Aug 16, 2013

The Shack - Mark Driscoll

Monumental Foolishness in a Foolish Monument


Discerning latter-day prophetic fulfillment arises in at least two ways. One is from watching the development of the geographic and socioeconomic conditions described in Scripture for the latter days. In this arena, Israel and the Middle East stand front and center. The other comes through careful observation of spiritual decline, also prophesied for the period of Christ’s return for the church.
On the latter count, a recent Associated Press news release gives us great insight into the current times and seasons. It was datelined Starke, Florida, June 30th, 2013:

“A group of atheists unveiled a monument to their nonbelief in God on Saturday [June 29th] to sit alongside a granite slab that lists the Ten Commandments in front of the Bradford County courthouse.

“As a small group of protesters blasted Christian country music and waved ‘Honk for Jesus’ signs, the atheists celebrated what they believe is the first atheist monument allowed on government property in the United States.

“‘When you look at this monument, the first thing you will notice is that it has a function. Atheists are about the real and the physical, so we elected to place this monument in the form of a bench,’ said David Silverman, president of American Atheists.”

Notice that he presents atheism as a system based upon the observable, the pragmatic and the functional. By definition, atheists do not believe in God. To believe is to have faith, and they are without faith. Their practice is built upon things accomplished. Emblazoned upon one end of the 1,500-pound stone bench is a quote from American Atheists founder Madelyn Murray O’Hair:
“An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty banished, war eliminated.”

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with doing good, but believing that it will improve humanity is the ultimate folly. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Ephesian Christians, refers to their former lives, prior to salvation:

“12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12).
Here, the phrase “without God” comes from the Greek atheos, the very word that comes into the English language as “atheist.” The Greek word for God is preceded by the letter alpha. Scholars call it the “alpha privative.” When attached to the beginning of the word, it means “no God,” or “without God.”

In practical terms, it argues against the acknowledgment of God, who has existed since time immemorial. As we often say, “If there were no God, you couldn’t be an atheist.” That is, an atheist needs a God to argue against. Atheists profess that they would be perfectly content without a god of any sort. In that hypothetical case – if God actually didn’t exist – there could be no working concept of theism, so the unbeliever would have nothing to oppose.

One might argue that in that case, the concept of a god would have been invented, but that seems a vain hypothesis, because in fact, the existence of God has long been both believed and documented. Holy Scripture has more manuscript evidence than any other existing historical document.
It appears then, that those calling themselves atheists must have the active desire to disprove Scriptural history and truth, along with its central assertion that God exists and interacts with mankind.

King David put it bluntly:

“1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. 5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous. 6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge. 7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.” (Psalm 14: 1-7).

The God of Prophecy

In this Psalm, we find a great truth. God not only exists, but His existence has a purpose … to clean up a morally despicable earthly population and produce a righteous generation. And beyond that, He desires to save the world through a restored Zion … His Kingdom on Earth.

Furthermore, He links His work to the return of the Jews to their homeland, something we have witnessed in our lifetimes. For the believers of our generation, Scripture isn’t theoretical, it’s a living reality, witnessed in the daily developments of our world.

From the Scriptural view, the essence of truth is to be found only through our Lord, His Apostles and His prophets. The ability to perceive His truth is not found by unrighteous men – men who have not received the gift of salvation and the accompanying ability to understand spiritual things. Without the truth, they apply human “wisdom,” resulting in the parade of shame that can be seen every day on the news.

Despite their desire to create an improved society, the world of non-believers is increasingly chaotic and dangerous. Without the proper spiritual connection with God, “doing good” is a practical impossibility.

The Apostle Paul put it quite plainly, in unmistakable language:

“12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:12-16).

Common Sense

It is this “mind of Christ” that we have taken for granted in a land that was, from its earliest beginnings, guided by Christian men. Our Founding Fathers, Christian political leaders, missionaries, businessmen, circuit-riding preachers on the old frontier and the traditional churches “on every street corner,” brought God’s blessing. Our culture developed beneath a canopy of protection, as the ubiquitous Spirit of God was spread abroad by a societal majority of Christian faith. Not that we were perfect; we were protected. No doubt, the minions of Satan found it difficult to operate in a land where God’s Spirit was so infused into the common way of life.

A lamentable internal Civil War, a Great Depression and two World Wars failed to crush our rising tide of prosperity and plenty. U.S. missions and charities were unique in the world. CARE packages fed the poor and hungry of every country, even those of the enemy. We were (and still are) known for our charity, though it appears that even this quality is starting to falter, being replaced by government handouts.

We have always been blessed by the presence of God’s Holy Spirit. A Christian ethos flowed through our land like a warm spring breeze. It may truly be said that the “mind of Christ” created what came to be known as “the American dream.” For nearly two centuries, its influence produced what we call “common sense.” It expressed itself as Yankee ingenuity, a “can-do” spirit and smiling neighborliness. America was the fountainhead of invention.

Sadly, we began to take our exceptional qualities for granted. After the return of the last Astronaut from the Moon, we turned inward, to satiate the lusts of the good life. As is always the case, plenty produces apathy, and the assumption that there will always be an excess of bounty.

In the closing decades of the twentieth century, godless men came to power in increasing numbers. More often than not, they ran for office on the aura of Christian belief. It became an obligation to pose for a photograph on the steps of a respected community church, holding high the traditional ten-pound Bible.
After all, most of the voters were church-going people.

Now, in the twenty-first century, we seem about to give up even the pretense of Christian faith. Atheists are encouraged to step out boldly to proclaim their independence.

Judicial Blindness

Atheism is nothing new. As it addresses human history, the Bible is a sad recounting of serial failure on a national and international scale. Gentile powers range across four chaotic empires, which in the end rise to despotic power, only to be completely crushed. The Kingdom of Israel is broken into the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, both of which are finally destroyed, their refugee citizens dispersed to every country on Earth.

We see this pattern because it is in the human character and nature to worship its own, human ideas. Thousands of philosophers, seeking “truth,” end up following their own lusts. Seeking enlightenment, they wander in darkness. Groping for sight and insight, they end up in a deeper state of blindness than when they started.

Israel is the number-one example of this phenomenon. In the first century, under the combined reigns of the Caesars and the Herods, religious Jews longed for the coming of their Messiah. In addition to the prophecies of the Old Testament, they had their Talmudic traditions and rabbinic commentaries about how to predict His coming, and how to recognize Him when He came.

Above all, they spoke of the signs that would manifest themselves in the presence of the true Messiah. They were three in number:

First, He would be able to cleanse the leper. Scripture tells us it happened:

“1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matt. 8:1-3).

Second, He would cast out the dumb demon, as is given in this well-known passage:

“32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel” (Matt. 9:32,33).

Third, He would restore sight to the man born blind, phenomenally described by the Apostle John:
“1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing” (John 9:1-7).

The Bible states that Jesus fulfilled these signs more than once. Early in the Gospels, He began His ministry by fulfilling them specifically. Yet the spiritual leaders of Israel pressed Him for a sign:
“38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:38-40).

Here, we have the ludicrous picture of Israel’s leading spiritual authorities testing the man who had already given them the three signs they expected. Yet, they demanded another one. His answer to them offers us the classic definition of what has come to be called, “judicial blindness.”

Its premise is quite simple. When someone refuses to acknowledge what God has made visible to them, He will remove even the limited sight that they had to begin with. His judgment takes away even their partial vision. In the end, they are rendered completely blind. In extreme cases, they will become professing atheists.

Many Jews have fallen into the trap of non-belief. Among the most famous are the seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza, German psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, scientific socialist Karl Marx and physicist Carl Sagan. There are thousands of others like them.

At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus spoke plainly and openly. After the Pharisees began to attribute His miracles to Beelzebub, He began to speak in obscure language. His disciples asked Him about it:

“10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matt. 13:10,11).

In the end, the Pharisees were completely deprived of His truth, and reduced to total blindness. In the 23rd chapter of Matthew, in a final declaration, Jesus pronounces eight woes upon them. Five times in the same chapter, He refers to them as “blind.” The chapter ends with a prophecy of their final doom:

“29 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:29).

The Jews should have known enough to greet Him with the traditional Messianic greeting, but they did not. One day, they will be given another chance.

Gentile Blindness

Gentiles, on the other hand, have consistently refused to attribute the wonders of the natural world to God’s creative power. They should have been able to recognize that the creation could not have come into being by itself. Instead, they concocted theories about how it spontaneously erupted through its own chemistry and will. Then they raised their hypotheses to a high art.

Strange varieties of nature worship, depicted in the antics of thousands of created gods were their “science.”

Because of that, God took what little insight they had, and reduced it to nothing. The following classic passage chronicles man’s descent into spiritual blindness:

“21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” (Rom. 1:21-24).

Man’s descent into spiritual blindness always results in the same social phenomenon. When spiritual sense disappears, common sense quickly follows. As common sense begins to wane, we discover that it is not so common, after all.

The evidence of God is everywhere. Sadly, denial of Him is on the rise. Atheism is now proclaimed with pride.

Sorry, things will be slow for a few days

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for my father.  He had an aneurysm break on Tuesday, and a series of miracles, thanks to God's goodness and glory and the prayers of the saints, has kept him alive and beginning to recover from a surgery I was told he shouldn't survive.  I won't be able to maintain the scripture work here, but I encourage you to keep reading, keep praying and keep seeking the Truth.  It's not so far away as  you might think......

The Restless Church (Part 12a - We Have Lost Our Men)


Aug 13, 2013

Is homosexuality a sin?

Kudos to Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church for taking these difficult questions during the services and being prepared to answer them in a Biblical way. 


The Second Coming of the Antichrist - Peter Goodgame

It's a slightly different look at the Book of Revelation, but he's done his research and brings out some interesting points.  Of all the ancient rulers who were "types" of Antichrist's throughout history, Nimrod was the first.  And his Father/Mother/Son trinity of pagan worship (Nimrod/Astarte/Tammuz) has continued throughout the past 4,000 years as it spread through Egypt (Osiris/Isis/Horus), Greece (Zeus, Hera, Apollo), etc.  Worth the listen here...very interesting stuff.

Very critical to understand the original translation of Deuteronomy 32:8 was that the nations were ordered according to the number of the sons of God (angels), not sons of Israel.  This helps us to theologically understand today why evil is so prevalent in all of the nations.  It's because the authority to govern those nations was given to angels, which had the power of choice.  And they chose poorly.  For more info on these read Lambert Dolphin's "God's Rule by Means of Angels".

Also catch the origins of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Just one more secret society for Satan to use.  Good research.

Mystery "Angel" Priest Appears To Save Trapped Girl

This came up a few days ago, but it's an interesting story no matter what you think.  That the girl asked the rescuers to pray is a pretty cool point in the whole story as well.


In case you thought this was just one of those's the original news report.  Pretty cool...


Wretched: Evolution professors can't think of a single proof.