DC Comics AND Marvel Superheroes Come Out of the Closet

from One Million Moms, an affiliate of AFA (American Family Association)
Monica Cole, Director (One Million Moms)
May 24, 2012

Part 1: DC Comics recently announced one of their most popular, but as of yet unnamed, prominent characters will soon be coming out of the closet. DC Comics, owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, has decided that one of their beloved superheroes will be homosexual. Who will they choose; Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, or another one of their characters that children look up to?

Last year, DC Comics Co-publisher Dan DiDio said that the company would not change the sexual orientation of an existing superhero and would bring in a new one altogether. Parents may have been able to avoid a new character since it would not be one many children have grown to admire. DiDio has changed his mind and will not be introducing a brand new character. They will feature an existing character who was previously assumed to be straight, will now become openly gay. Senior VP Sales Bob Wayne said DiDio's view 'had evolved', comparing the shift to Barack Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex marriage, according to a report. DiDio did not specify which character would 'come out' or in which issue it would be featured. It will likely be a June issue during LBGT month, joining lesbian character Batwoman.

Part 2: And to make matters more shocking, Marvel, now owned by Disney, followed DC Comics' announcement with a surprise of their own. Northstar, Marvel's first openly gay hero, is going to tie the knot with his boyfriend in the current issue of "Astonishing X-Men." This is the first same-sex wedding in a superhero comic book.

In "Astonishing X-Men" #50, which hit comic shop shelves Wednesday, Northstar proposes to his boyfriend, Kyle, a fellow snow sports enthusiast who possesses no superpowers. The couple will seal the deal in issue #51, slated for a June 20 release.

"The story of Northstar and Kyle is universal, and at the core of everything I write: a powerful love between two people who have to fight for it against all odds," said X-Men comic writer Marjorie Liu in a statement.

Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, "I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?"

This is ridiculous! Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They don't but do want to indoctrate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children's superheroes to desensitize and brainwash them in thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable. As Christians, we know that homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:26-27).

Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to homosexuality at an early age. Comic books would be one of the last places a parent would expect their child to be confronted with homosexual topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Children do not know what straight, homosexual, or coming out of the closet even means, but DC Comics and Marvel are using superheroes to confuse them on this topic to raise questions and awareness of an alternative lifestyle choice. These companies are prompting a premature discussion on sexual orientation.

Northstar's wedding will be the first same-sex wedding in the world of mainstream superhero comics, but not the first gay comic books character. Earlier this year One Million Moms emailed Toys 'R' Us concerning the "Life With Archie" No. 16 with two gay characters getting hitched. Toys 'R' Us had the audacity to display "Archie- Just Married" at the front of the store by the checkout counters.

Please send DC Comics (Warner Bros. Entertainment Company) and Marvel (Disney) an email urging them to change and cancel all plans of homosexual superhero characters immediately. Ask them to do the right thing and reverse their decision to have sexual orientation displayed to readers.

Send Your Letter Now!

The Israeli village where Christian children are learning Aramaic in bid to revive ancient language that Jesus spoke

for the Daily Mail UK, May 29, 2012, written by Julian Gavaghan


Book of Revelation Series: Chapter 2, Part 3

Pergamon (Ancient Greek: τὸ Πέργαμον or ἡ Πέργαμος), or Pergamum, was an ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey, in Mysia, today located 16 miles (26 km) from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus (modern day Bakırçay), that became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC. Pergamon was cited in the book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia. Today, the main sites of ancient Pergamon are to the north and west of the modern city of Bergama (in present-day Turkey). (Wikipedia)

URL Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pergamon

Revelation 2:12-17
Amplified Bible (AMP)

12 Then to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Pergamum write: These are the words of Him Who has and wields the sharp two-edged sword:

13 I know where you live—a place where Satan sits enthroned. [Yet] you are clinging to and holding fast My name, and you did not deny My faith, even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed (martyred) in your midst—where Satan dwells.

14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: you have some people there who are clinging to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to set a trap and a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, [to entice them] to eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and to practice lewdness [giving themselves up to sexual vice].(A)

15 You also have some who in a similar way are clinging to the teaching of the Nicolaitans [those corrupters of the people] which thing I hate.

16 Repent [then]! Or else I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

17 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (conquers), I will give to eat of the manna that is hidden, and I will give him a white stone with a new name engraved on the stone, which no one knows or understands except he who receives it.(B)

Cross references:

Revelation 2:14 : Num. 25:1, 2; 31:16.
Revelation 2:17 : Ps. 78:24; Isa. 62:2.

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

Jesus' message to the Church in Pergamum is delivered with a two-edged sword. Jesus recognizes the fact that the Church at Pergamum has been faithful to Jesus, even to the point of the threat of death. He mentions that Pergamum has been the seat of satan. Here is an interesting article concerning this: http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/ChurchHistory/Pergamon/EZ28_seat_of_satan_part_1.aspx. However, Jesus also takes account of two things He has against what the Church has done. Some within the Church had been clinging to certain unGodly teachings by balaam and the nicolaitans, which are very bad. Jesus says to repent or He will come quickly to fight against those involved. Then, Jesus again encourages the Church in saying something curious. He says that He who overcomes will be given hidden manna and a white stone with a name engraved which no one knows except whoever receives it. What does that mean? Here is an excerpt from the Matthew Henry commentary:

The hidden manna, the influences and comforts of the Spirit of Christ in communion with him, coming down from heaven into the soul, from time to time, for its support, to let it taste something how saints and angels live in heaven. This is hidden from the rest of the world—a stranger intermeddles not with this joy; and it is laid up in Christ, the ark of the covenant, in the holy of holies. 2. The white stone, with a new name engraven upon it. This white stone is absolution from the guilt of sin, alluding to the ancient custom of giving a white stone to those acquitted on trial and a black stone to those condemned. The new name is the name of adoption: adopted persons took the name of the family into which they were adopted. None can read the evidence of a man’s adoption but himself; he cannot always read it, but if he persevere he shall have both the evidence of sonship and the inheritance. (Copyright © 2012, Bible Study Tools. All rights reserved.)

URL Link: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/revelation/2.html?p=5


Film: Jesus of Nazareth

Live airing 24/7 365 of Jesus of Nazareth movie from 1977. http://www.justin.tv/stcephas#/w/3142978064

Acts: Then and Now #1: The Birth of the Church

Bringing Good News from the Middle East, Myles teaches about the birth of the Church on location at the Jerusalem Temple's Southern Steps. We learn how Evangelist Jacob Damkani, a Persian Jew, fearlessly brings the Gospel to Israelis.

Shavuot (Pentecost) commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mount Sinai. Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Twelve apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1-31. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described as the "Birthday of the Church."

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Hal Lindsey Report (5-25-12): Starting My Journey, the Battle Plan, the Real Gog, a Miraculous Alignment, Ten Means Ten, Mysteries Revealed, the Guilt Trap

From Hal Lindsey Media Ministries e-Newsletter, May 25, 2012: 

I first began studying Bible prophecy in 1955, shortly after becoming a Christian. In 1956, I attended a lecture at Rice University in Houston. Colonel Robert B. Thieme spoke for more than two hours showing how the Suez Crisis of 1956 fit into the predicted scenario of end-time events.

He said that Russia would back Egypt and the Muslims in their struggle against England, France, Israel, and much of the west. He also detailed how Russia would later become the driving force of a Muslim coalition that would eventually attack Israel and start the first phase of the war of Armageddon.

Needless to say, I was hooked. As all of this played out on the world stage, it gave me an assurance that the Bible had to be the Word of God. For nothing man created could be that accurate about specific events that would happen hundreds and, sometimes, thousands of years later.

In 1969, when I wrote The Late Great Planet Earth, the Soviet Union was approaching its zenith as the world's other superpower. But, according to Bible prophecy, Gog is to be a strong regional power, not a world conqueror. That meant that God had to stop the Soviet Union before it became a world-dominating power which wouldn't fit into prophecy.

He did.

This week, I'm going to review how Russia is becoming the Gog described by the ancient prophets. Against all odds, including the improbable collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia's subsequent rise from the ashes as a strong regional power, national alignments that seemed impossible 40 years ago are now falling into place. Russia, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, and the European Union are all players that have, in some cases, made complete U-turns in their historical roles. Just as the prophets predicted.

That means that if the Bible is right about these things, then it's right about everything else. And that includes Jesus Christ's promise to redeem you from your sin. But Satan, the accuser of the believers and the father of lies, wants you to think otherwise. In fact, he will try to convince you that you're not REALLY forgiven. He'll tell you that even though you've confessed your known sin and regained fellowship with God, "He won't forgive you this time."

If we confess our sins to God but still do not believe that we are truly forgiven, then we have unresolved guilt that will keep us from believing God in the future and walking in the Spirit. If we mistakenly believe (as Satan wants) that God is still holding something against us, then we will spiral into an ever-deepening estrangement from God.

This week, I'm going to share with you how to overcome that attack of Satan and fully claim God's gracious cleansing. And if there's one thing we all need in these final days, it's that unimpeded fellowship with God that allows His Spirit to fill us and empower us.

As we commemorate Memorial Day on Monday, I want to express my deep and heartfelt gratitude to the men and women of our armed forces who stand guard around the world for our liberty, security, and freedom. Most of all, I want to say, "Thank you" to the fallen and to the families and friends of those soldiers and patriots who "gave the last full measure of devotion." Without their sacrifice, there would be no liberty, security, or freedom, indeed, no United States of America. We owe you more than we can ever repay.

On Memorial Day, 1982, President Ronald Reagan delivered this challenge at Arlington National Cemetery: "Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. ...The willingness of some to give their lives so that others might live never fails to invoke in us a sense of wonder and mystery. ...As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation."

On Memorial Day, 2012, let's remember that the blessings we enjoy today were secured by the sacred sacrifices made by millions of Americans. We must not allow those sacrifices to be made in vain.

God bless the men and women of our armed forces. God bless America!

Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, Inspiration, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.Hischannel.com. Please check your local listings.

God Bless,

Hal Lindsey

mail: HLMM, P.O. Box 470470, Tulsa, OK 74147
email: comments@hallindsey.com

web: http://www.hallindsey.com

(Blog Disclaimer: I own nothing. All information from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries. Video uploaded to YouTube by OmniChristianVids3.) 

Book of Revelation Series: Chapter 2, Part 2

Here Jesus sends a message to the Church in Smyrna. Smyrna, which is now the modern city Izmir, was located in present-day Turkey. Here is what Wikipedia says about Smyrna:  

Smyrna (Ancient Greek: Σμύρνη or Σμύρνα) was an ancient city located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Thanks to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. The ancient city is located at two sites within modern İzmir, Turkey. The first site, probably founded indigenously, rose to prominence during the Archaic Period as one of the principal ancient Greek settlements in western Anatolia. The second, whose foundation is associated with Alexander the Great, reached metropolitan proportions during the period of the Roman Empire. Most of the present-day remains date from the Roman era, the majority from after a 2nd century AD earthquake.
URL Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smyrna


Revelation 2 

Amplified Bible (AMP)

And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Smyrna write: These are the words of the First and the Last, Who died and came to life again:(B)
I know your affliction and distress and pressing trouble and your poverty—but you are rich! and how you are abused and reviled and slandered by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life.(C)
11 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). He who overcomes (is victorious) shall in no way be injured by the second death.
  Cross References:

B. Isaiah 44:6
C. Rev. 3:10, 11

Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

In Jesus' message to Smyrna, he doesn't appear to have anything to criticize the Church about, but rather he recognizes their suffering and informs them of the suffering they are to expect at the hands of satan. However, he also encourages them to not give up and that whoever overcomes will receive the Crown of Life. He mentions that He Himself died and came to life again.


Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Update for week of may 25, 2012

vom groups
weekly prayer updates
"Prayer is the pulse of life; by it the doctor can tell what is the condition of the heart. The sin of prayerlessness is a proof for the ordinary Christian or minister that the life of God in the soul is in deadly sickness and weakness." - Andrew Murray

"praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" - Ephesians 6:18

Iran--Government Tracks Christians
Source: Mohabat News

Acts 12:24

The Ministry of Intelligence has ordered the leaders of a Christian church in Tehran to submit the names and national identification numbers of its members to authorities. Viewed as an attempt to deter Christians from attending church, the order will reveal the identity of Christian converts and enable security authorities to record detailed information about Christians. Although this most recent restriction will make church attendance riskier, previous restrictions have failed to decrease the rate of Christian conversions. Last February, the Ministry of Intelligence banned Farsi services at the only two churches holding Farsi services on Friday, when most people are off work. Pray that this most recent restriction will fail to hinder the spread of the gospel in Iran.

Laos--Mother Expels Children from Home
Source: VOM Contacts

Luke 21:16

An 18-year-old boy and 20-year-old girl have been expelled from their home because of their Christian faith. When their mother became extremely ill, village elders claimed that the spirits were displeased because the two Christian children were living in the house. An older son tried to persuade his brother and sister to recant their faith, but they refused. Their mother then accused them of hating their older brother and wishing him dead. She threw their belongings out of the house and told them to leave. The two Christians immediately moved to a Christian village where they originally heard the gospel, and they were welcomed with open arms. Pray for these two brave Christians as they begin a new life away from their family.

Indonesia--Churches Forced to Close
Source: Compass Direct News

Psalm 9:10

Seventeen churches were forced to close in early May after the election of a hard-line Islamic governor in Indonesia’s Aceh Province. The churches were closed under a controversial agreement that Christians signed in 2001, stating that only one church and four chapels would be allowed. Because building permits have been routinely denied or delayed, many Christians worship in houses and other buildings. There are reportedly 12,000 Christians living in this area. Pray for continued growth despite the number of churches being closed.

North Africa
VOM Project

Pray for the printing and distribution of 2,000 copies of the Bible in one of the main languages of people in a severely restricted area.


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(Blog Disclaimer: I do not own this. This is simply a copy of the original newsletter re-posted here for informative purposes only). 

God Bless Vegas

A new documentary from ACLJFilms. Directed by Logan Sekulow - For more information visit www.Godblessvegas.com

Petition to Protect Religious Freedom of US Military Chaplains

from the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice)

The religious freedom of military chaplains is once again under attack. President Obama, the Commander-in-Chief, has endorsed same-sex marriage and repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Military chaplains may now be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies in violation of their religious beliefs.

The ACLJ is on the front lines, working with Members of Congress, fighting to protect the conscience rights of all Americans, especially those who serve our Armed Forces. A critical religious liberty measure has already passed the House of Representatives. Sign our petition urging the Senate to pass these conscience protections for our military.

Petition to Protect Religious Freedom of Military Chaplains

To: The United States Senate

Military chaplains’ ability to minister to our servicemen and women is closely tied to their freedom to operate according to the tenets of their faith. Military chaplains must be free to exercise their faith and not be required to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriage ceremonies. Please immediately pass the amendment protecting chaplains’ conscience rights.


Jack Van Impe Presents (5-26-2012) #1222

(c) J.V.I. Ministries - http://www.jvim.com/ - Jack Van Impe Presents #1222 (2012-05-26)

Do all religions worship the same God?
The New World Order and the one world religion...
The New Age Movement: The countdown has begun...

Product Offer of the Week: DVD "Awake America: The World's Final Warning" which can be purchased by phoning the telephone number on the video or by going to the JVIM Ministry online store: https://ww2.micahtek.com/nexolive/nJVISelector.cfm?rDATA1=SHOPPING

Thanks to CallOutToJesus on YouTube for uploading the videos there and the descriptions.

Manna Fest w/Perry Stone (5-25-2012) #607 Removing the "Give-Up" Option

Website: www.voe.org
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/perrystonevoe
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Love Language Minute: Sexual Fulfillment Starts Here

from Dr. Gary Chapman

The Question
In your book, Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married, you discuss that sexual fulfillment is not automatic. What do you recommend for couples who are trying to figure out how to have a fulfilling sex life?

The Answer
First of all, that they need to be honest with each other about their past history sexually before they get married. I continue to run into couples that have been married two to three years and then they find out that the person they married had been sexually active with a number of other people before they came to them, but they never shared that or they shared part of their history but not all of their history. The person feels deceived, and it's difficult to deal with after you're married.

So, what I'm saying to singles: when you get serious about thinking about marriage, it's time for you to share your histories with each other. For example, if you were sexually abused as a child or teenager, that needs to be shared, because if you have not dealt with that sufficiently, when you bring that into marriage, it's going to distort everything else about your sexual relationship. And if you've been sexually active with others, that needs to be shared. Now, sometimes singles will say, "Well if I really tell the truth, then they're going to walk away and leave me, and I don't want to lose them." It's far better to tell them beforehand and let them walk away than to be married three years and they found out and then they walk away. Much better to deal with it before you get married.

Then when you get married, or when you're getting serious about marriage, I am suggesting that you need to learn something about male sexuality and female sexuality and the differences between males and females. We assume before we get married that it's going to be heaven for both of us, we'll just do what comes natural. The reality is that's not true. It takes time to learn how to pleasure each other sexually, and if we understand that, then we won't be disillusioned when three months into the marriage, one of us is saying, "You know, I'm not getting this. It's not working for me." If we understand we have to learn, and we're willing to take some time to read and think and talk, then we can develop mutual sexual fulfillment. But I think couples need to be aware of the fact that this doesn't just happen because you get married. Just as we have to grow together intellectually and socially and spiritually, we have to grow sexually as well.

*adapted from An Interview with Dr. Gary Chapman on startmarriageright.com.

Continue the conversation: Share your questions, thoughts insights, or comments by joining the conversation on Facebook at facebook.com/5lovelanguages

© 2012 Northfield Publishing


ChristianMovies.com Memorial Day Special

This week products featured are on sale with a theme about the American government and the great freedoms enjoyed in America. Check out the special pricing on these titles. http://www.christianmovies.com/memorial-day-specials

1997-2012 © ChristianMovies.com

Book of Revelation Series: Chapter 2, Part 1

Here is my second addition to the Book of Revelation series. I started to read the second chapter, but it goes straight to focusing on the seven Churches, beginning with the Church at Ephesus (think book of Ephesians). I became so focused on what is said about Ephesus that I decided that I'm probably just going to break it down one by one (what is said about each Church).


Amplified Bible (AMP)
Revelation 2

2 To the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him Who holds the seven stars [which are the messengers of the seven churches] in His right hand, Who goes about among the seven golden lampstands [which are the seven churches]:

2 I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars.

3 I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary.

4 But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].

5 Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.

6 Yet you have this [in your favor and to your credit]: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans [what they are doing as corrupters of the people], which I Myself also detest.

7 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.(A)


Jesus starts out giving the 'good news' to the Church at Ephesus by recognizing the good things about them and then goes into the bad.

The good things: working hard, patient (twice mentioned), intolerant of wicked men, testing false teachers and proving them wrong, bearing up for Jesus, and not grown weary.

The bad thing (only one thing): Leaving their first love (Jesus). Jesus even goes so far as to say that they have abandoned the love that they had for Jesus in the beginning and that they have deserted Him, their first love.

So, basically, the Church at Ephesus has been great at working hard for God doing good works, being patient and enduring, and calling out the false teachers. But, they've lost the kind of special love that they used to have for Jesus. It's as if they became so caught up in doing good, doing all the right things, that they left their special love for Jesus behind and ignored it. They're not focusing on their love for Jesus first. They are too consumed with 'busy work.' Jesus feels abandoned and deserted because of this.

So, Jesus tells them: 1) Remember how far you've fallen 2) Repent, change your inner self to meet God's will 3) do the works that you did previously (when you first knew the Lord).

Then He gives a threat: 'Or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place.' I'm not really sure what that means, to be honest, but it's obviously something bad. But, He reminds/encourages them again to 'change your mind and repent.'

Then, He does something curious in that He suddenly mentions a new thing that they have done which is very good on their part. He says, 'in your favor and to your credit'...'you hate the works of the nicolaitans (what they are doing as corrupters of the people)'...'which I Myself also detest.' Who or what are the nicolaitans?

First of all, let's backtrack. I looked up the Book of Ephesians, which is actually a letter that Paul wrote probably decades earlier. In the Book of Ephesians I noticed that much is made about the spiritual life: spiritual blessings, spiritual wisdom, being made alive with Christ, peace and oneness with Christ, being a temple for the Lord, Paul reveals God's mysterious plan, spiritual growth, unity in the body, living as children of Light, living in the Light, living by the Spirit's power, Spirit-guided relationships (husband and wife, children and parents, slaves and masters), and putting on the whole armor of God. This sounds like a really good Church that particularly focuses on the Spirit-led life and oneness with Jesus.

Now, who are the nicolaitans?

Wikipedia says (snuggled under a series on gnosticism):
Nicolaism (also Nicholaism, Nicolationism, or Nicolaitanism) is a Christian heresy, first mentioned (twice) in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament, whose adherents were called Nicolaitans, Nicolaitanes, or Nicolaites. According to Revelation 2, vv. 6 and 15,[1] they were known in the cities of Ephesus and Pergamon. In this chapter, the church at Ephesus is commended for "hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate" and the church in Pergamon is blamed for "having them who hold their [the Nicolaitans'] doctrines". There is no other first-hand evidence to give us certainty about the nature of this sect.

Hippolytus of Rome states that the deacon Nicolas was the author of the heresy and the sect.[2] Several of the early church fathers, including Irenaeus, Epiphanius, and Theodoret mentioned this group. Irenaeus discusses them but adds nothing to the Apocalypse except that "they lead lives of unrestrained indulgence."[3] Victorinus of Pettau states that they ate things offered to idols.[4] Bede states that Nicolas allowed other men to marry his wife[5] and Thomas Aquinas believed that Nicholas supported either polygamy or the holding of wives in common.[6] Eusebius said that the sect was short-lived.[7]

URL Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/nicolaism

Word of Truth Radio says:
Nicolaitans: One of the heretical sects that plagued the churches at Ephesus and at Pergamum, and perhaps elsewhere. Irenaeus identifies the Nicolaitans as a Gnostic sect: “John, the disciple of the Lord, preaches this faith (the deity of Christ), and seeks, by the proclamation of the Gospel, to remove that error which by Cerinthus had been disseminated among men, and a long time previously by those termed Nicolaitans, who are an offset of that “knowledge” falsely so called, that he might confound them, and persuade them that there is but one God, who made all things by His Word” (see Irenaeus Against Heresies iii 11. 1; ANF vol. 1, p. 426) There is also historical evidence of a Gnostic sect called Nitolaitans a century or so later.

The doctrine of the Nicolaitans appears to have been a form of antinomianism. (Antinomianism: A belief that is based upon a recognition of the mercy of God as the ground of salvation, but it makes the fatal mistake that man can freely partake in sin because the Law of God is no longer binding. It held the truth on the gratuitous reckoning of righteousness; but supposed that a mere intellectual “belief” in this truth had a saving power. The Apostle James refuted this error in James 2:19 with the admonition, "The devils also believe, and tremble"; reminding us that true faith is an active principle which works by love and it goes beyond a profession of belief. "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:20) The Bible teaches us that salvation is a free gift, based upon God's grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) However, the very next verse tells us that "we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10) True faith produce action, as well as a desire for holiness and obedience. (1 John 3:18, Titus 2:11-15, 1 Peter 1:15-16, Revelation 14:12)

Nicolaitans of the 2nd century seem to have continued and extended the views of the 1st century adherents, holding to the freedom of the flesh and sin, and teaching that the deeds of the flesh had no effect upon the health of the soul and consequently no relation to salvation. On the other hand, the Bible teaches that Christians are supposed to "die" to sin and the deeds of our "flesh": "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:1-2) "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." (Romans 6:11-13)

Today, the doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made God's law of no effect: that by “believing” we are released from the necessity of being doers of the Word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned in the book of Revelation. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)

URL Link: http://www.wordoftruthradio.com/questions/38.html

So, basically, the nicolaitans centered around Ephesus and Pergamon and taught and lived out a horrible belief which corrupted themselves and others they influenced. Their belief was that, in their view, because they are 'saved' by simply having an intellectual belief (in other words more of a 'i kinda agree with this but don't necessarily strictly adhere to it' passe belief) that they can do whatever they feel like doing and sin all they want because they are 'saved' anyway. Jesus and the Church at Ephesus both hated this. That was something that Jesus took particular care to commend the Church at Ephesus of.

Then He again admonishes the Church at Ephesus to 'overcome' and He will grant whoever overcomes to eat of the fruit of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.


Book of Revelation Series: Chapter 1

I have felt led by God to re-read the Book of Revelation recently. I began reading it yesterday, taking it slowly and really trying to take it in. I wanted to begin a series of posts that has to do with this book along with my own thoughts and feelings that came to me whilst reading it. I began with Chapter 1, naturally. I'm also reading it through the Amplified Version of the Bible which is the one that I have in hand and have been using for quite a while. But, I posted a copy of it from Biblegateway Online (which I use a lot) so that I could easily post it onto here. And remember, this not only concerns the time of John, but our future, as the end has not yet come.


Amplified Bible (AMP)

Chapter 1

1 [This is] the revelation of Jesus Christ [His unveiling of the divine mysteries]. God gave it to Him to disclose and make known to His bond servants certain things which must shortly and speedily come to pass [a]in their entirety. And He sent and communicated it through His angel (messenger) to His bond servant John,

2 Who has testified to and vouched for all that he saw [[b]in his visions], the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed (happy, [c]to be envied) is the man who reads aloud [in the assemblies] the word of this prophecy; and blessed (happy, [d]to be envied) are those who hear [it read] and who keep themselves true to the things which are written in it [heeding them and laying them to heart], for the time [for them to be fulfilled] is near.

4 John to the seven assemblies (churches) that are in Asia: May grace (God’s unmerited favor) be granted to you and spiritual peace ([e]the peace of Christ’s kingdom) from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven Spirits [[f]the sevenfold Holy Spirit] before His throne,(A)

5 And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who [g]ever loves us and has [h]once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood,(B)

6 And formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the power and the majesty and the dominion throughout the ages and forever and ever. Amen (so be it).(C)

7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall gaze upon Him and beat their breasts and mourn and lament over Him. Even so [must it be]. Amen (so be it).(D)

8 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord God, He Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty (the Ruler of all).(E)

9 I, John, your brother and companion (sharer and participator) with you in the tribulation and kingdom and patient endurance [which are] in Jesus Christ, was on the isle called Patmos, [banished] on account of [my witnessing to] the Word of God and the testimony (the proof, the evidence) for Jesus Christ.

10 I was in the Spirit [rapt in His power] on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a great voice like the calling of a [i]war trumpet,

11 Saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. Write promptly what you see (your vision) in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia—to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.

12 Then I turned to see [whose was] the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,

13 And in the midst of the lampstands [One] like a Son of Man, clothed with a robe which reached to His feet and with a girdle of gold about His breast.(F)

14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, [as white] as snow, and His eyes [flashed] like a flame of fire.(G)

15 His feet glowed like burnished (bright) bronze as it is refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.(H)

16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth there came forth a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full power at midday.(I)

17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead. But He laid His right hand on me and said, Do not be afraid! I am the First and the Last,(J)

18 And the Ever-living One [I am living in the eternity of the eternities]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore; and I possess the keys of death and Hades (the realm of the dead).

19 Write therefore the things you see, what they are [and signify] and what is to take place hereafter.

20 As to the hidden meaning (the mystery) of the seven stars which you saw on My right hand and the seven lampstands of gold: the seven stars are the seven angels (messengers) of the seven assemblies (churches) and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.


Revelation 1:1 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament.
Revelation 1:2 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament.
Revelation 1:3 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon of the Greek New Testament.
Revelation 1:3 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon of the Greek New Testament.
Revelation 1:4 G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Revelation 1:4 Richard of St. Victor, cited by Richard Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament.
Revelation 1:5 Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People: “ever” and “once” captures the idea of ongoing and completed action contained within the Greek present and aorist (past) verb tenses used here.
Revelation 1:5 Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People: “ever” and “once” captures the idea of ongoing and completed action contained within the Greek present and aorist (past) verb tenses used here.
Revelation 1:10 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.

Cross references:

Revelation 1:4 : Isa. 11:2.
Revelation 1:5 : Ps. 89:27.
Revelation 1:6 : Exod. 19:6; Isa. 61:6.
Revelation 1:7 : Dan. 7:13; Zech. 12:10.
Revelation 1:8 : Isa. 9:6.
Revelation 1:13 : Dan. 7:13; 10:5.
Revelation 1:14 : Dan. 7:9.
Revelation 1:15 : Dan. 10:6.
Revelation 1:16 : Exod. 34:29.
Revelation 1:17 : Isa. 44:6.

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

URL Link: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+1&version=AMP


Chapter 1 is pretty straightforward to me. I feel extremely blessed to be reading the Book of Revelation. The fact that I have this vital information in my own hands in my native language is amazing to me. Each word is precious and handled with care by me. Too bad that I started this series of posts the day after because now the thoughts aren't fresh in my head. But, oh well. Like I said, the first chapter seems pretty straightforward. The things that stood out to me the most were I noticed that the book starts out saying that He sent and communicated it through His angel to John, but later John describes what this messenger looks like and it looks like Jesus. Also, when it says that He formed us into a kingdom, a royal race of priests, it definitely reminds me of how God formed Israel to be a nation of priests. When John fell at His feet as if dead when he saw Him and then Jesus laid his His right hand on John and said "Do not be afraid! I am the First and the Last..." I felt so touched by those words. It's like Jesus is saying to not be afraid and he's reminding us of what He went through. He died, but He is very much alive eternally.


Dr. Les Parrott III - 'Crazy Good Sex: Putting to Bed the Myths Men Have about Sex' audiobook ch.1

In this practical guidebook filled with straight talk, psychologist and best-selling author Dr. Les Parrott shares six secrets that can enhance a couple's sexual intimacy. Parrott offers crucial facts and practical insights to help men and their wives experience the best sex they've ever had.

Parrott counters these false beliefs and uncovers the answers to:
*how much sex women want
*whether married sex can be truly satisfying and steamy
*the biological effects of pornography
*what it really takes to please a woman
*whether masturbation is harmful or helpful
*the controlling force behind a man's sexual drive

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooShMJIX4-c

About the Author: #1 New York Times bestselling author Les Parrott is co-founder, with his wife, Leslie, of the Center for Relationship Development on the campus of Seattle Pacific University and the bestselling author of High-Maintenance Relationships, Love the Life You Live (with Neil Clark Warren), Love Talk (with Leslie Parrott), 3 Seconds, and 25 Ways to Win with People (with John C. Maxwell). Dr. Parrott is a sought-after speaker to Fortune 500 companies and holds relationship seminars across North America. Dr. Parrott has been featured in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. His many television appearances include The View, The O’Reilly Factor, CNN, Good Morning America, and Oprah. To learn more visit:

Website: http://www.lesandleslie.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LesParrott
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/lesparrott

Blueprint - 2012 Prophecy in Motion

from LandofIsrael.com

Are the events unfolding in the world today somehow mirrored by prophetic stories recorded thousands of years ago? We are in the balance between world war and global peace. Is there a way to unlock the ancient tales of prophets to guide our lives today? The answers can be found in this video.

We would like to thank our friend Sondra Baras and the CFOIC Heartland team whose support has helped make this video possible. Learn more about the people of Biblical Israel and we hope you will consider supporting their important work. Click here for more information - http://www.cfoic.com

Support The Land of Israel.com and help bring this message to the world!

PLEASE DONATE NOW: https://www.israelgives.org/custom/thelandofisrael/cart
Website: https://www.TheLandofIsrael.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thelandofisraelcom
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/thelandofisrael
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Update on Home Depot Boycott: Petitions delivered - see their response

from AFA (American Family Association)
May 21, 2012

On Thursday, May 17, American Family Association delivered an additional 254,976 petition signatures to Home Depot chairman Frank Blake during the company's annual shareholder meeting. AFA also addressed Blake, the board of directors and the shareholders.

AFA spokesman Randy Sharp appealed to Chairman Blake to review Home Depot's extensive support for homosexual activism and direct the company toward neutrality in the culture war.

Chairman Blake tepidly responded, "We are, and will remain, committed to a culture that fosters an inclusive environment for our associates, our customers and communities in which we exist."

Listen to the exchange here. Included is a short statement by a lesbian immediately following AFA's presentation AFA is promoting a boycott of Home Depot until it agrees to remain neutral in the homosexual culture war. The total number of people who have signed the Home Depot boycott pledge is 719,037.

Take Action
1.If you have not done so, sign the Boycott Pledge at www.BoycottTheHomeDepot.com.
2. Pray for Home Depot Chairman Frank Blake to make wise decisions regarding his company's direction.
3. Call your local Home Depot store and ask to speak to the manager. You can find the number to your local store here (click "Store Finder" at top of page) or in your local phone book.
4. Print the paper petition and distribute it at Sunday school and church.

(Blog Disclaimer: All information and links from AFA. Re-posted here for informative purposes only). 

Target donating its sales in support of gay marriage laws

from AFA (American Family Association)
May 23, 2012 

Dear Friend,

Target has pledged $120,000 in cash to promote the legalization of homosexual marriage.

Target's website says it will donate 100% of T-shirt sales from customers during the month of June to Family Equality Council.

You can see Target's promise to homosexuals here (Target's actual webpage here).

Target is joining President Obama in ramming same-sex marriage down the throats of the American people.

TAKE ACTION http://secure.afa.net/afa/activism/TakeAction.asp?id=424

Send an email to Target Chairman Gregg Steinhafel. Let him know that a majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage and are able to use their pocketbooks to voice their opposition to companies that support it.

You can also call Target's corporate office and share your personal thoughts. The number is 612-304-6073, option 6.

Action Link: http://action.afa.net/email/online.aspx?cid=1846&mid=15811502&tid=aa&utm_source=smAFA&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=1846

Wage Peace

by John Paul Jackson
May 2012

Contrary to modern Western thought, peace is a fairly violent word. In Greek, peace means to obtain quietness by removing what seeks to distract and destroy you. It is not a compliant serenity but an aggressive taking out, a forceful extraction. Peace has a very similar meaning in Hebrew. When we study the Hebrew pictographs that comprise the word peace, we find that it, too, is not merely a state of mind; it means to destroy or remove the chaos and anarchy around you.

© 2011 Streams Ministries International

Christian Theology

by Got Questions Ministries

The word "theology" comes from two Greek words meaning "God" and "word." Combined, the word "theology" means "study of God." Christian theology is the study of what the Bible teaches and what Christians believe. Many believers treat Christian theology as something that is dividing, something that should be avoided. In actuality, Christian theology should be uniting! The Word of God teaches truth and we are to be united behind that truth. Yes, there are disagreements and disputes in Christian theology. Yes, there is freedom to disagree on the non-essentials of Christian theology. At the same time, there is much that Christians should be united over. A Biblically-based Christian theology will enable us to better understand God, salvation, and our mission in this world.

For some, the word “theologian” conjures up images of crusty old men poring over dusty volumes of ancient texts in dimly-lit rooms, studying things completely removed from real life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God, literally God-breathed, and is indispensable to us because it makes us complete, lacking nothing. To be a theologian is to be one who seeks the face of God in order to encounter the creator of the universe and His Son, Jesus Christ, and embrace Him as Lord of our lives, so that He becomes the center of our desires, affections and knowledge. This intimacy spreads into all aspects of our lives—thrilling us with its blessings, comforting us in times of loss, strengthening us in our weaknesses and upholding us to the end of our lives when we will see Him face to face. Scripture is God’s story and the more we study His Word, the better we know Him.

Below are the various categories of Christian theology. Understanding what the Bible says about the various areas of Christian theology is key to spiritual growth and effectiveness in the Christian life.

Theology Proper / Paterology - the study of God the Father.

Christology - the study of the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

Pneumatology - the study of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit.

Bibliology - the study of the Word of God.

Soteriology - the study of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Christian Anthropology - the study of the nature of humanity.

Hamartiology - the study of the nature and effects of sin.

Angelology - the study of angels.

Christian Demonology - the study of demons.

Ecclesiology - the study of the nature and mission of the church.

Eschatology - the study of the end times / last days.

© Copyright 2002-2012 Got Questions Ministries - All Rights Reserved.
www.gotquestions.org - Bible Questions Answered

What should be the Christian view of romance?

by Got Questions Ministries 
Although there are no references to the word romance in the Bible, there are 281 mentions of love. Since the dictionary definition for romance is "ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; a love affair," these two terms can sometimes be used interchangeably. But the true meaning of love, as defined in the Bible, has been corrupted in the common usage of our English language and society. Most often, love is confused with infatuation - that elated, "high" feeling we get when we "fall in love." This kind of "love" is something that lasts typically a short time and, unless replaced by true love, results in broken relationships.

The Bible covers two types of love: agape and phileo. Agape love is represented by God's love for us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love best demonstrated by the gift in John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." This kind of love is unconditional. The "Love Chapter" in 1 Corinthians deals more explicitly with this. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a). This passage is often quoted at weddings and other celebrations of love.

Agape is a connection through the spirit. A true manifestation of this requires a relationship with Christ. For without Him, agape love isn't exhibited in its truest form. We, as humans, can't reach this level alone. We need our Heavenly Father's Spirit in us, working through us. "The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). Only through that Spirit can we reach this goal.

The other kind of love, phileo, is considered "brotherly love." It is usually based upon how others treat us and our feelings in any given situation. It involves direct interaction and sometimes comes with a price tag of expectation, wanting something back in return. It's a demonstrative form of love offered through the soul. But, it's also a command from God. "Let us love one another, because love comes from God" (1 John 4:7).

Love is the attribute of God that means the most to us. If God didn't love us, whom He created, He would have traded us in for a better model long ago. Despite our many failures, God keeps working with us (Romans 5:8). Time and time again, despite His patience being tested, He demonstrates that love for His people. He only banned Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. He didn't take their lives. He spared the world because He found one man of upright faith in Noah. He rescued Lot from Sodom before destroying that city. He made Abraham the father of many nations and blessed him with his long-awaited son, despite Abraham's impatience when he fathered a son through his wife's servant.

In the same way God shows His love for us, He expects us to love Him totally and to show love toward each other. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). Jesus spoke these words when the Pharisees questioned Him about the greatest commandment of God. Although they tried to trick Him, Jesus didn't change the law; He fulfilled it. His sayings about love were not new. The emphasis was merely changed.

The relationships in our lives will either be governed by agape or phileo love. When thinking in terms of romance, we allow the manifestation of that agape love to pour out from our hearts. As a result, we are eager to do everything we can to please the other person and make that person happy. In a love relationship between a man and a woman, the romance is the physical evidence of the love that exists. When that relationship progresses to marriage, the love built between the man and woman only grows deeper as the bond is made stronger through the intimate union of body and soul. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Biblical love elevates the husband's affections for his wife to the point of loving his wife "as his own body." It also instructs wives to submit to their husbands as the head of the household (Eph. 5:25-29). But submission doesn't mean subservience. On the contrary, when true agape love is manifested in the marriage, the two will act as one, and both will love the other as they love themselves. The tenderness and romance will come out of that love.

By far, the best book in the Bible on this romantic and agape type of love is the Song of Solomon. An oft-quoted and many times favorite of romantics, this book demonstrates the parallel between the agape love Christ has for His church and the deep, abiding love a husband has for his bride. The lover and beloved exchange dialogue with each other, and the beloved speaks with her friends. Every passage attests to the deep and abiding love between the lover and beloved. The two are so consumed with that love that it fills them and gives them strength to face each new day. They find comfort and solace in each other's arms and are incomplete without each other. Being together excites them, and when they're apart, they anticipate their reunion.

But, above everything else that is demonstrated in God's Word, it's important to keep in mind that love/romance is an action. It's not passive, and it's not a feeling. It's a verb. It requires you to do something in order to bring it to pass. It also requires that you put the other person's wants and desires above your own. Whenever you need a reminder, go back and read 1 Corinthians 13. And remember, you don't have to do it alone. God's Spirit will work through you. All you have to do is ask.

Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns.

Related Articles:

Should a Christian read romance novels?

© Copyright 2002-2012 Got Questions Ministries - All Rights Reserved.
www.gotquestions.org - Bible Questions Answered

What should be different about a Christian marriage?

by Got Questions Ministries

The primary difference between a Christian marriage and a non-Christian marriage is that Christ is the center of the marriage. When two people are united in Christ, their goal is to grow in Christlikeness throughout the life of the marriage. Non-Christians may have many goals for their marriage, but Christlikeness is not one of them. This is not to say that all Christians, when they marry, immediately begin to work toward this goal. Many young Christians don’t even realize this actually is the goal, but the presence of the Holy Spirit within each of them works with them, maturing each one so that the goal of Christlikeness becomes increasingly clear to them. When both partners make becoming more like Christ their individual goal, a strong, vibrant Christian marriage begins to take shape.

A Christian marriage begins with the understanding that the Bible gives a clear description of roles of husband and wife—found primarily in Ephesians 5—and a commitment to fulfilling those roles. The husband is to assume leadership in the home (Ephesians 5:23-26). This leadership should not be dictatorial, condescending, or patronizing to the wife, but should be in accordance with the example of Christ leading the church. Christ loved the church (His people) with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, respect, and selflessness. In this same way husbands are to love their wives.

Wives are to submit to their husbands “as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22), not because she is to be subservient to him, but because both husband and wife are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21) and because there is to be an authority structure within the home, with Christ at the head (Ephesians 5:23-24). Respect is a key element of the desire to submit; wives must respect their husbands as husbands are to love their wives (Ephesians 5:33). Mutual love, respect, and submission are the cornerstone of a Christian marriage. Built upon these three principles, both husband and wife will grow in Christlikeness, growing together, not apart, as each matures in godliness.

Another key component in a Christian marriage is selflessness, as described in Philippians 2:3-4. The principle of humility outlined in these verses is crucial to a strong Christian marriage. Both husband and wife must consider their partner’s needs before their own, which requires a selflessness that is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells them. Humility and selflessness do not come naturally to the fallen human nature. They are traits only the Spirit of God can produce, nurture, and perfect in us. That’s why strong Christian marriage are characterized by the spiritual disciplines—Bible study, Scripture memory, prayer, and meditation on the things of God. When both partners practice these disciplines, each is strengthened and matured, which naturally strengthens and matures the marriage.

Recommended Resource: Fit to Be Tied: Making Marriage Last a Lifetime by Bill Hybels.

 © Copyright 2002-2012 Got Questions Ministries - All Rights Reserved.
www.gotquestions.org - Bible Questions Answered -

Where/how do you draw the line between helping someone and allowing someone to take advantage of you?

by Got Questions Ministries

Luke 6:30, 35-36 tells us to "give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back." "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” These verses and many others in the Bible teach us that Christians are to be loving, merciful, and self-sacrificing. As we see the needs of people all around us, our hearts should be full of compassion just as our Heavenly Father has compassion towards all people. "The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made" (Psalm 145:9).

It is right to have a heart that would continually give to others, and it pleases God to see this wonderful characteristic in our lives. However, in this area of giving and helping, the Bible also teaches that we must have wise discernment (Matthew 10:16). God gives us certain standards that we must take into account when it comes to giving our time and money to others. When the Bible tells us we are to help others, the purpose is never for us to do this to the point where it becomes detrimental. It's good to do what we're able to do, but 2 Thessalonians 3:10 also reminds us, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." There are people who want to live an irresponsible lifestyle with absolutely no accountability. So there must be limits; we will help someone with a need, but if we see that it's become a chronic life pattern, it's wrong for us to continue to encourage that. It's very harmful to others to contribute to their indolence, laziness, and lack of effort. The old saying "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime" is very true. As long as we see that someone is sincerely making an effort, we should be there to support him in whatever way God leads.

Often, a much more effective way to help others is to come alongside them to give biblical council, principles and encouragement. If they are willing to listen and try, they should be able, through the power of the Holy Spirit within them, to reverse this pattern of dependency on others. This begins, of course, with a clear presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, without whose empowerment, lifestyle changes of this magnitude are not possible.

We are also to take into consideration what the Bible tells us about being good stewards. As we put our trust in God and walk with Him, He promises to supply our needs (Philippians 4:19). What the Lord provides for us, we must use wisely. We are to give back to the Lord a portion of what He gives us; we are to provide for the needs of our families; and we are to pay our bills. How we spend our time is also involved in stewardship; a balance of worship, work and family is important. These are all principal aspects of stewardship and cannot be neglected, so they must be considered in the decision of how and what we can do in helping others. If, by helping someone else financially, we are unable to take care of our own debts and responsibilities, then we are not doing right in our efforts to help.

There are many ways people can take advantage of others. It's important that we make this a matter of prayer, asking the Lord to show us what He wants us to do. He will give us wisdom to recognize genuine need and discern between an opportunity and a distraction (James 1:5). Sometimes, people are so beaten down by life's trials and failures that they need someone who is willing to be a long-term friend to them. This can be a trying relationship, but it can also be a very rewarding one. Local churches can be a tremendous help to those with a burden for those in need. However, trying to help someone who is just not willing to take any steps towards a solution in the matter may be a hopeless cause. Again, praying for God’s wisdom and exercising the discernment He gives are crucial in these situations.

Recommended Resource: The Gift of Forgiveness by Charles Stanley.

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