Friday, September 30, 2005

Your First Line of Defense

Ever wonder why people end up in a cult?

Many times, it is because a cult appears to answer human needs that are not being met elsewhere. The attraction to a particular cult may be because that cult seems to offer practical solutions to problems like loneliness, spiritual emptiness and the desire to find a way to please God by serving Him faithfully.

There are five major characteristics of cults.

1. They reject the Trinity; that is, they disbelieve in Jesus Christ as God. Some cults may even say good things about Jesus (others don't), but they almost always attack or undermine the true biblical deity of Jesus Christ, either lowering Him to the level of man or raising man to His level.

2. Cultists usually believe that all Christian churches are wrong and that their group has the only real truth about God.

3. They claim to believe the Bible but they distort its teachings to suit their own peculiar view of mankind, God, the Holy Spirit, heaven and hell, salvation and many other doctrines. They usually find the source of these peculiar beliefs in their leaders, who claim to have new interpretations of the Bible or even valuable additions to it.

4. All cults deny that people can be saved by faith in Christ alone. They teach their members that they can make themselves right with God through good works and through obedience to the doctrines and requirements the cult has set down as "God's will" for their lives.

5. Cults are skillful at using Christian terminology, but they are not talking the same language as biblical Christians. Beware of the semantics barrier. Commonly understood words like "God," "Christ," "faith," "sin," "salvation," etc., mean entirely different things to a cultist and a Christian. The first task, then, when sharing your faith with someone who seems to have different ideas, is to define terms.

(List source: "So What's the Difference?" by Fritz Ridenour, Regal Books, 2001)

No matter how real it may seem for a while, what cults offer is counterfeit salvation. The fellowship in many cults is conditional-that is, you must stay in line. When a member of the cult attempts to express even the smallest deviation in doctrine, it can mean immediate rejection. The person may be shunned or expelled. People who are needy in their lives would rather keep in line with the cultic demands rather than suffer any hint of rejection or expulsion. So, even if they have that little voice in their heart telling them that something is wrong with a certain demand or doctrine being espoused by the leader, they will suppress it or ignore it in order to keep the 'love' that they think they are participating in.

Another clue that you might be in a cult is that being in one is hard work. Keeping pace with all the effort you are expected to expend can easily wear you out, if not physically, then mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Deep down inside, some members of a cult may have the gnawing doubt that works aren't cutting it. They find that they can't possibly do (or be) what the cult says God demands.

How does one recognize a cult? One clear clue is that most are involved in an all-out frontal assault that leave no doubt about their disagreement with Christianity. They could have many different approaches that range from a subtle, almost unnoticable rejection of Jesus Christ, to the blatant and unrepentant blasphemy spouted against Him. The subtle ones are hardest to recognize at first because they may look genuinely Christian. Some cults are odd, even bizarre; others are deadly to the spirit, mind and even the body.

Remember the cult group in 1978 where 913 followers of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple committed a mass suicide? The charismatic leader of Jonestown, was Jim Jones. In case you are not familiar with this incident, I have provided a brief history here.

The History of Jonestown
In 1978, 913 followers of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple committed a mass suicide in northern Guyana at a site called, Jonestown. The charismatic leader of Jonestown, was Jim Jones, a preacher who set up the Peoples Temple in San Francisco and ultimately moved his followers to a more clandestine site in Guyana. While Jones was preaching in San Francisco, he helped out many local and even national campaigns and was seen as a healer with much power in the community. However, once he had all of his members in Jonestown, his personality changed. Away from the constraints of American soil, Jonestown and its members became very cultish. Jones heightened regulations on his followers and their engagement to the sect. Eventually, Jones began to claim his 'true' divinity. "Jones, for example now claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus, as well as Ikhnaton, Buddha, Lenin, and Father Divine."(Galanter, 1989)

Paranoia and complete control became Jones' personality, once he obtained such a close knit group. Jones began to stage rehearsals of his eventual mass suicide plan that he would eventually enact. These drills, called "white nights" began with sirens going off in the middle of the night and none of the members of Jonestown would know if it was real or not. "A mass meeting would ensue... we would be told that the jungle was swarming with mercenaries... we were given a small glass of red liquid to drink. We were told that the liquid contained poison and that we would die within 45 minutes. We all did as we were told."(Galanter, 1989)

In 1978, U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan went to Jonestown to investigate supposed abuses by the People's Temple onto its members. After staying for a day, Ryan tried to leave, taking four of the cult members who had decided to defect. Realizing this, Jones ordered them killed, as was done. Sensing that his utopia in the jungle would surely come to an end after word got back to the states about Ryan; Jones decide to put his suicide plan into action. Telling his subjects that it was a "revolutionary death," he had a large quantity of fruit punch laced with cyanide prepared. After making all 276 children at Jonestown drink the punch, all the adults proceeded. In the end, after Jones apparently killed himself with a gunshot to the head, 914 people had died.

Two more recent examples of deadly cults are the Branch Davidians and Heaven's Gate. You can go to this site, click on the link for "Cults and Sects" and read about them, as well as several others.

Another great site is CARM at:

As you learn about these various groups, be aware that your first line of defense against their lure and attractiveness is to know God's Word and be able to "test all things" with biblical truth (see 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 22; 2 Timothy 2:4-16).

Only by knowing the real difference between what you believe and what certain cultists believe can you reach out to them with the all-fulfilling truth and power of the gospel.

Of course it is important to know the written Word, but also even more important to know the living Word. Trusting Jesus Christ alone for salvation is a good start; knowing Him as a friend and helper will spur you to do good works - not to earn or secure your salvation (a VERY important differentiation) but simply to live out what comes from within - a love for God and man because of what Christ has done for you.

King Solomon certainly showed a lot of wisdom when he said, "It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new" (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NLT).

In the case of today's known cults, even the new ones that are springing up at a more rapid pace than in previous generations, there is no heresy which they have not invented (or reinvented).

2 Timothy 2:14-19 (NLT)

An Approved Worker
14 Remind everyone of these things, and command them in God's name to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.

15 Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.

16 Avoid godless, foolish discussions that lead to more and more ungodliness.

17 This kind of talk spreads like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples of this.

18 They have left the path of truth, preaching the lie that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred; and they have undermined the faith of some.

19 But God's truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his,"* and "Those who claim they belong to the Lord must turn away from all wickedness."*

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Transformed by Faith In Jesus Christ

Pastor Miles' latest newsletter centers on transformation. In the book of Mark, we are going to study some of the miracles that Jesus performed and how the lives of these individuals were transformed by the faith they had in Jesus and the work that He performed.

The following is the newsletter sent by The Rock Church:

Transformation - Romans 12:2 transformed by the renewing of your mind...

In a world of extreme makeovers and reality shows, sometimes our perception of what it means to be transformed by God can get a little distorted. In our next series we iwll look at how people are transformed by faith. According to Webster's dictionary, transformed implies a major change in form, nature, and function - being nothing like it once was.

When we were born, we may have been small, screaming and sort of wrinkled-looking babies, but were still human. As we grew up we didn't become more human, but simply more aware of our humanity and our individualism. Instead of screaming we began to talk. Instead of being carried everywhere we began to decide for ourselves where we would go and what we wanted to do. Your behavior, even abilities, were transformed by the growing awareness of what it means to be human - a person. If for some reason you decided to reject that knowledge or forgot it, you'd go back to acting like a baby.

This same thing happened to you when you were born into the spiritual family of Christ., you were made into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). You have been transformed. You were once unholy, but now through the righteousness of Christ you are holy. You were once unworthy to be in the presence of God and now you can speak to Him face to face as a friend. You were once lost without hope and destined for eternal damnation, but God has redeemed you and called you His child.

Can you imagine one of the former blind men that Jesus healed reverting back to his blind ways because he didn't have the faith to believe in God's gift? Sometimes we do exactly that. We forget or lose faith in the work that God has done, go back to acting like that old person, and are actually living a lie.

In Mark we are going to study some of the miracles that Jesus performed and how the lives of these individuals were transformed by the faith they had in Jesus and the work that He performed. Going through this will help us renew our minds, or remember what God has already done for us. I ask that you begin praying about how He iwll choose to reveal to the world the amazing transformation He has done in you. Fix your minds and hearts on God, and His truth will never lead you wrong.

Written by Pastor Miles McPherson


Wow...that was powerful! I just love the illustration that when we were babies...we acted like babies. When we grew, we went through the transformation of becoming adults. The same is true of our spiritual re-birth. Before becoming a Christian, I was a 'spiritual baby' in that my life and relationship with the Lord was immature, at best, being ignored, at worst.

Have you ever noticed how children can completely block out your calls to them when they are busy doing something? A young child can be at play outside and ignore his mother's call to come in for dinner. An older child can be on the computer and so engrossed in a game that they may not even hear you calling them to dinner (been there, done that!).

I liken this to God calling us to repentance. There are some who hear the call, but decide to ignore it, thus blocking out His voice. There are some who don't even hear the call in the first place mostly because they are not even seeking after God! Then, there are those who hear the call, make the decision to repent, and are thus transformed by Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Salvation may happen in a moment in time, but sanctification is something that develops within us over the course of ones lifetime. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds to the mind of Christ. Once we are children of God, we desire to be more like Jesus and want to follow His Word in the Bible. We want what He wants for us in this life. We love what He loves in this life. We hate what He hates in this sinful world.

The transformation includes taking our own thoughts, works, desires and actions off of the "throne" of our lives and placing Jesus Christ there.

I am truly looking forward to this wonderful series and I will keep you updated on what we learn!

In Christ's service,

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Saved ONLY by Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior

Who is Lord of your life? Does it matter who we proclaim as the Lord and Savior of our own individual lives?

YES! Of course it matters!

My message board friend named Sothenes once shared a quote and some Scriptures with me on the important topic that we are SAVED BY JESUS CHRIST ALONE!

Here is the quote Sothenes shared:

("These verses clearly teach us that salvation is of the LORD-entirely of the Lord, totally of the Lord-completely apart from man."-Oliver B. Green)

Recently, this blog was visited by someone who at first "appeared" to be a disciple of Jesus Christ; but upon further examination (and obviously heretical posts of abomination and apostasy) it was found out that this person follows a different kind of 'lord.' Trouble is, his/her 'lord' is a false god. Jesus Christ is King of Kings and LORD of Lords. We are saved by and through Jesus Christ alone.

This shows how important it is to know Who is Lord of your own life! It is also important to know the Bible well enough so that each of us, as born-again Christians in Jesus Christ can recognize truth from error. God's Word is the source of all truth, without any mixture of error; and its history, prophets and prophecy point to the Promised Messiah of the Old Testament who was revealed as Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Any person who comes and claims that their 'lord' is the true one from God is mistaken, deceived and in error.

We are explicitly warned in Scripture about those who would attempt to deceive us.

Mat 24:24
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mar 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if [it were] possible, even the elect.

1Jo 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Notice that Mat 24:24 tells us that they shall attempt to deceive the very elect. Also notice the verse says, "if it were possible". What a great message, promise and blessing that verse is! It tells us that the elect will not be deceived, but the deceiver(s) will be found out by us. This is through the fact that we belong to Christ and NOTHING can snatch us away from His Holy and Righteous Hands! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!

I just love the entire message of Romans Chapter 8, especially the first two verses and the final three verses. This chapter clearly encapsulates the hope we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ:

Romans - Chapter 8 (KJV)

Rom 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Rom 8:10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.

Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

Rom 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope,

Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Rom 8:23 And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.

Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?

Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? [It is] God that justifieth.

Rom 8:34 Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Being of One Mind With God

When I first typed the title of this particular blog post, I almost wanted to change it because it could be misinterpreted as a "New Age" kind of statement. I decided to keep it because I want to explain what is meant by "being of one mind with God."

I have been convinced for a long time now that we are to wage war against wickedness. What we tolerate - little by little - becomes what is now accepted practice.

We see this all the time within the current trends toward moral depravity in the secular humanistic world of "diversity" and "tolerance."

Trouble is, it is the born-again evangelical Christian people who are left out of the equation. Tolerance ends whenever and wherever biblical morality, tenets and values are presented as a positive influence in our society.

Ever wonder why this is so?

Romans 7:25 gives us a hint:

Romans 7:25 (NKJV) - I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

When we find a corporation, that many may have previously respected, that chooses to so blatantly advertise on a program like the Howard Stern Show, or Desperate Housewives, Christians are drawn to urge them not to empower filth that undercuts biblical morality in our society and degrades the quality of life in America.

Is empowering filth to be considered "diversity"?

Is objecting to anything that undercuts biblical morality intolerant?

By the grace of God, opposing evil will continue to be a regular staple of our work as Christian believers. But, what is it that drives us you might ask?

What exactly is at the heart of this type of ministry?

Why is this an underlying burden that never goes away and, with God's help, never will?

It's the matter of holiness.

Just as we must not be ashamed of the Gospel we MUST NOT be ashamed to "pursue holiness without which no man shall see the Lord." And we need to promote it better than we do.

HOLINESS: Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, accordingly, as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God's judgment - hating what He hates, loving what He loves - and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word.

Yes. Scripture teaches that God loves us. However, He also loves holiness and righteousness.

Rom 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

2Cr 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

He who most entirely agrees with God, he is the most holy man. Doesn't this describe Jesus? As both God and Incarnate man, Jesus had the will to have a decided bent of mind toward God, a heart with the genuine desire to do His will.

As Christian followers of Christ, we are to imitate Christ as best we can while on this earth. Those who have humbled themselves, repented, and submitted their lives to Jesus Christ have a greater fear of displeasing Him than of displeasing the world, and a love to all His ways.

This describes being of one mind with God.

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10 NKJV)

Romans 15:6 (NKJV)- that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This describes a total commitment to God through Jesus Christ.

The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong to those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

How can Christians know the mind of God? We cannot, of course, know it completely. But the Lord has given us, thorugh His Word and the Person of Jesus Christ, what we need to know while here on this earth in order to follow and have, the 'mind of Christ':

How could they? For, "Who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who can give him counsel?" But we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16 NLT)

Footnote: Isa 40:13.

Colossians is one of my favorite scriptures on this subject. It reiterates our dependence on Christ, vs. the human tendency to rely on the 'principles of this world' which can deceive us and lead us into hollow lives apart from God.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

We can immediately see why the Christian faith is not tolerated by non-believers.

The Christian worldview rests on a foundation of absolute truth which is revealed throughout Scripture (Psalms 25:5; 43:3; 119:30; John 1:17; 14:17; 2 Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 4:15; 1 John 3:19).

Therefore, morality (based on holiness and righteousness) is defined by God and immutable because it is inherently based on God’s immutable character. Humanists believe that morality is ultimately relative because every person is the final authority for his own views. Such a view is not logically satisfying. God stands against the moral relativist whose behavior is based on “whatever is right in his own eyes” (Deuteronomy 12:8; Judges 17:6; 21:25; Proverbs 21:2).

Moral relativists want all religions (except Biblical Christianity) to have credibility. The real question is can all religions ultimately teach the same truth?


There are many differences in doctrine in each religion that make this view impossible. Jesus taught that there is one and only one personal God who is triune in nature (Mark 12:29; John 4:24; 5:18,19).

Jesus was exclusive in His truth claims and warned: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name claiming, ‘I am the Christ,' and will deceive many” (Matt. 24:4,5,23).

Do you see how exclusive Jesus' claim is? Do you see why relativists would be intolerant towards such a view?

All must answer Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?" Luke 9:20

13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, "You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true."

14 Jesus answered and said to them, "Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I came from and where I am going.

15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.

16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.

17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.

18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."

19 Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?"
Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also."

20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

21 Then Jesus said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come."

22 So the Jews said, "Will He kill Himself, because He says, 'Where I go you cannot come'?"

23 And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

25 Then they said to Him, "Who are You?"
And Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.

26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him."

27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

28 Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.

29 And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him."

30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.
(John 8:13-30 NIV)

Christians understand sin, which originates in the heart of man, to be mankind's core problem (Psalm 14:1), something that humanism does not have the capacity to solve. But Jesus has "overcome the world" ( John 16:33).

God takes sin very seriously and provided man's way out from its consequences through the sacrifice of His Son. The cross of Christ shows that God the Father can take the worst thing that ever happened and turn it into good; the salvation of mankind.

Without repentance of sin (John 8:34,35) and belief in Jesus (John 8:42), man dies in his sins (John 8:24) and is without hope. That's the truth (John 11:25,26).

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wisdom vs. Folly

Over a period of several months, I once attempted to witness to a troubled teenaged boy through sharing the gospel of Christ. Our conversations often turned volatile and confrontational. One day, I was kind of surprised when he emailed me with an interesting question.

Before I get to that question, I will share some background information. He had previously claimed that a secular band that he likes often wrote lyrics that were about the Lord. It seems that a friend of his pointed out that some of the lyrics from a song written by this popular local band named "Thrice" appeared to be similar in meaning to Proverbs 9:14-17. He wanted me to compare the lyrics to the Proverb. He also asked me what I thought the lyrics meant.

With so many offensive lyrics in songs out there in the secular music world, I was glad that these lyrics might be seen as having a positive , redeeming value and impact on our youth.

This challenge intrigued me so I got busy reading and studying Proverbs chapter 9 and then shared what I learned from the Scriptures.

Proverbs 9:14-17 "she sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way. Let all who are simple come in here.....she says to those who lack judgment; stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious"

I was asked to read these lyrics from Thrice and tell him if there was any comparison.

"and she calls from the doorway "stolen water is so sweet,
so lets drink in the darkness if you know what i mean"
and she calls from the doorway "stolen water is so sweet,
so lets drink in the darkness if you know what i mean"

and I'm almost sure
that I've been here before,
that this is not the first time I've stood in front of this door,
with an overwhelming feeling that i shouldn't go in,
but it seems this is a battle that i never could win.

(Lyrics from Thrice - Deadbolt)

Before discussing the comparison, I would like to share what this portion of Scripture is about. Basically, the entire chapter of Proverbs 9 contains invitations of wisdom and folly (foolishness).

Wisdom and Folly are portrayed as rival young women, each preparing a feast and inviting people to it. But Wisdom is a responsible woman of character, while Folly is a prostitute serving stolen food. Wisdom appeals first to the mind; Folly to the senses. It is easier to excite the senses, but the pleasures of Folly are temporary. By contrast, the satisfaction that wisdom brings lasts forever.

I think that the verse just before Proverbs 9:14 are important in determining the meaning and context. It says, " 13 The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge."

Next, the verse just after Proverbs 9:18 gives better context also. It says, "19 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave."

After comparing the two, I think these lyrics capture the warning of accepting the invitation from "Folly."

...and you!
my true love!
you call from the hilltop.
you call through the streets,
"Darling don't you know,the water is poison."

I would equate this portion of the lyrics with Proverbs 8. Here, Wisdom's call is contrasted to the call of the adulteress in chapter 7. Wisdom is portrayed as a woman who guides us (8:1-13) and makes us succeed (8:14-21).

God approves of those who listen to wisdom's counsel (8:32-35). Those who hate wisdom love death (8:36). Wisdom should affect every aspect of our entire life, from beginning to end.

I think that these lyrics might be encouraging us to open all corners of our lives to God's direction and guidance...through Wisdom. The last portion (Darling etc.) appears to be a warning to avoid 'poison' water (sin?) that leads to death. Just my opinion though.

...and i say!"come on and give me my poison."

Sounds like we could perceive the person giving in to temptation.

In contrast, it could possibly be interpreted in a different way. It could be seen as Wisdom asking Folly to turn from sin and give Him (God) the 'poison' of that sin so that Folly can turn to Wisdom and live.

The teen was wondering if I could tell him what message the song is trying to send or if this is just a concidence.

I told him that I will share the message it sends to me, but I also surmised that he probably would not agree with my evaluation.

There is something hypnotic and intoxicating about wickedness. One sin leads us to want more; sinful behavior seems more exciting than the Christian life. That is why many people put aside all thought of Wisdom's sumptuous banquet (Proverbs 9:1-5) in order to eat the stolen food of Folly.

Proverbs is telling us not to be deceived - sin is dangerous. Before reaching for forbidden fruit (so to speak), one needs to take a long look at what happens to those who eat it.

I then shared the purpose of Proverbs and also a chart that I had found in my Bible.

The purpose of the book of Proverbs is to teach people how to attain wisdom and discipline and a prudent life, and how to do what is right and just and fair - in short, to apply divine wisdom to daily life and to provide moral instruction.

Proverbs often compares the lifestyles of the wicked and the righteous, and makes a strong case for living by God's pattern. The advantages of righteous living and the disadvantages of wicked living are pointed out. The kind of person we decide to be will affect every area of our lives.

Here's the chart



Righteous -

Concerned about the welfare of God's creation
Understand justice

Wicked -
Even their kindness is cruel
Don't understand justice

References: Proverbs 10:24; 12:10; 28:5



Righteous -

Covered with blessings
Give thought to their ways
Persevere against evil

Wicked -

Covered with violence
Bent on evil
Put up a bold front
Brought down by calamity
Hate those with integrity

References: Proverbs 10:6; 16:30; 21:29; 24:15,16; 29:10



Righteous -

Are appreciated
Conduct is upright
Are not to desire the company of godless people
Others are glad when they triumph
Care for the poor
Detest the dishonest

Wicked -

Do not endure
Lead others into sin
Conduct is devious
Plot violence
Others hide when they rise to power
Unconcerned about the poor
Detest the upright

References: Proverbs 13:15; 16:29; 21:8; 24:1,2; 28:12; 29:7; 29:27



Righteous -

Stand firm
Delivered by righteousness
No real harm befalls them
Income results in treasure
Avoid evil
Are bold as lions
Will be safe

Wicked -

Constant trouble befalls them
Income results in trouble
Fall into constant trouble
Are fearful constantly
Will suddenly fall

References: Proverbs 10:25; 11:6; 12:21; 15:6; 16:17; 17:20; 28:1; 28:18


Righteous -

Walk securely
Rewarded with prosperity

Wicked -

Will be found out
Pursued by misfortune



Righteous -

God protects them

Wicked -

God destroys them
Will be punished for rebellion

References: Proverbs 10:29; 17:11


Righteous -

Never uprooted
Earn a sure reward
End only in good
Will stand firm
Have a refuge when they die

Wicked -

Earn deceptive wages
Go to death
End only in wrath
Will be overthrown
Will be brought down by calamity

References: Proverbs 10:30; 11:18; 11:19; 11:23; 12:7; 14:32


Righteous -

Delights in the good
Evil people will bow to them

Wicked -

Detests the perverse
They will bow to the righteous

References: Proverbs 11:20; 14:19


Remember. When you read the chart it is pointing out the advantages of being righteous and the disadvantages of being wicked. Since we all sin, every one of us will probably be subjected to some of the problems associated with wickedness. In the Biblical Christian viewpoint, it is only those 'covered' by the righteousness of Jesus Christ who will not suffer the eternal consequences of dying in wickedness (sin). We may (and often do) experience the physical consequences of the sins committed, but God's promises through our Savior, Jesus Christ, guarantees that believers will not suffer the eternal consequences of sin.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Be Ye Therefore Perfect

I love to discuss the following verse:

Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Jesus spoke these words and they were recorded at the end of Matthew 5. The beginning of chapter 5 includes the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus taught the Beatitudes; taught how we are to be 'salt and light' to the world; taught about the Law; taught about anger; taught about adultery; and about divorce, vows, revenge and love for enemies.

This last verse has always fascinated me. Do you think Jesus was telling us that we can ever be perfect in this world? Do you think that perhaps he was driving the point home that we can never be perfect (compared to the holiness and righteousness of the Father in heaven) but that it is certainly something to strive for?

I think that the second answer is correct and this post will tell you why. First, I'd like to post Ephesians 5 in two Bible versions. The NLT is easier to follow for those who may not be familiar with the Bible. Second, I will write comments on this very important chapter in Ephesians.

Ephesians 5 (KJV)

Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Eph 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
Eph 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Eph 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].
Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.

Ephesians 5 (NLT)

Living in the Light

Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are his dear children.

2 Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to him.

3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God's people.

4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes-these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world.

6 Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the terrible anger of God comes upon all those who disobey him.

7 Don't participate in the things these people do.

8 For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it!

9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them.

12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.

13 But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are.

14 And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said,
"Awake, O sleeper,rise up from the dead,and Christ will give you light."
Living by the Spirit's Power

15 So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise.

16 Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.

17 Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.

18 Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.

19 Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts.

20 And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands

21 And further, you will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 You wives will submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord.

23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior.

24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything.

25 And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her

26 to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word.*

27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.

28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife.

29 No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church.

30 And we are his body.

31 As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."*

32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.

33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Footnotes: 5:26 Greek having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word. 5:31 Gen 2:24.
Pay close attention to this verse:
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (KJV)

Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (NLT)

Notice that it is exactly the same in both translations. As Christians, we are in the redeeming business. Knowing that "the days are evil" helps us realize that without Christ, people will be left behind within those 'days of evil' and if left to their own path(s), will not experience Christ nor inherit the Kingdom of God.

We are told what sinful activities to avoid and are told NOT to be partakers with them.

What are we to do when confronted with those who are involved in works of darkness?

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].

We are to reprove them. What does this mean?

11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them.

Friends, it is biblical to expose and rebuke wrongful deeds of the flesh. The current "happiness gospel" that is being shared in many churches today misses this very important point of gospel sharing. A person must have their conscience 'seared' because of their sin through exposure to God's perfect Law. It is only THEN that they will be convicted of their sin within their own conscious through the power of the Holy Spirit.

When God's holiness and righteousness is shown through the Law and the sinful lusts of the flesh inherent in each person is revealed, he/she cannot help but be convicted of his/her own sin.

This is when the forgiveness, grace, mercy and salvation of the Cross of Christ can be applied upon the person's soul. Without the conviction of breaking God's Law through personal sins, a person will see no need to confess any sin. They have the attitude, "What sin?" We can see how crucial the Law is in the presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Look at how we are warned not to dismiss the Law:

Mal 2:8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

This verse tells us why we can't keep the Law:

Mal 2:9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

This verse tells us that those who don't KNOW the Law are cursed!

Jhn 7:49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

That means that ALL OF US ARE ALREADY CURSED, until we face the fact of the Law and how we are helpless to keep it!

Therefore, our only hope is the Savior, Jesus Christ:

Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Jhn 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Now look at this verse:

Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Here's the RSV version:

Rom 5:13 sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

Without the Law of God, sin cannot be recognized as transgression against Holy God! This is why pagan people don't think (and usually don't care) that what they do is sin. Their conscience has been "given over" to lusts of the flesh and idolatry (worshiping things/false pagan gods) so that they will not hear the Law convicting them of their sin.

Romans 1:28 (NASB) And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

But look at WHY they are without excuse:

Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

I enlarged and colored verse 21 for emphasis. It says that even the pagan "knows God" but their futile speculations caused them NOT TO HONOR HIM AS GOD OR GIVE THANKS and thus their foolish hearts were DARKENED.

Look at the devastating effects of the darkened heart:

Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

Rom 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

Rom 1:27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

Rom 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; {they are} gossips,

Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

Rom 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Does that verse totally describe what is happening in this day and age on a large scale or what?

I recently read about a "pagan pride parade" being celebrated in San Diego. The 'hearty approval' is so evident in parades such as this and the barrage of gay pride parades that occur endlessly with pagan parents encouraging their children to march or cheer them on. Celebrations, such as these, demonstrate their disobedience and sin in direct defiance against God is evidence of exactly what these verses in Romans refer to happening; especially in the last days.

God has given each of us free will to decide which path we will take in this life. The road to destruction is wide and the gate to eternal life is narrow.

It is corruption and deception that has taken them away. The grip is very strong is many cases. I have seen this as very evident on several pagan blogs that I have visited. It is the people who disparage, mock, ridicule and debase evangelical, born-again Christians in particular, as well as criticize and attempt to debunk the faith of Christianity in general, who are caught in this web of deception that has caused their hearts to be so darkened.

The condition of the unrepentant heart of men is subject to the wrath of God. It is THOSE who are involved in the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

Rom 1:17 For in it {the} righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS {man} SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

The question might be asked, why do unsaved people mostly hate born-again evangelical Christians? Why do they not go after the Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.? The answer is within this next verse:

Rom 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

They battle against the one true faith BECAUSE God has made it evident to them. When the heart is under the spell of satan, it rejects the truth found in God's Word. All other 'religions' don't affect them nor anger them in the same way. They don't have any interest in "suppressing false religions" in their unrighteousness.

What is the cure for a darkened heart? It is only the LIGHT of the Lord that can rescue them. This takes humbleness of spirit and recognition of the depravity of sin in man. It is not an easy thing to do. Many people struggle with it. They think, "what do I have to give up in order to come to salvation through true faith in Jesus Christ?"

The answer is EVERYTHING. Complete surrender to Him.

This is anathema to the pagan heart. It is only by the quickening of the unsaved person's spirit through the Holy Spirit knocking at the door of their hearts that they will take that first all important step of faith. They have their entire lives to make the decision for Jesus Christ, but who knows when their life will be over on this earth? Is tomorrow guaranteed?

If you are reading this and are not a born-again Christians, please go to this page to find out what you need to do.

I pray that TODAY will be your day of salvation!

In Christ,


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Freedom From Enslavement

We all have heard the phrase, "pride comes before a fall." When we look up the term "pride" in the dictionary, there are several positive meanings given to the word. There is also the opposite negative meaning. This negative type of pride often leads to disobedience against God. Disobedience means lack of obedience or refusal to comply; disregard or transgression. It is sin. When pride takes the place of Someone higher than us, we see this meaning:

3. a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority; conceit; arrogance.

At the end of the definitions, we find synonyms which provide an even further explanation of the negative application of pride:

Pride, Conceit, Egotism, Vanity imply a favorable view of one's own appearance, advantages, achievements, etc., and often apply to offensive characteristics.

Pride is a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect: Pride must have a fall.

Conceit implies an exaggerated estimate of one's own abilities or attainments, together with pride: blinded by conceit.

Egotism implies an excessive preoccupation with oneself or with one's own concerns, usually but not always accompanied by pride or conceit: Her egotism blinded her to others' difficulties.

Vanity implies self-admiration and an excessive desire to be admired by others: His vanity was easily flattered.

Solomon talked a lot about vanity in Ecclesiastes. He lamented how everything he tried, tested, or tasted was "meaningless" - useless, irrational, pointless, foolish, and empty - an exercise in futility. And remember, these words are from one who "had it all" - tremendous intellect, power, and wealth.

The tone of Ecclesiastes is negative and pessimistic, but it is filled with practical wisdom (how to accomplish things in the world and stay out of trouble) and spiritual wisdom (how to find and know eternal values). Solomon's approach to life was honest. All of his remarks relating to the futility of life are there for a purpose - to lead people to seek true happiness in God alone. He was not trying to destroy all hope, but to direct our hopes to the only One who can truly fulfill them. Solomon affirms the value of knowledge, relationships, work, and pleasure, but only in their proper place. All of these temporal things in life must be seen in light of the eternal.

The purpose of the book of Ecclesiastes is to spare future generations the bitterness of learning through their own experience that life is meaningless apart from God.

Isn't it interesting to note that Solomon was looking back on his life, much of which was lived apart from God? Who better to learn from?

This shows us that pride of self leads to disobedience and sin. In order to be freed from such enslavement of sin, we need to confess our sins, specifically, wholeheartedly, completely and humbly before Almighty God.

Ecc 12:13
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.
Ecc 12:14
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.

The following is Charles Stanley's "In Touch" devotional for today, September 15, 2005.

Freedom From Enslavement

Sin cannot dominate a believer who throws himself upon the Lord's mercy. The Father is faithful to restore a broken relationship between Himself and His beloved child by crashing through prison walls built by disobedience.

For our part, we must confess the specific bondage that holds us, since denial blocks the healing and freedom that God offers. Whatever the nature of our sin, the problem is ultimately spiritual, not simply a weakness or social ill. Treatment meant to ease our emotional, mental, or physical discomfort will not prove fully effective until we acknowledge the spiritual aspect of our difficulty.

Though sin is uniquely spiritual in nature, the reasons behind wrong behavior are often emotional. Emotions trapped deep within the believer—like insecurity, inadequacy, or lack of self-worth—begin to work their way to the surface, causing the individual to search out ways to satisfy or escape the feelings. For instance, at one time in my own ministry experience, I allowed myself to be overextended. Out of a sense of inadequacy, I was driving myself to succeed in "God's work," which turned out to be the responsibilities He gave me plus anything else I thought needed doing for Him. I discovered that freedom from bondage is a choice.

As Paul explains, Jesus' followers must lay aside their sin. For me, that meant putting away my misguided drive to succeed and taking a long rest. Through the Holy Spirit, we voluntarily surrender our chains in order to gain freedom in Christ.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

He Knows My Name

This morning I awoke and started thinking of the words to the song, "He Knows My Name." This led to my humming the melody.

When I was thinking about what to post here on this blog this morning, I thought of all of the prayer requests I have heard over the past few days. The range of the prayer requests included prayers for healing from illness, overcoming depression, prayer for a ministry outreach, traveling safety, protection from danger in the military, relief for stress, the Katrina disaster, the Gaza pullout situation, the confirmation of our new Supreme Court nominee, job situations, family situations and the list could go on and on.

As I thought about all of these prayer needs and was humming that song, I thought about a sermon I had heard by a guest pastor named Bill Sy. The sermon was on the fact and privilege that Jesus knows my (yours/our) name(s) and what a comfort that is to know.

After locating the sermon, re-reading the notes and being blessed by it, I decided to share that sermon right here on my blog. I pray that it speaks to your heart and blesses you, today, too.



He Knows My Name

Guest Speaker: Bill Sy
April 18, 2004

"The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." John 10:31.

1. He Knows My Name When I'm Sad

"'Woman,' He said, 'why are you crying? who is it you are looking for?' Thinking He was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.' Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni' (which means teacher)" John 20:15,16

Jesus loves us even in our hard times, even in our sadness.

Notice that Jesus asks Mary why she is crying. Did he not know? Of course he did. He asked her as a way of showing compassion for her in her sadness.

Are you sad today? He is with you. And, Jesus can speak to us through other people. Is he calling you in the midst of your sadness?

2. He Knows My Name When I'm Lost

"He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?...Who are you, Lord?' Saul asked. 'I am Jesus who you are persecuting.' he replied." Acts 9:4-5

People who are lost seldom know that they are lost. We sing "Amazing Grace" AFTER we are found. Do you know of anyone who sings it before? Jesus comes looking for you...even when you are not looking for Him.

Even as Christians we can be lost...backsliding away from the Lord. He wants to bring you back. When you are lost, be careful who you talk to. Jesus will come looking for you and get you on the right path. Sometimes he uses other people to bring you back and can speak to us through other people.

3. He Knows My Name When I'm Old

"When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless...No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations." Genesis 17:1-5

This tells us that you are never too old for God to call your name and say, "I've got something for you to do." Abraham was 99 years old! You're never too old for God to use you. Noah, Anna, Simeon were old. God can still use you for His purposes.

4. He Knows My Name When I'm Young

"The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Ah, Sovereign Lord, I said, ' I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.' But the Lord said to me, 'Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you.' declares the Lord." Jeremiah 1:4-8

What is the right age? God can use you for His purposes at any age. Samuel, David, and Ruth were young, yet God used them mightily.

5. He Knows My Name When I'm Afraid

"But now, this is what the Lord says, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. '" Isaiah 43:1

Fear is simply thinking you are all alone. What if something happens in my life and I don't know who I am? No matter how many times you fail Him - he can still reach out to you and call your name. He will never give up on us! Pour out new courage! You, Lord, still know my name!

6. He Knows My Name When I'm Tempted

"But Jesus asked him, 'Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?'" Luke 22:48

This was the last time Jesus called Judas by his name. It was his last chance for redemption. Jesus won't force himself on us - but will call our name. If Judas had held on 3 more days! Don't push Jesus away...grab ahold - he'll pull you through!

7. He Knows My Name When I'm Excited

"The seventy-two returned with joy and said, 'Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.' He replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.'" Luke 10:17-20

We usually get excited when we do something for God. What happens, though, when that excitement wears down? Instead, be excited for what God did for you! It's about what Jesus has done!

8. He Knows My Name When I'm Disappointed

"He asked them, 'What are you discussing together as you walk along?' They stood still; their faces downcast...but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.'" Luke 24:17,21

The disciples were discouraged. Jesus knew what they were discussing, but he invites us to share our disappointments. When your expectation of God doesn't match up with God's plan, do you get disappointed? Of course you do. The Jews wanted their Messiah to be a conqueror, not a suffering servant. God's thoughts are not our thoughts. What to do when disappointed? The Lord instructs us to get back into His Word and keep our eyes on Jesus.

9. He Knows My Name When I'm Waiting

"When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, 'Moses! Moses!; And Moses said, "Here I am'... 'So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.'" Exodus 3:4, 10

Read Acts 7:23, 25, and 30. Moses was 40 years old. He knew his Jewish identity (unlike portrayed in the Ten Commandments movie). In verse 25 we learn that he thought the people would realize that it would be him. It would be 40 years from when he thought this to the time when God used him for this purpose.

10. He Knows My Name When I'm Bad

"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?' 'Yes, Lord, ' he said, 'you know that I love you.' Jesus said, 'Feed my lambs.'" John 21:15

We all know that Peter denied Jesus 3 times when Jesus was taken away to be crucified. Even though Peter stated that he never would deny Jesus (at the Last Supper), he did just that. Jesus is aware of our weakness...and even when we're bad he calls our name.

We can't do it in our own strength. Asking for help from the Holy Spirit should be our constant prayer. Staying in His Holy Word and keeping our eyes on Jesus and ears open to the direction of the Holy Spirit should be our focus. Everything that happens...God will use. Even the bad in our lives. Let it be enough that I hear you calling my name, Lord Jesus!



Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Some Thoughts About Faith

Some Thoughts About Faith

There are a lot of Bible verses that describe the term "faith."

If I were to choose a favorite, I would pick the following:

Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the assurance of {things} hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

I also like the New Living Translation of the same verse:

Hebrews 11:1 - What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

The entire chapter of Hebrews 11 describes what it means to live by faith. It reveals situations in the lives of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and others who not only acknowledged God, but had personal, dynamic relationships with Him that transformed their lives; thus showing evidence of their faith.

God does the same transformation for believers in Jesus Christ today.

Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV)

Compare that verse with these following verses.

Jesus speaking:
Luke 9:20 - And He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God."
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

And this verse:
1 Peter 1:21 - Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory, your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust

One thing that I find in common with most born-again (Evangelical) Christians is that as a result of seeking God, they find that they are rewarded with his intimate presence in their lives. How do I know of His presence in my life?

1. Answered prayer is a huge example of evidence.

2. Guidance through His Word, the Bible is just as relevant today as it was when it was first written.

3. Fulfilled prophecy and evidence of the Resurrection make Christianity a reasonable faith, for me.

4. Believers lives are transformed by the power of Christ's Holy Spirit indwelling them and they spiritually 'feel' and 'know' His presence.

This is not meant as an "I've got it and you don't" attitude or feeling. It is just one of the "rewards" for faith as described in the Hebrews 11:6 verse. It is not something to keep to oneself. It is something that we fervently want to share with everyone and anyone who will listen.

I realize that some will not accept what I share, but I am called by Christ to share it anyway. The Holy Spirit is responsible for the rest. The potential recipient can choose to either accept or reject the offer.

He/she has his/her entire life to make that decision; however, one never knows when one's life will end and the chances to repent and be reconciled back to God will end.

Jeremiah 24:7 - Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.
New King James Version © 1982 Thomas Nelson

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Man Who Predicted 9/11

Last night, I watched a series of documentaries about the 9/11 terrorist attack of 2001.

What was new to me (personally) was the story about a man who predicted that 9/11 would one day happen and how he continually warned about it and insisted on emergency evacuation improvements at the World Trade Center towers.

The documentary showed that this man was probably the biggest civilian hero because of the emergency evacuation plan he had in place for the employees of the company (Morgan Stanley) he worked for. Rick Rescorla did not have an exact date within his prediction, but after the 1993 Twin Towers bombing, he knew it was just a matter of time when Muslim extremists would attempt to completely destroy the buildings this time, with the goal of taking thousands of innocent lives. Crashing planes into the towers was a scenario that Rescorla worried about for 6 years!

Rick Rescorla saved hundreds of his fellow employees as well as thousands of others that day. Tragically, he did not make it out of the second tower (which collapsed first due to the lower impact and destruction where the second plane hit) because he wanted to make sure that everyone got out.

A true American hero who gave his life to save others.



THE MAN WHO PREDICTED 9/11 (WORLD PREMIERE Sunday, September 11 at 8pm ET/PT)

In 2001, Rick Rescorla was the 62-year-old head of security at the Morgan Stanley Bank situated high up in the South Tower at the World Trade Center. For 6 years Rescorla was convinced that terrorists would use jet planes to try and destroy the World Trade Center. Long before September 11th, he developed an evacuation plan for the bank, unpopular amongst some city whiz kids who worked there who thought he was mad. His evacuation plan however ultimately saved 2,700 lives.

Rescorla's evacuation plan was put into effect after the first jet hit the North Tower. When the second jet hit the South Tower, he averted panic and organized a rapid evacuation of Morgan Stanley staff. Rescorla sang Cornish folk songs to calm nerves while thousands trooped down the stair wells. Rescorla went back inside to help those injured and trapped get out. He was still inside when the building collapsed. His body was never found.

THE MAN WHO PREDICTED 9/11 tells Rescorla's extraordinary story from his English childhood, to his heroics in Vietnam to his work as a/the security officer at the World Trade Center where he became convinced that an attack was imminent. It follows the dramatic timeline of what happened to Rick between 8:45 a.m. when the first plane hit Tower 1 and 9:58 a.m. when Tower 2 -- and 500,000 tons of steel and concrete -- collapsed on top of him. It features interviews with his biographer, Pulitzer Prize winning author James Stewart, his wife Susan, many of the men and women whose lives he saved that day, and footage of Rescorla making his predictions.

Executive Producer for The History Channel is Marc Etkind. Produced for The History Channel by Testimony Productions.

And, for those who STILL think that Saddam Hussein had 'nothing to do with' or 'no knowledge/connection with' 9/11, read the following article and prepare to have your mind changed!

Cindy Sheehan should be ASHAMED OF HERSELF for the anti-American propaganda she is spouting!!



Thursday, June 17, 2004 8:54 a.m. EDT

Saddam Predicted bin Laden's 9/11 Attack

The 9/11 Commission claimed on Wednesday that there is "no evidence" of cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in attacks against the U.S. But the Commission's staff statement has nothing to say about an array of evidence suggesting otherwise. In fact, some of the most compelling evidence of a link comes from Saddam Hussein himself, who warned before 9/11 in official government publications that bin Laden would carry out a devastating attack against America - and then effusively praised the 9/11 mastermind after the attacks.

On July 21, 2001 - less than two months before 9/11 - the state-controlled Iraqi newspaper Al-Nasiriya carried a column headlined "America, An Obsession Called Osama Bin Ladin." In the piece, Baath Party writer Naeem Abd Muhalhal predicted that bin Laden would attack the U.S. "with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House."The same state-approved column also insisted that bin Laden "will strike America on the arm that is already hurting," and that the U.S. "will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs" - an apparent reference to the Sinatra classic "New York, New York." [Two 9/11 families were awarded over $100 million in May 2003 by U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer based on this and other evidence that Iraq was involved in 9/11.]

Saddam's threats of a 9/11-style attack before 9/11 weren't limited to that single report. In 1992, his son Uday used an editorial in Babil, the newspaper he ran, to warn of Iraqi kamikaze attacks inside America, saying, "Does the United States realize the meaning of every Iraqi becoming a missile that can cross countries and cities?"

Then in the late 1990s, according to UPI, "a cable to Saddam from the chief of Iraqi intelligence was transmitted by Baghdad Radio. The message read, 'We will chase [Americans] to every corner at all times. No high tower of steel will protect them against the fire of truth.'"

Coincidence? Perhaps.

But after the 9/11 attacks, Saddam became the only world leader to offer praise for bin Laden, even as other terrorist leaders such as Yasser Arafat went out of their way to make a show of sympathy to the U.S. by donating blood to 9/11 victims on camera.The day after the attacks, in quotes picked up by Agence France-Press, Saddam proclaimed that "America is reaping the thorns planted by its rulers in the world."

"There is hardly a place [in the world] that does not have a memorial symbolizing the criminal actions committed by America against its natives," AFP quoted the Iraqi dictator complaining, based on reports in the Iraqi News agency. After excoriating the U.S. for ending World War II by using nuclear weapons, and for its involvement in Vietnam, Saddam gloated, "[He] who does not want to reap evil must not sow it, and [he] who considers the lives of his people precious must remember that the lives of the people in the world are precious also."

"The American peoples should remember that no one ever crossed the Atlantic carrying weapons to be used against them. They are the ones who crossed the Atlantic carrying death, destruction and ugly exploitation to the whole world."

A day later, Saddam told visiting Tunisian Foreign Minister Habib ben Yahya, "America brought the hatred of the world upon itself."For his part, Uday flat-out praised the 9/11 attacks, saying, "These were courageous operations carried out by young Arabs and Muslims," according to quotes picked up by the Saudi daily Asharq al-Awsat.

Editor's note:
"CATASTROPHE" Reveals the Secret Story Behind 9/11

Read more on this subject in related Hot Topics:
Al-QaedaSaddam Hussein/Iraq
9/11 Commission

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Awww, don't u just miss those days : )

My daughter sent this to me via email and I told her that I should post it on my blog!

Truth be told...I do miss those days!

So many wonderful memories with MY BABY!!



MAMA!!! this reminded me of myself so much. remember when i was this little and all this stuff was sooo important to me? aww dont u just miss those days :)

Close your eyes...

And go back...

Before the Internet

or the MAC

Before semi automatics and crack

Before SEGA or Super Nintendo...

Way back...

I'm talkin' bout hide and go seek at dusk.

Red light, Green light.

Playing kickball & dodgeball until your porch light came on.

Mother May I?

Red Rover

Hula Hoops


Running through the sprinkler

Happy Meals

Wait...Watchin' Saturday Morning cartoons

or what about legends of the hidden temple, global guts, double dare, and who could forget Snick

Fat Albert, Road Runner, Smurfs, Picture Pages, G-Force & He-Man

Wonder Woman

& Scooby Doo Underoos

Playing Dukes of Hazard

Catchin' lightning bugs in a jar

Christmas morning...

Your first day of school

Bedtime Prayers and Goodnight Kisses

Climbing trees

Getting an ice cream off the ice cream truck

A million mosquito bites and sticky fingers

Jumpin' down the steps

Jumpin' on the bed

Pillow fights

Runnin ' till you were out of breath

Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt

Being tired from playin'

Your first crush...

Rainy days at school meant playing "Heads up 7UP" in the classroom

Remember that?

I'm not finished yet...

Kool-Aid was the drink of the summer

Giving your friends a ride on your handlebars

Wearing your new shoes on the first day of school

Class Field Trips

When nearly everyone's mom was at home when the kids got there.

When a quarter seemed like a fair allowance, and another quarter a Miracle.

When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries, and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.

When your parents took you to McDonalds and you were so cool.

When being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.

Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc.

Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat!

And some of us are still afraid of em!

Didn't that feel good, just to go back and say, "Yeah, I remember that!"

I want to go back to the time when...

Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo"

Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!"

"Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.

Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "monopoly"

Catching fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening

It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.

Being old, referred to anyone over 20.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.

Nobody was prettier than Mom

Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better

It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.

Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.

Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare"

Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for giggles.

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.

Water balloons were the ultimate, ultimate weapon.

Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.

If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!

Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their "grown up" life...

The Times of the Signs - The Days of Lot

Years ago, an internet aquaintance of mine named Jerry Cesario shared the following analysis regarding what Jesus meant when he said that it will be like "The Days of Lot" when the signs of the End Times would be near.

Unfortunately, I lost touch with Jerry, but before we parted ways he gave me permission to post his piece anywhere that I saw fit. (Note: Jerry! If you come across my blog please post a "hello" my friend!)

With all of the talk and analyses going on about the "why did this happen" and the speculation about the possible spiritual meaning of the destruction of New Orleans by hurricane Katrina, I thought I would post Jerry's well written piece. It is as legitimate today as it was when he first wrote it. At the end, I will post a link to my message board where I had originally posted it. The thread is a long one with over 65 replies and 1,114 individual IP address views! It continues to remain a popular read since it was first posted in 2003.

Please feel free to comment (respectfully, of course) on any part of the article that you wish to discuss.



Volume II Issue #8 AUGUST, 2003

The Days Of Lot

"Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." Luke 17:28-30

While I am painfully aware that this month's commentary is not without controversy, I have struggled long and hard with how to present it. Unfortunately, there is just no other way than to just get it out. If you are offended by it, then good. I hope that you will search the Scriptures to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11). Now that I have your attention, let me just say that I am going to do my best to expose this darkness, but share the love and mercy of Christ as well. I am also going to use a lot of Scripture, as the Holy Spirit needs to be able to do His job through the understanding of His Word.

The story of Abraham and Lot should be familiar to everyone, however I will refresh your memory on the details. Lot was Abraham's nephew and they had left Ur together in search of the Promised Land. Because God had prospered them both with huge herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, the land began to be too small for their needs. At that point they agreed to separate and each find room for their herds, flocks and families. Abraham let Lot choose first and he chose the plain of Sodom to dwell in. As time would go on, it would become apparent that Lot had made a poor choice.

The Bible does not have a lot to say about Sodom other than that it was very wicked.

Genesis 18:20-21

" And the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave,

21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know."

We aren't told just what this grievous sin is until the next chapter...

Genesis 19...

1 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.

2 And he said, "Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way."
And they said, "No, but we will spend the night in the open square."

3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house.

5 And they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally."

6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,

7 and said, "Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!

8 See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof."

9 And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.

10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.

11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.

As I said, the Bible doesn't say much about Sodom, but what it does say is loud and clear. There are days worth of study in this passage friends.

Why was Lot sitting at the gate? This signified his high position on the city council. Lot was tolerant of the rampant sin in the city.

What an apt picture of our day and age friends. This is our first clue to why Jesus pointed out the days of Lot as a model for the time of His return. However the second, and most glaring, description of Sodom is that it was filled with the sin of homosexuality. The men of Sodom wanted the 'men' that had come to Lot's house. In fact, they wanted them so bad that they tried to break down the door to get them, and, according to their own words, they wanted them just to have sex with them. They would not even accept the offer of Lot's daughters. Nope. They burned in lust for the men that had come to town.

So where does that leave us today?

Jesus likened the days of his return unto the days of Lot. What do we know about the days of Lot other than the rampant homosexuality that marked it? Isn't it odd that we do not know much more about it? I do not think so. In fact, I believe that it is exactly what Jesus was referring to.

The homosexual agenda has been pushing at us for decades with a marked increase in recent years. MTV has been a big factor in pushing it on shows like The Real World and Road Rules. Numerous TV shows, plays and even music stars have been instrumental in advance the homosexual lifestyle upon the world. However, it really seems that there has been a definitive increase in recent weeks. It is as if a line has been crossed, or a dam has been breached and the flood of homosexuality has begun to fill the world. I believe that the dam that broke was the Church.

The big news recently was the appointment of the so-called "Gay Bishop". Deluded statements like, "Once again Jesus has turned Good Friday into Easter Sunday" (quoted by Gene Robinson on the day of his appointment), and "We have come to the conclusion as a Church that homosexuality is not wrong. It is just another of the many ways that God expresses himself through man." (in a statement made days earlier regarding the so-called 'Heresy Meeting' days before the appointment by a Episcopalian Church leader).

I do not think that many folks realize the spiritual significance of this story. This should never have even come up for discussion. This was the last frontier for the homosexual agenda friends and now it has been reached! The moral implications not withstanding, the legal implications are going to be very grave indeed. The door is wide open for the homosexual lifestyle to permeate every aspect of society now.

You may have noticed that right on the heels of the bishop appointment were a flurry of TV shows on both cable networks and regular television (to use a phrase lightly). Many more are being advertised for the upcoming season as well. You see, that is the whole point. Now that Satan has officially sanctioned the homosexual lifestyle in the Church, what is holding back the same agenda in the world? Every church is now going to be expected, probably forced, to allow homosexuals to be placed in ministry positions. We can not only expect the flood to fill the obvious demonic controlled areas of society, but now the Church as well. Surely Jesus is coming for his Bride!

Is there anything wrong with homosexual sex? Many today actually believe that it is fine, if homosexuals just keep it to themselves. Well, what does the Word of God have to say about it?

Leviticus 20:13

If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

It seems pretty clear what God thinks about the act of gay sex. But that was Old Testament some would say...

Romans 1 gives us an overall description of the fate of those who reject God and His salvation through Jesus Christ...

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.

27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.

And later we read that homosexuals will not enter in to Heaven unless they repent of their homosexual sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

I Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,

10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Again in I Timothy 1:10

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

I think the Bible is pretty clear, don't you?

The problem isn't with homosexuality exclusively. You can replace that sin with any from the list, it simply doesn't matter. Sin is sin is sin! That is the key to this whole thing. However, the elusion to the days of Lot by Jesus Christ, and the delusion that is spreading in the world today are unmistakably linked to the homosexual lifestyle. Thus it is the issue that needs to be dealt with today.

As followers of and believers in Jesus Christ we must be compassionate and seek every opportunity to extend the Gospel to all sinners. Homosexuals do not need to be reminded of their specific sins, but rather that their sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus, should they want it and confess that Jesus is Lord.

For those who are watching the skies and looking for Christ's return, this impending flood is inching oh so much closer. The great rescuing of the Church is surely nigh. Keep the faith saints, and do not bend on the essentials of the faith. The degree of sin being displayed may be perceived as worse than any other, but it is still just sin. We were all guilty before we received the grace of God. Don't forget that God dearly loves the sinner and does not have any joy in the death of the wicked. He loves the homosexual just as much as any other, so much that he sent his Son to die for them too...

Written by Jerry Cesario