Good News Fellowship of Raleigh

We are a fellowship of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, dedicated to promoting the truth of God's Word, as contained in the Bible. We intend to elevate the true Word of God above all traditions of men that are at cross-purposes to it. Teachings, thoughts, and inspirations will be posted. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person, group, or ministry. God bless you.

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

I got saved in 1981, when I was shown that the Bible is the Word of God, the Word of Truth. I had always been searching for truth, and had been looking for it everywhere but the Bible. I have a "chapter and verse" mentality when it comes to verifying what people say is the truth. If I can see it in the Word, I know it's true. We have a humble little fellowship which meets in our home on Sunday mornings, and that's the way I want it to stay. If such a setup is good enough for the 1st century church, it's good enough for me. If the number of persons attending gets to be too many to be practical for our little apartment, we'll just split it, and then there will be two fellowships, and so on and so on. Whosoever will, may come. May I encourage you to leave a comment, whether it be good, bad, or indifferent.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The End of the Age?

I sent the following letter to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Society website, following a headline on Newsmax.com that said that Franklin Graham believes we are coming to the end of the age because all the turmoil in the world are signs of it.

According to Newsmax, Franklin Graham said that the turmoil in the world, according to the headline, 'Could Signal 'End of the Age'.' The text declares him to say that 'The signs are unmistakable.' Does Mr. Franklin wish to be numbered with the wicked and adulterous generation that Jesus declared seeks after a sign? I highly doubt it.
If indeed these are signs, what good would it be for us to know that, other than that we need to just roll over and let it happen?
Jesus' answer that Mr. Graham quotes is all stuff that has been happening since The Fall, when Satan took delivery of dominion of the universe, that which had been conferred upon Adam, who gave it away.
The age in which Jesus was speaking ended on the Day of Pentecost, which began the Church Age. This is the age that was hidden in God since the foundation of the world, hidden even from the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the age that, had Satan known the dynamic of it, he would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Therefore, Jesus could not have been speaking of this age, but the end of an age yet to come, of which there are three. Since Jesus came not but for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he was speaking to Israel only.
The increase in turmoil can be directly attributed to the United States going away. Our standing in the world has been decimated, particularly by the current administration. Our military is being hollowed out. We are seen as a paper tiger to our adversaries. When the lawless see that they can act with impunity, they will act with increasing lawlessness, as a child will test the limits of what he can get away with.
I do believe we are in World War III, with radical Islam as the major foe, since they have declared their intention to dominate the globe, and fly their flag over the White House. We won two world wars, and we can win this one, if we engage in it with the same resolve. They bruised our heel on 9/11, and now we need to crush their head.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I responded to someone on Facebook who asked about the meaning of the passage of Jesus rhetorically asking "Will a father give his son a stone for bread?"

Some bread can resemble stones, so, in such an instance, the stone could be considered counterfeit bread, resembling the real thing at first glance, but proving fake upon further inspection. Our heavenly Father will serve up only the real thing. Guess who is in the business of stuffing counterfeit down our throats?

Friday, December 10, 2010

"GODSMACK" DOWN?

Below is a letter I sent to a local radio station, after I heard an interview.

I listened to your interview of the woman who spoke for the group going to protest at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. She may invoke the name of Christ, but there is nothing Christian about what she is doing. Christians are warned that there will be those who will come in preaching "another Jesus."

2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if you receive a different spirit, which you did not receive, or a different "good news", which you did not accept, you put up with that well enough.

Sad to say, a large majority of the Christian church is putting up with this other Jesus and this other gospel, that God is going around smacking everybody. If this is true, you would have seen a totally different Jesus than the one portrayed in the Gospels. He healed everyone he came in contact with, even whole towns. He didn't even afflict the Pharisees, whom he called the children of the devil. Speaking of which, the devil hasn't got a thing to do, according to this woman, because he's got God going around doing all his dirty work.
There is further word in the New Testament as to how we are to treat this woman and her kind.

Galatians 1:8-9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema.

Anathema means essentially that you don't listen to anything they have to say. Please don't dismiss her as crazy, though. She thinks she has a grasp of the Scriptures, but you might notice that she is focused on the Old Testament. God kept Himself hidden there, and the devil was unknown. It was Jesus who made known God.
John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

The word "seen" is in the sense of "understand," such as when you grasp an explanation of something, and you understand, you will say, "I see." The word “declared” means “to make known.” This woman is speaking lies when she says God is responsible for death and disease, because I can read to you in the New Testament that “God is love (I John 4:8&16).” Further, I read that the devil is the author of death.

Hebrews 2:14 Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”

The Christian church as a whole needs to come back to what the Bible declares about God and Jesus Christ. We cannot go by what man says about them, unless what they say lines up with what the Word of God says.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I wrote the letter below in response to a teaching I heard on a website called "Truth Matters," and I have provided a link to this teaching:
http://truthmattersradio.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/conditional-salvation-with-bob-mathieson/


I have listened to many teachings on "Truth Matters," and have been very impressed. However, I was distressed at "Conditional Salvation." There may be no specific Scripture that states "Once saved, always saved," but I think it would be redundant to say so, not that God refrains from being redundant in His Word. I don't feel that I take much of a leap in equating the salvation of Romans 10:9 with everlasting life (John 3:16). I figure that what we've been saved from is everlasting death. Or, rather, what we will be saved from. Is it also too much to equate salvation/everlasting life with the new birth? All these terms sound to me like really permanent situations. I would say that everlasting life that could be revoked was never everlasting to begin with. I will admit that is debatable. The term that provides the stamp of permanence is "the new birth." The day Jesus was raised from the dead is called by God the day He has "begotten" him. All those that will confess Jesus is their Lord, believing God raised him from the dead, are "begotten" again (I Peter 1:3). By analogy, salvation through Christ is spoken of in terms of bodily conception and birth. The spirit within us is called "seed." When an earthly father provides his seed in the conception of a child, there is absolutely nothing in heaven and earth that would make that child not be that father's child. That is the idea God is giving us by saying that we are "born again of incorruptible seed." Of course it would be unfair for a person to be born again, do a 180 on God and Jesus Christ, and live like the very devil, and still eventually find a place in the Kingdom. But the attitude of "it's not fair" is the one the whiny other son had when the forgiving father was welcoming back the prodigal son. He should have been rejoicing that his brother, as good as dead, was effectually raised to life.

An excellent teaching on "Our Guarantee of Salvation" is at the link below:
http://www.truthortradition.com/articles/guaranteed-salvation

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I sent the letter below to Lisa Miller, writer for Newsweek magazine, in response to the article she wrote which can be found at this link:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/219009

Dear Ms. Miller:

I read with interest your article about the two white guys. The subheading caught my attention. I take exception to there even being a faith-versus-reason debate. True faith does not have reason as its adversary. True faith is built upon reason. Faith is trust. For example, if I found it unreasonable that a chair lacked the integrity to support my weight, I would not have the faith (trust) to sit in it.

I know Christianity is not "good for the world." Christianity is at odds with the world. The world hated, and still hates, Jesus.

John 15:18-25 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you.
If you were of the world, the world would befriend you as its own, but because you are not
of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his lord.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.
But all these things they will do to you on account of my name,
because they do not know him who sent me.
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin,
but now they have no excuse for their sin.
He who hates me hates my Father also.
If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have
sin, but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.
But let the word that is written in their law be fulfilled, They hated me without a cause.

Christianity is, however, beautiful for the individual seeking to escape the world-system that leads to death.

I am in agreement with Mr. Epstein when he says that those with a humanist point of view can have everything religion offers, because religion is as much a human construct as their humanist viewpoints. Religion is man's attempt to reach up to God. However, Christianity is God reaching down to man with the gift of His Son, and, therewith, everlasting life (John 3:16).

Thank you for the opportunity to assemble the thoughts swirling around my head as I read your article. I saw that you are composing a book on the subject of heaven. I would like to offer you a link to an online audio teaching that gives an alternate viewpoint of what Scripture says is going on in heaven.

http://www.stfpodcast.com/File/oct2009_whats_going_on_in_heaven.mp3

Take care, and may God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, bless you abundantly.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

DON'T BE FOOLED!

This is the way I would title a review of a show I saw on the History International Channel. The program is called "How Life Began."

I say 'don't be fooled,' as in "Don't be fooled into thinking that you are going to be able to watch a 2-hour program entitled 'How Life Began,' and that they are going to tell you how life began. This program does nothing of the kind. It will tell you of experiments that were conducted with the goal of revealing how life began. Those experiments failed. It will tell you that chains of amino acids were constructed in a certain liquid and gaseous environment, but nobody knows how even that happened. Amino acids may be referred to as the building blocks of life, but an acid is still inert matter.
The best that they could do, after a full two hours on the subject, is tell us that science may be on the verge of discovering how life began. One can also say, if he were walking along a road, and he could not see more than two feet ahead of him, that he may be on the verge of going over a cliff. Then again, he may have 1,000 miles of clear road ahead. One of this program's commentators said that, even if these experiments had resulted in the prompting of strands of RNA and DNA to self-replication, that still would not reveal definitively that this is how life began.
I said to myself, when I finished watching this program, that if I had gone in to watch this show with the expectation that it was going to live up to its name, I would have come away righteously indignant, or mad as hell. But, I wasn't going to be fooled. I already know how life began. The answer lies in what is probably the most elegant 10-word sentence ever written ("elegant" defined as 'Displaying effortless beauty and simplicity in movement or execution.').

In the beginning God

created the heavens

and the earth.

If I were to acquire and read a book entitled "How to Bake a Cake," I would expect the work to contain a little bit more than the history of cake, and the efforts of those who came before me in assembling cakes. If it did not tell me how to make a cake, I should wish to demand not only my money back, but also the time it took for me to read the thing.

There have been endeavors of science that have no doubt been of great benefit to mankind. May the men and women of science not be persuaded to follow false leads in pursuit of erroneous conclusions that serve only to deny the God Who established them, and the Lord that bought them.

Should you wish to delve more deeply into this subject, the following link will direct you to many resources:

http://www.truthortradition.com/CreationVsEvolution

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

DIVISION IN THE CHURCH

I was thinking about the divisiveness in the Christian Church. This should never be. Ephesians 4 shows us that Christ gave the gift ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers so that "we all attain to the unity of the faith (verse 13)." That unity can only be attained through "the knowledge of the Son of God." This would include not only who he is, but all that he accomplished for us. By this knowledge we can attain to "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Verse 16 likens the body of Christian believers to the human body, with every part working at peak efficiency being essential to the proper operation of the whole, when they are working in concert with every other part.
Paul the apostle was fighting division in the Corinthian Church when he wrote to them about the "jealousy, strife, and factions among" them (I Cor. 3:3). Some were saying "I follow Paul," some were saying "I follow Apollos." This sounds like so much denominationalism to me. The Corinthian Church was having many problems, as evidenced by the whole letter, but the first one Paul sought to address was the one of division and contentions (1:10-13). Since Paul was writing the God-breathed Word, this would be God's chief issue among all that the Corinthian Church had wrong with them. It is God's heart that "you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment (verse 10)." A group can speak the same thing if they agree on something that originates outside of themselves. God's Word has existed from the beginning, and now we have it in written form. We have something upon which we can agree.
I have pondered why various groups can claim they believe that the Bible is the Word of God, but come to wildly different conclusions on what it says. I have thought about how the brain is set up to interpret (assign a meaning to) the information that is presented to it through the senses. People are most prepared to assign the meaning dictated to them by what they have learned, and the culture in which they have lived. Sometimes this is not the most efficient way of interpreting something. A person can be given an animal pelt to feel, without being allowed to see it, and he may determine it to be cat fur, when it may actually be that of a mink or a beaver. Only further investigation will reveal its true nature.
That's what we need to do with God's Word. God has a specific meaning for everything in His Word. We must strive to find the Author's intended meaning of everything in it. An example of how culture can color (and distort) the intended meaning can be found in the phrase "turn the other cheek." The Western mind sees the slap on the cheek as a physical assault, and that turning away may mean not to retaliate, or even defend oneself. Hence, this phrase becomes a call to pacifism. However, the Bible is an Eastern book, and is best understood by that culture. The Eastern culture sees a slap on the cheek as the ultimate insult, the same as if someone were calling you and those you love degrading names. That is what we should let roll off our backs. But, Jesus can't be so much of a pacifist, if he's going to be leading an army against the forces of darkness after his return, and restore Paradise on earth. Even during his earthly ministry, he told his disciples to arm themselves (Luke 22:36-38).
It is that simple to stray from the intended meaning of Scripture. Without applying the true meaning to Scripture, as many interpretations can be derived as there are people reading it. All manner of outside philosophical influences can then be incorporated, and even validated by Scripture, by applying a meaning different from the Author's intention.
If each of us sees something different in Scripture, then it stands to reason that one of us must be applying an unintended meaning. Perhaps we both are. II Timothy 2:15 is what we are directed to do; be diligent in correctly handling the Word of Truth. Here the Word of God is referred to as the Word of Truth. The opposite of Truth is error. There is warning in this passage that error concerning the Truth will consume like gangrene (verses 16 and 17). Error will destroy the body. We've got to all become likeminded on the Truth.

May I suggest you explore this topic further at this link:
Truth Matters: The Biblical View Of Truth

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