AS MANY AS I LOVE, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN

Yes, this quote is by Jesus. We don’t like to think of God’s discipline, chastening and judgement but it is essential we do.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Revelation 3:19
Christ_in_the_house_of_Martha_and_Mary_1654

As you read the Gospels, notice that some of Jesus’ sharpest rebukes were directed to those He loved the most.

To Martha, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part” (Luke 10:41-42).

Jesus told Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23)

Jesus told His disciples, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith” (Matthew 8:26).

Jesus rebuked James and John, telling them, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.” (Luke 9:55)

Jesus never rebukes us to tear us down but to build us up. When He reproves us, it’s to prove His love. Sometimes He uses our conscience to rebuke us. Sometimes it’s a sermon, book, or article. Occasionally, He will send another person to admonish us. As you read the Bible, sometimes a verse will strike you with conviction.

Don’t shrug off the chastening word. As many as He loves, He rebukes and chastens. But it’s always out of love and designed to help us, to make us pleasing to Him and more effective in our service for the kingdom.

Chastening is not God getting even—it is preparing that person for something better, more valuable, and worthwhile.
R. T. Kendal

Extract from Dr David Jeremiah’s article “The Lord’s Rebuking Ministry”

 

Another great testimony from an indigenous brother and his granddaughter.

Let us declare with Pastor Anthony: “Today, I stand for righteousness. Righteousness will exalt a nation. We proclaim that this nation will have righteousness. We will go back to the cornerstone, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, and build our foundation on truth (God’s Word). Truth will build our family house. Trust in the word of God will establish and confirm our house.”

Watch Ps Anthony Edwards Snr. and Tilly Fejo’s story below:

Compelling Historical Evidence for the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ

Here is some compelling evidence of Christ's birth.

  1. Documented by a physician & world-class historian.

The virgin birth of Jesus Christ was documented by a physician and world-class historian who interviewed eyewitnesses, probably including Mary herself, for his account of this world-changing event. Luke gives the most detailed account of the Nativity and mentions Mary 12 times, more than any other biblical writer.

The accuracy of Luke as a historian was confirmed by the famous historian, A.N. Sherwin-White, who carefully examined his references in Luke/Acts to 32 countries, 54 cities, and nine islands, finding not a single mistake. Sir William Ramsay, who spent years in Asia Minor following and examining Luke’s account of Paul’s travels, wrote in The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament, “You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian’s and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment.”

  1. Affirmed by modern archaeology.

Luke’s status as a world-class historian, accurate in even the smallest details, was brought to light by modern archaeology. For example, Sir William Ramsay, considered one of the greatest archaeologists of all time, originally thought he would scientifically discredit Luke’s accounts by visiting and examining the places mentioned in his Gospel and Acts.

Ramsay was a student of the sceptical, German higher criticism of the 19th century and was taught that the New Testament was an unreliable religious treatise written in the mid-second century by individuals far removed from the events described. But after years of retracing Luke’s account of Paul’s travels and doing archaeological digs along the way, Ramsay completely reversed his view of the Bible and first-century history.

Ramsay became convinced that Acts was written in the first century by the traditional author, and he acquired a very high regard for Luke as a historian. He wrote, “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense; in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians.”

William F. Albright, archaeologist and late professor of Semitic languages at John Hopkins University, is considered by many to be the greatest of archaeologists. Like Ramsay, he began as an agnostic, sceptical of the Bible as a reliable book of history. But, like Ramsay, his views were also completely changed by doing the hard work of an archaeologist in the field.

Albright discovered that not only was Luke reliable, but that the entire Bible was a reliable source of history. According to The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Albright wrote, “Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and brought increased recognition to the Bible as a source of history.”

   3.  An agnostic professor of mythology is convinced. 

C S Lewis was the agnostic professor of Renaissance literature at Oxford University, a prolific author and a recognized expert of mythological texts. He too had bought into the idea that the Bible was not a book of reliable history and that the New Testament was filled with all sorts of mythical stories, created by individuals far removed from the events described.

But through the influence of his childhood and friends who challenged his atheism, Lewis began to read the Bible. He was astounded at what he encountered in the Gospels, for it was obviously a different genre from the ancient mythologies with which he was so familiar. His surprised response was, “This is not myth!” Lewis went on to become a dedicated follower of Christ and perhaps the most significant Christian apologist of the 20th century.

  1. Predicted centuries in advance by OT prophets.

Genesis 3:15 said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”

These words were spoken by God to the serpent after the fall of our first parents. The “seed of the woman” in this passage is an allusion to a future descendant of Eve who will defeat the serpent and reverse the curse brought on by his deception.

The Bible normally speaks of the seed of men, but in this case it is the “seed of the woman.” This is a prophecy that clearly anticipates the future virgin birth of Christ—a birth in which the seed of a man is not involved. The beloved Methodist theologian, Adam Clarke, wrote in The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments with a Commentary and Critical Notes, “The seed of the woman is to come by the woman, and her alone without the concurrence of man.”

According to this prophecy, the “seed of the woman” will receive a temporary wound from Satan—”you will bruise His heel”—but the “seed of woman” shall inflict on Satan a final and mortal wound—”He will bruise your head.” This Messianic promise was fulfilled through the virgin birth of Jesus and through His death and resurrection.

Isaiah 7:14 said, “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

The Hebrew word translated “virgin” in this passage is almah and refers to a young woman of marriageable age, but would usually include the idea of virginity, since that was expected of a young Jewish woman being married for the first time.

That “virgin” is an accurate English translation is confirmed by the Septuagint, which uses the Greek word parthinos to translate almahParthinos specifically means a young woman who has never had sex with a man. Parthinos is the word used by both Matthew and Luke in their description of Mary, affirming that she was a young woman who had never had sex with a man when Jesus was born.

Further evidence that this Son born of a virgin is a Messianic prophecy referring to Jesus is indicated by Isaiah’s statement that he shall be called Immanuel, which means “God with us.” This is a clear statement concerning the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, and reminds us of the words of Gabriel to Mary that the Son she will bear “will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:32).

  1. Believed universally by the earliest Christians.

That the virgin birth was universally believed by the earliest Christians is verified by “The Apostle’s Creed,” an early confession of faith that dates from the second century and was used throughout the church. By including the virgin birth in their creedal statement, these early believers made clear that they considered it an essential doctrine of the Faith. The Creed reads in part:

“I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary” (emphasis added).

This belief in the virgin birth was confirmed by the Nicene Creed of A.D. 325 and has continued to be the belief of Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant Christians.

Note the words of the 18th century hymn, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” written by Charles Wesley, an Oxford graduate and Anglican minister, and with his brother John, the leader of the great Methodist revival. Because of the references to the virgin birth, this hymn became a popular carol sung at Christmas:

“Christ by highest heaven adored/Christ the everlasting Lord! /Late in time behold Him come/Offspring of a Virgin’s womb! /Veiled in flesh the Godhead see/Hail the incarnate Deity! /Pleased as man with man to dwell/Jesus, our Emanuel/Hark the herald angels sing/Glory to the newborn king!”

Extract from article by Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt. He is an author, historian and biblical scholar.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU

Consider how easy it is to tell the religious faith of many people in the world by their dress or actions. One religion’s members shave their heads, wear saffron-colored robes, play musical instruments, and chant and sing in public. The faithful of another religion stop and kneel for prayers, wherever they are, five times a day. Another religion’s orthodox members wear black coats and hats, white shirts, and have long, curly locks of hair or beards.

hindusburqa image

There is only one mark Jesus asked His followers to display to the world: the mark of love. He told His disciples,

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)

It is not if we dress or speak a certain way or act religious in a certain way, but if we have love for others. Loving people the way Jesus loves people is the true mark of His followers. Love is the highest kingdom value (see Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 13:13).

Let our love and service for Christ be translated today into love and service for others.

Answering an atheist on meaning and purpose of life

I hope this article “Answering a reasonable atheist on deep philosophical questions” from Creation Ministries International (CMI) 30th September, 2012 provides helpful answers for Christians and unbelievers as well.

To demonstrate that not all of CMI’s opponents are hostile and unreasonable, we publish feedback by Tim W. of the USA to our article – Answering the ‘new atheists’ (interview with Doug Wilson). In this, Tim W. sought to defend the proposition that atheism can provide meaning and purpose. Tim W.’s email is printed in its entirety  (red), and then followed by point-by-point responses by Dr Jonathan Sarfati.

This is an interesting article. I think you are on the right track when you suggest that modern atheists are worried at the resurgence of conservative Christianity in the United States. Frankly, it concerns me that so many politicians have anti-abortion views with which I strongly disagree. Part of my moral beliefs value limited rights of women to choose the fate of their unfertilized eggs, embryos and their own bodies. Similarly, I understand that Christians have legitimate reason to be concerned that unbelievers will influence a policy or social climate that permits the destruction of actual or potential human organisms. The stakes are high so it should be no surprise that the voices of atheism rise to compete with the voices of religion.

I also agree with the author, and with Hume, that one cannot infer what ought to be, in a normative sense, from what is, was or will be the case. In this way, it is reasonable to say that naturalism or ‘scientism’ cannot suggest a specific theory or morality. However, that does not mean that morality is not compatible with materialism, naturalism or atheism. It only means that morality must come from philosophy (ethics) rather than from theology. There is no reason why an atheist cannot have a more sophisticated ‘sense’ or theory of morality than someone who bases their beliefs of right and wrong conduct (or thoughts) on the teachings of a formal religion. My own beliefs are more consistent with a general sense of basic ‘fairness,’ than obedience to the demands of a deity.

Lastly, I don’t understand the basis of a statement such as “The atheist cannot put forward, within his own framework, a justification for why reasoning is trustworthy, or even worthwhile,” or “the atheist can’t account for reason if there is no God.” These are philosophical questions that do not seem to be contingent on the existence of a God. Is reasoning trustworthy or meaningful? Those are matters of epistemology, not theology. Moreover, I think it is far from obvious that neither life, nor anything else for that matter, can have meaning unless one believes in God. God may give your life meaning, but that does not mean that nothing can provide meaning for an atheist’s life. I can imagine an atheist saying that her daughter, for example, gives her life meaning. Would you call her a liar?

Response

Dr Jonathan Sarfati replies: Thanks (on behalf of CMI and the article author).

TW: I think you are on the right track when you suggest that modern atheists are worried at the resurgence of conservative Christianity in the United States.

JS: What is really striking is how many modern atheists have become such delicate little flowers. They are hurt and offended by plastic baby Jesuses at Nativity scenes and are in danger of having a stroke if they hear a student-led prayer at a football game. (But of course, anyone objecting to obscenity or porn should just look the other way or change channels.) Even leading atheist Richard Dawkins is not such a wimp; he joins in Christmas celebrations. What a contrast the modern activists are with the far more robust atheists of yesteryear who vigorously debated the formidable G.K. Chesterton, and remained good friends even after finishing second.

TW: Frankly, it concerns me that so many politicians have anti-abortion views with which I strongly disagree.

JS: It would concern me if we didn’t have that many. Once we dehumanize one class of humanity, there is no limit. See for example article – Unborn babies may “be planning their future”: What now for the abortion lobby?

TW: Part of my moral beliefs value limited rights of women to choose the fate of their unfertilized eggs, embryos and their own bodies.

JS: Well, there’s the problem: the unborn is not part of a woman’s body. A reductio   ad absurdum I’ve explained is: this would entail that a mother carrying a son must have a penis.

TW: Similarly, I understand that Christians have legitimate reason to be concerned that unbelievers will influence a policy or social climate that permits the destruction of actual or potential human organisms.

JS: Yes, that’s exactly the issue. Without the protection of life, no other right, real or assumed, has any meaning. ‘Rights’ to private property, housing, employment, medical care, or anything else, mean nothing if one is not alive to exercise them.

TW: The stakes are high so it should be no surprise that the voices of atheism rise to compete with the voices of religion.

JS: The problem arises when voices of atheism try to silence the voices of Christianity. This includes university ‘speech codes’, ‘hate speech’, the persecution of Christians in atheistic communist regimes, and the GayStapo attacks on the Church and family. See Gay marriage, politicians, and the rights of Christians.

TW: I also agree with the author, and with Hume, that one cannot infer what ought to be, in a normative sense, from what is, was or will be the case.

JS: A key point.

TW: In this way, it is reasonable to say that naturalism or ‘scientism’ cannot suggest a specific theory or morality. However, that does not mean that morality is not compatible with materialism, naturalism or atheism. It only means that morality must come from philosophy (ethics) rather than from theology.

JS: It certainly can’t come from the axiom ‘God does not exist.’

TW: There is no reason why an atheist cannot have a more sophisticated ‘sense’ or theory of morality than someone who bases their beliefs of right and wrong conduct (or thoughts) on the teachings of a formal religion. My own beliefs are more consistent with a general sense of basic ‘fairness’, than obedience to the demands of a deity.

JS: But where does the notion of ‘fairness’ come from in an evolutionary world? Surely it’s just a delusion caused by certain neurochemical activity that happened to be useful for our ancestors to survive. Just like rape was useful to spread our genes, as two evolutionists seriously argued in a book (look how one squirmed to justify why rape should be considered ‘wrong’). Similarly, the article Bomb-building vs. the biblical foundation documents how leading atheistic philosopher/logician Bertrand Russell could not explain why right vs. wrong was any different from choosing one’s favourite colours.

Think of consistent evolutionist and atheistic philosopher Peter Singer, who justifies infanticide, euthanasia, and bestiality. It’s also notable that some critics of my article Abortion ‘after birth’? Medical ‘ethicists’ promote infanticide claimed that Singer was an anomaly among atheists. Yet I showed that his pro-infanticide views were shared by the Journal of Medical Ethics and the vocal antitheist P.Z. Myers. See also Bioethicists and Obama agree: infanticide should be legal. He also wrote the major Encyclopaedia Britannica article on Ethics (1992), and earlier this year, the Australian Government gave him Australia’s highest honour, Companion of the Order of Australia.

TW: Lastly, I don’t understand the basis of a statement such as “The atheist cannot put forward, within his own framework, a justification for why reasoning is trustworthy, or even worthwhile,” or “the atheist can’t account for reason if there is no God.” These are philosophical questions that do not seem to be contingent on the existence of a God.

JS: I would say they are, as natural selection explains only survival value, not truth and logic. In Canada, one atheistic philosophy professor argued that these things would have selective value. I responded that this is not necessarily so under his belief system. After all, he must regard theistic religion as one thing that evolved for survival value, yet he would regard this as false and illogical. Thus survival, under his perspective, can be enhanced by the false as well as the true.

TW: Is reasoning trustworthy or meaningful? Those are matters of epistemology, not theology. Moreover, I think it is far from obvious that neither life, nor anything else for that matter, can have meaning unless one believes in God. God may give your life meaning, but that does not mean that nothing can provide meaning for an atheist’s life.

JS: One of my colleagues wrote in Answering life’s big questions: Only the Bible provides the answers:

Today we are effectively told, in the evolutionary story, that life is a fluke, a cosmic accident. In this case our existence lacks any purpose, so life is a farce. And where are we going, in this view? Fertilizer! In short, life is: Fluke … farce … fertilizer.

Evolutionist Richard Dawkins said that we live in a universe that has “no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference”. The evolutionists’ universe has no purpose because it is an accident; a cosmic accident. With evolution so widely taught in schools and universities, is it any wonder that so many lack any purpose or meaning to their lives?

As Susan Blackmore, psychologist and disciple of Richard Dawkins said, “If you really think about evolution and why we human beings are here, you have to come to the conclusion that we are here for absolutely no reason at all.”

TW: I can imagine an atheist saying that her daughter, for example, gives her life meaning.

JS: But hardly ultimate meaning, since both mother’s and daughter’s entire lives are just a blink of an eye in the uniformitarian cosmic scheme. Bertrand Russell said in his anti-Christian book Religion and Science:

Man, as a curious accident in a backwater, is intelligible: his mixture of virtues and vices is such as might be expected to result from fortuitous origin.

TW: Would you call her a liar?

JS: Not at all. A lie implies intentional deception, not just falsehood. As you could see from searching our site, we are very sparing with accusations of ‘lying’ (although some evolutionists justify deception and are just being consistent), as opposed to having a faulty interpretive framework. (However, we won’t deny that this prior adoption of this faulty framework is culpable according to Romans 1:20 and 2 Peter 3:3–7 and foolish (Psalm 14:1). But the point remains that a valid deduction from a faulty framework is not a lie.)

REVIVAL HITS MUSLIM NORTH AFRICA

Jesus is visiting the Muslim world with supernatural visitations and this man has spent years traveling one particular region in N. Africa to document the visitations. Qahoush told CBN News some people recount “sitting in a room and see[ing] the appearance and the presence of God appear to them in reality, like a vision

 

When people have a personal encounter with our Lord, true repentance and revival take place. These people know they have eternal life and are able to boldly proclaim their faith even in the face of persecution and death.

As prophesied “last days” events are unfolding quickly. It is like we are in ‘fast forward’. The War Room movie is a reminder for us all, both personally and the church, to seek the Lord passionately in prayer, to know the times and our role to bring His Kingdom rule in our community.

 

Ben Carson Calls America’s Relationship With Faith ‘Schizophrenia’.

GOP Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson vowed to wage a war on what he called “Politically Correct (P.C.) police” before the Free Chapel megachurch in Gainesville, Georgia, on Sunday morning. He also described America’s relationship with faith as “schizophrenia,” noting that faith-positive messages are displayed on U.S. currency, yet there is an aversion to talk about religion.

“The pledge of allegiance to our flag says we are one nation under God. Many courtrooms in the land, on the wall it says ‘In God We Trust.’ Every coin in our pocket, every bill in our wallet says ‘In God We Trust,’” Carson told the thousands who came to listen to his speech at the megachurch, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Carson took time to sign copies of his book, A More Perfect Union, and said that people have been asking him why he is entering the political fray after a successful career as a neurosurgeon.

Ben Carson A Perfect Union

“Well, I’ll tell you why: it’s because America is worth saving. If that means getting into a war with the PC police, I’m ready to fight that war. And I hope you will join me,” the GOP candidate said.

The retired neurosurgeon attracted controversy last week for comments he made about the Oregon shooting massacre, when he suggested he would have done more than the other students, had he been at the scene of the crime.

“I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” Carson said on “Fox & Friends,” talking about the Umpqua Community College rampage that led to the deaths of 10 people.

“I would say, ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.'”

Only a man, with faith in God’s promise of eternal life, would confidently make such a comment.