THE IMPERSONATOR

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At this moment I am sitting in my yard listening to a flock of blue jays squawking in the woods. They discovered a four or five foot pine snake in a tree and, surrounding him, are making a terrible racket to scare him off. In the photograph above, the snake is impersonating a tree limb by stretching himself between the two small, limbless tree trunks. He is lying still, patiently waiting for a bird to land so he can inject his poison.

This scene calls to remembrance another snake that uses deception. The Apostle John described him like this:

“… the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…. ” Revelation 12:9

This snake disguises himself as “truth” through various false religions. Since he deceives the whole world, he is a pro at “blending in the surroundings” and mixing his lies with the “truth”, in order to ensnare the unwise and unsuspecting.

But, no fear disciples of the Lord Jesus, the word of God and the Holy Spirit will guide you through his “garden”, that is, this world. Therefore:

“Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.”    I Peter 5: 8-9

Carl

Ignorance Is A Terrible Thing

One evening last week, we went outside to check on a juvenile Goldfinch that was asleep on top of the bird feeder. Little guy was fluffed up with his head tucked behind a wing, a miniature ball of feathers. We didn’t know if he was sick or had one too many sunflower seeds. When my wife made a squeeky noise, he opened his eyes and stared at us for three or four seconds before taking to the wing. Seems he was just napping.

As my wife started watering the petunias in the window boxes, I stood by the car surveying the trees and the surrounding woods. Suddenly, without any words or thoughts, I became aware of how blessed I was that I did not have to fear the evil spirits in the woods.

What? I realize this is a strange statement but let me explain.

I had recently viewed the testimony of Chief Shoefoot, a former Yanomami shaman or witch doctor, who Christ Jesus had set free from bondage to the evil spirits that dwelled in the Amazon jungle. As I stood on the driveway that evening, I was reminded of an article in National Geographic, which related how primitive tribes lived in constant fear of the evil spirits that dwelled in the jungle, constantly trying to appease them. Since I had been exposed to the truth in the Holy Bible, thank the Lord, I did not need to fear the kingdom of darkness around me.

Anthropologists say that missionaries should leave these remote tribes alone and let them live as they have for thousand of years. Chief Shoefoot does not agree with them. He said he never wanted to return to his former life. He had experienced what 2 Timothy 2:25-26 revealed:

[25]…if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, [26] and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Ignorance is a terrible thing. The powers of darkness take advantage of ignorance. Ignorance about God Almighty and His ways, about His Son, Jesus, and about what God did for lost mankind through Jesus’ Cross and resurrection. Ignorance about His Holy Spirit and how He comes alongside the believer to comfort and help him.

The jungle dwellers and all men deserve a chance to hear the truth that sets man free from the domain of darkness.

Colossians 1:12-14 says:

[12] giving thanks to the Father….[13] For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, [14] in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Let us offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father for the knowledge of the Truth. The revelation of His Truth is contained in the Holy Bible. How I thank Him for using men and women, who believed the Holy Bible, to establish our country. And let us be faithful to share with those who are still ignorant about God’s wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, mankind’s Messiah.

Thank you for your time.

Carl

Relics Anyone?

When Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire recently, it was reported that early in the fire they were able to move religious relics to safety. You may be asking “What are religious relics?” The following from Martin Luther (1897) by Miss Whately throws light on this unbiblical practice in the 1500s (AD):

In those days of superstition and ignorance people were taught that holy men could perform miracles, cure the sick and even raise the dead. Therefore, they often gave large sums of money for part of the leg or arm, even the tooth of a saint. These relics sold for very high prices, and, indeed, a great part of the wealth of the church [Roman Catholic Church] came from selling of relics. Some of the most precious relics were said to be a part of the cross upon which our blessed Lord was crucified, and the crown of thorns which he wore when the people mocked him…. They also pretended to show some of the hay in which Christ lay in the manager in Bethlehem, and the head of John The Baptist, though it is well known, from history, that the Saracens [Arabs and Muslims] opened his tomb and burned his remains to ashes. (Page 49-50)

We see that a religious relic was, and still is, body parts of the people the church considered holy and items supposedly associated with the Lord’s life on Earth. In the Middle Ages, whichever church had the most religious relics was considered to be the holiest. Martin Luther, being a Catholic Doctor of Theology who started reading and preaching the Bible, knew that relic veneration was not of God and was not based on biblical truth. Like indulgences, he knew it was a money making racket. He tells the following curious story about a relic:

A German, making his confession to a priest in Rome, promised to keep secret whatsoever the priest should impart to him, until he reached home. Whereupon the priest gave him a leg of the donkey on which Christ rode in Jerusalem very neatly bound up in silk, and said, ‘This holy relic on which the Lord Christ did sit, with his sacred legs touching this donkey’s legs.’

Then was the German wondrous glad, and carried the said holy relic with him into Germany. When he got to the borders, he boasted of his holy relic in the presence of four others, his comrades, when, lo! It turned out that each of them had likewise received from the same priest a leg, promising the same secrecy. Thereupon all exclaimed, with great wonder, ‘Oh, had that donkey five legs?

Page 50: The Story of Martin Luther edited by Miss Wheatley (1897)

The spiritual gloom created by the teaching and commandments of men produced this erroneous practice of relic veneration ….and they both are going on today.

Jesus Christ said,

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32

May His word set you free from the religious teachings and commandments of men.

Carl

When It’s Not Safe to Die

The following is an excerpt from One Heartbeat Away by author Mark Cahill. His book is designed to help us think about the inevitable: our death. It is a great witnessing tool to promote discussion with anyone not sure of their eternal destiny.

“I talked to a young man one day who mentioned that he had been injured and ended up on an emergency room operating table. He said his heart had stopped beating and as his soul rose out of his body, immediately the sense of an evil presence began to come over him and he could hear an evil, hissing laughter. He told me he was so glad to get back into his body and be alive. He now knows how real evil is.

A respiratory nurse who works in an emergency room told me about a patient who had gone “code red,” —he flatlined. She and some other medical personnel rushed over with the defibrillator to try to bring him back to life. They applied the paddles and revived him. She said that he started screaming and shouting, “The heat! the heat!” Then his heart stopped again.

They brought him back to the second time. He shouted, “The flames, the flames!” They lost him again.

Four times the man flatlined and was brought back, each time shouting about the heat or the flames. After the last time, he died, and they couldn’t bring him back. She said all the doctors and nurses just stood there for a few minutes and stared at the body. They all knew that man went to hell. He was screaming it to them before he even got out of here.

I have met several people (all in a non-drug and non-alcohol-induced state) who experienced a burning hell rather than being with Jesus, or the typical tunnel- and white-lights scenario. So, don’t believe that sweetness-and-light neardeath stories are the only kind people report.

Dr. Maurice Rawlings, a cardiologist, has witnessed numerous patients during and after their near-death experiences and reported his findings in Omni magazine. After interviewing 300 patients immediately after resuscitation, Dr. Rawlings says that nearly half of them reported seeing a lake of fire, devil-like figures, and other sights reflecting the reality of hell. “There is a life after death,” Rawlings said, and if I don’t know where I’m going, it’s not safe to die. ” (Source: Chick Publication)

Dear Reader: God created the lake of fire, what we call hell, for the devil and his angels, not for man. He is not willing that any should perish but that all would repent of their sins and trust in Jesus as the sacrifice for their sins. He sent Jesus to the Cross to pay the penalty of your and my sins so that we would not have to pay for them, for the wages of sin is death.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

John 3:16-17

Therefore, if you are without Christ in this evil world, call out to Him now and ask Him to save you from the guilt and penalty of your sins.

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

Romans 10: 8-11

Jesus will save you from the wrath of God. You will be born again and become a new creation in Christ Jesus. Don’t let the devil fool you. This is the decision he wants you to put off so you will be with him in hell for eternity.

Drop me a comment if I can help you get started in your Christian walk.

God bless!

Carl

No Longer Anxious

“I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize that He is able to carry out His will for me. It does not matter where He places me, or how. That is for Him to consider, not me, for in the easiest positions He will give me grace, and in the most difficult ones His grace is sufficient.”

― Hudson Taylor (21 May 1832 – 3 June 1905) was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission (CIM, now OMF International).

From: The Berean Call

In Defense of the Faith

Dear Reader: the following is an question concerning the authenticity of the Bible that was received by The Berean Call. Dave Hunt, the author of the God Makers, The Mind Invaders, and The Woman Rides The Beast, gives an excellent answer. I pray you are blessed by the discussion. Carl

February 1, 2019 Dave Hunt – Berean Call– February Newsletter

What about Satan as Serpent?

Question: I think one of the great evidences against the authenticity of the Bible is its treatment of the serpent. In the Bible, the serpent is the embodiment of evil, whereas ancient myths and religions give exactly the opposite view. The Bible equates the serpent with the devil, but the most ancient religions, some of which are even practiced  to the present time, almost universally identify the serpent as the Savior, or at least as benevolent and to be worshiped. How can the Bible be true at the same time be so much out of touch with what is clearly the common intuition of humanity?

Response: This is a fascinating subject, and its implications go beyond our ability to understand fully. There is no doubt that the Bible repeatedly identifies Satan both as the serpent and the dragon, not only in Genesis 3 but elsewhere. For example, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation:12:9 – “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”)

In view of the usual human revulsion and fear of both dragons and serpents, one would think that Satan would do everything possible to deny such a connection, yet the opposite seems to be the case, for some strange reason. How intriguing it is that both are so closely associated with nearly all pagan religions. The dragon is found on thousands of temples throughout Asia, while the serpent permeates and even dominates the religion of India.

Serpent Worship Everywhere

In the temples of ancient Egypt and Rome the body of the god Serapis was encircled by the coils of a great serpent. In Hinduism one of the three chief gods, Shiva, has serpents entwined in his hair. Yoga is symbolized as a raft made of cobras, and its goal is to awaken the kundalini power coiled at the base of the human spine in the form of a serpent. Numerous other examples could be given, from the plumed serpent Quetzalcoatl, the Savior-god of the Mayas, to the annual snake dance of the Hopi Indians. One of the greatest authorities on the occult (himself a practitioner of occultism) has written:

“Serpent worship in some form permeated nearly all parts of the earth. The serpent mounds of the American Indian; the carved-stone snakes of Central and South America; the hooded cobras of India; Python, the great snake of the Greeks; the sacred serpents of the Druids; the Midgard snake of Scandinavia; the Nagas of Burma, Siam, and Cambodia . . . the mystic serpent of Orpheus; the snakes at the oracle of Delphi . . . the sacred serpents preserved in the Egyptian temples; the Uraeus coiled upon the foreheads of the Pharaohs and priests—all these bear wintess to the universal veneration in which the snake was held. . . .”

” The serpent is . . . the symbol and prototype of the Universal Savior, who redeems the world by giving creation the knowledge of itself. . . .  It has long been viewed as the emblem of immortality. It is the symbol of reincarnation.” (Manley P. Hall, The Secret Teachings or all Ages: An Encyclopedic outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Sybolical Philosophy (The Philosophical Research Society, Inc, Lost Angeles, CA 90027, 1969)

In Greek mythology a serpent was wrapped around the Orphic egg, the symbol of the cosmos. Likewise at Delphi, Greece (for centuries the location of the most sought-for and influential oracle of the ancient world, consulted by potentates from as far away as North Africa and Asia Minor), the three legs of the oracular tripod in the inner shrine of the temple were intertwined with serpents. As one further example, consider the Greek and Roman god of medicine, Aesculapius, whose symbol of modern medicine, the caduceus, was derived.

In the temples erected in his honor, Aesculapius was worshiped with snakes because of ancient myth that said he had received a healing herb at the mouth of a serpent. Here again we have the Genesis story perverted: The serpent is not the deceiver and destroyer but the Savior of mankind, replacing Jesus Christ. At graduation ceremonies of medical schools around the world, where prayers to the God of the Bible or to Jesus Christ would not be allowed, graduates, upon receiving their MD degrees, still repeat loudly in unison the Hippocratic oath. It begins, “I swear by Apollo, by Aesculapius, by Hygeia and Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses. . . .”

Surely the Bible’s depiction of Satan as a serpent and dragon, the deceiver and destroyer of mankind, and then as the god of this world who originates pagan religions, fits the evidence. Furthermore, the very fact that the Bible stands alone against all ancient religions provides further evidence that all of them have a common source and that the inspiration behind the Bible is, exactly as it claims, independent of theirs. In fact, the two sources of inspiration are obviously diametrically opposed.

Easy, Easy, Easy

“It is an easy thing to be godly from the teeth outward.”

Preceeding quote is from Matthew Henry’s (1710 AD) comments describing false teachers in Romans 16:18. 

One godly characteristic the false teachers exhibited was “Christian” speech. From the teeth outward they appeared godly. In other words, they used Christian lingo and profess to be Christian but inwardly, in their heart, they are ravenous wolves sent by satan to mislead the true born again Christians. They use their oratory skills and cunning to lead Christians astray. The scripture says

“… and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” (Romans 16:18)

The Lord Jesus warned about these people:

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. [16] You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? [17] So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. [18] A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. [19] Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [20] So then, you will know them by their fruits. …. (Matthew 7: 15-20)

Don’t be “unsuspecting” but be a fruit inspector. The Lord Jesus is telling you and me that by examining the fruit of their lives you can recognize the ravenous wolves despite their Christian words, mannerisms, associations, and their smooth and flattering speech.

In another blog we will discuss some of the fruit you should look for.

THEREFORE, “Gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit” (I Peter 1:13) and “be on alert, your adversary, the devil, prowls about…seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8).

Carl