Chris Oyakhilome

Pastor Chris is a famed healer in Africa. The other night he held his “night of bliss” healing service in a huge soccer stadium in Johannesburg.

There were thousands of people there, elderly and sick lined up, people sleeping in the parking lot just to be near the healing power. The huge crowds threatened the security of the place guarded by marshals.

The overwhelming crowd continued to push past the marshals and jump barricades to enter the stadium to get their chance at healing. Then a miracle truly did occur: Only one of them died.

Praying For Terrorists

Jesus told His followers to pray for their enemies so obviously, this translates into American Christians praying for terrorists.

So, a web site has been set up where Christians can adopt a terrorist to pray for

At http://www.myatfp.com/ you can “learn about nearly a hundred prominent at-large and captured individuals identified by the FBI and State Department as either terrorists or terrorism sponsors.”

“Visitors can then find a terrorist to pray for, as well as see how many others are praying for them. It’s all about connecting these prayer warriors to each other to see how others are praying, to encourage each other, to spread the word, and fight this War on Terrorism in a powerful and spiritual way.”

I’d look for terrorism to stop around Thursday, twosih? Cynicism aside, it’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard.

Why Did Israel Go To Egypt?

Question: Why did Abraham’s people end up in Egypt so soon after being given the Promised Land?

Answer: It is weird that Abraham’s grandsons left the Promised Land so quickly. However, there is a reason for everything in God’s plan.

God predicts in Genesis 15:13 that Abraham’s people would end up in Egypt for 400 years. But why? What changed?

I have a theory.

In 15:7 God tells Abraham he’ll inherit the Land and Abraham says, “How will I know that?” (15:8). It’s never a good idea to say such things to God. The OT has a fairly consistent testimony that those who ask for a sign get judgment.

Sure enough, immediately after asking this stupid question, Abraham has a nightmare (15:12). It is described as a horror of great darkness. Then there is a smoking furnace and a burning lamp (15:17). Fire and smoke are always associated with judgment.

Israel going to Egypt was a curse on them for Abraham asking God for a sign to prove he would really get the Promised Land.

That’s my theory. Seems to make sense in the context and also fits in perfectly with God’s hatred of people doubting Him by asking for stupid signs. His Word should be enough. We walk by faith not by sight. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

It’s still a good idea to hear Him today!

A Better Covenant

Question: If the new covenant, the better one, replaced the first covenant (Hebrews 8), what was the first covenant? Are there are only two?

Answer: Hebrews 8 is indeed comparing an old and a new covenant. The fault with the old covenant was not the covenant; it was the people (8:9). The people broke the covenant and that was its problem. Hebrews 8:10 shows who the new covenant is for: Israel and Judah.

This is pointing forward to the Millennial Kingdom, which I spell wrong every time. I think it’s Milennial or Millenial, wait, maybe I had it right at first Millennial. No, that can’t be it, MMillenniall. Anyway, the fulfillment is in the Kingdom.

I will be their God, they will be my people, everyone knows who I am, no need for teachers. God will create a people who cannot violate the covenant, therefore, the promises to Israel will indeed be kept for eternity, unlike the first covenant, which they broke.

How does the Church fit in this? Some say the Church replaces Israel. Others say the Church has nothing to do with it. Others say that the Church has the spiritual side of the covenant realties but Israel will still get the land part and the Kingdom is the ultimate realization of the new and better covenant.

I’d go with option three. In order for the Kingdom to work all things have to be dealt with physically and spiritually. Under the Law the physical side was all there–the law, temple, priests, and land. In our age the spiritual side is all taken care of because of Christ’s death and resurrection–he is the priest, we’re the temple, heaven is our land, the indwelling Spirit teaches.
Not until the Kingdom will everything be in place to fulfill the original covenant originally made with Abraham–you will be My people and this will be your land.

So, in summary, Millennial is spelled correctly as Millennial. 2 l’s and 2 n’s. I was right the first time and that’s really all that matters.

In further summary, the covenant in question is the original covenant with Abraham. It has not yet been fulfilled. The New Covenant is what Christ did–the New Covenant in His blood. He will seal the deal because He will seal and indwell His people. It has happened spiritually now for present age believers and will ultimately be fulfilled for Israel just as He originally promised.

Revelation 22:11

Revelation 22:11 has always blown my mind. The description of the new heaven and new earth is wrapped up and the angel is giddy about God judging and then he drops in this:

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

I get why he wants the righteous and holy to still be righteous and holy, but why does he desire the unjust and the filthy to continue being that?

Doesn’t it seem like the Bible would call all men to righteousness and holiness? Why would the Bible tell certain people to keep being unrighteous?

I really can’t presume to answer but if I had to guess, this is my guess:

Revelation 19 has lots of creatures praising God for causing Babylon to be smashed, for humanity being judged with the smoke still rising. The judgment of the unrighteous is something the righteous look forward to.

Perhaps the point of Revelation 22:11 is similar to many of the Psalms where God’s people can’t wait for the bad guys to get what’s coming to them. Maybe it’s a little bit of Jonah: I really don’t want them to repent, I’d rather see them fry. Maybe Jonah’s desire was more righteous then we’ve been lead to believe.

I really have no idea. That’s why this verse blows my mind.

Jesus In Shower

A man in Florida was taking a shower until he was rudely interrupted by the Son of God. “I was taking a shower and something told me to look to the left,” Theo Grimes said. “First thing that came to my mind – that’s Jesus.”

Coincidental that his name is Theo? That would be the Greek word for “God” for those of you who read the NIV.

The best news of this whole miracle is the result. “Grimes said his bathroom has become a prayer room. “I’m not cleaning it,” he said. “It’s my praying room.” How sweet is that? My wife is wishing Jesus makes her stop cleaning our bathroom soon too.

He’s contemplating eBay as well. Jesus better watch out, He’s flooding the market. Prices for Jesus stains are going to drop soon. Not good.

Cross Log

A family in Nebraska was out cutting wood when they discovered a log with a cross on it, a divine message.

Kutschkau says it cannot be coincidence. To him it is a sign from up above. “It has really, really reaffirmed my faith,” said Melvin. “I really believe that this can change people’s lives.”


Being so precious to his faith one wonders what they will do with it. “Might put it on eBay or something. See what the highest bid may be. Who knows it might be a sign too. God might want us to hold on to it for some odd reason.”

The real miracle is that there was a tree in Nebraska.

What Night Is For

Nighttime is my favorite part of the day. The kids are in bed and all is quiet. Usually I use the couple hours of peace before bed to read, do a little work, or watch TV with the wifey and eat ice cream. It’s a time for relaxing followed by sleep.

I was reading some of Paul’s letters today and noticed how often Paul talks about doing stuff at night. There are two main things he says he does at night:

1. He works—1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8
2. He prays—1 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 5:5; 2 Timothy 1:3

The work he does is for money so he doesn’t have to burden the churches with paying an apostle. His prayers are mostly for other people. In other words, Paul uses his nights to help others even though he’s not with any others at that time.

Granted, in each of these verses he says he uses his day for those things too. But my point is this: how easy it is to work in the day and relax at night because we deserve it! Paul says the believer’s work goes on day and night.

Not sure how far you want to take this or if you want to take it anywhere. But you can clearly see Paul’s perspective “we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

The Timeless Gospel

The good news of God’s salvation has existed longer than sin. The outcomes of salvation, what man was supposed to do because he was saved, have changed, but the Gospel has always been the same.

The essence of the Gospel was fully revealed in the OT Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Abraham had the Gospel preached to him and through him (Galatians 3:8). The people wandering in the wilderness had the Gospel preached to them (Hebrews 4:2, 6).

The OT is quoted in several places in relation to the current preaching of the Gospel. Paul quotes Isaiah 52:7 about the beautiful feet of those who bring the good news. Psalm 40:9 and 96:2 both speak of preaching the good news.

Ephesians 1:4 says we were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. The work of Christ, (the means of the Gospel) was completed before creation.

1 Peter 1:20 says Christ was offered before the foundation of the world but was only recently manifest. Revelation 13:8 says the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the earth.

There has only been one Gospel. The differences in practice relate to how much of it God revealed at any given time. Details were sketchy for many years, but all since Adam knew that God was to send a man to crush Satan.

The Gospel has always been the same because there is no need to change what is perfect and perfect things last forever. That’s why Revelation 14:6 describes it as the “everlasting gospel.” If it’s everlasting that means it cannot change. No part of it fails, runs out or needs fixing.

If the Gospel were changing, then Christ would “often have suffered since the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 9:26). You can’t change Christ and you can’t change the Gospel. There’s only one because only one is needed to save all men for all time.

Hunky Jesus

For whatever reason, this annual tradition has escaped my attention over the years. I’m thinking this is a good thing.

A homosexual charity group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, puts on an annual contest to find the hunkiest Jesus.

Of course, Catholics are upset by the event “But the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence insist the contest is all part of their mission to “promote universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt.””

Wow, those are the same things Jesus came to do. Wonder who will be more successful in that endeavor?

Jesus Window

A woman in Oregon found an image of Jesus on her window about four years ago. She is now selling her house, but before she moves, she is taking the window out and selling it on eBay.

The woman said she is not a Christian but the Jesus on her window helped her through a tough time in life and she just wants to help others by selling it to them. How thoughtful of her.

Here, however, is the million dollar quote:

“The fact that this image has come into a non-Christian households says, you know what, it’s OK that you’re not Christian – I’m still there.”

Easter’s Application

***”Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth” (1 Corinthians 10:24)
***”We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification” (Romans 15:1,2).
***”Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Philippians 2:4).

All of these verses make the same point: You don’t count anymore! Your life is gone, you aren’t here for yourself. Followers of Christ are here to love others not themselves and love does not seek its own.

Each verse is in a context talking about the example of Jesus Christ’s suffering for you. Let this mind be in you.

If Easter means anything to you, it will show itself by how well you care for others and how little you care for yourself.

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:2,3).

Resurrection

Paul said that if there was no resurrection there is no faith (1 Corinthians 15:17). Without the resurrection of Christ you are “yet in your sins.”

Christ was killed because of our sins but was raised for our justification (Romans 4:25).

Tying these truths together we can see that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is what changes our life, causes us to fight against sin and have victory over it.

In fact, when the resurrection of Christ in us is discussed it is in a context of telling us not to sin!

Romans 6—dead with Christ, raised to new life in Christ, therefore don’t yield your selves as servants of sin.

1 Corinthians 6—sinners won’t inherit the kingdom, but God has raised you up, you are the body of Christ therefore, don’t sin!

2 Corinthians 4—the point of being raised with Christ is to have the life of Christ manifest in your body, the things you do.

Ephesians 2—You used to fulfill the desires of your flesh as children of wrath, but now you are raised up with Christ, i.e.—and not doing that junk that you were doing.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is what enables us to overcome sin. Without the new life, without a resurrected spiritual life in us, we only have flesh and in the flesh is no good thing.

The resurrection is the point of Christianity. Without it Christianity is nothing and we are nothing. With it, we are the manifestation of the love of Christ on earth. Live the new life!

More Blessed To Give

Here’s more proof that our Lord and Savior knew what He was talking about, if you need such things. Even if you don’t need more proof, here’s some anyhow.

Money can buy happiness, but only if you spend it on someone else, researchers reported on Thursday.

This isn’t put out by any God group either, this is from the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School. The findings show that even though US salaries are soaring, happiness levels are staying flat.

Reason being that rich Americans are selfish, which leads to unhappiness. Wow, who would’a thunk that Jesus explained that about 2,000 years ago?

The Obedience Of Faith

I’ve been reading the New American Standard and came across John 3:36, a verse I memorized as a kid but the NASB was different.

I memorized the KJV, which says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

The NASB changes the “believeth not.”

The first believeth is the Greek pistis, the typical word for faith. The second believeth is a compound word apeitheo, translated “believeth not” in the KJV. But it’s a different word from pistis, the root word is peitheo, which means–to assent to an authority, to believe, to obey.

The word is more commonly translated obey. An “a-” in front means those who don’t obey, such as in Romans 2:8; 10:21; 11:30-32; Hebrews 3:18; 1 Peter 2:7,8; 3:1,20; 4:17.

So John 3:36 is more correctly rendered in the NASB—”He who believes in the Son has eternal life but He who does not obey the Son will not see life.”

Point being—the test of saving faith is obedience. This is a crucial point when we get to John 8:31 where many people “believe” and yet by the time Jesus gets done with them they seek to stone Him. If they believed they would keep His word.

They don’t, thus, their faith is in vain. The test of faith is obedience and that’s why God judges based on our deeds (Romans 2:6-8 where apeitheo is used). Who would’a thought King James would have gotten something wrong?

Jesus And Malcolm Gladwell

I read Acts 1:15 where Peter addresses the followers of Christ after the ascension. Luke takes the time to note that there were “about 120” followers. It struck me weird that he included the number.

As my mind stuck on the weirdness, I thought of Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point. A number popped into my head that Gladwell said was the magic number that turns a movement into an epidemic.

Was it 120? It was something like that. Wouldn’t it be something if Jesus had called the magic number years before Gladwell thought it up? I ran down and got my copy. It’s 150. Man, if only there were 30 more followers of Christ Christianity would not have had such a cruel running.
Author and intellectual adventurer Malcolm Gladwell in his NewYork apartment.
But then I got to thinking that if Luke uses “about” like most churches, there were probably only 37 people there anyway. So, not only was my theory not true it falls miserably short.

Oh well, it was just a thought.

Easter Week Processionals

I mean this in the best ecumenical spirit possible but, Catholics are weird.

Particularly Catholics in other countries. I know many Catholics in this country and they are normal, rational people. But man, them’s some weird Catholics in other places. Take Spain for instance.

Catholics in Spain spend this week being penitent and walking around penitentially in penitent outfits, many of which look eerily similar to KKK outfits.

Penitents of the 'El Perdon' brotherhood walk before a Holy ...

These fine folks in this picture are from the ‘El Perdon‘ brotherhood. They were marching in a penitential parade in Spain today, unfortunately, said penitential parade was cancelled due to bad weather! How is that not funny?

Wondering if penitence counts even more if you do it in bad weather? Isn’t that like extra credit? Christ was nailed and pierced for your sin and you can’t get wet? I question their commitment. I, however, do not question their weirdness.

Mikhail Gorbachev A Christian?

Mikhail Gorbachev, last Communist leader of Russia best known for the splotch on his head, has admitted to be a Christian.

He spent a half hour praying at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi. He claim s that Francis was a huge influence on his life. However, a review of the past comments of Gorbachev show that he also said that, “nature is my god.”

I’ve read Chesterton’s biography of Francis of Assisi and well, I think he was a nut job. Anyway, he is best known for being at peace with nature and little bunnies would hop on his shoulder as he meditated, etc.

Seems to me Gorbachev is stuck in Russian Orthodox religion mixed with a little bit of pantheism. I am no man’s judge, but I will be part of the jury. I’d hesitate to call Gorby a brother at this point.

God’s Memory Book

The Bible continually talks about four main events. These events are described often in the present, many are foretold and many are looked back on. All four acts are repeatedly brought up throughout the Bible.

Each of the four acts has one point and one main question with it.

Act One: Creation
God’s statement: Look how awesome I am!
God’s question for us in relation to it: Who are you to question me?

Act Two: Exodus from Egypt
God’s statement: Look how powerful I am!
God’s question: How are you not listening to me?

Act Three: Jesus Christ
God’s statement: Look how much I love you!
God’s question: How can you reject me?

Act Four: Final Judgment
God’s statement: Look how angry sin makes me!
God’s question: Where’s your fear?

These four acts of God are important to Him: He’s always bringing them up. He wants us to see that He runs the show. Put your faith in Him.

Disrespecting Jesus

Jesus is indeed in the news this week. Everyone and their mother is mocking Jesus this week. Good times.

Glyn Mould, an expert carver, is currently sculpting a statue of the death of Jesus with the son of God sitting on an electric chair. He’s doing it because he thinks it will be “thought-provoking.”

Then there is a Donkey Kong Last Supper portrait in the news. Apparently, rumor has it, this portrait is hanging in the nursery of Christina Aguilera’s baby. Nice.

Then there is the Star Wars Last Supper. Scenes were captured from all the Star Wars movies and put together to create the Last Supper. The creator is named Jesús Díaz, naturally. It’s pronounced Hay-soos.

What The Others Are Here For

It’s easy to consume your life with yourself. While aging, I’ve noticed some stuff, learned some things, seen some patterns. Here’s a big lesson learned:

Nothing good I do for myself can benefit more than something good I do for someone else.

This is not earth shattering news, nor is it something out of the pure genius brain of mine. I’ll let the Apostle Paul say it, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Indeed. It’s really what life is all about. It’s what Christ did for us, it’s the example we are growing into. Even Dilbert knows that Jesus Christ was resurrected and it benefited others. Even the heathens can figure this out, why are Believers so far behind?

I know it took me this long to learn this lesson because I was having too much fun fulfilling my fleshly lusts, doing my own thing. Not very fulfilling in the end. Eternity looms, I won’t get rewarded for all the charming things I did in my alone time. I’ll be rewarded for the things I did to edify others, showing the love of Christ.

Dilbert Hates Jesus

Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has gotten himself in trouble. This past week a new employee, named Jesus (pronounced Hay-soos) has joined the Dilbert team. He is seeking twelve individuals to join him on a special project to upgrade their systems.

He later gets downsized but will return to save every one’s pensions.

Needless to say, people who pretend to be good Christians are up in arms over this, making fun of our Lord and Savior. I have enjoyed reading Scott Adams for some time now. I have never read Dilbert too regularly but I read Scott’s blog and am currently reading his book.

He’s funny. He uses words well. I enjoy his stuff. He also crosses many lines and it doesn’t surprise me that people feel he’s crossed one here. In response to a letter he received from a pastor protesting his comic, Scott says,

“Thank you for taking time out from feeding the poor to complain about comic strips. I know Jesus would have played it the same way.”

And, that right there, is one of the reasons I like reading Scott Adams!

Fire Rescues

Speaking of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they show us a great testimony of faith. They refused to bow down to the golden image even with the threat of death by fiery furnace.

They speak to King Neb very confidently in Daniel 3:17, “God will deliver us out of your hand, o king.” Oh, that’s rich! That’s just like demanding God heal your mom’s knee problem. You act with faith by telling God what miracle you demand!

Great stuff. Except then there’s verse 18, “But, if not, we are not going to serve your gods or bow down to your image.” Now wait, how is that faith? God will save us unless He doesn’t?

It’s faith quite simply because regardless of a miracle they are going to do the right thing. I find that so cool. They are confident to tell the king what God will do and yet humble enough to realize God does His own thing.

Either way they’re good with it and they will not violate God’s Word. And, of course, my point is that you can stop building that house out of pictures of Jesus.

Jesus Survives Fire

As I said yesterday, look for Jesus to start doing miracles as he competes for equal time against the Easter Bunny. Jesus showed up on a door yesterday and now He has decided to pull off a Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

As police and firefighters combed through the debris of Cynthia Wright’s burned home Thursday, one powerful image sat untouched on a twisted, blackened garage shelf — a colorful drawing of Jesus Christ tending sheep in a rendering titled The Good Shepherd.

Not only is this a celebration of Christ’s value and honor, the sheep were also saved from being roasted. PETA should enjoy this one as well.

China Prepares For Olympics

China has a long history of being stupid toward Christianity. Now that the world is coming to Beijing this summer, China seems to be ramping up their efforts.

With increased frequency, the Chinese government is persecuting house churches and banishing foreign Christians from the country, presumably to squelch voices who might draw attention to the plight of religious minorities in the nation surrounding the Beijing Olympics.

Well, whatever it takes for a bunch of drugged up Americans to take home the gold, that’s what I say. You know what the price of gold is today don’t you? Goodness.

Jesus Bedroom Door

Jesus has been quiet lately, not making too many appearances. But with Easter coming up He has to make Himself known again. Needs equal time with the Easter Bunny.

So, off to New Jersey goes the Son of Man. Jerry and Wendy Divock claim that Jesus is in their bedroom door. Apparently, one night Jesus touched Wendy.

They checked with the Pentecostal pastor of the church across the street and he said the image was, “Very significant and that it’s authentic.” And he would know. All Pentecostal ministers take the Authenticating Jesus Sights and Visions class in seminary.

But if that doesn’t convince you of its authenticity, surely this will.

“It’s not like this is a grilled cheese sandwich with the image of the Virgin Mary on it,” said Jerry.” “It’s real. It’s no phony bologna crap,” insists Wendy.

That does it for me. They have set up a web site as well so you can check out the appearance for yourself.

Matthew Murray’s Letter

Matthew Murray shot up New Life Church and a missionary center in Colorado back in December wrote a letter beforehand that has now been released. He has some issues with Jesus.

Jesus “why didn’t you ever answer my cries?”

“Why couldn’t you write your (expletive) book more clearly?”

It asks: “What have I done so wrong? What is wrong with me anyways?”

“Am I really such a bad person?”

It concludes: “Am I too lost to be saved? My soul cries for deliverance.”

“I’m dieing (sic), praying, bleeding and screaming. Will I be denied???”

Bummer. Sad stuff.