Prof. Johan Malan, Middelburg, South Africa (March 12, 2008) www.bibleguidance.co.za
All Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise stated.
Christianity experiences unprecedented attacks on its foundational truths. These attacks are motivated and coordinated by evil forces that are intent on deceiving all people as a prelude to revealing the Antichrist and physically establishing Satan’s kingdom on earth. Their main obstacle is biblical beliefs in the deity, atoning death, resurrection and second coming of Jesus Christ. As a result, attacks against evangelical Christianity are on the increase, being aimed at discrediting the canonical books of the Bible, and thus also the God and Saviour of the Bible. Continue reading
From Truth to a New Spirituality
By Berit Kjos – March 10, 2008
Background information: Prophets and teachers who mislead their flock
Deceived by a counterfeit “Jesus” – The twisted “truths” of The Shack & A Course in Miracles
A New Mask for an Ancient Secret, The Emerging One Church of the New World
“The hope of the New Age faith, or New Spirituality, is that when this One Humanity has achieved its ‘divine potential’ and all separation has been purged from the world, then world problems such as ‘tribalism’ and poverty and hatred and violence will be left behind. The world will then be transformed by this New Humanity into a divine new world of peace, love, good will, and sharing where everyone can be free to worship his own inner (immanent) ‘God’ of his own understanding in his own way.
“The call for this New Age ‘kingdom of God’ is now being so widely heeded, even in today’s Christianity, that the building of humanity’s Ark of Oneness is suddenly nearing completion.” Tamara Hartzell Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:12 ESV)
Debating the defenders of writers such as Brian McLaren is a very eye opening thing. I find it very interesting that they use the very same methods as Liberal Christians and atheists. The Straw Man fallacy is the most prevalent tool they use. They are the defenders of relativism and universalism. Our resistance to any compromise causes them to refer to us as “backward” and “legalistic.” They make the false assumption that all holders of relativism make, which is declaring absolute truth to be a myth. When proof is given in the Bible they declare that that is only our interpretation. We must learn from this to see the logical end of a debate fast approach when that argument is given. It is a total waste of time at that point to continue. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25 ESV)
We live in an evil time. There are large numbers of “Christian” leaders who claim to be ministers of God, but prove by their words and actions to have thrown off the authority of God. They do what is right in their own eyes while claiming that they are only following the leading of the Holy Spirit. The fact that what they say or do is unbiblical seems to trouble very few. When some point out the truth to them, they claim that God has lead them to do what they do so it must be okay and those who protest are just legalistic. Continue reading
“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.”-Hebrews 5:8
We are told that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, therefore we who are sinful, and who are far from being perfect, must not wonder if we are called to pass through suffering too. Shall the head be crowned with thorns, and shall the other members of the body be rocked upon the dainty lap of ease? Must Christ pass through seas of His own blood to win the crown, and are we to walk to heaven dryshod in silver slippers? No, our Master’s experience teaches us that suffering is necessary, and the true-born child of God must not, would not, escape it if he might. But there is one very comforting thought in the fact of Christ’s “being made perfect through suffering”-it is, that He can have complete sympathy with us. “He is not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” In this sympathy of Christ we find a sustaining power. One of the early martyrs said, “I can bear it all, for Jesus suffered, and He suffers in me now; He sympathizes with me, and this makes me strong.”
Believer, lay hold of this thought in all times of agony. Let the thought of Jesus strengthen you as you follow in His steps. Find a sweet support in His sympathy; and remember that, to suffer is an honourable thing-to suffer for Christ is glory. The apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to do this. Just so far as the Lord shall give us grace to suffer for Christ, to suffer with Christ, just so far does He honour us. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings whom God hath anointed are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Let us not, therefore, shun being honoured. Let us not turn aside from being exalted. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us up. “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.”
This devotional is from C.H. Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning
My friend Derek Schroeder is going to witness and street preach on 4/13 & 4/15 at the Seeds of Compassion event in Seattle. Please pray for him that he’ll boldly preach the gospel as God wills.
Below are the names of those participating in “InterSpiritual Day” April 15, 2008 for “Youth & Spiritual Connection”:
• His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a simple Buddhist monk
• Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Episcopal Archbishop of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
• Dr. Ingrid Mattson, President of the Islamic Society of North America
• Rabbi David Rosen, Chairman of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations
• Roshi Joan Halifax, Zen Buddhist Master and abbess of Upaya Zen Center
• Rob Bell, emergent Christian leader, writer, and pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan
• Sister Joan Chittister, Benedictine Catholic nun, writer and teacher
• Pravrajika Vrajaprana, Hindu philosopher, writer, and teacher
• Doug Pagitt, evangelical author, pastor of Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, emergent Christian leader
• Episcopal Bishop Steven Charleston, President and Dean of Episcopal Divinity School and a Professor of Theology
• Linda Kavelin-Popov, co-founder of the Virtues Project
• Reverend Samuel Berry McKinney, civil rights leader and pastor emeritus of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle
• Father William Treacy, Interfaith leader, founder of Camp Brotherhood
• Ahmed Tijani Ben Omar, Muslim scholar and spiritual leader
• Guru Singh, Sikh philosopher and spiritual leader
• Steven Shankman, the UNESCO Chair in Transcultural Studies, Interreligious Dialogue and Peace (Online source)
See also: SEEDS OF COMPASSION EVENT: ROB BELL, DOUG PAGITT WITH DALAI LAMA
and: DALAI LAMA
by Mike Ratliff
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? (Luke 14:28 ESV)
Postmodernism : A general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others. Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one’s own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal.
Postmodernism is “post” because it is denies the existence of any ultimate principles, and it lacks the optimism of there being a scientific, philosophical, or religious truth which will explain everything for everybody – a characteristic of the so-called “modern” mind. The paradox of the postmodern position is that, in placing all principles under the scrutiny of its skepticism, it must realize that even its own principles are not beyond questioning. As the philosopher Richard Tarnas states, postmodernism “cannot on its own principles ultimately justify itself any more than can the various metaphysical overviews against which the postmodern mind has defined itself.” – From Faith and Reason
1 : a practical approach to problems and affairs <tried to strike a balance between principles and pragmatism> 2 : an American movement in philosophy founded by C. S. Peirce and William James and marked by the doctrines that the meaning of conceptions is to be sought in their practical bearings, that the function of thought is to guide action, and that truth is preeminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief
Postmodernism is a term that that is claimed by the Emergent Church movement. This philosophy in the first part of the 21st Century has come to dominate Western thinking. In each area of thought within it we find that, invariably, pragmatism is its root. Pragmatic philosophy says that everything is relative because ultimate, transcendent truth does not exist. This makes reasoning with a pragmatist extremely frustrating. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (Luke 22:19-20 ESV)
After our study on the institution of the Lord’s Supper last week in the post Do This In Remembrance of Me, I was asked to give more detail on the four cups of the Passover. In my study I mentioned that the cups each have a name. Do these cups have any significance for Christians? Let’s see. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
I have two totally separate “encounters” with two different people in the last two days in which both persons insisted that Jesus taught a totally different “Gospel” than that which Paul the Apostle preached. In both cases these fellows insist that they are following Jesus instead Paul. Why this is coming out all at once is puzzling, but really what is being said by these people is nothing new. There are really only two groups of people. There are those who believe God and those who don’t. When people reject the Gospel they will give all sorts of reasons for doing so, but really it all boils down to the fact that they refuse to bow the knee in total surrender to the Lord of Lords. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. (Matthew 28:1-4 ESV)
Jesus is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! According to Paul in his first epistle to the church in Corinth, the doctrine of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the lynchpin of our faith.
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:13-14 ESV)
If the resurrection of Christ is not true then Christianity is based on a myth and our faith is in vain. Therefore, we must hold tightly to the fact that our Lord is Risen. On the morning of our Lord’s resurrection there were several people who witnessed different aspects of it. Their responses to it varied drastically. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV)
As I write this it is Saturday evening. Tomorrow is Easter. In our last few posts we have looked at the last Passover meal our Lord had with His disciples when He instituted the Lord’s Supper and revealed the New Covenant sealed in His blood. Then we looked at the timing of the arrest, trial, scourging, crucifixion, death, and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw where the three Jewish Feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Early First Fruits lined up exactly with the three days and nights in which people were given authority over our Lord in order to fulfill them.
All genuine believers know that our Lord did not stay in the tomb. He was resurrected on Sunday morning of Nisan 17. We find the Biblical accounts of this in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20. However, if you do a search on the internet using the term “Resurrection Foolishness” or “Empty Tomb,” for instance, you will find some godly accounts of these things, but you will also find many accounts of resistance and scorn and skepticism. I fully intended to write a post for Easter about our Lord’s Resurrection, but as I began my research and Bible reading for it, I was drawn to 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:38-41 ESV)
Today is Good Friday. From what we learned in our last post, Do This In Remembrance Of Me, we saw where Passover was a feast instituted by God to be held on Nisan 14 every year. Also, the Jewish day always began at sunset. Therefore, Nisan 14 began at sunset on Thursday and ran until sunset on Friday. At sunset Nisan 15 would begin. The next festival or feast after Passover was Unleavened Bread. This feast was eaten in the afternoon following the Seder, which was the Passover meal. Notice that this feast was held prior to sunset on Nisan 15 so it would still be Nisan 14.
Now, with this in mind let us look at something that is quite troubling to many Christians. In Matthew 12:40 Jesus made this statement, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” However, using our 21st Century methods of calculating time and our Western mindsets we struggle lining up what Jesus said here with the timing of His crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Continue reading
by Mike Ratliff
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1 ESV)
And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (Luke 22:14-20 ESV)
I write this on Maundy Thursday. This is the traditional day that our Lord instituted the Lord’s Supper. Tomorrow is Good Friday and this Sunday is Resurrection Day or Easter. Easter has become a special time for me over the last few years as God has drawn me more and more into His light. This year, at least it seems so to me, God is laying on the hearts of His people what a wonderful thing our Lord did for us on that cruel cross, enduring the Father’s wrath against our sin, even unto death. The night before this, however, He poured Himself into His disciples. Continue reading
Our friend Cristina (Baptist Girl) has posted a poem she has written that blessed me tremendously. Here is her introduction.
I just wanted to share a poem I wrote about the Lord being my best friend, and He is. He is the one true friend that sticks by you, loves you, listens to you and is a friend no matter what. If He is not your best friend, I pray someday you will Trust in what He did on the cross to bear the sinsof His children.
Follow this link to the poem.