Emergent Church and Homosexuality


Conservatives have an acronym for Republicans that lean toward the Left. That word is RINO for Republicans in Name Only.

 

I just finished reading a story in WorldNetDaily about the Emergent Church movement. According to that story a principle figure in the loose Emergent Church movement supports the alternative lifestyle of homosexual and transgender as lifestyles that should be fully supported and embraced as normal by Christians.

 

Yes friends this is Counter-Biblical.

 

Since there are so many Churches that are considered Mainline Churches that have obviously abandoned the moral standard of the Bible, I thought it is time to have an acronym for these pseudo-Christians Christians in Name Only or CINO.

 

Here is a list of Denominations that are fully or divisively CINOs in relation to alternative lifestyles contradicting Biblical Morality:

 

·      Anglican (Episcopalian)

 

·      Canadian and American Reformed Churches

 

·      Christian Reformed Church

 

·      Church of the Nazarene

 

·      Lutheran (Marin Luther rolling grave)

 

·      Mennonite

 

·      United Methodist Church (UMC)

 

·      Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA)

 

·      Metropolitan Community Church

 

·      Moravian Church

 

·      New Apostolic Church

 

·      United Reformed Church

 

·      Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

 

·      Swedenborgian Church

 

·      Unification Church

 

·      Unitarian/Universalist Church

 

·      United Church of Canada

 

·      United Church of Christ (UCC)

 

·      Uniting Church in Australia

 

·      Unity School of Christianity

 

·      Waldensians

 

Source: Wikipedia.

 

This is obviously not an exhaustive list AND there are conservative Congregations within many of these Dominations which reject homosexuality because the Bible pronounces the practice as sin.

 

The point though is this: Including the Emergent Church way too many Denominations that call themselves Christians reject the Good Book as a foundation for morality. This is a sad state of affairs for the Institutional Body of Christ.

 

As a clarification of my stand on homosexuality, I do not believe those individuals who practice this alternate lifestyle should be treated as pariahs to the point of expressing hatorade. That is not the Way of Christ.

 

The Way of Christ is to share the Good News of deliverance from the dark wiles of the adversary The Devil or Satan. Christians should not slip into animosity because of the rejection of the message of deliverance. The Bible says not to be unified with sin; however it also says to pray for those despitefully use you and abuse. Ephesians is even more specific:

 

16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding[a] being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Eph. 1: 16
23 NKJV)

 

Christians should reject loudly any acceptance of the practice of homosexuality; however it is incumbent for Christians not to render evil for evil by shouting demeaning comments back toward homosexuals even when goaded to do so. Understand that homosexuals are deceived by darkness and pray the Holy Spirit illuminates the souls of homosexuals and convinces them there is a better way.

 

Emergent Church leaders such as Tony Jones who wish to validate homosexuality need to get in tune with the Word of God and eschew the pressure human-centered moral relativity.

 

JRH 11/23/08

Gay Pride is Delusional Deviancy


Jesus - WordOfGod

John R. Houk

© May 15, 2008

 

A Commenter that calls him/her/both self “Gay Pride” said this to a June 4, 2007 post on Gay Pride parades in Jerusalem:

 

i say go ahead and show your pride people GAY PRIDE RULES AND NOTHING ANY BIGOT CAN SAY WILL STOP ME FROM SHOWING MY PRIDE

 

I am never in the mood for homosexuals to validate their lifestyle with displays of so-called “pride” and then have the audacity to proclaim the Biblical view of homosexuality as bigoted and thus by extension asserting that I am a bigot.

 

I merely write the Truth that the darkness of deaf ears and blind eyes cannot see due to the delusion of worshipping the creation more than the Creator. If anyone is bigoted here it is the homosexual who rejects Christ’s Grace or humanistically cherry picks Holy Scripture to validate deviancy as defined Biblically (not by the human AMA or its psychiatric twin).

 

The Epistle of Romans in the New Testament is the classic measuring stick of the sinfulness of the practice of homosexuality:

 

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

 
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

 
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

 
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[c] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[d] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. [Romans 1: 18 – 32 NKJV. Emphasis Mine]

 

Here is where a homosexual will do one of two things (sometimes both):

 

1.     They will find some deviant scholar that will say some hogwash that the Scripture is not talking about homosexuality; or

2.     Notice the passage “deserving of death” and rant on that Western Culture has moved on from such medieval practices.

 

In addressing number one only a moron would interpret phrases like “women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature” or “Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful” as not addressing homosexuality.

 

In addressing number two the phrase “deserving of death” is for different than the Old Testament judgment of “death.”

 

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” (Lev. 18: 22 NKJV).

 

“If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.” (Lev. 20: 13 NKJV)

 

I am not Jewish thus I cannot attest to the modern interpretation of these Scriptures in Judaism; however in a Christian perspective these Scriptures are part of the Law. Christ came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it (Matt. 5: 17 – 20) and in fulfilling it those who believe in the risen Lord are no longer under the penalty of the Law but are under Grace (Rom. 10: 4; Gal. 3: 23 – 29; Eph. 2: 11 – 22).

 

On the other hand Grace is not a license to sin (which includes more than just a homosexual lifestyle but all lifestyles contrary to the Word of God).

 

Romans 6: 12 – 23 nails it as far as homosexuality or any lifestyle that sets out to contradict a Christian Biblical lifestyle.

 

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

 

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

 
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)

 

Grace covers the penalty of death in this life but does not absolve the consequences of the Law if a sin lifestyle separates one from God thus reawakening the curse of the Law. The curse of the Law has “reaping and sowing” consequences either in this life or in the life after death at the Last Judgment.

 

In ending my response to “Gay Pride’s” Comment, homosexuals walk a dangerous line in this Life because Grace and Forgiveness is always available if one calls on the Name of Christ as Lord even to one’s last breath. As to bigotry, homosexuals and the supporters of a homosexual lifestyle are the true bigots because in flouting the Grace and Holiness of God they are in essence acting in prejudice against Christians.

 

JRH

Christians and Political Authority


Rick Joyner addresses the Biblical issue of yielding to government authority. Well Joyner kind of addresses the issue. He puts out the Scripture Romans 13: 1-7; however Joyner does not address to what degree a Christian should submit to an evil government. He implies that Christians should submit to evil authorities because the Apostle Paul penned the Holy Spirits leanings during the wicked reign of Emperor Nero of the Roman Empire. Nero was a bona fide nut case with unlimited human power until his assassination. Nero utilized this power to blame Christians for actions Nero actually ordered himself (like the burning of Rome). Torture soon followed the blame game for persecuted Christians.

 

Christians literally did not resist this persecution when apprehended for their faith. They displayed what true martyrdom is: laying down their life for their faith as an example. These early Christians did not murder innocent people out of Nero’s offense as Muslims do in this age.

 

One thing I did catch my attention. Christ came to restore humanity back to the Image of God they were created in. The Image of God became twisted at the Fall. Governments are only as good as their ruling elites. If their ruling elites are basically good with foundations of respect for humanity (many call these human rights), than the nation tend to be good. If the ruling elites tend toward immorality and wickedness then the government will reflect the rulers.

 

I personally lean toward resist the evil of bad government. When government fails to protect its citizens from wickedness and/or simultaneously promote wickedness, then the citizens have the human (if not the Divine) right to cast off the wickedness.

 

To cast off wicked governments by its citizens there must be a moral righteous indignation by a majority of the citizens. When the citizenry submits, complies and/or agrees with evil government, then the Christian minority should be in the mode of passive resistance. This was the reality of the Roman Empire of Nero’s day.

 

************************************************

 

Taking the Land, Part XLVIII

By Rick Joyner

MorningStarMinistries.org Article Index

October 16, 2006

 

Man exists for God. Government exists for man, and this includes the government of God. Government is the servant, not the master. Because fallen man is basically selfish and self-centered, stronger government is needed to keep order and provide justice in this fallen world. No earthly government has been perfect at this, or will be. Most governments degenerate into using people for their own interests rather than serving the interests of their people, and this includes church governments. This is when governments fall and begin to fail in their basic purpose.

 

As mankind is restored to the image of God like we were originally created, the framework of rules and regulations within government will be needed less and less. The highest law is love. When we have been fully restored, we will be ruled by love, and not selfish interests. However, until that work has been accomplished, the rule of government is necessary. Even so, we must always keep in mind that the government is a means to an end and not the ultimate goal itself.

 

In Philippians 2:12, we are told to "…work out your salvation with fear and trembling," and one of the primary ways that we do this is by learning to submit to authority. The first thing said about the serpent, the devil, is that he was "crafty" (see Genesis 3:1). To be crafty is to have a nature that is constantly trying to bend the rules and get away with something. The Lord gave all of the extraordinary promises in Deuteronomy 28 to those who would "diligently obey" (see Deuteronomy 28:1) Him and His commandments. Those who will enter into the Promised Land and enjoy all of its benefits are those who have the opposite nature of the serpent, who instead of seeking ways to bend the rules, are diligently seeking how they can better obey.

 

This is a basic character issue. When salvation has been fully worked into our nature, the rebellious nature will have been replaced with one of "diligence" to obey. Many consider that they will be perfect in obedience when they have a perfect government to submit to, but that is a mentality that will cause us to miss the greatest and easiest working out of our salvation, which is crucifying our fallen nature. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 13:1-7:

 

Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

 

Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

 

For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same;

 

for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

 

Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.

 

For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

 

Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

 

When Paul wrote this, Nero was the emperor, the most cruel and anti-Christian of all the Roman emperors, and the one who would even order Paul’s own execution. King David was required to serve King Saul, and remained faithful to Saul and his house, even when Saul had killed the priests of the Lord and was trying to kill David. David knew God had anointed Saul and placed him in authority, and David had such respect for God’s authority that his heart smote him for just cutting off the edge of Saul’s robe. It was this profound respect for authority that enabled David to establish a seat of authority that would last for eternity. Jesus Himself is said to be seated upon the throne of David, and one of His most honored titles was "Son of David."

 

As has been prophesied at the end of this age, lawlessness will increase, and will be a primary contributing factor in what will be the greatest time of trouble the world has ever known. Even so, as lawlessness is increasing in the world, God’s people, who will be preparing the way for His kingdom, will be growing in obedience and respect for authority. This will be a main point of conflict at the end of this age and the struggle between the darkness of this age and the light of the age to come. Which side will we be on?

Behold the Lord


Transformation: This is the word every human being should become acquainted with. Humans are inherently carnal or flesh minded people. They are born infants and are trained by parents. If you watch a young infant you will notice that their every action is presupposed on self. And a parent early on tends to gratify the selfish nature of their precious little cutie. However, a time comes when a parent begins to teach patience and sharing. It is a beginning of a life of conditioning.
 
From the infant’s point of view this conditioning is often something that causes anguish in the beginning. The most successful adults are those that had good parental conditioning (training) and responded well to that conditioning. The lesser adults are most often those that received poor conditioning or did respond well for whatever reason.
 
Whatever the case may be relating to conditioning there is always a tug toward the selfish. As an adult this tug can often lead to falling into spiritual ditches or huge pot holes. What is The Way to avoid the ditches to the right and left of us or the pot holes in front of us? It is a transformed life through Jesus Christ.
————–
Behold the Lord
By Gloria Copeland
 
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind."
(Romans 12:2)

 

Inside, you’re perfect–born again in the image of Jesus Himself. But outwardly do you find yourself falling frustratingly short of that perfection? Is there a solution? Yes! The secret lies in "the renewing of your mind."

Romans 12:2 tells us that, if you’ll renew your mind, you can actually be "transformed." That word "transformed" is translated from the Greek word from which we get the term "metamorphosis." It’s used in Scripture in two other places.

One of those places is when Jesus was transfigured on the Mount as He spoke with Moses and Elijah. The other is found in 2 Corinthians 3:18. It says, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

Changed, transformed, transfigured! Those are powerful, exciting words, and they describe what will happen to you as you spend time beholding the Lord in the Word and in prayer. As you spend time renewing your mind, your outer being will be transformed in much the same way as a caterpillar is changed into a butterfly. Instead of conforming to the image of the world, you’ll begin to conform to the image of the reborn spirit within you which is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Take time to get away from the world and study God’s Word. Meditate on it and let it change you from the inside out. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind and release the beautiful spiritual butterfly that’s living in you!

 

Scripture Study: 2 Corinthians 3:6-18

Judge Dismisses Case Disputing Jesus’ Existence


I have been following this one for some time. An atheist challenged the existence of Christ in the Italian Courts. He actually sued his childhood friend went in the direction of becoming a Priest. It is good to see something positive come about in liberal Europe relating to Christianity. I am hoping the absurdity of the Mohammedan Cartoon Crisis swayed this judge to throw out the case. It makes a statement for Christ even the judge made some legal mumbo jumbo to justify his ruling. One of the keen reasons to follow this is because of the Supreme Court beginning to use International law rulings as precedent in American rulings.
———————-
Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 Posted: 6:14:15PM EST
By Jason Davis
The Christian Post

A judge in Italy rejected a suit brought forward by an atheist who had accused a Catholic priest of deceiving the public by saying that Jesus Christ existed.

Judge Gaetano Mautone, who issued the ruling in Viterbo, a town just north of Rome, also said in his decision that the plaintiff, 72-year-old Luigi Cascioli, should be investigated for possible slander, according to the Associated Press. Cascioli had claimed that by teaching about Jesus’ existence, the Rev. Fr. Enrico Righi, 76, had violated Roman laws prohibiting “abuse of popular belief” and “impersonation.”

Righi, who was a childhood schoolmate of Cascioli in a seminary, was “very satisfied and moved” by the outcome, according to Bruno Severo, Righi’s attorney.

“He is an old, small-town parish pries[t] (sic) who never would have thought he’d be in the spotlight for something like this,” Severo said, according to AP.

Righi, meanwhile, thanked God that the ordeal was over.

“I’m glad it has ended like this because imagine if it had gone on,” the priest told Reuters.

Cascioli sued Righi after the priest wrote in a parish bulletin that Jesus existed, that he was born to a couple named Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, and that he lived in Nazareth. Righi had asserted that there was plenty of historical evidence to prove Jesus’ existence.

The abuse charge, according to Cascioli, was directed at the priest and by extension the Catholic Church for spreading falsehoods for 2000 years. The impersonation charge had to do with Cascioli’s belief that accounts of Jesus were based upon a Jewish revolutionary named John of Gamala.

Cascioli claimed in his complaint to the court that he didn’t want to inhibit the freedom of Christians to worship, but rather to “denounce the abuse that the Catholic Church commits by availing itself of its prestige in order to inculcate – as if being real and historical – facts that are really just inventions.”

When told by the judge that prosecutors should investigate Cascioli for possible slander, the atheist said that if he was tried for slander, prosecutors would have to prove that Jesus existed, according to Reuters.

“They don’t have any proof,” said Cascioli, who had previously stated that he did not expect his case to succeed in the mostly Roman Catholic nation of Italy.

“This is not surprising but it doesn’t mean it all ends here,” he said.

According AP, Cascioli is considering taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

“This is an important case and it deserves to go ahead,” he said.
———————
Contact Jason Davis 
 

A New Creation: Approximations of the Consummate Decree


David Bryant writes of the "Consummate Decree." My take on that decree is this: I am a new creation in Christ Jesus (you are too), behold all things have become new and old things have passed away. The "Consummate Decree" is that you are (or can be) Saved! Christ, the innocent God-man, was crucified to death that we can exchange our dead nature (a nature separated from God) for a living nature. When Christ arose bodily from the grave, if we have faith in that occurence, our dead natures become exchanged. In Christ’s new life, we have new life. Share that good news with all you know!
 

A New Creation: Approximations of the Consummate Decree (Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7)

By David Bryant
DavidBryantDirect.com
Bryantdirect@aol.com

 

It’s a curious thing. Throughout the book of Revelation each one of God’s decisive judgments explodes on the world scene amid hymns, doxologies and acts of worship. Singing and supremacy surface together. But believers are invited into similar celebrations every day. That’s because in union with His Son we have already passed through the Final Judgment. Already we stand victorious on the other side of His Reign of Fire. How did this happen?

THINK WITH ME …
How Has God Applied the Future to Our Relationship with Christ Today?

QUOTABLE QUOTE

He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. Now God has to where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus …. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! (Ephesians 2 — The Message)

Despite the dramatic increase in life expectancy over the past one hundred years, no one has yet made claims to immortality — except One. Nonetheless, people in every culture continue to seek it. Some have their bodies frozen at death, ready to be reactivated when a cure for mortality is found. Others grasp for a place in eternity through mystical convergences with a Higher Power.

But to Christians, Romans 5 declares that “just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to bring eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (vs. 20-21), meaning that even in this world believers are declared “immortal” already and called to live like it! Throughout the New Testament Christians are identified as those currently dead, alive and ascended with Christ (Rom. 6; Eph. 2; Col. 3). It is as if we were already transported to the time of the Consummation, strolling through the New Jerusalem.

Obviously, something unusual has happened. It has to do with the positioning of believers even before the Consummation. Surrendered to our Sovereign, entering into an intimate union with Him, we have a solidarity with Him that replaces forever our identity with fallen Adam and his race. The Old Creation has been disqualified. God decrees that we now have an exclusive identity with the Son, allowing the Father to label us as His New Creation (Rom. 5 and 2 Cor. 5).

Christians aren’t simply on a road to “the sweet by-and-by”. Instead, the Bible invites Christians to reckon themselves ascended into Heaven, serving Christ in the power of His Spirit as re-created beings. In other words, God invites us to act as if we currently stand on the other side of Judgment Day. Jesus assured all believers, we will never come into judgment because we have already passed from death to life (Jn. 5 with 1 Jn. 3).

The moment I was born again (as a freshman in college), God decreed me to be eternally alive. Christ’s future has become my future. The Father was free, in His justice, to treat me as if I were already raised and reigning in the Consummation. This was His consummate decree. As far as He was concerned, from that moment (and even long before that moment) I was not only foreknown, called and justified, but also glorified (Rom. 8). All of it was as good as done.

If I may borrow Luther’s words: God created a “happy exchange”. This placed me, in His eyes, within the Consummation drama as if it were unfolding here and now. This exchange transpired when Christ took upon Himself who I was in my sin and bestowed on me who Christ is in His righteousness. In response to the Gospel, I was united to Christ by faith, as both Savior and final Judge-of-all. Heaven’s Supreme Court decreed that everything Christ is and has — as well as everything He experienced by His own death, burial, resurrection and ascension — was now transferred to me. From that hour, the Father has treated me as if Christ is me and I am Christ.

Separated from Him eternally, dead to God in my sin, at one time I faced no other prospect but His dreadful wrath. It rendered me hopeless. Only if someone else could bring me alive from the dead, therefore, setting me free from the charges against me, could I ever hope to see my precarious condition reversed. No religion, no philosophy, no moral resolutions of my own could ever avail.

Then one day, the Gospel came. I believed. Immediately, from God’s perspective, I was raised with His Son from the dead. My destination became identical with His. God reckoned me to be crucified two thousand years ago with Jesus, at the very time He bore the judgment for my sin (and for all sin) on Calvary. That way, the judgment my Lord experienced became my primary judgment, too.

Since I am permanently abiding in Him (Jn. 15), I could be disqualified only if Christ Himself could ever be disqualified from full participation in the Age-to-Come (which will never happen). There is no future judgment that will ever expel me from the glories of the New Jerusalem. In the most profound sense, my “day in court” has passed. The Cross was it. The Cross was final. The Cross put behind me the life-threatening consequences of my incalculable rebellions against the Almighty One.

Long before a New Heaven and Earth ever takes center stage, God has already decreed that I may walk before Him as if I were Christ Himself, and thus as if I were a fully resurrected inhabitant of eternity. Therefore, at no time should I ever be surprised that my life in Christ incorporates many other kinds of “approximations” of the impending Regeneration of the universe. Such foretastes may be preliminary, but they are substantial. They create genuine experiences of what it will be like when His supremacy has final sway.

Space will not allow us to explore key doctrines emphasized in Scripture (and by Christian theologians of all persuasions) that describe various dimensions of our current participation in this consummate decree of God. Maybe you’ve heard some of the concepts, such as:

· Justification

· Acquittal

· Reconciliation

· Redemption

· Propitiation

· Remission

· Forgiveness

· Adoption

Lumped together, these terms constitute two great realities about our hope in Christ. They speak about our destiny in Christ. They speak about our identity in Christ. Consider:

Destiny refers to our future. One day soon we will stand vindicated, with absolute confidence, before a just and holy God. When the Consummation breaks upon us, we will face it unafraid, alive with every promise in Jesus, because our final judgment climaxed at the Cross long ago (Jude 1). That’s our destination under His consummate decree. This is one _expression of Christ’s supremacy in our lives.

Identity, on the other hand, has to do with our current status before God’s Throne. As we’ve just seen, today all believers can live as if the Day of Judgment had come and gone. Our sins have not simply been disregarded for the moment. They have been permanently eliminated by the blood of Christ. God’s wrath for us fell on Him instead. Because we abide in Him, from the moment of salvation forward God decrees us newly created. We provide a preview of how He will renovate the heavens and earth at the Second Coming (Rev. 21). Now, all we need to do is take the initiative to reckon (decree) for ourselves what God proclaims (decrees) about us (Rom. 6). This, too, expresses how Christ’s supremacy touches us everyday.

THINK WITH ME …
What Does the Word “Justification” Tell Us about the Fullness of Christ’s Supremacy?

Using one of the more technical words listed above, justification, let’s take one example. Theologians call justification a “forensic” work of God. This means that by divine decree (as described in His Word) God has thrust His decisions about our final fate into the present. He declares Himself fully satisfied with who we are in Jesus. He accepts us point blank as His own children.

QUOTABLE QUOTE

In the same way that the Father raises the dead and creates life, so does the Son. The Son gives life to anyone he chooses. Neither he nor the Father shuts anyone out. The Father hands all authority to judge over to the Son so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father. Anyone here who believes what I’m saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, and has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting light and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living. It’s urgent that you get this right: The time has arrived — I mean right now! — when dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and hearing, will come to life. (John 5 — The Message)

Biblically speaking, the idea of being justified has always included the sense that God treats me “just as if I’d” [justified] already entered into the Consummation. To my utter amazement, Scripture teaches that the Father declares I have an intimate relationship with Him, right now, that mirrors what His eternal Son has enjoyed with Him from ages past and will enjoy for ages to come. He assures me unlimited, unhindered access into everything Christ has for me at this moment. On more than one level, I can start enjoying immediately many blessings of the Kingdom-That-Waits-to-Appear.

As Paul shows us in 1 Corinthians 1, we are not simply made wise or righteous or holy through Christ. Rather, Christ has been made for us all the wisdom, and righteousness, and holiness we will ever need. That means we do not just take His help for where we have failed. Rather, we take Him. We also take all that He brings with Him. He encompasses the everlasting favor of God toward us. In Him, the Father forgives our sins, sets aside His wrath and treats us brand new.

So it follows: Justified, I can rightfully claim to be liberated from all fear toward the Righteous Sovereign, released to start life all over again before His face. Justified, I can act as if there never was a reason for His holy fury, at least where I’m concerned. Justified, I am as fully vindicated as Christ was the day God raised Him from the dead. Justified, I remain accepted before the Judge of the universe, forever, because of my unassailable union with the Judge’s Son — with Who He is and with all He inherits. Justified, I’ve become partaker of His holy nature (2 Pet. 1). This includes being incorporated into a people born again by His Spirit (Jn. 3). All of this is an approximation of the Consummation.

When the Last Day finally arrives with unquenchable fury for unrepentant sinners, all will find that long ago Christians passed through the same examination. It happened when, by faith, we were decreed to have been crucified and buried with Christ, and then raised and ascended with Him. Long before Christ returns in eternal glory, every believer draws from His well of eternal life. Our life in coming ages will essentially be the same life God invites believers to share in right now. At both points in time, the sum total of our existence takes its cue from the person of our Savior, supremely sufficient for all the saints, “world without end”. With Him as my hope, the Father treats me “just as if I’d” exited the tomb and was currently walking the streets of gold! Talk about experiencing the fullness of His supremacy!

Oxford University theologian and author Alister McGrath puts it concisely for us when he concludes: “Justification language appears in Paul with reference to both the inauguration of the life of faith and also its final consummation. It anticipates the verdict of the final judgment, declaring in advance the verdict of ultimate acquittal. The believer’s present justified experience is thus an anticipation, an advance participation of deliverance from the wrath to come, and an assurance in the present of the final eschatological verdict of acquittal” [emphases mine] (Rom. 5:9-10).

That’s a mouthful! But it deserves careful reflection. Are you a follower of Jesus? Is your hope in Him based on His supremacy over all things? Then McGrath is talking about you. He’s describing one facet of the fullness of life that Christ’s reign guarantees to you today.


POPE: DEMOCRACY WITHOUT VALUES IS TOTALITARIANISM


(AGI) – Vatican City, Jan. 27 – "A democracy without values can easily turn into an open or hidden totalitarianism as history teaches us" said Pope Benedict XVI reiterating the basic concept of John Paul II’s "Centesimus annus". This way, he once again invited the Associations of Italian Christian Workers to "make sure that consensus grows for a number of shared values". Otherwise, "our call for democracy risks turning into a mere formality stressing differences and exacerbating problems". Explaining that "democracy alone can ensure equality and rights for all" Pope Ratzinger stressed that "democracy and justice are somehow interdependent": "justice is a benchmark for democracy". Finally, the Pope said that "our search for the truth leads to a real rather than superficial democracy".
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I appreciate this word from Pope Benedict XVI. It is timely in light of the recent pseudo-Palestinian elections. Hamas is not an wherein Justice is its benchmark. The values of Mohammedans are violence and death. How does that sustain a legitimate democracy. Nay, a death cult democracy is a democracy of Tyranny. It is tyranny to the deluded that vote for a death cult and it is tyranny to any neighbor nation sustaining a democracy of justice and values that benefit all its citizens.

“2006 is the Year of Planting, Pruning, and Building”


According to Hector Torres, 2006 will be a time of "… sowing and building. It is a great commission time to save the lost and to destroy the works of the devil, to be fruitful and multiply, and to exercise dominion."

This is a feel good Word in a period of time in which appearances should not make anyone feel good. What got my attention about this prophetic word is the portion toward the end speaking of Christ affecting the political realm. Traditionally American Christians have avoided mixing faith and politics.

Mixing faith and politics will be an essential feature of Christian Believers, not only in American, but across the planet. I sense this will forced on Christians because of the challenges of secular humanism, New Age thought and Mohammedanism. Those three movements preeminently use politics to achieve their ends. It is time for Christians to step up to the plate (prayerfully) and affect politics for the Kingdom of God.

Christians are citizens first of all of the Kingdom of God and secondly to the earthly nation to which they belong. We Christian live in this World but are not part of it. Christians are the salt that preserves and transforms people. Politics is a vehicle to that.

A warning though: Christians need to affect politics and not allow the worldliness of politics affect them. Politics is a vehicle best ridden with the Holy Spirit driving.
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"2006 is the Year of Planting, Pruning, and Building"
–Hector Torres
January 26, 2006

As I seek the Lord for direction to the ministry this year, I believe He is telling me that 2006 will be a year of beginnings. The year 2005 has concluded a time of testimony, grace, and rest. We are now entering a new time–a time of restitution of all things the enemy has withheld that have hindered the Church from entering into the fullness of the Kingdom.

The Church will step up from wanting to be blessed, to becoming an instrument of blessing to the nations. It will rise up to take its rightful position as an instrument of restoration and reconciliation. It will begin to enter into all phases needed for setting up the installation of the Kingdom of God on earth–a process of transformation of families, cities, and nations that will begin with a severe pruning from within the Church itself.

For these reasons, 2006 will be a key year in sowing and building. It is a great commission time to save the lost and to destroy the works of the devil, to be fruitful and multiply, and to exercise dominion.

How Building will be accomplished:

The apostolic and prophetic will be activated with understanding. God is raising up a generation of equippers that have come into the revelation of God’s purposes for the Church with concepts that have been revealed over the last 15 to 20 years. These equippers will activate the Church in the glorious manifestation of God’s authority and power. Apostolic and prophetic churches will be raised, as many of its leaders will flow in a new measure and evidence of the anointing and character of their lives.

City churches and national churches will begin to be built. This means that many mega churches will abandon their goals for church growth to make an emphasis on Kingdom growth. A vision for the transformation of cities, regions, and nations will begin to override and remove the denominational barriers that, up until now, have crippled the Church. Many of these churches will begin to work, as never before, towards a concept of true, Biblical unity in the Body of Christ.

God will begin to pour out unprecedented finances on these churches, leaders, and ministries as seeds for investing in a great harvest. Some will be prosperous in order to invest in the ministry and vision of others. Others will be blessed with the human and technological resources to enable them to work and build the Kingdom of God through the unity of His Body. We need to prepare and use the tools that God has given us to work for and with others of Kingdom vision.

Alliances and coalitions will be instrumental. Spiritual alliances will be formed that will NOT be personally, carnally, or selfishly motivated, nor will these alliances be looking for self-blessing or receiving, but to be a blessing to the cities and nations. This will release God’s visitation, as a kairos of God will be unleashed. In addition, these alliances will establish a sense of accountability, personal ethics, and integrity that will be observed by the unbelievers and restore a measure of trust from those within and without.

Independence and separation will be exposed, as the lack of Biblical humility and pride will be exposed in every facet of ministry. Many who operate without relational accountability will gradually lose their favor and anointing and, like the fig tree, will bear no fruit. This pruning will bring many to an understanding of the need for living, operating, and ministering in accountable relationships.

The Church will Need to Begin to Build Altars of Worship

A new dimension of social evangelism will begin to take its place of importance in the outreach of souls as the Church will focus on meeting the needs of the poor, the victims of injustice, the prisoners, the widows, and the orphans.

Pruning in the office of the prophet will begin. God will begin to raise up, build, train, equip, activate, and release a prophetic generation that will be unleashed on the churches to comfort, build, and edify the Church. Prophets will begin to find their rightful place in the Church, with a proper anointing, understanding of the times, and their calling. Prophets given to mysticisms without Biblical precedent and/or soulish prophetic words will be moved to correction or be removed from their office.

The Church will need to begin to build altars of worship–a new dimension of prophetic worship and warfare worship, inspired by the Spirit, where voices and instruments will flow into the Holy of Holies and to the very presence of the Living God.

Right now, instrumentalists and Psalmists are being prepared, many of them in the least expected places, that will begin to flow with an unprecedented anointing which will bring down the SHEKINAH and will open the heavens and release warfare authority to pull down territorial strongholds in cities, regions, and nations. Worship vigils, worship services, and worship events will unleash angelical armies to do warfare, as in the times of Daniel the prophet, against principalities and powers in heavenly places.

Political & Impresario Alliances will Rise Up

Political and impresario alliances will rise up. A new generation of politicians, businessmen, and professionals will begin to unite, strategize, and work together for the sake of the Kingdom. Many churches will begin to understand the need for their involvement in politics and business in order to positively influence the economy and government of cities, regions, and nations.

There will be a surge in the desire to actively be involved and placed in these areas of society in order to become influencers and spokespeople. They will be moved to become a part of (but will need to keep themselves from being contaminated by) the pursuits of worldly success–Mammon or Egypt. God will choose from among these people to raise up Daniel’s, Joseph’s, Nehemiah’s, and Esther’s–those that are proven to be faithful, humble, ethical, and of integrity.

For the Lord would say,

"I am preparing My Church to be without spot or wrinkle. My judgment will begin within My Church, and I will be pleased with the final result. I am building My Church, and many are laboring in vain because My Kingdom is not their vision, goal, or desire. It is a time for building, reforming, restoring, and planting. My desire is to see My glory manifested through My Church, that the world may see."

"Birth pains, shakings, civil wars, and rumors of wars are here. Violence will erupt in many nations this year as My Kingdom suffers violence. In Latin America, My harvest will be great, but the opposition will be fierce. Some nations will see major bloodshed, and some will see reconciliation and SHALOM."

by Hector Torres
Hispanic International Ministries Inc.
PO Box 1483
Queen Creek, AZ 85242

Source: The Elijah List Email.

“The Open Book”


Paul Keith Davis is a prophetic kind of guy. He offers wonderful insight into the Word of God. I am on an email list in which I received this article. It is a Word in season for this time.
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-Paul Keith Davis
White Dove Ministries

"O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling." –Daniel 10:11

Daniel was a fascinating prophet on many levels. His strength of character and personal devotion clearly captured heaven’s attention. He became a spokesman to his generation and to ours.

Daniel is a prophetic model for today’s leadership and the generation he foresaw. His life typifies many leaders maturing in this end-time generation. Like this notable prophet, men and women of high esteem who will not yield to the fear of man are poised to emerge. As with Daniel and his three friends, these have discovered the Lord in the "fiery furnace" and the "lion’s den" and surfaced as overcomers.

As in his day, many of God’s people have been residing in spiritual Babylon. Great confusion has permeated the faith. Nevertheless, we await God’s promised restoration. In fact, this process has already been set in motion and greatly advanced during the Latter Rain outpouring of 1946-65 and continues today.

The plumb-line is in the Lord’s hand by which all truth will be measured (Zechariah 4:10). This can only be produced through the written Word being mightily anointed to bring forth the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ. It is the full revelation of Jesus Christ to be delivered to the end-time generation by those who eat the now unsealed book brought by the hands of a strong angel.

We first discover this mysterious book in Daniel 12:3-4 when the prophet was instructed that,

"Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."

It is our prophetic directive to arise and shine brightly during days of great darkness. We are living in the "end-of-time" era. We have the scriptural assurance that this wonderful promise must be fulfilled. A secret to that reality is found in the words concealed in this incredible book of destiny. Many will go "back and forth" in this day to apprehend its truth and delegate it to this generation.

In the Father’s Right Hand

We first discover this book as it is sealed in Daniel’s day. We then find it in Revelations 5 held in the Father’s right hand, as He sits upon His throne of ultimate power and authority. It had to be preserved in heaven to keep the revelation a secret from man and our adversary.

If man had discovered at the inappropriate time the mysteries of God’s consummation, then we would clearly have perverted them as we have most all of our inheritance throughout history. If our enemy were to realize the contents of this book, he would surely counterfeit them as he has the things delegated to us from God. It was preserved by the Father until Someone (Jesus) was found worthy to take it from His hand and reveal it at the appointed time.

Only the Lord Jesus overcame and qualified to take the book and break its seals. What an incredible day we live in! So great was this act that all of heaven worshiped the Lord for His worthiness. The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell on their faces before the Lord in this magnificent prophetic fulfillment.

He opened the book of redemption and the full revelation of who He is. The mysteries of God’s kingdom are delayed no longer! Many patriarchs and prophets throughout history longed to understand what will freely be given to this generation of those who overcome.

The apprehension of the truth contained in this veiled book will cause us to be illumined with the brightness of His presence and the strength of great understanding. Then we will lead many to righteousness in a great harvest of souls.

A New Song

This book is a key to the harvest. The song that is sung in heaven at the breaking of its seals emphasizes its role in the great harvest and the calling of many to righteousness. The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders sang:

"Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." –Revelations 5:9-10

Daniel stressed that the words of this book are concealed and reserved for the latter-day generation. We are there! At the breaking of its seals, heaven’s host acknowledges the Lord’s great sacrifice and the relationship between the unveiling of this book and the harvest of souls purchased with His own blood.

Furthermore, there is also an emphasis on the full measure of power, wisdom, might, and glory that is to be revealed on this side of eternity. The opening of this book conveys those virtues in its complete revelation to mankind.

The Strong Angel

In Revelations 10 we next discover this opened book in the hand of a strong angel coming down from Heaven. He has a rainbow around His head and feet like pillars of fire that He places on the land and sea. Who is this strong angel? It can be none other than the Angel of the Covenant who led Israel as a pillar of fire by night and as a cloud by day. He now brings the complete revelation of His covenant to present the bridal company without spot or wrinkle. He is introduced to Israel saying:

"Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries… But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst." –Exodus 23:20-23 & 25

This angel represented God’s manifest presence among His people. Likewise, the Spirit of the Lord visited this nation with the manifestation of His presence during the last generation. The Latter Rain outpouring was much more than just a healing revival; it was the sowing of seeds for the great harvest. More notable things were accomplished than most presently comprehend.

Great end-time pledges were set in motion. It was the opening of the mysterious book foretold by Daniel, but to the 21st century generation He returns with the now open book in His hand and offers it to be consumed.

Passing of the Torch

The strong angel was introduced in the previous generation through a "Moses" anointing that brought people out of captivity. He now returns to this generation through a "Joshua" anointing to carry people in to the promise of the open book. The Lord walked with Joshua as He did with Moses. Even so, His presence with Joshua revealed an entirely different aspect of His virtue. (See our article "As I Was with Moses.")

We are promised the same manifestation of His Spirit as He beckons those who overcome to take the now opened book and eat it. It will not be enough to merely read this book; it must be devoured. When we do, it will cause us to see the scriptures in an entirely new light. Our understanding of His Word will increase substantially, while seemingly veiled passages scarcely understood will be clearly illumined.

The mysteries of God’s kingdom will be made evident. This mystery is more about becoming something than doing something. It is about becoming God’s mature sons and daughters–the Word becoming flesh once again. Then we will do all that is ordained for this day.

The open book will be offered to those who are hungry for His presence and are passionate to know Him as fully as He may be known. That is the bridal calling: to consume it and make it a part of who they are by consolidating the Word with the Spirit.

It will not be enough to merely intellectually analyze the truth of the open book. It must be mingled with the spirit of revelation to give it life and substance. This experience will fully form Christ in us and bring us to maturity. The Lord’s desire is to fully redeem and sanctify our spirit, soul, and body by preserving us complete and without blame at His coming (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

There is a supernatural element in this destiny that cannot be denied. Like Paul, these mysteries will come by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12). Though the open book will be sweet in our mouths, it will become bitter in our stomachs. It will not be enough to be satisfied with the mere consumption of this book, but we must also prophesy this revelation to many nations, peoples, and kingdoms. That is the day we have now transitioned into.

Paul Keith Davis
White Dove Ministries

Source: The Way