You Can’t Make the Holy Spirit

When the Holy Spirit is present, you know.

While this photo is obviously severely edited, I think it might paint a picture of what it feels like for the Holy Spirit to be covering us.

When the Holy Spirit moves in worship, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s delightful, it’s breathtaking, it’s relieving, and it’s completely and totally out of our own control.

I recently talked about the issue of desiring to FEEL rather than know in Christianity. Well this problem that plagues individuals within the body has also plagued whole individual church bodies as well.

I’ve been to conferences and churches where the speaker didn’t even say a single word because worship kept going on and on and on and on and on. I’ve seen things like healings and revivals scheduled months ahead of time. When did we get the impression that God worked around our own schedules?

Many churches plan their services around healing and revival when it’s just not called for. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe healing happens and I’ve experienced it in my own life. But I know enough from my experience to know that it’s not on a schedule.

Many churches think to bring people to Christ, it has to begin with miraculous signs and wonders. If people are healing or speaking in tongues, it may create a sense of reverential awe. This awe will lead to prayer, fellowship and teaching. And then people will accept the message, be saved and be baptized.

Now let’s take a look at what Acts had to say about the early church service in Chapter 2:

“So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added.  They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles.  (Acts 2:41-47)”

It’s in the exact opposite order. And I know that Greek grammar doesn’t call for anyone to list things chronologically, but by order of importance. But that’s exactly my point. Some churches find the miraculous signs and wonders being performed in their own building to be more important than the people who are being saved.

This leads to a dangerous thing. You see, the thing that causes the Holy Spirit to move is believers coming into a place and being transformed by the message of the Gospel. Since these churches don’t start like this, but they want to get straight to the signs and wonders, which they know can only be done through the Holy Spirit, they try really hard to force the Holy Spirit in. And then nothing happens and churches dwindle. Because the Holy Spirit doesn’t just come when we think He should come. He comes when we need Him to.

So instead of trying way too hard to create the Holy Spirit in a room, let’s trust that He will move in His own time and do things we could never imagine.

 

 

Check out my personal blog here.

 

 

Do Christians Downplay Wisdom?

Christian resource books.

Reading, reading, reading. It can make all the difference in the world.

As a worship leader, I understand how important it is to fall on your face before the presence of the LORD. I know how beneficial it is to truly feel the Holy Spirit surround you in an intimate moment of worship. It’s truly an awesome and awe-inspiring experience.

That being said, one of the problems the church as a whole faces today is putting too large a focus on that intimate feeling. Many Christians believe that the personal and intimate feelings they receive when they encounter the Lord in worship make their relationship with Him closer.

But that’s simply not the case. It helps, but it’s not everything. The Bible, especially in the Psalms, when a reference is made to a close encounter with God, the result is usually knowledge or wisdom rather than a feeling. We begin to admire, respect and love the Lord more when we know Him and accept His knowledge and wisdom. Proverbs 2 says:

“Yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.”

And, of course, that’s just one passage. You can find plenty of others for yourself.

Basically, if you really love the Lord, it’s crucial for you to go through the Word and learn about who He is. Otherwise, it’s like you’re investing in a long term relationship with someone just to hug, hold hands and kiss, but without any desire to learn anything about your significant other.

I don’t know why so many people have embraced such a lazy theology. Maybe it’s because our pastors tell us to be content not knowing everything, and we take it a step further and are content not knowing anything. Maybe our society based on instant gratification has spoiled us a little bit.

It’s time to break free from that. Because knowledge of the Lord is the best, no, the only way to grow closer to Him, and to become more like Christ. If the objective of a Christian is to grow more into the image of Christ, then we should strive to know Him and His Father who sent Him.

And if that isn’t enough, think about this. At some point in all of our lives, someone is going to come to us and ask us about our beliefs. A coworker, family member or friend will ask about Jesus, or something in the Bible, or they may even challenge us. How can we explain or defend our beliefs if we don’t even know what we believe.

That’s why getting into the Word and getting a deeper knowledge of Christ is just as important as, if not more important than, getting a spiritual high once a week in a worship service or during quiet time. The LORD desires to know us on a personal level. We should desire the same thing from Him.

Check out my personal blog:

http://theneedlewgur.wordpress.com

 

CHRISTIAN CHARACTER : 6

The Attitude Of The Christian

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

The Bible is more than a story-book or a compilation of historical events. It is the revelation of God and His Kingdom. Every time you study your Bible and read about the lives of those who walked with God, you’ll become aware of another dimension of His awesome personality. This revelation helps you cultivate the right attitude to life.

The story of the three Hebrew boys in the third chapter of the book of Daniel is one of the most inspiring stories in the Bible. The government of the day promulgated a decree that everybody must bow to a golden idol set up by the king. But Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow because they believed in the only true God. King Nebuchadnezzar became enraged and ordered them to be killed in a burning furnace, but these guys were unperturbed. The king was infuriated by their defiance, but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn’t cry or beg for their lives; they weren’t afraid. They said, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us. If we are thrown into the flaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty. But if he doesn’t, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have created” (Daniel 3:16-18 TLB). Glory to God!

They didn’t talk like victims. Their situation didn’t alter their trust in the unfailing power of Almighty God to deliver. The young men in the face of adversity epitomized what the Christian attitude should be.

There is an attitude for living that every Christian should cultivate, and that’s the attitude of a victor.

You can never be disadvantaged. If God is for you who can be against you? How big is your God? How well do you know him? Our God is a big and faithful God, lover of your soul! Oh and so much more! Study, don’t just read, but study the bible, trust in His word, have strong and unwavering faith, and you will surely come back with a testimony!

Always remember that: irrespective of the circumstance, you can never be disadvantaged. Refuse to be disadvantaged.

F U RT H E R   S TUDY : P SALM 91:4-7

CHRISTIAN CHARACTER : 5

Be Inspired To Serve

“… Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant”. (Matthew 20:26-27).

The responsibility of service is the key to greatness!

The opening scripture underscores this truth; the word “minister” is from the Greek word “diakonos” and it means a servant, or an attendant, one who serves or runs errands for others.

As Christians, we’ve been called to service; both of God and of mankind. God is mindful and concerned about people more than anything else. So, when you’re concerned about serving people through your work, the Lord will be mindful of your success and prosperity; He’ll cause everything you do to prosper.

The Bible says there’s profit in all labour (Proverbs 14:23).

Therefore, it doesn’t matter the job or business you do, when your goal is to render quality service, your greatness will be inevitable.

But greed has stopped many from being service-conscious as they should. Don’t let the desire to have be your driving force in life.

Greed is the undue ambition for gain and inordinate desire to amass wealth for oneself.

Refuse to yield yourself to it, don’t let it rule your life, trade, business or profession; rather, become motivated by the joy of service.

Be inspired by the importance and relevance of your job or business towards the betterment of society.

Make yourself needed, relevant and indispensable to your generation by choosing to serve, for that is the pathway to greatness.

Be inspired to serve

CHRISTIAN CHARACTER : 4

Carry The Right Presence 

“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” (Colossians 3:10).

As God’s people, we’re engaged in a duty of presentation.

Paul said in Colossians 1:28, “…that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” You are the product of God’s perfect sacrifice and how you present yourself to the world matters.

Jesus is no longer on the cross with a disfigured face. So recognize that since you’re saved, you carry the presence of a glorified, victorious Jesus, not the presence of frustration and sadness.

Unfortunately, some Christians love to carry a long face. They could carry it on for weeks, enjoying the attention of friends who keep inquiring from them if everything is alright. It amazes me how anyone could go on for prolonged periods with a sad face day after day, week after week, looking normal only occasionally.

The truth about a consistently long face or gloomy countenance is that it quenches the spirit (1Thessalonians 5:19).

Heaviness is a spirit and you have to command it out of your life and your home!

That look that carries the presence of sadness cannot release joy, happiness, meekness and calmness; that’s why it has to leave you.

The presence you carry around you speaks louder than what you wear; it tells the condition of your spirit.

The life of a believer ought to be exciting, not ordered by the dictates of this life but by the Word.

The recreated man is victorious; he is peculiar, more than a conqueror, and he walks with zest and issues forth life.

His lips are a spring of life that refreshes the hearts of those who hear him.

His face lights up the place, his countenance creates an atmosphere of joy and peace; and people are not uncomfortable or unhappy or wondering what has gone wrong when they are around him.

Understand that this is the environment where the Holy Spirit functions effectively.

So make that extra effort to brighten your face and always see yourself the way God sees you.

F U RT H E R  S T U DY : P R O V E R B S 15:13

CHRISTIAN CHARACTER : 3


Integrity Of Heart

“…if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness…Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever….” (1 Kings 9:4-5).

God spoke to Solomon as he was building the temple. He promised to establish his kingdom over Israel forever and all Solomon needed do was to walk before God as David, his father did (1 Kings 9:4).

How did David walk?

He walked in integrity of heart! David was a man of his words. He walked with God with a perfect and upright heart, and also fulfilled every vow he made.

Integrity is not in your dressing or physical gait, it is bringing out the glory of God that’s in you; that is, in your human spirit.

How?

It is by upholding God’s Word; living out the Word in your heart!

Job is another man who walked in integrity of heart toward God. He trusted God and refused to speak ill in spite of the calamity that befell him. He was the richest man in his region, but he lost all his wealth and his children in one day. Nevertheless, he said, “My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me” (Job 27:4-5).

Some put their trust in horses and some in princes but those that put their trust in the living God shall never be put to shame.

Don’t ever put your trust or confidence in man, rather put your confidence in God.

He’s the only one that can build up your life and move you to another realm, a higher level.

Wake up every morning confident of His love for you and walk with Him in the integrity of heart.

F U RT H E R S T U DY : P S A L M 26:1; P R O V E R B S 20:7

CHRISTIAN CHARACTER : 2

LIGHT UP YOUR WORLD !

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15).

The impact of light in our world can’t be over-emphasized. If you’ve ever travelled in an airplane I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean. I’ve often travelled by air and I’m always intrigued at the view I get from an airplane, particularly when it’s about to land in the night. When you look out of the window before the airplane commences its descent, you won’t be able to see anything because everywhere is dark. But as it descends, you’ll begin to see flickers of light, in spite of the fact that you’re still thousands of feet from the ground.

Many times, you’ll be able to distinguish between the headlight of cars and those of different houses. Being able to see and differentiate the light of cars moving and those of different homes, right from up in the clouds is simply amazing.

This means, just one light can make a whole world of difference in a dark world.

No wonder the Lord Jesus said we’re like the city that’s set upon a hill which can’t be hidden.

In other words, a child of God can’t be hidden as his light is shining ever so brightly.

The Bible says, “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isaiah 60:3).

Put differently, the unbelievers and kings, people of remarkable influence, dignitaries will come to you because the glory of God is shining through you.

Many of them are already peeping through their windows to look at you as you pass by; they recognize that you’re the light of the world.

So light up your world!

FURTHER STUDY: JOHN 8:12; ROMANS 8:19

Who are you?

Firstly, a Christian is a NEW CREATION. ‘’therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.’’ To walk in the newness of life as the Bible declares is to understand that we have become new creatures with new kind of life. This life is not human. It is ZOE, The God kind of life.

We are not talking about a change, behaviour or refurbished character. We are talking about a brand new man who has never existed before. Paul says that in God (Galatians 6:15). (Ehesians 4:22-24). The new creation is a new man created in God’s divine nature of righteousness and holiness. They are his attributes. (2 Peter 1:4).

Secondly, a Christian becomes the son of God when he becomes born again. This time of a different father. Not the earthly father but the heavenly Father through his seed. ‘’Which is born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’’ (John 1:13) behold, what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the SONS OF GOD’’ This is why we cry ‘’Abba Father,’’ John 1:13, Romans 8:16-17.

 

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Prosperity In Christ

What is prosperity and what does the Bible says about it? 2 Cor. 8:9, Joshua 1:7-8 prosperity is success, influence and riches. It does not only have to do with money but also health, spiritual and physical. Prosperity is God’s will. God desires for us to prosper. 3 John 2

Purpose of prosperity Deuteronomy 8:17-18

To establish Gods convert on earth

So we can have to give

Not many believe that Christians should be wealthy and prosperous in material things. But Apostle John clearly states that, it is God’s foremost desires for his Children to live in prosperity. ‘’Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in HEALTH, even as thy soul prospereth.’’ (3 John 2). Jesus did not only suffer for our sins and sicknesses. He also suffered for our prosperity. He paid all the necessary penalty for our freedom from poverty. 2 Corinthians 8:9. God has reason why he wants his Children to prosper.

Get more powerful christian insights at The New Life In Christ!

Am I in Denial? The Deception and the Truth

Am I in Denial?  Signs you may be in Denial, the Deception and the Truth

We admitted that we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors and that our lives had become unmanageable.

“I can stop any time I want to.”  “I have it under control”  “I’m not hurting anyone.”  “I’m stronger than other people.”  “It really isn’t that bad.” “I don’t need to change”.

In recovery we call this denial.  For me that was always one of the laughable insults.

Denial is far from laughable. It is by far one of  the biggest weapon the enemy uses weaken us.  Because as long as we keep silent about our doubts, fears,  hurts, and hang-ups and limitations, the harder it is for us be in a position to say yes to the life God has for us.   It is hard to accept that people of faith can be in denial,  but I find it easier to accept the phrase self-deception.  Even the Bible hall of Famers were deceived, and suffered the effects of denial.  For this lesson we will take a look at the life of one such Bible hero,  review some of the signs of denial, its toll on our lives, and how the bible addresses the deceptions. 

The Bible tells the story about one of Israel’s judges, Sampson.   He literally had superhuman strength, and being a believer of God his worked to free his people from their enemy the Philistines.  He believed he was indestructible, and often abused the strength that God had given him for his own satisfaction.   His downfall came at the hands of a woman who was paid by his enemies to find out his weakness.  Delilah would coax Samson into telling her the secret of his strength and he would lie to her.   It should have been obvious to Sampson that this woman he desired so much was dangerous.  His denial kept him from seeing the truth. He finally gave in to Delilah manipulations and gave what she was after.  She then turned him over to his enemies blinded him and took him captive.

Romans 7:18 says, “ I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”    Which is step one:

One of Celebrate Recovery®’s acrostics for this step  is DENIAL will help us to recognize the signs that we are being in self deception.

Disables our feelings

Energy Lost

Negates Growth

Isolates us from God

Alienates us from relationships

Lengthens pain

 

Disables our feelings:

You may be in denial if your primary feelings are anger and rage.

Denial provides an escape from feeling.

Yet the feelings we are trying to escaping are what we need to examine to be free.

“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits – for a man is a slave of anything that has conquered him” (2 Peter 2:19 GNB).

Energy Lost:

You may be in denial if you  feel physically or emotionally tired most of the time.

Denial has a side effect of anxiety which physiologically takes a toll on our bodies.  We may find ourselves trying to run from our past, dreading the future, or fighting against change.   

Yet, it is only in the present, today that we can make positive change, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

“He frees the prisoners…: he lifts the burdens from those bent down beneath their loads.” (Psalm 146: 7-7)

Negates growth:

You may be in denial if you feel as if things are not getting any better.

Denial keeps us sick.  We are as “sick as our secrets”.  Yet we cannot grow in recovery until we are ready to step out of denial  and into truth.

“They cried to the Lord in their troubles, and he rescued them!  He lead them from their darkness and shadow of death and snapped their chains.”  (Psalm 107: 13-14 TBL).

Isolates us from God:

You might be in denial if you feel as though you are in the dark.

Yet God’s light shines on the truth and it is in truth that we are set free.

“God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we live and od not live by the truth. But I we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his sun, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)

Alienates us from our relationships:

You might be in denial you tell yourself, “If they really knew me they would not accept me”.

We may use defensiveness, deception, blaming, and secrets to be accepted.   Yet it is being truthful and open that we learn to accept one another in relationships.

“Stop Lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.” (Ephesians 4:25 TBL).

Lengthens the pain:

You might be in denial if  you are sick of being in pain.

We think that denial protects us from pain but really allows it to eventually turn to shame and guilt.  Yet God desires break us free from the shame and guilt.

“God’s promise:  “I will give you back your health and heal your wounds.” (Jeremiah 30:17 TBL).

The bible tells us that “You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there!”  Jeremiah 6:14 (TBL).

You may want to consider addressing denial by asking yourself the following questions:

How do you handle pain and disappiontment?
What was your family secret?
In what areas of your life do your recognize some of the effects of denial?
 

Again we say welcome to Celebrate recovery.  Today by being here you have taken another step forward in your recovery.  Keep coming back!

 

If you like this blog or post please remember to share it with someone.  We encourage your feedback, comments will treated as confidential.

 

Creative Commons License   Am I in Denial 2012 by

RAMONA TAYLOR is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at “Breaking Free“.

 

 

Beware of False Teachings

I came across an article that is a dangerous example of how people can be led astray from the truth of God.  Quoted portions are from the article, except for scriptural references.

Article - 

Jews, Christians And Muslims Are Cousins In Religion

FOR OyeTimes.com JACOB K. LUPA  - WRITER “The problem seems to be the adherents of the three religions who create problems through greed, marginalisation and humiliation of fellow human beings.”

Basically, those who adhere to the laws and doctrines of their faith are considered to be greedy, narrow minded, and alienate our fellow man.  As I can not speak for any other faith, as a greatful believer in Jesus Christ, the Bible teaches that there is only one true Word of God, and the laws that are given there-in are to be followed unquestioningly, unerringly, or retribution will follow :

Deuteronomy 28:57-59 58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God- 59 the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.”

This is what God has spoken, and who am I to argue with God. He instructs and rewards obediance, conversely, He punishes the wicked :

Proverbs 10:16 “The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment.”

I can’t say what Mohamad teaches in the Qur’an, but the Deuteronomy and Proverbs verses are both from the Old Testament, out of Mosaic Law, which is of God via Moses, and the foundations of the Jewish doctrines.  Jews and Muslims perhaps may be cousins, to use the term loosely, and I’ll explain why, but Christianity is rooted in Judaism, the difference is Jesus Christ.  The Jews do not believe that He is Messiah, Christians do. The point is God’s law is definitive.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam have the same concept of God. With regard to this in Judaism, Deuteronomy 6:4-5 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”. In Christianity according to the Gospel of Mark (New Testament) 12:29-30 “when asked what was the most important commandment Jesus replied, “The most important one is this: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one Lord: Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. In Islam when the faithful are called to prayer they hear, “God is great. I bear witness that there is no deity but God”.

To put correctly, Judaism and Christianity and Islam all have the same God. The main difference here is that the Old Testament(Judaism) and the New Testament(Christianity) of the Bible are written by many authors directed and inspired by God and compiled into one book, although there is still the Jewish Torah. There is still debate as to who authored the Qur’an be it God, an illiterate self-proclaimed prophet, or a group of Arab poets.

As to why Judaism and Islam are related in origin, the Jews trace their beginnings from Sarah and Abraham, while Islam claims birth right to Abraham and Hagar, a bonds-woman.

Genesis 16:15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne.”

Having the status of bonds-woman, the Jews view the Arabs to be of an inferior lineage, thus the reason for the hatred between the two.

Sudan needs a Christian Islamic Council to work on issues that divide Christians and Muslims for development of concepts that promote mutual understanding, tolerance, respect and peaceful-co-existence. This is important for equality of religions for people who believe in the same one God held as loving, merciful and compassionate. Probably that could have saved the unity of Sudan as religion could not have been politicised that too far where the concentration would have been on equitable development in the country.”

See the problem here is, in the Old Testament, Jesus’ fulfillment of God’s purpose is revealed in many books of the Bible, this verse from Isaiah being the most notable:

Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”.

God confirms this in the New Testament :

Matthew 3:17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.

Matthew 17:5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

Jesus explains that there is only one way to God:

John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

For whatever reason, the Jews do not believe the Messianic prophecies that are in the Old Testament, that through ritual fasting, prayer, and repentance, one will enter the Gates of Heaven.  The Qur’an says all you have to do is believe in the One True God, and repent of your sins, that you are pretty much free to do what you would like, as long as you do not deny Allah as the only god, and repent fastidiously.

The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus is the only key that is found on earth to unlock the gates of Heaven.  Without Jesus, salvation is unattainable.   The Jews may have missed the prophecies, but there will come a time when there will be a mass conversion from Judaism to Christianity.  There will be Muslims who will be come believers.  Sadly this will not take place until after the rapture, when realization of what is happening begins to settle on the world.

It is my opinion that Judaism and Islam is nothing more than a centuries old sibling rivalry.

Genesis 21:9But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking.”

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus can trace his lineage back to Abraham and Sarah

Genesis 21:12But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”

Isn’t that interesting? God reveals to us here that the child of Hagar will be a nuisance to Christianity, and God then tells Abraham to not worry about Ishmael, but listen to Sarah because through Isaac, Jesus will be born.

Always study the scriptures, know the truth.  Do not be fooled by silver tongues and pretty speeches.  Never take anything at face value always reference the bible and ask God for revelation, for the scales to be removed from your eyes so that you will not be deceived.  Even the devil can mimic God.


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Faith No More?

Apostasy and False Prophets

Timothy 3:1-7 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 ArticleTowards A One World Religion

For OpEdNews: Dana Gabriel – Writer“In order to ever realize the creation of a one world government, it only makes sense that there would need to be a one world religion. It will be much easier to control us if we are all the same, therefore there is a push for the globalization of religion.”

Those who have called for a new world order include the late Pope John Paul II and the current Pope Benedict XVI. Throughout his papacy, John Paul II preached a message of peace, hope, and the bringing together of all religions.”

In the year 2000, the United Nations held its first ever Millennium World Peace Summit. It brought together thousands of the world’s preeminent religious and spiritual leaders, thus marking a major step towards the creation of a global religious body. This was the first time such an event had taken place through the UN.”

 ArticleAbout one out of every eight adults is an “ex-Christian,” a new survey reveals.

For ChristianPost.com: By Audrey Barrick|Christian Post ReporterThese include those who left the Protestant or Catholic tradition that they were a part of as a child and who now report being atheist, agnostic or some other faith, according to the Barna Group.

According to the Christian research group, the most common reasons for leaving Christianity included life experiences, such as gaining new knowledge or education; feeling disillusioned with church and religion; feeling the church is hypocritical; having negative experiences in churches; being in disagreement with Christianity about specific issues such as homosexualityabortion or birth control; feeling the church is too authoritarian; wanting to express their faith outside of church; and searching for a new faith or wanting to experience other religions.

The top motivations for becoming a Christian, meanwhile, were going through difficult life events; getting older and seeing life differently; wanting to connect with a church and grow spiritually; discovering Christ; or wanting to know what was in the Bible.

The median age at which respondents changed their faith was 22. Sixty-eight percent of respondents had a major faith change before the age of 30.

Consider these facts -

In 1430 one in 99 of the world’s population were Christians.

 In 1790 one in 49

 In 1940 one in 32

 In 1970 one in 19

 In 1980 one in 16

 In 1983 one in 13

In 1986 one in 11

In 1994 one in 10


33.0% of people in the world are Christian

19.3% are Muslim
15.3% are atheists or non-religious
13.4% are Hindu

6.4% follow traditional Chinese religions

6.0% are Buddhist

3.8% follow tribal or indigenous religions

1.7% belong to religions created since 1800
0.4 % are Sikhs

0.2% are Jews


However in the 60 years between 1934-1994, the number of Christians in the world increased by 1300 percent (from 40 million to 540 million), while the world’s population grew only 400 percent. (taken from this article)

For Net-burst.net: Grantley Morris – writer”On the decline? You must be joking! It is estimated that of every genuine Christian since the first century, 70% came to Christ after 1900. Of these, 70% had their life-transforming encounter with Jesus since World War II. And of them, 70% became Christians in the last 4-5 years.

After surveying the entire world, Ralph Winter in 1988 identified 18,000 people groups that did not have sufficient numbers of committed Christians to remain strong and convert other members of their people group without foreign assistance. In 1998 this figure has shrunk to a mere 10% (1,736) of what it had been just ten years earlier! These astounding figures were not wild guesses to impress skeptics, but were meticulously collected to guide thousands of Christian missionaries as to where they should target their efforts.

Christian author George Weigel noted There were only 558 million Christians in the world in 1900 and there will be approximately 2 billion Christians by the middle of this year [2002], a huge increase.” However, Christianity has been in a very slow decline for years as a percentage of world population. Weigel states: “…Christians were 34.5 percent of world population in 1900, and will be 33.1 percent in 2002.“ (full article here)

So why are so many people turning away from their fatih?  Jesus tells us many times throughout the Gospels to beware of false messiahs, that many will turn from God and be led astray:

Matthew 7:15-1615 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

Matthew 24:11-14 “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.

Matthew 24:24 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

Mark 13:22 “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect

This truth is becoming alarmingly clear as more and more people are leaving their faith and following self-help leaders, gurus, mystics, and even those who claim to be Christ.  Here is an article that lists the top 10 self-appointed messiahs, interestingly they are all from the past century.  Is this the beginning of the “many false prophets..” Jesus refers to?  I’m sure many still remember the Sedona sweat lodge incident that claimed 3 lives and injured 10 during a ritualistic ‘spiritual cleansing‘.  Led by self-help expert and author James Arthur Ray rented the facility as part of his Spiritual Warrior retreat that began on 3 October and promised to “absolutely change your life.”  It certainly did for these 13 people. Ray also collected around $9k a head for these ‘cleansings’.

There have been those who lead people from God since the day of Man.  This is nothing new. The Bible refers to magicians and sorcerers, fortune tellers, mystics, false prophets, false messiahs starting in the Old Testament and in to the New Testament. What Jesus is warning us about however is similar to what is happening in our current age.  There are so many half-baked religions and many who distort the Word of God and incorporate it into their own beliefs,  worse still there are those who claim to be the returned Christ.  We all need to be aware of what is Truth, and what is not, and the only way to ensure that is to put on the whole armor of God:

Ephesians 6:10-1810 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: while using your loins of defeating the devil 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and hi watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

Remember my friends. The only way to become immune to the lies and deception is to know the Truth in your heart.  If you do not have God’s Word in your heart, your eyes will be just as blind as one who does not know God at all.  Study the scriptures, be aware of what is happening.  We are not at war with flesh and blood, as Paul states above in verse 12: “We are at war against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Furthermore, it is our duty to spread the Gospel to every living creature (Mark 16:15). This is the Great Commission of Jesus.

Stand up and be counted.

I pray friends that your eyes are opened to see the lies of the enemy for what they are. I pray that God will take the scales from your eyes so that you can see the wonder and mystery that He is.  I pray that you will put on the full armor of God, that you will be battle ready for when He sounds the trumpets.  In the mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

God Bless You.

Note: I wrote this article after finding a website that I came across that is for ex-christians to discuss why they left the faith, and why they do not believe in God anymore.  There are literally thousands of posts.  It is sad. We, as Christians should be helping those who are having trouble in their faith.  Help your brothers and sisters, this is after all, their eternal souls at stake.


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The Chief Cornerstone of Christianity

Christianity is undoubtedly portrayed in scriptures as a construction work, were each individual has been given a solid foundation on which to build his/her eternal destiny.

The apostle Paul alluded to this perception by stating; “According to the grace of God given to me like a skilled master builder, I laid a foundation and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Cor.3:10-11).

In another instance Paul described believers as, “Members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and Christ himself being the corner stone in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom believers also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph.2:19-22).

The apostle Peter echoed similar sentiments by urging all believers to, “Come to Christ, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; and like living stones built yourselves into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1Pet.2:4-5).

The job description of those who are called is clear with absolutely no ambiguity, and there is only one hope for this calling, and the reward is based on how we pursue that hope. It is only if the work which any man has built on this foundation survives, that he will receives a reward, because the quality of every man’s work will be revealed by fire, and will test every man’s work of what sort it is.

Every structure is supported and joined together by the cornerstone, and in constructing the spiritual house one must assure him/herself that as living stone he/she is properly integrated, amalgamated, and well supported by the four corner stones of the spiritual temple, if not the slightest turbulence can cause a rift between the stones and the cornerstone.

The four cornerstones of the spiritual temple on which we are integrated and amalgamated, in order to build our own spiritual structure are:-

  1. Jesus Christ our Wisdom and Power

Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our wisdom and power because according to the apostle Paul, “We do however speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing; No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.’

“None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written; “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (1Cor.2:6-9).

What exactly is that secret wisdom and power of God which he destined for our glory?

The secret wisdom and power of God which he destined for our glory is, Jesus Christ who because the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death, so he yielded his life for atonement for sin, and open the life gate that all may go in.

According to the apostle Paul “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written; “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise: the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

He then posed the following questions; “Where is the wise man? Where is the Scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolishness the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not know God through wisdom: it pleased God through the foolishness of what we preach, to save those who believe.”

How exactly do we preach the message of the cross, which is to those who are perishing foolishness, and to those who are being saved the power of God?

To preach the message of the cross is not just a verbal exercise, it involves a demonstration of the message of the cross. The secret mystery which was revealed to the apostle Paul is this; “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me. For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the lord’s death until he comes” (1Cor.11:23-26).

The apostle Paul said; “Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1Cor.1:18-25).

We are integrated into this corner stone in view of God’s mercy, by offering our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (as priests in order to offer to the Lord his food for his offering) this is our spiritual act of worship.

The church has been given the responsibility to make known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places the manifold wisdom of God, which for ages past was kept hidden in God. The apostle Paul clarified this by saying; “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things;

This mystery the apostle Paul said, “Was according to the eternal purpose which God has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him” (Eph.3:8-12).

The apostle Paul endorsed the source of our boldness and confidence to the Father by saying; “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb.10:19-22).

2.  Jesus Christ Our Righteousness

Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our righteousness because his death fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law, by paying the penalty of sin in full, which is death, and conferred his righteousness to all those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness, and will reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ . As the result of this one act of righteousness, justification which brings life, came for all men. As the scripture clearly states; “But now, the righteousness of God apart from law has been made known, to which the law and the prophet testify. This righteousness from God; comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Rom. 5: 17-19; 3: 21-22).

This righteousness has not only been imputed, but has to be practiced as well, because we have been admonished saying; “you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.’ And, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteousness just as he is righteous.” This act of righteousness is the only righteous act that can produce holiness, because, all of man’s righteousness is as filthy rags before God

This act of righteousness is to become slaves to God as priests, to offer to him his food for his offerings at its appointed time, and having become slaves to God, the benefit we reap leads to holiness, and the result is everlasting life.

To be continued

With brotherly love

Lucius Joseph

Is Allah the God of the Bible? Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

Is Allah the God of the Bible? Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

Islam has become a major force in the world today. Because they believe in a few of the things Christians and Jews do, especially monotheism (one God), there is question as to whether Allah and the Judeo-Christian God are the same.

Son of God? Who is God?

Let’s start by looking at the God of the Bible. He is called Elohim when the Godhead is emphasized, and Yahweh when referring to His nature as one god.

This means that God shows Himself in three distinct ways, yet He is one God. If a man is married with children, and his father is living, he behaves (or, should behave) in a different manner toward his father than he does toward his wife, and in yet another way toward small children. He is still the same man. Another example is an egg – the yolk, the egg white, and the shell are all part of the egg. And yet, they are distinct. Finally, there is water. The chemical formula for it is H2O. H2O exists as a solid, liquid and gas all at the same time, in different part of the world.

So, we see the Godhead – what some call the Trinity – is very clear. God manifests Himself as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. God is eternally pre-existent in the spirit (non-physical) realm, in all three persons. In other words, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit were all part of Creation. (Ge. 1:1-2, John 1:1-3, Col. Col. 1:16-17) God the Son appears in the Old Testament – before His miraculous birth via the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary – a number of times as the Angel of the Lord. This is how He wrestled with Jacob, how He likely made the animal skins for Adam and Eve, and so on.

The Koran/Qur‘an, on the other hand, makes it very clear that Muslims believe Allah has no son. The idea of Allah having a son is “blasphemous” and a “monstrous falsehood” (18:46, 9:30-31) to them. Muslims are told, “[F]ight everyone who rejects Islam, even Christians and Jews, until they pay regular financial tribute with willing submission and feel themselves completely subjected to their Islamic conquerors.” (9:29) While the Koran/Qur’an says to say that they are the same (29:46), elsewhere it considers this a lie, and in fact states that Christians and Jews are the “worst creatures on earth.” (98:6) It says that Allah is “too majestic” to have a son. (4:171-172)

This goes opposite the Bible in a few ways.

First, Jesus commands us to love our enemies, and bless them that despitefully use us. (Mat. 5:44, etc.) We are to be known by our love, and not fight each other. Many places, that great unconditional love is proclaimed. Yes, evil people who refused to follow Jesus have tried to conquer claiming to be doing it for God, any a close reading of the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ commanded His followers to show Godly compassion to others. God is longsuffering toward us; while he is holy and must punish sin, He is also faithful to save the souls of any who call upon Him, and take them to His perfect heaven, even if – like the thief on the cross – they have forfeited their chances in this world. Sin has consequences, but God is love.

Second, it goes against the Bible’s insistence that Jesus is totally equal with God. He and the Father are one. (John 10:30) he is God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16, etc.), which means that He is of the same substance – that’s what Son of God means. Yes, there is the relational aspect as humans understand it – but Jesus is never seen, in the Bible, as being inferior. Everywhere, He is shown to be the one and only God. He simply chose to step down from His Heavenly throne to this world, in order to die for our sins, and rose from the death, defeating the devil once and for all.

A few other aspects:

The one above is crucial. There are too many differences to cover here, but a topical study of the Koran/Qur’an would be quite rewarding. For now, let‘s look at just a few short ones, which you may view more yourself:

Personal God of love:

That part about being too majestic comes from their concept that God can‘t be approached. However, the Bible says otherwise. God is very personal, and in fact, wants a personal relationship with each of us. He wants us to take all our cares and worries and burdens to Him. (Mat. 11:28-30, 1 Peter 5:7, etc.). He understands all of what we go through (Heb. 4:15-16), because He lived a sinless life, bearing our sins (1 Peter 2:24) – so He lived, but never sinned, thus He can help us through whatever we’re tempted by.

He is a personal God of love, too – this means He is always moved with compassion and will not only never tempt us beyond what we are able, he will provide a way out for us. He will lovingly guide us according to what is best for each of us.

Sacrifice for our sins:

A great archaeologist named William Ramsey set out to prove the Bible wrong, and wound up finding Luke to be an incredible historian who got all his facts right. One of those facts that Luke and the other Bible writers note is that Jesus willing gave himself for us. Because he was God, He could have come down from the cross – He could have called 10,000 angels. Yes, another man had to carry the cross part of the way, but this was very common – quite a few people never survived the scourging before they were crucified, and Jesus didn’t have the strong, broad shoulders that the thieves who were crucified often had. Jesus clearly died on that cross, then rose from the dead. Indeed, among early believers were likely his two sons – otherwise, it’s not likely they would have been mentioned.

Compassion, not honor:

Among some Muslims, there is a form of law called sharia,. This law boasts no compassion when it comes to the treatment of women. It is all about honor. On the other hand, jesus and His followers insisted that women be honored, and when he came across an adulteress, He pardoned her. Jesus constantly forgave sins.

It can be argued, of course, that this law – like some unorthodox Christian teachings – isn’t in the Koran/Qur’an. What’s important, though, is that believers in Christianity are admonished to loves their wives as Christ loved the church. And, if someone sins against another, the only one at fault is the one who sinned, not the victim. God consistently has compassion on those who suffer. The Bible also clearly says that men should love their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25); and He was constantly giving Himself for it.

Indeed, elsewhere, we read that God is no respecter of persons, and that all are equal in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28) – there is no disparity between man and woman, except in how men are called to be the spiritual leaders. But, this doesn’t give man the right to walk all over a woman, and when the man won’t or can’t lead a family spiritually, a woman can still become great for doing so. (2 Kings 4:8 onward)

Another excellent article, which contains facts from The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 15, Volumes 22 & 25, discussing how the ecumenical movement has discusses things such as the origin of Islam. There is also much evidence for the truths of the Old Testament, and the people mentioned therein – evidence which is being destroyed.

However, the important thing to remember is this:

The God of the Bible, the Creator and sustainer, loves you. He is not the same as that of Islam. Instead, He is a personal, loving, and caring God, who deliberately came to this world and died on the cross, rising from the dead so we could go to Heaven.

He doesn’t require anything of us but our faith. To get to Heaven, one must: A. Admit your status as a sinner, that you fall short of God’s perfect glory, and that this means you can’t get into His perfect heaven on your own; B. Believe that Jesus Christ, God in flesh, was born of a virgin, took the punishment for your sins when He died on the cross, and then rose victoriously from the dead; and, C. Choose to repent of your sins – that is, agree with god about your sin – and receive him as your Savior by simple faith. For by grace are ye saved by faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)

God will never just weigh things in a balance the way other religions claim. No sin at all can get into heaven. The Bible is true when it says, “Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3) This concept is not present is Islam. It is the truth that God, in His perfect love, only wants us to come to Him and accept that we need Him to forgive us and save us, and to then receive that forgiveness by faith, letting Him make us new on the inside. Then, we will no longer be slaves to self, but we will be free. And, we can be certain – because, He wants us to be sure, and to know that just by believing – receiving Him by faith (John 20:31, 1 John 5:13) – we can have life forever with Him, now and in Heaven, where nobody suffers, nobody feels pain, nobody dies, and where nobody can imagine the wonders that await us.