Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘charismatic’

Meet Barack HUSSEIN Obamas’ Pentecostal Enablers: Joshua DuBois, Eugene Rivers And Leah Daughtry

Posted by Job on August 2, 2009

(To be fair, Eugene Rivers works both sides of the aise)

WASHINGTON – From a sparsely adorned office building a stone’s throw from the White House, Joshua DuBois carefully navigates the delicate line between church and state.

Each morning, he sends a devotional message to President Obama’s BlackBerry. He appears before religious and community groups to explain his role as director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and, in turn, relays their concerns to administration officials. In the course of any given day, he’ll receive as many as 750 emails from religious leaders, reporters, and government officials.

But in all the political juggling, the 26-year-old preacher’s kid remains a person of faith who quotes from favorite hymns – “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is one. The Bible, too, serves as inspiration.

“I’m often inspired by the grass-roots nature of Acts and the early church,” he said recently in an interview, “and what they were able to build from virtually nothing.”

A distinct contrast

To some extent, DuBois is doing just that with the faith-based office, which Obama inherited from former President George W. Bush, but revamped in a bid to expand its focus, depoliticize the grant-making process, and tamp down church-state concerns.

DuBois, a veteran of Obama’s Senate office who oversaw religious outreach for his presidential campaign, is a distinct contrast from the Republican appointees who preceded him, including the policy wonk John DiIulio, who opened the office in 2001, or Jim Towey, a former lawyer for Mother Teresa, or the cerebral Jay Hein.

Raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church by his mother and stepfather, a minister in Nashville, Tenn., DuBois became an associate pastor of Calvary Praise and Worship Center, a small, African-American Pentecostal church in Cambridge, Mass., while an undergraduate at Boston University.

“I am very clear about the fact that I am a committed Christian and my faith is important to me; it’s a central part of my life,” he said. “At the same time, I am now in a role in this office … to reach out to Americans of all different religious backgrounds and folks who don’t adhere to a particular religion.”

In Washington, DuBois attends a nondenominational church that worships in a rented movie theater. He still maintains ties to the Cambridge church and to Boston, where he worked with the National TenPoint Leadership Foundation, which encouraged black churches to aid at-risk, inner-city youth.

“Josh was very serious and very smart and was very concerned … as an undergraduate in trying to connect faith to issues of public policy,” said Eugene Rivers, a co-founder of the foundation and a prominent black Pentecostal leader.

In a May interview with radio host Krista Tippett in St. Paul, Minn., DuBois talked about his awakening in 1999 when New York police officers were acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo.

“It shook in me a sense that I needed to connect to something larger, to understand all the nuances in the world, both in terms of politics and also in terms of religion,” he told Tippett’s “Speaking of Faith” program.

“So that’s when I found my church and my faith and also started my political path as well.”

That political path is taking shape as his office helps craft Obama’s key speeches on religion – Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, Islam at Cairo University, for example. His office also works with various federal agencies on issues ranging from disaster preparation to the upcoming 2010 census.

Though he doesn’t dwell on his relative youth, he said he realizes the weighty responsibilities given to someone who hasn’t even reached 30 yet. “I think one of the most important things is to know what you don’t know,” he said.

In his talks to various religious groups, DuBois outlines the office’s four-point focus on economic recovery, abortion reduction, responsible fatherhood, and interfaith relations. He’s met with evangelicals, Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs, as well as secularists who think his office shouldn’t exist.

Religious leaders, including members of the office’s advisory council, say DuBois, like the president, is a good listener who seeks to find common ground among disparate viewpoints.

Leah Daughtry, a Pentecostal minister who until recently was the chief of staff at the Democratic National Committee, sees DuBois’ Pentecostal background informing his work.

“The kind of work that he’s doing in reaching out to people across political spectrums, across ideological perspectives, across theological perspectives, really can only be done if you’re Spirit-led,” she said. “Because it’s the same spirit of Christ that sought to reach beyond the confines of his own people.”

While DuBois’ day job is heading up the faith-based office, he also carries another title: special assistant to the president, which includes the daily presidential meditations as well as helping the first family find a church home in Washington.

Some people who have known DuBois say his workload can cause him to be disorganized and unresponsive, although they declined to have their names attached publicly to their criticisms. For his part, DuBois says he’s doing the best he can.

“We’re a federal entity that’s coordinating 11 offices with pretty key priorities. … I try to be as responsive as I can, along with my staff and others here at the White House. But there are always going to be some challenges in that regard.”

Daughtry joked that DuBois – who finds time to be a Big Brother to a Boston teenager and keep up a five-year relationship with his girlfriend – has made a bargain of sorts with God to manage his busy schedule.

“He’s attached to that cell phone like it’s another appendage,” she said. “I’m convinced he’s got some deal with God to give him a couple of extra hours a day.”

(The seeds of this “many paths to heaven” religious inclusivism/pluralism are being sown into Pentecostalism through politics in this generation just as Billy Graham did the same among Baptists and evangelicals in the prior one, and as it was done in other movements i.e. the mainline denominations earlier in the last century. We Christians must watch and pray. By the way, we Reformed Christians shouldn’t be so quick to point fingers, as the Reformed/Calvinist state churches practically invented inclusivism, unitarianism, universalism and other forms of theological liberalism, and liberal Episcopals, Presbyterians etc. have long been religious pluralists. The Pentecostals are just following the older and more established Christian movements down the path which may lead to one world religion and one world government.)

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wayne Grudem: A Prominent Calvinist Charismatic Theologian

Posted by Job on July 29, 2009

At least according to Wikipedia he is. Investigating this fellow, he seems to be a bit too much of an “avant garde” personality to suit my conservative tastes, reminding me of Mark Driscoll and some other members of the popular Reformed scene. He is also a bit of a “Protestant” ecumenist, working for unity among charismatic/Pentecostal, Reformed, and evangelical churches (where people like me acknowledge that such groups are apart for real and important doctrinal reasons that should not be glossed over).

Still, I wonder if his very popular systematic theology treatment is worth checking out …

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

My Questions On Many Contemporary Practices Of Spiritual Warfare And Deliverance

Posted by Job on May 15, 2009

When I first began this site – as well as its now defunct predecessor – it was primarily one devoted to spiritual warfare and deliverance based on what I had learned from reading works by such people as Frank Hammond, John Eckhart, and to a lesser degree Rebecca Brown, Frank Peretti and Derek Prince. (Now where this field is considered to be dominated by Pentecostals and charismatics, please know that Frank Hammond, considered to be one of the most influential teachers in this area, had a Baptist background, having been trained at Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.)

Now when doing research – inasmuch as web searches can be considered research! – for teachings and material to include, quite naturally I would encounter many statements by Christians opposed to spiritual warfare and deliverance ministries and ignored them, chalking it up to faithlessness and false doctrines. However, one of them did capture my attention. It did not dismiss the possibility of Christians conducting legitimate deliverance ministries out of hand, which forced me to pay attention to it.

However, this article stated that the methods  to cast out demons popularized by Hammond and fellow travelers not New Testament doctrine and did not conform to the example by which Jesus Christ and Paul cast out demons. Instead, the “Pigs In The Parlor” and “He Came To Set The Captives Free” spiritual deliverance techniques far more closely resembled accounts of how rabbis used to cast out demons as recorded in the Talmud and other rabbinical writings. This document further stated that there was a line of Messianic prophecies among the rabbis that when the Messiah came, He would not have to rely on the laborious techniques of the old covenant rabbis, but instead would be able to cast out demons with power and authority, the spoken command. See, for example, Luke 4:33-37. Also note that Paul’s example of casting out a demon was much more after the manner of Jesus Christ in Acts 16:18. And the clincher, as far as I was concerned, was the assertion that the Frank Hammond method was also very similar to Roman Catholic exorcisms! (How ironic that J.P. Moreland, upset over a friend of his having to leave a prominent evangelical post upon this friend of his converting to Roman Catholicism, stated that evangelical Christians should abandon sola scriptura, calling it “Bible idolatry“, and suggested that among other things Roman Catholic traditions on exorcisms was an area where evangelicals should learn from Catholics!)

Now having rejected all of the other arguments against contemporary spiritual warfare and deliverance ministries, this one – that it did  not conform to the example of scripture and that it was an imitation of practices of intertestamental Judaism and of Roman Catholicism – I did not have an adequate answer for. So, I decided that while I would leave the existing spiritual warfare material on the site – reasoning that they are, at the very least, better than nothing and certainly preferable to the modern evangelical trend of relying more and more on psychology and psychotherapy, fields that were largely invented by New Agers, occultists, atheists, and sexual perverts (do a little research, it’s true!) – while refraining from adding new ones until I came across more Bible based doctrines of conducting spiritual warfare and deliverance.

Sadly, I have not encountered such doctrines as of yet, and in the past year or so have focused less on this area and more on “Christianity 101″, things having to do with the basics of the Christian faith and Christian living. Perhaps when I am done with grounding myself in the basics of the faith – matters of which I was very presumptuous and prideful while being wholly ignorant and immature – it will be a good time to investigate the doctrines of casting devils out of people anew.

Still, I have continued to discover more things about the teachings of Frank Hammond in particular that trouble me. First, Hammond takes a vast array of sinful habits and behaviors and attributes them to demons. (I actually had the goal of reproducing Hammond’s “demon groupings” chart on this site and never completed it because it was so large, now I am rather glad that I failed in that undertaking.) But the more that I ponder his teachings in this area, I perceive this as not considering Romans 7. This is not to say that Frank Hammond rejects Romans 7, but I have not seen him incorporate Romans 7 in his doctrines or applications in any careful way. This is very serious, because a study of Romans 7 is vital in discerning whether activity is demonic or simply due to what Romans 7 calls “the body of sin.” Instead, Frank Hammond advocates relying on a Holy Spirit gift for discerning demons. Now how does the Holy Spirit gift for discerning demons operate, and how are we to use it in a church or ministry context? The Bible does not say, so we have to rely on the teachings of Frank Hammond to tell us. Also, where Romans 7 makes it clear that there are some battles with our old natures that Christians are going to have to deal with until we get to heaven, Hammond’s teachings claim that such merely represents failed or incomplete spiritual deliverances, so we have to return to the deliverance ministers to do still more confessions of past sins in counseling sessions and then have still more nested interlocking demon groups buried and hiding deep inside of us, demons and demon groupings that the Holy Spirit gift of discernment failed to identify in previous sessions, out. That does appear to contradict this passage of Romans 7.

Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Claiming that this passage does not refer to the striving of Christians against the flesh and the need of grace to overcome ignores scriptures that can be used to interpret this scripture such as Galatians 5:24-25 and 1 Peter 2:11. This doctrine makes it appear that Christian living should, save an intermittent battle or three with a demon or temptation, basically be strife and trouble free, and that any Christian who is not experiencing Hammond’s definition of “life more abundantly” is either demonized or still engaged in sin habits that need to be broken, is living under some “generational curse”, has some “demon of inheritance” or that needs to be discerned and broken, and so on.

These doctrines deny the fact that Christian life is supposed to be inherently trying and difficult … one of persecution, chastening and affliction, dying to self daily, carrying the cross or cross-life. It makes me wonder if Hammond or any of the others in his school has ever read Pilgrim’s Progress or anything similar. It also, in a style that anticipated the current Oprahesque style of modern Christianity, which allows a person to reject accountability. Where today a professed Christian who follows the New Agey Dr. Phil psychobabbleanalytical doctrines can simply blame parents, teachers, classmates, spouses, pastors, or any number of emotional or mental problems for their unBiblical behavior, the Hammond school allows a person to simply say “the devil made me do it” and profess a need for spiritual deliverance. Either way, you get to blame someone else rather than yourself, and in this way you deny your need for a Savior and for grace, because you avoid coming to grips with your true nature. Rather than seeing yourself as a wretched sinner badly in need of grace and the work of the cross to impute righteousness to you that you do not deserve and never will, you see yourself as this basically good and decent person against whom there is this grand conspiracy of evil spirits and rotten circumstances to keep the real you, an inherently good and virtuous person, from coming out.  

Either way, it encourages you to hold onto an unBiblically inflated image of yourself and blame other entities – whether human, spiritual or institutional (as Hammond does speak of “prince demons” that control institutions, and claim that Christians should go into directed warfare against them to reclaim these institutions … there goes dominionism gospel of Eusebius and Constantine again!) – for your inability to live up to your own self image, which is an unBiblical delusion to begin with. Legitimate spiritual warfare and deliverance, indeed legitimate Christianity, is concerned with casting off this self – image delusion, which is part and parcel of the old man that needs to be cast off so that we may put on the new man (Colossians 3:10Ephesians 4:24). These doctrines make it appear that the difficult process of discipleship and Christian growth and maturity, as well as coming to grips with the nature of sin and meaning of grace, are unnecessary and unproductive, as it is far better to simply declare yourself and everyone else to be demonized. 

Most seriously, the Hammond doctrines seem to reject or distort the doctrines of original sin, the effects of the fall. They seem to create a picture where man is basically good, and all he needs to do to recover his inherent goodness and virtue is choose Jesus Christ as his Savior. Having done that, any problems or defects are not due to the exceedingly true and vile cosmic and metaphysical nature of the fall and original sin, but instead an evil spirit that is soiling what should by nature be perfect. At the very least, it in effect claims that the result of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross should have been to make us practically sinless with no need to battle and struggle in this life. Either way, Hammond’s doctrines distort or misunderstand either what the Bible says about original sin or the workings of the grace. Thus, Frank Hammond would claim that Paul was a liar when he stated in scripture that God told Paul that His grace was sufficient for Paul to deal with his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:6-9). Instead, Hammond’s doctrine would have us believe that Paul was simply demonized and that confessing his sins and being rid of the root of bitterness due to issues from his childhood that left all these doors open was the solution, nothing about this “for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” doctrine that does not fit into Hammond’s view of victorious abundant Christian living!

Another thing: it is amazing how legalistic and guilt inducing the Hammond method is. It would have you believing that your mind, spiritual makeup, etc. contains this innumerable vortex of labyrinths and doors. The labyrinths are these hidden chambers that can contain a demon or three that must be entered into – with the guide of the Holy Spirit gift of discernment and aided by detailed confessions in counseling sessions – to draw the demons out. The doors are sinful thoughts and actions by which a born again Blood of Jesus Christ washed Holy Spirit indwelt believer can allow a demon or demons in at any time. So, the pruning and chastening process, the battles and temptations with sin, and the need to overcome that the Bible states that all Christians must endure are attributed to some sin (often in the past) that a Christian failed to confess, someone that the Christian failed to forgive, some “spiritual door” that is allowing demons in that needs to be closed, etc.

And this is probably the worst practical part of it. The most powerful weapon that Christians have in overcoming temptation and battling the flesh is prayer. Well, Hammond explicitly tells us not to use it, and does so in the very opening pages of Pigs In The Parlor. Hammond states that spiritual warfare and deliverance is not prayer, that praying for God to help us and to overcome in our lives issues that Hammond alleges is due to demons is at best redundant and possibly ineffective. Hammond counsels us that when we pray for things, it is our asking God to grant us something that we do not have already. But, according to Hammond, as authority over evil spirits is something that we have already through Jesus Christ, why pray regarding these matters? Praying when confronted with these issues is a way of ignoring, rejecting, even DENYING the power and authority that Jesus Christ has given you! So … when dealing with what Hammond asserts is demonic activity – which again is either discerned with the appropriate Holy Spirit gifts, or discerned through other means by those lacking this gift using methods that Hammond provides – BY ALL MEANS DO NOT PRAY! (Unless, that is, a prayer for forgiveness of sin,  a prayer to forgive someone that you are holding a grudge against, a prayer to close a spiritual door that allowed the demon in, etc.) Instead, immediately go into spiritual warfare, start binding, loosing, rebuking, and casting out! (By the way, the actual meaning of “binding and loosing” given in the Matthew 16:19 and  Matthew 18:18 that spiritual deliverance ministers often refer to should be investigated … a great many Bible interpreters state that when looking at the context of the passages in which those verses appear, they refer to doctrines, particularly the authority of apostles to establish doctrines for the church, spiritual warfare and deliverance techniques.) 

This I recall, for I was personally practicing it myself for several years. I related in  My Thorn In The Flesh how my mind is frequently assaulted by many manners of evil thoughts. I presumed this to be the work of evil spirits within and without myself, and for years applied the Hammond doctrines. I now realize that these are merely things that I have allowed to enter into my MIND as a result of all of the “entertainment” (movies, TV, music, novels etc.) in my life. Also, for years I refused to do precisely what I needed to about the problem – take it before throne of grace and cast it there in prayer – because these teachings told me not to! After all, praying, according to these doctrines, was weak, defeated Christian living … stuff for babies. (Well, maybe it is according to Matthew 18:3!) If I was to be a bold, strong, powerful spiritual warrior, a world changer on the front lines making a difference for Jesus Christ, I needed to just step out on faith and take dominion and authority over these evil spirits!

And so I did. It reached the point where it was practically automatic. Evil thought enters mind. Say “demon in the Name and by the power and Blood of Jesus Christ I bind and rebuke you and command me to leave and never return.” And so on, so on, so on … if you want to talk about “vain repetitions” then boy I was doing it. Also, so long as I was “binding, rebuking, and casting out” I had no need to humble myself, feel contrition or repentance, and beg God for help. Why? I was a spirit warrior world changer taking dominion, a spiritual He – man!

Now upon trying to discover and build “Christianity 101″ these past months, I decided that just maybe I wasn’t as spiritually strong or powerful as I thought. So, I would leave the taking authority warfare to the stronger brothers and sisters, and I would resort to the milk of the weak babes, which was to PRAY. So, I battled and stopped the very many months – years in fact – of automatic “I rebuke and bind you in the …” conditioning … I really had gotten to the point where I did it on autopilot without thinking! … I would refrain myself from the “self – spiritual warfare and deliverance” and simply began to tell God that I was sorry for having or entertaining those evil thoughts and asked Him to forgive me and to shield me from those thoughts in the future. Now even before I received the response that I detailed in My Thorn In The Flesh, the results were much better … cleansing, strengthening, love, joy and PEACE where the “warfare” left me with guilt and conflict.

Now is this to say that I have never benefitted from spiritual warfare and deliverance? No. That is the main reason why I have not removed the materials from the site … my testimony is my testimony and it stands. However, though my testimony is part of my faith, it is the substance or entirety of my faith. My faith is Biblical, not experiental, and it is based on God, not on what happens to me. Had I never existed, God would still exist and His Word would still be true. So, when the time is right, I pray that God will lead me to doctrines on spiritual warfare and deliverance that are faithful to His Word and thereby honor and glorify Him

Sola Scriptura. Soli Deo Gloria. Solo Christo. Sola Gratia. Sola Fide. Any spiritual warfare and deliverance that does not conform to those is but doctrines of devils! Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 100 Comments »

Are Signs And Wonders For Today? I Say Yes!

Posted by Job on February 17, 2009

From John Piper as recommended by PJ Miller. Cessationists, your move! 

Signs and Wonders Then And Now 

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seeking An Interpretation of Acts 8:12-17 That Answers The Pentecostal Challenge

Posted by Job on February 16, 2009

A little while ago, I happened to be watching an old Lester Sumrall sermon on Christian television. In it, he used the text Acts 8:12-17 to support the classic and core Pentecostal doctrine of being filled with the Holy Spirit. According to Pentecostalism, this is something distinct from the Holy Spirit’s indwelling born again Christians. 

There is actually an Old Testament basis for the Pentecostal “filling of the Holy Spirit” doctrine. Consider most prominently the book of Judges where such figures as Othniel, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson were empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead Israel. Also, the Holy Spirit was required for Old Testament prophecy. Claiming that such figures had the indwelling Holy Spirit available to them in that dispensation is very problematic theologically, and becomes even more so when one considers that such extremely problematic figures as Balaam and Saul prophesied. 

So, the text of Acts 8:12-17 is as follows:

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Rather compelling I must say. At this point, the Samaritans in question were already baptized believers upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, they did not receive the Holy Ghost until 1) Christians prayed that they would receive it and 2) hands were laid upon them. 

Now, it was Sumrall’s position that the Samaritans, having already believed and been baptized, already had the indwelling Holy Spirit, and that what the Samaritans received as a result of the prayer intercession and having laid hands on them was the empowering, the filling of the Holy Spirit. I find Sumrall’s position to be compelling, because rejecting it would have real implications for the Christian doctrine of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling the believer, because – and Sumrall made this a point of emphasis – the Samaritans were already baptized believers, that is born again Christians, before the incident of their receiving prayer and the laying on of hands.  

So, if Sumrall’s explanation – reasonably if not perfectly supportable by the plain reading of the text and the context of scripture – that this text refers to the filling  or empowering of the Holy Spirit and not the indwelling Holy Spirit is not correct, then does a better one exist?

Now I have seen a treatment of Acts 8:12-17 in the New American Commentary which asserted that the Samaritans received the indwelling Holy Spirit and the completion of their salvation process. Its justification of their position was plausible: that the salvation accounts in Acts never conformed to any rigid formula or pattern but instead depicted a diversity of salvation experiences, so in this case the receipt of the indwelling Holy Spirit by the Samaritans was delayed in order for the apostles to witness it, and thus see evidence that the gospel of Jesus Christ was not meant for Jews alone; a sign of divine approval for the Samaritan mission. 

The New American Commentary’s treatment of the issue was plausible. But was it superior to Sumrall’s? Now I have conceded that Sumrall’s assertion was imperfect. It is not based on anything that the Bible comes right out and says at any point, but instead uses some assumptions. (For instance, Sumrall did not even mention the incidents of individuals being empowered by the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament; that was something that I supplied to lend weight to Sumrall’s thesis.) But the New American Commentary’s explanation is guilty of the same. If anything, it is even less perfect than Sumrall’s, because it relies on speculation to supply a reason for why things transpired the way that they did.  

As a matter of fact, the New American Commentary attempts to draw a parallel between the Samaritans in this instance and those of the Ephesians in Acts 19 to support their position. However, this is a false parallel and a completely inappropriate comparison, based solely on the fact that both the Samaritans and Ephesians had been baptized. However, the Samaritans of Acts 8 had heard and believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and been baptized. Meanwhile, the Ephesians of Acts 19 had received their baptism from John the Baptist, and had not heard the gospel. The only parallel is that the Ephesians received the Holy Spirit after Paul laid hands on them, but it was that same Paul who baptized them in the Name of Jesus Christ. So even without including the Acts 19 example, the New American Commentary’s explanation is weaker than Sumrall’s, and so their seeing fit to include this incident as an attempt to strengthen their explanation makes it weaker still.

However, Sumrall’s main flaw is that Acts 8:12-17 does explicitly state that the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit upon being laid hands upon. As much as Sumrall would like for the text to say “the Samaritans were empowered by the Holy Spirit” or “the Samaritans received a second blessing”, it simply does not say it. So, the fact that Sumrall’s thesis – driven interpretation is superior to the thesis – driven interpretation of the New American Commentary does not change the fact that it is thesis – driven. Sumrall, being Pentecostal, has an agenda to use this text to support a second blessing. The New American Commentary, being written from the Baptist perspective, has the opposite agenda. (The commentary’s invocation of John 8:3 to state that the Holy Spirit comes when He chooses appears to be extremely helpful, but not only is it citing John 8:3 out of context, but as mentioned earlier, wielding John 8:3 in that fashion has real implications for the doctrine that the Holy Spirit indwells all believers, and the “indwells” in that doctrine is commonly understood to be a present tense and never a future tense.) 

So, a straight interpretation of Acts 8:12-17, void of any agendas, would be useful in meeting the challenge posed by Sumrall. Otherwise, Acts 8:12-17 may well stand as a text that supports of Pentecostal doctrines. However, one should always recall that Pentecostalism was a direct outgrowth and logical extension of the doctrines of one John Wesley, who among other things taught that it was possible for a born – again Christian to lose his salvation, and furthermore was an apologist for the Roman Catholic Church (a fact for which Roman Catholics are both grateful to and proud of Wesley … see this link where the Vatican officially celebrated the 300th anniversary of Wesley’s birth; Wesley was to Protestants of his time what Billy Graham is today regarding the cult of Mary).

Posted in Bible, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

On Being Filled With The Holy Spirit And Worshiping In The Holy Spirit

Posted by Job on October 2, 2008

Was listening to an (Arminian) preacher’s sermon on Ephesians 5:18 (And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit), and of course knowing how Pentecostals regard this verse, I decided to investigate what Reformed opinion was. Regrettably, John Calvin only focused on the wine part. But I did find some good blog posts on this topic. Please read and enjoy. 

be filled with the holy spirit? part #1

Be Filled With The Holy Spirit?, Part 2

worship in the spirit

Should We Pray For More of The Holy Spirit In Our Ministries and Churches?

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

TBN Star A.R. Bernard Is An Ecumenical Leader?

Posted by Job on October 1, 2008

I had always wondered why TBN was so intent on promoting A.R. Bernard, who is not the typical personality that they get behind. Now we know the answer: it is all about the new world order of government, politics, and religion, and Bernard is a major player in it. It is also curious that Bernard takes the reins from Calvin Butts, a fellow who went from being a minor figure to a major player in New York ecclesiastical circles for a TV stunt where he bulldozed some rap CDs. In a similar fashion to how TD Jakes did not take off after the Time Magazine cover claimed him as the next Billy Graham (forcing the folks to go to Rick Warren and Joel Osteen instead) Butts did not achieve the media profile that many predicted. But for a TBN Pentecostal like Bernard to take the lead of a major ecumenical organization is rather significant. It really does show that the Pentecostals are going to play a major role in the globalist plans. 

Nation’s Oldest Ecumenical Council of Churches Installs New Head

NEW YORK – The Rev. A.R. Bernard, founding senior pastor of Christian Cultural Center, was officiated as the new president of the Council of Churches of the City of New York Thursday night, during an installation service where speakers called for the revival of the Church. Bernard takes the reigns of CCCNY, the nation’s oldest ecumenical council of churches, from the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III who served as president for the past 10 years. Butts is pastor of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.

Speaking from the stage of his Brooklyn megachurch, Bernard said the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who by aligning his opinions with that of the black church, has sparked a dialogue on what the church truly is.

“It’s an opportunity for us to clearly define who we are,” he told a responsive and enthusiastic crowd. We are not the white church, black church, or Asian church but “The Church,” said Bernard.

His words echoed a rousing sermon given earlier in the three-hour service by the Rev. Elder Bernice A. King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who received a standing ovation before and afterwards. (Please note: Bernice King is a crony of notorious pulpit pimp Eddie Long, and is playing a major role in getting Long into good graces of the civil rights leadership community after Long flirted with the Republicans in 2000.)

She said it was no coincidence that it was her first time delivering a sermon since she visited the site of her father’s assassination 40 years ago. Reading from Scripture, King said it took 40 years for the situation to overturn for the beggar at the Beautiful Gate in Acts 3. It also took that long for the Israelites to enter Canaan Land from the time of Moses to Joshua. King pointed out that it has been 40 years since God spoke through “prophet King” and challenged “the church” to posture themselves so that God can bring change to the status quo. (“Elder” King failed to mention that her father, unlike her grandfather, rejected the virgin birth, deity, atoning death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So if her father was a prophet, it was of the false variety. Of course, Bernard knows this also, yet he allowed this woman to get up and lie in his pulpit. So Bernard fits right in with these people.) 

To “bring Christ into culture” is what this installation is about, she said. (There we go again. More Pentecostal dominionism as described in this link. I suppose that children of prophets can forget about what the Bible says, which is that to be in Christ is to be in emnity with the world, that if you love the world then the love of God is not in you, and that the world hates and rejects Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ is going to have to Himself come and subdue a wicked rebellious world with a rod of iron.)

Joining Bernard on the executive seats were vice presidents of the Council G. Morris Gurley, attorney/banker; Bishop Norman N. Quick of the Church of God in Christ; and the Rev. Arabella Meadows-Rogers, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of New York City. (So we have a moneychanger/lawyer, another Pentecostal, and a female pastor of an apostate liberal demonization – excuse me denomination. Quite a group.)

The Rev. N. J. L’Heureux, Jr., executive director of the Queens Federation of Churches, was re-elected as secretary. The Rev. Dr. Adolfo Carrion III, superintendent emeritus of the Spanish Eastern District of the Assemblies of God, was elected treasurer. (Looks like this group has basically been taken over by Pentecostals and charismatics.)

Each of newly installed officers received a certificate of installation, Bible, constitution of CCCNY, and a map of New York City. Bernard was additionally bestowed the presidential stool, which Executive Director Emeritus Dr. John Hiemstra described as representing “the yoke of Christ'” as he placed it over Bernard. (Anyone familiar with initiation rites of the various societies and cults, please comment.) Several elected officials, including two legislators and two Borough presidents, attended Thursday’s service and gave congratulatory remarks to Bernard.

Bernard, who founded CCC in 1978, also founded Brooklyn Preparatory School (BPS) in New York City in 1993. He also sits on the current New York City Economic Development Corporation Board. He is recognized by several New York publications and magazines for his work in African American and Christian communities in New York. Bernard is the host of two weekly television broadcasts, “Faith in Practice with A.R. Bernard” and “The A.R. Bernard Show,” and nationally syndicated radio broadcasts.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Latino Pentecostals Onto The Dual Covenant Theology Plantation In A Major Way

Posted by Job on October 1, 2008

Pro-Israel Sentiments Help Jews Dispel Stereotypes Among Latino Pentecostals

LOS ANGELES (AP) – When Randy Brown visited Hispanic Pentecostal congregations in Southern California, he was stunned by displays of Star-of-David flags, fervent prayers for peace in Israel and Hebrew words in their church names.

Brown, an executive with the American Jewish Committee, saw an opportunity to build Jewish-Latino relations and combat anti-Semitism among the immigrants, who generally have little exposure to Jews in their predominantly Roman Catholic native countries.

“I was amazed at the affinity these congregations have for Israel,” recalled Brown, director of interreligious affairs for the Los Angeles chapter of the Jewish advocacy group. “I wanted to take this to the next level.” (The next level, of course, is to deny the need to evangelize Jews. The level after that will be dual covenant theology. The level after that will be to deny Jesus Christ Himself.)

The Los Angeles office has since worked to forge new bonds: They recently took a group of Pentecostal Hispanic pastors to Israel, offered a course called “The Essence of Judaism” at a Southern California Pentecostal seminary, and invited Hispanic pastors and their families to Passover seders and Sukkot harvest celebrations. (A real course on “The Essence of Judaism” would teach how the current Judaism bears no resemblance to the Sinai religion of the Bible that pointed to Jesus Christ and was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and it would also deal with the fact that Jews have resisted the gospel from the time that Jesus Christ began His ministry until today, and that this will continue until the day of the Lord.)

“We have many things in common,” said pastor Ramiro Lopez of the Iglesia Vida Abundante in San Bernardino. (No we don’t. You have no more in common with a Jew than you do a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon.) “Now I can understand Israel from more than a biblical perspective and I have more of a commitment to Israel.” (If you actually had a biblical perspective, you would know that Judaism is a false religion and to treat it as such.)

While Latino immigrants in the U.S. are mostly Catholic, evangelicals comprise a notable 15 percent of the population, according to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Project and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Many are Pentecostal, one of the fastest-growing streams of world Christianity, known for spirit-filled worship and speaking in tongues.

A 2007 survey by the Anti-Defamation League found a higher-rate of anti-Semitic views among foreign-born Latinos than among U.S.-born Hispanics. Twenty-nine percent of Latinos born elsewhere harbor anti-Jewish views, while the rate for Hispanics born in the country — and for the U.S. population in general — was 15 percent, the study found.

The 2007 numbers are slightly lower than those in a 2005 survey, but Jewish leaders are worried all the same, especially as Latin Americans are expected to become 29 percent of the national population by 2050.

“Clearly, it was disturbing,” said Michael Salberg, director of international affairs for the New York-based Jewish civil rights group.

Latin American countries are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic and are steeped in a five-century-old tradition of a church that wields much influence. With the exception of Argentina, Jewish communities in Latin America are tiny and tend to keep a low profile.

By contrast, U.S. Jewish and Catholic leaders have held high-level interfaith talks for years. Several Catholic colleges in the country have centers for Jewish-Catholic understanding, and U.S. bishops heavily emphasize the Second Vatican Council teaching that Jews are not collectively responsible for the Crucifixion. That outlook influences not just Catholics, but also other Christians in the U.S. (What a lie. The Bible itself teaches that Jews are not collectively responsible for the crucifixion. It was Roman Catholic tradition that taught that lie, and the only ones who believed it were Roman Catholics who reject the Bible for the lies of the papacy. It is amazing how these ecumenical “Christian” newspapers are so willing to repeat the lies of Rome.)

Pastor Tony Solorzano, who heads the Iglesia Llamada Final, a 5,000-member congregation in Downey and Inglewood, said some Latinos simply need more education about Judaism to dispel stereotypes. Some consider Jews “Christ-killers.” (So you guys are going to replace one lie with another? Like that will help the Jews, or yourselves for that matter.)

“Not many think that way, but some have heard this,” Lopez said. “We tell them there’s a plan according to God’s will. We have to be grateful to the Jewish people because Jesus was Jewish.” (Jesus Christ wanted the Jews to accept them, and rejected and pronounced woe upon those who would not. Do you tell them that? Of course you don’t. If you will tell a Muslim or Hindu that he will go to the lake of fire without Jesus Christ but won’t tell a Jew the same, then the love of God is not in you because you disobey God’s commandments.)

Pentecostals, who interpret the Bible literally (literally but out of context), believe God promised the Jewish people the historic land of Israel. Many consider the modern state of Israel a fulfillment of biblical prophecy — and a precondition of the second coming of Jesus Christ. (If by setting the stage for the great tribulation, then yes.)

They often cite (out of context!) a passage from Genesis where God makes a covenant with Abraham that those who bless Abraham’s people will be blessed, those who curse his people will be cursed.

“I really believe that promise,” Lopez said. (If you understood what you believed, you would know that this promise was fulfilled already by the coming with the new covenant. The new covenant blesses you with salvation, forgiveness of sin, a clean conscience, and eternal life. But you want health, wealth, prosperity, fame, etc. under the old covenant. I bet that the book that Word of Faith prosperity Pentecostals hate the most is the Book of Hebrews.) “Every day we pray for Jerusalem with our hands to the east.” (Why not pray for Mecca and Medina in the same fashion? Seriously, what is the difference? Or why not try to convert the Muslims? Or for that matter the Jews?)

Jewish leaders are building on Pentecostal pro-Israel sentiment to dispel stereotypes between both groups. Many Jewish groups in recent years have accepted such support without questioning the theology behind it, which says that all people, including Jews, will ultimately accept Christ. (They didn’t challenge Christian teaching with the mainline denominationals either, at least not at first. It is only after the social, religious, and political relationships are felt that the attacks on Christianity start, and usually beginning with speaking of how wise the Jewish teachers were and their similarity in matters of ethics and values to Christianity.)

“It’s a new and emerging connection that didn’t exist with the Catholic Church,” said Salberg of the Anti-Defamation League.

Pentecostal congregations, often housed in storefronts filled with rows of folding chairs, have become fixtures in Latino neighborhoods across the United States, as well as Latin America. Pastors tend to be influential opinion-makers in their congregations and some, like Lopez, have radio programs or stations, expanding their reach.

At the Latin University of Theology in Torrance, which trains Pentecostal pastors, many of the students in Brown’s Spanish-language “Essence of Judaism” course hail from Latin American countries. He hopes they’ll return home with new knowledge about Jews and Judaism to change negative images and misperceptions. (Of course, the truth, that Judaism is a false religion just like Islam or Hinduism and that Jews are actively working to get Christians to deny the deity and Messiahship of Jesus Christ and the exclusivity of the gospel is almost certainly not taught there.)

Nationally, the American Jewish Committee has formed a Latino and Latin American Institute, and in 2001 convened the first Latino-Jewish Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., to discuss common policy concerns such as immigration. Along with the Los Angeles office, several local chapters of the nonprofit are reaching out to Latinos, according to Ken Bandler, the group’s national spokesman. (An article in the Jerusalem Post not long ago promoted the notion that the black – Jewish alliance is past its time, is now against the interests of both communities, and that Jews should seek to work with Hispanics instead.)

Pastor Richard Escobedo holds two sessions weekly to pray for Israel at his 500-member Centro Palabra de Fe church in Compton, where he has an Israeli flag on display, has held Passover seders and preaches that “love thy neighbor” includes Jews and others. Many Pentecostals wear Star of David pendants and other paraphernalia, he said. (The star of David is not a legitimate Jewish religious symbol, but a mystic symbol that may have origins in freemasonry and the Kabbalah that Jewish socialist and mostly atheist Zionists adopted for their POLITICAL movement in the 1800s … when it was adopted as the Jewish political symbol most Jews initially were opposed, but eventually acquiesced to it over time. That “One Night With The King”, that TBN oneness pentecostal movie, depicted the star of David as a Jewish symbol in Old Testament times was one of the biggest lies in a movie obviously designed to promote Zionism and not Jesus Christ, as a person coming from that movie would learn nothing about Jesus Christ but fully convinced that we should use nuclear weapons to wipe Iran off the map.)

Engaging with Jews, he said, “is opening our eyes to how Jesus himself was taught.”

Copyright 2008 Associated Press.

Posted in Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, religious right | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sarah Palin’s Thomas Muthee Is A Word Of Faith Dominionist!

Posted by Job on October 1, 2008

I put up a post defending this fellow a few days ago. Fortunately IndependentConservative informed me of my insanity, and I removed it. Good thing too. First of all, Muthee is a Word of Faither. Second, the guy is a dominionist. This article talks about the “Christians should rule the world” mentality of third wave charismatics and Pentecostals that people like Muthee exhibit … even though the spawn of Azusa Street is almost uniformly Cyrus Scofield pre – tribulation rapturist, their attitudes towards politics, government, and secular activity come straight from the Origenist amillennialism that the Roman Catholic Church used to justify their goal to take over the world.

So we know what Muthee believes. The question is whether Palin believes it also. Because if McCain wins in 2008 as I fully expect him to, Palin is your president in 2012. Further proof that no matter who wins, Christians need to pray, serve the Lord, and resist evil in all that we do. We have to be careful and discerning. I fell into supporting Muthee out of my opposition to witchcraft, but it looks like this fellow supports something far worse: a false version of Christianity that wants to dominate the globe.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments »

Is Cessationism Biblical?

Posted by Job on September 20, 2008

Many suggest that the sign gifts (tongues, prophecies, interpretations, gifts of healings and miracles) were for the apostolic era for the purposes of founding the church, and that after the time of the apostles past, the church was on solid ground, and particularly when the canon was completed, there was no longer such a need for these gifts. This is a rough, simplistic statement of the doctrine of cessationism. (You can read more details about this doctrine here.)

The Bible verses used to support this view are Ephesians 2:20, Hebrews 2:3-4, and 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. I suppose that I am going to have to shelve my beloved King James Version and use a more modern translation, the NASB, on this issue.

1 Corinthians 13:8-10

8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of (A)prophecy, they will be done away; if there are(B)tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

 9For we (C)know in part and we prophesy in part;

 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.

Ephesians 2:19-22

19So then you are no longer (A)strangers and aliens, but you are (B)fellow citizens with the saints, and are of (C)God’s household,

 20having been (D)built on (E)the foundation of (F)the apostles and prophets, (G)Christ Jesus Himself being the (H)corner stone,

 21(I)in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into (J)a holy temple in the Lord,

 22in whom you also are being (K)built together into a (L)dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Hebrews 2:1-4

1For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that (A)we do not drift away from it. 2For if the word (B)spoken through (C)angels proved unalterable, and (D)every transgression and disobedience received a just (E)penalty,

 3(F)how will we escape if we neglect so great a (G)salvation? After it was at the first (H)spoken through the Lord, it was (I)confirmed to us by those who heard,

 4God also testifying with them, both by (J)signs and wonders and by (K)various miracles and by(L)gifts of the Holy Spirit (M)according to His own will.

I find the case for cessationism based on these scriptures to be inconclusive at best to spurious at worst. The weakest is Hebrews 2:1-4. First, the context, the intended meaning of the passage, has nothing to do with the duration of sign gifts. Instead, it was one of the famous warning passages to Hebrew Christians not to use persecution as an excuse to abandon the faith and return to Judaism under the false belief that as Jews the law of Moses offered them a path to heaven. That was the point of mentioning the signs and wonders showed by Jesus Christ to the apostles. The writer of Hebrews is stating that the law of Moses was mediated to mankind by angels, but the new covenant was given by God the Son Himself, with the signs and wonders to the apostles showing evidence that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and God in the flesh. If the signs and wonders had the purpose of demonstrating to the apostles the identity and mission of Jesus of Nazareth, then what was the purpose of those gifts being present in people who never saw the long resurrected and ascended Jesus Christ in places where the church had long been established? 

Ephesians 2:19-22 does make a decent case for the idea that apostles and prophets no longer exist … they were the foundation that the church was built upon with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone. The cornerstone main stone of the foundation, or rather the stone that supports the other foundation stones. Roman Catholics who claim that the church was built on Peter ignore that Peter’s stone lies on Jesus Christ’s stone, the one that Daniel prophesied would fill the whole earth, and that also scripture does not record Peter’s stone being any more important than any of the other apostles … as a matter of fact when Revelation speaks of the pearled gates of heaven having the names of the apostles on them, no special mention is given to Peter’s gate, so their doctrine of Peter admitting people into heaven that you see represented in popular culture so often actually opposes scripture. In any case, my opinion is that the prophets referred to in that passage actually refers to the Old Testament prophets (of which John the Baptist was the last and greatest) not the New Testament prophets. At the very least, the Old Testament prophets and the apostolic prophets are both included. Now, there were of course other apostles than the 12 (with Matthias replacing Judas) such as Paul – who called himself the least – and Barnabas at minimum. We should note that Paul, Barnabas, and the other unnamed individuals were not among the ones that Revelation counted has having a pearled gate. (For that matter, neither were any prophets.) In any case, I have no issue with the Old Testament prophets being called part of the foundation of the church because of the role that they played in Israel, progressive revelation and salvation history. I have no issue with the apostles past the original 12 (again with Matthias replacing Judas Iscariot) being called part of the foundation of the church because these men did in fact start and sustain the early church with their efforts under the guide of the Holy Spirit. But how can a prophet or apostle thereafter be considered a foundation stone? You cannot keep adding to a foundation after it has been laid, can you? Actually, the answer to that question is yes. When you enlarge a building, say add a wing to it, a new foundation has to be poured to support it, and it can be joined to the original foundation. (Any input from people with backgrounds in architecture, construction, or civil engineering would be welcome!) A person who establishes a church where there was none prior can be considered, especially if that person is obviously gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit as was the father of modern missions, William Carey. However, it is curious that the very people that can likely qualify for the office of apostle and prophet do not seek the titles for themselves. Meanwhile, the people who DO call themselves apostles and prophets in these times have never taken the gospel of Jesus Christ anywhere new. So, it is probably expedient to interpret this passage strictly and state that those two offices ceased in apostolic times, and to challenge anyone who claims this title for himself or herself (as there were female prophets at least) as to whether they are part of the foundation of the church, and if so prove it. In any case, this passage only applies to prophets and apostles, not the sign gifts.

So that leaves us with the final and strongest passage for cessationism, 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. And even this one is fraught with problems. We cannot dislocate this passage from is larger context, which is Paul’s love discourse. So, when Paul stated that the sign gifts will cease but love will never cease or fail, the primary point of emphasis here is not that sign gifts will cease. The primary point is that love will never cease, and in general that possessing and exhibiting love is more important than the sign gifts. Now the Corinthian church was making sign gifts the center of their practice and worship; Paul was telling them to make love the center of their practice and worship instead. Does the cessationist state that a reason why Paul was telling them this was that the second generation of this church was not going to have the sign gifts to center their worship on in the first place? Or is a more balanced view is the notion that love should be the focus whether one has sign gifts or not? The latter is the one that better fits the context of the entire chapter and indeed the entire section of 1 Corinthians. So, the doctrine of cessationism would be based on what was at best the second and possibly even the third or fourth idea of importance in that very short passage. It would be fine had the idea been directly stated, or were there some other passages that picked up this idea, fleshed it out, or that we could use to interpret it with. Now it is common to use Hebrews 2:1-4 and Ephesians 2:19-22 to interpret or add to 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, but to me that seems to be something thesis – driven, verses selected to prove a previously existing idea, rather than developing the doctrine from the Biblical evidence. In other words, people who already believed that the sign gifts had passed – or had to explain why those gifts were no longer present in their churches – picked 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 as the best that they could do, and used definitely Hebrews 2:1-4 and possibly also Ephesians 2:19-22 out of their intended meaning to the people that those epistles were written AND to the church that came after them. In other words, engaging in some of the very same creative and tactical uses of scripture that Pentecostals and charismatics are oft accused of doing, although I acknowledge not nearly so bad as what is often done with “Ye are gods children of the Most High” or “speaking things that are not as though they were.”

Now the contextual problems is not the biggest problem. One can still assert cessationism based on 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 alone despite them; my only argument at this point is that the case is very weak. (Much stronger cases can actually be made for requiring Christians to tithe and to abstain from alcohol, doctrinal positions that I disagree with even though I myself do choose to tithe and not drink alcohol.) The biggest problem is internal. Paul stated that the sign gifts were meant only until the time that things were made perfect, then they would cease. “For we have knowledge in part and we prophesy in part but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” Verses prior and following speak of the other gifts reveal only a portion of the truth also, but in a time to come, everything would be revealed. So, once all is revealed, there will be no need for the gifts that are designed to reveal the truth to us.

But when will the church be made perfect, and all things revealed? I am sorry, but the answer is not with the death of the last apostle or the completion of the canon, but the return of Jesus Christ. Not only is that self – evident and presupposed from the rest of Christian doctrine (who or what else “perfect” that we should wait on save the Holy Spirit, which came when Jesus Christ went away for a time, and if the coming of the Holy Spirit made things fulfilled that passage would the gifts have been needed?) scripture explicitly states it. Hebrews 9:28, for instance, refers to Jesus Christ’s second return completing the salvation process for the church. Currently He is interceding, but when He returns the intercessory ministry will be done. Why is Jesus Christ interceding now, despite His death justifying the elect? Because though the church has been justified, all is not perfect. Why will the need for His intercessory ministry be done with when He returns? Because perfection will have been accomplished, so no more intercession is required. (By the way, this means real problems for the “dual return” doctrines i.e. the rapture, because one Jesus Christ leaves the right hand of the Father, it means that the church will have been perfected, and there will be no need for Jesus Christ to return again on the last day.)

And that is the reference “when the trump sounds, we shall all be changed incorruptible”, meaning we shall be PERFECTED. Into that context, please consider this: Revelation 10:7 – “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” That verse refers to the trump that Paul is speaking of when he made references to “we shall all not sleep, but when the trump sounds we shall be changed and caught up.” At that point will be the mystery of God finished, when the process of making the church perfect done, and Jesus Christ will leave His intercessory ministry to do the work of reward for the church and punishment for everyone else.

According to the internal evidence of 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, the reference to “but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away”, that is when the sign gifts will be taken away. That is my position, and I welcome all thoughtful comments supporting or opposing this position. Also, please note that my position fully corresponds to Reformed doctrine, including but not limited to the solas: Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Through Christ Alone, To God alone be the Glory. All legitimate sign gift activity should be governed by those, particularly sola scriptura. If it is not, then it is not of God. Yes, that is aimed at you, followers of Benny Hinn, Todd Bentley, Kenneth Copeland, and all similar.

Posted in Bible, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

The ElijahList: The biggest distributor of false prophecies in cyberspace!

Posted by Job on September 19, 2008

deceptioninthechurch.com/elijahlist.html

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kim Clement Prophesies That Barack Obama Will Win. Elijah’s List Prophesies That Sarah Palin’s Win. Who Is Right?

Posted by Job on September 19, 2008

Elijah’s list claiming that it is the will of God for Sarah Palin to win:

Recent Rantings from the ‘New Apostles’: The Coming Election and the Angel Named Union

Kim Clement claiming that it is God’s Will for Barack Obama to win:

False Prophet Kim Clement Says President Barack HUSSEIN Obama Will Bring Peace To Middle East

So Pentecostal Word of Faith charismatics, since these are BOTH anointed true prophets of God bringing fresh wine and new oil – or is it fresh oil and new wine – how can they both be right? Well, for one, it is obvious that NONE OF THESE PEOPLE GIVE TWO CENTS ABOUT JOHN MCCAIN OR JOE BIDEN! So maybe Barack Obama will win, ask Joe Biden to step down, and make Sarah Palin his vice president? Or maybe it is that ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE LIARS, FRAUDS, AND FALSE PROPHETS THAT ARE GOING TO DO FLOATING BELLYFLOPS INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE?!?!

By the way, both of these “prophecies” seem to strongly hint that Jesus Christ will return in 2012 or thereabouts. Since these people are LIARS, then it is far more likely that Jesus Christ will come back in 2237. Even if the rapture is a correct doctrine, IF YOU FOLLOW THESE LICENTIOUS THIEVES AND LIARS YOU WILL MISS IT! We will be five years into the scenarios depicted in the “Left Behind” movies and these guys will still be making prophecies AND STILL MAKING YOU PAY THEM FOR IT!

Now there is only one theological way – and it is a false theology by the way – that these “prophets” cannot be in conflict: if you believe in the open theism heresy (or apostasy). According to open theism, God’s Will, plan, providence, etc. changes or adapts to accommodate or fit the actions of man. Applying it here, Obama WAS God’s choice to be president according to the conditions of the time, but McCain’s choosing Palin caused (forced?) an adaptation on God’s part. While it is theoretically possible to salvage the doctrine of God’s sovereignty and ultimate control over history with this doctrine in a macro level, it is impossible to maintain that God rules the life of each person with this doctrine. The general direction of a nation and world, especially in an eschatological sense? Yes. Specifics regarding an individual, or perhaps even any number of people? Impossible. But realize: this is merely taking free will Arminian decision Christianity to its logical conclusion! Once you abandon “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” to “free will” in one area, it is impossible not to do so in others. A bigger issue: open theism, especially in matters like these, does harm to the doctrine of God’s being transcendent, meaning His being totally separate from creation, especially space – time. This doctrine makes God’s actions – and therefore God Himself – much more dependent on and a function of time, inching us ever closer to pagan systems. There is also a hint of Roman Catholicism working here. Roman Catholic doctrine actually holds that Mary had the ability to decline being used in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, and had she done so Jesus Christ would have never been born, and either mankind would have never been redeemed, or God would have had to come up with something else! Roman Catholics solve the implications of this by resorting to the Remonstrants’ “predestiny through foreknowledge” notion, which is that God knew in advance that Mary would consent to obeying Him, and took it into account in His plans. Again, logical conclusion of what is a Roman Catholic doctrine. The fact that “predestined foreknowledge” contradicts “open theism”? Ah, who cares. All that matters is that one has to reject Calvinism to support both, and rejecting Reformed doctrines so that man (whether individually or through institutions like the earth and government are ultimately in control on earth, making God the ruler of heaven only) is what it is all about. 

back from my digression, let me go ahead and give you the details of the Elijah List prophecies as given by PJ Miller. I am not making this stuff up. I really couldn’t if I tried. (Although some of the “special revelations” that I used to get back when I was in this movement were close …)

The arrogance and power-seeking false predictive words which come from these people is laughable. But when they start ‘prophesying’ about having authority within secular governments and nations, they shouldn’t be ignored, because the real ‘dark’ power working behind, in, or through these people is seeking to do exactly that. The words below come from dominionists and false teachers, Bob and Bonnie Jones andJeff Jansen

A few quotes and link..

From the launching pad of all that is false on the Internet, The Elijah List:

A New Apostolic Government by 2012

In the last 30 years we’ve seen a restoration of the prophetic – true prophets have been restored to the Church. But now we are about to see a restoration of the apostolic – true apostles are arising. The prophets bring the revelation and the apostles bring the application.

These apostles will be men and women like Joshua – leaders that bring the rest into the Promised Land. These apostles will not be appointed by man, but by God. In fact, many of them will look extremely different from what we would call “apostolic.” This new breed of apostolic order will not fear losing their reputation nor be concerned about what the newspapers are saying…

 

You can’t persecute the anointing and the glory of God or you’ll miss it. These apostles will speak to nations and cause a shift in the natural and the spiritual.Revival will break out and new regions will be changed as the Lord establishes new governmental order. This is not a man thing…this is a God thing!

We will see an entirely new apostolic government in place by 2012.

At this time, we will see the Church being put together and growing into a habitation for the Spirit of God: “…in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:21-22).

The Coming Election and the Angel Named Union

Right now it is extremely important to pray for the coming election. The winds of change are blowing. We must pray for this Godly Vice President. September is the month that will make the difference – this is the month it begins. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts the night of September 29th.

Right now God is harvesting harvesters for the great harvest. By 2012 we will see a genuine apostolic government in place. From there we will see others come alongside and do what they are called to do.

We are in the middle of one of the greatest changes in history. These next eight years will be full of joy if the Church steps into authority and God’s righteous people are elected. It’s time to begin to bless instead of curse. The mind of Christ will be released to true followers with a fresh vision, new anointing, and plenty of provision.

We are going to see Roe vs. Wade overturned. It’s time to bless the United States and not curse her. Bob Jones heard Kate Smith singing God Bless America. This is the United States of America. We are united by diversity, and the angel over this nation is named “Union” – we are united by diversity and strengthened by union.

****

Bonnie Jones’ Dream

In a recent dream, Bonnie Jones was visited by the Lord. In the dream, the Lord came to Bonnie and led her on a journey. The first place the Lord took Bonnie was a massive storehouse filled with organs and body parts. The Lord allowed Bonnie to put her right hand (faith) into this storehouse where she held all different types of organs and limbs. She felt He was teaching her to have the faith “of” God, not faith “in” God.

The Lord continued to escort Bonnie on the journey. The next place was on a bridge and then over railroad tracks. The bridge and the railroad tracks formed a cross, symbolizing “righteousness and justice.”

Next they went to 22nd Street. The Lord was giving her the key of David out of Isaiah 22:22, “Then I will set the key of the house of David on His shoulder, when He opens no one will shut, when He shuts no one will open.” She looked up and in the distance saw Lake Superior. The Lord is about to do something far superior to what we’ve recently witnessed.

Next she was holding a map. The instructions said, “When you come to 9th Street, take a hard right.” When they took a right on 9th Street the dream ended.

Bonnie is from Ohio, so when she woke up she knew where Lake Erie was, but not exactly where the other Great Lakes were. She decided to check the atlas and found where she was in the dream while looking at Lake Superior. She was in the extreme northern point of Wisconsin in an unincorporated village named Cornucopia – which represents an “open portal and the blessings of God.” Looking straight ahead at Lake Superior are the 22 Apostle Islands. Interestingly enough, there are 22 apostles recorded in the New Testament.

True Apostles are Being Released

What Bonnie saw in this visionary encounter with the Lord is parabolic of what God is bringing in this hour. In this season the Lord is restoring true apostles in the earth. As this apostolic government comes into view and is established, the Lord is releasing new keys – governmental keys of Kingdom authority that will be matched by no other generation.

Creative miracles, signs, and wonders will be witnessed in unparalleled ways as the Lord firmly establishes and confirms this new government. It will look nothing like what we’ve witnessed or heard of to date. There will be upheavals and shakings in the earth that will confirm what is happening in the spiritual – the natural proclaiming the spiritual.

What the Lord is about to do is far superior to anything He has done before.

Creative miracles – arms, legs, body parts, and organs will come down from Heaven. There will be no ebb – no end!

Your source is in Heaven, and this Heavenly warehouse is opening. Body parts will be issued to the Body, but there needs to be a government to do this. This will not be about a certain leader or leaders in particular, but an entire Church government and Body that will function in unity.

*recent related posts:

The Coming Presence Movement

Unto Us A Child Is Born…. Saints Beware

Where Will The ‘Third Wave’ Teachings Show up Next?

Dominionists on the ‘Move’..

Deception: “look upon thyself”

The ICA, The Hoax From Hell

C. Peter Wagner and Dominionism

The Manifested Sons of God heresy and the New Apostolic Reformation

Militant Joel’s Army Followers Seek Theocracy

God to Bob Jones: “AMERICA HAS FORGOTTEN KATE SMITH’S SONG, GOD BLESS AMERICA!” plus..

The Super-Apostles: New, Improved, and Condemned

C. Peter Wagner: ‘Super Apostle’?

Rick Joyner: CHASING THE DELUSION OF POWER AND DOMINION

The Threshing Floor – “Apostles of Leaven”

Posted in Bible, Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Did William Carey Have The Charismatic Holy Spirit Gifts Of Unknown Tongues And Interpretations?

Posted by Job on September 19, 2008

Ever since the rise of the modern Pentecostal/charismatic movement, there has been debate on whether such sign gifts as speaking in and interpreting unknown tongues are for today, or whether they were given only in apostolic times for the purposes of founding the church and spreading the gospel. People who take the latter view in particular often advance the view that tongues and interpretations (along with other sign gifts) were primarily used to spread the gospel to new areas.

 Well let us consider the case of William Carey. In Carey’s day, the turn of the 19th century, it was commonly – and quite strongly – believed in Protestant Christianity that it was not the duty of Christians to spread the gospel outside of “Christendom”, or areas with a large Christian presence directly ruled by a Christian state. How this belief actually played out seemed inconsistent and unusual, as it appears that a large self – sustaining colonial presence in North America made it acceptable to proselytize the natives (the so – called Indians), but other areas where there was certainly a western presence was considered to be off – limits. It is fashionable to blame Calvinism for this mindset, but the truth is that Arminians generally followed this practice too: those such as the Wesleys were willing to preach to native Americans, but were no more motivated to offer people in areas lacking a strong western political and military presence or self – sustaining colonial populations a chance to make a decision for Jesus Christ than were the Calvinists in seeking God’s elect. In any case, the prevailing excuses appeared to be that Christians had more than sufficient work tending to the lost (and discipleship of the found) among their own countrymen to worry about seeking other sheep elsewhere, and that the great commission was a command given only to the apostles, not to the modern church. It also appears that at least some Protestants downplayed the importance of missionary work precisely because the Roman Catholics were so involved in it: anything that Rome was doing was to them by definition suspect!

Other Protestants, including the Moravians (Lutherans) had challenged those notions in the past, but Carey, a Baptist of Calvinistic extraction, is considered the father of modern missions because the missionary movement that he began, against vehement opposition of the religious establishment of his day, was one that has been sustained, imitated, and replicated until this day. As an odd curiosity, however, the man who started the movement that resulted in such a rapid spread of Christianity and countless saved souls around the world only himself successfully baptized and evangelized a few converts.

However, one area where Carey was far more successful at was in translating the Bible! It is said that Carey had an obvious talent, a rare proficiency and inclination, for learning languages and doing translation work. You can even call it A GIFT. (For an idea of the source of this gift according to my estimation, read passages related to Exodus 28:3Exodus 31:3Exodus 35:31Numbers 24:2Judges 3:10 and similar.)  It is said that he translated the Bible, either completely or in part, in 35 different languages! That does not even include his attempt to make a book of translation of Sanskrit literature and a polyglot dictionary of Sanskrit and related languages, which would have been a huge contribution to the field of linguistics that would have been a great help to scholars in translation work to this day had the irreplaceable manuscripts not been destroyed in a fire. (As a side note, it is also said that the day that Carey finally baptized his first convert on the mission field, Krishna Pal, his wife was confined to her room as a result of having lost her mind!. Spiritual warfare is real people!) 

So, this William Carey, a minister of the Particular Baptist movement of the Reformed Christian faith, in my estimation possessed a gift given by the Holy Spirit that was used to found the church in a place that it did exist by transferring the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God from a tongue (language) unknown to the people in this area to a tongue that was known to them. It was an apostolic gift given to a man who filled an apostolic task. Perhaps the best evidence of this was Carey’s commitment to justice for the poor by opposing the caste system, especially by way of his daring decision to have his converts not obey the caste system (part of the Hindu religion), in particular by allowing two Christian converts from separate castes, a Sudra and a Brahmin, marry. To this day Christianity is growing fastest among the greatly oppressed and impoverished untouchable caste of India, a group called the Christian Dalits. (It is also interesting that Carey made the decision to model his missionary community somewhat after the Bible’s description of the communal living of the early Jerusalem church in Acts.)

So did William Carey exhibit the Holy Spirit sign gift in the area of tongues, especially their interpretation? Feel free to come to your own conclusion about the matter. But when you look at the videos below, you might be able to guess the direction that I am leaning in and why this is so.  

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 936 other followers

%d bloggers like this: