Welcome to the MARCH 2014 blog!
“Freedom of religion is under threat.” Who knew?
This will come as no surprise, but as the saying goes, if it weren’t for double standards, the Left wouldn’t have any. Barack Obama demonstrated this point to perfection at the annual National Prayer Breakfast where he warned that “freedom of religion is under threat … around the world.” He neglected to mention, however, that organizations like Little Sisters of the Poor and Hobby Lobby are suing his administration because they object to contraceptives mandated under ObamaCare in violation of their religious views. Even more astoundingly, Obama claimed, “We…believe in the inherent dignity of every human being,” and “the killing of the innocent is never fulfilling God’s will; in fact, it’s the ultimate betrayal of God’s will.”
Remember, this is a man who supports abortion under any and all circumstances, even in its most appalling partial-birth form, and who once told Planned Parenthood “God bless you.” The apparent total lack of self-awareness is beyond shocking.
Source: The Patriot Post
FCC to monitor newsrooms around the country
America was recently ranked 46th in the world in press freedom. Yes, that’s correct—46th in the world out of 180 countries. Why? Because we have an increasingly intrusive Federal Communications Commission that now wants to install “media monitors” in local radio and TV stations around the country to intimidate them into covering “critical” stories—i.e., to make sure they are parroting the stuff being shoveled out of the White House. We are blind if we don’t see that we are losing all of our Bill of Rights listed in the Constitution. Freedom of the press is number one on the list. One by one they will likely all be wiped out, including freedom of religion, if we don’t see a turnaround in November and in 2016.
Wash your ears out with this:
HOLINESS is still alive and well
HOLINESS is the abandonment of all that is contrary to God’s standards.
HOLINESS is abhorring those things that violate the righteous ways of God.
HOLINESS is the acclamation of one’s stand—in Christ Jesus.
HOLINESS of life is achievable.
HOLINESS is accomplished by all who truly serve (reverence) and fear God in spirit, truth and obedience.
HOLINESS is a manner of life that all Christians need to become addicted to.
HOLINESS is not just a position we have in Christ nor is it merely progressive—it is present action.
HOLINESS of life is not only the inward adornment of spirit but the outward adornment of life that adorns God.
HOLINESS is the way one worships God because the way one lives reveals whom he worships.
Source: Vickie Hawkins; Jesusweptministries.com
The Bible is such an interesting Book
The Holy Writ has inspired many words and phrases folks have used for centuries, perhaps without knowing their origin.
Strike a Lucifer – The first matches that man used for starting fires were quite vile-smelling. Their sulfurous fumes reminded people of something hellish—like Satan himself. So the first matches were often called Lucifers, an alternate name for Satan in the Bible.
Balaam’s Box – Newspapers and magazines have often used corny jokes (“groaners”) as fillers. In times past many newspapers would have a “Balaam’s Box,” a kind of backlog of asinine jokes. Since asinine means “relating to donkeys,” the box recalled the Old Testament character Balaam, whose donkey spoke to him.
Talented – Jesus’ parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) used “talent” in the old sense: a unit of money. The parable speaks of the need to use one’s talents wisely and in the service of God. Because the word was used in the popular KJV, “talent” passed into the language, and eventually it came to refer not just to money but also to any of a person’s resources, including one’s character and abilities.
Hocus-pocus – This is one of those meaningless phrases that magicians use in their acts. It originated in the Latin celebration of the Mass: when the priest held up the communion wafer, he intoned the famous words Jesus spoke at the last supper: “This is my body.” Those words in Latin are Hoc est corpus meum. Many people believed the priest’s words had a sort of magical effect: when he said them, the bread literally became the body of Christ. Since the words had a kind of “presto-change-o” effect, Hoc est corpus meum evolved into “hocus-pocus.”
Source: Stephen Lang, 1001 Things You Always Wanted To Know About the Bible
I just didn’t know. But Solomon told us that there was nothing new under the sun. He must have been right, because there on the arm of Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria (II Kings 15:29), is the watch. Evidently the Assyrians were way ahead of the Swiss on timepieces. Or perhaps it was part of the spoils he took back from Galilee—removed from the arm of a wealthy Jewish merchant. He must have been proud of it—he seems to be keeping his eye on it.
Since he was king, it might have been a Rolex, and some scribe doubtless wrote a poem titled, “Would Tilgath wear a Rolex in his victory parade?”
Islamic propaganda in America’s textbooks
Fear of reprisal has sealed the lips of our leaders—including many parents and pastors—as to what is being taught to our children in government (public) schools. If your heart can handle the shock, click on the link below.
Geraldo Rivera criticizes FNC’s O’Reilly for not acknowledging Obama’s “majesty”
Should we now drop the “Mr. President” greeting in favor of “Your Majesty”? I’m sure there are smiles—perhaps giggles—throughout the West Wing after hearing Geraldo’s comments.
His Majesty speaks
“[A]s president, I can do whatever I want,” Barack Obama reportedly said, ironically, during a recent visit to Thomas Jefferson’s home with French President Francois Hollande. Our arrogant president obviously believes that, because, yet again, he issued a unilateral delay of an ObamaCare provision requiring businesses with 50-99 full-time workers to offer health benefits. He had already delayed it until 2015, but now it’s not effective until 2016. Or, you know, whenever.
Source: The Patriot Post
I have often wondered how the intelligent and informed personnel who served on the translation committee of the King James Version of the Bible could conjure up such nice things to say about King James on the dedication pages of the Bible that bears his name. However, listening to the likes of Nancy Pelosi, liberal news anchors, and especially the Hollywood starlets whose IQ probably equals their shoe size, I think I get it. The translators were the forerunners of the modern bootlickers parading as media hacks today. While King James was busy burning Baptist dissenters at the stake, and “harrowing” Pilgrims to leave England for America, the king’s appointed devotees were setting type and preparing art to sing his praises on the first pages of the 1611 version. As we see the contemporary press bowing before the “potentate,” it is simple to understand how those bending before kingly power could say those things…and in such exquisite fonts too!*
“It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.”
—John Adams, Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1756; The Patriot Post
Courage has been redefined by our contemporary culture as a gay athlete coming out of the closet. Gay athletes in the Olympic games are feted in ways that would be denounced if the same was recognition given to straight competitors.
NBC let the world know their agenda when speaking from the Olympic games in Sochi. They praised the Russian “pivotal experience” with Communism, which has left millions dead and multitudes locked in poverty and privation, suffering under untold tyranny and oppression. They had to build walls and barbed wire fences to keep their people in. So socialism and communism is where we should be heading? What has happened to the American mind?
...but not this one:
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his…” (II Timothy 2:19). In all the confusion of the contemporary religious world, God knows exactly who belongs to Him! He has not forgotten you and me, and here is His reassurance: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found of you, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:11,12 NIV84).
Hypocrisy in some religious circles now matched in politics
You couldn’t make this up. A demonstration was organized as a March on Raleigh (NC) to protest the requirement to show an ID in order to vote. Number 9 on the list of requirements for the protestors: “Bring photo identification (driver’s license, passport or other valid photo id) with you and keep it on your person at all times.” In other words, we want you to have a photo ID in order to march but it is not necessary to vote. Huh?
To what heights of stupidity or depths of hypocrisy will leftists go in order to install a socialist state in America? All of this anti-American activity is encouraged by a socialist culture installed in Washington by the White House. Perhaps the change the president promised during his “reign,” was a “climate” change in Washington and throughout America that has encouraged every Christian and American value to be strongly challenged and discarded if possible.
I suspect that an executive order will soon be coming down the pike that will require churches to be licensed and taxed. The powers that be know that many of the voices that speak out against the liberal agenda belong to ministers and Christian laymen. To silence them has to be high on the list of priorities.
Speaking of hypocrisy, Ben Stein said: “Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured…but not everyone must prove they are a citizen. Many of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens.” Hope and change…isn’t it wonderful?
Lanny Davis, former counsel for Bill Clinton, was asked by radio host Hugh Hewitt to name some of Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments during her stint as secretary of state. Clinton, after all, appears positioned to cruise to the Democrat nomination in 2016. The problem is that Davis couldn’t name any accomplishments. “Well, the biggest thing of all is goodwill around the world, which is what secretaries of state do.” Would that include goodwill from nations like Iran and Syria thumbing their noses at us, or from Libyan terrorists attacking our consulate in Benghazi? To be fair to Davis, though, we can’t name any of her accomplishments either.
Source: The Patriot Post
Before our eyes
“[S]hould Congress, under the pretext of executing its powers, pass laws for the accomplishment of objects not entrusted to the government, such [acts are] not the law of the land.” —John Marshall, McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819
What about all the edicts being handed down from the WH? Are each and all of them truly the law of the land without debate of our duly elected representatives? Are they above the courts? Time will tell. Sleep on, America.
ABC’s deceptive gun report
The propagandists over at ABC have published a new investigative report on the dangers of firearms inside the home: “7,391 children [are] rushed to the hospital every year with … gun injuries,” mused anchor Diane Sawyer, citing a new study from the journal Pediatrics, and “453 of those children die at the hospital.” As usual, however, the report leaves out some important disclaimers: The study’s definition of “children” includes anyone under the age of 20. Apparently when it comes to exploiting the dangers of gun ownership, you’re considered a child halfway through college. [Yet those in puberty are considered “adult” enough to make coherent decisions regarding sex, birth control and sexual orientation?] Secondly, Sawyer failed to mention that 2,149 of the incidents were from accidental or negligent discharges, 270 were attempted suicides, and the remaining 4,559 were criminal assaults (gangs, anyone?). The report is merely the usual gross distortion of the facts we are accustomed to in the press.
Stats source: Diane Sawyer, 1/31/14; Internet
This term appears in II John 10,11: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (KJV). Would John be disappointed in the modern church to know that his recommendation/commandment was largely ignored in the interest of politeness, open-mindedness, and political correctness?
The Oxford English Dictionary says the term expresses “a wish for the success of one who is setting out on some journey or enterprise.” John, however, is using the term in the context of arrival rather than departure. The Greek word is the usual one for “Hail!” Contemporary versions like NASB, NKJV, RSV, etc., use “greet” or “greeting.” The NIV, NCV, and NRSV use “welcome.” The NLT says, “don’t invite him into your house or encourage him in any way.”
Regardless of how it is translated, the meaning is: “stiff-arm the false teachers and protect your home and church.”
Source: adapted from I Never Knew That Was In the Bible
19 Statistics about the drugging of America that are almost unbelievable
You may feel that too much is said about prescription drugs in this blog, but that may be an impossibility. The scourge of drugs has touched every family in America, including Apostolic families. It is not abating. Someone you love is addicted or affected negatively by drugs. It will never be curbed until we collectively raise our voices against it.
Please visit the website mentioned above.
Paxil connected to breast cancer
A team of researchers from the City of Hope in Durarte, CA, has developed a speedy way to identify drugs and chemicals that can disrupt the balance of sex hormones in human beings and influence the development and progress of diseases such as breast cancer.
In a trial screening of 446 drugs in circulation, the assay singled out the popular antidepressant paroxetine (better known by its commercial name, Paxil) as having a weak estrogenic effect that could promote the development and growth of breast tumors in women.
This is important because as many as a quarter of women being treated for breast cancer suffer from depression—a condition most commonly treated with antidepressants.
Source: Houston Chronicle, 2/23/14
Also, you may want to Google “testimonies about the problems caused by the drug Crestor” and see how statin drugs will debilitate your body. There are safer ways to lower cholesterol than taking statins. Google “dangers of statin drugs” and you will see why. I have seen too many of our people who couldn’t figure out why their muscles, particularly in their legs, were giving way. Many have been crippled by these cholesterol-lowering drugs. Please don’t take your doctor’s word alone—he may be one of those getting a kickback from the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing these money-making drugs.
Clerical beards in history
You’re more likely to see a beard in the pulpit today than at any time since the 1800s. But beards, especially among clergy, were once serious, symbolic matters—and still are in most cases. They separated East from West during the Great Schism, priests from laity during the Middle Ages, and Protestants from Catholics during the Reformation. Some church leaders required them; others banned them. To medieval theologians, they represented both holiness and sin. But historian Giles Constable says that rules on beards sound more forceful than they really were. Clergy (especially powerful ones) were likely to follow fashion in their day, too.
In the Old Testament times, Hebrew priests could wear beards but if they did so they were not allowed to trim them. It could represent a snare of a vain and prideful expression that would represent a cause or a segment of society with which the church should not be involved.
Some early churchmen, such as Clement of Alexandria (c. 195) thought beards were a mark of “manliness.” Others chose to go beardless. There seems to always have been some disagreement on the appropriateness of wearing beards.
Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate (c. 361) sports a beard to show his break with the shaven Christian emperors before him, and to mark his connection to pagan Roman religion.
In c. 475, a rule was made that “no cleric should grow long hair or shave his beard.” It was very out of step with its time, and several copyists simply changed it to “No cleric should grow long hair or [a long] beard.” It seems to have been ignored in its day but became widely referenced in the 1100s and 1200s.
In 816 the Council of Aachen required monks to shave every 15 days (24 times a year). Other monastic communities adopt similar rules, though some only needed to shave six or seven times a year. But hermits and other ascetics didn’t have to follow such rules and become famous for their long beards.
Reflecting a difference in Roman Catholics and Orthodox Church clerics, Pope Nicholas I wrote to French bishops in 867 noting that Roman clergy “do not refuse to shave their beards.” Orthodox priests traditionally do not shave their beards.
In 868, Ratramnus, a Frankish Benedictine monk who would later inspire several figures in the Protestant Reformation, defended priestly shaving against Eastern Church leaders who required beards. He argued that these beards may violate Paul’s rule against long hair. And besides, “if it is a sin, or a transgression against the divine law, to cut the beard let [the Greeks] say why the prophet [Ezekiel] shaved his beard at the order of the Lord (Ezek. 5:1), why the Nazarenes [Nazarites] followed this custom, why finally the apostles did not fear this custom.”
In the eleventh century, the practice of wearing beards or shaving toggled back and forth. In the latter part of the century, writers associated beards with immodesty. One wrote: “Now almost all our fellow countrymen are crazy and wear little beards, openly proclaiming by such a token that they revel in filthy lusts like stinking goats.”
In England, the Canons of Edgar declared no priest should “retain his beard for any time.” A similar law is made in Northumbria three years later. The Council of Bourges unequivocally mandates “a shaved beard” for “all who minister within the Holy Church.” The practice of wearing or not wearing beards was one of the several issues that led to the split between the Eastern and Western divisions of Christianity.
Attempting to Romanize the formerly Greek church in Sardinia, in 1080 Pope Gregory VII forced the archbishop to shave his beard “as the clergy of the whole Western church have had the custom of shaving the beard from the very origins of the Christian faith.” All local clergy were ordered to do likewise. In 1096 the Archbishop of Rouen threatened to excommunicate anyone with a beard (or with long hair), not just clerics. In the twelfth century, writers like Abbot Burchard of Bellavaux held forth on the biblical, theological, moral, social, and allegorical implications of beards. During that time Pope Alexander III banned clerical beards, although during the Reformation period some of the more elite clergy did sport beards.
In 1535 King Henry VIII taxed beards. In 1547 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer begins to grow a beard, ostensibly to mark his mourning of the death of King Henry VIII, but also to signal a break with the (beardless) Catholic clergy.
In 1830 Pastor George Trask of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, inveighed against the “vain” (and rare) beard of congregant Joseph Palmer, and demanded that he shave it off. When Trask denied Palmer Communion, Palmer grabbed the chalice and drank it anyway, shouting, “I love my Jesus as well, and better than any of you!” After he was jailed for fighting off attackers who tried to cut off his beard, Palmer (and his beard) became a New England cause célèbre. (Sounds like some folks today who revel in their rebellion, declaring their independence from any form of spiritual authority. Parenthesis mine.)
In March of 1864, Punch, a British magazine, ran a series of caricatures of the different kinds of Anglican clergy beards in the UK, noting that they’re not found among Catholics or dissenting Christians (like Baptists and Congregationalists).
Around 1970 at the height of the social revolution in America, several Christian colleges banned beards, especially among faculty, over their association with protest movements.
In July of 2013, Saddleback Church in California hosted a contest for “Most Magnificent Beard and Most Pathetic Beard.” Duck Dynasty’s barbate Phil Robertson and his beardless son, Alan, were invited to preach.
Adapted from Ted Olsen, “The Wars Over Clerical Beards,” Christianity Today, 8/28/13
I personally do not know anyone who teaches categorically that wearing a beard is a mortal sin. However, leaders know that quite often attitudes connected with them are detrimental to one’s spirituality and testimony. When a pastor/spiritual authority recommends that the men of his church shave, and someone says, “I am going to do what I want to regardless of what he says,” that is a problem. It would be a blatant violation of Hebrews 13:17. Associating ourselves with rebellious elements of our decadent culture is not bearing a positive Christian testimony. The “stubble” look that is popular with celebrities and sports figures today should not be imitated by Christian men since it tends to identify one with their lifestyle and values. Why would we want to copy them—of all people?
What is your take on bearded Christians, particularly ministers? Email your responses to email@example.com. We would be interested to know your thoughts.
The light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing—he stopped at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.
He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, so naturally…I assumed you had stolen the car.”
There’s an all-seeing eye………
Who changed things?
Michael Brown, Charisma News
Who changed things from the vibrant, Spirit-empowered “by life or by death” faith of the New Testament to today’s spineless home-and-garden Sunday-morning religion?
Who changed things from “All who live godly lives in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (see 2 Tim. 3:12) to “Ask Jesus into your heart and enjoy a comfortable life”?
Who changed things from a fearless proclamation of the truth, whatever the cost or consequences, to a watered down, compromised message that is afraid to offend anyone?
By what authority, by whose decree, based on what new revelation, have we so blatantly departed from the faith of the apostles? Who changed things?
To continue reading this stirring article, click here….
You knew they had to come…blonde men’s stories
A blonde man shouts frantically into the phone. “My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!”
“Is this her first child?” asks the doctor.
“No,” he shouts, “this is her husband!”
An Italian tourist asks a blonde man: “Why do scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?”
To which the blonde man replies: “If they fell forward, they’d still be in the boat.”
Two blonde men find three grenades, and they decide to take them to a police station.
One asked: “What if one explodes before we get there?”
The other says: “We’ll lie and say we only found two.”
The most popular Bible Study available today. Order from advanceministries.org for best price.
Apostolic Theological Journal eBook
This is the sixth edition of the Journal of the Apostolic Theological Forum. The first five contained papers expressing some of the best theological thinking of Apostolic faith. This edition will complement the earlier volumes.
This book includes the following:
-The Anointing by William E.Davis,
-On The Sanctity of Life by Peter F. Connell
-Harmless or Heretical? Denominational Perceptions of Oneness Perspective by Ben Weeks
-Some Thoughts On The Oneness and Trinitarian Final Report, 2002–2007 by Steve Waldron
-The Peril and Temptation Of Abusing Pastoral Authority in The Apostolic Setting by Phillip Harrelson
-The Doctrine Of Divine Healing: Is it always God’s will to heal? by J.R.Ensey
-The Ancient Historical Evidence For Jesus by Steve Waldron
A Hill To Die On
Is truth worth dying for? If so, which truth? Which doctrine? This new book, which will be available this week, suggests that there are some things worth risking our reputations, our resources, and perhaps our lives for. Six months ago we would never have thought we would be where we are today as a nation. The Christian faith is rapidly being dismembered and deconstructed to make way for Islam. The rush of endtime prophecy fulfillment should stiffen the backbone of every Christian and make us realize there will be a price to pay for our faith. The nine chapters of this new book include:
– A Hill To Die On
– Truth in an Age of Deception
– Unity in an Age of Division
– Righteousness in an Age of Hedonism
– The Church in an Age of Spirituality
– Absolutes in an Age of Relativism
– God and Government
– Is American Christianity Returning to the Social Gospel?
– Our Finest Hour
Letters From A Roman Jail
by J. R. Ensey
Some of the most beautiful and truly meaningful words that flowed from the pen of Paul are found in his letters written while incarcerated in Rome. They graphically display the triumph of the pen over the sword. Nero’s sword took Paul’s head, but Paul’s pen took Nero’s empire! Topical format permits not just word study and exposition, but teaching ideas and application. This is a good book for new converts who enjoy studying the Word. Also good for Bible classes in Christian schools.
The apostle Paul wrote three letters to two younger ministers whom he affectionately called his “sons.” The epistles became part of the canon of Scripture and have served since then as the best instruction available for those in ministry and church leadership. Doctrine, practical church discipline, lifestyle and much more is all here. The verse-by-verse commentary is accompanied by a complete outline for ease of study and teaching.
ORDER ALL BOOKS ONLINE AT ADVANCEMINISTRIES.ORG OR CALL 936-537-0250.
Whither art thou, Discernment?
When people ask me what’s the biggest problem in the church, I always say the same thing: the absence of discernment. That is the biggest problem in the church because if you can’t discern the truth with the Word of God in your hand with the Bible in your hand, you can die of a thousand heresies. It’s like having spiritual AIDS. People who have a deficient immune system can die of a thousand illnesses. The church can die of a thousand heresies if it can’t exercise discernment. This is always the issue. – John MacArthur
Before anyone considers filling my email inbox with denunciations, I trust they will do their own research and verify the truth about the “godly” King James and some of his translators who acted like Catholic inquisitors. There had to be a reason the Mayflower and other ships sailed to America loaded with Pilgrims during James’ tenure as king. Dissenters poured out of England, fearing the wrath of the potentate. King James and the Church of England were not very different from the pope and Roman Catholicism in handling dissent. Perhaps we need to take the rose-colored glasses off when we study early seventeenth century English politics.
Joe Biden has his own way of saying what shouldn’t be said. He told fellow Democrats a few days ago that they should be optimistic about the future of our nation, but then followed up with these observations: “It always surprises me when we don’t have the degree of optimism that we should about the state of the nation. And in spite of who’s president, in spite of who’s in the Congress, the American people are so much stronger, so much more resilient, so much more capable, that even the ridiculous policies of our friends on the Right cannot keep them from moving forward.” Biden mistakes “leftward” for “forward,” and evidently is optimistic “in spite of who’s president.”
You tell ’em, Joe!
THIS JUST IN!
Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor emeritus of the world’s largest church in Seoul, Korea has been found guilty of embezzling millions of dollars, and also running a financial scam with his son. Why? Why? Why? Why must someone who has all the money they could possibly use go crooked? Greed, I am sure is involved, but think of the millions of people who he has disappointed and disillusioned. And we wonder why so many people are turning away from Christianity!? Even so, come, Lord Jesus!