Greetings and salutations…as my good Irish friend and mentor, E. L. Holley, used to say. Here’s a bit o’ news, a wee bit o’ philosophy, and some sound words from the Good Book.
Yes, we can!
This became a campaign slogan of a presidential hopeful. I like it. I am not sure I like it on his yard signs and billboards, but I still like it.
We need to believe we can. We can do whatever we should do because He has empowered us to do so.
We can keep the faith.
We can preach truth.
We can live separated lives.
We can build great churches.
We can make a difference!
YES, WE CAN!
Practice on Roadkill
My, how cyberspace can get crowded with junk! Especially religious junk. I suppose you are aware of Todd Bentley and the Ragin’ Revival in Lakeland, Florida, the lastest serving of tossed salad—part Gnosticism, Charismatic fraud and Latter Rain nonsense—with a heterodoxical dressing. Here is a brief update…sparing you the pain of a full report.
I only mention this because it touched our church in at least a vague way. A man who was a relative of someone in our assembly stopped here on his way to Florida to attend the revival in Lakeland. My son and pastor, Randy, preached in that service and casually mentioned the horrific excesses and practices going on in the revival down there. He had no idea that the man was on his way to visit it. This got the man’s attention and he felt the Lord had put up a red light for him. Indeed He had, and he was spared the expense of the trip—and the possible deception he would have encountered down there.
It underscored the need for us to warn our people, as did the apostles in the Book of Acts and in the Epistles, of charlatans, weird practices and false teachings that they will meet along they way. The tattooed, T-shirted, jeans-clad Bentley is a false prophet, an inveterate liar, and will probably endure a few lawsuits from the injuries suffered by people who have come to him for healing. His bizarre methods of “ministry” include kicking a man with colon cancer in the stomach, and kicking an elderly woman, who was standing near the rostrum worshipping with uplifted hands, in the face with his biker boots. He says the Lord told him to do that. I’m so sure.
He reads testimonies of astounding but unconfirmed miracles, including many—around 30 at last report—who have been raised from the dead. These reported “raisings” have attracted media attention, such as “Nightline.” However, the media outlets that have investigated the Lakeland revival can find no confirmed cases of healing or any other miracles. A disciple of Bentley’s, and one who was also involved in raising the dead, said those who want to get involved in this type of ministry should “practice on roadkill” before advancing on to raising dead people. So, there you have it—the way to begin a fantastic ministry that is sure to bring much glory to the Lord.
A big difference
The big difference in Christianity and Islam is that in Islam you die for your God. In Christianity, the main message is: Jesus died for us!
No excuses needed
We should not feel compelled to excuse God for whatever happens to us in life. We have developed a list of pat answers for any eventuality: “God took him…He must have had a purpose…It was the will of God…The Lord was wanting to teach us something…,” ad infinitum. True, perhaps, in some cases. We are especially prone to such philosophy when major diseases, like cancer, or tragic accidents strike our loved ones. But, noticeably, neither Paul nor the other apostles used God to explain every eventuality or physical problem. Life happens. It happens to sinners, to saints, to good people and bad. It rains on the just and the unjust. If God does not deliver us from pain and problems, His grace is granted to keep us faithful through them. He can even use our faithfulness as a testimony.
It is nice that God does not let—God probably allows more things than He causes—negative things come our way without getting some mileage out of them. Paul explained in Philippians 1:12: “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.” God knows how to turn what seems to be a bad event into a good one if we will stop and give the situation some thought. He does not wish that our misfortunes, as we are apt to call them, cast a bad light on the church. Therefore, He tells us through Paul, “For I know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
So, relax. Life happens. But remember—God is still in control of the ultimate outcome.
They are saying…
“The charismatic movement is so driven by emotion and by passion that it sometimes lacks both theological and moral accountability.” – Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary
“Your anointing can take you to a place where your character cannot sustain you…The same things happen in other denominations, except they are not media figures…Better have character or there’s going to be a national scandal.” – J. Lee Grady, Editor of Charisma
“Pentecostalism has produced a culture of superstar preachers whose lives are always at risk of being turned into something close to secular entertainment.” – David Van Biema, Time Magazine
Have they done it?
Somewhere in the distant past I published this little piece, but it bears another reading. It was spoken in the 1987 General Council of the Assemblies of God in Oklahoma City. The visiting General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, Leon Stewart, was introduced to say a few words. Those few words electrified the 16,000 delegates. Here is what he said:
“I thank God for the Assemblies of God Church. I praise God for my friendship and fellowship with your leadership. The Assemblies of God! There is no question that you are the greatest Pentecostal denomination in the world. You are not as big as you should be. You are not as big as you’re going to be in the next few years. I think all the rest of us depend on you to lead us in missions, education, publications, evangelism and Christian education. In so many ways, we look to you for leadership.
“May I plead with you tonight in your 42nd General Council? Would you do something for the rest of us? Primarily would you do it for our Friend and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ?
“Would you lead us out of modern, cheap grace and easy believism? Would you lead us out of material greed and self-gratification? Would you lead us out of pseudo-psychology and exalted sensationalism? Would you lead us back to the voice that stills the voice of secular humanism? Would you lead us back to the touch of the nail printed hands that produce real and genuine miracles? Would you lead us back to Him, our true example, and that holy life-style that leads us upward and ever onward to where the light lingers, even when the sun is set? Would you please lead us back to a genuine appreciation of the Lamb of God, our Lord Jesus Christ? Would you please do that? I plead, do it! God bless you.” – Dan Betzer, Vibes, Voices and Visions, Revivaltime Publications
Wow! No wonder the delegates rose to their feet and lifted their hands in contrition and prayer.
What would you have said?
What would you have said in a circumstance similar to the above? Those who receive the notice of this monthly blog belong to various Apostolic movements, and some belong to no organization. Would you do this: Consider what you would say if you could write a brief letter, collectively, to the leaders—pastors, officials, spokesmen—of every Apostolic movement. Please write anonymously, or with your name, in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will publish the most striking appeals, with or without your name, as you wish. I am not asking for scathing denunciations, merely an appeal from your heart, as Leon Stewart’s public words above seemed to be. I believe the leaders in the various movements may well take it to heart.
Responses to John Hagee’s statements that the Jews do not need Jesus Christ to be saved:
“I’d say that John Hagee and the Jews of which he speaks are in much the same boat. They all need to hear and obey the only saving gospel. Peter preached it to Jews, Paul preached it to Gentiles and Jesus said that it needed to be preached to every creature. I guess Hagee doesn’t refer much to his Bible. – Peter Connell
“Hagee is correct in pointing up the covenant that the Jewish people have with God. He oversteps, however, when he stretches the covenant to include spiritual redemption. The covenant is relative to the promised land and the Jew’s national aspirations. (It is strictly this world oriented.) One would be hard pressed to develop from the Old Testament (Old Covenant) a clear teaching on eternal life and spiritual salvation. The OT mentions Sheol, but never clearly explains what it is, who is there, or the state (dreary/joyful) of whoever is there. The concept of spiritual redemption and heaven for the redeemed is strictly a New Testament (new covenant) teaching. How the Jews fit into the NT Christian covenant of redemptive salvation can be debated, but God’s covenant with the Jews provides no basis for their spiritual redemption.” – Forrest Scott
Jews, though they have a position with God through the Abrahamic Covenant, are not in relationship because of the veil—unbelief—and they are under the law and no one is currently saved through the law. A remnant will be saved (perhaps the 144,000) who recognize their Messiah and repent when He ascends to Mt. Zion. John Hagee, as most interfaith deluded souls, is totally off track with this comment but he is probably in agreement with the vast majority of pseudo-Christian leaders racing towards a global religion and embracing the Mother Harlot Church. – Vicki Hawkins
“The statement that ‘Jews do not need Christ’ is almost unbelievable coming from a supposed scholar. If this be the case then why did He spend virtually His entire ministry reaching for them? Not to even mention the apostle Paul’s efforts! ‘For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. THERE IS NEITHER JEW, NOR GENTILE.…’ The Law was our schoolmaster TO BRING US TO CHRIST!! But what-d-ya expect from someone who embraces a 3-minded God?! – Roger Perkins
“No, I do not agree with his position of Jews and the gospel. While nationally God has a covenant with Israel, it is to be remembered that the gospel is to the Jew first and to the Greek. It must also be remembered that there is but one gospel and it was preached by a Jew (Peter) exclusively for approximately the first 20-25 years of the church’s history. According to the Scriptures, Jews nationally are in blindness. Individually there is a remnant in the church and they got into the church by obeying Acts 2:38.” – Anonymous
“As to the Jews’ role in future events—Jews figure prominently in tribulation events. 144,000 are sealed (filled with the Holy Ghost) fulfilling completely Joel’s prophecy. It appears that they become evangelists to the nations and people that have never heard the gospel. They will be successful. Note the innumerable company with white robes and palms. Those saved during the tribulation will obey Acts 2:38 then as all must now. Note that 144,000 are sealed. The only seal of God found in NT is the Holy Ghost. Also, they have their father’s name in the foreheads. See Zech. 14:9 and compare with Acts 4:12. From Pentecost Acts 2 to the New Heaven and the New Earth there is but one gospel.” – L. G. Alred
Also, I would like to respond to your question about the Jews. They all must come through the door…that door being Jesus Christ. They must be born again as the rest of us. There is no other way for them. This Hagee fellow teaches the dispensationalist lies that once the Church is Raptured by the “Son” Jesus Christ then the “Father” Yahweh will turn his desire back to the Jews and save them. I know that dispensational doctrines have been tweaked for Apostolic consumption but it’s still false Trinitarian doctrine. I believe Hagee to be antichrist in his teachings.” – Anonymous
“I believe the church is the Kingdom of God (New Covenant) with the Old Covenant being abolished. The Jews were disinherited and divorced by God. They must repent and come to Jesus Christ. The church is the true Israel of God according to Scripture. They are a holy nation, a peculiar people separated unto God.” – Edith Gorton
[The above responses are appreciated. Although I do not personally agree with every statement submitted, they do suggest that most of us believe that the Jews must walk the same path of salvation as we Gentiles. To that I can say, “Amen!” – JRE]
67% of college professors approve of homosexuality;
84% of professors approve of abortion;
65% embrace socialist and communist ideals;
88% of students from “Christian” homes deny their faith before they graduate from college;
91% of students from evangelical churches do not believe in absolute moral truth.
We must teach our constituents biblical discernment and critical thinking. Instead of accepting the postulates of a godless society without examination, they should be able to analyze such ideas from a biblical worldview mindset.
The Apostle Paul advised: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
– Source: Worldview Weekend; submitted by G. Jorge Medina
A “Preterist” Prophet
Preterists insist that Jesus returned on 70 A.D., evidenced by the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies. They assert that we are waiting for a Second Coming that’s already come.
They also insist that the “end of the world” or “end of the age” really meant the “end of the Jewish age.” So, in their view, this “end of the world” has already occurred.
Books you may not have yet
Evidential Tongues: Is Speaking with Tongues the Initial Evidence of Holy Spirit Baptism? By J. R. Ensey
Here is the biblical, historical and current teaching on tongues as the initial evidence of Holy Spirit baptism. Only 7.95.
By J. R. Ensey
Here are ten questions that deserve honest answers. They deal with Apostolic doctrine and lifestyle—why we baptize as we do, why do we teach biblical monotheism, why we believe in the Holy Spirit baptism, why we disengage from a worldly lifestyle, and why we live with a blessed hope. Only 12.95.
The Prayer Clinic Manual
By Clifton Jones
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The Pastoral Epistles
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The Pastorals contain some of the most insightful, yet extremely practical, teaching in the New Testament. This verse-by-verse commentary will help you develop many Bible studies as you prepare your people to be Christian overcomers and spiritual leaders. Only 12.95.
Faith in the Furnace
By J. R. Ensey
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“He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure” (Isaiah 33:15,16).
Some people build the world; others just come along and live in it.
Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.
Some minds are like concrete—thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
I don’t know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?
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