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This article just posted by Bud Press simply amazed me because of its timing.

We have been studying the Book of John and I have been focused and fascinated on the various ways that Jesus delivers truth to those He speaks with.

Jesus turned to two disciples who were trailing Him in John 1:37,”What do you want?’  What a loaded question! They spent the entire day with Him. Can you imagine the joy?

Nicodemus was probably shocked when he heard that he had to be born again. He must have been first perplexed because he was a respected teacher of the law, and he was born Jewish. He slowly left Jesus that night, but we come to learn later in the Book of John that he did later believe. Here was an esteemed teacher but there is no evidence that as a teacher he converted anyone.

Contrast Nicodemus, with the Samaritan woman who was despised by the Jews. Upon believing she ran back into town and spread the news and many were saved.

But I wanted to point out HOW  Jesus approached the Samaritan woman. He asked her a question, “Will you give me a drink?” John 4:7  Isn’t this rather odd, because Jesus is the one who gives out living water. But He approached her with a humble attitude. He asked her for a service,which quickly took away any barrier that may have existed between them.

When we witness truth to others, the Holy Spirit will guide us. Every situation may be a bit different and the Lord will give us the words to speak. Whether we ask those who seek God, “What do you want?”, “Are you born again?” or “Will you help me?”, the truth must be eventually given out. The gospel message never changes, but the method and circumstances in which we give it out can. Please pray that the Lord will give discernment to recognize opportunities to  boldly share  the Word with others.

Please read.

Frustrated with False Teachers?

by Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

October 28, 2009

Two Scriptures in 1st and 2nd Timothy speak with great force concerning what Christians are to expect before Jesus Christ returns:

•people will fall away from the faith, pay attention to demonic spirits, and choose to rely on false teachings instead of God’s written word (1 Timothy 4:1).

•people will turn away from sound doctrine and truth, develop their own faulty interpretations of Scripture, seek and find those who agree with them, and rely on lies to feed their corrupt spirituality (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Remember that 1st and 2nd Timothy were written about 2,000 years ago by the Apostle Paul, inspired of the Holy Spirit. Notice the words shall and will in both passages (NASB and KJV). Fast-forward to 2009 and know that one of the warning signs of the end times is a dizzying array of heretics, and their dizzy minds full of charms, whistles, and gimmicks.

Indeed, the shall and will is here and now, and “Christian” bookstores lead the pack in the promotion and sale of doctrines of demons, authored by heretical wigglers who have turned their backs on God to seek fortune and fame.

An ‘unusual’ approach

During a visit to a Christian bookstore years ago, I came upon a shelf filled with books written by Benny Hinn. While thumbing through one of the books, the store manager walked by and asked if I needed assistance.

Read Full Article HERE

Jesus went to Samaria with a purpose. Usually the Jews avoided Samaria, for the people worshiped false gods, and they had a religious mixture. So the Jews despised them. But Jesus took the initiative to speak to this woman who was in an immoral relationship. Men did not talk alone with women in those days, for they had no rights and it was not proper for a Rabbi to be seen talking alone with a woman.

Jesus in his graciousness, convicted this woman of her sin. He did not condemn her, but He did lead her to repentance. There is not genuine repentance without the turning away from sin.

There has to be a:

1. Change of Mind – God brings conviction as in John 16:8 through the Holy Spirit “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.”

2. Change of Heart – One must have true regret and sorrow, not just for the consequences that must be faced, but for sin against God.

3. Change of Will – There is a true turning away with a purpose to forsake sin. It  must be recognized that one has to turn away from self, die to self,  and to God, giving up selfish desires.

4. Change of Life: – A transformation occurs when one finally turns from self to God by picking up the Cross of Jesus. This is the evidence of one who is born again of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was willing to patiently work with others and teach them truth. Even the despised. Do we ignore the hard to love, or do we turn up our nose at the “problems” because they have issues or follow false doctrine?

We have an opportunity to be like Christ! We must not judge but at the same time we must be graceful and dispense the truth found in Scripture.

How is this possible? Are we not all sinners? Yes, so we must…

Live a life of repentance ourselves. We must realize that unconfessed sin hinders our spiritual life in Christ, so we must purposely deal with all known sin.

So Jesus purposely exposed this woman’s sin, her immorality. Then… He offered her living water. How did she respond? She believed He was the Messiah,and in joy she ran and told others, who also came to Christ. In her excitement, she left behind her water jug at the well, because she had found true living spiritual water instead of earthly water.

We must not be like the world that loves sin and tolerates it. Jesus did not ignore immoral behavior, instead He pointed it out. Sin must be confronted with the truth. Because of  biblical truth, true disciples will be hated. John 15:19 says “If you belong to the world it would love you as its own. As it is you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

Do you belong to the world and its man-made philosophies or do you instead belong to Christ and His Word in the Bible? Do others see you as a witness for Christ and his Truth or do you instead follow horoscopes , psychological theories and false teachers. Paul warned Timothy that in the end times “Men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead so suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear..” 2 Timothy 4:3

“Those who oppose him (the Lord’s servant) he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:25

So we must use scripture in all of our arguments and confirmation of biblical truths because:

” All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

 hebrews-11-61

I went onto the balcony and opened my Bible to the book of Hebrews. I started reading the first chapter in the way I always had, analyzing and studying the text as I read.

But something was wrong, I said to myself, “I’m not receiving a thing.” Then I looked right up to God and said aloud, “Father, You said that ‘man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord’ (Deut. 8:3). Now Lord, I am a missionary, and I am supposed to tell others that they can live by the Word of God. If I myself do not live there, I’m a phony. Now please prove that I can do this. Lord I am serious, I am asking You. You promise that You will reward a person who truly seeks You. Lord it is up to You! I am going to begin reading again. Lord, please make Hebrews come alive to me.” I began to read Hebrews again, starting from the beginning.

The next time I looked up, I had finished the whole book. Almost four hours had gone by. Looking back I cannot explain any particular truth the Lord gave me or remember any particular verse that shone with special meaning. But what happened was this. Through reading God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit and depending upon God to give life through it, it was as though God had picked me up and taken me into Heaven where He dwells. I had been with Him! My entire spiritual being was renewed. Leaving the balcony, feelings of lassitude disappeared, depression was gone–I had received God’s words and was rejuvenated in every part of my being.

I write this because it has been one of the secrets of my life. Again and again in China it was impossible to avoid acute loneliness. Sometimes there were acute problems and I suffered from depression. Then I would remember the solution–to saturate myself in God’s Word, in other words, God Himself.

 

A. Wetherell Johnson

“Created for Commitment”

pg. 112-113

The Offence of the Cross (1932)
by T. Austin-Sparks

 

It is a perfectly obvious fact that wherever the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ has been most faithfully preached and presented – while bringing hope and new life to many – it has almost invariably been the cause of trouble.

Wherever it has gone it has aroused antagonism. As it was a stumbling-block to the Jews and an absurdity to the Greeks in the first days, so, ever since, it has been unacceptable, not only to the men of the world as such, but to the religious communities also. This we unhesitatingly affirm to be as true today as ever, in spite of the fact that it is the most popular symbol in the world. There is hardly a city in Christendom where the architecture, galleries of art, collections of literature and conservatoires of music and religious institutions do not declare to the world a certain regard and honour for this sacred sign.

This may be a tribute to something deeper but it is that deeper thing which is absolutely unacceptable to the greater part of Christendom and the world.

It is found necessary even in certain phases of some missionary enterprise today to eliminate from the text-books and hymn books the mention of the Cross lest it offend.

Much of the preaching and teaching in the Christian Church is either confined to the “Historic Jesus”, which presents a Crossless Christ, or gives a very modified meaning to His death. And yet it is surely necessary to get rid of the Bible before we can get rid of the fact that it unites in all its parts to declare that the Cross is God’s Way of salvation, God’s sufficient and God’s only way.

Read full article HERE

The Seductive and Subversive “Shack”

By Jan Markell 
 
 Many have asked me to comment on William P. Young’s ragingly popular book The Shack.  Is this work of fiction really Christian?  It is called by some as one of Christianity’s most influential books.  One prominent endorser says it will “leave you craving for God.” 
 

Yet people I respect highly, including Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary, calls it “undiluted heresy.” He maintains there is no way it can seriously address the issues of Christian faith.

Here is the scenario in brief. Remember, this fiction plot is going to transform lives!  A man by the name of “Mack” has a daughter murdered and he slips into a depression. He gets a message that he is supposed to meet God in the shack. Entering the shack, he is in the company of the Trinity, but now it gets weird and hard to believe anyone could be deceived by this piece of work.

 

In the shack he learns that God is “Papa” but is really an African-American female. Thankfully, Jesus is a Jewish man, but the Holy Spirit is another female figure of Asian descent. So much for Trinitarian theology!  So Christianity has been misconstrued and has been revised.  Talk about minimizing the Divine!

 

On page 110 Jesus says that He is perhaps not the way, truth, and life, but the BEST way to relate to the Father and Holy Spirit. Papa God, the African-American female, says she has many followers of many religions in different lands. This is not Orthodox Christianity, yet millions of Christian readers claim it is!  Discernment has taken a summer vacation or perhaps a permanent vacation.

 

Mack asks “Papa” God, the female, about God’s wrath. The answer is that she doesn’t punish people for sin; rather she wants to cure sin.  No mention of repentance, the shed blood, and all the things the new “seeker” environment wants to leave out in the church parking lot.

 

Former “New Ager” Warren Smith says, “The Shack is being described as a Christian novel and is currently ranked number one on the New York Times best-seller list for paperback fiction. Many believers are buying multiple copies and giving them to friends and family. The Shack reads as a true story but is obviously allegorical fiction. The book conveys postmodern spiritual ideas and teachings that challenge biblical Christianity – all in the name of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’ and the ‘Holy Spirit.’ Author William P. Young’s alternative presentation of traditional Christianity has both inspired and outraged his many readers. All the while his book continues to fly off the shelves of local bookstores.”

 

Smith, who has been on my radio program many times denouncing Oprah Winfrey’s deception, goes on to say, I was drawn into the ‘New Age Movement’ years ago by books and lectures containing parabolic stories that were not unlike The Shack. They felt spiritually uplifting as they tackled tough issues and talked about God’s love and forgiveness. They seemed to provide me with what I spiritually needed as they gave me much-needed hope and promise. Building on the credibility they achieved through their inspirational and emotive writings, my ‘New Age’ authors and teachers would then go on to tell me that God was in everyone and everything.

 

I discovered that author William P. Young does exactly the same thing in The Shack. He moves through his very engaging and emotional story to eventually present this same ‘New Age’ teaching that God is ‘in’ everything.”

As writer and researcher Berit Kjos concludes, “Yet countless pastors and church leaders are delighting in its message. By ignoring (or redefining) sin and guilt, they embrace an inclusive but counterfeit ‘Christianity’ that draws crowds but distorts the Bible. Discounting Satan as well, they weaken God’s warnings about deception. No wonder His armor for today’s spiritual war became an early victim of this spreading assault on truth.”

So The Shack opens in the context of tragedy. Four years have passed since the cruel murder of Missy, Mack’s precious six-year-old daughter. Enveloped in grief, he receives a strange invitation. “I’ve missed you,” it says. “I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. Papa.” What could it mean?

Doubtful, but drawn to the meeting, Mack heads for the Oregon wilderness and finds the dilapidated old shack. “God” miraculously transforms it into a cozy cottage, and Mack meets his supposed maker.

No, it doesn’t get any stranger but sadly, it doesn’t get more popular with Christians who miss the point that The Shack is intended to bring about a new definition of the Christian faith. As Albert Mohler says, “This is totally seductive and subversive, but readers, even believers, don’t seem to mind.” You can listen to all of his comments at this link.

If you know of someone taken in by this, please pass this commentary on to them. You’ll be doing them an enormous favor. 

To learn more, visit Lighthouse Trails Research and the article The Shack: Father-goddess Rising.

I thank God for all of those who are speaking out today over outrageous issues like this one. I am reminded about the many false things promoted today written in 2 Timothy 3:16: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” This is a last days’ reference and if you don’t think we’re in them (the last days), I’ll sell you a beach vacation to Minnesota in January.

 

********

Here is another article by Berit Kjos

Deceived by a counterfeit “Jesus” – The twisted “truths”…..

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/shack.htm

Also by Mike Oppenheimer  – Shocked by the Shack

 

http://www.letusreason.org/bookR21.htm

 

A report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from the Birmingham News.

 Before the first feather appeared November 16th, Pastor Sam said he had been preaching that his interdenominational congregation was on the verge of something big. “God’s fixing to do something that we’ve never seen, he told his flock, and it’s going to blow our mind.” But even the pastor said he got uneasy when the unusual events began. While his church is openly Pentecostal, Sam said he had never veered into “wild, loony stuff.” “When you say you are receiving manifestations of angels, people think you’re crazy,” Sam said. To the natural ear, it sounds foolish. The pastor said he may have the feathers tested, but no matter what the findings, he’ll always believe they came from God. “I’ve had around 15 feathers appear before my eyes,” he said. The evidence is just overwhelming. Sam said, “Miracles shouldn’t seem out of the realm of possibility for a God given credit for such things as parting the Red Sea, crumbling the Walls of Jericho, and raising Jesus from the dead. It’s just amazing how close we walk to the supernatural realm,” he said. “The only thing hindering us from it is our own faith.”

 

Tom:

Dave, feathers-we’ve had gold dust, we’ve had gold teeth and feathers. That’s interesting.

 

Dave:

Well Tom, you’re trying to be kind. It’s-oh, I shouldn’t use the word, it is a bit ludicrous. I don’t think angels have feathers on their wings. The Bible very clearly says, “He maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire,” Hebrews 1. So the idea that angels would have physical form and that they would have physical feathers- I mean you are going to fly to Heaven with wings made out of feathers? It doesn’t compute Tom, it doesn’t make sense.

 

Tom:

Well Dave, years ago, Pastor Buck, remember Pastor Buck?

 

Dave:

Sure.

 

Tom:

Pastor Buck was taken up into the 3rd heaven and he was right there in the throne room of God and when asked how he knew it was the throne room of God he said well there are feathers on the floor. You know and he was quoting what is it-Psalm 91? “He shall cover you with his feathers and under his wings you shall take refuge and his truth shall be your shield and buckler.”

 

Dave:

Yes, well Tom right there in the portion that you quoted, you have the refutation of-God is some kind of big bird with feathers. “His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” How do you make a shield out of-shield and buckler, that’s what it means, you know the buckler is what you hold on to that shield with. How do you make a shield out of truth? And Paul writes “…taking the shield of faith where with you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Now if demons are shooting fiery arrows at us, then I guess angels have wings with feathers, but that’s not what it is talking about and one of the basic errors that man has fallen into is exchanging the spiritual for the physical. We become earthly minded; we become materialistic and we think something isn’t real unless it is physical. So, it doesn’t make sense. I mean what is the point?

 

Tom:

Dave before you address the point, in the Old Testament we have angels described with feathers, whether it be the cherubim or the seraphim. But it is interesting-

 

Dave:

Where does it say feathers? It says wings-

 

Tom:

I’m sorry-wings-I’m sorry. Wings-you’re right, but there they are with wings. All right? Now, what’s interesting is that in the New Testament with all the manifestations of angels, you never hear about wings, you never hear about feathers and we have many manifestations. So now what is the point of this? A man has a church, there are feathers flying down every which way-what does that mean?

 

Dave:

Tom, as I said, we are trying to have some physical evidence for a spiritual reality. That an angel would leave a feather-what does that mean? Is that going to be the basis of my faith now? And the man says that even though an analysis may show these are chicken feathers-he didn’t use those terms but how are you going to find out whether it was really an angelic feather? Well they will show that those feathers, I can guarantee you, belong to some fowl that lives on this earth. The Bible says that He makes His angels spirits. Flames of fire, ministering spirits to minister to those that shall be heirs of salvation. It tells us to not even try to look into who the angels are, what they may be doing and so forth. That is not our job. Our trust is in God and our faith is not in some feathers. Our faith is in the Word. That is why we call this Search the Scriptures Daily. Our faith is in the Word of God not in some physical manifestation. When Jesus said “I am the Bread of Life,” is He a loaf of bread? You know when He said I am the True Vine you are the branches, is He a grape vine and we are branches? No-so you have this sort of thing all through the Bible. So when it says He will cover you with His feathers and under His wing shalt thou trust, Jesus said, “how often would I have covered you-gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings and you would not.” Jesus doesn’t have wings. This is an allegorical statement.

 

Tom:

These are metaphors that people could relate to and identify. Dave the sad thing about this is that the very things that we’ve been talking about, evidence and faith-this man has, wittingly or unwittingly, has undermined.

 

Dave:

This is not the kind of evidence the Bible gives us. This is not the evidence upon which I would hang my eternal destiny and whether an angel appeared or not-what does that have to do with Jesus Christ being the Savior of sinners and man’s eternal destiny? So it is a way of side tracking people from what is really important.

:::::::::::::::

For further reading please read

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/FeathersFromHeaven.htm

Excerpt from the above article by Bud Press

It must be emphasized that a claim without solid evidence is like a bird without feathers–it won’t fly. The burden of proof rests with the one making the claim. Chad Leatherby claims to possess numerous “angel feathers.” He provided CRS with what he believes to be “angel feathers,” and was informed upfront that the feathers would be analyzed and examined by qualified experts. However, the feathers Leatherby provided were BIRD FEATHERS!

 

 


“…discovered many charms from various eras before and after the period of Joseph, including one that bore his effigy as the minister of the treasury in the Egyptian pharaoh’s court…”
An Egyptian paper claims that archaeologists have discovered ancient Egyptian coins bearing the name and image of the Biblical Joseph.

 

“In an unprecedented find, a group of Egyptian researchers and archeologists has discovered a cache of coins from the time of the Pharaohs. Its importance lies in the fact that it provides decisive scientific evidence disproving the claim by some historians that the ancient Egyptians were unfamiliar with coins and conducted their trade through barter.

“The researchers discovered the coins when they sifted through thousands of small archeological artifacts stored in [the vaults of] the Museum of Egypt. [Initially] they took them for charms, but a thorough examination revealed that the coins bore the year in which they were minted and their value, or effigies of the pharaohs [who ruled] at the time of their minting. Some of the coins are from the time when Joseph lived in Egypt, and bear his name and portrait.

“There used to be a misconception that trade [in Ancient Egypt] was conducted through barter, and that Egyptian wheat, for example, was traded for other goods. But surprisingly, Koranic verses indicate clearly that coins were used in Egypt in the time of Joseph…

“Research team head Dr. Sa’id Muhammad Thabet said that during his archeological research on the Prophet Joseph, he had discovered in the vaults of the [Egyptian] Antiquities Authority and of the National Museum many charms from various eras before and after the period of Joseph, including one that bore his effigy as the minister of the treasury in the Egyptian pharaoh’s court…

“Studies by Dr. Thabet’s team have revealed that what most archeologists took for a kind of charm, and others took for an ornament or adornment, is actually a coin. Several [facts led them to this conclusion]: first, [the fact that] many such coins have been found at various [archeological sites], and also [the fact that] they are round or oval in shape, and have two faces: one with an inscription, called the inscribed face, and one with an image, called the engraved face – just like the coins we use today.

“The archeological finding is also based on the fact that the inscribed face bore the name of Egypt, a date, and a value, while the engraved face bore the name and image of one of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs or gods, or else a symbol connected with these. Another telling fact is that the coins come in different sizes and are made of different materials, including ivory, precious stones, copper, silver, gold, etc.”
One coin had an inscription on it, and an image of a cow symbolizing Pharaoh’s dream about the seven fat cows and seven lean cows, and the seven green stalks of grain and seven dry stalks of grain.

“The researcher identified coins from many different periods, including coins that bore special markings identifying them as being from the era of Joseph. Among these, there was one coin that had an inscription on it, and an image of a cow symbolizing Pharaoh’s dream about the seven fat cows and seven lean cows, and the seven green stalks of grain and seven dry stalks of grain. It was found that the inscriptions of this early period were usually simple, since writing was still in its early stages, and consequently there was difficulty in deciphering the writing on these coins. But the research team [managed to] translate [the writing on the coin] by comparing it to the earliest known hieroglyphic texts… Joseph’s name appears twice on this coin, written in hieroglyphs: once the original name, Joseph, and once his Egyptian name, Saba Sabani, which was given to him by Pharaoh when he became treasurer. There is also an image of Joseph, who was part of the Egyptian administration at the time.”

MEMRI’s website says it “explores the Middle East through the region’s media. MEMRI bridges the language gap which exists between the West and the Middle East, providing timely translations of Arabic, Persian,Turkish, Urdu-Pashtu media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends in the Middle East.” Headquartered in Washington, D.C., MEMRI has branch offices in Jerusalem, London, Tokyo, Rome, Baghdad, and Shanghai.

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