Hebrews 7:20-28

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 25, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
‘The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’’
Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”
-Hebrews 7:20-28

If you’re thinking this passage seems to start in the middle of a thought, that’s because you’re right – it does! It’s always helpful to remember that the Bible was not written with chapter and verse designations like we have today. Sometimes Biblical authors get pretty wordy so there’s just not a good place to break up a thought to write about in a blog post like this. So, check out my post from last week for the context of the beginning of this thought.

The author of Hebrews has been talking about the difference between priests in the order of Melchizedek versus priests in the order of Aaron. His point is to make it clear that Jesus Christ is a superior high priest to all other high priests because He is part of the order of Melchizedek. In the previous section, we saw evidence of this because of the life that He lived. Here, the author continues with three more ways that Jesus is superior: His divine oath (verses 20-22), its permanence (verses 23-25), and His better sacrifice (verses 26-28).

When priests were established in the order of Aaron and from the tribe of Levi, there was no oath to establish them as priests. Jesus, however, “became a priest with an oath” (verse 21). The verse goes on to quote Psalm 110:4, indicating that God has appointed Jesus as a priest forever and will not change His mind about that. This priesthood of Jesus is sealed by a divine oath from God Himself! That means that nothing can break this priesthood, unlike human priests in the order of Aaron.

The old covenant had been given through Abraham, but no person could guarantee that either party would fulfill their part of it. Now, we see that the covenant is better and Jesus has become the guarantor of it (verse 22). Jesus is the guarantor of both sides of the covenant. He guarantees that God will fulfill His covenant to mankind of forgiveness of our sins and eternal life, and He also guarantees that those who have faith in Him are to be considered acceptable in God’s sight.

The next way that Jesus is superior is that His priesthood is permanent. Human priests would stop being priests when they died (verse 23), and all priests in the order of Aaron would die. Successors were needed to keep the office of the high priest going throughout the generations. According to early church historian Josephus, there were 83 high priests from the time of Aaron until the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. All of them died and needed someone to replace them.

Jesus, however, never dies, so there is never any need for someone to replace Him; in fact, no one could replace Him (verse 24). His high priesthood is permanent. Interestingly, the Greek word for “permanent” is only found here in the New Testament (that phenomenon of a word only being found once is called a hapax legomenon if you want to amaze and amuse your friends with that). Some scholars believe it means “without a successor” more specifically than simply “permanent,” but others believe it also means “unchangeable.” Regardless, Jesus has lived and will live forever, so unlike the Levitical priests in the order of Aaron, His priesthood will never end.

Because of this permanence, Jesus is completely able to save those who have faith in Him (verse 25). He always lives to intercede for us, and He will always be there to guarantee that we fulfill our part of the covenant through His work. The phrase “save completely” indicates the idea that any sinner can be redeemed and saved no matter what sins they have committed. The idea of Jesus always interceding for us is an interesting one. We often think of intercession in terms of praying for someone else, but the act of Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection is the ultimate intercession for us.

Finally, Jesus is shown to be superior because of His better sacrifice. Verse 26 starts out by sharing the character of Jesus – “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” No earthly priest can even begin to compare to that! Verse 27 explains the contrast again of Jesus sacrificing Himself once and for all, whereas the earthly priests would have to regularly offer more sacrifices because they were not final as Jesus’ was. Then, verse 28 shows one more contrast between Jesus and human priests: human priests have weaknesses, while Jesus forever lives in perfection.

Why does all this matter for us non-Jews today who don’t have a high priest in our lives? It means that we can be shown as blameless before God and worthy to have eternal life in Him because of what Jesus did for us. Jesus is the great and perfect high priest that no person could ever compare to. He is the only sacrifice that we ever need, and when we have faith in Him, He guarantees for us that God will see us as righteous as Jesus is, no matter what evils we have committed in this life. Jesus is the only high priest and the only sacrifice that we’ll ever need, and we do need Him to become right with God.

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Apologetics 12: Puppets of the Devil

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 22, 2021 1 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
~2 Timothy 2:24-26

You are a slave to someone. You are a slave to sin and the devil, or you are a slave to Christ. Not many people like to hear this; there is a lot of kick-back to the notion that we are just pawns in a cosmic game of Chess between God and the devil. No matter what culture or religion you are, this is a fundamental question all mankind wrestles with. Look at many role-playing video games. A number of them depict the heroes defying their “fate,” and the “gods” that seek to control them so that they can live independently, ruling their own lives. But it sure is interesting how in many of these stories, even the heroes turn to someone to guide them. Even when you are making your own choices, you are serving someone. Those who are born-again are servants, or more accurately slaves, to Christ. Those who are in opposition to Christ are slaves to the devil and they do his will. See Romans 6 for more on this.

But this is not just a statement by Paul. Jesus drilled this point home hard in John 8. He told the Jews, who had proclaimed to believe in Him, that they were of their father, the devil, because they were doing his will. We only have two options: serving God or serving someone else. We are obedient to one of two masters: God or the devil. We will choose one or the other.

God makes His case crystal clear. Life or death. Hope or doom. Success or failure. Obey and you get the goodies, disobey and you don’t. It’s not hard, yet so many just refuse to listen. Go through Deuteronomy 28 and look at the promises for obedience and the curses for disobedience that Israel shouted to each other. It was an easy choice, and God’s laws are not burdensome. They were all about separation from the rest of the world and faith in the Savior that would come. It wasn’t that hard. Yet time and time again, Israel kept disobeying and breaking God’s laws. We can look at them and think: “Are you guys insane?” Actually, yes they were insane. Again, look at the passage at the top of this post. God would have to grant them repentance so they could come to their senses. But how are we different? How many times do we do something utterly stupid that looked good at the moment? We call it “foolishness.” We were not thinking clearly when we made that decision. And it is when we lose sight of the standard of truth, when we lose our ability to think rationally, that we fall for the traps of the Devil and then become his puppets, his slaves to do his bidding.

Brainwashing is part of this process, but the term “mind-control” is not out of the picture. Few Biblical accounts showcase the power of the control of the enemy over a person than Ahab and Jezebel. Ahab’s sins were bad enough, but the sin of marrying Jezebel topped them all. In fact, every time Ahab moved towards repentance, Jezebel was there to reel him in, and she controlled him. There is a saying that the man is the head of the family, but the woman is the neck that turns the head wherever she wants. This certainly was true of Ahab and Jezebel. I often wonder if Ahab would have repented and turned to God on Elijah’s call had he not married Jezebel. It was Jezebel who brought in Baal worship. It was she who went after the prophets of God. It was she who carried out Ahab’s wish and got Naboth murdered. Ahab was totally powerless against that woman. The same is true about any person dealing with a false teaching. In fact, Jezebel’s name became synonymous with “false teachings” come the fierce rebuke to Thyatira.

Whenever we face a false ideology, we have to remember that most of these people are not in it to be intentionally deceptive and wicked. They are in it because they were deceived and are enslaved to it. Eric Ludy “lent the pulpit” to Richard Wurmbrand in one sermon (that is, Ludy preached what Wurmbrand would have said through Wurmbrand’s writings). In that sermon, he discussed Wurmbrand’s dealings with Communism. Wurmbrand loved the Communist and hated Communism. That is NOT an easy thing to do. He longed for the people to be freed of the hatred that Communism brings upon people. But he described an account where a Communist was thrown into prison (for an unknown reason) and tortured like the other prisoners. The Communist began to think about what was happening to him. For Communism to torture Christians was good because Communism was good and Christians were hinderances to Communism. Yet for a Communist to torture a Communist is for no other reason that pleasure and that is unmitigated evil. And if this is unmitigated evil, there must be unmitigated good. The Communist became a Christian. God used the torture of Communism’s own system to break this man free from the control of the devil and set his mind free.

John Ramirez was a head honcho in the occult. He would describe how he was so close to Satan that they’d talk as though they were father and son. He knew everything about what was going on behind the scenes and could control people or kill people from a distance, yet the whole time he was being played. The first bit of light was a Christian concert in New York City, and I keep picturing David Wilkerson being that guy. It was something he couldn’t touch. Soon God gave John a vision of Hell, and John realized he had been betrayed by Satan and became a Christian. The powers involved in these deceptions are supernatural and they are POWERFUL.

It doesn’t matter what the false teaching is. The more I deal with Evolution and Deep Time, the more I see it’s a spiritual issue. No amount of reasoning, logic, and proper science is getting through. So I need to stop arguing those points because they cannot think. This is not an insult; they are enslaved by the devil. Whether they realize it or not, they are doing the devil’s work, not only by believing lies themselves, but by spreading them around. They are deceived people, but they are deceiving others in that deception. It could be argued that no one is greater deceived than Satan himself who still somehow thinks he is going to win in all this. I see this in Prosperity Gospel, Mormonism, New Age, Islam, Communism/Socialism, the LGBT movements, money, a position/title, a sport/hobby, and so on. It’s truly insanity. God has given them over to a depraved and reprobate mind. They have rejected the truth, they have lost their sanity, they are entrapped by the devil, and now they are doing his bidding, which is ultimately “Do whatever you want as long as it’s not God’s will.” This is why the LGBT can get along with Muslims, despite Islam teaching such actions deserves of beheading. They are all on the same side: the devil’s. Satan doesn’t care what false teaching you believe. He only cares that it’s not God. And he’ll take as many as he can to Hell with him in the process.

So that is the status of the unbeliever according to 2 Timothy 2:24-26. They are in opposition against God. They do not have the truth in them (though they know it intuitively, which is why they fight it). They do not think straight or clearly. They have been ensnared by the devil. They are being controlled and manipulated by him to do his will as mere puppets. So, what do we do about it? How do we engage them? Now that we know their plight, what should be our plan of action? Paul gives us that answer as well. As I continue this series, we’ll look at Paul’s answer in this passage and then look at the surrounding context to see what else we can pick up.

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Teach in Liberty, Not in Slavery

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, October 20, 2021 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.”
-John Adams, Defense of the Constitutions, 1787

Training up children in God’s way is very important; set them free! But teaching someone how to live in liberty while living out Godly ways can be very difficult.

I have been married for over 24 years now, and we have been blessed to have 6 wonderful children. I have also been coaching sports for over 15 years at various levels. Little did I realize how much coaching is really like parenting. For as many different styles of parenting there are out there, there are just as many styles of coaching.

My wife and I have taught our children not only the ways of God and how to live them out in the real world. We have lived out a permission giving household that allowed our children the most liberty possible when making decisions about things. Years ago, when we started our family, after some training and many conversations together with both of us listening to the other and sharing our thoughts, we decided to only have two rules in our home. We would expect first time obedience from our children, and if they did not comply, we would administer discipline lovingly but swiftly. In doing this, we allowed (and still to this day allow) our children the freedom to do what they want to do as long as they do not break the two rules we have in our family.

Rule #1: Do not lie; always tell the truth, even when it’s difficult.

Rule #2: Obey God and your mother and father. This also includes other people that your mother and father have put in authority over you.

In administering these rules, my wife and I have taken the responsibility of parenting on ourselves. We have taken our God-given responsibility seriously. We were and are now accepting of our responsibility for teaching our children the difference between right and wrong. We have taken that burden upon ourselves and no longer would blame our children for not “turning out right.” That burden is now squarely on us to teach, disciple, and love our children so they do not need to carry that responsibility of growing up as a burden; that is now our burden as their parents.

Our children can live in complete liberty and freedom and be children without worrying. We were able to make God the standard bearer and not us. In doing so, this helps our children look to God and not us as the one they answer to. Ultimately, God is the one who has set the standard; it is up to the parents to raise the bar to God’s standard and teach it. We strive for perfection, knowing it will not be achieved, but in doing so we expect an excellent Godly result.

If our children chose, within their own free will, to break the rules set before them, my wife and I already had decided long before the offense occurred what the consequence was going to be. My wife and I together came to an agreement, after much discussion and prayer, of what we both believed a proper consequence would be for our children choosing to break the rules of our home. We did that together; I did not lord over her, and she did not lord over me. We did this together and came to an agreement together. Time, patience, and self-control are so needed for a successful marriage, and I encourage all marriages to be founded upon Christ if you truly desire success.

We let our children know what was expected in our home and what the consequence of not following these two simple rules would be. In doing so, we trained and continue to train our children in God’s ways, allowing our children the freedom to do right or wrong, tell the truth or lie, obey or disobey. They get to choose, and when an offense occurs, it is up to my wife and me to follow through with the appointed consequence as soon as possible. If we didn’t do this, we would be sending our children a mixed message about what was right and wrong. Swift discipline is by far the best thing to administer. It helps a child learn what the offense truly was and helps them to learn not to do that again. So, fathers, get out of that easy chair and take your God-given responsibility seriously.

Coaching a team very similar to this. When a coach sends a mixed message to their team about what needs to be done on the field or court and someone chooses to go against what the coach wants (knowingly or unknowingly), if the coach does not discipline as soon as possible, not only is the player who committed the offense confused but also the rest of the team. Before you know it, chaos ensues. Generally, coaches like to blame their players for this chaos (or parents blame their children). This chaos exists because the person in charge (often the coach but parents are responsible for their own children) is not following through in swift discipline in order to teach what is expected. Pure selfishness and constraint are being taught instead of liberty and freedom.

I encourage us all to teach our children how to live a full and joy-filled life in all that they do. Live your own life by teaching real liberty in love.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”
- Colossians 3:17-21

Fathers, make certain to teach your children the importance of living in liberty. Do not exasperate your children, and let’s start taking our God given responsibility seriously. Mothers, love, love, love your children and love, support, and respect your husband. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, and when you mess up, be a man! Confess your sin, ask for forgiveness, and lead in love, grace, and peace. Teach your children to mature in the Lord.

If you're interested in learning more about what Jason is suggesting here, check out his book How Being Consistent Changed Everything!

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Hebrews 7:11-19

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 18, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared:
‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.’
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”
-Hebrews 7:11-19

Last week, I wrote about who Melchizedek was and why he was so important as a great high priest, check out that post for some context to this. We also need to understand some historical context in order to understand the true significance of what this passage is saying.

First, the Jews considered God’s law to be the final authority on everything. It was God definitively speaking to mankind, and the buck stops there so to speak. Everyone must strive to do everything in accordance with God’s law. Second, the Jews considered the Aaronic priesthood (priests from the line of Levi) to be superior to the priesthood of Melchizedek. God’s law came after Melchizedek’s lifetime, so the Jews believed that the Aaronic priesthood superseded that of Melchizedek. They believed that the priesthood and the law were intimately connected.

The author’s point is summarized in verse 11: “If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?” Jesus was not of the lineage of Levi, so He could not be a priest in the order of Aaron. But Jesus was considered to be in the order of Melchizedek – He was both a king and a priest. The author is emphasizing that all of the human priests were imperfect and could not keep the law perfectly. If they were perfect, then why would another priest of a different order need to come to save them? So clearly, even those priests in the order of Aaron needed someone to come to redeem them since they could not perfectly keep the law.

Verse 12 points out the intimate connection between the law and the priesthood. If a person is to change the law, they must also change the law. This is not just changing who the person is who fills the office of the priest, but a change in the whole type of priest that is required. Jesus did not come to replace Aaron; He was a totally different and better kind of priest. Jesus came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). He changed everything!

Jesus clearly came from a “different” tribe than typical priests, as we see in verse 13. Jesus was a descendent from the tribe of Judah, not of Levi where all the priests were from. Even though David and Solomon (among others) had offered sacrifices, only priests from the tribe of Levi had ever done the true work of sacrificing for the people’s sins at the altar in the Holy of Holies. The author is talking about those regular priestly duties, that no one outside of the tribe of Levi had ever performed. The author further confirms this point in verse 14 by stating that Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah, not from the priestly tribe of Levi.

Starting with verse 15, the author begins by explaining 4 reasons why Christ’s priesthood is superior: His life (verses 15-19), the divine oath (verses 20-22), its permanence (verses 23-25), and His better sacrifice (verses 26-28). We’ll look at the first reason this week and the other three next week.

The author’s first point is that Jesus is not limited by death as the Levitical or Aaronic priests were. Verse 15 explains again that Jesus is a priest more like Melchizedek, outside of the order of Aaron. Verse 16 explains this further, that Jesus did not become a priest because of His ancestry but “on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.” “Indestructible” is not a word that is typically used in reference to Jesus, but it does fit well! His life was indestructible in that even death could not keep Him down. Nothing can destroy the life of Jesus!

Verse 17 is a direct quote both from Psalm 110:4 and also Hebrews 5:6. This establishes the special character of Jesus’ priesthood. No other priest was indestructible like Jesus was; He is a priest forever. The concept of the priesthood through Aaron did continue for generations (Exodus 40:15), but each individual priest died.

In verse 18, we see that the “former regulation,” meaning the priesthood of Aaron and through the tribe of Levi, was no longer needed. The coming of Jesus made the whole Levitical system worthless. The people no longer needed a person to offer sacrifices each year for their sins; Jesus accomplished that once and for all. That is why He is the great high priest, as the author of Hebrews discussed previously.

Verse 19 identifies where the law fell short. Nothing was made perfect by the law, and the law did not give people hope. The gospel message of Jesus’ death and resurrection is significantly better than the law, and it both gives people hope and draws them near to God.

No one is made perfect through the law, and no one can be saved through obeying the law alone because no one can obey it perfectly except Jesus. Jesus’ perfect and indestructible life is the only thing that can save us. He is not a typical priest like the Jews were used to, but one who is of a completely different order.

What does that mean for our lives today? Most Christians today are not familiar with the Jewish system of sacrifices in order for people to find forgiveness for their sins, so the distinction between the order of Aaron and the order of Melchizedek isn’t as meaningful to us. But what is meaningful is knowing that Jesus’ sacrificial death is the only sacrifice we’ll ever need!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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Apologetics 11: The Snares of the Devil

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 15, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
~2 Timothy 2:24-26

For the last few weeks, I have been addressing what repentance looks like from a worldview perspective, what believing lies does, and how a wrong worldview is actually a form of insanity. This is important to understand as we deal with people who are caught up in false teachings. We have a few more thing to dig out of this passage. We need to examine the snares of the devil and how he puppeteers them as his slaves. Those who believe in a false teaching have been ensnared by the devil. They have fallen for his traps and seductions. What I want to do with this post is look at the tactics used to draw people into these false teachings. Most don’t enter them intentionally.

1) Personal Fear. This tactic is most easily seen in cults. One of the main reasons people stay in a cult is because of fear of what will happen to them or their children if they leave. The fear of apostasy and going to Hell is always present in a cult. There should be a genuine fear for this issue because the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Himself warned against it.

This very point is why many people argue that Christianity is a cult. This accusation is also often aimed at Young Earth Creation; sadly, people like Ken Ham have not done a great job at fighting against that notion. A Facebook friend of mine pointed it out clearly. Many Creationists correctly warn against the tactics of the enemy to come after our children (they are) but it tends to have a “oh, no, we are in trouble” tone to it like this picture. What Creationists need to do instead is to boldly confront them like Errol Flynn.

However, in a cult, there are two main marks: a) teaching an immoral (often sexually based) thing as being good, and b) denying the Lord Jesus Christ (His deity, His manhood, His work on the cross, etc.). Fear is a very effective tool of the enemy, but there is a key difference between the enemy’s fear and God’s fear. The enemy’s fear is about self and what happens to self. God’s fear is a reverence for Him that makes you not want to displease Him. Truth is exclusive. You cannot depart from the truth and be safe. But legitimate fear against violating truth always has a legitimate reason behind it. The false teachings won’t give you one.

2) Fear of the “expert.” This applies in the world and in the church. It’s an appeal to authority and a fear that you don’t want to cross them because they are the expert and you aren’t. This is why students don’t question teachers, because they are expected to respect teachers. But not all teachers are good people. This applies to scientists and politicians as well. Having letters after your name does not make you an “expert.” Even having years of experience alone does not necessarily mean you learned the job correctly to begin with.

But this is worse in the church. One pastor told me he was scared to death about calling out a false teacher because a guy named T.D Jakes said, “Do not touch the Lord’s anointed” because you might get “spiritual leprosy.” Jakes was referencing how David refused to strike Saul and then used Miriam and Aaron speaking against Moses because of his wife as the reason. However, he was applying that to himself and ultimately saying, “Don’t ever question me. I am a man of God. Anything you say against me will come back on you.” David Wilkerson identifies that as a “smiting spirit.” It’s not of God, but people use this to drive people into fear to never question them on their teachings, even when it’s direct heresy and they are trapped by them. People KNOW they are wrong but can’t speak against it because of this issue. We must be gentle with such people because they live in a religious setting that is like a wife with an abusive husband. They need love and gentleness to escape such settings.

3) Fear of man. This is fear of peers and fear of how you look before others. This is the desire to fit in with the crowd and to not be the one who stands out. There are certain things you “don’t talk about” in certain circles because it will disrupt the waters. This is a primary reason why there is 97% “consensus” about Evolution among scientists. It’s not because the evidence is so strong; it’s because the peer pressure is sufficient to stifle out dissent, not to mention the intentional removal of those who pose the biggest threats to Evolution. Evolution is one of the snares and it’s driven primarily on “fear of the expert” coupled with “fear of man.” This trap is driven by appeals to appearances and approval by others. Anytime someone changes the Gospel because of concern of how it will be received (this is prime motivation for Old Earth Creation beliefs), they’re held captive by this trap.

4) I want to believe it. This is a strange trap, because there are many people who believe false teachings because they will not tolerate sound doctrine. Instead of listening to the truth, they heap for themselves teachers who will say what they want heard. Hugh Ross and Joel Osteen are two teachers who come to mind on this issue. Both are charismatic, and both are very courteous and friendly. Both are also very sincere in what they believe. But I do not believe they are intentionally deceiving people. Instead, they are God’s judgment upon those who want to be deceived. This is the category of being BOTH deceiving and being deceived. Why do they want to be deceived? In part because they have fallen for the other traps. They want to sound religious and godly, but they want it on their terms, not God’s. They want to look good in front of their unbelieving friends, but they want to “get in” with God while at it. Newsflash: God will have nothing to do with such arrangements.

There are other traps and snares, too, but I am out of space for them. There is something we should see in common here. All of these traps can be summarized by an appeal to one of three things: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. These are the same three categories that Eve saw in the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and these are the same three categories that Satan tempted Jesus with in the wilderness. They came in different packages and forms, but they’re the same categories. It’s all about SELF. False teachings are always about self. What can I get out of it? How can I benefit from it? The more I confront false teachings, the more I am seeing how powerful this deception is. And to be honest, it is only by the grace of God that I haven’t succumbed to it, because I should have long ago. We must also keep in mind that these people do not have or know the truth, and they do not think clearly. Next week, we’ll look at how Satan uses these people as his puppets. Once we understand all this, then it makes our cues for evangelism much clearer.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, October 13, 2021 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

We all need to ask ourselves: who do we trust? We need to seek and search, asking questions and genuinely looking for the truth. Absolute Truth will set you free – real truth, not your truth or my truth but Almighty God truth. Do you really want to be free though?

Do you really desire for the tough questions to be answered with the truth in love? Love is the one word that can unite us. Love is the word that describes the God of the Bible.

Read 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind, Love does not envy nor boast. It is not proud, and love is not rude. Did you catch that, my friend? Love is not rude nor self-seeking. Love thinks of others. Love is not easily angered. How are you doing with that, my friend? Love keeps no records of wrongs, but it's not stupid either. It is shrewd as a serpent yet gentle as a dove. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Ah, there's that word again: truth!

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and the One who loves us never fails.

United we stand; divided we fall. You can agree or disagree with my assessment and that is just fine.

What can we agree on though? Can we agree that it's time to get to know our neighbor and even some of our friends on social media better?

Instead of demonizing each other, let We the People start really having productive conversations because it's difficult to make someone a monster when you know them and they know you.

Listen and hear what someone else is truly saying. Don't worry about defending your position or a person, because we the people need to be on a mission for truth! We need to be willing and able to be wrong about what we think we know or have figured out if it is not truth.

TRUTH: it will set you free! It can set all of us free!

What is just one way you can be a part of the solution in this journey for truth? How can you grow up and mature to truly be a part of moving forward – moving things in God's direction? It’s all about truth and love.

Seek out truth, friends, and you will find the answer. This must first be done individually; take a really good look in the mirror. Evaluate and assess what is really going on, not only in the world but more importantly, what is going on inside of you? The only way to overcome is to be totally honest with yourself as you move into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

What is just one way you can be a part of the solution? United we stand; divided we fall.

Instead of speaking venom and death today, why not attempt to speak out encouragement and life into someone else?

Check out 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and 1 John 5:1-5 for more.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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Witches, Christians, Pagans, and Halloween: Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, October 12, 2021 0 comments


by Chad Koons

In Witches, Christians, and Pagans, and Halloween: Part 1, I went into the Samhain/Halloween connection and the deity behind Halloween, Cerridwen. Now, let’s take a detailed look into the traditions and symbolisms within the holiday, as well as a real-life Elder Witch’s perspective.

Cultural Tradition and Symbolism

“Yeah, but I don’t celebrate Samhain, I celebrate Halloween!” This is commonly the type of comment I’ll receive after someone reads my research on the matter. Let’s do a comparison and see how different (or similar) the two are.

* On Samhain, faces were carved into pumpkins and gourds which were placed around the perimeter of the home or in the openings of the home such as windows or doors. Candles were placed inside of them to act as a guide for the spirits walking past the home.

- On Halloween… we carve faces into pumpkins which are placed around the perimeter of the home or in windows or doorways. We place candles inside of them. This is exactly the Samhain practice. The next time you see a “Jack-O’-Lantern,” remember what it means.

* On Samhain, candles are lit inside of the home as a means of guiding the spirits from outside to inside the house. Once inside the home, dinner parties are then hosted for these spirits (who are believed to be “spirit guides” or dead relatives) for the purpose of appeasing and thanking them. Eating together with the spirits is an invitation for the spirit’s guidance over the next year.

- On Halloween… candles are lit inside the home and in windows. We gather inside of homes for spooky themed Halloween parties where we eat together. Now you know where these traditions come from.

* On Samhain, fires are lit. These are intended to be magical fires used in witchcraft and divination. Spells are performed around these fires, along with stories of spirits, ghosts, gods, and goddesses. The fires are danced around, eaten by, and are the hub of celebration.

- On Halloween… fires are lit, and we have parties around these fires where we celebrate and tell spooky stories. Have you ever had bonfires with ghost stories during a Halloween party? These are not some random practices; the idea was born during Samhain.

* On Samhain, there was (and still is) decoration of the home, a creation of an altar, meditation on what it means to live in spirit, and get this… activities for family and children.

- On Halloween… we decorate our homes, think about ghosts and the supernatural, and we create and hold activities for families and children. Communities, schools, and even our churches are eager to host these Halloween activities! Our families are celebrating Samhain and we don’t even know it.

* On Samhain, spirits were thought to walk the villages and treats were offered on the thresholds of homes. These spirits were called the “Aos si” (pronounced “ees-shee”). They were ancestral spirits (ghosts), spirits of nature, malevolent spirits, or even gods or goddesses. These spirits were sinister at worst and tricksters at best, therefore the occupants of the villages needed to appease them somehow. The villagers offered fruits, sweet baked goods, or nuts upon their doorsteps in attempts to appease the Aos si. It was believed that the spirits would accept the sweets as an offering. If a home did not offer a sweet treat, however, then the Aos si would either harm the house, harm the occupants, curse the home, or play a trick on the people in some way.

Because of this supernatural activity, it was believed unsafe to travel at night during Samhain. Therefore people would dress in disguise (called “guising” or “mumming“) and imitate the Aos si. These disguised people would then go house to house just as the Aos si did. They would stand upon the doorstep of the home and recite a pagan song or phrase. The occupants of the homes were then expected to provide these people with the same food or sweets that were offered to the Aos si. If the house did not hand out a treat, then the people in disguise would imitate the Aos si by playing a trick upon the house.

- On Halloween… we follow this same pattern. We dress in disguise while going door to door, presenting the occupant with a choice: give us a treat or we will play a trick on you. Here it is, folks, the Samhain practice of disguise and collecting treats or threatening a trick has turned into our modern-day Trick or Treat. Now you know what it means.

* On Samhain, death and fear of harm are the driving forces. Spirits of the dead are thought to enter the world of the living during Samhain, since the veil between worlds is believed to be at its thinnest. Ghosts, malevolent spirits, and even other supernatural beings such as gods and goddesses are believed to seep through into our natural world to interact with humans. Motivated by fear, people needed to find ways to welcome, appease, or blend in with these spirits in order to avoid harm or death.

- On Halloween… we are driven by these same forces. The imagery of fear, death, and bodily harm are everywhere. This is why we see haunted houses, ghosts, monsters, witches, and the undead throughout Halloween. Have you ever wondered why Halloween is full of fear and the glorification of death? Halloween is full of fear and death because Samhain is. We even follow the same pagan practice of surrounding ourselves with this imagery. We welcome it and blend in with it the same as the pagans did (and still do). Halloween and Samhain are two different names for the same thing.

The Samhain celebration and practice is exactly what our modern culture continues to express in Halloween. Samhain hasn’t changed, it just wears a Halloween mask.

A Witch’s Perspective

The vast majority of the pagan and witchcraft community equate Samhain with Halloween. But don’t take my word for it, hear it from the source. Here’s what a leading witch has to say on the matter.

The following is an excerpt from a book entitled Sabbats: A Witch’s Approach to Living the Old Ways by Edain McCoy. Edain is an elder in the Wiccan tradition and priestess of Brighid. Edain drops some historical truth on the subject, as well. Some will cry out, “Halloween is not Samhain, Halloween is just a silly holiday!” Sorry to burst your bubble, but this Elder Witch disagrees:

Samhain is popularly known today as “Halloween,” a contraction of the words “Hallowed Evening.” It retains much of the original form and meaning it had long ago in Celtic lands, despite the efforts of the church to turn it into an observance of feasting and prayer for their vast pantheon of saints. The church began by calling it the Feast Day of St. Michael, but the old Samhain holiday proved to be too potent a drawing card for one lone saint to combat. So it was renamed the “eve of all saints”, or “All hallows eve” precedes All saints Day. But even after all this effort, so much Samhain practice and lore remained within the popular culture.

Edain does a good job at explaining a couple of key points.
First, that Samhain is known today as Halloween. Yes, they are the same.
Secondly, that the church tried to redeem this Pagan holiday and subsequently failed.

Leave it to a real-life elder witch to, shall we say, “boil it down” for us (pun intended). Samhain is alive and well today, thinly masquerading as Halloween, and the church cannot redeem it.

Conclusion

At the end of my research, I found myself at a loss for words. I was shocked, perplexed, and quite honestly feeling a like I needed a spiritual shower. Sometimes the truth is much more horrid than fiction.

So what would I do with Halloween? What would I have my children do with Halloween? The evidence was quite compelling, and I could no longer ignore it. Halloween would no longer enchant me, and it most certainly would not be permitted to seduce my children. We cut it off. As a Christian parent, I cannot stand before the Lord knowing that I allowed my children to participate in a pagan holiday. It would seem that witches, Christians, and pagans do not mix.

Now that you know the truth, you have a decision to make – a decision that not only impacts your life, but the lives of your children. What will you do with Halloween?

Finally, I leave you with these words…
“Have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather EXPOSE them.” – Apostle Paul, Ephesians 5:11.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

READ MORE