You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood.“
Whenever I come across evidence from Evolution I first think this must mean something.
Of course I don’t believe that Evolution is that answer but at the same time I investigate what it could mean, that’s the true nature of Science to investigate what happens NOW to prove what could have happened back then, at the dawn of creation.
Many today are confused and dismayed with the huge amount of Dogmas in many forms making the salvation of God muddled with man-made ideas and rituals that God never intended.
The point is, we could believe ALL the right Doctrines about God and still NOT be saved!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0974930040&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIs it even possible to know the difference between them anymore?
Can I be saved while I’m surrounded by false doctrines and concepts from the mind of the demonic realm?
Am I a Christian if I simply believe every good doctrine about God?
True biblical Salvation has NEVER CHANGED from day one, just as God is the SAME yesterday, today and forever ….the only thing that has changed and is changing is OUR view of its simple straight forward transparency.
James 1:17 (Amplified Bible)
17 “Every good gift and every perfect ([a]free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1892838079&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrlight, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].“
Salvation was not meant to be complicated or confusing but receivable at the lowest level of life to the highest level of human existence.
The problem is not the Doctrines themselves, though they are deadly it is, in the end how we perceive them internally,that really brings us into bondage!
How doctrine is delivered to us determines everything, if doctrine is force feed it simply produces false obedience and death!
BUT if that same doctrine is accepted through reasoning of the mind and spiritual joyfulness it produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002941Q6W&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrGod made salvation so simple that we actually need HELP to mess it up, a help Satan is more than willing to give!
The question is: “Do your dogmas control every fiber of your existence from your mental to your physical reactions?”
If dogmas invented by men and NOT GOD control you then you are NOT thinking for yourself, you are NOT free, you are being Brainwashed!
If on the other hand if the Doctrine in scripture flows from the Spirit of God there is NO brainwashing BUT rather “Mind Renewing” a restructuring of the process of thought so that our reasoning is in line with God’s thoughts!
Translation of a Chinese term indicating
“a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B00421IRAI&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrpolitical, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas.”
Source: Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary
A remarkable thing about cult mind control is that it’s so ordinary in the tactics and strategies of social influence employed.
They are variants of well-known social psychological principles of compliance, conformity, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, framing, emotional manipulation,
and others that are used on all of us daily to entice us to buy, to try, to donate, to vote, to join, to change, to believe, to love, to hate the enemy.
Cult mind control is not different in kind from these everyday varieties, but in its greater intensity, persistence, duration, and scope.
One difference is in its greater efforts to: block quitting the group, by imposing high exit costs, replete with induced phobias http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003USRGII&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrof harm, failure, and personal isolation.
Source: Phillip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., What Is The Message Behind Today’s Cults?
“True Doctrine comes from ABOVE to us, false doctrine comes from our perceptions of what we think God meant to say.”
Doctrine CANNOT in itself save anyone, doctrines are after all http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=115181735X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrjust words from men or on a page. It is what WE do with them and how we do it that defines both our doctrines and us.
Doctrine MUST be placed in a “spiritual container” of words in order to be fully released for change, confession is that container.
Words are spiritual by nature and must be in a spiritual place of obedience just as a “physical seed” must be placed in the dirt and watered in order to grow!
False or true, doctrine works the same. Perception of the false can be so close to the truth, but missing it just by that little fact, the fact our perceptions cannot witness because we have predetermined our out comes using a false positive.
We think we know all about it, but we only see what our flesh is comfortable living with. That’s the real point here, the real TRUTH is so far beyond our comfortable zones, beyond our small thoughts, and beyond our incomplete understanding of God!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002IC0NIC&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrDoctrine must be understood from God’s point of view downward not from our point of view upward, we have gotten religion completely backwards and Satan prospers because of it.
100% of false doctrine happens as a result of misunderstanding the original intent of the writers of scripture!
Can a person living in deception from a scriptural sense be saved and go to heaven?
How often have I asked God that after speaking to a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness, they seem so sincere in their beliefs! But think about it, so were the prophets of Baal whom God destroyed with fire!
I am not speaking of honest scriptural mistakes we all make, but http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0953881059&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrof purposeful mishandling of the Bibles doctrines, thus the people UNDER the ones in charge will have a better chance of being saved if the Truth is shown to them!
It takes a lot more to please God than being sincere or good, you MUST be in complete Obedience to the “letter of his word” not using it as a personal opinion that your church teaches, that would be taking away or adding to scripture.
Remember God and his Word are ONE and the same, so if you follow God and are slack concerning his word, then its the same as NOT following GOD at all!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0741440121&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr“It is most evident that every form of false belief TURNS the Cross on its head!
No Change is good when it comes to the TRUTH!”
True Christian Conversion…What Causes it?
by David A. DePra
What causes real Christian conversion?
Have you ever asked that question?
I am not talking here about what we need to do to be saved.
I’m getting at something which occurs before any of that.
I’m asking what it is that causes a person who is dead in sin, and has no interest in God, to turn and reach out to Him?
Jesus said, “No man can come to Me except the Father who http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0801072638&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrsent Me draw Him.” (John 6:44)
Thus, we see that it is GOD who must initiate a process which results in a person embracing Christ as Saviour.
But how does God do this?
What does He use?
What pushes a person from being uninterested in Christ, to wanting Him?
What draws people to Christ for conversion?
Here’s another way of approaching the same question:
“The Laws of God lead to TRUE Salvation!”
On Monday I am not a Christian. On Tuesday, I hear a message and embrace Christ as Saviour.
What made me able, or willing, to now
embrace a message which I’d probably heard hundreds of times before?
And how about my neighbor?
On Monday he was an unbeliever.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000BW5ESA&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrOn Tuesday he was sitting right beside me and heard the same message I heard about Jesus Christ. Yet it did not move Him.
What happened in me that did not happen in him?
And WHY did it happen to me and not to him?
The answer here is, “God called me.” But of course, God called me. That’s clear.
But the question is, HOW?
What happened in me?
The question becomes more profound once we realize that God never overrides our free will. He doesn’t FORCE Christ on anyone, BUT he does sometimes force circumstances around us SO WE WILLINGLY MAKE A CHOICE .
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002CVTWNG&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrSo however God calls a person has to be in line with thatfact. Yet God does call people to Christ, and they respond fully by their own free will.
No one is saying that it is possible for any of us to know all of the details of our calling.
Who can know the mind of the Lord?
Indeed, we don’t even know ourselves. But we can know general principles.
And that is the discussion here .
What is the cause of true Christian conversion?
How does God accomplish it?
Why is this question important?
Why must we know how God calls and converts a person to Christ?
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1581341199&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWell, first of all, we do NOT need to know it to be saved.
In fact, we don’t even need to know it to walk with God.
There are many other facets of Truth which can carry us on with Christ. But Truth always sets us free.
Free from ERROR.
And if we can discover how God converts a person to Christ, we will also discover much other related Truth.
We may also find out that we have been under
“Not everyone who claims to be “Saved” really is saved, there are “Apostates” and deceived church goers who THINK they are but are simply religious people”
The problems in the world today are because deception is Rising?
As Christians, we are going to come into contact with many people who are not believers.
We are also going to come into contact with many people who profess Christ, but who perhaps are not truly converted. We need http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0310222311&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrto understand what we are dealing with so that we can walk in love, in God’s purpose, regarding them.
There is something else, too.
We need to examine ourselves.
Understanding this Truth about our own conversion can help us deepen our appreciation for Jesus Christ, and can help us shed some of the error which may have attached itself to us regarding unbelievers and believers alike.
It is not our responsibility to look at any person and decide whether they are saved. That’s God’s business.
But we can and should know HOW God saves people so that we can properly preach the Truth and guide those who are interested in the right path.
One can never go wrong knowing the Truth about God.
Doctrines and Christianity
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0977492885&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrToday, many of us are under the notion that in order to be saved,
all that we need to do is agree to a list of doctrines.
Of course, these “doctrines” are Christian doctrines.
They really are.
They include the essential doctrine of Christ —
His virgin birth, death, and resurrection — and the doctrine of salvation through Him by faith alone.
These ARE doctrines which define Christianity.
If we have become converted to Christ, we will know and believe that these doctrines are true.
Read that again. Am I saying that you must believe in those doctrines to become a Christian?
That is not what I said. What I said was this:
If you have become a Christian — if your conversion is real — then you WILL believe those doctrines are the Truth.
(Because they will bear witness within your spirit when they agree with the Will of God, the Bible.)
Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections, and the Puritan Analysis of True Piety, Spiritual Sensation and Heart Religion (Studies in American Religion)
We must see the distinction.
Conversion is NOT the result of “God did not ask for “Agreement” he asked for Obedience!”
agreeing that a list of doctrines are true. No. But if I am converted
to Christ, I will agree to those true doctrines. I will know thay are the Truth because I know HIM.
to Christ, I will agree to those true doctrines. I will know thay are the Truth because I know HIM.
I will know the doctrines are the Truth because I have experienced that Truth.
Jesus Christ is real. The new birth is real. And it is because these are real that they can be defined in doctrinal form.
But just as a written description of a person is not THE person, so doctrines about Christ — as true as they are — are nevertheless not the very PERSON. Our faith is to be in HIM — in Christ — not in the true doctrines and teachings about Him.
Of course it is never a matter of being saved before I learn any doctrines, or of learning all doctrine before I am saved. Usually there is a mix.
But the point is:
Knowing the doctrine of conversion
to Christ is NOT the same thing as BEING CONVERTED.
We must not mistake our knowledge of something as an experience of it.
Many Christians do make this mistake.
We think that because we know a Truth in doctrinal form that we know it the way Jesus meant when He said, “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.”
But this is not necessarily so. Jesus was talking about more than the accumulation of facts — even if they are TRUE facts. He was talking about knowing Truth in a way that alters one’s very being.
It is a subtle deception:
Our faith could be in our doctrines
ABOUT Christ, rather than in Christ Himself. It is therefore vital that
we see the difference and avoid the danger.
The apostle James knew of this danger. He said,
“Do you believe that there is one God?
You do well! The devils
also believe and tremble. But know this, O vain man, that faith
without works is dead.”
The fact is, the Devil knows Jesus Christ is Lord. He knows that
Jesus is the Saviour of the world. Indeed, if he did NOT know this
he would not be fighting against it.
Yet what we find is that the Truth
of Jesus is the one thing the Devil seeks to corrupt most of all!
Hardly something possible if he didn’t know it was the Truth to begin with!
It is vitally important that all Christians know what they believe, and why. This is most commonly expressed in essential Christian doctrine, backed up by scripture.
But never think that a mere knowledge of Biblical doctrine, or even full assent to it AS true, is the same thing as a living faith in a living Christ.
It is not.
The best example of this is faith. I can know what faith is, and that I must possess it. But that is a far cry from actually believing and trusting God.
My doctrine may be true. But the Truth of faith may not yet be something which I have yet to experience and live.
In effect, I must not merely possess the Truth.
The Truth must grow to possess ME.
Thus, we come back to the statement made earlier. Giving
agreement to essential Christian doctrine is not a “requirement”for conversion; for salvation.
But if I am converted; am embracing Christ as Lord and Saviour, the RESULT is going to be that I will embrace the doctrines which tell the Truth about Him.
Thank God things work that way!
For if they did not work that way, you are not saved until you can give a detail expository of the doctrines of salvation and justification.
Christianity would be no more than a religion, or a list of beliefs to subscribe to
Notice where all of this is leading:
It leads us to recognize that Christianity is not a mere religion with a list of beliefs which define it.
Rather, Christianity is a relationship with a Person. It is a real and life-changing experience with God through His Son.
Christianity is true conversion; a new birth.
And then because Christianity is all of that, we can explain it through doctrines. But our faith is in a Living Christ who is in us right now — not in those doctrines.
There are a number of common misconceptions with regard to true conversion. For instance, many people think that if they are “in a church,” that they are automatically “in Christ.”
In other words, really converted. But in reality, we are “in the church” only if we are FIRST in Christ and FIRST truly converted. Actually, if just this one Truth were realized, it would eliminate many of the reasons that cults are able to control people.
People would see that their relationship with God is not contingent upon a group or a leader. It is a one-on-one relationship solely because of Jesus Christ, and not in any way dependent upon others in the Body of Christ.
Thus, true conversion is not caused by, or maintained, by my church. Neither by any teacher or leader. I belong to God FIRST, and am converted by HIM.
The rest falls into place as a by-product and nothing more.
Another misconception is that we are somehow converted by study. The more I study, especially if I get a degree, the more spiritual I am. The more holy I am.
The more I know facts about the Bible, and about Jesus, the more I am qualified to lead others.
Going hand in hand with this nonsense is the notion that the way we are to convert others is by argumentation.
If we win the argument, we think we have won the person.
But nothing could be further from the Truth.
Christian conversion is not the outcome of a logical argument.
It is not a matter of being painted into a verbal corner and not being able to escape. I do not become a Christian because I have intellectually or logically concluded that it MUST be the Truth.
Does that seem shocking?
Think about it.
Any set of beliefs which are the outcome of logical deduction or debate simply exist within the bounds of those arguments.
All that it takes to overthrow those beliefs is a better argument. In those cases, a person’s “faith” is only as strong as their argument.
In effect, my faith would be IN my argument. It would be IN my intellectual grasp of the Truth. But Christianity transcends all of that. At the basis of Christianity is not an argument. At the basis is a moral accountability before God, and the solution in Christ.
Thus, faith in Christianity is not in my argument or list of doctrines. It is in a Person, Jesus Christ. It is wonderful to be able to discuss and explain the Truth using logical and intellectual means.
But we don’t GET the Truth that way. We don’t become converted that way. Rather, we express the Truth that way, if this happens to be in keeping with our particular gifts and personality
The fact is, to try to base Christianity on logic or the intellect is nothing more than fighting on the terms of the enemy. There is nothing wrong or evil with the mind or the intellect. But is cannot breach the chasm between God and man and bring true conversion.
Another big mistake the modern church has made is to try to prove Christianity through historical proof. Yes, there is historical proof to point to.
This can serve a purpose by getting people who rely on that sort of thing to seek further for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But in the final analysis, I can convert no one by showing them historical proof.
Can’t history convert people to Christ?
It can only prove to them that He existed. It can even prove to them that He was raised from the dead. But even that — yes, even that — cannot convert anyone TO Christ.
Thus, true conversion is not the outcome of a history lesson, any more than it is the outcome of a debate in ethics and logic.
None of that stuff can result in a new birth. None of it can bringrepentance. None of it can bring the words “Jesus is Lord” to the lips of a person.
Thou Art the Christ
It is amazing how clearly the Bible answers all of our questions,
and even the objections of skeptics. All we have to do is look. The
issues are addressed in the Word of God.
Take conversion for example. The issue as to how God converts
is addressed again and again. One of the best examples is found in
Matthew 16. There Jesus asked a question which is THE question
all of us must ask. He asked, “Who do men say that I am?”
The disciples told Him who men were saying He was. John the
Baptist, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. But then Jesus asked,
“Who do YOU say that I am?”
Peter was the one, as usual, who stepped forward. He said, “After
these many years of study, I have earned my doctorate from the
University of Jerusalem. And I have studied many other ancient
religions. I have learned HOW to read these ancient manuscripts.
And after all of that, I, Dr. Peter, have concluded that You are most likely the Christ, the Son of the living God. But we will keep the issue open in the event of new discoveries.”
Is that how the conversation went? Hardly. Peter simply confessed, “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” But what really speaks to the point is the response of Jesus. Did He tell Peter, “Books and study have revealed this to you!”
No. Did He say, “Wow, Peter, you are really smart.
You finally figured it out. You must have quite the logical mind.”?
The Bible is true;: The lessons of the 1925-1934 excavations in Bible lands summarized and explained
Did He say, “Great Peter. Perhaps now you ought to get a Master’s degree so that you can have papers to verify that you really know this.”?
What Jesus said, IF WEWOULD SIMPLY READ IT, tells us that there is really only one way to true conversion: God has to reveal Christ to us. Period.Peter had walked and talked with Christ for 3 years. He knew him as a man.
Yet Jesus Christ said THAT was not what revealedto Peter that He was the Christ. NOTHING of the flesh and blood
realm did it. Only the Father in heaven.
Incidentally, this is precisely why Jesus did not walk around the
country side saying, “I am God, I am God….” It would have done
no good — although there are over a half a dozen places where Jesus does say He is God.
Rather than take that approach, Jesus knewHe simply needed to preach the Truth and do good works. God did the revealing to those He was at that time calling.
What does all of this say to US? It tells us that there isn’t any
possible way we are going to see who Jesus Christ is by mere study.
There isn’t any way to see it only by reasoning and logic.And it tells us for sure that, when all is said and done, there is no
way to prove to someone else that Jesus Christ is God. We can
and should preach that He is God. But only as an expectation to the one only way in which a Person can come to see who Jesus is: By way of revelation from God Himself.
If Peter, who walked and talked with Christ, did not see who Jesus
was through the means of anything physical, or flesh and blood, then who are WE? God had to reveal Jesus to Peter. He must reveal it to us. And when He does, it will be real.
It will also be something we cannot reveal to others through flesh and blood means. We need to stop trying, and simply focus on doing what God said to do:
Preach the Truth. Let God use it to reveal Christ.
How Does God Convert?
Ok. Now we come to the answer. What is it that converts a
person to Christ? What is it that God does in a person that gets them to the point where they embrace Christ?
Well, God has a multitude of specific ways of bring a person to the point of surrender
to Christ. But regardless of the method, the issue of conversion hinges on one thing.
And it is the SAME for all. No one is excepted.
What is that one thing?
God reveals to us Jesus Christ. And THAT results in two things: First, I see that I am a totally helpless sinner. And I see that He is the answer. Or to say it another way, conversion comes when I repent of my unbelief and finally embrace Jesus Christ for deliverance and salvation.
So that’s the answer:
I must see I am a sinner. Then, because of that, I repent of unbelief and surrender to Christ. There is no other way to become a Christian.
The fact is, if I have not seen I am a sinner in need of the grace,and repent of my unbelief, and embrace Christ on that basis, I am NOT converted. I am not born again. I cannot be.
Because if you don’t see you are a sinner, you will not see you need a Saviour. Oh, you might acknowledge there IS a Saviour. And you might agree to the doctrine which says you have a sin nature, and that says you need a Saviour. But unless you actually SEE and KNOW you are a sinner, and repent, your conversion is not real. It can’t be.
We are saved by grace through faith. And try though I may, I cannot have faith if I have NOT seen my need. I cannot. There will be nothing to motivate me. I will have no frame of reference for the grace of God. It will remain mere doctrine to me.
A Moral Issue
What all this means is that conversion is NOT an intellectual issue. It is not an emotional issue. It is a MORAL issue. We are here talking about my personal accountability to God. It is there that God must begin with us. It is there that God must meet us: In our sin. And through the Christ who died for us.
Today there are many people — including many church leaders — who will tell you that what Jesus taught was wonderful. They will say we must follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. But lost in the shuffle is the very place Christ meets us: In our sin. In our need.
Many Christians do not want to be told they are sinners. To many, that is a negative message. It is depressing. Or it is just for the first five minutes of conversion.
But the fact is, if I embrace Christ, I am going to spend the rest of my life realizing how much I need Him.
And it won’t be depressing. That’s because my focus won’t be on my sin and my need.
It will be on HIM. We ought to be thankful that conversion is a moral issue. If it were not, but instead were an intellectual issue, then the smarter we were, the more holy we’d be. It would mean that no longer does a little child enter the kingdom. Only the intellectual giants do.
Unfortunately, many churches believe this.
They don’t come right out and say it, but they believe study and the intellect is what matters most.
And we have, as the body of Christ, paid the price for being so deceived.
The New Testament requirements for church leadership have been almost completely ignored today by most denominations.
Instead of actually reading what Paul said about this important
issue, we simply side-step this and rely on education.
So now we go to a seminary to acquire the spiritual gift of “pastor.” And if you
have a doctorate, when then you REALLY have the gift. Such
thinking is foreign to the New Testament.
Education is not evil.
But we should keep it in it’s place. It has
nothing to do with a MORAL relationship with God. All of the Bible education in the world cannot equal death and resurrection in Jesus
Christ. It cannot bring repentance and conversion.
Jesus never told us to check our brains at the door if we want to enter the kingdom of God. But the intellect cannot bridge the chasm from the flesh to the Spirit. It cannot penetrate through to the Truth.
Listen to the words of the apostle Paul on this matter:
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. (I Cor. 1:17-19)
What makes these words all the more significant is the fact that Paul himself was one of the most intelligent people God ever used.
Read the epistles. Do those letters sound like the writings of a person who never did any thinking?
Hardly. Yet Paul is able to say without apology that it is not his arguments or his wisdom with words which is the key. It is the Cross. It is Jesus Christ. It is the power of God.
Paul makes it clear what the balance is between using one’s mind, and true Christian conversion. The intellect and the mind are not the tools which convert you. But they are the tools which, after you meet
Jesus Christ, can be used to understand and explain and proclaim that conversion. And the reason that our minds are able to eventually understand the things of God is only because they have been renewed by the Holy Spirit.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom. 12:1-2)
Note the progression: First, surrender. Unconditional and total.
Then, as the result of that surrender, a stand against becoming conformed to this world. And then, because I have surrendered, the Holy Spirit will renew my mind according to the mind of Christ.
The end result? I will prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
The vital thing to see is that surrender comes first. It is a MORAL surrender. A surrender to God through Jesus Christ as a sinner in need of the grace of God. Then, as we move forward in faith and obedience, comes the renewal of the mind. Only then comes the real understanding.
Often today, we get the cart before the horse. We think that if we intellectually understand, then we’ve got it. No.
We may have merely memorized Biblical doctrine, or the teachings of our favorite saint.
We may have nothing personal of Jesus Christ. Imagine yourself planning to take a trip into a far country. You have never been there before.
So you do much reading about it.
In fact, you do so much reading about it that you could probably convince someone you have lived there for many years. You have all the facts and the stats. You can even add detailed descriptions of this land which you have never seen.
Is the ability to do all of that the same as having been in that land? Of course not. You have to actually go to the land before you can truly see. And then — once you see — then you can understand and explain through experience.
Agreeing that we must repent of sin isn’t the same AS repenting of it. Agreeing that Jesus is Lord isn’t the same AS surrendering to Him AS Lord. We must not only know how to explain conversion.
We must BE converted.
Paul summed it up best. He said:
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth.” (II Tim. 3:7)
Read that again. Notice what God is saying here. He is saying that it is entirely possible to be “ever learning” but NEVER come to know the Truth.
And He is not talking about an atheist. He is talking about those who are religious. For He says in the same passage, in reference to the same people:
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”
(II Tim. 3:5a)
The Early Church
About two thousand years ago, about 120 people gathered together in Jerusalem to wait. The atmosphere was somewhat tense. They were in danger. But they were also looking forward to what was going to happen.
What made the atmosphere even more tense was that they did not really know what was going to happen, but simply knew that SOMETHING was going to happen.
Jesus had told them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to “Wait for the promise of the Father.”
He had told them, “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.”
He had also said, “You shall receive power once the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, in Judea, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.” (see Acts 1:4-8)
The fact is, there was no way that any of these people could have possibly had the slightest notion of what any of that really meant. “Holy Spirit? What’s that?,” they probably questioned. “Become witnesses for Christ?,” they may have muttered, “How do we do that?”
Their perplexity is seen in the very last question they had asked Jesus. Immediately before the ascension, they asked, “Will you, at this time, restore the kingdom to Israel?”
If there was one thing Jesus had tried to get across to them for the last three and one-half years, it was that the kingdom He continually spoke of was not a physical kingdom. Over and over He tried to show them this.
He had even said, “The kingdom of God does not come in a way that can be observed with the eyes.
Neither can anyone say, ‘Here it is, or there it is!’ For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)
Nothing could be plainer.
But these disciples had grown up ina society and culture which knew of only one kind of kingdom: A natural one. A physical one.
It was almost impossible to change their thinking. Even after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ they did not understand. Even with the resurrected Christ standing in front of them, they didn’t get it.
It is therefore certain that when they returned to Jerusalem to wait, they still had not grasped the meaning. They were told to wait.
And they obeyed.
But they likely had no clue as to what they were waiting FOR.
The first disciples had a Jewish background. They had no patterns set for what a church was, or how it should function.
They were a group of scared, inexperienced people, none of whom had ever been to a seminary or school. Yet it was these that God took and used.
They would turn the world upside down.
How did they do it?
And more importantly, why don’t we have today what they had then?
Where has all the power gone?
Why aren’t Christians today turning the world upside down?
The Early Conversions
In the first century, no one knew about Jesus Christ. Even word about Him had to be carried verbally, or at best, through an epistle.
When one of the apostles walked into a town, it was often a Gentile town. So not only were these people ignorant of Christ, but they had false gods instead.
Quite a few obstacles to overcome. Added to the problem was the fact that these early disciples had no New Testament from which to preach.
In fact, they really had no Old Testament which they could easily carry around. And really, what good would it have done to show the Bible to a Gentile of that time anyways?
We must get this setting. What possible reason, if you wanted to preach Christ to a pagan of that time, could you give him for believing Jesus was his Saviour?
What reason could you give him for believing the Old Testament prophecies?
Why should he believe them? How could you convince him? How would you preach to them?
No Bible. No church to invite them to. No written proof of what you taught.
What reasons could you possibly give them for believing?
Why should they believe you when you tell them Jesus rose from the dead?
Why should they care whether He lived, was crucified, rose, and ascended?
And how are you going to make them care?
Remember that in those days, in that area, there was a Greek domination of the culture. Greeks like to argue, and they like to reason. So we are not merely talking about ignorant heathen who would sit there and let you spoon feed them anything you like. No.
These were heathen people, but smart people. And they had never heard of Jesus Christ.
If you wanted to convert them to the truth, you had better be prepared to answer questions. Today skeptics demand proof, and claim that there is none for Christianity.
But back then, there was even less. There was no written record. But many people WERE converted? How did these early disciples turn the world upside down?
In Acts 8, Philip converted a eunuch.
He preached Jesus to him. At the conclusion, the eunuch confessed, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37) What convinced this man?
What made him believe the scripture was worth reading, and thatJesus as his Saviour?
A good argument?
What convinced him was a revelation of God. A conviction of need. The work of the Holy Spirit. Lots of people read the Bible and never come to that. This fellow came to surrender to Christ, not because of a good argument, and not because of an intellectual understanding.
He surrendered because “faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)
Note that faith is only possible IF you have heard, and that hearing is not possible unless it is created by the Word of God.
In effect, WE DON’T DO THIS.
God does. God reveals to a person, after much preparation, the Truth. The Truth about their sin and need for deliverance, and the Truth about Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
In today’s environment of “political correctness,” many places in the body of Christ have given into the world’s mentality. People used to die for Christ. Today we apologize for Him, and adjust Him to suit the preferences of people.
Thus, we have a growing group of churches who no longer insist that Jesus is God, or that He is the only way to God. Instead, we want to be “inclusive.”
We want to embrace all religions, all in the name of love and unity. People need to decide. They need to decide one way or another who Jesus Christ is.
“Who do men say that I am remains THE question.”
Like it or not, we must answer. People can water down the Truth of Jesus Christ all they want, but in the end, there is only one way to become a Christian: I must see that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate — the Saviour of the world.As the outcome of that revelation, I must then confess that I am a sinner.
I must repent of the sin of unbelief. I must surrender to Christ as Lord and Saviour of my life.
If I don’t do this, I am NOT a Christian.
I am NOT “in Christ.”
It does not matter how much I learn, or how many degrees I possess. It does not matter how much I go to church, or whether I am a leader, pastor, or layman.
I am a Christian only if I am born again in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The Four Spiritual Laws Vs. Paul’s Gospel of Salvation
From Campus Crusade Examined in the Light of Scripture by Dr. Charles Woodbridge
[Dr. Woodbridge was supportive of Campus Crusade in its earliest days but had to withdraw his support and begin sounding a Scriptural warning because of the wrong path this organization has taken.]
Basing my judgment upon the plain teaching of the Bible, I regard these “Laws” as a totally inadequate, indeed an emasculated and misleading presentation of the blessed Gospel of the Son of God.
If they had been entitled “Four Pious Principles” instead of “The Four Spiritual Laws,” perhaps I should have little to say by way of rebuttal.
But to begin with, the use of the definite article “The” is disturbing.
The implication is that the “Laws,” as the Crusade presents them, are exclusive, definitive and thoroughly adequate. Having discovered and embraced them, a fortunate seeker is presumably bound for Heaven.
When one purports to reduce any subject to four central descriptive items, logic dictates that he must not eliminate from these items the essential ingredients of the matter under discussion.
When a physician is prescribing for his patient, he must not remove from his formula necessary but perhaps disagreeable or unpalatable drugs.
No faithful analyst, when seeking to abbreviate, must relegate to footnotes the crucial areas of the subject he is publicizing.
He must spell out in no uncertain terms — whether his readers are impressed favorably or not — the precise, basic, fundamental, and differentiating character of his proposition.
I believe that Campus Crusade has tragically failed to do this. As the result there is every probability that great numbers of earnest students, whose response to the “Laws” has seemed to be affirmative, have a false and unwarranted sense of spiritual security.
If my deduction is correct — and the evidence would lead me to believe that it is — this would be a tragedy of great proportions.
Years ago I wrote the Director of the Crusade with this in mind. I had the positive, constructive, but admittedly forlorn hope that I might be able to help him to extricate his movement from the doctrinal inadequacies in which “The Four Spiritual Laws” had enmeshed him.
I received no reply to my letter. Years have elapsed since them. I now feel that it is my solemn duty under God to speak out in defense of the old, well-tested, and thoroughly proved ways.
First, let us examine the “Laws” as a whole, always bearing in mind by way of contrast the glory and wonder of the Biblical Gospel of Grace.
In each of the four “Laws” mention is made of the Divine plan for a person’s life. The story is as follows:
God has a wonderful plan for a man’s life; because of man’s adverse spiritual condition he cannot know that plan for his life; when the proper steps are taken he can know the plan for his life.
This is not the way in which the Gospel is proclaimed in the Bible. The Crusade’s approach is anthropocentric (“man-centered”). It implies that the summum bonum, the pivotal issue, is that an individual may know God’s wonderful plan for his life.
The Biblical approach is theocentric (“God-centered”). The writers first laid the background of the being and attributes of God, sublime in His sovereignty, ineffable in His majesty and holiness.
They quickly stressed the blazing fact that the righteousness of God has been outraged by human sin and that apart from Divine, unmerited grace, man’s deadly guilt (Romans 3:19) will bring upon him the wrath of God (Romans 1:18), the deserved judgment of the Lord (Romans 2:2), and ensuing death (Romans 6:23).
The amazing be-all and end-all of the Gospel, according to the Bible, is not what man may or may not know about the Divine plan for his life; but it is the everlasting glory of the living God.
How different all this is from the “Four Spiritual Laws.” The hell- deserving sinner has far more to reflect upon, prior to his salvation, than the optimistic confidence that somewhere in the dim blue “yonder” God has a satisfying plan for his life!
LAW NUMBER ONE
But now to “Law One” itself:
“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”
Then two footnotes:
John 3:16 and John 10:10.
(Is it not astounding that John 3:16 could possibly be in anybody’s footnote!)
A few reflections concerning this first “Law.”
First, the booklet announcing these “Laws” is used indiscriminately with believers and unbelievers.
May I ask a rather obvious question? Precisely what “wonderful plan” does God have for the unbelieving sinner who steadfastly and persistently rejects Christ Jesus as Saviour? Answer: the “lake that burneth with fire.”
This is an awesome, rather than a “wonderful,” prospect.
Second, is not the Crusade aware of the fact that even a pious Mohammedan might believe that the compassionate God might have a plan for his life?
This being true, the Crusade is left with only three distinctively Christian “Laws.”
Third, who is the “God” to whom the Crusade refers in Law One? When the apostles wrote of Him, it was against a religious background of understanding — their Hebrew readers knew Who God is.
But when Paul spoke to Gentiles on the Areopagus (Acts 17), he explained Who the Almighty is.
The Crusade must not take it for granted that this confused, untaught generation of college students knows Who the Lord God is.
At the very outset of the “Laws” it should be made clear Who the One is with Whom the students have to do. He is the Holy, Sovereign, Omnipotent Creator of the universe.
This observation on my part is not a vague fancy. I heard one of the Crusade’s bright and shining lights, a university football star, give his public testimony.
He referred to the God of the ages as “the man upstairs.” Some may regard this as justified puerility [immaturity].
I regard it as blasphemy. I happened to be the other speaker that evening. Before I addressed the crowd, I turned to the student and told him bluntly that before he witness to others he should be sure that he himself had been washed in the blood of the Lamb of God and that he really knew the living and true God.
I do not imply for a moment that the Crusade leaders should give all their hearers a course in systematic theology.
But I insist that when men and women handle the things of God they must make clear Who He is, the ineffable [too overpowering to be expressed in words!] Lord of Glory.
A defender of the Crusade might reply:
“‘The Four Spiritual Laws’ are just a summary of truth. The personal workers fill in the gaps.” To this explanation my answer is twofold.
First, when one is reducing any subject to four basic points, it is the height of folly to omit crucial matters with the trivial explanation that assistants will subsequently explain them.
For example, if one is summarizing the theme “Aviation,” he will not omit the fact that airplanes have wings and a motor, in the confident expectation that the learner will have these addenda elucidated by assistants after his effort to take off from the earth!
Second, if the Crusade assistants do in fact try to explain Who God is, they seem to fail dismally. Else why the shallowness and flippancy in the “testimonies” of so many of their “converts”?
THE SECOND LAW
And now the Crusade’s second “Spiritual Law”: “Man is sinful and separated from God.”
So far so good. I commend the Crusade for putting the matter so plainly.
But Bible believers, taught in the Word of God, might well expect the “Law” to be expanded so as to include its inevitable corollaries.
What are these Biblical corollaries?
In a footnote Romans 3:23 and 6:23 are quoted. An explanatory note indicates that the sinner goes his own independent way and fellowship with God is broken; evidence of sin is an “attitude” of active rebellion or of passive indifference.
But no uninformed college student, meditating upon this second “Law,” could possibly understand that sin is far more than an attitude of independence or rebellion. God has given to sinful man His Holy Law, which reflects His perfect nature and sovereign will.
Sin is an open, flagrant breach of that Law or a stubborn refusal to obey it. Apart from the Law of God sin cannot possibly be understood. It is far worse than an “attitude” or a going on one’s own “independent way.”
It is primarily a heart condition, but it is also an act wrought in defiance of the will of God.
What are the consequences of this heart condition and defiance?
The second “Law” states that the sinner is “separated” from God and is out of fellowship with Him.
The Bible is far more detailed and explicit. It tells the sinner in no uncertain terms precisely what the separation and loss of fellowship involve.
The consequences of willful disobedience are horrible indeed. The Bible speaks of “hell.” It reminds us of the “lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15).
It suggests the endless, conscious torment of Christ- rejecting sinners. This is the dreadful doom of unbelievers. And it is from this that believers are saved by grace.
For all this the Crusade substitutes in its second “Law,” apart from a modest footnote quoting Romans 6:23, the dismal consequence that as the result of the sinner’s separation from God “he cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for his life!”
The trouble with this statement is that it is not only weak and anti- climactic, but it is also falsely oriented and misleading. It breeds a naive and unwarranted optimism.
In the first place it is, as in the case of the first “Law,” man-centered and thus out of line with the total revelation of God.
The paramount result of sin and separation appears to be the unfortunate inconvenience that the sinner has lost the sense of God’s love and plan for his life!
Secondly, the “Law” omits what the Bible never omits — the eternal, unmitigated, drastic consequences of sin and separation.
How can a person possibly know what it is to be saved unless he is made aware of that from which he is saved? Why not follow the Biblical pattern and tell the whole truth?
Once more the Crusade’s rejoinder might be: “We are simply giving a readily understandable summary of truth.
We have not space within the confines of the second ‘Law’ to tell the whole truth.” But frankly, can even a “summary” of the Gospel which is worthy to be used as a basis of witnessing to college students possibly eliminate a clear presentation of the actual consequences of sin?
Thirdly — and this is simply an observation — the separated sinner who persists in rejecting the proffered love of God will certainly know the Divine plan for his life! That plan is the “Judgment of the great white throne” and “the lake that burneth with fire”!
Am I unduly critical?
Is this merely a conflict between two relatively similar concepts?
Is the Crusade’s view simply an exposition of the thoughts of a newer, perhaps more enlightened, generation?
Let me assure my readers that nothing could be farther from the truth.
One of the leading Crusade writers has let the cat out of the bag. The Crusade, to put it bluntly, does not like the idea of “hell,” so far as their witness is concerned.
The writer in question has carefully explained that in testifying to college students. Crusaders “for ‘hell’ should substitute ‘eternal separation from God.'”
Please do not think that I am quibbling about unimportant ideas. Have you recently studied Romans or Hebrews or Revelation?
May I mildly inquire by what authority the Crusade spokesman chooses what words of the Bible he desires to eliminate?
And lest any of my readers are still doubtful about the validity of my argument, may I remind them that the same writer has the audacity to declare — and I cannot but wonder why a multitude of old-fashioned Bible believers do not arise in holy protest — that for the word “saved” “we substitute … (in the beginning at least) ‘entering into a personal relationship with Christ.'”
Thus the terrors of Divine wrath are neatly minimized and, probably from the poor student who simply wants a plan for his life, eliminated!
The totality of truth is abbreviated, not actually because the “Laws” are a mere “summary,” but because the Crusade has taken it upon itself to abbreviate it!
THE THIRD LAW
The Crusade’s third “Law” really troubles me. It does indeed state that Christ is “God’s only provision for sin.” Splendid!
It quotes verses in footnotes (of all places) which indicate that Christ died in our place, that He is the only way to the Father, and that He bridged the chasm between the sinner and God.
But the difficulty is that the “Law” does not tell us Who Jesus Christ is.
College students on the whole have only a glimmering of truth in this area.
Coming, as most of them do, from modernist churches or godless cultures, they do not know that Jesus Christ is God, the everlasting Son of the Father, Who existed from eternity in the bosom of the Father, and Who for the sins of a rebellious race became incarnate and suffered, bled, and died for the remission of our sins.
Moreover, the third “Law” makes no mention of the incarnation, the vicarious blood atonement, the resurrection of the eternal Son “for our justification” (Rom. 4:25). Thus it does not really explain what it means by “God’s only provision.”
This is not the apostolic mode of presentation. “Without the shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22). “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7).
Such verses as these make the matter plain.
Any “Law” which may make passing, appeasing references to related verses but which fails to disclose the identity of our blessed Lord or to mention His out poured blood for sinners does not remotely resemble the Gospel preaching of the apostles.
Is Campus Crusade trying to avoid “the offense of the cross”?
It appears to be doing exactly that.
And, according to the third “Law,” what is the net result of Christ’s being “God’s only provision for man’s sin”?
Is it a paean of praise from worshiping hosts of angels around the throne?
Is it the eternal adoration of believers in glory because the God-man’s work of redemption has been consummated on behalf of lost sinners?
Is it antiphonal echoes of wonder resounding through the corridors of Heaven?
The third “Law” gives the answer:
“Through Him you can know God’s love and plan for your life”! Words fail me. How incomplete and man-centered can a movement be?
THE FOURTH LAW
And now the fourth “Law”: “We must receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord by personal invitation; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.”
This “Law” might be regarded as helpful if “Law” Three had explained precisely Who Christ is, how He saved sinners, and what it means for one to call Him Saviour and risen Lord.
But the third “Law” has left a great vacuum. No wonder college Crusaders seem to be so uninformed. May I show what I mean?
In the Crusade’s Collegiate Challenge (Vol. 6, No. 2) we read:
“Val talked with a girl who wasn’t very interested, but as she listened to the Four Spiritual Laws, she decided to invite Christ into her life.
Then she told her girl friend who had also received Christ. ‘Our week had been so dull, but what a change.’ Her friend replied, ‘Yeah, now we’re in the in-group.'”
Some sentimental, uninstructed soul might breathe a sympathetic sigh and remark, “Isn’t that sweet?”
But I should like to ask every truly informed reader a pointed question:
“Does this sound to you like genuine Biblical conversion on the basis of Christ’s atoning work and through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit of the living God?” Of course it does not. And why should it?
In a sheet prepared by Campus Crusade entitled “How to Prepare a Personal Testimony,” their workers are told:
“Don’t use … words such as ‘saved,’ ‘convicted,’ ‘converted,’ ‘born again,’ and ‘sin.'”
These words may be precious to the Crusaders, it is intimated, but “they do not communicate truth to the average non-Christian.”
If this dogmatic thesis were true — and praise the Lord it is not — how in the world have faithful evangelists through the years, men of God who used these blessed words in the energy of the Holy Spirit, been so marvelously instrumental in bringing precious souls to Christ?
Further, is it not true that the Holy Spirit has blessed the use of these very words in the proclamation of the Gospel to sinners?
Was Nicodemus a believer when our Lord told him that he had to be “born again”?
Were the people surrounding Simon Peter believers when he warned them: “Repent … and be converted” (Acts 3:19)?
How dare any movement that calls itself “Christian” toss aside lightly the Words of the Omniscient God?
Is it to cater to the intellectual or spiritual immaturity of college students? In my opinion this is what Campus Crusade is doing, apparently without fear of weighty contradiction.
May I be a bit more analytical?
Three verses of Scripture and words of explanation are given in the footnotes of the fourth “Law.” The verses are:
John 1:12; Eph. 2:8,9; and Rev. 3:20.
Of course, we are always delighted to discover the Word of God, even if it is relegated to footnotes, in any set of guidelines which have to do with leading souls to the Saviour.
And the words of explanation, if they had a solid foundation, could conceivably be of genuine help.
“We must receive Christ; we receive Christ through faith; we receive Christ by personal invitation.” It then adds:
“Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self, trusting Christ to come into our lives, to forgive our sins and to make us to be what He wants us to be.”
All this suggests several questions of supreme importance.
First, not having been told in the first three “Laws” either Who Christ is or how He saved the lost sinner, how can a student really receive the Son of God intelligently as his Saviour?
Second, the word “Saviour” has been bandied about through the centuries.
It is widely misunderstood. It has been given various meanings, some totally false and others deceitfully close to Biblical truth. It is of great importance that true witnesses for Christ always make the title crystal clear.
The followers of Albrecht Ritschl, in referring to Christ, might use the word “Saviour.” They would mean that Jesus saves us, by His moral influence upon our lives, from our base and unworthy motivations.
Mary Baker Eddy, mother of Christian Science, wrote (Science and Health, page 39): “Christ wrought a full salvation from sin, sickness and death.”
Yet Christian Science is as far removed from orthodox Christianity as it can possibly be.
Behold what Mrs. Eddy actually means:
“His consummate example was for the salvation of us all” (page 51).
Is it not plain that, in opposition to this sort of false teaching, the true Crusader for Christ must explain that the Lord Jesus saved us from sin by His perfect sacrifice upon Golgatha?
Even Harry Emerson Fosdick, one of America’s leading modernists, did not hesitate to write of Christ: “He died as he lived, a savior.
That his savior-hood is unique in its scope and impact is obvious, but the principle of it is not unique. We can all share it” (Dear Mr. Brown, page 134).
You see, Dr. Fosdick, one of the leading unbelievers of the twentieth century, called Jesus “Savior.”
And, demonstrating his infidelity to the Word of God, in the same book (page 136) he speaks of the substitutionary atonement wrought by our Lord as a “pre-civilized barbarity.”
Cannot the Crusade be brought to understand that the Savior-hood of the Son of God must be meticulously explained?
Else college students too may speak of Him as “Savior” while meaning something altogether different from the truth!
What a glorious opportunity is missed in the fourth “Law”!
When Christ as He is depicted in the Scriptures is truly received as Saviour, what vistas of rapture break upon the redeemed soul!
Now the sinner has been born again into the family of God. Now he has become a joint-heir with the Son of the Father!
Now Heaven, with all its infinity of blessing, has its gates flung open to welcome him!
How does the Crusade’s fourth “Law” summarize all this wondrous treasure- store of delights? Read its words.
Ponder them carefully and, perhaps, a little wistfully. Compare them with the Bible.
Understand their man-centered nature. Now at long last, the “Law” reads: “We can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.” What an anti-climactic conclusion!
Why not spell out the truth of God on the basis of the everlasting Word of God?
Why not explain the “plan” which the converted sinner may know?
It far transcends a student’s life choices! It reaches beyond the limits of his life pilgrimage. It leads to and enters the portals of everlasting glory!
Why not tell the student this in no uncertain terms?
And why not, in all fairness, warn him that rejection of the Son of God spells not a vague “separation” from God — but the eternal miseries of the lake of fire?
Let the student have all the facts before he makes what the Crusade calls a “commitment.”
(From Campus Crusade Examined in the Light of Scripture by Charles Woodbridge)
Witchcraft is said to be the use of magic through gardless of sex.
Practices which are classed as witchcraft
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=088419454X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThroughout time, any practice which is thought to harm others by intent is said to be a form of witchcraft, some of the more common types of witchcraft are
This is perhaps the most well known of all witchcraft and usually involves the use of a curse or hex performed with the sole purpose of bringing harm to the intended victim or that persons property. Spells can also be used to change a persons will and make them do something they otherwise wouldn’t, an example of this would be to make someone fall in love with you and this type of witchcraft is said to be white magic.
Awakening the dead
Awakening or conjuring the spirits of the dead is a practice of witchcraft known as necromancy, the “witch of endor” is said to have routinely practiced this form of witchcraft for divination and prophecy, and it is also a form that the witch doctors of Jamaica performed in their voodoo ceremonies.
Witchcraft in the past
The Hebrew bible constantly makes reference to witchcraft and condemns the practices as does also the New Testament in the bible, other popular forms of witchcraft which have been documented is African witchcraft and neopagan witchcraft.
The African form of witchcraft we all know is the witch doctor, the witch doctor traditionally practiced medicine as ways of healing people and also putting a curse or hex on unfortunate victims.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0892280859&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrDuring the 20th century a lot of interest was taken into neopagan witchcraft with the most famous documentation being that of Margaret Murray in 1921 when she documented the theory of a pan European witch cult. Magical terms & traditions
* Alchemy – alchemy combines elements of chemistry, physics, medicine and spiritualism and was practiced in ancient Egypt, China, Persia and India. Today alchemy is mainly of interest to historians of science and philosophy for its mystic and artistic aspects.* Astrology – there are many systems, traditions and beliefs that make up astrology and it is thought that knowledge of the positions of the stars can help us to get a better understanding and bring more knowledge of human affairs and events.
* Athame – the Athame is a ceremonial knife that witches use in ritual magic, the witch will take great care when purchasing or choosing the Athame and very often will use a family heirloom as their ceremonial knife.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1567183360&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr* Banishing – this is the banishing of evil forces or spirits and is often performed before and after the main ritual.
* Ceremonial magic – this is a very elaborate and complex ritual and practitioners will use a variety of aids and accessories when performing the ceremonial ritual.
* Curse – a curse is the effect of a supernatural power aimed at someone to bring them bad luck and trouble, the gypsy curse was the more well known among curses.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003KO1JSA&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr* Demonology – demonology refers to a group of people that attempt to name demons and spirits which are said to be malevolent, it is the opposite of angelology which attempts to compile information from the angels for good intentions.
* Divination – this is an attempt to gain information by interpreting omens or a supernatural agency, it is a universal cultural belief which is seen in many cultures and religions up to the present day.
* Geomancy – this is a form of divination which relies on http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1842931857&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrinterpreting markings on the ground, or how a handful of dirt will land when thrown back to the ground, it is a form of divination which was chiefly practiced in Africa.
* Hoodoo – hoodoo is an African traditional branch of folk magic which has been around for thousands of years, it is often used to describe a potion or spell and those who practice it are called hoodoo man. Some people also refer to this type of magic as hoodooism.
* Invocation – this is a spell or chant that is used to call upon the god or goddess for a favour or for protection.
* Magic circle – wicca and pagan traditions use what is known as circle casting, this is generally done with salt, crystals, candles or some other purifying substance, the circle is said to offer protection.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0814730604&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr* Mojo – the mojo is a tiny bag which is normally worm under the clothes and holds a charm, it is used for protection and can also be used when practicing black magic with the intent to bring harm to others.
* Necromancy – this type of black magic involves conjuring the spirits of the dead in order to gain knowledge of future events.
* Obeah – those who practice magic in the west Indies call it obeah and it is similar to voodoo and hoodoo.
* Paganism – this refers to a broad range of spiritual and religious beliefs and is generally associated with someone who worships someone other than god.
* Shamanism – this is a type of magic which users are said to be http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=080506270X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrable to cure suffering and illness, shamans are thought to have some control over many aspects such as the weather, interpretation of dreams and astral projection.
* Tarot – a deck of tarot cards consists of 78 cards which are used for divination, the tarot cards are thought to date back to 12th century Italy when they were used as a game.
* Wicca – wicca is a form of neopagan religion which is found in many countries, the wiccan only practice magic for good and follow the rule of do no harm to others.
* Witchcraft – there are many forms of witchcraft and the term http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1905857837&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrwitchcraft is used when someone practices magic or sorcery of any kind both white and black magic. Types of witchcraft
There is a lot more to witchcraft and witches than the haggard, wart nosed old woman with the black cape, broomstick and black cat. Witchcraft comes in many shapes and forms and has been practised the world over in many different cultures.
The renaissance and gothic Satanism
During the renaissance in the middle ages, the Roman Catholic Church proclaimed that evil people, mostly women had sold their sole to the devil and worshipped him in exchange for certain supernatural powers the devil bestowed upon them.
They were said to be witches who worshiped Diana and other goddesses of this time, they were classed as pure evil and are said to have took part in the kidnapping of babies and killing and eating their victims.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0801068258&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThey were said to posses the ability to fly through the air in the middle of the night and hold meetings where spell casting took place and evil wrong doings. These were all beliefs that the people during this period held and thousands of people were convicted of being a witch and worshiping the devil and were executed in what has come to be known as the “burning times”.
Wicca is a more recent form of witchcraft and is a religion-based form of witchcraft; it is based on deities, seasonal times and symbols and is a form of celebration for the Celtic people. Some followers of Wicca call themselves witches, pagans or neo-pagans and both men and women who follow this religion are called witches.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0805448802&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThere are basically two laws that must be followed and these are the Wiccan rede and the three-fold law. The Wiccan rede says that those following the religion are free to do as they please as long as they harm no other; the three-fold law says that any evil that is done to others will return three times over.
These laws obviously encourage the Wiccan to do only good and any magic they practise is white magic and usually involves healing spells and incantations.
Modern day Satanists worship Satan and there are three main traditions to the followers of this religion, the church of Satan, the temple of set and church of satanic liberation. The church of Satan is thought to be the biggest of these and currently holds thousands of members in the United States.
* Can I follow the path of Wicca and witchcraft and still be a Christian?
There are many common factors of Wicca and being a Christian so the two are not worlds apart, so some say that yes the two can go hand in hand while others (Myself included) claim that there are no connections at all to Wicca and Christianity.
People have different views regarding this; however, there are some main differences to the two which are worth noting, in general, Wicca’s are free to review different systems of belief and take what they want from the different beliefs and blend them together.
Witches believe that there is a single force and this force is http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0785250263&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrdefined as “the one”, with the force being the universe. This divine energy is usually personified and witches will call it the goddess or god; however, this title is only put there to make it easier for the human mind to comprehend. When some witches invoke the god or goddess, they might give those names such as Odin, pan, Dianna or Astarte, but this is only a matter of personal preference.
* Are witches anti-Christian?
Witchcraft and followers of Wicca are very tolerant towards other religions and views, Wiccan’s hold the law of “harm no other” and as such allow others to speak their beliefs freely. Wicca’s believe that there are many paths to the same destination and it doesn’t matter which one you choose to get there as long as no harm is done along the way.
* Wicca’s profess to follow the Wicca rede and this says, “harm no others and do as you will”, does this mean that the witch can do anything they want as long as they can justify it?
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0891076077&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThe whole philosophy behind Wicca is based on living in complete harmony with all other things; this includes every living thing in the world around them. Following this rule, the witch has to make sure that no harm comes to any living thing in the world so the answer would be no, they could not please themselves if they thought that harm was going to come from something no matter how much it could be justified. The tools of witchcraft
There are many sacred tools that witches have used for thousand of years and there are numerous systems and traditions that they use, with some witches choosing to work in very elaborate settings while others use only the bare essentials and prefer a more natural approach. Listed below are some of items and tools that witches commonly use and items which we associate with witches.Athame
The Athame is more commonly know as a knife and most witches will own several ritual knives, the Athame is a very personal and magical tool which the witch will take great care over when http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1616381272&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrobtaining. The Athame should fit comfortably in the hand and feel right with many witches going to great lengths to make their own blades and hone them to perfection.
They also personalize them with great care with runes, carvings and other symbols with special meanings to them, with some witches preferring to use family heirlooms such as letter openers as their Athame.
Who doesn’t think of witches without thinking of the broom, this has been a symbol of the witch for thousands of years and indeed they do use it for the cleansing ritual. Many witches will also place a broom outside of their door with the brushy side up to ward off http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0927545055&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrevil spirits and to stop unwanted outside energies from entering the home.
Perhaps not one of the most widely known tools of the witch, the bell is said to have magical properties and for centuries, it was thought to posses magical or spiritual powers. Bells are also associated with the divine and are commonly used in the opening and closing of ceremonies and the start and closing of spell casting.
The cauldron is another symbol that we all associate with the witch; the traditional cauldron has three legs and is thought to represent bounty and blessings. The cauldron has also come to be known as representing the reincarnation and the cycles of birth, death and rebirth. Witches will burn incense in them or create spells in them and the witch will have cauldrons in different sizes http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0981752802&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrfor the different tasks they want to perform.
The chalice is a cup which is used on the altar and normally represents the female principle of water, chalices can be made of any material but most witches prefer silver or pewter. The chalice is used with the Athame in the enactment of the great rite, which is the union of male and female from which life springs forth. The chalice can also be used to form a bond and will be passed around from person to person so they can all drink from it.
The Paton or altar pentacle
Unlike most religions and beliefs witchcraft does not have a long list of rules which have to be adhered to, there are only two basic laws which must be followed and adhered to at all times. These two rules are known as the Wiccan rede and the three-fold law; these two principles hold what the witches define as ethic and moral behaviour within the practice of witchcraft.
The three-fold law
Many people will have heard the three-fold law put a different way, some people call it cause and effect, it literally means “what we reap, we will sow” and get back three times.
The Wiccan rede
The law of the Wiccan rede states that witches are free to do whatever they wish as long as no harm befalls themselves and others. Harm is defined as physical, mental and physic damage to themselves and others around them. For the majority of today’s witches harming others is simply something that is unthinkable and as such only good or white magic spells are performed.
The universe plays a big part in modern witchcraft and all things are thought to be connected to all others. All spells which are cast by the witch of today are directed towards a specific task and are http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1578564425&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifronly cast after a great deal of thought has been given to them and the outcome.
One question that is often asked of the modern witch is while upholding this law are they then to take mistreatment from others without retaliating, the answer of course is no, witches will place a protection spell around themselves and their loved ones. The protection spell will then neutralize harmful energies back into the universe without doing harm, the witch then waits for justice to even out as what comes around goes around and therefore justice will take place.
Code of ethics for healers
Certain witches are pagan healers and as such, they are bound by a code of ethics which they must follow, the ethics are:
* The primary obligation of the healer is to those they are healing.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0830746013&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr* Any knowledge gained during a consultation should be kept confidential.
* Always be self critical and acknowledge your limitations.
* Work in co-operation with other healers.
* Always take into account the customs, values and beliefs of your client.
* They must not act in any way that would bring the wicca community into disrepute.
* If you feel ethically or morally compromised you have the right to refuse treatment.
* The healer should seek help when treating with herbal treatments. © Copyright 2006 Occultresearch.org – occult, cults, witchcraft & black magic – All rights reserved
There are two major players in the prophetic realm today to stay clear of but only one is the true Beast of Revelation.
Ultimately the true Beast is Islam, but the other Beast is the Roman Catholic Church
Come out of her, my people.
The inside of the tubular shaped leaf is lined with downward pointing hairs. These hairs block an insect from climbing up the tube and escaping. The fluid in the bottom of the tube contains digestive juices that will consume the insect prey.
“Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldees! With a voice of singing, declare, proclaim ‘The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob!’” (Isaiah 48:20). See verses 12-22.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1599160927&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr“Move from the midst of Babylon, Go out of the land of the Chaldeans; And be like the rams before the flocks” (Jeremiah 50:8). “Flee from the midst of Babylon, And every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her” (Jeremiah 51:6).
In our time as well, God’s people are commanded to depart from Babylon. We ARE COMMANDED BY GOD not to participate in the false religion that surrounds us. God calls us out of Babylon and tells us to return to Zion:GOD’S KINGDOM “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1928660320&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrof her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities’” (Revelation 18:4,5).
How can God’s people be in Babylon? Referring to certain people who had not yet heard the Gospel, Jesus said: “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city” (Acts 18:9,10). These were people who were searching for God and whose attitude was such that they would accept the Gospel. Through the preaching of Paul they were given an opportunity to repent and be saved, to escape from Babylon.
In His prayer to the Father, Jesus said: “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word” (John 17:6).
Cornelius is also a good example. He prayed regularly to God and did good deeds (Acts 10:4,31). Because God appreciated this, He provided Cornelius with an opportunity to hear the Gospel. Just through his prayer and good works, however, Cornelius was not yet saved! He was commanded: “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:13,14).
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0970861117&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWhy must we depart from Babylon? “Lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).
What does it mean to depart from Babylon? “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16). “Belial” means “the worthless one” or “the lawless one”.
“Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). “Beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). Read 2 Corinthians 6:14 through 7:1.
Some people think they can compromise with a false religion. They try to serve Christ in the camp of the Antichrist! They think they can serve God inwardly although they remain in a denomination that deviates from the doctrine of Christ.
They are mistaken. If they remain in Babylon, they will perish with Babylon. “Whoever http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1414104405&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrtransgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11).
God warns us
“Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldees!” (Isaiah 48:20).
“Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the LORD” (Isaiah 52:11).
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0977102181&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr“Move from the midst of Babylon, Go out of the land of the Chaldeans” (Jeremiah 50:8).
“Flee from the midst of Babylon, And every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her” (Jeremiah 51:6).
“We would have healed Babylon, But she is not healed. Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country” (Jeremiah 51:9).
“My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord” (Jeremiah 51:45).
“Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon” (Zechariah 2:7).
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000H2M928&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr“TALKING TO THE DEAD” A religious practice of dead religion FORBIDDEN BY God!
Popular television shows like Ghost Whisperer, Medium and John Edward Cross Country all seem to suggest that talking to the dead and communicating with spirits is quite possible and even normal, most of the time these shows are well made and entertaining. I personally like to watch these shows for the pure entertainment value ALONE with THE exception of John Edwards whom I believe is a fake Medium at best AND A REALLY GOOD GUESSER But what does the Bible say about talking to the dead?
The Old Testament term for communicating with the dead is “necromancy.” (Deuteronomy 18:11, also read verse 10) It is forbidden by God: “There shall not be found among you… For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord” (an “abomination,” KJV).
The usual argument that this a spiritual exercise to bring us closer to God does NOT WORK BECAUSE OF THIS SPECIFIC WARNING!
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=067165716X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrPopery unveiled: To which is anexed a short recital of the origin, doctrines, precepts and examples of the great church militant and triumphant
You become born again and set aside for God’s purposes. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”: John 1:12.
As you have seen, the Bible and Catholic teachings appear to be completely different on what really matters most. Which way will you turn?
Will you trust in the living and the risen savior?
The One who rose from the dead so you can live again?
Or will you continue to trust in man’s word which will not be able to do anything for you when you stand at the judgment seat of Christ.
Are you still determined to pray to any dead saint or idol?
What can they possibly do for you once you are in hell?
Why not put your trust in Jesus Christ, the living Lord and Savior the only one who can save you http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1594483353&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrfrom death and hell. “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” Revelation 1:18.
PRAY TO GOD ALONE
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