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Saturday, January 24, 2015

God So Loved the World by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson

Message 6, God So Loved the World God’s work of redemption involves more than the salvation of a handful of souls. In this session, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson will explore the breadth of the promises of the gospel. He will explain how Scripture moves from the glorious truth of the redemption of our souls to the promise that all the elect from every tongue and tribe will be saved. This message will also look to the redemption of the groaning creation, reminding us that the end of the world is not destruction but re-creation. - from Ligonier.org

Friday, January 23, 2015

MAMMON AND GREED.

"What is Mammon? I imagine something like this picture on the left. This man hasn't been storing up his treasure in heaven.

Originally, the word Mammon came from the ancient Chaldeans (remember Ur of the Chaldees where Abraham came from) and actually has its roots in the word 'confidence.' Interesting.

At its most basic level, the word meant 'riches' or 'wealth,' but it connoted an idea of personified wealth gained with avarice. It often took on a deified nature.

During New Testament times, the word "Mammon" continued to have this personified understanding of worldly and material wealth, with a focus on the evil influence that money could have. Much more on this later.....

In the Middle Ages, Mammon gained the full-on Demon status. Many local bishops and feudal lords benefited from the fear and trembling that peasants felt about gaining worldly wealth.

After the Enlightenment, Mammon was still a concern. English oil painter George Frederick Watts interpreted Mammon in this grotesque and miserable way (see the picture of the oil painting on the left above.) 

In 1800's France, Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal depicted all of the demons that afflict the world. Mammon appears this way (see drawing on the
right):Rather wimpy looking.

If you think that Mammon is now only mentioned in church theology discussions, the exact opposite is true.

Mammon is very much alive in the Dungeons and Dragons game. Mammon has become the "arch-devil" that rules over one of the nine layers of Hell in this kid's game. Wikipedia says: "In keeping with the traditional use of the name in literature, he is portrayed as a personification of greed and lust. He also has a well-earned reputation for duplicity."

Not so wimpy looking." - God & Mammon In search of the biblical truth about money.

Do you know skulls are used in Satanic Mass or Black Mass? The symbol of a skull either tattooed in our body or printed in t-shirts, drawn anywhere and used as a logo is a positive sign of devil worship and Luciferianism. 

"Skulls were used in ancient Mesopotamia for necromancy rituals, where the ghost would dwell in the spirit summoned. Skulls are used on altars not only for necromancy, but also for modern Satanic altars as a symbol of carnal lust." - Luciferian Apotheca

Damien Steven Hirst who lives in Britain and known for his "Satanic arts" is believed by some to be a Luciferian. He is part Irish Roman Catholic who was born in Bristol, UK. One of his art creation is a skull studded diamonds called FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.? 


"For the Love of God is a sculpture by artist Damien Hirst produced in 2007. It consists of a platinum cast of an 18th-century human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead that is known as the Skull Star Diamond. The skull's teeth are original, and were purchased by Hirst in London. The artwork is a Memento mori, or reminder of the mortality of the viewer. In 2007, art historian Rudi Fuchs, observed: 'The skull is out of this world, celestial almost. It proclaims victory over decay. At the same time it represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself.'Costing £14 million to produce, the work was placed on its inaugural display at the White Cube gallery in London in an exhibition Beyond belief with an asking price of £50 million. This would have been the highest price ever paid for a single work by a living artist." - Wikipedia.


Youtube Vid: The Super Rich - The Greed Game

"Broadcast, fittingly, on 1 April 2008 just as the bubble was bursting, this BBC 2 documentary, produced and directed by John O’Kane and narrated by Robert Peston, is a reminder that the modern “wealth creator” is rarely the inventor of some new product that makes our lives better but is rather an expert at manipulating the money game, in which creation of notional riches becomes the end rather than a mere byproduct of their efforts.

And at the center of the debacle were the central banksters, acting to ensure that confidence in currency, the prerequisite for green game players, was bolstered, despite all the screeching alarm bells.

And note that facilitating it all were the so-called “liberal” political parties, with Britain’s Labour Party and the Democrats in the U.S. greased the skids in the 1990s by deregulating financial markets and paving the way to an explosion of hedge fund wealth.

What is particularly galling is the rampant and unalloyed arrogance of the players to whom the rest of us, as one of them offhandedly remarks, are mere riffraff." - Richard Brenneman




For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.1 Timothy 6:10


Thursday, January 22, 2015

HELLBOUND 2015

"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." - Luke 16:19-31 KJV



Betraying Grace
"It is a tribute to Dr. Ronald Sider that his book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, has captured the attention of so much of the evangelical Christian world. He writes with conviction and compassion -- a compassion for relieving the poor and hungry of this world which one could only wish more people shared, especially more financially comfortable Christians. From what has been said above, those who define their Christian perspective and ethic according to the Scriptures should have no difficulty endorsing the goal set forth by Dr. Sider: viz. that of getting Christians activated to meet the genuine needs of the poor. Our evaluation of the means advocated by Dr. Sider, however, cannot be as positive. I believe that a proper reading of Scripture does not substantiate, but rather contradicts, many of Dr. Sider's proposals.

This is not the place to engage in a factual analysis of Dr. Sider's approach to helping the hungry of the world, although a significant critique could be undertaken here. It is rather our purpose to offer a normative, Biblical evaluation of his approach, particularly as he advocates the intervention and compulsive agency of the state to improve the outward economic circumstances of the poor. Such advocacy is on a collision course with the teaching of God's word. This is evident first, and in the broadest sense, because it abandons the gracious character of Christian charity.

As we can see from the preceding list of means for helping the poor, there are some provisions which are a matter of justice -- that is, protecting legitimate civil rights against those who would oppress the poor by taking advantage of them (e.g., fraud in the marketplace, prejudice in the courts). But other provisions are of a different character altogether, being a matter of grace (or charity) which proceeds from the heart and leads us voluntarily to feed the poor, lend to them, take up offerings, etc.

When someone possess a right, he may claim justice by making a demand upon others; if he has a right (say, to freedom of worship), then the rest of us have a corresponding duty (here, to forbear his chosen liturgy) -- and the state may impose punitive sanctions for my violating that duty. This is "justice." Now obviously the scope of our moral obligation before God exceeds the scope of our enforceable duties within the civil order of the state. God may require me not to snub a grouchy neighbor (and will consider this in the judgment of the final day), but this does not turn a cheerful greeting into a matter of justice -- as though it were my neighbor's right, and the state may punish me for depriving him of "justice"! It should rather be said that by snubbing the grouchy neighbor I have not been "gracious" to him (and have not treated him as God has treated me). The virtue which I lack will come only by the internal, sanctifying work of God; it will not be produced by the compulsion or threats of the state. The state is an agency of justice, not grace.

Justice and grace (or charity) should also be distinguished when we are thinking of God Himself. The theological concept of God's essential character is logically different from that of God's eternal purposes. The latter denotes His good pleasure which is not constrained or necessary (and thus could have been otherwise) -- such as His choice to send His Son into this world graciously to die for sinners. The former concept denotes what is always and necessarily true of God -- such as His abhorrence of theft. The prohibition of stealing stems from God's unchanging character; it is not an open question whether God might choose to condemn or rather condone stealing. On the other hand, the provision of a saving sacrifice or the granting of regeneration to a sinner stems from God's eternal purpose; necessity did not (could not) constrain it, but God graciously chose it in His good pleasure. It is crucial that evangelical Christians draw a distinction between these two concepts of justice and grace, lest the nature of the gospel message itself be obscured. 

Unfortunately Dr. Sider has not been careful to do so. He advocates what he calls "structural change" such that the state would compel and enforce certain provisions intended to help the poor (like guaranteed income and prices, trade preferences, commodity agreements, land redistribution, foreign grants of economic aid, etc.).About these changes he writes: "Yahweh wills institutionalized structures (rather than mere charity) which systematically and regularly reduce the gap between the rich and the poor." He is forthright by indicating that "what is needed is a change in public policy" -- thus calling "on the government to legislate." His thesis is pointedly stated: "The texts we have examined clearly show that God wills justice, not mere charity."Dr. Sider is pressing for more than charity or grace. He is blunt that certain social policies preferential to the poor are a matter of justice -- to be made a right which the state enforces with its awesome power to punish. Note the stress upon "justice" in this passage:


God wills prosperity with justice. But that does not mean that wealthy persons who make Christmas baskets and give to relief have satisfied God's demand. God wills justice for the poor. And justice, as we have seen, means things like the Jubilee and the sabbatical remission of debts. It means economic structures that check the emergence of extremes of wealth and poverty. It means massive economic sharing among the people of God. Prosperity without that kind of biblical concern for justice unambiguously signifies disobedience. In the broadest sense, then, our objection to Dr. Sider's proposed means to the end of helping the poor is that it abandons the gracious character of Christian charity. By calling upon the state to enforce certain economic provisions, thereby compelling people to show preference for the poor, Dr. Sider is no longer talking about love which is practiced from the heart self-sacrificially. He has tried to turn grace into justice, only to distort them both." - Extracted from Helping the Poor Without Feeding the Beast by Greg L. Bahnsen. Read the whole article HERE.





God's Plan
"There is no doubt that the Bible teaches that faithful people who are wealthy have an important role in God’s plan. Some exemplary people in the Bible, like Abraham (Gen 13:2), Barzillai (2 Sam. 19:32), the Shunemite woman who helped Elisha (2 Kings 4:8), and Joseph of Arimathea (Matt. 27:57), were specifically described as being wealthy. After saying that the rich must not be haughty, Paul says that “God . . . richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). Enjoying the things that money can buy is not necessarily wrong. At the same time it is significant that each of these four godly wealthy people mentioned were commended for their generosity.

Wealthy Christians can honor Christ especially by being humble, generous, and godly while being wealthy. Poor Christians can honor him especially by being contented, full of faith, generous, and godly while being poor. It is clear that in the Bible wealth is far less important than contentment, joy, peace, holiness, love, and generosity. People with these characteristics are, according to the Bible, truly prosperous whether they are economically rich or poor." - Extracted from IS IT GOD’S WILL FOR ALL CHRISTIANS TO BE WEALTHY? by Ajith Fernando. You can read the whole article HERE.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

RICH AND POOR 2015



Most of America’s rich think the poor have it easy
Most of America's richest think poor people have it easy in this country, according to a new report released by the Pew Research Center. The center surveyed a nationally representative group of people this past fall, and found that the majority of the country's most financially secure citizens (54 percent at the very top, and 57 percent just below) believe the "poor have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return."



Archbishop of Canterbury: Gap between Britain's rich and poor 'widening'
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the gap between the south-east and the rest of the UK made London feel "like a slightly different country".

By Leon Siciliano, and PA, video source ITN2:33PM GMT 19 Jan 2015
Leading figures in the Church of England have called for an end to "income inequality" and questioned how Britain is being governed in a new book to be published before the general election.
Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, whose new book is called On Rock Or Sand?, said the UK faced a "deep, deep economic crisis" during the last four and-a-half years and said inequality trapped "hard-working" families on "poverty wages".

In a video to launch the collection of essays, which includes a contribution from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, Dr Sentamu admitted the Church was making a political intervention but said it was not trying to be party political. - Continue reading and watch the vid HERE.


Super Cars v Used Cars The Trade Off BBC Documentary 2015


Two salesmen at opposite ends of the used-car market are trading places to see if they can make it in very different parts of Britain. In London, Louis sells supercars to Britain's wealthiest car enthusiasts, while Darren flogs reliable runarounds in Bridgend, Wales. They're both at the top of their game, but they're swapping jobs, customers and bosses in a bid to meet or even beat each other's targets. Darren is blown away by his new swanky workplace and is overjoyed to be selling Ferraris, Jaguars and Alfa Romeos with eye-watering price tags. He only has to sell one in order to earn a big commission. Darren's used to shifting high volume, but with a fraction of the customer base he's used to it won't be easy.


Louis and Darren in Supercars Vs Used Cars: The Trade Off. Photograph: Kevin Callanan/BBC/Boundless Productions

In Bridgend, Louis is thrown in at the deep end - over a busy weekend it becomes clear to boss Dave that Louis's softly softly approach doesn't cut it, and potential sales drift away. Meanwhile, Darren is off to a good start when he impresses boss Joe with his knowledge of one particular Ferrari - he just has to get his head round another 39 supercars. In Wales, Louis continues to struggle until he hears one customer's heart-rending reasons for needing an affordable car, and he goes all out to get them what they want.

In London, it's not looking good for Darren when he fails to seal deals with wealthy clients who are definitely in the mood to buy. Joe shows Darren the passion and skill that goes into restoring classic cars in a bid to improve his performance. At the end of the swap, both salesmen learn how well they've done and whether they've succeeded in a very different world.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Super-Rich and Us (BBC Documentary)

The Super-Rich and Us ( BBC Documentary Episode 1 )


Episode 1 of 2

Britain has more billionaires per head than any other country on earth, yet we're also the most unequal nation in Europe. We were told the super-rich would make us richer too, so why hasn't that happened, and what does the arrival of their astronomical wealth really mean for the rest of us?

In programme one of this two-part series, Jacques Peretti looks at how the super-rich first exploited an obscure legal loophole to make Britain one of the most attractive tax havens on earth. He argues this was no accident. Wooing the super-rich was a deliberate strategy by government to reconfigure the British economy, under the belief their wealth would trickle down to the rest of us. But it didn't. The OECD now say the British economy would have been 20 per cent bigger had we not pursued the super-rich. So who sold us the fallacy and why?



Jacques meets the super-rich themselves - from those buying premiership football clubs to the billionaires who are breaking ranks to criticise the decisions that made them richer and society more unequal.

Jacques challenges the architects of these policies, as well as tracking down the foreign multimillionaires who are buying up Britain and turning us from a nation of property owners to a nation of renters.

He uncovers new research that shows growing inequality has been driven by this key factor of unaffordable property, and the far-reaching effect this will have on every aspect of our lives. Inequality is reshaping Britain into two simple classes: the 99 per cent and the one per cent. This is the story of how it happened and what it means for all of us.

The Super-Rich and Us ( BBC Documentary Episode 2 )


In episode two, Jacques investigates how inequality was pinpointed as a business opportunity before the crash by the biggest bank in America, as a way of making money from a more divided society. Jacques also looks at how our work life was made deliberately more unstable in the 70s to drive a new 80s profit culture, and how an acceptance of huge executive bonuses was manufactured.


Jacques meets the billionaires who have gained, and those that are fearful for the society being created, and the people whose decisions are changing the very way we live.

LONDON BILLIONAIRES 2015



For the first time viewers are given an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most exclusive holiday destinations in the world - Necker Island. This film is an intimate portrait of how the rich, powerful and famous holiday, and what it's like for the staff who serve them.

It's an upstairs-downstairs world where nearly 100 staff cater to just 30 guests - where some have over a staggering £40,000 a night to experience the perfect island paradise. And while Necker is home to Sir Richard Branson and his family, it is also a serious commercial venture. Selling the Caribbean dream to the most demanding guests in the world is a daily pressure.


'If you’re one of those lucky people who’re in that position where you get that extreme wealth, you’ve just got to make sure that wealth goes back to society in some form or another–whether it’s creating more jobs or tackling the problems of the world. That money must not languish in a bank account and be unproductive.'




Who are the super-rich Russian elite who have chosen to make London their home? Why have they favoured the capital city? And why do they obsess about the English education system, polo and the monarchy?

We enter the lives of an entrepreneur chased out of Russia for his liberal views and growing bank balance, as well as one of London's biggest art collectors and philanthropists. We tap into the life of Russia's top supermodel. And as we follow two debutantes preparing for the glitz and glamour of the Russian ball, we meet Princess Olga Romanov, the granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas II's sister, who vividly recalls her coming out as a debutante.



Debunking some of the myths about Russians in London, this film takes us further under their skin than before. They love the capital city for its security and freedom, for them it is an English dream. But how do they see us? Why, when in London, do they still feel a need to access their Russian roots and culture? What is it that unites the Russians in London and brings them together for a fairy-tale night by the banks of the Thames? And on what do they spend their wealth?
 
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