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Friday
Jun102011

Anti-what?

The word anti is defined as "opposed to" and is used in our language to describe someone who is against an idea, cause, or philosophy. The Bible uses it primarily when it talks about an anti-Christ spirit or person, and it predicted that this kind of attitude would prevail in the world as we approach the end of time as we know it. Well, what is this anti-Christ spirit we read about? Here is a sampling of what scripture defines as this kind of spirit.

1 John 2:18

18Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

1 John 2:22

 22Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3

 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

2 John 7

 7For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

 These verses define people who deny Christ, and they are considered anti-Christ entities. The easy part is identifying people who hate Christ, which is apparent by their lifestyles, words of defaming Him, using His Name as a curse word, but the harder discernment comes when faced with those who claim to be followers of Christ. Recently there was a well known Christian Broadcaster who spent millions of dollars telling the world that May 21, 2011 would be the end of the world. Some would say he is just an old man with misguided beliefs, but I would call it an anti-Christ spirit. Why? Because anyone who lives outside of the perimeters of scripture is not acting on behalf of God, they are promoting a spirit of defiance to the Spirit of God, and of compliance to Him. The scripture is clear in this case, don't set dates, don't try to project your ideas into His return, just get ready for it. Now, that is a message we don't hear. Watch and pray, the Bible says as we see the signs of His coming nearing, be watchful. 

What is being watchful?

1.What promotes Christ, and the surrender to Him, and what does not?

2. What distracts me away from the mission Jesus left us to do...(Great Commission) and this includes the distractions of foolish Christian trends

3. What is the meaning of living out God's Word in the world around me? Am I a living Epistle?

The world by the Bibles definition is becoming more lawless, which means it is rejecting the instruction of God and being replaced by the things of this world which are designed to follow self rather than God.

Yes, the church can be a form of anti-Christ, because if it is not preaching the Bible's emphasis on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, a message of holiness, and the need for sinners to repent and be saved, then this church is no bride of Christ. She is a spiritual whore whose unfaithfulness to Christ is apparent in her behavior to influence the world to come out from the world and life for Christ.

I was first upset by the following link, because it was too negative and hard. I thought, if this is the message we give to the world no wonder no one wants it. But then I realized, it's not for the world, its for the spiritual whoredom of the church, those who claim to follow Christ. Your tendency will be not to watch it to the end, because you know in the first few minutes where it is going, and you have better things to do with your time.  I understand. However, it's message is penetrating, convicting, and true, and if we want to keep our lives away from developing an anti-Christ spirit, you might want to take the time to be warned. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At-DdmumQic

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

 

Thursday
Jun092011

Promotion

I want to highly recommend two great conferences coming to the Twin Cities this Fall. 

I haven't done this before,  but I was challenged by some of my peers to mention two conferences being held in the Twin Cities this fall. These are two conferences I would not miss. 
The first one is Jan Markell's Conference October 7-8, at Grace Church Eden Prairie Minnesota. 

October 7 - 8, Grace Church, Eden Prairie

Friday, 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. - - Saturday, 9, a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Joel Rosenberg is the best-selling author of numerous books and

the producer of various documentary films. He is the founder of

The Joshua Fund, a non-profit educational organization that

mobilizes Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbors in

the Name of Jesus.” He has been interviewedon hundreds of radio

and television programs focusing on the epicenter — the Middle

East. Joel has also spoken at the White House, the Pentagon,

and to members of Congress. 

www.joelrosenberg.com

Dr. Mark Hitchcock is a pastor, Bible prophecy expert author of

two-dozen books, and conference speaker. He pastors Faith Bible

Church in Edmond, OK. He has beena guest on hundreds of radio and 

television programs. He and Jan Markell appeared together recently on

Jewish Voice Broadcasts’ international TV program. 

www.mlhitchcock.com

Brannon Howse is founder of American Family Policy Institute,

Worldview Weekend, and Worldview Weekend television and radio.

He has been a guest on more than 1,000 radio and television programs

and has guest hosted The Michael Reagan Show. He is also the

most frequent guest host for Jan’s Understanding the Times radio.

He has authored several books including the very popular Grave Influence. 

www.worldviewweekend.com

Eric Barger has focused on Christian apologetics. His Take a Stand!

Ministries confronts both the culture and the church. His focus has been

cults, world religions, the occult, spiritual warfare, the Emergent Church,

and more. He has authored several books and produced many DVDs,

He has been a frequent guest on Jan’s Understanding the Times radio

and even served as guest host. 

www.ericbarger.com

Bill Koenig is a White House correspondent with Koenig’s International

News. His weekly e-newsletter, Koenig’s Eye-View from the

White House, is popular and informative. As a correspondent, he

has been present to cover some of th most significant news events

in our nation’s history. Koenig has authored two books including 

Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel


www.watch.org

Jan Markell is founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, established

in 1982. Her radio program, Understanding the Times, is syndicated

nationally and heard internationally electronically. She has authored eight

books and produced a dozen DVDs, some featured on Sky Angel. 

www.olivetreeviews.org

No cost * No registration needed 

The second conference is being held one week later in the
Twin Cities and it is conference about our Hebraic Roots. Both of
  these conferences are free, and the content of these conferences
are essential for growing Christians in the times we are living.
You can register for this conference on line to assure you will
have a reservation, since space is limited.  

October 13-15,2011
St Michaels Lutheran Church in Bloomington MN



Wednesday
Jun082011

Its Not My Fault.

I hear this a lot today, no one takes the responsibility for their actions, or the results of decisions made.  We have leadership in all segments of society who never come out and tell the truth, "I messed up, I made a bad decision, and I am sorry." The only time people come to admit wrong doing is when they get caught in an activity that is either immoral or illegal. I remember a few years ago, Pastor Bill Hybels from Willow Creek Church outside of Chicago came to a realization that some of the thinking and teaching that he and others promoted at Willow was wrong. He actually admitted, 'We were wrong."  Wow, that was not characteristic of what is normally seen in the church.  Rarely will anyone admit fault, and confess that decisions were based upon ego, pride, and self centeredness. Here is a statement you won't hear too often in our Christian circles, but it is true. There are many non-profit ministries that are run more like private personal businesses than they are ministries governed by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. All the ministries I have been affiliated with over the years will claim to be Christ centered, but in many cases, when you press in to see about how the ministry makes decisions, or crafts a vision you find its more about ego, pride and personal preferences than it is about being Biblical or Christ centered. Sound harsh?  Sure it does, but it's true. The larger the organization, the more this is masked, but in smaller ministries it's really about the person leading the ministry. Is that all bad?  No, leadership takes guts, fortitude, and perseverance today, and that can be seen as ego and pride. However, when a leader goes unchecked, or is ever questioned on attitude, ministry decisions, foundational theology, or style of leadership,  then I think the organization has a problem. 

God uses our natural talents, experience and spiritual gifting to further His work, but when it becomes anything less than 100% about Jesus Christ, then we are making idols based upon ourselves, and the work we do. 

Too many leaders have used spiritual authority, prophetic concepts, and twisted Biblical teaching to manipulate their agenda on a group of people. Many have invented their own gospel, as in the case of those who teach that the church will take dominion over the earth and prepare it for the return of Jesus Christ.  It is true we go into all the world and teach the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but that is a different kind of concept than what is often portrayed through a dominion theology.  Now I am not here to debate all the craziness that is passed off as truth in the Body of Christ today, but I am here to ask leaders to be honest about whose agenda they are following? As a leader do you ever make theological mistakes, or bad decisions about the ministry you lead?  If yes, then why don't we hear more honesty from you about those mistakes?  When leadership is being lead by the Holy Spirit, they will not only admit to fault, they will admit that their human intervention has caused some flawed decisions they passed off as "God is leading us to...." 

And why don't we admit to more fault?  Because fault means I could be wrong about a lot of things, and if that were to be known what kind of following would I have?  Oh, I see, we are worried that our followers/supporters won't trust us anymore, is that it?  Well, here again if honesty prevailed, are we suppose to have followers? (only allowed on Twitter)

Following someone means they have something worthwhile to follow after, and the truth of the matter, no ministry has anything a part from Christ worth following. The only value in my life or in the life of the ministry I serve is Christ, and Him alone....period.

Bottom line for me: Ministries that function for the sake of the ministry itself is an idol, and leaders who run those ministries in that fashion should repent, or be replaced.

Harsh?  Really? If you think I am harsh then check out Revelation chapters 2 and 3, and see what Jesus said about ministries who were not willing to admit fault. 

Keeping it honest and truthful.....K

I know our memories are short, and we forget quite easily. So here was a great moment in the life a church.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMVtUWH4MxY

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jun072011

When God Lets Go.

New York representative Anthony Weiner has been all over the news these last few days because he got cute with some underwear pictures of himself and sent them out to some females followers on Twitter.  Now come on, who cares Anthony?  The fact you are representing the people of New York in Congress should mean you are above these kinds of pranks. These little moments of bad judgment do cost people in leadership, even if they don't resign, they never have the same impact they once did. Anthony Weiner will always be known as the "underwear congressman" and that handle will be hard to live down.  We have seen the Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer resign because he had a fling with some prostitute. On the West Coast, its just as bad. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated his marriage because he fathered a child with a mistress. Of course infidelity isn't just an American issue, Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn pleaded not guilty Monday to sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a maid at a New York City hotel. Oh, and then there's former Senator John Edwards, who denied at first he fathered a child while being married to his late wife. We have very talented, very bright, and very politically smart leaders all falling to the oldest trick in the book, "unfaithfulness." This is why I have said for years, "leadership with God, is no leadership at all.....period."

Greta from On the Record and Fox News posted this video recently that illustrates my point.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/987335250001/political-sexcapades-an-

When a society decides it knows better than God, and determines to create their own universe without Him, God in His mercy will let them go to do their own thing. He does so, for two reasons.

1. Hopefully one day they will come to the end of themselves and realize without Him, life doesn't work.

2. When they reach judgment day for how they lived their lives, He just has to say, "you chose your own path, and apart from Me, there is no life. Now you will receive the reward for a decision that will cost you an eternity without God..." 

How stupid to gamble away this life which is for a limited time, and lose time without end in paradise with God. That my friend is the power of sin, to blind someone to the truth that eternity is real, and it is won or lost in the way choose or deny God in this life. 

Let it be known that God pursues us, but there comes a point when He says, "Okay you are on your own." Here is how He says that in Romans 1:24-25 

 24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,  25because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

The issues we are facing in society today are not new, they just get more press.  We should be grieved as a nation that our leaders live such pitiful lives. However, my point is,  if God lets go, this is what you can expect. There is nothing that can hold back the tsunami of human depravity once God is removed.  Sorry society, you chose it, your motto has been remove Him, remove Him and remove Him.  Well, here is a news headline:
"What is  life like in a society built upon ego, pride, and selfish ambition?"  Well read the morning news its all there.  

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

If you want an under 3 minute resolution to a society without God, here is a link that will do that. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFTX80TpZ_4

Monday
Jun062011

Gardening, A Great Lesson In Spiritual Growth

My wife is an avid gardener, she plants, and then rearranges what she plants because we have to make room for more plantings.  In the end, it all looks great, and she has won some awards from the local neighborhood association. I am the person who waters. I bought some tangle free hoses this spring, so my watering can be sped up without the hassle of tangled hoses.  We have a great arrangement, she plants, I water, and both aspects of this partnership is critical if we expect anything to grow. 

The Apostle Paul knew this principle, because he used it in to illustrate how we grow spiritually. 

1 Corinthians 3:6-8

 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.  8He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.

No matter what my wife plants, and no matter how often I water, once those are done, it's up to the earth, the sun, and God to make things grow.  No matter how hard you try to grow spiritually, through the planting of the word of God in your heart, the watering of prayer, and the fellowship with other believers, only God gives the increase.  If God gives the increase, what makes that increase greater in some peoples lives and lessor in others?  Isn't God  fair in giving His increase?

As I take another lesson from my gardening experience by looking at what my neighbors plant. Most only marginally plant flowers. They rarely plant the volume that my wife does, so their increase is exactly what they sowed.  Few plants, few watering obligations.  (hummmm.....shorter trips with the hose....???) So increase can be directly proportional to your labor of planting, at least that is one element of how Gods increase works. Jesus said some would just naturally plant more flowers than others. It's just the way their DNA wired them.

Mark 4:8

 8And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

In Matthew 13, there are more gardening tips on how to grow a spiritual life and the ramifications of poor gardening, including those pesky weeds.   My wife loves to plant her gardens so that the growing season has blooming flowers early, middle and late in the season, so there is always beautiful color in her garden. What about this truth in our lives?  Do you have spiritual color in the stage of life you are in?  Are you allowing God to bring to bloom what He planted in your life? 

Another aspect of defining spiritual growth for the Christian today means, are you standing for what you believe in or are you letting the weeds of culture drown out the beauty of the Lord in your life?  Growth means you stand your ground, defending against those who would want to choke out the message you represent, the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Your life, like your garden, may not be what it could be, but there is always hope for another season, where God can restore the dried up, and withered.  You might like the link below, it illustrates how hope brings life back to what was once broken.

Keeping things honest and truthful.....K 

 http://www.porcelainunicorn.com/

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