No other god of any religion has been subjected to humiliation for their followers’ sake but our only true God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ. No man-made religion makes their god suffer as Christ did. It just doesn’t sell.
I’m going to share both sides of this prophetic issue.
On the one hand, world history shows that significant changes happen for Israel during the Blood Moons that affects everyone:
On the other hand, is this current Blood Moons event truly a biblical prophetic one?
Every prophecy of Scripture has had its opponents throughout history as well as in today’s world. But, in today’s world we see an abundance of those who will make merchandise of God’s holy prophetic word such as never before since the resurrection of Christ Jesus.
Disclaimer: I am not endorsing anyone’s book/ ministry mentioned in this post
By Erica Wanis
In Dostoevsky’s epic novel, The Brothers Karamazov, brothers Ivan and Alyosha engage in a deep discussion about God – his existence and his goodness. Expressing frustration at his brother’s rejection of faith, Aloysha declares that if there is no God, “everything is permitted.” The truth of this observation may be seen in the ongoing debate over abortion and the seeming inability for the pro-choice side’s greatest minds to come up with a winsome argument in defense of unborn human life. So long as human society continues its trend of rejecting belief in the divine and relying upon the self as the sole source of moral authority and conscience, there is little chance of popular opinion shifting decisively away from an embrace of legalized abortion.
It’s been over 30 years since the Supreme Court ruled that a woman’s right to privacy includes the right to electively terminate the life of her unborn child. In that relatively short span of time, abortion has evolved from a highly controversial social taboo to a celebrated pillar of the progressive feminist agenda. Despite its current status as a sacrosanct symbol of female liberation, however, the debate over the morality of abortion rages on. Pro-life advocates approach the issue from multiple angles, in an attempt to find that one compelling argument that will convince the public of abortion’s indisputable moral horror.
One popular and rather obvious objection to abortion is that terminating the life of an unborn child is a violation of his or her First Amendment right to life. To deny this, one must get into the muddy question of when life truly begins and when a person acquires those natural rights articulated in our Declaration of Independence. The easy out, of course, is to claim that such matters are above one’s pay grade, as our President did, and go along supporting abortion under the nebulous aegis of a woman’s right to “make her own health care decisions.”
On a slightly more esoteric level, there is a natural law argument to be made against abortion that can be traced back to philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas. This line of reasoning suggests that human beings by nature possess the inclination to preserve their own lives and to “nurture and make provision for their offspring;” and that to go against these inclinations and innate human duties is to act against nature. For Aquinas, a law is only just if it accords with right reason, and right reason is synonymous with divine reason. The laws woven into the very fabric of nature, then, are a reflection of its divine creator, and to violate these laws means to reject reason altogether and ultimately to reject God. While those of a philosophical or theological bent might find this argument compelling, fascinating to debate and discuss over a few bottles of wine, most average people’s eyes will begin to glaze over almost immediately, either because they are incapable of conversing in this way or because they simply have no interest in speculating about God’s divine reason and its implications on their personal choices. In other words, it’s not an argument likely to gain popular traction and thus its efficacy at eradicating abortion from the cultural milieu is unlikely.
Recently, an attempt has been made to dissect the inevitable ethical quandary created by health care practitioners who attempt to simultaneously embrace a woman’s right to abortion while advocating proper prenatal maternal responsibilities in cases of wanted pregnancies. Writing for the Witherspoon Institute’s “Public Discourse,” physician Christopher Spewlock reviews various positions taken by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) regarding unborn children and the “moral obligation to the fetus.” Spewlock observes that “the ethics committee of the [ACOG] has, for several years, been trying to maintain two competing principles: first, that doctors and mothers have a moral obligation to promote the well-being of the fetus; and second, that doctors, regardless of what they claim their conscience dictates, are obliged to perform or refer for abortions if doing so promotes the mother’s ‘conception of well-being.’”
The logical dissonance here is clear. How can a doctor view it as a professional moral obligation to counsel a pregnant woman to avoid risky behaviors, to take her vitamins and obtain proper prenatal care, while at the same time viewing it as a professional moral obligation to terminate the life of her unborn child at any time and for any reason? In what universe does this make sense? Apparently one in which the ultimate deciding factor in whether or not an unborn child’s life has value is determined solely by the mother’s “conception of well being.” But Spewlock pushes back on this. A fetus is either a person or it’s not. The ACOG is trying to have it both ways and in so doing undermines its integrity as a legitimate ethical authority:
“What is the nature of this moral obligation to promote the well-being of the fetus? Why do the physician and the pregnant woman have this obligation? Most people will agree that there exists an obligation to promote the well-being of other persons, but this cannot be what the ethics committee means, given that the committee clearly does not believe the fetus to be a person.
Further, if there is such an ethical obligation, would it not make elective abortion unethical? If the obstetrician has a ‘beneficence-based obligation’ to promote the well-being of the fetus, why does this obligation never enter the moral equation in the committee’s examination of physicians’ refusals to, among other things, terminate the life of the fetus?
If the moral obligation to promote the well-being of the fetus derives from the fact that the fetus is a person, then why does the committee believe that the killing of fetal persons is licit? If the fetus is not a person, then why is there an obligation to promote its well-being? This supposed obligation makes the committee’s acceptance of abortion problematic, and makes the committee’s ethics incoherent.”
To the pro-life mind, such incoherency, even at the highest levels of intellectual and professional society, is a real life example of Alyosha’s fears realized. “If God is dead, everything is permissible.”
Of course, this is not to say that “godless” people are incapable of acting morally. History is scattered with horrifying evidence that plenty of people who claim faith in God are capable of monstrous acts of cruelty and injustice. However, the salient point here is that the ongoing attempts to demonstrate the injustice of abortion are ineffective because abortion is not something that is justified in rational terms. It is sustained entirely through irrational, subjective assertions based on nothing more than the supposed sovereignty of the individual and her right of self-determination. It’s legitimacy emerges from the shadowy and amorphous “emanations and penumbras” of personal privacy so famously articulated by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in Griswold v. Connecticut.
When a woman finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy, whether through her own irresponsible behavior or due to an act of violence like rape or incest, she understandably feels fear and panic and an overwhelming certainty that “this can’t be happening, I can’t do this, this will ruin everything.” There is an immediate desire to take action to make the problem go away, and abortion is the most expedient way to achieve this goal. In the face of this primal response, reason-based arguments against abortion hold little sway. The only thing capable of countering such a potent desire is an equally potent conviction about the value of human life and the meaning of human existence.
Without God, everything is permissible. Man is the author of his own destiny and the captain of his soul. Moral authority is located within the self, and might makes right. These are fierce human convictions and we live in an age that glorifies these convictions at every turn. The only thing capable of shattering these delusions is the recognition of our contingency, that we are not sovereign and we are not the measure of all things. In fact, not only are we not the measure, but we fall radically short of the mark. We are broken and fallen and sinful and in need of redemption. The crippling humility that flows from this recognition is a source of great strength because it contextualizes our earthly struggles and tragedies in a way that makes them sufferable. “For God so loved the world . . . ” In the face of this undeserved, all-encompassing love, what is man to do? When confronted with evil and fear, how are we to respond? These are the issues at the heart of the infamous dialog between brothers Ivan and Alyosha in Dostoevsky’s masterpiece. Ivan is incapable of loving or serving or even believing in a God that permits innocents to suffer. Aloysha sees that a world without God is ultimately a world without love and thus a world with no hope of redemption.
In a 2007 piece for First Things, entitled “Ivan Karamazov’s Mistake,” professor Ralph C. Wood deconstructs the basis of Ivan Karamozov’s godlessness:
“Ivan deliberately denies the teaching of Father Zosima, the head of an Orthodox monastery who also stands at the religious center of the novel. Father Zosima insists that love cannot be selective, that it must be at once universal and concrete, that we must not love those who are conveniently remote so much as those who are inconveniently near. Already, it is evident, the philosophical and the religious arguments are linked. Ivan not only thinks but also lives in autonomous and anti-communal terms. It is precisely the neighbor whom we cannot love, he insists. The neighbor’s objective and objectionable otherness – his bad breath, his foolish face, his ill manners – threaten Ivan’s sovereign selfhood. Of such a neighbor, Ivan complains like an early Jean-Paul Sartre that ‘he is another and not me.’ Despite his eager embrace of the world, therefore, Ivan wants to remain a solitary and transcendent judge over it, a godlike withholder no less than a gracious giver of praise. Others must satisfy his own criteria before he will embrace them. And because God does not satisfy the requirements of Ivan’s logic, he will not believe in God.”
The visceral response to an unwanted pregnancy brings Ivan’s worldview to life. It is easy to espouse abstract humanistic values, much harder to actually live by them when the person making claims upon your beneficence happens to reside within your body. But this is precisely what God’s love, manifest through Christ’s passion, demands of us. More from Professor Wood:
“To possess true freedom and personhood through love is, in Dostoevsky’s view, to suffer rightly. It is to accept responsibility, not only for one’s own sin, but also for the sins of others. All theodicies fail if they do not recognize that only the embrace of innocent suffering can answer the infliction of innocent suffering.”
How do we respond to evil in this world? How do we respond when placed in a situation of seemingly unendurable stress and fear? We respond with love. Ultimately, I believe, it is only this conviction deeply felt that has the power to overcome the potent and seductive power of the individual human will, of the little voice that says “just get an abortion and it will all go away,” and the culture that affirms it. It all comes back to human consciousness of the fall. This, I believe, is the pro-life movement’s last and best hope.
Erica Wanis is a consultant for the John Jay Institute’s Center for a Just Society. She resides in Leesburg, VA, with her husband and son.
Western culture as a whole, and the United States in particular, has had a tremendous amount of light from God, and experienced many blessings from His hand. Yet, this culture seems intent upon continuing on its path to self-destruction. A few thoughts from the Christian worldview (while we are still allowed, we would hope, to express them).
Everything in time and space had a beginning. I had a beginning; you had a beginning. The houses we live in had a beginning. The clothes we wear had a beginning. There was a time when our houses, our clothes, cars, washing machines, and ourselves, did not exist. They were not. Nothing could be more obvious.
Because we are surrounded by things and by people that obviously had a beginning, we are tempted to jump to the conclusion that everything had a beginning. Such a conclusion, however, would be a fatal leap into the abyss of absurdity. It would be fatal to religion. It would also be fatal to science and to reason.
Why? Did I not say that everything in time and space had a beginning? Isn’t that the same thing as saying simply that everything had a beginning? By no means. It is simply logically and scientifically impossible that everything had a beginning. Why? If everything that exists once had a beginning, then there had to be a time when nothing existed.
Stop for a moment to reflect. Try to imagine nothing existing. Absolutely nothing. We can’t even conceive of absolute nothingness. The very concept is merely the negation of something.
Yet, if there ever was such a time when absolutely nothing existed, what would there be now? Right. Nothing! If ever there was nothing, then by resistless logic, there would always be nothing. There’s not even an “always” during which there could be nothing.
Why can we be so sure, indeed, absolutely certain, that if ever there was nothing then there would be nothing now? The answer is astonishingly simple, despite the fact that extremely intelligent people often stumble over the obvious. The answer is simply that you can’t get something from nothing. An absolute law of science and logic is ex nihilo nihil fit, (out of nothing, nothing comes). Nothing cannot produce anything. Nothing can’t laugh, sing, cry, work, dance, or breathe. It certainly can’t create. Nothing can’t do anything because it isn’t anything. It doesn’t exist. It has no power whatsoever because it has no being.
For something to come out of nothing it would have to possess the power of self-creation. It would have to be able to create itself or bring itself into existence. But that is a manifest absurdity. For something to create or produce itself it would have to be before it is. But if something already is, it doesn’t need to be created. To create itself, something would have to be and not be, exist and not exist, at the same time and in the same respect. That is a contradiction. It violates the most fundamental of all rational and scientific laws, the law of noncontradiction.
If we know anything, we know that if anything exists now, then somehow, somewhere, something did not have a beginning. I am aware that brilliant thinkers such as Bertrand Russell, in his famous debate with Frederick Copelston, argued that the present universe is the result of an “infinite series of finite causes.” It poses an endless series, working backwards into eternity, of one caused thing causing another forever. This idea merely compounds the problem of self-creation infinitely. It is a fundamentally silly concept. The fact that it has been proposed by intelligent people makes it no less silly. It’s worse than silly. Silly things can be real. But this concept is logically impossible.
Russell can deny the law that out of nothing, nothing comes, but he cannot refute it without committing mental suicide. We know (with logical certitude) that if anything exists now, then there must be something that did not have a beginning. Now the question becomes what or who.
Many serious scholars believe that the answer to the what is found within the universe itself. They argue (as Carl Sagan does) that there is no need to go above or beyond the universe to find something that had no beginning from which everything else comes. That is, we need not assume something like “God” who is transcendent to the universe. The universe or something in it can do the job quite well itself.
There is a subtle error lurking in the above scenario. It has to do with the meaning of the term transcendent. In philosophy and theology the idea of transcendence means that God is “above and beyond” the universe in the sense that He is a higher order of being than other beings. We commonly refer to God as the supreme Being.
What makes the supreme Being different from a human being? Notice that both concepts share a common word, being. When we say that God is the supreme Being, we are saying that He is a being who differs in kind from other ordinary beings. What precisely is that difference? He is called supreme because He has no beginning. He is supreme because all other beings owe their existence to Him, and He owes His existence to none other than Himself. He is the eternal Creator. Everything else is the work of His creation.
When Carl Sagan and others say that in the universe, and not above it or beyond it, there is something that is not created, he is merely quibbling about the Creator’s address. He is saying that what is uncreated lives here (within the universe), not “out there” (above or transcendent to the universe). But he still requires a supreme Being. His mysterious part of the universe from which all created things come is still beyond and above everything else in the creation in terms of being. In other words, there still must be a transcendent Being.
The more we probe this “within-the-universe Creator,” the more it or He begins to sound like God. He is uncreated. He creates everything else. He, or it, has the power in itself of being.
What is crystal clear is that if something exists now, then there must be a supreme Being from which all other beings come. The first assertion of the Bible is “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This text is foundational to all Christian thought. It is not only a religious statement, it is a rationally necessary concept.
- Everything in time and space has a beginning.
- Something cannot come from nothing. Nothing cannot do anything.
- If ever there was nothing, then nothing could exist now.
- Something exists now; therefore something must exist that has no beginning.
- Things cannot create themselves because they would have to be before they are.
- If some “part” of the universe is uncreated, then it is superior or transcendent to the parts that have a beginning.
- An uncreated being is supreme (a higher order of being than created beings), regardless of where it lives.
- Transcendence refers to a level of being, not to geography.
The Essential Truths of the Christian Faith devotional is excerpted from Essential Truths of the Christian Faith Copyright © 1992 by R. C. Sproul. All rights reserved.
The Message of the Coming One World Religion
After Five Centuries of Division, Catholics and Lutherans Consider Their Common Heritage
A new document, “From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017,” has been released to pave the way for joint observances of Luther’s action by both Lutherans and Catholics, a development that certainly could not have been foreseen in previous centuries.
Signed by Catholic Bishop Karlheinz Diez, auxiliary bishop of Fulda, Germany, acting on behalf of the Catholic co-chairman of the International Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity, and Lutheran co-chairman Bishop Eero Huovinen, the bishop emeritus of Helsinki, Finland, “From Conflict to Communion” is the latest fruit of the dialogue between Lutheran and Catholic scholars that has been taking place since shortly after the Second Vatican Council, which put a new emphasis on ecumenism.
Originally posted on The X Mass H8rs Blog:
Any written document must be interpreted if it is to be understood. The United States of America has nine highly skilled individuals whose daily task is to interpret the Constitution. They compose the Supreme Court of the land. To interpret the Bible is a far more solemn task than to interpret the U.S. Constitution. It requires great care and diligence.
The Bible itself is its own Supreme Court. The chief rule of biblical interpretation is “sacred Scripture is its own interpreter.” This principle means that the Bible is to be interpreted by the Bible. What is obscure in one part of Scripture may be made clear in another. To interpret Scripture by Scripture means that we must not set one passage of Scripture against another passage. Each text must be understood not only in light of its immediate context but also in light of the context of the whole of…
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Published on Dec 12, 2013
(Subtitled) The fascinating documentary goes behind-the-scenes of Susan’s first solo tour, which saw her perform across her beloved Scotland in the summer of 2013.
One might be surprised that they know someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, a type of functioning autism.
Originally posted on THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a GroupBlog):
THIS IS THE VIDEO SERIES THAT EVERY CHRISTIAN MUST SEE!!!!!!! This powerful 2 DVD set contains three full length documentaries exposing the signs and wonders movement. The money scandals, the false miracles and the manipulative methods of the likes of Benny Hinn, Paul Crouch, Morris Cerullo, John Avanzini and Rodney Howard-Browne are fully revealed on camera. This shocking material is desperately needed as a cure for the mass-hysteria and worldwide deception being perpetrated by this movement. The DVDs feature expert commentary from leading Christian experts in this field. Coded for all regions (such as USA and UK). Nearly 4 hours total running time. BUY THE WHOLE SERIES HERE++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
AND DON”T MISS TWotWoF RADIO SHOW
Here is a great video to watch!!!
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This is the 1 hour live CNN coverage:
Originally posted on The X Mass H8rs Blog:
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Originally posted on THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a GroupBlog):
We now have 5 “classes” or “teaching series” for the Word of Faith Movement on this blog and this is the best one. This video series will destroy anyone’s belief that “words are containers of power!”
During these six thirty minutes classroom sessions, Tim Martin of WatchMan.org does an outstanding job. This portion, of a larger video teaching series on the WoF, focuses on the WoF Power of Words/Positive Confession doctrine. Do words have power in the sense that they are influential or do they have magic like creative powers? One is Christianity and the other is Witchcraft (see this post to learn the WoF is Witchcraft veiled in Christian terms). Tim looks at many of the verses the WoF teachers take out of context to make it seem like words have magic power. He also looks at the real definition of faith and how God used faith.
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By Ken Connor
To the extent that art really does imitate life, every American owes it to themselves and to our troops to see the blockbuster film, Lone Survivor. Panned by cynical elites as “shameless war-porn,” in reality this movie portrays the heroism and sacrifice of four members of Seal Team 10 during a mission gone bad in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2007. Operation Redwings was designed to track the location and movements of an Afghani terrorist, Ahmad Shah, with the ultimate goal of taking him out. The mission was compromised when a group of goat herders stumbled across the Americans and reported them to the Taliban. The team was subsequently ambushed and virtually wiped out in a vicious gunfight. Seal Team Leader, Lt. Michael Murphy, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and three others received the Navy Cross. The only member of the team to survive, Marcus Luttrell, chronicled Seal Team 10′s heroic story in a book bearing the same name as the film. For many, Lone Survivor is nothing special – merely another action-packed, blood-drenched diversion to be enjoyed while munching on Milk Duds and popcorn at the local movie house. It’s impact will only last as long as it takes for the next blockbuster flick to hit the big screen. For those who’ve experienced war firsthand, however, the movie provides a glimpse into the horrors and heroism that only those who’ve worn the uniform can understand. When movies like this are made there are always legions of armchair quarterbacks chomping at the bit, ready to pick and poke and prod in an attempt to undercut and discredit. In the case of Lone Survivor, critics have taken issue with some of the artistic liberties that were taken by the producer of the film. Of course, it should come as no surprise that any time a movie based on real events is made, certain elements are modified for dramatic effect. This is generally why the disclaimer “This film is based on/inspired by true events” is offered. Panning such a film for failing to adhere to a strict factual account is spurious. Dramatic license aside, Lone Survivor communicates some essential lessons about the reality of war and the value of our armed forces that should not be lost on Americans.
First and foremost, war is hell. This axiom is no less true now than when those words were uttered over a hundred years ago by General William Tecumseh Sherman, the Union General who visited that hell on the South during his famous March to the Sea during the Civil War. There is no glory or glamor for the men who are called upon by their country to wage war – only sweat, blood, and sacrifice.
Second, the courage and competence of our troops are second to none. From those first, seemingly futile skirmishes at Lexington and Concord to the bravery and heroism demonstrated in the mountains of Afghanistan, the fighting spirit of the American soldier is incomparable. Every American owes a debt of gratitude to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to secure our freedoms and way of life.
In light of these truths, our leaders bear an enormous responsibility for ensuring that our troops are honored and respected accordingly. American forces should never be called upon to spill their blood for trivial pursuits or politically-motivated purposes. No military action should be undertaken precipitously and without a clear purpose and defined exit strategy. It is sickening to know how often self-interest and ideology have driven America’s defense agenda, with politicians literally playing games with people’s lives. Any member of public office who is willing to squander the lives and safety our fighting men and women over matters that do not truly affect our national security is not worthy of the office which they hold and should be replaced by those who respect and value our troops.
While America should always aspire to the highest standards of conduct and ethics in the realm of war, those inclined to second guess battlefield decisions should be charitable in their assessments, recognizing that such decisions are made in real time, in the midst of the clamor and confusion and fog of war. War demands expediency in decision-making. After-action assessments have their place, but armchair quarterbacking generally only serves the agenda of those sitting on the sidelines.
Americans are fortunate that we still have men and women willing to put their lives on the line in service of our country. Movies like Lone Survivor remind us that freedom is not free: it is as Thomas Jefferson so famously said, purchased with the blood of heroes and tyrants. America’s leaders have an obligation to our troops to ensure that they have everything they need in terms of manpower and materiel to accomplish their mission, and adequate support when they return from the battlefield. The promises we’ve made to our military personnel should never be compromised or squandered on the altar of politics. At the same time, we should recognize that no amount of money or benefits are sufficient to compensate our troops for their service. In the end, the greatest gift we can give our troops is to pay tribute and give thanks as often and as publicly as we can.
If you haven’t seen Lone Survivor, you should. For the majority of Americans, it will make you feel proud, humble, and grateful to live in a country that is protected by true heroes.
The Center for a Just Society is on Twitter. Go to http://twitter.com/AJustSociety to follow our daily updates.
Ken Connor is an attorney and co-author of “Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect Their Civic Duty” He is also Chairman of the Center for a Just Society. For more articles and resources from Mr. Connor and the Center for a Just Society, go to www.centerforajustsociety.org
“I espouse several philosophies in life that emulate Dr. King. Never discriminate or dislike someone because of race, creed or color. Do something good for someone everyday. And when you become successful in life, give back to those less fortunate.” ~Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State
A very needful documentary to watch by ALL Christians. The time has come where apostacy reigns supreme and we must be watchful so as not to be one who gets caught up in this false gospel.
Originally posted on THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a GroupBlog):
This video, which is a expose documentary, is very good. It uses many audio/video clips I have never seen or heard before, and I have listened to and watched many in the years I have been the admin of this blog. The videos creator also shows where the Christian Music Industry has made many popular songs that espouse dangerous Word of Faith doctrines. It’s really good and well worth two hours if you want to know for sure what the WoF teaches and why the WoF movement is so dangerous.
VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Full-length documentary exposing the dangerous doctrines of the Word of Faith movement. Highlighted teachers include Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Fred Price, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Paula White, Eddie Long, Jesse Duplantis, and Myles Munroe.
****UPDATE**** It has come to my attention that Pastor Fred Price, Jr. may no longer embrace the views expressed in this video…
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We have often heard statements such as “War is hell” or “I went through hell.” These expressions are, of course, not taken literally. Rather, they reflect our tendency to use the word hell as a descriptive term for the most ghastly human experience possible. Yet no human experience in this world is actually comparable to hell. If we try to imagine the worst of all possible suffering in the here and now we have not yet stretched our imaginations to reach the dreadful reality of hell.
Hell is trivialized when it is used as a common curse word. To use the word lightly may be a halfhearted human attempt to take the concept lightly or to treat it in an amusing way. We tend to joke about things most frightening to us in a futile effort to declaw and defang them, reducing their threatening power.
There is no biblical concept more grim or terror-invoking than the idea of hell. It is so unpopular with us that few would give credence to it at all except that it comes to us from the teaching of Christ Himself.
Almost all the biblical teaching about hell comes from the lips of Jesus. It is this doctrine, perhaps more than any other, that strains even the Christian’s loyalty to the teaching of Christ. Modern Christians have pushed the limits of minimizing hell in an effort to sidestep or soften Jesus’ own teaching. The Bible describes hell as a place of outer darkness, a lake of fire, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, a place of eternal separation from the blessings of God, a prison, a place of torment where the worm doesn’t turn or die. These graphic images of eternal punishment provoke the question, should we take these descriptions literally or are they merely symbols?
I suspect they are symbols, but I find no relief in that. We must not think of them as being merely symbols. It is probable that the sinner in hell would prefer a literal lake of fire as his eternal abode to the reality of hell represented in the lake of fire image. If these images are indeed symbols, then we must conclude that the reality is worse than the symbol suggests. The function of symbols is to point beyond themselves to a higher or more intense state of actuality than the symbol itself can contain. That Jesus used the most awful symbols imaginable to describe hell is no comfort to those who see them simply as symbols.
A breath of relief is usually heard when someone declares, “Hell is a symbol for separation from God.” To be separated from God for eternity is no great threat to the impenitent person. The ungodly want nothing more than to be separated from God. Their problem in hell will not be separation from God, it will be the presence of God that will torment them. In hell, God will be present in the fullness of His divine wrath. He will be there to exercise His just punishment of the damned. They will know Him as an all-consuming fire.
No matter how we analyze the concept of hell it often sounds to us as a place of cruel and unusual punishment. If, however, we can take any comfort in the concept of hell, we can take it in the full assurance that there will be no cruelty there. It is impossible for God to be cruel. Cruelty involves inflicting a punishment that is more severe or harsh than the crime. Cruelty in this sense is unjust. God is incapable of inflicting an unjust punishment. The Judge of all the earth will surely do what is right. No innocent person will ever suffer at His hand.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of hell is its eternality. People can endure the greatest agony if they know it will ultimately stop. In hell there is no such hope. The Bible clearly teaches that the punishment is eternal. The same word is used for both eternal life and eternal death. Punishment implies pain. Mere annihilation, which some have lobbied for, involves no pain. Jonathan Edwards, in preaching on Revelation 6:15-16 said, “Wicked men will hereafter earnestly wish to be turned to nothing and forever cease to be that they may escape the wrath of God.”
Hell, then, is an eternity before the righteous, ever-burning wrath of God, a suffering torment from which there is no escape and no relief. Understanding this is crucial to our drive to appreciate the work of Christ and to preach His gospel.
- The suffering of hell is beyond any experience of misery found in this world.
- Hell is clearly included in the teaching of Jesus.
- If the biblical descriptions of hell are symbols, then the reality will be worse than the symbols.
- Hell is the presence of God in His wrath and judgment.
- There is no cruelty in hell. Hell will be a place of perfect justice.
- Hell is eternal. There is no escape through either repentance or annihilation.
From R.C. Sproul’s book, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith
“There is nothing Christian about Christmas.” ~ Pastor Jim McClarty
Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? I Corinthians 10:18-22
Here is a testimony of one man and his wife who listened to Pastor Jim McClarty’s video and what they concluded.
Sermon series: Christ Condemns Christmas
1 John 5:21 “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”
Galatians 4:9-11: “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”
Hosea 4:6&7: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.”
Deuteronomy 12:30 (NIV) “…and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.”
Christmas is a thoroughly pagan holiday — in its origin, in its trappings, and in all its traditions. Perhaps we should contemplate the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, delivered in a Lord’s Day sermon on December 24, 1871:
“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because [it's] not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. …
“It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known, therefore superstition has fixed it; … Where is the method in the madness of the superstitious? Probably the fact is that the holy days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. … We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Saviour was born, it is the twenty-fifth of December. … regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.”
And from Dr. H.A. Ironside’s Lectures on the Book of Revelation (1920: p. 301):
“It is a lamentable fact that Babylon’s principles and practices are rapidly but surely pervading the churches that escaped from Rome at the time of the Reformation. We may see evidences of it in the wide use of high-sounding ecclesiastical titles, once unknown in the reformed churches, in the revival of holy days and church feasts such as Lent, Good Friday, Easter, and Christ’s Mass, or, as it is generally written, Christmas. … some of these festivals … when they are turned into church festivals, they certainly come under the condemnation of Galatians 4:9-11, where the Holy Spirit warns against the observance of days and months and times and seasons. All of them, and many more that might be added, are Babylonish in their origin, and were at one time linked with the Ashtoreth and Tammuz mystery-worship. It is through Rome that they have come down to us; and we do well to remember that Babylon is a mother, with daughters who are likely to partake of their mother’s characteristics …”
And, finally, from Alexander Hislop’s 1916 classic, The Two Babylons:
On the Papal Worship: “Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on, till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under Pagan superstition. That Christmas is a Pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin.”
*A rose by any other name is still a rose and the same can be said of a god-call that baby in the manger “Jesus” all you want but it is still Tammuz in God’s sight. You give honor to another god if you celebrate this X Mass. Its not what you believe in your heart that you are doing, its what God says you are doing. Please reconsider this celebration. God bless you as you do.
Rick Warren says the moon god of islam is the same God of Judaism and Christianity. That makes him a false teacher and heretic.
“Who knew that Rick Warren and Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) were this close?” Spencer wrote. “Did they sing a few choruses of Cat’s nasheed that contains the lines, ‘I’m praying to Allah to give us victory over the kuffar?’”
Spencer said he was not surprised, however, noting Warren previously has addressed the convention of the Hamas- and Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Society of North America.
Warren, Spencer said, also “apologized to Muslims, but wasn’t sure what for” and now “he is palling around with Mr. Peace Train” in the name of “dialogue” and “interfaith outreach.”
Spencer quoted from a 1989 New York Times report of Stevens’ response when asked about attending a demonstration to burn an effigy of Rushdie: “I would have hoped that it’d be the real thing.”
(there are many links in above article pointing out some of Warren’s exploits)
It amazes me that preachers, teachers and apologists can believe and teach such things that are so clearly refuted in God’s Holy Word!
Originally posted on partneringwitheagles:
VIII. The Impact of the Reformation
Unfortunately, the Reformation produced no changes in attitudes toward the Jews. Replacement Theology is contained throughout the reference notes of the Geneva Bible, published in 1557, and it is reflected in the chapter headings of the King James Bible, published in 1611.53
For example, in Isaiah 43 God addresses His promises to “O Jacob” and “O Israel,” but the King James chapter heading reads: “God comforteth the Church with His promises.”
Actually, the Reformation seemed to get off to a good start regarding attitudes toward the Jews. That’s because Martin Luther interjected a breath of fresh air when he took a firm stand against the Church’s mistreatment of the Jewish people. In an essay he wrote in 1523 entitled, “That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew,” he surveyed medieval anti-Semitism and proclaimed: “If I had been a Jew and had seen such dolts…
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Originally posted on Augustine1 Conservative Christian Worldview Blog:
A Beard’s Eye View of Intolerance
A&E wanted a reality show. Trouble is, they weren’t ready for the realities that came with it. Anyone who’s watched “Duck Dynasty” (and there are close to 90 million of you) knows the Robertson family stands unapologetically for Christ. And if they didn’t know, they found out in May, when patriarch Phil Robertson told the network, “God and guns are part of our everyday lives [and] to remove either of them from the show is unacceptable.”
For four years, “Duck Dynasty” has been a lifeline to Americans tired of television’s steady diet of liberal propaganda. In an industry trying to out-sleaze the competition, the Robertsons had a different formula for success: speaking and living the truth. It’s a decision too many Americans have been afraid to make in our culture of political correctness. That all changed with this show, when the Robertsons gave…
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Not that any Christmas worshipers will listen and take heed but for those who truly love the Lord and want to be pleasing in all things in His sight I post this:
Please DO NOT click the LIKE icon unless you have listened to, and agreed with, the main idea of the video. You only look like you are double-minded when you click LIKE on my anti-X Mass posts.
George Gillespie, one of the Scottish Commissioners to the Westminster Assembly, and one of the greatest theologians since the days of the Apostles, writes,
“By communicating with idolaters in their rites and ceremonies, we ourselves become guilty of idolatry; even as Ahaz, 2 Kings 16:10, was an idolater, eo ipso, that he took the pattern of an altar from idolaters. Forasmuch, then, as kneeling before the consecrated bread, the sign of the cross, surplice, festival days (like Christmas-ed.), bishopping, bowing down to the altar, administration of the sacraments in private places, etc., are the wares of Rome, the baggage of Babylon, the trinkets of the whore, the badges of Popery, the ensigns of Christ’s enemies, and the very trophies of antichrist, — we cannot conform, communicate and symbolise with the idolatrous Papists in the use of the same, without making ourselves idolaters by participation.
Originally posted on quotes and notes and opinions:
I guess progressive presidents are prone to do this:
FTA: With diplomatic negotiations with Japan breaking down, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advisers knew that an imminent Japanese attack was probable, but nothing had been done to increase security at the important naval base at Pearl Harbor. It was Sunday morning, and many military personnel had been given passes to attend religious services off base. At 7:02 a.m., two radar operators spotted large groups of aircraft in flight toward the island from the north, but, with a flight of B-17s expected from the United States at the time, they were told to sound no alarm. Thus, the Japanese air assault came as a devastating surprise to the naval base.
He knew and did nothing to increase security at Pearl Harbor.
FTA: President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell…
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Originally posted on Clay Tablets:
Have you ever heard of the divine number?
1.618 = Phi = a mathematical key to beauty.
Unbelievable!!! Too amazing to be true and yet it is.
I was recently drawn to a fascinating article and a series of videos that referred to this mysterious ‘divine number.’
I have heard of it before but never spent the time to look into it further. Now I have and I am amazed again at the symmetry and mystery of life and the Creator.
The divine number connects art, mathematics, reproduction, architecture, astronomy, creation and bunny rabbits into a mysterious puzzle that has intrigued the greatest minds of history.
Yes bunny rabbits.
Leonardo Fibonacci observed the reproduction rates of bunny rabbits and made a discovery that revealed something truly amazing.
The mystery had been noticed before but not until Fibonacci; a mathematician; watched some bunny rabbits did the mystery have a name.
I’m not a…
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I’m pretty sure I’ve fallen for some of this movement’s
rhetoric demagoguery concerning politics. I’m certain there are a few posts on my blog to verify that I have. I was in a Tea Party Forum and was noticing alot of this belief by those who identified themselves as Christians. I’ve always had a problem with Alex Jones types who rarely let their listeners and/or readers know that God is ultimately in control and not a bunch of power hungry elites that attend the Bohemian Grove meetings. Not that its any of my business, but I have wondered if any of these Christian Patriots do the gritty spiritual warfare of praying for our nation’s political leaders with as much fervor as they have in demonizing them. Anyway, this Christian Patriot Movement was news to me so I figured that I should pass it along so we, by God’s grace, may be careful and discerning especially in the heated political climate of our nation today.
By Don Koenig
There has been a great sucking sound coming from some people who say they are Christians. The sound is that of their brains being sucked out of their heads and then being replaced with the hot air of illogical rhetoric. The brain suckers are those that are making a living on the fears of those who correctly see we are near the last days but have little faith in God. Christian patriots are led to think that they are going to fight the Beast of Revelation from the backwoods of America.
There are many Internet sites and talk radio programs that are proclaiming that the “illuminated ones” are about to bring in their secret plan to set up a world government and bring in the Antichrist. The leadership of this movement identify themselves as Christians but some of what they are teaching Christians is clearly Satanic. Those that get sucked into this movement are just as much controlled by Satan as are the one-world socialists that they oppose.
The philosophy of the Christian patriot movement is that there are a few powerful occult families that are so powerful that they run the affairs of the whole world. They believe these satanic “illuminated ones” decide who will become the leaders of the world and all top levels of government. There may be some truth in this belief but what they fail to realized is that God is in ultimate control of the world and all governments. The illuminated ones they speak of are not men but are fallen spirits who possess and influence powerful men. The “Beast” world government controlled by the man of sin will not and cannot come until God allows it. This will not happen until the mid-point of the time known as the seven-year tribulation. This world government called the Beast and that is led by the Beast cannot occur until the restraining influence of true Christians within governments are removed.
Many in the Christian patriot movement state that Christians need to prepare to protect themselves with arms for the coming tribulation that is already underway or about to immediately take place (many of these obviously hold an erroneous post tribulation rapture of the Church theology). The Christian Identity cult is at the root of this deception. I will not discuss the neo-Nazi replacement theology that Christian Identity teaches in this article. I will just say, the core evil doctrine the Christian Identity cult embraces would be quite obvious to any real Christian. Nevertheless, many Christian patriots now accept, practice, and believe some of the evil lying doctrine that originated in the Christian Identity cult. Some of the evils Christian patriots have embraced are listed below.
Much of the Christian patriot movement disrespects government leaders and authority that scripture says were put there by God. We are told to pray for our leaders, we are not to make railing accusations
- Christian patriots are told to arm themselves and to be prepared to fight the new world order while scripture says that we are to be peaceful and willing to go like sheep to the slaughter
- Christian patriots are told that they are not required to pay their taxes but scripture tells us we are to support the government put over us as the government requires.
- Christian patriots believe it is in God’s will to isolate themselves instead of being a light to the world
- Christians patriots slander, speak hearsay as truth and create a self perpetuating cycle of half truths and lies
- Christian patriots are taught self-reliance instead of relying on God
- Some Christian patriots have allowed themselves to be led by bigoted white supremacists
- Many Christian patriots think that the U.S. is the Promised Land. They believe the lie that they are descendants of the 10 lost tribes of Israel. They then apply to themselves scripture that is meant for the true descendants of Israel
- Many Christian patriots believe that the U.S. is the promised kingdom on earth. Thus, they might end up fighting for a world order led by America and Europe that will actually bring the Antichrist to power.
- Many people in the Christian patriot movement do not take part in any real orthodox Christian worship or fellowship and have little Bible scholarship. They tend to use passages in the Old Testament and apply them out of proper context to themselves but they conveniently overlook the more relevant messages of the New Testament
- Many Christian patriots accept false prophets if what they say is in agreement with their conspiracy theories. It does not even seem to matter to them that the prophecies do not come to pass. For example, their “prophets” had been saying that their would be a UN led invasion of the United States before the year 2000. Nothing like this can possibly happen unless we have civil war in the United States and actually plead for foreign troops to help restore order.
Read more here: http://www.thepropheticyears.com/cults/new%20world%20order.HTM