Posts Tagged ‘devil’

grief

A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

The short book entitled “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis relates how the author joined the human race when his wife and spirited poet, Joy Gresham, died of cancer. Lewis, the Oxford professor whose Christian apologetics make it seem like he’s got an answer for everything, experienced crushing doubt for the first time during her illness and after his wife’s tragic death. A Grief Observed contains meaningful reflections on that period: “Your bid–for God or no God, for a good God or the Cosmic Sadist, for eternal life or nonentity–will not be serious if nothing much is staked on it. And you will never discover how serious it was until the stakes are raised horribly high,” Lewis writes. “Nothing will shake a man–or at any rate a man like me–out of his merely verbal thinking and his merely notional beliefs. He has to be knocked silly before he comes to his senses. Only torture will bring out the truth. Only under torture does he discover it himself.”

This is the book that inspired the film Shadowlands but it is more wrenching, more revelatory, and more real than the movie. It is a beautiful and unflinchingly honest record of how even a stalwart believer can lose all sense of meaning in the universe, and how he can gradually regain his bearings.

Although this book is non-fiction it is written like the author of so many famous books of fiction can write.  Yet, from a very personal standpoint, Lewis comes to grips with the reality of terminal illness.  It is always from the viewpoint of “this can’t be happening to me!”  He goes through stages of denial, first of the illness itself, and second of the untimely death of his wife.  Sharing his feelings with her son was very hard for Lewis.  Lewis and Joy’s son Douglas became very close.  The relationship started because he enjoyed reading Lewis’ classics.  Douglas truly admired and respected Lewis. Lewis was always the professor and statesman, and always had that stiff upper lip of the Englishman.  But when it came down to facing his feelings, Lewis was the first to really get in touch with them.  His wife, Joy, helped him get through the times of unknowing before she died.  Lewis and Douglas grew very fond of each other and mourned the loss of Joy together, arm in arm.

JoyJack

Joy was very warm and caring toward him during her therapy and temporary recovery.  She insisted on spending as much time with Lewis as possible.  They basically did everything together.  What is really touching about this story is what became of their marriage, and the reason why they married in the first place.

From the first meeting of Lewis, Joy Gresham, and her son Douglas, the beginning of their lasting friendship, through the courtship that took many years, A Grief Observed blends the two worlds or cultures of American values and those of the British.  The book brings you into the heart of Lewis like no other book he had written.  When you finish this book, your heart will be warmed and your mind will rest assured of the possibility of loving someone so deeply as to suffer more than the one who is sick.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is going through the illness of a loved one, especially if he or she has been diagnosed as terminal.

 

Kerygma

Kerygma

What is kerygma and what does it mean?

During the last seven weeks of the Communication in Ministry course I am taking, we are concentrating on preaching or delivering sermons or messages to our congregations.  We are studying structuring sermons, how to select our passages and how to interpret the biblical passage. We are learning how to relate the interpretation of the biblical passage to our “audience.” We are learning all the ways and means to creating a great sermon.

This brings me to the word kerygma. Dictionary.com gives the definition of kerygma as “the preaching of the gospel of Christ, especially in the manner of the early church, and the content or message of such preaching.”

Kerygma is the Greek word κήρυγμα kérugma, translated proclamation or preaching. Kergyma is the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in spoken words, or even viewed in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. It is the proclamation of Jesus redemptive work. Proclamation was usually followed by teaching and instruction in the elements of the faith, or the reading of a Creed. What Jesus did and taught in His ministry was included within the basic proclamation. Ok, so lets break this definition down. 

1. Kerygma is the preaching of the Gospel.

2. Kerygma is preaching in the manner of the early church.

3. Kerygma has to do with the content or message of what is being preached.

What is the Gospel? It is the Good News of the life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. The Gospel includes the facts of Jesus’ incarnation as the Word. It includes the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. It includes the fact that Jesus was begotten of the Father and not a creature that the Father made. Jesus is in the Father as the Father is in Him. It includes the fact that salvation from sin, sickness, death, and the devil is only through Jesus the Messiah. It includes the fact that we are made right with God, declared righteous because of the righteousness of Jesus the Messiah. The Gospel is Good News!

2. What was the manner of preaching in the early church? The book of Acts clearly demonstrates that the early church preached the Gospel focusing on Jesus Christ; on repentance, faith, baptism and the forgiveness of sins, especially that salvation is through Jesus alone. The early church preached Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The reason is that the Apostles were witnesses to the life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. The early church preached what they heard from Jesus, the Apostles, and what they witnessed – it is the Gospel.

3. What is the content or message of what was being preached by the early church? When looking into the book of Acts we see:

  • All of the messages mention the doctrine of God.
  • All of the messages mention Jesus the Messiah.
  • Seven messages mention Jesus’ death.
  • Seven messages mention His resurrection.
  • Four messages declare that Jesus is now exalted in heaven at the right hand of the Father.
  • Four messages mention the giving of the Holy Spirit.
  • Seven message mention the forgiveness of sins.
  • Five messages mention repentance.
  • Three messages mention the need for faith.
  • Five messages mention Scripture.
  • None of the messages use the word Kingdom, because the Kingdom of God was brought to the earth in Jesus the Messiah.

Therefore, the content or the message preached by the early church included everything mentioned above. The church today must preach the Gospel like the early church. The early church preached the Gospel within the context of her audience, whether Jew or Gentile, or whether it was in Palestine or Athens, Rome or Crete. The kerygma was the same. They preached and taught the Gospel. The early church preached and taught the Gospel as it was given to them by the Apostles. The kerygma is the Apostolic Gospel message. The Church should be preaching the Gospel the same way the Apostles preached it: in the wisdom and power of God.

St. Paul gives an example of the kerygma:

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared also to me.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (ESV)

In conclusion, based upon the Four Gospels and Acts, there are seven elements to the ancient kerygma of the Church:

1. God loves you and seeks after you.
2. Sin will destroy you.
3. Jesus Christ died to save you.
4. Repent and believe the Gospel.
5. Be Baptized – receive the Holy Spirit.
6. Abide in Christ and His Body the Church.
7. Go make disciples.

Lastly, there are four elements (Acts 2:42) to living the Christian life revolving around the kerygma:

1. The Apostles’ Teaching – The Church steadfastly went on in the study of ancient Scripture and the sacred teachings of the Faith given them by the Apostles.
2. The Fellowship – They were daily interacting within Christ’s Body the Church, frequently gathering for worship, and other gatherings as the Body of Christ.
3. The Breaking of the Bread – This is another way of saying that they faithfully received Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or the Eucharist and, by extension,  all the Sacraments.
4. The Prayers – Using forms of prayers, in both the personal and community contexts.

sideshow

The Sons of Thunder Ministries  –  John Crowder’s Mystical School, is coming to St. Cloud, MN in January and is laden with false teaching, mysticism, lies and deception.

After reading from John Crowders website – www.thenewmystics.com – I discovered all these Gnostic, new age teachings, that are Antinomian in content, and express forms of witchcraft, posing as Christian ministers using unbiblical forms of teaching claimed being from early Christianity or Eastern Orthodoxy:

Deeper courses in contemplative, supernatural Christianity Operate in Trances, Raptures & Ecstatic Prayer
Experience Physical Phenomena of Mysticism
Get Activated in Creative Miracles, Signs & Wonders
Understand & Access New Creation Realities
Gain A Historical Grid of Miracle Workers & Mystics
Be Activated in the Seer Realm, Prophecy, Spirit Travel
Receive Open Heavens & Revelatory Understanding
Access and Manifest the Glory Realm

As I read through this all on his website all I can say is where is Jesus Christ in all of this? Where is the truth of the Gospel in this? When I read about “deeper”, “creative” “signs and wonders”, “new creation realities”, etc., I am reminded of Lucifer; He wanted to be greater than God, and to exercise authority over God. He wanted to be greater than the Almighty, CREATOR, LORD of all. Who did Satan think he was? He was banished from the presence of God and cast into the earth as the prince of the powers of the air. Then Satan tempted Eve, and fed her a lie that “you can really be “like” god” John Crowder is saying the same things. These are deceiving teachings! Satan has and will continue to comes as an angel of light, “appearing” to be the “next thing” thing we need.

Beware of this false teacher. There are demons at work in this man, and I would not get any closer than a ten foot pole from him. He is deceiving many, just as Scripture states, he preaches and teaches “another gospel.” It is NOT the Gospel of the Apostles.

This is a warning. Read the Word of God. Most of what is mentioned above are considered abominations to God, and incurred God’s wrath, these kinds of “ministers” and what they “perform” are specifically written of in the OT. The New Testament makes mention of these false teachers and prophets also, and some of them are smitten by God because of their behavior.

Therefore, as one who has been charged to contend for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints, it is with a heavy heart that i must warn everyone I can about this non-Christian heretic posing as a minister of the Gospel – John Crowder’s is not the Gospel, it is a false gospel with a little “g”.

For more information on these and other heresies, please read:

https://purifyingfires.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/antinomians/

https://purifyingfires.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/the-definition-of-orthodoxy/

enemy

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” ~ Ephesians 5:11

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep. For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven other persons, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction and made them an example to those who were to be ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the licentiousness of the wicked (for by what that righteous man saw and heard as he lived among them, he was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they are not afraid to revile the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a reviling judgment upon them before the Lord. But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed, reviling in matters of which they are ignorant, will be destroyed in the same destruction with them, suffering wrong for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their dissipation, carousing with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a dumb ass spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved. For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.” ~ 2 Peter 2:1-22

“Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.” ~ 2 Peter 3:14-16

“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” ~ 2 Peter 3:17-18

The enemy has invaded our camp. The enemy has invaded, entered, slipped in unnoticed, stealthfully crept into the Church! I am issuing a WARNING to the Body of Christ, the Church. I am issuing a WARNING to those faithful true believers of God through Jesus Christ, who believe the faith “once and for all delivered unto the saints.” BEWARE for the enemy has entered into our camp!

The enemy has disguised himself as an angel of light. The enemy has disguised himself as someone who is well versed in the Bible, but twists the Word of God. The enemy has disguised himself who teaches another Gospel other than the one received from Jesus Christ and deposited to His disciples for He ascended into heaven. The enemy has disguised himself as someone who teaches that we do not need to repent of our sins, or that sin is NOT the problem! The enemy has disguised himself as someone who teaches that we must believe in Jesus Christ PLUS we have to do the works of the Law. The enemy has disguised himself as someone who teaches that because of the grace of God that we don’t have to worry about our behavior as Christians…we can sin freely without condemnation! The enemy has disguised himself as someone who teaches that the moral Law of God has been abolished and that the only Law is the so-called Law of Christ (which is a perversion of what Jesus taught). The enemy has disguised himself as someone who claims to be a prophet from God who teaches against the Church of God, who teaches that sin doesn’t matter in God’s eyes, and that there is no wrath in God, whose prophecies have not come to fruition, who claims to have encounters with so-called angels, who claims to have received revelation from God on another planet, who preach and teach a twisted, and convoluted understanding of God’s Word in the Bible. The enemy has disguised himself as someone who teaches that everyone has been saved, that everyone has been elected of God unto salvation, that there is no need to repent of our sin, and that the whole cosmos has been reconciled unto God (understand the past tense?). The enemy has disguised himself as someone who teaches that we don’t need the Word of God, but that the “Holy Spirit” will teach us; that we don’t need gifted and anointed preachers or teachers of God’s Word; that we don’t need to study God’s Word, or need to understand Who God is through His Word (theology). The enemy has disguised himself teaching that our bodies don’t matter (with regard to sin) the only thing that matters is our soul and spirit (Gnosticism). And I am sure the enemy has entered into our camp with other falsehoods that I cannot call to mind at this moment.

The enemy has entered our camp with “nothing new under the sun.” There is no new heresy or false teaching or false prophecies. He has entered into the camp with the same old heresies and false doctrine that the early Church fought vehemently against. And so we must do now. And so I sound the ALARM! BEWARE! BE WARNED this day as St. Peter says:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. ~ 2 Peter 1:2-9

And then St. Peter exhorts us:

Therefore, brethren, be the more ZEALOUS TO CONFIRM YOUR CALL AND ELECTION, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Peter 1:10-11

Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of His glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen. ~ Jude 1:24-25

May the Lord Jesus Christ, God our Father, and the most Holy Spirit have mercy upon us!

“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” ~ Galatians 5:24

“The world is the general name for all the passions. When we wish to call the passions by a common name, we call them the world. However, when we wish to distinguish them by their special names, we call them passions. The passions are the following: love of riches, desire for possessions, bodily pleasure from which comes sexual passion, love of honor which gives rise to envy, lust for power, arrogance and pride of position, the craving to adore oneself with luxurious clothes and vain ornaments, the itch for human glory, which is a source of rancor and resentment, and physical fear. Where these passions cease to be active, there the world is dead.  Some has said of the Saints that while alive they were dead: for though living in the flesh, they did not live for the flesh. See for which of these passions you are alive. Then you will know how far you are alive to the world, and how far you are dead to it.”  ~  St. Isaac the Syrian