What the Bible says about Jesus

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.
The Good Seed and the Weeds The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.
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Friday, May 17, 2019

Shutting Down or Staying Alert

Cedric Fisher

Whatever the cause, shutting down is the worst thing a Christian can do at this point of time. Instead of shutting down, believers need to be selective about what they are putting into their minds and spirits. Being informed is essential to being prepared. Shutting down will not prepare one to endure the harshness of the tough days ahead.

It’s one thing if believers are focusing on their relationship with the Lord and want to spend less time on the Internet and watching TV. However, the temptation for many (and I have seen it already) will be to shut down by engaging in entertainment media and outlets of benign and mundane information. Rather than adjusting with balance, they are going into denial, choosing to believe we have lots of time before our society, as we know it, collapses. That’s the “Ostrich Complex,” and professing Christians with the Ostrich Complex will pay a severe price for what they are enjoying now.

As painful and frightening as it is to accept, I believe we are on the verge of a global government and religion that will be very brutal to true Christians. It will take more than a sabbatical from bad news and ominous warnings to prepare for enduring life in such an environment. 

Satan, the enemy of our souls, is working overtime right now to “wear out the saints” (Daniel 7:25), but I cannot exhort you enough, this is not a time when born-again believers in Christ can afford to be worn down, bury their heads, and become apathetic toward what is happening around us. For those who cave in to that temptation of apathy, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to stand when things get truly harsh. 

The time to prepare is long past, but it’s still not too late. The first step is to wake up and accept truth. It is time to gather and store “oil,” the substance that keeps our light shining. In order to keep that flame lit and not allow it to become a flickering flame on a wick in a near-empty reservoir, we must put into action our confession of faith in Christ. He promises to sustain us as we abide in Him.

It is essential for preparation and subsequent endurance that we acknowledge the spiritual war in which we find ourselves, that we do not shut down our senses because of negative information overload, and that we do not live in a bubble of false security. 

May we also remember that this home on earth is not our final destination. We have a home where God dwells in righteousness. If we are going to defeat the forces of darkness that seek to minimize our efforts and diminish our faith, we will have to fight, “not as one that beateth the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26) but as informed and equipped saints of God. We must not deceive ourselves and think we can be both complacent and effective all at the same time. 

Instead of shutting down, let us look up. Genuine blessed hope is the buffer for the stress of perilous times. It can only be had with a sincere relationship with Christ, a strong knowledge of His Word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit (who “shall teach you all things; John 14 :26). That is the only focus that makes sense in this period of encroaching darkness. As the psalmist so well stated, let us “hope in His mercy,” rejoice in Him, and trust in His holy name.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Militancy Misplaced :: By Pete Garcia

Salvation & Misplaced Militancy 

There are many passionate believers out in the world today. Each of us tends to find those issues we hold near and dear to our hearts and we are willing to plant our battle flags on to defend until the death. For some, it is a particular doctrine. For others, it may be a form of religious worship. Still others find smaller sub-sections within Christendom to target in on and focus their efforts on understanding or perfecting. This brief will deal with what I believe to be five non-primary doctrinal issues whose divisions have done more than harm than good to the body of Christ.

For a foundation, let me begin with what are considered the major doctrinal issues by category. I have included a summation from CARM’s (Christian Apologetic & Research Ministry) doctrine grid. Today’s brief will primarily focus on some of numbers three and four. Anything italicized is copied verbatim.
  1. Primary Essentials. You cannot claim to be a Christian if you deny the following: Deity of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, salvation by grace through faith alone, the gospel being the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and that there is only one God.
  2. Secondary Essentials. Technically, one could be regenerated (born-again), but if you deny these after your conversion, your salvation would seriously be in question if you continue to deny the following: the Trinity, the virgin birth, and that Christ is the only way to God the Father.
  3. Primary Non-Essentials. Denying these can bring one’s salvation into question since the regenerate seek to live according to God’s word.  Violating them does not automatically mean the person is not saved since Christians fall into various sins.  However, abiding in sins with unrepentance would be evidence that the person is not regenerated: moral integrity, fidelity in marriage, the inerrancy of Scripture, condemnation of homosexuality, baptism is not necessary for salvation, and eternal security (not by obedience).
  4. Secondary Non-Essentials. Any of them can be denied or affirmed, and regeneration is not in questioned: predestination/election/free-will/unlimited atonement, communion (on how it is conducted), Saturday or Sunday worship, Eschatological positions, continuation or cessation of gifts, baptism for adults or infants, and in-church musical instruments.
  5. Christian Heresies. These do not contradict the essentials but do contradict non-essential teachings. Generally, those who hold to these positions should be avoided and urged to repent: universalism, open theism, annihilationism, health/wealth, women pastors, willful sin cult, and that one must belong to a particular church to be saved.
Let me add my own personal caveat to this. Deviations from or into any of these can cause one to drift doctrinally. Likewise, hyper-focusing on any of the secondary and non-essentials can cause one (or one’s ministry) to lose sight of our primary mandate from Christ (Matt. 28:18-20).
  1. King James Only
While I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, I do not believe in the inerrancy of translations. Just as I (and many others) are led to write and contend for the faith and teach many things, my own teaching is not without error. I make grammatical mistakes. I do not claim to fully understand all the mysteries as laid out in Scripture. Neither do the translators have everything perfectly translated.

We have a bible that was originally given to us in Hebrew, then translated into Greek, Latin, English and then every other language following. While I understand the different types of Scriptural translations (word for word vs. thought for thought) and the spectrum all the current translations fall into, none of these is without errors, even the KJV.

As Christian’s, we should not divide over bible translations. It is ok to have your favorite. It is ok for other people to have their favorite. We do not all speak 17th-century English, or any English at all for that matter. I would recommend that Christian’s avoid translations that seriously deviate from the original text (The Message, CEV, TEV, Living Bible, TNIV, etc.) Absolutely avoid the New World Translation (Jehovah Witness’s Bible) which seriously tampers with the integrity of Scripture.
  1. Water Baptism
Teaching baptismal regeneration or the emphasis on water-baptism FOR salvation is an error. Scripture does not support this position, but rather, people misconstrue certain passages to come to this conclusion. For the sake of argument, let us break down water baptism and its relation to the salvation of the believer.
  1. We are first introduced to water baptism through John the Baptist (JTB). He baptized people in the Jordan for ‘repentance.’ (Matt. 3:5)
  2. JTB declares that One (the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world-John 1:29-31) is coming after him, who’s shoes he’s not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11).
  3. So now we have two types of baptism- water baptism and baptism by the Holy Spirit. Which do you think is necessary FOR salvation? The washing of water of the flesh (1 Peter 3:19-21), or the washing of the soul by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-7).
  4. Acts 2 shows Peter preaching and thousands coming to salvation.
    1. First, we see them hear the message, coming to the realization they NEED salvation (Acts. 2:37)
    2. Secondly, we see Peter tell them
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
This word ‘for’ is the Greek word ‘eis.’ It can mean a number of different things, and it is unfortunate that English scholars have chosen this word ‘for’ since it can also mean unto or into. See the above (I) on errors in translations from Greek to English. From CARM;

“In Acts 2:38 the main verb is metanoesate (change mind), the aorist direct imperative (a command) of metanoeo which means to repent (change mind).  This refers to that initial repentance of the sinner unto salvation.  The verb translated “be baptized” is in the indirect passive imperative (a command to receive; hence, passive voice in Greek1) of baptizo, which does not give it the same direct command implied in “repent.”  The preposition “for” in the phrase “for the remission of sins” in Greek is “eis,” unto or into, and it is in the accusative case (direct object).  It can mean, “for the purpose of identifying you with the remission of sins.”  It is the same preposition we find in 1 Cor. 10:2 in the phrase “and were baptized unto Moses.”  Note that both contexts are dealing with baptism and identification.  In 1 Cor. 10:2 the people were baptized or spiritually identifying themselves with the purposes and vision of Moses.” (Link)
    1. If Acts 2:38 were the definitive example of HOW we are saved, then we should see this reiterated throughout the rest of Scripture. We do not. See Acts. 3:19, 8:37, 10:44-48, 19:4.
    2. The order we see in Acts is hearing the message, repentance and belief in the risen Christ, THEN baptism. Baptism is something born-again believers do, not what we do to be saved.
  1. The Apostle Paul did not include water baptism in the Gospel message, but as something separate, that follows conversion. (1 Corinthians 1:17, 15:1-6, Gal. 1:8-9, Eph. 2:8-9)
  2. There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. This baptism is not of water, but of the Holy Spirit who seals us until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:5, 30).
  3. Lastly, salvation is either by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), or it is not. The absolute clearest passages on salvation (John 3:16, Rom. 10:9-13) do not mention water baptism in any way, shape, or form. IF water baptism were necessary, it would be included in these critical passages. Water baptism is a requirement FOR the believer, NOT to become a believer.
  • Hypercritical Discernment Ministries
Certain discernment ministries, perhaps good intentioned, become so hypercritical that anyone who disagrees with them even on non-essential views, are written off as heretics or apostates. There is a charge by Christ and other contributors to Scripture to contend for the faith in love, with longsuffering and patience. When we exclude love, we are nothing more than clanging brass symbols who come off as self-appointed, self-righteous, biased, and narrow-minded. IOW, while there is absolutely a need for discernment in these last days, we are commanded to do so in love. (See also Matt. 18:15-17, Gal. 6:1-5, 1 Cor. 13, 2 Tim. 2:23-26, James 5:19-20, 1 Peter 3:15, 1 John 4:5-12, Jude 1:3, 22-23, etc.
  1. Predestination
This is a can of worms doctrine I always hate getting into, simply because it can be argued either way. Therefore, I will surmise this into its simplest form and leave it there.
  1. God is omniscient and knows everything, from the end to the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10)
  2. God foreknew us (Matt. 25:34, Eph. 1:4), and foreknew who would come to Him in repentance and salvation. By default, God also knows who would not come to Him, thereby earning damnation and eternal separation.
  3. Although God already knows the choice we will make, it is still ours to make. Probably the best explanation I have come across is from Gotquestions.org;
“It is impossible for us to fully understand the dynamics of a holy God molding and shaping the will of man. Scripture is clear that God knows the future (Matthew 6:8; Psalm 139:1-4) and has total sovereign control over all things (Colossians 1:16-17; Daniel 4:35). The Bible also states that we must choose God or be eternally separated from Him. We are held responsible for our actions (Romans 3:19; 6:23; 9:19-21). How these facts work together is impossible for a finite mind to comprehend (Romans 11:33-36).

People can take one of two extremes in regard to this question. Some emphasize the sovereignty of God to the point that human beings are little more than robots simply doing what they have been sovereignly programmed to do. Others emphasize free will to the point of God not having complete control and/or knowledge of all things. Neither of these positions is biblical. The truth is that God does not violate our wills by choosing us and redeeming us. Rather, He changes our hearts so that our wills choose Him. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19), and “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16).”

Therefore, predestination vs. free will becomes the age-old question that we finite humans cannot fully understand, nor will we this side of the veil. I am not sure why this has ever been such a huge, contentious, church-splitting issue for believers over the centuries.
  1. Eschatology
By far my favorite topic to discuss with anyone is eschatology (the study of last things). I view eschatology as secondary only to soteriology (the study of salvation) and by which all other Christian doctrines hang from. Every doctrine has eschatology built into it, interwoven through, and connects every other doctrine, so to ignore it, is detrimental to the health of the believer and church. We find the first prophecy in the bible in Genesis 3:15 about salvation and the redemption of humanity (the protoevangelicum). Thus by prophecy, we see the salvation story foretold at the very beginning of creation.

There are really three types of believers out there regarding bible prophecy. There are those who zealously passionate about it (in its varying positions), there are those who ignore it completely, and there are those who balance it with all other doctrines.
  1. Those who ignore it, do so at their own peril. While it is not necessary for salvation, it is instrumental in understanding how all other Christian doctrines tie together. Without prophecy, one is getting an incomplete picture of both the Old and New Testaments. Most of the mainline Protestant denominations, much of Roman Catholicism, and much of the Seeker-Sensitive, Emergent Church, and other modern movements have largely abandoned the proper study of eschatology.
  2. Those who are overly zealous in their beliefs, tend to become militant in their positions (whatever that may be). They then use it as a way to measure other believer’s salvation status. I have been guilty of this. Furthermore, cults use their particular brands of eschatology as a means to frighten their followers (hence the term doomsday cult) which is an abuse of the text and heretical.
  3. Finally, there are those who hold a healthy balance of eschatology with all other doctrines, recognizing its “non-essential” (as it relates to salvation) role to our eternal state. I would add though, that having the correct eschatological position is critical to the spiritual development of the believer (Eph. 4:11-16, 2 Peter 1:19-21, Rev. 19:10). If your eschatology is askew, then you can be sure that other doctrines you hold to are also misaligned.
Conclusion
No believer alive today, nor since Christ, is or has ever been perfect. We, as the apostle Paul appropriately noted, see through a glass darkly (1 Cor. 13:12). We now are two-thousand years removed, have an inerrant bible (in its original form) but translated into our lesser languages by fallible men. We have misunderstandings over particular doctrines given this language barrier, of which God put in place at Babel (Gen 11:7).

It takes our regeneration to even begin to understand Scripture. That is our salvation by His grace through our faith (which He makes possible), placed solely in the finished and redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and His subsequent resurrection from the dead to change us. We do not go from being unsaved to saved, but from being spiritually dead to spiritually alive with new natures (2 Cor. 5:17-21). We are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the singular, universal, multi-membered, corporate body of Christ here on the earth, sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (2 Cor. 1:21-22, Eph. 1:11-14, 4:30).

While it is important to hold to a doctrine properly (through a literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutic), we must demonstrate love, patience, and humility when we teach, write, instruct, and share with those who do not. Above all, we must love each other, because by this, the world will know we are of Christ. As Theodore Roosevelt was once quoted saying, people do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—Ephesians 2:11-15

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Teaching Spirit - by Ray Stedman



Republished from Ray Stedman daily devotion

… just as it has taught you, remain in him.
1 John 2:27b
The emphasis in these verses is on the words as it has taught you. What the Spirit has taught you, not what He has taught the other fellow. After the resurrection, Jesus said to Peter, Feed my sheep. And Peter turned and looked at John and said, Lord, what about him? Do you remember what Jesus said? That is none of your business. You follow me. What I teach this man to do is for him to know. What I have said for you to do, that is for you to do (John 21:15-22).

This is an intensely personal thing. What you have learned from the word of the Spirit, through the intermediacy of human teachers, is to be the ground of your actions. But your activity must always be based on the conviction of what has come home to you. In other words, you walk by faith in the Word of God as God has taught it to you and not by what you have learned by tradition. ...

Any time you condition people to take their truth secondhand through some other individual, some line of authorities standing in succession above them, you have conditioned them to respond immediately to falsehood as well if it starts from the top. That is why hierarchies go astray so quickly and so easily. No, in the Christian life, all truth is intensely personal and comes directly to you from the Holy Spirit.

That means you do not need to have a scholar interpreting the Word of God for you. You can be grateful for scholars, you can read their helpful comments, and the Lord will use them to teach you something, but you are not dependent upon them. You have no need that any person teach you at that level, for the Holy Spirit can instruct you. We must be open, of course, to hear all that others have to say. 

Charles Spurgeon once said, I do not understand those men who have such a high opinion of what the Holy Spirit says to them, and such a low opinion of what he says to anyone else. We must remember that the Spirit of God does speak through other people, as well as through us. But, finally, we must act only on what the Lord has said to us. …

Now this obedience is absolutely necessary because it is only on this basis that you can abide in him, and that is where fruitfulness comes from. You cannot go another's route, you cannot live another's spiritual life for him or her or force him or her to go your route either. You are to open the Word, pour over it, listen to the Holy Spirit in it, listen to others as the Holy Spirit has taught them, and then, faced with this entire array of external testimony, obey that which the Spirit confirms to your heart is the truth. John says when you do that, you will abide in Him.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

When the Cross is in the Crosshairs – Leo Hohmann

An Emotion We Won’t Need in Heaven :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Several years ago, the noted preacher Dr. Charles Stanley wrote a book whose title caught my attention. It was called Surviving in An Angry World. While I’ve never read it, I can make an educated guess as to what might be the thesis contained within its pages, and it is that this world as we know it is feeding off of the emotion of anger.

People are angry over political parties and their platforms, each side presenting issues and problems that need to be addressed, but so far have produced no valid solutions that could be beneficial to both sides of the aisle and improve the conditions by which we live.

Another issue that stirs up national and individual anger is that of the changing attitudes and ideas concerning moral and ethical issues. One side has a more progressive and secular plan of handling controversial topics, while others take a side and belief that issues such as these need to be grounded in a set foundation established by a belief in God or Supreme Being who guides the affairs of humanity.

It is a known fact that those who profess religious belief will agree that there are some areas of debate that can only find a solution in basing one’s belief in the teachings of a religious figure and abiding by their respective ideas. Anger erupts when these two philosophies clash in the public eye, and people use emotion to justify the reason as to why they support or oppose certain theoretical solutions to problems.

Attitudes of belief and faith also cause dissention and anger within religious circles. Wars have been fought over who was right and who was wrong in their respective outlook on how to worship God, how to approach holy objects, who should rule over a country, the role of established religious figures, and whose religious teaching would be supreme in the land, with the losers either being exiled or put to death for blasphemy or other charges. Often there is also the use of torture to extract either information or confession of alleged wrongdoing.

Something else worth noting is the anger that families often feel for one another over issues like inheritances, care for an elderly or injured parent, alleged favoritism, abuse of various types, and emotional scars based on incidents that the offended does not wish to forgive or forget, arguments that were never settled – the list goes on.

There is opportunity to present the angry and often cruel and unjustified consequences for such behavior in the heart of man. Much could be written of how lives were ruined by constant anger:
  • crimes of passion that often end with the loss of life and the torment of guilt afterwards,
  • broken relationships,
  • divided families,
  • shattered marriages,
  • delinquent children who are expressing anger over what their parents had allegedly or actually done to them,
  • the absence of parental guidance and advice,
  • the lack of forgiveness,
  • ugly attitudes,
  • anger at God for the alleged lack of concern or care for the well-being of an individual,
  • trauma that lingers in someone’s mind,
  • deep depression,
  • or a host of other emotions based on anger and rage against being wronged or looked over for something important, like a raise or promotion.
The offices of psychiatrists and counselors are crowded with individuals who will simply not let their anger go and attempt to move on with life.

It seems as if anger is an obsession in modern life that will not be satisfied until everyone is in the same frame of mind with no inevitable solution upon which they can agree.

The truth is that, as a general observation, people don’t want a solution or settlement. They are comfortable with their anger and do not wish to let it go, believing that their anger will protect them from being hurt or taken advantage of ever again. It is in essence a barrier they put up to cover up emotional pain or to justify what they perceive as the world and its inhabitants against them, and the belief that their respective rights have been trampled on. They tend to believe that, if they stay angry, it is in essence a type of security against those who have hurt or misunderstood them in the past. It is to them a type of insurance that will protect them from experiencing any more pain or misunderstanding.

The individual who is swallowed up in anger will not open up to anybody who may be able to offer advice that will help them let go of it and get on with life. In the realm of Christian witness, these are probably the hardest of individuals to try and reach with the comfort of the Word of God and the peace found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

We have to ask ourselves the question as to whether or not there is a time and place for justifiable anger. It was brought upon us by the fall of man in Eden. Anger is a consequence of disobedience of God’s standards, and we see this when Cain killed his brother Abel over was and was not an acceptable sacrifice. When used as a reason to do something that is contrary to what the LORD wants from us, or to seek self-justification for an alleged crime against individuals or society as a whole, it is a source of sin and is worthy of judgment by the LORD as He sees fit.

An act of rage or sudden anger can result in lost opportunities. Moses lost his opportunity to enter the Promised Land due to an act of anger against the Israelites by striking a rock for water instead of speaking to it as God commanded. It seems as if the great lawgiver saw himself as the source of the water instead of from the LORD. This was attributing God’s power and mercy to a mere man, no matter how noble he may be. Let this episode serve as a stern warning to not see yourself as indispensable to God. He has a way of humbling the biggest ego.

As the history of Israel progressed, we come to the period when the nation asked for a king instead of depending upon the guidance and direction of the LORD. The prophet Samuel warned the people about the consequences; yet they persisted in their demand and they ended up with Saul, handsome in appearance and in the beginning devoted to God. As we read in the annals of 1 Samuel, Saul began to disobey the direct commands of God and rely more upon himself to decide what was sufficient for the nation’s well-being.

As we know, his disobedience caused him to lose his kingdom and in essence be abandoned by God. Samuel was then led to the house of Jesse to find a king of God’s approval and found David, the “man after God’s own heart.” The Spirit of God was upon the boy, and he was anointed the next king of Israel. As we read in the narrative, Saul’s jealousy towards the military successes of David grew into devilish hatred, and Saul attempted to take David’s life on several occasions. As 1 Samuel draws to a close, the angry and abandoned Saul falls prey to the ruthless army of the Philistines.

As history progressed and the nation turned towards idolatry, righteous anger from the prophets such as Elijah challenged both king and commoner to come to a decision, with nobody being allowed to be neutral. Either Baal was God, or the LORD. The LORD showed His power by consuming the sacrifice that Elijah had placed upon an altar of Yahweh that had been torn down.

The prophetic narrative found in the rest of the Old Testament shows us that there is a time and place for anger to be demonstrated, especially when we find the nation of Israel falling deeper and deeper into gross idolatry and performing despicable events such as sacrificing children to the bloodthirsty demonic deity Moloch. The prophets continually warned the people that God was going to punish them for their wickedness; and His righteous anger would be put on display for not just them, but for all the nations to see what becomes of a people who shake their fist in God’s face and dare Him to do something about it.

The time of the exile in Babylon finally purged them of such behavior and turned them back to the worship of God and Him alone. If God did not spare His people Israel from the consequences of disobedience, it is my belief that He will not put up with America’s godless behavior either. I shudder to think of what He could do to us when His righteous anger comes upon us.

Righteous anger is also found in the life and ministry of Jesus. Two examples are when He drives the moneychangers and extortionists out of the Temple, not once, but twice in His ministry.

He was justifiably angry at how the Pharisees and religious officials had turned the worship of God into an opportunity to cash in on the purchase of approved sacrificial animals, the exchange of money into approved temple currency at high rates of interest, essentially ripping off the public who just wanted to be able to worship the LORD. The religious officials had turned the Temple into a money-making business in the name of godly expectations. Jesus would have none of it. He declared that the LORD’s house was a house of prayer, but that these religious charlatans had turned it into a “den of thieves.”

When religion becomes a big business, whatever effect it had for good in the past has gone away and left a putrid corpse of rotting flesh that serves no purpose but to be buried in the cemetery of abused opportunities for the advancement of noble and allegedly holy goals. This corrosive attitude was a characteristic of the religious officials who received the burning accusations of Jesus towards them in Matthew 23. Our LORD pulled no punches, but bluntly told them what He thought of them and their attitudes.

Would that preachers of today have the same attitude towards the cancer of hypocrisy in the church of modern America and the world at large!

We have allowed the rotting touch of sin to invade the purpose of the church, and that is to be a holy people and win souls to Christ in spite of the onslaught of wickedness and persecution. We have replaced the authority of Scripture with the opinions of men who are not fit to be called ministers of the Word. We have allowed the specter of worldly behavior to influence our churches to welcome people into the fellowship who are nothing more than troublemakers and servants of Satan to cause division and ineffectiveness in the mission of the church.

We have welcomed those whose lifestyle is in direct opposition as to what a follower of Jesus Christ ought to be without praying that they repent of their behavior and submit to the Lordship of Christ. We have turned the house of God into a lounge of sorts, where “cool” so-called “worship” music is played with the same lyrics and tune being repeated over and over again, often with shallow references to the nature and character of a holy God. We have allowed the pastors to assume the role of “moderator” in establishing a dialogue of “understanding” and “acceptance” done in the name of being “tolerant.”

In my years as a minister, I have seen the decline of soul-stirring preaching that convicts the individual of his or her sin and draws them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord. I have seen the “dumbing down” of curriculum in my respective denomination, eliminating the need to think through the deep things of God and grow.

These things stir up anger in me, and it seems that people like me who want to see God glorified in the worship and work of His people have been left out in the cold, being regulated to a past that they wish to wipe away and regulated to a more primitive time when subjects like the reality of hell were part of the faithful preacher’s portfolio.

I am angry that the majority of people in this nation have essentially abandoned any faith in the reliability of the LORD to do a great work in them, relying instead upon secular philosophy to answer their moral and ethical questions.

I am angry that this nation has rejected the role of God in our development and history.
I am angry at people who abuse, slander, mock, destroy, blaspheme, and demean those of us who hold on to a belief that, in the end, God will win and those who mock God and champion their respective lifestyle and philosophy will be thrown, along with their soul, into the garbage can of hell for all eternity.

We read in the book of Revelation that the world’s devilish anger at God will peak and be worked up into a state of fanatical hatred towards Him, fueled by the dictates of the Antichrist and his father the devil. This maniacal behavior will culminate at the battle of Armageddon, when the Lord Jesus comes back with His saints to rid the world of evil, punish the wicked, and establish a kingdom of peace and prosperity for a thousand years.

When that time comes to an end, those who rebelled against Christ’s perfect rule, along with the wicked of all time, will face the Lord Jesus at the Great White Throne, be judged, and thrown along with the devil into the Lake of Fire for all eternity. The new heaven and the new Earth will be established by the LORD, and He will wipe all our tears away, and we will live with Him in our glorious new home for all time.

When that day comes, and I believe it is closer than we think, He will take away our anger towards evil, injustice, abuse; and those things that had kept us in a state of righteous anger and bitter tears will be gone for all time. There will be no more anger in the kingdom of God, but eternal joy in knowing that we are His children, and His love for us will never draw to a conclusion.

Anger is something I’m ready to get rid of, and the LORD will make sure that what has upset me on Earth will be settled in the courts of heaven.

LORD, I’m ready. Come quickly.
drwhitchard@aol.com

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Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Truth About Thomas Jefferson’s Koran

 

I do not believe that he bought a copy of the Quran in order to glean "knowledge and wisdom," but rather to better understand America's enemies

The Truth About Thomas Jefferson’s Koran

Jim ONeill imageBy —— Bio and Archives January 9, 2019



The Truth About Thomas Jefferson's Koran
The Protestants alone are able to attack the Koran with success; and for them, I trust, Providence has reserved the glory of its overthrow.George Sales

(1697-1736) From the introduction to “Jefferson’s Koran
Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.Barack Obama

We’re going to impeach the motherf—ker.—Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib referring to President Trump
Obama is on record as stating that “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.”  Is that true?  Well yes, sort of.

If by “woven into the fabric of our country” you mean “following the Revolutionary War, Muslims were America’s first international enemies,” then yes, it’s true.  Muslim pirates helped to kick start the US Navy into existence.  Anchors aweigh Islam!

There was a definite downside to the United States gaining its freedom from Great Britain.  Among the thornier problems our fledgling country faced was the fact that America lost the mantle of protection offered by Great Britain’s large fleet of naval ships.  This meant that it was open season on American merchant ships in the Atlantic, and especially the Mediterranean—and Muslim pirates in the area were quick to jump on the opportunity.
For about 600 years, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries, the pirates or corsairs of Barbary preyed on European commerce, taking thousands [some say over a million] of prisoners, and selling them as slaves in the mines or the galleys. European women were especially prized for their light complexions, fetching premium prices in the harems. Though prisoners could, in theory, be ransomed, the going rates for redemption were invariably high. The lives of most of the slaves, by contrast, were brutal, cruel and mercifully short.
...In a single six-month period between 1783 and 1784, the Barbary states sacked three American vessels. The crewmen were paraded down the streets of Fez and Algiers, pelted with rotten vegetables and offal, and thrown before the emperor or the pasha who reportedly told them, “I’ll make you eat stones, Christian dogs,” and then sold them to the highest bidders. —Michael B. Oren “The Middle East and the Making of the United States, 1776 to 1815
For those wishing to delve deeper into the topic,  I recommend Robert C. Davis’s book “Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800

Interwoven into our national fabric indeed.  The great European fleets of France and Britain could shrug off the pesky corsairs, or Barbary pirates, as the Muslims were called.  Michael Oren notes that for the British and French “the pirates were little more than a nuisance, scarcely worth a broadside, much less a war.”

Such was not the case for the United States, whose merchant ships were essentially defenseless once they left America’s ports.  In 1794 George Washington authorized the building of six frigates “adequate for the protection of the commerce of the United States against Algerian corsairs.”
The U.S. Navy thus was born, a contentious but honorable birth, intended not to rule the waves but to free them. Michael B. Oren “Power, Faith, and Fantasy
Well, sort of.  The birth of the US Navy had rather bumpy beginnings.  The US Navy celebrates October 13, 1775 as its official birthday, but that navy, the Continental Navy, active during the Revolutionary War, was nowhere to be seen soon after the war ended.  Then Washington restarted it with his six frigates, and Jefferson jumped in and…well, as I say, bumpy beginnings.

The bottom line is, we have the Muslims to thank for the birth (rebirth if you prefer) of the US Navy.  Which brings us to the topic of Jefferson’s Koran (Quran).
So why would these Congressional Muslims use a Quran that is admittedly designed to “overthrow” Islam?  In a word—ignorance
 Recently, Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, chose to be sworn in on a copy of the Quran that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson.

“It’s important to me because a lot of Americans have this kind of feeling that Islam is somehow foreign to American history,” she told the Detroit Free Press. “Muslims were there at the beginning.”

“Muslims were there at the beginning.”  Yes indeed, they sure were, as we have seen.  It is worth noting that America won its first overseas land battle against a foreign enemy by defeating Muslim troops at the “Battle of Derne” (Derna) in present day Libya during the “1st Barbary War” in 1805.  The leader of the US Marine detachment involved in the battle was presented with a ceremonial Mameluke sword after the battle—replicas of this sword are worn by Marine Corps officers to this day.
Longtime Congress watchers will recall Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), America’s first Muslim member of the body, also used Jefferson’s Koran for his 2007 swearing-in. “It demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Koran,” Ellison told the Associated Press at the time.—Yair Rosenberg “The complicated history of Thomas Jefferson’s Koran
The copy of the Koran that Jefferson owned was translated by George Sales in 1734.  You will recall from the quote of Sales that began this article that he believed that “Providence has reserved the glory of [Islam’s] overthrow” to the Protestants.  Hardly a Kumbaya sentiment of multicultural solidarity.  So why would these Congressional Muslims use a Quran that is admittedly designed to “overthrow” Islam?  In a word—ignorance.

In 1786 Thomas Jefferson, along with John Adams, visited a Muslim ambassador in London, England.  In a letter to then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, John Jay, Jefferson wrote:
We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the Grounds of their pretentions to make war upon Nations who had done them no Injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.
It should be noted that the United States had been paying extortion money to the Muslim pirates, who kept upping the ante (by the year 1800 these extortion payments amounted to 20% of the American government’s expenditures).

The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise. —Thomas Jefferson “American Commissioners to John Jay, March 28, 1786

As the late Christopher Hitchens wrote concerning the Muslim ambassador’s reply: “Medieval as it is, this has a modern ring to it.”  Indeed, it does, more’s the pity.

I do not know how John Adams (2nd president of the United States) felt about Islam, but I have no doubt how one of his sons, John Quincy Adams (6th president of the United States), felt.  John Quincy Adams, fervently anti-slavery, is perhaps best remembered these days for his passionate and cogent defense of a group of Africans who commandeered a Spanish slave ship, as depicted in the movie “Amistad.”  In an essay he wrote on the long series of Russo-Turkish wars (17th century to 20th century) he left no doubt about his feelings about Islam:
Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he [Mohammed] humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion.  He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind.  THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST—TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE….  Between these two religions [Christianity and Islam], thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant….  While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.  [The words in caps are as originally printed].
 First Barbary War
John Quincy was not one to beat around the bush…but back to Jefferson.  I do not believe that he bought a copy of the Quran in order to glean “knowledge and wisdom,” but rather to better understand America’s enemies.
Shortly after being sworn in as president (3rd president of the United States) Jefferson stopped all extortion payments to the Muslim pirates and sent US Navy warships to confront them in the Mediterranean.  Soon afterwards the United States (and Sweden) were fighting Muslims in the “1st Barbary War” (1801-1805).
In truth, the “1st Barbary War” was neither a beginning nor an end, but merely one installment in the ongoing “long war.”  Tours, Lepanto, Vienna...those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.


Jim ONeill -- Bio and Archives | Comments
Born June 4, 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Served in the U.S. Navy from 1970-1974 in both UDT-21 (Underwater Demolition Team) and SEAL Team Two.  Worked as a commercial diver in the waters off of Scotland, India, and the United States.  Worked overseas in the Merchant Marines.  While attending the University of South Florida as a journalism student in 1998 was presented with the “Carol Burnett/University of Hawaii AEJMC Research in Journalism Ethics Award,” 1st place undergraduate division.  (The annual contest was set up by Carol Burnett with money she won from successfully suing a national newspaper for libel).  Awarded US Army, US Navy, South African, and Russian jump wings.  Graduate of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School, 1970).  Member of Mensa, China Post #1, and lifetime member of the NRA and UDT/SEAL Association.

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