How should a Christian respond to evidence of paranormal activity?


(This is part 1. Tomorrow Part 2.)

The word paranormal can be defined as “the occurrence, or perception of, an event without scientific explanation, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.” Paranormal activity is an encompassing term that includes not only ghosts and hauntings and demonic activity, but also includes other unexplainable phenomena such as unidentified flying objects (UFOs), and extrasensory perception (ESP), to name just a few. With the proliferation of movies and television shows that in one way or another sensationalize paranormal activity, it is clear that many are indeed fascinated with this realm. In fact, a 2007 low-budget movie titled Paranormal Activity went on to become one of the most profitable movies of all time. How, then, should Christians respond when we read about supposed hauntings and other paranormal occurrences?

A common misconception is that disembodied spirits can remain on earth or perhaps come back to “haunt” or otherwise interact with us. However, nothing in the Bible supports this belief. Rather, “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

But the Bible does make it clear that there are spirit beings—angels and demons—which operate in the heavenly realm. The angels serve God. They are ministering spirits who are sent by God “to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Demons, on the other hand, are fallen angels under the control of Satan, and they roam the earth looking to destroy God’s children (1 Peter 5:8). They are cunning and wise and keenly aware of our weaknesses and our propensity to desire that which will satisfy our fleshly desires. Worst of all, they can masquerade as “angels of light” or as “servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Regarding the immensity of Satan’s earthly “operation,” the apostle John reminds us that the “whole world” is under his control (1 John 5:19).

Now, some of the paranormal activity we read about today could very well be hoaxes perpetuated on a public that is all too eager to believe. In some cases, well-meaning people could be innocently mistaken as to what they think they might have seen or experienced. There is probably a logical explanation for much of what gets passed off as “paranormal activity.” However, if there is genuine evil spiritual activity occurring, it would have to be the work of demons. Either way, however, when Christians read or hear of such activity we should not be intrigued by it or drawn to it; rather we should use it as a solid reminder of the spiritual battle that is the Christian life and the one against whom we struggle. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood,” but, rather it is against the “powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

Many people are no doubt intrigued by tales of ghosts and hauntings. Yet, if getting angry can give the devil a “foothold” into our lives (Ephesians 4:27), how much more so would a fascination with the “dark forces” of this world that he controls? Jesus Christ came to earth to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8), and it took His death to accomplish it. Our response to paranormal activity, at least as it pertains to any sort of demonic activity, is to be reminded of the evil which ultimately led to our Savior’s great sacrifice.

Beyond that, Christians should avoid any and all contact with the paranormal.

Next Study Brian’s compilation of Bible and Ghosts

Genuine worship

We live in a culture that is self-focused. Sadly, even our worship can become about how it makes us feel or what we get out of it. We may go to church because the songs and the routine give us warm feelings, or we choose to skip church because we don’t feel like going. But the Bible is clear that worship is not about us. It’s about God. His Word instructs us to worship because He deserves our praise.

Teaching from Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Mark, John, and 1 Thessalonians, draws our attention to what the Bible says about worship. Genuine worship in spirit and in truth is only possible when we are captured by an overwhelming sense of awe and reverence in the presence of God. As we approach worship, we should prepare properly, engage our minds, and keep our hearts focused on the object of our worship, the one true God. Then, and only then, can we expect visitors to our services to exclaim, “Surely God is in this place!”

Non Negotiables

 What are the non negotiable in your life? 

As you live day-to-day in your own house and with your own family what are the non negotiables that you believe?  What family rules and what personal rules do you have that are not to be crossed, that you will not do, and you don’t want done around you?

 Remember the lesson that I taught on “I Will Never”.  In Luke chapter 22? We see Peter speaking I will never and being rebuked by Jesus. Non negotiable  are things that you would like to believe you will never do and with the Lord’s help perhaps that will be true.

 Non negotiable are things that you have a moral stance, you’ve drawn the line in the sand, and they are  things that you believe and hold to with a firm conviction.   In today’s world of tolerance, non negotiable are becoming harder and harder to hold on to.

 But let’s change the focus to church. If someone asked you to explain in a short brief paragraph what you believe and what are your religious convictions , could you elaborate in a clear and concise method?

 As our church has begun looking for a new pastor we have had to decide what it is we believe what are and what are our non negotiables.  Of course there are our church doctrines and basic beliefs from which we can draw our pastor search  criteria, but there are so many other points that are open to discussion and beliefs.

 The question begs to be asked what things are worthy of non fellowship and are non negotiable upon which we should break fellowship?  What criteria do you believe is Biblical, and can be scripturally supported, that your pastor must hold in order to be worthy?

What things are personal preference, and what things are the line drawn in the sand?

I seriously challenge you to stop and make your list.  Doing so is harder than you think. It is also a real eye opener.

Hungering for Corporate Prayer


By Ruth Ann Bare


Many Christians are thinking the same thing these days. We know that time is short. We can feel the pressure building.  It makes our hearts beat harder as we contemplate the surreal landscape of the hour in which we are living and try to come to grips with the reality of Bible prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes.  

We cringe at the stories that flood the media. We have a hard time going to sleep at night because of the horrific and threatening news and find ourselves quoting  Scripture in the dark to quiet our fears.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91).  This Scripture is comforting and strengthening.  Meditating on each piece of the armor in Ephesians 6, also, helps me to stand against the enemy’s taunts.                        

Still, if you are like me, you find yourself wanting to pray together with other believers. Pray… together.  It seems this is the farthest thought from most Christians’ minds.  Even inside the believing churches’ walls, corporate prayer is scarce.  Yet, Jesus said in Matthew 21:13b:

“It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer.” 

So, why aren’t we falling on our knees as a church body and crying out to the Lord for mercy in judgment and for grace to live for Christ?  

Why aren’t we pleading together for all the great needs we hear about? 

Why aren’t we confessing the sins of our nation? 

Don’t we need to tell God how sorry we are for our wickedness? An avalanche is coming, and we just go on with business as usual.  This lack of corporate prayer inside the church building in these unprecedented days is as mystifying to me as the deafening silence there concerning these “perilous times.”  

Is there a connection between these two issues?  Has political correctness, aka “the fear of man,” choked out the prayer meeting?  If we can’t talk about it, we can’t pray about it.  Right?

“The fear of man bringeth a snare:  but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

 Believe me, when persecution hits hard in America, people will start gathering together for prayer.  Why wait for worse things to happen?  We may not have the opportunity to freely pray together for long. I believe God wants to do amazing things even in a dying America. Only our unbelief will stand in the way.

 “And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58).”     

 No, I don’t believe America will be resurrected at this point. The signs are everywhere.  Judgment is falling fast on our nation as well as the world. We seem to have hit the downward slope at full-speed and are headed for the “end of the age.”  Yet, there is so much we can do in prayer; and, oh, the strength that comes from praying together. 

Although secret prayer is our lifeblood, we need prayer with the Body of Christ, too, especially now.  Let’s join our hearts together and pray for all we’re worth as we face uncertain and, yes, downright scary days ahead. 

Where should we start? The battle is great everywhere we look. Consider Israel, now surrounded by raging satanic hordes.  The Lord said we are to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).  Think of the privilege we have to minister to the seed of Abraham in their hour of great need.  

We know what is coming from reading the prophetic Word, and we have been commanded to pray for God’s chosen people.  Don’t we want our prayers to be used to bring salvation to “all Israel” (Romans 11:26)?  What about the persecuted church all over the world, fleeing for their lives and being tortured in a myriad of unspeakable ways?  We need to intercede at God’s throne for them as if it were our own plight.

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity as being yourselves also in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).  

What about our unsaved loved ones, neighbors, friends, and other acquaintances?  Will they be left behind at the trumpet sound?  The Tribulation is near, but death could be even closer.    Some of us have been praying for years for these dear ones.  Lest we faint at this critical hour, let’s hold up each other’s arms and cry out for God to open their eyes. There’s so much more I could add here, but I think it should be obvious that the need is urgent, to say the least, which calls for our united fervency.  

 Remember the Lord Jesus in the Garden as He was pouring out His soul to the Father concerning the cup.  He went to His disciples more than once and found them sleeping. He said to Peter,  “What, Could ye not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40b).  They went back to sleep. 

How could they have been so oblivious to the times? They had been with Him and heard all His teachings. He kept telling them, but they just didn’t get it. Don’t you think they would have been on their faces agonizing  with the Lord if they had known what was about to take place?   

Well, we know.  If we have read our Bibles, we know.  The birth pangs are growing stronger with shorter intervals.  To say the situation is dire is a monstrous understatement.  The stage for Daniel”s 70th Week is being set at a dizzying speed.  The church’s departure must be close.  If ever there were a call from the Lord for us to come together in corporate prayer, this is surely it.  We don’t want to miss this call like the disciples did on that dark night in the Garden. 

I have not been able to find prayer meetings in the usual places, but God has heard my soul’s cry for fellowship in prayer. A couple of evenings each week I tune in to an Internet prayer meeting where some godly men lead the cyber-connected congregation in prayer and Bible study. They are courageously facing the issues and praying the way the churches should be praying, as well as working tirelessly to deliver the gospel to the world. 

It is a great joy and blessing to be able to agree with them in prayer regarding these incredible times. Then, one or two mornings a week I meet with my sister on the phone long distance. We pray for many things but lost loved ones in particular.

We know that time is running out. We have combined our efforts, encouraging one another to keep trusting God to work in their lives.   Also, when I can meet with friends and family members in my living-room or theirs, I take advantage of every opportunity for corporate prayer.  

Christian friends, if gathering for prayer is a desire of yours, God will supply.  Ask Him.  I believe He is hungering, too. For all eternity we will be glad we answered His call.                 

“ …and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b emphasis added).

You Are Getting Old Now What? Can Seniors Really Make a Difference?


As a very young “Senior Citizen” who has lived in a Senior Community, I am enjoying seeing the evidence of faith in many of our elderly, and how it affects their life.

Personally, I have been affected by health issues that have totally stopped and changed the direction of my life.  I have had to learn to sit and let my girls do for me some of the simplest of things.  Although I am normally a positive outlook person, I have had to face the question of why am I still alive and here?  What good am I?

In my community and probably any chosen community you look at, there are those who are content and those who are worriers. There are those who are at peace and those who are tormented.

A quote from a book, something I have never forgotten: “…And when these old folks died, it was as if they had never been!” The challenge, no doubt, was about making a difference as a Christian disciple. Are we doing that?

Can Seniors Really Make a Difference?

I can think of at least five possible areas where those of us in the senior status can make a difference:

 Knowledge and command of the Word.

 Praying with confidence and conviction.

 Possession of a true concept of God.

 Living a life with a positive testimony.

 Sharing our faith in simple confidence.

If your life during the week, between Sundays, is caught-up in uncertainty and worry that you might not really be saved, there are probably a couple of things that are causing you to think that:

 You are relying on your feelings for assurance and not on what God has said, the promises He has made to you;

 And, you have not overcome the indulgence of your old nature in self-condemnation.

Look at 1 John 5:11-13:

“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. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

Only believers in Jesus Christ can know that they have eternal life. No other religion can make that claim, and their consciences will not give them the peace of God that comes with the certainty of knowing for sure.

If you have invited Him into your life, in sincerity and honest repentance, He will not fail to enter your life and live in you. The other point to master is believing God has forgiven you for your sins, past, present and future, because He says so in 1 John 1:9 (and other places), even though you may not feel like they are forgiven. Self-condemnation cannot refute the promises of God!

Now, a continuation of that context in 1 John, above, bears upon that second point of the five listed earlier. Read again 1 John 5:11-13, then go on to these next verses, 1 John 5:14-15:

“Now, this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

If we know that we have eternal life because we believe that God said so, then our confidence is emboldened to know He will answer our prayers that are according to His will. The two principles are inseparable—to know that you know that you know; that He is true to His Word which automatically carries over to your prayer life. It is not a principle that becomes a part of our lives “right out of the box,” however. And that is where that third principle comes in.

Having a true concept of God is foundational. We have to discard all false concepts that are rooted in our sub-conscience minds from non-biblical theories we have heard or what we have concluded because of those “impossible” laws of God — things we think we have to do or we will go to hell. That is exactly why Jesus came into the world, to be our Savior! Here is another verse that may clarify the issue:

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

That little two-letter word, “is” has a double meaning—that God exists, and that God is everything we would ever need. At the burning bush episode in Exodus 3, God told Moses to tell the Israelites His name is “I AM.” Ever-present and all that anyone would ever need, the source of all things—that is the God who IS!

Add to that, then, the latter part of the verse—He rewards those who follow Him in His righteousness and fellowship. God is a good God, and even the self-improvement gurus, who do not necessarily proclaim Jesus Christ as God, make that the first principle of maintaining a positive attitude.

A Great Misunderstanding In Churches Of The Purpose Of Music


There is a great misunderstanding in churches of the purpose of music in Christian worship. Churches routinely advertise their “life-changing” or “dynamic” worship that will “bring you closer to God” or “change your life.” Certain worship CD’s promise that the music will “enable you to enter the presence of God.” Even a flyer for a recent conference for worship leaders boasted:

“Join us for dynamic teaching to set you on the right path, and inspiring worship where you can meet God and receive the energy and love you need to be a mover and shaker in today’s world…Alongside our teaching program are worship events which put you in touch with the power and love of God.”

The problem with the flyer and with many church ads is that these kinds of promises reveal a significant theological error. Music is viewed as a means to facilitate an encounter with God; it will move us closer to God. In this schema, music becomes a means of mediation between God and man. But this idea is closer to ecstatic pagan practices than to Christian worship.

Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. He alone is the One who brings us to God. The popular but mistaken notions regarding worship music undermine this foundational truth of the Christian faith. It is also ironic that while many Christians deny the sacramental role of those ordinances which the Lord Himself has given to the church (baptism and the Lord’s Supper) they are eager to grant music sacramental powers. Music and “the worship experience” are viewed as means by which we enter the presence of God and receive his saving benefits. There is simply no evidence whatsoever in Scripture that music mediates direct encounters or experiences with God. This is a common pagan notion. It is far from Christian.

In his helpful book True Worship Vaughan Roberts offers four consequences of viewing music as an encounter with God. I will summarize them.

1. God’s Word is marginalized.
In many Churches and Christian gatherings it is not unusual for God’s Word to be shortchanged. Music gives people the elusive “liver quiver” while the Bible is more mundane. Pulpits have shrunk and even disappeared while bands and lighting have grown. But faith does not come from music, dynamic experiences, or supposed encounters with God. Faith is birthed through the proclamation of God’s Word (Rom 10:17 ).

2. Our assurance is threatened.
If we associate God’s presence with a particular experience or emotion, what happens when we no longer feel it? We search for churches whose praise band, orchestra, or pipe organ produce in us the feelings we are chasing. But the reality of God in our lives depends on the mediation of Christ not on subjective experiences.

3. Musicians are given priestly status.
When music is seen as a means to encounter God, worship leaders and musicians are vested with a priestly role. They become the ones who bring us into the presence of God rather than Jesus Christ who alone has already fulfilled that role. Understandably, when a worship leader or band doesn’t help me experience God they have failed and must be replaced. On the other hand, when we believe that they have successfully moved us into God’s presence they will attain in our minds a status that is far too high for their own good.

4. Division is increased.
If we identify a feeling as an encounter with God, and only a particular kind of music produces that feeling, then we will insist that same music be played regularly in our church or gatherings. As long as everyone else shares our taste then there is no problem. But if others depend upon a different kind of music to produce the feeling that is important to them then division is cultivated. And because we routinely classify particular feelings as encounters with God our demands for what produce those feelings become very rigid. This is why so many churches succumb to offering multiple styles of worship services. By doing so, they unwittingly sanction division and self-centeredness among the people of God.

Scripture is full of exhortations to God’s people to sing and make music to the Lord. Our God has been gracious to give us this means to worship Him. But it is important to understand that music in our worship is for two specific purposes: to honor God and to edify our fellow believers. Unfortunately, many Christians tend to grant music a sacramental power which Scripture never bestows upon it.

THREE CHEERS FOR OUR UNSUNG HEROES!

Reprint from JULY 6, 2017 BRIAN AMERSON L

It recently occurred to me that every significant event is made possible by “supportive unknowns.” We know those who are up front, but we seldom acknowledge those who provide the wind beneath their wings.

Battles are fought and won by those on the front lines—top-gun pilots, brave paratroopers, and heroic warriors who strategize, practice, and confront the enemy, fire heavy weapons, and carry compatriots to safety.

But we seldom consider the “unknowns” who build the planes, sew the nylon used as parachutes, or forge the steel for making rifles and rockets. Those on the front lines could not survive without these unknowns.

Open-heart surgeries are performed every day by well-trained and often well-known cardiac surgeons. We respect their knowledge, and we applaud their skill as they do intricate surgeries and save lives.

But what about those “unknowns” who sterilize the instruments, assist as nurses, or make certain the operating room is ready and clean sheets are on the beds? The lead surgeons could not be successful without the full support of unknowns on the staff. What powerful roles are filled by those hidden heroes!

First Samuel 13 and 14 reveal just how important supportive unknowns can be. The Israelites were outnumbered and undersupplied. The Philistines not only had all of the iron weapons, one battalion occupied a strategic position at the top of rugged cliffs that were next to impossible to scale. While his dad, King Saul, sat under a tree, Jonathan refused to accept defeat. He decided to do what most would call “the impossible” . . . to climb those cliffs and confront the enemy . . . but he could not do it alone.

So he said to his armor-bearer, “Let’s go!” This unknown armor-bearer’s response was magnificent! “Do all that you have in mind . . . go ahead; I am with you heart and soul” (1 Samuel 14:7). Success followed, even though the odds were ten to one. Not only did they scale the steep cliffs together, they attacked the Philistines. Killing twenty, they caused the entire Philistine army to panic and “melt away in all directions.”

Most Bible students know of King Saul and his fine son, Jonathan . . . but today, nobody knows who Jonathan’s armor-bearer was; we don’t even know his name. But Jonathan did . . . and he trusted this man with his life. However, we only know this about him:

He was committed to Jonathan “heart and soul”! He played a significant role in the success of that mission.

What Jonathan’s armor-bearer meant to him, friends like you mean to us. Prayer support helps us scale “impossible” cliffs, to stay in the fight for a lost world.

Did God Create evil?

If God did not create evil then God is not sovereign nor is he the Supreme Being or the creator of the universe. He is not the great “I Am” that I am since evil can exist by itself. In order for us to understand the nature of God, we have to make a few declarations. These are the things which are of God, however, they are not all of God just some of him:

God is supreme and sovereign, God answers to no other being.

God is almighty and not subjected to human reasoning. He said my ways are not your ways; my ways are higher than your ways.

God is before everything else, meaning God was present before any other thing. He is the alpha and the omega.

God is the creator of everything on earth, in heaven and under the earth.

God is a god of holiness, justice, and righteousness.

If we do not put these statements out, then the subsequent explanation will become twisted yet again because people have the wrong concept of good and evil, perfect and sovereign. Trying to explain the nature of God with a build-in bias will naturally cause some confusion and misunderstanding. A mad man does not know he is mad, for he has lost the ability to reason. Similarly, a bias in our reasoning can make us blind to the truth.

Using a singular verse like Isaiah 45:7 is not sufficient to explain that God created evil, since there are many word teachers who are experts at changing the meaning in Hebrew, Greek, and who knows what language. They all made us think that the English version bible is not good enough to learn of God. This is simply not true at all, they forgot that we have the Holy Spirit to show us the truth since the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Truth.

Isaiah 45:7 (King James Version)

7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

I quote from another writer, L.Ray Smith, and he said, “Satan does play a role in the salvation of the human race. Satan is just one more “evil” that God uses in bringing many sons into glory. The very reason that the above heading might turn some heads is not because it isn’t true or completely Scriptural, but rather because the world has been deceived about most of these spiritual things. God “created evil” (Isaiah 45:7). God does not create things that do not serve a good purpose. By the way, the word translated into “evil” in Isaiah 45:7 is the Hebrew word ra, and it is the very same word translated hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times as “evil” throughout the Old Testament.”

I present another verse in the bible (Colossians 1:16) which says that God created everything, things visible and invisible. God made everything, and nothing was made without him making them. God made everything that can be seen with the naked eye and everything which can not be seen with the naked eye as well.

Now what are the things which are classified as invisible?

They are lust, jealousy, anger, wrath, fear, vengeance, greed, hatred, evil, idolatry, rebellion, stubbornness, arrogance, pride, and others. These are things which can not be seen. And these are all created by God who made all things. Invisible things mean things which are intangible and can not be visibly seen yet real. Electricity is invisible, it can not be seen with the eye, yet it is real. Wind is invisible to the eye yet it is real, we see its effect. Similarly, evil is intangible, yet we see its effect. Evil is not the absence of good. If I put good in a room and sealed it in a vacuum, and then later I took good out of the vacuum, you mean evil will manifest itself in the vacuum. I don’t think so. Evil is the absence of good is not a very correct statement though it seems reasonable, it is not. We must not play with words and go into a tangent thereby tricking ourselves to the warped logic of a bias mind trying to find some form of strange logic to explain the answer which we want.

Colossians 1:15-18 (New International Version)

The Supremacy of Christ

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Again in the book of John, it is stated that God made everything and nothing could have existed without God making them,

John 1:1-4 (King James Version)

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2The same was in the beginning with God.  3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

When the bible says all things, it means all things, I am sure no Hebrew or Greek or any other language can explain that away. This is truly a statement that has no ambiguity, and thank God that it is so. Then what is the meaning of thing, thing means thing, anything not just physical things but also invisible things. Since Colossians 1:16 defines things as invisible and visible. Evil is invisible to the eye except we can observe its manifested actions and consequences, because evil creates pain, sadness and grieve for the ones who encounter it.

What is Evil then?

Evil is the law that accuses the brethren of sin. Evil is the law prosecutor that puts the person who has sin under the bondage of punishment. Anyone who lives by Galatians 5:22-23 has no punishment since against such things there is no law. Evil is of the devil, it’s the characteristics of the devil. In Galatians 5:23, the verse “no law” means no evil can persecute such a man who walks in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility and self control. Evil represents the justice of Law because it accuses the sinner of the crime he committed. Satan or the devil is the accuser of the brethren because Satan is well verse in scripture. In the desert trial of Jesus, Satan uses scripture to test Jesus and to try to get him to sin against God.

Galatians 5:22-23 (King James Version)

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Anything that works under a law system will expect that violation will bring punishment. So anyone who has the fruit of the Spirit does not have any law against them and therefore no evil will befall them. Jesus was such a man when the walked the earth, he declared that Satan has nothing against him.

Genesis 2:9 (King James Version)

9And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Yet again, we see that God created the tree of life and also the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So if God said that when you eat the tree of knowledge you will know good and evil, then evil has to exist else God will be a liar. Therefore, is there anymore proof that needs to be given that Yes, God created evil? I think not; unless all this theologians still want to insist that a good God do not create evil because of their definition that good means no evil. However, this kind of thinking is flawed. We can not escape the fact that God made it very clear that he created evil. Evil is the punishment which God has created against men who sin. Evil is the justice accorded to people who sin, and to those who do not sin, evil is good since it punishes those who sin. But sadly, all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God so evil did punish us all, and only the atonement of Jesus Christ saved us from eternal damnation.

Similarly, when a father disciplines and punishes his son for being a rascal, is this act of chastisement good or evil? It’s good for the father since he disciplines his son, but it is evil to the son who receives the lashes since it pains him. So where is evil not a good thing, evil is good from a different perspective. Therefore, to God evil is good and it’s his tool to punish and chastise everyone who violates the word of God.

When God created the world in 6 days and rested on the seventh, he did say it was good. What is good for God may not be necessarily good for us. Did God created hell? Yes, we all know he did, if so is that good for us. No, it’s good if you are saved by believing in Jesus, certainly not good if you are not a believer. But to God he says it is good. Good for whom, good for God. So are we being the pot trying now very hard to tell the potter what are you doing? Can we question God what is it he is doing? Can we then say as well that evil is not good?

Evil is good for God because it punishes the sinner who violates the word of God. Evil can not punish anyone who does not sin. Evil is a servant of God, many will not agree to this statement because they think that evil can do anything it wants without the approval of God, then they should read the book of Job. Evil is subjugated to God because evil was created by God. If God did not create evil then it means that evil created itself out of no other creator God but itself. Then we may not know who will win the final war when evil fights against God and Jesus, because we do not know how strong evil is since we have not seen this war yet. But of course we know God wins in the end, the bible says so.

Proverbs 26:2 (New International Version)

2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

Romans 8:28 (New International Version)

More than Conquerors

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Here again, all things which means invisible and visible things work for the good of those who love him and not good for those who hate him. All things mean all things and we can not change this statement again. Evil is good in the sight of God since it punishes those who sin against God. God is a god of justice and he is also a god of decent order. And so he has to provide justice for those who can not defend themselves from aggressors. When I made this discovery that evil was created by God, I finally began to see and understand all the proper connections in the bible stories and know what God is all about. For those who insists that evil is not created by God will have a long time of trouble to understand the nature of God and his purpose, if they persist in this error they may forever be unable to understand who God is truly.

Can God lie, since many believe lying is evil or wrong?

God can not lie, yet God works with a lying spirit to lie to the king whom he decreed disaster. So is this lying spirit good or bad or did it serve a function for God. God used a lying spirit to lie to a king and to send him into a battlefield to be killed. Is this good or evil? But this king in the sight of God is evil indeed. Read the book of second Chronicles.

2 Chronicles 18:20-23 (New International Version)

20 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’

” ‘By what means?’ the LORD asked.

21 ” ‘I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

” ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’

22 “So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.”

So in this case, would you say the Lord permitted or approved of this act? What’s the difference between permit and approved, permit means not agreeing strongly but allowed it, while approve means allowing something with strong conviction. The Lord says let your Yes be Yes and your No be No, so how can God permit and yet not allowed or even approved. This is utter nonsense, approved, allowed and permit they are all the same, God said Yes do it.

Christians tried very hard using strange words to explain away that God is not fatalistic in nature and is always kind and gentle, no God is not so, he is a just God and will not hesitate to exercise judgment on anything or anyone. God is a decisive God who does not waver between two decisions, God is able to make hard decision unlike man. I tell you this because I have received his chastisement and it was not kind or gentle; it was deep pain. Yet, God was just in his dealings with me. This is not theology, it’s an encounter with the real God who disciplines those he calls son. The chastisement to me was not good, in fact I call that evil but I know I deserved that, since it was a prophecy I should not have given but I did out of my own presumption and not considering the consequences of the statement made, and God had to punish me for that.

Unless you come to that place and get to know God, you will never walk in intimacy with him because all your knowledge of him is but theology, doctrine, concept, imaginary hypothesis, philosophy and man-made traditions which are not worth a dime compared to the real knowledge of him. Let the truth set you free to go into deeper understanding of God.

Elders for the Church


by Phil Newton

Over the past decade I’ve engaged a wide-range of Christians on the subject of elders. Some, in desperation, want to change dysfunctional church leadership structures. Others have grown tired of side-stepping the biblical teaching on elders. Some long to adopt elder leadership yet realize many of their congregants would resist change. A mission leader told me that elder plurality was a major issue in his region; nationals, unfamiliar with traditions and arguments against elder plurality, saw it in Scripture and wanted to obey.

Christ gave elder leadership to the church for its growth, development, and unity. Yet tradition often tugs stronger than biblical order for those refusing elder leadership. Others have elders but neglect applying biblical standards to them. Paul’s letter to Titus offers great help for both cases (Titus 1:5-9).

First, plural leadership is the norm for every church: “appoint elders in every city as I directed you.” “Elders” is plural and “in every town” is singular. It indicates multiple elders serving each church on Crete (1:5). Each reference to local church elders demonstrates plurality as the New Testament practice (see Acts 14:2315:2220:17 that show this same pattern of plurality). Paul’s reason for plurality within even small congregations makes sense. It provides accountability, support, and encouragement, increased wisdom, and diversity of gifts to increase ministry effectiveness.

Second, elders are necessary for the proper ordering of the church. Titus was to “put what remained into order” (Titus 1:5). He would begin by appointing “elders in every town.” Elders would engage in the work of ongoing church reformation. What needed reforming? Slick teachers whom Paul called “empty talkers and deceivers,” undermined families “by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach” (vv. 10–11). Elders must correct the false teaching, remove the false teachers, and reiterate the sufficiency of the Gospel. Some Cretan Christians were acting like “Cretans,” not Christians! “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons” (v. 12); elders must teach the right application of law and gospel to daily life, exemplify Christian living, and lead in discipline when necessary. Still others were turning away from the truth by “devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people,” defiling themselves in mind and conscience (vv. 14–15). Again, the elders must be the means of putting what remained into the order of sound teaching and godly practice.

Third, elders set an example for the church at home, in personal conduct, and in relationships (vv. 6–8). An elder is to be “the husband of one wife,” singularly devoted to his wife, seeking to love her as Christ does the church (Eph. 5:25). His children are to be “faithful” (nasb; pistos seems best translated as “faithful” or “trustworthy,” see 1 Tim. 1:12153:14:92 Tim. 2:1113Titus 1:93:8), “and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.”

In personal conduct, an elder is to be “above reproach” because he is “God’s steward” or manager over God’s flock. He is to be conscientious in conduct with no dangling areas discrediting Christ or the Gospel. Further, “he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered,” so he guards against trampling others with attitude or outbursts. He must not be “a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,” so he exercises self-restraint in appetites, self-control in responses, and self-discipline in finances (v. 7).

The elder also sets an example in relationships by being “hospitable” through accepting and befriending others; “a lover of good” by affirming what’s best; and “self-controlled” by keeping his head when life comes unraveled. In his dealings with others he is to be “upright,” in his personal piety — “holy,” and in his natural impulses — “disciplined” (v. 8). He keeps in mind that he is an “overseer,” not an owner, a servant not a lord (v. 7). Just as Jesus Christ came not to be served but to serve (Mark 10:45), even so must God’s steward be in the church.

Finally, the shepherding role of elders is distinguished from deacons by requiring elders to be able to teach (Titus 1:91 Tim. 3:1–13). Elders must be steadfast in knowing and applying the Word personally: “he must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught.” They live and breathe Gospel, delight in digging into Scripture, and test their grasp of doctrine by the Word. Elders must be committed to doctrinal teaching: “so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine.” Doctrine matters to elders. They recognize “sound doctrine” as the heart of biblical understanding, essential to the vitality of the church. Neglect it, and the church might still have an outward form of Christianity but inwardly dies, breeding all manner of deceit and sin. Elders must be ready and willing to reprove those opposing sound doctrine: “also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Anyone that enjoys confrontation has to be a little demented! Yet when the Gospel is at stake, when the health and unity of the church hangs in the balance, and when someone totters on the brink of spiritual or moral ruin, elders must rise to the challenge. Like a S.W.A.T. team, elders must remain doctrinally alert, ready to engage any that would threaten to divide or damage the body of Christ (Titus 1:9).

As Christ’s gift to the church, elders value character as they focus on the church’s maturity and unity. Whether by denial or misuse, neglecting Christ’s design for elder leadership deprives the church of this priceless asset for its spiritual health.

Fruit INSPECTORS

We are admonished and warned to be aware of those that are not necessarily of God.

1 Timothy 6:3-6 ” If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Ephesians 4:17-20 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ;”

Proverbs 21:23,24 ” Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.”

Some have a perception that they are justified to sin because they feel others have hurt them or falsely accused them, whether it is true or not. Often that justification keeps a person from seeing the sin they are committing. Others feel that being a Christian and contending for the faith gives one license to use whatever words and attitudes they feel like using –all in the name of “righteousness”. But failure to exhibit the things of Christ, or being a reflection of Him, means we have fallen into sin somewhere along the way. Or perhaps it could mean a person did not, or no longer, belongs to Christ.

We are admonished and warned to be aware of those that are not necessarily of God.

Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

Colossians 3:12-17a “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another…” 

Colossians 3:5-10 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:”

2 Tim 3:1-7 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Proverbs 22:10-13 “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea strife and reproach shall cease. He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend. The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge, and he overthroweth the words of the transgressor.”

1 Timothy 6:3-6 ” If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

And finally:

Luke 6:43-48 “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

He is like a man which built an house, and digged it deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” 

We need to be “fruit inspectors” and weigh carefully what is growing around us. We also need to check where we’ve built our “House” and we need to be sure that we’re on the “Rock”.