We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, December 10, 2018

We Don't Need Relevant Churches

Today, there is so much talk about how to make our church services more culturally relevant, especially to the unconverted. However effective this might be in drawing "seekers," it was not so in the early church. Their services equipped the saints to be witnesses wherever they found themselves. The church meeting collectively on Sunday will not win the world, nor will more seminars on church growth; rather, what we need are more equipped individuals who share their faith in hospitals, banks, factories, warehouses, office buildings, and neighborhoods.

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.272

Saturday, December 8, 2018

What Prosperity Has Produced

Years of prosperity here in America have produced a younger generation that is not as loyal as their parents to their church and Christian ministries. Many are less likely to object to degrading movies, alternate sexual lifestyles, and various doctrinal compromises. Such people have bought into the self-absorbed culture in which we live. Take a good look at American culture, and you are essentially looking at our "church culture." 

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.256

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Beware of the Bad and/or Ugly in the Church

Not all which claims to be a church of Christ is, nor are all who proclaim to be teaching Christ really teaching Christ.  Here are some more good examples of aberrations, apostasies, and even heresies to watch out for, and to protect yourself and others against.

Why is this man still a deacon, and why has he not been excommunicated? The Catholic Church needs to police its leaders.

Catholic leaders keep proving their religion is of the devilAnd again.

The burden of the heresy of purgatory for Roman Catholics can get quite bizarre.

Interfaith dialog” with Muslims just lets THEM undermine Christianity and our country.  Even Erwin Lutzer, in his book, The Church in Babylon, cites Muslims themselves making this claim!

James White — WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!?

The Bible says we are to obey the laws of the land, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the Catholic Church as their Jesuits are doing their best to assist illegal immigrant invasion into the USA.  If the Church doesn’t support this, then where is the denouncement from the Pope? Because the Pope himself is against national borders. (Just another example of the RCC NOT being a church of Christ.)

Andy Stanley is trying to sell a new book to finance his false teaching. The book, of course, is also false teaching. BEWARE!

William Lane Craig is usually a pretty good apologist for the Christian faith, but when it comes to Genesis, find an apologist who accepts God at his Word.

Good examination of false teacher Sarah Young and her books.

Be sure to miss this event — it is a cornucopia of false teachers!

And they call themselves a “Christian” college!

Lauren Daigle — Another Christian entertainer who doesn’t want to offend with the truth.

These “ministers” are nothing but Satan’s wolves leading people to hell.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Personal Bible Notes: Matthew

Refer to my 9/25/18 post about the margin notes in my Bible, and why I decided to share them on this blog. 

1:16: Differs from Lk.3 by having Jacob as father vs Heli. Heli died childless and Jacob had Levirate marriage to Heli’s wife, so Jacob was natural father, Heli was legal father.

1:18: KJV says “with child” vs “pregnant - pre-born IS a child.
1:25 “until”: Means Joseph DID have relations with her after Jesus was born.

2:11 “Entering the house.” Joseph, Mary, Jesus still in Bethlehem. After going to Jerusalem for the circumcision and purification, perhaps they returned to the same house where Jesus was born.

4:9: Matt. 28:18 proves this was a lie.

5:1 “disciples”: sermon on the mount is to disciples, not leaders of government.
5:2 ff: The Beatitudes are descriptive, not prescriptive.
5:3 “poor in spirit”: Acknowledge helplessness before God.
5:4-9: About the future kingdom, not current status. It is an O.T. sermon with some N.T. crossover.
5:9 “peacemakers”: Those who actively intervene to make peace.
5:48 “Be perfect”: Be perfect in love.

6:1 “seen by them”: theater, put on a show.
6:26 “Look”: Look with perception.

7:1: Do not judge hypocritically—see v.5.
7:15: Judge the “fruit” of false prophets/teachers.
7:27: The storms, etc, are judgments of God.

8:5 ff: Note that the centurion is not rebuked for being in the military.
8:17: The reason Jesus drove out demons and healed the sick.
8:23-27: Did they recognize God’s actions in Ps.107?

10:1: Shows the authority of the apostles!
10:10: Paying for teaching is right & proper.

11:22: Degrees of punishment in hell.
11:28 “rest”: Is salvation, contradicting TULIP
11:29-30: Is service. Cf. Matt.23:4.

12:5:  Because of service to God.
12:8: Claim to divinity. See Lev.19:3
12:29 “possessions”: Demons. Strong man is satan. Jesus binds the strong man.
12:46, 47: Jesus’ brothers—not cousins, etc.

13:37-43: Believers and unbelievers are together until the end; believers are not harvested (“raptured”) first.
13:55: Jesus’ brothers and sisters, not cousins, etc.

16:18 “this rock”: The rock is Peter’s answer to the question.
16:19: “will give” the keys to Peter, not given now.
16:19: “keys”: Are the “keys” knowledge? Or authority?

17:27 “coin”: Twice what is needed for the tax of one. Jesus is the son of the King of the temple and does not pay temple tax. God “pays” the tax. Peter is also a “son” of the King and the tax is for both.
18:18: Jesus gave the “keys” to all the apostles, not just to Peter.

19: 5 “joined”: Cemented.
19:13-15: Heaven is for children.
19:18-19: Note that “do not covet” was not listed; Jesus exposed that one.

22:45: Jesus is God as David’s Lord, and man as David’s son.

23:4: Cf. Matt. 11:30
23:5 “phylacteries”: Taking Deut. 6:8 literally. 
23:5 “tassels”: Num. 15:38-39.

24:3: Two separate questions. 1) When will they happen? 2) what is the sign of His coming?
24:26-27: Jesus will not come invisibly (as JW say) but will come plainly and open.
24:30-31: The rapture.

27:32ff: Best calculations is that it took place 3 April A.D.33
27:37 “Above His head”: Above head, not above hands. Must be a cross.

28:20: We are to observe—obey—everything Jesus commanded and taught.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Be a Light Without Fear

My fellow brothers and sisters, we need to get over our fear of being called bigots, intolerant, or racists, and make it perfectly clear to both church and society that no Christian can truly follow Christ and endorse self-harm (as in gender reassignment surgery) and same-sex relationships. We cannot show a godly love for our neighbor if our silence is interpreted as submission to Satan's objective of destroying God's temple. Let me repeat, it is better to be accused of being harsh than it is to tell lies with hushed tons of compassion, love, care, and thoughtfulness.

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.213

Saturday, December 1, 2018

New Age Spirituality

What is so attractive about New Age spirituality? At last people have a god who agrees with them about everything! They want a god who does not embarrass them; a god who thinks just like they do. They want a theology that diminishes the horrors of sin and magnifies how good we as human beings actually are! Self-salvation has many forms and is very attractive. We want a god who is as broadminded as we are.

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.208

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Cowardly Ignorant Pharisee

There is a person who remains "anonymous" in his comments (I'm assuming male) so he can remain a coward hidden behind his comments. Of course since they are all ad hominem attacks, they don't get published.

It seems he has to post the same, or similar, comment almost every time I post a citation from some theologian.  He says I should have "less books, more Bible," suggesting that citing anything but Scripture is wrong.

This attitude demonstrates Mr. Anonymous' abject ignorance; apparently he thinks sermons/commentaries are worthless for learning anything.  I'm sure he also sees himself as an authority on what the Bible teaches.  What's even more humorous, demonstrating more ignorance, is that he is a KJV Onlyer. In Jesus day Mr. Anonymous would be a Pharisee.

So Mr. Anonymous, you may as well quit commenting. You won't get published and all I do is laugh at your foolishness whenever I see such comments.

When the Gospel Becomes Hostage to "Tolerance"

The empty churches of Europe testify to what happens when the clear gospel witness becomes beholden to political correctness, submission to culture, and a willingness to unite with other religions under the banner of tolerance and love.

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.189-190

Monday, November 26, 2018

Do Not Conform to This World

Anyone can be a non-conformist for nonconformity's sake. ... What we are ultimately called to is more than non-conformity; we are called to transformation. We notice that the words conform and transform both contain the same root form. The only difference between the words is found in the prefixes. The prefix con means "with." To conform, then, is to be "with the structures or forms." In our culture a conformist is someone who is "with it." A nonconformist may be regarded as someone who is "out of it." If the goal of the Christian is to be "out of it," then I am afraid we have been all too successful. 

The prefix trans means "across" or "beyond." When we are called to be transformed, it means that we are to rise above the forms and the structures of this world. We are not to follow the world's lead but to cut across it and rise above it to a higher calling and style. This is a call to transcendent excellence, not a call to sloppy "out-of-it-ness." Christians who give themselves as living sacrifices and offer their worship in this way are people with a high standard of discipline. They are not satisfied with superficial forms of righteousness. The “saints” are called to a rigorous pursuit of the kingdom of God. They are called to depth in their spiritual understanding.

The key method Paul underscores as the means to the transformed life is by the “renewal of the mind.” This means nothing more and nothing less than education. Serious education. In-depth education. Disciplined education in the things of God. It will call for a mastery of the Word of God. We need to be people whose lives have changed because our minds have changed.

True transformation comes by gaining a new understanding of God, ourselves, and the world. What we are after ultimately is to be conformed to the image of Christ. We are to be like Jesus, thought not in the sense that we can ever gain deity. We are not god-men. But our humanity is to mirror and reflect the perfect humanity of Jesus. A tall order! To be conformed to Jesus, we must first begin to think as Jesus did. We need the “mind of Christ.” We need to value the things he values and despise the things He despises. We need to have the same priorities He has. We need to consider weighty the things that He considers weighty. That cannot happen without a mastery of His Word. The key to spiritual growth is in-depth Christian education that requires a serious level of sacrifice. 

That is the call to excellence we have received. We are not to be like the rest of the world, content to live our lives with a superficial understanding of God. We are to grow dissatisfied with spiritual milk and hunger after spiritual meat. To be a saint means to be separated. But it means more than that. The saint also is to be involved in a vital process of sanctification. We are to be purified daily in the growing pursuit of holiness. If we are justified, we must also be sanctified.

R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, pg.163-164

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Striving To Enter the Narrow Gate

The Lord Jesus declared there are only two roads that lead to eternity, but only a few will find the narrow way that leads to life. Everyone else will travel the broad way that leads to death (Matt. 7:13-14). The many people who are on the broad way will take comfort in knowing they are doing and believing what everyone else does and believes. They need to know, as far as salvation is concerned, there is no security in numbers. Anyone entering the narrow gate must enter alone with empty hands of faith, trusting Christ alone.

Why are there only a few who find the narrow way? It is because false prophets, dressed in sheep's clothing, are constantly directing people to the broad way (Matt. 7:15). These ravenous wolves are successful because the broad way seems right to man, but its end is death (Prov. 14:12). This is why Jesus said, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able" (Luke 13:24). Jesus is pleading with people to strive to enter God's Kingdom and be set free from a fallen world that is held captive by Satan to do his will (2 Tim. 2:26). Only the truth will set captives free, and only when they abide in God's Word will they know the truth (John 8:31-32). Then they will be able to discern truth from error and the narrow gate from the wide gate.

Many gullible people fall prey to false teachers because of their deceptive appearance. As servants of Satan, they "disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds" (2 Cor. 11:15). Like anything that is counterfeit, their goal is to fool people. False teachers mask their deceptive lies with an air of religious authority. They hide their fatal gospel under a thin veneer of truth, such that the outer shell is believable, but what's inside is deadly poison. They often hide their blasphemies and heresies with illogical arguments and traditions of men. They have no fear of God and twist and distort His word to their own destruction (2 Pet. 3:16). They are not interested in saving souls, only in gaining more followers. They are not interested in building the Lord's church, but a church of their own. 

Tragically, there are many who never take the time to consider on which road to eternity they are traveling. It is the responsibility of everyone on the narrow way to warn those who are in peril on the broad way. Let us encourage them to consider the many contrasts between the narrow way and the broad way before it is too late:

*One is guided by pure truth (1 Jn 2:21); the other by truth mixed with error (Gal. 1:6-7)
*One is directed by the infallible Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16); the other by the fallible traditions of men (Mark 7:7-8)
*One follows Jesus, the true Shepherd (John 10:3, 14:6); the other follows anyone else (Matt. 7:15) 
*One is by grace and totally undeserved (Eph. 2:8-9); the other is by trying to merit God's favor (Titus 3:5)
*One is entered by repenting and believing the Gospel (Mark 1:15); the other by rituals and self-righteousness (Rom. 10:3). 
*One is entered by divine accomplishment (Hebrews 7:25); the other by human achievement (Luke 18:9)
*One is traveled by the humble who know they deserve hell (Eph. 2:1-5); the other by the proud who think they deserve heaven (Luke 18:11-14)
*One group will arrive expectantly because of God's promises (1 John 5:13); the other will be tragically surprised (Matt. 7:23)

Both ways do have one thing in common; they both lead people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Many will meet Him as a sin-avenging Judge and hear Him say, "Depart from me, I never knew you" (Mat. 7:23). Others will stand before Him as their gracious and merciful Savior and sing His praises throughout eternity!

Mike Gendron, Proclaiming the Gospel email, 11/1/18

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Bad and/or Ugly Things Needing Discernment

An example of why you really, really need to avoid Beth Moore’s teachings, and spread the word to your friends that her teaching is virtually worthless and even spiritually dangerous. Continue with part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.  More to come.

This woman is NOT a pastor, and the fact that the ELCA hasn’t excommunicated her proves they are not a Christian denomination.  She is the very definition of porn.

Tim Keller says the creation and flood stories in Genesis are lies. And yet too many otherwise solid churches continue to use his material.

A perfect example of why so much of the church is apostate.

The more you learn about Seventh-day Adventism, the more you can see why it is considered a cult.

A 3-part series by Jackie Alnor about the “Metamorphosis of the Universal Church in Our Time.” Roman Catholicism! Part 1 is The Sleeping Giant in Rome. Part 2 is Lucifer Enthroned in the Unholy See. Part 3 is To the Future and Beyond!  (I really wish Christian teachers would quit calling Satan “Lucifer” — that was NEVER his name!)

An example of all that is wrong with Hillsong, and yet too many churches continue to use their music, which financially helps Hillsong to continue this type of blasphemy.

The Episcopal Church is totally apostate, and yet people who call themselves Christians still remain in this denomination.

Of course there are other churches who assist people in their sin — a sin which God calls an abomination.  And yet they call themselves Christian.

Francis Chan continues to promote, support, and assist false teachers in every way.

Be VERY discerning, brothers and sisters!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Does Your Church Have a Sense of Threshold?

Church architecture varies. Every church building communicates some kind of nonverbal message. In the past, the Gothic cathedral was designed to focus attention on God’s transcendence. The use of high ceilings, vaulted space, towers, and spires all served to communicate that in this building, people met with the holy. While some contemporary church buildings still use spires and vaulted ceilings to suggest God’s awesome holiness, other church buildings have been designed to create a fellowship facility. These churches can look more like town meeting halls or even theaters. In some of these churches, the sanctuary becomes a stage, and the congregation becomes an audience. The trend may be seen as a profanation of sacred space to remove any discomfort suggested by the presence and the terror of our holy God. In these settings people are comfortable with other people as they enjoy fellowship with one another. What is often lost in these functional church designs is the profound sense of threshold. A threshold is a place of transition. It signals a change from one realm to another.

R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, pg.212

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Holiness vs. Purity

We are so accustomed to equating holiness with purity or ethical perfection that we look for the idea when the word holy appears. When things are made holy, when they are consecrated, they are set apart unto purity. They are to be used in a pure way. They are to reflect purity as well as simple apartness. Purity is not excluded from the idea of the holy; it is contained within it. But the point we must remember is that the idea of the holy is never exhausted by the idea of purity. It includes purity but is much more than that. It is purity and transcendence. It is a transcendent purity.

R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, pg.39

Saturday, November 10, 2018

What Does “Holy” Mean?

The primary meaning of holy is “separate.” It comes from an ancient word that means “to cut,” or “to separate.” To translate this basic meaning into contemporary language would be to use the phrase “a cut apart.” Perhaps even more accurate would be the phrase “a cut above something.” When we find a garment or another piece of merchandise that is outstanding, that has a superior excellence, we use the expression that it is “a cut above the rest.”

God’s holiness is more than just separateness. His holiness is also transcendent. The word transcendence means literally “to climb across.” it is defined as “exceeding usual limits.” To transcend is to rise above something, to go above and beyond a certain limit. When we speak of the transcendence of God, we are talking about that sense in which God is above and beyond us. Transcendence describes His supreme and absolute greatness. The word is used to describe God’s relationship to the world. He is higher than the world. He has absolute power over the world. The world has no power over Him. Transcendence describes God in His consuming majesty, His exalted loftiness. It points to the infinite distance that separates Him from every creature. He is an infinite cut above everything else. 

When the Bible calls God holy, it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be “other,” to be different is a special way.

R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, pg.37-38

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Another DVD Give Away!

This DVD is a good examination comparing the Bible to Joseph Smith’s teachings, testing each by the same standards. I have given away many in the past and still have three copies.

As with previous materials I’ve given away, this offer is only for those in the U.S.A. — due to postage costs elsewhere!  You can comment on this post requesting it with your address (comments are moderated and your address will not be posted) or you can email me your address at jude3.gctwm@yahoo.com.  As always, I determine the “winner” by what comes in my inbox first, and I will notify you either by return email or by a comment on the post. (Be patient for a response; I’m not on the computer all the time.)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Define Your Terms — God

It is theologically fallacious to believe that those who reject the biblical Christ and call God by some other designation are worshipping the God of the Bible, the true and living God. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thus any person’s definition of God that excludes the Son (and the Spirit) as God in the biblical sense results in that person’s denial of the true and living God.

Steven Tsoukalas, Knowing Christ in the Challenge of Heresy, pg. xxiii, footnote 29

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good:
Did Jesus Approve of Homosexuality? The answer is, of course, no he did not. Be sure to read the 5 sermons by Pastor Don Green to which this article links.

A great article debunking the whole Mariolatry of the Roman Catholic Church.

Good, concise analysis of “The Message.”

I’ve known that “Holy Ghost” in old English (e.g., KJV) wasn’t as accurate as “Holy Spirit,” but I never knew why.  Now I know!

Great reference source to articles about the KJV Only movement.

The Bad and/or Ugly
The Pope really, really needs to butt out of politics/social gospel and stick to his RCC, which needs a whole lot of correction and cleaning up! The “migrants” are an invading army — PERIOD!

Roman Catholic colleges need to be held accountable by the Roman Catholic Church. Having perversions as entertainment SHOULD go against Catholic teachings.

You can’t make this stuff up!

And you can’t make this stuff up, either!

Nor can you make this stuff up.

The previous three examples are what the apostate “church” looks like. They are not Christian assemblies, and their leaders are satanic wolves.

Then there are the many “churches” who decide to be part of the world for Halloween. Instead of just ignoring the day they have to behave as everyone else!  While reading this article, take a look at what the Church by the Glades has been preaching on— proving again that it is not a church of Christ, but rather a goat-pen for the ignorant. (A closer look at Church by the Glades and their satanic celebration can be found here.)

The abject heresy of the Anglican Church; an Imam preaching a sermon.

Please educate yourself in God’s Word, and use discernment.  The devil is certainly prowling for your loyalty.