Beware of the “Anointed Ones”

Beware of the “Anointed Ones”

While this was not intended to be an exhaustive study on the matter of the “Messiah,” “Christ,” or “anointed ones,” it soon became apparent that it would be rather involved. I still don’t intend to do an exhaustive study on this, but I want to focus rather on how the term “anointed one” as it relates to false “anointed ones.”

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word “mashiyach” refers to priests (Lev 4:3,5,16), kings (1 Sam. 24:6,10), the Messiah (Ps. 2:2), and even to the whole Hebrew nation (1 Chr. 16:22; Ps. 105:15). This Hebrew word “mashiyach” occurs in the following passages: Leviticus 4:3,5,16; 6:22; 1 Samuel 2:10,35; 12:3,5; 16:6; 24:6 (2x),10; 26:9,11,16,23; 2 Samuel 1:14,16,21; 19:21; 22:51; 23:1; 1 Chronicles 16:22; 2 Chronicles 6:42; Psalm 2:2; 18:50; 20:6; 28:8; 84:9; 89:39,51; 105:15; 132:10,17; Isaiah 45:1; Lamentations 4:20; and Habakkuk 3:13.

In the New Testament the Greek word “christos” is used hundreds of times to refer to Jesus Christ, but it is also used of false “christs” (Matt. 24:5,23,24; Mark 13:21,22; the word is implied in Mark 13:6 and Luke 21:8), in John the Baptist’s denial that he was the Christ (John 1:20,25; 3:28), and with the preposition “anti” to refer to antichrists, (1 John 2:18,22; 4:3; 2 John verse 7) and to the Antichrist (1 John 2:18).

This brings me to the issue on which I wish to focus—false “Christs,” or false “anointed ones.” Everywhere we turn these days we see preachers, teachers, and other “Christian” leaders claiming to have an “apostolic,” “prophetic,” or “healing” anointing, and an increasing number of them are bringing in other supposed “anointings.”

Christians are being led to believe they must go to this “prophetic” convention, that “healing” service, or that “apostolic” conference to get something from God. Many of these people, especially those who go to the “healing services,” are absolutely desperate for help, and they are convinced that if they can just get to that event they will be healed. It is true that God can and does heal, and He may even heal at an event held by some gospel hukster because God honors His word and the faith of His people in spite of the flawed vessels preaching His word. However, that does not excuse those false “anointed ones” who make merchandise of God’s people for their own unethical and immoral gain.

Matthew 24:5, 23, 24 says, “5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many…. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” NKJV

 

Mark 13:6, 21, 22 says, “6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many…. 21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” NKJV

Coupled with this information about false christs or false anointed ones is the warning or admonition not to be deceived. The warning occurs four times in Matthew 24 and several times in Mark 13 as well. Today many professing believers are being deceived by false anointed ones, false prophets, and false teachers. These false ones are slick and undermine the authority of the Bible and sound doctrine in many ways. A lot of conservative Bible believing Christians are aware of the problems with the liberal emerging church and social justice preachers who are trying to bring in “the kingdom of God” through their leftist social justice efforts, and now that movement is spreading throughout Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic churches. However, many are falling for the false teachings of those who have been, at least in the past, more conservative in their theology. People are being deceived by the prosperity gospel, teaching that God wants everyone wealthy and healthy, and if you’re poor and sick there must be sin in your life. That is another form of legalism. Many of these false teachers have become part of a conservative movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). They are attempting to bring in the kingdom of God by taking over the “7 Mountains” or “7 Spheres” of culture. Rather than focusing on liberal social justice programs, they believe they will “Christianize” the world (http://www.apologeticsindex.org/794-new-apostolic-reformation-2, https://bereanresearch.org/dominionism-nar/). This teaching is also called Kingdom Now, Reconstructionism and Dominionism among other names. It is the old teaching of Post Millennialism with a new face and varying degrees of intensity. But basically it teaches that the church will so influence the cultures of the world that Jesus will need to return to govern the kingdom the church has established for Him. As I look at church history and the current state of the church, I’d say we haven’t made much progress in taking over the “7 mountains” of culture (Education, Religion, Family, Business, Government/Military, Arts/Entertainment, Media). In fact, we’ve lost a lot of ground in the last 30 years, and especially in the last 3 years.

Now a lot of teachers in mainstream Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatics circles are calling into question the historicity of the events recorded in the Bible, such as the creation account, the existence of Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, the Exodus, David and Goliath, and other events. Here’s a link to just one example of this: (http://0352182.netsolhost.com/PREACHING%20ROCKETAndy%20Stanley%20creation%20-%20YouTube.mp4). This teacher has gone further off the deep end since that was recorded a few years ago.

Another false teaching gaining popularity is that all religions worship the same “god.” That is especially common when people are talking about Islam. They will say that the Yahweh of the Bible is the Allah of the Koran. That is a lie. The Allah of the Koran is likely Satan in the Bible, but he certainly isn’t Yahweh God. Brian Houston of Hillsong flatly stated that Muslims and Christians serve the same God. To the best of my knowledge he has never corrected or retracted this as a misspoken thought (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0M2T9gYOH4). Rick Warren calls Muslims his “brothers” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3uPGzTN8mI). And the Chrislam movement is spreading throughout the church (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnV0Oe-WMdg).

When I hear teachers or preachers on television or radio claiming to be “God’s anointed,” my heresy antenna goes way up because I have learned through life they are usually preparing the hearers to receive some false teaching—some lie that promotes their heretical agenda. But too many people listen to these preachers with an open mind rather than an open Bible. We need to start being Bereans again. Acts 17:10-12 says, “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men” (NKJV). If the Apostle Paul commended these people for searching the scriptures to see if what he said was true, then how much more should we be checking out what teachers tell us now?

We need to get back to the Bible, and stop being deceived by all these false teachers, with their false teachings (study the Bible rather than someone’s book or study guide about the Bible), their books, DVD’s, and CD’s. It’s time we get to know the Jesus Christ of the Bible, rather than chasing supposed “christs” or “anointed ones” all over the country, the internet, the Christian television and radio networks, iTunes, and the Christian bookstores. I’m not saying there aren’t some very good and valid materials for Christians to use and learn more about the Bible, but we do need to be very careful because there are many false teachers and their numbers and influence are increasing. Two of most dangerous places for a Christian, especially an immature one, these days is a Christian bookstore, and watching a Christian television network. In fact, William Paul Young, author of the theological abomination called “The Shack” has his own show on TBN called “Restoring the Shack” (https://www.tbn.org/search?s=the+shack&=Apply). The only reason a program like this can exist on a “Christian” television network is because there are so many biblically illiterate professing “Christians.” To paraphrase an old Sherlock Holmes line, The game is afoot, and the game is deception! Do NOT be deceived!

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His Name Is Salvation

Matthew 1:18-25

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS. NKJV

Introduction:   If this passage teaches us anything, it teaches us that God is sovereign and faithful. He keeps His promises & blesses those who obey Him.

Mary & Joseph lived in a time when God’s people had no hope and no expectation of deliverance, liberty, or prosperity in the natural sense. They lived under the iron fist of Rome, and Rome placed a heavy burden on those peoples and nations it occupied. Rome’s treatment of the Jews was certainly no less oppressive, and was likely more oppressive, than their occupation of other lands. This was the time in which God chose to send His Deliverer—His Christ or Messiah.

This account reveals God’s dealings with a faithful girl of probably 13 or 14 years of age, and young man of probably 19 or 20 years of age. They were poor and lived in Nazareth—a city of which it was said that nothing good came from it. The religious people of that day considered it a useless place with equally useless inhabitants. Even the godly Nathaniel, who became a disciple of Jesus Christ asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (NKJ John 1:46).

Yet Mary & Joseph were thrust into the limelight of human history from this stage—both their lives and history would be changed through these events.

The name Jesus literally means YHWH Is Salvation.

2016-12-10-his-name-is-salvation

Did the Church Replace Israel in the Plan of God?

Did the Church Replace Israel in the Plan of God?

As a precursor to reading this article, I suggest you read an earlier posting I wrote on Israel, called Israel, Back from the Dead. It would be a good primer on what is discussed in the article at hand.  Also, because of the length of this article, I am posting it as a PDF file to make it easy for people to print and read at their leisure.

The short, simple, and correct, answer is, “No.” However, short, simple answers rarely satisfy the one asking the question, and even more rarely does it make the question go away, but rather serves to intensify it. Yet before I get to the Bible I wish to address what is a clearly anti-Semitic attitude among much of the Church of Jesus Christ, founded, I believe, upon the writings and attitudes of Gentile leaders through the centuries. Here’s a sampling of some of what they said. It is estimated that 80-90% of churches in America believe in Replacement Theology, that the church has replaced Israel.

Below is the link for the entire article of which this is the introduction.

2016-03-05 Did the Church Replace Israel in the Plan of God

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings

The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings

The terms “Bible” and “Old Testament” are commonly used by non-Jews to describe Judaism’s Scriptures. However, Jewish people typically use the term “Tanach,” which is derived as an acronym from the Hebrew letters of its three components: Torah (Law), Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings). Hence the word TaNaKh.

So when we talk about the inspiration, authority, and historicity of the Bible, we need to be careful in saying that God inspired the 39 Books of the Old Testament. Why? Because in the original Hebrew and Aramaic languages the books of the Old testament, they are divided differently, and there are only 24 Books, rather than 39. On top of this, they are arranged differently. Are the Scriptures inspired? Yes! But it is the original languages that are inspired, whereas God has preserved His truth in the translations that have come down to us throughout history. The fact that the books have been divided and arranged differently in no way affects their authenticity, authority, or historicity. Yet skeptics like to make much of this matter, and Christians need to be aware of it and have an answer for it, according to 1 Peter 3:15.

Now maybe I’m just a freak magnet (I resemble that statement), but I get this question at least once every couple of months or so, and sometimes it comes in groups. I’m not getting it from scholars, as I really don’t hang out in scholarly circles too much anymore. I do occasionally engage in discussions with theological and scholarly friends, but it isn’t my crowd at this time. I get this question and others like it when I’m talking to regular people. People who work in a factory, those who just got our of prison, folks I meet when I’m out and about. I frequently find myself engaging in discussions about salvation in Jesus Christ, the authority and historical accuracy of the Bible, and the relevance of the Bible to the moral issues of the day.

Almost immediately people will challenge the authority of the Bible regarding the great moral, ethical, and spiritual issues of our day. They start attacking the Bible as an ancient book that has no meaning for us today, and they will attack the fact that the Bible in English has a different number of books than in Hebrew and the books have been rearranged. While that assertion is correct regarding the number and arrangement of the books, it is irrelevant. The content of the books is the same.

Although there are many issues relating to the moral authority of the Bible for today, here is a guide to help you when skeptics bring up the fact that the Hebrew Old Testament has a different number of books that are arranged differently. This seems to be a hot button issue for a lot of people today, and you need to have an answer for the skeptics.

Here is the order found in the Hebrew Scriptures. Although the order of the books is different and the books are divided differently, the content is the same as we have in our English Old Testaments.

Torah – The Law: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Nevi’im – The Prophets: Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel

The Twelve: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi,

The Holy Writings or Psalms: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, 1 &2 Chronicles

I hope this little guide to the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures helps you when you run into a skeptic who wants to make an issue of this particular matter.

Rest assured that if you haven’t already had this come up when talking to unbelievers, you will. And you will probably encounter this sooner, rather than later. I have been on Facebook for just over a year now, and I had two people unfriend me during my first six months or so on Facebook over this issue. One of them was a relative. If you don’t think this is an issue, then you’re not talking to any unbelievers, or maybe you’re just not a freak magnet like me.

It is surprising how much unbelievers study to deny the truth of the Scriptures, but their studies are in error. It’s our job to help them find the truth in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ—The Alpha & Omega

Jesus Christ—The Alpha & Omega

Today’s post is a break from some of the controversial posts I have made lately, exposing the unfruitful works of darkness and false shepherds.

While this post is not intended to be theologically exhaustive in scope, I do hope it will give the reader food for thought and some encouragement for the work of the Lord.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8, NKJV).

The Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In saying that He is the Alpha and Omega, Jesus Christ is showing us that He is the all-sufficient One to meet your needs. He is the A to the Z and everything in between. Whatever the struggle or the need, Jesus Christ is the answer.

What are the characteristics of the alphabet, whether it be Greek, Hebrew, English, or whatever?

First, the alphabet is inexhaustible.

There are still new ideas being communicated through use of the alphabet in every language. You cannot come to a place where everything that can be said has been said, and there is nothing else that can be said through the use of the alphabet and language. In fact, our human knowledge is growing at an exponential rate.

Jesus Christ is also inexhaustible—you can never exhaust all that He has to offer you. You can never exhaust all that He can & will do for you. No matter how exponential our understanding of Him and His Word may seem to be, there is more that we don’t know than what we do know. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction” (NKJV). Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (NKJV; cf. Psalm 111:10). If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of both knowledge and wisdom, then the must be to stand in His presence eternally.

Second, the alphabet is adaptable.

Those who write filth and deceitful things use the same alphabet that teachers and ministers use to communicate biblical truth. The same alphabet used to write about theology as is used to write science, math, history, and poetry. You can write about love or hate, joy or sorrow, good or evil, God or Satan, and so on. The atheist uses the same alphabet to deny God that the theologian uses to glorify God.

Likewise, Jesus Christ is adaptable and applicable to every life and every area of life in every generation in every culture. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (NKJV).

There is no life, or generation, or culture in which Jesus is irrelevant. It is the height of arrogance for Christians to think they can make the Gospel relevant—the Gospel is the ultimate relevancy. That is if what we’re giving is really the Gospel. Preach the Word of God in context, exegeting, or drawing out, its meaning, and you have an inherently relevant message for every living soul, in every place, in every situation, in every time.

Third, the alphabet is the key to understanding.

The first thing you learn when you learn a new language is the alphabet of that language. In English: A B C D E F G H I, etc.

The first thing you have to learn before you can understand the language of the Bible is who Jesus Christ really is. A lot of people have no clue about wisdom, knowledge, or understanding because they don’t the One who is the Key to Understanding. If you do not know Jesus Christ, you are reading someone else’s mail, and it won’t make any sense. Without Jesus Christ you don’t have the key to understanding life or the Bible. Regarding Jesus’ discussion with two believers while He walked with them to Emmaus, Luke 24:27 says, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (NKJV; Read Luke 24:13-35). Wow! Jesus said the Scriptures are about Him. It’s not about you, me or what we can do in our own human strength. It’s about Jesus Christ, Who He is, what He has done and is doing, and that He is returning again someday. Those great Old Testament stories we love to tell are typological records of how Jesus ministers to, and delivers, His people.

Fourth, the alphabet is the key to life.

Everyone is looking for meaning and purpose today, but it can only be found when you find the key to life—Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ, nothing in life or the world makes any sense. What is our purpose? Our purpose is to serve and please God. But we cannot find that purpose unless we are in Christ.

John 20:30-31 says, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 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” (NKJV). When we understand that Christ is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament word Messiah, we realize that John, by the Holy Spirit, is telling us that the signs written in the Gospel of John were written so that we might believe that Jesus is the Messiah. The Messiah of whom? Israel. It is not Israel that has been grafted in, but we Gentiles. Israel is the natural olive branches that have been cut off, but we Gentiles are the wild olive branches grafted into the natural olive tree. It is due to Israel’s rejection of their Messiah that they have been temporarily cutoff, and Gentiles have been given such a broad opportunity to be grafted into the natural olive tree to God’s glory (Romans 11:11-24). Yet too many Gentiles are rejecting God’s gift of salvation, as did the Jews—the natural branches.

Without Jesus Christ you don’t have the key to understanding life. In fact, one reason there are so many books designed to show Christians the meaning and purpose of life is because the Scriptures are not being taught to most of the Church, so most Christians don’t have a clue what their purpose is in life. If you want to know purpose and meaning, it is found in knowing Jesus Christ—intimately not superficially. Knowing Jesus begins with a knowledge of His Word, which is the only way one can even be saved (1 Peter 1:23; Read 1 Peter 1:13-25).

Fifth, the alphabet is the key to Scripture.

The first thing you have to learn before you can understand the Bible is Who Jesus Christ really is. Again, if you do not know Jesus Christ, you are reading someone else’s mail, and it won’t make any sense. Without Jesus Christ you don’t have the code that is the key to understanding the Bible. 1 Peter 1:22-23 says, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (NKJV). We cannot even be born again to know Jesus without His Word.

Studying the supposed secret codes of the Bible has been very popular in recent years, but a lot of the authors of this stuff ignore the plain meaning of the Bible for esoteric nonsense. Some of the authors are well-meaning brothers who have been caught up in a frivolous pop theology trend. Others are outright pagans who don’t even believe in God, but rather believe in extra-terrestrials. We should be a lot more concerned about understanding the plain meaning of the Bible, than with understanding some supposed secret Bible codes. When we get caught up in looking for secret codes, we usually miss the plain meaning of the text. The Bible is a Book about Jesus Christ. To paraphrase the late Mark Twain, who was not noted for being a religious man, “It isn’t the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that trouble me most; it’s the parts I do understand.” At any rate, these things serve as a distraction to what we should be doing—teaching, preaching, and living out the Word of God before an ungodly generation as witnesses to our neighbors.

Sixth, the alphabet is the key to history.

Why do we have BC and AD? BC means “before Christ”, and AD means “anno dominum” (year of our Lord). Modern liberal scholars like to use the terms BCE and CE. BCE means “before the common era”, and CE means “common era”. What’s missing is Jesus Christ. Most modern historians reject Jesus Christ and the Bible, and this is why their writings often make little sense. They don’t know the Key to History—Jesus Christ. In fact, the very word history testifies of God—His Story.

Even though many of them refuse to use the designations BC and AD, preferring instead to use the terms BCE and CE, they still can’t get away from the division of history. Again, BCE means “before the common era”, and CE means “common era”. But what divided the timeline? Actually, it wasn’t a what, but a Who. His name is Jesus Christ. Knowing Him is the only way the divided timeline makes sense.

Seventh, the Alpha & Omega (Jesus) is the A-Z.

He won’t drop you at M or N. No matter how many times you fall, He will keep picking you up, if you let Him. He isn’t going to give up on you. He isn’t going to accidentally lose His grip and let you drop. If you get dropped, it’s because you jumped out of His hand of protection. Yet He waits to receive you back.

He is all you need for every situation in life. He’s all you need in your time of prosperity and abundance. He’s all you need when things are going great in life. He’s all you need in your time of sickness or sorrow. He’s all you need at the time of death.

Jesus is all we need for everyday living. We will find Him in His Word—the Bible, and in the place of prayer.

I hope this encourages you today to rely on Jesus Christ as your Everything. Now, go forth and do His business till He comes back (Acts 1:8).

Biblical Theology or Experiential Theology?

Biblical Theology or Experiential Theology?

(Revised 11-10-2015)

This is going to be a very long post, but the things that must be said cannot be said quickly. So clean your eyeglasses, put some liquid tears in your eyes, get a large insulated mug of coffee, and get ready for the long haul.

Before I begin my discussion of “Experiential Theology” let me affirm that I believe in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit set forth in the Scriptures, especially in Acts and 1 Corinthians. I am thoroughly Pentecostal, but I believe we should avoid going beyond what the Bible says about these things, as this always puts us on shaky ground. Some of those calling themselves Charismatic or Pentecostal these days are just hyper-emotional spiritual thrill seekers. I will even say that some of them are outright charlatans or kooks. The Bible teaches balance and propriety. With that said, let me address the issue at hand.

Too many so-called Christians are now focused on their “experiences” with God as more authoritative than the Scriptures themselves. “Experiential Theology” is rapidly becoming the new norm in the church, and biblical theology is being downplayed or mocked outright. I hear frequent arguments from the Postmodern Emerging Church and Purpose Driven types that you can’t let the Bible determine your theology or your understanding of the world around you. They assert that you cannot read and study the Scriptures to learn truth. Instead, you must “experience” truth for it to be valid or relevant. (“Relevant”: If there is a more overused word in the English language, perhaps other than “gay”, and whose meaning has become more bastardized, I can’t think of it). However, the Apostle Peter refutes this nonsense. Even speaking of the Mount of Transfiguration “experience” he says,

Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:15-21).

Peter says the Scriptures are more certain than his experience on that mountain. Emotions, attitudes, health, environment and surroundings, and a host of other things can influence experiences. However, the Scriptures do not change because of those things. The Scriptures are unchanging, and God is unchanging. Yet modern “translations” (which aren’t even legitimate paraphrases) of the Bible like The Voice and The Message have taken liberties with the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts that even the New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t dare consider.

Those who insist on keeping the Scripture as our unchanging standard for everything are mocked as intellectual eggheads. It is stressed that you do not love, worship or serve God if you defer to the Scriptures as your infallible guide. However, the Bible says that we are to love the Lord with our whole being, including the mind (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). Call me old fashioned, but the written Word of God trumps the notions of those who place their mind over the Bible, rather than under it.

Even some ministers who have been accepted into mainstream Evangelical and Pentecostal circles have grossly aberrant theology, such as Oneness Pentecostal Tommy Tenney. He supports the idea that the Bible is where God has been, but He is somewhere else now. Ridiculous! In his book The God Chasers, Tenney says,

The difference between the truth of God and revelation is very simple. Truth is where God’s been. Revelation is where God is. Truth is God’s tracks. It’s His trail, His path, but it leads to what? It leads to Him. Perhaps the masses of people are happy to know where God’s been, but true God chasers are not content just to study God’s trail, His truths; they want to know Him. They want to know where He is and what He’s doing right now.”

TOMMY TENNEY, The God Chasers

So I would ask mister Tenney and others like him just how it is that we can truly know God apart from what He has revealed of Himself as recorded in the Holy Bible? Any knowledge we have of God must agree with what He has already revealed in the Scriptures. Let me be politically incorrect and say that Tenney and those who agree with him are heretics in the strictest and most literal sense.

There is now a whole group of people in the church, led by former Fuller Seminary professor and author C. Peter Wagner, who think they are 21st century apostles, and that we are seeing a new apostolic reformation. What we are really seeing is the wholesale desertion of the church from sound doctrine and the biblical faith once delivered to the saints, and a clinging to ungodly men with ungodly ideas posing as Christian leaders (Jude 3,4).

We are told that doctrine doesn’t matter, and we should just focus on Jesus Christ. But you cannot even mention the name of Jesus Christ without getting into doctrine. For example, which Jesus are you talking about? Is it the Jesus of the Mormon cult who is the half brother of Satan? Is it the Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who Michael the Archangel? Is it the Jesus of Islam who is the son of Mary and simply a prophet, but not God in the flesh? Is it the Jesus of Roman Catholicism who still hangs on the cross, who must be resacrificed continually, and is embodied in a wafer kept in a tabernacle called a Monstrance? Or is it the Jesus Christ of the Bible who is fully God and fully man—the eternal Son of God who at a point in time became a man to set us free from sin? You see, doctrine matters!

We have plenty of Scriptures that speak of the importance of sound doctrine, and we would do well to once again begin to heed them before the deception goes any further.

Proverbs 4:2 For I give you good doctrine: Do not forsake my law. NKJV

Jeremiah 10:8 But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine. NKJV

John 7:16 Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.

17 “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. NKJV

Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. NKJV

Romans 6:17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. NKJV

Romans 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. NKJV

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed [anathema=condemned, damned].

9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed [anathema=condemned, damned].

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. NKJV

Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ —

16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. NKJV

1 Timothy 1:3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia — remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. NKJV

1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,

9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. NKJV

1 Timothy 4:6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. NKJV

1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.

15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. NKJV

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. NKJV

1 Timothy 6:1 Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. NKJV

1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,

4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,

5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. NKJV

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. NKJV

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. NKJV

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,

9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. NKJV

Titus 2:1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:

2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;

3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things —

4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. NKJV

Titus 2:6 Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded,

7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,

8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. NKJV

2 John 9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.

10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;

11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. NKJV

Revelation 2:12 ” And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘ These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:

13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

14 “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.

15 “Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

16 ‘Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”

18 ” And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘ These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:

19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.

20 “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

21 “And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.

22 “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.

23 “I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.

25 “But hold fast what you have till I come.

26 “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations —

27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ — as I also have received from My Father;

28 “and I will give him the morning star.

29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ‘ NKJV

Looks like doctrine, sound teaching, and a proper understanding of what is The Gospel is important after all. I guess we must take the Word of God over the nonsensical notions of men.

It was “Experiential Theology” that destroyed the Quaker and Shaker movements. It has been destroying the extreme Charismatic movement for at least two decades. Now it is eroding the sure foundation of more conservative Pentecostal and Evangelical churches as well. This seems like a good time to repeat the question of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself: “I say to you, that He will execute the justice to them quickly; but the Son of Man having come, shall he find the faith upon the earth?” (Luke 18:8) YLT (Yes the definite article is in the Greek text when Jesus asks, “Shall he find the faith upon the earth?”). We hear a lot of talk about faith these days, but we must ask, “Is it the faith of the Bible?” (Jude 3)

The latest thing to really make a long-lasting sweep through the church under guise of a “devotional” is a book by Sarah Young, titled Jesus Calling, a book that has been on the market since 2004 and keeps gaining steam. Allow me to say that I know nothing personally about Sarah Young, other than she and her husband have been missionaries to Japan, and she seems like a nice lady. However, that doesn’t matter when talking of one’s theology. I can think of several seemingly nice men and women these days who are leading the church astray, going off into mysticism and all manner of extra-biblical and even anti-biblical revelations and teachings.

I used to ask if anyone knew someone who was reading, or had read, Jesus Calling or had a Jesus Calling Bible. Now I ask if someone doesn’t know anyone who is reading, or has read, Jesus Calling or has a Jesus Calling Bible. Rarely do I come across a professing Christian these days who has not either read Jesus Calling or owns more than one Jesus Calling product (Bibles, etc.). In fact, I overheard a young lady at my own church recently gushing about what a blessing Jesus Calling had been to her. I cringed, and it was all I could do to bite my tongue keep from blurting out the dangers of this occult-inspired book. However, realizing that since this young lady doesn’t know me, that would have probably done little good in that particular moment.

Due to the expressed concerns of some Christians, Sarah Young’s publisher, Thomas Nelson, has taken to making serious edits (make that re-writes) to the book. In fact, author Warren B. Smith calls it “whitewashing the red flags about Jesus Calling” and “damage control for a false Christ”. I will give a few examples by Warren Smith of that which I speak, but these edits cannot change the sources from which Sarah Young herself claimed she received the book.

So allow me to share some of these examples from an article titled, Changing “Jesus Calling”—Damage Control for a False Christ, by Warren B. Smith.

In his article, which can be accessed at http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/11/changing-jesus-calling-damage-control-false-christ/, Smith points out the following:

  1. Jesus Calling was inspired by a book called God Calling, which was written in the 1930’s by two ladies who claimed the book was dictated by Jesus Christ Himself. That book was, and is, a mainstay in New Age circles. That claim by Sarah Young has been removed from the new edition.
  2. Sarah Young originally wrote that she received messages directly from Jesus Himself. That claim has now been revised.
  3. Sarah Young’s Jesus contradicts the Jesus of the Bible. In fact, Young claims 250 of these devotionals are messages directly from Jesus Himself. Smith writes, “In two separate messages, Sarah Young was told by her “Jesus” that the last words he spoke after his resurrection and before ascending into heaven were “I am with you always.” But this statement made by the true Jesus Christ on the Mount of Galilee were not His last words before ascending into heaven. His last words were spoken from the Mount of Olives as recorded in Acts 1:7-9, 12. The two “messages” Sarah Young received from her “Jesus” contradict the words of the true Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible. What her “Jesus” said was totally unbiblical”.

[Smith shows] January 28th Original Statement
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS.
These were the last words I spoke before ascending into heaven. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen.18 (bold added)”

[Then Smith shows] January 28th Replacement Statement
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS.
  I spoke these words to My disciples after My resurrection. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen.19 (bold added)”

[Smith shows] October 15th Original Statement
TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection.
My final statement just before I went to heaven was: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception.20 (bold added)”

[Then Smith shows] October 15th Replacement Statement
TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection.
After My resurrection, I assured My followers: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception.21 (bold added)”

  1. Sarah Young’s Jesus claimed that Abraham was guilty of “idolatry” and “son-worship”. Smith writes, “Sarah Young’s ‘Jesus’ said that Abraham was a man of ‘undisciplined emotions’ and was guilty of ‘son-worship’ and ‘idolatry’”.

[Smith notes] August 23rd “Message” in the Original Edition
ENTRUST YOUR LOVED ONES TO ME; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one—as well as yourself.
Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac. I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship. Both Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the father’s undisciplined emotions. I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love.23 (bold added and signifies material that was deleted)”

[Then Smith notes re-write] August 23rd Replacement Message
ENTRUST YOUR LOVED ONES TO ME; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one—as well as yourself.
Joseph and his father, Jacob, suffered terribly because Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons and treated him with special favor. So Joseph’s brothers hated him and plotted against him. Ultimately, I used that situation for good, but both father and son had to endure years of suffering and separation from one another.

I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love, so beware of making a beloved child your idol.24 (bold added and signifies material that was added)”

  1. Sarah Young has Jesus complaining about the night of his birth. Smith states, “The ‘Jesus’ of Jesus Calling said he was born ‘under appalling conditions’ in a ‘filthy stable’ and that the night of his birth ‘was a dark night’ for him. To many readers, this did not sound like the voice of their Savior—it sounded like the voice of a stranger (John 10:5) and that Satan—not Jesus—would be the one describing the night of Jesus’ birth as ‘that dark night for Me’”.

Now I would add that the human reality is that the place of Jesus birth, being a stable, could be accurately described as a stink hole. However, we never hear Jesus complain of the conditions into which He was born. In fact, as we read Luke 2:1-20, it sounds like an absolutely glorious and joyful occasion. Furthermore, Mathew’s account tells us, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (1:23) That sounds pretty fantastic to me—God with us! Praise the Lord! Furthermore, the Bible tells us that Jesus came to earth and did all the things He did, including going to the cross, willingly (Matthew 10:45; John 10:17-18; 1 John 3:8).

[Smith shows] December 25th Sentence in the Original Edition  
Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions
—a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me, even though angels lit up the sky proclaiming “Glory!” to awe-struck shepherds.25 (bold added to highlight what was deleted)

[Then Smith shows] December 25th Replacement Sentence
Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions—a filthy stable.
There was nothing glorious about that setting, though angels lit up the sky proclaiming, “Glory!” to awe-struck shepherds.26 (bold added to highlight what was added)

So if anyone reading this post knows someone involved with the writings of false teachers, especially books like Jesus Calling, please give them a copy of this article, refer them to my blog Fighting the Wolves (https://fightingthewolves.wordpress.com/), or refer them to one of the following links on the dangers of Jesus Calling (http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/11/changing-jesus-calling-damage-control-false-christ/, http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/01/is-jesus-calling-in-your-library/, http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2011/10/jesus-calling-devotional-bible.html, http://steakandabible.com/2012/07/04/is-deception-calling-a-review-of-jesus-calling-by-sarah-young/, http://www.searchthescriptures.org/blog/jesus-calling-an-innovative-way-to-sense-god-or-a-dangerous-practice, http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/is-hit-book-jesus-calling-pushing-new-age/, http://www.cicministry.org/commentary/issue125.htm).

Of serious noteworthiness is a new article published by Tim Challies, published today November 11, 2015, and titled, 10 Serious Problems with Jesus Calling, which can be found at http://www.challies.com/articles/10-serious-problems-with-jesus-calling.

It’s time for us to get back to sound doctrine, exposing those evil workers who are teaching falsehoods. But I realize this puts me (or anyone else who dares to speak out) in danger of being called uncooperative, angry, rigid, and maybe even dangerous. Maybe I am, but I also think there are things no child of God, especially a minister, should agree to.

It’s way past time to return to the Bible as our ground of being and basis for Christian life and practice and our rule for theology—the study of God. We must also insist that all experiences people claim to have had with God must agree with, or at least not disagree with, the Bible.

Distractions to the Gospel

Distractions to the Gospel

Today Christians, and those professing to be “Christ-followers,” are forsaking the preaching of THE GOSPEL and the teaching of THE SCRIPTURES for things that make them “feel better about themselves.” I will readily agree that we need to be concerned about the many needs that affect people in our world and willing to do our part to help in those areas. However, we also face the very real danger of making too many of these things, even though they may be noble things, the main things, rather than secondary things we do in order to get THE GOSPEL to people. For example, if a person is hungry, you may have to feed them or even make long-term provision for feeding them in order to reach them with THE GOSPEL, but don’t feed them without giving them THE GOSPEL. If you do, then you’re just sending them to hell on a full stomach. The main thing is not that they are hungry. The main thing is their need for the Living Bread of THE GOSPEL, so they can be in eternal fellowship with the Living God Who created them. So let’s look at some of these distractions so pervasive in hindering our focus on and the spread of THE GOSPEL in the early part of the 21st Century.

ECUMENISM

People love to point out that Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17 that His people would be one (vv. 11; 21-23). This is true. But it is unity in the truth (John 17:17, 19). There can be no unity that is not found in the truth of Scripture.

Furthermore, the unity Jesus prayed for is a spiritual unity, rather an organizational unity, as is clear from the whole context of John 17, as well as from the specific word of Jesus’ prayer.

Not only can we not find unity with the systems of 7th Day Adventism, Mormonism, Roman Catholicism, or the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses), we most certainly cannot unite with the systems or the people of religions outside of any semblance of Christianity, such as Islam or Hinduism. Yet teachers like Rick Warren, Tony Campolo, Jim Wallace, and others are promoting the idea of Christians uniting with all sorts of groups, including homosexuals and Muslims, to promote religious unity and social change. These teachers should consider the words of 2 Corinthians 6:15, “And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?”

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM

Another distraction from THE GOSPEL is environmental activism. While we should try to be good stewards of our environment, many of the so-called “earth-care” or “creation-care” groups feature only a thin veneer of Christian (or pseudo-Christian) spirituality over their nature worshiping, pantheistic, or panentheistic worldview. They view the earth as our “mother,” which is a totally pagan idea, and not a biblical one. The earth is not our “mother” and time is not our “father.” See Links below for more information.

I like clean air and water as much as anyone else, and I want the same for my extended family, friends, and neighbors. However, I’m not nearly so concerned about a cow crapping in an Ozarks stream as I am about nuclear and other toxic waste being pumped into food and other products that we purchase from places like China. Yet all the activists seem unconcerned about the worst pollution and the worst polluters in the world. I hear nothing of the pollution in India, China, Cuba, Pakistan, and other Communist or Islamic countries. Instead, they seem intent on destroying the American economy, the American way of life, and America itself.

Furthermore, if these folks think mankind is messing up the earth, then they should take a look at what God Himself does to the earth and the heavens in judgment for mankind’s sin during the Great Tribulation Period (Revelation 6-19).

SOCIAL ACTIVISM

Social activism takes many forms, and I won’t try to cover all of them here. But I do want to address a few of the most prominent “social” concerns being circulated in the American church today.

Social Justice

Social justice is a term used, even by well-meaning Christians, that primarily deals with using the government to steal money and property from those who have earned it, to give it to those who didn’t earn it. Instead of these folks giving to others out of their pockets, they stick their hand in someone else’s pocket to give to others. To be more precise, they use government to put a gun to the head of those who have, in order to steal their money and give it to those who do not have. In its most virulent form, it is called Marxist-Communism, and in its more unobjectionable form, it is called Socialism or Fabian Socialism. It’s still stealing, and it’s still evil. So why are Christians buying into the lie that justice must come in the form of Socialism? Socialism is not just; it is unjust on its face. In fact, there is coming a time when the whole world will be under the control of a world government, and one will only be able to buy or sell by pledging total allegiance to that system (Revelation 13).

Pro-Life Movement

I’m all for doing what we can to stop abortion, but the reality is that we will not stop it at this point in time by laws. The country and the church are too far from God for that. But we can stop abortion one person at a time by leading people to repentant faith in Jesus Christ. When people really come to faith in Jesus Christ, they will stop practicing those things the Bible calls sexual sin, which is sex outside of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman. In fact, we can know that abortion and other forms of murder won’t stop because it is one of the things listed in Revelation 9:21 for which people in the Great Tribulation Period will not repent.

Stop Human Trafficking

Human trafficking too is a great evil, whether for purposes of sex slavery, or any other kind of slavery. However, I don’t usually hear the folks protesting human trafficking or slavery mentioning the African countries governed by Arab Muslims where this is prevalent and even legal. Even Saudi Arabia is a nation of slavery, although it’s behind the tent coverings of the royal family. Human trafficking too is a practice that will continue into the Great Tribulation Period (Revelation 18:13). What’s the best way to stop a person from being involved in this evil practice, either on the buying or the selling end of things? Give them THE GOSPEL of repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ!

War On Drugs

As a former drug and alcohol abuser myself, I am radically opposed to the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of all drugs and alcohol. In fact, I’ve been a teetotaler for almost 35 years, and I’m fine with that. But the use or abuse of drugs too is one of the sins mentioned in Revelation 9:21 as continuing into the Great Tribulation Period. It is usually translated as “sorceries,” “magic arts,” or sometimes even “witchcrafts.” The Greek word is pharmakeia, from which we get words like pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, and pharmacist. It refers to the practice of using potions or drugs to control someone, and in essence casting a spell on them. Biblically, the use of mind-altering drugs for that purpose is the practice of witchcraft, even without any of the other trappings of what we commonly think of as witchcraft.

Again, the best way to get a person away from this practice is to give them THE GOSPEL of repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ. When people truly commit themselves to Jesus Christ, they will leave the practice of sin behind. While they will still sin, it will not be the practice of one’s life, or the motivation for one’s living.

CONCLUSION

So what should concerned Christians do about these things? Should we stop being concerned for the poor, oppressed, oppressors, sick, and so forth? No! Absolutely not! Yet it isn’t that important how it makes us feel to do something good for someone else. It is about helping that soul in need and glorifying the True and Living God in the process.

We must remember that all the things we tend to focus on, such as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, murder, gossip, stealing, cheating, lying, abuse, disease, poverty, drunkenness, drugs, and so on, are not THE PROBLEM.

These are SYMPTOMS of THE PROBLEM.

THE PROBLEM is SIN, which can only be dealt with by THE GOSPEL of repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ.

If we focus on giving THE GOSPEL of repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ to others, then giving the cup of cold water or doing any other good work will accomplish the purpose of ministering to the physical needs at hand and glorifying God in the process.

 

11-05-08 The Earth Is Not Our Mother

11-06-19 Time Is Not Our Father

11-06-19 Time Is Not Our Father-powerpoint