The Apple Of God's Eye

April 30, 2009

Obama Worship Meets Public Outrage: President Portrayed As Messiah

157Many followers of President Obama claim that he has a “messianic” personality. They believe that he believes that he is some kind of messiah whose job it is to “save” the rest of us.

Not only is this an over-the-top assessment of the president, but the belief, or fear, that he has these tendencies is taking hold, especially among conservatives who find his attempts to fix the economy and improve social conditions intrusive and beyond the traditional role of government.

Well guess what? Now an artist has painted his vision of a messianic Obama, a painting that was to be on display April 29th at New York City’s Union Square.

Michael D’Antuono said his painting, “The Truth” has, during its previous private showings, raised eyebrows and spurred discourse on the nation’s current political climate and deep partisan divide. The 30″ x 54″ acrylic painting on canvas depicts President Obama appearing much like Jesus Christ on the Cross; atop his head, a crown of thorns. Behind him, the dark veil being lifted (or lowered) on the Presidential Seal.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, has previously been clear in his nearly religious adoration of Obama. “You are the instruments that God is going to use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth. And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn’t care anything about. That’s a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”

Even the title of the piece, “The Truth,” suggests a play on biblical themes, as Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

To me, the silent consent of this type of portrayal by President Obama is astounding. Instead of getting out in front of the messianic talk, he disobeys the commandment: “thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

 NewsBusters had more:

“The Truth” is stranger than fiction. This is not a spoof picture from “The Onion” or any other satirical website. The artist quite clearly portrays Obama as a latter day Christ like figure considering the outstretched arms and the crown of thorns. Obama worship, complete with halo images, has been noted before here on NewsBusters but it was nothing compared to current expressions in awe of The One as we approach his hundreth day in office on Wednesday.

Gateway Pundit said: Liberals Will Coronate Obama at Union Square.

In celebration of his first 100 disastrous days in office liberal goons will crown Obama in messianic imagery at New York City’s Union Square on Wednesday.

Thankfully, some common sense prevailed a day later. Due to overwhelming public outrage, a released statement said the artist chose to cancel the event.

PR Newswire:

Painter Michael D’Antuono has cancelled the planned public unveiling of his latest work “The Truth” at NYC’s Union Square Park on President Obama’s 100th day in office due to overwhelming public outrage. The artist’s decision was based in part on thousands of emails and phone calls; online blogs and other public commentary received in the first 48 hours following its release. …

The artist insists that the work was intended purely as a political piece. “The religious reference was used metaphorically and not to insult anyone’s religious beliefs. If that is the effect that my art has had on anyone, I am truly sorry,” says D’Antuono.

Get “The Audacity of Deceit: Barack Obama’s War on American Values” and you’ll find that this man, though placed in his office by God, is clearly not a Messiah but a destroyer of values and morals. This book will teach you about  looming hostile attack on Judeo-Christian values and freedoms. 

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Marriage And Divorce: What Does The Bible Teach?

Filed under: Marriage — melchia @ 9:19 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

instituted marriage when He made a wife for Adam (Gen. 2:18). He instructed that a man ought to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and become one flesh with her (Gen. 2:24). God’s will is for marriage to last for life — with each partner loving, honoring, caring for, and cleaving to the other just as Christ loves and cares for His Church. The Bible teaches the sacredness of marital vows. 
 
But, we live in an imperfect world beset by human weakness, “hardness of heart,” unfaithfulness, wickedness, irresponsibility, and all such things. People do sin. Divorce occurs even though God “hates putting away” (Mal. 2:16). 
 
What does one do if he or she has already been divorced? When a person repents and is converted, all his past sins are forgiven (Acts 2:38; Ps. 103:1-3, 10-12). Any past divorce would 
be included, and the person would be free to marry again. 
However, Paul was also inspired to write that a converted person must not leave or divorce a mate (even one unconverted)  who is pleased to continue the marriage (I Cor. 7:10-13). To divorce a faithful mate and marry another is adultery (Matt. 19:9). Divorce and remarriage is not sanctioned once God has entered the marriage and bound the couple for life (Matt. 5:32). 
But what if an unconverted mate voluntarily leaves the converted Christian? Then, as Paul wrote, that Christian may be divorced (“loosed”) from an unbelieving mate and does not sin if he remarries (I Cor. 7:27-28). 
 
Although the unconverted world cannot receive Christ’s teaching, all who are His ought to obey Him implicitly, not only in refraining from divorce but also in using all their resources to build a truly loving relationship (Eph. 5:22-31; I Pet. 3:1-7). Our earthly marriages ought to picture the great love 
relationship between Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32). 
 

God instituted marriage when He made a wife for Adam (Gen. 2:18). He instructed that a man ought to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and become one flesh with her (Gen. 2:24). God’s will is for marriage to last for life — with each partner loving, honoring, caring for, and cleaving to the other just as Christ loves and cares for His Church. The Bible teaches the sacredness of marital vows. 

But, we live in an imperfect world beset by human weakness, “hardness of heart,” unfaithfulness, wickedness, irresponsibility, and all such things. People do sin. Divorce occurs even though God “hates putting away” (Mal. 2:16). 
 
What does one do if he or she has already been divorced? When a person repents and is converted, all his past sins are forgiven (Acts 2:38; Ps. 103:1-3, 10-12). Any past divorce would be included, and the person would be free to marry again. 
However, Paul was also inspired to write that a converted person must not leave or divorce a mate (even one unconverted)  who is pleased to continue the marriage (I Cor. 7:10-13). To divorce a faithful mate and marry another is adultery (Matt. 19:9). Divorce and remarriage is not sanctioned once God has entered the marriage and bound the couple for life (Matt. 5:32).
 
But what if an unconverted mate voluntarily leaves the converted Christian? Then, as Paul wrote, that Christian may be divorced (“loosed”) from an unbelieving mate and does not sin if he remarries (I Cor. 7:27-28). 
 
Although the unconverted world cannot receive Christ’s teaching, all who are His ought to obey Him implicitly, not only in refraining from divorce but also in using all their resources to build a truly loving relationship (Eph. 5:22-31; I Pet. 3:1-7). Our earthly marriages ought to picture the great love relationship between Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32). 

Fact: Christ Did Not Come To Convert The Nations

 realchristianity.wordpress.com

 

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The popularly held concept is that in His day Jesus tried to save everyone and that He instructed His Church to do the same. It is widely assumed that whenever Jesus spoke in parables He did so to make His teachings more understandable to the multitudes who heard Him. 

However, Jesus gave no such reason. When His disciples asked Him about one of His parables, He said, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without (the unconverted masses), all these things are done in parables” (Mark 4:11). 

Why? To make what He said easier to comprehend? No, just the opposite! He often used parables so that “seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them” (verse 12). 

Now guaranteed, people will argue with these plain verses because of the common assumption that ALL the world is to be evangelized now. Mass altar calls for accepting christ are common in the evangelical sphere, but that conception is unbiblical. Although many where added tot he early Church in the days of the early Church, they were called by God so that His Church would have the necessary growth to carry His message to all nations, but only as a witness (Matt. 24:14). Nowhere did He say that His true ministers are to try to convert the nations. In fact, Christ Himself never employed mass altar calls. Only 120 disciples were present on the day of Pentecost. That is because often, when He employed parables, Jesus intentionally left the masses in their deception. He spoke in parables to cloud His message, not to make it easily understood. He Himself said so.

“For ye see your calling, brethren,” Paul wrote to the Greeks in Corinth, “how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (I Cor. 1:26). Simply put, everyone on earth is not now able to come to God to be converted. Jesus declared, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). 

The Father of whom Jesus spoke has not been drawing the majority of people. This is obvious from the condition the world is in. Jesus pointed out that the majority of humanity is walking in the way of destruction and that now only a few are finding the way to eternal life (Matt. 7:13-14).  

Although God is not calling every person now, by the time His plan is finished, everyone who has ever lived will have had the opportunity to understand and to accept or reject eternal life.

Washington Presbyterians Amend Constitution To OK Gay Clergy

 a.abcnews.com

a.abcnews.com

Mainstream religion just keeps sinking further down the drain. The Washington Times reports that local Presbyterians voted 222-102 to amend the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) constitution with a measure that would allow the ordination of practicing homosexuals. The Tuesday evening vote represents congregations in D.C., Northern Virginia and five Maryland counties.

“This presbytery has consistently voted along these lines,” said the Rev. Tim Cargal, moderator for National Capital. The amendment would replace traditional marriage and chastity vows in the Book of Order with the stipulation that clergy “declare their fidelity to the standards of the church.”

So far, 67 of the denominations 173 presbyteries have approved the amendment, with 85 presbyteries voting it down. The amendment will carry only if 87 presbyteries ratify it.

The membership may be consistent in how they vote, but it is apparant they are also consistent in lack of biblical understanding. Human reasoning on such matters leads to base decisions, which plainly shows that Christ could never lead such a denomination.

Worldwide Church Of God Morphs Into Grace Communion International

32Herbert W. Armstrong was the Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). Those studying the Bible with a critical eye recognized him as restoring long lost biblical truths. He stood against traditional Christianity’s error and taught the plain truth of the Bible. Now he’s dead and his successors have effectively dismantled any semblance to what was originally, and correctly, taught.

The final separation of the new WCG from “all things Armstrong” occurred recently with their official announcement that the church’s name will now become “Grace Communion International.” I’m not sure how much closer they could get it to sounding like the Amway of Evangelical Churches. 

The change was also picked up by another religious news source:

Worldwide Church of God Changes Name to Signal Inner Change: Religion News Service reports that the Worldwide Church of God, which re-examined and later rebuked the teachings of founder Herbert W. Armstrong after his death in 1986, has changed its name to Grace Communion International. “We are a church that God radically transformed,” said church president Joseph W. Tkach, who is a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals. “Our new name is consistent with the transformation and aptly describes what God has made of our fellowship.” Armstrong denied the Christian belief in the Trinity and took Old Testament law to heart and encouraged works of righteousness to earn salvation. The church lost half its members, 95 percent of its 1,000-person staff, millions of magazine readers and its college in Pasadena, Calif., when it officially repudiated Armstrong’s teachings and “prophetic speculation” in the mid 1990s.  http://www.crosswalk.com/news/religiontoday/11602619/

Changes in the WCG/GCI

WCG membership peaked in 1986, with about 150,000 members worldwide. However, the new leadership began systematically rejecting and destroying every teaching and tradition Mr. Armstrong established. Immediately, massive doctrinal changes swept the Church, initially concealed from the membership. 

In 1989, Gerrald Flurry and John Amos were disfellowshipped for adhering to the original doctrines of the WCG. The Philadelphia Church of God was then established to most accurately, among all WCG offshoots, preserve the teachings and legacy of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong.

By 1990, numbers dropped to about 133,000, and in 1992, as income continued to decrease, a prominent minister and 3,000 members left to form the Global Church of God.

Perhaps the most traumatic change came in December 1994: Tkach announced that Christians do not have to keep old covenant laws. Many members did not accept these changes and in early 1995, hundreds of ministers and 12,000 members left to form the United Church of God

By 1996, attendance was approximately half  of 1990 numbers (67,000).  In the US, membership slid from 89,000 to 49,000. Thousands more stopped attending any church, and many congregations were left with only half the members they used to have. Church income dropped another 50 percent, and hundreds of employees were laid off. Now, the Worldwide Church of God is about half the size it used to be.

The television ministry, once one of the largest in America, is gone. Circulation of The Plain Truth fell from a peak of 8,000,000 down to less than 100,000. And as stated before, the number of employees in Pasadena fell from 1,000 to about 50, as reduced income forced them to remove some pastors from the payroll, and lay pastors were appointed for small congregations. Ambassador College/University was forced to close because the church could no longer subsidize it, and its properties have been sold. The church’s properties in Pasadena were also sold in 2004. An office building in Glendora was purchased, and all offices were relocated there in 2005. 

Grace Communion International now claims 42,000 members in 900 congregations worldwide, though those numbers are suspect.

April 29, 2009

The Facts Behind The Fictional Da Vinci Code

 

150What do you know about “The Da Vinci Code?” Millions of words and thousands of commentaries have been written about a code that DaVinci might have created. So where do I begin to provide a meaningful commentary from a godly perspective on this craze? Perhaps with three words: “It’s a novel!” That means – simply and plainly – the book is a made-up story.

In 2006, this book was made into a feature film starring Tom Hanks. It was, of course, a highly controversial film that whetted the appetites of conspiracy buffs worldwide and fueled already present doubts and misconceptions of those who do not know or believe the Word of God.

The Da Vinci Code’s blasphemy is nothing new. It’s just another highly promoted, celebrity-enhanced, big budget effort to discredit God and His Word. It is a compilation of half-truths and heart-felt heresies being sold to biblically illiterate seekers, particularity in denominational church settings where gullible participants involve themselves for the love and acceptance of a compromised collective. Let’s have a closer look at the novel.

Is Judas the betrayer a myth?

This book is too poorly founded to even have the title of pseudo history. Dan Brown simply pulls things out of the air. The opening page’s claim of historical reality served to confuse millions, and reading further, one witnesses a radically different view of the Bible and of Jesus Christ. It even portrays Judas, not as a traitor to Jesus Christ, but as a hero. Imagine that!

There have also been headlines in the past about the gospel of Judas being found in Egypt. It is estimated to have been put there some nearly 2,000 years ago, with 13 sheets in 1,000 fragments being found. But is this really so important to all of us? Does our salvation depend upon a tattered and worn document, maybe a couple of thousand years old? Is there any credence we can give to those writings? Do we really know what these fraudulent documents are all about, and which ones to believe?

We have to be careful of a deeper deceit here. If  modern Christianity were preaching the truth the way it should, these writings would not have much of an impact at all. But the whole world is deceived, and that includes religion. We need to be proving all things in this very, very information-glutted age when there’s no telling what we may be reading.

The biggest problem however is that we simply don’t know the Bible. Do you know the difference between the real gospel and a counterfeit gospel? You have to, by proving all things, as God says. Organized religion won’t help you because their deceit is just shocking. And now people are digging these things out of caves, and somehow they capture the imagination of the world with what they find.

But do you know something? Every single one of them is really attacking the Bible, and attacking the Christ of the Bible. They’re anti-Bible, and they’re anti-God. But if we are going to be defenders of the truth for God, we’re going to have to begin to speak out on these issues.

Here is an excerpt from The Da Vinci Code:

“The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.”

Some people may fall for such words, but they’re wrong and you can prove it! This character says: “History has never had a definitive version…” and that is absolutely, TOTALLY false! It has had a definitive version. The problem is they have rejected it! Does anybody have proof of what they say? Does ANYBODY really prove their view?

Christ taunts the critics by saying, “Well, PROVE Me now herewith! God isn’t backing down from the critics, and neither should we.

A different Christ

Now, obviously these are different views of Jesus Christ, and Christians are supposed to follow Him, but how can you do so if you don’t know Him and if you don’t know which books He inspired? And He absolutely, dogmatically states that He did! Do you honestly believe that His real teachings come from a lost gospel someone dug out of a cave? Does that really make any sense?

Notice 2 Timothy 3:16:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Now,  can you prove that? Do you know what scripture really is? Is the lost book of Judas, Mary, Philip, or Thomas scripture? No, they are not! Brown’s book focuses on goddess worship, or worship of the divine feminine. He ties this pagan mysticism to Mary Magdalene. I mean really, he would have us believe that Christ and Mary Magdalene were active participants in a pagan sex cult? Brown is so far out in left field, he takes his proof from Da Vinci’s painting of “The Last Supper,” assuring gullible readers that it is Mary Magdalene sitting next to Christ, not John.

What is really diabolical about such statements is that Jesus Christ being involved in a pagan sex cult instantly disqualifies Him as being our Savior. Remember, He offered Himself as a sinless offering for all of mankind. If He was into such debauchery, we all  can fold up our tents and go fishing. There really wouldn’t be any more point in believing, would there? But there is not a single shred of evidence for what is being said!

Do you know your Bible?

If you don’t know the Bible, then some of these conspiracy theories start to sound pretty credible. I mean look, isn’t the Bible then just the work of men? Without scriptural knowledge, how do you dispel your doubts, even though Brown doesn’t offer any proof but just makes bold, blatant statements?

Now think about this! The author takes his proof from a Da Vinci painting, of all things! It would be ridiculously laughable, if this subject weren’t so serious! Is that really proof enough for the reader? Does such nonsense take precedence over the inspired Word of God? Does a painting by a man who didn’t know much about the Bible and God, in the first place really hold vital clues for us about God? Even if it did, who says this one interpretation is the right one? Wouldn’t many people have many interpretations? No, what we should look for are the bold statements made by Jesus Christ throughout the Bible. He tells us that this Bible was preserved, the Old Testament by the Jews, and the New Testament by the Greeks. That’s proven by the Bible, itself.

Was Mary a church leader?

Brown plays upon the Gnostic legends that Christ wanted Mary to head the Church, but Peter and the other apostles (painted as chauvinists) prevented this from happening after Christ’s death. Legends say Mary became a famous preacher founding Christian communities.

Notice, it is legend that says so. Nowhere in the Bible – our most reliable historical account of the life of Jesus – does it claim that Jesus and Mary were married. Nowhere in the writings of the early leaders of Christianity is there any reference to any such “marriage.” And amazingly, nowhere in the Gnostic writings – about which Dan Brown so endearingly speaks – is there an statement that Jesus and Mary were married. This error in Brown’s book makes Mary Magdalene out to be more important than Jesus Christ, and really, this fact has attracted a large feminist audience to the book.

But if you know anything about the Bible, then this is about as contemptuous as anything ever written. God the Father is in charge, and then Jesus Christ, not some human female. Luke 8:1-3 tells us that Christ actually cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene. That should tell us something about her previous mental and spiritual condition, until God healed her.

Those same demons that influenced Mary now still roam this earth and heavily influence men, and even possess them. Doesn’t your Bible say that Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)? But who believes that anyways?

Isaiah 46:9-10 says,

“I am God, and there’s none like Me.” There’s no one in God’s class! It is He that reveals secrets about what is to happen in the latter days…Dan. 2:38. You should be able to prove your Bible alone by comparing prophecy to news magazines or news sources! One-third of your Bible is prophecy, and 90% of that prophecy is being fulfilled today, so it’s easy to prove that God is prophesying today. The books of Daniel and Revelation are for the end time, as is the main focus of all the Major and Minor Prophets.

Why don’t we believe?

Secular and religious people stumble because they hate the government of God. In many cases, they don’t even know what it is. They assume that the Bible is not the infallible revelation of a supernatural God — without the scientific proof they demand on material questions. Most fundamentalists believers simply assume that this book is NOT the infallible Word of God. Have they proven this fact? Absolutely not! Religious people lean the other way. They simply assume the Bible is right, and when pressed with heavy questions, they have no good answers. In either case. you just can’t make statements and not prove them. Does such a stance  even make sense? But God always offers proof, we simply have to look for it!

A warning for man today!

In John 5:39, Jesus Christ told the Jews in His day to search the scriptures, because in them is eternal life. This was a warning. If we, like the Jews of old, think we have eternal life, we aught to consider what happened to them. They entered into a holocaust, with all kinds of cannibalism, pain and untold suffering. This is merely a type of what’s coming upon the world in this end time – the great Tribulation. The Jews were warned but didn’t listen. They believed in a false religion without evidence or proof. They didn’t know Christ, and the world today doesn’t know Christ. They talk about His person, but they don’t talk about His message.

But shouldn’t we know that message inside and out? Christ said, “The scriptures testify of Me. “Search the scriptures,” He said. That means both the Old Testament and the New Testament, which are solidly intertwined together. Many New Testament quotes are from the Old Testament. Don’t throw it away because Christ said we ought to live by EVERY word of God (Matthew 4:4). Why would we be given half a Bible that is correct, and half that is not correct? Does this make sense? No wonder they err, not knowing the Scriptures (Matt. 22:29). They should know the scriptures, but they don’t, nor the power of God.

God says to “prove all things” and He gives people every opportunity to do so. The proof is abundant and it’s not even that hard to prove the Bible if we’ll just apply our minds and work at it. That knowledge than change our lives and we’ll know exactly what this Bible is all about.

Does Luke 14:26 Say We Are To Hate Our Family?

Filed under: Hatred,Love Of God — melchia @ 5:53 am
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Luke 14:26 reads: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Revised Authorized Version). 

At another time, Jesus charged His disciples: “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies” (Luke 6:27). He also said: “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them” (Luke 6:31-32, RAV). In other words, Jesus clearly commands us not only to love those who love us — which should include our relatives — but also to love our enemies who hate us. 

Since the Bible does not contradict itself (John 10:35), what did Jesus mean when He said “hate” in Luke 14:26? The Greek word for “hate” in this verse is “misei.” Its Greek root can mean “to love less, to postpone in love or esteem, to slight” (“Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament”). 

What Jesus is saying, then, is that anyone who follows Him must love Him MORE than family or relatives or even his own life. In comparison to the greater love we ought to have for Jesus Christ — the One who died for us, our Saviour and Redeemer — the love we have for human relatives must be less. Jesus said that the second great commandment is: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:39). But what is the first great commandment? It is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37-38). 

One who has such love for God and His way of life will not compromise principle. He will not put any human relationship before God.

Why Do Christians Have Tests And Trials?

Here’s a fact: All that live godly in Jesus Christ will suffer trials (II Tim. 3:12). No surprise there because Christ said that if they persecuted Him, they will persecute His followers (John 15:20). In other words, expect trials and tests in the Christian walk.

But what’s the reasoning behind trials? Does God wants us to suffer? Does he like to see us squirm under pressure? No, but our trials today are purging us so that we can grow spiritually. True Christians are not only being prepared for a powerful work today, but more importantly, they are being prepared to teach the whole world. So, they are not called just to be saved, because that is a selfish motivation. They are called to save the world. That is what God’s church and work are all about. They will be saviours of the world (OB.21), and co-saviours with Christ. 

Our trials and tests usually bring about a measure of suffering. It is not the suffering we have to concentrate on but the trial which we learn from. The priority is not to look to the relief but to the benefit of the suffering. And an important point to remember is that God says if we’re not corrected, we’re not even His sons (Heb.12:7-8). What we really need to be concerned about is not God’s correction, but God not correcting us. Why? Because if we suffer (through correction of trials), we will reign with God (Rom. 8:17). If we don’t, well, you get the point!

Trials have great purpose

Daniel endured some shattering trials and tests. He knew He was being judged by God. His friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego also understood this deeply. Because of that, these men had the courage to stand up to the most powerful king on earth. Even in the midst of some of the worst trials anyone has ever faced, they had the attitude, “No matter what you say, we’re not going to bow down to you and your gods, because the Omnipotent, Almighty God is our judge.

When you face a fiery furnace, or lion’s den, it’s much harder to say God is my judge. It’s easier to say, “Where is God? Why isn’t he delivering me?” When major diasters strike this earth, that is how people tend to respond: “Why didn’t God stop this from happening.” They blame God, not themselves and their sins. They talk of love, love, love and reject God as their judge. So they fail to understand when God punishes in love. They don’t understand either God’s judgment or His love.

People of God always suffer

A good question to ask is if the true Christian has grown over the last year. Has he made progress in overcoming – has he allowed God to work him over in the spiritual refining process? Or is he still struggling with persistent problems that have gone unresolved for years? If he has been difficult for Christ to deal with in recent months, he must resolve now to repent and go before God’s throne and humbly and fervently beseech Him to soften his hardheadedness. Only when he is crushed and of a humble, contrite spirit can the great Refiner properly work with this Christian.

So you see, there is great purpose in trials. They are the very means of strengthening character and building fine, upstanding and strong Christians. God wants to test us for flaws. He wants strong Christians without spot and blemish. He wants us to remove those flaws in our lives by examining ourselves. He will test us but also reward us.

God DOES NOT bless the ungodly. The acquire wealth through ungodly ways. The pursuit of money becomes their god. Always in the end, with material prosperity attained through carnal means (Matt. 6:33), they will miss the mark of the Kingdom of God. But God wants His children to have abundant lives. He allows them to suffer much, but ultimately to be spiritually strengthened.

Does Your Pastor Believe In God?

Filed under: Christianity,Churches Of The World,Faith — melchia @ 2:00 am

Editors Comment: If the following article from (albertmohler.com) doesn’t tell you a lot about the state of religion today, nothing will.

Here is an excerpt:

A news report from the Netherlands points to a form of theological insanity that is spreading far beyond the Dutch. Church authorities in the Netherlands have decided not to take action against a Dutch pastor who openly declares himself to be an atheist.

The pastor, Klaas Hendrikse, serves a congregation of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. In 2007 he published a book described as a “manifesto of an atheist pastor.” In the book Hendrikse argues for the non-existence of God, but he insists that he does believe in God as a concept.

Can you believe that? The Ecumenical News International reports:

“The church authorities said disciplinary proceedings against Hendrikse, who is a pastor of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, would be likely to lead to, “a protracted discussion about the meanings of words that in the end will produce little clarity”. The letter also noted that people have debated the issue of “God’s existence” throughout time. ”

Sure, especially in a church. Think about that. How watered down can you get religion? That anyone still attends this pathetic confusion of denomination nonsense is beyond me. For a pastor to be an atheist, and for his church to accept him still, means they are doctrinally disarmed and living a faithless lie, rather than serving a living self-existent deity who rules over all.

As the article states, “a denomination that will not require its pastors to believe that God exists is a denomination that has reached the very bottom of the well in terms of theological insanity.  According to the news report, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands claims that its own laws prevent the denomination from taking any action against a serving pastor.”  Such theological concessions do nothing to defend God and are little more than rank cowardice. So much for defending God.

April 27, 2009

Constitutional Assault: Obama’s State Department Appointee

Editors Comment: The article below (from HumanEvents.com)  focuses on the current President’s willfully ignoring the precepts laid down in the United States constitution, compounded by the nomination of Harold Hongju Koh to be the chief lawyer at the U.S. State Department. Mr. Obama is not dumb, and he knows full well of the abstruse views of this man on  ‘transnational jurisprudence.’ As the author says, these could erode American democracy and sovereignty.

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neveryetmelted.com

neveryetmelted.com

During last year’s campaign, much was made about Barack Obama being a constitutional law professor. Granted, he had distinguished himself in the Illinois State Legislature by voting “present” much of the time, and he had received virtually no experience in the United States Senate before announcing his intentions to run for president. But he was a “constitutional scholar.”

I am not a lawyer, but I do know that in this president’s first one hundred days in office, there have been numerous examples of Obama’s willful ignorance of the precepts laid down in our central founding documents. However, no decision, executive order or appointment has been as blatantly insidious to American sovereignty as the nomination of Harold Hongju Koh to be the chief lawyer at the U.S. State Department.

Like Obama, Koh is extremely bright, but he is a transnationalist; and as such, Obama’s appointment of him as the legal advisor for the Department of State is a shot across the bow for every American who believes that international law should have no bearing on the interpretation of U.S. law. That standard should be reserved for the constitution.

Harold Koh’s highly educated Korean parents immigrated to the United States to become the first Asian-American professors at Yale University. Born in 1954, in Boston, Koh attended Harvard and, like his parents, also went on to become a professor at Yale. In 2004, he became the dean of the Yale Law School.

In a recent Newsweek magazine article, Harold Koh was profiled as “a tweedy, brainy legal scholar who writes brilliant law-review articles that are carefully reasoned, if more or less impenetrable to non-lawyers.” The article went on to say that Koh is likely to be confirmed by the Senate (he served in Bill Clinton’s State Department) and concluded that “he should be.” But Newsweek — certainly no conservative publication — also warned that Koh’s “rather abstruse views on what he calls ‘transnational jurisprudence’ deserve a close look because — taken to their logical extreme — they could erode American democracy and sovereignty.”

The United States Supreme Court has been using foreign law for at least a decade in cases such as Lawrence vs. Texas (2003), which established the right of homosexual sodomy, and Roper vs. Simmons (2005), which overturned the death penalty in juvenile murder cases. Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered the swing vote on the Court, has advocated the use of foreign law in his judicial rulings for years, and even teaches international law in Europe when the High Court is out of session; and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg recently defended the practice of citing international and foreign judicial precedents in Supreme Court rulings. She asked: “Why shouldn’t we look at the wisdom of a judge from abroad with at least as much ease as we would read a law review article written by a professor?”

Harold Koh has made the case that American law should reflect “transnational” legal values. In his writings, he has advocated using foreign laws and judicial rulings to expand some rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and to diminish others. For example, Koh believes in curbing some aspects of the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee in order to conform to the laws of other nations.

The United States Constitution is the document that proclaims this country as a sovereign nation, not some piece of a global community. It is a short little document that every American should read and know, with strictly enumerated powers clearly spelling out and restricting the scope and the authority of the federal government. Apparently, what Barack Obama has studied is not the constitution, but rather the convoluted case law that has been piled on top of it, especially in the last 60 years, and the laws of other nations. That qualifies him — and his State Department legal nominee — as unconstitutional scholars.

Our founding documents declare that our rights are guaranteed by our Creator, not by Barack Obama, Harold Koh, the U.S. Supreme Court or some foreign judge.

April 25, 2009

Redefining "Extreme"

bumperstickers.cafepress.com/

bumperstickers.cafepress.com/

Writing in the Washington Times today, Oliver North observes how, according to the U.S. government, you are more than likely a “right-wing extremist”:

According to the U.S. government, I am an extremist. I am a Christian—and meet regularly with other Christians to study God’s Word. My faith convinces me the prophecies in the Holy Bible are true.

I believe in the sanctity of human life, oppose abortion and want to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman. I am a veteran with skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.

I own several firearms, frequently shoot them, buy ammunition and consider efforts to infringe on my Second Amendment rights to be wrong and unconstitutional.

I fervently support the sovereignty of the United States, and I am deeply concerned about our economy, increasingly higher taxes, illegal immigration, soaring unemployment and actions by our government that will bury my children beneath a mountain of debt.

Issued by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, the nine-page report titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” is loaded with warnings about how everyday Americans could soon be considered enemies of the state.

“It is one of the most alarming documents produced by our government that I have ever read,” notes North, and one that you and I are not supposed to know about. Apparently, at the bottom of the cover page of the report is a warning that it is “not to be released to the public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid need-to-know.”

North concludes with a grim and foreboding scenario:

According to this homeland security assessment, the most dangerous threat we face here at home isn’t from radical imams preaching violence in U.S. mosques and madrassas; Islamists recruiting in our prisons; Somali terrorists enticing young immigrants to become suicide bombers; or Hamas, Hezbollah or al Qaeda operatives plotting mass murder. No, according to the department, the real threat is what our government labels “right-wing extremist ideology.

Is The USA Becoming A Socialist State?

 thebobofiles.com/?p=983

thebobofiles.com/?p=983

Writing in the Washington Times today, Deroy Murdock considers some of the statistics proving America is a socialist state. “Anyone who doubts that the Bush and Obama administrations collectively transformed America into a socialist state should consider this—for every dollar American citizens generated last year, the federal bailout consumed more than 90 cents in outlays, loans and commitments” (emphasis ours throughout). Citing comprehensive research performed by Bloomberg News, Murdock paints a grim picture:

In its latest estimate, Bloomberg correspondents Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry reported on Tuesday that the Federal Reserve, Treasury, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have saddled taxpayers with $12.8 trillion so far. America’s 2008 gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion. Hence, the federal bailout now equals 90.14 percent of gdp. If that is not socialism, what is?

This $12,798,140,000,000 costs every American man, woman, boy and girl $42,105. A family of four’s share of the bailout equals $168,420. Bloomberg reckons this $12.8 trillion invoice is more than 14 times the $899.8 billion in U.S. currency coursing through the economy. This signals inflation ahead.

An unintended result of these “unfathomable sums,” says Murdock, is “that they have made it almost cute to complain about federal expenditures of mere millions or even billions of dollars. It now takes an Easter parade of zeroes to capture the public’s attention, much less unleash its outrage.” The government’s management of the economy is immature and undisciplined, says Murdock.

For its part, Congress exhibits all the maturity and self-restraint of college freshmen on spring break. Its 1,071-page, $787 billion “stimulus” bill includes $7.2 billion for broadband deployment. Can’t Verizon or Time-Warner Cable fund this? The 2,967-page, $410 billion omnibus spending measure includes $7.7 billion for 9,287 earmarks that range from comical to grotesque. Why did Congress charge taxpayers $6.6 million for termite research? Couldn’t Terminix and Weyerhaeuser split that tab?

The Trumpet has long been forecasting America’s crash into economic ruin. And while this plummet and its vast ramifications are deeply alarming, there is hope at the end of the dark tunnel. To learn more about America’s economic decline, read “Can the Financial Flames be Stopped?” from the April issue of our free printed version of theTrumpet. To learn how you can escape economic crises, order our free reprint article “How You Can Prosper in a Recession!

 

Source: The Trumpet.com

April 23, 2009

Should True Christians Join Lodges Or Fraternal Orders?

Most lodges and fraternal based on the idea of the brotherhood of man and mutual cooperation among their members around the world. The idea is to make the world a better place in which to live. 

That is certainly a noble idea, but this question remains: Is there any hope of them attaining their goal? The hard truth is, the state of this world cannot be changed by the efforts of any lodge, club, or organization of human origin. Only God can change it. 

The idea of improving the world by human means is a misplaced one. Only Christ Himself, when He returns, will change the world and make it a happy place in which to live (Isa. 11:1-9). 

In addition, such lodges and fraternities embrace people of many religions, whether or not they are obeying God and His Word. Yet, God’s people are commanded not to be yoked together with unbelievers in such “brotherhoods” (II Cor. 6:14). 

Further, most of these groups will admit that many of their practices, ceremonies, and symbols originated in paganism. For further background information, I suggest consulting the article “Friendly Societies” in the eleventh edition of the “Encyclopaedia Britannica.” God’s Word, on the other hand, warns against adopting pagan ways of worship; please notice Deuteronomy 12:29-32, for example.

Bible Answer: Square Beards And Shaved Bald Spots!

What is the meaning of Leviticus 19:27 and 21:5. Do these passages imply that it is wrong to shave or cut one’s hair? 

Notice a more modern rendering of these verses in the “American Translation” by Goodspeed: “You must not shave around your temple, nor do away with the corners of your beard” (Lev. 19:27); and, “They must not shave part of their heads bald, nor shave off the corners of their beards, nor make incisions in their bodies” (Lev. 21:5).  

It was a ceremonial custom of the heathen to cut and trim their beards and hair into special shapes in honor of a particular pagan deity — the sun god. The ancient Egyptians had their dark locks cropped short or shaved with great nicety, so the hair which remained on the crown appeared in the form of a circle surrounding the head (the halo has been borrowed from this), while the beard was dressed in a square form. Alternatively, a round bald spot might be shaved on the head. 

It is this type of false worship the Bible forbids. Shaving ones beard and cutting ones hair for normal good grooming is something entirely different and not at all condemned in the Scriptures!

What Is The Length Of A Biblical Generation?

 julietdoyle.blogspot.com/

julietdoyle.blogspot.com/

The Bible does not give a direct answer to this common question. Yet it does leave us with some observations. When we study the Scriptures, it becomes clear that the length of a generation differs from one historic period to the next. The generations of the earlier history of man were longer, because people lived longer and tended to marry later in life. 

One of the genealogies in the New Testament says this: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations” (Matt. 1:17, NKJV).

Each of these three groupings were summed up as 14 generations. Yet, they did not last the same number of years. In fact, the average generation in the period from Abraham to David was approximately 64 years. But, the average generation from David to the Babylonian captivity and from that captivity to Christ was about 38 years. 

The term “generation” may have other meanings too. The “generation” that sees Christ’s return, for example, refers to all the people living at that time.

April 21, 2009

What Is The "Day Of The Lord?"

heavenawaits.wordpress.com

heavenawaits.wordpress.com

The day of the Lord follows immediately after  the Great Tribulation. The sixth seal will mark the beginning of direct intervention by God in world affairs – the terrifying signs in the heavens.

“And the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks; Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev. 6:14-17).

Notice this is the day of the wrath of God, which paints a different picture than mainstream Christianity portrays. God is wrathful because mankind is NOT obeying His laws and way of life, and this is the way He gets everyone’s attention. This is the Day of the Eternal, bringing us the return of Jesus Christ to earth in all power and glory, to rule the people of earth and to bring peace!

Who Are The Innumerable Multitude In The Book Of Revelation?

The great multitude of Revelation 7:9, 13-14 are those who have come through the Tribulation soon to afflict the earth. This group consists of people who were never in God’s true Church prior to the Tribulation.

Right after this frightful time, when men are seized with stark terror by supernatural signs in the sun, moon and stars, multiplied thousands will repent. When they see how the world was misled and deceived about the great Tribulation, and they have gone through it, then at last so many that they cannot be numbered (figuratively – Rev. 7:9), will recognize the truth and turn to God, rather than the superstitious nonsense of denominational churches and pagan religions of this world. They come out of the Tribulation and wash their robes, making them white in the blood of the Lamb, meaning they become converted and accept the blood of Jesus Christ to pay for their sins (Rev. 1:5).

April 20, 2009

What is The Laying On Of Hands?

The laying on of hands is a symbolical act which sets individuals apart and signifies the imparting of spiritual blessings, authority, and power. In the Old Testament, a blessing was often conferred in this way. An example is Jacob’s laying his hands on Ephraim and Manasseh to pass on blessings they were to receive from God (Gen. 48:13-20).  

In the New Testament, a newly baptized person had hands laid on him for the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Notice in Acts 8:17-18 that after God’s ministers had baptized repentant converts, then “laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And … through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given.” Also see Acts 19:5-6 and II Timothy 1:6. 

The laying on of hands also accompanies an elder’s prayer for the afflicted. we read in Acts 9:17: “And Ananias … putting his hands on him [Paul] said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus who appeared unto thee in the way which thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

Another purpose for the laying on of hands is that of ordination. An example is found in Acts 6. Here seven men became deacons when the apostles prayed and “laid their hands on them” (verse 6). 

The laying on of hands, then, serves to show that God works through His ministers. This ceremony is mentioned as one of the basic doctrines of His Church in Hebrews 6:2.

What Is The Land Sabbath And The Jubilee Year?

pictopia.com

pictopia.com

God said, “When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a sabbath to the Lord” (Lev. 25:2, NKJV). Following verses explain that each seventh year was to be a land Sabbath, during which no crops were to be sown or harvested. But whatever produce grew by itself could be used for daily food by the farmer and the poor of the land (verse 6). See Exodus 23:10-11 also. Debts incurred by the poor during the previous six years, and that had come due, were also to be canceled at the end of the seventh year (Deut. 15:1-11). 

After seven cycles of sabbatical years (49 years), the fiftieth year was proclaimed a jubilee (Lev. 25:8-12). Again the land was to rest from cultivation (verse 11) and all families that had become poor and had mortgaged their land could return to their possession (verse 13). 

These were major economic laws given by God. They were meant to prevent undue wealth gotten through acquisition of farm land from accumulating in the hands of the rich while the poor become further impoverished. God emphasizes over and over that people are not to oppress one another (Lev. 25:14, 17). Deuteronomy 15 states emphatically that following these economic laws would bring God’s blessing (verses 4, 6, and 10). God wants people to learn to be generous and compassionate — to have the “give” attitude rather than the “get” attitude. 

Today’s world, however, is characterized by materialism and greed. Farmers driven by economics try to milk the last bit of production from their tired soil and livestock. Economies collapse in wrenching depressions — or major recessions — and great hardship affects the world’s economy approximately every fifty years. People practice selfishness and oppression of others. 

God’s land Sabbath and jubilee were intended to prevent this hard-hearted attitude and the economic curses that naturally result. Man was to willingly forego his crop in the sabbatical year and the jubilee by letting the land rest. He was to acknowledge God as the true owner of the land and be thankful for God’s generosity. And he was to share the good things of the earth with others. The rest from tilling the land provided opportunities for education, travel, community service, and spiritual reflection. 

God promised to perform a miracle in granting abundant crops in the sixth year of the cycle so that the bounty would suffice until a new crop came in two or three years later (Lev. 25:20-22). This would be a continuing witness of God’s power as Provider, just as the manna in the wilderness had been. 

The question naturally arises, then, how can a Christian apply these laws of God now? Obviously, an individual cannot observe all the details of these laws, since that would require national legislation. An individual cannot release his own debts, and there is no divinely appointed inheritance for each family today. But these laws are all for man’s good, so we ought to observe them to the extent that this can be done in the present system. Even where a law cannot be practiced in the letter, it should be kept in the spirit. 

We must not oppress anyone in our dealings, and we must strive to be generous, kindhearted, patient, and forgiving. A farmer who owes money to banks probably cannot let all his land rest every seven years, since he owes mortgage and other loan payments that must be made each year. In such a case, it is suggested that the land be rested in rotation so that each field receives its rest sometime during a seven-year period. If one is able to rest the whole farm at once, so much the better. He can reckon his seventh year from the time of his baptism or from the time that the knowledge comes to him regarding the land rest.

(Note that the Jews in the state of Israel observe their sabbatical years in the sequence 1993-1994, 2000-2001, 2007-2008 and so on.) God does want us to take care of the soil and to recognize that we are merely tenants on His land, responsible for maintaining its fertility. Virtually all agricultural colleges know the benefits of crop rotations and of “resting” land by putting it in pasture or cover crops periodically. Good soil conservation measures should also be practiced. 

God is concerned with how we use the resources He allows us to manage. He is judging each of us by how we deal with and treat our fellowman (I Pet. 4). Thus, His laws and instructions are not archaic or quaint customs! They are living laws to be observed by God’s people!

April 19, 2009

Miss Sister 2008: Beauty Contest For Nuns?

An Italian priest who had planned an online “pageant” for nuns in 2008 had to suspend the project, saying he was misinterpreted and had no intention of putting sisters on a beauty catwalk. Could it be because his superiors were somewhat upset over the whole thing? 

“The local bishop did not understand me,” Father Antonio Rungi said. 

Rungi’s idea appeared in newspapers around the world after he wrote of a contest for nuns on his blog, called by some “Sister Italy 2008.”

Rungi says it wasn’t about anything physical, but something more complete, though he admits there’s nothing against saying that nuns can’t be beautiful.

Rungi’s concept for the contest, in which nuns would vote for themselves on his blog, would include attributes such as their spirituality, social awareness, charity and other qualities, showing “the interior beauty” of a nun.

Rungi thought a beauty contest would give nuns more visibility within the Catholic Church and fight the stereotype that they are all old and dour. Instead, he received a lot of calls of support but also many sharp emails by people who attacked him for wanting to create a Miss Italy-style event.

“Some of them were really nasty,” he said.

Here’s a tip for the priest. Religion has to do  with inward beauty yes, that of the spiritual kind. But voting for yourself as a nun has nothing to do with humility and actually promotes selfishness. Kind of makes it somewhat hard to find a worthwile winner, don’t you think?

Source: (Reuters)

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