Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pastor, former law-enforcement officer shares what you need to do when civil disturbance breaks out!

7 simple steps to survival

Police officers are being ambushed nationwide. Radicals are calling for their own blacks only ethnostate in the American South. From Orlando, Florida, to Nice, France, the threat of Islamic terrorism is greater than ever, and it could strike anytime and anywhere. Massive protests are sweeping American cities, gatherings which could easily spiral into violence. When even…

Tim Kaine - a Jesuit? What is a Jesuit and What do They Believe?

 
 


The PNN Network received an email from Hillary Clinton's newly chosen running mate Tim Kaine today. In it he goes through the usual Liberal ideas of government's ability to save us all, through a strong progressive agenda, making college "Free" (as though "free" has any value whatsoever), continuing the gun grab road show, and taking money from business to give to people who didn't work for it. But he also admitted to something very curious. Since his time at a Jesuit boys school, he's been a man of faith. He then goes on to talk of his missionary trips, something required of Jesuits.

No word yet on how much [if any] influence the first Jesuit Pope had in this decision. We'll keep our eyes open.

But what is a Jesuit and what do they believe? Even though we have done extensive teachings on the Jesuit order it was very convenient to have Got Questions [.org]  give us a very nice remedial tutorial on "Who are the Jesuits and what do they believe?" [Emphasis mine]

Answer: The Society of Jesus, more commonly known as the Jesuits, is a society within the Roman Catholic Church that was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and instituted by Pope Paul III. The Jesuit society demands four vows of its members: poverty, chastity, obedience to Christ, and obedience to the Pope. The purpose of the Jesuits is the propagation of the Catholic faith by any means possible.

Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish nobleman and intended to have a career as a professional soldier. A cannonball shattered his leg in 1521, and his career was shattered with it. During his long recovery at the castle of Loyola, he spent much time reading religious books, fasting and praying. As a result of these studies, Ignatius decided to become a soldier of Christ, and hung up his sword at the altar of Mary in Montserrat. From 1522 to 1534, Loyola traveled to monasteries and schools, studying and praying in preparation for a life consecrated to Christ. Toward the end of his graduate studies at the University of Paris, he and six friends who had been meeting for times of extended prayer and meditation vowed to continue their companionship after graduation by living in evangelical poverty and traveling as missionaries to Jerusalem. When war between the Turks and Venice prevented their passage to Jerusalem, they determined to work in the cities of northern Italy. Loyola presented his plan for service to the Vatican and received a papal commission from Pope Paul III in 1540, with Loyola receiving a lifetime appointment as General. 

With the threat of Islam spreading across the Mediterranean region, the Jesuits' first focus was the conversion of Muslims. Shortly after the founding of the order, their focus shifted to counteracting the spread of Protestantism. The Counter-Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries was largely due to the Jesuits. With their vows of total obedience to the Pope and their strict, military-style training, the Jesuits became feared across Europe as the "storm troopers" of the Catholic Church, and they led armies which recaptured large areas for the Roman Catholic Church. Along with the military actions, their work centered on education and missionary expansion, and by the end of Loyola's life in 1556, there were Jesuits in Japan, Brazil, Ethiopia, and most parts of Europe. Many of the explorers of that period were accompanied by Jesuit priests, eager to bring Catholicism to new lands. 

The Jesuits are still active in the world today, though the military actions of those early years have been left behind. The goal of spreading the Catholic faith is still their primary objective, and they do it through missionary work and education. As for their beliefs, they hold to the historic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The practice of "Ignatian spirituality" follows the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola and forms the foundation of their daily lives. The goal of these practices is to conquer and regulate the inner personal life so as to be submissive to God. One of the key practices is separation from all friends and acquaintances, in order to attend Mass and Vespers daily without interference. Another practice is deep and constant meditation on the sins that have been committed, so as to rouse intense sorrow for sins. To address all of their exercises would take far more space than this article allows.

As is the case with the Catholic Church in general, there is certainly an appearance of godliness and spirituality that is readily seen in the Jesuits. When we compare their beliefs and practices with the Bible, however, it would appear that they have "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2 Timothy 3:5, KJV). The difference between Roman Catholic belief and the biblical presentation of the gospel has been well phrased in a question "do or done?" What must I do to get to heaven (Catholicism), or what has Christ done to get me to heaven (biblical Christianity)?




Human Desires vs God's Plan: Psalm 37:1-6

My first job was working in an after school day care program at a local elementary school. I started this job while I was a junior in high school and worked there for ten years. I have learned a lot about children. From watching many children through the years and taking note of their parents' interaction with those children, I have learned much about how to raise and how not to raise children. At this point in my life and marriage, I do not have children but I have an older sister who has two kids that I try to spend time with as much as possible. My niece is five years old while my nephew is two and they refer to me as Unc--a shortened form of uncle. When they are around, they receive most of my attention because I want them to know that I love them, know I care about them, know I want to see them happy and laughing, and know that I'm going to treat them just like I will treat my own children someday. If they could express it to you, they would tell you that they have their Unc wrapped around their fingers.

 Recently our family gathered for an annual family reunion followed by a couples wedding shower for my little brother who will be getting married in a couple of months. Of course, my nephew wanted all of my attention during this time and, yes, I played with him, chased him around, and tickled as much as he could stand. All was good; he loved every minute of the attention and fun. After some time of conversing it was time to eat. Let me explain something: my family may not be good at any other task, but we can cook and we can eat. We are a typical large southern family where every function revolves around food--too much food. My nephew, like the rest of the family, was hungry. We prayed over the food and people started making plates. There was pulled pork, fried chicken, spaghetti, brisket, peas, beans, okra, plus every other side you could think of, and another buffet set up for desserts. While I'm getting hungry and salivating just thinking about all that delicious food, my nephew focused on one item and one item only--the M&Ms. They are, by a long shot, his favorite candy and he wanted them. After I told him that he had to eat lunch before getting the candy, he went from person to person asking for his beloved M&Ms until someone was willing to hand them over. He had such a desire for this candy that he was willing to forego all the delicious and satisfying food before him so he could fill his mouth with chocolate and sugar that would only leave him hungry and unsatisfied in the long term.

 Afterwards I could not help but think about what had transpired and God continued to open my eyes to the spiritual illustration of what had occurred. When I began to meditate on God's Word, I made the connection that in the same way my nephew wanted candy instead of the feast of food, believers sacrifice God's plan for instant satisfaction. Sometimes God's plan includes sweet times and easy times (we will call these the dessert times) where life is good and following God's plan is easy. Other times God's plan includes the meat and protein times where the plan is good but it takes a little more work to process; there is a little more work that needs to be done in order to swallow God's desires but we are not complaining because the meat is good. There are, however, times where God's plan includes vegetables, but we are not talking the good vegetables that you want to scarf down; these are the vegetables that are nutritious but not tasty (in my appetite, this would be the Brussels sprout times—I do not like them.). These are the times in God's plan when He is not giving you what you want; He is giving you what you need so that you can be filled with nutrition and substance that will make you and shape you into the person He desires you to be for His glory. In conjunction with this buffet of God, there are also the warring desires to run after that which is self-serving and filled with instant satisfaction—these are the M&M times. While on the surface they taste good and fill you for a short time, they ultimately leave you unfulfilled and over time leave you with poor nutritional health because they have no beneficial value. What is better, to accept the plan that God has put before you even with its times of nutritional value coupled with horrible taste that ultimately lead you to becoming the person God's called you to be, or to accept the plan that tastes good now while leaving you worse off in the end?

 In Psalm 37 we get a glimpse of the difference between those who pursue God's plan as opposed to those who choose their own path of evil. In Psalm 37:1-2, the Psalmist tells the reader not to worry about, or desire to be like, those who do wrong because they will soon die. Rather, the Psalmist encourages the reader to trust in the ways of the Lord because he will "make your righteousness shine like the dawn and the justice of your cause like the noonday sun" (Psalm 37:6). Thus, we have the difference between the buffet of God and the desires for candy. To pursue the way of God, even when it tastes bad, is to be exalted by God in His timing, but to pursue your desires is to ultimately pursue your end.

 

James Christopher Powell has served as assistant minister in Northwest Florida for ten years. 
He studies at The Baptist College of Florida where he is working on a Master's degree in Christians Studies.
He married his wife Jennifer in March 2014.            

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pastor to Christians: Vote wisely or lose everything

Carl Gallups says "Presidential Elections Matter!"


Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama at the White House (Photo: White House) Instead of a routine endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, onetime candidate Sen. Ted Cruz called for Americans to vote their "conscience" in a speech at the Republican National Convention, setting off a firestorm of criticism. But one leading Christian pastor says…

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

RABBIS: Messiah coming soon! Very soon!

Top rabbis: Unmistakable signs of Messiah coming

Bestselling authors Gallups, Cahn, Biltz, and Cloud weigh in on this fascinating headline story at WND.com


Jerusalem at night in CIA image A conversation between two of the most distinguished rabbis in Israel indicates scholars of the Torah see unmistakable signs of the coming of the Messiah. What's more, in the Messianic era, Christians will become a source of Torah learning, as believers in Jesus Christ rediscover the source of their beliefs…

Monday, July 18, 2016

Reaching Criminals with the Gospel in Israel

Reaching Criminals with the Gospel in Israel 

We at Messiah of Israel Ministries share the Gospel by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We started our day in prayer and began to share Yeshua (Jesus) in the beautiful Tel Aviv area.  

As the team was praying, Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat was sharing the Good News of Yeshua the Messiah with many. There was a group of dangerous looking men without shirts drinking beer and talking loudly. One of them walked over to Zev and asked him what he is doing there talking to people. He asked Zev: "You know who I am?" Zev replied: "No, what is your name?" "Avi Biton", he replied, "My people and I own this place, all the stores, restaurants and ice cream places, and they pay us. And we don't like you here. I'm a big man and want you to leave now." Avi was a step away from violence. It was clear this was a dangerous situation.  

Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat with Avi in the word. Praise Yeshua.

The Holy Spirit commanded Zev to stay and keep preaching the Gospel. Avi asked Zev: "What are you trying to sell here? And you have to pay me after your selling." Zev: "I sell nothing. What I offer is free and all paid for." Avi was intrigued: "Free? What's free?" Zev: "God's love." Then Zev opened the Bible to Psalms 145:14-17 -  

The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.  

Avi fascinated Rabbi Kaduri believed in Yeshua.
Zev: "God loves us so much He sent His son the Messiah to die for our sins. He rose after 3 days. If we believe in Him and repent and turn from our ways, He is just to forgive us. We have eternal life." Avi was in shock. He asked Zev: "Are you not afraid to speak to me like this. Don't you know what power I have?" Zev told him with calm and love: "I'm afraid only of God. We are all small people with a big God.  Zev then opened the Bible to Psalms 33:16-18 - 

No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.  

After reading this, Zev told Avi that God is calling him to turn from the evil ways and stop threatening people for a living. He told Avi that God loves him so much. At that moment, the other men with no shirts on began to shout to Avi: "Do you need help with the trouble maker?" Avi replied: "He is OK. Leave him alone. He is a friend."  
Amazingly, the Holy Spirit was in full control. This dangerous situation has turned into an outreach to criminals. Glory to Yeshua!  

Avi said no one in this world has ever spoken to him like that. The only reason he likes Zev is because Zev is bold and not afraid of him.  Zev told Avi that he just a messenger and if he turns to God and begins to love people, He won't need to bully for a living. God will bless him. 

Avi began to pour his heart out. The criminal became a soft man. Avi explained: "I lost my father when I was 9 years old. My father was shot before my eyes. All I know is to live like this." Zev replied with love and compassion: "I'm sorry for that. Why was he shot?" Avi: "Another criminal wanted his territory." Zev asked: "Avi, do you have children?" Avi: "Three." Zev: "Do you want your children to lose their father?" Avi: "That won't happen." Zev: "Did your father think it would happen?" Avi was silent. The Holy Spirit was in full control." 
Zev: "I'm sure you don't want your children doing what you are doing? Avi: "No, I love my children and want something better for them." Zev: "The Father in Heaven loves you so much, He sent His son the Messiah to die for your sins." Zev and Avi read Isaiah 53.

After reading and studying the Word, Avi asked: "Who is that Messiah?" Zev: "Yeshua." Avi said he felt that was genuine and he wanted to change. 

Amazing! Zev and Avi exchanged contact information. Avi told his fellow members to talk with Zev and listen.  

Zev continued to share with more of Avi's members. The Shekinah glory was everywhere. Zev will meet with them. We pray they will turn to and accept Yeshua as their Savior.  

One thing is certain, they will never be the same again. We give all the glory to the King of kings, Lord of lords, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Yeshua the Messiah. Amen.

 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Study in Proverbs: Proverbs 3:3-4 by James Christopher Powell

Due to the fact that I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I long for the day when I can enter the gates of heaven and experience a peace that surpasses anything I can imagine in this world today. The more I take notice of the ever-increasing madness that is so prevalent in the world today, I cannot help but pray as Jesus taught His disciples to pray in Matthew 6:10 (NIV 1984), "…your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Imagine for a moment what the present earth would look like, sound like, feel like, and be like, if the evil power of Satan was nonexistent and every action taken or word spoken was enveloped in God's character. A world operating in this manner would be nothing short of paradise. There would be no deceiving/deceptive spirit, no selfish intentions, no murder, and no promotion of such things. The more I think about this type of serenity the more I desire it to become reality. However, no such reality exists on planet Earth and will not exist until King Jesus returns to make all things right and establish His reign. However, the question at hand now is, "How does a child of God live, work, or operate on a daily basis in the world today?" How does a Christian continue to do life while making much of the name of Jesus Christ in today's crazy world?

 

In order to answer this question one must first turn to God's Word, the Bible, and it is our roadmap and instruction manual on the road of life. By studying the Scriptures and drawing out principles from its pages and putting them into practice one becomes more like Christ; thus, a witness for Him in one's daily life. Passages abound that address Godly character in a pagan world; Abraham, Joshua, Joseph, Gideon, David, Daniel, Stephen, Paul, and Barnabas (just to name a few) all honored the Lord in their lives and their record survives as a testament to the fact that one can live a life honoring to the Lord even when surrounded by evil today. Thus, by studying the lives of these men, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us and convict us with principles found in God's World, and then applying those principles to our lives, believers today can be a witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ.

 

One passage that continues to resonate in my mind and in my heart, in regards to bearing witness to my relationship with Jesus Christ in my everyday life, is found in Proverbs. Proverbs 3:3-4 reads, "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man." In this passage, Solomon placed a great deal of emphasis on, and challenged his reader/student to cherish, love and faithfulness. When dealing with love and faithfulness one cannot separate the concepts from the life and mission of Jesus Christ. Jesus exemplified both of these characteristics perfectly as he lived His sinless life on earth; He was love and faithfulness personified. In John 13:34-35 Jesus was speaking to His disciples and told them to love one another just as He [Jesus] had loved them. So let us think for a moment about how Jesus loved. John 3:16 describes God's love as so deep and passionate that he sent Jesus Christ to bridge the gap between holy God and sinful man so that man could be in right standing before God, not, however, because of man's own action but because of the gracious nature of God. The love of Jesus was a love that reached down from the paradise of heaven to take hold of my punishment so that I could be made clean and spotless before God. God's love is selfless for he gained nothing for himself by taking my sin or your sin. Yes, the love of God is beyond human description, but selfless is a good place to start. God's faithfulness is displayed in the pages of Scripture repeatedly. Hebrews 11 lists a number on biblical characters who were faithful to God (they trusted, they believed God, and acted upon that trust and belief) and God was faithful (or trustworthy) toward them. We could boil down Hebrews 11 and say those listed took their faith in God and put it to work for the Kingdom of God in a practical way.

 

What we are left with so far is an understanding that love is selfless and faithfulness is trusting God and His character and then putting that trust to work daily. Thus, according to Proverbs 3:3-4, a believer is wise if he wears selflessness and trustworthiness as a garment or a necklace; meaning that a believer should be demonstrating these characteristics daily. However, this is not just an external show. One can only display these Godly principles if they are embedded upon one's heart because one has experienced the life-changing power offered by Jesus Christ. Thus, true love and true faithfulness (two things our world desperately needs) can only come forth from a relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Apart from this relationship, any attempt at love and faithfulness will fail. Therefore, one has two options: 1) accept Jesus Christ as the one who paid the penalty for your sinfulness and bridged the gap between God and you or 2) if you already have a relationship with Jesus Christ, start showing and demonstrating selfless love and true faithfulness in the sphere of influence God has placed you—be a witness.

 

James Christopher Powell has served as assistant minister in Northwest Florida for ten years. 
He studies at The Baptist College of Florida where he is working on a Master's degree in Christians Studies.
He married his wife Jennifer in March 2014.