Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sin Then and Now

Biblical Christianity Is Obligated to the Laws of King Jesus

It is an unlawful use of the law – and abuse both of law and gospel – to pretend that its accomplishment by Christ releases believers from any obligation to it as a rule. Such an assertion is not only wicked, but absurd and impossible in the highest degree: for the law is founded in the relation between the Creator and the creature, and must unavoidably remain in force so long as that relation subsists. No true believer can deliberately admit a thought or a wish of being released from his obligation of obedience to God, in whole or in part; this thought is an abhorrence to him. 

~John Newton

Biblical Christianity is not anarchy. The King of kings has commands we, as His slaves, MUST obey IF we are His and love Him.

Luk 6:46  "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?

Joh 14:15  "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Encouragement for the Christian's Soul: weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning

Dear Madam,

It is with much pleasure that I read your last, and I was engage to give thanks and praise to the God of all grace for His making my poor letters of any use to your dear soul. Yes, Madam, your benighted soul shall be favored with the light of God's countenance, only wait for it in faith and patience. Your sins are forgiven you; wait awhile, and the Lord will tell you so. He who now in wise love hides His face, will shortly, to your unspeakable joy, break out upon you afresh with superior rays of His infinite and eternal kindness. "Weeping may endure for a night—but joy will comes in the morning. His anger endures for a moment—but in His favor is light." An immensity—an eternity of light remains for you in God's infinite favor—that all-comprehending source of all the various flows of your felicity for time's and eternity's forever! And give your Father leave to choose what channels He please to convey to your beloved soul His inexhaustible, immutable, and eternal kindness—for if for a while His love runs under-ground, out of your sight, it is but in order to its breaking up again, to your more joyful surprise, in a richer exuberance. And beware of thinking, when you do not see love in its flows; that love is not upon the flow towards you; for when love is most hid from your view, that hiding is one of love's flows. That is one of the appointed channels in which love swiftly and gloriously moves; indeed, it is ‘veiled love’—but love in a veil is the same love still. And "what you know not now—you shall know hereafter." When the veil is taken off from love's face, you shall see as great a glory in ‘hiding love’ as in its most smiling countenance—and that both alternately were ordered most wisely for God's highest glory and your greatest felicity.

Oh, could you now believe this and say thus, "Well, the Lord hides His face, but this, even this, is in boundless, endless love to me," how full would be your joy, how abundant your praise, if faith was thus in exercise! Whereas sense, when love veils, loses sight of love in all; it sees no love in the veil, and inclines the heart to fear that love's past shinings were not real, and thereby shuts the mouth of praise awfully, and sinks the soul into grief exceedingly. And were not faith upheld by an omnipotent arm to look and wait for God the Savior, when as such He hides His face from the house of Jacob, through depressions from sense it would fail quite. But, glory to omnipotent grace! faith is and shall be maintained in its principles, and in some degree of exercise, amid ten thousand contraries.

"Blessed (says our Lord) are those who have believed—and have not seen." Thomas saw, and believed; but believing without sight upon the promise-word of the faithful God has an eminency, a transcendency of blessedness in it. "His arm is not shortened, that it cannot save, nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear." "My soul, hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, for the light of His countenance," according to His promised grace. This exercise of ‘faith in the dark’ has a blessedness in it of transcendency. Little do you think how much glory this gives to God. Little do you think how much pleasure He takes when He thus hears your voice. And can you think, dear Madam, that this your faith is God shall be in vain? No! the Lord will say shortly, "You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse, with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck." "O woman, great is your faith; be it unto you even as you will." And then you shall praise Him with joy. Meantime, though in sorrow, praise the God of promise by trusting in Him who will be the God of performance, and you will give Him double glory, which will be to your eternal joy.

I am glad, dear Madam, that the Lord made the burning bush a fit emblem of your case, and that you desire greenness and fruitfulness. Your desire after greenness and fruitfulness is from your having these, and it is a greater measure that you desire. And be not dismayed at your apparent lack of greenness and growth in grace. It is one thing to be green and fruitful—and another to discern that we are so. God, and other of His children, may see our greenness and fruitfulness, when for wise and gracious ends these may be hidden much from ourselves. Only let this be your chief care, to "glorify God in the fires," and fear not greenness and fruitfulness—to His praise and your bliss, amid fiery trials.

I am grieved, dear Madam, that your outward affairs are so much declined and perplexed—but if it was not best, it would not be thus. May you be enabled most humbly and earnestly to make a fresh solemn surrender of yourself, and all that you have, unto God, and say, "Lord, here I am—I give myself up to You—to be Yours entirely—I give up everything that You have given me into Your all-wise, all-gracious, and almighty hands. O Lord, the difficulties I am encompassed with are too great for my wisdom and strength to rid myself of—but You know no difficulty. I cast them all upon You. I am oppressed, O Lord, undertake for me. And, were everything else gone, give me grace to glorify You, and to count myself happy—fully, ineffably happy—in Your great Self as my earthly-portion and eternal all. I call nothing my own but You, my great God—do with me, and all things that concern me, just as You desire."
After this manner, dear Madam, resign all unto God, and there leave all, without anxious care for anything. Let a ‘prudent care’ for everything, as your duty in the use of all means, be your concern. But take no ‘anxious care’ for any events—for most surely, in this respect, "every man disquiets himself in vain." And if you thus resign all unto God, and put and leave everything in His hands, I do assure you that God will undertake for you. I, did I say? A poor assurance this. He, Himself therefore excites you to duty, and gives you His own assurance thus—"Call upon Me in the day of trouble—I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me."

As you had that promise, Madam, when you entered into that change of life, "My presence shall go with you—and I will give you rest," and yet you had not those measures of His comforting presence which your soul wished—learn hence to distinguish between God's gracious, supporting, and sanctifying presence—and His soul-filling, heart-rejoicing presence. The former you had, have, and shall have always; and the latter, when He sees it best. And remember, rest is in the promise—all that earthly-rest which your God of love sees best—and eternal rest, unto full and endless delight! And let this bear up your spirit while your troubles last—"Unto you who are troubled, rest with us." When the Lord Jesus shall make His glorious appearance, then we shall all rest together and forever!

I bear you on my heart before the God of all grace in your every case. To His love, power, and care—I commit you.

~Anne Dutton

Monday, October 20, 2014

Speak the Truth about Evil

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There is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology. Christianity was born for endurance…It walks with firm step and erect frame. It is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the stern word of condemnation against error, nor to raise its voice against surrounding evils, under the pretext that it is not of this world.

It does not shrink from giving honest reproof lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin “sin,” on whomsoever it is found and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not discharge an explicit duty. Let us not misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat, a viper may come forth; but we shake it off and feel no harm.

The religion of both Old and New Testaments is marked by fervent outspoken testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity. It is a betrayal of the cause of truth and righteousness. If anyone should be frank, manly, honest, cheerful (I do not say blunt or rude, for a Christian must be courteous and polite), it is he who has tasted that the Lord is gracious and is looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God.

I know that charity covereth a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good because a good man has done it.

— Horatius Bonar

I think being blunt after several warnings to one who is hostile to the truth and walking away from the Truth as a supposed Christian, is fine--there comes a point, in other words, where things are so urgent, and consciences are so seared, that nothing but bluntness must be applied b/c it bears the weightiness upon calloused minds and hearts who stand in treason against the King of Kings, if you see what I mean. Other than that, I think it's a great quote!!

Brian Houston of Hillsong Is Unclear About Sodomy

Does he let his Yes be yes, and his No be No?  Not exactly.
Following Hillsong Church Pastor Brian Houston’s comments about homosexuality here, he had to answer a firestorm of emails and bad press from everyone – from the homosexual groups to the secularists to the Christians. Houston has attempted to clarify Hillsong’s stance on homosexuality. The official statement reads as follows:

...I was asked a question on how the church can stay relevant in the context of gay marriage being legal in the two states of the USA where we have campuses. My answer was simply an admission of reality – no more and no less. I explained that this struggle for relevance was vexing as we did not want to become ostracized by a world that needs Christ.

~Stand Up For The Truth

Here's the  condemning quote:

"I made the point that public statements condemning people will place a barrier between the church and the world (and I note that Jesus came to save and not to condemn), which is why at Hillsong, we don’t want to reduce the real issues in people’s lives to a sound bite."

"I was asked a question on how the church can stay relevant in the context of gay marriage being legal in the two states of the USA where we have campuses. My answer was simply an admission of reality – no more and no less. I explained that this struggle for relevance was vexing as we did not want to become ostracized by a world that needs Christ."

The true Christians ARE ostracized from the world, and moreover, we are to be separate from it! That fact that Brian thinks the total opposite merely proves he's not in Christ Jesus.

The biblical Jesus, nor any of His Word, ever wavered on this issue. Jesus didn't play games, nor did the Father nor the Spirit. In all ages God condemns sodomy as well as worldliness. And Jesus already pronounced all men under God's wrath and condemnation for those outside of Him (John 6:36, Rom. 8:1).

- In the patriarchs (Genesis 19:1-28)

- In the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:2220:13)

- In the Prophets (Ezekiel 16:46-50)

- In the New Testament (Romans 1:18-271 Corinthians 6:9-10Jude 7-8)

Joh 7:7  The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.

Joh 15:18  "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Joh 15:20  Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.

Jas 4:4  You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5  Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? 

Grammar Police---back then

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Deniers of Biblical Truth Are Not Christians

Never perhaps has the whole position of the Christian faith been so uncertain, and so blatantly and openly attacked even in the church. This makes it doubly important to know what we believe and in whom we believe. It is believing in Him as the Son of God which makes us sons of God, and we alone are His children. These other people arrogate to themselves the name Christian are not Christians.They are liars and deniers of the truth and they are not Christian! We must not fall into this modern error of imaging that the Christian is a nice flabby person who agrees with everybody and everything, who never criticizes. According to the New Testament, these antiChrists are not only to be avoided they are to be denounced. As John says in his first epistle they are not of us for they went out from among us. And for myself I have no fellowship with men who deny the very elements of the Christian faith and who deny the plain teaching of the Word of God. 

~Martin Lloyd-Jones

"Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you are born again you cannot see the kingdom of God."

"Unless you are born of water and the Spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." John 3:3,5

Lloyd-Jones said it so well. I too, will not have fellowship, indeed it is impossible to have fellowship with people who deny the very elements of the Christian faith and deny Scripture's plain teaching. 

Those who sit in the hearing of the Bible being read, and then turn around and voice unbelief in it and it's teaching, have openly declared war on the Word. I will not be part of that. And I will not be silent either. In such cases, like in a Bible study or Sunday School class where this takes place, you will hear my voice defend the Truth up and against the heinous rebellion folks so blatantly and unashamedly proclaim. 

Jas 1:19  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 

Those who are truly born-again by God, will be quick to hear to the Word and be very slow to speak and to be angry with it, for they value the precious, authoritative, inspired, and infallible Word of God.

True Study of Scripture

"Verses of Scripture must not be wrenched from their setting, but weighed, interpreted, and applied in accord with their context; and that calls for prayerful consideration, careful meditation, and prolonged study; and it is failure at this point which accounts for these shoddy and worthless "messages" of this rush-ahead age."

~Arthur Pink, "Studies in the Scriptures-Signs of the Times"

So very true today. This is evident by the worldliness and shallowness of so many churches today. It also is borne out in the lives of the leaders of those churches.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Jude 24-25

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Jude 1:7

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Jude 1-2

Private Revelations From God Are Dubious; The Word of God Is All True, Authoritative, and Complete

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Fake healings and false tongues are bad enough, but when someone claims to have private revelation from God, the sufficiency and singularity of Scripture is instantly clouded, and the authority of Scripture is undermined. It is a terribly dangerous breach of a fundamental principle of evangelical Protestant and biblical conviction.
The Bible is authoritative revelation. It sets forth truth in words and propositions. The authors of Scripture wrote down those words exactly as God ordained—“not . . . words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:13). That’s why a prophet was judged by the accuracy of what he said. If he said, “Thus said the Lord,” and the Lord didn’t really say that, he was to be stoned.
When someone claims to have received an “impression” from God—a non-verbal revelation—the door is opened wide for all kinds of confusion. Personal impressions are inherently enigmatic, vague, and frankly dubious. Non-verbal sensations cannot articulate truth. But charismatics are taught to accept their impressions and hope that somehow this legitimate revelation of God doesn’t get messed up when we try to verbalize it. Frequently, when they verbalize or act on what they believe God has told them, it is absurd—sometimes even reckless in the extreme. But a strong impression is never to be doubted on those grounds, they insist, because God moves in mysterious ways. That is why charismatics are so prone to embrace rather than question all kinds of strange and innately irrational phenomena like drunken behavior and uncontrollable laughter.
When you believe God is trying to communicate through some non-verbal, intellectually vacant means, all meaning inevitably gets lost in translation. This is not how God reveals truth. Seeking messages from God in one’s own feelings and imagination is a practice rooted in pagan superstition, and it wreaks havoc in the lives of anyone who thinks that impression in his mind or feeling in his gut is a message from God. Scripture says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).
True believers in Jesus Christ must return to the basic truths of the sufficiency, authority, verbal inspiration, and inerrancy of God’s Word. Every word that proceeds from the mouth of God is true. That is the principle of biblical inerrancy. 

~John MacArthur

Photos, left to right: Beth Moore, John Piper, Matt Chandler, John Piper, and Mark Driscoll. All of them hold to extra-biblical revelations, dreams, visions, even when they "claim" "Sola Scriptura"!

Ebola: the best article I've read to date

The best article I've read so far on the Ebola issue. I do not promote panic, but I do promote serious concern, as the CDC, health officials, Obama's administration, senators, and hospitals have straight up lied to us about how serious this virus is and how prepared we are.

Excerpts from The Weekly Standard:

In just the first six months of tracking the virus, the team identified more than 100 mutated forms of it.

Yet what’s really scary is how robust the already-established transmission mechanisms are. Have you ever wondered why Ebola protocols call for w
ashing down infected surfaces with chlorine? Because the virus can survive for up to three weeks on a dry surface.

In September the WHO estimated that by October 20, there would be 3,000 total cases in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. As of October 7, the count was 8,376.

General infection rates are terrifying, too. In epidemiology, you measure the “R0,” or “reproduction number” of a virus; that is, how many new infections each infected person causes. When R0 is greater than 1, the virus is spreading through a population. 

Because despite the fact that Duncan was a lone man under scrupulous, first-world care, with the eyes of the entire nation on him, his R0 was 2, just like that of your average Liberian Ebola victim. One carrier; two infections. He passed the virus to nurse Pham and to another hospital worker, Amber Joy Vinson, who flew from Cleveland to Dallas with a low-grade fever before being diagnosed.

...Wildfires, in fact, are often fought by using controlled burns and trench digging to establish perimeters. And it’s a straw-man argument to say that a flight ban wouldn’t keep Ebola fully contained. No one says it would. But by definition, it would help slow the spread of the virus. If there had been a travel ban in place, Thomas Duncan would have likely reached the same sad fate—but without infecting two Americans and setting the virus loose in North America. And it’s difficult to follow the logic by which banning travel from infected countries would create more infections in the United States, as Frieden insists. This is not a paradox; it’s magical thinking.

Frieden’s entire argument is so strange—and so at odds with what other epidemiologists prescribe—that it can only be explained by one of two causes: catastrophic incompetence or a prior ideological commitment. The latter, in this case, might well be the larger issue of immigration.

Ebola has the potential to reshuffle American attitudes to immigration. If you agree to seal the borders to mitigate the risks from Ebola, you’re implicitly rejecting the “open borders” mindset and admitting that there are cases in which government has a duty to protect citizens from outsiders. Some people on the left admit to seeing this as the thin end of the wedge. Writing in the New Yorker, Michael Specter lamented, “Several politicians, like Governor Bobby Jindal, of Louisiana, have turned the epidemic into fodder for their campaign to halt immigration.” And that sort of thing just can’t be allowed.

What would happen in the event of an Ebola outbreak in Latin America? Then America would have to worry about masses of uninfected immigrants surging across the border—not to mention carriers of the virus. And if we had decided it was okay to cut off flights from West Africa, would we decide it was okay to try to seal the Southern border too? You can see how the entire immigration project might start to come apart.

The Church of Americanism

The 'church' of Americanism is where she is, not only because she has wed herself to unfaithful men. That was her desire. But first she had to distance herself from God and His biblical preachers. She had to make compromise lucrative. She had to partition the truth and divide it up into the myth of primary/secondary concerns. She mocked her watchmen's discernment and called their admonitions and loving warnings 'legalism.' She chased her sin and called it 'liberty' and 'grace'. She called her protectors 'Pharisees'. She has despised biblical unity for ecumenical peace time. She has turned to modern Ba'al and cursed Yahweh. Let what happened to Ephraim serve as a reminder to her. (cf. Hosea 4:17).

~Doron Gladden, Biblical Christ Institute

Living this out. It's very true and grievous to my soul.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mark Driscoll: Jesus The Comedian In A Bible Full of Comedy

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Tit 1:15  To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled16  They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. 

The impurity toward Jesus Christ and Scripture isn't in Driscoll's past. Its apparent even in May 2013. I came across this today while looking for something else. 

Is it any wonder that God has started to judge this man?


Humor is a very serious thing. It’s a part of the Bible that is often overlooked, in large part because theologians are not the life of any party.

Comedy and related themes run throughout the Bible. The word “joy” and its derivatives appear roughly 200 times in our English Bible. The word “laugh” and its derivatives appear roughly 40 times.

However, the Bible includes humor of various kinds, from situational comedy to satire, sarcasm, and irony. Entire books of the Bible such as Amos are comedic satire.

But Jesus was funny. This fact is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of Jesus’ entire earthly ministry.

Our inability to see Jesus as funny is not rooted in the pages of Scripture, but rather in the way Jesus has been portrayed in many popular films.

In the end, Jesus was murdered. This was because he offended a lot of people. Many of them were most offended because they were the butt of his jokes. However, as Jesus says, “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Since we are all goofy sinners whose self-righteousness is a joke, the only way to not be offended by Jesus and to laugh at ourselves is to live a life of continual repentance.

Jesus’ most stinging humor, however, was reserved for the religious types, especially the Pharisees. Jesus called them a bag of snakes, and said that their moms had shagged the devil, their father . While those who suffered under their judgmentalism likely had more than a few good laughs when Jesus lampooned them, they of course did not think it was funny because apart from repentance, sinners are no fun at all.
End quote.

Notice that he was teaching and notorious Emergent Catalyst conference---he started out as an Emergent Church Movement leader.
Notice also, his low regard for Scripture, treating God's VERY WORDS as humorous and trivial. 
Notice Driscoll's lack of fear of the Living God who is HOLY HOLY HOLY (Rom. 3).
Notice how Driscoll reduces sinners to merely "goofiness", not total corrupt offense toward the HOLY God of Israel.
Notice his immaturity at wanting the Bible to be about jokes.

God does not take His own Word lightly. Jesus wasn't going around telling jokes and getting a laugh at the expense of others. He was on a mission to preach the Gospel and then die on behalf of the elect. There wasn't time to be so frivolous as Driscoll claims. Preaching the Gospel and dying for the elect are weighty things, not light matters. It is unbelievable to me that anyone serious about Scripture would count Driscoll to be qualified as a Christian and as a teacher. He clearly has no fear of God in his impure, wicked eyes. The approval of this man by so many is actually far more revealing about them than it is about Driscoll.

2Ti 4:5  As for you, always be sober-minded

Tit 2:1  But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2  Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 

Eph 5:3  But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

Col. 4: 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Eph. 4: 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

My Prediction On Mark Driscoll's Future

I suspect that Mark Driscoll has started started writing a book on his victimization and eventual resignation from his empire, which will come out just as his new church or ministry will commence. James MacDonald will probably be the one to write the forward.

Mark it. It will happen.

He's too arrogant to stay away from the spotlight. He's not repentant either. He continues to blame others.