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Paul Washer

BOOMERS FEAR FUTURE (Friday Church News Notes, May 27, 2011, www.wayoflife.org

By David Cloud

A sad and telling report in USA Today is entitled “Baby Boomers fear outliving retirement savings” (May 24, 2011).

“Because of the stock market crash, real estate downturn and recession, many Boomers are now terrified that they will outlive their retirement savings. One woman, age 60, who was interviewed by Financial Engines, said that she ‘might be forced to become a bag lady.’”

This is the product of turning away from God and living for vain idols and investing totally in this world while neglecting the next.

The Shack god doesn’t take care of anyone, because he doesn’t exist, but the true and living Creator God revealed in Scripture is there for His people in good times and hard.

My maternal grandmother lived through the Great Depression, and God always provided their needs. One of her favorite verses was, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalms 37:25).

Finance is a reality of this present life, and the economy has a real effect on our lives, but God’s people can trust Him with the future. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

Back in the 70’s I was fully immersed in the self-help decade. I had drifted from the Lord and was seeking to improve my sin-riddled life. (without repentance)  I read Erich Fromm’s “The Art of Loving”, and “I’M OK–YOU”RE OK”  by Thomas Harris. I relied on “strokes” for my mental well-being…but my life spiraled downward into an extremely destructive path.

The teaching of Jesus is so radically different than the teachings of the world or of philosophers.

 ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he’s the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.'”

Please read ” The Starting Principle of Discipleship” by John MacArthur.

Here are a few excerpts.

“This is pure gold, biblical gold. Maybe better, this is a diamond of truth, clear and brilliant. The subject is following Jesus, verse 23, “If anyone wishes to come after Me.” This is a text about how to come after Jesus, how to follow Jesus, how to become a Christian, how to be saved, how to be redeemed and born again. That’s what it’s about, it is critical teaching.”

“So, in the new gospel if you want to be saved, you cannot believe yourself to be an unworthy sinner. How twisted is that? How contrary to the truth is that? But it is that man-centered, self-esteemed gospel that was picked up by the number one disciple of Robert Schuller, Bill Hibles[?] and translated into the seeker-friendly movement which has hijacked evangelicalism. It’s a kind of quasi-Christian narcissism, self-love which is characteristic of false teachers, according to 2 Timothy 3, where it says, “Dangerous seasons will come, for men will be lovers of self.” And Christianity has become a “get what you want,” rather than a “give” movement. The divine intention for the gospel has been prostituted. The glory of God has been replaced by the satisfaction of man. Abandoning your life to the honor of Christ has been replaced by Christ honoring you. It’s all twisted and the real gospel is no longer in vogue.”

“So you want to come after Jesus, do you? So you want to follow Jesus, do you? It will just cost you absolutely everything. Oh the Lord might not take your life, He might not take all your money, He might not take your family or your spouse, He might not take your job, but you need to be willing if that’s what He wants. You need to be desperate enough to embrace Christ no matter what the price.”

Full sermon HERE

I found this to be an intense 3 part series. I used to listen to some of this music when I was younger….today….I would never listen to any of  this dangerous, mind-altering, satanic deception. I can’t listen to it now…it greatly disturbs me.

Red Flags of Deception

This article is being shared by many blogs right now because of the Harold Camping debaucle. Please pray for those who may be discouraged and turn away from God because of the harm done by this man. He is a deceiver and deceivers turn people away from the true and living God by misquoting or twisting scripture. The video showed Camping with a Bible in his lap, and this made Christianity look foolish. This will become old news soon, but the impact will always be felt because false prophecies demean the church.

Many Christians well-versed in scripture knew that the rapture was not going to happen on this particular day and time, and that Camping is a false prophet. The most popular verse quoted by those secure in God’s Word and His truth was Matthew 24:36. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” 

 Many of us patiently wait knowing that Jesus will come like a thief in the night and will come when we do not expect Him.

No one seems to know who wrote the following article because it was from a blog that has since been taken down. I thank the author who wrote:

Red Flags of Deception

The following is a list of ‘Red Flags’ that are symptoms of deception in a person or group. In developing this list, I was concerned, not so much with addressing specific doctrines, but in identifying characteristics that are symptomatic of deception. I started writing this list when I noticed the many similarities between the Walk and the prophetic movement gaining momentum in Vineyard/Charismatic circles. These characteristics of deception predominate in Charismatic/Vineyard groups and in the Walk.

1. Spiritual elitism. This is the root of many delusions. Any kind of elitist belief is a certain indication of deception. Elitism is the belief that God has given a certain group special revelation/power/anointing that other Christian groups or previous generations have not entered into. They are on the spiritual cutting-edge, rising to spiritual levels not attained by other groups. It’s often dressed up as “Joel’s Army”, “Gideon’s Army”, and Elijah Companies of super anointed end-time warriors. Elitism is seen today in the ‘this-is-the-greatest-generation-ever’ kind of preaching we often hear. It can be found in the need to search out so-called ‘deeper’ truths and discover new, hidden mystical insights.

2. A tendency to marginalize the written Word. Watch out for any talk that plays down devotion to Scripture, such as “God is bigger than the Bible” or “God is doing a new thing, so put away your Bibles.” Marginalizing the written Word can take many forms:

a) Ignoring the Word. Neglecting private Bible study in daily life is a strong symptom of deception.

b) Disregarding the Word. A careless attitude towards obedience. I’ve seen examples of this in wild revival meetings in which people mockingly quote the verse, “Let all things be done decently and in order”, while they enjoy a good laugh over their disorderly and drunken behavior. Any teaching that plays down our requirement to be doers of the Word is a sure sign of delusion.

c) Deceived groups that marginalize the Word are often those who have an emphasis on prophecy. Beware of any emphasis on the revelatory, prophetic word, especially where there is a sidelining of the written Word. We are not to despise prophecy, but the real meat of the Word that nourishes the saints and builds them up in the faith is the written Word of God, not the prophetic. Teaching that would make Christians dependant on prophets or apostles for ‘current’ truth effectively marginalizes the Word of God.

d) “Fools despise knowledge.” Any kind of talk that does not give the Word the high regard it is due, effectively marginalizes the Word and is a sure sign that deception is at work in the group. As the Word says, “Choose my instruction instead of silver.” Love it more than anything else.

3. Prayerlessness in private. Neglect of private prayer time, alone with God, is a strong indication of deception. If it is prevalent across a church or movement, it indicates deception is taking hold of that group. Please note that deceived people will often continue to attend and even enjoy public church functions, especially when there is good sound, light or music – but private quite time loses its appeal.

4. Disdain for Berean[31] spirited searching of the scriptures. Any kind of anti-Berean, anti-discernment teaching that discourages people from questioning what is going on or being taught is a sure sign of deception. If you ever hear the leadership of your church group say anything along the lines of “put away your Bibles”, or “don’t worry about being deceived”, then head for the exit as fast as you can.

5. An inability to separate Godly criticism of their words from personal attack. Equating ‘Berean’ (Acts 17:11) activity with criticism. Such leaders may often talk about the ‘Jezebel spirit’ and the ‘accuser of the brethren’ and warn people about moving in a fault finding or critical spirit. What they are driving at is that if you question what is going on, or challenge what is being taught, you are being critical and run the risk of incurring the Lord’s disfavor.

6. Lack of accountability. One common trait among the new wave of apostles and prophets rising to prominence these days is that they do not like to be held accountable for their teachings and failed prophecies. Any criticism of their teachings and prophetic utterances is taken as an attack against their ministry.

7. Discernment primarily the prerogative of leadership. A tendency to see discernment as a special gift or anointing not available to everyone to the same degree, or that increases with higher spiritual office. The ‘higher’ you are on the prophetic ladder, the more discerning you are. Since leaders supposedly have better discernment as per their higher office, followers tend to trust the opinions of their leaders over their own, since the ‘apostle’ or prophet must have better understanding anyway due to their higher standing in the spiritual ranks[32]. Believers are not encouraged to trust their own discernment, or are encouraged only so long as it agrees with the overall word as set forth by the leaders. Discernment among the ranks becomes little more than a faculty (an inner witness of the spirit) that confirms what the Apostle or Prophet is saying.

8. Any form of Mystery Religion. A mystery religion is a religion that has successive levels of knowledge and ‘deeper’ truths, which are not necessarily available to all, at least not at first. Those in higher levels will know things not revealed, nor available, to lower levels. A new ‘believer’ comes in on the ground floor, and then progresses up through successive levels of spiritual understanding and empowerment as he is introduced to the ‘deeper’ truths.

9. Heightened interest with spiritual levels and rankings. Higher ‘spiritual’ rank is equated with greater closeness to God. Gifts and callings are typically ranked, and those higher in rank are seen as closer to God in some practical way, such as hearing from God more frequently and being more privy to God’s inner secrets. Those on higher spiritual levels have a privileged access to God that is not available to those holding lesser callings. As a result of their higher standing or special calling, God visits them more often and they receive greater mystical experiences than the rest.

10. Heightened interest in dreams, visions, new revelations and novel insights. This may not necessarily be explicitly stated in their Creed, and they may claim to believe the Bible as the Word of God. But in actual practice dreams, visions and revelations are the preferred stock-in-trade over sound Bible teaching and exposition of the basics.

11. An increase in subjectivity. Looking for subjective impressions, personal ‘prophetic’ words and ‘revelation’ for guidance and direction. Seeking the mystical ‘inner voice’ as guide over the written Word. You can be sure that if a person is seeking new personal ‘words’, it is because they are not in the Word, and serious deception cannot be long avoided.

12. Detractors dismissed as having inferior vision. They see themselves as being in tune with God, and anyone who is also in tune with the Divine will agree with them. Detractors are obviously not in tune with God and have inferior vision. This sets up a very neat circular reasoning that is almost impossible to get past. It is a defensiveness which is very difficult to penetrate, because they are convinced that detractors don’t have the same level of anointing or discernment as they have. As they see it, if detractors did have the same level of anointing, they’d be in agreement. They dismiss any criticism of their teaching or conduct as bitterness, jealousy or fault finding, while they themselves feel they have very sharp spiritual perception. People are truly discerning only as long as they support their movement.

13. Dismissive attitude towards detractors. Detractors given derogatory labels, such as ‘religious’, ‘old order’, ‘old wineskins’, or ‘Pharisees’. Detractors denounced as not being able to ‘handle it’, or they have a ‘Jezebel spirit’, or a ‘spirit of criticism’. They are ‘accusers of the brethren’, that sort of thing. Threats of God’s judgment on detractors and critics are a sure sign of a cultic mindset and delusion.

14. A ‘get-on-board-or-else’ mentality. A fear that you’ll miss God’s new move and be left behind if you don’t join up. God is doing a new thing and if you do not go along with it, regardless of how long you’ve been faithfully serving God over the years, God will pass you by and you’ll get left in the dust.

15. New thingism. God is doing a ‘new thing’ and you’d better get with it. There is now a further requirement if you want to remain a first class Christian and in God’s highest favour, which is to be a part of the new thing represented by the group. If you don’t come along, you run the risk of God passing you by.

16. A special anointing. A certain person or group has been anointed by God to introduce something to the rest of the Body. God has given it to them, and other believers can come to them to ‘get it.’

17. A priesthood. Placing a person or group in an exalted status with God, so that they become special intermediaries, is a sure sign of delusion. False movements and false religions invariable try to interject some kind of priesthood between the believer and God. This is seen whenever a person or group claims to have received something from God that can be received from their hands. They become an intermediary between you and Jesus Christ if you want more of God, and people are encouraged to go to the ‘anointed’ of the Lord to get it.

We see this today in certain revival circles where it is necessary to get more from God at the hands of a specially chosen vessel. Worship leaders have ‘an anointing’ to lead us into the presence of God. Prophets and apostles have a privileged access to receive things from God that the rest of the church needs. False religion always reverts to some form of human priesthood.

18. “Don’t think about it, just jump in” type of teaching that encourages people to throw caution to the wind. Encouraging followers not to worry or think things through, that God won’t allow them to be deceived. Just jump in before it’s too late or you may miss the boat.

19. Glorification of the vessel. An excessive focus on the ‘anointed’ person of God.

20. Old Testament ‘typed’ anointing. (A ‘Phineas’ anointing. The mantle of Elijah, etc.)

21. An excited interest in peripheral subjects not central to the gospel. A de-emphasis on the central themes of the gospel. They claim to agree with the gospel, but the bulk of their teaching, writing and prophetic messages show a greater interest in peripheral topics, novel insights and new revelation.

22. May talk unity, but bring division along lines of gender, age, race or nationality.

23. Watch out for leaders who love to surround themselves with minions who affirm their special anointing.

24. More interest in breaking through to new levels and remaking the church along new lines rather than reaching the lost with the good news of Jesus Christ.

25. False spirits love to show off and love center stage. They love to parade their subjective impressions and experiences up front for others to see. Publicly sharing highly subjective impressions and insights that cannot be proved or disproved one way or the other is a real “Red Flag”.

26. Conference chasing. Running from place to place to meet God. Any emphasis on experiencing God corporately more than privately is a symptom of delusion. Whenever people need to go to a conference or certain location to receive a ‘fresh’ touch, something is very wrong.

There is a whole generation of believers now who are bored with ‘quiet time’ alone with God, who don’t know how to meet God in the prayer closet, and can only meet with God and experience Him in public settings that provide the right mood and atmosphere, usually involving the right music. The reason so many are chasing God at conferences is because they are not in the Word and prayer at home.

27. The ‘anointed’ leader has a privileged access, a hot relationship, with God that the rest have yet to attain. They get angelic visitations, dramatic visions and prophetic insights, and they publish ‘prophetic bulletins’ to keep others abreast with what God is doing. Because the apostles and prophets are in such a privileged position of receiving the latest hot word from God, the rest are reduced to second hand status, anxiously awaiting the latest prophetic bulletin. Watch for groups that tend to place emphasis on the leaders anointing or relationship with God. This results in Christians running to conferences for a ‘fresh touch’ from those who seem to have ‘it’.

28. The Holy Spirit is seen more as coming to bring an experience rather than a greater understanding of the Scripture.

29. A tendency to distinguish between people who accept their movement as a true move of God and those who don’t.

30. Beware of any dichotomy between the Spirit and the mind. Any anti-intellectual position, such as the belief held in many charismatic circles today that exercising the mind will hinder the Holy Spirit, is a real indication of deception. Deceivers like to parrot phrases like: “God will offend the mind to reveal the heart.” This cute little mantra often repeated in certain revival groups sounds very spiritual, but is very false. A careful reading of the Word tells us the truth: God will inform the mind to convince the heart. Jesus often did offend the Pharisee’s – by telling them the truth! The Holy Spirit leads people to Christ by shining the light of God’s Word into their minds and convicting them of its truth.

                              

In his homiletical commentary on Ephesians, Harry Ironside tells about meeting an older, very godly man early in his ministry. The man Andrew Fraser, was dying of tuberculosis, and Ironside went to visit him. Fraser could barely speak above a whisper because his lungs were almost consumed by the disease. But he said, “Young man, you are trying to preach Christ, are you not?”

“Yes I am,” replied Ironside.

“Well,” he said, “sit down a little, and let us talk together about the Word of God.”

He opened his Bible, and until his strength was gone he unfolded one passage after another, teaching truths that Ironside before that time had not appreciated or even perceived. Before long, tears were running down Ironside’s cheeks and he asked, “Where did you get these things? Can you tell me where I can find a book that will open them up to me? Did you get them in a seminary or college?”

Fraser replied, “My dear young man, I learned these things on my knees on the mud floor of a little sod cottage in the north of Ireland. There with my open Bible before me, I used to kneel for hours at a time and ask the Spirit of God to reveal Christ to my soul and to open the Word to my heart.  He taught me more on my knees on the mud floor than I ever could have learned in all the seminaries or colleges in the world.”

Excerpt from “Living by the Book”  – Boice

Originally sent to E-mail Ministry Subscribers on 7/31/2000

 source:  James Boyd on facebook

THE ANT AND THE CONTACT LENS

A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although

she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite

cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the

rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge

where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the

safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact

lens.

Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and

hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked,

hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there.

Now far from home on a ledge, her sight blurry, she was feeling

desperate and began to get upset. She prayed to the Lord to help her to

find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her

clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found.

She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the

rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across

range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says,

“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She

thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone

and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help

me.”

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there

was a new party climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of

them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well,

that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An

ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it!

Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the

incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a

picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I

don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and

it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry

it for You.”

At the risk of being accused of being fatalistic, I think it would

probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why

you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s

awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.”

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

“Reading the Bible throws light on life, on all its problems and trials, on the confusing behavior of other people, on what is important and what is not, on right behavior, right goals, and right priorities. If you have not found this to be true, it is because of one of two things. Either you are not really studying the Bible or you are approaching it in a superior or vain frame of  mind,  judging it by your own limited views rather than allowing it to judge you. You need to allow the Bible to instruct you.”

“Martin Luther pointed out that the Word gives understanding “to the simple,” which is what the verse says. He argued that the wisdom of the Bible is hidden from those who are wise in their own eyes but that it is disclosed to those who are “ready, prepared, eager always to be taught, judged, and to hear, rather than to teach, judge and be heard.”‘

Psalm 119:129-130

“Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

This next excerpt speaks of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who were returning home after the crucifixion, when Jesus joined them and began to teach them.

“This is how we grow in knowledge of God’s truth. First there is the opening of God’s Word, then the opening of the eyes to see Jesus, and finally the opening of the mind or understanding. Notice that here, as in each of the other points to be considered, the end result is not understanding alone, but obedience to what is understood.”

Quotes are from James Montgomery Boice on Psalm 119.

CHRISTIANITY TODAY EDITOR SAYS IT IS O.K. FOR EVANGELICALS TO DABBLE IN HERESIES (Friday Church News Notes, May 13 2011,)

By David Cloud

Mark Galli, senior managing editor of Christianity Today, says that evangelicals should be allowed to dabble in heresies. He said this in the context of Rob Bell’s heresy-packed book Love Wins. Though Bell denies the infallible inspiration of Scripture, Christ’s substitutionary atonement, the necessity of being born again through personal faith in Christ, eternal hell fire, and other cardinal doctrines, Galli claims that he is “a brother in Christ” and that we should be patient with his errors.

According to Galli, we should treat Paul Young and The Shack with the same “charity.” He says, “We recognize that an author trying to repeat the old, old story in fresh ways will sometimes overstep the bounds of traditional theology” (“Rob Bell Is Not a Litmus Test,” ChristinaityToday.com, May 5, 2011). This is a recipe for spiritual shipwreck.

The Bible warns God’s people to mark and avoid those who teach doctrine contrary to the apostolic faith, because false teachers are able to deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16:17). Heretics are to be rejected after the first and second admonition (Titus 3:10-11).

Doctrines of devils are not to be entertained; they are to be refused (1 Timothy 4:1-7).

Christianity Today was founded by Billy Graham in 1956 and has been a major voice for New Evangelicalism ever since. Conservative in its early days, it has grown progressively liberal over the decades. This is a loud warning to fundamental Baptists who are flirting with New Evangelical principles and who find “separatism” distasteful. Galli says, “The fact that so many resonate with Bell’s concerns about these themes means we need to wrestle with them afresh.”

No, the fact that so many resonate with Bell’s heresies is evidence of the wholesale compromise of evangelicalism and is a loud warning that we should touch not the unclean thing lest we, too, be polluted. Separation is a fundamental biblical practice.

 “Zeal will make a man hate everything which God hates, and long to sweep it from the face of the earth” (J.C. Ryle, 1816-1900).

This is a really good series of posts from Erin about the Psalm 119 conference which I just learned about one hour ago. Having been immersed in Psalm 119 myself for three weeks, it was very interesting and relevant to my current study. 

Please read from “Do Not Be Surprised” —

Preach the Word – Psalm 119 Partial Recap, Part 4

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 3 weeks since the Psalm 119 conference, and I still haven’t finished recapping it! See, like I said, it really would be so much easier if all of my readers would simply attend one of the conferences! Reviewing and transcribing my notes, though, is probably benefitting me more than my readers, as it allows me to really ponder all of this information, and to subsequently apply it rightly in my life. So I thank you for humoring me!

Thus far I have recapped the sermons delivered by Todd Friel, James White, and Milton Vincent. Three down, two to go! Today I’d like to review Phil Johnson’s talks. If you aren’t familiar with Johnson (seriously, what is wrong with you?!) he is the Executive Director of Grace to You, one of the Pyromaniacs of Team Pyro, and shall I say “curator” of the Spurgeon Archive. He’s also a wonderful expositor of God’s Word whose teachings have been a blessing in my life. To hear him speak in person was an honor for me, as was having the opportunity to meet him and his wife, and to thank him personally for his ministry. In fact, the opportunity to meet all of the speakers at Psalm 119 and to offer my heartfelt thanks for their dedication to God’s Word and truth was a great privilege for me. But I digress…

 Full article  HERE

*******

I am currently taking in “Living by the Book: The Joy of Loving and Trusting God’s Word”  by James Montgomery Boice.  This is a fantastic study of Psalm 119. I highly recommend this book. I downloaded it to my kindle.

kim

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