Daily Archives: January 14, 2014

No Compromise Radio – Francis Chan’s crazy love for Mike Bickle, Ihop, Mysticism & More

Pastor Mike Abendroth Discusses Francis Chan’s Recent endorsement of Mike Bickle & The IHOP movement, Chan’s best seller “Crazy love”, Chan’s mysticism & Methodology for Sunday’s worship services.

Why Beth Moore and Not Me? The Danger of Claiming to Receive Direct Revelation

When God speaks, He does so with authority. He issues no ‘lesser’ revelation. His words are full and final and they stand for eternity. This is why His Word is so precious. It is unchanging, and it is the sole authority for the Christian. In the Bible, God has revealed all that the Christian needs to know in matters pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). In this Word, He has revealed to us His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the Living Word (John 1:1) and He is the final Word (Heb 1:1–2).

Any claim that is made, then, that God continues to speak outside of His Word and deliver direct, personal revelation is one that must be considered with great seriousness. After all, if God always speaks with authority, then such revelations must be perceived to be as inspired as Scripture. Any private prophecy, voice, dream or vision that is claimed to be from God must find a place in the back of our Bibles and our Bible ‘reading plans’ must be extended to include these words. Mustn’t they?

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White House strikes “secret side deal” with Iran over nuclear issue, despite State Dept denials, reports L.A. Times. How will Congress & Israel react?

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(whitehouseWashington, D.C.) — The Obama White House appears struck a previously undisclosed “side deal” with Iran over the nuclear issue, despite the fact that just yesterday a State Department spokeswoman denied such a deal existed.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting the existence of a secret 30-page document the spells out understandings between the U.S. and Iran regarding expectations of what Iran can and cannot do with its nuclear program, understanding not included in the official, public deal that is being negotiated in Geneva.

The Times indicates that according to the “secret side deal” worked out by the Obama administration:

  • not a single Iranian nuclear facility will be shut down
  • Iran will continue to enrich uranium
  • Iran’s nuclear research operations will actually expand; and
  • new, state-of-the-art centrifuges will be allowed to come on-line in Iran

Is this accurate? Is it the full picture? Will the document be released to the public, and to the full U.S…

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Questions about the Bible: What Is the Book of Susanna?

 

The book of Susanna (also known as History of Susannah and the Elders) is part of what is considered the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical books and appears in the Old Testament of Catholic Bibles. The books of the Apocrypha were generally written in the roughly 400 years between the composition of the books in the Old and New Testaments, the intertestamental period. Susanna is one of 12–15 books generally recognized as comprising the Apocrypha.

Susanna is among the additions to the book of Daniel (as are “Bel and the Dragon,” “The Prayer of Azariah” and the “Song of the Three Jews”) and was most likely composed between 200–100 B.C. Allegedly written by the prophet Daniel himself (12:4) in the sixth century B.C., the book of Daniel itself is placed in different locations of the Bible pending on the culture: the Jewish place it amongst the writings, dismissing its prophecies, while the English translations place it amongst the major prophets.

The book of Daniel begins with King Nebuchadnezzar’s desire to impose Babylonian culture upon some Israelite youths of whom Daniel was one, but as the years pass, Daniel astonishes Nebuchadnezzar by interpreting his symbolic dreams. After a series of religious confrontations, Daniel’s interpretations were clear: accept God or suffer His wrath. The king finally accepts God. Years after these events, Daniel was called to interpret prophetical words towards Nebuchadnezzar’s son Belshazzar. He died and lost the kingdom to Darius the Mede. After being bestowed with power by Darius (and surviving an encounter with lions through divine intervention), Daniel underwent a series of intense personal visions; dreams ranging from the future to the ‘end of days.’

Susanna however, is most commonly placed before the events of Daniel 1 (Theodotion tradition); however, the Septuagint (and Vulgate) editions position it between Daniel 12 and 14. Susanna’s strongest literary influences are the Old Testament books of Genesis, Leviticus and Deuteronomy though ironically, is not dependent on Daniel itself. Though the early church originally considered it canon, debate erupted to whether it should be excluded as early as the third century, as attested in the Letter to Africanus, a detailed correspondence between Africanus and Origen.

Structurally, the book is only 64 verses long and can be broken down into the following. In Babylon, a wealthy man called Joakim marries the God-fearing Susanna, daughter of a priest (1–4). When two elders become the local judges, they visited Joakim’s house and stalked Susanna, lusting after her and disobeying God’s law (8–9). Then, many days later, while watching Susanna preparing to bathe (15) they approach her and say ‘Look, the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us. We are burning with desire for you; so give your consent, and lie with us. If you refuse, we will testify against you that a young man was with you, and this was why you sent your maids away’ (20–21). She rejects their blackmail and cries out against the attempted rape (24). Drawing attention, the elders state their innocence and Susanna is trailed the next day. During the court session, the elders fulfill their threat to Susanna and speak of her betrothing a young man (36–41). Deemed guilty, she is ‘led off to execution, [until] God stirred up the holy spirit of a young lad named Daniel’ (45). Daniel compels the townspeople to return to the trial, as he declares the elders have lied (49). They return and Daniel asks each elder separately ‘Under what tree did you see them being intimate with one another?’ (54). When each answers differently, Susanna was freed and the elders were put to death (62).

Both abiding and refuting God’s law are at the core of Susanna. From the beginning, we are told that Susanna had been trained ‘according to the law of Moses’ (3) and this is clearly visible throughout the text. When forced to choose between adultery or accusations of adultery (leading to certain death), Susanna is aware of God’s law as it is written in Leviticus 20:10, ‘If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death’ and Deuteronomy 22:22, ‘If a man is caught lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman as well as the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.’

When facing possible rape (24), Susanna knows that the law instructs that a woman must cry for help, for if she doesn’t, she will not be seen as having been violated (Deuteronomy 22:24). When placed on trial before the accusing elders, Susanna shouts to the Lord that ‘these men have given false evidence,’ (43) indicating her understanding of law in accordance with Deuteronomy 19:16–21. Later, it is Daniel who refers to the same law when asking ‘Are you such fools, O Israelites, as to condemn a daughter of Israel without examination and without learning the facts?’ (48).

The ‘two elders from [whom] the people … appointed judges’ (5), are clearly aware of the law of Moses, handed down from God, but choose to disobey them. The elders ‘began to lust’ after Susanna, despite the law in Exodus 20:17: ‘you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.’ Before they give false testimony against Susanna, they ‘laid their hands on her head,’ as written in Leviticus 24:14, ‘Take the blasphemer outside the camp; and let all who were within hearing lay their hands on his head, and let the whole congregation stone him.’ The elders are clearly aware that two witnesses are required when trying a Jew that has been charged with a crime, as attested in Numbers 35:30, ‘no one shall be put to death on the testimony of a single witness’ and Deuteronomy 17:6, ‘On the evidence of two or three witnesses the death sentence shall be executed; a person must not be put to death on the evidence of only one witness.’ In an ironic twist, when the elders are found to be liars and have mocked God’s law, those same laws deal them their fate (62) in accordance with Deuteronomy 19:16–21.

More commentary can be offered regarding the issue of divine intervention as a major religious idea espoused in the book of Susanna. Had God not ‘stirred up the holy spirit of a young lad named Daniel’ (45), it is certain that Susanna would have been unjustly killed. The intervention of God, often through a human vessel, is a prominent theme throughout both the Old and New Testament canons. That humankind strays from the laws of God, or even break them, often has God having to become involved in the affairs of humans to correct injustice or, in some cases, express His wrath in a just and necessary manner. What is striking about Susanna is that it depicts the ongoing struggle of the Jewish nation in abiding by the laws commissioned by God. From their initial failure to abide by the Ten Commandments (Exodus 32) to Paul’s statement that one should ‘not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God’ (Romans 14:20), the laws decreed by God were seen by some Jewish thinkers as being susceptible to human corruption or multiple interpretations which required the intervention of a merciful God when humans used or abused His laws incorrectly.

Susanna, though brief, is a compelling book of innocence and man’s corruption of God’s law. While not canonical, it is worthy of study and application to contemporary Judaism and Christianity, for it is a story which contains a message relevant to everyday life, even if it is considered a work of fiction by most Jews and Christians. By exploring its major religious ideas and Jewish thought in the period it was written, readers of Susanna may better understand the strengths and weaknesses of man’s application of God’s law and that no matter what, God will ensure that justice reigns.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Angels and Demons: Who or What Is Metatron?

 

Metatron is a mythical angel mentioned in some Jewish writings. One version of the myth says that Metatron was created by God as a high-level angel with many responsibilities. A second myth claims that Metatron was originally a human named Enoch, a man who ascended to heaven a few times and was eventually transformed into a powerful angel.

According to the legend, Metatron is part of a select group of angels that is permitted to look upon God’s countenance, an honor most angels, like the seraphim, do not share (Isaiah 6:2). Metatron is sometimes referred to as the “Prince of the Countenance.”

Metatron is presented as having immense power and wisdom. According to mythology, Metatron is second only to God Himself in glory, wisdom, and strength. All the other angels must obey him. Among his heavenly tasks are to act as God’s scribe and to be an advocate or heavenly priest for the nation of Israel. One legend says Metatron was the angel that led Israel through the wilderness.

It is important to state that Metatron is never mentioned in the Bible. He is mentioned three times in the Babylonian Talmud, in some mystical texts from the Middle Ages, and in some occult books.

There is no reason to believe that Metatron exists. In fact, some of the legends concerning Metatron are decidedly unbiblical. There is only “one mediator between God and men,” and it is not an angel. It is “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

The Bible says that such myths and legends are unprofitable. “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7; see also Colossians 2:18–19).[1]


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about False Doctrine: What Does the Bible Say about Telepathy or Psycho-Kinesis?

 

Telepathy (the ability to read another’s thoughts) and telekinesis (the ability to move an object with one’s mind) are stalwart tools in the realm of superheroes. From Star Wars to the X-Men, mental powers seem to be ubiquitous. But what does the Bible say about such “super powers”?

The Bible actually has quite a bit to say about knowing another’s thoughts. Genesis 6:5 says, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” In 1 Chronicles 28:9, David tells his son Solomon, “… for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts.” Psalm 94:11 says, “The LORD knows the thoughts of man …” And Jesus knew the thoughts of the scribes in Matthew 9:4. But we cannot know the thoughts of another. 1 Corinthians 2:11 says, “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?” God did not create humans to be able to communicate simply through thought. Instead, he gave us forms of communication that require much more work and humility, forms that breed community instead of simple, quick information transfers.

There are those who seem to have abilities that resemble telepathy. Mothers are particularly good at this. But it isn’t anything mysterious. It’s simply knowing others well enough, and knowing their situation well enough, to be able to make an accurate, educated guess about their motives. Job exemplifies this in Job 21:27 when he tells one of his “comforters,” “Behold, I know your thoughts, and the plans by which you would wrong me.” He knows his friend well, and he’s sat through enough lectures to be able to figure out where Zophar is coming from. That’s not telepathy. That’s just paying attention.

The Bible also mentions cases of objects moving or changing into something else. In Genesis 5:24 “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” In 1 Kings 17:15, a widow’s flour and oil miraculously continue to provide throughout a long drought. In the next chapter, fire falls from heaven to consume a water-saturated sacrifice. In John 2, water turns into wine. But in all these cases, the purpose of the transformation or movement of materials was to glorify God and authenticate His messenger. At no time was it used merely for convenience or for frivolous purposes.

It is possible, however, for the enemy to use similar signs to draw attention to himself. Moses faced this when Pharaoh’s magicians turned their staffs into snakes (Exodus 7:12) and brought up frogs (Exodus 8:7). It is possible even now for people to make strange things happen. But we must examine what exactly is going on. Humans cannot use their minds to move or create objects. Those in the spirit realm can. So, every mysterious occurrence must be powered either by God or the enemy. If God is glorified through the event, if He made the event to occur to validate His prophet, we can deduce the event occurred through Him. If, however, the event was frivolous and had nothing to do with God’s glory, it must have come through another source. And the Bible makes it clear that witchcraft and sorcery are to be avoided at all costs.

God made humans to interact in specific ways, ways that foster community and glorify Him. Some people may be blessed with a keen insight, but that doesn’t mean they have telepathy. The prophets of old were given the ability to ask God to act on their behalf in miraculous ways, but they didn’t have psycho-kinesis. We are to look to the Holy Spirit for our strength. Trying to read another’s thoughts, move objects around a room, or create an energy ball takes time and effort away from the business of loving God and loving others and opens a dangerous door into the world of the occult.[1]


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

How Can Israel Negotiate Peace With People That Are Absolutely Obsessed With Exterminating It?

The Obama administration would have us believe that there will be “lasting peace” in the Middle East if Israel will just agree to a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders. Once there is a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital, Obama insists that the threat of war will be over. But is that actually true? Of course not. As you will see below, the people that Israel is “negotiating” with are taught from a very early age to hate the Jewish people and that every Muslim is called by Allah to work toward the total elimination of the nation of Israel. If a temporary “peace agreement” will allow them to partially reach that goal, then that is acceptable. In Islam, there is a long history of using temporary treaties to advance the cause of jihad that goes all the way back to Muhammed himself. And there is a doctrine in Islam known as “Tawriya” that allows a Muslim to lie to others as long as he is able “(Read More...)

Why Is Goldman Sachs Warning That The Stock Market Could Decline By 10 Percent Or More?

Why has Goldman Sachs chosen this moment to publicly declare that stocks are overpriced? Why has Goldman Sachs suddenly decided to warn all of us that the stock market could decline by 10 percent or more in the coming months? Goldman Sachs has to know that when they release a report like this that it will move the market. And that is precisely what happened on Monday. U.S. stocks dropped precipitously. So is Goldman Sachs just honestly trying to warn their clients that stocks may have become overvalued at this point, or is another agenda at work here? To be fair, the truth is that all of the big banks should be warning their clients about the stock market bubble. Personally, I have stated that the stock market has officially entered “crazytown territory”. So it would be hard to blame Goldman Sachs for trying to tell the truth. But Goldman Sachs also had to know that a warning that the stock market could potentially fall by more than 10 percent would rattle nerves on Wall Street. (Read More….)

What Should Be Done To A Country That Kills 56 Million Of Its Own People?

Do you know how many babies have been murdered in America since 1973? It is a number that is almost too horrible to think about. An astounding 56 million American babies have been killed by various abortion methods since Roe v. Wade was decided back in 1973. So what should be done to a country that kills 56 million of its own people? We rightly condemn other totalitarian regimes throughout history such as Nazi Germany, the USSR and Communist China that have killed millions (or tens of millions) of their own people. But what about us? What do we deserve for slaughtering more than 50 million of our own precious children on the altar of convenience? What kind of punishment would be large enough to fit such a monstrous crime? I hope that you will share what you think by posting a comment at the end of this article. Sadly, most Americans don’t even think much about abortion these days. Most Americans consider it to be a “political issue” that has already been “settled”. But of course that is what most Germans thought about the treatment of the Jews during World War II as well. And the truth is that the percentage of Americans that consider themselves to be “pro-choice” has been declining over time. Perhaps it is still possible to see a shift on this issue in the United States. We just need more people to start standing up for those that cannot stand up for themselves. The following are 26 facts about abortion in America that every American should know… (Read More…..)

Top 1 percent reaps 90 percent of income gains since Obama took office

Despite his best efforts, the president who vowed to conquer Wall Street and revive opportunity for everyday Americans on Main Street has this to show for his first five years in office: U.S. stock markets are in record territory, posting 30 percent gains just last year, and Wall Street is home once again to the biggest concentration of billionaires on earth, while wages for the middle class have barely kept up with inflation.

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Is It God’s Will For Christians To Have Constant Comfort and Worldly Success?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:7-11 ESV)

Only a fragment of the visible Church is holy. Only a Remnant is…

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