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So here’s a warning to the whole world, you take that mark and you are going to receive the wrath of God. Now you can make your choice, you can refuse the mark and get the wrath of the Antichrist, or you can take the mark and get the wrath of God. The wrath of God means torment with fire and brimstone and it says in verse 11, “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image and whoever receives the mark of his name.” You take it and you will suffer torment forever.”

JOHN MACARTHUR – 1993

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/66-48

For those asking to see this article .

by Vanessa from FB

The viral clip going around taking the mark of the beast and still being able to be saved, is a sound bite from 1980, 33 years ago. All other teaching that I have come across about the topic since has stated otherwise…

The only reason I can see that this old clip is resurfacing is that it was recently aired on Brannon Howse’s radio program a few weeks ago. Other than that, I know nothing else, so I will not jump to any conclusions, as I have not listened to the radio broadcast myself, but several people have verified this fact. I will say that if my thoughts at the moment prove to be correct, then I am disappointed and a bit shocked at Brannon…

Now please bear in mind, even if that were J Mac’s stance now, which I see NO indication of whatsoever, I would have to disagree with him, but even if it were so, that does not characterize him as an ‘heretic’ and ‘false teacher’. This is not, I repeat, IS NOT, a salvic issue!! I do not agree with J Mac on all fine points of doctrine, but I still hold him to be an excellent, trustworthy and profitable teacher of God’s Word.

Please remember, we are all fallible, and not a one of us has perfect doctrine, none but the Lord, and so for this reason we need to be able to distinguish between essential and non essential differences

I am absolutely heartsick over what is happening within the body of Christ. We are attacking our own without mercy. . . God help us.

Vanessa

Here is another article worth reading.

http://www.alankurschner.com/2013/10/30/gty-responds-on-macarthurs-taking-the-mark-statement/

I Believe in the Precious Blood

By John MacArthur

He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing.
Hebrews 10:28-29

Dear Beloved Friend,
    The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is holy and precious. The shedding of His blood in death was the price of atonement for our sins. As He literally poured out His blood in a sacrificial act, He sealed forever the New Covenant and purchased our redemption.
    Those of you familiar with my teaching know that I have always believed and affirmed those things. For the past two or three years, however, I have been under attack by a small but vocal group of men who are eager to discredit my ministry. They have charged me with denying the blood of Christ and have called me a heretic in several nationally distributed publications.
    My first response was to write many of those men privately, believing their attack on me grew from a misunderstanding. None of them had spoken to me personally before attacking me in print. Only a handful have yet replied to my letters. Still, I expected the public controversy to die away. My teaching is certainly no secret, and I knew that those who listen regularly to our radio broadcast would know I am a not teaching heresy.
    Nevertheless, for nearly three years a small core of zealots have kept the issue swirling around every ministry I’m involved with. One man has literally made a career of going to any church in the country that will pay his way and giving a series of messages on the error of “MacArthurism.” Recently, a couple of key radio stations dropped “Grace to You,” not because of anything we taught on the broadcast, but because they did not want to continue to deal with the controversy being generated by rumormongers.
    Over the past couple of years we have received thousands of letters from all over the country, ranging from those supporting our biblical view, to those who are confused, to some who blindly echo the accusation that we are trampling underfoot the blood of Christ. For the sake of all of them, and so that you can better understand what I have taught about the blood of Christ, let’s look at three truths that I and all other genuine believers affirm about the blood of Jesus Christ.

1. Jesus’ Blood Is the Basis of Redemption

    Peter wrote, “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [like] silver and gold . . .but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18-19, KJV). Scripture speaks of the blood of Christ nearly three times as often as it mentions the cross, and five times more often than it refers to the death of Christ. The word blood, therefore, is the chief term the New Testament uses to refer to the atonement.
    Peter wrote that election is “unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:2). The “sprinkling of the blood” was what sealed the New Covenant (cf. Heb. 9:1-18). “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (v. 22). If Christ had not literally shed His blood in sacrifice for our sins, we could not have been saved.
    This is one reason crucifixion was the means God ordained by which Christ should die: it was the most vivid, visible display of life being poured out as the price for sins.
    Bloodshed was likewise God’s design for nearly all Old Testament sacrifices. They were bled to death rather than clubbed, strangled, suffocated, or burnt. God designed that sacrificial death was to occur with blood loss, because “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11).

2. Jesus Shed His Literal Blood When He Died

    The literal blood of Christ was violently shed at the crucifixion. Those who deny this truth or try to spiritualize the death of Christ are guilty of corrupting the gospel message. Jesus Christ bled and died in the fullest literal sense, and when He rose from the dead, he was literally resurrected. To deny the absolute reality of those truths is to nullify them (cf. 1 Cor. 15:14-17).
    The meaning of the crucifixion, however, is not fully expressed in the bleeding alone. There was nothing supernatural in Jesus’ blood that sanctified those it touched. Those who flogged Him might have been spattered with blood. Yet that literal application of Jesus’ blood did nothing to purge their sins.
    Had our Lord bled without dying, redemption would not have been accomplished. If the atonement had been stopped before the full wages of sin had been satisfied, Jesus’ bloodshed would have been to no avail.
    It is important to note also that though Christ shed His blood, Scripture does not say He bled to death; it teaches rather that He voluntarily yielded up His spirit (John 10:18). Yet even that physical death could not have bought redemption apart from His spiritual death, whereby He was separated from the Father (cf. Mat. 27:46).

3. Not Every Reference to Jesus’ Blood Is Literal

    Clearly, though Christ shed His literal blood, many references to the blood are not intended to be taken in the literal sense. A strictly literal interpretation cannot, for example, explain such passages as John 6:53-54: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
    It would be equally hard to explain how physical blood is meant in Matthew 27:25 (“His blood be on us, and on our children”); Acts 5:28 (“[You] intend to bring this man’s blood upon us”); 18:6 (“Your blood be upon your own heads”); 20:26 (“I am innocent of the blood of all men”); and 1 Corinthians 10:16 (“The cup of blessing . . .is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?,” KJV).
    Clearly the word blood is often used to mean more than the literal red fluid. Thus it is that when Scripture speaks of the blood of Christ, it usually means much more than just the red and white corpuscles—it encompasses His death, the sacrifice for our sins, and all that is involved in the atonement.
    Trying to make literal every reference to Christ’s blood can lead to serious error. The Catholic doctrine known as transubstantiation, for example, teaches that communion wine is miraculously changed into the actual blood of Christ, and that those who partake of the elements in the mass literally fulfill the words of Jesus in John 6:54: “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
    Those who have attacked me seem to be espousing the same kind of mystical view of the blood that led the Catholic Church to embrace transubstantiation. They claim that the blood of Christ was never truly human. They insist on literalizing every New Testament reference to Jesus’ blood. They teach that the physical blood of Christ was somehow preserved after the crucifixion and carried to heaven, where it is now literally applied to the soul of each Christian at salvation.
    We are not saved by some mystical heavenly application of Jesus’ literal blood. Nothing in Scripture indicates that the literal blood of Christ is preserved in heaven and applied to individual believers. When Scripture says we’re redeemed by the blood (1 Pet. 1:18-19), it is not speaking of a bowl of blood in heaven. It means we’re saved by Christ’s sacrificial death.
    In the same way, when Paul said he gloried in the cross (Gal. 6:14), he did not mean the literal wooden beams; he was speaking of all the elements of redeeming truth. Just as the cross is an expression that includes all of Christ’s atoning work, so is the blood. It is not the actual liquid that cleanses us from our sins, but the work of redemption Christ accomplished in pouring it out.
    That is not heresy; it is basic biblical truth.
    If you’ve been troubled by these issues and you’d like to study them more in depth, please write to us. We’ll send you free of charge a cassette tape containing virtually everything I’ve ever said about the blood of Christ. We’ve compiled this tape from nearly twenty years of messages given at Grace Community Church. We also have some written material that explains our position, which we will send you again at no charge.
    I hope you’ll be like the noble Bereans and study God’s Word for yourself to see if these things are true. Please don’t be influenced by careless charges of heresy.
    Also, please pray for me. These attacks have been relentless, and I confess that at times it is discouraging. Yet I know one cannot be on the front lines without constant battles, and it is a privilege to suffer wrong for the Lord’s sake (cf. 1 Pet. 4:19).
    Thank you for your prayers and support. Please pray that God will protect us as we seek to minister His truth with boldness.
Yours in His Service,
John MacArthur Pastor-Teacher

There has been plenty of controversy regarding the book, “The Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn. I don’t recommend this book  (you can search for links on this site to find out why) but I do recommend this by John MacArthur…

“God has abandoned America to the effects of its sinful choices. Oh, this isn’t the first nation that it’s happened to, this is the story of history. Acts 14:16, the Apostle Paul said, ‘In the generations gone by,  He…God… permitted all the nations to go their own way.’ …But God has abandoned our society because our society has first abandoned God. There is no surer and no sadder evidence of a corrupted, wicked abandoned society than when that society will not tolerate anger against sin.”

Grace to You :: Unleashing God’s Truth One Verse at a Time

When God Abandons a Nation

Scripture: Romans 1:18-32

Code: 80-314

It is always instructive, it is always enlightening, it is sometimes literally scintillating to turn to the pages of God and see what it has to say and how relevantly it speaks to our time and to our lives.

That will be true tonight as we turn in our Bibles to the first chapter of Romans. Romans chapter 1 and we’re going to be looking at a somewhat familiar portion of Scripture to anyone who is a student of the Bible. Romans chapter 1, beginning in verse 18 and running through the end of this chapter.

I’m going to read just the first verse to set the stage for the unfolding of this profound truth. Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

This section is about the wrath of God. Admittedly not a popular subject, certainly not a popular subject in the world and not even a popular subject in the church. But an absolutely critical and central subject to any understanding of the gospel, the wrath of God.

Now there are a number of different aspects to the wrath of God. There is what we could call eternal wrath because it is the punishment that God brings upon unbelieving sinners forever in hell…that’s eternal wrath. And the Bible speaks often of that. There is also eschatological wrath, that is the wrath of God that is released at the end of the world described by some of the Old Testament prophets, described by Jesus Christ Himself in the Olivet Discourse and clearly laid out for us in the book of Revelation. Eschatological wrath, that aspect of God’s wrath that is released at the end of the world.

There is also what we could call cataclysmic wrath, like a tsunami, a volcano, a hurricane, an earthquake, a plane flying in to the Twin Towers resulting in thousands of death…cataclysms happen in this world. And they are a reflection of the judgment of God. There is also what you could call consequential wrath. Consequential wrath is the sowing and reaping wrath, you live a certain kind of life and you set in motion certain forces that will produce judgment.

Finish article HERE

I used to love prophecy websites and articles. But I have found that much of them are way over the top, or full of speculation…some border on the fantastic, paranormal, filled with numerology, astrology, and  paganism. Many are full of false prophets whose predictions have never come to pass. But this seems to sell a lot of books.

Lately it seems I have come across some pretty strange teachings, and many I have to reject. Why?

 In Matthew 24, Jesus speaks of events that will happen but He speaks many more times about deception.  The very first thing Jesus said in response to “…what will be the sign of  your coming and of the end of the age?” was “Watch out that no one deceives you.”

I still believe that we are to watch for things to come,  to be ready and prepared, but I also have been thinking about the verses Acts 1:10-11. “They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside then. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky?  The same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”‘

Are we to be constantly looking up at the sky for the return of  Jesus? We can but truly we need  to be about the Father’s business.

Jesus told Peter that if he loved Him, he would feed his sheep. Shepherds of the flock need to love Jesus. Out of this love they will feed the flock. So those who profess to be a teacher or pastor need to have the right motivation. The love of God.  Instead I am seeing the love of money.

John MacArthur said this… “Our stewardship is pretty simple, I think. Preach the Word…Second Timothy 4, ‘Preach the Word, Preach the Word in season, out of season, preach the Word.’ Give yourself to sound doctrine, Paul says to Titus. Take care of two things he tells Timothy, 1 Timothy 4:16, yourself and your teaching. Read the Scripture. Apply the Scripture. This is our stewardship.”  (The Murder of God’s Son: A Prophetic Parable, Part 2)

This passage from an article “How Serious is False Speculation About Prophecy? ” really hit home because of the evidence of the love of extra-biblical sources, as opposed to scripture-interprets-scripture.

Whether it manifests itself in apathy or fanatic violence, false prophecy and false speculation about prophecy is dangerous. Those of us who get caught up in the destructive practice of prophetic speculation not only lend support to the principalities and powers of evil, but also sow seeds of disillusionment and rebellion against the gospel and biblical revelation. Mark 9:42 declares: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea” (nkjv).

Source of quote HERE

We are warned in Scripture about ear-tickling teachers who just want to give the feel-good message to us no matter whether it’s truth or not. We’re warned about doctrines of demons, demonic lies, destructive heresies, myths, perverse teachings, commandments of men rather than God. We’re warned about speculations that lofty ideas raised up against the knowledge of God. We’re warned about deceitful spirits. We’re warned about worldly fables. We’re warned about false knowledge, empty philosophy, science falsely so-called, traditions of men, worldly wisdom, corrupters and adulterers of the Word of God. We’re warned about all of that. We’re warned about the wolves in sheep’s clothing who come along to devour us. They come as if they are prophets, they turn out to be destructive agents of Satan. I mean, we have these warnings all over the place in the New Testament. They’re also everywhere in the Old Testament.

And to put it simply, there is a world of chaos and confusion out there and Satan is very adept and very clever and very powerful and very systematic in the structure of evil that is wrapped up in the system in which we live. Against that is pitted the truth of God. We have to be able to discern the difference. 

If you understand the warnings of the Bible and you understand how critical it is that you know the truth, that you have discernment. You cannot be gullible. You cannot be sucked off into error without dishonoring God. God is truth. He is revealed truth. He loves truth. He has given you the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth. He’s given you His Word which is truth. How terrible it is to think you might drift into lies. But people do it all the time, even people who sit in churches under very often weak teaching.

http://web.gty.org/resources/Sermons/TMC209_Principles-for-Discernment-Part-1#.TmkXIOyC7T0

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Jesus sets the standard for total self-denial. In Luke 14 you find the message is always the same. There’s a great multitude in 14:25 accompanying Jesus,”and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life. he cannot be my disciple.” (vv.25-26) It’s not about you, it’s not about your self-esteem–it’s about your sin, your desperation, and your need to see Christ as so priceless and valuable as your Savior from sin and death and hell, that you would willingly give up everything, even if it costs you your family or your marriage. In verse 27 Jesus says, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” If can’t be any clearer than that.

In Luke 17:33 Jesus says, “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it. and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” It’s the same principle. If you try to hold on to your plans, your agenda, your success, and your self-esteem….you lose.

From Landmark Sermons

The Starting Principle of Discipleship

November 3, 2002

John MacArthur

This video was interesting to watch after a study of two parables in Matthew 13. The parable of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl. Two men find treasure. One it seems is just in a field and discovers the treasure. The second man is a merchant truly looking for the treasure. The treasure is of course the Gospel.

I thought of the man in the first parable when Kirk Cameron was saying that he wasn’t seeking God at the time. The second man in the parable finds the treasure after seeking and searching for it.

Boice says on the subject of the two men:

“They had never really seen it before. They were not seeking it. (The Gospel). But there it was; and at once, with that insight granted by God’s internal work of regeneration, they saw that this was a prize of far greater value than anything that had ever come into their lives previously. They saw themselves as sinners in need of a Savior.”

 God may present truth to you in an unexpected manner. Perhaps after seeking God in all the wrong places, suddenly your search is rewarded.  Lay aside all worthless aspects of your life. What both men did after their discovery were the same. They knew the value, and were determined to keep it. They sold everything they had to acquire the treasure.

“In the exchange described by these parables the men who made the purchase received a bagain. They make the deal of their lives, their fortune. From now on they will be the happiest of men. So it will be for you. You are not called to poverty in Christ but to the greatest of spiritual wealth…How could it be otherwise when the treasure is the only Son of God? How can the outcome be bad when it means salvation?” *

*James Boice  “The Parables of Jesus”

“Now my friend, that old moth-eaten righteousness of yours that you are so proud of you must sell off and get rid of it, for no man can be saved by righteousness of Christ while he puts any trust in his own. Sell it all off, every rag of it.” **

**Spurgeon, “The Great Bargain”

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

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

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

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

Here are a few excerpts.

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

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

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

Full sermon HERE

 

“..once God has brought him to poverty of spirit and he sees himself damned without Christ, let God propound what articles he will, he will readily subscribe to them: ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

I have been studying and reflecting on the principles taught in the Sermon on the Mount.  My first in-depth study occurred as I taught the book of Matthew in a Bible study program.

Next I read an excellent book by James Montgomery Boice, “Sermon on the Mount.” If you like commentary this is a great resource.

Now I have found the teachings of John MacArthur to also be life-changing. Here is an excerpt from “Happy are the Humble.”

If you apply the principles of the Sermon on the Mount you will be a different person. Many Christians in our day have lost their distinctiveness because they’ve allowed themselves to be molded by the world’s approach to music, sex, marriage, divorce, materialism, food, alcoholic beverages, dance, entertainment, sports, and other things. God wants us to live as a people distinct from the value systems of the world. It grieves God to see corruption among His people.

V. HOW CAN I KNOW IF I AM POOR IN SPIRIT?

Thomas Watson gives seven principles we may apply in determining whether we are poor in spirit (The Beatitudes [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1971], pp. 45-48).

A. You Will Be Weaned from Self

Psalm 131:2 says, “Like a child that is weaned of his mother; my soul is even like a weaned child.” A person who is poor in spirit will be weaned from his self- centeredness. All he thinks about is glorifying God and meeting the needs of others.

B. You Will Focus on Christ

When you are poor in spirit, you will focus on the wonder of Christ. Second Corinthians 3:18 implies that believers are focused on Christ, seeing in themselves a reflection of Him. Philip showed that kind of focus when he said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us” (John 14:8). The psalmist said, “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Ps. 17:15).

C. You Will Never Complain

If you are poor in spirit you will never complain about your circumstances because you know you don’t deserve anything anyway. You have nothing to offer to God, yet the greater your needs the more abundantly He provides. So when you lack everything you are in the greatest position from which to receive and recognize God’s grace.

D. You Will See Good in Others

A person who is poor in spirit will see the excellencies of others and recognize his own weaknesses. A truly humble person looks up to everyone else.

E. You Will Spend Time in Prayer

A beggar is always begging. He knocks at heaven’s gate all the time and doesn’t stop until he is blessed.

F. You Will Take Christ on His Terms

The proud sinner adds Christ to his pleasures, covetousness, and immorality. One who is poor in spirit is so desperate that he will give up everything to obtain Christ. Thomas Watson said, “A castle that has long been besieged and is ready to be taken will deliver up on any terms to save their lives. He whose heart has been a garrison for the devil, and has held out long in opposition against Christ, when once God has brought him to poverty of spirit and he sees himself damned without Christ, let God propound what articles he will, he will readily subscribe to them: ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?'” (p. 47).

G. You Will Praise and Thank God

When you are poor in spirit, you will praise and thank God for His grace in the knowledge that everything you have is a gift from Him. The apostle Paul displayed that attitude in 1 Timothy 1:14: “The grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant.” Those who are poor in spirit are filled with thanks.

Access Grace to You by using this link:

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Study+Guides/40-5201_The-Beatitudes

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