"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Monday, October 2, 2017

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 26 – Part 1 The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

We all have hopes, dreams, even ambitions that we look to in our future; aspirations for greatness can be a tremendous motivator to ‘give it all we got’ in making our dream a reality.
When these apostles were just fishermen, tax collectors, carpenters and what not, the most they probably hoped for was a fairly prosperous life, being successful at their trade, blessed in their families and friends.

How surprised, shocked even, they must have been when this One, Jesus of Nazareth beckoned them to follow Him. Gradually they came to know Him as a man Who was unique above all others, with remarkable power, wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures; they recognized Him as prophet, but eventually, as the very Messiah of Israel.
From that point on, they realized that they had it made! These twelve were specifically chosen to be leaders in the Messianic Kingdom, the reborn Kingdom of Israel in accordance with the Davidic Covenant! This far exceeded their wildest expectations – but then came the events as we find here in MATTHEW Ch. 26. To say that their dreams and aspirations were crushed would be a horrendous understatement . . .

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Monday, September 4, 2017

The PORTENT of PERSECUTION and PERILOUS TIMES

By James Fire

This is not my typical sort of article to write – when it comes to political commentary and our biblical perspective on such, in light of what the Bible says is in store for the church of Jesus Christ, that’s usually Anne Kisly’s – my co-writer – sort of thing.

Be that as it may, this subject is coming up more and more frequently and as Christians, particularly American Christians, we need to keep our eyes open, aware of the country’s political/social climate, and understand the times in which we live (1 CHRON 12:32).
We realize that most of the church, in most nations, during most of her 2000-year history has suffered, to one degree or another, persecution; and most especially from the various religious groups and idolaters of this world.

America has been one of the exceptions in history . . . so far.

Read more!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 25 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

At the risk of repeating myself, ad nauseum, may I beg your indulgence in reminding us all that the Gospel of Matthew is directed towards a particular people group: the nation of Israel. Each Gospel account has a different audience it is appealing to. The portrait of Jesus in this Gospel is specifically as the coming King of Israel, Who is intent on establishing the kingdom of Israel, once the sins of Israel were paid in full by His own Holy blood.

Yet they rejected their Messiah – nevertheless, He paid for all of their sins, as well as for all the sins of the world.
In these kingdom parables, the church is often seen as the subject, however, if one examines the text and rightly identifies who the church is, who Israel is, who the Gentiles are, then one can understand who these are in the parables of the kingdom of Israel.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The NARROW VIEW of the SCRIPTURES

By James Fire

Rebuttal to: Why Teaching Your Child to Read the Bible Literally Might Destroy Them… Literally.

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence and/or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Its primary tenet is simply, “truth is that which corresponds to reality”. Or putting it another way, “the truth is that which is the truth.”
In language, we incorporate significance to words as they correspond with reality. If I write the word ‘house’ – in your mind you picture some semblance of a house with walls, a roof, windows and doors. If I write the word, ‘happy’ you think of the condition and experience of being agreeably content and feelings of well-being.

We can therefore attribute a literal meaning to words, but they can also express a certain figurative meaning as well. When you thought of the word ‘house’ it could have a figurative meaning, in that it could express the idea of a real family lineage, as Joseph and Mary were “of the house of David”. Obviously, they didn’t live in King David’s house, but rather they were, in reality, his descendants.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

BEWARE OF LEAVEN!!!

By James Fire

In Mark’s Gospel, chapter 8, the LORD Jesus fed four thousand hungry souls by miraculously multiplying some bread and fish. He did the same thing earlier in His ministry and fed 5000 (MATT 14:21).

After feeding the multitude in Mark’s account, the Pharisees approached Him and sought a miraculous sign from heaven, for which He rebukes them (having already performed this incredible miracle which they just witnessed).

He and His disciples then leave them all, and get into a boat to depart to the other side of the sea of Galilee. While in the boat, the LORD charged them:
MARK 8:15
15 . . . saying, ‘Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod’.

Read more!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The BIBLICAL MODEL of MAN


By James Fire

Let us consider the “first Adam” (1 COR 15:45) = Ah-dawm “Man”. The creation of God as the ideal and the model of man prior to the fall. The following list begins with the letter “I” and addresses Adam’s condition and qualities prior to the fall:
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Monday, July 3, 2017

AFTER HIS KIND

By James Fire

We live in an amazing time of rapidly increasing technology. There are some Sociologists who refer to our current time period as a 'technocracy' – where our culture and everyday life is intricately interwoven with our technology and governed by technological experts, particularly where computers and the Internet are concerned. The level of advancement in computing power and information processing in our day and age is staggering.

Consider:


Everyone today has a smart phone, with micro-miniaturized circuitry that enables these palm sized gadgets to function as hand-held computers. The average smart phone in 2016 has more computing power than the NASA Command Center had during the days of the Apollo missions to the Moon back in the 1960’s!

Read more!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 24 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

The LORD, after His triumphant entry into the City of Peace, riding humbly on a donkey left the people of Jerusalem with a solemn warning. They would not see Him again (once His mission of atoning for the sins of the world was completed), until His return to Earth, greeted by their worshipful hails of “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”. He spoke of His protective guard over His people being removed, and the desolation of the land.

Immediately afterwards, we come to chapter 24 in the Gospel account, and it seems that the LORD and His disciples are departing from the Temple, and He Who build all of creation both the seen and the unseen is given a tour by them of the constructed monument built by Herod the Great. I would presume He wasn’t all that impressed . . . 

Again, the LORD issues another solemn warning which entails the destruction of the Temple – and this happened in 70 AD by order of Caesar, which was carried out by General Titus Vespasian.  

This stunning declaration prompted the disciples to ask three questions: When will these things be (the destruction of the Temple)? What shall be the sign of the LORD’s coming (The LORD’s return which He spoke of previously in Chapter 23), and of the end of the world (age)?


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Sunday, June 25, 2017

TTUF REVIEW of – WONDER WOMAN: A Heroine Whose Time Has Come

~ by James Fire

Wonder Woman is a 2017 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, directed by Patty Jenkins, with a screenplay by Allan Heinberg, from a story by Heinberg, Zack Snyder and Jason Fuchs, and stars Gal Gadot as the titular character with Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, and Elena Anaya in supporting roles. Wonder Woman is the second live action theatrical film featuring the titular character, following her debut in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Jenkins' role as director makes her the first female director of a studio superhero movie.

Wonder Woman was released in the United States on June 2, 2017. It received positive reviews from critics, with many praising Jenkins' direction, Gadot and Pine's performances as well as the screenplay, action sequences, and musical score. It is the first film in the DCEU to receive generally positive reviews. The film set records for the biggest domestic opening for a female director ($103.3 million) and the biggest opening for a woman-led comic book film. It has grossed over $598 million worldwide, making it the sixth highest-grossing film of 2017.

Read more!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 23 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

When those who speak the truth, do so out of a sincere heart to correct an error, or some misconduct, there are always others who will say “Judge not, lest ye be judged!” or “where’s the love?” Frankly speaking, there are those who tend to lean more heavily on the side of truth than on grace, and vice versa. The One and Only Who ever had these two in perfect balance is the LORD Jesus Christ (JOHN 1:17). There is an increasing tendency today in the church to sacrifice truth ‘in the name of love’ and ‘unity’. As well as this there are among those involved in discernment ministries, some who are cut-throats in the name of truth, well-nigh barren of any grace.

Yet it is the truth that unites us (EPH 4:13), based on the truth of God’s Word (JOHN 17:17) and the Spirit of Truth (JOHN 14:17; 15:26). Nothing could be more loving and compassionate than to tell someone the truth, though it may hurt, though it may bring discomfort, or alarm. People in a burning building will appreciate a person who yells out, “fire!” when there is one. An ailing patient will be grateful to the doctor who truthfully tells them that they have cancer – and prepares them for treatment.

Jesus is God made flesh (JOHN 1:1-3, 14), and we know that God is love (1 JOHN 4:8). Here in the Twenty-third chapter of MATTHEW’s Gospel, we have Love Incarnate saying these things, which, when you think about it, is astounding! If you and I were to say such things, we would probably need to get our blood pressure checked! These words that the LORD speaks, cuts to the bone, and indeed, the Word of God does divide asunder between the soul and spirit and the joints [bones] and marrow (HEB 4:12), but He is saying them in perfect truth and perfect love. Perfectly balanced.
Let us hear what Love Incarnate is saying, and let us not be dismayed if we find some of these things convict us.


Read more!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hindered Prayers: Part 7 And Final Thoughts

By Pastor Sonny Islas
Afterword by James Fire


We’ve learned a handful of reasons why our prayers may be hindered. And if we desire to have a rich prayer life, we must take heed to scripture. When we walk contrary to God’s Word, God walks contrary to us (LEV 26:23,24) and therefore puts our prayers on hold. LEV 26:19 says, And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

When Israel refused to obey God’s Word, they experienced Drought and Barrenness – And if we don’t take heed to God’s Word we too will not enjoy the rain and fruit of answered prayers. We don’t want our prayers ricocheting off an iron heaven to a brass earth (where we’re sending up prayers but they’re just bouncing right back!) – like a paddle ball or a game of tether ball.


Read more!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

FOUNDED ON THE ROCK: The Sure Foundation of the Saints

By James Fire
ISAIAH 59:13-15
13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. 14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. 15 Yea, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

Since our society has pretty much committed familicide on all the members and relatives (pardon the pun) of ABSOLUTE TRUTH – those members being justice, integrity, honor, righteousness and many others, it seems even the professing church isn’t even flinching when unbiblical, false teachings and practises are introduced and embraced by its members! It’s no wonder that the Emergent Church Movement has been welcomed with open arms!


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Sunday, April 23, 2017

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part NINE

By James Fire

For some 1800 years after the diaspora of the Jews from their native land of Israel in 70 AD, the idea of a Millennial Kingdom established in the nation promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob where the Messiah would rule His people Israel (LUKE 1:32-33), even among the most competent of Bible scholars, seemed unlikely. The Jewish people were dispersed throughout the world. The land known as ‘Palestine’ (a name created by Israel’s enemies) was a barren wasteland of parched, dusty deserts and malaria infested swamps. Muslims who owned much of the land around major cities would apply a tax on any tree that the Jews had on their properties to promote further desolation.

Very few pastors and teachers taught that Israel would be reborn, but those who took the Word of God seriously, understood that her day would be coming prior to the Second Advent of Christ!
But before we continue in this series on the Millennial Reign of Christ, I want to address this issue of Israel’s rebirth as a nation (there are some, even professing Christians, who deny the authenticity of the State of Israel and dismiss it out of hand for certain reasons I would like to respond to) and what is in store for her. So, let’s have a look at this amazing prophecy in EZEKIEL 37!


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Monday, April 17, 2017

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 22 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

Here again we have the LORD Jesus speaking in parables; He began this in chapter 13 because of what transpired in chapter 12: the Pharisees attributed the power by which the LORD Jesus cast out demons to Satan, rather than the Holy Spirit, Who anointed Jesus as the Messiah – “the Anointed One”. This was a seriously grievous deed, and by rejecting the witness of the Holy Spirit, by Whose power the LORD worked these miracles (prophesied in Scripture to be signs done by none other than the Messiah Himself; see ISAIAH 61), they were guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

As the national leadership, these Pharisees brought judgment upon Israel by their rejection – the LORD is still reaching out to individual Jews, but this was a pivotal point in the nation’s path (also prophesied in Scripture; see ISAIAH 53). This judgment took the form of speaking in parables, which, for those who reject the truth, will hide truth from their understanding.

So, when the disciples came to Jesus in chapter 13, asking why He spoke to them in parables, He said:

MATTHEW 13:11-17
11 . . . Because, it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Read more!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

HINDERED PRAYER Part 5 & 6

By Sonny Islas

HINDERED PRAYER – PART 5 

Prayer is essential for the Christian disciple of Christ. Lord teach us to pray . . .

That’s what the disciples asked of the LORD in LUKE 11:1.

So far, we’ve discovered (in Parts 1 & 2 in this series) that (1) marital discord, (2) insincerity, (3) selfishness, (4) coldness (and in Parts 3 & 4) (5) a lack of confidence, (6) overlooking God’s will, (7) not praying, (8) an evil lifestyle (of the unbeliever), and (9) staying away from God’s Word hinders our prayers.

Today I’m going over the next four ways in which our prayers can be hindered.
Hindered prayers is a temporary blockage between us and God. It’s kind of like a blood clot. A blood clot blocks the blood from freely flowing to the heart and in the same way hindrances block our prayers from gracefully flowing to God’s heart.


Read more!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

HINDERED PRAYER: Part 3 & 4

By SONNY ISLAS

INTRODUCTION:
In this seven-part series, Sonny Islas, pastor of Eternal Living Word Church (where I currently fellowship) brings valuable teachings and insights on the causes of and cures for hindered prayer.
Since prayer is ESSENTIAL for every Christian, this series which I have attended in service with ready heart and ears is something that must be recorded and provided for all the saints, and so it is with great honor and blessing that I've been allowed to bring these teachings to The TRUTH Under FIRE! May the LORD bless and keep us all, His beloved!

Read more!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The PROGRESSIVE DISEASE OF SPIRITUAL DECEPTION IN OUR TIME

By Gregory Reid

There was a time when ideas like yoga or eastern meditation in the church were only associated with Christ Science churches, Universalist Churches, and a few spurious non-biblical fringe places. In a few scant decades, the walls have been so completely torn down that we not only see no harm in these things, we promote them. This is exactly what Theosophist (Luciferian) leader Alice Bailey predicted would be part of the new age infiltration into the church:
"The three main channels through which the preparation for the new age is going on might be regarded as the Church (emphasis mine) the Masonic Fraternity and the educational field." (The Externalization of the Hierarchy, Page 511.)
So, in fact, this has been underway for some time. It probably began to get a real foothold in our present time with Norman Vincent Peale’s “Power of Positive Thinking” theology, quickly adapted by Rev. Robert Schuller who was really the first modern “megachurch” and “Seeker Friendly” church pastor. Their ideas were once considered a bit of an aberration from mainstream Christian doctrine. But here we are decades later, and seeker friendly and power of positive thinking is normal and unchallenged. The crack into Bible-based evangelical churches had begun to open just a little…
Fast forward: In the last three decades we have opened our doors to things like the laughter movement, barking like dogs and oinking like pigs and calling it the “anoinking of the Spirit,” and worse. A number of leaders challenged these things, but its promoters did not repent of it.
Read more!

EVIL - THIS STRANGE PREDICAMENT

By James Fire

This has been a discussion throughout the ages; something that 'saints and sinners' have wrestled with from the beginning when good and evil were perceived and wondered about, and the struggle ensued in an attempt to reconcile their co-existence.

The term "predicament" may be defined as follows:
"noun 1. an unpleasantly difficult, perplexing, or dangerous situation.
2. a class or category of logical or philosophical predication.
3. Archaic. a particular state, condition, or situation.

Defining evil is a bit more difficult; in similar fashion 'holy' may also pose difficult to define.

The problem of evil as we deal with it daily in the news media as well as our own observations and experiences certainly reveals it to be perplexing and dangerous , to say nothing of it being difficult and unpleasant. But deal with it we must.

I hope that in this article I will present some insights into evil and its nature that will prove encouraging and helpful to the reader. So let us begin . . . 


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Monday, February 27, 2017

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part Eight

By James Fire

We began this series with Part One on March 23, 2015. There has been seven parts to this article and now we are presenting an eighth . . . and we still haven’t exhausted all the Scripture from the Old Testament; and have barely addressed verses from the New Testament (but we most certainly will, LORD willing!). Here are volumes of material showing that Israel as a nation still has a future, a yet unfulfilled future as a kingdom reborn, with her coming King Who will reign from Jerusalem, over all the world.

As I wrote this article, there were 70 nations gathered together to discuss and decide what to do with the State of Israel and the Palestinian people; they took it upon themselves to arbitrate borders of two nations, where God has declared only the one, according to the borders He established, with Himself as the Ruler over the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Fortunately, their agenda was a bust!
Read more!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

HINDERED PRAYERS: Part 1 and 2

By SONNY ISLAS

INTRODUCTION:
In this seven-part series, Sonny Islas, pastor of Eternal Living Word Church (where I currently fellowship) brings valuable teachings and insights on the causes of and cures for hindered prayer.
Since prayer is ESSENTIAL for every Christian, this series which I have attended in service with ready heart and ears is something that must be recorded and provided for all the saints, and so it is with great honor and blessing that I've been allowed to bring these teachings to The TRUTH Under FIRE! May the LORD bless and keep us all, His beloved!

Read more!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

ABLE MINISTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

ABLE MINISTERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (this teaching was given at ETERNAL LIVING WORD Church on 1/22/17)

By James Fire

2 CORINTHIANS 3:5-7
4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Q: How many ministers do we have here in the congregation today (a few raised their hands)?
Q: Let me ask this then: How many here are born again believers in Jesus Christ (overwhelming majority raised their hands)?
So, let me ask again, but keep all of your hands raised please (everyone laughed):
Q: How many ministers do we have here in the congregation today? There you go, that's the answer I was looking for!

The fact of the matter is, that anyone who is born again is a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of His body, the church. 
He led by example the life of the Servant Leader, and so –  we are all servants of the LORD – and ‘minister’ is just another word for servant.

Read more!
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