December 25, 2011

By Their Fruits – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Jesus taught that one way we can see under the sheepskin camouflage of “ravenous wolves” is to evaluate the fruits of their teaching.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “So then, you will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-20)

Of course the wolves don’t appreciate anyone “blowing their cover” and they howl when their bad fruit is revealed. For example, the current movie, “Expelled” illuminates the contributing relationship between Darwin and Nazis. The evolutionists are screaming.

Expelled’s inflammatory implication that Darwin and the science of evolution “led to” eugenics, Nazis, and Stalinism is deeply offensive and detrimental to public discussion and understanding.

Scientific American editor John Rennie describes this connection as “heavy-handed.” In Reuters, Frank Scheck calls it “truly offensive.”

Others, acknowledge that the Darwin/Nazis relationship is obvious. Jack Cashill, an Emmy-award winning writer and with a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue, said “If anything, Stein and the makers of ‘Expelled’ understate this historically irrefutable link…” (Worldnetdaily)

The late Stephen J. Gould of Harvard was one of the world’s leading defenders of Darwinism. Nevertheless he acknowledged, “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1850, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.” (Ontogeny and Phylogeny, pp.127-128)

Richard Weikart, Professor of History The University of California, wrote an article for the The American Spectator (4/16/2008) to clarify the relationship between “Darwin and the Nazis.” He listed six principles embedded in Darwin’s world view that cheapen the value of human life, then said, “They, in turn, strongly influenced Hitler.” He added, “…some of the ideas being promoted today by prominent Darwinists in the name of Darwinism have an eerily similar ring to the ideologies that eroded respect for human life in the pre-Nazi era.”

In the movie, Ben Stein reads a chilling passage from Darwin.

“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick, thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.” (The Descent of Man)

The tree of Darwinism has produced much fruit. Despite loud protestations from the peddlers, fruit inspectors know this fruit stinks. Remember, Jesus said this is one way to know the tree is bad.

 

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December 18, 2011

The Rejected Christ – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Most of our friends in the denominational world have been deceived by preachers who promote Premillennialism, the popular, prevailing doctrine, that Jesus will return to a renovated earth, establish a physical kingdom and reign from Jerusalem for a thousand years.

Most of these preachers acknowledge that God intended to establish this kingdom when Jesus came the first time, as indicated by the prophets and by Jesus himself.

“And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power,” (Mark 9:1).

But, these preachers tell us God’s plan was not fulfilled. For example, J. Dwight Pentecost said, in his influential book, Things to Come, “The theocratic kingdom offer [was] withdrawn and postponed after the rejection by Israel.” p.456.

When God’s word is distorted, the implications are often not limited to a simple twist. The implications typically go on and on. This invention effectively denies the power of God, the integrity of His Word, the rule of Christ, the time of His kingdom, and the nature of that kingdom. These consequences are clearly seen when we ask the Premillenialists four questions.

(1)   Why did an all knowing, all-powerful God not foreknow and prepare for the Jewish rejection of Christ?

The answer is, He did! The rejection and crucifixion of Christ is the heart of God’s purpose. It is central to the eternal plan of salvation.

This was not a surprise to God. Jesus is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8; cf. I Peter 1:17-21).

It was not a surprise to God’s prophets. Isaiah foresaw and plainly foretold His rejection hundreds of years before it happened.

“He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him,” (Isaiah 53:3)

(2) If the Jews had the ability to force God to postpone the   reign of Christ once, why not twice?

The answer is, they never had such power!

David foretold that “the people” (Jews) would “take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed [Messiah], saying let us break Their bonds in pieces” (Psalm 2:1-3).

But this foreseen rejection would not deter God’s plan. He promised, “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; …He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” (verses 4-6).

We know that the Lord, through the prophet, is speaking of His Son (verses 7,12). By inspiration, the apostles applied this to the Jews’ rejection, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Acts 4:24-28; 13:33).

(3)   Is not “postponed” prophecy simply failed prophecy?

God did not just prophesy the fact of the coming kingdom, but also the time. Daniel said God would set up His kingdom during the days of the fourth world empire, the Roman Empire (Daniel 2:44), and then declared the prophecy “is certain, and its interpretation is sure” (verse 45). No, this prophesy was not postponed. It was established during the Roman Empire, just as the Lord promised.

(4) If the kingdom is material, why did the Jews reject it, since that is what they wanted?

The truth is, premillenialists reject Christ as King today, for the same reason the Jews did then – they want a material kingdom. But the kingdom of Christ “is not of this world” and it is not defended by armed might (John 18:36). The apostle Paul said, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” (Romans 14:17). Jesus said, “…the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:22).

The Jewish rejection of Christ was not a defeat of God’s plan. It was central to His divine plan from eternity. The Lord God’s plan was not overpowered. He laughed at their efforts and set the Christ on His throne as King of kings and Lord of lords (Psalm 2:12). That is not to be some time in the future. He is there now!

“…He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” Ephesians 1:20-21)

Adapted from an article by Keith Sharp

 

 

 

December 3, 2011

Our Deceitful Heart – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:31 pm by sranderson0103

It is common to hear that we should follow our heart in our service to God. However, Jeremiah says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else…” (Jer.14:7). It is important that we understand that direction derived from our deceitful hearts can deceive us religiously.

We also need to understand that our heart can and does distort perceptions of reality in all our relationships. Dramatic distortions can be either negative or positive, depending on whether the heart is full of love or hate.

Newlyweds can be almost comical in their doting devotion, hence, the expression, “Love is blind.” “When a Man Loves a Woman” is a song recorded by Percy Sledge back in 1966. It climbed to number one on the charts in both America and England. The song says, “When a man loves a woman…If she’s bad he can’t see it. She can do no wrong… If she plays him for a fool He’s the last one to know. Lovin’ eyes can’t ever see.”

Peter commands brethren to “fervently love one another from the heart,” I Peter 1:22. Paul explains some of what that means in I Corinthians 13:4-7. “Love is patient, love is kind …bears all things, believes all things,…”

We must honestly face established facts and ask questions in suspicious circumstances, but brethren who truly love one another gladly give the benefit of the doubt. They automatically see and accept the best explanation possible. When this does not happen, what is the implication? Someone has a heart that has stopped loving fervently.

Negative heart distortions can be just as dramatic and just as comical as the following story illustrates.

Two boys are playing football in the park of a small town in Texas. Suddenly, one of the boys is attacked by a crazed Rottweiler. Thinking quickly, the other boy takes a stick and shoves it under the dog’s collar and twists it. Breaking the dog’s neck, he saves his friend.

A sports reporter who was strolling by sees the incident and rushes over to interview the boy. He tells the boy he’s going to write the story. I’ll title it ‘Young Longhorn Fan Saves Friend from Vicious Animal’.”

“But I’m not a Longhorn fan,” the little hero replies. “Sorry, since we’re in Texas, I just assumed you were,” says the reporter and he starts writing again. He asks, “How does ‘Aggie Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Attack’… sound?”

“I’m not an Aggie fan either,” the boy says. “Oh, I thought everyone in Texas was either for the Aggies or the Longhorns. What team do you root for?” the reporter asks.

“I’m just visiting my cousin, I’m an OU fan,” the boy replies…. “They’re just the best!”

The reporter smiles, starts a new sheet in his notebook: “Little Red-neck From Oklahoma Kills Beloved Family Pet.”

When bitterness toward brethren is allowed to dwell in our hearts, our perception of everything they do is distorted and it is not funny. Divine wisdom demands,“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice,” Eph.4:31.

The practical results of these two contrasting attitudes are very different. Our heart powerfully influences what we see. When we “love fervently from the heart,” we see the best. When we allow bitterness into our hearts, we can’t see straight. Our perceptions are bent bad. It works automatically, usually without awareness.

These lessons help us appreciate Solomon’s wise admonition: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Prov.4:23.