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Zechariah's Eight Visions for [the Glory and Honor of] Israel - {The 9th vision (Word from the Lord) was "The symbolic crowning of Joshua, the High Priest. This was a symbolic merger of the two [three] offices of King and High Priest [and Prophet the 'Branch' (Nazarene -Netzer the green living, alive, anointed branch capable of growth, bearing fruit and of self reproduction)] in the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ} - Zechariah 6:11-15 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the High Priest; And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of Hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH [living, Christ]; and He shall grow up out of His place [Heaven], and **He shall build the [eternal] Temple of the LORD: Even He shall build the Temple of the LORD; and He shall bear [have] the Glory, and shall sit and rule upon His Throne [King]; and He shall be a *Priest upon His Throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both [office of King and office of Priest]. And [for a prophecy remembrance] the crowns [just made by Zechariah] shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, *for a memorial [remembrance] in the Temple of the LORD [intended to be there until the Messiah comes - Jesus was instead crowned with thorns by Herod's troops (Matthew 27:29)]. And they [Gentiles] that are far off shall come and build in the [eternal] Temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of Hosts hath sent Me unto you. *And this [crowning the Messiah in Jerusalem] shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God. - {Note: This will still come to pass, not at the 1st coming of Jesus but at the 2nd coming of Jesus.}

What Does This Mean to Us? - The rest of the book of Zechariah contains more promises of forgiveness for Israel, blessings of restoration of the land and people from exile, and judgment on the nations who come against God's eternal plans and promises.Of the people of Israel, God called them to "administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other" (Zech. 7:9-10). Of the land of Israel, God cries out: "I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem I will save My people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be My people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God" (Zech. 8:2,3,8). Of the people of the nations, God says, "In those days, ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the edge of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you'" (Zech. 8:23). Of the choice the nations must make: "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding people reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves On that day, I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem" (Zech. 12:2-3,9). Of the Jewish people, He says: "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on Me, the one they have pierced, and mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son On that day, a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity" (Zech. 12:10; 13:1). Of the Messiah, "On that day, His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. Then, the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles" (Zech. 14:4,16)."In that dayin that day." This book is a most prophetic book, which says much about Israel in a future day when the Jewish people will return from exile and restore the land to its former glory. Messiah will come and establish Himself in Jerusalem where He will rule and reign in justice over the whole world from Jerusalem. This is that day, and we can be excited that we can be a part of prophecy, not only witnessing God's plan unfolding, but participating in prophecy through the projects and programs of Bridges for Peace and other Christian Zionist organizations. As we say at Bridges for Peace, "Don't just read about Bible prophecy when you can be a part of it." Get involved. Pray. Give. And, participate. Psalm 102:13 says it all: "The time to favor Zion [Israel] is now!" [article link]

Acts 7 - Stephen under arrest for blasphemy and on trial for his life in Jerusalem - Stephen uses as his defense the known fact that nearly every single prophet of importance to Israel throughout the history of Israel the people of Israel have first rejected the true Prophet before they ultimately accepted them and their ministry as being of God - Stephen is saying that Jesus was obviously God in the flesh though many people refused to believe it but then rejecting the true Prophets of God is the track record of mankind when it comes to interactions between man and God - Mankind has a propensity to reject the true interaction with God while at the same time embrace the false prophets of the world -- 'Acts 7:52-53 Which of the [true] Prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them [true Prophets] which shewed before [prophesied] of the coming of the Just One [Jesus Christ]; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers [their Jewish forefathers put to death the true prophets but they managed to go a step further and put to death the Messiah, Jesus the one prophesied about]: Who have received the law [the image of Jesus] by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it [because the law revealed the nature of Jesus].'

Acts 7:52-60 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One [Messiah]; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law [Divinely] by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart [enraged in their soul], and they gnashed on him with their teeth. *But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, *looked up stedfastly *into heaven, *and saw the glory of God, *and Jesus *standing [Jesus is standing as the Melchizedek High Priest ready to receive into Heaven the acceptable offering of the sacrifice and life of Stephen] on the right hand of God, And said, **Behold, I see the Heavens opened, and the Son of Man [Jesus] standing on the right hand of God [Father]. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city [outside the city limits, probably at the dump], and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul [later the Apostle Paul] {Note: Saul (the Apostle Paul) although perfectly within his rights did not throw a stone himself - Paul was not the violent aggressor that the secular world wants to portray}. And they [not Saul] stoned Stephen, ***calling upon God, and **saying [as Jesus said from His cross (Luke 23:46)], Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. *And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge [as Jesus had said from His cross (Luke 23:34)]. And when he had said this, he fell asleep [to the Christian death is as harmless as sleep and often in the Bible death is referred to simply as a [harmless] sleep for those who are saved and will awake in Heaven]. - Note: Normally in the Bible Jesus is represented as seated [enthroned]at the right hand of the Father Matthew 26:64)however Stephen describes Jesus as standing - standing is a part of the office of the High Priest - sitting is a part of the office of the King. Jesus preforms all three offices of God as King of the Universe, High Priest [Melchizedek] and True Prophet. The Christian Stephen lived his life with Jesus as his example, he preached his life with Jesus as his example and in his death (sleep) he departed with Jesus as his example and as such Stephen saw Jesus standing in Heaven and was received directly into Heaven receiving what the Apostle Paul would call the martyrs death the "better resurrection" (Hebrews 11:35). [article link]

Heartlight.org: The Authority of Reality "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you" (James 4:8) - from My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers

It is essential to give people a chance of acting on the truth of God. The responsibility must be left with the individual, you cannot act for him, it must be his own deliberate act, but the evangelical message ought always to lead a man to act. The paralysis of refusing to act leaves a man exactly where he was before; when once he acts, he is never the same. It is the foolishness of it that stands in the way of hundreds who have been convicted by the Spirit of God. Immediately I precipitate myself over into an act, that second I live; all the rest is existence. The moments when I truly live are the moments when I act with my whole will. Never allow a truth of God that is brought home to your soul to pass without acting on it, not necessarily physically, but in will. ... We have to go clean over on some word of our redeeming Lord and transact business with Him. His word "come" means "transact." "Come unto Me." The last thing we do is to come; but everyone who does come knows that that second the supernatural rush of the life of God invades him instantly. The dominating power of the world, the flesh and the devil is paralysed, not by your act, but because your act has linked you on to God and His redemptive power. [article link]

Pimppreacher via Apostasywatch: Minister or Sinister? How to know when your Church has become a cult - Everything is about CONTROL - The main tools used to control members are INTIMIDATION and MANIPULATION - *The intimidation and manipulation are very subtle and disguised with a false sense of love and concern - It's all a strategic COURTSHIP

RUNNING GAME The Cult [suspect Church] will have a team of people (we will call them the GAMERS) who are assigned to COURT you (THE PROSPECT) [for their gain - power, prestige, finances, etc]. The courtship begins with COMMUNICATION. Good communication starts with paying attention to what is said. The Gamer will ask strategic questions about the PROSPECT, their family and their life. Once they hear something they can identify with the prospect (YOU) they will begin telling the prospect how wonderful the church is (disclaimer: they will always say "we're not a perfect church, but we love God and our Pastor loves the people of God, we are a loving church"). -- The Gamer will tell a story about how they were so lost, broke down, and hurt BUT because of this ministry they were able to get their lives together and they don't know where they would be without this ministry (*not GOD, but the ministry) this will of course include many examples of how the Cult Pastor is very sincere and loving. This call will conclude with an invitation (FIRST DATE). This first date may be an invitation to come to the midweek service, a fellowship, or next Sunday's service and the prospect is told to ask for the Gamer as soon as they come through the door so the two of them can sit together. The members are moved by what they HEAR they are compelled to say YES TO THE FIRST DATE. ... PROPHET OR PROFIT? In treating the members as children they are taught to NEVER speak against the leader. If fact, any questioning of the ministry teachings, any criticism, any independent thinking is considered a form of rebellion. "Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm" I Chron. 16:22. There will be a strong emphasis on authority, unquestioning obedience and submission. Members become afraid to say anything, even if they know something is wrong because speaking against what they KNOW to be wrong is speaking against the "Pastor" and it's a SIN. They are convinced that if the Pastor is wrong - God will get him and when the "wrong' is continued they assume the Pastor was right. And if anyone is ever so bold to speak against the leader they are ostracized by the entire church. Yes, this "loving" church will turn their back on you. -- SiGNS TO LOOK FOR: 1. LOST OF IDIVIDUALITY. You are no longer a creative, independent thinking individual. Everyone must speak the SAME thing.say what the leader says at all times.any other opinion is going against God. 2. LOST OF RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS. Relationship with friends, relatives, and children - ANY NON-MEMBER is severed. - RELATIONSHIP IS BASED ON MEMBERSHIP 3. EXCESSIVE GIVING. Extreme pressure to give all you have. Several offerings, large sums, public announcement of your amount resulting in guilt and intimidation. 4. ISOLATION. Isolation from anything and anyone not directly affiliated with the church. 5. CONTROL OF TIME. 6. LOSS OF FREE WILL. Members cannot make any independent decisions concerning personal life. Cannot question leadership. [article link]

Predatory Tithing - Ed Young's Tithing Sermon: Show Me the Money! - The video of Ed Young posted here on Sunday has gotten quite a bit of play around the blogosphere It has even moved over to YouTube - Christians and non-Christians alike are flabbergasted that a pastor from the pulpit is trying to get people to commit to give 10% of their income to his church through automatic withdrawal {Note: the Corporation Churches [501(c)3] need to own up to their public accountability and financial obligations in reporting and accounting for every single dime that they collect in offerings [so called tithes, offerings, gifts]. The Basic Christian Ministry is going to designate 2011 as a year of Church accountability [actually starting now!!] - No public disclosure of legal financial statements provided by the church and staff then no money provided by the congregation it's that simple!! - Also Note: The people that are blindly donating to demanding and offensive personalities are the very people that are enabling, perpetuating and furthering this very serious [*Predatory Tithing] problem within the Church. It's important that everyone within the congregation accept responsibility and withhold financial support from any Church or organization that is not 100% transparent with its organizational structure, affiliations or income disbursements.} (YouTube)

He tells them they are cursed if they don't tithe. He wonders why they come to church if they don't bring the tithe, tells them to stay home or play golf, to quit wasting Ed's and God's time. He says to watch your wallet if you're sitting next to a non-tither. He brags that "blessings track him down" for his 29 years of faithfulness. He even declares multiple times that the blessings of the Christian life are "all about the money". Ed even says "Show me the money" - which I take to mean "show me your bank account and routing number". He says that if you don't tithe, your marriage, your job, your kids, will all suffer because you're under God's curse. I hope that someone in Ed's circle of friends - maybe John Cross, or maybe Ed's father - someone, will help Ed see that he is abusing his congregation. Comments: Anonymous said... 80% of Ed young's church membership need to leave the church now. Those people should choose a place to meet and have a great time in fellowship. choose a God fearing man as a teacher while giving him some living standards. No jet. And learn the truth of the [B]ible. [article link]

Predatory Preaching - Why So Much Angst About Anonymous Critics? (Audio)

I recently came across the audio excerpt below from Matt Chandler, where he absolutely blasts people who would dare send him anonymous, critical emails. He angrily calls them several choice names like "pathetic" and "narcissistic zeros". I came across this audio clip at Dr. Alvin Reid's blog site, as he included Chandler's clip with his blog post here entitled "Dealing with Critics". You really have to listen to this. It gives I think a glimpse into just how much disdain there is for anonymous emailers and bloggers critical of the Southern Baptist power structure. It is my view, based on my experience as a formerly anonymous blogger, that Chandler's disdain for anonymous critics is shared by many of our Southern Baptist leaders. After all, Alvin Reid posts it for his readers (many of whom are our future pastors!), presumably as an example of how to view those who dare to criticize anonymously. [article link]

Note: Only informed responsible giving (tithing) is cheerful giving - Previous year 501c3 non-profit tax form filings should be open and publically available (in Church offices) and on the internet for anyone and everyone to look at and only then is a person capable of making an informed decision about personally donating to charitable 'Churches' and causes i.e. a Harvest Crusade type of event -- "2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth [responsibly] in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful [responsible] giver."

Only informed responsible giving (tithing) is cheerful giving! Not the ignorance is bliss, dutiful giving that the modern Church now wants us to participate in. -- "Ecclesiastes 7:12 For wisdom is a defense [refuge], and money [opportunity, power, influence, prestige] is a defense: but [more important than money] the excellency of [Biblical] knowledge [accurate, reliable Biblical doctrine] is, that wisdom giveth [eternal] life to them that have it." [article link]

Donor Bill of Rights - PHILANTHROPY (Charitable Donations) is based on voluntary action for the common good - It is a tradition [and religious requirement] of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life - To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights: I. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes - II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities - III. **To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements - IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given

I. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes. II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities. III. To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements. IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given. V. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition. VI. To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law. VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature. VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors. IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share. X To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers. [article link]

Questions to Ask a Nonprofit (Church - Crusade - Conference - etc.) *Before Investing in [or contributing to] It - 3. What are your annual goals, needs, and results? How do they compare to similar organizations in your community? - 6. How well have you utilized your funding? Describe how efficiently you have fulfilled your goals of recent years in relationship to the amount of funds you have raised

Thinking of donating to a nonprofit? Here are some suggested questions to ask nonprofit organizations before investing in them. The answers can help you determine which charities to give to and evaluate the performance of the philanthropies you already support. 1. How are you collaborating with similar organizations on a local, regional, or national level? 2. What are the main obstacles that inhibit the fulfillment of your mission? How are you planning to overcome them? 3. What are your annual goals, needs, and results? How do they compare to similar organizations in your community? 4. How much turnover have you experienced of employees and board members in the last two years {and how many related family members are employed and in what places within the organization}? 5. To what degree have you attracted new people {non-family members} and new ideas to your organization and board? 6. *How well have you utilized your funding? Describe how efficiently you have fulfilled your goals of recent years in relationship to the amount of funds you have raised. 7. Most for-profit organizations have recently restructured themselves in recent years to become more efficient and productive. How, if at all, are you considering (or have you implemented) some version of this approach? 8. How efficiently is your organization run? To what degree have you assigned day-to-day management responsibilities to a tightly run executive committee instead of relying upon your full board? 9. Who are your main competitors and how do your results in recent years compare to theirs?
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Tips for Choosing a Charity: A Donor's 9-Step Guide to Giving Wisely - Avoid charities that won't share information or pressure you - Reputable nonprofits: Will discuss their programs and finances - [they] Don't use pressure tactics - Are willing to send you literature about their work or direct you to a Web site - Will take "no" for an answer - Trust your instincts: If you still have doubts about a charity, don't contribute to it - Instead, find another nonprofit that does the same kind of work and with which you feel comfortable, then make your donation

Tips for Choosing a Charity: A Donor's 9-Step Guide to Giving Wisely - Here are GuideStar's tips for donors who want to give with their heads as well as their hearts. Researching Charities Clarify your values. Do this before you open your checkbook, volunteer your time, or look at that letter from a charity. Identify your preferences. Ask yourself: "What is important to me?" The environment? Education? Hunger? Animal welfare? Helping sick children? Where should the charity do its work-in your neighborhood, region, the nation, or internationally? Ask yourself if you want to support a large or small charity, a new or an old one. Search the GuideStar database to find charities that meet your criteria. Focus on the mission. Look at each charity's description in the GuideStar search results, on its Web site, or in its literature. Find the nonprofits that fit best with your values. Eliminate organizations that don't meet your criteria. Now you're ready to look more closely at these organizations. Evaluating Charities Get the cold, hard facts. A reputable organization will: Define its mission and programs clearly. Have measurable goals. Use concrete criteria to describe its achievements. Compare apples to apples. Be sure to compare charities that do the same kind of work, especially if you're looking at their finances. The type of work a charity does can affect its operating costs dramatically. Avoid charities that won't share information or pressure you. Reputable nonprofits: Will discuss their programs and finances. Don't use pressure tactics. Are willing to send you literature about their work or direct you to a Web site. Will take "no" for an answer. Trust your instincts. If you still have doubts about a charity, don't contribute to it. Instead, find another nonprofit that does the same kind of work and with which you feel comfortable, then make your donation. [article link]

Extremely Important Viewing!!! Part 8 - Dialectic Deception - [To Download Click the Share Button] (Online Video)

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