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Dismantling the Religious Machine

08/30/2015

Author: Chip Brogden
Source: SermonIndex.org
Link: about.me/gideonsword

Machines are used to do repetitive or difficult work more quickly and efficiently, giving people more leisure and free time to pursue something besides work.

Once upon a time a group of people saw that a machine was needed to make something hard and difficult more easily done. They put their heads together and came up with a handy little machine called “Religion.”

The Religion Machine would make life easier for everyone they said. With the Machine, we don’t have to waste precious time relating to a real God Who loves us. The machine would take these complex processes and break them down into a simple three-step process that anyone could follow, reducing God to a faceless, personless ideology of good works. The result would be a mass-production of religious people who all spoke, thought, acted, and believed the same way.

Things went very well for a while. The Religion Machine worked just like it was supposed to. Churches were built, movements were started, crusades were held, programs were implemented. The inventors congratulated themselves on making Religion so efficient.

But you and I know that machines require a lot of maintenance. Parts have to be replaced. People wanted the Religion Machine to be bigger, better, and faster each year. Research and development expense was incurred, testing expenses, raw materials and warehousing. The Religion Machine had to have qualified people to work on it, qualified people to run it, qualified people to supervise the people who run it, and so on.

With all the improvements and modifications to the original design, the Religion Machine got so big that they had to house it someplace; now they had factory overhead: the property, the specialized plant equipment, the electrical and water requirements, more work crews, the support staff, the management, still more parts, upgrades, routine maintenance, all the hidden costs associated with keeping the Machine running.

No one knew just how big the Religion Machine would get. The inventors would have never dreamed that their little invention would one day turn into a big business, but it did. People picked up their families and moved to live and work close to the Machine. There’s money there, a chance to get ahead, a chance to settle down, a nice place to raise their kids. The Machine is a boost to the local economy because it produces jobs and goods. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep the Machine running along.

The people took great pride in their work. Take a drive with them to any part of the country and they would point to the impressive array of expensive church buildings, sprawling seminaries, and mega-church outreach centers. “We helped put that one together,” they’d say. “Thank God for the Religion Machine! How did we get along without it before?”

But there’s another side to the story. Oh, the work is simple enough. “Do what you’re told. Push this button, pull that lever, flip that switch.” Keep producing, keep the Machine running. But there’s a human toll being exacted on the people who are running the Machine. Just another cog in the wheel, they begin to stop thinking for themselves; they depend on the supervisors to tell them what to do. They go home tired day after day (their busiest day is Sunday). They always work overtime and their family life is non-existent. Even when they’re home they think about work. Production is the name of the game; keep the Machine running no matter what; produce more with less.

People always get injured on the job. It’s hot, dirty work. And noisy. The Machine makes so much noise that all the workers eventually develop acute hearing loss. The light is so dim that the employees have become very narrow-eyed and squinty, not able to withstand bright light. But somehow the security that comes from getting paid each week is more important than the side-effects. So the work goes on.

Besides, where else could they go? What else could they do? Financial commitments based on that paycheck have been made: houses mortgaged, cars financed, durable goods charged. If the Machine stops running, the paychecks stop coming, and it means bankruptcy for the workers and the community. So on and on it goes.

Every once in awhile a pay raise comes. Some live long enough to retire, but most of the workers die young from stress, are injured on the job and permanently disabled, or have nervous breakdowns. But no matter what, the Machine kept running.

Then the unexpected happened.

The Religion Machine used a synthetic, man-made oil for fuel to keep it running.

The oil ran out. The Machine ground to a halt.

The workers were in a panic. No more fuel? How would the Machine run? What about their job? What about their paycheck? Who would take care of their families?

“What about natural oil?” someone asked. No that wouldn’t work. They tried that years ago. Genuine oil would not run the Religion Machine.

The supervisors cursed and swore. How could they get the Machine running again?

There was only one thing left to do.

The doors were locked, and the gates closed tight. Armed security gathered the workers together and had them form a line leading up to the top of the combustion chamber, the fiery inferno which fueled the Religion Machine.

One by one they were cast into the fuel tank. The Machine sparked and began to hum again.

“More people! We need more people over here!” Like lambs being led to the slaughter, the deaf, dumb, and blind workers were pushed over the precipice to be used as fuel for the Religion Machine. Next it was their wives, husbands, children, parents, brothers, sisters, all thrown alive and screaming into the Machine. The houses and cars, the clothing and jewelry, the furniture and possessions were all confiscated and dumped into to the Religion Machine to add more fuel for it to run.

At last everything that could be used for fuel had been used. It would not be enough, and it had all been in vain. Once again the Religion Machine ground to a halt, and no one was around to start it up again. The supervisors went out into the community to try and recruit new workers, but after hearing what had happened to the last shift no one would take the job.

Today those supervisors are dead and gone. The Religion Machine was dismantled by the townspeople, the parts scattered to the four winds, never to be assembled again.

The problem with the Religion Machine was that it started out as a neat invention designed to help people, but it wound up hurting them. The Machine was made for man, but soon man lived for the Machine and became dependent upon it.

Once upon a time another group of people saw that a machine was needed to make something hard and difficult more easily done and give them more leisure time. They were even more talented, technologically advanced, and affluent than the first group of inventors. So they put their heads together and came up with a handy little machine called “American Christianity”…


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Answering Common Objections to the Doctrine of the Trinity

08/29/2015

Author: Ben Rast

Source: Contender Ministries – August 23, 2005

Link: about.me/gideonsword

Though the doctrine of the Trinity is quite biblical, many Christians find themselves unable to adequately answer the attacks on this doctrine by other monotheistic religions such as Islam and Judaism, as well as polytheistic and henotheistic religions such as Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses (henotheism is the belief in multiple gods, but the worship of only one).  Few Christian doctrines are attacked so viciously as the doctrine of the Trinity.  This aspect of the nature of God is awe-inspiring and wonderful.  As Christians, we should be prepared to explain it to unbelievers and to defend it against attacks.  As you will see, most arguments against the Trinity are weak and unable to stand up to biblical scrutiny or an appeal to logic.  If you witness to a Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, or a Muslim, some of these arguments are likely to come up, and it’s vitally important that you are able to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15), demolish these arguments (2 Corinthians 10:5), and contend for the faith (Jude 3,4).

I have covered the biblical supports for the triune nature of God in a previous article, “A Comprehensive Biblical Defense of the Trinity.”  If you have not read that article, I encourage you to do so before moving on to this one.  In it, I provide biblical proof for the following points:

1.      There is only one God

2.      The Father is God

3.     Jesus is God

4.     The Holy Spirit is God

5.      The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct Persons.

Before addressing the most common objections, it’s important to make sure that we are starting with an accurate definition of the Trinity.  Many who oppose the Trinity do so with a faulty understanding of the definition.  Simply put, the doctrine of the Trinity states that there is one true God, and within that God there are three co-equal and co-eternal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Each Person of the Trinity is distinct from the other, but all three comprise one God.  Various heresies arise when this definition is distorted, and I covered some of them in the previous article.  Now that we start from a common definition, let’s turn ourselves to some common objections.

1.  The word “Trinity” isn’t found anywhere in the Bible!

True enough, the word “Trinity” isn’t found in the Bible.  A similar argument is used by theological modernists who assert that the term “homosexual” is a modern word that didn’t exist at the time the Bible was written, therefore the Bible can’t condemn homosexuality.  I think most people will agree that the Bible STILL condemns homosexuality, even thought this particular English word wasn’t used in the Greek or Hebrew texts.  Interestingly, the word “pornography” is similarly absent from Scripture, but we are still able to view the biblical teachings on sexual morality, coupled with Jesus’ teaching that a man who looks at a woman with lust commits adultery with her in his heart to recognize that pornography is sinful.  The word “theocracy” is not found in the Bible, but the concept can be found there.  The absence of a word does not preclude its teaching in Scripture.

Critics also argue that no single verse of Scripture clearly teaches the doctrine of the Trinity.  While many single verses provide excellent evidence for the triune nature of God (see the previous article), it is true that this doctrine is not capsulated in a single verse or passage of Scripture.  The Bible is not titled, “Christian Doctrine for Dummies.”  It is sometimes necessary to look at the teachings of Scripture as a whole.  When we allow ourselves to do that, we can see that the Trinity is quite Scriptural.

2.  The Trinity doctrine is confusing, and God is not the author of confusion.

1 Corinthians 14:33 in the NIV states in part, “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”  In the spurious New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the verse similarly states, “For God is [a God], not of disorder, but of peace.”  Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons will frequently cite this verse when arguing against the Trinity.  After all, the concept of a triune God can be confusing.  They argue that such a confusing doctrine must come from Satan, since God is not a God of confusion or disorder.  Yet such an argument is illogical.  That humans cannot fully understand the nature of God simply means that we are finite created beings who do not possess the mind of God.  The Bible is clear that such confusions are to be expected:

–   “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.  ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’– Isaiah 55:8-9

–   “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!– Romans 11:33

–   “Now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Many aspects of God’s nature are hard, if not impossible, for the human mind to comprehend.  For example, infinite concepts give me a headache.  If I try to comprehend the concept of an infinite sum, I get a headache.  If I try to really comprehend the eternal nature of God (without a beginning or an end), I get a headache.  My finite human mind simply cannot comprehend eternity beyond the vague concept.  I’m not alone in this either.  While Jehovah’s Witnesses will use the confusion argument against the Trinity, they contradict themselves in other areas.  In the Watchtower publication Reasoning from the Scriptures, they acknowledge this confusion after citing Psalm 90:2, referencing God’s eternal nature: “Is that reasonable? Our minds cannot fully comprehend it.  But that is not a sound reason for rejecting it.” [1]

As is so often the case in arguments by cultists and heretics, they have divorced 1 Corinthians 14:33 from its context to use it in the fashion they desire.  It is vital that we read Scripture in context to gain a proper understanding of it.  Let’s put this verse back in its appropriate context, including verses 26-33, 39-40:

What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two–or at the most three–should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God.  Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.  The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace….Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.”

When placed in context, we can see that this passage is talking about how our worship should be orderly.  Paul is trying to put the gifts of tongues and prophecy into their proper usage and eliminate the confusion that can result in a service when these gifts are used improperly.  Just as there is no discord within God, so there should be no discord or confusion in our worship of God.  Putting Scripture in context allows us to read it the way the authors (and the Ultimate Author) intended us to do so.

3.  The Trinity is a pagan concept adopted by Christianity.

This is one of the most common arguments against the doctrine of the Trinity.  I’ve heard it expressed often by Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Usually, the person using this argument has no evidence to back up this assertion, but on rare occasions they do.  Unfortunately, it is equally rare that a Christian is prepared to “demolish” this argument.  It can be done easily by an appeal to facts and logic.

The argument typically is expressed that certain pagan cultures, such as the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians, developed a Trinitarian belief in places far removed from the birthplace of Christianity and predating it by thousands of years.  Therefore, it’s logical to conclude that these pagan doctrines were introduced into Christianity hundreds of years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  However, this isn’t exactly true.

The Babylonians and Assyrians did NOT develop a Trinitarian theological dogma.  Rather, they believed in triads of gods who headed up a council of other gods.  In other words, whereas the doctrine of the Trinity teaches that ONE GOD is comprised of three co-equal and co-eternal persons, the Babylonians and Assyrians believed that three separate gods formed a leadership over other gods.  In this, their beliefs more closely resemble the polytheistic/henotheistic beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.  Mormon doctrine holds that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate gods in leadership over this world.  Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah God created Jesus – a lesser god, and that the Holy Spirit is simply Jehovah’s active force in this world.  These beliefs are closer to the ancient pagan beliefs than is the Trinity doctrine, which is strictly monotheistic.  Moreover, the separation of early Christian development from these pagan beliefs with respect to time and geography make it highly unlikely that the pagan beliefs played any role in the Church’s clarification of the Trinity doctrine as found in the Athanasian Creed.  This creed reads, in part, “This is what the catholic faith teaches: we worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity.  Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance.  For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit.  But the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have one divinity, equal glory, and coeternal majesty.  What the Father is, the Son is, and the Holy Spirit is.  The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated.  The Father is boundless, the Son is boundless, and the Holy Spirit is boundless. The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal.  Nevertheless, there are not three eternal beings, but one eternal being.  So there are not three uncreated beings, nor three boundless beings, but one uncreated being and one boundless being.  Likewise, the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, the Holy Spirit is omnipotent.  Yet there are not three omnipotent beings, but one omnipotent being.  Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  However, there are not three gods, but one God.”  It should be noted that “catholic” in the early centuries was used to describe universal and orthodox Christianity long before the Roman Catholic Church existed as such.  The creed continues in this manner.  Athanasius did not fabricate this.  Rather, he summarized the teaching of Scripture. 

Association based on similarities is faulty logic.  Pagans (and indeed practically all ancient cultures on earth) have a legend concerning a global flood.  Does this negate the truthfulness of the global flood described in Genesis?  Does this mean the Genesis account was “borrowed”?  Of course not.  The ubiquity of the flood story actually buttresses its truthfulness, even though other cultures don’t have all the details correct.  Furthermore, some pagan cultures have a “messiah” legend that has similarities to the gospel.  However, there are also differences in these stories.  We can take joy in the fact that these legends haven’t the accuracy of the Bible as verified historically and archaeologically.  Similarities don’t impart guilt.  Therefore, similar pagan doctrines in triads of gods are not the same as the Trinitarian doctrine of Christianity, and it is baseless to assume that the Trinity was “borrowed” from paganism.  It’s simply not true.

4.  Jesus calls the Father, “the only true God,” therefore Jesus cannot be God.

This is an interesting argument often raised by Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This argument, as we will see, is self-defeating for them.  This argument refers to Jesus’ words to the Father in John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”  Critics argue that the Father cannot be the “only true God” if Jesus and the Holy Spirit can also claim to be God.  The thinking is illogical.  First, Jesus’ words do not exclude the Son and Holy Spirit from also being the only true God.  They DO exclude Jesus and the Holy Spirit from being separate gods.  In other words, if the Father is the only true God, then Jesus cannot also be a true God and the Holy Spirit cannot also be a true God (distinguishing them as separate gods rather than simply separate persons).  If we understand the true nature of the Trinity, we can acknowledge that the Son and Holy Spirit are co-equal and co-eternal persons that comprise the one true God, and John 17:3 does not counter that.  However, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons believe that Jesus is a separate god, and Mormons believe that the Holy Spirit is yet another god.  In the Mormon New World Translation, John 1:1 states, “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god” (emphasis added).  Mormonism’s founding prophet taught, “In the beginning, the head of the gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.”[2] Now if a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness wants to claim that this verse teaches that the Father alone is the only true God, then Jesus and the Holy Spirit must be false gods.  If that is true, the teachings of the LDS prophets and the New World Translation must be wrong. 

5.  Jesus prayed to God in the garden, so Jesus can’t be God.

This statement has needlessly stumped some Christians, though not for long.  It is a misleading generality to say, “Jesus prayed to God.”  To be more precise, we should say that Jesus (The Son) prayed to The Father in the garden.  While it is true that there is only one God, it is equally true that God exists as three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  During His earthly ministry and being subject to a mortal body, Jesus willingly endured the limitations of man.  As such, it should come as no surprise that He communicated with The Father through prayer!  This does nothing to diminish the deity of Jesus Christ or to contradict the monotheistic nature of God. 

6.  The Bible says that God is ONE!

This argument, which attempts to disprove the triune nature of God based on unity, is based largely on two verses:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” – Deuteronomy 6:4   “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one’.”Mark 12:29

Deuteronomy 6:4 in the New World Translation says, “Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah.”  We’ve gone into detail in other articles about the fact that “Jehovah” is not a word that appears in the Bible, but is rather a modification of Yahweh.  One way to read the last phrase with some of the Hebrew intact is “Yahweh (Jehovah) our elohim is one Yahweh (Jehovah).  The Hebrew words themselves are “Yahweh elohim echad Yahweh.” The NIV footnote for this verse lists a few possible ways to translate this verse based on its grammatical construct.  Echad means “one” or “only”.  Because of the construct, this verse could be translated as it is above, or as “The LORD our God is one LORD,” “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one,” or “The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.”  I think the best of these translations can be assessed by observing the context of the passage.  In Deuteronomy 5, Moses had just presented the Israelites with the Ten Commandments.  One sin that marked these people was their habit of turning to idolatry (golden calf ring a bell?).  As we read down in chapter 6, we see that this is still the focus and concern at this point.  In verses 14-16 we read, “Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah.”  This is a very clear exhortation for the Israelites to abandon their worship of multiple “gods.”  Therefore, the most reasonable way of interpreting Deuteronomy 6:4 is “The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.”  This establishes that only Yahweh is the true God.  All other “gods” are false and must be rejected.  Deuteronomy 6:4 does not exclude God from being triune in nature.  Mark 12:29 is simply a recitation of Deuteronomy 6:4 with the intent of that verse intact – we have one and ONLY one God!

Yahweh is our elohim, Yahweh alone.  In my previous article on the Trinity, I established Scripturally that not only is the Father Yahweh, but Jesus is also Yahweh.  Similarly, the deity of the Holy Spirit reveals He is also Yahweh.  In this article and the previous one, I have addressed some of the most common objections to the doctrine of the Trinity.  The teaching of the Word of God is clear.  There is one God.  God exists in three co-equal and co-eternal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Each of these three are rightfully called God, yet each is distinct from the other.  The absence of one convenient summary of this truth in Scripture does not negate its truthfulness, nor does it mean this truth is not found in Scripture.  God has revealed this wonderful truth to us through His Word.  The question is, are we listening?

NOTES:

1. Reasoning from the Scriptures (Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1989), p. 148.

2. Joseph Smith, Jr., The King Follett Discourse (Salt Lake City: Joseph Lyon & Associates, 1963), p. 9.

God Hates Divorce

08/29/2015
 

Author/Preacher: Carl Carmody
Source: SermonIndex.net
Link:
about.me/gideonsword

Sermon Text: Malachi 2:10-16

The book of Malachi is a very sobering one because it deals with subject matter that is very close to our hearts. Chapter 2 verses 10-16 raises the spectre of divorce, but not in the secular world, where we expect it, and where it is glibly accepted as part of life, but in the church, amongst the faithful.

Not only is Malachi raising a very thorny issue in the church, but tragically he is pointing out that it is a major phenomenon within the leadership — the priests of Israel. These were the men who were supposed to be leading by example, but were treating their marriages as a disposal throwaway commodity. They were divorcing their wives without any concern for the effect on them or their children or the people they were allegedly serving, or indeed how it offended God. Marriage was being trivialised, as it is today.

This is illustrated for us in the humorous story told by Chuck Swindoll in his book “Growing deep in the Christian life”. A lady wanted to marry four different men in her lifetime. She saw each one would help her with four things she needed most. First she wanted to marry a banker. Second a movie star and then a clergyman and finally a funeral director.

When asked why she thought this was necessary she answered, “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go.”

As humorous as that is we can all bear testimony to the devastation of divorce in our families, as well as the enormous upheaval it has caused. Back in chapter one it began with the burden. Malachi was deeply troubled by what he saw happening amongst the priests and the people and their incredible indifference towards spiritual matters. The priests and the people had grown cold in their love of and devotion to God and as a direct result, this spiritual demise had a trickle down effect. First it was their love (attitude towards) of God. This was illustrated in their polluted offerings. Then it was their love of God’s word in the beginning of chapter 2. This in turn affects their love for each other and in particular their love for their wives.

Just recently I read an article relating to research done in churches in the USA. George Barna’s research discovered the depth of the acceptance of divorce in the Christian church when he came up with the amazing fact that the divorce rate in so called Christian churches in America was fractionally higher than the national average of 1 in 2.

Interestingly the same article carried a most encouraging statistic related by George Gallop, another Christian statistician that couples who pray together four times or more a week, have a divorce rate of 1 in 1052. In terms of the secular world this is a negligible result, but it clearly illustrates the impact of a right relationship with God on our marriages.

Sadly due to this lack of relationship many marriages are being torn apart by selfishness, self-centredness, egos run amuck, lack of responsibility and the notion that obedience to our wedding vows are only optional, instead of binding, except in the most dire of circumstances. Even then God ultimately is seeking healing of the relationship both to Him and each other.

These seven verses can be broken up into three key thoughts as to why God hates divorce. By the way, it is not often that God uses the word hate. It connotes a very strong dislike for divorce because:

1. Divorce is treachery, verses 10, 11, 14-16.

2. Divorce is a travesty verses 11-12 and

3. Divorce is a trauma.

1. Five times God uses the word treachery or similar. The Hebrew word is bagad and means to act covertly, fraudulently, secretly, deceptively, to cheat or betray to afflict to spoil or to offend. So you can see it is a very strong term.

Recently I was lying in bed with my wife Carolyn and we were chatting about our relationship. I can honestly say that I love my wife more today than ever, because Christian love is a dynamic. As I was chatting I was taken by the thought that Carolyn knew more about me than anyone else, except God of course. As we have grown in our love for each other it has been like a flower coming into full bloom.

Then as we continued our discussion I said to Carolyn that to open up to someone like her was a joy, but at the same time I became very aware that to do so meant making oneself incredibly vulnerable. You see I come from a family that has experienced enormous upheaval. Some 35 years ago my mum and dad split up thus laying down a subliminal pattern that was to have incredible consequences. Mum was married 3 times, then my eldest sister and younger sister married twice.

Once we deal treacherously with our wives/ husbands it has a far higher cost than we can even begin to imagine. To divorce is to profane the sanctity of the marriage institution. The word profane in the original Hebrew further illustrates just how deeply God feels when two Christians, who are described as one flesh in Genesis 2:24 are divorced. The Hebrew word is chalal, which means to defile, pollute, and prostitute to make common or to break. Ultimately it means a desecration of something which is holy, which is set apart for God’s glory. That is what marriage means to God.

2. However, the treachery of Israel deepens into travesty in verses 11-12 when they add to the sin of divorce the sin of intermarriage to pagan women, who worship what seems to be anything but the true and living God. God describes it as an abomination which has the primary meaning of doing something which is morally disgusting. This takes on incredible significance when Malachi declares that the marriage institution is something that was not only created by God, but also loved by God, verse 11. When divorce happens in the Christian church it can often be traced back to one or the other drifting from their spiritual moorings. Speaking to a pastor recently I asked him how many of the couples he councils for marriage problems had stopped reading their Bibles and praying? He estimated that 90-95% fitted that category. The depth of that spiritual drift can be clearly seen when the priests and the people saw nothing wrong with divorce and even worse nothing wrong with being unequally yoked. We have become so complacent in our reverence for God’s wonderful gift of marriage. It’s a bit like the unhappy spouse who said to the marriage counsellor:

”When I got married
I was looking for an ideal
Then it became an ordeal
Now I want a new deal”

Unfortunately for far too many Christians this new deal involves marrying non-Christians. It involves being unequally yoked. The New Testament passage on this is 2 Cor. 6:11-18. In the context of this passage the unequal yoke picture not only includes marriage, but business, wrong friendships, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, syncretistic ecumenism etc.

Note however, the stark contrasts that Paul draws on. Firstly Paul draws from Deut 22:10 that an ox and a donkey should not plow together. Why? Because they differ in shape, size and mentality. Thus Paul strings 4 contrasts together to bring home to us the danger and futility of being unequally yoked. What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? One is motivated and lives by the power of God, whilst the other is motivated by the world, the flesh and the devil.

What communion has light with darkness? They are opposites just as righteousness and lawlessness are. Those unsaved prefer darkness to light. John 3:19, And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

And what accord has Christ with Belial? Answer — none. Satan wants to usurp the authority of God in your life and mine. Often the way he does it is to get you unequally yoked in marriage, business or friendships.

The church that my wife and family and I are in membership is a good church and certainly committed to the Word of God. However, not long after we arrived we met a lady and her daughter. This lady was divorced, but had recently become a Christian. Not long after she met a man who was not a Christian. Soon she was very much involved with him. He apparently made some profession of faith. Soon after they were married. Problems arose when this man began to seek God for healing for a long-term ailment that he had had, but became somewhat upset when it didn’t happen on cue. He then sought healing in all sorts of inappropriate non-Christian ways and places.

Anger and frustration began to surface in this man’s life and he stopped going to church. It became apparent that his alleged commitment to Christ was not genuine. His wife continued to attend church intermittently, until she stopped altogether. That same scenario repeats itself again and again in churches all over the nation.

This so often happens when the Lord’s people doubt the love of God as Israel did in chapter 4. Once we begin to doubt the Lord it opens the way for all sorts of temptations from the devil.

What accord has a believer with an unbeliever? Once again motivation is important, but also desires come into it as well. If as a believer you are walking with God then your desire will be to please God in all that you do, say and think. For the unbeliever the opposite is true.

What agreement does the temple of God have with idols? The classic illustration of this is Solomon in 1 Kings 11. Verses 1-3 says But King Solomon loved many foreign women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites, from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. For surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. Solomon clung to these in love’.

Then in verse 4 we read the telling results of Solomon’s disobedience. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not loyal to the Lord, his God, as was the heart of his father David.

Note the consequences didn’t reveal themselves immediately. This has the effect of us thinking that what we have done is acceptable before God or indeed that we have managed to get off scot-free. Also note that when we compromise the Word of God we become the devil’s willing agents. Who would have thought this to be true of King Solomon? — but it was.

Verse 6, Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David.

3. Thirdly we see the awful trauma of divorce in verses 13-16. The action of the priests wrongly, sinfully divorcing their wives rendered their worship unacceptable. Divorce not only separates us from our wives, but it separates us from God and our ability to effectively worship God. However, these priests saw no problem with divorcing their wives, but also saw no problem with the impact it had on their relationship with God.

There is a word of warning for those of us, who are leaders and how we conduct ourselves in our marriages and families. Leaders need to recognise that their congregation is a mirror image of their leadership. If leadership is weak, lacking in spiritual integrity, that is exactly what will be produced in your church. If you have leadership that models godliness, commitment to the Word of God, prayer, evangelism etc it will be clearly reflected in your church.

The priests of Israel were modelling totally unbiblical behaviour in divorcing their innocent wives. Tragically the people picked up their trivial lax attitude and ran with it. The men were betraying the wife of their youth. Betraying the love, commitment and companionship of their wives.

Obviously this raises the whole trauma of divorce and Malachi, and ultimately God is using key words to bring home to any person the enormous cost of divorce. Some years ago I read an article by Jerry B Jenkins in Moody Monthly magazine on the subjects of fidelity and divorce. One of the key points he raised was the issue of the cost of divorce to the individuals involved. One of the clear realities that came through to me was that most men or women do not count the cost.

Jenkins challenged men in particular to count the cost of infidelity and divorce. One of the costs was loss of companionship. Someone we have involved in and them in us over a number of years. Companionship speaks of intimacy.

Billy Rose told a story about a man who, after twenty years of marriage, decided to divorce his wife. In preparing for the financial settlement, he began to rummage through his old cheque butts. As he glanced through them, one after another stirred up memories of a long forgotten past. The cheque to the hotel where he and his wife had spent their honeymoon; the cheque for their first car, the cheque for the hospital bill for their first daughter’s birth, the cheque for the $2000 down payment on their first home.

As he continued looking, it all got a bit much for him, so he pushed all the paperwork aside and reached for the phone and rang his wife. He told her that they had invested too much in each other just to throw it all away. So he asked her if they could start afresh. Which they did, I’m assuming.

This man inadvertently began to count the cost of dissolving his marriage, and losing not only his wife but faithful companion. Jenkin’s article went on to list a number of other key areas of loss. For example divorce often meant loss of family, job, friends, church family and fellowship, finances, home, stability, health etc.

Verse 15 then brings up another vital concern of the Lord. He wants Christian parents to bring up godly offspring. Divorce can have a devastating impact on our children. Just recently a good friend of mine related to me the sad story of the breakdown of his son’s marriage. It has been a particularly acrimonious split on the wife’s behalf, but his son has wanted to reconcile.

As I spoke to him he related how the grandchildren had recently visited and when it came time to leave they hugged him and didn’t want to let go. It was clear they were very unhappy and feeling very sad and insecure.

One day my middle daughter Micah came home from school and asked me just out of the blue, “Dad are you and Mum going to be divorced?” I responded by saying ‘no’ and queried why she had asked me. She related that one of her friends at school had experienced her mum and dad break-up. It clearly concerned Micah.

Upon further discussion with my friend he went on to relate how his son’s two eldest children had gone off the rails because the familiar secure moorings of family and marriage had been ruptured and they were like a rudder-less boat out on a vast ocean.

Then In verse 16 the trauma of divorce is pictured for us in the words, For the Lord God of Israel says, that He hates divorce. Why? For it covers one’s garment with violence. Violence once again is a strong word. The Hebrew word is chamac, meaning oppression, wickedness, wrong, cruelty, false injustice, damage.

When I made this observation I inserted a list of things that experience violence as a result of divorce. God took me back first of all to Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Then we read in Matt. 19:5, 6 the words of Jesus, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.”

To separate two people that have become one flesh requires a severing, a cutting apart. Some time ago I remember coming across two pieces of pine joined together with liquid nails. I vaguely remember trying to separate them, however, it proved tougher than I had expected. Eventually I succeeded but I didn’t get them apart without damaging both pieces, such was the effect and quality of the glue. What God joins together takes some getting apart, but the tools of neglect, selfishness, greed, jealousy, competition, cruelty, abuse and arrogance, can do the job, but create enormous violence.

Other forms of violence are the betrayal of trust in a marriage, and in a family. This often goes hand in hand with deep emotional and physical trauma. When my eldest brother’s first marriage came to grief, he was deeply emotionally affected, and for weeks suffered physically dropping over a stone, oops, 6 kilos in weight.

It goes without saying that divorce is enacting a huge violence on the church with its associated impact on the church testimony. Divorce also enacts a huge violence on society. Family trees have become so distorted, and serve as a picture of the lives affected by divorce.

So God sounds the warning bell to Israel in verse 16. So take heed to your spirit…. He is sounding the warning bell to the church today, “take heed.” We are facing the consequences of diluting our biblical stance on divorce. Like Israel we are glibly accepting what God calls an abomination. Let’s not devalue what God calls a “holy institution”.

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Population Control Agenda (Part One)

08/26/2015

Link: about.me/gideonsword

Beyond Birth Control:
The Population Control Agenda (Part 1)

Author: Dr. Stan Monteith, M.D
Source: Koinonia House – 1997

Planned population control including genocide is a difficult concept for Americans to accept. Even though the U.S. government helps finance the Red Chinese program of forced abortion, sterilization and infanticide, and helps finance the United Nations “family planning program,” most people find it impossible to believe that such programs are really part of a larger plan to kill off large segments of the world’s population.

“How can you possibly believe that?” I am frequently asked. The answer is quite simple: I have read the writings of those who intend to depopulate large segments of the earth and I believe them. They have written of the necessity of reducing-by force if necessary-the world’s population.

Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood

Our tax money finances Planned Parenthood, an organization founded by Margaret Sanger. In Planned Parenthood’s 1985 Annual Report, its leaders proclaimed that they were, “Proud of our past, and planning for our future.” (1)

How could anyone claim to be proud of an organization when history records that its founder wrote of the necessity of “the extermination of ‘human weeds’…the ‘cessation of charity’…the segregation of ‘morons, misfits, and the maladjusted’ and…the sterilization of ‘genetically inferior races?'” (2)

During the 1930s Margaret Sanger published The Birth Control Review, in which she openly supported Nazi Germany’s “infanticide program” in the 1930s, and publicly championed Adolf Hitler’s goal of Aryan white supremacy. Prior to World War II she commissioned Nazi Ernst Rudin, director of the dreaded German medical experimentation programs, to serve as an advisor to her organization.

margaret_sanger

In Killer Angel, George Grant chronicled the life and writings of Margaret Sanger, including her plans for genetically engineering the human race. Margaret Sanger’s The Pivot of Civilization called for “the elimination of human weeds,” and the “cessation of charity” because it prolonged the lives of the unfit. She called for the segregation of the unfit and prohibiting them to reproduce.

In 1939, Margaret Sanger organized the Negro Project, designed to eliminate members of what she believed to be an “inferior race.” She justified her proposal because “the masses of Negroes… particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes, even more than among whites, is from that portion of the population least intelligent and fit…” (3)
She then went on to reveal that she intended to “hire three or four colored ministers to travel to various black enclaves to propagandize for birth control…The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”(4)

As Margaret Sanger’s organization grew, she wrote of the necessity of targeting religious groups for destruction as well, believing that the “dysgenic races” should include “fundamentalists and Catholics” in addition to “blacks, Hispanics, [and] American Indians.” (5) As the years passed, Sanger became increasingly obsessed with occult beliefs and hostile to Christianity and the American precept of individual freedom. Her distaste for America is evident in her writings:
“Birth control appeals to the advanced radical because it is calculated to undermine the authority of the Christian churches. I look forward to seeing humanity free someday of the tyranny of Christianity no less than Capitalism.”(6)

Just like Adolf Hitler, Margaret Sanger was a disciple of Theosophy and its founder, Madame Blavatsky. Both Sanger and Hitler were involved in a religion that worshipped Lucifer and were energized by the same dark, spiritual forces.

Lucis Trust is a prominent modern day representative of Theosophy, an extension of the Lucifer Publishing Company, which is also a United Nations NGO. Lucis Trust was founded by Alice A. Bailey during the early 20th century. Bailey was a disciple of Madame Blavatsky and nominal leader of the Theosophical Society in the early 1900s.

Because the name “Lucifer” had such a bad connotation, Bailey changed the name of her organization from the Lucifer Publishing Company to Lucis Trust. The nature and beliefs of this organization, however, have always remained the same.

Lucis Trust is one of the major front groups through which Theosophy influences life in America. Publications from Lucis Trust regularly refer to “The Plan” for humanity that has been established by “The Hierarchy.” Sanger’s disciples are alive and functioning today, influencing national and international population control policy.

David Graber, a research biologist with the National Park Service, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times Book Review Section, October 22, 1989, as saying, “Human happiness and certainly human fecundity are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true…We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth…Until such time as homosapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the
right virus to come along.”
(7)

In The First Global Revolution, published by the Council of the Club of Rome, an international elitist organization, the authors note that, “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine, and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention… The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”(8)

On April 5, 1994 the Los Angeles Times quoted Cornell University Professor David Pimentel, speaking to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, saying that, “The total world population should be no more than 2 billion rather than the current 5.6 billion.”

In the UNESCO Courier of November 1991, Jacques Cousteau wrote, “The damage people cause to the planet is a function of demographics-it is equal to the degree of development. One American burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes… This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”(9)

In The Impact of Science on Society, Bertrand Russell said, “At present the population of the world is increasing…War so far has had no great effect on this increase… I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others…If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation, survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full…the state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of it? Really high-minded people are indifferent to suffering, especially that of others.”

Negative Population Growth Inc. of Teaneck, New Jersey recently circulated a letter stating their long-range goal: “We believe that our goal for the United States should be no more than 150 million; our size in 1950. For the world, we believe our goal should be a population of not more than two billion, its size shortly after the turn of the century.”(10)

This amount is impossible to achieve by means of normal attrition and birth control and there is sufficient evidence to indicate other plans are afoot.


More New Age Influence

Speaking at Gorbachev’s State of the World Forum in San Francisco in 1996, New Age writer and philosopher Dr. Sam Keen stated that there was strong agreement that religious institutions have to take a primary responsibility for the population explosion.

He went on to say that, “We must speak far more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control the population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.”

Dr. Keen’s remarks were met with applause from the assembled audience of New Age adherents, Socialists, Internationalists and occultists.

Next month, we’ll explore some specific cases of covert as well as blatant population control, including the link between abortions and breast cancer and what really happened during the Rwanda massacres.

 


Endnotes

1.Killer Angel, George Grant, Reformer Press, p. 105, available from Radio Liberty, P.O. Box 13, Santa Cruz, CA, 95063.
2. Ibid, p. 65.
3.Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right, Linda Gordon, Penguin Press, New York, p. 332; see also Killer Angel, p. 73.
4.Killer Angel, p. 74: see also Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right, pp. 229-334.
5.Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right, pp.229-334; see also Killer Angel, p.73.
6. Killer Angel, p. 104.
7. Los Angeles Times, Book Review Section, October 22, 1989, p. 9.
8.The First Global Revolution: Club of Rome, Alexander King and Bertrand Schneider, Pantheon Books, New York, 1991, p. 115.
9. “The Population Controllers,” New American Magazine, 6/27/94, p. 7.
10. Material is available from Radio Liberty, P.O. Box 13, Santa Cruz, CA, 95063.

This article was originally published in the
September 1997 Personal Update NewsJournal.
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When Do Black Lives Really matter?

08/25/2015


NYC: More Black Babies Killed by Abortion Than Born

Author: Michael W. Chapman
Source: cnsnews.com – 02.20.2014
Link: about.me/gideonsword

Negro Abortions

(CNSNews.com) – In 2012, there were more black babies killed by abortion (31,328) in New York City than were born there (24,758), and the black children killed comprised 42.4% of the total number of abortions in the Big Apple, according to a report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The report is entitled, Summary of Vital Statistics 2012 The City of New York, Pregnancy Outcomes, and was prepared by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Vital Statistics.
(See Pregnancy Outcomes NYC Health 2012.pdf)

Table 1 of the report presents the total number of live births, spontaneous terminations (miscarriages), and induced terminations (abortions) for women in different age brackets between 15 and 49 years of age. The table also breaks that data down by race – Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander, Non-Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic Black – and also by borough of residence: Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island.

The numbers show that in 2012, there were 31,328 induced terminations (abortions) among non-Hispanic black women in New York City. That same year, there were 24,758 live births for non-Hispanic black women in New York City. There were 6,570 more abortions than live births of black children.

In total, there were 73,815 abortions, which means the 31,328 black babies aborted comprised 42.4% of the total abortions.

For Hispanic women, there were 22,917 abortions in New York City in 2012, which is 31% of the total abortions.

Negros Killing Babies

Black and Hispanic abortions combined, 54,245 babies, is 73% of the total abortions in the Big Apple in 2012.

The number of non-Hispanic white abortions was 9,704, and the number of Asian and Pacific Islander abortions was 4,493.

The total number of live births in New York City in 2012 for women ages 15-49 was 123,231. That is a rate of 14.8 live births per 1,000 women, which is the lowest rate since 1979, according to the report. In addition, the live birth rate (per 1,000 women) has declined 3.9% since 2003, when it was a 15.4 rate, states the report.
(See Pregnancy Outcomes NYC Health 2012.pdf)

In addition, while there were 73,815 abortions in New York City in 2012, the rate of abortions per 1,000 women is down 8.6% since 2011, according to the report.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not published their abortion statistics for 2011 or 2012 yet, they do have data for 2010. (See Table 12.) In the CDC’s numbers, there were 38,574 black babies killed by abortion in New York City in 2010; Hispanic babies aborted, 27,112; white babies killed by abortion, 9,220; and “other” aborted, 5,368. The total abortions in New York City in 2010 “reported by known race/ethnicity” were 80,274, according to the CDC.

SEPTEMBER WARNING: PREPARE!

08/25/2015

Link: about.me/gideonsword

It Is Time To Kick Prepping Into Overdrive,
Because This Stock Market Crash Is Just The Beginning

Author: Michael Snyder
Source: endoftheamericandream.com – 08.24.2015

Speedometer

If you have not been preparing for what is coming, you need to get off your sofa and you need to start prepping right now. Just remember what happened back in 2008. That crisis took most people totally by surprise. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, and because most of them were living paycheck to paycheck, all of a sudden most of them couldn’t pay the rent or the mortgage either. Large numbers of families that were once living a comfortable middle class lifestyle suddenly found themselves destitute. Well, this coming crisis is going to be even worse by the time it is all said and done, and it is not just going to be economic in nature. Over the past two trading days, the Dow has gone down more than a thousand points. The shaking that so many have warned about has begun. As this shaking plays out, you and your family will need cash, food, supplies and a whole bunch of other things. If you do not already have everything prepared, then you need to kick your prepping into overdrive because we are on a very compressed time frame now.

But don’t just take my word for it. A top adviser to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown named Damian McBride is saying the same thing:

“A former adviser to Gordon Brown has urged people to stock up on canned goods and bottled water as stock markets around the world slide.”

And he didn’t just speak in generalities. According to an article in one of the most important newspapers in the UK, McBride is urging his fellow citizens to do some very specific things:

“Advice on the looming crash, No.1: get hard cash in a safe place now; don’t assume banks & cashpoints will be open, or bank cards will work,” he tweeted.

“Crash advice No.2: do you have enough bottled water, tinned goods & other essentials at home to live a month indoors? If not, get shopping.

“Crash advice No.3: agree a rally point with your loved ones in case transport and communication gets cut off; somewhere you can all head to.”

All of that is great advice.

But I wonder why he is so concerned about people being able to live a month indoors. Does he know something that the rest of us do not?

Others are issuing similar ominous warnings. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Chuck Baldwin that seemed to be written with an unusual sense of urgency:

“I suggest you have a supply of food and water to last at least three months. Many survival experts insist that a six-month supply is the minimum. Personally, I can live a long time on tuna fish or peanut butter. You can purchase MREs from a variety of sources, as well as camp-style packaged food from many sporting goods stores. Of course, bottled water is available everywhere during normal times. Stock up! Distilled water will store longer than spring water. Plus, I suggest you have some water purification tablets or a Katadyn water filter on hand. And, if you are able, prepare to grow your own food. In cold weather climates such as we have here in Montana, people quickly learn how to construct and utilize greenhouses in which to grow food. Canning food is another very helpful hedge against deprivation. If your parents and grandparents lived through the Great Depression as mine did, this was standard operating procedure.

Get a generator. Keep a supply of fuel on hand. Stay stocked up on batteries, candles, portable lights, first aid supplies, and toiletries–especially toilet paper and toothpaste. I also suggest you never run out of lighters or matches. You never know when you’ll need to build a fire. If you live in a cold weather climate, you probably already have some sort of wood stove or fireplace.”

You can read the rest of that outstanding article right here.

Similar sentiments were expressed in a recent piece by prepper extraordinaire Daisy Luther:

Take your money out of the bank ASAP. If you still keep your money in the bank, go there and remove as much as you can while leaving in enough to pay your bills. Although it wasn’t a market collapse in Greece recently, the banks did close and limit ATM withdrawals. People went for quite some time without being able to access their money, but were able to have a sense of normalcy by transferring money online to pay bills or using their debit cards to make purchases. Get your cash out. You don’t want to be at the mercy of the banks.
— Stock up on supplies. Make sure you are prepped. If you’re behind on your preparedness efforts and need to do this quickly, you can order buckets of emergency food just to have some on hand. (Learn how to build an emergency food supply using freeze dried food HERE) Hit the grocery store or wholesale club and stock up there, too, on your way home.
Load up on fuel. Fill up your gas tank and fill your extra cans also. Quite often, fuel prices skyrocket in the wake of a market crash.
Be prepared for the potential of civil unrest. If the banks put a limit on withdrawals (or close like they did in Greece) you can look for some panic to occur. If the stores dramatically increase prices or close…more panic. Be armed and be prepared to stay safely at home. (Although this article was written during the Ferguson race riots, civil unrest follows a similar pattern regardless of the cause.)
Be prepared for the possibility of being unable to pay your bills. If things really go downhill, the middle class and those who are the working poor will be the most strongly affected, as they have been in Greece during that country’s ongoing financial crisis. Read an article which talks about surviving if you are unable to pay all of your bills HERE.”

Every family is facing a different set of circumstances, so “prepping” is not going to look the same for everyone. What may make sense for you may not make sense for me. But the truth is that we all need to get prepared for what is coming, because time is running out.

As I have discussed repeatedly, I have more of a sense of urgency about the last six months of 2015 than I have ever had about any other other specific period of time. That is why the book that I recently co-authored with survivalist expert Barbara Fix is entitled “Get Prepared NOW“. The word “NOW” is in larger print than everything else on the front cover because I really wanted to emphasize the urgency of what we are facing.

If you think that you can wait until next year to start getting prepared, you are going to be too late.

This stock market crash is just the beginning. Next month we are witnessing a convergence of events that is pretty much unprecedented. If you would like to learn more, here are some places to get started:

— “The Big List Of 33 Things That Are Going To Happen In September 2015

— “The Russian Media Is Talking About What Is Coming In September, But The U.S. Media Has Been Strangely Silent

— “The Mystery Of September 23: Why Does 9/23 Keep Popping Up All Over the Place?

— “10 Things That Are Going To Happen Within 15 Days Of The End Of The Shemitah

The relative stability of the past few years has lulled millions of Americans into a state of complacency.

And even our politicians are displaying a stunning level of complacency. For example, even though our nation is rapidly going down the toilet, Barack Obama has played more than 1,100 hours of golf while he has been in the White House.

It is time for all of us to awaken from our slumber, because life in America is about to dramatically change.

What Do They Know?
Why Are So Many Of The Super Wealthy Preparing Bug Out Locations?

Submitted by: Tyler Durden
Source: zerohedge.com – 01.31.2015

A lot of ultra-rich people are quietly preparing to “bug out” when the time comes. They are buying survival properties, they are buying farms in far away countries and they are buying deep underground bunkers. In fact, a prominent insider at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland says that “very powerful people are telling us they’re scared” and he shocked his audience when he revealed that he knows “hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand”.

So what do they know? Why are so many of the super wealthy suddenly preparing bug out locations? When the elite of the world start preparing for doomsday, that is a very troubling sign. And right now the elite appear to be quietly preparing for disaster like never before.

The insider that I mentioned above is named Robert Johnson. He is the president of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, and what he recently told a packed audience in Davos is making headlines all over the planet:

“With growing inequality and the civil unrest from Ferguson and the Occupy protests fresh in people’s mind, the world’s super rich are already preparing for the consequences. At a packed session in Davos, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” he said.”

But he didn’t stop there.

In a separate interview, Johnson admitted that “very powerful people are telling us they’re scared” and that the elite “see increasing evidence of social instability and violence”. You can watch video of the entire interview below:

Wow.

And Johnson is not the only one saying these things.

The following quote comes from the Mirror:

“His comments were backed up by Stewart Wallis, executive director of the New Economics Foundation, who when asked about the comments told CNBC Africa: “Getaway cars the airstrips in New Zealand and all that sort of thing, so basically a way to get off. If they can get off, onto another planet, some of them would.”’

Of course not all elitists are planning to jet off to the other side of the globe.

Some are planning to go deep underground when things hit the fan.

For example, there is an underground decommissioned missile silo in Kansas that has been transformed into luxury survival condos by a real estate developer. The following is from a Wall Street Journal article about those condos:

“The so-called Survival Condo complex boasts full and half-floor units that cost $1.5 million to $3 million each. The building can accommodate up to 75 people, and buyers include doctors, scientists and entrepreneurs, says developer Larry Hall.”

Mr. Hall, who lives in a Denver suburb, bought his first missile-silo site in Kansas in 2008 and completed construction in December 2012. A year later, he says, the development had sold out. Work on the second security compound — the one where Mr. Allen bought a unit — is under way, and Mr. Hall says he is considering additional sites in Texas and elsewhere.

As former nuclear missile sites built under the supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers, the structures were originally designed to withstand a direct hit by a nuclear bomb. At ground level, they can be sealed up by two armored doors weighing 16,000 pounds each. Mr. Hall added sophisticated water and air-treatment facilities, state-of-the-art computer network technology and several alternate power generation capabilities.”

Other wealthy individuals are turning their current homes into high tech security fortresses.

Those that are involved in providing these kinds of services have seen business absolutely soar in recent years:

— Wealthy families across the country are shelling out millions to protect their loved ones from intruders, natural disasters or the apocalypse as home security goes increasingly sci-fi.

— Companies that provide concerned homeowners with futuristic gadgets – and a priceless peace of mind – have revealed the growing demand of costly bunkers, passageways, panic rooms and recognition software.

— Chris Pollack – president of Pollack Partners, a design and construction adviser in Purchase, New York – told Forbes that, while security has always been important for the wealthiest clients, the spending on home security has noticeably grown in the past five years.

And the options available on the market are like something from a Bond film.

For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled Why Are So Many Wealthy People Building Futuristic High Tech Security Bunkers?

So why are all of these wealthy people so alarmed?

Well, the truth is that they can see what is happening.

They can see that millions of people are falling out of the middle class. They can see that society is breaking down in thousands of different ways. They can see that anger and frustration are rising to unprecedented levels. And they can see that things are likely to boil over once the next major economic crisis strikes.

Even though the economy is still fairly stable for the moment, signs of increasing economic suffering are everywhere. For example, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that homeless encampments are rapidly spreading throughout the Los Angeles area:

“Over the last two years, street encampments have jumped their historic boundaries in downtown Los Angeles, lining freeways and filling underpasses from Echo Park to South Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, a city-county agency, received 767 calls about street encampments in 2014, up 60% from the 479 in 2013.”

We live at a time when almost everyone is getting poorer except for the elite. The top 1 percent now have close to 50 percent of the wealth in the entire world, and each year wealth becomes even more concentrated in their hands.

The elite know that eventually a breaking point is going to come. Those that are smart don’t want to be around when that happens.

And we got a few clues about what things might look like what that time comes from the recent “snow scare” in New York. Frightened consumers wiped out supplies of bread, milk and eggs within just a few hours. People started to take advantage of one another, even the journalists seemed like they were on the verge of panic, and virtually the entire city shut down.

All of this over just a few snowflakes.

So what is going to happen when we have a real crisis?

If the elite are preparing to bug out, it is hard to blame them.
I wouldn’t want to be right in the middle of a volcano when it erupts either.

Life is about to dramatically change, and signs of the coming storm are everywhere.

I hope that you are getting prepared for what is about to hit us while you still can.

Deception and Apostasy

08/24/2015

Link: about.me/gideonsword

The following post consists of two articles. The first, ‘If It Looks So Good, How Can It Be Deception’, is a timely warning for the modern-day church in North America — a church which is increasingly being led down the road to apostasy by sensual, feelings-driven religious movements which appeal to the senses but have little to do with the sound doctrine and solid principles of Bible teaching. The second article, ‘Pathway to Apostasy’, is a commentary from Roger Oakland in which he shares some concerns concerning the direction and trends which evangelical Christianity is following today. Following both articles I have included a video presentation of a sermon by Pastor Carter Conlon (Times Square Church) entitled, ‘Run For Your Lives’, in which Bro. Conlon, annointed by the Holy Spirit, gives a tearful exhortation to the church to avoid false teachings and doctrines of demons at ALL COSTS.

Truth or Lies

 

If It Looks So Good,
How Can It Be Deception?

Author: Barbara Wilhelm
Source: web.archive.org – 11/1997

“Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any creature of the field which God had made.” (Gen. 3:1 – Amplified version)

“But also (in those days) there arose false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among your-selves, who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines.” ( 2 Pet. 2:1)

“For certain men have crept in stealthily – gaining entrance secretly by a side door.” (Jude 4)

How often do we hear the refrain – if it looks so “good” (“brings forth such “good fruit”), how can it be deception? Are we expecting deception to be obvious? Why then would the Bible describe it as “more subtle and crafty, stealthily” gaining entrance as by a side door? Barnes Commentary states in the analysis of 2 Peter 2:1 that,

“…(false teachers) would not at first make an open avowal of their doctrines, but would, in fact, while their teachings seemed to be in accordance with truth, secretly maintain opinions which would sap the very foundations of religion. The Greek words used in the preceding verses means properly to lead in along with others. Nothing could better express the usual way in which error is introduced. It is by the side, or along with, other doctrines which are true; that is, while the mind is turned mainly to other subjects, and is off its guard, gently and silently to lay down some principle, which, being admitted, would lead to error. Those who preach error rarely do it openly.”

THEREFORE, WE SHOULD EXPECT DECEPTION TO LOOK “GOOD”!! According to the Bible, the easiest method of deception is for error to ride on the back of truth. We hear what is, indeed, truth being preached. We assume that everything, therefore, being preached is truth, that everything being done is Biblical, so we let down our guard…and error and deception can then enter “secretly by the side door.” Do we forget that it is a little bit of leaven that leavens the whole loaf?

Let’s carefully examine what the Bible says about things that look “good.” A few simple – yet startling – examples:

Gen. 13:10 – What did God describe as looking “like the Garden of the Lord”? SODOM (where exceedingly great sinners lived, v.13)

Ezek. 28:12– Who did God say was “the full measure and pattern of exactness – full of wisdom and PERFECT IN BEAUTY”? SATAN

Matt. 7:15 – Who will come “dressed as sheep” on the outside, “but inside are devouring wolves”? False prophets…looking “good.”

Acts 20:29-30 also speaks of “ferocious wolves” that come from “inside”, from those thought to be in the flock of Christ.

Matt. 23:12 – Who “looked beautiful on the outside”? The Pharisees who “inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything impure.”

2 Cor. 11:14,15 – Who will come as an “angel of light” and as “ministers of righteousness”? Satan and his servants.

Conclusion: deception looks “good” on the outside, but inside it is deadly.

It requires diligence to discern when Satan comes as an “angel of light”, bringing what looks like the “light” of new revelation on a holy subject: when he comes, not as a devil, but as “another Jesus”; not with out-and- out heresy, but with “another Gospel”; and when he does all this in a religious setting, as “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:4). Have we forgotten that Satan is a “religious” creature? Have we not realized that false gospels are not completely new gospels, rather they are true gospels with a few “minor” changes? Didn’t the Galatians believe the basic truths of Christianity? Yet, Paul said, not once but twice, that they were to be “accursed” (Gal.1:8-9) for receiving a “different gospel,” for making a few changes to the true gospel.

Perhaps, we need to look at some passages of Scripture in greater detail so that we may grow in discernment and avoid the deadly dangers of deception. Let’s start at the beginning…

Genesis 3 contains the foundational truths of discerning deception. The Garden of Eden was a perfect religious setting; and into this perfect religious setting came deception. The relationship between God and the man and woman was so close that He “walked in the garden in the cool of the day” with them. This was spiritual intimacy of the highest order. And therein was part of Satan’s subtle deception – he tempted the woman in the realm of that spiritual intimacy to become closer to God, to be more like Him (v.5). Let’s remember that deception came before the Fall, before sin corrupted her mind with the twisted knowledge of what good and evil were. Exactly because of the purity of her being, this deception had to come in a very “good” disguise – so it came disguised in a holy desire for her to be closer to the God she loved. Such a holy desire – but, in order for it to be fulfilled she had to disobey His one “small” warning: just take one bite of what looked “good” to her. Here was the first appearance of the “angel of light”, bringing new “light” in a “holy” way. And she did eat…and Adam did likewise. And they lost everything. The temptation looked “good”; it sounded “holy”; and it would allow them to grow “wise” – how could this be bad when it looked so good?

In their deception and sin, the man and woman did not even first realize there was any change in them: “After Eve had eaten and apparently suffered no ill effect, this constituted an additional argument why Adam need not hesitate to adopt the same course” (Barnes Commentary). After all, she hadn’t died as God said she would if she ate of the fruit, so it must be safe. But, “they eat, they expect marvelous results, they wait and there grows on them a sense of shame” (ibid). When we are first deceived, we may still seem to be holy – perhaps we may even think we are more holy – but in time a sense of shame will grow on us. We have partaken of that which God has forbidden in His Word: we have fallen for that which we think looks “good.”

In the Garden of Eden, wasn’t one of the things the Lord was saying was that He had already given the man and woman ALL they need? They did not need more than all the trees and fruits He had already provided for them. Today, isn’t He trying to tell us the same thing? He has given us salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit – there is no “more” described in the Bible. Then why is the cry across the land for “more, Lord, more”? Biblically, what “more” is there? Do we not already have all we need?

Then there is the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matt. 13:24-30. Unger’s Bible Dictionary defines tares as:

a poisonous grass almost indistinguishable from wheat while the two are growing into blade, at the beginning. When they come into ear, they can be separated without difficulty.

At the beginning all the crop “looks good”, according to what the eye can see. But as time goes on the tares become visible. The wheat is sown first by the Lord. Then the enemy sows his tares as men sleep. Isn’t this another way of saying that first, the true gospel may be preached, but “alongside” of that tares are sown? (remember 2 Peter 2) The Matthew Henry Commentary states:

“…when reason and conscience sleep, and people are off their guard then the enemy comes in…Note, when Satan is doing the greatest mischief, he studies most to conceal himself; for his design is in danger of being spoiled if he be seen in it; and therefore when he comes to sow tares, he transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13,14)…The tares appeared not until the blade sprung up and brought forth fruit, v.26. As the good seed, so the tares lie a great while under the soil, and at first springing up, it is hard to distinguish them…”

All revivals may look good: great enthusiasm and devotion may be displayed. But, religious enthusiasm in itself is not evidence of the truth. The Pharisees had great religious enthusiasm, so do Catholic mystics and Mormon missionaries. Yet, remember Matt. 7:21-23:

“Not every one who says to Me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in YOUR NAME, and driven out demons in Your Name, and done many mighty miracles in YOUR NAME? And then I will say to them openly, Depart from Me, I never knew you.” (Emphasis added)

Who were in danger: just a few? No, many. Were evil acts being performed? No, they were doing miracles, great signs and wonders, prophesying. Were they done in a demon’s name? No, in JESUS’ NAME! In His Holy Name. Yet, He said – depart from Me. How “good” it all looks and sounds – in our eyes. Not in His.

Moses was a true man of God, working true miracles. Yet, in the beginning, his miracles were duplicated by Pharaoh’s magicians (Ex. 7:11-12, 22;8:7). So that we do not forget how prone we always are to “signs-and- wonders” deceptions, 2 Tim. 2:5-9 makes references to these magicians, Jannes and Jambres by name. It warns against “silly” (v.6) people who are “forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a knowledge of the Truth” (v.7). Verse 9 promises that these counterfeits will eventually be exposed. But, in the meantime, they will continue performing signs and wonders, counterfeit signs and wonders.

Counterfeits, in the real world, are only successful in so far as they, as closely as possible, imitate the real. Only very close scrutiny will show that that $100 bill is not legal tender. In the real world, if a warning went forth that there were counterfeiters at large, wouldn’t we scrutinize our money with great diligence? Yet, there are “spiritual counterfeits” at large and so many are naively accepting what they teach at face value. There is so much more at stake – our spiritual lives hang in the balance.

The whole chapter of Deut. 13 is a warning about deception, but perhaps the most alarming verses are 1-3:

“If a prophet arises among you and gives you a sign or wonder and the sign or wonder he foretells to you COMES TO PASS, and if he says, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them. You shall not listen to the words of that prophet; for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your mind and heart and with your entire being.” (Emphasis added)

Note: the man called himself a prophet of God. He came from among them, like the tares are among the wheat, like error comes alongside truth. And, incredibly, what he said CAME TO PASS! IT LOOKED GOOD!! Yet, God says not to listen to him; on the contrary, v.8 says that that prophet is to be put to death for talking rebellion.

The Lord says all this deception is sent as a test to know whether we love Him totally. Interestingly, the remedy for deception is for us to do our own “testing.” In 1 Thess. 5:21 we are commanded by God to “prove all things until you can recognize what is good; to that hold fast.” The word prove in scripture is a metallurgist’s term. It is referred to in Jer. 6:27-30. An assayer or prover is to test ore closely because fool’s gold looks so much like real gold ( it “looks good.”) Once the assayer tests the ore and discovers it is gold, he then tests it further to see how pure that gold is — 10k, 12k, 24k, etc. Interesting isn’t it: God tests us to see if we are gold and how pure gold we are, and we are to test all things to see if they are gold and how pure they are. In Acts 17: 11 the Bereans were commended as being “more noble” because they took the Scriptures so seriously that they even tested the teachings of Paul. Notice that they did not use the fluctuating criteria of emotions or experiences in their testing; they used the only one reliable, trustworthy, infallible standard – the Word of God. Isa. 8:20 commands, “Direct people to the teaching and the testimony; if their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

Where is the purest gold found? in the City of God (Rev. 21:21). We are only fit for this Golden City as we, too, are purified and immerse ourselves in pure teaching. In John 17:17 Jesus Himself said: “Sanctify them by the Truth. THY WORD is truth.” (Emphasis added) Not our emotions, not our experiences, not by how “good” it looks or sounds or feels…by THY WORD.

I will close this by two simple examples of testing popular teachings by the holy standard of the Bible:

How many times have we heard that the end-times will be marked by revival? Yet, revival is NOT the sign of the end-times. DECEPTION is the sign of the end times. So says Jesus in Matt. 24 in v. 4-5,11,23-24. So says Paul in 2 Thess. 2:3.

How often have we been hearing lately about “miraculous signs and wonders”? The problem is that whenever signs and wonders are mentioned in the Bible in relation to the end times, they are called LYING signs and wonders! So says Jesus in Matt. 24:24 and Paul in 2 Thess. 2:9 ( see also 2 Pet. 2). Jesus in fact warns strongly against signs and wonders in Mt 12:39 and 16:4 –“An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Then why are so many today being applauded for the “signs and wonders” in their midst?

Modern Day Application
There is a movement occurring today that, sadly, illustrates the principle herein described: error comes in alongside truth. I am speaking of the “Pensacola Revival” at Brownsville Assembly of God Church. I have personally viewed video tapes of numerous Brownsville services and read countless articles from Biblical authorities on their observations regarding the “Pensacola Revival.” The Word that is preached may be holy. The burden for the lost and the heart’s desire for the flock may be real. Individuals’ lives may have changed for the better because of a sincere desire for God. BUT are the “impartations”, the “birthings”, the physical manifestations and emotional excesses truly of God? Are they not, instead, errors that have come alongside truth and are not those “little bits of leaven” in terrible danger of leavening the whole loaf?

We cannot test what we see and hear by our emotions or by experience: the only remedy for deception is the truth, the objective truth of God’s Word. We must discern what is light and what is darkness. We must test the origins of this revival, its teachings and its total conformity to Scripture. Only by testing can we know what is true and to be embraced and what is deception and to be avoided.

Our criteria for truth, therefore, is not if it looks, sounds or feels “good.” Partaking of the tree of the knowledge of GOOD and evil was our first sin – thinking we knew what was “good”. The remedy for that sin in the Garden of Eden was “Yes, God HATH said!” Today, the remedy is still the same – has God said in His Word that it is good. Let our prayer be that in Isa. 11:2-3:

“(That) the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon ( us), the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of he Lord. And make us of quick understanding, and (let our) delight be in the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord. And (let us) NOT judge by the sight of (our eyes) neither decide by the hearing of (our) ears”…Nor by how “good” it looks or sounds or feels. Amen.” (Amplified Version).

Apostasy


Pathway to Apostasy

Commentary by: Roger Oakland
Source: Understand The Times International: Roger Oakland Ministries
www.understandthetimes.org


Recently, I was contacted by a friend and colleague who also has a discernment ministry. He was surveying other discernment ministries in order to come up with a list of the top ten subtle ways the body of Christ is presently being led astray. As I was busy speaking at a conference at the time I received his e-mail, I wrote him back and told him I would get back to him in a few days.

While flying back to my home after the conference, I took out my computer and responded to my friend’s request. The topics I had presented at the conference were still fresh in my mind. Following are the first ten trends I have personally encountered. While I am certain there are many more, the following ten trends provide a good overview of what is taking place in the church today:

– Ecumenical unity at any cost yet completely void of any connection to the message that Jesus died on the Cross.

– The church-growth movement, which is focused on a market-driven seeker-friendly Christianity emphasizing a megachurch mentality.

– A Christianity focused on following men, their methods, and their movements.

– A Jesuit agenda promoted by publishers and pastors proclaiming the teachings and ideas of Roman Catholic church fathers and Roman Catholic mystics.

– The rejection of biblical creation and the acceptance of theistic evolution and progressive creation.

– The acceptance of New Age ancient Babylonian practices such as yoga and contemplative prayer as a means of “getting closer to Jesus.”

– A false Christianity that substitutes the gospel according to the Scriptures with a social gospel.

– The “Purpose-driven P.E.A.C.E. Plan” that prepares the church for a global one-world religion.

– An experience-based “Christianity” that seeks after signs and wonders and rejects the biblical warnings of a Last Days spiritual deception found in the Bible.

– The compromising of the church in order to become “postmodern” and “progressive” in an attempt to reach the postmodern generation.

It was not my objective to place these various trends in their order of importance. The fact is, each one is occurring, and the vast majority of professing Christians are not even aware these trends are happening or even that there is a problem. Perhaps in the future, these ten points would make good chapter headings for a small book that would deal with each topic in more detail.

For now, let me say I believe biblical Christianity is under attack like it has never been before. We are not only on a “slippery slope” — Christianity is ready to fall off the cliff. As Jesus asked in Luke 18:18: When the Son of man cometh, will He find faith?

Current events indicate the pathway to apostasy is leading exactly in the direction foretold by the Scriptures.

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

Sermon presented by: Pastor Carter Conlon at the Times Square Church
Source: Youtube – NeverSurrender channel

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