What type of Christian are you?

By Dr. David R. Reagan
Founder & Director, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Source: www.lamblion.com

Cultural? — A Barna Group research survey revealed that America's churches are full of cultural Christians. Such people have grown up in Christianity, they attend church regularly, and they profess to be Christians. What distinguishes them from other Christians is their lack of a personal relationship with Jesus. In short, they are Christians in name only because they have never been born again.

Former President Jimmy Carter was the one who made Americans conscious of the term "born again Christian." That is the label he applied to himself in 1976 when he was campaigning for the presidency. I remember how many Christian leaders rushed to the press to proclaim that they were not "one of those born again types." I found their protestations very interesting in view of the fact that Jesus Himself said that no one can enter Heaven unless they are born again (John 3:3).

The cultural Christian is just that — a person who considers himself to be a Christian because he has been raised in a Christian culture. Al Gore is a good example. He was raised in a Southern Baptist heritage, but during his presidential campaign, he made it clear that Christianity was only his "faith heritage" and nothing more. The cultural Christian, if he has any commitment at all, is committed to religion or a church, and not to Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. Such a person is unsaved.

Born Again? — The Barna Group defines the next step up as the "born again Christian." Born Again Christians are those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and who believe that salvation is dependent upon their relationship with Jesus. These people are saved.

Evangelical? — Barna defines Evangelical Christians as having the highest level of Christian commitment. This is a born again person who strongly holds to certain fundamental biblical truths. Only 7% of Americans qualify as evangelicals, as opposed to 41% who could be classified as born again.

What are you? Could you qualify as an evangelical Christian?

Good News — The Americans who were polled, whether Christian or not, strongly agreed on three biblical points.

1) Almost 75% agreed that God created the universe — an incredible number when you consider all the evolutionist propaganda we are bombarded with daily.

2) Almost 70% rejected the idea that sin is an outdated concept — another incredible response when you consider the "different strokes for different folks" mentality that seems to predominate today.

3) Not surprisingly, 50% stated that they believed in the reality of angels and their influence (I guess we can thank old shows like "Touched by an Angel" and "Highway to Heaven").

Bad NewsThe number of born again adults who held views contrary to the Bible was astonishing. Almost 70% agreed that the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves. Fifty-three percent denied the existence of the Holy Spirit as a person! Forty-seven percent stated that they did not believe in the existence of Satan. Thirty-one percent said they felt a good person could earn his way into heaven; 30% denied the physical resurrection of Jesus; and 24% said they thought Jesus had committed sins!

Solution

Such an abysmal lack of biblical knowledge about the fundamentals of the faith points to a famine of Bible study and preaching in the churches of America. People are obviously hearing inspirational ditties or warmed over homilies from the Reader's Digest.

We can be thankful that we are not saved by biblical knowledge, but by a relationship with Jesus. But a lack of biblical knowledge stunts spiritual growth and opens people up to doctrinal heresies and cultic deception.

The churches of America need to stop focusing on entertaining people. They also need to stop tiptoeing through the tulips doctrinally for fear of being seeker insensitive. We need to get back to the Word of God, to the fundamentals of the faith, and we need to be willing to step on toes when necessary by confronting people with the truth of their sin and their need for repentance.

As Paul told Timothy, "Preach the Word!" (2 Timothy 4:2).

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The Norway Shooter Is No Fundamentalist Christian

When Anders Behring Breivik shot and killed 68 people at a Labour Party summer youth camp on Norway's Utoeya island and killed another eight in a bombing in Oslo on July 22, the media immediately began bellowing that a right-wing Christian fundamentalist had just committed the most deadly attack in Norway since WWII. The slaughter of dozens of children under any banner is not simply tragic, but abhorrent. Media outlets spoke too quickly when they asserted that Breivik was a fundamentalist Christian, however. Regardless of what Breivik's Facebook page might have claimed, his actions and words demonstrate no relationship with fundamental Christianity, "right-wing" or otherwise. He in fact supports Darwinism and human logic, demonstrating a rationalist worldview rather than a Christian one.


As we consider the Norway shooting, we first and foremost must pray for the families and friends of those who lost their loved ones. We especially grieve for the families of the teenagers - unarmed kids – whom Breivik murdered in the name of freeing Europe. This man did not come upon armed enemies. He came to an island filled with children, dressed as a police officer to gain their trust. He called them to himself and then began to shoot them down at close range, following them to where they hid in tents and where they fled to the lake to escape. The grief felt in Norway right now is unimaginable, and our hearts and prayers go out to all the living victims of the rampage.

It is a horrific shame that the news outlets immediately began proclaiming that Anders Behring Breivik, the Norway Shooter, is a Christian fundamentalist. Breivik has willingly admitted that he has no personal relationship with God or Jesus, and his actions have nothing to do with what Jesus Christ taught.

What Breivik Believes:
On Friday, Breivik released a pdf file describing his beliefs and motivations for his attacks. His major complaint is against the Muslim invasion of Europe, along with the Marxists and multiculturalists he believes are letting it happen.

Breivik's stated goal was to, "cause maximum amount of damage to the Labour Party to stop its recruitment" and to stop "a deconstruction of Norwegian culture and mass-import of Muslims."

Breivik is not pro-Christianity. He is simply anti-Muslim. He possesses a desire to preserve the historical Christian culture of Europe, as though he were preserving apple pie and baseball in America or wieners and schnitzel in Germany. In fact, while the papers declared Breivik to be a Christian fundamentalist, he specifically placed himself against a government based on Christian fundamentalism.

He writes. "It is therefore essential to understand the difference between a 'Christian fundamentalist theocracy' (everything we do not want) and a secular European society based on our Christian cultural heritage (what we do want)."

Breivik's version of Europe's Christian culture has nothing to do with faith in God at all. It's all about the non-Islamic cultural legacy of Europe. He says:

"So no, you don't need to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)). The PCCTS, Knights Templar is therefore not a religious organisation but rather a Christian 'culturalist' military order."

While seeking to preserve Europe's cultural heritage, Breivik envisions a perfect Europe coming about through 'Logic.' He states, "'Logic' and rationalist thought (a certain degree of national Darwinism) should be the fundament of our societies."

Ah. Rationalist thought. That's just it.

Breivik did not kill those kids because of any verse in the Bible or because he believed God told him to. He's a believer in the human mind. He killed those teenagers and set off a car bomb in Oslo because, according to his rationale, it was the first step in achieving his purposes. He used his perfectly decent, albeit twisted, reasoning ability to justify the slaughter of dozens of unarmed human beings.

Many will argue that Breivik is insane, but Breivik's writings are not the ravings of a lunatic. His writings are lucid and practical. He has simply taken the human ability to make logical choices and has removed from his equations all morality and the value of individual human life. Breivik, like the Nazis or Communists or any other group that justifies mass murder, demonstrates where human logic can lead in the absence of moral absolutes.

Fundamentalism:
Islamic fundamentalists have been repeatedly guilty of using violence in their efforts to bring humanity into submission to Allah, and there is a general world assumption that religious fundamentalism always eventually leads to violence in God's name.

True Christian fundamentalism, however, would never lead to the shooting of teenagers. It couldn't, because true Christian fundamentalism bases itself on the teachings and person of Jesus Christ. The real problems we Christians sometimes cause do not come from obeying Jesus, but from not obeying Jesus.  Joshua took over the Promised Land, and David killed Goliath, but Jesus Christ never told his disciples to go out and commit violence in his name.

Jesus said:

 

"But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise," (Luke 6:27-31).

That's what Jesus taught.

Jesus told his followers he would send them the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13), and the Holy Spirit truly sets those who love Jesus apart from the members of all of the world's religions. The Spirit of God does not promote evil and destruction.  As Paul the apostle told the Galatians, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law," (Galatians 5:22-23).

The problem we Christians have is not that we are too filled with the Holy Spirit or too in love with God. If we were, we would obey God. We would be filled with the fruit of the Spirit, full of the wisdom and love of Christ. We Christians cause problems not when we stick to the fundamentals, but when we are not fundamentalist enough.

Norway shooter Anders Behring Breivik is definitely not a fundamentalist Christian, and his justifications for murdering 76 people on Friday should give pause to any who think that human rational thought will ultimately lead to utopia.

Source: http://www.khouse.org/enews_article/2011/1807

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Is God Judging Us?

By Jack Kelly

The weather is in the news again and I've received a number of questions about it. With another 500 year flood along the Mississippi and the worst tornado season since the 50s people are once again wondering if God is judging us for our sins. So we can better understand what's going on here's some perspective on the issue.

Based on my study of the nature and power of God, I'm convinced the world was perfect when He finished creating it. After all He pronounced His work of creation good 7 times during the week in which He performed it and when He was finished He declared the whole project very good. I don't believe there was a single thing wrong with the way it worked. I think there was a world wide sub-tropical climate and every day was perfect. There were twelve thirty day months and a year was 360 days long. I think the leap years, storms, earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural disasters we're all too familiar with were unknown to Earth's earliest residents.

But when sin was introduced into the world things began to work differently, the way a computer program works differently after a virus has been introduced into it. And life on Earth really changed when that sin had to be judged. The world has literally never been the same since.

Paul confirmed this when he wrote that we humans are not the only ones in bondage due to sin. He said the creation itself eagerly awaits to be liberated from its bondage and has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth ever since it was subjected to frustration. (Romans 8:18-22)

We need to understand that when sin entered the world it knocked the finely tuned creation out of balance, and when God judged the world in the Great Flood it caused both short and long term consequences. As subterranean water broke through the Earth's surface, God collapsed the giant water canopy He had placed above the sky (Genesis 1:6-8) providing enough water to completely cover the earth's surface (Genesis 7:11-12, 18-19).

How Old Are You?

One of the earliest consequences of the flood was the reduction in life spans. A quick comparison of pre and post flood life spans in Genesis 5 and Genesis 11:10-32 is all that's necessary to confirm this. Some believe it happened because the water canopy had prevented harmful rays from outer space from entering earth's atmosphere and damaging the regeneration process of human cells. They claim the loss of this protection caused the aging process to accelerate rapidly.

So while Adam lived 930 years and 9 generations later Noah lived to age 950, his son Shem, who was 98 years old when the flood came, lived only a total of 600 years. But even so he outlived 8 of the first 9 generations of his post flood descendants. Although Abraham wasn't born until 291 years after the flood came, he was already 59 years old when Noah finally died. Abraham died at the age of 175 years, 35 years before Shem. And Moses died at 120. ( Source: http://gracethrufaith.com/ikvot-hamashiach/from-adam-to-abraham/)

The collapse of the water canopy along with the increased size of the oceans also meant that weather would no longer be perfect and mankind would be subject to periodic storms. The first mention of wind blowing on earth is in Genesis 8:1 just after the flood, and storms are first noted in Exodus 9:24, but Job, who probably wrote about the time of Joseph, also spoke of storms several times.

The next change in the creation was when the single land mass was divided into the continents of today. In Genesis 1:9 we see that God caused the land to be separated from the water on the third day of creation. Scientists speculate that there was originally only one large land mass. (In the early 1900's the German scientist Alfred Wegener named this super continent Pangea, meaning all land, in connection with his theory on continental drift.) But Genesis 10:25 says that after the flood, the land was divided, eventually resulting in seven continents. This division may have caused the earth's outer crust to be fractured into giant pieces, called plates, on which the continents and oceans rest. It's the movement of these plates that causes earthquakes.

Baby It's Cold Outside

Then came the Ice Age. The huge increase in the surface area of Earth's water caused by the flood caused increased evaporation which led to the world becoming almost completely enclosed in dense cloud cover. The cloud cover brought lower temperatures which caused the supersaturated clouds to condense into precipitation. Outside the equatorial zones the precipitation fell as sleet and snow instead of just rain and as more of the earth's surface became covered in snow the temperatures fell even lower. When the clouds finally cleared the sun melted much of the snow and ice but the polar regions have never recovered from this and are still frozen even though undigested tropical vegetation has been found in frozen animal carcasses chipped out of the polar ice. The increased precipitation combined with snow melt caused ocean levels to rise submerging numerous coastal settlements. Remnants of these settlements can still be seen 100-300 feet below the surface at many points around the world. The land bridge that once connected the British Isles and Europe disappeared. (Source: Ice Age Civilizations, James Neinhuis)

About 701 BC what was apparently a close flyby between Earth and Mars knocked both planets off their orbits. Having taken 360 days for Earth to circumnavigate the Sun ever since the creation it thereafter began requiring 365.25 days. All the calendars of the world had to be changed. Somewhere along the way the Earth's axis began to tilt, a process that continues to this day. This has the effect of making summers hotter and winters colder in much of the world than they were before. And lately we've learned that the Earth's magnetic poles are adrift and are probably going to be reversing within the next year or so.

So, as soon as sin was introduced Earth's days were numbered and things were destined to get progressively worse. Natural disasters have been part of man's existence ever since the Flood and at many times have been much worse than they are today. In fact one could logically wonder how the earth has managed to survive this long. The answer is in Paul's letter to the Colossians. Speaking of Jesus he said:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)

Because of all this, when people ask if the Lord is judging us for our sins, my response is not yet. We're still experiencing the consequences of the last judgment. Besides the Church has already been judged and the penalty paid for our sins. It happened at the cross. Unbelievers won't be judged until the Church is gone and when they are it will make what's happening now seem like small potatoes.

Therefore it's my opinion that for the most part the extreme weather the world is currently experiencing is part of the ongoing effect of the judgment the Lord visited upon Earth at the time of the Great Flood.

Times Of The Signs

But I think there are also two things happening that may be unique to our time and both are signs from the Lord. One is for the Church and the other is for America's leaders.

Both Jesus and Paul indicated that we would see signs in the creation that would alert us to the nearness of the End times. These signs would appear before the end times scenario actually unfolds, in other words before the 70th Week begins, but would hint at its closeness. He called them the beginning of birth pangs (Matt. 24:8) Paul used the same phrase in Romans 8:22 referring to the creation. Birth pangs begin mildly and are far apart, but as the time for the birth approaches they become more frequent and more intense. Jesus specifically mentioned earthquakes, so let's see if the trend in earthquakes meets the pattern of birth pangs. In the 1930s and 40s earthquakes measuring 5.0 or larger averaged around 17 per year. In the 1990s the average was just under 30 but for the last 4 years we've averaging about 50. (Source: National Geophysical Data Center) I believe this is the Lord alerting the Church to get ready for the rapture.

The other one is a warning to America's leaders to take their hands off His land. By selectively relaxing His hold on the now flawed creation to coincide with American led demands that Israel trade some of His land for the false hope of peace, He's trying to get their attention. While the disasters His relaxation permits are no where near the record setters of world history, some have been bigger than anything this generation of Americans is used to. (You can easily Google up a list of the 20th Century's worst disasters to verify this.) As you can see from the list below, these warnings have conspicuously followed on the heels of American decisions to pressure Israel into forfeiting part of the Promised Land for peace.

1. October 30, 1991: The Perfect Storm – As President George H. W. Bush is opening the Madrid (Spain) Conference to consider "land for peace" and Israel’s Middle East role, the "perfect storm" develops in the North Atlantic, creating the largest waves ever recorded in that region. The storm travels 1000 miles from "east to west" instead of the normal "west to east" pattern and crashes into the New England Coast. Thirty-five foot waves pound Kennebunkport,Maine, the summer home of the Bush family.

2. August 23, 1992: Hurricane Andrew – When the Madrid Conference moves to Washington DC and the peace talks resume, Hurricane Andrew, the worst natural disaster ever to hit America, comes ashore and produces an estimated $30 billion in damage and leaving 180,000 homeless in Florida.

3. January 16, 1994: Northridge Earthquake—President Bill Clinton meets with Syria's President Hafez el-Assad in Geneva. They talk about a peace agreement with Israel that includes giving up the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours, a powerful 6.9 earthquake rocks Southern California, This quake, centered in Northridge, becomes the second most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States, behind Hurricane Andrew.

4. January 21, 1998: Lewinsky Scandal – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with President Clinton at the White House and is coldly received. Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refuse to have lunch with him. Shortly afterwards on that day, the Monica Lewinsky scandal breaks into the mass media and begins to occupy a major portion of Clinton's time.

5. September 28, 1998: Hurricane George – As Secretary of State Albright works on the final details of an agreement in which Israel would give up 13 percent of the West Bank, Hurricane George slams into the United States Gulf Coast with 110 mph winds and gusts up to 175 mph. The hurricane hits the coast and is stalled there. On September 28, Clinton meets with Yasser Arafat and Netanyahu at the White House to finalize this land deal. Later, Arafat addresses the United Nations about declaring an independent Palestinian state by May 1999, as Hurricane George pounds the Gulf Coast, causing $1 billion in damage. At the exact time that Arafat departs the country, the storm begins to dissipate.

6. October 15-22, 1998: Texas Flooded – On October 15, 1998, Arafat and Netanyahu meet at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland. The talks are scheduled to last five days with the focus on Israel giving up the aforementioned 13 percent of the West Bank. The talks are extended and conclude on October 23. On October 17, awesome rains and tornadoes hit southern Texas. The San Antonio area is deluged with rain. The rain and flooding in Texas continue until October 22 and then subside. The floods ravage 25 percent of Texas and leave over one billion dollars in damage. On October 21, Clinton declares this section of Texas a major disaster area.

7. November 30, 1998: Market Capitalization Evaporates – Arafat comes to Washington again to meet with President Clinton to raise money for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capitol. A total of 42 other nations were represented in Washington. All the nations agreed to give Arafat $3 billion in aid. Clinton promised $400 million, and the European nations $1.7 billion. On the same day, the Dow Jones average drops 216 points, and on December 1, the European Market had its third worst day in history. Hundreds of billions of market capitalization were wiped out in the U.S. and Europe.

8. December 12, 1998: Clinton is Impeached – As Clinton lands in the Palestinian-controlled section of Israel to discuss the "land for peace" process, the House of Representatives votes four articles of impeachment against him.

9. May 3, 1999: The Powerful Super Tornado – On the day that Yasser Arafat is scheduled to declare a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital, the most powerful tornado storm system ever to hit the United States sweeps across Oklahoma and Kansas. The winds are clocked at 316 mph the fastest wind speed ever recorded. The declaration is postponed to December 1999 at the request of President Clinton, whose letter to Arafat encourages him in his "aspirations for his own land." He also writes that the Palestinians have a right to "determine their own future on their own land" and that they deserve to "live free, today, tomorrow and forever."

10. Week of October 11, 1999: Hurricane, Earthquake and Dow Collapse – As Jewish settlers in 15 West Bank settlements are evicted from covenant land, the Dow-Jones financial averages lose 5.7 percent in the worst week since October 1989. On October 15 the Dow lost 266 points, and a hurricane slams into North Carolina. On the next morning, October 16, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks the southwest in the fifth most powerful earthquake in 20th Century. The earthquake was centered in the California desert and did little damage but was felt in three states. (source: www.truthorfiction.com)

11. August 29, 2005. Hurricane Katrina. One week before Katrina made landfall, Israel carried out the evacuation of 9,500 residents from Gush Katif and four Samaria communities. Residents were forced from their homes by Israeli troops, some dragged away kicking and screaming and placed on buses that took them from the area. The Gaza evacuation had been supported and even urged upon Israel by the US. Estimated to have caused damages in excess of $100 billion Katrina was one of the most expensive natural disasters in US history (Source: www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=46178)

12. Sept. 1, 2010 US Pres. Obama welcomed PM Netanyahu (Israel) Pres. Abbas (Palestinians) Pres. Mubarak (Egypt) and King Abdullah (Jordan) to the White House, having invited them all to dinner on the eve of the first direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians in nearly two years. As the talks began, Hurricane Earl (a category 3 storm) was headed for North Carolina where mandatory evacuation orders were issued in some coastal areas. Hurricane warnings were established all the way up the East coast to Cape Cod. Although many experts felt the timing was wrong, and in fact no tangible results came from the talks, over $40 million in damages were attributed to hurricane Earl.

The Law of Cause and Effect is clearly established in the incidents I've described above. Even those who deny the existence of God have seen the trend. More than one observer has commented that it takes a lot of effort to miss the point of these warnings. And that is, of all the places on Earth, God has claimed that land for Himself. There's no nation powerful enough to give even one inch of it to anyone else at any time for any reason without suffering the consequences.

So back to the original question. Is God judging us for our sins? Not yet. But is He warning us that His judgment is coming soon? You bet. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.

06-04-11

Source: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/kelley/jack176.html

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What Is the World’s Largest Church?

By Dr. David R. Reagan

The world's largest church is one that teaches a New Age theology that denies all the fundamental truths of the Bible. The church has over 20 million enthusiastic members in the United States who adore their pastor — Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah's life story is a rags-to-riches sensation that could happen only in America. She was born in 1954 to an unwed teenager in Mississippi. She was given the name of Orpah at birth, after the biblical character in the book of Ruth, but her family and friends always mispronounced it, calling her "Oprah" instead.

On September 8, 1986, the Oprah Winfrey Show began broadcasting nationally, and in short order it replaced Donahue as the number one day-time talk show in America. Since that time, the Oprah Show has set all sorts of records. It is the highest-rated and longest-running television talk show in American history. The show has 22 million viewers in the States and 49 million worldwide in the more than 120 countries in which it is broadcast. Her O Magazine readership is over 3 million. Her website is visited 1.3 million times each day.
All of this has propelled Oprah to immense wealth and popularity. Her net worth is estimated to be more than one billion dollars. A Gallup poll ranked her as the 4th most important woman in the entire history of the world! CNN and Time magazine have both referred to her as "arguably the world's most powerful woman." She has received similar laudatory rankings from Life, USA Today, and Ladies Home Journal. Forbes named her the world's most powerful celebrity in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2010. And in 2010, Life magazine named her one of the 100 most important people who have changed the world — right up there with Jesus Christ and Elvis Presley!

An Incredible Danger

There is no doubt that Oprah Winfrey is the world's most popular and powerful woman. And there is also no doubt that she is the most dangerous.

I make that assertion without hesitation because she has emerged as a New Age High Priestess who is deceiving millions into rejecting God's Word and embracing, instead, a convoluted theology that is straight from the pit of Hell.

Her Role As A Spiritual Leader

She is widely recognized as a spiritual leader. In 2002 Christianity Today declared she "has become one of the most influential spiritual leaders in America." In 2006 USA Today pointed out that she has been referred to as "a really hip and materialistic Mother Teresa," "a symbolic figurehead of spirituality," "America's pastor," and "today's Billy Graham."

The spiritual pornography that Oprah is peddling is called The New Age Movement. The irony is that Oprah claims to be a Christian and denies being a New Ager! On one of her programs when a Christian in the audience challenged Oprah about being a "New Ager," Oprah responded:

I am not New Age anything, and I resent being called that. I am trying to open a door so that people can see themselves more clearly and perhaps be the light to get to God, whatever they may call that. I don't see spirits in the trees, and I don't sit in a room with crystals.

Unfortunately for Oprah, this very denial revealed her New Age mentality. Notice that she refers to God as "whatever" a person "may call that." And she asserts that human beings can be "the light" to get to God. This denial is either a lie about her New Age beliefs, or else she is totally deceived by them.

The essence of the New Age Movement is pantheism — the pagan belief that God is in everything and therefore everything is God. This belief stands in direct opposition to the biblical teaching that God exists separate and apart from His creation. A corollary of pantheism is the belief that Man is god and therefore the key to spiritual enlightenment and salvation is to recognize one's divinity and release it to achieve Christ-consciousness.

Oprah can deny all day long that she is a New Ager, but the truth is to be found in her writings and public statements and in the guests that she features on her programs.

Oprah's Words

For example, during a program when she was interviewing New Age guru Shirley MacLaine, Oprah said that being born again is the same as "being connected to the higher Self," and she added that when the Bible says, "ask and it shall be given," we are being prompted to seek answers from our "intuitive Self."

On a program featuring a panel of New Age authors, Oprah said she does not think God is "hung up" on what we believe about Him. "Whatever that force is, it doesn't care what you call it. He doesn't have an ego problem." She went on to say, "I believe in the FORCE. I call it God." On the contrary, the Bible reveals God as our Heavenly Father, as a person, and not as some impersonal force or "it."

On another program featuring a panel of New Age gurus, Oprah said, "…one of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe that there is only one way. Actually there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God." When one of her audience members disagreed, testifying that she believed Jesus is the only way to God, Oprah lost her temper and shouted, "There couldn't possibly be only one way!" She added that she felt like God cares more about our hearts than He does about what we believe about Jesus.

In her 2005 book, Live Your Best Life, Oprah described her theology as a belief that everything is one and Man is divine and Man can thus create his own reality. She encouraged people to meditate and pray (to any god!) and say, "My heart is open to find the flow, the flow, the flow, the flow that is my life…I am willing to surrender to the flow that is my life." Does that sound like a Christian prayer to you? The Bible teaches that we are to surrender our lives to Jesus.

Oprah claims that one of the most important books she has ever read is one by Eric Butterworth called Discover the Power Within You. In that book the author wrote, "Jesus did not come to teach us how divine he was but to teach that divinity was within us." Commenting on this totally unbiblical and blasphemous statement, Oprah said that for Jesus to claim exclusive divinity "would make Jesus the biggest egotist that ever lived."

One of Oprah's severest critics, David Cloud, says that "in a nutshell, Oprah's gospel is ME." As he further points out, she has said repeatedly, "God wants you to love yourself. It starts with you." Newsweek magazine quoted her in 1997 as saying that spiritual gurus are here "not to teach us about their divinity, but to teach us about our own."

Source: www.lamblion.com

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Is the President’s Plan to Divide Jerusalem God’s Plan?

By John Claeys

The N.Y. Times reports that President Obama has created his own diplomatic plan to rival the plan of Israeli P.M. Netanyahu. Obama's plan would split Jerusalem, giving the Eastern half to the Palestinians.

But herein lies the problem. The Eastern side of Jerusalem contains the Temple Mount, the area which has contained the two Jewish temples. In addition, the Bible tells us that another temple will be constructed. In fact, it will be built as a key component of the end-times treaty, the seven-year covenant with Israel that starts the clock ticking on the final seven years before the return of Christ.

When Daniel 9:27 announces this treaty, it also reveals that the breaking of the treaty—in the exact mid-point of this seven-year period—will bring "an end to offering and sacrifice". Because the breaking of the treaty brings an end to "offering and sacrifice," that can only mean that they are intricately tied to the treaty. Moreover, the Jews cannot make offerings and sacrifices without a temple (which is why Jews have not been able to have sacrifices since A.D. 70, the year the last temple was destroyed), which tells us that the rebuilding of the temple is a necessary part of the confirmation of the treaty.

Most likely, this temple will be built on the same spot where the first two were constructed—the temple mount. Certainly, any orthodox, or ultra-orthodox, Jew who backs the building of the temple would not give a thought of constructing it anywhere else. Furthermore, since the rebuilt temple is called "the temple of God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4), it, obviously means it will be built where the first (and the second) resided—with the holy of holies upon the very rock where the Jewish forefather, Abraham, offered up his son, Isaac, to be sacrificed. (This offering was directed by God; however, God stopped the sacrifice just before Abraham could follow through on it and provided a substitute—a ram—allowing his son to live. This substitute served as a precursor of the "Lamb of God," the Lord Jesus Christ, who became our substitute so that we could live [forever].) Since the significance of this place cannot be overstated, it is beyond belief to suggest the temple would be rebuilt on another spot.

Understanding this is key to understanding if the Obama plan will be realized. Since the Temple Mount is located in East Jerusalem, and since the Jews will be granted permission (as part of the end-times bible prophecy treaty) to rebuild the temple there, we can see from the Bible that East Jerusalem will never belong to the Palestinians. Thus, Israel will not relinquish that part of the city (nor any other) prior to the end-times treaty.

Because East Jerusalem as the capital city for the Palestinians is an indispensible part of the peace process to the Palestinian Authority, not getting it means the Palestinian leadership will not sign a treaty with Israel. But there are other reasons, as well. The PA will not even accept the right of Israel to exist, so how could a treaty be confirmed with a nation that has no right to exist? Furthermore, as a result of indoctrinating Palestinians from the crib that Jews have no right to live in the Middle East, the PA leadership has no backing for a treaty with Israel. In addition, to effect such a treaty, Hamas, the ruling party over the Palestinians in the Gaza strip, would have to be in agreement with a treaty with Israel; however, the Hamas charter calls for the elimination of the Jewish nation. Finally, the Palestinian leadership has announced they are not interested in negotiating a treaty with the Israeli leadership by forsaking negotiations and going to the U.N. Security Council with the hope the Council will make a resolution for a Palestinian state—without Israeli consent.

The importance of this is that it is another demonstration that East Jerusalem will remain in Israeli hands. After all, the only reason for giving away that part of the city would be for the purpose of completing a treaty with the PA. Thus, no treaty with the Palestinians, no giving up any part of Jerusalem.

Thus, it appears that God's plan for Jerusalem is different than that of the president.

Source: http://blogs.christianpost.com/endtimes/2011/04/is-the-presidents-plan-to-divide-jerusalem-gods-plan-24/

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Biblical Scholar: Life in Heaven Similar to Earth, but Better

By Michelle A. Vu

In heaven, people will have a similar body, voice and vocation as they did on earth, but everything will be much better, said a respected biblical scholar.

Dr. Paul Enns, professor and director of the Tampa extension of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, explores what heaven will be like based on biblical descriptions in his latest book Heaven Revealed.

Enns, who researched and wrote the book in memory of his late wife, Helen, answers questions such as “Where is heaven?” “What kind of body will we have?” “What will life be like in heaven?” “And will we remember people we met on earth in heaven?”


“We will continue to be the people that we are,” stated Enns in an interview with The Christian Post.

Enns pointed to Matthew 26:29, when Jesus says he will not drink this wine until he meets his disciples in heaven, and highlighted that Jesus uses the pronouns “I” and “you,” which means there is a “continuity of the person.”

“God has given us natural abilities and also given us spiritual gifts when we became believers in Christ, and so we will continue, which means our spiritual giftedness continues,” said Enns. “We will continue in heaven to do things we did here.”

The biblical scholar, who also wrote the book The Moody Handbook of Theology, said heaven is not just a state but a real place where God dwells. There is the intermediate heaven (Luke 23), a paradise for believers between death and the Second Coming, and the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1, Isaiah 65, 66), which is the final destination of believers on a restored earth, according to Enns. He said he thinks the “the third heaven,” although he admitted he is unsure, is the same as the intermediate heaven.

Bodies in Heaven

In the intermediate heaven, believers will have an intermediate body, which is different from the resurrected body that all followers of Jesus will have at the rapture. Enns, however, said the Bible is unclear about how our intermediate body is different from the resurrected body.

But believers can be assured they will have an intermediate body because during the transfiguration scene in Matthew 17, he pointed out, Moses and Elijah appeared in their intermediate bodies and the disciples were able to recognize them in their physical form.

Only Jesus, so far in history, has a resurrected body, which is of higher form than the intermediate body. A believer’s final body, the resurrected body, will be like Jesus’, the scholar said. The Bible, through the stories of Jesus after the resurrection, provides many clues on what our resurrected body will be like. In many ways, the resurrected body will be similar to our earthly bodies based on the fact that the disciples were able to recognize Jesus in his resurrected body and Mary was even able to immediately recognize Jesus’ voice when he called “Mary” (John 20:16).

But unlike our earthly bodies, our intermediate and resurrected bodies will never perish or be vulnerable to disease or disabilities. The heavenly bodies will be youthful and be controlled by the Spirit the way God intended us to live originally, writes Enns.

“There is a continuity of who we were here to who we will be in our resurrected bodies. There is a continuity in our appearance, a continuity in our voice, so we will recognize one another even in the intonation of our voice,” said Enns to CP. “So that is quite exciting.”

Memory in the Afterlife

Believers will remember their life on earth and will continue their relationships with family and friends in heaven, according to Enns. But the relationships will all be much better, even if they were already good on earth.

“Should we think that God would give us a wonderful, loving relationship with family and friends for forty or fifty years, only to be terminated, never to be enjoyed again? Impossible!” writes Enns, who pointed to the recurring phrase “he was gathered to his people” in the Old Testament as meaning believers will be reunited with their loved ones.

“Death is not cessation of existence; death is separation of the body from the soul and spirit (James 2:26),” writes Enns. “The body temporarily goes into the grave, awaiting the resurrection, but the person – complete with all thoughts, memory, and personality – continues.”

For biblical support, the scholar pointed to the famous story in Luke 16 about the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man retained memory of his father and five brothers while in hell.

“If the people in hell will remember their past lives on this earth, surely believers in heaven will remember their lives on earth. Abilities in heaven will not be inferior to abilities in hell,” writes the Southern Baptist theologian.

“We will know everything we know now, but much clearer and much more.”

God’s Kingdom on Earth Will Last Forever

Some Christians believe that the millennial rule means that Jesus will restore peace on earth for only 1,000 years and then the earth will be destroyed, said Enns. But he believes that Jesus will bring heaven’s rule on earth forever and not just for a millennium.

He calls the ultimate Kingdom of God on earth the new heaven, new earth, which is when the earth will be peaceful (natural disasters cease to exist), when deserts become “lush gardens,” and when aggressive animals will be gentle and co-exist peacefully together.

“God did not create the earth to be very good only to have Satan lead man in rebellion against God, causing God to destroy the world. Were that the case, Satan could claim a victory,” writes Enns. “As in Noah’s day, the earth was cleansed but not annihilated, so the earth will be cleansed but not annihilated in the conflagration that is to come. It will still exist as earth – but it will be the ‘new earth.’”

He quotes theologian Wayne Grudem who wrote in Systematic Theology: “It is difficult to think that God would entirely annihilate his original creation, thereby seeming to give the devil the last word and scrapping the creation that was originally ‘very good’ (Gen. 1:31).”

Enns then makes the connection that since God dwells with man on the new earth and since God’s home is heaven, then the new earth is part of heaven.

“Christ, the Last Adam, will restore this earth to its perfect, pre-fall condition,” the biblical scholar writes, describing the new earth as Eden-like.

What Will We Do in Heaven?

In heaven, believers will worship God, judge and rule (I Corinthians 6:2-3), rebuild cities (Amos 9:14, Isaiah 61:4), compose music (Revelation 14:13), farm, raise livestock, and continue using their God-given talents they had on earth to honor God, according to Enns. But medical doctors and dentists will need to find new vocations, he noted, since the heavenly bodies will be perfect.

“Heaven is always better than earth – in every dimension. There is no realm in which earth is better. In no way will we ever be poorer in heaven than on earth,” writes Enns. “Everything will be better in heaven. That is an underlying principle that we must continually bear in mind.”

Source: http://www.christianpost.com/news/biblical-scholar-life-in-heaven-similar-to-earth-but-better-50073/

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How a Worship Format is Destroying the Evangelical Church

By Ed Vasicek

During my lifetime, many evangelical churches in American have moved from Bible-oriented gatherings to music-dominated meetings. Interestingly, both sets of religious gatherings typically bore the title, “Worship Service.”

When the evangelical church was Bible-oriented, this “worship” paradigm was in place:

(1) Not all elements of the service were considered equally important; the exposition of Scripture was clearly the first and foremost priority. All other competitors vied for a distant second place.

(2) When the term “worship” was used, it was the equivalent of our modern casual expression, “doing church.” It is important to note that the preaching of the Word was considered part of worship, as were announcements, testimonies, communion, prayer, singing, the offering, and special music. This was the typical structure of a “worship service” before 1980.

(3) Many evangelicals viewed music as a “warm up for the sermon.” In this regard, many leaders did not seem to often respect music ministry as actual ministry but many others did.


The Change

But the paradigm has changed in many churches. The most important change was what the word “worship” communicates. The word “worship” is now used by clergy and laity alike to refer to the religious feelings aroused by music.

(1) The change in paradigms began with the addition on an article: “the” worship. As trivial as this seems, this was the beginning of emphasizing music and separating preaching and announcements from worship. We now have “the worship” and “the sermon.”

Here is just one possible scenario resulting from this change in definition. John Member has schedule a meeting with Pastor Jones. Let’s eavesdrop.

“Pastor, I think we need to cut down the time you preach. Fifteen minutes is plenty, I think.”

“I don’t agree,” replies Pastor Jones, “studying the Bible is crucial for every Christian.”

“Oh, I agree that the Bible is important, Pastor,” responds John Member, “but our morning service is billed as the morning worship service, so it should be mainly about worship, not preaching.”

In the above hypothetical conversation, you can see how the two meanings of the word “worship” are colliding with one another. In the pastor’s mind, Bible study is an important part of worship, but not in the mind of John Member. He views only music as “worship.”

(2) Other terminology changed. Schools that offered a major in church music (or “sacred music” for the hoi polloi) changed the major to “Worship Arts” (about the same time shades and curtains became “window treatments”). The song leader became known as the “worship leader.”

(3) Music became more emotionally intense, and a confusion between the emotional and the spiritual helped set music on an untouchable pedestal. Worship had become something one felt, not something one did. Worship was judged as good or bad based upon how it made worshippers feel. The Scriptures no longer defined good worship; the individual had become the discerner of truth based upon how he felt.

(4) In mega-churches, elitism and an attitude oriented toward musicians performing to the standards of other musicians (rather than aiming to bless the congregation) seems to be the norm. In some cases, musicians have become a special religious caste (like a priest, they lead the sacrifice of praise into the holy place).

(5) Even though Colossians 3:16 implies we should aim our hymns and songs both vertically and horizontally (we sing to one another and in our hearts to the Lord), the entire concept of worshiping God in the third person is gone, despite the fact that many Psalms speak of God as “He” rather than “You.”

(6) The goal of worship is creating a religious atmosphere and its attendant feelings. Often times worship leaders are weak in biblical and theological matters, but because more Christians value “worship” above theology, some of these leaders are carving out a pattern for church with little regard for biblical teaching about what the church is supposed to do when gathered.

(7) Here is the pattern: eventually worship (music and that religious feeling) is considered almost on a par with Scripture, then equal to Scripture, and eventually superior to it.* The Scriptures become subservient to the music and are used more as transitions between songs than holy word to be expounded. Biblical sermons have given way to self-help lectures or emotionally charged sermons with lots of illustrations—replacing the previous Psalm 1 mentality. The idea of worshiping God through deep Bible study and meditation in the Word is unknown; worship now means music and feelings.

The consequences & dangers of the new “worship format”

Religion is back in vogue. We used to hear “I’m not religious, I just love the Lord,” or “Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship.” Because of the new emphasis on religious feeling, it is fair to say that we have moved back into the domain of religion. 

Worship has become a religious experience dependent upon something else than the gathering of Christians to study the Word, pray, celebrate communion, and sing a few hymns. Based upon modern viewpoints, the early church must have done a poor job of worshipping God. 

If the church is about worship, and if worship is a religious feeling induced from a church gathering, then, if I get a stronger version of that feeling somewhere else, that is where I need to be. Rather than the Bible, a passionate feeling of worship becomes the canon by which I measure truth. 

As a result, Christians not only move from evangelical church to evangelical church, but they also desert evangelicalism. Our heritage is based upon the centrality of Scripture; we are really novices at the religion game. But even if we competed well on a religious level, are we right to trash the primacy of Scripture? What about the convictions of the Reformation?

The problem is not contemporary music, seeking to have meaningful worship through songs of praise, etc. The problem is displacement. When we displace the knowledge of the Word and solid doctrine with music (whether we call music worship or not), we are no longer under the lordship of Christ. The Christian life includes public worship, but the highest form of worship is hearing and doing the Word of God. That is why the ultimate “worship book” in the Bible, the book of Psalms, begins with emphasizing constant meditation on the Word. The longest Psalm (119) makes the point even more emphatically. God seeks those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth. It is hard to worship God in truth if you don’t know the truth and if you do not make the truth a priority.

Source: http://www.sharperiron.org/article/how-worship-format-destroying-evangelical-church

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The Bible

By Grant Phillips

I will confine my comments within the boundaries of the continental United States. In this country, there is no excuse for anyone to not own a Bible. Many do. Even though the courts have tried to extinguish it, especially via the school system, it flourishes. This precious book can be purchased in several translations, with different helps, various sizes (even in font), and the list goes on. It can also be obtained absolutely free of charge, no strings attached.

Even though the list of families is growing where a Bible is not to be found, its popularity does not diminish. The result however is that thousands of children are growing up today who are totally foreign to the Bible, and we are reaping the whirlwind from the crop we have sown. God help us.

My point though is directed to those who claim the name of Christ and thereby call themselves Christians. There are four concerns I see; (1) a Christian without a Bible, (2) a Christian with a Bible, but who does not read it, (3) a Christian who reads the Bible, but does not study it, and finally (4) a Christian who studies the Bible, but will not forsake his/her preconceived opinions.

(1) Christians Without Bibles

When I see a Christian without a Bible, I am either (a) saddened or (b) perplexed.

(a) I am saddened when a child of God does not have the means to hear what their Lord says. Is it really possible in this country for a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to not have the wherewithal to obtain a Bible? Not much, but yes. There are a few who just cannot afford a Bible, and do not realize that there are sources who will give them a free Bible. Then again, maybe sometimes pride stands in the way, so they do not ask. The Gideons for example, are well known for distributing Bibles without charge. Many churches would be more than happy to give anyone who wants a Bible a free one. Maybe we need to be more aware of our brothers and sisters in the Lord who need help in this area, and simply provide them, personally, a free Bible. 

(b) It puzzles me when I see those, who I know own one, not bother to have one with them when the church assembles in worship. In their defense I do need to point out that considering some of the humanistic dribble that comes from the pulpit these days, I cannot blame them. However, this is when I would be looking for another church family to worship with. Sometimes though you have some “meat and potatoes” coming from the pulpit, and it is discouraging to the speaker when he looks out over the congregation and sees so many sitting there on their hands with that far off look in their eyes. That would be like going to class at school and leaving your text books home. How do you think that would fly?

(2) A Christian With A Bible, But Who Will Not Read It

Oddly enough, these good folks sometimes have all the answers, based on their preconceived opinions of course. This is the crowd that so often will quote a line, and then tell you that it is in the Bible, when it is not. Such as:

1.     The eyes are the window to the soul.

2.     The family that prays together stays together.

3.     Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

4.     A fool and his money are soon parted.

5.     Cleanliness is next to godliness.

6.     God helps those who help themselves.

7.     Money is the root of all evil.

8.     To thine own self be true.

The first five are good quotes, but that is all they are, just quotes from other sources, not the Bible. The last threed are not true, and are not from the Bible. There are many others. Look them up. Here is another one, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Is it from the Bible? No, it actually goes back to an essay written in 1709 called “An Essay On Criticism” and was written by Alexander Pope. Albert Einstein expanded on this quote by saying, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.”

Need I say more about Christians with a Bible, but who will not read them?

(3) Christians Who Read The Bible, But Will Not Study The Bible.

There is a difference?! Absolutely!

Now some of these dear saints are “kissing cousins” with “Christians With A Bible, But Who Will Not Read Them”, if they are just casual readers of the Bible, the once in a great while crowd. These are the good folks who let their ignorance show like a lady’s slip hanging below her dress. How do they do this? It usually happens when they open their mouth. They perch on the edge of their seats just waiting to straighten you out when you err, or at least, when they think you do.

Others in this group do read their Bible as often as possible, possibly at least a little every day, but sadly they do not take the extra time to really study what they are reading. They are on the right track, and are to be admired. They obviously do love our Lord, and want to hear, via His Word the Bible, what He is saying to them. They short-change themselves however by not digging deeper into the rich soil of God’s Word. Oh the treasurers He has for us, as the Holy Spirit guides our paths to the deeper things He reveals.

The big, big difference between reading the Bible and truly studying the Bible (guided by the Holy Spirit) is “work”. It takes a lot of hard work to study the Bible. No one can obtain salvation through working for it, but work must be applied as a Christian, when studying God’s Word. God is not going to funnel it in our ears. He expects us to dig for His nuggets. We dig. He guides. I suppose God looks at it this way, “If they are not interested enough in Me to apply themselves, then I am not going to reward them for laziness.”

It is understood that some people are just not able to do more than read the Scriptures. Their reasons are many, and they are legitimate. I applaud them. The Lord will reward them mightily.

Others though could go beyond reading, if they would, but they won’t. What we actually do and don’t do is a strong indication of our real priorities. We make time for what we want to do. Right? Why can’t we make time to study God’s Word? Obviously, we don’t want to.

(4) Christians Who Study The Bible, But Will Not Forsake Their Preconceived Opinions

I discovered almost 50 years ago that the Holy Spirit works much better with a mind that is open to His leadership, than one that is closed to instruction. In other words, to learn, keep an open mind, and let the Holy Spirit lead you. I have tried to follow this procedure, and still do so. I have changed my mind on some things because I allowed God to direct me to the Truth. I have not changed my mind on other things for the same reason. I remain neutral on a couple of issues for now.

More often than not, people’s preconceived opinions are from some of these sources:

o       Their own denomination (or the like)

o       Family opinions

o       Things heard from others over the years

o       False teaching from the pulpit (a big one)

o       Their own reasoning (what they think is fair or the way it should be, etc.)

We all should be more like the Bereans who, “… were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11) Could it be that these upstarts from Berea actually double-checked the Apostle Paul and his associate Silas, by searching the Scriptures? Any Bible teacher worth his salt would encourage people to do so. I am sure Paul did.

Look folks, God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”. (Isaiah 55:8) So what gives us the right to say to God, “I think it should be this way or that way”? Just who do we think we are?

I will never forget noticing as a child of about twelve or fourteen that respected religious leaders may have totally different views on the same subject. About that same time, a friend told me that I “belonged” to a certain demonization because of my parents. He was right. He concluded that I was heavily influenced by my parents and my local church and denomination. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but it was then that I determined not to be influenced by the thinking of others to the point of being “herd bound”. (Herd Bound Definition: when all in the herd follow each other in the stampede over the cliff to their doom) Therefore, I determined to be my own man, so to speak, not shaped by the opinions of others or the error of my own thought, but by the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Why should I get my Biblical training second-hand from opinions, when I could get it straight from the Source? Is that to say I would always be right? Absolutely not! (No fault of God’s though.) But at least, I would be better off than letting others determine what I believe.

For those in this category, if you would just allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in your study, even away from what you may have once held dearly, you just might relax and enjoy life. Otherwise, you will continue to be like a pond with no flowing water … stagnated and stinky.

Those with stubborn opinions are not the same as those with beliefs that are Holy Spirit led conclusions. Just make sure that they are Holy Spirit led conclusions though, and not stubborn opinions.

Concluding

The intent with Bible study, for all Christians, should be to grow as close as possible to the one and only God who saved us. Secondly, to learn His will for us. The intent is never to just obtain knowledge, but to obtain knowledge that makes us more like Jesus in the lives we live every day.

Some just want to argue about what they know or think they know. Knowledge is not something you flaunt. One who is Christ like does not throw knowledge in the face of others and then try to induce an argument. We share what Jesus wants us to pass on to others, and then leave it there. The rest is between the person or persons we shared it with and the Lord.

May we always recall that the Bible isn’t just a book. It is a book that contains the holy words of God Almighty, written down for our benefit. It is the Word of Truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) Don’t demean it by arguing over it. When we learn it and apply it as He intends, we will honor it and share the Good News within, without trying to cram it down someone’s throat, because we think we are smarter than everyone else. When we honor it, we will grow. When we argue over it, our immaturity shows.

So, (1) read a translation you can understand, (2) pray each time for the Holy Spirit’s guidance (not my opinion Lord, but Thine), (3) let it speak to you personally, (4) obey what it says, and (5) learn of Him and share Him.

Source: http://raptureready.com/soap/phillips5.html

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The Rapture, Aliens & The Great Lie

By Carl Worline

On November 12, 2010, Universal Pictures will release a new movie entitled Skyline, which deals with alien spacecraft that suck up the humans who look into the bright blue light these spacecraft project, and then vanish. I believe this movie is more than just the product of the wild imaginations of some cleaver science fiction writers who seek nothing more than to entertain the public and win an academy award for themselves for best picture. I believe this movie may very well play an important role in end time prophecy.

Click here to watch the trailer of the Skyline movies

Whether or not intelligent life exists on other worlds is irrelevant in this article and I will not debate the issue here. What is significant is that reports of unidentified flying objects has been around since the beginning of history with literally millions of people reporting to have seen them, yet official contact with their occupants has (supposedly) never been established. Our government, as well as governments around the world, have vehemently denied the existence of alien spacecraft. In fact, the vehemence in which governments have denied their existence builds a strong case for an official worldwide cover-up conspiracy, which makes the possibility of the existence of extra terrestrial life even more believable. 

The Rapture of the Church is certain to cause a worldwide panic as an unbelieving public scrambles to explain the disappearance of hundreds of millions of people in an instant. We also know that the anti-Christ will be revealed and empowered shortly after the Rapture. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 tells us that the end times antiChrist will tell a lie and that God will send a strong delusion so that all of the unbelievers who are left on the Earth after the Rapture will believe this lie:

"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all the powers and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness in them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness".

What is this lie? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but I can certainly make an educated guess. On September 21, 1987, President Ronald Reagan made what I consider to be a very prophetic statement when he told the Forty Second Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations “How quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.” Is it possible this great lie will be that alien beings from another world abducted the millions of people who just vanished. 

Chapter 13 of Revelation also tells us that the anti-Christ will tell a lie that will cause the entire world to willingly follow him. I am at a loss to think of any other lie which the anti-Christ could use that would cause the remaining population of the Earth to forget their differences so quickly and unite with him.

On March 16, 1979, a movie about a nuclear accident and related cover-up was released by Columbia Pictures entitled The China Syndrome. That was just 12 days before the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvania. Many dozens of nuclear scientists have since lined up to say that despite the accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power is still safe. Nevertheless, the public has chosen to believe Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and Michael Douglas over the legion of scientists who all have the title “PhD after their name. As a result, the development of nuclear power has all but ceased in the United States as well as many other countries around the world. The power of Hollywood to influence the masses cannot be underestimated and can easily trump the logic and reason of science.

Before I start to sound too condescending I need to confess that many years ago I attended some Star Trek conventions. I know there is no such thing as the Star Ship Enterprise, the Federation of Planets does not exist, and most of the technology that I witnessed on the show was Hollywood illusion and trickery. But still, I saw the characters in real life and even shook hands with some them. For a brief moment the line between reality and fiction seemed to get a bit fuzzy.

The release of a new movie from Hollywood does not, in itself, mean the end of the world is upon us. However, I cannot help but wonder if it is just me, or is there a lot going on in the UFO community all of a sudden that somehow suspiciously suggests that something big is about to happen. For example:

Almost 400 years after it imprisoned Galileo under threat of torture for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican announced that the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life may be possible.

The Popes’ astronomer said that he would baptize an alien from another world if it asked him to.

After many decades of silence a group of retired nuclear officers have recently come forward to announce that alien spacecraft visited military installations and disarmed nuclear warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

On September 11, 2010 a UFO forced the closure of an airport in Baotau, Mongolia, for approximately 1 hour while other air traffic was diverted to prevent commercial airliners from crashing into it. On July 7, 2010 the Xiaoshan airport in Hangzhou , China, was closed for approximately 1 hour due to a UFO hovering above it. There have been a total of 8 reports of major UFO sightings in China during a 4 month period.

Astronomers recently announced that they are “100 percent certain” that alien life exists on Earth-like planets.

Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, presumably one of the smartest men on the planet, recently felt compelled to declare to the world that he is almost certain that alien life exists in other parts of the universe and that we should avoid contact with such species because it might be devastating to humanity.

The United Nations has an Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Recent articles in the media both confirm and deny the existence of an ambassador at this office to be the designated representative who makes first contact with intelligent alien life from another planet.

Maybe all of the events which are now occurring are merely a coincidence and my feeling of being bombarded by a preponderance of suggestions about the potential existence of evil alien life as the cause of the impending Rapture of the Church are unfounded. In less than a month the movie Skyline will be released and millions of moviegoers will witness everyday people being snatched up into alien spacecraft in high definition living color on a wide screen with the most realistic surround sound that our technology can produce. Will this sow the seeds of suggestion in the minds of millions of people around the world? I think so. Is the Rapture closer than most people think? I am absolutely convinced of that.

Source: http://www.raptureready.com/soap/worline.html

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Women Pastors

By Ron Graham

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”1 Timothy 2:12-14.These Bible verses have certainly seen their fair share of controversy over the years. Battles rage over just exactly what Paul meant here and was he just speaking culturally to those folks at that particular time in history? For the answer to that question the Apostle Paul takes us clear back to the book of Genesis.

Many people don’t really have a clue about the deception that took place in the Garden of Eden. “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1. First of all we must ask the question “Why did the serpent (Satan) seek out the women to confront with his lies instead of Adam?” Satan brought his temptation against the woman because he perceived she was more vulnerable to attack. This is because she did not receive the command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil directly from God, but through Adam. 

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”Genesis 2:15-17. God gave the clear command to Adam. Then, when God created Eve, Adam made God’s prohibition of that particular tree and fruit clear to her. But Eve probably didn’t really pay all that much attention to Adam when he passed on God’s command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because when the serpent (Satan) questioned Eve as to whether or not God said they couldn’t eat of the fruit of that tree, she responded with “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Genesis 3:2-3.

We must take notice of the fact that Eve’s knowledge seems to be lacking. She doesn’t name the tree of whose fruit she and Adam were to abstain from eating.

Actually, Eve’s first mistake was in carrying on a discussion with Satan. “The Lord rebuke you” should be our only words as we address Satan. As we can see, Eve’s apparent lack of knowledge makes her all the more vulnerable to deception. She then went from bad to worse as she misquoted the command God gave to Adam. Her words, “Ye shall not eat of it” and “lest ye die” are close enough, but she added to the command and put words in God’s mouth when she said, “neither shall ye touch it.” The major consequence we see that arises from putting words in God’s mouth is we begin to teach the doctrines of men as if they are the commandments of God. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9. It’s interesting just how many of mans idiosyncrasies have become doctrinal mandates in our Churches today.

Secondly, Eve was deceived but her husband was not deceived “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” 1 Timothy 2:14. Satan perceived Eve to be the weaker link in the chain and so he approached her with his lies, sure enough she fell into transgression.

By taking us back to the beginning, Paul precludes any arguments that might arise concerning women teaching or usurping the authority of men as being a cultural issue of that society. Paul’s admonition was not a cultural issue then, nor is it now; it’s God speaking through Paul.  

God knew what would happen if women were allowed to teach men and to usurp authority over them. Sure enough, the majority of the cults today were begun by women who have manipulated the scriptures so that they could, without fear of condemnation, rise to positions of authority over men.

Over the past few decades women have become pastors of churches because of a lackadaisical attitude on the part of the Church, not to mention men’s ignorance of scriptures. So what do we see happening today? The completely erroneous rendering of the truth of the scriptures by those who wish to supplant God’s word. “But I suffer not a woman to teach:“ The word “suffer” used by Paul is from the Greek word “epitrepō” and it actually means “permit”. Paul says he does not permit a woman to teach or usurp authority over a man. Women are not free to usurp authority over men nor are they at liberty to become pastors of Churches.

I know that I’ll receive a massive amount of letters disputing Paul’s stance on women in a pastoral position. Many will attack me for even suggesting there’s a problem with women being in a position of authority over men. They’ll march out Debra, Esther, Lydia, and Priscilla. None of whom were priests or pastors of Christian Churches. And knowingly or not they will be attacking God.

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;”1 Timothy 3:1-2. A bishop must be the husband of one wife. Bishop, Elder, Pastor is what the text refers to. The Greek word for husband is “anēr”, a masculine noun with the following description: of a male, of a husband, of a betrothed or future husband, any male. And the Greek word of wife is “gynē”, a feminine noun. A description of the word “gynē” is: a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow, a wife, a betrothed woman. There can be no doubt as to what Paul was saying: no to women pastors, no to women teaching men. The text is clear.

We are all called to proclaim the Gospel to all nations, men and women alike. This means we explain the Gospel of Christ to anyone who will listen. Jesus Himself told us to do this simple thing. Speaking the truth of the Gospel is witnessing and possibly sharing your testimony with others. This is a far cry from where we see women have advanced to in today’s Christian Churches. Senior pastors, presidents of Christian seminaries and universities usurping authority over men.

“One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”1 Timothy 3:4-5. So we can see plainly that Paul only wants men who are capable of rearing their children in the admonition of the Lord. Not once does Paul include women in the mix of Bishop/Elder/Pastor, or Deacons for that matter. There are probably many well meaning women in leadership roles in churches who only wish to serve God with all their heart. But God’s word is firm and to the point, no women pastor, elders, bishops, or deacons in My Church.

“Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.”1 Timothy 3:8-11. Women who bypass the clear exegetical rendering of scriptures to pursue and obtain the office of Pastor/Elder/Deacon are in full contradiction to God’s word, and so are the men who’ve allowed this error to escalate.  

Here’s a little side note: In this same verse “the husband of one wife” has also been quite controversial in regards to men who’ve been divorced being excluded from holding the position of pastor of a Church or even that of Elder or Deacon. Paul was keenly aware of the pervasiveness of the cultural acceptance of taking in marriage multiple wives. But Paul in no way excluded men who were biblically divorced from entering the ministry or holding the office of elder or deacon. After all it was Jesus Christ (God Almighty) Himself who said that in the case of adultery divorce was acceptable. Who was it acceptable to? To God. Jesus put no restrictions on a man who divorces his wife for infidelity on her part, especially by excluding him from the ministry of preaching, or holding the office of elder, deacon or even a Bible teacher. This exclusion by many denominations has left many capable men who were called by God Himself into the ministry out in the cold. God says go and preach my word, and the Church says no. Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?

Interestingly too, if the whole counsel of Scripture is bypassed, should we not also exclude Paul (who wasn’t married) and Jesus Christ Himself from being leaders of the Church or teaching? Of course not, what we must do is work within the boundaries of scripture instead of the boundaries of men.

Certainly by now the majority of the readers should see that Paul is quite adamant about the exclusion of women in the preaching ministry. Remember this verse? “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16. In other words, these verses I’ve included in this commentary are not just written by Paul the Apostle, but they were God breathed. If Paul says he does not allow women to teach or usurp authority over men, then we can be assured those words came from the Creator of the Universe. 

If you are in a Church where your pastor is a woman then you are fundamentally standing with her, thus you’re standing against God. Ignoring the scriptures placed above even after looking into the Greek only makes your case weaker. Corrupting and manipulating those same scriptures, twisting them to say what you want them to say, or interpreting them contrarily to the exegetical norm won’t cut any ice with God when you try to explain your disobedience to Him concerning His word.

Lastly, I feel I must address the idea of homosexual pastors. A homosexual bishop/pastor/elder/deacon cannot possibly fulfill the requirement set down by God Almighty in which a man must be the husband of one wife. God sets the parameters, not man. God created male and female for a reason. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. The word used here in the Hebrew for man is “'iysh” and means male, man, opposite of female. And the Hebrew word for wife is “'ishshah” and the description in the concordance is – woman, female, opposite of male. Absolutely no confusion here.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…”Genesis 1:27-28. Homosexuals cannot multiply, they cannot replenish the earth, and they are actually a deterrent to replenishing the earth. Thus they stand diametrically opposed to God Almighty.

The Homosexual lifestyle is an affront to God and His inerrant word, and He would never condone the ordination of a women pastor, let alone a lesbian, to pastor a church. How in the world does a lesbian fulfill the requirement of “the husband of one wife?” It’s impossible. Again, it’s a case of people thinking that the Bible is not to be taken literally. God knew what would happen to His Church if these abominations were allowed to spread, and He tells us of the apostasy in the last days. People, we are there. Now women pastors and even homosexuals are taking over many of the mainstream denominations all because they either misinterpret the scriptures or they dismiss the word of God as simply metaphors and allegories and mostly irrelevant to society today.

Do you really want to be taught the scriptures by someone who avoids those verses that are clearly contrary to their position? Does “be ye not deceived” come to mind? Where’s all this headed? God knows.

“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

All scripture is from the KJV

Source: http://raptureready.com/featured/graham/g137.html

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A Chronology Of End Times Events

By Jack Kelly

More and more as we get closer to the end, people want to see a time line of coming events.  Questions about the order in which events will take place, the span of time between them and the likelihood of there being enough time for everything to happen in the time we have left are becoming more numerous with each passing week.

As you know the Bible doesn't provide this level of specificity.  But neither are we left to make unfounded predictions. There are a number of clues scattered throughout the New Testament that take much of the guess work out of things.  With diligent study, we can put them together and make some pretty reasonable assumptions. 

                   Romans 11:25

For example Romans 11:25 says Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in. I've shown several times how the phrases "full number"  and "come in" point to the Rapture of the Church. In Paul's day they were often used in a nautical context.  The “full number” was the number of crew members a ship needed before it was authorized to set sail. As soon as the full number of crewmen had been contracted the ship immediately left the harbor to begin its journey.      

The phrase “come in” means to arrive at the ship's scheduled destination.  It's still in use today.  People talk about how different life will be for them when their ship “comes in”.

From Romans 11:25 we get the notion that the Church has a full number, too.  That's the number of believers necessary for the rapture. Reaching that number frees us from the constraints of this world and we'll immediately “come in” to our scheduled destination, Heaven.

Jesus told the disciples He was going to His father's house to prepare a place for us, and then He'd come back for us to take us there (John 14:2-3).  He didn't say He'd come back here where we are to be with us here, as in the 2nd Coming.  He said He'd come back to take us there to be with Him where He is.  This has to be a reference to the Rapture.  Once He's done that, Israel's time of hardening will come to an end and the time of their reconciliation will begin. 

                   Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, And Ezekiel 38-39

Ezekiel said that one outcome of the battle he described in chapters 38-39 is that Israel will be awakened to His presence (Ezekiel 39:22).  Since Paul said Israel's  awakening will follow the rapture and Ezekiel said it will be an outcome of his battle, we can assume the rapture will likely precede Ezekiel 38.

None of Israel's current next door neighbors are mentioned by Ezekiel, even though they're all antagonists, but  the prophecies of Isaiah 17 and Psalm 83 feature them prominently.  From this we can conclude these prophecies will be fulfilled ahead of Ezekiel 38 but there's no way to tell if they will also take place before the rapture. 

                   Acts 15:13-18

A set of parallel clues can bring us to the same conclusion about the relationship between Ezekiel 38 and the rapture. In Acts 15:13-18 James said that Israel was being set aside so the Lord could take out of the Gentiles a people for himself, after which David's fallen Tabernacle would be rebuilt. The phrase "take out" comes from a Greek word that means to take hold of something for the purpose of carrying it away.  It refers to the rapture of the Church.  

David's fallen Tabernacle is the Temple which was destroyed in 70 AD and will be restored.  But there won't be any need for a Temple until Israel is back in an Old Covenant relationship with God. And this will only happen after the Battle of Ezekiel 38.  Being back in an Old Covenant relationship means Daniel's 70th Week will have begun (Daniel 9:27).  That means the Age of Grace will have come to an end and the Church will be gone.  

                    Matt. 24:34, Psalm 90:10 and Isaiah 23:15

Based on these verses I believe Jesus said His 2nd Coming would take place about 70 years from the time Israel became a nation again in 1948.  (As I demonstrated in “Why The Re-Birth Of Israel Is A Sign Of The End”, it doesn't make sense to tie Matt. 24:34 to specific signs that happen just a few years before the 2nd coming.)  Adding 70 years to 1948 brings us to the end of 2018.  When Daniel's 70th Week begins, there will only be seven years left until the 2nd coming. That means Daniel's 70th Week will have to begin 7 years prior to 2018, in 2011.  Other clues indicate the 2nd Coming will likely happen on Rosh Hashanna, also known as the Feast of Trumpets and the Jewish New Year. Because it takes place at the time of the new moon rather than on a full moon, it's often difficult to determine the exact time of its arrival.  For this reason it was sometimes referred to in the past as the feast where no man knows the day or hour.  Jesus used a form of this phrase 4 times in the span of 23 verses while referring to the time of the 2nd Coming (Matt. 24:42, 44, 50, Matt 25:13).  Computer projections tell us that in 2018 Rosh Hashanna will occur on Sept. 9-10. But it takes a confirmed visual sighting to make it official and Matt. 24:29 says the moon will not give its light following the end of the Great Tribulation, so no one will know the day or hour of His return until they see Him coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.  (Matt. 24:30)

 

                   That's All Folks

That's as much of a hint as to timing the Bibles gives us.  But remember Psalm 83, Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38 are all called battles, not wars. If Israel acted without restraint Psalm 83 would likely require only a week or so to fulfill.  Isaiah 17 involves only the firing of a missile or the dropping of a bomb.  The Rapture of the Church will happen in the twinkling of an eye.  God could annihilate the forces of Ezekiel 38 in an afternoon. My point is, this is not too much for Him to accomplish in the time that's left.

The way the Middle East keeps heating up it's possible the fulfillment of Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 could happen very soon.  When the Gaza Blockade issue threatened to ignite into a full blown confrontation recently, I thought we were seeing its beginning.  But sad to say it's not if these two prophecies will be fulfilled but when.  And from Scripture you can't tell if they'll happen before or after the Rapture.  They could all happen at once.

But after they do, the Battle of Ezekiel 38 will follow, Israel's awakening being necessary for Daniel's 70th Week to begin.  This will bring the anti-Christ to the forefront to confirm the treaty that allows for a Temple to be built.  In the middle of the 70th Week he'll claim to be God, kicking off the Great Tribulation, after which the Lord will return to establish His Kingdom. Over the past few weeks we've taken a fresh look at Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, and Ezekiel 38-39.  We've also shown why the re-birth of Israel has to be the premier sign of the End of the Age. Hopefully, this perspective on how all these prophecies are related will provide the overview we need to understand how very close we are to the End of the Age.  Even angels have longed to look into these things (1 Peter 1:12) but you and I are blessed to experience them firsthand.  You can almost hear the foot steps of the Messiah. 07-03-10

 Source: http://raptureready.com/featured/kelley/jack126.html

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Pride Comes Before A Fall

Paul Proctor

President Obama has officially declared June to be "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month” here in America – essentially a repeat of last year’s proclamation. In fact, both are published on the whitehouse.gov website.

This year’s declaration in part, reads as follows:

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.”

OK – that takes care of June, meaning we still have 11 other months in the year that have yet to be designated in the ongoing fight against “prejudice and discrimination.”

Click here to read more

Here is the proclamation:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

___________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                     June 1, 2009

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2009
- – - – - – -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country's response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration — in both the White House and the Federal agencies — openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

BARACK OBAMA
 

Click here to download PDF

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Presidential-Proclamation-LGBT-Pride-Month/

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Israel’s new gas fields will do little for peace

Robin Mills

Middle Eastern country finds large gas reserves. In our hydrocarbon-rich region, this would hardly be news, were it not for the identity of the country: Israel.

Golda Meir, the former Israeli prime minister, used to joke that Israel was the only place in the Middle East without oil. But in January last year, the US company Noble Energy found gas in the Mediterranean: not as good as oil, but a valuable second prize. More recent drilling confirms it is a giant discovery, probably just the first of several.

Suddenly, Israel can look forward to independence from energy imports, a cleaner environment, maybe even earnings from gas exports. But in this troubled region, such a bonanza is not likely to bring benefits to the Palestinians, nor peace. It may even contribute to further conflict.

Ninety kilometres offshore from the northern Israeli port of Haifa, in waters 1,700 metres deep, through a thick layer of salt, the exploration well was tough to drill and cost US$140 million (Dh514.2m). Yet the discovery, named Tamar, was the second largest in the world in the past two years, and was immediately followed by another find nearby.

With this record, it is likely that much more gas remains to be found in the deep waters of the eastern Mediterranean. The excitement has led to a boom in the shares of Noble’s Israeli partners, and gas deliveries could start as early as 2012.

Noble has been producing gas in shallow waters on the border with Gaza since 2003, while Israel has also been buying Egyptian gas. Previously, Israel had planned, like Dubai and Kuwait, to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) to ease its dependence on expensive oil and polluting coal for power generation.

Now, the LNG terminal will probably not be needed. Tamar assures a 20-year supply for electricity, and the country could, like the Gulf states, build up gas-based industries such as aluminium or petrochemicals.

In a happier situation, these discoveries would be a driver for regional economic integration. Some gas could go to energy-poor neighbours and Israel could join the Arab Gas Pipeline that runs from Egypt up to Syria, and ultimately on to Turkey and Europe.

In such an unstable area, of course, these initiatives are impossible. In reality, any significant exports would be as LNG to Europe, bringing no benefits to neighbouring states.

Tamar has ramifications far beyond business and economics. Earnings from gas would make Israel more able to resist international pressure or boycotts over human rights and peace negotiations, and to weather any reduction in US aid. A secure domestic energy source avoids the need to look to Egypt, where recent legal action has sought to block gas exports to Israel.

Palestinians will feel they have some claim on this gas, but they are unlikely to gain anything from it. The people of Gaza can feel particularly aggrieved. In 1999, the British company BG found a large field offshore Gaza, enough to provide power to all Palestinians for a decade and more, but this gas has never been developed. Indeed, the former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon stated that Israel would never buy gas from the Palestinians because it had no intention of giving Hamas a source of revenues.

For the Israelis to exploit this gas themselves would be illegal under international law, and forbidden by the Oslo Agreement. They might have chosen to ignore the diplomatic consequences, but with the discovery at Tamar they can afford to leave Gaza’s gas lying idle indefinitely. In the meantime, Gazans face daily eight-hour electricity blackouts.

Tamar itself appears to lie within Israeli waters. However, with no peace agreement and hence border demarcation between Israel and Lebanon, there is always the possibility of new fields being uncovered in disputed areas, at a time of increasing speculation about an Israeli attempt to settle scores with Hezbollah.

Further north, Cyprus may share in this exciting new gas province, and Noble has rights to drill here, too. For Lebanon, with no indigenous energy sources, and Syria, a modest oil producer now in decline, exploration of their Mediterranean offshore should be a priority.

Syria held a bid round in 2007 but attracted no interest, while Lebanon has not moved beyond data-gathering. So Lebanon and Syria, distracted by other issues, have fallen behind their neighbours in the race. Both these countries need to offer attractive terms to invite foreign companies with the skills and big wallets to explore these deep waters.

This episode is a reminder that, in themselves, oil and gas are neither a blessing nor a curse. Everything depends on what is done with them. In this troubled region, Tamar brings benefits only to Israel, and it has the tragic potential to encourage Israeli intransigence.

In the absence of real progress towards peace, gas discoveries cannot be a force for regional prosperity. In the current circumstances, the best that Israel’s neighbours can do is to try to emulate its success.


Robin M Mills is a Dubai-based energy economist and author of The Myth of the Oil Crisis

Source: http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100312/BUSINESS/703119913/1050

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Obama’s Healthcare Microchip: The “Mark?”

Joseph Chambers

The United States of America has taken the giant step towards universal control of every American citizen and anyone receiving any form of medical treatment and/or supplies. This is not the Mark of the Antichrist, but it is the precursor to that Mark. The amazing fact of this action is that it puts the United States in the driver’s seat of the One World Order. Congressman Ron Paul’s website has these exact words, “‘In real world speak,’ according to this report, this new law, when fully implemented, provides the framework for making the United States the first Nation in the World to require each and every one of its citizens to have implanted in them a radio-frequency identification (RFID) microchip for the purpose of controlling who is, or isn’t, allowed medical care in their country.” (http://www.dailypaul.com/node/105079).

By nature, I am a doubter when it comes to fear-mongering or conspiracy theories that have little or no supportive information. When this idea was first mentioned on our Open Bible Dialogue radio talk show, I doubted it openly. But, after a little help from others and a lot of digging myself, I knew something was very scary. Here is a little of the information from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ website. This information was slated as “Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff.” This kind of information cannot be accidental.

“This guidance document was developed as a special control guidance to support the classification of the implantable radiofrequency transponder system for patient identification and health information into class II (special controls). The device is intended to enable access to secure patient identification and corresponding health information in humans. This guidance is issued in conjunction with a Federal Register notice announcing the classification of implantable radiofrequency transponder system for patient identification and health information.

“This guidance document describes a means by which implantable radiofrequency transponder systems for patient identification and health information may comply with the requirement of class II special controls. Designation of this guidance document as a special control means that manufacturers of implantable radiofrequency transponder systems for patient identification and health information who follow the recommendations listed in this document, before introducing their device into commercial distribution in the United States, will also be able to market their device without being subject to the premarket notification requirements of section 510(k) of the Act.” (http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ucm072141.htm).

As massive as Obama’s Healthcare bill is, there is no way it can function without a complete system of control. The present cost of the health-related programs is draining our nation and it is only minute in comparison. This new law — already signed by the president — also requires every citizen and anyone else receiving health care to purchase insurance. This certainly suggests that every person living within our borders will eventually be assigned this radioactive chip. You can probably be assured that this chip will now or eventually have a GPS responder to locate you in case you get lost. Isn’t that nice of this crowd of liberals?

Is this idea just a fancy way to take care of our health needs? Or is it Big Government that is determined to control our lives? The Holy Bible is absolutely plain that this is the future of our world. The Antichrist will only have seven years to form his plan, implement it, and rule the world. He needs surrogates like President Obama to prepare the way. It is only reasonable to understand that almost every aspect of world control must be in place before he appears. With over six billion souls alive and dramatically growing, the stage must be set and in order.

We can see our world headed towards the One World Order from every direction. There are almost no national economies in the world. The world court is already conducting business and a great effort is underway to pressure every government to comply. A world religion is in place. The only religions not at the table are Orthodox Judaism and Fundamental Christianity. We are hated for such narrow-mindedness.

Let’s remember that the Biblical Prophecy writers and ministers have been warning us about this for decades. There are some writers that have set dates, made wild predictions, and missed the mark by wide margins. But, the mainstream writers and ministers have been right on target. Years ago I said, “If Jesus tarries a few more years, we will begin to think that we are already in the Great Tribulation.” Every day I feel a little more like that, while at the same time I know that the Great Tribulation cannot begin until the Rapture occurs.

The Bible predicted this future “Mark of the Beast.” “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:15-17).

Again, I remind you that Obama’s microchip is not the Mark of the Beast. This future Mark must be identified with the Antichrist and is in essence a form of devil-worship. Taking that Mark will be a choice between the worship of our Lord Jesus Christ and the devil, along with his false trinity. The present push for world control is certainly satanic. The entire Obama agenda has been evil from his first day in office. Remember that while he was being sworn into office, the website at the White House was programmed with his homosexual agenda, plus many other liberal directives.

It’s time to stand tall on every issue of life. Absolutely no one should take his chip. You will probably not even be able to buy your prescriptions without the druggist putting the cash register scanner on your right hand. The Rapture-ready crowd will be out of here shortly.

Joseph R. Chambers
jrc@pawcreek.org

 

Source:
http://www.pawcreek.org/salty-saints/obama

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Jerusalem, Israel’s Forever

Bill Keller

Each day, this nation gets further away from God and closer to seeing His wrath and judgment unleashed on our once great land.  On top of legally slaughtering over 4,000 innocent babies each day, making a mockery of God's Holy Institution of Marriage, embracing every type of sexual perversion man has thought up in his depraved mind, worshipping the false gods and idols of the world, and literally living in all-out rebellion to our Creator and His Truth, the United States is now standing with the ENEMIES OF ISRAEL!  My friend, if we ever wanted to experience the wrath of God, we are doing everything we possibly can to see that it happens.  

Memo to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton:  Jerusalem belongs to Israel, ALL of it!  If Israel wants to build settlements in Jerusalem, they can.  The enemies of Israel have NO CLAIM to this land.  We are on the verge of seeing God's judgment poured out on this wicked nation, and now we are siding with the enemies of Israel?  We are out of our mind!   This is like going up to the biggest guy you can find on the street and spitting in his face.  We are literally putting our middle finger in the air and screaming profanities at the top of our lungs to God!!!

Please, do yourself a favor right now and get your Bible and sit down and spend the next 10 minutes reading the anchor verses for today, Genesis 12:1-7, 13:14-16, 15:18; Deuteronomy 9:4-6; Joshua 1:1-11; 21:43-45. You could spend hours reading all the passages in God's Word that confirm that modern-day Israel is the land God promised to Abraham and gave to His children. You do not have to be a Bible scholar to quickly realize in just the few key passages I have given you today that the land of Israel is indeed the exact land God Himself promised to His children 4,000 years ago, and fulfilled that promise in 1385 B.C. when Joshua took possession of that land.

Having laid the Biblical case to support that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, now you can see why giving away even one inch of that land to anyone else is going against God Himself. No person, no nation, has the right to give away what God promised and gave to the Jewish people. Those who do make themselves an enemy of God! Over and over throughout the Bible and human history, nations have invaded this land, taken it over, only to be defeated in the end. The land of Israel is only 20,330 sq km, slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey. Out of the billions of square miles that exist on this earth, this is the only place on the planet God literally promised and gave to His children. For anyone to go in and try to give a piece of that land away is foolish.

That is why the current "peace plan" the United States has had such a large role in working out will never work and has actually put our nation on the opposite side of God again! Let me be clear. The Gaza Strip belongs to ISRAEL! The West Bank belongs to ISRAEL! Jerusalem, all of it, belongs to ISRAEL! For this nation to be involved in any deals, even under the guise of "peace," that involves giving away the land God gave to the children of Israel is taking on God Himself! Not to mention that this land is being given away to the ENEMIES OF ISRAEL!!!

My friend, one of the problems many have with the Bible is that they can't understand why a God of love would command His children to go to war and "Kill every man, woman, child, and living thing" as He did many times in the Old Testament. The reason was this. God in His omniscience knew that the enemies of Israel, those who came to possess their land, had no desire for peace but the complete destruction and annihilation of the Jewish people. The complete obliteration of the Jewish people was their ONLY goal, not peace. Sadly, there are some people who have no desire for peace, only death and destruction and you either destroy them or they destroy you. That is one of the sad realties of living in this fallen and evil world.

For those who oppose the war in Iraq, they either don't understand or are completely blind to the fact that there are people on this planet whose only goal is the complete destruction of the United States and every person who lives here. That means you and your family too! I am thankful that this current administration understands this fact and that the peace-nuts we see on TV constantly don't have the power to impose their Pollyanna views of life on the defense policies of this nation or we would all be in grave danger. The sad reality is that there are very real people alive this very moment whose very real goal is the complete destruction of the United States. We will either kill them or they will kill us. We are blessed that our forefathers understood the evil that exits in this world or we would not be here today, enjoying the wonderful freedoms and life we do.

Israel also clearly understands the reality that there are people who desire their death and destruction. They don't have the luxury of great oceans on either side as we do and their enemies literally live all around them. That is what makes this current "peace plan" so silly. To actually take some of the small amount of land that belongs to Israel and literally give it to their enemies is absurd and ridiculous. It will only embolden and empower those who seek the destruction of Israel. Again, make no mistake about it. While we and others seek "peace," it takes TWO to make peace. Despite the claims by the Palestinian leadership, their goal is NOT peace but the destruction of Israel.

I have always been amused at why anyone thinks it is necessary to give the little strip of land God gave to Israel away to her enemies, when Israel is surrounded by Arab nations with VAST AMOUNTS of land who could easily assimilate their Arab brothers into their countries. Why do the Palestinians have to live on the land God gave to Israel when there is plenty of land in neighboring Arab countries they could live on? What is wrong with a "peace plan" that gave some of the land in surrounding Arab countries to the Palestinians?

I want to close today with a powerful promise God made to Abraham 4,000 years ago in Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." This one verse of Scripture is why what is happening in Israel right now is so critical to THIS NATION! In being part of a plan to give away the land God gave to Israel to anyone, especially her enemies who seek her destruction, puts us on the wrong side of God. We should be seeking the BLESSINGS of God, not His CURSES!

Know that I am praying for you today. Even though most Jewish people have rejected Christ as their Savior, blinded to the reality that He is the Messiah they were promised in the Old Testament, they were, are, and always will be God's chosen people. The promise God gave Abraham in Genesis 12:3 is still in effect today. Our Christian faith is traced back through the children of Israel. The last events of this world will be played out in Israel. That is why we need to pray for and support the Jewish people and God's plan for the land of Israel. Our blessings in life come from following God not being in opposition to God!

Also, be praying for this special group of people God chose to reveal Himself to and carry His message to the world. It was through the Jewish people God brought His Son, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Wonderful groups like Jews for Jesus have done a great work in bringing the fact the Messiah prophesied throughout the Old Testament, is Jesus! Jesus is the fulfillment of all of those Old Testament prophecies, and despite the fact He was rejected by his own people, today millions of Jewish people have come to know Jesus as their personal Savior by faith. In Heaven there will be no Jew or Gentile, only those who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at:
bkeller@liveprayer.com


Source: http://www.raptureready.com/soap/keller13.html

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The Biblical Truth about the healthcare debate

Bill Keller

I have been asked almost daily, to comment on the current debate over the pending healthcare legislation.  While this is mostly a political issue, there is a spiritual component to this controversial topic that I would like to address today.  What would Jesus do about the current healthcare debate?

A few months ago, President Obama held a conference call with "religious leaders," trying to illicit their support in his desire to socialize the healthcare industry. Obviously, I was not invited on this call, only those "religious leaders" who don't have the guts to hold him accountable for opposing God on every single social issue of our day.

In reading the transcripts, it was almost laughable as he tried to make the case that Jesus would support his plan for the government to take over the healthcare industry, giving several Biblical quotes to support his claim. I'm sure Jesus would be all for this plan that will also include using tax dollars to slaughter innocent babies!

First, even satan quoted scripture when he tempted Jesus. Most who reject the Bible and faith in Christ can quote certain verses, usually out of context, to try and make their case when they speak to a Believer. It makes me sick that "religious leaders" let this man get away with such tactics. How about the passages that calls killing babies murder? Or the passages that call homosexuality a sin and an abomination to God? Or the passages that state marriage is between a man and a woman? Or the passages that speak about blessing Israel?

It is the height of audacity for this man who lives his life in complete rebellion to God and His Word on every spiritual issue of our day to quote Scripture in hopes of fulfilling his political goals.

Let's deal with the argument President Obama and many are trying to make. They say that Jesus would support their efforts to socialize the healthcare industry, since the Lord would want every person to have medical insurance. I have never heard a more tortured use of our Lord than by those who are making this case. Of course, it falls right into line with the church of 2010 being dominated by the religious left that has embraced a liberal theology, fueled by the seeker/purpose-driven/ emerging church marketing strategies that don't seek to bring converts to the faith into the church, only warm bodies.

To do that they must abandon the absolutes of the Bible and focus on issues like world hunger, AIDS in Africa, and other social issues like HEALTHCARE!

Did you know that it was in 1890 when the first "sickness coverage" was offered in the United States? It wasn't until the 1920s that the health insurance business became mainstream and it has continued to evolve over the years. The fact is, until the last 60 years when the government and private business took an active role in providing social services, it was the CHURCH where people went in their time of need.

The church fed the hungry. The church cared for widows and orphans. The church cared for the homeless and downtrodden. The church reached out to the alcoholic and those in bondage. THE CHURCH CARED FOR THE SICK…

While the church is still involved in these social issues today, it now plays a very minor role. Instead of investing in the lives and eternal souls of men and providing a shining light of Christ's love to the world, the church now invests in property and buildings and entertaining people for an hour a week.

 Missing from the church today is much of the love and compassion for others and the bold preaching of the Gospel. That has been replaced with the anonymity found in the mega churches of today and watered down, feel-good, motivational messages designed not to offend anyone.

I can assure you that Jesus would NOT be entering the current debate about the government taking over the healthcare industry. He would pray for President Obama's salvation as I encourage everyone in the Liveprayer family to do each day. He would pray for the sick. But Jesus would not be entering into political debates between the government and private businesses over medical insurance.

 While Jesus did minister to the practical needs of people and encouraged His followers to do the same, it was their eternal souls He cared most about. The fact is, we will ALL die one day. To have access to the best medical treatment possible during this brief journey is wonderful, but it is our soul that will live on for eternity, while our physical body returns to the dust it came from.

Would it be nice if everyone had health insurance? Certainly. However, all you have to do is look at other countries who have socialized the healthcare industry and it becomes apparent that while it sounds good in theory, to cover everyone, it is simply not practical. To cover the small percentage of people who currently don't have health insurance would mean the vast majority who do have coverage would not enjoy all of the benefits they currently have. It opens up the door to the government deciding who gets treatment, who doesn't, and ultimately who lives and who dies.

 While there may need to be some overhaul of the current system, having the government involved in the healthcare industry is clearly NOT the answer. Look at the mess Medicare and Medicaid are in today.

As followers of Christ we need to care about people. We need to pray for the sick and do all we can to help people in their time of need. However, to invoke the name of Jesus and try to make the case the Lord would support the government take-over of the healthcare industry is not only ridiculous, it is blasphemous.

 While Jesus would not enter into the healthcare debate, I can assure you without any hesitation he would be lambasting this current President for his support of killing babies, helping to further the radical homosexual agenda, the perversion of God's Holy Institution of Marriage, and siding with the enemies of Israel.

 Ready for one of my best lines ever?  You can quote this.  From Bill Keller:  "This is a nation being led by the President in all-out rebellion to God and His Word. Instead of trying to force Jesus to follow him, President Obama should start following Jesus!"

Bill Keller can be contacted  by email  at: bkeller@livep
 


Source: http://www.raptureready.com/soap/keller12.html

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