Sunday, March 26, 2017

Revelation 22:18-19

"I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book." Revelation 22:18-19
This passage is frequently ripped from its context and cited with regard to the canon of Scripture. People will say things like, "Notice the words, 'the book of this prophecy'? It's equating the canon and prophecy. If there are true prophets today, then the canon of Scripture isn't complete." Those statements are completely false. They assume egregiously and erroneously  that "the book" is referring to the entire Bible. 

John recorded the Revelation. He then sent it to the churches. It was his letter all by itself. While by application the notion of this passage can certainly be applied to the whole of Scripture—Do not add to it, Do not remove from it; the correct contextual interpretation thereof is that it is speaking concerning the entire prophecy of the book of Revelation. The Greek words translated "this" in both verses are demonstrative pronouns. One is feminine, referring to the prophecy, and the other is masculine, referring to the book. When John sent this letter, the other 65 books were not with it. "This" refers to his letter and its contents, the book of Revelation. Not to the collective Scriptures. This passage is written in regard to the entire book of Revelation, not to the entire canon of Scripture.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Biblical Qualifications For A Pastor

by Unknown

The Bible specifically speaks about the qualifications for those who will lead a congregation of people. These qualifications have been the same for almost 2,000 years. Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of these qualifications as the “senior pastor” of the Church.

(Titus 1:6, 7; 1 Tim. 3:2)

This is the overarching, summarizing characteristic. You will find similar (but not identical) lists in First Timothy and Titus. Living a life above reproach is the first requirement in both lists and Titus repeats it. The other items on the list explain what “above reproach” means. If we peruse the two lists, as well as First Peter, we find 17 qualifications of an elder who is above reproach.
  1. A pastor must be devoted to his wife; one-woman man (Titus 1:6; 1 Tim. 3:2). The pastor’s marriage illustrates Christ’s love for His church—His bride (Eph. 5:22 ff.). A Pastor must love his wife exclusively with his mind, will and emotions and not just his body.
  2. A pastor’s children must be in submission, though not perfect (Titus 1:6; 1 Tim. 3:4-5). If a man does not know how to manage his own family, he will not know how to take care of God’s church. The first flock for a pastor is his own family as Pastor Dad. A Pastor’s qualification for the church starts in his home management as he leads them up in the discipline and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4).
  3. A pastor is a faithful steward (Titus 1:7). Here the term used is overseer (Greek episkopos). It is not another office, but a functional title of the elder. It is what he does. He is a steward, a manager of God’s resources and Jesus’ flock. He takes responsibility, but not ownership.
  4. A pastor must be humble — not arrogant (Titus 1:7). A pastor must constantly demonstrate the gospel by admitting when he is wrong and assuming responsibility and restoring relationships.
  5. A pastor must be gentle — not quick-tempered (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim. 3:3). No man will be of any use in the kingdom that is quick-tempered. The difference between how Jesus demonstrated anger is that He was angry at the abuse of others in the name of religion and the dishonoring of God. We get angry at how it affects us.
  6. A pastor must be sober — not a drunkard (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim. 3:3). This is not just overindulgence in alcohol but is idiomatic for any behavior that fuels addictive responses.
  7. A pastor must be peaceful — not violent (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim. 3:3). A pastor is prone to inflict violence through his words. He is to be a peacemaker.
  8. A pastor must have financial integrity — not greedy for gain (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim. 3:3; 1 Peter 5:3). A pastor is to be upright in his financial dealings and not accused of pursuing money over the kingdom of God.
  9. A pastor must be hospitable (Titus 1:8; 1 Tim. 3:2). A pastor’s home is to be open for others to enjoy. A pastor’s home is not a heaven on earth, but rather a place of ministry.
  10. A pastor must be a lover of good (Titus 1:8). A pastor genuinely loves what is good. He does not just think he should love it.
  11. A pastor must be self-controlled (Titus 1:8; 1 Tim. 3:2). Self-control is a characterization of every area of a pastor’s life: diet, time, mouth, exercise, relationships, sex, and money.
  12. A pastor must be upright (Titus 1:8). He has integrity in his relationships and in how he treats others.
  13. A pastor must be holy (Titus 1:8). His life is devoted wholeheartedly to Jesus externally and internally.
  14. A pastor must be able to teach (Titus 1:9; 1 Tim. 3:2). All of the other qualifications are character qualities. This is the only ability-based requirement. He is to be able to teach sound doctrine, not just be able to communicate in an excellent manner. His teaching can be to one or two, to twenty, to a hundred or to a thousand. Most of the churches in Crete were house churches. The elders were to defend the faith once delivered to the saints against the numerous false teachers that arose.
  15. A pastor must be spiritually mature (1 Tim. 3:6). Positions of authority without spiritual maturity lead to the trap of pride. When pride grows in a man, sin abounds.
  16. A pastor must be respectable (1 Tim. 3:7). That does not mean that everyone must like him or even appreciate him. It means that there is no credible witness to an ongoing sinful behavior.
  17. A pastor must be an example to the flock (1 Peter 5:3). Elders are examples of biblical expressions sexually, time management, marriage, parenting, worship, relationships and any other way. A pastor should be someone your sons could pattern their life after and the kind of man your daughter should marry.

What would you do if an elder violates one of these requirements? 1 Timothy 5:19-20 warns us not to accuse an elder flippantly. Matthew 18:15-18 gives us the steps: 1) Go to the elder alone, 2) If still unsatisfied, go with another person, 3) If still unsatisfied, let the greater eldership know. If accusations are verified and the elder remains unrepentant, rebuking that elder before all is the next biblical step.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why Does Truth Matter So Much?

Society needs to be allowed to speak the truth, and society needs to speak the truth. Always. No matter what.

You and I are humans, just as were the Nazis. Just as with the Nazis, you and I are capable of committing great atrocities against our fellow human beings. Look inside yourself and be honest with yourself. You know it is true. So how did regular everyday people suddenly become capable of committing such great atrocities? They stopped speaking the truth. They stopped believing the truth. They were not allowed to speak the truth.

When truth is silenced, as several groups are trying to accomplish today (and succeeding), you eventually tell yourself all sorts of little lies to comfort yourself in what you are doing. Those little lies eventually become bigger lies. Soon, you have lied to yourself to much that your conscience is seared. You could do things to your fellow man without even blinking an eye. And you would tell yourself another lie to cover it up. How can this happen? Because you weaken your character through sins of omission.

When society is built on lies, terrible things happen. All you have to do is look at history to see examples of it. Russia. Germany. There is no shortage of examples. We can see the exact same thing happening today. People are buying into all the little lies that pretty soon previously otherwise gentle people will start to become violent in ways they never would have believed possible. They will do things they never before dreamed capable. Why? Because the truth was stifled, silenced, and suppressed. It became illegal to speak truth about or against certain things. If you do not use the truth, you will lose the truth.

Even professing Christians who are not saturated with the truth, thinking on the truth, and comparing all things against the truth, will eventually find themselves committing acts against their fellow Christians that they never would have perceived of doing prior. Especially those associated with the N.A.R. (New Apostolic Reformation) cult movement of Charismania. Do not be naive. Do not be stupid. Truth matters!

How To Discern False Teachers

How can you recognize a false teacher? The simple answer is that, "You will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:16, 20). But that answer assumes that you have any amount of discernment about yourself to understand right from wrong and recognize truth from error. Nowadays, that assumption is just reaching. Long-time professing Christians are starting to be unable to tell right from wrong. Discernment is practically non-existent because the average church-goer does not spend any amount of time in God's Word. If you are not saturated with the truth, thinking on the truth, and comparing all things against the truth, how are you to recognize when subtle false doctrines creep in?
This does not merely apply to authors, speakers, and/or Bible teachers, but also to the music artists you listen to. You should always evaluate those you associate yourself with. Do not merely examine what they say, but examine what they do. Anyone can say they are a Christian, but is it exhibited in their everyday life? Research their teachings and habits in three main areas: their doctrine and hermeneutics; their ministry partnerships and associations; and their lifestyle or behaviour. Are they biblically sound? Do they endorse, partner with, or associate with false teachers? How do they conduct themselves in their everyday life?

You should also consider the fact of whether any problems in these three areas are current, ongoing, and unrepentant, or if there were issues of sin in these areas in the past that have since been repented of and corrected. Remember, even the godliest person is still a human being who sins, as well as a Christian who learns God's Word and grows to maturity over the span of their lifetime. The issue is not whether a person has sinned in these areas—something we are all guilty of from time to time, but whether the person knowingly persists in sin, or is teachable, repents, and avoids sin when it is pointed out to them.

You can test to see whether a person is a false teacher by using the following three criteria:
  1. They cannot currently and unrepentantly be living in any type of sin (e.g., cohabiting with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend or living as a homosexual).
  2. They cannot currently and unrepentantly be partnering with or frequently appearing with false teachers in violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14.
  3. They cannot currently and unrepentantly be teaching false doctrine.
(I modified and put into my own words a couple things Michelle Lesley had to say to women in regard to how she determines whether to recommend a female Bible teacher, speaker, or author, because I agree with what she said and it can be applied all around.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Warning For Christian Women


Be careful what womens' books you are reading and what womens' ministries you are following. Many of these women are either directly influenced by the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) cult movement or are influenced by women who are directly influenced by the NAR cult movement. If you do not believe me, there is a dear Christian woman named Michelle Lesley who has addressed many of these concerns in a couple of her blog entries: Do You Recommend These Teachers/Authors? Part 1 and Do You Recommend These Teachers/Authors? Part 2. Regarding female authors and Bible teachers, she writes:
Generally speaking, in order for me to recommend a teacher, speaker, or author, she has to meet three criteria:
  1. She cannot currently and unrepentantly preach to or teach men in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12, nor can she currently and unrepentantly be living in any other sin (for example, cohabiting with her boyfriend or living as a homosexual).
  2. She cannot currently and unrepentantly be partnering with or frequently appearing with false teachers in violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14ff.
  3. She cannot currently and unrepentantly be teaching false doctrine.
Avoid associating yourself with the womens' ministry She Reads Truth. Despite the claim on their website, these women all have agendas that have to do with so-called "social injustice." Another dear Christian woman named Elizabeth Prata wrote a couple blog entries on this group of women and the dangers of being associated with them:

Even popular Christian musicians are falling in line with the world and its corruption. Nichole Nordeman, a Christian singer whom I used to enjoy listening to, divorced her husband a couple years ago (though she did not give any details as to why they were divorcing), and has since been very vocal with her support of Jen Hatmaker's embrace of homosexuality in the church. It makes me question whether she is a Christian at all, because she sure does not know the God of the Bible or His Word, because homosexuality is condemned by God in His Word.

Christian women, especially stay-at-home moms, are most susceptible to being influenced by false messages in Christian music because, if they listen to "Christian" radio at home, they are the ones being targeted with particular songs and particular sales. If the radio station plays songs by Bethel Church, Elevation Church, Gateway Church, Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Planetshakers, etc., they are subtly being introduced to false doctrine. Not just women, but men included, need to be careful what books they are reading, what music they are listening to, and what ministries they are following. There are more and more of these being produced in order to seduce God's children away from the truth. We need to be on our guard. We need to be in the Word and we need to know the Word.

Here is just a small list of women to watch out for and avoid:
  • Jennifer Kennedy Dean
  • Lisa Harper
  • Rebekah Lyons
  • Raechel Myers
  • Shauna Niequist
  • Jennifer Rothschild
  • Susie Shellenberger
  • Sheila Walsh
  • Amanda Bible Williams
  • Jennie Allen
  • Lisa Bevere
  • Rachel Held Evans
  • Heather Lindsey
  • Anne Graham Lotz
  • Kelly Minter
  • Jen Hatmaker
  • Lysa TerKeurst
  • Beth Moore
  • Christine Caine
  • Victoria Osteen
  • Joyce Meyer
  • Priscilla Shirer
  • Ann Voskamp
  • Bobbie Houston
  • Margaret Feinberg
  • Bianca Olthoff
  • Sarah Jakes Robers
  • Charlotte Gambil
  • Paula White
  • Sarah Young
  • Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth (Not considered a false teacher, but should approach her stuff with caution.)
  • Kay Arthur  (Not considered a false teacher, but should approach her stuff with caution.)

A Manifesto of Christian Discernment

by Steven Kozar

We will maintain a healthy skepticism towards all the big-name leaders in the church. No matter how famous a Christian celebrity might be, we refuse to be gullible just because someone has become a "brand name."

We will check everything any pastor/teacher says against God's Word, and when it comes to the most powerful, multimillionaire "Super Pastors," we will assume the worst until convinced otherwise.

We refuse to be impressed or motivated by storytelling, drama and entertainment. God and His written Word is the only acceptable focus of a worship service--not the manipulations of men. We will not tolerate idiotic stunts in order to "bring the unsaved to church." We will not tolerate false humility and claims of direct revelation from any pastor/teacher. Any pastor/teacher that claims to hear "something new" directly from God will be immediately disqualified. No second chances.

We don't need you.  We understand that you need a constant influx of new and gullible listeners, but we refuse to participate. 

A pulpit and a microphone should only be used to direct attention to Christ, not towards a pastor who loves the attention of an audience. A large church platform does not give any pastor the right to amass power and enlarge their bank account. Pastors must tell the truth, all the time--not just when it advances their career.

  • Stop telling people "it's all about Jesus" when you actually talk more about yourself and your ideas. 
  • Stop bragging about how much you're doing for God. 
  • Stop bragging about how great your church is. 
  • Stop bragging about how you started out with just a few people meeting in your living room and "now we have (x) number of people coming!" 
  • Stop bragging about the guest speaker--he's a sinner, too. (We know you just want to get invited to his church so you can make a pile of money.)
  • Stop bragging about your best-selling book. 
  • Stop bragging about your celebrity friends.
Pastor, you're a sinner that deserves God's wrath, just like the rest of us. Jesus took the punishment we deserve upon Himself to set us free from sin and death; you didn't do anything. Either tell us about the true Gospel or we will go elsewhere, with zero regrets.

We are all on equal footing; no pastor should be getting rich from his parishioners.
  • You are not a rock star, you're a servant of Jesus Christ.
  • You are not a CEO, you're a servant of Jesus Christ.
  • You are not a motivational speaker, you're a servant of Jesus Christ.
Any pastor/teacher who misuses the Bible should be removed from ministry. Period. We realize that this rarely takes place, but we will work towards that goal, as much as possible.

  • Stop taking Bible verses out of context to support your own personal agenda. 
  • Stop spending so much time putting on a good show each Sunday that you're not studying the Bible. 
  • Stop emphasizing leadership skills as if you were running a large corporation; you're cheapening the church and starving your sheep. 
  • Stop using marketing gimmicks and promotional tricks to imitate a genuine work of God. 
  • Stop apologizing for the Bible while you pander to newcomers who aren't being told the full story of their sin and need for salvation. 
  • Stop embarrassing us by trying to be cool, relevant and modern. Just preach the Word.
  • Stop thinking that nobody will show up if you don't tickle people's ears to get them in the door. 
  • Stop relying on musicians to create a fake "Holy Spirit;" you should be more concerned about the Biblical training (and eternal fate) of these musicians rather than just using them as part of the Sunday morning "show."
  • Stop giving motivational speeches that promise success in the name of God.
  • Stop telling people to tithe in order to get God to do something. God is sovereign.
  • Stop using tithing as a false promise of guaranteed prosperity to your parishioners and as a means to fill your own wallet. If you didn't have such an expensive "church" to run, you wouldn't need so much money.
  • Stop manipulating people--start serving them.
  • Stop pointing to yourself--point to Jesus.
  • Stop referring to your own thoughts and ideas--start referring to God's Word alone.
  • Stop putting people under the burden of the Law--point people to the freedom that only the Gospel brings.
In Conclusion, 

We will seek out the pastor who faithfully serves God and proclaims repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' name. God's Word alone will be our guide. It will be our joy to serve faithfully under a real, Biblical pastor, no matter what. God help us all, in the great name of Jesus.

Titus 1:7-11  “For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.”

James 3: 1 "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness." 

Titus 2:1 “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.”

2 Timothy 4:1-4  “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

2 Timothy 4:16  "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

Romans 16:18  “For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”

2 Corinthians 2:17  “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Itching Ears

When asked why Hillsong is so successful, Brian Houston said, "We are scratching people where they are itching." Does that not sound like something straight out of Scripture? "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;" (2 Tim. 4:3). The reason all these mega churches and campus churches are so "successful" is because they are telling people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. They are attempting to make these people feel better about themselves just so that they can go to Hell on a greased pole. They make these people twice the inhabitants of Hell than they themselves are. They are wolves in sheep's clothing and they are leading millions astray. But we should not be surprised. God's Word told us this would happen:
"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth." 1 Timothy 4:1-3

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these." 2 Timothy 3:1-5

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation."" 2 Peter 3:3-4

"Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us." 1 John 2:18-19

"But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit." Jude 1:17-19
These "churches" are merely Synagogues of Satan. How is it that churches that faithfully preach God's Word remain significantly small, while these churches have hundreds of thousands of people in attendance every Sunday? That alone should set off a red flag. When three quarters of your year's Sundays are spent giving messages on "tithing," there is something wrong. When your "message" is about how rich you are (while your congregation is poor and struggling), there is something wrong. When you are claiming to have a word from the Lord and you are doing a whole bunch of wacky nonsense, there is something wrong. Where is God's Word in any of this? Where is the faithful expository preaching that adheres to context? If a Christian is going to walk into a mega church or a campus church, make sure you know your Bible well! Make sure you have discernment from the Holy Spirit! Pay attention to everything that is said and/or done and hold it in comparison to the Bible. If it does not match up, leave that church immediately!

Gender Identity

Do you struggle with gender identity?

I have the solution!

It is so simple that you will think to yourself, "How could I have been so dumb not to have seen it before?"

Are you ready for it?

Okay, here it is...

Look in your pants!

"The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately
wicked; Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9

How in the world does someone "struggle" with their gender identity? What is to struggle with? If you are confused as to your gender identity, look in your pants! It is not hard to figure out. The boy from the movie Kindergarten Cop said it best: "Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina." It cannot get any simpler than that.

There are some idiots out there (yes, "idiots" is the proper word) who claim that biological gender is merely "a construct." What?!? Really? Biological gender is "an idea" or "a theory"? What rock did these fools crawl out from under? That is as stupid as the philosophy that attempts to argue that we are not really here; we just think we are.

People who struggle with gender identity suffer from a mental disorder, the same as every other person who struggles with sexual identity. Transgenderism is just a variant form of homosexuality. Pederasty, bisexuality, pansexuality, polysexuality, omnisexuality, ambisexuality, transsexuality; they are all variant forms of homosexuality.

Just because you are mentally confused and "feel" that you are a balloon trapped in a man's/woman's body does not make you a balloon. If you are a Caucasian, you can identify yourself as a seven-foot tall African all you want, but that does not make it true. There used to be a simpler time when people who insisted on living in "realities" that were not real were committed and institutionalized for their mental disorders. Now, society caters to their every fantastical whim.

Jesus made it quite clear as to what genders there are: "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE" (Matt. 19:4). Jesus also made it very clear as to God's law regarding marriage: "'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate" (Matthew 19:5-6). Anything outside of this is not a marriage! There is no wiggle room here. Jesus upheld heterosexuality as the only acceptable form of appropriate sexuality. You are the biological gender you were born as. Again, to quote the boy from the movie Kindergarten Cop, "Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina."

A true Christian speaks the truth! Any professing "Christian" who accepts, approves, and condones of homosexuality, gay "marriage," or transgenderism is NOT a Christian, NOR are they loving in the least. A Christian speaks the truth, no matter how much it might hurt a person to hear. Genuine Christians are to be truth tellers. They should use the pronouns "her" and "she" when referring to those God made female, and they should use the pronouns "him" and "he" when referring to those God made male. Anything else is to bear false witness against our Creator and those who are trying to mutilate their flesh and be something that they are not and will never be.

Any person who professes to be a Christian and tosses their support in with homosexuality, gay "marriage," and transgenderism: (1) is a liar; (2) is not your friend; and (3) does not love you. You should not trust these individuals and you should avoid them. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. A person who loves you and is your friend will tell you what you need to hear; not what you want to hear.

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful
are the kisses of an enemy." Proverbs 27:6

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jars of Clay Singer Promotes Gay Marriage

"I just don't see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage."
—Dan Haseltine, Jars of Clay

Dan thinks that most people interpret Scripture incorrectly. It is clear that Dan does not spend much time in God's Word, let alone having a shred of discernment about him. Tell us, Dan, which of these extremely clear passages on the issue are you having trouble with? Which ones, in your estimation, do you assume to be interpreted incorrectly?
"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." Leviticus 18:22
In the Hebrew, it reads: "ואת‾וכר לא תשׁכּב משׁבּבי אשׁה תוצבההוא"
In the Greek Septuagint, it reads: "και μετα αρσενος ου κοιμηθηση κοιτην γυναικος βδελυγμα γαρ εστιν"
In the Latin Vulgate, it reads: "cum masculo non commisceberis coitu femineo quia abominatio est."

"If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them." Leviticus 20:13
In the Hebrew, it reads: "ואישׁ אשׁר ישׁכּב את‾וכר משׁבּבי אשׁה תּוצבה צשׂו שׁניהם מות יומתו"
In the Greek Septuagint, it reads: "και ος αν κοιμηθη μετα αρσενος κοιτην γυναικος βδελυγμα εποιησαν αμφοτεροι θανατουσθωσαν ενοχοι εισιν"
In the Latin Vulgate, it reads: "qui dormierit cum masculo coitu femineo uterque operati sunt nefas morte moriantur sit sanguis eorum super eos."
וכר = "a male, man, mankind (as opposed to womankind)"
אישׁ = "man, male, husband"
אשׁה = "woman, female, wife"
ישׁכּב ,תשׁכּב = "a primitive root; to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose)"
משׁבּבי = "a bed; abstractly, sleep; by euphemism, carnal intercourse"
תּוצבה ,תוצבה = "properly, something disgusting (morally): detestable; abomination"
αρσενος = “male, man, husband”
γυναικος = “female, woman, wife”
κοιτην = “a bed; spoken of the marriage bed, metaphorically for marriage (Heb. 13:4)”
κοιμηθη, κοιμηθηση = “to sleep”
βδελυγμα = “that which is detestable; abomination”
"For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error." Romans 1:26-27
In the Greek, it reads: "Δια τουτο παρεδωκεν αυτος ο Θεος εις παθη ατιμιας αι τε γαρ θηλειαι αυτων μετηλλαξαν την φυσικην χρησιν εις την παρα φυσιν ομοιως τε και οι αρσενες, αφεντες την φυσικην χρησιν της θηλειας, εξεκαυθησαν εν τη ορεξει αυτων εις αλληλους, αρσενες εν αρσεσι την ασχημοσυνην κατεργαζομενοι, και την αντιμισθιαν ην εδει της πλανης αυτων εν εαυτοις απολαμβανοντες."
θηλειαι = "female, woman"
αρσενες, αρσεσι = "male, man"
χρησιν = "employment, i.e. (specially), sexual intercourse (as an occupation of the body)"
ορεξει = "excitement of the mind, i.e. longing after: lust"
αρσενες εν αρσεσι = "men with men, i.e. homosexuals"
ασχημοσυνην = "an indecency; by implication, the pudenda: shame"
The fact is, Dan, Scripture is not being interpreted incorrectly. The Golden Rule of Hermeneutics states, "If the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense." Those words, in any language, cannot be mistaken. Homosexuality is abnormal, unnatural, and forbidden. It is a perversion of both human and sexual natures. It is sin, and it is against God.

How is it that Dan does not see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage? First of all, Dan, it is not marriage. God defined marriage in the Garden of Eden. "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate" (Matthew 19:4-6). In case that one is not clear, how about these verses?
  • "But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh." Mark 10:6-8
  • "Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, 'The two shall become one flesh.'" 1 Corinthians 6:16
  • "But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband." 1 Corinthians 7:2
Those are just a handful of the dozens of passages I could cite where a clear argument is made for heterosexuality as the only form of appropriate sexuality. Husband and wife, Dan. Man and woman. The penis and the vagina were designed to compliment each other. They were made for each other. Common sense, logic, nature, and science all inform us of this, regardless of how wilfully ignorant (dumb on purpose) we choose to be.

Second of all, Dan, gay "marriage" has a highly negative effect. On God's creation. On God's mandate. On God's character. On marriage. On families. On the structure of society. If you spent any amount of time in God's Word, you would understand this. Homosexuality and gay "marriage" are an affront to God. Why you offer support to something so clearly condemned by God is a mystery to me. Sodom was destroyed because of open publicly accepted practice of homosexuality. Rome's fall came about because of open publicly accepted practice of homosexuality. Seems we are doomed to repeat the tragedies of history from civilization to civilization without ever learning from the past. This time it is on a global scale, and when the time is full, Jesus will return as a Lion and judge the wickedness of those who commit such acts as well as those who give approval to such acts (Rom. 1:32).

Romans 1 clearly condemns man-with-man and woman-with-woman sexual relationships as "vile affections," "against nature," "unseemly," and "a reprobate mind" (Rom. 1:26-28). No amount of interpretive gymnastics by homosexual-rights activists can change the clear meaning of this passage. God made human sex for the context of marriage, between a husband and a wife, a man and a woman, and anything outside of the context of marriage is fornication and adultery, and is subject to God's judgment. "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Heb. 13:4).

From Genesis to Revelation, God-ordained marriage is defined as a holy contract between one man and one woman. While polygamy was practiced by some of the Old Testament saints, Jesus made it clear that this was never God's will and He referred men to God's law of marriage at the beginning. "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate" (Matthew 19:4-6). Since the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, and since legitimate marriage is only between a man and a woman, there is absolutely no possibility that God would bless homosexual relationships!

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible clearly teaches that apart from the union of holy marriage, sexual activity is sin, and there is not a hint anywhere in Scripture that a holy marriage can consist of a same-sex union! "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Heb. 13:4). Christ Jesus directed His hearers to Genesis 2 as God's standard and only acceptable form of appropriate sexuality. "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate" (Matthew 19:4-6).

The truth of the matter was contained in the same post made by Dan on his Twitter account:

"I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is ‘wrong.’"
—Dan Haseltine, Jars of Clay

An unmistakably clear revelation that Dan is not a Christian, but rather a false convert. Genuine Christians agree with God and His Word. He is sovereign. His Word is our final authority on all matters pertaining to faith and life. To not care what He has written in His Word is to show Him the utmost disrespect. Dan might as well just walk up to God and spit in His face.

Repent, Dan, and agree with God. It is foolishness for you to stand in opposition to Him and His Word, deliberately defying Him and being disobedient to His Word. Your knee, too, will bow on that day, and you will confess the truth despite your current decision to support lies, error, and sin. Today is the day of salvation, Dan. Do not neglect it.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

SOZO: The Seeking of A False Jesus

by Kim Olsen on DiscernIt

Learning about SOZO occurred when I was working with a woman who was dealing with oppression and darkness. Many are deceived when they enter into a spiritual realm that they have no business delving into.

Today we easily find  mysticism, false teaching, divination, abuse of spiritual gifts, and love of experience trumping the Word of God. When you fall into this area the problem is that the spirit world will deliver. Those seeking to be in the “presence of Jesus” will indeed find themselves in the company of a entity but it will not be  Jesus of the Bible. Remember that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Satan is the prince of darkness and well-meaning Christians will fall into the trap and deceitful workmen will also masquerade as “apostles of Christ.”  2 Corinthians 11:13

There are so many who love the Lord and want to serve Him with all their hearts but the way we do this is laid out in the Epistles to the church in the New Testament. We also find many warnings of false teachers in the scriptures.

When we read about Jesus as our shepherd and recognize ourselves as the flock, it must be remembered that sheep are not very smart. They need to be led. They often cannot discern the enemy among who are clothed in sheepskin but inwardly are wolves. These wolves will be found IN the church, they are among God’s people.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Acts 20:29
 The false self-claimed apostles, Bill Johnson, Mike Bickle, Todd Bentley, John Arnott, Todd White, just to name a few, are promising that people can walk among the streets and in the power of the Holy Spirit, heal people of their diseases. Of course this speaks of the pride of man, to be just like the apostles in the book of Acts. These early  men were hand selected by Jesus and therefore Apostles. Paul was the last Apostle. God does still does heal today but not like what we are seeing in these false ministries.

The sad part is the report that those seeking healing at Bethel in Redding, CA are subjected to rating their healing from 1 -10. This can only be due to the fact that they are not being healed and people are trying to glean some positive results from their man-made practices and techniques.

SOZO is found in two main ministries…Bethel in Redding and IHOP ministries but is spreading to many charismatic churches. The focus is on drawing susceptible youth and making them believe they have some special abilities other Christians are leaving on the table.

Here is a good article to get you started on research by someone who has personal experience with SOZO.

This site is also dedicated to SOZO and its false teachings.

These tools are not biblical and will actually put you into contact with an entity masquerading as Jesus. But many will accept this Jesus.
 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 2 Cor. 11:4
Think new-age spirit guides  (demons) and you will have a better understanding of what spiritual world is truly being contacted.

Do you think that these false teachings will not reach you or your church? Think again. What prompted me to repost  this information is that on Facebook there is a woman excited to take a SOZO class in a nearby town. The comments on her post encouraged her to do so. I can longer reach this woman who blocked me because of my past warnings on other issues.

What can we do to protect ourselves? Stay in the Word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth. There are no shortcuts. Study the Word, pray, fellowship, be obedient to the Word,  and walk in faith…not by sight.

Please Don't Get Soaked

by Amy Spreeman on Naomi's Bible Studies

Ladies, there is a prayer practice that is gaining momentum among Christians, and we need to talk about it at the Table.  It’s called the Soaking Prayer, and while it sounds like something Christians can practice safely, it is anything but safe. In fact, the Soaking Prayer practice contains spiritual elements that are not only not found in Scripture, but God’s Word warns us to avoid doing these things.

What is it?
The “Soaking Prayer” is one of many Contemplative prayer practices that isn’t found in the Bible. It is designed to empty your mind, and was developed by the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, now known as Catch the Fire Toronto. This group also gave rise to the “Toronto Blessing” and many aberrant practices such as holy laughter, making animal sounds, and being drunk or paralyzed in the Spirit.

In an article titled, “Soaking: The Key to Intimacy with God”, writer Gary Oates recently wrote more on the supernatural realm we can experience, which is the goal of the Soaking Prayer:
During our soaking times, we position ourselves to receive impressions, nudges, quiet whispers, pictures, angelic visitations, and supernatural revelations. Here is a partial list of what to expect:
  • Dreams
  • Visions
  • Trances
  • Out of body experiences
  • Angelic visitations
  • Being transported in the Spirit
Experiencing the true intimate Presence of the living God will radically change your life. People describe His manifest Presence in different ways. To some, it is heat, electricity, or shaking. To others, it is lightness, peace, or weeping.

Experiencing the manifest Presence is not the goal but the gateway to the supernatural realm. It’s the beginning. We go into the spirit realm where we can see Him, hear His voice, walk with Him, and be empowered by Him.
Gaining Momentum
This week, a newly-produced video is making the rounds that offers a “How-To” tutorial to help Christians get into a trance state in order to hear God’s voice. The video was produced and promoted by one of Soaking Prayer’s biggest proponents, a man by the name of Sid Roth. Mr. Roth, whose television program It’s Supernatural, has been promoting on his own website since 2006 through multiple articles and videos. Here is his latest, which he uploaded yesterday to his ministry’s YouTube channel:

Back in 2006, Roth’s ministry page featured the first of many articles and videos titled, Soaking In His Presence, a How-To on Soaking Prayer by John Arnott, senior pastor of Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and host of the “Catch The Fire” television program. Arnott explains why you would need to listen to music and have a “catcher” volunteer positioned behind you, just in case you fall over while you empty your mind.

At the end of the article, he encourages support for his vision:
I want to see hundreds of Catch the Fire “Soaking Prayer Centers” springing up around North America and the world. This is an opportunity for those who are hungry for the River and for more of the Lord’s presence to link with us and draw deeper into intimacy with God. …We are offering a starter kit to get you going right away. We also offer a one week training course in Toronto where we can train you and pray for an impartation of the Holy Spirit so you can begin.
Impartation? Are we not promised the Holy Spirit upon our conversion when He regenerates our souls from death to life?

Ladies, the Bible says we are to avoid sorcery, mysticism, divination and the like. Soaking prayer, listening prayer, theophostics, and other mystical exercises are part of the ”contemplative prayer” and contemplative spirituality, which can not be found anywhere in God’s Word. What does the Bible say about biblical prayer? It is simply talking to God with His will in mind (1 John 5:14). A biblically praying believer already understands that God’s presence is always with him (Psalm 139:7; Matthew 28:20; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; 2 Timothy 1:14)

A Scatter-brained God

Imagine you have two children, a boy and a girl. The boy does something wrong and so you ground him for four (4) weeks. After the third week is finished, forget about your son and do something with your daughter for the next six (6) months. Then turn your attention back to your son for a "fourth" week. Any child will intelligently and correctly recognize that they were not grounded for a mere four (4) weeks, but for seven (7) months!

Sadly, this is how Dispensationalists view God. Forgetful and scatter-brained.

What kind of God do the Scriptures portray?

When it was prophesied that Israel would be slaves in Egypt for 400 years, how long were they slaves?
400 years.
When it was prophesied that Israel would wander the desert for 40 years, how long did they wander the desert?
40 years.
When it was prophesied that Israel would be captive to Babylon for 70 years, how long were they captive?
70 years.

So how is it that Dispensationlists take a prophecy of 490 years to deal with Israel and somehow get a 2,000-year "parenthetical gap"? God cannot follow His own timeline? A "gap" of 2,000 years is a time period of 2,490 years. How is it that God prophesied all these time spans in the past and they were exactly as He prophesied, but when He prophesies 490 years there is somehow a magical "gap" of 2,000 plus years? Anyone else having an intellectual problem assimilating that nonsense?

Keil & Delitzsch, the greatest of the Hebrew scholars, have said in their Commentary On the Old Testament, "The sing. is simply explained by this, that שׁבוּעַ שׁבְעִים is conceived of as the absolute idea, and then is taken up by the passive verb impersonal, to mark that the seventy sevens are to be viewed as a whole, as a continued period of seventy seven times following each other." The 490 years are done. They are finished. They are history. It has been nearly 2,000 years since their completion.

There is no time left for dealing with national Israel because national Israel is nothing. God's people are Christians. All who will enter into Heaven will be Christians. There is one people, one body, one bride, one church, one true Israel—spiritual Israel, made up of every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. Paul made that clear with Romans 11:17-24 and Ephesians 2:11-22, and Peter made that clear with 1 Peter 2:9-10.

If your god is scatter-brained and cannot follow his own predicted timeline, then you might want to look for a different god. One who can add. Might I suggest the God of the Bible?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Will Jesus Find Faith At His Return?

"[W]hen the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8

This verse sounds to me as if it is prophetic. Look around you. Look across the world today and how at every turn the masses are deceived. Look at the majority of mega churches and the influence they are having over other churches, and Christians in general, and the deception they are sowing with their false teachings and false doctrines. People are being deceived at alarming rates these days. The deception is unprecedented. I believe that this is evidence that Satan has already been loosed again to deceive the nations. I also believe this is evidence of the great falling away.

When Jesus returns, what kind of faith is He going to find? I believe that He will find few faithful servants, just as His words describing those who will enter Heaven: "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matt. 7:13-14). 80% of Americans might identify themselves as "Christian," but that is a complete contradiction to the 25% Jesus identified in His parable of the sower, and the few He said would find life.

Based on both verses above, it would behoove the genuine follower of Christ Jesus, the true believer, the legitimate Christian, to guard him/herself and his/her doctrine closely and to strive to make sure they are in the faith and on the right path. Strive to keep the faith. Strive to remain faithful. Even if it should come to be known that you are the only faithful one left on the Earth at Jesus' second coming, strive to remain so in His strength. Never take your eyes off of Him. He is your rock. He is your refuge.
"It’s never-ending. The apostasy, the lack of discernment, the gullibility. How can anyone who proclaims the name of Jesus Christ not recognize the dismal state of the professing church? Words cannot even begin to describe how far away the church is from Christ in these days. The attractions, the concerts, the conferences. People joining hands with those teaching for shameful gain things they ought not to teach. This is not revival, but the falling away in it’s most deceptive and extreme form—a form of godliness that denies its power." —Jeff Maples
The church these days lacks wisdom, understanding, and discernment. If they would just ask the Lord for it, He would give it to them abundantly. But they would rather play in a mud puddle while God has provided a sparkling ocean for them. Their ignorance truly is bliss. The amount of professing "Christians" out there without a shred of discernment is just staggering. Discernment is not just for preachers, teachers, and theologians. All Christians are to have and use discernment. All Christians are to be like the Bereans. The Berean character is two-fold: they examine the Scriptures to see if what they are being told is true (Acts 17:11); and they examine the life of the one speaking to see if it lines up with their words (1 John 4:1; Rev. 2:2). Scripture has much to say about this (Acts 20:30; 1 Thess. 5:21; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Pet. 2:1). Even a false teacher can speak the truth of Scripture while their life does not match up with their words or the words of Scripture.

So many churches have let in the heretical "praise and worship" music by artists such as Kari Jobe, whose songs romanticize an erotic emotional eros love toward God, rather than sound doctrine of the parental, sacrificial, unconditional agape love of God. God is not your boyfriend/girlfriend and you should not sing about Him as such. He is the sovereign creator of the universe whom you should honour and revere, bowing before Him in all humility.

The "love" promoted by the world and many "Christian" sects today is precisely that erotic, emotional, romanticized "love," rather than true, genuine, sacrificial, unconditional love, which is what God the Father shows toward His children and the love Christ has for us and the love Christians are commanded to show each other (especially husbands to their wives). Agape love is a love poured out regardless of whether the person has earned it or deserves it. When the love you speak in regard to Jesus is an emotional, "feeling," erotic love, then you worship a false Jesus. Your emotions and feelings are to be governed by and subjected to wisdom, understanding, and discernment. They are to be governed by and subjected to truth. They are to be governed by and subjected to Scripture. Your emotions and "feelings" and "experiences" and opinions are to be subject to Scripture; Scripture is never subject to your emotions and "feelings" and "experiences" and opinions.

Songs by these heretical "praise and worship" artists are leading a great many Christians astray. The books of false teachers such as Rob Bell are also leading a great many Christians astray. Because of the trash they read, Christian musicians Don and Wendy Francisco have rejected the doctrine of Hell, of which Jesus spoke twice as much about than He did Heaven, and have also rejected the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture. Don has been quoted as saying that those who believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture are "dead" and need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid. The fact is, Don has become undiscerning in the material he consumes. He likely does not weigh it against Scripture, but instead weighs Scripture against the heretical material he reads. The result of this material has been witnessed in the character and attitude of his wife, Wendy, who speaks with a foul mouth on her social media accounts, trying to justify the nonsense she now believes. This is what happens when you take your eyes of Jesus and are not daily in the Word so that it can saturate your soul. If you do not use the truth, you will eventually lose the truth.

Seeing this kind of deception in even long-standing doctrinally-firm Christians makes me think that perhaps Jesus' words in the above verse are prophetic, rather than an actual question. Considering the great falling away from the faith that we seem to be seeing, I think it is a safe bet. We as Christians need to guard ourselves daily. We need to be in the Word daily, letting it wash over us and fill us with its truth. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus alone and quit diverting them to the various bandwagon crusades that keep popping up. Satan's ploys are to distract us and separate us from the Saviour. We need to be ever vigilant and make sure Jesus is elevated in our hearts and minds. Let the Word of God be our distraction. Be firm in your faith and let Jesus be your strong tower. Pray for wisdom, understanding, and discernment. Let the Word of God guide you. Strive to be among the few who will be faithful at the return of our Lord and Saviour.

I Was Born This Way

In one sense, no, practitioners of homosexuality were not born that way. In another sense, yes, practitioners of homosexuality were born that way. It depends on how you are looking at it. The behaviour—the practice of homosexuality—is entirely the product of your choice, and so, no, you were not born that way. The inclination or desire is a product of original sin and denotes a depraved inherited nature (Romans 1), and so, yes, you were born that way. All inclinations toward sin are the product of original sin and are inherited. But that cannot be used as an excuse for why you do the things that you do.

Your behaviour, or the behaviour of any sinner committing any sin, may be natural in your unconverted nature, but it is not natural in the way that God created us and the manner in which He intended all human beings to behave. That is why you need a new nature, which is only found by being born again by the Holy Spirit. Sin is ingrained into our flesh. There is no such thing as "free will" because our will is slave to sin and the devil (Romans 6). All we can do is make decisions, but our will is tainted by sin. When pedophiles start using the same argumentation that homosexuals have used—that they are born that way, in one sense it is true while in another sense it is false.

Just as lying rules the liar and thieving rules the thief, so too does homosexuality rule the homosexual. What makes a person homosexual? The committing of the act of homosexuality. You only need to tell one lie in order to be a liar. You only need to steal one object in order to be a thief. You only need to rape one person in order to be a rapist. You only need to kill one person in order to be a murder. Likewise, you only need to commit one act of homosexuality to be a homosexual. Homosexuality is not a sin you should glorify and revel in. Would you glorify and revel in being an adulterer and committing adultery? Sin is sin. One sin is not greater than another sin. All sin is equal. All sin leads to eternal punishment in Hell.

The fact still remains that the greatest truth regarding homosexuality is that these people suffer from strong and/or frequent thoughts and/or temptations toward homosexuality. Rather than fight against them, they have chosen to give in to them and embrace them. They believe that because they experience these strong and/or frequent thoughts and/or temptations toward homosexuality, that it must mean they were born this way and that that is who they are. So the person who struggles with strong and/or frequent thoughts and/or temptations of infidelity, faithlessness, and adultery was born as such and they should just embrace it and celebrate it? Maybe they should start having Adultery Pride Parades.

If we give occasion to one sin, providing acceptance and open practice thereof, we might as well give occasion to all sins. Truth be told, our inclination toward our favourite sin is inherited from original sin, which means that we were all born sinners. However, our behaviour in the committal of that sin is derived directly from our choice. That is why we stand condemned two-fold before a thrice holy God. We stand condemned in original sin, which we have inherited, by which we can say we were born with it. But we also stand condemned in our decision to commit those sins, which we were not born with but freely committed of our own volition. We are guilty of inherited sin (being born that way) and we are guilty of personal sin (choosing to commit it). Your will is slave to sin, but you can be set free from sin through Christ Jesus. He came to save His people from their sin. You can be a "such were some of you" (1 Cor. 6:11) person by repenting of your sin, no longer committing it, and trusting your salvation and your life in the hands of Christ Jesus.

As long as you embrace your favourite sin and habitually practice it, you stand no chance of inheriting eternal life. You will spend an eternity in Hell separated from God and His goodness. Do not be deceived. Today is the day of salvation. Do not neglect it.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Christian" Music You Should Avoid

by Unknown

Are Christian worship singers exempt from practicing discernment and not participating with false teachers? Biblical Christians would be in an uproar if their pastor invited teachers like Joyce Meyer and Mike Bickle to speak to their congregation. So why is it okay for worship singers to lead worship for Joyce Meyer and Mike Bickle?

Below are five reasons why worship bands and singers should not participate with false teachers. This is a call for discernment for those who lead worship at church and also sing songs from bands who promote a different Jesus.

1. Worshiping with false teachers is not worshiping God in truth.
"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24

The Father seeks worshipers who worship Him in truth. When a worship singer worships to God with those who claim to be Christian yet their teachings are contrary to Scripture, this is not worshiping God in truth.

Some of Joyce Meyer's false teachings are:
  • Jesus stopped being the Son of God
  • Jesus was born again
  • Jesus paid for our sins in hell
  • Jesus went to hell and was tormented
  • You cannot be saved if you don't believe Jesus went to hell
  • We are called little gods
  • Joyce Meyer said she is not a sinner
You can read more about her false teachings here. We cannot separate theology from worship because when we worship God we are thinking about who He is as He has revealed Himself in Scripture.

2. They are participating in their evil deeds.
"Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds." 2 John 1:9-11

There are warnings and commands in Scripture to avoid those who teach what is contrary to Biblical doctrine.

"I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them." Romans 16:17

Worship leaders such as Kari Jobe, Matt Redman and Phil Wickham should not lead worship for Joyce Meyer. This goes against the Biblical teaching to stay away from her because she is a false teacher. Staying away or refusing to lead worship at an event such as IHOP's One Thing conference would not be "mean" or randomly "judgmental." Instead this would be a righteous judgment made (John 7:24) based on what the Bible says on how to handle false teachers. However, by joining with Mike Bickle and Joyce Meyer these Christian musicians are participating in their evil deeds.

Worship singers, bands and teams are not exempt from discernment. These verses are commandments to all Christians, not just the "theologians, polemicists and apologists" in your local church.

3. It validates their false teachings.
When a Christian musician leads worship at a false teacher's church or conference this validates the false teacher as a true teacher of God's Word. This will lead others astray.

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." 2 Peter 2:1-3

Peter and Jesus spoke how false teachers will secretly bring into the church heresies that are destructive. Jesus referred to these teaches as wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt 7:15).

When a Biblical worship singer worships for a false teacher, this gives approval to the false teacher and makes it seem as if the false teacher is a part of evangelical Christianity when in reality they are a wolf.

Titus 1:9 says to refute those who contradict sound doctrine, not team up with them.

"Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict." Titus 1:9

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 is clear that false apostles and deceitful workers will disguise themselves as apostles of Christ and servants of righteousness. It is already difficult enough to discern a false teacher because they "disguise themselves," how much harder is it when Evangelical worship leaders team up with them?

4. The worship leader is questioned and discredited.
It reflects negatively upon a worship leader when he or she worships for a false teacher. The worship leader is questioned for his lack of discernment, knowledge of the Bible and approval of these teachers.

It also implies that worship leaders are exempt from the same standards we would apply to other ministries. Christians should be on guard and aware of false teaching not blurring the lines by linking arms with false teachers.

"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." Acts 20:28-30

5. It distorts the Gospel.
"Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:30

False teachers do not give a clear gospel presentation representing the full counsel of God (sin, rebellion against God, punishment for sin, Jesus' death, burial and resurrection, God's grace and mercy, redemption, forgiveness and living a holy life for Him).

Therefore, when a professing true Christian teams up with a false teacher is distorted because it will not be communicated clearly to the masses.

Paul was concerned for God's sheep that they would be lead astray from the simple Gospel.

"But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully." 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

"But I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed." Galatians 1:6-9

Some will object to the above by stating that both the worship leader and false teacher believe in Jesus and therefore it doesn't matter. Others will object by saying that when it comes to worship music discernment doesn't apply.

Both of these attitudes are unscriptural. The New Testament writers were very concerned for God's sheep over being lead astray by myths, false gospels, false Christs, false spirits, false teachers and apostles, they were always strongly encouraging the church to stay close to Jesus Christ, the message they first received, to listen carefully lest they drift away because servants of Satan would disguise themselves as servants of Christ in order to draw them away from the truth. And these false teachers and prophets would be among them.

(Hebrews 2:1, Acts 20:30, 1 Timothy 4, 2 Corinthians 11:3-4,13-15, 2 Peter 2, Matthew 24, Galatians 1, 2:4, Jude 1:3-4, Matthew 7:15, 2 Timothy 2:12)

We can classify worship leaders as:

1. The worship team at your local church
2. Worship team that claims to be a movement such as Jesus Culture.
3. Christian worship artists such as Kari Jobe, Phil Wickham and Jake Hamilton.

"It’s never-ending. The apostasy, the lack of discernment, the gullibility. How can anyone who proclaims the name of Jesus Christ not recognize the dismal state of the professing church? Words cannot even begin to describe how far away the church is from Christ in these days. The attractions, the concerts, the conferences. People joining hands with those teaching for shameful gain things they ought not to teach. This is not revival, but the falling away in it’s most deceptive and extreme form—a form of godliness that denies its power." —Jeff Maples
What one believes subtly finds its way into their lyrics and slowly begins to influence others. The kind of people one associates with also says something about what one believes. When false teachers, such as Paula White, are featured on your albums, it reveals a lot about you. Many of these artists are described as "Christian" or "Christian Worship," yet there is nothing Christian about them. Sadly, many of their songs have found their way into many church worship services.

Audrey Assad
Matt Maher
Prayer Chain, The

Anita Alexander
Austin & Courtney
Beckah Shae
Bruthaz Grimm
Deitrick Haddon
E-Roc[k] a.k.a Rhymes Monumental a.k.a Rockstar
God's Original Gangstaz
Gospel Gangstaz
Kirk Franklin
Papa San
Phil Wickham
Preachas In tha Hood
Str8 Young Gangstaz

Bethel Music (from Bethel Church lead by Bill Johnson)
Amanada Cook (nee Falk)
Brian & Jenn Johson
Cory Asbury
Hunter Thompson
Jeremy Riddle
Jonathan & Melissa Helser
Josh Baldwin
Kelley Heiligenthal
Kristene DiMarco
Matt Stinton
Paul & Hannah McClure
Sean Feucht
Steffany Gretzinger

Elevation Worship (from Elevation Church lead by Steven Furtick)

Gateway Worship (from Gateway Church lead by Jack Hayford)
David Moore
Kari Jobe
Rebecca Hart
Thomas Miller
Walker Beach
Zac Neese

Hillsong (from Hillsong Church lead by Brian Houston)
Brooke Fraser Ligertwood
Darlene Zschech
Geoff Bullock
Joel Houston
Luke Munns
Mary Sampson
Miriam Webster
Reuben Morgan
Taya Smith

IHOP Music [International House of Prayer] (lead by Mike Bickle)

Alisha Powell
Audra Lynn
Cory Asbury
Derek Loux
Jaye Thomas
Jon Thurlow
Jonas Park and David Bollmann
Julie Meyer
Justin Rizzo
Laura Hackett Park
Luke Wood
Matt Gilman
Merchant Band
Misty Edwards
Nick Syrett
Pablo Perez
Pas Neos

Jesus Culture (formed at Bethel Church)
Andrew Ehrenzeller
Bryan & Katie Torwalt
Chris McClarney
Chris Quilala
Derek Johnson
John Mark McMillan
Josh & Amberley Klinkenberg
Justin Jarvis
Kim Walker-Smith & Skyler Smith
Mary Kat Ehrenezller

Planetshakers (from Planetshakers church lead by Russell and Sam Evans)

Phillips, Craig & Dean

Everyday Sunday (Lead Singer)
Jennifer Knapp
Ray Boltz
Vicky Beeching

Jars of Clay

Christy Nockels
Matt Redman

"Below is a prime example of a typical response from an undiscerning individual that has no idea what she’s being fed. She simply downplays the importance of sound doctrine, and elevates the way she “feels” above all else. This is why it’s so important to expose the error in this music. It is leading many people astray." —Jeff Maples
"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do." Galatians 5:16-17

Monday, March 13, 2017

Open Letter of Apology to the Gay Community (From A Christian)

by J. D. Hall

Dear Gay Community,

As a Christian who has been forced to evaluate where I stand in recent days in light of Scripture, in both tone and message, I would like to apologize for myself and other Christians…

1. I’m sorry that any of us ever referred to you as a “gay community.” Really, that’s not helpful. A “community” is a group of individuals that either live in the same place or share the same values. Sodomy (defined as unnatural and immoral sexual behavior) is not a value. Sodomy is a deviancy. Now, if you defined “community” as sharing interests and not values, then there could theoretically be a gay community because you hold unnatural and immoral sexual behavior as a common interest. However, to call you a “community” would legitimize this sin in a way that we don’t legitimize any other sin. For example, we don’t recognize “the thieving community” or the “the lying community” or “the bank-robbing community” or “the rapist community” or the “white collar criminal community.” If communities could be founded upon self-destructive behavior, those communities would be self-defeating, and a self-defeating community is no community at all. In fact, a truly “gay community” would be extinct within one generation. Your unnatural sexual deviancy leads to death; legitimate communities are self-populating and regenerative. It was a dumb term for Christians to start using, and I apologize for all of those who inadvertently give credence to the narrative that yours is a community and not a group of sinners who share in community-destroying behavior.

2. I’m sorry that Christians have made a habit of referring to you as LGBT or LGBTQ or by any other acronym or term, identifying you by your sin. First, it is unfair and unhelpful to identify you by your sin. This is actually discriminatory against you, because we don’t behave this way toward any other group of sinners. Adulterers don’t find their identity in adultery. Liars don’t find their identity in lying. Gluttons don’t find their identity in gluttony. We tend to view others as “people who happen to [fill in the blank with any number of sins].” We haven’t viewed you as people – first and foremost – who suffer from the sinful desire of sodomy. Now, you have self-identified as LGBT, because there is a unique tendency when it comes to homosexuality to let the sin consume you as a person, but we should not have participated in the unfortunate reality that your identity has become wrapped up in sinful behavior. If you thought of yourself as a person who suffers from homosexual desires, rather than as a homosexual, you might realize that you’re more than your specific sexual deviancy. God created you to be so much more than a sexual-preference. I’m sorry that leaders like Russell Moore at the ERLC use that term. It’s got to be confusing to you, and altogether unhelpful.

Secondly, I’m sorry we’ve used the term LGBT because it’s a stupid, short-sighted and discriminatory term. Remember back when it was “gay and lesbian?” Ah, good times. Then, bi-sexual became a part of the identity-status. Then, transexual was joined into the acronym. However, it just plain falls short of all the various sexual deviancies out there. And so next, Q was added. “Queer,” you would think, would cover just about everything. And yet, I’m willing to bet that people self-identifying as “queer” would object to certain other sexual deviancies claiming that nomenclature (for now, anyway). How many letters will be added in the end? From a Christian perspective, I apologize we ever used the term. It implies that we – or God – cares about what your particular sexual fetish is. We don’t, honestly. There are two types of sexual behavior, and only one of which is honored by God and to be celebrated by his people. There is a sexual relationship between husband and wife, and there is every other kind of sexual relationship in the world. There are really only two categories. Christians have had such a hard time putting homosexuality in the sin category (and leaving it there) because we have a tendency to overlook opposite-sex, premarital or extramarital fornication within our own churches. We’ve turned a blind eye to cohabitating couples in our churches for decades. Now, don’t get me wrong – homosexuality is used in the Bible over and again as an example of the depths of human depravity. I don’t want to be guilty of sin-leveling, here. I just want to point out that in the broadest spectrum, there is approved sexual behavior and deviant sexual behavior. Classifying you as LGBTQ or XYZABC is really irrelevant, and Christians shouldn’t have ever been using these terms. Plus, there are way more than 26 sexual deviancies out there, and we’d eventually run out of alphabet.

3. I’m sorry that we’ve given you the impression that “self-identifying” is a thing. Yes, I know I’ve used the term to get a point across in this letter of apology. But, here’s the thing…you don’t get to “self-identify.” God gave you your identity. Bruce Jenner is not Caitlyn. That’s silly. He’s a guy who emasculated himself to look like a woman, adding breasts and makeup and tucking appendages. It’s a game of dress up, essentially. And if he were to remove his genitalia, he still wouldn’t be a woman. He’d be a man without his genitalia. Bruce Jenner will never have PMS. That’s because he’s not a woman. It’s really, really mean for Christians to be anything but straightforward with this reality. I’m convinced that Bruce Jenner doesn’t have people around him that loves him, or else they would tell him that he doesn’t look like a beautiful woman. He looks like the person that kids on the bus snicker at behind them, and dare one another to go up and touch. Christians, if we were loving, would say “Bless your heart, but you’re not a woman. You’re a man trying to look like a woman, but no one really thinks you’re accomplishing that so well. You are Bruce, and God made you to be Bruce, and you can never be Caitlyn.”

Yes, I know that sounds terribly mean. However, if you were turning yourself into a hideous creature by trying to destroy the handiwork of God manifest in your body, you would want someone to give you a dose of reality. Christians, just as we should tell our kids that when we say, “You can be anything you want when you grow up,” that we don’t mean a butterfly, shouldn’t give people the impression that they’re free to identify however they choose. I may identify as a seven foot tall black man, but it doesn’t mean that I am. Christians should be truth-tellers, and to use the pronouns “her” or “she” when referring to those who God made male (or vice versa) is to bear witness against both our creator and those who are trying to mutilate their flesh. I’m sorry that professing Christians have done that.

4. I’m sorry that Christians have given you the impression that you can be both a born-again Christian and an unrepentant practitioner of sodomy. The Apostle Paul was very clear in 1st Corinthians 6, that homosexuality is one of the sins for which men must repent and leave if they are to follow Christ. “And that is what some of you were (verse 11)” in the context of this passage, demonstrates that there were not practitioners of these sins in the midst of the church. This list of sins marked an unbeliever, and not a believer. Yes, I know there are lots of professing Christians (think of them as “self-identifying Christians”) who are not so, in reality. They are of whom the Scripture speaks in Romans 1, who “give approval unto those who practice such sins.” Because we love you, we should have clarified that you should, under no circumstance, consider yourself a believer in Jesus until that belief leads you to repentance.

5. I’m sorry that we insisted for so long that you were not born this way. But hey, to be honest, y’all have fought amongst yourselves on that one (and are still fighting about it). I think it was important to some of us to believe that this sin was entirely the product of your choice. This was a theological fail on our part. While the behavior is entirely the product of your choice, the inclination or desire is a product of Original Sin and denotes a depraved inherited nature (back to Romans 1 again). Some of you may claim your behavior is “natural.” While we know on one level that it is unnatural (which is why the sin is so clearly condemned in Scripture – you don’t need God’s written Law to know it’s wrong; nature itself testifies against it), the fact is, it may be in your unconverted nature. This is why you need a new nature that is found only by being born again. As a Christian, I apologize for all those who are theologically inept and don’t understand how ingrained sin is into our flesh. Of course, this is the point of being born again – to be made new and to receive a new nature.

6. Finally, I apologize for all the professed Christians that you thought had convictions, only to find out that they were sniveling, driveling compromise machines. It probably surprised you how they changed their tune and their tone when the Supreme Court ruled. That’s especially tragic. It’s tragic, because I know that your conscience is cutting you. I know that even truth suppressed in unrighteousness hurts. It’s painful, I’m sure. You might even be on the look-out for conviction and resolve and truth, and while perhaps being glad to see the rainbow filter go on your professing-Christian Facebook friends’ profiles, you’re a little let down that there isn’t an unchanging reality out there somewhere. Down deep, you know that you need that. I’m sorry for all those who have professed Christ, but haven’t loved you (or Him) enough to dig their heels in and speak a truth that’s as helpful as it is inconvenient.

I sincerely hope you’ll forgive us for these shortcomings, and we strive to do better in the future.

—J. D. Hall