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‘Real’ Christian Churches in US Forced to Go Underground Soon?

Christian churches in America will soon be forced to go underground if they want to stay true to their beliefs and to God, a conservative broadcast commentator warned.

Longstreet, a 30-year veteran of the broadcasting business, recently explained his opinion on the Right Side News, first clarifying that only “real” Christian churches will have to do as he predicted.

“In the past three decades, or so, many of the mainline Christian churches have slipped away from their foundation on the Holy Scriptures and adopted more and more secular tenets and leftist, politically correct, philosophy until they have become only a shadow of the true followers of Christ,” he penned on Tuesday.

“In my opinion, those denominations can no longer claim to be ‘Christian’ churches simply because – they are not.”

A few years ago, the U.S. Army veteran had left his own denomination for the same reasons, seeing that it had chosen to forsake the tenets of the Bible and the Good News of the Gospel.

Though he admitted that he was in no way a “better Christian than any other follower of Christ,” he believed that many of the mainline denominations in America today were nothing more than social clubs with franchises nationwide.

“Their pastors ‘preach’ feel good ‘sermonettes’ about the environment and things like ‘social justice.’ In my opinion, that is not the mission of a church that purports to follow Christ. In fact, Christ, Himself, spelled out the mission of the church in what we refer to as The Great Commission.”

The Great Commission stated in Matthew 28:18-20 reads: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

That commission from Christ is the sole reason why the church exists today, Longstreet stressed.

“To fulfill that mission the church must stand firmly upon the foundation of the Holy Scripture and the teachings of the Christ. That means insisting that the standard(s) set by Christ are, and remain, the guiding force behind everything the church does … that means pastors are compelled to preach that those things the Scripture marks as sin are duly, and publicly, noted from their pulpits as SIN. If a church is reluctant to do this, or refuses to do this, then, in my opinion, that church is not a Christian church.”

The conservative commentator lamented that in America, pastors were afraid of preaching from the Scriptures, worried about the consequences – lawsuits, slander, or even embarrassment.

“It is a very real threat, especially to the evangelical church in America,” he added. “As a result, those churches which hold true to the Gospel, now feel that they must consider meeting in secret for Bible classes, for worship services, or other Bible centric gatherings.”

Even the government in America has criminalized biblical preaching and prevented thousands of churches and clergymen from practicing their faith without threat of penalty from the authorities, he charged.

“The Christian Church, I believe will be driven underground in America, as it has been in other nations around the globe. Otherwise, it will cease to exist in this land many firmly believe was founded by Christians,” Longstreet concluded.

“As much as it pains me to say this – America is no longer a Christian nation. At least, America’s government no longer governs by men and women who base their convictions on the Judeo-Christian code of laws and beliefs.”

Kevin Lewis, associate professor of Theology and Law at Biola University, shared some of Longstreet’s concerns.

“Today, the term evangelical is diluted,” Lewis told The Christian Post. “We now have ‘Liberal-Evangelicals,’ ‘Neo-Evangelicals,’ and ‘Post-Conservative Evangelicals,’ which are simply not with the classic evangelicals on doctrinal and cultural issues.”

Though there were still many women and men faithfully serving the Lord, they were in the minority.

Nonetheless, the Biola professor saw the decline of true Christianity and growing persecution of the church as an opportunity.

“Given past salvation history, I believe we will see more lost battles. But we also know that when the enemy actually touches the church, the people of God will awaken from their happy, evangelical slumber and seek new leadership. The current leadership is simply not doing the job necessary to win; and past leadership has failed.”

For Lewis, the “increased slouching toward Gomorrah in the church and culture” was a reflection of poor leadership from the evangelical Protestant church.

“I think the coming attacks will produce a search for new leadership. And it will then be the time for the unapologetic, biblically centered leaders to arise and take charge, both in the church and state.”

To remain “above” ground in America, the Protestant church needs to equip and train a new generation of Christian leaders in every sector of life, from the field of medicine to law.

“The Protestant church has lost the concept of ‘vocation’ and how it applies to each believer,” Lewis explained to CP. “I think there are many people called to be ‘Christian’ lawyers, judges, politicians, police officers, soldiers, medical doctors, etc. As such, as in the past, pastors and church leaders need to seek them out and train them if we want them to lead the government and culture. It is truly that simple.”

Though the Church had done this in the past, they are not doing it now, he noted.

“I believe it is our task to equip that new generation of Christian leadership to be the true biblically centered, scholastic activist leaders God requires. To do that, we need the majority of churches to enthusiastically return to biblical Protestant orthodoxy, which views all of life as ‘Christian,’ not simply the work inside the walls of the church.”

“While the outlook may appear bleak to some apart from divine intervention, there is certainly a way to fix the problem,” Lewis encouraged.

He believes God will spare this generation if Christians take immediate, radical and biblical steps. Those steps include repentance, leadership training and activism – essentially returning to “unapologetic biblical excellence.”

“If not, our children and children’s children will face persecution in America as Christians do in the U.K. and Canada.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2812

Are We Missing the Signs?

Read this really great article from Greg Laurie of Harvest Chapel in So Cal. He is absolutely right. Keep looking up!

Christmas is coming, and I think you would be hard-pressed not to know that right now. There are signs all around us that Christmas is here. And when did that start? August? The decorations are up in the malls. Colorful lights are strung on homes. There are the endless ads on TV, along with the specials the networks roll out every year, like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Then there is the Christmas music playing everywhere you go.

There is a lot of excitement and anticipation as Christmas approaches. When the first Christmas came, however, people pretty much missed it. Of course, there were no telltale signs like twinkling lights on houses. There were no Christmas songs written quite yet. There were no sales at the downtown market. Children did not find it hard to sleep the night before Christmas, because, for all practical purposes, it was a night like any other night.

But the first Christmas was not without its own signals and signs dating back a few centuries. The Hebrew prophets had predicted the Messiah was coming. And they were very specific in pointing out that the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world, would be born of a virgin and would be born in the little village of Bethlehem. “But you, Bethlehem …,” the prophet said, “Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2 NKJV).

On the first Christmas when Christ was born, it was pretty much business as usual. Things had been bleak for the Jewish people for some time. There had been an icy silence from heaven. Four hundred years had passed, and there had not been a single prophet to speak for God. There had been no miracles performed. No angelic appearances. And then they were under the tyranny of Rome. They were an occupied territory. The Promised Land had foreign intruders ruling over it. Things were very dark. It was time for the Messiah.

Then the closing line of Luke’s first chapter speaks of the arrival of Jesus: “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace” (Luke 1:78–79).

Before the sunrise had been the long-lasting dark. But for the faithful, bright flashes were appearing, telling them that the sun was rising.

Angels were busy getting things ready. The angel Gabriel had appeared to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, and also to Mary. An angel also appeared to Joseph, relaying the message that Mary’s child was supernaturally conceived in her womb and was the very Son of God.

And of course, we know the rest of the story. Joseph and Mary arrived in Nazareth, but they were turned away by the innkeeper. So God in human form came to us, born in a place where animals were kept.

The Messiah had come, but so many missed it: the innkeeper, the people of Bethlehem, the scholars, King Herod, and all of Rome. A handful of people got it, and they were ready. And while the first Christmas went largely unnoticed, it would be difficult to miss the Christmases of today.

So here is something to consider: Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth again. The Bible is emphatic about this. And just as there were many prophecies pointing to his first arrival that were fulfilled exactly, there are many prophecies that speak of his return again to the earth. And we have never been closer to his return than we are at this very moment.

A question for us to consider today is this: Have we done more to prepare for the celebration of a past event than we have for a future one? In other words, we may be ready for Christmas, but are we ready for the return of Christ?

The stakes are higher for this preparation. But some of us know more about preparing for Christmas than we do about preparing for Christ’s return. So what should we be doing?

We should be watching for him. The Bible says that “[Christ] will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28 NIV). Jesus said, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28 NKJV).

We should be ready to go. We need to be prepared. We need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. So to be ready for his return is to be engaged in activities that you would not be ashamed of if Christ were to come back at that very moment. An interesting question to ask yourself periodically is, This place that I am about to go, this thing that I am ready to do, would I be ashamed or embarrassed to be doing such a thing if Jesus were to come back? If the answer is yes, then don’t do it.

We should be anxiously awaiting His return. Have you ever anxiously awaited someone’s arrival? You look through the window and see them coming. Then you open the door before they can even knock. That is how we should be when we think of Christ’s return. We should be looking forward to it with anxious excitement.

We should be working. If watching is the evidence of faith, then working is the evidence of faith in action. Watching for Christ’s return will help us prepare our own lives. But working will assure that we bring others with us when he returns.

Most people missed it when Jesus came the first time. So let’s not miss it when he comes again. Are you ready?

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2809

Christianity is the Most Persecuted Religion

Matthew 24:9, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”

By Milena Faustova – “Christian believers all over the world have found themselves in jeopardy amid massive attacks on Christians and Christianity in the Middle East, North and South Africa and South East Asia. Unless appropriate measures are taken, the Christian civilization will vanish completely, warn the participants in the International Conference on the Freedom of Religion and Discrimination against Christians, which is currently under way in Moscow. The religious forum has brought together representatives of Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Islamic communities and religious experts from Russia and countries of the near and far abroad.

About 100 million Christians worldwide are suffering persecution and thousands die in religious conflicts. The biggest number of persecutions against Christians is taking place in the countries of Africa and the Middle East, said Metropolitan Hilarion, who heads the Russian Orthodox Church’s Foreign Relations Department:

‘In Libya, Christians have been leaving the country en masse following the toppling of Gaddafi’s regime and the coming to power of the National Transitional Council. According to the Open Doors human rights watchdog, 75 percent of Christians have left Libya. Tunisia’s government advocated the principle of religious tolerance before the revolution. Right after the revolution, Christians in Tunisia began to come under frequent attacks and a number of Christian churches were seized and turned into mosques.’

Anti-Christian sentiment has become strong in Egypt, which reports new victims among Christians regularly, and in Iraq. Christian believers come under fierce attacks in Algeria, Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and the Philippines…

The mounting anti-Christian moods were also evoked by a greater role of Islamic radicalism, aggressive missionary work by representatives of different non-Christian sects, and distortions of Christian teachings.”

We will be persecuted for our faith even here in America. It may or may not physical violence but I am attaching a second story out of New York City that sets the precedent that we can no longer have churches renting schools to hold service in! Keep praying and keep looking up!

Court: NYC Can Ban Churches From School Buildings

Dec 5, 2011

By Todd Starnes/TWITTER

The Supreme Court has rejected an evangelical church’s plea to overturn New York City’s ban on renting public schools for religious worship services. That means the city now has a green light to begin evicting congregations who pay rent to use public school buildings for church services.

“The Department was quite properly concerned about having any school in this diverse city identified with one particular religious belief or practice,” said Jane Gordon, senior counsel for the New York City Law Dept. “”The Court of Appeals correctly upheld the Department of Education’s policy not to allow the City’s public schools to be used as houses of worship.  This case has been litigated for 16 years, and we’re gratified that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear it.  We view this as a victory for the City’s school children and their families.”

The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling that upheld the city’s policy.

The court case involved the Bronx Household of Faith – a church that paid weekly rent to hold worship services at a public school since 2002. The church, along with five dozen other congregations, was allowed to continue worshipping at public schools pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

It’s a sad day for religious liberty,” said Jordan Lorence, the church’s attorney and senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. “Churches and religious other groups should be allowed to meet in public buildings on the same terms as other community groups and they’re being denied that in New York City.”

Churches will have to vacate public schools on Feb. 12, 2012.

“What’s odd about this is that of the top 50 school districts in the nation, New York City is the only school district that has a policy banning worship services,” he told Fox News & Commentary. “It does not show respect for religious liberty.”

The immediate impact means dozens of Christian churches will have to find a new place to hold services.

“A lot of churches are going to be homeless,” said George Russ, executive director of the New York Metropolitan Baptist Association. He said about seven of the 220 Southern Baptist churches in the city will be impacted by the decision.

Russ said churches will be scrambling to rent hotel space, banquet halls and movie theatres.

“It’s going to be a lot more money,” he said.

“The odd thing is these guys have blessed the schools they’ve been in,” Russ said. “They all have good relationships with the schools they’ve been in. They’ve purchased furniture for the teacher’s lounge they’ve given video equipment to the schools. They’ve done so many thank-you kinds of projects.”

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined that allowing churches to use schools resulted in an “unintended bias in favor of Christian religions” – since most Christian churches worship on Sunday. 

“Jews and Muslims generally cannot use school facilities for their services because the facilities are often unavailable on the days that their religions principally prescribe for services,” Judge Pierre Leval declared. “At least one request(ed) to hold Jewish services (in a school building used for Christian services on Sundays) was denied because the building was unavailable on Saturdays. This contributes to a perception of public schools as Christian churches, but not synagogues or mosques.” 

Judge Leval also took issue with the evangelical church’s membership. “Bronx Household acknowledges that it excludes persons not baptized, as well as persons who have been excommunicated or who advocate the Islamic religion, from full participation in its services.” Leval wrote. 

But it all boiled down to a key point, the judges decided. “In the end, we think the board could have reasonably concluded that what the public would see, were the Board not to exclude religious worship services, is public schools, which serve on Sundays as state-sponsored Christian churches,” Leval wrote. 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2790

What comes next after economy falls

The economic crisis across Europe has made it clear that the European Union isn’t meeting today’s economic realities, a condition that promises to have a global impact on other economies, including that of the United States, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The economic crisis is growing worse as central European bank lending to such countries as Italy, Greece and Spain now has dwindled to a trickle because investors are backing away from funding the region’s lenders.

There isn’t enough capital on hand to finance debt which is due to mature next year. Analysts believe there need to be dramatic changes in the structure of the EU if it is to survive.

They add that the EU is at the stage now where it needs to change to a more centralized parliament representing the respective members, who will have to give up some national sovereignty to create what amounts to a United States of Europe.

“The old EU is finished,” said one informed regional observer. “The 27-member bloc has never been as unpopular as it is today.”

As it now stands, the old EU is made up of countries whose parliaments can dictate the limits of their participation. They’ve seen how some countries in southern Europe with fewer resources and spiraling debt are forcing the more productive countries of northern Europe to help bail out the less fortunate ones, without any requirement for the southern countries to implement belt-tightening measures needed to help themselves recover from their own economic downturn.

As a consequence, the richer, northern countries such as Germany are dictating terms to such southern countries as Greece and Italy on belt-tightening measures needed to receive further bailout money.

Given the level of interdependence by countries now, it is too late to recede to a more isolated position. In fact, these experts say the thinking is toward “more Europe” with expanded powers and a “real government.” These analysts say that Europe today is where the U.S. was as a confederation prior to 1787 when the U.S. Constitution gave the U.S. a federal system.

Then, the confederation was comprised of 13 sovereign states with a Congress having certain powers in foreign affairs, to borrow money, deliver mail and control Indian affairs.

However, Congress then didn’t have the power to enforce its requests to states for money or troops until the 13 states ratified the U.S. Constitution.

Various analysts’ views are reflected in the concept put forward by Charles Grant of the Center for European Reform. He envisions a democratically united Europe in which citizens of the various countries vote directly for European commissioners, much like the U.S. does now in electing its representatives for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2759

Demonic Plan: Has it Been Hiding in Plain Sight?

There has been a demonic plan set way back in time by Satan to stop the Messiah. This goes all the way back to Genesis 3:15 prophecy of the emnity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.

But it has always been God’s plan that would win in the end and trump the Evil One’s pplan. Keep looking up!

With all the hype about the ancient Mayan calendar suggesting the demise of human civilization taking place in 2012, an American author wants everyone to know that other calendars predict the same outcome, and he claims a demonic plot bringing about the end date could be hiding in plain sight inside the U.S. Capitol and your wallet right now.

Tom Horn, a Bible-believing Christian and author of “Apollyon Rising 2012,” says he never actually had an interest in the Mayan calendar, which comes to a cyclical end on Dec. 21, 2012. But then he became aware of numerous unrelated calendars and prophecies spanning many centuries, all predicting the end of the current human age at next year’s winter solstice.

“I started finding that it wasn’t just the Maya,” Horn told WND, noting prognostications from Jewish mystics, as well as the ancient Chinese, Hindus, Cherokee Indians, and even artwork among famous American symbols that all point to the same time frame.

Despite not having telescopes, the Mayan people of Central America were extremely accurate observers of celestial movements, with the zenith of their civilization occurring between A.D. 250 and 900.

“The Maya understood this procession of the equinox, basically not to end, but to roll over, to start over,” in December 2012, Horn explained.

He says their prophets coupled that date “with prophecies of unrest on Earth after which a new form of man appears on Earth, plus the return of their dragon god, a flying serpent who has the power of air.”

“The Aztec saw the same thing, a flying serpent, Quetzalcoatl,” Horn said, adding, “their calendar ends in 2012.”

He says the Kali Yuga calendar of the Hindus forecasts global changes around 2012, and China’s “Book of Changes,” also known as the “I-Ching,” predicts the end for the same year.

Horn says 38 years ago, when scientists Terrence and Dennis McKenna created a stock-market-like linear graph based on the “I-Ching,” the timeline abruptly plunged off the graph into infinity on precisely Dec. 21, 2012.

“This finding is all the more astonishing given that McKenna’s research was published in 1973 independent of any knowledge of the ending date in the Mayan calendar,” Horn noted.

Meanwhile, the Zohar, a collection of books in the mystical Jewish Kabbalah that first debuted in Spain in the 13th century, talks about the coming of the Messiah at the same general time the other calendars forecast the end.

It predicts in late 2012, “All the kings of the world will assemble in the great city of Rome, and the Holy One will shower on them fire and hail and meteoric stones until they are all destroyed, with the exception of those who will not yet have arrived there. These will commence anew to make other wars. From that time the Mashiach (Messiah) will begin to declare himself, and round him there will be gathered many nations and many hosts from the uttermost ends of the Earth.”

Horn says, “Given the rejection of Jesus by orthodox Jews as Messiah, this coming could herald the coming of Antichrist in 2012.”

What’s perhaps most fascinating is Horn’s discussion of what could be the mother of all conspiracy theories, dating back to the Bible’s Book of Genesis, involving Noah’s great grandson Nimrod, who not only built the famous Tower of Babel, but is the “mighty hunter” who scholars believe became worshipped as the sun god, with names such as Osiris in Egypt and Apollo in Greece.

Horn says from deepest antiquity, a plot involving pagan sun-worshippers, America’s Founding Fathers, Masons and Freemasons has apparently been in the works, culminating in the end time with the return or resurrection of an evil, supernatural being. That character may actually be pictured as the all-seeing eye on top of the uncapped pyramid on the Great Seal of the United States, found on the back of a $1 bill.

Others have speculated the eye on top of the pyramid could be a representation of Jesus Christ, since the Bible notes, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.” (Psalm 118:22 New International Version).

The date at the base of the pyramid is 1776, which is not only the year the Declaration of Independence was signed, but also the beginning of a new Mayan “katun,” a time period of 19.7 years. If each of the 13 levels of the pyramid on the Great Seal represents one of these time periods, the top level would mark the year 2012.

The Latin phrase “Novus ordo seclorum” is part of the American seal, and translates to “New order of the ages,” which some fear is what many U.S. presidents, including George Herbert Walker Bush, allude to when they use the phrase, “New World Order.”

Other strange connections to the United States include the Frieze of American History, a painted panorama at the U.S. Capitol.

Among the artwork is “Cortez and Montezuma at Mexican Temple” by Italian artist Constantino Brumidi.

Montezuma is shown gesturing to the sacred fire with a serpent wrapped around it. According to the Aztec calendar, the fire is predicted to burn out on Dec. 21, 2012.

It depicts Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez, the conqueror of Mexico, entering the Aztec temple in 1519. He’s welcomed by Emperor Montezuma II, who thought Cortez was a god.

“Montezuma’s hand is pointing directly down at the sacred fire, which, in point of fact, goes out … Dec. 21, 2012, the end of the calendar,” Horn noted.

Also featured in the frieze is the Aztec calendar stone, and the sun god Tonatiuh, to whom pagan priests had 80,000 people sacrificed in the year of 1487 alone.

“Hiding in plain sight is the god who demands human sacrifice,” said Horn.

He says another high-profile piece that may hold end-time clues is the famous painting in the Rotunda of the Capitol, titled “The Apotheosis of George Washington.” The word “apotheosis” means to deify or elevate to divine status, and Washington is depicted being resurrected and becoming divine.

The U.S. Capitol Rotunda features “The Apotheosis of George Washington,” with America’s first president becoming glorified as a god, along with numerous pagan gods.

But Horn notes in “Apollyon Rising 2012”:

Those who believe the United States was founded on Christianity and visit the Capitol for the first time will be surprised by the stark contrast to historic Christian artwork of the ascension of Jesus Christ compared to the “heaven” George Washington rises into from within the energized Capitol Dome/womb of Isis. It is not occupied by angels, but with devils and pagan deities important to Masonic belief. These include Hermes, Neptune, Venus (Isis), Ceres, Minerva, and Vulcan (Satan), of course, the son of Jupiter and Juno to which human sacrifices are made.

Horn says the symbolism in the painting associated with the deeply rooted idea that chosen humans are selected by supernatural forces, and their earthly kingdoms are formed and guided by these pagan gods.

Washington was himself a Mason, and, according to the book “The Age of Washington” by George W. Nordham, the president was dressed in Masonic attire as he laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 18, 1793.

When it comes to biblical references to the end, a central theme is that Jesus Christ will be returning to Earth in what is often referred to as the “Second Coming” to administer the kingdom of God. While Scripture does not provide a specific date for “the day of the Lord” as it’s often called, it does suggest everyone be ready at all times, because His return would come suddenly, like “a thief in the night,” and Jesus Himself warned to “be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44 New King James Version)

The 24th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew features Jesus answering his apostles’ questions about signs of His coming and the end of the current age, and Jesus provides a laundry list of events including wars and rumors of wars, false Christs, famines, pestilences, earthquakes and great tribulation, with many believers being slain.

Jesus noted, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14 King James Version)

He also said: “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about – the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills.” (Matthew 24:15-16 New Living Translation)

This reference to the “Holy Place” has many believing that a new temple of God will have to be constructed in Jerusalem before Jesus’ return.

Some Christians, such as Noel Hornor of the Good News Magazine, think the 2012 prognostications are the result of misplaced fears and reliance on pagan systems rather than the Bible itself.

Hornor writes: “Yes, Dec. 21, 2012, will come and go, Dec. 22 will arrive, and the Earth will go on. And so will new theories regarding new exact dates for the end of the world. The cry has been shouted by strident voices for millennia, and you can be sure it will continue.”

As for Tom Horn, he says he never places any pagan prophecy ahead of the Bible, but just wonders why so many different and unrelated civilizations talk about the end of days in December 2012.

“I would not say that I’m yet convinced that 2012 will be anything more than the next Y2K,” he said, referring to the misplaced hysteria about the world coming to an end when 1999 turned into 2000.

“It’s very easy to take extraordinary circumstances to interpret in Bible prophecy, and then it doesn’t develop. There were lots of reasons to believe Hitler was the Antichrist. He wasn’t. He was an antichrist, but not the Antichrist.”

“All I can do is bring to the surface the good research,” Horn concluded. “I’m kind of holding back, leaning today that 2012 isn’t going to mean anything. But in the back of my mind, I can’t forget all these cultures.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2748

Ancient Jewish Messiah Prohecy that You did not Know

While this is not Scripture, it is interesting to note that the Jewish rabbis thought these times would be important to the coming of Messiah. Keep looking up!

Jews familiar with an ancient compilationof Aggadic exegesis called Yalkut Shimoni noticed in recent weeks that current tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia matches a prophecy it contains regarding the year in which the Messiah – the King who redeems Israel and the world – is to appear.

In particular, the recently revealed Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. and subsequent reports that the Arab nations are pressuring the West to attack Iran, appear to fit the sequence of events predicted in the Yalkut Shimoni.

In to the part of the book dealing with the Book of Isaiah, the following passage appears:

“Rabbi Yitzchak said: ‘In the year in which the Messiah-King appears, all the nations of the world are provoking each other. The King of Persia provokes an Arab king and the Arab king turns to Aram for advice. And the King of Persia goes back and destroys the entire world. And all the nations of the world are in panic and distress and they fall upon their faces and are seized with pains like those of a woman giving birth, and Israel are in panic and distress and asking ‘where shall we go? Where shall we go?,’ and He says to them ‘my sons, do not fear; all that I have done, I have done only for you. Why are you afraid? Do not fear, your time of redemption has come, and the final redemption is not like the first redemption, because the first redemption was followed by sorrow and servitude under other kingdoms, but the final redemption is not followed by sorrow and servitude under other kingdoms.”

Persia is currently known as Iran, and an Arab king – or the Arab king – can be reasonably understood, in modern eyes, as referring to the king of [Saudi] Arabia, the Arab homeland.

This passage is relatively well-known and oft-quoted, and some modern versions of it substitute “Edom” for “Aram.” Ancient Jewish references to “Edom” are nowadays generally seen as referring to Europe or the West. “Aram” refers to a part of ancient Mesopotamia, roughly congruent to the northern part of modern Iraq and eastern Syria. The instability in precisely this area is reportedly what most concerns the Saudis, as a U.S. pullout from Iraq looms and Syria’s pro-Iranian regime teeters.

The prophecy bodes ill for much of the world, which, if Rabbi Yitzchak’s quote is to be taken literally, is to be destroyed by Iran before the Messiah steps in.

The identity of the compiler of Yalkut Shimoni is not known with certainty but a copy of it is known to have existed 700 years ago, in 1310 CE. The works it quotes are even older, and go back to early Talmudic times.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2744

Christian leaders’ heresy about Israel

I will let this article say it all for me! This is heresy and is clearly against Scripture especially if you take the Bible as literal! Israel is still the apple of God’s eye and there will be a remnant saved in the end. The whole of Scripture is that God chose Israel first, they rejected Him, He knew it would happen and then as part of His master plan He reached out to the Gentiles, but also part of His master plan is to graft Israel back in again! The Tribulation period is just for that to occur. We need to be bold in our faith and speak the truth even when we might have to correct another believer who is not understanding Scripture. If this does not work then it must be called what it is and that is heresy! Keep looking up!

Christian leaders’ heresy about Israel


Posted: November 17, 2011
1:51 pm Eastern

By Laurie Cardoza-Moore
© 2011

Now is the time for all Christians who stand on the authenticity of the Word of God to condemn false teachers who are leading millions of Christians astray with their false doctrines and anti-Semitic views.

Today I read an article in the Jerusalem Post advocating that Jesus wasn’t Jewish and was more likely a Palestinian! Every Christian friend of Israel is the target of these non-biblical Christian leaders who want us to give the enemy the ultimate victory by denying that our Messiah was a Jew. Because if Jesus is a “Palestinian” the Israel and Jews cannot stand on the Covenant that God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). This growing trend among Christians, especially Christian leaders, is both shocking and outrageous.

Even more appalling are the leaders behind this movement – organizations like the World Council of Churches and Lynne Hybels, wife of Pastor Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, Ill.

Along with this trend, earlier this year, church leaders like Bill Hybels, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif., and Robert Shuller of the Crystal Cathedral were encouraging pastors to invite Muslims into their pulpits to celebrate our common values, embracing another heresy: Chrislam!

What happened to these so-called Christian leaders in their seminaries? Indeed, we are witnessing the day that Matthew 24:11 says would come to pass: “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Shockingly, these false prophets are leaders of the church.

With all of the confusion swirling around about the biblical heartland, Christians who know the Scriptures must speak out and proclaim justice on behalf of our Jewish brethren and Israel. Not one of these leaders quotes Scripture to substantiate their beliefs. Their views stem from centuries of doctrines and traditions of men, not the Bible.

For a Christian leader to suggest that the land of Israel belongs to the Palestinians is a lie from the pit of hell. The Bible is clear from Genesis to Revelation that God will keep His Covenant with His people, all Israel. The Apostle Paul confirms that truth in the book of Romans, Chapters 9 -11. Christians are grafted into that Covenant through Jesus. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 3:29, “If you are in Christ, you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” The promise Paul was referring to is the same promise God made to Abraham in Genesis, and then repeated it to Isaac and Jacob. Paul further stated in Ephesians 2:11-13, that we, Gentiles in the flesh, were once outside of the commonwealth of Israel, but because of Jesus’ shed blood, we have been brought into the commonwealth of Israel.

So how do we know who the false prophets are? Anyone who would teach against the Covenant God made with Israel, which was called to uphold His commandants and to be a light to the Gentiles. And the last time I checked, the land is part of that Covenant God said was “irrevocable”! God did not say he would give it to the terrorists whose ancestors He told Joshua to wipe out because of their wickedness! What do these leaders not understand about that?

Unfortunately, this trend is not new, for as the book of Ecclesiastes reminds us, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Only 73 years ago, with the rise of Nazi Germany, we saw the same anti-God, anti-Christ and anti-Semitic spirit rise up with little resistance from Christian leaders and their congregants. Back then, the battle wasn’t about whether the Jews should have a country of their own; instead, it was whether the Jews were worthy of life.

This age-old battle is an example of the “new” anti-Semitism that is growing worldwide. This “new” anti-Semitism is not just anti-Jewish as it was in Nazi Germany; now it is anti-Israel and anti-Zionist as well. But its insidious goal is the same – delegitimize the right of the Jews to their biblical homeland and ultimately dehumanize them and deny their right to exist.

This is a very dangerous place for these so-called Christian pastors and leaders to tread. These leaders are nothing more than wolves in sheep’s clothing. God warned the Prophet Joel in Chapter 3 that in the latter days He was going to wipe out the nations of the world because they were dividing up His land. Who is leading the charge? The United States of America … the “Christian” nation.

At the time of the rise of the Third Reich, Germany was the most Christian and most highly educated nation in the world. It was the nation that gave birth to the Protestant Reformation. But millions of Christians turned their backs as their Jewish brethren were being slaughtered like animals or led into gas chambers.

And where was the church? They turned away, ignoring what was suffocating the life out of the air around them as human ashes fell on their doorsteps and the smell of burning flesh filled their cities.

If Dietrich Bonhoeffer were alive today, he would find himself facing the same church he challenged in Germany. A church that was more interested in protecting its own interests than God’s chosen people.

This is an opportunity for every Bible-believing Christian to consider our response at this critical time. We will stand before the Almighty God on Judgment Day and He will ask us, “Where were you when your brother’s blood was crying out from the grave?”

I daily remind my children of the words from the prophet Obadiah when God told him that in the last days He would wipe out the descendants of Edom because they stood by while their brother Jacob was held in captivity. I remind them that one day, they will have an opportunity to stand with their Jewish brethren and all Israel, and stand they must!

My dear Christian brethren, if God will judge the descendants of Edom because they stood by and did nothing, how will He judge the church for it’s silence –yet again – today?

Now is the time for Christians to rise up and have a “Christian” spring cleaning in our churches and remove all false teachers from the pulpits. Now is the time for us to take a stand and demand that Christian pastors and leaders start studying their Bibles instead of wasting our tithes on heresy. Now is the time for us to say, “Never again!”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2728

David Wilkerson: The Last Days Church

Here is a great post from David Wilkerson’s website:

THE LAST-DAY CHURCH

by David Wilkerson | November 16, 2011

[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

I believe God’s vision for His last-day church is based on His revealed Word—because the Bible clearly outlines what the church of Jesus Christ will be like just prior to His coming.

The church in America is far from what God envisioned it to be. For the most part, entire denominations today operate without the Holy Spirit. They are devoid of the presence of Jesus and bankrupt of all spiritual gifts. They practice a form of religion without any power, conviction or saving message. They are cozy with the world and are more political than spiritual. They appease sin, wink at divorce and ridicule the supernatural, while tossing aside all teaching about heaven, hell, repentance and judgment.

The New Testament church made devils tremble! It drove legions of demons into the abyss, prayed prison doors open, made rulers cringe in fear. Those early believers had such faith and power that cripples rose up leaping and beggars became evangelists. They believed in the supernatural and they opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears and healed all manner of diseases. They even raised the dead!

I am not saying God’s last-day church will be a repeat or copy of the first-century church. No—I am saying it will be even greater than that! It will be mightier, stronger, with an ever greater revelation of Jesus. It will have greater unction from the Spirit than ever—greater even than at Pentecost! God always saves His best wine for last!

The prophet Daniel confirms this. He said that certain prophetic truths were locked up, only to be revealed in the last days: “For the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. . . . And none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:9-10).

Today the Holy Spirit is revealing these things to spiritual, discerning saints! “It is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

The Lord is preparing a powerful yet humble army of shepherds after His own heart and also a remnant congregation of hungry sheep who have turned away from the deadness and sin of the modern church. The scene is being set for that church which will be hot, not lukewarm—and it will rock the very foundations of hell. No power on earth will be able to ignore or despise it!

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2714

Is Elam [Iran’s] Destiny Spoken of in Jeremiah 49:34-39?

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.

And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:

And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.

But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.

Matthew Henry Commentary on Jeremiah – Jeremiah 49:34-39

The Elamites were the Persians; they acted against God’s Israel, and must be reckoned with. Evil pursues sinners. God will make them know that he reigns. Yet the destruction of Elam shall not be forever.

But this promise was to have its full accomplishment in the days of the Messiah. In reading the Divine assurance of the destruction of all the enemies of the church, the believer sees that the issue of the holy war is not doubtful.

It is blessed to recollect, that He who is for us, is more than all against us. And he will subdue the enemies of our souls.

Koenig’s perspective: This could very likely be separate from Iran’s role in the Gog and Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39. Could this happen in 2011-2012?

A side note: Purim begins at sunset on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, and ends at sunset on Thursday, March 8, 2012.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2668

The Church in America: Do We actually Get It?

I am attaching an article from Dr. Al Mohler concerning Joel Osteen, who pastors the largest church in America, who during a recent interview has stated that Mormonism is another form of Christianity.

This is disturbing to say the least. I believe it shows the decline in the church in this country around remaining firm in our beliefs. We lack a basic understanding of what are the core tenants of our faith! Ebnjoy and keep looking up!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Does Joel Osteen Not Know, or Does He Not Care?

 

By Dr. Albert Mohler
AlbertMohler.com

Here we go again. Joel Osteen is in the news once again, this time for saying that Mormonism is just another form of Christianity. Osteen, pastor of “America’s largest church,” as the media repeat over and over, was speaking to The Washington Times in an interview that covered a variety of issues. It was the quintessential Joel on display.

Speaking to the newspaper on Monday, Osteen said, “I see faith in America at an all-time high.” His comments came just as a major research project detailed a significant loss of vitality in America’s Christian congregations. That loss of vitality can be traced, among other things, to a loss of theological and biblical conviction. Joel, of course, is proof positive that you can build a crowd without building a church. He is not inclined to deal in much theological conviction.

In the interview, he distilled his message in these words:

“Part of our core message is that seasons change, and when you believe, if you don’t get bitter, and you don’t get discouraged, you may not change overnight, but you can get peace.”

He also told the newspaper:

“People need to be reminded that every day is a gift from God, and bloom where you’re planted and be happy where you are, and to make that choice to get up every day and be grateful.”

That message includes some truth, of course – but it doesn’t even come close to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hell will be filled with people who bloomed where they were planted.

On Mormonism, Joel said:

“I believe that [Mormons] are Christians . . . . I don’t know if it’s the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with. But you know what, I know Mormons. I hear Mitt Romney – and I’ve never met him – but I hear him say, ‘I believe Jesus is the son of God,’ ‘I believe he’s my savior,’ and that’s one of the core issues.”

“I’m sure there are other issues that we don’t agree on. But you know, I can say that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics don’t all agree on everything. So that would be my take on it.”

Osteen just stated his belief that Mormons are Christians. He then expressed the thought that Mormonism “might not be the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with,” but he affirmed Mormon statements that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is Savior.

Evaluating Osteen’s boyhood understanding of Christianity would be a project unto itself, given the shifting theology of his preacher father, the late John Osteen.

The main point of concern in Joel’s latest comment is the lack of any biblical standard of judgment and the total abdication of theological responsibility. He relegates doctrinal disagreements between Christians and Mormons to the status of theological debates between Protestant denominations and then includes Roman Catholicism. There are plenty of issues there, and the issues are not the same when comparing Baptists to Methodists, on the one hand, and Protestants and Roman Catholics, on the other. Comparing any form of Trinitarian orthodoxy with Mormonism is another class of question altogether.

Joel reminded the paper’s staff that he has never attended seminary. This is true, of course, but there are thousands of preachers who never had the opportunity to attend seminary who have a sufficient grasp of and commitment to biblical truth that would prevent such carelessness.

By now, it is clear that Joel Osteen’s carelessness is deliberate and calculated. This is not the first time that he has encountered the question of Mormonism. Back in 2007, he told Chris Wallace of FOX News that Mormons are indeed Christians:

“Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are.”

The little details of it? Mormonism does not differ from historic biblical Christianity in “little details,” and a faithful Mormon would be the first to point this out. Mormonism begins with a plurality of gods, not with the monotheism of the Bible. Jesus Christ is an exalted man – not the incarnate Word. The list of categorical doctrinal differences continues throughout the entire belief system.

The very essence of Mormonism is the claim that historic Christianity is fundamentally in error, and that true Christianity did not exist on earth from the time of the Apostles until Joseph Smith. Mormonism can hardly be charged with hiding their movement’s teachings – the Book of Mormon and the other fundamental texts of the Latter Day Saints are published in plain sight.

In a remarkable exchange with Chris Wallace, Osteen muddied the waters further:

WALLACE: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?

OSTEEN: I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know.

Here we face a fundamental dilemma. When Joel Osteen hears a summary of Mormon belief that mentions God assuming “the shape of a man,” does he lack the theological discernment to hear how that differs from biblical Christianity, or does it not concern him? In other words, does Joel not know, or does Joel not care?

In the end, we have to conclude that he does not care enough to know, and that is the greater tragedy for a Christian minister. He doesn’t “get hung up” on doctrinal issues, nor has he “really studied them or thought about them.” His own words indict him.

The Latter Day Saints include some of the most wonderful and kind people we will ever meet. They put a great emphasis on character and on the moral values of our common concern. They talk freely and passionately about their own beliefs, including their beliefs concerning Jesus Christ. Furthermore, they put action behind their commitments, sending their young people on missions and fueling a worldwide movement that remains one of the fastest-growing on the planet.

But their beliefs concerning Jesus Christ are not those of historic Christianity, and their understanding of salvation differs radically from the message of the New Testament. It is the responsibility of every Christian, much less every Christian minister, to know this.

Joel Osteen told The Washington Times that he is constantly “looking for new ways to influence the culture.” Our culture admires those with low theological commitment and high emphasis on attitude. In Joel Osteen’s case, it is the secular culture that has influenced the minister, and not the minister that is influencing the culture.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=2640