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What May Seem Right May be Wrong
Jan 8th
Commentary
Roger Oakland
Categories: Warning

Man’s way or God’s way? That is a very important question. When it comes to growing God’s church, is there a right answer? Some believe there are ways to promote church growth by applying certain principles that are based on human insight and growth methods. What does God say?

Every Christian wants to see the church grow. Jesus made it clear before He ascended to the Father that His followers are to be His witnesses. Believers are called to share the good news of the gospel until He returns. We want to see our churches filled to overflowing. But what happens when the Christian Church, in its zeal to reach the unconverted, begins to embrace ideas and methods that are far from biblical to attract the lost?

We must always remember that a zealous Christian leader who has the ability to communicate can also be a subtle deceiver if he or she mixes truth with error. Further, there are those who are so convinced they are standing on the truth that when they are confronted with biblical truth, they simply cannot see their error. No matter who one is or what position is held, everyone needs to be open to correction from God’s Word.

In the book of Proverbs, we are told why this happens. Solomon wrote: All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.  Then to make the point even more evident a few verses later, we are admonished: There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. 

The Bible clearly warns us that we are to be cautious about following the ideas of men when the men who are promoting their own ideas are ignoring what God has said in His Word. There is even a danger to paying attention to what men are saying, if what they say does not line up with what God has already communicated in His Word.

At the present time, there is a trend underway that seems very exciting to many Christians. They perceive that this present generation is attracted to experience and not impressed by biblical exegesis. If a church can provide “Christian experiences” which attract attention, Christianity can be expanded, they reason. Sensory, experiential, liturgical, and sacramental encounters, they say, can be effective attractions.

However, based on church history, these methods have actually been around for centuries. And while they may attract those who are looking for a spiritual experience, experience without a biblical basis can be very deceptive and not Christianity at all.

The Scriptures shed light on what happens when human means and methods are promoted without God’s endorsement. Jesus said:

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand.

To sum it up, methods based on man’s views can be right in the eyes of men but in opposition to Jesus Christ and His Word. That is why we must be like the Bereans who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Remember, the last days will be a time when deception will grow stronger and stronger. Deception means that truth can be compromised. Thank God, we have His Word to keep us on the right track: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

See That Ye Abound in This Grace Also - 2 Corinthians 8:7
Jan 8th
Morning Meditation
F.B. Meyer
Categories: Commentary;Inspirational;Book Study

The grace of liberality is as much a gift of God as faith, or utterance, or knowledge, or love. This is implied in our text, and distinctly stated in the first verse, where the apostle says that he desires to make known the grace of God, which had been given to the churches of Macedonia, so that they were able in their deep poverty to abound in riches of liberality. In the ninth verse we learn that this grace first dwelt in our blessed Lord, who, though He was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich. If yours is a grudging, niggard nature, be sure to appropriate the royal nature of the Lord Jesus, that it may fill and possess you.

Probably there is no greater test of our true religion than our behavior in giving. How few, comparatively, give in proportion to their income! How few give systematically! How few have learned the joy and luxury of giving, so that they abound therein! This arises partly because they do not realize that they are stewards of God's property, and that He expects them to devote all they own to Him, keeping back only a necessary percentage for themselves and their families, as a steward might who was farming an estate for his absent master. And partly it arises from mistrust of God, and the fear that some day there may be a sudden falling off of supplies. Oh that each. reader would consider that all is God's, and begin by always giving a certain proportion of every pound, so as to be sure of not robbing God of His own. Pray day and night that you may abound in this grace also; and then, in faith that God is answering your prayer, begin to do violence to your churlish, niggard nature. What though it protest-- Give.

Questions and Answers
Jan 8th
Commentary
TBC
Categories: Exhortation

Question: You emphasize that salvation is based on the fact that Christ "paid the penalty for our sins."  

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance has no entry for "penalty," nor did Jesus or the apostles ever mention that a penalty for our sins was paid. If I ask fellow Christians where to find this view in the Bible, either they don't know the answer or they imply that I'm not saved. I pose that question to you.

Response: Nor is the word "trinity" found in either the Bible or Strong's, yet it's a basic teaching of Scripture. Was not the casting of Adam and Eve out of the Garden a penalty for their sin? Isn't the death that came upon Adam and Eve and all of their descendants to this day also a penalty for sin that would continue in eternal separation from God without His pardon? In declaring, "the soul that sinneth, it shall die (Eze 18:13, 20); sin bringeth forth death (Jas 1:15); the strength of sin is the law" (1 Cor 15:56), isn't Scripture saying that death is the penalty for sin? Does not a penalty have to be paid? Granted, the Bible nowhere uses that exact terminology about Christ paying the penalty for sin. But isn't that what's implied when it says, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Is 53:5), or "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor 15:3), or "that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Heb 2:9), as well as in many similar verses? If death is the penalty for sin and Christ died for all, then surely He paid the penalty in full for all of us, or we would have to pay [it] ourselves. Our salvation is a matter of God's justice, "that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Heb 2:9), et al. Our salvation is a matter of God's justice, "that he [God] might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Rom 3:26).

I don't understand your objection to saying that the penalty was paid. Wasn't the force of Christ's triumphant cry from the cross, "It is finished [tetelestai]" (Jn 19:30), meaning "paid in full"? I am grateful that Christ paid the full penalty for my sins so that God can be just in pardoning me, the sinner! There is no other means of salvation.

Question: We're told that "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pt 3:8); and that "a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night" (Ps 90:4). Is there any special prophetic significance that might tell us how close we are to the Lord's return?

Response: There is no prophetic significance. The phrases "with the Lord" and "in thy sight" are the keys to understanding this rather simple and straightforward declaration: God is outside of time and therefore, in relation to Him, time is meaningless. Thus Paul can say that we are already seated "together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:6). God, being independent of time, sees not only what to us is past but also our present and future as having already happened. Thus His foreknowledge of what in our experience hasn't yet occurred would have no effect upon its happening and would leave us free to make genuine choices.

Here is what John Wesley said in a sermon more than 200 years ago: "There is no such thing as either foreknowledge or afterknowledge in God. All time, or rather all eternity (for time is only that small fragment of eternity which is allotted to the children of men), being present to God at once, He does not know one thing from another, or one thing after another; but sees all things in one point of view, from everlasting to everlasting. As all time, with everything that exists therein, is preset with Him at once, so he sees at once whatever was, is, or will be to the end of time" (John Wesley, Sermons on Several Occasions, 1833, p. 39).

Question: What did Paul mean when he said that he and the other Apostles were "the last appointed unto death"? Did that mean that no one else after them would ever be martyred for their faith? If so, he was wrong.

Response: Paul wasn't wrong when he wrote these words: "For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men" (1 Cor 4:9). Some argue that Paul and the other Apostles thought that the Rapture would occur in their day. Not so. Although he taught believers to expect the Rapture at any moment (Php 3:20-21; 1 Thess 1:9-10; Titus 2:13, etc.), Paul knew that he would be martyred before it occurred: "For I know...that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in..." (Acts 20:29); "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand" (2 Tm 4:6). Likewise, Peter wrote, "Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle...I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance" (2 Pt 1:14-15). The Apostles didn't expect to be raptured but knew they must each die for their Lord.

Christ declared that His disciples in all ages would be hated by the world and would suffer the same as He had at its hands (Jn 15:18-21); Paul implied that Christians would continue to suffer martyrdom (Rom 8:35-37) and warned that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tm 3:12). We know that has been the case throughout history, and even greater numbers of believers will be killed by Antichrist (Rv 6:9-11; 13:7, 15; 20:4). Obviously Paul did not mean that the Apostles were the last who would be martyred for Christ. They were the last who were "appointed unto death;" i.e., who must die for Christ. Their lives would have been spared had they denied Christ. No one is fool enough to die for what he knows is a lie. The fact that not one of the disciples retracted anything to save his life is powerful evidence of the validity of the Gospels and the Book of Acts. It was thus essential that they die as martyrs, and they were the last upon whom that necessity was imposed.

Let the Headlines Speak
Jan 8th
Daily News
From the Internet
Categories: Today's Headlines

Mohamed 3rd most popular name for baby boys in Minnesota town
We already know this is happening in London and Paris. But St. Cloud, Minnesota?

STRANGE BLUE COMET
Beyond the orbit of Mars, blue Comet PanSTARRS (C/2016 R2) is behaving strangley. Active jets of gaseous material are spewing from the comet’s core, feeding a chaotic tail marked by rough swirls and an unusual rectangular “knee.” “The last notable comet with high CO was Comet Humason in 1962, so this is quite a rare sight,” notes veteran comet observer Michael Mattiazzo of Australia. “It will be very interesting to watch Comet PanSTARRS as it makes its closest approach to the sun (2.6 AU) in May 2018.” Stay tuned!

US and European scientists ‘photograph’ mysterious FOURTH dimension in shock breakthrough
A MAJOR scientific breakthrough has been discovered by two separate research teams who have glimpsed the “fourth dimension”, it has been revealed. In layman’s terms, 3D objects cast 2D shadows, so 4D objects should cast 3D shadows even if the 4D object is imperceivable. The two teams created two custom-designed, two-dimensional experiments to generate an instance of the quantum Hall effect, which restricts the movement of electrons which allows us both to perceive and measure them.

5 Biblical Prophecies Fulfilled in 2017 and 5 More Expected in 2018
The year 2017 was packed with what many describe as “remarkable” or “unprecedented” events. Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration and his latest announcement that he sees Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people are considered by believers to be prophetic signs that the world is coming ever closer to the Messianic area.

Law Enforcement Backs Sessions’s Ending of Hands-Off Approach to Marijuana
Cite car accidents, opioid epidemic, rule of law as reasons for support. Sessions’s new guidance simply instructs prosecutors to “follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions.” Law enforcement officials applauded Sessions’ move.

Bannon expresses regret after slamming Trump family in new book
Steve Bannon expressed regret Sunday after he created a furor with comments critical of President Donald Trump’s family in a new book, dragging the controversy into its fifth day as the White House kept up its attacks on both the former chief strategist and “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff. “Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around,” Bannon said in a statement. “I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency.”

‘Bomb cyclone’ brings deaths and damage to East Coast
Twenty-two people die due to severe weather, US National Weather Service expects weather to warm in coming days.

Eleven dead after gun battle erupts outside Mexican beach resort
The aftermath of a gunfight on the outskirts of the Mexican seaside resort of Acapulco that pit residents of a small town against members of a local, self-appointed community police force has left 11 dead, state officials said on Sunday. The exchange of gunfire took place in the farming community of La Concepcion, just south of Acapulco, after elements of the community police detailed a young man for disorderly conduct during town festivities early Sunday morning.

Trump Follows Through on Threat, Slashes Aid to Palestinians
One thing is becoming certain – you dismiss US President Donald Trump’s threats at your own peril.  Until now, the US covered a full one-fourth of UNRWA’s operating costs.

Poll: Most Israeli Jews Think Trump is Helping Israel
The monthly Peace Index survey released this week revealed that a firm majority of Israeli Jews believe Trump truly understands Israel’s concerns and is helping the Jewish state, despite hysterical reactions to the contrary. According to the poll, 65 percent of Israeli Jews believe Trump’s Jerusalem declaration was in Israel’s best interests.

Is this lurking fiend putting your kids in danger?
Hollywood cashing in on villain who has already scarred 3 children for life

Trump Takes Second Swing at Pakistan, Shows $250 Million Cut Was Only the Beginning
…On Jan. 1, President Trump expressed his frustration with former President Barack Obama’s administration for letting Pakistan take advantage of the United States and its resources. “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools,” Trump tweeted.“They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he exclaimed.

Robots Have Replaced Humans In 25% Of China’s Ammunition Factories
“China has begun replacing the workers in its ammunition factories with robots… The move will reduce the number of accidents suffered by human workers, and has already increased the production of ammunition in the country.”

FACEBOOK to roll out facial recognition AI in latest deep state ploy to use your own biometrics against you 
…In 2018, Facebook plans to unveil a new facial recognition technology across the site. Using artificial intelligence, Facebook plans to scan uploaded photos to analyze and recognize faces based on images previously uploaded to the site. This means users will have to verify their identity with a picture and then they will be traced through the social media site, every time their face is uploaded to the site. This surveillance technique will link users to the people they meet in real life, while tracking their whereabouts and social circle further.

Israel (Finally) Bars Foreign BDS Groups from Entering Israel; Obama, Hamas Ally Code Pink ‘Appalled’ at Being Banned
Israel has finally had enough and banned from entering the country foreign groups that support the anti-Israel BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) including the Obama-Hamas terrorist allied American group Code Pink.

NEVER FORGET that Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets
The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

(Watch) Most Vile Racist Hate Speech Filled Video Of Hussein Obama EVER!
Wow! So people are all over Donald Trump for some menial locker room talk that recently surfaced when he was joking around with Billy Bush and thought he was “off the record.” I surely hope too many people do not fall for the distraction, and that’s all it is. The Dems can’t beat The Donald with facts when it comes to Crooked Hillary’s incompetence during all of her roles in Government, so they’re hitting Trump below the belt.


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