All posts filed under: Main

Brussels, Belgium Credit: Francisco Antunes/Flickr/Creative Commons

God Bless You

Do you feel better now? I hear people getting blessed all the time, when they sneeze. In ancient times, people worried that the soul would come out with the sneeze, where the devil might steal it. A blessing would put it back safely. But really, what is the point of a blessing? Is there something we should know here? I learned some lessons about blessing yesterday. Lesson 1) I already know that words spoken into the air have no power, unless God does a miracle. OK, not ‘no power’; I might feel better about myself if I hear myself saying the words, but the other guy only gets words. “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2: 16) Lesson 2) Blessings are common in the Bible, so they must be a good idea. In ancient Israel, the priests were told to say these …

Church in Hishult, Sweden Credit: Jacob Surland/Flickr/Creative Commons

Where Is the Love?

Cue Black Eyed Peas I always seem to get a giddy feeling when I see competitive sports with good sportsmanship. Something about the opposing team helping their opposition up off the ground, giving acknowledgement when someone makes a good play against you, or giving a high-five after a solid punch to the face. Granted, it’s not a very common occurrence, but I absolutely love to see that type of comradery from the opposition. But then, the question begs to be asked: Why do we lack this type of behavior in the church? I don’t mean to say that it doesn’t exist, but nearly every church has seen some kind of separation through its years. I haven’t seen anything extreme, but I’ve heard of people getting worked up enough over the music or seating arrangement that they feel the need to find a new home for Sunday morning. A couple of years ago, I did see some division in my home church. While I won’t get into the specifics of what went on, one of the …

Bridge in Resistencia, Argentina going over Rio Negro River Credit: Google Earth

RESISTENCIA – The Discovery 2005

Español: RESISTENCIA – El Descubrimiento 2005 Gary, Robin and I had travelled to Resistencia, Argentina to try to discover corroborating evidence of the existence of Clifford Long and a Resistencia Revival. Veto, our driver and interpreter arrived at the hotel to pick us up and I gave instructions to Veto that we needed to go to the oldest area of Resistencia. The building that we were looking for had to be at least 50 years old. I also inquired of Veto whether there was a river that ran thru the northwest of Resistencia. “Yes, he replied, it’s called the Rio Negro.” Veto took us to the old area of town and whenever we saw a building like the one that was described in a prophecy we would ask him to stop, we would get out and I would put my hand on the wall of the building and see if I felt anything. This we did about 4 times, I later found out that Veto thought we were in the movie industry and we were …

Festival of the Assumption of Mary being held at a Roman Catholic church in Sicily. Credit: effems/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Why did Mary become so prominent in the Roman Catholic Church?

Several years ago, my wife and I adopted our daughter from a Roman Catholic orphanage in Peru. Part of the process included being in the country for several weeks as we worked through the adoption. We ended up staying at the orphanage where our daughter was living. It was a well-run orphanage and clearly the men and women working there were dedicated to helping these children. My wife and I became friends with a young Peruvian couple working at the orphanage who could speak English. Though committed Catholics, they were also actively involved in the Roman Catholic charismatic movement that held services every Saturday night at the local cathedral, where they emphasized the filling of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts. I remember one evening, my wife and I went to their home for supper and we began talking about doctrine which invariably led to a discussion of Mary. The husband who helped lead the Charismatic group defended the Catholic church’s theological position on Mary . But things took a bit of change when I …

US Capitol Building, Washington, DC Credit: Jason OX4/Flickr/Creative Commons

A time to pray, a time to vote: A message from an “almost” American

It is election day in the USA and I would urge all the American Christians who visit this website to get out and vote. Even though I am a Canadian and can’t vote in the US, I consider these elections important. Now to be fair, I am almost an American. When my maternal grandfather died over three decades ago at the age of 100, my parents made an unusual discovery as they were completing the necessary paper work. They found out that grandpa Walter was not a Canadian citizen. He immigrated to Canada from the US in the early 1900s and never bothered to complete the paperwork of citizenship. He was effectively still an American. And because he was an American, who had been born in the US, my Canadian mother could automatically become an American citizen, which she did becoming a dual citizen. Though she was an American, because she was not born in the US, her children did not have the same privilege. If we wanted to become Americans we would have to …

Church in Lanin National Park, Argentina Credit: javierinsitu/Flickr/Creative Commons

ARGENTINA – Ready or not here we come!

Español: ARGENTINA – ¡Listos o no aquí vamos! The message that I received during my Third Heavenly Visitation was “I WANT MY ARGENTINIAN REVIVAL TO MOVE NORTH – THE RESISTENCIA FOUNTAIN OPEN!” I had no experience in the history of revival and I knew nothing about an Argentinian Revival. My only response was what am I supposed to do? Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her Sonnets from the Portuguese asked a question. “How do I love thee, let me count the ways.” Jesus has loved me, and I love him back and so I wanted to give to him what He desired. When my wife, Trish, comes to me and asks, “Can we go out for supper tonight?” My response is “I can make that happen.” and bless her. The Visitation of 2003 left me praying earnestly “LET YOUR ARGENTINIAN REVIVAL MOVE NORTH – THE RESISTENCIA FOUNTAIN OPEN!” More and more every day this praying (intercession) overtook me and a group of believers. Prayer meetings and services were almost 100% attendance, we were all caught up …

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Show Me The Easy Money

I once met a couple who won a lottery. They were ordinary people in a small town, and no-one would call them especially good-looking or interesting, they were just the neighbors. Before they won, they worked at jobs, and the cost of living was low in the small town. I think they had children and I’m sure their bills were all paid. After they won, they invested their winnings in expensive horses. They did not invest in each other, but they had to travel to the bank together to take out money, so they still had a relationship. I don’t know how anyone can make money on horses, and by now the money is probably gone. My best advice is, ‘Go back to work, that’s where you were successful.’ A woman in Canada won the lottery, one thousand dollars a week, for life. And guess how she is spending her money? She is not into investments, expensive jewellery, or sports cars. I made that up, but she is not doing what we expect. She decided …

Fence in New Forest, Hampshire, England Credit: jodi/Flickr/Creative Commons

Learning to live within your boundaries

Learning to live with healthy personal boundaries is a spiritual journey that has changed my relationship with God, myself, my loved ones and friends. I am easily distracted and when I see a need or someone struggling, I commission myself to rescue that person. Without thinking I step outside my personal boundaries to help the individual. I have had as many as five people on my “to save” list and my husband just shakes his head and quips, “off to save the world again?” What I did not understand is that when I did this I was pushing beyond my own personal boundaries which affected my health and emotional reserves which were often riding on zero.   My tank was empty and it would literally wipe me out. The problem was that I was trying to save people who were not my responsibility to save. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that each of us has boundaries in terms of ministry and we are not to go beyond these borders: 13 We, however, will not boast …

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Messed Up

I hurt someone the other day. I didn’t mean to but I did. I felt convicted about this, so offered my apology and asked for forgiveness. All seemed well and should have been, but I kept rehearsing the event in my mind. “How could I have messed up so badly,” was in my thoughts. I couldn’t let it go. Later that day I read a quote Jill McCormick which pointedly said: “God is not surprised by my mistakes, imperfections and sin. Only He is perfect, which is why He extends me grace.” Sometimes it is easier to see grace extended for others but harder to see the same for myself. I know I am not perfect only He is. I cannot fix everything. Yet I can accept His grace and mercy because it is extended freely with no strings attached. I really want to live more fully in this beautiful grace He offers – even when I mess up. “God always gives you all the grace you need. So you will only have to suffer …

Pakistan Credit: Gordon Dickson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Pakistan Supreme Court releases Asia Bibi charged with blasphemy

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has just released Asia Bibi. A Christian, she has been in jail since 2009 charged with blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammad. The packed court room in Islamabad was surrounded by 300 police when the verdict came down on October 31, 2018. In Pakistan, the blasphemy law comes with a death penalty. Bibi was actually sentenced to death in 2010, but has been appealing the verdict. This was the last stage. If she had lost this case, the government would have executed her. Officially called the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the country has a population of 213 million of which 96.4% are Muslim and only 1.5% are Christian. As soon as court released her, Bibi and her family were taken to an unknown location for fear of retaliation by extremists in the country. During the court case, two high-ranking government officials, including Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, were assassinated because they supported Bibe and even called for changes to the country’s blasphemy laws. After the Supreme Court announcement, protests erupted across Pakistan …

The notorious Evin Prison north of Tehran, Iran Credit: Yaadaavar/Flickr/Creative Commons

God displays His power in Iranian prison as Bible verses show up in an unusual way

Recently Open Doors USA interviewed Mojtaba Hosseini, 30, a former pastor of an Iranian house church, who was arrested by the Iranian secret police as a “threat against national security.” He had been previously arrested for leading a House Church and after his release immediately started leading a second group. This resulted in a second arrest and a three-year term in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison located outside Tehran reserved for political prisoners, murderers and drug dealers. After his release in 2015, Mojtaba left Iran and recently shared how God miraculously provided while he was in prison. He suffered in horrid conditions and admitted he was very scared. Initially he believed God was punishing him and spent hours repenting of his sins. That continued until God spoke to Mojtaba and told him to stop being so selfish and to look at the people around him. For the first time he saw the desperate people inside this prison and realized that God wanted him to share his faith with them. “It’s funny how God works sometimes. It …

Resistencia, Argentina Credit: Valerio, Pillar/Flickr/Creative Commons

2003 – The Third Heavenly Visitation

Español: 2003 – La Tercera Visita Celestial After having met the angel Preacher in the First Visitation and Conquer in the Second Visitation my expectation was that the Third Visitation would be similar. It was not. It was greater in power and I encountered an angel, or someone of a higher order that changed my destiny. About two weeks after Conquer had visited I was awakened in the night with a power in my room so great that I was immediately startled and started to rebuke this being “In Jesus na……”. I was going to command this one to get out of my room. Mid-sentence I shut my mouth, put my head under the covers and said “I’m sorry, what do you want?” I do not know if this was the Lord or the Angel of the Lord but the immediate response was “I WANT MY ARGENTINIAN REVIVAL TO MOVE NORTH!” I try in situations like this to get out at least one intelligent question and so I said “Why?” The answer was “They have …

Wealth comes to China Credit: Jimmie/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have You Fallen From Your Car?

Recently, a young man in Russia posed for a picture, with him sprawled on the ground. His feet were near the bottom step of a very expensive private jet. This was a joke, pretending to be richer than Solomon, and owning a fabulous private jet. Most of the world would never know about this small joke, except that it went viral and became a meme, in China. Now, China has a fad of ‘falling out of your car.’ Typically, a young woman, in expensive clothes will pose for a picture, sprawled on her face. Around her head will be an arch of expensive things that only rich people have, like high-end phones, make-up, jewellery, and wads of cash. Her feet will be near the open door of a very expensive car, as if she fell while getting out. All the hardware and clothes show that she lives the life of a fabulous movie star. RELATED: China’s ‘flaunt your wealth’ challenge goes viral with people falling out of cars with luxury goods I predict this meme …

Credit: Nicholas D./Flickr/Creative Commons

Women need to set boundaries

I believe many Christian women find themselves feeling guilty about things that they think they ’should’ be doing. We do not have a clear understanding about what it means to live a happy, wholesome life. We seem to operate mostly  from guilt and ‘should have’s’. Gerri Scezzarro, author of The Emotionally Healthy Woman, says that we have  a wrong perception of a good, loving Christian woman. She states that most women believe this is how they need to live: “They never say ‘no’.  They have an active social calendar.  They juggle many things and never complain.  They get things done and put others before themselves I fell into this trap and started my Christian experience with this popular phrase as my cornerstone, JOY.   Alas, JOY, (Jesus first, others second and lastly you) did not work for me as I continually sacrificed my own and family’s wants and needs to help others.  I ended up being a joyless Christian women trying to carry my cross and save the whole world. It was not a pretty picture! …

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Heavenly Visitations 1 and 2

Español: Visitaciones celestiales 1 y 2 Dr. Sam Matthews, from Shawnee, Oklahoma serves International Christian Leadership Connections (ICLC) as a member of the Apostolic Company. As I mentioned in my previous article, Dr. Sam had spoken this RHEMA word over me, “If you speak in tongues for three hours a day for 30 days you will have three Heavenly Visitations and you will birth your destiny.” I completed the obedience and spoke in tongues for three consecutive hours a day for 30 days and then I waited. I didn’t know what would happen. What is the proper protocol to receive a Heavenly Visitation and what should the responses be? Early in my Christian life I was taught that if a spirit appears to you, you should demand that it says “Jesus is the Lord.” This stems from I Corinthians 12:3 that reads: “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus is accursed:’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.’” I had also …

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Report: 40% of children born outside of marriage in the US

According to a report recently released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), 4o% of child births in America are outside of marriage. Though this involves a significant number of single parents, according to this study the largest percentage involved couples who have chosen to live together versus getting married. However, data released by Pew Research in 2017, stated that the majority of unwed births (53%) involved single parents and the remaining 47% involved those living in a common law relationship. Though it reported that single parents were the majority, it also revealed the increasing trend of people choosing to live common law and having children because in 1968, 90% of unwed births were in single-parent families and only 10% involved couples living together. This falls in line with the growing number of people choosing to live together, which according to the US Census has increased from 14 million in 2007 to 18 million in 2016, with nearly half involving people under the age of 35. The number of people living common law has increased …

The White House Credit: Adam Fagen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Is the White House haunted?

In an interview on The Today Show in mid October, Jenna Bush Hager, 36, the daughter of former US President George W Bush, claims that the American White House may be haunted. Jenna spoke of the time when she and her twin sister were awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call and suddenly started hearing “1920s piano music, as clear as day, coming out of the fireplace.” Frightened she jumped into bed with her sister who also heard the music. The next week they heard opera music. Jenna’s sister Barbara confirmed the story was true in a 2017 interview with People and E! News stating that the incident was “the wildest thing that ever happened to us living in the White House.” Barbara added that the two thought of running to their parent’s room but talked themselves out of it. If it is not their imagination, could this be signs of demonic activity in the White House? One of the stranger stories in the Old Testament involved a spiritual battle to …

Peter walking on water by Amedee Varin (1818-1883)/Wikipedia

Hello My Name is Peter

Español: Hola mi nombre es Pedro I am six weeks short of age 65. I have never written anything about my experiences. I met Jesus 48 years ago. When I was very young my rather fiery, English war bride Mother would have regular outbursts. All that it took was for one of my friends to call me Pete. She wore hearing aids and there were many different things she didn’t hear, but, she always seemed to hear when I was called Pete. Mother would yell from wherever she was and say “Do not call him that! I named him Peter!!” I always found it odd and a little embarrassing. I was born again when I was 17. I started reading the Bible and I went to my Mother and asked her “Why do you get so upset when people call me Pete?” She explained, from a very deep place inside of her, that I was named Peter, after the Peter in the Bible. It didn’t matter how old I got, teenager, adult, father of my …

St Paul Minnesota Credit: James McLarnan/Flickr/Creative Commons

When Our God Fails Us

I am sure that everyone believes. I am a Christian, and that comes from a choice that I made when I was young. Now I follow and worship Jesus. Many of the people around me, including some friends, do not follow Jesus; but everyone believes. Everyone has a god. Recently a famous journalist in Canada published an article starting with the words “People my age grew up believing the world, led by the West, was becoming more progressive. It wasn’t and isn’t.” The title was “Lose your illusions. It’s an ugly, dystopian world.” If you read Mr MacDonald’s article, you might be offended. He has some strong negative opinions, and he gives out much anger. For example, he describes the United States and Saudi Arabia as “Republic of Dystopia, our southern neighbor, and the Kingdom of Draconia, Canada’s most violent and temperamental weapons customer.” He also describes the President of the U.S. and his American supporters as the “savage, braying president, and guffaws from the simple-minded flying monkeys he commands at his rallies.” RELATED: Lose …

Credit: Chris Campbell/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are you self harming?

Whenever I heard the word ‘self-love,’ it made me cringe as I immediately thought of ‘selfishness’. I was pretty sure this was not the Christian way. In my mind, self-love and selfishness were the same thing. But as I pressed into my journey to wholeness — physically, emotionally and spiritually — the idea of needing to love yourself kept coming up. I wasn’t sure how Biblical this was but thought I needed to find out if it was or wasn’t. It seemed that to heal from past issues and recent traumas that constantly triggered me, I was being pointed in the direction of ‘self-love’. What was I getting myself into? And how did this fit with the verse, “deny yourself and take up your cross and follow after me?” Jesus shed His blood on the cross to save the world and it started to feel like I was doing the same thing, making personal sacrifices for others. But were these the sacrifices that God was asking me to make? Was I being motivated by love …

Lauren Daigle singing at Winter Jam in Columbus, Ohio in 2016 Credit: Caleb Cook/Flickr/Creative

Lauren Daigle, a story of God’s calling and anointing?

I was reading an interesting article on the sudden rise of Christian singer Lauren Daigle, 27. If you have watched American Idol over the past few years, you may already have heard of her as she was a participant. Today she has a successful career as a Gospel singer. But in September 2018, Lauren caught many by surprise when her song “Look Up Child” suddenly took off coming in third on the Billboard 200, a secular chart. This put her behind Paul McCartney and Eminem, but ahead of superstars Niki Minaji, Drake and Ariana Grande. Of course her song dominated the Christian Billboard charts, but coming in near the top on a secular chart suggested her Christian-themed music was spilling over into the secular market. In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Lauren said that one of the goals of her music team has been to “extend the tent pegs.” This is a reference to a verse out of Isaiah, where the prophet gave a word to the barren women to start singing with …

Priscilla Shirer: YouTube capture

Don’t be out of step with the Gospel in terms of race

I was recently struck by the words of Priscilla Shirer, 44. She is a black woman, a motivational speaker, TV host, author, preacher and founder of Going Beyond Ministries. Priscilla recently had her first acting role in the Christian movie War Room playing Elizabeth, the wife of Tony Jordan. Chuck Bernal, the pastor of Lifepoint Church, recently shared a video on Facebook of some profound statements Priscilla made about race, politics and the Christian faith. On the video that has been viewed nearly 7.5 million times, Priscilla said: “I do not describe myself as a black woman because that gives too much power to my blackness. “I don’t want my race to be the describing adjective of who I am as a woman. I am not a black woman. I am a Christian woman who happens to be black. “It’s the job of your adjective to describe the noun of who you are. If there’s gonna be an adjective describing me it’s not gonna be my race, it’s going to be I’m a woman who …

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Over 1.4k have committed to attend a Witchcraft event to hex Brett Kavanaugh and others

According to an event posted on Facebook, nearly 1,400 people have committed to attend a rally in New York City to put a hex on the recent Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. What is perhaps equally disturbing another 13,000 have stated they are interested in the event being sponsored by an occult book store in New York city. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 20, 2018 in Brooklyn. According to Fox News media personality Tucker Carlson,  the event “will include an optional $10 donation” with part of the proceeds going to “Planned Parenthood, to ‘fund their own human sacrifice rituals.’” Though the event will focus on Brett Kavanaugh, he won’t be the only target as it will also focus on rapists and the patriarchy. But equally concerning is the motivation behind the hexes, the Facebook event page goes on to say that the people attending should bring their rage: “He will be the focal point, but by no means the only target, so bring your rage and and all of the axes you’ve got …

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Are we vulnerable to satanic attack if we don’t forgive others?

Many years ago, my wife and I had a Christian couple over for supper. After the meal we were sitting around talking. I can’t even remember what we were talking about, but suddenly the man exploded in anger. We all turned to the man in utter shock. You could hear the rage in his voice and see it on is face. He was blustery red. His eyes were wide. His voice was loud. We just looked at him stunned by what was coming out of his mouth. When he started settling down a bit, I asked him why he was so angry. He looked at me and said he didn’t know why. What we were talking about was so nondescript that I can’t even remember what it was about, but something we said triggered a fury deep within the man. A rage was so real, that I still remember it decades later. Though the husband didn’t know why he was so angry, there may have been a good reason for the rage. Jesus made an …

Red Square, Moscow Credit: Matt Shalvatis/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to be a Persecuted Christian

Are you a Christian? If ‘yes’ do you know that you will be persecuted? The Bible is very clear about that “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). “Will be.” I recently followed the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. And yes, it is dangerous for me to say that, but note that I live in Canada and I don’t want to pick sides in someone else’s argument. What I noticed was that accusers and the accused were like soldiers on the front line, and they could be sacrificed for the benefit of greater powers. I am sure the dispute was more intense because the U.S. was a few weeks away from mid-term elections, at the time. So much was at stake. I could say more, but I am now in dangerous territory. This is safe for me; I have often traveled to the U.S. and I am always impressed by the large numbers of good people that I meet …

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Don’t let envy and resentment destroy your joy, the story of Miriam

Recently, I have been drawn to the story of Miriam. Her name comes from the word Myrrh. Myrrh was the main ingredient of the anointing oil that Moses sprinkled on the tabernacle, which made it not only visually but also olfactory prominent in Israel’s camp. (Exodus 30:23). And though it referred to the fragrant spice used in the tabernacle, it was also considered bitter. Because of Myrrh’s connection to bitterness, some believe Miriam’s name originally meant “sea of bitterness” or “sea of sorrow” or “rebellion.” Her mother may have given Miriam this name because of their hard life in Egypt. Miriam was a leader among the Hebrew women. She was a prophet and gifted musically. She used her leadership role to direct the women to praise the Lord often through the dance. She was a godly influence in their lives. Miriam was one of God’s special gifts to the people of Israel. As was typical of the day, these dances were often spontaneous. The women would follow Miriam in the dance copying her movements and …

Credit: Ashers Baking Co/Ashersbakingco.com

Supreme court rules in favor of freedom of speech and conscience in England

The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court issued a ruling of sanity in favor of an Evangelical couple, Daniel and Amy McArthur, who manage a family owned bakery, Ashers Baking Co. in Northern Ireland. In 2014, Northern Ireland was embroiled in a campaign to legalize gay marriage and a gay activist approached the bakery’s Netwonabbey location to have it create a cake supporting the gay marriage campaign. The activist wanted a photo of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie along with the words “Support Gay Marriage” written on the top of the cake. Though an employee in initially took the order, the McArthurs later turned it down stating that they would not be able to make the cake because of their Christian beliefs. The activists took the case to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland that ruled against the company and ordered them to produce the cake within seven days. The owners refused and have been embroiled in a series of court cases ever since, that finally ended up in the Supreme Court. The Christian Institute of England …

Temple of Bel (Baa)l at Palymira, Syria prior to its destruction by ISIS in 2015 Credit: Egisto Sani/Flickr/Creative Commons

Was it a coincidence? Or was there something sinister behind the arch of Baal recently set up in Washington, DC?

In 2016, the Institute of Digital Archaeology (IDA) announced it was producing full-scale (48′ high) replica of the Arch of Baal that it would put on display in cities around the world. Produced with 3-D printers in China, IDA decided to produce a replica after ISIS destroyed the original arch in 2015 that were part of a Baal temple found in Palmyra, Syria. At the end of September, 2018, the Baal arch was set up in the National Mall in Washington, DC in sight of the US capital. Since the arch was actually a gateway to the ancient Baal temple, when news surfaced of its arrival in Washington some Christians were concerned it might give the demonic a unique ability to influence US society. Baal was one of the major ancient deities of the Middle East that was constantly trying to seduce Israel away from Jehovah. He was considered a fertility god and god of the weather and was often portrayed with a thunderbolt in his hand. The Bible is clear that these ancient idols …

A main street in Jerusalem Credit: lab604/Flickr/Creative Commons

Archaeologists find earliest full Hebrew spelling of Jerusalem

Archaeologists have discovered the earliest full inscription of the name Jerusalem dating from the first century BC. Typically most inscriptions use the abbreviated form of Jerusalem “Yerushalem or Shalem” instead of its full name “Yerushalayim.” The shortened versions of Jerusalem are clearly the most popular spellings. Even the Bible prefers abbreviated forms over the full name. Jerusalem is mentioned 660 times in the Old Testament, but only five are the full spelling including 2 Chronicles 25:1, 2 Chronicles 32:9, 2 Chronicles 25:1, Esther 2:6, 1 Chronicles 3:5 and Jeremiah 26:18: 18 “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, ‘Thus the Lord of hosts has said, “Zion will be plowed as a field, And Jerusalem will become ruins, And the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.”’ The inscription discovered during a road construction project was found carved on the foundation support for a column of a Roman building in a village on the outskirts of ancient Jerusalem. …

Fire near Santee, CA during the 1980s. Credit: Rick Bolin/Flickr/Creative Commons

Apocalypse 5: The Final Occupation

This is about the end of the book that is at the end of the Bible. It’s the last installment in a series of articles on the book of Revelation, at the end of the Bible. Revelation is a future description of the end of this age in history. Christians are supposed to read this book, but too many of us are satisfied with a few pictures like 666 (chapter 13 and verse 18) and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (chapter 6), and Armageddon, the great final battle (chapter 16 and verse 16). The pictures are interesting, but we are told to read the whole book: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (1:3) We are supposed to make sense of this book, and to understand where we are in history. So, think about something that makes you angry, or someone who has that effect. Now calm down …

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Tearing down strongholds of self defeat

Often, I notice in myself and others that we have a tendency to sabotage our own happiness. The expression that “We are our own worst enemy is so true.” We don’t feel that we deserve to be happy and the way we think about ourselves prevents us from receiving God’s blessings.  We’re not even sure that God wants us to be happy, because subconsciously we don’t feel like we are worthy. Many times it has to do with how we were raised.  We don’t realize it but often we are dealing with strongholds that have been passed down from generation to generation. We have blueprints that have been imprinted upon our minds from childhood. If you grew up in an environment where it wasn’t safe to express your wants or needs, you will begin to believe you really don’t deserve anything good. If you were constantly criticized, you will struggle to feel good about yourself. It can feel safer staying stuck in our uncomfortable old patterns than to rock the boat and feel good about ourselves. …

A tapestry of David playing a harp by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) Credit: Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Why I don’t believe Nitzevet was King David’s mother

Español: ¿Por qué no creo que Nitzevet fuera la madre del rey David? My article, King David’s big dark secret, is easily the most controversial article that I have written on opentheword.org. Including my responses, there have been well over 70 comments (English and Spanish) with many disagreeing with the article. It all revolves around a statement, David made in the Psalms: “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5 NASV) The main point of the article is that I suggest when King David said that he was conceived in sin we are to interpret the verse literally. This means David was conceived in an act of sin by  his mother who is unnamed. No where in the Old Testament is David’s mother named. This is curious considering that the mothers of many of the great Biblical characters are named such as Joseph (Genesis 35:24) and Moses (Exodus 6:20). Now many Christians have interpreted this verse as simply suggesting that David was saying we are all born …

Palu Bay in Indonesia Credit: sulteng 022/Flickr/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

The Holy Spirit still speaks today: Christian Indonesian pilot heeded warning

With Christmas only three months away, it’s important to know that 2,000 years later God is still doing the same thing. In the Christmas story we read of three wise men who journeyed to Israel looking for a new king. They showed up at the palace of King Herod to make their inquiries, a logical place to go if you are looking for a king. Herod, a narcissist and megalomaniac, knew nothing about this new king and was immediately concerned. He asked the wise men to come back to the palace after they found the new king. However, after finding Christ, the wise men received a dream warning them not to go back to Herod and they returned to their home country by a different route (Matthew 2:12). God warned them. They listened. At the end of September, the Holy Spirit warned a Christian pilot with Batik Air, an airline flying out of Indonesia, about similar danger. With a population of 261 million people, 10% of the population is Christian and 89% Muslim. On September …

Joseph interprets the dreams of the Pharaoh by Adrien Guignet (1816-1854): Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Does forgiving forget?

I remember years ago, I was selling advertising for a small newspaper. I was walking down the street to a particular business, when a memory of something that had happened years earlier flooded my mind. It was video replay of the incident. Something I saw or heard on that street triggered that memory.  I had about four or five memories that routinely plagued me. I would do something and suddenly there would a flashback of something negative that happened to me years earlier. There were about four or five memories that continually plagued me. But this time I did something different. As I walked down the street I asked God why I was having these memory flashbacks and I felt the Holy Spirit say to me it was happening because I hadn’t forgiven the people involved in the incident. I had thousands of things happen to me as I was growing up and I would not be able to remember them if you paid me, but there were about four or five memories that I …