A black church in Mississippi was burned and vandalized with pro-Donald Trumpgraffiti late Tuesday. Authorities responded to the fire at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, Tuesday night. Delta Daily News reports that the majority of the damage was to the main sanctuary and there were no reported injuries. Someone had spray-painted the words “Vote Trump” along the side of the building. A woman at the nearby Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church told The Huffington Post that Hopewell is a historically black church. She said the community is in shock over what happened.
Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons called the incident “a heinous, hateful and cowardly act” in a press conference Wednesday, adding that it was “an attack on the black church and the black community.” “This happened in the ‘50s and the ‘60s,” he said. “This should not happen in 2016.” Police Chief Delando Wilson said police are interviewing witnesses and talking to “a person of interest,” although there are no suspects yet. The FBI told The Clarion-Ledger, a Mississippi newspaper, that it is aware of the situation and is investigating to “determine if any civil rights crimes were committed.” There is already a GoFundMe page raising money to repair the church. GoFundMe told HuffPost it is working with the organizer of the page and will only release the funds to the church directly.
ROGELIO V. SOLIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Greenvile Fire Chief Ruben Brown said firefighters found flames and smoke coming from the sanctuary just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Marriage should be considered not an institution but rather a state of being. Relationships, hopefully intimate, tend to have the most challenges as they are managed from the outcomes and events of the world rather than the collaborated efforts of the pairing. This pairing, by today’s standards, means that there is balanced and open communication to deal with issues from family, economics, and well-being. But what happens when those challenges overwhelm and collaboration and communication becomes static?
General solutions tell us that couples therapy is the start to help to reignite trust in a relationship. Trusting a partner is the work in relationships. The opinions that partners have comes from those experiences that have shaped and mature each individual. As issues arise and a solution must be arrived at; trust in each other’s thoughts and actions have to be respected in order to come to a resolution. Here is where the work comes in. Resolutions need a goal set for it to be completed. Knowing what milestones need to be completed and focusing on them is what most people do not have or lose sight of while in the process of the plan. Recently, a plan which may have been in the works seems to be slowing or is becoming increasingly harder to start. Instead of committing to the plan and working toward that 1st goal, we failed to focus and fell back into a place of panic. Panic leads to fear, then a disconnection, and finally no communication. It is not so much the one that hurts but the many. Does it mean one gives in to the easy and remains separate in thinking and action? Would the right path be that of the fearful just allowing issues to destroy or the tired to give in to separation in growth but what of the hopeful? Hopeful?
Psalm 121, 5-6.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Marriage is a bond on the surface by a record, but what of those fundamentals that we hold dear in religion. We look at each other as individuals sorting this perilous adventure of life day by day and then seeing how to navigate to the next. There is the question. Is it to be left to God’s will as to a position or circumstance or is a belief the aid for the day and then the choice is our own? Knowing that we have steps is understood, do we know what those steps are or go with the proverbial flow? The former means we should write down goals, set our milestones and adjust. The latter has goals but God has our steps already defined so allow the instances to lead one. There is a 3rd scenario a combination of the two. The balance and discipline to commit is the challenge and follow thru the process. We woke to face the day, God’s blessing has anointed our steps.
Write it down. What are our goals? When are the milestones? Who are the stakeholders? What are our the contingencies? It is a belief that visualization is the best way to record a plan. Graphically or a wordy plan can help with that focus that is needed to complete tasks. Many businesses, institutions, and plans rely on the written word to implement plans to make the participant reach whatever the goal is. Then partnership in a marriage can do the same, as both partners, need to commit to the focus.
Looking at the science and the religious aspects, it is evident that with every moment, decisions are more complex and need a thoughtfulness to make it worthwhile and sustainable. Simple and quick is based on a feeling and not in rational discovery to a resolve. Openness to change is a culmination of patience and understanding of partners in a relationship. A willingness to try and fail together, rather than fall into one’s fear and close off the connection.
For anyone who doesn’t get the BLM movement, the critical need for criminal justice reform, or the danger of calls for more ‘law and order’-watch 13th and if you still don’t get it, then I’ll just have to assume that you have no soul.
From slave to criminal with one amendment. 13TH is now on Netflix.
It was one of Donald Trump’s first powerful endorsements: Jerry Falwell Jr., who testified for many evangelical Christians that despite leading a life of excess, the thrice-married, trash-talking mogul was indeed a God-fearing president-in-waiting.
But Falwell’s plunge into presidential politics did not sit so well with intimates of his late father, Jerry Falwell Sr., nor with some at Liberty University, the Christian college in Virginia founded by the elder Falwell and now led by his son.
Mark DeMoss, who for many years served as chief of staff to Falwell Sr. and considered the televangelist a second father, said in an interview that it was a mistake for Falwell Jr. to endorse Trump. He said the Republican front-runner’s insult-laden campaign has been a flagrant rejection of the values Falwell Sr. espoused and Liberty promotes on its campus.
“Donald Trump is the only candidate who has dealt almost exclusively in the politics of personal insult,” DeMoss said. “The bullying tactics of personal insult have no defense — and certainly not for anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. That’s what’s disturbing to so many people. It’s not Christ-like behavior that Liberty has spent 40 years promoting with its students.”
DeMoss, a public affairs executive with deep ties throughout the national evangelical community, sits on the board of Liberty University and chairs its executive committee. He said he has discussed his views about Trump personally with Falwell Jr. — “This appears to be something we’re just going to disagree on,” DeMoss said — but otherwise has kept his opinions private.
On Monday, however, with Trump poised for sweeping Super Tuesday victories, including in Virginia and in DeMoss’s home state of Georgia, DeMoss decided to break his silence in an interview with The Washington Post.
As this election cycle intensifies and draws to a close one thing is certain, is that left in it’s wake will be a wasteland of casualties.
Like a flatland after a Tornado, or a caribbean Island after a category four hurricane there will be hell to pay regardless of who wins or who loses come November 8th.
Chief among the list of victims will be the American Electoral process . This process flawed though it was, had not seen a candidate of the coarseness and crassness of Republican candidate Donald J Trump, certainly not in our lifetime.
Certainly some would argue also that neither have the process seen a flawed and controversial candidate as Hillary Clinton ,the Nation’s first female candidate ever to be nominated as the standard bearer for a major political party.
Also among the casualties will be the Evangelical movement. This movement has traditionally rallied around the Republican Party which they argue is more in line with their values.
There has always been much to debate on that presumption , of course the issue of Abortion has been front and center in the Evangelical movement’s aversion to the Democratic Party.
That is understandable but the movement never quite got around to the bread and butter issues of feeding the poor , sheltering the poor, speaking to the killing of defenseless minorities which the Democratic Party speaks to somewhat . On those issues the Evangelical movement has been silent.
On the occasion Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the Presidency many in the Evangelical movement began a scorched earth campaign against Obama, they labeled him a Muslim , some said he was a Manchurian candidate here to destroy the United States. He was called a Kenyan interloper who wasn’t born in the country.
Today less than a month until election day Evangelical leaders and supporters have a decision to make and many of them are making it . Will they support Donald Trump a man who has openly derided literally every group to whom he is opposed .
Will the Christian Right throw it’s support behind a candidate for President who openly talks about grabbing women’s pussy because he is a star?
Will the Evangelical movement stand with a man whom even secular members of his own party are falling over themselves to get away from?
The Republican nominee bragged that he could grab women “by the pussy” without their permission because he is a star.
If the 700 Club’s Pat Robertson is anything to go by, there is no problem with anything Trump said.
“A guy does something 11 years ago, it was a conversation in Hollywood where he’s trying to look like he’s macho,” Robertson said. “And 11 years after that they surface it from The Washington Post or whatever, bring it out within 30 days or so of the election and this is supposed to be the death blow and everybody writes him off, ‘Okay, he’s dead, now you’ve got to get out of the way and let Mike Pence run the campaign.’”
Lets imagine Barack Obama being found out having said those things. But before we get to that , as a person who played several sports I have never heard anyone talking about grabbing woman’s genitalia, not even close.
Sure guys talk about having scored with women , mostly the women they talked about were mainly nameless, faceless ,figments of their imagination. And yes, that is usually geared at appearing manly, to belong.
Never in my life however, have I heard any guy bragging about grabbing a woman’s most intimate parts as part of any group , locker room or otherwise.
Now imagine the terms which these very same people would be using to describe Obama were these same comments attributed to him. Thug. Criminal. Animal. Predator. Are just a few of the choice words which would have been thrown around.
His candidacy would have been a joke, it would have ended the moment those tapes surfaced.
Barack Obama was excoriated for having attended a Church where the Reverend Jeremiah Wright spoke out against what he saw as America’s sins against Black Americans.
Obama was forced to deliver a historic speech on race to get his budding campaign back on track as a result.
So Obama was held accountable for being a member of a church where the preacher spoke eloquently against the inequities being visited on people whom America and the Republican Right never cared about to begin with, but Trump has no responsibility for talking about committing crimes against women.
Is there any wonder that young people are walking away from the church? Should anyone be surprised that college educated people are looking at the hypocrisy of those who purport to speak on God’s behalf with incredulous disdain? 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3New King James Version (NKJV) The Great Apostasy
2 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ[a] had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[b] is revealed, the son of perdition.
In the end voters will chose whom they want . Like it or not, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be elected the 45th President of the United States . That choice will have defining consequences for the Nation for decades to come.
As the conversation continues about what the verdict will be for convicted Cleric Al Miller, there are no shortage of opinions within the public space as to what his punishment should be, or even whether he should have been convicted in the first place.
It is important to remind ourselves that Al Miller was pulled over by the police having in his vehicle fugitive from Justice Christopher (duddus) coke , who was wanted to be extradited to the United States to answer to charges for which he is now serving time in a Federal facility.
At the time Miller argued that he was doing a favor to Coke who feared for his life as his father had suffered death in a Jamaican jail at a time he too was awaiting extradition to the United States to answer to criminal charges.
Christopher Coke who was Jamaica’s most established and feared crime lord could have used what happened to his father as a reminder to go in another direction.
Instead he not only took over his father’s criminal empire in Tivoli Gardens he exponentially expanded it.
For his actions in trying to aid and abet the escape of Coke, Al Miller was found guilty in a Kingston criminal court.
The guilty verdict was surprising to many court watchers including this writer who have little to no confidence in the willingness of the Jamaican courts to act in accordance with its mandate.
Many Jamaicans who understand the court’s reluctance and inability to find and hold criminals responsible for their actions, also found the guilty verdict surprising .
Some who celebrate this finding do so for political reasons, however this writer sees this guilty verdict as a useless exercise,unless there are significant punitive consequences for Miller as allowed by law.
Guilty verdicts are something reserved for the poorest of the poor who are unconnected politically, or by class .
Al Miller’s verdict must have created severe shock to another esteemed member of the cloth .
In an editorial piece appearing in the Jamaica Observer Dr Gerry O Gallimore former president/CEO of YFC International, and retired senior pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church wrote.
Under the headline Al Miller put himself at great risk as did Bogle and Sharpe. In the noble tradition of the Christian prophets and of our national heroes whose life-changing legacies we celebrate at this time, God sometimes moves His servants to disregard their personal safety so as to secure a greater good for the nation. Are we, in 2016, going to indict servants of God like Sam Sharpe and Paul Bogle all over again? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Al-Miller-put-himself-at-risk–as-did-Bogle-and-Sharpe_70097
I did not bother reading the entire text of Gallimore’s Article, sufficing to say I would like to point the goodly writer to a single passage of scripture.
And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.
Jesus was responded to Pharisees wishing to trap him into saying they should not pay taxes to caesar the Roman Emperor whose armies occupied Jerusalem at the time.
As followers of Jesus Christ we do his Ministry and ultimate his death a tremendous disservice when we wrap ourselves in Christianity after running afoul of human laws.
It is reprehensible when we do that, because as christians we are selling a can of beans to would be converts if we believe there are no rules in heaven.
If we believe in God, If we believe in heaven and hell, we have to also believe in consequences for actions.
There is no scriptural basis or justification for not respecting earthly laws. In fact that is exactly what the scripture quoted above spoke to .
There is absolutely no scriptural precedent or evidence which indicate or suggest that Jesus supported the breaking of earthly laws.
Biblical scriptures are replete with examples where adherence to earthly laws are urged as a precursor to adherence to God’s laws.
While Jesus walked the earth he broke no law , even though he spoke about the injustice of said laws.
Al Miller, despite his motivations, took it upon himself not only to meet with a felon from the law, he took active steps to remove that suspect from the jurisdiction without the authority do so.
That is criminal conduct, it is not Christian conduct.
If we cannot adhere to earthly laws how can we present ourselves as ambassadors of christ and his kingdom?
I had the distinct honor of being this month’s Beulah Baptist Church (LAMP) Meditation speaker ,Leaders And Members in Prayer.
It was encouraging to see our political leaders take the time to attend and acknowledge God as their source.
We may sometimes disagree on policy but what all of us agree on is that Jesus Christ is Lord and we need him in whatever we do.
Thanks to County Executive Marc Malinaro, Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, County and city Legislators , Police Chief Ron Knapp , Judges and other leaders who attended. Our Pastor was a little under the weather this morning but we continue to pray God’s cover over him.
They told me I have 5 minutes to do this meditation this morning and in obedience I intend to stick with the directives I was given. Nevertheless I am guided by my pastor who always said….If you help me with this little sermon I will be done soon , if not, I will have to go over it again.
There are several variations to the definition for the word ” STEWARD”. However every variations of the definitions of steward has a common thread. A steward is one whose job it is to look after or take care of an event, to organize, or to be care-taker of a property , on behalf of another .
I want to talk to you briefly this morning about “ACCOUNTABLE STEWARDSHIP” The Beulah Church Theme for this year is COMMITTED and ACCOUNTABLE STEWARDS. Let me first thank my Pastor whose leadership made it possible for opinionated members of his flock ,like myself to speak to you this morning. I thank him for the opportunity. I thank you all for coming here this morning so we may fellowship and worship together as well. I want to make my brief address about how we treat this Earth we are given stewardship of . As well as how we treat each other in line with this year’s theme.
It’s important that before we talk about “STEWARDSHIP” we establish that before stewardship there was “OWNERSHIP”.
This planet on which we live was created by God, for God.
I know some of you are now looking at me funny right?
What is he talking about ?
I know God made this earth for me, he made it for all of us !!!
Let’s see what the word of God have to say about that. Colossians 1:16 ?……For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.
HOW DID HE DO IT ?
Psalm 24–1-2 ( KJV) The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Yes he own us too….
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Genesis 1:3 ? Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 “God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Let me ask you this, and I mean it in the most respectful way , if you don’t believe in my God, and you really don’t have to because he gave us free will. Can your God do any of those thinks I just spoke about. Can your God create galaxies out of nothing? Can your God tell the storms to “be still” and the roaring winds bow in obedience?
That’s the greatness of the God I worship. That’s what excites me when I talk about him. My God…
A very famous Pastor teaches that John is referred to as the disciple that Jesus loved, but those claims are only to be found………..
You guessed it, only in the book of John.
The way mankind has behaved since the beginning of time you would think we owned the earth right?
The whole purpose of my little talk here this morning is to expound on the goodness and graciousness of God. I say this despite my personal pain and hurt, as most of you are aware I carry a deep hurt after our son Kodi went home to be with the lord. Nevertheless when we consider God’s graciousness and love for us, everything pales under the light of his grace.
◄ John 3:16 ►For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whomever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
You know I was taught this scripture since I was in Kindergarten and correctly so . But no one bothered to teach me that the world we live in was not made for me to abuse.
No one told me that it wasn’t prudent to drill in every place for oil because it does irreparable damage to the delicate eco-system.
No one told me it wasn’t really mine so I should take care not to pollute our drinking water for profit.
No one bothered to teach me only to kill what I needed to eat . That I had no right to sacrifice the earth’s creatures on the altar of sports , rendering many species extinct with reckless abandon and cynical disregard.
No one bothered to teach me it really is not yours , take good care of it you are only a steward.
How many of you would build a great big mansion fill it with beautiful furnishings, expensive and priceless Artwork. Make arrangement for the finest foods and the best wines to be delivered in abundance, then give the house to your friends rent free? You don’t return to bother your friends , no nit-picking all you ask is that they take care of it. Well my question is rhetorical because I don’t believe any of you would do it and neither would I .
But God did !!!
But since God loves us so much he did what we wouldn’t do and that was just the beginning because even after giving us all of the goodness and abundance of the earth free of charge we turned our back on him in rebellion. And so you say, that wasn’t me that was Adam and Eve, I’m just being held accountable for their sins.
When was the last time you fed the hungy?
When was the last time you visited the sick?
When was the last time you cared for the widowed?
If you fail at these simple requirements Jesus asked of us , how can you in good conscience say you are a Christian? If we fail to comply with these simple requests how can we say these sins were Adam and Eve’s when you openly defy God, and rebel against his commands.
So God created this wonderful planet for himself yet he loves us so much that he made us steward over it. On that basis we have a responsibility to treat it well and probably more importantly treat each other well . ………………
I get goose bumps when I think about this , it is absolutely one of my favorite things to talk about with my saved brothers and sisters.
I particularly delight in talking to the unsaved about the bigness and greatness of God , yet he takes time to be concerned about me.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you, before you were born I set you apart . I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
HOW AWESOME IS THAT ?
Good took the time to set me apart, to set you apart.
There never was anyone like you since the beginning of time and there never will be another you. He took the time to form me in my mother’s womb to raise me up to bring me through all my tribulation and trials to stand tall to pronounce his name for his Glory so that all shall know that he is God.
Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. One of the trending narrative these days is that God Almighty must be a narcissistic God because he wants us to give him all the praise, all the glory .Of course any untrue narrative that goes unchecked becomes false truths if left long enough…..
God wants us to give him all the glory , but there is a very valid reason for it. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
When God blesses our lives he wants us to give him the glory not because he is an insecure God. No, it’s not because he is a narcissistic God who sits and wait for adulation.
Psalm 100:3 Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
God wants us to tell others of the good works he has wrought in us so that they too may come to see him as their source. So that they too may be saved . God wants all of us , his children to be saved……….. safe with him.
You are in the desert, your throat is parched and dry from the thirst you stumble and gasp for air . Are your eyes deceiving you, is that an Oasis on the horizon, or is it a mirage? Are your eyes playing tricks on you again? After all you have seen what you thought was an Oasis in the distance before, as you peered out of your glazed eyes. Only to find out your un-dilated eyes were playing tricks on you. , . Nevertheless you stumble on, you fall, you get up and you drag yourself along until finally. Trees…. …wait could that be …..
Oh yes it’s water , you fall face down in it , you drink to your heart’s content. You roll around in it, you fill your water bottle , you are refreshed ..
You continue on your way with renewed strength.
You come upon a stranger he is thirsty and exhausted like you were.
You pull out your water bottle you give him swigs of the life giving water.
You keep some water for yourself and you point him to the source .
You give them a swig but there is a source.
It’s not you .
He is .
Your bottle will run empty so you give what you can, but you direct him to the un-ending source. The source never loses its life-giving freshness, it never gets brackish.
The source never runs out . The source is Jesus Christ the Oasis in the desert …. Our God does not need our adulation nor our recognition, he is God all by himself .
We give him the Glory so others may come to know him as their lord and savior.
So they too may experience his goodness.
So they too can understand the sanctity of being good stewards.
After all if we are all good stewards God’s house is in good shape.
There seem to be more sermons justifying greed ,lasciviousness, getting rich, societal acceptance, sexual perversion and a general sense of “do you it’s all good” coming from many pulpits these days.
There seem to be a zero sum approach by some preachers who bellow their brand of Christianity with a sense of certitude which indicate that those opposed to their interpretation of Christianity are out of touch, out of date Neanderthals worthy of derision and scorn.
I am loathe to listen to many of them because their sermons amount to nothing but noise designed to reach only those within earshot, whether in the room or those who watch on Television or watch their performance on YouTube.
Yes most of what passes for the preaching of the word of God these days is simply a performance for their own sense of personal aggrandizement. Matthew 6:7 ►And whenever you are praying, you shall not be verbose like the heathen, for they think that they are heard by speaking much.
They speak and they wait for applause as if they are performers, or are they? The Bible is the word of God, it is the undiluted truth of God . Jesus came he said he did not come to change what was written but to fulfill what was written. Yet there are no shortage of preachers today who are preaching a brand of get-along gospel designed to fill the pews and the offering baskets and not much more.
Absent is the unvarnished word of God challenging sin where it persists . No Pastor has the authority to invalidate parts of God’s holy word because it does not jive with his world-view. No Preacher may dissect the scripture to suit the narrative he/she wants to advance.
Either you believe God’s word and try to live by them or you don’t ! God’s word is unchanging , it stands on it’s own, it does not need anything or anyone to clarify it or to make it palatable. We don’t get to change God’s word to make it applicable to the times. God’s word was from the beginning of time, it has withstood all attempts to change and destroy it, man has no power to change one iota of what God imparted to us through divine inspiration .
How dare any preacher take out what he/she believes and discard parts which do not jive with the feel good new-age gibberish they want to sell to those who want their own version of Salvation.
No you have no authority to justify any sin. Not murder , not adultery, not fornication, not stealing , not envy , not Homosexuality , not any sin.
Christians have a right and indeed a duty to speak out against sin. We have a duty to live a life free from sin as much as we can.
Of course we do sin ,when we sin unintentionally we pray and ask God for forgiveness God’s grace cleanses us of our sins.
We do not get to continue presumptuous sinning while claiming to be born again .
We come as we are ………………We do not get to continue as we were while claiming rebirth.
I rebuke the so-called preachers of the gospel who continue to teach that it’s okay to remain in sin .
Where is it written? God’s words are sacrosanct.
How does the Church differentiate itself from the world if the Church conforms to the dictates of the world?
On whose authority are these preachers teaching that we may continue to do the things we were doing because if anyone dare question it they are guilty of judging?
I have news for these idolaters and workers of inequity God’s judgement will be swift , his wrath will be kindled against your lying tongue . For you seek not to lead his people to his light , you seek to lead them to your version of Salvation and for that he will hold you accountable.
John the Baptist preached against sin he was Martyred. Jesus Christ preached against sin he was martyred.
You Apostates have no Authority to accommodate, authenticate, negate, or validate sin.
Only God can wash away sin .
No it’s not judging to speak out against stealing!
No it’s not judging to speak out against murderers!
It is not judging to speak out against Homosexuality!
It is not judging to speak out against liars!
It is not judging to speak out against fornicators!
That’s what we are supposed to do yet we are supposed to love them . For we should love the sinner but hate the sin.
All sin is sin but you can’t shut us up for speaking out against the ones you don’t want us to speak out against because you are practicing that sin.
So for the Black Homosexual pastors who want us to shut up about their lifestyle we will not shut up ,no we will continue to speak out and condemn Homosexuality as we speak out and condemn all other forms of sin.
Many of you charlatans who purport to preach the word of God are worse than the unsaved who have made no profession of faith. Many of you are fornicators, adulterers, thieves, liars and yes homosexuals so you cannot preach out against the sin many of your congregants know you are wallowing in.
You are impostors , not Pastors !!! Many of you do not preach the coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ you preach about getting that new car, that new house , how to attract that new beau. You are heathens you deceiver of the brethren.
How can we endeavor to extricate ourselves from sin if we are unable to identify it ?
How can pastors create the narrative that sinners coming to Christ can continue in their sin ?
I Have a word for you preachers who presume to water down Gods word to make it more acceptable to the cheering crowds you want to adore you .
I have a word for you who look around for adoring congregants who are enthused by the words of perdition dripping from your lying lips with new-age anything goes doctrine.
I am calling you out because thus sayeth the lord.
1“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the LORD.2Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the LORD.…
“My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.
God call us to come out from the world so that we may be seen as a light on a hill which cannot be hid.
It’s not what we say which will draw people to Christ it is the way we live our lives.
That is why it is critically important that our lives are able to stand God’s scrutiny.
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God but the gift of God is eternal life.
There are far too many who are preaching what the world want to hear and not what the scriptures says.
Jesus could have been crowned King but that wasn’t his purpose .
He came to preach and teach the unvarnished word of his father who sent him.
He shunned the crown the world wanted to bestow on him so that we may be saved and have life eternal.
You pastors who continue to preach that apostate gospel will receive the worldly crowns you crave but it will be coals of fire on your heads.
In the twentieth century, Christianity in Africa exploded from an estimated population of eight or nine million in 1900 (8 to 9%) to some 335 million in 2000 (45%), marking a shift in the “center of gravity of Christianity” from the West to Latin America, parts of Asia and Africa. We thank the Overseas Ministries Study Center (OMSC) for the information and material used in this issue. Statistical information provided by David Barrett.
At the turn of the 20th century, Christianity was virtually nonexistent in many parts of Africa but is now the faith of the majority, as the following figures demonstrate:
% Christians in 1900
% Christians in 2000
Other African countries with a significant Christian population are:
Saint Helena 96.2%
Sao Tomé & Principe 95.8%
Cape Verde Islands 95.1%
South Africa 83.1%
Spanish North Africa 80.3%
Equatorial Guinea 76.6%
Central African Republic 67.8%
The African Story: Amazing Growth, Unthinkable Persecution
In the 20th century alone, there have been some 1.8 million Christian martyrs in Africa. This figure does not take into account the estimated 600,000 Christians who have died in the genocidal conflicts in Rwanda and Burundi, nor does it fully account for the more than two million deaths in the 17 years of Sudanese civil war waged by the militant Islamist government on the predominantly Christian population of the south.
The Dictionary of African Christian Biography
The spread of the faith in Africa represents perhaps the most dramatic advance in all Christian history, and yet the names and stories of persons chiefly responsible are largely unknown. The Dictionary of African Christian Biography (DACB), sponsored by the Overseas Ministries Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut, is an effort to rectify this by gathering stories of the founders and builders of the African church and offering them free over the internet. We consider this a most significant project, and Christian History Institute was eager to help. So last year we assisted in the advance of The Dictionary of African Christian Biography. We urge you to visit their website and make use of the materials: www.dacb.org.
An Historical Overview by Michèle Sigg of DACB
The Christian Church has been continuously present on the African continent since the days of Christ. While the history of African Christianity is multifaceted in its regional development, it is, nevertheless, possible to discern four general phases in the planting and maturing of the African Church.
Part 1: The Genesis of the Church The Ancient Church in Egypt and Ethiopia
During the first three centuries after Christ, Africa was a major center of Christian thought and activity. Origen was from Alexandria in Egypt, while Tertullian and Augustine were from North Africa. By the end of the third century, Christians in the eastern Magrib were in the majority. Sadly, Christianity in much of North Africa virtually disappeared as Islam advanced in the following centuries. In Egypt and in Ethiopia, however, it had taken deep root, and was thus able to survive the Islamic juggernaut and continues to this day.
Part 2: The Continuation of the Sub-Saharan Church The European Contribution
While the Portuguese introduced a Catholic form of Christianity to the Kongo Kingdom (central Africa) between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, there were few, if any, lasting results. Only at the end of the eighteenth century did the Evangelical Revival begin to bring to Africa an influx of missionaries whose labors would produce the first fruits of an enduring Christian presence in Sub-Sahara Africa.
With Western civilization came not only the good intentions of Christianity, however, but also the appallingly devastating transatlantic slave trade and the inevitable excesses of commercial greed manifest in the white foreigners’ insatiable appetite for Africa’s natural resources. Before authentic Christianity could sink its roots deep into African soil, these evils had to be fought.
Two great British champions from the nineteenth century were Thomas Fowell Buxton and Henry Venn, neither of whom ever set foot on African soil. While Buxton sought to fully eradicate the slave trade by encouraging local commercial and agricultural initiatives in its place, Venn is responsible for laying down the principles of the “indigenous church” whereby the nascent African church began to come of age.
Part 3: Passing the Mantle The First African Leadership
For the next two hundred years, African Christians had to struggle against racism and Western spiritual imperialism. But, as Venn had written, if the African church were to mature and establish itself, missionaries had to move on once the seed was sown, leaving indigenous leaders to build the church. Samuel Ajayi Crowther was the first African to be appointed bishop by the Anglican Church. He is the subject of our next issue.
Part 4: “Pentecost” The African Church Seeks Its Own Language
The seeds of the Sub-Saharan church had been planted by Western missionaries. Now, as the Gospel spread throughout the nooks and crannies of the continent, African Christianity began to define itself on its own cultural terms. Reformers within the missionary churches as well as independent church leaders called for change in the institutionalized church. This led to both reform, on the one hand, and to the birth of thousands of “African Initiated Churches” (AICs) on the other.
See more here :The Explosion of Christianity in Africa
Growing up under Christian Zionist and dispensationalist teachings, I took for granted that the following narrative that was presented to me was the correct one:
The Jewish people in Israel are direct descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and God restored them to their land as a nation in 1948 in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are newly-arrived Arabs, mainly from Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, who flooded the land when they saw the Jews beginning to come back from Russia, Europe, and elsewhere.
Although it’s been a number of years since I learned that this narrative is far from correct, more recently I’ve learned some details that, if true, take this distortion to the next level. They show the claims of Christian Zionism and dispensationalism to be even further off-base, not only Biblically but also in terms of history.
I recently read an article written by Schlomo Sand, an Israeli history professor at Tel Aviv University, whose parents were Polish Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. I don’t agree with Sand’s stance on the Old Testament, but he makes some interesting statements regarding the inhabitants of Palestine in the centuries prior to Israel becoming a nation in 1948:
“[After Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 AD], apart from enslaved prisoners, the population of Judea continued to live on their lands, even after the destruction of the second temple. Some converted to Christianity in the 4th century, while the majority embraced Islam during the 7th century Arab conquest.
Most Zionist thinkers were aware of this: Yitzhak Ben Zvi, later president of Israel, and David Ben Gurion, its first prime minister, accepted it as late as 1929, the year of the great Palestinian revolt. Both stated on several occasions that the peasants of Palestine were the descendants of the inhabitants of ancient Judea.“
[See David Ben Gurion and Yitzhak Ben Zvi, Eretz Israel in the past and present, 1918 (in Yiddish), and Jerusalem, 1980 (in Hebrew); Yitzhak Ben Zvi,Our population in the country, Executive Committee of the Union for Youth and the Jewish National Fund, Warsaw, 1929 (in Hebrew).]
Sand goes on to talk about the large impact of Jewish proselytizing, especially during the Middle Ages, when non-Jews, ethnically speaking, converted to the Jewish religion. He adds,
“The most significant mass conversion occurred in the 8th century, in the massive Khazar kingdom between the Black and Caspian seas. The expansion of Judaism from the Caucasus into modern Ukraine created a multiplicity of communities, many of which retreated from the 13th century Mongol invasions into eastern Europe. There, with Jews from the Slavic lands to the south and from what is now modern Germany, they formed the basis of Yiddish culture.”
[Yiddish, spoken by the Jews of eastern Europe, was a Germano-Slavic language incorporating Hebrew words.]
Sand was an Israeli soldier for three years and fought in the Six-Day War of 1967, so it’s interesting what he says next:
“The Israeli forces who seized Jerusalem in 1967 believed themselves to be the direct descendents of the mythic kingdom of David* rather than – God forbid – of Berber warriors or Khazar horsemen. The Jews claimed to constitute a specific ethnic group that had returned to Jerusalem, its capital, from 2,000 years of exile and wandering.
…Since the 1970s supposedly scientific research, carried out in Israel, has desperately striven to demonstrate that Jews throughout the world are closely genetically related… By validating an essentialist, ethnocentric definition of Judaism it encourages a segregation that separates Jews from non-Jews – whether Arabs, Russian immigrants or foreign workers… But Jews worldwide have always tended to form religious communities, usually by conversion; they cannot be said to share an ethnicity derived from a unique origin and displaced over 20 centuries of wandering.“
*Please note that I disagree with Sand when he says that David’s kingdom was mythic.
Arthur Koestler (1905 – 1983) was a Jewish author and journalist from Hungary (later a British citizen) who wrote a book in 1976 titled, “The Thirteenth Tribe: The Khazar Empire and Its Heritage” (available in PDF form here). Koestler’s thesis was that a majority of Jews today have ancestral roots in the ancient Khazar region (corresponding to modern SW Russia, Eastern Ukraine, and Western Kazakhstan), where many members of the Khazar royalty and also of the general population converted to Talmudic Judaism in the 8th century AD and adopted the Yiddish language, which is based on the Hebrew alphabet. Toward the end of Koestler’s book, he summarized its contents with these words:
“In Part One of this book I have attempted to trace the history of the Khazar Empire based on the scant existing sources. In Part Two, Chapters V-VII, I have compiled the historical evidence which indicates that the bulk of Eastern Jewry — and hence of world Jewry — is of Khazar-Turkish, rather than Semitic, origin. In the last chapter I have tried to show that the evidence from anthropology concurs with history in refuting the popular belief in a Jewish race descended from the biblical tribe.”
Koestler stated that his research undermined many accusations of anti-Semitism, since many Jews are not even Semitic. His work was understandably considered to be controversial. Some DNA experts were critical or skeptical of it, while others agreed. Dr. Eran Elhalk and Dr. Avshalom Zoossmann-Diskin are two geneticists who agree with Koestler’s hypothesis. They conducted a 2012 study at John Hopkins University, finding that the European Jewish population featured a mix of Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries. Their work is summed up in this abstract published by Oxford University Press:
The question of Jewish ancestry has been the subject of controversy for over two centuries and has yet to be resolved. The “Rhineland hypothesis” depicts Eastern European Jews as a “population isolate” that emerged from a small group of German Jews who migrated eastward and expanded rapidly. Alternatively, the “Khazarian hypothesis” suggests that Eastern European Jews descended from the Khazars, an amalgam of Turkic clans that settled the Caucasus in the early centuries CE and converted to Judaism in the 8th century. Mesopotamian and Greco–Roman Jews continuously reinforced the Judaized empire until the 13th century. Following the collapse of their empire, the Judeo–Khazars fled to Eastern Europe. The rise of European Jewry is therefore explained by the contribution of the Judeo–Khazars. Thus far, however, the Khazars’ contribution has been estimated only empirically, as the absence of genome-wide data from Caucasus populations precluded testing the Khazarian hypothesis. Recent sequencing of modern Caucasus populations prompted us to revisit the Khazarian hypothesis and compare it with the Rhineland hypothesis. We applied a wide range of population genetic analyses to compare these two hypotheses. Our findings support the Khazarian hypothesis and portray the European Jewish genome as a mosaic of Near Eastern-Caucasus, European, and Semitic ancestries, thereby consolidating previous contradictory reports of Jewish ancestry. We further describe a major difference among Caucasus populations explained by the early presence of Judeans in the Southern and Central Caucasus. Our results have important implications for the demographic forces that shaped the genetic diversity in the Caucasus and for medical studies.
Read more here : Who Are the Jews in Israel Today?
In just the latest sign of his descent into the compromised apostate church, mega-star Prosperity Gospel preacher T.D. Jakes very artfully evaded calling a homosexuality a sin when pressed on the issue in an interview with the Huffington Post. Taking a page from the playbook of Joel Osteen, Jakes made sure not to say anything Biblical in the mainstream media interview and then took a stronger stance once the questions from the Christian community followed. Jakes’ comments reflect the Apostasy – the prophesied falling away in the church from Biblical Christianity.
“It’s A Complex Issue”
Here is the video of Jakes with Huffington Post contributor Marcus Lamont Hill as it turned to the subject of homosexuality in the church:
Hill rephrased the first listener question by asking Jakes “how should the church get along [with homosexuals who want to attend and join]?” This was a question that a pastor who believes in sound, Biblical doctrine could easily answer. The church should get along with members of the LGBT community like it does with all other people – sharing the Biblical Gospel message that we are all sinners who deserve hell but can receive grace thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of sin. But instead of stating Biblical truth, Jakes opted for a non-answer:
“Absolutely… I think it is going to be diverse from church to church. Every church has a different opinion on the issue and every gay person is different,” he replied. “And I think that to speak that the church—the black church, the white church or any kind of church you wanna call it—are all the same, is totally not true.”
Of course this response did not answer the question at all. When further pressed on the issue Jakes gave a ringing endorsement to “gay friendly” or gay-affirming churches: “LGBT’s of different types and sorts have to find a place of worship that reflects what your views are and what you believe like anyone else,” he outlined.
“The church should have the right to have its own convictions and values; if you don’t like those convictions and values [and] you totally disagree with it, don’t try to change my house, move into your own … and find somebody who gets what you get about faith.”
Jakes’ advised gay people who believe homosexuality is not a sin to seek out churches that “reflect their views.” This is basically encouraging people to believe a false Gospel. In the book of Acts, the Apostle Paul gave a farewell exhortation to a group of his disciples knowing he would likely never see them again. In it he said:
“Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:26-28).
Paul said his hands were clean from being responsible for anyone’s life because he preached “all the counsel of God.” In other words, the Apostle did not pick and choose to preach only the portions of the Bible that were pleasant to all people and tickled the ears. He preached God’s entire Word, regardless of how dire or stern it may have seemed to his audience. This is because it is essential for all people to realize their sin before God. All people (this author included) are sinners – the Bible makes this clear: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..”(Romans 3:23). Conviction of that sin is what can lead a person to understand that they need a Savior. And that Savior is The Lord Jesus Christ.
If a person lives their lives violating God’s Word and having no remorse or repentance for that sin, then they could never feel a need for forgiveness. And thus their hearts reject God’s message. And this is precisely what Jakes was promoting by encouraging those in the LGBT community to attend churches that affirm their worldview. This is the clear sign of a heretic and false teacher. In the same passage of Acts 20 where Paul admonishes his disciples to preach “all the counsel of God” he followed that up with a grave warning:“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:29-31). The “wolves” in question were false teachers presenting themselves as “strong Christian preachers” but who in fact were teaching heretical, unbiblical doctrines, like Jakes. Beginning and End has already examined the wildly unbiblical Prosperity Gospel doctrine of Jakes as well as his New Age teaching series he led with Oprah Winfrey. So it is of little surprise that when pressed on the issue of homosexuality (something you will never hear Jakes or any mega-church television pastor preach on), he offered up such a sinful response.
The Bible and Homosexuality
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. – The Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 19:3-6.
The Word of God is clear that homosexuality is a sin. God’s order for intimate relationships is for a man to be married to one woman for life. And what this means for a gay person entering the church is that like everyone else who is attending, they have to be ready to put God’s Word and desires before their own. The Christian life is one of surrender. It is a submission to God’s Holy and perfect will, even if we do not fully comprehend it.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:6-9.
The Lord’s thinking and plans are well beyond those of corrupt humanity. So while it may seem hard to understand the reasoning behind some of the Bible, it does not negate its truth. What helps a person understand the Bible and God better is receiving the Spirit of God. This is what occurs when a person believes in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins. Their old spirit, corrupted with the sin nature all people possess, dies. And it is replaced by a new spirit, given from God, that seeks to please The Lord. At the same time, that newly regenerated Christian is still living in the flesh body we are all born with. And that body still contains the sin nature. And thus a Christians spirit is constantly at war with the flesh. The Lord Jesus Christ said: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41).
So the challenge for a person in any kind of sexual sin is simple: are you willing to give up your own desires and seek to obey The Lord? This is what a true, Christian pastor should be advising with respect to how any group can “get along” with the church. The book of Galatians describes this challenge in the Christian life:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me… This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. – Galatians 2:20; 5:16-17.
Note that T.D. Jakes says nothing about this. He does not even quote the Scriptures at all in answering this question. Instead he offered answers that distracted from the very direct questions being asked to him. Jakes then further showed his apostasy by saying the issue of homosexuality should be addressed “behind closed doors” and that the issue of “sexuality versus spirituality” was complex “in the Bible days.” Jakes accused the Apostle Paul of struggling with issues of sexuality and bases this on a reference to 1 Corinthians 11 and the admonition for women to have a “covering” on their heads – a reference to both the literal veils women wore at that time in public and the metaphorical “cover” that a man has as an authority figure over a woman. This passage has nothing to do whatsoever with sexuality. And nowhere is there any indication that the Apostle Paul “struggled” to write this passage. 2 Timothy 3:16 says:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. – 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
To say Paul “struggled” with his writing is to imply that the Scriptures were not divinely inspired. Jakes continued his incorrect interpretation of the Bible by saying Paul “grappled” with these issues and we are “grappling with them now.” This is what the Apostle Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote about homosexuality:
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; – Romans 1:24-28.
There is no grappling or struggle with the issues. Paul calls gay intimacy “against nature” and the product of rebellion against God. For Jakes to incorrectly characterize Paul’s words demonstrates that he either does not understand the Bible or is willing to spout all manner of heresy just to avoid having to say that homosexuality is a sin.
The interviewer was clearly not satisfied with Jakes’ attempts at deflection and invited him to come back again for another sit down to discuss the issue further. It was quite apparent that Jakes was not going to answer the real question being posed: Was he ready to declare that homosexuality is no longer a sin?
The “Joel Osteen Backtrack”
Soon after the interview Jakes received criticism from Christian blogs for his statements. And Jakes issued a post on Facebook to “clarify” his remarks.
Pope Francis came to America and the Nation stopped, People fell over themselves to kiss his ring others stood in line for hours to catch a glimpse of the Pontiff.
Francis’ first visit to America came after the American President Barack Obama paid him a visit at the seat of Catholicism at theVatican city.
No single event in my lifetime has generated such excitement neither has any event, other than the September 11th 2001 Terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC received such wall to wall television coverage. This, even as more and more evidence surfaces of countless cases of Priests sexually abusing little boys for decades, maybe more.
The United States Census Bureau Records give some startling statistics, backed up by denominational reports and the Assemblies of God U.S. Missions: Every year more than 4000 churches close their doors compared to just over 1000 new church starts!
That’s a 75% annual decline in the number of churches in the United States.
Every year, 2.7 million church members fall into inactivity. This translates into the realization that people are leaving the church. Research found that they are leaving as hurting and wounded victims-of some kind of abuse, disillusionment, or just plain neglect!
Nevertheless Americans and many more around the world are excited about Pope Francis.
What is behind this phenomenon ?
Many refer to him as a Liberal, others say he is transforming the Church into a more era sensitive Institution.
As such many are clamoring to be seen supporting his views.
Of course many of Francis’ views though sounding reasonably like Biblical teachings, tend to have a permissive slant all of his own.
The level of excitement generated and the media language is almost cloying in its effervescence over the Pontiff.
Religious and nonreligious alike claim him as their Pope. Round-table panelists gush flowery praise for Jorge Mario Bergoglio who seem to say and do all the right things.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer anchoring one leg of the wall to wall coverage stopped the conversation to point out to the Nation “he just stopped , and blessed that little girl right there, he just blessed that little girl”. But does Jorge Mario Bergoglio have the power to bless anyone ?
When asked about Homosexuality prior to his American visit Jorge Mario Bergoglio asked Journalists “who am I to judge”?
Exactly what the world wants to hear !!!
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination. Jude 1:7 – Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
It’s perfectly Christ-like not to judge , but if one is a follower of Christ it is imperative that Christians do not compromise on sin but tell the world “thus sayeth the Lord”. For we are commanded to love the sinner but hate the sin.Claiming “who am I to judge is false teaching in that context.
Of course it is up to God to judge , but identifying sin is not judging. It is imperative that we are able to discern all sin and seek to avoid wilful sin. We must eschew and shun sin, for even though we sin we cannot be comfortable in sin. God is righteous, if we are comfortable in sin how can we hope to have a relationship with him?
God’s righteousness and sin cannot co-exist together, sin separates us from our creator.
Those who refuse to call sin what it is by telling us they cannot judge are changing the word of God to fool the world into believing we can come as we are and remain as we are.
Jesus’ Disciples did preach the unmitigated , unvarnished truth of his Gospel. According to the Bible they were all Martyred save for one. John the Baptist preached the truth of his coming he was executed before Jesus died. I am in no way suggesting that Christians should go out seeking Martyrdom but what kind of children of God are we if we fail to use our voices to lift up the lord?
What kind of Christians are we if we are afraid to speak the true word of God because we are concerned with what man may do to us.
I am more concerned about what will happen if I fail to tell those people within my sphere of influence of the Tribulation to come.
The Pontiff never bothered to mention what the Bible teaches on the subject. Merely saying “who am I to judge’. Coming from him that statement automatically gets construed and spun to mean the Pope agrees it’s okay.
Was he cognisant of that fact when he failed to reference the word of God choosing to merely inject his own views without Biblical authority?
He challenges Nations to be kind and compassionate to the poor , exactly the kind of language which will bring people to his side.
According to the World Bank’s most recent estimates, in 2011, 17 percent of people in the developing world lived at or below $1.25 a day. That’s down from 43 percent in 1990 and 52 percent in 1981.
This means that, in 2011, just over one billion people lived on less than $1.25 a day, compared with 1.91 billion in 1990, and 1.93 billion in 1981.
Progress has been slower at higher poverty lines. In all, 2.2 billion people lived on less than US $2 a day in 2011, the average poverty line in developing countries and another common measurement of deep deprivation. That is only a slight decline from 2.59 billion in 1981.
Of course people are going to be drawn to a message of helping the poor……..
Two beasts are described in chapter 13, one from the sea (vs. 1) and one from the land (vs. 11). With the beast out of the sea, we come to that one who, regardless of his claims as the white horse rider or peace maker, comes as a great source of darkness into the world. He comes not to save the world, but to damn the world. In essence, what we have in this chapter in the rise of the beast and the false prophet is nothing short of the ‘trinity from hell’ in that both are the product of the machinations of that old serpent, the devil or Satan.19. The Beast and the False Prophet (Rev 13:1-18)19. The Beast and the False Prophet (Rev 13:1-18)
THE FALSE PROPHET AND IMAGE OF THE BEAST OF REVELATION Bible.net has this to say . The beast, as I have shown previously, is the Papacy or Roman Catholic Church. Revelation 19:20 is the key to identifying who the false prophet is. Here it associates the false prophet with miracles performed for the beast. This is a link to Rev 13:11-14 where the same miracles are performed by a second beast with two horns like a lamb, that speaks like a dragon. So this second lamb-like beast is also the false prophet.
Verse 12 is saying that the United States will combine Church and State and strictly enforce apostate Catholic religious doctrine, just like the Roman Catholic church did in the middle ages! Yes! The current effort on the part of evangelical Christians to “take back America” will succeed!
In Verse 13 it shows us that this revival of Church and State in the U.S. will be accompanied by great wonders (miracles). The fire coming down from heaven is a deceiving miracle, a false wonder, that may well refer to a counterfeit outpouring of the Holy Spirit! Already today a false manifestation of tongues, holy laughter etc. is sweeping churches in North America!
In verse 14 the lamb-like beast (the United States) promotes an image to the first beast (the Roman Catholic Church). When it says “an image to the (first) beast”, it means that the apostate Protestant movement in the United States will encourage the establishment of Church/State power, and legislate it’s religious agenda on everyone. It will be the mirror “image” of the satanic practices, policies and persecutions of the Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages.
So using false miracles as proof of it’s authority, the apostate Protestant church in the United States will take control of the government and pass religious legislation to enforce it’s agenda, and it will promote false Catholic doctrines. What false doctrines, you might ask?
1. When you are dead, you are not dead. Your conscious self or spirit waits at some bus stop (purgatory) between here and heaven. Here you are free to listen to the prayers of the living and forward these petitions for grace to Mary or Jesus. – They cannot accept that the wages of sin is death. Death includes the loss of any consciousness of the mind. Those who are dead hear nothing and can do nothing, for themselves or anyone else.
2. Salvation is obtained through ministers or priests of the church. They have a bank account with Jesus and can dispense grace or forgiveness to those they favor. Conversely, they can cut off your source of forgiveness if you do not accept their unscriptural traditions. – No church can dispense or withhold forgiveness, forgiveness is yours from God through faith.
3. They worship on a day chosen by a pagan emperor of Rome, Sunday, although there is absolutely NO scriptural evidence that Jesus commanded such a change in the Ten Commandments. – The Sabbath is Saturday without question. It is a memorial to Jesus the Creator, who worked six days and rested on the seventh. To worship on any other day is to reject the Creator, reject God, reject Jesus. Whom do you worship if you reject the 10 commandments of God?
4. We are saved by good works. God is keeping track of everything we do and the sum total of our good works better add up to a bigger number than our sins. Even “good” people who have rejected Jesus, will by this logic, have a chance so long as their good works total is high enough. – Your works amount to nothing without faith. By the same token, faith without works is a dead faith.
So the False Prophet is in fact, apostate Protestantism based in the United States. How do you recognize apostate religion? Try the following additional indicators, note that they are accompanied by a serious lack of meaningful scriptural study.
A. Theology that preaches that God is a loving God and most people will be saved if only they will just be good people. You will see a lot of country and western style gospel singers, a lot of praising Jesus and binding Satan, collecting the tithe, but precious little scripture study, and what little there is, is very shallow.
B. The happy Christian, it is O.K. to be rich, send us your seed money today and you will get it back 1000 fold, kind of religion. A primary focus on God rewarding his followers with earthly riches. If only you will send in your love gift, God will reward you financially. And by the way, we have some neat things to send you if you contribute today- (mostly tapes, books, plaques, glasses, sculptures, lifetime memberships, get your name engraved on the churches top givers plaque, etc.) You could almost call it the Christian Shopping Network. Did Jesus sell *anything* during His ministry? No- what He offered was not for sale, it was FREE!
C. A focus on miracle healing of the sick, prayer requests and again endless pleas for donations, just to stay on the air.
D. A mission of building a TV or Radio station empire, from which there is little or no bible study, just more pleas for cash during long telethons, and praising Jesus. Usually broadcast from multi-million dollar lavish studios with lots of expensive decorations.
Am I saying Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the Beast of Revelation ? I will allow Bible Prophesy and your spirit of discernment to decide. Some who seek the Lord have gone further than I am prepared to go. What I do know is what the Scriptures says.
Never before have we seen the Catholic Church seek to unify all religions . In an apparent effort to unify all faiths under one world religion Pope Francis took unprecedented steps by hosting a series of interfaith gatherings at the Vatican which saw Muslim prayers given from the pulpit for the first time in its history.
Quote :”The Pope’s efforts while seemingly noble, are in complete contradiction to Bible Scripture. But as Biblical Christianity is being abandoned in the contemporary church, public displays of “spiritual unity” will become more common. It is all prophesied in Scripture as the world moves closer to the coming one world religion of the Antichrist”.
Pope Francis waded into Middle East peace-making this evening by welcoming both the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to the Vatican for an evening of prayers. Israeli President Shimon Peres was the first to arrive at the Vatican hotel where Pope Francis lives, followed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Francis warmly greeted both and met privately with each one before heading out to the Vatican garden for the service.
It took place in the Vatican gardens in the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica, the most religiously neutral place in the tiny city-state. It incorporated Jewish, Christian and Muslim prayers – delivered in Hebrew, English, Arabic and Italian. The prayers focused on three themes common to each of the religions: thanking God for creation, seeking forgiveness for past wrongdoing and praying to God to bring peace to the region. Francis, Peres and Abbas were expected to deliver brief remarks, shake hands and plant an olive tree together in a sign of peace. The spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians was also present to give a united Christian front.
Beginningandend.com went on to say. While the desire for peace in the Middle East is a noble cause, no Bible believing Christian should ever confuse political goals with the spiritual commands of God. While Christians can socialize, work with and conduct political negotiations with people of all faiths, religious activity is to be exclusively done in a Biblical manner. From the first commandment God gave to Moses, The Lord’s stance on joining in the worship of any of other god is clear:
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; – Exodus 20:1-5.
Francis coming to America represents the coming together of Church and State in a one World Religion. It is an apostate which will remove God Almighty as the head of the Church replacing him with the Devil and his representatives here on earth.
The Evangelical christian Church is blind to this phenomenon many Preachers and Teachers of the Gospel are too busy teaching prosperity and happiness theology.
The Church misses a terrific opportunity to use Biblical prophecy to bring souls to Christ Jesus.
The Christian faith is the only faith which has prophetic words which tells us with immaculate accuracy how events will unfold.
Yet many Preachers of the Gospel are doing nothing to warn the flock.
Jeremiah 51:6Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense. Babylon is not a city as some of us Christians are led to believe . The Babylon spoken of here is the fallen Church . Christians will have to come out of the fallen Church. The Church which is preoccupied with telling Parishioners how to attain wealth and happiness is lost . It is a Satanic doctrine which is not borne out in the teachings of Christ . Therefor as Jeremiah 51: 6 says, we must, all of us , “deliver every man his soul”.
THE ANTICHRIST, THE IMAGE, AND THE MARK OF THE BEAST
One of the major events to occur just before the return of Christ as Conquering King is the appearance of an individual called the Antichrist. Most people who have studied the personality and deeds of this individual have totally misunderstood the essential factors associated with this person.
Many view the Antichrist, the image, the mark of the Beast, and the Beast’s alliance of nations as things that will be easily recognized as evil and sinister. The reality is that the Antichrist and his religious system of government will look like the greatest and most wonderful religious, political, and economic system the world has ever seen. The leader of this alliance of nations will appear as a dynamic and charismatic individual who will lead his alliance of nations and the world into a time of unparalleled peace and prosperity.
A Great Deception
Jesus said that the deception surrounding the Antichrist will be so clever that only the elect of God will recognize him and understand his true intent and purpose:
“And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, seeing the beast, that it was a thing, and is not and yet now is” (Rev.17:8 Para.). See also Dan.12:9-10; Rev.1:1-8.
All others on earth will be deceived into thinking that this person is indeed a savior of humanity. Therefore, it is extremely important to be able to recognize some of the characteristics and powers that this person may exhibit as he imposes his will on the world. One must realize that deceived people do not know that they are deceived, and that a person will remain deceived unless they diligently and honestly put forth the effort to search for and accept truth. No one on earth is immune to being deceived or causing deception. In fact, the Bible says that the whole world has been deceived except for the elect of God. The truth is that, there is not a person alive who knows every biblical truth in exact detail. Therefore, no one can totally rely upon another person for their understanding of God’s word. This is why the elect are instructed to study to show themselves approved before God and to work out their own salvation in fear and trembling. See 2.Tim.2:14-16; Eph.2:12-13.
Who is the Antichrist?
First let us remove some of the mystique about the name Antichrist. Simply put the Antichrist is an individual who is against the true Christ and/or is attempting to pass himself off as the true Christ. In either case this individual is in opposition to God the Father and Jesus Christ and their teachings. The Antichrist is the same dynamic and charismatic individual described elsewhere in the Bible as the Beast who is the leader of a powerful religious governmental system that controls an alliance of nations called the Beast. The Antichrist is the individual who has absolute authority, power, and control over all religious, philosophical, economic, and political aspects of people who live under his control.
It is very important to understand that this individual called the Antichrist and the Beast is not Satan the Devil, but is in Satan’s service and is a representative of Satan’s demonic spiritual government, just like the False Prophet (Rev.16:13; 20:10). The Bible clearly states that Satan the Devil is a master at the art of deception: “He is that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). He has been a liar from the very beginning (Jn.8:44). The Antichrist is one of his most cleaver deceptions of all time, which will deceive all but the elect of God.
Signs and Miracles
The Antichrist, who is the leader of the alliance of nations called the Beast, will ascend to power accompanied by supernatural signs and miracles and will be accepted as a god in the flesh by most people on earth. Notice what Jesus says about the false christs and prophets who will precede his arrival as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Matthew 24:23-31 Paraphrased
“Then if anyone says to you, Behold, here is the Christ; or, Here he is! Do not believe it. For false christs will rise up, and false prophets. And they will give great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I tell you beforehand. Then if they say to you, Behold, he is in the wilderness; do not go out. Behold, he is in the inner rooms; do not believe” (vs.23-26). See also Mk.13:21-22.
Throughout the centuries, many false Messiahs and false prophets have come and gone. During the time of trouble, at the end of the age, religious deception will be so intense that the only ones who will not be deceived are the elect of God who diligently follow the true God. In the following scriptures Jesus describes the major events that will accompany his arrival on earth. Jesus says that his return will not be a silent or inconspicuous occurrence; it will be as lightning, which is always accompanied by a loud thunderous noise:
“For as lighting comes out of the east and shines as far as the west so also will be the coming of the Son of man” (v27).
Jesus also describes the cataclysmic celestial events that will take place before his return and the gathering of the elect:
“And immediately after the affliction of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heavens. And then all the tribes of the land will wail. And they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory. And he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather his elect from the four winds; from one end of the heavens to the other” (vs.29-31).
The signs that precede Christ’s return are awesome events that will occur in the heavens. The sun will become dark (Mk.13:24-26), the moon will not reflect sunlight to the earth, and the stars (Greek ‘aster’) will be moved out of their orbits. These signs will be apparent to everyone on earth. When Jesus returns in all his glory and power, his very presence will disrupt the physical universe. See Ex.19:16-18; 24:17; Isa.13:9-13; 24:1-5; Joel 2:10-12, 30; Hag.2:6-7.
Every person alive on earth at the time of Christ’s return will be aware of these events that will occur in the heavens. Most people will be terrified and fear for their lives. Some will be terrified because they know that Christ is returning to destroy them, and others will be in fear because they think that the world is coming to an end. The magnitude of the events that will accompany Christ’s return will be far from secret or silent; they will be terrifying! All of the scriptures that speak of the appearance of the Beast leader and his Beast alliance of nations tell us that he will arrive before the events that precede Christ’s coming. He will be alive as Christ pours destruction upon the earth and its inhabitants for their great wickedness and rebellion against God.
John, Peter, and Paul
The apostles John, Paul, and Peter warned of teachers and prophets who would come teaching heresies and they foretold that many people would follow these people and their lies. At the time John, Paul, and Peter were inspired to write their letters, most of the elect of God thought that the return of Christ was imminent. Because this was not the case, the things these apostles said concerning people and conditions that would exist just before the return of Christ were mostly prophetic.
At the close of the first age of the church and before he was shown the things that pertained to the end of the age, the apostle John spoke about those who opposed Christ and what he taught about his relationship to God the Father and the elect children of God. As we review what John says about the Antichrist, notice that he says the Spirit of God residing within the children of God will separate a child of God from the world, make a child of God sinless, and reveal those who oppose and reject Christ and the Father:
“Young ones, it is the last time: and as you have heard that the Antichrist shall come, even now there are many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but were not a part of us, if they had been one of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that it should be known that they were not a part of us”(1.Jn.2:18-19 Para.).
John speaks of a prophecy that those to whom he was writing already knew about. He tells the elect of God that the fulfillment of this prophecy was already in progress at that time. He goes on to say that those who were against Christ at that time were never true sons of God, and that they had revealed their true nature and purpose by leaving the true body of Christ.
“And you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I did not write to you because you did not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth” (1.Jn.2:20-21 Para.).
John confirms that those who have the spirit of God have the knowledge and ability to discern truth from error in spiritual matters, and that those who are liars and deceivers will be known by those who have the spirit of God within them, because the spirit of God reveals truth. See Jn.14:17, 15:26, 16:12-13; 1.Cor.2:12-13.
Because the spirit of God reveals truth, it is extremely important that each child of God during the end of this age listen very carefully to what the spirit says concerning the Antichrist and his religion and governmental system.
Who is a Liar?
Those who oppose Christ do not teach the truth concerning Jesus as the Creator God and Savior of humanity. These people also deny the individuality of the Father and the Son and they are liars in the eyes of God. The scriptures clearly show that the Antichrist will not teach the truth of God, but he will teach a lie:
“Who is the liar, but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. Every one that denies the Son does not have the Father. The one who confesses the Son, truly has the Father also” (1.Jn.2:22-23 Para.).
The truly converted of the first age of the church understood exactly what John was saying concerning the Father, Christ, and the spirit of God, because they were taught the mysteries concerning the plan of God by the apostles. However, this knowledge was lost when the early church disappeared shortly after the apostle John’s death. See our study papers about the spirit of God and Christ that resides within the elect of God and our studies concerning the demise of the early church.
“Everyone being begotten of God [the Father] does not sin, because his [the Father’s] seed [spirit of God] abides in him, and he is not able to sin, because he has been born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the Devil are revealed: Everyone failing to practice righteousness or love his brother is not of God” (1.Jn.3:9-10 Para.).
It is impossible to understand what John is saying here, unless one understands that the spirit of God within a child of God keeps them in a sinless condition before God the Father. As long as a child of God is seeking to live a righteous life and does not willfully and habitually practice sin, no sin is imputed to him. It is this same spirit of God that reveals to the elect of God who is and who is not of God. One of the major signs of the Antichrist/Beast is that he is a sinner according to the biblical definition of sin; therefore, it is necessary for all who are called of God to fully understand what sin is and is not, so that they will not be deceived by the Antichrist or his state religion which is led by the False Prophet.
Good and Evil Spirits
In the first three verses of 1. John, chapter 4, John speaks of testing for evil influence and he shows that a major key in this testing process is the understanding that Christ’s spirit resides within the children of God:
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world. By this know the spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus has come in the flesh is from God. And every spirit which does not acknowledge that Jesus has come in the flesh is not from God: and this is the antichrist which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world” (1.Jn.4:1-3 Para.). See also 2.Jn.v.7; Matt.24:4-5.
Almost all opposition to God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the children of God comes from the evil influence of spirit-beings. Therefore, it is extremely important for God’s children to be able to discern the difference between a good and an evil spiritual influence. John says that a child of God can determine if a spirit (i.e., a spirit being or spiritual influence) is from God or not. If a spirit acknowledges that Christ has come in the flesh, it is good. If this acknowledgment is not made, this spirit or spiritual influence is evil and it is in opposition to God the Father and Jesus Christ.
On the surface it seems that the formula John gives to determine the character of a spirit-being or spiritual influence is simple and direct, and it is. However, the key to understanding John’s instructions is to understand what he means when he says, “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.” Most people will admit that the person Jesus lived and was a religious leader. Some will acknowledge that he was a prophet, and some will acknowledge him as the prophetic Savior of humanity. However, very few truly understand or will acknowledge him as the Creator God who became the Savior, died, was resurrected, and now lives in the flesh of the children of God. Another important identifying sign of the Antichrist is that he will not acknowledge that Christ has come in the flesh in the same manner as the scriptures teach.
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who shall privily bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many [the majority of people] shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2.Pet.2:1-2 KJV).
There are many things that people consider to be truth; however, what God reveals as the way of truth is not what most people believe as truth. It is God’s way of truth that most people hate and ridicule. A number of prophecies tell us that the Antichrist will speak blasphemous things against God and his teachings.
2. Corinthians 11:3-4; 13-15
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. If anyone comes preaching another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit [an evil, lying spirit], which you have not received, or a different gospel, than the one you accepted” (vs.3-4 Para.).
During the lifetime of the apostle Paul, those who opposed Jesus Christ were preaching another Jesus and another gospel. This same false Jesus and message is still being preached and taught today. The Antichrist as the leader of the Beast alliance of nations will exist just before Christ’s return and he will promote himself as a savior of humanity, but he will have his own deceptive good news message for humanity.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (vs.13-15 KJV).
Although verses 13-15 speak of those who are counterfeit ministers of Christ, the same basic concepts apply to the Antichrist/Beast, the False Prophet, and those who are in service to them as their representatives.
The Man of Sin
2.Thessalonians 2:3-11 Paraphrased
“Do not let anyone deceive you in any way: because that day will not come unless there first comes a falling away [departure from the faith], and the man of sin is revealed, who is the son of perdition” (v3).
An interesting thing about this man of sin is that Paul also calls him the son of perdition. The word translated into English as ‘perdition’ is from the Greek word ‘apoleia’ which refers to an everlasting state of torment in this context. The Bible clearly shows that wicked humans will have their life terminated with fire. No human is going to be tormented in the lake of fire forever; therefore, the being who inhabits the physical body of the Man of Sin (Son of Perdition) is not human. It is a spirit-being who will try to deceive people into believing that he is a god-being.
Deception and Arrogance
“This is the one who opposes and exalts himself over everything being called God, or object of worship; and he is to sit in the temple of God, as God; in order to show that he is a god” (v4).
In his arrogance, this powerful spirit-being masquerading as a human will desecrate the temple of the true God in Jerusalem by entering into it and sitting there in defiance of the true God in order to prove to the world that he is indeed a god, and that the true God is no god.
“Do you not remember, that, I told you these things when I was with you? And now you know the thing holding him [Man of Sin/Son of Perdition/Antichrist] back from being revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness already works: only he is holding back [being held back] now, until it comes out of the midst” (vs.5-7).
Paul had already talked with them about the Antichrist and told them that this individual was being restrained from coming out of the middle of something. The thing that this individual comes out of, according to visions of Daniel and the apostle John, is the alliance of nations symbolized by the beast that came out of the sea. Therefore, it is very clear that wherever this powerful and fierce beast-like alliance of nations is located in the end of the age, the Antichrist will be there as its supreme leader.
“And then the lawless one [Man of Sin/Son of Perdition/Antichrist] will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the spirit of his mouth, and he will be brought to nothing by the brightness of his [Christ’s] coming” (v8).
Christ will remove this lawless individual from power when he comes to rule the earth. This is the same evil spirit mentioned in Daniel 7:11 who will have his physical body destroyed and will be cast into a lake of fire in his spirit form.
“His [the Antichrist’s] coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and miracles and lying wonders, And all deceit of unrighteousness of those being lost; because they did not receive the love of the truth in order for them to be saved. And because of this God will send to them, a working of error, for them to believe a lie” (vs.9-11).
Based on God’s word, those whom God has called to salvation should know the difference between good and evil; however, many have already been deluded by a false Christianity and many will be deceived by Satan’s Antichrist and his religious and political system of government.
Paul gives a dire warning not to allow one’s love for the truth of God to erode. Make no mistake, the message of the Antichrist and Satan’s religious and political system is not truth; it is great deception designed to destroy one’s opportunity to enter the Family and Kingdom of God. His miracles, signs, and wonders will not be from the Sovereign God; they will be from Satan the Devil and are designed to deceive humanity.
The majority of people will believe the Antichrist’s message and his great supernatural works, thinking that they are a part of God’s plan for the salvation of humanity; however, just the opposite will be true.
Ten Religious Deceptions
It is highly likely that the Antichrist will come as a savior of humanity and attempt to counterfeit some or all of the things that are prophesied about the coming of the true Messiah. Listed below are ten things he may do to attempt to deceive humanity:
Demonstrate that he is the prophetic descendant of King David who is supposed to come to rule the world as described in Psalm 2
Send a false Elijah to speak of his coming (Mal.4:5, 6).
Appear to gloriously return in the flesh after being fatally wounded(Matt.25:31, 32; Acts 1:11; Rev.1:7).
Return in the clouds of heaven accompanied by other beings (1.Thes.3:13; 2.Thes.1:7).
Attempt to make Jerusalem the capital of his world-ruling government (Isa.11 & 12).
Establish his rule with deceptive miracles and wonders (Psa.69).
Attempt to make an alliance of nations out of the modern ten tribes of Israel and the Jewish nation of Israel (Ezk.37).
Institute his own interpretation of the Mosaic Law (Isa.66: 22,23).
Proclaim that he has come to bring world prosperity (Isa.11;12).
Proclaim that he has come to bring world peace (Psa.96;98).
These are all things that would add validity to his claims in the religious circles of quasi-Christians and Jews. The Antichrist may attempt to counterfeit some or all of the real prophetic signs of the return of Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, in order to deceive these people and accomplish his goal of world domination for his master Satan the Devil.
Because Satan appears as a glorious righteous angel and his evil servants mimic this same false righteousness (2.Cor.11:14-15), the appearance of the Antichrist will fool those who do not understand the true meaning of the scriptures that speak about the return of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Because the central focus of Satan’s plan is to deceive people into giving their allegiance and worship to him, his servant the Antichrist will claim to be god in the flesh (2.Thes.2:4). Another servant of Satan, the False Prophet, will force those who are under the control of the Beast’s alliance of nations to worship the Antichrist/Beast and his image; thereby, they will actually be worshiping Satan the Devil by proxy.
There is little doubt that on the surface Satan’s religious and governmental system under the leadership of the Antichrist and the False Prophet will look very good to most people. This is why they will be very unhappy when they see it being destroyed by Jesus Christ (Rev.18:4-20).
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE ANTICHRIST
This section shows a number of ways by which anyone who understands the worship system of the true God will be able to identify the Antichrist and his worship system.
Oppressive Rule and Forced Idolatry
Although Jesus Christ and the elect of God will rule from Jerusalem with a rod of iron and exercise judgement upon the rebellious nations of the world (Rev. 12:5), the Kingdom of God will not be cruel or oppressive, nor will Jesus or those who serve him force anyone to worship God by bowing down before an image or representation of himself or God the Father.
God the Father’s Worship System
The scriptures clearly show that, after Jesus Christ returns, he will establish his Father’s true worship system. Conversely, the Antichrist and the False Prophet will oppose any attempt of the Jews or anyone else to worship God as instructed under his covenant with national Israel and the elect of God. See Jer.31:30-37 and our studies concerning the various covenants and the commanded observances of God.
In regard to the Father’s worship system, there are some biblical facts that will help one to understand God’s new agreement with national Israel:
The prophecies of Ezekiel and Zechariah clearly show that, during Christ’s rule, a temple worship system with a priesthood and animal sacrifices will exist in Jerusalem and will be officiated over by the male descendants of Zadok who is descended from Eleazar, Aaron’s third son. See Ezk.40-46; Zech.14:16-20.
The sacrificial system contained within the agreement with national Israel and the rest of humanity will be performed in a way that is similar to how it was performed under the first agreement with Israel.
The commanded observances and holy convocations of God will be observed by all the people on earth.
The Antichrist will do just the opposite of what the Creator God promises to do when he returns as the Messiah to institute a new agreement with national Israel. The Antichrist will stop the Jews from sacrificing at the temple in Jerusalem and will attempt to change and/or eliminate the commanded observance and holy convocations of God.
THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST
In order to understand the worship of the image of the Antichrist/Beast we need to keep in mind that the Antichrist/Beast and the religious leader (the False Prophet) of the alliance of nations are both servants of Satan the Devil and are both committed to the goal of subjecting all humanity to his absolute control.
The Wounded Head
“And I saw one of its heads as if it had been wounded to death; and its fatal wound was healed. And the earth admired the beast. And worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with it?” (Rev.13:3-4 Para.).
After the Beast alliance of nations has been solidified, its power base has been established, and the Antichrist/Beast has secured his position of authority as the undisputed leader of this alliance, something extraordinary will happen to either this alliance of nations or its leader. One or the other will sustain a fatal wound.
The circumstances surrounding the death and resurrection of the alliance of nations or the Antichrist/Beast will be an incredibly deceptive event. When people see this resurrection they will be astonished and believe that the Antichrist/Beast is a god in the flesh.
It is difficult at this point in time to determine exactly what or who the head in Revelation 13:3 symbolizes, because the heads of the beast represent both a system of government as well as the evil spirits who control the system through individuals. What is important to recognize is that an extraordinary event will occur surrounding the fatal wound of either the Antichrist/Beast or the Beast’s alliance of nations. When this happens, the leader of the state religion who is the False Prophet will initiate and enforce the worship of Satan the Devil (the dragon) through the Antichrist/Beast and his system of government.
A State Religion
“And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and it had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon. And it executes all the authority of the first beast before it. And it makes the earth and those dwelling in it to worship the first beast, that was healed of its deadly wound” (Rev.13:11-12 Para.).
There are a number of important things revealed in verses 11-12 concerning the relationship between the Beast alliance of nations, its supreme leader (the Antichrist/Beast), and its religious leader (the False Prophet):
♦The two horns like a lamb are symbolic of religious authority.
Its religious teachings and policies are that of Satan the Devil, because it speaks like the dragon.
The second beast is symbolic of an evil state religion and its leader.
“And it [the False Prophet] does great signs and even makes fire to come down out of heaven upon the earth before men “ (Rev.13:13 Para.).
It is important to understand that the False Prophet and the religious system that he leads will have tremendous supernatural powers with which to deceive people and counter the supernatural works that the elect of God will be doing as they proclaim God the Father’s good news message.
“And it [the False Prophet] deceives those dwelling on the earth, because of the signs which were given to it before the beast; saying to those on the earth to make an image of the beast who has the wound of the sword, and lived. And it was given authority to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could speak, and might cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Rev.13:14-15 Para.).
The False Prophet has an image made that is either symbolic of the alliance of nations (the beast), its leader (the Beast), or both. This religious leader empowers the image so that it has the ability to speak. Then, he forces people to worship it or suffer death for disobedience. This enforced worship is reminiscent of king Nebuchadnezzar’s forced worship of the image that he had made.
There are many reasons why intelligent people will worship this image. The first is that if anyone does not worship it they will be killed. The second is that people will actually believe that the image is a god, a representation of their god (Antichrist/Beast), or a method through which they may communicate with their god (who is really Satan the Devil).
It is interesting that, when one carefully reads Daniel 3:1-30, it appears that only the leaders of the people were compelled to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s image. However, in John’s vision, it seems that everyone under the control of the beast alliance of nations must worship the image.
The Plagues and the Image
“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor walk” (Rev.9:20 KJV).
One of the reasons that Christ pours out plagues upon humanity is to bring them to the realization that they are rebelling against God as they practice their idol worship, and that they must stop this practice and worship the true God.
Anyone who seriously studies the Bible should understand that the forced worship of the image(s) of the Antichrist/Beast constitutes idolatry. Upon seeing or hearing of this forced idolatry, the elect of God should understand that this alliance of nations and its worship system is indeed the Beast of the books of Daniel and Revelation.
THE MARK AND NAME OF THE BEAST
Many who study the Book of Revelation are overly concerned with knowing exactly what the mark and the name of the Beast is and how one will receive this mark and name. However, this information is not essential for salvation from eternal death. It really does not matter whether the mark or name is a computer chip implant, a tattoo, or some other thing. The important thing is to be able to recognize the Antichrist/Beast and his state religion and governmental system for what it is.
It must be clearly understood that those who are called of God cannot accept the mark or give their allegiance to the Beast so that they can participate in the economic benefits of the Beast system, because this authorization requires a religious commitment to worship the image of the Beast.
THE MARK, NAME, AND NUMBER
“And the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the freemen and the slaves, allow it [the Antichrist’s state religion] to give them a mark on their right hand, or on their foreheads: so that none can buy or sell, except they have the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name. Here is wisdom. Let him having reason count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and its number is six hundred and sixty-six” (Rev.13:16-18 Para.).
Throughout history, many who have studied the Bible and secular history have tried to determine the name of the individual that is represented by the number 666. The number 666 is even recorded as being associated with king Solomon and the amount of gold that he received as tribute during the height of his reign (1.Kgs.10:14; 2.Chron.9:13). There seems to be no end to the individuals and things that have been found to have this numerical reference attached to them.
Even though the number 666 can be attached to people, places, and things in the past, present, and future, is a full understanding of the prophetic number 666 necessary before the appearance of the Antichrist and his religious and political form of government? Actually, it is more important to understand the prophetic events surrounding the Antichrist and to be prepared to be loyal to God and his way of life to the very end.
People have assumed that, because verse 18 says that the number 666 is the number of a man, this number can only be attached to an individual. The reality is that in the Greek language, “the number of a man” can also mean “a human number” or “a number of humanity”. Although the number 666 may very well identify a specific individual, it may also identify and be associated with the Beast’s system of religion and government. The number 666 could very well represent the apex of human perfection, because under the leadership of the Antichrist/Beast, the magnificent religious, governmental, and economic system of the beast alliance of nations will appear to be the best system ever devised.
In the study of the numerical symbolism of the Bible, the number 6 is clearly associated with humanity; therefore, the number 666 appears to be the number of humanity. Because God the Father allows an evil global system to exist before his Son’s return, the number 666 could very well be viewed in the context of the entire religious, economic, and governmental system that is led by the Antichrist who is in the service of Satan (2.Thes 2:4).
WHAT IS IN A NAME?
It is well known in biblical and rabbinical teachings that the phrase, “in the name of,” is used to connect the one having authority to the one from whom the authority comes. It is also used to connect a teacher with the authority and respect of his own teacher. Therefore, it is logical to assume that this same meaning is attached to the name of the Beast and its religious governmental system. The same association will exist between the Antichrist/Beast and those having its name or mark. See our study paper concerning the phrase “in the name of,” for details about those who have the name of God the Father and Jesus Christ.
A Sign of Allegiance
Refusal to take the mark of the Antichrist constitutes rebellion against him and his religious and governmental system, and this will not be tolerated. All who are found guilty of this type of rebellion will be put to death. Everyone must comply with the worship system that the Antichrist will institute through the False Prophet, and they must worship the image of the Beast. In addition, everyone will have to register with the system and receive the mark or name of the Beast. Without the identifying mark, a person will not be able buy or sell or participate in the economic system of the Antichrist’s alliance of nations. Therefore, the mark or name of the beast is a sign of one’s allegiance to this evil person and his religious governmental system.
It is obvious that there will be many undesirable physical consequences for not accepting this mark. For those who worship the true God, the threat of physical punishment and hardships for not accepting the mark are minimal compared to the loss of eternal life for accepting it.
Only Two Options
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascends for ever and ever: and they shall have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Rev.14:9-11 KJV).
When the mark of the Antichrist/Beast is instituted, there are only two options that a person who is living within the geographical areas controlled by the beast system will have concerning the taking of this mark. Either one takes the mark and worships and serves the Beast and his image, or one does not take the mark and does not worship the Beast and his image. Anyone who are in the situation of making a choice concerning the mark must consider the following:
If one does not worship the Beast and his image, he will be persecuted and probably killed. If one does worship the Beast, God will persecute him and probably kill him. And if a child of God worships the Beast and his image, he will lose his eternal life. Most of the world will be deceived by the power and charisma of the Antichrist/Beast and the obvious benefits of his religious system of government. Therefore, most will willingly worship his image, and take his mark that will signify their allegiance to him and his system of government. This will be especially easy to do because the death penalty will hang over the heads of any who refuse to worship him and take his mark. Although the prospect of one surviving the refusal to worship the image and take the mark seems minimal, there is hope for those who place their trust in the true God and seek his protection. See Rev.3:7-13; 7:1-17; 12:6, 14-16.
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out your vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men that had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image” (Rev.16:1-2 KJV).
Remember that, during the rule of the Antichrist and his religious system, the people of God will be proclaiming the true gospel and Jesus Christ will be sending devastating plagues upon those who take part in the Antichrist’s alliance of nations and have his mark and worship his image.
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that had worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev.19:20 KJV).
The two evil spirits that enforce the worship of the image and the marking of those who consent to be marked as a sign of their allegiance to Satan’s system of worship and government will be cast into a lake of fire after the return of Jesus Christ.
The Victorious Elect
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God” (Rev.15:1-2 KJV).
Those who are called of God to salvation during the terrifying times of the Antichrist’s rule and remain true to their great calling will receive tremendous rewards in the Kingdom of God:
“And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgement was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev.20:4 Para.).
The Important Names
During the end of the age, there are two extremely important names that will have a more dramatic impact on the lives of the children of God than the name or mark of the Antichrist/Beast. These are the names of the Father and his Son. Notice what is said about these two names:
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev.14:1 KJV).
There are only a certain number of people that will have the name of the Father written in their foreheads when Christ returns.
“And to the angel [messenger] of the church in Philadelphia write; These things says he [Jesus Christ] that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens; I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name “ (Rev.3:7-8 Para.).
Notice the emphasis upon having kept Christ’s word and not denying Christ’s name. It is for this reason that God will empower and use those of the Philadelphia church to perform a great work for him in the end of the age.
Although it is extremely important to be able to recognize the Antichrist, his image and mark, the False Prophet, and the religious governmental system which they administer for Satan the Devil when they appear on the worlds scene, it is even more important for one to be committed to making the right decisions concerning one’s allegiance to God the Father.
We have been talking about this Pope Francis . Not just about his American visit but his teachings and comments since his ascendancy to the Papacy. We make our observations in the context of Biblical teachings and more importantly Biblical Prophesy. We believe it is important that we observe the Books of Daniel and Revelation as the very words of these the penultimate and ultimate books of the Bible are unfolding in front our very eyes today We also look at this Pope in the context of the debate raging on the issue so called “marriage equality” . We believe and as such we have articulated that in the context the next assault on the Church of Jesus Christ will be that the Powers of the Beast will go after houses of worship demanding that they pay taxes. We have argued we believe that that will be the next front in this war being waged against the Church of God. Do not be confused when we say the Church of God . We do not believe the Catholic Church is of the Lord. We do not believe the Catholic Church is representative of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Conversely we believe the Beast of the Books of Daniel and Revelation are not what many Christians believe it to be. Many Christians may very well be surprised to find that the very place to which they are running is not a place of refuge against the calamity to come but may very well be the head of that calamity. The Lord Commands us not to be deceived by the Beast. But to come out of Babylon which is the fallen Church. Could it be that the fallen Church , the very place to which many will run will be the very place from which we should run? We have argued that after Gays and Lesbians are allowed to legally get married the next front would be the stripping away of the tax-exempt status from Churches which refuses to marry Gays and Lesbians in their Sanctuaries , It will however come under the guise that they refuse to take care of the poor.
After all many will agree with that concept right ? Who doesn’t believe the poor should be the benefactor of our largess? But see the devil will never come and say I am the devil he comes in disguise as a do-gooder looking out for the poor. How else to deceive but gain your confidence? As the argument goes Kim Davis the Kentucky clerk should follow the law and issue those marriage licences to homosexual couples against her christian beliefs because of course it is the law right? We said they will take the Churches tax-exempt next> And then they will begin locking up the few Pastors who dare to refuse to marry gays in their churches.
SO WHAT DOES THE PONTIFF FEEL SHOULD HAPPEN NOW ?
On the eve of his visit to the United States, Pope Francis blasted religious institutions who are exploiting tax loopholes to make money instead of helping the needy. In an interview with a Portuguese Catholic broadcaster, the Pope discussed the need for Christians to fight the temptation of the ‘God of money’, into which many religious institutions often fall. He then called out those institutions that have opted to enter into the hospitality industry while exploiting a legal loophole to keep from paying taxes on their business enterprise operating under the guise of doing “God’s work.”
“Some religious orders say ‘No, now that the convent is empty we are going to make a hotel and we can have guests, and support ourselves that way, or make money.’ Well, if that is what you want to do, then pay taxes! A religious school is tax-exempt because it is religious, but if it is functioning as a hotel, then it should pay taxes just like its neighbor. Otherwise it is not fair business.”
Thisstatementfrom the leader of the Catholic Church is part of his continuing call for the Church to set an example and create change in what he has continuously referred to as a “bad and unjust economic system,” that continues to maximize profits at the expense of the masses.
In Italy, which the Pope is using as a litmus test for the rest of the world, the Church owns more than 100,000 buildings with an estimated worth exceeding $10 billion. In 2013 the Italian Church started paying taxes on those facilities which are solely commercial, but still avoid taxation on any building that contains a chapel. In America, it isestimatedthat churches would generate $83.5 billion in annual tax revenue if the exemption was lifted on the ir $600 billion in un-taxed properties.
We hate to say we told you so but even I am surprised at how quickly this suggestion came behind my predictions. The truth is the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is closer than we think . The Children of the Lord must understand and not be deceived . It is important that Christians see these events happening daily and understand what they mean going forward.
If you do not know the Lord find a Bible preaching Church which teaches end time Gospel . Find a Church which is in the business of preparing Souls for God’s kingdom.
One of contemporary man’s greatest idiocy once he has been exposed to a little education is the belief that the new knowledge he is exposed to reveals the non-existence of God.
Hence he begins a crusade against his Creator while he struggles mightily yet unsuccessfully to come up with a plausible alternative explanation for his miserable existence.
Some Education can do that to a fool.
Noted Apologist Dr. Ravi Zachariah in commenting on this idiocy , pointed out that Liberalism in the Halls of academia have turned knowledge into an Anti-God phenomenon in recent times.
Dr. Zachariah pointed to the fact that historically the ,most educated people were the most Religious until recently when Liberalism invaded Academic spaces advancing a view that science disproves God.
Unfortunately for these heathens Science and God are not mutually exclusive. Science explains God’s greatness not disprove his existence.
Nowadays it’s almost impossible to hear good old Christian Hymns/songs, songs which just caused unsaved to get up out of their seats and walk up to the Altar so that their lives may be altered. In many cases tears streaming down their faces.
Whatever happened to the good old songs we loved ?
I know , I know these are contemporary times but has God changed ? Do we simply throw out everything old and good for everything. new? We can enjoy the new songs at the same time we remember the old can’t we? I believe so.
Christians are cowardly …
You are hypocrites ..
Many of you are into the newest secular movies to hit the Theaters but when we post issues which goes straight to Bible Prophecies you are all silent>
Because many of you secretly support and condone immorality.
I will continue to speak out on topical issues.
Going to Church on Sunday is not serving God.
Serving God is serving your fellow man .
◄ Matthew 25:40 ►39’When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40″The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ 41″Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;…
IF THE LIFE YOU LIVE IS LIVED SOLELY FOR YOUR OWN WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE?
I want to register my support for Tennessee county Clerk Kim Davis for standing on her Christian faith.
For standing as Daniel did, by refusing to bow because of a new law.
A new law which was designed to trap Daniel for praying to his God .
So too was this ignoble law of Sodomy designed to trap Christians into renouncing their faith.
GOD BLESS YOU KIM DAVIS.
◄ Matthew 24:9 ►”Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10″At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.…
Thus sayeth the Lord…
Type amen and watch money flow into your bank account. Expect a miracle and watch it happen. Name it and claim it.
We hear these statements all the time .We see them on social media too. And yes we even hear them in our churches.
But is this sound doctrine anchored in scriptural teachings? Will we see money in our bank accounts simply by typing amen to a post on Facebook? Are we assured wealth if we like, share or simple type Amen?
Can we simply “name it and claim it” as some ministers of the gospel tell their congregations? Is this kind of doctrine anchored in reality or are ministers of the Gospel preaching their own gospel?
The God of the Universe created this world and he designed the principles by which we should live . He tells us in his word the things we should do and he also tells us what we should not do . By those very principles the word of God outlines categorically what will happen when we deviate from the path he laid out for our direction.
So is God Almighty sitting above the clouds with a wand directing our paths magically or are our directions influenced by our very own actions? There are numerous stories of supposed ministers of the gospel who say the Lord will protect them from snake bites. Unfortunately snakes do bite and the bitten does die if those snakes are venomous.
Some who profess to be Christians jump into deep waters and claim the Lord will save them even though they never learned to swim. If you do jump in and never learned to swim know this, you will certainly drown.
So when they drown does that mean that the Lord does not exist ? Does it mean that the Lord is not in the miracle working business? The Temptation of Jesus
…2And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'”… The Temptation of Jesus
…5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'”7Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'”…
So according to the Scriptures we should not put the Lord our God to the test !
How then do we reconcile telling others to type Amen and watch money appear in our bank accounts? What is the foundation or the basis for the name it and claim it doctrine?
If I say I want to be President of the United States and pray that I become President with all my heart will I be President?
I sincerely doubt that . There is a significant amount of hurdles I would have to first overcome in the process of becoming President and pretty much all of those hurdles requires significant input from me.
So then how do we attain the blessings God has in store for us here in earth ? Is there no way for us to live blessed lives ? Matthew 25:14-30
The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property.15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed,25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Bible.org said quote: We should carefully note the outcome of faithful service, and of unfaithful service, in this parable. Faithful service led to increased responsibilities in the kingdom of heaven, and eternal joy in the presence of the Master, Jesus Christ. Unfaithful service led to condemnation, the removal of one’s stewardship, and an eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness, away from the presence of our Lord.
I believe fundamentally that there is another message for us right here on earth> As Jesus told this parable it is interesting to note that in the parable Jesus stated that the master gave the talents to his servants according to their abilities. How often do we hear someone lament not having the ability to dunk a basketball or jump 7 feet into the air which would bring them millions?
How often do we hear friends and even family members wish they had the means to be rich like someone else? God gave all of us gifts according to our abilities. Our abilities may not make us millions but they certainly make us enough for us to live by.
You may not be the next tech billionaire but you may be able to knit, sew , or crochet, find a way to monetize that gift the Lord gave you and not watch and lament the immense gifts of your neighbor. Do not curse your Lord as that wicked servant did, make use of the gifts he gave you.
Some Pastors and teachers of the gospel tell their congregations to expect a miracle in their lives. Well Christians should not expect to live on miracles . Miracles are enough to tide us over for a little while . Christians should live blessed lives. We can only live blessed lives when we utilize the gifts God has given us. That means looking deep within us and finding out what it is that we are gifted at doing. What it is that we love to do and do it , do it well and find a way to make a living doing it.
If you are a great talker don’t just chat away, use that gift to improve lives , learn to be a motivational speaker . If you are good with babies and little children and absolutely love them start a day-care center.
If you love to cook or bake learn how to start and operate a restaurant.
If you love the wild outdoors , offer guided tours , There are myriad ways that God has blessed us which will enrich our lives.
Sitting around waiting for a miracle will not bring prosperity to your life. Those who are preaching prosperity are selling you short by not telling you how you should live a blessed life by exploiting the gifts God gave you. They are living their purpose and so should you.