Monday, October 31, 2011

RC Sproul On Reformation Day

It was wonderful yesterday to attend church and commemorate the Protestant Reformation. My friend Mikael preached a thrilling sermon on the imputed righteousness of Christ, how wonderful this reality is to be forgiven and declared righteous, and how all gospels that deny this (including Catholicism to this very day) are false.

In honor of Reformation day RC Sproul at Ligonier Ministries has written the following article which I just had to post here. And guess what, if you scroll down to the bottom you can click on a link where you can get a special free download of a children's audio book by RC Sproul in honor of this historic day. Be quick, the free download is available for a limited time!

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther tacked up 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg. With this act, he hoped to provoke a discussion among the scholars about the abuses of the indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church. He was not trying to create a public furor by any means, but within a fortnight, these theses had spread through the country like wildfire. The last thing Luther had in mind was to start some kind of major controversy, but nevertheless major controversy did begin.

From the discussions at Wittenberg, the disputations began to accelerate and escalate. Copies of the theses reached Rome and critical meetings were scheduled with the young monk. In these debates, Luther was maneuvered into proclaiming publicly that he had questions about the infallibility of church councils and also that he thought that it was possible that the pope could err. In 1520 a papal encyclical was issued which condemned Martin Luther as a heretic. Luther burned the document in a public bonfire and his defiance before the church was now a matter of record.

In response, Martin Luther picked up his pen to challenge the entire penitential system of the Roman Catholic Church, which undermined in principle the free remission of sins that is ours in the gospel. By doing so, he was unswervingly advocating his commitment to sola fide, the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

In 1521, Luther was summoned to the Imperial Diet, an authoritative meeting that involved the princes of the church, called by the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire to be held in the city of Worms in Germany. Luther was an outlaw. For him to appear at the Diet was to risk his very life; therefore, he was given safe conduct by the Emperor to attend. With a few friends, Luther traveled from Wittenberg to Worms. The eyewitnesses of that episode tell us that when Luther’s little covered wagon appeared around the corner of the bend, there were lookouts posted in the church tower at Worms. All the people were agog waiting for the arrival of this notorious person. When Luther’s caravan was sighted, people were throwing their hats in the air, blowing trumpets, and creating all the fanfare of the arrival of the hero. It was the 16th century answer to a ticker-tape parade.

Things, however, became very solemn in a hurry because the next day he appeared before the Diet. His books were stacked on a table in the room, and he was asked and ordered to recant of his writings. This surprised Luther because he thought he was going to have an opportunity to defend his writings; but the only question really of any importance that was asked of him was this: “Are these your writings?” And when he said yes, they said, “Are you ready to recant of them?”

Hollywood has their version of Luther standing there boldly with his fist in the air saying, “Here I stand!” and so on. But instead he dropped his chin on his chest and muttered something that nobody could understand, so they asked him to speak up. “What did you say?” He said, “May I have 24 hours to think about it.” And so Luther was granted a reprieve of 24 hours to return to his room to contemplate the seriousness of this occasion.

The prayer that Luther wrote in that ensuing 24-hour period was one of the most moving prayers I have ever read in my life. In that prayer, Luther cried out for God in his sense of total loneliness fearing that God had abandoned him, and proclaimed, “O Lord, I am Thine, and the cause is Thine, give me the courage to stand.”

And on the morrow, Luther was called once again back to the court and was told to reply to the question. He said to the Diet, “Unless I am convinced by sacred Scripture or by evident reason, I cannot recant, for my conscience is held captive by the Word of God, and to act against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.” And with that there was an instant uproar.

The Emperor himself later indicated his regret that he even gave Luther a safe conduct, and immediately put a new price on his head. As Luther was leaving the city, his friends staged a kidnapping to protect him and took him away in a fast horse through the forest. They hid him for a year in Wartburg at the castle disguised as a knight. During that year, Luther undertook the task of translating the Bible from the biblical languages into German. And that perhaps was his most important legacy of that time - that he made the Bible available to the common people. And with that the Reformation was born.

—R.C. Sproul (from the series, Heroes of the Christian Faith)

Click Here To Download A Free Audio Book By RC Sproul (for a limited time only).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Ministry Of Christian Prisoners In China

Chinese Pastor Zhang Rongliang, also known as Uncle Z, reports that the seven years and six months he spent in prison were a fruitful time of ministry. Zhang is still recovering from severe health problems after completing his full sentence on Aug. 31, 2011. He was immediately admitted to a hospital for 15 days where doctors monitored Zhang’s high blood pressure and diabetes.

In early December 2004 Zhang disappeared, and eventually, the Chinese government admitted they had him in custody. Zhang was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for possessing and using a forged passport — which typically carries a six-month sentence. People and organizations around the world pressured Chinese Communist leaders to release Zhang. Thousands of individuals wrote letters and prayed while multiple organizations worked to secure his release.

“I am happy that you and others tried to arrange for my release, but in one way, I am happy that you failed,” Zhang told a VOM contact in China. “You almost made a big mistake. If you had been successful, there would be no church in that prison today.”
Chinese Christians are not allowed to visit prisons or start prison outreach ministries, so Zhang ministered to everyone he could while in prison — prisoners, prison guards and officials he could never have met outside prison. Over 5,000 men lived in prison with Zhang, and many of them were able to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.

Zhang, a founder of one of China’s largest churches with over ten million members, has endured constant persecution for his ministry in China. Zhang has been imprisoned five times and spent about a fourth of his life in prison.
In a recent interview, a VOM contact asked about Zhang’s most recent prison experience.

Uncle Z, most people I know have the same question for you — How could you endure prison for so many years?

First let me say that while I was in prison, I remembered our friendship and the times you helped our church. I could feel inside my heart that you were doing something to try to help me. Also, I believed many people and organizations and governments in the West were speaking out about my situation.

To answer your question, I want to remind you that in my life, I have become accustomed to living in prison. This is the fifth time I have been in prison. So now, you see, I have spent one fourth of my life in prison and in some ways I have needed to adapt, to become accustomed to prison.

The second answer to this question is that the entire time I was in prison, I knew that many Christian brothers and sisters were praying for me constantly. So I had strength to overcome.

Finally, I want to remind you that our church movement has for years sent out missionaries to the unreached people groups of China and more recently to the Muslim peoples of the world. The missionaries leave their homes to go to a new environment. They preach the gospel in the area where they are called to preach. You have followed the call of God to China. I am the same as you. I consider myself and I treat myself as one who is a missionary. The difference is that God called me to preach to the prisoners.

You know, no Christian can go to the prisons of China to have an outreach ministry. We cannot go to witness to the prisoners. We cannot go to disciple them in the faith. If a Christian wants to preach in the prison, there must be a reason for him to go to prison. I preached to many, many people during the more than seven years I was in prison. I preached not only to common prisoners, but also I met many government officials while I was in prison. I met many business leaders. These were highly-placed officials; they were not common criminals. I shared the gospel with them in prison, and many of them received the Lord. Then I baptized them inside the prison. The prisoners were always coming and going, but I was in for a long time. At any given time, I would have direct access with more than ten important people who I was discipling daily and who I considered to be my “cell group.” These new converts were the only way that I could forget the suffering I was going through in prison.
These were people who I could never have met outside of the prison. They were too high in society. But in prison it was easy to preach Jesus to them, and it was easy for them to receive the Lord. It was much easier for them to receive Christ than it would have been outside. After that, they were happy. They were happy that the Lord loved them enough to arrange for them to go to prison to hear about him. The day I left the prison, one part of me was sad because I did not want to leave these new brothers. They all waved to me as I left.

So you see, I am happy that you and others tried to arrange for my release. But in one way, I am happy that you failed. You almost made a big mistake! If you had been successful, there would be no church in that prison today. There were 5,000 men in prison with me. Soon all of them will hear the good news of Jesus.

Did you have a Bible while you were in prison?

No, and this was very unusual that they would do this, and very difficult for me. It is against the law for them to withhold a religious book from a prisoner. I asked for a Bible many times, but the officials always refused to give me one.
I have a personal question. Of course you know my son.I often travel and am away from my family and sometimes worry about the effect this will have on him.For much of your life, you have not been with your two sons, but both of them serve the Lord now and are working in significant ministries, actually risking their own lives.What advice do you have for a father?
First, try your best to spend time with them, as much as you can. This is important and it is your responsibility. Then during those times you must be away, you must pray for them. You must put them completely in the hands of God. Remember, he will take better care of them than you can. Finally, always remember that the Word of God promises us that the children of the righteous will become like the oak tree in the hands of the Lord.

I have spent a lot of time in prison, but the children know why their father is being kept in prison. We have taught our children that this lifestyle is our duty. When we teach, we put more focus, more emphasis on the will of God and on the position that he has given to us. God wants us to do a bigger thing for him. All who are called to ministry are different people. We are not like other people. The world does not understand us. But our lives and our calling is a precious thing in the eyes of God.
I know that many foreign pastors say that we must put the family first. I don't agree with this philosophy. God is number one. God and his will must always be first in our lives. After that, he will take care of all other things.

What would you say to pastors in the West if you had the opportunity?

First I would say thank you many times for all of the help they have given to the Chinese church for so many years and also for the prayers they prayed for me while I was in prison.

Next, I want to encourage the Western church to not forget the Chinese church. Attend to the needs that we still have. We need you. We need your love and your partnership. Please don't forget us.

Third, I want to remind the Western church that there is in China great fruit that can be seen that is a direct result of the labor that the West has labored for us. Your ministry to the Chinese church has changed this nation! Soon there will be a great opening-up in China. The friends in the West can feel that they have been successful in helping China to hear the gospel. We, the Chinese church, have been caught off guard and unprepared.

Recently, the officials in the Henan provincial government have made a statement that every village should have a church. These churches do not need to be owned by the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (the government-owned church). The government has told us that they will register and approve our land and our buildings. Now we can begin to build actual churches, but we do not know how to begin. We are completely overwhelmed. We feel very strange about this. We are completely at a loss to know how to address this thing that has never happened before. The government wants us to quickly find places to build churches. We have no plan for this. Please pray for us and help us if you can.

Article courtesy of VOM.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Exposing And Expelling Heretics (Part 14)

Today we pick up from where we left off last week on our expository journey through the Epistle of Jude. Today we will examine verse 8 where Jude now starts to profile these apostates. This is a part of my verse by verse exposition through the Epistle of Jude for our church plant in Denmark - Kristuskirken. I must also acknowledge that I have leant very heavily on John Macarthur's exposition of this passage.

There is a spiritual war going on. There is a war going on inside the church being waged in terrorist fashion because the enemy is disguised as an angel of light, because he clothes himself in sheep's clothing. The terrorists who are hidden in the church are far more dangerous than the terrorists who are hidden in the world because those terrorists can only kill the body, but the terrorists in the church destroy the truth and leave a rubble of lies that damns men's souls. This is why Jude was written.

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. (Jude 1-8)

In verses five through seven Jude has given us three examples of the certainty of judgment on apostates. In verse four he reminds his readers that the apostates who infiltrate the church are people "who long ago were designated for this condemnation". Their damnation is certain and in verse five we are reminded of the Israelites being judged for their rebellion after the exodus out of Egypt. In verse six we are reminded of the judgment on angels who "left their proper dwelling" (go to Part 12 for a discussion on this intriguing subject). And in verse seven we are given an example of judgment on the Gentiles as Jude reminds his audience of the fire and brimstone that rained down on the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Now, as Jude moves into verse eight he starts to describe the lifestyles and characteristics of apostates:

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. (Jude 8)

The first description of apostates that Jude gives in verse eight is that they rely on their "dreams". This happens a lot in the more extreme Charismatic and Word Faith churches where leaders can appeal to some form of personal revelation to justify an aspect of their teaching or practice. Here is what John Macarthur said:

Did you look at that and wonder what is that saying to us, by dreaming? Actually in the Greek, houtoi(??) enupniazomenoi(??), big long word. It says this in the Greek, "Likewise these dreamers," it categorically says that apostates are dreamers . . . It's a word in the New Testament associated with visions and prophecies. So we say then it's selected because it refers to revelatory dreams, associated with visions and prophecies . . . So what we have here then at best is that false teachers, now follow this, false teachers inevitably have to have a source for their deception. And they have to have a source that's believable. They have to have a source that has some authority, or that is convincing. So they can't just say, "I think..." They can't just say, "I feel..." They can't just say, "We've got a committee in our group and we came up with this deal." The really effective false teachers and apostates will inevitably tell you God communicates to them in secret ways, in their dreams, in their visions. These are revelatory experiences. Apostate false teachers from Joseph Smith to Benny Hinn and everybody in between claim that God speaks to them in their dreams, in their visions. And this, of course, transcends the necessity to be submissive to the Word of God which is not in their hearts anyway. And it gives them the illusion of authority and God gets blamed for all their aberrations. They reject the Word of God . . . inevitably these dreamers are immoral, insubordinate and irreverent. Now let me hasten to say, not all the poor, witless people who may be true Christians who follow along after them are the same as they are. They are...they're being taken, they're being had, they're being made merchandise of. But inevitably though not always public visible, these people are immoral and they are insubordinate to the Word of God and they are irreverent, blasphemous. They may cover it up and you may never know them. It's not like it used to be in the world. If you heard somebody speak, you were there and you heard them and they maybe lived in your community and you knew the reality of their lives. But now they're in a box or on a radio or in a book and you don't know anything about their life.

This appeal to supernatural and personal revelation is in sharp contrast to the Apostle Peter who said:

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:16-21)

Paul agreed with Peter:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Next week we'll look at the next characteristic of false teachers in Jude verse 8 - that they defile the flesh.

Go On To Part 15
Go Back To Part 13
Go Back To Part 1

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Objection 2 Continued - Evolution Debate (Part 7)

There are many problems with evolution - more than I can fit in one blog post. Last weeks post pointed out the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. But I also thought it worth mentioning some questionable practice of the "scientific method" when it comes to examining the future. What follows is a real newspaper article:

This recent offering from the "scientists" made major headlines in the UK's Guardian newspaper. The article goes on to say:

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by a Nasa-affiliated scientist and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa's Planetary Science Division and his colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in the aftermath of a close encounter, to help humanity "prepare for actual contact".

In their report, Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis, the researchers divide alien contacts into three broad categories: beneficial, neutral or harmful.

Beneficial encounters ranged from the mere detection of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI), for example through the interception of alien broadcasts, to contact with cooperative organisms that help us advance our knowledge and solve global problems such as hunger, poverty and disease.

Another beneficial outcome the authors entertain sees humanity triumph over a more powerful alien aggressor, or even being saved by a second group of ETs. "In these scenarios, humanity benefits not only from the major moral victory of having defeated a daunting rival, but also from the opportunity to reverse-engineer ETI technology," the authors write.

Other kinds of close encounter may be less rewarding and leave much of human society feeling indifferent towards alien life. The extraterrestrials may be too different from us to communicate with usefully. They might invite humanity to join the "Galactic Club" only for the entry requirements to be too bureaucratic and tedious for humans to bother with. They could even become a nuisance, like the stranded, prawn-like creatures that are kept in a refugee camp in the 2009 South African movie, District 9, the report explains.

The most unappealing outcomes would arise if extraterrestrials caused harm to humanity, even if by accident. While aliens may arrive to eat, enslave or attack us, the report adds that people might also suffer from being physically crushed or by contracting diseases carried by the visitors. In especially unfortunate incidents, humanity could be wiped out when a more advanced civilisation accidentally unleashes an unfriendly artificial intelligence, or performs a catastrophic physics experiment that renders a portion of the galaxy uninhabitable.

To bolster humanity's chances of survival, the researchers call for caution in sending signals into space, and in particular warn against broadcasting information about our biological make-up, which could be used to manufacture weapons that target humans. Instead, any contact with ETs should be limited to mathematical discourse "until we have a better idea of the type of ETI we are dealing with."

The authors warn that extraterrestrials may be wary of civilisations that expand very rapidly, as these may be prone to destroy other life as they grow, just as humans have pushed species to extinction on Earth. In the most extreme scenario, aliens might choose to destroy humanity to protect other civilisations.

"A preemptive strike would be particularly likely in the early phases of our expansion because a civilisation may become increasingly difficult to destroy as it continues to expand. Humanity may just now be entering the period in which its rapid civilisational expansion could be detected by an ETI because our expansion is changing the composition of the Earth's atmosphere, via greenhouse gas emissions," the report states.

"Green" aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. "These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets," the authors write.

Even if we never make contact with extraterrestrials, the report argues that considering the potential scenarios may help to plot the future path of human civilisation, avoid collapse and achieve long-term survival.

Once again, the question must be asked as to exactly what kind of "science" are these people practicing? And why do these people discount the possibility of a Creator when they have a creation, but readily warn about an impending alien invasion even though no aliens have, as yet, been discovered. Although I must admit that the jury is still out concerning the claims of a Wal-mart employee who still maintains that he is a real Jedi Knight who attended Obi Wan's academy on Tatooine. For the doubters he decided to show a few of his moves:

Did you feel the Force?

While the newspaper article does not represent the entire scientific community, it is a stern reminder that the phrase "scientists say" is often a propoganda smokescreen that persuades the man in the street. Empirical science is measurable, testable, repeatable, and observable but the realm of "historical science" and "speculative science" is often nothing more than science fiction. As Christians, we have something far more reliable - a text that has never been proven wrong authored by a Sovereign God Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

Next week I will unveil some futuristic transitional forms that scientists have been able to "calculate" based on what they "already know". It may well be the funniest post to ever feature on this blog so stay tuned . . .

Go On To Part 8
Go Back To Part 6
Go Back To Part 1

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just Added - Creation And Change

Professor Doug Kelly's outstanding exegetical work on Genesis 1 and 2 has now been added to the resource directory. This is the book that persuaded RC Sproul to change camps from an old earth view to the correct view.

Doug Kelly

Category: Creation/Evolution
Click Here To Order
In this book Professor Douglas Kelly persuasively argues for a literal interpretation of the seven day account of creation found in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. He assesses both the biblical details and the scientific data to show that there is a convincing case for this understanding and how it is scientifically viable. How are Christians to develop their thinking on origins? Where do we start? “The Bible is God's revelation of his Word to us and includes all we need to know concerning his will for our lives. Notice how God chose to begin this all important book. He initiated his whole revelation with a description of creation, demonstrating that it is not only primal in the historical sense, but primary for the understanding of other doctrines as well” (p.16). This emphasis pervades the book: Douglas Kelly sets out to expound, teach and discuss the text of Genesis 1:1 – 2:4 regarding it as foundational for Christians.

Monday, October 24, 2011

180 Behind The Scenes

Ray Comfort's anti-abortion movie called "180" is really causing a stir on the internet. A lot of atheists and pro-murder people are up in arms over Ray's unfair tactic of using the truth against them. If you want to hear the truth about the conspiracy theories and the background story to this inspiring project then you will enjoy the next 23 minutes as Reformed Youtube Extraordinaire Lane Chaplin hosts Ray Comfort and Tony "Lawman" Miano on his Rightly Divided online show. For those of you who don't know who Lane is, he is the guy who posted Paul Washer's Shocking Message on youtube in its entirety. Lane is the guy that everyone, who has preaching videos longer than 11 minutes, wishes they could be:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What Life Is Like For Egyptian Christians Since Egypt Was "Liberated"

A YouTube video of 25 Egyptian soldiers beating Coptic Christian Raef After Faheem prompted a protest by thousands of Coptic Christians on Sunday, October 9.

“[I] would like to let you know that millions of Egyptian Christians will go out to the streets all over Egypt — from all the cities — to demonstrate against the army leaders because of the video,” a VOM contact wrote the day before the protests. “The Muslim group and Salafi movement are threatening the Christians, saying that we do not have any rights in the country. We do not know what could happen tomorrow, but we decided to go out and [use] our voices against persecution.”

WARNING: The following video is very disturbing. Egyptian police obviously think it is a proud show of force for dozens of armed riot police to beat a single unarmed Christian man relentlessly. Words cannot express my disgust. Lord have mercy . . .

The military fired at demonstrators when the protests began Sunday afternoon, and videos posted online show increased violence as military vehicles ran over protestors. According to VOM contacts, the Egyptian military eventually attacked the hospital where injured Christians were being treated and even tried to kill hospital employees. International news agencies report that at least 24 people have been killed, including at least 17 Christians.

The violence began after Muslim extremists attacked a recently rebuilt Christian church in Sohag, near Cairo. The governor of Sohag protected the church’s attackers and said, “If the Muslims did not destroy the church on that day, I would go destroy it myself.” Shocked by the governor’s comment, the Christians held a demonstration at a TV and radio building, and the Egyptian army responded to the demonstrations. A VOM contact said, “They were very [tough] in beating and attacking the Christians instead of restoring their rights. [This] situation is too hard and really unbelievable. We are waiting for the Lord to show mercy on the martyrs’ families. Please keep praying for us, and ask our beloved friends everywhere to pray.”

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shocking Picture Of Kirk Cameron

The internet was aflame over the last week because of this shocking photo of Kirk Cameron. It would seem that Lane Chaplin managed to catch him blowing out candles on his birthday cake - with only one bystander in the picture!!!! This has certainly exposed Kirk for the fraud he really is. All those years of lying about the massive attendances that his birthday parties draw. Starring in a blockbuster independant movie, the 140000 fans on his Facebook page, the big beautiful family, the interviews on O'Reilly and Larry King, pretending to be this guy called Mike Seaver - all of this was a carefully orchestrated conspiracy to make the general public believe that he was popular. And this photo is conclusive proof of his secret double life! Kirk's life is so pathetic he's only ever been married once! And his six children show him up as a selfish jerk with no concern for global over-population. He's not even smart enough to come on board with all the clear thinking people out there who accept that everything was created by nothing.

But why stop with Kirk? I thought I should take it upon myself to expose a lot of other deceptions going on out there that you might not be aware of. This blog has no place for gossip - I am posting this because my precious readers deserve to know the truth!

Take Brad Pitt for example. He is not as much of a "ladies man" as you might think. In real life he actually pays Angelina Jolie to appear in pictures with him. This is just a deceptive veneer for a very lame and tragic existence. In real life Brad finds it so hard to get a girl that he has decided to dress like one instead. And let's face it, that dress is so 90's!

And then there is the great hoax of Barack Obama's athletic prowess. He continually poses for press shots playing all sorts of different sporting activities. Anyone can look athletic and coordinated in a still. But the sad truth is that Barack has always been a bumbling nerd who can't even aim up right when it comes to kissing his wife. Let's just say that his wedding video had a lot of outtakes. Few people know that back in the 80's Obama actually turned down the role of Steve Urkel in favor of pursuing a political career.

And who would have known that Johnny Depp thought he needed to dress like a pirate in order to illegally download and copy movies. Johnny is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed. Earth to Johnny - internet piracy does not require sailing the caribbean in an old wooden ship shouting "arrrrghhhh".

What about the little known fact that Hollywood heartthrob Matt Damon is really a Hollywood heart attack waiting to happen. And let's face it, if you had all the money in the world then you would eat In'N'Out animal style three times a day as well! The Matt Damon you see at the movies is really just a digitally enhanced version of the guy you see in the picture. We're talking a lot of digital enhancement!

But George Clooney takes fake popularity to a whole new level. Here he is snapped at a recent fan club convention together with the President, Founder, Treasurer and General Secretary.

After all, it wasn't talent that got George all those leading roles. No, it was money! It is only a select few of us who are aware that Clooney did not make his fortune from the box-office as can be seen by the crowds lining up to see his latest movie. No, George actually made his fortune from an investment mistake in the 1970's when he attempted to purchase a large stake in the fruit industry by buying a lot of shares off a guy called Steve Jobs. The rest, they say, is show business!

Yes this whole thing is just a satire in response to all the cheap shots being taken at Kirk by "cyber warriors" who spend their lives hiding behind computer monitors with a keyboard in their hands. I have met Kirk Cameron on numerous occasions and met his family. He is someone I count it an honor to know and someone who epitomizes what real manhood is all about. Loving his wife, discipling his family, and serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Tragically, the blogosphere seems to esteem Brangelina, Botox, and busted marriages more highly.

The saddest thing about the whirlwind surrounding Kirk's picture is that his ministry has just produced something far more interesting that matters and is changing lives. Please go and watch it instead of all the pointless gossip. Because on the day of judgment the penetrating spotlight of God's all knowing justice will shine on us.

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. "I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:2-5 words of Jesus)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Objection 2 - Evolution Debate (Part 6)

Objection 2: The Missing Link Is Still Missing

Here's a quote:

The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, (must) be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory

Do you know who said that?

(Darwin, Origin of the Species 1859, p. 292).

Let's take a look at the most famous missing link discoveries:

These turned out to be just plain people, some of whom suffered from bone diseases. In proper attire, they would attract no particular attention today.

Piltdown Man
(Eoanthropus dawsoni) was a deliberate (but not very clever) hoax palmed off as “proof of evolution” to students for more than two generations. It turned out to be a bit of ape jaw and human skull artificially aged. In November 1953, Time published evidence gathered variously by Kenneth Page Oakley, Sir Wilfrid Edward Le Gros Clark and Joseph Weiner proving that the Piltdown Man was a forgery.

Nebraska Man
(Hesperopithecus) was reconstructed, family and all, from a tooth — a tooth that later was found to belong to an extinct pig! Further field work on the site in 1925 revealed that the tooth was incorrectly identified. Other parts of the skeleton were also found. According to these newly discovered pieces, the tooth belonged neither to a man nor to an ape, but to a fossil of an extinct genus of peccary called Prosthennops, and its identification as an ape was retracted in the journal Science in 1927.

A partial jawbone, consisting of two parts, was discovered by G.E. Lewis in India in the 1930s. Based on these two jaw bone fragments, claimed to be 14 million years old, evolutionists reconstructed Ramapithecus’s family and supposed natural habitat (at side). For fifty years, the fossil was portrayed as an ancestor of Man but following the results of a 1981 anatomical comparison with a baboon skeleton, evolutionists were forced to quietly set it aside.

The dethroning of Ramapithecus — from putative [supposed] first human in 1961 to extinct relative of the orangutan in 1982 — is one of the most fascinating, and bitter, sagas in the search for human origins. (Lewin, Bones of Contention, p. 86)

This fossil, discovered in Africa in 1974, was widely esteemed by evolutionists and was the subject of some of the most intensive speculation. Recently however, it has been revealed that Lucy (A. afarensis) had an anatomy ideally suited to climbing trees and was no different from other apes we are familiar with. The French scientific journal Science et Vie covered the story in 1999 under the headline “Adieu, Lucy.” One study, performed in 2000, discovered a locking system in Lucy’s forearms enabling it to walk using the knuckles, in the same way as modern-day chimps. In the face of all these findings, many evolutionist experts declared that Lucy could not have been a forerunner of man.

The Archaeoraptor Fossil
This was introduced in 1999 and hailed as the missing evolutionary link between carnivorous dinosaurs and modern birds. It was fairly quickly exposed as bogus, a composite containing the head and body of a primitive bird and the tail and hind limbs of a dromaeosaur dinosaur, glued together by a Chinese farmer. Hillary Mayell for National Geographic News November 20, 2002

Now remember that true empirical science is measurable testable repeatable and observable. What we have seen here is the result of wild and wishful speculation - pathetic attempts at removing God from the equation. Next week we will look at some of the absolutely laughable modern claims in the name of "science".

Go On To Part 7
Go Back To Part 5
Go Back To Part 1

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lame Attempts At Relevance (Part 9)

It is pretty easy to figure out how much confidence the Dykstras have in the power of the Gospel. "Pastor" Eric, why not preach the Gospel like it is the only hope for a hell bound world and training people in your "church" to evangelize instead of telling them to "invite people to church"! Yes it is awkward to invite an unregenerate sinner to church - just as it is awkward to invite a corpse at the morgue over to your house for tea and scones. All you are achieving by appealing to the carnal flesh of carnal men is to gather them in a room to see if it can be fed by your X-boxes and flat screens and cars (yes, they give away cars as well). This all amounts to a massive vote of no confidence in the forgiveness of sins and imputed righteousness on offer because of Jesus Christ's ultimate sacrifice of fulfilling the law that we have broken and enduring the wrath that we deserve on a rugged cross 2000 years ago. Why is this uninteresting to the audience? Because when the law of God, and the righteousness of God, and the judgement of God is not preached then sinners will never hunger and thirst after righteousness.

But the lameness doesn't end here for Eric Dykstra. Like Perry Noble in Part 8 Eric is a wannabe tough guy and give blue collar tough guy lectures in relevance. Just as it is tragic when glam rockers from the 70's still get around in spandex, the same effect occurs when middle aged Dykstra tries to connect with the men in his audience by saying the word "dude" a lot and using unbelievably bad hermeneutics . . .

Earth to Eric - Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure came out in the 80's! Young people have moved on from the space cadet speeches where sentences all finished with the word "dude". Get a life and start preaching the Gospel - if you know it! Once again, this amounts to more pathetic lame attempts at relevance. And Eric, why not start submitting to the biblical text instead of abusing it for your useless pep talks with no Gospel content.

Go On To Part 10
Go Back To Part 8
Go Back To Part 1

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Suffering Of Pastors In Communist Vietnam

Prisoner Alert: From Voice of the Martyrs (VOM)
Name: Pastor Y Wo Nie
Location: Vietnam
Arrested: August 2004
Days Imprisoned: 2610

Pastor Y Wo Nie was arrested August 18, 2004, for leading a demonstration demanding more religious freedom and the release of property confiscated by the Vietnamese government. He received a nine-year sentence. His family has not been able to visit him.

Write a letter of encouragement. Let Pastor Nie know you are praying for him and the believers in Vietnam. Let your friends know about persecution in Vietnam; encourage them to pray and write. Also, write Vietnamese officials requesting Nie’s release. Your letters make a difference.

Get involved! Pray for and write to Nie today.

Y Wo Nie's wife recently wrote to VOM. She wrote:

Our family situation is very difficult. I don't have a job; some days I work as a day laborer and some days I'm unemployed. My youngest son is sickly.

She recently visited her husband in prison, thanks to VOM donors. Her husband is ill. She said:

I’m worried for my husband but God gives me His comfort that He is always with us though we have to face sickness or hard situations; He will help me to overcome my hard times.

I am so inspired to hear of this woman's faithful devotion to her husband regardless of circumstance. Please pray for their family.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Exposing And Expelling Heretics (Part 13)

Today we pick up from where we left off last week on our expository journey through the Epistle of Jude. Today we will examine Jude's third lessons from history concerning the certain judgment of apostates - Sodom and Gomorrah! This is a part of my verse by verse exposition through the Epistle of Jude for our church plant in Denmark - Kristuskirken.

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day- 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1-7)

God has given one example of judgment on apostate Jews, and one example of judgment on apostate demons, now He gives one example of judgment on apostate Gentiles in Sodom and Gomorrah:

Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 7)

Jesus used Sodom and Gomorrah as a means of rebuke against the the unrepentant:

Then he [Jesus] began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you." (Matthew 11:20-24)

Yes, that was our friend Jesus, the God of the New Testament (as well as the Old)! That was a blistering and terrifying rebuke. When the Creator of the universe gives these warnings we must pay diligent attention. It always amazes me how the "red letter Christians" are nowhere to be found when verses like these appear.

Another issue concerning the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is that their major crimes were reported by Ezekiel who said that:

this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)

Homosexuals are often referred to as sodomites which is a lasting reminder of the relentless sexual perversion and immorality that was going on in that city. The sobering message for us is that perversion on this level is normally the natural extension of an affluent self centered society that abandons God - a downward spiral we see in Romans 1:

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:21-32)

There is the downward spiral of rejecting God. First we see that they know God but will not honor Him or give thanks; then their thoughts and hearts grow more hard and rebellious; idolatry follows; God's restraining grace is then lifted and sexual perversion follows; their total depravity now finds full, wicked, unrestrained rebellion; people are no longer ashamed of their perversion (as Lot witnessed in Sodom); and finally they give moral approval to such behavior. This should sound familiar! And don't let social scientists give you false assurance that homosexual behavior is acceptable. There is an enormous tract of scorched earth in the Middle East that says otherwise!

The ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah have been discovered southeast of the Dead Sea. The modern names are Bab edh-Dhra, thought to be Sodom, and Numeira, thought to be Gomorrah. Both places were destroyed at the same time by an enormous conflagration. The destruction debris was about three feet thick. What brought about this awful calamity? Startling discoveries in the cemetery at Bab edh-Dhra revealed the cause. Archaeologists found that buildings used to bury the dead were burned by a fire that started on the roof.

What would cause every structure in the cemetery to be destroyed in this way? The answer to the mystery is found in the Bible:

“Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens” (Genesis 19:24).

Jude, like Jesus, uses Sodom and Gomorrah as a terrifying warning to those apostates who are unrepentantly wreaking havoc in the church. All that is left of those two cities is one giant scorch mark!

To be continued two weeks from now . . .

Go On To Part 14
Go Back To Part 12
Go Back To Part 1

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Objection 1 - Evolution Debate (Part 5)

It is ironic that Darwin's book is called Origin of the Species when evolution has no explanation for how life started. It is interesting that the actual title for Darwin's book is:

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.

Darwin himself said that:

There is really no probability that the "races" would be equal. In fact, the whole notion runs counter to all evolutionary theory and to the whole science of biology.

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes... will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. (The Descent of Man , 2nd ed, 1874 p178)

Darwin's doctrines of racial superiority and eugenics had a major influence on Hitler. In Mein Kampf, Hitler used the German word for evolution (Entwicklung) many times, citing "lower human types." He criticized the Jews for bringing "Negroes into the Rhineland" with the aim of "ruining the white race by the necessarily resulting ization." He spoke of "Monstrosities halfway between man and ape".

Darwin didn't only believe that white people were more highly evolved. He thought that men were more highly evolved than women. In his autobiography he described a future wife as an:

object to be beloved and played with – better than a dog anyhow. (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1958, pp. 232–233)

Charles Darwin's education was not in science. He quit medical school and studied theology . . . just so you know. But his title "Origins of the Species" is ironic because Darwin and Evolution provide no natural explanation for how things began or how life started.

Objection 1: No natural explanation For Origins

[The Big Bang] represents the instantaneous suspension of physical laws, the sudden abrupt flash of lawlessness that allowed something to come out of nothing. It represents a true miracle . . . (Paul Davies, physicist and evolutionist , The Edge Of Infinity 1995).

Evolutionists are open to a miracle coming from nothing. That is not only unscientific, it is also a very strange religion. I don't have enough faith to believe that. Let me ask you – is it more logical to believe that everything is Created by nothing or by a God?

Continued next week . . .

Go On To Part 6
Go Back To Part 4
Go Back To Part 1

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lame Attempts At Relevance (Part 8)

Warning: some pop culture references in this post may require the assistance of someone who was alive during the 70's!

When I went to school there were always guys who did things to act tough. One really impressive way to bring some serious intimidation onto the playground was to wear a Kiss T-shirt and stuff a packet of cigarettes up the sleeve. I can just imagine Chuck Norris fleeing in terror at the sight of one of these guys! Well, lame tough guy routines did not escape the notice of church growth experts.

Pastor Perry Noble is a bizarre byproduct of the consumer driven, seeker sensitive, church growth movement. He is the new wave of what I call reverse psychology seeker sensitivity. Why not attract people to your church by acting tough and offending them with your tough guy talk. Why bother with the offense of the Gospel when you can do it yourself by being an obnoxious jerk behind the safety of a pulpit and a microphone . . .

Can you feel the love tonight . . . .

Wow!!! Pastor Perry thinks he's the big man in town - look out Leroy Brown! Talking tough to the sheep. Maybe he found some new paraphrase that says:

"If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the 99 on the mountains and verbally abuse the one that went astray . . . and refuse to visit it in hospital . . . unless of course it is pronounced dead" PNSBV (Perry Noble Sheep Beating Version).

The Apostle Peter might have known a thing or two about the job description of a shepherd of God's flock:

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:1-3)

So what Bible are you reading Perry?

Paul says that a Shepherd must:

be above reproach the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome (1 Timothy 3:2b-3a)

But clearly Pastor Perry has a slightly different hermeneutical approach and maybe some members of his church have cause for complaint with their song selection for worship services:

(That video was from the Elephant Room conference where Noble was interviewed by James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll. For the life of me I cannot see the point of flying Perry Noble to a conference to discuss the merits of adding "Highway to Hell" to the hymnal. Nonetheless there will be a lot more said about the Elephant Room conference in later posts.)

Perry is about as tough and manly as that guy in the Kiss T-shirt with the cigarette packet stuffed up his sleeve . . . but that would be an emasculating insult to chain smoking Kiss fans everywhere! How about we finish it with some real men instead of pathetic wannabes like Noble who clearly know nothing on the subject. A couple of young guys who never pastored a seeker sensitive mega church but knew a whole lot about real biblical manhood:

Go On To Part 9
Go Back To Part 7
Go Back To Part 1

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Iranian Pastor Stands Firm in Faith - Faces Execution

"The Judge kept asking my client to say, 'I have renounced Christianity and I recognize Islam as rescinder of all other regions,' and he kept saying 'I won't say that.'" (Youcef Nadarkhani)

9/28/2011 Iran (CDN) – Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani refused to recant his Christian faith today at the fourth and final court hearing in Iran to appeal his death sentence for apostasy (leaving Islam).

The court house in Rasht, 243 kilometers (151 miles) northwest of Tehran, has swarmed with security forces for four consecutive days since Sunday (Sept. 25), the first day of his four appeal hearings. Applying sharia (Islamic law), the court on Monday, Tuesday and today gave Nadarkhani, 35, three chances to recant Christianity and return to Islam in order for his life to be spared. In all instances, Nadarkhani refused to recant.

“I’m in contact with Iran,” a source close to Nadarkhani’s family said, “but the news isn’t very good. We’ll see. If they really want to they can kill him they can, because he hasn’t renounced his faith. It finished today. We have left everything in the hands of God.”

Authorities arrested Nadarkhani in his home city of Rasht in Oct. 2009 because he allegedly questioned obligatory religion classes in Iranian schools. In September 2010 the court of appeals in Rasht found him guilty of apostasy and in November issued a written confirmation of his charges and death sentence.

At an appeal hearing in June, the Supreme Court of Iran upheld Nadarkhani’s sentence but asked the court in Rasht to determine if he was a practicing Muslim before his conversion. The Supreme Court also determined that his death sentence could be annulled if he recanted his faith.

On Sunday (Sept. 25) in the first two and a half hours of the court, the judges determined that Nadarkhani indeed was not a practicing Muslim before his conversion to Christianity. The source said that in this time period things looked more promising for Nadarkhani, and that the court might reverse the sentence based on the findings.

In the end, however, the court declared that although Nadarkhani was not a practicing Muslim before his conversion, he was still guilty of apostasy due to his Muslim ancestry, the source told Compass.

Secret service agents surrounded the court and maintained a presence there throughout the following days, and his wife, Tina, was not allowed in the courtroom. On Sunday (Sept. 25), she was allowed to stand at the doorway for a few minutes to see her husband, the source said.

A defense lawyer told Nadarkhani’s family and friends there is a way to take the case back to the Supreme Court or extend Nadarkhani’s prison sentence, but the source said the directives of the Supreme Court were clear and he didn’t think there was much hope.

“Yousef is known as a hero, so if he is released it will seem like the government was defeated,” he said, “but if they leave him in prison there could be more international pressure.”

It is critical for foreign governments to negotiate and engage in diplomacy with Iranian authorities about Nadarkhani’s case, the source said, adding that his predicament could be more hopeful if they intervened.

“They need to start negotiating,” the source said. “It’s the moment to negotiate, because if they do, the situation could be regulated.”

The source and advocates in the international community fear that authorities may kill Nadarkhani as early as midnight tonight or any time in the coming week. The court said a verdict on Nadarkhani would be issued within the next week.

“They probably won’t kill him today, but they can do it whenever they want,” the source said. “They can hang him in the middle of the night or in 10 days. Sometimes in Iran they call the family and deliver the body with the verdict. They have gone outside the borders of law. This is not in the Iranian law, this is sharia. Sometimes they don’t even give the body.”

The final appeals hearing today lasted about an hour and a half, ending around 1 p.m. after Nadarkhani’s defense lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, gave his closing defense. Dadkhah also reportedly faces charges for “actions and propaganda against the Islamic regime,” due to his human rights activities.

The hearings on Monday (Sept. 26) and yesterday lasted just 30 minutes, long enough for Nadarkhani to refuse to recant Christianity.

The source said Nadarkhani’s 30-year-old wife is very apprehensive about what the courts might decide this week. They have two children: Joel, 7 and Daniel, 9.

“The wife is under depression and worried; we can say his wife is very worried,” he said. “It is difficult for all his family, it is difficult for us.”

Nadarkhani, whose first name is also spelled Youcef, belongs to the Church of Iran, a group that has been marginalized by other Christian Iranian groups over concerns that its doctrine on the Trinity is inadequate.

The Church of Iran’s statement of faith on its website asserts that God is “revealed in the Scriptures as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19).”

The church’s statement of faith also affirms “...the Lordship of Jesus Christ, only Son of God, the Word manifested in flesh. We believe that He is from the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20) and He was born of a Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:23, Luke 1:34). We believe in His atoning death and redemption (Heb. 9:28), in His bodily resurrection (Luke 24:39), in His ascension (Acts 1:9-11), on His return in person to gather His Church (1 Thess. 4:17), followed by His coming in glory to judge the rebels and establish the reign of a thousand years (Rev. 1:7). ”

The church also states that it believes the “baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5, 2:38) is the new birth (John 3:5-8). It introduces the Christian in the Eternal Life of God and leads into all truth, to holiness in communion with Christ.”

Article courtesy of

Youcef is a real man, may the Lord give me grace enough to be one tenth of the man that this brave Iranian Christian is when the fire of persecution is in my face! Yousuf is still alive according to the latest I have heard - please pray for him.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Exposing And Expelling Heretics (Part 12)

Today we pick up from where we left off last week on our expository journey through the Epistle of Jude. Today we will examine two lessons from history concerning apostates. One of these concerns Israel's rebellion against God after the Exodus from Egypt, and the other concerns an angelic rebellion against God. This is a part of my verse by verse exposition through the Epistle of Jude for our church plant in Denmark - Kristuskirken. Much thanks must go to John Macarthur for his commentaries and exposition which have been my major source for this series.

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day- 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1-7)

Verses 5-7 are a lesson in history to remind us that God's judgment and damnation of apostates is absolutely certain.

Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. (Jude 5b)

Just as God saved His people out of Egypt, He also destroyed the unbelieving in the desert:

But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD, none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it. (Numbers 14:21-23).

This also parallels Jesus' first and second coming. The first time He came as a Lamb to die for His people. Next time He will come as a lion to make war with His enemies:

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)

So the first historical example of apostasy concerns Israel. Jude then gives an example of angelic apostasy that is very intriguing and hotly debated:

And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day (Jude 6).

What could this be about? There is a parallel verse in 2 Peter which says:

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment (2 Peter 2:4).

There are three words for hell in the New Testament Greek: Hades, Gehenna, and Tartarus. The word Hades appears 10 times in the New Testament and refers to the grave or the place of the dead. The word Gehenna appears 12 times in the New Testament and refers to a firey place of punishment. Interestingly, each of those twelve times was spoken by Jesus - something clearly missed by the "Red Letter Christians". The context often makes it clear which one is being referred to:

"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!" (Luke 12:4-5)

Jesus is clearly speaking about something other than the grave here!

Thirdly, there is the word Tartarus, which appears only one time in the whole Bible. And that is in 2 Peter 2:4 which is quoted above. Tartarus describes the place where these demons mentioned in Jude 6 are chained up. Tartarus is a word that describes the “deepest abyss of hell”. These demons are so evil that God has already locked them up in Tartarus. It would seem that other demons were aware of this place. In Luke 8 Jesus has an encounter with a group of demons:

Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion," for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. (Luke 8:30-32)

Clearly the demons knew of this place and were terrified. We also see here that the demonic world still operates under the Sovereign rule of God and can only do what He allows. But what about these demons in Tartarus? Why were they there and what did they do. I’m going to give my theory here on who they are and what they did (I have good friends who differ with me on this). I believe you can only find one place in Scripture where this is mentioned:

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:1-5)

The phrase “sons of God” appears in only two other places – in the first 2 chapters of the book of Job to describe certain angels or demons who sometimes come to speak with God together with Satan. What we see in Genesis here, I believe, is that these demons were breeding with the women and corrupting the human race with these giant hybrids. Not only was this perverse, but it was also probably an attempt by Satan to corrupt the human race and stop the Messiah who he knew would come one day, and who he knew must have full humanity as well as full Deity in order to be our sin bearing representative.

Jude is saying that just as God condemned the unbelieving Israelites in the desert after he brought them out of Egypt, and just as He chained up the demons that cross bred with human women, be certain of the damnation coming upon these false teachers that Jude is warning about.

So there we have the first example of God's judgment on apostates which concerned Israel and their rebellion in the wilderness after their deliverance from Egypt. The second example was that of the fallen angels which "did not keep their first estate". And next week we will examine the third historic example of God's judgment on apostates - the Gentiles in Sodom and Gomorrah! Stay tuned . . .

Go On To Part 13
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Support For The Biblical View Of Creation - Evolution Debate (Part 4)

There are many arguments I could use for the existance of God.

Ontological Argument – That there has to be a supreme being in the universe.

Cosmological Argument – That the law of cause and effect still requires a first cause or “unmoved mover” as many philosophers said.

Teleological Argument – This is the argument that I prefer to use. That if the world is designed then it must have a designer. In fact, the second law of thermodynamics disproves Evolution because it says that all systems decay over time left to themselves and yet evolution requires that more and more order would come from chaos through time and chance.

God has revealed Himself to us in three ways.

The first of these is the teleological argument. Take a look at where we are sitting. Was anybody here when this building was being built? Did anybody meet the builder? No – but we know this is a building that had a builder because we can see design in the building.

Take a look outside and you will see creation. We did not see it being Created and we might not have met the Creator but we know that a Creation must have a Creator. Don't you see the design? The earth is the perfect distance from the sun to support life. The earth is on the perfect angle to produce seasons and these seasons allow us to grow food that provides fuel for our bodies.

Many scientists are abandoning Darwinistic evolution since the discovery of DNA which is an amazing sophistacated human genetic code that is impossible to explain by time and chance.

In fact there is a massive list of top scientists at major and prestigious universities all around the world that are either rejecting or seriously questioning evolutionary theory which can be read here. There could even be more if not for the fact that professors and scientists who hold to a biblical creation view or reject Darwin's theory often get "blacklisted" as pointed out in the movie Expelled:

The Bible tells us:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

The Second Way God Has Revealed Himself is through the human conscience. The bible teaches us that God has written his moral law on our human hearts. We know right from wrong. We know it is wrong to lie, and steal, and murder. But our nature is constantly against our morality. We desire to do things that we know is wrong. I did not grow up in a Christian home and I found this to be the strongest revelation. Why was I so angry when I heard about paedophiles when no one ever taught me that it was wrong. And why did I keep doing things that I know are wrong. I could see the design in creation. And my conscience told me that I was in trouble with this Creator.

Right now I want to do a test with you to see if your conscience is working. Have you ever told a lie? What do you call people who tell lies? Did you know that the Bible teaches that all liars will end up in hell! That may seem ridiculous but maybe this will help you understand.

If I lie to my daughter she can do nothing to me. If I lie to my wife I'll be sleeping on the sofa. If I lie to my boss he can fire me. And if I lie to the government they can throw me in jail. The higher the authority we sin against - the greater the consequences. What if God is an infinite and perfect authority??? Then our crimes against Him would be infinite. This is why there is a hell. Not only because of our sin but also because of God's perfect righteousness. If you ask the question how can a loving God send people to hell you are asking the wrong question. We should be asking how can anyone be saved from hell? And I will answer that question later.

Have you ever stolen something? What do you call someone who steals? Have you ever misused or blasphemed God's Name? That would make you a blasphemer. How about sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman? Jesus took that a step further and said even a sexual thought makes you guilty of adultery of the heart (Matthew 5:27-28) – have you ever done that? If you answered yes to the four conscience questions I asked then you are a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, and an adulterer, and you have to face God on judgment day! How will you do? If your conscience is working then you will know that you are in big trouble. And that is just four of the ten commandments – there are six more! I will say more about this later.

They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Romans 2:15-16)

The Third Way God Has Revealed Himself is in the Bible. This is when the atheist and the evolutionist try to laugh. But have you ever read the Bible? Are you open minded to the biggest selling book in history? It is true that the Bible is not a science text book and I am glad about that because science text books are full of errors. The Bible has never been proven wrong about anything. In fact, the Bible has been right about many things when science was wrong.

Jeremiah 33:22 (written 2500 years ago): “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured.”
The Bible claimed that there are billions of stars (“host of heaven” is the biblical term for the stars). When it made this statement, no one knew how vast the numbers of stars were as only about 1,100 were observable. Now we know that there are billions of stars, and that they cannot be numbered.

Job 26:7 (written 3500 years ago): “He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing.”
The Bible claimed that the earth freely floated in space. Science then thought that the earth sat on a large animal. We now know that the earth has a free float in space.

Isaiah 40:22 (written 2800 years ago): “It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth.”
The Bible informs us here that the earth is round. At a time when science believed that the earth was flat, it was the Scriptures that inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world. He wrote: “It was the Lord who put it into my mind. I could feel His hand upon me...there is no question the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit because He comforted me with rays of marvelous illumination from the Holy Scriptures...” (From his diary, in reference to his discovery of “the New World”).

The Proof of Prophecy

One of the strongest arguments for the accuracy of the Bible is its 100% accuracy in predicting the future. These future predictions are called “prophecies.” The Old Testament was written between approximately 1450 BC and 430 BC. During that time, many predictions of the future were recorded in the Bible by God’s prophets. Of the events that were to have taken place by now, every one happened just the way they predicted it would. No other “sacred writing” has such perfectly accurate predictions of the future.

Most Reliable Document of Antiquity

The Bible is also the most reliable document of antiquity (prior to the printing press). Let's compare it with the most famous and reliable documents.

Josephus Jewish War is the main historical source for first century history. They have 9 manuscripts and the earliest manuscripts are 400 years after the original.

Tacitus wrote the Annals of Imperial Rome. We have 3 manuscripts the earliest being more than 800 years after the time of the original.

Seutonius wrote Lives of the Caesars. We have nearly 100 manuscripts the earliest being more than 900 years later.

Homers Iliad has 643 manuscripts the earliest being 500 years later.

The New Testament of the Bible has over 24000 full or partial manuscripts with the earliest being at the time of writing (earliest full manuscript 200 years later; earliest partial manuscripts are Rylands p52 which is dated 30 years after autograph and possibly 7q5 which is from the actual time of writing).

It is this Bible through which God has given His fullest revelation of Himself to us. It is this Bible that tells us that God created the world about 6000 years ago in six 24 hour days. It is this Bible that tells of God creating Adam and Eve the first people, their fall into sin, and their sin being passed onto every other human being. It is this Bible that tells us that God appeared as a man – The Lord Jesus Christ – to keep the laws that we have broken and suffer the punishment that we deserve. It is this Bible that tells of the resurrection of this Jesus Christ proving Who He said He was. It is this Bible that calls on all men everywhere to repent of their sinful rebellion and trust in Jesus Christ because He has fixed a day when He will judge all men in perfect righteousness. It is this Bible that says that the reason why people refuse to believe it is because men love darkness and hate the light and will not come to the light because this light will expose their evil deeds.

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