Are You A Rescuer?Have you ever been to the beach? Here in Florida, we often get extremely dangerous riptides. For those non-beach goers out there, a riptide is where the waves come crashing into shore, and then the water returns, making a river with a very strong current going directly back out into the ocean. If a person’s not careful, they can get pulled right into a rip current and very quickly end up1/2 mile off shore. I once found myself in a riptide in Hawaii and almost lost my life. Many people drown every year from these deadly traps! Recently, there was a story in the headlines that really moved me. A large church youth group was visiting the beach on the west coast. Without warning, a young man wading in the water was yanked by a riptide, was swept out to sea, and vanished. Immediately, the panicked youth group relentlessly looked for him and called for help. There was no trace of him. In approximately10 minutes, the surf rescue team was on scene. During the search, twenty-plus kids from the youth group, kneeling on the sand, sobbed uncontrollably and prayed, a truly heart wrenching sound and sight if ever there was one. It took another 15 minutes before the rescue swimmers found his lifeless body floating in the ocean. Time was of the essence and they had no time to waste. They grabbed him and pulled him aboard the Jet Ski and rushed his lifeless body to the beach. Then, to the absolute amazement of all, he miraculously was revived and saved! In the same manner, God is pleading for us to rush to the masses and rescue them! Time is of the essence! What type of person could sit back on the beach in apathy while someone is dying in the ocean? What kind of person could care less if the perishing person dies? If they could ignore it, they’re heartless. No, a person with any heart would do everything in his/her power, whatever it takes, to rescue the perishing. Likewise, there’s a multitude all around us dying in a sea of sin! Have you ever noticed that in a rescue attempt, the rescuer must go to the perishing? The perishing doesn’t come to the rescuer. I’ve never seen a drowning person swim to the lifeguard to ask for help. The lifeguard rushes to the drowning person! I want to challenge you to be a rescuer for Jesus and rush to that neighbor, friend, relative, classmate, or worker who’s perishing and tell him/her there’s a Savior who loves them and wants to come into their life to save them! Sadly, many lost people around us remain just that, lost forever, because we’re waiting for them to come to us! But the reality is, most lost people have no intention of going to a religious meeting to hear a religious speaker talk about a religious subject in a religious place. Often the biggest mistake Christians make in getting the Good News to dying people is we’re waiting for them to come to us. Most of our efforts to change people’s destiny from hell to heaven focus on the lost coming to our meetings, to our buildings, to our places of worship. Tragically, most of those lost and dying people remain just that, lost and dying!
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
John Harper: An unseen hero of unshakable faithIt was declared “The unsinkable ship.” Tradition tells us that an employee of the White Star Lines who built the Titanic boastfully stated that “Not even God can sink the Titanic.” Many of us are familiar with the immense tragedy that happened over 100 years ago with the RMS Titanic, but there is more to the sinking of the Titanic than a historical tragedy. There is a story of courageous heroism of a man with incredible faith. Among all the passengers who boarded the Titanic, there was a simple man, a pastor whose name was John Harper, who was passionate about JESUS. He was a man who was saved at the age of 13; GOD called him to preach at 17; and he was passionate about the Lord and His Kingdom. As John Harper’s life unfolded, one thing was apparent…he was consumed by the Word of God. Every day after working at the mill, for over five years, he could be found preaching the Word of God on street corners. John Harper loved his Savior and his heart was consumed with a fire that could not be quenched. This fire was seen by Pastor E. A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, England, who called him to the work in a church. This set Harper free to devote all of his time and energy for the Kingdom of God. Soon, John Harper started his own church in September of 1896, now known as the Harper Memorial Church. When asked by different pastors what his doctrine was, he consistently replied, “The Word of God.” This church which John Harper started began with 25 members, and had grown to over 500 members when he left 13 years later. During this period of time, he fell in love and got married, but was shortly widowed after the birth of their daughter, Nana. Almost as if God had been preparing him, ironically, John Harper almost drowned several times during his life. When he was two-and-a-half years of age, he drowned when he fell into a well, but was resuscitated by his mother. At the age of twenty-six, he was swept out to sea by a riptide and barely survived, and at thirty-two, he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean. On April 11, 1912, when the Titanic began her voyage, John Harper boarded the RMS Titanic with his six year old daughter, Nana, to come to America to preach a revival at the Moody Bible Institute. There were three classes of passengers on board: first, second, and third class. Aboard this luxurious ocean liner, there were some of the wealthiest people in the world desiring to embark on her maiden voyage. While many passengers spoke of their next business deal, their acquisitions and material desires, John Harper could be seen diligently sharing the love of Christ with others. In the days leading up to the tragedy, survivors reported seeing Harper living like a man of faith, speaking kind words and sharing the love of Christ. It was the night of April 14, 1912, when the RMS Titanic sailed swiftly on the bitterly cold ocean waters heading unknowingly into the pages of history. As passengers danced in the ballroom and tried their luck at the card tables, John Harper put his daughter to bed and read his devotions as he did every night. At 11:40 p.m. on that fateful night, the Titanic struck an iceberg. The “unsinkable” ship was doomed once the ship’s starboard side scraped an iceberg, showering the decks with ice and ripping open six watertight compartments. The sea poured in; either in disbelief or unaware at the time, passengers continued about their pleasures. It wasn’t until the ship’s crew sent up a series of distress flares that passengers realized the seriousness of their situation. Then chaos ensued. It all happened so fast. Harper quickly awakened his daughter, picked her up and wrapped her in a blanket before carrying her up to the deck. He took his daughter to lifeboat 11. As a widowed preacher, John Harper could have easily gotten on board this lifeboat to safety; however, it never seemed to have crossed his mind. He bent down; the flares reflected off the tears streaming down his face, he looked into his daughter’s eyes and told her that she would see him again someday. Harper knew he would never see his daughter again on this side of eternity. His daughter would be left an orphan at six years of age. He then turned and rushed towards the crowd of desperate humanity on the sinking ocean liner. From a survivor we learn that he called out, “women, children, and unsaved people into the lifeboats.” John Harper understood that there was a more important thing than surviving that terrible disaster. He understood that there were those who were unprepared to face eternity. He understood that believers were ready to die but the unsaved were not ready. Harper then ran along the decks, pleading with people to turn to Christ, and with the ship sinking, he called upon the Titanic’s orchestra to play, “Nearer, my God, to Thee.” Gathering people around him on deck, he then knelt down, and “with holy joy in his face,” raised his arms in prayer. As the sounds of terror and mayhem continued, Harper focused on his God-given purpose. Survivors reported seeing him on the upper deck on his knees and surrounded by terrified passengers, he was sharing Christ and praying for their salvation. The ship began to lurch and break apart. Most people thought it was an explosion; actually, the gargantuan ship was literally breaking in half. At this point, many people jumped off the decks and into the frigid, icy, dark waters below. John Harper was one of these people who were forced to jump into the icy waters. He swam frantically to all the perishing he could reach, beseeching them to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. That night 1,528 people went into the frigid waters. John Harper was seen swimming frantically to people in the water, leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal. Mr. Harper swam up to one young man who had climbed up on a piece of debris. John Harper asked him as he gasped between breaths, “Are you saved?” The young man, who was near shock, replied that he was not. John Harper then took off his life jacket and threw it to the man and said, “Here then, you need this more than I do” only to then quickly swim away to other people. A few minutes later, Harper swam back to the young man and succeeded in leading him to salvation. Of the 1,528 people that went into the water that night; only six were rescued by the lifeboats, and John Harper was not one of them. In his last moment, this tireless man of undying faith continued his life pursuit of winning lost souls. As his body succumbed to the intense cold of the icy water, his body frozen, but his heart afire, John Harper’s beckoning call to the lost and perishing before he slipped under the water was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Four years later, a young Scotsman by the name of Aguilla Webb, who was one of the six individuals pulled out alive from the icy waters stood up in a meeting in Hamilton, Canada, and gave the following testimony: I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar (wood debris) that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper of Glasgow, also on a piece of wreck, near me. ‘Man,’ he said, ‘Are you saved?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘I am not.’ He replied, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’ The waves bore him away; but, strange to say, brought him back a little later, and he said, ‘Are you saved now?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘I cannot honestly say that I am.’ He said again, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,’ and shortly after, he went down; and there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harper’s last convert. Does Hollywood remember this man? No. It doesn’t matter, Heaven does! This man’s heroism will be ringing throughout the eons of eternity. This faithful servant of God lived his life for an Audience of One. While other people were trying to buy their way onto the lifeboats and selfishly trying to save their own lives, John Harper gave up his life so that others could be saved. John Harper was truly the hero of the Titanic! When the Titanic began her voyage there were three classes of passengers: first, second, and third class, but when she came to her abrupt end, history records only two kinds of passengers: those who were lost and those who were saved. Even so, God’s word divides all humanity neatly into only two classes. “And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:11-12). There’s a lost and dying world of people who are drowning in a sea of sin, who desperately need to be rescued. May you and I be passionate, relentless, determined, and consumed “Life-Savers” for Jesus! “Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends…” John 15:13 The great hymn writer Fanny Crosby penned these powerful words in the hymn Rescue the Perishing: Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save. Though they are slighting him, still he is waiting, waiting the penitent child to receive; plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently; he will forgive if they only believe. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save. Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore; touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness, chords that were broken will vibrate once more. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save. Rescue the perishing, duty demands it; strength for thy labor the Lord will provide; back to the narrow way patiently win them; tell the poor wanderer a Savior has died. Rescue the perishing, care for the dying;
“When you fish for fish, you catch something that’s alive that’s going to die.
When you fish for men, you catch someone dead that’s going to live.”
Evangelism Training International 1825 Demastus Lane Ocoee, FL 34761 www.GodsLoveProject.org
Working With African Pastors Hungry For Training
A Warning About False Prophets
Leading A Jewish Person To Jesus
Circle 1: The Circle of the Messiah’s HumanityScripture says that the Messiah had to become a human being. This circle is obviously a very large circle. The Messiah’s humanity is prophetically spoken of in Genesis 3:15, when God is pronouncing judgment against the serpent following the fall of Adam and Eve: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. The word “offspring” refers to descendants. The Messiah would be a descendant of the woman – that is, He would be a human being. We find this fulfilled in Galatians 4:4-5: But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
Circle 2: The Circle of the Messiah’s JewishnessScripture says that the Messiah had to be Jewish – that is, He had to be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This narrows the circle considerably. Of all human beings who have ever lived, only Jewish human beings would qualify. Point the Jewish person to Genesis 12:1-3, where God makes a covenant with Abraham (the “father” of the Jews): The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Then point the Jewish person to Genesis 28:10-15: Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” These Bible passages indicate that the promised seed (in Genesis 3:15) was to come through the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Circle 3: The Circle of the Messiah’s Tribal IdentityThe circle gets even narrower when it is demonstrated that the Messiah had to come from the tribe of Judah. This is demonstrated in Genesis 49:10: The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. Here Jacob is on his deathbed. Before he dies, he affirms that the scepter (of the ruling Messiah) would be from the tribe of Judah.
Circle 4: The Circle of the Messiah’s FamilyScripture tells us that the Messiah had to be from David’s family. This narrows the circle still further. We see this affirmed in 2 Samuel 7:16: Your [i.e., David’s] house and your kingdom shall endure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever. We also read in Jeremiah 23:5-6: “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.” Clearly the ruling Messiah had to come from the family of David.
Circle 5: The Circle of the Messiah’s BirthplaceScripture clearly prophesies that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. This narrows the circle of possible candidates for the Messiah tremendously. Micah 5:2 tells us: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” So far we have seen that the Messiah had to become a human being, had to be a Jew, had to be from the tribe of Judah and the family of David, and He must be born in Bethlehem (a small, insignificant city in ancient times). Failure to fulfill any one of these conditions disqualifies a person as a possible candidate.
Circle 6: The Circle of the Messiah’s Manner of Life, Rejection, and DeathRegarding the Messiah’s manner of life, rejection, and death, point the Jewish person to Isaiah 53. Note the following excerpts: Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. (Isa. 53:1-4). He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. (Isa. 53:7-9). Note from these verses that: (1) The Messiah was to be despised and rejected by His fellow Jews. (2) He would be put to death following a judicial proceeding. (3) He would be guiltless. Obviously these facts about the Messiah narrow the circle still further.
Circle 7: The Circle of ChronologyPoint the Jewish person to Daniel 9:24-26: “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. “Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens’, and sixty-two ‘sevens’. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens’, the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. Regarding this passage, note the following facts: (1) The city would be rebuilt, as would the Temple. (2) The Messiah would come. (3) The Messiah would be “cut off” (die) but not for Himself. (4) The city and the Temple would be destroyed. Note especially that the Messiah had to come and die prior to the destruction of the second temple, which occurred in A.D. 70. Clearly, this narrows the circle of potential candidates incredibly. Is there anyone who has fulfilled all these conditions? Is there anyone who was a human being, a Jew, from the tribe of Judah and the family of David, born in Bethlehem, was despised and rejected by the Jewish people, died as a result of a judicial proceeding, was guiltless, and came and died before the destruction of the second temple in A.D. 70? Yes there was, and His name was Jesus! To further demonstrate that Jesus fulfilled the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, note the following facts, which are derived from my book, Christ Before the Manger: The Life and Times of the Preincarnate Christ. These prophecies – taken together – narrow the field so much that there can be no doubt as to who the Messiah is.
MESSIANIC PROPHECIES FULFILLED IN CHRISTFrom the Book of Genesis to the Book of Malachi, the Old Testament abounds with anticipations of the coming Messiah. Numerous predictions – fulfilled to the “crossing of the t” and the “dotting of the i” in the New Testament – relate to His birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and glory. Now, some liberal scholars have attempted to argue that these prophecies were made after Jesus lived, not before. They have suggested that the books of the Old Testament were written close to the time of Christ and that the messianic prophecies were merely Christian inventions. But to make this type of claim is to completely ignore the historical evidence. Indeed, Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks point out: Even the most liberal critics admit that the prophetic books were completed some 400 years before Christ, and the Book of Daniel by about 167 B.C. Though there is good evidence to date most of these books much earlier (some of the Psalms and earlier prophets were in the eighth and ninth centuries B.C.), what difference would it make? It is just as hard to predict an event 200 years in the future as it is to predict one that is 800 years in the future. Both feats would require nothing less than divine knowledge. God’s ability to foretell future events is one thing that separates Him from all the false gods. Addressing the polytheism of Isaiah’s time, God said: * “Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come – yes, let him foretell what will come” (Isa. 44:7). * “Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one” (Isa. 44:8). * “Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me” (Isa. 45:21). * “I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass….Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, ‘My idols did them; my wooden image and metal god ordained them’” (Isa. 48:3, 5). Of course, anyone can make predictions – that is easy. But having them fulfilled is another story altogether. “The more statements you make about the future and the greater the detail, the better the chances are that you will be proven wrong.” But God was never wrong; all the messianic prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled specifically and precisely in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus often indicated to listeners that He was the specific fulfillment of messianic prophecy. For example, He made the following comments on different occasions: * “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matt. 5:17). * “But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:56). * “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44). * “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-40). * “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:46-47). * “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:20-21). Any reasonable person who examines these Old Testament prophecies in an objective manner must conclude that Jesus was the promised Messiah. “If these messianic prophecies were written hundreds of years before they occurred, and if they could never have been foreseen and depended upon factors outside human control for their fulfillment, and if all of these prophecies perfectly fit the person and life of Jesus Christ, then Jesus had to be the Messiah.” Indeed, Christ on three different occasions directly claimed in so many words to be the “Christ.” (Note that the word Christ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah.) For example, in John 4:25-26 Jesus encountered a Samaritan woman who said to Him: “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming.” To which Jesus replied, “I who speak to you am he.” Later, Jesus referred to Himself in the third person, in His high priestly prayer to the Father, as “Jesus Christ, whom You sent” (John 17:3). In Mark 14:61-62 we find the high priest asking Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” To which Jesus declared unequivocally, “I am.” Others also recognized that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. In response to Jesus’ inquiry concerning His disciples’ understanding of Him, Peter confessed: “You are the Christ” (Matt. 16:16). When Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Martha answered, “Yes, Lord….I believe that you are the Christ” (John 11:25-27). Some may ask why Jesus didn’t explicitly claim more often to be the prophesied Messiah. Bible scholar Robert L. Reymond offers us some keen insights in answering this question: Jews of the first century regarded the Messiah primarily as Israel’s national deliverer from the yoke of Gentile oppression….Had Jesus employed uncritically the current popular term as a description of Himself and His mission before divesting it of its one-sided associations and infusing it with its richer, full-orbed Old Testament meaning, which included the work of the Messiah as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah, His mission would have been gravely misunderstood and His efforts to instruct the people even more difficult. Consequently, the evidence suggests that He acknowledged He was the ‘Christ’ only where there was little or no danger of His claim being politicized – as in the case of the Samaritan woman, in private conversation with His disciples (at the same time, demanding that they tell no one that He was the Messiah), in semi-private prayer, or before the Sanhedrin when silence no longer mattered or served His purpose. Even if Jesus had never verbally claimed to be the prophesied Messiah, the very fact that He was the precise fulfillment of virtually hundreds of messianic prophecies cannot be dismissed, as some liberal critics have attempted. The odds against one person fulfilling all these prophecies is astronomical; indeed, it is impossible to calculate. But fulfill these prophecies, Jesus did – and then He added proof upon proof regarding His identity by the many astounding miracles He performed. Truly, Jesus is the Messiah.
Or: How Cults Are Established
False Prophets Are The Founders Of Cults“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36 Jesus continuously warned His disciples that heretics would creep into the church; some intentionally to deceive and others unintentionally. Subsequently the Apostle Paul, John, Jude, and others warned the believers to be on their guard continually and “to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” Jude 3. Many of us remember the tragedy of the Jim Jones cult which ended in over 900 people taking their own lives because of heresy. We remember the tragedy of the Branch Davidians in Waco Texas and their charismatic leader David Koresh who persuaded many to take their own lives. Yet in light of all these tragedies, believers and non-believers continually set dates with dire results and great casualties following in their wake. Many cults of today and of the past, started as a seemingly innocent study. Consider the following… Back in 1818, a Baptist preacher named William Miller predicted that Jesus would return in the year from March 21, 1843 to March 21, 1844. Miller interpreted Daniel 8:14’s 2,300 days as 2,300 years and came to the conclusion that this was clearly the time that Jesus would return. When his prediction did not materialize and Jesus did not return, he and his followers, known as the Millerites, set one final date of October 22, 1844 as the return of Jesus Christ. With great disappointment, when this date failed to occur, Miller confessed that he was wrong and should never had set any dates. Never-the-less, the damage had been done, and it set in motion the creation of numerous cults that would spin off of his erroneous teaching. One of the groups who tenaciously followed Miller’s teachings, were a husband and wife named James and Ellen White. When the Miller’s predictions failed to come to pass, the White’s proclaimed that Jesus did actually cleanse the sanctuary on October 22, 1844, but He cleansed it in heaven, not on the earth because men had not been keeping the Sabbath. This then began the Seventh Day Adventist movement. From there, a man named Charles Taze Russell studied with the Adventists but decided to break fellowship with them as he had a disagreement about the atonement of Christ. Russell then started his own group which became the Russellites, which then became the Jehovah Witnesses. Russell, whose parents were Presbyterian Congregationalists was terrified of the doctrine of hell, so he conveniently changed the doctrine to accommodate his own fears and belief. From the Jehovah Witnesses, over 9 different cults have emanated, such as the Christadelphians. When I was a new believer, I read a seemingly innocent prophecy ad in a local newspaper. I called the number, left my address, and they said that they would send me some additional information. They did send me the information, through a personal messenger with a personal visit. As I listened intently to them, their false doctrine began to surface in the visit, and they began to try to undermine my new faith. They informed me that hell did not exist; God was limited in what He could do; etc., etc. yet the Holy Spirit inside of me was screaming, “That’s not right!!!” I went to a pastor; he showed me their errors, and it set my life on a course to know THE BOOK and to be ready always to give an answer to every man (1 Peter 3:15). The bottom line is when we intentionally or unintentionally disobey or disregard Scripture; the consequences are serious, catastrophic and affect many! May you and I know GOD’s Word, defend GOD’s Word, and share GOD’s Word! “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9)
Poor American = Rich African
It’s Just A Movie. Right?STAND UP! LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! “Be not deceived; GOD is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Film after film; film after film; just when you thought Hollywood couldn’t get any more perverted, they seem to achieve another all- time low in the 2013 blasphemous film, Rapture-Palooza. Written by Chris Matheson and directed by Paul Middleditch, this film is an all-out, in your face, frontal assault on Christianity, whose clear objective is the mockery of Jesus Christ, the Bible, and the reality of the future events that are soon to unfold. There is nothing new under the sun and infidels have, and will continue, to mock the LORD of GLORY. It was John Lennon who stated in 1966, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first-rock’ n’ roll or Christianity…” Well, John Lennon was wrong and we need not argue with that and was proven wrong. John Lennon has come and gone and Christianity continues on, charging through the pages of history sharing the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. The anvil patiently takes the blows of the hammer, and the Word of GOD has patiently taken the blows from mockers throughout the ages. As the pile of broken hammers lies under the anvil; shattered, worn out and broken, so the scorners and scoffers of time lie broken under the anvil of GOD’s immutable WORD! They are dead and gone, but GOD, HIS Word, and HIS Kingdom live on! So what is a believer in Jesus Christ supposed to do? What can we do when there is an outright assault on our Savior and HIS WORD? First, we need to pray for the people who produce, direct, and act in such films. Second, we need to, in love, be proactive and respond. It was Edmund Burke , who over 200 years ago said, “All that has to happen for evil to prevail is for just men to do nothing.” We must as the body of Christ stand up for righteousness! How can we as the church be silent about those things that matter to God? Jesus said that a city set on a hill cannot be hid.” David said in the Psalms, “I believed, therefore have I spoken.” The Apostle Paul reiterated what David said in 1 Corinthians and said, “We believe, therefore we speak.” Does our heart break for what breaks GOD’s heart? Are we passionate about what GOD is passionate about? Do we sincerely care about what GOD cares about? Sadly, it seems as though the western church has been silent about what matters to GOD. We are AWOL. What can you do? Call that company! Call that congressman! Call that TV or movie company, stand-up; let your voice be heard for Jesus Christ and for HIS Kingdom! Politicians know that just one phone call represents 30,000-50,000 people, so again, in love, pick up the phone, email them, let your voice be heard! Take a stand for Jesus!!! “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33) David A Hook
Really Sold Out, Not Just Playacting
(A True Story)Are you sold out for Jesus? I mean really sold out? Jesus was totally sold out to His Father and we should be totally sold out to Him! Let me share with a true story of a modern-day man who was completely sold out to Jesus. Recently, a young African pastor was martyred for his unwavering faith in our LORD JESUS CHRIST. With the sentence of death upon him and his impending death imminent, he penned his own epitaph just hours before his execution. After his death and his inauguration into GLORY, the epitaph that was later found in his desk drawer: