31 January 2010

Sunday Night Musings

Did you ever have one of those days when you just were really ready for Jesus to come back? That's me tonight, right now! Oh yes, a lot of it is my human weakness and my frustration with the world and with the church. Heaven knows (no pun intended) that it would be much easier to be with Christ right now than to be down here dealing with all of this mess! But aside from that, above that, is a true longing to be with Christ for the sake of being with Him. After all, this is not my home! My home is in Heaven and so yes, I have to say that tonight I am terribly homesick. Perhaps it is spurred on by the constant decline of the churches and the blindness of Christians to see it. Perhaps it is the gross depravity of the world around me. But I think, more than anything, it goes back to my "homesickness" and the true realization that I do not belong here. None of us Christians do! Do you not feel out of place amidst the sin and the blatant displays of hatred for God? Not that we are without sin ourselves but doesn't watching sin swirling around you make you absolutely sick and grieved? It does me. And then there is the persecution. Oh no, not physical persecution. But there is a  persecution that occurs the closer one walks with the Lord and some days it wearies me. And then tonight, by His grace, I was reminded of the two verses that first inspired this blog:
"Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you." 1 John 3:13
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13
 So I had to ask myself, why am I unusually surprised tonight? Because the persecution, the attacks are no longer limited to the secular world. No, they are coming from within the church. They are coming from those who follow Christ, yet are offended when someone else steps up to tell the Truth. "Let's all get along and build one another up" but how can I build someone up who is helplessly leading the flock of Christ astray? And if that person is unapproachable due to his "fame" and ego, then perhaps should I not in the meantime simply speak to those being misled so that they may see the error and seek to be more discerning? My approach or delivery may not always be the most gracious-sounding (let's face it, I'm not one for soft, flowery words!), but I always strive to deliver the truth in love.

Let me tell you a secret: discernment ministry has its earthly costs, namely friends. Unbelievers want nothing to do with you because you're always talking about Jesus. That's okay, I can live with that. "What accord has Christ with Belial" anyway? But losing Christian friends is more difficult, because they are your fellowship and your encouragement in this world. Not that I would drive someone away for believing differently than me, but when others permanently separate from you with no explanation other than they do not like your approach to speaking the Truth well, I have to admit that the loss is difficult. I've lost several Christian friends in the last year or so, especially since starting this blog. If someone doesn't like the truth you speak, it's easier to just ignore you, I guess! And so I am down to a very small number of true friends who, despite all my faults, still love me and pray with me and for me.

Undoubtedly you have noticed that being a Christian in this world--a bold, unashamed, firm Christian--is not an easy task. And perhaps, like me, you've come to realize that it can result in a lonely life here on Earth. While it may not always be easy to feel alone down here, we must always remember and rejoice in the knowledge that we are not alone, but we have the greatest Comforter and the greatest Friend ever given in Christ Jesus and He will never forsake us.
"The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:9-10
Amen, thank you, God. And come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Sunday Morning Praise

I have to admit, finding videos of Christian hymns on the Internet is difficult! And since I've posted many of the most popular hymns already, each week becomes more and more of a treasure hunt! This week I wanted to share the hymn "How Firm a Foundation." Once again, the most enjoyable version I could find was solely instrumental. Nevertheless, it is beautiful! Here is "How Firm a Foundation" arranged with "Rock of Ages." Lyrics to both hymns are below the video as usual. Have a blessed day!

 How Firm a Foundation
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
[originally When my eye-strings break in death]
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

28 January 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

Thanks to The Daily Spurgeon for sharing this beautiful excerpt from Spurgeon's sermon entitled Sown Light:
Only little children put their seeds into the ground and then turn up the mould to discover whether the seeds are growing on the morrow. It was said of the northern nations, near the pole, and said truthfully, that they sowed their barley in the morning and reaped it at night, because the sun goes not down for four mouths at a time; but in sober truth we must not expect to have the rewards of grace given to us immediately we believe.

This is the time for running, not for tarrying to gaze upon the prize. This is the hour for the battle, not yet may we rest on our laurels. There must be a trial of our patience and our faith. God delights that his servants should be put through many exercises and ordeals, in order that the praise of the glory of his grace may be manifest in them and through them, to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. Wait, then, Christian; be content to wait. The Bridegroom cometh quickly; rest assured of that; and if you think he lingereth, ask for greater patience, that you may patiently work on, continuing steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Expect not your full reward of joy tomorrow; your lot is on the other side of Jordan; the bells of your wedding day shall ring out in another world, and your coronation will be received in the ivory palaces, upon which the sun hath never shone. You are espoused to a Husband who is not here; you look for a kingdom far above these changeful skies. Have patience, then, till the great hour shall come, and the King shall descend to take his own.

From a sermon entitled "Sown Light," delivered October 11, 1868.

24 January 2010

Sunday Morning Praise

A blessed Lord's Day to you! I decided awhile ago that I wanted to use this song. In searching for a video, though, the most beautiful and most complete version was in German! Perhaps that is because "Fairest Lord Jesus" was originally composed in the German language by German Jesuits. So I'm going to do something a bit different with the lyrics. The first lyrics posted will be a (nearly) literal translation from the German. It won't be flowing and rhyming, but it will be the truest to the original song. I'd like to send a huge thanks to my mom for translating this hymn! The second and third sets of lyrics are the two English versions that you'll likely recognize. Enjoy!

Literal Translation:
Beautiful Lord Jesus,
Lord of all ends,
Son of God and Mary,
You, I want to love
You, I want to honor
Joy (or delight) and crown (King) of my soul.

Beautiful are the fields (meadows),
More beautiful are the forests
in the splendor of Springtime,
Jesus is fairer (lovelier),
Jesus is purer,
Who delights (comforts) my wretched (mournful) soul.

Beautifully shines the moon,
More beautifully shines the sun
and all of the stars altogether,
Jesus shines fairer (lovelier),
Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels of all time.

Beautiful are the flowers,
beautiful are the people (mankind)
in their fresh youth,
They must die,
They must fall (perish, spoil),
Jesus remains in eternity (forever).

All of the beauty (fairness)
of the heavens and the earth,
is written (authored) in Him alone,
Nothing on earth should
become dearer to me,
than you, my dearest Jesus!

Most hymnals contain the following lyrics under the title, Fairest Lord Jesus:

Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.

All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.

Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine. 

The original translation of this song by Joseph Seiss is entitled Beautiful Savior:

Beautiful Savior, King of Creation
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I’d love Thee, truly I’d serve Thee,
Light of my soul, my joy, my crown.

Fair are the meadows, Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in the flowers of blooming spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.

Fair is the sunshine, Fair is the moonlight,
Bright the sparkling stars on high;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels in the sky.

Beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations,
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, Praise, adoration
Now and forevermore be Thine!

22 January 2010

Meditation 101 with Rick Warren

Why visit an expensive "yogi" when you can stay home and watch Rick Warren's tweets for meditation tips and tricks?

Last night, Warren tweeted the following:
So much stress comes from our inability to be still.The greatest faith is often revealed by waiting & watching in silence. (Online Source).
 And, minutes ago, he relayed the following advice:
"God is God, and I'm not." Repeat 10 times for stress relief. (Online Source).
Okay, I'll wait while everyone takes a few moments to enter the silence.........Done? Good. Now take your spirit guide and go have some fun!

To quote the great, yet fictional, Ricky Ricardo, "Ay yi yi!"

The Bible is True

I'm sure most of you have heard about this by now, but I still thought I'd share the below article from Bible Prophecy Today, written by Chuck Missler. Once again, archaeology has proven that the Bible is true! Wow, who would've thought? I have to think it's becoming more and more difficult to be an atheist!

Inscription from King David's Time Deciphered
Chuck MisslerBy Chuck Missler

More than one university professor has cast doubt on the existence of King David and the ancient Kingdom of Israel. Academics are prone to say David was the Jewish equivalent of King Arthur, the stuff of myths and legends. Once again, archeology is proving these doubts wrong. An inscription on a pottery shard found near the valley where David slew Goliath offers evidence that the books of the Old Testament are much older than academics previously thought, and scribes certainly could have been recording the lives of David and his sons 3000 years ago.

An inscription on a pottery shard dating to the 10th century BC has been declared to be in Hebrew. Not only does the ancient language on the shard use certain words specific to Hebrew, but the inscription speaks about taking care of the weaker people in society - widows, orphans and strangers - and calls for the king to get involved. Other Middle East cultures of the time did not promote the protection of the weak; these were ideas unique to theOld Testament and the Hebrew culture.

Professor Gershon Galil of the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa, who deciphered the inscription, argues that this pottery shard offers evidence that the Kingdom of Israel was indeed in existence in the 10th century BC (the time of David), had a king, and had people capable of writing down histories. It therefore gives evidence to something some of us have never stopped believing, that the Scriptures are as old as they claim to be, despite what modern day scholastics may think.

"It can now be maintained that it was highly reasonable that during the 10th century BCE, during the reign of King David, there were scribes in Israel who were able to write literary texts and complex historiographies such as the books of Judges and Samuel," Galil said.

Galil points out that the shard was found in Khirbet Qeiyafa, a rural Judean town near the Valley of Elah. He argues that if scribes out in the country were able to write the complex text found on this pottery shard, a number of capable scribes would have also lived in central Judea and in the city. This contradicts many academics who have argued that the Hebrew Scriptures could not have been written before the Babylonian captivity because of widespread illiteracy.

While the inscription does not match any exact Old Testament passage, the gist is similar to ideas expressed in verses like Exodus 22:21-23; 23:3, demonstrating a flow of ideas in line with what Scripture taught.

Academics have long complained that the great kings David and Solomon did not really exist because archeological evidence of them has not popped up all over Israel. Yet, conquest during the time of the kings, destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonians, Israel's years of being a battle ground between Syria and Egypt, the destruction of the 2nd Temple and eventually the razing of Jerusalem by the Romans all would have played a big part in wiping out the majority of King David-related artifacts. King Solomon's golden shields (1 Kings 10:17) would have been long gone. Still, David's story remained safe in the Scriptures, protected and fastidiously copied down through the centuries.

This new inscription offers evidence outside the Scriptures by establishing that the Israelites of David's time had writing capabilities. It isn't alone; there are other evidences of ancient Israel outside the Bible. The Tel Dan Stele describes the victory of a king of Damascus over a "king of Israel" and a king of the "House of David" during the 9th century. (After King Solomon died, Israel was split into the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Southern Kingdom of Judah, which was ruled by the descendents of David.) The Mesha Stele, excavated at the capital of ancient Moab, also declares victories over a king of Israel – Ahab, son of Omri. And the Sennacherib Prism describes the Assyrian king's attack on Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah – an attack which failed as described in 2 Kings 18-19.

The Hebrew Scriptures are more than just Jewish history and mythology jotted down hundreds of years after the facts described. These books, penned by dozens of authors, are a consistent message from the I AM, the God not constrained by Time.The Scriptures not only provide readers with the history of Israel, but also give previews of events hundreds or thousands of years before they occur. Most importantly, they describe in advance the death of the Jewish Messiah for our sins (Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Acts 8:26-39) and his victory and future reign on the throne of his father King David (2 Sam 7:16-17; Psalm 110:1-2; Matt 22:42-46; Isaiah 9:6-7).

21 January 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon entitled "His Name - The Mighty God."
"We know also that Christ proved himself to be the "mighty God" from the fact that at last all the sins of all his people were gathered upon his shoulders, and he bare them in his own body on the tree. The heart of Christ became like a reservoir in the midst of mountains. All the tribatary streams of iniquity, and every drop of the sins of his people, ran down and gathered into one vast lake, deep as hell and shoreless as eternity. All these met, as it were, in Christ's heart, and yet he endured them all. With many a sign of human weakness, but with convincing signs of divine omnipotence, he took all our griefs and carried all our sorrows. The divinity within strengthened his manhood, and though wave after wave rolled over his head, till he sank in deep mire where there was no standing, and all God's waves and his billows had gone over him, yet did he lift up his head, and more than a conqueror, at length, he put the sins of his people to a public execution. They are dead. They have ceased to be; and if they be sought for, they shall not be found any more forever. Certainly, if this be true, he is "the mighty God" indeed."
"Oh, Christians, believe him more than ever; cast your troubles constantly on him; he is "the mighty God;" go to him in all your dilemmas; when the enemy cometh in like a flood, this mighty God shall make a way for your deliverance; take to him your griefs, this mighty God can alleviate them all; tell him your backslidings and sins, this mighty God shall blot them out. And, O sinners, ye that feel your need of a Savior, come to Christ and trust him, for he is "the mighty God."
Amen and amen. In the midst of our worry, our pride, our ambitions and our failures, may we never fail to remember to turn to Christ, for truly He is "the mighty God."

19 January 2010

Carnival "Christians"

It came to my attention this week that I was no longer going to be punished for being frugal with my cable TV package selection. No longer would Comcast withhold from me the great blessings of the various "Christian" stations that are available. I have now been blessed with access to TBN and Daystar so that, in my free time, I may watch in wonder and awe as I learn the "secrets" discovered by Kim Clement or hear the supposed mysteries of the non-existent Bible codes shared by Perry Stone. No longer would I be deprived of the Crouch family's (of TBN fame) heretical and New Age beliefs or the no-doubt inspiring messages of "Pastor" Paula White. Let me insert a note here, acknowledging that these channels do indeed air the occasional legitimate teacher. Grant Jeffrey, David Reagan, and Hal Lindsey come to mind as men whose teachings on Bible prophecy I trust and respect. However, the other 99.2% of the programming on these channels is pure junk and, more often than not, borders on the heretical. It's this 99.2% of false teachers that I like to refer to as "Carnival Christians." I certainly am not trying to make light of the detrimental impact these people are having, but if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that watching most of these people spew off their falsities is first heartbreaking, but second entertaining.Forgive me, but sometimes I cannot help but laugh.

Not long ago, I read a few snippets about Larry and Tiz Huch and their "ministry." I was not familiar with the names until today. Yes, friends, today is the day that I learned why God doesn't seem to always answer prayer when and how I want Him to. You see, it's not because God's timing is perfect and ours, which wants an immediate answer, is not. It's not because God may be answering our prayer in a different manner than we expect or want. No, no, no. The reason that God isn't answering prayer is because we are not praying correctly! I couldn't believe it! At one point in today's show, Larry Huch stated, "I'm going to tell you how to pray." I thought, "well, surely a true Bible teacher would lead us to the Lord's Prayer where the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray and Jesus Himself stated,
“When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.” Luke 11:2-4.

But no, Larry had better, less obvious ideas. Larry introduced me to his new Jacob's Ladder gift set which not only includes 4 of his teachings, but also includes a tallit, a prayer bracelet, and 3 mezuzahs which are all apparently necessary in order for God to hear my prayers.

He even shared a story about a woman who had been searching for a new job and, at a conference she put on the prayer bracelet and within 3 minutes she received a phone call with a job offer! Well, that's it, I'm sold. Clearly I've been misled all these years to think that I could come before my Lord at anytime, prayer bracelet or not, and pray with confidence that He is hearing me. I didn't realize that I could "enter the throne room of God" by putting the tallit over my head each time I prayed. I didn't realize that the promises God made to Israel in Deuteronomy 11 were really literally for me. See, now I know that, by wearing my prayer bracelet and my tallit, and by hanging the mezuzah on my doorposts, God will bring me health, wealth, and prosperity. Oh, the darkness I've been living in all this time! Thank you, Larry and Tiz, for opening my eyes.

Now, I am not in any way trying to make light of those Jews, saved or unsaved, who may utilize the tallit or hang a mezuzah on their doorpost. Many of my neighbors are Jewish and do these things! What I am criticizing is this couple, who claim to be Christian teachers of God's Word, are teaching that using these items will make God respond instantly to our prayers. Nowhere does the Bible teach that we have to do anything or wear anything in order for God to hear our prayers. The only work that is required of us is to believe and have faith in Christ.
Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." John 6:29
We should never doubt that God hears our prayers and will respond in His perfect time and with His perfect answer.
"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15
 So leave your prayer bracelet at home. I promise that God will still be listening.

17 January 2010

Book Recommendations

I'm not one to write book reviews, and that's not what I intend to do here. (If you are interested in some great, chapter-by-chapter reviews, visit The Red Pen). But when I read a great book I have to recommend it and the following two books are no exception. I began this year with these two books and cannot praise them highly enough. They are both well worth your time!

Trapped in Hitler's Hell is the story of Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman. Written with Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries this is the true story of Anita Dittman as a young girl, and a Messianic Jew, who was literally trapped in the hell that Hitler created. Warning: You will not be able to put this book down! I certainly couldn't! This book is filled with story after unbelievable story of Dittman's life during the Holocaust. But what is so amazing-and so awesome-is that every turn of Dittman's life shows a magnificent revelation and illustration of the sovereignty and the love of God. Our God surely does take care of His children and this book reveals that in a most incredible way!

A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen is quite a bit different than the book above! This book examines the infiltration of ancient mystical practices into Christianity. Not a brand new book, the second edition was printed in 2006 and yet, sadly, the truths in this book seem even more evident today than they were four years ago! An excellent companion to this book is Yungen's For Many Shall Come in My Name which examines, similarly, the growth of the New Age movement in Christianity. If you are someone who hears "mystical" and thinks of wizards and warlocks or who hears "New Age" and thinks of strange music and kids dressed in "goth" then you need to read these books and get yourself educated! Ancient mysticism has crept into Christianity through such leaders as Rick Warren, Beth Moore, and Chuck Swindoll. The entire Emergent Church movement was built around these New Age (although not so "new") ideas. Many oft-promoted and highly acclaimed "Christian" books are actually promoting the ancient mystical practice of contemplative prayer and meditation, something that is neither Christian nor Biblical! You'd be hard-pressed to find a pastor who doesn't have works by Richard Foster or Henri Nouwen sitting on his bookshelf and yet these authors teach these dangerous practices! Foster's Streams of Living Water or The Celebration of Discipline are often recommended to the lay person as good reading for "spiritual formation" and to help one "get closer to God." Ray Yungen has done an excellent job of defining and providing explanation of his subjects. He writes in such a way that, though you are reading and digesting so much content, you never feel as though you are reading a textbook! Yungen's writing style is incredibly reader-friendly and intriguing. Be prepared, because I don't think you'll be able to put this book down either!

Sunday Morning Praise

This week's song is a newer "hymn." It is Keith and Kristyn Getty's "The Power of the Cross." For those who have put their faith in Christ, this song offers amazing truth as to the power of Christ's death and resurrection. Jesus "took the blame" and "bore the wrath" and those of us who are His now stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev'ry bitter thought,
Ev'ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the vict'ry cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.  

Romans 8:1 tells us, "For there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." So I ask you this morning, do you know Jesus? I'm not just asking if you know about Jesus, I'm asking if you really know Jesus? Is He the LORD of your life and your Savior and Redeemer? If He returned today and you stood before Him, would He know you and claim you as His own? Remember, Jesus is no longer on that cross! He is alive and seated on a throne at the right hand of God in Heaven! And when you stand before Him, you will be before a throne of judgment at the mercy of the only true Judge. If you have faith in the life, death and resurrection of Christ, you will not stand condemned. But without the blood of Christ to cover your sins, you will be exposed and woefully and rightfully judged and condemned to an eternity of torment. Not sure about where you will spend eternity? Click here.

14 January 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

The following is excerpted from Spurgeon's sermon entitled "Heaven and Hell." The snippet below is just a glimpse of some of the rich truths he preached throughout this sermon. Perhaps one of these days I will transcribe it in its entirety for you! But for now, take this sweet truth and let it bless you today!

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 8:11
"Oh! I love God's "shalls" and "wills." There is nothing comparable to them. Let a man say "shall," what is it good for? [...] But it is never so with God's "shalls." If he says "shall," it shall be; when he says "will," it will be. Now he has said here, "many shall come." The devil says "they shall not come;" but "they shall come." Their sins say "you can't come;" God says "you shall come." You, yourselves, say, "you won't come;" God says "you shall come." Yes! there are some here who are laughing at salvation, who can scoff at Christ and mock at the gospel; but I tell you some of you shall come yet. "What!" you say, "can God make me become a Christian?" I tell you yes, for herein rests the power of the gospel. It does not ask your consent; but gets it. It does not say, Will you have it? but it makes you willing in the day of God's power. Not against your will, but it makes you willing. It shows you its value, and then you fall in love with it; and straightway you run after it and have it."

Amen, Brother Spurgeon. Amen.

13 January 2010

Am I a Pharisee?

It seems I have acquired a new title, that of Pharisee. Quite honestly it doesn't surprise me and, this week in particular, I'm in rather good company. Many of the larger discernment ministries have been indirectly labeled as Pharisees this week by Purpose-Driven Pope of the Carolinas, Perry Noble (thanks to Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries for concocting that fabulous nickname!). You see, when false teachers are attacked, they love to throw out the word "pharisee." And so do their supporters. When people are blindly following someone without bothering to test what they say against Scripture, they simply see red when another person comes along and points out that maybe, just perhaps, their perfect precious leader is mistaken. A Christian should always be testing what their teachers and leaders are saying. Even if you are being shepherded by John MacArthur or Erwin Lutzer, you need to test their teaching against Scripture! I'm sure that even the great Charles Spurgeon ensured that his congregation was acting as the Bereans and testing his words against God's. And so, dear name-callers, before you throw me under the Biblical bus, please double-check your source.

The irony of the situation is that, seemingly, certain individuals were gracious enough to take the time to read my article Beth Moore - False Teacher? yet were not as equally gracious to read the post below it, Why I Do What I Do. So at this time, I'd like to ask my critics to go back and read the latter mentioned post. I'd also like to thank you for effectively proving my point! Do not misunderstand. I welcome criticism, and am more than happy to engage in friendly dialogue should someone disagree with my perspective. However, many who were clearly unhappy with my assessment of the infamous Beth Moore instead resorted to angrily labeling me as a Pharisee and leaving it at that (again, thank you for proving my point in the post Why I Do What I Do). So, in the interest of conversation (uh-oh, now I sound Emergent!) let's take a very brief look at the Pharisees, shall we? My Bible study is currently going through the book of John and this couldn't be more timely. Ah yes, God is good!

You see, the Pharisees, who knew the Scripture well, refused to acknowledge the deity of Jesus Christ. He was right in front of them, preaching and performing miracles. He was daily fulfilling prophecies given long ago by the prophets of the Old Testament. These were prophecies that the religious leaders, the Pharisees, would have known backward and forward and yet they refused to see the Truth when it was staring them in the face. They understood everything that Jesus said, yet did not acknowledge Him. Why? Because their hearts were hard and blind and they could not see the truth that was before them. Their pride and their hardness from years of false religion had blinded them to a point beyond recognition.

 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. John 9:39-41

The Pharisees were so certain that they were right, that their false religious system was right, that they cast everything else aside without even bothering to examine it! Instead, unhappy with the inconvenient truth presented to them by Jesus, they desired to kill Him.

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” [...] do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. John 10:22-33, 36-39

And so I have to ask: Who is really the Pharisee? Is it myself and other discernment ministries who desire to defend the Word of God? Is it justifiable to label us Pharisees who are merely taking the words of these glorified, supposed teachers of the Bible and are pitting them against the Word of God? Is it fair to call those of us who are following in the way of the Bereans Pharisees? Or is the true Pharisee the one who takes these warnings and, rather than researching for themselves, instead resorts to name-calling and chooses to remain in ignorance. Disagree with me if you like, but at least present me with a valid argument with which to dialogue. Name-calling doesn't behoove anyone.

For those who were angered or upset by my comments regarding Beth Moore, I'd like to direct you to some further research. The articles linked below will present you with sound, Biblical arguments as to why so many are concerned with the path that Beth Moore is traveling. Perhaps if she wasn't a "shepherd" of so many women across America I and others like me wouldn't be so concerned. But Beth Moore is nothing short of worshiped by many women and before you follow her blindly, you must test her claims against Scripture.

Finally, for those of you who have sifted through this article saying, "But contemplative prayer isn't all that bad. Psalm 46:10 tells us to 'be still,'" I will direct you to an article by Pastor Larry Debruyn of Franklin Road Baptist Church. Pastor Debruyn also authors many of the insightful articles on the Herescope blog. Simply entitled "Be Still" this article will discuss the true meaning of that so often, so terribly misused verse. And for those of you who have read through this and are still a little baffled as to what exactly is contemplative prayer, well, that's a discussion for another day! It's a discussion I hope to post soon, as I know it is a foreign term to many. But for now it is getting late and, sadly, I do have a day job for which I must prepare tomorrow!

10 January 2010

Sunday Morning Praise

"'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" was written by Louisa M.R. Stead in 1882. It is said that she wrote this hymn after she witnessed her husband drown. Music is by William J. Kirkpatrick.

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!


Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.


I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.


09 January 2010

Brit Hume: May We All Be So Bold

First, since I have not yet commented on Brit Hume's bold and unashamed witness, let me just say: Thank you, Mr. Hume. You have demonstrated an attitude that all Christians should exercise, but few even possess. Thank you for unapologetically proclaiming salvation through Jesus Christ alone. May we all be so bold for our Savior.

Second, I'd like to share an excellent article on the subject that can be found on The Crosstalk Blog:

The Crucifixion of Brit Hume by Matt Barber
During the Roman Empire’s secularist era those who acknowledged the deity of Christ were frequently fed to the lions to entertain – for lack of a better word – the “progressive” elites of the day. There’s little doubt that if many of today’s secular-“progressives” (more accurately: “moonbat liberals”) had their way, Caesar Obama would call out the lions once again.

Nothing makes the left lose its collective noodle like an open proclamation of Christian faith. You don’t see it when Muslims proselytize in government schools; the ACLU doesn’t sue when Wiccans share their witchy ways; militant “gay” activists don’t picket Buddhist temples with bullhorns while inhabitants grasp at Zen. No, there’s something about Christianity that just drives ‘em nuts. Always has. Always will.

Case in point: Recently, on two separate occasions, Fox News veteran Brit Hume both publicly pronounced his own faith in Jesus Christ and boldly suggested that Tiger Woods might find “forgiveness and redemption” for his serial philandering should he “turn to the Christian faith.”

Hume first offered Tiger the advice on “Fox News Sunday” and then reiterated his sage, though decidedly non-PC council on “The O’Reilly Factor” the following night. When asked by host Bill O’Reilly what kind of response he’d received for his comments, Hume replied, in part: “It’s always been a puzzling thing to me. The Bible even speaks of it. You speak the name Jesus Christ… and all hell breaks loose.”

Yes indeed.

After Hume made his comments, and as if on cue (Lord forgive them for not knowing what they do or why they do it) liberals went apoplectic. Here’s a small sampling:

As reported by CNSNews.com: “Tom Shales, media critic for the Washington Post , in a Tuesday column, demanded that Hume apologize and called his Christian remarks ‘even only a few days into January, as one of the most ridiculous of the year.’”

MSNBC’s reliably raspy Keith Olbermann accused Hume of attempting “to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity” and demanded that his Fox News ratings superior “keep religious advocacy out of public life” (back in the closet, Brit old boy).

Olblubberman then compared Hume to a terrorist, suggesting that “the worst example” of this kind of “proselytizing” are “jihadists.” Finally, he betrayed the left’s typical anti-Christian bigotry, suggesting that Jesus may have been a homosexual and wondering aloud: “WWJDIHS: What would Jesus do if he’s straight?”
While the mainstream media’s rage was clumsily managed (or masked), unbridled hate boiled over in the left-wing blogosphere.

On the sexual anarchist site, “JoeMyGod,” poster “QScribe” suggested that Brit Hume’s deceased son had been “gay” and viciously accused Hume of being responsible for the young man’s suicide: “Brit Hume still hasn’t ‘repented’ for trashing his gay son and driving him to suicide. When I want moral guidance from a pig like that, I’ll be sure to ask. Until then, he really ought to STFU.” (Hume has publicly shared that his son’s heartbreaking suicide played a large role in his acceptance of Christ.)

The next commenter went so far as to cruelly imply that Hume had sexually molested his own child and further mocked the tragic suicide, writing: “Dead victims don’t tell on their molesters.”

Commenting on the Huffington Post, “Kandaher” bypassed Hume altogether and aimed his vitriol directly at his Creator: “anyone (sic) watched ‘The passion of Christ’? I thoruhgly (sic) enjoyed it. Nothing like watching this bloke getting beaten up! He deserved what he got and more!”
You get the idea.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I very much enjoy watching liberals go goofy when the light of truth pierces that shadowy void called moral relativism. When the left’s religion of choice – secular-humanism – is challenged through exposure to the gospel message, they almost universally and instinctively react with such visceral, knee-jerk spasms. You can set your clock to it.

But believe it or not, there’s actually something rather delightful about such hateful lashing about. These poor souls – to be pitied and prayed for – fail to realize that, manifest within their own unwittingly bizarre behavior, is certain affirmation of the very words of Christ on the subject.

Jesus addressed this peculiar and deeply spiritual phenomenon on more than one occasion over two thousand years ago. In John 15:18-20 (NIV), for instance, He reminds His followers: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

Now, I’m real sorry that most “progressives” and other non-believers feel that Christianity is deficiently “tolerant” or “inclusive” of various man-made religions and lifestyle choices. But it’s just not our call. Christ Himself reveals over and again that the pathway to heaven is a very narrow one, requiring membership in a rather “exclusive” club – a club wherein belief in Him and repentance from sin are the only membership requirements.

Christ said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Note that, rather conspicuously, He did not say: “…No one comes to the Father except through me, the Buddha, Muhammad, Ganesh, and – on Tuesdays – L. Ron Hubbard.”

But lest you have any doubt, consider John 3:36, which warns every man, woman and child on earth – past, present and future: “Whoever believes in the Son [Jesus] has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

So, Brit Hume had it right, didn’t he? I mean, it is kind of an all or nothing proposition, isn’t it?

As my favorite author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis famously pointed out in his blockbuster book “Mere Christianity,” Christ could only have been one of three things: A lunatic, a liar, or – as Jesus oft claimed and as billions have believed – the sovereign Lord and Creator of the universe.

Noted Lewis:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. – C.S. Lewis

So, what does this all mean? Well, and please take this in the spirit (little ‘s’) intended: Brit Hume’s woolly, wily, wandering critics really ought to just un-knot their knickers; mudra, mantra or something; and seriously reflect upon the man’s words and heart.

Perhaps they should – being all “tolerant,” “diverse” and whatnot – consider, if only for a moment, the very Spirit (big ‘S’) from which came those words and was formed that heart.

In the meantime, to Mr. Hume: “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Beth Moore - False Teacher?

The answer to the question posed in this post's title is, I believe, "yes." At one time I had plans to research and write an article exposing the errors of the ever-popular "Christian" author Beth Moore. However, why should I reinvent the wheel? Glenn Chatfield, the author over at The Watchman's Bagpipes, has done multiple articles on the errors of Moore's teachings. If you've ever participated in a Beth Moore study and felt that something wasn't "quite right" then you need to read his thoughts as well as the many articles that he links to in his posts. It saddens me that millions of women lift Moore onto a pedestal, falling barely short of ranking her works as high as most Christians would rank the Bible. The truth is that Moore's books and Bible studies lead one into the arena of contemplative prayer and mysticism and that is inexcusable. Contrary to what many post-modern "Christians" would like to claim, the Eastern religions have nothing in common with the true Christian faith and any person that teaches otherwise should quickly repent of their error! Beth Moore makes multiple claims that she hears directly from God and since she does not provide further clarification, I can only assume that Beth Moore believes she has some sort of direct, audible connection to the God of the universe. I could go on, but I will instead direct you to the Watchman's following posts:

Beth Moore's Bad Teachings
Beth Moore Reprised
Beth Moore Revisited (In this post, Glenn examines Beth's DVD "Believing God." This post is a must-read!)
Beth Moore's "Breaking Free" (Here, Moore's book "Breaking Free" is reviewed and challenged. Also a must-read!)
Where is Pastoral Discernment? (This post does not focus solely on Beth Moore, but questions the lack of discernment by today's pastors and church leaders. Countless churches promote the false teachings of Beth Moore...are the pastors really that lacking in discernment? Or are they too busy and/or too trusting to take the time to examine something before they endorse it, relying instead on the popularity of a book or author?)
Beth Moore Followers - And Other Angry Commenters (An example of the accusations I was speaking of in my previous post, Why I Do What I Do)

Why I Do What I Do

Discernment ministries, and less formal blogs of the same nature (like this one) oftentimes receive a lot of criticism for speaking the truth in love. Be it negative, even hateful comments on an article, or mean-spirited emails, discernment ministry is not for those who fear confrontation! Since these responses are rarely constructive, but are rather composed of name-calling and weak arguments, I suppose I am blessed to be part of a generation that simply "unfriends" me on Facebook when they are offended by one of my articles! But so many people ask "why." Why do I and others choose to be so "mean" or "divisive" toward our Christian brothers and sisters? To be clear, discernment and the consequential boldness to speak the truth is not done in malice, but in love. The answer to why I maintain this blog (and to why I'll "call a spade a spade" in any conversation) lies in Ezekiel 33:6:  

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.

If I saw that your house was burning down, but you were in a far room and were as of yet unaware, would you like me to alert you of the impending danger? Or would you prefer that I stand back and watch the house burn with you inside of it? The same idea applies to what I am doing with this blog: I see a destructive, un-Biblical teaching in the church and instead of sitting back and watching you drown in a sea of apostasy, I am led to boldly speak up for the Truth and stand against the false teaching. Though my prophecy postings are few, the idea is the same. Jesus is coming back...SOON and as a Christian who is eagerly awaiting His return, it is my duty (and yours) to "blow the trumpet" and warn others who are not yet ready!

And yet, just as I am not surprised by the grievous errors of so many false teachers, I am also not surprised that this blog (and this author) and others like it are greatly disliked by believers and non-believers alike. Believers get offended because we've burst their bubble about their favorite preacher or author. They accuse us of judging or being jealous when, in reality, we are merely exposing un-Biblical teaching. Non-believers become offended when we boldly proclaim the name of Christ or point to God's Word as the Truth instead of following our feelings or the latest and greatest self-help book as truth. In the end, the impetus of the disdain is the same: Jesus. Whether you are a professed Christian who is offended by my articles about Rick Warren or the Alpha Course or Joel Osteen, or whether you are a non-believer who is irked every time I say the Lord Jesus' name, the bottom line is that it is Jesus who offends. Why? Because the Truth of Jesus, the light of Jesus exposes the darkness of sin and error.

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. [...] But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Ephesians 5:11,13-14a

And for those who are quick to accuse that discernment ministries are hateful, mean, and unloving, please re-examine our work. To call someone to repentance for their sinful, erroneous teachings is not unloving. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. It is out of love that we would expose the error! For if we see error and do not warn others of the dangers, then are we not just as guilty before God as the false teachers themselves? I urge you to consider that the next time that you hesitate to speak truth to someone out of fear that they may dislike you for doing so. Is it more important to stand up for God so that you may one day stand before Him and be able to say that you were unashamed of His Gospel? Or is it more important that you be liked here on Earth by sinful men?

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:12-17 

I 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, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 1 John 3:13

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19

07 January 2010

Holy Ghost Hokie Pokie?

Sadly, I did not come up with that title to be cute or funny. It's an actual "method" of "healing" at Rick Joyner's Morningstar Ministries based out of Fort Mill, SC. No wonder this guy runs around with Todd Bentley! You know, it's interesting, in studying the miracles of Jesus I never once saw him heal someone by having them do the Hokie Pokie. Or maybe it was just left out of my literal, word-for-word ESV translation. I'll have to go check The Message...

This video is actually promoted by Morningstar itself. Some more revealing videos on YouTube show what is really going on at Morningstar. It's nothing short of demonic:

Kind of makes you wonder what they're serving at the welcome coffee cart, doesn't it? But seriously, did you see in the second video that these are kids? Parents, these are your children, your teenagers! They are so led by their emotions that these teachings draw them in! I venture to say that the way they feel in this state is akin to the way one would feel while high on drugs (no, I am not speaking from experience in either arena!). In my study of New Age mysticism and meditation, I've learned that those who achieve the "higher consciousness" not only lose control but feel euphoric while in the meditative state, and it has been described as the same feeling as "being high." Since this meditative state is controlled by the demon realm, as is this supposed "outpouring of the Holy Spirit," I can safely assume that, no matter how you choose to interact with the demonic world, they will bring you to the same place. A place of "higher consciousness" and euphoria accompanied by a sense of inhuman power. The blasphemy taking place at Morningstar and others is repulsive. May God lift the scales from their eyes so that they repent of this evil! And may we continue to pray and stand against these heresies. As I said, these are your children that Satan is targeting! And from the looks of the video above, he is raising up quite an army of young people!

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

One More "Heretical Crazy-Talk" Video for 2009

I'd like to add one of my favorite "heretical crazy talk" videos of 2009. There was no question that my favorite would be a video from the dangerous, New Age heretical "ministry" of Extreme Prophetic. The problem was in choosing which ridiculous video to use! Now, my favorite Extreme Prophetic video of all time can be found here, but since it was recorded in 2008 I couldn't use it for this particular post. So, I've settled on the following video in which Patricia King begins to tell us about her angel, Swift. If you're unfamiliar with Patricia King and Extreme Prophetic, let me briefly explain: King claims to be frequently visited by angels. Apparently she is more "anointed" than people in the Bible, because she never seems to fall down afraid during these encounters, as is the case with every Biblical angelic encounter. Even better, King claims that she actually hears from God. Audibly. Yep, no false prophet here...

(FYI, in case you needed confirmation that ministries such as IHOP and Todd Bentley's ministries are false, just know that Extreme Prophetic endorses these ministries. Hopefully that's enough to convince you of their heresy.)

06 January 2010

Top 7 Heretical Crazy-Talk Videos of 2009

I only wish I'd thought of this first! The folks over at The Mockingbird Blog countdown their Seven Favorite (Heretical Crazy-Talk) Videos of 2009. Don't miss it! It's terrible and funny all at once. Funny, that is, until you realize that millions of people have been led down the path of destruction because of the heresies these men preach.

Multi-Site Church

I couldn't help but chuckle when Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio tweeted out this picture earlier today:

In case you're out of the loop, the goatherder pastor pictured is Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in North Carolina. He's one of the darlings of the seeker-sensitive movement, or as I like to call it, the "Let's all Be Relevant" apostasy. I suppose I found this picture amusing because the church that I've recently left is a multi-site church and this de-motivational poster rings sadly true. I've seen firsthand how dangerous a multi-site church can be. All glory and no pastoring, they lack heavily in the shepherding department. What good is my pastor if I can never see him beyond the wide screen that he's projected onto each week, let alone make any attempts to contact him personally?! Years ago, I never would have thought I would state the following: small churches are better. And nowadays, thanks to God-given discernment, I can see why small churches are small. It's because they (or some of them) are actually preaching God's Word and God's Word is not always popular. They're striving to teach the Truth each week rather than striving to entertain. We need to be praying for our pastors who are bold enough to still speak God's Truth in this rapidly-becoming-more-hostile world.

03 January 2010

Sunday Morning Praise

I suppose I should say Happy New Year to all of you! Personally, I find January 1 (or January 3 as the case might be!) to be just another day and so I purposefully avoided saying "Happy New Year" as much as possible this season. What's the big deal about a new year anyway? Perhaps we should wish everyone a "Happy New Month" on the first of each new month? "That's ridiculous!" you're exclaiming. Why yes it is, but is it so much more ridiculous than wishing a happy new year? But I digress...

If nothing else, I do want to wish you a very blessed Lord's Day! I pray you are able to enjoy fellowship today in a true, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. Sadly, those are growing more and more difficult to find in these post-modern, last days. If you, like me, find yourself currently between churches, let me offer you a refreshing alternative. While I would never encourage one to stay home and listen online to a sermon as a replacement for a church community, I know the discouragement that comes with "church shopping" and, in between "stops" let me direct you to the live online stream of Grace Community Church. This is the church of Dr. John MacArthur. So even if you spent your morning sitting amongst seeker-sensitive goats, you can at least spend your afternoon hearing some solid Bible teaching. Services are at 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM Pacific. I'll let you do the math for your respective time zones. Again, this does not replace the community and fellowship that we were created to be in. In these last days, a community of true believers is so very important! But, as I'm quickly discovering, God's Word is absent or, even worse, twisted in most of the so-called evangelical churches in our neighborhoods. So in my spiritual selfishness, amidst my dreaded "church shopping" I've taken to thoroughly enjoying the Grace Community Church service from the first hymn to the final Amen.

Speaking of hymns...
This first hymn does not have a corresponding video. It is Isaac Watts' Judge Me, O Lord, and Prove My Ways. I enjoyed the lyrics and felt they should be shared and likely should be prayed by each one of us!

Judge me, O Lord, and prove my ways,
And try my reins, and try my heart;
My faith upon Thy promise stays,
Nor from Thy law my feet depart.

I hate to walk, I hate to sit,
With men of vanity and lies;
The scoffer and the hypocrite
Are the abhorrence of mine eyes.

Amongst the saints will I appear
With hands well washed in innocence;
But when I stand before Thy bar,
The blood of Christ is my defense.

I love Thy habitation, Lord,
The temple where Thine honors dwell;
There shall I hear Thine holy Word,
And there Thy works of wonder tell.

Let not my soul be joined at last
With men of treachery and blood,
Since I my days on earth have passed
Among the saints, and near my God.

The next hymn may have been posted once before. All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name used to drive me bonkers whenever we would sing it in church! I think I had issues with the word "diadem." And no, I can't explain it, so don't ask! But over the past couple of years, I find myself drawn to this song. It seems God places it in many a church service just for me! Consequently, I've come to really love it! The video below skips many verses included in the original, but enjoy it nonetheless!

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God, who from His altar call;
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race, ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.

Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line, whom David Lord did call,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all.

Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget the wormwood and the gall,
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let every tribe and every tongue before Him prostrate fall
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.

[John Rippon add­ed this verse in 1787]
O that, with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!

02 January 2010

A False Revival Comparison

I first saw the following video here at the Slaughter of the Sheep blog (an excellent blog to visit, by the way!). It shows a comparison of these now common, so-called "Christian" revivals with the revivals and behavior of those engaged in false, demonic religions. Watch this video and tell me if it doesn't look a bit familiar and a lot like the behavior seen in the videos of the Toronto Blessing that I shared with you in the post Alpha Exposed: Part 1. The Alpha Course, Toronto Blessing, Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, and other false movements and false teachers are all led by the same "god" and that is Satan. The God of the Bible is not a God of confusion and the people in these videos appear to be nothing but confused. Sadly, many professing Christians claim to find truth and comfort in these false teachers and in these movements. We must be praying that God would lift the scales from their eyes and show them the TRUTH and reveal to them the error of these heinous teachings and teachers!

Slaughter of the Sheep has another good post about the latest false revival, IHOP (International House of Prayer). Click on the post title below to read the article.
GOD TV is Now Carrying the IHOP-KC Renewal