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, February 28, 2013

Psalm 83 - Part 2 - Bill Salus

Psalm 83 with Bill Salus, Part 2 from Gary Stearman on Vimeo.

The Ex-Gay Problem: You Can Never Leave?

The Ex-Gay Problem: You Can Never Leave?

Future primitive: America parallels South Africa

Exclusive: Erik Rush sees chilling prescience in Ilana Mercer's 'Into the Cannibal's Pot'

One of the most distressing things I encounter on a regular basis from Americans is the belief that it can’t happen here and that scenarios representing incomprehensibly radical, dystopian transformations of our society are not only preposterous, but the product of delusional minds. More often than not, when I speak of such things I am referencing the fundamental transformation of America President Obama and his Marxist co-conspirators are foisting upon us.

To those for whom such things as the Holocaust and the Killing Fields are too far removed or farfetched, I would point to the tragic example of South Africa, the dynamics of which are covered in masterful detail by author and WND columnist Ilana Mercer in her book “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” She was born in South Africa; her family left there in the 1960s, but she returned in the 1980s.

While Ilana and her family were staunch and active opponents of the policy of apartheid in South Africa, she has vigorously addressed the rapid societal decline and atrocities that have transpired therein since the end of minority white governance in 1994.

“When South Africa was governed by a racist white minority, it was scorned by the West. … Now that a racist, black-majority government controls the country … it is the toast of the West.”
– “Into the Cannibal’s Pot,” from the Introduction

As related in the book, since the inception of black rule under the African National Congress, South Africa has become one of the most violent countries in the world and has been compared to nations such as Iraq and Colombia in that respect. “Cannibal’s Pot” describes a South Africa that is a cross between the theatrical films “District 9″ and “Dredd” in terms of its surreal level of dysfunction and violence, respectively. Large cities such as Johannesburg occasionally resemble war zones, and whites who cannot afford to reside in gated communities with armed security are essentially “fair game” for angry, unemployed black thugs.

This transformation of South Africa came about almost entirely due to international pressure rather than national referenda – but why was it done? Not so much because apartheid was an odious policy, but because it offended the sensibilities of Western liberal elites that whites held dominion in countries such as South Africa and the former Rhodesia, which were “meant for blacks” (I suppose because they happened to lie on the African continent).

This rationale would, of course, provide ample justification for Scandinavian or European nations wishing to pitch anyone darker than myself into the sea, but I digress.

It was common knowledge even to the marginally informed in the mid-1970s that South Africa’s African National Congress was a Marxist outfit. Similarly, it was well-known then that Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) since 1980, deftly running that nation into the ground economically as well as environmentally, was also a Marxist.

So why would the entire consortium of Western political influence support Marxists at a time when they were ostensibly still fighting the Cold War? Because these nescient parties are no different than liberals who operate on the national level in Europe or America. Those who do not embrace socialism or communism outright are either pathologically narcissistic or intellectually compromised. In the case of the former, they believe that by virtue of their power alone, they are somehow ordained to unilaterally arbitrate justice and determine the course of nations.

They determined that white rule in South Africa, the scourge of Africa and the malignant vestige of white colonialism, must come to an end – and it did. Unfortunately, many of these hold a similar view of the United States; it is clear that this is the case regarding President Barack Obama and his partners in America’s orchestrated decline.

“The farmers of South Africa are being killed off at genocidal rates. …”
– “Into the Cannibal’s Pot,” Chapter 2

Most Americans have no idea whatsoever how dangerous South Africa has become for middle-class whites since the inception of black rule, particularly for farmers, who reside in more remote areas. The reason for this ignorance is of course due to the political bent of the establishment press in the U.S.; they are of the same sentiment as the elites who have shaped international politics in recent decades. The atrocities inflicted upon whites are only proper restitution for the atrocities inflicted upon blacks over the previous hundred years.

Speaking of atrocities: One of the things I found particularly ghastly was the book’s description of the brutality inflicted upon the victims of marauding black thugs in rural areas. Depictions of primal, savage mutilations, dismembering and rape prior to execution of white farmers and their families more befitted Travis the chimp (who attacked a Connecticut woman in 2009, ripping off her hands and face before being shot by police) than human aggressors.

Ilana Mercer infuses “Cannibal’s Pot” with her wealth of knowledge and insight into the dynamic of South Africa’s plight, as well as nearly countless sobering statistics and anecdotes. As she asserts, condemnation of the new racist South Africa is not advocacy for the racist old. However, her warning to America is much more than implied: What occurred in South Africa was brought about by the same machine that is bringing about dangerous transformations in America.

More than its significance as an important historical work, “Cannibal’s Pot” illustrates how South Africa was sold out by the same breed of liberal elites who sold out Europe and Rhodesia, and who are currently selling out America. Within its pages, one can see these chilling parallels in action.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/future-primitive-america-parallels-south-africa/#BKUovbm1WezMeJ0r.99

(UPDATED) Pope declares he "is not coming down from the cross", said in 1969 that the Pope takes the place of the Lord

Reblogged from Elizabeth Prata: the-end-time.blogspot.com
In his farewell speech today, Sky News reported that outgoing Pope Benedict said,
"Pope Benedict told the 50,000-strong crowd he was not "coming down from the Cross", but would remain in the service of the Church through prayer."

It is not a misprint.

The Papacy is an office whereupon the occupier of it sees himself as a substitute for Christ. That is what the name of the papal office "Vicar of Christ" means, substitute.

Lest one believe that it is a mis-translation, or that the Pope did not really mean it, let's look at some of the Catholic Position Papers.

In the Catholic position paper titled the "Nature of the Papal Primacy" we read that
"In his chief ministry the Pope is obliged by the objective rules of faithfulness which derive from the revealed word of God, from the fundamental constitution of the Church and by Tradition.'[40] He has the necessary divine assistance to carry out his office. But this does not relieve him of a very grave responsibility before Christ whom God has appointed to judge everyone, alive or dead (Acts 10:42). It demands of the holder of the office of bishop of the Catholic Church humility, prudence and holiness and of the faithful continual prayer to God for the head of the Church on earth."
"However, and this is important, on earth there is no external tribunal, neither in the Church nor in civil society to which one can appeal against his decisions. The Pope must look for advice, take the steps which prudence demands in the delicate function of governing the Church, listen to the opinion of his brother bishops, etc., but 'the judgement of the apostolic See, whose authority is unsurpassed, is not subject to review by anyone, nor is anyone allowed to pass judgement on his decisions."

"We reach here, perhaps, the nerve center of all teaching about the primacy. ... 'The relation of the primacy to Christ is not only historical-causal, but also actual-causal, for in the activity of the Pope Christ himself is audible and visible. Of the Pope it can truly be said: he acts in the person of Christ.'[42] With theological wisdom St. Catherine of Siena called the Pope the 'gentle Christ on earth' but at the same time, conscious of the moral responsibility of the Pope, she urged him to exercise with fortitude his 'service of unity' in the Church, that is to say, to be faithful to his most important mission."

"The Pope,' writes Cardinal Ratzinger, 'is not just someone who speaks in the name of the bishops, a kind of mouthpiece they give themselves and which is there to do their bidding. The Pope is where he is, with a direct responsibility before God, to take the place of the Lord,"
You note the last paragraph, there is a quote by a young Cardinal Ratzinger, who we now know as Pope Benedict XVI, confirming what he said today in 2013 as he did in 1969 and as Catholic dogma states- the pope is in the place of Christ on earth. They really believe the pope is Christ audible and visible.
Over a billion Catholics are in spiritual bondage to this heinous religious system. There are many things they lack spiritually but I can think of three to address that we can point them to. First, we can point to Christ and the bible to help them overcome what it is they lack: knowledge of grace, assurance in their salvation, and trust in Jesus to fulfill all He has said.


The simple truth at the center of a born again believer's faith is surrounded by Grace- that Jesus descended from heaven, lived as fully man and fully God for 33 years, died on the cross as the lamb sacrifice for our sins (taking upon His shoulders the wrath of God), was buried and three days later rose again. This is the Gospel.

Any person who believes these facts, and confesses them, is saved. (Romans 10:9, Ephesians 2:8). It is a free gift of Christ due to His work on the cross.

The RCC has overlaid so much on top of these simple facts, and corrupted the Gospel so thoroughly, it is hard to untangle unless a person does one thing- looks at Christ. He is the giver of grace and it is grace through faith that you are saved. A struggling Catholic can be led to these verses and sermon on these verses.  More on Grace, defined and explained, here. Bible verses on Grace, here, and still others, here.

Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
One way to help a Catholic is to point them to grace. They need to be drenched in the facts of grace to cut through the demonic noise in their spirit. Share with them essays and sermons that speak of the Grace of God.


A Catholic has no assurance of their salvation. First, they are taught they need to work to maintain it. Salvation in the Catholic system is something you earn “by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life and to have truly merited eternal life.” (source)
It must be spiritually disquieting, to say the least, to know that they must rely on our own selves to attain or to maintain salvation- and to never know where you stand for sure. Committing a "mortal sin" constitutes a rupture in a person's link to God and they become unsaved. It is the worst thing to happen, but there is a chance they can go to Purgatory after death for a period of time to have the mortal sin cleansed out of them. Purgatory is another made-up doctrine that provides a safety net as a last chance effort. Either way, a Catholic is never completely assured of entering heaven. "The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a "purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven," which is experienced by those "who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified". The grace of God and the work of Jesus on the cross was not enough you see. The gap is supposed to be filled by the Catholic.
We not only have assurance, Jesus IS the assurance. Hebrews 11 is a record of that very thing, the assurance we have that is in us and that IS Christ.

Faith, hope, grace... Gills Exposition says- "And were persuaded of them, and embraced them; they had a full assurance of faith, that what was promised would be fulfilled; and they took a kind of possession of them before hand, as Abraham did of the land of Canaan, by sojourning in it; as did also Isaac and Jacob; and all of them by faith embraced the Messiah, and dealt with, and laid hold upon his blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and grace, by which they were saved, as New Testament saints are."
Here is a video on the Divine guarantee of eternal salvation
Send them to verses which speak of assurance. Here is a page listing them.

If you put faith in a man, no matter how many assurances he gives you, man will let you down. Popes die. Popes resign. Priests sin. Bishops fall. Trusting in a religious system will become a stumbling block. The born again believer's faith is a relationship with the One who is perfect, loving, and steadfast in His promises. He cannot fail. However, since a Catholic is taught that the atonement of Jesus was not enough, it makes it hard to fully trust a savior who did not complete the work and left it to fallible man. It is one reason that Catholic dogma states that popes are infallible. But as we can see, they are.As a matter of fact, the Catholics install Mary as co-redemptrix, needing two saviors to get the job done. No, wait, three; Mary, Christ, and pope. No wait, four, Christ, Mary, Pope, and Catholic person working toward eternal reward.

And since unregenerated man populates the halls of the Vatican and on down through Cardinals, Bishops, and priests, they sin because they are under bondage to satan. We have seen, oh, how they sin. Scratch the veneer of holiness and the corruption will come out.

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness." (Matthew 23:27).

How earth-shaking it must be for a Catholic to put trust in a system that depends on man, and then those very men are seen to be homosexuals, pedophiles, money-launderers, and much more. If they cannot trust an altar boy with a priest, how will they trust their everlasting soul to the Pope?

Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (John 14:1 NIV)

Solomon wrote words to the wise, saying "That your trust may be in the Lord," (Proverbs 22:19). It is wise to trust the Lord! 

Isaiah 12:2 says, "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”
Help a Catholic whose world is rocked by misplaced trust in unregenerate men to once again turn to the Lord and trust Him. Once they see that the Lord never lets them down they can begin to renew their trust in their regenerated brethren.

Pastor-Teacher John MacArthur is writing a blog series of the facts of the heresies of the Roman Catholic Church. This is so that as the Pope and the RCC is in the news, we can witness clearly and with understanding of why and how the RCC is a false church. Here are the blog entries so far, in order--

A Timely Critique of the Catholic Church
Exposing the Heresies of the Catholic Church: Grace vs. Works
The Pope and the Spirit of Antichrist
Exposing the Heresies of the Catholic Church: The Pope
Exposing the Heresies of the Catholic Church: Mary Worship
Each entry is concise and biblical. Please take a moment to review them, and see for yourself what the egregious errors are from this longest-running false church on earth are about.

You cal also read more here at Christian Research and Apologetics Ministry's main page on Roman Catholicism.

This moment in time is an opportunity. Never before has the Catholic Church been so prevalent in discussion and in the news. People are listening, wondering. Our opportunity is that as ambassadors of Christ, we can be His light and share the truth.  We share the truth in love, that the RCC is false, and we share the Good news, that there is a way out- the simple Gospel of Grace.

1 comment:

In his blog series "Exposing the heresies of the Catholic CHurch," John MacArthur write last night of the heresy of the Catholic mass. In it, he used a quote to explain the Catholic view of Christ's sin. It speaks ot what the Pope said yeserday in his farewell speech about being on the cross -

"In his book The Faith of Millions, John O’Brien, a Catholic priest, explains the procedure of the mass.

"When the priest pronounces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man."

You can read more here on the Catholic Mass

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Restaurant Owner Finds Dedicated Teen Walking 10 Snowy Miles for Job Interview — Guess Where He’s Working Now

Restaurant Owner Finds Dedicated Teen Walking 10 Snowy Miles for Job Interview — Guess Where He’s Working Now

Peace, Peace, When There Is No Peace

By Jan Markell 
February 26, 2013 
Reblogged from: www.olivetreeviews.org

We are nearing the second anniversary of a terrible event -- the killing of many members of the Fogel family in Israel by Palestinian terrorists. The intruders were unmerciful, going from room to room in their act of evil, thankfully overlooking two small children. A third was out for the evening but had to return to the scene.   

Subsequently, after their capture, the two terrorists expressed no remorse for their actions, saying that had they known that two other children had been sleeping in the Fogel home at the time, they would have murdered them as well.

Many Palestinians reacted with sheer joy to news of the massacre, handing out sweets in the streets of Rafah to passersby as though their team had just won the World Cup. And a poll taken shortly afterwards found that a whopping 32%  of Palestinians said they supported this despicable act of murder.
But let's be frank: All of these folks are in need of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. And while Newt Gingrich's history of the Palestinians as an "invented people" is more right than wrong, no Bible-believing Christian wants to see them suffer as they are, although it is at the hands of their own leadership and not the Israelis.

Enter Wheaton College's Gary Burge and Christianity Today magazine. Recently Christianity Today, the prominent evangelical journal that has been leaning Left for years, spotlighted the, "Top 5 Books on Israel & Palestine," as asserted by Gary Burge.

Burge is a crusader for trying to shift evangelicals away from their typically pro-Israel stance.  All five books naturally tout a pro-Palestinian perspective to varying degrees. It would have been right and honorable to feature a pro-Israel book as well but that likely found no favor. Should the magazine be titled Christianity Astray with it's Left-leaning agenda of the last 20 years?

Let's consider two of the featured books:
On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend by Timothy Weber, explains "why America and its evangelical communities are so ardently pro-Israel." He is not even subtle. The fact that evangelicals stand with Israel has apocalyptic overtones! It smacks of Armageddon! It would be nice if Burge and Christianity Today would insert that evangelicals are Israel's ONLY friend. The torment of the Jewish state by the Obama administration has just begun. And that will truly lead to the real, biblical Armageddon! 

Another book reviewed is Colin Chapman's Whose Promised Land? The Continuing Crisis over Israel and Palestine. Chapman parrots the new party line claiming that Islamic Fundamentalism is a carbon copy of Jewish Fundamentalism, blaming the Jews, yet again, for everything.   
He says, "I have to say that I think I can understand what motivates a person to be a suicide bomber. If my situation were intolerable and couldn't get any worse, and if my religious teachers told me that by blowing myself up and killing some of the enemy in the process I would be guaranteed instant access to Paradise, I might think seriously about going down that road." 

Thanks to Gary Burge's leadership, Wheaton is headed down the same rocky road that my alma mater is, Bethel University. I attended their seminar in September with the most visible pro-Palestinian advocate, Lynne Hybels, making tragic false claims about the "ongoing Middle East conflict."

Mark Tooley of the Institute for Religion and Democracy says, "Burge's book selection for Christianity Today asserts his overall narrative of Israel as an imperialist intrusion on indigenous Palestinians, for which America and especially America's pro-Israel evangelicals are especially culpable.  By telling stories of victim-hood by Palestinians, especially the tiny Christian minority, Burge hopes to influence evangelicals towards neutrality or, better yet, pro-Palestinian advocacy."

Tooley concludes, "Burge and fellow Evangelical Left anti-Israel crusaders, of course, assume that Israeli intransigence is the primary blockage to peace. But what if Israel unilaterally withdrew to its pre-1967 borders, abandoned Jerusalem, and allowed an unlimited right of return for all Palestinians claiming descent from original Palestinian residents in what is now Israel?  Would these unilateral concessions completely appease most Palestinians? Or would they not feed thirsts for even greater victory, to include the eradication of Israel as a Jewish nation?"

And none of these outfits or individuals, not Gary Burge, Wheaton College, Bethel University, Colin Chapman, Timothy Weber, Lynn Hybels, or Christianity Today, wants to reference the Fogel family. That is my point. Only the "brutality" of the Israelis is on their mind. The blame game in the Middle East drama always has their villains out of sync. They're usually Jews and evangelical Christians.

The Palestinians do not wish to live in peace with Israel. They have had ample opportunity to do so, but have rejected every offer, even the most generous.  

It's time for their defenders to do a reality check.

The Banks Show No Mercy: 10 Foreclosure Horror Stories That Will Blow Your Mind

The Banks Show No Mercy: 10 Foreclosure Horror Stories That Will Blow Your Mind

Let Them Eat Cake? Government Destroys 1,600 Pounds of Deer Meat for Homeless Just Because - Godfather Politics

Let Them Eat Cake? Government Destroys 1,600 Pounds of Deer Meat for Homeless Just Because - Godfather Politics

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


-Author Unknown.
Reblogged from servehiminthewaiting.wordpress.com

IF God has called you to be really like Jesus He will draw you into
a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands
of obedience, that you will not be able to follow other people, or
measure yourself by other Christians, and in many ways He will
seem to let other people do things which He will not let you do.

Other Christians and ministers who seem very religious and useful,
may push themselves, pull wires, and work schemes to carry out
their plans, but you cannot do it, and if you attempt it, you will
meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you
sorely penitent.

Others may boast of themselves, of their work, of their successes,
of their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any
such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep
mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or may have
a legacy left to them, but it is likely God will keep you poor,
because He wants you to have something far better than gold,
namely, a helpless dependence upon Him, that He may have the
privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and put forward, and keep
you hidden in obscurity, because He wants to produce some
choice fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be
produced in the shade. He may let others be great, but keep you
small. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for
it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how
much you are doing; and then to make your work still more
precious He may let others get credit for the work which you have
done, and thus make YOUR REWARD TEN Times GREATER

The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch over you, with a jealous love,
and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting your
time, which other Christians never feel distressed over. SO make
up your mind that God is an Infinitely Sovereign Being, and has a
right to do as He pleases with His own. He may not explain to
you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in His dealings
with you, but if you absolutely sell yourself to be His love slave,
He will wrap you up in Jealous Love, and bestow upon you many
blessings which come only to those who are in the inner circle.

Settle it forever, then that you are to DEAL DIRECTLY WITH
THE HOLY SPIRIT, and that He is to have the privilege of tying
your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways
that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are
so possessed with the living God that you are, in your secret
heart, pleased and delighted over this PECULIAR, PERSONAL,
the HOLY SPIRIT OVER YOUR LIFE, then you will have found
the vestibule of Heaven.

WHEN YOU ARE forgotten, neglected, or purposefully set at
naught, and you smile inwardly, glorying in the insult or the
oversight, because thereby you are counted worthy to suffer with

WHEN YOUR GOOD is evil spoken of, when your wishes are
crossed, when your taste is offended, when your advise is
disregarded, when your opinions are ridiculed, and you take it
all in patient, loving silence, THAT IS VICTORY.

WHEN YOU ARE content with any food, raiment, climate,
society, solitude,or any interruption by the will of God, THAT

Psychologists explain 911 Denial

Monday, February 25, 2013

Father of U.S. slavery was a black man

Father of U.S. slavery was a black man

A Jewish Perspective on Islam - Avi Lipkin

A Jewish Perspective on Islam: 02/21/13 from Gary Stearman on Vimeo.

Bro. J.D.’s Mid-East Prophecy Update for 2/24/2013

THE LAST POPE? Petrus Romanus is here? - YouTube

THE LAST POPE? Petrus Romanus is here? - YouTube

Civil war drums

Alabaré a mi Señor

Translation: Hello, how are you? Birds sing ........and everything declares, I will praise the Lord, Amen!

O que você faria se descobrisse que seu filho usa crocks?

Ode to Joy - Ludwig Von Beethoven

Olympus Has Fallen | servehiminthewaiting

Olympus Has Fallen | servehiminthewaiting

A trágica vinda de Benny Hinn ao Brasil

A trágica vinda de Benny Hinn ao Brasil

Por Márcio Jones

Diante de alguma controvérsia doutrinária ou evento de questionável índole, o puritano John Owen (1616-1683) possuía um método solucionador interessante, o qual quero apresentar. Owen nunca tratou um problema direta e imediatamente; sempre o colocou em seu contexto. Além disso, não se precipitava em responder a perguntas suscitadas. Antes, perguntava: “que princípio está aqui envolvido”? Em seguida: “onde isto se encaixa na doutrina e no ensino geral da Bíblia?”. Vejo tal postura como muito equilibrada, que se distancia, principalmente, de análises equivocadas por falta de conhecimento e que diplomaticamente se adequa até mesmo à mais acirrada discussão teológica. Afinal, se nos dizemos cristãos, sobretudo reformados, invocamos como única regra de fé e prática a Sagrada Escritura, e, para solucionarmos dúvidas teológicas, devemos nos dirigir a Ela em última instância, e as paixões e partidarismos que fiquem em segundo plano.
Partindo desse pressuposto, quero tecer alguns comentários sobre a recente vinda do sr. Benny Hinn ao Brasil, sobretudo à Taguantinga-DF, e as reuniões por ele lideradas, em geral, rotuladas de “cultos de avivamento”. Entendo que é de suma importância ao se estudar determinado instituto doutrinário identificarmos aquilo que não está contido em seu conceito. Ou seja, para que compreendamos o que vem a ser um avivamento, necessário é sabermos o que não é um avivamento. Para tanto, convém que tratemos um pouco sobre o ministério de um homem chamado Charles Finney.
No século XIX, avivamento passou a ser um assunto de grande relevância, a partir do ministério do pastor Charles Finney, então presbiteriano, mais conhecido por suas técnicas do que por sua teologia nada ortodoxa. Antes dele, tais manifestações eram tidas como soberanas, graciosas e inesperadas, provenientes de Deus. Finney, porém, após narrar uma experiência marcante com o Espírito Santo, passou a compreender que avivamento espiritual nada mais é do que o emprego de determinadas leis espirituais. Ele o comparou à semeadura. Pensava que da mesma maneira com que se cultiva uma semente, no campo espiritual, se houver rigorosa observância aos métodos corretos o avivamento é possível de ser fabricado. É dizer, se o povo de Deus se arrepender de seus pecados e os confessar, buscar a Deus em oração, o avivamento virá.
Finney, então, começou a colocar tais métodos em prática. Ele costumava visitar cidades onde havia igrejas presbiterianas ou não, nas quais fazia reuniões de uma semana, pregando contra o pecado e a necessidade de as pessoas se arrependerem de seus pecados e se humilharem diante de Deus. Com efeito, ele narra, e outros também, resultados extraordinários, como quebrantamento, cidades inteiras mudadas pelo Espírito Santo mediante. Finney então inaugura um tipo de ministério que não havia antes na igreja, que é o do ‘avivalista’, um pastor especialista em produzir avivamentos.
Em sentido contrário, à luz da Escritura notamos que avivamento não é uma ciência, como afirmava Finney, mas um dom da graça da parte de Deus, impossível de ser produzido mediante a aplicação de determinados métodos. Segundo Franklin Ferreira, avivamento é “a ação soberana do Espírito Santo, agindo de tal forma que grande número de pessoas receba o evangelho ao mesmo tempo, enquanto a igreja abandona seus pecados”. Avivamento bíblico é, sim, um retorno às Escrituras, um retorno aos preceitos divinos, abandono dos ídolos. Algumas porções bíblicas consensuais entre os teólogos atestam esse posicionamento, por exemplo: Gn 35.1-15; 2 Rs 18.1 ; 2 Cr 14 e 15; 2 Cr 26; 2 Cr 34; Ne 8, 9.
Hoje, os expedientes adotados por Benny Hinn e os rótulos de suas reuniões, nos fazem lembrar, de imediato, de Charles Finney. Como no tempo de Finney, os cristãos da atualidade perguntam: “o que importa sua doutrina, se em tudo que Benny faz há grandes resultados, grandes manifestações de Deus?”. “Ora, tudo isso é, sim, o agir do Espírito Santo!”. Vigora o pensamento pragmático, de “aparentes” resultados, de grande concentração de pessoas, de comoção e histeria coletivas, desprezado o mínimo exame bíblico.
O que pensar de um homem que abertamente diz que Deus não o permite pregar (veja vídeo no final, 10:50min.) — sem mencionar seus outros ensinos heréticos, veja aqui, por exemplo? Ora, se é a pregação o método por intermédio do qual Deus chama seus eleitos (Mc 1:38, Rm 10.14; 1 Co 1.21) e edifica a fé destes (Rm 10.17), como posso abraçar tal declaração como se viesse do próprio Deus?! O ministério de homens como Pedro, Paulo, Apolo estavam solidamente edificados sobre a pregação do evangelho. Vejamos Paulo, que de cidade em cidade anunciava o evangelho (At 13.16-41; At 14.1-7; At 16.13,14; At 17.10-31; At 18.5-11), procurando persuadir os seus ouvintes (2 Co 5.11). O escritor aos Hebreus afirma que “nestes últimos dias, nos falou Deus pelo Filho” (Hb 1.2). Cristo é a própria Palavra inegavelmente (Jo 1.1), sem mais revelações posteriores. E o trabalho do Espírito Santo, tão mencionado pelo pastor em comento, é glorificar a Cristo (Jo 16.14), dando-Lhe testemunho (Jo 15.26). Seria no mínimo ilógico glorificar a Jesus sem pregar o próprio Jesus, que é a Palavra.
Não bastasse isso, há um convite despudorado a um cristianismo místico e esotérico que privilegia a experiência em detrimento da Escritura, como induz o referido pastor. Devemos provar os espíritos (1 Jo 4.1). E qual é o critério? Invariavelmente a Escritura, cujo conhecimento liberta (Jo 8.32). A nobre virtude dos cristãos de Bereia residia em seu hábito de não receber cegamente tudo quanto ouviam de um “avivalista” qualquer, mas em analisar avidamente as Escrituras a fim de comparar o conteúdo de um sermão com aquilo que estava escrito (At 17.11). 

Portanto, a experiência deve se conformar à Escritura, e não o contrário. Se assim não fosse, qual seria o critério para validar uma experiência anterior com uma posterior? E quando a comparação se der entre a experiência de um cristão e a de um budista ou de um hinduísta? Voltamos à mesma proposição: a baliza é a Escritura, a verdade que liberta, santifica e pavimenta a nossa comunhão com Deus. A fé cristã é essencialmente racional. 

Citando John Stott, “crer é também pensar”.


Contrapondo Benny Rinn, John MacArthur explica o que é ser cheio do Espírito: 

Fonte: Despertar de um avivamento, via Bereianos.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Classics: Streams in the Desert - February 24 entry - Personal reflection.

The entry from "Streams in the Desert" below and the following poem reminds me of a time of struggle in my life some time ago which was exacerbated by a horrible cold winter weather. Since I was working outside a house washing up the deck with a pressure washer in freezing temperature it was hard for me to muster positive and uplifting thoughts about my life. But God....

It is always when the situation is dire and we feel like giving up and crawl under the blankets of temporary comfort, whatever they happen to be, that God in his mercy and grace shows up (although he is always Jehovah Shamah, the God who is there). Through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, we see things unseen to us and we hear the Lord talking to us through nature, things that  we were oblivious to because we focused our attention on ourselves and on the raging waves and not on our compassionate Lord and his power to take us through the rough places in life.

As I started crying out for help, the Lord opened my eyes which focused on a beautiful naked bush which I had not noticed all morning long. The peculiar thing about this bush is that only one single beautiful tiny red flower had survived the wintry elements and was offering hope and a lesson in perseverance against all odds by the brightness of its color . 

I sensed the Lord was showing me that even though under the frigid rigor of winter, the earth appears to be stripped and dead and shares its gloom with us humans, the blood of Jesus shed for our sin is a reason for great rejoicing and patience. 

This was just a season that the Lord in his wisdom uses to strengthen our faith and dependence on him in everything.  This small red blossom was a reminder from my  Lord Jesus´suffering and death on the cruel cross and that because of his willingness to be obedient  unto death,  a new abundant,  wonderful and eternal  life would be given as a free gift to those who repent and believe in him through the power of his resurrection. 

This thought was enough to lift me up and to be greatly encouraged to endure  winter and life passing  trials and rejoicing while  keeping my eyes and mind on Christ´s soon return  and the blessings of a life without suffering, trials, tears and death spent in forever praising and glorifying our Blessed Father, Lord Jesus and our dear comforter, the Holy Spirit who always stands ready to encourage and stay alongside us to help us bear whatever comes to us. 

May you you receive Holy Spirit comfort and encouragement today. The Lord knows what you are going through and he cares about you. Help is already on the way as he hears and answers the fervent prayer of his righteous children.

Reposted from www.backtothebible.org

"John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true" (John 10:41).

You may be very discontented with yourself. You are no genius, have no brilliant gifts, and are inconspicuous for any special faculty. Mediocrity is the law of your existence. Your days are remarkable for nothing but sameness and insipidity. Yet you may live a great life.

John did no miracle, but Jesus said that among those born of women there had not appeared a greater than he.
John's main business was to bear witness to the Light, and this may be yours and mine. John was content to be only a voice, if men would think of Christ.

Be willing to be only a voice, heard but not seen; a mirror whose surface is lost to view, because it reflects the dazzling glory of the sun; a breeze that springs up just before daylight, and says, "The dawn! the dawn!" and then dies away.

Do the commonest and smallest things as beneath His eye. If you must live with uncongenial people, set to their conquest by love. If you have made a great mistake in your life, do not let it becloud all of it; but, locking the secret in your breast, compel it to yield strength and sweetness.

We are doing more good than we know, sowing seeds, starting streamlets, giving men true thoughts of Christ, to which they will refer one day as the first things that started them thinking of Him; and, of my part, I shall be satisfied if no great mausoleum is raised over my grave, but that simple souls shall gather there when I am gone, and say,
"He was a good man; he wrought no miracles, but he spake words about Christ, which led me to know Him for myself." --George Matheson

"THY HIDDEN ONES" (Psa. 83:3)
"Thick green leaves from the soft brown earth,
Happy springtime hath called them forth;
First faint promise of summer bloom
Breathes from the fragrant, sweet perfume,
Under the leaves.

"Lift them! what marvelous beauty lies
Hidden beneath, from our thoughtless eyes!
Mayflowers, rosy or purest white,
Lift their cups to the sudden light,
Under the leaves.

"Are there no lives whose holy deeds--
Seen by no eye save His who reads
Motive and action--in silence grow
Into rare beauty, and bud and blow
Under the leaves?

"Fair white flowers of faith and trust,
Springing from spirits bruised and crushed;
Blossoms of love, rose-tinted and bright,
Touched and painted with Heaven's own light
Under the leaves.

"Full fresh clusters of duty borne,
Fairest of all in that shadow grown;
Wondrous the fragrance that sweet and rare
Comes from the flower-cups hidden there
Under the leaves.

"Though unseen by our vision dim,
Bud and blossom are known to Him;
Wait we content for His heavenly ray--
Wait till our Master Himself one day
Lifteth the leaves."

"God calls many of His most valued workers from the unknown multitude" (Luke 14:23).

The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert. This first edition was published in 1925 and the wording is preserved as originally written. Connotations of words may have changed over the years and are not meant to be offensive.

Sin Leaves Scars and God Loves Us Anyway

Reblogged from servehiminthewaiting.wordpress.com

The Penance of David, Psalm 51

There is a medical condition that causes the skin and other soft tissue to shrink and harden.  It is called Scleraderma.  Like scar tissue, the skin draws tight and thick and hard.  Sin is like that in our life.  We are born as sinners, and the longer we live, and the longer we remain subject to sin, the more damage it does in our life.

We are not only subject to our own sins, but often are victims of the sin of others.  From sexual abuse, to violence and crime, the damage accumulates.  One only has to look around at the pain and suffering and the evil in this world, to realize this is true.

But God did not intend for us to live this way.  And He did something that makes a way for us to escape the cycle of sin and damage and harm.  Jesus, God’s only son, who never sinned, came here and he lived as a fully human being, facing the same sinful temptations we do, yet He did not sin.  He then shed His blood on the cross to make atonement for all the sin of this world, so that we could be reconciled with God, whereas before, our sin created a divide between us and our Creator, Christ became a bridge by which we could again draw near to God.

When we acknowledge God, and admit to ourselves and Him, that we are lost and floundering in sin in this life, when we admit to ourselves that nothing really makes any sense unless there is Someone greater than us, Someone in charge, and we admit that we have rebelled against Him, wanting to be our own “god”; when we admit that we are sinful and evil, and come to Him humbly and ask for salvation, He doesn’t just “clean us up” or fix us.  He literally births new life in us.  “Unless a man be born again, He cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven”. When we are born again, all the past wrongs on our balance sheet, are wiped away.  Yet the consequences don’t go away with them.  There are still those scars.

David was a lowly shepherd, but He had great faith in God.  He understood that He was just a small and weak human being, and yet he also understood God is a great and mighty God.  By that faith he slayed the giant Goliath, was anointed by God’s priest Samuel, to be the King over all of Israel, and was known as “A man after God’s own heart”, and yet he sinned grievously against the Lord in polygamy, in adultery, and in murder.  And yet when God confronted him, he was humble.  He did not try to make excuses.  He confessed and repented.  You can read David’s confession and repentance in Psalm 51.

Even though he repented, there were waves and waves of consequences that continued to wash over David’s life thereafter.  When we read about David we sometimes have a hard time understanding how such an upstanding “man after God’s own heart” suddenly fell so far and so hard one day.   But the truth is, our sin is never sudden.  There is always a progression.  It generally starts with a small compromise, and goes from there. 

 As David was blessed more and more by God, he became comfortable and complacent and took for granted God’s favor.  It was the custom of his time and culture, for kingdoms to expand and alliances to be made via marriages between kingdoms.  Though polygamy was clearly forbidden by God, David went along with this worldly custom.  How often do we do that?  Because something is so “common” and no longer taboo by cultural standards, we make the mistake of thinking God has lowered His standards.  That never happens.  God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

David got into a habit of collecting wives.  It is doubtful he just walked out on that roof one day and decided he had to have Bath-Sheba.  Probably he inadvertently discovered her routine of rooftop bathing and “just so happened” to amble up to the rooftop about that time each day to indulge in a little voyeurism.  Lust took root, and having been so lavishly blessed by God, David made the grave mistake of thinking maybe he was somehow an exception to God’s rules.  Regardless, he was obviously willing to take the chance.
Lustful thoughts gave birth to sinful deeds.  As we know, David committed adultery with Bath-Sheba and then had her husband Uriah purposely sent into the heat of battle where David knew he would be killed.  A child was born out of the union, but God did not allow the child to live.

After David’s fall from grace, he was never able to discipline his own sons, knowing he himself had failed to toe the line.  As a result, his son Amnon rapes his own sister Tamar.  As David had Uriah killed, so Absalon murders Amnon.  And on and on sin’s ripples and repercussions spread.  More damage, more scars.
That is what sin does in this world.  It is viral.  It is deadly.  It causes damage, decay, and death.

We often think of God as a spoil-sport up in the sky who just doesn’t want us to have any fun.  We fail to understand that the “thou shalt not”s are for the purpose of sparing us that pain and suffering and heartache.  God is so wise and loving.  When we were kids we often didn’t understand the dangers of things we did, and were mad or disappointed when mom or dad said “no, don’t do that”.   But they knew things we didn’t know.  And so, certainly, does God.

God’s way is always the better way.  Yet so many people are not even willing to consider trying life “God’s way”.
When you get saved, you start a new life.  You are no longer in it all alone.  Being reconciled with the One who created you, now you have a Heavenly Father and in a lot of ways, “the buck no longer stops at you”.  I don’t know about you, but being the grown up, the parent, the one in charge, the one with all the responsibility, gets to be kind of heavy sometimes for me.  It is a great comfort to know that there is Someone else in charge, and over me.

The Christian life is not easy in this world.  It requires swimming against the tide, taking unpopular stands, denying the flesh.  But because God is merciful and gracious, it is so good to know that even when we mess up, and we can mess up pretty bad, God is able to work all things together for Good.  That is something we can never do.

I don’t know about you, but I am glad there is a God and I’m not him.  I know there are people in this world who want nothing more than to be “in charge”.  But when you really have those responsibilities on your shoulders you soon learn it’s not as fun as you thought it would be.  Because it means huge responsibility.  Pressure.  Demands.

At the end of the day I am happy knowing that God is over all and He is big enough and smart enough to fix what I screw up or make something good out of the worst messes I am capable of making, and believe you me, I can make some real doozies!
I thank God for His Word and the testimony of a very real man named David and that God didn’t exclude David’s failures when He wrote the Bible.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for loving us, and for your gift of Salvation.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying for such a hopeless sinner as me.  I don’t know what You see in me that You loved me that much, but I thank You, Lord and I can’t help but love You for loving me that much.
God you are an awesome Father.  Praise the name of Jesus!

Homosexuality is sin and those who practice it want you and me to stop saying so.

Reblogged from  servehiminthewaiting.wordpress.com

“For those of you who want only to be at peace with
everyone I have a special word for you. These folks who promote homosexuality
will not simply allow you to remain on the sidelines as they permeate the land
with their filth. If you are not with them then you are a target” – Ron Graham  “Them that Defile Themselves”

Frankly this is not a post about the rightness or the wrongness of homosexuality, but rather about our duty as self-professed followers of Christ and believers of His Word, to align ourselves with God’s position on the matter.  (And to do so based not on personal feeling or preference, but upon the immutable truth of God’s law).  You see, Gay Pride parades are not really so much about sodomites asserting  their right to sin, as they are about daring anyone to do or say anything  about it.  The dare is not really aimed at Christians, but at our God.  And I would even go so far as to say that the dare does not originate with the cross-dressers, transgendered, gay and lesbian folks who march in these parades (and push for “gay rights”), but originates from their god, (their father, satan–John 8:44)

Just as Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun”, every society that eventually embraced homosexuality did so only as an end-stage progression of their rebellion against God, with the extreme end of which being their decline and ultimate demise following relatively close upon the heels of that choice.

I wrote a post recently in which I stated that there was still hope for America, but do not misunderstandme on that.  It is not the hope for a return to our previous glory and prosperity.  There are always consequences and just like with individuals,  as a nation our sincere repentance makes provision for God to withhold his rightful wrath and condemnation, and brings us back into the sheepfold of safety, but does not erase consequences. 

 Consequences are not wrath and punishment, they come about as a natural fulfillment of immutable spiritual laws.  Just like the law of physics says if you release a rock from a 7th story roof, it will fall downward by the law of gravity, spiritual law says when we defile our bodies and veer outside God’s design for our bodies and sexuality, we suffer consequences (Romans 1:26-27) such as STD’s and  psychological and sociological consequences. 

There is hope that America can repent and experience some degree of revival thus averting some judgment and wrath.  But I’d say at this point it’s more a matter of damage control– The difference between a fiery crash-landing with mass casualties, or something less painful and traumatic.  God doesn’t say if unbelievers turn from their wicked ways and repent, He will heal their land.  He says if MY PEOPLE, which are called my MY name…. (Christian) shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways…  You know the verse, and the principle behind it.

It is time for Christians to examine their own sincerity and commitment, if not their basis for calling themselves Christian.  Salvation by grace only, through faith in Christ alone and obedience to God and His Word.  Our beliefs, our moral positions can’t be based on opinions, feelings, and certainly not political correctness.  We do not get to call ourselves saved while rejecting God’s authority over us.  

 And that is really what homosexuality, and all  willful sin, is about.  It is the human tendency to want to be the sole authority over self, and to have the freedom to dictate our own standards and moral code.  But a thing, by virtue of being what it is, cannot simultaneously be “not that thing”.  That is a convoluted way of saying “you can’t have it both ways”.  Something can’t be “true for you, but not true for me”. (Law of Non-contradiction, or in the words of Aristotle:”one cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time”).  Nothing can be both true and “not true” at the same time. 

So look at what God says about homosexuality  Leviticus 18:22, and 20:13.   (These verses are the most clear and straightforward in the King James Bible, as is true in general, which is why I avoid other translations which often tend to soften or really outright change the meaning altogether of what God said).

As a professing Christian, there can be only ONE position;  God’s!

A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8).  (And comes off looking pretty foolish, take Jay Carney HERE, who knows the truth but is obligated by political correctness not to say it). 

 Even gays knew at one time that what they are doing is wrong, despite their vociferously asserting otherwise.  Then it becomes easy to lie with conviction once God gives that person over to their sinful choice.  Christians who waffle or shrink from the truth, are themselves in danger of wrath.  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. –Romans 1:32
Come on, people, choose ye this day whom you will serve, are you a man or woman of God, or are you a mouse?
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