It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, l will hear. (Isaiah 65:24)
Quick work this! The Lord hears us before we call and often answers us in the same speedy manner.
Foreseeing our needs and our prayers, He so arranges providence that before the need actually arises He has supplied it, before the trial assails us He has armed us against it.
This is the promptitude of omniscience, and we have often seen it exercised. Before we dreamed of the affliction which was coming, the strong consolation which was to sustain us under it had arrived. What a prayer-answering God we have!
Is there a threat to the ability of Christians to practice our faith legally? According to Dan Calabrese the secular left has undertaken three legal strategies. In a piece over at Canada Free Press, Calabrese reveals what those strategies are:
The secular left cannot get a law through Congress that makes it illegal to practice Christianity. It would if it could. It can’t because it’s not politically plausible – at least not yet – and it would immediately be struck down by the Supreme Court if it could ever pass. At least as the Supreme Court is populated today and hopefully will be for a very long time.
But that does not mean there is no threat to the ability of Christians to practice our faith legally. There is, and it’s not distant or merely theoretical. It’s clear and present. In fact, to some degree the legal prohibitions against the practice of Christianity are already in place.
To understand this, you need to recognize three legal strategies the secular left is undertaking – right now, right under our noses – that making it difficult to practice Christianity without running afoul of the law. It is not an outright ban on the faith, but it could end up having the same effect by putting everything that’s central to Christianity in conflict with laws created ostensibly for other reasons.
Costi Hinn begins his piece with an account of someone who has allegedly been slain in the spirit. At the end of the virtual tour. the person declares: I have heard some Christians say this sort of experience was demonic, while others say it’s just hypnosis. To be honest, I haven’t seen it in the Bible and don’t really know what it is…but I really feel like it’s the Holy Spirit…
In a piece over at Equip the Saint, Hinn follows up by examining what the Bible says about a practice that has become normative in charismatic churches all over the globe. Professing believers must ask themselves the obvious question: Is getting slain in the spirit biblical….or not. Costi Hinn, nephew of Word of Faith prosperity preacher Benny Hinn who’s well known for fake healings, false prophecies and slaying people in the spirit, provides the answer to the question. He writes:
The virtual tour you’ve just read through is taking place all over the world every single week in tens of thousands of charismatic churches, healing crusades, youth groups, kid’s camps, Third Wave revivals, and N.A.R. conferences. Many conservative Christians are scared to death of their children ever going to one of these services but when asked what the issue really is, most cannot explain it but to say, “It’s unbiblical” or “not God.”
We need a better answer than that.
Dr Hruz, who is an endocrinologist and Associate Professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, warns that “there are many other components of being a man or a woman.” The Christian Institute has the story:
Fallon Fox, transgender fighter in MMA
Transsexual athletes who compete against women are “feminized males rather than true females”, an American professor has warned.
Speaking to Fox News, Dr Paul Hruz cautioned that “there are many aspects of fundamental biology that don’t change” when athletes take hormone-suppressing drugs.
Transsexual people often take these drugs or have hormone injections to change their physical appearance.
18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 19 And I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you the sooner.
20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:18-21 (NASB)
R.C. Sproul shared the following story in the September 2007 issue of Tabletalk magazine. “Several years ago I was participating in a discussion with some business men in Jackson, Mississippi. In the course of the conversation, one of the men made reference to a man who was not present at the meeting. He said, ‘He is an honorable man.’ When I heard this comment, my ears perked up as I thought for a moment I was hearing a foreign language being spoken. I realized that I was in the middle of the Deep South where customs of old had not entirely been eradicated, yet I still could not get over that somebody in this day and age was using the word honor as descriptive term for a human being.”
Anthony Wade believes Joyce Meyer is a very dangerous false teacher — one of the worst in the visible church. In this piece over at 8:28 Ministries, Wade delves into Meyer’s teaching and shows why online discernment ministries such as CRN warn the sheep that this popular Bible teacher, speaker and author is in fact a ravenous wolf who must be avoided at all costs. Wade writes:
She is one of the most popular “preachers” for women today. She is one of the most sought after conference speakers for the entire Purpose Driven Industrial Complex. She is Joyce Meyer and she is one of the most dangerous false teachers alive. She blends a folksy mix of prosperity gospel, word faith heresy and NAR theologies to create a hodgepodge mess that could lead most people far astray from the biblical God and Christ. She has openly taught and believed that Jesus Christ was born again, which would mean that He sinned. She openly teaches that Jesus stopped being the Son of God on the cross. She openly teaches that Jesus went to hell to pay for our sins where He was tormented and if you do not believe that then you are going to hell yourself. Meyer has taught that we are “little gods” a common word faith heresy practiced by the likes of Creflo Dollar and Kenneth Copeland. Not only is she a little god but she claims that she is not a sinner. A great deal of the teachings she provides she claims direct revelation from God to explain their extra-biblical nature. Her wealth is estimated in excess of 15 million dollars as she preaches about God wanting you rich beyond your dreams of greed. She owns a 10 million dollar private airplane. This can literally go on and on beloved. She is a wolf plain and simple and has been devouring the sheep of the Lord and those seeking God for many many years. It is always fascinating when someone so popular and false takes pen to paper to write so that we might gain a direct insight to how flawed her hermeneutics and understanding of Scripture is. The above link is to a recent article she published on Charisma Magazine’s website where she shares what she did when she realized that the devil had robbed her. Let us reason together beloved:
According to Washington Times, Oregon insurers must provide 100 percent coverage for abortions without co-pays or deductibles:
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed a landmark bill to provide free abortions for all, including illegal immigrants, by requiring insurance companies to cover the procedures and putting taxpayers on the hook for the tab.
Tuesday’s long-awaited signing of House Bill 3391, approved by the State Legislature July 5 with no Republican votes, triggered a torrent of criticism from conservatives along with praise from the pro-choice movement.
“Thank Kate Brown for signing the nation’s most progressive reproductive health bill into law today!” NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon said in a statement.
15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (NASB)
Religion, if it is worth anything, is worth everything; but it is worth little if it is not worth suffering for. – Matthew Henry
There has been such a long drought of the Word of God being rightly divided by true shepherds of the flock in so much of the visible Church that the spiritually weak and immature believers make up the vast majority. Their understanding of God is not well developed. When suffering comes upon them they react in a complete misinterpretation of what is going on. It is as if they expect everyone to love them and their problems will be over simply because they are now Christians. The Bible is very clear, genuine believers are the ones who endure to the end and they will suffer for Jesus’ sake.
Nick Batzig of Reformation 21 addresses the hullabaloo that ensued following a blog post Kevin DeYoung wrote on “Game of Thrones.” In his post DeYoung challenged Christians to stop filling their minds with garbage. How dare he say that watching actors simulate sex is sinful, some said. So, my question is, when it comes to a professing Christian’s viewing habits, what should his/her main concern be? How about this: I am here to glorify God…how am I doing right now?
With this in mind, here are a couple of quotes from Batzig’s piece that jumped out at me:
I have never had a friend tell me, “I just saw this intense sex scene on such and such a show and I’ve never been so close to the Lord.” That has never happened in all of human history, and, honestly, it never will. When we lay sophistry aside, we all know that we should be guarding our hearts and minds a whole lot more, not a whole lot less, in a day when wickedness pours through the television like floodwaters.
We must not forget that Hollywood is also targeting every sort of person with demographically driven sexual sin. Housewives are the main intended audience of movies like Magic Mike and 50 Shades of Grey. In all of this, there is a systemic unravelling of the foundations of morality that should leave Christians deeply disturbed. It can and will only get worse; and, we better wake up to the dangers of it for our own souls and the souls of our children!
Nick Batzig makes many excellent points in his piece. But for him the bottom line is this. Why do so many professing believers, who claim to love the Savior, choose to watch movies, television shows, and read books that in no way glorify God?
Yesterday, Kevin DeYoung kicked the proverbial hornet’s nest when he wrote a post titled, “I Don’t Understand Christians Watching Game of Thrones.” That post was swiftly met with a tirade of social media attacks, such as, “The Bible has many, many more violent and lewd scenes than Game of Thrones…know your Bible, Kevin,” “[you] shouldn’t expect consciences to be the same” and “Bad idea denouncing what you have no experience with…” Honestly, it was painful to read through the emotionally charged, biblically weak and grammatically poor responses to DeYoung’s encouragement for professing believers to pursue holiness in regard to what we set before our eyes on television.
18 For the word of the cross to those perishing is senseless, but to us being saved, it is the power of God 19 for it has been written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise ones
and the understanding of the intelligent I will set aside.’ 1 Corinthians 1:18-19 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Look at those man-focused, pragmatic, seeker-sensitive “churches” all around us in our time. They may vary in many ways, but there is a commonality that marks them all as products of the spirit of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) rather than the spirit of Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13). That commonality is seen in the passage I placed at the top of this post. It is what makes them of the spirit of Laodicea. They are structured and operate according to the wisdom of men. Their very way of handling the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ depletes the cross of its power. What do I mean? When the “so-called gospel” that is “preached” is given in a way that intentionally removes its offense and an attempt is made to make it sensible to the lost and dying world by removing the blood and removing the necessity of our Lord’s death for those who owed a debt to God they could not pay what is given is more of a sales pitch and self-help remedy. All this does is create a body of people who are neither cold nor hot. They believe they have everything and are right with God, but are in reality, wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked and are simply ready for the next deceiver to come along.
Laura Ingraham asked the question. Breitbart has the story:
Monticello, plantation of President Thomas Jefferson
Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, editor of LifeZette, denounced protesters removing a statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham, North Carolina, a day earlier.
Ingraham warned there could be other symbols from the past that could go next if this trend were to continue.
“This is not about racial healing or racial unity when you see property being destroyed,” Ingraham said. “That’s not what it’s about. It’s about the eradication of history and an acknowledgment that we had really difficult, horrible moments in our country’s history that we were able to overcome. And at the same time, we do give respect to the dead. I mean, all of our war dead. We respect them. Not respect everything they stood for, but respect the fact that, when the time came, they stood up and fought for their views and this country.”
According to Henry Bodin of The Telegraph, this new technology can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with just one touch. “Dubbed tissue nanotransfection (TNT), the technique works by placing a small pad of nanochips over a damaged area.” Bodkin reports that “In one experiment, blood flow in the severely injured leg of a mouse was restored in less than a week after the pad reprogrammed skin cells to create vascular cells.” So, could the technology be used as a weapon against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, even overcome aging and death as researchers who created the technology claim?
Scientists have hailed a “breakthrough” technology capable of regrowing damaged organs and healing serious wounds with the single touch of a penny-sized pad.
The new device uses nanochips to reprogramme skin cells which then generate any type of cell necessary for medical treatment.
The non-invasive procedure takes less than a second and in laboratory trials was found to restore the function of badly damaged blood vessels within days.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
In those two lines you have the explanation of all the misery and heartache and injustice and evil of life. It all stems from that. The heart, the natural life into which we were born, has two things wrong with it. First, it is desperately corrupt. This means it never can function as it originally was designed to do. It can never fulfill all you expect of it. It will never fulfill your ideals, or bring you to the place where you can be what you would like to be. It is corrupt. It is infected with a fatal virus. It cannot be changed. There is nothing you can do about it, ultimately. It is useless and wasted. Therefore there is only one thing it is good for — to be put to death. That is exactly what the Lord Jesus Christ did with it when he died some centuries later. He took that fatal nature, human nature, and he put it to death.
I know that many people have trouble at this point. This is the verse, among others like it in the Scriptures, which divides humanity right down the center. You either believe this verse, and act in these terms for the rest of your life, understanding this fact, or you deny it and say, It is not true; man is basically good. It is either one side or the other. Your whole system of philosophy and of education and of legislation, and everything else, will be determined by which one of those views you take. This is the Great Divide of humanity, right here.
Following the riots in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists clashed with counter protesters, Julia Duin, journalist and former religion editor for Washington Times, reports that there has been a lot of lecturing at evangelical Protestants “who are reminded nonstop that 81 percent of them polled as voting for Trump last year – that they are responsible for what happened this past weekend. Much of this came in the form of opinion pieces ranging from an essay on Fox News’ site by a white Southern Baptist seminary professor to an essay in the Washington Post’s Acts of Faith section – written by a black clergyman – urging white pastors to speak up.”
The key question for Julia Duin is “Did the opinion pieces and all the fire on Twitter bleed over into the mainstream news coverage?” Here’s what she observed:
On the face of it, the riots in Charlottesville didn’t have a strong religious component. I mean, other than the fact that Neo-Nazis are not fond of Roman Catholics, historic black churches, Jews, Pentecostal Christians (the most racially mixed churches in America), Southern Baptists and others.
Yes, there were pastors marching in protest against the white nationalists, but so were lots of other people.
Then, everything went very wrong very fast. What I saw next, mainly on Twitter, were people demanding that white clergy nationwide condemn the white nationalist protest in their Sunday sermons. I was fascinated by how some media – who wouldn’t be caught dead implicating certain other groups when one of them does an act of violence – decided that all white Christian clergy have to answer for the violence in Charlottesville.
Babylon Bee, a popular satirical blog, took aim at prophet-pastor Steven Furtick and included a quote that was obviously meant to be a joke but went over some reader’s heads: “I wish Elevation the best of luck in the seasons to come, and hope they can find someone as ripped and godly as me.” So Pastor Steven took to social media to inform his fans that they have no worries; he has no plans to leave his megachurch to form a “super preaching team” with another megachurch pastor. Michael Gybroski of Christian Post, a “Christian” site we’ve made clear that we don’t endorse, has the story:
Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick will not be leaving his Charlotte, North Carolina, megachurch to join Pastor Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church.
Furtick took to social media on Sunday to clarify that a widely read satire piece claiming that he was going to the Texas-based megachurch was untrue.
In a video posted to his official Facebook page that as of Tuesday has gotten over 480,000 views, Furtick explained that people need to “consider the source.”
“They were making it look like I was leaving Elevation Church to go to another church like an NBA free agent for a big contract,” said Furtick.
“Of course none of that is true. I’m not leaving Elevation Church. The thing was meant to be a joke. Whether it’s funny or right for them to post that, that’s up to you to decide.”
Should we worry about the total eclipse that will occur on August 21st as a sign of God’s impending judgment, as Anne Graham Lotz suggests? “Jewish rabbis have historically viewed solar eclipses as warnings from God to Gentile nations,” wrote Lotz. “Therefore, my perspective on the upcoming phenomenon is not celebratory. While no one can know for sure if judgment is coming on America, it does seem that God is signaling us about something. Time will tell what that something is.” In a piece over at Reading Acts, Phillip J. Long examines what some “prophecy-obsessed Christians” are saying about America’s Eclipse and offers a biblical perspective on what is about to take place. He writes:
One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was Day of the Triffids. In this 1963 British film, the earth experiences an unusual meteor shower. Everyone who watched the meteors were struck blind, and for reasons not sufficiently explained in the film a rare type of plant (a “triffid”) mutated into a shambling stalk of killer asparagus. The star of the film, Howard Keel, was recovering from eye surgery at the time, so he was left to survive in post-apocalyptic England, dodging escaped prisoners and killer vegetables. Not one of the great plot lines in film history, but it made me wary of watching meteor showers when I was eight years old. In fact, a meteor shower cannot really strike you blind.
11 And having set sail from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the next day to Neapolis 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a prominent city of the District of Macedonia, a colony, and we stayed in this city some days. Acts 16:11-12 (translated from the from the NA28 Greek text)
As you know, Paul’s friend and companion Luke wrote the book of Acts in the New Testament. In Acts 16:10, we read that after Paul had seen the vision to leave Asia and come to Europe after seeking the will of God for the next focus of his missionary journey, Luke includes himself in the narrative as an eyewitness, therefore, his account of what happened to Paul and Silas in Philippi are given as one who was there.
As I’ve talked to people of other religions, it has dawned on me that most if not all of them teach that everyone is a child of God.
Whether you are Muslim and teach that all children are born Muslim but then are led away by the devil, or whether you are Mormon, and teach that everyone on earth existed previously as a spirit child of God, most religions agree that people are born children of God except Christianity. Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed that many Christians mistakenly agree with these false religions.
The Bible is very clear that this is not so. There are many passages that teach that one must become a child of God at some point in their life, and there are four main ones that come to mind that we must look at to understand this.
From Churchwatch Central:
Due to the rise of cults across the Western world, Christianity has not really done the job of contending for the faith and been infected by a lot of unhealthy teaching. One such teaching is the idea that we, as believers, are ‘Little Gods’. This teaching was also popularized by Mormonism.
The rise of the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) cult attempted to mainstream this teaching in Christianity and did so with the construction of the Charismatic movement at the beginning of the 1960s. Back then it was known as ‘Manifest Sons of God’ or ‘Manchild Company’ heresy. It was only a matter of a few decades that Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland and other popular heretics started promoting this repackaged heresy that became known as the ‘Little Gods’ heresy. They are the result of the church refusing to contend for the faith against the Latter Rain heretics.
Christian News reports:
Concerns are being raised as Johnnie Moore, the former vice president of communications for Liberty University—which heralds itself at the world’s largest Christian university—and travel assistant to President Jerry Falwell, Jr., recently sent a letter to Roman Catholic leader Jorge Bergoglio, also known as “Pope Francis,” to request a meeting to discuss Moore’s objection to “efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals.”
Moore, who serves as a member of President Trump’s evangelical advisory board, wrote to Bergoglio following the publication of an article in La Cattolica Civilitas—written by Catholic priest Antonio Spadaro and Presbyterian minister Marcelo Figueroa—that condemned what they perceived as a joining together of American Catholics and Evangelicals in an “ecumicism of hate” against immigrants, Muslims and others different from them.
See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism
Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their Jewish brothers (Nehemiah 5:1).
In chapter 5, the Unseen Enemy tries yet another approach. Nehemiah has successfully handled the threatened attack from without, but now he runs into a problem from within his own ranks. You may experience that too in your struggle to recover some area of your life. You may run into family problems, pressures, and problems with those who work with you, perhaps even from other brothers and sisters in the Lord. In this case it was a clash between the workers and the officials, the laborers and the overseers who were working on this project.
To a great degree these were justified complaints. Nehemiah deals with them earnestly and forthrightly. He could not change the conditions, but he reveals the real problem–usury. Usury is charging interest for money that has been loaned–a common practice in our day. The Jews were allowed to do this with other races, but Moses said that when Jews lent money to other Jews, they were not to charge any interest. Nehemiah is upset by this usury and demands that they stop. This was more than a demand to end the practice of usury. He was insisting on restitution as well. They must give back their unjust gains. Their reaction was surprising. They were stricken by conscience because they knew from the Scriptures that what they were doing was wrong.
PinkNews article states: “The image of the prince expressing his happiness in this way led many to declare their support of George for a whole new position: gay icon.” PinkNews also shared a few tweets. One Twitter user chirped “Prince George is definitely going to be gay.” Mirror has the story:
An article which claimed Prince George had become a “gay icon overnight” has sparked controversy, with a politician demanding an apology for the “highly inappropriate” write up.
PinkNews published a story with the headline “People think Prince George looks fabulous in this new photo,” saying people on Twitter had called him a ‘gay icon’.
But Jim Allister, party leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) has called the article “grossly offensive” and said “sexualising a young child in this fashion is entirely inappropriate”.
He said: ‘”To take an image of a little boy and to fantasise of him being an icon for a life defined by sex is outrageous and sick.”