7 Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand. Amos 7:7 (NASB)
In John Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress, the characters’ names usually define their character. For instance there is Ignorance. He refuses to believe Christian and Hopeful when they tell him that unless he goes through the narrow gate to begin his pilgrimage, he will not be allowed into the gate of the Celestial City. Then there is Talkative who equates making a fuss about one’s sin with actual repentance. Early in Christian’s pilgrimage, he comes across two other pilgrims named Formalist and Hypocrisy who come from a country called Vain-Glory. They tell Christian that the shortcut that they took to the path, bypassing the narrow gate, was necessary because it was too far to travel from Vain-Glory to it. All were revealed to be counterfeit Pilgrims and none of them made it into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ save Christian, Hopeful and Faithful.
On Wednesday we posted a piece by Amy Spreeman of Berean Research entitled “Who Are Family Research Council’s Watchmen On the Wall?” where she revealed who these so-called watchmen are and what the Watchman on the Wall gathering is all about. Amy decided to do some more digging into pro-family groups, starting with the Family Research Council and what she discovered about this organization will come as a surprise to many of you. Thanks to Amy’s digging, those who’ve helped keep FRC in business by supporting them financially will learn where their money has been spent. She writes:
How do you discover which networks of Apostles are working together to reclaim America and build God’s Kingdom here on earth? You click. Just keep clicking, and clicking, and clicking some more, until things click. It takes time to research, and if you’re looking for an easy, bullet-point list of what I’m sharing in this report, you should put this aside for when you have time to investigate.
This morning I reported on the Family Research Council’s Watchman On the Wall meeting in Washington D.C., which continued today and features several NAR speakers who teach a different gospel.
After doing a little more digging on this Watchman organization, I found a disturbingly large network of ecumenical groups working together in what the New Apostolic Reformation calls the “Cultural Sphere of influence” in its 7 Mountain Mandate. (If you can take dominion of these seven spheres, you can activate Jesus’ return, as the modern Apostles teach.)
In this piece over at The Independent, Lizzie Deardon reveals how a young man’s transformation to a murdering thug echoes those of Islamist terrorists across Europe. She writes:
Salman Abedi’s journey from cannabis-smoking university dropout to Isis suicide bomber is being gradually pieced together by investigators as Manchester reels from the worst terror attack to hit the UK in over a decade.
The 22-year-old was remembered as a “fun guy” who drank, took drugs and possibly had links with local gangs before appearing increasingly religious as his radicalisation deepened.
The same transformation has been documented in many of Europe’s deadliest terrorists, including petty criminals and drug dealers in the Isis “super cell” behind the Paris and Brussels attacks.
We discovered the following essay by Archibald Brown, who was a student and contemporary of Charles Spurgeon, in Apprising Ministries‘ archives. Brown expressed his view of entertainment in the Church and his words still ring true today:
Photo credit: Ken Silva
An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most short-sighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil.
It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.
From speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.
31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace. Hebrews 11:31 (NASB)
5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse was the father of David the king.
David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. Matthew 1:5-6 (NASB)
24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. James 2:24-26 (NASB)
How would you like it if your name was forever associated with the profession of prostitution? Rahab lived on the wall in the city of Jericho. When the two spies sent by Joshua entered the city, they stayed at her house. When the city officials knew of their presence, Rahab hid them then helped them escape. In return the spies promised to save her and her family when Jericho was attacked by the Israelites. Later, she was wed to Salmon of the tribe of Judah. Their son Boaz was the kinsman redeemer who married Ruth. Their son Obed became the father of Jesse who became the father of David the King.
This put Rahab in the genealogical line of Jesus Christ. However, she is still called Rahab the Harlot or Rahab the prostitute in scripture. Why? Rahab is a trophy of God’s grace. She is an example to us all that the good we do that is eternal is always by and through God’s grace. When we are weak, yet obedient, God is strong through us. That is why James can say that good works will always accompany genuine saving faith. As regenerate believers, we must learn this. Any works we do in our own abilities are not eternal. All of the work God does through us is eternal.
Amy Spreeman of Berean Research tells us who these people are and exposes their agenda:
Wouldn’t it be great if men and women who are dead in their sins would just stop being wicked and start respecting professing Christians? At first blush, the idea of transforming America’s ever-sickening, vile culture sounds like a great plan. And giving pastors a support network of Watchmen on the Wall to help them fight the culture wars would be a really good thing, right?
In Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill, The Family Research Council is hosting a Watchman on the Wall National Briefing for pastors to transform America. FRC President Tony Perkins says this is not a political event, but a spiritual one. He’s invited dozens of guest speakers, including Harbinger and Shemitah author Jonathan Cahn, Bishop Larry Jackson (part of Apostle Rick Joyner’s MorningStar TV Network), Word of Faith prosperity preacher Jentezen Franklin, David Barton, Circle Maker author and pastor Mark Batterson, and radio host Dr. Michael Brown. Click on the image for the full list of speakers:
According to David Hutchison, Christians must identify certain behaviors as sinful and we must judge in at least three other senses which includes evaluating the teachings of those who claim to speak in the name of the Lord. He reminds us that “There are contexts in which Christians must judge, but we must judge justly.” Now to his piece over at Theology Matters:
Standing for biblical truth elicits many negative responses from those outside the church as well as from some within. This is not surprising since Jesus told His disciples that they would be hated on account of Him (John 15:18-19, 1 John 3:13). While we may simply shrug this off as part of the reality of life, what is more challenging to navigate is the suggestion that by using the word “sin” for certain activities, we violate Jesus’ command not to judge. In popular sentiment, “do not judge” means that one cannot say any behavior is wrong. This understanding is pervasive, but it is severely flawed.
There are pitfalls of judging that we must avoid, but doing so does not mean we cannot call sin what God has called sin. In fact, if we refuse to do so, we act as God’s judge, claiming that our perspective on the situation trumps His own. Similar to the rejection of God’s testimony in 1 John 1:10 and 5:10, this is tantamount to calling God a liar. We must call sin, sin, but we must also remember that God knows all of the details of the situation. We never will, and we often lack key information. As John 7:24 notes, we must not judge by mere appearances but must make a just judgment. If we wish to do so, we are wise to listen well and listen long, remembering the folly of giving an answer too quickly (Proverbs 18:13).
5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:5-6 (NASB)
Several years ago when I still worked in an office I had a fellow with whom I worked, when he found out that I was a Christian, demand that I listen to his “reasoning” why “everything is relative.” I told him I would listen to him if he could refute the following statement, “Aren’t you making an ‘absolute statement’ when you say, ‘there are no absolutes’?” He chuckled nervously and left my cubicle. I still pray that God will save him. My brethren, the scourge of relativism is a blight within the visible Church. It causes people to flee from the absolute. When truth is seen as relative then in what or whom can anyone have faith and trust? Do we read the words of our Lord in Sacred Scripture ever saying, “Well, it depends?”
“Two-thirds of young people are leaving the church largely because of unanswered questions about the Christian faith.” says Avery Foley of Answers In Genesis. Foley has some good suggestions as to what we can do about this crisis in the visible Church. He writes:
Biblical illiteracy has become an epidemic across America. People, sadly including many professing Christians, simply don’t know what the Bible teaches and often hold to unbiblical or even heretical beliefs. For example, a recent study found that a mere 10% of Americans have a biblical worldview (despite 70% of Americans claiming the label of Christian). And the biblical teachings that the study considered part of a “biblical worldview” were the most basic of biblical beliefs, such as the personhood of the Holy Spirit or the existence of Satan. This study is a sad testament to the state of the American church.
What Can We Do?
What can parents, pastors, and Sunday school teachers do to combat biblical illiteracy? Here are a few ideas for how to instill a biblical worldview in the young people under your influence.
“I actually have a direct line which I can call Him on and get instructions on how to proceed,” claims the man who goes by the name of Pastor Talent. “I got this when I was praying and I heard a voice telling me to call direct.” So now he calls God direct and they chat on the phone. The Citizen has a video of this guy that you won’t want to miss. Here’s the story:
Pastor Paul Sanyangore of Victory World International has claimed to have a direct phone number to heaven, after a video of him talking on the phone during a church service emerged.
In the video, the pastor can be seen holding his cellphone and responding to God’s questions, he claims.
He calls a woman from the crowd, and as she kneels down, he then starts receiving instructions from “heaven”.
“Hello, is this heaven? I have a woman here, what do you have to say about her? Oh … I should ask her who is Sibo,” he asks “heaven”. The woman then responds telling him who the said person is.
Jesse Johnson of The Cripplegate offers eight biblical truths about abortion. He writes:
1. The Bible teaches that a baby in the womb is alive, and is a person whom God is making. Those I know who have had an abortion all say this is the most critical issue for them. If they believed their fetus was a real person which an abortion would murder, then they would not have done it. But they all believed that at that point of development, what was inside of them doesn’t qualify as a person by their arbitrary standard.
First, it is important to note that a fetus is a human life. It is alive, and it is human, so there is really no other way to describe it (here is a graphic and info on a fetus at 12-weeks from a secular website, and it’s obviously a person). At 12 weeks, a baby has arms, fingers, eyes, and toes. He makes fists, faces, and all his organs are working, albeit still developing.
But the Bible says that before that point a fetus is a person. For example, King David declared:
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them (Psalm 139:15–16).
Before ultrasounds, David looked inside the womb and saw God at work. Before his frame was finished, God was at work, making him. God counted David as a person, with his days numbered, before he ever saw daylight.
This truth is not limited to David. Back when God introduced himself to Moses, who wrote the first book of the Bible, God asked: “Who has made man’s mouth? Is it not I?” (Exodus 4:11).
The mouth, by the way, is formed in week 6 of a baby’s life.
1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Philippians 2:1-3 (NASB)
I was not very surprised recently when there arose some resentments against what some label as “Discernment Ministries.” Some of those who are trying to raise the alarm against these ministries are making themselves “former friends” with some of us who actually do the work of warning the flock of Christ about the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the false prophets, the false teachers, et cetera who Paul commanded us in his epistles to expose, for example, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them” from Ephesians 5:11. In any case, those who do this work are also required to do it as unto the Lord with wisdom rooted in maturity in Christ. All of which means that those who are discerning are also mature and Christlike and so should represent His character in how they do this work. The Apostle Paul gave us a good example of Christian character in Philippians 2, which we must have if we are to be discerning and it must also apply to all those who are pastors and elders. Let us be honest. If church leaders followed what Paul taught in his epistles then there would be little if anything for us to do and that would be a good thing indeed.
Boyce College professor Denny Burk has a word of advice for pastors: A wise and courageous pastor will always remember the wisdom of Solomon when exhorting his people: “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Prov.12:18). A good pastor is not going to use his words like a sword but like a scalpel. A sword and a scalpel are both made for cutting. But a sword is for killing. A scalpel is for healing. Even in confrontation, a pastor’s aim is not to deliver the coup de grâce but to heal.
Listen as Denny Burk offers appropriate ways for a pastor to treat family members. He writes:
The venting of the proverbial spleen seems to be the order of the day from cable news to social media and sometimes even in interpersonal interactions. We like to hear someone who agrees with our views “tell it like it is,” especially if the telling involves a few zingers against people whose views offend us. We thrive on this kind of outrage because it appeals to our sense of self-righteous indignation. It feels oh so good to be oh so right. And there’s nothing quite as satisfying as dressing down “those people” who don’t agree with us.
According to Steve King of LifeZette, hacking capabilities cross life-or-death threshold and the government cannot prevent it from happening. He writes:
Setting aside all of the national security issues surrounding the Shadow Brokers leak of the hacking tools developed by the NSA, which have resulted in a series of global cyberattacks in recent weeks, an even larger issue looms.
The distinction between physical and cyberattacks is blurring. Instead of just interrupting personal computers and corporate networks used for accounting and billing, the WannaCry attack targeted hospitals and pharmacies, causing canceled procedures and a massive rescheduling of appointments for medical procedures.
According to Bible expositor Dr. John MacArthur, although Christians are supposed to be growing in Christlikeness, many are not. So Dr. MacArthur lays out the ways in which the believer can eat right and grow spiritually. He writes:
Most of us have known people whose bodies have not grown or matured properly. It’s sad to encounter people with cognitive handicaps, brain damage, or other developmental obstacles that have hindered their growth. Many of them remain locked in a child-like state—others tragically don’t progress even that far.
In a similar way, some Christians remain locked in a perpetual state of spiritual infancy. However, unlike those suffering with mental handicaps, Christians struggling with arrested spiritual development have no one to blame but themselves.
11 And He gave some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some shepherds and teachers 12 for the equipping of the saints to the work of ministry to the building up of the Body of Christ 13 until we all arrive at the unity of the faith and of the fuller knowledge of the Son of God, to complete maturity, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ 14 that we should not longer be infants tossed by waves and carried around by every wind of doctrine by the cunning of men with craftiness leading to the scheming of deception. Ephesians 4:11-14 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
In 1887, Robert Shindler, a fellow pastor and close friend of Charles Spurgeon, wrote in Spurgeon’s publication, The Sword and the Trowel: “It is all too plainly apparent men are willing to forego the old for the sake of the new. But commonly it is found in theology that that which is true is not new, and that which is new is not true.” If we think deeply and honestly on those searing words with all humility and willingness to repent of what God shows us about ourselves, I am certain that each of us must repent of falling for the fallacy of seeking that which is new or different in our theology. If we are honestly seeking the will of God that is both good and right, but if we are looking to have itching ears tickled or are pursuing the subjective or experiential as the means of fulfillment then all we are really doing is falling for some lie and are revealing that we are indeed just infants in the Lord who are being tossed by waves and carried around by every wind of doctrine by the cunning of men with craftiness leading to the scheming of deception. I doubt if any one reading this really wants that.
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26 (NASB)
The Church is in the midst of a Truth War. That is nothing new is it? We have been talking about this for quite some time; however, we must remain diligent while not surrendering the fight over what is Truth and what is not to the enemies of God’s Truth. The reason the visible church is being eaten alive by the world right now is that it has long ago forsaken God’s Word as His infallible Truth. The result is the compromised mess we see all around us now. Why is it that Rick Warren and his followers have such a hold on the visible church? Their paper-thin, worldly theology is geared to be man-pleasing and non-offensive by being sanitized with the removal of those things like the doctrines of the Total Depravity of Man, Justification by Faith, and then there is that bloody cross of Christ and why our Lord deliberately laid down His life there. You will not hear about any of that in those compromised churches because that might offend someone. What about those people comfortable in their religiosity, we couldn’t have them suddenly come under conviction that they are filthy sinners in need of a Saviour and the only way to be Justified by Faith is through that bloody Cross, taking it up and following Jesus Christ as Lord. Oh no we cannot have that, let us sanitize it up and make it easy so people can come to us and be comfortable in their religiosity so our churches can be large and growing.
In a piece entitled “LeClaire spills ink over ‘sneaky squid spirit’ attack?” Churchwatch Central (CWC) begins by telling us that their article will show that Pentecostalism and charismaticism are enemies of each other. CWC points out that the Pentecostal AOG in America condemned the New Order of the Latter Rain, an early charismatic movement, for one of six practices. An excerpt of the minutes of the Twenty-Third General Council is included.
And then they get to the point of their piece: Charisma Magazine senior editor Jennifer LeClaire is guilty of operating under the condemned practice. (CRN has reported on Jennifer LeClaire here.)
So with this background in mind, here’s CWC’s piece:
LEARNING FROM THE LAUGHABLE LECLAIRE
“After this squid spirit attacked my friend, I went to her home to help her battle it. The attack was severe, but when I laid hands on her and commanded the squid to be bound, the most violent symptoms would cease. Of course, when you stand in the gap, you often take a hit. That squid spirit started stalking me. I ended up with a migraine during the battle—a manifestation of that mind control spirit—and was attacked in my mind for days afterwards.”
Is she deceived enough to believe (alongside her NARismatic brethren) that this is a “sneaky squid spirit”? Or is she arrogant enough to think that she, (just like the Sons of Sceva), had the authority over “the squid to be bound.” She was even more deceived to think she could “stand in the gap,” a concept most Christians have of what Christ did on our behalf on Calvary. So her Messiah-like complex is also a major problem when it comes to exorcism. One only needs to read scripture to see what happened with the infamous sons of Sceva who were tricked by a demon to cast out entities by their own authority.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich urges American’s not to surrender to the Left. Following is an excerpt from a recent column he wrote:
We are today in a one-sided cultural civil war. The Left has picked the battlefield and defined the terms of engagement. If conservatives respond to this aggressive, sometimes violent hostility from the Left with confusion, uncertainty, and appeasement, we are guaranteed to lose the struggle to drain the swamp and reform Washington.
Further, surrendering will destroy America as we know it. Far from making America great again, we will have yielded our country to left-wing thugs, liars, and intimidators.
Now to his column:
Republicans, in particular the Trump administration, are approaching a historic decision that will shape America for generations to come.
The endless hostility of the Left, exemplified by violent fascists on college campuses, thugs in the streets, determined disrupters at town hall meetings, and the dishonest elite media are all part of their efforts to defeat the reforms and changes that President Trump was elected to implement.
2 Consider it all joy my brothers whenever you fall into various trials 3 knowing that the testing of your faith works endurance; 4 let endurance work to fulfillment, that you be mature and complete lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
The word joy in my translation is the Greek noun χαρὰν, which is the Accusative, Singular of χαρά or chara, “is an antonym of grief and sorrow. It denotes ‘joy, happiness, and gladness.’” In other words, James, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is telling Christians to not grieve or be sorrowful, but to be glad and full of joy when they “fall into various trials.” The words “you fall” translates the verb περιπέσητε, which is the Aorist tense, Subjunctive mood, and Active voice of περιπίπτω or peripiptō, which is a compound of περί or peri, “properly through (all over), that is, around” and πίπτω or piptō, “fail, fall (down), light on” with the result coming to mean, “to fall into something that is all around, that is, light among or upon, be surrounded with: – fall among (into).” Doesn’t that “figuratively” describe how we so often have found ourselves in the midst of something that seems “overwhelming?” The word trials translates the noun πειρασμοῖς, which is the Dative, Plural of πειρασμός or peirasmos, “refers either to a testing or a temptation to do something wrong.”
According to former transgender Walt Heyer, who says he has a passion to help trans people, “Research about transgender people is biased toward reporting success.” This is because LGBTQ studies “purposefully exclude anything that would reflect badly on their overblown trans agenda,” says Heyer. He writes:
Caitlyn Jenner has perfected the art of cashing in on each step of gender transition. A few short weeks before the release of his new book, Jenner acknowledges the boys are now gone. Adios to his life-long companions in gender reassignment surgery (known as bottom surgery).
Jenner is wealthy and can cash in on celebrity, but a large portion of the transgender population remains lost and unaccounted for. Did they die, detransition, or commit suicide? All we know is the attempted suicide rate for transgender people has remained above 40 percent for many years.
Doctors jam trans kids with puberty blockers and trans adults with cross-gender hormones, then recommend irreversible genital surgery, all without having long-term systematic studies of the effectiveness of such invasive treatment. Parents of trans kids don’t have the benefit of trustworthy information on the probable outcomes of up to 90 percent of gender changers.
Todd Starnes, host of Fox News & Commentary, has the story:
The peacemakers are not allowed to be blessed in Montgomery County, Virginia.
The sheriff was ordered on May 17 to remove decals bearing a portion of a well-known Bible verse from patrol cars.
The decal, which had been posted on vehicles in March, bore the words, “Blessed are the peacemakers…Matthew 5:9.”
“Our intent was, and still is, to honor our fellow brothers and sisters in law enforcement,” Sheriff C.H. Partin wrote in a statement to Fox News.
Kyle Smith begins with this question: If Trump is ‘uniquely’ unfit, his critics should be just fine with ultra-normal Pence, right?
Um…No. Smith lays out what he believes will happen should Vice President Mike Pence become President of the United States. For example, “Pence will be labeled an extremist for being part of the American Christian majority. We’ll be told that Pence’s misogyny is even more outlandish than Trump’s because he declines to have boozy one-on-one dinners with women other than his wife.” In his piece over at National Review, Kyle Smith gives us the lowdown on what the Left has in store for Mike Pence. He writes:
Should Mike Pence become president, the Left will surely lead us in a national chorus of “Whew! Back to normal.” Correct? After all, our friends in the Democratic party have been saying for many months that President Trump is not normal, that he is uniquely unfit for office, that his brand of mendaciousness, volatility, poor character, and immaturity have no precedent in the Oval Office, that he is a Nazi sympathizer and even a fascist, that he is an extremist who exists outside the bounds of ordinary political disagreement.