Sticking To The Scriptures

 

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The Apostle Paul by Jan van Scorel

1 Timothy 1:6-14

6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

Timothy is exhorted to stir up the gift that was in him. The Greek here means to kindle up or to inflame, the image being of when we blow on embers to get them alight. As an evangelist he had received the Gifts of the Holy Spirit by imposition of the apostle’s hands.. It was for him to stir them up; his responsibility was to exercise them and so increase them (Matthew 25:29).

He had to take every opportunity to exercise them or else they would whither. We cannot tell from the text the nature of his gifting however it was given to him by Paul’s laying on of his hands. This was distinct from his ordination, which was by the laying on of the hands of the elders.

The biggest obstacle that prevents any man of God engaged in the use of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is fear. For this reason Paul reminds him that the spirit of God does not produce fear but boldness! The Spirit of God is one of power, of love and a sound mind.

The battleground of the spirit is the mind for it is here where we make the choice to trust or to doubt. We sing of being resolved to do God’s will, if we yield to His Spirit he will give us the resolve to press towards the goal through whatever difficulties and dangers we may encounter on the way. Above all we will overcome the fear of man and whatever harm he may inflict upon us. Rather than become discouraged at the many obstacles that come in our way, we will find the strength and the means to remain sober in our thinking rather than yield to whatever monsters we might imagine are in our way.

Israel would not enter the Promised Land because of the thought of great walled cities and giants in the land. 40 years later the next generation entered the land and did not encounter any giants, only Jericho which God delivered into their hands. This happened because they were willing to obey the Lord.

Timothy is exhorted to expect afflictions and to be ready to encounter them. These come as the direct result of the Gospel. We must lose any fear of suffering for the Gospel of Christ and especially we should not be ashamed of being associated with those that are suffering persecution.

I have lost count of the times other Christians have been at pains to point out that they were not with us when the crowd has turned against us. Just like Peter when he denied even knowing who Jesus was!

The Gospel is the testimony of Christ. It is because of this testimony we are who we are today. And it is to this testimony we bare testimony of Him and for Him. Others may come and bring a watered down version but this only testifies to the darkness that is in them (Isaiah 8:20). They may claim to walk in the light (Matthew 6:23)

Paul was not the prisoner of men but the Lord’s prisoner.

We have no reason to be ashamed of the message, nor of its messengers (Mark 8:38).

He has begun to save us, and will complete it in due time.

It is designed for our sanctification. We are called to Holiness. Sanctification is an on-going work of the Holy Spirit.

Its origin is the free grace and eternal purpose of God. It is a work that was set in motion before the world began and not as a reaction to the fall!

Eventually it was made manifest through the appearing of Christ into the world.

Did Jesus suffer for it? Then it is of little consequence if we might have to suffer for it also.

By the Gospel of Christ death is not merely conquered (although it is), but it is ABOLISHED! Death is no longer our enemy; it is now our friend because through death we go to be with the Lord!

What, therefore, is there to be ashamed of. It is the Power of God unto salvation for everyone that believes!

Timothy is exhorted to hold fast the form of sound words. What can this mean other than a concise explanation of salvation in complete accordance with the scriptures? Preach the WORD! Uphold the scriptures. Hold fast or adhere to it in opposition to all heresies and false doctrines that corrupt the faith.

We should adhere to the scriptures because we know that they are divinely inspired. If it is not in accordance with scripture it is merely an opinion of men at best, a doctrine of devils at worst!

In order to keep His word we need the indwelling Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit it is just dead words in a book, it is the Spirit that gives life to the scriptures. Even so, we must study it, chew it up and swallow it if it is to feed us! You don’t just eat a meal in one gulp, you must cut it up and take time to eat it and swallow, and finally digest it. If food is not digested properly it causes Indigestion and is not healthy!

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Billy Graham, a perspective.

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Mention the name of Billy Graham and in the mind of the average Christian images are conjured up of crowded sports stadia, arenas packed with thousands of people eagerly listening to his preaching of his gospel. The message was simple:

First, you must recognize your need.

Second, you must understand the cross.

Third, you must count the cost.

He also said, “Which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost? … So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:28, 33).

Many people come to Christ without first counting the cost. The cost includes repentance, the forsaking of sin, and a continual, daily, open acknowledgment of Christ in your life.

Fourth, you must take a definite step.

One day at Stanford University, a student of a non-Christian faith came to me and said he was convinced that Jesus is the Son of God but said he couldn’t confess Him publicly. He said that back in his own country the cost socially would be too great.

I had to tell him that the Bible says: “Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

Like the rich young ruler of old, the student went away sad. He had counted the cost and was not able to pay the price of open acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as his Savior.

We ask people to make a public confession of Christ in our meetings because Christ demanded a definite commitment. Christ had reasons for demanding that people openly follow Him. He knew that an unwitnessed vow is no vow at all. Until you have surrendered to Christ by a definite act of your will, you are not a Christian.

(https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/september-2012/how-to-be-sure-youre-saved/)

The scriptures declare:

Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. (John 12:42-43)

Many of the chief rulers believed on Jesus, but due to fear of being kicked out of the synagogue, DIDN’T tell anyone that they were saved. They hid their faith from others. According to Billy Graham’s Gospel, these men were not saved. According to Billy they weren’t willing to pay the price of confessing Christ publicly, so they weren’t saved.

Many people responded to this simple message by accepting Rev. Graham’s invitation to come forward to receive Christ. A number of them testify to this day how they were saved as a direct result of following Rev. Graham’s call.

This is the image that most Christians have, and why they are convinced that Billy Graham is the greatest evangelist ever. All well and good one might say, if that was all that went on.

A Counterfeit Gospel

One of the most important aspects of the Holy Spirit’s work is to lead and guide us into ALL truth (John 16:3). This means that He will lead us and guide us away from lies and deceitfulness. The Christian needs to be able to exercise a great deal of discernment when it comes to the doctrines and practices of those that they encounter, especially when it comes to teachers and preachers.

The Holy Spirit warned us, through the Apostle Paul, of the possibility of those that would preach another Gospel and another Jesus different from that he and the other Apostles had preached:

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
(2 Corinthians 11:3-4)

A similar warning is given to the believers in his epistle to the Galatians, and repeated as a double warning:

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:8-9)

The problem with counterfeits is that they are often unrecognisable to most people and most people cannot discern the difference because they do not have their senses trained to discern good and evil. And this is because they are not exercised in the Word of God:

But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:4)

In Hebrews 5 the writer is using the analogy of sound Bible doctrine likening it to solid food. The Hebrews were still stuck on baby milk (basic teaching) and had not matured enough to be able to deal with solid food (Deeper Scriptural Truths):

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

In His book, I Never Knew You, Michael P. Bowen comments:

 Very often, as a way of telling us that we have to quit willfully and deliberately sinning in order to be born again, he will refer to where Jesus said in Luke 13:3 that we must repent or perish, yet in the original Greek manuscript, the word for repent means to change your mind and has nothing at all to do with turning from sins.

 Fourthly, he will say that we must come to Christ by faith in order to receive His “free gift” of everlasting life that we cannot earn by our works, or our service, or by anything that we “of ourselves” can do. Billy then usually tells his audience to say “yes” to Christ, to make a decision to follow Christ, to give their lives to Christ, and/or to commit themselves to Christ. Also at this point in his preaching, he will very often quote John 3:16 which states that salvation is by faith in Christ alone, which directly contradicts everything he has said up to that point. He will also give other verses, such as Titus 3:5 which states that “… not by works of righteousness which we have done, but by his mercy he saves us…” And this is why “salvation according to Billy Graham” becomes so complicated and so very confusing to the lost people who have come to Billy in order to learn how to be saved.

 Billy says that we cannot earn our salvation no matter what we do, no matter how many good deeds we do, but immediately afterward he tells everyone that they must change their behavior, submit their inner wills to Christ, and to stop sinning. He gives verses that tell us to believe on Christ alone and that salvation is a free gift given to us the instant we believe, such as John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9, yet he turns right around and says that we must make a 180-degree change in our direction, that it takes a lot of effort on our part to do these things, and that we should determine with all of our efforts to follow Christ.

He then says that we don’t have the power to follow Christ unless the Holy Spirit enables us to do so. Billy will then usually tell us again that we must commit our lives to Christ and that we must become practicing disciples of Jesus in order to be born again, but at the same time, he knocks everyone off balance when he turns right back around to tell his audience that salvation is free and that it is received by faith alone and that we cannot do a single thing to earn it.

 Then Billy demands again and again that we must quit sinning in order to be saved, but directly afterward he rotates back and forth from “quit sinning” to “you can do nothing of yourself to earn it.”

He says that salvation is free, but immediately afterward he says that we must carefully consider the costs of following Christ. “Costs” is the opposite of “free,” yet, nobody will dare to question Billy Graham about the validity of what he is saying because he is, in fact, so forceful in his tone of voice and in his facial expressions that I am convinced people are afraid of him. The glare alone from his stern stare that one can easily see in his eyes as they sweep across the masses of people in his audience is enough to keep people from ever questioning the validity of his teachings.

Again and again, Billy says that salvation is not of yourselves, that it is a free gift, but then quickly does a u-turn and makes your salvation dependent upon quitting your sins and devoting your life to discipleship. Then, to make matters worse, Billy makes everlasting life in heaven dependent upon your walking down the isle and making your decision to follow Christ “as your Lord” public.

Billy says that Christ will not acknowledge you before His Father if you do not acknowledge Him before other people, which, in context, means that you will not go to heaven unless you tell other people that you have made a decision to follow Christ. Then Billy will usually tell his audience that salvation is, again, a free gift that cannot be earned no matter what we do. It is, by far, Graham’s terse persona that captivates and influences an audience rather than the Holy Spirit of God

(I Never Knew You The Horror Of The Great White Throne Judgement And How You Can Avoid It by Michael Patrick Bowen Pg 137-138. © 1909 by Barbour Books)

In Matthew 7:21-23 we find a religious group being rejected by Christ, which means being sentenced to the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:13-15). Jesus said… I NEVER KNEW YOU! They try to defend themselves by saying, have we not done in thy name “MANY WONDERFUL WORKS?” That was their entire problem! They were trusting in their own “MANY WONDERFUL WORKS,” but God didn’t think their WORKS were very wonderful. They had never repented of their DEAD WORKS (Hebrews 6:1). They were trying to get to Heaven by establishing their own righteousness instead of SUBMITTING to the righteousness of God by faith alone in Christ:

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”(Romans 10:3-4)

The Bible teaches that the moment a man believes the gospel that he is JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS:

But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:37-39)

This Scripture means turning from sins cannot save us, and God does not require us to turn from sins to be saved. Man has absolutely NO PART in God’s salvation of his soul. YOU ARE A SINNER! Unless you accept Christ’s payment for your sins by His own blood, you will spend eternity burning in the fires of the Lake of Fire!!! We have no part in our salvation. Billy Graham is teaching a confusing, false, impossible, and unbiblical plan of salvation.

Ecumenism

One of the important things that Billy Graham believed in was the practice of what is called, “Follow Up”. It was seen that those that came forward needed to be redirected after the meeting to a local church that would “follow up” on the person and keep in contact with them.  Thus they would be made into disciples of Christ.

Many of those that came forward had already had some experience with Christianity, either through infant baptism or past church attendance. So it was felt that these people should be referred back to the church (or denomination) they had familiarity with. For this the respondents were asked to fill out a simple contact card featuring their names, addresses and possible church affiliation.

Most Evangelical Christians believed that these respondents would be referred to a Bible based Evangelical church, however this was not the case. Baptists would be referred to Baptist churches, Anglicans to a Church of England, Methodists to a Methodist church, Presbyterians to the Presbyterians, Orthodox to the Orthodox Church and Roman Catholics to the Roman Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church welcomed this aspect of Dr. Graham’s crusades as it resulted in many lapsed Catholics returning to “Mother Church” becoming devout Catholics in the process, accepting the dogmas of Roman Catholicism, its sacraments as essential vehicles of saving grace and its hierarchical system of ordained priests as the only one’s who could enact these sacraments thus making them valid.

Billy Graham was invited to preach at numerous Catholic Churches and Cathedrals around the world because he did not challenge Rome’s dogmas and led converts into Rome’s institutional form of religion.

In effect Billy Graham had become an agent and an apologist for the Catholic Church.

The Great Divide

Biblical Christianity and Roman Catholicism are doctrinally as far apart as the east is from the west. One is based on the Bible and the other on the traditions of men. So how can we walk together without compromise? It’s impossible!

Many Protestants and Charismatic Catholics claim that the Holy Spirit is drawing them together. But, is it the Holy Spirit of God? Or could it be a different spirit? Are Charismatic Catholics leaving the apostate Roman Church? Or are they being used to pull Protestants to Rome?

Some Charismatic Catholics claim that after being baptized by the Holy Spirit they have a deeper relationship with Mary, they can recite the rosary in tongues, and so on. None of this is in the Bible. They are the inventions of men.

Doctor Graham also worked hard at breaking down the walls that divided Catholics and Protestants through his publishing of Christianity Today Magazine and helping to found the Lausanne Movement in 1974 with the English Anglican priest John Stott.

The Ecumenical Movement received a boost when in 1962 the then Pope, John XXIII, invoked the Second Vatican Council, and more correctly called the Second Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church. This made sweeping changes to some of the Catholic Church’s practices and certain of the Church’s doctrinal stances. The Council met and discussed all these issues during the next 3 years and its findings were published in 1965 under the reign of Pope Paul VI (Pope John’s successor).

The Council did not change any of the accepted dogmas of the church and upheld all of the findings of the infamous Council of Trent. But what it did do was to soften the language of the more extreme announcements of Trent, especially the Anathemas (curses) pronounced upon all those that held to Protestant Evangelical beliefs over the dogmas of the Catholic Church.

Protestants were now called, “Separated Brethren” and were considered ignorant of the True Catholic Faith and, because of the corrupt teachings of the Protestant Reformers, and had misunderstood the true nature of the Sacraments. The aim was now to show these separated brethren through Rome’s vision of World Evangelisation and its conciliatory stance towards non-Catholic Christians that there was no real difference between Roman Catholicism and Biblical Christianity.

That these “Separated Brethren” are held to be deficient in their faith can be seen from the Vatican 2 documents:

Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as Communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those who through Him were born again into one body, and with Him quickened to newness of life – that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim. For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is “the all-embracing means of salvation,” that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God.

(DECREE ON ECUMENISM NITATIS REDINTEGRATIO, Chapter 1, Catholic Principles On Ecumenism)

Billy Graham was the key player in this plan amongst Protestants.

Vatican 2 states:

  1. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*) In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(125) On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.(126) But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*) She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life.

 

(DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH, LUMEN GENTIUM
SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON NOVEMBER 21, 1964 chapter II On The People of God)

Note: By calling this a Dogmatic Constitution Pope Paul VI was issuing an infallible statement that can never be challenged or rejected by any Roman Catholic!

New Age Spirituality

New Age is a term applied to a range of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices that developed in Western nations during the 1970s.

As a form of Western esotericism, the New Age drew heavily upon a number of older esoteric traditions, in particular those that emerged from the occultist current that developed in the eighteenth century. Such prominent occult influences include the work of Emanuel Swedenborg and Franz Mesmer, as well as the ideas of Spiritualism, New Thought, and Theosophy.

Alice Ann Bailey (June 16, 1880 – December 15, 1949) was a writer of more than twenty-four books on theosophical subjects, and was one of the first writers to use the term New Age.

Bailey’s works, written between 1919 and 1949, describe a wide-ranging system of esoteric thought covering such topics as how spirituality relates to the Solar System, meditation, healing, spiritual psychology, the destiny of nations, and prescriptions for society in general. She described the majority of her work as having been telepathically dictated to her by a Master of Wisdom, initially referred to only as “the Tibetan” or by the initials “D.K.”, later identified as Djwal Khul. Her writings bore some similarity to those of Madame Blavatsky and are among the teachings often referred to as the “Ageless Wisdom”. Though Bailey’s writings differ in some respects to the Theosophy of Madame Blavatsky, they have much in common with it. She wrote on religious themes, including Christianity, though her writings are fundamentally different from many aspects of Christianity or other orthodox religions. Her vision of a unified society included a global “spirit of religion” different from traditional religious forms and including the concept of the Age of Aquarius.

Let us consider some of Dr. Graham’s statements:

When Larry King interviewed Billy Graham on January 21, 1997 and asked him: “What do you think of the other [churches]…like Mormonism? Catholicism? Other faiths within the Christian concept?” Graham responded, “Oh I think I have a wonderful fellowship with all of them.”

King then asked Graham: “Well, are you comfortable with Judaism?” He responded; “Very comfortable…and Rabbi Tenenbaum (sic), who was a great friend…he gave me more advice and more counsel, and I depended on him constantly, theologically and spiritually and in everyway.”   How can a Rabbi who doesn’t believe in Jesus as the Son of God give SPIRITUAL advice to Graham? I can understand that Tenenbaum may be a friend, but for Graham to depend on an unsaved man for SPIRITUAL advice is dangerous!

 Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum is also a sponsor of the New Age, occult group, Lucis Trust.

(Billy Graham and his Friends, A Hidden Agenda? By Dr. Cathy Burns Pages 16-17)

The Lucis Trust is a nonprofit service organization incorporated in the United States in 1922 by Alice Bailey and her husband Foster Bailey, to act as a fiduciary trust for the publishing of twenty-four books of esoteric philosophy published under Alice Bailey’s name, and to fund and administer activities concerned with the establishment of “right human relations”. These include the Arcane School, a school for esoteric training, World Goodwill, Triangles, a lending library, The Beacon magazine, as well as the publishing company.

The objectives of the Lucis Trust as stated in its Statement to the UK Charity Commission are:

To advance education and learning in general, in particular, in the fields of comparative religion and philosophy. To promote the advancement of religion on a non-sectarian basis. To relieve human suffering and promote mental and moral improvement in the human race. World-wide support of the Arcane School, Triangles and World Goodwill also the books of Alice Bailey through its trading company.

(http://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-details/?regid=216041&subid=0)

The Lucis Trust’s publishing company was founded in the early 1920s as the Lucifer Publishing Company. The Lucis Trust says that the name was probably chosen to honour Lucifer. The name was changed in 1925 to the Lucis Publishing Company.

Another of Billy Graham’s associates was the late Robert Schuller. Robert Harold Schuller (September 16, 1926 – April 2, 2015) was an American Christian televangelist, pastor, motivational speaker, and author.

In his five decades of television, Schuller was principally known for the weekly Hour of Power television program, which he began hosting in 1970 until his retirement in 2010. Schuller began broadcasting the program from the Neutra Sanctuary, with the encouragement of longtime friend Billy Graham after Schuller visited him in 1969. He was also the founder of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, where the Hour of Power program was later broadcast.

Schuller’s Possibilities Magazine put John Templeton’s picture on its front cover, and its major article in that issue was an interview with Templeton. In it he expressed his Unity/Religious Science/New Age beliefs:

Your spiritual principles attract prosperity to you… material success… comes… from being in tune with the infinite…. The Christ spirit dwells in every human being whether the person knows it or not… nothing exists except God. (Possibilities, Summer 1986, pp 8-12).

john-templeton
Sir John Templeton

Robert Schuller once asked Billy Graham: “…What do you think is the future of Christianity?” Graham’s response was:

Well, Christianity and being a true believer you know, I think there’s the body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world. Outside the Christian groups, I think everybody who knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ.

whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, they are members of the Body of Christ, because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and I think they turn to the only light they have, and I think they are saved, and that they are going to be in heaven with us.
(see Footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axxlXy6bLH0)

Graham’s remark is very similar to John Templeton’s own doctrine, so it would seem that Billy Graham shared similar beliefs to John Templeton.

Billy Graham was selected as the recipient of the Templeton Prize in 1982. His Royal Highness Prince Philip presented the prize to Billy Graham.

The award that Graham was so happy to receive carries the name of Sir John Marks Templeton. Templeton who died in 2008 stated, “No one should say that God can be reached by only one path.” Jesus stated, “No man comes to the Father BUT BY ME!” Could it be that Rev Graham agrees with Sir John?

John Templeton explained how the award was given:

The recipient of the award has been selected by distinguished judges from all five major religions worldwide and who serve for a three year period. The Buddhist Judge is the Dalai Lama. Mr Justice P. N. Bhagwati of the Supreme Court of India is a Hindu. The Honourable Philip N. Klutznik…is President of the world Jewish Congress. Senator Orrin Grant Hatch, United States Senator, is a Mormon. Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess Josephine of Luxembourg is a Roman Catholic. The Most Reverend Stuart Blanch, Archbishop of York, and Dr Arthur Robert Peacocke, Dean of Clare College, Cambridge, are Anglicans. Other Christian judges are the Right honourable Lynden O. Pindling, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Charles Rickett Fillmore, chairman of the Unity School of Christianity, and Senator Mark O. Hatfield, United States Senator from Oregon.

(Billy Graham and his Friends, A Hidden Agenda? By Dr. Cathy Burns Page 14)

Christianity Today Magazine (Co-founded in 1952 by Billy Graham) introduced Templeton’s book, Discovering The Laws of Life to a Christian audience in 1994. They assigned the entire back cover of its April 24, 1994 issue with an ad promoting it. Headlined “Will inspire Millions of Readers.” The book was promoting New Age in its content. The ad contained the endorsements of Norman Vincent Peale (330 Mason who also wrote the foreword), Robert Schuller, Billy Graham, and two prominent Catholic New Age leaders, Theodore M. Hesburgh (former president of Notre Dame University) and J. Peter Grace (Head of the Knights of Malta).

John Templeton writes in this book:

Be honest. Be true. Love all parts of yourself. You are human and, like the rest of us, the godhood within you the goodness within you—is in a state of becoming perfect.

(Discovering The Laws of Life Page 227)

Templeton’s beliefs are clearly expressed in his numerous writings: He was an evolutionist, pantheist, Universalist, and had occultic views. His writings display a rejection of the God of the Bible, Christ as the only way to God. He claims that heaven and hell are states of mind we create here on earth that truth is relative, and that Christianity is no longer relevant today as it was in Christ’s day.

If Billy Graham didn’t come to a similar understanding as John Templeton, why would he endorse this book?

Courted by many of the world’s leaders:

In Graham’s autobiography, Just As I Am, he mentions that he was with President Clinton on May 1, 1996. He states: “it was a time of warm fellowship with a man who has not always won the approval of his FELLOW CHRISTIANS but who has in his heart a desire to serve God and do His will.” [Emphasis mine throughout.]….When people consider someone like Clinton (who is a sex pervert, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, etc.) to be a Christian, we are in desperate spiritual trouble! When someone like Graham does so, we are even in a more profound dilemma since multiplied thousands look up to Billy Graham as a spiritual advisor and man of God.

(Billy Graham and his Friends, A Hidden Agenda? By Dr. Cathy Burns Page 7)

US Presidents, such as Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Richard Nixon (who secretly recorded Billy Graham’s glaringly Anti-Semitic comments during one of their many conversations. (Nixon aide H.R. Haldeman first mentioned Graham’s anti-Semitic remarks in a 1994 book, which Graham strongly denied. But when audio tapes from the Nixon White House were released in 2002, Graham could be heard referring to Jews as pornographers and agreeing with Nixon that the U.S. media was dominated by liberal Jews and could send the United States “down the drain.”)
[see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqCKx4tWk6w.]

He stood by Nixon late into the Watergate scandal, insisting that the disgraced president was a “righteous man of God”.

Other presidents included Gerald Ford (with whom he played golf, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush (with whom he went fishing,), Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama and Trump.

The British Royal family also had a long running friendship with Dr. Graham that began in 1956. This resulted in the Queen bestowing an honorary Knighthood on the Evangelist in 2001 (honorary because Graham was not a British subject).

He accepted invitations to speak in Communist Countries and met with Communist Party leaders and officials such as Brezhnev of the USSR, Korean Despot Kim Il Sung, the Presidents of Hungary and China. After one Visit to the USSR he even stated, “I have not personally seen persecution.” Even though Christians had unfurled banners during his meetings begging him to speak on their behalf.

Graham-Kim.jpg    Graham-Cardinal.jpg  Graham-China.jpg

Concerning Dr Graham’s visits to the Communist Bloc Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, writes:

I wish that every American could come and stand… could have come and stood next to me in Leningrad and seen those graves, because it would have moved them. And it was made… and that is the third observation that this is a people who is committed to peace.

It is understandable. When 22 million brothers and sisters die in a war you don’t want to see another one.

I learned the Russian word for peace, мир, and I see it everywhere. And the other thing, we met with some people in the churches. On one occasion we were walking out of the church at a session and one of our delegation turned to one of the babushka and said to her and said to her {?}, peace be with you. And she smiled and they talked and our delegation, the member of the delegation said, “I am an American.” And the woman cried, because it is American… an American wishing her peace. I have only been here two weeks, but I am… I have been impressed with the people committed to peace. I did not know that before I came and I see it as part of my mission to talk to whoever I can and let them know that the Soviet people are committed to peace.

[Scott] I think that is a very interesting anecdote. The poor woman cried because she saw Americans over there offer a… cooperating with … with the despots.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Those people were, of course, Modernists and liberals, but what excuse does Billy Graham have who pretends to be an evangelical.

[Mose] Yeah and that is a good question. The pastor I mentioned in Budapest was very angry about Billy Graham’s visits to his country in, I believe, in 1985 and also to Romania. He was… he feared—and this was before the visit—he feared that the same thing would happen that happened in the Soviet Union that Graham would come back and give a glowing report of religious freedom and … and because of that Christians would suffer… suffer even more. 

(http://www.pocketcollege.com/wiki/index.php?title=Two_Trips_Behind_the_Iron_Curtain_-_RR161AA50)

Awards

Billy Graham began his ministry as a fundamentalist, and as time passed, he changed his position. In the Catholic Herald of June 3, 1966, Billy Graham is quoted as being a friend of the Jesuits in the United States. He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the Roman Catholic College, Belmont Abbey, in 1967. The Benedictine Order founded Belmont Abbey in 1876. Billy noted the significance of the occasion by saying that this is “a time when Catholics and Protestants could meet together and greet each other as brothers, whereas 10 years ago, they could not.”

In April, 1972, Billy Graham received the International Franciscan Award in Minneapolis, given by the Franciscan Friars for true ecumenism. St. Francis believed that he would be saved by righteous works by helping the poor. This way, he believed he was saving his soul. St. Francis was canonized by the Roman Catholic Institution because of his strong position on the doctrine of works, this is contrary to the Gospel. Francis of Assisi also blessed and baptized animals and gave them Christian names

Now, what did Billy Graham say about this strange fellow? He said, ”

While I am not worthy to touch the shoe laces of St. Francis, yet this same Christ that called Francis in the 13th century also called me to be one of His servants in the 20th century.”

(2/86, The Gospel Standard)

When Billy Graham appeared on the Phil Donahue Show of October 11, 1979, in discussing Pope John Paul II’s visit to the United States of America, Billy Graham said:

I think the American people are looking for a leader, a moral and spiritual leader that believes something. And he (meaning the pope) does. He didn’t mince words on a single subject. As a matter of fact, his subject in Boston was really an evangelistic address in which he asked the people to come to Christ, to give their lives to Christ. I said, ‘Thank God I’ve got somebody to quote now with some real authority.

(The Phil Donahue Show, 10/11/1979. Multimedia Entertainment)

Graham-Pope.jpg

In the beginning, Billy Graham was greatly used of God, but I believe Billy gave in to tremendous pressures and compromised. Eventually he ended up by walking hand in hand with the apostate Catholic Church.

A few years ago, 5 pastors from Mexico stated that Billy Graham had destroyed their churches. They said he held a crusade, and told all those who had received Christ to go back to their original churches and win those people to Christ. These pastors stated that their people followed Billy’s instruction and all went back to the Roman Catholic system. Twelve years of work destroyed in one night!

Further Problems

How does Dr. Graham’s message and teachings compare with those of Jesus Christ and His Apostles?

Is the response to the Gospel to simply receive Christ by saying a prayer and declaring it to others?

When asked as to what people needed to do upon hearing the Gospel the Apostles responded in this manner:

Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:37-38)

…after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household. And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.” (Acts 16:30-31)

Paul’s own teaching is very clear:

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)

There is absolutely no record in scripture of anyone being led to receive Christ through praying. The Holy Spirit causes the person to be born again because he/she believes in the Lord Jesus Christ. The immediate response in the Scriptures was that the person was baptized in water as a sign of their repentance and belief in Christ!

All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. (Acts 10:45-48)

Bible Christianity and Roman Catholicism are doctrinally as far apart as the east is from the west. One is based on the Bible and the other on the traditions of men. So how can we walk together without compromise? It’s impossible. Why on earth would someone who claimed that salvation is by Grace through faith lead his converts to enter a theological system that teaches that salvation is by grace through sacraments?

Many Protestants and Charismatic Catholics claim that the Holy Spirit is drawing them together. But, is it the Holy Spirit of God? Or could it be a different spirit? Are Charismatic Catholics leaving the false Catholic system? Or are they being used to pull Protestants to Rome?

Some Charismatic Catholics claim that after being baptized by the Holy Spirit they have a deeper relationship with Mary, they can recite the rosary in tongues, and so on. None of this is in the Bible. They are the inventions of men.

In 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, it says:

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Paul is warning them here against following anyone preaching a different gospel from the one that he taught..

And then in John 16:13 it says:

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak.

Now, God the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. How can He lead someone deeper into error? That’s impossible. That’s a different spirit, and it is not from God. Satan is the master deceiver and this is his clever religious game to pull Protestants under the control of Rome.

Has Rome changed? When the Rome dumps the mass, the veneration (or worship) of Mary, when they throw away their rosaries and repent from claiming that Mary was free from original sin just like Jesus, when they admit they cooked up the idea of purgatory; and when the priests of Rome concede to the priesthood of all believers; When Rome does all that, then I will believe she is changing. People say she is changing, but she is only changing her tactics.

Great Apostasy

The Holy Spirit gives warning of a coming great apostasy that would immediately precede the coming of the Son of Perdition (aka Antichrist):

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

This is not the only time an apostle warns of coming apostasy. The Apostle Peter also warned the churches of the immediate danger of apostasy that would soon occur:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Paul, also, warns the believers of things that would occur once he was no longer around to guide them:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20:28-31)

The Holy Spirit also gives the believers certain signs by which they could recognise those who would be responsible for this soon coming apostasy:

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:1-5)

Which church forbade people to marry, and continues to even today?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares:

1577 “Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination.”66 The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry.67 The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.68

 1578 No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Indeed no one claims this office for himself; he is called to it by God.69 Anyone who thinks he recognizes the signs of God’s call to the ordained ministry must humbly submit his desire to the authority of the Church, who has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive orders. Like every grace this sacrament can be received only as an unmerited gift.

1579 All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.”70 Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to “the affairs of the Lord,”71 they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.72

 1580 In the Eastern Churches a different discipline has been in force for many centuries: while bishops are chosen solely from among celibates, married men can be ordained as deacons and priests. This practice has long been considered legitimate; these priests exercise a fruitful ministry within their communities.73 Moreover, priestly celibacy is held in great honor in the Eastern Churches and many priests have freely chosen it for the sake of the Kingdom of God. In the East as in the West a man who has already received the sacrament of Holy Orders can no longer marry.

(PART TWO, THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO, THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER THREE, THE SACRAMENTS AT THE SERVICE OF COMMUNION
ARTICLE 6,THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS)

Which church prescribed abstaining from certain foods?

The Catholic Church historically imposes the disciplines of fasting and abstinence at various times each year. For Catholics, fasting is the reduction of one’s intake of food, while abstinence refers to refraining from meat (or another type of food). The Catholic Church teaches that all people are obliged by God to perform some penance for their sins, and that these acts of penance are both personal and corporeal. The purpose of fasting is spiritual focus, self-discipline, imitation of Christ, and performing penance:

 1434 The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving,31 which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: effort at reconciliation with one’s neighbor, tears of repentance, concern for the salvation of one’s neighbor, the intercession of the saints, and the practice of charity “which covers a multitude of sins.”32

1493 One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience. The confession of venial faults, without being necessary in itself, is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.

1494 The confessor proposes the performance of certain acts of “satisfaction” or “penance” to be performed by the penitent in order to repair the harm caused by sin and to re-establish habits befitting a disciple of Christ.

1495 Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ.

(The Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO, THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO, THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER TWO, THE SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
ARTICLE 4, THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION)

Traditionally Catholics are forbidden to eat meat on a Friday as an act of penance.

Can.  1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

(CODE OF CANON LAW, BOOK IV FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH (Cann. 834 – 848)
PART III : SACRED PLACES AND TIMES
TITLE II. SACRED TIMES (Cann. 1244 – 1258)
CHAPTER II. Days of Penance)

Vatican 2 did relax some of these rules but the Vatican did not abolish them:

Things began to change following the Second Vatican Council which met from October 11, 1962 to December 8, 1965.

In early 1966 Pope Paul VI urged that the practice of fasting and abstinence be adapted to local economic conditions. Later that year the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops relaxed, but did not abolish, the rules on fasting and abstinence.

However, the media and much of the laity interpreted these actions as abolishing the Church’s requirement that the faithful abstain from meat on Fridays during the year and on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent.

(How Did the Roman Catholic Tradition of Eating Fish on Fridays Begin? By Chuck Nugent. March 22, 2017)

The Lord condemned the legalism of his religious enemies because they were superseding the commandments of God with “Oral Tradition” (added by successive generations of Rabbis):

The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition
. (Mark 7:5-9)

The Vatican states:

  1. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TRADITION AND SACRED SCRIPTURE

One common source. . .

80 “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal.”40 Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own “always, to the close of the age”.41

. . . two distinct modes of transmission

81 “Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.”42

“And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.”43

82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, “does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.” 44

            Apostolic Tradition and ecclesial traditions

 83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

 Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church’s Magisterium.

(The Cathechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE, THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION ONE, “I BELIEVE” – “WE BELIEVE”
CHAPTER TWO, GOD COMES TO MEET MAN
ARTICLE 2, THE TRANSMISSION OF DIVINE REVELATION)

Penances are taught as being an essential practice in order to cleanse a person from sins committed after baptism:

1446 Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.

(The Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO, THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO, THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER TWO, THE SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
ARTICLE 4, THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION)

The Apostle John declared:

but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:7-10)

Thus we see that the Catholic teaching on the need for penances is contradicted by that of the Apostle John, that the only criteria for the forgiveness and cleansing of the believer is that they acknowledge and confess their sin. God then forgives and cleanses from ALL unrighteousness. This cleansing is through the blood of Jesus, which He shed at the cross:

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11)

There is no need for penances, just the humble acknowledgement of sin to God.

Although Billy Graham would state that confession of sin is between a person and God through Jesus Christ his statements concerning Catholicism belie this:

In 1966, Graham said,

“I find myself closer to Catholics than the radical Protestants. I think the Roman Catholic Church today is going through a second Reformation” (5/24/66, Philadelphia Evening Bulletin).

According to Graham, this “Reformation” must have been completed by 1978, when he said,

“I found that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Catholics. We only differ on some matters of later church tradition. I find that my beliefs are essentially the same as those of orthodox Roman Catholics” (1/78, McCall’s Magazine).

Orthodox Catholics believe fully in the essential nature of the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church as being necessary in order to obtain the grace of God:

1131 The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.

1132 The Church celebrates the sacraments as a priestly community structured by the baptismal priesthood and the priesthood of ordained ministers.

1133 The Holy Spirit prepares the faithful for the sacraments by the Word of God and the faith which welcomes that word in well-disposed hearts. Thus the sacraments strengthen faith and express it.

1134 The fruit of sacramental life is both personal and ecclesial. For every one of the faithful on the one hand, this fruit is life for God in Christ Jesus; for the Church, on the other, it is an increase in charity and in her mission of witness.

(The Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO, THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION ONE, THE SACRAMENTAL ECONOMY
CHAPTER ONE, THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH
ARTICLE 2, THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN THE CHURCH’S SACRAMENTS)

Thus Billy Graham acknowledged that he was a Catholic in everything but name. Billy Graham was known as being a Baptist Minister yet contrary to the tenets of the Baptist churches he had all of his children baptised as infants. This is because he believed in the false doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration:

I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant, particularly if the parents are Christians and teach their children Christian truths from childhood. We cannot fully understand the mysteries of God, but I believe a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, made Christians through infant baptism. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that’s all right with me

(10/10/61, The Lutheran Standard).

The Catholic sacrament of the Mass is the greatest attack ever on the finished work of Christ:

Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (cf. Heb. 10:19-22)

Graham thinks the Mass is not only beautiful, but that it is clear in the gospel!:

This past week I preached in the great Catholic cathedral a funeral sermon for a close friend of mine who was a Catholic, and they had several Bishops and Archbishops to participate. And as I sat there going through the funeral Mass, that was a very beautiful thing, and certainly straight and clear in the gospel. There was a wonderful little priest that would tell me when to stand and when to kneel and what to do

(O Timothy, Vol. 10, Issue 9, 1993, pp. 16-17).

 

There you have it. Billy Graham kneeling and worshiping the Mass wafer! It evidently matters not to Graham that the Mass stands in opposition to the Biblical teaching of Christ’s atonement, and thereby, the very Gospel itself because, as he puts it, his beliefs:

….are essentially the same as those of orthodox Catholics!

Loved by the world

Christ’s teaching to His own followers was clear:

You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

The Apostles also taught:

Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:10-12)

For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me. (Philippians 1:29-30)

Unless you are also deceived as the rest of the Neo-Evangelical churches, you cannot fail to see Billy Graham’s contribution to the Christian churches has been to enable and expand Rome’s modern counter-reformation. How long will you continue to compromise truth for some counterfeit promise of unity and remain amongst the apostates of the Neo-Evangelical heresy?

How does a harlot, or whore, seduce her victims? The book of Proverbs tells us in chapter 7, verses 6 through 10:

I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

Then, verses 22 and 24 through 27:

With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter. Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she both cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”

Today, the Roman whore has beguiled and flattered our Christian leaders into believing that she is part of the true body of Christ, when in reality she is nothing more than a backslidden or apostate church.

Heed the voice of the Holy Spirit:

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,
“I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM;
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord.
AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN;
And I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty
.

(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

 

 

Discrimination.

canstockphoto18345571-e1468182261679.jpg

The world at large has a rallying cry, “Stop Discrimination”!

In his article, The End of Discrimination Starts With You Todd Smith, business entrepreneur and speaker states:

Discrimination in our communities and in our places of work takes many forms, but it always involves some form of exclusion or rejection based upon a negative judgment toward a person’s gender, age, religion, race, weight, nationality, handicap, sexual preference, or height.

He goes on to state:

Although it seems as if the reasons we should be concerned about ending discrimination are so obvious they need not be stated, I think it’s important that we keep in mind how damaging discrimination really is. The list of why discrimination is wrong is long, but here are the two most powerful reasons:

  • Discrimination is dehumanizing. When you treat someone differently solely based on race, gender, age, etc., you deny the value of who they are as an individual.

  • Discrimination hurts. Whether discrimination is subtle or overt, people know when they are being discriminated against, and it’s painful.

Most people would agree that discrimination has to end in order that the world might become a better place to live in.  However, what may shock a lot of people is that, even though they might not think it, there is prejudice in everyone and we are all guilty of discriminating against others.

In this world there is only one thing that does not truly discriminate against anybody, and that is DEATH.

Death will have anybody and absolutely does not discriminate.

It does not discriminate on age (it’ll take anyone regardless of how young or how old they are).  It does not discriminate on grounds of gender (Male or female), on grounds of sexuality (LGBT or straight), on grounds of mental ability (genius, average or even have a learning disability), on grounds of health (Healthy or sick, able bodied or disabled), on grounds of race (Black, White, Asian, Oriental, Hispanic etc), on the grounds of Status (Royalty, Commoner, Homeless), on the grounds of education (illiterate, semi-literate, a scholar or a dunce), on the grounds of wealth (rich or poor), on the grounds of religion (Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Taoist, Wiccan, Pagan, Satanist, etc) or lack of religion (Atheist, Agnostic, whatever).  It matters not to death, he’ll take absolutely anyone, anywhere at any time!

In fact, death is the greatest enemy of mankind and the one thing  that most people fear above all else.  For most of the world’s population the only thing that we can be certain of is that we will all face death.  The richest with all their wealth, the scientists with all their knowledge, the medical profession with all their skills, all of the greatest minds throughout all of human history have been unable to prevent us all from dying.

Some people would like to see an end to war and view war as the greatest  enemy of mankind.  If we could all just get along and be nice to one another, then we would see an end to wars and fighting!  However the truth of the matter is this, the greatest enemy of mankind is not war but death.  Just think of it, if nobody died then what would be the point of war?  I mean, if you can’t maim and kill your enemies what would be the point of fighting when no one need surrender?

The New Testament states:

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:22-26)

Death is something that people fear the most.  The world spends millions and millions on ways of avoiding the ageing process and staving off the inevitable, but no cure for death.  People neglect even to talk about these things and view it as being “too maubid”! Some don’t even want to use the word, “If something happens to me!” they’ll say instead of, “When I die!”

It is such a crippling fear that there is even a medical term for it, THANATAPHOBIA!

It is written:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:13-14)

The Lord has conquered death!

One of the questions that Muslims have posed us over the years as an argument against Jesus being God is, “How can God die?”  This is a very good question, and a very reasonable and logical supposition.  The fact of the matter is that if He was just God then He could not have died!  But Jesus was not just God He was also human!

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9)

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:4-8)

Christ conquered death, not simply by stopping people from dying, but by dying and being raised from  the dead!

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)

You see it was not enough that He should just conquer death but that He should also, by means of death, pave the way for everyone to be raised in like manner as He was:

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10)

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)

This means that through His death and resurrection we can have the hope of eternal life!  This is why this message is called the Gospel!

Perilous Times

 

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This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Signs of the last days:
Men shall be lovers of themselves:
Selfishness will be the overwhelming state of most people.
To quote Matthew Henry:
Men love their carnal selves better than their spiritual selves. Men love to gratify their own lusts, and make provision for them, more than to please God and do their duty. Instead of Christian charity, which takes care for the good of others, they will mind themselves only, and prefer their own gratification..( Commentary on 2 Timothy chapter 3 by Matthew Henry, Blueletter Bible)
Covetous:
The basic manifestation of all who love themselves is that they are willing to go to any lengths to obtain material goods and to keep what they possess.  The acquisition of wealth and property becomes an addiction.
Churches preach the Gospel of Wealth and gain great numbers of followers through sermons that appeal to men’s covetous nature.  This can be seen from the number of Televangelists that peddle this notion that God wants you to be rich.
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Boasters:
Boasting is the fruit of pride.  The boastful do not only brag but they often make an ostentatious show of their wealth, accomplishments and deeds. This is especially seen through works of architecture.

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Blasphemers:
In the past few year we have seen a rise in militant secularism and the complete rejection of Christ in the West.

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Disobedient to parents:
This is not simply children disobeying their parents but this is a wholescale rebellion of young people against authority in general.  We see this in the way that successive generations have begun to question the rule of law and speak up to teachers, police and their elders.  There is a general lack of respect for traditional values based on Judeo-Christian ethics.
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Unthankful:
The unthankful will boast of their “rights” and demand more and more! People see privileges as “rights”!  People take for granted those things that were won at great sacrifice by others.
Unholy:
People are living sinful lives in total rebellion to God.  Christians pay lip-service to God while living as the world lives.
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Without natural affection:
When God created the world He created the Natural Order of things.  With the fall the natural order was marred:
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
(Genesis 3:17-19)
Mankind began to worship things other than the creator and so God handed them over to the carnal desires that are at the core of their being (the heart):
…..when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:20-32)
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Trucebreakers:
The original  greek is ἄσπονδοι (aspondoi) which literally means “unwilling to agree” or “implacable”.  The root cause being pride, hatred and unforgiveness.  There is an irrationality about such people.  They become easily offended and unable to enter into a rational debate.  They are quick to accuse others.

False Accusers:
Having the understanding darkened such people see good to be evil and evil they will think to be good.  It is from this bias that they judge all things.  They hate that which is truly good and love that which is truly evil.  They see the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a message of hatred!

Incontinent:
People without self control in everything that they do.  They have no control over their anger, no control over how much alcohol they consume, no control over their appetites.  They simply live for pleasure and excess!

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Fierce:
People who have no self-control are often angry.  They act in a fierce manner towards others and threaten them with violence at the least provocation.

Despisers of those that are good:
Those that live in darkness resent the godly.  The light that shines in the life of the believer exposes the darkness that is in the life of the unbeliever.  This is especially true of all those who trust in  their religious piety to save them.  They trust  in their own righteousness and feel deserving of God’s love, whereas the humble know that they have no righteousness of their own to trust in.

Traitors:
Often when someone is in trouble, or part of a group that has been misbehaving, their friends will desert them or blame the innocent.  Traitors are ruled by fear and their fear will cause them to betray others rather than suffer for the truth or for the wrong that they have done.

Heady:
people will be rash, reckless and precipitous.  People rush headlong into things without really thinking  things through properly.  They are quick to believe a lie, quick to judge others based on hearsay.  What’s more they are slow to think, they become irrational and cannot be persuaded of truth.

Highminded:
The Greek is τετυφωμένοι (tetyphomenoi) which means to be proud, conceit and blinded (in a metaforical sense).  Two things that motivate people to reject God are pride and conceit.  The scriptures state:

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (Psalm 10:4)

Pride is seen as something good and to be celebrated, however:

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:16)

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Black Pride

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)

Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God:
“If it feels good, do it!” was the moral imperative at Woodstock, and can be summed up in one word, HEDONISM!  There can be little doubt that people in today’s world live for pleasure at any cost.

In 2002 Canadian rock band Sloan summed this up in the chorus of their hit single, If It Feels Good Do It:

If it feels good do it even if you shouldn’t
Don’t let people mess you around
Feels go do it even if you shouldn’t
Nobody can mess you around

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Having a form of godliness:
People will appear to be Christians, however their faith will be merely superficial, on the surface and a matter of external appearance.

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Faith based on extatic meetings, emotionalism and sacraments.

A false unity with churches and groups that hold to a different gospel than the one taught in the New Testament.

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But denying the power thereof:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1Corinthians 1:21)

The modern churches have turned against the preachers of the Gospel in favour of the New Evangelisation project that came out of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican (Vatican II), 11 October 1962 – 8 December 1965.

Lucy Mackain-Bremner, chaplaincy co-ordinator to Leweston School in Dorset and a graduate of the Emmanuel School of Mission in Rome, gives an insight into the reality of modern street evangelisation. “Always be prepared to give an account of the Hope that is in you” 1Pt 3:15

I was walking down a busy street and a young man stopped me and asked me: “What’s the joke? Why are you smiling?” Somewhat taken by surprise, unthinkingly I replied as honestly as I could: “Because I love Jesus.”

My voice must not have been as bold as my heart, though, because he didn’t hear what I said, so I had to repeat it more loudly, with an even bigger smile: “Because I love Jesus!”

And he said, “Oh, me too. I’m Muslim.” He was on his way to run a community youth club but he stopped and we spoke for a while. I ended with giving him a Miraculous Medal (of Our Lady) and he took it saying: “Thank you! We really honour Mary too, you know, because she’s the mother of Jesus.” He said I was his sister and then we parted.

Through this little encounter the Lord showed me how He can and will use you in the most beautiful and personal ways. If you really desire to make His name known, He expects nothing from you other than to be yourself, to be how He created you and calls you to be. We are created to know and love God and are forever looking to do this better and more deeply, but to truly fulfil our human dignity we must evangelise. (Quotation from Taking the New Evangelisation to the Streets by Lucy Mackain-Bremner, pub 1st May 2013)

Street Pastors was pioneered in London in 2003 by the Rev. Les Isaac, Director of the Ascension Trust.

The Street Pastors in Chester are local Christian volunteers who walk the streets on busy weekend nights to care, listen and offer practical help to those they meet, where they are.

That can mean all sorts of things:

  • helping an intoxicated clubber into a taxi
  • listening as a homeless person pours their heart out
  • praying for peace as a scuffle breaks out on a corner
  • giving a pair of flip-flops to a girl whose shoes have become too uncomfortable to wear, after a night’s dancing
  • getting rid of dangerous broken glass
  • … and much more.

Street Pastors operate with the blessing of CWaC Council and  Cheshire Police, but are independent from them, and don’t get paid! They come from many types of church and many denominations. Their Christian faith is at the heart of all they do, but Street Pastors don’t preach or judge. Instead, they aim to offer a practical demonstration of the love and presence of God.

Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) was founded in 2004 by author and popular speaker Debra Green OBE in 2004.  Its stated aim is to bring about community transformation by creating strategic partnerships between statutory agencies, voluntary groups and churches.  ROC’s motto is, People of goodwill working together towards safer, kinder communities.

ROC projects/Centres do not engage in proselytising. Many of the volunteers have a faith but find actions speak louder than words. ROC projects are Christian-led and provide opportunities for Christian volunteers to develop new relationships with local people by demonstrating the love and reality of God in action.

The Message Trust has its roots in Message ’88, a week-long youth mission that took place at the Manchester Apollo in 1988, pioneered by founder and CEO Andy Hawthorne and his brother and business partner Simon.

The Message Trust promotes its particular ideology with the phrase, We Are The Message!, and describe themselves in this manner:

We’re a worldwide movement with a passion to share Jesus Christ with the hardest-to-reach young people, through creative mission, community transformation and Christ-centred enterprise.

On one of their Prayer Points they state:

Pray for a missions week that Eden Southwick (Sunderland) are running throughout February half term to serve their estate with lunch clubs, events, sports and detached youth work.

Eden does boast a lot about their achievements:

Our Eden teams work hard to bring transformation to the communities that they live and work in but they don’t always realise how much of an impact they have on the people around them. 

Mark Tate from Eden Gurnell Grove recently received a phone call from the local council asking whether he was planning on attending the ceremony for the ROAR (Recognising Outstanding Achievement of Residents) awards. The phone call went a bit like this…

Council: ‘Are you planning on attending the ROAR awards ceremony to support the person you’ve nominated?’
Mark: ‘I’m sorry I haven’t nominated anyone for an award, I haven’t even heard of the ROAR awards?’
Council: ‘You’ve nominated Mark Tate and the Eden Gurnell Grove team’
Mark: ‘Well I’m Mark Tate and I lead that team but I wouldn’t nominate myself?’
*awkward silence*
Council: ‘Oh I see… Well, congratulations you have been nominated for a ROAR award. Are you able to attend the awards ceremony?’

It turned out that the nomination was made by the manager of the sheltered accommodation on the estate where they have done a lot of gardening work and held afternoon teas. The team attended the awards ceremony at Ealing Town Hall along with the Mayor of Ealing and their local MP.

We felt truly honoured to be nominated

The team didn’t win but left feeling so encouraged that the work they are doing in their community has benefited the residents and that it is being appreciated. It left them feeling energised about carrying on and it is always fun to dress up and have a good night out!

This is contrary to the example of the greatest evangelist of the early church, the Apostle Paul, who said:

If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
(2 Corinthians 11:30)

Finally, the instruction of the Holy Spirit to us is very simple:

…..FROM SUCH TURN AWAY!!!!!!!!!

 

The Gospel We Preach

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For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!  (1 Corinthians 9:4)

Paul declared that the preaching of the Gospel was the method that God has ordained to save people, for it is only through preaching can people know the truth necessary in order to believe so that they might call upon the name of the Lord in order to be saved.

Some mistakenly believe that the message in and of itself is insufficient to cause people to believe, some even think that preaching is unnecessary (even counterproductive) to bring people to Christ.  Others believe that good works are the best way to preach, especially in a world that has become sceptical and more open to the scientific method.

In the Bible the word translated “preach” in the Old Testament is the Hebrew word  קָרָא   (qará).  In the New Testament it is the Greek word κηρύσσω (kēryssō).  In their context both carry the same meaning: To cry aloud, to procaim publickly and openly as a herald.

In the days before the publication of newspapers people got the news or heard proclamations was from the Town Crier.

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The Town Crier would be issued with a colourful and ornate uniform so that everyone would know who he was.  He would be issued with a scroll upon which was written any news or official proclamation that people needed to hear.  He would proceed into the main square of the town or village and cry aloud in a very loud voice, “Oyez, Oyez!  Hear ye, Hear ye!” whilst ringing a bell in order to draw people’s attention.  Once people’s attention had been gained he would then proceed to read the message written on the scroll.  This is what is meant by preaching in public.

It has to be at a volume loud enough that people can hear.  There is no quiet way of preaching in public.

The only things that prevent Christians from preaching the Gospel is fear of people or embarrassment.  These two things; the fear of man and being too ashamed cause people to disobey Christ’s command to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature!”

Paul was so grateful to the Lord for His salvation, so much so that he was willing to endure every kind of hardship and tribulation in order to spread the message of salvation to as many people as possible.  He was fully persuaded that everybody had to be given the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ!

….whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  (Romans 10:13-15)

The message is very simple:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…. (Romans 3:23)

…..sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)

For the wages of sin is death….(Romans 6:23)

….whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

…..the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 10:8-11)

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

So our message to you is simple, take every opportunity you  have to spread the message.  Preach it! Disseminate it through tracts!  Support preachers in prayer and/or give them the means to preach through supplying them with tracts and Bibles to give to others (or the finance to purchase them).

It matters not if people reject the Gospel, this is to their judgement.  What matters is that everyone is given the opportunity to hear.

We should not expect the world to come to us in order to hear about Christ in our buildings, Christ’s command was not that the world should come to us to hear but that we should GO into ALL the world!

 

Jerusalem

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The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.  Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.  (Zechariah 12:1-3)

Once again the eyes of the world are drawn towards Jerusalem.  On 6th December 2017 the US President, Donald John Trump, made an announcement that sent shockwaves reverberating around the world; that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the legitimate capital of the State of Israel.

Many nations condemned this announcement, the UN voted to censure this decision and demonstrations were held around the world against it.  Palestinians took to the streets in violent uproar and Palestinian leaders vowed vengeance against the US and Israel.

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Reuters reported:

GAZA, Dec 29 (Reuters) – Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza and the occupied West Bank for the fourth Friday in a row in protests against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Palestinian health officials said at least 20 protesters were wounded by live fire, mostly along the Gaza border. An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers had shot at “main instigators” who posed a direct threat to the troops and who were trying to damage the border security fence.

The spokeswoman said about 4,000 Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza, some throwing rocks and fire bombs and setting tires alight, confronted Israeli soldiers who responded mainly by firing tear gas.

In Gaza, demonstrators chanted “Death to America, death to Israel, and death to Trump” and militants fired rockets into Israel, drawing strikes by Israeli tanks and aircraft.

The events of the Last Days leading up to the return of Christ all center around the Land of Israel, especially the City of Jerusalem and the coming third Jewish Temple.

The scriptures speak of a coming political leader that will bring about the confirmation of a seven year covenant (or treaty) that will permit the building of a third Jewish temple in Jerusalem:

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)

Everything is in pace for this.  The Temple Institute has been preparing the vessels for the temple, has selected the priests to serve in the Temple and the High Priest who will perform the sacrifices for atonement.

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Rabbi Baruch Kahane, shown here offering the Omer (barley) sacrifice to God in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem, has been appointed as High Priest by the nascent Sanhedrin. (Photo: Abba Richman)

For Jews and many Evangelical Christians President Trump’s declaration may point to the nearness of the day when the Third Temple will be finally built.

Time will  tell if Trump’s presidency will witness the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel chapter 9.

 

Christians who we should not have contact with???

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Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15)

There’s an old saying, “There can be no perfection this side of Heaven!” Paul issues instructions concerning how we are to deal with unruly members of churches. He would not have given these instructions if these problems did not exist amongst these Thessalonians.

Some were walking disorderly and not after the tradition laid down by the Apostle. They did not live in accordance with the principles taught by Paul and lived lives that did not reflect their confession. All those that have received the Gospel must live in accordance with it. If they do not they are living disorderly lives and dishonour Christ:

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (Isaiah 29:3).

In particular they were idle persons and busybodies. They did not work at all. These people probably had in mind that Christ’s return was imminent so they stopped working; not only their modes of employment but also from doing the Lord’s work.

Bishop Ryle wrote:

Reader, I know few words more searching and impressive than these four: “Occupy till I come.” They are spoken to all who profess and call themselves Christians. They address the conscience of every one who has not renounced his baptism, and formally turned his back on Christianity. They ought to stir up all hearers of the Gospel to examine themselves whether they are in the faith, and to prove themselves. Listen to me for a few minutes, while I try to impress them on your attention. For your sake, remember, these words were written: “Occupy till I come.”

The Lord Jesus bids you “occupy.” By that He means that you are to be “a doer” in your Christianity, and not merely a hearer and professor. He wants His servants not only to receive His wages, and eat His bread, and dwell in His house, and belong to His family,—but also to do His work. You are to “let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works.”  (Rev. John Charles Ryle, Coming Events and Present Duties: Being Miscellaneous Sermons on Prophetical Subjects, London: William Hunt & Co., 1867)

The servant who is eagerly waiting for His Lord’s return will be working as his Lord commanded. These people thought that the church would keep them. It is also possible that, as this church was generous towards its own poor that some may have decided that this would be a permanent arrangement and so they needn’t work to earn their keep.

Those that refuse to work should not eat! We can help others in need to tie them over, but we are not to let others use us.

They were also busy bodies. Idleness inclines people to become busy bodies, that is, people who busy themselves about other people’s lives. If we have nothing to occupy our lives with the devil and a corrupt heart will soon find us something to do.

The mind is always at work; if it is not employ in good it will be occupied in wrong. The busy body is overly concerned with the lives of others and are continually occupied with other people’s matters. Paul warned Timothy to beware of such:

And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.  (1 Timothy 5:13).

Paul declares the commandments of the Lord when he states, “We command you, or exhort you in the name of the Lord!”

The commandment is clear as to what our position ought to be with regards to such brethren; To withdraw from them, but not to consider them as an enemy. These are serious matters so we must be entirely sure that the person that is suspected of being disorderly is, in fact, guilty of this. Thus, they must be approached in a friendly manner and admonish, putting them in mind of their sin. This must be done in private. If they will not hear then we must withdraw from them and cease from keeping company with them. By keeping company with such people we are liable to follow their example and become like them.

This is done in order to shame them in the hope that they might change and, thus, be restored to fellowship.

If we ever lead a group of disciples we must lead by example and not just by preaching or teaching. Paul states in verse 8, how they behaved when they were with them. Paul and his companions did not live idly when they visited the brethren, expecting to be kept and entertained. Neither did they demand any form of payment from them, as is the manner of so many today that live in excessive wealth. Even though it was their right to expect it they voluntarily forwent any such payment so as not to be a burden.

He exhorts them not to be weary in well-doing. Sometimes what we do seems like a thankless task. We must always keep in mind this, “Who is it we labour for and why?” If it is for the Lord then no task will be too menial or too repetitive. If we are there as man pleasers or filled with selfish ambition we will grow weary and seek to impress others in order to have influence over others. Remember the words of the Lord:

And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. (Mark 10:44).