Well, I mean, where else? The honeymoon place of choice for the bride and Groom! From the Buffalo News:
Niagara Falls prophesied as site of Second Coming
The Second Coming of Christ will occur in Niagara Falls, Isaiah Robertson believes.
“The revival of Jesus Christ will start right here,” he said. “God said he would take his glory from one of the wonders of the world — and that wonder is Niagara Falls.”
...“Niagara Falls is a holy place, like Jerusalem,” he said. “The sound of the water going over the falls is the voice of God.”
At the second coming, Robertson believes, the water at the base of the falls will turn into a “lake of fire.”
Three Sisters Islands will be the judgment seat of Jesus, said Robertson, also known by some as Prophet Isaiah, and Goat Island will be where he will separate the sheep, his followers, from the goats, who are rejected in the judgment.
“There will be two ways to go,” he said, “left into the ring of fire or right into eternal salvation.”
People who believe in Jesus will go right, and nonbelievers will go left.
Robertson expects this to happen in 2014. He has erected a 20-foot-tall wooden cross in front of his house on Ontario Avenue to symbolize the Second Coming of Christ.
...Robertson, a carpenter by trade, recently spent two years carving intricate designs on the wooden walls of Mount Erie Baptist Church on nearby Fairfield Avenue to illustrate stories from the Bible and symbolize Christian beliefs.
A sign at the side of his house carries this inscription from Luke 17:26: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of coming of the son of the living God.” At the bottom of the inscription is his name, Prophet Isaiah, and his telephone number: (716) 282-2994.
The centerpiece of Robertson’s holy home is the handcarved oak cross.
Curious motorists and tourists have been stopping to be photographed next to the cross, he said.
“This cross is straight from God,” Robertson said. “It’s not man’s work. This cross is telling you that the coming of the Lord is at hand. If you walk away from this cross and don’t accept Christ, then you’re lost forever.”
Robertson is off just a little on this, though. He has the Second Coming occurring on the American side when everyone knows it will take place on the Canadian side!
I've posted before how The Secret advocates blatantly claim that if disaster befalls you, it's your own fault. Here's a blog entry from Joe Vitale of The Secret in effect blaming the victims of the fires in San Diego for their own misfortunes. Makes me want to add the book to the California fires!
Compare that with his statement on Larry King on March 8th, 2007:
Joe Vitale: God is all of us. God is the secret and everything about it. This is a law from God. I heard some people talking earlier this might be a principle, there might
be some exceptions to it. But I say the law of attraction is like the other three -- There's three great laws in the world. There's the law of gravity, there's the law of everybody loving Italian food and there's the law of attraction. These are all from God. This is not separate, this is all one. And we are part of it.
Larry King: But do you attract -- the young girl who was killed in Florida, her killer was found guilty yesterday, did she attract that?
Joe Vitale:We are attracting everything to ourselves and there is no exception.
Bill Hybels is finally realizing what many have known all along: Having megachurches doesn't mean the flock are getting fed. From Christianity Today's blog:
Not long ago Willow released its findings from a multiple year qualitative study of its ministry. Basically, they wanted to know what programs and activities of the church were actually helping people mature spiritually and which were not. The results were published in a book, Reveal: Where Are You?, co-authored by Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek. Hybels called the findings “earth shaking,” “ground breaking,” and “mind blowing.”
If you’d like to get a synopsis of the research you can watch a video with Greg Hawkins here. And Bill Hybels’ reactions, recorded at last summer’s Leadership Summit, can be seen here. Both videos are worth watching in their entirety, but below are few highlights.
In the Hawkins’ video he says, “Participation is a big deal. We believe the more people participating in these sets of activities, with higher levels of frequency, it will produce disciples of Christ.” This has been Willow’s philosophy of ministry in a nutshell. The church creates programs/activities. People participate in these activities. The outcome is spiritual maturity. In a moment of stinging honesty Hawkins says, “I know it might sound crazy but that’s how we do it in churches. We measure levels of participation.”
Having put all of their eggs into the program-driven church basket you can understand their shock when the research revealed that “Increasing levels of participation in these sets of activities does NOT predict whether someone’s becoming more of a disciple of Christ. It does NOT predict whether they love God more or they love people more.”
Speaking at the Leadership Summit, Hybels summarized the findings this way:
Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.
Having spent thirty years creating and promoting a multi-million dollar organization driven by programs and measuring participation, and convincing other church leaders to do the same, you can see why Hybels called this research “the wake up call” of his adult life.
We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.
Self-feeders? While we should all be in God's Word, in prayer, etc., what happened to the idea of the pastor feeding the flock? Are they still not willing to do that, preferring to continue entertaining the congregation instead?
Have you ever wondered what the angel Gabriel looks like? Well, we have a first-hand account from Elijah List's Jamie Galloway today:
As some of you may have read and heard about the drought in the southeastern areas of the United States, I felt it was important to share this word of encouragement and how we ought to respond.
On the 24th of August, I was taken into a prophetic experience where I saw the angel, Gabriel. This was a first for me! When I write that I saw him, it was not in my spirit or my minds eye, but I was there in the spirit, where he was. As Paul the apostle wrote concerning his Heavenly encounter, "Whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows" (2 Corinthians 12:2), the same was very true with this prophetic experience.
My wife and I were staying at Kimberly and Alberto Rivera's house when I saw him. His hair was both black and gold, and his skin was made of gold and silver. His nose was longer in its definition and he had clouds at his feet. His eyes were deep and he had the look of a focused man. I was stunned as I stared at him. I fell near his feet and deliberately raised my hands up and began to worship the name of Jesus Christ.
He spoke something personal, but his very appearance was incredibly significant for the U.S. And that night was the first time it had poured a heavy rain in Nashville, Tennessee, almost all summer.
Speaking of 2 Cor. 12:2, let's look at 2 Cor. 12:3-4: "And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell." And yet you were allowed to tell, Jamie!
Hannah Storm: Do you find it surprising that so many people find fault with that message, that they say, `Why are you so positive? Why are you providing hope? You're Christianity-light. You should be talking about suffering and sin and all the real, you know, things that happen to people'?
Joel: Well, I do find it interesting, but, you know, I see their perspective at times.
Unfortunately, he then added:
Joel Osteen: Our whole message is that Jesus came to help us live a great life. And some people are not going to agree with that.
It's my personal view that, unlike a lot of other preachers that are popular today, eventually Joel is going to see the light and start preaching a more balanced view of the Gospel. Of course, he may have to sell his current facilities once he does.
From last night's Glenn Beck show. No need to say any more:
Glenn Beck: My father was -- he is a great man. I just love him to death. And he`s non-denominational. And one of the -- he said the most powerful words ever spoken are in the Bible, and they are, "I am." And the concept of don`t take the lord`s name in vain, that`s when he says I am what I am. When you say, "I am successful, I am able to conquer this, I am a happy person," is that God stuff, is that Norman Vincent Peale stuff, is that Tony Robbins? What is that?
Joel Osteen: Well, I feel like it`s God stuff. To me, God has created every one of us to be over-comers. I mean, every week we hold up the Bible and it says, "I am what it says I am." So if God -- you know, in the scripture, it says, we are, you know, like I said, more than conquerors, and we are blessed, and I think we have to see ourselves like that.
I don`t think God ever wanted us to drag through life being defeated, depressed, discouraged, bound by addictions, and having terrible relationships, so I talk to people about, you know what? I am -- I say I am anointed. That means I am called, I am chosen, I am equipped, I am talented, I am creative. I think we`re supposed to say that about ourselves. We are God`s creation.
A few quotes and comments from Osteen's appearance on Larry King last night. King really pressed him on what the critics say:
Larry King: Victoria, when Joel is criticized for not being the pastor who hangs the cross behind him, how do you react?
Victoria Osteen: Well, I just look at all the fruit and all the people's lives that are being changed and are being touched. And that's what we really focus on, because we hear -- every day we get mail, we visit with people and their lives are being changed. And I just think, you know, if they would come in, they'd hear our message, they'd see what's going on. I just believe that they wouldn't have that criticism.
Peoples' lives are changed by the cults as well. Their lives may even seem to improve - for awhile. Just because people go away feeling better that isn't evidence of God's blessing on their work.
Larry King: How do you react to the critics who call your message theology lite?
Joel Osteen: Well, I've heard that before. It's interesting, Larry, every week in our services we deal with people that are -- have children that have cancer, people that have a husband or a wife that left them. We deal with the real issues of life. I talk about forgiveness and how to have faith when bad things happen and, you know, how to overcome and, you know, love your enemies and things like that. So when they say it's gospel lite, I think, you know, we're helping people where the rubber meets the road.
I mean last Sunday, there was a little girl there. She was 2- years-old. She has cancer. She's at our MD Anderson Cancer Hospital. And you know what? We give them hope. We pray for them. We say God's going to give you strength. I mean we don't know exactly what the outcome is going to be. We hope they -- we hope she'll live. But, you know, how can that be gospel lite to me?
He is giving people hope - but is it a false hope? He tells them about forgiving others and having faith - but what about salvation?
Larry King: All right, a critic -- this quote to -- from Reverend Robert Liichow: "Joel Osteen has absolutely no biblical training or experience to be a pastor. Would you allow a surgeon to operate on you because he felt that he should be called a surgeon?"
Joel Osteen: Well, I would think two things, Larry. One, I spent -- I grew up in a preacher's home. I spent 17 years working with my father. The second thing is the disciples that Jesus chose -- his main 12 -- one was a fisherman, a tax collector. They didn't have any formal training, as well.
First, Joel Osteen spent 17 years working with his father - who was a Word Faith preacher. Secondly, I would venture to say that spending three years or more in the physical presence of the Creator of the universe was probably pretty good theological training.
Larry King: OK. No crosses on display at your church.
Joel Osteen: Yes...
Larry King: The only church that I know -- the Mormons don't display crosses.
Joel Osteen: Well, Victoria grew up Church of Christ. They didn't, either. It's never -- I mean, Larry, our whole message is the fact Jesus came, he died on the cross, he rose that we might have an abundant life.-----
He got that right - that IS Osteen's entire message. No, Joel, Jesus came and died in payment for our sins so that we could obtain eternal life, not just so we could prosper in this life.
Larry King: What about the critics who say where is the fire and brimstone? Why don't you pound the lectern -- the devil is coming?
Joel Osteen: Yes, you know, I don't know, Larry. It's just, you know, it's different ways to present it. The gospel is translated good news. And to me, good news is letting people know that God loves them, that Jesus came, that we can overcome any obstacle, that we can -- we can be forgiven for our mistakes. And I don't see how beating people down every, you know, every time they get in front of me how that helps them to grow closer to God.
Why was it that Jesus spoke so much about hell and repeatedly warned people against going there? That isn't a positive message Joel.
Joel Osteen: Well, I think it's easy to get delusioned maybe is the word just with all of that fame and notoriety at such an early age. And sure, I think Britney Sears can be helped by that -- by this book. I think anybody could because it's the principles of the bible. And I think that she's -- these are good people at heart. And they just need some good guidance and good people speaking into their lives.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
Larry King: How do you feel about Mitt Romney and being a Mormon? Would that affect whether you vote for him or not?
Joel Osteen: Well, you know what? I look at people, their character, their values, what they stand for. And I know only Mitt from watching him on your program and reading a couple of articles about him. And I don't think that that would affect me. I've heard him say that he believes Jesus is his savior, just like I do. I've studied it deeply, and maybe people don't agree with me, but I like to look at a person's value and what they stand for.
Politics aside, which Jesus, Joel? Are you suggesting that his savior is also your savior? I hope not.
With a new book out, Joel Osteen is on the interview circuit once again. Yesterday on 60 Minutes he took on his critics. Since I've been one of them I may as well answer Osteen's criticism of the critics. Here is part of the transcript found at 60 Minutes:
His latest book, "Become A Better You," for which he reportedly got a $13 million advance, goes on sale Oct. 15. They read more like self-help than religion. In his new book, Osteen lays out seven principles he believes will improve our lives. "To become a better you, you must be positive towards yourself, develop better relationships, embrace the place where you are. Not one mention of God in that.Not one mention of Jesus Christ in that," (Byron) Pitts remarks.
"That's just my message. There is scripture in there that backs it all up. But I feel like, Byron, I'm called to help people…how do we walk out the Christian life? How do we live it? And these are principles that can help you. I mean, there’s a lot better people qualified to say, 'Here’s a book that going to explain the scriptures to you.' I don’t think that’s my gifting," Osteen says.
..."There are a lot of people in this country, religious people, who consider your theology dangerous," Pitts remarks.
"I don’t know what can be so dangerous about giving people hope," Osteen says. "Causing people to have better relationships. I'm not leading them to some false God or something like that."
"Hear what some others have said about you: he’s diluting and dumbing down the Christian message," Pitts says.
"Sometimes you have to keep it simple and not make it so complicated that people don’t understand," Osteen says. "But I know what I'm called to do is say 'I want to help you learn how to forgive today. I want to help you to have the right thoughts today.' Just simple things."
"You know, you get people that wanna criticize, 'You’re not doing enough of this, enough of that.' Well, we're not perfect. But to have you know hundreds of people tellin’ ya 'You changed my life. I haven't been in church in 30 years.' Or 'You saved my marriage.' Not me, but God, but they’re telling me, but you know what? You can’t help but leave every Sunday afternoon…," Osteen says, getting emotional.
Even the secular media find it odd that Joel Osteen can write a "Christian" book and not have one mention of Jesus Christ in it. Elsewhere in the segment they also mentioned that his "church" was devoid of any crosses. Take the cross and take the Christ out of Christianity and you're bound to draw a crowd!
"I'm not leading them to some false God...." Joel Osteen seems to be a very likeable person and I'm sure he sincerely believes that statement. However, if his church is the only one someone is attending and that person is hearing nothing but the positive message Osteen preaches, then they are only hearing half the message. They are getting the Gospel without the Law. They are being told they are saved, but they have no, or at best only a glimmer, of what they are being saved from! Elsewhere in the interview Osteen said most people are already aware of the fact that they do bad things. But they can easily adopt the attitude that while they may not be perfect, at least they're better than so-and-so and should therefore make it to heaven. They haven't grasped just how wretched each and every one of us are, and if they haven't done that then they can't appreciate just how much Jesus Christ has done for us. They are getting a false picture of God.
"I mean, there’s a lot better people qualified to say, 'Here’s a book that going to explain the scriptures to you.' I don’t think that’s my gifting." Well then, Joel, I would say that maybe you shouldn't be standing up in the pulpit representing yourself as pastor to thousands of Christians, knowing that they are certainly not going to have the Scriptures expounded by yourself! Be some sort of teacher, maybe, but not a pastor!
The Elijah List was buzzing yesterday at the announcement that the Dow closed at a record high. They write:
Though the media often reports much that is not good, God often paints HIS canvas very differently--He is not only the God of all hope, He is in control (the devil is not and neither is man).
Kim Clement has been prophesying great breakthrough for this month of October. That's why when we received a news source about the Dow Jones closing at an all time high--TODAY--the first day of October, we wanted to get this confirming word out to our readers immediately! The media just released a report that today the Dow closed at an all time record high:
"Wall Street began the fourth quarter with a huge rally Monday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average above 14,000 and well into record territory...." (to view news source click here).
We recognize and believe this to be a sign pointing at what Kim Clement has been prophesying: "Something unusual, it's never ever happened before--in the month of October!" Here's an excerpt from Kim's word:
"In the month of October, there will be the most unusual favor. The cherry on the cake is October, and what could not happen--has to happen. The door that was locked to you must be unlocked. The retardation that has taken place on your divine promise will suddenly accelerate. This has been promised to us. In the month of October, because of the favor, and because of the revelations and because of the things that are going to unfold...."
Somehow they think this is a fulfilled prophecy. Now, let's look at today's Wall Street Journal:
Stocks Retreat From Record Highs
By Joanna L. Ossinger
Word Count: 728 | Companies Featured in This Article: Toll Brothers, Lennar, D.R. Horton, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Commerce Bancorp, Citigroup, UBS, Bank of America, Ford Motor
Stocks declined Tuesday, a day after the Dow hit a record high, as investors took a breather amid poor housing data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.73 to 14033.82. The S&P 500 lost 4.93 to 1542.11, and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 5.51 to 2735.48.
"It looks like it's some consolidation, following a little bit of an exacerbated gain to start the fourth quarter," said Todd Clark, director of trading at Nollenberger Capital Partners. Stocks had rallied Monday to ring in the new quarter, pushing the Dow industrials to a record close despite losses at big banks arising from
"To the Scribes, the Pharisees and the hypocrites, the heresy hunters that want to find a little mote of illegal doctrine in some Christian's eye and poke that little mote out of their eye when they've got the whole forest in their own lives and in their own eyes, I say to hell with you!" Paul Crouch.