Enjoy the beauty of Psalm 36, visually displayed in this video.
Rick Warren’s Ecumenical Pathway to Rome Continues
Understand The Times International: Roger Oakland Ministries
In February of 2013, Understand The Times published a commentary on our website titled What’s Next For Rick Warren.
In this commentary, we provided evidence to show that Warren and Tony Blair were partnering together with the Roman Catholic Church in the formation of a P.E.A.C.E. Plan that leads towards the formation of a global religion in the name of Christ for the cause of peace. Documentation for this premise can be supported by numerous statements that both Warren and Blair have made publically from messages they have given or articles that have been written explaining their ideas.
While many who read that commentary doubted or denied such a Warren-Rome connection, a new YouTube interview with Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo of EWTN (published and posted on Apr 11, 2014), reveals the statements we made about the Warren-Rome partnership were accurate prophetic warnings with regard to what would happen in the future.
It is fair to point out that the Thessalonians were at a disadvantage compared to Christians today. They did not have all the written books of New Testament Scripture. Paul wrote both of his epistles to Thessalonica very early in the New Testament era—about A.D. 51. The two letters were probably written only a few months apart and are among the very earliest of all the New Testament writings.
The Thessalonians’ primary source of authoritative gospel truth was Paul’s teaching. As an apostle, Paul taught with absolute authority. When he taught them, his message was the Word of God, and he commended them for recognizing that: “For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Elsewhere he said that the commandments he gave them were “by the authority of the Lord Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:2).
The substance of what he taught them represented the same body of truth that is available to us in the New Testament. How do we know? Paul himself said so. Even as he was recording his inspired epistle to them, he reminded them, “Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:5). The written Word simply confirmed and recorded for all time the authoritative truth he had already taught them in person. These epistles were a written reminder of what they had already heard from Paul’s own mouth (1 Thessalonians 4:2).
Second Thessalonians 2:15 confirms this: “Stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” There he declares, first of all, that his epistles to them are authoritative, inspired truth. This verse is a clear statement that Paul himself regarded these epistles as inspired Scripture.
But notice also that this verse joins the apostolic “traditions” with the written Word of God. The “traditions” necessary for Christians to be discerning are recorded for all ages in the text of Scripture. Those who claim that apostolic tradition is other truth in addition to Scripture often attempt to use this verse for support. Note, however, that Paul is not saying that “the traditions [they] were taught” are different from the written Scriptures. Rather, he links the two, affirming that the written Word of God is the only permanent and authoritative record of the apostolic tradition. He is specifically suggesting that the Thessalonians should not trust “word of mouth” or letters pretending to be from apostolic sources. Only what they had heard firsthand from Paul’s own lips or read in authentic letters from him were they to treat as authoritative, divine truth. That is why Paul usually signed his epistles “with [his] own hand” (1 Corinthians 16:21; Galatians 6:11; Colossians 4:18; 2 Thessalonians 3:17; Philemon 19).
With this in mind, 2 Thessalonians 2:15 cannot be used to support the claim that extrabiblical, spiritually binding “apostolic tradition” is passed down verbally through popes and bishops. Paul’s whole point was that the Thessalonians should treat as authoritative only what they had heard from his own mouth or received from his own pen. That body of truth—the Word of God—was to be the measuring stick they used to examine all things. Two other verses confirm this. In 2 Thessalonians 3:6 Paul writes, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.” And in verse 14 he adds, “If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame.”
Therefore, Paul is affirming that the Bible is the only reliable criterion by which believers in this age can evaluate messages claiming to be truth from God.
The testing of truth that Paul calls for is not merely an academic exercise. As we’ll see next time, it demands an active response.
(Adapted from Reckless Faith.)
Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B140421
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You
Does Obama ever mention Christians or Jews or Hindus when he makes his long-winded Ramadan messages? No. But he’s used his holiday message to Jews to equate the liberation of Jews from 400 years of slavery to the Islamic supremacist revolutions in Egypt, Libya etc. He’s even strongarmed Rabbis to politicize the bema on high holy days.
It’s Easter, Obama. Address the mass persecution, oppression and slaughter of Christians across the Muslim world.
No, instead he proselytize for Islam. On Easter. It’s sick.
“Obama Praises Muslims in Easter Message,” Frontpage, April 20, 2014
It just wouldn’t be Easter… without Muslims.
Obama said this time of year is a good time to remember the “common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”
Here’s what the Koran has to say about loving your neighbor.
Qur’an (5:51) – “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”
So yes, Muslims believe in loving their neighbors, as long as the neighbors are Muslims. And the right kind of Muslims.
Don’t go expecting Sunni Muslims to love Shiite Muslims or vice versa. Also don’t expect Salafis to love Sunnis who are insufficiently lacking in dedication to terrorism.
So much for that “common thread of humanity.”
Lest we forget the interview Obama conducted with the NY Times. Nicholas wrote:
NY Times “I was a little Jakarta street kid,” he said in a wide-ranging interview in his office […]. He once got in trouble for making faces during Koran study classes in his elementary school...
Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”
Let’s review. Michael Snyder ran these Obama quotes on Islam and Christianity:
20 Quotes By Barack Obama About Islam
#1 “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam”
#2 “The prettiest sound on Earth” is the Muslim call to prayer at sunset.
#3 “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”
#4 “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”
#5 “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”
#6 “Islam has always been part of America”
#7 “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”
#8 “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”
#9 “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
#10 “I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam.”
#11 “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”
#12 “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”
#13 “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”
#14 “throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
#15 “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”
#16 “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”
#17 “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”
#18 “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”
#19 “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
#20 “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”
20 Quotes By Barack Obama About Christianity
#1 “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”
#2 “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”
#3 “Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?”
#4 “Even those who claim the Bible’s inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, sensing that some passages – the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ’s divinity – are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.”
#5 “The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.”
#6 From Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope: “I am not willing to have the state deny American citizens a civil union that confers equivalent rights on such basic matters as hospital visitation or health insurance coverage simply because the people they love are of the same sex—nor am I willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.”
#7 Obama’s response when asked what his definition of sin is: “Being out of alignment with my values.”
#8 “If all it took was someone proclaiming I believe Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins, and that was all there was to it, people wouldn’t have to keep coming to church, would they.”
#9 “This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.”
#10 “I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.”
#11 “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.”
#12 “I’ve said this before, and I know this raises questions in the minds of some evangelicals. I do not believe that my mother, who never formally embraced Christianity as far as I know … I do not believe she went to hell.”
#13 “Those opposed to abortion cannot simply invoke God’s will–they have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths.”
#14 On his support for civil unions for gay couples: “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount.”
#15 “You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
#16 “In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology”
#17 “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”
#18 “we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own”
#19 “All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra — (applause) — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)”
#20 “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”
The dumbing down of America is accelerating. A massive federal takeover of education known as “Common Core” is attempting to impose nationwide academic standards on public schools throughout the entire country. Thanks to the backing of billionaire Bill Gates, endless promotion by the U.S. Department of Education, and financial bribes to state governments by the Obama administration, 45 states and Washington, D.C. have already agreed to implement the full Common Core standards in their schools. Unfortunately, these “standards” are doing to public education what Obamacare is doing to our health care system – absolutely ruining it. Just look at how basic math instruction has changed. Posted below is a comparison between the “old method” of subtraction and the “new method” of subtraction being taught in many of our schools. When I first came across this on Facebook, I thought that it was a joke…
Did you know that the number of Americans getting benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million? In other words, the number of people that are taking money out of the system is far greater than the number of people that are putting money into the system. And did you know that nearly 70 percent of all of the money that the federal government spends goes toward entitlement and welfare programs? When it comes to the transfer of wealth, nobody does it on a grander scale than the U.S. government. Most of what the government does involves taking money from some people and giving it to other people. In fact, at this point that is the primary function of the federal government. (Read More…..)
In some areas of the world, payment systems that require palm scanning or face scanning are already being tested. We have entered an era where biometric security is being hailed as the “solution” to the antiquated security methods of the past. We are being promised that the constant problems that hackers are causing with our credit cards, bank accounts, ATM machines and Internet passwords will all go away once we switch over to biometric identification. And without a doubt, we have some massive security problems that need to be addressed. But do you really want a machine to read your face or your hand before you are able to buy anything, sell anything or log on to the Internet? Do you really want “the system” to be able to know where you are, what you are buying and what you are doing at virtually all times? Biometric security systems are being promoted as “cool” and “cutting edge”, but there is also potentially a very dark side to them that should not be ignored.
The Vault, Presented by Merit Gold & Silver Broadcasts an Exclusive Interview with Legendary Investor Jim Rogers
Appearing on a recent episode of The Vault, presented by Merit Gold & Silver, Jim Rogers warned the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world have brought the global economy to the brink of disaster, and it’s only a matter of time before inflation – fueled by money printing – will cause gold prices to skyrocket as governments and investors seek refuge.
Do you think that the price of food is high now? Just wait. If current trends continue, many of the most common food items that Americans buy will cost more than twice as much by the end of this decade. Global demand for food continues to rise steadily as crippling droughts ravage key agricultural regions all over the planet. You see, it isn’t just the multi-year California drought that is affecting food prices. Down in Brazil (one of the leading exporters of food in the world), the drought has gotten so bad that 142 cities were rationing water at one point earlier this year. And outbreaks of disease are also having a significant impact on our food supply. A devastating pig virus that has never been seen in the U.S. before has already killed up to 6 million pigs. Even if nothing else bad happens (and that is a very questionable assumption to make), our food prices are going to be moving aggressively upward for the foreseeable future. But what if something does happen? In recent years, global food reserves have dipped to extremely low levels, and a single major global event (war, pandemic, terror attack, planetary natural disaster, etc.) could create an unprecedented global food crisis very rapidly. (Read More….)
The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America.
Help your family and friends escape abusive spirituality!
Yes indeed…but what about the millions who have walked away from Jesus Christ because they have been spiritually abused, ripped-off by money preachers, and deceived by false teachings?
This weekend, while countless millions of people around the world are celebrating the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, millions of others will continue to languish in internal hidden agony over the physical and psychological abuses they have suffered at the hands of abusers.
Many of these abusers, touting the name of Jesus Christ, have crippled their victims and made off with their money, their spouse, their children, their relatives, and much more.
Furthermore, many of these hurting victims are now unable to function properly in day-to-day life because their own personal autonomous identity has been either tampered with, or ruined, by those that have victimized them.
How can we help them? We can help them by first educating ourselves and understanding WHY and HOW these people have been hurt! Many of these victims will even be sitting in Christian churches this weekend looking for answers, still very confused, and still wondering, “Why would God would allow such things to happen to me?”
The first step towards helping them is for us to understand the dynamics of spiritual deception and the framework that cultic movements and spiritual abusers operate in. It all begins with the abuse of “authority.”
It is my prayer that the following audio message will help you to more effectively and more lovingly reach out to others this weekend and in the coming days. People should be rejoicing over the name of Jesus, not cringing when His name is spoken of.
Podcast: Cultic Patterns & Spiritual Abuse!
CLICK HERE: Chris Lawson/SRN Podcast Directory
Audio message includes:
(1) a clear understanding that there are such things as “false shepherds” and “spiritual abusers,” (2) discussion on properly defining words and biblical terminology, (3) counterfeit Christianity and how it redefine(s) biblical terminology, (4) reading of selected Scriptures – Deut. 13; Matt. 24; Acts 20; Gal. 1; Phil. 3; Col. 2; etc., (5) various false teachers in the church today, (6) pseudo-Christian cults, (7) the four main patterns found in Cults and abusive movements, (5) identifying spiritual abuse and various forms of Authoritaranism, 6) a brief mention of diminished personal autonomy, undue influence, duress, suicide, and more.
Helping equip you so we can together reach out to the hurting,
While one could argue that Gaga playing the role of a fallen angel might not inherently imply that she’s referring to Lucifer, a look at the symbolism later in the video strongly points towards it. Indeed, much of the video plays on the esoteric associations between Lucifer, Venus and Ishtar.
Scripture is clear that believers must be faithful to examine and judge our own selves: “If we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31). This calls for a careful searching and judging of our own hearts. Paul called for this self-examination every time we partake of the Lord’s Supper (v. 28). All other righteous forms of judgment depend on this honest self-examination. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “First take the log out of your own eye” (Luke 6:42).
Clearly, the command we previously discussed in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to “examine everything” in no way contradicts the biblical strictures against being judgmental. The discernment called for here is doctrinal discernment.
The unusually gullible Thessalonians seemed to have a problem in that regard. Like many today, they were eager to believe whatever was preached in the name of Christ. They were undiscriminating. They were prone to be like “children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). Luke contrasted the Thessalonians with the more discerning church at Berea. The Bereans “were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Evidently the Thessalonians were lacking in discernment from day one.
Paul addresses this continual lack of discernment in both of his Thessalonian epistles. There is evidence in the first epistle, for example, that someone had confused the Thessalonians about the return of Christ. They were going through a time of severe persecution, and apparently some of them thought they had missed the second coming. In chapter 3 we learn that Paul had sent Timothy from Athens specifically to strengthen and encourage them in their faith (v. 2). They were unaccountably confused about why they were being persecuted. Paul had to remind them:
You yourselves know that we have been destined for this. For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass (vv. 3–4).
Evidently someone had also taught the Thessalonians that believers who died before the second coming of Christ would miss that event entirely. They were in serious confusion. Chapters 4 and 5 contain Paul’s efforts to correct that confusion. He tells them that the dead in Christ will rise and be caught up with the living (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17). And he assures them that although that day will come like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2), they need not fear being caught off guard (vv. 3–6).
Incredibly, shortly after this, Paul had to write a second epistle, again assuring the Thessalonians that they had not missed some great event on the prophetic calendar. Someone, it seems, had sent them a counterfeit epistle claiming to be from Paul and suggesting that the Day of the Lord had come already. They should not have been duped by such a ploy, because Paul had written so plainly in his first epistle. He wrote them again:
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you. (2 Thessalonians 2:1–3)
There was no excuse for their chronic gullibility.
Why were they so vulnerable to false teaching? Surely it was precisely because they lacked the discernment exemplified by the Bereans. The Thessalonians did not examine everything in light of God’s Word. If they had, they would not have been so easily hoodwinked. That is why Paul urged them to “examine all things,” and why we must also heed that counsel.
(Adapted from Reckless Faith.)
Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B140418
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You
President of CRI, Hank Hanegraaff, reviews “Heaven is for Real”, the best-selling book that was recently made into a feature film. He offers ten reasons why both the book and film is a dangerous diversion. According to Hank:
There is nothing new under the sun. From the time occult parapsychologist Raymond Moody coined the moniker “Near-Death Experience” (NDE) to the present, bestsellers on NDEs have abounded—Embraced by the Light by Betty Eadie; Beyond Death’s Door by Maurice Rawlings; Life after Life by Raymond Moody; The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven by Alex Malarkey; 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper; My Journey to Heaven by Marvin J. Besteman; Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander—to name just a few.
A number of Christian leaders have added their voices to the growing public concern over the troubling issues associated with Bill Gothard and the ministry he founded known as Institute in Basic Life Principles. Gothard recently stepped down as president from the organization amid reports of sexual misconduct. According to the open letter, Christian leaders have attempted over the years to address concerns with Gothard, reaching as far back as 1973. From the letter:
Preparing a sermon is one of the most gratifying and the most difficult tasks you’ll ever face. There is joy in finding meaning in the text, in finding structure, in developing just the right outline, in discovering the perfect illustration. But there is also labor and, at times, intense spiritual warfare. I am a relative newcomer to preaching and as I’ve prepared sermons I’ve relied on others to teach me how to pray and how to prepare. Here are two lists that have been very helpful to me. I combine them into what I affectionately call my Preacher’s Cheat-Sheet.
In greater numbers, well-meaning Christian leaders all over the U.S. are calling for an ecumenical embrace of their Islamic brothers and sisters, even mingling Christian and Islamic doctrine in their church services, in the hopes of finding common ground in the worship of “one God.”……… Click here for full story