What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Large explosion reported at Syrian army missile base in Latakia - Middle East

Large explosion reported at Syrian army missile base in Latakia - Middle East

Large explosion reported at Syrian army missile base in Latakia - Middle East

Large explosion reported at Syrian army missile base in Latakia - Middle East

The Importance Of Knowing Prophecy - Gracethrufaith

The Importance Of Knowing Prophecy - Gracethrufaith

The Origin and Destiny of the Gentile Church

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25)

There was a time in the ancient past when in some Jewish circles it was believed that Gentiles were created only to fuel the fires of Hell, but it wasn’t long after the Resurrection before more and more of them began hearing and receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At that time the only way to the Messiah was through Judaism and as you might expect, the restrictive nature of the Old Covenant was a major impediment, especially for men. For this reason, the early Church was predominantly Jewish with the majority of Gentile converts being women.

Changing Times

Several years after the Resurrection, while Peter was a guest in the Joppa home of Simon the Tanner, he had a vision of a large sheet being lowered down from heaven. In the sheet were all kinds of clean and unclean birds, animals and fish. A Voice from Heaven commanded him to kill and eat them. Protesting that some were unclean, Peter refused. “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean,” the Voice said. (Acts 10:15) This scenario played out three times in Peter’s vision and then the sheet was raised up into heaven again. He awoke wondering what the vision had meant.

Just then, he was told that three men were there to see him. Immediately the Holy Spirit told Peter that He had sent the men. Greeting them, he learned that they had come from the home of Cornelius the Centurion, a Gentile from Caesarea, and said that an angel had told them where to find him and to bring him back. Upon hearing this, Peter agreed to leave with them.

Arriving in Caesarea, he was greeted by a large group of Gentiles that Cornelius had gathered in his home there. They all wanted to hear about Jesus, and so he began to speak. While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit came upon all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. (Acts 10:44-48)

Peter now understood what his vision had meant. The visitation of the Holy Spirit upon the Gentiles made it clear. A direct way to salvation was being opened for them. And so that day at the home of Cornelius, Gentile believers came directly into the Church without passing through Judaism for the first time. The primary obstacles of kosher diet and circumcision that had kept many from being baptized had been overcome. From this time forward, Gentiles began pouring into the Church in ever increasing numbers.

What About Us?

Believing Jews were understandably perplexed. They had kept the Law both before and after receiving the Messiah, but Gentiles were coming straight into the family of God, seemingly without either prior qualification or subsequent restriction. After thirteen years of this apparent double standard, the Jewish Christian leadership gathered in the Council at Jerusalem to discuss how best to resolve the situation. Could a Gentile really become a Christian without first converting to Judaism, they wondered? And if so, what’s to become of Israel?

Speaking of the Gentiles, Peter told the other council attendees, “God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are” (Acts 15:8-11).  Paul and Barnabas related similar experiences.

The answer to their questions revealed a clear picture of the order of things in the Latter Days. The Lord’s brother James, who was the head of the Christian movement in Jerusalem, explained it to them. In sending His apostles into all the world, James told them, God at first showed His concern by taking from among the Gentiles a people for Himself. After that He will return and rebuild David’s fallen Tabernacle (the Temple). “It’s ruins I’ll rebuild and restore that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name,” says the Lord who does these things that have been known for ages” (Acts 15:14-18).

This is as the Lord has ordained, James explained. Israel was being set aside for a time, but while His focus would now be on the Gentiles, the Lord was not finished with the Jews. After He had taken the Church for Himself (a hint of the rapture) he would again turn His attention to Israel, rebuilding the soon to be destroyed Temple and restoring the Old Covenant worship. He would do this so that those left in the world after the Church is gone, whether Jew or Gentile, would have one final chance to seek Him before the End of the Age.

The Great Pause

Gentiles therefore, did not have to first convert to Judaism in order to become Christian. They did not have to be circumcised or keep the Law, being admonished only to avoid eating food sacrificed to idols and meat still containing its blood, and to abstain from improper sexual behavior. (These prohibitions have actually been in effect for all humanity since the time of Noah.) From God’s perspective, humanity would henceforth be divided into 3 groups, Jew, Gentile and the Church of God (1 Cor 10:32).

History shows us that after the cross, major signs began to appear in the Temple indicating the obsolescence of its ritual. First, the veil was torn, opening the way to the Holy of Holies. Then, one of the seven lamps of the Menorah refused to stay lit. The main entrance door kept opening by itself. The ribbon attached to the scapegoat’s horn no longer turned from red to white at the moment of its death as it always had before. And there were others. Finally, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, leaving only the now largely Gentile Church as God’s witness on Earth from that time until ours. But soon, when the full number of Gentiles has come in, (Romans 11:25) the Lord will once again turn His attention fully on Israel.

“When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Sovereign LORD (Ezek 39:27-29).

Many scholars have come to believe that God’s approach to man is either through Israel or the Church, never both at once. Shortly after the Church was born, Israel disappeared as a nation. Will the reverse also be true? As the nation Israel is born again to become God’s witness in the world’s final days, will the Church disappear? If the end of the Church Age is a mirror image of the beginning, that’s exactly what will happen, and in fact that seems to have been the conclusion of the Council at Jerusalem.

The crucifixion of the Messiah had caused the 490 year period God gave to Israel to prepare for the Kingdom Age (Daniel 9:24-27) to pause seven years short of its fulfillment.  Into this pause God inserted the Church.  When the full number of Gentiles has come in, the Church will be whisked off to our heavenly home.  Then Israel will be restored to its covenant relationship with God for its final seven years of preparation.  The reappearance of Israel in 1948 was a sign that the time for the Church was growing short.  For though we are temporarily in this world, it is not our destiny to be of this world.
Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (Phil. 3:20-21).  You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 07-25-04

Consistent Biblical Futurism (Part 15—Conclusion)

Thomas IceBy Dr. Thomas Ice Pre-Trib Research Center
Contact Amazon


Reblogged from: www.bibleprophecyblog.com       

There are a number of conclusion I would like to highlight as I bring this series to an end that reflect my concern within our movement of Futurism. I do not believe that my concerns are just abstract ideas that flow out of some personal bent that I may have. Instead, I believe that it is out of concern to rightly divide or handle the Word of God that my concerns have developed. As I have noted earlier in this series, "historicism" is an interpretative approach that believes the prophecies of the Olivet Discourse and the Book of Revelation are being fulfilled during the current church age. They are not being fulfilled today! Thus, to hold historicism or elements of historicism is a form of allegorical interpretation. Allegorical interpretation involves bringing an idea from outside the text of Scripture and imposing it upon the text. Therefore to mix futurism and historicism is an errant approach.
Last Days

Last Days?

Some futurists say that they believe we are living in the last days. Yet they often fail to define what they mean. We are living in the last days of the church age; however, we are not living in the last days in the sense that the phrase is normally used in the Old Testament, which would be the tribulation period. Sometimes they say that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled in our day. They will cite items they say are being "fulfilled" to bolster their belief. They cite things relating to the mark of the beast, the rise of Antichrist, the Revived Roman Empire, etc. Instead they should be saying that these developments are preparing the way or setting the stage for future fulfillment during the tribulation, after the rapture. I am in perfect agreement with them if they were to shift from saying "fulfillment" to saying "preparation." To talk fulfillment in these matters is to adopt, knowingly or unknowingly, the historicist allegorical hermeneutic.
I am concerned about the leakage of historicism into futurism because many of our critics cite these examples of so-called "fulfilled prophecy" and note that they were not in fact fulfilled in accordance with the biblical text. These critics are right. These prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. Opponents go on to conclude that our futurist views are therefore refuted. In reality, it is the historicist elements that futurist have inconsistently brought into an otherwise futurist understanding of the Bible prophecy. Even worse, there are some who hold to our futurist viewpoint who hear the critics and are convinced that they are true. Some of our own abandon the correct views of Bible prophecy because they have not seen a fulfillment of these items as well.

Important Distinctions

Too often the result of these confusions, for many thinking believers, are their rejection of our false speculations, as if they are our interpretations of what the Bible says. Instead, they are really misapplications of Scripture, applying what will occur in the tribulation to our current church age. There are at least three key steps that must be processed before developing a proper approach to understanding the signs of the times. Dr. Ed Hindson calls these three items facts, assumptions, and speculations. [1] Dr. Hindson outlines the following categories:
  • Facts. There are the clearly stated facts of prophetic revelation: Christ will return for His own; He will judge the world; there will be a time of great trouble on the earth at the end of the age; the final conflict will be won by Christ; and so on. These basic facts are clearly stated in Scripture.
  • Assumptions. Factual prophecy only tells us so much and no more. Beyond that we must make certain assumptions. If these are correct, they will lead to valid conclusions, but if not, they may lead to ridiculous speculations. For example, it is an assumption that Russia will invade Israel in the last days. Whether or not that is factual depends on the legitimacy of one's interpretation of Ezekiel's Magog prophecy (Ezekiel 38-39....
  • Speculations. These are purely calculated guesses based on assumptions. In many cases they have no basis in prophetic fact at all. For example, the Bible says the number of the Antichrist is "666" (Revelation 13:18). We must try to assume what this means. It is an assumption that it is a literal number that will appear on things in the last days. When one prominent evangelist saw the number 666 prefixed on automobile license plates in Israel a few years ago, he speculated the "mark of the Beast" had already arrived in the Holy Land.
    The greatest danger of all in trying to interpret biblical prophecy is to assume that our speculations are true and preach them as facts. This has often caused great embarrassment and confusion. For example, when Benito Mussolini rose to power in Rome in the 1920s, many Christians assumed he might be the Antichrist, who would rule the world from the city of seven hills in the last days. Some even speculated that Adolph Hitler, who rose to power later in Germany, was the False Prophet. Others were sure the False Prophet was the pope, who was also in Rome.
    The time has come when serious students of biblical prophecy must be clear about what is fact, what is assumption, and what is speculation. [2]
Just because there may be legitimate signs in our day pointing to the return of Christ, does not mean that every thought and speculation being brought forth is legitimate. In fact, there is entirely too much wild speculation that some current event is related to Bible prophecy. For some, virtually every thing that happens is an indication that the Lord's return is near. Wild speculations are all too common today and too often they are inconsistent with the literal interpretation of Scripture. Mixing historicism and futurism is too often an exercise in speculative thought and not sound biblical interpretation.

Proper Speculation

Thus when we are approaching the study of biblical prophecy and attempting to relate it to events in our own day we must first make sure that we start with a proper interpretation of the biblical text before we can draw conclusions upon which to speculate. These conclusions will be within the consistent futurist framework. It stands to reason that if we have an incorrect interpretation of a passage then the conclusion or assumptions we draw will of necessity be wrong (unless we are illogical and inconsistently stumble onto a right conclusion).
For example, if we are studying what area of the world the antichrist will come from, we must start with a correct interpretation of biblical passages that bear on the subject. Having properly gathered the biblical data, we then draw conclusions, or as Dr. Hindson called it: assumptions. Thus, we might conclude that the antichrist will arise out of the Revived Roman Empire. Since 2 Thessalonians 2:6-9 indicates that he will not be revealed until after the rapture, we would not be able to legitimately speculate as to who he might be within the community of present day possibilities. We could use such an interpretation and assumption to exclude a suggested candidate from somewhere like Japan, if one were to bring forth such a speculation.
Legitimate views about the signs of the times must start with 1) sound biblical interpretation, 2) proper assumptions or conclusions drawn from the interpretation, and 3) speculation consistent with the previous two factors. Only after following such an approach can we conclude that any contemporary development is a sign of Christ's return. We cannot just start with a belief that we are living in the last days. If we are to be truly God honoring and biblical in our lives we must properly interpret God's Holy Word and apply it correctly.
While speculating within a biblical framework we need to keep in mind that even though the stage has been set and continues in a state of readiness for the unfolding of tribulation events, there is nothing that must yet come to pass before the rapture of the church. The rapture is signless and could happen at any moment; however, the many events of the tribulation must take place in order for the second coming of Christ to occur. As we look at world events and recent history, we see many indicators that things may be drawing to a conclusion. Dr. Charles Dyer notes,
The curtain has not yet risen on the final act of God's drama for this present age. The house lights have dimmed, but we can still perceive activity taking place behind the curtain. God is arranging the scenery in its proper place and is allowing the actors to assume their positions on the world stage. When everything is in order, God will allow the curtain to go up.
As we look at and evaluate current world events, we want to understand what role they might be playing to set the stage for the events prophesied in the Bible. At the same time we must remember that, as the world continues to change, only God knows the future. We must evaluate current events in light of the Bible, and not the other way around. We need to know and understand Bible prophecy so that we can more wisely discern the role of current world events. [3]

Conclusion

I hope that this series has been an aid to many within our camp that sincerely want to properly understand what God's Word teaches and how to correctly apply it in light of events taking place in our own day. After all, this is God's perfect Word to us and we must see our task as properly representing Him to the people we impact. As a result, I believe that His plan for the end times is drawing closer with every breath we take. Come quickly Lord Jesus! Maranatha!
Endnotes
[1] Ed Hindson, Final Signs: Amazing Prophecies of the End Times (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996), pp. 36-37.
[2] Hindson, Final Signs, pp. 36-37.
[3] Charles H. Dyer, World News and Bible Prophecy (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1993), p. 7.

Read more: http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2013/10/consistent-biblical-futurism-part.html#ixzz2jJ8A1yzQ
Follow us: @bpblog2 on Twitter | BibleProphecyBlog on Facebook

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The anchor holds by CHEWNING, LAWRENCE / BOLTZ, RAY



Here is "The Story Behind - "The Anchor Holds" written and performed by Lawrence Chewning"

Mr Chewning shares about the year his father died, his burnout as pastor, division in his church, his wife's three miscarriages, his discouragement, sabbatical. It is tearfully affecting. Friends, if you are also going through a storm, rely on the anchor! Elizabeth Prata.


I have journeyed
Through the long, dark night
Out on the open sea

By faith alone
Sight unknown
And yet His eyes were watching me

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

I've had visions
I've had dreams
I've even held them in my hand

But I never knew
Those dreams would slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

I have been young
But I am older now
And there has been beauty
That these eyes have seen

But it was in the night
Through the storms of my life
Oh, that's where God proved
His love to me

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn

I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

Songwriters
CHEWNING, LAWRENCE / BOLTZ, RAY

Read more: Ray Boltz - The Anchor Holds Lyrics | MetroLyrics

The Global Fight for Children’s Rights: Europe


Reblogged from: www.thepublicdiscourse.com


Underground movements in England and France are beginning to counter the global LGBT ideology that has entrenched itself in the governments of First-World nations.

On September 14, 2013, I had the privilege of attending the “Summer University” of the Manif pour Tous. The latter is the French grassroots movement that sprang up last year as a counterrevolution against President Hollande’s same-sex marriage law. While I had been involved in the Manif since January, it was at the September conference that I saw the larger picture of what is happening in Europe. This year I also traveled to Brussels, Strasbourg, and London for the first time, on a mission to forge a transnational alliance for children’s rights.

Those who have defended marriage until now may feel beleaguered. They may be irritated with the press’s misconstruing of Pope Francis’s multiple comments about compassion toward homosexuals. Nevertheless, Europe ought not to be cause for pessimism. On the contrary, Europe has an active underground building Defense of the Family 2.0.

England and France—Carthaginian or Pyrrhic Victories for the LGBT Lobby?
The LGBT movement scored enormous victories with the legalization of marriage in the United Kingdom and France in 2013.

It no longer makes sense to speak of an LGBT “community” or “movement” but rather a world-historical lobby, a specific cadre flush with money, positioned strategically close to the same centers of power that oversaw empires in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: Washington, Paris, and London.

Supreme Court rulings in the Windsor and Hollingsworth cases arguably opened a pathway for the United States to have nationally legalized same-sex marriage within a few years. Hence, the lobby has conquered the three nations that speak most often in universal terms regarding human rights. Moreover, the lobby has laid down English, French, and American laws that protect LGBT citizens from hostile criticism. In these major centers of power, home to the Guardian and Libération and New York Times, the philosophy championed by the lobby is poised to play offense without worrying about defense.

The natural next step is to expand their influence by exporting their movement to less- prominent wealthy nations (Australia, Italy, etc), then Eastern Europe, then finally the vast range of nations known as the “third world.” In my Public Discourse essay yesterday, I examined the global implications of the LGBT lobby along the axis of North/South relations. It is fair to characterize the global “ligbitist” movement as, in many ways, a new imperialism. Leftist critics such as Jasbir Puar and Judith Butler made this critique before I did when they came up with the term “pinkwashing.”

But the world, once conquered, rarely stays complacent for very long. Imperial power rests quite often on ideas having been transformed into state ideologies. Ideologies develop contradictions and blind spots; they become corrupted by arrogant self-interest and an easy target for intellectual counterinsurgencies.

In his Philosophy of History, G.W.F. Hegel tried to explain the inevitable boomerang effect of ideological power and its backlash through the allegory of a man building a house to keep out the natural elements (wind, water, fire). All houses decay and collapse against the very things that gave them their raison d’être. “The substance of the act,” Hegel writes, “recoils upon the perpetrator, reacts upon him with destructive tendency.”

In other words, ideologies rise and fall. The weaker the foundations, and the poorer the reasons for an ideology’s claims to universality, the more quickly the fall will come.
The LGBT lobby stumbled unwittingly into the postcolonial metropolises at their most “post.” The United States just narrowly avoided a default on its debt. The leader of the ascendant Front National party in France, glowing from a stunning sweep of regional elections, prophesied that the European Union would crumble “like the Soviet Union.” A little over two years ago, London itself was burning in riots that were globally televised.
In “winning” the United States, England, and France, the ligbitists acquired what riflemen call a “silhouette”: a visible shape that makes them a target. Their finances are visible for the entire world to see, as are the deals they make to get their laws passed. Their colluders (presidents, CEOs, etc.) are fair game for criticism and even invective. Put simply, they have become “the Man.” And we know what forms in reaction to “the Man”: the underground.

The French Countermovement
The Manif pour Tous was born and evolved within an accelerated time frame. This movement first formed against same-sex marriage. It stunned the world with its massive mobilizations on November 17, January 13, March 24, and May 26. Then, it faced a number of serious setbacks. The group lost its primary struggle when the “Taubira Law,” named after Attorney General Christiane Taubira, passed, legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption.

The March 24 rally, the largest, was fraught with controversy. Some factions of the Manif clashed with police, got tear-gassed, and received the scorn of other factions. The media demonized the whole movement. Soon three female leaders, each charismatic, splintered off and transformed the Manif from one unified front into three competing insurgencies: the French Spring, led by Beatrice Bourges; the Future for All, led by Frigide Barjot; and the Manif, led by Ludovine de la Rochère. Barjot blamed the French Spring for provoking the tear gas attack on March 24. Then, after ousting Bourges’ people, Barjot was also ousted from the Manif because she was pushing civil unions for same-sex couples, something that most in the Manif found (quite understandably) pointless. Same-sex marriage was the law in France, so there had to be a shift of focus.

Despite friction among Bourges, Barjot, and de la Rochère, there have been concerted efforts not to become divided, and also not to become consumed by any of the mainstream French political parties or by the Catholic Church. Rather than rue the lost battle over same-sex marriage, the Manif has shifted to very specific aims going forward: blocking the legalization of sperm banking for lesbians, blocking gestational surrogacy, and pushing back against Education Minister Vincent Peillon’s attempt to impose “gender theory” as a countrywide curriculum.

With the change in focus came a change in approach. The Manif has proved that it can bring millions of French people to the streets. But Ludovine de la Rochère and her allies also determined that it was necessary to formulate a clear intellectual firewall against further imposition of the ligbitist agenda on France.

At the Summer University, when I was introduced, a journalist posed the question to me: “How does it feel to be coming from a nation we consider our friend, but which we know forced this homosexual ideology on to us?” I tried to deflect the criticism by musing, “If Judith Butler in France is America’s fault, it is only because Michel Foucault in America is France’s fault.”

The point was clear to me that the French see homosexual advocacy and gender theory as a “made in USA” concept forced onto them by powerful, well-funded lobbyists who care more for serving elite interests than for protecting French heritage. This sense is fortified by the surprising number of French homosexuals, such as Jean-Pier Delaume-Myard and Philippe Ariño, who remain doggedly opposed to same-sex marriage as an American construct.

The French understood that same-sex marriage was problematic mostly because of what the downstream consequences would be. When the French hear “the redefinition of family,” they worry more overtly than Americans do about what this means the nation is passing on to children. To buy and sell children is fundamentally repugnant to a nation that cherishes its nationalized Civil Code and takes “patrimony” very seriously. (It is not a country that bows to the free market the way Americans do, so the “let me do as I wish if I have the money for it” argument fails to win them over.)

Consider that when the Nazis entered France in 1940, one of the top priorities for Parisians was to empty the Louvre and store France’s treasures safely. Legacy and inheritance are not things the French see as optional or editable based on individual tastes. Their famous pride is real, and it is rooted in the sense that the nation is a family and the French language a powerful bond to their history. As Elisabeth Monfort, cofounder of the Nouveau Feminisme Européen, said at the Summer University, “There was no word for ‘gender’ in French, so the Americans forced us to change our word for ‘genre’ to suit their ideology.” The crowd booed at the mention.

The English Underground
If France is a shining example and the envy of Europe, the English opponents of the ligbitist agenda are shadowy resisters, still struggling for their footing. When I traveled to London to meet with about eight organizations concerned about the impact of the same-sex marriage law, I stayed with a descendant of one of the first publishers of Shakespeare’s complete works. We had to rush through Westminster Abbey in only twenty minutes between meetings, but I got to see the bust of one of my host’s ancestors. He went to Eton and Oxford. Tradition was a powerful presence.

I cannot explain the difference between France and England, but the strong sense of tradition in the United Kingdom simply never sparked the fireworks that went off across the Channel. Anglicans in England are still dumbstruck by the speed with which the same-sex marriage law passed earlier this year. Many of them are impatient with the leadership of the Anglican Church, seeing clear signs that their bishops are interested in avoiding controversy. 

Traditionalists in England are equally enraged at the mosques in London (I met with two Muslim groups), because Muslim leaders specifically told their rank and file to remain quiet about same-sex marriage in order not to anger the Labor Party leaders who have political ties to prominent imams. One sheik I met in London for tea and crumpets (no joke) had actually been driven out of his mosque for defying those standing orders and circulating pamphlets in a Muslim neighborhood, warning residents to voice their opposition to same-sex marriage based on Islamic teaching.

Britain’s aristocracy caved quickly in the House of Lords, scuttling any hopes of an eleventh-hour veto on the same-sex marriage law last summer. Then the House of Windsor failed traditionalists as well, for the Queen signed on without any fuss. One disadvantage faced by the English is owed to Henry VIII: without a large Catholic population, there simply wasn’t the massive edifice upon which activists, even if mostly secular, could rely for manpower and assistance, as there was in France.

The English are already seeing the visible signs of the ligbitist agenda, and there is cause for doom and gloom. A same-sex couple is suing to force the Anglican Church to marry them. Another lesbian couple, I found out from a source I can’t name, has already prepared to sue the Anglican Church in order to force it to baptize the baby they conceived by sperm-banking. Ex-gay counselor Mike Davidson just lost his license after a long battle with medical licensing authorities.

Yet England is not a place to be written off yet, for a few inspiring reasons. First, it has as its secret weapon the Commonwealth, which includes nations that share the British educational system, in many cases, but remain staunchly dedicated to the role of a father and a mother. India, Malawi, and Barbados do not seem eager to jump on the ligbitist bandwagon; though New Zealand passed same-sex marriage this year, in Australia the tide has turned against it in recent elections. Many Anglican groups I met are considering an underground movement to shift the central authority of the church away from Canterbury to one of the more conservative nations in Africa, formerly colonized by England. The Church of England may one day have its citadel in Jamaica or Nigeria–who knows? This is truly the postcolonial age.

I met with a Welsh activist living in Scotland, and received news that cultural autonomy remains a rallying point in both Wales and Scotland, not to mention Northern Ireland, which is very conservative. For the Welsh, the language issue is key, mirroring the concern of French activists. When the LGBT movement spread into Wales, there was pressure on Welsh language experts to redesign the Welsh dictionary to accommodate words about LGBT ideology that came from the United States.

While at first glance England might offer fewer signs of hope than does France, there is nonetheless cause for optimism, for in both London and Paris, the underground is forming that can structure a counter-polemic. In both cities, activists are combining the frustrations of religious believers with the secular language of human rights. In both cities, First-World activists are learning to re-conceptualize their identities as people who have been disenfranchised, demonstrating that they have more in common with their former colonial subjects than they do with the neoliberal elites in London and Paris who have allied with American corporate interests to stifle any opposition to the globalization of LGBT ideology.

Robert Oscar Lopez edits English Manif.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Black mobs and the coming race war

Black mobs and the coming race war

How Are We To Believe? Bible Qs and As


Q.  I remember a missionary from another religion saying that 10 million people can’t be wrong in their belief in (his religion), to which I responded, “Well going with that logic, I could say 1 billion people cant be wrong about Islam.”  In the case of his religion he said the members “feel” their religion is correct. But don’t most people who follow other religions feel that they are correct? They might even get dreams and visions telling them their religion is right.

 Reblogged from gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher 

The only conclusion one can draw from this is that you cannot base your belief on feelings. So how are we to believe then. Logic? Knowledge? Just because? With something as important as our salvation, are we supposed to believe not using our feelings? I hope you are able to provide some insight on this.


A.  I agree. Feelings are almost never good indicators for decision making. And 10 million or even 1 billion people can be wrong. But there is one fool proof way to tell if you’re right about what you believe and that’s to open your Bible. It turns out that the Bible is the only so-called Holy Book that authenticates itself, and the way it does that is through prophecy. Isaiah 42:8-9 is one of the clearest passages on this issue.

“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you.”

Here the Lord is telling us that everything He said would happen in the past has happened. And He’s already told us the things the things that will happen in the future. Only someone who knows the end from the beginning can do that. It’s the way the Lord authenticates Himself for us.

To prove this, compare Old Testament prophecy with history. It’s not as hard as you think. One chapter, Daniel 11, contains over 100 historically validated prophecies in just the first 35 verses.  Compare them with a 200 year period of world history that begins with the death of Alexander the Great and ends with the arrival of the Roman Empire on the world scene.  To make it even easier, use a study Bible that has already made the comparison in its study notes and confirms their accuracy with history.

If you’re still not convinced, compare the study Bible notes with the historical record for yourself.  In a short time you’ll have 100 pieces of proof that the promises God makes come true. Only the Bible can do this.  Your study Bible will also show you where to find numerous specific details of the Lord’s first coming that God foretold in the Old Testament hundreds or even thousands of years before the fact.

If you do this, you’ll come away convinced that believing in the God of the Bible is the only logical thing to do. You’ll also conclude that if He could predict all those things correctly, it makes sense to believe that He’s accurate in His predictions of our future as well.

Abbas set to slam door on talks with Israel, resuscitates “revolving door” for terrorists

Abbas set to slam door on talks with Israel, resuscitates “revolving door” for terrorists

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Free and feral humans

Free and feral humans

Though the vision tarry, wait for it



Why does God permit injustice?weary jesus
Why should God use the wicked to rebuke the just?
The just shall live by faith!

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Could it be that we don’t really know what ”good” is or have the ability to recognize it? We ask for wisdom, but we don’t feel like we understand things any better after praying that prayer for years on end, than we did the first day we prayed it.  We ask God to show us what it is we are supposed to be learning from the difficult and painful trials of life, yet we are as confounded as ever.  Of all the questions we ask God, I have concluded that it is the “why’s” that are rarely if ever revealed to us right away.

Sometimes, the immediate answer is simply, “because I am God, and I say so.  We don’t like it, but we can either accept it, or continue to “kick against the pricks”.  The goads or pricks, were sharp sticks used to prod and influence the oxen the way the master needed it to go, in order to accomplish what the master intended to accomplish.  Kicking against the pricks is to resist that prodding.  Often the ox may not have liked the idea of what it was being directed toward, reacting instinctively with resistance, the more the ox kicked in an attempt to stave off the goad, the more the oxen incurred injury to itself.

In a similar way, when a person is drowning, they instinctively might flail against the efforts of someone trying to rescue them.

God has set a vision in our hearts.  We are often discouraged when things appear unjust, when evil seems to prevail.  We mistakenly think that doing certain “right things” will somehow turn the tide or balance the scales toward the right, and then we expect we can count on some corresponding “correction” in the circumstances to take place.  Give, and it will be given to you.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  These seem to infer that if you treat others right, then kindness, generosity, forgiveness, grace will return to you.  And the promise is there, but beware of coming to your own conclusions as to what the fulfillment will look like.  You aren’t free to form your own expectations.  

Give of what you have, be obedient, and good things will come to you.  Just not necessarily right away, and don’t assume you’ll necessarily recognize them as such.  Rest assured something infinitely better than anything you could hope for or imagine, will poured into your life, even if it be stored away in Heaven for you to collect at a later date.

The problem with our expectations are that they are always confined by and to our very limited and finite scope of sight and understanding, and that most wretched of all considerations; time.

It remains true that God’s ways are not our ways, His thoughts, not our thoughts.
It is not wrong to question God, to be confounded, at times, in our sincere effort and desire to understand what it is He is doing, in our circumstances.
Of making many books, there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.  We can speculate, ruminate, theorize, philosophize, navel-gaze from “here ’til kingdom come”.  We can be mighty proud of it too.  God looks for the simple, unpretentious, unambitious, unadulterated faith of a child.

Job and his friends questioned God.  Jobs friends questioned with disdain, while Job questioned with sincerity and from a broken heart.  Humbly.

Ecclesiastes, Habakkuk, the Apostle Paul, who once was Saul and persecuted Christians in his zeal to uphold the law, and Job. These portions of scripture deal with some of the more heavy-hitting issues of life.  The unanswered questions.  The unfathomable ways of God.  The injustices which seem to go unaddressed.  Job was stripped of all he had, and by God’s permission.  Solomon, in Ecclesiastes, had lived his entire life, as the wisest man in all of scripture, at the end of His life, he was condensing all He had learned, down to it’s barest essence.  All is vanity.  Pleasure is vain. There is joy in simple labor. There is a time for everything.  Life’s not fair, rain falls on the just and unjust.  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man, for God shall bring every work into judgment, whether it be good or whether it be evil.

We cry out in sincere desire to understand, and stand frustrated, feeling thwarted in our attempt to gain insight, we kick against the pricks, wanting no more to do with whatever it is God is doing until and unless, He answer the cry of our heart, when all the while what He is doing is influencing us, creating a new heart within us which will eventually learn to ask the proper questions.  Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  But first, He gives your heart new desires, because He knows the plans He has for you, and you, quite simply, do not.

We imagine we are in a tug-of-war with God.  Is that a contest any mere mortal can ever win?  Really?

God will not be conformed.  Forget it.  He will not.  HE. IS. ALREADY. PERFECT.
It is we who are incomplete.  In our understanding.  In our aspirations.  Even in what we think we need from Him.

God has set eternity in our hearts.  He has preserved a residual, though pale, knowledge of what was lost in Eden.  We know we were made for more than this,  but exist now in a world far, far removed from what it should have been and once was, but will be again.
And we wonder at our frustration?  We wonder at the aching void within?  The yearning?
Wonder  not at why we are nearly inconsolable, but at how we could ever be even remotely happy with this world as it now is.

We are not of this world.  It is not our home.
It hurts to breathe here.
If it doesn’t then you have become too comfortable.  You have settled.
God does not prod us with the pricks out of some heinous pleasure at our misery.  Shame on us for thinking so!

Does He owe us answers?  Job didn’t seem to think so after God finally did respond.  You see, sometimes we question God out of ignorance.  But there is ignorance we can’t help, and then there is ignorance we can do something about.  Have we even bothered to know about God, the things He has clearly and deliberately set down in writing about Himself?  Until we have availed ourselves of the knowledge He has made available, I should think it is right nervy and presumptuous of us to accuse Him of holding out on us in the areas of our own personal interests.

Job may have momentarily allowed himself to be influenced by friends who knew God even less well than Job himself did, but he was also very quick to realize the error of his position and repent of it.

God didn’t hold back while he reminded Job what he did know.  He answered with His own questions:
Where were you, Job, when I laid the foundations of the world?  Who was it that told the sea, you may come this far and no further?  Was that you, Job?  Can you bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?   Who set the stars in the sky?
As I see it, there are two options when it comes to those questions in our lives to which God seems to withhold His answers.  We can walk on, living by faith and not sight, waiting expectantly for HIs eventual response, or we can plop down right where we are in a misguided “sit-down-strike”, and give God the silent treatment, much to our own detriment.

Either He is God or He isn’t.  He owes us none other than what He has promised to give us, and then only because of His own nature, must He fulfill that which He promised.  God will not, nay, cannot operate on your terms.  If He could or would, what kind of God would He be?

I’m afraid it boils down to that fact that He is God, and we are not; that dreaded parental proclamation, “because I am the parent, and I say so”, has probably never set well with any son or daughter who ever lived, and likely never will become any more palatable or easy to swallow, but there it is.

Take it or delude yourself into walking away from it.  When you walk away from the truth, though, you need never expect to find satisfaction or peace or justification, and certainly not answers.

We don’t have to like the set-up, but learning acceptance while retaining our faith in His ultimate good intentions and plans for us, is merely the prudent course.

Surrender!  Just Surrender already. Don’t keep kicking against the pricks, inflicting more self-injury and then railing at God about the cuts and bruises.  You will not overpower God.  But when you finally stop resisting, you will find those concerns and questions you were focused on, were probably not even relevant.  God is not the enemy.  God is not the one condemning you, Christian.  He is not punishing, tempting, or toying with you.  We struggle against principalities and powers in this life as it is.  What twisted sense or logic is there in resisting God on top of it?  When will you realize He is making you into something you have no capacity to even conceive of.   Stop trying to over-ride that.  Just let it be.  Let Him have His way.  Yield!

Surrender!

God has a vision for the finished product of you, and it will be fulfilled. HE who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it.  Commit thy works unto the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.  The Lord hath made all things for Himself: yea; even the wicked for the day of evil.
*Image source: http://www.tapestryproductions.com/_productimages/121032.jpg
===========================

Habakkuk 1, 2
Job 38-39
Acts 26:14
Ecclesiastes 12
Proverbs 16

In Defense of John MacArthur, Strange Fire Conference and the Challenge to the Charismatic Mov't

  • Strange Fire
    (Photo: The Christian Post/Alex Murashko)
    More than 3,000 people attended John MacArthur's Strange Fire Conference hosted at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., Oct. 18, 2013.

By Jeremy Egrerer, CP Guest Contributor
October 20, 2013|11:11 am
 
A lot of people seem to be angry with John MacArthur; it would be more comforting to me, and a greater testimony to American sensibility, if Christians were more concerned about Pat Robertson. That the former can openly state his opposition to what he believes the falsified expression of spiritual power, is far less offensive than a man who has openly and repeatedly claimed to be speaking the words of God, but whose failed prophesies have proven him heretical. Yet the former man is almost universally condemned as hateful and divisive, while the latter maintains his audience for what? Not one, but multiple generations, despite a televised broadcast in which he said that Jesus told him President Obama would lose the last election.

Call the former divisive, say he splits Christendom into factions, if you will. The Apostle may have said to reject a divisive man (Titus 3:10), but the divisive man is not always the man who, recognizing that to everything there is a season, acknowledges the time to part. If we can take the Apostle's words in any meaningful way, we must account for his statement that factions are oftentimes the result of sin and heresy (1 Cor 11:19); and certainly, if a faction exists because of sin or heresy, it would be unfair to blame the sects which separate themselves in opposition to the transgressions of heretics.

However broad the sect of Charismatics, however faithful the many within it, we must admit that certain abuses run rampant, and that these abuses are particularly reserved to the Charismatic sect. Who hasn't seen false prophesy on their behalf? What experienced Christian hasn't heard of "miraculous" works, so easily replicated that children could repeat them on any playground in any nation despite any form of religion? If falling over is the work of a sovereign God, if shaking and moaning is divine, if acting drunk is something which proves the presence of the Almighty, then every clumsy fool and every epileptic should be canonized into sainthood, and every bar considered a temple.

That a man may be healed of cancer is one thing; for a man to speak Spanish or Greek, though never having spoken them before, can only be considered miraculous. But to say "ra-ba-ba-ba-ba" as I've recently seen a woman say – of God's own tongue, no doubt! Or to hear another babble "shamlama kama taba" on national television, without an interpreter, without any form of translation, without anyone in history having recorded these words and proven any kind of grammatical structure, is something which borders less on religious excitement, and more on purposeful and destructive self-glorification. If Charismatics are speaking the language of heaven, let us record and prove it. Release every Christian scholar in its study; let us learn to speak it on our own, and therefore prove ourselves the sons of God. But if it remains a universally undecipherable mess, incomprehensible and unmanageable beyond every human means, then it is only fair to wonder either whether we really are speaking the language of heaven, or whether perhaps God divided the nations of angels because they built a tower of Babel in the clouds – a historical assertion neither provable nor sensible. And if we cannot even do this, then let us at least abide by the rules contained in Scripture for the orderly and Godly expression of spiritual gifts.

Protestants are quick to bash the superstitious and fantastical nature of Roman Catholicism, mocking the mountains of forged relics and "historical" happenstances amongst the canonized saints, too numerous and too ridiculous to be mentioned here at any serious length. But what ridiculousness we have lost of St Benedict or St Francis of Assisi, we have gained of Benny Hinn and Pat Robertson; excepting perhaps that the former saints performed miracles which – if true – could not possibly be recognized as anything other than acts of God. Of the latter kind we have babblings and "forthtelling" and fallings-over, the kind of side-show clown-acts better saved for circuses than serious men of any religion. 

And if we say that Roman Catholics in their obsession with the fantastical have only cheapened and rendered incredulous the world's only true religion and the actual miracles performed by saints – and I attest, as a person who has experienced what can only be described as miracles, that miracles happen amongst the living – then it is only fair to categorize the less reasonable charismatic leaders alongside the extensive lists of forgers and frauds responsible for calling into question our true experiences with the Divine, and making skeptical our most reasonable of children.

To say that within Christendom we must always have acceptance and brotherhood, when Jesus Christ Himself admitted that He would turn fathers against children, and husbands against wives (Matt10:34); when He said that the true bonds of Christianity bound together those alone who heard the commandments of God and did them (Matt 12:48-51); when our Lord taught that until the end of the age, when angels with divine authority separate the goats from the sheep and the wheat from the tares, the Devil's own would wreak havoc within the walls of every chapel and with their blasphemies taint the bell's ring from every steeple (Matt 13:24-30) – to say that despite these clear and obvious teachings contained in Scripture, that a single man should be held responsible for division within the church, when we are surrounded and infiltrated by every kind of quack and devil, robber and charlatan, testifies nothing of MacArthur's brashness, and everything of our spinelessness.

We may complain about MacArthur's broad stroke, but the only noble option, the only sensible option, the only Godly option for a man unconvinced that another is speaking directly from the power of God, when the latter man claims to be doing so, is to pronounce the latter man a menace. There is no middle option. Prophesy and speaking in tongues must mean something Godly, or they must mean evil; they cannot mean both. They cannot mean neither.

And if we are to end this essay, then let us end it as a beginning, and not a conclusion, admitting that there is much to examine and test; and that even supposing MacArthur is not entirely right, we may with utmost certainty admit that he is neither entirely wrong. If there exists a serious problem worth addressing, then let us address it seriously; but let's not play games and pretend to love only the quacks, while we abandon the sincere.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...