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Only Scripture

by Pastor Anton Bosch

 One of the non-negotiable essentials of orthodox Christianity has always been the completeness of Scripture. By completeness we mean that the Bible (66 books) is the complete and final revelation of God to man. Nothing is to be added to the Scriptures, nothing is to be taken away from it, and nothing is to be placed above, or next to it (in authority or priority). The Bible stands on its own, is complete, and is the final measure by which every other doctrine, statement, creed or revelation is to be judged.

 Over the centuries various groups have strayed from the principle of the completeness of Scripture. Most notably the Roman Church places the Apocrypha, the Magisterium, Canon Law, the Ex Cathedra statements of the Pope and a bunch of other stuff at the same level, or higher than Scripture.

 One of the things that most cults have in common is that they all have their books, prophecies, and teachings that are equal to, or that supersede, the Bible.

 Some historic churches hold their traditions, creeds and council decisions as equal to Scripture. Many also believe the teachings of deceased teachers above God’s Word. Most (not all) Charismatic and Pentecostal churches place prophecy, visions, revelations, experiences, and the teaching of special gifted leaders (often called apostles or prophets), above the Bible.

 This is an old problem, but it has recently been escalating to new levels. Many evangelicals who previously held to the completeness, inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture are abandoning those truths…..

Tom Horn is one of the writers and teachers that has taken the church world by storm with his wild speculations about mutant life forms in the Old Testament, alien visits and abductions, as well as all sorts of fantastical science fiction sold as new Christian revelation (sounds very similar to Scientology – and it is). In addition to his own wild imagination and twisted use of Scripture, Horn has based many of his doctrines on apocryphal books as well as astrology. He strongly defends his use of extra-biblical sources and many evangelical Christians agree with him. He is endorsed by many Evangelical pastors and leaders.

These are but two of dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of “Christian” leaders rejecting the truth that the Bible is complete and closed.

Full Article HERE

From Deception Bytes

The new Apostolic Reformation (NAR) sprang from the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement. They claim that they have been given authority to lay the foundation for the “new” global church. They believe they are restored apostles called and ordained by God to be the government for the emerging “New Order” church. In order to maintain this governance they stress strict obedience and submission to them in all matters. They claim they hear directly from God, and many claim that Jesus visits them in person. Like the true biblical apostles who established the early church, these so called restored apostles believe they are called to lay the foundation and government for the new Kingdom (one world church). Their goal is complete and utter control of the church and subjugatation of its current governance to them. They want power, dominion and total control. They truly believe that the world is awaiting fulfillment of a take over by a militant church (Joel’s Army) that will arise, govern and dominate the world politically and spiritually. This is a highly organized group with a global agenda. It has been well thought out, well strategized, and will be implemented with military precision. The grid is in place – our future is planned.

We know from the Word of God that there will be a one world church and a one world government. This one world government and church is not God’s. We know that the end of days will be marked by deep deception and lying signs and wonders. In fact, the Bible says that the Antichrist will call fire down from Heaven. The Bible also says that God will send a powerful delusion to those that did not love the Truth so that they will believe a lie. If your only basis by which to judge whether a person or ministry is from God are signs and wonders then sadly enough you are already deceived.

Below are some of the teachings and beliefs of these self styled apostles.

· They believe that God is restoring the office of prophet and apostles to the church

· Claim that they alone have the power and authority to execute the plans and purposes of God

· Believe they are building a new foundation for a global church.

· Believe they will literally establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth

· Believe in a coming “civil war” in the church where they will overcome all (true Christian) opposition.

· Place an inordinate emphasis on angels and the supernatural

· Claim extra biblical revelations that can not be scripturally proven ( progressive revelation)

· Claim that God is doing a “new thing”

· Frequently say that those not accepting their heretical teaching are “Putting God in a box”

· Teach that we should never question their authority.

· They use the term “Touch not God’s anointed” frequently when questions are raised.

· They peg those that question their authority as bound by religion, legalistic, divisive, narrow minded, rebellious, and demonic

· Place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the word of God

· They believe they will be the corporate incarnation of Christ

· They believe they will execute judgment upon those who oppose them (up to and including death).

· They believe in a one world religion operating in sync with a one world government.

· They believe in complete unity and believe that there is nothing they can not accomplish through this unity.

· They believe they can bring Heaven down to earth (Yoism- see link below for more information) (http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/05/yoism-creating-heaven-on-earth.html)

· They believe that we will be perfected here on earth

· They believe in aggressively organizing small group networks

· They believe in the organization of apostles under pre-eminent apostles

· They believe that ALL local churches must be under the authority of a regional or trans-local apostle

· They believe each city must have an apostle- men given extraordinary authority in spiritual matters over the other Christian leaders in the same city

· They consider themselves divine, little gods and equal to Christ ( although they loosely veil this)

· They believe they will attain perfection on earth

· They consider themselves the “Defenders of the Faith”

· Place a great deal of emphasis on mysticism and hidden knowledge ( Gnosis)

· Do not believe in the rapture (or believe the wicked are the ones that will be ruptured)

· Stress unity over doctrine and reject the literal interpretation of the Bible

Full article HERE

National Repentance

By Pastor Anton Bosch

It has become customary to speak of prayers of “national repentance”.

On May Day, this year – 2010, a large number of people met at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC to pray various prayers of repentance “on behalf of the American people.” I remember a number of times, when growing up in South Africa, that the Government called national days of prayer and repentance in the hope that God would send rain at times of drought. Shortly after the fall of Apartheid many churches, groups and individuals prayed prayers of repentance on behalf of the nation for the sins of the past. Many have prayed prayers of repentance because of the Holocaust under Hitler. And the list goes on.

But is this a Biblical idea?

The short answer is no – there are a bunch of problems with this notion. The first is that repentance is something that needs to be done, rather than prayed. Every day millions of prayers ascend to God in which people pray prayers of repentance. The vast majority of these are a waste of time since the person praying has no intention of changing their actions, lifestyles or habits. Repentance is about doing not talking. The word itself means a change of mind and of direction. You can be heading down the road and say a million times that you are going in the wrong direction, but until you actually make that U-turn and stop going in the wrong direction and start going in the right direction, nothing will happen. It’s as simple as that.

John the Baptist said that the Pharisees who had come to see him baptize must: “Bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Paul, speaking of the mission to the Gentiles said: “That they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance” (Acts 26:20). Isaiah said: “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). So, no prayer of repentance is worth anything unless it is accompanied by actions. In spite of the many prayers of repentance prayed on behalf of the nations, all nations are becoming more sinful and thus those prayers clearly do not work.

Secondly, there is no such thing as repentance “by proxy”. This means you cannot repent on behalf of other people, whether living or dead. No one except Hitler himself can repent of the things he did – and he cannot because he is dead and it is too late for him. You can repent on behalf of your family as much as you like, but until they individually and personally repent, nothing is going to happen. We cannot repent on behalf of our family, a church, and least of all, a nation.

Sin is personal. When we sin, each who has sinned is guilty of that sin and each one has to personally repent. One could argue that Israel sinned as a nation when they refused to cross the Jordan (Numbers 14), yet the two individuals that did not agree with the majority were saved and entered the Land. So, was God dealing with them as a nation or individually? Clearly, individually; since Joshua and Caleb would have had to perish with the rest of the nation if God was dealing with them as a group. When God destroyed the world in the Flood, righteous Noah and his family were saved. The same happened in Sodom. Thus, even in the Old Testament, God’s dealings were on an individual basis.

Thirdly, God does not deal with nations. He only deals with individuals. Jesus did not die for America or England – He died for each of us personally. The only nation God ever had a relationship with as a nation was Israel. Yet, Jesus did not even die for Israel. All the verses that are quoted as examples of God’s promises or dealings with a nation are directed at Israel, and they cannot be claimed for any other country. When Israel eventually returns to God (Romans 11:26, Zech. 12:10), each individual Jew will still have to make a personal decision. Israel will not be saved because of a decision of the government, but because of the cumulative effect of each Jew coming to personal repentance. We need to be clear the Jews in the end are saved, not because they are Jews, but because each of them has personally believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the favorite verses used by those who promote the idea of National Repentance is 2Chronicles 7:14: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” This promise is very specific – it is to “my people who are called by my name.” Is South Africa, or Germany, or America, God’s people? Obviously not. Which country is called by God’s name? None – except Israel. So this verse has nothing to do with any nation other than Israel. The only people who can claim both those conditions are Christians. They are the people of God (Romans 9:25, 1John 3:1-3, 1Peter 2:10). And they are called by His name (Acts 11:26, 1Corinthians 12:12).

But then you cannot apply this verse to Christians since their Land does not need to be healed. The Christian’s land is the New Jerusalem and that is perfect. Here we are but strangers and pilgrims. (Hebrews 11:13, 16):

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…. But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

The often-recited verse in 2Chronicles 7:14 only applies to one nation, and that is to Israel, and even then the promise is suspended since Israel rejected the offer one time too many.

Should we not pray for nations? Yes, we can pray but there is only one valid prayer and that is that people, individually, will come to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent. Because we are often too lazy to name individuals before the Throne of Grace, we resort to those catch-all phrases: “Lord save the Chinese,” “Lord help the poor,” or “Lord be with those in prison.” What does that mean? I don’t want to be insensitive, but it means absolutely nothing.

As Christians we can make a difference, but it begins where you are. Pray for each of your unsaved family members; pray for others you know by name – your colleagues, neighbors, and others you have dealings with. First, pray that the Lord will help you to show them what it means to be a real Christian. Next, pray that the Lord will soften their hearts to the Gospel and bring them to repentance. Finally, pray that the Lord will open an opportunity for you to share your Hope with them and that He will give you the courage and wisdom to do it right. Do this until Jesus comes. Yes, that is a lot harder than “Lord save the lost,” but that is our duty; everything else is a copout.

This article was posted on May 10th at Herescope: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/05/national-repentance.html

Pastor Anton Bosch is a member of the Discernment Research Group and is a frequent contributor to Herescope. His book Building Blocks of the Church is a wonderful help to those who are trying to start a truly biblical New Testament church. It is well-organized and easy to read. Available from Discernment Ministries.

Source

http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/05/national-repentance.html

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