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Friday, April 18, 2014

What wolves?

Posted by Gary on March 22, 2014

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

When one surveys the landscape of American Christianity today primarily through discussion and comments on social media, one is left wondering if anyone believes the warning Jesus gave us in Matthew 7:15. You can sample such a discussion on Dan Gaffney’s Facebook page here.

What Jesus intended us to hear cannot be mistaken. As always, Jesus speaks clearly and frankly. Jesus has warned us that that there are false prophets and that these prophets are wolves (who by the way, eat sheep). So deceptive are these false prophets, they actually appear to be one of the sheep they are determined to devour.

If we took Jesus seriously, we would weigh carefully the teaching and example of every person who claims to be Christ’s messenger using the infallible measuring rod for such examination, the Word of God.

But what we find increasingly is that people, yes, I am afraid many Christians included, have no willingness or intention of examining, weighing and passing judgment on those who seek to influence the destiny of their eternal soul or the souls of  others.

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Put these on…Psalm 2 and understanding the world

Posted by Gary on February 27, 2012

imagePsalm 2 “Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

“I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”

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If you are like me, you look at the world everyday and are very concerned. Everyday more and more of our freedoms are taken away and the United States government is increasingly hostile toward Christians.

We are killing our offspring and government is encouraging us to do so. Sodomy is fully out of the closet and now in the military and those of us who insist that a man lying with a man is a sin against God are labeled as hateful and bigoted. It will not be long and pastors will be told that they cannot preach the Word of God in regard to the sins our government loves. Mark it, days of persecution are drawing near.

Why are these things happening? I’m sure you’ve wondered. Can I ask what answer you have arrived at? Your estimation of what is happening in the world is determined all-together by the lenses through which you look…

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Thank you, brother Martin

Posted by Gary on September 14, 2011

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith…”

Words from Martin Luther’s Table Talk I read today. Read them. Ponder them. Believe them. Act on them.

When that envious, poisoned spirit, the devil, plagues and torments us, as is his custom, and speaks to us of our sins, intending to lead us into despair, we must meet him in this manner: “You deceitful and wicked spirit! How dare you presume to persuade me to such things? Do you not know that Christ Jesus, my Lord and Savior, who crushed your head, has forbidden me to believe you, yes, even when you speak the truth, He says that you are a murderer, a liar, and the father, of lies!

I will not believe that I am your captive or shall be condemned to everlasting death and hellish torments, by reason of my sins, as you falsely suggest. But you on the contrary, long ago, through Christ my Savior were stripped, judged, and with everlasting bonds and chains of darkness, bound, cast down, and delivered to hell, reserved to the judgment of the great day, and finally, with all the ungodly, will be thrown into the bottomless pit of hell.

Further, I demand of you, by what authority you presume to exercise such power and right against me? You have given me neither life, wife, nor child; no, not the least thing that I have; neither are you my lord, much less the creator of my body and soul; neither have you made the members wherewith I have sinned. How, then, you wicked and false spirit, are you so insolent as to domineer over that which is mine, as if you were God Himself?” (From Luther’s “Table Talk” with some minor updates to modern English)

No sympathy for the Devil-Bob Dylan’s “Man of Peace”

Posted by Gary on June 20, 2011

2 Corinthians 11:13-14 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

1 Peter 5:8 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

While I do not advocate making Satan a regular focus in the music of the Christian faith, there are proper, notable references to the Adversary in Christian music. Certainly Martin Luther’s reference to the Devil in “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” comes to mind. Keith Green’s “No One Believes In Me Anymore” deserves a frequent listen, how accurately that song explains the Devil’s deceptive work.

Another song that I make time for that references the Devil is “Man of Peace” by Bob Dylan from his “Infidels” album. Man of Peace is not a hymn, the instrumentation of the song if heard on its own would never lead one to think it a song about Satan.

How foolish we are to think of the Devil in a red cape, with horns and pitchfork, that is far too obvious. The Devil is nearer to us than we know for he is subtle and crafty and he loves to be so. The devil is in a thousand things that you and I welcome into our lives telling ourselves that they are harmless and good.

Take a moment to read and ponder the lyrics of Man of Peace, then give it a listen. You can purchase it at ITunes here.

Man of Peace

Look out your window, baby, there’s a scene you’d like to catch
The band is playing “Dixie,” a man got his hand outstretched
Could be the Führer
Could be the local priest
You know sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

He got a sweet gift of gab, he got a harmonious tongue
He knows every song of love that ever has been sung
Good intentions can be evil
Both hands can be full of grease
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

Well, first he’s in the background, then he’s in the front
Both eyes are looking like they’re on a rabbit hunt
Nobody can see through him
No, not even the Chief of Police
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

Well, he catch you when you’re hoping for a glimpse of the sun
Catch you when your troubles feel like they weigh a ton
He could be standing next to you
The person that you’d notice least
I hear that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

Well, he can be fascinating, he can be dull
He can ride down Niagara Falls in the barrels of your skull
I can smell something cooking
I can tell there’s going to be a feast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

He’s a great humanitarian, he’s a great philanthropist
He knows just where to touch you, honey, and how you like to be kissed
He’ll put both his arms around you
You can feel the tender touch of the beast
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

Well, the howling wolf will howl tonight, the king snake will crawl
Trees that’ve stood for a thousand years suddenly will fall
Wanna get married? Do it now
Tomorrow all activity will cease
You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

Somewhere Mama’s weeping for her blue-eyed boy
She’s holding them little white shoes and that little broken toy
And he’s following a star
The same one them three men followed from the East
I hear that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace

Bob Dylan

Who should burn Qurans?

Posted by Gary on September 10, 2010

Acts 19:18-20 “Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.”

Burning BookI am sure many Christians might be disappointed with my position but I don’t think Pastor Terry Jones should have a Quran burning. Quite honestly, I think this is the kind of thing Christians do when God’s real power is absent much like our political striving.

Just so you know, my concern is not about being nice, I would only be glad to see the world without the Quran and the Book of Mormon and every other false book that claims to be from God for that matter. The Bible both Old and New Testaments are the only book of God. I am aware that I cannot make everyone believe this but they will believe it one day, many I am afraid as it is brought out before their being cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:23).

When you read the passage listed above you find that Paul did not enter Ephesus and hold a book burning. The Word and power of God were at work in Ephesus and those who owned the books, believed the lies and practiced the evil burned the books themselves.

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What do you make of this?

Posted by Gary on September 23, 2005

I came across this interesting story today. Soldiers staying in a middle school in New Orleans report sensing a spiritual presence in the building and also claim that they have seen and heard things that they regard as a spiritual presence. You can read the article here and also watch the local CBS coverage of the story.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »