Daily Archives: April 23, 2019

April 23 The Heart of the Cross

Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:45–54

Key Verse: Exodus 34:6

And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”

Could not God have come up with a better idea for the salvation of man than the Cross?” This question is sometimes posed during debates regarding the purpose for the brutal punishment Jesus endured at Golgotha.

Yet, apart from our human understanding, and in His infinite wisdom, God had a perfect plan for the Cross. The circumstances of the day were never out of His control or in conflict with His will. Instead, the Cross revealed who God is and what He is like—compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (Exodus 34:6).

The Cross also exposed Satan for what he is and, at the same time, took away his power. Though Satan’s final defeat will occur at the end of time, the Cross invalidated the need for a physical payment for sin for those who would accept Christ’s ultimate atoning sacrifice made for us all.

Finally, the Cross unveiled a new covenant relationship with God, which gives all people the opportunity to experience eternity through Jesus Christ. Matthew 27:51 tells us that at the moment of Christ’s death, the temple veil (which had allowed only high priests access to God) was torn in half from top to bottom. This act signified the beginning of a new type of access to God through Jesus Christ, our Intercessor. Was God’s perfect will carried out at the Cross? Yes. Even in death, His love was demonstrated to the world He created to receive His blessings.

Lord, I embrace with my whole heart the covenant that was unveiled at the Cross and signed with Your shed blood.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 118). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 23 Love Displayed

Scripture Reading: John 8:1–11

Key Verse: Romans 8:34

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

In his book The Cross of Christ, John R. W. Stott explained how God’s love is consummately displayed in the death of His Son:

First, God gave His Son for us … In sending His own Son, eternally begotten from His own Being, He was not sending a creature, a third party, but giving Himself. The logic of this is inescapable. How could the Father’s love have been demonstrated if He had sent somebody else to us?

Secondly, God gave His Son to die for us … His was to give Himself to the uttermost, to the torture of crucifixion and to the horror of sin-bearing and God forsakenness … For the Sinless One to be made sin, for the Immortal One to die—we have no means of imagining the terror or the pain involved in such experiences.

Thirdly, God gave His Son to die for us, that is to say, for undeserving sinners like us … But God demonstrated His own righteousness for us—His unique love—in this, that He died for sinful, godless, rebellious, and helpless people like us (Romans 5:8).

Never doubt God’s love for you. The pierced hands and feet and speared side are His everlasting display of perfect love.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for giving Your Son to die for me. Give me a fresh glimpse of the pierced hands and feet, the speared side, that display Your everlasting love.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 118). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Research: New Apostolic Reformation — Christian Research Network

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a dominionist movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle.

Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them.

They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) can not be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture. (Source)

…NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. … It is like Grape Nuts – it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts. It’s like Christian Science – it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific. Well, the New Apostolic Reformation isn’t new, it isn’t apostolic, and it isn’t a reformation. But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams. ~ John MacArthur

Fast Facts:

  • Also known as Dominionism, Third Wave, Latter Rain, Kingdom Now, Joel’s Army, Manifest Sons of God, Charismatic Renewal, Charismania.
  • Its founder was C. Peter Wagner who claims that the Church of the 21st Century will be ruled by Apostles and Prophets. Wagner has anointed himself NAR’s “Presiding Apostle.”
  • Linked with the Kansas City Prophets “who brought grandiose claims that a ‘new breed’ of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever”; likewise Word Faith and Pentecostal movements.
  • Not governed by an official denomination, it is led by alleged apostles and prophets.
  • Teaches that the new apostles and prophets are to be the government for the emerging “New Order” church.
  • Claims there will be a reformation greater in scale than the Protestant Reformation.
  • Claim direct revelation from God and many allege that Jesus and angels visit them in person. Some of them declare that they have visited heaven many times and had conversations with Jesus as well as the Prophets and Apostles.
  • NAR’s extensive mission outreach throughout the globe has caused the astonishing church growth that’s happening in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • Denigration of the Bible and Sola Scriptura.
  • Experience oriented theology and based in emotionalism.
  • Steeped in mysticism.

Common Traits

Here are 6 traits, beliefs, and some of the common lingo used by adherents:


We’re in a “Second Apostolic Age.” There are new Apostles are on the earth today, anointed by the laying of hands to represent and speak for God here on Earth. These “Super Apostles” are equal to the original Apostles – the ones who witnessed Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and were appointed by Christ Himself to the office. Since these new apostles are commissioned by God, their authority may not be questioned.


Rather than preach the Gospel of the cross, Apostolic leaders are working to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth.  They do this by taking dominion of earthly kingdoms or “mountains” of government, media, entertainment, education, business, family, and religion. Leaders often talk of city building and organize prayer walks to pray against demonic strongholds. They often speak of being mission-focused rather than being Christ-centered.


Though members are not always charismatic, they frequently emphasize a manifestation of “Glory” and “God’s presence,” and often have a special anointing to receive direct revelation from God, perform healings and other signs and wonders. They teach that our purpose is to achieve our dream destiny so that we can change the world.


Revival on a massive scale is key in this movement. There is a strong emphasis on an “end times harvest” through a great awakening that we can usher in.  Often these revivals are held in stadiums and reach millions around the world via live stream technology; they are marketed and produced like rock concerts. All scripture verses about an end times falling away are ignored, and get replaced with hyped-up claims about the Next Big Thing that’s always just around the corner.

5. “UNITY”

Unity (at the expense of biblical doctrine) is almost always used as both the how and the why in this movement.  Unity for the sake of bringing Heaven to Earth is leading to the blurring of doctrinal and denominational lines, often bringing together well-known leaders charismatic, reformed, Word of Faith, seeker-emergent, progressive and Roman Catholics churches, all under one umbrella.

Finally, NAR churches almost always abandon major tenets of the Christian faith:


NAR adherents may believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible, but God’s breathed-out Word is just not enough for them. Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins is not good enough; the promise of eternal life in Heaven is not good enough.


The founder of the New Apostolic Reformation is church growth specialist C. Peter Wagner. Wagner served as Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Missions until his retirement. Until recently he was president of Global Harvest Ministries and is currently Chancellor emeritus of the Wagner Leadership Institute. Prominent member of the International Council of Apostles Chuck Pierce was his successor.

“Apostles” and “Prophets” and others entrenched in the NAR cult:


John Kelly, Bill Haman, Dutch Sheets, James Goll, John Eckhardt, Jim Laffoon, Jack Deere, Johnny Enlow, Barbara Yoder, Charles Kraft, Bob Beckett, Che Ahn, Naomi Dowdy, Mary Crum, Jack Hayford, John Arnott, Stacy Campbell, Patricia King, Phil Pringle, Yonggi Cho, Beni Johnson, Jen Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Carl Lentz, David Barton, Steven Strang, Robert Stern, Stephen Strader, George Otis, Ed Silvoso, Janet Porter, George Barna, Mary Glazier, Thomas Muthee, Tom Hess, Samuel Rodriguez, Eddie Smith, Lance Wallnau, Loren Cunningham, Bob Beckett, Os Hillman, Jill Griffith, Francis Oda, Graham Power, Francis Frangipagne, Wendy Alec, Amanda Wells, Katherine Ruonala, Lana Vawser, Kong Hee & Sun Ho, Theo Wolmarans, Jennifer LeClaire Ben Fitzgerald, Shawn & Stacie Bolz, Michael Koulianos & Jessica Hinn Koulianos and many others.

Groups include:

Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), American Family Association, Campus Crusade for Christ (cru), Youth With A Mission (YWAM), International Coalition of Apostles, PrayforNetwork, International Transformation Network, Marketplace Leaders, International Coalition of Workplace Ministries, Alpha Course, Renovar (Richard Foster) and many more.

Groups supporting C. Peter Wagner include:

Wagner Leadership Institute, Global Harvest Ministries, World Prayer Center, Global Prayer Movement, Generals International, Fuller Theological Seminary, Council for National Policy, Promise Keepers, Barna Group, World Vision, YWAM, Prison Fellowship and many more.

Leaving the NAR Church:

In a series of blog posts, we take readers beyond the textbook What is the New Apostolic Reformation Movement explanation, into the personal experiences from those who have been there, and what happened when God opened their eyes to the truth. You can read their stories here.

What the Bible says: 

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1

What you can do:

First, pray!  Then, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If your church has any part of the six traits listed above, you’ll want to humbly alert your leaders. We’ve included links below to many of the best research articles, and will keep this list updated.

Helpful articles:


Helpful sites:

Views  expressed by individual authors and/or sources don’t necessarily reflect those of Marsha West

via Research: New Apostolic Reformation — Christian Research Network

Levin: Senior FBI Officials ‘Interfered with Our Election’ More Effectively Than the Russians

Mark Levin.

During the April 21 edition of Life, Liberty & Levin, conservative leader, best selling author, and constitutional scholar Mark Levin explained that senior FBI officials “planted a spy in the Trump administration,” lied to federal courts several times, and “interfered with our election” far more “effectively than the Russians.”

The false narrative about Russia “collusion” was pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Obama administration, said Levin, who added that the FBI and Justice Department officials who orchestrated this “silent coup” against President Trump “should be charged.” They want to “change the outcome of an election,” he said. “They hate the fact that Donald Trump won in 2016.”

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Our very republic is at stake,” said Levin on his Sunday program on the Fox News Channel. “The separation of powers has broken down. The rule of law has broken down. The media—the media who we rely on—the media have broken down. We have a mob mentality now in this country. At least half the people in the country and the majority in the House of Representatives want to continue with this coup.”

“And why do I call it a coup?” he said.  “Well, now we have the Mueller Report, you’ve been hearing about it for several days. … You should enjoy this, it cost you $35 million. Now, Volume 1 of the Mueller Report is 200 pages. Why did they need 200 pages and $35 million to tell us there was no collusion?”


“There was never any collusion,” said Levin, author of the best selling Liberty and Tyranny. “This collusion issue was pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Obama administration. There are things that have been done in the last three years to candidate Trump, President-elect Trump, and President Trump that should not occur in the United States of America.”

“Senior levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation — these individuals should be charged,” said Levin. “They’re the ones who interfered with our election even more effectively than the Russians. They are still at it.”

“Senior levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they planted a spy — that’s right, a spy — in the Trump administration,” said the former Justice Department official. “They lied to federal courts not once, but four times — the FISA Court — in order to get a counterintelligence warrant and they got it. And who are they spying on? [Carter] Page? It was a backdoor effort to go after the Trump campaign.”

“You had the Hillary campaign, the Obama administration trying to take out the Republican candidate for president of the United States under their preposterous notion that he was conspiring with Vladimir Putin,” said Levin.

He continued, “Donald Trump has never in his entire life shown a dislike for his country. He loves his country. It is the people who have set this up who despise their country and despise our election system.”

Ex-FBI Director James Comey. (YouTube)

Speaking further about the false claims of “collusion,” Levin said, “You and I knew it from day one that it was phony — phony! But they used federal law enforcement, federal intelligence, and then they appointed a Special Counsel.

“There’s no collusion says the Special Counsel — that takes one sentence. It doesn’t take 200 damn pages. It doesn’t take $35 million. One sentence. “No collusion,” he says, by the president, by the campaign, by his staff, by the White House, by his family, by any American. No collusion.”

Source: Levin: Senior FBI Officials ‘Interfered with Our Election’ More Effectively Than the Russians

April 23 Your Hopes and Dreams

Scripture reading: John 16:23–24

Key verse: Jeremiah 29:11

I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Some of the requirements to experiencing God’s best include the following:

An open and willing heart. Before you can experience the blessings of God, you must be open to His love and will for your life. He takes joy in blessing those who love Him. “Ask and you shall receive” were the words Jesus spoke to His disciples. Being open to God’s blessings does not mean just being open to receive something good from Him. It means being willing to receive whatever He sends your way. And in some cases, He may send something that you did not wish to receive. However, you can be sure that every gift is ultimately good and sent from a loving Father who has your best interests in mind.

Obedience. This is a key to receiving and enjoying the goodness of God. Many times the obedience that you exercise is not noticeable to others, but God knows. When you take a step forward in obedience, the Lord always sends His blessings your way.

The ability to dream. God wants you to look forward to His blessings. When you lose the ability to dream and think on the goodness of God, something inside dies. No matter how small your dream for the future appears, refuse to let go of it. Allow God to reshape it if necessary, but always believe in His loving ability to supply answers to your hopes and dreams.

Father, give me an open and willing heart. Make me obedient to Your Word. Give me the ability to dream.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 118). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Muslim Columnist ‘Embarrassed’ to Admit Other Muslims, Liberals Have ‘Downplayed’ Christian Persecution — Faithwire

Christians are — by the numbers — the most persecuted demographic around the globe. But if you only listen to those on the left, you might have quite a different and, unfortunately, naive impression.

That’s exactly what Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan, who is Muslim, admitted Monday in a column published one day after a series of deadly bombs went off at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, claiming the lives of nearly 300 people, a handful of whom were Americans.

Hasan wrote he’s “embarrassed to have to admit that in both Muslim and left circles, the issue of Christian persecution has been downplayed and even ignored for far too long.”

The writer referenced a quote from Guardian columnist Giles Fraser, who argued, in the context of Sunday’s terrorist attack, progressives seem to believe Christians “had it coming,” arguing many on the left associate Christianity with political conservatism.

“They associate Christianity with popes and their armies, with crusades and inquisitions, with anti-Semitism, British imperialism, Trump supporters and abortion protesters,” Fraser explained.

What do the numbers say?

According to data from the Pew Research Center, which Hasan referenced in his column, Christians are the No. 1 target of persecution internationally. They face persecution in 144 countries followed by Muslims in 142. The Christian nonprofit watchdog Open Doors has a running list of the top 50 countries in which Christians experience “high levels of persecution.”

My colleague Will Maule has compiled a list of deadly attacks on Christians, all but one of which happened in the first four months of 2019. Yet if you reach back in your recent memory, it’s unlikely you’ll remember these bloody assaults, because rarely do they garner the kind of attention from the mainstream media they undoubtedly deserve.

What Hasan admitted bothers him most about the data is the fact that, with the exception of North Korea (No. 1) and India (No. 10), seven of the top 10 countries where Christians endure “extreme persecution” are Muslim-majority countries, according to Open Doors’ World Watch List.

“Islamic extremism remains the global, dominant driver of persecution, responsible for initiating oppression and conflict in 35 of the 50 countries on the list,” Open Doors said in a statement last year to Christianity Today.

Is there a double standard?

This isn’t a dismissal of the incredible inter-religious violence peaceful Muslims around the world face every single day at the hands of radical Islamists. To ignore that would not only be inappropriate, it would also be flat-out ignorant: Muslims are the second most persecuted religious demographic in the world, following very closely behind Christians.

It is, though, noteworthy that despite the nearly unparalleled amount of persecution Christians endure, many of our elected officials, particularly those on the left, don’t seem to muster up for Christ followers the same level of passion they do when our Muslim neighbors face unspeakable and heartbreaking violence.

I’m not suggesting there’s a lack of care from my progressive friends; I think most care deeply about attacks against other human beings, regardless of religious affiliation. I also think Hasan is right to claim Christian persecution has, for whatever reason, even perhaps unintentionally, been “downplayed” by some on the left.

It is perhaps for political reasons (Muslims are an obvious minority in the U.S.) that “Islamophobia” is part of our every day vernacular yet I’d hardly consider “Christophobia” a part of the American lexicon. Whenever any major attacks are unleashed on our Muslim neighbors, we rightly hear condemnations of the incidents followed soon by lectures about Islamophobia in America. I can hardly remember a lecture similarly pointing out the equally real Christophobia.

As Will pointed out, it is refreshing to finally see reporting about the ongoing persecution of Christians around the globe. I can only hope that in the days, weeks, and months to follow, we won’t soon forget the price so many have paid for the faith we freely boast here in the U.S.

via Muslim Columnist ‘Embarrassed’ to Admit Other Muslims, Liberals Have ‘Downplayed’ Christian Persecution — Faithwire

Voting rights for terrorists and rapists, death penalty for unborn babies up to 9 months


Boston Marathon terrorist about to place bomb behind 8-year-old child

Wow. It seems to me that the Democrats had a pretty good chance of competing against Trump in the 2020 election, with their presumed nominee, Bernie Sanders. He’s wildly popular with young people. He’s raising tons of money from rich progressives. All Bernie has to do is just not say anything crazy, and he’ll be competitive. Unfortunately, he can’t control himself.

Here’s a report from the radically-leftist Boston Herald:

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says the right to vote should extend to those in jail — even the Boston Marathon bomber.

“If somebody commits a serious crime — sexual assault, murder — they’re going to be punished,” Sanders said in his CNN town hall talk Monday night. But, “I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.”

The majority of convicted criminals would…

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Charismatics, Stop Giving ‘Prophetic Insights’ Into Events AFTER They Happen — Pulpit & Pen

Shawn Bolz, of Bethel Church, gave his ‘prophetic insights’ into the Sri Lanka bombings AFTER they happened

Charismatic ‘Christian’ leaders are thieves and liars. They steal from people their seed-faith offerings and lie about God speaking to them. When world tragedies happen without warning, it’s not time for charismatics to give their prophetic insights. It’s time for them to shut their cotton-picking mouths.

I have no respect or regard for false prophets because God forbids me from showing them any reverence (Deuteronomy 18:20). Aside from the fact that charismatic or Pentecostal preachers (who often claim to be ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets’) are mostly all swindlers preaching Word-Faith prosperity theology, engage in parlor-trickery fake healing, and they deny the sufficiency of Scripture by their claim of continued prophecy. Charismaticism is modern day Montanism, a heresy of the ancient church that claimed God still speaks outside his Bible and outside natural revelation.

Last week, I pointed out that not a single charismatic prophet warned the Vatican (or anybody else) about the Notre Dame fire. Not a single “prophet” saw it coming, and yet they were busy giving us their ‘prophetic insights’ into its meaning. Those insights would have been good to have a day before fire consumed the cathedral.

Today, Charisma News – a prominent charismatic news source – has numerous articles from supposed prophets giving their prophetic insights about an event they didn’t predict coming, the Sri Lanka church attacks.

Read more: Charismatics, Stop Giving ‘Prophetic Insights’ Into Events AFTER They Happen — Pulpit & Pen

All For Gaia: Earth Day and Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World — Reformation Charlotte

By: Carl Teichrib

“More than 6 million Canadians join 500 million people in over 180 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. Nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity.” – Earth Day Canada[1]

“Earth is more than just a spaceship. She is our Mother. She gave us life. There is nowhere else to go but to stay and love her.” – Reader’s comment regarding John Kerry’s Earth Day blog.[2]

Just as in olden days, the Earth has become the focal point for worship. In Grecian times the supreme Earth deity was Gaia, also known as the Universal Mother. Sacred oaths were given in her name, and worshippers performed rituals in her honour.[3] One commentator tells us,

“The classic artistic representation of Gaia is a woman emerging breast-high from the earth. The goddess arises but never leaves her planetary body. Visceral rites, including plant, animal, and (presumably ecstatic) human sacrifice as well as unabashed sexual ceremonies were held to adore the goddess’s fecundity.”[4]

In our contemporary era, Earth Day has become the modern celebration of Gaia. Partakers of this event, whether aware of it or not, play off the ancient pagan beliefs of a Universal Mother. Like the sacred oaths taken in her name, today’s Earth Day celebrants sign environmental petitions, make pledges, and announce resolutions in support of Mother Earth. And like the old sacrifices to the deity, today’s Earth Day practitioners offer sacrifices of “good works” to the planet. Not only is the Earth a deity to be venerated, but the Earth itself – as the representative and embodiment of the Goddess – has become a modern day idol.

Do all who engage in Earth Day festivities realize the connections between this event and the ancient pagan deity? Some do, especially those who take a neo-pagan position, but many are unaware, thinking it’s a family-oriented way to engage in environmental conservation (much good is done during Earth Day, such as cleaning up stream beds or planting trees – but that’s not the issue). Motivated by good intentions, scores of individuals (including professing Christians), participate without ever considering what Earth Day is actually about or the philosophies that underpin the movement.

James Coburn, the American actor (deceased in 2002), understood the overt pagan linkages. Consider his 1990 interview with journalist Caryl Matrisciana during the Malibu Beach, Earth Day festival.

Caryl Matrisciana:

“Mr. Coburn, why should we care about Earth Day or Mother Earth?”

James Coburn:

“Mother Earth is our Mother! She’s the Mother Goddess. She’s the one that we should be praising rather than raping.

I mean all of these people here today are here for one reason: Because they’re concerned about what’s happening to the Earth – what Mankind is doing to the Earth. I mean the negative emotions we carry around, a lot of us, is another contributor to it; it feeds the Moon. [Author’s Note: the Moon is significant in pagan circles.]

What we have to do is be true to ourselves, if we’re true to ourselves we’ll be true to Mother Earth. Mother Earth’s going to be bountiful; she’s going to give us everything we need. She has for a long time.

We’ve lost our way. The pagans used to know how to do it. And the Indians, some of them still remember how to do it.

The Earth is a living organism. We’re killing the one we love the most, and she loves us. We’ve got to praise our Mother Goddess!”[5]

When Earth Day was first inaugurated in 1970, Newsweek called the event “a bizarre nationwide rain dance.”[6] The New York Times, however, said it was an idea “whose time has come because life is running out.” Earth, and the race of mankind, needed to be saved “from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”[7]

Now, almost forty years later, corporate sponsorships pay for community Earth Day events. Federal and local governments spend tax dollars in promotion of April 22nd, and a myriad of grassroots organizations add energy to the cause. It’s an event that captures the attention of local and national media outlets, politicians of every stripe, and fuels the imagination of school children everywhere. From the automotive giant Toyota[8] to every urban center in North America, from the United Nations to the National Council of Churches[9] – Earth Day is far more than a bizarre rain dance; it’s a platform for global citizenship and Earth loyalties.

Read more: All For Gaia: Earth Day and Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World — Reformation Charlotte