Archive for April, 2008

False signs and wonders increasing

April 30, 2008


“I can tell you that the experience at Lakeland… … I felt a strong God like anointing but… now… It speaks for its self.. I was healed for about a 24 period and then it lifted and not in a good way… ”

This blog is very insightful to what’s going on with Todd Bentley:

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/

Here’s an account of the Florida revival :

“I live in Clearwater. I am seeing first hand the fruits of this tree.
I responded to Andrew’s request to share what i’m witnessing down here from the members of the congregation that have attended. Mind you, I attend a very small congregation…about 70 people. It’s easy to observe in this context…and more than 1/2 are into this now.

I’ll give you just some examples of behaviours I’ve seen change from people who went:

They come back with this kind of childlike drunken stupor.

Descriptions of a burning sensation either in their veins, heads or stomachs.

Descriptions of being washed back and forth like the waves in the ocean

Dancing about like drunken fools in church.

Inappropriate yelling and screaming like they’re at a football game

Young men whistling over and over and holding their heads and claiming that they “feel the Holy Spirit about to split them in two”

One young man’s back two teeth turned completely to some metallic finish.

people with their eyes rolled in the back of their heads and weaving around like they’re lost.

People “speaking in tongues” but really just gibberish

Women just girating and pulsating like they’re being ravaged from behind from some unseen force. ( just made that connection as I wrote that…I believe that’s really what’s happening to them now)

Drunken uncontrollable laughter in the middle of a solemn prayer time (that doesn’t seem to bother anyone who’s been…but does to those who haven’t)

Normally gentle and docile women just immediately snap viciously if you suggest that the Lakeland revival may not be a good idea.

People who barely believed in gifts of prophecy now prophesying without hesitation some very self-serving messages.

People being “slain in the spirit”….just falling down and being unable to move. (like something’s holding them down.)

I’ve been nearly physically attacked by a woman I didn’t even know who overheard a conversation between myself and a brother at church because I said that the “revival” was a blasphemy. She ranted about how Todd Bentley was a man of god…i hadn’t even mentioned his name.

This has also happened at the church when I was lead to warn a couple of folks young in their walk with the Lord about not attending this. Again, I was jumped on by a bystander.
There was no love in that interaction, I can assure you.

*****

The perspective that the Lord has given me physically on this is that they are actually being pushed down and pushed from behind by these evil sprirts. They’re actually coming back with the people as they’re being imparted in Lakeland “

(taken from RS forum)

Advertisements

Renouncing sin

April 29, 2008

2 Cor 4:2 but we have renounced (disowned) the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness…

Repentance is not often mentioned in gospel preaching these days.

Here, Paul is speaking, after the fact; that their turning to Christ meant they renounced and disowned every shameful thing, and this is repentance.

It’s a very clear cut renunciation. First, to acknowledge that one’s sins are shameful, and to be ashamed that we have sinned against God, then, to clearly and unreservedly renounce those sins : Disowning them – They no longer belong to me, I disown them, and I DISOWN my old sin nature, and I OWN Christ, I take hold of Him, my Righteousness, by faith.

How can one OWN Christ, when they have not DISOWNED sin?

Of such are the “false brethren”, of which our Lord, and all His Apostles, warned us would come among us, and more so in the last days.

Looking unto Jesus

April 29, 2008

So therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight (hindrance), and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(Heb 12:1-2)

a) All heaven is watching us, and they are witnesses to everything in our lives.

b) Weights we are carrying, which God has not given us, must be laid aside.

c) Sin can “so easily” trap us.

d) God has set a course, a plan, for our life, and it will take patient endurance to overcome and go thru all the trials and tests along the way, and to complete that course glorifying Him, and not in shame.

e) Then there’s the “HOW TO” : How to do this? By looking unto Jesus. Do we see Him all the day, by faith? Is He the One we are looking to? The “looking” doesn’t just mean looking. Looking to Him for what? For everything, and in everything. Looking means believing. It also means considering.

f) And to acknowledge that our faith comes from Him, and that He brings our faith to God’s intended goal – – full maturity, and conformity to Christ Jesus.

g) We are to consider how our Lord Jesus endured the cross. It was bcos of the “joy set before Him”. That is, what He was going to accomplish thru His death. He accomplished everything. He, then, considered the cross as worth enduring for what He would accomplish. And that accomplishment is eternal joy for God and His Blood-bought children.

h) The cross was a shame to be endured. Treated as a criminal, and also hung up stark naked in front of the mob.

i) Our Lord Jesus has “sat down” at the right hand of God. It is finished. “…Sit here, until I make your enemies your footstool“, Heb.1:13

The ethics of making money from selling Christian messages

April 25, 2008

Firstly, Christian preaching/teaching and writing are the same, the only difference is that one is audio and the other text.

The real issue here is the issue of contract. I don’t necessarily mean a signed contract on paper. I mean paying for a service.

Would it ever be right to pay a preacher in order to hear his message or teaching? If not, then it would also be wrong to pay a Christian writer before you can read his writing.

If any one is not sure about this, then try and imagine anyone in the Bible doing that.

Imagine our Lord Jesus charging an entrance fee to hear His messages?

Or any of the Apostles? Or, try and imagine the Apostles selling their messages for profit? Of course, they would call that wickedness, and it would be unthinkable.

It’s a contract. Taking that which is holy, and treating it as a piece of merchandise to be traded.

Holy things cannot be purchased.

Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

God’s Word is also the gift of God.

The promptings of the Holy Spirit

April 24, 2008

The still small voice of the Holy Spirit, His gentle promptings and impressions, though they are so quiet, and we can easily ignore them, and miss them, THEY ARE THE BIG thing.

Ironic, eh, how God works, that the BIGGEST thing comes to us as the smallest thing. (How God was manifest in human flesh and born as a baby)

That quiet impression is the Creator God speaking to you! (if your heart, mind, will and life is captive to Christ).

The natural mind, on the other hand, would expect the voice of God to be some momentous event, like thunder on the mountain, so obvious that one could not miss it.

The oh-so-gentle prompting to send a mail of encouragement to a brother or sister, to make a call, to go visit some one – – whatever : responding and obeying His promptings is the HEART of walking with Him and following Jesus.

But, notice how when we discuss this, there comes a delineation between walking by the Spirit and walking by the intellect alone.

Our intellect must be renewed by, and submitted to, the rule of Christ – His peace ruling and reigning in our hearts.

Universalism Debunked

April 24, 2008

Universalism is a growing cult in christendom. It is the belief that ultimately ALL people will be saved and reconciled to God in Christ. It’s sometimes called Ultimate Reconciliation.

Universalism is a twisting of Scripture, and it is easily debunked by the Scriptures themselves, by looking at the whole counsel of God.

Here is a favorite Universalist proof-text:

Eph 1:10 for an administration of the fullness of the times, He might bring together all things in Christ, those in heaven and those on the earth–In Him.

Does this mean that everyone is going to be gathered into Christ? Not at all!

Here is the proof:

Therefore just as the tares are gathered and burned with fire, thus it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who work iniquity, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

(Mat 13:40-43)

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet having been cast into the sea, and gathering some of every kind, which, when it was filled, they pulled up on the shore; and sitting down, they collected the good into vessels, but the rotten they threw out. Thus it shall be at the end of the age: the angels shall go forth and separate the evil from among the righteous, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

(Mat 13:47-50)

These (and many other scriptures) interpret Eph.1:10 for us.

Notice, how in these scriptures, the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven is not marked by a great coming together in Christ (as Universalists teach) but rather by a great dividing and separation, of light from darkness, and that separation is eternal judgment.

The reason that ALL things will one day be IN CHRIST is bcos all that offends is going to be separated away and banished forever in the lake of fire.

All God’s enemies will be gone (in the lake of fire) and hence, all things in heaven and earth shall be gathered together IN CHRIST, perfectly.

There will be no one outside of Christ then.

What are the implications of Universalism, and for Universalists, then?

· It accuses Jesus Christ of being a liar.

· It diminishes the fear of God.

· It is a classic “doctrine of demons” – has a satanic source, yet its him masquerading as “an angel of light”.

God is not diluted

April 22, 2008

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

(1Cor 6:19-20)

Wonderful to think that the Holy Spirit is GOD, and God can’t be diminished, dissected, lessened or diluted.

What a truth! A Christian is one who has the God of the Universe, Almighty God the Creator, living in them. No wonder we are raised from death to life when the Holy Spirit comes into us. How can His temple be a dead temple?

Very few believe the truth, they go looking for “the river” elsewhere…. Toronto or wherever.

Preach Christ

April 21, 2008

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 2 Cor 4:5

We preach Christ Jesus the Lord, Paul says, and we don’t preach ourselves.

No doubt, the preaching of Christ, if done in the power of the Holy Spirit, would mean that there’s a whole list of things we don’t preach anymore, bcos His Person now has the preeminence.

Where He is glorified, then nothing else, or no one else, can be. His glory then, is the Light that puts everything in perspective and in its proper order.

Certainly, where there is the glory of the Lord, we are reluctant to talk about ourselves much, or in any way try to share His glory, bcos we have something about Him burning in our hearts.

Sometimes I hear gospel presentations or messages and Jesus is referred to, but it doesn’t seem to be about HIM.

And it’s sad that Christians have been distracted from preaching Christ, but it’s not surprising.

The heart and the mouth

April 21, 2008

Brood of snakes! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of his good treasure brings forth good things, and an evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you, that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.”
(Mat 12:34-37)

In Christianity, what people talk about reveals what is IN their hearts: whether Jesus has ALL their heart, or their heart is still very much belonging to this sinful world and living for its basic principles – the desire of the flesh, eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:15-17)

We naturally speak from what’s in our hearts. If Jesus is everything to us, has ALL our heart, it’s only natural that our conversations will be to do with Him and His interests. eh.

Keep on keeping on

April 19, 2008

But concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know accurately that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, just as labor pains upon the woman that is pregnant, and they shall by no means escape.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those getting drunk, are drunk at night. But we, since we are of the day, let us be sober, putting on a breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

And we request of you, brothers, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and instruct you, and to regard them beyond all measure in love, because of their work.

Be at peace among yourselves.

Now we exhort you, brothers, admonish the disorderly, encourage the discouraged, be supportive of the weak, be patient toward all. See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue that which is good, both for one another and for all.

Rejoice always!

Pray without ceasing!

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Do not quench the Spirit.

Do not despise prophecies. But test all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do this. Brothers, pray for us. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I adjure you by the Lord for this letter to be read to all the holy brothers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

(1Thess. 5:1-28)

(To Mark, Yes, i removed the annotations with E-Sword)

The God of the Scriptures

April 16, 2008

1John 1:5 And this is the message which we have heard from Him and we announce to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

This counters the false pagan concept of God as having a good side and a dark side. In all pagan mythology, the gods are presented just like men in their ‘passions’ – i.e. tricky, moody, vengeful etc. Men have reached their conclusions about God, or gods, thru the reasoning of their sin-darkened minds, being in an alienated-by-sin state and cut off from God (Rom 1).

But we know the God of the Scriptures is presented as Holy. However inexpressible for us the meaning of “Holy” is, it surely means, for example, that when God destroyed the human race with a flood and saved only one family, that He was being PERFECT and just, with no shadow of selfish sinful human traits in His actions. He doesn’t act with the passion of a sinful man who has been wronged.

Yet, He does have passion, and His grief and anger is PERSONAL, as is His love, by personal we mean, He is a Person (3 are 1) and not a force or principle. God is light in the moral sense, not a physical or spiritual “light force”.

We accept that. The unregenerate can’t accept that.

Yet, such a fact as the flood, or, the fact that God, even in this age of grace, is going to soon wipe out millions of people in judgment (Book of Revelation) is hard for even Christian people to accept, as being compatible with a God of love. Many would even “block out” many such of these realities presented in Scripture, and perhaps just skim over those scriptures and avoid them, for fear of coming to terms with what they say.

Only the Scriptures can make us wise, and, truly, a wise man will warn, or avoid, those who water-down the Scriptures.

Recreating God into the image of man (666)

April 15, 2008

And have mercy on some, making a distinction; but others save with fear, snatching them out of the fire, hating even the garment having been stained by the flesh. Jude 1:22-23

There’s been a lot of misrepresentation of this Jude text, bcos when many Pentys or Fundies * think of a “fear of God” gospel , they immediately refer to the experience they’ve had in their particular church culture, where ‘thundering’ loud sermons are used to express the “fear of God”, and, alternately, soft dulcet tones are reserved for the “God is love” sermon.

This is a strange paradigm indeed, for one can tell a sinner ALL the truth of God’s testimony – not holding back one awful fact about His judgment, and yet be the most gentle, meek, broken, humble, soft-spoken person under the sun.

It’s so important that we be renewed in our minds and transformed, putting off the church-culture baggage, one suitcase at a time.

A person’s God is an idol in their mind when they confuse and merge, “God is love” into, “God is human love”.

E.g.

I wouldn’t hurt a fly, so God also wouldn’t hurt a fly. I would never throw a nice old granny into the lake of fire, so neither would Jesus…..

This is recreating God into the image of man (666), and forgetting that it is man who is created in the image of God.

At a friendly local church near you.

* Re: Pentys or Fundies : Christ is not divided, nor labeled. We should identify with Him.

An idol in your mind

April 15, 2008

By Ray Comfort

…Read Deuteronomy 28 and see what God warned would happen to Israel if they forsook His Commandments and turned their backs on Him. Hold onto a pen and underline places where Scripture warns that they will get into financial debt and become the tail, not the head. Look again at the nations to whom we are in debt. Underline how God says that aliens will flood the country, or that their enemies will overcome them, or that disease will plague them.

When you hold your pen also hold on to your theology, because that chapter will destroy any image of God as being a celestial Santa Claus. He is a God of Justice and truth as much as He is of love and mercy.

To have a mere one or two virtues of His character in your image of God, and to leave out the others, is to have an idol in your mind.

http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/article.php/3325/Ray_Comfort

Ian comment:

Rom 11:19-22

(19) You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

(20) Well said. By unbelief they were broken off, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear.

(21) For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps He may not spare you either.

(22) Behold (consider well) then the kindness (goodness) and severity of God: upon those that fell, severity; but upon you, kindness, if you continue in His kindness. Otherwise you also shall be cut off.

When we consider the Righteousness, Holiness, Justice, Wrath, and Righteous Judgment of God, then we can appreciate how KIND His kindness is, and how amazing His grace is, therefore, to not preach both the kindness/goodness AND the severity of God, is to preach a false gospel, and to gender false converts.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; and he who does not believe the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

When we preach the gospel we are preaching to people of which the wrath of God is remaining/abiding upon them. When they understand that they are under God’s wrath, and accordingly agree with His judgment concerning them – that they deserve His wrath, and, are ashamed enough to repent, then they can be in a position to believe His Atonement for sin, His mercy ; The Salvation He provided for sinners, namely, His Son, Jesus Christ.

Out of your belly will flow rivers of living water

April 12, 2008

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He that believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.”

(But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him were about to receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:37-39

Does this characterize our lives?

I mean, when people meet us do they say, There’s rivers of living water flowing out of him!?

There is the principle of THIRST here : If anyone thirsts… It’s a Holy thirst, created by God, which draws people to Jesus.

Similarly, what governs WHERE the rivers of living water flow out of us to? They flow to the thirsty. Not to the self-satisfied.

This has been my experience in relating to people, both believers and unbelievers : that the “river” flows to the thirsty.

Therefore, often, there is no river flowing out of us to others.

It depends on the situation. Yet, there should always be a river of thanksgiving flowing out of us to the Throne of God.

This principle and this phenomenon, of rivers of living water flowing out from us, is the basis of HOW the church and Kingdom was always meant to function.

To anyone who doesn’t love Jesus

April 7, 2008

Why wouldn’t you love Jesus? Is there a reason why?

What fault do you find in Him that you would not love Him?

What is it about Him that causes you to keep turning your heart away from Him?

A simple encouragement

April 5, 2008

This morning, after breakfast, I went into the forest to pray. But there was nothing in my spirit to pray. I thought, “That’s strange, what’s up?” Then I remembered that we had to go to a nearby farm and pick up hay, bcos we had agreed with the farmer to do that. So we went and got the hay, worked together and loaded it into our van.

I’m just sharing this as a simple encouragement concerning the leading of the Holy Spirit. I had nothing to pray bcos it wasn’t the time to pray, the Holy Spirit was not calling me to pray at that time bcos there was something else we needed to do. This is an example of Kingdom life : where the Holy Spirit leads, and not tradition or form. We must follow Jesus, not expect Him to follow us.

ian.

The 2s and 3s

April 3, 2008

Mat 18:15-20

(15) “And if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have won your brother.

(16) But if he does not hear, take along with you one or two more, so that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’

(17) But if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the assembly. But if he refuses even to hear the assembly, let him be to you as a heathen and a tax collector.

(18) Assuredly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

(19) Again, assuredly I say to you that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.

(20) For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

 

It seems reasonable to take this passage as a cohesive statement. There’s much truth here, more than meets the eye.

Our Lord deals with discipline within a community of believers, and it’s proper process.

The unrepentant believer eventually, at the end of the process, gets banned from the assembly (vs. 17).

Our Lord then says that the decision, which the assembly comes to agreement on, is binding in heaven as well as the earth (vs. 18).

Then He says that even if 2 or 3 agree on such decisions, it’s with the same authority as the full assembly (vs. 19).

Then, He introduces another aspect : broadens it beyond disciplinary issues, He says that if the 2 or 3 agree concerning ANYTHING they ask it shall be done for them, and that He will be in their midst (vs. 19-20).

Here where we live, our whole definition of church really is based on this : that is, the main reason we assemble together is to agree in prayer concerning whatever things the Holy Spirit would have us pray for. Of course, there’s much more than prayer, but we do recognize God’s main purpose in bringing us together is what our Lord said here.

Then, in vs. 20, our Lord says that this essential understanding of agreement in prayer, and agreement in righteous judgment, is the meaning of meeting in Jesus’ name.

Vs. 20 most certainly legitimizes the 2s or 3s who come together in Jesus’ name, but it wouldn’t be an assembly by the NT definition, that is, with a plural eldership, deacons, and various gifts in operation. It may be best to call the 2s and 3s ‘expressions’ of the Body of Christ, bcos they are legitimate, as Jesus said He will be there in the midst. If 2 or 3 is all we have, and there’s nothing we can do about increasing that number, then we can move forward anyway, and maybe God will give the increase. We are not held back just bcos we are not a fully fledged NT assembly. If Jesus is in the midst, then we can move forward following Him.

Jesus sees our faith

April 3, 2008

And see, they were carrying a paralytic to Him lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Have courage, child; your sins are forgiven you.” Matt. 9:2

for we walk by faith, not by sight.. 2 Cor 5:7

Jesus doesn’t see the outward stuff we put on or try to work up, He sees our faith, and faith can’t be worked up.  What a relief! He doesn’t take note of our spiritual exertions, or time the length of our prayers, rather, He sees our faith – a constant relationship with Him.  If it is an intermittent relationship, then it’s not true faith to begin with.

Regarding His Church, it takes faith to believe that He sees the 2 or 3 gathered in His name as a legitimate expression of His Church. Jesus said that He sees such as a legitimate expression of His Church, for He said when 2 or more gather in His name He will be there in the midst.

Faith, then, is to simply agree with Jesus, so that He defines what is true, and what is reality, and we simply accept that He is true, faithful, dependable, and not a liar. Unbelief denies  His Word, and therefore  denies Him.

Those who walk by sight could never acknowledge the 2s and 3s, they will always consider such as not being ‘real church’.  They need to see something religious with their natural eyes before they will believe that Jesus is in it : they are led by their natural senses, not by the Spirit :  their natural senses would require a “sign” before they will believe, whether it be a man in special clothes, or title, or deep resonating ‘authoritative’ voice, who can satisfy the natural need for a leader, or, a special building, special music, program etc..  Or, they may also be looking for miraculous signs to confirm whether it’s a ‘real’ church or not, and that would also be walking by sight (yet under a spiritual guise).

To walk in the Kingdom is a walk of faith, and not by sight.  It’s faith that matters, not the numbers, not the externals, the traditions.  He sees faith. So, likewise, the 2s and 3s, without faith, profits nothing, and is dead.

Here’s a new link by a like-minded brother, and we are saying the same things:    http://thespirit-ledsabbath.blogspot.com/