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In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life?

And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body–but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one..

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:

If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, “God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better.”

God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.

That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.

Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.

Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.

Painful moments, TRUST GOD.

Every moment, THANK GOD..


Okay there are some truths here. But this is not a true testimony…A testimony usually  involves the full Gospel message of Good News…The Good News means there is way for sinners to be saved from eternal damnation. The message from RW is very incomplete and really has little substance. But this is the watered-down, feel-good message the people want to hear. This message has no conviction of sin and is easier to sell. Tickled-ears like to hear about sin in the quantity of a grain of sand because one will step over anything larger.

RW promotes his goodness and achievements in his testimony but the Bible says our good deeds are like filthy rags.

The next testimony is a powerful one. A friend said:

“There is a remnant that has been ruined for anything less than the real thing, as modeled by Jesus Himself, and they will not settle for less than all that He purchased on our behalf.”

Pastor’s Testimony

My Story

I was saved on August 24, 1983 when I saw myself lost, going to hell and trusted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. All my life I had tried being good, you know, stop sinning; but the hard I tried the worse I became. By the time I was fourteen I was drinking on a consistent basis, already smoking cigarettes, and soon was to take my first toke of pot, not really sure what I was getting into. By sixteen I was smoking pot and drinking almost every day. For those who have their kids in public schools, I might just state that I knew no one that did not smoke pot or drink at least a couple of beers a week. I went to college, but instead of studying I found the party life to be much more interesting. You say, “Well didn’t you get an education?” I could easily reply, “In How to Ruin Your Life 101”. I was well on my way to doing that. Finally, in my junior year I dropped out of college to work off shore on the oilrigs. That was a start of another chapter to the book of my life.
I started as a galley hand working for a drilling company called Diamond M. Drilling. My salary was $1500.00 a week. I could work three weeks out of a month, which made my total monthly income around $4500.00, which is too much to give a 21-year-old drug addict. Immediately, I went out and bought a Maxda RX7 and an ounce of the best pot I could find, nothing was too good for me anymore. I took my friends to the best restaurants, and on and on the story went. That was when cocaine entered into the picture. With the ladies and “the coke” I had become a party animal. I also learned to fly planes. That was one of the few things I do not regret.
I was having a ball until the first of December came around. I lost my job and in two weeks I lost my mother, whom I loved very much. I have too many regrets to list them all here. You would think that it would have been enough to wake me up, but it wasn’t. Now with a cocaine habit and jobless, I was in trouble. I flew out to Colorado to seize a job and to go back to school. My money reserves were not large enough to keep me going. In desperation and flat broke, I flew to my Uncle Sammie’s in Tulsa, Oklahoma where my rebellious attitude was about to set me back another step.
Almost as soon as I had arrived I was on a plane back to Pensacola with only $100.00 in my pocket that my Uncle gave me. When I arrived back in Pensacola it was so late that I decided to get a hotel that was about $28.00 and $6.00 for the taxi fare, which didn’t leave me with much money to live on. I called my old roommates to see what was happening, only to find the number no longer in service. I did not know what to do; but my pride kept me from going to my father’s house.
Soon all the money was gone. I ended up sleeping in the streets of Pensacola. Life was not quite as fun as it had been. I went eight days without eating anything. In a last attempt to get on my feet, I went and sold my blood. I figured with the money I got from selling my own blood I could get a bite to eat. They asked me the usual questions, “Have you eaten anything today?” “Oh of course,” I blurted out. While the blood dripped into the bag I started feeling weak and called for the nurse. She took my blood pressure and called the doctor. They ended up calling the paramedics and giving me two pints of blood and about 14 of those little orange juices. I left there broke and hungry. “I am ready to steal food,” I thought to myself. Still believing I was better than some, I threw that thought out the window. I ended up begging for food at a restaurant downtown called the Danty Del. The owner’s son fed me the leftovers from lunch, seven stuffed – bell peppers. I could not remember ever being so thankful for food even if I had to eat it where the cats eat (the back door). I now see, looking back, that the Lord was working on me through all those times; I was too rebellious. Pensacola has a rescue mission . I could have had a warm meal every night. I was too proud to go there. That was for street bums; not people who have as much on the ball as me. Pride was always haunting me. The single thing that brought Satan’s fall was slowly bringing mine.
I went to Charlie (whom I called C.P.) and MayWinn’s house to see if they would be gracious enough to let me stay with them long enough to get my feet back on the ground. So with a little convincing, my friends let me stay there ( I praise the Lord for those people). I was on my way back to a normal life. Two months I stayed there working on their house for one meal a day. C.P. in the end offered me a job with a landscaping firm where he was working. I was thrilled—finally a real job! It was the next few weeks that I secured an apartment around the corner on Barcelona Street. My life was looking up. I spent a year in the apartment. It was very personal time with much meditation, lots of prayers (none of which even hit the ceiling since I was lost, trusting my good WORKS). I went back to school not long after that. Six months later I was opening an arcade downtown called the Amusement Arcade with my buddy and old roommate Greg Morrison. How I thought the Lord was blessing me for cleaning up my life. Oh—I forgot to tell you that by this time I had quit smoking pot and drugs and drinking altogether, but I was still chasing the women and sinner in other ways. This is where something special happened to me.
I can’t remember the date I saw this girl but it must have been around early June. She was really special, clean, up front. She was just herself. She was talking to one of my cashiers, and as any warm-blooded American boy would have done, I started flirting with her. She was refreshing! She mentioned something about a health food co-op. The next time we talked I asked her if she would like to go to the movie and she said yes. I was in orbit. My heart pounded, as I never remembered. She mentioned she was saved and loved to study the Bible. I told her I was a Christian (I did believe in God). She was beautiful. She wanted me to go to church with her on Sunday. I could not refuse the opportunity to thank the Lord for my blessings. I told her I would go, not knowing what to expect.
I picked her up at her trailer that was right next to the church. We walked to church with her son, Jason. There weren’t very many people, but that didn’t bother me; it was that they met in a house. I thought to myself, “What kind of church is this?” She assured me that it would be a blessing. I don’t even remember if I had a Bible or not. The preacher’s name was Brother E. C. Moore. He started with a prayer and preached for forty-five minutes. We turned to what seemed to be about 400 scriptures (but was, in fact, probably only 30) of which I could only find two. Most of my childhood was spent in the military churches that only read one scripture and spoke about twenty minutes. This was a switch! I was so convicted that I almost forgot my name. Bud Morgan was one of the first to approach me after the service. He asked me if I was saved, and I went into a long spill that amounted to lies and confusion. I kept going although every time I stepped foot in the church there was great conviction. I started learning the terminology and could talk the talk. I was honestly learning something in the Bible. Brenda and I had grown very close. I knew she was the one I wanted to be my wife. There was something still very wrong spiritually; I was LOST. On the twenty-third of August 1983, for the first time in my life (that I could remember) the cross was preached to me.
The preacher started in Matt. 27, preaching the cross and describing the crucifixion. He kept adding the phrase, “You know why?” Because you are no good!” That really got to me: that I was simply no good. I saw for the first time that I deserved the cross, not Christ. I was so sad in my heart, confused. He kept preaching and convictions grew. I was at the point I could have jumped up and cried out for salvation, but something inside me kept me from doing it (the heart is deceitful). Now I know that it was pride. I had already told these people I was saved, now they would think I was a liar. The preacher kept saying over and over, “He did it all for you, why won’t you trust Him?” Thoughts flooded my mind—Oh, I was so lost! The preacher wouldn’t let up. He described a scene I would like to describe to you.
He mentioned how the Lord was spat upon, how he was stripped naked, how he was mocked, whipped, slapped—all because he was dying for MY SINS. How he was judged unfairly and was condemned to die a sinner’s death. Barabbas as the murderer, rapist, whoremonger, liar, cheater, stinky old scoundrel, and had been set free. Christ had to take his place. He had died for all my SINS, my filthy SINS, and the LUST I had done.
He went on to describe how it must have looked at Calvary that day. You have Barabbas sitting there watching the whole thing as a free man. You have his two henchmen facing the death for the crimes they had done and Christ facing death for the CRIMES I HAD DONE! You could hear the crowd yelling “crucify him, crucify him?” The thieves were screaming profanities. They laid the first cross down and grabbed one of the thieves, and he was fighting the whole way down. The preacher said, “It might have taken twelve men to hold his arm out to nail it to the cross; he was cursing, screaming and yelling.” He bowed his back as they grabbed his other arm to nail it. You could smell the liquor still on his breath. They lifted up the cross and dropped it in the hole. You could hear him scream a mile away as the weight of his body pulled against those nails. The agony he was in, the blood that covered his body; oh what a sight!
The other thief, being prepared to be nailed upon the cross, was much the same scene. You could hear as they nailed into his hands—Bam! Bam! Bam! You could listen for miles to the agony as he screamed. Bam! Bam! Can’t you hear him right now yelling, “When I get off this cross, I’ll kill you!” The Roman soldiers answering back, “You’ll never get off the cross,” laughing while they were hitting each other and pointing at the fool.
Then it was Christ’s turn. They put his cross on the ground and willingly he lay down. Do you know why? Because he was dying for Barry Hampton’s sins and yours. Some of the soldiers were still prodding him, but willingly he died for you. He took his arms and so very gently laid them upon the tree. No struggle at all. They started to nail the spikes into his hands. WHAM! WHAM! The nail painfully entered through his flesh, one pound at a time. Blood was everywhere. You could see the pain in his face, but he opened not his mouth. The Bible says they had already plowed furrows in his back with a whip. The pain was unbelievable, but he did it all so we could have eternal life. I was doing everything possible to hold back tears. For the first time, I saw what my Lord did for me. Me, personally! He became sin for me. The wages of sin is death and he died a sinner’s death but He was sinless. The sins that he had to pay such an awful death for came from somewhere. Yes, they came from me. Like if that wasn’t enough, the preacher went on. They lifted up his cross and dropped it in the ground. As the cross hit the bottom of the hole you could hear the echoes throughout the land. The nails ripped in his hands and feet when it hit. Then they stood around and mocked him some more, laughing “the King of the Jews.” Then one of them took a spear and thrust it through his side. Blood and water came rushing out. You could hardly see who he was anymore, all because of my sins.
One of the thieves yelled out, “If you are the Christ, get down off that cross. Save us both (that was me all my life). The other one answered, “Can’t you see that He is the Christ?” He had watched the whole thing happen: an innocent man was being crucified unjustly. Jesus said that he would see him in paradise that day. The other one died and in hell lifted up his eyes in torments, screaming for mercy, and will find none. I was so scared that hell was going to open up and grab me. That night I drove home afraid of having an accident or that the Rapture would happen before I got this matter straight with the Lord.
The next morning I was still under great conviction, and after two hours of conning the Lord I gave up and asked him to save me. I was simply lost, going to hell. I decided that if he didn’t forgive me at the cross as I Cor. 15:1-4 and Col. 2:1-3 said, I was going to hell. That moment a peace came upon me and I realized that he had already forgiven me of all my sins the moment he hanged on that cross and took my place. Thank the Lord for his mercy and kindness! Grace – It was all BY HIS GRACE. It was nothing I did, but what he did for me at the CROSS! Oh Salvation so divine. I thank the Lord for saving me that day and giving me the strength to testify of his Love, of HIS GREAT LOVE WHEREWITH HE LOVED US!
If you are not saved, stop everything and consider your salvation. What is it you have been trusting in: baptism, walking the aisle, church membership, or in absolutely nothing? If you are not trusting what the Lord did for you, you are lost going to hell. When was there a time in history you saw yourself lost, going to hell? When was there a time in history you saw yourself lost, needing salvation? I mean really deserving hell because you are NO GOOD. If there was not a time, how do you know what you are trusting for your salvation? Is it worth staking all eternity on? I knew the knowledge, but I was still lost. Don’t trust your knowledge. Trust the Savior! If you have any questions, please feel free to call Barry P. Hampton at 334-244-9434. If you trusted Christ, please write and let us know that we may joy in your salvation.


So what about the question posed to RW, “What is the purpose of life?”

If you are really interested to a biblical answer to this question, here is an excerpt from this article.

It is God’s desire that we know Him, believe Him, and witness about Him. Jesus made a similar statement to His disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Notice that Jesus’ instructions include being with Him, obeying Him, and witnessing to others. John 15:1-17 records Jesus’ instructions regarding abiding in His love, bearing the fruit of righteousness, obeying His commands, loving others, trusting that we are considered His friend, and experiencing joy. In part, Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another” (John 15:16-17). Look at the purpose in that statement: we have been chosen to bear fruit, to have relationship with the Father, and to have relationship with others. Verse 11 tells us that this will affect our joy. Knowing and enjoying God is a universal purpose in life. Once we know God, we are also called to witness so that others may know and enjoy Him.

Read more:

That JESUS Thing

From True Discernment:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1John 4:1

This is one of the most important passages for the church today. It is also one of the most misunderstood. Many in today’s lukewarm church make no effort to test the spirits. They swallow anything fed to them. Any teacher, preacher, or so called apostle or prophet that comes along is accepted as long as they have some kind of credential or some type of endorsement from the majority.

Some believe that they are testing the spirits but they test by the flesh. When a preacher draws large crowds, has a large church, or sells lots of books he is assumed to be operating by the spirit of God. His success in worldly terms is seen as God’s stamp…

View original post 3,233 more words

Transcript:  From The Berean Call 


TBC Logo

Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call with T.A. McMahon.  I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for tuning in. In today’s program, Tom addresses the question: “Is the History Channel’s Mini-series, The Bible, Biblical?  Joining Tom is TBC staff member, Edwin Newby.  Now, along with his guest, here’s TBC Executive Director, Tom McMahon.

Tom: Thanks, Gary. Today, as Gary mentioned, we’re going to address the Bible as interpreted by Hollywood, in particular the History Channel’s five-week mini-series titled The Bible. And it started off, in terms of interest in it-well, it broke records for the History Channel.

But here in the studios is my associate, Ed Newby. He’s a staff member, and Ed is our resident Q&A correspondent, producer of our online updates, and a contributor to TBC’s newsletter.

Ed, thanks for joining me today on Search the Scriptures 24/7.


Ed: Thank you, Tom, for the invite.

Tom: I want to start with some background on the production of The Bible. For example…well, let’s start with the producers. What can you tell me about them?

Ed: Well, this is produced by Roma Downey and her husband, Mark Burnett. Mark Burnett, of course, he’s a very successful Hollywood director, primarily television, directing such high-rated programs as SurvivorAre You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?, and other reality shows of that nature.

Roma Downey’s background is far more easy to determine. She is clearly identified with Mind Science teaching. She was with the successful program, Touched by an Angel.

Her costar, of course, was Della Reese, who pastors her own religious science church that she founded. And everything we’ve seen about her indicates that she’s fully lodged in the New Age, Mind Science-however you want to categorize her. As a matter of fact, I read one of the Hollywood blogs talking about her, and she talks about “as someone who’s been on a spiritual journey for many years.”

Roma Downey attends the University of Santa Monica private graduate school founded by New Age spiritual and self-help guru, John Roger, and will graduate with a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology.

Tom: Wow. Well, the production–again, it’s a 10-hour series, so as I understand it, they’ve been working on this for three years. It was shot in Morocco. What can you tell me about the lead character who plays Jesus?


Ed: Well, he’s a Portuguese actor. He was specifically chosen by Roma Downey. By the way, everything that they have done, they have attributed to being directly guided by the Lord in all of these things. They’re very open with saying that, and they specifically say the actor who portrays Jesus–and, also, he’s not identified earlier in the series, but he plays the role of the Lord as one of the three men that appears to Abraham in the plains of Mamre.

So, this man was seen by Downey in a production. She felt a “spiritual rapport” with him, and of course, all the way through this production, they talk about all of these spiritual things that they attribute to the Lord-guiding and directing and ultimately producing this program.

Tom: Yeah. Ed, going back to Downey and Burnett, I remember you earlier in the week telling me about an interview they had with Bill Reilly?


Ed: Bill O’Reilly, yes.

Tom: Bill O’Reilly. Tell me about that.

Ed: Well, O’Reilly, of course, came off as the worse–you know, he’s a Catholic, he says…or, no, he was raised a Catholic, but he was asking them questions, specific, like “You actually believe these things?” And they said, “Yes, we believe the Bible.”

“Do you believe these things, particularly the account of creation? Are these accurate?”

And they sort of dodged that question and fell back on “We believe the Bible.” That was the line that they gave.

Tom: Mm-hmm. But I also remember you telling me that in the conversation, as they were sort of backpedaling about the issue, didn’t he challenge them about whether this was accurate in every case? What was the response to that?

Ed: They didn’t really answer that, other than “We believe the Bible to be true. It’s truth.”

Tom: So they just hung out there.

Ed: Basically.

Tom: Well, you know, that would be an attitude that we would take, so we would applaud them on that. But again, you can believe the Bible to be true–but tell me your impression of Part 1 of the program.

Ed: The program, of course, is probably one of the most lavishly produced Bible-themed movies or productions ever made. Top-flight production, video, visuals, they have a huge number of British actors that are very good in their craft. So if you look at it strictly as a production, it’s very good. However, that’s not the job that the Lord has called us to. They’re going to go through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and they’re going to accomplish that in ten hours. As a consequence, they have cut out much of the Bible, and much that they have retained is very hurriedly paced through. They have dropped a number of very important points that the Scriptures raise, particularly concerning the faith of Abraham.

And it’s interesting that in an interview with Focus on the Family, Mark Burnett specifically said that his goal was to “hit the emotional highs.” He wanted to be able to stir the emotions of the viewers. And I have to admit, watching it–it’s very well acted. They’re dealing with a lot of very traumatic situations in the lives of these biblical characters, and it’s emotionally stirring. And there are things that they get right.

Tom: Ed, I’m looking at an article in Charisma magazine on “The Bible Made for TV”-that’s the title of it–and there are actually some comments in here that are kind of stunning. In one sense, he says that because…”Look, you can’t do the Bible in ten hours.”

Ed: Absolutely, yeah.

Tom: Well, first of all, I would say you can’t do the Bible–you can’t bring it to the screen, but that’s…we’ll save that for part 2 of our series here. Nevertheless, I’m looking again at an article in

Charisma magazine, and this is March 2013, obviously, and here’s what they say: Well, first of all, they admit that the Bible is not very descriptive–doesn’t give you details.

Ed: No…

Tom: Mel Gibson had the same problem with The Passion of the Christ, which we’ll talk about in the second part. But this is what they say: “So when Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, producers of the forthcoming History Channel mini-series The Bible, worked with directors and set designers to create a dramatic retelling of the story, they had a measure of creative license available to them.”

Now, is that a problem or not?

Ed: Granted by whom? (laughing)

Tom: Exactly. So, give us some examples of the creative license that you saw, at least in the first part.

Ed: Well, as I said earlier, Burnett wanted to hit the emotional highs. He wanted to draw people in through touching their emotions.

So they added things: Noah and the ark-children on board. The Bible very distinctly says, “Whereas eight souls were saved”: Noah, his wife, three sons, and their wives. No children on the ark.

Secondly, Noah is walking around on the deck of the ark after the Lord specifically shuts the door to keep them inside. How did he get up there?

Tom: Somebody’s not paying attention to even the detail that’s in the Scriptures. But this is creative license, remember. Keep going.

Ed: Creative license–there’s one thing I want to touch on later that’s really critical, that they removed a very specific Messianic marker from the text, but in the occasion when the Lord asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, that is totally whacko. Mainly because the Bible specifically says it was three-days journey to Mount Moriah; he took some servants with him and pack animals. In Downey and Burnett’s version, the mount they’re going to is just a hop, skip, and a jump–you can see it from their tent–and so, Abraham takes his son, Isaac, and they go climbing up the hill. The dramatic license they use there is to stir your emotions, because Sarah looks up, sees them silhouetted against the top of the ridge of this hill, realizes they don’t have an animal to sacrifice, so she literally freaks out and runs and begins frantically clawing her way up the mountainside in the utmost anguish. There’s that.

The angels that went into Sodom. License? Now an angel–other commentators have referred to this as the “Ninja scene” in Sodom. So these two angels–one is an individual of African descent, the other one is an Asian fellow–and they’re going into Sodom. Talk about license…

Tom: Now, wouldn’t that be license right there? Do you know of any angels that are ever described as being…


Ed: Particular racial types?

Tom: Exactly. Okay, well, let’s keep going.

Ed: And in the biblical account, Lot–he’s apparently a prominent citizen in Sodom because he’s sitting in the gate, where all the business, the judicial things, are transacted, and when he sees these two men coming, he recognizes who they are. He’s at least that spiritual, he can pick up who they are, and he immediately invites them to his house “that you don’t spend your night in the streets.”

In the production, they come into this town, and…oh, by the way, while this is happening, you’re thinking, Well, what about the sin of Sodom? What about the homosexuality?
So, the narrator is saying, “Sodom had corrupted itself greatly and was deeply in sin.” And so they’re showing all these heterosexual couples that are caressing each other, kissing each other, in the streets, and the only reference they make to the other thing is one very effeminate-looking guy standing there all by himself, smiling. That’s it.

And so, when the…

Tom: Well, it did have one sodomite in Sodom.

Ed: Yeah.

Tom: Wow.

Ed: The token sodomite. So as these angels are going into the town, these men start following them, obviously with intent to do them harm or something. And they end up running to Lot’s house, banging on the door frantically. Lot opens the door, and they say, “Please! Please! Help us! Hide us from these…” These are the angels!

And so, Lot is reluctant at first. His wife doesn’t want them in there at all, but eventually they go in. Then Lot goes out to calm down the crowd, which somewhat follows the plot in the Bible. Well, the angels, you know, the crowd starts to go wild, and then the angels reach out, pull Lot in, and then they strike these people with blindness, as the scriptural account goes, which apparently lasts only a few seconds, because pretty soon these guys are drawing their swords. So one of the angels takes charge, getting Lot and his family ready to flee. The other one goes out and…I forgot to mention, their attire-they look like Jedi knights straight out of a George Lucas production. They’re wearing the cowls, the cassocks, or whatever you want to call them…

Tom: From the first Star Wars…

Ed: Yes. You know how the Jedi knights dressed. And so, he walks–this one angel walks out of Lot’s house, throws off his robe, and he’s wearing this shiny Roman-style armor, then he reaches over his shoulders and pulls out two swords, just like a Ninja, and then he starts hacking these people. The other angel gets Lot and his family out of the house, takes them out and tells them to run for the gate, they’ll be with them in a minute. He draws his sword and they spend the next few minutes hacking all these Sodomites to death.

Tom: What does the Bible tell us took place at that point?

Ed: The Bible says that they struck them with blindness so that these individuals, it said, “wearied themselves to find the door.” They were blinded but they were still following their lust to do something. And then the angels tool Lot and his family out of the city.

Tom: Now, for our listeners that say, “Oh, well, come on. You guys, you’re nitpicking.” Folks, no. We’re not nitpicking. This is a representation of the Bible. That’s the name of the series: The Bible. The title of this program is Search the Scriptures 24/7. So, what we’re doing is we’re comparing what is being presented, again, out of Hollywood, what is presented as being biblically accurate–true to the Bible.
You know, as I said, earlier–well, I referred to earlier–Mel Gibson tried to do the same thing in

The Passion of the Christ. And the problem here is–yes, the Bible is a huge book, and you can only select certain things to present or a program like that would be on 24/7-it would be on all the time.

But they did select parts of the Bible to present. Question is, is this accurate with regard to what the Bible says very clearly?

So, Ed, I mean, this is…you probably already answered this question, but on a scale of 1-10, what number would you give the production in terms of being true to the Bible?

Ed: Well, Tom, you know, I…I try to be a fair person, and…

Tom: Well, it’s just going to be your opinion, but, you know, with what you articulated-give us your opinion.

Ed: I’m going to say no higher than 2. I would really tend to say, “Can we give it a zero?”

Tom: Yeah, well, you’ve got all the numbers before you. And, again, here is our problem. For some people who’ve never read the Bible, even those who profess to be Christians, and they’ve never really taken the time to read through the Scriptures, this is all they know.

And for others who are not Christians but are viewing this, whatever religious background they come out of, or they’re in right now, this is what they think the Bible is about.

Ed: Yeah.

Tom: I spent a number of years as a screenwriter in Hollywood. You know that, Ed, just for our audience’s sake. So when I see a presentation–you know, I’ve been a believer for about 35 years, and I’ve studied the Word of God every year of that. I’m more excited about it today than at the beginning because I know it better and better. But this is an abuse. This is a distortion. This is a corruption.

Now, I know a lot of people are excited about it because, well, you mentioned Focus on the Family–I’ve got Charisma, this is a magazine right in front of me. They’re giving it not just two thumbs up but they’re tremendously enthusiastic about this. But it’s the Bible. It’s the Word of God. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Now, as I mentioned, you know, in our next session, we’re going to talk about can the Bible–should it be–is it legitimate to translate it visually? But we’ll hold onto that for a second.

I want to go back to Downey and Burnett, the producers. In what you have researched here, what was their goal, their objective, in presenting the Bible visually, whether it’s a valid thing to do or not–we’ll talk about that later–but where was their head, their heart in this? What did they have in mind?

Ed: Well, Mark Burnett stated very specifically, “By telling these emotionally connected big stories, hopefully millions of people will reopen their Bibles.”

Tom: Yeah.

Ed: And they repeated that several times.

Tom: And how could you argue with that? That’s something that we all want. Especially in this day, as we move more into apostasy, more into deception, delusion, not just in the world, but certainly in the church. That’s what you want, you know, the solution: “The B-I-B-L-E, that’s the book for me.” That’s where we want people to be. But now the problem is how do you go about that? Do you present the Bible as man sees it? With drama, with creative license, all of these things? Do you create something–I mean, this is marketing more than it is the heart to present the Bible and to encourage people to get into the Bible.

I mean, what are they going to do? Let’s say young people. They see these two angels, so-called…

Ed: Right.

Tom: …coming off like–somebody said, “Well, they’re like gladiators.” I don’t care if you call them gladiators or Ninjas or whatever, you get somebody excited about this highly dramatic thing, and then all of a sudden they go and read the text, and they say, “Wait a minute! I don’t find any of that there.” In other words, they’re being misled by creating a distortion–a representation of the Bible that is just not there.

So, my point here is it’s counterproductive to what he said. Yeah! You’ve love The Bible to motivate people to get into the Bible, but when mankind is creating artificial things, or dramatic issues that are not there, it’s just not going to work, even if it was the right thing to do, which it’s not. It’s not the right thing to do from the scriptural standpoint.

Ed: Absolutely. And, as I mentioned earlier, one of the things that I specifically thought were–well, let’s be frank–it was terrible. The omissions! They missed Abraham–when the Lord appeared to him and took him outside the tent at night and said, “Look up at the sky. Count the stars if you’re able to do that. So shall thy seed be.” Don’t have that at all. They have, afterwards, he’s sitting outside the tent, he’s kind of rocking back and forth a little bit, and he’s repeating, “The stars, all the stars! Our seed! Our children!”

And Sarah comes out and says, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?”

And he says, “Our children! The Lord showed me our children will be as the stars of heaven-our descendants.”

And Sarah goes, “It’s too late for me.”

Well, what they omitted was Abraham’s belief–Genesis 15:6: The Lord told him, “Count the stars. Your seed’s going to be just as numerous as that.” And it says in verse 6: “…and Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” That’s all left out. They leave out several of those, we call them Messianic markers, or whatever you want to call them.

Tom: Well, again, what we find in the Tenakh, the Old Testament, is these are types of Christ. All of these things pointed to Christ and what He would…how He would be born of a virgin, and how He would–God would become a man, and go to the cross and pay the full penalty for our sins, and we have, throughout the Old Testament, types of this that point to it. We know this early on in our walk with the Lord, Ed, that those in the Old Testament–how were they saved? Well, you just mentioned it. Abraham was saved by faith, the same way every believer is saved–by faith, and faith alone. How did this happen by faith? Because, as you said, quoted the scriptures, “he believed God and it was appointed to him as righteousness.”

But what was he doing? He was looking ahead to the cross.

Ed: Amen.

Tom: We, today, as believers–we look back to the cross as what Christ accomplished for us, and we put our faith in that. That’s what being born again is all about. That’s…you, we’re, born again of the Spirit of God, and because we believe that He, Jesus, God became a man, went to the cross, paid the full penalty for our sins–that’s the only way anyone can be saved, according to the Scriptures.

Now, we’re still dealing with the first part of the series, okay. They’re not there yet, but the point is that these things that took place and were presented is a distortion of what the Bible says. So, consequently, what value is it?

Now, Ed, 15 million viewers, according to the results of this presentation.

Ed: And the demographic: age 20-39.

Tom: Unbelievable in terms of, hey, that’s what we want. We want people to respond to the Bible, to the Word of God. It’s not that the Lord won’t prick a heart or use this. But this is not God’s way. You don’t encourage people, you don’t try to bring them to Christ, you don’t try to bring them to the Word of God by distorting it, by abusing it, by corrupting it. And all of that, nevertheless, I’m looking at this Charisma article–They believed “it was clear that something supernatural” (I’m quoting) “and wonderful had just arrived and shown up,” and they believed that “there was an encounter with the Holy Spirit.” That this thing-all the terms that are used in this Charisma
article, which you’d expect, all the terms have to do with God being behind this, and people praying for it, and so on.

But let’s have a little–folks, let’s have a little discernment here if you’re enamored with this production. This is not the Bible. This is the creation of men to the distortion of the Word of God.

Ed: Along with your comment about “by faith alone,” the narrator says, and it has to do with the time that he’s asked…Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son: “To Abraham being chosen by God is both a blessing and a test. He must prove his faith again and again.” That’s works.

Tom: Yes, absolutely. Works-salvation. It boils down to this: There is either putting your faith in Christ and what He’s accomplished or there’s works-salvation. There’s working it out on your own, which is an impossibility.

Ed, the Lord willing, next week we’re going to cover, really the bottom line in all of this. Should, could, is it valid? Is it legitimate? Is it true that the Bible can be translated, interpreted visually? And that’s an important issue in here, because it really applies not just to the Bible, this History series, but to all the other productions, whether out of Hollywood or not, whether or not it is a legitimate application of presenting the Bible.

Well, next week we’ll talk about it.

Ed: Very good.

Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 with T.A. McMahon. We offer a wide variety of materials to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at PO Box 7019 Bend, Oregon 97708. Call us at 800.937.6638; or visit our website at the I’m Gary Carmichael, join us again next time as Tom continues his discussion with Edwin Newby about the TV mini-series The Bible. Thanks for tuning in and we encourage you to search the Scriptures 24/7.

From – Do Not Be Suprised


Film Adaptation of ‘Heaven Is for Real’ Being Planned; T.D. Jakes to Produce

Heaven Is for Real, the story of four-year-old Colton Burpo, who allegedly traveled to Heaven and back, has mesmerized professing Christians since its publication in 2010. In two years it has sold 8 million copies and been translated into 30 different languages. Those who could not find satisfaction in what God’s Word shares about the life to come flocked to the young boy’s story in spite of the fact that Burpo’s claims about Heaven flatly contradicted the biblical text. The popularity of the book was an overt demonstration of how many Christians today allow experience to trump objective, biblical truth.

Like every good story, whether fiction or nonfiction, Heaven Is for Real now is slated to be made into a movie. The Christian Retailing website notes that not only is Greg Kinnear in negotiations to play the role of Colton Burpo’s father, Todd, but that the film will be co-produced by Joe Roth (Oz the Great and Powerful) and famed prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes.

Finish HERE 


If you identify yourself as a Christian, then I assume it really matters to you whether or not Jesus wants you to attend church. After all, He is your King….not just your advisor….or your buddy….but your Lord….and your God. Right?
We live in a day where many professing believers are being tempted to ditch the whole “church thing.” In some cases, it’s because they had a bad experience in a church. That is understandable….because it happens. Just as divorce takes place in marriages, pain is also experienced in certain church situations. So what’s the solution? Should you dump church…or instead, get connected to one where you will grow?
Here is what the New Testament church did from its very inception. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42) If you don’t realize how badly you need each one of those things, then you don’t understand the New Testament….and you don’t understand spiritual growth.
Some people who leave a church never end up in another church….they remain spiritually homeless. And many of them quickly begin to lose whatever spiritual vitality they had been experiencing.

We can all tell ourselves “it won’t happen to me,” but that is often not how it plays out. When Christians attempt to remain strong in the Lord outside of His family gatherings, it usually doesn’t work. That’s because Jesus instituted His church for many important reasons, and not one of us is smarter than Jesus.

And so “yes,” Jesus cares deeply about whether or not His followers attend church. But it’s not just a matter of “attending church.” It’s really about belonging to a fellowship of believers….where you are fed….and you grow….and you serve….and you are encouraged….and you encourage others….and you pray with each other….and celebrate the Lord’s Supper together….and you experience God’s power and grace.
What’s that? You thought the church was there primarily to meet your needs? Well who did you think was going to help do that? It takes people to care for other people. It takes you to be a blessing to others. Have you come to understand yet how important your place is in the family?
Some Christians “young in the Lord” still have a “consumer mentality” about church, “What’s in it for me?” But just watch…as you grow in the Lord, you will begin to concentrate on…”Who can I bless? Who can I serve? What gifts has the Lord given me to help others know Him and grow in Him?”

Have you reached that point yet in your walk with Christ, or do you still just tend to think that the church is primarily there to meet your needs? That’s the life of a child…and while we thank the Lord for children, we also recognize that children need to grow into mature adults. It’s that way in the family….and it’s that way in the Lord’s church.


Letter From a Watchman: “Ode to the Watchers on the Wall…”.

[TBC: Last week we presented part 1 of a discussion regarding evangelicals such as “Tom Horn, Joseph Lumpkin, and Chuck Missler, [needing] other books of antiquity and mythologies to integrate paranormal activity with the end-times scenario that they are seeking to create.” The writer continues his discussion of Rob Skiba’s rationale for regarding apocryphal books as “Scripture.”]


During His life and ministry, Jesus often quoted from the Law (His favorite book being Deuteronomy), the prophets and the writings. He told the Emmaus disciples “that all things which are written about [Him] in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and

the Psalms [writings] must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).Not once in the Gospel record does Jesus quote from an apocryphal or pseudepigraphal writing. Though He could have, He did not. Skiba says Jesus valued those books, but ironically he never quoted from or alluded to them. [9]


How then do we know He valued them? We do not. In short, Jesus recognized the extent of the Jewish canon to be that of traditional Judaism.
Apocrypha means “hidden” or “concealed.” On the whole, the writings conceal more than they reveal. [11]
This fits into the cultural/spiritual milieu of that ancient era. Old Testament scholar R.K. Harrison (1920-1993) wrote that, “Hidden or esoteric teachings [like the Apocrypha or Pseudepigrapha] were not part of the Hebrew tradition, which based its spirituality on the first five books of the Hebrew canon. Insofar as mysterious doctrines came into Hebrew life, they did so from pagan sources and generally involved magical practices which were forbidden to Israel” [See Deuteronomy 18:9-15.]. [12]
So Dr. René Pache summarized the value of ancient apocryphal texts: “Except for certain interesting historical information (especially in I Maccabees) and a few beautiful moral thoughts (e.g., Wisdom of Solomon), these books contain absurd legends and platitudes, and historical, geographical and chronological errors, as well as manifestly heretical doctrines; they even recommend immoral acts (Judith 9:10, 13). [13] 
I Enoch  (Circa 200 B.C. to A.D. 100): Skiba tells readers of Babylon Rising
(BR) that the Jews seemed to consider the pseudepigraphal book of I Enoch  to be Scripture, and makes the grandiose claim that “Jesus, Peter, Paul and Jude all made references to it.” In fact,” he goes on to state, “there are more than a hundred statements in the New Testament alone that find precedence nowhere else but in that book.” (BRChapter 1, 3) Upon investigation, this statement proves to be patently false. [14]
Genesis records that after living three-hundred and sixty-five years during which he “walked with God,” that suddenly Enoch “was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:23). Any concordance study of the Bible will find references to this historical man. In addition to the mention of him in Genesis (Genesis 4:17-18; 5:18-24), the chronicler refers to him in his genealogy (1 Chronicles 1:3). Luke too mentions him in his genealogy (Luke 3:37). The author of Hebrews refers to him as a man of faith (Hebrews 11:5). In all these references it is important to note that the mentions of Enoch are to the historical person named Enoch and NOT to the books that bear his name. This brings us to Jude’s solitary New Testament quotation from the book of
I Enoch  (Jude 14-15). Does Jude’s mention of the book endow the whole of it to have been inspired of God? No, it does not, and here’s why.
Genesis tells us that one day, after Enoch walked with God for 365 years, “he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). What happened to Enoch? Where did he go after God “took him”? After he went missing, did he leave any report of what he might have encountered? To some persons (the pseudepigraphal books had multiple authors) many centuries later, the gaps in the Genesis narrative proved too tantalizing to be left blank, so they (the pseudepigraphal authors of the books of Enoch) over time composed and edited the books of Enoch to fill in the blank.
So as an extant Jewish writing, Jude knew of I Enoch. In verses 14-15 of his little letter, Jude or Judas (Matthew 13:55), the brother of James and Jesus, quoted from it.Because of the quotation, some evangelicals jump to the conclusion that the books of Enoch are divinely inspired and assign a spurious canonicity to them, and this to establish credibility for the fantastic apocalyptic scenarios they create. [15]
But it should be noted that Jude’s quotation of I Enoch no more endows the book to be divinely inspired than Paul’s Mars Hill citation of a pagan poet/philosopher or his quotation of one “unruly and vain” talker who racially stereotyped Cretans to be “always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” endowed those words to have been God-breathed (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12; 2 Timothy 3:16). [16]
They are quotations and that’s all.
Jude (Jude 14-15) does quote I Enoch 1:9.[17]  But in his citation of the pseudepigraphal book, it should be noted that Jude neither called Enoch  “scripture” nor prefaced his quotation of it with, “it is written.” Clearly, Jude did not view I Enoch
to be Scripture, to be an inspired and sacred text on a par with Scripture, but merely cited a known and surviving prophecy, authentic to Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, of future judgment. Such a judgment was canonically predicted by the prophets (“the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with him” (Zechariah 14:5), NASB. Compare Deuteronomy 33:2.), confirmed by Jesus (“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works,” Matthew 16:27; Compare also Matthew 25:31, Mark 8:38 and Luke 9:26.), and affirmed  by the Apostle Paul (“the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8: Compare 1 Thessalonians 3:13).


[9] Skiba writes: “For Jesus and the Disciples clearly thought some of the books not found in our current Bible worthy of study and quotation.” (BRChapter 1, 2) The question to be asked is, “Where?” Give chapter and verse. The evidence is that with the exception of Jude, who referenced the book of I Enoch, neither Jesus nor any of the biblical prophet-apostles quoted from a book not found in our current Bible. Frequently and abundantly, they quoted from the Old Testament canon, and in a few instances from the words of Jesus (1 Timothy 5:18), but not from a book outside the Bible. While they could have, they did not. The burden of proof is upon those who say they did.
[11]  I am aware that the “concealed” aspect of the meaning of apocrypha had to do with churches wanting the books not to be read in their public assembly. [12] R.K. Harrison, “Old Testament and New Testament Apocrypha, “The Origin of the Bible, Philip Wesley Comfort, Editor (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992): 83.
[13]  René Pache, The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture , Translated by Helen I. Needham (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1969): 172.
[14] From Enoch, there is one quotation in the New Testament and thirteen parallels, not hundreds. Admittedly, there exist in the New Testament “allusions” and “verbal parallels” to apocryphal writings outside the Jewish canon, but that is all they are. It is a delusion to transfer divine inspiration to an ancient text for reason of a biblical allusion to it. There are parallels with other ancient writings in the New Testament, but it ends at that. For a list of the allusions and parallels, see The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition, Barbara Aland, et al., Editors (Stuttgart, Germany: The United Bible Societies, 1993): 900-901.
[15]  Evidently, to demonstrate his “seed thesis” Skiba would not be against citing “the many characters of Greek mythology and the mythologies of other cultures that all speak of demigod heroes and giants.” (BR Chapter 1 , 1) Since when should mythology inform theology? In fact, Paul tells Timothy not “to pay attention to myths,” presumably including not only those of Jewish origin, but also of Greek and Roman (Emphasis added, 1 Timothy 1:4.).

[16] Paul’s quotation reads: “One of themselves [one of the “many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers . . . of the circumcision”], even a prophet of their own [evidently claiming to be inspired of God], said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow belliesThis witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth” (Emphasis added, Titus 1:12-14). When Paul states, This witness is true, he’s not validating the contents of what was said, but only that a false prophet, likely a Jew, “really” uttered the false prophecy as witnesses confirmed to him.

[17] The exact citation from I Enoch reads: “Behold, he [God] will arrive with ten million of the holy ones in order to execute judgment on all. He will destroy the wicked ones and censure all flesh on account of everything that they have done, that which the sinners and the wicked ones committed against him.” See “The Book of Enoch,” The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume 1, James H. Charlesworth, Editor (New York, NY: Doubleday, 1983): 13-14.

Part one HERE 

Pope NOT Named after Francis of Assisi: Jesuit Priest admits on Catholic radio, “New Jesuit Pope Francis was not really named after St. Francis of Assisi, but after Jesuit General Francis Borgia”

 File:Papa Francisco con periodistas 2013-03-16.jpg
Pope Francis (formerly Cardinal Jorge
Mario Bergoglio of Argentina)

by Shannon R. Haas

          Coming from a background as a former Catholic, it is of great interest to me that we have the first Jesuit Pope.  I have been listening to much talk radio in the last few days from both Christian and Catholic networks.  I normally do not tune into Catholic news radio; however, last week was of interest to me to hear what Catholics were saying about the new Pope Francis.  What has surprisingly stood out among the priests and other Catholic figures interviewed has been a lot of talk about how the new Pope is of the Jesuit Order.
          The Jesuit Order (also known as the Society of Jesus) was established around 1537-1540 by Ignatius Loyola of Spain under Pope Paul III for the expressed purpose of undoing the Protest Reformation (by the Protestant Reformers: Martin Luther, John Hus, John Calvin, etc.).  After Loyola gained papal approval, he, along with 6 most trusted associates, continued to recruit Jesuits throughout Europe (and eventually the world), building schools, colleges, and seminaries.
It has been said by a few experts on the Jesuits that the Society of Jesus is more of a military order within the Catholic Church that answers to no one but the Order itself.  Some would sum up the Jesuit Order’s agenda like this: “to stamp out biblical Christianity (through the Counter-Reformation) and subdue the world to the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.” The Jesuits have become so powerful that many within Catholicism have come to greatly fear and respect the Order (some would testify on record that the Order has even assassinated popes for the Jesuit agenda). The rather chilling Jesuit Oath can be read here.
Finish article HERE

adoring the new pope

Fatal Attraction of the Man of Sin

The Man of Sin [2 Thess 2:3] (or Antichrist as he’s become known) is often portrayed in movies as devilishly evil, vile, bloodthirsty, murderous, totally depraved and abhorrent.

In other words, all that people imagine the devil to be. Yet this isn’t the biblical appearance of the False Christ.

Movies set out to deceive. This portrayal of the antichrist is incorrect, persuading people that the coming master of the world is like a figure from a medieval painting, with glowing red eyes, pitchfork and horns.

Instead, the devil comes as an “angel of light”. [2 Cor 11:14]

Many think that love can only come from God. Yet there are some forms of love that are demonic, and appeal strongly to the worldly and soulish, those who are moved mostly by their needs and drives and emotions.

We’ve already seen thousands falling over themselves (literally) to “receive the spirit” at church meetings, a spirit that makes them feel blissfully happy and loved.

This is but a softening-up process, and a drop in the ocean compared to the feelings this angelic god-man will arouse.

When he comes, his power to deceive, his supposed goodness, lovingkindness and wisdom, will be so very appealing that men will fall down and worship at his feet!

Finish article HERE 

March 2013



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