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Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

Russian Roulette

Russia has an evil intent, and she is going to be seriously wounded when she perpetrates it. Russia is regaining her old aggressiveness and brutality. White House correspondent Bill Koenig and I discussed it on air Saturday, March 21, on my live broadcast. We know this for sure: The Russian invasion of Israel has not yet happened. It is a future event but we don't know how future. It is often called the Gog-Magog War. According to Josephus, the ancient Scythians inhabited the land of Magog that is now Russia.
Here's what else we know from Ezekiel 38. Many Islamic nations will participate (verse 5). It is in the "latter days" (verses 8 and 16). Israel is "living securely" (verse 8). A major motive will be to seize Israel's wealth (verse 12). Many nations will object but will not get involved (verse 13). God is angry because forces are invading His land (verse 16). God raises severe judgment on the invaders (verse 22). Many nations are awed at this and recognize that He is Lord (verse 23).

The scenario in chapter 39 states that the devastation of the enemy will be great (verse 4). God will send fire upon the lands of some of those involved in this invasion of Israel (verse 6). God's holy name is made known in Israel, and they will know He is the Holy One of Israel (verse 7). Israel will burn weapons for seven years, which may indicate this is a Tribulation war (verse 9). Russia and her allies will be buried in Israel for seven months (verse 12). Israel will know that the Lord God of Israel orchestrated this. His glory is set among the nations and in Israel (verse 21). Israel will have some kind of spiritual awakening (verse 22). God will not hide His face from them any longer for He will pour out His Spirit on the house of Israel (verse 29). This should not be confused with "all Israel saved" at the Second Coming.

Since Bible prophecy is in a fast-forward mode, we need to be paying attention to major events taking place. One of the issues that those with their eye on the sky have wondered about is what is the wealth Israel possesses that is so vital that Gog (Russia) and her allies are willing to invade Israel to seize it. A story many seem to think significant is the fact that Israel has just discovered five trillion feet of natural gas off the shore of Haifa. And that is just for starters. It is believed there is much more soon to be tapped into, as well as oil not yet discovered in various parts of the country. Oil may be a speculation but the natural gas is a reality.
Russia needs natural gas! That was, in part, her reason for invading the former Soviet state of Georgia. Additionally, Russia is building seaports in Syria and Libya. Libya is one of the participants in this forthcoming war. Another participant -- Turkey -- is now more aligned with Russia than ever before. A primary participant in the Gog-Magog war is Iran who is always strengthening her ties with Russia.

As for other items of wealth or a "spoil" in Israel, we should include her Dead Sea assets and technological wealth. But it is the natural gas find that everyone should keep an eye on. This was the missing piece of the puzzle! And hardly anyone is paying attention to it. The media just says this will be a great asset for Israel as they are clueless about the Ezekiel 38-39 passage and how this find might apply to biblical prophecy.
Returning to the theme of the rapid escalation of events today, Dr. Thomas Ice says,
"Things are moving so fast in the last six months that stage-setting events are happening at a speed no one person can keep up with. Prophecy is on fast-forward!"
Dr. Ice also says,
"God's plan for history always moves forward in relation to what He is doing with Israel. Thus, the fact that Israel has been and continues to be reconstituted as a nation is prophetically significant, so significant that it makes Israel God's 'super-sign' of the end-times. Were Israel not a nation again it would be impossible for events of the end-time to occur since so many of them take place in that tiny country or in reference to her. But she has returned and so it is that all other aspects of Bible prophecy are also being prepared for the grand finale of history."

Yes, it is a tragedy that the church today does not care about this topic, but the Bible predicted scoffers near the end (II Peter 3:4). Too bad much of the scoffing is coming from church pulpits. And it grieves many of us that once-solid denominations and churches now embrace Replacement Theology that says the church is the new Israel. Nonetheless, in this dark day, keep looking up -- even if you get a stiff neck. Keep listening for the sound of a glorious trumpet! Stage-setting signs have never been so prolific! Not everyone has this blessed hope!

Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

The Emergent Church Could Submerge Yours!

A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century. In the late 20th century, certain leaders came out stating that we needed a "new way of doing church." That old time religion wasn't good enough. So in came new gimmicks replacing the solid gospel. We have seen the rise of the "seeker-sensitive" church movement that offends no one. The "religious left" has become more prominent promoting their social gospel. And then there is the Emergent Church (that also stresses the social gospel.)

If you ask nine out of ten Christians just what is this Emergent or Emerging Church, they will likely be clueless! Nonetheless, it is devouring entire denominations and churches that were once solid.

So what is this phenomenon all about? First, it is "mystical." It draws upon things that the "ancient desert fathers" embraced such as contemplative prayer, breath prayers, walking the maize known as the labyrinth, Yoga -- all to get closer to God. Some of these practices send one into an altered state of consciousness. The Emergent Church really is not interested in doctrine; rather, they want things you can feel, touch, and smell such as incense and icons.

This movement reinvents Christianity by taking eyes off of the cross and onto experience. Scripture is no longer the authority. There are no absolutes, not even in the Bible. They will state that in order to take the world and church forward, we must go backward in church history and embrace Catholic beliefs. Their doctrine is actually closer to Buddhism, Hinduism, and "New Age" than it is to traditional Christianity.

Hell, sin, and repentance are downplayed so no one is offended. Besides, they will tell you there aren't enough absolutes to even talk about hell, sin, and Heaven.
They are trying to provide "meaning for this generation." What does that mean? In the late 20th century there arose a burden to reach the postmodern generation. Get to know the term postmodern! It's the under age 30 generation and in order to reach them, old traditions must be tossed! To the postmoderns, a solid gospel message is too dogmatic and arrogant. Emergents would say that a more moderate gospel had to be invented to be accepted by the masses within this younger generation.

Unfortunately, the "gimmicks" they chose to do this are more in line with divination than anything else!
Their emphasis is on the Kingdom of God now and not on the warnings of Scripture about the imminent return of Christ and a coming judgment in the future.
Now we get to a major problem. These people are called "evangelicals." As a matter of fact, Time magazine called Emergent leader Brian McLaren one of the top 25 evangelicals influencing the world. One of McLaren's most recent books is titledEverything Must Change. So there you have it from a leader himself: The church must change to conform to the modern day culture. Old ways must be discarded.

Another prominent leader is Rob Bell. He is turning up in all sorts of evangelical churches with his DVDs. He has become a hot topic, one that church Bible studies gather around to examine and embrace as a cool 21st century Christian with new ideas. The problem is, one of his many outrageous statements is, "This is not just the same old message with new methods. We're rediscovering Christianity as an Eastern religion." In another, he promotes the feminine side of God.
Other prominent Emergent Church leaders include Doug Pagitt, Dan Kimball, Tony Jones, Dallas Willard, and Robert Webber. There are more and the list is long.
In a nutshell, social action trumps eternal issues and subjective feelings are over absolute truth. Experience trumps reason and sound doctrine.
Now you have just some of the basics before you. Spread the word that a relatively new movement is seducing millions and that it is unsound, unbiblical, and alarming. This Emergent Church just might submerge yours!
You can't say you weren't warned.

Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

Desperate Sheep Without a Shepherd

The "New Age Movement" (NAM) has been around since the days of literal Babylon. It gained new strength in the late 1800s and even more in the 1960s, which was the "Age of Aquarius." While all participants are not occultists, they all do love the supernatural and experiential. They have many "gods." And they believe the delusion that mankind is getting better and better. Because they believe such a myriad of ideas, some call these misguided seekers "cosmic soup."
In the 1980s, I gave seminars on this "new spirituality," which it has been renamed in the 21st century. I studied it then and knew it almost as well as those who were enjoying their altered states of consciousness. Thankfully, I wasn't.

In more recent years, the cause has been furthered by the woman who never met a false teaching she didn't love -- Oprah Winfrey. She has paraded one guru after another on her many platforms and made most of them wildly successful.

In 1982, I chuckled at who I thought was just another deluded crackpot, Benjamin Cr?me, who was taking out full-page ads in multiple newspapers announcing the soon-arrival of Lord Maitraya. This superhero was to come on the scene for the benefit of all religions and belief-systems. He was to be the new "messiah." And while these deceived followers of mystical enlightenment fully believed he could save the world, I wondered if he was just a fantasy in the esoteric minds of Cr?me -- a John the Baptist type -- and many NAM idealistic dreamers.

But now 25 years later, TV commercials are airing about Lord Maitraya! Why was I a doubter? One such commercial can be found here. As a matter of fact, Benjamin Cr?me and references to Maitraya are found all over the Internet's favorite pastime, YouTube. In the minds of Maitraya's followers, he is just over the horizon ready to appear in his mystical, Eastern glory. Another is here.
Once again we see the foundation for the one-world religious system forming. As Chuck Missler said on my radio program this past weekend (February 28), to be posted late Monday, the apparitions of Mary, which are all over the world now, will be a uniter of religions because so many respect her, including Islam. We carry both a book and a DVD of this found here. The Vatican, in fact, may become the infrastructure for the one-world religion.

Clearly this "New Age Movement" or "new spirituality" will play a prominent role in the global religion. The antichrist will allow the "false prophet" to have a lying-signs-and-wonders party for 3 ? years and that's it. From then on, only "Mr. Fix-it" can have all the glory. Only the "man-with-a-plan" will have the spotlight after that.
In my study for my seminars some years ago, I learned quickly that almost all who are a part of the cults and false religious systems are like sheep without a shepherd. They are desperate, primed for deception, jumping from one costly therapy, seminar, technique, or group, all seeking the ever-illusive "higher self" and the "god within."
They would see themselves as "spiritual" people. They even refer to "the christ within" but it is a counter-christ. They may be shocked when they stand before the Lord and He says to them, "Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father in Heaven will enter" (Matthew 7:21-23).
While there is time, share the gospel with them. Some have a Christian background and have twisted the terms you and I know. They will say they believe in God but it is the "god within." They will flaunt their "Christ consciousness."

This is just more end-time deception and delusion but souls are involved so don't write these people off without offering them new life! You are not responsible for their decision. And if you see the Lord Maitraya commercial on TV, use it as a reminder to pray without ceasing for the deception that abounds today.
It is also a reminder of the many "false christs" the Bible predicts for the last days. Whether or not there is any credibility in Creme and Maitraya really isn't the point. The point is that many are looking for false saviors today.

Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

The Epicenter Will Affect Your Life!

The Bible suggests the Middle East is the epicenter of the world. Recent events in Israel and related to Israel should have everyone's attention. I'm not a dreamer believing all eyes are on that region, but I am hopeful that a remnant is paying attention. Here's why.

1) On February 20, Israeli President Shimon Peres chose hard-line Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new Israeli government, ending days of speculation and giving Netanyahu six weeks to put together a ruling coalition.
2) Netanyahu might have little choice but to forge a coalition with nationalist and religious parties opposed to peacekeeping with the Palestinians and Israel's other Arab neighbors.
3) This could set Israel on a collision course with the U.S., the Jewish state's top international patron. Additionally, President Obama has vowed to make Mideast peace a top priority. His first call in the Oval Office was to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
4) Even deeper wounds will be the result if Netanyahu keeps his pledge to topple the Hamas government in Gaza. He is correct when he says Israel halted the Gaza offensive too soon. This will further enrage the world that has sympathy for the devil, Hamas, which wishes Israel be wiped off the map. Worldwide anti-Semitism is growing so fast that some compare parts of Europe to Germany in the 1930s.
5) On February 14, the Obama administration announced that it would be sending a delegation to Geneva to participate in planning the United Nation's so-called Durban II conference scheduled for late April. This sent shock waves through Jerusalem as these meetings are anti-Israel hate-fests. The Durban II conference was announced in the summer of 2007. Its stated purpose is to review the implementation of the declaration adopted at the United Nation's anti-Israel hate fest that took place in Durban, South Africa, the week before the September 11, 2001, attacks on America. This is a serious mistake America and the Obama administration are making.
6) We are seeing the beginnings of Zechariah 12:3--all nations, including America, turning on God's land and people.
7) The conclusion can be made that some Israelis are sick of the antics of the Left in Israel. Her retreat in recent wars only allows her enemies to re-arm and plan further conflict without end.
8) It is now clear that the Obama administration will not make an effort to take out Iran's nukes, which are a danger to the entire world. It is up to Israel and Israel alone. The rest of the world is looking the other way, in denial, or hoping a group hug and "negotiations" with the Mullahs and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will make this nightmare go away. And when Israel does the world a favor by taking out some nuclear facilities, she will be excoriated around the world. Netanyahu is the man to take action. None of the doves in Israeli leadership in recent years would.
9) The Jews ignored the warnings of a previous Hitler in the 1930s and six million died. They are not going to sit and ignore the threats of the new Hitler in Iran. This may be the single reason why Israel's right-of-center leaders got the nod in the February 10 election.
10) Israeli politics is complicated. Political parties on the Left are threatening to throw a monkey wrench in all of this and they could.
The world is in turmoil now and particularly almost every nation's economy. This, too, throws out a welcome mat that says let's make Israel the scapegoat. The devil makes all nations think this is such fun! But "He who watches Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps" (Psalm 121:3). And the same God watches over you and neither slumbers nor sleeps.

Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

Silencing the Watchmen

America is changing at break-neck speed and many of the changes are not helpful! While Americans were eager for "change," it is doubtful they anticipated the loss of free speech.
So let me explain the unfair "Fairness Doctrine." My radio program, Understanding the Times , is in the target range.

The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) met last weekend in Memphis and according to President Frank Wright, experienced an ominous shroud cast by the issue of the "Fairness Doctrine."  They intend to fight this issue as much as that is possible. However, they may not even be given the opportunity to fight it as they would wish.

In an article posted online by Human Events on February 6, they write, "Christian broadcasters say they will be targeted once President Obama's appointees gain control of the Federal Communications Commission."
Warren Kelley, president of Point of View, the first Christian talk show to go on the air via satellite 37 years ago, states, "The Left Wing will immediately start filing complaints, and it will in short order shut Christian broadcasting down."  He concludes, "I think it will so limit what they say that, in essence, they will cease to be Christian broadcasters."

NRB President Wright says that he expects Christian broadcasters to be hit hard because of the doctrine's requirement for so-called "balance."
Human Events has information that the Christian talk giant of Salem Communications may be the first targeted. Please note that I air on many Salem stations including Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle, and Portland.
Salem's national talk show host Janet Parshall states, "What we want to do is tell the message of Jesus. What the 'Fairness Doctrine' would have us do is give equal time to Buddha, Allah and (Scientologist) L. Ron Hubbard."
NRB President Wright backs that up by saying, "If an opposing view must be found for every matter of controversy, Christian broadcasters could find themselves in the unenviable and untenable position of seeking out other religious viewpoints, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist, to counter what ministers of the gospel say on air."

The process would work this way: A Muslim group such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or a homosexual rights group such as the ACLU, would file a complaint with the FCC because Understanding the Times radio failed to provide the proper contrasting view. The FCC would be empowered to force the station to present the other side of the story or lose its license. Many stations would opt to cancel the show to avoid the controversy and legal expense.

One of last Saturday's radio guests on Understanding the Times is Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. Tune in on my Radio Archives to hear Gary explain this process. It does not require any vote in Congress. It just requires the new head of the FCC to sign a paper and the "Fairness Doctrine" is law again, having been abolished by President Reagan in the early 1980s.
As it looks now, this policy will only apply to Christian and conservative talk radio, not the print media or TV. They already lean left and conservatives will not be given the same opportunity to be a balance in those arenas. Nor would they be given an opportunity to speak on liberal talk radio such as Air America.
Christian radio upsets the Left because it opposes same-sex marriage, abortion, teen pregnancy, strict teaching of evolution, and the liberal secular movement. Thus, we are targeted even before Rush Limbaugh who actually sways elections.

While President Obama was vague on this issue during the campaign, he is no longer! The White House Web site on its technology agenda page states that the president plans to "encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum."
George Orwell's 1984 may have been 25 years early but the world it envisions has arrived. Welcome to the new America. God has allowed a strong delusion to take over this nation. Hopefully Christians on their knees can lessen the damage.

Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

America Cries, "Give us a King!"

There is a story in II Samuel 8 where we see Israel demanding a king. God was not sufficient for them, so they asked for a "real king." They got an evil one -- Saul.
America has been in a similar mood. We want a "king" to solve our many problems starting with the economy. So Israel said to Samuel, "Now appoint a king to lead us such as all the other nations have" (II Samuel 8:5). But all the other nations had pagan kings.
God lamented to Samuel and said, "Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do."

Two years ago came a charismatic man named Barack Obama who was engulfed in a cult-like atmosphere. Some actually called him "the messiah." Shrines were built to him. A Web site said, "Obama is god." There has been a messianic fervor, adoration and a worship-like atmosphere surrounding him. At some rallies people fainted at the sight of him. Young children recorded on YouTube sang songs to him stating he would change the world.

The intrigue with this man is global. Newsweek magazine had a headline recently titled, "The World Hopes for its First President." Imagine, a world president! Newsweek states, "In country after country, polls show a record-high fascination with the outcome of the U.S. elections."

Newsweek basically said "The international audience really cared less about John McCain, Sarah Palin, or Joe Biden. Somewhere along the road to the White House, Obama became the world's candidate."
Even for those with proper eschatology this sounds alarming. But on the positive side, a barometer as to how late the hour is has been revealed. Newsweek continues, "Obama is a 21st century man with whom the whole world can identify."

In Obama's speech in Berlin, Obama said that we are allcitizens of the world! Talk about a message on globalism. Will he establish the one-world system?
America longs for a king to take care of us. We demanded change and change we will get! There are YouTube clips of people jumping for joy that Obama will take care of them. As one says, "Obama will pay my mortgage and buy my gas." The entitlement mentality reigns and it is cross-cultural.
As Jack Kinsella says in his recent Omega Intelligence Digest, "In October capitalism passed away after a long illness." He is right. Socialism now is very appealing and being implemented in America. The government is buying up many industries and turning them over to a new Socialist president!
None of the candidates who ran in "Campaign 2008" can save us! Only the Lord God of Israel can do that! But as in Samuel's day, God is not good enough for America. Thus, I believe He has allowed "strong delusion" to filter across the nation and around the world. It says in Isaiah 66:4, "I will choose their delusions." Thus, all has happened for a reason. God removes kings and establishes kings for His own purposes. (Daniel 2:21)
Here's what we do know for sure. In spite of troubling and even perilous times, the Bible still has all the answers, the Holy Spirit is still active, God will still inhabit the praises of His people, there will still be room at the cross, Jesus will still save the lost, and Jesus will still return to the holy city of Jerusalem to establish perfect government: A Theocracy for 1000 years.

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end...."(Isaiah 9:6-7).

Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

The Devil's Delight: Deceiving the Church

I received an interesting e-mail today from a pastor and would like to build on it. The e-mail reads, "Your ministry has been a wealth of information during my sermon series preparation on the 'death of discernment.' There is so much to cover. I liken it to our recent trip to New York. We saw 50 major landmarks and we only scratched the surface."

The pastor continues, "There is no way I can cover all the deception issues in a sermon series in less than three years. What would you consider to be the top ten issues on this topic?"
It will take him three years! Is it really that bad? It may be. And I'm glad I can add to a good pastor's sermon material!

The Bible prophesies that the church of the last days will be characterized by apostasy. Paul said that the Antichrist will not be revealed until "the apostasy comes first" (II Thess. 2:3). Jesus prophesied that "many will fall away" and "most people's love will grow cold" (Matthew 24:10, 12).

Dr. David Reagan, one of our "Understanding the Times 2008" speakers, asks, "How have we reached this crisis point in the church? It is rooted in the German School of Higher Criticism which invaded this country big-time in the 1920s. According to the 'scientific approach' of this school of skeptics, the Bible is not the revealed Word of God. Rather, it is man's search for God, and therefore it is filled with myth, legend, and superstition.

"Today this viewpoint dominates the seminaries in America. The Bible is studied not to be believed and obeyed but to be analyzed, dissected, and criticized. The result is that the Scriptures have lost their authority."
The pastor who e-mailed me asked for the top ten areas of deception. The possibilities are legion. When we have voices out there like Brian McLaren stating that "everything must change" -- in his book by that title -- the old ways of doing church are mocked along with sound theology. The invasion of these post-moderns is alarming.

Writer and researcher Berit Kjos says, "Infiltration and deception have been tools of conspirators through the ages, and the church has been a primary target! After all, God warns us that 'the whole world is under the sway of the evil one' (I John 5:19). One of his most effective schemes is to redefine God's Word and divert Christians from His unchanging truth to man's shifting ideals."
The world and church have let Oprah Winfrey shape the culture with her me-centered gospel. Her "New Age" terminology is viewed by many believers as "Christian." Throw in Emergent theology and its post-modern message that emphasizes feelings over doctrine. Add to the mix the push for unity today and we have a freight train on the move and out of control. The conclusion is that "felt needs" trump everything. Oh, and don't forget the "seeker movement" message of "gospel lite" so that Christians today can hardly find the true gospel anywhere.

Biblical Christianity never became outdated even if Emergent leader Brian McLaren implies that it has. Biblical truth will continue to be scorned by those who consider themselves to be intellectual (I Cor. 1:20), and it will likely be rejected by those who seek the praise of man over the praise of God (John 12:42, 43). But the Spirit of God is always at work in the hearts of men, giving life to human spirits by the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19).
Will you contend for the faith today as we are asked to do in Jude 3? It will cost you something. You will lose loved ones. You will be tempted to cave in and keep quiet. You will feel very alone. I know these things because endless e-mails from the four corners of the earth come into this office. If everyone who felt alone would get together, I promise you we wouldn't feel alone! We would fill many football stadiums.

The pastor mentioned above closed off with a good word:  "Don't spend too much time focusing on the deception, but on the truth." But may I add, don't stop being a "watchman" or "contender for the faith."
So don't despair and do plan on a great reward for standing up for truth rather than the razzle-dazzle gimmicks that tell us we can get closer to God if we walk the labyrinth or practice centering prayer. He's living inside of us. How much closer can He be to us than living within us?

Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

Are Evangelical Pulpits About to Praise Islam?

Following a four-day conference last week at Yale University, Christian and Muslim leaders from around the world announced the first step of the "Common Word" exchange drafted last November. A joint statement was affirmed in their support of religious freedom and further interfaith dialogue based on their common love for God and neighbor.

But something is very wrong with this picture.

Over 140 conference participants unanimously approved a cooperative statement that signaled a "new beginning of collaboration between Christians and Muslims" where stronger assertions of faith would be required. So the statement began by affirming the "unity and absoluteness of God" and God's merciful love as central to both religions.

Wait a minute! Allah has merciful love? And Allah is central to both Christianity and Islam? Isn't it devotion to Allah that causes people to strap explosives onto themselves and blow innocent people to shreds? And seems he also encourages some of his followers to cut off heads of the innocent?
In attendance and in agreement, sadly, were both the head of the National Association of Evangelicals and the World Evangelical Alliance. Those two organizations represent most evangelicals in America. But both faiths pledged to spend one week a year sharing the good aspects about the other's faith. Our pulpits are already lacking in sound gospel preaching! Now we must take one week each year to learn that Islam might really be "a religion of peace?" And that Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

The Lord's Day is just that: A day to worship and learn about the God of the Bible, not to hear about the positive nature of Islam or any other faith. It's tough enough that many reading this are laboring in churches that have forsaken the Bible for "new ways of doing church." We have leftists and Emergent Church leaders praised in our pulpits, and now once a year we will have Islam praised in our pulpits-and I am speaking of "evangelical" pulpits since the heads of the evangelical world signed on to this.

Don't these evangelical leaders know that deception is part and parcel of the Muslim religion when they deal with "infidels"? Do they really think American mosques are going to start heralding Christianity once a year and really mean it? Don't they know that many American mosques-certainly not all-are the breeding ground for calling for the destruction of America and its takeover by Islam?

I have to conclude that the primary goal here is ecumenical unity. The second goal is to get Christians to see Islam in a positive light. Sharing the gospel with Muslims is not part of the agenda with this interfaith effort, even though thousands of Muslims are turning to Christ today. If this element were a part of the plan, it would be less egregious. I ask, "Where is the outrage toward the evangelical leaders who are promoting this agenda?"
It has long been the standard of congregations who are a part of the National Council of Churches to promote ecumenical unity and praise false religions. Now that so-called evangelical organizations are doing same, is there a dime's worth of difference between them?
Forgive my cynicism but I think the Muslims are laughing all the way to Mecca.

Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

The Seductive and Subversive "Shack"

Many have asked me to comment on William P. Young's ragingly popular book, The Shack. Is this work of fiction really Christian? It is called by some as one of Christianity's most influential books. One prominent endorser says it will "leave you craving for God."
Yet people I respect highly, including Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary, calls it "undiluted heresy." He maintains there is no way it can seriously address the issues of Christian faith.

Here is the scenario in brief. Remember, this fiction plot is going to transform lives! A man by the name of "Mack" has a daughter murdered and he slips into a depression. He gets a message that he is supposed to meet God in the shack. Entering the shack, he is in the company of the Trinity, but now it gets weird and hard to believe anyone could be deceived by this piece of work.

In the shack he learns that God is "Papa" but is really an African-American female. Thankfully, Jesus is a Jewish man, but the Holy Spirit is another female figure of Asian descent. So much for Trinitarian theology! So Christianity has been misconstrued and has been revised. Talk about minimizing the Divine!

On page 110 Jesus says that He is perhaps not the way, truth, and life, but the BEST way to relate to the Father and Holy Spirit. Papa God, the African-American female, says she has many followers of many religions in different lands. This is not Orthodox Christianity, yet millions of Christian readers claim it is! Discernment has taken a summer vacation or perhaps a permanent vacation.

Mack asks "Papa" God, the female, about God's wrath. The answer is that she doesn't punish people for sin; rather she wants to cure sin. No mention of repentance, the shed blood, and all the things the new "seeker" environment wants to leave out in the church parking lot.

Former "New Ager" Warren Smith says, "The Shack is being described as a Christian novel and is currently ranked number one on the New York Times best-seller list for paperback fiction. Many believers are buying multiple copies and giving them to friends and family. The Shack reads as a true story but is obviously allegorical fiction. The book conveys postmodern spiritual ideas and teachings that challenge biblical Christianity - all in the name of 'God' and 'Jesus' and the 'Holy Spirit.' Author William P. Young's alternative presentation of traditional Christianity has both inspired and outraged his many readers. All the while his book continues to fly off the shelves of local bookstores."

Smith, who has been on my radio program many times denouncing Oprah Winfrey's deception, goes on to say, "I was drawn into the 'New Age Movement' years ago by books and lectures containing parabolic stories that were not unlike The Shack. They felt spiritually uplifting as they tackled tough issues and talked about God's love and forgiveness. They seemed to provide me with what I spiritually needed as they gave me much-needed hope and promise. Building on the credibility they achieved through their inspirational and emotive writings, my 'New Age' authors and teachers would then go on to tell me that God was in everyone and everything.

"I discovered that author William P. Young does exactly the same thing in The Shack. He moves through his very engaging and emotional story to eventually present this same 'New Age' teaching that God is 'in' everything."
As writer and researcher Berit Kjos concludes, "Yet countless pastors and church leaders are delighting in its message. By ignoring (or redefining) sin and guilt, they embrace an inclusive but counterfeit 'Christianity' that draws crowds but distorts the Bible. Discounting Satan as well, they weaken God's warnings about deception. No wonder His armor for today's spiritual war became an early victim of this spreading assault on truth."

So The Shack opens in the context of tragedy. Four years have passed since the cruel murder of Missy, Mack's precious six-year-old daughter. Enveloped in grief, he receives a strange invitation. "I've missed you," it says. "I'll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. Papa." What could it mean?
Doubtful, but drawn to the meeting, Mack heads for the Oregon wilderness and finds the dilapidated old shack. "God" miraculously transforms it into a cozy cottage, and Mack meets his supposed maker.
No, it doesn't get any stranger but sadly, it doesn't get more popular with Christians who miss the point that The Shack is intended to bring about a new definition of the Christian faith.

As Albert Mohler says, "This is totally seductive and subversive, but readers, even believers, don't seem to mind."
I thank God for all of those who are speaking out today over outrageous issues like this one. I am reminded about the many false things promoted today written in 2 Timothy 3:16: "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."

This is a last days' reference and if you don't think we're in them (the last days), I'll sell you a beach vacation to Minnesota in January.

Friday, 04 September 2009 19:00

Has God Sent This Delusion?

I quote my good friend and ministry colleague Jim Hutchens of "The Jerusalem Connection International" when he says, "The veiled anti-Israel action by the Presbyterian Church USA is nothing less than blatant anti-Semitism."  I also agree with him. So what is the issue?

As I write truthful but unpleasant comments about the Presbyterian Church, I know many Presbyterian readers of this do not agree with their church leadership.  But, at the recent "Presbyterian Church USA" annual meeting, a number of Presbyterian leaders pled passionately for "a declaration of solidarity with the Palestinian Arabs."  The appeal included "a recommendation to adopt a series of anti-Israel measures, including proposals for divestment and for backing a suspension of American military aid to the Jewish state."  In essence they called for Presbyterians to side with the Palestinians and take serious shots at the Israelis.

"The situation in Palestine is dire. The call from our Palestinian brothers and sisters has fallen on deaf ears," a Presbyterian minister, Reverend William McGarvey of San Francisco, said. "The American Christian church has largely watched this catastrophe continue as if we did not care."

Some Presbyterian leaders spoke out against the anti-Israel proposals and offered alternatives calling for a "nonpartisan" approach to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. But a Palestinian religious leader attending this annual meeting said, "I urge you to get your hands dirty, to take sides."

Six senators who are Presbyterians urged the church not to endorse the proposal to cut off defense help to Israel. "We are adamantly opposed to the call for the U.S. government to temporarily suspend military aid to Israel," Senators Kyl of Arizona, Bond of Missouri, DeMint of South Carolina, Carper of Delaware, Shelby of Alabama, and Inhofe of Oklahoma wrote. "We ask that you take no action that would make a case for moral equivalency between the Israeli military, which is fighting to keep Israel safe, and Palestinian terrorists, who seek to destroy it."

A former American negotiator in the Middle East, Dennis Ross, also warned against taking the Palestinian side in the long-running dispute.
"If your church is going to adopt a position that is one-sided in favor of the Palestinians, it takes no account of what the Israelis have done," Mr. Ross said in a videotaped message to delegates. "I find the resolution on divestment from companies doing business with Israel and the others who criticize Israel to be divorced from reality. They don't take into account the price the Israelis have paid or the concessions they made or the many times the Israelis in negotiations have been prepared to go very far and not found responsiveness on the other side."

With these men weighing in with truth, doesn't this all sound just a bit delusional?

So, in a sense, whether any bill passes this year or next, the Presbyterian Church USA has declared war on our only ally in the Middle East. This is what happens when denominations hold to Replacement Theology; that is, that the Church is now Israel. The Church has replaced Israel in all New Testament references. It remains a mystery to me how they deal with Romans 9 - 11.

But the Presbyterian Church USA and others who think like they do miss the most important point.  It is not Israel making the Palestinians miserable; it is the Palestinian leadership and the United Nations who keep them in bondage so they can be political pawns.

Also, it is difficult to find a more neglected story than the relative satisfaction of Palestinian Arabs living in Israel -- about 20% of the population in Israel -- as revealed by a recent Harvard study. Researchers asked Palestinian Arabs if they would rather live in Israel than any other country in the world. Dream away, folks. You can fantasize that they said they would rather be in Dubai or the U.K. or the U.S. But nearly 80% said they like Israel best. These are Arabs living in Israel who are under Israeli rule, not corrupt Palestinian rule.

Arabs in Israel are not subject to compulsory military service though they may volunteer to serve in the military and some do.  So we have some Arabs living in Israel serving in Israel's military while the Presbyterian Church USA suggests America suspend all military aid to Israel!? Have I fallen into Alice's Wonderland or has the Presbyterian Church USA fallen down the hole? Where's the Mad Hatter?

This issue will not die. Other denominations are following suit and making similar proposals at annual meetings. In the past there have usually been enough in high church leadership to denounce these proposals, but it is my belief that will not always be the case.

Is it any wonder that the church today is in a mess? All Mainline Protestant denominations hold to Replacement Theology.
I am not saying all Mainline Protestants hold to the proposals stated above. But Mainline Protestants and Catholics today almost universally adhere to the false teaching that the Church today is the new Israel. A remnant in these categories would disagree with this theology.

The Bible says, "I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear: But they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not" (Isa. 66:4). So it begs the question: Did God send them this delusion because in their hearts they just have serious issues and are blind to the truth about Israel's miraculous rebirth? The Bible indicates that when one remains firm in a lie and rejects the truth, they will become blinded. (2 Thess. 2:11)

The desire to harm a nation that is a friend and ally and a nation that remains God's Chosen People, makes little sense in the natural.

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