|Posted by DONALD BEILSTEIN on January 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
All one needs to do to find out the answer is to turn on the news media. Look at all the
crime and murders in this world. Look at all the religions that believe in murdering all those
that don't belive as they do. Look at all those that have no respect or value in life and think nothing
of killing another human being. Look at all the politicians that show little regard to the law and
our constitution. Look at the massive drug culture that destroy the youth of today disabling
any hope of a future of a productive life. Look at all the atheists and agnostics that have rejected
religion and in essence made themselves little gods. Look at all the abortion activists that have
robbed life from millions of babies. The truth is right before our eyes and ears. Will we watch and listen?
Yes Satan does exist and is vigilent to bring distruction to this world!
Donald R Beilstein
|Posted by DONALD BEILSTEIN on December 6, 2011 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
Googling the Gospel
Russ Bravo, editor
Inspire How do you connect to people? It’s a question I’ve been thinking about increasingly in recent days, as life gets more hectic and the pressures of work make time ever more precious.
As with so many things, the internet can be a blessing or a curse. It can deliver information to our fingertips at the click of a mouse, give us access to knowledge, understanding, entertainment and much more at very modest cost – and help us communicate faster, wider and more creatively than ever before.
But we all know some of the downsides: pornography, paedophiles, junk e-mail, ‘phishing’scams where crooks try to hijack your bank account. It can also be addictive, divide families and lure many into gambling habits and more.
Too much time online can see you neglecting family relationships. Yet interest groups via e-mail, hobby websites, instant messaging and more can see you make plenty of new friends. And the constant interaction can see you feel you know these people better than many you see day to day.
Relationships need time, and they need regular feeding. In our stopwatch lifestyles, leisurely conversation is a prized gem that so often seems just out of reach. Even texting and instant messaging can so often be just brief exchanges of information.
So it’s good news that many of those leading the way in the online Christian community are promoting an Internet Evangelism Day focus day on 15 May. They offerchurches downloadable resources to enable them to create their own web awareness program –a focus day to inform and envision their members. Increasingly, the world’s population is getting online.
It is a massive harvest field of seeking, searching people. Behind many of the searches on Google, the world’s biggest search engine, are people looking for meaning, purpose, hope, community. Yet the vast majority ofall Christian and church websites are for our benefit, not theirs.
Mission is coming home, to a PC near you. Will we hear the call? Learn more at www.InternetEvangelismDay.com.
First published in Christian Herald newspaper, used with permission,© 2004 Christian Herald – this 336-word article is free to reproduce in otherprint media with this credit line.
at Internet Evangelism Day
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
|Posted by DONALD BEILSTEIN on November 23, 2011 at 12:20 PM||comments (0)|
Our Ancient Foe
by Keith Mathison
Talk of the Devil and spiritual warfare makes some people roll their eyes. We live in an age of particle accelerators, microchips, and organ transplants. The Devil? Why, he’s nothing more than a medieval superstition created to scare naughty children. We can’t take any of that seriously.
Martin Luther would have disagreed. He took it very seriously and wrote often of his ongoing battle with the Devil. He was very aware of the forces of evil. Most of us have heard the story about Luther throwing an inkwell at the Devil. Whether truth or legend, such an act would not have been out of character for Luther. It is also well known that Luther believed in using contempt to fight the Devil, and some of the things he said to and about the Devil were colorful, to say the least.
According to the skeptics, Luther may have meant well, but his encounters with “the Devil” say more about his fragile mental state than they do about reality. This is what our demythologized world would have us believe, and, frankly, it is what the Devil himself would have us believe. As the French poet Charles Baudelaire said, “The devil’s best trick is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist!”
Luther’s language about the Devil wasn’t always crude. Sometimes he was more tactful. His hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” is a magnif icent description of spiritual warfare and our place in it.
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
The Devil is quite real, and there is a spiritual war going on every minute of every day (Rev. 12:17). It was foretold by God when He cursed the Serpent and said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring” (Gen. 3:15). This war is not a dualistic Manichaean battle between two essentially equal forces, good and evil, light and darkness. Satan is not omnipotent or omniscient. God alone is sovereign and all-powerful. All that the Devil does is done only by God’s permission and ultimately will be used by God for His own purposes.
Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
It is important for believers to understand that the outcome of this war is not uncertain. As God also said to the Serpent, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” The decisive battle has already been won at the cross. The Devil may have thought he had won when Jesus was crucified, but this was actually the point in redemptive history when his head was crushed. It was by means of His death on the cross that Jesus destroyed the Devil (Heb. 2:14).
Some theologians have used World War II as an analogy of what happened. The cross was D-Day in the spiritual war. It was the decisive assault that sealed the doom of the enemy. The final victory, analogous to VE-Day, occurs at the final judgment when the Devil is cast into hell. Christians today live between D-Day and VE-Day. During this time, the armies advance against the enemy, slowly but surely, in a bloody and painful battle until Christ has put every last enemy under His feet. Some days see advances while other days see retreats, but overall there is an advance until the last day, the day of the enemy’s complete surrender.
And though this world,
with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
The fact that we live between the decisive battle and the final battle explains why Peter must still warn his readers that the Devil prowls around like a lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). The Devil has suffered a fatal wound, but he is not dead. He remains dangerous, and we must remain watchful against his schemes. He does not always come at us looking as evil as he is. He and his servants can disguise themselves as angels of light (2 Cor. 11:14). In spite of this, because we are united with Jesus Christ, the One who crushed his head, we can resist the Devil, and he will flee from us.
|Posted by DONALD BEILSTEIN on November 16, 2011 at 12:40 PM||comments (0)|
Experiencing Supernatural Joy In John’s Gospel, Jesus expounded His declaration that He is the vine and we are the branches: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
This text indicates that the joy of the Christian is not the natural joy of human life. It is a supernatural joy insofar as it has a supernatural source. It is the work of Christ within us. Though Jesus spoke of His joy being in us, it is still our joy once it is in us. He is its source and its power, but it is still our joy.
Jesus also spoke of the end or purpose of His joy remaining in us, namely, that our joy may be full. The term full speaks of a degree, in this case an ultimate degree. There is no more joy than full joy. Yet we can experience partial joy or less than full joy, not because there are fluctuations in Jesus’ joy, but because there are fluctuations in the degree of our abiding in Christ.
We cannot fall out of Christ, but in the process of sanctification we experience greater and/or lesser degrees of clinging closely to Him. Here our wills are important in that we are called to abide in Christ.
Coram Deo Ask God for supernatural joy to flood your life.
Passages for Further Study John 15:11
Isaiah 61:1, 3
|Posted by DONALD BEILSTEIN on November 15, 2011 at 11:25 AM||comments (0)|
The Cross Written on April 28, 2010 — Leave a Comment The Cross is held dearly to those of the Christian faith. In fact it has a sacred and has deep meaning for all Christians. The Cross implies redemption of our sins, because Jesus Christ was nailed to death on a cross for the sins of mankind. The Cross was not so common in the first three centuries. It became very prominent among Christians during the end of 3rd century.
We can find crosses in different shapes, sizes and styles. It is often seen on the top churches and used as jewelry. It is a prominent feature in cemeteries of Christians where you can find it often either carved upon gravestones or scriptures. It is widely believed that crosses were in existence even before the times of Christ. It was used in sacred acts of the churches. The grave of kings, heroes and bishops were differentiated from others by using a cross on them. In the middle ages, crosses were mostly set up in the market places. In those days the churches and the cathedrals were built on the shape of a Latin Cross. In ceremonies of the church, the clergy and the followers trace the cross with their fingers. Crosses are also used for processions.
There are different types of crosses for different sects of Christians. The Latin Cross is the type of cross on which Christ died. The characteristics of this cross are that it has an upright long pole and a crosspiece fastened near to its top. The cross used by Saint George or the Greek cross has four arms which measure in same length. This cross is mostly used with the cross of Saint Andrew which is a part of the British Union Jack. In this flag, the cross of Saint Andrew depicts Scotland and the cross of Saint George stands for England. The characteristic of a Maltese cross is that there are eight sharp points and it was the emblem of the knights in the middle ages.
The earlier references to a cross can be found from 6th century. The Cross with the dying image of Jesus Christ is called a Crucifix. The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross and this was why Christians regard cross with such importance. In early times Catholics prayed with their arms extended which was a sign of the death of Christ on a Cross. This tradition can be traced back to the third century and is in existence even now.
Most of us cannot travel to the Holy Land. A unique gift that a person visiting the Holy Land can bring back is a cross made out of olive wood. The crosses are mostly hand made from olive wood, harvested from tress which are thousands of years old and found only in the area of Bethlehem. The gifts made out of this olive wood are considered Holy by Christians and there is much demand for it.
Posted in Olive Wood, Relegious Gifts, The Cross | Tagged christianity, cross, crusifix, latin cross