All posts filed under: Bible

Why are you angry at God?

I was reading an interesting article on Denison Forum by Jay Richardson, who pastors Highland Colony Baptist Church in Ridgeland, MS. He was asked to counsel a Christian woman who was struggling spiritually.

Becoming drunk in the Holy Spirit?

There are a few passages in the Bible that speak of one of the more unusual manifestations of the Holy Spirit. It talks about people being so overcome by the Holy Spirit, that they appear drunk to outsiders. And I was reminded of this in a recent story on CBN by Vernell Windsor, a regular columnist, who along with a friend had decided to attend a church service in North Carolina. During the service, Vernell writes that she was so overcome by the presence of God, that she became drunk in the Holy Spirit: “The presence of the Lord was in that place. During worship, I forgot all about my friend and realized I could no longer stand. I was weeping and got all snotty-nosed,” Vernell said. “Strangely, I was also laughing because the joy of the Lord was flowing all through me. My friend was trying to protect me from getting trampled upon as people were headed to and from the altar and dancing around, but I was oblivious to any danger,” Vernell added. …

Sports Illustrated claims prayer at sporting events erodes democracy

In a recent article (June 13, 2022), Sports Illustrated (SI) suggested that allowing players and coaches to pray prior to a game would lead to the erosion of democracy, Breitbart reports. The magazine was discussing a court case before the Supreme Court involving Joe Kennedy who was fired as an assistant coach by Bremerton High, because he prayed with his players on the football field. Breitbart explains: “This Sports Illustrated article is little else but a long smear against Christians, conservatives, and white people in general, and coach Kennedy in particular, and on a vicious personal level, at that,” Breitbart News noted. Conservatives and religious freedom activists took to social media to lambaste Sports Illustrated for such a disgraceful display of left-wing bias. It’s expected that the Supreme Court will soon make a ruling on the case involving religious freedom. READ: Sports Illustrated Blasted for Saying Prayer in Sports is ‘Eroding Democracy’ Breitbart also supplied a few tweet responses to SI’s article written by Greg Bishop: A couple of my favorites:

Do Not Confuse Your Bad Temper with the Burden of the Lord

By Dr. Michael L. Brown

It is true that Jesus drove the money changers out of the Temple and overturned their tables. It is also true that He called the hypocritical religious leaders snakes and blind guides. But He was the Son of God and we are not, and all too often, mean-spirited Christians point to His example in order to justify their carnal behavior. This is a dangerous mistake to make.

‘Vile, satanic attack’ in Nigeria leaves over 50 worshipers dead, including children

This past Sunday, June 5, 2022, gunmen attacked a church in Southwestern Nigeria, killing at least 50, many of them children. The governor of Ondo State, where the attack took place, described it as a ‘vile and satanic attack,’ and he may have a point. According to reports, the people were just gathering for morning mass, when the gunman opened fire on members of St. Francis Catholic Church. One group of terrorists entered the church firing their weapons, while others remained outside, gunning down members of the congregation fleeing the carnage. The group also set off explosives inside the church, and there are reports that they kidnapped the church’s priest. It is suspected that the attackers were connected to Islamic terrorists in Nigeria that have been attacking Christians in the northern regions of Nigeria for the past several years. Nigeria has a population of 216 million and 54% of them are Muslim, who are concentrated in northern Nigeria, and 46% are Christians with nearly three-quarters protestants. Since the beginning of January, CBN reports that Islamic …

Former child actor Richard Keith explains how God saved and delivered him from a demonic attack

In a recent interview with The 700 Club, child-actor Keith Thibodeaux, 71, shared how his involvement in the occult led him to become suicidal and how this was broken after he received a vision of Jesus, CBN reports. Thisbodeaus, who later changed his name to Richard Keith, is best known for playing the role of “Little Ricky Ricardo” on the 1950s TV hit series I Love Lucy. He would later go on to have roles in The Luci-Dezi Comedy show and the Andy Griffin show. I addition, Keith played in a secular band, called David and the Giants. At the age of 5, Keith was already earning $2,000 a month playing drums for a band called Horace Heidt Orchestra, when His father took him to an audition for the I Love Lucy Show. In his interview, Keith shared two stories that dramatically impacted him and sent him on a downward spiritual slide. It started when his mom and dad divorced after his father had an affair. Keith said the divorce made him extremely angry not …

Hold Fast to That Which Is Good

By Rick Renner

Years ago I was invited to have lunch with a man who said he wanted to talk. As I sat with him, he began to tell me the many reasons why he had abandoned believing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. At first, I thought maybe he just needed someone to talk to about his doubts, but soon I realized this man was deeply bitter. I finally understood he had asked me to lunch in an attempt to dissuade me, and whoever else would listen, from believing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Weeds in the driveway

Almost one year ago, my wife and I plus our dog moved to a new home. This once beautiful large lot on the edge of town had become overgrown with bushes, dead trees, and huge wild roses. I have been spending months cleaning out dead trees, garbage, and weeds. Much of this work only requires brawn and not too much thinking. One day, I had the idea to talk to God about my plans for the property; I needed wisdom. One of my winter jobs was to remove a very large raccoon nest; at the same time, I needed to fill a low area on our land. I felt like God was saying, don’t burn it, use it in the low area. Ha, how come I didn’t think of that? Like I said, I’m good at moving the junk, just not thinking about it. Then spring came, and I could not put off the large paved driveway with all the cracks in it any longer. I got several pails of cold patch pothole filler and …

The spirit of Leviathan

Don Nicely

Has someone ever twisted the truth into a lie about you? Maybe someone saw something that you were doing and misread your intentions. Has a talebearer ever distorted what you said or did? Have you ever been told something which you allowed the enemy to twist your mind until it was no longer the truth when you retold it?

Entangled

By Rick Renner

In the early years of our ministry in the former Soviet Union, a group of local psychiatrists determined among themselves that I was using a high level of hypnosis to control the people who attended our church. They stated that my level of hypnosis was so developed that I could even manipulate and control people who read my monthly teaching letters that we sent to television viewers.

A depressed Muslim woman becomes a believer after audibly hearing the word ‘Jesus’

CBN recently reported on the remarkable conversion of a Muslim woman, Aisha, who was born in Amman, Jordan to a very strict Muslim family. After her family moved to the US, Alisha became pregnant when she was 17 years old. Fearing that her father would kill her, Alisha secretly had an abortion. But in the years that followed, Aisha experienced condemnation because of her illegitimate child and abortion. She had been taught that Allah hated her and though she repeatedly begged Allah for mercy, she didn’t believe it would ever come. As she struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, Aisha stated that her remarkable conversion started when she audibly heard the name Jesus as she was pleading to Allah for mercy. Hearing Christ’s name, who is considered a healing prophet in the Islamic faith, Aisha decided to pray to Jesus and immediately felt a great peace come over her. It is also important to note, that though Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross, the Koran says that Christ was taken to heaven …

One major hindrance to answered prayer

I want to briefly discuss one of the major hindrances that we can face to answered prayer, and that is unforgiveness. As I was writing this article, a strange thing happened, as the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance an incident that happened to me over 40 years ago. I was single and a couple of months away from getting married and working for a Christian man, who shortchanged me about $800 in salary. The Christian boss basically ran off with the company’s money, ending the business. That was a lot of money back then, the equivalent of about $2,790 today. And for a soon-to-be wed couple, my wife and I could have really used it. Though this man left the city, he subsequently turned back to God. Several years later, I actually ran into him when he returned to the city and visited our church. He was now retired, quite poor, and it would have been useless to press the issue. I forgave him, and moved on with my life. But there is a …

Why did Jesus ride a donkey into Jerusalem?

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, people laid their robes and palm branches on the street before the Lord, proclaiming him King. But why did Christ ride in on a donkey? It was a prophetic act. The Apostle John wrote that Jesus told His disciples where they could seek out a donkey colt for the Lord’s final journey into Jerusalem (John 12:13-16). And in this passage, John referred to a prophecy in Zechariah, where the prophet proclaimed that there would be a new King over Israel, the Messiah, who would enter riding a donkey: Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!See, your king comes to you,    righteous and victorious,lowly and riding on a donkey,    on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:10 NIV) Donkeys or mules, the interbreeding of a horse and donkey, were often associated with royalty in ancient Israel. During times of peace, kings typically rode donkeys or mules, so they wouldn’t instill fear into a population (John 12:15). Having just come through a bloody civil war with Absalom, in 1 Kings 1:33, King …

Did Jesus speak about censorship on Palm Sunday?

According to China Aid, a watchdog on religious persecution in Communist China, effective March 1, 2022, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has banned the word “Christ” on China’s social media platforms. The banning was part of rules implemented under the Communist regime’s “Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services.” The Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), a house church movement that started in China in 2006, was one of the first to report the fallout of this new law. China Aid reports that one of ERCC’s members was creating a survey on WeChat, a group messaging app, asking members to vote on their favorite Christian book. Included on the list was one entitled, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. As soon the member typed the word Christ, the WeChat app refused to allow the post to be uploaded and provided the following warning: “The word ‘Christ’ you are trying to publish violates regulations on Internet Information Services, including but not limited to the following categories: pornography, gambling, and drug abuse; excessive marketing; incitement.” …

Why did Jesus call Herod a fox?

There is an interesting story in the Gospel of Luke that tells of the day Jesus called Herod Antipas a fox. Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great, the brutal ruler connected to the birth of Christ, who ordered the deaths of the boys born in Bethlehem in an effort to assassinate Jesus. After Herod the Great died, his kingdom was divided and his son, Herod of Antipas, received a fourth of his father’s kingdom. He was called a Tetrarch, literally a ruler of a fourth, and his territory included Galilee and Jerusalem. Herod Antipas, who ruled during Christ’s ministry years and participated in Christ’s crucifixion, also ordered the beheading of John the Baptist, after the prophet criticized Herod’s marriage to his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias, who was also Herod’s niece (Matthew 14:6–11).. Luke’s story starts with a group of Pharisees warning Jesus to leave Herod’s territory because he was planning to kill the Lord. 31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere …

How gratitude rewires your brain

In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul writes that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). The Greek word translated ‘transformed’, metamorphoō, speaks of an utter and complete change. It is where we get the English word metamorphosis, which describes the process when a caterpillar builds a cocoon, dissolves, and reforms into a butterfly. The change is so dramatic that the butterfly can no longer eat the same thing that it did when it lived as a caterpillar. But for the believer, Paul adds that this transformation takes place as we ‘renew’ our minds. Paul uses the same Greek word, anakainoo, when he writes that we are ‘renewed in the spirit of our mind’ (Ephesians 4:22-24). Anakainoo means to ‘make new,’ ‘make different,’ ‘to renovate’ and refers to a dramatic change, and it’s this change in thinking that transforms us. But when Paul speaks of the spirit of our mind, he is speaking about what controls and directs our thinking. Some Bible versions, such as the NIV, …

After she died, the woman’s spirit left her body and she saw a blue tennis shoe on the hospital roof

The Bible talks about humans having a spirit and a physical body and this separate spirit, is essentially who we really are. And when the Bible speaks of body, soul, and spirit as Paul describes it in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, I believe this additional element, the soul, is what appears after our spirit merges with our physical body.

Praying With Boldness and Confidence

By Rick Renner

I’m so grateful for all the truths and godly qualities that my pastor and church family planted in me during my growing-up years. But I have to say, in all the years I attended that church, I personally can’t remember a time when I heard anyone pray boldly or confidently. I simply had no idea what bold, confident praying sounded like until I attended a seminar at another church where a special speaker was teaching on the subject of faith.

How actor Michael Sheen’s great-grandfather went from town drunk to street preacher

Welsh actor Michael Sheen is best known for playing roles of famous people during his acting career, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in The Deal. He also played the role of journalist David Frost in Frost/Nixon, a movie about Frost’s 1977 interview with US President Richard Nixon. Though I am uncertain of Sheen’s faith, in April 2011, the actor led a modern retelling of The Passion in Port Talbot, Wales, the home of his great-grandfather. The play performed outside over three days involved the dramatic retelling of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. On the first day of the play, which started at 5:30 am on Good Friday morning, it drew a crowd of a few hundred people. By Easter Sunday, the crowd had grown to an estimated 13,000. But Port Talbot also serves as the backdrop to the remarkable spiritual transformation of Sheen’s great-grandfather. His great-grandfather was basically the town drunk, but Sheen says that all changed when one night, after being thrown out of the local pub, he was lying on his back in …

Denzel Washington’s advice to Will Smith: The devil comes for you at your highest moment

I haven’t watched the Oscars for years and probably never will, but there was a shocking moment last night when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after he joked about Will’s wife Jade Pinkett Smith. Jada, who is struggling with hair loss because of alopecia, has chosen to shave her head bald. Rock joked, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” a reference to the movie GI Jane when actress Demi Moore shaved her head bald for the role. Will Smith would go on to win an Oscar that night for best actor in King Richard. But during a commercial break shortly after the slap, Will said that Christian actor Denzel Washington counseled Will and gave some sound advice: “Denzel (Washington) said to me at the highest moment, be careful — that’s when the devil comes for you. It’s like, I want to be a vessel for love.” Will Smith would later apologize and according to reports Chris Rock has chosen not to press charges. But Denzel’s words, that …