The Lighthouse Sentinel
So truthful, it hurts!
VOL. I NUM. V
2015 HOLY SPIRIT ALL RIGHTS PRESERVED
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER
PAID IN FULL
Extortion in the Church
Shortly before my family and I were asked to leave the church I pastored for 5 years for embracing the message of grace, the picture below was included in the church bulletin where we attended. Although a bit distorted, I had to find a way to publish it.....
I came across the cartoon again in an old handout which was between the pages of my bible. After thumbing through it, I thought it was still very relevant today. If you can manage to read the caption held up by the dad, mom and child it reads:
"Your job is safe pastor, so preach it brother!"
I had to chuckle a bit after closing up and thinking of that old bulletin. But I realized a more disturbing matter was the truth that many pastors really can't preach what they should in fear of retaliation of those who control the checkbook. In many other instances, pastors and other church leaders will intentionally not teach foundational truths such as man's sin, the accomplishments of Christ and the riches of His grace because of the fear that people will stop coming to their church!
In my personal example, I was told my position was safe but the "internal command media" rallied underground in order to turn brother against brother and pastor against pastor. With a looming new church on the horizon, position, power and greed were now more important than doctrine, sound biblical hermeneutics (correct, contextual interpretation of the bible) and brotherly love for one another. The fact of the matter is clear. No job is "safe" in many church's across the country unless you are willing to compromise the word of God in order to placate those who handle the money...
Paul was the first to say: "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested
The only other option is having the ability to fund a ministry yourself so that when people reject the liberty that we have in Christ and its message of grace, men of God can "stand firm". We must remember that law, bondage and legalism appeals to the flesh as people attempt to rehabilitate the "old man". It appears that there are those who want to "help God" rather than rest in Jesus Christ. Our motivation to serve must come from understanding the love of Christ which should constrain us as we grow in the knowledge of our weakness in the light of His greatness!
It is this core concept that the apostle Paul revealed as he received it from Christ. As we learn about the riches of His grace and our unchanging position in Christ despite our sin and failure, we become more prepared and equipped to serve Him. This "renewal of the mind" prompts believers to serve God not out of duty or pride, but out of a sound mind and heart of gratitude. Unfortunately, this reasoning flies in the face of most ministries in the world who would scoff at this reading today. However, it is God's word that testifies of an "election or remnant" saved for this present time according to the election of grace (ref. Romans 11:5)
It is my prayer that all believers take the responsibility of searching the scriptures while proving the truth of what they hear. I pray that they will count those who labor in the word in doctrinal correctness with "double honor" while "guarding the backs" of such men. I pray that church leaders study the mystery according to Paul's prayer for the church in Ephesians 1 while boldly proclaiming its truths despite the "gainsayers". If the things above are done as Jesus Christ would approve of, then when fellow believers encourage their leaders to "preach it brother", truths can be proclaimed without a hidden agenda from anyone...
1 Corinthians 4:1-5 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
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2 Corinthians 5:18-21
This Issue's Topic:
"Gems Throughout the Bible"
While we all have favorite portions of the bible, these "gems" appeal to us in unique ways. Acts Chapters 7 and 13 are abridged versions of Israel's failure as a nation and provide valuable information enabling us to appreciate God's grace for today
Let me first make it clear that the entire word of God is the "gem of gems". However, within the bible, chapters, verses and other passages may seem to hit us with more clarity and relevance at various times of our personal bible study. While recently reading through the book of Acts, something wonderfully awesome occurred to me. Specifically, Acts chapters 7 and 13 provide solid, condensed, historical facts of God's past dealing with Israel as a nation! Both Stephen and Paul present a different "spin" on each account as the Holy Spirit moved them to speak. Stephen starts with Abraham in Charran while Paul starts with the fathers of Israel in Egypt. Both audiences reacted differently as Stephen was thrust out and stoned to death while Paul and Barnabas were persecuted and expelled from the coasts of Pisidia. In both cases, God was in the midst of postponing Israel's program as He would eventually reveal the ushering in of an entirely new dispensing called grace (through Paul) only made possible by Jesus Christ's victorious cross-work!
Within the book of Acts, many may ponder specifically which chapter grace is officially dispensed. But the bible teaches us that through Paul, the risen, glorified Christ revealed an entirely new message for believers in that Paul could proclaim: "that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."
In these fact-filled chapters, bible students new and old can sharpen their teeth on these foundational, historical facts. Because of chapters like these, believers can revert back to the Old Testament and review the failures of men and the greatness of God.
But the amazing thing about these chapters is the detail and briefness of thousands of years of history. Friends, God does not want us to make the same mistakes again and again. If we need the detail of these mistakes, we can start by reviewing the "readers digest" version of Israel's failures in Acts 7 & 13. If we need more, God has kindly obliged starting in Genesis 12!
A Letter to Philemon
Greetings from Paul
1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, 2 and to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: 3 grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul’s thanksgiving and prayer
4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, 5 hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; 6 that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. 7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. 8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, 9 yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 11 which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: 12 whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: 13 whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: 14 but without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. 15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; 16 not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? 17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. 18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; 19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. 20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord. 21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say. 22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. 23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus; 24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers. 25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
When President Obama spoke in reaction to the heinous October 1 attack on Umpqua Community College, he went beyond his usual calls for more gun control and suggested instead that America consider following the path blazed by Australia and Great Britain.
by AWR Hawkins
In the mid-1990s Australia and Great Britain both instituted what were virtually complete bans on firearm possession.
Obama referenced the bans thus:
We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.
And Obama is not the only one who suggested taking a gun-free approach to American life. The anti-Second Amendment message was also pushed by Slate, Vox, and Dan Savage.
For example, on October 1 Slate ran a story reminding readers that Australia enacted their gun ban in response to an attack on April 28, 1996, wherein a gunman “opened fire on tourists in a seaside resort in Port Arthur, Tasmania.” Thirty-five were killed and 23 others wounded in the attack. Twelve days later Australia’s government banned guns, period.
On October 2 Vox explained that Australia “confiscated 650,000 guns” via a “mandatory gun buyback” program which forced gun owners to hand their firearms over for destruction. Vox claims the result was that “murders and suicides plummeted’ and suggested such a path might be an option for America following “the murder of at least 10 people at Umpqua Community College.”
Vox did not mention that “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” began plummeting in America in the mid-1990s as well. But in America, the decrease in violent crime did not correlate with a gun ban but with a rapid expansion in the number of guns privately owned. The Congressional Research Service reported that the number of privately owned firearms in America went from 192 million in 1994 to 310 million privately owned firearms in 2009. Subsequently, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate fell from 6.6 per 100,000 in 1993 to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000 and finally to 3.2 per 100,000 in 2011.
But none of this made any difference to Dan Savage, who responded to the attack on Umpqua Community College by calling for the Second Amendment’s repeal. Savage tweeted, “F**k the NRA, f**k the gun nuts, f**k the Second Amendment — better yet, repeal the Second Amendment.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note the the reader: Please visit the hyperlinks contained therein that help bring more context to the topic of gun violence. The dramatic decrease in deaths after gun conficastions have more to do with the reduction in suicides than mass murders. Still, not discussed here are the lives that are saved as a result of owning a firearm. As readers and seekers of information, let us consider a broader understanding.
Carson slams Obama for Oregon visit with shooting victims' families
If he were president, Ben Carson would not visit Roseburg, Oregon, in the aftermath of last week's deadly shooting, as President Barack Obama is scheduled to do on Friday. The Republican presidential candidate also slammed Obama for his call on the same day of the shooting to politicize the event that killed nine people at Umpqua Community College, in hopes of finally getting momentum for gun control legislation.
“Imagine a politician politicizing something," Carson remarked during an interview with "Fox and Friends." When do we get to the point where we have people who actually want to solve our problems rather than just politicize everything? I think that’s what the American people are so sick and tired of."
Story Continued Below
A White House official said Monday that Obama would travel to Roseburg as part of his already-scheduled West Coast fundraising trip to meet privately with the families of the victims, as he has done in similar instances in the past, including in Charleston, South Carolina this year; in Aurora, Colorado in 2012; and in Newtown, Connecticut, also in 2012.
Asked what he would have done had a gunman walked up to him and asked him to state his religion, Carson said he would have been more aggressive.
"Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me, I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all,'" he told the hosts.
His posts on Facebook and Twitter holding a sign proclaiming "#IAmAChristian" went viral over the weekend, in reference to some witness accounts that the gunman asked victims to stand up and identify themselves if they were Christian before they were shot, though police did not confirm or deny the accounts.
Planned Parenthood: Don't judge them by what they say, judge them by what they do....
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
- Jeremiah 1:5
I think it is safe to say that in His infinite wisdom and divine
foreknowledge, God knew the type of person Jeremiah was and how He would use him to preach to Israel. With this in mind, going through the birth process, from conception, to full term, to delivery; this human growth cycle was simply the by-product of God's mind conception of this great prophet. Is it possible to imagine that through this passage we get some insight into the great power of God? Is it possible to think that God knows ahead of time the men and women he will introduce into this domain and that their physical births are just another phase of life that He planned??
The bible was never meant to be a science book to debate evolution or the sanctity of human life and marriage. However, there are dozens of passages testifying of God's creative power and love of mankind; so much so that God TheFather through the person of Jesus Christ reconciled the world to Himself, not charging their sins unto them but instead placed them on His Son! (2 Corinthians 5)
Our response??? Take Him at His word concerning this matter; that Christ took your place...my place on that cross in order to satisfy God The Father's Holy demands for the payment of sins. In fact, the sacrificial system and the Old Testament books under the law explain how serious an issue sin is with God. But that system only covered sin for we read in Hebrews 10:
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
With God taking the issue of sin off the table because of Christ...one thing remains in order to get to heaven: you need to be as righteous as God Himself. It is here where accepting Jesus Christ's righteousness through faith enables the Holy Spirit to baptize us into Him. Once a person takes God the Father at His word on this matter, the Holy Spirit infuses us, joins us with Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:4-6).
If God places such value on human life; to cause Him to step into and out of time to save mankind in its entirety and offer the righteousness of His Son through His cross-work...is it too much to ask that we hold life dearly as well??? He is not even asking us to give our physical life as He did. He wants us to stand up and speak out for those that cannot do the same for themselves.
Abortion is the murder of a human being and we have found a way to call it a medical procedure to help a woman. And if you disagree with the position of "a woman's decision" on this matter, you disrespect women, their rights, their bodies and their choices...to the point where THAT outweighs the fact that we as a nation have grown accustomed to extinguishing babies on a regular basis; 57 MILLION as of this writing.
So when you see videos of the "business aspect" of abortion and the fact that people through "part harvesting" of humans have turned murder into profit, it is very, very upsetting. The verse in Romans comes to mind:
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. - Romans 1:28-32
The individuals that you are about to watch are deceived. They obviously have no natural affection, are callous and heartless. It is plain to see that the allure of financial reward has caused them to have pleasure doing things they know in their consciences are wrong to do.
For more clarity, click the link below to open this in a separate session: