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Preachers for Profit


Millions of folk around the world satisfy their need for spiritual enlightenment by tuning in to their favorite television preacher.  Although there are a few men of God who fervently seek to proclaim the undiluted Gospel of Jesus Christ over the airways, more than likely, one will have their ears tickled by a self serving entertainer with a watered down social gospel of “I feel good and you should too! ” In reading a recent posting by Darrell Creswell, (http://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)  I was astonished at the amount of wealth that some of these purveyors of spirituality have accumulated over the years from their unsuspecting viewers.  Perhaps the most disturbing fact for me is that many, many many of these blinded followers are Senior Saints who are oblivious to the underlying purpose of these  so-called Gospel ministries.  A couple of dollars from the millions of geriatric viewers soon mounts up to some might fancy steaks on the dinner plate.  All the while these pension-pinchin Senior Saints are indulging in soup, cereal and sandwiches.  Well, the old proverb that a picture sends a thousand words is most certainly true; so lets take a look at the lifestyle of some of the more prominent ‘Gospel” entertainers.copeland-hinn-home (1)joyce-meyer-jesse-duplantis

Now let us take a look at where Jesus laid down his hear to rest:   Quite a contrast to the multi-million dollar homes of these charlatans of the social gospel

l    jesus-laid-his-head

And if this does not mess with your mind then lets take a look at the method of transportation

Them:televangelists-transportation2 (1)

Jesus:OS18033

It is needful that Christians adhere to the scriptural principle of providing for their Pastor, giving him a double portion even.   So many Godly men depend upon the Lord to provide and rightly so, however, God uses his people through tithes and offerings to support the man who has given his life to preaching the Gospel.  Scripture  admonishes us not to store up for ourselves treasures on earth, but to instead store up for ourselves treasures in heaven.  The preaching of the Gospel to fill ones own pockets is a sin; an abomination and a disgrace to everything that Jesus died for on Calvary.  Ministers of the Word should not be greedy of money nor use the gospel shamelessly to make money

These viscous wolves in the sheep’s clothing of a fundamental gospel preacher are twisting scripture so as to seduce people into supporting their ‘ministries’;  into following them and not Jesus. Their charismatic presentation seduces unsuspecting viewers to open their thin wallets and send a ‘dollar or two’ to ‘further the “gospel”.    O foolish generation, how carelessly are we taken away into captivity by these entrepeneurs of wealth through the exploiting of the Truth.

What is the Lukewarm Church of Revelation 3?


seven_churches_hierapolis  LaodeceaWhat is the Lukewarm Church of Revelation 3?.

The picture to the right shows the ruins from the Church of Laodicea.  Many churches today have fallen prey to the Worldliness of the Laodicean and are actually in spiritual ruins.

Unequally yoked with Believers!


n_36533_4  Laodcian ChurchWhoa, that is not what scripture says, or is it?  We are admonished in Scripture not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers but where does it state that we are to separate ourselves from believers.  The truth is that there are different degrees of separation, one of which includes carnal Christians.

I do not particularly like the expression ‘backslidden’.  The word itself is not mentioned in the Bible although backsliding is mentioned in Jeremiah and Hosea in reference to Israel.  Instead I prefer the phrase ‘out of fellowship with God,’ which seems to have a more convicting connotation.  True, the term backsliding has come to refer nowadays to a severed relationship with the Lord because of sin, but it does not seem to have the soul searching impact as being out of fellowship with God.  In 2 Timothy 4:10 we are told by Paul that God had separated him from Demas because the latter went the way of the world and would have been a hindrance on Paul’s ministry.  Carnal Christians are a hindrance to any ministry and/or personal relationship with Jesus.   Actually, if the truth be known, those who name the name of Christ and are living in sin usually avoid those who are seeking to walk close to the Lord.  The good apple/bad apple scenario would definitely apply in these matters of carnality.

So many times we enter into relationships that are not spiritually healthy.  I know a lady who has affections for a man who is abrasive and somewhat condescending and rude.  She is praying earnestly that the Lord would change his heart so that he would be ‘marriage’ material.  Until then, she is content to remain single. ” Wise Woman!”  A lady who is seeking to be faithful to the Lord has no business fostering a relationship with a man who has carnal tendencies. An acquaintance shared with me that her Pastor had counselled her against marrying her husband because he had a mean and angry spirit;  now she is in an unpleasant marriage of her own chosing.   Another Christian lady who was a widow became interested in a single man in her church.  She was saddened that they only had one date and earnestly prayed that the Lord would allow her to become this mans wife.  It turned out that he was smitten by another lady who lured him into a worldly church,  which indicated that he was not firm in his convictions on separation issues.   Recently I was befriended by a sweet lady who consistently dominated  the majority of our fellowship with stories of her colorful past.  It did not take my flesh long to begin competing with ‘my life was harder than your life’ stories.  Occasional reference was made to the forgiving nature of Christ and His leading in our lives but the main focus was on our own ‘woe is me’ saga.   Although it is needful at times to share pertinent information about ones past and how the Lord has lead you through trials as a testimony to God’s forgiving nature, it should be offered in caution and most certainly with a Saint who is not prone to gossip.  Gossip, this brings me to another reason to separate oneself from a Carnal Believer.

Gossip – Giving Others Self Serving Information Persuasively.  Little phrases like ‘just so you can pray more intelligently’ or We need to pray for so and so because…………………are  sometimes red flags that a request for prayer has a tainted motive.  Granted many prayers needs could be addressed in this manner, but caution must be maintained to assure that the request is legitimate.  Fellowship with a person who is prone to gossip can only lead to trouble and  it is not pleasing to the Lord.  There is so much information about other folk that we do not necessarily have a need-to-know.

The old adage that we are known by the company we keep especially applies to Christiandom.  Those who attend Catholic services are discerned as being Catholic.  Folk who frequent churches with a penchant for Pentecostalism are refered to as Pentecostal.  These are easily accepted as being religious people whom we should separate ourselves in our spiritual walk.  Some fellowships are not as recognizable as being ‘separation’ issues.  For instance, consider those churches who entertain their congregations with Christian Rock.  In my opinion this would be a worldly church, Laodicean perhaps, and it would be wrong for me to frequent their services.  In many communities across America, there are Church sponsored community activities which humanly speaking are worldly beneficial.  Whether it be political or humanitarian, it may be necessary not to participate in these activities because of the Spiritual nature of the churches involved.

We are blessed in this Nation with an abundant of churches that still preach the Gospel of Christ.  Some of these even use the KJV.  Unfortunately for some, this is where it ends.  The altar call, soul winning, visitation and preaching against sin is no longer a part of their ministry.  Like the church in Ephesus, these folk have left their first love.  Recently, I read where a man who was an elder in one of these ‘Ephesus’ churches signed himself and his wife up for dancing lessons.  I do not believe I would be spiritually fed at their church.  A church in a nearby community has become so ‘separated’ that it is nigh unto being a cult.  The man in the pulpit so micro-manages his flock that he usurps the authority of Dad’s in their home.  Children who attend the Christian School of this church are not permitted to talk to let alone fellowship with other  Christian school children.   For years I attended a church in which I did not feel comfortable.  The Lord had led me to this church when the founding father was in the pulpit.  After the Lord called him home, standards changes and I sought the Lord that he might lead me to another work, and through a set of circumstances, He did just that.   Prayerfully consider the church that you are currently attending, if it does not measure up to the Church at Philadelphia, then perhaps you might seek wisdom from God about becoming a part of another work.  Several folk in the church I attend drive a goodly distance to attend the services.

In closing, let me reassure my readers that I am not advocating separating oneself from a carnal brother or sister in the Lord as one would an unsaved person.  On the contrary, just as we are to be witnesses of the Gospel in the world, so indeed are we to live our life in such a way that a wayward one within the flock of Christ will have genuine conviction and return to the fold.  Fellowship with these folk may need to be limited, but not severed unless there is blatant sin.  We must be ever mindful to the truth that if it were not for the grace of the Lord Jesus……………thither go I!

 

Note:  Photo depicts ruins of Laodicean Church which is due to be opened to the Public in 2103.

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?


The Autumn season blesses us with a myriad of warm colors as we watch God’s green vegetation slipped slumberly into hibernation for the cold winter months ahead.   The rays of the sun add a snuggly warmth as one takes a stroll along the pathways of the Creator’s world, enjoying the gentle breeze as it gingerly feathers the hair.  This is the season for hot mulled cider, toasted marshmallows over an outdoor wood burning fire, and of course for many true blooded Americans, the arrival of Football season.  We are indeed so spoiled!  As is true to form in this sin-cursed world, the beauty and  of autumn also has its blemish.

christian-halloween Each year, millions of children are allowed to engage in a ritual which is a reproach to God.  Included among those are the offspring of Born-again Christians who are  uninformed or choose to dance with the  world in participating in this event.  One only needs to meander through the candy aisle of a retail store to be reminded of the event of which this article addresses.

The last days of October have become a traditional time of dressing up in costumes, trick or treating, bobbing for apples and of course carving pumpkins.  It is an event in which people visit haunted houses and cornfields, and attend  masquerade parties.  Among the revelers are God’s people who are totally unaware of the Satanic  influence immersed in these traditions.

It is believed that the origin of Halloween began with the Celtic people.  Their festival of Samhein, the Lord of the Dead, was celebrated at the end of summer and the beginning of darker days of the year. These folk believed that as the days became darker  that this was a time when the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and the ghosts of the dead returned to earth causing havoc and damaging crops.  These people would dress in costumes to scare away the evil spirits.  They also carved vegetables, such as gourds or pumpkins to further their belief that if they and their pumpkin reassembled evil spirits that the spirits of their dead would leave them alone.

The practice of ‘bobbing for apples’ originated with the Romans.  Their god, Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees.  was celebrated in the festival of Parenthalia , to honor the dead. She was worshipped in the practice of bobbing for apples.  Other games which have become a tradition in our lifetime include the ouija board which advocates necromancy, an attempt to communicate with the dead.

The carving of pumpkins originated with the Legend of Stingy Jack.  Stingy Jack supposedly invited the devil to have a drink with him, and in true character, Jack conned the devil into paying for his drink.  This is the beginning of the story which concluded with Jack not being allowed into either heaven or hell.  He wanders around the world looking  for a place to ‘call home’, on Halloween.  Folk would place a lighted gourd, or pumpkin on their door step to frighten his evil spirit away.

In Ireland, they believe that their dead return to their former homes on Halloween.  Alters decorated with candy, flowers and samples of the deceased’s favorite food were erected in the home.  During the middle ages, the Egyptians considered cats sacred and thereby honored the Goddess Bast.  The Greeks worshipped  her sister goddess  Artemis, while the Roman counterpart was Diana, who is also known as the Queen of witches.  Thus the cat, especially the ‘black’ cat became associated with the worshipping of their dead.

Costumes were worn by Druids, a priestly class in Britain, Ireland and Gaul during the Iron Age, while they were offering live sacrifices in a bonfire; a fire of burning bones. ( bone – fire).   Their masks were to impersonate their gods, and in so doing supposedly manifested their pagan god in their flesh.

In recent years the god of this world has successfully lured the historical spiritual origin of this yearly celebration into a secular celebration.  It has become another one of those ‘let’s party and have fun’ events which has prospered in the world of commercialism.  As Christians we need to be aware that participating in this occult occasion cannot be glorifying to the Lord

During the Reformation period in England when Marin Luther shook up the church with the posting of his thesis, the celebration of Halloween ceased.  It is ironic that Luther posted his 95 Thesis of Contention on the Wittenburg church on Halloween of 1517.  In doing so he changed the course of history which led to the common people having access to God’s Word.  Therein they would find that the celebration of Halloween began with the Baal worship after the  fall of man.

God commands us that we are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.  We are to abstain from all appearances of evil  We may wish to believe that celebrating Halloween is not a serious matter, but God does and so does SATAN!.   I plead with parents in the Name of Jesus, that they research the origin of this Holy Day of the Occult and learn for themselves that it is a reproach to God for his people to participate in this event in any way, shape or form.

Minced Oaths – A Form of Cursing


There is a pink, moist, furrowed, flat piece of muscle, attached to the floor of ones mouth, fervently anticipating the opportunity to unveil its ability to dispense a myriad of unsuspecting antics.  The tongue was created by God to offer prayers and praises to the Saviour; to witness to the unsaved; to enjoy fellowship with other Believers; and to express words of love and encouragement to those whom we adore.  Unfortunately, mankind has taken this Divinely created instrument of good and turned it into a sneaky subtle tool for promoting evil and corrupt communication.

In considering the negative usage of the tongue we can easily create a listing of common sinful practices employed by unregenerate mankind, among them being rudeness, cursing, complaining, berating, screaming, arguing, bragging and profanity.  Whew, what a list!.   However there is another not so noted area in which even God’s people are sometimes guilty of succumbing.  This is the area of minced oaths, a subtly corrupted form of swear words or euphemisms.

Matthew 12: 35-37, reveals that “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of in the day of judgment.  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy works thou shalt be condemned”.

The third commandment states that we are not to take the name of the Lord in vain.  There are several words used as substitutes for the Name of God, among these being GOSH and  GOLLY.   EGAD is an euphemistic for of the oath ‘by God’.  Goodness is another word that is used instead of God.    Phrases like “for goodness sake” and “for Petes’ sake; for the love of Mike and “for crying out loud” are more ‘cultured’ substitutes for the irreverent use of  “for Christ’s sake.  ” In a similar way the Name of Christ is abused by the words, Bee, Jiminy Crickets, Jeepers Creepers , cheese and rice, and Gee Willikers.

It is by God’s grace that he worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  There is a tendency to replace “by God” with by Gum; by Jove; by George, and as well as by Golly and by Gosh.  References to the ‘goodness of God’ often is defamed by the expressions good grief and goodness gracious.  Comments such as Gosh darn; dad gum; darn; doggone; dang and tarnation  should not need interpreting.

As Christians we are admonished not to let  corrupt communication come out of our mouth. Ephesians 4:29  The bathroom words of the world should not become an acceptable part of our vocabulary.   Words referring to barnyard dung like shinola, shoot, shucks and sow patties are not pleasing to the Lord.  Trying to make vulgar words socially acceptable by using such terms as freaking, and fricken are highly obscene.  We have a new nature that desires to speak sound and wholesome words, comforting words.  Any type of cussing, swearing, profanity or off color speech brings harm to the cause of Christ.

Our society today is so jaded and perverse that swearing is looked upon as acceptable.  May times in my Christian walk I have had to tactfully asked folk not to use a certain word in my presence, some of which were professing Christians.  In view of the fact that more and more unacceptable words and phrases are being created by the world.  we need to be ever mindful of their origin and or substitutionary use.

May God prove our hearts as we purpose that our mouth will not transgress by using profane speech.   Instead  may our mouths be filled with praise  and honor to the Lord all throughout our days that we may stand before him as in Revelation 14:5……and in their mouth was no guile.”

“Mouthy” Christians – Taming the Tongue


tongue-is-a-fireHiding behind those pearly white masticators lies a seemingly innocuous appendage which, if left unchecked can spew iniquity and poison in such an unbridled manner that it often surprises the very person in which this little monster dwells.  Within the pages of the Holy Writ, God has addressed the problematic use of this small, oftentimes treacherous organ.  Scripture after scripture, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament admonishes us about the wicked use of our tongue.  In the beginning, it was this pint-sized flexible piece of furrowed tissue that was used by Satan to tempt Eve.  Christians for the most part make a concentrated effort to bridle this little monster, however there are some areas that according to scripture we either accept as so called acceptable sins or just do not take into consideration that we are not giving honor and glory to the Lord in what we allow to come out of our mouth.  Let’s examine the Word of God and learn what the Lord has to teach us about our mouth and tongue.

First of all, we need to recognize that God gave us our mouth.  In Exodus 4:11 God asked Moses “Who made man’s mouth, have not I the Lord”?   Therefore it would seem that the primary function of our mouth is to praise God; share the Gospel; and sing unto the Lord with gladness.  In addition we should use our mouth to encourage, admonish, and comfort the Brethren.  It needs therefore, to be a vessel unto good works, edifying and Christ honoring.

Our heavenly Father, the Omniscient God, knew that we would have major problems with the use of our tongue in that we would be tempted to use it for wicked and self serving  purposes. He peppered his Word with an abundance of warnings and admonitions on the sins of the tongue. As we begin this journey let us consider the convicting fact that our speech is a window to our heart.  In Matthew 12 and Luke 6 God reminds us that from out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.  Do you ever wonder where those ‘slips’ of the tongue come from?  Well, now we know!  Matthew 15 elaborates by stating in verse 18 that those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart.  Walk with me as we tour God’s Word and learn more about this matter.

Our first stop will be to visit our friend Job.  In chapter 15, Eliphaz admonishes Job in verse 6:  “Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I:  yea, thine own lips testify against thee”.  Samuel instructs us in chapter 2: 3,  that we are not to let pride and arrogance come out of our mouth for God will weigh our actions.  The Book of Psalms as well as the Book of Proverbs contain many admonitions regarding the wicked use of our mouth, lips and tongue.  Among these include instructions to bridle our tongue to prevent us from lying, cursing, deceiving and flattering.    Our throats can become open sepulchres for filth and wickedness.  In Psalm 59:7 God shares that there are those who belch out with their mouth;  that swords are in their lips.  It is well worth our time and effort to study James chapter 3, which is devoted to instruction on controlling the tongue.  For the most part, these oral sins are directed toward mortal folk whom we encounter in our pilgrim walk.  It must be exceptionally grievous to the Lord when these same atrocities are directed toward Him.

Matthew 15:8   Stated that this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  I refer to these folks as the “praise God’ers.”  Their facade of being spiritual is deceiving in that they talk the walk, but do not walk the talk.   Another group of folks which most assuredly anger the Lord are those who use their mouth that God created to preach a perverted Gospel.  We can usually recognize these folk in that they promote the “God is Love”, “end of story doctrine. ”  Many of these deceivers are using the Bible to become famous and wealthy, bringing honor to themselves and not the Lord Jesus.  Normally, attempts to lovingly rebuke those who practice these heresies are met with anger and hostility.  The Lord will deal with them, for sure.  Now let’s get more personal by dealing with the application of  the truths from Holy Writ in our individual Christian walk.

We are given instruction in Psalm 141:3, that we are to set a watch before our mouths; to keep the door of our lips.  The words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts are to be acceptable in the sight of God.  Ecclesiastes 5 admonishes us to: “suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin”.   It is written that he that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life; but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.   We are to purpose in our heart that we will not transgress with our mouth.  In closing, when we are tempted to sin with our tongue we should take heed to the practice of the Nobles in Job 29:10, “their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.”