Tuesday, April 28, 2009
How do we know that in the last days "There will be pestilences" See? He told us ahead of time. Luke 21:11.
However, what we are experiencing today is just a small run-up for the big show, the
Revelation 6:8 "I looked, and there was a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death. Hell followed him. They were given power over one-fourth of the earth to kill people using wars, famines, plagues, and the wild animals on the earth."
During the tribulation, disease, war, natural disasters will take many lives. So many, that Jesus said that unless He shortened the days, no flesh shall be saved. (Mark 13:20)
However, during the end time in the run-up to the tribulation, He said that there will be signs and pestilences are one of those signs. The photos are scary, no doubt about it. Police in the streets, ladies praying in the public square, people wearing masks, hospitals filling up, uncertainty as to whether this is THE plague or if this will subside to plague us another day. There is fear and panic abounding.
Now imagine that a thousand-fold. And it will happen soon. You can avoid all this, however, through the gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Redeemer and Savior. I beg and plead with one and all to reconsider your choice on Jesus versus satan. If you are not with Jesus, you are against him, and that means with satan. You can enjoy a marriage supper with The Christ in heaven, or you can experience pestilence and death and pain on earth then torment forever with satan in hell. The time is coming. If you are discomfited by these photographs, by recent events, by your own spiritual emptiness, it is the Holy Spirit drawing you toward the wonderful light of Jesus and grace forever. Heed the call!
source for photos:
Dallas Morning News
NEW YORK, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 painting which was first made public on Friday 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. The photo was the most emailed picture on the web.
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.
Over the next several weeks, the artist hopes to make public much of the content received that helped shape his decision. He continues to welcome people's questions, comments and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The depicted figure in the painting stretching the curtains apart reminds one of the verse in Isaiah 54:2- "Enlarge the place of your tent; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings..."
The artist felt compelled to paint this subject matter because, "Aided by the media, politics has taken a nasty turn in the last decade and I firmly believe that this is one of the underlying causes of our nation's current problems." The artist at his site requests feedback. Shall we mobilize to give him some? We cannot let this pass, as Christians in good faith in knowledge of the ONE TRUTH and HIS HOLY NAME. I invite you to e-mail the host site where the painting will be located as well as to the artist (info below); post on your own individual websites or blogs; and to write letters to editors and other public places were civil concern or firm dismay would be appropriate.
Thank you for your time,
Background information here:
artist contact here
e-mail the artist: email@example.com
Contact for picture site:
Noah G POP
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Many books of the bible are prophetic, some say that 30% of the bible is prophecy. So many verses are dedicated to warning and alerting the Christian from the Old Testament to the New as to what is to come and sometimes even when it will come, that many of us have grown confident as to how the end times will actually unfold. We think it will be a calm, orderly progression to the rapture, one 'end times sign' emerging after another as we nod and stand by wearing our "Repent Now!" sandwich-board signs, holding clipboards and ticking off the signs one by one.
We serve a mighty God, and His creativity is endless. His timing is His alone. He hung the planets in their courses and He planned the end time with equal precision. Though it will unfold exactly as He said, its manifestation takes unexpected turns. We are told in Luke 12:40 that "the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect" and again in Matthew 24:50 we are told to expect the unexpected. That unexpectedness in my opinion is carrying over to the end times signs' manifestations.
Just as we were watching for President Obama's inauguration, a huge earthquake swarm erupted at Yellowstone National Park, contributing to hysterical global fears, not to mention imminent doom. As we were watching the gear-up to the Lisbon Treaty vote with all its prophetic import for the kingdom of the European Union, Chile's dormant volcano Chaiten suddenly erupted for the first time in thousands of years. As we were watching Wall Street and the Treasury Department deal with bankruptcies and currency maneuverings at the G20, Italy suffered a massive earthquake.
In other words, just as we expect the catalyst which will deepen the end times to be military, a natural disaster happens. As we watch for natural disasters, political catastrophe strikes. As we follow political upheavals, a biological pandemic breaks out.
If anyone remembers the scene in The Princess Bride where Vizzini debates with Westley, I believe it is an apt metaphor.
Vizzini sees reason and order in the universe but he believes logic will solve for him any problem he encounters. His tangled debate with himself as he vainly attempts to discover which goblet holds the poison does not even remotely cover all the possibilities. Yet as he proceeds in his "logic", his attempts to see the situation clearly only becomes more clouded.
The hero sits calmly removed from Vizzini's ever more frenzied deductions, as Vizzini comes up with ever more certain logical conclusions that are in fact ever further from the truth. Vizzini continues his frenzy that he can, in fact, deduce the signs because he is a "genius" and knows all contingencies, until he veritably keels over from the effort. As the solution is revealed, it is elegant in its simplicity. Hindsight is perfect.
Brothers and sisters, let us watch as instructed, "Therefore, be on the alert--for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning--in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. "What I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'"
While on the alert, can it be truthfully said that we will know the exact manifestation of "distress of nations"? They we are sure what "in perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the seas" means? Our finite minds think hurricane, or tsunami, or even the slightly more creative, Antarctic ice shelf breaking up or Las Palmas. But that is just it, our finite minds can conceive of logical likelihoods of the end times manifestations, and that is good, but let us not become so convinced those are the only manifestations, or we shall veritably keel over like Vizzini.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
This tolerance does not extend to anyone who holds a different view.
Witness the insane and profane reaction of Perez Hilton, self-described "Queen of Mean" and a gay man. He asked Miss USA finalist-contestant Carrie Prejean her thoughts on gay marriage. "Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”
Miss Prejean had a choice. She could deny her God and try for the temporary win, or she could lift up her God and remain faithful. She chose the latter. Knowing full well some of the consequences, she answered this way:
“We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”
Later Miss Prejean said she felt God was testing her. Good for her that she chose to glorify God! Her crown will be eternal.
She knew full well some of the consequences. However, the depth of Mr Hilton's insanity and brutality subsequent to her mild and polite response reveals just how far we have fallen. In Isaiah God condemns six sins, and in this following verse, God is condemning the purposeful confusing of the moral standards:
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah 5:20
Mr Perez ripped into Miss Prejean's character immediately after the pageant concluded. He later made a video blog response and called her a "dumb b----" defaced her photo by drawing a penis where the microphone goes, said that he might have said "b----" but he was thinking "c---", that her answer was the worst answer in pageant history, and gave her a zero. Zero? No one who goes to the finals of a beauty contest has earned zero points.
Conservative blogger Andrea Tantaros wrote an excellent summary of the situation here. In her essay she asked:
"This issue goes beyond beauty contests and reveals a much scarier truth: You cannot voice a dissenting opinion without being assaulted by the progressive left. The left is not interested in debating, only suppressing debate. Destroying your life and career is the sentence for anyone who dissents on these issues. The activists will carry out the sentence with the willing assistance of a compliant media."
Mr Perez sums up the times quite well when he said on NBC: Hilton also appeared on NBC's "Today," explaining that he demands a Miss USA winner be "politically savvy" and that even though Prejean is a Christian, he doesn't want her "talking about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, because that's offensive."
No, Jesus is only offensive to those wallowing in persistent sin.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do…” (Rev. 13: 13-14).
I believe that the UFO/Alien phenomenon rising to the level of mainstream media these days is one of the very top delusions in all mankind's history, the very top being of course anything that satan says and another being that the antichrist says he comes in peace. Interest in visitors from other worlds is so high that the entertainment industry is producing a slew of television and movies to capture the wave of interest. Are the people of Earth are being conditioned to accept the reality of visitors from other worlds at every level, including "mainstream news"? Larry King has produced several specials on aliens, Peter Jennings before he died, the Chicago Tribune, among many others.
The guys at Rapture Ready wrote:
"The same “Sons of God” –the benai elohim of the fallen sort that once were a major factor in God’s having to judge the world in antediluvian times-- must be considered within the end-of-days mix. Are we seeing the fearful sights Jesus was referring to when He prophesied: “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man”? " (Luke 17:26)
The extreme interest in UFO-logy may be a preparation for the descent of 'alien beings' full of wisdom paving the way for the Antichrist. It may be a deception to explain the sudden disappearance of those millions of pesky bible-believing Christians. It may be to whisper New Age spirituality unto the ears of willing listeners for goal of a global religion. In any case, UFOs may be "real" but they are not aliens nor UFO spacecraft. They are a demonic deception. Below are links to several articles about this topic:
UFOs and the Real War of the Worlds
A Deception of Cosmic Proportions
Leading Researchers Confirm Christian View of UFOs
From Brazil to Singapore to the US north and south there have been signs this week--
Jesus said: "And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars" Luke 21:25
Paul reminds us "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Eph 6:12
John said the world is satan's: We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 1 John 5:19
Paul wrote that not only the world but the very air is satan's too: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience Ephesians 2:2
Satan and his demons have been given control of this earth and the air around it; they have the power to do miracles, signs, and wonders that are delusions, and they are liars and the fathers of lies. Remember that. Now, the news--
April 16: Historic disclosure: Brazil’s secret Government UFO files revealed
In what is a milestone and historic event for Brazilian ufology and for ufologists around the world Brazil’s UFO community has gained access to previously classified top-secret UFO files. The UFO community headed by the CBU or Commission of Brazilian Ufologists has been fighting for access to these files for a number of years under freedom of information provisions and appears to have emerged from this battle victorious.
April 19: Busy weekend for UFO sightings, especially in the southern states
"It was a brisk weekend for UFO sightings being reported, especially from the southern states. Several reports were received from Tennessee, in addition to Georgia and Florida."
April 20: UFO sighted in Singapore
More than 50 people watched a blazing object move across the sky for fifteen minutes in broad daylight
April 20: Former astronaut: Man not alone in universe
(CNN) -- Earth Day may fall later this week, but as far as former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell and other UFO enthusiasts are concerned, the real story is happening elsewhere. Former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell says "there really is no doubt we are being visited." Mitchell, who was part of the 1971 Apollo 14 moon mission, asserted Monday that extraterrestrial life exists, and that the truth is being concealed by the U.S. and other governments.
April 17: (UFO) X-Conference hosted by CNN anchor
This conference (April 17-19, 2009) will bring together in the Washington metro area a powerful group of speakers to focus on the governmental, political and media aspects of 60+ years of extraterrestrial engagement and societal denial - exopolitics. Collectively, the X-Conference speakers hold enough knowledge of extraterrestrial-related phenomena and government involvement with this phenomena to end the government imposed truth. Hosted by television journalist and former CNN News anchor Cheryll Jones.
April 21: Sixth Apollo man says UFOs exist
Former US astronaut Edgar Mitchell has spoken at a UFO news conference being held at the National Press Conference in Washington. He has told those there he believes UFOs and aliens do exist, and that they are visiting us.
April 20: Triangle UFOs reported over five states
Triangular-shaped UFOs were reported by witnesses in five recent cases in five states over three days, according to data collected by the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). Four of those cases occurred on April 16, 2009.
Friends, do you see the massive deception unfolding before our eyes? I ask you all to read one of the articles about the UFO deception for homework and be ready to witness unto the truth using the above and other bible verses. Many people are very curious about aliens and are expectant, being in economic and emotional and spiritual trouble, are willing to look to anyone who says they have solutions. Do you know someone like that in your office? Your factory? Your extended family?
Let us be stalwart that God's chronology in Genesis included many beautiful creations, and aliens do not appear on the list!
Monday, April 20, 2009
"The percentage of people who call themselves in some way Christian has dropped more than 11% in a generation. The faithful have scattered out of their traditional bases: The Bible Belt is less Baptist. The Rust Belt is less Catholic. And everywhere, more people are exploring spiritual frontiers — or falling off the faith map completely."
"These dramatic shifts in just 18 years are detailed in the new American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS), to be released today. It finds that, despite growth and immigration that has added nearly 50 million adults to the U.S. population, almost all religious denominations have lost ground since the first ARIS survey in 1990."
There are not enough genuine Christians."Genuine Christian" means a person's faith and belief is founded on the life, death, resurrection, and Gospel of Jesus Christ. It bases its doctrine and teachings on the Bible and only the bible. Too many people are lukewarm. This is something the bible tells us will happen in the end.
A news article from last week states that LDS one of nation's largest, fastest growing churches in the US. Unfortunately, Mormonism is not a true Christian religion. The second fastest growing religion is Jehovah's Witness. Unfortunately that is not a true Christian religion either.
It is also true that 'spirituality' is on the rise. This is not a good thing however. A few weeks ago the Chicago Tribune wrote a piece about witches:
"Occult hit: Witches bucking religion trend". In the article the author wrote,
While most other major religions lost ground, Wiccan -- whose members, Wiccans, sometimes refer to themselves as witches -- and other so-called "New Religious movements" grew by more than a million members since the last ARIS survey was published in 2001. They're now an estimated 1.2 percent of the adult population.Any doctrine that tickles the ears will be sought by the faithless and weak. It is hard to accept that one is a total sinner, no better than filthy rags. There is none righteous, no not one. It is hard to offer one's self wholly to God and do only His will. It is hard to set aside fleshly lusts and devote one's self to Him. It is hard to walk His path and stay within His commands. Hard. Christianity is not for wimps.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 2 Timothy 4:3"
See, doesn't this sound just great to a confused person: "You are about to set out on a remarkable journey . . . a journey that perhaps may end in another world; for you are a Seeker of the Light, who has chosen to walk the path of Wicca. So, child of Light, follow me, and I will endeavor to guide you to your destiny.” Morwyn, Secrets of a Witch's Coven"
Are your ears being tickled? Are you in a false religion? Are you in a Christian church but enduring unsound doctrine from a false pastor? There is Hope! All you need to do is repent of your sin, and ask Jesus to forgive it. Ask for discernment and wisdom. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1John 1:9).
Don't we serve a great and mighty God! Let Him restore you to the faith. Otherwise, remembering His promises are true ... "This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD." (Jeremiah 17:5).
Saturday, April 18, 2009
This weekend, clips of her singing on Britain's Got Talent have notched up almost 50 million views on YouTube. Her face appears on the front pages of papers in Britain and beyond, she been offered a seat on Oprah's sofa and has been told she is as good as guaranteed a worldwide number one album. The rise of the 47-year-old spinster from Scotland has been a true global phenomenon.
Last Saturday, viewers saw Boyle, with double chin, unkempt hair, frumpy appearance and eccentric demeanour, step onto the talent show stage and proclaim her dream of being a professional singer.
The judges rolled their eyes and the audience pulled incredulous faces. Onlookers, on set and at home, were rubbing their hands at the prospect of another hopeless, deluded loser being crushed by a withering Simon Cowell insult.
Then she opened her mouth and sang I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.
Her voice confounded all expectations - the judges' eyes bulged, the crowd went wild and Boyle became an instant star.
Watch the clip that is sweeping the world here. (Cannot embed, it's been disabled)
Earlier this week I wrote about God's creation and how satan distracts us from considering true beauty. Later in the week I learned of an experiment the Washington Post conducted with world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell, who played in a subway to see if anyone would stop and notice the quality of his playing, on a Stradivarius no less. Few stopped to consider the beautiful music.
In comes Susan Boyle, the third installment of the Consider Beauty series, which I did not know would be come a series, Praise Him! Miss Boyle is not traditionally beautiful. She has labored for the Lord tirelessly in a forgotten corner of Scotland, caring for her invalid mother. She is overweight, lives with her cat Pebbles, and is unemployed. She has never married nor ever been kissed, she said (though that is not an advert, she also said, lol). She has dreamed of singing in front of an audience for 35 years. As she walked out on stage the judges rolled their eyes and mocked her with their posture. So did the audience.
Then she sang. As the gorgeous notes rolled out and into the hearts of all those in the world, the world wonders why we love Susan Boyle. Many bloggers discuss the sociological implications of excessive focus on beauty, of how Miss Boyle is a regular person, how she is an underdog. She is all these things but that is not the answer. Her voice is God-given, and it is beautiful. God sees all of us that way, beautiful inside, with talent and personality and love. He sees not the frumpy dress, the unkempt hair. He sees the gorgeous notes inside of us.
Stop and consider the beauty in each person as you pass along today. Try to see them the way God sees us, in perfect love. One of the judges, in a clumsy attempt at an apology, said that when Miss Boyle waled out on the stage, "We were against you." In all places, where a person's dreams are on the line before millions watching and their vulnerabilities exposed, the judges and audience deemed Miss Boyle as wanting, before she even sang. Praise our Lord, who accepts us as we are, the beautiful and the ugly, the thin and the fat, the clumsy and the graceful. He loves us, judges our heart, not our face. He endows each of us with God-given beauty. Stop to consider it.
Soon when He comes we will see all our brothers and sisters as He does. Praise Him that we have an opportunity to get a glimpse of the inner beauty in Susan Boyle beforehand. Soon we will all look like her. Beautiful.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Then a piece was published by the Washington Post ... that speaks to the same issues. Read a summary below:
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.
This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, what other things are we missing? We are missing Him! Stop, consider beauty. You might find God there.
"I told them I was a US citizen."
"I told them I was on a business trip."
"I told them I had no drugs or humans in the car."
"That wasn't enough. They wanted to search the car, and I invoked my 4th amendment rights."
"I DID NOT RESIST OR FIGHT BACK. YET I WAS TAZERED REPEATEDLY AND SHOVED IN BROKEN GLASS REPEATEDLY!"
"I was IN the United States!!! I had crossed no international border!!!"
"This occurred on the night of April 14/15, 2009"
"Here's info on the officers:
"Ernesto Gomez, CBP Border Patrol Agent Phone: (928) 785-9364 Email: Ernesto.Gomez@DHS.GOV Address: 29820 Frontage Road Wellton, AZ 85356, Cesar Y Diaz 1207 S Arena Dr Yuma, AZ 85364-4425 (928) 343-0849 cesar.diaz@DHS.gov"
This beating occurred the day after Homeland Security published a report that targets segments of the population as extremists and terrorists in a shocking display of ideological profiling. The targeted individuals would be veterans, opponents of a single issue such as immigration or abortion, and end time prophecy teachers. "The report also mentions "'end times' prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition and weapons. These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as the violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement."
9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
In comes The Shack, a Christian fiction book by Paul Young. A healthy debate with nearly 600 comments is over at Pastor Wade Burleson's blog, which is just one among many, many other discussions saturating the 'net. I wrote "The Shack is a Devilish Deception" 8 months ago on my other blog. When I wrote that it was for an audience of non-Christians. Apparently the need is great for a message to Christians as well.
Dr. Michael Youssef has a video entitled Thirteen Heresies in The Shack, the second link is a written essay with the same title. Those are some pretty big heresies in Youssef's list. I urge people to watch it or read the text.
When the disciples asked Jesus for signs of His return, in Matthew 24:4-5, the very first sign Jesus gave, and it is the only sign He repeats (Matthew 24:11,24) is blunt and pointed. He said, “Many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.”
Therefore it makes sense to be on guard for these false prophets and deceptions and perversions of the Word. Yet because the Shack has such a heartfelt message and warms the emotions of so many, they deem it acceptable. Well, satan does not come in all red clawed and hissing, he puts poison inside sugar. He cloaks falsity in a near-truth.
Sure The Shack is fiction, but to me that doesn't matter. The basic foundations of the bible are corrupted in this book, and this book is accepted by the Christian community and promoted by the Christian community. This is WRONG. Have we lost all ability to discern? The bible says that yes, even the elect would be deceived if possible.
In 2 Peter 3:17 it is written "Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position." And in 1 Timothy 4:1 Paul wrote "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." So it should not surprise us tat controversy surrounds a book that has flawed doctrine in it. The surprise (to me) is its acceptance by Christians.
The Shack is heresy. Its author Mr Young wrote a book that presents God in a totally unbiblical way and presents salvation in a totally unbiblical way and this book is influencing millions.
Where does it end, then? How MUCH will we be OK with? Where does the line get drawn? And on which side will the undiscerning Christian be when He comes? Read the bible daily. Get into a close relationship with Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment. Any book, fiction or not, that denies Jesus is the only way to heaven and states clearly that sin goes unpunished is heresy. No matter how nice the book makes you feel, and remember that is satan's goal, to make you feel good all the way to the other side of the line, the line of unending hell, from these, stay away!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Beauty in this world is an echo of Eden. Our very souls in their innermost parts know God is in the center of the beautiful. No? Then why do we sigh when the sun dips below a beautiful sunset? Why do we ache for the sweep of the tide and the undulations of the ocean? Why do we thirst for moonrise, settle into the sway of the pine tree? God is beauty. We long for the open spaces of our soul to be filled with His empyrean substance as expressed through nature.
Is it true that a person can come to know God through nature? Yes. The scriptures say so, and that is the ultimate authority. It is how I came to know God. It is how I accepted Him into my life and subsequently accepted Jesus.
As I traveled, each time I saw an amazing natural event I’d think: “this could not have all come about by chance.” I’d think, "I do believe God is behind all this. It is too beautiful otherwise. Too complex.”
Infrequently do people remember that in addition to the Gospel, seeing God in His creation is another way that He draws people to Him. Knowing this, satan has a plan to prevent it.
How? Even satan likely could not get humans to dispense entirely with the environment, so the environmental movement is about being utilitarian. We don’t say ‘save the environment because it is beautiful!’ we say ‘save the environment because we can get stuff out of it!’ The environment is just someplace we extract energy rather than experience beauty and perhaps, experience God. God shines in His glory in the heavens and in His whole creation and as far as satan is concerned, the less we see it as beautiful the less chance we will see of God in it.
Second, our lives are increasingly crowded. We are over-scheduled. Our mental life is increasingly devoid of meditation time, imagination, contemplation. Every moment is utilitarian. We must be “productive” these days. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to reflect on the wonders in nature I was seeing during my travels. If I was too busy commuting and working and scheduling every moment I never would have pondered the larger things. And never have eventually seen God in them. Satan diminishes the glory of God's creation to a utilitarian product and crowds our lives with less time to contemplate it.
It is one of satan’s methods to combat Romans 1:20, squeeze out the beauty in the world. 2 Timothy 3:3 tells us that in the end times people will be brutal;... The opposite of brutality is beauty.
Beauty draws you. The less beauty in the world the better. Failing that, the less time we have to contemplate beauty, the better.
Combat satan. Consider beauty. God is there.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
He told us that someday He will come back for us.
"They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Acts 1:9
Do you believe Jesus will return? Many prophetic utterances in the bible say so, not to mention the words from Jesus Himself.
John 14:2, 3-- "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
1 Corinthians 15:52-- "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."
When that moment happens, known as the rapture, every true Christian everywhere will be lifted, snatched says the Greek, out of what they were doing and whisked away to meet Jesus in the air. "Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
This is what it may look like:
What will you do when you look over at your office mate and his clothes are slumped over the ergonomic chair? What will you do when your mate's nightgown is laying on the bed along with her ring and artificial hip? What will you do when driving down the highway and suddenly the vehicles start swerving and you notice only clothes in the drivers' seats?
Hopefully you will know that the Rapture has just occurred. Hopefully you will not delay in getting down on your knees and asking the Lord to accept your sins and beg forgiveness of them. Because, you see, the further into the Tribulation you go, the harder hearts will become.
Revelation chapter nine contains three verses that have to do with the hearts of men during those times. The scene is between the fifth and sixth trumpets. Revelation 9:6, 20, 21 depicts agonies yet men shake their fists at God and refuse to accept His authority, preferring their own authority in agony.
If you want to be saved NOW, learn more here. DO not delay, He is near!
Friday, April 10, 2009
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be ... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power." 2 Tim 3:1-5
Satan is capable of perverting anything. CS Lewis makes the point in The Screwtape Letters. In Letter Nine, Screwtape addresses Wormwood on the subject of counterfeit pleasure.
"Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures, yet all our research has not enabled us to produce even one. All we can do is to encourage humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced and indulge them in ways which He has forbidden. We always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least mindful of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever-increasing craving for an ever-diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it’s better style."
Recovering drug addicts report needing more frequent highs and note that the highs increasingly diminish in duration. Same with alcoholics. As the body becomes inured to the pleasure of the drink, it takes more and more to achieve the same result. Same with casual sex. The amount of pleasure inverts to the frequency, as noted in the albeit fictional account to Wormwood when Screwtape notes "An ever-increasing craving for an ever-diminishing pleasure is the formula." I believe any person would note that in counterfeit pleasure, the formula works.
But therein lies the nugget to be pondered today: this formula is precisely HOW to determine if your pleasure is counterfeit and therefore of satan, rather than a true pleasure from God. True pleasure sent from God will fill a person and only increase as the seeker partakes. Serving? Reading the bible? Prayer? Sexual union with a loving married partner? True pleasures.
This conundrum is nothing new of course. Solomon undertook a great experiment, outlined in Eccelsiastes 2 in which he pursued pleasure. Some was folly and some was worthy, but even the worthy pleasurable pursuits came to nothing because they were an end to themselves.
Counterfeit pleasure is an end to itself. Its formula of diminishing returns is a circling the drain proposition. Jesus told us that he who lives for this life, including its pleasures, will be greatly disappointed (Matthew 6:19). The things of this life are transient and temporary, including pleasure. Our focus should be on maximizing our glory in heaven, not our life on earth. One sure way to know if the pleasure you are feeling in an activity or desire is if they are a byproduct of the search for the righteousness of God.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
"The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs. Makes perfect sense."
Christians, Jesus said that our state at the end would neither be hot nor cold, but instead be lukewarm, and because of our ignorance of the Word, we could be easily deceived or worse, enjoy listening to doctrines of devils. We no longer know the Word well enough to protect ourselves from devilish doctrines, to stay in the faith, or to share it with others!
You laugh, you disbelieve that these scriptures could ever apply to you! But, if in a discussion, an atheist rejoins with the following, how will you respond?
"The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Makes perfect sense."
If it's with stunned silence ... [crickets]
...then I urge us to study, know the bible, be prepared to offer the Gospel with authority. Christian, be HOT!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
End-Time Scoffers Prophesied
There is an increasing number of scholars and writers openly challenging fundamental teachings of the Bible. This should come as no surprise to those who know Scripture. God said that "scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts" (2 Peter 3:1–6).
The Bible states that "in the last days men will have a form of godliness but denying its power" and will deny that "all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:1–17).
We see this more and more, people say that the bible was written by men with finite minds and their own agendas. I hear this a lot. Be prepared for someone to say this to you.
In addition, Paul predicted that "the time will come when… they will have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:1–5). New age mythology is replacing fundamental truths, and anyone who dares rebuke this new age push is said to be "intolerant" while at the same time those who promote it are exactly intolerant of Christianity or its public espousal by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Mockery is nothing new though. Solomon recognized this evil in his day. In our day, it continues to be a cultural and personal problem. Some people, Christians included, make mockery a main mode of discourse and a primary stance in life. They can hardly talk without adding a snide aside to every sentence. This is very wrong. Followers of Jesus are taught not to mock others, but to let our speech be with grace always, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6). Our speech should be a blessing to others (1 Peter 3:8-12).
Brothers and sisters, be prepared for mocking and be ready to reply with grace and love. I urge readiness ahead of time because initially coming across a person who is snidely mocking disrupts the conversational flow. If you are unprepared, emotions tend to take over and replies have less tendency to be of loving grace seasoned with salt!
How will you reply to a scoffer? Do you have one area in the bible in which you are interested? Say, young earth defense, or creationism, or the resurrection? Study in that area and prepare to be a good Christian apologist to those who scoff at what they will see as dubious claims of Christianity in the face of all their hard 'science.'
And remember that the bible has much to say about mockers. After reading how God sees them, we need be less concerned with our own hurt feelings, knowing their pain in being without Jesus. Above all remember the scoffing and mocking that Jesus endured as they stripped Him, thrust a crown of thorns on His head, and mocked Him all the way to the cross. Even as he hung dying, the jeering voices were among the last He heard before it was finished.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?
The schemes of folly are sin, and men detest a mocker.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
MONTPELIER — Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature’s vote.
The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.
The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil unions law.
It’s now the fourth state to permit same-sex marriage. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa are the others. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.
The Vermont Senate voted earlier this morning to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of the same-sex marriage legislation.
The vote passed, 23-5.
When Jesus said in Luke 17:29-30, 'As it was in the days of Lot, even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed', He was inviting us to cast our thoughts back to Genesis 18, for when this Gentile civilization is in a Sodom condition, and just before He destroys the earth with fire from heaven.
Conversion FROM fundamentalism TO Catholicism, or to anything else, never really gets the mocking machine going, does it. Not like it does if you convert to a Baptist or other fundamental bible believer. Or if you proclaim. That really cranks up the scoffers and mockers. Just ask Sarah Palin. Have you ever thought about this, and why this should be?
Becoming a Catholic seems 'safe' for the secular world. Becoming a bible believing Baptist is not. Why? Because the bible is truth and Catholicism is not. The secular world always hates truth and always is fine with untruth. (John 15:18-19).
The bible tells us that at the end time there will be a great falling away, the fancy word for it is "apostasy."
- Matthew 24:10 - "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,"
- 2 Thessalonians 2:3 - Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction..."
- 1 Timothy 4:1 Apostasy-- But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
Tragically, Oprah has been successful in steering the public discourse on religion from the truth toward falsity. Tragic, because we are told in 2 Peter 2:21 "It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them."
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12.) How to stay faithful? First, after receiving the Holy Spirit, do not keep purposely sinning. (Hebrews 10:26). Stay in good conscience. (1Timothy 1:19) Stay rooted in the faith (Luke 8:13). You can stay rooted in the faith by having an active relationship with the Lord, prayer, bible reading, keeping Jesus on your mind all the time, and being around strong Christians. Read Matthew 7 for a good, long treatise on staying strong in the faith. Or here for bible verses on the subject of faith.
Heed the warnings of these faithful Apostles and of our very own Savior! Are you falling? The path to departure is usually gradual, hardly noticed by those involved. It begins with a thought, it develops through speech. It is nurtured by a desire to be like the world, or to accumulate money or things, rather than to be as God would have us. If you see a drifting Christian, help them. If you are drifting or are spoken to about your unknown drift, listen. Stay strong brothers and sisters! We will be ready when He comes!
Monday, April 6, 2009
And My right hand spread out the heavens;
From Fox News: In a new image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, high-energy X-rays emanating from the nebula around PSR B1509-58 have been colored blue to reveal a structure resembling a hand reaching for some eternal red cosmic light.
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew, 24: 10-12)
This month there has been an eruption of violence across the globe. A person veritably gets whiplash looking from Germany to New York to Oakland to Massachusetts when one violent eruption makes the news, and then another and still another. Below is Strandberg's list:
March 21 - Four Oakland, CA, police officers and one suspect were shot and killed in two shooting incidents near a police substation. It was the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001.Today there is another shooting.
March 28 - Kirby Revelus, 23, stabbed his 17-year-old sister to death with a kitchen knife, and he also attacked his 9-year-old sister (she was taken to the hospital and survived). He finally decapitated their 5-year-old sister in front of a police officer when he broke down the door to their Milton, MA home.
March 29 - A gunman opened fire inside a nursing home in a small North Carolina town, killing eight people, including elderly patients in wheelchairs. A 45-year-old local man was arrested and faced eight counts of first-degree murder after the shooting at the retirement care home in Carthage, about 60 miles southwest of Raleigh.
March 29 - An engineer at Yahoo gunned down his family in an apparent murder-suicide that left six people dead. Devan Kala that killed his two children and three other relatives at a family housewarming party Sunday before shooting himself.
April 1 - A Massachusetts woman who believes she was being stalked by a cult has been charged with using a pair of scissors to inflict 100 wounds on her 2-year-old daughter. Susan Johnson can be heard saying "Die! Die!" on a 911 call made by a security guard who helped to subdue the woman in a laundry room at a Gardner apartment building Wednesday night.
April 3 - Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Wong barricaded the back door of an immigration services center in New York State with a car and burst through the front door on a shooting rampage, killing 13 people and then himself.
April 4 - Three police officers in Oakland, CA, were shot and killed after a man pulled over for a routine traffic stop opened fire and then battled SWAT officers at a nearby building, police said.
April 4 - Five children were found dead inside their Washington state home Saturday afternoon. The children, who range in age from 6-17, were apparently killed by their father in a murder-suicide, according to police.
April 6 - Mom Kills Son, Herself At Gun Range (Florida).
Parents killing their kids! Wanton murder! all heartbreaking, all due to rampant sin in the world. "The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." Gen. 6:5. "God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth." Gen 6:12-13. Just before the flood judgment, man was completely corrupt, evil, and violent.
"As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man." Matt 24:37. Meaning, just before the rapture and the end times judgments, man will be corrupt, evil, violent. Only God knows how closely these days resemble the days of Noah, but the increased violence on earth at this time seems to be one indicator that we are indeed close to His return for the church, His bride.
Praise His name! He is in control and will judge rightly. Are you saved? Don't procrastinate. Here's how.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
The G20 concluded this week. Twenty of the First World nations met in an economic summit to map out a strategy for global economic recovery and supra-national fiscal policies. From that, several things were decided that lay the groundwork for this one world economy spoken of by Jesus in Revelation. You can read the UK Telegraph's opinion of each point by point resolution here
Interesting (to me), the most eye opening resolution was to create a Financial Stability Board that will
- --collaborate with the IMF [International Monetary Fund] to provide early warning of macroeconomic and financial risks and the actions needed to address them;
- --reshape our regulatory systems so that our authorities are able to identify and take account of macro-prudential risks;
- --extend regulation and oversight to all systemically important financial institutions, instruments and markets.
Now, to today's point: out of the G20 comes a new buzzword:
"And all nations must come together to build a stronger, global regime." President Barack Obama, discussing North Korea.
G20 leaders call for global economic enforcer
The expanded body, to include all G20 members, will be given power to act pre-emptively by identifying loose financial regulation to ensure the new global regime is kept tight across national borders.
Global regime. Are you ready? We know it will come. The bible tells us so. Is it almost here? Yes, they are already talking about it!
Brethren, witness like you have never witnessed before. Pray for a sense of urgency and for the words to say. Sound the bell and yell the clarion call that the time is nigh. Do you have a burden for the lost? Will you look at a person and sink back into apathy, knowing that you could be leaving them to face the antichrist? Hell on earth? Lost and bewildered with no biblical foundation to know where to turn? No, let it not be so!
Rise up. Speak up for Jesus. Before the global regime spews up the antichrist and he becomes the spotlight, blinding so many to the truth!
Friday, April 3, 2009
Luke 17:28-29, "It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building;but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Gay marriage is now legal in Sweden, the fifth EU nation to make it so. Can judgment be far behind?
Genesis 20:13- "'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable."
The Vermont House and Senate passed a bill legalizing same-sex unions. Can judgment be far behind?
Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
The bible is clear on what God's standards are for all things, including sexual relations:
1Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders...
O, judgment is not far behind!
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