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Archive for July, 2010

A Fundamentalist Or Conservative Evangelical Treatment Of The Racism Issue Is Needed

Posted by Job on July 19, 2010

I admit to being generally skeptical of common popular approach to theology (i.e. a one that attempts to address “issues and concerns”) and prefer instead to rely on exegesis, exposition, application and the wisdom of Bible-believing Christians that have run the race for us. However, some current events have me thinking that perhaps it is time for theologically conservative Christians (by this I mean fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals, or “Bible-believing Christians) need to come up with a Biblical approach to the racism issue. These events include:

Now, for reasons that I will not get into because they are not particularly relevant to the topic at hand, I believe that A) Obama will win re-election and B) the economy will continue to be bad, including possibly a “double-dip” recession. That means that it is very possible race will be a point of division in our country for years to come, and that it will affect a Bible-believing American Christian community in which many blacks will continue to foolishly support Obama and many whites will continue to foolishly support the Republicans. (Similar to A. and B. above, my personal views that Bible-believing Christians have no business supporting Republicans or Democrats is beyond the scope of this topic, other than the point out the obvious fact that both parties indulge in race-baiting.) Thus, it may be in the interests of the Body of Christ for a Bible-based approach to the racism issue to be promoted and defended from our pulpits, in our media outlets, and in our educational institutions during the next few years, and possibly beyond.

But the problem is that it appears that no such program or approach exists. This is not to say that the racism issue has not been addressed in the church arena. The problem is that nearly all of the deep, broad substantial treatments of the topic by those opposed to racism have come from churches and religious movements that can fairly be described as apostate. The “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” approach to race is one entirely rooted in liberal theology. It is deceiving, because the language of orthodoxy is used, and so are such time-honored Christian instruments as prayer, fasting, singing, preaching and quoting scripture. However, look a little deeper and you will see that the “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” approach is one that denies and rejects a Biblical view of sin. It consciously rejects what the Bible states concerning both original sin that is collective and common to humanity, and the sin nature that afflicts each individual. Liberal theology – and Barack Obama/Jeremiah Wright liberation theology even more so – goes on to deny that both collective sin and individual sin were dealt with by Jesus Christ’s atoning death and resurrection (doctrines that were rejected by Martin Luther King, Jr., as was the virgin birth), and that freedom from sins, including but not limited to racism, comes to members of the Body of Christ only through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Further, that even after salvation through faith occurs, one will struggle with sins – again including racism – because of the influence of “the flesh”, “the old man”, “the body of death”, but that if we are truly penitent and confess, Jesus Christ can be faithfully counted on to forgive our sins. And finally, the ultimate victory over racism, both in a collective original sin of the human condition sense and in a personal individual sense, will only occur when Jesus Christ returns and sets up the eternal kingdom of New Jerusalem for believers, when all believers receive their mansion/place/room in His Father’s house (again all doctrines which liberal and liberation theology Christians reject and deny).

Instead, liberal and liberation theology treats racism not as what the Bible calls sin, but as a social ill or condition. Thus, the Biblical truth that until Jesus Christ returns, racism cannot be eliminated on a large scale, such as in a larger society of unregenerate people, is rejected by them. So is the truth that racism can only be dealt with in the individual believer and in a church comprised of believers by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Instead, such people believe that racism can be defeated in the individual with education, and in a society by changing laws, economic and social conditions. That is why the SCLC, NAACP, Rainbow/PUSH and the other alphabet-soup assortment of civil rights groups often led by ministers like Dr. King, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and similar never attempted and do not attempt to battle racism by encouraging racists to repent of their sins and believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Instead, they rely on the same methods as secular organizations:  educational programs, lawsuits and political campaigns. Though they rarely come out and openly admit it, such people believe that the “root cause” of racism is capitalism. In their mind, capitalism is either racism’s cause or its primary enabler.  Therefore, socialism is the ultimate solution to racism in their estimation. They do not claim that socialism would completely end racism and transform the national – and world – society into a post-racial utopia, but they do assert that socialism would render racism as a nonfactor by removing (in their minds) what is primarily responsible for fomenting racial tension and rewarding racist behavior.  In other words, it is not so much that they claim that socialism will change racists hearts, but that it will remove most reasons and opportunities for racist hearts to act, turning racism from appearing sensible and potentially lucrative to being a pointless waste of time. And the true goal of the “anti-racist education programs” that are offered – thanks to the work of pressure groups – in schools, churches and workplaces are actually geared towards getting more people to support socialism – or at least liberal politicians who enact them – than fighting racism. Example: they manipulate people into experiencing white guilt or black anger that is supposed to translate into … well you figure it out. (Please note the extreme irony that the religious right, while purporting to represent the opposite end of the theological spectrum, has resorted to the same tactics as the civil rights movement of the theological left, and also how the religious right often promotes capitalism as the cure for social ills.)

Now of course, the problem is not truly the lies of the enemy as they relate to racism. Quite simply, the enemy lies about everything. Instead, it is the lack of response from Bible-believers. Where liberal Christians have decades of doctrines and actions on the race issue, Bible-believing Christians have … well nothing comparable. Or should I say if it exists, it was often in the form of defending of segregation and slavery in times past, and now often absorbs the racial rhetoric and thinking of conservative leaders and opinion-makers who are not Christians i.e. the aforementioned Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. To make matters worse, when Bible-believing Christians attempt to address race in a “positive” way, they normally use the constructs provided by liberal Christianity. This is generally by default – because thanks to the media and the educational system it is all they know – and also because no other “positive” way of attempting to address race has been consistently articulated and applied on a large scale. As a result, many – indeed most – fundamentalist and conservative evangelical black churches fully endorse the “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” program on race, and so do not a few well-meaning theologically conservative white pastors and congregations.  The result is that race issue is used to get non-Biblical doctrines about sin, human nature and redemption into otherwise doctrinally sound churches, and the resulting confusion is used to slowly get these churches and pastors away from Biblical truth in other areas as well. I may be exaggerating were I to say “first racism, then creation care environmentalism, then supporting abortion and homosexual marriage”, but it would be only an exaggeration. A better illustration is this: before the civil rights movement, there were lots of doctrinally sound evangelical and fundamental black churches, including some entire black denominations dedicated to strong, Bible-based belief and practice. Well, take a look around and see what has happened to these churches – and especially the denominations – since. An entire book has been written on the topic.

So why deal with the racism issue at all in Bible-based Christianity? For the same reason that we deal with homosexuality, abortion, pornography, laziness, theft, adultery, murder, false religions etc.: because it is sin. We are to love God with all our heart, soul and strength and also to love our neighbor. So, we must address racism first because it is a sin that offends and dishonors God, and second because of the negative effect that it has on our neighbor. So, the problem is not the church’s addressing racism, but that it addresses it with liberal theology created by apostates and unbelievers walking in darkness. So, if we ignore the issue we ignore sin, and if we use liberal or liberation theology to address the issue, then those who are walking in the light of Jesus Christ are ignoring that light to follow those who do not have that light and are in the darkness of sin.

Now there has been some excellent treatments of this issue from black preachers over the years. Unfortunately, the civil rights rhetoric has long overtaken it, and these wise words have largely been forgotten. So, what informed, Biblical guidance do black people have to rely on when they experience the sin of racism committed against them? (Allow me to state that the reaction made popular and acceptable by civil rights community, which is “righteous” indignation, an aggrieved posture, and actions and attitude proceeding from them, are generally sinful.) And how are black people to respond to the racism – which does include anger, resentment and defense mechanisms that results from exposure to white racism – that exists in the heart of black people other than with the same repentance, confession, contrition, and reliance on Jesus Christ that is expected of white people? And yes, black people must acknowledge that the civil rights agenda of addressing racism through education, court decisions, laws, and changes to our political, economic, social and cultural systems is doomed to fail. Eliminating Jim Crow – which was unconstitutional anyway – is one thing. Changing the hearts of a mostly unregenerate population is another. Any pastor or church that teaches otherwise is acting in open defiance against the Bible, and such doctrines and the pastors and churches who teach them should be rejected just the same as should those who claim salvation by works, that homosexuality is not a sin, or that there is no Trinity should be. If we don’t accept liberal false doctrines in other areas, why should we when it comes to racism? And yes, the issue of why more blacks won’t join predominantly white churches needs to be addressed, even if it means enduring and overcoming racism. If blacks are willing to confront and overcome racism to attend mostly white schools and colleges and earn a living on mostly white workplaces, why can’t the same be done in attending mostly white churches? I dare say that this may indicate that blacks place a higher priority on getting an education and earning a living than going to church, because blacks are more willing to overcome obstacles in pursuing the first two than the last one. What you fight for is often an indication of where your heart is, and if you are willing to endure discrimination at a job that you know is worldly but not at the church were God calls you to forgive your brothers and sisters and bear their faults just as Christ bears ours, then that constitutes evidence that your heart is more willing to sacrifice for mammon than for Christ’s Body.

As far as white Bible-believing Christians go … the first step is probably severing political conservatism from theological conservatism on the race issue. (Actually, it is a good idea to do that on far more issues than race.) The reason is that the politically conservative position on race basically amounts to the notion that blacks should make all the sacrifices because blacks benefit far more from being in the presence of whites than any harm from racism. It follows from there that since whites receive no real benefits from having blacks in their presence, whites should make no sacrifices at all. Now not only is this illegal in a secular sense, but this type of thinking has no business in the church. Neither should Bible-believing white Christians emulate the apostates on the left by proposing political or economic solutions (i.e. tax cuts, free markets) for what is a spiritual problem. If socialism can’t change hearts or address sin, neither can political conservatism.

As to why theologically conservative white Christians don’t address this issue, there are no good answers. I propose the first is because racism doesn’t appear to negatively affect them personally. So, the issue is “out of sight, out of mind.” The second is likely because of the racist and segregationist history of a lot of denominations, churches and leaders. This is not an issue for the formerly racist Christian entities that have adopted liberal theology, because apparently once you reject the Bible and particularly once you join the left politically and take part in the (destined to fail) attempt to eliminate racism through enacting socialism, all is forgiven. But for those churches and denominations that remain faithful to the Bible, it is a tough situation. Even calling racism and discrimination sinful is mighty difficult, because it would mean that a lot of beloved Christian leaders (and followers) were sinners. To better understand the problem: imagine if the pastor that started your church, the group that founded your denomination or one of your favorite pastor/theologian/evangelist were branded an adulterer. (And also consider that there is a much bigger stigma in our modern society with being considered a racist than an adulterer.)

So, it is understandable that people who attended a seminary that may have been started to support segregation would want to let sleeping dogs lie. Still, how can white pastors, churches and institutions address this issue in more productive – and effective – ways than Bob Jones University’s decision to offer scholarships for “minority students”? (While I think that getting more black students into theologically conservative seminaries is something that absolutely must be done, this is another example of “the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr./racism is caused by capitalism and can be solved with socialism” approach.) Also, it simply is inappropriate to have pastors in racially homogenous churches in Dubuque, Iowa and Bismark, North Dakota to talk about racism all the time. Other things such as efforts to partner black churches with white ones, and also recruiting drives for black members have been tried before with disappointing results, and often do not address the real reasons why blacks do not fellowship with whites in the first place, a fact which truthfully has to do with black resentment against whites as much or more than white racism, and this is compounded by the erroneous thinking by so many blacks (that again are the results of decades of “civil rights movement thinking”) that A) maintaining black institutions for the purposes of using them for political and social agitation is Biblical and necessary and B) it is fine for blacks to nurse and maintain grievances against whites but not the other way around. Again, the arguments for the existence of BET, the Black Miss America pageant, black colleges, Ebony/Jet/Essence Magazines etc. knowing full well that white counterparts would never be tolerated may be fine for the secular arena but have no place in the Body of Christ, and this is a position that white pastors and theologians must boldly take and adhere to. If this means placing the responsibility for ending the fact that “Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America” primarily or disproportionately on blacks, then so be it. Again, the fact that blacks are more than willing to work for white owned and run corporations like BP, IBM, Coca-Cola etc. and attend Harvard, UCLA and Ole Miss while seeking lucre  but won’t do the same when choosing churches leaves them without excuse.

However, the primary area of involvement for white Bible-believing Christians (other than, of course, door-to-door evangelism among blacks) may be in the academy. The liberal and liberation theology people have produced volumes of scholarly work – from technical journal articles to books approachable by general audiences – on the race issue. By contrast, Bible-believing Christians have produced very little that can be used to guide people seeking a sound approach in doctrine and practice on the issue. Further, most of what does exist either attempts to shoehorn the liberal approach into Bible-believing contexts, or relates to cross-cultural missions. As racism is a sin that is manipulated to lead so many Christians – black and white – into errors in doctrine and practice, this situation cannot persist. There must be a well-developed line of discourse as well as practical strategies for confronting the race issue in theologically conservative Christianity just as there is on areas like homosexuality, abortion and feminism. Why should white theologians take the lead? There are several reasons, but the primary one is that for blacks the tendency to adhere to and defend the civil rights mindset is strong. (For example, even in conservative evangelical or fundamentalist Christianity, finding the black pastor that is willing to discuss the theological beliefs of most civil rights leaders, acknowledge that the “civil disobedience” tactics of the civil rights movement were contrary to scripture, or that the “civil rights agenda” is rooted in ideas contrary to scripture and is destined to fail is very hard.) So, it would be far better for the Al Mohlers, Wayne Grudems, R.C. Sprouls and John MacArthurs to start the dialogue on the issue and then have their black counterparts respond. Essentially, black Christian leaders who take the Bible seriously would be required (forced) to articulate why racism should not be viewed and therefore addressed like every other sin.

It amounts to the fact that racism is going to continue to be a snare to larger society, and a major reason for this is that larger society is going to continue to view racism as a social ill that can be corrected with education, economics, government action and the simple passage of time. However, the race riots that occurred barely a week prior to the writing of this shows that it is not the case. Also, the rising numbers and influence of Islam in this country will add another dimension. The black leadership has decided to form political alliances with Islam – and indeed several influential black leaders have converted to that religion – and that will result in more white people viewing blacks as a “fifth column.” But just because race will continue to be a problem for the larger society doesn’t mean that it has to remain a stumblingblock for the church, or at least when the context is Bible-believing black and white Christians who ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE have more in common with each other than they do with the unregenerate members of their own respective races. To put it simply, just because Sean Hannity and Jesse Jackson hate each other doesn’t mean that black and white Bible-believing Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists etc. should have each other at arm’s length. Perhaps even more importantly, black and white Christians need to work together in order to close off an avenue that the world so often uses to lead us into things that range from temptation to severe errors in doctrine and practice.

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Jesus Saves By Daryl Coley: Why I Love This Song

Posted by Job on July 19, 2010

I know, some of my Reformed brothers and sisters may view this as being irreverent, trivial worship. And no, this song is not theologically deep. However, if you consider the context of the musical tradition that this song is a part of, one cannot deny this song’s artistic merit. Also, despite the lack of deep doctrinal depth, the song’s message and goal is powerful: that Christians must evangelize.

This song is all about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Simply, Jesus saves. However, so many people do not know what is meant by salvation, the meaning of “so great a salvation.” They believe that it means personal or societal reform or improvement, or salvation by works. Not only are these notions heresy, but they exclude a lot of people. In order to believe that this type of salvation is possible, one has to believe that they already possess, that they already bring to the table a degree or amount of inherent virtue and self-worth as a starting point BEFORE such a person has an encounter with Jesus Christ. If you believe in a gospel of personal improvement or in salvation by works, you have to be a pretty good person to start with.  Or if you believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ improves society, what Barack Hussein Obama refers to as collective salvation, well the society needs to be moral and functional on some level before it can improve. First, you need the moral standing and good sense to WANT to improve, but you also need a degree of worth, goodness and accomplishment to have the confidence that you CAN improve, plus a sense of knowledge of right and wrong/good and evil to know what constitutes improvement in the first place. So, it is a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” gospel.

Well, that may be the gospel according to some people – an ecumenical pluralistic interfaith gospel of ethics and good works that changes to suit what man chooses to define as ethics and good works throughout the centuries (i.e. then slavery good, homosexuality bad, now homosexuality good but slavery bad) but it is not the gospel of the Bible. And it is the gospel of the Bible that this song talks about. Instead of being a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” gospel, it is a gospel for people who don’t have boots, or for that matter don’t have feet or legs, and for this reason need to rely totally on Jesus Christ. Rather than being a “God helps those who help themselves” gospel, it is a “God helps those who CAN’T help themselves” gospel. Rather than being the “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” gospel of Jim Wallis, it is a gospel for people who have no ability, and whose need is too great to be met by human hands or by any government that such hands can build.

The key is the refrain “Jesus saves to the uttermost.” For the uninitiated, “to the uttermost” is “church-speak” in some circles. A longer form of it is “from the guttermost (bums and derelicts sleeping in the gutter) to the uttermost.” It puts into modern vernacular what Jesus Christ meant when He stated that those who are well don’t go to a doctor, only those who are sick, and in that same manner, He came not to save good people but sinners. (There is a background here where many believed that the Messiah would ingather the devout Jews to the Holy Land and call together armies of the righteous to liberate Jerusalem and Israel from the Romans and set up a human kingdom. So where the people with the false messianic beliefs thought that the messiah would come seeking only the righteous and use them in his armies to destroy the wicked, the true Messiah had an opposite mission: to seek the lost and save them. Also, the Pharisees in particular expected the Messiah to reward them for their piety only to have Jesus Christ state that A. He came for those who were penitent, not those who were justified in their own eyes and B. that the Pharisees weren’t nearly as pious as they believed themselves to be.)

So, Jesus Christ saving to the uttermost has a dual meaning. First, it refers to the target of this so great a salvation. It is NOT people who have some inherent goodness or virtue, or who have some goodness, ethics or knowledge as a starting point. Instead, it is for the worst of sinners, the totally depraved. It is not for good people who want to work at getting better. It is for bad people who know that they cannot become good in any sense even if they were to work as hard as they could for eternity. This is no “man progressing to godhood” gospel of Glenn Beck, because it recognizes that what sinners need is not progression but regeneration, transformation. So, it is not for the decent, good and moral person who wants to get rid of a few character flaws and bad traits to become better. It is for the serial murderer, the rapist, the child molester, the pornography addict, the drug dealer, the extortionist, the traitor, the homosexual, the adulterer, the prostitute, the pimp, the corrupt Wall Street executive, the partial-birth abortion doctor, the Muslim, the Wiccan, the Hindu, the Satanist, the hypocritical family values religious right politician. And it is for all the good, nice, moral people – from little girls who are all sugar and spice to sweet little old ladies – who know that but for the grace of God they would be just as overtly bad as those people because of the sin in their hearts and natures.  So when God saves to the uttermost, He doesn’t  save good people who need to be better, but He transforms evil, wretched sinister failed people into the image of His Son! God saved Nebuchadnezzar, a figure that was comparable to Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Usama bin Laden or Benito Mussolini. And God also saved Paul, who had the blood of many innocent Christians on his hands. Why? How? Because God saves TO THE UTTERMOST. His salvation extends from the person who has attended church all their lives and done their best to achieve ethical moral productive existences but did not know the meaning of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to people that have done the most evil, wicked, contemptible, vile things imaginable and for that reason have been totally rejected by society.

And yet, there is a second dimension: the extent to this salvation. “To the uttermost” doesn’t mean simply getting better, merely improving. It isn’t like Gru in “Despicable Me” who goes from being evil to less evil. Or like the “self help teacher” on “The Simpsons” who helped an alcoholic go from dozens of bottles of alcohol a day to “one highly concentrated glass of wine.” It isn’t taking the fornicator and getting him to be outwardly physically chaste while redirecting his desires to pornography, or taking the racist and teaching him political correctness. That would not be “so great a salvation”, because taking something that was bad and making it APPEAR less bad is not only great, but it isn’t even truly salvation. Instead, saving to the uttermost means taking that which was corrupt, flawed, marred, broken and useless and totally transforming it into something that is acceptable by God. God cannot accept sin. That is why merely rehabilitating the sinner doesn’t work. The rehabilitated, new and improved sinner who is under new management with space age features and shiny new packaging is still a sinner, meaning that God cannot accept Him. Instead, the “so great a salvation” means having your sins paid for and declared sin free through identification with Jesus Christ and His atoning death and resurrection, and being placed in Christ. It is only that “so great a salvation” that allows you to be reconciled with God, because that is the only salvation that results in a liar no longer being a liar, a murderer no longer being a murderer, a homosexual no longer being a homosexual, or a pagan no longer being a pagan. It is true that what falls significantly short of “so great a salvation” is accepted in the world’s eyes. You can see that practically every day on television, especially the talk shows. But only “so great a salvation” is acceptable to God. Yet, this “so great a salvation” is possible because God Himself accomplishes it for those whom God wishes to save.

As great as that all is, this STILL is not the point of the song. Why? Because the people listening to this song know it already! That is the rub. This isn’t a song by Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Elton John, Lil’ Wayne, Rihanna, Lady Gaga or Sting. This is a gospel song that Christians who know the Bible and the gospel will hear and sing. So, it is “preaching to the choir.” Of course, we ought to sing worship and praise songs to the God who alone is worthy for His mighty and loving deeds. However, this is not really a “praise” song that preaches to the choir. It is an ACTION song. The ACTION that this song wants us to take? EVANGELISM! The complete refrain tells us, who know and are participating in this already that WE HAVE TO LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT JESUS SAVES TO THE UTTERMOST!

How many people are there out there who don’t know that so great a salvation is available to them no matter what they have done? How many people know that not merely self improvement but a complete and total transformation from sinner to righteousness, from death to life, is available? And how many people out there don’t know that being good, moral and ethical isn’t good enough because they will still die in their sins and receive the same eternal punishment as mass murderers? And the latter is particularly the case for those who believe that another religious tradition (i.e. Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, shintoism, Scientology and yes liberal Christianity) gives them morality and ethics and allows them to be “good people” that are all worshiping the same god and are simply on different paths to the same place. We have to go take the gospel to all nations, from the utmost to the uttermost, to let them know that they are all indeed worshiping the same god, but it is not the God of Heaven but rather the god of this world, Satan, and that they are indeed all on different paths to the same place, but that place isn’t heaven but destruction, the lake of fire!

So, how will people know that Jesus saves unless we tell them (Romans 10:14)? That is what this song is about, and that is why it is a good one even if your “theology of worship” claims otherwise. Or should I say: to what effect is having a proper theology of worship if you are not out letting the world know that Jesus saves, and saves to the uttermost?

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Does Calvinism Hinder Evangelism? Yes And No …

Posted by Job on July 18, 2010

Saw this Calvinism & Evangelism: A Baptist Conversation and regretted not being able to participate in the discussion like I wished, so I will address some points here. First off, it is not Calvinism that hinders evangelism. It is doctrinal error. For example, plenty of liberal or “moderate” free will/Arminian churches (i.e. Methodist, Baptist) have adopted a “many paths to heaven” pluralistic theology, and others have given themselves over to the social gospel. In the former camp, such people reject evangelism and especially missions, believing the former to be a bigoted example of asserting one religious tradition’s superiority to another, and the latter to be religious and cultural imperialism. Among the latter, they believe that evangelism diverts energies, resources and passions from helping the poor, fighting injustice and working towards a more equal society. Now free will Christians PRACTICALLY NEVER address the beam in their own eye by associating their soteriology with the anti-evangelism stances of, say, the liberal/social gospel Methodists like Hillary Clinton that take John Wesley’s zeal for evangelizing the lost and redirect it towards improving society. Instead, they focus on the mote in the eyes of Calvinists whose hearts are hardened towards the gospel because they believe the false implications, applications and conclusions that they draw from the Biblical doctrines of predestination, election and limited atonement. Now it is just as easy to draw distinctions between Calvinists who follow after error and legitimate, Bible-based Calvinism as it is to do the same between a strong, solid free will salvation preacher and the “Methodists” that are performing homosexual marriages. It is just that the anti-Calvinist crowd chooses to make those distinctions when it comes to those who share their soteriology while (in a most unprincipled fashion) refusing to distinguish between John Ryland, Sr. and William Carey.

Now most anti-Calvinists address the success of Calvinist evangelists like Carey with the dishonest claim that “they successfully spread the gospel in spite of Calvinism” and then go on to produce statements and writings from such people that purport to show them conflicted, grieved and double-minded over their love for the lost and their love for predestination/limited atonement doctrines, and attribute any evangelistic success on their part to the former love’s being greater than the latter. First, even if they were conflicted in this manner, it is to their CREDIT that they struggled to try to reconcile seemingly conflicting scriptural doctrines, as opposed to the practice of the Wesleyan of either pretending that the scriptures pertaining to, say, predestination either don’t exist or don’t mean what the words in them say that they do. Second, BIBLICAL Calvinists know that the same BIBLE which contains T.U.L.I.P. also contains the Great Commission. Thus, the duty is to believe both, keep both and let God work out the details. When one accepts the full implications of the doctrine that it is God Himself who converts people and not man, and that man’s role is to be the instrument that God wishes to use bring conversion about, then in practice (orthopraxy) it works out any contradictions in speculative theology. Men preach, God saves, and it is simple as that. So, any problems are due to the unwillingness to simply obey God and preach and not any existential philosophical conundrum conflicts over “if a preacher preaches and no one is converted because there are no objects of God’s predestination and limited atonement in the audience, then has he really preached?”

Further, the motivation for our preaching should not – or at least not solely – be so that God can save. Instead, the motivation for preaching should be that God told us to. If we don’t preach, witness, evangelize or do missions, we knowingly commit high-handed sin against God, which is bad enough in and of itself without the consideration that people aren’t getting saved. After all, which is worse … that God is being disobeyed and sinned against or that people aren’t getting saved? If you pick the latter, then your doctrine and practice is man-centered and hence flawed. But Calvinists pick the former. A God centered approach means that God is being obeyed and hence worshiped and glorified regardless of the results. So while the free will Christian grieves over people not being saved, the Calvinist grieves over God not being glorified. In the latter approach, God is glorified and the people follow. But with the former, the interests of people are being served, and God is expected or presumed to follow. Which is better?

Well by now you might be wondering “he said Yes AND No, but so far we have only heard the NO. What about the YES”? Well allow me to say that Calvinism DOES make evangelism HARDER. And as well it should. If the primary purpose of evangelism is to glorify and worship God rather than to save men and to suit the purposes of the evangelist, then that will place a premium on doing evangelism correctly, and by that I mean in a reverent, God-honoring fashion by God-honoring people. We are supposed to serve God – and this includes evangelism – in the way that we are to work out our own salvation, which is with fear and trembling. (Note that the free will Christian sees no contradiction between salvation through faith and salvation with some combination of faith and works in Philemon 2:12. The reason is that when that verse is properly interpreted, no such contradiction exists. The same is true of the contradictions that allegedly exist between the doctrine of limited atonement and John 3:16 … they don’t).  Hebrews 12:28 (and yes I do rely on BlueLetterBible.org, a free will site) commands us to “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”, and this applies to service to God through evangelism just like everything else.

The perspective whereby we must seek to honor, serve and glorify God first makes it harder to do self-serving, self-seeking, flesh-pleasing “evangelism” because we are driven by results (conversions, baptisms, church growth, church plants, numbers numbers numbers). It removes us from the capitalist, big business fast food approach to evangelism where we logically conclude that since we are securing human decisions for Jesus Christ, then if people don’t choose Jesus Christ, then the problem is either with the evangelist trying to make the sale or the packaging that the evangelist has adorned the gospel of Jesus Christ with. Instead, it accepts the idea that since a sovereign God is drawing people unto Himself USING evangelists, then playing the numbers game presumes to know God’s plan for a particular church, or the believers in a particular time and place. All the Great Commission promises is that the gospel will be preached in every nation, and that people from every tribe and tongue will be converted. The great commission does not promise that a particular church will always grow, or that a particular nation will have a certain percentage of its population as born-again believers. So, the “seeker-sensitive/emergent” efforts to “repackage the gospel”, to “rebrand the church” or even to “take back our country politically and legally and return it to its Christian heritage” is based on a set of assumptions that cannot be supported in scripture. For instance, even as we are mourning the declining numbers in conservative evangelical and fundamentalist churches in America and the west (and in the instance of the Southern Baptist Convention, scapegoating Calvinists for it!), church growth is booming in third world countries, which in some cases have gone from being evangelized by missionaries barely 100 years ago to sending out their own missionaries, including in some instances back to the west! (Yes, I am aware that most of this is due to free will missionaries. However, it is equally true that a lot of that is due to PENTECOSTAL missionaries. So I will begin to complain about the gospel being spread by free will Christians when the Baptists and Methodists start complaining about the gospel being spread by Pentecostals. My position is that God uses born-again people to preach the gospel, not people who adhere to a particular denomination or system of soteriology.) So if the sovereign God has decided that the time for the west’s dominance of Christianity has passed, and it is now time for Asia, Africa and Latin America to rise to the forefront, who are we to say otherwise? Especially as the church was born not in the west but in the near east to begin with? So it can and should be said that Calvinism DOES hinder BAD EVANGELISM DOCTRINES AND PRACTICES THAT DISHONOR GOD AND DENY HIS SOVEREIGNTY IN FAVOR OF APPEALING TO THE BASE INSTINCTS OF MAN’S FLESH THAT SHOULDN’T EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE, and that’s a good thing.

Also, we must wonder why this charge, that “Calvinism hinders evangelism” is so effective in the first place; why it wounds and hurts. To start, we must address why it is used to begin with. One should acknowledge that the Calvinism/free will debate is basically unwinnable by either side. Both sides have a good amount of scriptural evidence at their disposal, but no matter where one stands on the Calvin/Wesley divide it is impossible to in good conscience be dogmatic because scripture texts reasonably interpreted to support the other side do in fact exist and cannot be ignored. That being said, there is clearly, undeniably MORE EVIDENCE on the Calvinist side than on the free will side. Being faced with that reality, the “Calvinism hinders evangelism” charge is used to tip the scales. The person thinks “well, there is a lot in the Bible that supports Calvinism, but I don’t want to stand against winning the lost!” and makes what appears to be the safe, moral God honoring position out of a love for God’s lost sheep.

While that is admirable on the surface, allow me to point out two things. First, the charge is not that Calvinism STOPS evangelism, only that Calvinism HINDERS it. In addition to my modifier above, that Calvinism hinders GOD-DISHONORING evangelism, realize even apart from that context that there is a huge difference between HINDERING something and STOPPING IT ALTOGETHER. If it could be said that Calvinism STOPS evangelism, then again that would put Calvinism against God and His Commandments by causing its adherents to reject the Great Commission. As stated earlier, that only applies to so-called Christians in BOTH Calvinist AND free will traditions, who disobey God in that area. But hindering evangelism only means making it go slower, and perhaps less than certain people want it to or think that it should. And I have already mentioned that the presumption of perpetual church growth is a bad one. So then, why is it such a strong, effective charge?

The reason is that a lot of people have a distorted view of evangelism and its importance in Christian life. Some of this is due to emotionalism, but some of it is also due to the evangelistic fervor injected into Christianity first by Wesleyanism and then by premillennial dispensational fundamentalism. And they are actually somewhat related. Wesley, coming from the Church of England as he was, adhered to an amillennial background. Hence, it is not by accident that the liberal social gospel doctrines originated with Wesleyan Methodism. Wesley believed that by winning as many converts as quickly as possible, the church could first renew and transform society and then pave the way for and speed the return of Jesus Christ. The difference between Wesleyanism and the social gospel is that liberal theologians simply allegorize (deny) the literal return of Jesus Christ, claiming that the return of Jesus Christ and New Jerusalem are only metaphors for an ideal society where things such as poverty, hunger, disease and war have practically been eliminated thanks to the good works of Christians. (Again, Hillary Clinton adheres to this system, which is itself a forerunner to the even more secular and radical liberation theology.) Premillennial dispensational Christians for their part are driven to prioritize evangelism because of the beliefs that A) getting the gospel to every nation will speed the rapture and return of Jesus Christ and B) a desire to reduce the number of people who never hear the gospel and hence enter into eternity without ever being afforded the privilege of being able to make a free will decision for Jesus Christ.

Allow me to state that having an unbalanced view of any area of Christian life is harmful and can lead to error. For instance, emphasizing sanctification too much leads to legalism. Emphasizing ethics and good works too much leads to the social gospel. Emphasizing prophecy and eschatology too much harms our ability to live in the here and now. Emphasizing grace and eternal security too much leads to antinomianism. And even fundamentalists have questioned if their emphasis on evangelism has come at the expense of discipleship. Thus, if Calvinism’s hindering of evangelism means not making evangelism the head of Christian practice and the primary goal and reason for existence for every church, then again Calvinism is a good thing. If you have the idea that Christians must primarily be concerned about saving other people from the lake of fire because going to the lake of fire is such a terrible and horrible thing for people, then that is man-centered theology and practice rearing its ugly head again. But if you have the idea that Christians must be concerned about evangelism because it is one of the many things that Christians must do to serve, obey and glorify God, then evangelism can take a balanced, proper role in the life of every Christian assembly and individual believer.

Allow me to provide a metaphor, example, allegory, illustration or whatever: people who work in engineering or technology. Most such people want to do so because of their passion and aptitude for inventing and creating. So, they go about acquiring the education and training required to enter such fields and then obtain employment expecting to spend their days building better mousetraps. However, upon obtaining employment, they find that most of their time is dedicated to reading reports, writing documentation, giving presentations, meeting with clients, fixing things that break, and making slight improvements to things that already work. Opportunities to work on or create something that is wholly new are few and far between, and even when they come, it is usually not something spectacular like inventing the light bulb, airplane or telephone like Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers or Alexander Graham Bell (who themselves, incidentally needed to build upon other discoveries to make those) but rather something that appears to be mundane that anyone could have done. What adds to the frustration of the erstwhile Eli Whitneys and George Washington Carvers is that there are plenty of people who are actually terrible at engineering, science and technology but great at “the other stuff” who have no problem not only retaining employment, but getting high salaries and promotions. Meanwhile, people with great skills and ideas who lack the ability or desire to excel at analyzing reports or giving presentations find their careers stymied, even ended. However, over time, these people realize that meeting with clients (who have a real business need) and giving them mundane products (which meets their need and is all that they can afford) is what keeps the business going. If you keep the business going long enough and do a good job on the routine tasks, then eventually you will get the opportunity to work on something new and exciting! But if you despise the routine tasks, you get fired and as a result never get to work on what is near and dear to your heart. Instead, that opportunity goes to the lesser talented person who did the mundane stuff the best that he could because he appreciated his job and his opportunity. And if EVERYONE despises the routine tasks, then the company goes broke, everyone loses their job and NO ONE gets a chance to work in something exciting or special. Also, it is by working hard, reading reports, meeting clients, giving presentations etc. that you LEARN how to make something NEW that people actually WANT, NEED and CAN USE. There have been lots of fascinating inventions created by people who had great technical skills but no knowledge of people or markets, and such inventions usually wind up being things that no one needs, wants, knows how to use or care to learn. The reason is that the inventors were more motivated in satisfying their own desire to invent than they were to invent something that people want and need.

This example can apply to Christian life. Effective, God-honoring evangelism can only be consistently done – whether individually or corporately – by people who live and honor the whole counsel of God, by people who know all the things that Jesus Christ did and taught as it is recorded in the Bible. Basically, effective, God-honoring evangelism is best done by people who do everything else that God tells them to do also, because it is those people who know what God wants in an evangelist. What is it that God wants in an evangelist? Simply, someone who is aware of his own worthlessness, his own uselessness, his own limitations and therefore relies totally on God. It is the evangelists who prioritize evangelism above all else and declare themselves to be “great soul-winners” that ultimately wind up building human monuments and institutions to their own greatness. Well, those people have their rewards on earth, and what they build and create won’t last the test of time, because they are like the self-absorbed inventors who create things that have no practical use described earlier. Or, such people will be frustrated with not getting the opportunity to do what they want to do, what matters to them, and what in their opinion fits their great skills and talents and leave. But the people who recognize that they aren’t really that smart or brilliant, and the people who LIKE doing the difficult unglamorous things because they are glad simply to have a place in God’s kingdom and dwell in God’s presence are the ones that God will raise up to do His Will, whether it is evangelism or other tasks to His glory.

And as far as the “mundane things”? Well most evangelism simply is – or seems to be – mundane. Now we all may admire the great revivals and missions started by Wesley, Carey, Edwards etc. However, those events – great moves of God – are not routine but rare and spectacular that few people will ever even take part in, let alone lead. So, instead of the spectacular – and while we are waiting on the spectacular – then things like leading our children to Christ, leading our friends and neighbors to Christ, leading our relatives to Christ should not be despised. And yet, many of the very free will Christians who accuse Calvinists of hindering evangelism aren’t even doing that. Ironic, isn’t it?

Not really. The reason is that there are two principles involved that often get overlooked. The first is that God is sovereign. God controls not only who gets saved, but when. Consider Philip the Evangelist and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts. The narrative makes clear that the Holy Spirit had both Philip and the eunuch in the right place at the right time, and also had the hearts and minds of both prepared: Philip to give the gospel and the eunuch to receive it. Philip was among those driven from Jerusalem by persecution, and the eunuch was in the area to fulfill religious obligations, attempting to understand the meaning of a passage from Isaiah. Without God, it wouldn’t have happened. Without God, it couldn’t have happened.

And the persecution that caused Philip to meet the Ethiopian eunuch? It was caused by Paul, the same who was saved by God as he was heading to Damascus. God chose the time and place, not Paul.

Another thing: the Bible makes it clear that before God entrusts us with great things and many things, we must prove faithful in fewer, smaller things. So, how are we going to succeed in big evangelistic efforts like the Southern Baptist Convention’s Great Commission Resurgence if we are not doing door to door evangelism? And how can we do door to door evangelism of strangers if we aren’t telling our friends and neighbors about Jesus Christ? And how can we tell our friends and neighbors about Jesus Christ if we are not living balanced, obedient Christian lives that results from good discipleship and leads to spiritual maturity? If these were not the case, then it would turn the parable of the talents on its head. Again, consider Paul. He did not begin his missionary travels until YEARS after his conversion, and even then he was initially an UNDERSTUDY of Barnabas, who had been in the faith longer.

So, it is not Calvinism, dear Christian, that hinders evangelism. If anything hinders evangelism within a Christian, it is spiritual immaturity that results from either a lack of right belief (orthodoxy), or a failure to translate right belief into right practice (orthopraxy) and to do so consistently in all areas of Christian living, not just those which appeal to us and earn us the praise of men. Now if our free will/Arminian brothers and sisters in the faith wish to make the case that Calvinism causes spiritual immaturity, then go ahead, I am all ears. Otherwise, their false charge against Calvinism is based on false assumptions (i.e. that churches should always grow, instead of the historically proven fact that churches and movements spread, wax and wane) and presuppositions (that evangelism should be man-focused like consumer marketing instead of God-centered like true worship) and should be rejected as spurious.

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An Important Distinction Between Israel And The Church

Posted by Job on July 18, 2010

God created Israel separate from the nations with the duty to be a light to the other nations. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit led Israel and were present with Israel, but did not indwell national Israel. Thus, Israel failed. Not only did they not become a light to the other nations, but fell into an apostate state whose abominations and wickedness actually EXCEEDED the evils of the other nations. Thus, only a righteous remnant preserved by God remained.

By contrast, when God created the church, it was not as a set apart nation to be a light to the other nations. Instead, God created the church as a people called out from ALL nations, Israel included, to be a light to the world. Where Israel was God’s national project with global implications, the church is God’s global project with eternal ramifications. And unlike national Israel, the church did not and will not fail. Unlike national Israel, the church was bought and created with God’s own divine Blood, that being sinless Jesus Christ shed on the cross. And unlike national Israel, the church is Jesus Christ’s Body with Jesus Christ Himself as the Head, and the Holy Spirit is not only present with the church, but indwells the church.

So where the failure of Israel was a failure of man – the human leaders and followers of national Israel – the church cannot and will not fail because God Himself indwells it. The old covenant was temporal, conditional and limited to one people (Israel) in one time (prior to that of Jesus Christ) and one place (the land of Canaan). The new covenant is unconditional (cannot be broken), eternal (will last forever) and universal (given to those coming from all nations, tribes and tongues).

Thus, contra covenant theology, Israel was not the church of the Old Testament. Instead, national Israel was a type, seed or foreshadowing of what was to be fulfilled by the church, New Testament spiritual Israel that both includes those natural descendants of Israel who are elect and thus believe, but it also transcends them. Calling Israel the church of the Old Testament distorts the purpose and method of its creation, and it also rejects the fact that the presence of God (the Holy Spirit) was in the tabernacle/temple behind the veil and not indwelling Israel in a corporate sense as it does the church in a corporate sense. At best, the Holy Spirit may have indwelled individual Old Testament saints such as the prophets and King David, and even in that sense the Old Testament saints were not limited to national Israel (consider Jethro/Reuel, Melchizedek, Seth, Abel, Noah, Job, the Queen of Sheba, Nebuchadnezzar etc.)

And also against dispensationalism, the church age is not a parenthetical period between two Israel ages (the Old Testament and the Jewish millennium), with memorial animal sacrifices in a third temple to Jesus Christ to occur in the second Jewish age, and Israel again taking her place as a light to the nations during the millennium. Instead, the purpose of Israel’s lesser light (and in creation, the lesser light rules THE NIGHT, which according to the parables of Jesus Christ is the time of sorrow because the bridegroom is not present) was to point to Jesus Christ, who is the true light to the nations, including Israel, and is the greater light which rules THE DAY. So, what of the Old Testament prophecies of the nations’ bringing gifts to Zion and serving Zion that were to be fulfilled in the millennium, the alleged “unfulfilled promises to Israel that have to be fulfilled in the millennium”? Read “servant songs” of Isaiah. Jesus Christ is the Son of Israel, who took upon Himself the role that Israel rejected, succeeded where Israel failed, obeyed and fulfilled the law of Moses that Israel broke (and dispensationalists claim that Israel should have never accepted to begin with when the truth is that Israel had no free will in the matter to accept or reject; they had no choice for they were chosen unconditionally by God and could not resist or reject His will) and thereby became Israel or Zion within Himself.

Jesus Christ is able to fulfill the prophecies given to both national Israel because He IS both national and spiritual Israel. Jesus Christ is national Israel because He was born a Jew to Mary and Joseph as a natural son of David of the tribe of Judah, and spiritual Israel because one is part of spiritual Israel only through faith in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is the object, author and finisher of that same faith. So, the “Zion songs” that speak of a restored Israel receiving the worship and gifts of the nations and ruling the nations are actually fulfilled in Jesus Christ who – as Israel’s personification, representative and fulfillment – rules the nations with a rod of iron and receives the worship and praise of all who have faith in, abide in and obediently serve Him in heaven and on earth while ruling the nations with a rod of iron.

Suggesting that national Israel will rule and receive gifts in the place of the only One who is worthy of such rule and praise is to take the position that Jesus Christ was never incarnated, crucified and resurrected. Incidentally, the amillennial beliefs held by many covenant theologians and is being adopted by dominionists, which holds that the church is to subdue and rule the earth just as Israel was to do with Canaan (and in the case of the dominionists, as Adam was subdue and rule the earth), possesses a similar error, giving to man and his institutions the rule – and praise – that belongs only to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ will not rule the earth through the church, but instead will rule the earth including the church. And there will be no memorial sacrifices to Jesus Christ, for why do things in memory (as is done to those who are dead and sleep) to that who is alive and present forevermore? Instead of memorial animal sacrifices in a temple, Jesus Christ will receive active worship and praise in spirit and in truth from the hearts of those who believe, those whom the Holy Spirit indwells!

Therefore, knowing the difference between the church and Israel is vital to understanding the past, future and the present for the Christian. By contrast, failing to know these differences leaves one vulnerable to error and deception. So, do not be destroyed for the lack of knowledge! Instead, study to show yourselves approved!

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Back to Rome in 40 Days: How Catholic Mysticism Is Infiltrating Evangelical Churches

Posted by Job on July 17, 2010

Taken from Discerning The World.

Former Roman catholic priest Richard Bennett from www.bereanbeacon.org and author James Sundquist speak about Mysticism and how it’s infiltrated and overtaken the church.

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Kirk Cameron: how to build church with false converts

Posted by Job on July 11, 2010

Wholesale lifted from Gay Christian Movement Watch.

Satire at its best. Gotta love Kirk Cameron for bringing that truth with humor.

Too many of today’s pastors are being pressured (by the god of false success) to build churches with false converts. Such churches look great on the outside and appeal to “lights, action and camera” folks but there must be concern that souls are truly converted to Christ, not just become church members.

The Lawman Chronicles blog lists 10 marks of a false convert (feel free to add on):

1. You believe that you are inherently a good person, thus denying the doctrine of Original Sin.

2. You commit idolatry of the mind and blaspheme the very character of God by denying essential doctrines such as judgment, hell, regeneration, and justification by faith alone; and you replace the truth with lies such as sinless perfection and open theism.

3. You think that only the red-lettered words in your Bible are the words of Jesus and, therefore, the rest of the Bible can be interpreted and applied to your liking.

4. You believe that a person can be a Christian while wantonly engaging in habitual sin; such as homosexuality, fornication, adultery in mind or body, the support in any way whatsoever of the murder of the unborn, or any other sin.

5. You believe that because a person has prayed a prayer and asked Jesus into their heart, then they are saved.

6. You believe a person can be a Christian, even if they bear no fruit after making a profession of faith in Christ. You treat the grace of God as a license to sin. You like the word “backslider.”

7. You struggle with the thought of missing a meal; but going days, weeks, even months without reading your Bible doesn’t faze you.

8. You pray when you want something from God; but beyond that you have very little time for conversation with Him.

9. You believe that Darwinian, macro-evolution is a scientific fact and compatible with belief in the God of the Bible.

10. You see evangelism as a gift other people have; and you have no real concern about the fact that 150,000 people die every day, with the vast majority of them bound for hell. You soothe your conscience by convincing yourself that “friendship evangelism,” as it is most commonly practiced among American Christians, is actually in the Bible. You think that if you “let your little light shine,” you don’t have to verbally proclaim the gospel

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Sin: Our Role And God’s

Posted by Job on July 7, 2010

I don’t have some elegant comprehensive fully formed doctrine on God’s preserving grace versus man’s responsibility. I just know that when we don’t sin then God deserves the credit and when we do sin we deserve the blame. Therefore, we cannot become prideful when we evade sin or even do good works of righteousness, because we are only capable of doing such things by God’s grace and power. However, when we do sin, we cannot blame God, for God is not responsible for sin. He did not create sin or evil. He does not even tempt men to do sin or evil. So, all of our evil deeds are our own responsibility, and we are without excuse. So, we cannot ignore our sins or transfer blame or think that our righteous deeds can outweigh or overcome our evil deeds in some scale or balance. If this were the case, we could boast of our own righteousness, earn our own salvation, and we would be glorified, not God. Therefore the person must mourn over and regret his sin and place all trust in the fact that Jesus Christ died for his sins and was resurrected for his justification. That’s what the Bible says, and that is good enough for me.

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Kenya: Bishop Joseph Segel of the Redeemed Church, Ongata Rongai Shot Dead in Night Raid at Church

Posted by Job on July 6, 2010

http://wwrn.org/articles/33785/?place=kenya

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Revelation 12 In Brief: My Proposed Interpretation And Commentary

Posted by Job on July 4, 2010

Upon reading chapter 12 of the Gospel of John, I encountered John 12:31, which reads “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” As “the prince of this world” is a reference to Satan, immediately, I had the notion to cross reference that text in Revelation because it sounded familiar. Thinking that I may have found scriptural support for amillennialism in the words of Jesus Christ, I checked Revelation 20:1-3, which speaks of Satan being bound for 1000 years. However, the two passages did not appear to have anything to do with each other. Then I recalled that the reference to Satan being thrust from heaven was in the “there was a war in heaven” passage, which is contained within Revelation 12.

1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried , travailing in birth , and pained to be delivered.

The identity of this woman has been a subject of some debate. Roman Catholics assert that this is “Mary, queen of heaven.” Some assert that the woman is the church. However, this woman obviously represents national or Old Testament Israel. The 12 stars are the twelve tribes of Israel. Please recall that in Joseph’s dream of Genesis 37:9, his brothers were represented by stars. And the child that Israel was carrying was Jesus Christ. God’s purpose was to create Israel as an elect people, give Israel the law, and have Jesus Christ born to Israel as a human and member of their nation and people under the law so that Jesus Christ would fulfill the law perfectly and then surrender His life as payment for the sins of others. And Israel suffered many things (i.e. bondage in Egypt, destruction and captivity by Babylon, brutal subjugation by the Greeks) before Jesus Christ was born to the Jew Miriam (Mary).

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

The dragon is Satan. The significance of the 7 heads, 7 crowns and 10 horns I do not know at this time. It is interesting that Revelation 13:1, which some manuscripts assert as being the final verse of Revelation 12, describes the beast as having 7 heads, 7 crowns and 10 horns. However, Revelation 13 identifies the beast (popularly referred to as the anti-Christ) and the dragon (Satan) separately. The reference to the 1/3 of the stars of heaven that were thrown to the earth is that to the angels who were not elect (see 1 Timothy 5:21) and therefore joined Satan in His rebellion against God, becoming demons or evil spirits.

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

This man child is obviously Jesus Christ. The references to Satan’s attempting to devour the man child can refer to the various attempts of Satan to tempt, kill or otherwise thwart Jesus Christ, with an example being Herod’s genocide after the visit from the wise men. It can also refer to Satan’s many attempts to destroy national Israel – either by killing them or seducing them into idolatry – prior to Jesus Christ’s advent. The child’s being caught up to God’s throne refers to Jesus Christ’s ascension to heaven after His passion and resurrection.

6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

This is a reference to the dispersion of national Israel and the end of the Jewish age after the destruction of the temple and nation by the Roman Empire in 70 AD. The times of the Gentiles, or the last days, began. The phrase “where she hath a place prepared of God” seems to refer to national Israel still being under God’s protection though the eyes of the Jews are blinded during the church age. This confirms Romans 11. As far as the time period of 3.5 years, to me that remains a mystery.

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 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. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down , which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

This would be the portion that correlates with John 12:31. “That old serpent” is better rendered “that serpent of old”, which identifies the Satan that deceived the whole world as being the same that deceived Eve and successfully caused the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden. Not only was the entire world deceived and sent into a fallen state of original sin as a result of Satan’s dealings with Adam, but Satan has been deceiving the world – those not reconciled to God – ever since. Also, we know from the book of Job that Satan had access to heaven and accused the righteous of sin before God. After Jesus Christ atoned for sin with His death and obtained justification for believers at His resurrection, Satan’s access to heaven and his accusations against believers could no longer continue. Because of the work and victory of Jesus Christ through His death on the cross and His being resurrected from the dead, Satan was defeated. Glory be to Jesus Christ, who reigns and is blessed forever!

12 Therefore rejoice , ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time , and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

After being cast from heaven, this Satan who in his madness thought that he could somehow exalt himself over the One who created him and sustains his existence was forced to give up any delusions that he might have harbored concerning his battle with God. Knowing his fate – and that time is rapidly ticking towards it – Satan turns his full malicious destructive intentions to humans living on the earth, and especially national (or ethnic) Israel, who despite her current apostasy is still God’s chosen and beloved, and was used by God in the incarnation of the Jesus Christ who defeated Satan through His death and resurrection. From this, one may conjecture that the many calamities that have befallen Israel since her dispersion (including but not limited to the Holocaust) is not – or is not solely – due to her rejection of Jesus Christ; that it is the result of some national sin or curse that Israel bears. Indeed, Jesus Christ prayed and interceded for the forgiveness of Israel as He died on the cross (Luke 23:34). Instead, Israel’s misfortunes are the result of Satan’s concentrated and determined efforts against her. (Please note that while Satan has taken special efforts of cruel malice against Israel, he has not neglected his steal, kill and destroy mission against everyone else either.) Yet despite Satan’s best efforts, Israel endures as a people because of God’s protection. This protection – as well as the 3.5 year time period – is a repeat of what was given in verse 6. God is a faithful God. Though national Israel suffers many things, God has not cast her aside, and one day Israel will be saved.

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

This could be a reference to the nations and peoples of the earth whom God has raised up and used to protect and defend ethnic Israel. From the nations that accepted Jews when they were expelled from Spain to the people who shielded Jews from Hitler’s holocaust, God has used various people and nations to preserve a remnant of the natural descendants of Abraham.

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Now the woman is national Israel. (By this I mean ethnic Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham, not the current nation of Israel, or necessarily the nation of Israel in the Old Testament.) Descendants of Abraham who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ excepted, national Israel does not keep the commandments of God or have the testimony of Jesus Christ. So, the “remnants of Israel’s seed” referred to in verse 17 is the church, spiritual Israel, the true descendants of Abraham because of the faith of Abraham. Abraham had faith in the revelation of Jesus Christ just as does the church. It is the church that is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and is carrying out the mission of God. And just as Satan is at war with national/ethnic Israel, he is at war with spiritual Israel, the church. Note that this passage does not refer to the church having the protection of God during this time, only the woman (Israel). In this, we are reminded that the servant is not greater than his Master, therefore the church must suffer many things just as Jesus Christ did.

This interpretation would appear to be at odds with some points of both dispensationalism and covenant theology. Regarding covenant theology, a clear distinction between Israel and the church is made and maintained, and Israel is still under God’s protection, in blindness until the day that it joins the church (though the church was grafted in) in salvation through Jesus Christ. So, the attempts by John Calvin and others to assert that “all Israel will be saved” and other points in Romans 11 actually refers to the church cannot be supported in Revelation 12. As far as dispensationalism goes in general and the rapture doctrine specifically, you have often heard the allegation that no reference to the church appears in Revelation after chapter 3. Not only does Revelation 7:9-17 refer to martyred Christians “who have come out of great tribulation” (and hence the 144,000 also refers to the church), but Revelation 12:17 can only refer to the church, and Satan’s wrath against it.

And as noted earlier, the reference to Satan’s wrath against the church in Revelation 12:17 leads directly to the passages concerning the beast, popularly referred to as the anti-Christ, in Revelation 13. The agent of Satan’s wrath against the church mentioned in Revelation 12:17 will be this beast, and it will be given to this beast to make war against the saints and overcome them (Revelation 13:7). And recall what was stated earlier: Revelation 12 does not mention the church as having the same protection as does national Israel. So, do not be deceived into thinking that these saints will be Jews, or people somehow converted during the great tribulation. (How can these conversions be possible if – according to dispensational doctrines – the indwelling Holy Spirit is gone?)

So during the end of the last days, the great tribulation, both Israel and the church will be present and figure prominently in it. The church during this time will glorify God through its suffering after the manner of Jesus Christ. Israel will glorify God through her continuing to exist despite all efforts to destroy her and the ultimate joining of national Israel with spiritual Israel in salvation through Jesus Christ.

Posted in Bible, Christianity, endtimes, eschatology, great tribulation, harpagesometha, prophecy, rapio, rapture, replacement theology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Coming Out Of The Derek Prince And Frank Hammond Doctrines

Posted by Job on July 3, 2010

When this site was first established, it was a spiritual warfare and deliverance site dedicated to promoting, defending and practicing the doctrines of such teachers and ministers as Frank Hammond (Pigs In The Parlor), Derek Prince and Elaine Brown (He Came To Set The Captives Free). While spiritual warfare and deliverance are certainly real according to the plain clear reading of the Bible, I have since come to realize that the doctrines and practices of those teachers and of the many who follow in their general arena are unsupported by scripture and should not be believed, adhered to or practiced.

I apologize for anyone that I have led astray through my reproduction and advocacy of these and related teachings. I must now go about the process of removing those false teachings and doctrines that I advocated from this site. I generally not delete the posts, but instead replace their content with something more in the line of scripture. I would appreciate it if the readers of this site were to bring the posts that contain these doctrines to my attention in the comments below so that I may deal with them. Thank you.

Posted in Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching | Tagged: , | 28 Comments »

Prayer: The Most Effective Spiritual Warfare And Deliverance Weapon And Tactic

Posted by Job on July 3, 2010

And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a [certain] man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:14-21

Much has been written in the area of spiritual warfare and deliverance. Some of it is based on scripture, some on experience, some on things taught and handed down, some on what purports to be revelation, some on conjecture, and usually the final product is some combination of these things. I do not deny that these techniques cannot yield results, because that would be denying what I have seen with my own eyes and borne witness to with my own testimony. However, “whatever works” cannot be the basis of sound Christian belief and practice. A good reason for this is simple: “results may vary!” In the scientific community, one of the major tests used to establish and verify a theory using experiments or observation is repeatable results. Since the results of the various spiritual warfare techniques, strategies and methods do in fact vary – a fact that the teachers and proponents of these methods freely admit – we cannot rely on unreliable experientialism for our Christian doctrine and practice. Instead, we must rely on the Bible. The Bible is God’s unique, Holy Spirit inspired revelation that is inerrant, infallible and the final authority in all things. So, even though the varying results is enough to justify being suspect of a lot of the spiritual warfare and deliverance teachings, the truth is that the doctrine of scripture means that Christians should not rely on practices and beliefs not supported in scripture even if they did work every time. So even if it does work, then what profit is it if the “work” is not of God and does not glorify God? The purpose of Christian living is to serve and glorify God, not to do the things that we want to do and believe that should be done ourselves. As the Bible is the final authority and is 100% infallible, then the Bible gives us perfect instructions on how to live to serve and glorify God in all areas. The Bible is what teaches us, and the Bible is what we must use to teach others.

So, based on the revelation of Jesus Christ as given to us in the Bible – and the purpose of the entirety of scripture is to reveal Jesus Christ – the best, surest way and the starting point for all spiritual warfare and deliverance is prayer. Prayer is the first and best weapon against the evil one and his forces. Consider, for instance, the Lord’s prayer.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13 and also Luke 11:2-4

How many of you knew that this was a spiritual warfare and deliverance prayer? It is. For one thing, it deals with forgiveness of sin, as it asks that our own sins be forgiven by God AND that we forgive the sins of others. Failure to forgive the sins of others, especially against us, leads to anger and resentment that Ephesians 4:26-27 tells us “gives a place to the devil.” For another, it asks that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and it is certainly God’s will for evil spirits and their influence to be bound, hindered, cast out and defeated (Matthew 12:28, Luke 11:20). But there is also a more direct reference. “Deliver us from evil” in the Lord’s prayer not only means “keep us from sin” (with all the spiritual warfare things that go along with sinning) but many expert theologians and Bible scholars follow Martin Luther in asserting that “deliver us from evil” should read “deliver us from the evil one”, which is Satan.

Now Martin Luther was not one to deny that Christians in our time need to directly confront unclean spirits. Quite the contrary, Luther claimed to have seen Satan and thrown a bottle of ink at him! (Small wonder that a current popular trend – or evil spirit – of deception moving through modern Christianity is to attack Martin Luther and claim that the Reformation, the exodus from the darkness of Roman Catholicism, was a mistake!) So, the Lord’s Prayer is quite literally and unquestionably a direct, powerful spiritual warfare and deliverance prayer. It petitions that God would overcome the presence and effects of sin and evil spirits in our lives. It even addresses the area most often neglected by spiritual warfare teachers, which is the flesh or the old man which still exerts a negative influence on born again Christians as described in Romans 5-7 when asking God to help us to forgive others, and in particular not to view the transgressions of others against us personally more prominently than we view our own transgressions against God. What stronger impulses of the flesh are there than hypocrisy and self-centeredness? And this prayer also explicitly directly asks for protection from all evil spirits through a reference to their leader, Satan. And as Jesus Christ explained in Matthew 12:24-30, being protected from Satan means being protected from all evil spirits.

However, the importance and primacy of prayer in spiritual warfare is often overlooked. Instead, the commonly advised and emulated strategy is to imitate the actions of Jesus Christ and His apostles during their spectacular encounters with evil spirits, and also to mix in things learned from other teachings and our own experiences. In doing so, we ignore that the most repeated and striking thing concerning the ministry of Jesus Christ was His prayer life. His ministry began with 40 days of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, and the gospels make it clear that seeking the will of God the Father in prayer was far more prominent in the ministry of Jesus Christ than all the sermons, exorcisms and miracles put together. To put it better, Jesus Christ came not so much to preach and perform miracles and exorcisms as He did to do the will of God the Father, and so Jesus Christ only preached, performed miracles and did exorcisms when it was the will of God the Father that He do so. When it was not the will of God the Father for Him to do so, Jesus Christ did no sermons, miracles or exorcisms, because even being God in the flesh with power and being deserving of praise and glory Himself, had Jesus Christ done those things of His own accord or on His own initiative, God the Father would not have been glorified, and Jesus Christ would have thereby sinned. (Of course, we know that Jesus Christ, being God, cannot sin.) And this was how Satan tempted Jesus Christ during His time of fast … by attempting to get Jesus Christ to take an action apart from the will and direction of God. It was the same temptation that Satan gave to Adam. Where Adam failed, Jesus Christ succeeded. And Christians are to follow Jesus Christ’s success and not Adam’s failure. Follow Adam, and man is glorified. Follow Jesus Christ and God is glorified. To God alone be the glory!

That is why spiritual warfare and deliverance must begin with and be dominated by prayer. We cannot take initiative or authority upon ourselves. We cannot presume to know, for instance, if the issue that we are addressing is motivated by evil spirits in the first place. We also cannot presume the manner and time in which God desires the evil spirit to be cast out. Further, we cannot even presume that God wants the evil spirit to be driven off in the first place! A powerful example of this is the thorn in the flesh described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: 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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Now there has been a lot of needless conjecture as to what exactly the “thorn in the flesh” was, but this is only because people have such difficulty believing what the text plainly says, often for doctrinal reasons. But it is clear: “the messenger of Satan” is clearly in the Greek “the angel of Satan”, and we all know that angels of Satan are evil, unclean spirits, or demons. Now for some people, the idea that a born again Christian, an apostle no less, would be tormented by a demon is doctrinally troublesome. For others, the wording of the passage makes it appear as “there was given to me” means that God gave the demon to Paul, which would seem to charge God with being responsible for temptation or evil where scripture tells us that God cannot be the author of evil. However, this stunning passage does recall how God allowed and used Satan in His dealings with Job in the Old Testament. Just as God allowed Satan to attack Job in the Old Testament for purposes that glorified God and ultimately were a blessing to Job, God allowed one of Satan’s demons to do the same regarding the apostle of Jesus Christ Paul. So then, it would not have been to the will of God or glory of God to drive this evil spirit from oppressing or tormenting Paul. Please recall: the evil spirit could not possess Paul because Christians are possessed and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. So, the demon could only afflict Paul.

And please note that Paul first sought the Lord in prayer concerning the evil spirit. Scripture does not record failed attempts at spiritual warfare and deliverance by Paul concerning the demon, and we cannot presume that these failed attempts existed because the Bible does not record them. Instead, it records Paul’s asking God three times for permission to drive the demon away, and God denying this permission for His own sovereign, God-glorifying purposes which were in service to God’s plan to conform Paul into the image of Jesus Christ! So let us not be deceived. These are not matters to be trifled with. Christians in the spiritual warfare and deliverance ministries must not act according to presumption, self-will and self-initiative. Instead, we must be guided and directed by God’s Holy Spirit. Being Holy Spirit-led and Holy Spirit-filled requires much preparation in ways that include prayer, Bible study, fellowship and good works which are conducive to spiritual maturity in advance (Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting) and also seeking God’s will during the necessary time. Note that I did not say during the time of spiritual confrontation with the forces of evil, for God must permit and instruct us when and whether He wants us to participate in such spiritual confrontations to begin with. Again, it is God’s will that is being done, not ours. It is God that is being glorified, not us. And we are acting in accordance to God’s sovereign will and not our own desires or feelings. This is why we must rely on prayer. We must humble ourselves and submit ourselves to God’s design, God’s plan, and God’s actions through prayer. Otherwise, we take rash actions of self-interest and self-will as did King Saul, who failed to wait on the Lord and found his kingdom and life – and those of his sons – taken from him.

Returning to apostle Paul, spiritual warfare and deliverance ministers have centered on the Ephesians 6:10-17 as one of their favorites for study and practice.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Regrettably, one of the reasons for this is that this passage, when taken incautiously, can invite the flesh to imagine oneself in the manner of this strong, mighty righteous and powerful HUMAN warrior image against the forces of evil, an image that we have seen reinforced time and time again in secular Hollywood movies and TV shows. Incautious and out of contexts readings and applications of this passage may cause us to think that in the Name of Jesus Christ WE have the power, WE have the authority, WE have the dominion, WE can challenge and take over strongholds and defeat the enemy, and that in doing so God’s will shall be done and He shall be glorified. This is indeed the doctrines of many popular spiritual warfare and deliverance teachers. However, such self-seeking presumption is not coming in the Name of Jesus Christ at all, but instead coming in our own name. It is so tempting to reject the counsel of those who actually do come in the Name of Jesus Christ and instead come in their own names (see John 5:43), but reject it we must. For Jesus Christ said that all who call on His Name, even all who cast out devils and do great works using His Name are not truly His. People who use the Name of Jesus Christ in accordance with self-seeking are not Jesus Christ’s sheep, because though they call on the Name of God, like Adam they are following after their own hearts. Instead, Jesus Christ’s sheep will be people who are after God’s heart, so they will seek direction from God and patiently wait on God before they act. The identifying fruit of the spiritual warfare and deliverance minister who is God’s sheep is one who exhibits patience, humility and submission in seeking the will of God lest he sin and lead others into sin, and not one who rushes in according to his own human desires and limited knowledge and misuses and misappropriates the Name of Jesus Christ carelessly, recklessly, proudly and selfishly. Instead of seeking to take authority and power after the manner of human rulers, we should be seeking to submit ourselves to, rely upon and glorify God after the manner of God’s humble servants, including the one Jesus Christ who emptied Himself, came to earth as a man, suffered humiliation and rejection, and was slain for our sins in our place on the cross, and was raised for our justification. It is the manner of the humble Jesus Christ who was raised from the dead and is blessed forever that we should emulate and identify with, and not the manner of proud, presumptive, arrogant and self-willed humanity, or for that manner of the tempter and deceiver of humanity Satan, who in his presumption decided that he would be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:14). Make no mistake, but in doing anything, including spiritual warfare, without first making certain that we are doing God’s will and not man’s, we are emulating not Jesus Christ in His submission and sacrifice  to the glory of God, but Satan in his mad and failed attempt at being a usurper of God’s glory. From such, spiritual warfare and deliverance minister, turn away!

Instead, turn your attention to the oft-neglected end of the “put on the whole armor of God” passage, which is verse 18, which reads “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” It clearly shows that the primary and main ingredient to spiritual warfare, to putting on the whole armor of God for confrontations against the enemy, is “praying always in asking to the Holy Spirit.” We are to always pray so that we can ask of the Holy Spirit that indwells all Christians concerning the Will of God. Without receiving and submitting to the will of God in spiritual warfare (or anything else) we aren’t performing spiritual warfare at all, but instead proud, self-seeking and harmful bombast that resists the Holy Spirit, misuses the Name of Jesus Christ, dishonors His sacrifice on the cross and refuses to glorify God the Father.  Thus, so-called spiritual warfare that rejects prayer in supplication to the Holy Spirit before, during and after is nothing more than an abomination against the Holy Trinity in clear, explicit ways.

One should note that the primacy of prayer in spiritual warfare is given at the end of both Matthew 17:14-21 and of Ephesians 6:10-18. One also notes that no explicit references to prayer seem to be made in many of the New Testament exorcism narrative accounts and references. That is indeed curious, as one would think that in Matthew 17:14-21 and Ephesians 6:10-18 that the most important thing would come first as a lead instead of coming last, and also that there would be a stronger correlation depicted between prayer and spiritual warfare. This is still more evidence of how spiritual things often do not conform to our human expectations. It is a test of our faith, of our faithfulness, of our humility and submission to see if we will study the whole counsel of God as revealed in scripture. To see if we will seek God in spirit and in truth as He commanded us to so. To answer the door of our hearts when He stands and knocks so that He will come in, sup with us, and teach us the truth. Those of us truly interested in knowing and serving God will search, notice and find these things so that we can go about performing spiritual warfare and deliverance ministry – and please recall that ministry means service, and that it is service to God first and then to man – God’s way. Those who are not will cut corners, interpret passages out of context and selectively, and do whatever we can in order to claim to be serving God in God’s way when they will really be serving themselves in their own way.

So I ask and challenge you spiritual deliverance and warfare minister. In what way have you been serving in your ministry before now? And in what way will you serve in your ministry in the future?

Posted in Bible, Christianity, discernment, Jesus Christ, prayer, spiritual deliverance, spiritual deliverance techniques, spiritual warfare | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

 
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