Addressing Apostate Pulpits In America

When a nation plummets into gross immorality and apostasy, God will use the most unlikely of sources to expose the current form of anemic “Christianity” in America.  The following article is what one might call a “Wake Up Call”: 

 

ARTICLE

A Secular Rapper Calls American Pastors To Account

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/recent/lamarmay102017.jpg

News ImageBy Michael Brown/Ask Dr Brown May 10, 2017

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You know we’re in trouble when a secular rapper urges pastors to get back to preaching that the Lord is a jealous God of “discipline and obedience.”
As a recent article declared, “Chart-Topping Rapper Kendrick Lamar Is Preaching More Spiritual Truth Than Most of the Dead Churches In America.” So sad, but so true.
Lamar is a 29-year-old, Grammy Award-winning rapper, and his lyrics are typical, hardcore rap: filled with content, packed with protest, laced with profanity.
Suffice it to say that he is not a pristine pure, born-again, Christian rapper. Yet he sees a gaping hole in many churches today, and it mirrors his experience as a boy.
In an email to Hip Hop website DJ Booth he wrote, “I went to a local church some time ago, and it appalled me that the same program was in practice.
A program that I seen as a kid the few times I was in service. Praise, dance. Worship. (Which is beautiful.) Pastor spewing the idea of someone’s season is approaching. The idea of hope.”
He continued, “After being heavily in my studies these past few years, I’ve finally figured out why I left those services feeling spiritually unsatisfied as a child.
I discovered more truth. But simple truth. Our God is a loving God. Yes. He’s a merciful God. Yes. But he’s even more so a God of DISCIPLE. OBEDIENCE. A JEALOUS God. . . .”
And in words that mirror the words of Paul in Romans 11:22, which urge us to consider both the goodness and severity of God, he wrote, “So in conclusion, I feel it’s my calling to share the joy of God, but with exclamation, more so, the FEAR OF GOD. The balance. Knowing the power in what he can build, and also what he can destroy. At any given moment.”
How ironic that a worldly rapper is more concerned to balance out his message than many a preacher in America. How ironic that someone whom the churches would damn in a moment (in fact, “Damn” is the name of his latest project) sees the imbalance in so many of our contemporary churches.
Today, in many of our churches, it’s all about making people feel good about themselves, all about the coming breakthrough (probably financial!), all about fulfilling our personal dreams.
But what about the biblical gospel? What about the fact that one day we’ll have to give account to God for our lives? What about the judgment that will come on the whole world?
What about the reality that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)? What about the fact that Jesus saves us from our sins so that we will live the rest of our lives for Him?
I’m all for preaching hope and encouragement and love, but that is not the whole message. What happened to the rest of God’s holy Word?
In my forthcoming book Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Reformation, I devoted one chapter to the subject of “Restoring Thunder to Our Pulpits.”
In that chapter, I wrote, “Let the truth be told. There is very little thunder from our pulpits, very little preaching that creates an atmosphere of holy reverence (what the Bible calls ‘the fear of the Lord’), very little that challenges us and confronts us and stirs us and awakens us, very little that equips us to endure hardship or to be courageous or to confront the culture or to live a sacrificial life out of love for our neighbor.
“Many of our leaders preach a toothless, pep-talk gospel that fits in perfectly with our convenience store, quick-fix Christianity, promising all kinds of benefits without any requirements. What a deal! Who could refuse it?
No wonder we are producing consumers rather than disciples. What else can we expect when we so studiously bypass the cross in so much of our preaching? What else can we expect when we preach God the Genie rather than God the Judge?”
Do you affirm these words?
At the beginning of the chapter, I quoted from an 1873 sermon from Charles Finney. He said, “Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.

If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest,

the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”
Although the pulpit was more influential in his day than in ours, I believe that what he said remains largely true. If America is in serious moral and spiritual decline, many of our preachers are partly to blame.
I say it’s time that we restore thunder to our pulpits. A chart-topping, secular rapper says, “Please do!”
Originally published at AskDrBrown.org – reposted with permission.



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Hawk Nelson: Words

Colossians 4:6  King James Version (KJV)

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

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James 3  King James Version (KJV)

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

King James Version (KJV)Public Domain

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May our speech glorify the Lord, and exhort and edify one another.  May our words ring with truth and uplift the downcast.  May our speech bring conviction to the backslider and bring honor to God’s truth.  Let us not mince words and carefully choose them.  Let us avoid slander, lies, jealousy, spreading idle gossip, rumor and innuendo, cursings, whining and complaining, disparaging others who are not present, and backbiting.  Let our words speak life. Let our words be true.

Pastor Steve

 

 

 

Lyrics

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You…

They’ve made me feel like a prisoner
They’ve made me feel set free
They’ve made me feel like a criminal
Made me feel like a king

They’ve lifted my heart
To places I’d never been
And they’ve dragged me down
Back to where I began

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

You can heal the heartache
Speak over the fear
(Speak over the fear)
God, Your voice is the only thing
We need to hear
(We need to hear)

Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts or
Put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

I wanna speak Your love
Not just another noise
Oh, I wanna be Your light
I wanna be Your voice

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Let the words I say
(Let the words I say)
Be the sound of Your grace
(Sound like Your grace)
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You
(Back to You)

Words can build us up
Words can break us down
Start a fire in our hearts
Or put it out

I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to You

Songwriters: Jon Steingard / Matt Hammitt / Seth Mosley

Words lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

Released: 2013

Genre: Christian/gospel

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Patriot Humor

The scariest thing in America is not ISIS or illegal immigrants who desire to do great harm to our nation.  The thing to be most feared in America is a liberal with a cause.  95% of my Christian friends would approve of the following, but if you do not like this humor, that is entirely all right.  You may want to skip it or pray for my anger towards those who in my opinion are attempting to do everything they can to destroy the fabric upon which this nation was built.  I find the following to be humorous, primarily because of the strong element of truth found in each:

Pray For Revival In America!  

 

 

Need a laugh and reality check ?

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 The Above Is My Favorite Without A Close Second…    Pastor Steve

 

 

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MY SECOND PERSONAL FAVORITE:  

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SECOND RUNNER UP:

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KIND OF SAYS IT ALL, DOESN’T IT?

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HIPSTER HYPOCRISY

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BEST OF THE BUNCH:

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Navigating And Understanding This Blog Site

As the articles on this site keep increasing, it only makes sense to occasionally explain the best ways to scroll through the material, and find the publications that are here.  The beauty of most of the Christian publications on this site, is that just like the Bible, they never get old.    Counting this article and entry, there are currently 942 published articles, and in addition, there are about 70 more that are ready and waiting, and I can place them on this site at will.  New publications are obviously the easiest to locate, and come up instantly on the home page.  There is a tremendous amount of overlap within the categories, since many articles are found in more than one (often several) category.  This site is obviously very prone to error, due to the very fallible author.  I usually leave minor errors on this site, and if need be, I explain the situation through comments.  Occasionally, I will delete an article, for example when I find a “Current Event” was entirely wrong.  Please feel free to advise me of mistakes in grammar and spelling.  I am forever editing.

A word about the category “Eschatology (End Times Prophecy).”  There are currently 152 entries under this category.  When I first started this site, I used a heading called Eschatology with a number following it.  The last entry under this heading is Eschatology 33, all written by the blog author.  Another heading includes the Orlando Prophecy Conference.  There is also another category for the 2015 Orlando Prophecy Conference topic as well.  There are 49 entries as of this writing, and 66 entries will be installed when all is said and done.  Reading the 66 entries would cover the highlights of the entire conference!

WordPress does a tremendous job getting rid of the Spam.  Some Spam comments deal with esoteric teachings and other religious beliefs, often laced with tremendous anger.  WordPress also eliminates the plethora of comments that tell one how to improve their blog site.  [By the way, the goal of the author is not to go viral.  It is to write and distribute quality material that enhances and glorifies our Lord.  My goal was to average at least one hit an hour, and that has been achieved long ago.]  Amazingly, the only negative comments I receive are often from Catholics and Charismatics.  Their comments have ALWAYS been given in a Christ like spirit and in a positive manner and I welcome them.  We have had tremendous dialogue.  Thank you for visiting.

In Christ, Pastor Steve

I Am Sick And Tired Of All The Talk On Legacy. The Following Devotional Is A Great Priority Check For Glory Seekers.

Magnify Jesus Christ, And Hide Behind The Cross As You Do So.  Seek Not Titles Next To Your Name, Nor The Shallow Accolades From Fickle Man.  Leave The “Legacies” To The Worldlings, Not To The Child Born From Above.  Live For Jesus Christ And Others.  Trust And Obey The Lord Jesus Christ.  Seek, Find, And Perform His Will For Your Life, And You Will Find Peace And Perfect Fulfillment.  Here Is The Path To Joy:

JOY-

Jesus

Others

Yourself

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Romans 12:1 King James Version (KJV)

12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

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Fame and Humility

November 23, 2016

Read: Philippians 2:1–11
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 20–21; James 5

He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!—Philippians 2:8

Many of us are obsessed with fame—either with being famous ourselves or with following every detail of famous people’s lives. International book or film tours. Late-night show appearances. Millions of followers on Twitter.

In a recent study in the US, researchers ranked the names of famous individuals using a specially developed algorithm that scoured the Internet. Jesus topped the list as the most famous person in history.

Yet Jesus was never concerned about obtaining celebrity status. When He was here on earth, He never sought fame (Matt. 9:30; John 6:15)—although fame found Him all the same as news about Him quickly traveled throughout the region of Galilee (Mark 1:28; Luke 4:37).

Wherever Jesus went, crowds soon gathered. The miracles He performed drew people to Him. But when they tried to make Him a king by force, He slipped away by Himself (John 6:15). United in purpose with His Father, He repeatedly deferred to the Father’s will and timing (4:34; 8:29; 12:23). “He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8).

Fame was never Jesus’s goal. His purpose was simple. As the Son of God, He humbly, obediently, and voluntarily offered Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. —Cindy Hess Kasper

You are to be celebrated, Lord, above all others. You have been highly exalted and given a name that is above every name. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that You are Lord.

Jesus came not to be famous, but to humbly offer Himself as the sacrifice for our sins.

INSIGHT: In today’s reading, we see Paul’s eloquent treatment of how God became human. Jesus Christ had the attributes of God yet took on human flesh to become a servant. This self-sacrificial mission found its ultimate expression in Jesus’s death on the cross to provide salvation for all who believe in Him as Savior and Lord. C. S. Lewis wrote, “The Son of God became man so that men might become sons of God.” Dennis Fisher

Share your thoughts on today’s devotional on Facebook or odb.org.

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 49

Donald Perkins    ~    Interview/Hagmann & Hagmann

Evangelist Donald Perkins has been speaking on prophecy for thirty four years.  He is the founder of According Two Prophecy.org.  Donald Perkins has a new DVD “Rejoicing Through The Book Of Revelation.”  The end of Revelation is eternal bliss for the redeemed.  The believer is promised a blessing for reading, hearing and studying the book.  Revelation is a book of blessing.  We are in the end times.  Jesus gave us indicators that would mark His return.  Wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, fearful signs from the heavens.  As we near the end times, the world will look bleak, it will look worse, BUT the only answer for the world is Jesus Christ.  Israel is the time piece in God’s prophetic time clock.  Jesus:  “When these things begin to take place then look up because your redemption is drawing nigh.”  Christians should see the negative news in a positive light.  It is a motivator to reach a dying world.  The American church has lost its influence in our culture.  The church is too comfortable.  Africa is much more hungry for the Gospel.

Donald Perkins believes the rapture is at hand, and the next prophetic event to happen.  Heaven will have no sickness, sorrow or death.  We need to pray for peace in Jerusalem.  The only way for that to be answered is for Christ to come back.  America has turned its back on God, even though we were founded on Godly principles.  Our relationship with Israel is awful.  This should concern all Christians.  If we do not treat Israel right, we will be judged.  (Genesis 12:3).  We have killed 55 million babies and we have redefined marriage.  Now we have poor leaders without common sense who cannot make the right decisions.  Donald Perkins believes that America is under judgment.  Pastors need to expound on Bible prophecy.  It creates a hunger in the church for people to go out and evangelize.  It makes you a soul winner and helps the church to grow.  Jesus is the only way to salvation.  John 14:6.  Acts 4:12.  Buddha is not the way.  Mohammed is not the way.

Donald Perkins is working on a new book- “Prophecy and God’s Order Of Events.”  It is a simple overview for the common man to understand.

Sword Of The Lord ~ Quotable Quotations

Succinct And Simple Theology

A Hard Nut To Crack

If there is no Hell, then there is no Devil, for Hell was made for the Devil and his angels  (Matt. 25:41).

If there is no Devil, then there is no such thing as sin, for the devil was the originator of sin  (Rev. 12:7-9).

If there is no sin, then there is no need of a Saviour, for the mission of Jesus was to save from sin  (Matt. 1:21).

If there is no Saviour, then there is no truth, for the Bible is a record of this truth  (II Timothy 3:15-16).

If there is no truth, then all is darkness and confusion.  If there is no truth, then we know not who we are, where we came from, or whither bound.

Summary

If no Hell, no Devil.

If no Devil, no sin.

If no sin, no Saviour.

If no Saviour, no truth.

If no truth, nothing left.

-Leewin Williams

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The Bible is a storehouse of whose contents no one can afford to be ignorant.  It repays reading and study whether it be approached merely because of its literary value or its ethical teachings or its practical bearing on everyday life.

-Dwight L. Moody

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Some of us are so afraid that we shall get out on a limb that we never get up the tree!  -Vance Havner

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God wants the whole person, and will not rest till He gets us in entirety.  No part of the man will do.  -A.W. Tozer

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A man cannot be at peace with himself while he lives in disobedience to known truth.  -Benjamin Whichcote

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Abraham Lincoln was once asked to give his definition of diplomacy.  “Well,” he mused, “I guess you might say that it’s the knack of letting the other fellow have your way.”

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It is a tragedy when a man has no invisible means of support.

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When you teach salvation by grace through faith, that one is saved simply by trusting Jesus Christ, some call that “easy believism.”  But you will not find that expression in the Bible.  That is a man-made expression.

It is not easy to get one to trust Jesus Christ, Him alone, and nothing else for salvation.  As a matter of fact, that may be the hardest thing in the world to do.

-Curtis Hutson

 

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 7

Day #7

The rabiis, or Orthodox Jews, wear their hair very short with a long, long strand near the ear.  It would be interesting to find out why.  They are probably trying to fulfill a law of theirs.  On the way to our first stop, Pastor Grimes told us that it hardly ever rains at the Dead Sea.

Our first stop entailed a visit to an Israeli shrine in commemoration of the Jewish Holocaust.  The question remains, was the Holocaust God’s push of the Jews into the Holy Land?  First of all, we saw the Israeli military cemetery.  We saw many stones representing the war in 1948, when 650,000 Jews had a six month war with the Arabs and lost 6,000 people.  The Israeli national movement is called the Zionist Movement, named after Mount Zion, or Jerusalem.  Other stones were from soldiers who died in 1967.  (the Six Day War).  Next, we proceeded to the Memorial to the Holocaust.  One and one half million children were killed.  Seventy two hundred (7,200) Jewish people escaped from Denmark to Sweden.  We saw pictures of gas chambers in Poland.  Death and Concentration Camps were all over Europe.  The hair and gold teeth were extracted from the Jews and used in the war effort.  The Holocaust is one reason the Jews go to Mount Masada and vow they will never surrender, but fight to the death,  This entire Memorial is a good reminder of the wretchedness of the heart of man.

Next, we looked at the Dead Sea Scrolls.  We saw part of the book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Aramaic.  It was discovered Qumran in 1947, and it dates to about 100 B.C.  It was made by the famous Essenes.  Then we saw the Temple Scroll.  The Temple Scroll is God teaching the Torah in the first person.  We saw the Manuel of Discipline – the regulations of the Essenes.  We saw the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness.  The biggest blessing, however, was to see a scroll of Isaiah dated 100 B.C., and filled with the prophecies of Jesus Christ!  (examples:  Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, chapter 53, etc.)  We saw the Nahum Commentary which identified the Essenes.  We saw the scrolls of forty one of the Psalms, including the apocryphal One Hundred and Fifty First Psalm.  We saw the jars which held the Dead Sea Scrolls.  We looked at the old marriage contract, a divorce bill, business letters (selling dates and fruits), and a social letter.  The Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-135 was the last revolt of the Jews against the Romans.  This was mentioned in a social letter.  Over seven hundred scrolls and parchments have been found around Qumran.

Now we proceeded to Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  We entered the Hinnom Valley, filled with olive trees.  Then we came to the Kidron Valley.  Hezekiah’s Tunnel is almost one half a mile long, and is a tremendous engineering feat.  There were many residences right outside the tunnel, where donkeys worked right at the tunnel site, and children rode the donkeys.  The tunnel consisted of two parts:  1) The original Canaanite Shaft and 2) Hezekiah’s Tunnel into David’s city.  We saw the entrance to Hezekiah’s Tunnel – dated 750 B.C.  Then we saw where David found the shaft, near the tunnel, which he used to enter Jerusalem around 1000 B.C.  We walked up Mount Ophel – David’s city was a steep hill which was surrounded by valleys, the Kidron and Tyropoeon Valleys.  The shaft and the tunnel diverted water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam at the south end of David’s city.  When David took Jerusalem, Joab went up the Canaanite Shaft in order to open the gate for David and his men.  Because of what he did, Joab received one of David’s daughters in marriage.

We noticed that Muslims paint their doors in relation to their “status” in faith.  A red door, for instance, means they went to Mecca.  There is no end to the customs and oddities in this land.

From our location in Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the ancient walls of the city of David could be seen.  We observed the Pool of Siloam, which was the water receiving area for David’s Jerusalem.  Swimmers were seen who entered the Pool of Siloam, having gone through Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  Nearby, are the traditional sites of the tombs of both Jehosephat and Zedekiah.  They are not one hundred per cent positive about the authenticity of these tombs.  There is more certainty however, about the tomb of Absalom.

Today is Friday, the Muslim Holy Day, and the soldiers were equipped with sticks and riot gear.

Next, we saw Zedekiah’s Cave or Solomon’s Quarries, a mountain where rock and stone was cut out for the temple.  It was a hollowed out mountain, a huge and vast cave opening into an amphitheater.  It kept going down deeper and deeper.  Ton upon ton of rocks were removed.  The traditional site of Golgotha or Calvary was seen across the street from Zedekiah’s Cave.  This was a Muslim area and we could not go there.  We noticed military halftracks and troops in the area.

On the way to Bethlehem, we passed another of Herod’s fortresses in the distance.  It was the Herodium, a man made mountain where Herod flashed signals from, way out in the desert.  (Because of his paranoia over assasination attempts, King Herod slept in a different place every night).  His tomb could be in this fortress which is noted for its flat top, looking like a volcanic mountain from a distance.  We passed Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem off the main street.

For lunch, we went into St. George’s Arab Restaurant in Bethlehem.  An Arab waiter attempted to take away my salad while I was eating it.  Pastor Grimes was seated next to me and quickly took the waiter to task, straightening out his decorum.  We had lamb shiskabob, and it was good.  Speaking of Arab and custom, I would like to mention that the Arab toilet we saw near Petra, was in a large room, and on the floor.  I was totally mesmerized when I first saw it.  One would perform their bodily functions before a crowd.  Unbelievable.

We walked over to the Church of the Nativity after lunch.  This is the traditional birth place of Jesus Christ.  The church is built on a cave.  The only entrance, the front door, was short so camels could not walk in.  The cave was charcoal black, due to many people bringing in torches and candles.  The 1)Greek Orthodox, 2)Armenian, 3)and Roman Catholic all control this church, each with their own section.  A Greek Orthodox Priest, dressed in black, rang bells filled with smoky incense all over the church – making it “holy.”  Many of us gagged and coughed because of the smoke.  The church goes back to the 5th Century and is rugged looking, like a fortress.  The church has the original Byzantine 5th Century floor, Muslim columns, and Crusader decorations on the walls.  Another cave or manger was on the other side.  After leaving the Greek Orthodox Church, we entered the Catholic section.  This was a very ritualistic church.

Now we proceeded toward the shepherd’s fields.  There was a natural cave in these fields, and there were many shepherd’s fields to be seen in the area.  These fields were similar to, and may have actually been, the fields that Ruth worked in and Boaz owned.  Beth-lehem means “house of bread.”  There are wheat fields and shepherd’s fields all around the town, hence the name.  From Bethlehem, we had a breath-taking view of the mountains of Moab, across the desert and the Dead Sea.  Moab, we know, was where Ruth came from, and the country originated between Lot and one of his daughters.

We then saw a beautiful panoramic view of Jerusalem from the south.  We could observe David’s city at Mount Ophel up the middle, the Mount of Olives was seen on the right, and Mount Zion was on the left.  The valleys are as follows:  the Kidron Valley bears off to the right, the Tyropoeon Valley goes to the left, and the Hinnom Valley can be found in the middle.  We could oberve the ever present Dome of the Rock in the middle also, above the Hinnom Valley.

Next, we went through the Hinnom Valley in Jerusalem – also called Gehenna because it was a trash dump where “the fire never went out.”  The word Gehenna, of course, refers to burning.  The never ending burning of hell.

We went to a store in Jerusalem belonging to a gentleman named Was-Was.  Along the way we smelled the aroma of many good Arabic foods.  Haggling is common place in Jerusalem, as you can bargain with people.  For a reasonable price, I bought two brass candlesticks for my wife, and an olive wood donkey to add to our collection of over twenty donkeys at home.

 

Born Again 3

“Ye must be born again.”  John 3:7

“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”   John 1:13

The new birth does not come through human descent (“not of blood”), nor does it come through human desire (“the will of the flesh”), nor does it come through human determination (“nor of the will of man”).  The issue is, have you put your faith in Christ?  Have you been born of God: have you been born from above?  Apart from this you will never enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3).  Believe on Christ now, tomorrow may be too late.   -W. Ross Rainey

Children of men, attend to the word, so solemnly uttered by Jesus the Lord; And let not this message to you be in vain, “Ye must be born again.”  -William T. Sleeper

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Let us contrast the beautiful aforementioned summary of true salvation with that of Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in California.  The following quotation is taken from page 220 of the Purpose Driven Church:  “Anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart.”

Sorry Rick, as it states prior to your man centered apostate statement, salvation does NOT come through human desire or determination.  It comes from ABOVE, and you and I are not big enough to find keys to anyone’s heart.  Do not be deceived- Salvation has everything to do with becoming born from above.  It has NOTHING to do with finding keys to people’s hearts.

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Are you a Berean or a Laodicean?  Do you believe the Bible or Rick Warren?  Rick Warren is a litmus test and a referendum of Biblical illiteracy.  Unfortunately he is plum out of line with how one becomes saved – the most important issue that anyone will ever face this side of eternity.  In the following video, John MacArthur succinctly and thoroughly exegetes the scriptures, comparing the impotence of Rick Warren’s “Gospel,” with the true and Biblical Gospel that saves.  Warren totally ignores the doctrine of repentance, without which one cannot be saved.  [Luke 13:3,5 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”]  In a mere three minutes, the following video beautifully summarizes what true salvation is, and what it is not:

 

Born Again 2 ~ The Newsboys

John 3:1-3 King James Version (KJV)

1There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

 

“Born Again”

I found myself looking into the mirror
Knew I wasn’t who I wanted to be
I was living life the way that I wanted
But my eyes reminded me I’m not free
Believed a lie so everything that I know
Says I gotta go, tired of going solo
But I’m never gonna go there againThis is what it is, this is who I am
This is where I finally take my stand
I didn’t wanna fall but I don’t have to crawl
I met the one with two scarred hands Giving Him the best of
Everything that’s left of
The life inside this man
I’ve been born againI see ya walking like you’re living in fear
Having trouble even looking at me
Wishing they would give you more than words
Sick of people telling how it should be What’d ya download? Where’d ya get your info?
You saw that I’m sure, now you’re in the in though
Gonna tell you what I believe This is what it is, this is who I am
This is where I finally take my stand
I didn’t wanna fall but I don’t have to crawl
I met the one with two scarred hands Giving Him the best of
Everything that’s left of
The life inside this man
I’ve been born again We are the ones they call by name
I’m never gonna look back
Let go, let go, the guilt, the shame
Said, I’m never gonna look back
This is who I am This is what it is, this is who I am

This is where I finally take my stand
I didn’t wanna fall but I don’t have to crawl
I met the one with two scarred hands Giving Him the best of
Everything that’s left of
The life inside this man
I’ve been born againThis is who I am
I didn’t wanna fall but I don’t have to crawl
I met the one with two scarred hands Giving Him the best of
Everything that’s left of
The life inside this man
I’ve been born again
I’ve been born again