Daily Archives: January 25, 2014

Mike Bickle and the International House Of Prayer (IHOP)

Bickle and IHOP have recently been praised by Francis Chan, serving as an introduction for them into mainstream evangelicalism. Apprising Ministries now brings you this well-researched expose by Bob DeWaay concerning the NAR false prophet-apostle and his IHOP “ministry.”

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Netanyahu calls Israel “epicenter” of innovation at World Economic Forum in Davos. Cites Bible as a reason for Israel’s strength.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

netanyahu-DavosSo often there are war or rumors of wars to report from the Middle East. But this week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a fascinating speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was chock full of good news.

You can read it here, or watch it here.

Several elements caught my attention.

  • One: Netanyahu said “Israel is the epicenter of world innovation right now.”
  • Two: The Prime Minister cited the Bible as one of the reason’s for the strength of the Jewish people and the Israeli economy.
  • Three: He gave interesting examples of Israeli innovation — including how scarce water resources has inspired Israelis to develop the world’s most advance technologies for re-using water, and how scarce agricultural land has inspired Israelis to learn how to get more milk out of every cow (“Whose cows produce the most milk? Don’t guess: it’s Israel. It’s a computerized cow. Every ‘moo’ is…

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When Leaders No Longer Lead

Joel Taylor Ministries

prophet-amos

A good shepherd leads his sheep to pasture. He cares for their every need. He does not drive the sheep with the shepherds crook, but rather uses it to correct the wayward.

Leadership, at any level, should know and follow the example of the Good Shepherd. Failure to do so leaves the sheep without guidance and in danger. Whenever leaders lose their concern for the people they are supposed to lead and concern themselves with themselves, then the people are in trouble.

Ancient Israel provides our first example of this tragedy. Amos addressed the nation with the following words:

Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel comes! – Amos 6:1

The nation of Israel, during the time of Uzziah, knew a time…

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Questions about False Doctrine: What Is Nestorianism? Who Were the Nestorians?

 

The Nestorians are followers of Nestorius (c. 386–451 AD), who was Archbishop of Constantinople. Nestorianism is based on the belief put forth by Nestorius that emphasized the disunity of the human and divine natures of Christ. According to the Nestorians, the nature of Christ is divided equally between His divine nature and His human nature, but the two are distinct and separate. This idea is not scriptural, however, and goes against orthodox Christian doctrine of the hypostatic union, which states that Christ’s one nature was fully God and fully man. God the Son, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature, yet remained fully God at the same time. Jesus always had been God (John 8:58, 10:30), but at the incarnation Jesus became a human being (John 1:14).

In the first few centuries of the church, a great debate arose: what is the exact nature of Christ? How can a being be completely divine and completely human? In the West, the Roman Catholic Church decreed Jesus to be “two natures in one person,” and went on to other things. In the East, the definition of Christ’s nature was as much about politics as it was about religion, and the discussion went on far longer.

The Alexandrines, so named because the political loyalties of most who held the view were Alexandrian, were “monophysites.” They insisted that Jesus was, above all, divine. He was the teacher of divine truth and, in order to have had that truth, must have been primarily divine. To emphasize His humanity over His deity led to unthinkable assertions like “God got tired, injured, hungry, thirsty, and then died.” Apollinaris of Laodicea summarized the thought by saying the Word of God took the place of a rational soul so that a human body could preach the truth of God; the body was a mouthpiece.

The Antiochenes from Antioch thought this was ridiculous. A sacrifice that was not fully human could not redeem humans. Antiochenes were “dyophysites.” The Godhead dwelt in Jesus, no doubt, but not in any way that undermined His humanity. Jesus’ two natures were distinct from one another—although no one could precisely explain what that meant.

When Constantine had moved the political capital from Rome to Byzantium (later Constantinople), the church of the west centralized into the religious and political power of the Roman Catholic Church. The church of the east didn’t have that chance. They had several important churches spread throughout the region, each led by their own bishops. Alexandria and Antioch were two of the oldest and most important, but the church in Constantinople was considered as close to Rome as the East had. The clergy of Alexandria and Antioch constantly fought over the bishopric in Constantinople in hopes of uniting the scattered churches into a regional power house.

In 428 A.D., Nestorius became patriarch of Constantinople. He was from Antioch, and his theological (and political) leanings became clear when he declared Mary to be Christotokos, or “bearer of Christ,” not theotokos—“bearer of God.” In so doing, he said more about Jesus than Mary. He said that, above all else, the humanity of Jesus must be emphasized, His nature firmly divided, and that He was comprised of “two natures and two persons.” The human nature and person were born of Mary. The divine were of God.

The Bishop of Alexandria, among others, didn’t agree. He and his supporters marched into Constantinople and held a trial that relieved Nestorius of his position. Shortly after, Nestorius’s supporters finally arrived and held a smaller trial that convicted the Bishop of Alexandria. After much theological debate and political wrangling, Nestorius was exiled back to Antioch.

The Alexandrians exerted more pressure on the Antiochenes. The Antiochenes were forced to leave Antioch; Nestorius lived out his days in Egypt. But many of the Antiochenes fled east into Persia, where they were called “Nestorians” whether they had politically supported Nestorius or not.

The church already in Persia had its own problems. The rulers in Persia were quite religiously tolerant, but politically they hated Rome and anything that came out of Rome. The church in Persia carefully explained that they were not the same church as in Rome, and the Persians alternated between persecuting them and leaving them alone. Several Nestorian theologians settled in Persia, where the Persian church heard their thoughts on the two natures of Christ and told them, “Yes, of course, we’ve believed that all along.” So Nestorians were readily absorbed into the local church.[1]

 


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

Questions about Family / Parenting: What Was the Significance of Weaning a Child in the Bible (Genesis 21:8)?

According to Jewish custom, the time when a child is weaned is cause for celebration. A weaned child has survived the fragile stage of infancy and can now eat solid food rather than breastfeed from his or her mother.

In Genesis 21:8, we read, “And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.” Though Hagar laughed at the celebration (Genesis 21:9), Isaac’s parents considered this event an important occasion. They had a son who had survived the most difficult stage of childhood and could now eat on his own.

According to Jewish rabbinical traditions, weaning could take place anywhere between 18 months and 5 years of age. In one important biblical parallel, Samuel was weaned prior to being taken to Eli the priest to serve the Lord. First Samuel 1:24 says, “And when she had weaned him … she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. And the child was young.” No exact age is given, but the weaning is mentioned, and Samuel’s youth is emphasized, so he was likely between 2 and 4 years old.

High infant mortality rates existed in ancient cultures. One reason for large families was the fact that many young children did not live to adulthood. Because of the risks that infants faced, the celebration of a child’s weaning was a natural and important part of the culture. If a child had developed past the need for the physical support of a mother, then he or she had reached a new stage of life that greatly increased the likelihood of good health.

Today, Jewish tradition continues the practice of celebrating the weaning of a child. Psalm 104 is often read during this time; part of that psalm says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire” (Psalm 104:4).[1]


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

Questions about Angels and Demons: Why Were Michael and Satan Disputing over the Body of Moses (Jude 9)?

 

Jude verse 9 refers to an event which is found nowhere else in Scripture. Michael had to struggle or dispute with Satan about the body of Moses, but what that entailed is not described. Another angelic struggle is related by Daniel, who describes an angel coming to him in a vision. This angel, named Gabriel in Daniel 8:16 and 9:21, tells Daniel that he was “resisted” by a demon called “the prince of Persia” until the archangel Michael came to his assistance (Daniel 10:13). So we learn from Daniel that angels and demons fight spiritual battles over the souls of men and nations, and that the demons resist angels and try to prevent them from doing God’s bidding. Jude tells us that Michael was sent by God to deal in some way with the body of Moses, which God Himself had buried after Moses’ death (Deuteronomy 34:5–6).

Various theories have been put forth as to what this struggle over Moses’ body was about. One is that Satan, ever the accuser of God’s people (Revelation 12:10), may have resisted the raising of Moses to eternal life on the grounds of Moses’ sin at Meribah (Deuteronomy 32:51) and his murder of the Egyptian (Exodus 2:12).

Some have supposed that the reference in Jude is the same as the passage in Zechariah 3:1–2, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, O Satan!’ ” But the objections to this being the same incident are obvious: (1) The only similarity between the two passages is the expression, “the Lord rebuke you.” (2) The name “Michael” does not occur at all in the passage in Zechariah. (3) There is no mention made of the “body of Moses” in Zechariah, and no allusion to it whatever.

It has also been supposed that Jude is quoting an apocryphal book that contained this account, and that Jude means to confirm that the account is true. Origen (c. 185–254), an early Christian scholar and theologian, mentions the book “The Assumption of Moses” as extant in his time, containing this very account of the contest between Michael and the devil about the body of Moses. That book, now lost, was a Jewish Greek book, and Origen supposed that this was the source of the account in Jude.

The only material question, then, is whether the story is “true.” Whatever the origin of the account, Jude does in fact seem to refer to the contest between Michael and the devil as true. He speaks of it in the same way in which he would have done if he had spoken of the death of Moses or of his smiting the rock. And who can prove that it is not true? What evidence is there that it is not? There are many allusions in the Bible to angels. We know that the archangel Michael is real; there is frequent mention of the devil; and there are numerous affirmations that both bad and good angels are employed in important transactions on the earth. As the nature of this particular dispute over Moses’ body is wholly unknown, conjecture is useless. We do not know whether there was an argument over possession of the body, burial of the body, or anything else.

These two things we do know, however: first, Scripture is inerrant. The inerrancy of Scripture is one of the pillars of the Christian faith. As Christians, our goal is to approach Scripture reverently and prayerfully, and when we find something we do not understand, we pray harder, study more, and—if the answer still eludes us—humbly acknowledge our own limitations in the face of the perfect Word of God.

Second, Jude 9 is the supreme illustration of how Christians are to deal with Satan and demons. The example of Michael refusing to pronounce a curse upon Satan should be a lesson to Christians in how to relate to demonic forces. Believers are not to address them, but rather to seek the Lord’s intervening power against them. If as powerful a being as Michael deferred to the Lord in dealing with Satan, who are we to attempt to reproach, cast out, or command demons?[1]


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

After the Collapse: Six Likely Events That Will Follow an Economic Crash

The US government has run up trillions of dollars in debt, and given the recent debates over the country’s debt ceiling, we can rest assured that neither Congress or the President will act to curtail spending and balance the budget. We will continue adding trillions of dollars to the national debt clock until such time that our creditors no longer lend us money.
From the monetary side, the Federal Reserve’s response to this unprecedented crisis has been to simply “print” more money as is necessary. On top of the trillions in dollars already printed thus far, the Fed continues quantitative easing to the tune of about $80 billion per month. It’s the only arrow left in the Fed’s quiver, because failing to inject these billions into stock markets and banks will lead to an almost instant collapse of the U.S. financial system. Unfortunately, the current strategy is chock full of its own pitfalls, the least of which being the real possibility of a hyperinflationary environment developing over coming months and years.

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Elliott Abrams on Obama’s Flawed Syria and Iran Policy

I always enjoy sitting down and talking with former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams. He worked for President Ronald Reagan at the State Department, and more recently as Deputy National Security Advisor for President George W. Bush.

These days he serves as a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and as a Senior Fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Abrams always has some interesting and insightful views on U.S. foreign policy–particularly for the Middle East.

I talked with him in Washington this week about the start of the Syria Peace Talks in Geneva and the Iranian nuclear agreement that was implemented on Monday.

Here’s my full interview, not a shortened, edited version that fits more comfortably into our 30-minute news shows.

Abrams predicts the Syria Peace Talks will go nowhere because Assad’s the problem; how can rebels sit down with those who have slaughtered tens of thousands? He also thinks Iran will continue moving forward little-by-little with nuclear weapons development despite the recent sanctions-lifting agreement with the U.S.

“The Sick Middle East” – Pipes in Wash. Times

W.T. title: “The Middle East mightily resists efforts to prod modernization”

The recent fall of Fallujah, Iraq, to an Al-Qaeda-linked group provides an unwelcome reminder of the American resources and lives devoted in 2004 to 2007 to control the city – all that effort expended and nothing to show for it. Similarly, outlays of hundreds of billions of dollars to modernize Afghanistan did not prevent the release of 72 prisoners who have attacked Americans.

Al-Qaeda takes over in Fallujah, Iraq.
These two examples point to a larger conclusion: maladies run so deep in the Middle East (minus remarkable Israel) that outside powers cannot remedy them. Here’s a fast summary:

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Do Not Be Surprised…This ‘n’ That (24 January 2014)

  • Martin Luther on the book of Romans.
  • Speaking of Luther, did he really endorse “bar” music for the church?
  • If you frequent “discernment” blogs, then you no doubt saw the uproar over the Linger Conference and presence of The Master’s College there as an exhibitor. Executive Director of Grace to You, Phil Johnson, received a barrage of questions about this even though he has no personal involvement with the college. I appreciated his response to these questions as recorded here. I also was happy to see, though, that TMC withdrew as an exhibitor at this bizarre-sounding event.
  • I urge you to read this lengthy article from Rolling Stone magazine (yes, I’m serious). It shares the story of Tyler Deaton, a man who led a small cult within the cult of IHOP, and of his murdered wife, Bethany.
  • You have to see these pictures of unborn animals in the womb.
  • Has it only been 20 years since the inception of the Toronto Blessing? Yes, 20 years of deceptive, damning doctrine that continues to be taught and disseminated throughout the visible church.
  • Ever notice how all of these man-generated revivals (think Passion, Code Orange and others) all talk about how the Holy Spirit is going to “show up” at their event? Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if He didn’t? I mean, what if the Holy Spirit is double-booked that weekend?
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Have you been keeping up with Grace to You’s series of articles about preaching the Word?
  • One for all, or all for naught?
  • A partial review of Michael Brown’s latest book, Authentic Fire (which is, unsurprisingly, a critique of John MacArthur’s Strange Fire).
  • Here’s a fun picture.
  • Joel Osteen is going to fill Yankee Stadium—and thus deceive the masses with his damning gospel.
  • Our great Redeemer:

Source

Assurance of Salvation Part 6: Do you understand the Gospel?

The Domain for Truth

Go to Part 5

Rembrandt-philosopher

i. Test of Assurance #1: Do you understand the Gospel?

i.      Dilemma: Do you really know the Gospel?

ii.      Purpose: Give a brief exposition of the Gospel message.

iii.      Outline of this session:

1. Consequences of a wrong gospel is grave

2. Do you understand sin and its consequences?

3. Do you understand what Christ has done it?

iv.      Consequences of a wrong gospel is grave

1. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel [d]contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be [e]accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel [f]contrary to what you received, he is to be [g]accursed!

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Authentic Fire – Chapter 2 Review

hipandthigh

afRejecting the Strange Fire, Embracing the Authentic Fire

Chapter Summary

In the second chapter of his book, Authentic Fire, Dr. Michael Brown addresses the charge that charismatic and Pentecostal Christians never police their own ranks. He acknowledges that there are many, many terrible things done in the name of the Holy Spirit, especially by leaders on so-called “Christian” TV, [AF, 13]. He also acknowledges that virtually all of the abuses seen on TV take place in charismatic circles and that is inexcusable [AF, 38]. But such outlandish things do not represent the core of the charismatic movement and they certainly have not gone without severe criticism from charismatic leaders.

In order to prove his point, Brown lists a number of leading men from within Pentecostal and charismatic churches who have decried for years those terrible abuses propagated by TV preachers. For instance, David Wilkerson, Gordon…

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Authentic Fire Review – Intro & Chapter 1

hipandthigh

Lyndon Unger took time from hand-holding a retching child to post his first two installments of our joint-review of Authentic Fire.

Authentic Fire Review – Part 1 (preface to the book)

Authentic Fire Review – Part 2 (chapter 1 review)

My chapter 2 review should go up tomorrow. I just realized that Lyndon has many more cooler pictures than I do in my post. I think I only have a picture of a chupacabra, which is explained in the article. Anyhow, just a reminder so that people understand we are not judging Dr. Brown’s motives, here’s a picture of cute baby bunny wearing a backpack.

bunnybackpack

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Kerry Boasts of ‘Pluralistic’ Syria Once Assad Gone :: Raymond Ibrahim

U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, was recently interviewed about Syria. While many of his assertions can be debated, one especially requires a response. Throughout the interview, he repeatedly insisted that, if Bashar Assad would only leave power, everything would go well — especially for all of Syria’s minorities.

In his words: “I believe that a peace can protect all of the minorities: Druze, Christian, Ismailis, Alawites — all of them can be protected, and you can have a pluralistic Syria, in which minority rights of all people are protected.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Kerry declared that “The world would protect the Alawites, Druze, Christians, and all minorities in Syria after the ousting of Assad.”

The problem here is that we have precedent — exact precedent. We’ve seen this paradigm before and know precisely what happens once strongman dictators like Assad are gone.

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