Category: The Church

Jun 22

RADICALS: Does Tomorrow Belong To Post-Denominational Christians Infused With Supernatural Power?

June 15, 2017 by SkyWatch Editor

With the teens and millennial generation of today prioritizing “voice be heard” activism like our country hasn’t seen since the Vietnam War of the 1960s, it’s not a stretch to say that at the beginning of this current spiritual awakening in America, young people will be at the forefront of God’s army, marching in with a blaring battle cry against the enemy as the driving force of another “Jesus People” movement. This awakening has every potential of being just as powerful and historically important as the one driven by the “love all” mentality of that era…but it also has the potential of being just as counterculture, based on the radical rallies, parades, marches, and events making headlines at this moment.

What we may be facing, then, is not another “revival.” It may not even be another “Great Awakening.” With the fearlessness, passion, zeal, and “I refuse to be silenced no matter the cost” mantra we are observing from today’s young people, this movement could perhaps be a Church Reformation like the world hasn’t witnessed in five hundred years since the “95 Theses” were nailed on the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg by radicals of equal zeal, sparking what we know now as the Protestant Reformation. Such a movement today could usher us into a bright era of interdenominational or post-denominational peace and unity toward—finally—a common goal of the real Great Commission.

But is that much change a good thing? Do we all feel comfortable leaving the fate of our Church in the hands of such “radicals”? Does this concept spark inspiration toward a new Church ripe with true-Gospel adherence, or fear that we’ll get even further off the mark than the Body has been in the last several generations?

Personally, I feel both excitement and trepidation. Let me explain…

So much of today’s Church Body emphasizes “this generation.” That’s certainly not a new thing, as every preacher and teacher of repute since Martin Luther seems to continue steering focus back to the question of how to reach “today’s youth,” regardless of what era that sermon belonged to. The youth of Luther’s day have long since passed away from this earth, and the young people alive right now will someday meet the same fate. And I do believe it’s important to reach the lost in that group because they are the Church of tomorrow, but one day their role will be as the mentors of even a later and possibly greater generation, so it is crucial that we stop and consider how the youth of today will be reached, what they will be taught, and by whom, in order for the longevity of this movement to produce the correct teachings for tomorrow. A great move of God is only a great move—of God—if the theology being spread reflects the intent of His Word in the first place.

Therefore, equally important to the zeal of the teens and millennials is the mentorship of the elders who have gone before us to study with exegetical precision.

I recently attended a Christian conference in Arizona. I had the privilege of observing intense outpourings of the Holy Spirit upon a very hungry people. Hour after hour for all four days I was there, lives were being changed forever, and every single speaker seemed to be preaching the same message:

God is doing a NEW THING. He is raising up a NEW PEOPLE for His name from among the Gentiles (see Acts 15:14).

But for as sincerely touching as this message was (and I believe it was spot on), I observed a very disturbing underlying theme that week. The focus of this “NEW THING” was so prevalent that the “old thing” of orthodox Christianity was left at the wayside in exchange for human excitement and emotional phenomena. And this is certainly not the first time I have observed this.

God revealed enough to me in that week in Arizona that I came home with two new book outlines that I will be working on in the coming year. One of those messages was the following, and it came to be as crystal clear and powerful as a gong in an echoing cave:

Youthful zeal and passion is wonderful. But youthful zeal and passion without discernment is dangerous.

Elders and parents, we need you. The “out of the mouth of babes” concept is an inspiring one, no doubt, but without the proper training that only the elders can lend, it is a dangerous one. So many youth today are blind in their understanding of Scripture, and if this is allowed to go unchecked, this movement has the capacity of becoming a “blind leading the blind” movement that will end in pure chaos and a great spreading of misinformation. Never believe that just because your mantle may have passed, that your calling has also. Never believe that just because your mantle may have passed, that your usefulness went away with it. We cannot do this properly without you! The role of each young, passionate person is key, certainly, but the role of the elders who led, mold, and shape them for a Kingdom use is vital.

This incoming Great Awakening and possible Reformation is not for any specific generation. It is an “all generation” movement that requires even the elders to be radical.

However, some of these radicals will crush the cookie-cutter expectations that the elders have regarding what “clean church leadership” ought to look like. There will be people from every corner of the world and from every walk of life—gothics, Muslims, New Agers, drug dealers, prostitutes, criminals, even homosexuals—who will catch wind of this “Jesus Christ” fellow and they will never be the same again. They will be “radically saved” through the timeless power of the Gospel message. But without being shown love from someone in the Body of Christ, the discipleship process necessary for them to reach fruition and touch others in their circle of influence is fantastically stunted. Therefore, elders and parents, we not only need your advice, we need your love.

Radical love.

A Christ-ian love.

Love to every man, woman, millennial, teen, and child within that blessed “whosoever will” spoken of in John 3:16, regardless of whether or not their current life offends you. If they are to come to know the Lord in the first place, it will be through love, not through a wagging finger. And if they are to continue growing in the Lord, it will be a process requiring steadfast patience and continual mentorship while overcoming the ripples of a former lifestyle—not an instant, emergency conversion that grows stagnant when the honeymoon phase is over.

Calling ALL generations: Your time is now.

  • Young people: Take the passion you’re channeling into the unfulfilling pride parades, rallies, and social activism, and redirect it into the spreading of the Gospel. Nothing else will fill the void you’re feeling. Humans were designed by the Creator with a yearning for Him that nothing else will satisfy.
  • Parents: Show your children what real men and women of God look like. Treat your spouse with respect and support. Be good models of femininity and masculinity. Teach the Bible from home so you are never solely leaving your child’s scriptural understanding in someone else’s hands, and when you arrive at a verse you don’t understand, research it. Show your kiddos that salvation can be an “as for me and my house” (Joshua 24:15) family experience so they don’t grow up believing God is an emergency-only action plan when tragedy befalls. God desires relationship, not just belief.
  • Elders: Open your minds to those in your path that may not flatter you. Even James, the half-brother of Christ, in his epistle honored the prostitute Rahab, referring to her as “justified” (some translations say “righteous”) by her works in the ancient city of Jericho because she saw the error of her ways and turned from them. Today, that same name is celebrated as one of history’s most incredible redemption stories. Don’t write off the people you meet and assume that they are beyond the Gospel’s reach. The power of the true Gospel knows no bounds, but it is only through love that the true Gospel will penetrate. That next “offensive” or “sinful” person you meet might just be the next Rahab reformed. Don’t try to correct the sin (treating the symptoms) before you love the individual (treating the condition).

Jesus was the Radical of all radicals. He was the Reformer of all reformers. He unabashedly crumbled the apathetic and Pharisaic walls of tradition. Don’t fear those who have been sent by God to shatter today’s apathetic walls of modern church tradition. Love them, teach them, and share the movement with them so it can be done correctly.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8601

Jun 14

Catholic Cardinal Declares Mohammed A True Prophet Of G-d

by Pat Dollard) — He served as Archbishop of Washington, D.C.(imagine that) from 2001 to 2006, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2001. In Catholic theology, to be a prophet, to earn that title, one must be divinely inspired. To call Mohammed “The Prophet”, as he does, is to claim that Mohammed is a true prophet, inspired by G-d.

This guy couldn’t be more wrong. I strongly suspect he is of the infamous Alinsky wing of the Church. Nobody, as they say, is perfect.

Excerpted from The Daily Caller:

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a press conference in D.C.

“In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself to the audience at a meeting arranged by the Muslim Public Affairs Council. That praise of the Islamic deity is an important phrase in Islam, is found more than 100 times in the Koran, and is akin to the Catholic prayer, ”In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8596

Jun 05

In Wake Of Manchester, Pope Francis Asserts Equivalence Between Islam And Christianity

This pope’s inclination to advance an ideological stance over rational judgment does not bode well for Catholicism or the future of the West. Willful blindness endangers both.

By Maureen Mullarkey

May 30, 2017

On the papal flight back to Rome from Fatima, Francis held his customary en passant interview with hand-picked members of the press. Protective of their access, reporters on board are habitually reluctant to question aggressively or press for frankness. The aptly named Fátima Campos Ferreira, of Portuguese Radio and Television, asked the pontiff:

From this historical standpoint, what remains now for the Church and for the whole world? Also, Fatima has a message of peace, and the Holy Father is going to receive in the Vatican in coming days – on 24 May – the American President Donald Trump. What can the world hope for from this meeting, and what does the Holy Father hope for from this meeting?

Following the pattern of Marian apparitions at La Salette, France, in 1846, the experiences of the three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 were apocalyptic in tone. Their visions carried warning of grave peril and called the faithful to heed the urgency of penance. Repentance and reparation were the keynotes that made Fatima a fulcrum of opposition against communism during the Cold War era. Ferreira’s reference to a vaporous “message of peace” was the signal for Francis to deliver a trademark feint. He seized his cue:

That Fatima has a message of peace, certainly. . . . And I would like to say something which touched my heart. Before leaving, I received some scientists of various religions who were doing research at the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo. Some were agnostic or atheists. An atheist said to me: ‘I am an atheist’; he didn’t say what nationality he was or where he came from. He spoke in English, so I couldn’t tell and I didn’t ask him. ‘I ask you a favour: tell Christians that they must love Muslims more’. That is a message of peace.

The Vatican transcript continues:

Fátima Campos Ferreira

Is that what you are going to say to Trump?

Pope Francis

[smiles]

Ten days later, a Muslim suicide bomber murdered 22 people and mangled scores more at Manchester Arena. The Vatican released a telegram signed by its secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin: “His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life caused by the barbaric attack in Manchester, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence.”

But the violence was not senseless. It was purposeful, a calculated act of Islamic orthodoxy. After the Gaza War in 2009, Yusuf al-Qaradawi summarized the deadly core of Islam with an endorsement of jihad: “Oh, Allah, count their numbers, and kill them down to the very last one.” Al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian, is one of the Muslim world’s most eminent theologians and head of the International Union of Islamic Scholars.

This Directive Only Seems to Apply One Way

The pope visited Egypt shortly after the Palm Sunday bombing of two Coptic churches that killed 45 Christians. No record exists of him having told the Egyptians to love Christians more. No one heard him ask them to love Jews more or hold Israel closer. Instead, he asserted “the incompatibility of violence and faith.” It was an affirmation made against all historic evidence and in denial of the nature of Islam.

Papal condolences, delivered indirectly by telegram to the victims of the Manchester nail bomb, omitted any reference to Islam. The statement took pains to avoid it. Absent any recognition of the true cause of the attack, Francis’ “solidarity” is meaningless. Note that he was “deeply saddened”—not angered, outraged, or even offended. We are saddened when kittens die, or a sick spaniel is put down. But when innocent persons are massacred something more muscular is required. The fatuity of sadness in the face of murder invites the next atrocity.

If ever there were a time to call down judgment on acolytes of annihilation, this is it. Refusal to name the motive for slaughter comes unnervingly close to the old legal maxim: Silence equals assent. Certainly, Francis does not sanction the violence. Not at all. What he assents to is the multicultural dogma of religious equivalency—the Same God myth—and the lethal fairytale that Islam is not inherently violent.

These Religious Equivalents Are False and Dangerous

Since it burst out of the Arabian desert in the seventh century, Islam swept across the known world by terror. It was the blitzkrieg of its age. As Islam reasserts itself (as Hilaire Belloc predicted it would) after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, terror is once again its gospel and its weapon. To take the violence out of Islam, Muslims would have to abandon all belief in the Quran as the word of Allah. It would have to reject the warlord Mohammed as his prophet and a model of conduct. In short, Islam would be required to denature itself—something unlikely to happen on the interfaith circuit.

If ever there were a time for judgment to be called down on acolytes of annihilation, this is it. The Chair of Peter is a high rostrum from which to proclaim the primacy of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus over the Islamic worldview. Allah, of course, would be displeased. And Francis is hostile to anything that might resemble missionary activity. In a 2014 interview with journalist Pablo Calvo for the Argentine weekly Viva, he said: “The worst thing you can do is religious proselytizing, which paralyzes. No. Each one must dialogue from his own identity.”

Francis cherishes the fallacy that Western affluence—the unspecified “economy that excludes”—is the incendiary, not Islamic identity:

Terrorism grows when there are no other options, and when the center of the global economy is the god of money and not the person — men and women — this is already the first terrorism!

Last July, arriving in France just after a pious Muslim had slit the throat of an elderly priest, the pope intoned: “All religions want peace.” A month later, on the flight home from World Youth Day, he delivered this to the court press:

I don’t like to speak of Islamic violence, because every day, when I browse the newspapers, I see violence, here in Italy. This one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law. And these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics! If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence. . . . [Religion] is like a fruit salad; there’s everything. I believe that in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists.

A logical shambles, the remarks embarrass the Christian church. An Italian who murders his girlfriend—his mother-in-law, his bookie, his dentist—is not under standing orders from God to rid the entire world of their kind. Catholicism did not make him do it. This pope’s inclination to advance an ideological stance over rational judgment does not bode well for Catholicism or the future of the West. Willful blindness endangers both.

The unspoken name—Islam—withheld from the papal telegram to Manchester parallels Francis’ wordless smile in response to the Portuguese reporter’s in-flight question. It is the smile of oblivion on the face of one of Thomas Ligotti’s demonic clowns.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8573

May 24

The Vatican Is Looking for God in the Stars

Pope Francis urges deep space explorers not to fear the truth about what’s out there.

Barbie Latza Nadeau

05.14.17 12:15 AM ET

ROME—If you think faith and science can’t share common ground, think again. Experts in both realms met last week at the Vatican Observatory to prove their theory that you can’t have one without the other. “If you have no faith in your faith, that is when you will fear science,” said Brother Guy Consolmagno the Vatican’s chief astronomer, whose works include such titles as “Would you Baptize an Extraterrestrial?

Brother Consolmagno led the three-day conference called Black Holes, Gravitational Waves and Spacetime Singularities at the Vatican Observatory’s Castel Gandolfo labs outside of Rome, the former papal summer residence that is remote enough to allow for clear stargazing with minimal light pollution.

He challenged astronomers, cosmologists. and other experts in the field who also believe in God to “come out” and talk about the intersection of faith and fact. What he ended up with are talks like, “The Internal Structure of Spinning Black Holes” and “The Big Bang and its Dark-Matter Content: Whence, Whither, and Wherefore.” Not once in the whole program does the word “God” or “religion” even appear, which is rare for a conference sponsored by the Vatican.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences is also absent from the scene, although it has sponsored similar events in the past to try to sort out the murky waters between hard facts and blind faith. The academy’s chancellor, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, told The Daily Beast in 2013 that the two are not mutually exclusive. “If we don’t accept science, we don’t accept reason,” said Sánchez, “and reason was created by God.”

On the question of climate science and climate change, Pope Francis is not only convinced, he’s vehement. After the election of Donald Trump’s climate-change-skeptic administration last year, the pope noted that politicians had “reacted weakly” to the needs of humanity on this score and deplored “the ease with which well-founded scientific opinion about the state of our planet is disregarded.”

Clearly, the Church has come a long way since it condemned Galileo as a heretic during the Inquisition.

Pope Francis is not the hard-core creationist some of his predecessors were (and many Evangelicals in America are). In 2014, he told a Pontifical Academy of Sciences conference not to always take the Bible literally. “When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining God as a magician, with a magic wand able to make everything,” Francis said. “But it is not so.”

“The Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it,” Francis said at the time. “The evolution of nature does not contrast with the notion of Creation, as evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.”

In fact, it was Father Georges Lemaître, a Roman Catholic priest, who is credited with coming up with the first scientific equations and the “primeval Atom” that led to what we now know as the “Big Bang Theory” in the first place. The Vatican Observatory conference also honors his legacy. Lemaître, a Belgian who moonlighted as an astrophysicist, published an article in a scientific journal in about it in 1927, two years before Edwin Hubble gained widely accepted fame for the theory.

Lemaître had called his version a “cosmic egg,” which never really caught on. He was forced to straddle a tightrope in 1951 when Pope Pius XII started confusing Lemaître’s work with the Gospel, saying that the Big Bang actually represented the moment of God’s creation which, as any good Catholic knows from Catechism, took place in a matter of in six days, with God resting on the seventh day, the Sabbath, and that’s why most of us get Sundays off.

Lemaître never published his research again after that that.

“This fear of science people talk about is a myth,” Father Gabriele Gionti, one of the conference organizers said. “Lemaître always made a distinction between the beginnings of the universe and its origins. The beginning of the universe is a scientific question to date with precision when things started. The origin of the universe, however, is a theologically charged question that has nothing at all to do with a scientific epistemology.”

Brother Consolmagno is perhaps more open to interpretation. The MIT-trained head of the Vatican Observatory believes that science and faith don’t always have to overlap. “God is not a scientific explanation,” he told Religion News Service. “If you are using God instead of science to explain what happens in the world you are talking about the gods of the Romans and Greeks. We believe in a God that creates outside space and time and shows us everything he did. We experience God as a person, as a god of love.”

At the end of the conference, Pope Francis told those who gathered not to fear the truth about what’s really out there. “I am deeply appreciative of your work, and I encourage you to persevere in your search for truth,” he said. “For we ought never to fear truth, nor become trapped in our own preconceived ideas, but welcome new scientific discoveries with an attitude of humility.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8558

May 18

The Mary In the King James Bible Bears No Resemblance To The ‘Blessed Mother’ Of Roman Catholicism

If Mary was, as the Vatican asserts, “fashioned by the Holy Spirit” and then “kept free from all sin”, then the birth of Jesus is not so special after all. Mary kinda beats Jesus to the punch, wouldn’t you say? But then, stealing the glory from Jesus Christ is really what the Roman Catholic “Mary” was invented to do.

by Geoffrey Grider May 13, 2017

Catholics are taught to “pray to the Blessed Mother” for leading and guidance in their daily lives, yet incredibly the real-life Mary never advised anyone on anything. When she attempted, one time, to give her opinion, Jesus instantly rebuked her

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 1:18 (KJV)

Almost 1,900 years after the birth of the biblical Mary, the Roman Catholic Church declared some startling and amazing things about her. Not the least of which was the blasphemous and heretical notion that she was born sinless.

“The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”. By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.” Catechism of the Catholic Church

This idea was unknown to any writer in the New Testament which clearly states that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” in the book of Romans. Yet the idea of a “sinless Mary” forms the basis of Catholicism. Why else do you think that when Catholics “pray the rosary”, they say 10 “Hail Marys” to every one “Our Father”?

If Mary was, as the Vatican asserts, “fashioned by the Holy Spirit” and then “kept free from all sin”, then the birth of Jesus is not so special after all. Mary kinda beats Jesus to the punch, wouldn’t you say? But then, stealing the glory from Jesus Christ is really what the Roman Catholic “Mary” was invented to do.

Things you were taught about Mary that are not supported in the Bible:

  • Mary was not sinless: After the birth of Jesus, Mary went to the Temple to make an atonement for her personal sin according to the Law of Moses. Sinless people don’t need to make sacrifices, Jesus never made one, He was one. Vatican teaching answers this by saying that Mary just made that unnecessary sacrifice because she “was humble”. Well, if she was sinless and pretended to have sin and make a phony sacrifice, that’s not humility, that’s a lie. And lying is a sin, so you do the math. “And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:22-24 (KJV)
  • Mary never consulted on anything ever: Catholics are taught to “pray to the Blessed Mother” for leading and guidance in their daily lives, yet incredibly the real-life Mary never advised anyone on anything. When she attempted, one time, to give her opinion, Jesus instantly rebuked her. “And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.” John 2:1-4 (KJV)
  • Mary had no voice in the early Church: If Mary was indeed the miracle-working super saint that the Vatican claims she is, like all the apostles actually were, then the time for her to “show her stuff” would have been on the day of Pentecost, right? Think about it, the prophecies of Joel had started to come to pass, the apostles were having dreams, visions, signs, wonders and tongues…but where was Mary? She was with the other women, NOT “above the other women”, and simply one of the saints the Bible records as praying to the Lord. Please note that no one in the Church as it was being formed prayed to her, or even recorded that she even had anything to say. What a shocking contrast to the all-knowing, prayer-answering, floating apparition “Blessed Virgin” of the Catholic Church. “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” Acts 1:14 (KJV)
  • Mary had other children: If you take away the perpetual virginity of Mary, then the bulk of all Catholic doctrine built around her collapses. And this is exactly what the King James Bible does so you won’t be confused about the matter. Not only that, Mark gives you the NAMES of the four half-brothers of Jesus! These are not “cousins” as the Vatican pathetically asserts, these are others brothers from the SAME mother. Mark also said there were sisters, so that makes a minimum of 6 kids born to Mary and Joseph during the time she was a “perpetual virgin” Hmm…“And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” Mark 6:2-4 (KJV)
  • Mary’s role as Jesus’ mother ends at the cross: In His final moments on the cross, Jesus makes a very anti-Catholic statement. He tells Mary that she is no longer His mother, as the soon-to-be-risen Saviour is “from everlasting” and needs no mother. Jesus feels so strongly about the transfer that it’s recorded with two of the very rare exclamation points in Scripture. Instead of “promoting” Mary to lead the guide the new Church, He lets us know she has no active role in the Church other than simply being a good role model for other women of like faith. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” John 19:25-27 (KJV)
  • Mary is never called the ‘mother of God’: The Roman Catholic “Hail Mary” prayer is loosely based on the biblical account of the angel Gabriel appearing to her, but with plenty of embellishment thrown in for good measure. She is NEVER called the “mother of God” one time ever, this is a complete invention of the Vatican. In fact, the Bible goes one step further with Gabriel not even referring to her as the “mother of Jesus”, but calls Him the Son of God. “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35 (KJV)
  • Mary is not the woman in Revelation 12: The Vatican teaches that Mary is the woman in Revelation 12 with the “12 stars” around her head, but nothing could be further from the truth. The woman in Revelation 12 is the nation of Israel to whom the Saviour was born, and that “woman” flees” into the red rock city of Selah Petra to escape Antichrist in the time of Jacob’s trouble. “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” Revelation 12:1,2 (KJV)

If you are a Roman Catholic reading this now (I did not say ‘Catholic christian’ because there is no such thing) as I was for 30 years, why don’t you use your brain and think for a moment? the Vatican makes these outrageous claims about Mary, but NONE of them are found in the Bible. Where are they found? In the writings of the Catholic Church 1,500 later.

This is why the Roman Catholic Church does not have the Bible as its sole authority, because the Bible is against what they teach as I have shown you above. The King James Bible actively contradicts official Vatican teaching in dozens and dozens of places regarding Mary.

Don’t believe the lies of the Catholic Church:

Did you know that the Catholic Church teaches that the very first apparition of Mary was while she was still alive? Incredible but true, that’s official Vatican teaching.

The real Mary in the Bible was a sweet and sanctified young lady who loved the LORD with all her heart, and accepted the awesome task given her. But she was born in the image of Adam and Eve, as we all were, and acknowledged Jesus as her Saviour. Sinless people have no need of a Saviour, just as well people have no need of a doctor.

“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” Luke 1:47 (KJV)

The real Mary in the Bible performed no miracles, there is no record of her advising anyone or anyone seeking her advice. Have you ever wondered about that? None of the astonishing things the Catholic Church attributes to Mary are never once found in the Bible. The real Mary in the Bible would be horrified if she knew what was being taught falsely about her.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)

The real Mary in the Bible was a saved sinner who needed a Saviour just like anyone else who ever lives. Don’t pray to her, don’t ask her advice, worship Jesus instead.

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28 (KJV)

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8554

May 15

Franklin Graham Reveals the ‘Real Reason’ Christians Are Being Persecuted

By Samuel Smith , CP Reporter

May 11, 2017 | 8:02 AM

WASHINGTON — Leading evangelist Franklin Graham addressed persecuted Christians from over 130 countries gathered this week for the first-ever World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians and explained the “real reason” why so many people throughout the world are being killed, tortured and imprisoned for their faith in Christ.

Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, gave the keynote address at the BGEA-hosted summit’s opening session Wednesday night at the Mayflower Hotel and welcomed Christians of all denominational and cultural stripes who traveled from all over the world to the summit on behalf of his father, the 98-year-old Billy Graham.

“This conference is not an ecumenical effort to unite Christians through theology or organizational means. This summit intentionally includes people from many denominations and traditions,” the 64-year-old Graham said. “As it has been said, the persecution of one Christian, affects us all.”

“I would like to remind all of us that no one has suffered more than our Lord Jesus Christ,” Graham added. “May the story of the Lord Jesus Christ and His suffering for us be the focus of the primary message of this conference.”

As the the conference aims to allow persecuted Christians from every corner of the globe share their stories of persecution and tribulations, Graham took time from his speech to highlight for an ovation the family members of some of the 20 Coptic Christians beheaded by the Islamic State on a beach in Libya in February 2015. The publicized footage of their beheadings helped millions realize the horror that many of their brothers and sisters are facing around the world at the hands of anti-Christian extremists.

“Tragically, this is not an isolated incident,” Graham asserted. “Today, our Christian brothers and sisters in many countries are facing persecution and martyrdom on an unprecedented scale. In fact, throughout the world the number of Christians facing hostility, persecution and even death is greater than any other time in history.”

Graham stressed that “no part of the Christian family is exempt” from persecution, no matter if they are Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox. He also stressed that “no part of the world is exempt.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8545

May 09

Chart-Topping Rapper Kendrick Lamar Is Preaching More Spiritual Truth Than Most Of The Dead Churches In America Are

May 5, 2017 by Michael Snyder

One of the hottest rappers in the entire world has just rebuked Christian leaders in America for not preaching about sin, repentance and judgment. And you know what? He is entirely correct. Today, you will very rarely ever hear the words “sin”, “repentance” and “judgment” come out of the mouths of the most influential leaders in the Christian world, and so God is using other avenues to proclaim His truth. If you are not familiar with Kendrick Lamar, he has won seven Grammy Awards and last year Time Magazine actually named him one of the top 100 most influential people on the entire planet. The following comes from Wikipedia

 

Lamar has received a number of accolades over the course of his career, including seven Grammy Awards. In early 2013, MTV named Lamar the number one “Hottest MC in the Game”, on their annual list.[1] Time named Lamar one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016.[2] Aside from his solo career, Lamar is also known as a member of the West Coast hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, alongside his TDE label-mates and fellow South Los Angeles-based rappers Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q.

Lamar is one of the biggest names in the music industry today, and that is why recent remarks that he made about his Christian faith are getting so much attention. The following comes from the Christian Post

Lamar, the 29-year-old rapper whose fourth studio album Damn is sitting atop Billboard charts, believes the churches that only focus on the idea of hope are one-sided.

“I went to a local church some time ago, and it appalled me that the same program was in practice. A program that I seen as a kid the few times I was in service,” Lamar wrote in an email to Hip Hop website DJ Booth. “Praise, dance. Worship. (Which is beautiful.) Pastor spewing the idea of someone’s season is approaching. The idea of hope.”

However, Lamar said he felt a sense of emptiness when he heard these types of sermons as a child. Now that the Grammy award-winning rapper based out of Compton, California, has been studying his faith for himself, he revealed why he was leaving churches feeling “spiritually unsatisfied as a child.”

Just about everyone reading this article should be able to identify with what Lamar said. I know that personally I walked out of hundreds of church services when I was younger feeling “spiritually unsatisfied”.

For Lamar, one of the biggest reasons for his dissatisfaction was the fact that the churches he was attending were not preaching about the fear of God and the hard truths of the Christian faith. The following comes from Faithwire

In Lamar’s opinion, too many churches fail to address this “hard truth” about the Christian calling. Rather than risk offending parishioners, Christian pastors often preach watered-down messages of God’s endless love and the redemption sinners find in Christ.

“As a community, we was taught to pray for our mishaps, and he’ll forgive you,” he continued. “Yes, this is true. But he will also reprimand us as well. As a child, I can’t recall hearing this in service. Maybe leaders of the church knew it will run off churchgoers?”

Lamar concluded his message by sharing that in light of his recent discovery, he feels called “to share the joy of God, but with exclamation, more so, the FEAR OF GOD… Knowing the power in what He can build, and also what He can destroy.”

“I wanna spread this truth to my listeners,” he wrote. “It’s a journey, but it will be my key to the Kingdom and theirs as well.”

In 2 Timothy 4, the Apostle Paul warned of a time when apostate Christians would “not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears”.

In other words, Paul was warning that believers would surround themselves with preachers that would only tell them the smooth and pleasant things that they wanted to hear.

In early America, ministers preached fiery messages about sin and repentance, and that helped produce a culture which created the greatest republic in the history of the world.

But today churches all over America don’t even want to talk about sin at all, and as a result we see just about every form of sin that you can possibly imagine exploding all around us.

For example, Activist Mommy is reporting that one company is now offering to make jewelry out of discarded human embryos…

“Baby Bee Hummingbirds Jeweller” claims on social media, “We are experts and true original leaders in Embryo Ashes DNA Jewelry. We are working with a number of local and international fertility clinics to raise awareness of this option for families.” The company is offering a 15% discount to those who use the code EMBRYO15 on jewelry “crafted with embryos.”

Hello!!?? Did you just read what I read?? Jewelry crafted with embryos? Does this at all remind you of lampshades and soap being made out of the skin and remains of Jews in Nazi Germany?

What are embryo ashes and who are these families? The families are those who employ Invitro Fertilization (IVF) to create more babies than they usually want in order to have enough embryos to have a successful pregnancy.

But nothing really provokes outrage in the Christian community any longer because we have almost entirely lost the fear of God.

Of course the Scriptures tell us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so we might want to start figuring out where we went so wrong.

Fortunately, there are still a few voices that are willing to speak out against sin. One of them is Billy Graham’s daughter Ann Graham Lotz.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8531

May 09

Anne Graham Lotz Encourages Christians to Prepare for the Rapture

Veronica Neffinger | Editor, ChristianHeadlines.com | Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Anne Graham Lotz Encourages Christians to Prepare for the Rapture

Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, has admonished Christians to be prepared for the rapture which could happen at any time.

In an article on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website titled “Are You Rapture Ready? A Bible Study from Anne Graham Lotz,” Lotz compares being prepared for the rapture to being prepared to go on a trip.

“Preparing to leave takes time, thought and energy,” she writes, and the same should be true of being prepared for the rapture when believers will meet Jesus in person.

“We are told that believers in the last generation will not experience physical death, but will be caught up in what is called the ‘rapture’… the ‘snatching away’… to meet Jesus in the air and be reunited with loved ones who have died in Christ and have gone before us. It will be the trip of a lifetime—a trip that is out of this world. Are you ready?” she asks.

She then goes on to give several verses on what kind of spiritual fruits Christians are to have as we prepare to be ready to meet Christ.

These fruits include faith, love, hope, and holiness.

ChristianHeadlines.com previously reported on a separate message Lotz gave for the National Day of Prayer, which is coming up on May 4. In this message, Lotz urged Americans to repent and turn back to God: “God has promised to hear us, forgive us and heal us on the condition that we pray. Therefore prayer is essential. It is not an option, it is a necessity.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8529

May 01

Christians Prepare To Build The World’s Largest Statue Of Jesus In The World’s Most Populous Muslim Nation

By Andrew Bieszad on April 26, 2017 in Featured, General

Indonesia is the most populous Muslim nation in the world, and right now Christians are working on making it home of the world’s largest statue of Jesus as well.

According to a report, the statue is planned to be almost twice the size of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:

Authorities in the Papua region of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, are reportedly planning to build the world’s largest statue of Jesus Christ, which would dwarf the famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Brazil.

The statue, which would be built at the top of Puncak Gunung Swajah in the city of Jayapura, would cost somewhere between $22.6 million to $37.6 million, which is a significant amount of money for Papua, where 28.5 percent of the population live below the poverty line.

Mambaya explained that the Jesus statue would be at least 165 feet tall in height, with a base of 328 feet, which is far larger than Rio De Janeiro’s “Christ the Redeemer,” which is 98 feet tall, though adding in the platform rises to 124 feet.

“We will build an elevator in the statue of Jesus Christ, like the one in Jakarta’s Monumen Nasional, in order to see the entire city of Jayapura through the eyes of Jesus,” Mambaya added.

Although a location for the proposed statue has been chosen, the provincial government is still waiting for approval from the regional parliament in order to go ahead with the building project, so the plans are not yet finalized.

If built, the monument would also be taller than the “Christ of Peace” statue in Bolivia, which stands at over 112 feet in height.

The title of the tallest Jesus statue in the world has changed hands on a few occasions over the past decades, with USA Today reporting in 2015 that the 118-foot-tall “Christ the King” in western Poland being the tallest at that time

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8509

Apr 24

Christians Facing Uncertainty After Major Conservative Islamic Victory in Jakarta Elections

“The challenge now as we come out of this election … is just the challenge of, what political rights are Christians going to have moving forward? Was this simply a political election where one person put forward their ideas, another person put forward their ideas, and the voters went for the other guy?” Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs USA posed in an article for Mission Network News on Thursday.

“Or how much did it play into the fact that this was a Christian and that radical Muslims within Indonesia are saying, ‘We shouldn’t have a Christian in this leadership role. As a Muslim, you should vote for a Muslim, regardless of what their politics are.'”

As CNN reported, Ahok conceded his loss in a re-election bid on Wednesday, which is being seen as a victory for the country’s conservative Islamic population.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8498