Ecclesiastes 11:7-10

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 29, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

In the previous passage, the Teacher discussed the uncertainties of this life and how we cannot know what the future holds. But in today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 11:7-10, the Teacher speaks of one thing in life that’s almost certain: growing up and growing old.

Verse 7 says, “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.” Life always seems better when the sun is shining, doesn’t it? All things seem possible on a bright, sunny day. Light and the sun here are compared to our youth when it seems as though your whole life is ahead of you and anything is possible. It’s pleasing to be full of potential like that.

Verse 8 is somewhat of a contrast to that: “However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.” We should enjoy however many days and years God gives us in this life. Just as the sun sets and night falls each day, the light of youth will dwindle as we get older. Just as light was compared to youth in the previous verse, here darkness is compared to old age. We have youth, then we get older; this is simply the rhythm of life.

The word “remember” here in referencing the days of darkness does not mean remembering as in reflecting on the past but to reflect on the future and keep it in mind. The days of darkness could also refer to death. The time we will spend after our physical death is likely greater than the time we spend alive on this earth, so we need to remember that our time here is short compared to being dead for the rest of eternity.

The phrase at the end of this verse, “Everything to come is meaningless,” refers to the idea that we do not know for sure what happens to us as after we die from this life. It cannot be explained by anyone who is still living on this earth. While we as followers of Jesus know that we have eternal life to look forward to, we do not know exactly what that looks like - and we won’t know until we get there. Everything to come after this life is still somewhat of a mystery to us.

Verse 9 goes on to say, “You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” This verse emphasizes the theme from the previous two that we should enjoy life while we’re young, and experience as much joy as we can in this life.

This verse may seem foolish when it says to “Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see,” and that by itself is foolish. The next phrase gives the caution: “but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” This is the idea of God’s natural law, that we can essentially do what we want, but there will be consequences, whether good or bad. Sure, follow your sinful desire and commit that sin - but know that God will judge you for it, and be prepared to accept those consequences. We need to have a sense of responsibility for our actions, both while we’re young and while we’re old (and anywhere in between).

Verse 10 concludes this section: “So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.” Whatever age you’re at, we should not be anxious about anything. Our bodies will have trouble because of the sinful world we live in, but we shouldn’t worry about them. Philippians 4:6-7 echoes this: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

When the Teacher says that “youth and vigor are meaningless,” he does not mean that those years are not worth anything. On the contrary, the years of our youth are very formative and often set the path we’ll follow as we get older. The idea of “meaningless” here could mean simply that we do not fully understand the world as young people, so we have the vigor to accomplish much but may not understand the big picture well yet.

The reality is that after we are young and don’t know much (even if we think we do), we will grow older and hopefully become more mature. We should strive to enjoy all our days, no matter what our age, but knowing that there will be consequences if our enjoyment disobeys God. If we are following God and His ways, we’ll experience true enjoyment of life, not just temporary happiness in the pleasures of this world but the true joy that only He can bring.

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Words 4: Mark Them

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 26, 2020 2 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” ~Romans 16:17-18

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about words and how they are used for brainwashing people into believing false teachings. The church is not exempted from the process. Jesus warned that in the End Times, there will be a Great Deception that is so powerful that without God’s direct interference and shorting of those days, even the elect would be deceived. I personally believe that Evolution and the ideas of Deep Time will be the origins model for the One-World religion of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, or at least a precursor to it. There have been many false teachings throughout church history from the Gnostics to the Roman Catholic Church indulgences and now through Deep Time among many others, but few false teachings have corrupted the church of God as Deep Time has. I truly abhor this teaching because of what it has done to the church, producing many other false teachings, primarily because it stole the reading and interpretation of Scripture from God and left it in the hands of carnal, sinful man to treat as he saw fit. Many of the other false teachings we face today come as a fruit of this heresy.

Scripture warns against false teachers and the above verse is just one of many. The phrase I want to emphasize is how these false teachers get their message through: with smooth words and flattering speech. Brainwashing is in the church and it has so worked its way through the seminaries and the pastors that the watchmen who are awake and speaking against it are being mocked and ridiculed. The very places where the protectors of the Doctrine of Truth, the Gospel of Christ, and the Scriptures that contain them are supposed to dwell, have become dens of wolves and traitors to Christ. When the prophets in her midst conspire against God and devour the people for selfish gain, expect judgment.

But don’t just blame the false preachers. Also blame the false converts in the church who bring in these false preachers. Both are to blame for this: the preachers for brainwashing the people, and the people for desiring to be brainwashed instead of hearing the truth. But these are Satan’s plants and the goats among the sheep, the tares among the wheat. The question is, how do these people get past the sheep? How do these false teachers and false converts get around virtually unchecked? Here is one way: brainwashing.

Let me say this as straight as I can: the elect, the Christian, is not immune to brainwashing. When a Christian, who has the Holy Spirit dwelling within him, hears a false teaching, there will be a check in their spirit about it. The Christian who listens will escape trouble; the one who does not will not. Let me also say this, most of the brainwashing a Christian has faced was done before they were saved. A big part of the Christian life is a process of renewing our mind, not conforming to the pattern of this world – undoing the brainwashing. I’ll address that in more detail next week. But here is the grave danger, most people in churches have been brainwashed into thinking they have been saved, when in reality they have not been.

Words have meaning, and they have certain images that are associated with them. Think of words like “salvation,” “God,” “love,” “Christian,” “brothers,” and so on. Like any field of study, Christianity has its own “academic language,” in which you need to spend some time in the faith to start learning them. We often call it “Christianese.” Now, I am not a fan of big, academic language because often using big, fancy words is code for “not having a clue, but I want to sound smart.” The false teacher knows the Christian language and knows how to speak it. It would be wise to treat any person who can speak the Christian language the same way you would any person who can speak in the language of physics, geology, math, politics, or business. Their ability to speak the language does not make them right, or even an expert in that field. It only means they can speak the language. You still must test them on what they are saying.

The brainwashing takes place when the false teacher uses the same words but then begins describing a different image with those words. Christian theology has been replaced with humanism. The creation, marriage, God’s love, His mercy, the angels, Jesus, the cross, salvation, all of it was for the glory of God. Yet when you hear most teachings and read most books about those topics today, most are for the happiness of man and for the benefit of man. Same terms, different image. When the Gospel is presented, it’s no longer about God and what God did, but about you and how special you are. Same language, but very different message.

Just look at God himself. When I listen to the descriptions of God in many Christian circles and books I read, I seriously question how much of the Bible they’ve read. What I hear is not a description of God at all. It’s a description of self, either what they think God should do or be like, or what they would do if they were God. But you almost cannot say the name “God” or “Jesus” without getting a myriad of different images and ideas. Why? The answer is simple: Because very few are teaching who God truly is, and we have been brainwashed into thinking of God in terms of a general higher power or Deistic sense. I can’t think of a sermon where it was about the attributes of God. I’ve GIVEN sermons and talks about it. But I can’t think of a sermon where the sermon was simply about the character and nature of God. Many have included comments about them, but the sermon wasn’t about it. As a result, the preacher might be thinking of the true God, but the congregant may not be. Or the preacher might be thinking of his own image of God, and the congregant might be thinking of the True God. The latter is dangerous, because that’s one of the ways the false teachings are able to get by. The congregation thinks the message is about truth because the language is there, but the message is a lie from hell.

No matter where we turn, there are false teachings in politics, business, academia, and the church, and all will use brainwashing tactics and techniques to get their models and their teachings through to deceive the believer, and specifically, the simple-minded. What the Bible calls “simple” here are those who choose not to be diligent to study Scripture and to test everything you hear with Scripture as the standard. The simple are the gullible, and they’ll fall for anything that pleases the ear or makes life easier. But the wise are those who build upon Jesus and His Word.

There is a solution to not be brainwashed. Next week, I’ll share about how to withstand the deceptions and not be duped: by learning, studying, and believing the Words of Truth.

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Holy Spirit Baptism, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 25, 2020 0 comments


by Steve Risner

We began to talk about the baptism in the Holy Spirit as a normal part of the Christian experience last week. We discussed a little about the difference between the indwelling Spirit and the baptism in the Spirt, and that the baptism in the Spirit is separate from and subsequent to salvation. We referenced several passages of Scripture concerning the baptism in the Spirit and ended with an explanation for what the spiritual gifts are based on from Scripture. Let’s look at several more writings, as some suggest the Pentecostal movement is a recent thing. We’ll look at Church history and several things spoken of by early Church fathers and some pretty well-known Christians throughout history.

It seems in America that the baptism in the Spirit of God, commonly referred to as Pentecostalism, is a rarity these days. It seemed to be the normal Christian experience in the New Testament. Last week, we looked at why the only passage of Scripture I am aware of that is used to suggest the gifts of the Spirit have ceased actually has literally nothing at all to do with their claims. So, what happened? Why does it seem like these gifts aren’t in operation today? They are and very much so! The baptism in the Holy Spirit never stopped being a major part of believers’ lives. It’s less here in the States, but the Church in America is not a great example. There have been reports of prophecies, speaking in tongues, etc. throughout Church history. It’s not a new thing and was the normal experience for believers for a very long time. Let’s check that out.

In AD 150 Irenaeus said, “In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the Church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God.” He further said, “For some do certainly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe in Christ, and join themselves to the church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them and they are made whole. Yea, moreover as I have said, the dead have been raised up, and remain among us for many years." He also said, “For by these means we too have seen many persons freed from grievous calamities and from distractions of mind and madness and countless other ills, which could be cured neither by men or devils.”

It seems like in AD 150 the spiritual gifts were alive and well.

In about AD 250 Origen said, “They expel evil spirits, and perform many cures, and foresee certain events ... the Name of Jesus ... can take away diseases.” Praise God this is still true! It sounds like the gifts of the Spirit were still operating in AD 250.

Clement of Rome, who died at the end of the first century AD said, “…men who have received the gift of healing confidently, to the glory of God.” This man, who may have known the Apostles personally, spoke of people operating in the spiritual gifts as they did in the New Testament.

In the 4th century, St Augustine said, “We still do what the apostles did when they laid hands on the Samaritans and called down the Holy Spirit on them in the laying-on of hands. It is expected that converts should speak with new tongues." This seems like the baptism in the Holy Spirit was the normal Christian experience and it was even expected. Some may argue that Augustine made it quite clear that he did not believe in the miraculous in his writings. This is true for the younger Augustine. However, later in his life, due to some personal experiences he had witnessing the gifts of the Spirit in action, he was convinced of the authenticity and need for the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts that accompany it.

The father of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, wrote specific instructions, based on the writings of James the Apostle, on how to heal a man of some form of illness which he had witnessed in a friend’s life not long before. He had seen a friend operate in the gift of healing in this manner.

In the Greek Orthodox Church (the Eastern Church) we find speaking in tongues in monasteries all throughout the Middle Ages.

In the first half of the 16th century, St. Francis Xavier and St. Louis Bertrand reportedly spoke in foreign languages they didn’t know in order to minister to different cultures. There are numerus examples of the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues in various parts of the globe (France, England, India, Russia, etc.) in just about every century since the 16th century.

The modern Pentecostal movement began in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901. This revival eventually spread to the Azusa Street outpouring that is more commonly known. In the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, as many as 1500 people from around the world would pack into a 40’ x 60’ barn to be part of the services. These services saw such a huge calling on missionaries and pastors that within 2 years, the movement had spread to some 50 nations! In the rest of the world outside of America, 1 in 4 Christians is Pentecostal. That translates into 1 in 12 people in the world being a Pentecostal Christian. I say this just to stress the fact that it’s not a weird offshoot or sect. It’s the norm around the world and this is one reason why other nations are sending missionaries to the U.S.!

From these examples, which are a sample, we see that from the first Pentecost in AD 33 throughout history, with the Apostles’ and the early Church fathers’ writings, up through the Middle Ages, and even into our modern times that the moving of the Spirit, the baptism in the Spirit, and the gifts of the Spirit are real and alive today. The Apostle Peter said it was for all believers, and that includes you and me! Jesus wants to empower you to be His witness. It’s the normal Christian experience and has been for nearly 2000 years. Be His witness.

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Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 22, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

It has been said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. I believe every person realizes that the future is definitely one thing that falls into the category of being uncertain - after all, who could have predicted just 6 months ago that the first half of 2020 would look like this? As we move into Ecclesiastes 11:1-6, the Teacher has already discussed right and wrong at length, and now he begins to move into a discussion of how to live in the present with the future being uncertain.

In Ecclesiastes 10, we saw a lot of proverbs, sayings for wise living. Chapter 11 looks like it continues that theme of proverbs, but these wise sayings are more related to each other thematically than those of chapter 10. Here, the theme is giving the reader wisdom for an uncertain future.

Verses 1-2 start out with discussing investments: “Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.”

This brings to my mind something that my dad often says: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It’s risky to ship your grain far away across the sea, but if you don’t try it, you definitely won’t gain anything from it. It can be risky to invest in certain ventures, but again, if you don’t try it, you won’t gain anything. It’s also important to invest in a variety of ventures; an individual one may fail, but if you have investments in multiple places, it’s less likely that they will all fail.

This also brings to mind the Parable of the Talents (or the Parable of the Bags of Gold) that Jesus told, recorded in Matthew 25:14-30. The servants who invested their money received gain from their investments, along with rewards from the master. But the servant who did not invest it lost even that bit he had been given because he did not act wisely. Even if you only have a little, it is still wise to invest it; nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Verses 3-4 use the weather as another analogy for the uncertainty we all face: “If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”

We do know that we can count on the laws of nature to function in the way that God created them. When the clouds get heavy, it will rain. Trees will fall and stay there, they won’t move somewhere else on their own. But in spite of that, we can’t wait for things to be certain before we act. Farmers cannot wait for the exact perfect weather conditions before they plant their fields or they’ll likely miss the opportunity. We can become too focused on the weather conditions or the planning for something that we miss the opportunity to actually do the thing we’re trying to plan.

Verse 5 reminds us that we know so little compared to God: “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”

Today’s modern science does know a lot more about how wind works, how a baby is formed in the womb, and many other things compared to in the time of the Teacher, but we still do not know everything. Much of it is still a mystery to us. This verse really sums of the theme of the whole book of Ecclesiastes - we can’t understand how God works, but we can still follow the rules God has given us and trust that He will work everything out.

Verse 6 gives a summary of this section regarding the uncertain future: “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”

The fact of the matter is that we do not know the future, so there are risks we must take. While some things we do will fail, others will succeed. These teachings are specifically focused on trade and farming, as that was the business of the culture in which this book was written. Many of us do not deal with those tasks as our occupations today, and if we do, technology has drastically changed things, but the principles in these verses are still important. It is important to invest wisely and in multiple different ventures. It’s important to know that there will be uncertainty in life. It’s important not to miss a great opportunity because of indecision over the risks involved due to uncertainties.

So, how does our faith as followers of Jesus fit into all of this? Because of the relationship that we can have with God because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection, we can communicate with God about the everyday things in our lives. Whether it’s deciding where to invest our money, if we should relocate our family for a new opportunity, if we should take this job or that one, or whatever we’re facing, spend time in prayer over it. Don’t just tell God what’s going on (He already knows, but it is good to tell Him anyway), but make sure you listen for His voice as well. Sometimes God will clearly tell us what to do; other times it’s more subtle and we need to recognize clues that He gives us. Sometimes He will open up opportunities for us, or shut them down, in order to guide us along the right path.

We need to trust that we do not know everything and that God does; that’s why it’s a great comfort to know that He is God and we are not. Allow Him to guide you, and trust His guidance in your life.

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Words 3: Brainwashing in Science

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 19, 2020 1 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I wrote about brainwashing and how it has been used as a weapon to subdue the whole populous into believing false teachings. Today, I am going to dig into how this brainwashing works, namely in academia and through the issue of origins. The one who really dislodged this series topic was Ian Juby. He is a member of the Creation Research Society in Canada and is in the process of publishing the 3rd edition of his teaching on Creation titled “Complete Creation” to YouTube. It’s a massive 20-hr session and it is in the 11th part (30 minutes long) where he really scored on a major issue in my opinion.

When you hear the term “geologic column,” what comes to mind? Typically you’d immediately think of something like this. It is a variation of the standard geology/biology textbooks in which you have the different rock layers by name and the fossils found within them and the long Deep Time ages associated with them. Now catch what I said there. The image that comes to mind includes the interpretations of millions of years based on Evolutionary thinking. It is nearly impossible to hear of the Jurassic Layer and not think of 65 million years ago. It is nearly impossible to think of the Cambrian Rocks and not think of the sudden explosion of phylum and life forms found in the rocks. Why? Because we’ve been brainwashed to think that. The rock layers and fossils themselves have nothing to do with Deep Time or Evolutionary thinking. There is all sorts of science that gives legitimate question to the Deep Time methods, but that’s outside the scope of this post.

Juby points out through this video segment where these rock layers got their name. It is completely irrelevant to the story of how they got there. The rock layers were named for the location where that type of rock was first found and studied. It has nothing to do with Deep Time. And yet because of this brainwashing, even some of the Young Earth Creation scientists have fallen for the trap of trying to take this image about the geologic column according to Evolutionary thinking and interpret it in accordance to Flood geology. Some have mistakenly used the term “geologic column” thinking of the actual rock layers found in the earth, but not the image in the textbooks, when their audience would automatically think of the textbook image.

Juby points out a major problem with this whole issue. That image, that idea of the geologic column that most people have, does not exist in the real world. It only exists in textbooks, museum displays, and the imaginations of people. There is no place in the world where the column as depicted in those images actually is present, yet just mentioning the rock layers gives the image of those textbooks. This can only be explained through brainwashing, because those who have not been brainwashed and been out in the field, looking at the rocks themselves, will see that the story that is being told isn’t actually real. And those who still think in terms of Deep Time will ignore the entire dig site except for that which matches their story.

The fossils within them also are not as depicted. There is no actual organization of the actual fossils that can showcase any order. Any paleontological dig will showcase it. Juby showcases Dinosaur Monument and the Joggins Formation in Nova Scotia where he personally saw what was there, and what we find is a total mishmash of fossils with no real order or sequence to them. Evolutionists have so dominated the academic world that it takes an intentional thought process to NOT think of Evolution when examining things that actually have nothing to do with showcasing Evolution. Rocks don’t come with age tags nor do the fossils.

This issue shows itself in the search for oil. I get asked often if the Flood model was correct, how can anyone find oil? The claim is that finding oil depends upon Deep Time geology. I am still waiting for them to show me how putting a label on a rock determines how to find oil. The search uses patterns found in the rock types where oil has been found and looks for repeating patterns. The age of the earth or how it was formed is totally irrelevant to finding oil. But the process of brainwashing and forces many to think “rock layer” equates to “millions of years” when that is not actually true.

I’m going to make a bold statement here that might offend some in academia. If you studied biology, geology, chemistry, physics, history, anthropology, etc. and the only thing you know about them is the Evolutionary side of things, I’m going to say you never learned that field. If you cannot comprehend biology without thinking about Evolutionary processes, or geology without thinking about naturalistic Deep Time models, you did not learn biology or geology in school. You learned Evolution and secular humanistic naturalism. The fields themselves, when FULLY investigated, show NOTHING that supports Deep Time or the Evolutionary worldview.

Ken Ham has often said that secularists have hijacked science to make it fit their agenda. In my opinion he’s right about that, but he often falls short of giving an accurate explanation as to how or why. I wrote my article on Methodological Naturalism a few weeks before I heard Juby address this issue, but that is another area that demonstrates this use of words to brainwash people into believing Evolution. Just in hearing the word “science,” the image of pure naturalism comes to mind. It’s simply not true, but we’ve been brainwashed to think that way. Here is how the process works. I’ll use two examples, Evolution with Science, and Abortion with Women’s Health.

First, they associate the concept they want to introduce with something we all agree with. In this case, Evolution is declared to be an examination of science. It is just one of the fields. With abortion, it was promoted as protecting women’s health, especially in the name of dangerous pregnancies. After a bit of saturation and acclimation to the idea, then there is what’s called “jamming.” Jamming is the process in which someone questions what is going on and instead of addressing the claim, they attack the person. Here is how it works. We Creationists reject Evolution for many reasons, Biblical and scientific, but the Evolutionary defenders attack us as being anti-science. Why? Not because the science backs up Evolution, but because they were brainwashed to think that Evolution is a part of science like chemistry or physics. It’s not, but that is what people have been taught. So the problem, according to them, is not our argument; the problem is with us. With abortion: to say we are against the murder of babies is to them saying we are against women being healthy. The two are completely separate issues. It’s a form of mockery and insulting with the intention and purpose of getting people to turn against you because you are against all sorts of good things. In reality, you are against a very bad thing pretending to be a good thing. Their accusations in this jamming are that because we reject their ideas regarding Evolution and abortion, we must also therefore completely reject all science and all women’s health. They think this because they have been brainwashed to think the two are synonymous.

This is a very effective tactic, and it is part of the “Hegelian Dialectic.” (Check out this presentation series to get much greater detail.) It’s a process where a facilitator brings in a group of people and presents the current idea (namely a conservative fact/truth) in a bad light. They then bring in a totally ludicrous idea to counter that. Then the facilitator works the crowd using these brainwashing and jamming tactics to get people to turn on anyone who stands for the truth and to settle to an already pre-determined conclusion, all the while getting the crowd to think it was their idea. It’s all done with the power of words and manipulation of emotion. It’s never done with facts, logic, or reasoning that can be verified independently. Evolution and the leftist ideas we face today depend upon this process.

How did this brainwashing in science get started? While most of those who had tried to promote any idea counter to the Bible were easily marked, identified, and correctly booted out prior to 200 years ago, there was one very clever guy named Charles Lyell. I had known that Lyell was a liar and a deceiver, falsifying data to get ages of time for Niagara Falls that exceed that of the Bible. I knew his motive was to free the sciences from Moses, but again I’m citing Ian Juby for pointing it out. Lyell revealed in a personal letter that if he was to get people to disbelieve the Bible without offending its believers, it would be through creating his own history. So let me spell that out for you: Charles Lyell literally invented Deep Time from his own imagination for the purpose of getting people to disbelieve the Bible and to get them to do so without being offended that this is being done. The very idea of “millions of years” is a pure fantasy. And he did it through a simple phrase: “The present is the key to the past.” With this phrase, he automatically eliminated Noah’s Flood from being an option to investigate, without ever bringing up the Flood or the Bible. It’s a classic lawyer tactic to discredit the other side when it is nothing but a fantasy story attempting to explain the facts and discredit the other side. The whole thing was a sham and people believed it, especially a guy names Charles Darwin. It was all through the power of brainwashing and hijacking vocabulary.

We have to be careful about what we read and who we listen to, because I have news for you: this process is being used heavily in the church today, too. Next week, I’ll address how these tactics are being using in the church, and in two weeks, I’ll wrap up this series with the answer to it: the Words of Life which come from God.

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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Holy Spirit Baptism, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 18, 2020 0 comments


by Steve Risner

In 2014, I wrote a blog post about Holy Spirit baptism: The Holy Spirit: God, Indwelling, and Baptism. That was my first attempt to explain a little about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, why it’s important for us as believers, and why we should eagerly seek the spiritual gifts associated with it. I encourage you to read that as it was intended to go over some things people are frequently confused about concerning the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts. My intent with this post and next week’s is to show, again, how important this is and that for New Testament believers the baptism in the Holy Spirit was the normal experience and remained so for 2000 years. This post was inspired by a great sermon my pastor, Pastor Rex King, preached on Pentecost Sunday this year.

First, let’s get some background. Jesus tells His disciples in Luke 24:49 that He will send “the promise of the Father.” This “promise of the Father” was so important that it is one of the last things Jesus said that we have recorded in the Bible. In fact, it’s the last subject He spoke about before His ascension. It’s probably a good thing to pay attention to His parting words. He says in Acts 1:4-5, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Peter clarified that this “promise of the Father” was the Holy Spirit baptism. As I explained in my previous post on this subject (linked above), this is not the indwelling spirit that each believer receives upon salvation. There are numerous examples of this being demonstrated in the book of Acts. Who was this promise for?

In Acts 2:33, Peter talks about the promise of the Father. In verse 39 he says, “The promise is for you, your children, all who are far off, all whom the Lord our God will call.” So, to me, the case for the empowerment by the Spirit of God to be His witnesses is for all believers everywhere. This in and of itself shuts down any ideas that the spiritual gifts have ceased their operation. We are believers so, according to Peter, this is for us just as much as it is for anyone living when Peter spoke these words.

We see in Acts 10 that something was obviously visible or there was some sort of evidence that believers (in this case the first Gentile believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit) were baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is repeated throughout the book of Acts. The phrase “when they saw” that believers were baptized is very common to read. Peter further confirms for us in Acts 11:16-17 that what these Gentiles had received was, in fact, the promise of the Father that they had all received in the beginning on the day of Pentecost.

Just to reiterate, the indwelling Spirit which all believers receive when they accept Jesus as their Savior is not the same as the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Take a look at Acts 19:1-7. Here, we see one example of believers—they were definitely followers of Jesus—who had received the indwelling Spirit had no knowledge of any kind of the Holy Spirit or its baptism. This is one of numerous examples you can find in the blog post referenced in the first paragraph of this writing. This shows us that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is separate from and subsequent to salvation. To drive this home, let’s look at Acts 8:15-16. We see the Apostles praying for new believers (they have received the Holy Spirit living in them) because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them (they hadn’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit yet). Throughout the book of Acts, we see that this was the normal experience for the New Testament believer.

1 Corinthians 13:8-12 is the only place I’ve heard anyone reference to defend their rejection of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In verses 8-10 we find, “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.” The idea they give is the “completeness,” or some translations say “perfection,” that came was the Word of God—the Bible. Thus, the spiritual gifts mentioned by Paul in verse 8 have ceased since we have the Bible. But this argument is very illogical to me and doesn’t follow the context. First, we still require God’s revelation and the spiritual gifts because we don’t know everything, and the world is still full of lost people. If we read verses 11 and 12, we can see this text has literally nothing to do with their argument but is about the day when we see Jesus face to face. So, when will all the gifts of the Spirit cease? When we no longer have use for them because we’re standing face to face with Jesus in heaven. We certainly need those things now! We don’t know all the mysteries of God yet. We don’t have all knowledge yet. We need these gifts to spread the Gospel and add to the Kingdom. Being His witnesses and sharing the Gospel are the whole point.

What are the spiritual gifts I’m talking about? According to Christianity.com:
“The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are unique skills and abilities given by the Holy Spirit to faithful followers of Christ to serve God for the common benefit of his people, the church. A listing of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 mentions wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Comparable gifts are discussed in Ephesians 4:7-13, Isaiah 11:2-3, and Romans 12:3-8. The gifts of the Spirit are simply God empowering faithful Christians to do what He has called us to do. 2 Peter 2:3 says, ‘His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.’ The gifts of the Holy Spirit are part of ‘everything we need’ to accomplish His plans for our lives.”

These gifts include the gift of wisdom, the gift of knowledge, the gift of discerning of spirits, the gift of miracles, the gift of prophecy, the gift of healing, the gift of tongues and interpretation of those tongues, the gift of administration, and the gift of helps. I highly recommend reading 1 Corinthians 12-14. Here, Paul makes it very clear that the gifts are for all believers, and he even states that it should be the desire of each of us to have them or to operate in them. Rather than just state what he’s said there, especially chapter 14, I will let you read it for yourself. It’s very eye-opening stuff.

As uncomfortable as these things may be for some believers, I firmly believe they should not be. It seems from the Scriptures which I’ve shown in this blog post and throughout history as you’ll read about next week, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and being used in the spiritual gifts was the normal experience for believers. I believe that fact should remain today as well. If we’ve ever needed tools for witnessing and sharing the Gospel, it’s now. We should at least be willing to make room for these wonderful gifts in our lives. I’m not talking about getting emotionally hyped or yelling or any of the stuff some may do in their flesh; I mean authentic expressions of the working Holy Spirit in our lives. Next week, we’ll dive into some historical accounts of the working of the Holy Spirit through the spiritual gifts from early Church fathers up to the Azusa St. outpouring that happened in the early 1900’s. Thanks for reading. I would encourage you, especially if this is foreign information to you or if you’re unsure about all of this Holy Spirit baptism stuff, to stick around and see what we look at next week.

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Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With Thy God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, June 17, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

I would hope that by now, after seeing some very ungodly actions in our nation of the United States (riots, much lying, and deceit), many who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ are starting to finally see that there are many people in our nation wanting to change our foundational beliefs based in Christianity into something ungodly. My hope and prayer would be that many of us are beginning to take action as individuals, growing in God and His ways and realizing that the way forward in this nation is not to just trudge ahead on faulty new ways of thinking. These ways are really nothing more than old ungodly thoughts put into a new package. It seems that many either want to recreate and repackage history or just flat out ignore what really took place in our nation.

Now, I am not in the least saying or implying that the United States is at all perfect; it is far from it. But to ignore the Godly foundations and beliefs this nation was founded upon, at least in my humble opinion, is foolishness. Consider the following prayer that was sent to the governors of the thirteen colonies in 1783. It is a prayer that was written in by George Washington. It was sent in a “Circular Letter Addressed to the Governors of all the States on the Disbanding of the Army.”

“I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you and the State over which you preside, in His holy protection; that He would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for brethren who have served in the field; and finally that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity. Humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the divine Author of our blessed religion, and without humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.”

Friends, regardless of where you stand on this topic, one must admit that this prayer is not only powerful but it must be taken into consideration when looking at the history of the United States of America. This very well could have been quite Godly and influenced by Almighty God.

The way forward is back!

Micah 6:8 says:
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you?
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God.”

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Ecclesiastes 10:12-20

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 15, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

Last week, we discussed the first part of Ecclesiastes 10 and examined the proverbs there. This week, we’re continuing with the rest of the proverbs in Ecclesiastes 10:12-20.

“Words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips” (verse 12). These first few verses of this section all have to do with wise and foolish talk. This proverb shows the difference in speech between being wise and gracious versus being self-centered. If we speak words of grace and love toward others, we are practicing wisdom; if we only talk about ourselves and what matters to us, that is foolishness.

“At the beginning their words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness—and fools multiply words” (verse 13-14a). The words “beginning” and “end” are used here to show inclusiveness - that everything a fool says is foolishness. They multiply their words and say a lot of things, but there is really no substance to any of it. Whatever a foolish person says should be regarded as nonsense.

“No one knows what is coming—who can tell someone else what will happen after them?” (verse 14b). The Teacher has already written at length about mankind not knowing the future or what will happen; only God knows that. He is repeating that thought here in this shortened proverb form for further emphasis on this idea.

“The toil of fools wearies them; they do not know the way to town” (verse 15). If a person is truly foolish and not wise, then their work likely has no real benefit to the greater society. Even a foolish person will eventually get tired of doing work that is meaningless. The fool not knowing the way to town may be intended literally, as in the foolish person is that unintelligent that they can’t even find their way someplace. But, more likely this is a metaphor for not knowing where he is going with his life overall. A wise person follows God’s leading, whereas a foolish person will try to follow their own leading, which will likely not be where God wants them to go. Therefore, the foolish person really doesn’t know where his life is going.

“Woe to the land whose king was a servant and whose princes feast in the morning” (verse 16). These last few verses of the chapter focus on leadership. This verse does not imply that being a servant then rising to a leadership position makes that person a bad leader; instead, the word “servant” refers to one who is inexperienced. A king without experience will likely bring difficulties to the land because they will make mistakes and likely not know how to correct them well. The princes feasting in the morning implies that the king is not in control over those who serve under him, which is another sign of bad leadership. If the princes are doing what they want instead of respecting the king’s leadership, that too will likely bring difficulties to the land.

“Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness” (verse 17). This verse contrasts with the previous one, in that this king is clearly born to be a leader. The king has been born into the noble family, so he would have experience leading (or at least observing good leadership) from a young age. The princes are eating at the proper time, meaning they’re following the king’s authority. They are eating for the purpose of having strength to do what is required of them, not for the purpose of getting drunk and being foolish. They have the appropriate amount of self-control to assist the king rather than working against him.

“Through laziness, the rafters sag; because of idle hands, the house leaks” (verse 18). While this verse appears to have more to do with home maintenance than leadership, this is really about the attributes of a good leader. If the king is lazy, the kingdom may not fall to pieces yet, but it will start to “sag,” potentially beyond repair. If the king is not proactive in doing good for the kingdom, it will “leak” or start to have problems. Just like a leaky house, if these problems are not caught, a major disaster could occur.

“A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything” (verse 19). This verse is likely written tongue-in-cheek, as we know from the rest of the book that the Teacher firmly believes that feasting, wine, and money are not the answer for everything; he’s said before that they are all meaningless in the grand context of life, though we should enjoy the life that we are given. Lazy rulers are preoccupied with feasting, wine, and money, whereas wise rulers are more concerned with running their kingdom well.

“Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say” (verse 20). Most of the people to read the Teacher’s writings are not those in authority, so it is important for the rest of us to respect our authorities - whether they are good or bad leaders. The Teacher advises us to not speak badly of those in authority, even in private, because our words may be found out. We should either remain silent with our criticisms or be prepared for those in authority to hear them and act on them in whatever manner they see fit.

These proverbs give us two pieces of wisdom for today: 1) speak words of wisdom rather than foolishness, and 2) respect those placed in authority over you, whether they are good or bad leaders. We can take these one step further and turn them into things we should pray about. Pray for the Spirit to guide your words so that you are not showing yourself to be foolish but to have the wisdom of God. And pray for those in leadership over you so that they would act as good and wise leaders rather than foolish ones, which will make them easier for us to obey and respect.

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Words 2: The Power of Brainwashing

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 12, 2020 2 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I wrote about words: what they are, what they do, and how they are used. You may have noticed I made several comments about how words can be used to brainwash people. It is one of the most effective and powerful weapons used throughout the history of the world. Sun-Tzu said in The Art of War that: “The height of skill is not to win 100 battles. To subdue your enemy without fighting is.” Brainwashing is very good at not just subduing an enemy without cost to you; it also can turn an enemy into an ally.

Stockholm Syndrome is a case of brainwashing. The term comes from a hostage situation held in Stockholm, Sweden, when the hostages turned in favor of their hostage taker and supported them. This is seen in many abusive situations. The victim gets the opportunity to escape and instead of getting out of a bad situation, they speak in defense of their own abuser. But often, that is done out of fear of the unknown and wanting to stay with what they know. The particular cases I’m addressing here are where the victim actually thinks their abuser truly loves them and cares for them. It’s not that they hope they will, but they think they actually do.

Brainwashing is a psychological process of removing any intellectual checks you have against a person, belief, or group and replacing them with something else. It is never through actual logic, reasoning, or facts. It is usually done through playing with words, through emotional abuse/manipulation, or through indoctrination. In fact, you can almost use the terms “brainwashing” and “indoctrination” interchangeably. The cliché goes, “Tell a lie enough times until it becomes true.” That’s brainwashing, and it is found in every area of life today, especially in politics and academia, but also in the church. Brainwashing has been so effective that when a voice who has realized the truth speaks it out, those who have been brainwashed will lash out in rage if for no other reason than their delusion is shattered.

Now, I’m not merely talking about a conspiracy to deceive, other than on the part of the devil. There is a reason why brainwashing is so effective on the masses: because they welcome it. They want it. Think of Cipher from The Matrix. He had learned the truth, he didn’t like it, and so he met with Agent Smith and betrayed Morpheus and Neo so that he could go back into the Matrix and not remember anything. He wanted to be brainwashed. It’s like King Ahab of Israel. He was bad enough as it was, following the idols of Jeroboam and doing wicked deeds. But God called him out on the fact that he married Jezebel while he was at it. Jezebel was constantly there to undo any call to come back to God and prevent Ahab from hearing it.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 addresses the same idea. There will come a time where people will not tolerate sound doctrine but instead search out teachers who will “tickle their ears” and teach them what they want to hear. These people WANT to be brainwashed. They want to not hear the truth. They want to be “inoculated” from being exposed to the truth and having to respond to it. And I’ve watched some of them talk. It’s like they will literally throw away their reading comprehension skills to avoid acknowledging what Scripture explicitly states. They literally make themselves stupid to keep from hearing it in my opinion. They’ve been brainwashed, and they aren’t mere victims of it, but they are willful participants in it.

Now, that is not a blanket statement. There are MANY who have been brainwashed and didn’t want it or realize it happened. When they are exposed to the truth and receive it, it’s like the light turns on, or the fog that came over their head is lifted. When I listen to people who had been brainwashed into evolutionary thinking and that fog that prevented them from seeing the truth is lifted, there are two reactions: awe of the power of God, and betrayal from those who deceived them. They realize they had been deceived, and a righteous anger comes upon them against that which corrupted them. On the other side, those who were raised in the church and then left it tend to talk in terms of education or enlightenment. It’s actually brainwashing. Some were overcome by it, and some welcomed it.

How does it work? Brainwashing is a literal re-programming of the brain to think in certain paths and certain directions. It’s been scientifically shown that watching pornography literally re-wires the brain. (Pornography is another form of brainwashing in regard to sexuality. The primary method is through words and images, usually images attached to those words.) Through excessive repetition of the same things and prevention of hearing any alternative, the facilitator either through the media, books, authors, scientists, teachers, and yes, preachers, keeps working the message through until the audience has received it. Cult leaders depend upon this to keep their followers.

Richard Wurmbrand understands what brainwashing is. He spent 14 years in prison in Communist Romania and he took numerous beatings that were often just for spite. When he spoke in the U.S., he would not wear shoes because of the tortures that had been done to his feet. And of all that, he said the worst torture he endured was the brainwashing. In prison, it was being forced to endure 17 hours nonstop of pure propaganda that one minute of it would drive you insane. But he also made this statement about us in the U.S.: “The only reason why we drink Coca-Cola is because we’ve been brainwashed to drink it. There is no actual reason to drink it. You don’t see advertisements just to drink water” (though bottled water now does). But that’s brainwashing, according to Wurmbrand. Look at so many of the products we get. Do we need them, or just want them, and why? Often, it’s brainwashing through advertisements. Sometimes it’s lust or envy or peer pressure.

I want to make this absolutely clear: NO ONE is immune from brainwashing. I am a staunch defender of the truth, but I’m not perfect and there are times where I realize I have been brainwashed. There are things I’ve fallen for, and frankly there are things I will still fall for. There is a reason God spends so much time warning against false teachings and false teachers. One such reason is because of the effects of brainwashing. Jesus warned about a coming Great Deception that would be so powerful that even the elect can be deceived. Brainwashing is the only tool capable of getting such a deception to take root even in the believer. I personally believe that evolution is the origins model for said Great Deception or at least the precursor to it, because in my studies of church history, I’ve never seen so many people fall from the truth who claim to be Christians. I’m also going to make this statement: in my opinion, evolution could NEVER be passed on to another person without brainwashing. There’s no scientific experiment that shows it, nor any actual logic that makes the tiny observations we do see make sense with such extrapolations.

Next week, I’m going to show how science has truly been hijacked into paganism via brainwashing over the cause of Evolution and Deep Time. Then in two weeks, I’m going to address how pastors have been brainwashed against the truth and their congregations along with them. And in three weeks, I’ll give the solution: how to be able to withstand such brainwashing by relying upon the Words of Truth.

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Till We Meet Again

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, June 10, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

If you follow the ministry of Worldview Warriors at all, you know that I and the ministry greatly believe in discipleship. The importance of sinking one’s life into a few people, especially for the Kingdom of God, cannot be dismissed. The impact it has, not only on the person being discipled but for God’s Kingdom as a whole, cannot be overlooked. Jesus Christ did it and so should His followers.

One aspect of discipleship that I have never really considered, or perhaps I just have ignored most of my life, is the sad reality that as time moves on, those who have discipled others will move on to get their reward in heaven, leaving those they have discipled to live out what they have learned from them on earth. This past week for me has been an emotional roller coaster. My wife and I, after just talking about how it seems God is bringing certain people into my life to disciple, started talking about one of my disciplers and how he impacted my life to follow God and His ways. We found out the next day that he had passed on from this life into the next.

While there were times this man and I would have some very hard discussions about how things were and how things should be, he always challenged me with truth and in love. Always. I can tell you for certain that his influence in my life is a huge reason why I am always pursuing and challenging people to find the truth. His patience with me always amazed me. There were times I know I was way overbearing and didn’t listen, but he took time for me and would always listen and then usually ask me a question to ponder to challenge what I believed and “knew for certain” was reality. Most of the time after praying and considering his question, I would come to realize that perhaps things weren’t as black and white as I thought they were and that there really might be another way to see things. One thing I love about this man is that when he would discuss things with me, he never compromised the Word of God. Never. He was an outside of the box thinker that has helped me become the man that I am today.

One specific thing he really helped me to see and understand better is the fact that not everyone has to be or is your best friend. He and I would discuss and talk about how there are levels to a relationship and how most people we call “friends” are really just acquaintances, and that this is okay. We aren’t enemies; we are just at a surface level in our relationship, and that is okay. He challenged me to be wise when trying to go into a deep relationship with people. He taught me so much.

I love him and am saddened to know he is no longer walking on this earth, but I am joyful for him to know He is with His Lord and Savior. I am just filled with joy to know how much I learned from him but that he also considered me worthy of his time, knowledge, and energy. Without Bill Shoemaker, I would not be the man I am today. Thank you so much, sir, for sinking your life into mine. I can only hope to serve Jesus Christ as well as you did while you were here on this earth. It is an honor to not only call you my friend and brother but one of my disciplers as well. Till we meet again, my friend. Well done!!

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Ecclesiastes 10:1-11

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 8, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

At the end of chapter 9, the Teacher gave an example of how wisdom is better than strength or size. This leads perfectly into chapter 10, which is a set of proverbs as we saw in chapter 7.

The structure of proverbs, especially in the Hebrew, has interested me for many years. A while back, I spent over 4 years (slowly) reading through the book of Proverbs in both Hebrew and Greek with a group of language nerds friends, and we learned a lot about the structure of proverbs through that journey. Proverbs are typically divided into two phrases and they employ various kinds of parallelism. The two most common are synonymous parallelism (where both phrases say essentially the same thing in a different way) and antithetical parallelism (where the phrases say the opposite thing). Both of these prove the proverb’s points in a slightly different way. Watch for these as we go through the proverbs of Ecclesiastes 10:1-11.

“As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor” (verse 1). Perfume is supposed to be a good thing, as are wisdom and honor, but even a little foolishness makes wisdom and honor go bad just like dead flies would do to perfume. This reminds me of the saying that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch; just one very foolish act can ruin many wise and honorable ones.

“The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left” (verse 2). This could be an easy verse to misread with our lens of today’s political climate. It is not saying that Republicans are wise and Democrats are foolish; remember that the Teacher wrote this book likely in the 900s B.C., and today’s political parties in the U.S. definitely did not exist 3000 years ago. The words “right” and “left” are used metaphorically here to mean “good” and “bad,” respectively. So, this proverb is simply saying that wisdom is good and foolishness is bad.

“Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are” (verse 3). In everyday life, a foolish person will show how foolish they are. When a foolish person encounters someone with more wisdom, they will undoubtedly show their foolishness in some way.

“If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest” (verse 4). When we encounter someone in authority over us, we need to submit to them (see this post for more on that). If we disagree with them, we should not get riled up but remain calm. When we take the time to examine the situation and not act rashly, we may find that what seemed to be a great offense is really just a minor thing.

“There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler: Fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones” (verses 5-6). Piggybacking on the previous proverb, we see that those who are in authority may not be there because of their wisdom. If a foolish person rises to a high place, they will likely fill the roles surrounding them with similarly foolish people. Those who may have been influential will be humiliated because they are not of the same mindset as the authority.

“I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves” (verse 7). This seems contradictory to how things should be; princes should be riding horses in honor and their slaves should be on foot. So how does this happen? Sometimes people are manipulative enough to rise to high positions even when they shouldn’t be there. This world is fallen, and we know that people don’t always get what they deserve, whether good or bad.

“Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake” (verse 8). This proverb warns us to be careful with what we do. You may dig a pit with the intention of capturing someone else, but you yourself may fall into it if you’re not careful. If you break through a wall to try and get someone else’s property, that may backfire on you if a snake is on the other side. We may do things with the best of intentions, but they backfire on us if that’s not what we’re supposed to be doing.

“Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them” (verse 9). Again, even actions done with the best of intentions may backfire on you. Quarrying stones and splitting logs are actions needed for building materials, but even essential activities can be dangerous.

“If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success” (verse 10). Anyone who has cut anything knows that it works better when your ax, scissors, knife, etc. is sharpened. This is a metaphor for wisdom, in that when we have wisdom, are actions are “sharper” and we’ll be able to accomplish our goals better. But even if we aren’t blessed with wisdom, working harder and acquiring more skills can still provide the same result of success.

“If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee” (verse 11). I’m not all that informed on snake-charming, but the idea behind this proverb is engaging in life or death activities. The wisdom here is to just do it and not keep putting something off just because we’re afraid of it. If a snake charmer’s victim dies, there’s nothing more that they can do, so they should go ahead and charm the snake rather than putting it off out of fear.

While these proverbs are written from the worldview of life in the 900s B.C., you can see that the principles in them still apply to today. Some prove their point with two phrases saying the same thing (synonymous parallelism), while others give contrasts (antithetical parallelism) to make their point. The key point to remember is that wisdom is always better than foolishness, and we can obtain that wisdom from the wise words of others such as the Teacher of Ecclesiastes.

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Words 1: Definitions

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 5, 2020 1 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Words have meaning.
This is such a simple statement that every child can understand, and yet the more “educated” someone gets, there is a tendency for them to completely disregard it. A very common fallacy I’ve seen made in science, politics, and even in Christianity at times, is equivocation. The fallacy of equivocation is when someone starts with one definition for a term and mid-sentence or mid-argument changes the definition being used. One of the classic examples is “evolution.” A friend of mine asked me to help him examine a common college textbook. As I expected, the initial definition of ‘evolution’ given was “changes in allele frequencies,” then just a page or two later began talking about “universal common descent.” Many evolutionists think they are one and the same, but why? Because the textbooks have ‘brainwashed’ them into thinking that. I’m going to explain this idea of brainwashing as I go through this series on words. Words have meaning, and we must be careful which words we are using and be consistent in how we use them.

Words have multiple meanings.
Go through the dictionary. You will be hard-pressed to find a word with just a single use or definition. The definitions come from how society in general has used those terms. But for the most part, all it takes to know which definition is being used is in the context how it is being used. The word “day” has three major meanings: 1) a 12-hour period, or daylight hours, 2) 24 hours or sunrise to sunrise/ sunset to sunset, and 3) a period of time. Most people reading this will understand which definitions are being used in this statement: “In my father’s day, every 4th day, he took a day-long trip.” I used all three definitions in one sentence, and very few people would argue over which use definition of “day” is being used in each instance. Words will have multiple meanings, so if we are going to give a clear message, we must be careful in what word choices we use and why. We also must take the extra time and space to define our terms, because not everyone will get the same message.

Words can change meaning over time.
As time progresses, words can change their meaning as they get used or misused. At the time many Christmas carols were written, “gay” simply meant “happy,” while today it means “homosexual.” But how did that happen? I’ll describe it in a word: brainwashing. We as a society and as a culture were brainwashed to associate the word “gay” which meant happy to now mean homosexual. There isn’t any going back at this point. Even the word “suffer” has changed. In the Elizabethan English during which the KJV was written, “suffer” meant to allow to pass, or to not hinder. Today, it means “suffering,” pain, hurt, discomfort, etc. Words can and do change meaning over time, but even so, the context the word is being used in will indicate which meaning is actually being used.

Words have images associated with them.
This is an interesting aspect. When you hear a word, we generally think of an object or an action that is associated with that word. When you hear or read the word “chicken” you may think of the animal known as a chicken. Or “cat” you may think of a house cat. When you think of a “car” very often, you tend to think of the cars you have ridden in or driven. Though car people will readily ask, “Make? Model? Year?” because they want to exactly what kind of car. This is a very important detail for what I am about to get into. I mentioned how we were brainwashed into changing the meaning of the word “gay,” and this is the very aspect of how that was done. The homosexual movement had an agenda, and so they started to associate the term “gay” with their people and behavior and little by little, people began to use those two images together. Today, it is used so much in that way that no one uses the term “gay” to mean “happy” at all except when talking about older English literature/songs. When we use a word, we need to think of not just how we think of the word, but also how our target audience will think of that word. If I want to make a clear message to you, my reader, I need to describe my thoughts with words that you can understand and so you will picture what I am trying to describe.

Words convey a message.
Language is a very interesting thing. It is how we are able to take an abstract thing and package it in such a way that someone else can “read” our thoughts. You are able to see what is going on in my head by reading this post. This process works this way: I have a thought and I want to send it to you. So, I “encode” this thought into a word based on the vocabulary that I know. When I send my “word” to you, you understand that code, because you obviously have been trained in how to read the English language, and you translate that code into a thought that you have. To convey a message, I need to use the correct words, images, and idioms that will convey my message.

Words can be misread.
If someone does not have a particular word in their vocabulary, they may entirely miss the point of the message. Sometimes idioms can be used to convey a message, and someone might miss that it is an idiom. In the decoding process, if you misread a noun and take it as a verb, it changes what message is received. Now sometimes, the missed message is the fault of the receiver, by being unable to pick up all the clues in the code. Sometimes it is the fault of the sender, by not packaging the message well. If the sender has an image or idea he wants to send and uses a word that gives him that image, but the reader had a totally different image associated with that same word, then miscommunication occurs. This happens all the time, which is why it is critical for us to define our terms because it’s not always clear that the image we think a term means is the image we are giving.

Words can be deceptive.
Lawyers, politicians, and spokespersons are masters of language. Their job is to break down thoughts into their core parts and put them together in such a way that their intended audience can receive them. This can be used for good or for evil. When someone wants to get an agenda through that they know will not be well-received by the people if they knew what it really was, they will use words and phrases that will appeal to the senses that their audience likes to describe it. Sometimes all it takes is take the explicit truth and put into a question form. That’s what the serpent did to Eve. Words can be used to make an evil thing look good, or a good thing look evil. The media and politicians are VERY good at this.

Words can save a life.
There are no words which can describe the relief someone experiences when the right words are used in a given situation. I’m not talking about platitudes and “pat you on the back” words, but words of life and hope. These words can act as a guard rail to protect us from going off a cliff, turn us to go a new direction where we need to go, or even act as a shield against accusations and temptations or false teachings.

Where I am going with this? I made a few comments about how words have been used to brainwash us, to make us think in the way that certain people want us to think. This has taken us away from actually being able to protect ourselves from very dangerous ideas and make a defense for the good. The common cliché is that ideas have consequences. When those ideas are packaged into words and people believe those words, those ideas begin to take root. Remember my post from two weeks ago about the Spiral of Defeat? If we take in the wrong ideas from cleverly designed word choices, we’ll end up in a place we don’t want to be. But if we take in the Word of God, the message from God, and apply that in our hearts, then we will be protected. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to explain what’s happening with words and how society has been brainwashed with them to believe utter lies without knowing it. Then I’ll share how we answer those charges by standing on the Words of Life.

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An Unexpected Effect

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, June 2, 2020 3 comments


by Chad Koons

What if the world is being positioned to receive something otherwise not possible?

“Covid madness” has swept the world, bringing about all sorts of problems, both real and imagined, and this lockdown has pushed us to our limits. Yet through it all, I have been witnessing an unexpected effect that, depending upon our reaction to it, could possibly change everything.

More on that in a minute. First, please imagine a card game at a round table, where you are seated with several other players. The dealer deals the cards and you have been dealt a fine hand. Everyone is eager to begin the game, when suddenly the room grows dark as a new player steps up to claim his seat. It’s the devil, and he is prepared to challenge you. The game begins. The air becomes thick, suffocating you with the weight of impending doom as the game trudges forward. Cards are discarded and added, faces grow increasingly worried. Finally, the game comes to an end, and it comes time to lay the cards upon the table. The devil slowly leans forward and slides his cards down upon the table. The cards simply read “FEAR.” He cocks his head, bares a sly grin, and begins staring you straight in the eye, maliciously daring you to make your move. You quickly look around to the other players at the table, but each one is frozen, breathing heavily with mouths agape and sweat forming upon their brows. Fear has paralyzed them. You begin to feel the icy chill run your own spine as well. What do you do?

Have you even been frozen by fear? Has it ever dictated your next move?

There is one surprising fact that needs to be remembered regarding fear. Ready? Fear, as it turns out, is not even real. Fear is not an actual thing. (Check out this post for more on that.)

Having no essence in itself, it truly has no power over you. Live your day with or without fear, and the only impacts will be completely self-inflicted. Again, fear is not real.

Fear is a pathological liar, at best. It is an imaginary construct of its father, the devil, the father of lies.

The devil has unleashed a crippling fear upon us, but he was arrogant and too presumptuous. He expected us to cave in and to never recover. He expected us to become collectively weakened, reliant upon the power of man’s answers and less able to have faith in God. We’d be easier prey for him. You know that he’s a hungry, prowling lion, seeking to destroy us. But try as he might, his plan is failing.

Shut down our businesses, our schools, and our churches.
Restrict our travel and quarantine us to our homes.
Pump a never-ending stream of fear into our homes and hearts.
Yet somehow, the fear paralysis is beginning to wear off. We are calling his bluff.
Perhaps surprisingly, we are reawakening as a stronger people than we were before.

An unexpected effect is being seen through this process:
We are realizing what’s really important.
We are re-focusing on our families and loved ones.
We are rediscovering who we are.
We are feeling hope arise within us.
We are strengthening our faith and devotion to the Lord.

People of God: we are positioning for a great awakening!

Give the devil a deck of cards and he’ll overplay his hand every time. His plan is backfiring. The only power he has over you is the power that you’ll give him, and we’ve had enough of it. Although many of us have allowed fear to be more real to us than the actual dangers themselves, our eyes are opening.

All over the world, the Lord is bringing about personal revivals and salvations. I believe that we are on the threshold of something great. The Lord is stirring this season to springboard His Church into greater depth and power. There is a call to move forward, refreshed, with great determination, and to not look back.

Now, what will you do with this unexpected effect? It’s not automatic; we need to participate with it. As for me and my house, we will refuse to fold. We will even refuse the game. We will recognize what the Lord is doing and run with it. Want to talk about a “new normal”? Well, here it is, folks. The Church of the Living God is rising up, taking “fear not” as a command instead of as a nice suggestion. (Go here to see what God has to say about it.) We many never receive another eye-opening opportunity like this again in our lifetime. You have been gifted with this amazing and fresh re-focus. Will you build upon it, or allow it to dwindle away? We are all waiting for you to make your move.

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Ecclesiastes 9:11-18

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 1, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

Uncertainty is a feeling that many of us have dealt with lately. These last few months of the coronavirus pandemic have brought a lot of uncertainty into many people’s lives. Will that event actually happen? Will I be able to keep my job and provide for my family? Is my ill family member going to live through this? Uncertainty has definitely been a theme for many recently, and it is also one of the themes in today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 9:11-18.

Verses 11-12 say, “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.”

Just because you’re fast doesn’t mean you’ll win the raise. Just because you’re strong doesn’t mean you’ll win the battle. Just because you’re wise, wealthy, or learned doesn’t mean you’ll get all the good things. The world doesn’t work in black and white like that, but there is uncertainty in our lives. We never know what is going to happen. None of us could have predicted in January that by April, many aspects of our daily lives would be shut down or at least look significantly different. Even today, we cannot predict what life will look like a few months from now.

This is a time when it’s especially important to understand God’s character, especially how He never changes. Our lives and the things that happen to us in this world are not certain, but God is. His plans and purposes remain certain. He created us, He loves us, we messed that up, and He rescues and redeems us - that will never change, even when our immediate circumstances don’t feel so certain. In this world of changing times, we need to continually ask God how to respond to our changing circumstances to continue to glorify Him and live out His plan.

In verses 13-15, the Teacher gives us an interesting example. This may be something he personally experienced; we don’t know for sure. It’s a brief story of the underdog accomplishing what seemed to be impossible. A small city was threatened by a powerful king, and one man who was poor but wise saved the city through his wisdom. This sounds like a great plot for a movie, right? We don’t know any details of if this actually happened, and the Teacher does not provide much more detail, but he uses this example to prove his point from verses 11-12.

The small city likely felt secure in their position, as who would bother to attack them when they’re so tiny? But their certainty was shattered when they did get attacked. But, the battle was not won by the stronger forces, but by this one poor man from this tiny city. Wealth and material possessions were clearly not what made him victorious; it was his wisdom. This proves the Teacher’s point that wisdom is clearly of higher value than any material possessions.

But then the tables turn a bit, as we see that “nobody remembered that poor man” (verse 15). This may seem meaningless, right? The poor man was a triumphant underdog and defeated their enemies through his wisdom - just to be forgotten. Perhaps the king didn’t want to admit that he had been defeated by a “nobody.” Or perhaps this is just a fact of our self-centered world, that even amazing things are soon forgotten because we move on to the next best thing.

Either way, this example is summarized in verse 16: “So I said, ‘Wisdom is better than strength.’ But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.” While wisdom may be better and of more value than brute strength, even wisdom is lacking when others choose not to follow it. But, it’s important to use whatever gifts we have, especially when life becomes uncertain. It was right for the poor man to use his wisdom to save his city, rather than sit back and do nothing. Even if he had known he would be forgotten, it was still the right thing to do to use the wisdom he had been given.

Are we doing that in our own lives? What gifts have you been given by God that you should be using to help those around you? It may seem insignificant, like a poor man from a small town, but it can have great results. Maybe just one phone call or text message to a friend to see how they’re doing will brighten up their day and help them cope with life’s uncertainties. Maybe cooking a meal for a neighbor will bring them the hope and relationship that they need. When we have been given gifts by God, we should use them, no matter how insignificant they seem, because we never know what God has in store.

This chapter of Ecclesiastes ends in verses 17-18 with a couple of proverbs based on this story: “The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.” The wisdom that comes from God is more important than anything a leader says out of his own strength, and that wisdom is greater than any possession or weapon we may have.

Where do you turn when you face uncertainties in this life? I encourage you to turn to God who is always certain and who can always be counted on. Ask Him for His wisdom, and be prepared to apply it when He gives it to you. You never know what big things God may work through you.

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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