Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)
The Wicked, the Compromiser and the Fundamentalist (part II)
Monday, February 26, 2007
watch out for life's Ahabs...
As mentioned in the first post
of this series, king Ahab of Israel knew he didn't have a chance to vanquish the southern kingdom of Judah, so instead of picking a fight with king Jehoshaphat, Ahab became Jehoshaphat's buddy. The two kings, despite their differences in matters of faith, became such good friends, they allied themselves together through the marriage of Jehoshaphat's son and Ahab's daughter. Look at this folly:"Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab. And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people: that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead. And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war." (2 Chronicles 18:2-3)
You know what I think of whenever I read the above Text? I think of the countless e-mails and comments I have received from Romanists. "We are brothers," they claim, and yet, just like Ahab, they are as black as sin itself. "We'll war together against abortion, the homosexual agenda, and other social policies," they say, all the while worshiping before wood and stone.
So foolish Jehoshaphat who had been so wise in guarding his kingdom against the idolaters to the North in the beginning, had now let the king of the North in by the back door. He was now having feasts with the most ungodly king in Israel's history, and making plans to go on military campaigns with him. Foolish indeed, but remember, Jehoshaphat was a saved man (as we saw in part I of this series
). Being one of God's saints, Jehoshaphat asked Ahab to inquire of the Lord through prophets in order to see if God wanted the men to go to war together against the Syrians in Ramoth-gilead. A practice that was "a must" amongst all godly kings in Judah. Ahab happily indulged:"Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king's hand." (2 Chronicles 18:5)
Now Jehoshaphat was compromising and was being a "Class A" fool by aligning himself with wicked Ahab, but he wasn't down right stupid. It was clear to Jehoshaphat that Ahab was presenting him with four hundred "yes men", not prophets of the Lord. That's why Jehoshaphat in the following verse asked Ahab if there was "another prophet" they could inquire of. Ahab reluctantly mentioned the name of a prophet who "never prophesied good of him", a prophet called Micaiah (a prophet not prophesying good of an evil king... sounds promising doesn't it?)
Enter Micaiah. After being warned by Ahab's minions not to prophecy evil of the king, for such a prophecy would surely bring sharp condemnation, Micaiah stands before Ahab and Jehoshaphat and tells them EXACTLY what Ahab wanted to hear. He said:"Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand." (2 Chronicles 18:14b)
Now it was Ahab's turn to prove that while he was an exceeding evil man, he wasn't down right stupid either. Ahab knew that this prophecy was just to good to be true, especially considering the source. That's why Ahab in the following verse charges Micaiah to stop fooling around a tell the truth. So Micaiah gave him the truth:"Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace." (2 Chronicles 18:16)
Micaiah even went further. Telling both kings that the Lord had sent a lying spirit, a demon no doubt, to entice Ahab into going into battle against the Syrians. A battle that would go very badly for Israel and would lead to the death of king Ahab. Ahab, of course, didn't like this revised prophecy, and right before king Jehoshaphat eyes, Micaiah's brother-in-the-Lord, had Micaiah sent to the dungeon; and there he would stay until Ahab's supposed return.
So just to be clear, let's recap Jehoshaphat's less than stellar decisions in our Text:-he arranged a marriage between his son and Ahab's daughter, effectively bringing both families together.-he visited wicked king Ahab to have feasts with him.-he disregarded the prophecy of the Lord, warning of the folly of attacking the Syrians.-he watched a fellow brother-in-the-Lord be persecuted and thrown in prison, and the Scriptures do not record him doing anything about it!
In part III, will study the consequences of Ahab's, Jehoshaphat's and Micaiah's actions... see you then...
Labels: Biblical Separation, Fundamentalism, Holiness
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, February 24, 2007
woefully lacking in ability...
I just got home from another Friday night of evangelism in my city's marketplace. I was all by my little lonesome again... actually, that's not quite accurate. As my pastor once put it:"It's just you and Jesus tonight, Rand."
It was a cold night, the mercury dipping down to -15 Celsius (or 5 Fahrenheit)
, and the wind was brutal on my face. The Lord nonetheless gave me the ability to last three hours. Three hours of open-air preaching, Bible tract distribution (though I really didn't pass out a whole lot of tracts tonight... my fingers were frozen and I couldn't pass them out well with my big mitts on)
, and I walked around downtown with my Romans 6:23
It was another difficult night of preaching for me, personally. The Lord is still dealing with me in a manner He hasn't done in awhile. I have become much more sensitive to my errors and sins (and I assure you, they abound...)
. This, of course, is the consequence of a prayer I've been praying of late. I've been asking God to judge me, and with that judgement, to chastise me when I go wrong. He answered that prayer."As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelation 3:19)
I couldn't stop finding areas where my Gospel presentation lacked tonight. I kept questioning myself on my motives: was I doing this for the Lord, or was it all just a carnal, religious exercise? When I didn't go out of my way to talk with the people around me, I felt like I wasn't bold enough, and when I did start conversations with the people, it pretty much always turned out to be unprofitable. That's how things were for me tonight, and I guess it's a natural extension of how things have been going in the other facets of my Christian life.
One thing is certain, I have to shape up.
The night wasn't a total loss. I did have a long conversation with Collin, the attendant of the parking garage right behind my favorite preaching spot. Collin came by and started a conversation with me on how he could be sure he is Heaven bound.
"Are you born-again?" I asked.
Collin hesitated, so I knew, at that point, he wasn't.
"My dear friend, Jesus tells us in the Bible that if you are not born-again, you're not going to Heaven. That's it, that's all," I said.
I tried to explain, on several occasions, what the Second Birth was all about, but Collin really didn't seem to have any time for it. He kept bringing things back to what he could do so that he'd be good enough
to squeak into Heaven.
"So, if I pray, and read my Bible, and go to church, then God will forgive me of the bad things that are in my life and I'll go to Heaven, right?" he said.
It was clear Collin was trying to serve two masters. He wanted the peace and assurance of being in Christ, but he wanted to keep his sin too. I encouraged him to read John 3 tonight (he said he would)
, and I told him that he should pray that God would give him spiritual life. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Collin showed up at church this Lord's Day, but I will not be taking that as a sign of regeneration. The poor man is trying to merit favour with God. That being said, I do hope he comes to church, so he could hear more of the Bible. Perhaps the Lord would be pleased to save him at one of our services.
Please keep Collin in your prayers.
On my way back home tonight, I walked by a bar. I had my Romans 6:23 sign up for all to see. A young man knocked on the window and gave me a "thumbs up". I gave him a perplexed look and pointed out to him that HE WAS IN A BAR!!! That was the end of his "thumbs-up". Just a few seconds later, a young lady walked past me and claimed she was a Christian. I asked her if she was sure about that (she was dressed very immodestly)
. She said she was certain. Then she lined-up to get in a popular dance club. As I walked past her, I said:
"Jesus most certainly wouldn't want you to go in there, miss."
I pray that the Lord's hand will be heavy on the young lady, and the young man in the bar. Through my standing out there with my Gospel sign, I truly hope that the Lord will ruin their night of partying. I pray that the Lord will give them no rest, until they confess their sin, and forsake their wicked ways. How glorious it would be if for one of the two, or for both of them, tonight would be the last time they step into these houses of drunkenness and immorality.
That's the notes for tonight, dear readers. Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed weekend, especially the Lord's Day.
Brothers and sisters, I covet your prayers.
Labels: Friday evangelism
God... Version 6.0 ! ! !
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
a public service announcement...
I hate posting something other than the next part of my "The Wicked, the Compromiser and the Fundamentalist" series, but with Prayer Meeting tonight, I didn't have time to finish Part II, and I just couldn't keep this news from you:Version 6.0 of God
Rand(H/T to brother Pascal who passed this news to me)
The Wicked, the Compromiser and the Fundamentalist (Part I)
considerations from 2 Chronicles...(To get the most out of this post, it will be necessary for you to read 2 Chronicles chapter 17 to chapter 21 and verse 7)
In a series of sermons on the topic of the revivals in the kingdom of Judah, my pastor shared with us this most relevant teaching from the book of 2 Chronicles. The account under review involves, primarily, three men: Ahab (king of Israel), Jehoshaphat (king of Judah), and Micaiah (prophet of the Lord). Now while Judah is a tribe of Israel, the complete kingdom of Israel was split due to a civil war which had taken place roughly 50 years prior to the action of our Text. Judah and Benjamin, two of the twelve tribes of Israel formed a kingdom to the South, while the other ten tribes formed another kingdom to the North.
The Lord was, without a doubt, with the Southern kingdom; the Lord gave Judah several godly kings which led the nation towards God. The Northern kingdom didn't get one, single godly king; all of them were wicked wretches which led the 10 tribes into the ways of the heathen, that is, to idolatry. In the portion of Scripture we are currently studying, we have this fact presented clearly. Consider king Ahab of Israel and king Jehoshaphat of Judah:"And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him." (1 Kings 16:30-33)"And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance." (2 Chronicles 17:3-5)
Naturally, king Jehoshaphat was leery of evil king Ahab. After years of civil war between the North and the South, Jehoshaphat knew better than to trust Ahab. He knew that if Ahab had the chance, he would surely attempt to conquer Judah in order to set himself as king over all twelve tribes of Israel. That's why Jehoshaphat wisely prepared Judah against Ahab, by directing the priests, the soldiers, and building up defences:"And they (priests and Levites) taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people. And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat... And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store. And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem... These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah." (2 Chronicles 17:9-10, 12-13, and 19)
Without a doubt, when Ahab and his armies looked down at the kingdom of Judah, the temptation to go up for a fight wasn't too strong. You think Iraq today is a quagmire? Attacking Judah in those days would have been a disaster! Jehoshaphat had done his job right. By submitting himself to God and His commandments, the Lord gave him wisdom and protection from all his enemies.
All was well in godly Judah, but evil Ahab wasn't the type to give up so easily. The man was thoroughly evil, but he was no idiot. He knew that there was no way to beat Jehoshaphat militarily, so Ahab went by the back door. Ahab here is a perfect type of the devil himself. If the devil can't beat a saint one way, you can rest assured he will try to beat him another way.
Ahab wasn't going to destroy Judah by the sword; rather, he would destroy it with handshake...
(To be continued)
Labels: Biblical Separation, Fundamentalism, Holiness
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, February 17, 2007
lone ranger rides again...
Three hours of street preaching done tonight. I didn't really want to be there, but the market needed the Gospel, and no one else was going. So I went. It wasn't terribly cold tonight so there was a steady stream of people walking the streets of the marketplace. Despite being surrounded by crowds of people who hate the Gospel and those who preach it, the Lord kept me safe throughout the night. Praise Him.
Now, I wrote that I didn't want to be there... I've said this before in a confession, but this time, the reason I didn't want to go wasn't at all carnal. The Lord has been dealing with me this week in a way He hasn't done in a long time. I think it's a "little reviving". Anyway, all I want to do lately is keep my face to the ground and pray and lament my helpless state to the Lord. It all started with a false charge against me, which snowballed, causing me to go into self-examination mode. I was in this frame of mind when I prepared my Sunday School lesson, and as I was reading the Scriptures that went along with my Sunday School study, I realized that I couldn't preach the material without being a 100%, no-kidding, "Class A" hypocrite. Since then, the hand of the Lord has been heavy upon me, forcing me to my knees. I'll keep you posted on further developments.
So with all sorts of heaviness of spirit, I carried on with the work of evangelism tonight. I wondered if the Lord would do something dramatic considering his on-going work of grace in my heart, but sadly, I have nothing but the usual to report. I was scorned and mocked in both of Canada's official languages, repeatedly, and most of the souls in the marketplace couldn't have cared less about the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. On the upside, I did distribute a fair number of Bible tracts and a whole lot of people have read the Bible sign I was carrying (I could hear them mumbling the words as I walked by them). The Lord use His Word in the hearts of the people who have seen or heard my preaching tonight.
I'm not going to go into details tonight, actually I'm going to close the notes right now. It's late and I want to spend some more time alone with God, before going to bed. Have a good weekend, dear brothers and sisters in the Lord."Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psalm 85:6)"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands." (Psalm 138:8)
Labels: Friday evangelism
Mary and Martha
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
are you learning???Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:38-42)
As far as Bible teachings, this one isn't one of the most complex. Don't waste your time on the vain things of this world and stick with Jesus. This simple account, with its simple teaching, sadly, is greatly ignored today.
These days, we have believers who think that, so long as what they are doing isn't outright evil, then what they are doing is 100% good. The above Scripture blasts that concept to pieces. Martha wasn't doing anything wrong. She was serving her house guests; probably distributing beverages, getting dinner ready... etc. In and of themselves, nothing wrong with these activities.
These vain activities, however, become a problem when they take a soul away from the Lord. Mary had chosen wisely, in that, she took her seat as close to the Lord Jesus Christ as she could find, and listened to his teachings. Martha probably missed much of what the Lord was teaching that day because her mind was on the dishes and the cooking and the setting of the table... etc. Mary chose best, Martha chose vanity. Both women were saints, both were saved. Yet one chose the best way, the other chose a troublesome way.
The Lord, in his kindness, tried to reason with Martha. He explained to her that her sister had chosen the better way and that it would be best for her to imitate her instead of being critical of her. Now you would think that, considering the source of this admonition, that Martha would have learned something that day. You would think that she would never again waste her time on vain matters when the Lord was around. Well, consider this:"Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment." (John 12:1-3)
Lazarus was at the table with Jesus. Mary, again, was at Jesus' feet honouring him with costly ointment. And where was Martha? Tucked in v.2, we read: "...and Martha served..."
. How sad is that? Martha hadn't learned a thing. She had been told her mistake and instead of repenting, she was once again focused on vanity, instead of having all her attention on the Lord.
Now it's easy, looking at these two portions of Scripture and conclude: "what a foolish woman!" But consider how many times you have been instructed of the Lord, through his Word, and have continued in vanity and error, instead of correcting your foolishness. I have seen this take place in my life, as I have seen it take place in the lives of others.
This is a grievous thing.
It is our responsibility, as God's people, to not only shun evil paths, but to walk the best and most profitable ways. Consider Martha. Consider Mary. "Choose that good part, which shall not be taken away from you."
Monday, February 12, 2007
checklist for the Canadian street preacher...
Just got an e-mail from brother Marcel, from "The Beauty of Holiness"
. Every week I get an e-mail from him in which he gives a report of his street preaching venture in Quebec City; it is very much like my Friday Night Notes. In this particular report, I got a real good laugh when I read this (note that Lucy is Marcel's wife)
"Lucy is always interested that I tell her what happened on the street preaching in Ottawa. I can have these news because I am reading Rand's blog and his friday night notes. Rand is also a member of Calvary Baptist Church and he is helping pastor Tim (also a member of Calvary Baptist Church) to establish a solid doctrines of grace church in Ottawa. Rand has done street preaching every friday nights for 7 years now and pastor Tim has done it for more than 15 years very faithfully. One friday night a few months ago, Rand has been spat in the face by an agressive sinner. I told that story to Lucy. Since that time, Lucy is always carrying Kleenex with her when we go out on the streets. She can forget many things but not Kleenex. She said: "I could not stand to have somebody spit in my face without having a Kleenex to wipe that out" . If ever you come to preach with us in Quebec City, be at ease, Lucy always carry Kleenex... By the way, Quebec City sinners have not get to that point yet...."
What really made me laugh is that Kleenex has been a must for me, on all of my street preaching endeavours. Whether someone spits on you, or throws something, Kleenex sure comes in handy.
So now, for my dear sister Lucy, and her team (and for any other soul who will get involved in street preaching in Canada)
, here is my "top 10 rules to limit the damage", for the street preacher:1-
Keep Kleenex on you!!! From wiping off whatever you have received, to simply taking care of your runny nose, Kleenex is a really help.2-
DO NOT (and I cannot stress this enough)
accept any drinks or snacks from anyone you do not know personally. Do not take a warm cup of coffee even if it is -20 Celsius. Do not accept a Gatorade if it's 30 Celsius. You have NO IDEA how easy it is for someone to spike a drink with drugs or other "nasties". I'M NOT BEING PARANOID, I KNOW OF SUCH AN INCIDENT.3-
Do not wear your best. If you are involved in street preaching for over 2 years, you will be pushed around, you will have objects/liquids thrown at you, and you don't want your new 200$ suit stained for good.4-
Know where to find a police officer. In my city, there usually is a police officer parked around the corner from where we preach. If things get out of control, that's where we get our help. If you don't know where to find an officer, you should keep a cellphone with you.5-
DON'T LONE RANGER! The Lord sent his disciples two by two, so don't go out to war all by your little lonesome (Luke 10:1)
. If no one in your fellowship will go with you, shame on them! If there really is no other option and you have to be the lone ranger, then at the very least, keep a cellphone on you.6-
When speaking to the unconverted, especially those who are antagonistic, use the term "my friend" when speaking to them. I have disarmed several angry sinners just by staying calm and referring to my adversary as "my friend".7-
When faced with the possibility of a violent confrontation, subtly put anything that is in your hands away. You want to be ready to defend yourself, but at the same time, you don't want your adversary to know you are readying yourself for a fight.8-
Never preach under a balcony or in front of any building where you could be beaned with a projectile. The parking garage we preach in front of has two sections where there is nothing but a brick wall; THAT'S WHERE WE PREACH! If we preached in one of the areas where there is a window, sooner or later, we would be on the receiving end of something unpleasant.9-
Keep your distance from people who are intoxicated. The best you can do for such is to give them a Bible tract that they can read when they sober up. You will not make any progress discussing the fine points of the Faith with someone who has their brains swimming in Jack Daniels. At best, you will be wasting your time, at worse you'll have someone vomiting or passing out in front of you.10-
In the winter time, WEAR THE EXTRA SHIRT/SWEATER/JACKET. You have no idea how many times I have found myself looking at an extra piece of clothing and thinking: "should I wear that too?" The answer to that question, I assure you, is always "YES!!!" In the winter time, it's cold in Canada. Even if you have 5 sweaters and two jackets, you will not die of heat!
There you have it, brothers and sisters. Preach on, and preach safe. Remember there are only two times fit for a Christian to be preaching the Gospel: IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON! (2 Timothy 4:2
Take care and God bless,
Friday, February 09, 2007
did you know we were at war???This is what I do every Friday night. Right after work, I drop by my pastor's house, and after a short time of prayer, we both pick up some Bible literature, a Gospel sign and we make our way to the marketplace of our city, which is located right in the middle of downtown.
I've been at this for 7 years now. My pastor has been at it for decades. The overwhelming response to our preaching is mockery, insults and occasionally violent hatred. While such words and acts are no fun, nothing aggravates us more than this: the indifference of our brethren.
In the conclusion post of my series called "A Heart For The Lost
" (a series which hardly gets any traffic at all
), I expressed my frustration with the down right lamentable number of saints who get into any degree of mass evangelism. My frustration still hits the roof when I hear believers hide behind 1 Corinthians 12
, claiming they do not have the "gift of evangelism". I don't know how many times we've encountered Christians during our street preaching, who claimed that what we were doing was "good for us"
, but that it wasn't for them. Every time, I would think:"Do they not realize that the Great Commission is an unqualified statement to all saints? Do they not get that we are at war?"The Great Commission:
You know, every believer, when he/she first reads the Great Commission, he/she knows EXACTLY what it means. A believer has to be in church for some time to forget all about the Great Commission. How does this happen? Simple. The saint reads the Mark 16:15
, and knows that he/she must declare the Gospel to the lost. After months of evangelism, the saint realizes that God isn't saving people like He did in the book of Acts. Looking for comfort and encouragement, the saint looks to his brothers and sisters in his local assembly and realizes that all of them have quit evangelism along time ago. The saint quits, just like everyone in his/her church.
In charismatic circles, there is much talk today of "spiritual warfare". Their warring though is carnal, and therefore ineffective. In Baptist circles, you're hard pressed to find anyone talking about spiritual warfare, and those who do, speak of it in a pure theoretical or academic fashion. My pastor once told me he had received an invitation to attend a conference on evangelism at a Fundamental Baptist church we have some fellowship with. He told me that none of the men who headed up the conference had ever done any kind of street preaching, tract distribution or other forms of mass evangelism. So for a week, these great Baptist doctors in theology would "talk" about evangelism. My pastor's assessment: a total waste of time.
And I couldn't agree more.
There is such a thing as spiritual warfare, and it's not about finding demons behind every hardship or sickness, nor is it something that happens once in a blue moon. WE ARE AT WAR! RIGHT NOW! We read, in the Bible, of spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6
, and we are commanded there to put on spiritual armor to wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Well, where does one get into this wrestling match? At a charismatic crusade when faced with a poor soul dying of some deadly disease? At a Baptist conference where everyone stuffs there faces with food and then spend some time "discussing" the subject of evangelism?
The principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world are... well... IN THE WORLD! That's the battlefield my friends. Church and church conferences are the believer's base camp. There shouldn't be much wrestling there. So are you on the battlefield? Are out there, in your communities, preaching and distributing God's Word? Are you doing it consistently? Or just "when you feel like it"?
Consistency is key.
Imagine, for a moment, a military officer going in the forward trenches of a battlefield to inspect his unit. Once there, he finds that over half his men are missing, and why are they missing in action? Because they had shopping to do. They didn't want to miss the Superbowl. They were too tired to bother with the whole war thing tonight. How impressed do you think the officer would be with his unit? How impressed do you think the Lord is with you, dear brother and sister, when, despite all your great doctrine and spot-on theology, you choose to vainly waste your time instead of proclaiming the Truth in the battlefield of this world?
What? You'd love to be more involved in mass evangelism but you don't have the time? How much TV did you watch this week? How much time did you spend playing some sport or some other game? What have you replaced the battlefield with this week?The conclusion of the matter:
Despite my numerous shortcomings, I remember the Great Commission, and I'm doing something about it. I could be doing alot more, but I'm doing something. Lord willing, and by His grace alone, I will be at my post tonight. I will be warring and wrestling tonight.
What will you be doing?
It's 12:30am, and I just got back home from our open-air evangelism. I thought I would be by myself again tonight since Pastor Tim is still recovering from his lung infection, but the Lord blessed me by getting brother Laz off work early. The two of us preached the Word for 2.5-3 hours, we distributed a fair number of Bible tracts and we had a few one-on-one conversations.
I was a real "weather-wuss" tonight. I was only -14 Celsius (that's 7 Fahrenheit)
which, while still quite cold, is warmer than the last two weeks' -20 Celsius temperatures. My toes and fingers froze within the first hour, making it extremely difficult to walk around and distribute Bible tracts.Tonight's Good:
The parking garage attendant, who works right behind our "preaching corner", came by again as I was preaching the Gospel. He said: "Preach it, my friend... I'm with ya!" Despite his kind words of support, I'm still not sure if the man is genuinely saved. Please pray that the Lord would give me an open door with Collin (that's his name)
. Nothing would make me happier than to be used of God to bring this man, who has shown us much kindness, in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus.Tonight's Bad:
As we made our way back home, after our time of evangelism, a young man came out of a bar line-up to ask me what I was doing. I told him I was preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He wasn't too impressed with my answer and told me he didn't need to have the Gospel preached to him; he told me "he went to church all the time"
. I answered that that didn't matter in the least. I told him he was a lost sinner, just like like all the others in the line-up to enter the bar. NOW HE REALLY WASN'T IMPRESSED! So he upped the ante. He told me "he prayed to God all the time"
. I told him God didn't hear his prayers, for "if he regards iniquity in his heart, the Lord won't hear him" (Psalm 66:18)
. This infuriated him even more. He started cursing and blaspheming, and at that point I told him that if he didn't want the Truth of the Gospel, I wasn't forcing him to walk with me. He walked away yelling obscenities at me. Please pray that the Lord give this poor soul no rest, until he seek the Living God.In closing: "I thank God for the privilege to be a nobody telling everybody about Somebody that can save anybody."
Goodnight, dear readers...
Labels: Friday evangelism
Thursday, February 08, 2007
a few online gems...1- Of Like Precious Faith and Practice:
My brother-in-the-Lord, Marcel, started a blog a few weeks ago, and while I have been meaning to link him for a long time now, I'm only now getting my act together.
Brother Marcel and I are members of the same local church, though roughly 500 kilometers separates us. He is currently labouring in Quebec City, trying to establish a French-speaking fundamental Baptist church. Like pastor Tim in my city, Marcel holds meetings in his home where a few souls meet for worship and he is a faithful street evangelist.
If you like this blog, you'll love brother Marcel's "The Beauty of Holiness"
. If you can read French, you could check out the mirror site "Magnifique en Sainteté"
.2- Good Christian Blogs:
These are blogs that I go and check out from time to time, and I have profit in reading. Some are close to me in doctrine and practice, others are a little further. Nonetheless, I have been blessed by visiting these blogs and I hope you will be as well...
-About a year ago now, a brother-in-the-Lord named Daniel J. Phillips contacted me by e-mail. He was blessed by a post I had written on Calvinism and Dispensationalism, for like me, he's a Calvinist and a Dispensationalist. Since then, I have on occasion dropped by his blog to see what he was up to and, well, I like him. LOL. So go check out "Biblical Christianity"
-Over that last few months, I have been coming across links to this website quite often: "M in the Gap"
. Wondering who was "Mr. Popular", I've been keeping an eye. "M in the Gap"
is a Bob Jones University graduate and a Baptist fundamentalist. I don't think he's a Calvinist, but he does have Ann, who is a Calvinist, contribute posts on his website. His posts (and the posts of his contributors) are usually quite good and thought provoking.
I'm going to leave it at that for now. I've got my eye on a couple of other sites that I'm thinking of adding to my links, but I'll give myself more "examination time".
What can I say... I'm pick-y!!!
The Charismatic Movement - Its Beginning
Monday, February 05, 2007
wicked from Day 1...
As we have already seen in my last post on the Charismatic Movement
, the sign gifts that were exercised by the apostles and the early church pretty much vanished somewhere between 300-400 A.D.; about the same time that the Bible was put together as a whole. For over 1400 years, no mention is made of born-again saints of God speaking in tongues, prophesying, or exercising any other sign gifts which we read of in the book of Acts.
It was in the late 1800s that we find the first mentions of sign gifts being exercised in "evangelical churches" (note the quotation marks)
. Cases of men or women "speaking in tongues", "prophesying" future events, and "miraculous healings" were being reported, and most of these cases sprang from the "Holiness Movement" (a group which professed that a Christian could attain unto moral perfection in this life)
. The problem with these rumoured occurrences is that just like to claims of charismatics today, none of the said gifts and miracles were verified or proven to be of the Lord.
If anything, when one studies the men and women who are the recognized pioneers of the charismatic movement, he/she finds that these souls were less than trustworthy in their claims. I submit this list of charismatic pioneers, for your consideration:Charles Parham:
It was at his "church", in Topeka, Kansas, where it was claimed that a woman, Agnes Ozman, spoke Chinese for three days after having hands laid on her. Of course, no Chinese person or anyone outside the "church" could confirm this story. Nonetheless, the story took off, and other "churches" began to dabble with the idea of "speaking in tongues". The whole thing, of course, was a giant lie, which became manifest when Parham sent a "missionary" to India, A.G. Garr, claiming that he didn't need to learn the native language. Garr was to receive the ability to communicate with the Indians through the "power of the Holy Spirit". Want to guess what happened?
Parham was a heretic. He didn't believe in a literal Hell, but like the JWs, he believed in "soul destruction". He believed in anglo-Israelism; a false doctrine that claims that the British were part of the lost tribes of Israel. He professed two separate creations of men (yes... two!)
: one being Adam and Eve, the other were a race of soulless men created prior to Adam and Eve. He claimed that all Christians had the ability to heal all manner of sickness, yet he lost two of his sons to sickness, and he was responsible for the death of a nine-year old girl who had a medically treatable sickness (the Holy Spirit was to cure her, you see)
. Parham himself, spent a great deal of time in hospitals, vexed with all manner of sicknesses.William Seymour and the Azusa Street Mission:
Seymour was a member of the Holiness Movement
and after being influenced by the teachings of Charles Parham, he claimed that the "second blessing" in which Christians become perfectly holy is evidenced by speaking in tongues. His meetings at the Azusa Street Mission, in Los Angeles, was what you would typically see in many charismatic churches today: mass confusion. People dancing, jumping up and down, falling, trances, "slaying in the Spirit", "tongues," jerking, hysteria, strange noises, and "holy laughter." The sad effect of Seymour and his mission was that many souls visited his wicked house, looking for some supernatural experience. These souls would then leave the Azusa Mission and start their own charismatic cult in other cities. A movement was born.William Branham:
Branham was the original Benny Hinn. He claimed to be a faith healer, but again, nothing but the contrary could be verified by outside sources. Branham also denied the Trinity, taught that Cain was the product of a sexual union between Even and the serpent, and claimed that he was the angel or Revelation 3:14 and 10:7. He was faker than a three dollar bill, yet still today, many charismatics will call this wicked man: a great man of God.George Went Hensley:
The father of snake-handling, my friends. Yes indeed, it wasn't enough to speak in tongues, prophecy and heal by the "power of the Holy Spirit"... no... no. This charismatic preacher thought it was necessary, as a practice of faith for people to fool around with poisonous snakes just to show that the Lord would keep them from harm, as we have it in the last chapter of the Gospel of Mark. Now where in the Bible Hensley got the idea that saints should go looking for snakes... I haven't the foggiest. Again, do you want to guess what the results of this foolish practice was?Albert Benjamin Simpson:
A Canadian heretic (man, I'm ashamed),
who like most of the early charismatics, was a proponent of the Holiness Movement
, and it's concept of a "second blessing". He founded a "missionary" organization called "Christian and Missionary Alliance", and this organization is credited with the establishing of the "Foursquare Church" and the "Church of Christ - Holiness"; two liberal denominations which teach and spread false doctrines.
Okay, I think with this short list, you will all get the picture. The modern charismatic movement was born out of another false doctrine: the Holiness Movement
. The men and women responsible for starting and spreading the charismatic movement were all heretics, and some of them, of the worse sort. The fruits of the ministries of these souls were bad: from the churches and movements they started, to the individual results in the followers' lives. BUT WE ARE TO ACCEPT THAT THESE ARE THE PEOPLE GOD USED TO BRING THE SIGN GIFTS BACK!!!
The modern charismatic movement, as missionary Paul Washer has once stated, is pure FALSE FIRE. It is an imagined falsehood that has captured the imaginations of foolish souls who desire supernatural experience more than they desire Truth.
Dear readers, if you are still languishing in charismatic circles, do yourselves a favour: GET OUT! You are presently in a pit of false teaching, and you will never spiritually prosper in such a place. Do not let pride ruin you spiritually. Do not let a carnal affinity for these false teachings be the cause of your spiritual demise. You may be tempted to dismiss this post, claiming that the heretics I have cited really didn't have anything to do with your denomination/local assembly, but I assure you, that's a mistake. Study any CREDIBLE historical account of the charismatic movement, and you will find the names I have cited front and center.
The devil himself is behind the charismatic movement; God's people should have nothing to do with it."Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)
Labels: Charismatic Movement
You have no LOVE therefore you are NOT saved. You are of your Father the DEVIL! He is the sower of discord. Like it or not Charismatics are your brothers and sisters. =You my friend will have much explaining to do if you even reach heaven. I fear you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit...
I must admit, sometimes I love getting e-mails from charismatics.
This poor soul managed to collect three “doctrinal strikes” in 6 short sentences.
1st strike: Apparently, because I rebuke false teaching, I have no love, therefore, I am not saved. Okay, let’s accept that judgment despite the fact it was made after reading ONE POST. So, I’m of my father the devil. Okay. How then can my accuser then say: “Like it or not Charismatics are my brothers and sister.” LOGIC PROBLEM. Unless, of course, the commenter was suggesting that both I and my Charismatic brothers and sisters are of our father the devil.
2nd strike: Again, supposing that I am “of my father the devil” and that I am NOT saved. I am told by “my friend” that I will have much explaining to do if I even reach heaven.” What? Are children of the devil… people who are NOT saved reaching heaven? Really?
3rd strike: A quickly written e-mail from a charismatic would not be complete without the old threat of having blasphemed the Holy Spirit. The fact that there is NO WAY a person can blaspheme the Holy Spirit in the church age doesn’t seem to bother my accuser, but I just thought I’d throw that in (Jesus said that the blaspheme against the Holy Spirit wouldn’t be forgiven in His age, or the age to come, which is the Millenial Kingdom Age).
So, my advice to my illogical detractor:
1- try switching to decaf, ‘cause when you are judging the whole spiritual conversation of a man after reading a short post, you might be a bit high strung.
2- if you have to write a comment “in the heat of the moment”, it would really be good to stay consistent in your message (i.e. I’m either a child of the devil and not saved, or I am a brother in the Lord).
3- before charging anyone with the sin of division and discord, make sure you are NOT a charismatic. The Charismatic movement is the undisputed world champion when it comes to church division (the divisions coming directly from the improper use of spiritual gifts and the outright fabrication of sign gifts).
4- spend more time studying God Word… clearly, your doctrinal understanding is weak.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, February 03, 2007
the foundations are truly gone..."If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3)
This verse, which was part of my devotional reading this week, came to mind as brother Laz and I were out preaching the Gospel again tonight, in the marketplace. As I was preaching from our customary street corner, it dawned on me that most of my audience really didn't get anything I was saying. "Repentance", "second birth", "faith", and even "grace"... all words that most today, in my country anyway, are completely oblivious to. You can see it in their faces. They all thought of us as a live version of the hypocrite televangelists they saw on the idiot box, or some brainwashed zombies being payed money "to try and scare people with Hell",
which, of course, is part of an elaborate scheme to get something from them.
Don't get me wrong, I haven't gone arminian. I fully understand that those who belong to God will come, whether they know the definition of "grace" and "repentance" beforehand, or not. But what struck me tonight was the sad spiritual state of my country. The Christian foundations that were once part of the social fabric of Canada are truly almost completely destroyed. People no longer know what true faith is. They know nothing of the grace of God. Almost all would agree that repentance is a good thing, but the same bunch would be at a loss if they had to tell you what they needed to repent of and why. The great foundations are destroyed.
One more motivation to keep on preaching, I guess. The importance of a teacher only increases when knowledge is lost. So we preached. Three hours we spent in much milder temperatures (-5 Celsius), distributing Gospel literature, displaying Bible signs in front of line-ups to bars/clubs, and of course, open-air preaching.
Here are some highlights:
1- A young man walked by, and took one of my Bible tracts. I had seen this young man a number of times before; he's a street kid, who spends all his time begging for spare change, which he surely uses to pay for some sort of addiction. I had been meaning to talk to this fellow for some time now, but he always seemed too drunk/doped up to have any kind of meaningful dialogue with him.
Well, the Lord opened a door for me tonight, for there he was, a Gospel tract in hand and in his right mind. I didn't waste time, nor did I mince words. Before he got too far in explaining to me how important he was and how God had "some sort of great plan for his life", I said:"My friend, listen to me. I'm glad you are in your right mind tonight. I'm glad you can both hear me and understand me, because there is something I've been meaning to say to you for months now. Dear friend, you have got to get out of this life you are in right now. You are so young and you are already on the path of death. Think of Matthew (a fellow panhandler he and I both know), I once conversed with him the way we are talking now, but I can't do that anymore because Matthew's brain is gone. And that's what you are heading for, my friend. The complete destruction of your mind by alcohol and drugs."
I encouraged him to seek God, to find work and get off the streets. He took it all remarkably well. He agreed that he was in a bad way and asked me to pray for him. His name is Eric, and he asked me to specifically pray that the Lord would save his leg (Eric walks with a limp, I don't know what is ailing his leg, but it seems rather serious)
. I promised him I would pray for the healing of his leg... he walked away before I could tell him that I would also pray for the healing of his soul.
2- The parking garage right behind our street preaching spot has a new attendant, and praise God, just like his predecessor, he is quite favourable to us. He came by, took one of our Bible tracts and said:"You guys are doing a really good thing! You're preaching the Gospel and that's what this insane world needs."
We talked for a few minutes and I learned that he is reading his Bible, but he isn't going to church. I encouraged him to join us on the Lord's Day, or on a Wednesday evening prayer meeting. I got the sense that this man was probably very religious, but probably not born-again. Please pray that the Lord would give me an open door with this man; please pray that he'll come to church sometime this week.
3- Then there were the mockers. Brother Laz and I were treated to all sorts of insults and ridicule tonight. From drunken fools who bowed down before brother Laz to mock his preaching efforts, to a group of young men who gave each other high fives as they shouted in our faces that they were of the devil and loved it. While all this was hard on our pride as it was happening, our conclusion was the same by the end of the night: Praise God! We have been "counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." (Acts 5:41b)
And with that, I will close the notes for tonight. It's late and I'm very weary of the week I just had. I ask you all to pray that the Lord would "strengthen my inner man with might by his Spirit" (Ephesians 3:16b)
. I sure could use that right now.
Have a great weekend, dear readers. Have a glorious Day of Rest, focused on the beauty of God's holiness.
Labels: Friday evangelism
What A Week!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
it's been a trying week so far...
Wow... what an awful week this has been so far, but there is hope for things to be turned around for the weekend. Because this involves other souls, I have to keep a high level of confidentiality as to what made my week "awful", but suffice it to say that a stranger came to our church for help and we did our best to help. This stranger's situation and way of life were a real mess, so dealing with the situation proved extremely difficult.
After days of heartbreak and high-level stress, the situation was, at least in part, resolved. All that is left for us to do now, is prayer. I know it'll take me a few weeks to get over everything I heard and seen in the last few days, but I already feel a measure of relief that there is nothing left for me to do or say. As far as Rand is concerned, this situation is over.
This experience reinforced the line of thinking I had in my last Friday Night Notes
. That is: "I praise God for what He had done in my life."
How easy it is for a man or woman to make a COMPLETE mess of their lives! I mean... IT'S SO SIMPLE!!! The fact that I was spared just 1/10 or 1% of the trouble I have had to deal with this week... well... I just praise the Lord, my God.
Anyway, I hope to get back to blogging more steadily soon. There is so much I want to share with you, I just need a little time. Lord willing, I will have some Notes for you tomorrow night.
Take care and God bless you, dear readers.
Ps: yesterday was our wedding anniversary... and I definitely want to publicly declare my love and thankfulness for my lovely wife, who has put up with me for 9 years now. I love you, baby!