Tag Archive: Discernment


Robber or Redeemer

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“Now at that feast the governor was accustomed to releasing unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will you that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” Matthew 27:15-17

Pilate said, “But you have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will you therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.” John 18:39-40

From the cereal isle at the grocery store to the food court at the mall, there’s no doubt this world is inundated with an almost endless amount of choices. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements featuring the “latest and greatest” of everything. It’s no wonder we’ve almost become completely desensitized to the daunting amount of decisions staring at us day after day. Yet, in spite of this mountainous menagerie, our choices really don’t have to be that complicated. You see, when it’s all said and done, we are left with only two simple, but absolutely crucial decisions in all that we believe, do, say, and think – the robber or the Redeemer.

When Christ was led before the people, Pilate gave them a choice, Barabbas or Jesus.  The people had arguably made hundreds of thousands of choices in their life times, yet all those decisions could all be boiled down into one of these two categories, the robber or the Redeemer.  The same can be said for all of mankind throughout time. Although material is not necessarily good or bad, our hearts, being stubbornly self-willed, tend to allow us to become completely distracted by the lusts, pleasures, and pain of this planet. In a very real sense, we are often more than willing to be robbed of the joy and peace and wonderful knowledge of Christ for what is, at best, a measly bowl of stew. (Genesis 25:29-34). When examining the presence and power of the robber and the glorious reality of the Redeemer, there are definitely some things worth carefully considering. Here are just a few.

The Robber: Destroying the Foundation
This sin-soaked world, comprised of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, only has one goal, one aim… to steal all the glory from God!  Jesus called Satan a thief and a murderer and reminds us that he comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.  Even though he is the thief of all thieves, the devil obviously cannot actually steal the Lord. Nor can he kill the truth. And he most certainly cannot destroy the Word of God.  Some might wonder about Psalm 11:3… If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? Doesn’t this verse teach that the foundations can be destroyed?

There are two vantage points to consider when examining this verse, man’s and the Lord’s. Considering the Lord, we know there is nothing that can stand against Him, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Since this is the case, we can logically and biblically conclude that this verse is not saying that God’s Word can actually be destroyed. However, mankind’s love for and access to God’s Word can most definitely be rotted, replaced, and ruined.  I have absolutely no power to actually destroy God, but I most certainly have the capacity to infect and influence the hearts and minds of myself and others, causing a lost desire and direction for the truth, in essence, stealing away the one true foundation. So although the foundation, that is to say, God’s Word, endures forever, we do know that our appropriation, understanding, and application of that foundation can assuredly be robbed from us.

One example of this is found in the parable of the soils (Luke 8). The “birds” (the devil) snatched the Word from the hardened heart, therefore removing the only foundation that will endure forever. Did the Word actually get destroy? No. But the Word was robbed from taking root in the hardened heart.  So, it might be better to say the robber’s strategy is an attack of the heart, an attack designed to prevent us from seeking and being satisfied in the Lord and the truth of His everlasting Word. This attack often involves offering us deceptive distractions and distorted doctrines in an effort to keep our hearts calloused and “dull of hearing”. (Matthew 13:15-16, Hebrews 5:11)

The Redeemer: All Things New
So many have said that we all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only Jesus can fill, and while this is true, it is not completely the case. Jesus does not come to simply fill the hole in our old, selfish hearts. No, He comes to remove the stony heart and transplant a new and living heart, His love and life, in its place.  God’s Word calls this the new birth. (John 3) Jesus does not simply fill our old, prideful, flesh-driven and glory-gleaning hearts. He does something much more amazing! He gives a total and spiritual heart transplant. God’s promise to Israel through Ezekiel is also a promise to all who desire to receive His full and free forgiveness in Jesus –  “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 36:26.

Not only do we receive a new heart, we also receive a renewed mind. The Bible calls this the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16) Jesus does not desire to fill a portion of our self-centered, “me, myself, and I” preoccupied mind. No, He instead gives us a renewed mind. Being born again means we receive a new heart and a new mind.  This is the truth of the new birth only made possible by the righteous Redeemer of the world, Jesus Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

The Reality: Being Born Again is Just the Beginning
Jesus represented all of humanity and as that perfect representation, the Last Adam walked the walk mankind (the first Adam’s race) was always supposed to walk. Just as Jesus fully and freely laid down His life to the will of His Heavenly Father, so too are we to do the same. Jesus does not steal our old nature. He is no robber! He truly is the remarkable Redeemer! He paid our sinful price in full, offering all who are willing to come to Him. He purchased us from the slave market of sin, self, and Satan and in its place, He offers us new life in Him. Jesus freely offers His Spirit, His nature, as the great exchange for all who are willing to turn to Him, all who choose to be redeemed. But this exchange is not the end. Actually, it’s just the beginning. Just as in all births, being born again means there’s a lot of growth to come.

Even though those who have been born again have passed from death to life, having received a new heart and new mind, there is still the presence of the old man and of this broken, sinful world. That is why, for our good and His glory, the Lord requires us to bury the old man by daily turning from ourselves and this rebellious world to the True and Living God, Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever and ever, amen!

My Reasonable Responsibility: Wearing the Redeemer’s Clothes
Although the old, selfish, and rebellious man has been dethroned, he will not be completely eradicated until the rapture or in death. Oh, what a day that will be, to see without the fleshly veil, my great and glorious King! Oh, what a day that will be!!! So, in order to keep myself from being robbed by the riches and cares of this world; if I am to prevent myself from having my love of Jesus and His Word stolen through subtlety, then burying the old man daily is a must! (1 Corinthians 15:31, Colossians 3:4-11)

Great, but what are practical means necessary to keep from being robbed of the depth and beauty and glory of the Lord? “Just give me a list,” says the baby Christian. “Tell me the things of this world that Satan will use to rob me of the knowledge of Christ. Then I will be prepared.” The Bible definitely gives us some broad and sometimes even detailed lists of what we should “take off/mortify”, however it is interesting to note that God’s Word does not account for every single, specific danger we will face in the world. I’m sure there are many reasons for this, but arguably one of the main reasons has to do with our hearts.

I’m sure we’d all agree that even good, godly things have the potential of robbing the throne of the new heart, the throne only Jesus deserves to sit upon.  So, it’s not necessarily just about following a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s more about diligently guarding our hearts daily. (Proverbs 4:23) It’s about putting on the full armor of God so we can daily stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11-24) Mortify the old man, yes!  Make no provision to the flesh, yes! But we have the privilege and responsibility of putting on the new man by clothing ourselves everyday with Christ. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” Romans 13:14.

Get to know the Good Shepherd’s voice by reading His Word often, praying fervently, knowing our righteousness is in Christ, and obeying our Heavenly Father willingly and wholeheartedly.  Then, and only then, will we be able to prevent our hearts from being robbed of the amazing beauty and joy found solely in Jesus Christ, our great and glorious Redeemer!

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth.” Job 19:25

Jesus said, “All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:8-11

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acquire-the-fireSadly, there is a very real spiritual battle that many are too happy to gloss right over. Many Christian parents and teachers earnestly desire to see their children interested in the things of the Lord, but sometimes feel like they don’t have the right tools to keep their interest once children have reached a certain age. So the search begins.  It’s at this point that priorities shift in the criteria for resources and church fellowships that are sought after.  “We need a church and materials that will hold my child’s interest, ones that he will really like.”  Of course this isn’t in and of itself completely bad, but there is definitely more to the story.

If a young teenager has only been lightly trained in his understanding of God’s Word, what kind of youth group will he most likely be drawn to?  As parents of young children, we don’t turn and say to our children, “What would you prefer to eat first, dessert or the main meal?”  No, we hopefully train our children to understand that there are priorities in eating.  First we eat our main course, including the vegetables, then go from there.  Although, perhaps a simple example, the same can be said for training our children in their activities with the Lord.

When looking for a church, our first priority ought always be to pray for the Lord’s leading.  Then there should be an honest desire to find a fellowship that has a strong emphasis on teaching the Word of God in such a way that promotes discernment, building the youth’s understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If this is done correctly, the rest should really work itself out.  Even if it means missing out on church once and a while, parents should also stop in to visit their children’s Sunday school and/or youth group meetings on a semi-regular basis.  Also, keep an open communication with your children and their teachers to see what they’re really learning from week to week. After all, you’re to ones the Lord has made most responsible for training your family. Don’t pass that privilege off to someone else!  Lastly, pray some more!  Never forget there is a very real battle to influence the hearts and minds of this upcoming generation.  Children are much easier to influence and once they are trained, it is difficult (albeit not impossible) to retrain them later.

While millions of young people around the world are staying busy week by week being entertained “in the name of Jesus”, there is a very real push to rewrite the messages they are hearing.  Regardless of what many of them profess, too many Sunday schools and youth groups rely much more on some company’s curriculum or training materials than the Word of God.  This is why it is important to know what your children are learning.  Many so-called Christian curriculum companies understand the money that can be made on selling their products to a large audience, so naturally in order to continue increasing their sales base, the message will have to appeal to as many as possible. And ever deeper than this, there is a very real desire to creatively and carefully move this generation off the firm foundation of the Word of God to the shifting sands of this world’s ecumenical doctrines.

We would be fools to believe the church is immune to the direction this world is headed.  It really is up to every parent and Godly teacher to become informed, exercising Christ-centered discernment in training the youth of today!  Below is a short, but very insightful article which gives a little background of one such group.  Youth Specialties has been around for 40 years and is involved in publishing books, organizing youth training and music events and camps around the world, as well as developing youth curriculum for churches and youth groups. Please take a few minutes to prayerfully read over this article.

Article:   SHAPING THE MINDS OF YOUTH   by Roger Oakland

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. ” 1 John 5:20-21

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

“Then the little children were brought to [Jesus] that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:13-14

False “Son of God”

Is the Son of God represented in the new “Son of God” film really the true Son of God? “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5

May the Lord give us His wisdom and understanding in the dark days in which we live! “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth comethknowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6

Son of God FalseThe image on the left is Sananda. He is frequently channeled by new agers and he is a real spirit. He is the Jesus that the Lightworkers are promoting.

The production company that made the “Son of God” movie is called Lightworkers Media. If you pray to receive the Lightworkers’ Jesus at the end of “Son of God,” this is the guy who will answer your prayer.

The link below is to just one chapter in “The New Scriptures,” written by him through one of many mediums who channel him. As you can see, he adds to scripture, promotes the love of Self (with a capital S) before the love of God or others, and derides “all the major religions.” He says, “It is time to put an end to the self-loathing and despair which has been taught by all the major religions in some form.” This is what he will lead you to believe if you accept him into your heart.

He says, “There is no vengeance, no punishment nor any threat of disapproval or any other dark judgment in God’s Love. This is the mythology of the past, and it is a misunderstanding of what God feels toward his/her children.” He strips God of His holiness and even attempts to prime us for goddess worship.

He states, “I AM Love because I am God, just as you are.” Never mind what Jesus said in John 8:23. “And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.”

He urges us to use our own “God” power. “All can manifest the Dream of their Hearts if they only have Faith in their own power.”

He teaches reincarnation, “This is what you have lived and died for in many past lifetimes, Dear Ones,” using references from the Bible. “You are indeed at the threshold of the Promised Land.”

He then reveals, clearly, his teaching that you are God. “It is in turn fueled by the Love of your Higher Self, God.” (This is a teaching directly from satan. Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.)

I channeled Sananda when I was a Lightworker. And he was one of the spirits who tried to torture me after I renounced occultism and turned to Jesus.

This is the Jesus Lightworkers believe in. And this is the Jesus they want YOU to believe in. You can be sure that a movie about Jesus is going to contain subtle depictions of Sananda.

Sananda is not Jesus. He is a demon. And the movie, “Son of God” was produced by people who serve that demon.

One website that features this exact picture of Sananda:
http://homolkova.cz/indexsananda.html?page=struct&way=17-mistri%2F81-sananda%2Findex.xml&p=sananda

Here is the production company that made the movie “Son of God.”http://www.lightworkersmedia.com/

Here is Roma Downey’s Facebook page, listing Lightworkers Media as her production company: https://www.facebook.com/Roma.Downey/info

Also, if you check my comments below this picture you will see that I am not the only ex-occultist turned Christian who remembers this picture of Sananda.

Can God use a movie like this to spread the gospel? Of course He can. He can use psychics too. He used me to encourage my clients to read the Bible before I closed my business and gave my life to Him.

But this doesn’t mean we should start promoting psychics or that I should go back into business. Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

The enemy is defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimonies. Not by movies made by people who hate Christianity.

Roma Downey on OM Times magazine:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152307092914603&set=a.10150096177304603.305916.716534602&type=1&relevant_count=1

The purpose and mission of Lightworkers:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152307092914603&set=a.10150096177304603.305916.716534602&type=1&relevant_count=1

Roma Downey’s partnership with TV psychic Jonathan Edward:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152306653819603&set=a.10150096177304603.305916.716534602&type=1&relevant_count=1

Roma and Della’s spiritual beliefs: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152307655774603&set=a.10150096177304603.305916.716534602&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Fscontent-a-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net%2Fhphotos-ash3%2Ft1%2F1897742_10152307655774603_1248598305_n.jpg&size=385%2C423

Roma’s inspiration from Lightworker text, “The New Scriptures”:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152308850749603&set=a.10150096177304603.305916.716534602&type=1&relevant_count=1
Note by Pennie De Witt, former Lightworker and occultist of 26 years.

Son of God ImageUnfortunately two of its most popular producers, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett are practicing new age /Catholic mystics. May those planning on seeing this movie prayerfully consider researching it more before going.

More food for thought from The Berean Call,

“Astonishingly, the evangelical church is progressively sliding into idolatry as it turns from the Word of God to visual imagery. A goal of the American Bible Society is to put the entire Bible on video to accommodate our visually oriented generation (which has little interest in reading). The Jesus Film, a dramatic representation of the Gospel of Luke, has been the staple of Campus Crusade’s overseas evangelical efforts. The very Catholic movie The Passion of the Christ became a runaway box-office hit, largely due to the overwhelming support it received from evangelicals. Biblically conservative mission organizations such as Gospel for Asia are using Mel Gibson’s Hollywood production as part of its outreach program. Millions of The Passion of the Christ DVDs were purchased by evangelical churches for their Sunday schools, Bible studies, and small group meetings.

“Religious movies are on the rise (e.g., The Nativity Story, One Night with the King) as evangelicals “partner” with Hollywood and demonstrate that they are an eager and profitable market. One pastor, whose church bought out theaters for private showings of The Passion (which produced only “one conversion”) repented. He came under the conviction that rather than partnering with, his church was, in fact, “pimping for Hollywood.” As true as that may be, and as praiseworthy as his repentance was, if he doesn’t understand the serious nature (as explained above) of attempting to represent God’s Word in dramatic visual form, he is vulnerable to repeating the same error with visual idolatry.

“This is not a blanket condemnation of the film/video medium, but films cannot be used to present the Scriptures visually without becoming idolatrous. Not only are the images historically false (they are conjured up from the imagination of a screenwriter or director) but they must also conform to the mechanics of the medium (acting, cinematography, art direction, lighting, music, sound effects, etc.), which are designed to manipulate the senses and the emotions for dramatic purposes (see Showtime for the Sheep?, www.thebereancall.org a more detailed explanation).

“Biblical movies are just one trend among dozens that are contributing to weaning evangelicals off the Word of God and producing biblically illiterate Christians. This is especially true regarding our visually oriented youth. In the final part of this series, we want to give more extensive examples of movements within evangelical Christianity that are aggressively turning our next generation away from the Scriptures and toward an idolatry of experientialism.

“We serve a merciful God who can rescue a soul out of the darkest of circumstances but who will not support by His grace man’s religious ways and means in their attempts to serve Him. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD” (Isaiah:55:8). To the degree that we deviate from His way, we are lapsing into idolatry. As Jesus explained, “God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John:4:24).”

Follow Up Article: The “Son of God” Movie is NOT What We Think by Blogger- The Last Hiker

Orphans No More

Castle 1Once there was an orphanage filled with children. Some were dropped off by parents who could no longer afford them. Others were there because their parents had tragically died and no family would care for them. Others were runaways, tired of being mistreated. So many of them arrived at the orphanage seemingly beyond hope.

It was rare to see prospective parents visiting since this place had received the reputation of housing the worst of the worst. Yet one day the children got the call. The whole orphanage was to meet in the assembly hall at ten o’clock sharp.

The room was buzzing with anticipation. The children were chattering and the workers were all wondering about the surprise visitor. Suddenly, a man entered from the back and the room quickly fell silent. The well dressed man, wearing a black wool overcoat and slightly undersized top hat, took center stage behind the auditorium lectern. He had a warm smile and gentle eyes. He introduced himself simply as the messenger.  The man explained that he represented a very wealthy benefactor who had heard of the orphanage’s reputation. The benefactor had a large castle and desired to invite all who wanted to be adopted to come live with him. The room erupted with excitement and even more questions. The messenger raised his hands to silence the room.

“You see,” said the man. “Every child here is invited to come.” The messenger continued. “The benefactor will be here soon and he has left something for each of you to study in the meantime.” The man could see that the children wondered why they would need to study anything. “The benefactor only wants those who will diligently seek to know the truth about him.” He then went on to explain that because of this man’s fame and wealth, many had pretended to be him and only by carefully studying the provided resource would the children know the true benefactor from the impostors.

The messenger then personally handed out a single piece of paper to each child. The paper contained a single picture of what the kids figured was the man’s castle. Several of the children decided to get together every day to study the picture in hopes of being prepared for the coming benefactor. After a few days a couple of them gave it up figuring they learned all they to know. The next day, one boy named Sam decided he would try to take even a closer look at the picture. He borrowed a magnifying glass from the science lab and began studying the castle in detail.  That’s when he noticed something he never thought he’d find.

As he looked closely at the picture he discovered words, tiny words. The picture wasn’t made up of dots of ink, rather carefully placed words. The boy spent hours meticulously studying them. Eventually he realized the words were sentences and the sentences were telling a story, a very important story about the benefactor. Sam was excited to learn so much about the one who was soon going to adopt him. He went to his friends to share the good news, but none of them seemed to care. Many others in the orphanage didn’t even believe him. Soon impostors started arriving at the orphanage, men looking for free labor in their factories and mills. Each claimed to be the true benefactor when in fact they were nothing more than liars and thieves.

Despite Sam’s warnings, many of the children chose to go with the impostors falsely promising them peace and safety. Then the day Sam had been patiently and faithfully waiting for had come. The true benefactor had arrived. As he spoke, Sam felt as though he already knew him. All those days of reading his word had really paid off.  Even though some of the pretenders sounded similar, none were exactly the same. The boy knew this was the one he had been waiting for. After the man was finished speaking, he invited all the children in the auditorium to come.  Sam was the first and only one of a few that chose to go with him.  Those that came to him truly enjoyed a life filled with joy and love. These children were called orphans no more. Now they were sons and daughters.

Jesus promises, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.” John 14:18-19

“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

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