Just a bit of con-struct-ion!

Please be patient with us as we do a bit of house cleaning and moving around.  Our home page is missing but all of the other pages should be fine.  

We hope to be up and running better than ever by next weekend!

Advertisements

This Week’s Prayer Focus

Pray this week for the believers in Egypt who are suffering harsh and terrible persecution for their faith in Jeu

James 1:12

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

 

Luke 6:21-23

The Beatitudes
21“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23“Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.

“We are dedicat…

“We are dedicated to going and finding the lost sheep as commanded by our Lord. We have a sincere burden to see God’s will be done in the lives of people everywhere through the preaching of the gospel unto the salvation of a lost and dying humanity. As Christians we are passionate about the glory of God being manifested in our ministry and work. We cannot be indifferent to the billions of people in the world who have yet to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, we believe that as Christians the salvation of others should be among our chiefest concerns. We ought to be willing to do all within our means to make Christ known among the nations and to endure all things for the sake of God’s elect (II Timothy 2:10).”

quote from our mission statement…how can we help you reach the Lost?

How to witness to a Witness (Jehovah)

English: Picture of Joseph F. Rutherford from ...

English: Picture of Joseph F. Rutherford from the 1911 Bible Students Convention Souvenir Booklet. At the time this picture was taken, Rutherford was serving as chief legal counsel for Pastor Charles Taze Russell. Rutherford became President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 1917 and later renamed the movement Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rutherford died in 1942. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beth Sarim was built in San Diego, California ...

Beth Sarim was built in San Diego, California in 1929. Rutherford died at the property in 1942. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916).

Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Background:

Most people in America have encountered people from the Watchtower organization who claim to represent Jehovah, God. The origin of Watchtower doctrine did not originate from the Bible but from Charles Taze Russell, its founder.  It was in 1879, while reading scripture that Smith formulated an unbiblical opinion regarding Hell, the Trinity,  and the Deity and Personhood of Christ. He began promoting his teachings world-wide by publishing the Watchtower Magazine.  In addition, Smith produced a series of commentaries (to the Bible) called Reason from the Scriptures and these are used by Jehovah Witness to interpret scripture.

Approaching the Jehovah’s Witness

An effective approach to Witnessing to Russellites is to begin the conversation with the history of false predictions by its founders.  Russell , Rutherford, and Knorr have made futuristic predictions that were proven false over time. For example, Charles Taze Russell predicted  at least twice (in 1874 and 1914)  that Jesus would return to the earth in those years. This didn’t occur resulting in a new claim by Russell that He came spiritually and established His theocracy or rulership.

Following his pattern of prognostication, Joseph Franklin Rutherford predicted the return of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to earth between 1925-1929. To prepare for their arrival, a home was built in San Diego, California to house them. However, when his prophecy failed to occur as predicted, Rutherford lived in the home until his death in 1942. Not to be outdone, Nathan H. Knorr became President of the Watchtower Tract Organization  and envisioned Armageddon occurring in 1975. Obviously, he too spoke presumptuously and was proven to be a false prophet.

Dealing with False Prophets

According to scriptures found in Chapters 13 and 18 of the book Deuteronomy, false prophets were to be put to death for speaking presumptuously and leading God’s people astray. “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you saying, ‘ Let us go after other god’—which you have not known and let us serve them, you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams…but that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3,5) Evidence that a prophet has heard from God is that his words or prophecies are 100% accurate, and in each of these cases the opposite is true. “How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?—when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken…” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

The purpose for discrediting the founders of the Watchtower organization is to prove that their writings, statements, conclusions, and the like cannot be trusted or believed.  Jehovah Witnesses will primarily refer to the Reasoning from the Scriptures to interpret or understand the Bible. It is best to suggest that all extra biblical sources be restricted from use because of its lack of creditability.

When Did Jehovah Die?

The best way I have discovered through trial and error to refute their claims regarding the Deity, Resurrection, Visible Return, Trinity, Angelical, Creation of Jesus is to point out that Jehovah said “I was dead and behold I am alive…” (Revelation 1:18) To help illustrate that Jesus is in fact Jehovah-God, have them read Revelation 1:8, 21:5-7, and 22:13. Each time after they read the verse from their New World Translation, politely ask them the question “Who is the Bible referring too?” Their response will be Jehovah. Once you have established the point that the Alpha and Omega, First and the Last, and the Beginning and the End is Jehovah, ask one final question. Verse 17-18 of chapter one of Revelation refers to the death of Jehovah. Ask them,  “When did  Jehovah or God die?” and wait for their response. They will either respond with shock or anger that Jesus cannot be Jehovah.

From this point on it is up to God to remove the blinders from their eyes and lead them to repentance of their blasphemies.  “And the Lord’s bond servant must not be quarrelsome…with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Tim 2:24-25)

In my most recent encounter with 2 JW’s I did all of the above  in order to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with these souls.  In my case, they both yelled that Jehovah didn’t die and immediately left the restaurant!

To God Be the Glory!

Repost from Dr. John Piper of Desiring God

Permalink

Egypt! Egypt!
A Meditation for Today
on Isaiah 19:24–25

O Egypt, Egypt, do you not
Recall, dear friend — have you forgot —
That twice you were the savior of
My only Son — though not from love?

You fed him in the famine. Then
You took him for a slave. And when
I rescued him, I made you know
My name, my power, and how much woe
Will fall on those who mock my Son.

   And when he came again, the One
That Herod would destroy, he fled
Once more to his dear friend who fed
Him once before. And there you hid
And suckled him like Moses, ’mid
The rushes and the riches of
The regal court — though not from love.
Two years you gave him shield and bread
Until his enemies were dead
And it was safe for him to make
His way back home, and for your sake
To die.
O Egypt, Egypt, will
You now destroy his house, and kill
His people, cut his seamless word
To pieces, lest the truth be heard —
The sweetest news that he, or I,
Could ever speak?
And so I cry
Aloud again: O Egypt, Hear
This tender word. It is as near
To you as hope. Did not your own
Isaiah tenderly make known
My heart? O Listen, Egypt! “In
That day, in spite of all your sin,
Together, you and Israel,
And vast Assyria, will dwell
As one — the kingdom of my Son —
And in that day, with joy, I’ll stun
The world, and call you mine. And you
Will be my people. Yes, the true
And happy bride of Christ, with all
Your meek and broken foes who call
On his great name. And in the end,
You’ll know why I have called you friend.”


Poem also available at worldmag.com. Background music in the audio is from Page CXVI.


Recent poems written and read by John Piper:

Topic: Middle East

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

Send me, I’ll go!

Image

Hey friends, 

Just a note to say ‘hello’ and to remind you that if you or your church is looking for a trainer or speaker at an evangelistic event we are available to serve you.  Our whole purpose is to sow the seed of the Word of God and help others be effective and biblical at doing the same.  

Conferences, Workshops, Webinars, Classes, Practicum, Street Witnessing and More.

evangelize4life@aol.com

Praying Through Also Involves Resistance in Prayer

Sometimes our prayers are hindered or delayed by satanic powers, and we have to resist the Devil (Daniel 10:10-21).  

“Interfere at any price and in any fashion when people start to pray, for real prayer is lethal to our cause.”  (demon to his assistant Wormwood on the need to destroy prayer from C.S. Lewis’ book Screwtape Letters)

Christian prayer warriors take heed:  “Submit yourselves, then, to God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and He will come near to you.”  James 4:7-8

We aim to glori…

We aim to glorify God through our faithfulness and obedience to His Word and precepts, lived out before others. We want those to whom we are sent to see our God’s power and sovereignty through our daily lives. We are confident that He who has called us will produce fruit through this ministry. As we follow Christ we are calling others to do the same. We pray that the Lord will lay it upon the hearts of those whom He has already prepared to support this ministry through their prayers, donations and other support to be faithful and obedience to His work as well.

From Evangelize4Life’s mission statement.  

“Pray without c…

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.

A Pentecost to Celebrate

A Pentecost to Celebrate

May 18, 2013 | by Ryan Griffith

Permalink

If it weren’t for Pentecost, we wouldn’t know about Easter. For most of us, tomorrow isn’t flagged on our calendars as Pentecost Sunday. But it is a big deal for Christians, and there are at least three reasons why it’s a day worth celebrating.

Catching Up on the Context

First, the back-story. Recall that Jesus spent forty days after his resurrection with his disciples (Acts 1:3). Imagine those moments — the risen Savior in a glorified body talking and praying with his close friends (Luke 24:39–43). But it cannot last. Jesus must ascend to the Father and establish his everlasting reign by receiving, as the God-man, all dominion, power, and authority (Luke 24:44–51; cf. Daniel 7:13–14). Watching Jesus ascend to heaven (Acts 1:11), the disciples must have felt an immediate sense of loss. But Jesus steadied them with an important promise: “you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5).

Remembering Israel’s Deliverance

So, on the seventh day after the ascension, we find the disciples gathered in Jerusalem, praying, waiting, and celebrating the Feast of Weeks. This important annual festival was observed on the seventh Sabbath after Passover. At the conclusion of Passover, the first sheaf of the barley harvest would be offered before God in the temple, anticipating the greater harvest that was to follow in the summer. On the fiftieth day after Passover (Pentecost comes from the Greek word for fifty), all Israel would come to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate in God’s presence. Parents, children, male and female servants, sojourners, the fatherless, and widows would all give thanks and feast in memory of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage (Deuteronomy 16:9–12). Luke tells us that when the disciples were gathered on the day of Pentecost,

suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2–4)

According to Luke, Jews from every tribe under heaven were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost. Learning what had happened, an international multitude gathered to find the disciples declaring the gospel in languages that each person could understand. As they marveled, Peter explained the miracle as the fulfillment of God’s word:

This is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:16–18)

Peter goes on to proclaim that what has happened in their hearing is the validation of the lordship of Jesus the Messiah and the realization of the promises of God (Acts 2:29–36). Those gathered are “cut to the heart,” and three thousand of them receive the good news of Jesus as Messiah and are baptized (Acts 2:41). The rest of the Book of Acts develops the world-transforming changes that have begun in these moments at Pentecost.

 Pentecost launches the global proclamation of the gospel

Three Reasons to Celebrate

How, then, is Pentecost important for us?

1. Pentecost fulfills Jesus’s promise to never forsake his own. As painful as the parting at the ascension might have been, Jesus assured the disciples that it was to their advantage that he would go away,

“for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. . . . When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:7, 13–14)

The fulfillment of the promise of Jesus was the outpouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit on the disciples and, as Peter proclaimed, on all of God’s people in this new era (Acts 2:38). The promises of the new covenant are ours through the indwelling Spirit (Jeremiah 31:33ff; Ezekiel 36:26ff). Jesus did not end his work on earth with the ascension — he continues it now through his Spirit-indwelt church. We, therefore, can take fresh courage in Jesus’s words, “Behold, I will be with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

2. Pentecost launches the global proclamation of the gospel. Jesus’s death at Passover and his mighty resurrection three days later signaled the “firstfruit” of God’s victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:20–24). Jesus had accomplished everything necessary for the gospel to run and triumph (Hebrews 2:14–15; cf. Revelation 20:1–3) and the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost signals that the greater harvest has begun. The three thousand souls added to the church on Pentecost hailed from all corners of the Roman world. They, in turn, would carry the gospel to their families and communities. The narrative arc of Acts follows the Spirit-indwelt disciples as they carry the gospel from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). You heard about Easter because of Pentecost. The fields are white with harvest and, as part of the church of the risen Christ, we too can “go, therefore, and make disciples” (Matthew 28:18).

3. Pentecost signals the coming of fuller restoration and a greater celebration. At Pentecost, Peter proclaims that the prophecy of Joel 2:28–31 has come to pass. Intriguingly, this prophecy of the eschatological gift of the Spirit comes immediately after another striking promise from God in Joel 2:25–27:

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lᴏʀᴅ your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

While Jesus’s reign is secure and eternal, it has yet to come to its fullest expression on the earth. While death has been decisively defeated, it has yet to be put to a final end (1 Corinthians 15:24–26). Paul reminds us that creation longs for its final restoration and that even we ourselves, who “have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23). Pentecost is a pointer that history is inexorably moving towards the restoration of all things. The bridegroom has come; his bride is making herself ready. We await the greatest celebration of all.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:9)

Topic Redemptive History   Categories: Commentary

Used by permission:  www.DesiringGod.org
Ryan Griffith is Assistant Professor of Christian Worldview and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Bethlehem College and Seminary. He teaches biblical studies, church history, missions, and biblical languages.