Straight away we knew that there would be an ecumenical edge to this whole exercise. Ecumenism always brings inevitable compromise and disobedience to the Word of God As the months went on our suspicions were confirmed as we read the statements recorded on the official Hope 08 website, and the list of the various organizations and groups that were involved. Hope 08 was supposed to be about bringing the Gospel to the nation, yet, various groups involved stood for things that undermine the Gospel message or even teach a different gospel message altogether. In order for such a wide group of churches and groups to work together it is necessary to set aside those things which can produce division in order to embrace those things which can be seen to be held in common.
The Apostle Paul prophesied of a coming Great Apostasy which would occur in the days leading up to the return of Christ to this Earth. We believe that Hope 08 is simply symptomatic of this general apostasy which has seized the UK churches since the 's. We must warn you that much of what we have uncovered will be unpalatable to many, astound many to the point where they will find it hard to believe.
Some will reject our findings, some will receive them. A hidden Agenda? We think so, but it's not hidden that deeply. This reveals the sheer lack of discernment of the average church leader in this country. It is our earnest desire that true believers stand up and be counted and return to Biblical principles of living, of evangelism and church discipline.
Introduction Hope '08 came to my attention in late After speaking with those who are involved with the people behind Hope '08 I became aware that what was being claimed was too good to be true and that there would be more to Hope '08 than meets the eye. This is explained fully by dissolving doctrinal differences, there is even talk about creating a New Reformation and a New Christianity, the expressed unity of all monotheistic religions, finding all things in common with all men through social gospel backed by the British Government.
It has also has been apparent that the Alpha Course has been teaching Catholics how to do primary evangelism, this is what the alpha course had adapted into the Church of Rome, in order that the teachings of the catechism be made acceptable to protestant evangelicals. Liberalism in Hope 08 has been using 'Catholic' techniques in with prayer and worship, such as in the emergent church movement Candles, Crosses, Lent, Advent and liturgies had been borrowed from the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church.
So much deception has taken hold in our churches and this has been growing at a fast rate. As it says in 1 Timothy — 2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; The Catholic Church and the Charismatics would lie to the masses in order to gain popularity, fame and bolster their reputations.
They are more concerned about being sensitive to man, rather than being obedient to God. They are so self-centred, self-righteous, too concerned with their own comfort at the expense of others. They reap personal benefits from their involvement, and deep rooted at the heart of it all is compromise. Their web of delusion is deceptive to the point where they will use flattery, and psychological techniques in order to manipulate belief. They work against him by leading others into error and sinning against God.
With regard to themselves, they are self-centered, selfish, self-aggrandizing, self-gratifying. With regard to the nature of their ministry, they are dishonest and deceptive and lack integrity. With regard to God, they are utterly irreverent; in fact, they are blasphemous. And, with regard to the people that they influence, they are spiritually destructive. So, their relationship to the world, their relationship to the ministry, their relationship to themselves, their relationship to God, their relationship to their people all reflects the deviation of their hearts.
MacArthur Jr. While my self, my contributors, and the people who supported me throughout the year at these events were all ostracize, we were not willing to accept an ecumenical unity for establishing the Kingdom of God. We were labeled dangerous, had been reported to the police to try and have us silenced. The leaders had lied to the police and other Christians, when we analyze this we had discovered that there was a lot more going on. Perhaps you may be wondering! How significant is this statement? Who is Bishop Mark Hanson and what is he really advocating?
Hanson is also president of the Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation. His request for a group to monitor and expose anti-ecumenists who take the Bible literally carries some weight! Hanson seems to believe the reformation was without cause and that the church must embrace the Roman Catholic Eucharistic Jesus in order to bring about an ecumenical unity and the Kingdom of God here on earth. Quoting once more from the article: Hanson also urged the Vatican to work with the Lutheran World Federation to develop a joint statement on the Eucharist to mark the th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in What does this mean?
However, before I close, I will give you one clue. In order to embrace an ecumenical unity focused on the Eucharist, you would have to accept the Roman Catholic view of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Miguel Hayworth. Chapter 1 What is Hope ? Hope 08 states: "By the end of November churches and Christians in over villages towns or cities across the UK had registered to express interest in taking part in HOPE initiatives in their community.
We expect these numbers to continue to rise whilst those who have registered will be finalising their plans. We have already heard many encouraging stories from locations across the UK of people being trained and even employed to facilitate the mission which our churches are going to engage in during and beyond. By engaging in this churches are prostituting themselves and teaching another gospel, as the Scripture says, "which is no gospel. They are harbouring a delusion having their ears tickled, the majority having no interest in sound biblical instruction. This will lead the UK to a one world religion view that all faiths can serve a common purpose, this is a gospel that is not in accordance with the Bible but is another gospel.
Supporting Local Churches Across the UK in their commitment to serve and witness to their communities, Encouraging Collaboration between churches and agencies in reaching out to their communities. What does Collaboration mean? The term Collaboration is a business term in fact it is often used in psychology, according to psychologists collaboration means to partner for a common goal to overlook fundamental, and irreconcilable differences, working together and accepting each other's differences for the sake of a common goal.
It also means that there  is a structured, recursive process where two or more people work together toward a common goal. Typically an intellectual endeavour that is creative in nature by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. Islam is an occupying force. They only imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before them. ALLAH's curse be on them! How they are turned away. Pickthal Quran And a proclamation from Allah and His messenger to all men on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah is free from obligation to the idolaters, and so is His messenger.
So, if ye repent, it will be better for you; but if ye are averse, then know that ye cannot escape Allah. Give tidings O Muhammad of a painful doom to those who disbelieve, Pickthal Quran Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye Muslims have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. As for these , fulfil their treaty to them till their term. Allah loveth those who keep their duty unto Him. Pickthal Quran Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive , and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush.
But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. The fact of the matter is Islam teaches killing, bloodshed and conquest in the furtherance of Islamic interests. Any involvement by Moslems is to try and convert Christians to their perverse faith, their prophet known as Muhammad and to their demon god they call Allah.
Resourcing and Training  local churches to develop their ability to engage with their communities on a long term basis. Impacting Individuals and Communities with the Gospel through words and actions during Christians need to realise that the world hates Jesus Christ, there is nothing we can do that will change that, yet we are willing to become friends with the world. James KJV "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
Alongside this, the reality check kicks in as you realise how hard it is to start something new. ReSource trains people with a vision to engage in mission within the emerging culture. These include training, coaching, worship and teaching. That's where ReSource comes in. I feel like if God gives me a vision now I've got the basic strategy tools as well as relationships with wise old heads to go for it. The Government Support. One of the additional benefits is that this should give us greater confidence to approach Local Government agencies particularly at a Borough, District, County or Unitary level in our villages, towns and cities for assistance as we make our plans.
In some cases there may be funding available for activities that provide practical benefit to our communities. In others we may wish to obtain support as we plan public events in our locality. Their aim was to "to communicate the gospel to young people in Greater Manchester". They were part of the Christian charity, "The Message", which is famous for its Eden projects in Manchester. My hope and prayer is that through representing Jesus in words and in deeds we can see lives transformed and bring lasting change" Examination of Mike Pilavachi  Who are the spiritual heroes that have particularly influenced you most?
Not in any order - John Wimber, who was by no means perfect as a person and yet in his imperfection and his weaknesses he had a boldness and he carried something. I hope I can emulate the generosity, warmth, humility and encouragement of David Pytches, who is my spiritual father, and bring that to others. We had partner churches, 30 per cent of which were black majority churches. My dream would be that it sees a movement of word and deed evangelism which would transform lives, families and communities. Building on what has gone before, it seems as if the time is right and ripe for multiplication.
British Youth for Christ was started in by Compromiser and apostate Dr Billy Graham, they have almost 60 local centres across the country — from the Shetlands in the north of Scotland, down to the Isle of Wight, and across to Wales. Established in , it has more than chapters across the U. YFC has over full-time employees and over 11, volunteers who work with students. YFC claims to work directly with 56, students, but to have "touched" the lives of over , in alone, with 31, coming "to know Christ.
Another example of YFC's ecumenical. IV, Iss. II, Palau has honored Soviet atheistic churchmen, endorsed the unreliable Living Bible, spoken at Oral Roberts University and Moody Bible Institute, and his ecumenical evangelism campaigns have involved Roman Catholics, charismatics, liberals, and new evangelicals.
His messages are also heavily diluted with pop psychology and Arminian easy-believism. This venture is seen by us as an important event in the spreading of the Gospel in an ecumenical manner. But merely calling Campolo a neo-evangelical is being much too kind. Campolo is a theological liberal and a radical political socialist whose teachings are heretical at best and blasphemous at worst! At this meeting, Campolo's message was one of works salvation, New Age pantheism, and social action. Campolo even had praise for New Age psychologist M. Scott Peck. What is Pioneer? Other invitations are currently being considered.
March for Jesus failed just as the Jim Challenge did. Deputy Chair and lead member for scrutiny Executive Born in Liverpool, Ian moved to Brighton to study Engineering in and has remained there ever since. After 10 years in the electronics industry, he ran a financial services business for 10 years. Since he has been Mission and Unity Co-ordinator for Churches Together in Sussex, a network of 1, Christian churches and organisations. This includes involvement in a number of Local Strategic Partnerships in Sussex. Ian has been actively involved in the voluntary sector since He is currently a Trustee of several organisations and is a member of a variety of advisory bodies.
I am delighted to give it my support". Matt Bird is Associate Director with special responsibility for strategic public affairs. I admire what they do. He is a Methodist minister working full-time as campaigns Director for Bible Society. If you love sport you can join a team and play regularly with other people. As you chat to someone about Jesus, kicking a ball about can take some of the pressure and formality out of that kind of conversation'. As the Church begins to strategise and think globally, so we must pray globally. Trustees provide accountability before the charity Commission.
Financially we have an independent audit. Pastor Matt and Julie Beemer provide personal accountability to the Executive Team members, as well as there being mutual accountability amongst the executive leadership. Our 'Momentum Soul Sista' events are specifically geared towards female students and women in their 20's. His particular passion is equipping churches in how to reach their communities with an emphasis on network evangelism which is empowered by cell church structures. He is married to Ailish and has three children: Kiera, Justyn and Laura.
His portfolio includes key business sectors, including the construction industry. Before entering Parliament he worked in the telecommunications industry for 15 years, first for Logica and then for Ovum. He will speak at the start of the day, outlining the government's view of the industry and its future development, as well as setting out. His comments are sure to spark debate during the day. At the age of twenty-one he left university to work at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, where he specialised in researching into poverty, taxes and benefits.
He is the Second Vice President of the Association of Chief Police Officers and leads on the delivery of neighbourhood policing and citizen focus. Matt spent the first twenty years of his service in the Metropolitan Police, where his career was operationally focused in the inner city, notably Tooting, Brixton and Peckham. He also established a consultancy at Scotland Yard dealing predominantly with issues such as partnership, regeneration and inner city crime.
In June he became Assistant Chief Constable in the West Midlands Police with specific responsibility for policing diversity, crime and disorder, professional standards and criminal justice. During this time he assisted the Social Exclusion Unit in developing neighborhood renewal, and oversaw for ACPO national approaches to hate crime and local strategic partnerships. He commenced his career in the Metropolitan Police where he was.
During a second tour at Heathrow Airport as Detective Chief Superintendent he was responsible for the operation which used covert micro optics in both aircraft holds and handling bays, this resulted in the arrest of half of British Airways handlers in one operation. Extensive administration experience was gained in a two-year period as staff officer to the head of London CID.
Now, with Hope08, this vision is being extended, with great boldness to the whole country — and even more widely. Dr Williams became a member of the highest of the three orders of the Gorsedd of Bards - a 1,strong circle of Wales' key cultural contributors in a ceremony at this year's National Eisteddfod celebration of Welsh culture in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. Dr Williams, 52, wore a long white cloak without any headdress as he arrived at the back of the procession. By Chris Hastings and Elizabeth Day The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has been forced to apologise to Britain's , Freemasons after he said that their beliefs were incompatible with Christianity and that he had rejected them from senior posts in his diocese.
But he is equally strongly a Church conservative in terms of Church order. He strongly favours the approval of homosexuality, but equally strongly insists that the homosexualists must wait until the Church at large approves such a lifestyle. That puts him in direct conflict with the realities of Christian faith. He is going to get shot at from both sides. For further information concerning the Archbishop see Chapter 5.
Opus Dei  He said that he would not be on an Opus Dei recruitment drive. I also hope we will have vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. Catholic Ordained a Roman Catholic Priest. There were some Catholics and Protestants present, in addition to the queen and her family. It was the first time since the Reformation that a Catholic bishop was invited by an English monarch to deliver a sermon.
According to Vatican Radio, "the last decades have revealed the growth of the role of the Catholic minority in British life. It was stated on the Catholic Church in England and Wales website, this page is now removed. At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that Catholic and Muslim leaders should continue to meet regularly and speak together on topics of common concern, notably in favour of the God-given rights of human beings, of the importance of faith in schools, and of community and family.
It was also suggested that Catholics might be able to offer from their experience of immigration and integration insights that could be of benefit to their "Muslim brothers and sisters. In this capacity he also serves as one of the four Presidents of Churches Together in England alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and a representative of the Orthodox churches. Pro-Islam I welcome the letter from the Muslim scholars and leaders and commend it as a groundbreaking initiative which could make a major contribution to a better understanding in Christian-Muslim relations, the cause of religious liberty and global peace.
The letter from the Muslim scholars builds on The Amman Message and it is impossible not to respond positively to its key message that differences should not cause hatred and strife between Christians and Muslims. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah Himself fighteth against them. How perverse are they! He was a probation officer for 14 years and the senior pastor of Mile End New Testament Church of God for 10 years before becoming the first black general director of the Evangelical Alliance in Rev Edwards has vast, multiple-level experience of human rights issues at first hand, and is ideally placed to bring to the new EHRC a wealth of practical and pastoral wisdom, allied to a keen awareness and understanding of the tensions created by a swiftly changing social environment.
Enjoying an accessibility and acceptability across the broad religion and belief spectrum, his expertise in cooperative consensus management and conflict resolution — as well as a deep appreciation of the philosophy underlying human rights aspirations — uniquely qualifies him to make a crucial contribution to the EHRC. The word is that Nicky Gumbel is now more powerful than the Archbishop of Canterbury. And while the humble Vernon Robertson would never dream of thinking of himself in terms of power, he has a similar kind of influence within the Catholic contingent of Alpha here in Canada.
This allows it to be far more strategic in the allocation of these grants. The annual delivery plan has four priorities: 1 To resource clusters of the most deprived parishes with community development officers who will capacity build and support development within the parishes 2 To fund the development of youth projects by supporting the employment of youth workers 3 To encourage interfaith projects 4 To provide continuation funding for successful innovative projects. Churches involved and Supporting. Mary and St.
Chad's Romiley, St. Stephen's Church Neverthorpe, St. Mark's Church Gillingham, St. Andrew's Church Congresbury, St. Augustine Tonge Moor Bolton,. John's C of E, St. Mary's C of E Nantwich, St. Matthew's C of E Haslington, St. Roman Catholic: St. I Ichthus, Ignite, Innervation.
Helens ,. Plans for a reception at Clarence House are still at an early stage but we expect to provide more information early in This actually went ahead as planned a Special Report was made on the Inspire Magazine titled Prince Charles backs Hope08 [70a] this states Prince Charles has backed the Hope08 project this week, hosting a reception for participants from across the UK in the Million Hours of Kindness initiative, reports Russ Bravo from Clarence House, He paid tribute to their devotion and willingness to serve their communities, and praised the cross-denominational nature of the project: "You're all doing such a remarkable job - this is badly needed and we owe you a huge debt of gratitude.
Now Hope seems to be providing the catalyst for people to work together - and we always stress to people 'never do on your own what you can do in partnership. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Andy clearly does this by having a partnership with them verse 5 says these people will not stand in the day of judgement, Their end is damnation and they are like the chaff that is blown away by the wind verse 4. Clearly the Hope organisers have arranged to go in with the world in Christ's name. This clearly undermines the message of the Gospel itself and the work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says: 2 Corinthians "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?
And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore 'Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. This is most clear testimony, both to the real Godhead and the distinct person of the Holy Spirit. The apostles were not guided by worldly principles. They had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God, and the saving impression of them from the same Spirit. These things they declared in plain, simple language, taught by the Holy Spirit, totally different from the affected oratory or enticing words of man's wisdom.
The natural man, the wise man of the world, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. The fact that churches, and people who run and support "Hope 08,"are, by association, de facto enemies of the cross. We cannot be in co-operation with the world and other religions that are in it we must be separate. The wise and godly counsel of the Body of Christ is ignored in order, as they see it, "to make Christ acceptable to the world by doing away with our prejudices so that we may be effective for Christ.
People who wish to remain faithfull to Christ, are often told to accept the changes or there is no place for them in their fellowships. They disregard 1 Tim because they do not want to appear to be offensive in any way.
When it comes to the purity of Truth, men cannot handle it, they in turn reject truth in order to please men, yet the definitive truth is offensive to people. Let's look at who Prince Charles is and it will be apparent, after reading this, that Charles is an Enemy of the Cross. The fact that "Hope 08" is willing to share the platform, co-operate and accept Prince Charles amongst "Hope 08" does not leave it in good stead with 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.
The Bible is crystal clear on the issue. These men do not have God, because they have not done what God has required and ignored sound doctrine for the things of the world. He said in that when he became Supreme Governor of the Church of England, he would rather be "defender of faiths" than "defender of the faith". This makes Prince Charles clearly an enemy of the Cross. Jesus said that there is only one way a man can enter into heaven.
Prince Charles, by his own admission, has rejected the sovereignty of Christ. Islam teaches that "God has no son" and that Christians are perverse because Christians accept Jesus as deity. God confound them!. Gordon and David M. Stillman looked at evidence that Britain's Prince Charles might be a secret convert to Islam. They sifted through his public statements defending Islamic law, praising the status of Muslim women, seeing in Islam a solution for Britain's ailments and actions setting up a panel of twelve "wise men" to advise him on Islamic religion and culture , then concluded that, "should Charles persist in his admiration of Islam and defamation of his own culture," his accession to the throne will indeed usher in a "different kind of monarchy.
All this comes to mind on reading an article titled  "Charles Breaks Fast with the Faithful in Muscat" in today's Dubaibased Gulf News, which reports on some of Charles' activities during his current five-day visit to Oman: He toured the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosquest for almost two hours and "took keen interest in studying various sections at the mosque, including the main prayer hall. The Prince has a great love for Islamic architecture and I can't think of finer example than this mosque. He ate date and drank juice at the call of Iftar.
November 9, Charles with worry beads, Camilla with shawl. Apparently, however, he did not get the results he hoped for, with one Christian participant indicating that Charles was "very, very unhappy" about its outcome. That may have been because the Muslims at the meeting resented his public involvement in this topic. It is anything but. It is a perversion of traditional Islam.
As I understand it, Islam preaches humanity, tolerance and a sense of community. If we succumb to that temptation, the bombers will have achieved their aim. Likewise, in my view, it is the duty of every true Muslim to condemn these atrocities and root out those among them who preach and practise such hatred and bitterness. This sounds to me like the same apologetics churned out by  the Muslim Council of Britain and other Islamist bodies.
There surely would have been a press uproar if he had. We can conclude that whatever his inner faith, he is not presenting himself as a Muslim in public. Security was tight in the capital for the ceremonies, with large crowds of ordinary Saudis participating alongside monarchs, presidents and other dignitaries from the Arab world and other Islamic nations. Western leaders and dignitaries, including Britain's Prince Charles , French President Jacques Chirac and Australia's governor general were also offering condolences.
Particularly contentious was his expressed intent, on becoming king and supreme governor of the Church of England, to ditch the centuries' old defender of the faith title and replace it with defender of faith and defender of the Divine. The letter reveals the archbishop's reaction.
Didn't really appreciate what I was getting at by talking about "the Divine" and felt that I had said far more about Islam than I did about Christianity - and was therefore worried about my development as a Christian. The text by Andrew Alderson tells how the prince of Wales Will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America's "confrontational" approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam's strengths.
Apparently, he "wants Americans - including Mr Bush - to share his fondness for Islam. In any case, George W. Bush had a little zinger ready for the good prince in his welcome for  him and Camilla at the state dinner:. In the first part of the 20th century, our nations stood together to ensure that fascism did not prevail in Europe.
In the second half of the 20th century, we worked tirelessly to defeat the totalitarian ideology of communism. And today we're fighting side by side against an ideology of hatred and intolerance to ensure that the 21st century will be one of liberty and "hope". Charles did not reply to this comment, limiting his response to projects for the underprivileged and fond memories of Winston Churchill.
In a just-reviewed videotape, the organization's number two,  Ayman alZawahiri, calls Queen Elizabeth II "one of the severest enemies of Islam" and blames her for what he calls Britain's "crusader laws. He will tour an exhibition there, "Palace and Mosque: Islamic Treasures of the Middle East," that launches the festival. The prince is said to be keen to see the exhibition. He will also meet school and community groups and watch a performance by a group of Muslim women and girls. In my view, the true mark of a civilised society is the respect it pays to minorities and to strangers.
Note the "we" in the following quote: "I think we need to recover the depth, the subtlety, the generosity of imagination, the respect for wisdom that so. This is what you This, Britain's first state-funded Muslim school, was founded and is headed by Yusuf Islam a. Cat Stevens , an Islamist who threatened Salman Rushdie's life during the Satanic Verses controversy and has since been banned from entering the United States.
The Prince told the children: "You are ambassadors for a sometimes much misunderstood faith. All Charles did was to quote the Koran in a favorable way in the context of a new-agey-style discussion of the Planet Earth: "This planet's survival will depend on you understanding that you can achieve unity through diversity; that you can in fact build on living, timeless traditions that are a part of your unique culture and still be "modern". It will also depend on you realizing that the planetary crisis we face is so profound in its rapidly developing consequences that we simply cannot afford to go on squabbling amongst ourselves while we destroy the world around us at a truly terrifying rate.
Will you trust in what your hearts are telling you? It may sound paradoxical, but it's not surprising that when Labour ministers queue up to tell modest women to take their veils off, there is a special affection for a prince whose public utterances on the subject have been marked by a sort of bumbling Islamophilia.
Charles and Camilla's visit to Pakistan was a really important trip for my mum. She is obsessed with the royal family. Lots of mums are but, really, you have no idea how big the royals are with Bangladeshi women. My friend Koruna will tell me, "You think your mum is obsessed, but I bet she doesn't have a showcase filled with royal-family china like my aunts.
A survey of my Asian mates confirms this grim predicament - the royal cult, and in particular the icon that is Diana, is being propped up by Muslim women all over the world. May 26, update: The BBC has announced a forthcoming world premier performance. Making his strongest reference yet to Islam, Tavener also calls upon Sufism, Hinduism and Buddhism in his choice of structure, instrumentation and tonality.
Almost reflexively, this becomes translated into seemingly impenetrable divisions between people; people who — if they did but know it — are in fact linked by much and separated by rather little. How refreshing it is, then, to be reminded by this marvellous exhibition of the spirituality from which our Faiths draw their real strength, and of the heritage and traditions which we share,.
Prince disclosed yesterday that he had paid a private visit in to the shrine. Of course, there was Dodi Fayad, about whom great debate exists. But before him, she was involved for two years with Dr. Hasnat Khan, in what appears to have been a more substantial and serious relationship. Here is how Ronni L. Stillman characterized it in in  "Prince Charles of Arabia":.
After making his way through the cheering crowds who gathered to see him, the Pope met Dr Runcie and Prince Charles at Canterbury Cathedral, with the three men posing for photographs on a sofa in the Deanery. Charles and Camilla attend a memorial service for the pope, along with Tony and Cherie Blair. Parker Bowles have decided to postpone their wedding until Saturday," a spokesman for Charles said. The decision will ensure that the three pillars of established power in Britain — Church, Crown and Parliament — will all be properly represented when up to four million mourners gather to mark the Pope's passing.
A spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is now very glad he is able to go to both events. Druidism  Archbishop of Canterbury, "Hope is a really remarkable vision that has grown out of the success of a number of local urban projects. Christians have to learn how to give an absolutely clear answer to the question, 'why is this good news? Now, Rev Rowan Williams with Hope , this vision is being extended, with great boldness to the whole country - and even more widely. It deserves the warmest welcome.
I thank God for the inspiration that has driven it and wish every blessing to all involved. I was startled at the insight with which the world of the ancient Druid-as-shaman is depicted by an Anglican priest. Make no mistake: Rowan Williams is a very, very good poet, whose work is complex, compassionate and austere, with a luminous gift for word-music and metaphor. Originally, the term meant country dweller. It evolved to mean those who did not practice the JudeoChristian Tradition.
Originally, they worshipped the Goddess, also called the Lady and the God, her horned consort also referred to as the Lord and the Green Man. The Druids were influenced by GrecoRoman traditions and developed a pantheon of deities. Early Christian missionaries adopted some Pagan traditions and customs to facilitate the conversion. Some scholars believe Catholic saints were given sacred status to reflect the Pagan deities.
There are Pagan beliefs in the Goddess, the stern Father God and the human friendly God-Son who is part god and part man. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
The term refers to the revival of the Pagan or Shamanic religions, either by attempts at reconstruction, those who may have practiced these in secret because of fear of being persecuted as witches, syncretism or an eclectic mix of various Pagan practices and beliefs. The Pagans have beliefs in common, such as the four elements of nature, fire, earth, air and water. Some religions believe in nature spirits, those who lived within the elements and could be called on to help in working with the powers of the Universe for positive ends. The elements, nature spirits, are salamanders fire , gnomes earth , sylphs air and undines water.
There are subdivisions of some of these spirits. Totem animals are another belief that many Pagans share. Native Americans are the best known of the Pagan religions that believe in the medicines and powers of the animals referred to as totems. There is a revival of this, but, now, totems are referred to as Power Animals. Most European Pagans shared the belief in totem animals, however, until relatively recently, this was not widely known. Some of the Oriental Shamanic people believe in animal totems as evidenced by Chinese astrology and other writings.
The symbolism varied, according to the culture, but the belief in the powers of these animals was a common one. While the main common belief is there is a Supreme Being and all in the Universe are inter-related and connected as one and are manifestations of the One, there are beliefs and practices that vary within the Shamanic, or Pagan, people. He is known for his support of homosexuality.
The visit will mark the fortieth anniversary of the Archbishop. Dr Williams and Pope Benedict met briefly the following day. They acknowledged there were 'serious obstacles' on the path to closer ties between Catholics and Anglicans, reflecting tensions over Anglicans' blessings of same-sex unions and the ordination of women and decided to commit themselves to continuing dialog. The visit is expected to take place in the autumn; further details from the programme will be announced later in the year.
He strongly favors the approval of homosexuality, but equally strongly insists that the homosexualists must wait until the Church at large approves such a lifestyle.
Half a Century of Apostasy | Seventh Day Adventist Church | Adventism
Dr Williams goes on to set out a possible case for active same-sex relationships by arguing that revisionists. Dr Rowan Williams reignited the row that is causing divisions within the Anglican Church after agreeing to hold a Eucharist for homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgender clergy. Details of the service, attended by around people, emerged yesterday, with the Archbishop said to have spoken openly about the future for gay people in the church. His critics expressed anger that as well as choosing to give communion at the meeting, he also failed to seek permission.
They said Dr Williams risked being seen as discourteous, with suggestions from some quarters that he was close to breaching canon law. The service was held at the end of last year in All Hallows by the Tower, a 7th Century church in the City of London, after the original venue, the liberal St Peter's Church in Belgravia, was "outed" on a hostile website. A spokesman said the Archbishop was worried about the ritual element of Freemasonry, which has been seen as "satanically inspired". Since my late father was a member of the Craft for many years, I have had every opportunity of observing the probity of individual members.
He wrote: "Where anxieties exist, however, they are in relation not to Freemasonry but to Christian ministers subscribing to what could be and often is understood [or misunderstood] as a private system of profession and initiation, involving the taking of oaths of loyalty. Jhn Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. By promoting those things which are contrary to the teachings of Christ The Archbishop is not keeping the words of Christ, hence he does not love Christ in the truest sense, Jhn If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Jhn Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. By not doing as Christ has commanded, and doing the exact opposite, the Archbishop has made himself one who is not a friend of Christ and placed himself outside of the Grace of God.
Chapter 6 Churches Together? Hope can be a great opportunity to serve them and share your faith in a way that leads to meaningful friendships. There is advice and suggestions of resources via the Youth Encounter section of the Scripture Union website and also an excellent resource produced by Churches Together in England. I consider HOPE to be a valued partner of Government and a true example of what can be accomplished when we all work together towards a shared goal.
The values and traditions which motivate those of a Christian faith to serve their fellow citizens are clearly evident in the themes of HOPE It is also a credit to the many volunteers who actively support this initiative that HOPE positively embraces the ideal of interfaith engagement in all of its projects. Communities and Local Government supports HOPE in its aim of encouraging people of all faith traditions and none to work together to make our communities stronger, inclusive and more cohesive.
But they have found, from running this website and working with couples, that this is often far from true. Some people belong to major world religions that are ancient and historic, while others follow smaller, newer faiths. Many show a passionate commitment to their religion, which plays a major part in their identity and sense of belonging.
Others are more sporadic in their observance and may regard their faith as a private, spiritual affair. These differing spiritual approaches leave Christians with many questions to consider, such as how to relate to people of other faiths without compromising their own beliefs. Hope is a great opportunity for Christians to make a difference to their communities. For many this means working amongst people of different faiths. What are the issues and questions that we might face as we work in this situation?
Should we be about mission or dialogue or both? How do we share our faith whilst acknowledging that they are committed to theirs? Faiths, Hope and Diversity are training days to help Christians think through the issues that working amongst people of other faiths raises. The days are being led by Gill Marchant and Andrew Smith of Scripture Union who, between them, have  over 25 years experience of working with people of other faiths. Hope directs people to get help from the the Youth Encounter section of Hope 08's web site. Youth Encounter is a Scripture Union project which exists to help Christian young people in Britain live out their faith amongst Muslims.
This is done in two distinct ways: 1. Providing training and resources to help churches equip Christian young people live out their faith confidently and humbly amongst their Muslim friends. Youth Encounter also provides training for churches and Christian organisations who are working with Muslim young people. This states: The last hundred years have seen an unprecedented migration of peoples around the globe, leading to the multicultural, multiethnic and multi-faith societies found in our country and others today.
Many Christians have felt called to look beyond their own circle and build up friendly relations with believers of other religions. Dialogue is first of all about people: meeting, building riendships, conversation, laughter, tears, sharing. We realise too that no one is the perfect embodiment of faith. Yet they disobey God when the Bible, in John , says, "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. People of other Faiths? James , says, "You spiritual adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?
Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Belief and Being in School  Youth Encounter stated Believing and Being in School which the people behind Hope '08 are clearly in support of, promoting Interfaith can only eventually lead to multi-faith.
The event is designed to bring together educators of faith working in mainstream schools. We are able to offer this event at a subsidized price due to funding from the Faith Communities Capacity Building Fund. This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Yet the Bible also says Ephesians ,11 '7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them The Bible says we have NO common ground with the enemies of God. We are called to holiness.
We must stand by the things of God and this means no compromise, no … matter … what! Hope '08, its leaders and those who are involved walk in defeat. They are willing to compromise with, and partake in, the sins of the heathen such as idolatry, disobedience, disloyalty. Because of this Hope '08 is guilty of spiritual prostitution.
Soul Survivor is considered to be a separate movement, although close links are still maintained New Wine activities now extend far beyond the borders of England and have spread not only to Scotland, Ireland and Wales, but to 20 countries in Scandinavia, Africa, North America, Western Europe, South East Asia and New Zealand. It has been written into our spiritual DNA to hunger for the impossibilities around us to bow at the name of Jesus. Paul's, Ealing. David Pytches has been long involved in Ecumenism.
Further in the book he echoes some of the same kinds of ideas that Paul Yonggi Cho teaches concerning the Holy Spirit working miracles even through unbelievers. It is this kind of thinking that the false teachers of the Elijah List engage in. What God is doing is shaking people physically and shocking people mentally, drawing attention to himself, like a parent shaking a child which wants to run across a busy road. However if we read this verse within the context of what God is saying this is as the direct result of God's people committing idolatry and it is God the one who is howling and moaning!
Yet one more example of a false teacher taking scripture out of context in order to prop up some false notion of what is actually going on. Psalm Drummers believe that it is possible to lead a person to Christ through drumming just how this is possible is not easily explained in view of the clear teaching of scripture 1 Cor For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
This is yet another example of how the contemporary Christian scene has brought in new and innovative ways to replace that which was the message and practice of Christ and His Apostles. The final factor was the emergence of gifted lay people who shared the vision for ecumenical mission. Each month, we run a city-wide evangelistic youth event called the Edge.
Combining live music from the most popular Christian bands including The Tribe, YFriday, Steve and Thebandwith noname with hard-hitting gospel presentations from speakers including Arthur White of Tough Talk and Andy Hawthorne of The Message Trust, gives us high attendance and a high number of responses to the gospel. This hi-tech, hi-action evening is attended by over young people from all over the city and even surrounding towns.
In fact, it's been growing so fast that we've moved it from our own building to a bigger venue in the centre of town with a capacity of On November 16th, we recorded our highest ever attendance: people! Kidz Klub visitors encourage young people they know to attend and each month loads of teenagers give their lives to Jesus. After the celebration of the Mass, music was provided by leading Christian bands. Albans Youth Service. Thebandwithnoname was one of the bands that provided the music after the celebration of the Mass.
This was an ecumenical event and the Christian charity Soul Survivor was employed to co-ordenate it. Part of the events organised during "Soul in the City" was the celebration of a daily morning mass. This blatant promotion of the Roman Catholic Mass shows the obvious ecumenical stance of Soul Survivor in that they have no problems with the Catholic dogma of the Mass.
This strikes this author as a bit of an oversight, if not downright devious. Ambrose Griffiths. They understood this and the implications of the direction that they were taking however, as they stated at the time they are "too deeply involved. Being compromisers themselves with false teachers and the world, it is no wonder that so many young Christians are worldly and carnal.
As Christ said "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. Well, what does the evidence tell us? This clearly makes Andy Hawthorne an ecumenist.
According to the Message Trust's own web site, they are much loved by the world having the status of  "an awardwinning youth charity, well established reputation for being a pioneering organisation with a real passion to improve the lives of young people in Greater Manchester. Driven by Christian values. Whose teaching is it? As we see from the groups and individuals the Message Trust is associated with and promoting, it does not take much to realise that this is pure dominionism.
We've got to be faithful to the cultural commission to have dominion, to work for Christian values to arrest our worldview slide.
The vision was given in order to begin to awaken those who are destined to radically change the course, and even the very definition of Christianity. This glorified church must make the earth God's footstool before Jesus can come again. When this happens the church is building a chair, a seat, a place for God to come. When is the church going to arise and build a mercy seat according to the pattern of heaven?
And He will literally set up His throne, and you will have a throne zone in the midst of the church and some group somewhere is going to build a seat for the glory of God, and the water that flows from that place will eventually cover the earth. The next wave of revival is not going to be like anything that you have ever seen. There will be nothing of man on it or God won't come to sit. He is tired of breaking chairs that we have built for Him. He is demanding now that we build a mercy seat. After God created Adam and Eve, He said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing Both the cultural mandate and the evangelistic mandate are essential parts of biblical mission, in my opinion.
Neither is optional. There is a growing consensus on this point in Evangelical circles. This was not true as early as twenty-two years ago when the Berlin World Congress on Evangelism was held in One of the first Evangelicals to stress the cultural mandate in a public forum was Horace Fenton of the Latin America Mission at the Wheaton Congress on the Church's Worldwide Mission, also held in Following that, the social consciousness. Gate number one, letter A, the gate of social transformation, the gate of social transformation. It is my passion.
The doctrines of Dominionism are rooted in the earth. Their basis is the false teaching that man must take dominion of this earth and change it for the better before Jesus can come. The emphasis, therefore, has shifted from 'looking up' to 'looking around' to see what can be done to patch up the environment and change society into a more godly one. This scheme is unscriptural and should be rejected as heresy. Anyone within the Dominionism system should think very carefully about the dangers to their spiritual walk. Dominionism is heresy and the Bible is clear that we are to reject heresy and heretics Titus , mark and avoid false teachers Rom.
Our mandate is the same as when Christ ascended until He returns: preach the gospel Mark and disciple believers from all the nations Matt. We are NOT to overthrow the governments of the world, take over businesses, or throw our collective Christian weight around in a bid to take over everything. We are to be light and salt Matt. Christians need to get busy witnessing for Christ and drop this Dominionist, Kingdom building rhetoric and planning because if they do not they will be playing right into the hands of the coming antichrist.
They say  "we help all sorts of young people from all sorts of backgrounds and with all sorts of beliefs. This clearly mixes the Message of Christ with a worldview that all roads lead to God and the message behind closed doors is that there is a common ground between faiths.
How can we be one with the world and one with Christ when it is clear if there is any other way to heaven, Jesus would not have had to die Gal I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Hope 08 states of people from other faiths we  "would not Encourage them to make decisions that would put them in conflict with their family. Hope 08 even goes to the point where Christians are not to "Ask children or young people to say, sing or pray things that they do not believe or that compromises their own faith. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Paul complains of this very thing to the Corinthians. Some had evidently resented his plain speaking in the first epistle, wherein he had rebuked their sins, for in his second he wrote, "would to God ye could bear with me a little" The Galatians first received the Gospel so gladly from him that they would have plucked out their eyes had that advantaged him , yet soon after they imbibed deadly error from the Judaizers, and when the apostle took them to task for this he had to ask them, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
Thus it was with the multitudes in connection with our Saviour: acclaiming Him with their hosannas and less than a week later crying, "Away with Him, crucify Him," so fickle and treacherous is the human heart. What point does this give to our Lord's command, "take heed what ye hear" Mark Corrupt nature is thoroughly in love with error and will more readily and eagerly receive false than true doctrine.
Should any dispute our statement, we would refer them to "the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so " Jer. Said Christ unto the Jews, "because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not" John : what a commentary on fallen human nature—had He preached lies they had promptly received Him. Alas, what is man: he will run greedily after something new and sensational, but is soon bored by the old story of the Gospel.
How feeble is the Christian, how weak his faith, how fickle and unstable the moment he is left to himself. Peter, the most courageous and forward of the apostles in his profession, denied his Master when challenged by a maid. Even when given a heart to love the Truth, we still have "itching ears" for novelties and errors, as the Israelites welcomed the manna at first, but soon grew weary of it and lusted after the fleshpots of Egypt. Real and urgent then is our need to heed this command, " Beware of false prophets. It is time that we should now proceed to amplify the thought expressed in our opening paragraph.
In the previous section of His Sermon Christ had contrasted the broad road and the many who tread it and the narrow way and the few who find it, adding immediately, "Beware of false prophets. Thus the tremendous importance of our present passage is at once apparent. As the verse quoted from 2 Peter tells us, it is nothing short of "damnable heresies" which these false prophets promulgate. It is about salvation matters they treat, but damnation is the end of those who receive their lies, unless God intervenes with a miracle of grace and disillusions their dupes, which very rarely happens.
It therefore behooves each of us seriously to ask, Have I been deceived by these false prophets? Am I treading a way which "seemeth right" unto me but which God declares is the way o "death" Prov. Yea, it behooves us sincerely amid earnestly to beseech God to make it unmistakably clear to us which "way" we are really treading.
Now it is the duty of God's servants to provide help to exercised souls on this supremely important matter, to expose the lies of these "false prophets," to make plain the way of salvation. This may best be done by defining and showing the relation of good works unto salvation, for it is at this point more than any other that the emissaries of Satan have fatally deceived souls.
The principal errors which have been advanced thereon may be summed up under these two heads: salvation by works, and salvation without works. Romanists have been the chief promulgators of the former, insisting that the good works of the Christian have a meritorious value which entitles him to heaven.
Thereby they rob Christ of much of His glory, bringing in something of ours in addition to His blood and righteousness to obtain acceptance with God. Romanists do not repudiate in toto either the grace of God or the redemption of Christ, but they nullify both by attributing saving efficacy unto the rites of their church, and the performances of the creature. Such an error is expressly repudiated by such scriptures as Romans ; Ephesians. Some of the propagators of the salvation-without-works error during the last century have assumed the garb of the orthodox and thereby obtained a hearing from many who had never listened to them had their real characters been suspected.
They have gone to the opposite extreme and preached a "gospel" as far removed from the Truth as the Romish lie of salvation by works. They teach that while good works from Christians are certainly desirable yet they are not imperative, the absence of them involving merely the loss of certain "millennial" honours and not the missing of heaven itself. They have interpreted those words of Christ's "It is finished" in such a way as to lull multitudes of souls into a false peace, as though He wrought something at the Cross which renders it needless for sinners to repent, forsake their idols, renounce the world before they can be saved; that "nothing is required from them but their simple acceptance of Christ by faith;" that once they have "rested on His finished work"—no matter what their subsequent lives—they are "eternally secure.
Before we endeavour to show the place which good works have in connection with salvation, let us quote a few sentences from a brief article we wrote in this magazine some years ago. Did Christ 'magnify the Law and make it honourable' Isa. Did He fulfil all righteousness to purchase for us an immunity from loving God with all our hearts and serving Him with all our faculties? Did Christ die in order to secure a Divine indulgence that we might live to please self?
Christ died not to make my sorrow for and hatred of sin useless. Christ died not to absolve me from the full discharge of my responsibilities unto God. Christ died not so that I might go on retaining the friendship and fellowship of the world. The 'finished work' of Christ avails me nothing if my heart has not been broken by an agonizing consciousness of my sinfulness.
It avails me nothing if I still love the world 1 John It avails me nothing unless I am a new creature in Christ Jesus 2 Cor. Since then salvation by works and salvation without works are equally opposed to God's way of salvation, what is the place or relation which "good works" hold to the saving of a soul? Let us first define our terms. By "good works" we mean those operations of our hearts and hands which are performed in obedience to God's will, which proceed from evangelical principles and which have in view the Divine glory.
By "salvation" we include not only regeneration which is simply the beginning of it in our experience but sanctification and an actual entrance into heaven itself. Thus "godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation" 2 Cor. The good Shepherd "goeth before" His sheep John and if they are to join Him on high they must " follow Him"—"leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps" 1 Pet.
There is no reaching heaven except by treading the only path that leads there— the highway of holiness. The subject we are now dealing with is far too important to be condensed into a few brief and general statements, therefore, as our present space is almost exhausted, we shall conclude with this paragraph and enter into more detail in our next chapter. That good works are neither the chief nor the procuring cause of salvation is readily admitted, but that they are no cause whatever, that they are simply "fruits" of salvation and not a means thereto, we as definitely deny.
On the one hand good works must be kept strictly subordinate to the grace of God and the merits of Christ: on the other hand they must not be entirely excluded. It is the corn he sows which produces the crop, equally true that the fertility of the ground and the showers and sunshine from heaven are indispensable for a harvest; but given the finest seed, the richest soil, the most favorable season, would the farmer have anything to reap if he failed to plough his ground and sow his seed?
But does that furnish room for the farmer to boast? Certainly not; who provided him with the seed and ground, who furnished him with health and strength, who granted the increase in his labours? Nevertheless, had he remained inactive there would be no crop. First a brief review of our last chapter. They are to be found in the circles of 'the most orthodox' and pretend to have a fervent love for souls, yet they fatally delude multitudes concerning the way of salvation.
It is because there has been so little instruction upon the relation of good works to salvation that people fall such easy victims to these emissaries of Satan. At one extreme there are those like the papists who insist that salvation is procured by works, at the other extreme are those boasting most loudly of their 'soundness in the Faith' who affirm salvation may be secured without works, and rare indeed is it to find anyone today who occupies the middle and true position. That middle position shows that Divine grace does not set aside human responsibility, that the Gospel is no opposer of the Law, and that the 'finished work' of Christ has not rendered unnecessary or non-imperative good works on the part of those who are to reach heaven.
Are good works necessary in order to the obtaining of salvation? We answer—and are satisfied the Scriptures warrant our so doing— no and yes. In order to solve that paradox or remove the seeming contradiction we must first define the 'good works,' then explain carefully what is meant by 'necessary' and, last but not least, show what is connoted and included in 'salvation.
Such people would answer our opening inquiry with a plain and emphatic No, concluding nothing more was required. They would cite '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' Eph.
Yet it is one thing to quote a passage and another thing to have a right understanding of its terms. Nevertheless, the language of Ephesians , 9, appears to be so unambiguous and decisive that there seems to be no need to enter upon a laborious study of the subject of which it treats.
Why then do we insist upon pressing the inquiry any further? Because many of the saints are confused thereon and need to have expounded unto them 'the way of God more perfectly. Because there is a balance of Truth to be observed here as every-where, and if one half of it be ignored then the Truth is perverted and souls are deceived. Because it is at this very point that the 'false prophets' get in most of their pernicious and destructive work, and unless we are forewarned we are not forearmed.
Because it is required of the Christian minister that he should declare 'all the counsel of God' and not only favorite portions thereof. Because if on the one hand the exaltation of good works to an unwarrantable place is to repudiate the grace of God, on the other hand the excluding of good works from the place Scripture assigns them is to turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. Because what the Word of God designates 'good works' have well-nigh disappeared from Christendom and therefore there is an urgent need for pressing the same.
Because vast numbers of professing Christians are fatally deceived thereon, going down to hell with a 'lie in their right hand. The first answer we returned to the question, Are good works necessary in order to the obtaining of salvation? Let us now proceed to explain and amplify. He can no more merit heaven by his own performances than he could create a world. Sooner might the sinner build a ladder which would obtain for him access to the dwelling place of the Most High than he could do any deeds of charity which earned for him an eternity of bliss.
He enters this world a fallen and depraved creature and from earliest infancy he has defiled and befouled the garments of his soul: more readily then could he make white the skin of an Ethiopian than cleanse his garments from their stains without having recourse to the blood of Christ. Turning over a new leaf will not erase the blots on the previous pages: if I could live sinlessly today that would not cancel the guilt of yesterday. I am a ten-thousand-talents debtor to God and have not a penny with which to discharge it, and therefore unless His sovereign grace takes pity upon me and gives me everything for nothing there is no hope whatever for me.
No doubt all of our readers would subscribe heartily unto the last paragraph, saying, That is just what I believe; and possibly a few would add: I trust you will not bring in something further that jars against it. Ah, suppose we were writing upon the righteousness of God, and dwelt on His equity and justice. But then I must point out that pertains to His office as Judge and His administration of the Law; but He is also sovereign anti distributes His favors as He pleases, bestowing a single talent upon one, two on another, and yet five on another.
At once the Arminian protests and says I have contradicted myself. Or, suppose I wrote upon the wondrous mercy and love of God, as displayed in creation, in providence and in grace: that His goodness and loving kindness are manifested on every side. But I must also point out that God is holy and hates sin, and will yet consign to the everlasting burnings all who continue defying Him; and at once the Universalist says, Now you have spoilt the whole thing.
Probably some will bring the same charge against the remainder of this chapter. Above we have said that the language of Ephesians , 9, appears to be so unambiguous and decisive that there seems to be no need to enter upon a critical examination of its terms—the same may be said of John , with like disastrous consequences. Every verse of Scripture requires prayerful and careful consideration, without which no man may expect rightly to apprehend it.
This at once shows that 'saved' is not used in this verse in its widest latitude. Again, observe the restriction 'by grace are ye saved,' not 'by grace are ye and shall ye be saved through faith. What has just been pointed out evidences the importance of showing what is connoted and included by the word 'saved' or 'salvation.
For instance, when we read, 'God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth' 2 Thess. But when we read, 'Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began' 2 Tim. Faith in Christ secures an interest in all the benefits of salvation, whether in this world or in the world to come, but it does not convey a present participation in all of them.
There is a salvation 'in hope' Rom. There are certain benefits which the believer has not only a title to, but which he as fully possesses now as he will in the future; such is his justification: he is as righteous now in the sight of the Divine Judge as he will be in heaven, only then there will be a fuller enjoyment of it.
Even now we are 'the sons of God,' but it is not yet made manifest all that favour carries with it 1 John Perfect sanctification is prepared by grace in election from all eternity, yet none of the elect now on earth are fully sanctified in their experience. Once more, we must learn to distinguish sharply between the various causes and means of salvation. The original cause is the sovereign will of God, for nothing can come into being save that which He decreed before the foundation of the world. The meritorious cause is the mediatorial work of Christ, who 'obtained eternal redemption' Heb.
The efficient cause is the varied operations of the Holy Spirit, who applies to the elect the benefits purchased by Christ, capacitating them to enjoy the same and making them meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. The ministerial cause and means is the preaching of the Word Jas. The instrumental cause is faith, by which the soul receives or comes into possession of and obtains an interest in Christ and His redemption. Such distinctions as these are not merely technicalities for theologians, but are part of the faith once delivered unto the saints, and unless they apprehend the same they are liable to be deceived by any Scripture-quoting false prophet who accosts them.
We are not saved for our faith, for since it also is the gift of God, wrought in us by the Spirit, it possesses no meritorious worth. We are saved by grace through faith because faith let in salvation, being the hand which receives it. Yet there is no salvation without faith: no one is saved until he believes.
It is by grace through faith that we obtain deliverance from the curse of the Law and receive title to everlasting life and righteousness. As Thomas Goodwin pointed out in his masterly exposition of Ephesians 'We are saved through faith as that which gives us the present right, or that which God doth give us as a Judge, when we believe, before faith hath done a whit of works; but we are led through sanctification and good works to the possession of salvation. That is true, but it is equally true that we must do so if heaven is to be reached. Our answer was no and yes.
Perhaps the reader is now better prepared to follow us in such a seemingly paradoxical answer. Certainly no works are required from us in order to induce God to show us favour. Nor are they necessary in order to our justification, for they constitute no part of that righteousness which we have before God. Nor do they procure for us a title to heaven. But it is a great mistake to suppose that because good works are not necessary for one particular end they are not indispensable for any: that because they are not meritorious therefore they are useless.
Not so. Good works are necessary. They are necessary in order to preserve us from that course and practice which conducts to hell. They are necessary in order to the glorifying of God and the magnifying of His grace. They are necessary in order to keep us in the only way that leads to heaven. They are necessary in order to communion with the thrice holy God. They are necessary in order to prove the quality of our faith and the genuineness of our profession. They are necessary in order to the making of our calling and election sure.
They are necessary in order to silence the detractors of the Gospel. As there is no pardon until we forsake our wicked ways Isa. So long as the Christian remains in this world he is in the place of danger: deliverance from hell is only the beginning of salvation, nor is it completed until heaven is reached. Between justification and glorification there is a fight to be fought, enemies to be conquered, a victory to be won, and the prize is only for the victor. The daily going on in that road is as essential as the first starting if you would reach the desired end.
To strike the first blow is not all the battle: to him that overcometh the crown is promised. To start in the race is nothing, many have done that who have failed; but to hold out till you reach the winning post is the great point of the matter. In what sense are good works 'necessary' unto salvation—necessary in order to final and complete salvation?
First, they are requisite as the way in which that final salvation is attained. As a destination cannot be reached without journeying thither, neither can life be entered except through the strait gate and treading the narrow way: it is via the path of holiness that heaven is reached. Second, they are requisite as part of the means which God has appointed: they are the means of spiritual preservation.
The only alternative to good works is evil ones, and evil works slay their perpetrator—sin is destructive: 'if ye live after the flesh ye shall die' Rom. Third, they are requisite as a condition of the possession of full salvation. Not a condition like a stipulation in a bargain, but as a connection between two things.
As food must be eaten for the body to be nourished, as seed must be sown in order to a harvest, so obedience, equally as repentance and faith, precede the crowning. Fourth, as an evidence of the genuineness of faith: the fruit must manifest the tree. Those who deny that good works are in any sense necessary to salvation appeal to the instance of the thief on the cross, arguing that in his case there was nothing more than a simple and single look of faith unto the Saviour.
We might dispose of such an appeal by pointing out that his case is quite exceptional—for it is very rarely that God at once removes to heaven him who believes—and that it is not permissible to frame a rule from an exception. Instead, we meet the objector on his own ground and show that his assertion is erroneous.
There was far more than a bare looking to the Saviour in his case. In his sermon on Ephesians , Manton says: 'Our well-doing is the effect of salvation if you take it for our first recovery to God, but if you take it for full salvation or our final deliverance from all evil, good works go before it indeed, but in a way of order, not of meritorious influence. To think them altogether unnecessary would too much deprecate and lessen their presence or concurrence; to think they deserve it would too much exalt and advance them beyond the line of their due worth and value.
The apostle steered a middle course between both extremes. They are necessary but not meritorious. They go before eternal life not as a cause but as a way. Let us now summarize it thus: God has made promise of salvation unto His people: Christ has purchased it for them: faith obtains title thereto: good works secure actual admission into the full and final benefits of redemption, and in order to empower the Spirit renews the believer day by day. It may appear to some of our readers that the preceding chapter of this series had no connection at all with Matthew , that instead of giving an exposition of the verse we wandered off to an entirely different subject and entered into a lot of technicalities which few are capable of understanding.
Then let us remind such that we gave an exposition of Matthew , in the previous chapter, at the close of which we asserted that it is particularly in the matter of the relation of good works unto salvation that the false prophets fatally deceive souls: one school or class of them teaching that salvation is by works, another insisting that it is entirely without works.
The issue thus raised is such an important and vital one that it would be wrong to dismiss it with a few peremptory statements. Truth has to be ' bought' Prov. In the preceding chapter we sought to define and explain the relation of good works to salvation. First, we pointed out that they possess no meritorious value: by which we mean, they deserve nothing at the hands of God, that in no sense do they earn aught or contribute one mite to our redemption.
Second, we insisted that they are necessary, yea, that without them salvation cannot be obtained. Not that any well-doing on our part is required in order to obtain acceptance with God, nor that they can atone for the failures and sins of the past. But rather that the path of obedience must be trod if the realm of unclouded bliss is to be reached. The doing of good works is indispensable in order to the securing of full and final salvation, that is in order to an actual entrance into heaven itself.
We are well aware that such language will have a strange sound to some of our friends, that it will savor of 'legality,' yet if Scripture itself expressly declares that Christ is 'the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him' Heb. In the last article we quoted from Goodwin and Manton. Hear now the testimonies of other of the Puritans. Not that they justify, only the justified person cannot be without them. They are the ordained means in the use whereof we arrive at eternal life. It is faith only that receives Christ in His righteousness, yet this faith cannot be separated from an holy walk' A.
Burgess, Alas, that there has been so widespread a departure from the teaching of such worthies. It is just because there has been such a grievous turning away from the Truth as it was formerly so faithfully and fearlessly proclaimed, by men not worthy to blacken their shoes, that so many today are ignorant of the very first principles of Christianity. It is because the pulpit, platform, and pamphlet hucksters of the nineteenth century so wantonly lowered the standard of Divine holiness, and so adulterated the Gospel in order to make it palatable to the carnal mind, that it has become necessary to labour what is really self-evident.
As well may writer and reader hope to reach heaven without Christ as without good works: 'Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple' Luke Did the Lord Jesus work so arduously that His followers might be carried to glory on flowery beds of ease? Was the Saviour so active that His disciples might be idle? Did he become obedient unto death in order to exempt us from obedience? But need we be afraid to go as far as the language of Holy Writ goes?
Was the apostle legalistic when he cried, ' save yourselves from this untoward generation' Acts ? Was the chief of the apostles derogating from the glory of Christ and the grace of God when he bade Timothy, 'Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee' 1 Tim. But was not Timothy already a saved man when thus exhorted? Regenerated and justified, yes: fully sanctified and glorified, no. Because we press the perseverance of the Christian as well as his Divine preservation do we make him his own keeper?
Suppose we do, are we going beyond Scripture? Did not Paul say, ' I keep under my body' 1 Cor. Does not Jude exhort us, 'keep yourselves in the love of God' v. It is against a dishonest one-sidedness that we so often protest in these pages. The singling out of certain passages and then closing the eyes against others has wrought untold damage.
Oh, dear friends, let us be rid of all such dishonesty. So much of it has got into the church that many will not see things that are as plain as a pikestaff. They will not see, for truth might cost them too dear. They cover up and hide away some parts of Scripture which it might be awkward for them to understand, because of their connection with a church or their standing in a certain circle.
Spurgeon found it necessary to raise his voice against this reprehensible method of picking and choosing from the Word of God, how much more so is such a condemnation called for in this generation of dishonesty and hypocrisy. No indeed, nevertheless the fact must not be lost sight of that it has pleased God in all ages to deal with His people by way of covenant, and in the same way He will deal with them to the end of the world. It is very largely because covenant teaching has been given no place in modern 'evangelism' that so much ignorance now obtains. How few preachers today could explain the meaning of 'these are the two covenants' Gal.
What percentage of Christians now living understand the 'better covenant,' of which Christ is 'the Mediator' Heb. How few apprehend the blessedness of those words, 'The blood of the everlasting covenant' Heb. But let it not be overlooked that there are covenant duties as well as covenant blessings: there is a covenant for us to 'make' with God Ps. The new covenant or covenant of grace was in its original constitution transacted between God and Christ as the Head of His people. That covenant is published in the Gospel, and the application of its benefits is made when we submit to its terms and fulfil its duties.
It is worthy of note that the self-same thing which the apostle calls the 'gospel' in Galatians , he terms the 'covenant' in verse Now a covenant is a compact or contract entered into by two or more parties, the one engaging himself to do or give something upon the fulfillment of a stipulation agreed upon by the other. Thus in the Gospel Christ makes known His readiness to save those who are willing to submit to His Lordship. Hence conversion is termed 'the love of thine espousals' Jer.
This giving of ourselves to Christ to serve and love Him is designated a 'taking hold of the covenant' Isa. And that covenant must be kept if we are to receive its benefits. When defining the essence of the controversy between himself and his opponents, John Flavel stated it thus: 'The only question between us is, Whether in the new covenant some acts of ours though they have no merit in them, nor can be done in our own strength be not required to be performed by us antecedently to before a blessing or privilege, consequent by virtue of a promise; and whether such act or duty, being of a suspending nature to the blessing promised, it have not the true and proper nature of a Gospel condition.
Flavel affirmed, his opponent Mr. Carey denied. In proof of the conditionality of certain of the new covenant blessings Mr. Flavel said, 'We know not how to express those sacred particles, 'if not,' 'if,' 'except,' 'only,' and such like Rom. In considering the new and better covenant, we must distinguish sharply between the first sanction of it in Christ and the application of its benefits to His people.
Few men more magnified the grace of God in his preaching and writings than did the Puritan, Thomas Boston, yet we find him saying in his View of the Covenant of Grace :'He gives the rewards of the covenant in the course of their obedience. He puts His people to work and labour: but not to work in the fire for vanity as the slaves of sin do. They are to labour like the ox treading out the corn, which was not to be muzzled, but to have access at once to work and to eat.
By the order of the covenant there is privilege established to follow duty as the reward thereof, the which order is observed by the King in His administration. The new covenant requires obedience as really and truly as did the old, and therefore does God write the laws of the covenant on the hearts of those with whom He makes the new covenant Heb. Those who enter into this covenant with God do approve of the whole Divine Law so far as they know it, declaring, 'I esteem all Thy precepts' Ps. But now if many we say not all of the blessings and benefits of the new covenant are made conditional upon our obedience and fidelity, wherein does it differ from the old, or Adamic covenant, the covenant of works?
Why, in these respects. First, under the old covenant, works were meritorious, entitling to the inheritance: had Adam kept the Law, he and all he represented would have entered life by legal right, whereas under the new covenant Christ purchased the inheritance for His people before a single thing was asked of them. Second, under the old covenant man had to work in his own strength alone; but under the new all-sufficient grace and enablement are available to those who duly seek it. Third, under the covenant of works no provision was made for failure: the obedience required must be perfect and perpetual Gal.
Such a question is not likely to issue from a renewed heart, rather does he bemoan his unfruitfulness and unprofitableness. He feels he can never do enough to express his gratitude unto God for the unspeakable gift of His Son. Instead of begrudging any sacrifice he is called upon to make, or any hardship to encounter, by virtue of his being a Christian. But to the carping objector, we would say, Scripture declares: 'For we are made par-takers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end ' Heb. The soldiers of Christ are not granted any furloughs or 'leave' in this life: they cannot take off their armor until the battle is over.
They know not at what hour their Lord may come, and therefore are they required to have their loins girded and their lamps trimmed without intermission. But it should be pointed out that it is not quantity but quality which God requires. A cup of cold water given to one of His little ones in the name of Christ is infinitely more acceptable to the Father than a million pounds donated by a godless magnate to social institutions. On the one hand it is written, 'that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God' Luke , on the other, 'man looketh on the outward appearance but the Lord looketh on the heart' 1 Sam.
That which issues from love to God, which expresses gratitude for His goodness, is what is well pleasing in His sight. Quality, not quantity. What is smaller than a mustard seed and what larger than a mountain? Ah, but the former is a living thing, the latter but a mass of inert matter; the former is energetic and growing, the latter stationary. It is quality versus quantity.
Yes, if they be perfect and flawless, performed in our own strength, and we bring God into our debt thereby. Before giving the negative answer, consider the case of the holy angels in this connection. When Satan fell he dragged down with him one third of the celestial hierarchy, the remainder remained steadfast in their loyalty to God: did such fidelity puff them up? Throughout their entire history it could ever be said of them that they 'do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word' Ps.
On the contrary we find them veiling their faces in the Divine presence and crying one unto another, 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts' Isa. How much less then may hell-deserving sinners, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, find anything in their own performances to afford self-gratulation. Is there any danger that the doing of good works in order to final salvation will lead to boasting?
No, none whatever, if we bear in mind that our best performances are but filthy rags in the sight of Him with whom the very heavens are not clean. No, not if we bear in mind that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think a godly thought 2 Cor. Yes, 'unprofitable servants' so far as making God our Debtor is concerned. The very man who wrought more miracles than any for his Master declared.
Again, the reader may be inclined to ask, But what bearing has all of this on Matthew ? We answer, Much every way, as we shall D. Suffice it now to say that what we have been stressing in this and the preceding chapter is expressly repudiated by the 'false prophets' of our day. They blankly deny that good works have any part or place whatever in our salvation, that believing the Gospel is all that is needed to ensure heaven for any sinner.
Our last two chapters of this series were devoted principally to showing the relation of good works unto final salvation, this being both pertinent and needful, forasmuch as many of the 'false prophets' of our day expressly repudiate all that we therein insisted upon. They dogmatically affirm that 'believing the Gospel is all that is needed to ensure heaven for any sinner. Certainly not. First, it requires to be pointed out that there is an order in presenting the Gospel, and it is the business of those who preach to observe that order: unless they do so nothing but disorder will ensue and spurious converts will be the issue of their labors.
If due attention be paid to the Word of God, it will not be difficult to discover what that order is: the proclamation and enforcing of the Divine Law precedes the publication of the Divine Gospel. Broadly speaking, the Old Testament is an exposition of the Law, while the New Testament sets forth the substance and benefits of the Gospel. The Gospel is a message of 'good news. To sinners.
But to what sort of sinners? To the giddy and unconcerned, to those who give no thought to the claims of God and where they shall spend eternity? The Gospel announces no good tidings to them :it has no music in it to their ears. They are quite deaf to its charms, for they have no sense of their need of the Saviour. It is those who have their eyes opened to see something of the ineffable holiness of God and their vileness in His sight, who have learned something of His righteous requirements from them and of their criminal neglect to meet those requirements, who are deeply convicted of their depravity, their moral inability to recover themselves, whose consciences are burdened with an intolerable load of guilt and who are terrified by their imminent danger of the wrath to come, who know that unless an almighty redeemer saves them they are doomed, that are qualified to appreciate and welcome the Gospel.
Now the natural man has no realization of the desperate sickness of his soul. He is quite unconscious of what spiritual health consists of, namely personal holiness. Never having sincerely measured himself by the Divine standard, he knows not how far, far short he comes of it at every point. God has no real place in his thoughts and therefore he fails to comprehend how obnoxious he is in His sight. Instead of seeking to glorify the One who made and sustains him, he lives only to please self. And what is the means for enlightening him?
What is the sure 'line and plummet' Isa. Just so far as we fail to perceive that the Law demands perfect and perpetual obedience shall we be blind to the fearful extent of our disobedience. Just so far as we realize not the spirituality and strictness of the Law, that it pronounces a lascivious imagination to be adultery and causeless anger against a fellow creature to be murder, shall we be unaware of our fearful criminality. The excellency of the Mediator cannot be recognized until we see that the Law demands flawless and undeviating obedience on pain of eternal damnation, and that such a demand is right and glorious, and consequently that sin is infinitely criminal and heinous.
The essential work of the Mediator was to honor and magnify that Law and make atonement for the wrongs done to it by His people. And they who repudiate this Law, or who view it not in its true light, are and must be totally blind to the wisdom and glory of the Gospel, for while they never see sin in its real odiousness and true ill-desert they are incapable of realizing or perceiving their deep need of the Divine remedy. Second, to bring them to a cordial consent to the Law, so that each genuine Christian can say 'So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God' Rom. Third, to deliver them from the curse of the Law by dying for their sins of disobedience against it, Himself bearing its penalty in their stead Gal.
Again: the order which is to be observed in the presentation of the Gospel is exemplified in the appointment of John the Baptist. He was the forerunner of Christ, going before to 'prepare His way' Isa. John came 'in the way of righteousness' Matthew , crying 'Repent ye' Matthew A saving faith in Christ must be preceded by and accompanied with a heart-felt sense of the true odiousness and ill-desert of sin. An impenitent heart is no more able to receive Christ than a shuttered window is able to let in the rays of the sun.
None but the humbled, contrite, broken-hearted penitent is ever comforted by the Lord Jesus, as none but such will ever desire Him or seek after Him. This is the unchanging order laid down by Christ Himself: 'repent ye and [then] believe the gospel' Mark : ye 'repented not afterward that ye might believe' Matthew was His solemn affirmation. First 'repentance toward God, and [then] faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ' Acts was what the apostle testified to Jews and Gentiles alike.
It has often been said that nothing more is required of the sinner than to come to Christ as an empty-handed beggar and receive Him as an all-sufficient Saviour. But that assertion needs clarifying and amplifying at two points lest souls be fatally misled thereby. To come to Christ empty-handed signifies not only that I renounce any fancied righteousness of mine, but also that I relinquish my beloved idols. Just so long as the sinner holds fast to the world or clings to any fond sin he cannot thrust forth an empty hand.
The things which produce death must be dropped before he can 'lay hold on eternal life. There must be a submitting to His authority, a surrendering to His sceptre, a taking of His yoke upon us, as well as a trusting in His blood, or we shall never find 'rest unto our souls. This verse is often quoted by the self-appointed 'evangelists' of our day but it is rarely expounded. Instead of throwing all the emphasis on 'received,' attention rather needs to be directed unto 'received Him. Such a 'receiving' as is here spoken of implies an enlightened understanding, a convicted conscience, renewed affections—the exercise of love, an act of the will—choice of a new Master, the acceptance of His terms Luke , 27, It is at this last point that so many balk: 'why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
The order is first the person of Christ and then His gifts Rom. Those, then, who declare that a bare believing of the Gospel is all that is needed to ensure heaven for any sinner are 'false prophets,' liars and deceivers of souls. It also requires to be pointed out that saving faith is not an isolated act but a continuous thing. When the apostle contrasted genuine saints with apostates, he described them as 'them that believe to the saving of the soul' Heb. In this he was holding fast 'the form of sound words' 2 Tim.
In like manner another apostle says, 'If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious, to whom [ not, ye 'came,' but] coming, as unto a living stone' 1 Pet. Nor is it a thing apart, but a productive principle which issues in good works and spiritual fruits. Saving faith is something radically different from a mere mental assent to the Gospel, believing that God loves me and that Christ died for me.
The demons assent to the whole compass of Divine revelation, but what does it advantage them? Nor is the 'faith' advocated by the false prophets of any more value or efficacy. Saving faith, my reader, is one which 'purifieth the heart' Acts And such faith man can neither originate nor regulate. Has such a faith been Divinely communicated to you? Now it is in their opposition to those aspects of the Truth we have been concerned with above that the false prophets may be identified. Not that their preaching is all cast in the same mould: far from it.exatdone.tk
Half a Century of Apostasy
As the servants of God are variously gifted—one to evangelize, another to indoctrinate, another to exhort and admonish—so Satan accommodates his emissaries to the different types of people they meet with. On the one hand, Romanists and other legalists teach that salvation is by obedience to the Law, that repentance and good works are meritorious; on the other hand, there are those who insist that the Law is entirely Jewish, that the Gentiles were never under it and have nothing to do with it.
But just as the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Herodians differed widely the one from the other yet made common cause in antagonizing Christ, so the false prophets, though far from being uniform in their heterodoxy, nevertheless are one in opposing the Truth. Conversely, whatever be their distinctive gifts and spheres of service, the true ministers of God are always identifiable by their fidelity to the faith once for all, delivered to the saints.
It is particularly the more subtle and less suspected kind of false prophets we are here seeking to expose and warn against. They have deceived multitudes by their very seeming soundness in the faith. They have affirmed the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures and have made much of the mercy of God and the atoning blood of Christ.
Christ bade His hearers 'strive [agonize] to enter in at the strait gate' Luke : these men declare such striving to be altogether unnecessary. He affirmed, 'except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish': they say that sinners may be saved without repentance. Scripture asks, 'If the righteous scarcely be saved' 1 Pet.
Scripture uniformly teaches that unless the believer perseveres in holiness he will lose heaven: these men insist that he will merely forfeit some 'millennial crown. As one of the Puritans quaintly yet truly expressed it, 'The face of error is highly painted and powdered so as to render it attractive to the unwary. They are diligent in seeking to discredit those truths they design to overthrow by branding them 'legal doctrines' and denouncing as 'Judaizers' those who are set for the defence of them. They speak much about 'grace,' yet it is not that Divine grace which 'reigns through righteousness' Rom.
With 'cunning craftiness' they 'lie in wait to deceive' Eph. Many of the false prophets of Protestantism have popularized themselves by granting their deluded followers the liberty of preaching. As any reader of ecclesiastical history knows, it has been a favorite device of false prophets in all ages to spread their errors through the efforts of their converts, flattering their conceits by speaking of their 'gifts' and 'talents': by multiplying lay preachers they draw after them a host of disciples. Such incompetent novices are themselves ignorant of the very A B C of the Truth, yet in their egotism and presumption deem themselves qualified to explain the deepest mysteries of the Faith.
And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel, of light' 2 Cor. In all opposition to the Truth there is an agent at work which it belongs to the office of the Spirit of Truth to discover and unmask. If 'another gospel' Gal. Satan is the arch-dissembler, being the prince of duplicity as well as of wickedness. When he had the awful effrontery to tempt the Lord Jesus he came with the Word of God on his lips saying, 'It is written' Matthew !
They claim to be the 'apostles [or 'missionaries'] of Christ,' but they have received no call or commission from Him. Nor should we marvel at their pretence when we remember the hold which the father of lies has over men. They are 'deceitful workers,' for they pose as champions of the Truth and as being actuated by a deep love for souls. As sin does not present itself to us as sin nor as paying death for its wages, but rather as something pleasant and desirable, and as Satan never shows himself openly in his true colors, so his 'ministers' put on the cloak of sanctity, pretending to be dead to the world and very self-sacrificing.
They are crafty, specious, tricky, hypocritical. What urgent need, then, is there to be on our guard, that we be not imposed upon by every mealy-mouthed and 'gracious' impostor who comes to us Bible in hand. How we should heed that injunction, 'Prove all things' 1 Thess. Certain it is, my reader, that any preacher who rejects Gods Law, who denies repentance to be a condition of salvation, who assures the giddy and godless that they are loved by God, who declares that saving faith is nothing more than an act of the will which every person has the power to perform, is a false prophet, and should be shunned as a deadly plague.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. No idle or needless warning was this, but one which should be seriously taken to heart by all who have any concern for the glory of God or value their eternal interests.
Our danger is real and pressing, for 'false prophets' are not few in number but 'many' 1 John , and instead of being found only in the notoriously heretical sects, have 'crept in' among saints until they now dominate nearly all the centers of orthodoxy. If we are deceived by them and imbibe their lies the result is almost certain to be fatal, for error acts upon the soul as deadly poison does on the body. For these reasons it is imperative that we should be on our guard.
But to be properly on our guard requires that we should be informed, that we should know how to recognize these deceivers. Nor has our Lord left us unfurnished at this vital point, as the succeeding verses show. First, what sort of knowledge is it that is mentioned? Is it relative or absolute? Is it the forming of a credible and reliable judgment of the teachers we sit under and whose writings we peruse, or is it an unerring discernment which precludes us from making any mistake? Second, how is this knowledge obtained?
Is it a Divine endowment or a human acquirement? Is it one of the spiritual gifts which accompanies regeneration, a sense of spiritual perception bestowed upon the Christian, or is it something after which we must labour, which can be procured only by our own diligence and industry? Third, what are the 'fruits' brought forth by the false prophets? Are they their character and conduct, or is something else intended? Really, it is this third question which is the principal one to be pondered, but we will say a little upon the first two before taking it up.
The answer to the first question should be fairly obvious, for even in this day of human deification we have heard of none laying claim to infallibility except the arch-humbug at Rome. But though the knowledge here predicated be not an inerrant one, yet it is something much superior to a vague and uncertain one.
In those words our Lord lays down a rule, and like all general rules we may make mistakes—both favorable and unfavorable—in the application of it. The knowledge which Christ here attributes to His people is such a persuasion as to inform them how they should act toward those who appear before them as preachers and teachers, enabling them to test their claims and weigh their messages.
Though it does not always enable its possessor to penetrate the disguise worn by impostors, yet it is sufficient to arouse his suspicion and, if acted on, to preserve him from falling a prey to deceivers. It is a knowledge which fortifies the Christian from being beguiled by religious seducers. And how is this knowledge procured?
It is both obtained and attained: obtained from God, attained by practice. In that light the Christian is able to perceive things which previously were hidden from him, yet he must perforce walk with Him who is light if he is not to recede into the shadows. There are degrees of light, and the measure of our spiritual illumination decreases as distance increases between us and 'the Sun of righteousness. The faculty of spiritual perception belongs to each soul renewed by the Spirit, yet faculties unemployed soon become useless to their possessors.
When the apostle was contrasting unhealthy saints with the healthy Heb. By their 'fruits' we understand, principally, their creed, their character, and their converts. Is it not by these three things that we recognize the true prophets? The genuine servants of God give evidence of their Divine commission by the doctrine they proclaim: their preaching is in full accord with the Word of Truth.
The general tenor of their lives is in harmony therewith, so that their daily walk is an example of practical godliness. Those whom the Spirit quickens and edifies under their preaching bear the features of their ministerial fathers and follow the lead of their shepherds. Conversely, the ministers of Satan, though feigning to be the champions of the Truth, oppose and corrupt it: some by denying its Divine authority, some by mingling human tradition with it, others by wresting it or by withholding vital, portions thereof. Though their outward conduct is often beyond reproach, yet their inward character, the spirit which actuates them, is that of the wolf—sly, cruel, fierce.
And their converts or disciples are like unto them. The true prophet accords God His rightful place. He is owned as the King of kings and Lord of lords, as the One who 'worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. He is declared to be God in fact as well as in name: One whose claims upon us are paramount and incontestable, One who is to be held in the utmost reverence and awe, One who is to be served with fear and rejoiced in with trembling Ps. Such a God the false prophets neither believe in nor preach. On the contrary, they prate about a God who wants to do this and who would like to do that, but cannot because His creatures will not permit it.
Having endowed man with a free will, he must neither be compelled nor coerced, and while Deity is filled with amiable intentions He is unable to carry them out. Man is the architect of his fortunes and the decider of his own destiny, and God a mere Spectator. The true prophet gives Christ His rightful place, which is very much more than to be sound concerning His person.
Romanists are more orthodox about the deity and humanity of Christ than are multitudes of Protestants, yet the former as much as the latter are grossly heterodox upon His official status. The true prophet proclaims the Lord Jesus as the covenant Head of His people, who was set up before the foundation of the world to fulfil all the terms of the covenant of grace on their behalf and to secure for them all its blessings. He sets forth Christ as the 'Surety' and 'Mediator' of the covenant Heb. All that Christ did here upon earth and that which He is now doing in heaven was and is the working out of an eternal compact.
Nothing was left to chance, nothing remained uncertain, nothing was rendered contingent upon anything the creature must do. About this glorious and fundamental truth the false prophets are completely silent. It was to fit Him for His covenant engagements that the Surety became incarnate. It was to redeem His people from the curse of the Law that Christ was made under it, fulfilled its terms, endured its penalty in the room and stead of His covenant people.
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It was for them, and no others, that He shed His precious blood. Because He faithfully and perfectly discharged His covenant obligations, the Father has sworn with an oath that all for whom He acted shall be eternally saved, that not one of these shall perish, solemnly declaring that 'He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied' Isa. God has made with Christ, and His people in Hint, 'an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure ' 2 Sam. But the false prophets reverse all this. They misrepresent the redemptive work of Christ as being a vague, indefinite, general, promiscuous thing, rendering nothing sure.
They preach a salvation which is uncertain and contingent, as though it were for anybody or nobody as the caprice of men shall decide: Christ provided it and if we accept of it well and good; if not, He will be disappointed. The true prophet puts man in his proper place. He declares that man is a depraved, ruined and lost creature, dead in trespasses and sins.
He points out that man is alienated from God, that his mind is enmity against Him, that he is an inveterate rebel against Him. He shows this to be true not only of those in heathendom, but equally so of those born in Christendom: that 'There is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God' Rom. He makes it clear that man is a total wreck, that no part of his being has escaped the fearful consequences of his original revolt from his Maker: that his understanding is darkened, his affections corrupted, his will enslaved.
Because of what transpired in Eden man has become the slave of sin and the captive of the Devil. He has no love for the true and living God, but instead a heart that is filled with hatred against Him; so far from desiring or seeking after Him, he endeavors by every imaginable means to banish Him from his thoughts.
He is blind to His excellency, deaf to His voice, defiant of His authority and unconcerned for His glory. The true prophet goes still farther. He not only portrays the sinner as he actually is, but he announces that man is utterly unable to change himself or better his condition one iota. He solemnly announces man to be 'without strength,' that he cannot bring himself into subjection to the Divine Law or perform a single action pleasing to God Rom.
He insists that the Ethiopian can change his skin or the leopard his spots more readily than they who are accustomed to do evil can perform that which is good Jer. In short, he declares that man is hopelessly and irremediably lost unless a sovereign God is pleased to perform a miracle of grace upon him. But it is the very opposite with the false prophets. They speak 'smooth things' and flatter their hearers, persuading them that their case is very far from being as desperate as it really is.
If they do not expressly repudiate the Fall, or term it as the Evolutionists a 'fall upward,' they greatly minimize it, making it appear to be only a slight accident which may be repaired by our own exertions, that man is little affected by it, that he still has 'the power to accept Christ. According as the fall of man be viewed and preached so will be the conceptions of men concerning the need and nature of redemption. Almost every Gospel truth will necessarily be colored by the light in which we view the extent of the fall. Why, if I be in possession of freedom of will and am now on probation, everything must turn on the use I make of this all-important endowment.
But can this be made to square with the Scriptures? Yes, by a little wresting of them. It is true that false prophets hate the very word 'election,' but if they are pressed into a corner they will try and wriggle out of it by saying that those whom God elected unto salvation are the ones whom He foreknew would be willing to accept Christ, and that explanation satisfies ninety-nine per cent of their hearers.
The truth is God foreknew that if He left men to their pleasure none would ever accept Christ Rom. Had not God eternally chosen me, I certainly had never chosen Him. The same holds true of regeneration. If the sinner be spiritually impotent and his case hopeless so far as all self-effort and help are concerned, then he can no more quicken himself than can a rotten corpse in the tomb. A dead man is powerless, and that is precisely the natural condition of every member of the human race, religious and irreligious alike: 'dead in trespasses and sins.
This was expressly insisted upon by Christ when He declared: 'which were born not of blood [by descent from godly parents], nor of the will of the flesh [by their own volition], nor of the will of man [by a persuasive preacher], but of God' John There must be an act of Divine creation before anyone is made a new creature in Christ.
But the false prophets represent man to be merely 'bruised' or at most crippled by the fall, and insist that he may be born again simply by accepting Christ as his personal Saviour—a thing which none can do until he is brought from death unto life. The genuine prophet trumpets forth with no uncertain sound the grand truth of justification. Rightly did Luther declare that 'Justification by faith is the doctrine of a standing or falling church,' for those who pervert it corrupt the Gospel at its very heart. To be 'justified' is very much more than being pardoned: it is the declaration by the Divine Judge that the believer is righteous, and therefore entitled to the reward of the Law, but how is this possible when man has no righteousness of his own and is totally unable to produce any?
But the false prophets deny and ridicule this basic truth of the imputed righteousness of Christ. The true prophet gives the Holy Spirit His rightful place, not only in the Godhead, as co-eternal and co-equal with the Father and the Son, but in connection with salvation. Salvation is the gift of the Triune God: the Father planned it, the Son purchased it, the Spirit communicates it. The genuine servant of God is very explicit in declaring that the work of the Holy Spirit is as indispensable as the work of Christ: the One serving for His people, the Other acting in them.
It is His office to work repentance in them, to communicate faith unto them, to draw out their hearts unto Christ. The soundest and most faithful preaching in the world will avail nothing else unless the Holy Spirit applies iii in quickening power; the most winsome offers and persuasive appeals will be useless until the Spirit bestows the hearing ear. The true prophet knows this, and therefore has he no confidence in his own abilities, but humbly seeks and earnestly prays for the power of the Spirit to rest upon him.
But how different is it with deceivers of souls! The genuine servant of God not only realizes the truth of that word, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts' Zech. He has been made to feel his utter insufficiency to handle sacred things, and to realize that if he is to enter into the spiritual meaning of the Word he must be Divinely taught in his own soul. A mere intellectual study of the letter of Scripture cannot satisfy one who longs for a deeper experimental knowledge of the Truth, nor will he be contented with simply informing the minds of his hearers.
As it is a tender conscience and a fuller heart-acquaintance with God and His Christ that he covets for himself, so it is to the conscience and heart of his hearers that he addresses himself. It is the opposite with the false prophets: they are occupied solely with the letter of Scripture, with outward profession: there is no deep probing, nothing searching in their messages, nothing to disturb the religious worldling.
Another mark by which many of the false prophets may be recognized is the disproportionate place they give to prophecy in their preaching and teaching. This has ever been a favorite device of religious charlatans, as those versed in ecclesiastical history are well aware. Nor should any observer of human nature be surprised at this. God has placed an impenetrable veil upon the future, so that none can know 'what a day may bring forth' Prov. But man is intensely curious about coming events and gives a ready ear to any who pretend to be able to enlighten him.
If on the one hand the irreligious will flock to palmists, astrologers and other fortune-tellers, the religious will crowd around anyone who claims to be able to explain the mysterious contents of the Apocalypse. In times of war and national calamity the curious are easily beguiled by men with charts on the book of Daniel. The express prohibition of our Lord, 'It is not for you to know the times or the seasons' Acts , should deter His people from giving ear to those who claim to have 'light' thereon.
These are men who boast of their soundness in the Faith, and obtain a hearing among those who regard themselves as the cream of orthodoxy. Thus far we have dwelt upon their creed, on what they believe and teach: in our next we shall describe some of the distinguishing traits of their characters, and then point out that the type of converts they make also serves to identify them by the 'fruit' they produce. Our design in entering into such detail is that young Christians may be furnished with a full-length photo of these deceivers, and to make it clear that we are not condemning such because they differ from us on one or two minor matters, but because they are thoroughly corrupt in doctrine.
Ponder Acts During the days of His earthly ministry the Lord Jesus furnished full proof that He was the perfect Preacher as well as the model Man. That fact has not received the attention which it deserves, especially among those responsible for training the future occupants of our pulpits. We have perused numerous works on homiletics, but never came across one which attempted to analyze and summarize the methods followed by Christ in His public and private discourses.
If the believer finds it necessary and beneficial to ponder the prayers of the Saviour in order that his devotional life may be directed and enriched thereby, surely the minister of the Gospel should feel it both essential and helpful to make a close study of how He approached and addressed both sinners and saints. Even if the student confines his attention to the Sermon on the Mount he will perceive how wide was the range of this single Address, how numerous were the themes covered, how diverse the characters dealt with, and thus how many-sided is the work of the ministry.
First the Lord depicted those upon whom the benediction of God rests, describing them according to their character and conduct. Next He defined the function and purpose of His servants:. Then He declared His attitude unto the Law and the prophets and inculcated the basic law of His kingdom Next He expounded the spirituality of the Law and showed it demands conformity of heart as well as of action, displaying the high and holy standard which God will in no wise lower.
This was followed by a warning against hypocrisy, especially in connection with prayer and fasting. Treasures in heaven were contrasted with those on earth, and the futility of seeking to serve two masters shown. Expostulation was made against covetousness and carking care. The subject of judging others was opened up, spiritual ambition encouraged, and the golden rule enunciated. The ways of death and of life were faithfully drawn. This brief summary brings us to our present passage, which opens with a solemn warning. It is not sufficient to enforce the Law and expound the Gospel.
Nor has the pulpit completed its task by setting before believers their various duties and calling to the discharge thereof. There are enemies to be warned against. Doubtless it is a far more delightful task to expatiate upon the riches of Divine grace and the excellencies and glories of the Redeemer; but there are also other matters which need attention.
If the example of Christ and His apostles is to be followed the saints are to be put on their guard against those who would seduce them, who with 'cunning craftiness. Salvation is obtained by coming to the knowledge of the Truth 1 Tim. The very fact that eternal destiny is involved by what we believe is sufficient to show the deep seriousness of the issue here raised.
He who has the care of souls must spare no pains in sounding the alarm. Herein we behold their 'cunning craftiness. They proclaim themselves to be genuine Christians, whereas in reality they are the emissaries of Satan. They feign themselves to be the teachers of the Truth, but their aim is to instill falsehoods. They work not outside in the profane world, but among the assemblies of the saints, pretending to he deeply taught of God, the champions of orthodoxy, men filled with love, earnestly seeking the good of souls. Beware of them, says the great Shepherd of the sheep, for inwardly they are ravening wolves—fierce, merciless, seeking the destruction of the flock.
Let that fact alarm you, arouse you to your danger and make you vigilant in guarding against it. Suffer not yourselves to be imposed upon. And what is the best course to take in order to heed this solemn warning? What is the wisest policy to follow so as to be safeguarded from these murderers of souls? How shall we obtain the needed wisdom that we may be enabled to detect and identify these subtle dissemblers?