The offenses of the Gospel

34 Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν· οὐκ ἦλθον βαλεῖν εἰρήνην ἀλλὰ μάχαιραν. (Matthew 10:34 NA28)

34 Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

26 τί γὰρ ὠφεληθήσεται ἄνθρωπος ἐὰν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον κερδήσῃ τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ζημιωθῇ; ἢ τί δώσει ἄνθρωπος ἀντάλλαγμα τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτοῦ; (Matthew 16:26 NA28)

26 For what will be benefited a man if he acquires the whole world, but he forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

If you are an ardent listener to many so-called “Christian” leaders today you may be surprised to learn that the Gospel message is not meant to bring peace to the earth or between people. It is not meant to make your life better or to make this world a better place. No, in fact, the real Gospel message is hated by the world and those so-called “Christian” leaders who never preach it, but, instead, preach a man-pleasing comprised version of it that includes their own “Jesus” not the real Jesus Christ of the Bible. They compromise the message in order to enlarge their ministries and perhaps make more money. However, the Word of God itself tells us the true preaching of the Gospel will always be offensive. Let us look at these “offenses” of the Gospel. View article →

Fear of the Lord, New Testament

Fear of the Lord A reminder from John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire:

“In our day there is very little reverential fear of God, even among believers. We have been caught up in this love attitude, and I don’t think we should lose sight of the fact that God is love. But God is also light, which means He is holy. God is moving in on churches and dealing with Christians as I have never seen Him do before. If you are God’s child, you had better not do as you please. If you think God would mind sending you a little trouble, you are wrong. God is to be feared. Our God is a holy God.” — J. Vernon McGee

Here are New Testament passages dealing with the Fear of the Lord:

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17)

and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ (Ephesians 5:21)

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; (Phil 2:12)

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Cor 7:1)

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase. (Acts 9:31)

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (1 Peter 1:17-19)

AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. (Luke 1:50)

(Source)

Prosecutors File Additional Child Sex Abuse Allegations Against HRC’s Homosexual Co-Founder

Christian News Network reports:

Criminal prosecutors in Oregon filed additional child sex abuse allegations against the co-founder of the prominent homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as they seek to build their case for an upcoming trial scheduled for next month.

As previously reported, Terrance Bean, 66, of the Human Rights Campaign was taken into custody at his home last November by the Portland, Oregon Police Bureau Sex Crimes Unit following an indictment by a Lane County Grand Jury. He was booked at the Multnomah County Jail and released after posting 10 percent of his $50,000 bail.

Bean was charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy, a felony, and one count of third-degree sex abuse, a misdemeanor. The charges stem from an ongoing investigation that involves an alleged sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy, who now has allegedly signed an affidavit stating that he does not want Bean to be prosecuted.

View article →

What it means to be filled by the Holy Spirit

18 καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστιν ἀσωτία, ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, (Ephesians 5:17-18 NA28)

18 And do not become drunk with wine in which is dissipation, but be filled by the Spirit, (Ephesians 5:18 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

What does it mean for a Christian to be “filled” by the Holy Spirit? In my translation above the preposition “by” renders the Greek word ἐν (en), “in, with, by, among, at, on, when, to, as, for, through, while, within, of, about, into, because, during, throughout, before, under.” Why did I render it as “by” instead of “with?” As Louis Sperry Chafer said, “It is not a matter of acquiring more of the Spirit, but rather of the Spirit of God acquiring all of the individual.”1 The believer who is Spirit-filled is influenced by the Spirit and nothing else while those who are not, are more influenced by the temporal. To be filled by the Spirit is to have our thoughts, desires, values, motives, goals, priorities, and all else set on spiritual things and spiritual growth.  View article →

The danger of a Complacent Majority

Following is an opinion piece by Robert Knight, columnist for the Washington Times. Knight challenges conservatives to continue fighting the culture war against the secular left. Professing Christians, he says, must share the gospel as well as become involved in public policy. In other words, continuing to stand firm against evil is imperative. Knight writes:

With all the calls to conservatives to give up on the culture, the only thing lacking is a drone-riding witch over the Statue of Liberty skywriting “Surrender Dorothy.”

Right on cue following the Supreme Court’s demolition of marriage, The New York Times’ housebroken conservative David Brooks said it’s time to move on and leave cultural political issues in the dust.

First, he accurately diagnosed the situation: “More and more Christians feel estranged from mainstream culture. They fear they will soon be treated as social pariahs, the moral equivalent of segregationists because of their adherence to scriptural teaching on gay marriage. They fear their colleges will be decertified, their religious institutions will lose their tax-exempt status, their religious liberty will come under greater assault.”

Indeed.

View article →

The Cell Church

Over twenty years ago Sarah Leslie of Discernment Ministries began doing research on the early stages of the New Apostolic Reformation which was being launched by C. Peter Wagner. In her research she covered what she refers to as the networking hierarchical cell church structure. In this piece she tells us exactly what this all means. This is not the local church, says Sarah, “This is also the structure of a city-wide church (ecumenical) as envisioned and described by the cell church architects. It is also the structure of the multi-site church of Leadership Network.” Before we continue, those of you who are unfamiliar with Leadership Network (LN) should know that this group is the foremost training agency for Christian leaders. LN has trained a generation of “change agent” pastors. That’s right. Change agent pastors. That’s why it’s extremely important for the discerning Christian to discover who LR’s leaders are, the people they’ve trained, and the purpose of their training. Speaking of “purpose” one pastor who went through LN’s training is none other than the Purpose Driven Pope, Rick Warren.

Back to what Sarah was saying: “It would become the model for C. Peter Wagner’s hierarchies — now called the 7 mountains (quite literally a pyramid marketing structure) for apostolic dominion.”

What this is about is transforming the Church through an army of modern day prophets and apostles. These people are highly organized — and they mean business.

Much has changed since Sara started her research twenty-five years ago:

For example, we weren’t sure if we were looking at a multi-headed hydra or a one-headed octopus. The downline networks that were forming in Christendom seemed to be independent of one another, yet there was an ongoing call for unity. It seemed destined to culminate in a one-world church. … For example, the false prophets of the NAR had been calling for a merging of streams into rivers for several decades.

It is now quite obvious that the downline networking model functions by stealth, superimposing its own structure on top of an existing model (such as denominations), until it sucks the old life out of it and ends up totally controlling it. Parachurch organizations such as Leadership Network, trained pastors and leaders across a global spectrum in this new model of church governance. The excessive evangelical fascination with leadership has given rise to cult-like status for its superstars and created lockstep blind followers. (emphasis added)

We hope you’ll visit Herescope to read Sarah Leslie’s informative and fascinating piece. She has provided the reader with a number of charts and graphs. (Link)

Baptist Scholar Says Mormonism Is Evolving Towards Christianity With “Biblical,” Views of “Christ and Salvation”

Angel MoroniProphecy News Watch informs us that Roger Olson, theology professor at Baylor University, believes there has been a shift in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) that could one day lead to the LDS being viewed as a Christian denomination. For that to happen a great deal would have to change. For starters their President and governing body, known as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, would have to admit that they’ve been dead wrong on what they believe about God…Jesus Christ…and the Holy Spirit. Moreover they’d have to embrace the essential doctrine of the Trinity held by historic, orthodox Christianity — that there is one God who exists as three separate and distinct persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The LDS teaches that the trinity is three separate gods: The Father, the Son and the Holly Ghost. This view is unbiblical.

And of course the LDS Church hierarchy would have to admit that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, and then they’d have to apologize for leading millions of Mormons down the path that leads to destruction. View article →

Be sure to check out CRN’s research paper on Mormonism.

Death and life

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 2:1-2 NASB

I spent the week in Denver at our corporate headquarters for a project kickoff in which I will be the Database Administrator. The day before my flight back home my wife texted me that a good friend of ours who was suffering from brain cancer had died. He had been in hospice care for several weeks. He was a godly man. His battle with cancer lasted about a year. We attended his funeral today. My brethren, it is not a tragic thing to be there for the family at the funeral of their lost loved one when that loved one was a solid Christian leader like my friend. Yes, we all wept as we witnessed the hurt in his wife, children and other family members and close friends. However, as some of them shared how his life had impacted them to draw them into a closer walk with the Lord, well, I wept with them all over again. View article →

Dems declare war on words “husband,” “wife”

The Washington Examiner reports:

More than two dozen Democrats have proposed legislation that would eliminate the words “husband” and “wife” from federal law.

Those “gendered terms” would be replaced by “gender-neutral” words like “spouse” or “married couple,” according to the bill from Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif.

“The Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act recognizes that the words in our laws have meaning and can continue to reflect prejudice and discrimination even when rendered null by our highest courts,” Capps said. “Our values as a country are reflected in our laws. I authored this bill because it is imperative that our federal code reflect the equality of all marriages.”

View article →

Not over? Alabama Supreme Court should reject marriage decision, legal group says

According to ChristianExaminer:

A prominent legal organization has filed a 36-page brief urging the Alabama Supreme Court to reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision, saying the ruling was an “assault” on the rule of law and natural law and that it defied the very words in the Declaration of Independence.

Further, the new brief says, there is major precedent in the nation’s history for a state court to ignore a U.S. Supreme Court decision when it is “unlawful.”

The brief was filed by Liberty Counsel, which is headed by an attorney – Mat Staver – who has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“There is existing precedent for a state’s highest court to reject an unlawful mandate from the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

“The hope of our Constitutional Republic rests upon state officials and American citizens who will refuse to allow five, black-robed judges to rob us of our free, representative form of government. A judicial opinion without constitutional basis is not law and should not be followed by any state or citizen.”

View article →

Baylor University Drops Ban on Homosexual Acts

Christian Headlines reports that so-called Christian university, Baylor, bows to political correctness:

Baylor University, the world’s largest Baptist college, has lifted its ban on “homosexual acts” in the school’s sexual conduct policy.

“These changes were made because we didn’t believe the language reflected Baylor’s caring community,” spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said in an email to the Houston Chronicle.

Students, alumni and others had appealed for years to the private Texas-based university to drop the ban on gay sex, according to the Houston Chron.

Under the new policy, which was approved by Baylor’s board in May, the university will be guided by “the biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God.” Sex “is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity.”

View article →

YouTube Reinstates Ray Comfort’s “Audacity” Trailer

Christian Headlines reports:

When the trailer for “Audacity,” Ray Comfort’s new movie on homosexuality, was removed from YouTube over the weekend, he suspected foul play.

“The trailer had been removed ‘as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content,'” said Comfort. “But since we found nothing in it that fit that description, we naturally concluded that YouTube didn’t like the content and yanked it.”

In attempting to get the trailer back online, however, Comfort did receive an explanation.

View article →

What is the evidence of being a genuine disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ?

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond- servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:3-13 NASB

Several years ago, about 18 months after I was saved, I heard a wonderful lesson at a men’s retreat on Matthew 5:1-12. My Bible knowledge at that time was spotty. I had heard of The Beatitudes, but really hadn’t studied them. I had actually heard others teach that these statements are not possible for Christians until Jesus comes in His glory. I also heard that this is what Christians will be like during the “Millennium.” Both of these teachings came out of another teaching that said that there were two types of Christians, Disciples and Carnal Christians. At that time, being such a new believer, I thought that was Biblical. I look back on that period of time now and can see clearly why God moved me away from that church and denomination. View article →

Group Launches National Effort to Abolish Religious Freedom Laws Protecting People of Faith

Christian News Network reports:

A prominent church-state separation group led by an ordained United Church of Christ minister has launched a national effort to fight religious freedom laws that seek to provide conscience protections for people of faith.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) announced its “Protect Thy Neighbor” campaign on Tuesday to combat religious liberty for those who desire to opt-out from scenarios that would require them to facilitate abortion or same-sex “marriage.”

“[We have] unveiled an aggressive, multi-pronged initiative to fight the growing idea that ‘religious freedom’ gives people a right to thwart marriage equality for LGBT Americans, deny women access to reproductive care and use taxpayer dollars to discriminate,” it wrote in a press release.

View article →

What is genuine humility?

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others Philippians 2:3-4 NASB

Our pride is insidious. When we are convicted of our prideful behaviour or thoughts it takes cover and transforms itself into false humility. We take pride in our humility or our service or our devotion. Pride is idolatry of self. When we are not humble our pride actually displaces God with self as our center. Christians are not immune from it. View article →

Artist Don Francisco berates Christians for believing the Bible is true

Berean Research reports:

How does one believe in the Gospel without believing that Scripture is 100 percent truth? That it is our sufficient authority, and God’s own inerrant, infallible, breathed-out Word? How do you easily convince thousands of fans that those Christians who believe such things are somehow idol worshipers? Talk about a heart-breaker. An extremely influential Christian celebrity has not only departed from Christian doctrine, he is arrogantly throwing other Christians under the bus for believing (gasp) that the Bible is true.

View article →

YouTube Removes “Audacity” Trailer

Christian Headlines reports:

The trailer for “Audacity,” a film addressing homosexuality by Evangelist Ray Comfort, has been removed from YouTube. The Blaze reports that the video site removed the trailer after it had been viewed 130,000 times.

In place of the trailer, a message appears on YouTube that reads, “This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.”

Comfort, who is famous for sharing scripture with strangers on the street, believes that the trailer was taken down because it suggests that no one is born a homosexual.

He said, “The foundation for the gay argument is that homosexuals (like people of color) are born that way, and like someone’s race, should never be discriminated against. The trailer shows a number of people changing their minds about homosexuals being born that way because I asked them two simple questions. It’s pretty unnerving for the ‘I can’t help being gay argument,’ and so they decided to censor us. Or to put it another way, they discriminated against us because of our religion.”

View article →

Homosexual Advocate Wants Christian Chaplains Who Oppose Homosexuality Ousted from Military

According to Christian News Network:

A homosexual advocate who works as an activist to fight against Christianity in the military is calling for Christian chaplains who oppose homosexuality to get out of the Armed Forces following last month’s Supreme Court ruling surrounding same-sex “marriage.”

Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) posted an op-ed on the Daily Kos website following the high court ruling, entitled “MRFF Demands Ouster of All Homophobic Military Chaplains.” Weinstein noted that the crux of this organization is “fighting the scourge of fundamentalist Christian extremism” and spoke about this goal in light of the Supreme Court decision.

View article →

A prayer of praise of God and reflection of the Christian’s relationship with Him

GOD AND MYSELF

LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, Thy understanding is unsearchable and infinite, Thy arm cannot be stayed, Thy agency extends through limitless space, All works hang on thy care, With thee time is a present now.

Holy is  thy wisdom, power, mercy, ways, works, How can I stand before thee with my numberless and aggravated offences?

I have often loved darkness, observed lying vanities, forsaken thy given mercies, trampled underfoot thy beloved Son, mocked thy providences, flattered thee with my lips, broken thy covenant.

It is of thy compassion that I am not consumed. Lead me to repentance, and save me from despair; Let me come to thee renouncing, condemning, loathing myself, but hoping in the grace that flows even to the chief of sinners.

At the cross may I contemplate the evil of sin, abhor it, look on him whom I pierced, as one slain from me, and by me.

May I never despise his death by fearing its efficacy for my salvation.

And whatever cross I am required to bear, let me see him carrying a heavier.

Teach me in health to think of sickness, in the brightest hours to be ready for darkness; in life prepare me for death.

Thus may my soul rest in thee, O immortal and transcendent one, revealed as thou art in the Person and work of thy Son, the friend of sinners.

From The Valley of Vision – A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur Bennett

Rick Warren Preaching Heresy at Hillsong 2015 Conference

Rick WarrenOver at Pulpit & Pen Jeff Maples alerts us to yet another of Rick Warren’s biblical blunders. The question is, why would a Southern Baptist preacher agree to travel to Australia to speak at an event put on by Hillsong Church, when its leaders, Brian and his co-pastor wife Bobbie Houston, have been criticized for their heretical Word Faith teaching?

According to Maples:

At the Hillsong 2015 Conference in Sydney, Australia, where Rick Warren shared a stage with other heretics such as Joseph Prince, Warren teaches that he receives extra-biblical revelations through subconscious dreams. The theme of the Word of Faith conference that Rick is speaking at is “Speak Lord, I’m listening.” This is fitting since all of the speakers at this conference are heretical preachers that claim extra-biblical revelation from God.

He starts out by twisting Exodus 4:3 regarding Moses’ encounter with God, and God commanding Moses to throw down his staff while God miraculously turns it into a serpent, and then pick it back. He says that this passage represents that Christians today need to throw down their income and identity and let God do something miraculously with it. He says:

Hearing the voice of God starts with a willingness to give up his identity, his income, and his influence, for the global Glory of God. When you do that, you are now in a position to hear God speak.

View article →

Related Word Faith Preacher Brian Houston of Hillsong Australia Speaking at Saddleback Church By Ken Silva

Oregon silences bakers who refused to make cake for gay wedding

Todd Starnes, host of Fox News and Commentary, once predicted that when gay marriage was legalized, LGBTQIA supports would attempt to silence all dissent. Well, the rainbow dust hasn’t settled yet and the powerful homosexual lobby is moving full throttle to achieve their goals, one of which is to silence anyone who speaks for God. What they don’t realize–yet–is that God always wins. According to Starnes:

the state ordered owners Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple they turned away in 2013.

The state also slapped a gag order on the evangelical Christian bakers – banning them from speaking publicly about their refusal to participate in or bake wedding cakes for same-sex unions.

View article →

Are you a member of the HFIB club?

              Marsha West

Marsha West

Many Bible believing Christians are members of the HFIB club. The acronym stands for hate, fear, ignorance and bigotry. To be inducted into HFIB all one has to do is oppose homosexual “marriage” or—gasp!—proclaim that homosexuality is a sin against a holy God.

For example, talk show host Montel Williams labeled social conservatives hateful bigots for disagreeing with the High Court’s broad interpretation of the U.S. Constitution regarding same-sex “marriage.” Montel has chosen sides, it seems – he’s taken the side of the totalitarian and intolerant left.

In a piece by ChristianExaminer columnist Michael Foust entitled Talk show host Montel Williams compares gay marriage opponents to ISIS, Taliban,Foust writes:

Williams made the comments Friday, hours after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. On Facebook he criticized those on the “uber-right,” which apparently is a synonym for most if not all social conservatives. In the same context he referenced Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. Williams said that “hate, ignorance, fear and bigotry” had lost when the Supreme Court handed down its decision.

“In its typical fashion, the uber-right that so many of us on the center right find to be akin to the American version of ‪#‎ISIS or the Taliban, frezilly predicted the end of the world, including several members of Congress, who with all the style and hyperbole of an ISIS recruiting video, yes, let’s start with Louie Gohmert, proved they lacked the mental fortitude and emotional stability to hold elected office.

“Some members of this, the American Taliban known as the far-right, even threatened to move to Canada without realizing GAY MARRIAGE HAS BEEN LEGAL THERE FOR IONS. Frankly, I’d be happy to see them go, I just think it would be akin to an act of war to dump the uber-right on another country, sort of like dumping radioactive waste on a neighbor’s yard.” Some of his fans were miffed by his remarks. One fan wrote: “Montel — the Taliban would whack the heads off of you and all gays. You have disgraced yourself in saying that any American who disagrees with YOUR opinion is the Taliban or ISIS.”

Good point. There are pictures circulating on the Internet of ISIS thugs in Raqqa throwing a man accused of being gay off a building while a crowd of people watched the atrocity. Many of them climbed buildings to get a better look.

Fouts also fills us in on Montel’s tantrum on Twitter:

View article →

Entire Staff of Tennessee County Clerk’s Office Resigns Over Supreme Court ‘Gay Marriage’ Ruling

Christian News Network reports:

The entire staff of a county clerk’s office in Tennessee has resigned following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling declaring that all 50 states must legalize same-sex “marriage.”

Three women who work at the Decatur County office announced their resignations this past week, which will be effective July 14. Clerk Gwen Pope, and employees Sharon Bell and Mickey Butler all have decided to leave their jobs because of their Christian convictions.

“It’s kind of sort of like you don’t want to draw attention to yourself for any reason,” Pope told local television station WBIR, stating that she never sought press over the matter. “That’s not why we’re doing this. Not doing it in any way to draw attention to us. It’s for the glory of God. He’s going to get all the glory.”

View article →