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Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Since my original post I thought I needed to add and clarify something that I’d taken for granted every Christian would do. That is that they would be grounded in the basic, historic and traditional doctrines of the Faith, once delivered to the saints [Jude 1:3]  The Apostle Paul especially tells us that we should follow his teaching and example – what he wrote he had received directly from the Lord.

Every Christian should know what the Gospel is of course. When I was born again I knew that I was saved, but a complete theological understanding of what that meant came gradually with study of the scriptures. I knew God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in a truly personal way, but understanding of how the Trinity doctrine was formed, again came with study. I was fortunate enough after moving from London to Crawley, to join a newly formed Elim church where the emphasis was on the Bible and not on our ‘experiences’ – except that of our salvation. The choruses and hymns for the most part were doctrinal too. It was while there the Pastor loaned me a book called ‘In Understanding be Men’ which set out all the historic Bible doctrines. [As a sad little note – Elim as a denomination has now strayed far – and imagine my shock and sadness to see that my old Elim church has been rebuilt into a Mosque!! If we could have seen into the future, we wouldn’t have believed it…]

I was brought to the Lord in a high Anglican church so my initial grounding in the faith, fortunately, was in the repeating of the Apostles’ Creed every sunday. However, although I believed it, there were many there who didn’t – it was simply just trotted out as a ‘tradition’. More attention seem to be paid to the Book of Common Prayer than to the Bible. The sermon was usually based on explaining away Jesus’ miracles eg. the feeding of the five thousand was simply that Jesus had made those in the crowd who had brought food with them, feel guilty so they shared their sandwiches with everyone else!!

Anyway – the point is that we really need to know what the great Christian Doctrines are to be able to refute the teachings of Cults eg – their favourite is to attack the Trinity doctrine, so we need to know exactly how the scriptures describe the Godhead. Yes – the cults may well use the names Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but their meaning is totally different to ours.  I think I may have taken that grounding for granted, when I advocated that believers should always check out what they hear from their Leaders – especially their latest revelations and prophecies and what they all claim God has ‘laid on their heart’ or has outright ‘told’ them. Time was when I naive enough to believe them and give them the benefit of the doubt if I had any.

If we don’t know really what Bible truth is, then how can we tell truth from error? We will be ripe for deception because we are impressed with man and his ‘ministries’.  The worst deception of course is when we think the Leader/Preacher must be so close to the Lord that he/she couldn’t possibly lead us astray. Being Christian believers, we are loathe to criticise or ‘judge’ anyone [ a misapplied term if ever there was one] , let alone a respected Leader – so the false is allowed to fester along with the true … and that is precisely why things have got so bad in the Church today.

Because Doctrine is considered dry and almost a dirty word now, it gives the green light to relative truth … the teaching that if something works for you then that is your ‘truth’ – mine may be different to yours but all truths are valid. So if there are good testimonies coming out of certain questionable ministries, then God must be in it, and if it’s good enough for God it should be good enough for us too. How dare we question God’s anointed? We should just eat the meat and spit out the bones [ a saying I find really horrible]. I’m not saying that in His sovereign grace, God doesn’t ‘work’ in an individual heart and circumstance – but that doesn’t mean His overall approval of what is going on.

Anyway – enough of all this seeming negative stuff. You can only discern and stand your ground if you are confident in your own scriptural foundation. There is plenty of help out there if you look in the right places. A google search for the historic, traditional doctrines of the Christian faith [ not Roman Catholicism] will be profitable I’m sure. Of course – it goes without saying that we first and always look to God for help. It is He who guides us and if we feel we lack incentive and desire to to study His word, He will instill a love for His word in us if we but ask Him.  It is our food after all and He doesn’t give us a stone instead of bread.We need the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment as we read and we should ask for wisdom in our reading and application. In 2 Tim 2:15  Paul’s advice to Timothy was ‘Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  See also 2 Tim 3:13-17

Never doubt God’s words – always doubt man’s if they are bringing ‘new’ revelations and teachings – search the scriptures.

till next time, Maranatha!     Eileen

 

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Lately I’ve been feeling very down and, having suffered a couple of bouts of severe anxiety and depression in the past that really incapacitated me , I found myself dreading that it was happening all over again. But I cried out to the Lord and He heard me!  I reminded myself that God hasn’t given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.[2 Tim 1:7]

When you live alone and you’re getting on in years it’s so easy to go down in a spiral of dark thoughts, pessimism and fear, because it brings its own stresses and strains. And you can feel particularly guilty if you are a Christian; so your self- condemnation only adds to your misery!

I have always been prone to not wanting to burden others with what I know can only be resolved by my walk with and trust in the Lord Himself. Everyone  has enough illnesses and problems of their own anyway ….     Over the years, unfortunately and very sadly, I found that ‘Church’  wasn’t always as helpful as you would have expected – indeed, it could even add to your stress, so that, instead of being an oasis from the world and personal trials – it was the exact opposite.  I am not complaining about that as it simply threw me more on the Lord’s grace and mercy – I’m just stating facts.

So it was I learned to take my woes to the Lord and cry out to Him. His word taught me to bring my thoughts captive to Christ, wait upon Him and trust in His care.  It can be very much a difficult learning process though, but He is faithful and answers our prayers in the perfect way for us.

While recovering from a particularly bad bout of depression some years ago, I’d gone into a shop and the title of a book jumped out at me from the shelf. It was ‘Peace From Nervous Suffering’ by Dr Claire Weekes and it was just what I needed!

I am always wary of self-help books based on psychology and psychiatry as they can be full of humanistic philosophies and occult practises, but this book was as practical, insightful and helpful as it gets, and apart from the Bible it turned out to be the best book I could have read, as it speeded my recovery with understanding.

So, having for so long been fine , it came as something of a shock  the other day to experience the return of those same old familiar, but horrible symptoms. however – I was more able to deal with them this time. After crying out to the Lord, I dug out some notes I remember I’d written from Dr Weekes’ book and refreshed her advice.

Out of curiosity I did a google search to see if her books were still available so that I could recommend them, and yes, they still are.  Not only that, I came across a Blog written by Peter Stone  http://cornerstonethefoundation.blogspot.co.uk   He has an inspiring testimony and has written very helpful posts, plus an excellent Forum.

I can guarantee that fellow sufferers will be greatly enlightened and helped by both Dr Claire Weekes and Peter Stone ‘s insights.

The morning I was feeling so down, I read psalm 18 and I will close with verses 28-33 followed by  Spurgeon’s commentary on it.

” …. For you will light my candle; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God I have leaped over a wall [ at 77 yrs old that’s some feat! lol]    As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him. For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?   It is God that girds me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and sets me on my high places”

Spurgeon’s commentary on verse 28:     ” It may be that my soul sits in darkness; and if this be of a spiritual kind, no human power can bring me light. Blessed be God! He can enlighten my darkness, and at once light my candle. Even though I may be surrounded by a ‘darkness which might be felt’,  yet He can break the gloom and immediately make it bright around me.

The mercy is that if He lights the candle none can blow it out, neither will it go out for lack of substance, nor burn out itself through the lapse of hours. The lights which the Lord kindled in the beginning are shining still. The Lord’s lamps may need trimming, but He does not put them out.

Let me, like the nightingale, sing in the dark. Expectation shall furnish me with music, and hope shall pitch the tune. Soon I shall rejoice in a candle of God’s lighting. I am dull and dreary just now. Perhaps it is the weather or bodily weakness or the surprise of a sudden trouble; but whatever has made the darkness, it is God alone who will bring the light. My eyes are unto Him alone. I shall soon have the candles of the Lord shining about me  and further on in His own good time I shall be where they need no candle, neither light of the sun. Hallelujah!

You are most welcome  to leave  comments, testimony or advice and help for other sufferers.

see you next time     God bless, Eileen

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The ‘church’ keeps changing and metamorphosing into something else – as fast as I think I’ve got a handle on what’s happening – it changes again , to go along with the latest fad. It’s scary that so many are now following church growth patterns [ all under the supposed guidance of the Holy Spirit] without even bothering to question or compare it all with the early Church pattern.

Rick Warren’s philosophy has invaded the church at large now , traditional, reformed or evangelical – it makes no difference, so that whereas at one time you could at least separate false doctrine from true, it has become almost too much to unravel ,  a mish-mash of influences that are affecting the very preaching of the Gospel itself.

I’ve known for some years about Marxism and what is called the Dialectic Process, but always associated it with politics, as I suspect most folks do. But I’m prone to search out the truth of a matter when faced with teachings/happenings that come across my path. I don’t like being in a fog [how well I remember being in those good old London, thick pea-soupers!] and the mental ones are even worse…..

So it is that I was able to learn more about the Dialectic Process [Diaprax] and it’s infiltration of the Church – hence everything has to change as the old ways are discredited and the new is in. The old sin- convicting Gospel has gone – enter the new Social Gospel. Even the faithful [to the Word], legitimate Churches seem to feel shamed into being more socially and politically active in the world, afraid maybe of being thought too ‘narrow?  The focus  is on ‘relationships’ with each other and the world – ultimately leading to another Jesus of course. 2 Cor 11:4

For a good understanding of what is going on, please take the time to visit the web site of Dean Gotcher  http://www.authorityresearch.com  He is also on You Tube, and Berit Kjos’  web site  http://www.crossroad.to/articles  for insights into the machinations of the UN.

I know there will be many Christians who will find it too burdensome to investigate for themselves, but it’s good to get into the habit of checking out things you hear or read with a little personal Bible study – especially if you have that little nagging doubt that something isn’t quite right.   It’s imperative that we become lovers of the Truth of God’s word – how else will we know if we’re being deceived?

Some will say – the Gospel is simple and following the Lord Jesus Christ and living in harmony with sincere fellow believers is all that God requires of us – he wants us to be as little children.

That is true initially – but God also requires that we mature and grow in our understanding and obedience of His word. [although 1 Cor 14:20 is said in the context of ‘tongues’ , I believe it applies to all spiritual things …]

The Lord gave Ministry gifts to the Church – Eph 4: 11-15  so that we needn’t be children who are tossed about by the false doctrines of cunning men. Sadly, today those Ministers are often failing us in that they tend not to want to be ‘negative’ and believe the Scriptural warnings are for others, not them – after all, don’t they pray to be led by the Holy Spirit ? Haven’t they done many wonderful things in His Name? mmm ….

I always try to approach my re-search with an open mind. I do not want to be prejudiced against any ministry or preacher because of what I’ve read or heard. This has been my position since the very earliest days of my Christian walk. I listened to what the JWs and Mormons had to say and read the literature they gave me, some of which sounded legitimate until I investigated further. I often discovered that the rank and file members , had the truth about their Leaders and origins hidden  from them. BUT – these enthusiastic cult members enjoyed the love and fellowship they had with each other and were convinced their respective Leaders could do no wrong, plus – all their thinking was done for them and even false prophecies didn’t appear  to bother them. {sounds a familiar pattern doesn’t it?}

Later, I came across an ad. by the Catholic Enquiry Bureau for anyone interested in finding out about their beliefs to sign up for a series of booklets – which I promptly did.  Again, my interest was in not wanting to dismiss them on hearsay.  Well, as you can imagine – it was even worse than I’d thought because the authority of the Pope and the church superseded anything the Scriptures might say, so they felt free to add all sorts of false ideas and commandments. Now I had it from the horse’s mouth.

It’s much easier and quicker these days to use the internet to look up the Horses’ Mouths web sites and You Tube videos of actual preaching. Plus of course the enormously helpful discernment ministries articles.

The huge deceptions that have arisen within  Christian churches are, I believe, the result of a lack of trust in and obedience to the Bible as the inerrant and  infallible word of God, together with a faulty view of eschatology [end time things]. I will enlarge on this in my next Post.

see you soon,   Maranatha!

 

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I’ve been reading through the Book of Acts lately , mainly in order to compare todays methods of evangelism with what the early church did. Among other things, I couldn’t help noticing that wherever the Apostle Paul preached the gospel, he started right from the beginning of the story – demonstrating Christ in the Old Testament scriptures. Stephen too, prior to his martyrdom , had taken the Jews back over their history.

In our own day and age, with widespread ignorance about God and the wholesale acceptance of evolution as fact, there is a need when preaching the gospel, or witnessing to individual unbelievers, to be able to present the truth about our origins in a knowledgeable and convincing way. We can then go on to present the gospel of Christ as a needful thing .If people don’t believe in God or are agnostic, they won’t see their need of a Saviour. We have to go back to the beginning to present the root of the problem.

The Apostle Paul started where people were at. When he preached to the Jews there was no need for him to convince them of God’s existence, so he went to the heart of the matter after first reminding them of their history. When he preached to gentiles who worshipped many gods, he didn’t have to convince them of a supernatural world.

Why then is the Creation/Evolution debate so neglected in our churches, when it seems such a key to reaching today’s unsaved masses? Why is it regarded  merely as a secondary issue and nothing to do with the gospel?

Of course I understand and know we are saved simply by believing that Christ died for our sins – that faith evidenced by being born again, but we first have to believe that there is a God who made us!

There are a growing number of [misguided] Christians , known as Theistic evolutionists, who believe God ‘used’ evolution as His method of creation  – but if that were the case, then He surely would have told us so?  It amounts to a lie if the account in Genesis says it took God six days but He really took eons of time. Apart from which, the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles believed and taught  Genesis literally.

Theistic evolutionists have a huge problem when it comes to the question of sin, simply because God states categorically that all that He created was ‘good’.  There was a moment in time when the curse of sin entered our world, bringing death with it. With evolution however the bad has always been here and death is accepted as a ‘natural’ thing.

But the truth is that it is the most un-natural thing – death is mankinds’ last and greatest enemy – and the norm is to do everything we possibly can to stay alive!   Why do we grieve so when our loved ones die if it’s so natural? Every fibre of our being shouts out ‘NO’ !

Let me tell you here and now that in all the years I was an atheist, I wasn’t happy to be one ….  in spite of being very happy in my personal life, with a husband who was my soul-mate and two lovely children. And even though our first-born son had spina-bifida and hydrocephalous, it had drawn us even closer together as we faced our difficulties.

But the material world was all there was and I had to face reality and  accept that fact. – after all, Science had proved we came from apes.  I certainly wasn’t aware of any counter arguments to say otherwise. I wasn’t interested in the dream world of wishful thinking that religious people lived in, however comforting that would be. I wanted Truth, and no Scientist believed in God did they??

Leaving aside for a moment, the mysterious workings of a Sovereign God, I might have found that truth sooner had  church people been educated by their Leaders to know the arguments for and against evolution/creation. But how can they defend what they don’t know? Back then [in the 60s] ignorance I suppose could be forgiven – but today, thankfully, there are several excellent Ministries championing the  truth of God’s word and the Creation cause.

But I can’t help feeling really disappointed at the dearth of churches taking regular advantage of the offers of speakers from the likes of CMI for instance. What golden opportunities are missed to equip believers and reach out to the atheist/agnostic with the whole gospel. It could be the first step to their salvation.

In these days of deception, churches would rather follow the way of ‘socialising’ to reach the unsaved. It’s so much easier to invite someone to a picnic or ‘love’ them into the Kingdom. Of course I’m not saying that people can’t be saved that way – it’s just not the scriptural method is it? Why have so many become ashamed of presenting the Gospel truth when it is the power of God to everyone who believes? Romans 1:16

I am a ‘nobody’ when it comes to authority and I’m in no position to tell anyone to do anything whatsoever, all I know is , I am passionate for God’s truth and I love to write about it, in the hope that the Lord may use it to help fellow believers to get better equipped  in these deceptive days. So this is a plea to please take advantage of the information available on creation web sites.

You can receive Creation Ministries International’s [ CMI.uk here] daily email Infobytes, or subscribe to their superb Creation Magazine. They have speakers who will do presentations in your church [Philip Bell/ Dominic Statham/Phil Robinson].

I live in West Sussex [UK] and there is an excellent ministry, The Creation Science Movement, based in Portsmouth [www.csm.org.uk]. You can subscribe to receive their Journal by post . It’s the oldest creation ministry anywhere I believe, founded in 1932.  They have recently re-opened their permanent, free exhibition called ‘The Genesis Expo’ [contact them for opening times]. I would love to visit it myself but I need to rope somebody in for a lift!

There are others too eg Answers in Genesis

with many blessings to everyone,   Eileen

 

 

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I don’t like to think that I am being overly critical and seeing error where there is none, but in the course of researching the obvious questionable teachings and practices in the current church scene, I come across what appear to be genuine, sincere ministries, committed to the gospel and to the Bible , and I have to re-examine myself and the scriptures to see if I’m wrong after all, because on the surface all seems well …..  they don’t appear to be following or part of any extreme groups.

These churches’ websites show they are very active in evangelism and almost all are proclaiming great blessings, over-flowing congregations, together with prophecies, visions and the like telling of revival in their midst and spreading throughout the whole world.  Undergirding all this is a huge desire for change – as one ministry puts it  – ‘to turn the tide of anti-christian pollution in our society’.     So why – instead of rejoicing with them – do I get an uneasiness that compels me to dig a bit deeper and look behind the scenes so to speak?

This uneasiness is usually triggered by noticing what a high opinion they tend to have of themselves. There is certainly no lack of ‘self-esteem’. Of course, I suppose you could say that their confidence comes from the belief that God is ‘showing up’ at their meetings and in answer to their prayers, sometimes over many years of lean results.  I can so easily find myself confounded in the face of so many testimonies of wonderful changed lives and miraculous moves of God,  which seem to be the proof that God is indeed at work. BUT – I have to return time and again to the solid ground of God’s word and it’s warnings of deception by seducing spirits.

Church growth seems to be what it’s all really about. They may disassociate themselves from the teachings of Rick Warren, but they nevertheless pick up on his ideas, consciously or unconsciously.

The mission these days seems to be less about saving individual souls, than ‘impacting’ and making a difference in your locality and christianising the world. The main aim is to show non-churched people how loving and friendly we are as God’s family and what better way than via a social gospel that will meet their emotional needs.

To that end also, we have to break down the old denominational barriers to achieve unity and co-operate in our common cause  –  no separation from the world for the truths sake allowed here!

Don’t they know the Church needs to be doctrinally sound to be in God’s will?  The Holy Spirit led the Apostles and the early Church into all truth and as we follow their New Testament example, so we will be led too. It’s just as important to follow the right practices and methods of evangelism too.

There is much targeting of young people – they are much easier to manipulate and influence – especially if music is made the attraction. Disturbingly, I came across this quote by James Ryles who had a dream in 1989 : ‘ And I remember the dream thinking to myself, wow – this is like the Beatles music was new. The Lord spoke to me and said, ” What you saw in the Beatles – the gifting and that sound that they had – was from me. It did not belong to them. It belongeth to me. it was my purpose to bring forth through music a world-wide revival that would usher in the move of my spirit in bringing men and women to Christ” [ Harvest Conference, Denver 1990]        I can see no Biblical precedent for using music in preaching the gospel , or ‘worship’ as a means of evangelising the lost, or    for entertaining anyone!

I don’t know when the title ‘Worship Leader’ crept into the church , but it has always made me cringe.  It misuses the word worship and in actuality is simply a ‘churchy’ name for a Musical Director.    I always thought that worship was something from the individual, redeemed heart to his/her Saviour and Creator. My Bible tells me that is the only true worship that God will accept.  ‘ But the hour comes and is now, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in TRUTH: for the Father seeks  such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit and they that worship Him MUST worship Him in spirit and in TRUTH’. John 4:23,24

        Christians are told to  ‘be filled with the Spirit; speaking to YOURSELVES in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord’. Eph:5:18

        The gospel of Christ needs no extra trappings to make it more palatable – the gospel itself is the power of God to save. ‘ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek’. Rom 1:16    Genuine gospel preaching will produce genuine conversions and teaching the truth of God’s word will produce true disciples.

           What are all these new converts taught I wonder?  Most likely that they must submit to their Leaders , attend as many church meetings as possible, find their ‘ministry’ in the Lord [ what an asset if they are a musician!] ; but will they be taught to check everything out with scripture? will they be warned to treat any ‘leadings’ with caution? will they be warned of false prophets and teachers and deception in the church? Probably not – we don’t want to be too negative do we??

          So – if todays prophetic utterances are correct and God is moving by His spirit , bringing great revival to the whole earth, in answer to  all the dedicated ‘prayer ministries’ and spiritual warfare activity – then logically, we cannot be in the Last Days – for we are told of a great falling away of the church before the Lord’s return.  And yet – the world is certainly fitting the pattern of ‘as in the days of Noah’ and it is getting increasingly difficult to live as a Christian in our sin-sick world.

           I have known great anxieties and fears in my life and some very stressful situations over the years that have almost overwhelmed me  – but it has always been the word of God that I’ve turned to and it has kept and sustained me.  Christians have been taught to run to other Christians for help, but they are not always the answer and some will let you down. Don’t live your Christian life off the faith of somebody else  – be strong in the Lord. It is the Lord and His word that we need. It is only through the scriptures that we know His will, how to follow Him, how to keep from deception and how to pray.

        I have been fortunate in having to deal with cults and aberrant Christian teachings from the beginning of my Christian walk, so I have been aware, by God’s grace ,when things haven’t been right scripturally. And now that the church at large is falling away , in spite of my own temporary doubts and sometimes confusion  – I have to be true to my own convictions and my prayer to the Lord, as always, is that in His grace and mercy He will use what I write to help others  – just as I myself have been helped by the many articles written by other concerned believers. Their insights and experiences have been of enormous value, often simply confirming what I’d only suspected.

May God bless and keep you,      Eileen

 

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fade2      This is more by way of an update to my previous post, triggered by receiving the latest Revelation TV Schedule and Newsletter. Since changing my TV package from Sky to Virgin, I no longer have access to the God tv channels or Rev tv but haven’t cancelled my emails  from them. Still – it keeps me updated on what’s happening.  [NB – I found their ‘cosmetic’ change to the way they raise funds very strange I must say.]

      Anyway – my eye was drawn to their Ad for future programmes by two people I wasn’t familiar with – Hugh Osgood and Dr Don Colbert.  Google searches revealed that Hugh Osgood is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Christian Centre. He also has the position of  Elder. Their website claims a number of church ministries were ‘birthed’ there and it was also the church home of the founders of God tv and Revelation tv.

      It’s funny how pieces of the Jigsaw gradually fall into place over time isn’t it?  I’m someone who scratches at the surface of a matter to begin with, and if something seems slightly squiffy or puzzling, I just have to probe deeper and unearth the roots if I can.

      Let me emphasize here that I do not set out deliberately to criticize or pick holes in Christian Ministries [mockingly called ‘Heresy Hunting’ I believe].  In fact I would say I have a tendency to accept people at face value and often take for granted Christian orthodoxy in the normal course of things.

    But, when un-orthodox things are said or read, then for my own clarity and so as not to inadvertently misunderstand, I make a point of finding out what I can. I also hope that what I discover may help others, by God’s grace.

   So then,  seeing that Cornerstone Christian Centre was the starting off point for Rev.tv –  it explains a lot about how and why it is such a compromised mixture of programmes and teachings, for it’s roots are ‘Restored Apostolic’ through and through, which means Dominionism and Kingdom Now ….

   This also means that the gifts of the Spirit are placed on a par with the Bible , so it logically follows that they wouldn’t be too fussed about strict adherence to Christian Doctrine. In fact, they would mistakenly class it as being ‘legalistic’ I’m sure.

   Yes – they claim to be Bible-based believers and will even emphasize its importance – but in reality the word of God is undermined and at times superseded by the latest prophetic word, vision, dream or angelic visitation. It simply becomes unimportant to try to discern or combat false teachings as Unity is the order of the day – we must walk in un-judging harmony with everyone [ note: except those who want to stand for truth].  The very many warnings in scripture go unheeded. Truth is neglected and relegated to becoming the least important thing for the Christian ….   and yet – it is the first listed in our Armoury in Ephesians 6:13-17

   So – far from Rev.tv straying away from the truth – I don’t think it was there in the first place.  No  – I am not saying they aren’t Christians or that they don’t preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. But it is an uneasy mix of truth and error – very deceptive if discernment is not excercised for fear of causing division and being thought unloving and over critical.

    The bad fruit showed up quite clearly during the Jacob Prasch challenge to their compromising, and the dismay among many Christians [myself included]  who tried to reason with Howard , Gordon and Doug at that time was genuine and heartfelt.

In closing I would just say that it would be great if genuine, Bible-believing Pastors concerned themselves more with protecting their flock from false teachings. In my own experience, all the while I was going to evangelistic/healing/Revival meetings all over the place, and while being a local church member at the same time – I don’t think I ever heard preaching about the teachings of these famous evangelists etc. Nobody ever warned us how wrong Latter Rain/Dominionism were. Being caught up in the excitement of it all , we assumed all was fine because nobody thought or taught otherwise !

      Unfortunately it seems to be left to the individual believer to find out the hard way  – sometimes becoming spiritually abused and damaged by getting trapped into groups they might have avoided had they been taught about them.

       We had a few near- misses ourselves I can tell you!  [Ever heard of a chap called [Monte] Kim Miller?]  Don’t ask me how, but several times we supported ministries financially for a while that we shouldn’t have – but graciously the Lord rescued us each time  –  there are always warning bells.   All things work together for our good , and that is why I’m so passionate about writing what I know and warning others. We became lovers of the TRUTH and not men’s ministries.

       The need for discernment is greater than ever as those ‘perilous times’ come.

Maranatha!

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Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you ….. faithful is He that calls you.  1 Thess 5:17,18,24

        There are many Christians –  sometimes it seems like the majority – who are blissfully unaware of how and how much they are being manipulated by Leaders who follow a hidden agenda.

        The sheep are being ‘sheepled’ to trust them without question as they follow the deviant  path away from Bible TRUTH. The old ways are abandoned while this new way of thinking, this new vision takes hold.

         Instead of knowing exactly where a church stands doctrinally in the spectrum, denominations no longer separate , but are joined together in following teachings and management courses with a common aim [vision] to change their local area and more ambitiously, the world.

         Whatever their original denominational background – even their names no longer indicate that –  they have been seduced into buying into programmes such as Purpose Driven, Alpha Courses and the like , to supposedly bring success to the church and glory to God. This manufactured  ‘unity’ is justified by the Lord Jesus’ prayer ‘that they may be one’ …. John 17:21   – a typical example of truth which is taken out of context and not rightly divided with other scriptures.

          Teachings once regarded and rejected as heresy [eg Word of Faith, Kingdom Now, Dominionism and Latter Rain] have been tolerated, assimilated, and eventually promoted in this noble cause of Unity, because the aim is to build a church without spot or blemish. The end justifies the means, and the Lord CANNOT return until this has been done.  I’m just staggered at the pride !

          Have the sheep been taught to question, exercise caution discern Bible truth or warned of wolves in their midst?  Obviously not – no dissent allowed.  Besides – they are kept happy with a diet of exciting preaching, beautiful worship, ‘anointed’ ministries, and a God who continually keeps them updated on what New Thing He is doing. If doubts do arise the believer is casually advised to ‘spit out the bones’ or ‘discard the rubbish’  !  What could be wrong?

         Well, for starters, where is the Bible, the word of God in all this?  Scripture is paid lip-service to in many cases simply to bolster support for false teaching as prophecies, visions and dreams are placed on a par with or even supersede Scripture.

          The sheep must submit to an authoritarian Leadership – in some churches having decisions made for them in their personal lives. This results in either a happy, but false humility or a fearful bondage to man. Your thinking has been done for you. This is cult behaviour and no true Christian should allow themselves to be trapped in it.

          Much of what is happening to the church at large [and the world in general]  is the result of Humanistic ‘transformation’ programmes – a dialectic process, which used to be called by it’s proper name of Brainwashing. Once you understand it, it explains such a lot of puzzling things that are going on these days.  Many Christians have fallen for it out of ignorance and naivety.  It shows itself in Management systems, political correctness, educational changes, health policies, church outreach and growth and buzz words.

           There are lots of revealing articles to be found on some really useful discernment web sites …. a google search should easily find them. Here are a few good ones:  ‘ The Agenda & Teaching of the New Apostolic Reformation’  which is on the Apologetics Co-Ordination site,   ‘Creating Community’  on Crossroad site and ‘Are You in the Throes of Transformation?’ on Discernment Ministries international.

            There are two opposing views of the church in our day  – one sees an exciting revival around the corner as God ‘restores’  it to transform the world , the other sees a church becoming increasingly apostate in fulfillment of Bible prophecy for the last days. Which is correct?

  Well, I think Rev 3:17  and the many warnings by the Lord and His Apostles indicate the latter, don’t you?

           I am a natural coward and weak in myself  – especially as End Time believers are not promised an easy time, but it drives me to the Lord’s arms for refuge and reliance upon His word. He is faithful, merciful and our strength, for He cannot deny Himself. Who else can we go to?

For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall he hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.   Psalm 27:5

…. when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.    Psalm 61:2

My soul, wait only upon God, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my Rock and my salvation He is my defense, I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the Rock of my strength and my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times you people, pour out your heart before Him – God is a refuge for us.  Psalm 62: 5-8

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   My deep desire is for the Lord to use this Blog to reach out to my unbelieving family and friends. I enjoy writing and I am much more comfortable writing than speaking on the phone for instance – but that may be because of my partial deafness.

  God forbid that I should use it as an indulgence or ego trip ! I’ve no idea if any of them read this anyway as nobody ever mentions it.  Even so , I have to relate my own experience as an unbeliever to use as a springboard for what is to follow.

  I knew the gospel story from days spent in Sunday School when my Mum sent me and my sister there to get us out of the house. I have fond memories of singing about Jesus and my cup running over and being  h-a-p-p-y …..  and I knew the story was that  Jesus came to ‘save’  us.   But it was just a story about a good man who performed miracles and said wise things.

  But as I grew into adulthood the words ‘saved’ and ‘salvation’ were just words to be laughed at, as they were carried about on sandwich boards attached to men’s shoulders. I had no grasp of its meaning. I resented the fact that a middle-class church [ Cof E was all I knew] and clergymen with posh voices and a good standard of living had the cheek to tell us working -class folk that we were sinners. I knew full well that I was a good person and not a hypocrite like them [ tongue in cheek].

   So I know that for most people, Christianity comes with a lot of baggage that gets in the way of the simple Gospel message – hence they don’t see the forest for the trees and give up even bothering to look., especially as the world tells them it’s all a lie anyway. No wonder The Lord said we need to become as little children.

   When Jesus walked this earth in Roman occupied Judea [ named Palestina by them after the Philistines, Israel’s enemies] , He had much to say to the religious Jews who faithfully kept their rituals but didn’t really know their God.

   He continually pointed them to the Scriptures in relation to Himself in prophecy. He told them they had become hard of hearing – everything was so familiar to them, they were self-righteous and they just weren’t listening any more. They thought they knew it all.

   Matthew chapter 13 is also I believe , a real commentary on what is happening in our time. The Disciples asked the Lord why He was speaking to the people in parables and He said it was in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy and because people’s hearts had grown hard. They had closed their eyes and ears to what God required of them. They needed the truth in the form of stories to give them something  to THINK  about.

     Well – I guess that my unbelieving family and friends need parables too, for they surely have shut down on the Gospel message. People  in our western world have  become so familiar with Christianity that they no longer value it – quite the opposite – it has become a thorn in the flesh. Among my own, mention of God is not welcome at all – ‘ don’t try to foist your religion on me !’  Well, yes – I used to think  like that too, but with God , all things are possible and thankfully He saved me 49 years ago when I at last responded to His gospel.

     The Lord was right when He told His followers : ” But blessed are your eyes, for they see and your ears, for they hear”  Matt:13:16

     On a broader front, the evangelical church, which was once the custodian of the true Gospel, has experienced this same lack of interest and so they have tried to take matters into their own hands by becoming more ‘user-friendly’.  They have apostasized from the straightforward, uncompromising word of God to become a social-centred, purpose-driven, corporate – managed church that includes believers and non-believers alike. Fraternising with the world for the sake of a false unity and kidding themselves that the world will love them for it. They forget that friendship with the world is enmity with God. [James 4:4]  The result is that the church sinks more and more into sin itself  – how can it be the light it should be when people can see no difference? The church doesn’t change the world [God changes individuals]  – the world changes the church.

       So, in the hope that my unbelieving reader’s ears and eyes  haven’t grown too dull for the truth to register – and in the absence of my own parables to enlighten –  I will simply repeat the wonderful words of the Lord Jesus to everyone, whether listening or not, for they have proved true for millions of people throughout history. He is throwing you a life-line.

” ….. I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in Me , though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25,26

” For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16

” He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.  John 3:36

   To those who refuse the grace He offers, it is not good news …..

” I said therefore to you that you shall die in your sins : for if you don’t believe I am He, you will die in your sins” John 8:24

  Our sins and sinful nature were dealt with by Jesus when He died on the cross. We are like the condemned person waiting in our cell, but the wonderful good news is that He has taken the punishment we justly deserve , but only if we believe it.  You will then experience the new birth spoken of  in John chapter 3. Yes – we still die a physical death as all mankind will – but because Jesus rose from the dead we will too.

Let me know your thoughts and email me if you don’t want to go public.

God bless –  maranatha!

 

  

  

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squirrel

Is there a better theory for life’s origin[s] than evolution?

In spite of fooling almost everyone [it seems] into believing it is proven fact – including a significant number of theists –  the alternative theory,  that life was originally created by an Intelligent Master Designer,  fits the observable facts much more satisfactorily.

I love cats, so I was looking forward to watching a tv programme last night that studied their behaviour. Of course, true to form, the usual evolutionary explanations and analysis supported the project.

All the interpretations of the data came from the belief  that the cat has evolved and still is evolving from it’s wild ancestry – becoming more and more domesticated as a result of living with humans in their homes. But of course – this isn’t ‘evolution’ in action but simply adaptation to its environment.  A cat is still a cat within the bounds of the cat family and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest they ever evolved/developed from another species or ‘kind’ as the Bible puts it. Nor will it ever grow into anything else [except with Man’s attempted bizarre manipulations] – no matter how long the time-scale evolutionists want to invent. [ you can read about carbon dating methods on the Creation.com web site]

If  a theory is presented as fact often enough , especially by the ‘scientific’ fraternity – then people believe it must be true … what does it matter if we massage the facts occasionally to fit the theory or make fraudulent claims of ‘missing links’ ?  [ The mere fact that they are still missing should give us a clue here]. And while we’re at it – let’s not forget to hold up to ridicule those who believe in a Creator God, so that we can reinforce our bogus case.

True Science should be open-minded and objective but so often these days it begins and ends with an anti-God bias and purely emotional arguments. Both ‘theories’ should be explained in schools/colleges and Universities so that students can make up their own minds from the factual evidence and not from biased opinions one way or the other, and certainly ‘faith’ schools should have the freedom to teach creationism. But in todays world that is highly unlikely.

Not only is evolution the greatest hoax ever foisted upon mankind, but it’s consequences are dire. It robs people of their God-given sense that we are sinful creatures, in need of  His salvation.  The life, death and resurrection of Christ becomes irrelevant and meaningless, and yet His story is the most important and urgent to pay attention to.

Life itself  becomes cheap and valueless under evolutionary/atheistic philosophy – evidenced in the thoughtless killing of the unborn.  I recently read of a ‘tweet’  by Richard Dawkins that:  “with respect to those meanings of ‘human’  that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig”.

Assisted suicide and euthanasia will soon become Law I’m sure, as the Lord’s restraining hand is lifted and He gives people over to what they choose to do. Evolution considers death to be a ‘natural’ thing rather than a tragedy for humankind ….. God made all things good originally and death entered the world through sin. Man is still reaping the fruits of that and the only remedy is the gospel of Christ … but who is listening?

Thank God, for the believer , we know the beginning and the end of the story ….. we know that from God’s word, the Bible.  God has always had a remant of people in the darkest of times and we need Him more than ever as the Bible story comes to fruition and we see it unfolding before our eyes in the land of Israel particularly – but that is for a future blog maybe.

Well – I ‘ve strayed  away from my first musings about cats haven’t I  – but you know how one thing can lead to another…..

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122         That Paragon of all knowledge Richard Dawkins says that the Universe has  ‘no design,  no purpose , no evil, no good , nothing but blind, pitiless indifference’

Prof. William Provine, of Cornell University, says : ‘There is no life after death. When I die I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, no free will for humans either’.

It looks like they’re living in denial to me …..

I had a conversation with a friend some time ago in which I suggested that if God doesn’t exist then life has no ultimate meaning or purpose. He readily agreed and said in a matter of fact way , that he was quite happy in his belief that life is pointless. There is nothing special about man or the earth- we are simply insignificant  in the Universe – just another planet. I couldn’t help wondering if this was just bravado on his part  ….. the Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things and that God searches our hearts.

The Agnostic doesn’t seem to fare much better. I have a dear friend whose wife died around the same time that my husband went to be with the Lord. He wrote this simply- stated but very poignant poem that sums up that feeling of loss exactly.

One plate, one cup, one piece of toast,

No need to bother with Sunday roast

Awake at five, it’s hard to sleep

Another day, more time to weep

One voice, no sound, no one around

Opinions kept, no one to share

I am just one, no more a pair

Nothing to say, the future’s bare.

 

Humanly speaking, I really identify with the desolation expressed by my friend. It is all too true , even when the years pass. However, for the Christian believer the story doesn’t end there thank God. I have that wonderful little word HOPE to sustain me and change my outlook. That hope is not the worldly, airy-fairy kind, but the Bible kind, which is a sure anchor and comes with the knowledge of God as Creator and Saviour in my life.

Nobody is born an atheist, it’s something we choose to be as we get older. But we all have that inherent ‘something’ within us that tells us our lives have just got to be more than the physical here and now. Even the atheist has a conscience and knows right from wrong instinctively. The trouble is that conscience can become warped and seared when it is without the guidance and knowledge of God’s will.

Those who claim to be atheists fall into two camps I believe – on the one hand, those who genuinely think there is no evidence for the existence of God and on the other, those who come to their atheism in a rebellious stance toward a God/religion they don’t like. The former think that evolution has proved there is no God because that’s what they’ve been told by ‘scientists’ and the latter have a vendetta [prolonged bitter hostility]  against God from purely emotional arguments rather than the actual evidence.

There are definite evidences of this in Richard Dawkin’s writings. Any alternative theory about origins is grasped at like straws when you don’t want to believe in an Intelligent Creator. Did everything really make itself – no matter how obviously impossible that is? Hmm – they do believe in miracles after all!

Most people though, are content to just amble through life in an agnostic sort of way, with the vague hope that , if there is a God, He will be amicable towards them because they’ve done their best to live a good life etc. But my question is –  where does Jesus fit in and what is His relevance to you?  Well –  that’s the sticking point of the matter, because your response to His Son is what matters to God.

Death comes no matter what your beliefs are and death entered our world through sin [not a popular word nowadays is it?] .  Jesus came into this world to save us from this serious situation and to make certain that we KNOW , if we believe in Him , that when physical death comes , we will have everlasting life.  Is it worth being an atheist/agnostic then?

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the things that God has prepared for those who love Him. I would rather live and die with that promise, than with the bleak, pointlessness of the unbeliever. It’s a no-brainer to me …. all it takes is a genuine bit of humility to admit you’ve been wrong and deserve nothing , and tell God so. You will have to take that leap of faith of  course – but God is with you if you trust Him. He will fill you with love, joy and peace that you never experienced before. There is nothing you can give Him except your thanks.

Please share your thoughts …..        Eileen

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