Every Christian Should Desire the Gift of Prophecy

At the present time, an increasing number of Christians worldwide are accepting that the gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in 1 Cor 12:8-10 are available today, and that God wants His people to seek them from Him. These Christians, among whom I include myself, are known as continuists (or sometimes continuationists). Other Christians, those who claim that these gifts ceased to be available around the time that the New Testament was completed, are known as cessationists. One of the areas of debate between continuists and cessationists concerns the gift…

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Call to Think for God, The

When I was approached last December about the possibility of bringing this commencement address, it was because of the thought, or hope, that I might be able to cast light on the problem of how to balance the intellectual life with the spiritual life. I work as a professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, which calls for something in the way of an intellectual life – or at least a sturdy appearance thereof – and I have recently published a book on the spiritual life and its…

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Are These the Last Days?

How long until Christ returns? Before this greatest of all events occurs, the Bible speaks of a period called “the last days”—“the time of the end”—“the end of the world [age]”—“the end of these things”—“the end of the days”—and of a time when the course of human history, as we know it, “shall be finished.”Of course, many professing Christians do not believe in a literal Return to earth by Jesus Christ. Of those who do, most believe that it could be hundreds of years away. Some believe it could be…

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How much money should I give to Church?

Within some churches, everyone who attends is encouraged to give 10% of their income to the church. This is called tithing – in the Old Testament the Israelites were required to “tithe” (give 10% of their income) to pay for the priests in their temple. Although many Christians tithe, there is nothing in the New Testament that suggests tithing must still be done. In fact, it’s clear that we are no longer under the law of Moses, but under grace.So instead of automatically giving 10%, (which would be easy to…

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A Christians Attitude

Our attitude is what defines us. Our attitude will determine where we will spend eternity.  What is our attitude toward our self, and toward our brethren?    To better understand what the Bible says about our attitude, first we need to define the word attitude.  Although the word attitude itself is not found in the Bible the concept is found throughout the Bible.  Attitude is defined as “feeling or emotion” (Webster p.80). When we become a Christian we are to renew our minds, change our attitude in every aspect of…

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“What is a Protestant?”

A Protestant is a Christian who belongs to one of the many branches of Christianity that have developed out of the Protestant Reformation started by Martin Luther in 1517. Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses “protested” against unbiblical teachings and traditions in the Roman Catholic Church, and many Europeans joined his protest. New churches were founded outside of the Catholic Church’s control. The major movements within the Protestant Reformation include the Lutheran Church and the Presbyterian Church (largely associated with John Knox). The Anabaptist or Free Church movement is considered…

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“Why are there so many Christian denominations?”

To answer this question, we must first differentiate between denominations within the body of Christ and non-Christian cults and false religions. Presbyterians and Lutherans are examples of Christian denominations. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are examples of cults (groups claiming to be Christian but denying one or more of the essentials of the Christian faith). Islam and Buddhism are entirely separate religions.The rise of denominations within the Christian faith can be traced back to the Protestant Reformation, the movement to “reform” the Roman Catholic Church during the 16th century, out of…

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‘Yes, church wedding is not biblical’

After reading comments from Pastor Solomon Male and Bishop Paul Luzinda, among others, I found it necessary to write this.The early Church split because of practices which became law/custom yet they were not stated/or acceptable in the Bible, for example, bowing to images, baptising children and praying for the dead. In Matthew 15:6-9, Jesus warned on adopting laws of men and imposing them on God’s people.This is emphasised in Titus 1:14.Pertaining marrying in church, I have not yet found it anywhere in the Bible that the Church shall conduct marriage.…

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What is the Purpose of Marriage?

Heading into marriage, it is crucial to have a clear and realistic view of what marriage is all about. Our culture screams messages of vanity, happiness, lust, and other false emotional fulfillment. While marriage is certainly fulfilling and the source of much joy, happiness, and love, that’s not the heart of it.The heart of marriage is three-fold.First, marriage provides strength in numbers. God knew that life would be tough and we would need support. Marriage provides that added strength and reinforcement to fulfill God’s calling and purpose for our life…

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Making Mankind for Marriage

Genesis 2 contains the detailed account of God’s creation of mankind and marriage. In this dual event God provided a model of things to come. The earthly marriage of Adam and Eve in the past is an illustration of Christ’s union with the church in the future (Ephesians 5:32). To help us understand this heavenly mystery, God gave us marriage to demonstrate what it is going to be like when we gather at the second coming of Christ and are united with Him. In this life, men and women are…

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Bethel Missionary Baptist Church

The National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. ascribes to these Articles of Faith which should be adopted by Baptist churches at the time of organization: I.THE SCRIPTURES. We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world,…

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The Challenge of Spiritual Leadership

Who is sufficient for the task of spiritual leadership? The man who leads Christ’s flock needs at least two rare qualities: a compassionate heart, and also nerves of steel. No one is well equipped to guide the saints of God on earth unless he has two seemingly contradictory sides to his character. He needs to be full of love to all those who are Christ’s people, and immovable in his adherence to the principles of God’s Word.It has been well said of Moses, one of God’s choice leaders, that his…

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The First Church Building to be Erected in the Modern State of Israel

Lately many new church buildings have or are still being built by congregations of our denomination. Some of these are the congregations’ second buildings since their founding. What a contrast this is to the situation in Israel. During the entire history of Israel as a modern state, not a single building was erected and dedicated as a church building until April 6, 2013. On this historic occasion, the building of the Grace & Truth congregation of Kanot was dedicated.This congregation began in the home of Baruch Maoz and was officially…

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How to Keep Your Kids Catholic

When my three-year-old son makes the sign of the cross and sweetly tells Jesus how much he loves Him, I am so proud. When that same son screams in anger and frustration, I am ashamed. He learned to do both by imitating me.Wouldn’t parenting be easier if children would just do all the good things you tell them to do, and none of the rotten things they see you do? Children are natural-born imitators: they mimic whatever they see, both good and bad. Unfortunately, parents are not always natural-born good…

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The Bible ALONE?

Many lay Catholics are getting interested in studying their faith. And for a large percentage of these folks this means increased Bible study, which the Church heartily commends. However, when we try to put that into action, we can often run into a problem: the Invisible Contact Lens Syndrome. Most people don’t realize it, but the air is actually filled with millions of invisible contact lenses. These contact lenses–with names like “skepticism,” “New Ageism,” “materialism,” “conservatism,” “liberalism,” and countless other “isms” are especially concentrated in schools, near TV sets, around…

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Dealing With Church Hurt God’s Way

We except to be mistreated in the world, but we’re often blindsided—and get out feelings hurt—when brothers and sisters in Christ don’t invite us to the party, talk behind our backs, or aren’t there for us in a time of need.I wrote a short article with some prophetic insight on overcoming hurt feeling’s God’s way some years ago and it’s consistently one of the most visited articles on my site. And on Sunday I was a guest on Love and Life Radio, where I discussed the topic of “church hurt”…

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The Father’s Heart for Israel and the Church in the Last Days

Nowhere is the relationship between G-d’s family, as Jews and Gentile believers, more clearly seen in Scripture than in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). For a moment, let us reflect upon it, with G-d being the father and the two sons being Jew and Gentile, in order to help us see the changes that we need to make in these times.Sometimes, when looking at this story, it is hard for us in the church to see ourselves as the older brother, because Israel is the one who…

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SPIRITUAL GIFTS.

1. Spiritual Gifts Characteristic of the Church.—It has been already affirmed, that all men who would officiate with propriety in the ordinances of the Gospel must be commissioned for their exalted duties by the power and authority of heaven. When so divinely invested, these servants of the Lord will not be lacking in proofs of the Master’s favor; for it has ever been characteristic of the dealings of God with His people, to manifest His power by the bestowal of a variety of ennobling graces, which are properly called gifts…

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THE CHURCH AND ITS PLAN OF ORGANIZATION.

THE CHURCH IN FORMER AND LATTER DAYS. 1. The Primitive Church.—In the dispensation of the Savior’s ministry, Christ established His Church upon the earth, appointing therein the officers necessary for the carrying out of the Father’s purposes. As shown in the last lecture, every person so appointed was divinely commissioned with authority to officiate in the ordinances of his calling; and, after Christ’s ascension, the same organization was continued, those who had received authority ordaining others to the various offices of the priesthood. In this way were given unto the…

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Blessings in Christ

Much of the New Testament speaks to the blessings of God’s divine goodness and mercy. When God is in covenant He blesses those who are His in a uniquely different fashion.Instead of the everyday blessing such as are fitting in His providential care of all humanity (Matthew 5.44-45), to those who are His through Christ there are extended “every spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1.3).Let us consider some of these particular blessings as developed in the Ephesian letter which are uniquely given to the Christian.

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Church: Love Me and Leave Me!

The Christian church is haemorrhaging. Past decades have seen a steady decline in church membership and attendance. Many theories propose reasons, usually focusing on the front rather than the back door. Before the church bleeds out, a spotlight on the exits and those who leave permanently is required.“Out-of-church” faith is a growing phenomenon. There are countless Christians in this category. They are often the most committed of Christians—praying, insightful, deep-thinking— yet they’ve grown tired of “playing the game” inside church systems. Their involvement goes back many years. They had commonly…

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God Bless You All . . .

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:1-4, emphasis added).

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Jesus Is Not A Christian

If Jesus had come today instead of 2,000 years ago, Christian pastors and bishops would also have killed him.A man travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by armed-robbers, stripped of his belongings and left lying on the road half-dead.  God’s providence ensured that first a priest, and then a Levite, passed by.  But instead of helping the dying man; both of them quickly moved to the other side and went away.  Finally, a Samaritan came along.  Unlike the priest and the Levite, he had compassion on the injured man,…

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No label, just Christian

Many will ask, what is a non-denominational church? One reason would be that a non-denominational church is any church that is not part of a larger denomination. “A denominational church exercises some authority over churches that comprise (it), such as Southern Baptist, Episcopal, Wesleyan, Methodist, Roman Catholic and several others not mentioned.” Not like non-denominational churches, that go by different names and have a wide variety of beliefs and benefits.

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Why People Don’t Go to Church

It’s boring. That’s the top-ranked answer (42 per cent) among reasons given by infrequent attenders and non-attenders for not going to church (see “Top 10 reasons people don’t go to church”). That’s the results coming from the Australian Community Survey (ACS), with responses from some 8500 people across into eight community types (with more than 1000 responses from each). The research was conducted by Perth’s Edith Cowan University and National Church Life Survey Research (NCLS).

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Christless Christianity

In his recent book, Christless Christianity, Dr. Michael Horton has analyzed the problems that assail the contemporary evangelical church community.  Leaning heavily upon the research of sociologists of religion such as James Davidson Hunter, and others, Horton has been able accurately to pin the tail on the evangelical donkey.  This comes to the fore especially when he takes a cue from sociologist Christian Smith, who notes the pervasive presence in modern evangelicalism of a moralistic and therapeutic deism.  Smith defines the characteristics of this contemporary form of deism by listing…

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Risking the Truth: Handling Error in the Church

You emerge from the darkness, eyes blinking. Before you there are two chairs, black leather. A fierce spotlight illuminates the scene. Seated on one chair is the Interrogator. His job is to question the “guests”. One by one they file in to face the man who wants to get at the truth at all costs. You get to watch and listen from the shadows. You take it all in. The Interrogator fires a question. The man sitting opposite him carefully ponders his answer before speaking. He knows what’s at stake.…

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Why is the Old Testament shut out of church?

I don’t want to begin this lecture by spiritualizing a text but…the Old Testament is good bit like Jephthah the Gileadite in Judges 11:1-3.  His brothers so much as booted him out of their father’s household because of his illegitimate birth.  That’s the way it is with the Old Testament in much of the contemporary church.  The church seems to feel that it’s okay if the Old Testaments stays in the land of Tob with Jephthah, but let’s not even give it the status of step-testament in the household of…

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How Shall They Hear Without a Preacher?

In recent months both the elders and the staff team at their meetings have been discussing ‘The Trellis and the Vine’ by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, both Australians with many years of ministry experience. The thesis of the book is that much of our church life concentrates on the trellis i.e. the framework of committees, programmes, structures, activities, groups for this and groups for that, and meanwhile the real work of vine growing, of Christ being formed in his people’s hearts and lives, is often neglected. The remedy they…

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How Jesus Runs the Church

The foreword to this very timely and useful book was written by Dr. T. David Gordon. He relates that, for approximately a decade, he taught a course in Presbyterian ecclesiology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He laments that many valuable works on ecclesiology and church polity were out of print. He was (and still is) convinced that “The seventeenth to nineteenth centuries had addressed matters not only thoroughly but avidly.” (ix.) As a case in point, Gordon cites Thomas Smyth, who, in 1841 wrote a 124-page catechism on the Church entitled…

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