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Excerpts from “The Minor Prophets – Volume 1
If My People
“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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
This sets forth a course of action that is the precise opposite of that found in the text of Obadiah. In Obadiah a nation is found to be exalting itself in pride, and God says that the nation will be brought down.
There are four things God’s people must do.
First we must humble ourselves. …We must begin with humility, which means that we must begin with the confession that we are not adequate for the problems that confront us and we must seek help from God. ..Repentance must begin with the household of God, as the Bible tells us.
Second we are instructed to pray. It seems strange that those who are God’s people must be encouraged, for prayer is work, and as a result, we often let this precious privilege slip from us. To pray means to spend time with God. It means searching our hearts before him.
Third, we are to seek God’s face. What does this mean? … In the context it is far more likely that the verse is speaking of seeking God’s will for us personally. It means looking to see the way his face is pointed and that on which his eyes are set.
Finally we are to turn from our wicked ways to serve him. It is significant that this comes last. If it came first, if we were first told to turn from our wicked ways, undoubtedly the vast majority (even of God’s people) would reply in genuine surprise, “What wicked ways? We are not wicked; we are actually pillars of righteousness in our communities.” However, after having humbled ourselves and having prayed and sought God’s will for our lives, the situation is entirely different. Now we are able to measure unrighteousness and faltering service by his plan for us, and in that light we see what sin is and turn from it.
This is what exalts a nation–the response to God of those who know God. As a result, they humble themselves, pray, seek his face, and turn from their wickedness.
How many responsive and obedient believers must do this? There are times when the voice of a thousand is required for only one to be heard. At other times, as now, the voice of one can count as a thousand. God told Abraham that he would spare the corrupt cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if only ten righteous persons could be found there. Would he not spare our land if even a portion of those many millions who consider themselves Christians would call on him? If we would do that practically–humbling ourselves, praying, seeking God’s will, turning from specific sin–God would doubtless answer from heaven with such blessing that we would experience a genuine healing in our land. Unlike Edom, which God promised to bring down, God would exalt our nation as a channel of blessing for other peoples.
James Montgomery Boice
The Minor Prophets
Obadiah Pages 241-242
(Friday Church News Notes, October 7, 2011
by David Cloud
Saddleback Church recommends a wide range of books on contemplative mysticism at its web site. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun, for example, has been listed under the “Spiritual Growth” section for at least the past two years. Rick Warren, senior pastor at Saddleback, pretends that contemplative prayer is merely getting alone in a quiet place to meditate on God’s Word, but it goes far beyond that. Warren says that contemplative prayer is nothing like yoga, but as a former member of a Hindu meditation society, I can testify that practices such as centering prayer are definitely yoga-like.
Adele Calhoun recommends Roman Catholic monastic practices which were, in turn, borrowed from paganism, as we have demonstrated in our book Contemplative Mysticism. Calhoun lists Roman Catholics as “spiritual tutors,” including M. Basil Pennington, Henri Nouwen, Peter Kreeft, William Meninger, Francis de Sales, Richard Rohr, William Johnson, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Keating, John of the Cross, Brother Lawrence, Tilden Edwards, Ignatius Loyola, St. Benedict, Thomas Merton, John Henry Newman, Julian of Norwich.
Not only are these deeply misguided individuals laden down with Catholic heresies, but many were led by their mystical practices to universalism, panentheism, and even rank idolatry. (For example, Thomas Merton worshipped Buddhist idols.)
Calhoun recommends following the Roman Catholic church calendar, seeking spiritual direction from Catholic orders, and visiting Catholic retreat centers. She describes a pilgrimage she took with 30 women in her “covenant group” to visit the sites of Catholic mystics and to study their practices. She recommends a whole slew of unscriptural contemplative practices, including the Jesus prayer (vain repetition), palms up palms down (psychological visualization), lectio divina, imagination prayer, centering prayer, breath prayer, practicing the presence, silence, and spiritual direction.
She recommends the use of single words as a mantra to drive away conscious thoughts. “Choose a simple word … Let this word guard your attention. … When your thoughts wander let them drop to the bottom of your mind. Don’t go after them. … Imagine your distracting thoughts are part of the debris floating in the current of a river. Don’t try to capture these thoughts; release them and let the river of God’s life carry them away.”
In describing her mysticism she quotes Richard Rohr, “Prayer is not primarily saying words or thinking thoughts. It is, rather, a stance. It’s a way of living in the Presence.” This is not biblical contemplation; it is blind mysticism. Even when it comes to devotional reading of the Bible, Calhoun discourages “mentally critiquing or exegeting the text.” Rather, the Bible is to be used as a launching pad for mysticism as the practitioner refuses to “analyze” it but merely “listens and waits.” It is impossible to exaggerate the danger inherent in contemplative mysticism, and it is impossible to warn too loudly and plainly of the spiritual blindness of those “evangelical” leaders who are promoting it.
TAKING SPIRITUAL DOMINION OVER
By Gaylene Goodroad
and The Discernment Research Group*
Only the most naïve would imagine that an aggressive assault on the kingdom of satan would be met with anything but a desperate fight. That is why satan and any of his principalities or powers attempting to stop the spread of the Gospel must be bound…Binding and loosing, therefore are extremely important weapons which must be found in the arsenal of all those who desire to win the lost for Jesus Christ.
~ C. Peter Wagner, NAR
To partner with Jesus in fulfilling the Great Commission,… the church must renounce fear and fatalism and recover the prevailing faith behind Paul’s frontal attack against the forces of darkness… [Christ’s] church must learn to contend, to wrestle with and throw down its spiritual adversaries…. The church, functioning as the house of prayer, the governmental ekklesia, is the correct context for Jesus’ teaching on binding and loosing…[it] is a council of war at the highest level. With Christ as our Head, we are bringing heaven down to earth and barring hell’s invasion.
~ Lou Engle, TheCall/IHOP
The Bible subsequently reveals that it is the believer’s responsibility to “ask” before God will respond, to bind and release on earth for heaven to do the same, and that part and parcel of the Great Commission is the duty of the church to cast out demons and to tread over the power of the enemy. Apparently when we do, we send shock waves through the heavenlies!
~ Tom (and Nita) Horn, Christian author/publisher/speaker
THE GODS WHO WALK AMONG US
Prayer Warfare methodologies conceived and borne out of the Latter Rain Movement and nurtured under the New Apostolic Reformation are going mainstream. Twenty years ago, Chief NAR apostle, C. Peter Wagner, applied his Church Growth teachings to the spirit realm in what he termed Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW). The plan calls for identifying “territorial spirits” (demons) of a geographic locality, then devising practices (such as militant intercession and fasting) and techniques to defeat these unseen foes so that cities, nations, and beyond will respond to the Gospel.
Sadly, this heresy is creeping into conservative Christian forums unawares through various prophetic ministries concerned about the eschatological implications of transhumanism and loosely related subjects.
Full Article HERE
In his homiletical commentary on Ephesians, Harry Ironside tells about meeting an older, very godly man early in his ministry. The man Andrew Fraser, was dying of tuberculosis, and Ironside went to visit him. Fraser could barely speak above a whisper because his lungs were almost consumed by the disease. But he said, “Young man, you are trying to preach Christ are you not?”
“Yes I am,” replied Ironside.
“Well,” he said, “sit down a little, and let us talk about the Word of God.” He opened his Bible, and until his strength was gone he unfolded one passage after another, teaching truths that Ironside before that time had not appreciated or even perceived. Before long, tears were running down Ironside’s cheeks and he asked, “Where did you get these things? Can you tell me where I can find a book that will open them up to me? Did you get them in a seminary or college?”
Fraser replied, “My dear young man, I learned these things on my knees on the mud floor of a little sod cottage in the north of Ireland. There with my open Bible before me, I used to kneel for hours at a time and ask the Spirit of God to reveal Christ to my soul and to open the Word to my heart. He taught me more on my knees on that mud floor than I ever could of learned in all the seminaries or colleges in the world.”
Excerpt from “Living by the Book: The Joy of Loving and Trusting God’s Word”
A study of Psalm 119
James Montegomery Boice
The Berean Call picked up this article from Pastor Larry DeBruyn
If you are not familiar with dominionism it is coming forefront because of the latest prayer rally called the Response. What is wrong with a prayer rally? In the background you will find The New Apostlic Reformation. These self-ordained “apostles” claim they have to christianize the world before Jesus Christ can return. They call themselves, forerunners, or Joel’s Army. They will not be going away anytime soon. True prophets call for repentance of sin and preach the message of turning away from things of the world and of turning only to Christ.
DOMINIONISM’S FATAL FLAW [Excerpts]
Despite the involvement of the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition in America’s political process over the last few decades-in 1976, a cover of Newsweek read, Born Again, and declared that year to be the year of the evangelical-the moral decline of this nation continues down that slippery slope. Because little has changed, many who have fought the good fight against national corruption are understandably discouraged. One leader has even informed his constituency that, “attempts to restore morality ‘through the political process have failed’.”
About the religious right’s failure to influence this nation’s moral life, one thing needs to be said: Welcome to the school of the biblical prophets. Their warning of judgment and witness to God’s Law could not prevent the moral meltdown occurring in their era either (See Hosea 4:1-3; Jeremiah 9:2-6; Micah 7:1-6; Isaiah 1:4, 21-23.). Their ministry also failed to affect significant moral change in ancient Israel. They were voices crying in the wilderness.
Any prophetic message does not resonate with America for the same reason that it did not in Israel. The reason is sin, the forgotten word not only in our culture, but also in the church. Within the pan-evangelical movement, there seems to be an “us-against-them” mentality. We’re the righteous, they’re the sinners. While concluding his argument regarding the universality of depravity amongst both the irreligious and the religious, and before stringing together a list of biblical quotations to prove his point, Paul addressed such an attitude. He first asked and then answered, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin” (Romans 3:9).
As one critical historian notes, “The only trouble with Christian morality is that Christians on the whole, do not practice it.” It’s doubtful that efforts at a Christian reconstruction of and dominion over America would succeed. From the evident lifestyles of pan-evangelicals as revealed by surveys-bornagains are no different from non-bornagains-and the moral failures of a few high-profile but now disgraced leaders, there is every appearance that would-be reformers desperately need reforming.
Good laws cannot change bad people. Only grace can do that. The only end for wickedness is divine judgment. It was for Israel, and it will be for America. So beloved, don’t be discouraged by political ill fortunes of the present. Press on. Keep the faith. Live the right. Speak the truth. Be good neighbors and loyal citizens. Vote truth, right and your conscience, all the while knowing that there will be no earthly utopia this side of God establishing His rule on earth, a kingdom “wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). In the meantime, continue to pray, “Father . . . Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
TAKEN FROM A CIRCULATING EMAIL
At a Tennessee Football Game
Christianity is now the target of persecution…
This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee by school Principal, Jody McLeod
“It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and Country.”
Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it “an alternate life style,” and if someone is offended, that’s OK.
I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it, “safe sex.” If someone is offended, that’s OK.
I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a “viable! means of birth control.” If someone is offended, no problem…
I can designate a school day as “Earth Day” and involve students in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess “Mother Earth” and call it “ecology..”
I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depicts people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as “simple minded” and “ignorant” and call it “enlightenment..”
However, if anyone uses this facility to honor GOD and to ask HIM to Bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case Law is violated.
This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical.
Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except GOD and HIS Commandments.
Nevertheless , as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical. I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.
For this reason, I shall “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s,” and refrain from praying at this time.
“However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank GOD and ask HIM,in the name of JESUS, to Bless this event, please feel free to do so
.. As far as I know, that’s not against the law—-yet.”
One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another and began to pray.
They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand and they prayed in the Announcer’s Box!
The only place they didn’t pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America- the Seat of “Justice” in the “one nation, under GOD.”
Somehow, Kingston , Tennessee Remembered what so many have forgotten. We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion. Praise GOD that HIS remnant remains!
JESUS said, “If you are ashamed of ME before men, then I will be ashamed of you before MY FATHER..”
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.
When the Apostle Paul came to the city of Athens we read “his spirit was stirred in him when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry” [Acts 17:16] and later in verse 22 we read of how he stood up on Mars Hill in that same city and to a people whom he described as “very religious” he proceeded to proclaim the Biblical God of creation and His appointed coming judge of all people, His crucified but resurrected Son, Jesus Christ. Yesterday, along with countless millions around the world I watched on television the inauguration of President Barack Obama and not surprisingly I was particularly interested to listen to the ‘Invocation’ delivered by Rick Warren. As I listened to him speak, like Paul of old, ‘my spirit was stirred within me’ for this was not a prayer offered to the One true God of Heaven, Father, Son and Spirit but rather it was a cunningly crafted idolatrous prayer designed to placate and please many of the false ‘gods’ worshipped in Washington DC, in America in general and around the whole world.
This was a supreme example of ‘the art of “politically-correct” praying’. I want now to set out the text of what Rick Warren ‘prayed’ as downloaded from his church website and I will intersperse it with my own comments in red in the hope that readers will realize that this was simply a further attempt to idolatrously unify people of ‘faith’ and not an attempt to “earnestly contend for THE faith” [Jude 3].
“Let us pray…
Almighty God, Our Father, [God is only ‘The Father’ of those who have been “born again” of His Spirit and are trusting alone in His Son, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” for their eternal salvation – these opening phrases were designed to put everyone of every ‘faith’ or even none at ease] everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of You alone. It all comes from You; it all belongs to You; it all exists for Your glory. History is Your story.
The Scripture tells us, ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God.’ [In Deuteronomy 6:4 this verse in many versions begins “Hear O Israel, The Lord our God” – in a few other versions it does read as Rick Warren stated, ‘The Lord IS our God’. The full declaration of Deuteronomy 6:4, also repeated by the Lord Himself in Mark 12:29, actually tells us “Hear O Israel. The Lord our God is one Lord”. The Bible Knowledge Commentary states, ‘This verse has been called the SHEMA from the Hebrew word translated ‘Hear’. The statement in this verse is the basic confession of faith in Judaism. The verse means that the Lord (Yahweh) is totally unique. He alone is God’. The Commentary goes on to say, ‘This confession of monotheism does not preclude the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. “God” is plural (Elohim) possibly implying the Trinity and “one” (ehad) may suggest a unity of Persons in the Godhead (see Genesis 2:24 where the same word for “one” is used of Adam and Eve). In the printed text of Rick Warren’s prayer, ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God’ is in inverted commas/quotation marks indicating a direct biblical quote but the phrase that then follows is not in inverted commas/quotation marks suggesting that it is not meant to be a quote from Deuteronomy 6:4. What is Rick Warren up to by only partially quoting the basic confession of faith of Judaism and then following it with this statement ? The Lord is One [Having quoted an important portion of the basic confession of faith in Judaism Rick Warren now asserts that ‘The Lord is One’ – it seems to me that he is trying to tell ‘Israel’ that their ‘God’ is the same ‘One’ claimed by other monotheistic religions such as Islam and Christianity and his next words are the basis for my claim for this] and You are the compassionate and merciful One [EVERY Sura in the Koran except one begins with this dedication “In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful” – Rick Warren’s use of this terminology was I believe intended to ‘strike a chord’ with the followers of Islam] and You are loving to everyone You have made [this was I believe Rick Warren’s ‘overture’ to Christians who are constantly but erroneously being told that God’s greatest attribute is ‘love’ whereas His greatest attribute actually is ‘holiness’. In these few phrases Rick Warren was I believe using terminology that, as I said earlier, would “placate and please” the followers of many ‘gods’].
Now, today we rejoice not only in America’s peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time, we celebrate a hinge point of history with the inauguration of our first African-American President of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequalled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And, we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven! [Scripture does not indicate that those in heaven are aware of what is currently happening down here on planet earth and we are told that the focus of praise, rejoicing, singing etc in heaven is “the Lamb” who was crucified to save sinners – see Revelation 5: 5-14 and 7: 9-10. To suggest that the attention of the saints already in heaven would be directed away from their worship of the Lord Jesus Christ to the installation of an American President is very close to if not actually blasphemy].
Give to our new President, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility; the courage to lead us with integrity; the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him [The One true God declares in 1st Samuel 2:30, “them who honor me I will honor”- in his eulogy to Barack Obama and his ‘god’, the Religion Correspondent of the Belfast Telegraph, Alf McCreary wrote last Saturday (17th January 2009) ‘Obama appears to be a man who is not afraid to think beyond the narrow confines of one religious outlook…He said “I am a Christian so I have a deep faith. On the other hand…I believe that there are many paths to the same place and that there is a higher power, that we are connected as a people’. These are not God-honoring statements worthy and deserving of blessing from the One who said quite clearly in Matthew 7:14 “Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it” and who in John 14:6 declared Himself to be the ONLY way and path to His Father in heaven]. his family, Vice-President Biden, the cabinet and every one of our freely elected leaders.
Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans united not by race, or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget You, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims [This I believe was a subtle plug for the global P E A C E initiative championed by Rick Warren and others that he is involved with such as the ‘Tony Blair Faith Foundation’ where he serves as a member of the ‘Advisory Council’], responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ. Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all [Does the ‘all’ include the ‘common good’ of unborn babies that Barack Obama is content to see aborted (murdered) on an ongoing massive scale?].
May all people of goodwill today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. [Tolerant co-operation does not exalt a nation or even a planet – according to Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalteth a nation” and righteousness is certainly not embodied in the ‘prayer’ offered by the actively ‘gay’ Bishop Gene Robinson who was invited by Barack Obama to pray at an event a couple of days before the inauguration – the following is a posting from the Christian blog of Ingrid Schlueter called ‘slice of Laodicea’] –
And, may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before You. [This of course is the ‘One Lord’ conjured up by politically-correct interfaith activists such as Rick Warren]
We now commit our new President and his wife Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into Your loving care. I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life [The only Saviour of sinners, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and God The Son not only changes lives but He changes eternal destinies through the redemption He purchased for His people on Calvary’s Cross, even the forgiveness of their sins] – Yeshua (Hebrew), Isa (Arabic), Jesus (Spanish), Jesus (English) – [The use of these names for Jesus was designed to convey or imply a supposed ‘common bond’ between Judaism, Islam, (Hispanic) Roman Catholicism and Protestantism through some measure of common recognition of Jesus Christ – this was devious as of course Judaism rejects Jesus Christ as the Messiah, Islam rejects the deity and death of Jesus Christ and the Jesus Christ of Roman Catholicism is a ‘false christ’ embodied in a supposedly transubstantiated piece of bread – there is absolutely no common bond and recognition of Jesus Christ flowing through these differing religions] who taught us [The Lord Jesus Christ taught HIS disciples to pray this prayer] to pray, “‘Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.’”
Rick Warren’s ‘witness’ on Capitol Hill, through this ‘prayer’, bore no resemblance to that of the Apostle Paul on Mars Hill and I do not believe for one minute that anyone in heaven would have been ‘shouting’ as this prayer was offered, and certainly not the Triune God, for we read in John 9:31 “Now we know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man be a worshipper of God, AND DOETH HIS WILL, him he heareth”. Being ‘politically-correct’ when it comes to praying is certainly not “doing God’s will”.
Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 21st January 2009
This was taken from the International House of Prayer’s website.
I see that the link below has been broken and that IHOP has pulled this information from their site. If another link can be found I will post it. Please know that this was copied word for word from their site.
|Contemplative Prayer—–Communing with the Holy Spirit who lives within you
I. Know He Lives Inside of You
II. Pray the Scripture
The goal is to search for the Spirit of Jesus in the Word and have depth, not necessarily length, in understanding the passage. Jesus is the Word (John 1) and we want to know Him, the Truth. In Him is life; it is His Spirit who gives life. The words of Scripture are Spirit and they are life (John 6:63). The entrance of the Word gives light and life (Psalm 119:130). As the Word of God enters your heart, the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal body (Romans 8:11).
Make sure you are searching for the Spirit of Jesus, not just searching for knowledge. Just pray the Scriptures. In simple terms, prayer is turning your heart toward God. In John 5:39, Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You do not have His Word abiding in you … you search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
Choose a short phrase in Scripture.
Begin slowly praying the Scripture in silence.
Focus your prayer toward the Spirit who lives inside you (John 7:38).
Remain on the phrase as long as you feel the Lord’s presence on it. Then move with Him, slowly praying through the passage phrase by phrase.
Choose a short story in Scripture.
Read through the story several times silently.
Close your eyes and acknowledge the Spirit who lives in you.
Use your imagination to imagine yourself as one of the story characters or as an onlooker.
Play out the story in your mind applying all five of your senses.
We call this “Beholding the Spirit Within.”
The goal is to search for and feel God’s presence inside you, not necessarily to gain more understanding in God’s Word as with the first two methods.
Begin by gently praying a short passage of Scripture in silence while focusing on the indwelling Spirit. The Scripture is used to quiet the clamoring of your soul and draw you to God. It is the connection point, the springboard into the spiritual realm.
Once you feel God’s presence, focus on it in a concentrated way.
You will be able to notice His presence now; He has always been there, but now your attention is on Him within you. The outward senses are quiet and your surface thoughts are gone. You are beginning to be consumed by the Spirit.
In this time, feel the freedom to stay quiet. Silently ask the Spirit to show you a vision, or slowly and silently say to Him, “I love You. I love You. I love You.”
Your mind will have to be trained in practical ways to not wander and think on other things. To overcome a wandering mind, simply begin thinking on the Scripture you have been meditating on, and focus your prayer to the Spirit within you. The Lord sees your heart as it searches for Him, and He is smiling upon you. You may become sleepy during prayer. To overcome, sit up straight instead of slouching and do not lie down. You can also begin speaking the Scripture you are meditating on under your breath until you feel the drowsiness subside, then return to the silent prayer.
Diligence in Prayer
In time these methods of praying will become easy. You will find the Spirit who lives in you if you search for Him with all your heart, but it will require time and your whole heart.
Keys to Progress
Humility-the high and lofty One dwells with the lowly in heart (Isaiah 57)
Disciplined life of prayer, fasting, giving and loving your enemies (Matthew 6)
Total abandonment in love to Jesus and loving nothing of this life (Matthew 7:14)
The New Age and Christianity
three techniques for changing and creating reality:
thinking, speaking, and visualizing.”
(Dave Hunt – Occult Invasion)
* * * *
“…imaging and visualization are increasingly appearing as Christian meditation, “mind-stretchers,” or a consciousness-awakening experience in Christian workshops, and you’d better believe that visualization as a cultivated exercise comes with all sorts of metaphysical and spiritual baggage in tow.”
— Visualization and Imaging, Jon Trott
****“It’s not difficult to trace the practice of meditative imaging and visualization back to the mystics.”— Visualization and Imaging, Jon Trott****Jon Trott is correct here. If anyone has started to indulge themselves into meditative practices, just ask them what books they are reading.
Christians are being duped into mysticism because a sentence has the word Jesus in it or there is a phrase of scripture.
The well-known catholic mystics are Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, Thomas Merton, and Matthew Fox. If these authors are in your library then you know that you are entering a mystical realm that will only draw you AWAY from Jesus Christ. They want you to focus on a centering prayer which will invite a feeling of divinity within yourself. This is the lie, that you are divine. You may not think that this is where they are leading you, but this is what Eve thought when the serpent suggested, that “You will be like God.” Watch out for the new charismatic coined term of DNA which actually means “Divine Nature Activated”
Contemplative prayer sounds so biblical, but it is a dangerous occult method of contacting the spirit world, which is off-limits to the Christian. Visualization is a technique that speeds up the process of reaching into another dimension to either experience visions or transport oneself.
Christian beware, the wolves are telling you that you are divine and holy. What does the Bible say?
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?”
So why should we center ourselves on our own heart looking for our divinity? We shouldn’t.
Instead…..we can have righteousness through faith….
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known to which the Law, and the prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”
These phrases from the IHOP article bother me.
“Make sure you are searching for the spirit of Jesus.”
Jesus wasn’t and is not a spirit. He came to earth as fully man and fully God, but He never came as a spirit. But those who meditate using TM methods often contact a spirit guide named “Jesus”. This is deceiving spirit because Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father.
“Play out the story…apply all five senses”
This is an exercise in guided imagery. Read what Dave Hunt says about this:
“Visualization and Guided Imagery have long been recognized by sorcerers of all kinds as the most powerful and effective methodology for contacting the spirit world in order to acquire supernatural power, knowledge and healing. Such methods are neither taught or practiced in the Bible as helps to faith or prayer.” (The Seduction of Christianity)
Yet here we see it openly being taught and embraced.
“Begin by gently praying a short passage of Scripture in silence while focusing on the indwelling Spirit.”
How can you do these two things simultaneously? Actually the Scripture becomes meaningless as one focuses on something else entirely.
“The springboard into the spiritual realm.”
What is the springboard?…it is the silence, the quiet. They are trying to fool you into thinking it is the scripture, but this is not the case here. The silence is a void used in eastern meditation to stop you from thinking or concentrating. So now what spiritual realm have you just entered? You have entered a void. It is this void that allows you to enter a spiritual realm that is forbidden in the Bible. This is the realm where the white light enters, and if you know your Bible, then you know that this is Satan. He comes with joy and peace and fills you with ecstasy. If he came any other way he would be instantly rejected.
“Your surface thoughts are gone”.
The Bible never tell us to quit thinking or to empty our minds. In fact we are told the quite the opposite.
1 Peter 5:8
“Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour.”
“Ask the spirit to show you a vision.”
This is exactly how those involved in TM ask to be shown their demonic spirit guides. Exactly. This is so dangerous……
The section describing how to overcome distractions is the same method chanters use when meditating. If they actually have…a thought…oh no…start the chant again to empty the mind.
Anyone who does not see the eastern mysticism in this occult prayer method…does not want to see. Even a cursory study of meditation easily shows the parallels but people aren’t listening, or they don’t care, or maybe they hate to admit they have been deceived. This pride is fateful. It is eternal. It keeps you in touch with the New-Age Jesus, (who does not exist) and separates you from the true Jesus Christ in the Bible.
“It is not an advanced spiritual state, but one that is primitive and regressive, and consequentially results in bondage to spiritistic powers.” ( Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs) Ankerberg and Weldon pg. 238
How is it that the church has fallen into such a sad state of affairs? It is simple. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not being preached anymore. Without repentance, without turning away from sin, without faith, there is no conversion.
The unconverted are hungry for God because they have no way to be sanctified. So in order to hear from God, in order to fill the void, they need to resort to false fire. Gnostic strange fire. This spiritual false fire replaces a true move of God which would cause conviction and make us fall on our faces and weep. We would weep because when the holiness of God shines His light on our sin, magnifying our true nature, it is unbearable. This in turn causes us to hate our sin, and search the Word for how live a holy life pleasing to the Lord.
When the Word of God is not enough, when it is not sufficient, the alternative is deception.