I found this excellent and powerful devotional over at The Institute for Creation Research, read it and be blessed!
"Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in His fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is His name, and what is His Son's name, if thou canst tell?" (Proverbs 30:4).
The obvious answer to these rhetorical questions must center in God, the Creator of all things. But the fascinating revelation in this Old Testament passage is that God has a Son and that both have names.
When Moses asked God His name, "God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM . . . This is my name for ever" (Exodus 3:14-15). Later, Moses, in his song of deliverance said: "The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is His name" (Exodus 15:3). The name Lord (Hebrew, Jehovah or Yahweh ) means, essentially, "I am, the self-existent one."
As far as His Son's name is concerned, it is revealed in Scripture in many ways. In the Old Testament prophecy, "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). How remarkable that a "Son is given" who is also named the mighty God and everlasting Father!
In His incarnation, the angel commanded Joseph, "Thou shalt call His name JESUS" ("Jehovah saves"), but he also said: "They shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:21,23).
There are many other titles by which the Son of God is identified, but perhaps the most significant are noted in connection with His final return in triumph. "His name is called The Word of God" (Revelation 19:13), identifying Him as both eternal Creator and incarnate Savior (John 1:1-3,14). As our eternal King, "He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16).
Saturday, March 31, 2007
I found this excellent and powerful devotional over at The Institute for Creation Research, read it and be blessed!
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:25 PM
1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
6If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
11And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
12If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
13Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
14Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
15Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
16And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
17And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;
18When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:12 PM
A commenter named Ray stopped by today and left a series of thoughts on my post entitled "Dialogue With Mormons on the Number of Gods in Existence".
To summarize my interpretation of his comments Ray sought to present and defend a Biblical case for "new light" or "new revelation" being provided to the Body of Christ through modern day prophets.
I vehemently disagree with this theology as does every orthodox Biblical Christian and church of which I'm aware. The pitfalls of "new revelation" are too numerous and spiritually bankrupt to list on a simple blog since entire volumes have been written on this subject.
Please understand it's not my intent in this post to cast disparagement upon Ray personally. And Ray, if you're reading this, I'm praying for you to come into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Ancient of Days, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, my kinsman redeemer, the second person of the One True Triune Living God Almighty.
Thanks for your comments and your thorough review of the OT. I'm familiar with the Tanakh and the proper exegesis of its relationship with the NT, which taken together (OT & NT) represent the whole, plenary, inspired counsel of God.
I confess that I didn't read Matt's comments as taking the position that prophets couldn't exist after John the Baptist, but I'll go back and review his post in its entirety. The point that's important to keep in mind - and it's a critical point - is that there are many false prophets gone out into the world, and the teachings of the LDS are sadly a prime example.
False prophets will inevitably deny, refute, twist or otherwise attempt to explain away or diminish the authority of scripture (the Holy Bible), especially with "new revelation" or "new light". The JW's are also guilty of this same unfortunate and spiritually suicidal error. Deception is deadly, and I think this is what Matt is attempting to refute and reveal during his conversation with the LDS adherents.
The Biblical prophets you've mentioned were all God inspired men who spoke by the Holy Spirit. The Biblical prophets all maintain a unity and cohesion within their message because they weren't speaking by their own authority, but by the authority of God Almighty and in accordance with His perfect will. In fact, this is the reason we read them in the Bible today for only true prophets of God who were without error, and whose prophecies were fulfilled with absolute precision were considered to be authentic by the Jews and retained. They documented everyone who claimed to be a prophet, and according to God's commandments everyone who rendered a false prophecy was killed and their false prophecies were destroyed.
20But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
21And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
22When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
By God's exacting measure how many modern "prophets" - so called - would have been allowed to strut about presumptuously prophesying were the church operating under the law? And I don't cast this stone – pun intended - merely at the LDS and JW's (though they're clearly both guilty) but also at many of the self-proclaimed "prophets" of the apostate professing ecumenical church of deceit which are so prevalent within mainstream Christianity.
But back to the subject at hand; even the inspired Apostle Paul who spoke with "power of attorney" on behalf of the Risen Lord of Glory commended the Bereans as being "more noble" for gladly receiving his word and then checking the scriptures (the OT at that time) to see if such things were so. (Acts 17:11)
The bottom line is that there is no Biblical prophet or prophecy which speaks any truth other than the truth contained within the Holy Bible. Scripture (the Holy Bible) alone is authoritative and if anyone, even an angel of heaven, were to present us with another gospel we are not to believe it, for it is a lie. (2 Cor. 11)
The real difficulty for any faith outside of Biblical Christianity is to answer the question, how is man to be saved? If salvation is of anything other than the unmerited grace alone of God Almighty made available through faith alone in the all-sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary – which is the plain teaching of the Holy Bible - then how else are men to be saved?
If it is within man's ability to earn salvation through meritorious works then we are doomed, for as you affirmed in your post above, ". . . cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (Gal 3:10).
This is a serious issue! Can I earn my salvation by my own works? The Bible is crystal clear on this point and no amount of mental gymnastics can avoid the inescapable conclusion that men are guilty sinners before a perfect and holy God Who demands absolute perfection! In other words the unsaved are hopelessly condemned and without hope apart from Jesus Christ.
How does a guilty and condemned sinner attain absolute perfection before a perfect and holy God? Is man able to attain that by his good works? Again the Bible answers with an adamant "NO!!" Man's righteous works are as filthy rags before the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). So how are we to be saved?
The simple answer to this important question is found in Jesus Christ alone who said a man must be born-again (John 3:3, John 3:7). The Apostle Peter echoed this fact in 1 Peter 1:23. So how are we born-again? We are born-again when God's Holy Spirit enters our hearts and our lives after we have been miraculously saved (born-again) through submission to the authority of God Almighty by faith in the gift of the blood sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
It's only through the Jesus of the Holy Bible that we're saved. There are many counterfeit Christs being propounded by many groups and many men, but there is only one true Jesus Christ, and both the NT and the OT point directly to Him.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Posted by Coram Deo at 6:11 PM
I posted the following comment over at Mike Ratliff's Possessing the Treasure blog in response to his article entitled The Lord is the Strength of His People.
I'm not a particularly emotional man, and like you my general character, flawed as it may be, is strikingly similar to that of my grandfather on my mother's side. Grandpa was a hard man who lived through the Great Depression and fought nobly in WWII. He was certainly made of the stuff that defined "the greatest generation" and while I'd dare not reproach his memory by claiming that I meet the measure of a man he represented, I can say in truth that he was my childhood hero and the man whom I most tried to emulate.
Sadly for all his hardy craft and manly attributes grandpa didn't live the Christian life. I witnessed to him in his waning years and he'd speak of "the Man upstairs" and would assure me that he had gotten things in order with his Maker. I certainly hope this was true.
If I learned anything from grandpa it was about how to stand tall in the midst of tribulation and to maintain a sense of proper perspective in even in the direst of circumstances.
I've said all this to say that one thing I've learned in the Lord it is to not lean unto my own understanding. His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and His ways are higher than my ways. When the assaults of the enemy arrive - and if you are a true Christian they always will - we are to lift up our eyes to heaven in prayer and know they hated Him before they hated us. True Christians are strangers in a strange land, sojourners passing through hostile enemy territory moving inexorably toward an eternal abode not built with hands.
When persecution comes - and if you are a true Christian it always will - we are to remember they persecuted Him before they persecuted us. Yet it is especially painful when those who seem to possess the sharpest and most venomous tongues are also those who claim to be our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Sadly the professing church is filled to the brim with the deceived. They are false converts who said a few words, did some "churchy" things, which go on mission trips, and sing songs about a God they've never known and a heaven they'll never see. These are they who will hear those awful words "depart from me, ye who work iniquity, I never knew ye!"
Oh, the terror, the horror, the shame! Oh, that these blind followers of the blind might hearken to the truth of the One True Living God and be saved! How will they escape the wrath to come?
As I said at the beginning of this comment, Mike; I'm not a particularly emotional man, but my eyes well up and my heart throbs in my chest when I consider the untold myriads of sheep who have hearkened to the voice of a different shepherd and as a result are being led astray! This is perhaps the greatest tragedy; that so many wolves in sheep's clothing have been allowed to slither into the church and lead vast swaths of the flock into gross error. The most sneering atheist with his scientific "facts" - so called - and worldly intellectualism is not nearly so deadly an enemy as one false teacher from within! A little leaven leavens the whole loaf!
In addition to the anguish I feel for those deceived souls there is also a righteous anger and holy wrath that wells up in my spirit when the deceivers twist scripture like a wax nose as a means to justify their ends. These spiritual harlots dare to come at the Word with the sole intent of taking verses out of context in order to bolster their humanistic agendas as opposed to humbly and prayerfully preaching the whole counsel of God within its intended context, and leaving the Holy Spirit to do His work!
This isn't a simple matter of doctrinal purity or preferences regarding non-essentials of the faith, but rather it's nothing less than the life and death struggle for the eternal souls of men! The apostates are militant. The apostates have a satanically inspired vision. The apostates are evangelizing at an astonishing rate. The apostates are on the move and when they make a convert they make him twice the son of hell than themselves!
In the final analysis our God is sovereign and He is unfolding the scroll of history in precisely the manner He wills. But may we who are called by His name never use that truth as an excuse to stand idly by as the devourer rends Christ's little flock with his perverse message of self-esteem and a false temporal unity. Let those who are called by His name stand bold as a lion and harmless as a dove ever pointing to the cross of Christ and the immutable, absolute truth of the Holy Writ.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)
Posted by Coram Deo at 5:08 PM
Friday, March 30, 2007
I was rather encouraged to discover that the musings in my brief missive entitled Global Warming Evangelists Part 2 were, perhaps, not entirely off the mark.
Apparently Herescope has been running a series on the ecumenical harlotry of the global church, which is of course a key player in the end-times prophecies of Revelation.
Herescope well states:
"The "new world order" of mission activity is vastly different. The mission movement was intentionally set up based on the systems model (also known as General Systems Theory -- see previous posts). "Networking" is more sophisticated than simple ecumenism. It is a way to burrow down deeply through organizational structures through stealth to infiltrate and diffuse new ideas that will begin to change things. Networking has the effect of leaven, when it comes to doctrine and practice, permeating an existing organization with new thoughts, new ideas, and new doctrines via missionary training, cross-pollination with other groups, partnerships, and the more sophisticated "collaboration."
May we follow the admonition of scripture "and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Ephesians 5:11)
Continue reading "The Networking Church" here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 6:37 PM
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Oh Lord, how can I express my thankfulness to You? How can I be thankful enough? For with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm you pulled me from the devourer's jaws. You loved me before I loved You. You knew me before the world began.
Oh Lord, how can I express my thankfulness for You? How can I be thankful enough? You called me by name and opened my eyes. Like Lazarus I heard Your voice and came to You. You've hidden me in the cleft of the Rock and sheltered me beneath the shadow of Your wings.
Oh Lord, how can I express my thankfulness? You are God alone! There is none like you! Who is like the Lord? There is no one! May all praise and glory and power and honor and strength and wisdom and riches be unto the name of the Lord forever and evermore! May Your hands of healing and protection rest upon Your children. May You keep us from evil and rebuke the devourer for our sakes. May the vain imaginings of the enemy bear no fruit against us, but rather may his plans be utterly confounded and of none effect.
Oh Lord, fill me with Your holy presence! Draw close to me, and draw me close to You! Write Your statutes upon the tables of my heart that Your Word would never depart from my lips. Cause me oh Lord to be the man You've called me to be! By Your power alone may I be the husband, the father, the brother, the son, the friend, the disciple, the servant, the child of the Living God that You've called me to be. Mortify my flesh oh Lord that it would be in subjection to Your Holy Spirit. Cause me oh Lord to walk in the very center of Your perfect will, turning neither to the right hand, nor the left. Oh Lord may I walk only upon the path You've set before me.
Oh Lord, direct my mind according to Your awesome power! Cause me oh Lord to think Your thoughts after You. Give me oh Lord the desires of my heart, that I would desire only that which You desire! May my every thought be captive to Christ!
Embolden me oh Lord that I would speak forth Your truth in love with a humble boldness that testifies to Your eternal Godhead and Gospel! Shape me, use me, mold me, make me that vessel which seems good and right in Your eyes.
Satisfy me oh Lord within Your presence. May I long for nothing more than to dwell within Your Holy place where there is fulness of joy! Set my heart aflame oh Lord that Your Word would burn as a fire within my bones that I may speak forth the eternal truth of Christ crucified, the hinge upon which history turns!
Break me oh Lord as a potter shatters the clay. May I decrease as You increase within me. Renew me oh Lord that I may be found worthy of the high calling of Christ Jesus. Purge me oh Lord of sin and iniquity. Forgive me oh Lord for my sinful pride. May I make my boast only in the Lord and His everlasting mercies.
Thank You Lord for this day. Thank You for the life You've given me. Thank You for the family You've given me. Thank You for the many blessings in my life that I take for granted. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for the cross. Thank You for the blood You shed on Calvary. Thank You for setting aside Your throne of eternal glory and becoming a man. Thank You for taking my sin and shame upon Yourself. Thank You for Your love that is better than life. Thank You for Your Word that is sharper than a two-edged sword. Thank You for being unchanging and unchangeable in nature, purpose, perfection, works and knowledge.
Thank You for being The Great I AM, Yahweh Elohim Shaddai, Jehovah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Creator and Judge, the Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the King of Glory, the Rock of our salvation, the suffering servant, our kinsman Redeemer, the Ancient of Days, God Almighty, the One True Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ forevermore.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (Revelation 4:8)
Posted by Coram Deo at 6:35 PM
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I posted the following comment over at Mike Ratliff's Possessing the Treasure blog in response to his post entitled "My Conscience is Captive to the Word of God":
This was an interesting perspective on the role of the conscience, Mike. I recently read an engaging counterpoint on this subject wherein the author ascribed the true motivation of the wicked to "silence" the faithful (true Christians) through censorship, legislation, and old fashioned bullying to their abject hatred and inescapable awareness of the knowledge of good and evil (i.e. their own conscience). Quite simply the heathen's rage against Christ is a spiritual projection of their own self-loathing.
The relatively recent phenomenon of rampant political correctness in this country, nay worldwide, is not mere serendipity but is in fact the fruit of an intentional, methodical, and deliberate campaign by the forces of spiritual darkness to silence those who hold fast to Christian morality and dare to speak out against these pompous purveyors who are pimping perversion. In this light we see the faithful Christian is nothing less than an external representative, a living reminder, of these disobedient children’s own jaded consciences.
Since these rebellious children have long since cauterized their own consciences with their lifestyles of debased debauchery and unrighteous suppression of God's word, they now seek to silence the dissenting voices of the opposition, by force of law if necessary.
These children of darkness loathe the light and therefore utterly hate God's authority, and by extension utterly hate those who are faithfully submitted to Him. They hate God's Word and His ambassadors because they serve as an unwelcome reminder of the conscience they so desperately attempt to silence within themselves. It's unwelcome. It's intolerable. It's THREATENING.
This is why we see something as absurd as a faculty professor suing a colleague for "emotional distress" and "harassment" when all the "perp" was doing was sharing the Gospel of Christ! Also, recently in Australia two Christian pastors were charged under newly passed "religious tolerance" laws for vilifying Islam. Their crime? They lectured their congregations against the false religion of Islam in the light of blessed scripture! This sin sick and dying world calls good evil, and calls evil good. They've rejected the truth for a lie. They've altogether gone astray. God Almighty has promised to turn these over to the lusts of their hearts and to send them a strong delusion that they would believe a lie. Friend, I for one am convinced that time is now.
Can there be any doubt that "His coming is nigh, even at the door"?
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:09 PM
Monday, March 26, 2007
He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. (Isaiah 66:3-5)
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received 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 all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (Thessalonians 2:10-12)
Like many other serious-minded believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are engaged in "earnestly contending for the faith" as commended by the Holy Writ, I find myself continually aghast and astonished by the increasingly brazen heresy, apostasy, and downright blasphemy which is espoused by so many within the professing church.
Just this afternoon my wife overheard a disc jockey on Air1 - a supposedly contemporary Christian radio station - make the pronouncement on air that she "didn't think children liked stuffy judgmental men which is why she thinks Jesus was like a clown." This abject, unrepentant spiritual harlot went on to debase herself even further - as if it were possible - by explaining that she "envisioned Jesus as being like Rick Warren, a funny guy wearing a Hawaiian tee shirt." This is blasphemy!
HOW LONG, OH LORD?!?
There was a time when men of God would boldly stand forth and publicly rebuke the myriad gross errors that are even now metastasizing within the Body of Christ. These mighty men of God were the true "Christ followers", not the namby-pamby men in skirts of today's "emergent conversation" replete with their stylish eye wear, their foppish haircuts, and their slick snake-oil-salesman, plasticized, post-modern packaging. True men of God are faithful, humble shepherds of Christ's little flock who will have no fellowship with the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather will reprove them. These men, true Godly leaders will stand firm upon the solid foundation of the Rock of Ages - Christ Jesus - and will unflinchingly expound His truth, His law, His wrath and His gospel to the glory of the Father.
Christ's foot soldiers aren't interested in the latest poll data nor are they concerned with the seeker's sensitivities! Rather they are interested in pulling souls from the greedily licking flames of hell as the Lord adds them daily unto His church!
Oh, that as Christ's foot soldiers we would gird ourselves for the battle at hand, that we would put on the whole armor of God, lift the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit and charge into the fray! Oh, that we would warn the sinner of the judgment that is nigh, even at the door! Oh, that we would show more concern for the incorruptible King of Glory than for the corrupted vainglory we receive of men!
Truly the judgment of God is falling upon this sin sick and dying world and the raging apostasy we are witnessing among those who profess Christ is as sure and certain a judgment as any that fell aforetime upon the sons of Sodom, Gomorrah or Egypt!
Our God is awesome and terrible in judgment and perfect in power. He is absolutely sovereign and is unfolding the scroll of history according to His good and perfect will. Beware oh man who has said in his heart, "there is no God" for you are a fool! How will you escape the punishment to come? Even now I am persuaded that God Almighty Himself is giving men over to the lusts of their hearts and sending a strong delusion among the goats and the tares, that they would believe the lie.
It's the same old lie that the beguiling serpent told Eve in the garden, and it still holds the same powerful allure to sinful man today as it ever did in ages long past; it begins with "Yea, hath God said?", then progresses to "ye shall be as gods" but the end thereof is cursing and death.
Friend, hold fast to the truth of Jesus Christ crucified, dead, buried and resurrected and to the faithful and sure testimony of His Word. Cling to it as if it were your life preserver in the middle of a vast and featureless ocean, because that's precisely what it is to those who believe.
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:28 PM
2 Thessalonians 2
1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:44 PM
I found this timely and informative piece over at vincentcheung.com.
The Burden of the Lord
Many people believe that the word "burden," when used in a prophetic context, does not refer only to prophecy in general, but also to the pronouncement of judgment. Calvin says, "Whenever this word is expressed, there is ever to be understood some judgment of God." Verhoef elaborates, "We may concede to the opinion that in prophecy the word…generally acquires an ominous sense linked up with the catastrophic nature of many prophecies. In this sense the word usually denotes a pronouncement of utmost importance, a prophecy of judgment."
In Jeremiah 23, we read that the word had become a way for the ungodly to deride the prophets, who at times brought them messages about God's impending judgment against the people's sins. Jeremiah 23:33-34 says:
And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD. And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.
As Feinberg argues, it is better to translate "What burden?" in verse 33 as, "You are the burden!" – as in, "What a burden (you are)!" Because of the people's sins, God's prophets had been bringing words of judgment to them, prefacing the prophecies with "The burden of the Lord." But instead of repenting of their sins, the hearers had grown to find such messages burdensome. Thus they had begun using this term in their derogatory challenges to the prophets, saying, "What is the burden of the Lord this time?"
Nowadays, we find many people who likewise find the requirements of God burdensome. To them, God's commandments limit their liberty and seem to be outdated relative to the culture. Those who preach biblical principles without compromise are often said to be inflexible and intolerant, placing unreasonable demands on the people. On the other hand, John reminds us that to love God is to obey his commandments, and it should not seem burdensome to us: "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3, NIV).
The rebellious nature of the human heart has not changed since Jeremiah's day. Even then, the people had grown weary of the constant warnings and urgings of the prophets. Or, as some people would complain today, it seems that some ministers are always preaching sermons of "doom and gloom," of sin and judgment. But they do not realize that there may be good reasons for preaching these messages.
The people considered God's word burdensome, and would say to the prophets, "What is the burden of the Lord now?" To such blatant irreverence, God replied, "It's you! You are the burden!" Thus there is a play on words here in Jeremiah – whereas in one instance the burden refers to the message of prophecy, in the next it refers to the people as a troublesome group in God's eyes. He proceeds to note that this is one burden God would soon unload from his shoulders: "I will even forsake you, saith the LORD."
Not only those who call themselves unbelievers make such complaints against God. Professing Christians everywhere find it difficult to live the Christian life, and they would often complain against biblical requirements, and the restrictions that God has placed upon them. They enjoy calling attention to the "sacrifices" that they have already made, and how it would be unreasonable to ask them for more. Such "Christians" form what may be the greatest burden of the church. Of course, most of these people are false converts, who have never been regenerated and are still heading toward hell.
The ungodly and carnal tend to blame the godly and obedient for their problems. As Ahab said to Elijah, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" (1 Kings 18:17). But Elijah answered, "I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim" (v. 18). It is those who "have forsaken the commandments of the Lord" that are the troublemakers of society, not those who faithfully follow God.
Family divisions are often blamed on those who have converted to Christianity. This includes how false converts who call themselves Christians persecute the true converts in the family who take their faith seriously. Such conflicts occur between parent and child, husband and wife, brothers and sisters, and among friends. Christians should say to their accusers, "It is you, not me, who is causing trouble in this relationship. It is you who is rebelling against the Lord, and therefore it is you who must change." Unbelievers also blame the Christians for other conflicts and divisions in society, and most who call themselves Christians are too cowardly to let the sinners know otherwise.
Christians who are faithfully following God are not responsible for family divisions and social conflicts. They are not to blame, as if they have done something wrong. No one has the right to compromise truth in order to maintain a false unity. It is those who are in opposition to the Scripture that God will hold accountable for the problems of society. Non-Christians, including false converts, are the problems of society. In fact, Christians are the only ones preventing society from getting much worse.
Every Christian should examine himself as to whether he considers God's word to be burdensome in any area, and whether he questions God's justice or wisdom in any way. Do we find it a burden to study or to pray? Do we complain that our relationships suffer because of God's claims on our lives? Do we bemoan the fact that biblical standards at times prevent us from profiting financially? These are indications of an unrenewed or even unconverted mind, whose attitudes are not submissive to God's word. But by the power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible for the elect to obey God's word, and delight at his commands.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:29 PM
1Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
2Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
3And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
4And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
5Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
6In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
7Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
8But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
9Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.
10For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.
11For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
12Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
13And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
14I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
15Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.
16Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
17They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
18For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?
19Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
20The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
21I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
23Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
24Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
25I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
26How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
27Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
28The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
29Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
30Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.
31Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
32Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
33And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.
34And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.
35Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
36And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.
37Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken?
38But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;
39Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:
40And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.
Posted by Coram Deo at 8:25 PM
Saturday, March 24, 2007
From the Lighthouse:
Over the past number of years I have been writing articles and producing radio programs in an attempt to urge evangelical Christians to wake up and see the light. Many Bible-believing Christians who were once concerned about false teaching and apostasy seem to have lost their passion for the truth and have little discernment. Instead of standing firm against unbiblical ideas and experiences, they now are promoting them.
While we have been able to document that the Emerging Church Movement is clearly another road to the Roman Catholic Church, it seems fewer professing Christians are concerned. Darkness has crept over the church the same way an avalanche sweeps down a mountain. Every day more and more unsuspecting victims are being swept up and buried.
In an attempt to sound another alarm, I am going to present a number of statements taken from a book titled The Road to Rome: Modern Journeys to the Catholic Church. The book is authored by sixteen different contributors who have converted to Roman Catholicism. The editor is Dwight Longenecker, a former evangelical Protestant.
Click here to read this entire article.
Posted by Coram Deo at 11:46 PM
I found a flyer in my door today from a local church belonging the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). I confess that I scratched my head trying to remember if I'd ever heard of this denomination before, so with the flyer in hand and with no preconceived notions I proceeded to dig into the EFCA. Guess what I found? A Smorgasbord of Heresy!
I praise the Lord of Hosts that the Holy Spirit is continuing His sovereign move to call people out of the great, drunken spiritual whore before she is visited by the wrath of God Almighty. Reading through the litany of heresies in the article above causes my soul to cry out to God, "How long, oh Lord?!?"
A number of Christian discernment resources such as Apprising Ministries have already documented that the practices of Lectio Divina, contemplative prayer and spiritual formation are ancient heresies with roots in mysticism and the apostate Church of Rome, and apparently the spiritually bankrupt EFCA is dutifilly following her harlot sister down the broad path that leads to destruction.
There can be no doubt that the apostate ecumenical trend of evangelicalism is spiraling ever more rapidly down the toilet bowl of history toward its true home, the spiritual cesspool of Rome.
Posted by Coram Deo at 10:53 PM
I found a very interesting article discussing the stark differences between the church established by the Lord Jesus Christ (the invisible church) and the apostate professing church wherein seeker-sensitive church growth apostates have run roughshod over the historic orthodox Christian faith. The article was written several years ago, but the principles it contains are as fresh and relevant today as they were the day they were written.
As I alluded to in my last Willow Creek installment, "An Earthly Kingdom", we do not live in a Christian world, nor are we governed by godly men. Those who profess faith in Christ are essentially foreign missionaries in enemy territory to be about the preaching of the good news of Jesus Christ, not going into business with politicians, bankers and globalists to carry out the UN's global agenda. Not only is this partnership idea from the UN but participating churches and Christian organizations are required to sterilize their environments of any and all references to, symbols of, and discussions about YOUR Christian faith and are instead to disseminate THEIR propaganda, implement THEIR programs and pursue THEIR goals. Under such guidelines Willow Creek churches are already well on their way toward UN compliance and government service. In addition, churches that are incorporated with a 501(c)3 status are already in partnership with the federal government and thereby bound to UN treaties, guidelines and directives.
CGM churches have been sterilizing their sanctuaries, sermons and Sunday school lessons for years to draw in unwashed consumers through politically correct doors to do what they do best...CONSUME. This, they believe, is the success of the 21st century church; a church that comes of age abandoning her "First Love" for the harlotry of compromise, consensus, consumerism and covetousness. The REAL church however, (the remnant) will have nothing to do with it. Hearing the still small voice of the Lord, they are already coming out from among them like sheep being separated from the goats. And because of their faithfulness, they will be ridiculed, harassed, persecuted and in some parts of the world even incarcerated, tortured and killed, not because of outsiders but by the betrayal of those from within the Apostate church who once called them brothers and sisters in Christ. It has happened many times before my friends and it will happen again, not because I said so, but because the Bible says so.
"...Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me." (John 16:2-3)
Read the entire text of "Hegelian Dialectic & The New World Order" here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 7:31 PM
I submitted the following letter to the editor to Joseph Farah of World Net Daily in response to his article entitled Another week that was.
Generally speaking I very much like Mr. Farah's editorials and believe he's making commendable efforts to positively influence others for Christ. This being said it would appear based on his article today that sometimes the method gets lost in the madness.
Below is the response I submitted to Mr. Farah:
First let me say that I'm a long time reader of WND and I truly appreciate your usually solid and Biblical stands on the issues of the day, many of which are not picked up or reported by the MSM.
This being said, I found several of the positions you took within your article today to be uncharacteristically un-Biblical. While reading your article I found myself nodding in somber agreement with your unflattering assessment of the modern lukewarm, pathetic, Laodicean, nominal, professing Christian, yet in other paragraphs I found myself wondering if I was still reading the same author.
Now the type of Christian that you are - or more precisely the Christian worldview to which you hold - will surely affect the way you interpret what I have to say in my response to your article. Please understand that it isn't my intent to approach you during my missive with any ad hominem attacks, but rather it is my desire to respond to your editorial in the spirit of "earnestly contending for the faith" as admonished in Jude 1:3, and "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;" as commended in 2 Timothy 2:25. Furthermore as born-again blood bought Christians we are to "...have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Ephesians 5:11)
Therefore it's as a brother in Christ that I write to you. Obviously I don't know you as an individual, but based upon what I've read of your writings you seem to hold to the orthodox, historic Christian faith; hence it is my hope that you will receive my message according to what I perceive to be our shared faith.
First, President Bush, for all his shortcomings - and they are legion - was inarguably granted his temporal earthly power by God Almighty, and Christians are in fact commanded to pray for our earthly rulers. You don't attempt to refute these points in your article therefore I don't intend to spend time belaboring the matter except to observe that while it seems that you may not particularly like these truths, they are truths nonetheless.
The portion of the article that actually grabbed my attention was the cavalier, flippant, and - perhaps this is hyperbole - dismissive attitude you took towards prayer. You asked a barrage of questions which culminated in "What is the proper role of a Christian in a free society? Is it merely to pray?" It’s on this subject that your Christian theistic worldview and mine apparently diverge. “Merely to pray?" "MERELY to pray?" you ask? Egads, man! Do you understand what prayer is to the Christian? Have you fallen for one of Satan's most ancient and pernicious lies? Have you read what the Bible has to say about prayer? MERELY TO PRAY?!?
Those are a few of the adjectives that come to mind if I correctly understand your low view of the power and importance of prayer. Prayer is nothing less than direct access to the throne of the Creator and Judge of the Universe! Prayer is something so precious and so powerful that the Bible describes it at "Jesus' custom"! Prayer is something so precious and so powerful that the Absolutely Holy, Just, and Righteous God of all creation will not even hear it unless it is spoken by a true born-again Christian, or unless it is a sinner's prayer for salvation uttered by one of His lost sheep in faith believing!
Sir, if I correctly understand your abysmally low view of prayer as portrayed in your own words today then I would suggest you conduct an immediate spiritual inventory and reevaluate the role of prayer in your Christian walk. Don't wait until you finish this e-mail. Stop now and come back to it later. Please. If I've misunderstood or misconstrued your position on the matter then I humbly apologize for my error and ask your forgiveness.
Secondly, what or where is the "free society" to which you're refer in your editorial? I know of none this side of heaven, but I'd deeply appreciate it if you could tell me where to find it. I’m certain that you couldn't possibly be referring to the corrupted, decadent Orwellian construct commonly known as the United States of America when you make reference to a "free society". The emperor has no clothes, Mr. Farah, and Elvis has left the building. Unless you subscribe to some type of obscure dominion theology that holds that the world must be evangelized and converted to Christ in order to usher in the Second Coming then I can't fathom your Christian motivation for "Taking America Back". Admittedly I've not read your book, and you may very succinctly exegete your theological principles therein, so in this case - and erring on the side of grace - I have no choice but to assume that you must possess some form of Christian guiding principle beyond being "salt and light" on this subject. I certainly hope this is the case.
Thirdly, with respect to the founding fathers, neither you, nor I, nor anyone else ought to enshrine these sinful men above what they were; which is sinful men. As has been often and rightly said, "The best of men are still men at best". As previously discussed, God Almighty is absolutely sovereign and He builds nations up and He casts them down; and the hearts of the kings are as rivers of waters in His hands. Therefore let us give credit where credit is due and not build high places and altars to idol gods of our own making regardless of how good, or noble, or worthy they may seem to our flesh. Rather since God Almighty saw fit in His sovereign unfolding of history to establish this country by using sinful men - just as He has with every other nation that’s ever existed - let us be thankful to Him that He chose to give us the life we live, and let us be thankful for where and when He chose that we should live it. It is enough, and He is sufficient.
Let us also be thankful to Him who perfectly chose the appointed time and place in which we live in order that we might, through His everlasting grace and mercy alone, have the opportunity to be partakers of His divine nature through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the cross and enjoy an eternal blessing beyond the power of mere human language to describe. Let also those who were born in North Korea, and China, and Russia, and Syria, and Iran, and anywhere else in the entire world and at any time in the past, present or future be likewise thankful for His gift of life and the opportunity He provides to come to know Him as Lord and Savior. For it is God alone who is the life giver and it is Him alone whom blood bought "men of every tribe, and tongue and nation" will one day worship in one accord.
With respect to the "tyranny of the Third Reich" I could but darkly chuckle thinking of how easily the ancient Romans make Hitler's SS appear as a troop of spit-shined Boy Scouts in comparison. How quickly we forget our history when is suits our personal agendas! Furthermore I fear your statement is quite the non sequitur since the type of nominal lukewarm Christian you rightly hold in such disdain would have quite probably fared very nicely in the Third Reich; in fact even handsomely I should think. As I recall their type are commonly known as the "Vichy Regime". For you see Mr. Farah, there is a clear and scriptural, distinction between the visible church of which you speak in your article and the invisible church of Jesus Christ. Whereas the visible church is made up of all those who profess Christ – regardless of whether the profession of faith is genuine or not – in contradistinction the invisible church is made up of the true Body of Christ and is hidden within the broader visible church. This is the pearl of great price to which our Lord referred in His parable in Matthew 13:46. It is also described as "a mystery" by the inspired Apostle Paul in the context of his discourse in Ephesians 5:32. So before you go to such lengths and expend such efforts bashing those cartoonish caricatures of Christianity you should know that God Almighty has already beaten you to the punch and likened them to vomit which He will someday spew forth from His mouth (Revelation 3:16). It is from among these wheat and tares, these sheep and goats, that there will someday emerge a faithful remnant who will hear those sweet and blessed words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21); and it is likewise from among these divergent groups there will be exposed the apostate pretenders who will hear those bitter and baleful words, “I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity”. (Matthew 7:23)
In closing it isn't my intent to rebuke you personally in this "letter to the editor" but rather to expose certain thought patterns expressed in your article which seemed to be inconsistent with a high view of God Almighty and His infallible, inerrant, eternal, inspired, and authoritative Word. I hope you've received this message in the spirit it was intended and I hope you will keep fighting the good fight of faith.
. . . those who have been chosen of God . . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
P.S. - I have posted this letter on my blog which is located at http://www.absolutedominon.blogspot.com
Posted by Coram Deo at 1:59 AM
Friday, March 23, 2007
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
The Spirit speaks expressly that Christians are not to be "unequally yoked with unbelievers" for "what communion hath light with darkness"?
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
It's critically important for the true born-again believer in Christ to be separated unto Him! Unfortunately the modern day cults which are comprised of seeker-sensitive, church growth, emergent apostates consistently elevate "community" above the throne of the Most High! This reprehensible activity is an affront the the Almighty Creator and Judge of the Universe and is also a grave disservice to the deceived masses who will follow this twisted theology straight to hell.
I pray you'll take a moment to read a blistering expose of the sharp distinctions between the historic Christian faith as found in the Holy Bible and the false man-centered gospel of today's self-styled blind leaders of the blind.
What are these man-centered false prophets teaching? In a nutshell:
(1) Absolute unity is more important than absolute truth.
(2) Feelings and fellowship are more important than faith and facts.
(3) "Love" is measured not by one's loyalty to Christ and obedience to His Word but by one's loyalty to the group and conformity to the consensus.
This system of "group-think" subverts the conscience of each individual and forces them, through dialog and compromise, to accept the unacceptable for the "common good". They call it the "Will of God". Historians call it the Hegelian Dialectic. I call it socialism.
The modus operandi of today's Apostate church consists of members and prospective members surrendering their personal convictions and absolutes to the consensus process and compromising those values when necessary to win the support and approval of the group. (Peer pressure) The real damage to the church occurs when believers learn that it is "Christ-like" to accommodate, honor and accept those who reject the Word of God which results in human relationships taking precedence over one's relationship to Christ.
If you see nothing wrong with this then you may want to revisit a few helpful scriptures like John 14:6, 2nd Corinthians 6:14-17 and Matthew 10:34-37 for a better understanding.
When Christians compromise truth to unify with an opposing group (those claiming a different god, religion, doctrine or belief), casual observers are left to conclude that there really must not be any difference between the two. The end result is that all become spiritual casualties deferring to the will of a facilitator who subtly manipulates the dialog between opposing positions to achieve a predetermined outcome...a contrived consensus of which neither party is privy to.
It's all about achieving the unity of a one-world religion, a universal brotherhood that is fraudulently promoted as "Christian unity" and called "ecumenism". But beware of ecumenical movements and events like "Promise Keepers" and "Women of Faith", where, just like Willow Creek, fun, feelings, fellowship, fabulous music and Freudian psychology are used to teach the global gospel of "tolerance, diversity and unity"...all in the name of Jesus. Though appearing to be innocent and spiritually healthy many of these productions and events actually undermine the gospel by appealing to the flesh and emotions of attendees using a lot of Christian celebrities, humor, boisterous music, romantic stories, sentimentality, tears (and
believe it or not) even the visual stimulation of those who come forward to make "decisions".
Continue reading "The Apostate Church" here
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:33 AM
I found an excellent resource on witnessing to Mormons over at Truth in Love to Mormons. The following comparison demonstrates a few of the wild differences between the claims of Mormons and the underlying meaning of those claims exposing the divergence in how they are understood by Mormons and Christians.
One of the objectives of this presentation of basic Mormon doctrine is to show that Mormonism is not Christian. It has been argued that Mormonism is Christian because they use the name of Jesus Christ in their name. It has been argued that Mormonism is Christian because it professes specific beliefs about Jesus Christ. However, a person's eternal destination is not based on a title. This is why we focus on the question "Which eternal destination will belief in the Mormon doctrine lead, Heaven or Hell?" The answer, as shall be seen, is eternal suffering in Hell.
In the following chapters, as we explain basic Mormon doctrine, we will also identify Christian sounding statements made by Mormon authorities in official church writings. We will show how these statements are carefully crafted using words with meanings unique to Mormonism so as to sound Christian. By using official statements of Mormon doctrine, we will decode these statements and present their actual meaning in words that will not mislead Christians. We will call this "decoding".
For example, a Mormon can say, without contradicting the doctrine of Mormonism; "I believe that Jesus' death on the cross and his resurrection has saved me". This is a very Christian sounding statement. However, let us decode it by exposing the unique meaning of the embedded "Mormonese", specifically the word saved:
In Christianity, this statement can be broken down into the following:
I believe that when Jesus willingly sacrificed his life on the cross, he substituted his perfect life for my sinful life.
This act paid for my sins, granting me unconditional forgiveness and separating me from my sins.
This payment was made once for all sinners, no more payment is due, no more payment can be made.
By believing in this work of Jesus I am saved because I am judged not guilty and am given, free of charge and undeservedly, eternal life in heaven.
The truth of this belief was demonstrated by God when he resurrected his Son.
Mormonism would make no such claim or even come close. In Mormonism the statement can be restated as:
I believe that when Jesus willingly gave his life on the cross, he paid the Father for my sins, becoming my creditor.
By becoming my creditor Jesus has saved me from having to pay for my sins immediately, I now have time to pay for my sins. I must now pay Jesus back for all my sins.
I have no forgiveness for these sins unless I sincerely repent of each sin which requires, in part: completely abandoning the sin for my entire life and making amends by performing additional works.
By believing in this work of Jesus, I am given strength to do what I must do.
By Jesus' resurrection, all men have gained physical resurrection, saving them from an eternal life without a body.
What is important to recognize here is that the Christian set of beliefs lead to heaven, while the Mormon set of beliefs leads to hell. The divide between these beliefs could not be wider!
More and more Mormon literature, both "official" and "unofficial", is stating equally carefully crafted statements. One can only assume that since these statement do not clearly state the doctrine of Mormonism in words the world would understand, that they are intentionally crafted to create the illusion of Christianity - an illusion that leads to hell and not heaven! This is the epitome of the wolf of false doctrine in the sheep's clothing. Jesus warned his disciplies:
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16.
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Matthew 7:15.
Lord help those who are called by your name to be faithful witnesses to Your majesty and glory and to Your abundant mercy and forgiveness! Help us to point the lost toward the cross of Christ Jesus and proclaim the acceptable day of the Lord!
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:09 AM
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: (Isaiah 6:5)
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: (Matthew 3:8)
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2 Timothy 2:25)
Guilty as charged. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
Posted by Coram Deo at 4:34 PM
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I posted the following comment over at Mike Ratliff's Possessing the Treasure blog after reading his post entitled "Build Your House On The Rock":
Mike, I have to tell you in all sincerity brother that each and every post you’ve made recently with respect to “Christian Authenticity, Repentance and Obedience” has resonated deeply with my spirit - that part of me that the Lord of Hosts has seen fit for His own glory to save.
I also want to make it clear to any who read this comment that I’m not speaking these words to puff up your ego or serve as the devil’s little helper by stoking your pride, rather I’m telling you in the Spirit that what you’ve been writing over the past few days is EXACTLY what the Lord has put on my heart over the past six months or so.
The Spirit of God is speaking to those mired within the apostate emergent camp and crying “Come out of her”!
The Spirit of God is speaking to those mired within the apostate RCC and crying “Come out of her”!
The Spirit of God is speaking to those mired within the apostate Devil Driven Church and crying “Come out of her”!
The Spirit of God is speaking to those mired within the apostate Word Faith Movement and crying “Come out of her”!
The Spirit of God is speaking to those mired within the apostate liberal mainline denominations who are stumbling over issues as basic as homosexuality and crying “Come out of her”!
Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ,
if sinners will be damned, at least
let them leap to hell over our bodies.
And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stop,
and not madly to destroy themselves.
If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Mike has blogged several recent posts on the subject of conflict, contention and the division that are inevitably caused by genuine born-again believers in Jesus Christ. You see, the world knows the difference between a counterfeit and the "real thing", and the same holds true for religion. The worldly don't counterfeit paper bags because they're worthless, of no value. For this selfsame reason the perverse purveyors of counterfeit religion are irresistibly drawn to formulate a corrupt counterfeit gospel and a corrupt counterfeit Messiah in order to deceive and rend the flock.
The Word of God, which is sharper than a two-edged sword and much more sure, steady and precise than the finest surgeon's scalpel calls the Christian faith, "true religion". This is an important distinction because by this we know the myriad cults of Christianity and the other "faiths" that oppose the historical, orthodox, Biblical Christian faith and stand in stark and demonic contrast to the "faith that was once delivered unto the saints" are by definition "false religions".
Yet false religions always have a common denominator which the discerning Christian can easily identify. Religion is what man says God says, but the Bible is what God says. Hence at the poisonous root of false religion you will always find sinful man masquerading as god. The discerning Christian ought not be surprised by this basic truth since within God's created order there are really no other options. Either God is God, or man is god.
This is easily demonstrated by noting that a Christian is submitted to the authority of his Creator and Judge based on the self-attesting Word of God. For the believing Christian, God Almighty is the highest court of appeals and His Word is the final authority in all matters of day to day living, thinking, ethics, and philosophy. In other words the believing Christian's worldview is, quite simply, that God Almighty is the absolute ultimate authority, period. And since His self-attesting Word proclaims itself to be a plenary and infallible, (i.e. all that God has to say to mankind in this age He has perfectly said) and His self-attesting Word proclaims it is "God breathed" (i.e. God-inspired) then the believing Christian takes God at His Word, fully trusting in Him alone and therefore rightly believing that he has been fully equipped by God to process all information in the light of revealed scripture and thus has been given the ability to reason properly - according to Biblical truth. This is not to suggest that believing Christians are infallible logicians or thinkers, but rather to state that Christians are no longer subject to "the old man" - under the total domination of our sin nature - whereas the unbeliever indisputably is.
On the other hand we have wicked, depraved natural man who has usurped the throne of God in his heart and has elevated his own sinful reasoning as the ultimate authority in his life and his highest court of appeals. This wretched and perverse caricature of God's creation is perhaps the most abominable thing this side of hell. The natural man suppresses the truth of God in unrighteousness, reasoning according to the manner of the world and demanding "proof" of God. He sets his own sinful reasoning upon the throne of the Most High and stubbornly refuses to be submitted to God's authority.
Of course the Ancient of Days will never submit Himself to the inspection of sinful man. The Sovereign Creator and Judge of the universe will not be put on trial in the court of sinful man's depraved reasoning nor will He be subject to man's corrupted judgements. A type of this has already occurred prior to the crucifixion and natural man invariably screamed "give us Barabbas"! By nature we receive Barabbas. By nature we are Barabbas.
In the final analysis sinful man must be humbled before God Almighty and be submitted to Him as Lord and Savior in order that he might escape the wrath to come. Oh, that we who are called by His precious name would have the courage and faith to stand in the gap and boldly proclaim the victory of the Cross and the good news of the Kingdom! Oh, that we who are called by His precious name would be "always ready" with an answer for the hope we have within us! Oh, that we might be found worthy of the High calling of Christ and be found as faithful servants who might hear those sweet, wonderful words "Well done!"
And may we never, ever become complacent in our position in Christ and turn our backs on one soul that is on a one way trajectory toward hell. May we never, ever take a cavalier or flippant attitude toward the eternal horrors from which we've been spared. May we never, ever, while breath fills our lungs, stop fighting the good fight under the banner of our King, Jesus Christ.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Posted by Coram Deo at 9:20 PM
Monday, March 19, 2007
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Tonight I had an exchange with a deceived individual named "Nate" who is either an adherent of, or at least an apologist for Freemasonry. It would seem that Nate is under demonic bondage and is dire need of the Lord of Hosts to set him free.
I was encouraged that a few others joined in my effort to point out the grave and unscriptural errors of Freemasonry, yet throughout the discussion the tenor of Nate's replies remained highly defensive and he repeatedly sought to heap ridicule upon those who would make references to scripture or church history regarding the manifold errors of Freemasonry.
I call upon my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ who read this post to join me in praying that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would open Nate's eyes by the power of the Holy Spirit and reveal to him the occultic nature of Freemasonry that he might, by the boundless grace and mercy of God Almighty, be set free from his deception. Amen.
Posted by Coram Deo at 11:53 PM
"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:11)
I found the following resources to be quite informative on the matter of the undeniable influence of Freemasonry upon Mormonism:
Masonic influence in Mormon architecture
The link between the Mormon Temple Ceremony and Freemasonry
As the websites above demonstrate, these two religious institutions are inextricably linked. There are, of course, numerous other examples but these should suffice as sources of edification for true born-again Christians who hold even a cursory knowledge of Mormonism and Freemasonry.
Below is additional information on the myriad scriptural problems with Freemasonry:
A Comparison Chart -- Freemasonry and Christianity
How can you lead Masons away from the Masonic Lodge?
Posted by Coram Deo at 11:21 PM
I found this timely and accurate portrait of today's modern professing church over at Apprising Ministries. Pastor-teacher Ken Silva unflinchingly dissects and decimates a number of the fallacious claims being propounded by many of today's most prominent evangelicals.
The evangelical church in America continues to wander almost aimlessly through this nation which was founded by God, but now has become as foreign a mission field as the deepest depths of the rain forests in Africa. An alleged Body of Christ searching for a Purpose as it morphes into an Emergent Church with so many today calling themselves Christians-who should be filled with His Spirit-but are instead considering many other paths for spiritual experience to fill a nagging emptiness. The sad fact is that the evangelical community, once a vibrant section of the Church of our Lord, long ago turned from the Bible unto the myths of the man-pleasers.
I highly recommend you take the time to finish reading "The Myths of the Man Pleasers" here.
Posted by Coram Deo at 10:23 AM
Sunday, March 18, 2007
re·frig·er·a·tor /rɪˈfrɪdʒəˌreɪtər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ri-frij-uh-rey-ter] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a box, room, or cabinet in which food, drink, etc., are kept cool by means of ice or mechanical refrigeration.
I found that the following comment by Daniel J. Phillips over at Biblical Christianity resonated deeply with my inability to reconcile the odious Romish dogmatism exhibited by the "truly Reformed" when they appeal to the authority of long-dead sinful 17th century Europeans in defense of their otherwise scripturally indefensible doctrinal positions. In the comments thread DJP said:
It makes you wonder: when was the Reformation finished? When was the last truth was gleaned from Scripture? When were the last trappings of Romanism swept away, the last bit of doctrinal exactness set in stone or fossilized in amber?
Did Calvin himself set a date? Did he ever publish, "There, I'm done, that's it! Now your part is to agree in every exact detail, because I have it all right"?
Another commenter made an astute observation comparing the Reformation - as propounded by the "truly Reformed" - to a fly stuck in amber "never able to grow or change according to our understanding of the Scriptures". Now let me be clear in pointing out that this comment was not an endorsement of "new light" nor was it a suggestion that Christians embrace some gnostic heresy, but rather it was a pointed and accurate metaphor of the obvious inability of the "truly Reformed" to come to grips with the revealed truth of Scripture; the whole counsel of God.
When they are unable to somehow shoehorn Scriptural truth into one of their pre-existing theological constructs they exhibit an acute case of spiritual cognitive dissonance and go fumbling about for a quote from Calvin - or some other uninspired, sinful human theologian - in order to set the matter straight. Seemingly being long-dead is a big plus on your resume for this crowd; and if you were lucky enough to have lived - and died! - between the 16th and 17th century in Western Europe, well my friend, consider yourself beatified!
I must apologize if I'm coming across as crass or unloving, but I'm just flat tired of my King's character being maligned, and His precious Word being twisted like a common wax nose by the myriad cults of Christianity such as the LDS, JW's, RCC and their like. Much less should He suffer assaults from those who ought to be firmly ensconced in His camp who should be "earnestly contending for the faith" (Jude 1:3) as opposed to vigorously defending systematic man-made theological constructs at the expense of Scripture, for which there is no Biblical mandate that I'm aware.
Why have these men chosen to place the Reformation in the refrigerator? Why do they refuse to repent of their sinful pride with humble and contrite hearts? Hear now the Lord Jesus Christ as He speaks the parable of the Pharisee and the publican in Luke 18:11-14:
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
In the light of this stinging rebuke of Scripture why do these men still seek to please themselves and become puffed up with their "doctrines of men" - which are awash in Romish corruption - becoming guilty before the Lord as modern day Pharisees?
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me (Mark 7:6)
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (Matthew 15:8)
Of course these modern day Pharisees will snort and recite the "5 points" and perhaps spout some platitude such as, "But by the grace of God, there go I..."; yet they will also go about and write essays decrying "a personal relationship with Jesus" and shunning the use of controversial phrases such as "born-again".
It's with a heavy heart that I can come to no other conclusion except spiritual duplicitousness, whether conscious or not, to account for the bizarre, confusing, complex, and contradictory religious system of those firmly ensconced within "The Reformation Refrigerator".
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (Revelation 2:2-5).
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Posted by Coram Deo at 10:39 PM
As a follow-up to my previous post entitled Global Warming Evangelists I decided to offer up some additional musings on this subject. But first let me state that I'm not some type of wild-eyed, tin-foil-hat brigade conspiracy theorist, rather my intent in this post is simply to place together a few seemingly unrelated "puzzle pieces" that may reveal a bigger picture or pattern and ask the question; "What if?"
What if the recent interest in global warming is part of a bigger scheme?
What if the UN and/or other one-world government organizations are using global warming as a front to further their own political agenda under the guise of "international cooperation"?
What if politics, science and religion - the unholy trinity - yoke themselves together beneath the socio-political harness of "global warming" and act in concert together?
Certainly there's no doubt that vast swaths of the professing church have been wholly co-opted and corrupted by temporal worldly concerns. Examples include the neo-liberal cult of the emergent church with its "generous orthodoxy" - code language for leaky theology - Rick Warren's Devil Driven Apostasy replete with his social justice P.E.A.C.E. plan, and entire liberal mainline denominations who are today stumbling over a subject as basic as homosexuality.
Sweeping into this spiritual abyss, unsurprisingly, comes human government. Human government has always demonstrated a panache for having the answers (through "science" so-called), having the money (your tax dollars hard at work!), and having the guns (law enforcement and military). Human governments tax their citizenry in order to legislate and enforce obedience to the laws of men, even - and especially! - when those selfsame laws conflict with the higher laws of God Almighty.
Also unsurprising is the manner in which human government repeatedly attempts to set itself up as an idol god. Nebuchadnezzar is among the earliest examples of human government demanding obeisance from its subjects, and every Sunday school child can recount what happened to faithful Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel when they dared to defy this little "god" and remained obedient to the One True Living God. Along these same lines Joe Carter over at the evangelical outpost wrote an excellent observation of the idolatrous nature of human government after hurricane Katrina entitled "Deliver Us From Evils:
The Soteriology of Gnostic Governance". In his article Joe states:
"The claim that we make an idol of our government is provocative and disconcerting; it is also almost impossible to deny. Idolatry occurs when we take anything within God's creation and elevate it above the boundary separating Creator from the creature, and make it a kind of God. Political philosopher David Koyzis has explored this concept in detail, examining how ideologies can become idols:
If ideologies deify something within God's creation, they inevitably view this humanly made god as a source of salvation. Thus each of the ideologies is based on a specific soteriology, that is, on a worked-out theory promising deliverance to human beings from some fundamental evil that is viewed as the source of a broad range of human ills, including tyranny, oppression, anarchy, poverty and so forth.
Our view of governance has not only attained this level of ideological belief, but has become rather commonplace. For instance, one of the most consistent, though often unstated, themes in the discussion about the disaster in New Orleans is that the government could have saved everyone. Some blame the local government, which had hundreds of unused buses at their disposal. Most others place the blame on the Federal government which is believed to have almost unlimited resources at its disposal.
Politics is the arena with the power and the money to make things happen. Science has become the lapdog of politics greedily feeding at the trough of government largess; so long as the "science" brought forth dutifully promotes with unfailing fealty the orthodoxy advanced by those in political power. The moment a heretical scientist steps forward with numbers or facts that dispute the orthodoxy, he's branded an apostate and either his character is maligned or his career is destroyed - or both. There are numerous examples of this pattern of character assassination within the global warming industry. Yes, it's an industry employing thousands of bureaucrats and scientists, administrators and clerks, replete with symposiums and conferences, dissertations and - how exciting! - even movies! Make no mistake, global warming is the cause célèbre within the elite circles inhabited by today's world leaders and it has also been enthusiastically and wholeheartedly embraced by the "professional protester" community since it fits quite neatly within their anti-industry, anti-economic growth, anti-authority, and ultimately anti-Christian worldview.
So where does religion fit into the big picture? I'm glad you asked. Religion has heretofore been viewed as a land of fruits and nuts by career politicians and scientists; a place where strange people hold strange beliefs about strange things. Never mind that these strange people account for a whopping majority of the population, for they are but the ignorant masses mired hopelessly in their arcane myths upon whose backs the governments and sciences ride.
But more recently savvy politicians have taken note that this mindless yet powerful brute, the masses of "organized religion", can be made use of by regurgitating a few carefully placed spiritual sounding phrases and buzzwords. Perhaps nowhere has this tactic been employed more successfully than in the United States by the Republican Party upon the Christian Right, or to be more precise, upon Christian Evangelicals.
For whatever reason, whether it be mere political utilitarianism or a sincere desire to legislate Christianized morality, the Christian Evangelical community has been almost entirely co-opted by the Republican political machine. With this in mind it then becomes slightly less surprising to see supposed men of God shying away from fundamental Biblical principles such as marriage being the union of a man and a woman, homosexuality being a personally sinful moral choice, the sanctity of life as a continuum from conception to natural death, and the utter and complete failure to speak out and take action against the vile corruption of secular humanism that pervades the government schools, and by extension the American culture itself.
Clearly the professing church in America needs to take a step back and consider the bleak and barren landscape of our spiritual future if the current course is not corrected. The government is not here to help you, nor can it. Science has become a competing religious system that is set directly against the authority of God as inscripturated in the Holy Bible, and the so-called "cultural mandate" to save the world in order to usher the return of Christ is plain-old bad theology.
I read an interesting comment on a blog the other day by an apparently "apostate" member of the scientific community:
As a scientist (chemistry) who no longer practices, I, too, am appalled at the near-complete scientific ignorance of our culture. Non-scientists have no idea what science is. This should surprise no one. Scientists, apparently, don't remember the scientific method, either.
Like raising the gilded idol of some ancient religion, the mere mention of the word "science" today is intended to compel the compliant and fearful into averting their gaze and prostrating themselves before it. It has become the very thing it could never be: the demand for blind obedience through intimidation -- absent of truth and reason.
I have concluded that science and religion are not only alike, but they are now both living under the roof of the greatest threat to both religion and science: politics. If anyone has an ear, let them hear. If anyone has eyes, let them see. When science, religion, and politics move together, no creature can be secure.
The Bible teaches us that in the last days there will be a man known as the Anti-Christ, not an anti-christ mind you - for there are many - but the Anti-Christ. This man will be a spectacular specimen of humanity. Based upon the nature of his deeds and misdeeds in Revelation he will be the greatest politician the world has ever known. His charisma will be nearly irresistible, and his insatiable desire for power will lead him to declare himself god and demand worship reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzar as previously discussed. This Anti-Christ will also have in his service a false-prophet who will speak great and swelling words on his behalf:
Rev 16:13 "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet."
Rev 19:20 "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
Rev 20:10 "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
If the bumbling and incompetent politicians of today's caliber are able to turn the Christian Right into shameless boot-licking toadies then I have little doubt that the Anti-Christ and his false-prophet will twist them and/or their posterity into intellectual and spiritual pretzels in about five minutes flat and will probably face little, if any, opposition when he demands their idolatrous worship. If the harlot church of today is any indication then I can't imagine it will be long until this spiritual whore becomes so corrupt that she will gladly pay for the opportunity to prostitute herself.
In conclusion it seems that the stage is being set and the main characters are being cast for the final production of "Sinful Man vs. Almighty God" and today's global warming evangelists are playing directly into the hands of the wicked one. Unless we who are called by His name sound the alarm and warn our fellow believers of the wrath to come, and unless they repent and change their ways I fear the global warming evangelists will be found to "even to fight against God" (Acts 5:39).
Posted by Coram Deo at 10:53 AM
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I'm not particularly savvy or "in the know" when it comes to the various and frequent sparring, jousting, and general bickering amongst prominent figures within the modern professing church. Perhaps this is because these men inhabit a rarefied spiritual abode which the average autodidactic Christian theist such as myself doesn't share. Or perhaps it's just because it's simply impossible to keep up with the constant jockeying for position among these "Christian elites", who knows?
At any rate, I came across this post over at Christian Research Net regarding an apparent controversy stirred up by John MacArthur recently when he gave a message at the Shepherds Conference - held at his church - concerning his premillennial eschatology.
Christian Research Net linked to a more detailed post over at Pyromaniacs in which Phil Johnson gives his take on the matter and, for whatever reason, Phil saw fit to close comments for his post and directed his readers to a pair of related sites, therefore I followed his links and reviewed the other sites.
At the first site Dan Phillips of Biblical Christianity has written a concise and thoughtful commentary on the matter. Dan's musings were a confirmation of the odious Romish whiff I always experience when confronted with truly "Reformed" theology. I must say I thoroghly enjoyed this post.
The second site contains a brief but civil rant against Kim Riddlebarger and has a link to his website The Riddleblog. Mr. Riddlebarger - who is truly "Reformed" - has taken it upon himself to use his blog space to take aim at John MacArthur and ostensibly - though inexplicably - demonstrate Why John MacArthur Is Not "Reformed". Again, this is something MacArthur has never claimed to be.
More interesting still - at least to me - Mr. Riddlebarger decided to invoke a short essay entitled How Many Points? by Richard A. Muller in order to buttress his accusations against Mr. MacArthur - accusations that Mr. MacArthur would not deny in the first place!
Upon review of Mr. Muller's essay I posted the following comment over at the second site, Centurion's blogspot:
I came across this "Reformed" discussion by following a link from one of my favorite discernment websites, Christian Research Net.
In my humble opinion the entire matter is a tempest in a teapot. MacArthur has never claimed to be Reformed, and now those who do claim to be Reformed are gleefully pointing out that MacArthur isn't reformed? Eh? Talk about a non-story!
Nevertheless I took the time to peruse Richard Muller's short essay "How Many Points" which was linked from Riddleblog and I was once again reminded why I'm so pleased that MacArthur is not "Reformed" - in the proper theological sense of the word.
In his entire essay extolling the apparently endless virtues of long-dead 17th century Europeans Mr. Muller never once saw fit to cite even a single scripture to support his otherwise unsupportable positions.
Furthermore I was quite amazed to see Mr. Muller disparage, or should I say bludgeon, the concept of a "personal relationship with Jesus".
Is the church invisible not the recipient of the Apostolic deposit?
Did the Apostles not have a "personal relationship with Jesus"?
Was this not, in fact, one of the requirements of being an Apostle?
Did Jesus Christ Himself not pray in John 17:21-23:
"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.?
If a "personal relationship with Jesus" is publicly disparaged by one of the leading Calvinistic thinkers of our day, then the Reformed church certainly has a major problem.
If Reformed thinkers are more beholden to the systematic theology of sinful men than they are faithful to the plain and literal meaning of the inspired, infallible, and eternal Word of God then the Reformed church has two major problems.
If Reformed thinkers are more personally puffed up by the soteriology of Calvin than they are personally in love with their Creator and Judge then the Reformed church has three major problems and we find them in the undesirable position of the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
I'm endlessly fascinated by the frequent manner in which hard-core Calvinists appeal to the authority of sinful men when defending their belief system in favor of appealing to revealed Scripture. It's precisely this type of mentality that is so prevalent within the apostate, heretical, harlot Church of Rome. It's also this very same type of adherence to religious dogma that often prevents these blind followers of the blind from turning away from their false system of works and sacramental piety and turning toward the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Of course our God is sovereign and is more than able to save those who are called by His name, but men ought to be wary that they are not found guilty before the Lord as were the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:13:
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Posted by Coram Deo at 1:11 PM