Daily Archives: March 31, 2021

Media Gets First Look Inside Texas Border Facility, Agents Share Harrowing Stories from Migrant Kids | CBN News

After many complaints, the Biden administration finally granted media access this week to one of the overcrowded border facilities in Donna, Texas. Border patrol agents are also sharing harrowing details of what the unaccompanied children faced on their journey to the U.S.

— Read on www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2021/march/media-gets-first-look-inside-texas-border-facility-agents-share-harrowing-stories-from-migrant-kids

US Army Raises Europe Threat Level To ‘Potential Imminent Crisis’ On Ukraine-Russia Fears | ZeroHedge

The recent rise in tensions between the US and Russia over continued simmering conflict in Ukraine seemed to correspond with the Biden administration entering the White House. Many pundits have commented that on a foreign policy front things are eerily feeling like a throwback to the Obama years of 2014 or 2015, whether its the Ukraine and Crimea crises, or Syria returning to headlines again (including Biden’s ordered airstrikes on the country in February), or the growing Russia-NATO standoff. 

This past weekend we were among the very few to take notice of the Pentagon’s latest large military equipment delivery to Ukraine’s army via the port of Odessa, following Biden earlier pledging that “Crimea is Ukraine” and that he’d work to thwart Russian aims in the region. 

And now this week the US European Command (EUCOM) has issued a notification of a raised ‘threat level’ in Europe. The designation has been officially raised to one of “potential imminent crisis” this week. It comes just as The New York Times and others are reporting a serious escalation in fighting in Eastern Ukraine, which has signaled the collapse of yet another cease-fire.

The raised threat level centers on Ukraine’s commander-in-chief of national armed forces alleging that Russia has amassed more troops on its border this week, and further that “pro-Moscow separatists were systematically violating a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine,” according to Reuters.

Kiev’s parliament followed by announcing a sharp “escalation” in the east – a contested region which has seen 14,000 deaths going back to 2014.

The NY Times had linked the raised alert status by EUCOM specifically to Ukraine, writing “the U.S. military’s European Command raised its watch level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis — the highest level  in response to the deployment of the additional Russian troops.”

The report also described the infusion of new Russian military equipment to the Kremlin-backed rebels, something which the latest follow-up statement by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov downplayed, charging that it is the Ukrainian side now taking “provocative actions that would lead to war”.

The Times report cited a US official who estimated that some 4,000 additional Russian troops remained behind along the Ukraine border region following the end of recent military drills, something which one retired Army general said could just be “posturing” designed to test the Biden administration

Meanwhile Washington has apparently put Moscow ‘on notice’ over a potential Ukraine escalation…

Despite long ago falling out of daily and weekly headlines, the war in the Donbass region has remained a ‘low-simmering conflict’ which has never stopped. Battle lines and disputed fronts, along with rival checkpoints, have been consistently manned.

The usual military exercises that take place this time of year, or larger than usual troop build-up?

However, as the NYT noted, “Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another seriously wounded in a battle against Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk Region” on Tuesday, suggesting a severe flare-up on the horizon which could once again draw in external Western forces, especially as Biden has lately vowed to get “tough” on Putin’s Russia.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/us-army-raises-europe-threat-level-potential-imminent-crisis-ukraine-russia-fears

Full Interview: Former President Donald Trump Talks To Lara Trump About China, Biden, 2024 & More | Video | RealClearPolitics

President Trump is interviewed by daughter-in-law Lara Trump and discuss social media censorship, China, Joe Biden, fake news, and a potential 2024 run.

Trump on running in 2024: “You do have hope. We love our country–this country. We all owe a lot to our country but now we have to help our country.”

— Read on www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2021/03/31/full_interview_former_president_donald_trump_talks_to_lara_trump_about_china_biden_2024__more.html

Free States Faring Far Better Than Lockdown States in One Huge Way, New Data Show – Foundation for Economic Education

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When COVID-19 first came to our shores, it presented policymakers and elected officials with a crisis like nothing in living memory. In the year since, states have taken markedly different approaches to pandemic policy. Some, like New York, embraced sweeping government lockdowns and top-down mandates while others like Florida and South Dakota took a more humble, hands-off government approach, trusting individuals to make the best decisions for themselves.

The results are in—and they overwhelmingly vindicate the free states over the authoritarian experiments. First, we saw that states with the harshest restrictions didn’t necessarily achieve the best COVID-19 death outcomes. Florida has fared far better than New York and New Jersey, for example, and multiple studies have found no correlation between lockdown stringency and death rates.

— Read on fee.org/articles/free-states-faring-far-better-than-lockdown-states-in-one-huge-way-new-data-show/

False assumptions – the consequences of false teaching. | ChurchWatch

In his latest article, our favourite polemicist and very good friend Rick Becker from the ‘Famine In The Land’ blog, asks some very important questions:

“Have your eyes been opened to the lies of “prophets” and “apostles” who promise a breakthrough that never materializes, a healing that never occurs, a better city, nation, and world despite the obvious increase in wickedness? Have you fallen for the lies that say if you just do this course, or receive that impartation, or experience some manifestation your life will change?

Examine yourself, are you a believer but caught up in various false teachings? Do you assume you’re a believer because of experiences you’ve had or because of your “supernatural” works?”


Rick writes:

We live in an age where the gospel is hardly recognizable in the visible church. The proliferation of false teachers and false doctrines have produced hordes of false converts, and sadly, thousands of ignorant believers who are deceived in certain areas. In this post, we’ll examine a few of the false assumptions held by many in the visible church. The false teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation, Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel have contributed to these false assumptions.

1. The assumption that God exists to change your circumstances, make you happy, and give you your best life now.

This assumption is widespread due to the fact that the good news of the gospel – Christ crucified for our sins ( 1 Cor 15:1-5) has been replaced with “good news” that God is a divine appeaser, dishing out dream destinies to his worthy children.
As a result, many are not convicted of sin, but rather convinced by some ear tickling charlatan that Jesus is a path to success and a pain free existence on earth. This “Jesus” isn’t a saviour, but a life coach, a divine business partner, a romantic heavenly being, a source of power, a means to heal a disease, a path to prosperity.

False teachings like dominion theology and the health and wealth gospel have created the impression that the ultimate Christian life is one devoid of suffering. There’s a formula to ensure all forms of suffering are removed – tithing will solve your financial problems, rebuking the elements will prevent natural disasters, binding the strongman will Christianize cities, infiltrating worldly systems will bring global transformation, social justice will make the world a better place for all, positive declarations and the power of your words will change circumstances, sickness can be rebuked…and so the list goes on. The result is that to a large degree, an individuals circumstances become a spiritual barometer to test their obedience, faith, and general spiritual condition.
These false teachings have appeased a generation of narcissists who view God as a tool to pursue their happiness and goals. Instead of pilgrims and aliens in this world, they live as settlers, determined to experience their best life now. Another factor contributing to the impression that the Christian life is comfortable, is the society and class people find themselves in. The average middle class individual in a developed country assumes that their environment and lifestyle are the very least God guarantees believers. But there are no “normal” or minimal standards guaranteed for the believer. This selfish view completely ignores brothers and sisters in Christ scattered throughout the nations, struggling to get by, persecuted for their faith, uncertain of where their next meal will come from. 

Search the gospels and epistles and try and find earthly guarantees of comfort, you won’t. Real apostles made no demands on God, or expected to have any form of material security in this world: “for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Timothy 6:7-8.
And at times, even these basic needs escaped them: “To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless” 1 Corinthians 4:11.

After feeding the five thousand, the people wanted to make Jesus king as they recognized that he was the prophet Israel had been waiting for, the messiah, the one that would restore their kingdom. But we read – “Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.” John 6:15.
In similar fashion, many assume that Jesus will change their circumstances. In the case above it was the state of their nation, and the general welfare of the population. But Jesus’ mission was spiritual not political. The next day the crowd found Jesus, and his answer to a question they asked is revealing: “When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” John 6:25-26.
The crowds weren’t interested in the messiah who would be pierced for their transgressions or crushed for their iniquities, they wanted a messiah who would free them from the tyranny of Rome and fill their bellies. In other words, a messiah who would meet their needs and make them happy. And so it is today, the crowds want a Jesus that will fill their bellies and solve their nations political crisis. They want a therapeutic gospel.

Sociologist Christian Smith listed five core religious beliefs held by youth in the USA. These beliefs are the fulfilment of 2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
The five core beliefs are:
• A God exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
• God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
• The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
• God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
• Good people go to heaven when they die.
Smith described these beliefs as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.
A therapeutic gospel has become a means to an end – the end being creature comforts and happiness. This is why false teachers and false churches are flourishing – they offer the world what the world is looking for. Their gospel is not a stumbling block to the natural man, it’s a stepping stone to fulfilling one’s desires.
False teachers thrive because they tell people what they want to hear. To meet the desires of a generation in love with self, false teachers offer a therapeutic gospel that tickles the ears of those looking for an excuse for their sin, and and some form of divine intervention that will propel them to success and make them happy. Sinners are not sinners, but victims. Self is elevated instead of crucified.
A plain reading of the gospels will dismiss all the lies propagated by false teachers who promise heaven on earth. Jesus did make promises to those who followed him, but they’re a far cry from what parades as truth in the visible church.
Jesus promised conflict within families (Matthew 10:34-38) persecution (John 15:18-20) tribulation in this world (John 16:33) and taught self denial not self-actualization (Matthew 16:24-26)
Suffering, is part of the Christian life: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” Philippians 1:29.

Contemporary false apostles and prophets create the impression that an “abundant life” (in their eyes this means wealth, health, power, influence) is a sign that they are obedient to God, have sufficient faith, are highly anointed and favoured by God. But consider the glaring contrast Paul presents between himself, and the suave false apostles of Corinth:
“But whatever anyone else dares to boast of – I am speaking as a fool – I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one -I am talking like a madman – with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in dangerfrom rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” 2 Corinthians 11:21-30.

It’s not about our will, our comfort, our desires, our happiness.
Jesus said: “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:38-39.
Paul understood this: “And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20: 22-24.

So does that mean the Christian ought to be a miserable soul full of doom and gloom?
No, happiness is fleeting and dependent on circumstances, Jesus promised something better – joy:
• “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
• “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-3
Happiness fades, joy should not – “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Ultimately, God desire is to conform us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) This means we will experience various forms of suffering, suffering with a purpose:
“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5.

2. The assumption that you will need tools outside of scripture for self discovery, wholeness and an authentic relationship with God and people.

A few of these include Alcoholics Anonymous, inner healing and deliverance ministries such as Sozo ministry, or personality tests such as the Enneagram.What’s wrong with Alcoholics Anonymous you may ask?
This – “We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of the Spirit is BROAD, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men. When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God.”
And this – “In A.A.’s twelve step program, anything and everything—from spirits to inner divinity—can be worshiped as “god.” One of A.A.’s Big Book teachings is that God can only be found within ourselves. A.A.’s belief system by no means requires dealing with sin – or the Savior.”

Strange as it may seem to someInner healing and deliverance ministries are dangerous methodologies. They deny the power of the gospel, the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and employ psychological, new age, and occultic techniques. While they promise freedom and wholeness, they have the opposite effect, and lead people into greater deception. Believers cannot be cursed, have no need to break generational curses, and cannot bind Satan.Sozo is a psychospiritual deliverance and inner healing tool promoted by Bethel church. Sozo uses six tools – Father Ladder • Four Doors •Presenting Jesus •The Wall •Trigger Mechanisms (Advanced Tool) •Divine Editing (Advanced Tool). Obviously, you won’t find any of them in scripture.
For information on Sozo – Victims of Bill Johnson’s SOZO Ministry speak out (includes various links on Sozo.)
Another excellent article on inner healing which explains that “The Bible Teaches the Cleansing of the Conscience, Not Healing of Memories.”

Personality type tests have become popular in recent decades. Tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) claim to identify various personality types, but the identity of believers is found in Christ and the fruits of the Spirit are not dependent on personality types. The Enneagrampersonality test is popular in visible church. Heretic Richard Rohr has been influential in the spread of the Enneagram, a test that finds its roots in the occult. The following excerpt is a description of Richard Rohr and The Enneagram Secret – a book by Don and Joy Veinot, Marcia Montenegro:
“In Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret, we explore the spiritual infection of those who have embraced Richard Rohr and the Enneagram he has delivered into the church through his disciples. The claims for the Enneagram are simple. Supposedly it is an ancient tool used by some of the Early Church Fathers. It is claimed to be the “face of God” and each Enneagram number is an individual spiritual path to deeper spiritual understanding and fuller self-awareness. But what if this seemingly harmless tool is in fact one of the largest deceptions perpetrated upon the Christian church in recent history?”
Make no mistake, Richard Rohr is NOT a believer, “He denies original sin, the atonement, the exclusivity of Christianity, and he has an unorthodox understanding of heaven and hell, and the literal second coming of Christ. Rohr’s views stand in stark contrast to the historic Christian view of the gospel.”

Anyone caught up in these methodologies has opened a door to deception. When we examine the beliefs of they founders of AA or the Enneagram for example, we find that what they believed contradicts scripture. Their god is not the God of scripture. Sin does not come into their equation, and so any solution or analysis of personality ignores the biggest problem of all – sin and separation from God. They focus on self esteem, self love and ignore self denial. The knowledge we need to find wholeness is found in scripture: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Finally, a passage of scripture that dispels the need to find healing, deliverance, or gain wisdom in the methodologies listed above:
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.” 2 Peter 1:3-9.

3. The assumption that the world will love you.

If any contemporary false movement has propagated this lie, it’s the New Apostolic Reformation.
The belief that Christians will shape culture, and gradually transform this world into some kind of Christian utopia is the very antithesis of what Jesus said – “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36.
In the NAR, one aspect of “bringing heaven to earth” involves believers finding innovative solutions to the worlds problems because they “have the mind of Christ.” Supposedly this will garner respect and admiration from the world. The early church missed this heavenly mandate to impress their generation by failing to come up with innovative solutions by designing superior aqueducts, streamlined chariots, or more effective fishing nets. A believer with a Nobel Prize winning invention will still offend the world when the truth is proclaimed.
Believers should expect persecution, not praise from the world: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” John 15:18-20.

Contrary to contemporary smooth talking false apostles who exude self confidence and live like celebrities, true apostles were the scourge of society: “We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.” 1 Corinthians 4:13.
And actually pointed to their hardships and sufferings as signs that they were servants of God.
(2 Corinthians 6:3-10; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33) 
Anyone with a basic knowledge of current events in the world, should know that the days of being able to blend comfortably in with worldly systems and secular environments are coming to an end. Under the guise of “inclusivism,” reason and science are abandoned in order to legitimize disorders and pursue “pleasures” that God calls sin. Good will be called evil, and evil called good. Who could have imagined that by using an accurate gender pronoun you can end up in prison? Wokeness, Intersectionality, Social justice, Feminism, Critical Race Theory, and who knows what new theory will come into vogue down the line, have already captivated many in the visible church. It’s inevitable that believers are going to become the pariahs of society – “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9.
The only way the world will admire the church, is when the church looks like the world. This is why Progressive Christianity will no doubt become increasingly popular in the visible church. The article 5 Signs Your Church Might be Heading Towards Progressive Christianity identifies certain comments you may hear in Progressive circles. It’s not difficult to see why the world would be attracted to Progressive “churches.” No doubt we’ve all heard a few of the comments listed in the article:
• God wouldn’t punish sinners—He is love….
• Sure, the Bible is authoritative—but we’ve misunderstood it for the first 2,000 years of church history…
• It’s not our job to talk to anyone about sin—it’s our job to just love them….
• The Bible “contains” the word of God…
• I just can’t believe Jesus would send good people to hell….
• God didn’t actually require a sacrifice for our sins—the first Christians picked up on the pagan practice of animal sacrifice and told the Jesus story in similar terms….
• We don’t really need to preach the gospel—we just need to show love by bringing justice to the oppressed and provision to the needy…

If you are friends with this world, you’re an enemy of God: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4-5.

4. The assumption that you need to learn how to hear God’s voice.

How to hear the voice of God is a topic that most believers will encounter at some stage. For those who are caught up in the New Apostolic Reformation or certain Charismatic churches, hearing the voice of God will become a lifelong exercise. It’s a case of God depositing whispers in your mind with the hope that you will get the message. The irony is that the well known teachers who peddle their books and courses on the subject, clearly have not heard the voice of God. How do I know this? Well, because of their unbiblical teachings, tall stories, and inaccurate words from God. God gave us his infallible word, he didn’t place the burden on his followers to decipher the voices in their minds in order to receive information. If we need to “hear the voice of God,” we must conclude that what he has already said in his word is insufficient. Furthermore, if we need to master hearing his voice, then God is taking a risk by has placing his children in a high risk zone, a zone where many are caught up in mysticism and various forms of deception. The scriptures contain sufficient information, not only for salvation, but for a complete life in Christ: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

Typically, folk are taught to practice hearing from God during their “quiet time.” This involves listening, or even writing down the thoughts in your mind (a form of channeling), and then try and determine which voice is yours, and which voice is God’s. It’s a hit and miss affair, often with disastrous consequences when people obey the “voice” they heard supposing that it was God speaking to them.
But what about the still small voice?
A popular proof text for hearing the voice of God is found in 1 Kings 19. Elijah has fled from Jezebel, and is in a cave on Mt Horeb. God asked Elijah what he was doing there, and then instructed Elijah to stand on the mount. The elements of nature raged, but God was not in them. It’s at this point that Elijah hears something. We’ll read verse 12 from the King James Version:
“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
The Hebrew word translated as “voice” in the King James is קוֹל (qol) which means sound or voice. This is why some translations differ from the KJV: “the sound of a low whisper” (ESV) “a sound of a gentle blowing” (NASB)
We note that Elijah heard something – an external sound or voice. He did not have an inner impression or have to dissect the voices in his mind to determine what God was saying. Elijah heard something audible, and reacted accordingly: “And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:13
Whenever God spoke to Elijah, the message was audible and clear (see verses 9 & 11) unlike the idea that we need to “practice hearing the voice of God” – “practice” because we have to decide which voice in our mind is from God.

The transition from “what is God saying” to “what has God said” is not only liberating, it’s acknowledging an omnipotent God who can number the hairs on your head and is quite capable of ordering your steps. You wont find a passage of scripture detailing God’s struggle to get his voice heard. You will find many describing people’s disobedience to what God has spoken. Don’t be dismayed, God has not left us with a mere book to get by, that’s a false assumption in itself, imagining that the word of God is comparable to a novel or history book. It’s not – “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
So what do we do in certain situations where we’ve been taught to “hear the voice of God.” Instead of trying to unscramble the voices in our head or look for someone to give us a “prophetic word,” we go the the infallible prophetic word of God, and follow his instructions:
• We pray – “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6.
• We ask God for wisdom – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5.
• We trust in the providence of God – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (See also James 4:13-15)
• We study and obey the scriptures. (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
• We trust the Holy Spirit to guide us – every believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. He reminds us of scripture, illuminates the scriptures to us, and at times will prompt us.

5. The assumption that you need some sort of encounter with God.

The outlandish lies being told from NAR stages and on platforms like the Sid Roth show have deceived many gullible and biblically ignorant individuals into believing that supernatural encounters are part and parcel of the normal Christian experience. An “encounter” (encounter is a common NAR buzzword) with God is a must on your spiritual CV if you want any sort of recognition or acceptance in New Apostolic Reformation circles. What it means is that you have had some sort of experience in this experience driven movement. It could mean you have a mind image, heat sensation, vision, angelic visitation, goosebumps, or the really impressive experience of visiting the throne room of God in heaven. These are all subjective claims, impossible to test – apart from the false doctrine spewed by those who boast of their encounters. In other words, anyone can claim to have had an encounter with God.It’s a subtle start, but many are being conditioned to “feel” the presence of God in the average Charismatic type church service. No doubt, you will have heard the phrase “God’s presence is in this place” or something similar. This is usually during “worship” and you may wonder why you’re not feeling or sensing anything, unlike the enraptured folk around you who seem to be “touched by God.” This phrase, a deliberate suggestion, is employed to create the right atmosphere and expectation. It’s a great tool to bypass the mind, create the impression that God is pleased with what’s taking place, and that the message that follows is equally pleasing in his sight. While there may be times that we become acutely aware of God, or the Holy Spirit is working in us in a way that our emotions are responding, we are not instructed to seek experiences or assume that God is at work simply because we are feeling or reacting in a certain manner. 

6. The assumption that you should be walking in the supernatural.

You could read the entire bible within a week. You would read many accounts of miracles, signs and wonders, and might think that they are normative. Anyone coming to that conclusion has failed to realize that:
• The scriptures span a period of approximately 4000 years.
• There were centuries that went by during this time, without any miracles.
• The number of people who performed miracles could fit in a small church building.
• The major reason for signs and wonders in the New Testament has been fulfilled – to authenticate the message and ministry of the apostles (2 Cor 12:12) and the ministry and identity of the messiah (John 10:36-39)

This assumption is fueled by the false teaching that Jesus came to model a supernatural lifestyle. This teaching places the emphasis on Christ’s humanity, to the extent that it completely ignores his divinity. The belief is that we are able to emulate the works of Christ because Jesus performed his miracles as a “man in right relationship with God.” In other words it places Christ on the same level as any other biblical figure that God used to perform miracles. It’s a denial of Jesus as the God-Man, it’s a heresy known as Kenoticism…. it’s a “different Jesus.”

But what about John 14:12: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”
It’s a false assumption that these “greater works” are miracles. Who could surpass the miracle of walking on water, feeding five thousand with five loaves and two fish, raising a four day old corpse from the grave, and raising yourself from the grave in union with God the father and the Holy Spirit? Clearly the “greater works” is not referring to the miraculous. So what does the verse mean? It means that the church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, would spread the gospel throughout the earth until Christ returns. The impact of the filling of the Holy Spirit was immediate – three thousand were saved on the day of Pentecost. Even by today’s standards, that’s a big number. The bible says they were saved, these were not people who had been hyped up and prayed a quick sinners prayer, they were genuinely born again without any special effects, fancy sound systems, or an ear tickling message.
One of the motivating factors of the “supernatural lifestyle” philosophy, is the belief that the unconverted need to experience some kind of sign or miracle in order to believe. “We owe the world and encounter with God” is not a verse in the bible, but the imagination of NAR “apostles” and “prophets.” What the world needs is an encounter with the gospel, with the words of true prophets and apostles recorded in scripture. The rich man made the same mistake as those who teach a supernatural lifestyle is necessary for successful evangelism by assuming that a supernatural encounter would save his family. He asked Abraham to send Lazarus the beggar back to earth to warn his brothers, Abraham’s reply should serve as a warning to NARites: “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:29-31.
This is our task, proclaim the message, not perform miracles:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” Romans 1:16.
“For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” 1 Cor 1:22-23.

7. The assumption that you are saved. 

This is the most dangerous assumption, because an eternal destination – heaven or hell, is at stake. It behoves us to take this assumption seriously, and make sure we have not been deceived: “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” 2 Corinthians 11:4.
The city of Corinth was steeped in immorality and idolatry – picture of contemporary society. In similar fashion, the church in Corinth is a picture of sections of the contemporary church – abuse of the gifts, immoral behaviour, disunity, various factions, and false apostles. It was to this church, that Paul wrote the following: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5.

It comes as no surprise that the scripture’s description of those who had this false assumption that they were saved, is strikingly similar to those caught up in the NAR and Charismania: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23.

Like Bethel church and other NAR false churches, these workers of lawlessness boasted in their supernatural works. Many, not few, but many who claim to have had some encounter with God, walk in the supernatural, and exercise the gifts, are “workers of lawlessness.” They will have a form of godliness, seem radical and passionate for God, some will be eloquent speakers with large and popular ministries. They will speak of revival, boast of their supernatural experiences and exploits, tell stories about the salvations and miracles in their midst. But one dreadful day, when it’s too late to repent they will hear these words: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

A factor that has led to this false assumption is a “different gospel,” – as we have seen it’s a therapeutic gospel. A false gospel that “calls out the gold in sinners” instead of proclaiming repentance. A false gospel that has made the “good news” about earthly comforts and benefits . A false gospel that offers superpowers and the ability to perform miracles.
When the crowds gathered on the day of Pentecost as the disciples were speaking in various languages, Peter took the opportunity to preach: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:36-38.
That right there, is the good news, the only benefit sinners should be seeking – the forgiveness of sin. Peter didn’t offer an amazing dream destiny to the hearers, he proclaimed the gospel. The result being the conviction of sin, which Jesus promised is a work of the Holy Spirit: “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16:8.
False converts are distraught because of their circumstances, not their condition: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:1-3.
They have been lured to “come to Christ” with the belief that he will
• solve their financial crisis.
• heal their disease.
• restore their marriage.
• help them achieve their dreams.
That’s not to say God is not involved in these areas, but that’s not why people should repent. We repent because of conviction of sin, because we are alienated from God, under his wrath, and deserve eternal punishment.

Have your eyes been opened to the lies of “prophets” and “apostles” who promise a breakthrough that never materializes, a healing that never occurs, a better city, nation, and world despite the obvious increase in wickedness?
Have you fallen for the lies that say if you just do this course, or receive that impartation, or experience some manifestation your life will change?
Examine yourself, are you a believer but caught up in various false teachings? Do you assume you’re a believer because of experiences you’ve had or because of your “supernatural” works?

Do you believe God is indebted to you, that he will make your dreams come true and that you deserve a comfortable life on earth?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe that tithing will make you rich?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe all suffering is due to generational curses, demons, disobedience, lack of faith?
Examine yourself.
Did you repent in order to experience a better life now?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe that you deserve heaven, or have in any way contributed to your salvation? 
Examine yourself.
Do you believe you were inherently good before salvation, and sinless since your salvation?
Examine yourself.
Are you trusting in tools outside of scripture for self discovery, wholeness and an authentic relationship with God and people?
Examine yourself.
Are you friends with this world, do you believe your mission is to be a cultural architect and transform this world?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe in a world wide revival that will create a Christian utopia on earth?
Examine yourself.
Have you been taught to listen to a still small voice that brings new revelation and contradicts scripture?
Examine yourself.
Are you seeking out “prophets,” or trusting in those amazing prophetic words over your life that promise you success in this world or a powerful ministry?
Examine yourself.
Are you desperate to experience the supernatural, are you pursuing “presence” or chasing after a manifestation or encounter with God?
Examine yourself.
Are you practising words of knowledge and prophetic words on your mission to eventually perform greater miracles than Christ?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe your “supernatural lifestyle” is evidence of your salvation?
Examine yourself.

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:14

Source: Rick Becker, ‘Famine In The Land’ blog, https://fitl.co.za/2021/03/31/false-assumptions-the-consequences-of-false-teaching/?fbclid=IwAR0mBFrI2J2Gi2v38HKG1YM79Hn-t938ANk0wkoZ2e5WzGhxCG02wyVSwGs. Published March 31, 202. (Accessed April 1, 2021.)

Source: https://churchwatchcentral.com/2021/03/31/false-assumptions-the-consequences-of-false-teaching/

In Push For Diversity, Military Canine Units To Give Equal Opportunities To Chihuahuas — The Babylon Bee

LACKLAND AFB, TX—Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has directed all branches of the military to step up diversity efforts when it comes to working dogs in canine units. For the first time, the military– which has always favored German Shepherds in the past– will admit other breeds such as Chihuahuas and Pomeranians.

“We’ve always had this narrow-minded view that the German Shepherd is the best dog for chasing down dangerous terrorists and sniffing out improvised explosive devices,” said Austin. “But why not Chihuahuas? Why not poodles? Bringing in more dog breeds will increase our diversity– which is the greatest strength any military can have.”

So far, there have been no Chihuahuas capable of taking down a 250-pound man by the arm, so the military has elected to eliminate that test altogether. 

Military leaders confirmed the current plan is just to invite every breed of dog and hang out, eat doggy treats, and have a good time while taking diversity courses.

“We’re proud of this beautiful mosaic we have created here,” said one Staff Sergeant while knitting a cute sweater for Squeaker, his working dog. “This is what our military is all about!” 

In Push For Diversity, Military Canine Units To Give Equal Opportunities To Chihuahuas — The Babylon Bee

March 31 Evening Quotes of The Day

The Heart in Prayer Is Most Important
Matthew 6:5, 7; Romans 8:26

When you pray, rather let your hearts be without words, than your words without a heart.

JOHN BUNYAN

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Let Us Employ Gifts Lest They Gather Rust
Matthew 25:14–30; 2 Timothy 1:6–12

Let us … remember that we ought to apply to use the gifts of God, lest, being unemployed and concealed, they gather rust. Let us also remember that we should diligently profit by them, lest they be extinguished by our slothfulness.

JOHN CALVIN

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Cold Case Christianity Easter Special (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast S7E05) — Cold Case Christianity

Are there any good, evidential reasons to celebrate Easter? Is there any evidence to demonstrate the Resurrection really occurred? How would we make the case for the Resurrection this Easter season? J. Warner answers these questions in this Cold Case Christianity Easter Special from his NRBtv Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast.

Be sure to watch the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast on NRBtv every Monday and Saturday! In addition, here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/18465515/height/90/theme/custom/thumbnail/no/direction/backward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/174dbd/

For more information about the reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.

Cold Case Christianity Easter Special (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast S7E05) — Cold Case Christianity

True, Historical Facts about the Resurrection, Jesus — David Fiorazo

Jesus Christ is Lord and is seated at the right hand of the Father, but in order to get there, the cross had to come before the kingdom.

This week symbolizes the very heart of our faith. Jesus provides a universal offer to mankind. He invited his disciples to commune with him, prayed for all believers at Gethsemane, suffered for six hours on a cross, was laid in a garden tomb, and on Sunday rose again in victory to seal the promise of our hope for all of eternity.

Christianity is the only religion which bases its faith on a verifiable event.

In first Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…was buried, and that He was raised on the third day; he continued naming individual eye-witnesses who saw Jesus, and added that, “He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)

The disciples truly saw the resurrected Christ. Only an event of this magnitude could turn scared, scattered, and skeptical disciples, with no prior concept and expectation of a crucified and risen Messiah, into courageous proclaimers of the gospel willing to suffer and die for their belief that Jesus rose from the grave.

What was their motive if it wasn’t true? Christianity faced huge obstacles as a brand new movement. They had no money, they taught about love, faith, sin, and self-denial, and they were subject to intense hatred and persecution. Most of the disciples were killed for their faith, following the example of their Messiah.

On ‘Good Friday,’ the Lord was brutally beaten, tortured, and crucified. According to Isaiah the prophet, He was barely recognizable as human. So why call it good?

Pastor Allistair Begg commented on Jesus’ sacrifice, saying:

“Did earth or heaven ever witness a sadder spectacle than this? In soul and body, our Lord felt Himself to be weak as water poured upon the ground. The placing of the cross in its socket had shaken Him with great violence, had strained all the ligaments, pained every nerve, and more or less dislocated all His bones. Burdened by His own weight, the impressive sufferer felt the strain increasing every moment of those six long hours.”

He went on to say you and I could not have endured the immense pain Jesus did and remained conscious. Remember this the next time you kneel before your ascended Savior, Jesus, the only way to the Father in heaven. His great work was finished.

Most skeptics have likely never examined the overwhelming evidence of the resurrection, what Luke refers to as “infallible proofs.”

It’s also important to note that even liberal scholars and historians agree on the following basic historical facts:

  • Jesus was publicly executed and died by crucifixion
  • His tomb was empty three days later; the body was missing
  • His disciples believed he rose from the dead and that He appeared to them
  • James, former skeptic and half-brother of Jesus, was suddenly radically changed
  • The church persecutor, Paul, a Pharisee, was also suddenly and dramatically changed

Next, how do you explain the fact Christianity rapidly expanded in the first century? Eye-witness testimony helps, but it had to be true. Jesus did what He said He would do: suffer for our sins, die, rise from the dead, and provide salvation for those who believe. 

Acts 4:12 states:

“there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

Pope Francis recently said it is not Jesus, but Mary is the bridge joining us to God. This is denying the deity of Jesus Christ. He is the only risen Savior who sits at the right hand of God, and has an unending priesthood according to the Scriptures. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).” And…

“I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”

And… “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for only One Is your Father, He who is in heaven” Matt. 23:9

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave his life as a ransom for all;” 1 Timothy 2:5

The pope has referred to Mary as the “Mother of God” or the “Gate of Heaven.” We can believe the Bible or we can believe a religious leader. God or man?

Jesus said, “heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away.” And…“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” Revelation‬ ‭22:18-19‬ ‭

In my 2017 book, “Redefining Truth,” I expose false religions, cults, and heresy in the last four chapters of the book, and discuss the pope, Mariology, and Roman Catholic Church doctrines added thru the centuries. Nowhere, for example, does Scripture state that in order to keep the church from error, the authority of the apostles was passed on to those they ordained. (ie Peter) To the Church of Rome, Mary has, for centuries, been revered, some would say worshipped. Others would say Mary is an idol–an object of worship and veneration by Catholics. 

This is important because millions do not know the authority and sufficiency of Scriptures nor what the whole Bible teaches about Jesus being God – from Genesis to Revelation and everything in-between. So for the purposes of what we call “Easter,” the focus is on the only Lord and Savior, Jesus. 

Back to prophecy. What are the odds of one man fulfilling predictions made hundreds of years earlier? We tend to forget how many Old Testament prophecies Jesus fulfilled and how miraculous this is in itself. For a quick refresher, here are a handful of them:

  • The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem of a virgin; He will be called Immanuel and live in Nazareth (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:23).
  • He will be a prophet like Moses, enter Jerusalem triumphantly, riding on a donkey (Deuteronomy 18:15; Zechariah 9:9; John 12:12-19).
  • He will be rejected by His own people and betrayed by one of His followers for thirty pieces of silver (Isaiah 53:1-3; John 1:11; Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 26:14-16).
  • The Messiah will be mocked, taunted, spit upon, severely beaten, and flogged (Psalm 22:7-8; Isaiah 50:6; 53:5). This is pretty detailed!
  • He will be tried and condemned to die by crucifixion (Psalm 22:14-16; John 19:15-16).
  • His hands and side will be pierced; His garments will be divided by casting lots, but His bones will not be broken (Zechariah 12:10a; Psalm 22:16-18; 34:20; John 19:36).
  • The Messiah will bear the sins of many and pray for those who kill Him (Isaiah 53:12b). He will suffer with sinners, die with criminals, and He will be buried with/by a rich man (Isaiah 53:12a; Matthew 27:38, 57-60).
  • He will be raised from the dead (Psalm 16:10; 30:3; 1 Corinthians 15:4-8).

Check. Check. Check!

Fulfilled prophecy is more proof of the deity of Christ. Archeological discoveries confirm the reliability of the Bible. But if Jesus was not raised from the dead, then we’re without hope and without God in this world. This life would be as good as it gets.

Fortunately, truth wins, and all the evidence of the resurrection demands a verdict. Anyone living around Jerusalem could have examined the empty tomb for themselves, and thousands probably did go to the tomb of Christ to look for His body.

The Word of God has stood the test of time and as Jesus said, it endures forever.

After thousands of years of attacks, opposition, and scrutiny by critics − warfare that no other work has ever seen − the Bible has withstood the onslaught, has gained credibility, and the Christian faith has continued to thrive throughout the world. No other written work has the power to convict people of their sin, the ability to change human nature, and offers a permanent solution to man’s greatest problem.

Luke declared in Acts 2:36-39,

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all; …as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Do you know Him? This isn’t about religion, it’s about having peace through a relationship with the living God who will one day judge every person, living and dead.

We serve a risen King who is returning soon, as promised, not as a lamb, but as the Lion of Judah worthy of all praise and glory due His name! Trust in Jesus, live for Him and not the things of this world. And fear not!

True, Historical Facts about the Resurrection, Jesus — David Fiorazo

March 31 Evening Verse of The Day

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10:17 God, he is God of the gods and Lord of the lords Israel’s attitude should stem from recognizing that Yahweh elected them out of love (v. 15) and that He is superior over all other gods. The backdrop for this contrast is God’s decision at Babel (see 32:8–9), where He disinherited the nations of the earth and chose Israel alone as His “portion” for inheritance.

the great and mighty God, the awesome one God has shown His elective love for Israel in delivering the Israelites from Egypt and performing other wonders (Exod 12–14; Deut 4:34; 6:22; 7:19).[1]

10:17 Israel’s heart needs correction because (for) God is the awesome God. not partial. See 1:17. The election of Israel (10:15) does not mean God will cut moral corners in showing special favors to Israel. He is a just God (v. 18).[2]

17. For the Lord (Jehovah) your God, &c.i e., He is not merely a local deity, as the heathen regard their guardian divinities; and although, for high and important purposes, He is taking a special interest in the Jewish nation, yet He is the God of all the earth, who, in the exercise of His moral government, knows no national distinctions, and who will not be turned aside from the course of immutable rectitude by any show of liberality or splendour, even in the oblations or the ritual which He has Himself established.[3]

10:17 This verse introduces a description of the greatness of God who is a God of majesty and power. The Hebraic expressions used are superlatives to emphasise the uniqueness of Israel’s God. In Revelation 19:16 Christ is depicted as riding on a white horse and on his robe and his thigh was written: ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords’. Three adjectives are used here of God: ‘great’, ‘mighty’ and ‘awesome’. Together they emphasise his exalted nature, and two of them (‘great and awesome’) have already been used together in 7:21. The word ‘mighty’ has military overtones, as it is used of heroes in battle. It is probably employed here because of the idea of God as the one who fought for Israel and delivered them from the power of Egypt (see 1:29–31). The term is later a fitting expression for the coming messianic king (Isa. 9:6, ‘mighty God’). The two further attributes of God (‘shows no partiality’ and ‘accepts no bribes’) are also the ones which his vice-regents, the kings of Israel, were also expected to display. His earthly representatives were not to be partial in judgment nor able to be ‘bought’ by bribery. These two principles were foundational for justice in Israel.[4]

17. Whereas the first triplet and superlative open with the Lord’s ownership of, and sovereignty over, the highest heavens (v. 14), the second triplet begins with the Lord’s relationship to all other spiritual realities, in language similar to God of gods and Lord of lords (cf. Ps. 136:1–26). In effect, this superlative use of language is really affirming the monotheistic truth expressed about Yahweh at 4:35 (The Lord is God: besides him there is no other; cf. 32:39) and at 6:4 (Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one). In other words, Yahweh is the only supreme God and ruling Lord in heaven and on earth (4:39; cf. 3:24; Ps. 136:2–9, 15–20). Verse 17 then goes on to describe God as great, mighty and awesome, emphasizing his exalted nature. Two of these adjectives (great and awesome) have already been used at 7:21 within a military context. The middle term, mighty (gibbōr), also has military overtones (e.g. Ps. 24:8; Isa. 42:13). But there is a surprising link between these military characteristics and the remaining two moral attributes of God, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes, illustrative of the ideal judge (cf. 1:16–17; 16:19). This link might be a natural consequence of the Lord’s supreme authority over the heavens and the earth (v. 14), in which Yahweh stands as the Judge of all the earth who will always do right (Gen. 18:25; Ps. 146:5–10). At the same time, it might also reflect the ideal of kingship in the Ancient Near Eastern world, in which the king, as the representative of the gods, was responsible for protecting the weak and vulnerable (cf. Ps. 72:1–20; 2 Sam. 14:1–33). But in Deuteronomy, it is Yahweh who initially fulfils this role. In the meantime, the enforcement of Yahweh’s impartiality and the question of bribes are the responsibility of the judges and officials within the law courts (1:16–17; 16:18–20; cf. Exod. 23:3, 6–8).[5]

17. For the Lord your God. Lest they should despise this teaching, he reminds them of God’s awful power; for the cause of contempt and negligence is, that the majesty of God does not always obtain its due reverence. Wherefore he inspires them with fear, to deter them from self-indulgence and indifference.[6]

17. What a sublime representation is here given, in the compass of a short verse, of the greatness of Jehovah. And what a sweet relief is it to the mind of the faithful, when at any time they are overpowered with the greatness of the Godhead, to call to mind that we are not only permitted to look up, but to draw near, through him who is our way, and truth, and life. Blessed Jesus! thou day’s-man of thy people! may I through thee draw near at all times, to a gracious God and Father in Jesus. Eph. 2:18.[7]

10:17 / The second triplet begins with another burst of hymnody, similar in form to verse 14, but with its emphasis not so much on God in relation to the created order (heavens and earth) as on God in relation to all other spiritual realities. God of gods and Lord of lords; like “heavens of heavens” in v. 14, these should be understood as superlative expressions. Yahweh is “the highest God and supreme Lord.” Whatever other spiritual realities exist, they are subject to Yahweh. Again the question of monotheism arises, and again it seems inadequate to say, as some commentators do, that only a relative mono-Yahwism is in view. For the text does not say merely that Yahweh is the only God for Israel (while allowing for the legitimate jurisdiction of other national deities), but affirms that Yahweh is the supreme God over all. Yahweh’s sovereignty is not just covenantal but cosmic. The conviction expressed poetically here seems very similar to the conviction expressed politically (and with scant regard for diplomatic niceties) at the international conference of Middle Eastern states in Jerusalem in ca. 594 bce by Jeremiah (Jer. 27:5ff.). The same truth was acknowledged with surprise by the object of that word, Nebuchadnezzar himself (Dan. 2:47; 4:25, 34f.). Yahweh, the God who owns the world (v. 14), is also the God who runs the world (v. 17).

The affirmation of Yahweh’s universal ownership and universal lordship in vv. 14 and (especially) 17 clearly stakes out the dynamic and polemical claims of Israel’s faith. Israel lived in an ancient Near Eastern macro-culture as religiously plural as any era in which God’s people have had to live. Unless verses such as Deuteronomy 10:14 and 17 are dismissively relativized as cultic hyperbole or as confessionally true only for Israel (not ontologically or definitionally true of ultimate deity), then they clearly stand out against the dominant cultural polytheism and need to be taken seriously. Similarly, and with greater missiological relevance for Christian claims within the modern controversy over religious pluralism, the fact that early Christian worship could apply such language to Jesus (Rev. 17:14; 19:16; cf. 1:18, etc.), shows both the determination of nt Christians to affirm the universal lordship of Christ in ways that clashed with all the religious plurality of their context and also their determination to do so within a consistent framework of scriptural monotheism. They saw no incompatibility, in other words, in including Jesus in the affirmation of Deuteronomy 10:14, 17 (cf. 1 Cor. 8:4–6).

Unlike human lords and so many of the members of ancient Near Eastern pantheons, Yahweh had no favorites and no price (v. 17b). The expression shows no partiality is (lit.) “he does not lift up faces,” i.e., he does not base decisions on selective favoritism. Now this might seem to be in considerable tension with verse 15 until we remember that Deuteronomy has already explicitly excluded the idea that God’s election of Israel was some kind of favoritism (7:7; 9:4f.). Unfortunately, the very notion of divine election is still frequently caricatured and dismissed by Christians as self-selection dressed up as divine will, or, worse, divine favoritism. The statement of God’s love for Israel in verse 15 is bounded by (and so to be understood in relation to) affirmations of God’s ownership of the whole earth (v. 14) on the one side, and of God’s impartiality (v. 17) on the other. It should not be pulled out of that context and defined in a way that denies either of those enveloping truths.[8]


[1] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Dt 10:17). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 348). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] Brown, D., Fausset, A. R., & Jamieson, R. (n.d.). A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments: Genesis–Deuteronomy (Vol. I, p. 647). London; Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company, Limited.

[4] Harman, A. M. (2001). Deuteronomy: The Commands of a Covenant God (pp. 133–134). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications.

[5] Woods, E. J. (2011). Deuteronomy: An Introduction and Commentary. (D. G. Firth, Ed.) (Vol. 5, pp. 173–174). Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

[6] Calvin, J., & Bingham, C. W. (2010). Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Form of a Harmony (Vol. 1, p. 359). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Deuteronomy–2 Samuel (Vol. 2, p. 58). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Wright, C. J. H. (2012). Deuteronomy. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 147–149). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? — THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

One of the main themes that runs through discussions on college campuses and in academia is that faith/theology and science are diametrically opposed to one another. Since science tests the observable, is this the correct way to approach the existence of God?

Science or Scientism: Philosophical Errors and Presuppositions

Science is a method of gaining knowledge of the natural world by inference through observation, experimentation, and making predictions, based upon cause and effect relationships. Scientism is an epistemology (theory of knowledge) which reduces all knowledge to the aforementioned scientific method; this means that the only way to know things are true is through the natural sciences. This approach is illegitimate. That is because it reduces humanity’s knowledge of all of reality to this one area alone, and it argues in a circle. The assertion “All truth claims must be scientifically verifiable” makes a philosophical assumption: the very statement itself is not scientifically verifiable.

What needs to be remembered is that science is dependent upon certain philosophical presuppositions such as:

1. The existence of a theory- independent, external world 2. The orderly nature of the external world 3. The knowability of the external world 4. The existence of truth 5. The laws of logic 6. The reliability of our cognitive and sensory faculties to serve as truth-gatherers and as a source of justified beliefs in our intellectual environment. 7. The adequacy of language to describe the real world 8. The existence of values used in science (e.g., “test theories fairly and report test results honestly”) 9. The uniformity of nature and induction 10. The existence of numbers (1)

Paul Copan says something similar here: 

“ Those who consider science authoritative still assume and appropriate a lot of other philosophical ideas and assumptions—ones that can’t be scientifically proven. Though they don’t always recognize it, scientists will load themselves up philosophically before they engage in their scientific endeavors. So what kinds of philosophical ideas do they take for granted?

Here’s a start:

Realism: The physical, mind-independent world exists and isn’t an illusion, though admittedly some scientists would qualify this.

 Logic: Logical laws should be used to guide scientific work and theorizing. As Dallas Willard noted: “Logical results have a universality and necessity to them

 Math: Mathematics is important for making sense of the natural world and its processes.

 Beauty: Beauty or elegance is a criterion scientists take for granted when assessing scientific theories.

 Mental: The mental is required to understand the physical; without the existence of minds, we wouldn’t be able to understand our world.

Other minds: We can’t prove other minds exist, but we take their existence for granted. Those minds can critically examine and assess the outcomes of scientific studies.

Personal trust: Scientists trust the work of others in the scientific community and build on that research. Reliable reason: The workings of our minds are generally trustworthy and aren’t systematically deceiving us.

Reliable senses: We assume our senses are reliable and not systematically deceiving us.

 Natural laws: We count on the consistent natural laws and uniform workings of natural processes.

Mind-world correspondence: The natural world and its workings are capable of being studied and understood by human minds.

 Inferential knowledge: What we observe in nature can provide clues and indicators of unobservable processes and patterns (e.g., subatomic particles).

 Materialism (for some scientists): Scientism takes for granted the sole reality of the physical realm. But how can one scientifically prove this? This is an unverified philosophical assumption (2) 

A theist asserts that the physical universe is not all there is. There is an infinite, personal God who created it, sustains it and can act within it in a natural and non-natural way. As I can say without hesitation that I am ignorant about many things, I generally find that many people are generally ignorant about the history between theism and science. In the words of physicist Paul Davies, “Science began as an outgrowth of theology, and all scientists, whether atheists or theists…..accept an essentially theological worldview.” (3)

In John Haught’s book Science and Faith: A New Introduction, he says there are three current models about the relationship between faith and science:

1.Conflict Model: Faith is rooted in fantasy, whereas science is based on observable, empirically available data. Faith is highly emotional and subjective, whereas science is dispassionate, impersonal, and objective.

2. Contrast: Science and faith are distinct but no conflict can exist between faith and science since they each respond to radically different questions. There is no real competition between them, so there can be no real conflict.

3. Convergence: Science and faith are distinct because they ask different kinds of questions, but they may still interact fruitfully. Convergence tries to move beyond both conflict and allow for an ongoing conversation between science and faith.

One thing to always ask is the following:

Which of the following branches of science should demonstrate the existence or nonexistence of God?

The natural or physical sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy?

The social sciences, such as linguistics, textual hermeneutics, anthropology, and sociology?

The mathematical and logical sciences such as engineering, computer science, and theoretical math?

Can Science Demonstrate the Supernatural Exists? 

Atheists like to make the assertion, “Science has shown the supernatural does not exist.” Sadly, this displays an ignorance about the limits of science as well as how modern science is defined. Let’s look at a couple of definitions: 

“Science is limited to explaining the natural world by means of natural  processes, it cannot use supernatural causation in its explanations.  similarly, science is precluded from making statements about  supernatural forces because these are outside its provenance.” (4)   

Science the attempted objective study of the natural world/natural phenomena whose theories and explanations do not normally depart from the natural realm.”  (5) 

Or we could say: Science is limited to the following range of concerns:

1. Science only is concerned with the material aspects of the natural world.
2. Science restricts itself to the secondary/natural causes and would forgo consideration of a primary cause (such as a divine/intelligent primary cause) as part of the explanatory structure.
3. Science seeks to reduce the systems observed to their component parts as a way of simplifying observation and explaining the behavior of the higher levels of organization.

So if modern science  is built on methodological naturalism  which says science or history should seek only natural explanations and that attempts to find supernatural causes are ipso facto, not science, how would science be able to demonstrate the supernatural? Supernatural by definition means something that is outside nature, or something that is or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe.  In contrast, metaphysical naturalism starts with the presupposition that all that exists is nature. Presupposing that all that exists is nature and then using methodological naturalism to prove this presupposition is arguing in a circle. In my experience, many atheists confuse metaphysical and methodological naturalism.

Of course, if one wants to use the scientific method to show there is evidence for a Mind behind features of the natural world, you can study the Intelligent Design debate. Steven Meyer just released his latest book on the topic. 

Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe by [Stephen C. Meyer]



Can Nature Explain Nature? 

 In his book Who Made God: Searching For A Theory Of Everything? Edgar Andrews has given us some things to ponder here:

It is important to understand that science can explain nothing except in terms of the laws of nature. Science works by first discovering (by observation) laws that describe the workings of nature and then using this knowledge to seek out further explanations — beginning with hypotheses and then confirming these hypotheses by various tests, the chief of which must always be repeatable experimental verification. To offer a scientific explanation of anything one must always appeal to existing laws (or at very least plausible hypotheses). No laws, no science; it’s as simple as that.

To explain the origin of the universe scientifically, therefore, requires an appeal to laws of nature (established or hypothesized) that pre-existed the universe. But laws of nature are nothing more than descriptions of the way nature operates. No one has ever proposed a law of nature that does not involve existing natural entities, whether they be matter, energy, space-time or mathematical systems. (Note that mathematics are arguably philosophical rather than scientific in character and are only scientifically relevant when applied to natural realities — that is, the world as it exists).

This creates a dilemma; the laws of nature cannot exist without nature itself existing but the origin of nature cannot be explained scientifically without pre-existing laws. The logical conclusion is that science cannot, by its very nature, explain the origin of the universe.

The only alternative is that the laws of nature did pre-exist the universe but existed as a kind of blueprint in some non-material medium such as the “mind of God”.

This is why Physicist Paul Davies, who is not a Christian says the following: 

“Clearly, then, both religion and science are  founded on faith—namely, on belief in the  existence of something outside the universe, like  an unexplained god or an unexplained set of  physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of  universes too. for that reason, both the  monotheistic religion and orthodox science fail  to provide a complete account of physical  existence.” (6) 

Does Science Prove Things with Absolute Certainty?

No, it does not. Here is why: Science relies on inferential reasoning. Inferential reasoning is drawing a conclusion or making a logical judgment based on indirect observation rather than based on direct observation. No scientist observed the start of the universe, or the beginnings of planet earth or how the first cell started. Much of history and science is based making inductive or abductive inferences. The goal is not absolute certainty. Induction is only based on probabilities and is always open to revision.

One Final Note on When Science Masquerades as Philosophy

In Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, he attempts to demonstrate why science is “our exclusive guide to reality.” Here, Rosenberg attempts to provide a neat synopsis of life’s big questions, along with what he considers to be scientifically reliable answers. Here are some of life’s big questions that he thinks science can answer:

Is there a God? No. What is the nature of reality? What physics says it is. What is the purpose of the universe? There is none. What is the meaning of life? Ditto. Why am I here? Just dumb luck . . . Is there free will? Not a chance. What is the difference between right and wrong, good and bad? There is no moral difference between them. Why should I be moral? Because it makes you feel better than being immoral. Is abortion, euthanasia, suicide, paying taxes, foreign aid, or anything else you don’t like forbidden, permissible, or something obligatory? Anything goes. (7) 

Here, Rosenberg makes the assumption that what science reveals to us is all that is real. But as Edward Feser points out, Rosenberg is guilty of a reductionist view of reality. Feser illustrates:

Metal detectors have had far greater success in finding coins and other metallic objects in more places than any other method has.

Therefore, what metal detectors reveal to us (coins and other metallic objects) is probably all that is real. (8) 

Anyone who came to this conclusion about metal detectors should visit a doctor, of course. The point is, Rosenberg and others who follow his lead should allow for additional ways besides science to explain reality along with life’s big questions. Metal detectors will always find metal and science will always find material/physical explanations to reality. We must ask what kinds of questions science can legitimately answer.  Can science answer the “why” questions?  Yes, it is true science can say why the universe exists. In other words, they can say the universe exists because of the Big Bang or some other scientific explanation. But, science is generally restricted to study how the mechanisms work behind several features of the natural or physical world. But once science attempts to answer whether or why the universe and several features of reality may have a deeper purpose, design, or an end goal, it enters the realm of philosophy.

Sources:

1. Moreland, J.P. The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer (Downers Grove ILL: InterVaristy Press, 1994), 16-17.

2. Paul Copan, Loving Wisdom: A Guide to Philosophy and Christian Faith, Kindle Version, 3852 to 3873.

3. Davies, P. Are We Alone? (New York: Basic, 1995), 96.

4. Teaching about evolution and the nature of science,” available at the  national academies of sciences, engineering, medicine (1998),  accessed October 14th, 2017, https://www.nap.edu/read/5787/chapter/11

5. Del Ratzsch, Philosophy of Science (Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 1986), 15.

6. Paul Davies, “Taking science on  faith,” New York times, November 24, 2007,  available at    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/opinion/24da vies.html

7.  Alexander Rosenberg,  A. The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions (New York: W.W. Norton. 2012), 2-3.

8. Feser, E. Five Proofs for The Existence of God (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2017), 28

Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? — THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM

FALSE ASSUMPTIONS – THE CONSEQUENCES OF FALSE TEACHING. — Famine In The Land

By Rick Becker  31 March 2021

We live in an age where the gospel is hardly recognizable in the visible church. The proliferation of false teachers and false doctrines have produced hordes of false converts, and sadly, thousands of ignorant believers who are deceived in certain areas. In this post, we’ll examine a few of the false assumptions held by many in the visible church. The false teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation, Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel have contributed to these false assumptions.

1. The assumption that God exists to change your circumstances, make you happy, and give you your best life now.

This assumption is widespread due to the fact that the good news of the gospel – Christ crucified for our sins ( 1 Cor 15:1-5) has been replaced with “good news” that God is a divine appeaser, dishing out dream destinies to his worthy children.
As a result, many are not convicted of sin, but rather convinced by some ear tickling charlatan that Jesus is a path to success and a pain free existence on earth. This “Jesus” isn’t a saviour, but a life coach, a divine business partner, a romantic heavenly being, a source of power, a means to heal a disease, a path to prosperity.

False teachings like dominion theology and the health and wealth gospel have created the impression that the ultimate Christian life is one devoid of suffering. There’s a formula to ensure all forms of suffering are removed – tithing will solve your financial problems, rebuking the elements will prevent natural disasters, binding the strongman will Christianize cities, infiltrating worldly systems will bring global transformation, social justice will make the world a better place for all, positive declarations and the power of your words will change circumstances, sickness can be rebuked…and so the list goes on. The result is that to a large degree, an individuals circumstances become a spiritual barometer to test their obedience, faith, and general spiritual condition.
These false teachings have appeased a generation of narcissists who view God as a tool to pursue their happiness and goals. Instead of pilgrims and aliens in this world, they live as settlers, determined to experience their best life now. Another factor contributing to the impression that the Christian life is comfortable, is the society and class people find themselves in. The average middle class individual in a developed country assumes that their environment and lifestyle are the very least God guarantees believers. But there are no “normal” or minimal standards guaranteed for the believer. This selfish view completely ignores brothers and sisters in Christ scattered throughout the nations, struggling to get by, persecuted for their faith, uncertain of where their next meal will come from. 

Search the gospels and epistles and try and find earthly guarantees of comfort, you won’t. Real apostles made no demands on God, or expected to have any form of material security in this world: “for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Timothy 6:7-8.
And at times, even these basic needs escaped them: “To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless” 1 Corinthians 4:11.

After feeding the five thousand, the people wanted to make Jesus king as they recognized that he was the prophet Israel had been waiting for, the messiah, the one that would restore their kingdom. But we read – “Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.” John 6:15.
In similar fashion, many assume that Jesus will change their circumstances. In the case above it was the state of their nation, and the general welfare of the population. But Jesus’ mission was spiritual not political. The next day the crowd found Jesus, and his answer to a question they asked is revealing: “When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” John 6:25-26.
The crowds weren’t interested in the messiah who would be pierced for their transgressions or crushed for their iniquities, they wanted a messiah who would free them from the tyranny of Rome and fill their bellies. In other words, a messiah who would meet their needs and make them happy. And so it is today, the crowds want a Jesus that will fill their bellies and solve their nations political crisis. They want a therapeutic gospel.

Sociologist Christian Smith listed five core religious beliefs held by youth in the USA. These beliefs are the fulfilment of 2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
The five core beliefs are:
• A God exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
• God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
• The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
• God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
• Good people go to heaven when they die.
Smith described these beliefs as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.
A therapeutic gospel has become a means to an end – the end being creature comforts and happiness. This is why false teachers and false churches are flourishing – they offer the world what the world is looking for. Their gospel is not a stumbling block to the natural man, it’s a stepping stone to fulfilling one’s desires.
False teachers thrive because they tell people what they want to hear. To meet the desires of a generation in love with self, false teachers offer a therapeutic gospel that tickles the ears of those looking for an excuse for their sin, and and some form of divine intervention that will propel them to success and make them happy. Sinners are not sinners, but victims. Self is elevated instead of crucified.
A plain reading of the gospels will dismiss all the lies propagated by false teachers who promise heaven on earth. Jesus did make promises to those who followed him, but they’re a far cry from what parades as truth in the visible church.
Jesus promised conflict within families (Matthew 10:34-38) persecution (John 15:18-20) tribulation in this world (John 16:33) and taught self denial not self-actualization (Matthew 16:24-26)
Suffering, is part of the Christian life: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” Philippians 1:29.

Contemporary false apostles and prophets create the impression that an “abundant life” (in their eyes this means wealth, health, power, influence) is a sign that they are obedient to God, have sufficient faith, are highly anointed and favoured by God. But consider the glaring contrast Paul presents between himself, and the suave false apostles of Corinth:
“But whatever anyone else dares to boast of – I am speaking as a fool – I also dare to boast of that. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one -I am talking like a madman – with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” 2 Corinthians 11:21-30.

It’s not about our will, our comfort, our desires, our happiness.
Jesus said: “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:38-39.
Paul understood this: “And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20: 22-24.

So does that mean the Christian ought to be a miserable soul full of doom and gloom?
No, happiness is fleeting and dependent on circumstances, Jesus promised something better – joy:
• “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
• “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-3
Happiness fades, joy should not – “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Ultimately, God desire is to conform us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29) This means we will experience various forms of suffering, suffering with a purpose:
“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2-5.

2. The assumption that you will need tools outside of scripture for self discovery, wholeness and an authentic relationship with God and people.

A few of these include Alcoholics Anonymous, inner healing and deliverance ministries such as Sozo ministry, or personality tests such as the Enneagram.What’s wrong with Alcoholics Anonymous you may ask?
This – “We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of the Spirit is BROAD, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men. When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God.”
And this – “In A.A.’s twelve step program, anything and everything—from spirits to inner divinity—can be worshiped as “god.” One of A.A.’s Big Book teachings is that God can only be found within ourselves. A.A.’s belief system by no means requires dealing with sin – or the Savior.”

Strange as it may seem to someInner healing and deliverance ministries are dangerous methodologies. They deny the power of the gospel, the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and employ psychological, new age, and occultic techniques. While they promise freedom and wholeness, they have the opposite effect, and lead people into greater deception. Believers cannot be cursed, have no need to break generational curses, and cannot bind Satan.Sozo is a psychospiritual deliverance and inner healing tool promoted by Bethel church. Sozo uses six tools – Father Ladder • Four Doors •Presenting Jesus •The Wall •Trigger Mechanisms (Advanced Tool) •Divine Editing (Advanced Tool). Obviously, you won’t find any of them in scripture.
For information on Sozo – Victims of Bill Johnson’s SOZO Ministry speak out (includes various links on Sozo.)
Another excellent article on inner healing which explains that “The Bible Teaches the Cleansing of the Conscience, Not Healing of Memories.”

Personality type tests have become popular in recent decades. Tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) claim to identify various personality types, but the identity of believers is found in Christ and the fruits of the Spirit are not dependent on personality types. The Enneagram personality test is popular in visible church. Heretic Richard Rohr has been influential in the spread of the Enneagram, a test that finds its roots in the occult. The following excerpt is a description of Richard Rohr and The Enneagram Secret – a book by Don and Joy Veinot, Marcia Montenegro:
“In Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret, we explore the spiritual infection of those who have embraced Richard Rohr and the Enneagram he has delivered into the church through his disciples. The claims for the Enneagram are simple. Supposedly it is an ancient tool used by some of the Early Church Fathers. It is claimed to be the “face of God” and each Enneagram number is an individual spiritual path to deeper spiritual understanding and fuller self-awareness. But what if this seemingly harmless tool is in fact one of the largest deceptions perpetrated upon the Christian church in recent history?”
Make no mistake, Richard Rohr is NOT a believer, “He denies original sin, the atonement, the exclusivity of Christianity, and he has an unorthodox understanding of heaven and hell, and the literal second coming of Christ. Rohr’s views stand in stark contrast to the historic Christian view of the gospel.”

Anyone caught up in these methodologies has opened a door to deception. When we examine the beliefs of they founders of  AA or the Enneagram for example, we find that what they believed contradicts scripture. Their god is not the God of scripture. Sin does not come into their equation, and so any solution or analysis of personality ignores the biggest problem of all – sin and separation from God. They focus on self esteem, self love and ignore self denial. The knowledge we need to find wholeness is found in scripture: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Finally, a passage of scripture that dispels the need to find healing, deliverance, or gain wisdom in the methodologies listed above:
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.” 2 Peter 1:3-9.

3. The assumption that the world will love you.

If any contemporary false movement has propagated this lie, it’s the New Apostolic Reformation.
The belief that Christians will shape culture, and gradually transform this world into some kind of Christian utopia is the very antithesis of what Jesus said – “My kingdom is not of this world.” John 18:36.
In the NAR, one aspect of “bringing heaven to earth” involves believers finding innovative solutions to the worlds problems because they “have the mind of Christ.” Supposedly this will garner respect and admiration from the world. The early church missed this heavenly mandate to impress their generation by failing to come up with innovative solutions by designing superior aqueducts, streamlined chariots, or more effective fishing nets. A believer with a Nobel Prize winning invention will still offend the world when the truth is proclaimed.
Believers should expect persecution, not praise from the world: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” John 15:18-20.

Contrary to contemporary smooth talking false apostles who exude self confidence and live like celebrities, true apostles were the scourge of society: “We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.” 1 Corinthians 4:13.
And actually pointed to their hardships and sufferings as signs that they were servants of God. (2 Corinthians 6:3-10; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33) 
Anyone with a basic knowledge of current events in the world, should know that the days of being able to blend comfortably in with worldly systems and secular environments are coming to an end. Under the guise of “inclusivism,” reason and science are abandoned in order to legitimize disorders and pursue “pleasures” that God calls sin. Good will be called evil, and evil called good. Who could have imagined that by using an accurate gender pronoun you can end up in prison? Wokeness, Intersectionality, Social justice, Feminism, Critical Race Theory, and who knows what new theory will come into vogue down the line, have already captivated many in the visible church. It’s inevitable that believers are going to become the pariahs of society – “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9.
The only way the world will admire the church, is when the church looks like the world. This is why Progressive Christianity will no doubt become increasingly popular in the visible church. The article 5 Signs Your Church Might be Heading Towards Progressive Christianity identifies certain comments you may hear in Progressive circles. It’s not difficult to see why the world would be attracted to Progressive “churches.” No doubt we’ve all heard a few of the comments listed in the article:
• God wouldn’t punish sinners—He is love….
• Sure, the Bible is authoritative—but we’ve misunderstood it for the first 2,000 years of church history…
• It’s not our job to talk to anyone about sin—it’s our job to just love them….
• The Bible “contains” the word of God…
• I just can’t believe Jesus would send good people to hell….
• God didn’t actually require a sacrifice for our sins—the first Christians picked up on the pagan practice of animal sacrifice and told the Jesus story in similar terms….
• We don’t really need to preach the gospel—we just need to show love by bringing justice to the oppressed and provision to the needy…

If you are friends with this world, you’re an enemy of God: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4-5.

4. The assumption that you need to learn how to hear God’s voice.

How to hear the voice of God is a topic that most believers will encounter at some stage. For those who are caught up in the New Apostolic Reformation or certain Charismatic churches, hearing the voice of God will become a lifelong exercise. It’s a case of God depositing whispers in your mind with the hope that you will get the message. The irony is that the well known teachers who peddle their books and courses on the subject, clearly have not heard the voice of God. How do I know this? Well, because of their unbiblical teachings, tall stories, and inaccurate words from God. God gave us his infallible word, he didn’t place the burden on his followers to decipher the voices in their minds in order to receive information. If we need to “hear the voice of God,” we must conclude that what he has already said in his word is insufficient. Furthermore, if we need to master hearing his voice, then God is taking a risk by has placing his children in a high risk zone, a zone where many are caught up in mysticism and various forms of deception. The scriptures contain sufficient information, not only for salvation, but for a complete life in Christ: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

Typically, folk are taught to practice hearing from God during their “quiet time.” This involves listening, or even writing down the thoughts in your mind (a form of channeling), and then try and determine which voice is yours, and which voice is God’s. It’s a hit and miss affair, often with disastrous consequences when people obey the “voice” they heard supposing that it was God speaking to them.
But what about the still small voice?
A popular proof text for hearing the voice of God is found in 1 Kings 19. Elijah has fled from Jezebel, and is in a cave on Mt Horeb. God asked Elijah what he was doing there, and then instructed Elijah to stand on the mount. The elements of nature raged, but God was not in them. It’s at this point that Elijah hears something. We’ll read verse 12 from the King James Version:
“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
The Hebrew word translated as “voice” in the King James is קוֹל (qol) which means sound or voice. This is why some translations differ from the KJV: “the sound of a low whisper” (ESV) “a sound of a gentle blowing” (NASB)
We note that Elijah heard something – an external sound or voice. He did not have an inner impression or have to dissect the voices in his mind to determine what God was saying. Elijah heard something audible, and reacted accordingly: “And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:13
Whenever God spoke to Elijah, the message was audible and clear (see verses 9 & 11) unlike the idea that we need to “practice hearing the voice of God” – “practice” because we have to decide which voice in our mind is from God.

The transition from “what is God saying” to “what has God said” is not only liberating, it’s acknowledging an omnipotent God who can number the hairs on your head and is quite capable of ordering your steps. You wont find a passage of scripture detailing God’s struggle to get his voice heard. You will find many describing people’s disobedience to what God has spoken. Don’t be dismayed, God has not left us with a mere book to get by, that’s a false assumption in itself, imagining that the word of God is comparable to a novel or history book. It’s not – “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
So what do we do in certain situations where we’ve been taught to “hear the voice of God.” Instead of trying to unscramble the voices in our head or look for someone to give us a “prophetic word,” we go the the infallible prophetic word of God, and follow his instructions:
• We pray – “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6.
• We ask God for wisdom – “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5.
• We trust in the providence of God – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (See also James 4:13-15)
• We study and obey the scriptures. (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
• We trust the Holy Spirit to guide us – every believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. He reminds us of scripture, illuminates the scriptures to us, and at times will prompt us.

5. The assumption that you need some sort of encounter with God.

The outlandish lies being told from NAR stages and on platforms like the Sid Roth show have deceived many gullible and biblically ignorant individuals into believing that supernatural encounters are part and parcel of the normal Christian experience. An “encounter” (encounter is a common NAR buzzword) with God is a must on your spiritual CV if you want any sort of recognition or acceptance in New Apostolic Reformation circles. What it means is that you have had some sort of experience in this experience driven movement. It could mean you have a mind image, heat sensation, vision, angelic visitation, goosebumps, or the really impressive experience of visiting the throne room of God in heaven. These are all subjective claims, impossible to test – apart from the false doctrine spewed by those who boast of their encounters. In other words, anyone can claim to have had an encounter with God.

It’s a subtle start, but many are being conditioned to “feel” the presence of God in the average Charismatic type church service. No doubt, you will have heard the phrase “God’s presence is in this place” or something similar. This is usually during “worship” and you may wonder why you’re not feeling or sensing anything, unlike the enraptured folk around you who seem to be “touched by God.” This phrase, a deliberate suggestion, is employed to create the right atmosphere and expectation. It’s a great tool to bypass the mind, create the impression that God is pleased with what’s taking place, and that the message that follows is equally pleasing in his sight. While there may be times that we become acutely aware of God, or the Holy Spirit is working in us in a way that our emotions are responding, we are not instructed to seek experiences or assume that God is at work simply because we are feeling or reacting in a certain manner. 

6. The assumption that you should be walking in the supernatural.

You could read the entire bible within a week. You would read many accounts of miracles, signs and wonders, and might think that they are normative. Anyone coming to that conclusion has failed to realize that:
• The scriptures span a period of approximately 4000 years.
• There were centuries that went by during this time, without any miracles.
• The number of people who performed miracles could fit in a small church building.
• The major reason for signs and wonders in the New Testament has been fulfilled – to authenticate the message and ministry of the apostles (2 Cor 12:12) and the ministry and identity of the messiah (John 10:36-39)

This assumption is fueled by the false teaching that Jesus came to model a supernatural lifestyle. This teaching places the emphasis on Christ’s humanity, to the extent that it completely ignores his divinity. The belief is that we are able to emulate the works of Christ because Jesus performed his miracles as a “man in right relationship with God.” In other words it places Christ on the same level as any other biblical figure that God used to perform miracles. It’s a denial of Jesus as the God-Man, it’s a heresy known as Kenoticism…. it’s a “different Jesus.”

But what about John 14:12: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”
It’s a false assumption that these “greater works” are miracles. Who could surpass the miracle of walking on water, feeding five thousand with five loaves and two fish, raising a four day old corpse from the grave, and raising yourself from the grave in union with God the father and the Holy Spirit? Clearly the “greater works” is not referring to the miraculous. So what does the verse mean? It means that the church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, would spread the gospel throughout the earth until Christ returns. The impact of the filling of the Holy Spirit was immediate – three thousand were saved on the day of Pentecost. Even by today’s standards, that’s a big number. The bible says they were saved, these were not people who had been hyped up and prayed a quick sinners prayer, they were genuinely born again without any special effects, fancy sound systems, or an ear tickling message.
One of the motivating factors of the “supernatural lifestyle” philosophy, is the belief that the unconverted need to experience some kind of sign or miracle in order to believe. “We owe the world and encounter with God” is not a verse in the bible, but the imagination of NAR “apostles” and “prophets.” What the world needs is an encounter with the gospel, with the words of true prophets and apostles recorded in scripture. The rich man made the same mistake as those who teach a supernatural lifestyle is necessary for successful evangelism by assuming that a supernatural encounter would save his family. He asked Abraham to send Lazarus the beggar back to earth to warn his brothers, Abraham’s reply should serve as a warning to NARites: “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:29-31.
This is our task, proclaim the message, not perform miracles:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” Romans 1:16.
“For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” 1 Cor 1:22-23.

7. The assumption that you are saved. 

This is the most dangerous assumption, because an eternal destination – heaven or hell, is at stake. It behoves us to take this assumption seriously, and make sure we have not been deceived: “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” 2 Corinthians 11:4.
The city of Corinth was steeped in immorality and idolatry – picture of contemporary society. In similar fashion, the church in Corinth is a picture of sections of the contemporary church – abuse of the gifts, immoral behaviour, disunity, various factions, and false apostles. It was to this church, that Paul wrote the following: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5.

It comes as no surprise that the scripture’s description of those who had this false assumption that they were saved, is strikingly similar to those caught up in the NAR and Charismania: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23.

Like Bethel church and other NAR false churches, these workers of lawlessness boasted in their supernatural works. Many, not few, but many who claim to have had some encounter with God, walk in the supernatural, and exercise the gifts, are “workers of lawlessness.” They will have a form of godliness, seem radical and passionate for God, some will be eloquent speakers with large and popular ministries. They will speak of revival, boast of their supernatural experiences and exploits, tell stories about the salvations and miracles in their midst. But one dreadful day, when it’s too late to repent they will hear these words: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

A factor that has led to this false assumption is a “different gospel,” – as we have seen it’s a therapeutic gospel. A false gospel that “calls out the gold in sinners” instead of proclaiming repentance. A false gospel that has made the “good news” about earthly comforts and benefits . A false gospel that offers superpowers and the ability to perform miracles.
When the crowds gathered on the day of Pentecost as the disciples were speaking in various languages, Peter took the opportunity to preach: “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:36-38.
That right there, is the good news, the only benefit sinners should be seeking – the forgiveness of sin. Peter didn’t offer an amazing dream destiny to the hearers, he proclaimed the gospel. The result being the conviction of sin, which Jesus promised is a work of the Holy Spirit: “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16:8.
False converts are distraught because of their circumstances, not their condition: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:1-3.
They have been lured to “come to Christ” with the belief that he will
• solve their financial crisis.
• heal their disease.
• restore their marriage.
• help them achieve their dreams.
That’s not to say God is not involved in these areas, but that’s not why people should repent. We repent because of conviction of sin, because we are alienated from God, under his wrath, and deserve eternal punishment.

Have your eyes been opened to the lies of “prophets” and “apostles” who promise a breakthrough that never materializes, a healing that never occurs, a better city, nation, and world despite the obvious increase in wickedness?
Have you fallen for the lies that say if you just do this course, or receive that impartation, or experience some manifestation your life will change?
Examine yourself, are you a believer but caught up in various false teachings? Do you assume you’re a believer because of experiences you’ve had or because of your “supernatural” works?

Do you believe God is indebted to you, that he will make your dreams come true and that you deserve a comfortable life on earth?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe that tithing will make you rich?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe all suffering is due to generational curses, demons, disobedience, lack of faith?
Examine yourself.
Did you repent in order to experience a better life now?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe that you deserve heaven, or have in any way contributed to your salvation? 
Examine yourself.
Do you believe you were inherently good before salvation, and sinless since your salvation?
Examine yourself.
Are you trusting in tools outside of scripture for self discovery, wholeness and an authentic relationship with God and people?
Examine yourself.
Are you friends with this world, do you believe your mission is to be a cultural architect and transform this world?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe in a world wide revival that will create a Christian utopia on earth?
Examine yourself.
Have you been taught to listen to a still small voice that brings new revelation and contradicts scripture?
Examine yourself.
Are you seeking out “prophets,” or trusting in those amazing prophetic words over your life that promise you success in this world or a powerful ministry?
Examine yourself.
Are you desperate to experience the supernatural, are you pursuing “presence” or chasing after a manifestation or encounter with God?
Examine yourself.
Are you practising words of knowledge and prophetic words on your mission to eventually perform greater miracles than Christ?
Examine yourself.
Do you believe your “supernatural lifestyle” is evidence of your salvation?
Examine yourself.

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:14

FALSE ASSUMPTIONS – THE CONSEQUENCES OF FALSE TEACHING. — Famine In The Land

March 31 Afternoon Quotes of The Day

“If It Were the Last Hour of My Life”
Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5

Resolved, Never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

JONATHAN EDWARDS

Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Francis of Assisi’s Devotion to the Crucified Christ
1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 2:19–20; 6:14

Christ Jesus crucified was laid, as a bundle of myrrh, in his heart’s bosom, and he yearned to be utterly transformed into Him by the fire of his exceeding love.

BONAVENTURE

Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Biden Proposes Some Kind Of Mark Or Patch To Identify Those Who Aren’t Vaccinated — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The media is praising Biden’s great idea for vaccine passports as “much-needed positive reinforcement” to encourage people to get vaccinated. There are some, however, who believe that some stronger negative reinforcement is needed for people who refuse the vaccine. To address this, the administration is also proposing some kind of mark or patch to identify the unvaccinated. 

“Listen folks, here’s the deal…” said Biden before losing his thought and falling asleep.

Vice President Harris took over. “We need to make all the unvaccinated peasants wear big yellow patches so everyone will know they’re one of the undesirables,” she said. “We will make them second-class citizens, and thoroughly shame them until their spirits are completely broken! HAHAHAHA HE HE HE HE!” 

Dr, Fauci weighed in, saying patches are a “good idea,” and that maybe 4 or 5 patches would be even better. “If you have 4 or 5 patches, it will make your icky unvaccinated self more visible to passers-by. That’s according to all the latest science that I just did in my head just now.” 

The Biden administration assured the public this idea has absolutely no downsides they can think of. In a statement to the press, they said: “There’s literally zero chance this can lead to anything bad down the road.” 

Biden Proposes Some Kind Of Mark Or Patch To Identify Those Who Aren’t Vaccinated — The Babylon Bee

The Vaccine Passport Propaganda Template | Global Research

With reports that President Joe Biden’s administration is planning for imposing a vaccine passport mandate in America, expect to see in the media a deluge of vaccine passport propaganda. What will that propaganda look like? A template illustrating several elements you can expect to see in the propaganda push was provided several weeks ago in a CNN interview.

In the first week of March, host Fareed Zakaria and his guest Arthur Caplan provided at CNN a textbook example of how to present vaccine passport propaganda to the American people. Let’s look at some of the major elements of the propaganda template as demonstrated by Zakaria and Caplan.

1) Include some short expression that the idea of vaccine passports can be troubling, but make sure to only bring this up superficially. This is accomplished in the CNN segment by starting with a clip from a short scene from the movie Casablanca. In the clip, a policeman asks to see a man’s “papers,” the man says he does not have them, and the policeman responds, “in that case we’ll have to ask you to come along.” Not shown is the remainder of the scene in which the accosted man, after presenting apparently expired papers, attempts to flee only to be gunned down. Not showing the full scene demonstrates the care demanded in the propaganda to not allow any depiction of potential dire consequences from imposing vaccine passports.

2) Frame the imposing of a vaccine passport mandate as something that is both inevitable and threatens only minimal, if any, harm. Zakaria accomplishes this task with the first sentence he utters to begin the media segment. Zakaria states: “From Casablanca to today, a demand to produce personal documents can be uncomfortable, but, post-pandemic, it’s something we’ll all likely have to get more and more comfortable with.” Masterfully, Zakaria, in addition to minimizing the problems with passports as just causing discomfort, asserts that even that discomfort with time will disappear, suggesting objecting to vaccine passports is just an irrational or silly reaction.

3) Bring on a guest who, despite his description making him sound like someone who would be looking out for the interests of people concerned about vaccine passports, pretty much says that vaccine passports are the best thing since sliced bread. In the CNN interview the guest performing this role is Arthur Caplan, who Zakaria introduces as a “medical ethicist” and “professor at NYU.” A medical ethicist will surely provide some warning about dangers from vaccine passports, right? Yes, in many cases. But, Caplan is not that sort of medical ethicists. He is the one picked to be interviewed in a media segment designed to promote acceptance of vaccine passports.

4) Reiterate that vaccine passports are inevitable, and that people should support them. Zakaria hits the nail on the head with this, presenting this first question to his guest: “So explain why you think, basically, that this is the future and we should be comfortable with it.”

5) Declare that vaccine passports must be imposed on the American people because of coronavirus. Caplan accomplishes this task in his first words in the media segment. He states: “Well, I’m sure that the future holds vaccine passports for us, partly to protect against the spread of Covid.” Of course, as coronavirus has turned out not to be a major danger to most people, imposing a vaccine passport mandate to counter it makes no more sense than doing it to counter any other of many diseases. But, this is not a topic to be brought up when selling people on vaccine passports. Fearmongering, no matter how ridiculously unjustified, is the name of the game. This is the fraudulent message people are encouraged to act on without much critical thought: Coronavirus is gonna kill us all unless we take the shots and show our papers!

6) Say that mandating vaccine passports is really no big deal because of some other supposedly very similar restriction to which some people are already subjected. Caplan states: “And, you know, it’s not a new idea, we have it for yellow fever; there are about more than a dozen countries that say you can’t come in if you haven’t been vaccinated against yellow fever, and many others require you to show proof of vaccination if you transit through those countries.” Are the yellow fever-related requirements justified? Caplan does not say more than that, because these somewhat similar restrictions exist someplace, the mandating of vaccine passports in America is fine. That’s medical ethicist reasoning? Anyway, the yellow fever stuff, because most Americans have no experience with or knowledge of it, is a fine example for the propaganda. Few watchers of the segment will have any basis for questioning the current practice that is used to justify the new desired mandate. One big difference, though, jumps out on further consideration. Caplan explains that the yellow fever requirements apply for just coming to several countries. In contrast, Zakaria early in the interview says the vaccine passports that will, he claims, inevitably be imposed on Americans will be required for people “to get on an airplane, to go to a concert, or to go back to work.” The vaccine passport mandate is, thus, much more troublesome for most Americans than yellow-fever-related requirements for entry into a few countries that most Americans never visit. But, the point is to quickly present the example as if it provides conclusive support no matter how far that representation is from the truth.

7) Dismiss as insignificant people’s concerns about being required, in order to go about their daily activities, to present a vaccine passport and to take a vaccine, or, really, an experimental coronavirus vaccine that is not even a vaccine under the normal meaning of the term. Assert instead that the only danger to freedom could be something theoretical that could be additionally required in the future. Here is how Zakaria puts it in a question to Caplan: “What about the concerns that many people have about privacy, about the privacy of their health data, that, you know, is there a slippery slope here — ‘OK, I’m comfortable telling you whether or not I have Covid, but does that mean it becomes OK to ask about other things?’” Of course, many people are justifiably wary of being pressured to take the shots and then having their mandated vaccine passport used to track them as they go about their daily activities. That is why this media segment and others like it are being presented, after all.

8) Dismiss any concern that vaccine passports can in fact harm freedom. Instead, describe people as benefiting from and gaining freedom by their being mandated to take experimental coronavirus vaccines and present vaccination passports in order to go about their daily activities. Oh yeah, and keep quiet about all the mass surveillance facilitated by a vaccine passport program, the vaccinations-based caste system resulting from the mandate that will make people who do not take the shots suffer, and how the vaccine passport program can be expanded to advance many additional types of control over people. Here is how Caplan puts it: “With a Covid certification, you’re going to gain freedom, you’re going to gain mobility, and I’m going to suggest that you’re probably going to be able to get certain jobs.” Talk about turning things on their head. The mandate really means that people who do not comply will be barred from the mobility they already have and fired from their jobs. Freedom is supported by rejecting the mandate, not by supporting it.

9) Insist that the vaccine passport mandate is fine because it will be applied equally to all people. This is something Zakaria and Caplan spend a long time talking about in the CNN segment. Come on guys, something bad does not become good because it is applied to the maximum number of people, irrespective of their race, sex, or whatever. We are dealing with a mandate here, not giving everyone a serving of his favorite dessert.

10) Declare that a vaccine passport mandate helps encourage people to take the shots. (Unlike the other nine elements of the vaccine passport mandate propaganda template, this one is likely true. Threats can yield compliance. Still, the threats could deter some people from taking the experimental coronavirus vaccine shots. It sure makes you wonder about shots’ supposed safety when an extreme, and unprecedented, act of force is employed to ensure people take the shots.) States Caplan in the interview: “It also gives you an incentive to overcome vaccine hesitancy. Some people are not sure still whether they want to do the vaccine, but if you promise them more mobility, more ability to get a job, more ability to get travel, that’s a very powerful incentive to actually achieve fuller vaccination.” What Caplan is really talking about is coercion. He is saying that people who would otherwise refuse taking the shots will be forced to do so by the vaccine passport mandate severely restricting their activities and even depriving them of the ability to earn an income so long as they do not give in to the demand they take the shots. All this authoritarianism is dressed up in deceptive language. “Vaccine hesitancy” is substituted for “vaccine refusal” to disguise that the vaccine passport mandate is about stopping people from exercising free choice. “Incentive” is substituted for “coercive technique.”

Watch Zakaria and Caplan’s interview here:

Hopefully, many people will see through the deception and be able to prevent the implementation of the vaccine passport mandate Zakaria, Caplan, and others are promoting in the media.

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Featured image is from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Source: The Vaccine Passport Propaganda Template

Infant Tossed into Rio Grande by Human Smugglers Rescued by Texas Rangers

A Texas Ranger worked with U.S. Border Patrol agents to rescue a six-month-old migrant girl after human smugglers threw her into the Rio Grande near Roma, Texas. The infant’s mother had reportedly been assaulted by the smugglers in Mexico and sustained a broken leg.

Source: Infant Tossed into Rio Grande by Human Smugglers Rescued by Texas Rangers

Almost $12,000 A Month For A Hotel Room For One Illegal Immigrant | LifeZette

The Biden administration is paying almost $12,000 a month for one hotel room for a single illegal immigrant, $71,000 per person per family over six months. That’s your money they are spending while Americans go homeless in the streets.

 

FNC: “Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn is demanding answers from the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tuesday over the $86.9 million the agencies are spending to house more than 1,200 migrant families in hotel rooms. The Biden administration, earlier this month, awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors for hotel rooms near the border to provide temporary shelter and processing services for families who have been expelled from the United States but have been placed in immigration proceedings for their removal.

“The number of migrant children in federal custody has surged past 4,000, with roughly 94% of beds for migrant children occupied, sources told Fox News, while adding that migrant children are entering federal custody faster than they are leaving, creating a backlog. Customs and Border Protection announced that the agency encountered 100,441 individuals in February, a 28% increase over January, the agency said. Of those, 19,246 individuals were in family units, 9,457 were unaccompanied children and 71,598 were single adults.”

Blackburn commented that in 2018, Endeavors brought in “over $38 million in contributions and grants,” and found that “IRS filings show that nearly $22 million or almost half of those contributions went to salaries.” Yup, a nonprofit scam that uses a bleeding heart pitch to line their own pockets.

“This raises questions if half of the $86.9 million in ICE contract proceeds will likewise be allocated toward employee and executive compensation instead of migrant services or housing. As the current contract stands, the cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” Blackburn wrote. “For a family of four, that amounts to a shocking $284,000 — enough to buy a small house.” Does your family get that perk from the feds? Do you get almost $12,000 a month for hotel rooms? Illegal immigrants do and under this administration will continue to receive that and more.

“It is unclear whether this nonprofit has ever previously managed a contract of this magnitude, housed a migrant population of this size or served vulnerable children without putting them at further risk,” Blackburn wrote. Oh lovely, they likely aren’t even qualified. This is the Biden administration making their friends rich and housing illegal immigrants in hotels, while many Americans struggle to make ends meet. And it’s going to get worse.

This piece was written by David Kamioner on March 31, 2021. It originally appeared in DrewBerquist.com and is used by permission.

Read more at DrewBerquist.com:
Ted Cruz and Republicans Report From Border, Crisis Announced
GOP Rep. Donalds Slams Biden On Race
Fox News Confront Press Secretary On Being Snubbed At Biden’s Press Conference

Source: Almost $12,000 A Month For A Hotel Room For One Illegal Immigrant

Johns Hopkins doctor defies Fauci, says ‘herd immunity is likely close at hand’

Dr. Marty Makary has criticized Fauci’s broad influence in forwarding a ‘vaccination-only path’ to herd immunity, saying it is not ‘healthy for a small group of people to be making all the public health recommendations. It’s good to have multiple voices.’

Source: Johns Hopkins doctor defies Fauci, says ‘herd immunity is likely close at hand’

Facebook Scrubs Trump Interview With Daughter-In-Law, Threatens New Restrictions | ZeroHedge News

Update (1400ET): Shares of Twitter are paring earlier gains on Wednesday following a Fox News report that President Trump is moving ahead with his plans to launch a rival social media network.

    • TWITTER SELLING OFF TRUMP MOVING AHEAD ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN

* * *

The list of respectable liberals and progressives who have urged social media giants like Facebook and Twitter to abandon their prohibition of President Trump includes Bill Gates and Bernie Sanders.

Yet, instead of letting up, social media companies – goaded by Democratic lawmakers during the latest in a series of tedious hearings about “hate speech” (aka speech that liberals find politically unpalatable) – are doubling down.

Fox & Friends on Wednesday slammed Facebook after the company removed an interview with Lara Trump and the former president from Facebook and Instagram. Lara Trump, who just joined Fox News as a paid contributor, posted the conversation with her father-in-law to her social media accounts, only to see it abruptly scrubbed due to the ban on content from the president.

F&F host Brian Kilmeade seethed over the removal: “That’s unbelievable,” Brian Kilmeade said. “Do you realize he is the former president of the United States? You do an interview with him, and it’s not worthy? It’s not allowed to be on your page? That is incredible.”

His co-host, Ainsley Earhardt, took the complaints a step further: “if they can pack the courts, make D.C. and Puerto Rico a state, if they can get all of these illegal immigrants to come in, then they are hoping they will vote for them eventually.”

“They can cancel Donald Trump on social media, so that he can’t have a platform and he can’t speak,” she continued. “If they can bash our network, then they are on their way to controlling our country. And it’s a scary time. It’s a very scary time, and what is this gonna look like for our kids?”

According to media reports, none of this should have come as a surprise: Trump officials were recently sent an email from a Facebook employee, warning that any content posted on Facebook and Instagram “in the voice of President Trump is not currently allowed on our platforms (including new posts with President Trump speaking).”

Here’s more on that from Fox News:

A group of Trump officials were sent an email from a Facebook employee, warning that any content posted on Facebook and Instagram “in the voice of President Trump is not currently allowed on our platforms (including new posts with President Trump speaking)” and warned that it “will be removed if posted, resulting in additional limitations on accounts that posted it.”

“This guidance applies to all campaign accounts and Pages, including Team Trump, other campaign messaging vehicles on our platforms, and former surrogates,” the email, posted on Instagram by Trump’s son, Eric Trump, stated.

Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley warned in a blog post that FB’s censorship of Trump is “an obvious attack on free speech, including political speech”. He then offered up this comical scenario to illustrate just how outrageous the ban on Trump can be: “Notably, he could be talking about the Yankees but the posting would be censored because the team was discussed in the voice of Donald Trump. It is not his view but Trump himself that is being canceled by the company. However, presumably, Lara Trump could sit next to Trump and have him whisper his views into her ear. She could then give his views in the voice of Lara rather than Donald Trump.”

Turley then pointed to an exchange between two Democratic senators and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to further illustrate his point. At one point, Dem Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked the CEOS “will you commit to the same kind of robust content modification playbook in this coming election, including fact checking, labeling, reducing the spread of misinformation, and other steps, even for politicians in the runoff elections ahead?”

The phrase “robust content modification” might have a certain appeal at a surface level, but beyond that, it’s clear what’s really going on: “It is censorship. If our representatives are going to crackdown on free speech, they should admit to being advocates for censorship.”

All of this should have implications for tech companies and protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act – protections that President Trump sought (unsuccessfully) to remove.

“Big Tech once fashioned itself as the equivalent of the telephone company, and thus sought protections as neutral suppliers of communication forums allowing people to voluntarily associate and interact. It then started to engage in expanding, conflicting acts of censorship. Yet, it still wants to remain protected as if it were neutral despite actively modifying content. We would never tolerate a telephone company operator cutting into a call to say the company did not approve of a statement that was just made, or cutting the line for those who did not voice approved positions.”

Just some food for thought…

Trump was banned from Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms after the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots.

Source: Facebook Scrubs Trump Interview With Daughter-In-Law, Threatens New Restrictions

The European Union, Turkey and Russia are all setting the stage for Bible Prophecy to be fulfilled — VCY America

Listen to Today’s Program 

JD: The European Union leaders will discuss relationships with Turkey.JR: The EU leaders are responding to Turkey’s movements towards a more normalized relations. Turkey had created an enormous amount of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean with Greece and Cyprus. Now its the friendly time to see how to make some progress but it appears Turkey is a winner in a lot of this so the EU is very concerned. Turkey is a very powerful country and is going to be exercising their influence in the European Union area more and more. JD: And at the same time the Foreign Minister of Russia making the statement that Moscow really has no relationship with the European Union.JR: Yes that’s how Russia sees it. The Russian Foreign Minister has come out with some very very strong statements when he was speaking with his Chinese counter part saying there’s no relations with the EU as an organization and this has been destroyed by unravel decisions from Brussels. The EU has been breaking off relations with Moscow for years and they don’t want to be isolated but by imposing sanctions and creating quite a tension there. So the Russian Foreign Minister is being quite vocal about the ineffectiveness of the European Union and showing their strength with China and of course Russia and China are both a concern for the European Union.JD: John Rood explaining how Russia, Turkey, and the European Union are setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.We report this information because it is setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.Russia, Turkey, and the European Union all have a place in the prophetic scenario that is found in Bible prophecy. Russia and Turkey are both members of an alignment of nations that come to destroy the Jewish state of Israel in the first half of the seven year Tribulation period, that’s Ezekiel 38. The European Union today will become the Revived Roman Empire, Daniel 7, who will come to power after Russia and the Islamic states are defeated by God, Ezekiel 38:18-39:6. God is moving these players onto the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

The European Union, Turkey and Russia are all setting the stage for Bible Prophecy to be fulfilled — VCY America