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.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Falso Véu - False Veil - João Alexandre

 Translation by Jean-Louis

Quem é que pode te garantir
Que este teu jeito
De servir a Deus
Seja o melhor
Seja o mais leal
Um padrão acima do normal?

De onde vem tanta presunção
De ser mais santo
De ser capaz
De agradar a Deus
Crente nota dez
Superior acima dos fiéis

Pobre este entendimento
Que não vem de céu
Fraco discernimento
Frágil, falso véu
Tenta encobrir em vão
Teu lado animal
Luta, perseguição
Tanto desejo mau

Se alguém quer mesmo
Agradar a Deus
Saber das coisas
Mostre em mansidão
De seu caminhar
Ser gentil no gesto e no olhar

E a diferença que existe em nós
Poeira vinda do mesmo chão
É somente o amor
Que nos alcançou
Graça imensa
Imenso perdão
É somente o amor
Que nos alcançou
Graça imensa
Imenso favor

Who is he who can guarantee
That your own way
Of serving God
Is the best
Or the most loyal
A standard above the norm?

Where does this presumption come from
Of being holier than thou
Of being more capable
Of pleasing God
A number 10 christian
Superior above the faithful?

What a poor understanding
That does not proceed from Heaven
Feeble discernment
False veil
 Attempting in vain to cover
Your natural side
Struggle, persecution
So much evil desire

If someone really wants
To please God
To know and understand things
Show it with meekness
 In your walk
In what your body  
And your eyes communicate

This is the difference between us
Dust coming out of the same earth
It is only love
That came down to us
Abundant grace
Boundless pardon
It is only love  
That came down to us
Abundant grace
Boundless pardon

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Have you heard that Israeli leaders are urging Jews to read through the entire Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter? Amazing, but true. Here’s the latest.

Reposted from https://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/

in Epicenter netanyahu-biblestudyoct2016rivlin-launching929initiative(Central Israel) — You probably haven’t heard this in the mainstream media, but Israel’s most senior leaders are urging the Jewish people to read through the Bible, the whole Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter.

Can you imagine President Obama or any other U.S. leader calling on American people to read through the Bible? Neither can I.

Given the general trend here in Israel towards secularization, this is quite a surprising yet thoroughly encouraging development. I’m sure many of you are skeptical, but it really is true. Here’s the latest.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off the new school year here by encouraging children to rediscover the Word of God and Biblical roots of their Jewish heritage.

“First of all, the study of the Bible,” he said in August. “Knowledge is a critical word. We want to give it [knowledge of the Scriptures] to every child in Israel, Jews and non-Jews as one, religious and secular. This is the basis of the new world, and the basis of Israel as a strong nation in the world.”
Last week, the prime minister and his wife, Sara, hosted another in a series of occasional Bible study groups at their official residence. They discussed — among other things — the Biblical connection Jews have to the Temple Mount, despite a recent U.N. vote denying Jews have any such connection.

The Netanyahus organized their first home Bible study group in December 2011, as I reported at the time. In so doing, they carried on a tradition first begun by David Ben Gurion and later by Menachem Begin but rarely repeated by other Israeli premiers. Their stated goal was to set an example for the nation and to “perpetuate a love of the Bible.” [See here and here for coverage of other Bible studies they have held.]

Meanwhile, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and several government officials have launched something they call the “929 Initiative.”

This is a wonderful and worthy effort to encourage all Israelis — even the most secular and non-religious among us — to read one chapter of the Jewish Scriptures a day, every day, until they have read all 929 chapters.

Rivlin and his colleagues kicked off the $12 million initiative in December 2014. Since then, they have been encouraging Israelis to continue reading verse by verse, chapter by chapter through the full Hebrew Bible or “Tanakh” until everyone finishes together in the summer of 2018 for the 70th anniversary of the prophetic rebirth of the Jewish State.

There is a pretty impressive and sophisticated website dedicated to the project, with Israelis of all kinds, from a wide variety of backgrounds, writing articles on what they think about the Bible verses they are reading. There is also an app that helps Israelis remember what chapter they’re supposed to read each day and help them mark their progress.

Here are several article about the initiative. I commend them to your attention.
I especially wanted to bring this all to your attention as we celebrate Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles (aka, “Feast of Booths”). Why? Because in the Torah, Moses commanded the people to read through all the Scriptures in their entirety every seven years. Sadly, this is a commandment many if not most of my fellow Jews have forgotten, or never were aware of in the first place.
10 Then Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and [a]the alien who is in your [b]town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 31:10-12)

Some of my favorite stories in the Bible are when King Josiah called the nation of Judah together to hear the Word of the Lord read to them in its entirety, and when Ezra and the priests read the entire Bible to the nation of Israel after their return to the Land from Babylonian and Persian captivity.
Several years ago, we organized an Epicenter conference with the theme, “The Power of The Word.” Several of the speakers taught on this largely forgotten history of Jewish leaders calling the nation back to the Scriptures — if you’re interested in watching the videos of those and other messages, please click here.

I’m grateful to Netanyahu and Rivlin and to the other Israeli leaders who are calling our people back to reading the Bible cover to cover. Will you join me in praying that more Jews (and Gentiles) heed their call? Thanks so much, and Chag Same’ach — happy holidays from Israel!

Mid-East Prophecy Update – October 30th, 2016

Iran's sole Jewish MP: Iran is safer for Jews than France

By GIDEON KUTS / MA'ARIV \10/30/2016

Reposted from jpost.com

Some dubbed him "Rouhani's Jew," and before that, "Ahmedinejad's Jew," but Siamak Morsadegh (Moreh Tzadek - righteous teacher in Hebrew), is an impressive, stout man who is much more than this: he's "the number one Jew" in Iran.

He was recently sent to Paris as part of a delegation led by the chairman of the Iranian Parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who introduced him during his speech to the Diplomatic Academy in Paris as Iran's only Jewish MP, emphasizing how honored he was by his presence.

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This is Morsadegh's third term as an Iranian MP, totaling nine years. Last year he was re-elected with 70% of the Jewish population's vote, which he says numbers some 25,000 people. Like other religious groups in Iran, the Jewish community has a reserved seat in parliament.

"As the representatives of the religions, we are not so involved in political life," Morsadegh explained, as we sat in the comfortable lounge chairs of the International Diplomatic Academy. "Our main role is regulating minority life through the government and improving the situation of our coreligionists. Generally, we are in the Center, not Left or Right. As a small community, we are not interested in factions and political disagreements. Religious minorities have different political activity. I was chosen by a heterogeneous political group, and I should have a moderate stance and deal mainly with cultural and social issues. Not as a political representative."

He was born in Shiraz to a family which produced many of the Jewish community's leaders. As a medical student, he was active in the socialist youth movement that supported the revolution and served for a long while as the editor in chief of a Jewish newspaper. Later he served as a medical professor and was appointed the head of the Jewish Committee of Tehran and the director of the Jewish hospital, Sapir. "I am a Jew and an Iranian," he says of himself. "I pray in Hebrew, but think in Farsi. I am religious and observe the Sabbath like most of Iran's Jews."

In 2013, when he accompanied Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during his first trip to the UN General Assembly, his presence was a sensation and it raised suspicions. The media quoted his harsh condemnations of Israel and its policies, as well as what seemed like exaggerated praise for freedom of religion and the ideal conditions for Jews in Iran. Today, with Iran being welcomed back in by the family of nations, in his first conversation with an Israeli journalist, his comments seem far from the cliches that were attributed to him back then. Perhaps there are signals here of a desire to start a new more peaceful era in the relations between Iran, the world Jewish community and Israel.

In my visit to Iran I was struck by the involvement of Jews in religious life, by the high attendance at prayers at the central synagogue in Tehran and by the worshipers' feeling of relative security. Just a single soldier guarded the synagogue and therefore I was not surprised when Morsadegh said that "Iran is much safer for Jews than France and there is no need for security at synagogues." The small difference is, of course, in freedom of expression and in fear of the watchful eye of the government.

"In the history of Iran, Jews have never been forbidden from being in any city, not even in the holiest cities, like Mashhad (a holy Shi'ite city in which Jews were forced to convert to Islam in the nineteenth century - G.K.). Until this day, Jews live in Mashhad and Shiraz, in Tehran and in Isfahan. We have full freedom of religion. We have no problem with religious freedoms. We have a synagogue, school, kosher butcher, kosher restaurants. There are many Jewish organizations which deal with preserving the Jewish cultural legacy, cemeteries and special sites for ceremonies. However, we are a minority in a religious Muslim state, and that creates a few problems.

"Some of them have been solved. For example, up until five years ago Jewish schools were open on Saturday and the general day of rest was the Muslim day of rest, Friday. I said to President Rouhani that a school that is opened on Saturday is not a Jewish school, but rather it is a school attended by Jewish students. Since then, there are no more studies on Saturdays. Jewish children can go to a public school or to a Jewish school. Those who go to public school can attend the Jewish schools and synagogues on holidays, learn the Torah, Mishnah, Gemara and Talmud."

However, he admits that there are other problems. "As a Jew in Iran, the highest position that can be attained is member of Parliament, and there is only one such position. A Jew cannot be president, a minister or deputy minister and cannot have an official role in the army. In order to hold these positions, you must be Muslim, but you can, for example, get the highest degree possible from the university and teach. Many Jews learn at the university, and there are some Jews who lecture there.

Do tensions between Iran and Israel influence the treatment of the Jewish community?

"Always, even before the revolution, the Iranian government distinguished between Jews and Zionists. And to be a Jew does not mean that you agree with everything Israel does. When there is criticism of Israel, it does not constitute a problem for us. True, there may be people who start to ask questions about Jews during a bad crisis with Israel, but in our daily life, we see Judaism and Zionism as separate entities."

There were serious allegations of spying against Jews in Shiraz.

"There were all kinds of affairs, but now the situation is better, and I think that it will continue to improve everyday. There are a few more legal problems. Up until a few years ago there was a difference between compensation payments for the death of Muslims and non-Muslims, but following a fatwa (religious edict) from the Ayatollah Khamenei, today they are the same. Or, for example, inheritance law, which favors Muslims or Muslim converts. If the other beneficiaries belong to another religion, they will be disinherited. It is a law from one hundred years ago and we are making efforts to change it. But in general, the situation of the minorities in Iran is better today than in many western nations."

Holocaust denial was especially dear to President Ahmedinejad - Holocaust caricature contests exist in Iran until this day. How do you in the Jewish community deal with this?

"The Holocaust is reality. I am a Jew, and I believe that everyone knows that the Holocaust is a real historic event. Anybody who wants to deny the Holocaust - it's as if they are denying life, denying that the sun exists."

Could you protest and oppose this, then and today, without endangering yourselves?

"Yes. We protested. We sent a letter to Ahmedinejad in which we said that this was unacceptable behavior. Holocaust denial is not a national interest of the Iranian people. Holocaust denial will only serve to help, for example, the extreme Right in Israel and it increased Islamophobia and Iranophobia in Israel. Holocaust denial is politically worthless. It did not even contribute anything to the Palestinians. I recently read a book by Abu Iyad (a PLO leader who was killed in an Israeli raid in Tunis - G.K.), in which he said that Palestinians who cooperated with Hitler during World War II did damage to the Palestinian people."

From the lessons of the Holocaust, Morsadegh moves to an analysis of Israel's diplomatic situation, an area in which he shows great knowledge. Among other things, he doesn't necessarily sympathize with those formally supported by Iran. "I think that all of the Jews and all of the Muslims can live in complete peace, if the extremism ends. For example, if Israel would have reached a good agreement with the PLO during the time of the Rabin government, it would not be facing Hamas today. Whenever you fail to negotiate with a moderate enemy, you have to deal with an extremist enemy. The extremists on each side need each other. The Muslim extremists in the world need Netanyahu, and Netanyahu needs them. They are supposedly against one another, but in my opinion they help each other in their election campaigns and in sustaining the balance of power."

At the same time as I'm speaking with Morsadegh, next door, chairman Boroujerdi declares that Iran will continue to develop its missile capabilities, because "this is the only way to defend against the 200 nuclear bombs in the hands of the Zionists." I ask Morsadegh if despite the aggressive declarations there is, in his estimation, a chance for a future understanding between Iran and Israel.

Morsadegh is optimistic: "Politically speaking, anything is possible, but clearly, until all of the peoples of the Middle East have their full rights respected by the government of Israel, it will not be ready for peace. I think that a two-state solution, or any solution that ensures Middle East peace, will be supported by all nations. It has already been stated many times that Iran is not interested in starting a war with Israel, because it knows that anyone starting a war in the Middle East is committing an act of suicide. It is a crowded part of the world and anyone starting a war here is ending his life. I think that Iran's leaders are sane enough and smart enough to prevent a war with Israel. I admit that a few years ago, I was suspicious of Netanyahu and I thought that he was crazy enough to start a war. Today I think that the situation has improved somewhat after the nuclear deal, and a war between Israel and Iran is an unacceptable possibility.

Do you have family in Israel?

"I do not have family in Israel. In Iran I have a father, mother, sister and wife. We have four children. My wife is writing her doctoral thesis on genetics at Tehran University. Most of my family lives in Iran. A few cousins live in the US."

Morsadegh, and this is an important reason for his status, is known as one of the senior surgeons in Iran, and he is the director of Sapir hospital in Tehran, which belongs to the Jewish community. However, he treats the entire population and is known for his high level and low prices. Many come to him and get treatment that raises the stock of the Jewish community in public opinion.

"I studied general surgery at the university in Shiraz. Today I work at Sapir, which is a charity hospital and gives free treatment to the needy. It opened up more than 70 years ago, during World War II, and I think that it is one of the only charity hospitals left in the world. I take all patients, regardless of religion, on a charity basis. For some eight years we have received help from the government, because, due to the high inflation, the Jewish resources in Iran are not sufficient to support a charity institution. The government funds half of our costs, and we would not be able to fund the hospital without the government."

The Iranian Parliament leaves the Academy building and Siamak Morsadegh rushes to catch up. I bid him goodbye with a greeting of "Chag Sameach" (Happy Holiday in Hebrew).

"Thank you. I wish you a happy Succot and a good and happy new year. And may God hear your prayers on Simhat Torah, and may all of the people of the world live together in absolute peace," he says.

"Love your neighbor as you love yourself," he adds in Hebrew. "Even in our region, Jews and Muslims can be together and respect each other, if all the extremists are silenced."

Saudi Arabia Re-elected to UN Human Rights Council

Reposted from:
Saudi Arabia Re-elected to UN Human Rights Council

Saudi Arabia has been successfully re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), while Russia has lost an election to the organization for the first time since its existence. 1473596291photo
For the first time, since the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was established in 2006, Russia has lost an election to the organization. Its place has been engaged by Croatia. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has been successfully re-elected, despite human rights organizations’ criticism.
Each year, a third part of the 47 places of the UNHRC body, which are distributed on a regional basis, is re-elected. The Russia’s three-year term had finished, and the country was fighting for two available seats for Eastern Europe against Croatia and Hungary.
Croatia received votes of 114 of the 193 member states, while Russia was selected only by 112 members.

“It was a very close vote and very good countries competing, Croatia, Hungary. They are fortunate because of their size, they are not exposed to the winds of international diplomacy. Russia is very exposed. We’ve been in the UNHRC for several years, and I am sure next time we will stand and get back in,” Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia was selected as one of the representatives of the Asian region for the next three years, alongside Japan, Iraq and China.
Criticism from non-governmental human rights organizations, claiming that the UNHRC body has been hijacked by oppressive regimes looking to drive their own plans, has been ignored.


Hearing His Voice

Thanks for being a blessing to many! Jesus said my sheep hear my voice. So this statement implies that only God’s people hear His voice. I have been trying to seek His direction in life and I’m eager to hear Him speak. However, so far I haven’t gotten any response. Does it mean I am not His sheep? Does it even mean that I do not have salvation ?
A. You’re referring to John 10:27. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
The Lord’s “voice” in our life is the guidance provided by the Holy Spirit, who the Father sent to us in the name of the Son (John 14:26). He is an “inner voice” who gives us advice on what to do.

We have to learn how to listen for His voice because it involves waiting quietly, something most of us don’t do naturally. But by learning to listen, we gain valuable insight into the Lord’s will for our life (Romans 12:2).

In all this we have to remember that we’re responsible for the choices we make. The Holy Spirit is a counselor who will only advise us. We have to choose to yield our will to His in order to follow Him.

When we disregard His guidance and go ahead on our own, He will stand aside and let us. If our actions cause us to sin, He will convict us and prompt us to seek God’s forgiveness.
Once in a great while we may actually hear the audible voice of the Lord. If that happens, it it’s wise to pay attention because it means the Lord is giving us very important instruction.
Jesus said, “If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He was talking about learning to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Russia puts 130 military centers on high alert – U.S. strategic bombers arrive at Diego Garcia in record numbers?

From the Extinction Protocol FB page.
October 2016RUSSIA / WEST Britain is sending tanks, drones and 800 troops to Estonia as part of the biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the Cold War. The soldiers will be sent to the Eastern European country and will be joined by forces from Denmark and France, according to Defense Secretary Michael Fallon. It comes a day after Russia unveiled chilling pictures of its largest ever nuclear missile – Satan 2 – which is capable of obliterating the UK.

Yesterday, Putin also reportedly launched an RS-18 ballistic missile, understood to be a test to see if it could defeat US defense systems. And today, 130 military centers were put on high alert in Russia and six surrounding countries for drills on the region’s ability to respond to attacks from the West. The United States hopes for binding commitments from Europe to fill four battle groups of some 4,000 troops, part of NATO’s response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and concern it could try a similar tactic in Europe’s ex-Soviet states.  –Daily Mail

Why we should all prepare for war: NATO continues its encirclement of Russia with additional troop deployments. How can this not be viewed by the Kremlin as anything but an act or war and a threat to Russia’s national security? Even U.S. Defense Secretary Carter said these latest deployments would not ‘lower tensions, they would raise them.’ 

900 troops to be stationed in Poland: Nine hundred US troops are to be sent to Eastern Europe next year as America’s troubled relationship with Russia enters new, uncertain territory. A US-led battle group of NATO allied soldiers will be sent to Poland as part of the multi-nation operation. Secretary Ash Carter confirmed the US would also send tanks, explosive experts and engineers. ‘This was a decision made by the alliance leaders in Warsaw. The US will lead a battalion in Poland and deploy an entire, battle-ready battalion task force of approximately 900 soldiers from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment based in Germany. ‘We will send a headquarters elements, three Stryker Maneuvers with mobile gun systems, artillery battery as well as any tank, explosive ordinance disposal or engineer capabilities.’

British forces will lead one of the four battle groups in Estonia, Canada will spearhead the presence in Latvia and Germany will be present in Lithuania. Here will be 4,000 allied soldiers deployed to the region in total. The US battalion will include troops from the UK and Romania and deploy to Orzysz, north east Poland, in April. Soldiers from the 3rd Squadron of 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, whose troops fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan, will lead the effort.

‘These moves do not lower tensions or restore predictability to our relations. ‘We are concerned about Russia’s behavior.’ It is the latest indicator of America’s fraught relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin. Earlier this week images emerged showing Russians taking part in a nuclear war drill. Underground shelters have reportedly been built in preparation for a war against the West, with citizens warned such a conflict could be imminent. –Daily Mail


Russian strategic missile troops reportedly launched an RS-18 ballistic missile on Tuesday. The launch may have been a test of the advanced hypersonic glider warhead, which would be able to defeat US anti-missile systems. The test was conducted at midday from a site near the town of Yasny, Orenburg region, in the southern Urals, and the warhead reached the Kura test range in Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East. “The test was a success. The warhead was delivered to Kura field,” the Defense Ministry reported.

Popular defense blog MilitaryRussia.ru says the launch was meant to test Russia’s hypersonic glider warhead, currently known by its developer designation, ‘object 4202’, or Aeroballistic Hypersonic Warhead. A select few countries are currently developing the technology. The US has the HTV-2, a device developed by DARPA that has two partially successful tests under its belt. The Chinese warhead using the same technology is called DF-ZF, with Beijing first confirming a test in 2014. India is also studying hypersonic flight technology, but unlike Russia, the US and China, it is reportedly not developing a strategic missile warhead.

A hypersonic glider vehicle (HGV) is different from a conventional ballistic missile warhead in that it travels most of the time in the stratosphere rather than in space. It gives an HGV-tipped missile greater range and may give anti-missile systems a shorter window to respond to an attack. More importantly, an HGV can maneuver during the approach to a target at high speed, making interception significantly harder, because it makes guiding an interceptor missile towards the attacking vehicle challenging and potentially impossible with current rocket technology. –RT

Last Friday in this remote US military outpost on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean (see image below), a US military private contractor who cycles through every nine days working on the island for ongoing maintenance of military hardware reported an enormous, unprecedented buildup of US Air Force bombers – both B-1’s and B-2’s. Some were painted flat black. On a related note, this past week the US Air Force was caught dressing up its warplanes disguised as Russian aircraft that would likely be used in false flag operations to blame Russia for aggression it didn’t commit. The civilian contractor on Diego Garcia stated that far more activity was witnessed than any time prior in the 9 years he’s been on the job there. He reports that under the tightest security the government has blocked off access roads and that so many warplanes have been assembled on the island that aircraft are now being parked on blocked off roads.

A count of over a dozen refueling tankers were sighted and flights were taking off on the average of every 15 minutes. He also observes the tent city that sprang up includes temporary barracks and hangars for both US Air Force and Navy personnel. His ex-Air Force coworker speculated that the ultra-tight security and sudden influx of so much activity is characteristic of top secret nuclear weapons movement. Speaking of which, the eyewitness also noticed that 6-8 US Navy vessels were offshore and the island docks were busily unloading countless pallets of bombs. Obviously sneaky Obama is up to something very big against his targeted cold war enemies potentially including nuclear powered Russia and China.  –Pravda

War Watch

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Letter to the Editor from an Assemblies of God Pastor: How God Sent Ray Yungen Who “Radically Altered the Path of Our Ministry”

LTRP Note: We are posting this, not just as a tribute to Ray but even more so to help Christian pastors and leaders consider taking a closer look at how they are operating their ministries and churches and ask themselves if they are truly preaching “Christ crucified” or are they following after programs made by men.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I don’t remember the exact date, but sometime in early 2011, we were watching “Frances and Friends” on TV over the Son Life Broadcasting network. We weren’t fans of the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries and taking the time to watch one of their programs was not something that was planned on our part. But, God had a plan. Anyhow, as we tuned in to that program, the guest speaker being interviewed by Frances Swaggart over the telephone was Warren Smith. We had never heard of this man but what caught our attention was his comments about Rick Warren and the “Purpose Drive Church” ministry model. In as much as we pastor an Assemblies of God church, and, at that time, were avid disciples or Rick Warren, I stopped to listen to what Warren was saying about Rick Warren. Rick Warren was (and still is) promoted heavily by the Assemblies of God as the “new” ministry model to follow. But what Warren Smith had to say about the Purpose Driven Church and the Purpose Drive Life stopped me dead in my tracks. When that program was over, my wife and I sat there stunned. We had been following Rick Warren’s ministry for approximately 13 years and never had any inclination that it was NOT what we should be doing in our ministry.

I sent an e-mail to Warren Smith that day (or the next) telling him how very much we had appreciated his courage and his willingness to come on national TV and denounce the Purpose Driven Church model. What we learned that day through Warren was shocking, but we felt the peace of God as to what we were learning. In that e-mail I mentioned to Warren that we were now re-examining our promoting the PDC model. Bro. Warren called me on the phone the day after he received my e-mail which was quite a shock to me that he would take the time to do that. But Warren asked me if I would permit him to put me in contact with a man he considered a mentor and who lived in Salem, Oregon which is about 3 hours away. He said that his name was Ray Yungen. I said that would be fine, and he gave me Ray’s phone number.

Still reeling from what I had just learned from Warren about Rick Warren, I decided not to call Ray. But not making that phone call to Ray right away kept nagging at me. I truly believe that this “nagging feeling” was actually the Holy Spirit exhorting me to call him. So, after about two weeks of putting it off, I relented and called Ray. When Ray answered his phone and I told him my name, he said immediately, “Well, it’s about time. I didn’t think you were going to call.” After a few moments of talking to Ray, he asked if he could come to our town and visit with me and share some information he believed would be very helpful to our ministry.

Well, Ray arrived, and he, my wife, and myself sat down, and Ray began to talk about such things as contemplative spirituality, the New Age movement in the church, soaking prayer, centering prayer, and all manner of related things that were taking place in the church world and being endorsed by noted leaders in Christianity. These were things we had never heard about from anyone at anytime. After listening to Ray for 5 ½ hours, my wife and I looked at each other with stunned amazement at what this man had just told us. He talked to us quietly and supported his claims thoroughly. I looked at Ray and said, “Ray, listening to everything you just said is a little bit like trying to get a drink of water out of fire hydrant.” Following that conversation, we walked back to my church office with Ray still talking, and when he walked into my office, he immediately perused my library. He asked my permission to take a closer look, and he began to pull out select books that I had. One by one, Ray pointed out individuals who were involved in what he had just discussed with my wife and I. People like, Tony Campolo, Richard Foster, Leonard Sweet, Joyce Meyer, and, of course, Rick Warren and others.

One item Ray spent some time looking at was something called “We Build People” which was a “discipleship” program put together by the General Council of the Assemblies of God under the direction of Rick Warren and his staff from Saddleback. The AG had asked Mr. Warren to come back to the Springfield, MO offices and help them develop this program but with a Pentecostal slant. The end result was “We Build People.” Ray pointed out that this program was endorsed by people like Richard Foster, et al.

With all of the above being said, my wife and I know that the Lord used Warren Smith to put us in contact with this wonderfully quiet, gentle, and godly man by the name of Ray Yungen who was guided by the Holy Spirit to completely and radically alter the path of our ministry and begin to preach Christ and Him crucified. Over the few years that we have known Ray, we have been continually fed through his research and his writings which have been a continual source of comfort and enlightenment.

If anyone asks me if I could name two people who have impacted life and ministry in a dramatic way, there is no doubt as to who those two would be – Ray Yungen and Warren Smith. Thank the Lord for their faithfulness.

Our hearts are deeply saddened with the passing of Ray, and we will be forever grateful for his ministry which, in our case, was life changing. Our ministry will never be the same. We look forward to the day when we will see him once again and rejoice with Him in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In His Service, Larry and Carol
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