Friday, July 30, 2010

The Grahams: Easy Believism: Millions of Deceived.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Where is the call for this self examination in the evangelical world? which seems to lead people to presume once they've said a salvation prayer, it's a done deal. There seems to be the attitude that if one just shows up to a church, they are "saved". Just like the old saying goes: "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car".

There is the false notion, you are saved once you say that prayer at the Graham altar call and then you are done. Frankly I do believe anyone who truly repents and trusts in Jesus Christ, is born again, but getting people to say a prayer and have an "emotional moment" at a Franklin Graham Festival, Harvest Fest or Billy Graham crusade is no proof of that salvation or true repentance. Once, I had someone say the "sinners prayer" in front of me [urged on by a fundie baptist church member] wanting to please people but knew the conversion wasn't real and there was no life change.

This ignores the fact that the Holy Spirit is sanctifying and teaching a Christian many things during a course of a lifetime. It also sets up a sort of spiritual apathy among evangelicals, who think that once they are "saved" that is it, everything is smooth sailing, there will be no "tests", no "growth", no "race to be run" [2 Tim 4:7], nothing more to learn, and no danger of being deceived....

In fact in BG and neo-evangelical circles, they often couch with the "you are saved message": the dangerous idea, that once a person is born again they CANNOT be DECEIVED. This may true to a point, I believe the Holy Spirit does warn His children, but when you got a whole group of people who are not even examining themselves to see if they are in the faith, this is a perfect set up for folks who are SMUG about their position and put such things as self examination on the table and even if they managed to come out of previous cults, puts them in a very dangerous spiritual position. Add in those who do the double talk thing, sell a hard line vs a soft line--knowing people will choose the easier path and the deception gets even deeper. An example of this would be Franklin Graham's seemingly hard line against Islam but being fully involved in ecumenical functions.

We can see this is applied to the pastors. The attitude seems to be thus: "Pastor Chuck, Skip, and Greg, wouldn't lead us wrong, they have been "SAVED" is the thinking, it is impossible for my "saved" pastor to teach any false doctrine or do anything not in our best interests...sure they make a few mistakes like any other human being but they said the prayer, they had the testimony, that means they are "in" and we are going to follow them anywhere!"

So the done deal salvation thusly is applied to the pastors as well as the people in the pews.

Here is a good article: [I agree with David Cloud even about this being done in fundamentalist baptist circles]

Some argue that we should not worry about this matter, because “at least some people are being saved.” But to get people to pray to “receive Christ” when they are not under conviction of sin and are not ready to repent and trust Christ in a biblical fashion and to say that people are saved when they do not have evidence of Bible salvation is to confuse the gospel in a most fantastic way. It fills the land with people who are almost inoculated to the gospel. When you try to deal with these people about their need for Christ, they tell you they “have already done that.” Done what? Well, they have prayed that prayer, they have gone through those motions, they have done that little religious ritual. And just where did they get the idea that salvation is merely a prayer without a life change? They got that idea from those who are promoting this type of thing. The fruit, my friends, has been fearful. The charismatics are tremendously guilty of this, but so are great numbers of fundamental Baptists.
So how many at the Graham crusades, festivals and events like Harvest Fest fit that criteria? How many have been inoculated against the gospel, having had that one emotional experience with no real conversion? and then later say things like "well I tried being a Christian, it didn't work out..." Want to know how many people I have witnessed to who had that BG experience or even had that church experience of saying the sinners prayer, and then presently living lives away from God? It is far too many. Course some will say they are all truly saved, they are back slidden etc....but what if the conversion never was real? Even daring to say such a thing, will gather you looks of horror and being called a "hater". No hate is intended, we are instructed to examine ourselves if we are in the faith.

These Crusades and Festivals too, seem to be about the "sell", as they brag of numbers and how many thousands made their "decisions for christ". Group dynamics play a part here too as many surge forward, group pressure playing a part in that "decision" and huge numbers along with the whipping up of emotions [rock bands included] that are not centered in biblical conversion.

Many church members could never conceive, that many of these folks were never saved to begin with, rejecting ideas that the true Christian life is about a growing record of sanctification. This is not works salvation but a life process of being taught by the Holy Spirit, and growing in the faith once someone becomes born again. There are many who fall away:

Luke 8:13 They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

When someone is in the position of "I am saved, there is nothing more to be concerned about" it serves as a way to close their eyes especially when it is applied to themselves and others. One even encounters insane ideas, that someone could murder 10 people [not exactly showing fruits of salvation there] and still be born again, if they were at a Billy Graham crusade in their youth and "sincerely" said a "sinners prayer".

What you get here too is a watered down "jesus". The type where false pastors shout focus on "jesus" while ignoring everything the real one taught about biblical separation and last days deceptions. The false "jesus" of rock music and easy believism. Honestly when the Grahams speak of the Pope following the same "jesus" that they do, they are making clear they follow the antichrist, the false "jesus" that led Billy Graham to tell Robert Schuller of all those people who "follow Christ" but do not know his name. [Just like the Pope and Jesuits with their false misnomer regarding the "anonymous Christians"] The "jesus" of all religions is not the Jesus of the Bible.

In these watered down churches and organizations, where salvation for everyone who spouts the name Jesus is a foregone conclusion, the possibilities of apostasy are considered impossible: Perhaps if the fruits grew bad enough, drug abuse, violent crime: Only then would some church-goers finally entertain the possibility that the guy "may not have been actually saved" but maybe not even THEN.

Anyhow this whole idea, that one just has to say a prayer and that is the end of the road, has set up millions for deception. A watered down Christianity, where anything goes and love for the world is paramount, and the idea of "I am saved and have nothing more to be concerned about" attitudes lead to all sorts of excuse making, compromises on sins and false preachers. These types try to tell us when a Calvary Chapel pastor serves on a BGEA board, he is just "making a mistake" after all he is "SAVED". Now one may ask, WHY DOESN'T he know any better then?

It has taken things to the point to where any preacher and politico...[think GW Bush, Benny Hinn, and Ted Haggard] can claim "salvation", and "following Jesus", and no one examines the fruits, or what goes with it, no questions asked. All they have to do is spout some nice words, about love, 'focusing on jesus", unity, peace, their emotional conversions and testimonies, and there you go. People are fooled. Some probably even fool themselves as well. The worse thing about it all, even more folks are inoculated against the gospel.

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Age Code Phrase #2: UNITY IN DIVERSITY

This one cropped up in the mid 1980s in the UU church all the time but now it's all over and actually so commonly used, it is mainstream. What is "Unity in diversity"? It can be used regarding racial differences but here I am focusing on the religious uses of the term. Basically it is people of different persuasions [religions etc]-- the so called diverse coming into "unity". It is one of the main tenets of Universalism and even of Freemasonry which has held the agenda for centuries for having all religions around one altar. "Unity in diversity" in religious organizations is not only used to promote false ecumenism, but interfaithism as well.

Alice Bailey being a Theosophist [basically out of the foundation of the New Age movement] praised "oneness" or "unity in diversity". She wrote:

"Fundamentalist Christians have great fear of any movement towards world government such as the United Nations or toward "oneness". They see this as the work of the devil...a helpful way for fundamentalists to overcome their fear is to remember the unity in diversity theme, which forms the basis of both the work of the United Nations and the New Age movement--respecting diversity while focusing on the underlying unity"

[quoted in Billy Graham and Friends, Cathy Burns, page 536]

The Catholic church supports it:

Article written by Catholic religious on Unity in Diversity, one world religion concepts included:

I share these personal experiences as apropos to the theme of this talk, ‘Unity in Diversity’, because they illustrate how dialogue arises in even the most casual circumstances. Those engaged in such religious encounters must be alive to the everyday opportunities given them to understand each other’s faith, to discover points of agreement and convergence, and to welcome even the puzzling perceptions requiring further study. When one grasps the truth of some aspect of another faith, one should consider whether it may be just the balance needed to complement a better understanding of one’s own faith.

Pope John Paul II celebrated the concept:

The Holy Father prayed the rosary with thousands of students on hand. The event marked the resumption of his public engagements, after a week of Lenten Spiritual Exercises.
Thousands of youths in Cologne; Krakow, Poland; Fatima, Portugal; Uppsala, Sweden; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Vienna, Austria, heard him live through a television connection.

"Christian young people are called to proclaim their witness to Christ and to be architects of unity in diversity, of freedom in truth and of peace in justice, a peace of which the world is in particular need," he said during his address.

Evangelicals and others are carrying it forth:
"Will the Church Ever Be Able to Find Unity In Diversity?"

Then there is the would-be one world government pushing the theme, with a "world currency coin" minted for G-8 members in 2009:

While the world is gleefully skipping into the false promises of "peace" and pseudo-Utopian visions of peaceful unity: denying the realities of human sin and quests for global power: avoid the "one mind of the beast"! Keep in mind what Jesus Christ taught:

Luke 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

Study: Few Americans Make Faith a Top Priority

"Few Americans Make Faith a Top Priority"

This doesn't surprise me as the churches fall away and society has become more and more secular. Of course given the pantheon of false religions, the word "faith" can represent something that is apart from the true Christian faith. It is the very few among us, that hold a biblical worldview. The "religion" of the media has taken over many who even chose the "health/leisure/balanced lifestyle" over faith itself. Isn't this what is sold to consumerist culture all the time?

Nearly 90 percent of Americans, according to the CIA World Factbook, identify themselves with a religion. But only 12 percent of American adults say faith is a top priority in their life, according to a new study released Monday by the Barna Group.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Internet: Positive Tool for Christians But Full of Dangers

The Internet is a blessing in many ways. Christian websites gave me the gospel [along with real life Christians] when I started going online having doubts about the Catholic church. So the Internet can be used as a tool for salvation, and the Internet is as world-changing as the printing press was during the time of the Reformation, in bringing truth to people. Never before have human beings had so much access to information, which brings this verse to mind:

Dan 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Consider the extent of Bible websites, online sermons, essays, articles we have at our disposal. There are tons of websites to go to, to listen to good Christian hymns , order tracts and listen to sermons. One blessing of living during this time, has been having a library at home to explore. We can praise God for these blessings and be sincerely thankful for them.

There are many pitfalls on the Internet, to be found in the Christian world. The enemy knows the Internet is a place to lead unsaved people into false religions, cults, Internet pornography, violent shows, rock music, and all the other wickedness that exists in the world. But it goes deeper then this, Christian message boards and websites are not immune to the wiles of the devil or his workers.

One thing happening on message boards on the Internet, is while there are many folks who are sincerely wrong who are honest and while we may disagree with them with normal human disagreement even if strife results--which the Christian is told to depart from after the gospel is rejected-Matt 10:14 , the conversation is real and "honest". Realize even among this crowd there are many in the Laodicean church who say they are Christians but are not! There are many others, where the conversation is not honest, and there are things happening on the Internet [only the naive would admit this could never happen] where people are saying they are Christians when they are not. Some are knowing occultists, some are fallen away or backslidden Christians who have come under the spell of a false teacher, and others are cultists who wish to bring in new members.

Sometimes discerning the exact nature of the deceit can be difficult, in some places it may be wise to warn others more specifically while in others in a more general fashion before departing: Let God lead you on that, even on the warning itself. Some websites are such snake pits getting out of dodge is the best bet, once you have preached the gospel and it has been rejected.

Some things I have noted is many of the knowing occultists do mark themselves so they recognize each other in their avatars: these can be subtle such as more hands signs or symbols only known in occult circles or more blatant, such as in the case of someone telling us they are a Christian but using a horror movie character as an avatar: One example would be "Jason" from Friday the Thirteenth. I have seen all this with my own eyes. Enough time will often tell you if you are dealing with a very undisciplined teen who remains "in the world" but is sincere or someone who knows what they are doing.

As for knowing occultists who "play Christian" on line, without fail the majority of these folks all match on the same messages, telling Christians to compromise, praising blind obedience to authority, praising the New Age, occult, Halloween, telling Christians there is nothing wrong with the ecumenical movement, denying Bible prophecy, praising corrupt politicians and the new world order and presenting the Catholic/Mormon/Jehovah Witness church as fellow Christian churches. Here too remember even among the sincere, Bible Christianity remains unpopular and many do reject the gospel and other biblical warnings being products of today's fallen away churches.

One day years ago, I discovered on one Christian message board, that one poster who told everyone she was a Catholic, was actually a Satanist and had a message board and regular website of articles to that affect telling of her rituals and graphics with dripping blood. In this case I was able to directly expose the deceit, given she used the same name in various places. She repeated some of the same messages above; especially a strong sell for Catholicism. I have seen that same person still remaining on Catholic and Christian message boards, years later with no problem.

I have discovered an entire message board, where the message board was set up as a "goof" where every person took a caricature name, and they "play-acted" being Christians. It still continues today. The sad things while they expressed every extreme of what the world sees as "Christian behavior" [money hungry preachers, social status seeking housewives] sincere people come on to this board and be totally fooled. While this one is more for some folks idea of "humor"; there are many places this is being done where no one is laughing at all, except at Christians they despise.

I have seen a message board where they say they are a Christian fundamentalists but preach actively against fundamental Christian beliefs; everything talked about at this link I have witnessed for myself. Some with time you even figure out are ex-fundamentalists who had very bad experiences in poor churches but seem to oddly refuse to have an honest discussions from Christians willing to admit those abuses, alongside dark avatars, "pastors" acting anything like an average pastor would act like, curse words and insults included and the same repeated messages of compromise and defense for everything antichrist in the church, you start realizing something is up.

In telling people you believe there are knowing deceivers online, many confessing Christians today are naive and would find such a summation to be along the lines of a "conspiracy theory" but I have seen it in action. Some may call you "paranoid" or "crazy". But why wouldn't workers for Satan infiltrate the Internet, or even some churches? There are hordes of the truly ignorant and sincerely wrong out there, preaching false messages but there definitely are signs of those who KNOW EXACTLY what they are doing.

Watching people who will twist things online, use repetition, quote a statement and then reverse the meaning of it, use any number of diversionary techniques--asking nonsense questions on threads, using casuistry better then the most trained Jesuit, contradicting long held and stated previous beliefs using bait and switch techniques told me that there is something very insidious going on. Christians have had people befriend them online, and start using those techniques, once the targeted Christian rejects the promoted teachers or beliefs they are trying to sell. Now even sincere friends can have a disagreement, but the true test of a true friend is if they really care about you, ill treatment will not come forth based on sincere religious beliefs. There is no excuse for abuse, the sincere Christian will talk things out in an honest fashion and pray for you. So take a second look at those who claim to be friends but then desire to use such techniques to get you or others back in line or refuse honest and sincere conversation. [These same things would apply in a church as well]. There is a reason some people come out of bad churches talking about spiritual abuse and same as it exsists in the real world, it exsists online.

Some deceivers or deceived online will actually preach truth about ONE matter, but then introduce new lies, or deceptions. There are many websites, that will "expose the Catholic church", "warn about the New Age" but then introduce new lies and deceit from other directions. New believers can be very vulnerable as they leave a false church, say in the case of the Roman Catholic church if they do not stay in prayer and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit about all teachers. Realize Satan has set up many ditches, a person can get out of one, just to fall in another.

Psalm 119;105 Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Two satanic overused tools of both those who are indoctrinated by false churches and the knowing deceivers include telling the Christian who believes in separation from the world that they are a "hater", are too 'black and white" and need to "compromise for fellowship" and total and blatant character assassination, this can range from saying they are insane, or just making up lies. Satanic forces in the world have joined together in suppressing dissenters to the global antichrist system. Now Americans are still protected [at least for now sadly as our nation is rapidly losing more freedoms], Internet persecution compared to Christians losing their lives elsewhere in the world right now is nothing but I would surmise when this type of stuff moves in the real world, that is what Christians are experiencing before they hear the knock at the door, telling them they are a "insurrectionist". Persecution for Christians is a given and Jesus Christ warned us the world would hate the Christian, we must never forget that.

Jhn 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.

Without fail, The Bible itself is questioned, and doubts are planted in the minds of many where God's Word is not held up as truth. Gatekeepers, often moderators or owners of boards, involved in ecumenical and other enterprises, ban or suspend the Bible believing Christian time and time again. There are some very large Christian boards, who will abuse a list of rules so long, that once a fundamentalist or Bible believing Christian crosses a certain ecumenical line, they will make use of this long list [that no one really even knows it is so long] to silence them for a time. Some boards if one holds any strong separatist biblical beliefs, that will be enough for an instant banning. Too many seem more rife with fighting, meanness and false messages then some secular message boards where the people at least try to ascribe to the general rules of civility, friendship and getting along. This does not speak well of so called Christian websites.
The Internet can be a dangerous place for the Christian who is unseasoned and who lets the strife lead them down bad roads to sin. As Christians we are told in Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. While following the verses not to throw pearls before swine, or allow ourselves to be trampled [Matt 7:6], keeping a balance for standing for truth online among all the wicked game-playing, can take a lot of prayer. Love your enemies: coming out of what I did, I pray for those who are deceived or deceiving, to repent and come to Jesus Christ, and realize the errors of their ways. Pray for discernment and where your preaching the gospel or exposing the works of darkness will be the most fruitful. Realize the fruit of the Spirit in dealing with the Internet world:

Do not follow the examples of the "Mean Christians" . Even recently while I still want to warn people and preach the gospel in various places online, avoiding the deceit, strife, mean spirit and closure to Bible truth in so many places is something I have to keep in prayer about even in regards to my own sins. Holding to a biblical line amidst the mud-throwing and deceit sometimes can be a difficult job for any Christian. Having warned against the one world religion and ecumenical movement, for years online, I have seen all the ways, folks seek to avert this message. Christians can still use the Internet as a tool for good, but should do so being alert and awake for the many spiritual dangers out there.

A Quote For Today:

Always thought this was a good quote, this is a good warning:

If loyalty to anyone takes precedence over loyalty to God and His truth as revealed in scripture, than that loyalty must be broken. Jesus taught this very thing when He said, "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:37). In Luke 14:26, He goes even further by saying that if we love even our own lives more than we love Him we are not worthy of Him. If we are expected to hold allegiance to Jesus, even above allegiance to our families and our very own lives, how much more should we be loyal to Him above teachers, no matter how they impress us with their knowledge and eloquent oratory.

-Al Dager,
Vengeance is Ours, The Church in Dominion; Sword Publishers

Monday, July 19, 2010

Warning About Ruckman: "I Do Not Think Abortion is Murder"

Ruckman is a KJV-Only Preacher, who I encountered while going to a message board for ex-Catholics, where many participants were followers of him. There were some very odd teachings, some that were even hard to pin down, as one follower, would refuse to even say that he believed Jesus Christ was God, because he did not believe in the Trinity. That seemed no different from the Jehovah Witnesses. This was based in Ruckman's teaching on a different "sonship" of Christ instead of standing for the truth of God's Word [repeated in many verses] that Jesus Christ IS God.

In the above, we see even one of those other odd teachings, this time on abortion. This one is an unbelievable statement for a self professed "Christian" which denies even the Bible verse used by pro-life advocates everywhere. [Jer. 1:5]

One thing even in the fundamentalist churches [as well as all others] there are deceivers, false preachers and things to watch out for and I say this as someone who has used the label myself and been in a good fundamentalist church. Here the theme continues that one must test all preachers by God's Word and that includes those who carry the "fundamentalist Christian" label as well. With Ruckman, there are many teachings that are questionable.

As for KJV Onlyism: I do believe the KJV is the BEST translation in English, [there are many false and corrupted Bible versions] but do not agree with those who teach it is "new revelation". [this view has also been called Ruckmanism. There is an agenda out there to discredit those who wish to warn about false Bible versions.

[caveat: I do not agree with video on everything including use of NIV, but agree with the maker of the video in regards to Ruckman}

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Part Two: Jacob Prasch, Midrash and Some of those False Jewish Traditions

continued from Part One:

I am going to give an example of false Jewish traditions brought in by a teacher that took me even time to see through with prayer and conviction by the Holy Spirit.

Jacob Prasch, who is well known in Calvary Chapel circles, and still adheres to the true gospel of grace unlike some of the others mentioned in Part One, was a Messianic oriented teacher of Jewish ancestry that at first glance, I really liked. Exploring the Old Testament learning more about Judaism and what the apostles and Jesus believed as Jews, was very interesting and good learning experience. But when I read his teachings about Midrash, I knew something was very wrong.

Even Midrash itself seems to be extraordinarily vaguely defined: Prasch himself even states "“Unless someone has been educated in Judaism, Hebrew, or theology,
it is easier to demonstrate midrash than to explain it.”
which adds to the megapot of confusion. Here is how it is defined by Wickipedia:

Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש‎; plural midrashim, lit. "to investigate" or "study") is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible.

Midrash is a way of interpreting biblical stories that goes beyond simple distillation of religious, legal or moral teachings. It fills in many gaps left in the biblical narrative regarding events and personalities that are only hinted at. [1]

I find the filling of gaps thing to be pretty interesting, but what is that when stripped right down? {it basically means adding to the biblical narrative!}. Even Jewish websites and others will admit Midrash is a collection of stories, allegory, history, scientific observations and legend. Even if the word Midrash is supposedly mentioned in the Bible as Prasch in his article refuting Midrash critics claims , that means nothing, Enoch is mentioned in the Bible as well but this doesn't mean the book of Enoch is inspired scripture. That word which Prasch translates as "Midrash" is translated as "saying" ["speech and words"] on Blue Letter Bible [Strongs].

When something can barely even be defined even by a practitioner of it, that should be major red flag time. With the claims that someone needs to be a well educated, Hebrew-Greek scholar who studies boatloads of rabbinical teachings to "truly understand scripture", this matches Catholicism too which offers forth its special experts and denies teaching by the Holy Spirit of the indwelt Christian.

Prasch states:

"You will never understand the Book of Revelation with the kind of limited approach to biblical interpretation that is taught in Protestant seminaries. Midrash is like a quadratic equation or a very complex second order differential equation, a thirteen or fourteen step equation. Some people take the first step of grammatical-historical exegesis and think the equation is solved"
This too ties into Prasch's dubious claims about the Reformers lacking a supposed Hebrew way of thinking and adhering to a Greek {Hellenistic} way of thinking. He states as well that

"The problem with the Reformers is that they only went so far. They made rules governing the application of their grammatical-historical system in order to refute medieval Roman Catholicism, and many of those rules are still taught in theological seminaries today.

This is kind of scary stuff, so the Reformers who taught that one could read the Bible and fully understand it, were wrong? Isn't Prasch trying to take us back to the days of governors and tutors talked about in Galatians 4:2-12? How is this different from the Catholic church making claims that only its successors to the apostles, who are Latin trained can interpret scripture, with Prasch's claim that only rabbinical Midrash folks [past and present] who are Greek and Hebrew trained are needed to fully understand the Bible?

Then there is the MYSTICISM connection. Google Midrash and Kabbalah. There is a connection, the claim will be that the earlier Midrash differs from the later Medieval versions, but what difference is there? There were Jewish writings and study that were not inspired during Old Testament and Biblical Times, [this is where some of the Apoprhyca comes from, with the book used by Catholics called the Maccabees as an example]. Those warnings about Israel embracing paganism [from Babylon] over and over and then repenting, exist in the Bible for a reason.

Let's go back to the Wickipedia definition of Midrash, which further states:

Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש‎; plural midrashim, lit. “to investigate” or “study”) is a Hebrew term referring to the not exact, but comparative (homiletic) method of exegesis (hermeneutic) of Biblical texts, which is one of four methods cumulatively called Pardes. The term midrash can also refer to a compilation of homiletic teachings (commentaries) on the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), in the form of legal and ritual (Halakhah) and legendary, moralizing, folkloristic, and anecdotal (Aggadah) parts.

What is Pardes? Also from Wikipedia:
The term, sometimes also spelled PaRDeS, is an acronym formed from the name initials of these four approaches, which are:

eshat (פְּשָׁט) — “plain” (simple) or the direct meaning.
Remez (רֶמֶז) — “hints” or the deep (allegoric) meaning beyond just the literal sense.
Derash (דְּרַשׁ) — from Hebrew darash: “inquire” (seek) — the comparative (midrashic) meaning, as given through similar occurrences.
Sod (סוֹד) (pronounced with a long O as in gold) — “secret” (mystery) or the mystical meaning, as given through inspiration or revelation.
This stuff is concerning too. We can note that Prasch, desires for people to seek "deep" meanings of the Bible via Midrash which seeks to smack of Gnosticism or "hidden knowledge. Even the stuff about "multiple fulfillments" and "wisdom of the ancients" and "each cycle" made me wonder what is he really teaching here? It sounds like stuff I learned in the Unitarian Universalist church where eastern theology about time being cyclical [endless repeating] was forwarded.

But then there is SOD [in bold and green above] , the supposedly "mystical meaning" of the Bible. One question I once asked some Prasch supporters , was "So what I want to how come acouple people DENOUNCE MYSTICISM when it comes to Catholicism and other false religions, but consider it OK, when it comes to MIDRASH?"

This sounds like the usual deception that comes via various forms of Mystery Babylon, this type with a Talmudic flavor of it. Basically this is using the Bible in a twisted way to get into MYSTICISM!

One other statement from the same Prasch Midrash article also as well leapt out at me and also noticed by other writers warnings of this:

Midrash makes heavy use of allegory and typology to illustrate and illuminate doctrine, but never as a basis for doctrine. It sees multiple meanings in Bible texts found in strata,”
Why would any Christian, suggest that another explore things that do not back up doctrine? This seems to be an equivocation of sorts, and an exploration for 'secret knowledge" using the Bible itself as mentioned above.

This article too warns of the same and I fully agree with this:.

"What have we got above? No longer should we read the Bible, relying on the Holy Spirit to open the revealed texts, all there in front of us, plain and simple given by the Lord, NO. We must rely on Midrash to
“illustrate" and "illuminate" doctrine, we can’t just read it from God’s Word. You have to have a Jewish rabbi who can explain Midrash before you can have the “secret key” that will open the door to understanding. If you are to have the “multiple meanings” you must have and desperately need Midrash or else you will NEVER get God’s proper meanings and truth. Jacob insists that we must have something superior to the Alexandrian and gnostic hermeneutic. But Jacob presents what is classical gnosticism in his Midrash errors! Gnosticism is mysticism which holds that the Bible cannot be understood as it is presented, but has to have a “secret key” which unlocks the hidden mysteries in the texts.This is precisely what Prasch presents".

If you cant even trust your own reading with Gods Word, [and we are promised to be taught by the Holy Spirit] and have some guy telling you, that you need rabbis and need Hebrew and Greek to *fully" understand it, that is a problem. That whole premise goes against this Bible verse.

John 14:26: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

No one should trust readily any teacher who tells them to GO OUTSIDE of scripture or an "outside source" to "understand" it. No one needs to be a Ruckmanite [who has his own false teachings] or a doctorate level Hebrew scholar to "get" that as Prasch claims in his rebuttal article to Midrash critics:

"Such so-called “scholars” and “experts” are dangerous because they do not know Greek and Hebrew but rather pretend to have expertise where they have none."

I'll admit I may not have the years of study, cannot speak or read Greek or Hebrew outside of translation websites, nor when I left the Catholic church did I know Latin either. That doesn't matter. The Holy Spirit will warn a Christian when something is false and to be avoided and the warnings of scripture are endless about going to extra Biblical sources, false traditions, legends, lore or adding to God's Word. I have discerned and learned without a doubt that the Midrash is something that should be avoided at all costs. I reject Midrash as a source for truth for the same reason I rejected Catholic legends about saints, the fate of various bible figures and more.

Always test every teacher with God's Word. This includes those who on the surface, seem to have the positive goal of exploring the Jewish aspects of the Christian faith, but never go outside of God's Word.

Part One: Deception Using Judaism: Titus 1:4- Jewish Fables

Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

One huge heresy sweeping the churches, is Hebrew Roots or Hebrew Roots influenced teachings, that combine Jewish traditions [that have no biblical standing] with Christianity, to make one big stew pot of confusion. From Lew White, to the Nazarites, to many others: some of which are preaching openly a return to Torah law instead adhering to the gospel of grace, there have been troubling developments.

Before I get started on this one, I do believe the Jews were God's chosen people, that many Messianics who adhere to the gospel of grace are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and subscribe to this verse:

Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

This verse also points to Jesus Christ in that Jesus was a Jew and we are all blessed by Him. The world has oppressed the Jewish people for centuries: the Holocaust was basically an updated Inquisition done by Rome. This is why, I do not trust any secular govt entity when it comes to Jewish people, betrayal always looms on the horizon, as persecution of Jews and Bible Christians has occurred over and over through out history.

I do not subscribe to the false teachings by the Catholic church and others, that the Jews are saved under the first covenant so no evangelism is necessary for them. I believe they need Jesus Christ as much as I did when I was born again. This is something that the Pope and Catholic bishops on down to John Hagee has taught.

John Hagee [see at link] in fact preached this:

"I'm not trying to convert the Jewish people to the Christian faith... In fact, trying to convert Jews is a waste of time. Jews already have a covenant with God and that has never been replaced by Christianity." (Houston Chronicle, April 30, 1988, sec, 6, pg. 1).
Life gets even weirder, when some people tell you books of the Bible do not apply to you based on your DNA, or when American people of European ancestry who were raised Catholic start calling you "Goyim" as a result of some of these false teachers. In my case, Jewish blood is actually negotiable considering the history of a great-grandmother:I simply do not know either way but it should not matter: the scary thing is how many think it should matter. While many of the Jewish claims of ancestry are true, some of these groups have people who never were raised Jewish or grew up not knowing anything Jewish, claiming oddly making new claims for "being a Jew". There is a lot to appreciate about Jewish culture and Praise God for every Jewish person who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior but the focus on racial history or recreating one is a bit worrisome. This verse is shunted aside:

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

One thing people do seem to forget is much of what is called "Jewish", it does not mean it comes straight from the Torah or Old Testament, or that it even has anything to do with the Judaism that formed the root of Christianity. Talmudic Judaism is another creation altogether, that developed through centuries, adding many traditions, legends and rabbinical teachings and much of this same for other false religions of the world that reject the Lordship of Christ adding in Babylonian Mysteries and the same things that have infused Catholicism as well. Talmud writings do deny Jesus Christ same as the Koran and writings of other false religions: [research this for yourself]

"The Editio Princeps of the complete Code of Talmudic Law, Maimonides' Mishneh Torah -- replete not only with the most offensive precepts against all Gentiles but also with explicit attacks on Christianity and on Jesus, after whose name the author adds piously, 'May the name of the wicked perish'... Dr. Israel Shahak, Jewish History, Jewish Religion, p. 21

Christians who want to explore the Jewish roots of the Christian faith; which can be a very interesting and enlightening experience such as studying the prophecies in the Old Testament that point to Jesus need to be careful. Where things go wrong, is when outside traditions without scriptural backup, and other things that were developed in the past are brought in as gospel "truth" and added to God's Word. If someone is mindful of non-biblical Catholic traditions, and came out of that false church or any other, they need to remember that false traditions can come from all sorts of places. Adding to God's Word, Psalm 30:6 leads down a false path.

to be continued:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beware of Cell Groups and Life Groups!

Cell Groups and Life Groups seem to be in almost every church, and most often they have divided the church into groups of 12 [going along with the G-12 formula], with separate groups for men and women. Now there is nothing wrong with home churches, small Bible studies and other groups, that meet--Jesus preached He is there, whenever two or more are gathered in His name but this cell group stuff is something else insidious entirely. Never forget Satan always seeks to mimic and twist something good into evil. Also I will add the warning there are some true groups out there who have not realized what the whole "cell group" thing is about who may use the name but could be biblically based. [Hint: if they are taking weekend retreats and 100 hours of classes in how to "lead" other church members that is not a good sign!]

Around here every single church over 60 members or so, has what they called "Life Groups". I have visited several churches that had this set up when searching for a church in a new community. All of these churches had what they called "leadership" training under different names and special sleep away or camp retreats for adults and ongoing meetings for the "leaders". Some of the class names, include titles like "FOLLOWING THE VISION", as well as others.

Anyhow being the questioning sort , I thought, why are other church members supposed to be "leaders" over me? Yes the Bible talks about husbands leading their homes and elder members instructing younger but these groups are not set up that way. Why are all these groups called the same thing? Why are these folks needing hours and hours of special training, that seems more centered in psychology then on Bible? Why is this stuff so prevalent?

On the surface this stuff seems great: Life groups, cell groups, yes why not sign up?, Go get some close Christian fellowship, prayer, fellowship...what is bad about that? Anyhow taking this to prayer, something seemed very wrong with all of this. In the back recesses of my mind, I had this nagging thought, I used to be into Russian and Chinese history, I've read probably a dozen memoirs regarding Maoist China. Within all of them, the Communist plan was made pretty clear, they made use of very small groups for top down control, where every little village had one, staffed by one or two loyal party members, and they called them "cell groups" and they were used to pinpoint dissenters and use close tight knit peer pressure to keep people and community decision making in line. Considering my studies of the influence of the Hegelian Dialectic, in other areas of life, why not the churches? I definitely could not ignore these nagging thoughts.

In one church I visited {An Assembly of God, acouple years ago} the pastor did his sermon on "Connections" telling us that our 12 person cell group could be our "new family" and that it would make up for the impersonality of that 1500 or so member church. The groups were to follow the usual formula of separating the old from the young, and married couples with each gender divided. With an emphasis on "Connection", it seems these churches even want to try to program the natural affections and social ties of a genuine church where such things should come spontaneously, in other words: "play-dates" for adults. Talk about control. Talk about taking advantage of often too lonely modern life. Churches in America are becoming like spiritual fast-food joints, like Burger King's: "have it your way"-even the sermons themselves are now being franchised and sold, so why not include a side of "fellowship" with "your best life now" class? Problem is just like fast food, its not satisfying like a real home cooked meal and only a copy of what a real meal/church should be.

At the same church mentioned above, and as I have seen in others, the cell group model made a huge deal of LEADERSHIP and with the odd notion of retreat and leadership training alone giving fellow church members of seemingly equal status: "authority" over one another. In fact some church websites, call the training of those to lead the different cellgroups..."School of Leaders": who is following in the world where everyone is a leader?, but I digress. It seems to be a puffed up way to encourage people to sign up for something they should think twice about.

This appeals to human pride, and wanting to lord over others, instead of following Jesus Christ, and having Him be your MASTER. As I said above, this authority is not biblical whatsoever. Those in power know consensus thinking [the so called Delphi method] and small group peer pressure works. Those who are desiring to infiltrate the churches knows what works in leading people, and what worked for the communists is probably going to work for apostate churches of the antichrist.

The influences of those you personally know and have dealings with can be very strong. It is good to know fellow Christians, and to pray and study with them, but its disturbing to realize that your "leaders" or new "friends?" {people claiming leadership they do NOT have} in the church have taken a multiple hour study course on how to deal with you. [or lets say "influence" you] or as one class title said "How to Resolve Problems in a Group"! That alone sets up the consensus thinking formula and manages to quell the strong bible believer [who is most likely the one they are trained to see as a problem].

Let this article serve as a warning:

"But there the similarities end. Christians could be forgiven for believing that cell churches are another method - a commendable method - of avoiding heavy shepherding and making sure that elders do not take on too much authority leaving the church members nothing to do but submit and obey like sheep.
Unfortunately the very opposite is true, for as we shall see, the cell church system is actually designed to enforce stricter obedience to the new order of apostolic government, and to ensure that this obedience is spread to local communities and eventually the entire world.The purpose of cell churches is to transition the Church as a whole into a new order, to create a radical and ground-breaking reformation that will overthrow the established order and bring into being a pattern of apostolic government and prophetic revelation that will change the thinking of all Christians.

Stay out of a church that has groups like this!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Greg Laurie: We're Just No Good at Evangelism

This is a very recent article, entitled "Calif. Evangelist: We're Just No Good at Evangelism". Hmm maybe its time to give up the ecumenical connections and Billy Graham Training Center sessions and start teaching a true gospel of repentance and trust in Jesus Christ free of the rock concerts and globalist initiatives.

I definitely agree as the article states, more Christians should be out there preaching the gospel and not be afraid to witness to friends and relatives. He is not wrong to point those things out. Have been convicted myself recently to increase my passing out of tracts and preaching of the gospel to those I come in contact with. That advice as it stands alone is good.

But what concerns me is this statement by Greg Laurie.

"Far too many Christians today are unnecessarily offensive, hopelessly lame, and generally inept at communicating," he said at the launch of his new "Crossover" sermon series at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif."

What does he mean by "unnecessarily offensive"? If anything people today are told by the apostate preacher brigade, that preaching the gospel in itself is offensive. Most have been indoctrinated to keep their mouths closed, not rock the boat, and not offend the non-believers in the room. If anything Christians have erred more on the timid side, and I point to myself there too, thinking of circumstances, where I could have spoken out more. Then there is the local Calvary Chapel pastor during my last visit there who told us from the pulpit, that direct witnessing and street preaching were "offensive" and just turned people off. I knew I was done at that point.

So telling Christians you are offensive, actually is a way to get people to back down more. They will think to themselves: "Street preaching just bugs people and turns them off", "Passing out tracts is rude, even if I leave it on the table in the library for anyone to freely pick up", "I may get in trouble and cause an argument if I tell these folks about being born again in Jesus Christ", to the point that anything outside of a close friendship, remains too "risky" for the Christian to witness to anyone. In my case I was fortunate, someone risked "offending" me in the street, and basically told me without Jesus Christ I was on the way to hell. Thank God there are Christians willing to speak out.

Of course this is talked about in the Bible too:

1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Now what is his comment about Christians being "hopelessly lame" about? Lame was a slang term that started in the 1980s, most often used by the "cool kids" against the kids who were "nerds" or didn't have the latest video games or trendier fashions. The urban dictionary [of slang] defines lame as "just plain stupid". Another phrase would be "uncool". Well the Bible tells us:

1Pe 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

I dare say Laurie's comment about "lame" [ie "uncool Christians"] is meant to defend a worldly vision of being Christian, where fitting in, and being part of the hip crowd becomes more important. This is one way young people are especially led against the true gospel, told that only those "lame" fundamentalists don't wear the latest fashions or listen to rock music. Here one can smell the small taint of the Emergent desire to be "cultural relevant and hip". I'll go with being peculiar, who cares if the world thinks someone is lame, if you are doing right in God's eyes?

Now what about "inept at commmunication"? Well not every person is gifted in speechmaking, but the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest in someone trying to preach the gospel to another person. Sadly here, if people are not discipled properly and not studying God's Word, or staying in prayer, the best words may fail them. However sometimes I think we would do far better with a few more clumsy, afraid of public speaking types, who truly love God and want to bring people to Christ then the legions of those who with fancy words, and enticing shows, can deceive so many.

Rom 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

DECADE: The UN Decade of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace

The beast oriented United Nations is working consistently for it's one religion world plans. One of the latest is "The UN Decade of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace" that carries the usual laundry list of global elite intiatives such as "climate change" [called global warming before we had acouple cooler years], and has the usual apostate, Temple of Understanding, URI, WCRP, Protestant, Catholic, false religions membership.

This as described on it's website

This ambitious vision requires concerted action with effective social impact; high level meetings and wise declarations are not enough. Consequently, the MISSION of this DECADE is to better mobilize the immense spiritual, human and organizational resources of the religious communities, interfaith organizations, spiritual traditions and movements, traditional indigenous groups, and other aligned values-based civil society organizations. This should be undertaken in partnership with the United Nations, its member states and other constituencies of civil society in the pursuit of pertinent UN objectives, such as the Millennium Development Goals, human rights (including the rights of women, children and youth, refugees and migrants), gender equity, decent work for all, dialogue among civilizations, promoting a culture of peace and nonviolence, peace-building and shared security.

I found it interesting that the Coalition that put this all together, represented by 42 organizations, had their meeting place at the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Ossining, New York. This basically shows too how most of these well-known interfaith organizations and other church organizations from World Council of Churches to the Parliament of the World's Religions work in conjunction with the United Nations.

The United Religions Initiative and The Vatican

United Religions Initiative is a United Nations NGO that is focused on interfaithism and interreligious cooperation. William Swing a retired Episcopal bishop of California is it's director. Here is a video made by one of it's followers: remember what the Bible warns about the false peace of the antichrist "by peace he shall destroy many" warned of in the book of Daniel. [note that James Channan who I mention below appears]

The URI's purpose, according to its charter, is "to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation", to "end religiously motivated violence." and "create cultures of peace".

I do not share Lee Penn's {a Catholic writer who could be drawing different conclusions by this later date} 1998 assertion in this article that "Rome stands firm against it." ["it" being URI]. Many of his concerns are very valid, he has even warned of Benedict's encyclical that calls for world government with more comments on URI. There are some thinking Catholics who see some of which is going on. I pray for all Catholics {Trads, Sedes and others among them} who see some truth about these one world religion organizations that they see "infiltrating" into the Vatican, to be able to come into a biblical full-world view of the Vatican's centuries long role in setting up things for the one world religion and the harlot's leading of all the world's false religions to "unite together for peace" for the antichrist.

This link has since been removed, but one can find the title in the URI cache.

Here the URI, had mentioned their Vatican involvement and even audience with the Pope for one of their leaders.:

Executive Director's Reflections:

URI an Interfaith Presence at the Vatican

Written by Charles Gibbs
Thursday, 30 March 2006

Dear Friends, Greetings of love and peace.

I am writing this at 37,000 feet as I fly from Rome to London on the first leg of a long journey home to San Francisco. For the past week I have had the privilege to be in Rome representing the URI as part of an interfaith group from San Francisco. Others in the group included Iftekhar Hai, Doug Kahn, Rita Semel, and Bill and Mary Swing. We traveled to Rome at the invitation William Levada, with whom many of us had worked closely during his decade-plus as Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco.

Shortly after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, he appointed Archbishop Levada to replace him as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the number two position of authority in the Vatican after pope. Archbishop Levada, the highest ranking American Catholic ever, invited his interfaith colleagues to come to Rome at this time for a Consistory for the Creation of Cardinals, during which he would be elevated from Archbishop to Cardinal, joining the elite College of Cardinals, whose members, in Cardinal Levada's words, are "not only co-workers with [the Pope] in the mission of the unity of the Church, but also witnesses of her catholicity, called as we are from across the globe." The College of Cardinals is also the body responsible for electing a new pope.

During a week of extraordinary religious ceremonies, Pope Benedict created 15 new cardinals from many parts of the world, including Korea, Venezuela, Poland, Spain, Ghana, and the Philippines. Each of these new cardinals was supported by delegations from their home countries. But the delegation from San Francisco was the only interfaith delegation, including Episcopalians, Greek Orthodox, Jews, Lutherans, Muslims and, of course, Roman Catholics, with a strong URI presence at the core.

[snip for length]

Finally, on our last day in Rome, we had an audience with Pope Benedict. After so many solemn ceremonies in the previous days, this wonderful moment was more like a college graduation. The Pope greeted each of the cardinals and a few selected members of their delegations, to great cheers, chants and singing among the faithful. Along the way, we had the opportunity to deepen community during many celebratory meals, as well as some time to see some of the ancient and modern beauty of Rome.

We, the interfaith members of Cardinal Levada's delegation, have been privileged to experience and be a part of history in the making. Not only were we present to see the highest ranking American Roman Catholic in history - William Levada, former Archbishop of San Francisco and friend - installed in a position of high honor and great responsibility and authority, we were, from all we could learn, the first interfaith delegation to participate in a consistory........

William Levada's high ranking position in the Vatican [considered second behind the Pope in power] and support of URI, is an interesting convergence. There is just more then that however, URI leaders have been given awards by the Vatican such as in the case of "Father" James Channan, Catholic priest and URI trustee being given an interfaith award by Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald who heads the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue from the Vatican.

Channan also would be given a role as "Consulter" to the same Pontifical Council by Pope John Paul II. URI-Catholic involvement is immense with many parishes and Catholic leaders being involved in its works.

The MDI or Monastic Interreligious Dialogue organization which by the way is Pope supported openly supports United Religions Initiative.

With not only discussions about "interfaith sacred spaces" some at the behest of the URI, [it doesn't escape my attention that a Unitarian Universalist religions logo is pictured on this Catholic website] and from another nun at MDI, one can see how the one world universalism, is being pushed by the workers for the antichrist:

Is mystical—or even spiritual—experience identical for a Christian, a Buddhist or a Muslim? Does their reading of this experience differ only because they are rooted in another religious culture and bound to those cultural forms of expression? May we say that the mystery of God that dwells in us as Christians is the same mystery that fills the other?

She makes sure to tell us also:

"I participated in the encounters of local interreligious groups, such as a Christian/Muslim discussion group or a United Religious Initiatives Cooperation Circle.

Is there any wonder she is so confused about even Who God really is?

Deu 12:30 Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.