Thank you again for a brilliant newsletter and the teaching it brings. I was never more shocked to learn recently that Alpha Crucis College (AoG – formerly SCBC) has sold the property to a Muslim developer for $23,000,000 — sad, sad news, I was reminded of Haggai 1:7 – [“Set your heart on your ways.”] Only history will record the results of this blunder. The Islamization of this nation is well under way. It will be interesting to see how the “new” party fares in our NSW state elections in March. It seems that they are putting a Muslim candidate forward to head up a Muslim party in our state government—another step toward “Sharia”—a law that is diametrically opposed to our national laws. The “Dimmih” code (a code that makes everyone who is not Muslim second class) is already in practice here. We are subjected to eating Hallal meat. Somewhere between 65% and 80% of all chickens killed in Australia are Hallal as is a good portion of beef—all this for only approximately 3% of the population. This opens the debate whether or not Christians should eat meats offered to idols, 1. Cor. 8 and 10. Allah is not the God of the Bible either Old or New Testament. But, praise be to God as we turn our eyes upon Jesus we see the end of all things and He is and soon will be Lord of all. Amen. May we all be strengthened in spirit and faith in these troubled times to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered. Ray Wadeley,Sydney, Australia.
Islamic Flood Coming to U.S.?
07 February 2011
By Chad Groening
The floodgates are open. The Muslims are coming in tremendous numbers into the U.S.
An Israeli author and expert on the Middle East is warning Americans that Islamic immigrants could possibly flood the U.S. as a result of the events taking place in Egypt. Israel National News recently reported that the Obama administration has decided to allow Islamic professor Tariq Ramadan to enter the United States. Ramadan, an Egyptian who currently lives in Switzerland, is a leading member of Europe's Muslim Brotherhood branch and is the grandson of the movement's founder.
He was invited to teach at the University of Notre Dame in 2004, but the Bush administration revoked his visa because of donations he made to a blacklisted charity. However, the Obama administration has now decided to lift the ban and possibly allow Ramadan and Adam Habib, another Muslim professor, onto U.S. soil.
Avi Lipkin1, an Israeli scholar and author who has travelled throughout the U.S. to warn Americans about the threat of Islam notes:
I'm sure you've heard many times that Washington, DC, is now flooded with Muslims in very high positions in the U.S. administration, and these Muslims already control the gates. The floodgates are open. The Muslims are coming in tremendous numbers into the U.S.
But he warns that the floods will only get worse when illegal aliens gain their amnesty.
What we will be seeing, I'm afraid, will be an amnesty for the illegal immigrants in America. Once the amnesty takes place for the Latin Americans, then they will get ready for the next wave of illegals, which will be the tens of millions of Muslims who are going to be flooding into the U.S., especially Egyptians and Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the State Department has declared that it no longer considers Ramadan or Habib to be a threat to the United States.
Spencer Gear of Hervey Bay, Queensland sent a letter-to-the editor of his local newspaper, the Fraser Coast Chronicle (FCC) in January 2011. It was not published. The letter read:
If there is no God and the devastating floods that happened in Queensland were due to inanimate Mother Nature, why are we badmouthing Mother Nature? Anna Bligh, state Premier, has stated that Mother Nature has unleashed a "shocking” disaster on Toowoomba and other centres (FCC, 10 Jan 2011). If this horrific damage was to be blamed on Mother Nature, whatever he, she or it might be like, and if there is no God, then why are Anna and others griping about these things? If God is not in charge of these things, then he must be just as frustrated as we are.Surely, the floods should be pointing us to a higher purpose in life than what we are acknowledging. I haven't heard or read this kind of response: “We have been ignoring God, kicking Him out of our lives for so long. It's about time He got our attention to focus on ultimate issues in life”.God has promised that He will not flood the earth again like he did in Noah's day (Genesis 8:21). Jesus Christ warned us that before Christ's second coming there would be strange signs in the sun, moon and stars, along with roaring seas and huge tides. People will be terrified by what they see on the earth (Luke 21:25-29). If there is no God who “sends the rain on the just and the unjust”, why are the media making such a fuss about the actions of Mother Nature?These floods should be a wake-up call about issues that should be important to us - something beyond materialism.
S Gear, Hervey Bay,Queensland, Australia.
A book publisher is suing televangelist and faith healer Benny Hinn, saying he violated a morality clause in their contract when he began an "inappropriate relationship" with another evangelist.
SANFORD, Fla. -- A Lake Mary book publisher is suing televangelist and faith healer Benny Hinn, saying he violated a morality clause in their contract when he began an "inappropriate relationship" with another evangelist, and thus, must pay $250,000. In August, Hinn admitted to a friendship with evangelist Paula White after The National Enquirerpublished photos of them in Rome, holding hands. Hinn was married at the time. His wife, Suzanne, had filed for divorce a few months earlier.
Three years earlier, Hinn had signed a three - book deal with Strang Communications Company of Lake Mary. He was paid a $300,000 advance on the first one, Blood in the Sand, according to the suit. Hinn acknowledged to his publisher "his inappropriate relationship" with While in August, according to the suit, and agreed that the publisher should get back its money, but he has yet to pay up.
Hinn's lawyer, Miles Archer Woodlief of Mill Valley, Calif., did not return a phone call Thursday. In a letter attached to the suit, Strang also accused Hinn of violated [sic] the contract by failing to work hard enough to market Blood in the Sand. He failed to make television appearances to promote it, including several on 700 Club, wrote Strang attorney Chris Vlahos. The suit was filed Tuesday in state circuit court.
Hinn lives in suburban Los Angeles. He moved there in 1999 after building a national audience at his faith-healing centre, World Outreach Center on Forest City Road in Orlando, where he preached for 14 years.
Cessationism vs Biblicism part 4Tue 1/02/2011 1:20 PM
Dear Philip, thank you for penning this article [CETF # 53/54 – pp 32-36]. This is the first CETF I've received and the timing was impeccable! Over the last six months I have become aware of my a solute and total need for Jesus to live His life in and through me. I resurrendered my life to Him (saved 20yrs ago) when I realised that I was lacking “something”. As I read the book of Acts it ecame apparent what I was lacking! I cried out to God for His Holy Spirit as I kne that Jesus had promised Him to His disciples and I was sure that if I asked He would give Him to me. This has been a very scary time as this is new territory for me! I have been saved out of Roman Catholicism, and since then have been in churches that held to cessationist teachings. I haven't attended any church for seven years but now attend a small fellowship group where more than half do not agree with “speaking in tongues”. Imagine my surprise when one day just talking to the Lord with a cup of coffee, I felt His spirit come upon me and I started to sing in tongues. After the initial joy I had many doubts that I was being deceived etc. I found the Lord was patient with me (as he has been for 20 yrs). Over the last few weeks He has revealed to me more and more of his servants who believe in and have the gifts of His Holy Spirit. My walk with Him now is something that I never could have imagined, I was dead in religion. Now I live to please Him and sin doesn't have the hold on me that it used to have, I don't drink anymore and watching TV drives me crazy!! How wonderful is our Lord and Saviour. Your article has been the final work in solidifying and confirming what the Lord has done in my life. Thank you and may the Lord bless you and all your work at CWM. If you can recommend a church for me to attend in NZ I'd appreciate it. In Him DT.
Ed - Thank you for your testimony, which is most encouraging. Everywhere we face difficulty in recommending “churches”. Due to these difficulties all we can now do is refer enquirers to our CWM - Fellowship website (http://www.cwmfellowship.org) where you can select from the top menu “Churches”. This will take you to a page where we list “ recommended fellowships” under countries and regions -
We will happily list there any fellowship, small or large, that will endorse our statements of faith and mission, which are also listed on the website and will assure us that they do NOT support ecumenism or the Word of Faith (also called the Faith-Prosperity) preachers or teachings. God bless you – plp.
Life After Death
Dear Philip & Crew: - I have read your magazine for a number of years and also purchased some good books, about half a dozen, and other helpful material [from CWM Resource]. One of the best was The Gospel according to Rome. I have given these to Roman Catholic friends.
I was raised a [Roman] Catholic, having two priests and one nun in the family. At about 21 or 22 years of age God revealed it was a lie and I abandoned the Vatican's teachings. To keep things short, later in Brisbane, searching for God, I spoke in tongues. This was the turning point in my life although I no longer attend the Revival Centres I do consider myself Pentecostal.
I understand you promote the Doctrine of hell/eternal torment/immortal souls and going to heaven when a believer dies. Many years ago, after much seeking, the Lord revealed to me that this is a great hoax. It has been a great money-spinner for the Vatican and indeed their invention. William Tyndale challenged the Vatican on this doctrine asking “If the souls be in heaven, show me what cause the resurrection.” I ask you the same question. I am sorry to hear of your friends' deaths but you quote John 14: 2-3 to support the belief that they are in heaven, yet when Jesus comes again, “every eye shall see him” Rev. 1:7. There are many, many scriptures that teach man is mortal and sleeps in the dust until Christ comes again and raises them up on the last day.
People will hate you when you reject their doctrine of hell, but please study and seek God's truth. Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. Praise God, this Scripture and knowing the truth about what happens at death has set me free. I pray you ask God and seek truth with an open heart. I have enclosed a book printed about 1909 that I pray will answer some of your questions and help you reject these evil doctrines. .... Jesus said in John 3:13 - “No man has ascended up into heaven” .... I believe him. I think he knows who is there JE NSW, Australia.
Ed – Thank you for your letter, which is too long to publish in full. I have omitted everything that does not relate to this one topic and have also reduced the other section. Thank you for the booklet entitled Where Are the Dead. I have read some of this – not all. I did note that someone had printed at the top of page 1 – “Not all the views taught seem true. But that man dies is certainly true.” I presume that this must have been written by you and of course it is true – “it is appointed unto men once to die” – Hebrews 9:27. Some of the things in your letter are simply incorrect. The Vatican does not teach that “believers” go straight to heaven. They teach something called purgatory which is a place of suffering to make people fit for heaven. So a major part of your whole argument falls apart. Also I would like you to document what William Tyndale actually wrote in his argument with the Church of Rome. I have never read anything like that coming from William Tyndale. I referred to Philippians 1:23 to support my belief that our departed friends have gone into the presence of Christ, who in John 14;2-3 said He was going to prepare a place for those who believe in Him. Obviously this refers NOT to the human body but to the human spirit and soul. You are quite correct in saying that the human body sleeps in the dust, but Paul said that when he died he expected to go to be with Christ, which is far better. That is the true biblical position and it is my hope as each day I and all others get closer to that one appointment we cannot postpone. You quote John 3:13 but ignore the act that the statement was made before Christ's death, resurrection and ascension. The topic of Hell (Hades, Sheol, Gehenna, the Lake of Fire etc) is very big and I promise that we will tackle it in a future article in CETF, God willing. Thank you for writing.
Oneness – Divides and diverts
Ed – The following is an editorial written by veteran AoG-UK pastor Colin Whittaker when he was editor of Redemption Tidings, the British National AoG magazine of a bygone era. I came by it when I was writing my article published elsewhere in this CETF entitled AoG and Elim Living in a Fool's Paradise. It so plainly demonstrates the drift that has taken place as a result of the passive endorsement by today's Pentecostal leaders of heretical preachers and teachings. For example Bishop T D Jakes, denies the doctrine of the Trinity and tacitly supports the Jesus Only teaching against which Colin Whittaker so ably contends in what follows. Yet T D Jakes is promoted by AoG pastors such as Ashley Evans, son of Andrew Evans former General Superintendent of AoG-Australia. Robert Bell denies the absolute authority of scripture yet he is a major featured writer in the first of the latest national AoG-UK magazine about which I have written on pages 31-34 herein.
By Colin C. Whittaker AoG-UK
Letters received recently indicate that a new wave of proselytising is afoot by “Jesus Only” adherents. (i.e. those who deny the Trinity and claim that “the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is Jesus Christ”). To them “Jesus Christ alone is God. There is only one person in the Godhead – Jesus Christ”.
All doctrine must be tested by Scripture but our Lord also made it very clear 'that by their fruits you shall know them'. Why is it that these people always are so much more keen to proselytise (i.e. work on other believers) than evangelise (i.e. work on unbelievers)? Oneness teaching basically is not new but a reappearance of the old heresy of Sabellianism—the teaching that “there is no distinction in the Divine Being, no trinity of Persons. The one God has revealed Himself in three different forms or modes.”
It re-emerged in the present Pentecostal Revival way back in 1914 in America. A friendly debate over the correct formula for water baptism quickly developed into fierce controversy on the nature of the Godhead. They were soon maintaining that the only valid baptism 'was in the name of Jesus Christ'.
As Carl Brumback says in his excellent book, God in Three Persons, “These Oneness people felt compelled to try to indoctrinate Pentecostals everywhere.” Fortunately for the Pentecostal movement they did not succeed. Their error was refuted and history has shown that the Trinitarian Pentecostal movement has outdistanced the Oneness movement in missions and evangelism. Oneness devotees are still very militant about the baptism formula. They reject the clear command of the Saviour in Matthew 28:19 “Baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”and generally insist on rebaptism “In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ”. These people constantly harp upon “the Trinity being a Romish doctrine, which was not introduced until the third century”. History proves otherwise.
Justin Martyr as early as AD153 repeated Matthew 28:19 and declared it to be the recognised formula and the traditional one at that date. The “Didache” (dated before the end of the first century) confirms it, declaring
Now concerning baptism, baptise thus: Having first taught all these things baptise ye into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost ...
As A W Tozer beautifully expresses it:
.... belief in the trinity has, since the days of the apostles, shone above the Church of the Firstborn as she journeyed down the years. Purity and power have followed this faith. Under this banner have gone forth apostles, fathers, martyrs, mystics, hymnist, reformers, revivalists, and the seal of Divine approval has rested on their lives and their labours. However they have differed on minor matters, the doctrine of the Trinity has bound them together2.
Trinitarians are in the great company of Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Spurgeon, Booth and the like, whilst Oneness people find themselves with such strange bedfellows as Jehovah's Witnes es, Unitarians and so on.
Not surprisingly the undue stress these people place on a certain format as being essential to valid baptism has lead many of them into the further error of baptismal regeneration. For all their strident claims that 'baptism in Acts in the name of the Lord Jesus only' they cannot prove it, for as Brumback points out:
There is not a single instance in the Book of Acts when any baptismal formula is given. There is no record of a formula being pronounced by the one administering baptism.
The validity of baptism depends on the faith of the one being baptised not on a precise formula (cf. Acts 8:36,37). This Oneness teaching has always proved to be a diversion from evangelism and divisive to the saints. Be warned and beware.
Dear Philip - Greetings in Jesus' Name. Thank you for the CWM magazine. I have enclosed an order for DVDs, books, etc and a donation.
There are several subjects that people we know talk about which we do not feel/think are according to the Bible (God's Word) and our guide for life. We were wondering if you have relevant advice or information. One is “praying the boundaries” – walking around a certain place to claim it for the Lord; another “falling over backwards”; another “speaking in tongues” in a large group with no interpretation (sounds like babble); another “speaking to the Holy Spirit” e.g. Good morning Holy Spirit; another “will not receive” something e.g. sickness.
Also, we have a friend who took her son (in his 30s) to a “Holy Spirit” weekend. Previously he had been very anti-anything about religion or Christianity, however now after apparently spending time on the floor, he seems totally changed for the better and giving glory to God. What spirit did he receive? How do we respond to them? When does a person receive the Holy Spirit? Is this when a person repents, believes and is baptised as in Acts 2:38? Or should there be a separate baptism of the Holy Spirit? Thank you. Yours in Jesus Christ - B & W T – Victoria, Australia.
Ed – You raise a number of “topics” which I trust to cover later. However I would point out that I went to considerable length to deal with the question of when a person receives the Holy Spirit in my series Cessationism versus Biblicism. Basically I believe, and I think I showed in my series, that biblically a person receives the Holy Spirit at conversion (the new birth) and that he/she is endued with power for witness at the Baptism into the Holy Spirit. However the latter is a gateway and not a goal. We must be continually filled with the Holy Spirit following the initial “baptism into the Holy Spirit”. As Paul puts it "be [being] filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). While we oppose Toronto, Pensacola and Alpha we do not say that a person cannot receive the Holy Spirit and fall down in the process. What we object to is the human orchestration associated with the movements and experiences that we oppose. Thank you for writing. Watch this space – plp.
The Position of Pastors
Dear Editor - I was born on November 9, 1925 and born again on November 6, 1956. It wasn't long before I realised that the form of government practised in our churches did not line up with Scripture. The most prominent person in the church is the pastor, yet there is not a single sentence in the whole of the New Testament to justify the position of the pastor in the church. Before Jesus returned to heaven He taught His apostles for forty days and He certainly would have instructed them on how He wanted the church to function. His constitution for the church is found in the Acts and the epistles.
The Israelites rejected theocracy and wanted a king to reign over them. (1 Samuel 8:19-22 cf. V. 7). Nothing has changed. The 'church' has rejected Jesus' commandments and each assembly has appointed their own king in the form of the pastor of the church. To give him power and authority they written [sic “have written”] their own church constitution and rejected the church constitution in the Scriptures. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for doing that in Mark 7. Laying aside the commandments of God and teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. The average pastor is a religious bully. They love to control peopl . They are just like little Popes.
Looking back over the last 50 years is not pleasant. I have seen pastors divide churches, wreck churches, sell church property, drive people from the church and scatter the flock. I know Christians that are so disgusted and disappointed with the treatment that they received, that they may never associate with a church again. I regret to admit that I have very little respect for pastors. I would like through your magazine to ask pastors how they can claim to be doing the will of God when they are occupying a position in the church contrary to the Word of God.
I have seen servants on horses and princes walking as servants on the earth.
A D J - South Australia.
Ed – You make some good points. However you are not totally correct. The word “pastor” appears a number of times in its Greek form in the New Testament. Mostly it is translated “shepherd” but in Ephesians 4: 11 it is rendered “pastor”:
And truly He gave some to be apostles, and some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. – Ephesians 4:11-12.
Our Lord instructed Peter, the apostle to “feed” (literally “graze and keep”, “tend)) “my lambs”, “feed” (literally “shepherd” or “pastor”) “my sheep” and then to “feed” (literally “graze and keep”) “my sheep” cf. John 21:15-17. This is probably why, many years later Peter refers to Christ as “the Chief Shepherd (pastor)” and himself as the “under shepherd” in his capacity as “elder” cf. 1 Peter chapter 5. None of the so called “Ministry Gifts of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12) is a title, but rather a function. So in many ways I agree with you that many (may be “most”) “pastors” have usurped their status and position. They do what Peter commands against viz “lording it over God's heritage. For this they will give account on day. Contrary to what is taught on both sides of the discussion the New Testament does not lay down a precise form of government. At most we are presented in the Gospels, the Acts, and the Epistles with principles and general guidelines. Christ is the Head and the Foundation of the true Church, as well as the centre and circumference i.e. the all in all – alpha and omega, beginning and ending, first and last. Whatever the human organisation so long as that position of Christ is maintained all will be well. Churches go astray when men in leadership or even those who make up the congregation usurp the position of Christ. Anyway this too is a big subject and probably my favourite so we'll do an article and may be a series on it. Thank you for writing. God bless you.
Street Preachers fined – Since reporting on this in CETF # 53/54 there have been some interesting developments which are on-going. We hope to report more in the next issue of this magazine.
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