Thursday, May 26, 2011

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Treat Your Enemies Well

I am sure you have heard the expression “keep you friends close and your enemies closer”. This is somewhat close to what Jesus said about loving your enemies and treating them well. Although, in human thought we can see that we would be deceiving our enemies by keeping them closer. In the teaching of Jesus, we are actually to bring them closer in order to guide them into the kingdom of God.

In reality, it is harder to do evil to someone who is treating you with respect and helping you with your needs than someone who is fighting you at every turn. We are to pray for our enemies, treat them fairly, feed them when they are hungry, bind up their wounds and care for them when they are in need. You can’t demonstrate the love of God if you are in conflict with someone.

When the Bible tells us to pray for our enemies and those who despitefully use us, it doesn’t say Jihad. The concept of Jihad is no where in the teachings of Jesus. We are not in any way taught to hurt anyone; but to pray them into the kingdom. The way of the world is to harm or kill our enemies. The way of the Bible is to love our enemies into submission, even in war. The answer is prayer. In essence, corporal punishment is up to the Lord. We are, however, allowed to protect ourselves. At one point the disciples were instructed, by Jesus, to take swords with them. Protecting ourselves and our loved ones, by what ever means the situation requires, is acceptable. War is a good example of this.

Respect for the law is biblical; however, if the law of man is in conflict with the law of God, the law of God supersedes the law of man. It is the same way in our country; the Constitution supersedes all state laws. A state law is secondary to a federal law or guarantee, and the federal laws are secondary to the Constitution. The Bible is the basis of the Constitution.

We are told not to judge others. We are also told not to ignore bad behavior and evil. The difference between the two is that we are not to judge other people, but we are to judge and expose bad behavior and evil. In preparation for these judgments, we are to first inspect ourselves and our motives. Holier than thou is not an attitude we should have. We are to test the spirits, to make sure we are hearing from God and not the deceiver or our own impressions. In my traveling salesman days, I would get a chilled, eerie feeling whenever I was traveling near New Bern, North Carolina. I didn’t understand these feelings until I found out that New Bern was a concentrated center for witchcraft. There was a clash of spirits.

The Bible warns us often about false teachings and false prophets. Discerning of spirits is a gift of God, but make sure it is that gift you are using and not your opinion that is guiding you. We are to be sure we are in the will of God before taking action. Collective salvation, universalism, and anything else that goes against biblical teaching are to be shunned and exposed.

Remember the old Jewish statement – “An all loving and all powerful God will do whatever and all loving and all powerful God wants to do”. This all loving and all powerful God provided His all loving and all powerful Son to pay the price for our shortcomings. The only thing an all loving and all powerful God can not do is to go against him self. What He has said and done is absolute. He is the same as He always has been and always will be. To Moses, He describes Himself as “I am that I am”. When He swore, He swore by Himself because there was nothing higher that He could swear by. Jesus is the way He provided for us to come to Him. All we have to do is accept the all loving and all powerful gift. You don’t have to take my word for it. Search the scriptures; it’s all covered there, straight from the horse’s mouth so to say. Otherwise you are destined to represent the other end of the horse.

Rick Rahn

Monday, May 23, 2011

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My People Perish For Lack Of Knowledge

The Word of God tells us that to be "forewarned is to be forearmed", and that "My people perish for lack of knowledge." If we are not rooted and grounded in the Word of God, we leave ourselves vulnerable and open to deception of every whim of man's imagination that comes down the road. My hubby and I both recently sent out an article to expose the false teaching of "universalism" (the belief that there are many paths to God, as opposed to one way through Jesus Christ) that has been proclaimed by many, including our President. Another such proclamation concerns the false teaching of Collective Salvation. My intention is not to use this as an opportunity to bash our President, but to help make each of us that much more aware of the need for each follower of Christ to lift our President and our country up in prayer.

Until recently, I had never heard of the false teaching of “collective salvation,” the belief that that is dependent upon the salvation of the group, rather than an individual relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord. It was only brought to my attention because it is one of the teachings that our President does proclaim to be a part of his faith system. We can use this knowledge as an instrument to bash our President, or we can use it to stir up the urgent need for each of us as followers of Christ to pray for him and our country.

We must become increasingly aware that we are in a war against the powers and principalities of the darkness of this world. As Christians we are called to pray and intercede for others. Prayer is vital and important. But is that the only weapon of our warfare? I thought we were supposed to put on the FULL armor of God. We are all too often silent rather than being a part of the body of Christ with an active voice to stand up and speak with boldness for the Lord. Others are speaking with boldness against our Lord and all that He stands for. If we do not speak out boldly for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we have no one else to blame but ourselves for the continual degradation of the Biblical doctrines of faith in Christ. For the sake of ourselves, our children, and their children, we must be bold witnesses for our Lord while there is still time. They may not heed the call even if we do speak out and stand up strong for the Lord. However, if we don't speak at all, we are not fulfilling our commitment to our Lord to be witnesses for Him in this world.

Witnessing boldly in this present day is not a popular thing to do. We have been turned into a weak and ineffective body because we have swallowed the lie that we should keep silent. Can you imagine Peter or Paul even thinking of NOT proclaiming The Way? What was their response when they were told to keep quiet, and don’t you dare speak out about Christ in the public arena? They were thrown into jail and suffered all kinds of persecution, even to their death. They did not become intimidated by even the leaders of their time, but spoke out that much more with a boldness that would not be quenched. That is the kind of power that comes not from our own individual strength, but through yielding ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s true that you can’t force anyone to believe. The opposite is also true. If we don’t speak out for the Lord in our daily lives by thought, word, and deed, we become as effective as a bump on a log. Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God. The atheists and false teachers of humanism, and every other ism, speak out for their beliefs anywhere and everywhere. Believe me secularism humanism is their religion, and we sit back while they boldly ram their beliefs down our throats and the throats of our children and their children. We become silent while their voices are spreading their beliefs and values across all the land with very little or no resistance from us. If Jesus and His disciples had been like most of us have become, the body of Christ on Earth would be nonexistent.

The world would have us believe that our Christian faith belongs only in the privacy of our own homes or in our churches, and don’t dare to speak out for Christ in any other venue. We live in a world where fewer and fewer people are even going to church to be taught of the Lord. If you and I continue to keep silent and let ourselves be intimidated by the anti-Christ spirit prevalent in the world today, we are truly handing our loved ones over to Satan.

I realize that truly taking a stand for the Lord carries a lot of risk. It can cause division within families. When I meet my Lord face to face, I pray that I can honestly say “Lord, I know I wasn’t always successful, but I did try to witness for you.” God does not wish that any would perish, but that all would come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ginger Rahn

Sunday, May 22, 2011

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When contemplating writing about the abominations we are currently seeing develop in the world, I was discussing it with my wife. She found the following article on the internet. When I read it I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to say. Since I couldn’t say it better I include it here.

“The False Doctrine of Universalism"

The other day on the radio, I heard a very well known Bible teacher make the comment that the doctrine of Universalism has now spread into the conservative end of Christianity. When he said that, I just about fell out of my chair, as I thought the conservative end of the Body would be the absolute last ones to fall for such a demonic lie and doctrine.

As we all know, this false doctrine has infiltrated into the liberal end of Christianity. But with some of the more conservative Christians now starting to fall for it, this shows us how far this deadly, demonic doctrine has now spread.

And then to top it off, we now have our current sitting president, Barack Obama, also believing in this false doctrine, as he has been quoted as saying that he is only saved if we are all saved. And then when he was asked about his thoughts on hell, he made the comment that he found it hard to believe that a good and loving God would condemn 4/5 of the human race into hell for all of eternity.

From there, President Obama then added that he felt there are many “paths” to the same God. His exact quote was – “I believe that there are many paths to the same place.” He then goes on to say that all people of faith, whether you are a Christian, Muslim, animist, etc. all know the same God.
For those of you who do not know what this doctrine is all about, the doctrine of Universalism is the belief that we will all eventually be saved – and that is whether or not we ever accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.

Many people who believe in this false doctrine also do not believe in a literal hell anymore. Once you believe that every one will eventually be saved, no matter who or what they believe in, then it is very easy to go to the next step and completely do away with the doctrine of hell and eternal damnation.
When you really think about and meditate on the big picture, you can see how good, God-fearing people could initially fall for this kind of demonic lie. Once you understand that there really is a hell, and that it will be for all of eternity for the people who will end up going down there, you will want to come to the conclusion that you would not even want your worst enemy to end up going down there, since it will be for all of eternity with no chance of ever being able to make it back out again.

When people initially start to meditate on this kind of an extreme reality, it is very easy to want to try and find a way to explain it all away. And the false doctrine of Universalism does exactly that, as it teaches us that everyone will eventually be saved and that no one will ever end up going into hell for all of eternity.

But if you believe that our Bible is truly the inspired and infallible Word of God, and that all of it has come down directly to us from God the Father through the Holy Spirit, then there is no possible way you can ever believe in this false doctrine, as the Bible specifically teaches us the exact opposite of this demonic doctrine.

The Bible is very clear in that there is only way and one path to eternal salvation with God the Father – and that one way and one path is only through His Son Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross.

There are not many paths to the same God as Barack Obama believes – there is only one path to God the Father – and that one path is only through His Son Jesus Christ and the blood that He has personally shed for all of us on the cross.

In other words, we either come directly through Jesus and the blood that He has personally shed for all of us on the cross or we do not come through at all!
For those of you who are seeing this evil, false doctrine infiltrate the church you may be attending, let me use this article to give you some of the basic Scripture verses you will need so you do not ever get tempted to want to fall for this demonic doctrine as so many people seem to be doing these days.

I will break these Scripture verses down under the 5 captions below so you can have all of this information right at your fingertips if you are ever forced to defend your position on this extremely important issue.

1. All of the Bible is the Inspired and Infallible Word of God

The first two verses I will now give you will specifically tell us, without any other possible interpretation, that all of the Bible has been given to us by “inspiration of God” through holy men who were “moved by the Holy Spirit” to write what they wrote!

In other words, all of the words in the Bible have come down direct to us from God the Father through the Holy Spirit. The specific authors of the Bible then wrote under the guidance, inspiration, and illumination of the Holy Spirit.

And if all of the words of the Bible were really coming from God the Father through the Holy Spirit to all of the authors who ended up writing it, then this means that all of the revelation and knowledge that is contained in the Bible can be counted on as being pure, 100%, solid truth with no errors or mistakes in it. None whatsoever!!

And this is why some of these false doctrines are now starting to seep so easily into the different churches, because so many people are now questioning the reliability and authenticity of the Bible, believing that much of what is being taught in the Bible is now metaphorical and allegorical type of speech instead of literal speech.

So the first thing you must decide as a Christian is to decide whether or not you believe that all of the Bible is fully infallible and inerrant, and that all of it has really come down direct to us from God Almighty Himself.

Either all of the Bible is coming directly to us from God the Father or it is not. There are no in between answers on this. You now have to decide which side of the fence you are now going to stand on regarding this issue.

If you believe that all of the Bible is truly the inspired and infallible Word of God, then you will have no other choice but to believe everything that is in the Bible. And if you can then believe in everything that is in the Bible, then you will not fall prey to all of the different demonic doctrines that are out there such as the doctrine of Universalism.

Here are the two main verses from our Bible that will show you that all of the Bible is totally inspired and infallible, thus making all of the knowledge and revelation that is contained in it pure, solid, 100% truth.

1. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

2. “… knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20)
If you can believe that all of the Bible has been given to us by God the Father through the Holy Spirit, then you will now be ready to believe the next set of verses which will tell us, without any other possible interpretation, that Jesus Christ is the only way to be able to receive eternal salvation with God the Father.

2. Jesus Christ is the Only Way to Eternal Salvation with God the Father

These next set of verses are without question, the true heart and soul of Christianity. If you do not believe in these next set of verses, then you are not a true, born-again Christian. These verses will separate the true, born-again Christian from all of the unbelievers in this world.

These next set of verses will tell us, without any other possible interpretation or spin that you can put on them, that Jesus Christ, and His sacrificial death on the cross is the only way and only path to eternal salvation with God the Father.

Here are these powerful, key verses, and I will also highlight some of the key words in some of these verses so you can see how they will show you that the doctrine of Universalism is a demonic, false doctrine. The very first verse will say it all.

1. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

2. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all …” (1 Timothy 2:5)

3. “There is one body and one Spirit … one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4)

4. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

5. “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and find pasture … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:9)

6. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” (John 11:25)

7. Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

8. And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

9. “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

10. “… whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:15-16)

11. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

12. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

13. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

14. “… And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:11)

15. “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:14)

When you read all of these verses together, one right after the other, there is simply no way you can come to the conclusion that there are many ways or many paths to God the Father. God simply could not make things anymore plain and anymore clear with the way He has worded all of these specific verses.

If God was going to allow other ways and other paths into His kingdom, then He would have specifically said so in these kinds of verses. But with the specific way He has worded all of these verses, it is quite clear that He is not going to do so. As a result, we have to interpret all of these verses very literally. These verses are not any type of metaphorical speech, they are all literal and in-your-face type of speech.

In other words, these verses are meaning exactly what they are saying and we cannot attempt to twist them around, add to it, or alter them in any way just because we do not like the doctrine of hell and eternal damnation.

Once again, the first several verses above simply say it all when it tells us that there is no other name under heaven by which man can get saved, that no one can come to God the Father unless they come through Jesus Christ, and that there is only one Mediator between God and man – and that one and only Mediator is Jesus Christ.

Again, if there were any other possible ways and paths to God the Father, then He would not be stating that there is only one Mediator between Him and us.
How any Christian can so easily fall for this kind of false doctrine when all of these verses are as plain and clear as day is simply beyond me. Again, if you believe that all of the Bible is truly the inspired and infallible Word of God, then you have to believe what these verses are telling you. And if you can believe what these kinds of verses are telling you, then you will never, ever fall for this kind of demonic lie and doctrine.

3. How To Receive the Gift of Eternal Salvation

This next verse I will now give you is the one main verse that will tell you how to get saved in the Lord so you can receive the gift of eternal salvation from God the Father.

When you look very carefully as to how this verse is being worded, you will see that it is a conditional type verse. in other words, there is something specific you must do on your end before you can receive the gift of eternal salvation from the Lord.

In my opinion, this verse in particular, will completely disprove the doctrine of Universalism. The doctrine of Universalism says that everyone will eventually be saved, regardless of whether or not they ever personally accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

However, this verse specifically says that you have to believe in your heart who Jesus is and what He has personally done for you with His death on the cross. If you cannot believe directly on Jesus Christ and what His sacrificial death on the cross has done for you, then you cannot get saved. And if you do not get saved in Jesus, then you cannot receive the gift of eternal life from God the Father.

Again, if God the Father was going to allow any other ways or any other paths into His eternal Kingdom, then He would have never worded this verse the way

He did.

Once again, here is this most powerful verse from our Bible:

“… IF you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” (Romans 10:9)

One of the key words to pick up from this verse is the very first word – “if.” IF you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart who Jesus is and what He has done for you with His sacrificial death on the cross, then you will be saved.

Again, the word “if” is making this a major, conditional verse, which means that you have to do your part before God will save you and give you the gift of eternal life with Him in heaven. And your part is to simply be willing to believe on who Jesus is and what He has done for you with His death on the cross.
This verse is a verse that should be interpreted very, very literally. It is meaning exactly what it is saying and there is absolutely no other spin or interpretation you can put on it. If you do not do exactly what this verse is telling you to do, then you will never get saved with God the Father.

The false doctrine of Universalism is trying to take you away from this most important verse. For the people who are not actual Christians, it is telling you that you do not need to find or accept Jesus Christ in this lifetime. You can find eternal salvation in other religions like Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, etc.

Again, if God the Father was going to allow us to find Him through these other false religions, then He would have never worded these kinds of verses the way He did. With the way all of these verses are being worded, God the Father is telling us, in no uncertain terms, that we can only come directly to Him through His Son Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross. We cannot come to Him through any other religions, ways, or people.

4. The Doctrine of Hell

One of the main reasons the doctrine of Universalism is spreading so rapidly across parts of Christianity is due to the fact that many people simply cannot believe that a good and loving God could literally throw people into a hell for all of eternity.
As a result, they start looking for alternate explanations that will completely take away the doctrine of hell and eternal damnation. But once again, if the Bible teaches us that there is a literal hell, then we have to believe what it is telling us. We have no other alternative. We cannot try and take out this doctrine or alter it in any way just because we do not like what it is telling us.

As we have said in our article on this topic, “The Reality of Hell,” this doctrine is without question, the most gut-wrenching and heartbreaking doctrine in all of the Bible. To think that a multitude of people are going to end up going down into this horrible place of torment and agony for all of eternity is enough to break your heart into a million pieces.

But if the Bible is telling us that hell is a literal place and that a certain amount of people are going to end up going down there, then we have to come to grips with it and allow it to become a part of our basic teaching. We cannot try to ignore it, or try to replace it with a false doctrine like the doctrine of Universalism.

If God is giving us specific knowledge on this horrible place of torment from His Word, then we have to teach this basic doctrine to the flock so they will have the full gospel underneath their belt, not just the parts that will make them feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Bottom line – if God the Father did not want us to have knowledge about hell, then He would have never put these kinds of verses in the Bible.

The reason God is putting all of these verses on hell in the Bible is so He can warn us as to exactly what will happen to all of us if we do not accept the redemptive pardon He is offering to us through His Son Jesus Christ. He is putting all of these verses in the Bible all for of our own good so we will know exactly what will be awaiting all of us once we die and cross over – heaven for the saved and hell for the unsaved.

With God putting these kinds of extreme verses in the Bible for all of our own good, it would treasonous and blasphemous to try and take them completely out just because they make us feel very uncomfortable, or they do not fit into how we think the big picture should all be set up with God the Father.

For those of you who would like all of the verses on hell, go to our article titled, “The Reality of Hell.” In this article, we have all of these verses listed one right after the other.

5. Try to See This From God the Father’s Point of View

I will leave you with one last thought on the doctrine of Universalism. Either this doctrine is completely false or it is completely true. I personally believe that all of the above verses completely disprove this false doctrine.

However, there is now one more angle you can try and look at this from – and that one other angle is to try and see all of this from God the Father’s point of view, as His point of view is the only thing that will matter when everything is all finally said and done.

If the Bible is really the inspired and infallible Word of God – and if Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross is really the only way to be able to receive eternal salvation with God the Father – will God then cut people some slack if they want to try and come to Him through another way?

To answer this question, just try for a minute to imagine the horrific scene of God the Father watching His Son Jesus being slowly beaten, whipped, and crucified to a cross for a good 6 hours – which will now lead us right into the 50 million dollar question on this topic:

If Jesus’ physical death on the cross is what is going to give all of us eternal salvation with Him, do you really think that God the Father is going to allow us to come into His Kingdom through any other way – especially with how brutal, bloody, and barbaric His Son’s death was on that cross?

Do you really think that God the Father is going to send down His one and only Son Jesus to our earth to die in this most extreme fashion, and then all of sudden tell us that we can also come to Him through another person or another way?

I do not think so! And that is why the Bible is very specific in how we are going to receive the gift of eternal salvation from God the Father – and that one and only way is through the Person of Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross.

To assume that God the Father will honor any other ways, any other religions, or any other people is a direct affront against Him – and woe to anyone who tries to preach the doctrine of Universalism, especially in any type of Christian church.

Once again, here are some very powerful verses from our Bible that will show us that it is only the physical death of Jesus on the cross that will give all of us full remission and full forgiveness of all our sins and thus eternal life with Him in heaven.

1. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood … for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11)

2. “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures …” (1 Corinthians 15:3)

3. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

4. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)

5. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13)

6. “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)

7. “… and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” (Ephesians 2:14)

8. “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins … By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:3,10)

9. “… who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

10. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed … (Isaiah 53:5)

11. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

12. “… that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil …”(Hebrews 2:14)

13. “… and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father …” (Revelation 1:5)

14. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations …” (Luke 24:46)

15. “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.” (Colossians 1:19)

16. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

17. “… He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself … so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.” (Hebrews 9:26,28)

Notice in every single one of these verses that it is specifically referring to the physical death of Jesus on the cross and the blood He shed for all of us that will give us full forgiveness of all of our sins.

All of these verses make it very, very clear that we either come directly to God the Father through Jesus Christ and the blood that He has personally shed for all of us on the cross or we do not come through at all.


As we said at the top of this article, it is very easy to want to fall for the doctrine of Universalism since no one wants to see any of their unsaved loved ones end up in a place called hell for all of eternity. But this is how God has the big picture set up, and we cannot try and change it just because we do not like this kind of extreme outcome for the people who will refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

To try and take out the doctrine of hell and replace it with the doctrine of Universalism where every single person is going to be eventually saved has to be one of Satan’s greatest traps he has ever set. If you can believe in this false doctrine, then you will never have to find and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior in this lifetime because you will be granted automatic entrance into heaven once you die and cross over.

If all of the above verses are telling us, without any other possible interpretation, that you DO have to find and accept Jesus Christ in this lifetime in order to be able to receive eternal salvation – and then you have a false doctrine like the doctrine of Universalism telling you just the exact opposite – can you see how many people will be led straight into hell as a result of believing in this horrible lie?

This is why every single, Bible-believing, Christian church has to resist this demonic doctrine right at the outset. If this doctrine seeps into the basic teaching of any church, and the pastor will not stand to be properly corrected and get this demonic doctrine completely thrown out from his teaching, this church will then become an abominable branch before the Lord, and I would not even want to fathom the consequences of a church and a people that would fall for this kind of evil and insane heresy.

If there are any of you out there who are attending a church that is starting to preach this kind of false doctrine, and the pastor will not stand to be properly corrected, then you need to leave this church at once and find another one that has not fallen for this demonic doctrine.
God will not have His central message of how we can all receive eternal salvation from Him through His Son Jesus tampered with or altered in any way, shape or form – especially with the bloody, brutal, and barbaric death His Son had to go through to get us this gift.
To think that this false doctrine is now seeping into the conservative branches of Christianity is just blowing me away, as I cannot see for the life of me how any well-educated pastor and teacher could fall for something that runs so blatantly against what the Bible is telling us on exactly how we are to receive eternal salvation from God the Father.” (From April 19, 2011)

Mark 12:1-9 says, “1Then Jesus began teaching them with stories: “A man planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country. 2At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. 3But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. 4The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head. 5The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed, 6until there was only one left—his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’

7“But the tenant farmers said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 8So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body out of the vineyard.

9“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.” The farmer is God, who created the world with everything we needed to prosper. The servants the farmer (God) sent to collect the harvest (recognition and respect for God) represent the prophets who were beaten and killed, because of their message from God. The farmer’s son was Jesus who was also rejected, beaten and killed. The Church is the “others” who took over the work of the Lord. The current “harvest” is those who come to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.”

Jesus said there would be many false prophets, who would come is His name. Some of today’s examples are Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Jim Wallace, Pastor Rob Bell and many others whose messages deviate from the Bible and distort its message. If anyone’s message conflicts with the Bible, it is false teaching.

God’s message is absolute and realistic (He is the creator of reality). He does love everyone and wishes that none would be lost. He cannot however go against His own word. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Although there is only one way to salvation (through Jesus), everyone has equal access to that way (John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”).

Rick Rahn

Sunday, May 8, 2011

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Jesus, THE Christ

It may be that I am too critical about some things, but this has bothered me for years. Most people I know say Jesus Christ, leaving out His middle name. He began as Jesus of Nazareth and throughout His lifetime this is how He was known. Only a few knew Him as Messiah or Christ. A few more called Him Lord. How do you think of Jesus when you say His name?

When we read the Bible, we must realize that it means what it says. For instance; most people don’t know who the first evangelist was. The first one sent out with a commission to preach was the Gadarine Demoniac. He was told, by Jesus, to spread the word about Him. Any idea as to who was the first ‘Born Again ’ Christian? It was the thief on the cross beside Jesus, but he wasn’t born again while on the cross. While on the cross he became a believer in who Jesus was, and Jesus promised to take him to paradise. He only became born again after he saw Jesus raised from the dead. We not only have to believe that Jesus is Lord, but also that God raised Him from the dead. He had already repented of his sins while on the cross. These examples demonstrate what Jesus said – “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners”. Jesus had to be resurrected before anyone could be saved.

Jesus was also called Emanuel (God with us), but I can’t find many examples of people who called Him that. The fact remains that He is God, and He was with us. He is still with us today in the form of “the Seven Fold Spirit of God”, also known as the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the Spirit of God and other descriptions. He said He would never leave us or forsake us, and the Spirit fulfills that function.

Now, I would like to get back to His ‘middle name’. People didn’t refer to him as Jesus Nazareth. You put in the ‘of’ to signify where He was from. In the same way we need to add ‘the’ to signify who He is. He is the Christ! Wouldn’t it be a lot harder for someone, who wanted to use His name in vain, to say Jesus the Christ instead of saying Jesus Christ? If they added the ‘the’ they would be proclaiming His Lordship, instead of degrading His name. That would be in opposition to what they intended to accomplish. Perhaps it would be good, if when we hear someone blaspheme His name, we should just look at them and say ‘yes He is’. Yes, I do know what is in our hearts when we call Him Jesus Christ, and it is also in the Bible that way (which makes it acceptable). When we Christian’s say Jesus Christ we know we mean Jesus, who is the Christ.

We all like to take shortcuts; however, I think it diminishes the majesty of the word (title) Christ (Messiah) when we take this shortcut. I am not trying to condemn anyone or put condemnation on anyone, but rather just giving food for thought. If we know in our hearts that Jesus is THE Christ, we and the apostles know the majesty of the name no matter how we express it. Upon reflection; the Father is The Lord God Almighty, Jesus is The Christ and The Holy Spirit (the third part of the Trinity) is The Seven Fold Spirit of God. Amen?

Rick Rahn

Monday, May 2, 2011

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Harden Not Your Heart

First, what does it mean to harden your heart? Have any of you experienced moments in your life when you personally became so stubborn, hard headed, and self-willed that you insisted on getting your own way no matter what evidence was produced that you were headed in the wrong direction? I think of the array of books that have been written on how to deal with the “strong willed” child. I can only imagine how it must be for God in dealing with the “strong-willed” child within each of us. Then the thought of how in the world could God have loved each of us, even as we are so puffed up in our own individual self-will, that He would still be willing to send His Son to die for and save us from our sins and the destruction that would surely come our way?

I know that even my faith is a gift from God and is not something that I can point to as an achievement of my own. Faith is a response to the gentle wooing of the Holy Spirit. He calls to each of us, but, because He is a gentleman, He will never enter in until He is invited. God doesn’t give up on any of us easily. However, if we choose to continually ignore Him there is a point at which He knows that we have hardened our hearts so much that, no matter what He does, we will never choose to listen to Him.

I think each of us can understand the difference between choosing to do right or wrong even at the most basic level of humanity. The first time you do something you know to be wrong, most likely you will feel the agony of the pangs of guilt. However, if you continue to commit that same action, eventually it seems to get easier and easier until you feel no guilt at all. At that point, that sin has overtaken you and has even become an old “friend.” Pretty soon you then find that you are enslaved. That particular sin has set up house keeping in your heart and completely taken over to the point that instead of you controlling it, it now controls you.

Listening to and obeying the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives is a choice. He called to the apostles to “come away” with Him. Note He did not demand, but gently asked each of them to follow Him. They made the choice to heed His call, and “drew nigh” unto Him. Every time we choose to draw near to God, He draws near to us. But then look at others who were also given an invitation to draw near to Him and follow Him. Look at the story of the rich man.

He was invited, but he put his riches first in his life instead and rejected the greatest treasure of all. So it goes in out own lives. As the Word tells us, we can’t serve two masters. We will either choose to serve ‘Self’ or God. Serving ‘Self’ means that we take ourselves out from under the protection of God; thus, we are then fair game to anything and everything that Satan chooses to send our way. Satan is the great liar, and deception is his greatest tool. He always puts in just enough truth to make his lies seem right. In this way, he turns lives upside down.
Right becomes wrong, and wrong becomes right. Isn’t that so evident in our world today?

My relationship with my earthly parents has often helped me gain insight into my relationship with my Lord and Savior. God reaches out to us in many ways, including through other people in our lives. My own family members have had strong influences upon my walk with the Lord. Thank God for their prayers and guidance as they were, and still are, instrumental in my growth in the Lord. But each of us has to want to take an active part in that journey to draw nearer to God if we are ever going to learn to take more than just baby steps closer to the Lord. If we hunger and thirst after Him, He will give us the kind of bread and water that will truly fill us beyond satisfaction.

I can relate to what it means to harden my own heart against the foundations of protection and provision that my own earthly parents laid down for me. One time in particular looms forth in my memory. I was in the fifth grade and a little boy had asked me to meet him after school to go to the movies with him.

I first went home, intending to ask my mother’s permission. She wasn’t home, but my oldest sister was there. I told her my intentions. She wisely warned me not to go. Even though I knew right from wrong in my heart, I stubbornly insisted on having my own way, no matter what the consequences may be. I remember her warning to this day, “You better not go; you know you’ll get into trouble.” Yet even that did not stop me. I set my “hardened heart” on the goal of having my own way in the face of danger and dire consequences.

I headed down the broad path of destruction- to disobey my parents was surely sin, and I knew it well. They had done their part in teaching me right from wrong, and yet I chose to ignore the limits that they had set for my own protection.
I didn’t even have a guilty conscience about doing it. I remember thinking, “I know I’m doing wrong, but I want to go, so I’m going to do it anyway.” I met up with the little boy and walked the rest of the way with him to the movie. Much to my surprise it was a double feature, which meant we were there longer than I had thought. Afterwards, as we headed home, I ran into my first problem – darkness was beginning to set in. Then the second problem arose, we came to a point where he had to go one way and I another, leaving me to walk the rest of the way home all alone and in the dark.

Things began to take an even greater turn for the worse. I now realized that things did not look the same at night as they did during the day. Yes, I was completely lost and had no idea where in the world I was or how to get back home. Suddenly, I was faced with the full realization of the consequences of my own rebellious, hard hearted, self-willed sinful nature. Fear gripped my heart. I had been walking for quite awhile when I finally saw a lady carrying her groceries into her house. I prayed, “Lord, please let her be a nice lady.” With fear and trembling, I told her my address and asked her if she could give me directions to get there. She asked if I was lost, and I told her I was. She kindly offered to take me home. I accepted her offer, but still prayed for God’s protection as I knew I was taking a chance on getting into a car with a stranger. As she dropped me off in front of my home, I felt so relieved to be back safe and secure, all the while knowing that my ordeal was far from over. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was going to have to face the wrath of my parents that would come swiftly.

Upon entering my home, I was greeted by these words from God, “Go to your room and bend over your bed.” No, not really, it was only the voice of my Daddy, not God, but as far as I was concerned, it might as well have been God. I was about to receive the chastisement that comes to any true child of God, for a loving God will always discipline and correct His true children. No one enjoys being chastised, but I thank the Lord, that I had parents that cared and loved me enough to do all that was necessary to see that I did not continue in that same state of rebellion, or hard heartedness. God granted them authority to exercise over me in His behalf. Yes, I got the spanking of my life that night-from both of my parents. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely NOT!! Yet to this very day, I appreciate and admire my parents for what they did for me that night.

Over time, I learned about the awfulness of the anxiety and worry that I had caused them to suffer that night. Not only that, because of my own self-willed stubbornness, I had placed my own life in great danger. What if: that lady had not been nice, I had been kidnapped, I had been molested, or I had been killed? Yet in the end, whose fault would it have been? Can you hear the “Accuser” say, “How could loving parents choose to send their child to suffer like that?” Did my parents send me out into the path of destruction or even death? No, they had taught me to be obedient. They had provided the safety and security of a good home. I was even provided an older, and wiser, sister to warn me against the foolishness of choosing to go my own way. In other words, they had provided the plan for my “salvation” from the wrath to come. Yet, I am the one that chose to reject that plan.

In that same manner, God has provided the plan for our eternal salvation through His only begotten Son who sacrificed His life on the Cross that we might be saved through our faith in Him and all that He has done for us. God gave a foreshadowing of the power of the shed blood of Jesus in Exodus 12. To spare the lives of their first born child from death that was sent as a part of the sentence against the Egyptian Pharaoh because he would not set the Jews free, the Jews were told to select a lamb without blemish to be sacrificed. They were to take the blood and apply it to the doorposts and the lintel above the door. As the plague was sent forth, wherever the blood had been applied, those within would be protected and all within were saved. We too must “apply” the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins that we may be saved through faith. All we have to do is repent, or ask God to forgive us for our sins, believe in Jesus the Christ as our Lord and Savior, and trust daily in His Word to transform us into His image by the power of His Holy Spirit. He has even gone so far as to show us through His resurrected Son, that we too shall be given a new resurrected body and an eternal home in Heaven that we may be with Him forever and ever.

Yet, even after all that, you will still hear the unbelieving “Accuser” say,
“How could a loving God condemn or send anyone to an eternal Hell?” Had I been lost, separated from my parents and family forever that night, there would have been the “unbelieving Accusers” that would have tried to place the blame on my parents, saying that their plan for my “salvation” was not sufficient. In like manner, today there are still the unbelieving “Accusers” that will reject God’s plan for their salvation. They will ignore and reject the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus. They will reject the “payment in full” plan provided by the shed blood of Jesus. They will ignore and reject the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit that is sent to lead and guide us into all truth if we will only believe and ask Him to come into our hearts. They will reject the one, true, living God, our Heavenly Father.
And then, they will still accuse Him of condemning people to Hell. What absolute arrogance, foolishness, and, yes, hard hearted people.

No one has an excuse for not knowing God, for His power and marvelous majesty is made visible to all- just take a look at all He has created! Deny God and He must deny you. Yes, He is a loving God, but He is also a just God. The night I was lost was a direct result of my denial of the parental authority over me that was given by God for my safety. Their “word” of authority I had heard. I knew it well in the depths of my heart, but I had chosen to ignore it. In other words, I chose to walk in rebellion and unbelief which resulted in a hardened heart and led me to my demise that night. So it is with our spiritual growth in the Lord. If we continually refuse to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, we are choosing to harden our hearts toward God. Eventually, we may become so hard hearted that we will never choose to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

God has given us His Word to study that we might gain the God kind of knowledge, which is the only kind of wisdom that will equip us to live a life that is safe and secure. It is His Word that teaches us the will of God for the true purposes of our lives, here and for eternity. Does our faith in Him and His Word mean that we will never have trials and tribulations? No, but He has promised us His presence to help us and see us through all the trials of life. However, if we choose to ignore His Word, and the power of the Holy Spirit, we then open our minds to believe every lie of both Satan and the secular world, giving them dominion over our hearts and every part of your thinking processes. The only way to be like-minded with Christ is to study His Word and allow it to renew our minds; that is to learn to think, understand, and see things as God does instead of the faulty kind of thinking prevalent in the secular Godless society of today. This is the spirit of the antichrist; remove God from being first in our lives, place self on the throne of our hearts, and choose to become your own little god. We are then free to live in the arrogance of denying our need for the one, true, and living God. Remember the song, “I Did It My Way”?

Once that is done, it isn’t hard to take the next step to create our own plan of “salvation”. It becomes easier to replace God’s command, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” with ideas such as: being an atheist is ok, I can try to be as good a person as I can and that will be sufficient to get me into Heaven, I don’t really need to read, study, believe and obey God’s Word, there are many paths to God – like Buddha, Mohammed, pagan gods, mother nature, the goddess of whatever, or whatever I choose to believe or not believe in is sufficient. Yes, any and all become acceptable for, according to My way of thinking, “I Did It My Way” and that is sufficient! (A man’s ways are right in his own eyes.) What an absolute insult to the value and power of the blood of Jesus. Remember, the protection of the blood of the lamb for the Jews in Egypt was only available to those that “applied” it. Have you, through faith, applied the blood of Jesus to your life, or are you still lost in the deception of “there are many paths to God?”

Of course, the true authority, Jesus, has stated in no uncertain terms that “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh to the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6) His Word is true and He is who He says He is, or He is a liar. Therefore, you and I have the ‘free will’ choice to reject Jesus and what He did on the Cross (our Heavenly Father’s plan and provision for our salvation), or to accept Him, believe in Him as our Savior and Lord, and obey Him. How can we obey Him if we don’t know what to obey? Wouldn’t it make sense to study His Word in order to be taught and led by Him? “Every scripture is inspired of God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Of course, once again, one has the free will to believe or reject the truth of the Bible, but either it is true, or it is not. There is no middle ground. One can not pick and choose what ‘parts’ to believe or reject. Well, on second thought, I guess one has the choice of picking and choosing in order to recreate God and His Word to make up his own form of ‘religion’. That seems to be very popular these days. That way we don’t really have to obey the true God. Instead, once again, one can choose to go the route of “I Did It My Way,” and live life according to our own vain imaginations, placing our own opinions superior to the Word of God.

At this point, I feel I must insert a very strong warning that I pray each of us will ‘hear, believe, and obey’ with the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. There is a sin that, once committed, is an UNFORGIVABLE SIN. Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matt. 12:31, 32) An excellent explanation of this verse is presented in the Tyndale Application Study Bible: “Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is denying that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. Because a person can be saved only through the Holy Spirit’s work, to refuse to repent or even to acknowledge our sin is to refuse God’s forgiveness.” “Only those who have turned their backs on God and have rejected all faith have any need to worry. Jesus said they can’t be forgiven-
not because their sin is worse than any other sin, but because they will never ask for forgiveness. Whoever rejects the prompting of the Holy Spirit removes himself from the only force that can lead him to repentance and restoration to God.”

Once more, hear and understand the importance of the Holy Spirit in relationship to the very source of the scriptures. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star (Jesus Christ) arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (II Peter 1: 19 – 21)

Further more, Jesus gave His apostles His “power of attorney.” What is that? Read the following scriptures that were said by Jesus to His apostles before His resurrection and ascension into Heaven. Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the world which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14: 23 – 26)

So why is this promise of the Comforter so very important? Jesus invited the apostles to “come away” from their former lives to follow Him that they might not only learn from what He taught, but also learn from the example of how He lived out His life. Then before he ascended into Heaven, while he was “yet present with” them, He commissioned them (gave them the right) to go into all the world to preach and to share in continuing the work He had begun while on Earth.

This included preaching, teaching, healing, etc. Whatever His Father told Him to do, He did, and that work was to be continued through the power of the Holy Spirit that would be sent to indwell them (and every believer). The Comforter would be sent to help in the continuation of His work. This promise guaranteed the truth of the Word of God, for the Holy Spirit would guide them in their teaching and writing, to enable them to remember and teach everything that He had taught them.
Thus, the scriptures are the teachings of Jesus because the apostles were not left to their own devices or faulty memory, but their “remembrances” of all that Jesus said and did were guided directly by the Holy Spirit. For further confirmation directly from the words of Jesus: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8)

I urge each of us to get into the Word of God that through faith, Jesus will abide in us and we in Him. Do not be deceived by the false teachings prevalent in the world today, such as – there are many paths to God. If we want to be accepted into the family of God and have our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, we must “Have no other gods before Me,” as commanded by our Heavenly Father. We must stay rooted and grounded in the Word that we may have our “minds renewed by the washing of the water of the Word.” Stay strong in our commitment to yield to His Holy Spirit that we may be transformed daily into His image. Through faith in Jesus, we are carved in the palms of His hands, safe and secure. He will enable us to endure to the end until we see Him face to face on that glorious day when He calls us home to be with Him forever and ever. Believe in His Word and He will equip you to withstand and overcome all the fiery darts of the powers and principalities of this world. Through faith, nothing can separate us from our Lord. Remember, as Jesus said, “It is written, Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4: 4; see also Deut. 8: 3) By His example of knowing the Word and the power of the Word, should we not also follow His example to study and hide the Word in our hearts?
Put on the whole armor of God that you will not be deceived and turned away from the one, true, living God.

Dear Heavenly Father, bless us and cause your face to shine upon us. Put the seal of your name upon our hearts through the applied blood of your Son, Jesus. Give us spiritual ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart of flesh that we would yield our lives and present our bodies to be a living sacrifice for Thee. Put a guard before our hearts, and a guard before our lips, that nothing would come out to sin against thee, and come back to harm us. Teach us your ways and keep our feet upon the straight and narrow path. Help us to stand, and having done all, to continue to stand till that glorious day when we see you face to face. May we then hear you say, “Welcome home children, my good and faithful servants.” Thank you Lord for who you are, all that you have done, and all that you are continuing to do. Most of all Lord, thank you for giving us the gift of faith in the saving power of the blood of the Lamb, Your Son, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

Ginger Rahn