Thursday, December 21, 2006

Great Quotes!

Some one, then, must undertake the ungracious task of probing and laying bare the evils of the age; for men must not be allowed to congratulate themselves that all is well. If others will not, he will. If others shrink from the obloquy of such a work, he will not. He loves the age too well; he loves his nation too well; he loves his fellow-men too well. They may upbraid him; they may call him a misanthropist, or a prophet of evil; they may ascribe his warnings to the worst of motives, such as pride, or arrogance, or self-esteem, or malice, or envy; but he will give no heed to these unjust insinuations. He will prefer being thus misunderstood and maligned, to allowing men to precipitate themselves upon a ruin which they see not.

Rather than that they should perish, he will allow his own good name to be spoken against. He will risk every thing, even the hatred of brethren, rather than withhold the warning. If they give no heed to it, he has, at least, saved his own soul. If they do, he has saved both his own soul and theirs. He would rather take up the glad tidings of peace, and tell men of Him who came the first time for shame and death, and who is coming the second time for glory and dominion; but he feels as one who has a special and personal message to deliver, which cannot be postponed. He must remember that he is a watchman; and, having seen danger pressing on, he must not hesitate to make it known. He must speak his message of forewarning and rebuke, sparing no arrows, and neither smoothing down nor hiding any form of sin, but laying his finger upon every sore, and beseeching men to turn from their ungodliness.

The evils around him press upon him sadly; the coming evils are foreshadowed upon his spirit, and, therefore, he lifts up his voice like a trumpet. Satan has many snares which need to be detected; the world has many spells and lures which must be disenchanted; religion has many guises which must be unmasked, many devious paths of inconsistency which must be pointed out, many cherished errors which must be condemned, many carnal taints which must be abhorred and shunned. All these he must protest against without fear or favour.

--Horatius Bonar

Saturday, December 09, 2006

More One Thousand Gifts

So much to be thankful for when you really think about it. I am thankful to be so blessed in so many ways.

151. Sitting around the freshly decorated tree with the children, talking about which ornament is our favorite.
152. The many memories brought about by looking at ornaments from years gone by
153. big, fat old fashioned Christmas lights
154. the look on my daughter's face when she looks at the lit up tree
154. children's' laughter
155. family time
156. using the easy bake oven with my daughter
157. tree swings
158. long, hot baths
189. Christmas cookies
160. glue sticks
161. lots of white Christmas lights
162. my favorite, great big frying pan
163. help in the kitchen!
164. an extra few minutes under the covers on a cold morning
165. talking to my sister
166. wrapping presents
167. Peace and quiet!
168. finished school work!
169. friends that are like family
170. the sound of rain falling
171. sunny days!
172. warm bathrobes
172. Christmas cards from old friends
173. decorating the house for Christmas
173. great movies!
174. crayons
175. a trustworthy mechanic

One Thousand seems so far away!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Church Growth Hormone - a Biblically Banned Substance

A great article by Ray Baumann talking about how he was addicted to "church growth hormone". In this article he warns the church about this dangerous substance and the damaging effects of it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More One Thousand Gifts

Here they are, more things I encounter each and every day that I am thankful for.

135. Driving around on a cold night looking at Christmas lights with my family
136. Laughter
137. my new couch!
138. my fleece slippers
139. the joy I get from watching my dogs cuddle with each other
140. watching my children play together
141. the sight of the last few roses blooming on the rose bush before it is too cold
142. my phone call from my mom every morning
143. getting the pictures I ordered in the mail and getting to be the first one to view them
144. getting into a freshly made bed with clean sheets!
145. toast with peanut butter and a cup of tea
146. warm shortbread with my coffee
147. the feel of a fresh clean mouth after you brush your teeth! (can't imagine what life was like before toothpaste!)
148. stealing a quiet moment to look at my new cookbook
149. the fact that I still get excited (after 16 years) when my husband pulls in the driveway after work!
150. the fact that he wants to come straight home from work

Thursday, November 30, 2006

To the Church in Laodicea/America

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.
'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit[12][Lit vomit ] you out of My mouth.
'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,
I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' "
- Revelation 3:14-22 (NASB)

Here is another version, The Message. It really brings in to full understanding what Jesus was saying.

Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God's Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God's creation, says:

15-17"I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You're not cold, you're not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You're stale. You're stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, 'I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,' oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.

18"Here's what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that's been through the refiner's fire. Then you'll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You've gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.

19"The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!

20-21"Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That's my gift to the conquerors!

22"Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches."
-Revelation 3:14-22 (The Message)

Powerful words to ponder. Jesus was not talking to unbelievers, He was talking to THE CHURCH! I don't know about you but I do not want to be thought of as vomit by God.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More One Thousand Gifts!!

116. watching my 7 year old pack her new purse (too cute!)
117. watching a 7 year old write in her diary (also too cute!)
118. pumpkin pie
119. the joy of looking through old photo albums
120. online shopping (the best kind, you do it in your jammies)
121. cordless phones (better than the 20 ft. cord my mom used to have!)
122. warm blankets on a cool night
123. sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal with my family
124. mousse for my hair, without which I would look like a clown!
125. the end of football season!(can't come fast enough)
126. dancing, singing 7 year old girls
127. my favorite frying pan
128. the smell of turkey in the oven
129. the beauty of a lit tiffany lamp
130. extra long morning cuddles with my daughter
131. the bottom of the laundry pile!
132. buying Christmas gifts for others
133. the opportunity to give
134. that moment when the house is ALL CLEAN! (look quick, it doesn't last long!)

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rick Warren On Truth

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth …” (John 16:13)

“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17)

"We believe we can learn truth -- I’ve learned a lot of truth from different religions. Because they all have a portion of the truth.” —Rick Warren, (In an interview with Larry King) transcripts can be found

Mr. Warren is very WRONG! Jesus was very clear in stating that HE is the way, the truth and the life. If a religion does not believe in the trinity and that Jesus is God and Jesus died and rose on the third day, then it has nothing to do with truth. If a religion does not believe that faith in the death and resurrectiuon of Jesus Christ and His shed blood is the ONLY way to heaven, and it is in no way by works, then it has nothing to do with truth. There is ONE TRUE GOD. It is the very fact that Jesus is God and was fully human also, that sets Christianity apart from all other religions. Jesus is truth!

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:20-23)

Too many Christian church leaders, churches, and Christians themselves, are compromising the very Word of God to try to have unity among all religions. Jesus prayed for unity, but He wanted unity first, with the Father God, and if we have that, there will be a unity among all TRUE believers. You can not have the unity Jesus prayed for with other religions that go against the very truths of the Word of God. To do so is to compromise truth!

"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." (Luk.12:49-53)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (Jn.14:27)

Peace that is obtained by compromising truth and the Word of God is in fact not true peace at all!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

One Thousand Gifts Continued

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. The One Thousand Gifts list has been such a blessing. It has really made me realize how much I have to be thankful for and how many things we let slip by without realizing how blessed we are. So here it is, more of the many blessings I am thankful for.....

101. space heaters on a cold morning
102. Julyas, my friend's cuddly 8 month old
103. opportunities to bless others
104. watching children laugh and play
105. a faithful husband
106. a good marriage
107. my parents are still married (rarer and rarer these days)
108. memories of large family gatherings as a child
109. old family photos
110. electric pencil sharpeners
111. the smell of fresh ground coffee
112. black raspberry ice cream
113. my morning phone call from my husband (I am sleeping when he leaves sooo early in the morning!)
114. a hard working husband
115. time with my husband after the kids go to bed

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Deeds Rather Than Creeds

Rick Warren of Saddleback Church has been quoted as saying that he is looking for a second reformation of deeds rather than creeds. Hmmmmmmmmmm??? I wonder what all of those who were persecuted and died for their beliefs in the first few centuries of the church would think of that? What would those Christians who are being martyred for their faith in this present day think of that?

I beg to differ with Rick Warren. What we believe does matter. It is the very truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that makes Christianity stand out from all other religions. Mr. Warren, by his statement is condoning a works based faith. One can spend their entire life doing "good things" and not make it to heaven. Merely "working for the church" does not get you entrance to heaven. Churches doing wonderful things all over the world is great, but does not guarantee its members "salvation. Church membership is not a ticket to heaven. Any compromise of the truth to try to obtain peace is not true peace.

It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that leads a man to repentance and salvation. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. That needs to be the first and foremost goal of the church. It is sad that many churches measure their success by the size of the building or the new coffee shop they have in the lobby. Many mega churches spend their time and much money trying to look more and more like the world to get the people to come. What are they doing with the people once they are there? They give them motivational messages, tickle their ears, and send them on their way. No one mentions Hell, sin, repentance, or the need for it, because they want them to return the next week. The end result is churches filled with people who have no idea what the foundations of the Christian faith are. Churches filled with people who have no relationship with Jesus Christ and are headed straight for Hell. This is the result of a "deeds and not creeds" philosophy.

Romans 16:17-18--Paul said, "I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own body, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the innocent."

"To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20

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Monday, November 13, 2006

More One Thousand Gifts!!

Here is more of my One Thousand Gifts list. What a great idea started by Ann Voskamp at Christian Women Online
81. cold mornings under the covers with my daughter
82. bonfires with friends on a cold night
83. roasted marshmallows
84. chocolate and graham crackers to go with the perfectly toasted marshmallow!
85. watching my husband try to be young again by playing football with teenagers
86. reaching the end of the dirty clothes pile!
87. going in to wake my deep sleeping 12 year old for school
88. hot coffee on a cold morning
89. late nights chatting with dear friends
90. hearing my nephew talk, he has such a sweet voice, makes me melt!
91. holding a newborn baby
92. sweet ripe tomatoes
93. my son carrying his winnie the pooh pillow through the house!(it has been attached to him since he was old enough to carry it, I joke and ask him if he will carry it at his wedding!)
94. long hot showers
95. my favorite scented soap
96. hot biscuits with butter
97. the sound of children laughing
98. unlimited night and weekend minutes on my cell phone!
99. looking up at the stars on a cool clear night
100. garlic presses (love it and hate to chop it!)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Concerning Ted Haggard...

"You have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out." Numbers 32:23

God is NO respector of persons. He has no favorites or contracts or seniority. Sin is Sin, no matter who commits it--even a preacher--a person whose conduct and influence should be above reproach. If we deliberately disobey God's Word, we have sinned. It is NOT a "shortcoming" or a "fault" or a "character flaw": it is SIN! We cannot trifle with the Word of God and still have His approval upon our life. Any who might think they can are badly deceived.

For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. Job 34:21,22.

I believe that in these end times we are going to see more and more of a distinction and seperation between those who call themselves Christians and those who have truly had a born again, life changing experience with Jesus Christ. We will see those who truly love the Lord grow closer and closer to Him and those who are "playing church", grow further away and more like the world. Satan has deceived a great many so called Christians. Many a church are full Sunday after Sunday with people who are headed for Hell.

In an effort to please people and attract them to church, too many have watered down and compromised the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Churches have grown more and more like the world. Many are nothing more than a weekly gathering of a social club. Jesus Himself said that if we were lukewarm He would spew us from His mouth! Those are very strong and serious words. He wants all of us. He wants us to be madly in love with Him. After all, He is coming back for His bride! He is the Bridegroom!

And now, I will continue my Thousand Gifts List....

52. pumpkin spice coffee creamer (Yummy!)
53. glue guns
54. a car that runs great!
55. my husbands overtime at work ($)
54. my God never leaves me or forsakes me
55. great deals on ebay
56. microwaves
57. grace
58. squirrels scampering around the yard
59. cell phones
60. the look on your childs face when you sing happy birthday!
61. hearing my children tell one another they love each other
62. children that look forward to going to church
63. great sales at the grocery store
64. sleeping an extra few minutes in the morning
65. email
66. the first morning kiss from the puppy
67. walks on the beach
68. friendly neighbors
69. power rollers for painting
70. dinner out! (a break from cooking)
71. italian food
72. watching my daughter play dress-up
73. questions like, "mommy, will I be a good mommy some day?", as my daughter holds her baby doll
74. watching the dogs cuddle at night
75. kitty cats rubbing their heads up against you and purring
76. quiet!
77. a peaceful, uneventful homeschool day
78. great smelling fabric softener
79. carpet cleaner
80. doggies always at my feet!

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

One Thousand Gifts

What a great idea! To ponder what we are thankful for. I will add to this list as I think of things.

1. Jesus
2. My God fearing husband
3. My son
4. My daughter(today is her birthday!)
5. family
6. dishwashers
7. telephones
8. computers
9. homeschooling my children
10. candles
11. indoor plumbing!
12. my 2 cute doggies
13. a roof over my head
14. my pastor
15. leaves blowing in the wind
16. spontaneous "I love you Mommy" from my 7 year old
17. saturday morning coffee with my hubby
18. icemakers
19. Diet Pepsi ( I admit it, I am addicted!)
20. warm slippers for my feet
21. cozy pajamas
22. my favorite blanket
23. dark chocolate
24. hugs
25. "I'm sorry" notes from my 12 year old
26. warm showers
27. the smell of rain
28. the smell of cut grass
29. birds chirping in the morning
30. washers and dryers!
31. vacuum cleaners
32. coffee
33. cheesecake
34. freedom to worship God
35. My Bible
36. Friends
37. my newly painted living room
38. my furniture I waited so long for!
39. high speed internet
40. sunny days
41. my 12 year old loves Jesus!
42. cake! (we are making one today!)
43. licking the bowl when baking!
44. digital cameras
45. my parents
46. my brother and sister
47. my God fearing grandmother who I know has said many a prayer for me!
48. freedom
49. being born in the United States
50. voting
51. men and women who are willing to fight for freedom

......... more to come as I scratch them down.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Great Quotes

"I cannot submit my faith either to the Pope or to the Councils, because it is clear as day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture ... I cannot and will not retract ... Here I stand, I can do no other. So help me God, Amen." - Martin Luther, In Response to Emporor Charles V

"God loves each of us as if there were only one of us." ~St. Augustine

"Darkness cannot put out the Light. It can only make God brighter." ~Author Unknown

Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society's own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender. - A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

(God help us! That one seems to describe todays "seeker friendly" and emergent churches!)

The ordinary group of worshipping Christians, as the preacher sees them from the pulpit, does not look like a collection of very joyful people, in fact, they look on the whole rather sad, tired, depressed people. It is certain that such people will never win the world for Christ... It is no use trying to pretend: we may speak of joy and preach about it: but, unless we really have the joy of Christ in our hearts and manifest it, our words will carry no conviction to our hearers. - Stephen Neill, The Christian Character

Heaven is not here, it's There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for. - Elisabeth Elliot in Keep a Quiet Heart

The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world. - Stuart Briscoe in Meet Him at the Manger

Trials are medicines which our gracious and wise Physician prescribes because we need them; and he proportions the frequency and weight of them to what the case requires. Let us trust his skill and thank him for his prescription. - Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

To the Christian, love is the works of love. To say that love is a feeling or anything of the kind is really an un-Christian conception of love. That is the aesthetic definition and therefore fits the erotic and everything of that nature. But to the Christian, love is the works of love. Christ's love was not an inner feeling, a full heart and what-not: it was the work of love which was his life. - Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Journals

All God's revelations are sealed to us until they are opened to us by obedience. You will never get them open by philosophy or thinking. Immediately you obey, a flash of light comes. Let God's truth work in you by soaking in it, not by worrying into it. Obey God in the thing He is at present showing you, and instantly the next thing is opened up. We read tomes on the work of the Holy Spirit when... five minutes of drastic obedience would make things clear as a sunbeam. We say, "I suppose I shall understand these things some day." You can understand them now: it is not study that does it, but obedience. The tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens up and the profoundest truths of God are yours straight away. God will never reveal more truth about Himself till you obey what you know already. Beware of being wise and prudent. - Oswald Chambers

Unbelief is actually perverted faith, for it puts its trust, not in the living God but in dying men. The unbeliever denies the selfsufficiency of God and usurps attributes that are not his. This dual sin dishonors God and ultimately destroys the soul of man. - A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)

The Bible talks plentifully about joy, but it nowhere talks about a "happy Christian." Happiness depends on what happens; joy does not. Remember, Jesus Christ had joy, and He prays "that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves." - Oswald Chambers in Run Today's Race

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" - Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world." - John 11:25-27

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." - John 14:6

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thank God For Martin Luther

The following is an excerpt from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon about Martin Luther.

“But the just shall live by his faith.”
Habakkuk 2:4.
This text is three times employed by the Apostle Paul as an argument. Read Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews
10:38—in each of these cases it runs, “The just shall live by faith.” This is the old original text to which the Apostle
referred when he said, “As it is written, The just shall live by faith.” We are not wrong in making the Inspiration of
the Old Testament to be as important as that of the New, for the truth of the Gospel must stand or fall with that of the
Prophets of the old dispensation. The Bible is one and indivisible—you cannot question the Old Testament and retain
the New. Habakkuk must be inspired, or Paul writes nonsense.
Yesterday, 400 years ago, [November 10, 1483] there came into this wicked world the son of a miner, or refiner of
metals, who was to do no little towards undermining the Papacy and refining the Church. The name of that baby was
Martin Luther—a hero and a saint. Blessed was that day above all the days of the century, which it honored, for it bestowed
a blessing on all succeeding ages through “the monk that shook the world.” His brave spirit overturned the tyranny
of error which had so long held nations in bondage. All human history since then has been more or less affected by
the birth of that marvelous boy! He was not an absolutely perfect man—we neither endorse all that he said nor admire
all that he did—but he was a man upon whose like men’s eyes shall seldom rest!
He was a mighty judge in Israel, a kingly servant of the Lord. We ought to more often pray to God to send us men—
men of God, men of power. We should pray that, according to the Lord’s infinite goodness, His ascension gifts may be
continued and multiplied for the perfecting of His Church, for when He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive
and received gifts for men. And “He gave some, Apostles; and some, Prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors
and teachers.” He continues to bestow these choice gifts according to the Church’s needs and He would scatter them more
plentifully, perhaps, if our prayers more earnestly ascended to the Lord of the Harvest to thrust forth laborers into His
harvest. Even as we believe in the crucified Savior for our personal salvation, we ought to believe in the ascended Savior
for the perpetual enriching of the Church with confessors and evangelists who shall declare the Truth of God.
I wish to take my little share in commemorating Luther’s birthday and I think I can do no better than use the key of
the Truth of God by which Luther unlocked the dungeons of the human mind and set bondage hearts at liberty. That
golden key lies in the Truth briefly contained in the text before us—“The just shall live by his faith.” Are you not a little
surprised to find such a clear Gospel passage in Habakkuk? To discover in that ancient Prophet an explicit statement
which Paul can use as a ready argument against the opponents of Justification by Faith? It shows that the cardinal doctrine
of the Gospel is no new-fangled notion! Assuredly it is not a novel dogma invented by Luther, nor even a Truth of
God which was first taught by Paul!
This fact, Justification by Faith, has been established in all ages and, therefore, we find it here, among the ancient
things, a lamp to cheer the darkness which hung over Israel before the coming of the Lord! This also proves that there has
been no change as to the Gospel. The Gospel of Habakkuk is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! A clearer light was cast
upon this Truth of God by the giving of the Holy Spirit, but the way of salvation has, in all ages, been one and the same!
No man has ever been saved by his good works. The way by which the just have lived has always been the way of faith.
There has not been the slightest advance upon this Truth—it is established and settled—always the same, like the God
who uttered it.
At all times and everywhere, the Gospel is and must forever be the same. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today,
and forever.” We read of “the Gospel” as of one—never of two or three gospels—as of many. Heaven and earth
shall pass away, but Christ’s Word shall never pass away. It is also noteworthy that this Truth of God should be so old and should continue so unchanged, but that it should possess such vitality. This one sentence, “The just shall live by his
faith,” produced the Reformation! Out of this one line, as from the opening of one of the Apocalyptic seals, came forth
all that sounding of Gospel trumpets and all that singing of Gospel songs which made a sound like the noise of many waters
in the world. This one seed—forgotten and hidden away in the dark medieval times—was brought forth, dropped
into the human heart, made to grow by the Spirit of God and, in the end, to produce great results.
This handful of corn on the top of the mountains so multiplied that the fruit thereof did shake like Lebanon and they
of the city flourished like grass of the earth! The least bit of the Truth of God, thrown anywhere, will live! Certain plants
are so full of vitality that if you only take a fragment of a leaf and place it on the soil, the leaf will take root and grow. It
is utterly impossible that such vegetation should become extinct, And so it is with the Truth of God—it is living and
incorruptible—and, therefore, there is no destroying it! As long as one Bible remains, the religion of Free Grace will
live! No, if they could burn all printed Scriptures, as long as there remained a child who remembered a single text of the
Word, the Truth would rise again!
Even in the ashes of truth the fire is still living, and when the breath of the Lord blows upon it, the flame will burst
forth gloriously. Because of this, let us be comforted in this day of blasphemy and of rebuke—comforted because though
“the grass withers and the flower thereof falls away: but the Word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the Word by
which the Gospel is preached to you. Let us now examine this text which was the means of enlightening the heart of Luther,
as I shall explain to you, by-and-by.

The rest of this sermon by Spurgeon can be read here

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Whose Side Are You On?

It has been a long time since I posted. I have been so busy trying to get our homeschool year off to a great start. I am trying to get back into blogging. It is a nice way of "escaping" for a while. Revelation 19 is such an awesome scripture. As for the battle spoken of starting in verse 11, I know which side I will be on. Do you know for sure which side you will be on?

Revelation Chapter 19

After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;
2 BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER."
3 And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER."
4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!"
5 And a voice came from the throne, saying, "Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great."
6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

Marriage of the Lamb

7 "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."
8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9 Then he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' " And he said to me, "These are true words of God."
10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

The Coming of Christ

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, "Come, assemble for the great supper of God,
18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great."
19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

Doom of the Beast and False Prophet

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

There is ONE way to the Father. That is through Jesus Christ His son. Being born into a Christian family or a Catholic family does not guarantee your entrance to heaven. Jesus said, "You must be born again." (John Chapter 3) We have all sinned. You must confess your sins, trust in the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of yous sins and repent(turn away). Make Jesus your Lord and live for Him. The Bible says that if we are not for Him we are against Him. Jesus said if we were lukewarm He would spew us from His mouth. (Revelation 3:16) You are either serving Jesus or serving satan. Think about it!

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Gospel of Martyrdom VS. The Gospel of Success

Stephen stood before the Sanhedrin. The appointed Jewish leadership confronted this anointed Jewish believer. They glared; he glowed. They were enraged; he was enraptured. Their faces were contorted with anger; his was like the countenance of an angel. “Men and brothers,” he said, “listen to me.”

He rehearsed the history of Israel, from Abraham to Moses to David, the faithfulness of God in spite of the unfaithfulness of the people. But Stephen was not there that day merely to recite the lessons of history. He was there to be a witness, and as a faithful witness he spoke. His words turned to piercing rebuke:

You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered Him -- you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it (7:51-53).

Soon his body lay battered and bloody, a mangled, motionless mass. He had not backed down. He had not compromised. He had not omitted a word. He was a witness and a prophetic voice. And that day he became the Church’s first martyr -- the first, but not the last. Hundreds of thousands have followed in his path. Being a witness for Jesus could cost you your life.

In the early Church, witnessing and martyrdom quickly became associated: The Greek word for “witness” is martus. Witnesses testify with their lives and often seal their words with their own blood. Have you done any “witnessing” lately?

It’s one thing to read the Word and be stirred by the examples of men like Stephen. But this was real life! He was probably a young man with a wife and children. His whole future lay before him. His family was dependent on him. There may have been a toddler waiting to greet him that day when he came home. But he never came home!

And then there was his ministry. He was a powerful preacher, anointed to heal the sick and perform miracles. Think of all the lives he could touch! Think of all the good he could do for the kingdom of God.

Why didn’t Stephen simply deny the false charges? “Men and brothers, the accusations are not true.” Why didn’t he politely dismiss their questions and calm their anger? Why did he continue to stand up and speak out? The answer challenges us all: He was not seeking to save his life; he was seeking to be a witness.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it (Matt 16:25).

This is the story of the true Church in every nation and in every age:

You did not renounce your faith in Me, even in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness, who was put to death in your city -- where Satan lives (Rev 2:13b).

This is the gospel of martyrdom, the gospel of Jesus. It is the gospel that Paul preached and lived:

I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me -- the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24).

That is why he could say:

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil 1:20-21).

As Leonard Ravenhill observed, Paul didn’t mind if the cost of his obedience was prison,

for it were better that he should be “the prisoner of the Lord for a few years than that his fellow men should be the devil’s prisoners in hell forever (Why Revival Tarries, 118).

How different this is from the philosophy that rules in today’s luxury-soaked America. How different this is from the modern gospel of success! Jesus cut to the very core of the issue. When Peter told the Lord in no uncertain terms that He was not to go the way of suffering, rejection, and death (“Never, Lord!” he said.” This shall never happen to you!”), Jesus identified Peter’s words as satanic.

Get behind Me, Satan! [Jesus said to Peter.] You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. (Matt 16:23)

What was at the root of this satanically inspired theology? What fueled Peter’s opposition to the cross? It was a different set of values, a different perspective, a different viewpoint, a different understanding: “you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Now we’re getting down to the basics!

One “gospel” is interested in the things of this world, the things of men. The other gospel is interested in eternal things, the things of God. One message cultivates preservation of self; the other cultivates denial of self. One says, “Add to your life!” The other says, “Lose your life!” One message encourages self-satisfaction, the other encourages self-denial. One message tells carnally minded people “what their itching ears want to ear” (2 Tim 4:3); the other message tells the truth.

Whether or not we have much in this world is not the central issue. (Most of us in America have an incredible abundance, dozens of times what we actually need to live.) What matters is our attitude towards our what we have. And we who have an abundance must guard our hearts. Riches are deceitful!

Jesus rebuked the church of Laodicea:,

You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful poor, blind and naked (Rev 3:17).

But Jesus commended the church of Smyrna:

I know your afflictions and your poverty -- yet you are rich. . . . Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you into prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev 2:9-10).

We must see how tragically earthly the gospel of success really is. It still stands in the way of the cross. It still rebukes Jesus for promising suffering and death. In fact, it actually calls the path to Calvary “religious” -- meaning traditional, unanointed, and fruitless.

It is no overstatement to say that there is no cross in the gospel of success. In its most extreme modern forms, it originates from the pit. (Remember, it was Satan whom Jesus rebuked for trying to keep Him from going to the cross.)

The gospel of success criticizes the message of the cross because it leads to “death.” But the true gospel must lead to death -- death to the flesh, death to the will of man, death to this world’s priorities. Only through death can there be resurrection. Only through the cross can there be abundant life. In fact, if you want what some teachers call “the God kind of life” you’re going to have to experience “the Jesus kind of death.” Which path will you take?

The last generation taught what is often called “pie in the sky” theology -- and this theology certainly had its problems! There were plenty of negative distortions in the message. But we have substituted something worse. We now have the theology of “have your cake and eat it too.” The first message starved its hearers, depriving them of the blessings of life in the Spirit in this world. The second message engorges them, robbing them of the light of eternity.

People of God, we are not to center our lives around eating and drinking, gaining and possessing, having more and being merry, because tomorrow we do not die. No. We live forever! How foolish that we conduct ourselves as if this world were our lasting home. We’re just passing through!

When Jacob was a frail old man he said to Pharaoh:

The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of pilgrimage of my fathers (Gen 47:9).

King David, in spite of the equivalent of billions of dollars of riches, could say at the end of his life:

We are aliens and strangers in Your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope (1 Chr 29:15).

Hebrews 11 commends Abraham -- certainly a prosperous and influential man -- because,

By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. . . . [All of them] admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own . . . a heavenly one (11:9-10, 13-14, 16).

How much more does the New Testament call us to live in the light of eternity!

Jesus told His disciples to rejoice when they were persecuted and rejected, “because great is your reward in heaven . . .” (Matt 5:12). He told them -- and us! -- to store up treasures in heaven (Matt 6:19-21), and Peter reminds us that we have a heavenly inheritance “that can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Pet 1:4). That’s why we who suffer for Jesus now will be “overjoyed” when His glory will be revealed at His return (1 Pet 4:13). There is great joy now because there will be endless joy then!

You sympathized with those in prison [for the faith] and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions (Heb 10:34).

Consider the example of C. T. Studd. Raised in a wealthy, aristocratic home in England last century, he became a national celebrity as a sensational cricket player at Cambridge. (He could have become the “Michael Jordan” of his generation.) But through the preaching of D. L. Moody, he experienced a deep transformation and left everything to go to the mission field.

Was he wrong for abandoning a phenomenal sports career in England in order to preach the Word in China and Africa? Was he “religious” because he chose to forsake fame, fortune, and comfort to live sacrificically among the heathen? The decisions he made and the path he chose make one thing perfectly clear: He was not seeking to get ahead in this world. He was seeking to please the Lord. There is a difference!

On judgment day, and throughout eternity, men and women like C. T. Studd will be accounted wise. They will have our admiration and God’s commendation. Does anything stop us from following their lead? It will mean going against the grain!

Our country is saturated with a “save your life, improve your life” mentality -- from health clubs to exercise videos, from savings plans to retirement funds, from insurance policies to computer programs guaranteed to put you “in control of your life.” Be successful! Live in greater security and ease! Enjoy the American dream! Jesus says, “Follow Me -- even to the point of death.”

After His resurrection, He told Peter the kind of death by which he would glorify God (John 21:19). What a concept! Think of a discussion among the first eleven disciples: “Matthew, Bartholomew, Thomas, by what kind of death are you going to glorify Him?”

For these men, this would not have been idle talk: According to tradition, all the first apostles, with the exception of John, died a martyr’s death. (John was reportedly boiled in oil twice -- and survived.) For them, the issue was not, “Will we be called to die for the glory of God?” But rather, “By what kind of death will we glorify Him?”

What about us? Is the call any different today? By what kind of death are we called to glorify God? Death to our reputation? Death to human opinion? Death to our careers? Death to our plans and goals? Or maybe the literal death of a martyr?

Savonarola, the prophetic priest in the fifteenth century Catholic Church understood the cost of fidelity to the Lord. When offered the red hat of a cardinal, he replied:

No hat will I have but that of a martyr, reddened with my own blood.

The fatal flaw of the modern, carnal prosperity message is that it encourages us to set our eyes on the things of this world. It makes it harder for us to leave all, lose self, and follow Jesus. It eliminates the call to take up our cross. (Remember, Jesus was not the only One called to carry the cross. Read Luke 9:23 several times out loud, and digest each word slowly: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”)

The gospel of success says, “Jesus died for you so you could prosper and succeed in this world.” (Of course, there is some truth to the prosperity message, but its emphasis is way off.) The biblical message says, “Live so as to lose your life for the Lord” -- meaning go anywhere, do anything, make any sacrifice -- as long as souls are saved, lives are changed, the kingdom is extended, and Jesus is exalted. As children of God, we now make our decisions based on entirely different priorities. We are already subjects of the heavenly kingdom. We have already died to this world!

Of course, there are things in this present age that are important. Justice in our society is important. Compassionate action on behalf of the poor and hurting is important. Righteousness and integrity are important. Morality and family values are important. But only those whose lives are given over to a higher -- and eternal -- purpose can radically change things here. As C. S. Lewis said:

It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.

Can we be honest with ourselves? A major reason why we don’t take a stand against godless laws is because we don’t want to risk our lives. We’re not willing to suffer the consequences.

A key reason why we don’t share our faith more clearly and -- in love -- more aggressively is because we don’t want to experience rejection. We don’t want to lose our friends, or our jobs, or our ease.

One major factor that keeps many of us from the mission field is that we’re too comfortable here and now. (Let’s face it: Here and now is where it’s at for most of us. There’s only one way you can prove me wrong: Live differently!)

It’s time for the old spirit of martyrdom to enter the church of America. (Much of the Church worldwide has no choice in the matter. Christianity for them is synonymous with suffering. Just ask the families of the Christian men in Sudan or Ethiopia who were crucified for their faith -- in the last few months.) It’s time that we do God’s will, and God’s will alone.

I once heard Richard Wurmbrand ask why, when the Supreme Court passed the law removing public prayer from our schools, American Christians chose to comply. What would have happened if we simply refused to obey? The whole thing probably would have been turned around overnight. And if it wasn’t turned around? Then at least the church, through her biblical obedience, would have been turned around!

If only we would value obedience to the Lord more highly than we value self-preservation! If only the favor of God were more meaningful to us than the opinions of people! If only we would count suffering for Jesus to be a privilege! What could stop us then? This country boasts of fifty-seventy million born-again Christians. (Of course, that figure is preposterous.) But what if just one million true believers here (just twenty thousand from each state!) decided to obey God and stand up for what is right, regardless of the cost? Our nation would be absolutely shaken. Now is the time to awake!

In 1984, after hearing K. P. Yohannan of Gospel for Asia preach a challenging message, a Christian man named Samuel gave up his good job in South India and moved with his family to the region of Karnataka. There he began preaching to unreached Hindus, known for their hostility to the gospel. The Lord blessed the work, and even a Hindu priest was born again.

This was more than the extremists could take. They burst into a meeting one Sunday and severely beat Samuel with iron rods, breaking his hand, arm, leg, and collar bone. When his seven year old son ran up and cried out, “Please don’t kill our daddy!” they struck the boy on the spine, breaking his back. Then they left, warning Samuel that if he ever preached there again, they would kill him. The beating was so severe that Samuel and his son were hospitalized for several months.

After his release, Samuel attended a workers’ meeting with K. P. Yohannan. The first night, during a time of prayer, his arm was supernaturally healed of paralysis he was suffering as a result of his beating. The next night he testified of the things he had recently experienced for the Lord.

K. P. asked Samuel, “What are you going to do now?” With a peaceful determination, the young man replied:

I am going back. Even if I am killed, my blood will be the foundation for many more churches.

He returned and has continued to preach. His son is back in school and is also doing well. And Samuel has baptized many more converts -- and has been beaten again.

Would we have gone back and preached? K. P. was honest enough to admit that his own reaction might have been different. First he would have come up with lots of good scriptures to justify not going back. And then he would have used his best argument:

I’m only forty-some years old! God wants me to use my brain for His kingdom. With all the investment He has made in my life since I was sixteen, would it be right for me to be killed by some fanatics next week? Don’t be stupid! I am going to leave this place so I will have another forty years of my life to invest in and build God’s kingdom (Living in the Light of Eternity, 159-60).

Samuel thought differently. He was not out to save his life, he was out to save sinners. With such resolve how could he be defeated? His life is not his own! In past centuries, missionaries endued with the same spirit sailed off to far away lands with their belongings packed in caskets. They were making a one way trip!

A few years ago, a young evangelist moved into an area in Asia famous for its violent resistance to Jesus. The radical religious opposition immediately came to his apartment, making their intentions clear: “We’ll kill you if you stay here and preach!” The evangelist only smiled. “I came to die,” he replied. Today his church has 200 members. That is the power of the gospel of martyrdom. That is true success.

Dr. Michael L. Brown
ICN Ministries
PO Box 1446
Harrisburg, NC 28075

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Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11, May We Never Forget

May God Bless the FDNY, NYPD, and the families of the many innocent civilians who fell victim to the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

It is my prayer that God Bless and strengthen everyone who had their lives forever changed by 9/11. May His peace be with all of the families who had loved ones who never returned home that day.

I pray also for all of the troops who are fighting in the War on Terror. May God Bless Them and Keep Them Safe!



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Friday, August 25, 2006

Taking a Blogging Break!

I will be away from blogging for a little vacation. I will return on the 5th of September.

God Bless!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Marks Of A True Conversion

The following is excerpts from a sermon by George Whitefield. It can be read in its entirety here.

Matthew 18:3 — “Verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

I suppose I may take it for granted, that all of you, among whom I am now about to preach the kingdom of God, are fully convinced, that it is appointed for all men once to die, and that ye all really believe that after death comes the judgment, and that the consequences of that judgment will be, that ye must be doomed to dwell in the blackness of darkness, or ascend to dwell with the blessed God, for ever and ever. I may take it for granted also, that whatever your practice in common life may be, there is not one, though ever so profligate and abandoned, but hopes to go to that place, which the scriptures call Heaven, when he dies. And, I think, if I know any thing of mine own heart, my heart's desire, as well as my prayer to God, for you all, is, that I may see you sitting down in the kingdom of our heavenly Father. But then, though we all hope to go to heaven when we die, yet, if we may judge by people's lives, and our Lord says, “that by their fruits we may know them,” I am afraid it will be found, that thousands, and ten thousands, who hope to go to this blessed place after death, are not now in the way to it while they live. Though we call ourselves Christians, and would consider it as an affront put upon us, for any one to doubt whether we were Christians or not; yet there are a great many, who bear the name of Christ, that yet do not so much as know what real Christianity is. Hence it is, that if you ask a great many, upon what their hopes of heaven are founded, they will tell you, that they belong to this, or that, or the other denomination, and part of Christians, into which Christendom is now unhappily divided. If you ask others, upon what foundation they have built their hope of heaven, they will tell you, that they have been baptized, that their fathers and mothers, presented them to the Lord Jesus Christ in their infancy; and though, instead of fighting under Christ's banner, they have been fighting against him, almost ever since they were baptized, yet because they have been admitted to church, and their names are in the Register book of the parish, therefore they will make us believe, that their names are also written in the book of life. But a great many, who will not build their hopes of salvation upon such a sorry rotten foundation as this, yet if they are, what we generally call, negatively good people; if they live so as their neighbors cannot say that they do anybody harm, they do not doubt but they shall be happy when they die; nay, I have found many such die, as the scripture speaks, “without any hands in their death.” And if a person is what the world calls an honest moral man, if he does justly, and, what the world calls, love a little mercy, is not and then good-natured, reacheth out his hand to the poor, receives the sacrament once or twice a year, and is outwardly sober and honest; the world looks upon such an one as a Christian indeed, and doubtless we are to judge charitably of every such person. There are many likewise, who go on in a round of duties, a model of performances, that think they shall go to heaven; but if you examine them, though they have a Christ in their heads, they have no Christ in their hearts.

Are ye converted? Are ye become like little children? Then what must ye do? My dear hearers, be obedient to God, remember God is your father; and as every one of you must know what a dreadful cross it is to have a wicked, disobedient child; if ye do not want your children to be disobedient to you, for Christ's sake be not disobedient to your heavenly parent. If God be your father, obey him: if God be your father, serve him; love him with all your heart, love him with all your might, with all your soul, and with all your strength. If God be your father, fly from everything that may displease him; and walk worthy of that God, who has called you to his kingdom and glory. If ye are converted and become like little children, then behave as little children: they long for the breast, and with it will be contented. Are ye new-born babes? Then desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. I do not want that Arminian husks should go down with you; ye are kings sons and daughters, and have a more refined taste; you must have the doctrines of grace; and blessed be God that you dwell in a country, where the sincere word is so plainly preached. Are ye children? Then grow in grace, and in the knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Have any of you children that do not grow? Do not ye lament these children, and cry over them; do not ye say, my child will never be fit for anything in the world? Well, doth it grieve you to see a child that will not grow; how much must it grieve the heart of Christ to see you grow so little? Will ye be always children? Will ye be always learning the first principles of Christianity, and never press forward toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? God forbid. Let the language of your heart be, “Lord Jesus help me to grow, help me to learn more, learn me to live so as my progress may be known to all!”

But I only mention one thing more, and that is, if ye are converted, and become as little children, then for God's sake take care of doing what children often do; they are too apt to quarrel one with another. O love one another; “he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” Joseph knew that his brethren were in danger of falling out, therefore when he left them, says he, “fall not out by the way.” Ye are all children of the same Father, ye are all going to the same place; why should ye differ? The world has enough against us, the devil has enough against us, without our quarreling with each other; O walk in love. If I could preach no more, if I was not able to hold out to the end of my sermon, I would say as John did, when he was grown old and could not preach, “Little children, love one another:” if ye are God's children, then love one another. There is nothing grieves me more, than the differences amongst God's people. O hasten that time, when we shall either go to heaven, or never quarrel any more!

My dear friends, there is a great deal more implied in the words, than is expressed: when Christ says, “Ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven,” it is as much to say, “ye shall certainly go to hell, ye shall certainly be damned, and dwell in the blackness of darkness for ever, ye shall go where the worm dies not, and where the fire is not quenched.” The Lord God impress it upon your souls! May an arrow (as one lately wrote me in a letter) dipped in the blood of Christ, reach every unconverted sinner's heart! May God fulfill the text to every one of your souls! It is he alone that can do it. If ye confess your sins, and leave them, and lay hold on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God shall be given you; if you will go and say, turn me, O my God! Thou knowest not, O man, what the return of God may be to thee.

Precious souls, for God's sake think what will become of you when ye die, if you die without being converted; if ye go hence without the wedding garment, God will strike you speechless, and ye shall be banished from his presence for ever and ever. I know ye cannot dwell with everlasting burnings; behold then I show you a way of escape; Jesus is the way, Jesus is the truth, the Lord Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the live. It is his Spirit must convert you, come to Christ, and ye shall have it; and may God for Christ's sake give it to you all, and convert you, that we may all meet, never to part again, in his heavenly kingdom; even so Lord Jesus, Amen and Amen.

"There are many likewise, who go on in a round of duties, a model of performances, that think they shall go to heaven; but if you examine them, though they have a Christ in their heads, they have no Christ in their hearts."
There are many people like this filling the pews of many churches today. Knowledge of God does not save your soul. Going to church does not get you entrance in to heaven. Simply "believing" in God is not enough. Having Christian parents is not enough. Being born in a Christian nation is not enough. Being baptized as an infant does not get you to heaven. "You must be born again". Confess your sins. have faith in the blood of Jesus and His death and resurrection. Repent (turn away) from your sins and make Jesus Lord of yur life. True "life" is found when you serve the Lord Jesus Christ. God loves everyone, but if you are not Born Again you are under His wrath. Everyone WILL stand before Him one day. Hell is real and if you are not Born Again, and on your way to Heaven, then you are headed for Hell. There is no in between!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ecumenicalism Is WRONG!

What is Ecumenicalism?
Simply put, ecumenicalism is the idea that all religions are the same, and that all lead to the one deity/deities. Many in Christendom, especially Catholicism and liberal Protestantism, support the idea of making this idea a practical reality; i.e., a one world religion. The ecumenical movement is a Satanic system of lies built on a lie and supported and promoted by professional liars ($$$). There is NO single final Scriptural authority within the ecumenical movement. The ecumenical movement of today is a satanic unity plan and quite simply is NOT, I repeat NOT the unity that the Lord Jesus Christ's true spiritual body is comprised of, let alone the unity that Christ prayed for in John 17.

Does popularity, growth and big crowds mean God is pleased? NO! Bigness does not prove the blessing of God.

Is it judging or causing division to point out the problems of the ecumenical movement? No! Peter preached a great sermon at Pentecost and had three thousand saved and was a great soul winner. Still Paul needed to face him openly and publicly rebuke him for his compromise, as we learn in Galatians 2:11-14. Nobody gets so big and popular and famous that he has a right to disobey the Bible. Concerning people's hearts, we cannot judge and we should be very careful about our opinions, because we want people to be charitable to us, too, about the matters they cannot know and cannot see in our hearts. But about right and wrong, as clearly commanded in the Bible, we have a right to speak, and we have a right to require in Christian fellowship the very things that God requires.

This idea that the truth should never be defended and a wrong should never be attacked is wholly different from the plain teaching of the Bible. Jesus commanded us to "beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matt. 7:15). "Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear" (I Tim. 5:20). Jude 3 tells us that "Ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."

Worldly Christians think you could win more souls if you preach on Heaven but never on Hell; if you preach on faith but never on repentance! They think you can get more people saved if you never whip your children, if you never enforce the law, if you never offend anybody! On the other hand, all the great soul winners through the centuries- Wesley, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, Edwards - have proved that the greatest number of souls have been saved by plain, sharp preaching against sin and by exposure of sin.

There is no Christian unity where there is not unity in the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). The True Body of Christ IS In Unity! In His prayer Jesus specified the kind of persons who can be in unity as He is in unity with the Father (John. 17:22b). He made clear the desired unity would be a spiritual unity (17:5; 10:30), unity in Truth (17:17), and in agape Love (17:23,26).

"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit."You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (John 15:2-6)

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:18-23)

Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.
(1 John 2:28-29)

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

How To Pray For Israel And The Middle East

Got this in my e-mail today!


By Dr. Michael L. Brown

August 15, 2006

As there is a temporary break in the hostilities in the Middle East, now is a good time to stop and ask: How should we pray for crises such as this? Should we pray for God to protect the Jewish people from terrorist attacks and for Israel’s military efforts to succeed, or should we pray that God will have mercy on everyone involved – Muslim and Jew alike – bringing a permanent end to all bloodshed? Should we pray for lasting peace to come to the region, or should we pray for the Lord’s speedy return, since that is the only way to achieve true and lasting peace? Should we pray only for the salvation of lost souls, or should we pray for God’s prophetic purposes to come to pass?

Since our prayer support is crucial, let me offer some basic and practical guidelines that will help you to pray more effectively.

1) The current crisis is another birth pang, not the end of the world.

It is easy to overreact every time war breaks out in the Middle East, as if we were about to enter the final conflict and Armageddon was only days away. Without a doubt, the current situation is critical: It involves more than Israel and Lebanon, it is part of the larger conflict with militant Islam, and Iran, which could soon be a nuclear threat, is playing a direct role. And the human suffering is certainly great: Many lives have been lost; many families have been devastated; normal life for many will never return.

But this is not the end of the world, and we need to pray accordingly. God is at work, the enemy is raging, and the plan of redemption continues to unfold. This is not the time to panic; this is the time to dig in! “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matt 24:6-8). As the birth pangs increase in speed and intensity and duration, we will know we are getting closer to the end – which will really be the beginning of a whole new world. But, to repeat: This is just another birth pang, with many more still to come.

On the other hand, the devil is trying to bring about greater disaster and war before that final end, attempting to wreak whatever havoc he can and to destroy as many lives as possible. We should therefore pray for God’s restraining hand in the Middle East, not allowing Satan’s work to triumph.

“Father, do not allow the enemy to accomplish his plans and purposes. May Your will, and Your will alone, be done in Israel and the surrounding nations!”

2) Jesus died for the sins of the world, and every soul is precious in His sight.

It is certainly appropriate to pray that God will thwart the attacks of those who seek to destroy His people Israel, but whenever we pray, we must always remember God’s heart for a lost and dying world. Every life is precious to Him, and Jesus died for Jew and Gentile alike. The Scriptures are totally clear on this: He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9), and He wants all people to be saved (1 Tim 2:4). Jesus is not only the propitiation for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

In terms of our salvation and standing in the Lord, “there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Rom 10:12-13) In light of this, we should pray that God would use the current crisis to open the eyes of both Israelis and Arabs to the good news of the Messiah, and we should ask our Father for a great harvest of souls, for many new births to take place – even among the terrorists. Is anything too hard for the Lord? Jesus is still the one who saves to the uttermost (Heb 7:25).

So, pray for the gospel to go forth in love and power and compassion. Pray for divine opportunities for Jesus to be exalted in the Middle East. Pray that God would open up closed hearts and uncover deaf ears, remembering that it is often during times of crisis that people turn to the Lord. Be sure also to pray for those who are Christian in name only – this is prevalent in Lebanon – that their eyes would be opened to the truth. And pray that God would expose the emptiness of Islam, since many young people around the world are being drawn into it, especially in its most radical forms.

“Father, save a multitude of Jews and Muslims through the mercy of Your Son! In this time of displacement and upheaval and fear, turn people’s hearts to You!”

3) The Lord has special purposes for the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

The Scriptures are totally clear in this regard too. Even though the great majority of the Jewish people still do not believe in Yeshua, the Word declares, “As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” (Rom 11:28-29). The Jewish people are still loved by God, still elect, and His promise still stands: No matter what sins His people may commit, He will not utterly destroy them (see Jer 31:35-37).

The Lord is still working to preserve and keep His ancient, covenant people, and He will still judge those who seek to destroy them or wipe them out. As He said through Jeremiah more than 2,500 years ago, “‘I am with you and will save you,’ declares the LORD. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’” (Jer 30:11) This holds true to this very day.

It is the Lord who brought back the Jewish people to the Land of Israel in the 20th century, an event of great prophetic significance (see Ezek 36:22-36; this passage not only applied to the return from the Babylonian exile; it speaks to our day and age as well). Just as Ezekiel prophesied, the Jewish people have returned to their homeland – for the most part, in unbelief, and therefore unworthy of God’s grace – and, just as he prophesied, it is in the Land that God is having mercy on them and changing their hearts. He is doing it in ever-increasing measure, with more and more native-born Israelis coming to faith every year.

The Lord is still in covenant relationship with Israel in a special and unique way, which means that those who seek to wipe out Israel, who launch terrorist attacks against the Jews, who plot for Israel’s destruction, are ultimately fighting against God Himself. Whether they know it or not, they are seeking to make Him into a liar, to prove His Word false, to destroy those whom God promised to preserve.

In light of that, we should pray for God to stand against those who seek to destroy His people, asking Him to frustrate their devices, but we must still never forget that the ultimate need of the people of Israel is a personal relationship with God through the Messiah.

We are mindful of the fact that every life is precious in His sight, and the Lord grieves over the death of a Lebanese child just as He grieves over the death of an Israeli child. He has compassion on all of His creation! But He does have specific plans for Israel, plans that will ultimately affect the entire world.

There is also a difference in the war being waged today when viewed from the perspective of Israel and from the perspective of the terrorists. As Israeli leaders have said on numerous occasions, for them, the death of every Lebanese child or civilian is a terrible tragedy, something to be avoided. For the terrorists, the death of every Israeli child or civilian is a great victory, something to be celebrated. Israel is fighting for survival, longing to live in peace; the terrorists are fighting for Israel’s destruction, longing to triumph in war. Here is a link to an excellent, two-minute video that will help set the record straight, showing you what the media often fails to report: CLICK HERE

So, pray for God to preserve Israel in the midst of the terrorist attacks, praying specially for His protection on all those who know Him and call upon Him in truth.

“Father, frustrate the devices of all who would seek to wipe out Your people Israel, and cause Your purposes for Israel to stand – in the region and the world. Remember Your covenantal promises, and continue to reveal Yeshua as the only Hope of our nation.”

4) Yeshua will return to a Jewish Jerusalem that welcomes Him as King.

Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke to Jerusalem and said, “Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matt 23:38-39) In other words, “Jerusalem, you are about to devastated and destroyed, and you will not see Me again until you welcome Me as your Messianic King.”

Yeshua will return to a Jewish Jerusalem when the Jewish people in Jerusalem welcome Him back. That means that Satan is trying desperately to keep the Jewish people from recognizing Yeshua as Messiah, he is trying to keep Jerusalem out of Jewish hands, and he is trying to wipe out the Jewish people. The devil knows that when a Jewish Jerusalem welcomes back Yeshua, it’s over and done for him.

The Scriptures teach that, at the end of the age, God Himself will cause Jerusalem to be at the center of a great world conflict, out of which He will deliver His people (see Zechariah 12-14). That’s why the battle for Jerusalem is so intense. And so, just as the ultimate reason for anti-Semitism is that the Messiah is a Jew and that God has worked out His salvation purposes for the world through Israel, so also, it is because Jesus will be returning to a Jewish Jerusalem that this city is the ultimate spiritual battleground. That’s why God’s people are called to pray specifically for Jerusalem.

The Scriptures are clear on this point too: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isa 62:6-7). We are called to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122) and, more specifically, to give God no rest until “He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” Jerusalem is the chosen city, but it is a city in desperate need of divine visitation.

Pray for God’s purposes for Jerusalem to stand, for all attempts to wrest it out of Jewish hands to fail, for war and disaster to be held back until the appointed times, and for the eyes of the Jewish people – including the leadership! – to be opened to recognize Yeshua as Messiah and King. It’s time!

To sum up, we are to pray for souls, and we are to pray for God’s prophetic purposes to come to pass. We should pray for great mercy to be poured out in the region, for a great ingathering of souls, for the Jewish people to be preserved, for God’s plans for Israel to come to pass, and for the lost sheep of the house of Israel to be reunited with their Shepherd.

“Your kingdom come, Lord! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven! Your name be exalted! Preserve Jerusalem, Father! Make this city the praise of the entire earth! And prepare the hearts of Your people there to welcome back Your Son!”


Recently, I was on a Christian broadcast that airs live in Israel (broadcast by Daystar TV), and I was asked to say something directly to those watching in the Land. It was my joy to tell them that they are not alone, that in the midst of the bombs falling – bombs that have displaced more than one sixth of the nation’s population – Christians around the world are standing with them in prayer and fasting.

Be assured, fellow-laborers, that you are making a great difference, and keep pressing in and holding God to His promises. He is faithful! And let us believe that the time to favor Zion is at hand, knowing that, as great mercy comes to Israel, extraordinary grace will come to the nations of the world as well. As Paul stated in Rom 11:13-16, “Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.”

Israel is still a people of promise, and the loving intercession of Messiah’s people will speed the day when every promise is fulfilled. Hasten it, Lord!

Dr. Michael L. Brown
ICN Ministries
PO Box 1446
Harrisburg, NC 28075

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