Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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One Woman’s Stand Against the Lie of Chrislam

This link was blocked from American YouTube.  This German woman is a true hero of the faith.  At an interfaith concert where Chrislam was being promoted she alone stood, and proclaimed “Jesus is Lord!”  as everyone else sat. Click on link below to see what she did.

“How long will you falter between two opinions?  If the Lord is God follow HIm, but if Baal, follow him.  But the people answered him not a word.”


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Bible Prophecy: Why Study It?

bibsAmongst Christians, there seem to be two schools of thought concerning Bible Prophecy. One school of thought, possibly the vast majority of Christians, simply chose to ignore it; while at the other extreme they embrace it to the point of ridicule.

So how should we Christians regard Biblical Prophecy? To answer this question we need to look at a few facts concerning prophecy in the Bible and then ask ourselves a few pertinent questions. Hopefully we will be able to come up with a sensible answer to this apparent dilemma.

Firstly, let us make it very clear that we believe, and know, that the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God.

There are various estimates about how much of the Bible concerns prophecy, but we go along with the view of a number of Bible scholars who have calculated that some 30% of the Bible is prophetic; therefore making bible-cover-pageprophecy a substantial portion of the Bible. They also calculate that 80% of Bible prophecy has been fulfilled; leaving 20% of it unfulfilled.

The Bible contains about 31,000 verses and if we assume one prophecy = one verse, we find that over 9,000 Bible verses are prophetic with nearly 2,000 prophetic Bible verses remaining to be fulfilled.

Since God included so much prophetic insight in His Word, how can we simply ignore it? Primarily prophecy is a message from God, not merely foretelling future events. Of course it goes without saying that we have to be careful not to interpret unfulfilled prophecy to suit our position, whatever that may be. Date setting is one particular example where some Bible scholars have opened themselves up to ridicule, as well as bringing disrepute upon Christians in general and the Bible in particular.

So yes, we believe in the importance of Bible prophecy and the need to study it to try to help us explain some of the events currently taking place or unfolding in the world. Some of these we will look at and discuss from time to time.

We also believe that we need to be aware of the “signs of the times” so that we are not like the people (and religious leaders) of 2,000 years ago who, from prophetic scriptures then known to them, should have known the time of Jesus’ coming.

We don’t want the rebuke they received from Him when he said in Luke 12: 56:

“Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” NIV

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in the new series of “Bible Prophecy” on this blog.


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The “Emergent”-cy of Post-Modernist Christianity

seek truthFollowing on from my last post “Where’s Truth?” , where we looked at the effects of post-modernism on absolute truth, I would now like to take a look at how post-modernism is affecting the professing Christian church, in particular the Emergent, or Emerging Church.

My purpose in doing this series is not to attack individuals per se, although it would be impossible not to name some key players, but to bring to light the philosophy behind much of the Emergent Church, where it is leading and where it will ultimately end up.  Whilst there are some aspects of the Emergent Church which are not all bad, I think it is important to understand what it is that is propelling this movement forward and its ultimate purpose.

I am in no way a philosopher as such, but I do think that it would be wise first to consider the astronomical effects with which philosophy has affected society, culture and humanity.  One needs only to look to Plato or Aristotle to see how their social philosophies have affected human eugenics theory, leading to the immoral abortion crisis in the world today.  Another example is German philosopher Karl Marx, whose social theories influenced politics such as Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism and Maoism, and history tells the culmination of these regimes.

Philosophy is, according to Wikipedia,: “the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. In more casual speech, by extension, “philosophy” can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group.”

So when we talk of philosophy, it is not some “pie-in-the-sky” thoughts and theories that have no bearing on our world, it is the exact opposite.  As I see it (for what it’s worth) various branches of philosophical thought are published, usually through universities and the world of academia, it filters through to the students, it enters the workplace and the media in all its forms and eventually takes hold in the political realm as human opinion shifts into a new paradigm of belief and value systems.

So to get back to the Emergent Church and how it fits in with all of this.  The Emergent Church has recognized that we are now living in a Post-Modern world and that people think differently from how they used to think.  Their position is that because society has changed, in this new world the old ways of doing “church” and Christianity no longer work.  Therefore a movement has begun that seeks to transform Christianity into something new – something that appeals to this post-modern generation, something that is relevant.

And just like any other movement in society, this Emergent movement is underpinned by a system of Post-modernist philosophy.  This system is called “de-constructionism”.

Next time I will discuss the following in “Satan’s Tool in the Emergent Church”:

  • What is de-constructionism?
  • Who is history’s first de-constructionist?
  • What is the ultimate aim of de-construction in the Christian church?
  • Where will it lead?


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Missionary Quotations – Amy Carmichael1

amy carmWhat is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.”


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Of Worth and Esteem

I will praise the Lordjoyful4.jpg

Because He is worthy to be praised.

 

Oh Lord I lift up Your Name

Oh Lord I praise the Name of Jesus

 

Help me to remember

Help me to remember

Help me to remember

 

To lift my eyes UP-

From myself

From my circumstances-

Up to You (from whence my help comes)

 

You are worthy of all praise

My feelings and emotions have no place

Nor is it of any consequence whether

My life is good

Nor whether it is difficult

It is all about YOU

You are worthy

 

Self and its esteem (self-esteem) become irrelevant in the face of Jesus Christ

Christ and our esteem of Him (Christ-esteem) is that which determines the course of our lives.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

To receive power and riches and wisdom

And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12)

 

 


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Where’s The Fire?

This week I have experienced my first 46 degree (Celsius) day.  (I am in no hurry to experience another.)

On Thursday I was in Adelaide, and on Thursday Adelaide was officially the hottest city on earth.  It was so hot that as soon as I stepped outside my skin felt like it was burning, even in the shade. The hotel we stayed in became uncomfortable as the air conditioning struggled to cope with four consecutive days of over 40 degrees.

Extreme heat and a thirsty land are, of course, a recipe for bush fire in Australia, and, as of this morning, 100 bush fires were burning across South Australia and Victoria.  The smoke from the fires drifted over the beach where we were bathing, initiating many questions from our children.   As my husband and I tried to downplay the severity of the fires to them, internally we were wondering whether we’d even be able to get home, as the main road into Victoria had been closed by the authorities.

bushfire3

With all this talk of fire it has got me to thinking about the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost.  In the Bible the Holy Ghost is both symbolized by fire, and also directly referred to as fire.  In the Old Testament the pillar of fire which the Israelites followed in the wilderness was the Holy Ghost.  In the New Testament John the Baptist said of Jesus:

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” Matthew 3:11

And then in Acts 2:2-4 :

“. . . suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one set upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”

The thing about fire is that it is HOT.  It is intense.  All it takes is one little spark and a wild bushfire is ignited in a dry and thirsty land.

bushfire

Leonard Ravenhill said : “Again, the symbol of the church is fire…..The cross is no symbol of Christianity. The symbol of Christianity is the tongue of fire that sat on the head of each of them….Our God is a consuming fire.”

Oh and we are in a dry and thirsty land here in Australia.  Not just physically, but more so spiritually.  As I sat on the balcony of our accommodation each night this week, I wept for the people, for my country.  Yes, I could hear them drinking and laughing and singing drunken songs and I wept for them, for their state of barren-ness.  It is oh so dry.

We went into the city of Adelaide last night and there were two old men there, handing out tracts and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. They’ve been there for 30 years.  One of them preached, standing there shaking, in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, and we helped them to hand out the tracts to passers-by, but hardly anyone took one.  As he preached, warning that there is an eternal hell, I could tell his heart was broken for this people, these people walking past him laughing at him, smiling with the smile of those in the presence of a fool.  Afterwards I commented on the hardness of people’s hearts and he answered sadly: “Oh aren’t they?  They don’t understand that the consequences are eternal.”

How dry! How barren and hard is the landscape here in Australia!

But also how ripe and ready this land is for fire….. After all – the drier the land, the easier a fire is kindled.  And a fire is powerful enough to change a landscape.  Australia is a land of fire; but may we become a land of Holy Ghost fire!

All it takes is one spark.  As followers of Jesus Christ, because He lives within us, we are to be that spark to a dry and barren world.  But we cannot be that spark if we are not full of the fire of the Holy Ghost.

Paul says to: “…. be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” Ephesians 5:18,19.  We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and fire.  This verse in the original actually says:  “Be being filled with the Spirit…”  It is a continual process. Like in the Pilgrim’s Progress, there needs to be oil constantly poured onto the fire to keep it burning, because, just as surely, the devil is always seeking to put it out.

I love Leviticus 6:12:  “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.” (Emphasis mine).  This verse is such a wonderful picture of what the life of the believer, of Christ’s church, should be.  No, it’s what we need to be.  We have a responsibility to this generation as the church of Jesus to carry this fire wherever we go.  If we don’t, who will?

bushfire 2

As priests we are to keep the fire burning.  God sends the divine fire, but it is our responsibility to keep it burning.  Just like a bushfire, once it has started it requires ongoing fuel.

I don’t know about you but I know when the fire is burning bright within me and I also know when it is burning low.  When I am full of the Spirit I walk in the supernatural – amazing things happen.  When the fire is low I find I am walking more in the flesh than the Spirit and the things of God become a struggle.

Wesley wrote a hymn, which goes like this:

    See how a great a flame aspires, kindled by a spark of grace.     Jesus love the nations fires; sets the kingdoms all ablaze.

To bring fire on earth He came, kindled in some hearts it is.     Oh that all might catch the flame; all partake the glorious bliss.

When He first the work began, small and feeble was its flame.     Now the word doeth swiftly run; now it wins its widening way.

More and more it spreads and grows, ever mighty to prevail.   Sin’s strongholds it now o’throws and shakes the trembling gates of hell.

Sons of God, your Savior praise; He the door hath opened wide.   He hath given the word of grace; Jesus’ word is glorified.

Saw you not the cloud arise, little as a human hand?   Now it spreads along the skies, hangs o’er all the thirsty land.

May you be inspired to be the spark of Holy Ghost fire in your land in this dry and thirsty generation!