HOW TO OBEY THE
by James Daniel
9,668 WORD ESSAY - LEXILE LEVEL 1000-1200+ - READING TIME: 35:10
ESSAY AMENDED ON: -11-2019
Obeying the gospel is undoubtedly the most important teaching of the New Testament. Without gospel obedience no man can be saved, let alone, call himself a Christian, well, according to what the New Testament determines a Christian to be. The text itself was given by the inspiration of God - 2 Timothy 3:162 Timothy 3:16 [King James Bible]: 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:. We know from scripture that five (5) of the twelve (12) apostles were appointed the unique task of receiving the revelation of the New Testament, and out of the five; four were tasked to make a record of the gospel. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All apostles, and testifying to the selfsame gospel. Not four gospels. That's just not true. In fact, that's a dangerous false teaching in its own right. It's like doing a Catholic on the Bible. It gives the wrong impression of contradiction and irregularity. The first four books of the New Testament account for the same gospel; the only difference is according to as how each man received the revelation. There was a reason for that which we'll go into later in this study. As for the so called gnostic gospels that certain people noise about for whatever reason, well, there's no such thing. There is nothing to suggest that the Holy Spirit gave any further revelations beyond what we have in the New Testament. In fact, the New Testament makes that very clear - Galatians 1:8-9Galatians 1:8-9 [King James Bible]: 8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. cf. 2 Corinthians 11:42 Corinthians 11:4 [King James Bible]: 4. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him..
The gospel (including the whole of the New Testament) is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes - Romans 1:16Romans 1:16 [King James Bible]: 16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.. That's what the New Testament teaches. One of the first principals of the oracles of God is to believe. It's called faith. Without faith, well one might as well close the Bible and go do something else. You see, the Bible is no ordinary book, and handling it is no small thing. In fact, and as pertaining to the period of the church (or church age), is that, the whole of the New Testament was dictated by our Lord, therefore, imperative to our time. The apostle Paul, who penned most of the New Testament, said, he neither received it of man, neither was he taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ - Galatians 1:12Galatians 1:12 [King James Bible]: 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.. Well you can't get any simpler than that. The words of the New Testament had their origins in heaven. With that in mind it's bewildering how some people's contempt for the text is even tolerated amongst those that claim to be Christian. It just goes to show the lack of regard some people have for the Bible and yet expect to go to heaven all said and done. Well the Bible is clear that not all who say Lord, Lord, will be saved - Matthew 7:21Matthew 7:21 [King James Bible]: 21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.. So I hope the following discourse will help to settle matters, and especially those that most people appear to be ignorant of.
Now as for the gospel, it's one of the more overlooked teachings that is instrumental to one's salvation, and no less, to becoming a Christian. Unless one has obeyed the gospel according to how the New Testament teaches one to obey the gospel; then one has not obeyed the gospel, and therefore is not a Christian. If one is not a Christian according to the pattern set out in the New Testament; then one is not a Christian. It's as simple as that. There's no arguement, save for the foolishness of gainsay. In fact, there's no half measures with God. After all, God alone is the one who does the saving. The sooner some people come to terms with this, the sooner scripture will assume its rightful place in their hearts. When scripture is ignored, it will set on course, the destruction of the one who ignores it - John 12:48John 12:48 [King James Bible]: 48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.. Denominational churches approach the scriptures in a corrupt and subjective way. They put their feelings and what they want to believe before what the scriptures teach. Pentecostals and charismatics are infamous for ignoring scripture. What they call Christianity they make most of it up as they go along. Somewhat like Roman Catholics; only they go a bit further with all their drama and theatricals. The Bible refers to this kind of religion as the doctrines of men - Mark 7:7Mark 7:7 [King James Bible]: 7. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.. Take one of the more inclusive verses with regards to the act of obeying the gospel - Acts 2:38Acts 2:38 [King James Bible]: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.. I've heard Baptists call it Satan's favourite verse. Can you believe it? What the Lord God said to do they gainsay and blaspheme. They're not of God that speak againt what God said. More over, no baptism equals no remission of sins, equals no salvation, and ultimately no heaven. How many times does something have to be said for men to believe it? As the scriptures say: Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth - 2 Timothy 3:72 Timothy 3:7 [King James Bible]: 7. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth..
That said, some even go so far as to remove certain scriptures from the newer versions that they still call the Bible. I can only conclude Satan's hand in the matter. Take the NIV for example. The blood of Christ is omitted fifteen (15) times. What does that tell you? No blood? No salvation - Hebrews 9:22Hebrews 9:22Hebrews 9:22 [King James Bible]: 22. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.. So stick with the King James if you want to go to heaven. Now some even teach that just believing on the name of Lord is enough to warrant one's salvation - cf. Acts 16:31Acts 16:31 [King James Bible]: 31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.. Where they get that, I mean, to just believe, as if the rest of the New Testament doesn't matter - cf. Romans 10:13Romans 10:13 [King James Bible]: 13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.. All it does is promote false teaching that is contrary to what the Spirit spake expressly. If fact, all of the New Testament is what the Spirit spake expressly - 1 Timothy 4:11 Timothy 4:1 [King James Bible]: 1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;. What's more, its the perfect way to lure the unlearned an ignorant to their own destruction. Teaching things that are as rotten as hell itself. Well, rather them than me. James said only the doers of God's word would be saved - James 1:22James 1:22 [King James Bible]: 22. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.. He never mentioned anything about doing other peoples things. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's - Philippians 2:21Philippians 2:21 [King James Bible]: 21. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.. We need to be honest with ourselves. If all we have to do is just believe, as some defiantly claim; then how do we perform that which God has said to do? The simple and very truthful answer, is that, belief alone is a dead faith - James 2:17James 2:17 [King James Bible]: 17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.. It's a disgraceful and dangerously false teaching. Well I care about my soul, and what I choose to believe. I care about the souls of men that need to be saved. Anyone that is familiar with the New Testament text knows well that denominational churches have no place in the scriptures, nor indeed what they teach. The text of the New Testament is an unchanging text - 1 Peter 1:251 Peter 1:25 [King James Bible]: 25. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.. The text declares there is one God - Ephesians 4:6Ephesians 4:6 [King James Bible]: 6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.. The text declares there is one Christ - 1 Timothy 2:51 Timothy 2:5 [King James Bible]: 5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;. The text declares there is one Spirit - Ephesians 4:4Ephesians 4:4 [King James Bible]: 4. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;. The text declares there is one church - Romans 12:5Romans 12:5 [King James Bible]: 5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. cf. Ephesians 4:4Ephesians 4:4 [King James Bible]: 4. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;, Romans 16:16Romans 16:16 [King James Bible]: 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.. The text declares there is one faith - Ephesians 4:5Ephesians 4:5 [King James Bible]: 5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism,. The text declares there is one Testament (as in the New) - Jude 1:3Jude 1:3 [King James Bible]: 3. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints., 2 Peter 1:20-212 Peter 1:20-21 [King James Bible]: 20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost., and one chance (while we still live) - 2 Corinthians 6:22 Corinthians 6:2 [King James Bible]: 2. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) cf. Ecclesiastes 9:11Ecclesiastes 9:11 [King James Bible]: 11. I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all..
We need to appreciate that scripture is all-inclusive with regards to the spiritual needs of the individual and the church - 2 Timothy 3:16-172 Timothy 3:16-17 [King James Bible]: 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.. Men need to be mindful of the fact that God is a Spirit: and they that worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth - John 4:24John 4:24 [King James Bible]: 24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.. Peter said, no prophecy of the scripture was of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:202 Peter 1:20 [King James Bible]: 20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.. Therefore it's not from man. Furthermore, not just anyone can worship God - 1 Corinthians 10:211 Corinthians 10:21 [King James Bible]: 21. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.. One must become a Christian first to worship God. How can someone that has never obeyed the gospel worship God? If Christians have the New Testament to guide them in worshipping God, how can a non-believer know what to do? God is no respector of persons - Acts 10:34Acts 10:34 [King James Bible]: 34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:. We all have to do what God has said to do. Paul was told to go to Damascus, and there he would be told what to do - Acts 9:6Acts 9:6 [King James Bible]: 6. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.. Moreover, one must obey the gospel to become a Christian. Members of the Lord's church are called Christians - Acts 11:26Acts 11:26 [King James Bible]: 26. And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.. One must be a Christian to partake of the Lord's supper. The Lord's supper is part of worshipping God. The church is obligated to come together (assemble) to worship God on the first day of the week. We call the first day of the week Sunday. Sunday, as in, "after the sun," was named by the Babylonians, and of course, later adopted by Constantine of Rome. We'll look into that in another lesson.
Nevertheless, it's pertinent to mention the providential hand of God in all matters pertaining to the truth, not to mention, the raising up of men who will only stand for the truth. Such men are a scarce commodity nowadays. Like the prophet that said, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal - Romans 11:3-4Romans 11:3-4 [King James Bible]: 3. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.. If half the men who claim to preach the Bible were worth half their salt, there might well be half the false teaching to contend with. They say that if the truth is not taught to every generation, that after the third generation men will turn away from the truth. So it's important that every generation is taught the truth over and over as many times as is necessary to teach the truth. The church is duty bound to teach the lively oracles to all generations all of the time. Preaching the truth is the mechanism by which the church is preserved. In a pragmatic sense, the Bible begets Christians inasmuch as false teaching begets false brethren - 1 Corinthians 11:261 Corinthians 11:26 [King James Bible]: 26. In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;. So don't just listen to what any old preacher says at face value. They all have something to say; but they don't all say what they're supposed to say. Best go read it for yourself in the New Testament. In fact, ask the preacher to show you where it says, what he says, in the New Testament. Now that's a Berean. That's a man that ain't no fool.
BIBLE ONLY DOCTRINE
Now forget the Bible colleges, and sending off young men to be trained up by someone else. It only opens the proverbial door to trouble. All it amounts to is selling out the already long established pattern the church has held faithful from the beginning. I never agreed with it, inasmuch, as the blow-in hireling preachers, that are brought in under contract to supplement a lack on the part of the local church which is evident. In fact, I think the whole idea is unbiblical. You can be sure Satan has a hand in it somewhere. He's not called the deceiver for nothing. I believe that training up men in Christ is the sole responsibility of the local church. If the local church can't train up their own young men, then what are they at that's more important? How do they continue the tradition from whence the church was established? It's their responsibility. I object to anyone that says its all right to send young men off like that not knowing the true nature of their return. Who trained me when there wasn't even a church of Christ within a hundred miles. I don't believe its expedient, not even by a long shot. Nor do I see a pattern anywhere in the New Testament that suggests such a thing was ever embarked upon. I believe this methodology gives the church a bad name. What's more, the same methods are employed throughout the denominational churches. That should serve as a warning. Now let me put it like this: If a hundred young men are taught just one error; then they will teach a hundred churches the same error, and so on. I'm sure you've heard that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump - Galatians 5:9Galatians 5:9 [King James Bible]: 9. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.. Now someone will say, what about the local church teaching error? Well my answer is thank God its local. It's worth reminding ourselves why the churches of Christ are autonomous in the first place. We need to restore corrective, purging, and sound doctrine, to get rid of the false teaching that has taken certain of the church unawares. It's called liberalism. It's a dirty word. We need the double-edged sword of the word to pierce asunder the things that have taken captive the hearts of foolish men. We need the so called Bible thumpers, the fire and brimestone sort, the sort that pave the way of righteousness in the absolute authority of God's mighty word. Men like that are indeed a peculiar sort and of short supply: who serve unto the will of Him who separated the light from the darkness, who created all things, and lives forever. Blessed be the name of God. Men like that are not of the compromising sort, nor of the sort that pursue a show of wisdom in will worship - Colossians 2:23Colossians 2:23 [King James Bible]: 23. Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.. The strange fire of ignorant worship belongs to those without. It has no place in the church of Christ.
Another question that's pertinent to the local church, and indeed the training up of young men in the Lord: Is what comes after their training? Well you either send them out to plant new churches, or they support the local church they belong to. Either way, the probability of division is less likely to happen when more people are of the same mind with regards to the doctrine. Just as the Lord said: If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand - Mark 3:25Mark 3:25 [King James Bible]: 25. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.. Doctrine is king when it comes to steadfastness and unity. There's no resolve in division, and that wily old Satan knows it. A lazy church is a crazy church. It just won't work.
BIBLE ONLY PREACHERS
So what of the local church that has no preacher? or the body that is divided through indifference (lukewarm) and opinion? A divided body is a dangerous place to be spiritually. Remember the Lord's words to the seven churches of Asia minor? and in particular, the church at Laodicea? Well the Bible says they were neither hot nor cold - Revelation 3:15-16Revelation 3:15-16 [King James Bible]: 15. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.. Well the same could be said of many in the Lord's church today. Your either hot or cold. There's no in-between. Now the lukewarmers tend to hire out-of-town preachers and then the church either goes zombie or slowly falls apart. Satan is a long time expert in the business of supply on demand, and he's got plenty of preachers to do what he wants them to do. Teaching error and bringing as many as he can with him to hell. Nothing like a bit of company to shorten the journey so they say. Then you have to ask the question of how much the preacher is getting paid, given the fact, it comes out of the pocket of the church. That's you and me and everyone else that contributes. Now it goes without saying, and in this case, all it amounts to is supporting a false teacher and his false teaching. You've got to wonder what the Lord thinks about that? All such things must be brought into account if soundness in doctrine is brought into question. The devil isn't called the father of lies for nothing - John 8:44John 8:44 [King James Bible]: 44. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.. Now the odds are that Satan has more ministers preaching the word of God than God does. So take no preacher at face value regardless of countenance without first looking to see if what he says is exactly what the Bible says. No more, no less. No amount of frilly words and repartee will compensate for the truth. The Bible is our all-time foolproof against error, only to use it wisely. Now if your preacher is stuck in the Old Testament (like many denominational churches), then you've got preacher problems. I suggest you kindly remind him that we've moved on. Tell him about the New Testament, or have a rod ready and show him the door. Ask him to read - John 12:48John 12:48 [King James Bible]: 48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day., because he won't find that in the Old Testament. Your soul is more important than one man's nostalgia for the olden days. If anything, it should hopefully serve as a learning curve to employ a little more caution before choosing the next preacher. In my opinion, I think all new (or prospective) preachers should be subject to a trial period before any contract is ever considered. As for contracts per se, I'm doubtful that is proper order for the church of Christ in any case. No contract, equals, easier to get rid of a bad preacher. A pay-as-you-go preacher would be more in-line with the New Testament. If he won't preach as the oracles of God (New Testament), then you don't pay him, and he'll go. In any case, it doesn't say much for trusting in God's provision if a preacher demands a contract. Contracts engender bondage. The church still has to pay the preacher regardless of what he teaches. That's the law. Instead, let's remind ourselves of what the Lord said with regards to yes and no - Matthew 5:37Matthew 5:37 [King James Bible]: 37. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.. Either way, the church is in nowise duty-bound to contract preachers. You rarely get your money's worth.
So what is a Bible only preacher? Well it's obvious he only preaches the Bible. The liberals call him a Bible thumper. Well it's better than been called a liberal. That's just a dirty word that stinks of rot! Now us true Christians are above that kind of malarkey. Therefore we have to take a closer look at what it means to be a proper Bible preacher because proper Bible preachers are on the endangered list. We need to take a closer look at the adjective of proper because there are two parts to the Bible. We have the Old Testament that contains the law of Moses, and the New Testament that contains the law of Christ - Galatians 6:2Galatians 6:2 [King James Bible]: 2. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.. Both average out at about six-hundred (600) plus individual commandments that equal to law. Law is a system of rule that governs. So to say Christians are not under any kind of law is to misunderstand what the New Testament teaches. Now without law, what then would be the measure of judgement on the last day? It makes no sense. There has to be law, and indeed there is law. Law keeps order - cf 1 Corinthians 14:331 Corinthians 14:33 [King James Bible]: 33. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.. The same applies to the material world. In fact, authority on earth is a shadow of the heavenly - Romans 13:1-2Romans 13:1-2 [King James Bible]: 1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.. In the church of Christ setting, the New Testament teaches us to obey them that have the rule over us - Hebrews 13:17Hebrews 13:17 [King James Bible]: 17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.. There can be no authority without the rule of law. Mind you, that goes for the preacher too. The same can be observed concerning the husband and wife, where the wife is subject to her own husband in "everything" - Ephesians 5:22-24Ephesians 5:22-24 [King James Bible]: 22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.. You see, a preacher is not at liberty to preach just anything, inasmuch, as the wife is not at liberty to do just anything that pleases her. She has a husband who has the rule over her. A preacher, likewise, has the direct rule of God over him. He must comply with the word that he preaches. If any man speaks (as in preach), let him speak as the oracles of God - 1 Peter 4:111 Peter 4:11 [King James Bible]: 11. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.. The alternative is to keep his mouth shut. What's more, a preacher's first and foremost priority must always be the gospel. That's how people get saved. That's how we bear fruit to the Lord, for the Lord loves to save - 1 Timothy 2:41 Timothy 2:4 [King James Bible]: 4. Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. cf. 2 Peter 3:92 Peter 3:9 [King James Bible]: 9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.. Now some people get confused with the terms preacher and teacher which are often mentioned in the New Testament. A preacher and teacher are the selfsame thing. When one preaches he teaches. When one teaches he preaches. Same difference. Sometimes this is referred to as the work of an evangelist. Probably the best way to describe both terms. We see that in Paul's writings to Timothy.
So what are the qualifications for a man to become a preacher? Does he have to attend Bible college? No. Does he need any kind of higher education? Only the Bible. Take Peter and John for example: They were perceived as unlearned and ignorant - Acts 4:13Acts 4:13 [King James Bible]: 13. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.. Yet God made them apostles. It takes time to learn how to handle God's word skilfully - 2 Timothy 2:152 Timothy 2:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.. That comes with practice, and of course the ability which God gives us - (second reference) 1 Peter 4:111 Peter 4:11 [King James Bible]: 11. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen..
PREACHING ABOUT THE DEVIL
Now I've noticed that with many preachers, it seems they have a tendency to pass off the power of Satan, to less than, in today's world. Now you've got to ask the question, less than what? They claim that Satan's power is limited only to temptation. Well I strongly disagree with that presumption, and so do the scriptures. I've also noted that this kind of thinking (or micro hypothesis) is the product of Bible college training and not the Bible itself. Now of course I don't expect the carnal mind to fully comprehend what I'm saying, so I'll attempt to convey what the scriptures teach with regards to Satan's devious antics in the best way I can. After all, I too am a man, and subject to limitation.
Now the Bible teaches no such thing as the cessation of possessions (of evil spirits) and devil attacks on people, such as, what was common place in the days of Christ and the apostles. There's enough evidence to prove the contrary, that the same things have indeed continued to this day. In fact, there's is no reason for them to have stopped. I can testify of my own experience which I'll consider going into another time. The important thing is that we learn who our enemy is and how to deal with him. When men deny what is in fact reality, they are in effect playing right into the hands of Satan. He's not called a wiley old devil for nothing. He earned his name. Do the scriptures speak in vain when they warn us to be sober and vigilant; because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour - 1 Peter 5:81 Peter 5:8 [King James Bible]: 8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:? As for temptation itself, that begins as a lust in our heart - James 1:14James 1:14 [King James Bible]: 14. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.. The devil can't tempt you with things your not interested in. That doesn't sound much like a roaring lion to me. Then you have those that deny the existence of the devil altogether. Well my answer is that you can't have one without the other. Here's what the apostle James had to say: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble - James 2:19James 2:19 [King James Bible]: 19. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble..
So what and who is the devil? The devil (called Satan), is a spirit. An evil spirit. A powerful evil spirit that once lived in heaven. The Lord said he beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven - Luke 10:18Luke 10:18 [King James Bible]: 18. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.. Now some people say the devil was called Lucifer; but that's not what the Bible teaches. I don't think the devil changed his name by deed poll, that's for sure. The scriptures in no way say the devil's name was ever changed. So I'm not saying it either. In fact, the name Lucifer, in the proverb of Isaiah was referring to the king of Babylon - Isaiah 14:12Isaiah 14:12 [King James Bible]: 12. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!. Read the whole chapter, it's self-explanatory.
With that in mind and all said and done, we have the Bible, and in particular, the New Testament, to teach us how to become Christians in the true sense of the word. Yet not without the controversy and contradictions of those that love not the truth - 2 Thessalonians 2:102 Thessalonians 2:10 [King James Bible]: 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved..
THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Bible says that Christians are to observe the Lord's supper when the church comes together to worship God on the first day of the week - Acts 20:7Acts 20:7 [King James Bible]: 7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.. We call the first day of the week Sunday. In the Bible, Saturday was the Jewish Sabbath under the old law. The seventh day of the week. In Bible times, the days were unnamed. That's why the Bible refers to the days of the week, as the first day, the second day, and so forth. Now either way, every week has a first day (or Sunday). So observance of the Lord's supper is a weekly observance. Now it's not optional as some try to teach. They either, don't fully comprehend what they are saying, or just teach downright error regardless of what is said in the New Testament. Either way, it's wrong. The Bible says the church came together on the first day of the week. There's your starting point. The New Testament also teaches that the collection for the saints is to take place on the first day of the week. There's your pattern - 1 Corinthians 16:21 Corinthians 16:2 [King James Bible]: 2. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.. Notice in verse one (1), Paul said as concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye - 1 Corinthians 16:11 Corinthians 16:1 [King James Bible]: 1. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.. As for the Lord's supper, itself, it's not something we engage in once or twice a year as some regard. It's a weekly observance. Now even if it wasn't a command, and it is, it would still be a good thing to do. The verb, do, implies an action. In other words, an instruction or command. Jesus himself said, "...this do in remembrance of me" - cf. Luke 22:19Luke 22:19 [King James Bible]: 19. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.. Once or twice a year is not giving much thought to the matter, and especially to the one that gave himself for every one of us. The least we can do is show our gratitude.
WHO MADE THE BIBLE?
It's an unusal way to ask the question; but the simple answer is God. From cover to cover, the contents of the Bible belong to God.
Now Christ, the second person of the godhead, and the Holy Ghost, the third person of the godhead, dictated all the contents of what we call the Bible. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Well that's what Peter said - 2 Peter 1:212 Peter 1:21 [King James Bible]: 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.. The New Testament is Holy Ghost inspired. That means it didn't come from men. The men that God used were the earthen vessels that brought about the Bible, and in particlar to us, the New Testament. Forty (40) men, by the space of fifteen hundred (1500) years, compiled, what we now know as the Bible. Five (5) of the forty (40) inspired men brought about the last twenty-seven (27) books of the Bible; known as the New Testament. The Bible is a unique book. The Bible is standalone in terms of its author, and its capacity to produce Christians. Now like most people who engage a sense of responsibility for the things they choose to believe, I care very much about where the source of the text I use to my ministering comes from.
And so it comes down to the eternal question: Is the Bible really the word of God? Well the simple answer is a big old yes. There's no doubt the Bible is the word of God. No other book is a book of the Spirit, like the Bible. No other book has stood the test of time like the Bible. No other book contains the same level of knowledge and wisdom as the Bible. No other book can save the soul of man, nor indeed instructs a man how to get saved, like the Bible. No other book informs us about our Creator, like the Bible. No other book clearly outlines the history of mankind and the creation, like the Bible. No other book contains the law that will judge us on the last day, like the Bible - John 12:48John 12:48 [King James Bible]: 48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.. No other book has authority over the church of Christ, like the Bible. No other book contains words that live and give life, like the Bible. No other book feedeth and nourisheth the souls of men, like the Bible. No other book has the endorsement of the almighty Creator, like the Bible. There's truely no other book like the Bible.
The word Bible means books. Man gave it that name, so we can know, with what, and with whom, we are dealing with. Now it's what is contained within the pages of the Bible that count. Not necessarily the title, even though "Bible" aptly typifies the excellence, and indeed, with reverence, the text within. The text itself refers to the text as God's word. God, when quoted, calls it his word. So who are we to argue? Therein is that deposit of knowledge that pertains to the oracles of almighty God. Sixty-six (66) books and all of them. Thirty-nine (39) in the Old Testament, and twenty-seven (27) in the New Testament. There are three clearly distinguishable dispensations in the Bible. The patriarchal (Abraham to Moses), the Mosaic (the law of Moses period of fifteen-hundred (1500) years, or thereabouts), and the last days (or church age). In fact, Moses was the writer of the first five books of the Old Testament. As for the church age, or dispensation, well, that's our time. The modern day if I can say. In fact, it's been that way for the past two-thousand (2000) years. Now just so we know, God is not bound to time like we are. The thing is that no other time is mentioned after this period except the Lord's return - 2 Peter 3:102 Peter 3:10 [King James Bible]: 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.. That can happen at any time. Only God knows when - Mark 13:32Mark 13:32 [King James Bible]: 32. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.. That doesn't say much for the denominational "premillennial" doctrines. None of them hold water my friend, and even if they could, they'd still be wrong. Just Satan up to his old tricks as usual. In any case, we don't need to know that information. We possess enough information in the New Testament to be right with God when the day of the Lord does come. God, in his kindness has not left us without.
WHAT IS FAITH?
Now faith is not just a matter of hearing and believing something; but also the doing of it. You see, to reject what the Bible, or to be more exact, what the New Testament teaches, is sinful. Not knowing what the Bible teaches is another form of sinfulness. It's called ignorance. So it's in everyone's interest to read the Bible, and in particular, the New Testament, for themselves. Paul said he declared all the counsel of God - Acts 20:27Acts 20:27 [King James Bible]: 27. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.. So to ignore any part in favour of another can only increase the condition of ignorance. It's one of the reasons why false teaching exists. When men and women are less than adequately informed with regards to the contents of scripture they're more inclined to be carried about with every wind of doctrine - Ephesians 4:14Ephesians 4:14 [King James Bible]: 14. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;. Sound teaching will produce sound Christians. Sound teaching is to leave nothing unsound. So then, faith demands that regardless of content we believe without shaddow of turning. After all, Luke said that nothing is impossible with God - Luke 1:37Luke 1:37 [King James Bible]: 37. For with God nothing shall be impossible.. So why do I emphasise to believe everything? Are not some things a little hard to understand, therefore, the harder to believe? Yes, that is true; but not so hard as not to believe. Take for example the giants of the antediluvian world. The world before the flood of Noah's day. There were giants in the earth in those days according to - Genesis 6:4Genesis 6:4 [King James Bible]: 4. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.. Well very few believe it to be fact because of the lack of tangible evidence. On the other hand we have to ask why there's such a lack of evidence in the first place? Well there's a reason for that which I'll go into in another lesson. The implications are therefore, that whether the fact is evidenced or not, that we believe what God says regardless. In a sense, to believe that giants existed is no worse than believing in climate change.
Now Paul said that certain men were ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness - Romans 10:3Romans 10:3 [King James Bible]: 3. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.. Sounds to me a lot like what we see today. My friend, there are two types of righteousness. Man's righteousness and God's righteousness. The two are not the same. You can be sure that one will save and the other will not. Righteousness is to do what is right. What God said to do is righteous, therefore right. It's also worth noting the law of sowing and reaping - Galatians 6:7Galatians 6:7 [King James Bible]: 7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.. If men think they'll be saved having never obeyed the gospel, well, they need to think again. The gospel demands our obedience. It demands it well over six hundrend (600) times. That makes the gospel and living as a Christian very much conditional. Those that teach unconditional salvation need to read the Bible once in a while. The fact of the mattter, is that, once faith has been established, then the works of faith begin. The works of faith are works that God has determined. No man can boast of works that are already determined. We must all do the same works of faith to be faithful. As Peter said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons - Acts 10:34Acts 10:34 [King James Bible]: 34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:. In every nation he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him - Acts 10:35Acts 10:35 [King James Bible]: 35. But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him..
Now it seems rather odd for the Bible to exemplify both faith and confession of faith in Christ. You can't just believe in Christ and ignore the rest. The New Testament teaches us how to appropriate faith in Christ. Therein are the facts of faith. In fact, the whole of the New Testament was dictated by our Lord. Therein is the faith of Christ - Romans 3:22Romans 3:22 [King James Bible]: 22. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:. You cannot separate the two - Matthew 24:35Matthew 24:35 [King James Bible]: 35. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.. Christ and the Bible are intrinsically inseparable. Understanding this fundamental point of doctrine will go a long way to help ward off any false teaching.
However, many today who claim to be Christian have no sense of what it means to be a Christiain proper according to the Bible. Take the Roman Catholic church for example. They put false teaching, idolatory, and tradition, before the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet the say they are Christians. Well that is to mock God - Galatians 6:7Galatians 6:7 [King James Bible]: 7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.. They are not Christiains. They are Catholics. You can't be both. They idolise Mary. They call her the queen of heaven. Well Joseph must be the king of heaven since he was her husband here on earth. Well that ain't the case. They address her as the mother of God. Well that's to rob Christ of his entitlement. The Bible says that God had no beginning - cf. Hebrews 7:3Hebrews 7:3 [King James Bible]: 3. Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually., Revelation 22:13Revelation 22:13 [King James Bible]: 13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. and Psalm 90:2Psalm 90:2 [King James Bible]: 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.. Such teachings exponentially further the cause of hell dependent false doctrines. You see, Christ is the second person of the Godhead (hence, the Son of God). The Father (God, or Jehovah for namesake) is the first person of the Godhead. The ancient of days. The self-existing one. In other words, to imply no mother and no father. What's more, God is a Spirit - John 4:24John 4:24 [King James Bible]: 24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.. Not a man. Nor is he flesh. Yet he is so designated in the masculine gender. In fact, the whole Godhead is so designated. That speaks for itself. Now Catholics are also taught to pray for dead people, when in fact, the Bible says that the dead have no more reward - Ecclesiastes 9:5Ecclesiastes 9:5 [King James Bible]: 5. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. cf. Ecclesiastes 9:3Ecclesiastes 9:3 [King James Bible]: 3. This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.. That's to contradict what the Spirit spake expressely (or clearly) - 1 Timothy 4:11 Timothy 4:1 [King James Bible]: 1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;. It seems that everything Christ said to do, they are taught to do the opposite. That's not Christian. That's anti-Christ. They don't confess their faith in Christ alone. Roman Catholicism has made unto herself many gods like unto the Babylonians. They do not worship the God of the Bible. They turned their back on him a long time ago.
Repentance is the second in order with regards to obeying the first principals of the oracles of God. Repentance is to change one's mind about something. A turn around so to speak. In most cases it's life alterning. Repentance is to turn from those things that offend God. The law of Christ (for namesake) - Galatians 6:2Galatians 6:2 [King James Bible]: 2. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ., predefines the things that offend. Take for example, divorce and remarriage. Christ gave one condition for the issuing of a certificate of divorcement, and that is adultery - Matthew 5:32Matthew 5:32 [King James Bible]: 32. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.. Nothing has changed only the laws of man. The law of God will always supercede the law of man. Therefore, the one condition for divorcement still stands as the only condition for divorcement regardless of what men think. The laws of the land have no say in this particular matter except to cause men and women to become adulterers - cf. Hebrews 13:4Hebrews 13:4 [King James Bible]: 4. Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.. If the law of man was in agreement with the law of God, then things would be a lot different. Sadly that's not the case. Romans chapter one has a lot to say when things are left up to man. The point is that it's better to consult with God's law first. After all, the same law will be the measure of judgement in the last day - John 12:48John 12:48 [King James Bible]: 48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.. Those that say we are under no law in the New Testament are misquoting references to the old law of Moses. Mind you, the law of Moses was peculiar to the nation of ancient Israel. That law has long since passed away. Nor indeed is the nation of Israel any longer a theocratic state. That came to an end when the Jews sold out the Son of God for a robber - John 18:40John 18:40 [King James Bible]: 40. Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber..
Now that takes us to the works meet for repentance we read of in - Acts 26:20Acts 26:20 [King James Bible]: 20. But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.. Despite the fact that Paul said we are saved by grace through faith, and not of works lest any man should boast - Ephesians 2:8-9Ephesians 2:8-9 [King James Bible]: 8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.. Then it's evident that Paul was referring to our own (personal) works. Say when one man does one thing, and another man does another. Well they can't all be right. The gospel according to John speaks of working the works of God - John 6:28John 6:28 [King James Bible]: 28. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?. The works of God are the works designed by God. Faith demands belief whilst repentance and water baptism demands doing. It can't be one without the other. We do them all, hence, the works (plural) of God. James said can faith without works save a man? - James 2:14James 2:14 [King James Bible]: 14. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?. That's to imply a working faith. Repentance is one of those works we read about in the New Testament. Jesus said that without repentance we shall all likewise perish - Luke 13:3Luke 13:3 [King James Bible]: 3. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.. My friend, the facts speak for themselves. Facts don't lie. Men are the ones that lie.
More to come, so visit often...
Water baptism is the third in order with regards to obeying the first principals of the oracles of God. Now it's no surprise that there are various doctrines floating about concerning the function of baptism, but they're all wrong. Every one of them. The only doctrine that is right is what we read in scripture. The scriptures say we're not to teach anything else. John said, If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed - 2 John 1:102 John 1:10 [King James Bible]: 10. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: cf. 1 Timothy 6:3-41 Timothy 6:3-4 [King James Bible]: 3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,. I think that settles the matter loud and clear. Well for those that listen anyway.
That said, others go so far as to deny that baptism is necessary, even though it's the third principal of obedience enacted in the books of Acts. You have to wonder about the providential hand of God in these things. On the other hand, however, one of Satan's favourite moves is to dilute the truth. A little bit of truth, and a whole load of lie. The classic bamboozle. Mind you, there's been a concerted effort on the part of Satan to purge the truth from those that would to be saved. A good way to purge truth is to leaven it up with untruth. Whose going to notice? Very few ask questions anymore. God bless the noble Beareans. If more men were like them.
Baptism is mentioned directly and indirectly twelve times in the New Testament - Matthew 28:19-20Matthew 28:19-20 [King James Bible]: 19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. , Mark 16:15-16Mark 16:15-16 [King James Bible]: 15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned., John 3:3-7John 3:3-7 [King James Bible]: 3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again., Acts 2:38-41Acts 2:38-41 [King James Bible]: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls., Acts 22:12-16Acts 22:12-16 [King James Bible]: 12. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 13. Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. 14. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 15. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. 16. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord., Romans 6:1-4Romans 6:1-4 [King James Bible]: 1. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2. God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life., 1 Corinthians 6:9-111 Corinthians 6:9-11 [King James Bible]: 9. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God., Galatians 3:24-27Galatians 3:24-27 [King James Bible]: 24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ., Ephesians 5:25-27Ephesians 5:25-27 [King James Bible]: 25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish., Colossians 2:11-15Colossians 2:11-15 [King James Bible]: 11. In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14. Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15. And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it., Titus 3:4-7Titus 3:4-7 [King James Bible]: 4. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7. That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. and 1 Peter 3:18-221 Peter 3:18-22 [King James Bible]: 18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20. Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22. Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.. It's strange that only few seem to realise that God only needs to say something once to make it conditional. Yet baptism is evidenced seven (7) times in the New Testament. Seven (7) times my friend. How about that? Baptism needs to be taken very seriously because the salvation of your soul depends on it. Baptism is an essential one part of what it means to obey the gospel. Ignoring baptism is a precipitous and dangerous move on the part of the religious and ignorant. One cannot become a Christian without first being baptised. One cannot be a member of the church without baptism. All these things work together in obeying what God said to do. After all, God is the lawgiver - James 4:12James 4:12 [King James Bible]: 12. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?. The importance of water baptism is clearly mentioned in Acts chapter two, where three thousand (3,000) souls were added to the church in one day - again Acts 2:38-41Acts 2:38-41 [King James Bible]: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.. Now it's also interesting to note, that one cannot be born of water unless he's been baptised - John 3:5John 3:5 [King James Bible]: 5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.. What's more, the operation of the manifold grace of God cannot take effect without that essential element of baptism. More than once emphasises the importance of something. God doesn't need to overemphasise, but for our sakes. God says something once, that's it. The necessity of water baptism in a man's salvation is undeniable.
Baptism is not only a command, but one that will determine whether a man is saved or not. One can be wrongly baptised. Take for example, the Baptist church. Baptism comes later. Well that's not what the Bible teaches. Many Pentecostals believe that by laying on of hands will baptise them in the Holy Spirit. That is an evil deceptive teaching that opens the door to further devilish doctrines and soul destroying manifestations. The strange thing is how easily men run after this kind of entertainment. Their not so quick to perform what the Bible teaches. It only proves the point, that the love of the truth is not in them - 2 Thessalonians 2:10-122 Thessalonians 2:10-12 [King James Bible]: 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness..
Baptism also represents a burial, and rightly so. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God - Colossians 2:12Colossians 2:12 [King James Bible]: 12. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.. In other words, the working of God. The water itself does nothing - 1 Peter 3:211 Peter 3:21 [King James Bible]: 21. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:, but rather the answer of a good conscience toward God. Conscience is the moral sense of right or wrong. In this case one's conscience is right with God because they done what God said to do. Baptism is not optional. Nor indeed does any man have a say in the matter except to teach it. In saying that, the vast majority of baptisms are fundamentally wrong. For example, the Baptist church teach that baptism is a public profession of one's faith. Yet that's not what the Bible teaches. Yes, we are to confess Christ before men, that's true - Matthew 10:32Matthew 10:32 [King James Bible]: 32. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven., but what the Baptist doctrine teaches is only in part, and that part they've corrupted. Baptism washes away our past sins by the operation (or working) of almighty God - Acts 22:16Acts 22:16 [King James Bible]: 16. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.. God does the saving. Salvation is the gift of God - Ephesians 2:8Ephesians 2:8 [King James Bible]: 8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:. All we're asked is to believe and do. Jesus himself said his yoke is easy, and his burden is light - Matthew 11:30Matthew 11:30 [King James Bible]: 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.. As I said before, men are the one's that complicate things with their separatist doctrines and false teaching. No wonder the Bible says it is vanity to follow after the teachings of men - Mark 7:7Mark 7:7 [King James Bible]: 7. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.. Now that doesn't mean that men are not to teach. If what men teach doesn't line-up with what the scriptures teach, then you know it's false teaching. That's your red flag.
Well this is generally the harder part for the vast majority of professing Christians. More often than not, men run headlong into Christianity without any deliberation on what it means to be a Christian. When a man becomes a Christian, he effectively enters a contractual agreement with almighty God - cf. Ecclesiastes 5:4Ecclesiastes 5:4 [King James Bible]: 4. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.. The terms of that agreement is God's will, that is, if one is to obtain salvation. The particulars regarding the agreement (or covenant) are specified throughout the New Testament text. God has carefully articulaed the guidelines that pertain to Christian living, and how the church is to function. Now one thing to note, is that, God must always come first. We put God first when we put his will first. God's will is that we put Christ first in our hearts and in our lives. In fact, in every part of our life. We do that when we keep the commandments of the Lord - 1 John 2:3-61 John 2:3-6 [King James Bible]: 3. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.. Yet there are so called Christians who think they can just live their lives as they please, and then off to heaven as if all is well with their soul. My friend, that's just a comfort thought. A deceptive notion. It's not what the Bible teaches. We are to work the works of God while it is today. Jesus said, the night cometh when no man can work - John 9:4John 9:4 [King James Bible]: 4. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.. James said, that faith without works is dead - James 2:26James 2:26 [King James Bible]: 26. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.. So what kind of works are we talking about? Well the first thing to understand, is that, all Christians are duty bound to do the works of God. Potential Christians (or believers) are duty bound to perform the works of the gospel if they want to be saved. Take for example, faith - Hebrews 11:6Hebrews 11:6 [King James Bible]: 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him., repentance - Luke 13:3Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. cf. Acts 2:38Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost., and water baptism - 1 Peter 3:211 Peter 3:21 [King James Bible]: 21. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: cf. Colossians 2:12Colossians 2:12 [King James Bible]: 12. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead., 1 Corinthians 12:131 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.. They're all works. Works of faith. They all require doing because God said to do them. Now unless a man works the works of God, he cannot become a Christian. Therefore no man can boast of himself in the works he must undertake at the behest of almighty God - Ephesians 2:8-9Ephesians 2:8-9 [King James Bible]: 8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.. All men must do the same things (or works) in order to become Christians. Thus, the text exemplifies the condition, and in so doing, it takes care of (or subdues) all boasting. Men need to understand that God is no respector of persons - Acts 10:34-35Acts 10:34-35 [King James Bible]: 34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35. But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.. That gives exceptional resonance to what the Bible says with respect to the faith which was once delivered for all (the common faith) - Jude 1:3Jude 1:3 [King James Bible]: 3. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.. My friend, even the slightest divergence from the holy text is to deviate from grace. It's impossible for one to be saved outside the realm of Bible doctrine, and in particular, New Testament doctrine. I can assure you that the doctrines of men will not save you. The safest option, and the only option, is to stay with what the text teaches. Why men that claim to be Christians (imposters) have a problem with that, I can never understand. You either believe and do what the Bible teaches, or you don't. You can't be a Christian on both terms. That's the gospel truth.
More to come, so visit often...
DOES TEMPTATION AFFECT OUR SALVATION?
Can temptation render one's salvation no longer valid, in other words, cancel it out? Well that all depends on the individual. Temptation is one of the more difficult obstacles we face as Christians. Temptation can come in any form. Sometimes we put ourselves in the way of temptation, as if, to tempt the tempter. That's only to invite trouble. Now temptation of itself has no power to take one's salvation away. Only God has that authority, and God doesn't tempt man - James 1:13James 1:13 [King James Bible]: 13. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:. Now temptation is certain to come at some time or another. It's how we deal with temptation that matters - 1 Peter 1:6-71 Peter 1:6-7 [King James Bible]: 6. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart - Matthew 5:27-28Matthew 5:27-28 [King James Bible]: 27. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. cf. Proverbs 6:29Proverbs 6:29 [King James Bible]: 29. So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.. Temptation usually comes before lust. However, established lust can give way to further temptation. They go hand in hand. Sometimes temptation comes out of nowhere. Well that's how it appears anyway. In all such circumstances, the Bible admonishes to bring our temptations to God. Asking God to deliver us from temptation has a twofold inherent.
The one seeking deliverance is genuinely seeking to be delivered. And with that:
God will not suffer us beyond what we are able to bear - 1 Corinthians 10:131 Corinthians 10:13 [King James Bible]: 13. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it..
I used to think it was easier said than done. Now a lot of the time it appears that way. That's just a trick of the imagination. One that Satan is certain to take advantage of if you let him. Now in saying that, if one is unwilling to relinquish the temptation (or lust), then asking for deliverance is pointless. Without any knowledge of the Bible, common sense would illustrate the same moranic vanity. Whilst reason rests enthrone, we're not only accountable for our deeds, but also for the way we form our thoughts. After all, they are our thoughts. It's what we do with them that counts. Needless to say the onus rests with the individual. Now there's another side to temptation, and that is to incite temptation. In other words, to self-induce. We do that when we hold on to things in our hearts (especially questionalbe things), or to lust after them for a better word. Satan is the master craftsman when it comes to manipulating anything that's predisposed to him. He'll take any amount of advantage if you let him. You can be sure of that. Now Paul said to be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God - Philippians 4:6-8Philippians 4:6-8 [King James Bible]: 6. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things..
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Now it's interesting how that most of the world is taught, in some form or another, to yeild to their own sinful desires. It's called following one's heart. The Bible, however, says, the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked - Jeremiah 17:9Jeremiah 17:9 [King James Bible]: 9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?. So I refuse to follow my heart in matters that pertain to morality. A simple rule is: unless you know to do, don't do. You see, people don't listen to wise counsel anymore. I was one of them. I once walked according to the course of this world, that is, until the penny dropped. I thank God for that. People are just into themselves and what they can get out of someone else - 2 Timothy 3:22 Timothy 3:2 [King James Bible]: 2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,. It's the all about me self-righteous ideology that Satan is instilling in the hearts of ignorant men and women through vain talkers and deceivers that has the world on its knees.
Yet the Bible teaches us to love not the world, neither the things that are in the world - 1 John 2:151 John 2:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him..
Did you know that stubbornness is also condemned in the Bible? - 1 Samuel 15:231 Samuel 15:23 [King James Bible]: 23. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.. We make our own sin my friend. No one is born with sin. The Catholic church teaches the false doctrine of original sin. Well that's just wrong.
Adam and Eve's sin belonged to them. Not us. The result of Adam and Eve's sin was that sin entered the world - Romans 5:12Romans 5:12 [King James Bible]: 12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:. Sin does not enter the person. Sin originates with a person, as in, to commit sin. When we lust (desire exceedingly) about something, we are easy targets for temptation. Now when lust has conceived (is formed, or devised), it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death - James 1:15James 1:15 [King James Bible]: 15. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.. It's not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man. It's what comes out - Matthew 15:11Matthew 15:11 [King James Bible]: 11. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man..
That's why each of us will give an accout of ourselves to God - Romans 14:12Romans 14:12 [King James Bible]: 12. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God..
Now most of those who claim to be Christian are not faithful to the thing they profess. The Bible warns us that not everyone who professes the name of the Lord will be saved - Matthew 7:21Matthew 7:21 [King James Bible]: 21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.. In fact, it suggests the opposite, in that, only few will be saved. Only God knows who that few will be. Yet the Bible teaches us how to be numbered with the few. It's really up to the individual. Either way, it's not the business of the church to count numbers. All we need to know is that we procure faithful to the thing we profess - Philippians 2:12Philippians 2:12 [King James Bible]: 12. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.. The thing is, when one refuses to give up the things that the Bible condemns, it's no longer possible to walk according to what the Bible teaches.
What are the most common sins that beset mankind? Well the obvious ones are lust and fornication. Sexual sins have always been a character of man's nature. Indeed lust has been the forerunner of many a man's problems. Marriage is no longer regarded as honourable. Sodomy and homosexuality is rife. Bearing children out of wedlock is commonplace. More often than not, women abort their unborn child to avert responsibility. And so it goes, on and on. Fornication by definition is sexual relations between anyone outside of the God ordained marriage. All such behaviour violates the commandments of almighty God. Lust is something the heart exceedingly desires, or what the Bible calls, inordinate affection - Colossians 3:5-6Colossians 3:5-6 [King James Bible]: 5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6. For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:. Verse six (6) says, for which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. Lust doesn't just appear out of a cloud. Lust begins in the mind (the heart). Men nourish lust over time. We all have our wants; but it's another thing to carry them to excess. Take pornography, or gambling, for example. They can become as our own offspring. We nourish them until they grow and become strong. Sometimes even stronger than the hand that fed them. That's usually the case. The more pleasure one gets out of something the more they tend to desire it. Satan wants man to feel trapped in his sin, having nowhere to turn, and no way to escape. No wonder suicides abound, and alcoholics drink themselves to death. Yet there is a way to escape, if only, men would consider more carefully their options. God has not left us without - 1 Corinthians 10:131 Corinthians 10:13 [King James Bible]: 13. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.. On the other hand, however, an unwillingness to change one's mind about something is a sure sign that Satan has done his work. However, if one desires to be set free through faith in Christ, repentance, and water baptism; well that demands change. Change, that is, on the part of the one who offends - Romans 6:12Romans 6:12 [King James Bible]: 12. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.. There's an ongoing battle that rages inside every one of us. It never ends, that is, until we cast off the mortal coil. Every man has the sin that so easily besets him - Hebrews 12:1Hebrews 12:1 [King James Bible]: 1. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,. I know most of mine and I'm still dealing with them. The natural man will always oppose the spiritual - 1 Corinthians 2:141 Corinthians 2:14 [King James Bible]: 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.. All men are natural, as in, made of flesh, and the desires that come with the flesh. The spiritual component of man is what the Bible calls the inner man - Ephesians 3:16Ephesians 3:16 [King James Bible]: 16. That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;. Man is a composite being made of body and spirit. The natural man, as in the flesh, is made of woman, and the spirit which is in man comes from God. When a child is conceived the two are put together. How the two are put together only God knows. It's not our business to know the hidden things. Our business is to understand what God has revealed to us. As for the inner man, he will grow according to what he learns from God's word. When a man becomes a Christian he is known as a babe in Christ - 1 Peter 2:21 Peter 2:2 [King James Bible]: 2. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:. Born of water and of the Spirit - John 3:5John 3:5 [King James Bible]: 5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God..
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Now that begs the question: If man is indeed as miserable as he appears to be, then what can he do? How can a man fight against himself? Men love to sin because they are taught to sin. Parents teach their children to lie when they lie about the existence of a man in a red suit called Santa. If they only knew the real truth behind that image. Now just imagine the first time a child realises he's been lied to? A child is born sinless, and we need to respect that, instead of making them for sin - Ezekiel 18:20Ezekiel 18:20 [King James Bible]: 20. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him..
The world offers no hope to mankind beyond the grave, but God does. God offers hope, not just beyond the grave; but in this life. When a man calls on the name of the Lord, is when the grace of God and the blood of Christ takes effect - 1 John 1:71 John 1:7 [King James Bible]: 7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.. We also need to be mindful that there are conditions to this grace. It's not a free for all in terms of having to do nothing. Peter said, "If ye do these things" - 2 Peter 1:102 Peter 1:10 [King James Bible]: 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: cf. Luke 13:3Luke 13:3 [King James Bible]: 3. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish..
The "ifs" we read in scripture introduce a conditional clause, or predicate. Take baptism for the remission of sins - Acts 2:38Acts 2:38 [King James Bible]: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. cf. Acts 22:16Acts 22:16 [King James Bible]: 16. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.. The condition is the act of obedience. In other words, the doing of what's said to be done. If ye do these things (obedience) - 2 Peter 1:102 Peter 1:10 [King James Bible]: 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:. All other considerations are diametrically opposed to what God has said to do.
The New Testament is punctuated with conditions and predicates concerning the terms of salvation. The false unconditional doctrines are as false as they sound. The Bible teaches no such thing. You've heard it said, that if something is too good to be true, then it's probably too good to be true. I think you get the point. The faith of Christ (New Testament) teaches men how to be faithful. Besides, most of the New Testament would be useless if all we had to do was just believe. Such is to falsify what the Bible teaches. It's true that we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ - Acts 16:31Acts 16:31 [King James Bible]: 31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.. If we didn't the New Testament would be of no use to us. It's impossible to have faith in something without knowledge. The acquisition of knowledge heralds the onset of belief, that is, if one is willing to believe. Without faith it's impossible to please God - Hebrews 11:6Hebrews 11:6 [King James Bible]: 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.. My friend, that deposit of sacred knowledge is found only in the New Testament. Now someone may ask why is that? Surely the Bible is not the only book? Well, the simple answer, is that the Bible is a closed book in terms of revelation. God said not to add to it. That implies an exit stage left for all other texts outside the realm of scripture (Bible). The word of God will always have second place in unauthorised churches. If what the Bible teaches doesn't come first where you think you worship God; then you shouldn't be there.
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Now all wrongdoing is sinful - James 4:17James 4:17 [King James Bible]: 17. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.. The law of God teaches us to do what is right. Doing what is right is righteous. Sin is to transgress the law of righteousness. Sin is a violation of the commmandments of almighty God. Sin is lawlessness. There are two categories of sin. Conscious and unconscious. Both are sinful, however, one is worse than the other. Let me explain. Take wilful sin for example. Wilful sin is to procure a termination of one's salvation because wrongdoing is done with the consent of knowledge, that is, the foreknowledge of one's wrongdoing - Hebrews 10:26Hebrews 10:26 [King James Bible]: 26. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,.
The Bible has a lot to say about falling away. Particularly those who no longer believe, nor indeed want to believe - 1 Timothy 4:11 Timothy 4:1 [King James Bible]: 1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; cf. 1 John 2:191 John 2:19 [King James Bible]: 19. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us., Hebrews 6:4-6Hebrews 6:4-6 [King James Bible]: 4. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5. And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6. If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.. Now it seems that what was once delivered is not enough for some. They want it delivered again. So they teach for doctrines that which is contrary to what was once delivered. They seem to miss the once part in scripture. They also say that faith is what you make of it. That faith is a personal thing. It's between a man and his God. Well try telling that to the apostles, God rest them. First of all, faith is not all personal in the sense that you make it up as you go along. That's politics. Not the religion of Christ. One needs to learn what to believe. Then to do what they learn. That's why God gave some to teach and preach - Ephesians 4:11-16Ephesians 4:11-16 [King James Bible]: 11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16. From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.. Now you'll notice the pronoun "some" in verse eleven (11). It means that God doesn't give everyone (masculine) to preach and teach. It says he gave some. Some is an unspecified number, meaning, not all. Some is fewer than the sum total (or whole). Yet there are many preaching today that have no right to preach - James 3:1James 3:1 [King James Bible]: 1. My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.. In saying that, the onus not only rests with the preacher concerning what is preached; but also with the hearer, and what he hears. A good hearer should be clued in. His standard of reference, the Bible. Another way to look at this, is that, all Christians are expected to have some degree of Bible knowledge. Knowledge increaseth with study. Lazy Christians are easy targets for Satan. How can one's faith increase without learning? Ignorance is no longer acceptable with God - Acts 17:30Acts 17:30 [King James Bible]: 30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:. God went to the effort to bring about the Bible as we know it today. Therefore it's in our best interest to learn that knowledge while we can. Faith is something we develop with study and understanding - Proverbs 4:7Proverbs 4:7 [King James Bible]: 7. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.. God has not left us empty handed, nor without. In saying that, however, we're free to believe whatever we want to believe. We're also free to go to hell any way we want to. Since the earth and the fulness thereof belongs to the Lord - Psalm 24:1Psalm 24:1 [King James Bible]: 1. The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. cf. 1 Corinthians 10:261 Corinthians 10:26 [King James Bible]: 26. For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof., then man is accountable to God.
Now most of us who are familiar with the Bible, know well, there are many faiths in the world (all false, because there's only one God, and only one Bible), and an uncanny host of things that people indiscriminately enjoin themselves. Ignorance itself can be an evil thing; but wilful ignorance is certainly evil. It's self-induced. You have the cults, the independent so called Christian churches, the out on their own types (hermitical), the armchair experts, the I know better than God types, and the usual run of the mill, such as, Roman Catholicism and all the denominational churches. They all say they are Christian, but none of them do as the Bible teaches. They do some things the Bible teaches; but for the most part they ignore. They fail to see what the Bible teaches is standalone. There's no room for invention, extention, or ideology. Claiming to be a Christian is one thing. It's another thing to be a Christian. Only the Bible can teach a man to be a Christian. However, when men reject the Bible, they reject themselves out of any part or say in the matter.
More to come, so visit often...
HOW DO WE OBEY THE GOSPEL?
There's two ways to approach what the Bible teaches. The right way and the wrong way. The wrong way is to subject the texts to one's opinions and beliefs. The wrong way is to guess, or to presume. The right way is with an attitude of learning. The right way is to gain understanding through proper study. Lack of knowledge will destroy. Ignorance will no longer excuse men from their trespass - Acts 17:30Acts 17:30 [King James Bible]: 30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:. God gave us his word. We call it the Bible. God's word and Bible are interchangeable terms, in that, they mean the same thing. The Bible provides us with both the fact and the mode with regards to God's will. There's a reason for that, and that's because there's only one way to obey the gospel. God's way! On our part, the proper way is to ask, what must we do in order to obey the gospel? Our answer is found in - Acts 2:38Acts 2:38 [King James Bible]: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost., not to mention, all the other references that say the very same thing. Confession of faith in Christ, repentance, water baptism, and to continue living faithfully thereafter. That's why those teachings are in the Bible. God put them there. We just need to learn them.
The word gospel means "good news." After all, it is good news given our desperate nature to desire sin more than to please our Creator. The gospel describes the life and times of Jesus Christ. There are four accounts of the one gospel. Four men, moved by the Spirit of God, made each of them a record as according to how they were instructed. The gospel also extends into the New Testament which includes the law of Christ - Galatians 6:2Galatians 6:2 [King James Bible]: 2. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.. Obeying the gospel is essential to becoming a Christian. The Bible calls it the first principals of the oracles of God - Hebrews 5:12Hebrews 5:12 [King James Bible]: 12. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.. Now the word Christian means follower of Christ. A follower is someone who observes what someone else says or does. A Christian is a disciple of Christ. A disciple is one who learns from the one who teaches him. A disciple is one who does what he is taught. Therefore, the religion of Christ is not an ignorant religion. It's a taught religion. You have to learn it. When you learn it, you do it. It's that simple. There were times in the past when God overlooked certain things. Now those times are long gone. When Jesus Christ established the New Covenant, he also ushered in a time when the revelation of spiritual knowledge essential to eternal life would be complete. In other words, it is readily available to us in the form of the New Testament in the Bible. That was the coming of that which is perfect which the Bible spake about in - 1 Corinthians 13:101 Corinthians 13:10 [King James Bible]: 10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.. The full counsel of the revelation of God's will to man. In those days God established his word with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost - Hebrews 2:4Hebrews 2:4 [King James Bible]: 4. God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?. We now live in a time that demands our knowing God's will. His will is clearly outlined in the New Testament. Therefore we are without excuse. We now live in the New Testament age, or the "last time" according to - 1 John 2:181 John 2:18 [King James Bible]: 18. Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.. The same time that God commands all to repent. All means everyone. To repent is to turn from, or to change one's mind. When, or if, we take God's word at face value, and do it, then that's called faith. The Bible also teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God - Hebrews 11:6Hebrews 11:6 [King James Bible]: 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.. Faith, or to believe, is one of the first principals of the oracles of God.
Once faith is established, the natural, or wise thing, is to put that faith into action - Romans 6:17Romans 6:17 [King James Bible]: 17. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.. Have you ever wondered why the book of Acts is in the Bible? The book of Acts is the book of doing. It's where we learn to do what God said to do. When the church began, and the effectuation of the testament of Christ; three thousand (3,000) souls were added to the church because they done what Peter said they must do - Acts 2:38Acts 2:38 [King James Bible]: 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.. They were the beginning of the church of the New Testament. Now the word "church" comes from the Greek "Ekklesia," and refers to those that have been set aside, or sanctified by God. One is sanctified when he obeys God - John 17:17John 17:17 [King James Bible]: 17. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.. They were sanctified (or set apart) because they confessed their faith in Christ, repented, and were baptised for the remission of sins. So saith the scripture. That's how one becomes a member of the church of Christ. The Lord adds one to the church because they do what he said to do. All other churches have their own ways of doing things. That only proves them to be false churches. Mind you, the Bible mentions somewhat of the mystery of iniquity that worketh in the world - 2 Thessalonians 2:72 Thessalonians 2:7 [King James Bible]: 7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.. The rest is fairly simple to understand. Any church outside the church of Christ is a wrong church. They have no legal right to call themselves Christian churches. The Lord's church is the only church that has that right. So when it comes to obeying the gospel, we need to be clear on what terms one obeys the gospel. You just don't go to any church and presume to obey the gospel. That's not the way it works.
Since God is the one lawgiver - James 4:12James 4:12 [King James Bible]: 12. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?, it's not unreasonable to conclude that no one else, except God alone, has a say in the things that pertain to God. Without a doubt. It's what the Bible teaches. So where then have the troublemakers come? Are they not the same dissenting voices who oppose what the gospel teaches? The same voices that have spoken against the Spirit? Indeed they are. Baptising in sundries and divers manners outside the scope of Bible authority. Say again. Outside the scope of Bible authority? All such things are so far removed from what the Bible teaches, it beggars belief. Such men are brazen enough to be found fighting against almighty God. One can only despair for the countless souls that will be lost into eternity. Come out saith the Lord - 2 Corinthians 6:172 Corinthians 6:17 [King James Bible]: 17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.. Obey the gospel of Jesus Christ and he will add you to his church - Acts 2:47Acts 2:47 [King James Bible]: 47. Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.. That's where the saved are numbered. Your soul is your most important possession. Don't lose it to the cunning craftiness of religious men. All they are is an existential threat to saving souls. They don't care about your soul. All they care about is what they teach. The Bible calls it the doctrines of men. They dupe men into believing their surreptitious ideologies to mighty their cause. They don't care about Christ. If they did, they wouldn't do what they do.
So how does one obey the gospel? Well the most important thing to understand, is that, the Bible alone is the final authority in religion. That means nothing else. The next thing is to handle the Bible correctly. The King James calls it "rightly dividing." We need to understand that not all things are relevant to our time. That's why God gave some to teach - Ephesians 4:11-16Ephesians 4:11-16 [King James Bible]: 11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16. From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love..