The Message distorts John 3:16-17

I just found this very important article from Suspicious Berean. I’ve been wanting to put up some info on The Message but haven’t gotten around to it yet. But here’s a good starting place. It is not a “simplified” version of the word of God! It is written heresy by a man -Eugene Peterson -who is NOT a Christian. The proof of that is in the message of The Message itself.

The Message distorts John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17, KJV

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. John 3:16-17, The Message

Some Bereans, such as Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon at The Berean Call, have commented about how Eugene Peterson in The Message alters the meaning of John 3:17. “That the world through him might be saved” is changed to “put the world right again,” which makes Jesus Christ sound more a social reformer than a saviour.

However, it’s also worth taking a look at what Mr. Peterson does to John 3:16. This is perhaps the most beloved verse in the Bible, and one that directly led me to put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as my saviour. The word rendered as “everlasting” in the King James Version and “eternal” in most modern versions is the Greek word aionios. According to An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W.E. Vine (1940), “…it is used of persons and things which are in their nature endless…” Which is to say, “everlasting” or “eternal” are correct renderings of the word. However, The Message changes “everlasting life” to “a whole and lasting life.” “Whole and lasting” sounds a lot less impressive to me than “everlasting” or “eternal.” It sounds as though Mr. Peterson is more interested in promoting a better life on Earth than in preparing people for eternity.

The reader will also note the absence of the word “begotten” from verse 16. I haven’t time to reprint it here, but Mr. Vine’s dictionary has a lengthy explanation of the phrase “only begotten,” which is the Greek word monogenes. The phrase is unique to the writings of John, and is found five times (John 1:14; 1:18; 3:16; 3:18; and I John 4:9), always in reference to Christ as the Son of God. I’ve already posted on The Message’s refusal to use the phrases “Lord Jesus” and “Lord Jesus Christ,” and I don’t understand how such a perverse paraphrase can be seriously regarded as a “Bible.”

a bit more info and history on the dreaded nar

Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries has brought together some very good points regarding the NAR and Rick Warren, aided by Sandy Simpson at Deception Ministries. Here is a bit, but be sure to go to Apprising and read Ken’s article and the links to make sure you get all the necessary info. Especially read the link entitled “heresy is not a mistake, it is a sin”. It blows the cover off those who would say false teachers are “off” or a little wrong, or we all make mistakes, blah, blah. I doubt our Lord sees it that way!

Latter Rain heresy is likened to pioneers making “mistakes”.  Latter Rain heretics were only pioneers in the sense of pioneering age old heresies in the 20th century.  Heresy is not a mistake, it is a sin, and one we are to reject … Wagner claims God began speaking these Latter Rain things again.  Does God speak heresy?

What was the reason these things were not taught in the Congregational Church and other places, though they had been taught at Fuller back in the 1970s on forward?  Because the Church generally recognized the tenets of the Latter Rain to be heresy!  The stark reality is that C. Peter Wagner knew about the Latter Rain at least as long ago as 1989 when Paul Cain came out to visit John Wimber, C. Peter Wagner’s employee at Fuller. (Online source)

Not Everything That Jesus Did Was Written Down

“Not everything that Jesus did was written down.”

This is a very true statement based on the following scriptures:

John 12:16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him and that they had done these things to Him.

John 20:29-31

29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

John 21:24-25

24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

25And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen

“Not everything that Jesus did was written down.”

Not everything needed to be. We have confirmation in the word of the miracles, signs and wonders done by Jesus so that those watching would believe He is God incarnate. And like those eye-witnesses we behold the same truth in reading of the things that were written of Him.

The very idea that because not all things were written down we are safe to accept amazing signs and wonders as acts of the Holy Spirit is a lie. You know I am speaking of the bizarre – gemstones, falling gold dust, feathers, oil on the hands or leaking from the palms, water turned to wine, angelic footprints, the appearance of gold teeth or gold fillings, manifestations in the body, angelic visitations, etc. These are false signs and wonders and if you believe them to be truly of God you are one in the group of the “elect” that has been deceived.

Like the words spoken to Thomas, be wary  – - -blessed are those who believe and have not seen.

Need a reality check? Ask any one who works in heating and air conditioning systems what is found in the ducting. Want to know? Dead bird carcasses. So your precious sign and wonder when listening to Bill Johnson preach is not a sign and wonder from God. It is not as he tells it “the laughter of the Holy Spirit” as told to him by a demon crazed man. The wondrous feather is from death. Is that your god?

Related: Eye Witness of the Imposter


When Bethel Invades Your Church

This is an article written by Kathleen Morgan who frequently commented here. She recently came out of the “Bethel Invasion”.  This is the link to her short story   When Bethel Invades Your Church.

As a child I was raised a Catholic, which included attending mass, catechism, and a first holy communion. As a young adult I read the Bible and decided to attend a charismatic Bible-based non-denominational church.

Eventually I left the charismatic church and attended a Baptist Church. I had never understood or been interested in the differences between the many denominations within the Christian Church.  This fuzzy attitude of mine has changed over the past year, and I would like to share my story with you.

My family’s experience at the local charismatic church

My adult daughter recently became involved in New Age and native spirituality.  After we had a few discussions and arguments over Christian beliefs and the practices of the New Age movement, she agreed to attend a local non-denominational church with me. As a family we had gone to a Baptist Church together, but I thought that under the circumstances a charismatic church would be a place that would suit the situation. I was hopeful that hearing the Scripture taught would reach her with the message of salvation.

To my surprise the Sunday sermons were less about Scripture and more about
the “revival” happening in the town of Redding, California, where the message of Bill Johnson, senior pastor of Bethel Church, was being preached. I heard about the students of Pastor Johnson’s School of the Supernatural and how they are being trained to bring God’s power and healing to us. I heard sermons laced with invitations to try “soaking prayer” and experience “fire tunnels.” I saw a speaker in church “downloading and processing messages from God.” There were invitations to receive God’s power and impartations of healing and prophetic words.

This church purchased curriculum from Bethel and invited “those who want to move forward with God” to attend. This was a class on “the supernatural,” the same signs and wonders of which the Apostles spoke.  Members of the Bethel Church traveled south in order to instruct people to “learn to have visions and dreams” from God. I was not comfortable with the subject matter and did not attend the class. The church also held a Bible Study fellowship and I asked my daughter to go with me.  She came several times and enjoyed the meetings. One night a woman give a talk about some kind of inner healing ministry she did with people. When she was finished speaking my daughter said, “Mom, this is what I am learning at the Healing Arts School; she is talking about what is in my book”.

Found on the Internet – Signs and Wonders?

Since that time I have grown very concerned with the emphasis on Bill Johnson and
Bethel.  I did research on it and found many articles and blogs full of praise for Bethel and the “new things God is doing.”  There are dozens of Youtube videos and blogs with statements like these: “During one of these meetings a leader in our church saw gold dust begin to appear on her hands. After the meeting she went home and the gold dust appeared again. She understood this sign to be an indicator to pray for her husband and for a visiting relative–both of them were healed. Her husband and her relative began to shout when gold dust appeared on their hands!”

The internet has countless intriguing, sensational, and supernatural stories of healings and gold teeth being imparted. I watched a Youtube video of gold dust stigmata appearing on hands, I saw hands and bibles dripping in oil and angel feathers falling from the rafters. Each time these accounts were attributed to God as “signs and wonders” of his unconditional love.

Modern Day Prophets?

These teachings are not coming solely from Bill Johnson, but they are part of a global alliance of modern day “apostolic and prophetic” persons. They claim to have been given impartations from God himself to prepare his church to usher in the New Heaven.  This is a vision shared by many people. The fabric of this “revival” is woven by dreams and visions of men and women who proclaim to know a deeper truth, much of it revealed to them by angels.

Many churches all over the world are partnering with Bethel and other “supernatural” congregations to bring the revival to your area. That statement alone is unnerving to me. There are schools of the supernatural opening up to teach young believers how to tap into God’s power.

I read enough of this phenomenon to make me have nightmares. Now I understand that this revival is happening whether we like it or not.

Responses from Other Christians

Astounded by all this, I called a few Christian friends that I have known for years. I asked if they knew about this “revival.”  I found a wide range of responses to my questions. Some are committed to this and believe my wariness comes from unbelief. Some think I still need to process the information. They honestly believe these new revelations are coming to us from God through “the corporate church.” Others think it is just weird, a fad of sorts. Then there are those who just ignore it, because they never gave credence to charismatic Christianity in the first place.

Where does that leave me?  After researching and experiencing it from a parishioner’s point of view, I find it full of man-made events and mystical occurrences. It troubles me enough to write this article and hope people will educate themselves on this subject. Many of the practices are taken from Shamanism and directly from pagan ceremonies. The ancient rituals hold some power and impart mesmerizing delusions. Christianity does not embrace the ceremonial rites of ancient religions. We preach Christ crucified, for the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The Result of Sleeping Workers

Wow. Read this article I found this morning posted on Moriel.

Are You Sleeping or Awake?

Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’

“And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’

“The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’

“But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”  (Matthew 13:24-30)

It is incredible that the enemy was provided the opportunity to sow the tares by the sleeping slaves, who in turn ask incredulously, “How did this happen? Could there be something wrong with the seed?” Although Jesus explains exactly what this parable means, many fail to learn one of the main lessons in the fact that the tares are allowed into the church not as the result of the will of God, but the negligence of the church itself. Having fallen asleep on our spiritual watch, Satan has been provided the opportunity to insert false believers into our midst.

I actually heard an extended sermon based on this parable which managed to omit this key fact by skipping past the opening verses and jumping right to Jesus’ words, “Allow both to grow together until the harvest”. Extracting and lifting this line out of the parable so he could twist the context, the speaker asserted that this meant it was by God’s design that good and evil are allowed to grow, side-by-side, co-equal to each other until His appointed time of judgment. Therefore, he further asserted, the application in his opinion was that no matter how bad things are, no matter how bad a ministry or person might be, there is always something “good” to be extracted or learned. His repeated admonishment was that we were not to be distracted by the presence of evil, but to instead look for the good that was in the vicinity of evil. (In seminary terms whereas the proper way to handle Scripture is through “exegesis” which seeks to bring out the intended meaning from the text, this is an example of “eisegesis” where someone introduces their own ideas and transposes them onto the text.)

Having provided this “platform”, he then proceeded to list a host of “good” things he had extracted from a myriad of sources. This exhaustive list of religious organizations included many which I would agree are impeccable in their quality and pedigree, but it also included a great many which were either dubious or outright cults or false religions. The amazing thing was how this speaker knew which ones would be controversial to the audience and often paused on them to reassure us, “Now I know these folks have some problems, and they wouldn’t be my number one recommendation, but if you can look past it, here’s some good that’s come from them.”

At the very least, this man was an example of the sleeping servants in the parable to whom it can be directly attributed that Satan is allowed to enter the church and plant false teaching. Even more so however, he might be an example of a false shepherd who actually allows God’s flock to be spiritually attacked and harmed. What we have to take seriously are the many warnings from Christ and the Apostles that we are supposed to remain vigilant against these false teachers/believers so that neither we nor the church at large will be deceived or go astray because of them.

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. (Acts 20:28-31)

It might be inevitable that evil and wickedness will come and attempt to establish itself within our fellowships and organizations, but it is not necessarily a given that they should be accepted or allowed inevitable entrance. It is clear that we have the biblical responsibility to make every good faith effort to detect, warn, and guard against them at every turn.

And yet this attitude of “Eat the meat and spit out the bones” is one of the most prevalent problems in the church today. We see it when someone suggests we implement the “good” parts of the Purpose Driven Church, or apply the “good” approaches to worship employed by the Emergent Church, or make use of the “good” points raised by Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Brian McLaren or a host of others on a list of false teachers too long to mention here. Personally I think because there is little or no emphasis on what it means to serve and worship a “holy” God, the majority no longer understand the biblical teaching that God hates a mixture.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2 Peter 2:1)

The image that this phrase is trying to convey is laying truth side-by-side next to error. In other words, truth is used to camouflage error. This situation is explained in the most classical manner by asking the question, “Would you drink a glass of water which only had one drop of poison in it?” This is the problem with false teaching; some truth is present in order to sell the lie. But it all becomes tainted in the end. This is why Paul goes out of his way to state…

For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

So how are we to deal with false teachers and their false teachings? Pick out the “good” from the “bad”? Throughout Scripture we have repeated and plentiful examples of how to deal with such people. They are to be plainly, directly, and even publicly confronted so that there is no doubt as to their true nature. We see this in David’s calling out of Saul, Jeremiah’s dealings with Hananiah, Christ’s interaction with the corrupt religious leaders of the day, and throughout the New Testament epistles wherein the writers actually name the names of false teachers and publicly warn against associating with them.

Yes, it is true that if sin occurs in the course of a personal relationship with a brother or sister in Christ that the biblical process is to go first to them privately and initiate a process of reconciliation. (Mt. 18:15-20) However, this is NOT the process to follow in dealing with false teachers, false prophets, false apostles, false leaders, or false shepherds. Nowhere in Scripture – not even by Christ Himself – are they dealt with in any manner other than openly, directly, and publicly. A good watchman sounds an alarm; he does not first go out to the enemy to see if he can “work it out” with them. A good shepherd defends the flock; he does not attempt to make friends with the wolves and have a sleepover with the sheep.

Now the man in the real-life example I opened this discussion with was, in actuality, a very nice guy. It is not like he showed up in a Halloween costume dressed as the devil with a pitchfork and started screaming and attacking people. He was sincere, educated, articulate, even humble in the outward presentation of himself. (Something Warren, Osteen, McLaren and their ilk all have in common.) But we cannot allow such superficial appearances to cloud our judgment and subsequent course of action, which we always measure against God’s Word and God’s Word alone.

But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. (1 Corinthians 11:12-15)

This is why they are so difficult to spot initially, their appearance and demeanor as tares so closely mimicking the wheat. In the parable, the servants did not even notice the problem until “the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.” Biologists tell us this is the exact nature of this real-life look-alike, that while it grows it looks exactly like wheat until it blossoms and bears fruit, at which time it is plainly obvious which is the wheat and which is the tare. By this we have another clue as to how to recognize those who are actually false: by their fruit.

“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (Luke 6:43-45)

There is a word in this politically correct world which has made inroads into our thinking which actually has no biblical standing according to the world’s definition: “tolerate”. Paul uses it in 2 Corinthians 11:19-20 to chastise Christians for tolerating false teachers and their teaching, and Jesus uses it in Revelation 2:20 to admonish Thyatira for tolerating the false teacher Jezebel. Its only “positive” use, if you will, is by Christ to the church in Ephesus:

‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; (Revelation 2:2)

What the world would have us implement is a definition of tolerance that is completely opposite that propounded by God’s Word. In each instance it refers directly to false teachers and the need to be resolutely INtolerant.

I suppose it really does come down to our faith in God’s Word. The only explanation for this repeated behavior to supplement God’s Word and ways with information, approaches, and philosophies poisoned by the influences of the world is a lack of faith in God’s Word to provide the whole answer. This is probably why the charlatans like Warren, Osteen, and McLaren ignore the Word or use the worst imitations of it in order to camouflage their “destructive heresies”. It is a palpable lack of faith in God’s Word which leads to thinking that marketing principles can provide additional insight into how to build a church. It is a lack of faith in God’s Word which leads to thinking that secular music models can become the basis for worship. It is a lack of faith in God’s Word which leads to thinking that we can “borrow” things from cults and false religions with no perceived ill effect.

The Old Testament Law forbade making a garment out of linen mixed with wool (Dt. 22:11), an example of the natural being grafted with the manmade. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough”, (1 Co. 5:6) keeping in mind that leaven is the biblical symbol not only of sin but false teaching. Or my favorite in this category, “Dead flies make the perfumer’s oil stink”. (Ecc. 10:1) God demands a higher standard because of His very nature. “By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy”. (Lev. 10:3) How can anything outside of God’s Word even begin to teach the concept of holiness much less provide additional insight into how to attain it?

In fact, when God’s people find themselves in the worst spiritual environments, in those places such as Babylon, the embodiment of the world system which would absorb us completely if it could, the repeated admonition is to leave and come out.

Depart, depart, go out from there,
Touch nothing unclean;
Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves,
You who carry the vessels of the LORD. (Isaiah 52:11)

We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed;
Forsake her and let us each go to his own country,
For her judgment has reached to heaven
And towers up to the very skies. (Jeremiah 51:9)

“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. (2 Corinthians 6:17)

I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; (Revelation 18:4)

This is no longer just about the individual false teachers anymore. I honestly think we have passed the time when it is still possible to debate and perhaps save the movements, organizations, and even denominations we have witnessed poison themselves with their embrace of false teaching and false teachers. I believe the reason one of the strongest movements within Western Evangelical Bible-believing Christianity in the forming of house churches and independent fellowships is that God is literally calling His people out of Babylon. Those still lingering behind seem all too often to be the ones clinging to the notion that they can still glean the “good” from the “bad”. To fight for the unconditional return to the cross and God’s Word and ways is a noble pursuit if that is what God has called you to do. But if someone is staying because there might still be some “good” left among the rubble?

We have been witnessing this boil over in the Calvary Chapel movement of late, one of the longest and strongest results of the last legitimate spiritual revival of more than 40 years ago. Today we can measure each individual Calvary Chapel by its bookstore. Those trying to glean the “good” from the “bad” will host a plethora of materials from indisputable church growth, Ecumenical, Emergent, and even New Age false teachers. Such materials are strikingly absent from the bookstores of those still clinging to the sole authority of God’s Word. We see conflicting signals when some of its churches and leaders publicly stand up to these false influences while others hold conferences inviting them in through the front door or appearing side-by-side with them on television. Will the servants go to sleep and allow the enemy to plant the tares? We have already seen this occur with Methodists, Baptists, Nazarenes, Assemblies of God and a heart-breaking long list of others. If the battle should be lost for the whole, it will be followed by God calling the remnant out of Babylon. Even Calvary Chapel.

It all begins and is held together by God’s Truth and built into a whole by our pursuit of sanctification, the process by which holiness is effected in each believer’s life. And as His watchmen and shepherds on behalf of the entire flock we need to be able to effectively wield His Word. But a real-life shepherd would never consider for a second that the wolf should be “tolerated” and that there might be some “good” that can be extracted from allowing it access to the flock. Neither should we. Even if it means taking the flock to another pasture entirely.

In His Love,
Servant@WalkWithTheWord.org

The Alignment of Political America and the NAR

I’ve been watching and writing about the heretical teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) for a few months, not being sure why it seemed to be so important to do so. I don’t have a lot of experience with them because I never really “got” Chuck Pierce at all. However, there are some other prophets and apostles in this madhouse that I did follow (Cal Pierce, Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets) and I guess that was enough for the Lord to impress on me the need for exposure.

Last night I began to come across some very good information offered by organizations who have researched the NAR much longer than I have. I am stunned to see the newly formed connection between political America and the demonic agenda of the NAR. No longer can it be confined only to a strange few. Follow the links I posted below – read and listen with great care. Yes, it will take some time as there is a lot of information. But, so important. You will see the connection between C Peter Wagner’s NAR and some of our government officials under the guise of patriotism and Godly values. It is time for great concern for those who will not join this movement, this building of a whole new “kingdom”.  Suddenly I understand the comments I read by those who were greatly concerned about Wilderness Outcry. What will this lead to? Are we ready to stand?

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. Jude 24-25

Apprising Ministries -Mayday and the New Apostolic Reformation

In response to the May Day event held this past Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial, Ingrid (Schlueter) and Sarah (Leslie) brought to listener attention a movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation. This title was coined by C. Peter Wagner during the 1990’s.

Featuring teachers such as Dutch Sheets, Cindy Jacobs and false prophetess Stacy Campbell, the New Apostolic Reformation is centered around a theology of dominionism. It teaches that Christians can take down demonic spirits in order to take back territories and institutions for Christ. The movement is post-millennial believing that Jesus will not return until Christians take over the 7 Mountains.

These “mountains” are institutions like the media, entertainment, the economy, etc. In other words, their eschatology requires that instead of reaching people with the gospel one heart at a time, they believe they are to conquer the earth one demonic spirit at a time and make the earth perfect so that Jesus can return. (Online source)

You can download and/or listen to this Crosstalk program right here.

Right Wing Watch – Mayday on the Mall

May Day 2010 has been organized around the “Seven Mountains” theology, which advocates the complete takeover of every aspect of contemporary culture by modern day “apostles” of Christ. The theology is rooted in the belief that Christians are meant to have dominion over literally everything and is focused on spiritually “invading” seven specific facets of modern life in order to wrest control away from Satan and his demonic spirits so that Christians can put them to use in bringing about God’s kingdom on Earth: (1) Business; (2) Government; (3) Media; (4) Arts and Entertainment; (5) Education; (6) Family; and (7) Religion.

Herescope :

The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominion

The American political landscape has suddenly changed. A tumult is appearing in the land with the passage of health care reform. The Christian Right, with its years of courting political influence, is now poised to merge with the new Tea Party Movement. In times of crisis, natural or caused, things seem to happen faster and opportunities, that would take years, seem to happen in months. There is the scent of rebellion in the air.

R&R Revival and Revolt

Initially The Tea Party was populist, libertarian, limited government, anti-socialism and lower taxes, etc. But the first ever National Tea Party Conference in Nashville in February revealed that there has always been an overlap with Christian Right social issues. The Tea Party movement is in danger of being co-opted by the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and its radical agenda. Do the Tea Party folks realize what they are getting into?

More on the Outcry

I’ve recently found out that Against the Outcry (a group blog who spoke out against Dutch Sheets’ Wilderness Outcry and who posted some of my articles) will be closing their blog soon . Since the Wilderness Outcry has been canceled, the blog has served it’s purpose. If you have been planning on doing some reading but haven’t made it over there yet you may want to visit soon before it is gone.

update – Against the Outcry is no longer available and has been removed from my blogroll since the writing of this article.

It has been our hope and prayer that those following Dutch would have had the opportunity to view the material posted and have seen the truth. It has been said that there is a group of “intercessors” who have claimed a new purpose in going to “god” to find out who was behind that effort. This is nothing short of evil. And to raise up a group of intercessors for the purpose of what… I cannot say or imagine what they are thinking! Where could this lead?

And as a side note, good for them! As Americans they have the right to stand against this craziness coming to their own city, to stand and say this will not happen where I live and work and pay taxes, this will not happen where I raise my children!

Please pray for the safety of those involved and for the salvation of those who participated  purely for domestic reasons and do not know Christ. What must it look like when groups like these come in the name of Christ and yet do not speak His gospel, yet speak of an effort to take over the country, forcing others to join..or…what…be imprisoned…die?  This  has been the concern of some who have spoken against this gathering of Dutch’s followers. They wonder what will become of them if they do not join forces and “convert”.  How much does this resemble Islam? How about socialism?

My reasons  for speaking against this movement and the NAR as a whole can be found throughout my blog, so I won’t restate them here. I can say the cancellation of this meeting was in fact an answer to prayer. What right does this group have to instill fear in the minds and hearts of those who believe differently than they? What right do they have to twist the meaning of the gospel – the very reason Christ died – for their own realized fulfillment of some dream or vision?

What is Christianity coming to?

For anyone reading with this same concern, please know that it is not the way of Jesus Christ to force His teachings on anyone. We have all been given a free will to decide whether or not to follow Christ.  In His own words He told His disciples that His kingdom is not of this world.  And so anyone supporting a dominion  – take over the country or world for the sake of holiness /righteousness/purity – viewpoint has not come in the name of Christ, no matter what else they say.

But Christ did die, for all of us. And one day their will be a judgment of how we lived our lives and who for. So I beg you, on that day find yourselves counted among those who stood for Christ!

John 18:36 My Kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world my servants would fight so that I would not be delivered unto the Jews. But now My kingdom is not from here.

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.

Revelation 22:12 And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

When You Can’t Be Sure Where That Loved One Is…

I was very much touched by this writing and wanted to share it with you all. So this is for all- for we all suffer loss of a loved ones in our lives. The pain is there regardless of who they were.  We know that nothing can take their place in our lives; that void is deep and long. Praise to the One – Jesus Christ – who holds us together during those times. Let us hold to the promise that grief is only for a time; an eternity of joy awaits at His coming.   Maranatha!

From Redeemed Hippie’s Blog here

“Mama, are you going to die tonight?”
“No, not tonight.”
“What about Daddy? Is he going to die tonight?”
“No.”
“When? When are you all going to die?”
“Doll Baby, we all have to die sometime. But Daddy and I are not going to die tonight. Hush, now. Go to sleep. I’m here.”

Every night it was the same conversation. Each time, my mother was patient sitting on my bedside, waiting for me to go to sleep before she left the room.

I was just a babe back then and outgrew her bedtime assurances. But the fear of her death haunted me all my life.

If I had only thought to ask my mother the same questions the last time I saw her back in October. Could she have told me? Would she have told me she was getting ready to die?

For months, I have asked myself where is my mother? Night time; bedtime is the worst time. I see her face and remember her voice, laughter and oh there is so much I remember. I can no longer pick up the phone and hear her voice giving me that instant assurance that she is alright. Where is she, God?

Painful words to have to speak – but I say them anyway — for they are true; the day will come when it will not matter to me where she is.

But for now, it is a type of torment to wonder where a loved one is after leaving this earth. See, a few weeks before she died, she and I were talking about the things of God. Well, at least I was trying to. She had brought the subject up and I tried to take it to salvation. She was getting irritated. And even told me, “Maybe, I’m going to hell.” She said it kind of angry and kind of bitter. I felt something like ice go through me and a wall went up. How Lord do I respond to this? I had no words. So we dropped the subject.

I did not know what she knew at the time…that her heart was at 40 percent capacity. I did not know the things she must have had on her mind. But God knew. No doubt, she was afraid and she was preparing to meet her Maker. She was not sounding a trumpet. It was as personal as the God she believed in. Most of her generation is like that: strong, silent, independent and determined.

We had talked many times over the past few years about salvation. She knew it was not church that saved anyone. She knew it was not being good enough that gave you entrance to heaven. She knew it was not having your name on a membership roll. She knew all these things. She knew that it was what Jesus did on the cross.

My mother was not someone I could fellowship with. The God she believed in was a personal God. As a precious sister pointed out to me: Our parent’s generation belief in God was personal. They didn’t sound trumpets. They just believed.

I’m glad my mother did not have to contend with false teachers of the past few decades. She would have been believing in a jesus contrary to the Word of God. She knew a phony when she saw one and no way would she have acted a fool by getting drunk in the spirit, barking like a dog, clucking like a chicken, smoking the Holy Ghost or trying to have her best life now. Surely, if she had been a follower of any of the modern day heretics, I would have some real cause of alarm. Her belief in God was simple:  Jesus died on a cross for us and we can only hope we go to heaven.

More than once — in my self-righteousness – I would tell her, “But Mom, we can have full assurance.”  I understand now. I understand what she meant. Too many times, we take salvation for granted.

We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for myself, I’ve had some fear and trembling the past few months. Yet, still not enough or I would find it in myself to repent for every wrong thought or thing I do. Like my mother before me, I fall upon the mercy of God.

God is not a fair God. It was not fair that His only begotten Son had to die for MY sins. Yet, at the same time, God is a just God. He sees all and knows all. All through her life, He saw my mother’s heart. The past few months of her life, He knew what was in her. He saw how she was preparing herself to meet Him. Looking back, even I can see it now. If I had not been so wrapped up in what I believed was going to take place in the world at the time, I may have seen it then. But I didn’t see it and as one friend told me: “It was probably meant that way. If you had known, I don’t think you could have handled it.”

So, I lay in bed and wonder. I ask God, where is she? I get no answer. All I get is; when we see Him face to face we shall be like Him. That is when it will not matter to me anymore.

When we become just like Him, we will have the justice of God so ingrained in us that any preceived notions of what we believe to be right and wrong will no longer matter.

Did you know that in hell there is love? Yes, it is true. The rich man who asked Abraham to give him just a drop of water also begged him tell his loved ones about the place he was in. He loved them so such that he did not want them there with him!

I have comforted myself the past few months in remembering the last few weeks of her life. A subtle change had taken place in her. She became kind of sweet. Kind of soft. She still had her days of not feeling well, days of being stubborn as a mule and spunky to the point that her children did not know how to deal with her, but it was if a part of her had resigned herself in trusting something greater than herself and greater than those around her.

I have comforted myself the past few months in remembering not how good of a person my mother was. But in the fact that she knew the simple truth: Jesus is the perfect sacrifice.

One thing I do know — no matter where she is — if she could speak to me, she would tell me: Tell them. Tell my children and all those who loved me the truth. Tell all of humanity. Tell them about Jesus. Tell them the truth.

Until that day, when I see my Savior and Redeemer face-to-face, I will always wonder where loved ones are, after they depart from this earth.  But until then, I continue to comfort myself with this thought: When I can not understand His hand, I will trust His heart.

His heart for my mother was this: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. — Jeremiah 29:11,12 –

I can not help but believe that the last few weeks of my mother’s life she called upon the Lord in ways that she never had before. She was a strong gutsy woman full of vim and vinegar. Yet, she reached a point in her life where nothing and no one else would do, but God. A place where we all will reach sooner or later.

It has taken me months to write this. I still have not done the truth justice. Someday, when we see Him face-to-face, when we will be like Him, ALL things will be revealed. But until then, I will trust in Him. His ways are higher than mine and He is perfect in all of His ways.

My mother was right. We have such a beautiful hope in God. His mercies are new every morning. Our life truly is but a vapor. Nothing really matters but the truth. The truth is God loved my mother, saw her heart in all things, knew her inside and out, and He IS a righteous judge of us all.

May God be exalted in times of grief!