About Marsha West

Marsha West is the owner and managing editor of Christian Research Network, Apprising Ministries (the late Ken Silva's blog) and On Solid Rock Resources. Marsha is also co-founder of Berean Research. For two decades she was the owner and managing editor of Email Brigade website as well as the EMB News Report, a bi-weekly email report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a regular contributor for several blogs including CRN, RenewAmerica, News With Views, and Web Commentary. Her articles have been translated into many languages and distributed worldwide. Visit Marsha's other sites: http://onsolidrockresources.com http://bereanresearch.com http://apprising.org

Remembering our fallen soldiers

On this Memorial Day we want to say how thankful we are to those who serve in the armed forces and their families.  It is a time to honor and recognize the sacrifice of our fallen soldiers. To the men and women still serving, it is because of you that we sleep soundly at night.  Be safe and God bless you!

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” ~ George Washington

TULIP and Reformed Theology: Perseverance of the Saints

Writing to the Philippians, Paul says, “He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it to the end” (Phil. 1:6). Therein is the promise of God that what He starts in our souls, He intends to finish. So the old axiom in Reformed theology about the perseverance of the saints is this: If you have it—that is, if you have genuine faith and are in a state of saving grace—you will never lose it. If you lose it, you never had it.

We know that many people make professions of faith, then turn away and repudiate or recant those professions. The Apostle John notes that there were those who left the company of the disciples, and he says of them, “Those who went out from us were never really with us” (1 John 2:19). Of course, they were with the disciples in terms of outward appearances before they departed. They had made an outward profession of faith, and Jesus makes it clear that it is possible for a person to do this even when he doesn’t possess what he’s professing. Jesus says, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me” (Matt. 15:8). Jesus even warns at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that at the last day, many will come to Him, saying: “Lord, Lord, didn’t we do this in your name? Didn’t we do that in your name?” He will send them away, saying: “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). He will not say: “I knew you for a season and then you went sour and betrayed Me. No, you never were part of My invisible church.” The whole purpose of God’s election is to bring His people safely to heaven; therefore, what He starts He promises to finish. He not only initiates the Christian life, but the Holy Spirit is with us as the sanctifier, the convictor, and the helper to ensure our preservation.  View article →

Patriots To Sponsor LGBT ‘Gay Bowl’

According to Touchdown Wire:

The stick to sports crowd usually targets players or media personalities. Now they may have to say it to an entire organization. This weekend the Patriots announced they will sponsor the 2017 Gay Bowl, which is a national championship flag football built with teams from the LGBT community. This is a statement of inclusion by the Patriots, but won’t get to the level of other social stands such as Colin Kaepernick.

The NFL hasn’t been at the forefront of social causes like the NBA. The NFL said it didn’t support the bathroom law in North Carolina, but didn’t move its owners’ meetings there. They only threatened to move it. The NBA, in contrast, cancelled an All-Star Game there. NFL players have dealt with backlash over their protests bringing attention to issues of race. NBA players have worn “I Can’t Breate” shirts and have addressed race equality movements multiple times.

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Liberals Focus on ‘Islamophobia’ While Egyptian Orthodox Are Killed

According to Edmund Kozak of LifeZette, 28 Egyptian Orthodox were murdered in Egypt’s Minya province in the latest string of attacks on Egypt’s Coptic community. “Earlier this month, a Christian man was shot to death by ISIS members in Arish, Egypt,” reports Kozak. “In April, more than 45 people were killed and over 130 injured when bombs exploded at two Coptic churches in Egypt. In December of last year, another church bombing killed nearly 30 people and injured nearly 50 others.” Now to Kozak’s story:

The latest assault came the very day following an appeal from the Knights of Columbus for donations to aid Iraq’s persecuted Christian community. Iraq’s Christian community has been devastated by ISIS. The country’s Christian population — which was estimated to number 1.5 million in 2003 — now stands at around 200,0000, according to the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil.

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The Christian Knows What Jesus Says On The Issue Of Homosexuality

Apprising Ministries has a piece by Pastor Ken Silva that was penned in early 2013 where he handles the homosexual debate in a biblical and uncompromising manner. Ken offers encouragement and reminds us that “our job as ambassadors of God in Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20) is to faithfully proclaim what the Lord has said in His inerrant and infallible Word in Scripture.” Now to his article:

Apprising Ministries continues to warn you that there’s a very dark and deviant same sex storm, which is reaching hurricane force and is now only just slightly off the coast of the mainstream evangelical community.

If you need any further convincing of the power of the pro-homosexual lobby consider the recently concluded presidential inauguration where a decades old sermon snippet from ostensibly evangelical Louie Giglio surfaced.

Though I’m no fan of Giglio, in that sermon he rightly called the deviant lifestyle of sexual relations with members of the same sex, i.e. homosexuality, sin. It’s always sexual union outside marriage, which is sexual immorality.

Immediately upon this sermon surfacing Giglio was no longer welcome to give the benediction for Obama’s inauguration. Sadly, Louie Giglio missed the opportunity to bring the hypocrisy of Barack Obama et al to light.

Pastor Giglio should have said: “Go ahead; do whatever you want to me publicly.” That would’ve brought liberals into the open and he could’ve then preached the real Gospel, which would’ve been headlines in the secular news.

Instead he chose to cower under the threat of enemy fire and acquiesce to them as I previously covered in Louie Giglio Is No Hero To Be Admired. The bottom line in this matter with Obama and Giglio is really pretty simple.

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Are Christian Ministries ‘Hate Groups’ for Believing the Bible?

“Are groups who declare homosexual behavior and transgenderism sinful (based on the clear teaching of Scripture) “hate groups?” asks Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis. “Well, The Eliminate Hate Campaign (EHC), a new coalition in America made up of liberal, LGBTQ organizations, certainly thinks so. They’ve formed to “label socially conservative organizations that oppose transgender rights as hate groups” and “to draw attention to groups it sees as extreme and hateful against . . . LGBT people.”

So watch out, Christian, because you’re being targeted.  Here’s Ken’s piece:

“Hate Group”—An Arbitrary Designation

Of course, this immediately raises the question, “Who gets to decide what is extreme, hateful, or a hate group?” The EHC has arbitrarily made itself the authority by saying that anyone who doesn’t agree with them is a hate group.

This ignores the obvious fact that many liberals and liberal organizations frequently spew hateful, demeaning, profanity-laced language toward those who disagree with them. (Just view some of the comments on my Facebook and Twitter, and you’ll quickly see what I mean!) Why are they not considered hate groups? It’s arbitrary to designate groups that stand against sinful behavior as “hate groups,” and it’s based on nothing but the coalition’s own values and beliefs. Ultimately it’s a symptom of the spiritual battle raging around us, because those who are “dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1) do all they can to “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).

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When Unbelief Is Right

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit. (1 John 4:1a)

It is quite true that a mark of maturity is unbelief as well as belief. It is as important that you do not believe certain things as it is that you do believe others. John indicates that this is a widespread problem. Many false prophets, he says, have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1a). In Matthew’s gospel, the Lord Jesus warned of this: Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves (Matthew 7:15). Here we have underlined for us the fact that we live in a world of deceit, and we are greatly pressured to conform to these things.

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Democrats Hit Rock Bottom with Montana Loss

LifeZette reports:

After losing their second straight congressional election in 2017 and failing to win a runoff in a third, Democrats appear to be in complete disarray.

Republican Greg Gianforte, a Bozeman, Montana, businessman who allegedly assaulted a reporter the night before the Thursday election, easily dispatched his Democratic candidate, Rob Quist.

The seat became open when Rep. Ryan Zinke left to become President Donald Trump’s secretary of the Interior Department. An open seat in Kansas also went to Republicans in a race the media were eager to say was close. So far, electoral fallout from Trump’s presidency has been non-existent.

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Fighting the Politicized, Evidence-Free ‘Collusion with Russia’ Narrative

According to Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review, the ‘Russian collusion’ scandal is completely manufactured. No question that the Russians hoped to influence the election outcome but no one can say whether they actually did, including former CIA director John Brennan who recently answered a slew of questions before the House Intelligence Committee. The end result? “After all this time and effort, Democrats are unable to show that Trump and his minions did anything wrong,” says former assistant U.S. attorney McCarthy. In a column he penned, he makes the case that there is not a smidgen of evidence that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians.  There is collusion, though — between the liberal media and the Democrats. More from McCarthy:

If police believe bank robbers were hoping for inside help on a heist, they don’t hold a press conference to smear the bank manager with their suspicions about “collusion.” They go about the quiet police work of building a conspiracy case. Unless and until they find concrete evidence and are ready to file formal charges, they keep their big mouths shut. Those rudimentary rules of the road are worth remembering when we consider the transparently political testimony of former Obama-administration CIA director John Brennan before the House intelligence committee on Tuesday.

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Planned Parenthood executives joke about decapitating fetuses in new video

Bradford Richardson of Washington Times has the story:

Photo credit: Godspeak Calvary Chapel

Planned Parenthood executives joked about decapitated fetuses, admitted to altering abortion procedures to preserve fetal organs and said clinics have a financial incentive to sell human tissue in a new undercover video released Thursday.

The three-minute video was recorded at an annual National Abortion Federation meeting by pro-life investigators with the Center for Medical Progress. The advocacy group said it’s just a preview of never-before-seen content that has been sealed for almost two years due to legal fights.

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How deep and wide does the NAR rabbit hole go?

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.)

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Salman Abedi: How Manchester attacker turned from cannabis-smoking dropout to Isis suicide bomber

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.

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Feeding Sheep Or Amusing Goats

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.

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Who are Family Research Council’s ‘Watchmen on the Wall’?

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:

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Don’t Judge Me!

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.[1]

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).

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‘We Can Use Peace’: Trump and Pope Francis Meet

News Max reports:

Photo credit CNBC.com

President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.

Trump, midway through a grueling nine-day, maiden international journey, called upon the pontiff in a private, 30-minute meeting laden with religious symbolism and ancient protocol. The president, accompanied by his wife and several aides, arrived at the Vatican just after 8 a.m. local time. The president greeted Francis in Sala del Tronetto, the room of the little throne, on the second floor of Apostolic Palace.

Upon completing their meeting, the pope gave the president a medal featuring an olive branch, a symbol of peace, among other gifts.

“We can use peace,” the president responded.

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How to Combat Biblical Illiteracy in the Church

“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.

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Pastor talks to ‘God’ on the phone during church service

“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.

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What does the Bible teach about abortion?

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.

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Pastors, don’t be a jerk. Be a shepherd.

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.

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Americans Now Defenseless, Exposed to Lethal Cyberattacks

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.

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Watching Your Spiritual Diet

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.

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Piers Morgan Stirs Controversy for Asking ‘Non-Binary’ Couple If He Could Identify as Black Woman, Elephant

Christian News reports:

Talk show host Piers Morgan is under fire for asking a couple who say they identify neither as male or female if he could identify as a black woman or an elephant.

“Can I be an elephant? Can I literally say I’m now an elephant and do I get afforded elephant rights?” he inquired on Friday’s broadcast of “Good Morning Britain.” “Can I go to London Zoo and demand to be put in an elephant compound because I have decided I’m an elephant?”

During the conversation with the couple who go by the names “Fox and Owl,” Fox explained that she was born a female, but later decided to present herself as male, and now doesn’t want to self-identify as either sex. She said that while her “gender expression” is male, her “gender identity” is non-binary.

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The extreme teaching of Jennifer LeClaire

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.

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Surrender or fight – our country is at stake

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.

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