School Shootings

I write this on Saturday, May 19, 2018, after the latest school shooting yesterday, at Santa Fe High School in southeast Houston, Texas.  This of course, occurred right on the heels of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.  (February 14, 2018).  How does the Christian react and make sense of this?  The interpretation is really very simple.  People who are lost in their sins and unbelievers, usually blame inanimate objects such as guns.  I have heard a plethora of stories of Johnny or Suzie taking their daddy’s pick up truck to school in the 1950’s with a loaded shot gun inside, and leaving the door unlocked.  Never was there a problem or a news report later on.

In the last sixty years, the landscape has changed.  Prayer and the Bible have been taken out of the public school system, and in many schools, the Koran would be more welcome than the Bible.  A news commentator said when he took his mother and grandmother out to lunch for Mother’s Day last Sunday, he noticed several children seated around him in a family setting, all playing violent video games.  This sets a wonderful foundation for violence to be acted out:  Proverbs 23:7a King James Version (KJV)  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”  Christianity has been erased from our schools, and the secular world and multiculturalism have replaced it.  How about another scripture, since God reveals the truth, the problems with mankind (sin) that lead to such tragedies, and the panacea (Jesus Christ):  Hosea 8:7a King James Version (KJV)
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind…”

When a nation has been blessed like America, and rejects God while satisfying our own lusts, the sins will be greater, and the consequences will be more severe.  Two of the greatest Old Testament leaders led Israel back to back, namely Moses and Joshua.  When Joshua died, one of the most awful books of the Bible was written – Judges, which is a history of Israel’s constant rebellion and punishment.  “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”  (Judges 21:25)

In our nation, the church is so “out to lunch,” that “Gay Marriage” and “LGBTQ” bathrooms are in vogue.  Perverted sex in every way, shape and form, is the “new normal.”  If you have a family based on the Lord’s plan in His Word, you may feel in the minority.  Violence and murder are taught to children through games, and the results with some of the youth, are acting out the games.  The recipe for disaster is an unpopular and ostracized youth who does not fit in.  He has no moral base of right and wrong, he has no restraints, and allows his wicked thoughts to become reality.  This is not hard to understand.  Then the Left immediately blames Harry the gunowner who simply takes advantage of his second amendment rights.

The cure?  Mankind is made in the image of God, hence we are spiritual beings.  We need to have a relationship with Him, or by default we will plummet into sin.  We need a new heart and to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  It is that simple.  Psycobabble  in our schools will not help.  Eliminating guns will not help.  We need to turn back to our spiritual roots.  Jesus Christ is our only hope.

Because of Him, Pastor Steve  <><

Pray For Revival In America!

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The Cure   ~   Unspoken

Lyrics
We’re all related, brothers and strangers
The king and the beggar bleed the same
We’ve all got a sickness, a terminal condition
We medicate it but the pain won’t go away
See the eyes of a million faces
Looking for it in a million places
Only one can save us, Jesus
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure
You are the doctor, healer and father
To the orphan without a home
We fell into darkness, lost till you found us
You are the remedy we’re looking for
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure
Cure for the broken, the hope for a hopeless world
(You are the cure) The meaning, the purpose, the peace that will make us whole
Don’t have to search no more
Don’t have to search no more
You are the cure
Everybody’s searching for it
Everybody’s reaching out
Trying to grab a hold of something real
You are the cure
Only you can satisfy us
Fill up the void inside us
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure, cure
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal
You are the cure, cure
Never been a heart you couldn’t heal (you are the cure)
Songwriters: Jonathan Burton Lowry / Chad Michael Mattson / Christopher Stevens
The Cure lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

 

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Eschatology 34 ~ Jacob’s Trouble

In his message “Deliverance or Devastation: Son Of God Or Son Of Perdition,” Doug Stauffer expounds on Jeremiah 30, and how the church will not go through the Great Tribulation, i.e. Jacob’s Trouble.  Verse 3 refers to Israel returning to their land in 1948.  Now, note the highlighted words below in Jeremiah 30:7  “…he shall be saved out of it.”  “He shall be saved out of it,” and we are saved from it.  That is what the rapture prior to the Great Tribulation is all about.  We (the church) will be saved from the Great Tribulation / Jacob’s Trouble.

 

Jeremiah 30  King James Version (KJV)

30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

2 Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.

3 For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

4 And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.

5 For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.

6 Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?

7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

9 But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

10 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.

11 For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

12 For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.

13 There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.

14 All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.

15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.

16 Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.

17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

18 Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.

19 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.

20 Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.

21 And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord.

22 And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

23 Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.

24 The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.

 Taken From Doug Stauffer’s Message

“Deliverance Or Devastation, Son Of God Or Son Of Perdition”

2015 Orlando Prophecy Summit

March 5-7, 2015

Josh Wilson ~ Dream Small

It occurred to me that folks will be rewarded in heaven primarily for doing the things we find in Josh Wilson’s following song and lyrics.  So many times, pastors erroneously perceive a small country church as a stepping stone to the “big time.”  The spiritual truth of the matter is that the REAL “big time” is simply serving in the center of His will, whatever and wherever it may be in our lives.  We “have arrived,” only when we sacrificially serve the King of Kings, and for His glory and not ours.  So many times we miss the joy in the journey because we are too focused on advancement tomorrow.  The spiritual truth of the matter is that the real joy is found only in the journey, and so often, the journey IS the destination.  Serving in a larger vineyard in a more public setting is not necessarily successful to the Lord.  Bigger is not better; and joy, fulfillment, and completion are found only as we obey the Lord and rest in Him.  Again, success and peace come to us only when we plod in the center of His will.  You think about that.  Yours in Christ, Pastor Steve  <><

Dream Small
Josh Wilson

Produced by Ben Glover

Dream Small Lyrics

[Verse 1]
It’s a momma singing songs about the Lord
It’s a daddy spending family time that the world said he cannot afford
These simple moments change the world
It’s a pastor at a tiny little Church
Forty years of loving for the broken and the hurt
These simple moments change the world

[Chorus 1]
Dream small
Don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time
Live well
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall
Dream small

[Verse 2]
It’s visiting the widow down the street
Or dancing on a Friday with your friend with special needs
These simple moments change the world
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with bigger dreams
Just don’t miss the minutes on your way, your bigger things
‘Cause these simple moments change the world

[Chorus 1]
But dream small
Don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time
Live well
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall
So dream small

[Bridge]
Keep loving, keep serving
Keep listening, keep learning
Keep praying, keep hoping
Keep seeking, keep searching
Out of these small things and watch them grow bigger
The God who does all things makes oceans… from river

[Chorus 2]
But dream small
Don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time
Live well
Loving God and others as yourself
Find little ways where only you can help
With His great love
A tiny rock can make a giant fall….
Yeah, five loaves and two fish’s could feed them all
So dream small
Dream small
Embed
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The Sword Of The Lord ~ Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor ~ March 9, 2018

Judges 7:20 King James Version (KJV)
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

An Independent Christian Publication, Standing for the Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, His Blood Atonement, Salvation by Faith, New Testament Soul Winning and the Premillennial Return of Christ; Opposing Modernism (Liberalism), Worldliness and Formalism.

Amen Corner

Some of us mean well, but a false discretion overtakes us.  We are like that soldier who was always discovered, in the shock of battle, betaking himself, without orders, to safe places.  The captain at last accused him of having a cowardly heart.  “Oh,” said the soldier, “my heart is as brave as can be; but I have a cowardly pair of legs that run off with the brave heart.”  Many of us are like that.  Our convictions are right when confession is not needed, but in the shock of battle we fail.  -John McNeill

If a school required no study of its pupils and passed the students regardless of performance, it would soon be held in contempt.  A church that holds no standards of doctrine and experiences no discipline soon loses the respect of even the ungodly.  -Vance Havner

I’ve noticed that everybody who is for abortion has already been born.  -Ronald Reagan

I do not believe there is any false religion in the world that men are not proud of.  The only religion in the world which I have ever heard of that men were ashamed of is the religion of Jesus Christ….  How many, many times I have found men ashamed of the religion of Jesus Christ, the only religion that gives men the power over their affections and lusts and sins!  -D.L. Moody

Any saint who does not love and seek sinners is without excuse.  He is untrue to his Saviour, ungrateful for his own salvation and disobedient to the Great Commission.  -John R. Rice

There is no time in life when books do not influence a man.  -Walter Bezant

The most critical need of the church at this moment is men, bold men, free men.  The church must seek, in prayer and much humility, the coming again of men made of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made.  -A.W. Tozer

Lordship salvation confuses believers and makes them doubt their salvation.  The Bible is very plain: the only way to be saved is by trusting Jesus Christ.  Jesus divides the whole world into two groups:  “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”  (John 3:18).  -Curtis Hutson

To be popular at home is a great achievement.  The man who is loved by the house cat, the dog, the neighbor’s children, and by his own wife is a great man even if he never had his name in Who’s Who.  -Thomas Dreier

Man’s pride may carry him far if he is a great fool; but let him not suffer his pride to carry him into Hell, for it certainly will never carry him out again.  -Charles Spurgeon

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Noteworthy News Headlines

President Proclaims Religious Freedom Day

Former Nurse Admits To Euthanizing Twenty Patients, May Have Killed As Many As Fifty

California Heads to Supreme Court to Force One Hundred Pregnancy Centers to Promote Tax-Funded Abortions

NFL Rejects Super Bowl Ad Asking People to Stand for Anthem

PETA Wants Tax on Meat Because Animals Are Killed

Scientists Clone Two Monkeys As a First Step to Cloning Human Beings

Hazardous Conditions Are Common in Nursing Homes

Palestinian Kids’ TV Makes Hero of Murderous Jihadist

Prayer by Public Employee Is Ruled Illegal If Others See It?

Illiterates, No-Shows, All Seniors Graduate at D.C. High

Planned Parenthood Infiltrates Over Three Hundred Colleges and Universities With New Pro-Abortion Student Groups

University Ordered to Readmit Campus Christian Group

Court Sides With Fireman Fired for His Faith

 

Apostles Today ~ Part 1 of 4, February 14, 2018 By ELLIOTT NESCH

apostles-today-header

In his article, “Understanding How Apostles Minister in Different Spheres,” the late modern Apostle C. Peter Wagner defines an apostles as a “Christian leader gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church.” Based upon the text of Ephesians 4:11, Wagner argues for what he calls the foundational or governmental gift or office of apostle. This is the teaching of the teaching of the apostolic and prophetic movement, sometimes known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). But what does the Bible say about apostles today?
Biblical Definition of Apostle
The Greek noun apostolos, from which we get the word “apostle,” means “a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders.” Apostolos is derived from the verb apostellō, which means “to send off, to send away; to order (one) to go to a place appointed.” In other words, an apostle is an emissary or one who is sent. In the KJV the word apostolos is translated “apostles” (78x), “messenger(s)” (2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 2:25) and “he that is sent” (John 13:16). Jesus Christ was an “Apostle” sent from the Father (Hebrews 3:1-2). In a similar way, the Twelve are Christ’s apostles. Jesus said to His apostles, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).
In the New Testament, an apostle was one who was sent to preach the gospel. Several individuals in the church were called apostles. Other than the Twelve and Paul, those apostles/messengers were James, the Lord’s brother (1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19) Barnabas (Acts 14:4-14), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25), Silvanus and Timothy (1 Thessalonian 2:6; cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:1). 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 may also indicate that there were other apostles in addition to the Twelve and Paul. All of these apostles are what 2 Corinthians 8:23 calls “messengers [apostles] of the churches.” They all bore the title, though they were not among the foundational apostles chosen by our Lord to govern the church. Therefore, we must make a major distinction between those in the New Testament who were apostles of Christ and the apostles of the churches.
In a very broad sense, apostolic work may be likened to missionary work, that is, when Christians are sent by the church as church-planting evangelists. But that’s not what NAR leaders have in mind when they claim to wield the authority of an apostolic office. Instead, today’s apostles are claiming authority and power that belonged uniquely to men specifically chosen by the Lord. One example is the modern Apostle Che Ahn who is founder of Harvest International Ministry (HIM) and the International Chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI). Under Che Ahn’s apostolic authority, WLI has “spread into numerous regional schools throughout the U.S. and into 11 nations.” As the Presiding Apostle of HIM, Che Ahn oversees “more than 25,000 ministries and organizations in 65 nations.”

CheAhnHIM
In its more restricted and common New Testament usage, apostle specifically refers to the twelve apostles (with the addition of Matthias after Judas’s defection), and the apostle Paul. In contrast to the apostles of the churches, these men were appointed and sent by the Lord Himself. The name apostle was specified by Christ: “He named them Apostles” (Luke 6:13). According to Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 2:20 and Revelation 21:14, it is these apostles upon whom the church is built.
Paul the apostle was not among the Twelve, yet he is recognized as a unique apostle to the Gentiles. In his own words, he was “called to be an apostle” (Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1); “an apostle of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:1; Titus 1:1); “one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:8); “an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)” (Galatians 1:1); “an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” (Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:1); “an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 1:1).

The Credentials of an Apostle
At least three credentials may be observed for New Testament apostles:
(1) The apostles were personally chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the gospel, we read: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” (Mark 3:14); “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:13). The Lord also said to the apostles, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit” (John 15:16). In his preface to the book of Acts, Luke wrote, “after He [Jesus] through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen” (Acts 1:2).
The necessity of appointment by Christ is also emphasized when Judas Iscariot was replaced. First, two men were selected who met the necessary prerequisites for an apostle of Christ. Because the apostle had to be personally chosen by the Lord, they prayed and cast lots:
And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:24-26).
Speaking to the household of Cornelius, the apostle Peter said, “Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:40-41).
Paul also recognized the Lord as the source of his apostolic office: “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5). The Lord said of Paul, “he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). Ananias declared to Paul, “The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard” (Acts 22:14-15). Describing his apostolic work, Paul spoke of “the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Paul spent much of 2 Corinthians defending his apostleship by comparison of his own ministry to the false apostles. He opened the letter by saying, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” (2 Corinthians 1:1). He echoed that specific calling in 1 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 1 Timothy 1:1 and Titus 1:1.
Within NAR organizations like the International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL), there is an application process and annual membership fee. The annual membership fees for ICAL are provided on their website (accessed 2/12/18):
United States based member: $450.00
Married apostles combined : $650.00
First Nation (American Indian): $350.00
International independent members (those not belonging to their individual country’s Coalition): $350.00 (USD)
International married apostles combined: $450.00.
Fees may be paid in two installments by check, credit card or at the Online Store.
If you are interested in ICAL membership, please fill out the Information Form below. You will be asked to provide the names of two ICAL Members you know who might nominate you. If you do not know any present members, please continue the application process and an ICAL representative will contact you regarding your request.

In other words, the modern apostles are self-appointed. A person can’t simply appoint himself a police officer, a doctor, or a senator just because he likes the title. And they definitely can’t assume any legitimate authority and power by such self-appointment to those roles. Unlike the apostles of Jesus Christ who were personally chosen by Him, the modern so-called apostles are self-appointed.
(2) The apostles were personal eye-witnesses of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
These qualifications for the apostles are given in Acts 1 when an apostle was being selected to replace Judas Iscariot, the traitor who hanged himself. Simon Peter addressed the disciples and said that Psalm 69:25 predicted Judas’ defection and Psalm 109:8 predicted that his place among the apostles should be filled. The apostle Peter declared,
Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection (Acts 1:21-22).
According to Peter, the candidate to fill the apostolic office needed to have personally sat under the teaching of Jesus and known the Lord after His resurrection. Two candidates fulfilled those qualifications: “And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias” (Acts 1:23).
The apostle Peter reiterated this important credential in his preaching:
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:38-41).
The apostle Peter also wrote, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). Likewise, the apostle John declared, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you” (1 John 1:1-3).
The apostles learned the gospel from the Lord Jesus Christ, not other men, and Paul was no exception. Paul said, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12). Although the apostle Paul did not bear witness to the Lord’s earthly ministry like the other apostles, he was no less a witness of the risen Christ. The apostle Paul laid claim to his apostolic office when he asked the rhetorical question: “Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?” (1 Corinthians 9:1). Moreover, Paul wrote,
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:5-8).
In other words, Paul was claiming the same type of appearance of Christ to himself that the original apostles received.
What about modern apostles? In 2009, the “apostolic father” Brian Simmons claims that Jesus Christ came into his room, breathed on him, and commissioned him. According to Simmons, Jesus said to him, “I’m commissioning you to translate the Bible into the translation project that I’m giving you to do.” He believes that an impartation of revelation was given to him in order to translate the Bible (The Passion Translation). Simmons claims to receive divine “downloads” and a new translation of Ephesians 5:22. He makes a distinction between himself and writers of Scripture, yet he claims he was translated into the library of heaven where he saw more books than you can imagine. One book stood out called John 22. Simmons claims, “I believe the John 22 generation will be a people that do the greater works of Jesus. They will not add to the scripture, and that’s a sealed book. But it is a book that is unfolding and the works of Jesus will be replicated by an entire generation of people that believe fully in the power of God.” He claims to not be adding to the Scripture, yet he acts as an inspired apostle with the authority to receive a new translation and a new chapter of the Bible. See his interview on Sid’s Roth It’s Supernatural. The claims of Simmons are absolutely ridiculous, to say the least. And such an appearance doesn’t compare to the first-century apostles who were personal eye-witnesses to the Lord.

The resurrection of Christ was a primary theme of apostolic preaching (cf. Acts 2:24; Acts 3:15; Acts 5:30; Acts 10:40; Acts 13:30-37). Thus, Christ’s apostles had to be personal witnesses of the risen Lord. On this point, today’s apostles fall short. It is not enough to know about Jesus and His resurrection. Neither does a dream or a vision about Jesus qualify anybody to be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(3) Christ gave His apostles the power to perform miracles.
We read in the gospel: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matthew 10:1; cf. Mark 3:14-15; Luke 9:1-2). In the book of Acts, Luke emphasized the signs and wonders which were done by the apostles in the book of Acts: “And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:43); “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (Acts 4:33); “And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people” (Acts 5:12).
The miraculous signs and wonders recorded in the New Testament had a specific purpose to confirm the gospel message of Christ and His apostles.
But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him (John 10:38).
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. (Mark 16:20).
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know (Acts 2:22).
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak (Hebrews 2:3-5).
Miracles also validated Paul’s apostleship. He wrote,
For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:18-19).
When defending his apostolic office to the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds” (2 Corinthians 12:12).
Unlike the alleged signs and wonders performed by today’s so-called apostles, the pattern of miracles performed in the New Testament by Jesus and His apostles were unique in several ways:
The Lord and His apostles healed according to their own will rather than having an irregular ability to heal (cf. Luke 5:13; Acts 3:6).
Their miracles were not dependent upon the faith of the recipients (cf. Acts 3:6-8; Acts 16:18).
The Lord and His apostles did not perform miracles for money or fame (cf. Acts 8:20).
Their miracles were always totally successful with no malingering symptoms (cf. Matthew 14:36; Luke 4:38-39).
Their miracles were undeniable, spectacular and verifiable (cf. Acts 4:16; 16:19).
Their miracles were immediate (cf. Mark 1:42; 5:29; 7:31; 10:52; Luke 4:38-39; Acts 3:8).
Their miracles were spontaneous, rather than in controlled environments (cf. Matthew 8:14-15; Matthew 9:20-22; Acts 3:1-7)
Often everyone was healed, rather than just a few from the crowd (cf. Luke 4:40; 9:11).
Organic diseases were healed, rather than headaches, lower back pain, heart palpitation, allergies, asthma, mental disorders, etc. (cf. Matthew 4:24; Luke 1:34; 4:40; 6:17; 9:1; Acts 19:12; 28:9)
The Lord and His apostles raised the dead (cf. Mark 5:35; Luke 7:11ff).
Consider some examples of the Lakeland Revival. This Nightline Report below shows how Bentley claimed to heal one boy from crippling Spina Bifida who was stumbling to the ground after the revival. ABC News found no verification for Bentley’s healings for his Lakeland Revival. Bentley claims to have brought back 35 people from the dead, but there is no proof of those resurrections. Yet Bentley was blessed by the leading apostles in Charismatic movement like C. Peter Wagner who presided over Bentley’s apostolic alignment ceremony with the apostles Che Ahn, Rick Joyner, John Arnott, and Bill Johnson (also Chuck Pierce Fed-Exed his special revival oil for anointing Bentley). You can watch his commissioning in full online: part one, part two, part three, and part four. Not long after his apostolic alignment, Bentley was exposed as an adulterer, a liar, and an occasional drunkard.

C-Peter-Wagner

Conclusion

The apostles today fail to meet the biblical requirements for the apostolic office. Only someone with each and every one of the credentials above could they claim to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. Obviously there are no foundational apostles of Jesus Christ in the church today. But C. Peter Wagner readily admits that he excludes the biblical qualifications in defining an apostle. In his own words,
There are three biblical characteristics of apostles which some include in their definition of apostle, but which I have chosen not to include: (1) signs and wonders (2 Cor. 12:12), (2) seeing Jesus personally (1 Cor. 9:1), and (3) planting churches (1 Cor. 3:10). My reason for this is that I do not understand these three qualities to be non-negotiables. They characterize many, perhaps most, apostles. But if a given individual lacks the anointing for one or more of them, this, in my opinion, would not exclude that individual from being a legitimate apostle.
Wagner also speaks of what he designates Vertical Apostles (such as ecclesiastical apostles, functional apostles, apostolic team members and congregational apostles), Horizontal Apostles (such as convening apostles, ambassadorial apostles, mobilizing apostles. and territorial apostles) and Marketplace Apostles. Clearly these are not only extra-biblical, but unbiblical definitions for what the Scriptures say about apostles.
See Also:
Apostles Today Part 2
Apostles Today Part 3
Apostles Today Part 4
Filed Under: Apostles, Bill Johnson, Brian Simmons, C. Peter Wagner, Che Ahn, Chuck Pierce, John Arnott, New Apostolic Reformation, Rick Joyner, Uncategorized

The Sword Of The Lord ~ Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor ~ February 23, 2018

Judges 7:20 King James Version (KJV)
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

An Independent Christian Publication, Standing for the Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, His Blood Atonement, Salvation by Faith, New Testament Soul Winning and the Premillennial Return of Christ; Opposing Modernism (Liberalism), Worldliness and Formalism.

Amen Corner

Dr. John R. Rice often said, “The best way to get rid of snakes is to stop feeding them.”  And the best way to get rid of liberals and modernists is to stop supporting them.  -Curtis Hutson

God has never had on His side a majority of men and women.  He does not need a majority to work wonders in history, but He does need a minority fully committed to Him.  In the world today, Christian stewardship is a necessity.  -Ernest Tittle

A profession of skepticism is often nothing more than the whistling of the boy as he goes through the churchyard and is afraid of ghosts and therefore “whistles hard to keep his courage up.”  They try to get rid of the thought of God because of that ghost of conscience which makes cowards of them all.  -Charles Spurgeon

A soul winner needs a broken heart.  The cold and callous sinner may be able to answer all your arguments and withstand all your pleas, but he has no argument against tears.  Tears are a magnet that must tug at the heart of the coldest and hardest of unbelievers.  -John R. Rice

A pastor met one of his delinquent members on the street.  “I haven’t seen you at church lately,” he reminded him.

“No,” was the reply, “we’ve had sickness, and then the weather has been so bad.  You know, it has rained and rained and rained.”

“But it’s always dry at church.”

“Yes,” came the answer, “and that’s another reason why I’ve not been coming!”

No church service should be dry, dull and lifeless.  Church was never meant to be entertaining, but it should be alive and vivid with the presence of God.             -Vance Havner

I’m always in haste but never in a hurry.  -John Wesley

Yet for all God’s good will toward us, He is unable to grant us our heart’s desires till all our desires have been reduced to one.  When we have dealt with our carnal ambitions; when we have trodden upon the lion and adder of the flesh, have trampled the dragon of self-love under our feet, and have truly reckoned ourselves to have died unto sin, then and only then can God raise us to newness of life and fill us with His blessed Holy Spirit.  -A.W. Tozer

Search thy friend for his virtues, thyself for thy faults.  -William Gurnall

I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man.  -D.L. Moody

All along the Christian course, there must be set up altars to God on which you sacrifice yourself; or you will never advance a step.  -Alexander Maclaren

When you sing your own praise, you always pitch the tune too high.

*********************************************

Noteworthy News Headlines

Canadian Government Says Priest Has to Support Abortion to Qualify for Federal Program

Tax Funding Increasing, but Planned Parenthood Is Shrinking – and CEO Will Reportedly Resign

China Bombs Megachurch in Drive to Silence Christianity

Education Secretary DeVas Decries Public Education Failure

Does the University of Iowa Support Persecution of Christians?

Georgetown University Sets New Agenda on Gender and Sex Exploration

Netherlands Physicians Support Measure Allowing Doctors to Euthanize Children

Bolivia:  Christians Fear New Law May Land Them in Jail

Do-It-Yourself Faith on the Rise Via the Web, Study Finds

Sixty-Three Percent of U.S. Dads Say They Don’t Spend Enough Time With Their Kids

Watch lava slowly engulf a poor, abandoned car sitting in the path of Hawaii’s volcano

Watch lava slowly engulf a poor, abandoned car sitting in the path of Hawaii’s volcano

Mike Wehner
BGR NewsMay 7, 2018

Late last week, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted, spewing lava from a massive crack in the ground near a residential subdivision. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, as the eruption was preceded by several small earthquakes and large bulges had formed in the ground where the Earth eventually cracked open. Nevertheless, many residents were forced from their homes as the lava slowly poured from the gap, and new time lapse footage of one unfortunate abandoned car being swallowed up gives you a good idea of a worst-case scenario.
The original video, which was posted by a man named Brandon Clement, shows the liquid rock flowing through a fence before crossing a residential road and then engulfing a Ford Mustang as it sits helplessly on the side of the road. The area had already been under evacuation orders for some time, so it’s likely that the car’s owner was long gone by the time the lava reached his home and vehicle.

This isn’t the kind of rapid, utterly devastation eruption that many people imagine when they think the dangers of living near a volcano, but it can be just as tragic for those living nearby. You obviously can’t pick up and move an entire house at a moment’s notice, and while this unlucky Mustang may have been saved with a bit better planning, the homes in the path of the lava flow will be destroyed just the same, regardless of the speed of the eruption.
Those living near Kilauea are still under an orange warning, which is the second highest alert associated with volcano eruptions. According to the most recent information from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, the lava flow has progressed over half a mile from the fissures, with additional intermittent eruption activity expected to continue.
It’s unclear at this point just how dire the situation will get, but officials are being proactive in their evacuation efforts to ensure that no lives are lost as a result. For now we know of one definite casualty: a silver Ford Mustang. Oh, and that fence and telephone pole.

 

****************************************

These events are the Lord’s judgment in microcosm.  I have never really pitied folks who build homes near cliffs in California or at the base of an active volcano…..and then catastrophe strikes.  I believe they are foolish, and tempting God.  There is a very important spiritual application here.  People are living their lives with a “devil may care” attitude as if the Lord does not exist.  God sends everyone warning flares throughout our lives, and most people ignore them.  Even if catastrophe never strikes, most people will die of natural causes, totally unprepared to meet the Lord.  People who meet God unprepared will lose a lot more than their Mustang.

Amos 4:12 King James Version (KJV)
“Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.”

Matthew 24:44 King James Version (KJV)
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

Jesus Christ will soon come in judgment and rapture His bride (the church) home.  The rest of the world will be plunged into the time of the Great Tribulation.

Be Ye Ready!

In Christ, Pastor Steve  <><

Instantaneous Creation Ex Nihilo

There is a great divide between those who claim to believe in the Bible and those who really do.  I often speak with people who say they believe in the inerrancy of the holy scriptures, and then after a mere superficial chit chat, I find they do not believe in all of the Word.  I would suggest that one great litmus test would be an Instantaneous Creation, that is: Ex Nihilo- out of nothing.  God simply spoke the universe into existence instantly, and made it out of absolutely nothing.  And guess what?  He did not even use His baby finger.  You think about that.  The Lord is totally awesome, beyond our comprehension, and trillions of light years beyond us in His perfect power, wisdom and understanding of all things.

Hebrews 11:3 King James Version (KJV)
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

  Pastor Steve  <><

 

 

 DAYS OF PRAISE
Instantaneous Creation
BY HENRY M. MORRIS, PH.D. | THURSDAY, MAY 03, 2018

“Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.” (Psalm 148:5)

The concept of “fiat creation” is opposed by evolutionists and all who believe in the so-called geologic ages. Nevertheless, this is clearly the teaching of the Word of God, and God was there! Psalm 148 exhorts all the stars to praise the Lord, and then notes that, as soon as God spoke, they “were created.” Similarly, “by the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. . . . For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6, 9).

It is worth noting that whenever the verbs “create” and “make” are used in reference to God’s work of creation, they are never in the present tense. God is not now creating or making stars or animals or people as theistic evolution requires; at the end of the six-day creation period, in fact, God “rested from all his work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:3).

This is the teaching of the New Testament also. “The worlds [that is, the space/time cosmos, the ‘aeons’] were framed [not ‘are being framed’] by the word of God [not ‘by processes of stellar evolution’], so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear [not ‘out of pre-existing materials,’ as required by theories of chemical and cosmic evolution]” (Hebrews 11:3).

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself confirmed the doctrine of recent creation. “From the beginning of the creation [not, that is, four billion years after the solar system evolved] God made them [Adam and Eve] male and female” (Mark 10:6). Thus, those who believe in the geologic ages are rejecting both the biblical record and the authority of Jesus Christ in order to attain ephemeral acceptance by the ungodly. This is a poor exchange! HMM

The Sword Of The Lord ~ Dr. Shelton Smith, Editor ~ February 9, 2018

Judges 7:20 King James Version (KJV)
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

An Independent Christian Publication, Standing for the Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, His Blood Atonement, Salvation by Faith, New Testament Soul Winning and the Premillennial Return of Christ; Opposing Modernism (Liberalism), Worldliness and Formalism.

 Amen Corner

The Christian need not expect to escape opposition.  As long as Satan stands to resist the sons of God, as long as the world and the flesh remain, the believing man will meet opposition.  -A.W. Tozer

Being a Christian is not a thing that goes by families but by individuals.  You are an American because your father is an American, but you are not a Christian because your father is a Christian.  -John R. Rice

The strength of a country is the strength of its religious convictions.  -Calvin Coolidge

Notwithstanding all that thou hast learned of Him, remember thou hast but read the child’s first primer; thou art as yet on one of the lower forms.  -Charles Spurgeon

One gem from this ocean [the Bible] is worth all the pebbles from earthly streams.  -Robert M. M’Cheyne

We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life – the unborn – without diminishing the value of all human life.  -Ronald Reagan

All that I know about salvation, I learned from the Bible: the way to Heaven, that I’m saved and assured of it, the promises of God’s Word, assurance that I will never be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus, that I am going to be resurrected out of the grave one day – these are “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”  (Psalms 119:105).  -Harold Sightler

When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.  -William James

You can run from God; but you cannot run away from God, for He is everywhere.  Jonah made that discovery!  -Vance Havner

You don’t get better to get saved; you get saved to get better.  You can’t get better until you get saved, for you have nothing to get better with.  -Curtis Hutson

God accepts obedience without emotion, but He cannot accept emotion without obedience.  -Maltbie D. Babcock

This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.

 

Noteworthy News

Police Officer Rescues Eight-Year-Old From Icy Pond On Christmas Day

An eight-year old Utah boy is alive today because of the heroic actions of one Washington County Sheriff’s Office sergeant who heroically punched his way through an icy pond to save the boy who had fallen through.

The Christmas incident occurred after the young boy chased a dog who ran onto the water.  Another child who was with boy ran for help after the other boy had gone under the ice.

KSTU-TV reported…Sergeant Aaron Thompson, who was one of the first responders to arrive at the scene, entered the pond without any equipment and began punching through the ice in an attempt to save the boy….

I had to jump up on top of the ice, putting my weight on it, and then pound on it to get it to break,” [Thompson] said during a news conference.

Thompson said that when he was finally submerged in the pond, the level reached his neck, and he found the boy beneath the surface of the ice shortly thereafter….

Both the child and Thompson were taken to the hospital and treated.

-Sarah Taylor, theblaze.com

Editor’s Comments:  When you see a police officer, a fireman, an EMT, or other first responders, thank them for what they do every day.  If you happen to have a “fallen through the ice” event in your life, they will race with sirens blaring to get to you at whatever hour of the day or night it is.  A “thank you” isn’t all that much, but it does say a lot.

60,069,971 Abortions in America Since Roe v. Wade in 1973

The United States marks 45 years of legalized abortion in all fifty states at any time for any reason throughout pregnancy on January 22nd, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.  Since that time, there have been an estimated 60,069,971 abortions that have destroyed the lives of unborn children….

/the number means there are more than 3,657 abortions daily and 152 abortions per hour every hour in the United States.  -lifenews.com

Editor’s Comments:  There were 1,608,600 abortions in 1990, the peak year.  Today the number of abortions is approximately half that number.  Even one such barbaric butchering of a helpless infant would be tragic, but when you consider over 60 million!  No words can describe how absolutely insane it is!

When We All Get to Heaven? Americans Picture Inclusive Eternal Life April 25, 2018

Facts & Trends

When We All Get to Heaven? Americans Picture Inclusive Eternal Life
April 25, 2018 Leave a Comment

Samuel Zeller photo | Unsplash
By Aaron Earls
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” but some modern Christians aren’t quite sure about that.
According to Pew Research’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study, 66 percent of American Christians say many religions can lead to eternal life.
That sentiment is most popular among mainline Protestants (80 percent) and Catholics (79 percent).
Most Orthodox Christians (68 percent), black Protestants (57 percent), and evangelicals (52 percent) also agree.
Among non-Christian groups, Hindus (96 percent), Buddhists (83 percent), and Jews (79 percent) are most likely to agree many religions can lead to eternal life.
A majority of Muslims (65 percent) agree, while fewer Mormons (40 percent) say the same.
The least likely religious group in America to believe there are many ways to eternal life is Jehovah’s Witnesses (8 percent).
While still high, belief in many paths leading to eternal life drops among Christians when specifically asked about non-Christian faiths.
When asked if some non-Christian religions can lead to eternal life, 50 percent of Christians agree.
Almost 3 in 10 Christians (29 percent) say their religion is the only true faith and another 12 percent say only Christianity will lead to eternal life.
Majorities of Catholics (68 percent), mainline Protestants (65 percent), and Orthodox Christians (59 percent) say some non-Christian religions can lead to eternal life.
Historically black Protestants (38 percent) and evangelicals (31 percent) are least likely to say some non-Christian religions can lead to eternal life.

LifeWay Research heaven chart
In 2016, LifeWay Research found 64 percent of Americans say God accepts the worship of all religions. The one demographic holdout is Americans with evangelical beliefs, among whom 48 percent agree.
Americans are also hesitant to say non-Christians spend eternity in hell. While 84 percent of those with evangelical beliefs say that is the case, only 40 percent of Americans as a whole agree.
Contradictory beliefs about the afterlife are seemingly no problem for many Americans.
Sixty percent say heaven is a place where all people will ultimately be reunited with their loved ones, but 54 percent say only those who trust in Jesus alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
A slim majority of Americans (52 percent) also say they partly contribute to earning their place in heaven with the good deeds they do.