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We are being deluded with books and false teachings suggesting that we can contact the dead or that we can know more about heaven and hell outside of what the Bible teaches. Please read a timely article from GotQuestions.org.

Question: “What is the Christian view of psychics?”

Answer: The Bible strongly condemns spiritism, mediums, the occult, and psychics (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-13). Horoscopes, tarot cards, astrology, fortune tellers, palm readings, and séances fall into this category as well. These practices are based on the concept that there are gods, spirits, or deceased loved ones that can give advice and guidance. These “gods” or “spirits” are demons (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). The Bible gives us no reason to believe that deceased loved ones can contact us. If they were believers, they are in heaven enjoying the most wonderful place imaginable in fellowship with a loving God. If they were not believers, they are in hell, suffering the un-ending torment for rejecting God’s love and rebelling against Him.

So, if our loved ones cannot contact us, how do mediums, spiritists, and psychics get such accurate information? There have been many exposures of psychics as frauds. It has been proven that psychics can gain immense amounts of information on someone through ordinary means. Sometimes by just using a telephone number through caller ID and an internet search, a psychic can get names, addresses, dates of birth, dates of marriage, family members, etc. However, it is undeniable that psychics sometimes know things that should be impossible for them to know. Where do they get this information? The answer is from Satan and his demons. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Acts 16:16-18 describes a fortune teller who was able to predict the future until the apostle Paul rebuked a demon out of her.

Satan pretends to be kind and helpful. He tries to appear as something good. Satan and his demons will give a psychic information about a person in order to get that person hooked into spiritism, something that God forbids. It appears innocent at first, but soon people can find themselves addicted to psychics and unwittingly allow Satan to control and destroy their lives. Peter proclaimed, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). In some cases, the psychics themselves are deceived, not knowing the true source of the information they receive. Whatever the case and wherever the source of the information, nothing connected to spiritism, witchcraft, or astrology is a godly means of discovering information. How does God want us to discern His will for our life? God’s plan is simple, yet powerful and effective: study the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and pray for wisdom (James 1:5).

Exposing Error: Is It Worthwhile?

By Dr. Harry Ironside

Objection is often raised even by some sound in the faith-regarding the exposure of error as being entirely negative and of no real edification. Of late, the hue and cry has been against any and all negative teaching. But the brethren who assume this attitude forget that a large part of the New Testament, both of the teaching of our blessed Lord Himself and the writings of the apostles, is made up of this very character of ministry-namely, showing the Satanic origin and, therefore, the unsettling results of the propagation of erroneous systems which Peter, in his second epistle, so definitely refers to as “damnable heresies.”

Our Lord prophesied, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Within our own day, how many false prophets have risen; and oh, how many are the deceived! Paul predicted, “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch.” My own observation is that these “grievous wolves,” alone and in packs, are not sparing even the most favoured flocks. Undershepherds in these “perilous times” will do well to note the apostle’s warning: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.” It is as important in these days as in Paul’s-in fact, it is increasingly important-to expose the many types of false teaching that, on every hand, abound more and more.

We are called upon to “contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints,” while we hold the truth in love. The faith means the whole body of revealed truth, and to contend for all of God’s truth necessitates some negative teaching. The choice is not left with us. Jude said he preferred a different, a pleasanter theme-“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordainedto this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3, 4). Paul likewise admonishes us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).

This does not imply harsh treatment of those entrapped by error-quite the opposite. If it be objected that exposure to error necessitates unkind reflection upon others who do not see as we do, our answer is: it has always been the duty of every loyal servant of Christ to warn against any teaching that would make Him less precious or cast reflection upon His finished redemptive work and the all-sufficiency of His present service as our great High Priest and Advocate.

Every system of teaching can be judged by what it sets forth as to these fundamental truths of the faith. “What think ye of Christ?” is still the true test of every creed. The Christ of the Bible is certainly not the Christ of any false “-ism.” Each of the cults has its hideous caricature of our lovely Lord.

Let us who have been redeemed at the cost of His precious blood be “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” As the battle against the forces of evil waxes ever more hot, we have need for God-given valour.

There is constant temptation to compromise. “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” It is always right to stand firmly for what God has revealed concerning His blessed Son’s person and work. The “father of lies” deals in half-truths and specializes in most subtle fallacies concerning the Lord Jesus, our sole and sufficient Savior.

Error is like leaven of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.

Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due. To ourselves, if we consider “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,” it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls “caught in the snare of the fowler”-how many of them God only knows-it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting.

[Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951), a godly Fundamentalist author and teacher for many years, served as pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948]

From Got Questions?

“Why does God allow evil?”

Answer: The Bible describes God as holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (Psalm 7:11), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and sovereign (Daniel 4:17-25). These attributes tell us the following about God: (1) God is capable of preventing evil, and (2) God desires to rid the universe of evil. So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil and desires to prevent evil, why does He still allow evil? Perhaps a practical way to look at this question would be to consider some alternative ways people might have God run the world:

1) God could change everyone’s personality so that they cannot sin. This would also mean that we would not have a free will. We would not be able to choose right or wrong because we would be “programmed” to only do right. Had God chosen to do this, there would be no meaningful relationships between Him and His creation.

Instead, God made Adam and Eve innocent but with the ability to choose good or evil. Because of this, they could respond to His love and trust Him or choose to disobey. They chose to disobey. Because we live in a real world where we can choose our actions but not their consequences, their sin affected those who came after them (us). Similarly, our decisions to sin have an impact on us and those around us and those who will come after us.

2) God could compensate for people’s evil actions through supernatural intervention 100 percent of the time. God would stop a drunk driver from causing an automobile accident. God would stop a lazy construction worker from doing a substandard job on a house that would later cause grief to the homeowners. God would stop a father who is addicted to drugs or alcohol from doing any harm to his wife, children, or extended family. God would stop gunmen from robbing convenience stores. God would stop high school bullies from tormenting the brainy kids. God would stop thieves from shoplifting. And, yes, God would stop terrorists from flying airplanes into buildings.

While this solution sounds attractive, it would lose its attractiveness as soon as God’s intervention infringed on something we wanted to do. We want God to prevent horribly evil actions, but we are willing to let “lesser-evil” actions slide—not realizing that those “lesser-evil” actions are what usually lead to the “greater-evil” actions. Should God only stop actual sexual affairs, or should He also block our access to pornography or end any inappropriate, but not yet sexual, relationships? Should God stop “true” thieves, or should He also stop us from cheating on our taxes? Should God only stop murder, or should He also stop the “lesser-evil” actions done to people that lead them to commit murder? Should God only stop acts of terrorism, or should He also stop the indoctrination that transformed a person into a terrorist?

3) Another choice would be for God to judge and remove those who choose to commit evil acts. The problem with this possibility is that there would be no one left, for God would have to remove us all. We all sin and commit evil acts (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). While some people are more evil than others, where would God draw the line? Ultimately, all evil causes harm to others.

Instead of these options, God has chosen to create a “real” world in which real choices have real consequences. In this real world of ours, our actions affect others. Because of Adam’s choice to sin, the world now lives under the curse, and we are all born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12). There will one day come a time when God will judge the sin in this world and make all things new, but He is purposely “delaying” in order to allow more time for people to repent so that He will not need to condemn them (2 Peter 3:9). Until then, He IS concerned about evil. When He created the Old Testament laws, the goal was to discourage and punish evil. He judges nations and rulers who disregard justice and pursue evil. Likewise, in the New Testament, God states that it is the government’s responsibility to provide justice in order to protect the innocent from evil (Romans 13). He also promises severe consequences for those who commit evil acts, especially against the “innocent” (Mark 9:36-42).

In summary, we live in a real world where our good and evil actions have direct consequences and indirect consequences upon us and those around us. God’s desire is that for all of our sakes we would obey Him that it might be well with us (Deuteronomy 5:29). Instead, what happens is that we choose our own way, and then we blame God for not doing anything about it. Such is the heart of sinful man. But Jesus came to change men’s hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He does this for those who will turn from evil and call on Him to save them from their sin and its consequences (2 Corinthians 5:17). God does prevent and restrain some acts of evil. This world would be MUCH WORSE were not God restraining evil. At the same time, God has given us the ability to choose good and evil, and when we choose evil, He allows us, and those around us, to suffer the consequences of evil. Rather than blaming God and questioning God on why He does not prevent all evil, we should be about the business of proclaiming the cure for evil and its consequences—Jesus Christ!

 

http://www.gotquestions.org/God-allow-evil.html

Source – Ephesians 5:11 Blog

by William Saunders

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chuck Missler’s, Avi Lipkin, and walking circumspectly because the days are evil.

As many know, my articles can be very long due to the entire screen shot images and my own words. Most people go through the whole article and I will receive “wow” type emails as we know the information is powerful.

Some will watch every video clip, read every word from beginning to end. Some just glance and may watch one clip to move on. Some won’t watch any clips because they simply don’t have the time in their busy routines.

However, there is a 79 second video clip I would like everyone to watch from my last article because I believe this is VERY IMPORTANT. If you saw this, watch it again.

Full Article and Video HERE

BLIND FOLLOWERS OF MEN

MARCH 20,2012

(David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

One of the great errors that has permeated the independent fundamental Baptist movement (IFB) is the blind loyalty given to some men.

This is one of the reasons why I predict that most IFB churches will be well down the emerging path within a generation. (See Why Most Independent Baptist Churches Will Be Emerging, which is available as a free eBook from Way of Life — http://www.wayoflife.org).

The correction that is needed will not be received because reproof is not allowed in the context of these exalted men.

The Grand Poobah of poobahs among IFBaptists was the late Jack Hyles.

In the early 1990s, when a pile of evidence was published, including multiple eyewitness testimonies, exposing Hyles’ improper relationship with his secretary and the rampant immorality in the church that had been covered up and not disciplined (including the adulteries of Hyles’ son Dave when he was on staff), instead of a loud chorus of voices reproving the man, the largest chorus supported him unquestioningly and blacklisted the “critics.”

In fact, from coast to coast his fans donned buttons that announced “100% Hyles.” The very fact that he didn’t condemn that idolatrous practice in no uncertain terms, and allowed the buttons to be distributed at Hyles-Anderson College, proved that he was more akin to a cult leader than a biblical pastor.

I have felt the lash from Hyles’ fans ever since 1998, when I published an article entitled “Pentecost vs. Hylescost.” This report analyzed the man’s braggadocios claim that more people were saved at his church (First Baptist Church, Hammond, Indiana) on May 3, 1998, than were saved on the Day of Pentecost or on any other day in church history. (That article can be found under the Evangelism section of the Article Database at the Way of Life web site.)

The following e-mail was is of many that I have received through the years from Hyles’ fans:

“Mr. Cloud, I don’t know if you will personally read this e-mail, but I read your article on Pentecost vs. Hylescost. What kind of ‘Christian’ is a man that would critique a man of God? How could you possibly say such horrible things about a man of God that is serving the Lord and doing exactly what God put him on this earth to do? Until you pastor the Worlds Largest Sunday School, and see over 5,000 people saved in a day, you have no right to speak as you did about Dr. Jack Hyles. No decent Baptist would say negative things about another Baptist preacher. Therefore I don’t believe that you are a Baptist. I can’t believe that I even allowed myself to even read such a disgusting article. I attend Hyles-Anderson College, and First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. I WILL STAND FOR JACK HYLES, AND EVERYTHING HE PREACHES, I will not let anybody put him down. If you say that you are who you really are, you would too. If I let people know about this article, you will have thousands of people against you. Jack Hyles is doing far above more for the cause of Christ than you can ever do.”

This concept of not allowing “criticism” of influential men and organizations within the IFB movement has spread widely, and I am reminded of this fact every time I dare to mention anything negative about them.

I could print similar letters and e-mails that I have received in blind support of Clarence Sexton, Bob Jones University, Jack Schaap, Peter Ruckman, and many others.

Consider the following e-mail (January 2012) that is typical of dozens I have received last year in defense of Pastor Paul Chappell of Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster, California, after I warned about his extensive use of Contemporary Christian Music:

“Please stop judging and criticizing our Brother in Christ Paul Chappell. You cannot judge the brothers and sisters in Christ. If you see something wrong, then just pray to God that He will take care of it. YOU BETTER KEEP YOUR BUSINESS OUT OF THEIR LIVES. … You need to repent of what you have done to Paul Chappell and to others. I feel that you bring shame to the gospel and the principles of God. Repent and ask for their forgiveness for hurting or criticizing them for no reason. … God is the JUDGE. Remember that. You are not a JUDGE to Christian friends. … Repent yourself and send letters to say that you are sorry and it will not happen again. I WILL KEEP AN EYE ON YOU IN EVERY MOVE.”

This is nearly a mirror image of the 1998 e-mail defending Hyles.

REPLY FROM BROTHER CLOUD

The following reply that I sent to the Hyles’ fan in 1998 is as applicable and needed today as it was then. In spite of the dreadful downfall of so many of the overly-exalted IFB heros over the past 20 years, it seems like we haven’t learned anything.

__________________

Hello. I am sorry that you feel that way, but I have the responsibility before God to judge preachers and their message by the Word of God, and I intend to continue to do that in spite of the opposition by those who blindly follow men (which is idolatry).

I realize that I am nothing and I am nobody. I am simply a man that the Lord saved by His grace and called to preach. I am not worthy of the calling, but God doesn’t call worthy people; He calls whomsoever He pleases to call, typically the weak as opposed to the strong, the nobody as opposed to the noble.

No one likes to be criticized and no one likes to hear his pastor or some spiritual hero criticized, but there is no reason to get angry and to lash out at those who are issuing the criticism. There is no reason to go on the attack against the messenger and blacklist him. We do well, rather, to weigh the criticism by God’s Word rather than respond to it in a carnal way like a junkyard bulldog.

We see from the following Scriptures that the believer has the responsibility to test everything by God’s Word:

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:128).

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).

“Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge” (1 Corinthians 14:29).

“Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

The following Scriptures authorize the preacher to proclaim God’s Word with reproof and rebuke and exhortation.

“And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another” (Romans 15:14).

“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” (Colossians 3:16).

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).

“These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:15).

“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God…” (1 Peter 4:11).

“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).

I have never seen anything in the Bible that would limit a ministry of testing and reproof so that certain influential pastors are not subject to it. And I have never seen anything in the Bible that requires that a preacher can give reproof only in a private context.

The prophets of old reproved even godly kings for their spiritual compromise.

“Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish” (2 Chronicles 20:37).

Paul publicly reproved Peter for his hypocrisy.

“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” (Galatians 2:14).

If Peter’s friends had been like a lot of independent Baptists I know, they would have lashed out at Paul for his audacity at reproving “the man of God,” and especially for reproving him before others. Why didn’t Paul talk with Peter privately instead of making a public issue of it, they would ask? Was he jealous of Peter? Yea, that must be it. Who was Paul compared to Peter? When Paul won 3,000 to the Lord through one sermon and pastored a church of tens of thousands, then he might be qualified to reprove the great man, but not before. Why, when Paul preached on Mars Hill only a handful of people responded, probably because he made too much of an issue of repentance! Who does Paul think he is to reprove Peter for hypocrisy? Does he think he is the epitome of Christian perfection? Yea, he is probably puffed up with pride and besotted with jealously. Further, Paul is nit-picking. Peter’s little “hypocrisy,” if you want to call it that, is no big deal. Why doesn’t Paul aim his guns at real errors instead of shooting the wounded? Doesn’t Paul realize that it is wrong to be divisive? Further, Paul wasn’t even a member of the Jerusalem church, so he needs to mind his own business. If he wants to reprove someone, let him reprove the Judaizers and the Gnostics and leave the man of God alone.

This is the thinking of large numbers of IFBaptists, but the attitude of unquestioning loyalty to any man is not scriptural but rather is cultic. No preacher is above being tested by the Word of God. Any preacher is liable to compromise and error. And if his compromise and error is public and has a public influence, the reproof should be public.

A godly preacher does not desire “unquestioning loyalty.” While no man enjoys reproof, a godly man knows that reproof is necessary.

“Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish” (Proverbs 12:1).

Like Paul, any godly preacher is pleased when the people judge him and his message and his ministry properly and graciously by God’s Word (Acts 17:11).

I’m not talking about a critical, nit-picking spirit. I’m not talking about carnal gossip. I’m not talking about criticism based on personal opinion or ignorance.

I’m talking about a godly critique issued with wisdom in a compassionate attitude and based solidly upon the Scripture rightly divided by people who love Christ and have His glory in view.

The Bereans are not called “noble” in Scripture because they gave blind loyalty to Paul; they are called “noble” because they tested Paul’s preaching by God’s Word. Not only were they right in doing so; they were exercising an essential and fundamental spiritual ministry.

A preacher’s only authority is the Bible, and when he strays from that he has no authority whatsoever. Consider the following exhortation:

“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (Hebrews 13:7).

Here we see that qualified spiritual rulers are those who speak the Word of God. That is their authority, and that is their sole authority, and they are to be tested by that same Word. Their conversation or manner of life is also to be tested as to whether it conforms to God’s Word and as to whether they are qualified to hold the office of pastor as given in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

The Bible describes a man like Jack Hyles in the first churches. His name was Diotrephes, and the apostle John warned about him in no uncertain terms.

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who LOVETH TO HAVE THE PREEMINENCE among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, PRATING AGAINST US WITH MALICIOUS WORDS: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God” (3 John 9-11).

Diotrephes had a HEART problem. He was a proud man. He was puffed up in his own estimation, loving to have the preeminence.

Diotrephes had a WILL problem. He ruled the church by his own will, but the pastor’s job is to rule by God’s will. The qualified pastor is not “selfwilled” (Titus 1:7). The church is God’s flock, God’s building, God’s husbandry. The pastor is not to be lord over God’s heritage (1 Pet. 5:3).

Diotrephes also had an AUTHORITY problem. He obviously felt that he was an authority unto himself; whereas the pastor’s sole authority is the Bible. The Christian leader who attempts to lead the church by human thinking and man-made tradition and philosophy is to be rejected.

No independent Baptist preacher that I know of prats directly against the apostles, but some of them prat against those who try to test them by the apostles’ doctrine and practice. And they “forbid” their “critics” just like Diotrephes did, sometimes even casting them out of the church.

THERE ARE MANY DIOTREPHES IN THE INDEPENDENT BAPTIST MOVEMENT WHO HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY JACK HYLES.

You can tell that a man is a Diotrephes when he forbids “criticism” and when he prats against his “critics” with malicious words and pretends that those who speak against him are actually speaking against God.

My friends, beware of the spirit of Diotrephes.

Preacher, don’t let that spirit light on you.

Brethren, don’t be caught up in the cultic clutches of such men. They will try to usurp the place of Jesus Christ in your life and will rob you of your God-given right of private interpretation and spiritual judgment.

At the same time, I would exhort God’s people to submit to godly authority. If you are not a pastor, you don’t have the authority of a pastor and your job is not to lead the church. When every church member thinks of himself as a shepherd of the church and considers himself or herself able to determine the direction of the church, there is confusion. Obedience to God-called pastors is a very important spiritual discipline and is necessary for peace in the church and for blessing and progress in God’s work in this needy world. We must learn that We will never agree with any pastor in all matters. The final decisions are his to be made before God, as he is the one who will give account.

“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).

God-called, qualified pastors have real spiritual authority that God has given them and they are to be obeyed as they obey God’s Word (Heb. 13:17), but a Diotrephes exceeds this authority and lords it over God’s people in a carnal, self-willed manner.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:21).

Review of Chuck Missler at the Red River Prophecy Conference by Pastor Glenn A. Knudson

[I am sharing these observations of Chuck Missler’s recent talk because I caught part of it as it as streamed and this pastor put it better than I could since science is not my strength. I agree with him that Missler’s teachings are NOT biblical and that Missler has himself crossed the line into fables and science so-called.- Jackie]

Review of Chuck Missler at the Red River Prophecy Conference

by Pastor Glenn A. Knudson

I have been able to listen to all of the first talk by Chuck Missler, Macrocosm, and most of the second talk, Microcosm (which he also added Metacosm at the end). He taught exactly what I thought he would teach and why I did not want our fellowship to support the conference because of him.  [note from Kim….Pastor Knudson has a congregation in Fargo, MN.]

Macrocosm-

1. He started the talk with the “erroneous” preconceptions we have “Especially in the area of science”

a. we have misconceptions about science

b. we have misconceptions about reality

He defined macrocosm as all things larger than ourselves and that it is “the limits to largeness” and “our finite boundaries”

Einstein was the first to give us the concept of time as the fourth decision and that there is no distinction between time and space.

He then introduced his concept of a ten dimensional universe where Einstein* [see notes at end of article] had stopped at four but “knew” there were more (He expands the teaching on ten dimensions in his Micro/Metacosm talk).

He then mentions the states in which matter can be found solid,liquid,gas and super gas (or plasma) He makes a statement that you need to listen to the words he uses “that as a plasma gases function as a unified “organism” (I always was taught organisms are living things and the Bible is specific in its definitions of life and the that man is unique from plant and animal life and that gases have no life).

He then makes a statement I believed is to diffuse anyone who would dare speak against what he is teaching, “The only barrier to truth is the presupposition you already have it.” (How could I as a non-scientist question Chuck’s findings and say I am because I view the Word of God as my final authority for truth that if what he “finds” does not align with God’s Word it must be non-truth or by definition a lie).

He then makes another statement that he bases a lot of his teaching on ” where metaphors reign, mysteries begin” The only problem is Chuck is enamored with what I view as “occultic and gnostic” mysteries and the Word of God tells us the Lord has revealed what we are to know and concealed what we are not. Chuck wants to peel back the what God has concealed using what Paul referred to in his letter to Timothy using “science so called” based on supposition, speculation, mysticism, and the word of mystics.

He then talked about the fractured universe because of sin and that the six upper dimensions have been fractured from the four lower dimensions. He then described the universe as being a digital universe (this prepares you for the next talk where he will reveal that “everything” is really a digital simulation in the form of a hologram. (This is disturbing because he has just laid the ground work for agreeing with the eastern mystics who have told us for centuries that everything is an illusion and that like a hologram, all things are one and even though you think you separate things you never can because everything is one. Does he really see where the logic of this leads to- pantheism and we are one with God- the atonement becomes the AT-ONE-MENT and reality and the authority of God has effectively been destroyed)

Chuck then closed by leaving everyone with the teaser for his next session of New Spirituality indoctrination by stating that we cannot find infinity and this has been discovered by two things:

1. We have found the outer boundaries of the universe so it has boundaries above

2. We have discovered something at the sub-atomic particle level using quantum physics that there comes a point where all things lose locality and become “unified” in location and communication. As above so below (my words) but we now have discovered the “boundaries” to our reality.

Microcosm/Metacosm-

Chuck starts his talk by stating it is really about “REAL” science vs. bad science. Although in typical Chuck fashion he never gives definition to terms, you are left to conclude that “REAL” science is his version and interpretation and bad science would be science done by groups such as ICR where Dr. John Morris on Science, Scripture & Salvation recently stated there are those that in the name of science who proclaim that our universe consists of ten dimensions, but this is based not on good science but on gnostic and mystic teachings. (Some of Chuck’s main sources are mystic 13th century Jewish Rabbis and Hindu Mystic Dr. David Bohm. I think Chuck really should begin to examine good and bad science in light of the reality of that which we know is true, the Word of God.) [Link Here with Bohm connections]

Chuck Missler then makes a sweeping statement which in my opinion does two things:

1. Enables him to divorce himself from the authority of scripture when it comes to interpretations of quantum physics

2. Allows him to draw conclusions with absolutely NO empirical evidence to back him up.

He states there are “NO ABSOLUTES” at the sub-atomic or quanta level and that we no longer can have the perceptions we once had as “nothing is real” HE HAS JUST DESTROYED GOD!!!! He then recreates God by stating that at the sub-atomic particle level all things are connected, not merely in locality but in communication. He states it is hard for us to conceive but you can take two quarks and separate them by the expanse of the universe and yet they will communicate with one another. God has just been redefined and all of his creation has become one with the creator BUT NOT THROUGH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST!!

He then began his trail of “experts” that allowed him to arrive at these conclusions. It begins with a 13th century Jewish rabbi named Nachmonides who determined from studying Genesis that there are ten dimensions. (Chuck failed to mention in this talk, but what he has revealed elsewhere and information that you can discover on your own, that Nachmanides was a kabbalic mystic Jew who looked far outside the Word of God to interpret the Word of God, this is the foundation that he lays for his version of quantum physics, boundaries of reality and interpretation of our existence. He spent time on building the concept of particle-anti-particle and it was here I was interrupted and had to leave for about 1/2 hour.

When I came back he had just started on “Metacosm”

He introduced this portion of the talk by stating” We really are a “virtual simulated” digital environment and to discuss our existence is the whole concept of the metacosm. He stated we are a “Hyper-dimensional” universe that manifests itself in the form of hologram. He then introduces Dr. David Bohm as the originator of the understanding that we live in a holographic universe. He then states that God is the creator of this holographic universe. He then proceeds to exaggerate and make sweeping statements that are not backed up by any empirical science. He will say things like ” Both astrophysicists and the quantum physicists now tell us” (He leads you to believe the majority is in

agreement with his position) The six dimensions outside our experience are “curled” (How do we know this or empirically prove it). Our universe is but a shadow of the larger reality ( no Biblical context or scientific empirical discovery just a sweeping statement of set the stage. There are “hints” in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, some of us suspect the original creation was “fractured” as a result of the curse in Genesis 3.” He has a great ability to introduce a topic as a concept and by three or four sentences later what was a concept or theory has now become a fact!!

He concluded his talk with the David Bohm concepts that at the sub-atomic particle level location as we know it ceases to exist and all is an illusion We live in a 3D virtual world that manifests itself as a hologram (thus by definition of a hologram you can see in one particle what is the whole -so you can see by extension of logical outcome of this thought in any part of God’s creation you will see God in his fullness).

He then talks about the dilemma of our reality which is the blindness to reality which will result ultimately in the secret of God’s judgment. (Why the esoteric way of always presenting the state of man- why not just say what the Bible says).

I see that all Chuck’s dancing with the mystics and stating that this is the “REAL SCIENCE” lays groundwork for his view of angels, UFO’s, time travel, and ability to communicate across time etc,etc. which God warns us LEAVE ALONE and DO NOT BECOME INVOLVED WITH.

At the close the chairman of the committee thanked Chuck for coming and then said we all need to be Bereans and examine the things Chuck said in light of scripture but then stated that it is said that there are those who because of fear, of judgment, and a lack of understanding and preconceived ideas have chosen to not support Chuck. In other words, if you do what he told you to and examine what Chuck taught in light of scripture and found it lacking, you better not say anything for if you do, you are a judgmental, closed minded, fearful person who is unwilling to discover the boundaries of our reality.

DISTURBING, DISTURBING, DISTURBING.

What is Chuck’s purpose in exaggeration, twisting of what is good and bad science and laying an eastern mystic view of reality? As those in the audience had their eyes glossing over with physics 101, they were having their perception of God and His Word torn, destroyed and replaced with an eastern mystic one.

Let me know if you think I am fearful, closed minded and judgmental because I am really concerned about the GLORY of GOD and the upholding of HIS WORD.

–Pastor Glenn A. Knudson

Posted by Jackie Alnor

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* Interesting facts  about Einstein from Marv Frye, Allyn, WA

 – A Theoretical physicist and philosopher, regarded as one of the most influential and best known scientists and intellectuals of all time.

– First to propose that Newtonian physics could not reconcile mechanics with electromagnetic field.

– Wrote special Theory of Relativity in 1906, saying energy and mass are related.

– Wrote General Theory of Relativity in 1916 on the geometric theory of gravity. It generalizes special relativity and Newton’s law of universal gravitation.

– Provides a unified description of gravity as geometric property of space and time. (or “spacetime”)

– It says energy, mass, time and space are related.

– Solution of his 10 different differential field equations seemed to indicate the universe is not stable.

– Einstein could not believe the universe is not stable, so he inserted a Cosmological Constant to balance his 10 field equations.

-Later acknowledged that the Cosmological Constant is not needed, and was his biggest scientific mistake ever.

By Marsha West

March 10, 2012
NewsWithViews.com

“The gospel’s most dangerous earthly adversaries are not raving atheists who stand outside the door shouting threats and insults. They are church leaders who cultivate a gentle, friendly, pious demeanor but hack away at the foundations of faith under the guise of keeping in step with a changing world.” – Phil Johnson

“Do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

There is a spiritual battle of epic proportions going on in churches all over the globe that should drive serious Christians to their knees. A whole host of aberrant to downright heretical movements have slithered into contemporary evangelicalism and more are being added to the mix virtually every day.

Unbiblical teaching is rampant in mainline Protestant denominations as well as in non-denominational churches. Inside our churches you will find men and women teaching rank heresy. Sunday after Sunday people flock to churches and become a captive audience to those who preach outlandish lies and half-truths. Televangelists are the worst offenders! Many of them are money grubbing charlatans! As a result of false teachers and cult leaders gaining worldwide access to churches and Christian ministries over these past few decades to spread their false doctrines, evangelical Christianity is experiencing a downward spiral.

The good news is: “Upon this rock I will build my church,” said the Lord Jesus Christ, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mat. 16:18).

Matthew Henry stated that “Christ himself is the Rock, the tried foundation of the church; and woe to him that attempts to lay any other!”

Triple “woe” goes to the wolves that have infiltrated evangelicalism and show a startling disregard for the major tenets of the faith.

Speaking of wolves, somewhere around 45,000 people attend Lakewood Church each Sunday to hear Pastor –celebrity Joel Osteen preach the word-faith prosperity gospel “lite.” The Lakewood services are broadcast in over 100 countries. Gary Gilley reveals that:

Osteen has no theological training and it is obvious from his books, sermons and interviews on television that he has little knowledge of the Scripture. Nevertheless, he has caught an unprecedented wave of popularity and could clearly claim the title as the most admired pastor in America.

Osteen brags that he teaches a non-confrontational gospel. He believes:

There’s a lot of negativity in the world. We need somebody to bring us hope and somebody to tell us that we can overcome our past and break free from addictions and things like that. And, you know, our whole message is that Jesus came to help us live a great life. And some people are not going to agree with that. (Online source)

I for one disagree with Joel’s statement that Jesus wanted us to live a “great life.” Tell that to the persecuted church! Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world,” so for many the “great life” Osteen speaks of will not be experienced here on earth, but in the Kingdom of God. The reason Jesus came to earth was to set the captives free! Free from what? Free from sin and death! Why? We are dead in our sins. And by the way, sin is an odious thing – and the God of the Bible is infinitely holy and righteous. (Isaiah 6:3, Rev. 4:8, 2 Thess. 1:6)

Sin makes us unclean, thus the unredeemed are not permitted in the presence of holiness. How do people get clean? By believing in Jesus! Believe that He came to earth to pay the penalty for the sins of the world. When He died on the cross our debt was paid for – in full. He died once, for all. Only believers will spend eternity in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Contrary to popular belief there is no way to have a relationship with the One true God unless we believe that we are sinners in need of Savior, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) God says sinners must be punished, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

This is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sadly, this is not the gospel people hear from Joel Osteen and countless other word-faith prosperity preachers.

The intent of this article is not to fully examine the Word of Faith Movement (WF), but to give readers a glimpse into their beliefs. At the end of this piece are links to articles and videos of a few prominent word-faith teachers. It’s important to take the time to watch these so called teachers and preachers in action.

Following is a summary of WF teaching:

God created man in “God’s class,” as “little gods,” with the potential to exercise what they refer to as the “God-kind of faith” in calling things into existence and living in prosperity and success as sovereign beings. Of course, we forfeited this opportunity by rebelling against God in the Garden and taking upon ourselves Satan’s nature. To correct this situation, Jesus Christ became a man, died spiritually (thus taking upon Himself Satan’s nature), went to hell, was “born again,” rose from the dead with God’s nature again, and then sent the Holy Spirit so that the incarnation could be duplicated in believers, thus fulfilling their calling to be what they call “little gods.” Since we’re called to experience this kind of life now, we should be successful in virtually every area of our lives. To be in debt, then, or be sick, or (as is even taught by the faith teachers) to be left by one’s spouse, simply means that you don’t have enough faith — or you have some secret sin in your life, because if you didn’t, you would be able to handle all of these problems.

Further…

In every instance, the “Word-Faith” teaching is guilty of presenting an inflated view of man and a deflated view of God, thereby compromising God’s message as revealed in the Bible. This fast-growing movement has disastrous implications and, in fact, reduces Jesus Christ to a means to an end — when in fact he is the end. If the New Age Movement is the greatest threat to the church from without, “positive confession” may well be it’s greatest threat from within. (Online source)

The WF is considered a metaphysical cult. Pastor/teacher John MacArthur calls it Satanic. WF holds that faith is a tangible force. This force is released through the spoken word, hence name-it-and-claim-it. When we speak words of faith, power is discharged that will accomplish our desires. Through faith we can have health, wealth, success – anything we want!

As I previously stated, word-faith teaching ranges from aberrant to outright heretical. As such these people must be exposed. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:13-14).

It is imperative that serious Christians recognize word-faith teaching. Therefore I’m including Beyond Grace’s Word Faith Top Ten which is an abbreviated version of an article Tricia Tillin wrote: Top Ten Reasons for rejecting Word-of-Faith doctrine.

REASON ONE:
It requires ‘revelation knowledge’.

REASON TWO:
It makes the Almighty God and Creator a weak ‘faith-being’ who is at the mercy of His own universal laws.

REASON THREE:
It makes the Divine Son of God into a born-again man who had to die in Hell to pay the price for our treason.

REASON FOUR:
It elevates man to equality with Jesus.

REASON FIVE:
It makes man a god.

REASON SIX:
It makes the redemption into a restoration of dominion for mankind.

REASON SEVEN:
Its goal is the transformation of the earth by spiritual dominion.

REASON EIGHT:
It replaces prayer with confession, and God’s will with the manipulation of ‘forces’.

REASON NINE:
It denies the reality of sin and sickness.

REASON TEN:
It focuses on self and the world instead of God and Heaven. (Tillin’s article expands on these ten points)

To avoid being taken in by false teachers and cult leaders Christians must have some knowledge of heretical movements such as the word-faith/prosperity gospel/name-it-and-claim-it. Another movement that is steeped in word-faith theology that’s taking the Church by storm is the New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism aka Latter Rain/Kingdom Theology/Kingdom Now/Charismatic Renewal/Third Wave/Joel’s Army/Manifest(ed) Sons of God. Read about this dangerous movement here.

Most false teachers and cultists do not take the opposition’s rebuke or criticism lying down. In part 4 of a piece I wrote titled Doublespeak: The Language of Deception I explained how words are often used as a club against anyone who reports on the aberrant teaching of those who have “Christian rock star” status:

…Conservative Christian apologists and those involved in the counter cult and discernment ministries who dare to expose apostates are accused of being divisive. For example, if a conservative attempts to combat the spread of the social justice gospel that emphasizes good deeds without the power of the gospel, their liberal critics cry “Pharisee!” Implying that these critics are Pharisees is another way of saying that they are narrow-minded, mean-spirited and unloving — and yes, even intolerant and bigoted.

Word Faith (false) teachers use “heresy hunter” to define the opposition. But in reality discernment ministries are “truth-seekers.”

What is heresy and what is a heresy hunter? According to Let Us Reason Ministries:

“Heresy can be defined as any departure from Christian orthodoxy which is a teaching, doctrine or practice that goes beyond the apostles teachings — the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). Biblical heresy is often a denial of the core beliefs held in the Church that are founded on the Bible. In this sense it applies to groups which reject basic Christian doctrines and separate themselves from the historic church.”

Most mature Christians recognize heresy when it rears its ugly head. But when they speak out against prominent false teachers who are leading the Body of Christ astray, their bamboozled followers invariably play the Matthew 7:1 card:

“Judge not, lest you be judged.”

This is doublespeak for: Shut the heck up!

First of all, discernment demands that we make judgments. As my pastor, Stan Way, said in a recent sermon, faithful Christians live their lives in a new center of gravity – the biblical worldview. Serious Christians must stand up and speak the truth with conviction and courage. We must be willing to lose our life for Christ and the gospel. In other words, for truth! Further, we must be willing to be treated with contempt by the world. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).

 

So – I am going to name names. The list of popular word-faith teachers numbers in the hundreds. Following are the names of a few of these who have risen to a more prominent status:

Kenneth Hagin, E. W. Kenyon, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, Paula White, Paul and Jan Crouch, Robert Tilton, Paul Yonggi Cho, Jentezen Franklin, Marilyn Hickey, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Fred Price, John Avanzini, Charles Capps, Jerry Savelle, Morris Cerullo, Juanita Bynum, Rod Parsley, Ed Young, Eddie Long, Rodney Howard Brown, Joseph Prince, Kim Clement, Cindy Trimm, and John Hagee.

As I have indicated in this piece there are things going on in the Church that are deeply disturbing. And for this reason it is imperative that Christians have no fear of exposing those who “hack away at the foundations of faith.” We really have no choice, the reason being that the Bible commands the Body of Christ to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

Marsha West — A fast-growing movement with disastrous implications.

[TBC: Brittany Koper, a granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network founder Paul Crouch has initiated a lawsuit against their network. This has brought the following response.]

“GOD HELP ANYONE WHO WOULD…GET IN THE WAY OF TBN [Excerpts]

On Thursday, Feb. 9 [the same day] — Paul Crouch and his son, Matt, were having a live chat on TBN’s “Behind the Scenes.” Paul was reminiscing about how TBN began back in 1973 — God spoke to him as he was driving on MacArthur Boulevard — and the conversation took a turn that Koper’s attorney finds somewhat menacing.

“You know what’s funny Dad?” Matt said (at minute 8:38 on the video). “There have been a few attempts in the TBN history to upset TBN, to stop TBN — there have been a few fools in the 38, 39 year history, coming up on 40 years, and you know what, any attempt at stopping TBN — they have no idea who they’re actually pushing into the corner. You and Mom get pushed in a corner, God help you. That’s a lesson I’ve learned from you, seriously.”

Paul Crouch responded: “God help anyone who would try to get in the way of TBN, which was God’s plan….I have attended the funerals of at least two people who tried….

“Boy, anyone that’s ever tried to get in the way of this network — don’t. Don’t try it. Don’t try it, I’m telling you. You’re playing with fire. God says ‘I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ And TBN, you know what, just plain old TBN as a great network entity is proof of the sovereignty of God and the power of God against hell and high water. This network stands as a monument to the faithfulness of God. He did it. Jan and I were just simple little kids — we didn’t even know what we were doing. It was God’s idea. He did it all.”

Crouch then appealed for donations. “Anyone have a need?” he asked. “Plant a seed. Get to the phone.”

Trinity Christian Center, which does business as TBN, is a nonprofit in the eyes of Uncle Sam, which means it doesn’t pay taxes on its income. It reported revenues of $175.6 million, expenses of $193.7 million, and net assets of $827.6 million at the end of 2010, according to its tax returns. Its highest-paid officer was Paul Crouch, with compensation of $400,000.

Koper’s attorney, Tymothy MacLeod, said that Koper is readying documentation regarding her charges and will submit a package to the Internal Revenue Service for its review.

(Sforza, “God help anyone who would …get in the way of TBN,” Orange County Register Online, 2/14/12).

[TBC: Crouch has a long history of issuing “warnings” such as this — for example: “I say, ‘Get out of God’s way, quit blocking God’s bridges; or God is going to shoot you if I don’t’…Oh hallelujah. I refuse to argue any longer with any of you out there” (“Praise-a-thon” on TBN, 4/2/91).]

What Calvinism And Arminianism Have In Common

by Edward Fudge

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What does it mean that Jesus died for all? The question is beguilingly simple. You would not know from the face of it that the question has been at the center of a heated and sometimes vociferous debate. For almost two thousand years, Christians have struggled to understand the effect of Jesus’ death and the scope of its saving power. With the publication in recent months of a number of books by evangelicals on the fate of the unevangelized, larger questions about the scope of the Atonement are gaining renewed currency. Does “all” refer to individual human beings, or nationalities and peoples, or just the elect?

Within the Reformation mainstream, two contending viewpoints have emerged, which observers often label Calvinist (after John Calvin), on the one hand, and Arminian (after Jacob Arminius, an early Dutch opponent of Calvin) or Wesleyan (after John Wesley), on the other. On the Calvinist side of the debate, you have Augustine, Calvin, and their followers. They argue (with varying degrees of explicitness and forcefulness) that the “all” refers to the elect: Christ died to save only those whom the Father had predestined to eternal life.

On the Arminian side, represented also by Wesley, believers argue that Christ in his atonement intended to make salvation available to everyone. It is faith (or, in some versions, obedience) that makes the saving work complete. The debate includes a host of related questions. What are we to make of this preposition “for”? If Jesus died “for” every human ever born, can anyone finally be lost? Does a yes to that question mean Christ’s death was somehow ineffective? And just who are these “elect”? Does this scriptural term refer to an indeterminate and nameless mass of people (as Arminians would tend to argue), or does it describe specific individuals with faces (as Calvinists would suggest)? Do we speak of Jesus’ death making salvation possible for all people, or, as the traditional query phrases it, does a “particular” atonement necessarily exclude those who are not saved?

The question is also sometimes phrased in terms of those who have never heard of Jesus. Will they all be lost? If so, why? Because they never heard — or for some other reason? Does Scripture allow (or even encourage) one to conclude that, based on Jesus’ atonement, God might finally save still others who in life never knew what Jesus had done on their behalf?

For those who take Scripture seriously, these distinctions represent more than abstract theories. These “theories” express convictions. And they may collide with the convictions of other Christians — people as sincere and informed and committed as we are. When concern for people and for theological integrity seem to clash, the anguish only increases. Sometimes people from the different camps lose sight of their brothers or sisters in the doctrinal thicket.

I was trained through graduate school in the Arminian viewpoint as expressed by the Churches of Christ. Later, I studied under Calvinists at Covenant Theological Seminary in Saint Louis, Missouri. These queries thus reflect the honest uncertainties of one who has been the lone Arminian in a classroom of Calvinists and a suspected Calvinist in a fellowship where that term is no compliment. Today, some 20 years downstream, I am certain that neither “side” has the whole truth in its pocket and that no human analysis can fully contain or explain what God accomplished for sinners in Jesus of Nazareth.

Yet we can speak truthfully even when not exhaustively. Convinced that evangelicals of all stripes share more than they generally realize, I propose the following seven couplets as a modest attempt at bridge building. Of course, this is only a step. But perhaps we can at least survey the terrain, establish some boundaries, and drive a few stakes. Doing so is surely better than defending our doctrinal turf while firing volleys of proof texts at each other.

Couplet 1:

Every accountable person deserves to be lost.

No accountable person deserves to be saved.

On this point Scripture is transparently clear: “All …are under the power of sin…that…the whole world may be held accountable to God” (Rom. 3:9, 19). “[A]ll have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

God requires absolute obedience, and not one of us has presented it. The mystery is not that some are finally lost but that any are finally saved. Every person finally lost will receive justice, whereas every person finally saved will receive mercy grounded only in its giver (Rom 1:18-20, 32; 2:5; 3:4-8).

There are important differences between Augustine and Pelagius, between Calvin and Arminius, between Whitefield and Wesley. But this is not one of them. Every careful Calvinist insists that God deserves no blame for the fate of the lost. Every careful Arminian affirms that God deserves all glory for the salvation of the redeemed. Stressing each of the two points in the couplet can help us minimize needless misunderstanding, define genuine differences with sharper clarity, and cultivate a fraternal climate in which to study jointly the Word of God.

Couplet 2:

God takes no pleasure in the final destruction of any.

God finds pleasure in the salvation of every person who is saved.

God finds no joy in the death of any sinner. “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?” he asks rhetorically in Ezekiel 18:23 (see also Eze. 18:32; 33:11). He is not vengeful or vindictive. The Creator dues not delight in the destruction of any person he has made, not even his enemies. He desires “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Whoever is finally lost will not see God smiling as a result. Indeed, the Son of God says, there is celebration in heaven over every sinner who repents (Luke 15:7,10).

Couplet 3:

No one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him or her.

Every person whom the Father has given to Jesus will come.

These statements did not originate with Calvin, Augustine, or even the apostle Paul, but with Jesus himself (John 6:37, 44). The assurance that God is in control should stimulate courage rather than contention; it should inspire hope and not harangues. To know that God has a plan and a people emboldens us to proclaim the gospel to every person we meet (Acts 18 : 9-10) . What God initiated in eternity he will consummate in his own good time (Eph. 1:1-14; Rom. 8:28-31).

If we recoil at the prospect of divine sovereignty, as though God’s gracious choice of some requires his unilateral rejection of others (a notion sometimes described as “double predestination”), we may rejoice that Scripture here is “splendidly illogical,” to borrow a phrase from biblical commentator A. M. Hunter. For, as Hunter notes, “the opposite of election is not predestination to destruction; it is unbelief a self-incurred thing.” Many Calvinists urge the same point. Instead of charging them with “doublespeak,” Arminians should welcome the unexpected common ground and rejoice. Until one claims to know everything personally, there is room to tolerate paradox in others. The hallmark of a Christian is not logic, but love.

The proclamation of God-who-acts-to-save is as old as Exodus and as relevant as next Sunday’s sermon in our day of positive-attitude platitudes and self-help schemes. It ignites holy boldness even as it smites our pride. That God is sovereign means that none can come to Jesus — despite our clever phrases, latest methods, and polished salesmanship — unless the Father draws him or her. At the same time, it assures us that every person the Father has given to Jesus will come — without exception, and despite our own faulty choices and often bumbling work. If prophets are mute, donkeys can speak. If disciples remain silent, the stones can cry out. If the church should prove unfaithful or disobedient, God’s plan still will see its intended end.

Couplet 4:

The ultimate basis of condemnation is the lost person’s own works.

The ultimate basis of salvation is the work of Jesus.

Calvinists and Arminians already agree that every person finally saved will enjoy salvation only because of what God did in Jesus. “No one comes to the Father,” said Jesus, “but by me” (John 14:6). “There is salvation in no one else” (Acts 4:12). All who “receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness” will do so “through the one man Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:17) . It is his “act of righteousness” alone that “leads to acquittal and life” (Rom 5: 18).

These truths apply equally to those who lived before Jesus and to those who lived after, to Jew as well as to Gentile, to those who hear the gospel and to those who do not. None will be saved except on the basis of the atonement Jesus has made. Salvation will be conclusively “to the praise of [God’s] glory (Eph 1:6, 12, 14). The mere presence of each redeemed human will attest throughout eternity to the “immeasurable riches of his grace” (Eph 2:7). On the other hand, all who ultimately perish in hell will do so despite the fact that Jesus died for sinners and despite the fact that he receives everyone who truly wishes to come.

Couplet 5:

Salvation occurred objectively two thousand years ago in Jesus’ work.

Salvation occurs subjectively as each person believes the gospel.

Jesus himself announced that he came “to save” the lost (Luke 19:10; John 12:47; 1 Tim 1:15). He accomplished his stated assignment and triumphantly proclaimed from the cross “It is finished” (John 19:30; Heb. 1:3). God scrutinized what Jesus had done and was satisfied (as foreshadowed in Isa. 53:11). Then, to confirm the mission accomplished, God raised Jesus from the dead (Rom 4:25). After he had made purification for sins, Jesus took his place at God’s right hand (Heb 1:3; 10:11-14). If we preach that Jesus’ death was the payment for our sins, we may also proclaim that his resurrection was God’s paid-in-full receipt.

All this occurred in the historical experience of Jesus, our substitute and Savior. God reconciled the world to himself in Jesus’ fleshly body (Col 1:19-22; 2 Cor 5:18-19). Salvation is not a theoretical possibility but a fait accompli. It is “the good news of [our] salvation” (Eph 1:13). We may speak of this finished aspect of Christ’s work as “objective” salvation. It happened once for all, outside us but for us, in the personal life and death of Jesus of Nazareth almost two thousand years ago.

On the other hand, every person who enjoys salvation in this life does so by a response of faith to God’s gracious call. Whatever the case in the age to come, no one can enjoy salvation now apart from hearing and believing the gospel. We may speak of this present participation in Christ’s work as “subjective” salvation.

Just as President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and, by the stroke of his executive pen, freed every slave in the Confederate States effective January 1 , 1863, so Jesus, by his perfect act, effectively saved every human being who finally will enjoy eternal life. Yet just as no slave empirically enjoyed the benefits of Lincoln’s act until she or he heard and believed the good news of emancipation, so no redeemed sinner experientially enjoys Christ’s redemptive blessings now except through hearing and believing the gospel (1 Cor 1:18). Until women and men learn the good news of their salvation, they continue to live as if nothing has happened. They remain as they were — without hope, not knowing God, unaware of his forgiveness and favor. The gospel ministry is for the sake of such individuals, that they may obtain salvation in every sense, subjectively as well as objectively (2 Tim. 2: 10). Like Paul at Corinth, we need to declare the good news fearlessly and without ceasing, so long as God’s patience indicates that he still has others who do not know they have been reconciled in his Son (Acts 18:9-10; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; 2 Pet. 3:9).

Couplet 6:

Every person finally l0st will have knowingly rejected God’s goodness.

Every person finally saved will have accepted God’s goodness as it was known to him or her.

Scripture speaks of some who perish “for lack of knowledge” or “by believing a lie” (Hos 4:6; 2 Thess. 2:8-10) This “knowledge” is relational as well as cognitive; it is not only intellectual but also moral and spiritual. Whoever rejects this “knowledge” does so by conscious choice and inevitably courts condemnation (John 3:19). Yet, because God is so just, and because Jesus’ saving work is so extensive and so powerful, the apostle Paul confidently affirms that only those who consciously reject God’s light will finally be lost (Rom 5:13-14, 18-21).

Not all who are finally lost will have rejected the gospel, at least not in this life. But even those will have consciously rejected knowledge of God in some form, whether in nature (Acts 14:17; Rom 1:19-25), conscience (Rom 2:15-16), or divine revelation (John 5:45-47). God’s judgment of condemnation will be manifestly just in every case (Rom. 2:5-12).

On the other hand, Scripture indicates that all those finally saved will have welcomed in a spirit of faith the light of God they had. “God is one,” Paul writes, “and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of their faith and the uncircumcised because of their faith” (Rom 3:30). Abraham is the prime example of one who was justified by faith though neither Christian nor Jew, and with limited gospel understanding as well (Rom 4:9-22). Jesus had in mind those who hear when he said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).

Couplet 7:

No person is better for not hearing the gospel.

No person is injured by hearing the gospel.

Sometimes people mistakenly assume, upon learning that Jesus’ work saved all who are finally saved whether they hear the gospel or not, that those who never hear are somehow better as a result. That inference is neither necessary nor proper.

The ultimate rejection of God is in the rejection of the light of the gospel. For that reason, whoever willfully rejects Jesus incurs the greatest guilt (Heb 10:26-31). It does not follow, however, that those who gladly receive God’s dimmer rays before they learn of Jesus will reject the brightest light when ut appears. Each heart remains the same regardless of the degree of light to which it is exposed (Luke 16:30-31; Rev 22:11). We may be sure that no person who rejects the gospel and is lost would have been saved if only that one had remained ignorant of Jesus. It is inconceivable that anyone who cries “yes” to God from the hopeless darkness will suddenly shout a defiant “no” when the bright light of the cross and the empty tomb burst finally into view.

Common Ground

These seven couplets come short, of course, of providing a third alternative to Arminianism and Calvinism, although with cultivation by brighter minds they might furnish seeds for a biblical “via media”. Even so, they can serve a useful purpose. For they stake off common ground — to the surprise, at times, of participants all around — marking a safe and neutral area large enough for both groups to stand while growing together in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. After 450 years of constant controversy, perhaps that is no small step.

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About this article

This article was written by Edward Fudge, a minister, elder, publisher, lecturer, and author. He also practices law in Houston, Texas. Visit his website, Edward Fudge Ministries

BEWARE OF ALLEGED TRIPS TO HEAVEN

MARCH 1,2012

By David Cloud, Way of Life

The following is an excerpt from the 317-page illustrated book “The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement: Its History and Error,” available in print and eBook editions from Way of Life Literature — http://www.wayoflife.org.

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Not only are there many Pentecostals who claim to have seen Jesus, some have even made trips to heaven.

Pentecostal evangelist John Lake claimed to have visited heaven. So did Percy Collett, Dudley Danielson, Marvin Ford, Aline Baxley, Kenneth Hagin, Sr., Benny Hinn, Roberts Lairdon, and many others.

 In 1977 Richard Eby claimed that he died and went to heaven and he brought back the revelation that “the primary nerve in God’s cranium is the sense of smell.” He said that in heaven he could move anywhere at will and that he was visible yet transparent.

 In the 1980s, Percy Collett built a large following based on his dramatic accounts of a five-day trip to heaven. He spoke face to face with the Holy Spirit and saw cats and (barkless) dogs. He saw the “Pity Department,” where aborted babies go to be trained for a period of time. He saw the “Garment Room,” where angels are sewing robes for believers. He even saw a “Holy Ghost elevator.”

Roberts Lairdon claims that he toured heaven when he was only eight years old. He said Jesus is 5 feet 11 to 6 feet tall and has sandy brown hair that is “not too long and not too short.” He saw storage buildings containing body parts that are waiting for “saints and sinners alike” on earth to claim them. Jesus told him, “You should come in here with faith and get the needed parts for you and the people you’ll come in contact with” (Lairdon, I Saw Heaven, Tulsa: Harrison House, 1983, p. 19). He saw a medicine cabinet with bottles labeled “overdose of the Holy Ghost,” and he and Jesus splashed each other in the River of Life.

 On “This Is Your Day,” May 4, 2000, Benny Hinn interviewed G.S. Dhinakaran of “Jesus Calls” ministry in India about his many alleged trips to heaven. Dhinakaran said, “Whenever I’m heartbroken because of the ministry, problems of the ministry that’s the time the Lord Jesus says come and he takes me to heaven and then he talks to me in person. He calls one of the apostles and makes them speak to me concerning my problems.” Dhinakaran claims there are actually three heavens and believers are assigned to one of them according to what they did on earth.

 Jesse Duplantis claims that on his journey to heaven he saw an angel thrown against a wall when God barely moved His finger and (accidentally?) hit him while he was flying by. Duplantis says he learned that there are two types of Christians in heaven, the strong and the weak, and the weak have to smell the leaves of the tree of life to gain strength.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

 I reject all of these claims about visiting heaven, whether in vision or in the body, for the simple reason that in every case the individual adds to the things recorded in the Bible in direct conflict with God’s command:

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, IF ANY MAN SHALL ADD UNTO THESE THINGS, GOD SHALL ADD UNTO HIM THE PLAGUES THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19).

 Many of the things recorded in the book of Revelation pertain to heaven. Consider Revelation 4-5; 7:9-17; 8:1-6; 10:1; 11:15-19; 12:1-3; 12:7-12; 14:1-17; 15:1-8; 16:1, 5-7; 17:1-2; 19:1-16; 20:1; 21:1-27; 22:1-5. The book of Revelation ends with almost two entire chapters describing the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, and then concludes with a solemn warning not to “add unto these things.”

 Is it not adding to the things of Scripture about heaven to say there are Holy Ghost elevators and storage buildings with body parts and barkless dogs or that the primary nerve in God’s cranium is the sense of smell?

 These experiences are either true or they are a lie, and we are convinced that they are lies. Those who describe them might very well think that they have visited heaven, but they have done no such thing.

 The Bible is more certain than any vision or the most glorious mystical experience. It is possible to be deceived into thinking one has been to heaven or seen Jesus when this has not actually happened, but the Bible is sure. Peter reminded his readers that he was eyewitness to Christ’s majesty, that he had witnessed Christ’s transformation on the mountain and heard the very voice of Almighty God and had seen Elijah and Moses (2 Pet. 1:16-18). What could be more glorious than that? No Pentecostal or Charismatic has experienced anything greater than this. But Peter does not end here. Rather than urging his readers to seek such experiences he magnifies the Bible above all such things:

 “We have also A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of THE SCRIPTURE is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. 1:19-21).

 The more sure word of prophecy is the Scripture itself. It was given by divine inspiration and is therefore infallible.

 This is the message that every Pentecostal and Charismatic needs to hear and to submit to. Lay aside the carnal lust for mystical experiences and miraculous signs and cleave to the Bible alone as the sole and perfectly sufficient authority for faith and practice. Walk by faith and not by sight, for this is biblical Christianity. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see

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