Baby Raised From the Dead – Parents Baptized

The following is a testimony from Terry McIntyre, AIMer to the Fiji Islands

The baby pictured below was born on June 12, 2012 and was immediately hooked up to machines, struggling to live. Shortly thereafter, the baby died, was taken off the machines, and was taken by the unsaved parents to the mortuary. However, a lady from one of our UPCI churches by the name of Sis. Rita was there. She asked these parents if she could pray for them and the baby. As she prayed, life came back into the baby. The baby is now six weeks old and doing fine.

The General Secretary of the UPCI of Fiji, Pastor Isireli, from their area (Nausori) started teaching the parents a Bible study. Today (Thursday, August 2 at noon), when they came to the Headquarters and Bible school complex, they wanted to have the baby dedicated. Pastor Isireli asked me if I would do it. I didn’t have my Bible with me or planned to do this, but we are instructed in the Word to “Be instant in season and out of season,” so I conducted this dedication and God moved in a wonderful way. When I was finished, both of these parents began to pray, and to make a long story short, I ended up baptizing both of them in Jesus’ name. PRAISE GOD!

Folks have been getting baptized just about every day of the week here and some late at night. Many have received the Holy Ghost and been refilled. Besides this, there have been other notable miracles to take place. We are excited to be here in the perfect will of God.

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Cautious of the Cliff

I believe in being cutting-edge! Finding modern ways to express the old path; that is cutting-edge and culturally relevant biblically. I want to be liberal enough to use new ways and conservative enough to stick with God’s solid, specific path.

Changing apostolic doctrine to accommodate the times is dangerous and not merely on the edge; it’s totally over it.  It is unwise, senseless, ill-advised, and thoughtless. That’s not cutting-edge. That’s a cliff-hanger, at best.

I need to share a secret. It’s personal. It’s frightening. But, after all, blogs are meant to be revealing and personal. Blogs are like one’s personal diary in cyberspace. Let me get to the point. I’m terrified of heights. No cliff-hanging, diving off a mountain into the ocean, tight-rope walking, for me. None! Zilch! Ferris wheels are out of the picture. I’m not going up in the arch in St. Louis. I used to be terrified of walking across the bridge or those see-through glass-looking floors on the third floor of the mall. I’ve overcome my fear by simply staying away from what makes me fearful. Hopefully that makes me an overcomer.

In a spiritual sense I’m even more fearful of falling off some spiritual cliff. My heavenly flight will happen so fast I won’t even realize it. Anyways, I will be changed in a twinkling of an eye, and my fear of heights will be zapped for eternity.

It’s not the fear of going up that is dreadful. It’s the fear of abandoning truth for a lie that causes me and those that hear me to go down, down, down; if you know what I mean!

A wealthy lady interviewed three men for a driving position. She asked “How close can you get to the edge of the cliff without falling off?”

First guy: “Twelve inches.”

Second guy: “Six inches”

Third guy: “I’ll stay as far from the cliff as I can.”

He got the job.

Mark Wilson said, “When staying close to the cliff appeals more to us than staying close to Christ, we are trying to manage sin. Spiritual victory is never found along the fuzzy edges of compromise. God calls us to steer clear of the cliff altogether.”

False teachers are not only close to the cliff, they have fallen of the cliff.

My advice for one and all: Be cautious of the cliff!

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Counterfeit Communicators

Jude and Peter join forces to use similar phrases when captivating our attention concerning counterfeit communicators.

Various words come to mind when I think of counterfeit.

  1. Phony
  2. Fake
  3. Imitation (of something genuine)
  4. Insincere
  5. False
  6. Deceptive (made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive)
  7. Forged
  8. Bogus
  9. Sham
  10. Unauthentic
  11. Fraud
  12. Artificial
  13. Unreal
  14. Manufactured
  15. Fabricated
  16. Scam
  17. Swindler
  18. Truth-twisters
  19. Hucksters

Everyone has experienced that violated, irritated, felling when experiencing a person encounter with a counterfeit. Chances are anyone reading this has been victimized by a con artist, perhaps, more than once. Most have received one of those “too-good-to-be-true” e-mails from a far-flung corner of Africa promising an inheritance of millions in exchange for a bank account number and a minimal collection fee. Let me say up front a rule of thumb is if it sounds “too-good-to-be-true” it probably is.

What is the purpose of a counterfeit product?

  1. To imitate something
  2. Produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product.

Of all the con artists in the world, the most damaging and dangerous are those that deal with religious and Christian deception. Charles Swindoll says that they appear “resourceful and real” but are “empty and deceitful” and offer “alluring alternatives” to the truth. He goes on, “Pretending to proclaim reliable information, they use the same words as believers but they are empty and deceitful. Claiming to offer answers and hope, they bring lies and despair.”

According to 2 Peter 2 false teachers:

  1. Deceitfully present heresy;
  2. Openly deny the truth;
  3. Unashamedly model and teach ruinous, destructive, injurious, harmful ways.
    a. Selfishly drowning in greed; changing doctrine to pad their bank accounts (2:3) More concerned with “nickels and noses.” (Mark O. Wilson).

These false teachers will be destroyed. Peter cites three OT examples to prove it:

  1. The angels that sinned and are now imprisoned in Tartarus (which is the meaning of the word translated “hell”);
  2. The world before the flood(Noah);
  3. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

In each of these cases, the persons involved had a form of religion but not the true faith that empowers the life (2 Timothy 3:5).

Before Christ comes back, there will be a great deal of “religion” in the world, but it will not be true faith in Him. Peter also points out that God is able to preserve and deliver His true saints, as He did with Noah and his family, and Lot. Let’s stay true! It’s the least we can do!

photo credit: Chris Yarzab via photo pin cc

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The Theology of Instant or Real Potatoes

Imagine you’ve gone to a restaurant that boasts of southern cooking. You order pork chops and mashed potatoes. How would you feel when you find out they actually served you instant mashed potatoes?

What is the difference between real mashed potatoes and the instant variety? What’s the big deal anyway?

I mean when you make mashed potatoes you peel, cook them in boiling water, drain the water, add butter/margarine, then use a potato masher to produce the perfect mashed potatoes. Sounds like a lot of work.

Read some of the things I’ve learned in my expansive Google search about instant potatoes and see if you can relate them to a discussion on true versus false teachers, real versus unreal Christianity…

Instant Potatoes boast:

  1. Only real potatoes match their taste.
  2. Come out of a box. (Many false teaching come out of the empty box of someone’s head rather than firmly found in God’s Word).
  3. Tried a variety over the years and knew instantly they were not real mashed potatoes. (When you know the real thing the counterfeit or the unreal is easier to determine).
  4. Smell just like baked potatoes when you put your nose in the box. (I’ll leave that to your imagination).
  5. It is easy to prepare.
  6. Because our facilities are located in Idaho our products provide unparalleled appearance, aroma, and flavor.
  7. My husband tells me they are as good as cooking your own potatoes and can’t see why he or I should stand in the kitchen peeling potatoes when neither of us can tell the difference. (Perhaps, nothing theological here, just marital psychology. Husbands will say almost anything to get out of work especially on Saturday).
  8. Think how much potatoes cost in the market and then how inexpensive the instant potatoes are. Save time and money. (Some religions are cheap, easy, and of the instant variety, but do they stand the test of eternity?)
  9. One lady wrote, “I cheat a little…” I guess so. (I imagine that could be the testimony of many a false teacher or preacher. Cheating a little, subtracting a little, or changing a little of God’s Word could be detrimental to both the changer and the follower).
  10. “There is a way to eat instant mashed potatoes so that it tastes like the real thing. Use twice-diluted sweetened condensed milk in place of the water called for in the recipe on the package. Then use twice-diluted evaporated milk for the milk ingredient.” (You’ve probably guessed my thinking here is with the “twice-diluted.” Beware of any teaching that is obviously “twice-diluted” and waters down the Word).
  11. They can be an inexpensive alternative in areas where fresh potatoes are scarce. (Don’t look for the alternative. Go for the real. It may take a lifetime of discipline and obedience but ends up in an eternity of joyful bliss and blessing).
  12. One place called them “speedy spuds.” (Matches right up there with goofy gospel. If it rushes through and jumps over the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ or repentance, baptism, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost it isn’t a gospel).
  13. Most people cannot tell the difference between real mashed potatoes and the dehydrated potato flakes that come in a box or bag. (Study the Word. Stick to the Word. Listen to the Word. You will be able to tell the difference between the real and counterfeit; true and false).
  14. You can enhance the recipe for instant mashed potatoes to make them taste almost as good as the real thing. (Adding to the Word; taking away from the Word; check out the consequences).
  15. Instant potatoes have an excellent shelf-life when stored in a cool, dry environment. (Following false teaching and preaching has a deplorable, wretched, shelf life and it couldn’t possibly be described as a “cool, dry environment”).
  16. I used to hate instant potatoes but I think the technology has improved and I can’t taste the difference anymore. (Be careful of the technology and presentation of things you hear and see. Flashy could be an indicator of false. Not always, but often).
  17. “The only way I’ve ever eaten them is the instant kind so I can’t really tell the difference…I would like to try making mashed potatoes…Hopefully, after that, I won’t dislike instant mashed potatoes because they’re just so convenient to make. It’s pretty tough for most people to tell the difference, unless they eat a lot of mashed potatoes on a regular basis.” (Come into constant contact with the real thing. Encounter the truth. Love the truth. Stay faithful to the truth. You’ll never enjoy the false and fake again).
  18. I like them better than real mashed potatoes…they have come a long way from the pasty mashed potatoes of the past…
  19. “The little blob that comes with frozen dinners is pretty pitiful, watery, and taste like nothing.” If it tastes long nothing. If it looks like nothing. If it sounds like nothing. It probably is just that—nothing).
  20. “Well, my step son and I actually like instant mashed potatoes, because they are smooth, they are fast to make and they fill you up like real potatoes.” (Just because it gives you that feel-good religious warmth in your heart doesn’t measure up to a life that is totally and radically changed by obedience to the gospel).

Note that during the process of this investigation, comparison, or writing no instant or real potato was used, abused, damaged, injured, impaired, or upset.

Although insight was taken from a Google search this was not meant to verify or deny the viability, reliability, or validity of instant potatoes as appropriate sources of dietary nourishment. Neither is it meant to imply that salvation and the work of the Spirit cannot be instant, speedy, or quick.

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The Day “It” Died

Guest Post by Nick Sisco – UPCI Missionary to Ghana, West Africa

No one remembers the day, or for that matter the year, “It” died, but we all experienced the emptiness “It” left within society. “It” was not loud or bossy. He was not arrogant or proud. “It” was honest, faithful, blameless, dignified and honorable. “It” lived according to the strictest code of conduct and could be depended on to do the right thing, even when no one else was looking. Yes, “It” was complete within himself. He had nothing to fear, nothing to hide and nothing to prove. He was always just himself. “It” had a wholeness that few, if any, could match.

You will remember “It” when I use his full name, “Integrity.” In a world of relativity, integrity has become passé, old fashioned, and unpopular. Get to the top at all cost seems to be the order of the day. Yet the Bible has a lot to say about “It”.

God told Solomon, “And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.” (1 Kings 9:4-5)

Job, when answering one of his so called counselor friends in Job 27:5 declared, “God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.” David invited God in Psalm 7:8 to judge him according to his righteousness, and “according to mine integrity that is in me.” “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.” (Proverbs 10:9) The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” (Proverbs 11:3) I like what Proverbs 20:7 has to say, “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.”

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “If my life was carefully investigated, would I be embarrassed by what was discovered?” What would be revealed if God set up a big screen that would display our lives… our integrity? A person of integrity has nothing to fear because of the consistency in his life; examinations are not an embarrassment. Integrity does not mean one is perfect but it assures consistent movement in the right direction. A person of integrity has the desire to live an honest, complete life that avoids deception and is sincere in thought, word and deed (Psalm 19:14).

“It” lives in you but can die overnight. The pressures of life, the pain of reality or the case for compromise can all assassinate “It.” We have to decide in advance to protect “It”. Integrity is not something you hope to have it is a choice you make. The choices made today determine the future experienced tomorrow.

Charles Swindoll wrote five things integrity produces.  First, “It” produces lasting character.  Integrity is long obedience in the same direction.  Living in the midst of a society that cannot tell the difference between good and evil, we need to cultivate reliable integrity. “It” produces a character that will last.

Second, integrity offers a clear conscience. You can go to bed every night with a totally free and relaxed conscience.

Third, integrity provides intimacy with God. Living a life of integrity will allow you to live a life free from guilt and sin because when you do something wrong your integrity will tell you, Hey! You need to repent of that and make things right immediately. When this is done it clears the way for a close, daily walk with the Lord.

Fourth, integrity produces a lasting legacy. What will you be remembered for?  People will remember you more for who you are than what you have said. People will remember how you lived faster than they will remember what you did. What they will remember is your lifestyle of integrity.

The fifth and final benefit from integrity is ending well, with no regrets.  May I remind you that over half of the people who failed in the Bible failed in the last half of their lives (Sampson, Saul, Solomon)! I want to go to heaven without embarrassment.

Let me leave you with a few questions to ponder as we reflect on integrity. What does integrity look like in my life? If my friends were questioned, would they affirm that I am a man or woman of integrity? In the end, will my children or those who walk with me be blessed after me?

Let’s protect integrity in a world that has removed “It” from everyday life. Let’s remain committed to living “It” so we can teach “It” and then reap the benefits of “It” within our lives and ministries. Integrity, you cannot effectively minister without “It”.

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