Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Uncomfortable Christmas Card for Unbelievers Comfortable at Christmas

HT: Reformation Theology
by: Rev. Charles R. Biggs

Each year at this time, I think about how I would like to remind my unbelieving friends and loved ones of the glorious gospel and hope found in Jesus Christ. Seasons like Christmas give us another great opportunity to make the good news of Jesus known to the whole world, and especially to those closest to us.

Sadly however, when Christmas comes and we gather with our unbelieving friends and family, we Christians look into the eyes of our unbelieving friends and family members excitedly telling them of how God has greatly blessed us, and what the true meaning of Christmas is about, only for these glad tidings to be received at best as a nice sentiment that spiritually falls flat in their response to us, or at worst it is received as divisive and ignorant, and a subject to be avoided in our Christmas conversation (for instance: “Happy Holidays!”).

This year I decided to write a letter to those friends and loved ones who love me, but who do not love Christ; this is a letter to friends and family who do not believe. I decided to write an uncomfortable Christmas card for unbelievers comfortable at Christmas.

No one should ever be too comfortable with the truths of Scripture any time of the year! I think it is important for the truths of Scripture to keep believers all uncomfortably ever-depending upon Jesus Christ alone for our righteousness throughout the year (one of the purposes of gospel preaching). I especially think it is good for unbelieving friends and relatives to be uncomfortable this time of year when we celebrate God becoming flesh in order to save those who believe. When unbelievers become comfortable this time of year, it is time to ask ourselves as the Church whether we are speaking and proclaiming the gospel in clear, pointed, penetrating ways as Jesus, John, and Paul preached it.

If you find this letter helpful, and would like to use it yourself in order to send to those whom you love and desire them to know Jesus, I invite you to use it as often as you would like, and to send it to as many as you would like.

Merry Christ,

Pastor Biggs

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Christianity Astray

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (James 3:1)

The professing church is brimming over with hirelings. What is a "hireling" you might ask, and how is it relevant to the question of the condition of today's church? I'm glad you asked. Let's see what the Lord Jesus has to say of the hireling:

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (John 10:11-13)

As you can see, the Lord isn't impressed with the hireling, in fact He disdains him and heaps contempt upon him. So what does it say about the state of the church when today's denominational pipelines and seminaries are cranking out hirelings nearly as fast as Mattel cranks out Ken and Barbie? And isn't there a parallel here between the plastic Christianity of these hirelings and their plastic toy counterparts? Why yes, yes there is; they're both completely fake and without true life.

True life is the life imputed by the Lord of Hosts and is a thing which no man can attain to, it is the gift of God lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Yet today's plasticized Christian leadership equipped with their plasticized crosses shill for a plasticized, corrupted gospel that is powerless and ineffectual for salvation. These blind leaders of the blind send countless myriads of deceived followers home each week singing of a heaven they'll never see apart from the change of heart, submission, and faithful obedience to Christ that are foundational to true salvation.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Death of a Church

"Death (of a Church) occurs when unbelievers are allowed to take over ministries in the church. It happens when a church becomes more concerned with form and liturgy than it is with life on a spiritual level. Death occurs when a church becomes more concerned about welfare and social ills than it is about salvation. It happens when a church loves systems more than it loves Jesus Christ. And it happens when a church becomes more concerned with material things than spiritual reality. That's how a church dies. It all is a result of sin.

Sin--in any form that the church tolerates, whether it is in the members or the leaders. Tolerance of sin begins the cycle; then comes the tolerance of unbelievers in the church until no one cares who is a believer or an unbeliever. The end comes when the man who runs the church isn't a believer. Sins of commission and omission kill a church little by little. When that happens, Christians become carnal. Soon afterwards, unbelievers come into the church, and then a total tolerance for sin exists. The church begins to die, and the people who really love Jesus Christ leave only to be replaced by people who don't know Him." — John MacArthur

HAT TIP: The Bororean

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Few Words on Richard Abanes and Repentance

Richard Abanes says: “Ken Silva's stubbornness is to blame.”

Richard Abanes says: "Taking sides” is to blame.

Richard Abanes says: "Everyone else" is wresting scriptures to "advance an agenda".

Richard Abanes is presently engaged in a vain attempt to justify his reprehensible, unjustifiable and un-Christ like behavior all around the Christian blogosphere.

Richard Abanes is in denial.

Richard Abanes is in desperate need of repentance.

I'm sorry but the hubris on display by Richard Abanes (RA) in the present "Abanes/Silva Dust Up" is simply breathtaking. Do such a statements as those quoted above strike anyone else as sounding eerily familiar? To me it sounds exactly like the first resort of the red-handed - namely blame shifting.

And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. (Genesis 3:12)

For those who may be unaware of the present situation one Richard Abanes - Saddleback apologist and PDL insider - violated scripture in a self-centered, flesh pleasing effort to have an article that personally offended him removed from the website of one Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries. Much has been said and written on this sorry situation and a simple Internet search of Abanes/Silva" should give the interested reader plenty to chew on.

It's unfortunate that in his self-professed "final word on the issue" RA has willfully (and not so skillfully) chosen to ignore and evade the fundamental question "What did Ken Silva say in the offending article 'A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES' that was deemed so libelous?"

And perhaps even more importantly why does RA – his scriptural gymnastics to the contrary notwithstanding - continue to stand defiantly and unrepentantly in violation of 1 Cor. 6:1-8? Oh, that’s right! RA simply issues a statement flatly denying that he’s in violation of 1 Cor. 6:1-8 and that’s that! Thus saith Richard Abanes! Move along folks, nothing to see here…but wait! There is something to see here – in fact there’s MUCH to be seen here.

In my opinion the bitter fruit born from the poisonous root of the Purpose Driven Paradigm is evident for all to see through the simple observation of RA's shameful, self-centered, and flesh-gratifying actions throughout this whole sorry episode. Interestingly enough RA's well established pattern of generally un-Christ like comportment is the whole point behind Ken Silva's missive “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES”.

RA has frequently demanded for his “detractors” to show him where his theology or doctrine were challenged by the offending Silva article, yet the article wasn't concerned with his theology or doctrine; it was concerned with the bitter fruit produced by the Purpose Driven Paradigm of which one Richard Abanes was (and is) "Exhibit A". In point of fact Ken Silva’s article makes much more sense now than it did when I originally read it because RA has verified the veracity of Ken's claims by demonstrating his well established pattern of behavior throughout this ordeal.

For example the following quote is taken from Silva's offending article:

From where I stand, it has now become clear to me that Mr. Abanes feels anyone who disagrees with him is simply wrong, no matter what evidence may be presented to him. It is my sincere prayer that the following might cause him to come to a position where he will at least show some semblance of respect for others in the family of Christ with whom he does not agree. Perhaps he might wish to consider Philippians 3:15 – Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you (NKJV).

And in another quote taken from “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES” Ken Silva points towards RA's less than charitable and very personal attack on Dr. John MacArthur who is himself on record exposing the bitter and rotten fruit of the man-centered, flesh pleasing Purpose Driven Paradigm:

From Tim Challies’ rather revealing interview with Mr. Abanes, we will see an arrogance emerge as he “attacks” (personally?) Dr. John MacArthur. Whatever one may think of every area of Dr. MacArthur’s theological positions, the fact remains that he is widely acknowledged as one of the finest Bible teachers we have in the Christian Church today. Further, MacArthur is also a man who is a senior pastor–and an elder–if you will, within the Evangelical church at large.

And yet, instead of showing Dr. MacArthur the respect his venerable position within Christ’s church would entitle him to, Mr. Abanes says with insolence:

As for John MacArthur, he simply does not know what he is talking about and has shown himself to be a loose cannon when it comes to Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, and Saddleback . I am not sure who is feeding him information, but it is false. But perhaps MacArthur just doesn’t care enough about truth to be careful in his own research. Therefore, I fault MacArthur for either: a) not doing his own research; or b) not doing his own research carefully enough before falsely accusing ChurchWarren of things that Warren has never taught. (

These are strong words against Dr. MacArthur from RA.

They’re personal words.

They’re incendiary words.

In fact prior to Ken Silva's writing of “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES” RA had also expressed his obvious disdain for Silva's "research skills". Interestingly enough there is somewhat of a controversy surrounding RA's own "research skills" as can be easily found online by those who are curious enough to spend a few moments using their own research skills.

Is RA guilty of blame shifting and unrepentantly avoiding his personal responsibility as a professing Christian in the matter before us? Does RA stand defiantly in rebellion of Matt. 18:16-18 and 1 Cor. 6:1-8? I think the facts speak for themselves.

After an absolutely gripping and heart wrenching Biblical plea from Steven J. Camp (SJC) for peace and reconciliation in the matter in the combox over at his blog (posted at 19:32) the best RA could muster was to pick out one sentence, laugh at it, summarily issue the cyber-equivalent of the New York State Bird, and then dismissively walk away! Folks the cavalier, flippant and haughty attitude on display by RA herein is simply stunning.

It really is.

To be honest it was difficult for me to put into words what I felt as I typed a response to RA’s drippingly derisive comment in SJC’s meta, but as I said there it was somewhere between pity and righteous indignation. Look, I'm not taking a secondary offense for Ken Silva or SJC anyone else here. I'm simply in shock at the continuing display of indifference, defiance, and stiff-necked rebellion against God's Holy Word and the high handed snubbing of a Christ-centered God honoring appeal for reconciliation from one professed brother in the Lord (SJC) to another professing believer (RA).

Behold the bitter fruit of the Purpose Driven Paradigm!

THIS my friends is what Ken Silva's original article, "A PASTOR'S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES" was about in the first place.

THIS exact and well established pattern of un-Christ like, self justifying, fast and loose spin-doctoring by one Richard Abanes is what Ken Silva's original article, "A PASTOR'S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES" was about in the first place.

THIS bitter fruit, born from the womb of the Purpose Driven Paradigm in the person of Saddleback apologist Richard Abanes is what Ken Silva's original article, "A PASTOR'S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES" was about in the first place.

Throughout this ordeal RA has done nothing if not MAKE KEN SILVA'S CASE FOR HIM!

SJC appealed to RA in the light of scripture and admonished him to go to his brother (Ken Silva) - and I applaud him for his heart felt efforts - but to be quite frank based on RA’s open letter to SJC and his behavior throughout this dust up it isn't clear to me whether or not RA actually considers Ken Silva to be his brother in the Lord. In fact I've never actually seen RA clarify this point.

I must confess in the Lord that I'm personally appalled by RA's copious uncharitable responses thus far which, in the light of scripture, clearly originate from the flesh and are therefore worldly and carnal which things are displeasing to the LORD.

I'm particularly struck by the Biblical fact that a regenerate heart will be unfailingly demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit which is peace, love, longsuffering, etc. Certainly true, regenerate, born-again Christians can - and frequently do - fall into miserable sin or react suddenly from the "old man" in the flesh, yet this is not to be the pattern of one's life conversation as is evidently the case with Richard Abanes. To the contrary, a heart that's truly devoted above all things to the glory of Jesus Christ and which is being sanctified by the Holy Spirit from glory to glory will be found, as a pattern of life, to be obedient, submissive, teachable and humble to His instruction, rebuke, and reproach.

It truly grieves my heart to say that I have seen none of these characteristics in RA's responses here or anywhere else where this subject is under discussion. To me this is no light matter because the scriptures teach that not only individuals, but entire congregations can possess all the trappings, appearances and credentials of Christianity - being students of the scriptures and being impressively outwardly religious all while being inwardly lost and without hope (i.e. see the church of Ephesus in Revelation). To call Jesus “Lord, Lord” but then reject and disobey His commands is not evidence of belief but of unbelief. Isn’t the responsibility of a Christian to be a witness to Christ in the world as opposed to seeking to secure his perceived “rights” in the world? Isn’t it indicative of a divided loyalty (i.e. being double-minded) to find or manufacture excuses for why we don’t obey the commands of scripture? Aren’t Christians to be obedient to Christ on His terms and not our own? If we find ourselves to be in such a sorry estate do we not have good cause to question the reality of our faith?

Where is the love?

Where is the humility?

We must always be sensitive to the possibility that we're dealing with unbelievers in our midst and therefore we are commanded to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves as we lovingly correct those who do err in the faith. If through this process we win our brother, or restore one who stumbles because he is weaker in the faith then Christ is glorified, and if through this process we cast out one who scorns correction and spurns discipline then the spiritual health and purity of the church is protected and Christ is glorified. Of course the purpose of proper, Biblical discipline is always restoration, not ostracism.

Now PLEASE understand that I'm not judging RA's heart here or suggesting that he is an unbeliever - only the Lord knows his heart - but the church is called to judge behavior and how one's behavior lines up with the scriptural profile of a Christian and in my view of scripture RA's behavior thus far has been absolutely reprehensible and has brought shame to the Name of the Lord.

And so is this sorry situation to end where it began? Is this sad episode to simply fade away into the cyber-waste bin like so many other various and sundry dust ups? Is it acceptable for those of us in the Body with an acute awareness of this matter to simply "Let go and let God"?

If so, then in my mind such thinking represents a monumental abrogation of our Christian duty and an utter failure to be faithful and obedient to the Master's clear cut, objective, and eminently forthright scriptural commands.

If so, then the sad result of all the original posts, subsequent comments thread discussions, and all the other various and sundry related articles strewn around the 'net are in fact full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

If so, then we have proven to ourselves and the world that we are, in fact, all talk and no action.

I for one am not okay with this.

"Then what's next?", you might ask. "What are we to do?" I'm glad you asked, and I'll gladly tell you.

I'll tell you what I've already told you. I'll tell you that I don't believe Ken Silva could have scripted a response for RA to follow that could have done more to actually make Ken's original case for him than RA has done through his own unwitting tactics which he has literally plastered all over the blogosphere for all to see.
I’ll tell you that perhaps most amazingly to me RA seems to be completely unaware of the fact that his actions throughout this ordeal have served to vindicate and prove the case made against him by Ken Silva in his offending article "A PASTOR'S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES".

I’ll tell you that given RA's pattern of self-justifying, stiff-necked, rebellious, and un-Christ like comportment throughout this ordeal in the light of his clear violation of Matt. 18:16-18 and 1 Cor. 6:1-8 and his ongoing defiance of Matt. 5:23-24 I am compelled to arrive at the Biblical conclusion that RA must be treated as a Gentile and a publican until he publicly repents and humbly seeks reconciliation.

And I’ll tell you that I now call on others within the Christian blogosphere to carefully examine the totality of this situation and prayerfully consider the "conversation of RA's life" and his personal conduct as it relates to this matter in the light of scripture and I exhort you to join me in calling upon RA to repent of his self-justifying and prideful resistance to loving scriptural rebuke and correction in this situation.

I realize that these are strong words. I recognize that these are strident comments. But upon examination this is the only Biblical conclusion at which I can arrive and therefore I encourage likeminded Christian bloggers to pick up this clarion call and trumpet it forth until there has been full and public repentance and reconciliation in this situation to the praise of the glory of Jesus Christ alone.

‘Til He returns or calls me home,

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Call to Discernment with Justin Peters: Parts 1 - 4

Justin Peters dissects the heretical Word of Faith false gospel in this four part series.





Jesus Christ the Damned?

Something serious seems to be happening right now with John Piper and CJ Mahaney regarding an unsettling position that they've evidently both taken on Christ's atoning work on the cross.

Steve Camp has posted a disturbing expose on this subject over at his blog in a piece entitled "THE SCREAM OF THE DAMNED...was Jesus really damned by God for our salvation?" that resulted from a pair of sermons that were delivered at the 2008 RESOLVED conference by Piper and Mahaney. Here is how Camp begins his post:

"I have listened now several times to two messages from the 2008 Resolved Conference by CJ Mahaney and John Piper. The shocking phrase they both chose to use to describe Jesus' finished work of redemption on the cross for the elect was, The Scream of the Damned. No, they are not referring to unregenerate people in hell, or the weeping and gnashing of teeth from perdition's flames, but using this to describe the sinless, holy Son of God as our divine Substitute. The Lord Jesus Christ the Righteous now called: The Damned. This is unthinkable. Those words not only stunned me, but it did stir my interest afresh to go back and study again the atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross with those provocative words in mind."

I began listening to “God’s Wrath: Vengeance is Mine, I Will Repay” by John Piper tonight after carefully reading through Steve Camp's post and the comments meta and lo and behold what did I discover but that John Piper has evidently been teaching this doctrine for years!

My discovery prompted me to leave this comment in Steve's meta:


Since I don't believe in coincidences I must believe that God's providence brought me to the following piece from John Piper dated February 27th, 2005 which is entitled "God's Wrath: 'Vengeance Is Mine, I Will Repay,' Says the Lord".

I was researching this piece because it was linked from another blog as a resource for defending the Biblical truth of the doctrine of hell over and against the myriads who despise and reject this doctrine, but I was shocked to hear Piper make the statement near the beginning of this sermon that Jesus Christ was damned on the cross.

Now you'll need to listen to the audio because the statement didn't make it into the sermon transcript, but beginning at about the 1:18 mark Piper makes the statement; "Jesus Christ perfectly righteous and perfectly damned on the cross in our place".

As I mentioned in my prior quote I'd never heard about this matter until today and suddenly I've stumbled across it twice now.

I pray that this matter will be earnestly and prayerfully resolved with all gravity.

This is no light matter my friends! Let us fervently pray that the One True and Living God and His Christ would be glorified as the details of this issue are sorted out in the light of inspired scripture.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Watchman or Gossip?

[Love] “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1Corinthians 13:6)

Herescope asks some penetrating questions on the subject of Watchman or Gossip?

How do we react to the news of the fall of Christians, or to the rumor of the latest heresy that comes out of the camp of the false teachers? Do we take delight in pouncing on the latest tidbit of scandal and spreading it as wide as possible? Or do we react like David and Samuel did?

This article is a must read for those who value Biblical discernment while desiring to maintain our Christian resolve toward charity - both of which are admonished by scripture. May we who are called by the Name of the LORD be ever mindful that we are sinners saved by grace and that even God's truth can be professed without love and without balance.

Continue reading "Watchman or Gossip?" here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ten Effects of Believing in the Five Points of Calvinism

by Dr. John Piper
(April 20, 2002)

These ten points are my personal testimony to the effects of believing in the five points of Calvinism. I have just completed teaching a seminar on this topic and was asked by the class members to post these reflections so they could have access to them. I am happy to do so. They, of course, assume the content of the course, which is available on tape from Desiring God Ministries, but I will put them here for wider use in the hope that they might stir others to search, Berean-like, to see if the Bible teaches what I call "Calvinism."

1. These truths make me stand in awe of God and lead me into the depth of true God-centered worship.
I recall the time I first saw, while teaching Ephesians at Bethel College in the late '70's, the threefold statement of the goal of all God's work, namely, "to the praise of the glory of his grace" (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).

It has led me to see that we cannot enrich God and that therefore his glory shines most brightly not when we try to meet his needs but when we are satisfied in him as the essence of our deeds. "From him and through him and to him are all things. To him the glory forever" (Romans 11:36). Worship becomes an end in itself.

It has made me feel how low and inadequate are my affections, so that the Psalms of longing come alive and make worship intense.

2. These truths help protect me from trifling with divine things.
One of the curses of our culture is banality, cuteness, cleverness. Television is the main sustainer of our addiction to superficiality and triviality.

God is swept into this. Hence the trifling with divine things.

Earnestness is not excessive in our day. It might have been once. And, yes, there are imbalances in certain people today who don't seem to be able to relax and talk about the weather.

Robertson Nicole said of Spurgeon, "Evangelism of the humorous type [we might say, church growth of the marketing type] may attract multitudes, but it lays the soul in ashes and destroys the very germs of religion. Mr. Spurgeon is often thought by those who do not know his sermons to have been a humorous preacher. As a matter of fact there was no preacher whose tone was more uniformly earnest, reverent and solemn" (Quoted in The Supremacy of God in Preaching, p. 57).

3. These truths make me marvel at my own salvation.
After laying out the great, God-wrought salvation in Ephesians 1, Paul prays, in the last part of that chapter, that the effect of that theology will be the enlightenment of our hearts so that we marvel at our hope, and at the riches of the glory of our inheritance, and at the power of God at work in us – that is, the power to raise the dead.

Every ground of boasting is removed. Brokenhearted joy and gratitude abound.

The piety of Jonathan Edwards begins to grow. When God has given us a taste of his own majesty and our own wickedness, then the Christian life becomes a thing very different than conventional piety. Edwards describes it beautifully when he says,

The desires of the saints, however earnest, are humble desires: their hope is a humble hope, and their joy, even when it is unspeakable, and full of glory, is humble, brokenhearted joy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit, and more like a little child, and more disposed to a universal lowliness of behavior (Religious Affections, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959, pp. 339f).

4. These truths make me alert to man-centered substitutes that pose as good news.
In my book, The Pleasures of God (2000), pp. 144-145, I show that in the 18th century in New England the slide from the sovereignty of God led to Arminianism and thence to universalism and thence to Unitarianism. The same thing happened in England in the 19thcentury after Spurgeon.

Iain Murray's Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1987), p. 454, documents the same thing: "Calvinistic convictions waned in North America. In the progress of the decline which Edwards had rightly anticipated, those Congregational churches of New England which had embraced Arminianism after the Great Awakening gradually moved into Unitarianism and universalism, led by Charles Chauncy."

You can also read in J. I. Packer's Quest for Godliness (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1990), p. 160, how Richard Baxter forsook these teachings and how the following generations reaped a grim harvest in the Baxter church in Kidderminster.

These doctrines are a bulwark against man-centered teachings in many forms that gradually corrupt the church and make her weak from the inside, all the while looking strong or popular.

1 Timothy 3:15, "The church of the living God [is] the pillar and bulwark of the truth."

5. These truths make me groan over the indescribable disease of our secular, God-belittling culture.
I can hardly read the newspaper or look at a TV ad or a billboard without feeling the burden that God is missing.

When God is the main reality in the universe and is treated as a non-reality, I tremble at the wrath that is being stored up. I am able to be shocked. So many Christians are sedated with the same drug as the world. But these teachings are a great antidote.

And I pray for awakening and revival.

And I try to preach to create a people that are so God-saturated that they will show and tell God everywhere and all the time.

We exist to reassert the reality of God and the supremacy of God in all of life.

6. These truths make me confident that the work which God planned and began, he will finish – both globally and personally.
This is the point of Romans 8:28-39.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died- more than that, who was raised- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

7. These truths make me see everything in the light of God's sovereign purposes – that from him and through him and to him are all things, to him be glory forever and ever.
All of life relates to God. There's no compartment where he is not all-important and the one who gives meaning to everything. 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Seeing God's sovereign purpose worked out in Scripture, and hearing Paul say that "he accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will" (Ephesians 1:11) makes me see the world this way.

8. These truths make me hopeful that God has the will, the right, and the power to answer prayer that people be changed.
The warrant for prayer is that God may break in and change things – including the human heart. He can turn the will around. "Hallowed be thy name" means: cause people to hallow your name. "May your word run and be glorified" means: cause hearts to be opened to the gospel.

We should take the New Covenant promises and plead with God to bring them to pass in our children and in our neighbors and among all the mission fields of the world.

"God, take out of their flesh the heart of stone and give him a new heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 11:19).

"Lord, circumcise their hearts so that they love you" (Deuteronomy 30:6).

"Father, put your spirit within them and cause them to walk in Your statutes" (Ezekiel 36:27).

"Lord, grant them repentance and the knowledge of the truth that they may escape from the snare of the devil" (2 Timothy 2:25-26).

"Father, open their hearts so that they believe the gospel" (Acts 16:14).

9. These truths reminds me that evangelism is absolutely essential for people to come to Christ and be saved, and that there is great hope for success in leading people to faith, but that conversion is not finally dependent on me or limited by the hardness of the unbeliever.
So it gives hope to evangelism, especially in the hard places and among the hard peoples.

John 10:16, "I have other sheep that are not of this fold, I must bring them also. They will heed my voice."

It is God's work. Throw yourself into it with abandon.

10. These truths make me sure that God will triumph in the end.
Isaiah 46:9-10, "I am God and there is no other. I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand that I will accomplish all my purpose'"

Putting them altogether: God gets the glory and we get the joy.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:
Email: Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.

A False Gospel Leads to Damnation


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Insufficiency of the Simplicity of the Gospel…

...or "When Did the Church Lose Faith in Grace?"

I've been amazed and saddened by the all out attack on the simplicity of the Eternal Gospel of Grace that's been launched over the past several days because one Ray Comfort, a well known, orthodox, and faithful bond servant of the Lord Jesus Christ has accepted an invitation again (and much to the chagrin of some) to preach the foolishness of the cross at an upcoming Word of Faith conference. Ray Comfort is an evangelist who, as far as I can tell, faithfully presents the uncompromised and eternal gospel of grace whereby God is pleased to supernaturally and miraculously convert deadened, hell bound sinners into lively stones fitly joined together.

Maybe I'm just terribly dense on this matter, and perhaps a loving brother or sister in the Lord out there can help me to understand, but I’m still looking for ONE scriptural precedent wherein ministers of the gospel EVER placed preconditions or caveats upon the faithful proclamation of the eternal gospel of grace under ANY circumstances; or perhaps for ONE scriptural case wherein any believer or group of believers are exhorted in the scriptures to place certain “in advance” demands or prerequisites upon another believer prior to his ministering of the gospel. It seems to me that something this important wouldn’t have been overlooked in the Bible say, for example, when the Lord Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission. Bravo to those who are willing and able to boldly stand on the infallible Word of God and faithfully proclaim His pure and eternal gospel of grace at every opportunity and especially in the face of opposition - whatever its source - for they are being faithful to King Jesus and His Great Commission to the praise of His glory alone forever and evermore. For men to add preconditions or caveats to another man's faithful presentation of the pure gospel is simply without biblical precedent.

I’m also still a bit confused as to why some sovereign grace Christians apparently seem to believe that the Lord God Omnipotent is so powerless and thoughtless that He would miraculously regenerate His elect through the faithful proclamation of His eternal gospel of grace and then simply abandon His child to “drink spiritual poison” allowing them to languish underneath false teaching thus becoming unfaithful to His promise to finish the good work that He has begun (Philippians 1:6). Can someone help me out here? What love is this? What happened to sovereign grace?

Why has the conception of the absolutely sovereign One True and Living God of the Holy Bible become so small as to think that the power of His eternal gospel of grace needs a little help from sinful men to REALLY get the point across because, well, you know, people are REALLY deceived by Satan?

When did the church begin believing the lie that Satan’s power of deception is greater than the One True and Living God’s gospel power of salvation? Our God is God. Our God reigns. He sits in the heavens and does as He pleases (Psalm 115:3). When did the church begin ascribing God’s attributes to the enemy?

The power of the eternal gospel of grace is more than sufficient to overcome all the wiles and deceits of the enemy by God’s power alone. Have faith! May those who are called by the name of the Lord of Glory never be found standing in opposition to the faithful proclamation of His Eternal Gospel of grace!

The eternal gospel of grace faithfully presented is more than sufficient and it is in fact God’s chosen means whereby sinners are supernaturally and miraculously converted to faith in Jesus Christ by grace through faith in Him alone. God’s power to save His elect from every kingdom, tribe, tongue and nation is omnipotent and is able to save His chosen to the uttermost.

It seems to me that if one wishes to quote Jude 3 (as some have) as a proof text against those who would boldly and faithfully proclaim the eternal gospel to ANYONE, ANYWHERE then let’s please continue to read on down through verses 21-23 and then let’s be obedient to the WHOLE COUNSEL of God. The same goes for 2 Cor. 6:14-18 – I think all discerning, orthodox, Bible-believing Christians would agree the WoF cultists aren’t in the church so in its proper context this application fails the "proof text test" as well as this text is clearly referring to brothers and sisters inside the church who are living in sinful immorality and does not refer to those outside the church – even if they claim to be “true Christians” (i.e. Mormons and JW’s). Lastly 2 John 10-11 has exactly nothing to do with the situation at hand because the admonishment herein is to not receive such people into the church (and at the time of writing most likely admonished against receiving such into the house churches in a spirit of Christian hospitality and fellowship which cannot be applied to unbelievers) which is the exact reverse of faithfully going out into the world and preaching the gospel unto unsaved false believers (such as WoF cultists) with a bold and unflinching faith that God will save those whom He has elected by His sovereign grace and power alone.

It has pleased the Lord to draw His children, whom He has foreknown from the foundations of the world, by the foolishness of the preaching of the cross.

The eternal gospel is the answer to the WoF heretics.

The eternal gospel is the solution to culture.

The eternal gospel is God’s chosen means whereby sinful, wretched, hopelessly lost sinners are miraculously and supernaturally converted into lively stones fitly joined together. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!

All the discernment in the world doesn’t matter a bit apart from the all-redeeming power of the glorious gospel of grace. Certainly the WoF’ers are ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing and ought to be soundly and roundly rebuked by true Bible believing, blood bought Christians everywhere - HOWEVER - when in our sincerest moments we should find that we begin to place preconditions on the PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL then we find ourselves in a spiritual no-man’s land. In fact if we are ever to be found in such a sorry estate then we will also be found to be standing over and against the Great Commission of our glorious Lord and Savior. May such a thing never be named among those who believe on Him and Him alone.

Did Paul “give credence” to the unbelieving Jews when he preached the gospel from synagogue to synagogue or when he earnestly contended for the faith during his Mars Hill Discourse with the Athenian philosophers? Did his preaching there place the Athenian philosopher’s beliefs “on equal footing” with the eternal gospel?

Or what about Peter; did he “give credence” to the unbelievers to whom he preached the very first Christian sermon on the Day of Pentecost? Did his preaching there place his hearer’s false beliefs “on equal footing” with the eternal gospel?

Or how about the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; when he accepted invitations and ate with harlots, sinners, and tax collectors (without preconditions); did He “give credence” to their debauched lifestyles or did He share the good news of the kingdom of God with them? Is the Lord Jesus Christ guilty of putting their sinful lifestyles “on equal footing” with His own eternal gospel?

Again could someone please share just ONE example from scriptures where it seemed good to the Holy Spirit to refuse the proclamation of the eternal gospel of grace to sinners?

As men's souls are enlightened by God alone through the hearing of the true and faithful proclamation of the eternal gospel of grace alone then God and God alone will ensure that He finishes the good work that He has begun in His elect. This is the very foundation of the doctrines of grace - that salvation is God wrought meaning that our salvation, sanctification, and ultimate glorification is ALL OF GRACE!

It isn't up to Ray Comfort to correct the erroneous beliefs to which the WoF adherents hold - this ought to be crystal clear because according to the scriptures unregenerate sinners have no spiritual discernment! This is the work of the Holy Spirit’s power of regeneration by grace through faith which comes by the hearing of the Word of God. And how will they believe without a preacher?

What possible good could a clever oratory on spiritual discernment and the manifold heresies of the WoF heretics do for their deceived adherents who probably haven't even heard a faithful proclamation of the eternal gospel of grace and thus are dead in their trespasses and sins and spiritually blinded? NONE! God bless Ray Comfort and may the Lord grant that he present a faithful proclamation of the true gospel of the REAL Jesus Christ to those WoF'ers and let us pray that it might please the Lord to save some of His elect who are in attendance there from their present miserable estate of bondage and oppression by His Gospel power alone!

Sadly it seems that this matter with Ray Comfort began - and evidently continues - because some people seem to think that the faithful preaching and presentation of the WHOLE GOSPEL OF GRACE is in some way insufficient.

In fact this position has been articulated to me in private and it is also available for public view as you can see here in this comment: "Ray, You Have To Warn, Not Just Preach the Gospel". (You'll need to click READ MORE FEEDBACK and scroll down to read this comment in its entirety.)

...not "just" preach the gospel?!?


This is the real touch point where this whole controversy started, that somehow the gospel itself, properly and faithfully presented is INSUFFICIENT in some way which is, of course, a lie from the pit of hell. In fact it's hard for me to imagine a more man-centered and anti-christian sentiment than to say “the gospel just isn't enough”.

No, it's MORE than enough since it's the very means whereby God in His sovereign wisdom and good pleasure has been chosen to supernaturally and miraculously enable unworthy, sinful men not only get to go to have their sins forgiven, not only to get to go to heaven, not only to enjoy eternal life, not only possess the treasure of eternal joy away from the presence of sorrow and sin, but to possess the TRUE treasure of eternal joy beholding the unveiled and unspeakably majestic glory of the One True and Living God in the face of Jesus Christ forever and evermore.

To think that a faithful presentation of the pure gospel needs "just a little help"; or just a little “something more” from Ray Comfort - or any other sinful man or woman for that matter - is shockingly unscriptural and in my mind represents a pathetically low and unbiblical view of the omnipotent, omniscient, absolutely holy, just, righteous, infinite, only wise One True and Living God of the Holy Bible.

He and His gospel are more than able.

He and His gospel are more than enough.

He and His gospel are more than sufficient.

And, as any true believer would agree, His chosen method of converting sinners is the faithful presentation of His gospel of grace.

With this in mind let's join together and pray for Ray Comfort and all those who are willing to go anywhere and preach to anyone about the wondrous good news of the kingdom of God in fulfillment of Christ's Great Commission regardless of their reputations or whether or not they "get invited back again". The measure is God's glory as His eternal gospel is faithfully proclaimed, not the results or responses or opinions of wicked, fallen men and women.

In closing there is, however, at least one viable argument that could be made if one were to consider the fact that 2 Cor is a FOLLOW UP to 1 Cor in which case we can look back and see another possibility (one which I think may be in play in this whole dust up) which is that Ray’s attendance at the conference is causing his brothers and sisters who are weaker in the faith to stumble (1 Cor 10:27-28). In this case Ray’s appearance definitely is given scriptural grounds for pause, but in all other complaints that I’ve seen lodged thus far the charges are simply out of context non-sequiturs and unbiblical straw man arguments.

It would seem, therefore, that if one actually wanted to make a compelling case as to why Ray shouldn’t preach the gospel (or “appear with” or “share the platform with” or whatever) at the upcoming WoF conference then someone should write to him and tell him that they’re weak in their faith and it will cause them to stumble if he does so.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Power of the Gospel

"But Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods." - Exodus 7:12

This incident is an instructive emblem of the sure victory of the divine handiwork over all opposition. Whenever a divine principle is cast into the heart, though the devil may fashion a counterfeit, and produce swarms of opponents, as sure as ever God is in the work, it will swallow up all its foes. If God's grace takes possession of a man, the world's magicians may throw down all their rods; and every rod may be as cunning and poisonous as a serpent, but Aaron's rod will swallow up their rods. The sweet attractions of the cross will woo and win the man's heart, and he who lived only for this deceitful earth will have an eye for the upper spheres, and a wing to mount into celestial heights. When grace has won the day the worldling seeks the world to come. The same fact is to be observed in the life of the believer. What multitudes of foes has our faith had to meet! Our old sins - the devil threw them down before us, and they turned to serpents. What hosts of them! Ah, but the cross of Jesus destoys them all. Faith in Christ makes short work of all our sins. Then the devil has launched forth another host of serpents in the form of worldly trials, temptations, unbelief; but faith in Jesus is more than a match for them, and overcomes them all. The same absorbing principle shines in the faithful service of God! With an enthusiastic love for Jesus difficulties are surmounted, sacrifices become pleasures, sufferings are honors. But if religion is thus a consuming passion in the heart, then it follows that there are many persons who profess religion but have it not; for what they have will not bear this test. Examine yourself, my reader, on this point. Aaron's rod proved its heavengiven power. Is your religion doing so? If Christ be anything He must be everything. O rest not till love and faith in Jesus be the master passions of your soul!

This devotion was taken from "Morning and Evening" by C.H. Spurgeon

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Exposing Error: Scala Santa

I left the following comment over at DefCon after reading a post entitled The Idolatry of Rome - The "Scala Santa". Let's just say that the idolatry of Rome is so ubiquitous as to totally eclipse any and all claims their apologists might like to make towards their being anything even remotely akin to the historic, orthodox Christian faith. The Roman Catholic Church is a demonic caricature of the true church of Jesus Christ, the Body of Christ, the church invisible comprised of all those who have been purchased by His shed blood having received the indescribable gift of salvation by grace through faith in Christ and Christ alone - the REAL Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible, not the false christ of the RCC. Methinks the RCC is pretty much what the Mormons would look like if - by God's incredible restraint alone - their false cult were allowed to continue to evolve and metastasize for two thousand more years.

In response to the afore-linked article I wrote the following:


The Romish whore and everything she stands for is fit for absolutely nothing but being cast back into the blackened pit from whence it arose.

I can scarcely imagine a more overt or perverse evil than the usurping of God’s glory of which Mystery Babylon - the fountainhead of all idolatry - is guilty of attempting with all her demonic power and cunning and shrewd deception every minute of every hour of every day! Hers is the very height and the distilled essence of Satanic hubris and wickedness for her aim is ever to exalt her throne above that of God Almighty!

But oh how low shall she be brought when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords returns to earth in great glory and power rendering judgment and justice to the powers and principalities of this fallen, sin sick and corrupted world system! In that day there will be two camps and all will be divided into the sheep and the goats, and those hell spawned rebels, the sons and daughters of Satan who have worshipped the Baals and Ashterahs of their own depraved hearts will find themselves cast into the everlasting lake of fire as the heavens rejoice: “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.” - Rev. 19:1-2.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

James Sundquist Open Letter to Rick Warren and Erik Rees

In my view James Sundquist correctly handled Rick Warren's recent and duplicitous offer of a poison tipped olive branch by responding with an utterly devastating open letter to the Arch-Fiend and Heretic Rick Warren and his false prophet Erik Rees exposing them for what they are: Deceivers in desperate need of repentance!

I pray that you'll take a moment to read through Sundquist's letter and review his copious and verifiable documentation which exposes the shameful and deceitful tactics of the Purpose Driven Puppet-master Warren.


James Sundquist statement on Rick Warrens invitation

The Value of Exposing Error

"Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due. To ourselves, if we consider “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,” it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls “caught in the snare of the fowler”-how many of them God only knows-it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting."

- Dr. Harry A. Ironside

See also: Dr. Harry Ironside: The Value of Exposing Error

HAT TIP: Slice of Laodicea

Signs, Wonders, Heresy and Love for God

By John Piper - March 26, 2008

Does God have designs for deceptive signs and wonders? Does he have purposes for heresies?

From the time of Moses to the end of history, this has been and will be an issue. Jesus promised that “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). These are not little tricks. They are great signs and wonders. Great. But aimed to deceive.

Paul said that “the coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10). “Signs and wonders of falsehood” is a literal translation to show that the falseness of the signs and wonders is not that they aren’t real miracles, but that they lie about reality. They are real miracles, and they lead away from Christ.

Similarly, to the end of the history—especially at the end of history—false teaching and heresies will dog the church. “The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4.3-4).

At the other end of history, things have been this way from the time of Moses. And it is Moses who answers our two questions: Does God have designs for deceptive signs and wonders? Does he have purposes for heresies? Here’s the key passage:

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, “Let us go after other gods,” which you have not known, “and let us serve them, you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)

Notice five things:

First, Moses tells us that signs and wonders in the service of heresy really happen. They are not tricks. “If a prophet . . . gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass. . . .” They really do come to pass. It is not smoke and mirrors. These are supernatural, but not in the service of truth.

Second, some miracle workers aim to draw believers away from the true God. “If he says, ‘Let us go after other gods . . .’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet.” In other words, some heresies (“let us go after other gods”) are endorsed with miraculous signs and wonders.

Third, God has a design in these deceptive signs and wonders, and he has purposes for the heresies they support. He mentions one of these designs and purposes: “For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” When temptation happens from man, a test is happening from God. This is God’s design in the deceptive signs and heresies.

Fourth, love for God is what God is testing. “Your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Fifth, I conclude from this that the heart that loves God sees through miraculous deception. Love for God is not based mainly on miraculous power. It is based on seeing through miraculous power to true divine beauty. Therefore, love for God is a powerful protection against heresy, even when it comes with miraculous confirmation.

Understanding these five things from Deuteronomy 13:1-3 helps protect us from deceptive signs and wonders and from heresies. But understanding is not enough.Love for God is both the aim of God’s testing and the means by which his tests are passed. Understanding awakens us to our need to love him. But love for God sees through deceptive signs and wonders to the falsehood they support and flees to Christ.Love for God sees through the heresy and holds fast to him. May God deepen our love to him so that it has this kind of penetrating, protecting power.

© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

Rick Warren Says “Great Spiritual Awakening” Coming

In the piece linked below Pastor Ken Silva unmasks the man-centered works righteousness quantum leap which Satan's premier mouthpiece, Rick Warren, has been plotting for untold years now. As though guided by an unseen demonic hand the the devil's most useful and eager puppet, tool, and dupe Rick Warren gleefully dances to the pied piper's siren song and in the process is leading countless thousands (millions?) of unsuspecting souls astray! I encourage you to take the time to thoroughly peruse the important and well documented information supplied by Ken Silva:

Dr. Tom Nettles, Professor of Historical Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has rightly said:

Pushing aside important [doctrinal] differences makes the church more energetic about a moralism focused on man than true piety focused on God. This in turn creates a pragmatism, and eventually a relativism, that will destroy the love of truth and with it the sense of oughtness that gives perseverance to righteous action.

This article at Apprising Ministries will help you see that this is precisely the flawed man-centered methodology that Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren is currently pontificating. The latest PD Encyclical from Warren in “Ministry Toolbox” at his informs us that he believes, "A great spiritual awakening is on the horizon…[and t]he first reformation focused on what the church believed; this one will focus on what it does… As the church, we’re called to be the body of Christ – the whole body. "

But I have already shown you, e.g. in Rick Warren Reversing the Reformation, that Warren—in complete contradistinction to “what the church believed” in the Protestant Reformation—includes the apostate Roman Catholic Church in “the body of Christ” of which he is speaking above. And not only does Warren include apostate Roman Catholicism but as you can see in the AM piece Rick Warren and Jesus he also includes apostate mainline denominations long ago killed by what Southern Baptist Bible scholar Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989) called The Cult of Liberal Theology.3

HAT TIP: Christian Research Net

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Love God Hates: Parts 1, 2 & 3

John MacArthur"The Bible is clear that God is a God of love. I doubt that anyone familiar with Christianity would argue that point. The apostle John emphasizes God's love in his epistle. For example, in 1 John 4:7-8 we read, "Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." Verse 11 says, "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." And verse 16 says, "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

Continue reading The Love God Hates: Part 1

"First John 2:12-17 discusses the subject of love. However, it isn't the kind of love that is honoring to God; rather it is a love that He hates. The apostle John says, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (v. 15). The meaning of the term "world" in this context refers to the system of evil that dominates the earth. Christians are not to love that system because it is inconsistent with their love for the Father. First John 5:19 says that the whole world lies in control of the wicked one. It conveys the picture of a nurse cradling a child. The whole world is cradled in the arms of Satan. Christians are not citizens of this world; we are citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20). Although we exist in the Satanically inspired system that dominates man's society, we are not to love it because it is corrupt (2 Pet. 1:4) and godless (1 John 2:16)."

Continue reading The Love God Hates: Part 2

"The New Testament uses the term world in different ways. Originally the term had two basic meanings: the planet, and the people. But once man rebelled against God, he forfeited his right to rule the planet God gave him to rule. In effect, man sold the title deed of the world, which fell into the control of Satan. In his short-sighted desire to be an autonomous being, man sold his birthright to the world to Satan for the knowledge of good and evil, much like Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for something to eat (Gen. 25:27-34). Adam and Eve ate of the tree, following Satan's desires. At that point, Satan gained the rulership of the world, and the term world took on a third meaning: the evil system opposed to God that now dominates this planet. The system that Satan began will continue to develop up to the time period known as the Great Tribulation."

Continue reading The Love God Hates: Part 3

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Is it well with my soul?

Is it well with my soul? As professing Christians we’d like to think so, and certainly the false religionists would like to think so as well. The hearts of sinful men are hopelessly and incurably religious so much so that even when men think themselves to be irreligious they are still found to hold to superstitions and vain imaginings of a religious nature deep within their heart of hearts. Sinful man is also a master of self deception. This self deception causes men to hold to various forms of the one false religion of human merit and achievement which stands over and against the one true and pure religion of God’s merit and achievement in Christ which is commonly known as Biblical Christianity.

Self deception is a frightening and spiritually fatal delusion and we can see from scripture that humans are found to be under its deadly sway both individually and corporately. In Matthew 7:21-23 we find the terrifying passage wherein the Lord is rebuking a group of humans who proclaim Him as Lord, but whom He denies having ever known. Clearly the Risen Savior’s omniscience isn’t in question here so it must be understood that He is not claiming to not know who these people are, rather He’s proclaiming that He never knew them in a personal, saving covenantal relationship as their Kinsman Redeemer. What are these lost souls guilty of? What has brought eternal condemnation upon them? In its context the passage tells us that they are guilty lawbreakers; in fact they are condemned as being lawless. “But”, the professing Christian might argue, “Christians are no longer under the law, we are set free of the guilt of the law in Christ Jesus.” This is true, but this truth only applies if the person claiming Christ is an actual true, regenerate, invisible church professing Christian as opposed to a false, unregenerate, worldly, carnal, convenient, cultural, visible church professing “Christian”. The former group is obedient to the commands of Christ and the latter group is disobedient. The difference herein is literally the difference between daylight and dark and inspired scripture teaches this stark and profound truth over and over again (Luke 6:46).

Corporate self deception is just as pernicious and deadly, perhaps even more so, than individual self deception. Unregenerate sinful mankind is in a constant state of fear and denial and he has discovered that “group think” often eases the guilty, nagging conscience that his Creator placed within him which ever wags an accusing finger in his face declaring: GUILTY! GUILTY!! GUILTY!!! False religion can indeed offer temporary solace, soothing the guilty conscience of sinful man. All the various streams of the one false religion offer the same empty promises to their deceived adherents – do this or that; follow this teaching or the other; keep the rules; be “moral” and “kind”; abstain from “evil” and do “good” that you might earn favor and enter into paradise as your reward. This is, as previously mentioned, the foundational premise of every form of the one false religion of human merit and achievement. It says, in effect, you can be good enough to merit rewards in the afterlife. And isn’t it interesting that even the false religions admit the afterlife; the Creator of man has stamped eternity in man’s heart and try as he may he simply can’t escape it! Of course Christians have few qualms about the deception running rampant outside the professing church, but inside the church? Surely not! Yet the One True and Living God tells us in His Holy Word that even so-called Christian churches that claim His name can be fraught with error and filled with self deception. In Revelation 3:1 we find that Sardis is DEAD and a little further along in Revelation 3:17 we discover that Laodicea, while thinking herself to be high and lifted up was in God’s eyes wretched, miserable, blind, poor and naked! These are frightening examples of corporate self deception run amok!

So what is the Christian to do? If he can’t trust himself knowing the heart is desperately wicked above all things, and he can’t trust in church leadership since he might find himself in Sardis or Laodicea where can he turn? The simple and straightforward answer is the eminently objective and forthright Word of God, the Holy Bible in fervent prayer and all humility.

Many people read books but The Holy Bible is the only book in the world that reads you.

Many people mark their books but The Holy Bible is the only book that marks you.

True Bible believing Christians are to welcome God’s Word and be quick both to HEAR and to DO His word by faith. In fact true Bible believing Christians not only HEAR God’s Word, they RECEIVE it with all joy! True Bible believing Christians RECEIVE God’s Word by faith and they DO God’s Word by faith and the doing is the evidence of the receiving (James 1:22; John 14:23-24; John 15:14; 1 John 2:3-4). According to the Holy Bible we know that we’ve come to know Jesus Christ IF we keep His commandments! By this we can infer that if we profess to know Him and don’t keep His commandments then we make Him out to be a LIAR! This is the gross sin and damnable error of the aforementioned group we found in Matt. 7:21-23; they made Jesus Christ out to be a liar by practicing lawlessness which is against His commandment! This is no light matter. This is a matter of the utmost importance. This is a subject for deep, personal examination in the light of inspired scripture (2 Cor. 13:5).

The true, regenerate, born-again Christian will demonstrate – as a pattern of life – a radical Christ centered attitude that will reject this fallen world’s system with just as much zeal as it pursues personal holiness and purity. The true, regenerate, born-again Christian will exhibit an attitude of humble obedience to the Lord and the evidence of this humility will invariably be manifest in the DOING of His Word. In fact it can be argued from scripture that failure to DO the Word is evidence of not having RECEIVED the Word.

Let me interject something right here and now; I AM NOT ADVOCATING NOR HAVE I EVER ADVOCATED SALVATION BY WORKS! Salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and is the unmerited gift of God alone lest any man should boast. Salvation is of the Lord and Him alone. He alone seeks and saves undeserving and wretched sinners or else no one would be saved at all! The works I’m describing herein are the evidence and fruit of salvation; bearing fruit is the evidence of saving faith and it should never be thought of the other way around.

But what of the law? If Christians aren’t under the law, then why so much banter about the law, and lawlessness, and all that other stuff? What’s really going on with all these "obedience to commandments" passages and references to the law? The truth is that according to the Lord Jesus Christ not one jot nor tittle – literally the smallest pen stroke – of the law will by any means ever pass away. In fact the Lord claims that it would be easier for the world to pass away than for any portion of the Word of God to pass away. God’s Word is eternal, immutable and perfect. Everything He has declared will stand the test of eternity. God Himself created time and is outside time and stands uniquely, sovereignly, and preeminently over all things. His Word will by no means ever fail and His every utterance is an absolutely righteous and holy decree that will echo authoritatively throughout all eternity!

God’s Word speaks with an absolute authority to which all men are accountable. In the Bible the law of God is described as being “perfect”. True regenerate born again Christians are advised to diligently inspect the perfect law that we might, by God’s power alone, be conformed unto His perfect law which is for true believers the law of the liberty of Christ. In fact liberty in Christ is the perfect law (John 8:31-32) and in it is freedom from sin (John 8:34-36). He who is not found to be abiding in the Son is found to be enslaved to sin.

Friend, what is your estate today? The Holy Bible teaches us that it is possible to be self deceived about our true spiritual condition. Furthermore the Bible teaches us that it is possible for entire churches to be self deceived about the corporate spiritual health of the congregation, deacons, elders and even the pastor. Do you and your church manifest the change of heart that is evidence of a pure and undefiled religion, or is it a worthless religion of pagan idolatry? There are only two options since as we’ve demonstrated there are only really two religions. Which is your estate today? It’s so easy to underestimate the utter filthiness and wretchedness in our own lives and the gravity and seriousness of ALL of our sins and trespasses!

Are you separate from the world or are you friends with the world? Friendship with the world is enmity with God.

Do you by Christ’s power alone keep yourself unspotted from the fallen and perverse system of this sin sick and dying world or do you easily fit in?

Are you diligently on guard against the wiles and corruptions of the enemy, or do you fall in with the crowd and “go with the flow”?

Friend ask yourself if your religion is pure and undefiled because if it is not then you are likely self deceived and your religion is corrupted, worthless, empty and utterly futile and in the Lord’s eyes you are guilty of idolatry. Is it well with your soul?

A prayer: Lord teach us to be humble before you. Break us, shape us, mold us, make us oh Lord into your very image. Help us oh God to cling to the blood soaked cross of Jesus Christ and to be diligent to earnestly study, prayerfully receive and joyfully do your Word. Make us sensitive to our sin oh God! Reveal our hidden and secret sins that we might flee from them in holy terror and be found secure and at peace in Your everlasting arms of love. Amen.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Paul Washer: Declaring Truth

Paul Washer addresses the psychological manipulation involved in the “altar call.”


HAT TIP: Christian Research Network & DefCon

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Creflo Dollar's "Angel Power Confe$$ion"

"How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! 13 "But you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." - Isaiah 14:12-14

"And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth..." - Rev. 12:3-4

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," - Matt. 25:41

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment," - 2 Pet. 2:4.
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day,"
- Jude 6

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him," - Rev. 12:9

Not one to be outdone by the competition for filthy lucre from Todd Bentley and his ilk in the "Next Big God Thing" Lying Signs and Wonders Movement Creflo Dollar has ratcheted up his occult rhetoric by claiming that he too has the power to command angels! One can't help but realize that the occultist claims this exact same ability, but even the occultist is frequently honest enough to admit that his "angels" so-called are actually fallen and demonic beings instead of blasphemously pretending to have the ability manipulate and command God's holy and elect angels (1 Tim. 5:21)! This my friends is a testimony to the longsuffering and patience of the One True and Living God of the Holy Bible that He doesn't instantly consume and utterly destroy sinful men who publicly make such painfully wicked claims!

I'm constantly amazed by the games of spiritual one upsmanship that these spiritual hucksters play against one another and upon their meal tickets; their deceived itching ears adherents; fools who evidently simply can't be parted with their money fast enough just so long as they're told that they're "sowing a seed" so that they can "reap a harvest" of mammon - the master whom they truly serve.

There's a reason that inspired scripture teaches about men being driven about by every wind of doctrine because that's precisely what happens when sinful man chases after the lust of the flesh and the eyes, reveling in the pride of life; all while portraying a false humility which is utterly loathsome and repulsive to the One True and Living God who prefers obedience to sacrifice. The doctrines of demons buffet and drive these rudderless vessels that aren't stayed and anchored securely upon the Rock of Christ Jesus. These blind followers of the blind are driven, manipulated, bilked, duped, and destroyed in pursuit of earthly pleasures under the guise of "health, wealth, and prosperity" - so called. Of course the common retort is "Hey it works!" (to which I reply so does witchcraft), or "Touch not God's anointed" (to which I reply these false prophets should be thankful they're not living under the OT or else they'd be publicly thrown down and stoned), or "Abraham, David and Solomon were rich so if you don't want to claim your blessing that's fine, but I'm going to get mine!", (to which I'd reply, uh, yeah, so what does the Old Covenant have to do with the New Covenant in Christ? Nothing!) or perhaps my personal favorite self-righteous justification for chasing after the things of this fallen and corrupted world system, "You need money to be a blessing to others so the more money you have the more of a blessing you can be!". It's here that I usually simply point to Jesus Christ who had no place to lay His head and His apostles who (with the exception of the son of perdition and the beloved apostle John) were all martyred at the hands of the fallen world system the WoF'ers are busily chasing after; but then the WoF apologists will simply lie and say something asinine like "Jesus was so rich that He needed a treasurer!" Clearly some hearts are very, very hardened to the truth of the Eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ.

With this in mind P.J. Miller has an interesting piece on Creflo Dollar and "his" angels over at Sola Dei Gloria:

"It looks like angel invoking isn’t isolated to Todd Bentley alone. Creflo Dollar seems to think angels are slaves who are under service to us. Since when do we command angels to do such things as bring us wealth? Angels are God’s messengers, and operate under that authority. Yet, Dollar would have us believe that we can command them at will to bring us such vulgar things as earthly riches…filthy lucre…mammon.

Didn’t Jesus tell us not to strive for the bread that corrupts, but to strive for the bread that will not corrupt? Didn’t He tell us not to lay up for ourselves treasure upon the earth where moth and rust corrupts?"

Continue reading here.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Notable Quotes

“The king also himself passed over the brook of Kidron.” - 2 Samuel 15:23

David passed that gloomy brook when flying with his mourning company from his traitor son. The man after God's own heart was not exempt from trouble, nay, his life was full of it. He was both the Lord's Anointed, and the Lord's Afflicted. Why then should we expect to escape? At sorrow's gates the noblest of our race have waited with ashes on their heads, wherefore then should we complain as though some strange thing had happened to us?

The KING of kings himself was not favored with a more cheerful or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all points as we are. What is our Kidron this morning? Is it a faithless friend, a sad bereavement, a slanderous reproach, a dark foreboding? The King has passed over all these. Is it bodily pain, poverty, persecution, or contempt? Over each of these Kidrons the King has gone before us. "In all our afflictions He was afflicted." The idea of strangeness in our trials must be banished at once and forever, for He who is the Head of all saints, knows by experience the grief which we think so peculiar. All the citizens of Zion must be free of the Honorable Company of Mourners, of which the Prince Immanuel is Head and Captain.

Notwithstanding the abasement of David, he yet returned in triumph to his city, and David's Lord arose victorious from the grave; let us then be of good courage, for we also shall win the day. We shall yet with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation, though now for a season we have to pass by the noxious streams of sin and sorrow. Courage, soldiers of the Cross, the King himself triumphed after going over Kidron, and so shall you.

This devotional was taken from “Morning and Evening" by C.H. Spurgeon.

Apostasy Now!

Friends I’m convinced that the great last days apostasy has fallen upon the broader professing church. With the combination of the emergent/emerging idolatry of doubt, the Word of Faith blasphemy against our Lord, the rise of ecumenism among the heretical Roman Catholic Church and apostatizing Evangelicals, the Purpose Driven Madness of the Warrenites, the Seeker Sensitive man-centered church of self esteem, the lying signs and wonders movement, and the inroads that New Age thought have made into the church it’s my firm conviction that we are witnessing, on a broad scale, the great falling away prophesied in scripture.

Now I’m no prophet and I’m not pretending to have any “new light” about the events of our day, I’m merely relaying what I believe to be the Old Truth that was laid down for the benefit of those who are called by the Name of the Lord.

Consider the following from Herescope:

Throughout this inter-advent age–the time between Jesus’ Incarnation and Second Coming, or Parousia–Jesus and John warned that false prophets would arise preaching the doctrine of replacement christs (Matthew 24:5, 23-24; 1 John 2:18). As Jesus’ coming draws nearer, and as pictured by the image of Messiah’s birth pangs, we can expect that oracular announcements of anti-christs by the false prophets will multiply and proliferate. Some of these false messiahs will even work deceptive “signs and wonders” (Mark 13:8, 21-22). During this age Jesus warned: “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matthew 24:23-26, KJV).

Continue reading here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Unmasking the Pope and the Catholic System

Pastor John MacArthur leaves a smoldering crater where the lies and deceptions of the Roman Catholic Church used to stand in this devastating expose of the utterly corrupt, false, and damnable religious system known as Roman Catholicism.

Turn up your speakers and listen here!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

On Unbelief

In John 9:13-34 we see an amazing demonstation of the Lord Jesus Christ’s manifest deity as He literally and spiritually fashioned “new eyes” for a congenitally blind man. This was a miracle par excellence that was unheard of in all Israel and which proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ was Lord and Messiah, the very light of the world. It’s also worth noting that Israel was arguably the most religious people group living in the world at that time just as the argument could be made that ultra-Orthodox Jews are the most religious people group living in the world today - outwardly religious that is.

The Jews of Christ’s day benefitted from having primary access to the very oracles of God (Romans 3:1-2), and thus they ought to have recognized Jesus as Messiah, yet the scripture record is clear and indisputable in its teaching of what the Jews thought of Christ.

They hated Him.

They feared Him.

They rejected Him.

They murdered Him.

As Christians we can understand that all these things constituted the unfolding of God’s own foreordained prophetic plan of the ages, and we rejoice in the fact that Jesus Christ was crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected on the third day as a propitiation for the sins of all those who would believe on Him by grace through faith alone, being thereby miraculously translated from spiritual death unto spiritual life to the praise of God’s magnificent glory forevermore! His resurrection is a sure and trustworthy promise of a future resurrection for those who are found in Him. His eternal life is the assurance of our future eternal life as we abide in Him. His glorification is our glorification as members of His mystical Body - the bride of Christ, the church invisible which is comprised of living stones that Jesus Christ has redeemed through His atoning work, bringing salvation to every kingdom, tribe, tongue and nation under heaven.

Yet why was He rejected by His own? Why did the vast majority of Jewry conspire and consent to murder their King? The short and ugly answer is UNBELIEF. From his study bible John MacArthur well said:

The story of the healing of the blind man in John 9:13-34 reveals some key characteristics of willful unbelief: 1.) unbelief sets false standards; 2.) unbelief always wants more evidence but never has enough; 3.) unbelief does biased research on a purely subjective basis; 4.) unbelief rejects the facts; and 5.) unbelief is self-centered.

Willful and fixed unbelief is the hallmark of the unregenerate heart. The unredeemed cannot and will not assent to the hard truths and hard commands of Jesus Christ. Through their a priori rejection of the truth claims of the Holy Bible and their stubborn hard heartedness unrepentant sinners will gladly commit epistemic suicide in order to avoid a confrontation with the One True and Living God of the Holy Bible, the infinite Creator and Judge of the universe. The unregenerate will allow for any number of explanations from the mundane to the wildly absurd, just so long as the explanation isn’t the God of Christian theism. The unregenerate will entertain ideas that man was placed on earth by a terraforming alien race, but they won’t accept the truth that they are morally accountable to a Holy and Righteous God. The unregenerate will allow for any number of deaf and dumb idols to be worshipped and adored, but they can’t tolerate the fact that they are in bondage to their own depravity and wickedness and that they abide under the wrath of God Almighty and are utterly hopeless apart from the finished work of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, upon a rugged and sinister Roman cross nearly 2,000 years ago.

The heathen rage and howl at these unspeakably glorious truths, but I fall down on my face in awe and praise before the King of Glory. What love is this? What God is this? What hope is this? It is the hope born in a heart that was once in unbelief. It is evidence that Jesus Christ rules and reigns from heaven, doing as He pleases that He would condescend to save a wretched lump of sin like me. My limited human capacity for words to describe what He has done in my heart fail me. I can’t sum it up and I can’t spell it out. I’m at a loss except to say that He is everything to me. He is my all in all. There is no desire He can’t fill, there is no grief He can’t comfort, there is no hope He can’t exceed, there is no want He can’t meet, there is nothing He can’t do and without Him I can do nothing.

Friend, do you know the true Jesus Christ as He has revealed Himself uniquely within the Holy Bible? Does your guilty conscience constantly wag an accusing finger at you crying out “GUILTY! GUILTY!! GUILTY!!!” wherever you may go or attempt to flee? If so, then hear the words of the Savior, the only One who can cure your fatal disease known as sin:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28