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Ronda last won the day on April 8 2019

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  1. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: I apologize for my lengthy absence from Online Baptist. The past year has been quite difficult and I'd not had the energy to spend the time here I'd hoped. As the Lord permitted, I was given strength to write articles for a Christian publication ("Rapture Ready") for over the last 2-3 years, and spent what energy I had on that. I also have been away so long I had no idea where to post this, nor under what topic. So please forgive me if I erred. My photo from before has disappeared as well, and I likely didn't upload a replacement properly either. The news I have to share today is that the time has come not to say "good-bye", but to say: "We'll meet in heaven." I have stage four cancer. I'm not going to pursue chemo nor radiation (etc.), but have instead signed on for Hospice. The cancer has spread to lymph nodes and bone (likely other places as well). At least one tumor has also spread to to local areas (invasively) and is inoperable. It would only prolong the suffering to try any attempts at chemo (etc.) at this point. It's urethral cancer, which is not only rare, but also extremely aggressive. So there isn't much time left. No doctor can give an exact time-line. But the oncologist said 5 months would be the absolute maximum. Honestly? I can't see it being more than a month, maybe two at most (just my opinion - going on how miserable I am and how quickly it's spreading and tumors are enlarging and manifesting here and there). But the Lord alone knows. His will be done. I do so appreciate prayer. However, I humbly request that none would pray for healing; but instead pray "God's will be done". And if you would, please pray for pain relief and continual relief of pain. I also request that you'd pray for the Lord's comfort for my family and dearest friends during this time. Very much appreciated. Although I'm saddened that this is hard for my parents, children, grandchildren, and dear friends; I think most of them understand that I'm not (personally) sad about the prognosis. As most know, I've had primary progressive MS, spinal cord disease (syringomyelia) and myriad other health issues for over a decade. Life has been an "existence" for many years. One I appreciated still, but was often very painful and difficult. I've been house-bound and bed-bound for several years now. I am looking forward to a release from the pain and suffering in this life, and anticipating the fulfillment of promises God has made in His word for eternity to come for those who've trusted and believed on Jesus for salvation. Please don't pity me in the least. "...I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." (2 Tim.1:12). God has given me the "peace that passeth understanding" (Phil.4:7) and keeps my heart and mind through Christ Jesus. I also have the firm comfort and assurance of the pre-trib rapture, wherein all church/grace-age believers will meet the Lord in the air. The "dead in Christ shall rise first", then those who are "alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." The Lord will soon give church/grace-age believers incorruptible bodies just like Jesus own glorified body (1 John 3:2; Phil.3:20-21; 1 Cor.15:49-53; 1 Thes.4:13-18; et al) at the rapture. While some brethren here may disagree with this doctrine, I am fully convinced of the scriptural surety that the rapture is indeed pre-tribulational. And that Jesus has promised to deliver us from the wrath to come (1 Thes.1:10, 5:1-9; Rom.5:9). So also do I know that scripture proves the rapture to be imminent (nothing need proceed the timing). However, I also believe the rapture is now much more than imminent, but also must soon occur, as much of end time Bible prophecy is aligned in stunning accuracy. I would never dare set date. Yet we are given to know and discern the season which we are now in. Brethren and sisters, I do believe that the rapture is so near that should I physically die first, I do believe all in Christ will soon be raptured and we will all meet together in the air. I very much appreciate the fellowship and past discussion here on OB. So many dear brethren and sisters have touched my life, edified me, and I count you all a blessing. Continue on serving the Lord, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord, and that His word does not return void. Much love, See you soon. Maranatha!!!
  2. Brother Alan and sister Sherry, I am in agreement with you on this passage of scripture. Sadly, I think the erroneous "gap theory" is in large part based on both disregarding scripture as well as adding to scripture. When we compare Genesis 1: 16 to Job 38:7 and Rev.12:4, I believe we can clearly see when God made the angels (including Lucifer). According to Genesis 1:19, it was the fourth (literal) day. "And God made two great lights to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also" (Gen.1:16) "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:7) "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth..." (Rev.12:4) While it's true that God made the physical celestial sun, moon, and stars on this fourth day also, I do believe God's word shows a dual meaning for the word "stars" as shown in the above scripture. As surely we cannot disregard the intended meaning of Job. 38:7 and Rev.12:4 to the use of the word "stars". As we also see the term "garden" in both sections of scripture (Genesis chapters 2-3, and others as well as Ezekiel 28). There is also another clue given in Genesis 13:10. Let's compare Gen.13:10 to Ez.28:13. "And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar." (Gen.13:10) compared to: "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." (Ez.28:13) We see in all 3 parts of scripture here (Gen.2:8 (and other references in Gen.ch. 2-3) as well as in Gen.13:10 and Ez.28:13; the garden was a literal place on the physical earth that God created. To claim that the garden is in heaven, is to add to scripture as well as to omit all other references to the garden in scripture. Your teachings are a blessing! And always spur on more desire to study out a matter for myself in God's word (as I hope it for others as well). God Bless! Maranatha!!!
  3. I believe the Lord led me here today (in large part) for this very post, Pastor Markle. As you know, I just posted this very phrase ("iron sharpens iron") on another topic, in reference to Prov.27:17 (without first having read this above statement from you, which you posted 2 hours prior). "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." And while, in the past, we have come to blows (so to speak) when wielding the word of God; I cannot say I ever sharpened your countenance. For that, I sincerely apologize. Not just to you, but to the Lord also. I was not acting in the Biblical manner with which we (as believers) are to speak to each other, in a manner pleasing Him. " Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. " (Col.4:6) Rather than give excuses, I admit the sin was mine. For which I am taking to the Lord. I am also thankful for your answer to the man above, pertaining to this verse of scripture (which I believe the Lord led me here to see today). As it has edified me. God Bless. Maranatha!
  4. Thank you all, brothers Alan and Scott, and sister Sherry. I'm sorry that I had not visited here as often as I'd hoped, as each day over the last year that I had strength to type I devoted it to researching/writing articles for a Christian publication. My heartfelt gratitude to both brothers and sister for defending me in my absence. And while I have not always been in complete agreement with either pastor in regard to scriptural exegesis, I do highly regard both pastor Alan (and his wonderful wife Sherry) as well as pastor Scott Markle as both devoted men and women of God whose main desire is to serve the Lord and share the gospel with the lost. I have learned from both pastors as well. As we know from God's word that iron sharpens iron (Prov.27:17) and I deeply appreciate all conversation and discussion I've had with both (and even often times simply reading what they've written to others). Both of these Godly men have given their lives to serve Christ. Pastor Alan and his wife have sacrificed the comfort and familiarity of the US to do mission work in Taiwan, at times in peril of their life. Pastor Markle has a full time ministry in Michigan (forgive me if I have that wrong). Both pastors spend their own time here on OB helping answer questions and adding to discussion. I commend them for their tireless efforts. To the person who suggested the following: I would suggest that time and money is better spent funding Missionary work. While there are several decent Christian radio broadcasts, I find very few (if any) television programs worthy of donation. And pertaining to the Christian radio broadcasts: one also should consider whether or not they are actually spending time sharing the gospel? Or are they spending more time promoting books, videos. conferences (for fee), or other materials? Again, I think money could be better spent on mission work. And/or if you are so inclined, to procuring actual gospel tracts (with sound doctrine) that can be mailed out, handed out, or left in numerous public places for the lost to find. (If one cannot properly articulate the gospel themselves). Thank you all. God Bless! Maranatha!!!
  5. Much of the problem comes from not rightly dividing God's word. "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom" (1 Cor.1:22) We see also in Mark 16:17-18 the following: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Sadly, many have erroneously believed that the sign gifts applies to themselves in this current church/grace age. After all it does say "And these signs shall follow them that believe". We believe, right? Yet that scripture is not written about us church/grace-age believers. There have been many who have attempted to force these sign gifts to fit in the grace/church age and claim them (erroneously) for themselves. Those who've taken up serpents (and been bitten and died). Those who drink poison ("any deadly thing") and have died also. Those who have tried to claim they have the"gift of healing" (and notice that there is nothing there requiring the recipient of the healing to have faith... rather instead that "they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Not maybe recover, not might recover, not recover if they have enough faith, no... "they shall recover" (no doubt about it). If they truly had that gift they would go to any given hospital and heal the children in cancer wards. And if they had the gift of healing then those children would definitely recover, not maybe reocver, but "shall recover". NONE have the sign gifts to do such things today. Isn't it interesting that the sign gifts that are claimed by charlatans today are those which cannot be proven. They claim to be able to speak in tongues (yet don't even follow the scriptural rules for the time when sign gifts were in effect, prior to the canon of scripture being complete). What were those rules for that time period? Look at 1 Cor.14:27-28 "If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God." The holy roller, name it and claim it, blab it and grab it crowd doesn't even follow scriptural mandate for speaking in tongues. (Regardless of the fact that it's no longer possible today). Every video I've seen of those who CLAIM they can speak in tongues is a disorganized melee of babbling incoherently by dozens of people. Definitely more than three persons. None interpreting. No order, but chaos. 1 Cor.14:33 (same chapter) "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." Now we know that they truly cannot speak in tongues. The sign gifts were meant for Israel. It was the Jews who required signs. Those sign gifts ended when the canon of scripture was perfected and closed. 1 Cor.13:8 tells us that there would come a time when prophesying would fail, when tongues would cease. Verse 10 tells us that "...that which is in part shall be done away." When? When "that which is perfect is come". What which is perfect? God's word in full, which ended with the Revelation of Christ given to John on the isle of Patmos. There is no reason for additional "prophesy" since His prophetic word is perfect and complete. Speaking of false prophecy: How sad that someone would actually set a date, make a calendar, and claim an actual date. Though not surprising given the unsound doctrine that's being accepted today in the perilous last days. Harold Camping move over, looks like Marilyn has a new date set! Maybe she can get a video going like Scottie Clarke did last year (claiming Sept 23rd, then keep moving the date when it doesn't happen). Do these people realize how they give a black eye to God's word? How when they lead both unbelievers and babes in Christ into buying these false dates, when the date comes and goes (as it always does) then those who are "...tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive". If it were up to some of these holy rollers they would be attempting to add to the canon of scripture their latest "dreams and visions" nonsense from the devil (2 Cor.11:14-15). Every other day is another quack claiming to be a "prophet", calling themselves an "apostle", or other heresies. Too many to even refute now days. No matter, after the first or second admonition reject (Titus 3:9-11). These really are the perilous last days (2 Tim.3:1-7, 13), so we can expect those who are deceived to continue to wax worse and worse. What gifts remains today? 1 Cor.13:13 "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." Maranatha!
  6. It's even worse than that... the evil 'artist' uses bodily fluids in his painting (I will refrain from listing those here). Besides the fact that it's clearly a push for a race war (as this can also be seen on all MSM - main stream media - as they are now condemning people merely FOR being white)... what's even more telling is the rituals the 'artist' chosen uses. These are luciferian and occult practices. Let's also take into account the MSM reaction to Vice President Pence. They now openly mock Christianity. And this week yet another school shooting (more than a dozen so far this year alone). They use this with mock outrage for guns. Yet American citizenry has ALWAYS had guns... yet we have NOT always had school shootings. What has changed? In the last 30 (or so) years the progressive liberal agenda in public schools is what has been force-fed in America.. God has been ousted from schools (and they then wonder why the devil has walked in and taken over?) The Bible isn't taught. Creationism isn't even taught as an option, much less the Biblical truth. Darwinism is pushed (if a person believes they descended from amoeba in pond scum or apes they tend to act that way... to them mankind is 'just another species') Human life is not precious to those who value it equally with apes and amoeba. In fact... it's valued LESS by those who scream bloody murder if a turtle or bird egg is destroyed, yet those same people murder their own children in the womb. It's even is championed and applauded from the left. Kids are taught (indoctrinated) that there are supposoedly 50+ genders? Even defying the science they claim to love? (1 Tim.6:20 KJV) Discipline has been removed, lawlessness is lauded and even praised from every leftist 'progressive' talking head on television. Faith is ridiculed on national television. And the most (sadly) amazing part of all of this? The 'progressive' leftists can't even see the connection!!! (Romans 1:18-32, 2 Tim.3:1-5, et al, explain why... and foretold such would be the case TODAY!) God has given every warning shout out to mankind that He did previously before utter destruction. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah were warned (and didn't heed), just as Noah warned for many years before the flood (they didn't heed either), so too have Bible believers been warning of what's to come... SOON! Scripture even tells us these days would be "as in the days of Noah", and "as in the days of Lot" (Luke 17). And so they are... the same rebellion against God, the same sins that have progressed to the point where they revel in them rather than even feel shame! Yet they don't even want to know what is foretold of their OWN very near future. THEY (God-rejecting, Christ-hating, rebellious world) will soon endure. It's all foretold, yet they mock (as was also foretold (Jude 1:18, 2 Pet.3:3-4, et al). What is that future? Revelation chapters 6-18 give an overview. (They can't even understand the plain words of scripture, even though the symbolism is clearly explained throughout the scripture. Why? 1 Cor.2:14, 2 Pet.3:16-17, 1 Cor.1:18, Rom.1:18-22, 2 Tim.4:3-4 and others explain why). Scripture foretold the arrival of Christ prior to His first advent. Yet so few recognized it then. Jesus rebuked them because they thought they could predict the weather, but couldn't even recognize their own Messiah standing in front of them as foretold! And how is this generation today much different? Even worse? Not only do most not know prophetic scripture, but they don't know ANY scripture at all. There are no 'modern day prophets'. God's word now holds ALL the prophecies already fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled (Amos 3:7 2 Pet.1:20-21 , Rev.19:10, et al) Jesus rebuked those at the first advent for not knowing the prophetic scripture as they should have... "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken" (Luke 24:25) And yet here we are today, not only do most professing 'Christians' have no clue what the scripture says (much less of scriptural prophecy), but the unsaved world rejects God's word altogether! Those who have studied scripture recognize how near to commencing end time prophecy is NOW! Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38-39 is commencing NOW. What does this mean??? By the end of Ezekiel 39, Israel will no longer be "blind in part" (Rom.11:25). What occurs PRIOR to Israel having their eyes re-opened? "the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom.11:25). That will mean nothing to those who reject God's word. But for the believer? It should be a wake-up call!!! Why is the world so focused on the middle east? On Israel, specifically? Because end time Bible prophecy revolves around Israel, NOT the church. Church/grace-age believers are taken up prior to God's dealing with Israel, taking Israel through the foretold 70th week of Daniel (Dan.9, Jer.30:7, Zech.13:8-9, et al), the time of "Jacob's trouble". Sadly, many churches today don't recognize this, they believe God has cast off Israel forever. But scripture proves otherwise! (If YOU are in one of those dead churches that want to pull YOU away from the truth in scripture, I suggest you study Ezekiel 39:27-29, Amos 9:13-15, Jer.30:2-7, Jer.31:10, 33:7, Ez.37:21, and so many others). God's word DID foretell the scattering of Israel, but also foretold the REGATHERING as well! A subject they won't touch. They have to omit huge portions of scripture to come to their erroneous conclusions, not just the scripture listed a few sentences ago, but the entire 11th chapter of Romans (and much other NT scripture). The time period we are right now residing in is the age of grace. This time is SOON to end! And with it? Those believers in Christ will be taken up before God's wrath commences on this world (1 Cor.15:49-53, 1 Thes.4:13-18, 1 Thes.1:10, Rom.5:9, 1 Thes.5:9, et al). Every forewarning and sign given is now prominent, on display for the world to see... and yet they can't see what's in front of them because they don't believe scripture! Nevertheless, God's word will come to pass exactly as foretold, whether they believe it or not (especially because they do not believe it!). School shootings? Horrific, and merely one of the outcomes of casting God out of school, casting His word aside, and instead clinging to false science and fables. This evil man's portrait done by a man who uses occult rituals in his so-called art? Just another glaring fact they refuse to address. Saddest part? You can show this to liberal 'progressives' and they still don't have a clue. (Rom.1:18-32, 2 Tim.3:1-5 explains why). Sadder still? They can come to Christ NOW before God's wrath commences, and yet they won't. Maranatha!!!
  7. Brother Jim, what a wonderful testimony to the importance of missionaries! Had those missionaries not followed the call to Alaska, you may have not heard the gospel. (I look forward also to reading your account). Missionaries are often not given the credit they deserve (from us, fellow believers) for their desire to reach the lost with the gospel. Many of them have given up ALL to follow Christ; their comfortable homeland, their relationships with family members who remain in free nations (some never again being able to SEE their kin, this side of heaven). The often horrible conditions they endure, some without clean water or ANY of the comforts we take for granted (clean running water, electricity, appliances such as washing machines/dryers, refrigerators, stoves, and so many others). Lack of good medical care and/or treatment, and real persecution for God's word. There are hundreds of things we (in the US and Western nations) take for granted every day that many missionaries go without, and let's not forget; they do so WILLINGLY for the Lord! Here in the US, many professing Christians think they are 'persecuted' if someone speaks ill of them for being a Christian. Yet we face no real persecution (YET), no risk to life and limb (yet). We should expect the world to reject us for sharing the gospel (1 Cor.1:18), to be HATED of the world (John 15:18-19), to mock us when we tell them of Bible prophecy (Jude 1:18, 2 Pet.3:3-4, et al). And yet that is nothing close to the persecution the apostles faced. And it's nothing near to what many missionaries are right now facing in the world. Jesus went to the cross for OUR sins, we are ALL sinners! He had the unique foreknowledge of what horrors He would face to do so. Yet He went WILLINGLY. He said "... " nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42, also as in Matt.26:39, and Mark 14:36). How many of us are willing to say: "nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done"? How many of us are willing to truly submit our own will to the Lord? To desire HIS will above our own? When the Lord calls us to share the gospel? When the Lord calls us to witness to even a co-worker, friend or relative? Do some worry more about our earthly relationships than they do about the other person's eternal soul??? While we can't all be pastors (women shouldn't be at all, and many men aren't equipped - nor called to be), and we can't all be missionaries that travel abroad or to remote locations of our own nations (although far more COULD than are willing to be), and we can't even all leave our homes to speak in person with others... we can ALL do much more than we do. There is also something we CAN all do... PRAY for those who are sharing God's word! For pastors, for missionaries, and for any and all believers who are sharing the gospel with the lost. "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matt.9:37-38) "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together." (John 4:35-36) Maranatha!
  8. I recently wrote an article for "Rapture Ready" website, dealing with finding Charities and Missionaries who share the gospel with the lost. The intent of the article was to show that most charities have long ago stopped giving the gospel (if they ever did), and rather that missionaries may be the better spent donation for those who desire for the gospel to be preached. Charities use misleading names such as "Salvation ____" and " The ___ Cross" (just two well known names which do not give the gospel to the lost, but have the audacity to still use such terms in their charity names!). A shout of to brother Alan (his wife Sherry, and his family also) in the article as well. 29 years a missionary in Taiwan! What a blessing to know the gospel is being preached in Taiwan! God Bless you (brother Alan and sister Sherry) as you seek to serve Him and share the gospel with others in Taiwan. Maranatha! http://www.raptureready.com/2018/02/11/10-tips-choosing-charities-missionaries-ronda-lane/
  9. "And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise." (Revelation 8:12). This is not the only fearful sight that will occur in the tribulation... in fact, the majority of the scriptural content in that chapter deals with such things. Far too much scripture to quote here. As for "planet x/nibiru" there is no such thing. There a great many wolves in sheep's clothing perpetuating these lies, deceiving the gullible. I agree with many of the brethren (above) in their opinions of those whom have started and continue to perpetuate this nonsense. Two other names come to mind: Paul Begley and Steven DeNoon, both of which produce "shock factor" videos, and are plastered all over social media (sadly). They use scare tactics to promote "survival" products. They prey on those who do not study the Bible, and do not know scripture themselves. So much so that when claim something to be scripturally sound, the gullible and those who do not study scripture themselves, are easily deceived. There is a solution to this... when believers study scripture themselves (as we are told to do; 2 Tim.2:15), know scripture well, then they can readily recognize the false teachers and know to mark and avoid them. Sadly, many professing believers are Biblically illiterate these days... even though there is no excuse for this since there are hundreds of ways to access the KJV Bible... in print form, also free online KJV Bible, and even free lexicons (should person desire to delve deep), Braille, KJV Bible apps, and audio Bibles as well (which are an excellent use of time while doing chores, etc. Listening to the KJV audio Bible). But far too many professing believers want a 5-6 word summary, a 5-10 minute sermon-ette (McChristian drive-thru style). Rather than waste time on the latest theory and falsehood of the day... (such as the "Blood moons", Shmita, Rev.12 sign heresy, L.A.Marzulli's phony fairy, planet x/nibiru, and hundreds of other false teachings that pervert/twist scripture) ... the time would be much better spent in the Bible, in actual scripture, rather than mankind's take, opinion, and perversion of scripture for personal gain. Here is some scripture that may be helpful: "For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Rom.16:18) "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them." (Eph.5:6-7) "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (2 Tim.3:13) " That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph.4:14) Maranatha!
  10. I edited my post to remove all eschatological reference, and hope that is more to your liking. I did feel it was relevant, but since it's not my OP, I will abide by your parameters.
  11. I was wondering if he had inadvertently been blocked? Remember a couple of years back when I had that issue? The anti-spam settings were such that if a person made numerous editing changes to a comment (while typing it, before posting it) OR if a person put 2-3 comments in a row in succession that the spam-filter would think it was spam and block the person? (Or so I was told). The only way I got back in was to contact a fellow OB memver on facebook who put me in touch with sister LuAnne (Happy Christian) to then get in touch with Bro_Matt to fix the issue? Had I not known someone, nor had a way to reach someone here I also would not have been able to get back in. Once blocked by the spam-filters, a person can't even re-apply for new membership, since the computer IP # (or whatever computer signature used) is also blocked. I wonder if that has happened to John81 as well?
  12. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim.4:3-4) If I may be so bold as to butt in here... I believe this (scripture above) is why good churches with sound doctrine are declining. But pastors aren't told to cave into worldly demands, nor to make churches more like rock concerts or coffee shops. Instead are told to: "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine" (2 Tim.4:2) Better to have a church sound in doctrine and Bible with even a hand-full of people than a stadium full of those who have itching ears and want to hear fables. (In my ambulatory years) I never worried about whether the congregation (or even the pastor) was friendly, whether they sang off key, or if they even knew my name (no offense meant here, this is just how I see things). But rather, I wanted to hear the sermon. And I didn't want a 5 minute "sermon-ette" filled with stories about uncle Bob and aunt Millie (or whomever). Nor did I care to hear jokes. Nor did I want to see a group of mini-rock-star wanna-be's leading what some call the "praise and worship team" these days. I wanted to hear the word, and solid teaching. If one feels he must tell a story, why not have it be a story which is an example of the word of God? How it relates to scripture? It's a shame that some have gone to spending MORE time in their music (which is supposed to be honoring and praising the Lord, not about self) and less time in the sermons. It should be the opposite. Sadly, some in the congregations may want a "McChristian" drive-thru sermon with 5 sentences or less. But a solid pastor will not cave in to the demands of the worldly... the worldly can go fill the multi-million dollar atrocities and have their ears tickled there.
  13. Brother Alan, I also agree with brother Larkin's assessment of 1 Sam.28 in regard to the spirit of Samuel. Verse 12 shows us she (the witch of Endor) was clearly taken aback "when the woman saw Samuel". Not to derail the study, but rather to focus for a moment on this part of scripture, and ask a question. It's clear that Saul had been anointed of God. And even David did not slay Saul, (though numerous times he had the opportunity to do so) because David recognized that the Lord had anointed Saul. Yet Saul did sin greatly against the Lord and disobeyed Him. Saul was also jealous over David, and had sought his life. The question would be pertaining to 1 Sam.28:19 "Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines." There we see Saul's physical death foretold by Samuel. Yet Samuel said " to morrow thou and thy sons be with me". The question would be, when Samuel said "be with me", did he mean paradise? In essence, was Saul sent to be with Samuel in paradise? I am presuming he did. (But would like to hear your thoughts on this). I've also taken into account the numerous sins David committed. And God allowed bad things to happen to David because of those sins, and yet He called him "a man after his own heart" (1 Sam.13:14). Thank you for your time. And I am enjoying this study. While I (also) did not concur completely with all of brother Larkin's writing in the book "The Spirit World", I did find it edifying and did find agreement scripturally in much of it. Thank you also for posting the review.
  14. Brother Alan, I would very much be interested in a book review on Clarence Larkin's "The Spirit World". I've not (yet) read it myself, not knowing it existed... but have now found a free copy online and plan to read it (God willing). It would be a very timely study, since spiritual warfare is a major issue in the life of believers. (Eph.6:12). I just started the first chapter, and it looks to be an excellent read. Maranatha!
  15. Thank you for the Chinese lesson as well as the teaching, brother Alan. And brother Jim, What a wonderful joy to have been used of the Lord to help lead Wu Cheng to salvation in Jesus! It's been a while since I have felt that thrill of exhilaration and pure joy that we get when someone isn't just interested, but actually believes and accepts Christ, even more when they (as had did) has the desire to evangelize his Chinese friends and family. (And as you said, his thirst for God's word being insatiable, you knew he truly had come to Christ). While there have been several people take an interest in God's word lately as I witness to the unsaved world, sadly, they are soon "turned off" (so to speak) when they find out that God isn't going to guarantee to grant their every wish nor fix all their worldly problems. I spent a good deal of time answering (with scripture) questions from a secular friend. She had (sadly) been watching a TV evangelist and was under the belief she would be healed and receive riches and prosperity in this life if she found a "prayer partner" to "pray in agreement" with her. It angers me greatly the harm that these false teachers and wolves have done. It was rather a long ordeal trying to deprogram her. And so I first started with the gospel. Sadly, she wanted to SKIP that.... and as you know we can't do that. Over the course of a few weeks, I then also explained to her that God doesn't work like waving a wand over us and fixing all our problems here on earth... but rather I took her to the scripture pertaining to eternal rewards instead. There is much more to this account, but in a short summation she really wasn't interested in eternal salvation, she (sadly) still was of the belief she is a "good person", even though I'd used much scripture to explain to her that we are all sinners in need of a savior, and all our good works of what we call righteousness are like filthy rags to God. I explained Rom.3:10 to her, and many others. I also explained that Jesus was the one and only acceptable propitiation (payment) for our sins, etc. She just wanted interested... she wanted immediate gratification, and all her worldly problems fixed "right now". She'd been brainwashed by the TV evangelist into believing if she just had someone to "pray in agreement" with her, all her worldly woes would be over :( She wanted immediate health and wealth... she didn't want to admit she was a sinner in need of savior, and there are no short-cuts to that! She wasn't willing to believe that Jesus died for her sins, was buried and rose the third day (1 Cor.15:1-4), in fact as long as she still thinks she is a "good person", it's not likely she will see her need for salvation at all, no matter the scriptural warnings. And that is one of the "better" experience I've had of late... most often I am cussed out, threatened, given "facebook jail" (24-72 hour bans) for posting Bible verses that offends anyone, and mocking... always the mocking from those who believe their "god" is false science (1 Tim.6:20). I truly hope it is not this way for everyone, and that there are still some coming to Christ in the world. These are truly the perilous last days forewarned of in 2 Tim.3:1-7,13. Not just that, but a marked increase in those whom God Himself has turned over to a reprobate mind (Rom.1:18-32). Receptivity of the unsaved is at an all time low that I've ever seen in my lifetime. And hostility towards the gospel, or even any of God's word, is also increasing greatly. Nonetheless I will keep posting the gospel and scripture to the unsaved world in the places they most need to hear it, it may be that I plant or water, and it's up to God whether there be an increase. Maranatha!
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