Posts Tagged ‘Daystar’

fight-club

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.

Confrontational Evangelism does not, nor ever will work, contrary to what some preacher or other suggests otherwise. The fact is, if the message is coated in aggression, hostility, anger, defamation or ridicule, that message has been tainted and is not of Christ, but is in fact another gospel which will serve no one but only the self righteous.

Recently, someone (a preacher/pastor on Facebook) video taped himself going into a mall and verbally assaulted CHILDREN as they stood in line to see Santa Claus. (source) The video has now went viral, even making the rounds in the national media and online social networks, whereby one could see as well as hear this man verbally assault, ridicule and castigate those children for wanting to see Santa, but not just kids did this man attack, but also the parents, all because one man deemed himself as the sole representative for the entire Christian faith, and by doing so proved that not only has commonsense is no more common, stupidity has now replaced social graces and common decency in an effort to project a more hateful form of Christianity.
In other words, this man has done nothing to portray Christ in a meaningful and loving way which would draw men TO CHRIST, instead, presented another form of so called aggressive Christianity that attacks even children in the most vile and reproachable form to draw men AWAY from Christ.

In yet another video of someone who is a street preacher, the young man (preacher) goes into an area that is well known to be home to violence and aggressive behavior, within 15 minutes of his name calling of the lost, a man slashes the young man’s hand, sending him to the hospital. Again, all in the name of Confrontational Evangelism.

Romans 14:16 says this as it regards the conduct and character of the Christian and his or her walk in a secular world, “Do not allow what you consider good, then, to be spoken of as evil.” Here’s the real truth in this as it comes to the recent rise of Confrontational Evangelism that has now become more open in many branches of the faith by those who believe that by name calling, personal character attacks and an all out brutality toward anyone who is lost should be made to feel socially unloved and unwanted is, it does not work!
We live in a very hostile (as well as aggressive) world where words matter, and in some respects, those same words bring forth deadly consequences. From road rage, fights in shopping malls throughout America, there has been an increase of violence in all sorts of situations, and it has now reached into the church as well. When Christians, especially preachers of the gospel adopt methods from the world, when our actions and attitudes toward the lost is similar to those who are blinded to the truth, then our message will never resonate with the hearts of the people, but instead, it will cause those who need to hear about the good news of Jesus Christ, to actually resist that call, and in some cases, resort to physical violence in return.

When we examine the life of Christ, we see one common theme when it came to his outreach to the lost (not the religious) but the true broken, the weak, the poor, the sinner itself, his behavior toward the least was one of great compassion, not condemnation (John 3:17). Christ used words which revealed the disparity of the sinner, yet gave hope for their salvation. When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well, his was not one of confrontation, nor did he resort to name calling. His was one of compassion, of love, of hope to this particular woman who even his own disciples, when seeing him speaking to her, questioned his actions. The truth is, Christ drew people to him because his message was one which offered hope, it did not degrade, ridicule or reject the sinner. His was a message of grace, of hope in all sincerity.

Yet today that message of hope has been unfortunately been replaced by a message of fear, of judgment, of hate. If you degrade someone, you isolate them, you control them, you call them names, you demean them. That’s a horrible existence for people. Yet that is exactly what is happening with the method of Confrontational Evangelism. Let’s ask a fair question; Do we honestly believe that by going into a shopping mall at the height of Christmas and confronting children with a style of method which they would not be able to comprehend truly serves any productive purpose other than gratifying one man’s feeble attempt for 15 minutes of fame?

When a street preacher name calls, uses words or terms such as whore, slut, pansy, or confronts in an aggressive tone or demeanor, are they truly desiring a genuine response to the gospel? The answer is no, they aren’t. Here is the more shocking truth to what is happening in these situations, they have no true desire to see men repent, but reject God even further because they themselves have no genuine love for them to repent in the first place. Jesus said that we would know if we love God genuinely by when we loved one another. If we truly followed Christ, we would love people as he loved us when we were unlovable. The simple truth is, I’ve never known one person ever to come to Christ out of ridicule or public shaming – ever.

Is it wrong to warn the sinner of their fate if they don’t repent? Absolutely not. But how we go about it can be. We draw or push away people by how we treat people, that is simply how it works when we relate to people. We demonstrate the love of Christ to the lost by giving them hope, not fear, not demeaning them, and certainly not condemning them. The truth is, they stand condemned already! It’s the same idea of going onto death row and telling a man condemned to be executed in a few hours that he’s going to die, when the fact is he already knows that. What he is hoping for is not the call of death, that’s his reality, instead, he’s praying for a reprieve. Sinners act and behave like sinners because that’s what sinners do! So why not give them words of life instead of words of death?

Confrontational Evangelism will never work. Those who are dedicated to undermining the gospel do so at their own peril, for God keeps a record of all we do, and when we present the gospel in such a way that brings forth a spirit of hate and self destruction, then we have not the true gospel, but a false one, a lonely one, one whose sole intention is to distance others from the cross, that in itself is antichrist. Let us instead speak peace, love and give the sinner reason to hope, even if rejected, tell them the good news, even if it brings ridicule from those who do not know, for in the end, ours is to simply preach the good news of Jesus Christ, and let God determine who will receive when they hear such love from such a high price that was paid 2,000 years ago on Calvary.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

Contact me at christopher152@gmail.com

president-donald-trump

 

The nation, the elites, the entire world is in shock. On November 8th, America did something that has not been seen since possibly the election of Ronald Reagan to the White House, and that was the astounding election of Donald Trump. There is no question that a resounding voice of anger was released by millions of disgruntled voters over the past several years, even giving a platform to someone who might not have ever run for office had there not been such an overwhelming sentiment as there was throughout the nation. It was our own “Brexit” moment.

But I’m not going to get into the political analysis of the election and why Trump won, no, that’s actually for those who do that for a living. I on the other hand will venture into something much more important rather than why Trump won, instead, why the church has become now part of the political process, and its attempt to make America great again by transforming it into some sort of modern day Israel – for the church.

For the past several days upon the news President-elect Trump won the nomination (electoral vote and not the popular vote), I wondered why? Why would someone who had no political experience, no foreign understanding on world issues, whose own ideas about the rest of the world and how it should work, how could he become the President elect? Then I began to realize that it wasn’t simply about Mr. Trump, or his personality, his charisma, his celebrity-ism or his wealth as a successful businessman, it was something more that had nothing to do with Mr. Trump, and everything to do with the sentiment of the people. In simple terms, Mr. Trump, who is keenly aware of social trends, realized that the only way he could actually win is to tap into what was already brooding – public frustration and anger. It was in fact anger that led to the rise of Donald Trump. And it was that same emotion that Mr. Trump fed into which would bring him to the path to which he now rests – the White House.

Yet, where was the church in this movement? Where was the Christians during this particular election cycle? They were waiting for someone who would give them the promise that they had been waiting for since the former days of Ronald Reagan, they were awaiting for their political Messiah, and the moment that he (Trump) had announced his intention to step into the political fray to become the next President of the United States, they found him. They found “The One”.

While I will not go into character issues about Mr. Trump, instead, I want to focus on the more dire issues concerning this election, and that is why the church has become so politicized in these last days?

To say that I have been grieved in my spirit over this current election season goes beyond the term grieved, I am mortified by how that many within the body of Christ has become so vocal, oppressive, even threatening to anyone who would voice their concerns over their particular candidate, or worse, disagreed with their choice for President. From Kenneth Copeland threatening anyone who would not vote for Trump by suggesting that they would answer to God at the judgment, to other well known Charismatic, Evangelical and Pentecostal leaders who even dared to suggest that if one did not vote for Trump, they would actually lose their salvation!

It not only startles me as a fellow Christian that so many within the church would even support someone like Mr. Trump, but to dare suggest that those who didn’t should be held accountable for all the evils in the world should Trump not win? Even going to such lengths as to harass believers into voting for Trump or they should find another church to attend? Yes friends, this is all well documented, it happened. Yet even more, the church said a hearty AMEN in response. It was truly a ‘take Trump or else’ movement that mirrored the early mafia/union days of the early 30’s to anyone who dared voted against Unions in America. Yet throughout the church world, Christian leaders, prophets, pastors and such were all committed to Trump, for many it was not even an option, for Trump was, as so many called him, “God’s Candidate”. The reality was, and remains – he’s not.

I believe that what we saw on November 8th was nothing short of a church which has sunk to its lowest level since I can even remember. I saw a church divided, (and divided still) anger, bitter, displaying not the love of Christ for anyone who was not like minded, but one which took aim at any one and any thing which would jeopardize their vision of America at restoring the nation back to some sort of mythical city where God could reign – literally. And they had their prophets as well proclaiming such. From the NAR, the Dominionist’s, the Charismatic sects as well as many fundamentalists, all declaring that God said this was the man whom would restore America to its heyday. The only problem is, what period of time are we going to go back to? To the 1950’s version of America where blacks had little say in matters of culture? Or the 1900s where women had no right to vote? Are we going to now dictate what kind of religion can worship freely in America? The Muslim? The Jew? Are they allowed to stay? The truth is, the America so many of these who have aligned with Mr. Trump’s vision of America have failed to realize is, that America has changed since the 50s. No longer is this the all American, Christian America that so many have become enamored with from the portraits of Norman Rockwell. This America is more diverse today than ever before. In other words, the days of old are past.

The truth is, the church was wrong with its direction for the past year and half, and whatever testimony they had with the world, was all lost the moment Trump won the Oval office. Throw dirt in the air all you want, the fact remains, the one true virtue of the church was the standard by which it held, which meant it did not get involved in the political affairs of a nation, instead, it stood separate as a reminder of what true standards and character meant. Yet we threw that away the moment the church aligned itself with Mr. Trump, whose own character did not align itself to the virtues of one who claims to walk with Christ.

So I sought the Lord, I prayed about what took place two nights ago, and finally the Lord led me to the word – his word, for an answer. It was found in Ezekiel 12:9-12. “Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: These actions contain a message for King Zedekiah in Jerusalem and for all the people of Israel.’ Explain that your actions are a sign to show what will soon happen to them, for they will be driven into exile as captives. “Even Zedekiah will leave Jerusalem at night through a hole in the wall, taking only what he can carry with him. He will cover his face, and his eyes will not see the land he is leaving.

What I feel the Lord leading me to say is this, #1, the church has committed idolatry by erecting a man as their savior, their hope for a nation for they have in turn placed America above God. They have committed idolatry because their love for Patriotism and the flag and the Constitution rises above their love for God and his word. They want something that they cannot have, to which God is attempting to change, but they are fighting it tooth and nail, and they will lose.

#2, Trump was a stopgap in God’s prophetic timetable. Meaning, he is only President for a brief moment.

#3, The nation will never become a place for the church to hide in, nor will Trump’s election resolve anything, it will only get worse as we get further into things in this world. There is clearly a massive deception taking place surrounding Trump, and it’s one that Satan has created to lure the church once again into a false hope.

#4 There will be a woman President. Several years ago I heard the Lord speak to me to say that “She will lead them to war”, and at that particular time, I believed the only logical conclusion to that word would in fact be Hillary Clinton simply because she was the only logical selection as no other would do so (at that time). However, even though I know God spoke to me, I know God revealed to me what would eventually come, it was simply not her who would step inside the Oval Office. The prophecy is accurate yet the details were wrong. Which brings me to my warning that we must always be patient when God speaks. When Agabus spoke of a coming famine (Acts 11:28), it took ten years from the moment he spoke it to it coming to pass. We must learn to unlearn religious traditions that we have embraced, and learn to trust God at his very word, like Abraham, Moses, Paul and Daniel.  Yet I believe that whomever the next President will be, I believe we will see a woman step into the White House, and that will bring us to some sort of significant conclusion to America.

#5 I believe the reason why God led me to Ezekiel 12:9-12 is simple, when we examine scripture, we see something very interesting the prophet was facing himself at that time. Ezekiel saw the Babylonian Empire coming, but Israel did not. They believed, by via false prophets, that Israel would be a great nation still, it would grow and offset the Babylonians. They even had a “King” named Zedekiah whom they believed would protect Israel. But God said something very significant about this man whom Israel declared a King – he wasn’t. God called him a Prince. If it’s to be noted, Zedekiah was not to rule as Davids predecessor, instead, Jehoiachin the last King God honored would rule, there would be no other. God would not honor this selection that the people desired. And Israel would go into captivity. Much the same when the people desired a King, God told the prophet Samuel to remind the people that he had indeed desired a King for them, a Godly man who would be after his own heart whose name was David. But the people would not wait, and instead, desired Saul, one who would be ruthless and eventually lose not only his kingdom, but see the ark carried off by the Philistines, dying by his own sword. Trump will not stop what is coming, for he is the peoples choice, he was not God’s choice.

Today, the modern church is exactly like Israel of old. It is amazing to see the resemblance of Israel to the modern church in the West. But by grace God protects his people. Yet I believe it sets an example of how that many would become deceived in the last days by such a great deception to which the world, and even the church, could not imagine. The one thing Trump mirrors for me as one looking outside the system, is how undiscerning the church is today, and how much it truly is captivated by this world. It wants the things of God and the world. Some would even suggest that I am unpatriotic, that I resent or dislike America. But they would be wrong. I have great respect to what America is, and more importantly, what it was. But something has obviously turned spiritually speaking in the nation, it is not what it once was.

So I leave this topic with a heaviness within my spirit, knowing that whatever is coming, God is giving the church, not America, time to set its affairs in order. Not to change America in the hopes of restoring it back to its former glory, but instead, the church coming back to the cross, the only means by which it can withstand the great deception that is about to cover this world, including America.

I stand by this prophetic word.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Barack-Obama

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” 2 Thessalonians 2:9

 

It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace,” he said. “To do that, of course, we Americans will have to yield up some of our sovereignty. That would be a bitter pill. It would take a lot of courage, a lot of faith in the new order. Pat Robertson has written in a book a few years ago that we should have a world government, but only when the Messiah arrives. He wrote, literally, any attempt to achieve world order before that time must be the work of the devil. Well, join me. I’m glad to sit here at the right hand of Satan.” — Walter Cronkite

 

How does one go from obscurity to enormous popularity within the span of only a few years? Equally, how can someone come from a vague, not to mention mysterious past and become the leader of the free world with little political experience? In a more realistic world none would have reached such vast heights both socially, as well as politically in such a short time, yet one did, and his name is Barack Obama.

Since time began, there has always been someone willing, even appointed, who would fulfill the will of Satan to bring about his plan for a global society. From the fallen angels mentioned in Genesis 6:1-3, who by their very will, caused mankind untold horror when these beings left their angelic state to then corrupt the world to such a degree that God had no choice but to destroy all of mankind, save Noah and his family. It was only a few hundred or more years later that Nimrod took his rightful place as the first global leader, and convinced the people to come together and build a great tower, which in turn would be opened to the heavens. God had to stop man, as well as Satan’s plan for world globalism, not because it was the wrong man (Nimrod), but it was the wrong time.

Century after century, certain men would rise up and declare their goal for world power. Nebuchannezar, Herod, The Pharoh’s, Nero, Hitler, Stalin and Mao. These men, among others throughout the course of time, all had one common theme by which they walked and ruled – to bring about world order. Yet none came close to fulfilling that desire, regardless how much they wanted it, globalism was never within their grasp.

Enter the 21st century and one Barack Obama.

Barack Obama was born August 4th, 1961. Raised by a single mother as well as his grandparents, Barack Obama grew up under not so normal circumstances. Moving to Indonesia, he studied and grew up surrounded by life in a moderate Muslim community. Moving back to Hawaii with his family in 1971, Barack began to once again become familiar with life in the States. Throughout the rest of his early formative years, Barack Obama began to grow, mature and go on to become our nations next President. Yet the question remains, but how?

How did a virtually unknown become one of the nations more popular Presidents of our time? How did a man who had little experience in the political process, had no significant accomplishments while a U.S. Senator, and one who had never managed to show any viable signs of being a true leader of the free world? Past Presidents, and their life’s work could openly be seen. Yet for one Barack Obama, who never had the type of life of past men who have graced the seal of the Oval office, his life, his childhood, education, and political experience reveals something other, and that is why I believe, when we look at the now end of the political life of President Barack Obama and his tenure as our 44th President of the United States, we can see through his own actions while President, of why he was selected, and that selection had nothing to do with his political ambitions, or his globalist worldview, but something more sinister which needs to be taken into account, and that is, who is really behind his rise as the world’s leader?

There is no question in my mind that in another time and another place, Barack Obama would never have become President. Yet, in 2016, after two past elections, insurmountable odds, even defeating the Clinton machine, Barack Obama has managed to do what no other could possibly do, and that is to be become elected as this nations President. Still, when we examine how the rise of Barack Obama took place, it’s imperative that we begin to look past the natural, and start examining the spiritual, for this is where I believe we will be able to understand that Barack Obama’s rise was anything but ordinary, but destined.

In the book, “Dreams From my Father”, a book written by Barack Obama, he begins to relate to the reader of an event which occurred several years before his entry into the world of politics. A dream that Barack had which reveals something very significant when we examine the spiritual matters of men, here is that dream from an excerpt from his book:

I finally fell asleep, and dreamed I was walking along a village road. Children, dressed only in strings of beads, played in front of the round huts, and several old men waved to me as I passed. But as I went farther along, I began to notice that people were looking behind me fearfully, rushing into their huts as I passed. I heard the growl of a leopard and started to run into the forest, tripping over roots and stumps and vines, until at least I couldn’t run any longer and fell to my knees in the middle of a bright clearing. Panting for breath, I turned around to see the day turned night, and a giant figure looming as tall as the trees, wearing only a loincloth and ghostly mask. The lifeless eyes bored into me, and I heard a thunderous voice saying only that it was time, and my entire body began to shake violently with the sound, as if I were breaking apart. …I jerked up in a sweat, hitting my head against the wall lamp that stuck out over the bunk. In the darkness, my heart slowly evened itself, but I couldn’t get back to sleep again”. [Dreams from My Father, 372.]

There is a multitude of information which could be examined in this one glimpse of what normally has been a very private life of one Barack Obama. Yet, with all his past secrecy’s, the limited private information about Barack Obama’s past, either past school records, or his tenure as editor of the Harvard Legal Review where nothing attributed to his time as editor was penned, let alone any thesis from his years at Columbia University, where none has ever been found, we see something extraordinary. We see for the first time someone open himself up, either on purpose or a miscalculated goof of a spiritual revelation by which a young Barack Obama has an encounter with Satan. It is in this moment that we can clearly see where Barack Obama has been chosen to set things into motion, and where Satan selectively appoints Obama on the road to political history, to which the world will never be the same. Sound far fetched? Not when we take into consideration that Satan, like God, selects those whom will follow him for greatness by promising them the world. It is here, in these pages of Barack Obama’s own words that he penned in his memoirs, that I believe Barack Obama sold his soul to fulfill prophetic destiny, and reveals to us, either by intention or simply an oversight, of how the kingdom of darkness works.

Either way, when we examine the dream that he had, there is no question that Satan had chosen this man for his own purpose. Yet, can we find any type of information which would tell us the how’s or why’s he was chosen? Sadly no. There are still some things that we as Christians are simply not privy to for what occurs between the veil that separates our world from the other side. However, we can say this though as it relates to how Satan works, he always uses those who seem to be conscious of the fact that they want something greater, not for merely themselves, but to satisfy their own lustful desires.

What little we do know of Barack’s ideas and opinions (what little there is) we can clearly see that his entire framework was crafted under the guise of globalism. I’ve written many articles in the past where I have stated without question that globalism is the key to building the foundation toward a centralized form of world Government. Yet it is globalism that he has devoted significant time to, and politically mastered that has made President Obama willing to go the distance in solving the world’s problems by giving the leaders of the world its only solution, a one world Government.

Globalism has been around for decades, even centuries, yet never until now was it even considered a remote possibility. Communism in the east and Russian fronts in the past made Globalism a dream that only futurists could perceive, but never realized. But fast forward to the 21st century and one can see that for the first time in world history, globalism has become the single most talked about event since man walked on the moon. Yet events, as well as patience had to work itself out. The fall of the Soviet Union, the fading of Communist China as a nation, only to be radically changed from the inside thru the reformation, have all but broken the barriers needed to bring the world closer to a one world system. Yet there are significant obstacles which stand in the way, and one of those obstacles happens to be a religion called Islam.

There is no question that right now across the world, Islam is on the minds of every nation on earth, and how to deal with Islam in this 21st century has become the sore spot of many a political maneuver. So how does Islam, with nearly 2 billion devotees to this sect become mingled under the umbrella of Globalist idealism, which goes strictly against the tenants of the teachings of Islam? Bring in one Barack Obama.

Isn’t it interesting that the one person who grew up as a young boy in Indonesia, who has stated many times over of his love for the sound of the call to prayer, who respects and even supports Islam and its many followers, isn’t it interesting that it is Barack Obama, the Globalist, who is the very one that is bridging the gap between the Muslim world and the modernized world? If there was ever a significant sign that someone has been called, even anointed to play a major part in the socialized order of the world, it is in fact Barack Obama.

This is why it is my opinion that President Obama was in fact selected, either through the channels of the most powerful elite, or he was by-passed altogether at the start by Satan himself, for whatever reason in Barack’s own personal life, and established to run this course to begin laying the foundations of the world for a coming world order. And he is succeeding.

I firmly believe that Barack was indeed called and chosen to set the world on the path toward a future one world Government. His past eight years as President have shown that his #1 agenda has always been (besides gay rights initiatives which take a close second) to bring about a globalization of all the world’s resources, which include its economic policies, its social welfare, and even religion – especially religion. And while I make no pretense to suggest that President Obama is the antichrist – he isn’t. I do believe, due to many attributes surrounding him, that Satan has, for whatever purpose and plan, chose this man to do what no other man (or woman) could do right now, successfully demonstrate that Globalism should not be rebuffed, but embraced, and the world is actually listening.

The truth is when we look at the character of President Obama – the man, he is a likeable person, people just simply like him. They find him charismatic, enjoyable and even intellectually sound, but the reality is, people like Barack Obama because he has a spirit of one who knows how to entice those who come into his presence. This is a significant trait of someone who could be used by God, or by Satan, and we can see, thru his own efforts, that God is not leading this man, but Satan is. Which is why I firmly believe President Obama knows exactly what he’s doing and why, because of the spirit that is leading him.

Still, when we examine him and his ideas, we see that in another time or another place, Barack Obama would never have gotten this far had it not been for a point in times past that Satan skillfully began the process of grooming this particular man for service, whether he was a willing participant or not is unknown, however, there is no question that by Barack’s own admission in his own writing, his very words suggest that Satan did in fact come to him, he did in fact tell him that it “was time”, and that somehow, in some political miracle, he overcame obstacles that seasoned Politicians could not overcome, yet he did, without any shot being fired, and without any major backers in Washington, Barack Obama did the impossible, and to that we need to consider the real possibility that he does in fact represent a terrible glimpse of what is coming – the leader of the entire world called antichrist.

“This will keep America on its toes. America is going to have to compete. There is going to be a tug-of-war within the US between those who see globalization as a threat and those who accept we live in a open integrated world, which has challenges and opportunities.” –President Barack Obama

 

From my desk in China,

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

BEWARE THE SNARE OF SATAN

Posted: October 15, 2016 in HOT TOPICS
Tags: , ,

snare_of_the_enemy

 

This is a special article written by Christian Author and speaker Gregory Reid for The Prophetic News.

 

 

SNARES IN MINISTRY

There are five little-spoken-of snares for anyone called of God:

1. The obsession with numbers – “numbering the people. (1 Samuel 24:10) The kingdom work is “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord.” If you only have 5, preach like it was 5,000. Stop head counting, it is a trap. “And the Lord added to the churches daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47) There will be many saints with great rewards whose churches never reached the mega dream, but they labored without ceasing in obedience no matter what the numbers.

2. Corporate ambition. We rarely admit it, but we lust and envy after those with the big thing, the media attention, the best-selling book, the 24/7 church bookings. We must crucify what our flesh longs to sanctify and justify. Be content with where God has placed you and what He has given you to do. Be faithful in the little, and deal cruelly with the breaking of the commandment to not covet your neighbor’s things. (Exodus 20:17)

3. The quest for financial success.

I am not against money or prosperity, But the quest for it in ministry a dangerous thing. Paul said he had learned how to be abased and abound, but in all things to be content. You will face times of material blessing and times of difficulty. It can never be the point of the work or the center of the message, and it is so easy to justify our cravings for the material by using certain scriptures. Tread lightly, friend. Paul declared the whole counsel of God. Read the last part of Hebrews 11, not just the first part of it. “He chooses our inheritance for us.”

4. Power over people. Friend, you handle the Word of God, and that is a sobering thing. Anyone who gets up in front of anyone – especially these days – with even a little bit of persuasive ability or charisma, has the ability to convince and sway people with their words. When you are in ministry, you may have both the persuasive charisma AND the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This should make you tremble in fear. For we will be accountable for every word that comes out of our mouths, and most believers are trusting, innocent and for the most part unskilled in the Word. (That is why discipleship is so crucial.) Those in youth ministry need to be especially careful because there is an added vulnerability in our young sheep that requires you to understand that EVERY.SINGLE.WORD. is heard, and mostly respected, and in many cases, remembered for life – especially the words we speak in a personal or “out of the raised platform” setting – just in every day fellowship and conversation. Remember that life and death are in the power of the tongue.

It is possible to get a taste of power when you see people responding to your word, and/or His Word. I have known people who became spiritual dictators and monsters because they forgot where they stopped and God began, and began to think anything they said or did was okay. They wrecked many lives, because the lust for spiritual power is even more dangerous than the lust for political or social power, because we can so easily spiritually justify it. Don’t do it. Tell yourself every day and many times a day, “I am a foot washer, I am a servant. I am not here to be served.” Always remember, as Paul said, that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) Better you never enter a platform again than to think it is your talents, your abilities or your power with words that got you there.

5. The power of prestige.

Few will talk about it, but in modern evangelical ministry, it’s not about what you know, but WHO you know. As a young minister years ago, it was like that as well. I watched in Christian church, media and music circles as people climbed over people to get in the “inner circle” of those who could promote them or their ministries, and often give them bragging rights to name-drop at other Christian gatherings. I saw it as I began to “rise to the top of the Christian dog heap,” realized it was no different from the Hollywood world I knew about from growing up in Southern California, and asked God to drop me down to the bottom of the ladder if necessary rather than get my walk ruined by lusting after “being with the big boys and girls.” It is the height of spiritual idolatry. Crucify it.

Gene Edwards said, “Many pray for the power of God. More every year. Those prayers sound powerful, sincere, godly, and without ulterior motive. Hidden under such prayer and fervor, however, are ambition, a craving for fame, the desire to be considered a spiritual giant. The person who prays such a prayer may not even know it, but dark motives and desires are in his heart…in your heart.”

I have given in to each of the above traps at one time or another in my time in ministry, and God mercifully, and is still mercifully delivering me from each one. It takes guts to examine your heart and ask Him to show you what’s really there. You may not like it. You may turn out much better than I did in terms of not having these snares. And you may also not even be willing to recognize them in yourself. I pray that is not the case. God needs men and women of faith that will rise above base motives and the “spiritual” snares and become true humble servants of Jesus that have no hidden motive in their calling and desire to fulfill His will.

God bless you all and keep you under the shadow of His wing,

Gregory Reid

new-church
There is a particular scene from the movie “Fiddler on the Roof” where Tevye, the father of five daughters, fights a changing world around him in his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family’s lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love – each one’s choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of his faith – and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village. Which causes Tevye to raise his hands in one last appeal to God by shouting, “TRADITION!”.
Yet today, like Tevye, there are Christians holding onto the last aspects of their tradition, but in doing so, they have become so narrowly and earthly minded, that they become no earthly good when reaching the lost. I have seen believers get bent out of shape because churches might change the methods not rooted and grounded in tradition, be it baptism, communion or even sticking to the red letter bible. The point is, the times do in fact change, societies change, ideas change, and what might have worked 100, 50 or even 10 years ago, simply will not work today. I grew up in a traditional, Pentecostal upbringing that had direct connection to Pentecostal revivals in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee in the early part of the 20th century. I saw those changes beginning to form by the time I was starting in my early teens in the late 1970’s, by the beginning of 1980, the aspects of the old time Pentecostal movement had drastically changed, forever changing the way we see church.
 
Now, someone is upset because a church had a Dunkin Donuts baptism (I’m still trying to grasp that one). Another is upset a pastor rode a Harley Davidson into the church, while others are fuming over Randy Travis singing for the Lord for John Hagee. It’s all about one segment of the body of Christ (traditionalists) seeing the world around them change, while another group (modernists) begin to rise. And let me state for the record that I’m not that fond of every method used in church. However, if we would stop and trace our church history, one would see that even 100 years ago, the church in America was arguing over things which in general were a challenge to the status quo, and it can be seen through of all things – grape juice.
 
Ever since the early church was founded, the church used fermented wine in communion. This was tradition. By the time America was founded, and the church took a more political role in the founding of this nation (its first mistake), the church saw something it no longer wanted to be apart of, using alcohol in communion settings. By the 1800s, America was going thru the temperance movement, whereby the use of alcohol in any form was considered sinful, but what was the church to do? After all, the church in Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world at that particular time used wine (and still does to this day) for communion. But American conservatism, emboldened by the religious political movement of the time, sparked a furor and the church preached against it. Yet what would they do instead? Enter one man – Dr. Thomas B. Welch (dentist) to solve the problem, as well, allowed the Methodist movement that was gaining significant clout in American influence to solve the problem. In 1869, he perfected a juice pasteurization process in his kitchen and began selling “Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine” to churches preferring an alcohol-free substitute for Communion. By the early part of 1870s, the Temperance movement had reached its height and churches began to adopt Welch’s grape juice instead of wine. It had nothing to do with scripture, but tradition.
 
When people were introduced to the red letter bible, (the words of Jesus printed in red) they took to it almost immediately, thinking that this was truly the mark of Gods Holy word. Yet they never realized that it was less about the Holy book, but a marketing gimmick to sell bibles which were different than mainstream bibles at the time. Yet Americans were quick to latch onto it, and thus creating a traditional mindset of ‘Red letter only’ scripture.
 
Even water baptism could not escape traditionalists when the baptismal pool began to make its way into many American churches in place of the long held traditional view of being baptized in a creek the way Jesus did it. Many traditionalists, even some to this very day, consider baptismal pools as against the traditional method used since the founding of the early church. The point is, things change, people change, ideas change and yes, cultures change. Yet there must be a balance in that change which does not compromise the gospel to such a degree that the message is so far removed from the truth that it no longer holds any ability to challenge the hearer, and instead becomes watered down by tolerance and relevancy. God’s word remains the same, but sometimes a method can change which will deal with the sinner in a more appropriate way.
 
Keep in mind, Jesus used analogies when he taught the people, which was literally unheard of at the time. Most prophets were preachers, voicing the power of God, compelling men everywhere to repent. Yet Jesus used a tactic which was confounding to many, he used stories as a way to reach the people. One could almost say that Jesus was the first story-teller of the bible. Yet he did so with the intent of using a new way of reaching the lost, yet never relenting its message to a point of ridicule. We can do the same.
 
I live in China, and as such, I can tell you from experience that 85% of what I did in American churches would not, nor has not worked in China today. Why? Because cultures across the world are NOT the same. Every message must be carefully crafted in such a way that it can reach the hearer, even if that method seems offbeat in our own mind and rationale’. The fact is, God gives us direction and guidance, and not every method will be the same across the board, because things change, people change. But the one thing that will never change is the gospel when it’s presented in such a way that will bring an instant response. For that is the nature of the gospel, and why we must not be so hard headed for our love of tradition, but understanding that to reach some people, different ways must be used by different means. Such is the way we reach all mean, by being open minded.
 
“Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. Instead, we have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not practice deceit, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by open proclamation of the truth, we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake For God, who said “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:1-6
From my desk in China,
Christopher
Contact me: christopher152@gmail.com

darth-sidius

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

For decades, even centuries, men have been trying in vain to discover who the coming man of sin shall be, and what his name is. They have labored in such fervor, relentless in their pursuit of identifying the evil one, touting possible names such as Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush, and many more, all attempting to solve one of the more intriguing mysteries this side of heaven. Yet with all of their fervor, all of their dedication in summoning something, anything that would reveal to the world, as well as the church, exactly who the coming man of sin is, they have failed to understand, nor even grasp that chances are, they will never know – until it’s too late. And for good reason, maybe they were never meant to in the first place?

It’s actually hard to fathom to think about, but there are two glaring possibilities at play that we need to keep in mind when we dwell on the prophetic future, especially to that which pertains to such events which will change the world as we know it; That one, God has purposely hid the future dark King from being recognized, and second (and very telling to say the least) is that the church won’t even know, nor even recognize him at all when he does appear onto the world stage!

Still, when we examine the word of God, it clearly states who this being is, as well as gives us his name, but shall the evil one go under his given name by which he continues to reign in the bottomless pit? Or shall he take upon himself a more human name, yet keeping his full identity in secrecy? We truly don’t know the full answer to this question, however, when we read scripture upon scripture, we know this, #1, He won’t be revealed until his time has been allotted. #2, He will not come in his own name, but by something else. Yet what bothers me more is the fact that when we study out the word, it’s not so much that God withholds this vital piece of information from us when that day arrives, it’s more that we won’t know when he comes because we will be so deluded by the cares of this life that virtually no one will even catch it until it’s too late. Don’t believe me? Ask those German’s who are still alive today who watched with amazement of the rise of one Adolf Hitler and then ask them, “Why didn’t you know? Couldn’t you see it?” Their answer will astonish you.

There is a very remarkable scene, actually it plays itself out throughout the entire film in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” in which Anakin Skywalker becomes Lord Vador. In one pivotal scene, where Anakin discovers the truth about Senator Palpatine, that he is in fact a dark Sith – Lord Sidious. That Anakin realizes, but all too late, that the Jedi council, as well as the Senate, has been seduced, even blinded by this powerful dark being, that none of the Jedi even recognized who he truly was. That was the power of the dark side.

Although a fictional movie, there is still very much truth to this in real life. I had mentioned briefly about Hitler, asking the question many would pose to those still living who were there when Hitler rose to power, did they not know what Adolf was planning? Did they not see the darkness he desired for all of Germany? Why could they not see Adolf for who he was? An evil man who would thrust the world into a second world war, and cause the death of millions of Jews and Christians? The simple reason why most of the German people supported Hitler in his rise, as well as throughout the remaining weeks of the war, was due to his continuing promise to keep Germany, as well as the people safe. He promised them what they wanted to hear.

This leads us back to our question; Will the church recognize the man of sin when he arrives? And the answer is – probably not. The Apostle Paul mentions to us something interesting in 2 Timothy 4:3 “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,” It is quite clear from the scripture Paul presents, that at some point in the last days just prior to the return of Christ, and just before the unleashing of the evil one upon the world, there will be such a departure from the faith that many will simply no longer have any desire for the things of God, or they will succumb to the lie that will unfold before all the world to see.

Jesus warned in Matthew 24:11 that many will rise up deceiving many. In 1 Timothy 4:1 Paul says that many who call themselves Christian, will follow after [strange] false signs and wonders. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Paul warns not to be deceived by what is coming in the last years on this earth. Do you notice the pattern? What are Jesus, Peter, James, John and even Paul warning about? They are warning us not to be swept away from strong delusion in the coming days which lay ahead. Yet unfortunately we can see in our current world the modern church being seduced, entangled into false signs and wonders, charlatans, and the rise of numerous false prophets in this late hour.

This is why, based on everything I am seeing today, that the church, and those who walk in it, who call themselves believers in Christ, will most likely not even recognize the man of sin when he arrives on the world stage. Not because God purposely hid him from sight, but because our eyes and ears (spiritually speaking) could not, nor will not recognize the very one who will make war with the church in the last days until it’s too late. Remember, the Jews never suspected Jesus when he arrived, nor did his disciples, even Peter, the only disciple surrounding Christ, like the other 11, only thru the Holy Spirit, did Peter recognize who Jesus was. Even John the Baptist was not sure, even though he baptized the Lord, John sent his own disciples to ask the Lord if he was indeed the one who was promised to come to redeem man from sin. Yet Jesus had to rebuke Israel for not knowing who he was, and he had to remind his own who he was, why? Because they could not discern.

God help us to keep our eyes and ears open to what is occurring throughout the world, for while I suggest that the church probably not recognize him when the evil one comes, still, I believe, there will be some, like Peter, who are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and will immediately recognize him for who he is – the greatest evil ever known to man.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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There is an account in the book of Galatians (Chapter 2: 11-14) where Paul publicly admonished Peter because he was removing himself from the message of grace and going back into law. So much so was Peter’s error that it almost divided the church to such a degree, that had Paul not traveled to Antioch at this most crucial time in the early churches history, the damage caused by one man could have set the church back years, even decades, if not generations. Even Barnabas was caught up in Peter’s theological mess. All because one man’s (Peter) error in judgment. How sad that now we are beginning to see something similar taking shape within the modern church, and like Peter, it has to do with bad theology, which, if not corrected, will cause untold spiritual harm to the current church world.

Paul makes it clear in his letter that at no time should we lay hands on anyone suddenly, as well, Paul makes it equally clear that we should ‘know’ those who labor among us. This should be the rule for all pastors or evangelists when dealing with someone who might not be either in the faith, or a recent convert. Which brings me to my thoughts on Greg Laurie allowing Mel Gibson the stage to discuss Hollywood films.

I am confused, even puzzled at this recent decision which would allow someone who has a public record of bad life choices be allowed a platform on a gospel stage to influence countless lives by someone who for the most part, has never shown one sample of good fruit of being born again (John 15:1-8). Yet Laurie not only welcomed Gibson on stage, he even supported and endorsed his latest movie (one by the way which glorified a Seventh Day Adventist). Truth is, (and this must be clearly understood) Pastor Laurie’s decision to bring the Hollywood star on stage before many in his crusade was his right, after all, it’s his ministry. Yet, the issue though is the message it sends to the church, not that Greg Laurie had the right to do so, but that his actions were one which if anything, lends confusion to others who might not fully understand the spiritual dilemma certain actions might bring. If Mel Gibson has not been truly saved, born again in Christ, and is simply doing a public relations photo op for the recently announced The Passion 2 – The Resurrection, then his presence at a evangelistic event where the gospel will be preached is one which was pure flesh, and worse, another example of how far the church is departing from the truth these days.

More and more these days I’m seeing ministries enticing, even joining up with secular people (actors, pop stars, musicians, politicians, athletes) all in a feeble attempt to garner relevance with the world, much less the church. Yet what is getting left out in this admiration for popular sinners these days is salt – in this case salt which would bring about conviction and not friendship. Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (emphasis mine)

Notice what Jesus said? If the salt (the essence of the Holy Spirit and with power) is gone, either by lukewarmness or worse – blatant compromise with the world, then no longer are you able to bring the gospel to the lost, but worse, you will find yourself being cast out because of that very act of compromising the gospel for relevance. This is why the word says that friendship with the world…”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)

But that is the state of the modern church today, accepting anything (or anyone) these days who desires to seek an audience to either influence the body of Christ, or gain from it, in this case the gain is money. Yet I suspect that in Greg Laurie’s case, his intention was…well..to be honest, I don’t know what his intentions were. Either way, only Greg knows why he has chosen to reject sound, biblical doctrine of not entangling himself with the world, and instead, allowing not only his people, but many a believer to be swayed by someone who has never shown to this day any fruit of being born again. That is the problem with the modern church as I see it. Being infatuated by Hollywood “saints” instead of calling the sinners to repent. All of this is yet another example of what’s occurring within the church today – compromise, for the sake of relevancy. Yet the only thing which is being compromised is the word, and when the church loses it saltiness, then we truly will have no ability, or stomach, to deal with the true darkness which is rising up around us, because we’re too busy sipping beers with the world’s famous players, while losing the game. God help us.

Christopher

From my desk in China.

Email me at: christopher152@gmail.com