Sunday, September 24, 2017

Faith: What are you hoping for?

   Trust in the infinite God with all our hearts, and do not be convinced by our own finite ability to comprehend. If that which can be comprehended by the physical senses, contradicts that which is promised by God in his everlasting WORD--feel free to totally ignore our own understanding.
   People of faith, believe in the supernatural.  
   Faith is a tangible thing. It has a substance to it (though most-times we cannot feel it). The very fact that we have hope for the manifestation of that which we cannot yet see, is the evidence that the tangible substance of faith is at work in our lives.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Once Saved Always Saved? The Doctrine of Eternal Security

   If Christians sin willingly, knowing what they are doing is sin, What then?
   There are opposing, schools of theology on this.
   One group says, once saved, always saved, that no matter what, it is impossible to lose salvation once one is born again. This group usually deals with the issue of habitual sin by saying  the sinner must have  never been saved in the first place.
   The Bible does say that true Christians cannot practice sin without conviction of wrong-doing. It also says that, over time, practicing sin sears the conscience. Therefore, we believe that taking the position that habitual sinners never got saved to begin with, is a cop out.  
   Those who teach this, are taking the path of least resistance. It is simply easier for spiritual leadership to say that a professing Christian was never saved in the first place, than to deal biblically with habitual sin in a professing believer’s life.
   The other group takes the completely opposite view. They agree with professing Christian habitual sinners, that they most likely did get saved. But teach that if one slides back into sin after coming to Christ, they lose their salvation. 
   ...if they repent, and give up the sin; they are renewed back into salvation, and, if they continue in the faith, will "make it" into Heaven.
   We call this "Yo-Yo" salvation. Lost it--got it back--lost it--got it back.--lost it--got it back... 
   The scriptures do not teach yo-yo-salvation. But the Bible does teach Christians to continue in the faith (that involves repentance and forsaking sins that easily beset us). Paul wrote to the Galatians that he was afraid his work with them would be in vain (they were backsliding into sin, but repentance and renewal was still available to them). The scriptures also teach that if a Christian "falls away," (falling away and backsliding are not the same thing) renewal back into repentance is impossible (Hebrews 6:4-6). 
   If one does ever fall away (loses salvation)--it can never be regained. There are no more sacrifices available. Jesus cannot be crucified again. 
   So where does that leave Christians who sin, for scripture assures that we will certainly sin after we are saved? 
   New life in Christ, does not translate into lives completely free of sin. First of all, we need to believe the scriptures. There is only one sin that can cost us eternal life, and that is the sin of rejecting Jesus. All other sins committed, after one is saved, can be repented of and forgiven (1 John 1:9). 
   Does that knowledge give a Christian a license to sin? 
  Absolutely not! But no one [except God] can say when that awful line might be crossed from backsliding to falling away, so it is important not to condemn. Rather, always be ready, with love and humility, to reach out those in bondage to sins that easily beset them (all Christians struggle with such).
  It is also important to understand that neither belief nor unbelief are mere intellectual acknowledgements. Every devil--even Satan himself--believes in (acknowledges the existence of) the incarnation [life], birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Scripture says they tremble because of this. 
   There are no unbelieving devils [fallen angels]. 
   Yet they are not saved.
   Fallen angels, fell because of unbelief which was expressed in choices. James 1:13-15 lays out some steps that can lead Christians to "fall away" by searing (hardening) the conscience. 
   First, according to James, we are drawn away by our own lusts and enticed. God will never tempt us with sin (death). Rather, Satan tempts us with what we already want
  When we are drawn away and enticed, lust conceives (becomes pregnant with sin/death). At this point, it is still possible to abort (confess and forsake). 
   Choose to abort the death--not eternal life! 
   If the pregnancy (the gestation of of sin and death) is allowed to reach full-term, and bring forth that which it conceived, James 1:15 says it will give birth to "death"-- the very death described so graphically in Hebrews 10:26-29.
    James is speaking to Christians in this passage. He is not referring to an early physical death (though that could happen as well). He concludes by saying, "Do not be deceived my beloved brethren
   Backsliding can be repented of. But if not repented of, can lead to the only sin that can cause a "falling away." Falling away, is irreversible--permanent. It involves a conscious rejection of Jesus Christ, after having known him and the awesome powers of the age to come.  
   Hebrews chapter 10, says this is a fearful thing.
   Christians do not lose salvation every time they sin. There is no need to be afraid that we may not "make it." The Bible says if we say we have no sins, we are liars, and the truth is not in us. 
   If we were sinless, there would be no need of a savior. 
   The Bible says we have an advocate with the Father, and if we confess known sins, he is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us from all [even unknown] unrighteousness, as we each make individual faith journeys through this kosmos.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Must Christians Obey the Law of Moses

The Feast of Unleavened Bread predicted a major event relating to God’s plan of Redemption Hebrews 10:1. We have explored the scriptural evidence that Passover represented the atoning death of Messiah on the cross. The feast directly following Passover, so closely it overlaps, is called Unleavened Bread.
   The feast of Passover begins on the 14th of the month and the feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th of the month Leviticus 23:6. The Children of Israel observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread by removing all leaven (yeast) from their homes. They were not commanded to simply refrain from using leaven during this feast, but were commanded to physically remove every bit of it from their dwellings Exodus 12:15-19.
   As with all the feasts, no servile work is permitted during the feast of Unleavened Bread. This is symbolic of the grace (apart from the Law) Christ would bring Leviticus 23:6, Exodus 12:16, John 1:17.
   What exactly did the leaven represent? What was symbolically removed from each Israelite home during the feast of Unleavened Bread?
   Galatians 5:1-9 answers this question and establishes this leaven to represent the Law of Moses. The entire book of Galatians deals various aspects of believers who understood that they were saved by faith, but were attempting to maintain their salvation through observing the Law.

 Are Christians Required to Obey the Law of Moses?
Galatians 5:9 tells us, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
   Just as a small amount of leaven permeates an entire loaf, not just a certain portion of it, trying to mix even a small amount of law with faith results in obliging an individual to observe the entire law—a dangerous practice according to the Bible, which says the mixing Law and Faith has the undesired effect of making Christ of no effect at all in one’s life Galatians 5:3-4.

**It is recommended at this point to read the entire book of Galatians. The book of Galatians contains only six chapters and should be read in its entirety.

   Galatians 5:9 reveals that the leaven represents the Law of Moses, and during the feast of Unleavened Bread the people are commanded to put away all leaven from their homes.
   In Galatians 4:24, Hagar the bondwoman was a scriptural allegory representing the Mosaic Law. Abraham was commanded to cast out the bondwoman and her son.

Question: Since that was the case, why was the law necessary in the first place?

Answer: In order to protect 'âdâm until the redeemer could come, God revealed his ways to Moses and gave him ordinances (laws) to keep. The law not only revealed Christ, but also guarded and protected all who submitted to it until faith (Christ) came Galatians 3:23-24, 4:4-5, Psalms 103:7.

   The first man and the first woman needed to obey only one commandment before the fall, but the introduction of sin into creation mandated the need for many ordinances that foreshadowed the Redeemer, and, like the Tree, were also given for protection. The prophetic aspect of the Law acted as a tutor or teacher (schoolmaster) to bring to Christ Galatians 3:23-25, Revelation 19:10.
   Since the resurrection of Jesus, we are no longer under a schoolmaster (the Law). Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the Law for us, and became the end of the Law for righteousness to all who believe Romans 10:4, Galatians 3:25, Colossians 2:14, Romans 10:4.
   The feast of Unleavened Bread and the traditions associated with it accurately predicted the putting away of the Law of Moses.
   The fact that the feast of Unleavened Bread, where the Law of Moses was symbolically swept away while Christ’s body still lay in the grave, effectively refutes the notion that Jesus had to suffer in hell for our sins. The sin price was paid in full before he was ever taken down from the cross. While he yet lived, just before he released his hold on life, our savior uttered the words, IT IS FINISHED (PAID)! Exodus 12:15, John 19:30
   No other atonement or penance on Jesus’ part was necessary.
   It is worth noting, again, that during the Feast of Unleavened Bread no servile work was to be done. This foreshadowed the time when forgiveness of sins would be available without the works and sacrifices of the law.

Chapter Review
·         What does Hebrew 10:1 tell us about the Mosaic Law?
·         According to Galatians 5:4, what will happen to Christ in our life if we attempt to maintain our salvation through obedience to the law?
·         Galatians 3:23 tells us we were protected under the law until when?
·         Did you read the entire book of Galatians?

**The entire Bible can be read every year by reading just four chapters a day. It is recommended to read your Bible prayerfully, always picking up today where you left off yesterday. 

The article above is an excerpt from the book, Redemption: Bible Prophecy Simplified

Saturday, October 22, 2016

JESUS: Almighty God: JESUS Physically Rose from the Dead

13: And the Jews' Passover was at hand and Jesus went up to Jerusalem 14: And found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves and the changers of money sitting 15: And when he had made a scourge of small cords he drove them all out of the temple and the sheep and the oxen and poured out the changers' money and overthrew the tables 16: And said to them that sold doves Take these things from here make not my Father's house a house of merchandise 17: And his disciples remembered that it was written The zeal of thine house has eaten me up 18: Then answered the Jews and said to him, What sign do you show to us seeing that you do these things 19: Jesus answered and said to them Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up[1] 20: Then said the Jews Forty and six years was this temple in building and wilt you raise it up in three days 21: But he spoke of the temple of his body

[1] This was a clear reference to both his identity as the Almighty—YHWH—and to his physical resurrection. Both of these facts are attested to in many other scriptures including 2 Timothy 3:16 (Received Text) and Acts 2:31. Jesus stated that he would raise his own body up. Only God could do such a thing.  In verse :21, it very clearly states that the resurrection would be a physical one. It would be his body that was raised from the dead.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Spiritual Warfare: The Armor of God Study Part One

 We are in a war with the devil whether we like it or not! So how do we put on the Armor of God? It's not how you think. Andersen teaches this vital subject from a practical and powerful perspective. 

 Listen here

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blind Bald Christians

What if we began drinking from polluted wells and began eating exotic foods that caused our eyesight to fail, hair to fall out and a host of other problems? What if it was brought to our attention that drinking from these wells and consuming these foods was causing us harm and could possibly lead to our deaths, if we did not make some immediate changes?  
   What if we simply could not or would not give these things up in spite of the warnings?
   We would eventually go blind and bald wouldn't we? We might even die.
  This is happening among Christians in alarming numbers. They are going blind (their discernment has become seriously distorted). They are going bald (their spiritual, and even physical, health is adversely affected). And some are even dying (departing from the faith), because after joyfully receiving the truth about the dangers of their various watering holes and favorite exotic foods, they make no significant changes in their drinking and eating habits.
   We have received a number of correspondences from those who thank us, profusely, for warning them about the unscriptural, dangerous, nature of certain beliefs and practices (they confide they picked up these erroneous ideas not only through churches they attend but also through television/radio ministries and online discussion groups as well). 
   They joyfully embrace the scriptural truth about these things and experience immediate improvements in their vision. Their hair begins to grow back. They loudly praise God for their deliverance and begin contending for the faith… for a time.
   We then watch helplessly as some slowly slip right back into the same mire they recently, loudly and publicly, praised God for pulling them out of.
   How does this happen?
   It happens because they refuse to stop drinking from polluted wells. They will not give up exotic foods. They stay in churches they know promote error. They continue tuning in to television and radio ministries and online discussion groups that subvert their faith. They continue reading authors who promote error.
   Before they know it, they seem to be given over completely to a lie—or at the very least remain in a state of confusion—constantly challenging us to prove--again and again--the things they publicly renounced just a short time before.
   What if Jesus told us something, and we then ran to Satan to hear his side of things? In addition to endangering ourselves, we would become seriously confused wouldn’t we? 
   Do the scriptures teach any such method for determining truth? Everything we say may not be truth. But God forbid anyone go to Satan to find out what he thinks about it—better go to the scriptures.
   The Bible says the double minded are unstable in all their ways. Instability is nothing to be taken lightly. 
   If the scriptures convince us we are drinking from polluted wells and eating poisonous exotic foods. Abandon those wells! Give up that food! Do not take another sip- not so much as another nibble!
   Immerse ourselves in the Word of God. Listen only to wholesome words. In the power of Jesus Christ (only do this if you know that you belong to Christ) bind, rebuke, and renounce spirits of rebellion, greed, covetousness and whoredom, anything that causes us to be dissatisfied with the simplicity of Christ, and seek after things He has not given. 
   Allow our hearts to become good ground where the Word of God can flourish, grow, and bear fruit—not rocky or thorny ground where the enemy can easily steal God's Word from us or bog us down with the cares of this world.
   The light of the body is the eye (spiritual/physical connection)--Let us keep our vision/discernment sharp and through having clear eyes. Walk in the light as he (Jesus) is in the light. Drink the sincere milk of the Word. Grown into healthy, mature, Christians who can handle the meat of the Word as well.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Instant in Season and Out

Why did Jesus curse a fig tree that was fig-less when it was not the season for figs? What did the tree do that was wrong? It was not the season for figs. The tree was exactly as it should have been. Yet Jesus cursed the tree and it withered and died in short order. Why?

Our Lord obviously meant this as an object lesson of some sort.

Compare Jesus’ interaction with the fig tree to Paul’s admonition for Christians to be instant in season and out of season. This is obviously an important concept for God’s people to grasp and implement if we are to be effective in reaching people for Christ.

Instant in season and out…Be ready—for what? Be ready to give an answer to all who ask of the hope that is in us. This suggests, not just prayer, but preparation and study. Study to show thyself approved…and don’t forget to pray.