The Lord knows those who are His!

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18, ESV

My father-in-law went on to be with the Lord several years ago, but during World War II he was a U.S. Navy Pharmist Mate. In today’s Navy, they are called Corpsmen. These are the medics who hit the beach or land in the choppers with the Marines or Navy Seals when they go into real combat. My father-in-law hit the beach with the U.S. Marines in the Pacific on the Island of Okinawa not long after they had gone through the holocaust of Iwo Jima. He was about 20 years old at the time. He hit the beach as a boy and left that island at the end of the battle with a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He rarely talked about it. I asked him to describe the battle in which he won the Bronze Star. He had volunteered to go in under fire to treat several wounded Marines then wait for a tank to come in as the means to take them out. That was where he earned that Bronze Star and the second of his Purple Hearts. He had already been wounded before he volunteered. He described the combat as men falling all around him.

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Ian Thorpe and mindless political correctness

After years of denial, Australian five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe admitted during an interview that he’s “gay.” And of course the media, celebs and activists applauded the swimmer for his so-called bravery. Author and Christian apologist Bill Muehlenberg takes to task those who deliberately cover up the truth about what he calls the “high-risk deathstyle” of men who have sex with men. “The only ones who are brave today,” Muehlenberg points out, “are those who dare to resist the homosexual juggernaut. They are the new pariahs and scorned outcasts in the West, and they will be treated savagely and with ugly fury by the militants and their fawning supporters in the media.”

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Women bishops approved by Church of England

Sky News writes:

The Church of England has voted to allow women bishops for first time in its history.

The decision, taken by the General Synod in York, reverses a previous rejection in 2012.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said: “Today is the completion of what was begun over 20 years ago with the ordination of women as priests.

“I am delighted with today’s result. Today marks the start of a great adventure.”

The issue over whether women should be allowed to become bishops has caused internal division since the Synod approved female priests in 1992.

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Pope Francis: ‘about 2%’ of Catholic clergy paedophiles

The BBC reports:

Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that reliable data indicates that “about 2%” of clergy in the Catholic Church are paedophiles.

The Pope said that abuse of children was like “leprosy” infecting the Church, according to the Italian La Repubblica newspaper.

He vowed to “confront it with the severity it demands”.

But a Vatican spokesman said the quotes in the newspaper did not correspond to Pope Francis’s exact words.

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Our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Romans 6:6–7, KJV

Romans 6:6 clearly shows us that true believers become holy in Christ. However, there is confusion because many do not look correctly at the Greek verb tenses in this passage. If they simply read it in English or some other translation it is easy to not see that the all the verb tenses here are past tenses (aorist or perfect). What this means is that every verb tense here that refers to our identification with Christ in His death refers to it being completed in the past. Romans 6:6, therefore, says  ὁ παλαιὸς ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος συνεσταυρώθη or “the old of us man was crucified together” way back when Christ died and that it was completed then and there. What it does not say is that we must each morning get up and “crucify ourselves again to sin.” Instead, it says that by God’s judicial act, not by our experiential effort, the old man was “crucified” and therefore “destroyed.”

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If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me

The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:11–13, ESV

God’s ways are amazing to me. If you go back to the earliest posts on this blog you will find a group of people commenting at that time in very fundamentally sound and edifying ways. It was a very spiritually exciting time for me. When the enemy would attack, everyone would come to the battle armored up and things got interesting.

However, through many of those “encounters” it became apparent that God was doing something through them. He was revealing to us the costliness of following Jesus. During those times I lost friendships and even had some family members distance themselves from me. This is is notwithstanding the outright hostility I and many of my friends have experienced from those who view our obedience to God as legalism. Their view is that relationships take priority over obedience to God.

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The Vatican taps French financier to head its bank in wake of 97% drop in profit

According to the Financial Post:

Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, the former head of Invesco Ltd.’s European business, was named president of the Vatican Bank as Pope Francis continues his reorganization of the Catholic Church’s scandal-tainted financial operations.

Franssu replaces Ernst von Freyberg, who was appointed by Francis’s predecessor, Benedict XVI, at the head of the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, as the bank is known.

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Christian bakery in Ireland may face legal action for refusing to bake ‘gay’ Bert and Ernie cake

According to Christian News Network:

A Christian bakery in Northern Ireland may face legal action after it recently refused to bake a Bert and Ernie cake bearing the phrase “Support gay marriage.”

In May of this year, Ashers Baking Company in Newtonabbey—founded by Christians and named after Genesis 49:20—was approached by a same-sex “marriage” supporter to bake the cake, which also was to feature the logo for the homosexual advocacy group QueerSpace. According to the Belfast Telegraph, the cake was for an event in observance of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

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As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will Ephesians 1:3–5, ESV

For what reason did the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ chose (elect) all in Christ before the foundation of world? It was that they would be holy (ἁγίους) and blameless (ἀμώμους) before him. The Puritans have always been accused of being legalistic and way too concerned about Christians living holy and blameless lives.

I heard a Jeopardy clue not long ago that actually defined this aspect of them as being “harsh” and “stern.” Is it an unreasonable thing to command that believers conform their lives unto holy living and be separate from the world and its ways?

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Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:11–15, ESV

At least once every few weeks I encounter a “brother” or “sister” in the Lord whose “ministry” seems to be to generate as much hatred as possible within the visible Church for some other Christian or group of Christians. While I do discernment in this ministry and do point out to you those whose Christian disingenuousness is continually being revealed to us by their fruit,

I find it very disturbing when some rise up with something they call “discernment” that leads many to attack the very ones who are ministering before the Lord to actually feed His sheep the pure milk from His Word.

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The unending judgment of Hell

“And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.” Isaiah 66:24, ESV

Those who espouse Christian Universalism as the true model of God’s Redemption plan for man, must ignore most of Sacred Scripture as well as misinterpret their so-called “proof texts” in order to make their suppositions. The Bible makes it very clear that all Universalist teachings are heretical.

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Pope begs for forgiveness at meeting with Catholics sexually abused by clergy

According to an AP report posted by Fox News:

Pope Francis begged forgiveness Monday from the victims of clergy sex abuse as he held his first meeting with several abuse survivors – but another victim called the gathering nothing more than “a PR event.”

The Vatican quoted Francis as expressing personal “sorrow” in his homily at a private Mass with six victims for the “sins and grave crimes” of clerical sex abuse against them.

Francis pledged “not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not,” and promised that bishops “will be held accountable.”

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Unbelief leads to deception

And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:53–58, ESV

As we continue to look at the evidence of God sending out a strong delusion upon professing Christians who appear to be running headlong into apostasy in ever increasing numbers let us look at what it is in these people that has brought this about. Why have they fallen into darkness and we have not? I have always taught God’s Word as literal truth and there are many places in the Word that some professing Christians have a problem taking literally because, if we do, then it refutes their pet theology exactly to the point. That is the nature of God’s truth. I have had some very ugly discussions in Bible Study classes about doctrine in which certain people were insistent that a section of God’s Word cannot be taken literally even though the only refutation they have against doing so is human philosophy. This, my brethren, is unbelief in action.

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Chilling implications? Largest bank asks workers if they support homosexuality

According to Christian News Network:

The largest bank in the United States now allegedly requires its employees to state whether or not they are supporters of the homosexual lifestyle.

JPMorgan Chase, headquartered in New York City, is the United States’ largest bank, with total assets of over $2.5 trillion. The bank has overtly supported homosexuality for several years, appearing in several “gay pride” events and even offering a number of special benefits to bank employees who identify as “LGBT.”

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Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:1–4, ESV

I am sure when our Lord told His disciples on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 5:14–16), “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven…”, that there were some who were getting the idea that the way of our Lord was some form of works righteousness that was at a higher, but better level than that of the Scribes and Pharisees who were all about legalism.

Some today still have that idea. However, He followed that statement with this one in vv 17-20:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

So, what was our Lord teaching here? He wasn’t teaching us to follow legalism, that is, that our righteousness is somehow obtained by a strict adherence to the Law of Moses was He? Paul was very clear in the book of Galatians that no one ever obtained the righteousness of God that way.

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Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness

I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. 1 Timothy 3:14–16, ESV

The best place for a Christian to be is at the Cross, before the Saviour, in complete agreement with God that without His saving Grace he or she would be on their way to Hell, and without His sustaining Grace he or she would lose all ability or desire for His godliness. In fact, Christians are in a great deal of trouble when they think otherwise. Yes, we are commanded to obey God and to seek His Holiness, but we are completely unable to obey Him in the Spirit; neither are we able to seek His Holiness unless He first gives us the Grace to do these things. In fact, if we try to do either in our own abilities, we will fail miserably and find ourselves in an impossible situation of trying to attain favor with God by our own efforts in our own ability. This is a form of legalism, which leads only to frustration and disillusionment.

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Vancouver schools’ new LGBTTQ+ policy includes gender-free pronouns xe, xem and xyr

CNS News reports:

The Vancouver (British Columbia) Board of Education has approved a sweeping new policy for accommodating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning and “all sexual and gender identities,” including the creation of three pronouns, replacing masculine and feminine with xe, xem and xyr (pronounced ze, zem and zur).

Two spirit is an Aboriginal term which means having both feminine and masculine spirits. It’s not limited to gender expression or sexuality, but encompasses them both while incorporating a spiritual element. It’s a standalone identity, not an Aboriginal term for gay lesbian.

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A ‘gay’ hamburger? Burger King selling ‘The Proud Whopper’ to celebrate sin

Christian News Network reports:

Burger King has come out of the closet in full support of the homosexual lifestyle, and is now even naming a hamburger to prove just how ‘proud’ it is of the sin.

The fast food chain is launching what it is calling “The Proud Whopper,” which is enclosed in a rainbow-colored wrapper with the inscription: “We are all the same inside.”

The burger in its colorful packaging will be sold through July 3 at one Burger King restaurant located in San Francisco, a city known for its celebration and promotion of homosexuality and where sexually-transmitted diseases well exceed the national average.

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The Pope’s different version of salvation

My Word Like Fire writes:

On June 23rd, Kenneth Copeland, James Robison, John Arnott [Toronto Blessing] and their wives met with the Pope. On June 30th Copeland declared at the Southwest Believers Convention, “The protest is over,” meaning Protestants no longer have differences with Catholics in understanding how people gain eternal salvation.

In a video message played at the convention the Pope said, “And this is a miracle; the miracle of unity has begun.”

Yet, June 25th, two days after the Pope met with Copeland, Robison, and Arnott, the Pope declared a very Catholic understanding of salvation.

According to Catholic News Service, “Pope Francis described as ‘dangerous’ the temptation to believe that one can have ‘a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the church.’”

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Eight black pastors whose net worth is 200 times greater than people in their local communities

One prominent pastor cited by the Atlanta Blackstar is prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes. Jakes’ net worth is reportedly 18 million, which is in stark contrast to the $57,000 average median annual income earned by the people who live in the community where he pastors. According to article, Jakes resides in a 1.7 million mansion in suburban Dallas.

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And now, little children, abide in Him

And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 1 John 2:28–29, ESV

There are two types of people in the world. There are God’s children (genuine Christians) and everyone else. One of the reasons I love to read the Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation is that John, the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 21:7), wrote very profound words that have no gray areas. Of course he wrote as the Spirit breathed these words through him, but God used this man’s entire makeup in that process. John was very pastoral, but he was also a Christian apologist of the highest order. He was one the three Apostles who made up the inner circle closest to our Lord during His earthly ministry. Before Jesus called him to be his disciple, he was a disciple of John the Baptist along with Andrew, Peter’s brother. Jesus called him and his brother James, the Sons of Thunder. He had great faith, but like most of us, he could get full of himself and focus inward instead of humble and lined up with our Lord’s will alone.

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Hold fast what you have so that no one may seize your crown

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.” Revelation 3:7, ESV

One of the big errors of our time in the visible Church of the 21st Century is the misguided concept that truth is subjective or relative. In other words, truth is what you want it be. This concept is, of course, simply borrowed from the world, which loves it. While I do not contend that I know when our Lord will return, I do know that it will be at the end of this age prior to the age to come.

I know that He has been given a people for Himself from the Father. I know that His blood purchased them at the cross. I know that those whom He saves must live in this sin-sick world in order to be sanctified, to mature in Christ, and for their lives to glorify God. These truths, and so many more from God’s Word, are not subjective.

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