Welcome to the NOVEMBER 2013 blog!
Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
For a copy of President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789, go to http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principles/primary-sources/washingtons-thanksgiving-proclamation.
It is inspirational and reveals how much of faith and religion was involved in the lives of our founding fathers.
The Name of the Lord
The Lord Jesus drew His disciples close to Him, especially the inner three, during His last days on the earth. He commissioned them to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). They would do that, and also heal the sick, cast out devils, and baptize their converts in water. They were to do all of this in the name of Jesus (Luke 24:47; Mark 16:17; Colossians 3:17).
In Matthew’s recording of the commission, he ends Jesus’ charge of preaching the gospel and making disciples in every nation with these words, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). This is the only place where Jesus was recorded as making that addition. Trinitarians have embraced that verse wholeheartedly since it is the only one they have containing that phrase. (Scholars know that I John 5:7 is not available to them because it never appeared in any Greek text until the 15th century.) However, it must be acknowledged that in Matthew 28:19 neither Father, nor Son, nor Holy Ghost are put forth as names, since Jesus used the singular form of “name.” Repeating those designations are not the same as using His name.
Although Hebrew names do have meaning (e.g., Abraham = father of many), as do many Gentile names, if someone had called out “Father! Father of many!” in the marketplace instead of Jesus (Yeshua), how many might have answered? His name was Jesus, and to that he would respond. Although his name might incorporate the idea of “Father/God becoming salvation,” his name was not Father, or Son or Holy Spirit. To say those are names seems to lean too far toward accommodation of a Trinitarian concept.
Yes, the name of our Savior would have the adjectival attachments of “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), yet none of those would be His name. These designations, plus Immanuel (Isaiah 8:8,10) and others, were used in order to not reveal His name until the time of His birth. The angel whispered to Joseph in a dream: “You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins!” That is the name Jesus answered to in the days of His flesh. Father, Son and Holy Ghost are not names and were never meant to be used in baptism. The saving name is Jesus (Acts 4:12).
There is no comfort for Trinitarians in Matthew 28:19. No name[s] is given there, only alluded to. It is given in Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, and 19:5. When Saul asked for the name of the one from Heaven who had blinded him on the Damascus Road, the response not a descriptive adjective or office. He answered, “I am Jesus!”
Just call Him by His name—Jesus—for in that name is our salvation (Acts 4:12).
Jesus: “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice…. My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:4,27).
It is said that a sheep will not respond to the voice of anyone except the shepherd, unless it is sick.
There’s a message in there somewhere.
Reports are that a lot of people are getting scammed with the new Obamacare. People are calling consumers and saying that they are with the government and asking people to let them help with signing up for the Affordable Care Act. Then they ask them for personal information.
Elderly folks might be vulnerable to this scam. One should NEVER give out personal information to someone they don’t know, especially on the phone to an anonymous or random caller.
Single payer health care to replace Obamacare
From the beginning, a single payer system was the goal of the promoters of the socialized medical system that we have seen develop as Obamacare. Such a medical system is the hallmark of the socialist and communist states of the world. That is where we are headed when the confusing, makes-no-sense Affordable Care Act collapses. The simple single-payer system will “simplify” everything. When adopted, the government will control all medical practitioners and services. This will amount to total control over the lives of U.S. citizens. Do as you are told or you don’t get the necessary care.
The largest Marxist group in America, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), has been a driving force behind Obamacare. One of their senior members, Amherst professor Gerald Friedman, has been saying that when the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare fails, the single payer system will be installed.
The Affordable Care Act was put together by DSA lights such as John McDonough and Quentin Young. Young was Obama’s personal physician much of the time Obama was in Chicago. They intend to deliver a fully socialized healthcare system out of the wreckage of Obamacare.
Why is it so difficult for folks to see the communist interests that are vested in our national healthcare? Or the communist influences that are backing this President? The press chooses to ignore the socialists/communists that have surrounded Barack Obama for most of his life.
Read the full story here: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/socialist-leader-obamacare;
President reads Fareed Zakaria
When Fareed Zakaria, CNN’s Foreign Affairs correspondent, wrote a book called The Post-American World, President Obama snatched it up. Zakaria was raised Muslim, although he claims to be a non-participating one. However, he promotes the building of a mosque near ground zero of the 9/11 attack in NYC. He wrote an article in Newsweek titled “Build the Ground Zero Mosque.”
Why would the President want to read a Muslim author’s take on what the world would be like once America was brought down to perhaps a second or third world status? One can only imagine.
The Name of God
Speaking at the recent General Conference of the UPCI, Raymond Woodward prefaced his message with the perspective of John, then on the Isle of Patmos writing the Book of Revelation, as he looked back over the sixty or seventy years since the birth of the church. The information, set in eloquent speech, seems worth repeating here. Please note the modern parallels.
In many ways it seemed like the end of an era for the Oneness Pentecostals. The spiritual giants who led them in the beginning, for the most part, have departed the scene, leaving behind them an incredible aching gaping void. Dedicated younger men have stepped into leadership roles and in many areas the church has grown, and yet the loss of spiritual elders has undoubtedly left a vacuum. And the unofficial consensus is that the movement will never really be the same. Their fellowship, now nearly 70 years old has survived and even thrived, in spite of occasional factions with dubious motives and a few fickle men with destructive agendas. If you look closely you can see scratches from numerous skirmishes over policy, and scars from bruising battles over doctrinal and lifestyle issues that have arisen through the years.
Their friends would say, “It’s a miracle they are united as they are after all this time.” Their critics would say, “Once the last of that first generation of elders are gone, the movement will fracture irreparably and fade irreversibly into the pages of religious history.”
Without doubt this band of brethren has certainly felt the sting of betrayal over the years. In the early days they were literally forced out of the institutions they helped to build all because they would not recant the revelation they had received. They left not in anger but in tears. They had expected all their colleagues to excitedly embrace the glorious truth they had discovered. But instead they were expelled and excommunicated. And they even lived to see some of those same colleagues become mortal enemies of that truth they loved.
Betrayals of recent years have been even more difficult to negotiate as the movement has been repeatedly battered by the twin evils of liberalism and legalism. Men who paid no price to form the fellowship have presumed to fracture the fellowship. A few leaders enamored with position and preeminence have at times polarized the very people they claim to be serving. Others with big plans but small convictions have departed to follow dreams of grandeur but have landed in a nightmare of doctrinal delusion, abandoning the power of revelation for the poverty of religious philosophies. One has to wonder if they were ever listening to the earnest exhortation of esteemed elders who paid such a price to pass them the torch of truth. Some of those who have departed now look down with disdain on those same elders, believing that the message they preached in those bygone days is sorely in need of renovation and rehabilitation. And rather than feeling the loss of divine revelation, they actually believe they have improved on the feeble efforts of the elders. Their apostasy is sad, but their arrogance is shocking.
At the same time secular society has apparently left the Oneness Pentecostals behind, smugly declaring their old fashioned convictions irrelevant to the mainstream. Chastising them for their inflexible insistence on details of doctrine and matters of modesty, they have summarily pronounced the Apostolic Church a forgotten relic of a bygone era. Corrupt politicians have moved beyond passing laws that restrict the church to an outright agenda to censure and persecution. So-called alternative lifestyles are becoming the norm. Children are being educated to defy their parents and question authority. Immorality is rampant and even celebrated by every pundit and performer who stands to entertain the masses. The worst kinds of sin are no longer seen as scandalous. Abortion, adultery, divorce and debauchery are defended as healthy choices of a mature society. Addiction, perversion, war, murder and violence have become commonplace. The very fabric of culture itself has morphed into some sinister.
Good is called evil and evil is called good. Unfortunately the wider world of religion in a misguided attempt to remain acceptable and attractive has declared heresy to be orthodoxy and orthodoxy to be heresy. The Oneness Pentecostals are being criticized and ostracized from every direction. However, despite these formidable and seemingly insurmountable obstacles somehow the Apostolic church has continued to defy all reasonable odds and grow dramatically. Despite the flood of false doctrines and lax lifestyles, thousands are still embracing the experience preached at the beginning, selling out to a transformative revelation of truth. Churches are still being planted, missionaries are still being sent, and believers are still being born again of water and of the Spirit just as Jesus said.
And yet, if you listen very closely, at the end of a glorious century filled with revelation as it draws to a close, you can hear a still small voice of caution rightly raised in reference to the future. Will the church begin to slide or continue to stand? Will what the older generation died for remain what the younger generation lives for? It is at that precise moment, at the end of a century very much like ours, when culture is confused, when people are perplexed, when truth is being trampled and when divine destiny will undoubtedly be decided, that the last remaining elder of the previous generation picks up his pen one final time to anchor the current generation to the foundational truth that has bound this fellowship of the redeemed together for nearly 70 years and he writes: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God!”
Don’t miss it! He means to echo the first verse in your Bible—“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
But he doesn’t stop there: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
[From there he launched into one of the best messages on the name of the Lord I have heard.]
Most people believe in salvation by works
In interviews about “Killing Jesus,” author Bill O’Reilly has allowed his true Christian beliefs to bleed through. He is Catholic and they are known for extrabiblical doctrines, but Bill takes it a step farther—if one lives decently (by whose definition?) he will be saved. As proof he points to the Catholic doctrine called “baptism of desire,” and states, “If you are not baptized formally with water on the head and all of that, you can still get to heaven if you live a good life…. When you look closely at the theology of Christianity, you find one thing, treating other people as you want to be treated, and if you do that you are going to make it.”
O’Reilly disdains “Bible thumpers.” He feels that Bible truths do not need to be brought into the public domain. Those who do cite the Bible on topics like gay marriage will lose, he says. “I was taught in my Catholic school that a lot of the stories in the Bible were allegorical.” He makes fun of Bible stories like Jonah and the whale, which Jesus confirmed. “People like myself don’t take them literally,” he says. “Like parables, they were put in the Bible to teach a certain moral principle. …You have to go with human reason…those things didn’t happen.” C’mon, Bill. I thought you were the “no-spin zone” guy.
Then he makes this fantastic statement about why Jesus was killed by the Romans: “It was about taxes, and overturning the moneychangers’ tables in the Temple.” Actually, the Bible is clear why and how Jesus died. It wasn’t the taxes. He saw that they were paid (Matthew 17:24-27; 22:15-22). The Roman soldiers evidently nailed Jesus to the cross, but the Jews are the ones who condemned him to death for blasphemy (Mark 14:63-65). They assumed the guilt and called for His blood to be upon their heads (Matthew 27:25). Today’s political correctness does not absolve them. Bill also expresses that the Book of Luke and Matthew were “embellished.” And he admits, “I don’t proclaim Jesus to the Messiah in the [book].” He dismisses the miracles of Jesus and the resurrection as incidental to the book’s story.
Bill is not alone in believing in works salvation. Most people want to be the judge of their own lives and those of their friends. I have participated in countless funerals of folks both in and out of any Bible-based faith, and have heard people ushered right onto the streets of gold who seldom if ever expressed their faith, attended church, and were never close to living a godly life. People might say they don’t believe in works salvation but listen to their conversations at the viewings—“He was a good man. I know he is in a better place….She was a wonderful woman, kind and generous. God is happy to be showing her around heaven right now.”
Here is Paul’s stand on this issue: “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. “ (II Corinthians 4:3,4 NIV). Eternal destinies are left in God’s hands, but we can be confident that He will not violate His Word (II Timothy 2:13).
Upshot: secular writers are not to be trusted when writing about biblical events or spiritual matters.
An interesting observation
Does God know what national leaders are doing? It would seem so. The king of Tyre came under the scrutiny and judgment of the Lord according to Ezekiel 28:17: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee” (KJV).
Check out other renderings:
“Your beauty went to your head. You corrupted wisdom by using it to get worldly fame. I threw you to the ground, sent you sprawling before an audience of kings.”
“Your heart swelled with pride because of your beauty and talents. Your hunger for fame, your thirst for glory corrupted your wisdom. This is why I drove you to the ground and made an example out of you before a company of kings.”
Think someone we know better be looking up to see what is coming down?
Church of the future?
PASTOR: “Will everyone please turn on their tablet, laptop, I-Pad, smart phone, and Kindle Bibles to I Corinthians 13:13. And please switch on your Bluetooth to download the sermon.”
“Now, let us pray committing this week into God’s hands. Open your Apps, BBM, Twitter and Facebook, and chat with God.”
“As we take our tithes and offerings, please have your credit and debit cards ready.”
“Please log on to the church wi-fi using the password ‘Lord909887.’”
“Please use your I-Pad to make your electronic fund transfers directly to the church account. Or if you prefer, the ushers will circulate mobile card swipe machines among the pews. If you forgot to bring an electronic device, you are directed to computers and laptops in the church fellowship hall. Those who prefer telephone banking, simply use your cellphones to transfer your contributions to the church account.”
The holy atmosphere of the church becomes truly electrified as all the smart phones, I-Pads, and laptops beep and flicker!
Final Blessing and Closing Announcements:
“This week’s ministry cell meetings will be held on the various Facebook group pages where the usual group chat takes place. Please log in and don’t miss out. Wednesday’s Bible study will be held live on Skype at 1900 hours CST. You can follow your Pastor on Twitter this weekend for counseling and prayers. God bless you and have a nice day.”
The virtue of continuing
The immediate record of the Jerusalem church after Pentecost was stellar: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). They made an impact on their city and beyond because they didn’t drift…they continued. In what?
“In the apostle’s doctrine.” They knew the saving gospel was nothing short of what Jesus taught and what the apostles preached on the Day of Pentecost—repentance (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), water baptism (John 3:5; Mark 16:16; Acts 3:38), and baptism in the Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 1:8; 2:38).
The continued in fellowship. Interaction with other believers is essential for encouragement, Christian growth, inspiration and training. The record of Acts and the Epistles demonstrate how they met together regularly for worship and teaching (Hebrews 10:25).
They continued in breaking of bread. This is a reference to the “Lord’s Table, or communion, which believers were commanded to observe (I Corinthians 11:24-29).
And they continued in prayers. This is expressed throughout the Acts record (Acts 4:31; Acts 12:5; 16:25). This is why they were able to see so many outstanding miracles and deliverances. Praying didn’t mean they escaped all troubles or physical pain. It meant they were intent on maintaining their relationship with the Lord and continuing in the faith.
They didn’t deviate. They didn’t drift. They didn’t compromise. They didn’t back up. Challenges didn’t deter them. How wise and blessed we would be to follow in their steps and continue to observe those elements of the faith delivered to the saints in the beginning (Jude 3).
You could hear a pin drop
JFK’S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60’s when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaulle said he wanted all U.S. military out of France as soon as possible. Rusk responded, “Does that include those who are buried here?” DeGaulle did not respond. You could have heard a pin drop.
When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of “empire building” by George Bush. He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only land we have ever asked for in return was enough to buy those that did not return.” You could have heard a pin drop.
There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?” A shipbuilding engineer stood up and replied quietly: “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?” You could have heard a pin drop.
A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than Speaking French?” Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, “Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.” You could have heard a pin drop.
AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE…
Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carryon. “You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. “Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.” The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.” “Impossible,” the official retorted. “Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France.” The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained: “Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchman to show a passport to.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
Laugh to keep from crying
Christian Church History
Apostolic author Marvin M. Arnold has provided a history of the Christian church that gives us an in-depth look at what the early church was like in apostolic times. Scholarly, yet easy to read and grasp, the work centers around the seven churches of Asia to give us a 2,000 year perspective of church history. If you are going to ever teach on the seven churches or on church history, order this book before you do. Prominent persons, places and belief systems are described from a Pentecostal perspective.
Reg. 14.99 On sale for 12.95. Limited quantity.
To phone your order, call 936-537-0250 or order on the website at advanceminitries.org/store.
By Harold Horton
This is a classic work on the gifts of the Spirit from a Pentecostal perspective. Used in many colleges as a textbook, including Apostolic colleges. The author focuses on chapters 12-14 of First Corinthians. His unique treatment of Chapter 13 is worth the price of the book.
SALE! Only 4.95 Order multiple copies for your lay ministers while they last!
To phone your order, call 936-537-0250 or order on the website at advanceminitries.org/store.
Check our other books on our website.
“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him, better take a closer look at the American Indian.” – Henry Ford
We are always hearing about how Social Security is going to run out of money. How come we never hear about Welfare running out of money? – Anonymous
Thank you for visiting. Have a great Thanksgiving See you next month!