evangelical church. One person after the another gave testimony about how their lives had been changed: “I came to this church and was thrilled about what I saw. God changed my life.” Someone else said, “I was a drug addict, and God dealt with that.” Every testimony mentioned God, but in that whole program Jesus was mentioned only once. What Christ did on the cross was not mentioned at all.

In preaching today, generally speaking, the cross hardly features – sometimes Jesus doesn’t even feature. We have a duty to make the cross of Christ central in our evangelism. The Bible says that the cross is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:23). The Jews thought, “How could anyone preach about the Messiah DYING ON A CROSS? Don’t the Scriptures say that anyone who dies on a cross is cursed by God?” As for Gentiles – who didn’t have or care about the Old Testament Scriptures – the whole idea was complete foolishness. The verse uses the Greek word moros, from which we get “moron.” You have to be a moron to preach and believe in a dying Savior. Can you see the temptation to put the cross off to the side?

Sometimes you hear people say, quite rightly, “Jesus will give you a purpose for living.” Without a doubt he does, but that is not why He came. Others say that He came as a good example to follow. He is the greatest example to follow, but again, that is not at the heart of why He came, “Jesus came to give us joy in a world of unhappiness and misery,” some say. But that was not why He came either. And great though His peace is, He didn’t come to give us peace.

John tells us why Jesus came: “He appeared so that he might take away our sins” (1 John 3:5, NIV). We need reminding of this. Otherwise, in our evangelism we may say, “Have some peace, have some joy, have some happiness, have a purpose for living, have an example to follow.” Although Jesus does give these things, they are not the central point. We may find these things apart from Jesus, but apart from Him we will never find forgiveness of sins.

We can understand the centrality of the cross from three different perspectives: What does it mean to God? to us? to Satan?

THE CROSS FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible says, “We have an advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2, KJV). Propitiation is the means by which God’s anger is assuaged; His anger is dealt with, and God is made favorable toward us.

Some have said it is barbaric to think that God’s anger needs to be assuaged by blood. They say, “How can a sacrifice that makes an angry God favorable be given by the God who is angry in the first place? And what about God’s love?”

But it is precisely because God loves us that He had to deal with our sin – and it is on the basis of this that we are accepted. Jesus could die a thousand deaths and yet not achieve salvation for us unless God were satisfied with the sacrifice. Yet the question remains: How can God be both the One who provides the sacrifice that makes Him propitious and be the One who receives the sacrifice?

The simple answer is that God’s holiness demands propitiation.

God is blisteringly angry about our every single sin. You can see the awfulness of sin only by seeing what it did to His one and only lovely Son. If God looked at a sin and said, “Well, I’m not too bothered about that one,” there would be injustice in His character. God retains His honor by giving His Son.

God unfolded a plan that both showed His unbelievably strong anger at sin and His infinitely strong love for us. He sent His Son and punished Him on our behalf. “The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14, NIV). No other message beside the cross is able to deal with the root problem of man’s sin in relation to the justice and holiness of God.

 

THE CROSS FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE

The heart of the Gospel is that through Jesus – and His work as our Substitute – God did for us what we could never do for ourselves. The punishment for our sin was dealt with by a substitute: Namely, Jesus. The Bible says, “When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, NIV). The Greek word translated “for” means “on behalf of.” The word is used repeatedly concerning Jesus: “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).

In our evangelism it is so important that we grasp this because it tells us that when Jesus died on the cross He died on behalf of someone. There is no greater news than the glorious news that Jesus took our place on the cross. We are sinners by nature, but “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV). What a breathtaking verse!

THE CROSS FROM SATAN’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible calls Satan “the accuser” in Revelation 12:10. He whispers, “You cannot possibly expect God to accept you. You have a disgusting imagination. Look at those things you’ve done – your deceitfulness, your hatred and bitterness. You call yourself a child of God? ” And to God, Satan says, in effect, “If You are just at all, You cannot possibly forgive his/her sins and accept him/her. Your justice demands that he/she be punished.”

But John tells us how such accusations are dealt with: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1, KJV). Generally, an advocate will stand up before a judge and plead on behalf of the accused something like this, “My lord, yes, he is not perfect – he has failed- but he is now a kind and helpful citizen, and I am bringing witnesses to testify to his good character.” In so doing, the advocate pleads for the judge to be lenient.

Jesus, as our Advocate, doesn’t work that way. When Satan accuses, Jesus says to His Father, “Everything You said about him is true. He is wicked; he is sinful. There is not one good thing about him. But, Father, You cannot punish him because the punishment already has been paid – by Me.”

The Father looks to the sacrifice of the Son to see that the punishment was paid in full. Atonement made, acceptance guaranteed – and we are free. This is what is meant by Jesus being our Substitute.

“Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied,
To look on Him and pardon me.” **

Jesus provided for our greatest need – the forgiveness of sin. Apart from Him it could never happen. That is why the cross must be at the heart of our evangelism.

** From “Before the Throne of God Above,” by Charitie Lee Bancroft

Hat tips to all links.

Where Sin Abounded, Grace Abounded Much More

June 13, 2015

Yesterday I had a lively conversation with someone special in my life about the homosexual “marriage” issue.  She has been very busy with her own life and doesn’t usually watch the news.  I informed her that there have been lawsuits filed by homosexual activists who felt “discriminated against” because certain Christian business owners refused to participate in homosexual “marriage” ceremonies.

Even though hundreds of flower shops (and/or bakeries in other cases) would be willing to service them, the two homosexual men (in the case of Baronelle Stutzman) decided to file a lawsuit against her. In fact, several flower shops offered to provide flowers free of charge to the two men! But that wasn’t enough to satisfy them. They needed to go through with a lawsuit in order to “teach her a lesson,” run her out of business, destroy her livelihood and possibly even take away her home!

I ask, where is the tolerance in that?

I shared the story of Baronelle Stutzman which can be seen in the video below.

I explained most of what was shown in the above video to her, and she did say that what was happening to Stutzman “wasn’t right.”

I was glad that she ended up understanding what is at stake in the homosexual “marriage” agenda vs. the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association rights of Christian business owners.

Ultimately, the decision made by the Supreme Court will come down in favor of either religious liberty or “special rights” for the homosexual legal agenda.

I told her that I fear for this country if the Supreme Court makes a sweeping decision (like Roe. vs. Wade regarding abortion becoming legal in all 50 states in 1973) that demands the recognition of homosexual marriage without any freedom of religion, speech and association exclusions for those with religious objections towards being involved in such “ceremonies.”

This morning, I awoke with the following thought in my mind.

“The day that Jesus is not close to me is a day that doesn’t exist.”

It was very comforting to me! I think that it was a message from the Holy Spirit of God to help me focus on Jesus and to remind me that I am “not of this world;” just as Christ stated in John 8.

I know that the promises of the Bible are real and enduring. No matter what transpires in this fallen world, God is with me…always! And no one can ever take away my salvation which has been obtained through Jesus Christ!

Rom 5:1

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have [fn] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Rom 5:2

through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Rom 5:3

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

Rom 5:4

and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Rom 5:5

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Rom 5:6

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Rom 5:7

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.

Rom 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 5:9

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Rom 5:10

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Rom 5:11

And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Rom 5:12

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Rom 5:13

(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Rom 5:14

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Rom 5:15

But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

Rom 5:16

And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

Rom 5:17

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

Rom 5:18

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

Rom 5:19

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Rom 5:20

Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

Rom 5:21

so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

*******

Update:

I wrote this blog post late last night. This morning, I found a new Christian blog that had a great post which explains what Barronelle Stutzman mentioned in the video regarding Christ being the Groom and the church (all born-again Christians – not a specific denomination or building) being His Bride.

Grace Life Thoughts: Thinking About Marriage.

Read it all at the link!

Here is an important excerpt:

Jesus Christ often taught about marriage during His ministry on earth during the early part of the 1st century AD. The Pharisees used the issue of divorce from marriage as a way to trick Jesus. Jesus supported the traditional definition of marriage from the Genesis account in His answer to the Pharisees.

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.’ They said to Him, ‘Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?’ He said to them, ‘Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” Matthew 19:4-9

Jesus added the words, ‘Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate,’ to the understanding of marriage. Many pastors still use those words during marriage ceremonies.

Marriage, from a biblical perspective, is between a human male and human female. Two life events can dissolve a marriage: death and sexual immorality.

“A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 7:39

“And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” Matthew 19:9

Since God invented marriage with its true meaning and physical boundaries, God is the only Being who can change marriage. Will He change marriage? Here’s how Jesus answered a group of Sadducees who tried to trick Him with a question about marriage and the resurrection. Keep in mind that the Sadducees didn’t even believe in a physical resurrection, which makes their evil intent even more obvious.

“The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, saying: ‘Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’ And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.” Matthew 22:23-33

God designed ‘male to female’ marriage for human beings on earth. God designed no ‘human marriage’ in the resurrection from the dead. So, is that the end of marriage? It’s only purpose is for human males and human females on earth? After death there’s nothing more to the meaning of ‘real’ marriage?

There is much, much more to the meaning of marriage and it is in that ‘reality’ we find the eternal meaning and value of marriage.

Mystical Marriage

‘Mystical marriage’ is that aspect of marriage that is both spiritual and mysterious.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-33

The reduction of marriage to just a ‘legal’ ceremony misses the point of the ‘reality’ of human male and human female marriage. It’s about Jesus Christ and His Church. As Paul wrote, ‘This is a great mystery.’ The reason for ‘purity’ in marriage (human male and human female) is because of the purity of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church. True ‘marriage’ can never be about human male to human male or human female to human female because it does not display the ‘great mystery’ concerning ‘Christ and the church.’ If you are a Christian and disagree with that statement, please read Ephesians 5:22-33 again. It is a ‘mystery,’ but God has chosen to reveal many of His mysteries to His children.

[You can learn more about how and why God reveals ‘mysteries’ to His children by reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, especially Chapter 3]

The ‘Marriage’ Debate

Understanding this ‘great mystery’ does not make the ‘marriage debate’ easier for Christians. In fact, it makes it more difficult because we are dealing with a great many people who do not believe in God or at least not the God of the Bible. That tension is to be expected with non-theists.

However, what is not to be expected is the debate about marriage among Christians. Even though physical and mystical marriage are explained clearly in Scripture, there are many Christians who disagree with God’s purpose and design. Why is that? Why would any Christian disagree with God’s purpose and design for something as important as marriage? Especially a truth that has eternal implications?

It is my hope that all Christians will ‘think’ seriously about God’s purpose and design for marriage and agree with Him. It is vital that Christ’s Church be unified on the ‘reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.’ Amen.

Update on 6/18/15:

Western Journalism: Legalized Gay Marriage Will Have This Huge Impact That No One Thought About

Good Samaritan’s Random Act of Kindness

June 6, 2015

There was a story on Fox and Friends this morning where  a stranger buys a struggling mother a car.

Watch the video at the link above for the complete story.

The stranger wanted to remain anonymous. Apparently, he had the money and was able to share it with someone who was in desperate need. The Fox website labeled this as “Good Samaritan’s random act of kindness.”

The video reveals that the woman is a Christian and that she had been praying to God for an answer to her dilemma.

I think that it was wise for the man who bought the car for her to remain anonymous. Perhaps he, himself, is also a Christian and was heeding what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount:

Mat 6:1

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Mat 6:2

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

Mat 6:3

“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

Mat 6:4

“that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly

David Guzik writes:

A. Doing good to please God.

1. (1) Jesus’ warning against doing good to be seen by others.

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

a. Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men: Charitable deeds is actually the word righteousness. Jesus tells us to not do righteous things for the sake of display or image (to be seen by them).

i. Jesus has just clearly shown God’s righteous standard; perhaps He anticipated the thought “Wouldn’t everybody be impressed if I was like that?” So here Jesus addressed the danger of cultivating an image of righteousness. It is almost impossible to do spiritual things in front of others without thinking what their opinion is of us as we do those things, and how they are thinking better or worse of us as we do what we do.

ii. This does not contradict His previous command to let your light so shine before men (Matthew 5:16). Although the followers of Jesus are to be seen doing good works, they must not do good works simply to be seen.

b. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven: The idea is when we do righteous deeds for the attention and applause of men, their attention and applause is our reward. It is much better to receive a reward from your Father in heaven.

I have been reading Dr. David Jeremiah’s book “A.D. The Bible Continues: The Revolution That Changed The World.” In chapter 3, (which describes and expands upon the Day of Pentecost and the spectacular birth of the Christian church) we read about the church opening its hands to those in need.

In the early church, “all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need” (Acts 2:44-45). The fledgling church experienced severe persecution, leaving members displaced and destitute. They formed a close-knit community to take care of one another, sharing their food, clothing, and money to meet people’s needs.

Over the years, some people have pointed to this passage to make the claim that the early church practiced Communism or socialism, but such was not the case. Communism is a compulsory sharing of goods because no one is thought to have the right to own anything. Socialism acknowledges the right of private property, but it requires individuals to give a certain percentage of what they earn to others in order to narrow the gap between socioeconomic classes.

The early church, however, shared their goods because they were generous and committed to one another. Scripture doesn’t say that the entire church sold all they had and gave everything up for the community’s welfare. It simply says that people voluntarily sold their possessions as financial concerns arose and gave the proceeds to those in need.

Today, almost every church takes care to meet the needs of members lacking food, shelter, help, or clothing. Some churches have food banks or centers offering furniture and clothing. The authentic church is a caring and generous community.

Notice that serving those in need was done by the early church without the “help” (more accurately, the interference) of the Roman government which was hell-bent on destroying these “annoying” followers of Jesus.   Both the Roman Empire and the Sanhedrin Jewish leaders thought that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary would stop the “rabble-rousers” and finally put an end to this religious movement once and for all.

However, when Jesus rose from the dead, walked the earth (again) in his resurrected body for 40 days and appeared to over 400 people over that time span, the Jesus Christ revolution had only just begun!

In the TV series of the same name, we are seeing that there was an enormous political and religious upheaval that led to the formation of the early church. Despite the brutality being done against the people of The Way (what it was called back then), the depiction of the Day of Pentecost was quite riveting!

Dr. Jeremiah shares extra information regarding the Old Testament history of that day and what it meant to believers in the New Testament.

The Feast of Pentecost
The word Pentecost is the Greek name for the Jewish festival Shavuot. Pentecost celebrated two coinciding events, one ancient and the other ongoing. The first marked the occasion of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, which had occurred seven weeks after the original Passover in Egypt.

The second event was the culmination of the Feast of Weeks. This feast derived its name from the seven-seek harvest of wheat and barley, which began at Passover. The day after this seven-week harvest was designated as a time of celebration and thanks to God, which the Jews expressed by bringing an offering of the first crops from their harvests to the Temple.

Since that was the fiftieth day after Passover, it was called Pentecost, meaning “fifty days.”

Recall that the risen Jesus remained on earth for forty days, and then he ascended into heaven ten days before the Jewish observance of Pentecost (Shavuot). On the morning of Pentecost, 120 disciples and the 12 apostles (Judas had been replaced by Matthias) were in the upper room, still waiting for the arrival of the promised Holy Spirit.

Then it happened!

There was a deafening roar that startled everyone and it was like the sound of a rushing wind. It filled not only the house they were in but people heading to the Temple to celebrate Shavuot were shocked by it too! Scripture describes what the disciples experienced. There were bright streaks of light resembling flaming tongues that flashed above them as the Holy Spirit entered into them! At that moment, the power that Jesus promised them had arrived, and they were able to speak in tongues so that the hearers could hear their own languages! This was a miracle! (see Acts 2:1-6).

These men were changed forever! And Peter gave the sermon that birthed the church (Acts 2). The disciples and apostles were no longer confused about their mission. They finally realized that the kind of Kingdom Jesus was establishing was not merely to save Israel from the Romans, but to save the world from Satan.

Dr. Jeremiah writes:

He (Jesus) was not merely the Messiah to the Jews; he was the Messiah to people in all nations around the globe. He was the rightful King not of just the Jews but of the whole world, which since the time of Adam and Eve had been “enemy-occupied territory.” The task of these disciples was to lead people out from under the tyranny of a demonic usurper and rally them around the flag of a resistance movement led by Jesus Christ, their true King.

The power Jesus had promised was infinitely better than anything they could have anticipated. It filled them with more joy and love and courage than they had ever imagined possible.

In today’s world, the persecution of Christians has increased exponentially. The Bible tells us that the closer we get to the end times, this will be the case. Therefore, we need to speak out boldly, as we should, and share the gospel of Christ!

As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world – now.

Hat tips:
Fox News

Dr. Jeremiah.org

 

Redeemed

May 9, 2015

 

Being born again in Jesus Christ is a joyous and very humbling experience.  Our free will allows us to be arrogant, sinful, hateful, sexually immoral, barbaric, liars, blasphemers, and all the rest of the actions of evil that exist in this fallen world.  However, once redeemed through Christ, we want to follow His Commandments because we love Him!  He did love us first…which is an awesome concept to finally realize and embrace!

1Jo 4:19

We love Him [fn] because He first loved us.

Jhn 14:15

“If you love Me, keep [fn] My commandments.

We are redeemed, but not yet perfected. We are constantly being sanctified (through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) as we live this life here on earth. We still have the free will to sin, but because we want to please our Lord, we turn away from them and repent; because we want to obey Christ and have the goal to be more and more like Him each day.

When we die physically, we will see Him as He is! What a joyous event to look forward to in eternity!

Those who hate Christians either don’t understand why we love Jesus Christ and probably view what He accomplished for us on the cross at Calvary as “foolishness.” On the other hand, maybe they DO understand but have conscientiously chosen to reject it.  The God of the Bible says, “so be it.”  Rejection of the Holy Spirit of God is the final unforgivable sin, and those who make that choice (and die physically in that choice) have separated themselves from God, spiritually, for all eternity.

There is a song called “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave which describes a man’s transition from sinner to being saved by grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.  The lyrics depict what we all have done; including the sins we regret, as born again believers in Christ.  But it also reminds us that through this redemption, we know that we are free of the guilt, the shame, and the regret that would plague us forever if not for accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

[Note: If video does not play here, go to Youtube – “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave]

Over 9 million views and 4 thousand comments!

My eyes well up in tears when I listen to this song…

*******

How To Know God Personally [Click on link to discover the principles!]

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…


Stand Tall For Christ

1 Corinthians 16:13

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Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. 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