Jesus Christ Is Lord

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

Posts Tagged ‘hurricane katrina’

Regarding Japan: Where Is God When Disaster Strikes?

Posted by Job on March 25, 2011

The recent disaster in Japan is provoking a lot of the usual questions when such calamities happen that revolve around the same general theme: what is the role of God in this? This theme can manifest in such questions as “Did God cause this to happen, and if so why?” “If God did not cause this to happen, why did not He prevent it? Is it because He could not, or did not choose to?” These questions and its answers are for the purpose of attempting to discern the nature of God and our response to Him based on it. Of course, the answers to such questions are contained in the only authoritative record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind, the canon of scripture, the Bible. Of course, if one rejects the Bible as the final source of truth and authority, or if one does not take the time to study and understand the Bible, or to seek out a qualified source who has (i.e. a pastor with a high view of scripture) then a variety of answers to these and other questions will abound, almost all of them having a varying degree of untruth or some other deficiency. Let us be faithful – and thankful – that the Bible does provide the answers. What follows is a Bible-based attempt to provide some of them.

1. God Can And Does Act According To Creation As He Pleases

This is the first and most important presupposition. Tragically, even among most Christians, including evangelical and other theologically conservative/traditional/orthodox Christians, this fact that is not only clearly, repeatedly set forth in the Bible but is also obvious due to logic and common sense is oft rejected. The issue is not that most people who acknowledge the existence of God in some sense deny His sovereignty. Instead, the real problem is that most people who claim to believe in the sovereignty of God really do not. As a result, they fail to accurately convey the meaning and implications of God’s total, utter sovereignty over creation to the larger culture.

Make no mistake: there is only one God. God has no equal and no rival. God fears no one, answers to no one, and judges no one. There  is no other entity – or group of entities – capable of judging God with unrighteousness. Even if they attempted, it would be utter madness of the highest degree, because there is no way to enforce the verdict. God not only created all things that exist, but all things that exist are sustained by God’s power! These facts give God not only the might but also the right to behave towards His creation however He chooses. Now God does choose to behave towards His creation in a fair, just and loving way. He does so in order to be consistent with His own nature. Indeed, God is incapable of acting any other way … He is incapable of acting in an unjust, cruel, irrational or arbitrary manner. But being the self-existing deity who solely created and solely owns all else that ever was, is or shall be, fairness, justice, love, order, rationality etc. are all defined by God Himself. There is a proverb popularized by William Shakespeare: “to thine own self be true.” Well, God is the only entity for whom this proverb can possibly apply, for everything else that exists has a Maker, Ruler and Judge. God is in debt to no one. He exists in fear of no one. God is only responsible for answering to Himself. Man’s only option is to accept this fact. The refusal or inability to do so can only at best be called a self-delusion of the highest order. One certainly has the prerogative to claim all he pleases that because he does not like the facts of life that he rejects either the existence of God or of a final judgment by God, but it is sheer madness for this person to actually believe that his mere opinion actually has some bearing – some influence – over whether there actually is a God, there will actually be a judgment day, and the Bible is actually true or not. Since we are but creatures, we have no more say in or power over these matters than we did in our own creation!

So even if God did strike Japan and cause all of the carnage, destruction and loss of life, it was well within His prerogative to do so, because God created Japan, God sustains Japan, God owns Japan, and therefore Japan and all the people therein are the exclusive domain of God to do with as He pleases whenever He pleases. Even according to human logic with the things that we “create” or “buy” (it is mine; I can do with it whatever I want!) this is truth, and our failure to acknowledge this is merely evidence of just how narcissistic we are. It is reminiscent of how Satan demanded that Jesus Christ, the very One who not only created Satan but sustains Satan’s existence, demanded that Jesus Christ bow down and worship HIM! Obviously, Satan was no threat to Jesus Christ in any way, because all Jesus Christ has to do to remove even a theoretical threat is to stop sustaining the existence of said threat!

Satan’s lack of reason and rationality due to the madness caused by his fallen condition caused him to be so presumptuous as to ask a thing of the one responsible for his own original and continued existence, and it is the same madness that causes humans to deny that God has no less than the same absolute dominion over us than we have over some plastic toy that we buy from a discount store. This exists only because we believe that our own relative worth in comparison to God’s worth is so much greater than the relative worth of that cheap plastic toy as compared to us. This is total folly and an utter offense, and is so because we both greatly diminish God’s importance while inflating our own. This is nothing but the sin of pride, the sin of vanity, the very same which caused Satan’s fall from his own exalted position to begin with.

2. There Are No Innocent People

You might make a mental assent to the first point and say “OK, God is great, but that does not make Him good, and as a moral agent I am well within my rights to dispute God’s goodness if He is responsible for the deaths of so many good and innocent people, including babies.” Now while from a cosmic level this argument is still useless (you can call God unjust all you want and you still can’t make Him listen), it must be acknowledged that this argument can be used to challenge the authority of the Bible. For instance, if the Bible declares God to be just, and it can be shown that God is not just, then rather than necessarily being an indictment on God, it is instead an indictment on the Bible that Christians claim is God’s authoritative and inerrant self-revelation to man. So, convicting God as unrighteous is more useful as an argument for, say, deism, than for actually putting God on trial.

The problem is that the Bible definitively removes this argument with its doctrines of original sin and federal headship. When Adam sinned, the effects were not limited to Adam himself. No, God made Adam the representative of the human race and the steward of creation. So, the result of Adam’s misdeed was the fall of the entire human race and all of creation. God did not create evil. When God finished creation, it was, according to the declaration of a just, holy and righteous God, “very good”, which means that there was no evil in it (for God cannot and will not declare anything that has evil present in it “very good”). When Adam sinned, not just Adam but all of creation was no longer “very good.” This means that all of creation was no longer acceptable in God’s sight. All of creation no longer met God’s standard, which is total holiness; complete sinlessness; absolute perfection; peerless harmony with God and His nature. “In Adam all die” indeed!

Now with creation no longer meeting God’s standard, God was well within His right to destroy it all. Not just destroy Adam. Not just destroy the human race. Not just destroy planet Earth. God had the perfect right and a very good reason and motivation to destroy the entire creation, because thanks to Adam, the entire creation was now sinful! Like a little drop of ink on a huge white piece of paper or cloth, that one little blot means that it is no longer totally, completely perfectly white anymore! Instead, it is only “mostly white”, and by God’s standard, “mostly white” isn’t good enough.

But God didn’t destroy creation. Why? Because He loves His creation. It is the work of His hands and it is precious to Him. So even though He had no obligation to and had every reason not to, God so loved His creation that He sent His only begotten Son to preserve some of it for eternity. (That is the true meaning of John 3:16). So, it is only by God’s grace, God’s love, that ANY of creation continued to exist for even an instant after Adam sinned. Because all of creation is sinful, all things and all people, God is not under obligation to save any thing or any one. Instead of charging God with cruelty, incompetence, aloofness or injustice for not intervening to save everyone, the opposite is true: it is only because of God’s grace and love that He saves anyone. All deserve God’s wrath; all deserve death and destruction. It is only because of God’s great love, because of God’s willingness to suffer the continued existence of a creation that is an abomination in His sight because of its fallen condition, that ANY person is able to experience the great privilege of living, existing, and getting to know the benefits of God’s love and grace even for a single second, because even that single second is more of God’s love and grace than any of us deserve. (For more on this topic, see How Can A Loving God Send People To Hell? Answering Requires Knowing What Love Is).

3. There Is No Evidence That God Causes Most Calamities

Now allow me to preface this with the caveat that the doctrine of providence means that God ultimately controls and is responsible for everything and uses all events to accomplish His purposes. This is indeed true, for denying it in any part results in establishing deism in an equal part. Still – and continuing to tread very carefully (and please realize that I am not a trained or professional theologian, so suffer my limitations) – please strongly consider the notion that God does not have to act to cause a calamity or a “bad thing” because they would happen anyway. Remember: creation in its original state was perfect, in complete harmony, so much so that the Bible even declared it self-sustaining after a manner of speaking (i.e. the plants and animals reproduced themselves). Adam’s fall introduced sin, or imperfection, which disrupted this disharmony. With Adam’s sin, death entered the world. So, because of Adam’s sin, things like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions (not to mention disease, wars and famines) are going to naturally happen simply due to the marred, flawed corrupted state of creation itself.

God does not have to act in order to cause a “bad thing” to happen, and it certainly does not have to be the result of a specific punishment for a specific sin. Quite the contrary, the bad things that happen are just the result of flawed machinery (with the flaw being due to sin) exhibiting its lack of perfection. It is analogous to how a poorly tuned automobile will still sputter, make bad noises and get poor fuel economy even if the driver commits no error in operating it.

Now it is true that the Bible does record various instances of God’s unleashing natural disasters and other widespread calamities to punish sin and wickedness. Examples include Sodom and Gomorrah, the flood of Noah, the woes against peoples and nations given by the Old Testament prophets, and the things spoken of in Revelation. They also include the famines, plagues, lost wars etc. experienced by Israel during her times of infidelity to her heavenly King. It is based on this that whenever there is a natural disaster, invariably certain Christians will suggest that it was a punishment meted out by God for wickedness, such as the infamous statements of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blaming abortion, homosexuality and other right wing culture war hot button issues for one calamity or another. Curious that these folks never seem to blame such things on injustice to the poor or minorities, a failure to take care of orphans and widows, corporate greed, or waging unjust wars despite God’s prophets in the Old Testament – and Jesus Christ in the New Testament! – also listing those as reasons for God’s judgments.

With the former, while these events certainly do seem to occur with some degree of frequency in the Bible, realize that they occurred over the course of thousands of years (yes, I am a young earth creationist) of Biblical history, and that their inclusion in the Biblical text is precisely because they were so rare. (It stretches credulity, for instance, to claim that the total destruction of the entire population of a large city in a natural disaster, as happened with Sodom and Gomorrah, is anything approaching a routine occurrence.) And in the case of Israel, please realize that they were a unique case: the nation created and called out by God among all the nations to serve His unique purposes. As part of Israel’s election, God gave them the Sinai covenant, which contained blessings if Israel was faithful and curses if they were not. When Israel failed to keep the covenant, then God did act to punish them for their sinfulness. But it is theologically wrong – and dangerous – to claim that God does the same with other nations with whom He did not establish a blessings and cursings covenant. Sadly, not a few religious leaders do exactly that because of either covenant theology, or even more cynically, religious right politics, which causes them to assert the existence of “Christian nations” that are products of God’s providence and therefore subject to God’s blessings if the populace is faithful to Him, and God’s curses if it is not. These claims simply cannot be supported by scripture and should be rejected, along with the notion that any contemporary nation, including America, is “a Christian nation created by God as part of His special plan.”

As for Revelation (and similar prophecies elsewhere such as the Olivet discourse) there is the belief that widespread disasters are increasing in frequency and severity because we are in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ. That is more legitimate theologically, but even there we have to be careful: people have used calamities and misfortunes in their time to claim that Jesus Christ’s return is nigh upon us for centuries. Also, while certain things – especially wars – have gotten particularly severe in the past 100 years, let us not forget that Black Death nearly wiped out Europe, and in the 6th and 7th centuries Islam nearly succeeded in conquering the known world.

Further, it may not even necessarily take specific judgments of God to result in the increasing frequency and severity of disasters, but instead it might simply be fallen creation exhibiting more and worse dysfunction as time goes on, similar to the problems that a house built on a warped, cracked foundation would have as the years go by. And for those with premillennial eschatology in particular, there is little evidence to support natural disasters oft or usually occurring as the result of specific judgments from God until the seven years of the great tribulation. Of course, those with different endtimes views, especially the historicist viewpoint that holds that the various judgments of Revelation have been occurring throughout the history of the church, see things differently.

Even so, it is far more likely that God has worked to graciously and mercifully prevent more natural disasters – and has limited the severity of and the loss of life from the disasters that do occur – than He has caused to happen because of judgments. So, just as it is with popular misconceptions of God’s sovereignty, a lot of the “God caused this to happen to punish those people for their sins!” talk is actually backwards. The Biblical evidence suggests that ever since the flood of Noah, God has sought to act mercifully and graciously to limit having to mete out such punishments. An example was the Tower of Babel, where God intervened to prevent mankind from accomplishing a great evil, which would have provoked God’s wrath in response.

Conclusion

Understanding great tragedies such as Japan and the even more devastating tsunami of 2004 (killing 230,000 people in 14 countries) requires beginning with an appropriate view of God, then a correct measure of man (and the rest of creation) in relationship to God, and next an attempt to grasp the true, severe, devastating cosmic consequences of the fall of Adam. Often, we only view Adam’s fall in soteriological terms: because of his actions men are doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire unless they are saved through Jesus Christ. While that is certainly true, it is unhelpful to limit Adam’s actions only to that sense, as if the eternal fate of humanity is all that truly matters. Such is man-centered thinking. Instead, we must realize that all of God’s creation is very special to and loved by Him, and that it was all of God’s creation that was made unacceptable to God as a result of Adam’s actions. As much as it pains us to see the death and misery due to these natural disasters, we must realize that it hurts God even more. Not only does God love each and every person that perished in that earthquake and tsunami, God also loves the planet itself that cracked and moaned that tragic day. (For example, imagine your own distress were a favorite and valuable piece of china passed down to you from a beloved family member were to badly chip or crack, and multiply that by a great many times.) This is why environmentalists who tell us to “love the earth” are so misguided … far better to love the God who loves the earth more than we ever could! God loves His creation, and it pains God to see the condition of disrepair that His beloved treasure that He created and sustains has come to because of Adam’s actions.

But there is good news: this marred, groaning crumbling creation will not exist forever. Quite the contrary: its time is limited. At the time appointed by God the Father, this current creation will pass away – be destroyed by fire – and replaced with a new creation, a new heaven and a new earth. A mere man will not be the head of the kosmos to come as Adam was of this kosmos! Instead, the head of the kosmos to come is Jesus Christ, who being God will not fall and plunge it into sin (ignore the doctrines of the heretic Origen who claims otherwise). Also, the people united with Jesus Christ? Well, they are the part of the prior kosmos that God will preserve for an eternity in the new kosmos, as a “keepsake” of the old kosmos. Why will God preserve some of the old kosmos when it is sinful and unacceptable? Because He so loved it! John 3:16! (Kosmos means “world”.) And by uniting the remnant of the former kosmos with Jesus Christ, the keepsake from the former kosmos will have its sinful status expunged, purged, extinguished, never to be remembered, spoken of or thought of before. So, God will have a reminder of His original work AND a new work that will be preserved forever by His Son: the best of both worlds! Does the God of the universe deserve anything less? Soli Deo Gloria!

But in order for this to be good news for you, you must be part of the kosmos that is united with Jesus Christ and thereby preserved. Otherwise, you will be in the portion of the marrred, unsuitable kosmos that will be rejected by the holy, perfect God and destroyed by fire … or more accurately the lake of fire. And against the doctrine of annihilationism, as time does not exist in eternity, the old creation’s being cast into the lake of fire will be just as eternal as the joy of the saints in heaven (cf Revelation 14:11). So in order to be the part of this world that is preserved forever instead of destroyed forever, you must obey Acts 2:38, which reads (in part) “Repent , and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” For more detail on how this is done, I urge you to immediately read and heed:

The Three Step Salvation Plan!

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On Needing That Anointing Christianity

Posted by Job on April 14, 2008

Three years ago, I was in dire straits. My family, my health (mental and physical) and my career were all very much at risk. Divorce and unemployment were tangible possibilities. My medication no longer controlled my asthma, but I had a strong emotional and physical dependency on it so I was consuming large quantities of it anyway. I was not addicted to the medication, but I was headed that way. But I WAS, however, addicted to pornography. Further, my kidneys were failing (drug overuse tends to cause that). And I was being continually tormented by terrifying dreams at night as well as fears and mental images during the day that I could not control. I was literally on the road to being one of the many poor homeless fellows with worsening mental and physical problems. And the worst part of it all was that I had no answers!

One of my coping mechanisms during this time: the music of one Anthony Williams Jr., also known as Tonex (among various other aliases). It was not so much that he was an extremely talented singer, musician, producer, and preacher, or that I personally identified with his lyrics and biography, though that was certainly true. It was that I was convinced that this fellow had a powerful anointing about him. I was certain that when I played his music, the power of the Holy Spirit was filling me and whatever space the music was playing in. Whenever the anger, rage, fear, hopelessness, depression, stress, etc. began to overcome me, I would pop in either “Out Tha Box” (disc 1 or 2) or “O2”. (Pronounced Toe – Nay was for “praise and worship time.”) I would contemplate the lyrics – although honestly not nearly so much as the music, ESPECIALLY the beats! – and pretty soon I would be speaking in tongues (then again maybe not), receiving all sorts of prophetic words from the Lord on how to take control of my situation (which were actually rather hit or miss) and pretty soon as a result of the powerful anointing felt recharged, renewed, rededicated pressed down shaken together running overflow ye are gods children of the most high. For a few hours, that is. But no matter, I had plenty of other similar CDs, as well as my array of pastors and teachers on TBN, the Word Network, and similar, to pick me up again. But Tonex’s music was “the heavy artillery” which I resorted to when things got really bad, in times of crisis and emergency. Why? Didn’t want to cheapen, degrade, or devalue “the anointing.” Let me just say that the Yolanda Adams intro of “Out Tha Box” where she introduces the fellow as “the most anointed man in this city, in this country, in this world!” did not offend me in the least. After all, it wasn’t THAT FAR OFF, so why quibble? And the fact that he had a woman whose lifestyle and career choices did not reflect Tonex’s holiness or hell doctrines to begin with? Hey, Tonex had a powerful anointing, so that didn’t matter.

And neither did the scandals, doctrinal errors, failed prophecies, etc. of any of the other people that I was following (or at least defending their works and their anointing): the Crouch family, TD Jakes (never a favorite of mine but I supported him because of so many of my fellow travelers did, so it was important to have UNITY), Paula White, Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar (who professes an anointing so great that regular folks are no allowed to touch him), Kenneth Copeland, Paul Morton, Juanita Bynum, Jesse DuPlantis (whose anointing stopped Hurricane Katrina from flooding his part of the city and redirected it to Paul Morton’s instead), Charles Capps (whose anointed reading of scripture revealed to him the fact that there were not one but TWO creations!), Shepherd’s Chapel, Pat Robertson (whose anointing predicted that such a hurricane would strike America because of abortion and gay rights), John Hagee (who predicted a war with Iran by 2007 with Jesus Christ coming back a few months after), Kenneth Hagin, Angie Ray, John Eckhardt, Keith Butler, Dr. Shine, Rod Parsley, Fred Price, Jamal Harrison – Bryant (I cheered the day that Harrison – Bryant announced that his Empowerment Temple was the first African Methodist Episcopal church to be prominently featured on TBN!) and so on. And other preachers that did not appear to me to have much anointing like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer I found encouraging and reassuring. So yes, I was exposed to constant anointings and reassurings during this troubled time.

Now the problems that I was going through were so severe that I missed quite a bit of work. Which was a good thing, because it gave me a chance to see two particularly anointed preachers around lunchtime on The Church Channel (although to tell you the truth I watched them plenty at work because I had downloaded the TBN viewer applet onto my desktop, and also watched them on The Word Network’s website, and there was also StreamingFaith.com!) Word of Faith preacher Andrew Wommack and Benny Hinn trainee Zachery Tims (the latter for entertainment, the former for doctrine). It so happened that on Wommack’s show, he made the case that what Jesus Christ did on the cross was finished and could not be added to by man. I did not believe it, because it contradicted my “faith plus works to justify you and maintain your salvation” holiness or hell doctrine that I had been brought up in and seemed perfectly logical to my human intellect, but HE HAD SCRIPTURES! Also, I had a lot of time and trust invested in this fellow (not to mention money, having bought several of his books). So, I believed, and that was the beginning of the end of my financial, family, emotional, and health problems. (The tithing, fasting, hit or miss prophesying, frequent church attendance followed by watching Christian television and listening to Christian radio, sowing seeds into anointed ministries, the emergency calls to the Pat Robertson and Paul Crouch prayer lines, the frequent emails to Jesse DuPlantis, the books, DVDs, tapes … well they did not actually work.)

Now not long before this, I had found out that T.D. Jakes was a oneness pentecostal. Again, though never a huge T.D. Jakes fan, it gave me pause, because LOTS of people were affiliated with the guy, including George W. and Jeb Bush, of whom I was HUGE FANS! Hey, the guy had an anointing and had done some mighty things, so God would straighten him out. But after believing in sola fide, faith alone, instead of faith plus works, well hey, doctrinal error now seemed to MATTER, and so did people who hung around them. So, that reduced my huge array of pastors and teachers that I was following, because LOTS of them were connected to Jakes by few degrees of separation! And yes, LOTS of folks were preaching the same thing that he did. But they had such powerful anointing and had done so many great things! Yes, but I had to follow my Trinitarian God rather than men, so that meant also rejecting the pastors who lacked the scruples required to reject the false doctrine purveyors, or to warn people against them. I knew that not all these pastors had been blessed with a great anointing, but the lack of a great anointing was no excuse for having a little principle and courage and doing what was right.

The result: this left me with a lot of spare time on my hands. Had to seek out other ministries. One was Bill Keller, whom I initially persecuted with frequent emails defending the prosperity doctrine that I still believed in. Prosperity, after all, was the sign of having an anointing! Keller failed to dissuade me, but radio preacher Bob George – who runs a call in show – did. Now I had read 1 Timothy 6 many a time, but never understood that IT SPECIFICALLY REJECTS THE PROSPERITY DOCTRINE until he explained it to me. Why did I listen to George and not Keller? Maybe it had something to do with George and the caller catching my attention just prior by pointing out that Fred Price claimed that Jesus Christ had to be born again. The caller wanted to know if it was OK to still listen to Price anyway on the account of the other great truths that Price gave. George acknowledged Price’s great oratorical skills, but stated that people who preach his doctrines had reprobate minds. Any truth that you can get from those that had reprobate minds can be gained elsewhere. So, crossing off the reprobate mind prosperity/Word of Faith folk – and those who would not separate from them – left still more time on my hands, and left me conflicted and confused about the legitimacy of my salvation. After all, I had learned of Christ by virtue of having been raised Pentecostal Holiness, and had believed on Christ’s work because a Word of Faith preacher had told me about it.

Result? TONEX TIME! If I ever needed a pick – me – up, it was now! After all, it had been awhile since I had spoken in tongues or heard a prophecy or revelation from God, so I needed to “get tightened up.” It had been a very long time, so long that I had actually misplaced the “Out Tha Box” concert DVD, so I put in “O2”, and started waiting for the anointing so that I could do the old “goose myself spiritually” thing and start speaking in tongues. (The ability to initiate speaking in tongues was a special gift that I had, a product of my anointing, that I had found quite useful many a time.) But something wasn’t right. I didn’t really FEEL it. And whereas before, my unknown tongues gift flowed freely and purely, even at times producing words that I was CERTAIN was Hebrew, this time it was choppy, broken, intermittent, and sounded rather like a clucking chicken. Also, I couldn’t really get into Tonex’s lyrics. Didn’t line up with what I was reading in the Bible at the time. Now my inability to speak in tongues anymore was really frightening me. It was my secret internal proof that I was actually saved! I guess I had no choice left other than to just believe Romans 10 and let it go.

And no more revelation, no more words from the Lord? Now I had actually been hearing so many revelations – it was a gift what can I say – that I had come to the conclusion that I didn’t really NEED to read my Bible anymore. I mean, the Bible was OK. So long as it was the King James Version. But it was for other, lesser, weaker Christians that lacked by strong faith and great anointing. I could go straight to God Himself and receive direct instructions. Whenever I needed to make a personal, family/marital, financial, spiritual decision, I would just pray, hear my revelation, and go with it. I also was up on future events and what was REALLY going on in the spirit realm, so that was great. But now, goodness, how was I going to make a decision? No choice but to trust God. If good happened? Thank you God. If bad happened, thank you for that too God. The Psalms and Proverbs said to have that attitude anyway. There are more Psalms than ones that promised old covenant Israelites health and wealth after all.

So, I began to throw away the books, CDs, DVDs, etc. that I had, shocked at all the money that I had spent on people that paid complete and total disregard to the basic information that could be found in any beginner’s theology book (which I found can be had very cheaply in the Christian bookstores, very often on clearance in the section obscured by all the best sellers) or even on some theology and apologetics websites. With those gone and plenty of time on my hands (I hate secular television because of the low quality of the writing), that created time for more books: church histories, Bible commentaries, novels, you name it. Not all of them were good. Unless, that is, they were being compared to the stuff that I had been throwing away. But there were a few things that I saved. I have not yet seen fit to get rid of my Derek Prince or Frank Hammond materials, probably because of my bias towards books and because they do not call themselves prophets or apostles. And I also kept my 3 Tonex CDs, even though I no longer felt motivated to buy his subsequent releases or replace the mysteriously vanished concert DVD.

That is, until the other day. I was not angry, depressed, fearful, or tormented by uncontrolled thoughts and images. Those problems are long gone. Following a tip in a devotional sent to me by Word of Faith preacher Keith Butler (whose prophecy that he would win a U.S. Senate seat fell far short) put the Book of Revelation on my Ipod and would listen to it through my headphones all night. (I wasn’t getting any sleep due to the nightmares anyway!) A few weeks later, I canceled my daily devotional from Butler upon reading him assert in it that all Christians should be able to speak in tongues. That idea that he passed on to me ended years of sleepless nights and torment, but hey, I have to follow God rather than man! Besides, Keith Butler is down with Kenneth Copeland anyway.

I just wanted to hear some uptempo music with a beat while driving around. So I got my long – neglected copy of “O2.” Man, I used to LOVE that album, the music was GENIUS! Intro … who cares. First track … boring. Second track … boring. Third track … well, I never really liked it to begin with. I know … I will just go straight to my favorite … track 15, the one that I would go to when I absolutely positively NEEDED to start speaking in tongues … TUMBLIN’! It was not as good as I remembered, but it was getting the job done. UNTIL I got to the point where Tonex states “Want the anointing gotta go through something.” This was after “Name it claim it.”

By this time, I was aware that the “anointing” that I had been so zealously seeking and pledging my loyalty to ministers based on their possessing it? Well first of all, “to anoint” means (roughly) “to choose.” Jesus Christ? Christ comes from “Christos” in Greek (though some transliterate it differently) which means “the Anointed One.” Or “the Chosen One.” So … the way that this Christian scene had been trading around this term, as if it was some special spiritual quality whose possession was so powerful and rare that it compensated for their false doctrines and practices, extramarital affairs, criminal acts, FAILED PROPHECIES, etc. was clearly exploiting people who were unaware of how the Bible actually generally used the word (there is only one usage that can justify how it is commonly used today), and such exploited people generally did not check the concordance that appears helpfully appended to the back of many Bibles to find out for themselves (as I did not).

Also, “anointing” was being used as a shorthand for “gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.” So why not just say “gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit?” Because

1. the Bible makes it clear that gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit cannot be bought with money, as Peter told Simon the magician in Acts. Which also means that it cannot be EARNED through works, which includes tithing, “sowing seed offerings”, etc.

2. gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit are given to all believers according to the Holy Spirit’s discretion. So no Christian has special status based on which gifts he has. To the limited extent to which a Christian has over which gift he receives, he is to “earnestly seek the best gifts”, which are NOT the ones that the current Christian environment esteems.

3. Fruits of the Holy Spirit (i.e. charity) are more important than the gifts of the Holy Spirit. One of the things that I threw away was a DVD by Jesse DuPlantis on fruits of the Holy Spirit that CONTAINED NO ACTUAL INFORMATION AT ALL. Maturity, power, and effectiveness of service in a Christian come by virtue of the fruits, not the gifts, and particularly not the sign gifts.

4. There are no “special anointings”, “double and triple portions”, or special “spirits” (i.e. a warrior spirit or an Esther anointing or a Mary spirit). There is only the Holy Spirit. One Lord. One Faith. One Baptism. At the very most, you can claim to have similar gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit as another believer, and even there one must have sound consistent Biblical and doctrinal basis – and exhibit evidence that can be confirmed by the witness of two or more believers in good standing – before claiming such.

5. The Holy Spirit is a permanent indwelling of every single believer. There are no “temporary anointings” which the people that dance out of their clothes, overturn chairs and pews, steamroll small children, and kick and elbow people trying to restrain them purport to need in order to receive their healing, their deliverance, their breakthrough, their blessing, or (as I was taught in the church that I grew up in) to provide evidence that your saying the sinner’s prayer “actually worked.” Yes, some people had to go to the altar call several times on successive weeks, say the sinner’s prayer each time, shout and dance each time, speak in tongues each time, etc. before the pastor declared their salvation experience to be legitimate.

6. the Bible declares that those who purport to possess the Holy Spirit must show evidence by continuously living a Godly lifestyle of humility and obedience, including preachers (and hip/hop gospel singers) whose sermon lyrics are reflected in their character and lives. Obviously possessing “anointings” is not encumbered with this same requirement.

7. The Holy Spirit is God, which brings discipline and order. Pastors with “great anointings”, however, tend to have great confusion not only in their church services, but also in their financial dealings and personal lives.

8. Related to 6. and the most important, it is LOVE that covers a multitude of transgressions (not to be mistaken for a continuous sinful lifestyle or willful rejection of Bible doctrines), not an “anointing.” Please note that what is often taken for “anointing” are things like skillful preaching ability, amazing church growth, tongues, casting out devils, healing, etc. are associated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit (and not the edifying gifts, or “the best gifts” that we should earnestly seek at that … people with the gift of giving or the gift of helps are rarely considered to have a powerful anointing and call on their lives!). Love, meanwhile, is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

So, I removed Anthony “Tonex” Williams’ from my radio, and will probably throw it out in the garbage when I get home. Speaking of Tonex, for your viewing pleasure, he will illustrate what I have just told you – including information about my past that is 100% true – in the video clip below where he discusses the nature of “the anointing.” He states that one does not have to be a believer in Jesus Christ to understand it or benefit from it, and compares the anointing of Michael Jackson (for whom he is a paid music producer) to the anointing of Benny Hinn.

In closing, notice all of the things related to spiritual warfare, casting out demons, that I feature prominently. One of the reasons why I was so loyal to Tonex was that it was very effective to play his music while casting out evil spirits. Nevertheless, his music must be cast aside by me, because the video below makes explicit why we have to follow God rather than men.

Update from AndyB: He identified for me the source of all of this charismatic “anointing” confusion. It is a sole passage: 1 John 2:20-27, which employs the Greek word “chrisma”, which is sometimes translated as “unction.” (I suppose that when I would “goose myself” to speak in tongues, I was providing my own “unction”?) Here is the link to what the word ACTUALLY MEANS in the online BlueLetterBible Concordance. And here is AndyB’s context of the word: “And here I thought the anointing (”unction”) we received in the form of the Holy Spirit was the ability to discern God’s truth from the world’s cheap imitations. 1 John 2:20-21

Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments »

Hurricane Katrina Victim Breakdown: 53% Black 46% White

Posted by Job on January 8, 2008

So why did the media do all they could to portray this as a black tragedy?

Posted in bigotry, government, media conspiracy, multiculturalism, political correctness, politics, racism | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

 
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