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Printed News Letter

April 2011 Issue

Dross Removal
Apr 1st, 2011
A.W.Tozer (1897-1963)
Uncategorized

If God sets out to make you an unusual Christian He is not likely to be as gentle as He is usually pictured by the popular teachers. A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful. To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be. This is not to teach the sanctifying power of poverty. If to be poor made men holy every tramp on park bench would be a saint. But God knows the secret of removing things from our hearts while they still remain to us. What He does is to restrain us from enjoying them. He lets us have them but makes us psychologically unable to let our hearts go out to them. Thus they are useful without being harmful.

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Messianic Signs - Part 2
Apr 1st, 2011
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

Is the Bible the Word of God? How can we know it is? Why doesn’t God confirm His Word to us? Why doesn’t God write it in the sky?

The answer is that God has confirmed His Word to us. He has done something more certain than writing it in the sky. We can prove absolutely that the Bible is the Word of God and we can prove beyond any possibility of a doubt that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe. Fulfilled prophecy is the greatest proof, beyond any shadow of doubt, that the Bible is God’s Word and that God is the sovereign Lord of the universe.

The Bible is approximately 30% prophecy, containing several thousand prophecies. More than half of those prophecies have been fulfilled in exact detail. These fulfilled prophecies prove that God knows the end from the beginning.

In Isaiah 46:9-10 we read, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”

The proof of God’s existence, the proof that the Bible is God’s Word is found in the amazing, incredible fulfilment of hundreds of Bible prophecies. Among those prophecies are what we call the Messianic signs of the “end of the age.”

In the ages past the Hebrew prophets predicted that before the advent of the promised Messiah, there would come into the world, specific signs that would signal the end of the age. But not until 1948 when the nation of Israel was re-established, have these signs been taken seriously. These signs prove that the coming of Messiah is near at hand.

The world is changing every day, things are happening so fast we can hardly keep up. World news clearly reads like events predicted in Bible prophecy.

John Walvoord, one of the world’s foremost conservative Bible teachers has said, “Never before in history have all the factors been present for the fulfilment of prophecy relating to the end time events. Only in our generation have the combined revival of Israel, the formation of a world church, the increasing power of Islam, the rise of the occult and the world-wide spread of atheistic philosophy all been present as a dramatic setting for the fulfilment of prophecy.”

Ellwood McQuaid of Friends of Israel has said, “We are undoubtedly living in the last days of the last days.”

Today there are many signs, occurring in Israel, of events the Bible says will immediately precede the Tribulation Period and the Rapture of the Church. Remember the three major end time events foretold are:

I.     The Rapture of the Church

II.    The Tribulation Period

III.  The Second Coming of Christ.

2,500 to 3,500 years ago the Old Testament prophets predicted the events which would take place immediately prior to the return of Christ to this earth. These events have been unfolding before our eyes in the last several decades. The exact date of Rapture and the Tribulation Period that follows it has not been revealed. Jesus said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man.” But two verses earlier Jesus said, “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33). We cannot know the day or the hour, but we can know that it is near, even at the doors. We can know the times and the seasons.

The Word of God anticipates that there will be one specific generation who will recognize the times and the seasons; they will recognize that it is near, even at the doors. I Thessalonians 5:4 “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” That has to be one specific generation. We are that generation.

Luke 21:28, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke is not talking about the complete fulfilment of the signs at this point. All of these signs will be totally fulfilled before the second coming of Christ in Glory to the earth. But they will just begin to be fulfilled before the rapture. “Lift up your heads for your redemption (rapture) draweth nigh”

We want to look at more of the Old Testament prophecies that prove we are living in the last days of the last days. We have already looked at the first four signs (see Messianic prophecies Part 1 in the March Expanded Edition).

Sign # 5 - The Order of Return

Amazingly the prophet Isaiah foretold the exact order of Israel’s return. Isaiah 43:5-6, “Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.”

  First - We read, “I will bring them from the east.” In the first half of the 20th century, Jews began returning to Israel from the east. They came from Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other Mideast countries.

  Second - In the mid 20th century, Jews returned from Europe in the west. They were driven to their land by the persecution in Europe.

  Third – In the 80’s and 90’s nearly a million Jews returned from Russia in the north. “I will say to the north give up.” For years Russia refused to allow Jews to return to Israel. For years the western nations urged Russia to let the Jews go. At long last the Russians relented. The prophet said, “Give up” and they did, over a million Jews left.

  Fourth“And to the south keep not back.” In the Mid 90’s 20,000 Jews came home from Ethiopia in the south, 2,800  years later it happened just as God said it would.

Sign #6 - A Pure Language

Jeremiah 31:23, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness.” The Lord said 2,600 years ago, when I get ready to bring my people Israel back to the land and send the Messiah, Israel will speak Hebrew.

For 2,000 years Hebrew was a dead language. Today in the streets, in the schools, in the army, in the Knesset, in the newspapers and everywhere the language of Israel is Hebrew. No such thing has ever happened before, that a dead language should not only be recovered, but returned to the common use of the people. 2,600 years before it happened, God said it would! It couldn’t happen but it did! Again we have proof that the Bible is God’s Word and proof that the Israeli’s are the people of God. The Lord have mercy on those who claim to be Christians and say that Israel is not God’s chosen people.

Sign # 7 - The Shekel

When Israel was born the currency of the nation of Israel was the pound and the US dollar. 4,000 years ago Abraham purchased the land to bury Sarah with shekels. Genesis 23:15-16, “My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? Bury therefore thy dead. And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.”

3,500 years ago when Moses instituted the Tabernacle the currency was the shekel (see Lev. 5:15).

Ezekiel tells us that when Messiah returns the currency of Israel will be the shekel. The Temple sacrifices will be valued by the shekel. Ezekiel 45:12, “And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, five and twenty shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh.”

For 2,000 years there has been no shekel. In 1980 the shekel became the official currency of Israel. Another fulfilled prophecy that indicates the coming of Messiah is near.

Sign # 8 - The Cities of Israel

Ezekiel 36:10, “And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded.” For 2,000 years the cities of Israel were not inhabited. The decayed crumbling wastes of the old cities shall be rebuilt. Verse 11, “And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.”

“I will settle you after your old estate.” The very old cities you inhabited in the past will be inhabited again. The old estates (names) will be used again. Isaiah 44:26, “That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof.” That’s the restoration of the old cities with their old names on their old sites.

After the year 70 AD., the Romans were in control and they renamed the cities with new Roman names. Then Islam came along and renamed the cities and towns with Islamic names. Then the Turks came along and renamed them again. Finally the cities were left unpopulated and crumbled into ruins. Wonder of wonders, today the old cities have been rebuilt on their original sites and have been given their old Bible names.

Another amazing Bible prophecy has been fulfilled. Today, Nazareth is Nazareth, Cana is Cana, Bearsheva is Bearsheva, Elath is Elath, Nain is Nain. All of the old biblical cities have been rebuilt and renamed with their old names.

There are three exceptions, three cities have not been rebuilt and repopulated. They are Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. The question is why? The answer is found in Matthew 11:20-23, “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”

Jesus cursed these cities for their unbelief in the face of His miracles and teaching in their midst. These are the only cities today that lie in ruins and are unpopulated.

God is the sovereign God. If God has kept His Word in the past, He will keep it in the future, and He will keep it today. You need to come to terms with God’s Word, with its demands and its warnings, if you do you will partake of its blessings. 

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Ridiculing the Trumpet Blowers
Apr 1st, 2011
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

Over the years we have studied Bible prophecy concerning end time events. We have often wondered about those who reject the teaching of God’s Word about end time events. The question that has frequently arisen in our minds is “How will they react when the signs of the end time begin to multiply?”

We need no longer wonder; we have arrived at that place. In a recent article we have the reaction of one who is exposed to the multiplication of end time signs. That reaction is to ridicule the ones who are warning of the coming Day of the Lord.

The following article recently appeared in the news. It was entitled, “Armageddon Entrepreneurs: Who are Profiting from Fear?” The article went on to say, “A successful entrepreneur is someone who sees a problem as an opportunity. So who would dare capitalize on the impending end of the world? Call them Armageddon entrepreneurs: preachers who view today's headlines as crib notes signaling the world is approaching its final days.”

The writer proceeded to ridicule those who warn of the coming Day of the Lord by comparing present events with the Biblical signs of the end times.

Should we, who declare God’s Word, be intimidated by those who ridicule us? Listen to what God has to say. In Ezekiel he says, Blow the trumpet, and warn the people.” Also Joel 2:1, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand.” That day is now near at hand according signs of the times all around us.

We do have the multiplication of the signs of the end times. We see storms increasing in intensity and frequency. We have the same situation with earthquakes also increasing in frequency and intensity. We have seen recent floods that have inundated whole countries. We are seeing raging wildfires and tsunamis that are unprecedented. Add to that the proliferation of nuclear weapon which is a threat to the entire world. The disaster in Japan is certainly an end time scenario, though it does not signal that those people are more sinful than any others.

We have world-wide terrorism that has taken peace from the earth. The nations are in a state of unrest, with revolutions in the Mideast. We are seeing the rise of the Revived Roman Empire in Europe and the drive for a world government as forecast for the last days. We have the threat of a world-wide economic collapse; add to that the looming world church that is foretold for the end times. We are more and more being made aware of a coming world-wide famine referred to by Jesus as a last days sign.

One of the most Prominent signs of the times is the return of Israel to the land. We have witnessed the miraculous way that God re-gathered Israel and has provided for and protected her. The nations of the world are threatening to remove Israel from the Promised Land. This is another sign of the lateness of the hour. The scriptures clearly foretell this, “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead (judge) with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:2). 

We are also seeing the prophesied alliance against Israel now being formed. The nations of that alliance that are now coming together are named in Ezekiel 38. These same nations are openly threatening to destroy Israel just as God said they would.

All around us we see the very signs foretold in scripture being fulfilled in great detail. Those who ridicule the ones who are sounding a warning to a rebellious and sinful world are referred to by Jesus in Matthew 16:2-3, “He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?”

The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay. So it is with the hearts of men, some will be hardened in spite of the signs of the times and turn away. Some will have hearts that will be melted and hear the Word of the Lord and turn to Christ. Is your heart clay or wax?

It is not surprising that the enemy would attempt to discredit the warnings the Lord sends out to deliver the world from judgment. We think of Noah and how those around him ridiculed him, we can almost hear them saying, “Noah, you’re a silly old fool, you have been preaching for 119 years about a coming flood and we have never seen even one drop of rain.”

My friend, compare the prophetic scriptures with present day events and be persuaded that the judgment of God is soon to fall on this world. Jesus Christ is the ark of safety, come to Him today in repentance and faith and escape the wrath to come.  

 

 

 
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The Word of Faith Movement
Apr 1st, 2011
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

The Word of Faith Movement is also known as Positive Confession or as the Prosperity Gospel. They present a Jesus who is not the Jesus of the Bible, consequently they preach another gospel. They are false prophets.

All Word of Faith preachers believe that Christians are little gods. In connection with that they teach that faith is not to be placed in God, but rather it is a force that is to be directed at God to force Him to do what you want Him to do. Benny Hinn says, “God has the power to interfere in our affairs but you have to give Him the permission to do so.” That raises man up to a level of Godhead. This is another aspect of the penetration of the New Age movement into the evangelical church. The new age teaches that man is God.

These men teach that man was made in the image of God and that means man is a god. They project, that when man fell he lost his deity. They further say that when man yielded to Satan, Satan took man’s deity and that consequently Satan became the legal guardian of the earth and that God was excluded from the earth. Their reasoning goes on to say that when a man is born again, his deity is restored to him, though he must work to develop it.

They teach that Jesus did not come as God but rather grew into His godhead. In the same manner we grow into our godhead. Ken Copeland said, “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God.”

In a further perversion of the gospel they say that the physical death of Christ was not sufficient to atone for sin. They say that Christ had to die spiritually and go to hell and suffer the agonies of hell to pay for our sins. Contrariwise, sin is not atoned for in hell, it is God that has to be satisfied that the price of sin has been paid. It is God that pours out His wrath on sin, not Satan. We read in Isaiah 53:11, "He (God) shall see of the travail of his (Christ's) soul, and shall be satisfied.....for he (Christ) shall bear their iniquities." (Not become their iniquities)

If Christ died spiritually he would be giving up His deity and if he could give up His deity He never was God in the first place. God cannot die, and the scriptures do not teach that Christ died spiritually.

The scriptures teach from cover to cover that sin is atoned for by the shedding of blood. Not by the blood of bulls and goats and lambs which were but a type of Christ. Hebrews 13:12, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Romans 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

When Christ died on the cross He said, “It is finished.” He did not go to hell when He died, to suffer any further, the work of redemption was finished and complete. He said to the thief on the cross, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” not in hell. Jesus did not die spiritually, He said when He died physically, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.” His spirit did not die.

Another false teaching that has been popularized by Word of Faith preachers is the idea that Jesus was made sin, is that true? Does the bible teach that?

Jesus was not made to be sin, it could not be so. If Christ was made to be sin, He could not be God. The “Word of Faith” preachers teach that because Christ was made to be sin and because sin is a spiritual issue, Christ had to go to hell and be judged and tormented in His spirit and die in His spirit to atone for sin.

 We repeat what we have previously demonstrated that Christ suffered in His body to pay the price of sin. “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me” (Hebrews 10:5).  “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree; that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

2 Corinthians 5:21 might seem to teach that Jesus was made to be sin. No other scriptures can be found to support this interpretation. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

This word “sin” is translated in other places as “sin offering.” (See Hebrews 10:6, 8, 18, Hebrews 13:11, Leviticus 5:8 - See Bullinger).  Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin....” His soul was not made to be sin; it was an offering for sin. If his soul was made to be sin He could not atone for sin. The lamb, in the type, had to be spotless and perfect, the lamb had sin placed on it but it was perfect and pure or it was disqualified as an offering for sin.

The lamb was holy before the sacrifice, it was holy during the sacrifice and it was holy after the sacrifice.

The implications of Christ going to hell and dying spiritually for sin are significant. If Christ could die spiritually for sin He could not be God. The Word of Faith preachers claim that Christ was born again after His spiritual death in hell and took up his deity once again. They claim that when a man is born again he also takes on deity and is a god, and will grow in His deity.

I repeat, evidence that Christ did not die spiritually is found in the fact that Christ on the cross said to the father, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Obviously His spirit was not dead.

The teaching that the Father turned His back on Christ when Christ took on Himself our sin is not correct. The Father held back His hand of deliverance; He allowed the sentence of death for our sin to be fully paid. Nevertheless the Father did not forsake him. Jesus had cried out in the garden, “If it be possible”? On the cross the father was saying in effect, “Son it is not possible for me to deliver you, the price has to be paid.”  God stayed the hand of Abraham from slaying his son Isaac, but He could not stay His own hand from slaying His Son. It was the hand of God that plunged the knife into His own Son. In that sense only, did Christ cry out in His humanness, “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

The fact that Christ communicated with the Father as He hung on the cross is evidence that the father had not forsaken Him.

In Psalm 22:1, we see Christ in his humanness (as we saw it in the garden) feeling deserted by the Father, as the father allows the penalty to be executed. However in verse 24 we see Him expressing the presence of the Father as He hung on the cross. Verse 24, “For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.”

Isaiah 53:11 we see the Father gazing upon the Son as He hangs on the cross. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.....”

We have a beautiful picture in Genesis 22 of a type of the Father and the Son going to the cross together. We see this in the phrase, “And they went both of them together,” Abraham and Isaac were a type of the Father and the Son going to Calvary together. Both had a part to play in this type of the death of Christ.

The Word of Faith teachers are bringing the basic New Age teachings into the evangelical church.

In their “Doctrine of the Covenants” they teach that the promises to Abraham concerning material prosperity are to be applied to the Christian today. God wants you to be rich, just believe it and it will be yours. The promises to Abraham are also to the seed of Abraham, and they are conditioned on obedience to God. They still apply today to Israel. The promises to the church are spiritual and heavenly blessings. Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Jesus said to His disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” He talked to them about suffering deprivation in this world as His disciples. "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).

Another new age concept promoted by these false teachers is what they call visualization. If you visualize something in your mind you will get it. This is a further promotion of the idea of man as a god.

For your warning, I will give you the names of some of these false teachers, Joyce Meyers, John Hagee, Creflo Dollar, Ken and Gloria Copeland, J.D Jakes, Benny Hinn, Paul and Jan Crouch and Joel Osteen. These people have a very widespread hearing through their television ministries. They are reaching millions. They represent the face of Christianity to much of the world. Through these false teachers the New Age concept of “man as God” is flooding into the Evangelical Church. 

That was one of the first lies of Satan to Eve, “Ye shall be as gods.” 

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