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

By David Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Flags of Deception

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

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

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

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

Red Flags of Deception

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

July 4, 2010

JOHN NEWTON ON TRUE PATRIOTISM

From John Newton’s Letters:

True patriotism!

Dear friend,

Allow me to say, that it excites both my wonder and concern, that a Christian minister such as yourself, should think it worth his while to attempt political reforms. When I look around upon the present state of the nation, such an attempt appears to me, to be no less vain and foolish, than it would be to paint the cabin–while the ship is sinking! Or to decorate the parlor–while the house is on fire!

When our Lord Jesus was upon earth, He refused to get involved in disputes or politics, “Friend, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” Luke 12:14. “My kingdom is not of this world! If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight!” John 18:36. God’s children belong to a kingdom which is not of this world; they are strangers and pilgrims upon earth, and a part of their Scriptural character is, that they are the “quiet in the land.” Psalm 35:19.

Satan has many contrivances to amuse people, and to divert their thoughts from their real danger!

My dear sir, my prayer to God for you is–that He may induce you to employ the talents He has given you, in pointing out sin as the great cause and source of every existing evil; and to engage those who love and fear Him, (instead of wasting time in political speculations, for which very few of them are competent,) to sigh and cry for our abounding abominations, and to stand in the breach, by prayer, that God’s wrath may yet be averted, and our national mercies prolonged! This, I think, is true patriotism–the best way in which people in private life may serve their country.

I consider the ungodly as saws and hammers in the hand of the Lord. So far as they are His instruments, they will succeed–but not an inch further! Their wrath shall praise Him, and be subservient to His designs!

If our lot is so cast that we can exercise our ministry free from stripes, fines, imprisonments, and death–it is more than the gospel has promised to us! If Christians were quiet when under the cruel governments of Nero and other wicked persecutors, when they were hunted down like wild beasts–then we ought to be not only quiet but very thankful now! It was then accounted an honor to suffer for Christ and the ‘offence of the cross’!

Those are to be greatly pitied, who boast of their ‘liberty’–and yet they do not consider that they are in the most deplorable bondage as the slaves of sin and Satan, under the curse of God’s law and His eternal wrath! Oh! for a voice to reach their hearts, that they may know their true and dreadful state–and seek deliverance from their horrific thraldom! May you and I labor to direct them to the one thing, which is absolutely needful, and abundantly sufficient.

If I had the wisdom or influence to soothe the angry passions of mankind–I would gladly employ them! But I am a stranger and a pilgrim here in this world. My charter, my rights and my treasures, are all in heaven–and there my heart ought to be. In a very short time, I may be removed (and perhaps suddenly) into the unseen and eternal world–where all that now causes so much bustle upon earth–will be of no more importance to me–than the events which took place among the antediluvians!

In the hour, when death shall open the door into eternity–many things which now assume an ‘air of importance’, will be found as light and unsubstantial as a child’s dream!

How crucial then, is it for me–to be found watching, with my lamp burning, diligently engaged in my proper calling! For the Lord has not called me to set governments right–but to preach the gospel, to proclaim the glory of His name, and to endeavor to win souls! “Let the dead bury their own dead–but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God!” Luke 9:60. Happy is that servant, whom his Master finds so doing, when He returns!

As you have forced me to respond–both duty and love have obliged me to be faithful and free in giving you my thoughts.

I recommend you to the care and blessing of the great Shepherd and Savior; and remain for His sake, your affectionate friend and brother,

John Newton

http://gracegems.org/Newton/135.htm

Taken from The Berean Call

By Kim Olsen

Oh how often I hear….God is Love…Do not judge others.

In the “judge not” passage in Matthew 7, Jesus instructs us not to judge hypocritically. “Take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” As chapter 7 continues we are further  instructed to judge or determine who is a dog (v.6) a false prophet (v.15) and fruit (v.16). Those who are wise will heed these words and will put them into practice (v.24).

The Bible repeatedly instructs the Christian to examine teachings and to watch for false prophets, IN THE CHURCH. If this warning is not heeded in these last days, then you are on dangerous ground. We are to be wise as serpents because the wolves in sheep’s clothing are ravaging the church. Yet there are those who think this wisdom is hateful and unloving and then trot out the judge not verse out of context.

Now God is indeed love and we are to love others in return. This is a given, the greatest commandment all Christians understand.

But let me ask this…..How much do we love God? The following verses tell us that to love God we must follow His commands set forth in the Bible. If we love God we will obey His Word. That is why we are to study, memorize and learn scripture from cover to cover. Front to back. OT to NT. When we know what God teaches in His Word, only then we can recognize lies when we hear them. Armed with the truth we can compare teachings against the Word just like the Bereans in Acts. We need to warn others of false teachings so they too can obey God’s Word.

If we love God, we will obey His commands. To know His commands we must read and study our Bibles daily. Then we should share this good news with others.

Deuteronomy 11:13

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today–to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul–

Joshua 22:5

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”

Nehemiah 1:5

Then I said: “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands,

Psalms 119:88

Preserve my life according to your love, and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.

Psalms 119:167

I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly.

Daniel 9:4

I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands,

John 14:15

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

John 14:23

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

John 14:24

He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

John 15:10

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

1 John 5:3

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,

God loves us and to love Him in return is to obey and follow Him. He loves us, but He is returning as a judge at the second coming. He is coming in wrath.

Revelation 6:17

For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

God’s commands are found all throughout His Word. Do you know them all? Or do you just pick a few of your favorite and easy to follow commandments? Like Nehemiah said, God “keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands.”

See also:

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2009/01/22/what-the-bible-says-about-judging-contender-ministries/

BROTHER JOE: NAME DROPPING AND MAN PRAISING

May 28, 2009 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service)

The following is by Pastor Buddy Smith of Malenda, Queensland, Australia <smiletex@bigpond.net.au> —

Brother Joe was one of a kind. He only ever pastored one church. It was the church he started when he moved to a town near us in 1939. He never received a salary from his church. He said he would simply trust God for his needs to be met, and he did, and they were. He never asked for anything, but God heard his prayers and blessed his faith, and he never did without. He taught all the way through the Bible at least three times in a pastorate that lasted more than fifty years. He preached on the radio everyday for all those years and wrote a book that is a classic on raising children. He sent all his children to Bible college, and his son Tim now pastors the church his dad started almost 70 years ago.

One thing about Bro. Joe that puzzled me was the way he would quote preachers or commentators without telling us their names. He would say something like this, “A dear brother in the Lord once wrote…” or he would say, “A godly old commentator once observed this about our text…” I can’t ever remember him telling us who he was quoting. Later on, as I became a bit more familiar with writers and preachers I would stumble across the quotes he used and wonder why he never told us who said them. They were not heretics, nor were they involved in entangling and compromising alliances. They were men like Harry Ironside or A.W. Tozer or Harry Rimmer. But he never told us who he was quoting. Oh, he made it clear that the quotes were not his. He was never guilty of plagiarising. He just didn’t tell us who he quoted.

It was through his wise and discreet use of truth that I learned an important lesson on worship. Bro. Joe avoided name dropping because he sincerely desired for God and God alone to have all the glory. He very carefully and wisely used the truths that fell from the lips and pens of godly men, and he did so in ways that directed the worship of his hearers away from those men and toward God. As the years passed I heard of God’s blessings on Bro. Joe’s ministry, of the people who loved him and asked him to preach in their Bible conferences and churches and colleges, but it wasn’t Bro. Joe who told me about it. He simply had no desire for the praise of men. Certainly, we should thank God for those He uses, and thank them in person, but the crowns can wait till the judgment seat.

The apostle Peter speaks of the wisdom God gave to his dearly beloved brother Paul, so it is obvious that it is not inherently wrong to name preachers that we quote, but Peter avoids heaping upon Paul the lavish praise we hear so often given to mere mortals (2 Peter 3:15-16).  Bro. Joe simply desired that men should praise God and Him alone.

Giving praise to men is a very subtle form of hero worship. God has spoken ever so clearly on the subject of who is worthy to be worshipped. We all swim in a sea of pagan, materialistic, hedonistic, sensual, and rationalistic culture. Our culture genders in us visual, auditory, and olfactory failures. We do not see that we are worshipping idols. We do not hear the warnings of God’s Words, and we are totally unaware that swimming in our culture leaves us smelling like dead fish. Every culture thrives on the praise of men. Name dropping is the name of the game, in the world and in the church. “Dr. Flutesnoot said this,” and, “Rabbi(t) Warren said that,” and “The gospel according to Jack is this…” I attended a conference some time ago in which the main speaker could hardly finish a sentence without dropping the name of some well known Christian leader who is is his friend, or dropping the name of some famous church or college he had preached in. I got the impression that we were all expected to say, “Oh! Do you know him?” and “Wow!, did you get to preach there?” We just love to drop names, don’t we?

Why do we do this? Do we really believe that the gospel of Christ is enhanced by someone who has attained to celebrity status in our stagnant little cultural puddle? Does God need the endorsement of a megachurch guru or a supersalesman soulwinner? Will it count for eternity and for the glory of God that you or I were feted by the ringmaster of the religious circus that he calls a church? Or that you had a 30 second revival meeting with the pastor who jumped a Sunday School bus over a dozen tricycles? All our glorying in man is idolatrous and an abomination in the sight of God. It doesn’t really matter whose signature is at the bottom of your Bible college diploma. It doesn’t really matter whose endorsement is on the back of your book. What has eternal value is whether we have gathered up all the glory and praise we can find and given every bit of it to God.

Consider a few of the Scriptures that speak of the worship of God,

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

“I am the LORD, that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8).

“For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? And I will not give my glory to another” (Isaiah 48:11).

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth’s sake” (Psalm 115:1).

One last thought: whether we realise it or not, our praise of man tends to have a hidden agenda. We tend to praise men so that they will praise us back. There is in every one of us enough Devil to crave the praise of men. And so we give it to get it. We need to read John 5:44, “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” Our craving for recognition, for praise, for honour and glory, according to our Saviour, is an impediment to faith. “How can ye believe who receive honour one of another……..?”

One of my favourite evangelists lived to the ripe old age of 87 years. He preached for over 70 years and is sometimes described as the “best loved evangelist of all time.” When he was very old it was decided by his friends that he should be honoured publicly. Many were invited to come and give testimonials as to his usefulness in the Lord’s work, and they came in droves. One speaker after another sang the praises of the old preacher until finally the speeches were done, and the moderator turned to invite the aged preacher to the lectern to receive the award. To everyone’s surprise he was nowhere to be found. The guest of honour was not on the platform, or even in in the building. He had absented himself some time during the meeting. He had chosen to turn a deaf ear to the sweet words from his admirers! They searched high and low, and eventually they found him, outside the great hall, in the street, speaking to a cabbie about his soul. He knew all about the priorities if godliness and he knew about the emptiness of the praises of men.

Only God is worthy of worship!

Someone may ask, “Who was Bro. Joe?”

I don’t think he would want me to tell you.

We could be guilty of stealing from God the glory that belongs only to Him.

Over at the Earthquake Resurrection blog, David Lowe has posted a very powerful 5 minute video.  I did not get through it without tears and  it sent me to my knees in gratitude for what our Father gave for us.

Please click on the link

http://earthquakeresurrection.blogspot.com

to watch:

The Bridge: A Father’s Choice

A Cinematic Story of a Father’s Love…
Faced With an Unfathomable
Circumstance and Choice.

 

For the average person, every day it is the same thing. We wake up, go to work, go home, eat dinner have a bit of leisure time and go to bed. This is not bad in itself because we are to work for a living and not be a burden to society. So this is part of life that we must accept and be glad of it. We are to work with our hands, mind our own business, and be a blessing to others.

So what has happened?

I was looking at a photograph of our living room when I was a young girl. The room simply consisted of a sofa, coffee and end tables, Hi-Fi (a speaker cabinet with a record player and radio), TV and one of those pole lamps. That was it. Maybe a picture on the wall. We were not poor, this was just average. How different is the home of today.

I have to wonder why it has become so important to have the best framed piece of art in the neighborhood. The most expensive car. The house with the most columns or turrets. Not only do we have to have the best “things” on the market, we NEED the lastest technology. Actually we are controlled by the constant advancements of new products on the horizon because the older stuff becomes obsolete and unusable. What a ploy and effective technique this is to get our dollars.

I guess it pretty much goes without too much ado that money is what rules our lives. Money and what it acquires has become our God. But “I need these things” you say…..true there are things we do need, and God says that He will provide for His children. He says not to worry about food, shelter, and clothing. You might notice He does not say anything about retirement funds, the lastest cell phone, or a Mercedes Benz.

If we begin to worship things instead of God, we will be dealt with as individuals and as a nation. When money becomes a God to us, we will see  judgment from God by the way He destroys our false gods. This is done in order to turn us away from our false gods and to turn us back to the true and living God, Jesus Christ. 

In the study of Moses and the plagues that befell Pharaoh and the Egyptians, there is some very interesting information. The plagues happened to discredit the gods that the Egyptians worshiped. Pharaoh himself was associated with the sun god Ra.

The Egyptians worshiped many gods but mainly they represented three areas of their lives, the Nile river, the land and the sky. So lets looks at the judgments and what they represented to the people of Egypt.

1. The Nile turns to blood.  – The people worshiped the Nile river as it’s waters provided drinking water, they bathed in it and it watered their livestock and crops. God turned the water to blood and all the fish died and it stank.

2. Frogs covered the Land – The people worshiped the frogs especially the frog god Heket, and they could not kill them. The frogs died and lay in rotting heaps.

3. The dust of the land became lice or gnats. – There was a god of the soil named Geb. But the dust became lice and they plagued the people.

4. Flies broke out and ruined the land. – Many insects were identified with the gods and were worshiped but these flies harmed the land. The flies only afflicted the Egyptians.

5. Their livestock died. – Bulls and cows were woshiped. There was a bull god Apis and Hathor, a cow of fertility. Also there is the Ram god Amun. God destroyed these gods of the people.

AMUN

6. The plague of the boils – The Egyptians were themselves inflicted this time.

7. The hailstorm. – Now the next three judgments are against the gods of the sky. The hailstorm ruined crops and those who feared the Lord took their animals to shelter.

8. The plague of the Locusts. – The locusts came from the sky and ate whatever the hailstorm did not destroy.

9.  The darkness. – The god of the sun RA could not overcome this plague and God shows how He is the true God.

God judged and plagued all who would not acknowledge Him.

Who or what comes first in your life? Are you putting your money, investments, retirement funds before the Lord? If you are… you will surely feel the sting and pain of the days to come.

The fiasco we are seeing today in the financial sectors are orchestrated to bring about loss of freedom to the American people. We gladly will give up our freedoms and let the government intervene if only our monies are secure. Our sovereignty is at stake here but the money is more important. Safety of one’s 401 retirement fund is a driving force of what the public will endure. And these stocks are not even real. They are only perceived values which can change at any given moment. Just like the value of your home, the market value fluctuates with the times. This is what people have placed their hope and trust in.

It is easy to see what drives the American people and it is not the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ and walking in faith that He will provide. We can see that God will show us how impotent the false gods of our lives truly are by the judgments and plagues against Pharaoh and his officials. This is what we are seeing right now. Your money could be gone in an instant. Then what will you do? Is God right now showing you where your heart truly lies and what it is that you treasure most?  Are you experiencing panic or the extraordinary peace that comes only from God?

Please use this market slowdown as a marker for your life. How are you going to react to not having access to your money or losing it all? Who are you going to turn to? As the governments of the world unite to give us a temporary false sense of security, are you beginning to see the picture of our current and future oppression?

Are you asking yourself about your relationship with Jesus Christ? You should be. This is the time to be right with the Lord. We were not put on earth to own a Blackberry, we were put here to worship and serve Jesus Christ. So, is God exposing your fears because of what you may lose in earthly possessions? Is He sending a hailstorm to demolish your surroundings? Are you in darkness right now and Jesus is showing you that faith in Him is the only light?

If you are putting other gods before Jesus, like money, wealth, possessions, etc., then you are in rebellion and disobedient. Please read Exodus 7:14 – 10:20 to see how rebellion was dealt with in the past. Then go to Revelation and read about the trumpet and bowl judgments to see how current rebellion against God will be dealt with. God never changes, He is the same God we see in Exodus, and He will judge those who worship the false gods of today and tomorrow.

Imagine all your possessions gone and see what you have left. If you are walking with the Lord, He is all you will need.

I will share a quick story. My business began to decline rapidly about 18 months ago. I began to have trouble sleeping at night. A weight was felt in my soul. I wanted to sleep alot. But instead of allowing myself to fall into self-pity, I pressed on at work, read my Bible, studied to teach Bible classes, and prayed like never before. I prayed for others who may be going through similar circumstances.

A corner was turned. I began to understand that the Lord was testing me and wanting me to completely surrender my situation and lay it at His feet. Driving home last night from BSF the Lord revealed to me that I had grown immensely in faith while under the stressful circumstances He has allowed in my life. Tears welled in my eyes when I realized how much the Lord loves me enough to train me and use me for His glory.

Is God testing you right now? Is He exposing the false gods in your life to see your reaction? If so are you turning away from them? Is He asking you to turn to only Him in times of trouble? Are you praising and giving thanks to our Lord even though there is a mountain of trouble at your feet that looks impossible? God is the only one who truly has the answers. Will you seek Him today?

*****

Our dollar bill has the eye of Horus as the capstone of the pyramid. When the capstone lands and the pyramid is complete, we should see the completion of the New World Order.

Annuit Coeptis – Announcing the birth of (1776 A.D.)

Novus Ordo Seclorem – New World Order

So our dollar bill announced the birth of the New World Order in the United States in 1776.

The seal is also full of masonic symbols and it says on either side of the eagles head,

E Pluribus Unum – One out of many

 
 
Times are getting tougher. The economy is in terrible shape and things may only get worse. These are most certainly unsure times.

So, I have to ask, how strong is your faith right now?

How many novels have you read the last twelve months? Newspapers? On-line articles? Instructions on assembling an exercise bike? How many recipes have you looked at and considered? What about decorating magazines? Sports Illustrated? Fishing and Hunting News?

How much time have you spent watching TV? Listening to music? Playing cards? Going to restaurants and dining out? Visiting with your neighbors? E-mailing friends and family? Shopping on-line?

We can spend a lot of leisure time for many enjoyable activities. So…how much time do you spend each day reading your Bible and praying?

Again I have to ask, how strong is your faith right now? I can say that your faith is probably proportionate to the amount of time you spend in God’s word and praying. I am not talking about church going, although this is a positive. I am referring to the time you spend alone with God. Spending time alone with God and His Word is how your learn about Him and how you apply the truths to your life.

If you are not reading your Bible how can you know what God’s promises are? How can God speak to you through the Reader’s Digest?

Here are some of God’s Promises

Here is a promise to Moses when he worried about going to Pharaoh on behalf of the Israelites.

Exodus 3:12a “And God said, “I will be with you..”

When I was afraid to speak on a radio program the Lord showed me this verse.

Jeremiah 1:7 “But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

Matthew records Jesus as saying much that directly relates to worry.

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear….”

Matthew 6 :26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them…”

Matthew 6:27 “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Matthew 6:30 “If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

Matthew 6:31 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?'”

Matthew 6:32 “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…..”

Jesus is telling over and over not to worry because He knows what our needs are. If we talk to God in prayer He hears us, so we are to trust Him to provide. Worrying about our basic needs is a lack of faith in God. So this is sin. But indeed we must first seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness of Christ. Worry is not righteousness but unbelief.

Paul is pretty clear in Philippians 4:6-7 about worry and freedom from anxiety.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

One of the most amazing woman I have ever met is Jean who was formerly a leader in our Bible study. She told our group this story.

“As our house was burning to the ground I was filled with this incredible sense of peace. There we were standing outside helplessly watching the flames take everything we owned. But the Lord was with me. Later friends and family came to us supplying us with every little need. I remember looking for a kitchen utensil and someone came to my door with the very thing was I needing. The Lord supplied all that had been lost. But I knew this would be so ..that very day that all was consumed by the fire.”

As she told the story you could see the peace and tranquility on her face and I could imagine that is what she looked like on the very day her house burned to the ground.

What is your attitude? Are you anxious? Knowing God’s character helps calm our fears and knowing His ways give us confidence for the future. Are you trusting the Lord with your future? Are you trusting God to provide for you? How can you change your thinking so that He comes first? Put Him first and then trust for His provision.

What is God trying to burn away in your life right now? What gives Him glory in your life? Our greatest purpose in life is to give God glory. How can you do this if you don’t know Him? That is why a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ is our greatest strength.

We must have faith to please God. So how strong is your faith this very moment? Are you rejoicing in your suffering as Paul did? Are you opening your Bible and leaning on the Lord and His Word? If not….will you?

 

 

 

Volume 19  Number 4                              July/August 2008

 

 

 

 

What Language Do You Speak?

Jewel Grewe

 

Our spoken and written language is the most important aspect of our culture and identity as a people. In 1997 The Summer Institute of Linguistics noted that the Bible had been translated into 2,197 languages.  The Ethnologue Institute has a detailed list of 6,809 distinct languages. In the U.S. we recognize what part of the country someone comes from by their accent. As an American traveling overseas, my ears always perk up when an American accent floats across a crowded airport (Americans seem to speak quite loudly, especially overseas). We identify one another by our language. Our knowledge of the spoken and the written word enables us to hear and understand each other.

 

Likewise, true knowledge is gained through understanding. Understanding comes through applying oneself to the Truth. Proverbs 24:5 states that:  A man of knowledge increaseth strength.

 

The Word of God is the very fountain of all knowledge. The study thereof should be of utmost importance in the believer’s life. It will identify us as believers. Our knowledge of the Word will enable us to hear and understand His will for our lives.

 

The Language of the Redeemed

 

In I Peter 2:9 we are told that we are a peculiar people: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

 

This means that we have been set apart from the world.  We are part of a different world than that which is around us.  We speak a different language; it is the language of the Redeemed. True holiness before God is the daily goal of the true follower of Christ. I Peter 1:13&14 says: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.

 

The language of the redeemed binds us together even closer than the language of our native country.

 

It is because of this understanding that our hearts break over so many dear Christians who are not steeped in God’s Word today. They are not satisfied with the simplicity and beauty of walking by faith daily in the joy and blessings that He gives. This is the reason why Discernment Ministries has plodded along these many years weeping in the dreary dust of the crowds flittering here and there like the Athenians who spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.

 

Oh, but they say, God is doing a new thing in the earth.  That does not mean to jump ship without a life jacket.  When you hear those words, follow the admonition of Scripture – rather prefer to err on side of caution.  Listen to the language spoken. Oh, yes, websites of many errant teachers can copy a statement of belief that looks genuine. But is this what they really believe? They can make many claims that will suck in the gullible. But what are they really teaching?

 

After studying these things for so many years, it is hard to know who is deceived the most.  Is it the Leaders who have moved so far away from the knowledge of the Holy and instead, promote the profane and call it holy; or, is it the Followers who blindly run to and fro?

 

As a young girl, I grew up in Minnesota. The Voice of Healing had just started. Evangelists visited Minneapolis on a regular basis and my father, an Assembly of God pastor, supported every campaign that came through. My eldest sister was born with spinal bifida and was paralyzed from the waist down.  Naturally, the greatest desire for our family was that she be healed. We attended meetings by: William Branham, Oral Roberts, AA Allen, the Cerullo brothers, Raymond Richey, Velmer Gardner, Kathryn Kuhlman, and I could go on and on. My sister was usually relegated to a back corner somewhere as she was considered a “difficult case.” I wondered about that. William Branham told my father that “it wasn’t God’s will to heal her.” I wondered about that. In some meetings I would observe “set-ups” where people would walk in a side door, sit in a wheelchair and when the healing lines would form, they would be wheeled up and be proclaimed “healed” and walk off the stage. I wondered about that.

 

At 12 years of age we moved to Zion, Illinois where there was a lot of fascinating history.  My father had known John G. Lake personally when he had lived in Zion in his younger days.  My piano teacher would relegate us with stories of John Alexander Dowie. During this time the Charismatic movement started, and my father and I visited many Full Gospel Business Men’s Conventions as he was active in the local chapter. A whole new set of individuals became known to my father as he would drive speakers to their next engagement, and I would sit in the back seat drinking in every word. Derek Prince, Don Bashan, Nicholas Bhengu and many others passed our way.

 

Latter Rain

 

Stanley Frodsham, a dear man of God and the Editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for many years, became part of the Latter Rain Movement that started in 1948. He and many others left the fold of the Assemblies of God and joined with those who were part of the “new thing” that came out of that particular time. Stanley Frodsham and his wife moved to Zion and attended our church. Mrs. Frodsham became my Sunday School teacher. Rev. Frodsham was the biographer for Smith Wigglesworth. He and his wife had traveled extensively with him and I was fascinated with the many stories they told. When I went to Central Bible College, the Frodshams had moved there and they introduced me to the Latter Rain group called The House of Prayer. At CBC attending Brother Kessel’s class I learned one side of the story of the split in the Assemblies of God http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_January1997.pdf. After attending this particular group for awhile, I learned the Latter Rain side of the story.  I now realize all of this was part of God’s teaching process in my own life, even attempting such a ministry as Discernment Ministries.  (Many years later I questioned Stanley Frodsham’s daughter about his involvement in the Latter Rain. Her answer was: “My father was a glutton for the supernatural”).

 

Yes, there are wonderful sincere people who are genuine in their love of the Lord but are always looking for “supernatural experiences and revelations,” but in doing so cause division and harm to the body of Christ.  Yet, God in His infinite mercy has a way a working in the lives of His children who are humble and remain low at the Master’s feet, which I know was true of the Frodshams.

 

After several years of processing and growing in my Christian walk, I left for South Africa as young eager missionary to work with a 75-year-old lady with a genuine “apostolic ministry gift.” I say that because Ruth established many churches along with other wonderful  missionaries, and the work of God in the Northern Province in South Africa is a testimony to their lives and sacrifices.  Those people truly laid down their lives for the Gospel.  They gave their all! Many times Ruth would go out and spend her last mite to fill up the little pick-up truck with vegetables that she could pass out to the hungry. They gave unstintingly of their time and resources for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   It distressed me greatly when new innovative thinkers came on the scene and denigrated the work of these pioneers with a “new way of doing missions.”  They then would maneuver to get rid of those who had gone before.

 

Marriage in 1971 and arrival of a family took our lives into a different set of circumstances and new ventures in our ministry – even to then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Ultimately we came to the U.S. where many things already had changed in the church.  While pastoring in the States, we quickly became aware that Christian television was changing the whole direction of the church. A language was being spoken that somehow sounded foreign to our ears. Thankfully we realized that what at stake was the preaching of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

The Language of the Apostasy

 

It is grieving to me to write this as there are so many sincere people involved.   It is so hard for me to understand why so many get caught up in these things. My heart cries with Paul who said, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”  (I Cor. 2:1-2).

 

Please don’t dismiss me as a heresy hunter and shut up your mind to anything but your preconceived notions.  This is about Truth.  Whether you are Todd Bentley, C. Peter Wagner, Bob Jones, Paul Cain or a pastor of a church, you can be deceived.  None of us escape Satan’s devices. As simply as I possibly can, I will attempt to lay out some of the unscriptural language of the apostasy.

 

Let us examine the foundation for what we are now witnessing – from a 1993 Discernment newsletter,

www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_JanFeb1993.pdf

 

In the newsletter there is a review of a book by William DeArteaga entitled Quenching the Spirit DeArteaga makes the assertion that “God brings new truth to the church by first revealing it to cults and occult groups.”  He already had written a book in 1983 entitled Past Life Visions in which he lauds Agnes Sandford’s incredibly heretical The Healing Light and defends her belief in a pre-earth human existence (pp 145-6); seems to embrace evolution of man from a lower species (p. 126); declares the “ghosts” are “earthbound souls” (p 187) who may legitimately communicate with the living (p 182) and that the dead should be ministered to by the church (p 183). He argues that reincarnation is Biblical and was “validated by Jesus” (pp 197-209) and that such a gospel is helpful for India because it allows “the Hindu to maintain… the concept of Karma-reincarnation” (p 215); and he recommends regression into past lives as a standard method of spiritual healing for the church to adopt (pp. 151-163). [The Berean Call, Nov. ’92.]

 

The language of the occult

 

At the time this Discernment newsletter was written (1993), DeArteaga’s book was legitimized by the TBN, obviously to back up many of the teachings being promoted. There are ministries active today who have no problem introducing occult practices and call it “truth,” and claim we can use these experiences for a deeper “relationship” with God.

 

Satan’s language

 

I heard about one ministry that boasted, when invited to a Luciferian Initiation, that really Lucifer just means “angel of light” and after all, we all want “light”! Do you wonder why there is no mention of sin any longer?  Has it grieved you that the cross is a subject avoided like poison?

 

Patricia King (Extreme Prophetic) influenced Todd Bentley after his conversion.  I personally do not think he had any opportunity to sit under sound doctrine and learn the first principles. He was “channeled” into the supernatural realm to hook up with what taught him as getting “connected.””.

 

Her itinerant pastor, who doubles as a travelling DJ, calls the show “Club Mysterio”  on an online video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2i5k6WuwX4 Please compare this to the New Age version  at www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxDebb9dLKY&NR=1

 

This newsletter could actually be a large book to do justice to this vast subject. However, if it just makes one person stop, think and repent, it is worth the effort.   It is about souls for whom Jesus died that our hearts grieve.  The days for “playing church” are over, folk.

 

Revival Language

 

“Well, revivals can be messy you know”.  This is the way the weirdness is excused.  After all, we want to “move higher” into God.  We hear sincere folk saying things like: We have to move into a ‘higher place’ – a place of intimacy with God.  Jesus did the things the Father told Him to do. WE MUST MOVE INTO THAT PLACE. A place of the knowledge of the Lord that the Lord yearns us to come into. Teachings on “intimacy with God” have sold many books.  But just stop here a moment. Isn’t that what any “religion” requires? Always striving after something? Bringing offerings to the many gods in Hinduism, faithfully bowing low in the mosques, dancing into a frenzy to obtain “oneness”?

 

Let us take a breath and rest in the Scriptures a moment.  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: Which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  (I Peter 2:9&10)

 

The language of the Scripture tells us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the power of God unto salvation. This is what this is all about.  The perversion of language is the ploy of the enemy to subvert the body of Christ to follow another gospel.

 

Matthew 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

 

II Thess. 2:9  Him, whose coming after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders.

 

Language of Angels

 

Dear ones, nowhere in Scripture do we find angels appearing out of nowhere to just keep in communication with us.  The culture right now is crazy about angels and Hollywood is churning out movies to satisfy that desire.  To read and listen to the stories about Todd Bentley’s angels really denigrates the truth of Scripture. On his website in 2002 he talks about a particular rock on Rick Joyner’s property at Moravian Falls. This rock supposedly has some power, and as they approach it there are three young angels “horsing around, wrestling, getting each other in head-locks and giving noogies.” He learned from others that these were the worship angels who oversee the worship center.

 

Sorry, but this isn’t biblical. The worship angels are before the throne of God… and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. They give glory to God night and day without rest. We serve a Holy God.  His holiness NEVER CHANGES.  Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And some cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts:  the whole earth is full of his glory.

 

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=kSlt0_8HwMk

 

Yet Todd Bentley says, “they [the angels] have nothing in heaven to do but waiting to serve God’s purpose in you!”

 

Language of the Lie

 

Bob Jones, who obviously has had a huge influence in Todd Bentley’s life, even introducing him to his angel in 1988, said, “the children will possess the Spirit without measure – for these are the best of all generations that have ever been upon the face of the earth. And the best of all generations are those ELECTED SEEDS that will glorify Christ in the last days… they will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before. Every miracle, sign and wonder they’ll move in the power that Christ did…. They themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to put death itself underneath their feet and to glorify Christ in every way and the church that is raising up in the government will be the head and the covering for them… the chosen generation of history that will go beyond all the others in power.”  He goes on to say, “This generation of the young people that are coming are going to see the beginning of this World-wide New Order… it is going to change the expression of Christianity in the earth in a generation.”

 

From a Discernment newsletter in 1990, www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_Sept1990.pdf you will read that Gnosticism has again entrenched itself in the thinking of Christendom.  Mystical knowledge is replacing the truth of the Word of God.   And they are talking of taking over the WORLD?

 

Language of Heresy

 

The greatest sorrow of all is that the deity of Jesus Christ is undermined by this teaching.   The divine purpose of the Holy Scriptures is the revelation of Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God.  Gnosticism gives way to “higher knowledge”.  It brings about disinterest in the Bible and Bible teaching.  The “anointed seed” is now said to be connecting with the supernatural realm, and this heresy draws the masses with its instant gratification.

 

The door is being opened, Eat this fruit and ye will be as god.  Accept this lie and you will find yourself at the altar of mysticism where all of the religions of the world worship based on subjectivity, humanism and brotherhood.

 

What Language do you Speak?

 

It is time to examine ourselves – whether we are in the faith or not.  Have we been led astray by “strange fire”? Has the siren’s sweet song lulled your senses and caused shipwreck to your walk with God? Repent and return to your first love that you may be found worthy to stand in His Presence.

 

The following are two recent podcasts that I did on the subject of The “revival” and The New Apostolic Reformation.  http://sliceoflaodicea.com/slicecast/

 

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, …For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God…. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.(I Cor. 1:10a, 2-3)

 

****This article was posted with the permission of Jewel Grewe****

 

http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2008.htm

 

 

Jewel Grewe and myself at the conference in Spring Hill, Florida.
Jewel Grewe (left) and myself at the conference in Spring Hill, Florida.

The goal of Bible study is to meet God daily through the study of his Word. First I pray that the Lord will illuminate the Word of God to my mind and my heart and then I pray for understanding.

There are many ways to study the Bible and here are some suggestions.

1. Read through the entire Bible. This is highly recommended. At a discernment conference I attended we were told to read through the Bible and when we were done, start over again.

2. Read an entire book. Look through the book first noting the subjects. Take notes and write down any applications you may find that apply in your life. Commentaries are great. You may want to read this AFTER your initial reading. God may want to show to something and when we read commentaries first this may obscure what the Lord wants to show us personally.

3. Concentrate on a passage. This is great for understanding of scripture but you should see how this passage fits in with the rest of the book or chapter you are reading. Many poor interpretations come from taking a single verse and using it out of context diminishing its proper meaning.

What is the content and facts of this passage? Who? When? Where? Why? What is the truth that is being conveyed in this passage? Is it a warning, or are we being commanded to do something? Does God give a promise or an encouragement in this passage? What are the parallel passages?

The parallel passages are important because scripture interprets scripture.

What are the specifics in this passage that we can pray about?

4. The Attributes of God. Go through a part of the Bible and look for attributes that describes the nature of God. Here is a sampling:

Light

Shepherd

Reconciler

Voice

Holy

Wise

Judge

Eternal

Truth

Love

Joy

Creator

Comforter

Forgiver

It is through these attributes that we begin to understand the character of God.

Lets look at Psalms 119: 114-117. I was looking at verse 114 specifically but noticed the many attributes in this passage.

“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Away from me you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God! Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live.”

Refuge

Shield

Hope

Word

Sustainer

Law

Promise

Life

Just look at the fountain of information is this single passage. There is a wealth of attributes about God that you can consider and thank Him for.

5. Word Study. Perhaps you want to study faith, perseverance, hope or fear. Whatever it is you want to concentrate on, you might start by looking up the word in a Bible dictionary. Look in your concordance or invest in a topical Bible. There are great websites that allow you to pull up every verse that has the word “holy” in it. Compare all of the verses asking: Who? What? Where? When? How? What can I apply what I have learned to my own life?

The applications of Bible study to our life is where the meat is. What is it that you learned that you can apply to your daily life? What specific action can you take? If you decide you want to spend more time in study, you may want to be specific by setting aside a certain time each day from 7:00 – 7:30 to pray and read God’s Word. Taking specific action is helpful to accomplish this goal.

You may want to apply something you learned to your work, (honesty on a time card), co-workers, ( being kind to someone who dislikes you), or maybe in your personal life, ( waiting on God’s time not your own.) Well, you get the picture. We need to apply the truths we find God’s Word to our everyday lives.

I often sit on my sofa, pillow on lap, with my Bible resting on it. I have 3 translations all handy. KJV, NIV, and a NRSV. Of course there is the computer for on-line versions of the Bible, commentaries and Greek/Hebrew concordances. I use http://www.blueletterbible.org but there are many others.

Many times I am filled with awe and love that God’s precious word is right before me. I am sitting at the foot of my Lord clinging to His feet and worshiping Him and His Word. Last week before writing this I felt like Mary who sat at the feet of the Lord when Martha was busying herself with chores. This is what I sense with Bible in hand. Communion with the Lord. I run my hand over the onion-skin paper and enjoy the crinkle of the pages. Such a sweet sound.

It is here that I find God. It is here Jesus Christ, God’s son lives for me. It is here the Holy Spirit illuminates the words that convict, instruct and compel me to live only for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

If a follow someone’s dream…I may be following another. If I hear another voice….I may be led to the wrong conclusion. If I follow another persons vision….I follow illusion which quickly turns into disillusion. That is why God’s voice is the written word.

We must use the Word of God as a measuring rod against all of man’s wisdom, thought, and actions. If it doesn’t line up with scripture it must be discarded. The Bible is the great discerner. It is the Truth, and so it is rejected by most of the unbelieving world.

But to those who love the truth it contains joy, salvation and guidance for living for the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Homiletics.

What is homiletics?

Homiletics is a study system often used by pastors to extract key information from a passage. This is done by analyzing the passage for key phrases and condensing it to determine its basic content. Once you have the key words or phrases try to summarize the entire passage into a single composed sentence.

Next write down lessons or truths that can be learned from the passage. It is amazing how many truths can be lifted from a single passage when you really begin to study and contemplate it. Pray before you start that God will open your heart and mind to receive his Word.

Once the key truths are realized then you can start to expand the passage back out with applications that you can use in your life. Think of situations where you can actually apply the truth. How can your behavior be changed to glorify God?

 

Here is an example using homiletics from Matthew.

 

First read Matthew 17: 1-13 —-The Transfiguration

Where is it? High on the mountain.

Who is it? God – Jesus – Peter – James – John – Moses – Elijah

Key words in each verse.

1. Jesus 3 disciples mountain

2. Jesus transfigured bright light

3. Moses Elijah Jesus talking

4. Peter build shelters?

5. Voice Son Love Pleased Listen

6. Disciples Terrified

7. Do not be afraid

8. Saw only Jesus

9. Don’t tell raised

10. Why Elijah first?

11. Elijah will restore

12. Elijah & Son suffer

13. Elijah/John the Baptist

The Sentence summarizing the passage.

Matthew records that Jesus is transformed showing the disciples His true glory.

The Lessons

1. Jesus is the light

2. Jesus will reveal himself to you.

3. Jesus knew the OT prophets.

4. Jesus is truly God.

5. God the Father made it clear his Son is Jesus.

6. We are to listen what Jesus says.

7. Even though we love God we are to also fear him.

8. Do not be afraid of what God reveals to you.

9. Do not be afraid to tell others about Jesus Christ.

10. Jesus would be rejected like John the Baptist.

Possible Applications – I Will’s

I will get to know Jesus by reading His Word, listening to sermons, or fellowship with others. I know that Jesus will reveal Himself to me as I follow Him.

I will be confident explaining to others that Jesus is truly the Son of God, since these word came from the Father Himself.

I will listen to what Jesus tells me.

I will boldly tell others about Jesus because I was told not to be afraid.

I will expect that the very presence of God would cause fear and trembling.

I will go into the valleys to serve as I descend from the spiritual highpoints.

I will ask God what truth He wants me to know so that I can share with others.

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I want to tell you that this was one of the homiletic lessons that I prepared last year for my students. Some see other truths that I did not see so I wanted you to know that this is only an example. The students are to do the above procedure on their own worksheet. At the end of the year there were students who could pick out the content words on their worksheet, write a sentence, find at least one lesson and application and more during discussion, in the 30 minutes we were allowed for this part of the evening. The age group I taught last year were 10-11 year olds. To watch what God has done in these children who seek the Lord is nothing short of amazing. It is totally a blessing and filling of the Holy Spirit.

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My personal summary of Matthew 17:1-13

The transfiguration revealed to the disciples the Glory of God and of Jesus Christ. It looked to the past and it looked to the future. Jesus left the glory of heaven to come to earth as man and then to return after His work on the cross to His resurrected glory. He now abides at the right hand of the Father till He returns and someday we will witness Jesus in all His glory just as the disciples saw Him that night.

The transfiguration gave the disciples a witness account of what he actually and truly looks like. What a gift this was for the disciples who at Pentecost would remember His glory so they would profess to the world as eyewitnesses, the significance of His majesty.

Peter had earlier proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah and he did so without seeing anything like the splendor that had been later revealed to him, and John and James. But once they believed by faith they were given a spectacular view of His glory. He revealed Himself to His servants, and they saw His radiant face and garments, Moses and Elijah and heard the voice of God.

A cloud enveloped them and the voice said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

What a wonderful confirmation of who Jesus truly is. God Himself assured the disciples and us, that Jesus is truly the Son of God.

The disciples fell face down into the ground in terror. (What does this tell us today about those who say they communicate directly with God?) However, Jesus told them not to be afraid, and when they looked up Jesus was alone. How could they ever look at Jesus the same way again? What awe this must have created. And to see Moses and Elijah. What an unspeakable honor to see the Old Testament prophets. Oh, to hear what they spoke of. We are told very little in Luke about their conversation.

They asked Jesus, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first? Jesus explained that Elijah did come as John the Baptist to prepare the way for Him, but he was killed just as Jesus would also be killed.

They then went down from the mountain and back into the world. After this spiritual high point they were to move on and were immediately met by a needy person. What a lesson in itself right here, that after a glorious experience, one is expected to help another.

How many people are continually seeking spiritual mountaintops? Meeting after meeting, conferences, seminars, always seeking signs and wonders, desiring only the high points, never serving.

There are times when all I want to do is sit in my little room and think about God’s glory. But I know that this is not what I have been trained to do. I can only serve God by coming down off the mountaintop and into the valleys to serve. But one of things I take away from this passage is the commandment to listen and to obey Jesus. His commandments are laid out in the Word of God. When I have a spiritual highpoint in my life now I take it as an encouragement to go forth and serve God. It is not something to bask in like we see so much of today. We are not to be afraid to do what He asks of us. He showed His glory to the disciples so that they would go out and preach the Gospel.

We can apply what we have learned here by listening to God’s voice in the Bible. We can boldly go forth and tell others because God has revealed himself to us through his Word. Doing so will please God.

Luke adds that Jesus was praying after ascending the mountain. Jesus prayed at all the important steps in His life and this time was no exception. This is a reminder that when we are facing an important decision or step in our life, we need to go the Father in prayer.

Peter later wrote:

“We were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain”

2 Peter 1:16-18

What an affirmation for the disciples who actually heard the voice of God and saw the Shekinah glory. What a confirmation to them that Jesus not only knew Moses and Elijah, but that He was fulfilling their teachings. What a glorious vision to recall as they went out after Pentecost knowing what Jesus truly looked like in all his glory as He sits at the right hand of the Father.

Bible study is your personal time spent with God. Pray first for understanding from the Holy Spirit and let the Spirit guide you into the Truth.

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