Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

 

“What happens to someone who professes Christ, goes to church for 30 years, serves in the church and does all sorts of good in the church and then decides they don’t believe anymore? Are they still saved?”

 

Short answer: No, scripture tells us that they were never saved to begin with and that their leaving was to show us that.

 

Long answer:

 

First, I think we need to be reminded that only the Holy Spirit can testify to the authentic faith of another believer. While we may judge the fruit of a professed believer, and correct them in love, we do not condemn unbelievers for they are condemned already as we once were.  If someone professes Christ, however, they should be held accountable to the truth as a brother or sister in the faith. If they choose to reject the Holy Spirit, then we are to treat them as an unbeliever, not condemning them, but leading them to the truth with gentleness and respect.

 

1 Tim. 3:2 “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”

 

Secondly, the apostle John addressed this very issue within the church in his first letter. At that time people who were in the fold had left the church in the face of persecution and to follow other teachings. “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:19

 

Jesus explained how this happens in his parable of the seeds recorded in Luke.
“Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. Luke 8:13-15 Jesus assured us that a true believer will hold fast to the end, bearing fruit with perseverance.

 

Christ, in speaking about salvation, says no one can snatch such a believer out of His hand. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29

 

We know that someone who has been saved by grace through faith is eternally sealed with the Holy Spirit. And according to John, they have assurance that Christ will keep them till the resurrection. True believers recognize and obey the voice of the Savior, seek the Wisdom of the Father and their lives testify to the Truth that they claim. As we see in 1 John, people can “play Christian” and “do church” appearing to be one of us, but never really know the Savior and later deny Him. John tells us that their leaving is an indicator to us that they were never truly one of us. In addition, many may confess Christ with their lips, but deny Him with their lives. While the heart of others may be hidden from us, the heart is never hidden from God the Father.

 

Now you might be asking, “How do I know that I’m not just “doing church” and just don’t know it?” Hmmm, sounds like a topic for next time…

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One of the blessings along my journey of studying world religions has been meeting the people who practice them. Following is a transcript of an interview with a very gracious witch who practices hoodoo. Comments are welcome.

Posted with permission from dragon_cooky.

 

jbnb31691: Hello, Ren. Do you have time to talk?
dragon_cooky: Sure
jbnb31691: So tell me about hoodoo. Is that a form of voodoo?
dragon_cooky: It is of of African origin characterized by the casting of spells using herbs and roots..  Not really Voodoo, but close..  Voodoo is more spiritual than hoodoo..  there is a lot  of ritual and working with saints..
jbnb31691: How were you introduced to the practice?
dragon_cooky: Here is a definition that might help..
dragon_cooky: Hoodoo consists of a large body of African folkloric practices and beliefs with a considerable admixture of American Indian botanical knowledge and European folklore. Although most of its adherents are black, contrary to popular opinion, it has always been practiced by both whites and blacks in America. Other regionally popular names for hoodoo in the black community include “conjuration,” “conjure,” “witchcraft,” “rootwork,” and “tricking.” The first three are simply English words; the fourth is a recognition of the pre-eminence that dried roots play in the making of charms and the casting of spells, and the fifth is a special meaning for a common English word.
jbnb31691: Is this something you learned from your parents? How were you introduced to the practice?
dragon_cooky: I saw a voodoo doll in a store once, several years ago..  I was curious about it origins so I bought a couple books about Voodoo..  That led me to learning about hoodoo..   Since hoodoo is more spell work that actual religious work, it was easy for me to get into it..  I have been pagan all my life anyway, so the transisition wasn’t difficult..
dragon_cooky: I guess hoodoo is just another form of spell work for me..  It’s not full of rules or ritualistic as wicca..
jbnb31691: You say you have been pagan all your life. What does that mean to you? Is this something you learned from your family?
dragon_cooky: Partly..  My father was Mormon, though not very good at it..  My mother was mormon only because my father was..  We were all free to learn about other religions and lifestyles..  Paganism just seemed to come a little more naturally to me..  Mormonism just didn’t make any sense..  At least not to me..
jbnb31691: LOL, Mormonism doesn’t make sense to me either. You might have gathered that from my blog. What is it about witchcraft that appeals to you?
dragon_cooky: The freedom of it..  The practicality..  There is no leader or book telling you what is right and wrong..  What you should or should not do..  It’s up to me to decide what is right and wrong..  Did that make sense?
dragon_cooky: Wicthcraft isn’t really as strange as it sounds..  It really just deciding what you want, who you want to be and making that happen..
jbnb31691: Of, course. It was my understanding that is what Wicca is as well. Picking and choosing your gods, and creating your own worship experience. Although it seems to me you enjoy the practice minus the worship. Am I right?
dragon_cooky: Yes and no..  Wicca isn’t a very old religion..  IN MY OPINION, wicca is just something created by a man who didn’t like being christian..  He  took what he liked from old pagan beliefs, and added rules to it..
dragon_cooky: I do worship, I pray, I believe in karma, I believe in more than one god..  I even believe that the god of the bible does exist.. 
dragon_cooky: There is very little actual witchcraft in wicca.. 
jbnb31691: From what I have learned from my research the practice of witchcraft and sorcery dates back to biblical times and beyond. But I want to learn more of what you practice and believe.
jbnb31691: Well, from the books I have read from Wicca practices they seem to think they are practicing witchcraft.
dragon_cooky: Yes, the do think that..  They also think that dancing naked around a fire is going to get them what they want..  lol
jbnb31691: So how do you determine what spells and when you are going to cast?
dragon_cooky: Lte me think of a way to answer that in a way that makes sense..
jbnb31691: OK, tell me how you get what you want from your craft.
dragon_cooky: Oh that’s easy..  It’s mostly manifistation..  I know what I want, I see myself having what I want..  I believe that I will get what I want..  I KNOW I will get what I want, and I get it..
dragon_cooky: That sounded really stupid didn’t it?
dragon_cooky: When we do a spell, it’s not much different than a prayer..  We just use other things besides out voice..  Herbs, roots, oils, other components..
jbnb31691: No, it confirms what I have read. You say that you believe the god of the bible exists, that seems to be unique. Most witches reject the bible as archaic and irrelevant. What do you know of the god of the Bible?
jbnb31691: How do you think these materials help you get what you want?
dragon_cooky: I have studied some of the bible..  Some I simply do not believe..  BUT, unlike other pagans who believe that the bible and everything in it is untrue, I look at it like this..  If we can believe there is an Odin, a Zeuse, Ra, etc..  Why is it so difficult to believe there is a god of the hebrews also?
dragon_cooky: Oh, the roots and stuff..  Everything has energy..  It’s simply manipulating that energy..  It’s really no different than herbs that have medicinal purposes..  We just believe that certain things can do more than just heal..
jbnb31691: Tolerance is the hallmark of your belief system and I think your opinion is in agreement with that worldview.
dragon_cooky: Ah..  Tolerance..
jbnb31691: Where do you suppose the energy comes from?
dragon_cooky: Funny..  EVERY pagan/wiccan will tell you that they value tolerance above all else..  I will probably be stoned or burned at the stake for saying this, but that is a big fat lie..  At least for just about every pagan and wiccan I have ever met..
jbnb31691: Well, you know, they wouldn’t be practicing and dedicating their lives and lifestyle to something they did not believe to be true. In doing so, they believe all other opposing beliefs to be false. Black cannot be white. True?
dragon_cooky: True..  But to preach tolerance abouve all else and then damn every christian they pass on the street is hypocritical..  They want christans to tolerate them, but they have no tolerance of their own..
dragon_cooky: If your a chirstian, you are wrong..  If you preach or try to convert anyone to christianity, you are a bad person..  Yet they all do the very same thing..
dragon_cooky: They refuse to believe one word of the bible, yet they will believe every word written by people live Ravenwolf.. 
dragon_cooky: Sorry, I’m ranting..
jbnb31691: Some prophessing Christians commit the same sin, condemning where we have no position to do so and in violation of what we are taught in scripture. But you bring up another point. witches do not evangelize. Why do you think that is?
dragon_cooky: I can’t say that none of them do..  But I think they don’t simply because that would be far to openly hypocritical..  You can’t condem every christian for doing so, and then turn around and do it yourself..  Another reason my be that they are afraid or persecution..  Or, maybe they just don’t know enought information about their craft to actualy argue about it..  Me personally, I don’t feel that I need to.. I don’t think I need to go out and tell the world to learn about what I do.. 
dragon_cooky: Or follow what I believe.. 
dragon_cooky: I don’t know..  Could it be that many christains feel that they need to “save” others?
dragon_cooky: When you don’t believe in hell, or that those who do not follow Christ will burn in hell, maybe there isn’t the need to save them from it?
dragon_cooky: I have to go outside for a smoke..  I’ll be back in a couple minutes..
jbnb31691: I posted a great video from comedian Penn Gillete, an atheist, commenting on this very thing. If I believe that I know how you can have eternal life, and I don’t tell you, what a cruel thing that is. I cannot save anyone. But if I know someone who can, isn’t introducing you to Him the right thing to do? How about you? What do you believe happens when you die?
jbnb31691: Not only can I not save anyone else, I cannot save myself. That is why Chrisitans surrender to a Savior.
dragon_cooky: That makes perfect sense
jbnb31691: What do you believe happens when you die?
dragon_cooky: We believe in reincarnation..
dragon_cooky: most pagans and wiccans do, though what happens and why?  Well there are different opinions about that..
dragon_cooky: Wiccans and many pagans believe that we are put on this earth to learn a lesson..  We may have to live several lives to leanr this lesson..  when we do, our souls will go to whereever it is we are meant to go..  the summerland, heaven, Asgaard..  Some sort of afterlife..
jbnb31691: What convinced you that reincarnation is true?
dragon_cooky: I don’t believe that we are meant to leanr a lesson..  If you do believe in past lives, no one remembers what they learned in those lives..  If you are meant to learn a lesson, how can you learn it if you don’t remember what you learned in your previous one?
jbnb31691: You seem to be ahead of the game, Ren!
dragon_cooky: Yeah, I rock..  LOL 😀
jbnb31691: So, if you are not here to learn a lesson, and reincarnation is hokey, what is the purpose of your life?
dragon_cooky: I don’t think reincarnation is hokey, I believe that the wiccans reason for it is..  I think we choose to live other lives..  I don’t believe that each person is put on this earth for a certain period of time and that’s that..
dragon_cooky: I think the purpose of my life is to simply be..  To live, love, hurt, give birth, etc..  That sounded quite Buddish didn’t it?
jbnb31691: Oh, OK, I apologize. I hope you are not offended by my comment. I misunderstood.
dragon_cooky: Not at all
dragon_cooky: I believe that our creators put us on this earth to live our lives, to experience the joy and the heartache of life..  Rather simple, but that’s what I believe..
jbnb31691: Why do you think to live, love, hurt, give birth, etc. are important? Are you here just to experience life? Do you have any eternal value?
dragon_cooky: That, I am not sure of..  That is the big question isn’t it?  What will happen when I die?  I can believe with all my heart that what I have studied and learned is correct, but when I die, I may just find out that I was completly wrong..  I may learn that there is only one god, or no god..  I may even learn that there is nothing after death..  So I guess it all comes down to the F-word..  Faith..
dragon_cooky: I suppose it’s all a matter of choice..  What do I choose to believe?  I guess that is what we all do..
dragon_cooky: I think it’s the same for any belief system..  Athiests believe there is nothing, Christians believe there is heaven or hell, pagans believe in reincarnation..  No one forces us to believe any of this..  We choose to believe it..
jbnb31691: What do you have faith in?
dragon_cooky: Honestly?  This will sound incredibly smug..  I have faith in myself..  I have faith that I know what is right for myself..  I have faith in karma.. 
jbnb31691: Why do you think that is smug?
dragon_cooky: I assumed you would think it was 🙂
dragon_cooky: I suppose for many people it is easier to say that they have faith in god..  That no matter what happens, god will care for them and see them though anything.. 
dragon_cooky: Kind of like our children know that whatever happens, their parents will take care of them..
jbnb31691: I cannot create nor sustain my own existence, can you?
jbnb31691: It only makes sense to me to trust the One who can.
dragon_cooky: So the question would be, who is that one?
jbnb31691: We can’t both be right, can we?
jbnb31691: We could both be wrong.
jbnb31691: Is it possible for you to live consistently within your worldview, or have you experienced some contradictions?
dragon_cooky: I believe that the gods created us..  but I do not believe that our lives are planned out for us..  I don’t believe that we are simply playthings for some higher power..  I believe that we were put on this earth to make our own mistakes, solve our own problems and decide what is right or wrong..  I simply can not believe that there is a higher power just waiting for us to cry out for help every time we face a preoblem.. 
dragon_cooky: Did that make sense?
dragon_cooky: We could both be wrong, true..
dragon_cooky: again, it’s comes down to faith I guess..
jbnb31691: Absolutely. The bible tells us that this attitude to do things our own way with out acknowledging the source of our existence is what causes all of our problems. Isn’t that why you practice witchcraft? To solve your problems? What do you see as humanity’s biggest problem?
dragon_cooky: I think humanity is humanity’s biggest problem..
dragon_cooky: kidding..
dragon_cooky: I think if people seriously just lived and let live, we would all be better off.. 
dragon_cooky: We have a lot of problems..  Power, greed, self gratification..  The whole “top of the foodchain” mentality..
jbnb31691: I don’t usually quote scripture to unbelievers, but you keep referring to faith and the necessity of it. Would it intrigue you to know that my God agrees with you? Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
dragon_cooky: That doesn’t surprise me at all..
dragon_cooky: But like I said, I do believe there is a hebrew god..  I just don’t believe he is the only god..
dragon_cooky: If you don’t mind me asking, what religion are you?
jbnb31691: If live and let live is relative without any universal standard to measure right or wrong, it seems that your philosophy of life is embraced by most people. If I am the one who determines what is right, then it is. If you determine what is right, then it is. Seems incredibly selfish.
jbnb31691: I have faiht in Jesus Christ. That He is who he says he is and he will do what he says he will do. Not without reason, but because of the evidence supporting the truth of his existence.
dragon_cooky: Who is to say what is right or wrong?  I know what is right for me..  Is it not selfish to say “I am the creator of all things, only I know what is right for you, don’t think for yourself, just do what I tell you..”?
dragon_cooky: Oh, I have no doubt that Christ existed..  However I do not believe that he was the son of a god.. 
jbnb31691: It would be incredibly selfish, if he were not the creator of all. Doesn’t it make sense that my maker would know what is best for me? You brought up children earlier. Children have a limited understanding of their world and their existence just as you and I. As parents, we discipline them, protect and provide for them. Just as God does for us. It is when the child rebels that they hurt themselves or others.
dragon_cooky: Yes, and then when they reach a certain age, we let them go..  Though we worry that they may not make what we think are the right choices, they are still free to make them..
jbnb31691: Absolutely, and God allows us the freedom to choose as well. There are those who say to God, “They will be done.” and there are those to whom God says, “Have it your way.” CS Lewis
jbnb31691: Thye not they
jbnb31691: good grief I can’t spelll
dragon_cooky: I guess we will have to agree to disagree then..  And my spelling has been horrible all morning..  I haven’t had enough coffee
jbnb31691: I thank you for your graciousness in sharing your thoughts with me this morning, Ren. I’ll let you get to your coffee. Have a lovely day. I hope that we can chat another time!
dragon_cooky: Anytime.. Have a good day..

This is why I tolerate the insults.

In life we all ultimately have to choose between two pains: the pain of regret or the pain of discipline.

No one but God knows the consequences of our country’s choice yesterday, but we do know that living with those consequences is inevitable. It is a reality of life. We can all blame the establishment for getting us into our current financial mess. But if we are all really honest with ourselves and examine our own bank accounts and credit debt, we are forced to admit some level of responsibility.

And so now we are promised change. Will our government begin to exercise discipline in its financial dealings? Time will tell. I feel compelled to ask, how much does it have to hurt before we are motivated to discipline ourselves? Do we have to be forced by our government to spend less because we have less to spend? Maybe change doesn’t have to begin at the top, maybe change starts with me.

We are a nation of super consumers. I am contributing to the “success” of my economy by raising four mini-super consumers just like me. I think we all realize (though some may be reluctant to admit it) that we cannot buy our way to happiness. Joy is not to be found at the end of the rainbow in a pot of gold. Perhaps if our culture valued giving more than it valued taking our current state of affairs would be playing out very diffrently. We regret the decisions of the past because we did not discipline ourselves for our future.

And my four mini-super consumers? Are they destined to live with the pain of regret tomorrow?

Not if I choose to live with the pain of discipline today.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Heb 12:11

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1315406&dest=-1]

A German Lady Remembers and Speaks
Lori Kalner

In Germany, when Hitler came to power, it was a time of terrible financial depression. Money was worth nothing.

In Germany people lost homes and jobs, just like in the American Depression in the 1930s, which we have read about in Thoene’s Shiloh books.

In those days, in my homeland, Adolph Hitler was elected to power by promising “Change.”

He blamed the “Zionists” around the world for all our problems. He told everyone it was greedy Zionist Bankers who had caused every problem we had. He promised when he was leader, the greedy Zionist bankers would be punished. The Zionists, he promised, would be wiped off the face of the earth. So Hitler was elected to power by only 1/3 the popular vote.

A coalition of other political parties in parliament made him supreme leader. Then, when he was leader, he disgraced and expelled everyone in parliament who did not go along with him.

Yes. Change came to my homeland as the new leader promised it would.
The teachers in German schools began to teach the children to sing songs in praise of Hitler.

This was the beginning of the Hitler Youth movement. It began with praise of the Fuhrer’s programs on the lips of innocent children.
Hymns in praise of Hitler and his programs were being sung in the schoolrooms and in the playyard.

Little girls and boys joined hands and sang these songs as they walked home from school.

My brother came home and told Papa what was happening at school. The political hymns of children proclaimed Change was coming to our homeland and the Fuhrer was a leader we could trust.

I will never forget my father’s face. Grief and fear. He knew that the best propaganda of the Nazis was song on the lips of little children.

That evening before he said grace at the dinner table, he placed his hands upon the heads of my brothers and me and prayed the Living Word upon us from Jeremiah 1:4-5.

‘Now the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I
consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to The nations.”

Soon the children’s songs praising the Fuhrer were heard everywhere on the streets and over the radio. “With our Fuhrer to lead us, we can do it! We can change the world!”

Soon after that Papa, a pastor, was turned away from visiting elderly parishioners in hospitals. The people he had come to bring comfort of God’s Word, were “no longer there.”

Where had they vanished to while under nationalized health care? It became an open secret.

The elderly and sick began to disappear from hospitals feet first as “mercy killing” became the policy.

Children with disabilities and those who had Down syndrome were euthanized.

People whispered, “Maybe it is better for them now. Put them out of misery. They are no longer suffering.And, of course, their death is better for the treasury of our nation. Our taxes no longer must be spent to care for such a burden.” And so murder was called mercy.

The government took over private business. Industry and health care were “nationalized.” (NA-ZI means National Socialist Party)

The businesses of all Jews were seized. (Perhaps you remember our story in Berlin on Krystalnacht in the book Munich Signature)

The world and God’s word were turned upside down. Hitler promised the people economic Change?
Not change. It was, rather, Lucifer’s very ancient Delusion leading to Destruction.

What began with the propaganda of children singing a catchy tune ended in the deaths of millions of children.

The reality of what came upon us is so horrible that you in this present generation cannot imagine it. Our suffering is too great to ever tell in a book or show in a black and white newsreel.

When I spoke to Bodie about some of these things, she wept and said she could not bear to write them.

Perhaps one day she will, but I asked her, “who could bear to read our suffering?” Yet with my last breaths I warn every Christian and Jew now in the name of the Lord, Unless your course of the church in America is spiritually changed now, returning to the Lord, there are new horrors yet to come.

I trembled last night when I heard the voices of American children raised in song, praising the name of Obama, the charismatic fellow who claims he is the American Messiah. Yet I have heard what this man Obama says about abortion and the “mercy killing” of tiny babies who are not wanted.

There are so few of us left to warn you.

I have heard that there are 69 million Catholics in America and 70 million Evangelical Christians.

Where are your voices? Where is your outrage? Where is passion and your vote?

Do you vote based on an abortionist’s empty promises and economics?
Or do you vote according to the Bible?

Thus says the Lord about every living child still in the womb.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”

I have experienced the signs of the politics of Death in my youth. I see them again now.
Christians! Unless you stand up now, you will lose your freedom of religion.

In America priests and preachers have already lost their freedom to speak openly from their pulpits of moral danger in political candidates.

They cannot legally instruct you of which candidate holds fast to the precepts of scripture!
American law forbids this freedom of speech to conservative pastors or they will lose their “tax exempt” status.

And yet I have heard the words of Obama’s pastor Damning America!
I have heard the words of Obama damning and mocking all of you in small towns because you “Cling to your religion.”

But I am a woman whose name is unknown. My life is recorded as a work of fiction.
I have no fear of reprisal when I speak truth to you from the pages of a book.
(Though the Zion Covenant books are mocked and condemned by the Left in America.)

I am an old woman and will soon go to be with my Lord.
I have no fear for myself, but for all of you and for your children, I tremble.

I tremble at the hymns to a political leaders which your children will sing at school.
(Though even now a hymn or a prayer to God and our Lord Jesus is against the law in public school!)

Your vote must put a stop to what will come upon America if Barrack Obama is elected.
I pray you will personally heed this warning for the sake of your children and your grandchildren. Do not be deceived.

The Lord in Jeremiah 1:7-8 commands every believer to speak up!

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth,’ for to all whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them for I am with you, declares the Lord!”

I am in Prayer for you, and for the Church!
Spoken to you in the authority of Jesus the Christ,
the Name Above All Names,
Lori Kalner