Is Your Church A Cult?

Source: Destructive Cults | Cult Methodology

Get the answer to this and many other questions concerning cults and their methodology. Equip yourself with the information that could save you and your loved ones from being the victims of a mind-controlling, money-grabbing, heretical, and destructive group.

Margaret Singer, clinical psychologist and once Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley was the preeminent cult expert of the 20th Century. She counseled and/or interviewed thousands of people affected by controversial groups often called “cults.” Dr. Singer offered meaningful definitions of unsafe groups or “cults” in her book Cults in our Midst.

 

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The Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness

kindnessOne of the positive aspects of our society is the fact that we witness acts of kindness being demonstrated daily to others. Persons donate money and material things to help victims of tragedies to get back on their feet. They help elderly persons to cross the road safely. Motorists on the main road will allow the other driver coming from a side road to exit. A few days ago, my wife’s money fell from her purse; a gentleman who was passing alerted her to what was happening. These are all acts of kindness that we are familiar with in our society.

King David in 2Samuel 9:1-12 deliberately sought after a descendant of King Saul for the purpose of showing him the kindness of God. Through his servant Ziba, David found out that Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul was still alive. Saul had made David’s life miserable by hunting him down to kill him. David had given him no cause for so doing. In spite of this, David returned all of Saul’s property to Mephibosheth and gave him a permanent place at the king’s table. This is an outstanding example of kindness.

Boaz, another wonderful man, showed kindness to Ruth who was a foreigner (Ruth 2:6-16). Sometimes we respond with kindness to persons from our race or country but treat the foreigner and the person from another ethnic group with unkindness. That is sinful in the eyes of God and ought not to be the practice of followers of Christ.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). The person who is led by the Spirit of God will perform acts of kindness to his fellow man. God was known to his people in the Hebrew scriptures as a God who demonstrated kindness to people(Jonah 4:2; Ps. 117:2). Followers of Jesus Christ are admonished to be kind to each other (Eph.4:32).

Acts of kindness can range from offering words of comfort and encouragement to giving food, money or other material things to those in need. Followers of Christ will not ignore the stranger on the street who asks for something to eat. Neither should we turn a blind eye to the cries of children who we know are being abused. Kindness should be shown to those who wrong us.

Kindness is a quality of God. God’s children are called to be like him in character. Kindness is one of the hallmarks of a follower of Jesus Christ. Let us walk as he walked.

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The Fruit of the Spirit – Love

loveA list of the fruit of the Spirit in Gal.5:22-23 reveals love as the first and probably the most notable one. The New Testament speaks abundantly of God’s love for us and in turn, teaches us to love each other. This  love which comes from God and is spread in our hearts by the Holy Spirit is not a natural quality found in humanity. This love transcends all human love. It is the perfect expression of a holy God whose intention is to create in man a character similar to his.

John 3:16 speaks to the fact that God so loved humanity that he gave his Son Jesus Christ to rescue us from the ravages of sin. This was done while the whole human race was the enemy of God (Rom.5:8). The love of God for us is totally selfless. We have done nothing to merit that wonderful love. It was God who made the first move to demonstrate his awesome love for us in such a tangible way (John 4:10).

God does not only show us his love; he gives us his love that we can have the capacity to love like him. The Holy Spirit spreads the love of God into our hearts (Rom.5:5). Every believer has been given the Holy Spirit who gives us the strength and the capacity to truly love God and our fellow man. Our love for Jesus is demonstrated by obeying his teachings which include loving each other (John14:15,23; 1John 4:11). The Bible speaks of a love that ought to permeate every relationship of the believer. We are to extend the love of God to husband, wife, children, relatives, neighbors, countrymen, foreigners, the church, and even our enemies. Every believer should pursue a life of love as opposed to a life of self-centredness.

The subject of love is such an important one that the Apostle Paul wrote a whole chapter in the New Testament about it (1Cor.13). Paul’s instruction is that love should form the basis of all Christian action, thought, speech and motivation (1Cor.14:1).

Having love proves that we are children of God and that God is at work in our lives. Every believer who is serious about living for God will pursue a life that is filled with the love of God. He will be careful to remain in Christ who is the Vine, in order for him to bear the fruit of the Spirit – love (John 15:5).

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Windows of Heaven – Ken Boa Welcomes You to Reflections Ministries

October 19, 2016

Source: Windows of Heaven – Ken Boa Welcomes You to Reflections Ministries

This short video is a timely reminder that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for his children. He will one day return and receive us to himself. He is now in the process of transforming us so that we may be like him.

Jesus came into this world to seek and to save that which was lost. He is in the business of saving those who come to him. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”Mat.11:28 He will not refuse any who come to him. Come and share the home he is preparing for his children. The invitation is to all.

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The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

Among some Christians, the Holy Spirit is treated as the Cinderella of the Godhead. He is relegated to a dusty corner of their theology and he is brought out only on the festival of Pentecost. Some fringe groups do not even dignify him with having the characteristics of God but instead refer to him as the inanimate power by which Jesus and the Father works.

The Bible, on the other hand, paints a picture of this third person of the Godhead who is actively involved in the daily activity of the church and the life of the individual Christian. His work is comprehensive and essential in achieving God’s purposes here on earth. He works in tandem with the Father and with Christ in the process designed to bring man from sin to conforming him to the image of Christ, to bringing mankind to his ultimate destination in the glorious Kingdom when Christ returns.

The Holy Spirit’s Work

  1. The Spirit convicts that world of sin (John16:8-11). Without this ministry, persons would never realize their sinful condition and their desperate need for the saving grace of Jesus.

  2. He regenerates us. The Spirit imparts eternal life through the new birth and this, in turn, implants the divine nature in the child of God. Tit.3:5; 2Pet.1:4; Eph.2:1-6; 2Cor.5:17; Rom.6:3-11.

  3. The Holy Spirit baptizes us. By the Spirit, all believers in Christ have been baptized into one body(the church) 1Cor.12:13; Rom.8:9,15; Eph.1:5.

  4. We are sealed by Him. The promise and gift of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our inheritance. Eph.1:13-14; 4:30; 2Cor.1:22.

  5. He lives in the Christian. The Holy Spirit takes up his residence in us. The body of the Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit.(1Cor.6:19). With him living in us, we can be lights and salt in this sinful world

  6. He fills the Christian for a life of service to God and fellowman (Eph.5:18). We are God’s workmanship created to do good works. The Holy Spirit gives the believer the heart and mind of Christ that exemplifies the good Christ did; so we too can have good works.

  7. He empowers the Christian in order to accomplish the work of the kingdom. Acts 4:8,31;13:9-10. He empowers us in our daily lives to follow His leading. He produces the fruits of the Spirit in our lives. He enables us to crucify the sinful nature and clothes us with the new man which is the life of Christ.

  8. The Holy Spirit assures us of our standing in Christ. He testifies to our spirit that we are children of God (Rom.8:16; 1John 3:24; 5:7-8). He reassures us in times of testing that nothing can pluck us out of the Father’s grip. No wonder the Apostle Paul could say “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2Tim.4:7-8

  9. The Holy Spirit who inspired the scriptures(2Pet.1:21) also illuminates the scriptures so that Christians may know the things given to them by God (1Cor.2:10-16). The things of God cannot be understood or discerned by the unaided human mind. The Spirit gives believers needed insight into the meaning and the application of God’s word for everyday situations.

  10. The Holy Spirit teaches, reinforces and reminds us of God’s word (1John 2:27). He leads us into all truth and helps us to discern error from truth (John 16:13).

  11. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Rom.8:26-27). In times when we are overwhelmed with pain, sorrow, and hurt, and we find it hard to pray, the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and prays on our behalf. When we cannot express our deep feelings to the Father, the Holy Spirit reads our intentions and conveys them to the Father.

  12. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to members of the body of Christ (1Cor.12:7-11) for the edification and encouragement of all believers. Every believer is given a gift or gifts that should be used to build up the church as well as to glorify God.

The Holy Spirit plays an active role in the call and in the sanctification of the believer. He is God, sent by Jesus Christ on his ascent to the Father. He abides with us and is in us. Let us recognize how important He is in our lives, yield to him, walk in step with him and depend on his guidance daily.

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Why Christians Should Stop Caring About So Many C… | Christianity Today

Being the hands and feet of Christ in our troubled world requires that we both pay attention and then stay intentional over the long haul. That means rushing forward in an emergency and remaining focused until we help repair, restore, and redeem every dimension of human life, achieving Isaiah 65 transformation.

Source: Why Christians Should Stop Caring About So Many C… | Christianity Today

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7 Traits of False Teachers

There is no such thing as a pure church this side of heaven. You will never find it.

Source: 7 Traits of False Teachers

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Living By the Spirit – What Does it Mean?

Walking in the Spirit and living by the Spirit are terms used in the New Testament to point Christians to the new way of living. It is the opposite of living by the fleshly desires of the human downward pull. Walking by the Spirit is not merely trying to avoid sin or trying to keep the law. It is the new way new creatures in Christ have been called to live.

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit on his return to heaven. The Holy Spirit has been given to every true believer. He was given to guide us in our Christian walk. He is the same Spirit we are admonished to walk in and live by.

Living by the Spirit is the act of putting to death the deeds of the flesh (Rom.8:13). The deeds of the flesh consist of lying, coveting, murder, envy, strife, adultery, fornication And what Paul calls the works of the flesh in Gal.5:19-20. The Holy Spirit living inside of the Christian will not put up with anything that offends God, hence the reason why there is always a sense of uneasiness when sin is present. Squelching the fleshly nature is a lifelong process that requires patience and perseverance before our final perfection comes.

Living by the Spirit is one of the proofs that a person is a child of God (Rom.8:14) Being led by the Spirit suggests that one is allowing the Spirit to show him the way, that one is yielding to the Spirit’s guidance and help. In other words, the sinful nature is being conquered and worldly desires are being replaced by wholesome, godly practices and virtues. Living by the Spirit includes being transformed by having one’s mind renewed by God and his word (Rom.12:2).

Living by the Spirit consist of setting one’s affections on things above instead of earthly possessions and things (Col.3:1); seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Mat.6:33); looking to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. Living by the Spirit is praying in step with the Holy Spirit. He knows the will of God for our lives, therefore we ought to let Him guide and show us  how and what we should pray.

God accomplishes much in the lives of those who live by the Spirit. The righteous requirements of the law are met in those who live by the Spirit (Rom.8:3-4). The life controlled by the Spirit is life and peace (Rom.8:6). Those who are under the control of the Spirit are God’s children and are heirs according to the promise. God will raise them to immortality at his second coming.

Living by the Spirit is allowing the Holy Spirit to direct every thought, word, action, and motive in our life, and allowing the Holy Spirit to cultivate his fruits and his virtues in our lives. This is the new life Christians have been called to in Christ. This is all the work of God on our behalf as we deny ourselves, takes up our cross and follow Christ.

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Does Eternal Life Depend on Commandment-Keeping?

The Bible speaks of eternal life as both a present and a future reality for Christians. Jude 21 speaks to the future life. John 3:36 and 1John 5:11 speak of those who believe on the Son as having eternal life.

Eternal life is a free gift Rom.6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God
is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” John 17 :2-3 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. Jesus gives eternal life, we do not earn it. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”( John 10 :27-28)

The notion that one must be obedient to commandments so that we can enter eternal life suggests that one can attain eternal life by commandment-keeping (works). That runs counter to the facts of the Scriptures. One of the fundamental ways Christianity differ from other religions is that our inheritance is given freely by grace through faith. All the other religions have works as the basis for their inheritance. Not so with Christianity. Eternal life is a gift. Eph. 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.”


Eternal life found in Jesus not comandment keeping

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 5:39-40 “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. John 6:40 “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” verse47
“Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.” Jn.:13-14 “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jn.11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Jn. 6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. Eternal life is not the end result of people keeping the commandments, it comes through faith in Jesus Christ and by the grace of God.

The role of obedience

Jesus said, If you love me keep my commandments JN.14:15 When a person comes to Jesus, he becomes a new creature. God gives him the Holy Spirit to give him power to obey and abide in Christ. A person who has the Holy Spirit wants to obey Christ but he still has the flesh, the world and Satan trying to pull him downwards. 2Pet.1:3 God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, so the Christian is equiped to persevere and overcome as he cooperates with the Holy Spirit working in his life. As he abides in Christ and remain attached to the Vine(Jn.15) God will produce the fruits of the spirit in his life. Abiding in Christ includes obedience to the teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, praying, studying the word, meditating on the word, loving the Lord and the brothers, doing good, seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Obedience to God proves that we are one of His because the unregenerate person cannot please God and really has no inclination to do so. 1Jn.2:3-4 ”We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” Keeping His commands is evidence that we know him and not evidence that eternal life is tethered to obedience. We abide in the love of Jesius by keeping his commands Jn.15:10 . You are my friends if you keep my commandments Jn.15:14. There is no I will give you eternal life if you keep my commandments.

So after coming to Jesus for forgiveness of sins do we need commandment-keeping to bring us to eternal life? Let Paul answer. “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Gal.3:3). Human effort of any sort is rejected as a means of salvation and eternal life. Jesus Christ is all we need (Col. 2:9-10). “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen( Jude 1:24-25). We love Jesus and obey his commands because he first loved us and gave himself as an atoning sacrifice for us. The eternal life given to us by Christ as been purchased by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and not by anything that we could do.

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Why did Jesus die on the cross? – YouTube

 

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