Saturday, July 29, 2006

Religion Kills

By Sean Dietrich

When I first met Jesus and started to follow him, I had two roads that immediately offered themselves to me. I could learn to love Jesus in simplicity, let him weed out the sin in my life and teach me to be his follower. Or I could follow the religious pathway, try and weed my own sins out, and please the Father on my own.

Sadly, I chose door number two! Religion.

Of course no one decides to follow rules and laws on purpose, it naturally happens when you choose religion. I loved Jesus and I wanted to please him, so I tried to follow the traditions that were set before me. I did my best to follow the business-like schedules that surrounded me, but I could feel my new love for Jesus slowly slipping away the more I got "plugged in."

I spent a long time hiding from Jesus in my religion. I am so glad he came through the fog, grabbed my hand and set me free! Jesus has been taking me on an incredible journey ever since I left my traditions and found him.


A bit of warning: Don't read the New Testament if you are satisfied with your religion! Jesus will shake your world too hard. He shook religion so hard in 33 A.D that they killed him for it! Imagine being killed by respected religious figures for honestly critiquing their traditions? I've found that mankind loves their familiar traditions and gets very touchy when you question them.

The most interesting thing I found in the New Testament was that Jesus didn't come to establish a religion here on earth like I had once thought he did. He came to wipe it out instead! Jesus constantly freed people from anything that smelled like a ritual or a blind tradition. He was always assaulting the religious leaders of the day, and calling them back to the simple relationship that God always wanted. He accused them of shutting the doors of heaven for everyone else!

It's no mistake that Jesus was constantly breaking the traditions of men. Traditions like Sabbath keeping and touching lepers, etc. He could have followed man's traditions if he would have wanted to, but he didn't. Why was Jesus such a downer on religion? Because he felt the same way about religion the Father does.


My wife and I enjoy spending time together. But imagine if my wife and I began to add structure and religion to our marriage, like people do in their relationship to Jesus? It would eventually suffocate the life out of the marriage. I can't imagine reading through our past love letters for one hour in my easy chair every day, simply because I am required to do so. Yet many Christians do this with their bible every morning. They read and pray out of obligation and not out of complete and total love!

My wife and I don't have to schedule meeting times together. We live together. We are together all the time. We find ourselves working through everyday life together, because we love each other. Why should our relationship with Jesus be any different? He wants more than bible reading and prayer, he wants our life and our love.

Jesus gave us a perfect example of the relationship he desires with us, by sharing life with his disciples. The disciples had a real-life relationship with Jesus, and they "served" only him. Jesus wants the same relationship with us. Like it says in John; He doesn't want to call us slaves (of religion) anymore, he wants to call us friends.

Thank you for making me your friend Lord! You're the best friend I ever had!!

The above was written by Sean Dietrich. Sean is, in my opinion, a very talented and gifted musician. His music is very anointed by God. All of his music is on his site and available to listen and download for FREE. What a blessing! He also has some wonderful articles and a newsletter which you can sign up for. "Religion Kills" was from his recent newsletter. I encourage evryone to check it out here.Jesus wants a relationship with all of us, not a dedication to dead religion!

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Seek The Truth Of God's Word

2 Timothy 3:1-17

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;
9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,
11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra--what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

A form of godliness is very different from the power; from this type is found many hypocrites. These type of people have been found within the outward church, in every place, and at all times. These type of people creep in and find favor and confidence with those who find it too easy to believe and be deceived. We must be always striving to know the Lord more, but not be willing to follow every new"trend" or "thing" that is going on in the church. We must seek the TRUTH as it is in Jesus and the Word of God. We must be in the Word, learning the scriptures, because they are truth. The Bible is a sure guide to eternal life. It is of use to all, for all need to be taught, corrected, and reproved. There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every situation. We need to have a love for the Word of God. Then we will find the benefit of the happiness promised by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the main subject of both Testaments. The best way to expose error is by a solid foundation of the truth of the Word of God. We must test all that is taught against the Word. The Bible is truth. Truth is absolute and not up for debate. To state truth is not to judge, it is merely telling the truth. Christians did not make it up, God did.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Israel..."Fear Not For I Am With You"

Isaiah 43:1-21

1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.

3 For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.

4 Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;
Therefore I will give men for you,
And people for your life.

5 Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;

6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
And to the south, 'Do not keep them back!'
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth--

7 Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him."
8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes,
And the deaf who have ears.

9 Let all the nations be gathered together,
And let the people be assembled.
Who among them can declare this,
And show us former things?
Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified;
Or let them hear and say, "It is truth."

10 "You are My witnesses," says the LORD,
"And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me.

11 I, even I, am the LORD,
And besides Me there is no savior.

12 I have declared and saved,
I have proclaimed,
And there was no foreign god among you;
Therefore you are My witnesses,"
Says the LORD, "that I am God.

13 Indeed before the day was, I am He;
And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand;
I work, and who will reverse it?"
14 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
"For your sake I will send to Babylon,
And bring them all down as fugitives--
The Chaldeans, who rejoice in their ships.

15 I am the LORD, your Holy One,
The Creator of Israel, your King."
16 Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea
And a path through the mighty waters,

17 Who brings forth the chariot and horse,
The army and the power
(They shall lie down together, they shall not rise;
They are extinguished, they are quenched like a wick):

18 "Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

20 The beast of the field will honor Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I give waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My people, My chosen.

21 This people I have formed for Myself;
They shall declare My praise.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Israel...Things You Won't Hear On The News!

I wanted to pass along an email I received this morning. It has many interesting facts on the Israel-Lebanon conflict that you will not see on the news. Also, some good insider information on how to specifically pray for Israel. Please pray for Israel!

This e-mail came from Dr. Michael Brown of ICN Ministries.

Dear Friends,

I'm sure that you have been following the daily news coming from Israel, and many of you have received updates and prayer requests from other Jewish ministries. Without a doubt, this is a critical time for Israel, for the Middle East, and for the world as a whole. This is the time for God's people to pray! Many of our friends live and work in Israel, and some of our FIRE School grads are currently serving there, along with in several Arab nations. And every day, we receive prayer requests from our friends in the Land whose children are serving in the military. So, on both a personal and national level, it is time for us to cry out to God.

But how exactly should we pray? My friend Avner Boskey has been sending out detailed news reports and insightful prayer updates, and I feel that he has an excellent grasp on the things that are taking place in Israel today, both from a scriptural and a prophetic viewpoint.
So I pass on to you his latest newsletter, which concludes with a good summary of how to pray. God's purposes shall stand!

Blessings and grace,

Dr. Michael L. Brown


Emergency prayer request for Israel – Day Seven

This is a short report of details of today's fighting, followed by a brief analysis, and then specific prayer requests.

Today (Tuesday July 18) is the seventh day of the "bein hameitzarim" or "dire straits" period (see under the "words" section, Feb 21 2005 newsletter, also, a period of extreme spiritual danger for Israel. This period lasts up to the 9th of Av (Thursday August 3). It is a time of urgent heightened prayer for Israel and her survival.

Our last prayer request came out at noon Israeli time Sunday July 16. This report sums up the past 60 hours of the war.

  • One million Israelis are spending day and night in reinforced concrete safe rooms in the North of the country, a precaution against katyusha rocket attacks. This will probably continue until Hezbollah no longer has the ability to fire katyushas.
  • Residents of the coastal plain from Tel Aviv up to Haifa have been told that they need to stay close to buildings and be prepared to take shelter immediately upon hearing a 60-second warning by air raid siren.
  • Towns, villages, kibbutzim and moshavim continue to be hit on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. These include major towns like Haifa, Nahariya, Safed, Afula, Carmiel, Kiryat Shmonah, Tiberias, to Arab and Druze villages like Julis, Abu Snaan, Kafr Yasif, Sachnin and Deir al-Assad. On Monday night 70 communities were hit, while on Tuesday 125 katyushas were fired at Israel.
  • In Safed the major hospital and a chocolate factory were hit. Power outages occurred in Western Galilee when katyushas destroyed some electric pylons. In Haifa two floors of a residential apartment building were collapsed and 11 people were trapped, requiring IDF combat engineers to dig them out.
  • Nazareth and Capernaum, two sites made famous in the Gospels, have both been hit by katyushas.
  • 70 families in Carmiel are moving down to Gush Etzion (south of Jerusalem) for shelter while the katyusha attacks continue.
  • In the Gaza Strip Kassam rocket attacks fired by Hamas and Fatah (PLO) continue, hitting kibbutzim in the western Negev as well as the Ashkelon industrial park.
Analysis of events

  • Hezbollah is increasing the deadliness of the type of rockets it is firing, and boosting the distance they are traveling into Israel's heartland. They began with the Iranian 122mm Arash, and have now added the Iranian-Syrian Fajr 5 (220 mm, 52 kg of explosives, plus steel pellets, with a range of 100 km).
  • It seems that Hezbollah is still holding some advanced Iranian weapons systems in reserve. It has not fired the Iranian 333 mm Shahin rockets with a range of 160-200 km, or the Zilzal-2 355 mm. rockets weighing 600kg. Nor have they used their SAM-7 anti-aircraft shoulder missiles (similar to the US Stinger) against Israeli jets. Hezbollah has fired its C-802 Chinese missile only once so far (against an Israeli missile boat) with help from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the Pasdaran.

  • The Arabic London-based newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat quotes a senior Iranian army official that the Pasdaran has set up dozens of advanced rocket and missile bases in Lebanon and along the border of Israel. Between 1992 and 2006 Hezbollah received nearly 13,000 of these weapons from Iran, flown to Damascus and trucked into southern Lebanon (see Michael R. Gordon, NY Times, July 16, 2006). At present approximately 100 military advisors from Pasdaran are working with Hezbollah operating these weapons platforms. This is probably what Sheikh Nasrallah meant when he said that his forces will yet surprise Israel. Israeli military Intelligence (AMAN) says that Nasrallah hasn't yet pulled his strategic cards out of the hat yet.
  • Israel bombed one C-802 site yesterday. The missile was accidentally triggered and lifted off but exploded in mid-air. Its crash was filmed by the media, and Hezbollah TV inaccurately stated that the film clip showed an Israeli F-16 being shot down. Over the past few days this type of disinformation has surfaced on the Hezbollah and Palestinian side. Other examples include Hezbollah's assertion that only 4 of its fighters have been killed over the past week, and Fatah's declaration yesterday that it has kidnapped an Israeli Border Policeman (also false).

  • The Shahin, Zilzal and C-802 rocket systems can hit Tel Aviv. The IAF is continuing to target these Lebanese launch sites, most of which are hidden and camouflaged in Shi'ite residential areas. The IAF has stated that if Hezbollah rockets strike Haifa's petrochemical plants, it will consider bombing Lebanese power plants. In this way pressure is being brought to bear on the sovereign Lebanese government to stop Hezbollah from using Lebanese territory to attack Israel.
  • Last week Israel called up one reserve division, and today has issued call-up orders for 3 reserve battalions. This will free up regular troops now engaged in guarding and patrolling in Judea and Samaria, and will allow them to be sent to the North in preparation for possible limited ground incursions.
  • Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameinei said on Sunday that "The US says Hezbollah must be disarmed. This will not happen". SKY TV noted on Sunday that Iran has sunk over $100 million into Hezbollah's arsenal. Syrian Information Minister Mohsen Bilal said that "any aggression against Syria will have a harsh and direct response not limited in time or means". Both comments indicate that Syria and Iran are afraid of losing their Hezbollah proxy mini-state, and are trying to preserve Nasrallah's regime as a military player in Lebanon.

  • Back on Sept. 27, 2002, NY Times journalist Michael R. Gordon stated that there is a fear "that Iran or Syria might encourage Hezbollah to stir up tensions along Israel's northern frontier to divert attention from Iraq and complicate the Bush administration's plans…" This is the same scenario now being played out, with Iran's 2006 nuclear program substituting for the Iraq invasion of 2002.
  • Nasrallah pre-recorded a poorly produced TV address on Sunday from his underground bunkers in the dahiya, the Shi'ite suburbs of South Beirut. Gone was the laughing sarcasm. His face was grayish and subdued. He spoke to Israelis, saying that Hezbollah has a faith deeper than that of Israel. He threatened to surprise the IDF "beyond Haifa and on the ground", probably referring to longer range missiles directed at civilian population centers, booby traps along likely Israeli invasion routes, and perhaps even chemical warheads or nuclear suitcase bombs. He stated that Allah has given the Arab and Islamic world a historic opportunity to defeat the USA and Israel, and that the Lebanese people's stand will lead to the salvation of the entire Islamic people. Hezbollah is the spearhead, he said, giving an example to the entire Islamic nation on how to fight the enemy with courage and defeat him. "Where are you, Arabs?" he asked, appealing for help in the jihad.
  • It has been reported numerous times today that Nasrallah's forces are firing on Shi'ite villagers trying to flee from Hezbollah-controlled villages northward toward Beirut. They are forcing these villagers to stay and act as human shields and potential casualties in the face of Israeli bombardments of rocket launchers and terrorist command and control centers.
How to pray?

  • Pray for God to frustrate the weapons used against Israel (see a similar promise in Isa.54:17 – "No weapon forged against you will prevail").
  • Pray for God to frustrate the wicked counsel of evil leaders in Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and world terror ("Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us" – Isa.8:10).
  • Protection for Israeli soldiers fighting, and especially for those Messianic Jewish believers presently involved in the war.
  • Pray for a revelation of Yeshua as Messiah and atonement to many in Israel right now.
Many believers are beginning to realize that God is again protecting His people. There have been over a thousand katyushas fired, and the death total from those rockets hovers near twenty. Continue to ask God for His defensive shield to cover His people Israel.

We thank you for your prayers for Israel, for Messianic believers and for our family. Our two oldest sons are soldiers in the IDF. Our oldest son is presently stationed in the Jerusalem area. Our second son will be traveling to the north tomorrow to work as a medic in one of the cities worst hit by katyushas. We ask for your prayers for his safety, protection and for opportunities to be a light in a difficult place.


We bless you in Yeshua,

Avner Boskey

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Israel And The Middle East.....The Rest Of The Story

The unrest in the Middle East with Israel and the rest of the Arab and Persian world goes all the way back to the Bible. The rest of this post is an excerpt of a previous post I had concerning the Biblical roots of Islam. I thought it was fitting to post this information again. Please pray for Israel.
Many trace the beginnings of Islam back to Muhammad (born in A.D. 570 in Mecca, in what is now Saudi Arabia). The roots of Islam actually start with Abraham in Ur of Chaldea (present day Iraq) in about 2000 B.C.The rest of this I am copying and pasting from

  • The Biblical Roots of Islam
  • If interested you can read it there in its entirety.
    This is very interesting because it opens your eyes to the spiritual battle that has gone on for many, many years between Christianity and Islam.

    The story begins with a man named Abram, son of Terah, a descendant of Shem, who lived in the city of Ur (near the Persian Gulf) but migrated to Haran (Gen. 11:10-32). Abram received a call from God to go to the land of Canaan (present-day Israel). God promised Abram the following (in what is sometimes called the Abrahamic Covenant):

    · I will make you a great nation
    · I will bless you, and make your name great
    · You will be a blessing
    · I will bless those who bless you, and curse the one who curses you
    · In you all families of the earth shall be blessed (Gen. 12:2,3)

    God told Abram (later his name would be changed to Abraham) that He would give his descendants the land of Canaan (Gen. 12:7; 13:16; 15:18-21; 17:), that Abraham’s descendants would be too numerous to count (Gen. 13:14,15,17;15:5; 22:17), that Abraham would be the father of many nations (Gen. 17:4,5), that in his seed all nations would be blessed (Gen. 22:18), and that the covenant would be an “everlasting covenant” (Gen. 17:7). The covenant was reaffirmed to Isaac (Gen. 26:1-5) and Jacob (Gen. 28:3,4, 13-14; 35:10-12). A thousand years later David affirmed God’s covenant with Abraham (Psa. 105:8-11). The promised blessing, of course, came through God’s Messiah, Jesus the Christ (Acts 3:25,26; Gal. 3:14,16).

    God promised Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 22:18). The promise was repeated to Isaac (Gen. 26:4) and Jacob (Gen. 28:14). The apostle Paul makes it clear that the seed (singular) was Christ: “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ” (Gal. 3:16).

    But Abraham had several sons, eight to be exact: Ishmael through Sarah’s Egyptian maid Hagar; Isaac through Sarah; and six others (Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Isbak, & Shuah) through Keturah, whom he married after the death of Sarah (Gen. 15:1-2). Which of the eight was the “son of promise?”

    Twice in Genesis 22 God tells Abraham that Isaac is “your son, your only son” (Gen. 22:2,16). God knew that Abraham had two sons at the time, but He reminded Abraham that Isaac, as far as The Promise was concerned, was his only son. Paul connects the dots from the son of promise to Isaac, and from Isaac to us – spiritual “children of promise” (Gal. 4:28).

    Although Abraham had been promised that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven (Gen. 15:5), Sarah was not able to bear him a child. Sarah felt that God had obstructed her from having children, so she came up with the idea of making her maid, an Egyptian named Hagar, a “sexual surrogate” for her husband. Abraham, inexcusably, heeded his wife’s advice and had sexual relations with Hagar (Gen. 16:1-2). The world has paid dearly for this detour from God’s plan. Herbert Lockyer observes, “Little did Sarah know, when she persuaded Abraham to take Hagar, that she was originating a rivalry which has seen the keenest strife through the ages, and which oceans of blood have not stopped. Moslem Arabs claim descent from Ishmael…Arabian tribes springing from Ishmael are scattered throughout the Arabian peninsula. The wild hearts beat on in the bosoms of those who form the Arab world.”

    Once Hagar had conceived, she not only swelled with pregnancy but she also swelled with pride. Sarah, with Abraham’s approval, “dealt harshly” with Hagar, forcing her to flee into the wilderness. But God assured her that He would also multiply her descendants so that they could not be counted (Gen. 16:3-10). She was instructed to call her son Ishmael (“whom God hears”). Then came the prophecy that may have caused Hagar to shiver in spite of the heat in the desert:

    “He shall be a wild man;
    His hand shall be against every man,
    And every man’s hand against him,
    And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren” (Gen. 16:12).

    The NIV reads, “He will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” Thomas Cahill writes, “Her son Yishmael (of Ishmael) shall be another Enkindu, ‘a wild-ass of a man, his hand against all, hand of all against him’ – father of the Arabs” (The Gifts of the Jews Doubleday, 1998). James L. Garlow observes, “The offspring of Abraham is the focal point of the current conflict. The ongoing struggle in the Middle East is a direct result of the animosity between the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac. While there is no record of Ishmael and Isaac ever fighting each other, Genesis does record God’s prophecy regarding Ishmael; He will be against everyone, and everyone will be against him (Gen. 16:12 TEV). Today’s struggle is between those who call themselves the descendants of Ishmael and those who call themselves descendants of Isaac. The intense struggle in Israel and the surrounding Arab nations can only be understood historically as a struggle between the descendants of two brothers who lived four thousand years ago: Ishmael (modern-day Arabs) and Isaac (the Jews)” (A Christian’s Response to Islam, RiverOak Publishing, 2002).

    Abraham pleaded Ishmael’s case before God, but was told that the everlasting covenant would be with Isaac and his descendants (Gen. 17:19). However, He promised Abraham that He would bless Ishmael and make him fruitful. Ishmael would beget 12 princes and would be made into a great nation (Gen. 17:20) – the Arab nation. Today there are nearly 300 million Arabs constituting a great nation. The Arab League of Nations consists of 22 countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. They literally surround the tiny nation of Israel (8,000 square miles). Three hundred million Arab Muslims surrounding 5 million Jews. They control 99.9 percent of the Middle East whereas Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. Arabs occupy 5.3 million square miles of oil rich land but are unable to get along with themselves, let alone others. Witness the conflict Iraq and Iran. The Iranians, though Muslim, are Persians. Note: Not every Muslim is an Arab. The most populous Muslim nation on earth is Indonesia. Indonesians are Malays, not Arabs.

    When Ishmael was 16 years old, Sarah caught him mocking Isaac. Once again she made Abraham cast out Hagar and Ishmael, this time for good (Gen. 21:8-14). (Muslims believe they wound up in Mecca where Abraham visited them. He and Ishmael built a shrine, the Ka’bah.) Again God reaffirmed his promise to Hagar that He would make of Ishmael a great nation (Gen. 21:18). Ishmael became a skilled archer and eventually married an Egyptian woman (Gen. 21:20,21). Ishmael became the father of 12 sons (Gen. 25:13-16) and these tribes became known as the Ishmaelites (sometimes called Midianites, Gen. 37:25-28). Isaac had two sons: Jacob (later called Israel) and Esau. Although Esau (like Ishmael) was the first-born, God chose Jacob to receive The Promise (land, name, blessings). Esau, embittered and filled with hatred, linked up with Ishmael, and married Ishmael’s daughter (Gen. 28:9). Jim Gerrish notes, “Like Ishmael, Esau moved into the desert in the area of Mt. Seir, or Edom, to the east of the Dead Sea. There he became the progenitor of multitudes of other Arab peoples. These Arabs were joined by the children of Lot, Abraham’s nephew, in making up many of the inhabitants of today’s Jordan, as well as other parts of the Arab world (Gen. 19:37,38). The bitter rivalry between all these desert peoples and Israel is recorded throughout the Old Testament. Time and time again they came in fury and bitter hatred to destroy Israel. Bible history is replete with the attacks of the Edomites, Ammonites, Ishmaelites, Moabites and hordes of other Arabs against the seed of Isaac and Jacob” (“Islam, Religion of the Other Brother”). The descendants of the six sons of Abraham by Keturah became tribes of people living in what is now Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and other North African nations.

    Psalm 83:4-8 spells out the “clear and present danger” to Israel from the Arab coalition: “They say, ‘Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!’ For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant – the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites…they are the strong arm of the children of Lot.” The Edomites participated in the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., earning themselves God’s eternal wrath (Obadiah 10-14). Arabs strongly resisted the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Neh. 2:19). They harbor a “perpetual hatred” for the people of Israel (Ezek. 35:5).The stated purpose of vengeful Arab nations has not changed to this day. They are still committed to driving the Jews into the Mediterrean Sea and obliterating the very name of Israel (indeed, one cannot find the name “Israel” on maps made by Arabs today). Yasser Arafat continues to call for jihad against Jerusalem. Palestinian terrorists train young Arab children to be “suicide bombers” and to die as “martyrs” for the cause.

    Arabs, who claim Ishmael as their father, have laid claim to God’s promises to Isaac, saying Ishmael was the son of promise – the one Abraham sacrificed. (The Koran, which came 600 years after the Bible, says the sacrifice took place in Mecca whereas the Bible has Abraham sacrificing Isaac on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem). Why this deliberate and desperate twisting of the Scripture? Why this outright rebellion against God’s Word? Because Arabs are convinced that they are the true heirs of the land God promised to Abraham’s descendants. But the Bible, as we have seen, clearly indicates otherwise (Gen. 13:15; 15:18; 17:7; 26:3,4; 28:13,14; Jer. 31:35,36 et al). Bob Russell writes, “…the Christian faith and the Islamic faith contradict each other at key points. Remember that there is an axiom from logic called the law of non-contradiction. Two statements that contradict each other can’t both be true. Either one or both must be false” (Christian Standard, Sept. 1, 2002).

    Twelve times in Scripture God refers to Himself as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” – never “the God of Ishmael.” Two hundred and three times God is called “the God of Israel” – never “the God of Ishmael.” The nation of Israel is mentioned 2,565 times in 2,293 verses. The Arabians are mentioned a mere ten times. Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., 2000 years before the rise of Islam. “Palestine,” a corruption of “Philistine,” the arch-enemies of Israel, is never mentioned in the Bible. (Herodotus in the 5th century B.C. called it “that part of Syria which is called Palaistine.” Hadrian made it official in the 2nd century B.C.)

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    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem

    Prayer, in the true biblical sense, is not just a vocalizing of words; it is a condition of being and a call to action. Our first duty, as Christians with a deep-seated belief in a God who hears the cries of His children, is to lift up Israel in our prayers. In the words of the Psalmist:

    “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (Psalm 122:6)

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    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Concerning Israel And Lebanon

    The Following was written by Hal Lindsey

    The Myth of ''Measured Response''

    With illegal attacks across Israel’s internationally recognized borders, hostage taking of soldiers and a relentlessly raining of rockets and missiles upon Israel’s major cities, the Israeli Defense Forces have finally sprung into action. This is after months of “restraint” that world leaders are now calling upon them to use. The time for “restraint” has long passed, as I will demonstrate.

    It is because of Israel’s compromise, appeasement and restraint that Hamas, Hizbollah and their true masters, Iran and Syria, have come to believe that “now” is the time to attack and destroy Israel.

    Every time Israel unilaterally gave “land for peace”, as in Southern Lebanon and Gaza, the terrorist claimed it as their victory. Hamas used this claim to get elected by popular vote in the West Bank and Gaza. Hezbollah has used the same claim to move in a massive force that is now more powerful than the Lebanon’s army.

    Every compromise that Israel has made to make peace with the Palestinians and the surrounding Muslim nations has been rewarded with more terrorism.

    The de-facto rulers – Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank and Hizbollah in Lebanon have sworn to destroy the “Zionist Entity” (refusing even to call Israel a State). In fact their founding charter proclaims that their basis for existence is to destroy Israel. They have built up a formidable arsenal of rockets and missiles. They have smuggled in a trained and well-equipped army. Over recent weeks, they have launched ever-increasing numbers of more lethal rockets and missiles with greater range.

    Hamas has hit the major fuel port of Ashkelon. Hizbollah has now repeatedly hit the third largest city in Israel, Haifa, killing and wounding many civilians. They have hit another major city, Tiberius, several times and caused serious damage and casualties. The leader of Hizbollah also has warned that he can hit Israel with chemical and biological warheads that can reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

    The real leaders and suppliers of these terrorists, Iran and Syria, have warned that if Israel hits Syria, they will cause “unimaginable destruction to fall upon the ‘Zionist Entity’.”

    As I have repeatedly warned on many occasions, the West, particularly the United States leaders, do not understand Fundamental Islam – which is according to the Koran and Islamic history, the only true expression of Islam. Based on these same founding documents, the so-called “Moderate Muslims” are labeled “apostates” by the Fundamentalists of both the Shi’ite Ayatollahs of Iran and the Sunni followers of Wahhabism.

    It is time for the world to wake up. And I pray especially for our President and his cabinet to open their eyes to reality. Muslims only understand one language, “overwhelming power and the will to use it.” Fundamental Islam views kindness, compromise and appeasement as weakness and a failing of will to fight to survive. They see it as a sign that it is time to move in for the kill.

    There is an even larger issue here. I believe that God gave Israel a miraculous victory in the Six Day War of June 1967. God gave Israel back the land that He had promised them as an everlasting possession. He did this at just the time He promised – in the “latter days” when He began to bring them back from their Second Dispersion.

    Then, rather than believe their own Bible, Israeli leaders began to succumb to world pressure, rather than believe God’s promises. Piece by piece, Israeli leaders gave the Muslim usurpers, who were bent upon destroying them, land that God had miraculously restored to them.

    It is important to note that every Israeli leader that was responsible for this met with tragic ends. Menachem Begin, who gave away the Sinai, resigned in disgrace in 1983, dying in seclusion in 1992.

    Yitzhak Rabin, who was responsible for setting in motion the most disastrous compromise of faith of all –the Oslo Accord –, was assassinated.

    The former great general, Ariel Sharon, betrayed the Jewish settlers in Gaza that he had encouraged to move there and gave Gaza away. He suffered a catastrophic stroke from which he will not recover.

    Israel is now in the most dangerous position it has been since the founding of the State. I believe it is because they have tried to make peace with an enemy that openly declares their ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel.

    And more importantly, I believe all this disaster is happening because Israelites have not believed and followed their own prophets.

    The God of Israel, in sovereign grace, has sworn that this State that has been miraculously restored from the predicted second worldwide dispersion will never be totally destroyed again. But God does warn that Israel will go through terrible tribulation before the Messiah comes and fulfills His unconditional covenants with a believing remnant of Israelites. And this predicted tribulation is to sift out the true believers in Israel from those who don’t believe.

    I fear for my country and its leaders. If we continue to push Israel to give away land and accept a two-state solution that any sane person can see will never work, God will judge the United States. We will fall overnight when God’s judgment comes. God has sworn concerning Abraham’s descendents, “I bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.” That Divine oath has never been rescinded. The rise and fall of nations and empires can be traced to God keeping this oath.

    United States must not fall in with the other world leaders and demand that Israel give only a “measured and balanced response” to the unprovoked atrocities Iran, Syria and their surrogates, Hamas and Hizbollah, have brought upon Israel. If Israel does not totally destroy these terrorist organizations now, they will face endless violence and suffering.

    May the God of Israel and the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus, defend Israel and open the eyes of many – both Christians and Israelites.

    You can visit Hal Lindsey's site here.

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    Monday, July 17, 2006

    More Great Quotes!

    "Salvation is so simple we can overlook it, so profound we can never comprehend it, so priceless we could never buy it; yet free for all who will believe and receive."

    "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger."

    "If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"

    "The Ten Commandments were Not called The Ten Suggestions."

    "True freedom is not having your own way, but in yielding to God's way."

    "There's no better sermon than a good example."

    "To gain self-control, give God control."

    "I can get more out of God by believing Him for one minute than I can by shouting at Him all night." - Smith Wigglesworth

    "When God measures a man, He puts the tape around the heart instead of the head."

    "God did not choose us because we were worthy...but by choosing us, he makes us worthy. Therefore count yourself dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus and live a life worthy of the calling you have received."

    "GOD loves us the way we are, but he refuses to leave us that way."

    "Morality may keep you out of jail, but it takes the blood of Jesus Christ to keep you out of hell." - Charles H. Spurgeon

    "The only one who can satisfy the human heart, is the one who made it."

    "We can preach the Gospel of Christ no further than we have experienced the power of it in our own hearts." - George Whitefield

    "You cannot convince anyone that Jesus loves them, until you are willing to love them too."

    "A Christian should be IN the world and yet not OF the world. How can this be? Consider the fish who, though he lives in the salty sea, does not taste salty."

    "Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you DAMNED?" - Leonard Ravenhill

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    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Test Everything Against The Word Of God

    Concerning what is going on in the "emergent church", "ecumenical church" , "seeker friendly" church and the "purpose driven church", I urge everyone who reads this to ask God to open your eyes concerning these things. Also, churches that are ordaining homosexuals, condoning the homosexual lifestyle, and changing the Holy Trinity. Satan has creeped his way into the church because for so long the church has slept. Satan is attacking the Word of God from INSIDE the church itself. Satan is the father of all lies and the master of deceit. The Bible says that he disguises himself as an angel of light. Because so many professing Christians fail to read the Bible and study it for themselves they have been easily sucked in and seduced by these lies. Too many professing Christians are far too gullible. They are following the ways of man rather than the ways of God. Far too many of them would believe it just because their pastor said it.

    It is a lie from the pit of hell that the church needs to change its message to attract the world. God is Truth and He has not changed! The cry from so many of these people is that we need to "unify the church". Unity can not come by compromisng the very Word of God. When Jesus prayed for unity, He prayed that the church would be one as He and the Father were one.

    “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)

    This means the Church must first be in unity with God Himself. Then, and only then will there be true unity. Peace that is obtained by compromising the truth is not real peace!
    "from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:

    Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 3:15-4:4)

    This scripture Paul wrote to Timothy hits the nail right on the head. Some of the largest and so called successful churches in America are doing just what the scripture says..."They will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear"

    The message coming from so many of these churches today is that God loves everyone. And He does. But they are teaching a love that does not stand for truth, in an effort to not offend anyone. "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it has hated you.” (John 15:18)
    Tolerance is another lie from the pits of Hell. I don't read anywhere in my Bible where it says that I have to be tolerant of opinions, teachings and lifestyles that are in direct conflict with the very Word of God. When you become a Christian you are enlisting in the army of the Lord. An army does not win a battle by rolling over and playing dead. It wins by fighting. As Christians we must fight for truth. An army always has guards watching for the enemy. We must test everything against the Word of God to keep the enemy from creeping in.

    My Bible says that homosexuality is WRONG! My Bible says that God is the FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT. I do not care if you think the very fact that this is masculine offends you. Jesus called God His Father, not His mother. So get over it. God did not leave us the option to change what we do not like about His Word. He did not leave it open for discussion. Marriage is between a man and a woman! PERIOD! In John 3, Jesus said, "you must be born again." Jesus said that He was ,"THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE", not, "a way. a truth and a life!" All roads do not lead to God. There is ONE WAY! Truth is not relative or changing. Truth is absolute. God is truth. If truth was different for everyone then there would really be no truth....Think about it! Many would say, that to say these things is being judgemental. I beg to differ. I did not make up these things, God did! I am merely telling the truth! God will do the judging on judgement day.

    A Few Questions To Ponder:
    • How can you be openly gay, and claim to be a minister of the Gospel?
    • How can you claim to be a minister of the Gospel and not mention the word sin?
    • How can you claim to be a Christian church and want to change the Holy Trinity?
    • How can you claim to be a Christian church and condone the homosexual lifestyle?
    I encourage everyone who is reading this to test everything against the Word of God. False doctrine is what usually cries out the loudest about unity. I urge you to listen carefully when you hear the cry for unity; because it may be the cover of false doctrine trying to creep in. "Test all things; hold fast what is good." (1Thessalonians 5:21)

    "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." (Colossians 2:8)

    The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:11)

    "For I am the LORD, I do not change;" (Malachi 3:6)

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    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Church...An Irrelevant Social Club?

    The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the position of the church:

    "There was a time when the church was very powerful, in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society... . But the judgment of God is upon the church [today] as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the 20th century." ("Letter from a Birmingham Jail")

    Sounds like today's church. The church, if operating Biblically, should set the tone for society. Today, unfortunately, for many churches, society sets the tone for the church. The church has become so much like the world, sometimes it is hard to tell them apart.Today's mega-churches and "seeker friendly" churches are hiring marketing firms to market their churches. We are changing our services to meet the world's needs. Some churches offer several different "styled" services to meet everyone's needs. We design "programs" that we hope will attract people to come. Then they "water down" the message in an effort to not offend anyone. After all, they want them to come back. It seems as if we have turned church in to nothing more than a numbers game.

    What the world needs is the life changing power of the truth of the Gospel. They need to experience the awesome presence of God. The Bible says that it is the truth that will set us free, not the watered down, ear tickling, seeker friendly, motivational speaking that is coming from many pulpits today. When the church resorts to giving the world what they want, rather than what they need, all we are doing is feeding their flesh rather than the emptiness that is in each one of us, that only God can fill.

    If the truth of the Gospel is preached, and God is worshiped in Spirit and in truth, we will have no need for marketing or special programs. If we worshiped God until His fire fell, people would be drawn. If we would love one another and be separate from the world, people would come. They would know us by our love. Christians are in the world, but we do not have to be of the world. If we lived like we were supposed to, we would not have to tell people we were Christians, or invite them to church. They would know something was different and want what we had. They would be drawn to us. It only takes a little bit of light to disperse darkness.

    The world is hungry for truth.
    Today's generation has seen so much hypocrisy that they are sick of it. What they need to see is real Christianity in action. Great revivals of the past did not happen because of programs or "seeker friendly" services. They happened because someone dared to preach the Gospel with fire and the presence of God. They allowed the Holy Spirit to move and convict people of their sins. They were not afraid to preach about the sinful nature and wretchedness of man without a Savior. They were not afraid to tell of the need for repentance. They were not afraid to speak of the alternative to heaven,...Hell. They told of the loving God, but also of the just God, whom everyone WILL stand before in judgment one day.

    It is my prayer that all Christians awaken. That the church can be more than "an irrelevant socil club." That the church return to operating as the Church did in the Book of Acts. With love and the POWER of God. I pray that the Lord convict hearts concerning the "watering down" of the truth.

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    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    God Loves Quitters


    By Sean Dietrich

    I used to try and try and try. When I first began following Jesus, I would try and try to do the things that were said in the bible. I would desperately try to do the things that my other brothers and sisters told me I should be doing. I tried to follow a strict set of moral guidelines, and I always came up short! Nothing worked. I read more books, prayed more prayers and things never panned out for me. I can tell you, I felt like Paul felt when he said, "Woe is me."

    I remember coming home one day from a worship service on a Sunday afternoon. I opened up my front door and fell face forward on my couch and just cried. Nothing was happening in my spiritual life at all at the time. I was dry. It was that simple. This was unacceptable for me. I was a music minister. I was supposed to be an example! However, the self-imposed burden of full-time ministry did nothing to push me into this flawless life of following Jesus. I was hopeless. The more I tried the more I failed.

    How did I plan on solving my problem? By trying harder of course! The only conclusion I could come to in my all failings, was that I was slacking. After all, Jesus said if we love him we would keep his commandments. So what does that really mean?


    Jesus said if we love him, we would obey his teaching.

    Before I shed my "works" mentality, I used to envision Jesus saying this in an irritated state. I really believed that Jesus was actually saying: "The more you do for me, the more you will prove your love for me." But then I had a revelation. I can't explain how it happened, and I can't detail the exact process of events that led up to it. But what brand new life it brought!

    All at once, Jesus revealed to me that if I sought the love found in him instead of seeking the commandments, I would end up keeping obeying his teachings without even trying. I began to see that Jesus' statement was actually a promise! Jesus was telling me that if I would just learn to love with him, the commandments would wind up be kept. He was promising it to me. What a promise.

    I can remember finally getting it. I am referring to the moment when I finally had a revelation of his love. It was something I had yearned for in the deepest chambers of my heart for so long. Suddenly all the years of work that Jesus had been doing inside me began to show up externally. I was giving up my own efforts and resting in the total love he had for me.


    I remember vocalizing out-loud to God, "Lord, I give up." It felt so good giving up too! What freedom! I could finally see that he never really expected me to "try" and live the perfect life to begin with. Instead, he wanted me to "love" him, and "abide" in him. He would take care of all the rest if I would just learn to love and trust him. The pressure is off!

    It's different for everyone, and I am not prescribing a method that promises revelation. All I know is that when I gave up, Jesus came through.

    The beautiful thing for me is: the more I willingly give up, the more fruit he produces through me. All of the sudden I'm living on the pages of the bible. I was now free from the law of sin and death! Not just intellectually free. Really free! Now I too finally experience the awesome life found in the New Testament. It's an amazingly beautiful way to live.

    I can definitely live life this way. Thanks Jesus.
    AMEN to that! WOW! I could not have said it any better myself. I thank God that I "got it" too. Everything Sean said is sooo true! We have to "Let Go and Let God". I know in my life, another thing that really brought about change, was when I learned to worship. I mean really worship, not just "lip service". We are to worship God just because He is God. He is an awesome God. He created us to worship Him! He deserves all the praise, honor and Glory! It is all about Him!
    A Little Bit About Sean Dietrich...
    Sean visited my blog and left me a link to his site. Sean is, in my opinion, a very talented and gifted musician. His music is very anointed by God. All of his music is on his site and available to listen and download for FREE. What a blessing! He also has some wonderful articles and a newsletter which you can sign up for. "God Loves Quitters" was from his recent newsletter. I encourage evryone to check it out here. Thanks Sean for the great writing and sincere honesty! As soon as I read "God Loves Quitters", I told my husband I just had to post it on my blog because it summed it all up so perfectly. Someone else had experienced exactly what my husband and I had experienced. True Life in Jesus! Thank You Jesus!

    So please, check out his site and his music. I promise, you will be blessed!

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    Friday, July 07, 2006

    Are You Being Persecuted?

    The following is an excerpt from a sermon by George Whitfield, entitled "Persecution every Christian's Lot".
    2 Timothy 3:12, "Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution."

    I. FIRST, Let us consider what it is to live godly in Christ Jesus. This supposes, that we are made the righteousness of God in Christ, that we are born again, and are one with Christ by a living faith, and a vital union, even as Jesus Christ and the Father are One. Unless we are thus converted, and transformed by the renewing of our minds, we cannot properly be said to be in Christ, much less to live godly in him. To be in Christ merely by baptism, and an outward profession, is not to be in Him in the strict sense of the word: no; "They that are in Christ, are new creatures; old things are passed away, and all things are become new" in their hearts. Their life is hid with Christ in God; their souls daily feed on the invisible realities of another world. To "live godly in Christ," is to make the divine will, and not our own, the sole principle of all our thoughts, words, and actions; so that, "whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, we do all to the glory of God." Those who live godly in Christ, may not so much be said to live, as Christ to live in them: He is their Alpha and Omega, their first and last, their beginning and end. They are led by his Spirit, as a child is led by the hand of its father; and are willing to follow the Lamb withersoever he leads them. They hear, know, and obey his voice. Their affections are set on things above; their hopes are full of immortality; their citizenship is in heaven. Being born again of God, they habitually live to, and daily walk with, God. They are pure in heart; and, from a principle of faith in Christ, are holy in all manner of conversation and godliness.

    This is to "live godly in Christ Jesus:" and hence we may easily learn, why so few suffer persecution? Because, so few live godly in Christ Jesus. You may live formally in Christ, you may attend on outward duties; you may live morally in Christ, you may (as they term it) do no one an harm, and avoid persecution: but they "that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution."

    Another excerpt from the same sermon:

    Ever since the fall, there has been a irreconcilable enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Wicked men hate God, and therefore cannot but hate those who are like him: they hate to be reformed, and therefore must hate and persecute those, who, by a contrary behavior, testify of them, that their deeds are evil. Besides, pride of heart leads men to persecute the servants of Jesus Christ. If they commend them, they are afraid of being asked, Why do not you follow them? And therefore because they dare not imitate, though they may sometimes be even forced to approve their way, yet pride and envy make them turn persecutors. Hence it is, that as it was formerly, so it is now, and so will it be to the end of time; "He that is born after the flesh, (the natural man, does and) will persecute him that is born after the Spirit," the regenerate man. Because Christians are not of the world, but Christ hath chosen them out of the world, therefore the world will hate them. If it be objected against this doctrine, that we now live in a Christian world, and therefore must not expect such persecution as formerly; I answer, All are not Christians that are called so; and, till the heart is changed, the enmity against God (which is the root of all persecution) remains: and consequently Christians, falsely so called, will persecute as well as others. I observed therefore, in the beginning of this discourse, that Paul mentions those that had a form of religion, as persons of whom Timothy had need be chiefly aware: for, as our Lord and his apostles were mostly persecuted by their countrymen the Jews, so we must expect the like usage from the Formalists of our own nation, the Pharisees, who seem to be religious. The most horrid and barbarous persecutions have been carried on by those who have called themselves Christians; witness the days of queen Mary; and the fines, banishments and imprisonments of the children of God in the last century, and the bitter, irreconcilable hatred that appears in thousands who call themselves Christians, even in the present days wherein we live.

    From the same sermon:

    FIRST, To stand a while and examine themselves. For, by what has been said, you may gather one mark, whereby you may judge whether you are Christians or not. Were you ever persecuted for righteousness sake? If not, you never yet lived godly in Christ our Lord. Whatever you may say to the contrary, the inspired apostle, in the words of the text (the truth of which, I think, I have sufficiently proved) positively asserts, that all who will live godly in Him, shall suffer persecution. Not that all who are persecuted are real Christians; for many sometimes suffer, and are persecuted, on other accounts than for righteousness sake. The great question therefore is, Whether you were ever persecuted for living godly? You may boast of your great prudence and sagacity (and indeed these are excellent things) and glory because you have not run such lengths, and made yourselves so singular, and liable to such contempt, as some others have. But, alas! This is not a mark of your being of a Christian, but of a Laodicean spirit, neither hot nor cold, and sit only to be spewed out of the mouth of God. That which you call prudence, is often, only cowardice, dreadful hypocrisy, pride of heart, which makes you dread contempt, and afraid to give up your reputation for God. You are ashamed of Christ and his gospel; and in all probability, was he to appear a second time upon earth, in words, as well as works, you would deny him. Awake therefore, all ye that live only formally in Christ Jesus, and no longer seek that honor which cometh of man. I do not desire to court you, but I entreat you to live godly, and fear not contempt for the sake of Jesus Christ. Beg of God to give you his Holy Spirit, that you may see through, and discover the latent hypocrisy of your hearts, and no longer deceive your own souls. Remember you cannot reconcile two irreconcilable differences, God and Mammon, the friendship of this world with the favor of God. Know you not who hath told you, that "the friendship of this world is enmity with God?" If therefore you are in friendship with the world, notwithstanding all your specious pretenses to piety, you are at enmity with God: you are only heart-hypocrites; and, "What is the hope of the hypocrite, when God shall take away his soul?" Let the words of the text sound an alarm in your ears; O let them sink deep into your hearts; "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution."
    After reading this wonderful sermon by George Whitfield, I can't help but think of some of the largest, "seeker sensitive" and "purpose driven" churches of today. Why is it that the church is so worried about appealing to the world? We are not called to be of the world. The church is for the "equipping of the saints." Churches should be discipling believers and training them to go out and reach the lost. Jesus said to, "go in to all the world". We do not have to change and water down our message to get the world to come to us.

    According to scripture, as Whitefield has pointed out, if we are living Godly as we should, the world WILL NOT like us. We WILL suffer persecution. The Church in the United States does not suffer much persecution because we are just like the Laodecian church. We have an abundance of " lukewarm" Christianity.

    Revelation 3:15-20 says:
    "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, "I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing"—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."

    Often times verse 20 is used as an evangelical verse , directed at the lost. That is not the case. This verse was spoken to the Church. This verse is directed at those who call themselves Christians. It is very clear how God feels about "lukewarm" Christianity. He said He would "vomit".

    I encourage you to ask yourself these questions:

    • Am I being persecuted for my walk with Christ?
    • Am I a lukewarm Christian?
    The Bible says it is better to be cold than lukewarm!!!!

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    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Some More Great Quotes!

    "The more men pray, the less worldly they become. The less they pray, the more worldly they become. I am, of course, speaking of professing Christians at this point."
    Leonard Ravenhill

    "The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church...grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil."
    Leonard Ravenhill

    “We Christians too often substitute prayer for playing the game. Prayer is good; but when used as a substitute for obedience, it is nothing but a blatant hypocrisy, a despicable Pharisaism...To your knees, man! and to your Bible! Decide at once! Don't hedge! Time flies! Cease your insults to God, quit consulting flesh and blood. Stop your lame, lying, and cowardly excuses. Enlist! "
    C. T. Studd

    "A man who is intimate with God will never be intimidated by men."
    Leonard Ravenhill

    "Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit’s power might be manifested? We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power."
    Hudson Taylor

    “A prayerless man is proud and independent, and any church that neglects corporate prayer is sadly no better. Only God's humble and needy children take the time to pray. Everyone else is just going through the motions and naively trusting in their own strength!”
    David Smithers

    "We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results."
    R. A. Torrey

    "Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer."
    John Bunyan

    "A minister, who prays not, who is not in love with prayer, is not a minister of the Church of God. He is a dry tree, which occupies in vain a place in Christ's garden. He is an enemy, and not a father, of the people. He is a stranger, who has taken the place of the shepherd, and to whom the salvation of the flock is an indifferent thing."
    Thomas Coke

    "We can never expect to grow in the likeness of our Lord unless we follow His example and give more time to communion with the Father. A revival of real praying would produce a spiritual revolution."
    E.M. Bounds

    "The Sunday morning service shows how popular your church is. The evening services show how popular your pastor is. Your private prayer time shows you how popular God is!"
    Leonard Ravenhill

    “Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.”
    A.W. Tozer

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    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Where Is The Salt And Light?

    The true church of Christ is called to be the salt and light of the world. Why then are we allowing our salt to be watered down with the message of "tolerance" and "new age thinking"? In an effort to be "seeker sensitive", we have allowed our lights to grow so dim that they can hardly be seen. Satan has been able to deeply embed the lie that, "we must be open to change and tolerant of other beliefs", into the church. False doctrine must be confronted. Even if it means that we will be called "intolerant".

    "“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own"” (John 14:18-19).

    If someone who claims to know Christ "hates" you, then according to what our Lord and Master Himself just said, who do they actually belong to?

    There is a loud cry from those teaching and preaching false doctrine for "unity". What they are really crying out is, "compromise, compromise." The whole ecumenical movement is asking people to compromise their beliefs for the "sake of peace and unity."

    When Jesus prayed for unity, He asked that the church be one , as He and the Father were one. Unity with Christ and the true Gospel is the most important issue. Jesus did not ask that we be in unity with the doctrines of man.
    Those of us Christians who have decided to stand for truth are being called, "intolerant", "judgmental", "divisive" and "unloving". The very fact is, that it is love that compels us to be sure that the truth is known and not forgotten.

    It is a lie from the pit of Hell that says, "Love does not confront sin". Jesus confronted sin. The truth may not always be the most pleasant thing to be heard, but it is the truth that can set people free. The absolute truth is -– and Christ Jesus told us that He is Truth - the truth is, that while Jesus was never offensive in how He confronted evil - the fact still remains -– that our Lord offended many by what He taught, and by what He claimed.

    "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?" "faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead"… Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (James 2:14,17,18).
    It is easy to claim to be a Christian, but do you live a life that backs it up? The person who continues on in willful sin and prolonged self-ishness while professing to be a believer in Jesus Christ is demonstrating before the world that he never became a true Christian. Hence he was never even saved in the first place, and with them the true Christian has no unity.

    The "seeker sensitive" church seeks to have people leave chuch feeling good and uplifted. What good is it if it does not encourage change and becoming more like Christ? Most of the "seeker friendly", "purpose driven" messages are nothing more than motivational speaking with "a Christian flare". Recognizing your sin and your fallen wretched state is what drives a person to realize the need for a Savior and true repentance from sin.

    If you have not seen your own life change since you made a "decision" to follow Christ, it is you who should question whether you have actually made the commitment to truly trust in Christ alone as your Lord and Savior. The Bible says:
    "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know?that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified." (2 Corinthians 13:5, NKJV)

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