Ten Deceptions in the Church

Scripture gives us many warnings not to be deceived nor deceive ourselves.

Here are a few scriptural idea’s of deceptions to beware of in your personal walk.

May the Spirit of Truth seek out and bring to light any areas of your life where the enemy might be trying to deceive you.

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10. If you are a hearer of the Word and not a doer of the Word

You might be deceived

———

9. If you say you have not sinned

You might be deceived

———

8. If you say that you are entirely sanctified

You might be deceived

———

7. If you think you’re something when you’re nothing

You might be deceived

———

6. If you think you’re wise when you’re foolish

You might be deceived

———-

5. If you say or think you are religious, when your tongue is unbridled

You might be deceived

———

4. If you think you won’t reap what you’ve sown

You might be deceived

———

3. If you think you can go on sinning and inherit the Kingdom

You might be deceived

———

2. If you think that contact with bad company wont affect you

You might be deceived

———

1. This last one is probably going to be the hardest one for most Christians to face.

But if you have the sort of idea that somehow Christians won’t see the big trouble; that somehow they’ll just be caught out of it all and be taken on the first bus to heaven before any trouble hits them…

Then I believe you may be duped by a huge and totally unscriptural deception.

This last one is probably the one that will cause the most opposition because of the popularized idea in and out of the church, but I believe it truly is an unscriptural idea. And even if I am wrong regarding this last one, I’d rather be wrong my way, then to be wrong in any contrary way.

———

Nevertheless, in all things,

Trust JESUS!

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What You Won’t Talk About at Church

Brain-Chemicals-and-Porn-Addiction

Facts:

The average age for first time viewers of pornography is 11 years old

More than 1 Billion pornographic websites are available on the Internet

1 in 4 online searches are for porn

20-30% of their traffic comes from children

Half of all Christian families report that pornography is a problem

30% of pastors have viewed pornography in the last 30 days

———–

Over a decade ago, Dr. Judith Reisman called porn an “erototoxin,” theorizing that the brain itself might be damaged while watching porn. She speculated that future brain studies would reveal that the surge of neurochemicals and hormones released when someone watches porn has measurably negative effects on the brain.

Recent studies are validating her theory about brain chemicals and porn addiction.

What Brain Scans Tell Us

Cambridge Neuropsychiatrist Valerie Voon was featured last year in the UK documentary Porn on the Brain. Her research demonstrates that the brains of habitual porn users show great similarity to the brains of alcoholics. A brain structure called the ventral striatum plays a significant role in the reward system of the brain—the pleasure pathways. It is the same part of the brain that “lights up” when an alcoholic sees a picture of a drink.

Dr. William Struthers, author of Wired for Intimacy, sounds a similar alarm, teaching that viewing pornography and masturbating actually weakens the region of our brain known as the cingulate cortex—the region that is responsible for moral and ethical decision making and willpower.

The Brain Chemicals of Sex

In The Porn Circuit, Sam Black describes the various hormones and neurotransmitters involved when someone views porn and how each ingredient in this neuro-cocktail contributes to the problem:

When having sex or watching porn, dopamine is released into a region of the brain responsible for emotion and learning, giving the viewer a sense of sharp focus and a sense of craving: “I have got to have this thing; this is what I need right now.” It supplies a great sense of pleasure. The next time the viewer gets the “itch” for more sexual pleasure, small packets of dopamine are released in the brain telling the user: “Remember where you got your fix last time. Go there to get it.”

Norepinephrine is also released, creating alertness and focus. It is the brain’s version of adrenaline. It tells the brain, “Something is about to happen, and we need to get ready for it.”

Sex or porn also trigger the release of oxytocin and vasopressin. These hormones help to lay down the long-term memories for the cells. They “bind” a person’s memories to the object that gave him or her the sexual pleasure.

The body releases endorphins, natural opiates that create a “high,” a wave of pleasure over the whole body.

After sexual release serotonin levels also change, bringing a sense of calm and relaxation.

This system works the way it is supposed to work when you’re having sex with your spouse. Together you can experience a high, an alertness of sexual pleasure, and the deep calm afterwards (norepinephrine, endorphins, and serotonin). With each sexual embrace you are emotionally bonding to this person (oxytocin and vasopressin). Over time a craving for sex is transformed into a desire for one another (dopamine).

But porn short-circuits the system.

How Porn Hijacks the Brain

Multiple problems happen when porn is used. First, instead of forming a deep connection to a person, your brain ends up “bonding” to a pornographic experience. Your brain remembers where the sexual high was experienced, and each time you desire sexual stimulation, you feel a sharp sense of focus: I’ve got to go back to the porn.

In addition, pornography gives the brain an unnatural high. In a recent TEDx talk, physiology teacher Gary Wilson explained that when men look at porn, they experience surge after surge of dopamine in the brain. The brain eventually fatigues, stopping the production of dopamine, leaving the viewer wanting more but unable to reach a level of satisfaction. As a result, everyday pleasures stop causing excitement and the viewer seeks out more novel, more intense pornography to get the same high as before.

This imbalance in the brain leads to many problems: impotence with your spouse, frequent masturbation with very little satisfaction, anxiety, fatigue, lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, and escalating tastes for more bizarre or novel porn.

Get Free from Porn

From a behavioral standpoint, change is possible. Men and women have broken free from the grip of pornography and reclaimed their sexuality. You can learn more in the free book, The Porn Circuit: Understanding Your Brain and Break Porn Habits in 90 Days.

Also check out accountability apps for your desktop and smart phone at:
http://www.covenanteyes.com/

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery
Galatians 5:1

Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed
James 5:16

Your Heavenly Father loves you and wants to help you to find freedom

I implore you,

Trust JESUS!

Special thanks to Josh McDowell
http://www.just1clickaway.org/

What is the Secret? What is the Laws of Attraction?

The Secret – http://www.thesecret.tv –also known as the “law of attraction,” is the idea that because of our connection with a “universal energy force,” our thoughts and feelings have the ability to manipulate this energy force to our liking.

According to “The Secret,” our thoughts and feelings attract a corresponding energy to ourselves. If our thoughts are negative, we attract negative things. If our feelings are positive, we attract positive things. The essential message of “The Secret” is that we all have the power to determine our own destiny. We can all create our own reality. Through fully and consistently applying the “law of attraction,” we can be who we want to be and have everything we want to have.

Is there any truth to “The Secret”?

Is there any validity to the Law of Attraction?

As with most other popular ideas, “The Secret” has a nugget of truth that is expanded to unbiblical and illogical extremes. For example, a thesis of the law of attraction is that our physical health is determined by our thoughts and feelings. It has been medically proven that stress and worry are harmful to the body, while joy and peace actually aid in the healing process. The Bible agrees, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones” (Proverbs 15:30). As David was struggling with the guilt of his unconfessed, evil actions, he declared, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 32:3). Our thoughts and feelings do have an impact on our physical well-being. However, this is due to how God designed our bodies…not because of our connection with a universal energy force and our negativity or positivity attracting negative or positive physical symptoms.

A second error in the “law of attraction” is its emphasis on money and wealth.

The Bible has much to say regarding wealth and the management of money and resources. Proverbs 13:11 exclaims,

“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
Proverbs 13:11

Similarly, Proverbs 17:16 proclaims,

“Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?”
Proverbs 17:16

Our financial success is determined by our decisions, our hard work, and our wise stewardship of what we have. No matter how positive our thoughts and how focused our mind is on wealth, if we have built mountains of debt, the bills will continue to come.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender
Proverbs 22:7

The only impact the secret of “positive thinking” can have on our financial situation is in motivating us to work harder and spend more wisely. The Secret—and its focus on achieving wealth—goes directly against the teachings of the Bible. Solomon, the wisest and richest man in the Bible, observed,

“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless”
Ecclesiastes 5:10

Jesus, who possessed everything, warned us,

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”
Luke 12:15

First Timothy 6:10 could not say it more clearly,

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Timothy 6:10

With that said, the primary error of “The Secret” / law of attraction is its view, or lack thereof, of God.

In the law of attraction, God, if He even exists, is nothing more than a universal energy force that we manipulate by our thoughts and feelings. The law of attraction assumes a pantheistic (God is everything) view of God. The Secret denies the ideas of a personal God (with thoughts, feelings, and emotions) and a sovereign God (omnipotent and omniscient, perfectly in control of everything). The core message of “The Secret” is that we are in control of our own destiny.

God knows the truth of our lives to be very different, “…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest king of ancient Babylon and a prime candidate for someone who would know “The Secret,” declared in his own humility after being thoroughly educated and humbled by the truth of our Sovereign God,

“Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified Him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: ‘What have you done?’”
Daniel 4:34-35

According to the proponents of the law of attraction, we are all “incarnations of god.” We are all our own gods, able to create our own reality, able to control our own destiny. This lie is not a secret, and it is nothing new. Satan’s primary temptation has always been to obtain knowledge and thereby to become like God,

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…”
Genesis 3:5

Satan’s own fall from his heavenly abode and glory was from this same error,

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’”
Isaiah 14:13-14

The message of “The Secret” is the same message that Satan used to tempt Adam and Eve into sin: “You do not need God…you can be God!”

And just as Satan will fail in his quest to be God,

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever
Revelation 20:10

so too will all those who seek to be their own god will fail.

Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit
Isaiah 14:15

The true “secret” is that God is in control. God has a sovereign and perfect plan for us. The key is getting in tune with God, thereby understanding His heart and knowing His will. Rather than seeking after wealth, fame, power, and pleasure (in which there is nothing but emptiness), we are to seek a relationship with God, allowing Him to place His perfect desires in our heart and mind, conforming our feelings to His – and then granting us the desire of His, and our, hearts.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun”
Psalm 37:4-6

If you have a desire to discover the ‘true’ secret to a joyous and fulfilling life,

Trust JESUS!

Special thanks to gotquestions.org

1789 U.S Book of Common Prayer

Founded on July 4th,1776, just thirteen years after the United States became an independent nation, this prayer was published in the 1789 U.S Book of Common Prayer.

As I read and reflected on what could’ve inspired such a change in the tone of prayer only thirteen years after declaring their very independence, a truth that I’ve observed time and time again, even in my own life, became very clear.

It seems that if history has taught us anything, it is that we begin most endeavors in life – whether relationships/marriages, new ministries or business ventures, or even our spiritual devotion and service to the Lord – with the highest of hopes and the sincerest of intentions, but time and the testing of our faith prove the genuineness of those devotions.

It’s not long before we feel like we’re ‘stuck in a rut’; or as if things have lost their sparkle and appeal and it’s ‘time for change’

And sure enough, as troubles arise, fears and anxieties become habitual, and since things don’t look like the beautiful image we had previously set up in our minds, so the temptation to ‘freedom’ once again, seems ever so pure a motive to abandon our current status and positions to pursue our latest endeavors.

Most would encourage you that at this point that it’s “never too late to start again.

Almost confirming to you all that you feel tempted to do in so many ways just to gain significance and relevance once again.

I would beg to differ that things are as they may appear.

For history has taught me something far more insightful through the experiences of my own, once, excited zealous pursuits that have fizzled into something seemingly stagnant or irrelevant

It is as the Word of God states in Romans:
in all things, God, causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes for them
Romans 8:28

I’ve learned that it has been my own worldly measures of “success” that has caused me to not appreciate the great significance behind the so called menial tasks of maturity.

With a eye set constantly looking backward and trying to recapture the “what once was” experiences of life, I’ve failed in so many ways to appreciate the “what is and has become” experiences of true maturity and growth.

A common example is seen in the reason why someone’s death seems so emotionally significant to us, yet during their life, we are usually too busy to do all but ever pick up the phone to say “I love you” with no ulterior motive.

Why do we wait to place great emphasis on our devotion to someone after they’re gone, but rarely show that sort of devotion while they are here and available for us to do so.

It’s because the same excited beginnings while looking back immediately come to mind more often in our memory rather than the exhausting work of maintaining those relationships over the years that has caused our separation and complacency towards them.

I believe that this is the true heart of this prayer:

Almighty and most merciful Father;
We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep.
We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts.
We have offended against thy holy laws.
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done;
And we have done those things which we ought not to have done;
And there is no health in us.

But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders.
Spare thou those, O God, who confess their faults.
Restore thou those who are penitent;
According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake;
That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life,
To the glory of thy holy Name.
Amen.

1789 U.S Book of Common Prayer

  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Trust JESUS!

G.K Chesterton – Orthodoxy
https://vimeo.com/14494081

 

Biblical Womanhood in the 21st Century

Older women likewise are to be
reverent in their behavior,
not malicious gossips
nor enslaved to much wine,
teaching what is good,

so that they may encourage the young women to
love their husbands,
to love their children,
to be sensible, pure,
workers at home, kind,
being subject to their own husbands,

so that the Word of God will not be dishonored
Titus 2:3-5

 

What does the biblical godly woman look like in the 21st century?

Today I would like to honor my sister in Christ,

 

Joni Eareckson Tada

speaking at the 2013 NRB Convention
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrO5fGSIyM8

 

Trust JESUS!

 

 

 

 

 

The Islamic Dilemma

The Quran affirms the inspiration, preservation and authority of the Christian Scriptures (including the Torah and the Gospel)

Yet the Quran contradicts the Christian Scriptures on fundamental doctrines (e.g. Jesus’s death, resurrection, and deity)

By affirming Christian Scriptures that contradict Islam, the Quran self destructs

 

 

Check out this short video to expand your knowledge and understanding to better equipped yourselves in dialogue with our Muslim brothers and sisters about the truthfulness of the Gospel

 

 

The Quran, the Bible, and the Islamic Dilemma
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNAS0aaViM4

 

Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the Gospel to get their living from the Gospel. But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. For if I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion.

Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!
1 Corinthians 9:16

 

 

Trust JESUS!

 

 

 

Also check out:

What is the Gospel?

 

 

 

 

Special thanks to Acts17Apologetics

 

Herodias – The Woman Responsible for the Murder of a Preacher

Name Meaning—As a member of the Herodian dynasty, perhaps the most despicable dynasty history has known, the name Herodias is but the female form of Herod, the royal name for the political rulers during the time of Christ and the apostles. It was under the vile and cruel orders of the Herods that Jesus and His followers were often persecuted and punished. Herod means “heroic”—not very applicable to the Herodian family, the majority of whom, particularly Herodias, were more hellish than heroic.

Family Connections—Herodias was the daughter of Aristobulus, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, daughter of Hyrcanus. Her first husband was Philip I, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, so she married her own uncle, by whom she had a daughter, Salome, whom her mother used to destroy John the Baptist. When Herod Antipas visited Rome, he was entertained by Philip and Herodias. Herod abducted his royal brother’s wife. His own wife, an Arabian princess, was an obstacle to an illicit marriage, so he divorced her, and Herodias became queen in her stead, and with her daughter was installed in the palace. “The corroding immorality of Herod’s race shows itself in his marriage with Herodias his brother’s wife and the wanton offense thereby given to Jewish sensibilities.”

Among the female characters in God’s portrait gallery there are many wicked women as we are discovering, but surely Herodias stands out among them as one of the most vile and vicious. Amid the putrefying influence of the palace, however, there was one man who knew no fear, John the Baptist. Herod “feared” him and regarded him as “a just man” and whom “he heard gladly.” Herod found music in the preacher’s message until he sternly rebuked the king by saying of Herodias, “It is not lawful for thee to have her.” But such a warning bell was to toll the Baptist’s doom. For his faithful rebuke of Herod’s sin, John was cast into prison, and the evil, scheming mind of Herodias began to work. She was stung by the arrow from the preacher’s quiver and hated him for exposing her shame. “For Herodias’ sake,” he was imprisoned and thus the greatest of the prophets was sacrificed for this lewd and vicious woman.

When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.
Matthew 10:23

Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
Luke 6:26

Herodias, with her conscience in turmoil because of her accuser, planned to silence him. She did not want Herod to listen too closely and constantly to John’s forceful preaching. She feared her illegal husband—for her first husband was still alive—might repent, and her position as queen, imperiled.

Herodias knew Herod only too well. He easily succumbed to sensual excitement, and as his birthday drew near her foul design was hatched. On the day when drink freely flowed, Herodias used her own daughter to inflame Herod’s passions. She was willing to sacrifice her child’s modesty in order to bend Herod to her will. Herod was overcome by Salome’s form seen through the flowing flimsy garment she wore, and influenced by the act of the dancing girl took a rash and foolish oath to give her whatever she asked, even to half of his kingdom. Approaching her mother, Salome said, “What shall I ask?” Without hesitation Herodias, the female hyena, replied, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist.” Returning to Herod she presented her demand, and Herod was extremely sorry at such a request. Yet, because of his oath’s sake, he sacrificed the preacher whom he regarded as just and holy, and all because of his guilty love for a vile woman. No wonder he was smitten with fear when he heard of the fame of Jesus, thinking it was John the Baptist risen from the dead to torment his conscience further. One wonders how Salome felt when the gory dish of the preacher’s head was handed to her?

Herodias’ Old Testament counterpart was Jezebel. What Herodias was to Herod, Jezebel was to Ahab. Both Ahab and Herod were wicked, and in both cases the woman was more wicked. Both Jezebel and Herodias fostered hate that became deadly against a prophet of God. Jezebel hated Elijah and sought to kill him—Herodias hated John the Baptist, the New Testament Elijah, and succeeded in his murder. What was the end of Herodias? Since she was the source of Herod’s sin, Herodias also became the source of his shame. According to Josephus, Herodias’ ambition was the ruin of Herod. Jealous of the power of Agrippa her brother, she prodded Herod to demand of Caligula, the emperor, the title of king. Agrippa saw to it that this demand was refused, and Herod was banished and ended his days in shame and exile. The pride of Herodias forced her to be faithful to her husband in the disgrace and misfortune she herself had caused.

 

Even at the time of the writing of the book of Revelation (Approx. 81-96 A.D.), we still see this spirit of Jezebel at work in the church in Thyatira. It is named to describe another woman who’s erroneous teachings and self appointed position of authority in the church was used to mislead the servants of the Lord:

 

“To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.
Revelation 2:20-23

 

Do not put your trust in a friend!

 

Trust JESUS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special thanks to:
Alphabetical Exposition of Named Women in the Bible