12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. Revelation 22:12-15 (NASB)
Spiritual blindness is a wonder to behold. Those false prophets who profess to be Christian while loving and teaching the doctrines of demons have been given over to their sin by our God. Their consciences have been seared and no matter how adamantly we tell them the truth and prove it by showing them what the Word of God teaches, they cling to their false doctrines while stopping up their ears like rebellious children. The proponents of what has come to be called “Christian Universalism” love their false doctrine, which teaches that the Lake of Fire, for instance, is not real or it is only temporary regardless of the Word of God clearly saying the opposite.
Holly Pivec of Spirit of Error alerts us to Bethel Church’s latest attempt at drawing people into the world of the occult through their Firestarters course where participants are taught how to “burn with passion for God.” CRN has many articles on Bethel Church’s lead pastor-sorcerer Bill Johnson here. And you’ll find articles on the sorcerer’s apprentices here.
Now to Holly’s piece:
I recently returned from a trip to Redding, California, where I visited Bethel Church, led by popular NARapostle Bill Johnson. Many things were taught during my visit there that troubled me. Especially troubling was the adult Sunday School class called Firestarters.
Firestarters is a 12-week course described as “the fast-track to revival culture.” It was created by Kevin Dedmon, who teaches at Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM), and is a crash course for people who don’t have the time or money to attend BSSM’s full-time program. According to the Bethel website, students learn how to “burn with passion for God,” “experience His passion” for them, “walk in their God-given identity and purpose,” and “experience the power to heal the sick, prophesy, and live a victorious life.”
Claudio Sanchez of National Public Radio has a report on the negative effects on children who grow up without fathers. According to Sanchez, 24.7 million children in the United States do not live with their biological father. Sanchez documents the problems that arise from fatherless homes. For example, “Children are four-times more likely to be poor if the father is not around. And we know that poverty is heavily associated with academic success.” Liberals would have us believe that it matters not if children have a father in the home. Christians dispute this, as we know that it does matter to God. We know that it is His plan for children to have a mother and a father — a biological father.
Now to Sanchez’s report:
The growing number of fatherless children in this country poses one of the the most serious problems in education today, according to best-selling author Alan Blankstein.
He has spent most of his life advocating for kids who struggle in school. He wrote Failure is Not an Option, a guide to creating high-performing schools for all students.
So, just how many kids are fatherless? NPR Ed put that question to Blankstein, who told us that 24.7 million kids in the U.S. don’t live with a biological father.
Edmund Kozak of LifeZette reports that in a five week period evening newscasts spent 353 minutes on the Trump-Russia probe. He writes:
A new study performed by the Media Research Center (MRC) details the incredible amount of time that mainstream-media networks have dedicated to covering the Trump-Russia probe. Between May 17 and June 20, evening newscasts devoted 55 percent of their coverage of President Donald Trump — 353 minutes in total — to the Russia investigation or other allegations of possible collusion.
Tellingly, the investigation revealed that a full third — 34 percent — of networks’ coverage of the Trump-Russia probe was based on anonymous sources, some of whom turned out to be providing false information. “I think that’s something that should suggest to news viewers that there’s people behind the scenes with an agenda,” said Rich Noyes, research director at the MRC.
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1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” Luke 24:1-7 (NASB)
Secularism is a humanistic philosophy that many contend is the driving force behind the collapse of the Christian World View with it being replaced with that of Secular Humanism. This view contends that there is no possibility of any person knowing or finding absolute truth. It demands that all religions be considered equal with each relinquishing its claims of exclusivity. In the visible Church, many professing Christians are secular in their personal philosophy. Since Secularism removes the possibility of absolutes it follows that its proponents must doubt the Bible’s display of the miracles and the supernatural as proof of the deity of Christ for example. It separates Christianity from the sacred and holy and the miraculous. This separation leaves Christianity as just another World Religion. It relegates it to little more than an institution of good works to improve society.
Mike Riccardi of The Cripplegate lays out some of the the problems that can result from trying to mix oil with water, as you will see in the case of trying to mix liberalism and historic orthodox Christianity. The result is that the Person and work of Jesus Christ has been compromised for the sake of unity. And what we now have is a liberal/progressive “social justice gospel” that saves no one. Those pushing for ecumenicism may have started out with good intentions, but as the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
One example Riccardi offers of someone’s good intentions paving the road to hell is the Rev. Billy Graham, who has been highly criticized for his ecumenical beliefs. In a quote from a 1997 interview with heretic Robert Schuller, the well-known and highly regarded evangelist demonstrated the inevitable end of ecumenism when he said to Schuller:
“I think that everybody that loves or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not, they are members of the body of Christ. . . . They may not know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something they do not have, and they turn to the only light they have, and I think that they are saved and going to be with us in heaven.”
Mike Riccardi has the story of the ecumenical movement that we urge you to read. He writes:
One of the most devastating attacks on the life and health of the church throughout all of church history has been what is known as the ecumenical movement—the downplaying of doctrine in order to foster partnership in ministry between (a) genuine Christians and (b) people who were willing to call themselves Christians but who rejected fundamental Christian doctrines.
In a piece over at LifeZette, Dr. Meg Meeker warns us that the moment we stop seeing children’s problems as problems, we stop helping them. “And when we cross boundaries,” says Meeker, “and force others to see their problems as normal, we solidify craziness as the norm.” She writes:
Once more, the media have gone over the edge and made a mockery of little children. They ran a story about a child who alerted his parents to struggles over gender dysphoria — at the tender age of three.
And shame on his parents for letting them do so. MSN recently reported on the child — named Colt at birth — who rejected his gender and insisted on being called Emma because he said he was really a girl.
OK, I get it. The child has psychic turmoil and needs help. Or he’s playing a game. It’s hard to tell — because when he declared his gender confusion, he was three. Yes, three years old.
But that’s not really the problem. The real beef I have is with adults, particularly those in the media who push their agenda with a finger in our faces, saying, “See, we told you so,” by exploiting small children like Colt/Emma.
50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1 Corinthians 15:50 (NASB)
It is a very dangerous thing to interpret things extra-biblically that occur in our spiritual growth. For instance, in my own walk I was in a very stagnant spiritual state for over a decade from around 1990 until 2004. I had some growth spurts during that time, but they were always followed by years of mediocrity. Then in 2004 God took me through about 8 months of spiritual boot camp. I emerged a changed man. I really thought that I had come across some sort of ‘second blessing’ in which I had entered into a new level of spirituality that was easily accomplished simply following some sort of plan or formula that I could somehow teach to others.
Eric Davis of The Cripplegage examines the eternality of hell. “The misery of it all is simply unfathomable,” says Davis. “It is one that must move us to the deepest reverence before God and compassion towards sinners
In yesterday’s post, the miseries of hell were briefly described. When the unredeemed enter, there will be a shock as the magnitude of hell sets in. One of the greatest miseries of hell will be the eternality of it: there will be no end to the conscious torment.
However, there have been questions as to the eternality of hell. The biblical teaching of unending punishment in hell has often been under attack. Do those in hell suffer forever? Or will they experience annihilation at some point and cease to exist? Annihilationism teaches that those in hell will eventually cease to exist. They will not be punished forever, but for a length of time, culminating in their annihilation.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:38-48 (NASB)
I remember the first time I read the passage above (Matthew 5:38-48). I simply could not believe that it was possible for anyone to love one’s enemies or pray for them. I read in the Gospels that Jesus did those things, but He is God. How could any mortal person ever do this? At the time of that reading, I was not a regenerate believer. I was definitely in the process of being called, but God’s effectual call had not touched my heart yet. I still had the idea that one had to be able to do Christian things in order to become a Christian. In my own conception of salvation, I had to learn and believe the right things and do the right things so that I could possibly “grow into” a good Christian.
18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18 (NASB)
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 For you will heap burning coals on his head,
And the Lord will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22 (NASB)
If you have ever listened to or read any defense made by those who claim to be Christians, but also “Gay” then you know that they are very loose with how they handle doctrine and very vital words within those doctrines. One of those key words is “love.” The Biblical definition of love from a Christian perspective is one of self-denial under the sanctifying hand of God. However, for those who are attempting to invade Christianity with their “Gay Agenda,” they redefine “love” from a self-focused, narcissistic bent that is all about seeking self-fulfillment above all no matter who else has to pay the cost. On the other hand, the genuine believer, is regenerate, saved by grace through faith according to the mercy of God, and is on the path or way of learning to deny self even to the point of loving their enemies as Christ commanded.
According to Christian News:
A Christian school in Canada says that it is shocked after recently being told by the local school board that it should not teach any “offensive” Bible verses to children, particularly those those that refer to homosexuality. Cornerstone Christian Academy in Kingman, approximately an hour outside of the provincial capital of Edmonton, says that it was recently approached by the Battle River School Division and asked to remove 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 from its student handbook.
The indictment accuses prosperity preacher William Todd Coontz of a check-cashing scheme. Coontz is charged with hiding income from the IRS “by claiming travel as a business expense while using reimbursements as personal income.” Joe Marusak of Charlotte Observer has the story:
A former Charlotte preacher who wrote the book “Please Don’t Repo My Car” was indicted on tax charges Thursday.
William Todd Coontz enjoyed a life of luxury, federal prosecutors contend, by claiming as business expenses the $1.5 million condo he and his family lived in as their parsonage and the luxury vehicles they drove, including three BMWs, two Ferraris, a Maserati and a Land Rover.
He also claimed a Regal 2500 boat, 400 charges at movie theaters, $228,000 in clothing purchases and $140,000 in meals and other entertainment as business expenses with no proof the expenses were for business, according to a federal criminal bill of indictment returned by a grand jury in Charlotte on Thursday.
1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, having approached the High Priest, 2 he requested from him letters to Damascus to the synagogues that if someone he should find being of the Way, both men and women, he may bring them bound to Jerusalem. Acts 9:1-2 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
I listened to a sermon today by John MacArthur named “We will not bow.” The link to it is at the bottom of this post. I hope you follow that link and listen to it yourself. In it you will hear the truth that I have been attempting to lay out here for the last several weeks, that is, there are those who are genuine believers who will never bow the knee to Caesar or any other false leader, and then there is the majority of the visible church which already has. Yes, I know that is not the politically correct thing to say and many in the visible church think people like me are divisive for saying that Jesus told us what The Way was made up of and that He and His Apostles then told us that there would be false prophets, false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing attacking God’s truth and His Doctrines from every angle possible. However, He also said that He would always be building His Church and there is no power on earth that can stop Him from doing it. Therefore, from this we know that if we are obedient to following Him and not straying from The Way then we are His and He will keep us regardless of the evil that this dark world will bring upon us.
28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” John 6:28 (NASB)
The flesh is still with us all, even those who have been born again unto eternal life. The flesh does not understand grace. The flesh does not understand the relationship to the Christian being born again unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore, the visible church is ripe with false teaching at this time that emphasizes all the wrong things, and, coupled with rampant Biblical illiteracy, most professing Christians are like those Jesus was confronting in John 6 who could not conceive what our Lord boldly told them in vv35-40 that belief and salvation is a gift from God not something earned or deserved.
Is there a right way and a wrong way for people to behave? The moral relativists would say, “whatever floats your boat.” “Wintery Knight” tackles moral relativism.
Moral relativism is the view that moral values and moral duties do not exist in reality, but only exist as opinions in people’s minds. When you ask a moral relativist where the belief that stealing is wrong comes from, he may tell you that it is his opinion, or that it is the opinion of most people in his society. But he cannot tell you that stealing is wrong independent of what people think, because morality (on moral relativism) is just personal preference.
So what’s wrong with it?
I found this list of the seven flaws of moral relativism at the Salvo magazine web site.
Here’s the summary:
3 “ Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 (NASB)
I spent many years as a deacon in two SBC churches in the late 1980’s the 1990’s and the early 2000’s. I would say that my spiritual maturity during that time was one of a new Christian who was growing, but certainly not someone who would be considered an elder. I was untrained theologically. The preaching and teaching we received in those churches was not very deep. The leaders in those churches were more interested in encouraging the people to work harder and give more. My main spiritual gifts are all centered around teaching so I gravitated toward teaching Bible Study classes. One of the things God did during that period that changed my growth rate in Christ was me being selected for Precept training as an instructor. Those going through the courses paid for the classes and part of that money went to have me and a few others trained to do Inductive Word Studies from God’s Word. I went to all three levels of training and the third level, in 1992, was learning how to do Greek word studies in the New Testament. This changed everything for me, but it was several more years of circumstances beyond my control that God used to move me into this discernment work that I do now.
“With a 50-year academic career focusing on Historical Climatology, Dr. Tim Ball is uniquely qualified to address man-made climate change, and he demonstrates that it is a flat-out hoax. Thinking people everywhere should get multiple copies of this book and hand them out to everyone they know.”
In a piece over at Technocracy News, Dr. Tim Ballx informs us that:
President Trump was correct to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. He could have explained that the science was premeditated and deliberately orchestrated to demonize CO2 for a political agenda. Wisely, he simply explained that it was a bad deal for the United States because it gave a competitive economic edge to other nations, especially China. A majority of Americans think he was wrong, but more would disagree if he got lost in the complexities of the science. I speak from experience having taught a Science credit course for 25 years for the student population that mirrors society with 80 percent of them being Arts students. Promoters of what is called anthropogenic global warming (AGW) knew most people do not understand the science and exploited it.