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Child-Rescuer Kenneth Miller Released From U.S. Prison After 2 Years

LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails has been following and reporting on the story of Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella and the brave people who helped them escape from this country for nearly ten years. (posted by an out-of-house news source – There are very few news sources that are accurately reporting on this story. Most are calling Lisa and those who helped her “kidnappers.” We are calling them courageous heroes.)

“Pastor spent 2 years in jail for helping girl escape court-imposed lesbian ‘mom’”

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

Photo: Kenneth Miller from 2013, prior to beginning his prison term for helping Lisa and Isabella Miller

A Mennonite pastor who helped a girl and her birth mother escape the United States to evade her court-imposed lesbian “mother” has been freed after serving almost 24 months in a U.S. federal prison.

Kenneth Miller, a pastor with the Beachy Amish Mennonites of Virginia, was convicted in 2013 of having helped Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella (both unrelated to Kenneth Miller) to flee the United States. They left the country in late 2009 to evade court-imposed visits to Lisa’s former civil union partner, Janet Jenkins.

According to a website created by Kenneth Miller’s supporters, the pastor was released from prison on March 6, and “was given a grand welcome at our church by flashing lights, sirens, and a shower, courtesy of the Amish Auxiliary of the Stuarts Draft Volunteer Fire Dept.”

“We held a joyful and praise-filled welcome home service on Sunday,” the website added. Click here to continue reading.

Past Coverage by Lighthouse Trails on this story:


Comments Left on our blog on this article:

Cedric said :

The fact that he was convicted of a crime is outrageous. It is indicative of how vile the secular society has become and how weak Christianity is.

Susan said :

This is a classic example of the days we live in where right is wrong and wrong is right. But reading some of his stories and his testimonies I am convinced his time in prison will not be wasted. May there be much fruit as he lived before all the inmates and shared the good news.

nannette said :

It is quite evident that this man is not a hireling. He truly is a shepherd. Beautiful to see.

Byron K said :

I pray that Lisa and Isabella are safe wherever they are.

Letter to the Editor: A Painful Journey Out of Bondage

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I got the book Calvinism: None Dare Call It Heresy in Kindle (until hard copy arrives) form and a hard copy. I just had to start reading it ASAP and looking forward to the hard copy to write, highlight, and make notes on it (which has happened). Having been in a staunch Reformed, 5-point Calvinist church for over 10 years and never being able to embrace it (though I kept that to myself) and feeling guilty that something was wrong with me was very damaging. The joy of His salvation left me little by little with the paralyzing fear of not being a chosen one. My husband was Reformed until a few years ago. We left 20 yrs ago not for it being Reformed but other unconscionable things that the pastors thought were biblical actions. Because we did not submit to their authority, they excommunicated us. They put us through hell. None of our friends were allowed to have anything to do with us. My paralyzing fear of God throwing me away led me to develop severe anxiety and panic attacks that interrupted my daily function. Our three kids were very little at the time, and it was so difficult for me. By God’s grace, I did not walk away from my faith but just clung with every fiber of my being to the sliver of hope that God’s grace and gift of eternal life with Him was available to ALL who chose to trust and believe in Him. At times, it was almost impossible to believe it was that simple!

I often told my husband that I believed it was another gospel which put strain on our marriage as at the time he still fully embraced it. I’m sharing only a very small snippet of our experience, but I can tell you that many of our close friends walked away from the faith wounded, broken, and betrayed by that church and their legalism. That church fell apart a few years back, but the damage Calvinism/Reformed Theology had on many is tragic. Speaking for myself I think of it as “Calvinist Theology PTSD!” Just Sunday on our way to church a pastor on the radio said something that triggered that fear again, and it makes me mad and sad. For some of us, it changed us deep in our spirit in a damaging way, and what once was a beautiful and sweet joy of Christ’s Salvation turned into a lifelong limp.

All this to say, I’ve longed for a book like this to help me truly understand, embrace God’s immeasurable love for me, and validate my thoughts on this grace killer! This book is a must read for untangling your theology and get back on the correct one!


USA Today: “Christians Object to This School’s Yoga ‘Mindfulness’ Routine”
Children at a school doing yoga

Photo credit:

LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the content or the source. To learn more about the dangers of practicing Yoga, please refer to our Yoga category on this blog. Also type in “mindfulness” in our search engine for articles on mindfulness meditation and the dangers it can cause for children especially.

Susan Parker
USA Today

An effort by a Maryland elementary school to provide its students with coping mechanisms by incorporating a daily yoga-based program has evoked an outcry by some residents on religious grounds.

Buckingham Elementary School in Berlin, Maryland, announced in early March the addition of a daily “Mindfulness Moment,” a locally produced program in recorded video format to help its young students calm themselves both physically and mentally, and thereby help them focus on their schoolwork. . . . However, in a March 25 sermon recorded and posted on the SonRise Church website, McCready struck a different tone, denouncing practices like yoga and reiki as teaching a false equivalence between humanity and divinity.

“Christians are being deceived,” he states in the recording. Click here to continue reading.

Katy Perry Invited to Speak About Transcendental Meditation at Vatican Conference Along with Other Meditation Teachers

LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational  and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the source or the content. It is not surprising to Lighthouse Trails that the Pope would be drawn to those who teach meditation as he is a contemplative advocate and told the U.S. Congress he considers Thomas Merton a highly significant figure in bringing about world peace (source). But with the Vatican and the Pope openly welcoming Perry and other meditation proponents to the recent “Unite to Cure: How Science, Technology and the 21st Century Will Impact Culture and Society” conference, it certainly sends out a strong message to Catholics and others that meditation plays a major role in solving the world’s problems. Dr. Mehmet Oz (one of Rick Warren’s meditation advisors) and Deepak Chopra were also speaking at the Vatican event.

A 2-second video clip of Pope Francis from YouTube; used in accordance with the U.S. Fair Use Act (

“Katy Perry Meets Pope Francis, Speaks At Vatican Conference”

By Carol Kuruvilla
Huffington Post

Perry, the daughter of two evangelical Christian ministers, was at the Vatican on Saturday to speak at a conference on scientific advancements in health care. The three-day Unite to Cure conference is co-hosted by the Pontifical Council for Culture and gathers thought leaders from around the world to discuss the future of medicine.  . . .  The star was listed as a special guest at the Vatican event over the weekend, alongside an Italian archbishop and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. TV personalities Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Mehmet C. Oz and Meredith Vieira also spoke at the event.

Perry was invited to speak about how a practice known as Transcendental Meditation has helped her gain control over her anxiety and stress. To continue reading, click here. 

Jesus Calling, Contemplative Prayer, the New Age, and Psalm 46:10

By Warren B. Smith

Countless references to meditating, being quiet, being still, relaxing, resting, letting go, and reciting Psalm 46:10 are found throughout God Calling andJesus Calling. They are all suggested ways of entering into “the silence” to experience God’s presence.

The New Age/New Spirituality likewise places great emphasis on these same ways of entering the silence in order to experience God’s presence.

The reason so much emphasis has been put on stillness and invoking Psalm 46:10 in the New Age/New Spirituality is because stillness has provided a “channel” for supernatural communication. What I came to realize years ago was that the silence allowed deceptive spirits to establish contact with those of us who were naïve and undiscerning “listeners.” The conditions of stillness, openness, and receptivity were ideal for deceptive spirits to inject ungodly thoughts and understandings into our minds. And now the same thing is going on in the church which sees no need to test the spirits. Along with testing the spirits, Scripture also warns us:

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)

There is good reason why the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling wants those he calls to “Come to Me with your defenses down” and “Relax”1:

Make your mind like a still pool of water, ready to receive whatever thoughts I drop into it.2 (emphasis added)

To continue reading, click here.

Child-Rescuer Kenneth Miller Released From U.S. Prison After 2 Years
Letter to the Editor: A Painful Journey Out of Bondage
USA Today: “Christians Object to This School’s Yoga ‘Mindfulness’ Routine”
Katy Perry Invited to Speak About Transcendental Meditation at Vatican Conference Along with Other Meditation Teachers
Jesus Calling, Contemplative Prayer, the New Age, and Psalm 46:10
How To Deal With Those Who Teach False Doctrine – According to Scripture

Is Francis Chan Right That God Will Destroy Those Who Challenge Christian Leaders?

Ironside: Nests in the Altars
Finding the True Jesus Christ
Enduring End-time Trials
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Visit the Understand the Times website for the latest updates on the Bryce Homes International missions outreach.



How To Deal With Those Who Teach False Doctrine – According to Scripture

Lighthouse Trails has always made great efforts to speak the truth in love. We attempt to never be vitriolic or judge one’s motives, not even the “worst” of them. We leave that part up to God. We also attempt to make sure any article we link to by a fellow researcher is of the same caliber. While we do occasionally link to an article that might not fall perfectly into that criteria, our regular authors and writers are of the same mindset as us. So how does a believer rightfully and in a godly manner (following the example of Jesus, Paul,  and the disciples) deal with those who are bringing false teachings into the church.

In thinking about following the example of Jesus, the disciples, and Paul, below are some Scripture verses that might help us outline some thoughts, for while we can show verses that talk about showing love and respect to others, we can also show many verses that talk about how to deal properly with those bringing heretical doctrines into the church.

While we don’t believe the New Testament condones cruel or hateful behavior to anyone, we do see a consistent pattern in Scripture that does not look lightly upon those who are teaching heretical doctrines or practices.  Let us heed the whole counsel of God, which we believe tells us to remain humble and in an attitude of grace (knowing that we are no better than anyone else in that it is only by the grace of God that we can see these spiritual things), but also tells us to speak courageously, with confidence, honesty, and strength.

We are in a battle for the continuance of the Gospel message – souls are perishing – and words must be said. While we do care for the souls of the men and women who are bringing in dangerous  false doctrine and practices, we cannot, in good conscience, take it lightly or have congenial “conversations” and futile  private discussions.  “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:12). The Bible says that the message of the Cross is the power of God unto salvation (i.e., the doctrine of Christ -2 John 1:9-11) . That is because it is the only way of salvation. When teachings such as contemplative spirituality, Spiritual Formation, and emerging ideology (which all  have roots in panentheism, occultism, and interspirituality), threaten to diminish the “doctrine of Christ,”  it creates a very serious situation that cannot be handled “sitting down.”

Scriptures on how the Christian contender of the faith should speak and behave:

1 Timothy 4:12 [B]e thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Ephesians 4:14-15 . . .  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; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

Ephesians 4:24-27 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor . . .  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Ephesians 4:1-3 I . . .  beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Jude 1:17-23 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;  how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference:  and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Titus 3:10-11 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

2 Peter 2:1-2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of . . .

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

2 John 1: 9-11 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:  for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Jude 1:3-5 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not . . .

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Galatians 1:6-10 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Revelation 2: 2-3 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: and hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

Galatians 2: 4-5 . . . and that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:  to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Luke 10:3-12 (Instructions to the disciples from Jesus before his death and resurrection) Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.  And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,  Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.  But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

Acts 20: 28-31 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember.

Is Francis Chan Right That God Will Destroy Those Who Challenge Christian Leaders?
Uzza and the Ark of the Covenant

Painting of Uzzah and the Ark of the Covenant

By Mike Oppenheimer
Let Us Reason

I’m going to use an example of a disturbing sermon from a popular teacher* to show why the church is being misled by false teaching and starving for truth in God’s Word. Recently, Francis Chan spoke to a group at Bethel Church, and using Bible verses, he warned that God will destroy (kill) anyone who questions or opposes the teachings of Christian leaders. He proceeded to name some of those leaders (e.g., Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, etc.) who should not be spoken against.

His main premise: using the Old Testament where God told the people of Israel not to speak or act against God’s temple in which the penalty was death.

In the New Testament, people are now the temple of God. Therefore, we must never speak or act against God’s temple. His basic text: “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:17).

Chan used the story of Uzza who was struck dead for touching the ark to keep it from falling, saying, “we don’t understand the word sacred.”

He gave other examples of those who were punished, such as Moses. In referring to Moses, Chan recalled the first time he read this and of thinking to himself that God is not going to keep him out of the promised land.

Chan interprets God’s response to Moses as: “Because you didn’t treat me as holy [which fits in the greater context of Chan’s message], I’m not going to let you enter the promised land.” But this is not exactly what happened. In Numbers 20:11-12, Moses was told to speak to the Rock, but he instead “smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly” (Moses was angry at the people). “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” Moses was angry with the people which led him to disobey God.

Chan also refers to the story of Saul and Samuel. Samuel is late, and Saul makes the sacrifice; God then says he will tear the kingdom from him.

Chan’s reasoning from the Scriptures goes from bad to worse. I am certainly aware that there is great need for broken relationships to be reconciled, but what Chan is saying is just not accurate in so many ways.

Along the way, he tells us that unity is what gets the world to believe. No, it isn’t. John 13:35 says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

What it is saying is that the world will know we are truly learners (disciples) i.e., followers of Jesus, by our love for each other, but even witnessing that won’t get them to believe. Only the Gospel, the Word of God, can do that.

Chan also says he used to read this passage and wonder how his idea of unity is going to happen. Sounds like the musing found in Roman Catholicism. Francis Chan, it already did—at Pentecost (1 Corinthians 12:13: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body . . . and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”)The Spirit comes into the believer, and the believer is put in His body. The unity is spiritual, and it is produced by Jesus, not us.

Regarding Chan’s unity or be destroyed sermon, Lighthouse Trails has pointed out,

“and even those who question confusing theologies, are clearly under attack here, but how is it that God would want to slay us? We thought further: Doesn’t Scripture say, “the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you” (1 Corinthians 12:21)? But Chan is saying that God has no need of people like us (who are a part of God’s temple) and will destroy us.” (source)

It’s ironic that the examples Chan gives, for the most part, were God judging leaders, those who were visible in positions of leadership and influential.

The point Chan is trying to get across to everyone is: stop speaking out and challenging leaders; correcting someone who is in rebellion or deceived is not love and is what Chan deems as destroying the temple. “If anyone tries to destroy this unity . . . this temple.”

Then speaking of a divisive person, Chan says divisiveness is different than other sins—referencing Titus 3:10 from a Bible version that says to warn a divisive person once then twice then have nothing to do with him. In the King James, Titus 3:10 says, “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.” This verse is talking about those who cause division by teaching false teachings. If we look at the verse prior to 10, we can see that Paul is referring to “foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law,” which he says are “unprofitable and vain [useless].” In other words, it is about teachings that would certainly include those who divide people from the doctrine of Christ.

But Chan is saying keep your mouth shut about everyone and everything. According to Chan’s reasoning, then Paul is guilty, for he named people and warned the church; Jesus also named people and groups that led others astray with their false teachings.

Chan then apologizes for saying things too flippantly of other leaders, “[W]hen I speak against that brother, I’m taking a sledge hammer to the temple.” Are we condemned by God for speaking up when someone is teaching something wrong? Or rather, is that person wrong for teaching WHAT IS WRONG?

Consider if someone teaches that we are all little gods or messiahs, or that Jesus is not God in the flesh, or that there is no Trinity. According to Chan, we have no right to speak on this. Chan calls it gossip and warns you will be judged. In contrast, what does Scripture say about exposing false doctrine and those who spread it?

Titus 1:13 says,  “rebuke them sharply.” Ephesians 5:11 is among the many exhortations to test one’s teaching: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Romans 16:17 says,  [M]ark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.”

Chan takes it a step further and describes incidents in the Bible where God took people’s lives, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:10) where Peter told both of them they would die for lying to the Holy Spirit.

Chan spoke of those who have negative criticism of leaders, but he does not name those critics (after all, that would be doing what he is opposing). But he does name some leaders who should NOT be criticized.

Are you gonna bash Rick Warren? This is a guy that loves the Lord. You might not agree with everything he does, but man, I’m telling you, he loves Jesus. And he’s a supernaturally spirit-filled man.

Are you gonna attack Mark Driscoll? Are you gonna attack John Piper? Are you gonna attack Mike Bickel? Are you gonna attack some of these expressing of the body of Christ that may look a little different?—I’m just saying, dude, put that down! I’ve met these people and I’ve seen their hearts. I hang out with people in different denominations and I’m like, man, they love Jesus. It looks different from me, but I can see the Spirit in them and we better be careful!

Chan vouches for them, saying that they love Jesus. Be that the case, they can still be wrong and do extensive damage spiritually. How or why do they have spiritual immunity when they say something terribly wrong that can bring great harm? (Peter loved Jesus. Does that make Paul wrong for rebuking him publicly for his error (Galatians 2:11, 14)?

Instead, Chan does the very thing he accuses others of and calls people names. He should add his name to his list of those whom God will destroy (according to his reasoning).

Bickle! Really? One may not remember Bickle’s Latter Rain involvement with Bob Jones and Paul Cain as their head prophet (in the Vineyard) who was a disciple of William Branham.

For Chan to use Ananias and Sapphira who lied about a promise and were killed is an absolutely insufficient example. Can Chan show any lies from those whom he accuses, those who question unbiblical teachings?  Is this really the same thing, or has he gone beyond the Scripture (which Paul instructed us not to do)?

What Francis Chan has done is pronounce a death sentence on Christians who are trying to use discernment, saying he has found examples in the Bible to back up his pronouncement.

Chan isn’t the first one who has done this. For instance, Kenneth Copeland used the same tactic as did Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, and so many others. We should look to them as the examples of what Chan says should be the church’s policy to allow. They have threatened believers, but shhh don’t say anything.

In other words, this is just a new way to implement the “touch not God’s anointed” tactic to stop criticism coming at them.  (By the way, by him saying this, he did exactly what he told his audience not to do.)

Chan says we are to warn the “offending” person to put the sledgehammer down. To not destroy the temple. He says, “If you come from another church, don’t go telling me anything about what happened over there and how they mistreated you and oh, you poor victim!” He then calls such people enablers and insane. And then he says:

I’m a part of the temple of God. Man, let’s be careful with our words. Man, I hear people criticize leaders around our nation. And I haven’t been quick to confront it but now it’s like, I’m getting serious. Like, are you crazy?

Chan references 2 Chronicles 7 where the temple is dedicated by sacrifice, and fire from the sky takes place. Then he says, “could you imagine picking up a sledgehammer and striking the temple? [after the fire]”?

He continues, “What if one of your friends picked up the hammer and were about to do that? What would you scream? Wouldn’t you scream, put it down? What were you thinking?  You’re insane! No! Don’t do it Don’t do it! Don’t do it! This is something that is sacred!”

Chan then references 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, saying that we are the temple of God, and if someone destroys (criticizes) the temple, God will destroy that person.

His point in using 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 is to apply it to his examples of physical destruction.

To show how his teaching is off in application, let’s turn to a few Bible commentators:

Consider the following three commentators on 1 Corinthians 3:17:

If any man defile . . .  Or, “destroy, corrupt” . . . The figurative sense is, “If any man by his doctrines or precepts shall pursue such a course as tends to destroy the church, God shall severely punish him.” (Barnes’ Notes emphasis added)

If any man injure, corrupt, or destroy the church of God by false doctrine (Adam Clarke’s Commentary; emphasis added)

If any man defile the temple of God . . . By the wisdom of the world, through philosophy, and vain deceit; by bringing in false doctrines, errors, and heresies, and hereby corrupt their minds from the simplicity that is in Christ (Gills Commentary emphasis added)

What we have here is a serious bending of the Scripture by Chan in order to fit his message. In actuality, the verse (1 Corinthians 3:17) means the very opposite of what he is saying. The divisiveness is made by false doctrine being taught, not by those who expose it.

Chan is presenting a standard to not openly question things or refute unbiblical teachings. A pastor or teacher should always allow and even insist that we compare what is said to the Word of God—for his accountability and our safety. Paul commended the Bereans for looking into the Scriptures on what he said!

As a unified body, we are to protect one another from being misled by what is false; but according to Chan, we are not allowed to discuss this.

But God’s heart is for His people, to see them protected and safe just like we would want for our own family. Chan poses a question:

“God, how come more people aren’t dead?” And here’s what I heard from the Lord: “THEY HAVEN’T BEEN WARNED.”

While Chan says he doesn’t want us destroyed by God, he predicts that God will take the lives of those who have negative things to say about the teachings of today’s leaders. Apparently, his ministry is to warn those who discern teachings to stop discerning.

Chan continues:

And so the only way that God can bring unity is if He actually acts and He actually opposes the proud and He actually humbles and He actually destroys. And I’m just saying, I really believe that time is coming when God Himself has listened to all the bickering, all the gossip, all the division, and He’s held back because the warning hasn’t gone out. And I believe He’s telling me—warn.

Consider this your first warning.


Consider what John and James said. If false teachers present doctrines that mislead is that not causing destruction to the temple? It is the people who teach falsely who are to be warned about according to the Bible. False teaching comes from pride. Testing what is said is an act of humility to the Word.

While I’m not going to defend those who are crass and call names or maliciously gossip and belittle people, I will defend those who humbly and biblically discern truth from error and speak from love for the brethren who are the recipients of these false teachings.

The way I see it, Chan’s sermon is an attempt (whether he realizes it or not) to intimidate, silence, and control what people say. Surely, this is not the mind of Christ.

We need more biblical judging of teaching, not less. Not condemnation but discerning what is spoken as either false or true, especially in this day and age.

Chan later says, “That doesn’t mean I don’t go to people and even other leaders and say, hey, I’m really concerned about your belief in this area, but that’s between me and them.”

Sorry, not if they are distributing false teaching to thousands or millions. This is not treated as a personal offense but an offense to the whole body.

The mature in faith listen to the content rather than being swayed by enthusiasm or speaking abilities expressing emotion.

We are told to “try the spirits” to see whether they are from God.

If we all keep quiet about what is wrong, as Chan insists, surely the church will be overrun with false teachers. This is what the policy of silence does when facing heresy, which is the real divisiveness.

These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. (Proverbs 24:23-25)

It seems that God’s Word expresses a very different idea than Chan’s on how to view those who confront what is wrong.

*Chan’s sermon in question:

(artwork from; public domain)

Transcript on file with Lighthouse Trails.


Ironside: Nests in the Altars

By Harry Ironside

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. (Psalm 84: 3)

You will notice the heading to this Psalm, the words “To the chief Musician. A Psalm for the sons of Korah.” There is a critical question as to where these headings properly belong in the original Hebrew, at the beginning of the Psalm that follows them or whether they should follow the previous Psalm. There is nothing to indicate either way; in the Hebrew, the one Psalm is so closely linked with the other. The late Dr. Thirtle has suggested that there seems to be good reason to believe these titles really belong to the preceding Psalm. If that is the case, it does not interfere with something I want to point out here. The heading of the next Psalm is practically the same, so we can transfer it to this Psalm if we give that of Psalm 84 to Psalm 83.

“To the chief Musician,” the One who said as He came forth from resurrection, “In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee” (Hebrews 2:12; also Psalm 22:22). He is the chief Musician, the One who leads the praises of His people. Therefore, these are very definitely dedicated to our blessed Lord Jesus Himself, the great Leader of the choir of the redeemed.

Then you have the words, “A Psalm for the sons of Korah.” That to my mind is very interesting. Who were the sons of Korah? Well, they constituted part of the sanctuary choir at Jerusalem after David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Mount Zion and pitched a tent for it, and later on, when King Solomon built that glorious Temple every whit of which uttered the glory of our Blessed Savior. These sons of Korah led the people in their worship.

But who were they actually? Well, if you turn to those early chapters of the First Book of Chronicles that some of you never read, you will find by careful investigation that these sons of Korah were the lineal descendants of that Korah who, with Dathan and Abiram, led in the apostasy in the wilderness—that very Korah who, with his ungodly associates, withstood Moses the mediator and Aaron the High Priest, and said, “You take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi; all the Lord’s people are holy.” It is as though they said, “We do not need a mediator, we do not need a High Priest, we do not need anybody to represent us before God. Neither do we need an atoning sacrifice. We are good enough for God as we are.” That is the same as the apostasy today. We read of those who, having gone in the way of Cain, following the error of Balaam, shall perish in the gainsaying of Korah. You remember how the judgment fell upon Korah, how Moses said, “If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me. But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up . . . then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord” (Numbers 16:29-30). Earlier, Moses gave the cry, “Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men” (v. 16), and those who feared God left the companionship of Korah, Datlan, and Abiram and went over toward the sanctuary Moses had pitched. But those who did not fear Him remained with the apostates, and the judgment took place exactly as Moses had intimated, and Korah and all his company, we are told, went down alive into the pit.

Here is a singular thing; here are the sons of Korah, centuries afterwards, leading the praise of the people of God. If Korah and all his company went down alive into the pit, how is it there were any sons of Korah to bear testimony to the grace of God in later days?

Well, we get the fullest account of this event in the 16th chapter of Numbers, but we have a supplementary account in the 26th chapter where we have these added words, “Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not” (Numbers 26:11). I take it to imply this, that when the sons of Korah were put to the test, when they had to choose between loyalty to God or fealty to their own father, they said, “God must be first; we dare not put father’s will first if it is in opposition to the will of God.”

It is a solemn thing when children are put in a position like that. I don’t suppose many of you were ever in a place like that. I hope all reading this have made the great decision. I hope we have all come to the place where we can say:

My heart is fixed, Eternal God,
Fixed on Thee;
And my unchanging choice is made,
Christ for me.

He is my Prophet, Priest and King,
Who did for me salvation bring;
And while I’ve breath I still will sing,
Christ for me.
(Richard Jukes, 1804-1867)

But if you made that decision, some of you in your childhood, some in young manhood or young womanhood, in most cases, I am sure it brought real joy to father and mother, for many of us have had the great privilege of a Christian training.

But it is very different for some people. I remember one night walking the streets of San Francisco from 9:30 till 2am with a young Jewish man who was greatly agitated and much concerned. It was my custom to preach once a month on a Thursday night in a Mission to Israel established in that city. This particular night, after the meeting, I can remember the text, “Wake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man that is my fellow. Smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad”—this young man came to me and said, “I was greatly stirred tonight; your sermon started so many questions in my mind. I wish you had time to let me talk with you a bit.”

I answered him, “I have plenty of time.” It happened that my family was away in the country, so it did not make any particular difference what time I got home; it was a lovely summer night, and I said, “We will go for a walk.” Up and down the streets we trod for all those hours. He brought up question after question, and I tried to answer everything right from the Book itself.

Finally, at two in the morning, we stood at a corner, and he looked at me and said, “Well, sir, you have answered all my questions satisfactorily and frankly. I am absolutely convinced now that Jesus Christ was the Messiah of Israel, and our people made a terrible mistake when they crucified Him so long ago.”

I said, “I am glad to hear that. Now I trust you will come right out for Him, and by baptism confess His name.”

He said, “Oh, I couldn’t do that. If I were to confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Messiah, I would break my dear old Jewish mother’s heart; my stern Jewish father would disown me. He would call in an orthodox Rabbi and have a funeral service for me, and I would never again be recognized as in the land of the living. My business associates would disown me, and all my business prospects would fall away. Intellectually, I am convinced, but give Him my heart I cannot.” I pleaded with him, but he turned away. I never saw him again. Before the next occasion when I would have visited San Francisco, the disastrous earthquake of 1906 had taken place, and our Mission had been swept out of existence. It was many years before we had a testimony again in that city.

But think of his position; he had to choose between God and his parents. Jesus demands just such a choice, and if our parents stand in the way, He says, “Whosoever loveth father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

Do you want a proof of the Deity of Christ? You have it right here. Imagine any man, no matter how good, standing up before a congregation and saying, “Look here, if you love your father and mother more than me, you are not worthy of me.” If it were only a man who said something like that, you would say, “Who does he think he is? He imagines he has more right to my love and allegiance than my own parents; the man is insane.” But Christ has more right, for He is God over all, blessed for evermore (Romans 9:5).

I have tried to picture this. I have thought at times I could see those sons of Korah go up to their father, put their arms on his shoulders and say, “Father, don’t set yourself against God. Whoever hardened himself against Him and prospered? Listen to the voice of His servant and yield, surrender to Him while there is time.”

I think I see that stern old man say, “No, I will never own that I need a mediator or a savior. I am good enough for God as I am, and I shall not listen to Moses and Aaron.”

Then came the call, “Come away from the tents of this wicked man.” I think I see those sons of Korah say, “Father, if you won’t change, we shall have to leave you. We cannot go on with you. We must be true to God at all costs.” I think I see them wending their way across the plain to yonder sanctuary, perhaps even then singing as they go, “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10).

Well, the years went by, and the descendants of the sons of Korah were the Temple choir. Isn’t that wonderfully in keeping? When I read some of these songs dedicated to the sons of Korah, I say: This is of special interest to me, because, you know, I am one of the sons of Korah. The sons of Korah were saved from going down to the pit, and I have been saved from going down to the pit. So, I read them with special interest because I am a debtor to mercy, mercy that saved me, that turned my wayward feet from the path that leads to the pit.

Now God puts a song into the mouths of His redeemed. All whom He saves from going down to the pit belong to His heavenly choir. Some of us are not very good singers down here. They have to be pretty familiar hymns for me to be able to join in at all. My wife sometimes nudges me when I do get going and says, “Do keep on the key.” But one of these days, if you want to hear singing, you slip around to my mansion in the glory. Every one of the sons of Korah will belong to the choir eventually. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me” (Psalm 50:23). We shall all do that by and by.

As these sons of Korah were linked up with the worship of the Temple and looked about them, they saw something the bulk of the people could not see. It was customary in those oriental sanctuaries never to drive the birds out. They were permitted to flit about at will. I saw the same thing in Jerusalem when I was there several years ago. We went out to that abomination of desolation, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock that covers the site of the Temple. There were birds inside that great Mosque, singing beautifully. That is the kind of thing the sons of Korah noticed, of which they sang in this Psalm: “The sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God” (Psalm 84:3).

The Jews never drove the birds out of the Temple. They allowed them to make their nests there. On some occasions, even when the priest was offering sacrifice at the altar, you could see, underneath, the swallow’s nest and the mother bird sitting upon it or the nest of the sparrow with the mother sparrow resting there in perfect quiet. They were not afraid because no hand was ever raised against them. The priests said, “They have put their trust in Jehovah by entering into His house: we must not make them afraid.” They had a beautiful name for them; they called them “God’s pensioners.” They had shown their confidence in Him, and they fed upon scraps of the shewbread and one thing and another and were at home in the house of God. The sons of Korah realized that would be a lovely theme for a hymn, and we have been singing about the sparrows ever since. “The sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of Hosts, my King, and my God.”

The sparrow and the swallow. I suppose we are right in saying that the sparrow is the most worthless of birds. Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?” And that farthing was a coin of much less value than a British farthing. I have been carrying a British farthing around for six weeks, and I cannot get anyone to give me anything for it. But Jesus said, referring to the infinitesimal farthing of His day, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? You could go into the market and see two sparrows, cleaned, with a skewer through them, lying offered for sale, and the poorest people bought them to make a sort of sparrow pie. Then, the Lord elsewhere says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings?” Dr. James H. Brookes, one of our great American preachers, used to say, “I think that is how I got in. The Lord was saving four others, and I was thrown in for good measure.”

What does the Book say about us in our sinful state? It says we are altogether “unprofitable.” “I know that in my flesh dwelleth no good thing”—no goodness or worth, yet God in His grace looked upon me and loved me. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father’s knowledge. As someone once said, “The One who created the heavens and the earth attends every sparrow’s funeral.” If He cares for the little birds, Jesus says, remember “ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7). Utterly worthless in ourselves, but of such value to Christ that He came from off the Throne Eternal down to Calvary’s depth of woe to redeem us to Himself; of such value to God the Father, He sent His only-begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him; of such value to God the Holy Spirit, He has come to convince of sin, in order to draw our wayward hearts to Christ. Poor, worthless sparrows—yet the object of wondrous grace.

There is not only the sparrow but the swallow. If we say the sparrow is the most worthless of birds, what shall we say of the swallow? Surely it is the most restless. Did you ever see a swallow be still?—Always on the wing, going all the time. Isn’t that like us?—Trying this thing and that thing, going into this, that, and the other, always restless, always discontented, always unhappy as long as we are away from God. Some of us have tried hard to find rest, we have tested so many things, tried one thing after another, and still our hearts are just as restless as ever because we have not come to Christ Himself, who says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

I heard the Voice of Jesus say,
Come unto Me and rest
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon My breast.

I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.
(Horatius Bonar, 1846)

So we read, “The sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of Hosts, my King, and my God.”

Notice the plural, not “Thine altar” but “Thine altars.” There were two of them. Those two altars give us the two aspects of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, the work He did on Earth and the work He is doing in Heaven. We need both to get perfect rest. The brazen altar, the altar out in the courtyard, the birds are nesting there; that altar speaks of the Cross work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Upon that altar on which the fire was ever burning, they placed the parts of the victim which went up in flame to God. All those sacrifices speak to us of the one Supreme Offering, the Perfect Offering, the Complete Offering of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have you found rest in the brazen altar?
Can you look back to an experience in your life in accord with the words of the hymn:

Near the Cross, a trembling soul,
Love and Mercy found me
There the bright and morning star
Shed its beams around me.

In the Cross, in the Cross
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
(Fanny Crosby, 1869)

That brazen altar says, “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). It tells of satisfaction made for sin, of an acceptable propitiation on the basis of which every poor sinner may come to God through Christ and may find rest of conscience. “Christ for my sins” is the message of the brazen altar.

In the House itself, in the inner sanctuary, representing Heaven itself, where Christ is now ministering, stood the golden altar. No sacrificial victim was ever offered on that altar, but instead there was the constantly ascending sweet smoke of the incense before God. “Let my prayer come before Thee as incense,” said David, and that sweet fragrant incense rising before God speaks of the constant intercession of the risen Christ in glory.

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for [us]. (Hebrews 7:25)

O Christians, there is a living Christ in Heaven deeply concerned about everything that exercises you, constantly bearing you up before God. He has abundant stores of grace to minister to you and to help you in every time of need. That golden altar says, “Christ for my cares.” It tells me that the same Blessed One who died for me now lives for me, lives to sustain and keep me, and to make me victorious as I go through this scene of trial and testing.

In the Epistle to the Philippians, we read:

Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 6-7)

Some of us came as troubled, guilty sinners to the brazen altar and found rest for our consciences, but have we turned to the golden altar and found rest for our souls. Do we know what it is to walk in holy, happy fellowship with a risen Christ, committing our way to Him in accordance with the Word, “casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you?”
There are Christians who find it easier to trust the Lord for the salvation of their immortal souls than for the rent money next month or for food or raiment day by day. Yet the Lord Jesus Christ says, “[S]eek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). Who said that? I like Livingstone’s remark in another connection, “It is the word,” he said, “of a gentleman, who will never go back on His word, and there’s an end of it. He will see you through.”

Millions of Christians could testify to the fact that He has never failed one who commits all things into His hands. If we have never done it before, if we have never yielded ourselves and all our affairs, oh, that we might do it today. He is waiting to have us do that very thing. He longs to undertake for us; and then, indeed, we shall know the meaning of these words, “The sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.” Then, too, we shall enter into and understand the next verse, “Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house: they will be still praising Thee.”

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin; The blood of Jesus whispers peace within. (Edward Henry Bickersteth, Jr., 1875)

(The article above is an excerpt of Harry Ironside’s book, Changed by Beholding. | Painting by Lighthouse Trails reader Jeannette Dube of Canada; used with permission.)



Finding the True Jesus Christ

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International

Follow Your Heart or God’s Law?

The world tells us to follow our heart—go with our feelings. The Bible, on the other hand, states emphatically: “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26).

Our senses and feelings can direct us on a path that leads to destruction rather than life. We need a new heart—one guided by God and His trustworthy testimony. As the Bible states:

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

God tells us we need new hearts. You may ask, “What’s wrong with the heart I have?” It is God’s Word that acts like a divine flashlight showing us the darkness and depravity of our old heart:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23)

The Bad News
God tells us we need new hearts. But how do we receive this new heart? Before explaining God’s gracious provision, we must first understand mankind’s dilemma. The Bible states that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Scripture is utterly clear: “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:3). This is why we cannot trust our old hearts. Our hearts are inclined to error and sin.

To see if God’s assessment is fair and accurate, we need to look at His Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). Consider here just a few of them—

Have you ever used your Creator’s name (Jesus Christ or God) in vain, or worse, as a curse word? Think of how offensive this is to your Creator. This is the God who wove you in your mother’s womb. He blessed you with eyes that behold His beautiful creation and taste buds that delight in His great variety of foods. Think of the wonder of your ears, and how music can inspire and refresh you.

Have you ever lied? White lies and fibs are lies in God’s eyes. We’re commanded to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Have you?

Have you ever stolen anything—the value is irrelevant? Cheating on a test or fudging the tax numbers is stealing. Please remember, God sees the past as the present.

Have you ever committed adultery? Or have you secretly desired to? Jesus said:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

Have you ever committed murder? Most plead innocent until they realize that hatred in the heart is murder in God’s eyes: “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (I John 3:15). Think of the people you would like to get out of the way. Reflect on the many people who annoy you and those who caused you pain or embarrassment. To hate them in your heart is murder.

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then according to Scripture you have broken the whole Law (James 2:10) as it is not a part and parcel proposition where we can weigh our good deeds next to our bad deeds. When we break God’s Law at any point, we come under the full condemnation of the Law. And God warns us that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Sin causes both physical death and eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

The Good News
Fortunately this is not the end of the story. The Good News is that God does not want anyone to perish “but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). In His great love, God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, to fulfill the Law and to pay the penalty which our sins demanded. We sinned, yet Jesus died in our place. The Bible declares:

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Jesus died in our place. He then rose from the dead, defeating death. All who recognize their sinfulness, repent from their sins,* and put their trust in Him will be saved. This is how we receive new hearts—and eternal life. This is what Jesus meant when He said we must be born again (John 3:3, 7). Our spirit is made alive when we believe in the Lord and His provision. (*Dr. Harry Ironside said “Repentance is the sinner’s recognition of and acknowledgment of his lost estate and, thus, of his need of grace” (“Except Ye Repent”).)

The Free Gift
God offers salvation to all as a free gift. Only Jesus could pay the penalty that our sins demanded. We cannot bribe God with our good works or church attendance. No ritual or sacrament can appease His divine justice. Salvation is strictly on the merits of Jesus Christ and His mercy and grace toward all who accept Him by faith. The Bible states:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9; emphasis added)

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 2:16)

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:28-29)

Also, since salvation is a free gift, we can have assurance of salvation because it depends on what Christ has done and not on our own merits or performance. John writes of this assurance:

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. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5: 11-13)

Call Upon the True Jesus
If we repent of (turn from and forsake) our sins and acknowledge what He has done and ask Him to forgive us for what we have done, then we can enter into a relationship with Jesus, our Creator and Redeemer, that will last forever. As Paul wrote to the Romans:

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:8-13)

Jesus Christ offers freedom and eternal life for all who “confess” Him, “believe” that God has raised Him from the dead and “call upon Him.” Jesus Christ has answered all demands of the all holy God against sin; in Him, sinners are acquitted and vindicated. His words of assurance are:

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. . . . If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11: 9-10, 13)

If we come before Him with a sincere heart and ask him to forgive us for our sins, He will. In the Book of Acts, Luke recorded:

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:8-12)

It is this Jesus, the Jesus of Nazareth, the “Jesus” Peter spoke about, who is the true Jesus. Let each one of us be sure we know who He is because we know His Word.

Enduring End-time Trials

By Cedric Fisher
Truth Keepers Ministry

I firmly believe that the Remnant of God’s people are going though a purifying and strengthening process by waves of trials. I know many Believers who are wrestling with great hardships. My family has not been exempted from that purging process. It seems that you barely get through one trial, have a brief period of peace, and another one comes rolling in. I sometimes feel like a rock in the surging tide. We have no option but to accept it, stand in God’s armor (Ephesians 6:11), and wait for the wave to pass. It is essential to remember to put on His armor—not ours. Trying to fight in our armor would be a disaster.

When the Believer attempts to fight the enemies of righteousness in his or her own strength and abilities, it is a huge mismatch. Sometimes all that we can do in the firefight of light against darkness is to cry out for more light. Like a solar powered vehicle, we are “light-powered” and must stay in the light to function at optimum performance. It means to overcome evil by doing good, to walk in the light, and not descend into a mêlée designed by Satan with his rules and on his battlefield. Instead we commit our battle to the Lord and trust in His faithfulness.

Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. – Psalm 37:5

The Hebrew word for “commit” is galal, which means to “roll off or roll oneself.” When I discovered that blessed nugget long ago it became a source of great comfort and relief for me. It means to roll off my burden onto the Lord. That is much different than handing Him a burden. A burden that can be handed off does not appear to be much of a burden.

When working on a farm, I carried heavy bags of feed on my shoulder. One did not lay such a heavy burden down—it had to be rolled off. Sometimes I would carry it to the entrance of the barn and roll it off onto another guy who would take it inside and stack it. The relief is instantaneous and you feel light-footed as you head back to the truck for another bag. Click here to continue reading.

(Cedric is an ordained minister and the director of Truthkeepers, a web-based ministry warning about spiritual deception in the church ( He and his wife, Cheryl, live on the East Coast where he pastors a small house church that he pioneered. His past experience helps him to identify diabolical darkness that masquerades as Christianity today. Cedric believes God has called him to not only prepare believers to be equipped to avoid deception and apostasy but also to expose the heresies that have inundated modern Christianity.)

(photo from; used with permission)


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