Who is God’s Candidate?

There are two sermons by Dr. John MacArthur that probably should be mandatory listening for all of us. There are two parts:

Part 1: https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-489/who-is-gods-candidate-part-1

Part 2: https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-490/who-is-gods-candidate-part-2

They might not be what you expect:).

On a personal level, I’m frankly tired and disgusted by so many things I see and read  and hear concerning the current election cycle. God doesn’t have a ‘political party’. God is for God and his own divine purposes. It might be that either candidate, when elected, represent God’s judgment against our sinful nation. Think about it.

Beware of False Fire

The ‘Toronto Blessing’ (now called ‘Catch the Fire Toronto’) began in January 1994 and its fallout has been continuously poisoning the church for a dozen years now, even having invaded once solid evangelical organizations. The Toronto Blessing had roots in the earlier Latter Rain movement and was denounced by the Assemblies of God in 1949. Nevertheless, it still gets very favorable press in Charismatic circles and publications, most notably Charisma Magazine.

At the same time, those with sound biblical discernment skills can easily see it for what it is – heretical poison. Recently, Chris Rosebrough devoted a Pirate Christian Radio segment to the movement, using a teaching by Alan Morrison from 1994. You can listen to it here, or you can watch the YouTube here. The presentation discusses the roots of the movement, it’s main personalities, and its purposes.

This post summaries  the purposes of Toronto Blessing, both Satan’s and God’s, as presented in Alan Morrison’s presentation:

Satan’s Purposes:

1. Destroy the authority of scripture.

· Making it subordinate to personal revelation(s).

· Making it subordinate to human personal/subjective experience(s).

· Twisting it (scripture) to justify unbiblical ideas. (Psalm 23-he makes me lie down) Decide what you want to believe and find a ‘proof’ text.

2. Stop Christians using their minds. Like the New Age movement.

  • Through the suppression of  discernment
  • By eradicating the centrality of doctrine in the Christian life. (Relationship with Jesus is more important than doctrine.)

3. Destroy the work of Biblical evangelism.

  • By stopping the mouths of preachers of God’s word.
  • By removing the heart from out of the gospel (Christ died for our sins).

4. Intimidate Christians into surrendering to Satan.

  • Death to those who resist the ‘new’ move of the Spirit. (Benny Hinn, William Branham, Paul Crouch)

5. Seduce Christians into believing there is some ‘higher’ form of salvation that they should seek. Faith is not enough – there’s MORE!.

6. Make believers confuse pietism (experience of divine presence, etc.) with true spirituality.

7. To bring an occult initiation into the heart of the church. Initiation into all the forces of the New Age.

8. Prepare Christians for the coming great deception (Benjamin Crème and The New Age)

God’s Purposes:

1. Drive his true people to run to him alone for comfort and salvation – to become serious students of the Word.

2. Sift the churches – separating the true church from false churches, denominations and movements.

I highly recommend watching the YouTube, which is rather long, to get a real appreciation for the seriousness of the poison that has invaded the church. Chris Rosebrough’s audio doesn’t really do the presentation justice.

I also pray that current Charismatics would either listen to or watch the presentation. It very well could be a giant wake up call for those deceived into thinking Toronto was a genuine move of the Holy Spirit when it was not.

Together 2016

Well, the 16 July  ‘celebration’ at the DC mall is over. I went looking for articles and only found their Facebook page where there were 200 or so comments which were saying how,good it was. I posted a comment asking if anyone actually mentioned Christ crucified for our sins or ifmit was just a ‘feel good’ event. I asked if the Pope showed up and if anyone knew that the RCC preached a false gospel that adds works to faith alone for salvation and that Paul taught us to ‘cast out the bond woman. We’ll see what happens.

ALL Lives Matter!

America is burning and the fires have many names I won’t discuss. We all can probably name them and each one of us probably has a ‘hot button’ or two; I know I have. What I will say is that ALL lives matter, black ones, white ones and every color in between. Soldiers serving our country and police serving our citizens (even the ones who want to kill them). Unborn babies matter, as do the mothers who don’t want them and the abortionists who carry out their murders. Self-serving politicians who care more about their careers and/or legacies than our country. ALL lives matter! Skin color just seems to be the #1 issue at the moment.

ALL lives matter because, as human beings, we were created as ‘image bearers’ of God (Genesis 1:26-31). At the same time, we are greatly flawed human beings; image bearers of God yet tragically flawed – by SIN. We have ALL sinned ‘in Adam’ (Romans 5:12), and we are ALL sinners in our conduct (Romans 3:23). In other words, we ALL sin because we’re sinners, and we’re ALL sinners because we sin.

My friends, SIN is still the problem and Jesus Christ is STILL the answer. It’s really that simple, although many will disagree. I’m talking about the Christ who died for our SIN (1 Cor 15:1-5), not for the many other reasons we like to talk about, like ‘our best lives now’.

Fellow believers, I guarantee you that those who perpetrate evil (of any kind) won’t address the sin problem – they love their sin (John 3:19). Sadly, there are a whole lot of professing Christians and alleged evangelical churches, who have the answer but won’t talk about sin.

What can we do about it? That’s easy. It’s up to us to join the conversation and ‘take it to the gospel’ – the gospel that has the subject of sin at the center and Jesus Christ as the only answer. Brothers and sisters, what an opportunity we have to do just that! America is burning and people are screaming for answers!

I’ll say it again. SIN is the problem and Jesus Christ is the answer!

Do we want racial reconciliation? Christ is the answer!

Do we want an honest government that cares for the Constitution and the people it serves? Christ is the answer!

Do we want stop all the crime and violence? Christ is the answer!

Do we want to see mothers stop killing their babies and abortion doctors put out of business? Christ is the answer!

Yes, America might be burning and yes, everyone has an opinion about what’s wrong. Most of the opinions miss the point and fail to get to the ‘root cause’. It’s time for us to join the conversation and ‘take it to the gospel’.

Are you with me?

Suspicious Citizenship

by Clint Archer

Today 52% of Britons are celebrating their week old independence from the EU while their American cousins are celebrating their own independence from Britain. Well, they are celebrating having a day off. Citizenship has varying degrees of meaning to various people. But one thing we all hate is when non-citizens pretend to be citizens. Being caught out can be embarrassing and even dangerous, as was discovered by ten illegal aliens in 2010.

clip_image001The FBI called it Operation Ghost Stories. The mission was to detect and expose the ten Russian deep cover agents who had been living in the USA since the mid 90s.

The spies snuck in unnoticed, and using forged birth certificates they assumed American identities. They bought homes in the suburbs of New Jersey, got jobs, enrolled in universities, and started assimilating into American culture, making friends with people in the government, and even having children together to cultivate the façade of innocuous soccer moms and baseball dads.

Their assignment was to channel classified information to Moscow Center. The problem was that they weren’t very good at it.

Fifteen years into the masquerade and they were still empty-handed. They never transmitted a single shred of classified information. They just seemed to be enjoying middle class suburbia while playing spy vs spy with no real effect. Their tradecraft would later be described in a report as sloppy and amateurish.

They would write messages to each other using invisible ink. You know, like kids do. They delivered information by swapping identical briefcases with other agents on the subway. Oooh sneaky. One spy filled out a form with the following fake home address: 99 Fake Street, USA. I kid you not.

And one of them, Richard Murphy aka Vladimir Guryev, had some really bad luck.

This hapless agent surreptitiously enrolled in a university to learn more about American culture. Then, per chance, the course advisor who was assigned to him happened to be the well-respected Russian-American professor Nina Kruchsheva. Vladimir kept insisting that he was a Philadelphia native named Richard Murphy, born to American parents, and had never even been to Russia. But he kept insisting all of this in a heavy Russian accent.

Dr. Kruchsheva told the FBI that she was constantly puzzled by his “… completely Russian behavior. …He had a thick Russian accent and an incredibly unhappy Russian personality.” (I find that charming evaluation especially endearing coming from a Russian lady).

In the spiritual realm there are also posers.

  • The Apostle Paul warned the Philippian church that although their “citizenship is in Heaven” there are “many who walk as enemies of the cross” (see Phil 3:18-20).
  • Jesus told a parable in Matthew 22 of a man exposed as a fraud by the king at a wedding feast. Without the proper dress code he stood speechless (taking the Fifth?) and was bound hand and foot and cast out.
  • And in Matthew 13 Jesus called these sleeper agents tares among the wheat.
  • Jude calls them “hidden reefs” in the love feast (Jude 12).
  • In 1 John 2:19 the Apostle John avers that some among the number of the church would eventually turn apostate and leave them, and that this was to show that they were never genuinely saved to begin with.

This repeated theme in Scripture should alert us to three implications:

1. A person’s profession of faith needs to be examined and bear fruit. You should not be offended if, for example in an interview to become a church member, you are asked to provide a testimony of your conversion. We should not be shocked when professing believers are exposed as unbelievers.

2. clip_image004When a professing Christian turns away from Jesus, we need not doubt the doctrine of perseverance of the saints (the fact that God takes responsibility for keeping believers us saved). Rather, we should realize the one falling away was never really saved to begin with, and was masquerading all along.

3. Believers should thank God daily for our citizenship in Heaven, kept safe for us by his power (1 Pet 1:4). That eternal citizenship can only be obtained at birth, or more accurately, rebirth (John 3:5).

There is another chapter in Operation Ghost Stories. After the ten spies were arrested, they were not punished; they were exchanged. In the controversial prisoner exchange ten US citizens were released from prisons abroad as substitutes for their Russian counterparts.

As believers you can take comfort in knowing that though we were guilty of high treason against God, we get to go free. Through a dramatic substitutionary arrangement, God himself bore the eternal consequence of our crimes on the cross, in exchange for our freedom from sin, and thus purchasing for us priceless and irrevocable citizenship of Heaven.

That is an independence worth celebrating today and every day.

_______

Clint Archer is the pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church. He and his expanding troop of Archers live near Durban, South Africa (and pity anyone who doesn’t). When he is off duty from CGate, his alter ego blogs at Café Seminoid,