PETER: THE DAY AFTER JESUS DIED

A question to every man who ever failed: Why did Jesus put the man’s severed ear back on?  We know Peter took a sword and cut it off.  We know why.  We can also guess that Jesus healed Malchus’ ear out of compassion.  But there is something way deeper going on here. What does that have to do with every man who ever failed?  Everything.
Peter failed in spectacular fashion.  He bragged he would stand with Jesus even if everyone else fled.  He fell asleep in the Garden.  He assaulted the priest’s servant.  Though he was warned about it in advance, he went ahead and denied Christ 3 times.
Saturday, the day after Jesus died, wouldn’t hurt so much if Peter didn’t love Jesus.  That he abandoned Christ began to torment him.  It could for the rest of his life.   But right now, he doesn’t believe there is a rest of his life.
Saturday: his day to hide like a hunted animal.  A day to let it sink in that there is nothing left to live for.  He was a hair’s breadth away from the fate of Judas Iscariot.  Worst of all, he lost his destiny.
Destiny is a mysterious thing.  The same force that can inspire a man to greatness can—in his failure—torture him.  The pain level depends on the size of the destiny.  In his case, it was massive.
Peter was minding his own business when Jesus interrupted his whole life.  Fishing all night, Peter caught nothing.   His hands are red and sore from handling the heavy nets.  Every muscle aches. He has nothing to show for a brutal night at sea.
The strange teacher says, “Let your nets down again for a catch.”  Peter halfheartedly does as he is asked.  The enormous catch terrified him.  He begs Jesus to keep his distance, “I am a sinful man.”

That’s when he heard the words about his destiny.  “Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.”  On Saturday, he’s just a fisherman again.  It sticks in his throat to say it.
They say that regret is the cancer of life—if so, this Saturday, Peter is terminal.  He could have prayed Psalm 69: 1 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. 4 Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me…”
“I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing” simply means that in the quicksand of despair, nothing that used to help you snap out of it works now.  All of your comfort is gone. There is nothing to grab to save you. You will sink until you vanish.
Now it’s  dawn on Sunday.  Peter can’t know that at that moment, an angel is talking about him.  Mark 16:  7 “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”  The angel added the words “and Peter.”  Why?  Because God knew Peter would have disqualified himself if the invitation was “for disciples only.” Wouldn’t you love to have seen Peter’s face when they told him the angel’s message?
So why did Jesus put the ear back on?  He knew Peter’s destiny, and Peter couldn’t  be in prison on the day of Pentecost.  Jesus knew his destiny…like He knows yours.

THE HUNGER FLAMES

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Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

The Hunger Flames  

By  Mario Murillo

The last 72 hours in Los Banos changed my life even to the point of redefining revival for me.   Why we are continuing the meetings in Los Banos? The better question is “how could we stop?”

Tuesday night said it loud and clear.   We asked a question that we always ask: “If you know that you have received a physical healing tonight please stand and give God glory.  Nearly half of the entire packed house jumped to their feet to glorify God.   That is amazing but even more amazing the harvest of souls.  The front was jammed with seekers finding Christ.  In fact, it was the largest harvest of souls. 

The night that should have been the final night showed us why it could not be the final night. The tide was still rising…and not by a little but by a lot.  What on earth keeps fueling the flames of revival here?  I know what it is…HUNGER!

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It was the in the way people ask people to come to the meetings and they are suddenly saying “yes.” Martha wrote me: “My friend accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. I have been talking to her for years here at work and last night she took the step of Faith and stood up and walk down to the alter to pray! To God be the Glory!!!!”

This is not an isolated case.  The reports are coming from all directions about sons, daughters, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, coworkers, classmates and even enemies who are suddenly willing to give themselves to Christ after resisting for years.

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It is in the way that people respond to the moving of the Holy Spirit to receive miracles.  There is no need to cajole the audience into obeying God.  The ravenously receive.  They forcefully reach out and take what Jesus is giving out.

 

It is in the way that they worship and sing.  They are pulling heaven down upon themselves. They are boisterous, they are expressive but there is not a hint of freakish behavior just true love and yearning for Christ.

These are HUNGER FLAMES! Here is a movement that is hunger based, hunger driven and hunger protected.  It is the hunger that is fueling the flames of revival.  You cannot stop an army that is hungry for God for all of the right reasons.

However it is a hunger for Christ Himself.  They love the gifts of power but they love Jesus more. They want Him and they want more of Him.

Are you thinking of coming to Los Banos?  Prepare for a personal surprise: you will be encouraged.  We are a war weary, sin sick nation.  We are battered by headlines and an unrelenting storm of bad news.   Walk into this meeting and it all drifts away.  Hope replaces dread, and bold faith overcomes fear, and many forgotten feelings of peace are restored like a surprise visit from a long lost friend.

CONTINUES

Los Banos California: Here Comes a Baptism of Great Hope in a Dark Time.

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Los Banos California: Here Comes a Baptism of Great Hope in a Dark Time.

No one needs to tell you how sad and dangerous the world is right now.  The masses, including those in high places have cast themselves head long into extremes of violence, addiction, and even suicide.

Good news is rare and would certainly be welcomed.  That is why there is something indescribably wonderful about the events that are unfolding in Los Banos California.

At the time that we need it most, God is bathing a city with Living Proof of His Love and Power.  Moreover, He is doing it in ways that are new to all of us.

Pastor John Calderon said it best:  “Mario, I cannot go anywhere in Los Banos without someone walking up to me and saying ‘I was healed in one of the meetings and my healing has been confirmed by my doctor.”

On Wednesday September 3rd almost 500 people broke away from their jobs, schools and other obligations to walk around the city and ask God to bless all of the people.  500 may not sound like a lot but in this town it was huge!

Let’s say that you could have walked among these excited believers and asked them “what has happened to you that you are marching and praying?”  The answers would stun and amaze.  In fact, they need to be shouted from the roof tops!

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Their testimonies are the exact thing that America needs to hear right now.  Drugs gone, fear gone, sickness gone, guilt gone, and in its place is an unshakable faith for the future and joy in each tribulation.  They would tell you how impossible their life once was and how amazed they are each day by God’s mercy and goodness to them.

Watch out!  Their smile is going to get you!  Their story is going to wipe out excuses.  This is no escapist religion for the weak-minded; this is LIVING PROOF that operates in the real world.

20 Pastors who had little or nothing to do with each other before this miracle began now have total unity and love for one another.  They are herding their people into the meetings and letting Jesus pastor the city!

Who should come this Sunday?  Those who have been told by medical science that nothing more can be done need to come.  Those who have tried to break a destructive habit a thousand times need to come.  Those who have been gripped by fear in these explosive times must come. Those who have yearned to see God answer prayer for our nation need to come.

Anyone, who has ever stared at the night sky, and felt that there is no God who cares or listens needs to come and have their deepest question totally answered.

It all starts up again this Sunday November 16th at 10 AM/ 6 PM

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Why I Believe Jesus is the Son of God.

Bill-O’Reilly

As one of the most visible and boisterous voices on all of cable news, Bill O’Reilly’s reputation is defined by his personality and politics more than his faith convictions. But I’ve long known O’Reilly apart from his public persona, and I’ve known there’s more to him than meets the eye.

With the release and success of the historical page-turnerKilling Jesus (which followed Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy, all co-authored with Martin Dugard), I was eager to explore the spiritual side of a Fox News star. These are the highlights of our conversation.

You grew up Catholic. How big of a role did faith play in your home?

I lived in a traditional Irish Catholic home that didn’t deviate very much from what had happened in the past 150 years. We went to church on Sunday, went out to breakfast afterward. There were rituals. My mother wanted me to be an altar boy, so I was. I can compare it to a very working-class, predictable, faith-based situation. It was just: Here are the rules. Here’s what we do. There wasn’t a lot of why in it.

Did you believe in God?

Yes, I bought into the orthodoxy. When you’re a little kid and your parents believe and then the school teaches you, it’s an inculcation. I didn’t challenge it.

And what about Jesus? Did you believe Jesus was the Son of God?

Oh, yes. Sure. Yes, back then in the late ’50s, early ’60s when I was in Catholic school, everybody believed it.

What do you believe now?

Pretty much the same. I’m much more sophisticated in my analysis of Roman Catholicism, but the theology I have no problem believing.

So what is God to you?

There’s an Intelligent Design in the universe that created the human race. And there is a free will component to every individual — you either choose to do good or you choose to do evil. And if you sit it out, then you’re in the evil category. And then, what you choose to do in your lifetime will be rewarded or punished by the Intelligent Designer of the universe.

I don’t want to be remembered. Once I’m gone, I’m gone. I don’t care.

That’s pretty much it. My philosophy is, generally speaking, if everybody followed Jesus’ teachings, then there wouldn’t be any war, wouldn’t be any strife, wouldn’t be any abuse. Everybody would be, not perfect, but certainly in a positive realm.

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And if I’m wrong, so what? I’m dead. It doesn’t matter. If it’s a positive while you’re alive to follow the Christian tenets, why would you not do so?

So you believe that Jesus was sent by God and—

I believe the whole narrative. I’m going to accept it, because there’s no reason not to.

I expected that Killing Jesus would be a religious book. In fact, it’s more like a history book. There was no sense of proselytizing.

No, I wanted to stay away [from that]. We have “A History” on the cover. I just wanted to make the world aware that this man existed.

I saw the 60 Minutes interview where you talked about how you believe that the Holy Spirit guided you to write this book. That comment was derided, but I wanted you to talk a little bit more about what you think your earthly purpose is and how your faith informs what you do.

The problem with the secular-progressive movement is it simply cannot accept any people of faith and take them seriously. They’re so condescending and they’re so arrogant that, even though you might be a brilliant person, if you believe, you’re an idiot. So that just knocks out the whole Jesuit organization. It knocks out Thomas Aquinas, Augustine. Everybody is knocked out because they believe. That’s what the genesis of the criticism was.

[P]riests are ridiculous. They don’t make it relevant. I don’t even listen to them. I just do on my own little deal.

When I was honest with 60 Minutes, I said, “Listen, I’m an ordinary guy.” I don’t consider myself to be extraordinary. I have ideas that come to me. And as a Christian, I believe those ideas, when they’re positive, come from the person who created me. And the person who created me is God, and in Christian theology, God is made up of three elements. So of course it would be the Holy Spirit. It’s all logical.

This is what all Christians, if they understand their faith, should believe. It’s not you [who is] creating this monumental book or song or hitting 500 home runs. It’s the talent that you’ve been given and that you’re blessed with. That’s what’s doing it.

So, I tried to get [that] across. I told the truth. I believe that these things that come into my mind — not only Killing Jesus but “The Factor” and the way that I’ve been able to build this whole media empire — is not me. I’m being directed to do it.

Now again, I could be wrong. Maybe it is me. But I don’t think so. I mean, I was an idiot kid, a stupid kid. What happened? All of a sudden I’m a genius? No. I’m being directed.

Why do you think that there is so much sneering and ridicule toward religion by people who don’t believe?

Because they don’t want to be judged. They believe that religious people are judging their behavior, and they don’t want to be judged. They want to do what they want.

Take a guy like Bill Maher. He’s probably the most visible atheist in the American media. Well, Bill Maher does not want to be told what to do. He wants to do whatever he wants. And if it’s take drugs, he wants to be able to do that. If it’s commit adultery, he wants to be able to do that. Whatever it may be, he doesn’t want anybody telling him not to. And the people that would do that would be religious people, so he strikes out against them.

I believe that these things that come into my mind — not only Killing Jesus but “The Factor” and the way that I’ve been able to build this whole media empire — is not me. I’m being directed to do it.

But his thinking is ridiculous. I saw him one time mocking the Virgin Mary in a very crude way, which he does. Am I offended? No. I understand where it’s coming from. But it’s stupid.

I’ve debated the most intellectual atheists in the world. The British guy. All the people who make an industry out of mocking people of faith. I’ve debated them all. And none of them can explain how the universe got here, how everything works so perfectly in nature, how the human body interacts, none of them, they have no clue. Despite all the science and all the technology, everything we have, they don’t know. Yet they have the nerve to mock people who believe that there’s something higher than human intellect?

It’s just appalling to me. But I don’t get into it so much. They’re free to believe what they want as long as they don’t try to hurt people — and some of them do. That’s when I step in.

People hurt other people in the name of religion, too. 

Certainly — look at the Muslim situation. And the real rabid Christians. And they’re going to be held accountable for that.

Have you ever had a crisis of faith?

Not really. I’m a simple man. I keep it really simple. Look, I was blessed with a lot of things. Can I give back an hour a week? I mean, is that too much to ask? And that time is well spent for me, by the way. I’m sitting there thinking about spiritual things. You know, getting outside myself and thinking about the big picture, what I can do better, projects that I can launch that will help people. I do that in church.

I don’t have any problem with people disliking me, and I’ll tell you why: Who was the most hated person in Judea 2,000 years ago?

And then I read the Scriptures. I read them and I think about them and then, when the priest is boring me into shreds — and these priests are ridiculous. They don’t make it relevant. I don’t even listen to them. I just do on my own little deal. But I think it’s worth an hour a week for me to get out of myself and go into the church. I like the whole ritual. I think it’s worthy. I think it’s good for me. And I’ve never in one part of my life not tried to get to church every Sunday.

You said you pray every night. What kind of prayers?

Just standard prayers. If there’s a bad thing happening, I’ll think about it and try to say,Give me a little inspiration here on how to handle this thing. I try to be humble enough to say, Look, I don’t have it right now and I need some help. And it usually comes.

You dedicated your book to those who love their neighbors as themselves. I thought a lot of the O’Reilly haters would be surprised to see that dedication.

They’ll never read it, though. The O’Reilly haters are pretty much the people that have no idea what I do. And I like that — I mean, I don’t have any problem with people disliking me, and I’ll tell you why. I’m not comparing myself, but who was the most hated person in Judea 2,000 years ago?

Many, many loved him, but just as many despised him. They’re always going to do that. If you speak your mind, you’re going to have some who like you and some who hate you.

What about you and your book dedication? Do you love your neighbor as yourself?

I’m the biggest sinner on the block, so I’m kind of in a difficult area saying what I do and don’t do. If you’re a Christian, you’re supposed to love the evildoers. If they do something bad to you, then you’re supposed to still love them.

I don’t do that. I’m a warrior. I don’t turn the cheek. I go after you if I think you’re hurting people. But I think that’s loving your neighbor.

See, by getting Jessica’s Law passed in 45 out of 50 states — and “The Factor” did that — I think that’s loving my neighbor. I’m taking these predators off the street. I’m not turning the cheek on them. I’m going after them. I think that’s my role. I’m a warrior/defender.

If there weren’t warriors to defend, then we would have been overrun a long time ago by the Third Reich, right? So it’s not as simple as what it’s sometimes made out to be. I’m comfortable in my role, but I would never say I’m the guy who loves my neighbor all the time, because sometimes I’m taking my neighbor apart. It’s kind of complicated.

You say you’re the biggest sinner of all. What are your sins?

Everything. I’m a volatile guy. I’m not a Holy Roller. I’m not a malicious guy, but I’m like everybody else. I’m fallible. I’m not going to tell you, Sally Quinn, what my sins are. But I’m certainly fallible and I don’t put myself up as any paragon of virtue.

When you’re going after somebody as a warrior, do you sometimes pull back and think,Maybe I’m being too tough on this person?

That’s a good question. My staff is under strict orders: we don’t go [after someone] unless we’re 100% sure. So I don’t have anything on my conscience in that realm. In 18 years, I haven’t had to retract or apologize to anybody other than one time we took something off a web site that was incomplete.

If there were no God, there would be some people who couldn’t do anything, but every human being, even people who are damaged, even people who have birth defects, Down syndrome, whatever it may be, everybody has a talent. Everybody.

When you’re interviewing somebody like Obama, and you’re asking tough questions, do you see them as an adversary? 

Depends what the interview is. With the Obama situation, I respect the president, but my job is to get as much information out of him as I can. With everybody else, and I mean everybody — I mean, I couldn’t do it with the pope, but besides the pope and President Obama — there’s nobody on earth where I would say [to myself], “Well, you can’t be assertive, you can’t be rude.” Those are the two people I can’t be rude to because of the office.

You come in and you start to lie or dance, I’m going to come after you. But with the president it’s different, because you have to respect the office. And I do. I respect him. But I’m not going to let him control the interview. That’s not happening.

Have you ever been to a silent retreat?

I haven’t. I’ve never been to a psychiatrist. I’ve never been to an analyst. I’ve never been to a silent retreat. I’m just not that introspective in the sense that I don’t do yoga, I don’t do TM [Transcendental Meditation]. I’m more active. But I respect people who do all that. It’s just not my style.

I don’t need a lot of help, so if I want to be silent, I’ll be silent by myself. I don’t have to go someplace.

Who do you admire?

I admire people who are making $40,000 a year and living an honest life. Life is hard. I don’t like phonies. I don’t like liars. I don’t like narcissists. I like the regular folks.

How would you like to be remembered?

I don’t want to be remembered. Once I’m gone, I’m gone. I don’t care.

Are you afraid of dying?

No, not at all. My time is up, I’m going.

Most people are looking for some kind of meaning in their lives. What gives you the most meaning in your life?

You find something that you like. Everybody’s born with talents, which is another reason I believe in God. If there were no God, there would be some people who couldn’t do anything, but every human being, even people who are damaged, even people who have birth defects, Down syndrome, whatever it may be, everybody has a talent. Everybody. So you find out what that talent is, and usually it corresponds to what you like to do. Then you work at that talent. You develop the talent. You make a living from the talent. That’s the key to having a meaningful life on the professional level.

My father was a very funny guy. I mean, he was hysterical. But he never used that talent and he was a low-level accountant. He didn’t make a lot of money and he was miserable. He’d go to work. He had to support his family, but he didn’t like his job. And I said to myself, I’m never going to be like that. I stuck to it.

Do you think that you’ll ever stop?

Yes, I do. I’m tired now, so I’ve got to cut it back soon. I just don’t know when that will be.

Los Angeles Revival will go on for a 5th Week!

shot 2 copyThis is God!  There is no doubt.  Nearly 350 have come forward.  An even greater number have been healed.  People in Southern California have completely rearranged their lives to be in every one of these indescribable nights.  We simply had to add this 5th week.   The rumbling of revival has not let up, it has intensified.  There is no other way to do justice to this phenomenon but to call it the fire of God falling on the masses and destroying the works of the devil.

To underscore the urgency of these meetings, I want you to know Brother Jesse Duplantis was scheduled to be at Echoes of Faith this Wednesday night but has graciously postponed his visit saying, “I do not want to get in the way of the moving of the Holy Spirit.” This only reinforces what a great man of God Jesse Duplantis truly is. 

I am beseeching Christians worldwide for prayer and to encourage people especially skeptics to come and see the miracles of Christ.  Growths have vanished, limbs have been healed, and dozens have reported healings of diabetes, heart disease and a host of other diseases. 

The presence of God is intense and you get the feeling that any moment Christ Himself might physically appear.  Like so many revivals I have read about in this case there seems to be a radiating presence even outside of the meeting hall in the general public that is softening them toward God and opening their hearts to be saved.

These upcoming meetings already feel like the one in the book of Matthew where the men tore the roof off of the building!  I have no doubt whatsoever that the intensity of the Glory is going to be more intense than ever in these next three nights. 

Where does it all go from here?  This is why I am begging for nationwide, yea worldwide prayer.  We have announced these as the final three nights.  However, God is the only one who knows what the future holds.  Nevertheless, you should assume that these are the last three nights and come if at all possible so you are not disappointed. 

April 1,2,3 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 7PM

Echoes of Faith:  Address: 11255 Central Ave, Ontario, CA

91762 Phone: (909) 627-0927. Childcare is available for all services.

Encouragement In A Time Of Grave Fear

charlie daniels

Encouragement In A Time Of Grave Fear

January 29, 2013

By Charlie Daniels

If you read this column very often you know the frustration and disgust I feel for our government, their profligate spending, their all consuming passion for self-preservation, and the inevitable fall at the end of the ruinous path they seem so determined to force this nation down.

You know I’m deeply concerned about the rapid erosion of personal liberty and our president’s cavalier attitude toward the Constitution and consolidation of power into a monolithic central, federal government, a bureaucratic nightmare that makes and enforces the rules, controlling even the administration of health care and the curriculum our children will study in school.

I fear the rampant apathy and lackadaisical work ethic of the entitlement society will become so deeply ingrained in the coming generations that the nanny state policies of this president and others like him who are likely to be elected will gradually drain the wealth and the will of the population until the well is bone dry and the confusion and anger of those who are suddenly left to fend for themselves will overrun the streets of this nation resulting in chaos and bloodshed.

I fear that this nation and this planet are in the midst of a great apostasy, or falling away from belief and faith in God as cults, false prophets and faddish feel-good religions pop up and capture the attention of many.

Even some of the old-line Christian denominations have tried to modernize their doctrine, bending the curve to accept things that are forbidden in the Bible, conveniently ignoring or subverting scriptures that fly in the face of the new age dogma they now embrace.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world and while Islamic fanatics scream about the destruction of the State of Israel, the dominos in the Middle East fall one by one, with only the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan preventing the fulfillment of the ancient biblical prophecy that Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies.

Yes, I am very concerned about Israel. It is not the land of my birth, but when I became a Christian I was grafted into the root of Israel like a wild olive branch grafted on to a full-grown tree. The Bible says that salvation comes to the world through the Jews, the race of people by which the Creator of all mankind chose to reveal Himself to the world, the race into which my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born, the land where He would live and die on a cross for our sins.

How could any true Christian not be concerned?

Street gangs, flash mobs, drug cartels, incurable diseases, wholesale abortion the tearing down of traditional marriage and nuclear families, child molestation, the belittling of American exceptionalism, the export of manufacturing and jobs, murder, rape, home invasions, it’s enough to give a person a nervous breakdown, but then I have to stop and think.

This world is just a short stop, only a testing ground on my eternal journey.

Any earthly leader or government, no matter how pervasive and powerful are only temporary place holders who will eventually pass into oblivion and be reduced to dust.

Israel will be battered and bloody but will never be completely destroyed and 85% of the vast armies allied against her in the final battle will be annihilated in the Jezreel Valley near Megiddo, known as Armageddon.

This earth with all its awesome military might, pompous politicians, mega-rich magnates and all the evil the powers of darkness can bring to bear are no more than a grain of sand compared to the indescribable power of the One who created the planets and flung them out across endless space, He who can part the sea and make the sun stand still.

Only One is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent, He is everywhere, He knows everything and He can do anything. And yet in all His Majestic might, he cares for you to the point that He knows the number of hairs on your head.

His name is God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Dios to Spanish speakers, Gott to the Germans and so on, but He does have, always has had and always will have the last word and be the final judge in the affairs of mankind.

He will write the final pages of history.

We will all stand before Him and give account for our lives, every king, every president, every dictator, every super star, every human being.

Lord, please help me to keep my confidence in You and my mind on eternal things to come. Amen.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.

dietrich-bonhofferA Voice from the Past Warns Us to Take a Stand.

Never have I set ink to paper with a more sober heart.  Never have I approached a New Year with a deeper burden.  Our nation, the nation that you love and I love is slipping through our fingers at a rate of loss that would have been deemed impossible before now.

Our government is waging an incremental assault on the U.S. Constitution.  We all saw a direct assault on the first amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion when Obamacare began forcing the Catholic Church to violate their convictions.

Now we have a direct attack the second Amendment by attacking the right to bear arms.

Noah Webster said it most succinctly and most eloquently:  “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”

Leftist politicians, militant unions, news and entertainment media have united to create an America that will remove Christian civilization as we know it.  If drastic action is not taken immediately, the despotic control of that they have seized in the information industry will soon give them an immense, continuous and increasing power over everything we hear, see and say.

Now a man’s voice echoes from down the decades to reinforce our mandate.  His name is Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

On April 9, 1945, just a few weeks before an allied offensive brought Germany to its knees and ended World War II in Europe, a young, mild-mannered Lutheran theologian was hanged by the Nazis in Flossenburg Concentration Camp.

His crime … conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theological genius of the 20th century, is now emerging as a war hero, martyr and spy.

“What is so amazing about the story of Bonhoeffer is that he puts a completely different spin for us as Americans on World War II,” says Eric Metaxas, author of “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” (Thomas Nelson, 2010), the first biography in 40 years of this influential Christian. The book is being released on the anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s execution.

“Christians all over the world have read his books,” Metaxas says, “but very few people know the full story of his involvement in a plot to kill the head of the German state.”

Bonhoeffer is revealed in the book as one of the few German Christians who refused to appease Hitler and his perverted interpretation of Christianity. Bonhoeffer’s staunch resistance to the Third Reich and his push for civil disobedience cost him his life.

His enriched faith, however, was born in America in 1930, when spent a year at Union Theological Seminary. But the most profound American influence was at New York’s Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. There he heard the powerful preaching of civil rights pioneer Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., and the deeply emotional music of what he called “negro spirituals.”

Bonhoeffer became a passionate parishioner and Sunday school teacher at the Harlem church.

“The experience he had in Harlem deepened his faith in such a way that when he came back to Germany, he felt called by God,” Metaxas says. “It wasn’t just theology in his head. He felt called by God to obey God. For him that meant very clearly to stand up for the Jews.”

Perhaps one other experience in America cemented his “stand for the Jews.”  On Bonhoeffer’s first and only Easter in the United States, he tried to attend services at one of New York’s famous churches. But he couldn’t get in; they were so packed, you needed tickets to attend. Wanting to be in a house of worship on Easter Sunday, Bonhoeffer went instead to a synagogue, where he heard the charismatic Rabbi Stephen Wise. Bonhoeffer wrote to his grandmother …

“He delivered an enormously effective sermon on corruption in New York and challenged the Jews, who make up a third of the city, to build from this city the City of God, to which the Messiah would then truly be able to come.”

In 1914, Wise co-founded the NAACP, and he was instrumental in the creation of the World Jewish Congress.  A synagogue in New York City bears his name.

Wise’s grandson, also named Stephen, now in his 80s, has been spearheading an effort to get Bonhoeffer’s name listed with Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in Israel, as one of the “Righteous Gentiles” of the Holocaust.

What Bonhoeffer came away with from his New York experience was a willingness to stand by the true faith. He wrote to Rabbi Wise, telling him what the Nazis were doing to the Jews, and how the “religious” people were complacent.

“There were many German churchgoers, whether they were Christians or not I don’t know, but they went to church and somehow they made peace with the Nazis,” Metaxas says. “They thought there was nothing wrong. Bonhoeffer had such a devoted faith he knew without any question that the Nazis were anti-Christian and they were evil, and if he didn’t stand against them he would have to answer to God.”

Bonhoeffer believed he was called by God to help those who wanted to assassinate Hitler.

“Bonhoeffer was not a pacifist,” Metaxas says. “And that will be news to a lot of people who think of Bonhoeffer as their hero, as some kind of pacifist.”

He was willing to be involved in a plot to kill Hitler. “He wasn’t helpful as a gunman; he was helpful with contacts all around Europe,” Metaxas says. “He had the ability because he had ecumenical church contacts to work as a double agent, and that is what he was, he was a double agent.”

The plot was discovered, and Bonhoeffer was arrested in 1943.

Two years later, as the Battle of Berlin raged, it was clear that the Third Reich would be defeated. But Hitler wanted his enemies dead, including Bonhoeffer.

On April 9, 1945, Bonhoeffer was hanged. Three weeks later, Hitler committed suicide.

On May 1, German forces in Italy surrendered. The next day, German forces in Berlin surrendered. On May 7, 1945, the unconditional surrender of all German forces was signed. The war in Europe was over.

What was left in its wake was the murder of 6 million Jews and a legacy that has tarnished the Christian faith in Europe.

But the legacy that Bonhoeffer leaves future generations is of the untold dangers of idolizing politicians as messianic figures. Not just in the 1930s and ’40s, but today as well.

“It’s a deep temptation within us,” says Metaxas. “We need to guard against it and we need to know that it can lead to our ruin. Germany was led over the cliff, and there were many good people who were totally deluded.”

Bonhoeffer, says Metaxas, was a prophet. He was a voice crying in the wilderness. He was God’s voice at a time when almost no one was speaking out against the evil of the Nazis.

Tonight, Mario will preach a message on TBN entitled: Excited over nothing.

TBN blog

Tonight Mario will preach a message on TBN entitled: Excited over nothing.  

Before you read the outline of the message we are asking for you to let us know you will be praying for an open door to share all of the counsel of God and for a heart of revival to get in the Body of Christ. – Editors at MMM.

Excited over nothing.

A man once said, “The problem with many women is that they get excited over nothing and then they marry them.”

Tonight I am accusing the American Church of being excited over nothing.  Before I get specific let me state the results of being excited over nothing.

We did not lose our nation just because liberals took it but because we gave it away.  We did everything to America but convert it to Christ.

Look at how many events, conferences; church services do not invite souls to meet Jesus.  Look at all the cities where the Pastors refuse to come together to win souls.

Look at all of the things we are excited about that have nothing to do with winning souls.

Too many Christians are excited by the ridiculous but bored with the sublime.

1. Excited by ridiculous perks: valet parking, slick program, Starbucks coffee and preaching that sounds like fortune cookie sayings, but not Jesus Himself.  Church has become a harmless social gathering instead of a sublime threat to the powers of darkness in their community.

-2 Timothy 3:5 “having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

2. Leaders excited by celebrity: Some are so desperate for acceptance they cave in on their convictions about the existence of hell or what the bible says about marriage and do ask the viewer to turn to Christ.  Leaders beware if you think that you must be right just because you have a big following.

-Proverbs 25:26 A righteous man who falters before the wicked, is like a murky spring and a polluted well.

3. Excited by mystical experiences but not willing to pay the price for genuine miracles.  Beware of binging on prophecy and emotion.  Do not place personal words above the Bible and emotional binges above winning souls.  We cannot be excited about meetings that bless us but make us look crazy to outsiders.

-1 Corinthians 14: 23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.  25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

4. Hyper-grace teaching that excites but removes the urgency of the lost to repent.  Abusing the goodness of God does not make them want to get saved but lets them delay.  The spirit is convicting them while was a salving their conscience.

Romans 6: 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Conclusion:  Jesus is the excitement of the Church and we must  let Him conquer us so we can retake our nation.

How to pick a church… things that no one else may tell you.

funny-church-sign-7

How to pick a church.

 

We all know that God plants us in a church but He also deposits the clues in various places so that we are required to use our discernment, intelligence and good old fashioned hard work to make one of the most important decisions of our life  Here are 6 things that will help you find a church:

1.  Know what you want.  Nothing is a greater pitfall for finding a church than to be out of touch with what you really want your church experience to be.  Volume level, preaching style, worship length and depth are but a few urgent things to consider.  You may be so thrilled with the program for children that you sacrifice yourself.  Being miserable in church so your kids are happy may work for a few months but not in the long run.  Better to find a less than stellar but enjoyable experience for your children in a church where you are blessed and enriched.   Conversely, you do not want a fiery church that ignites you but neglects your children.

2. Do your homework.  Technology has made it possible for us to save gas and time.  Get referrals from Christians you trust and admire.  Look at their website.  Websites let you know where and when they meet.  You can read their mission statement and often you can hear the Pastor on a podcast.

Here is an important tip:  A slick website may seem great but consider something else.  You may be called to help a young and exciting vision get off the ground.  If their website looks “under construction” it might be a great opportunity for you.  God is doing many new things and nothing is more rewarding that to be a part of a church plant that really wants to let God move and build something.

3.  Can you pay the price? Do not kid yourself.  Joining any church carries a price.  Nothing is more delusional than the idea that a seeker church lowers the cost of discipleship.  A seeker church could be the costliest mistake you ever make in your walk with God. Like the proverbial mechanic said, “you can pay me now or you can pay me later.”  Churches that let you hide in a crowd and make few demands and focus on convenience cost you on the back end.

Becoming lukewarm in Christ damages us in many ways that we never consider.  Spiritual warfare is real, is my pastor showing me how to fight or downplaying the dangers of the end times?  Am I being held accountable in love to grow?  Since my flesh is my mortal enemy, am I gaining the upper hand or drifting into a destructive lifestyle?   Will my spiritual compromise be the undoing of my children?

On the other hand, you must beware of the Churches that abuse authority.  Are they asking you to pay a price that Christ is not asking?  Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:30.  If the pastor equates loyalty to him with loyalty to Christ, run before the Kool-Aid gets passed around.  If they say that there will be some kind of punishment for those who leave the church…well, leave the church.  The punishment is staying not going.

A good church carries a good price.  Prepare your heart to grow by applying the preaching and teaching to your life.  Look at your schedule and arrange it around the key meeting times of the church.  Be ready to serve with a cheerful heart.

4.  Be aware of your faults as much as the church’s faults.  Don’t walk in thinking that this is that church’s lucky day.   I do not care who you are, or how big your tithe is, you are bringing baggage into a church.  You have at least as much to gain from this church as you have to give!

Come in humbly and do not try to prophesy or offer your excellent talent.  Jesus said, “But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 14: 10, 11.

5.  Is the church seeking national revival?    Revival is no longer optional but mandatory.  If the DNA for revival is not in that church but it is in you then you will be frustrated.   Find a pastor who believes revival is imminent, even at the door.    Do not go in as a spectator to see what God is doing but go in as a soldier ready to contend alongside the pastor for God to do something.

6. Are you ready to commit?  The moment might be right.  You and your family feel at home.  It is not perfect and you know that you will have to make some adjustments.  Still, you hesitate because you are simply not ready to make a commitment.   This is very dangerous.  You are wasting valuable time, time you could be spending getting to your destiny.

Do not join the “I am spiritual but not religious” group who focus on the notion that God is everywhere and I do not have to be a part of a church family.  More dangerous still are those who have been wounded in church (and who hasn’t?) and therefore cannot trust leadership.  The answer to bad leadership is not to go without leadership but get under good leadership.  The Bible says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

There is one thing I know for certain, God has a church for you.  When it is the place that God has assigned for you and your family, that is the perfect church.

 

A Voice From the Past is Warning Us to Take Action

dietrich-bonhoffer

My First Blog for 2013:   A Voice from the Past Warns Us to Take a Stand.

Never have I set ink to paper with a more sober heart.  Never have I approached a New Year with a deeper burden.  Our nation, the nation that you love and I love is slipping through our fingers at a rate of loss that would have been deemed impossible before now.

Our government is waging an incremental assault on the U.S. Constitution.  We all saw a direct assault on the first amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion when Obamacare began forcing the Catholic Church to violate their convictions.

Now we have a direct attack the second Amendment by attacking the right to bear arms.

Noah Webster said it most succinctly and most eloquently:  “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”

Leftist politicians, militant unions, news and entertainment media have united to create an America that will remove Christian civilization as we know it.  If drastic action is not taken immediately, the despotic control of that they have seized in the information industry will soon give them an immense, continuous and increasing power over everything we hear, see and say.

Now a man’s voice echoes from down the decades to reinforce our mandate.  His name is Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

On April 9, 1945, just a few weeks before an allied offensive brought Germany to its knees and ended World War II in Europe, a young, mild-mannered Lutheran theologian was hanged by the Nazis in Flossenburg Concentration Camp.

His crime … conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theological genius of the 20th century, is now emerging as a war hero, martyr and spy.

“What is so amazing about the story of Bonhoeffer is that he puts a completely different spin for us as Americans on World War II,” says Eric Metaxas, author of “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” (Thomas Nelson, 2010), the first biography in 40 years of this influential Christian. The book is being released on the anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s execution.

“Christians all over the world have read his books,” Metaxas says, “but very few people know the full story of his involvement in a plot to kill the head of the German state.”

Bonhoeffer is revealed in the book as one of the few German Christians who refused to appease Hitler and his perverted interpretation of Christianity. Bonhoeffer’s staunch resistance to the Third Reich and his push for civil disobedience cost him his life.

His enriched faith, however, was born in America in 1930, when spent a year at Union Theological Seminary. But the most profound American influence was at New York’s Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. There he heard the powerful preaching of civil rights pioneer Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., and the deeply emotional music of what he called “negro spirituals.”

Bonhoeffer became a passionate parishioner and Sunday school teacher at the Harlem church.

“The experience he had in Harlem deepened his faith in such a way that when he came back to Germany, he felt called by God,” Metaxas says. “It wasn’t just theology in his head. He felt called by God to obey God. For him that meant very clearly to stand up for the Jews.”

Perhaps one other experience in America cemented his “stand for the Jews.”  On Bonhoeffer’s first and only Easter in the United States, he tried to attend services at one of New York’s famous churches. But he couldn’t get in; they were so packed, you needed tickets to attend. Wanting to be in a house of worship on Easter Sunday, Bonhoeffer went instead to a synagogue, where he heard the charismatic Rabbi Stephen Wise. Bonhoeffer wrote to his grandmother …

“He delivered an enormously effective sermon on corruption in New York and challenged the Jews, who make up a third of the city, to build from this city the City of God, to which the Messiah would then truly be able to come.”

In 1914, Wise co-founded the NAACP, and he was instrumental in the creation of the World Jewish Congress.  A synagogue in New York City bears his name.

Wise’s grandson, also named Stephen, now in his 80s, has been spearheading an effort to get Bonhoeffer’s name listed with Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in Israel, as one of the “Righteous Gentiles” of the Holocaust.

What Bonhoeffer came away with from his New York experience was a willingness to stand by the true faith. He wrote to Rabbi Wise, telling him what the Nazis were doing to the Jews, and how the “religious” people were complacent.

“There were many German churchgoers, whether they were Christians or not I don’t know, but they went to church and somehow they made peace with the Nazis,” Metaxas says. “They thought there was nothing wrong. Bonhoeffer had such a devoted faith he knew without any question that the Nazis were anti-Christian and they were evil, and if he didn’t stand against them he would have to answer to God.”

Bonhoeffer believed he was called by God to help those who wanted to assassinate Hitler.

“Bonhoeffer was not a pacifist,” Metaxas says. “And that will be news to a lot of people who think of Bonhoeffer as their hero, as some kind of pacifist.”

He was willing to be involved in a plot to kill Hitler. “He wasn’t helpful as a gunman; he was helpful with contacts all around Europe,” Metaxas says. “He had the ability because he had ecumenical church contacts to work as a double agent, and that is what he was, he was a double agent.”

The plot was discovered, and Bonhoeffer was arrested in 1943.

Two years later, as the Battle of Berlin raged, it was clear that the Third Reich would be defeated. But Hitler wanted his enemies dead, including Bonhoeffer.

On April 9, 1945, Bonhoeffer was hanged. Three weeks later, Hitler committed suicide.

On May 1, German forces in Italy surrendered. The next day, German forces in Berlin surrendered. On May 7, 1945, the unconditional surrender of all German forces was signed. The war in Europe was over.

What was left in its wake was the murder of 6 million Jews and a legacy that has tarnished the Christian faith in Europe.

But the legacy that Bonhoeffer leaves future generations is of the untold dangers of idolizing politicians as messianic figures. Not just in the 1930s and ’40s, but today as well.

“It’s a deep temptation within us,” says Metaxas. “We need to guard against it and we need to know that it can lead to our ruin. Germany was led over the cliff, and there were many good people who were totally deluded.”

Bonhoeffer, says Metaxas, was a prophet. He was a voice crying in the wilderness. He was God’s voice at a time when almost no one was speaking out against the evil of the Nazis.