The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

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First Being, Then Making Disciples Who Obey

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 10, 2016

I’d like to share two writings from a man who is one of the most authentic disciples of Jesus I’ve ever seen. His name is Glenn Roseberry.  What he shares continually challenges me to exchange the religious traditions I’ve received from my fathers for the true discipleship to which Jesus calls us.

Here are two excerpts from the first writing, entitled, “You Can’t Make a Disciple if You Are Not a Disciple”–

“Jesus not only came to make disciples but He also commanded disciples to go on and make more disciples. See the Great Commission. It is His method of expanding the Kingdom of God. But I really like the wording of the verse listed here.  “Any of you who does not renounce all that he has…”. Renounce. Not a word we hear in modern Christianity. To renounce something is to formally declare one’s abandonment of a claim, a right or possession.  I have a question.  Have you formally renounced or abandoned your claim, your right to all but Christ?  Have you renounced your right to your own possessions, your own life and chosen Jesus and Him alone?…

…Jesus makes some profound calls to discipleship. Let’s look at some.  First, the rich young ruler. We all get all bothered that Jesus asked him to sell all he had and come and follow me and then make a million excuses and run to theologians who assure us that Jesus did not mean what He said. It was just said for that bad young rich guy. But Jesus repeated that call to his disciples, the church practiced it in the book of Acts and the history of the early church tells us that sacrificial giving and lifestyle choices to make room for serving God were the norm.”

I encourage you to read the whole article (here) and examine yourself to see if you are truly a disciple of Jesus.  After that, please go on to read “Teaching Them to Obey.” Here is a short excerpt–

“We are all quick to notice in this day and time that He [Jesus] did not say, make converts, make believers, make reciters of sinners prayers and we are quick to point out that disciples is what Jesus wanted. And I, of course, agree. But we miss one important point. “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded YOU.” Hmmm, interesting. We are to teach men to obey everything that Jesus commanded the disciples to obey. Now Jesus commanded some pretty radical things. Turning the other cheek, laying up NO treasure on earth and caring for the least of these, come to mind immediately. They come to mind because we don’t do them.”

Articles such as these are tremendously edifying, but they are not easy reading. That is because they reveal what is still lacking in us, the things we need to change. And such changes are the hardest thing imaginable. But unless we do change and obey the things Jesus commanded, we cannot be His disciples. And if we aren’t His disciples in reality and truth, we will not be able to fulfill the Great Commission.

God bless you!

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The Necessity of Change, Part 1

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 8, 2016

I recently heard a song in a public place which repeated these words, “Don’t try to change me.” It struck me that this is the attitude of many people toward God.  They do what they want, following their own darkened hearts, and they run into trouble after trouble. But they never blame themselves for their troubles or acknowledge that they need to change. In fact, they defy anyone who would try to change them, and they demand that everyone accept them “just as they are.” But what does God think about this refusal to change?

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31)

The essence of this repentance–which God requires of all men everywhere–is CHANGE. We must change our thoughts and our actions from rebellion and self-will to obedience and self-denial.

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (Luke 9:23)

Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good. (Isa. 1:16)

To those who repent, God gives a new heart and spirit, out of which flows a whole new (changed) life.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)

The prodigal is a great example of the change that is required by God (Luke 15:11-24). He came to himself, reasoning about the suffering his rebellion against a good father had brought him (he changed his mind). Then he returned to the father, acknowledged he was a sinner who deserved nothing, and offered to be a servant (he changed his behavior from riotous rebellion to humble service.)

This is repentance– the change that is required for a man, dead in his sins, to be made alive again.  Without it, there can be no salvation.

Unless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)

A refusal to change is a refusal of salvation.

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Why Would Jesus Help a Muslim?

Posted by israeliteindeed on January 16, 2016

“Why would Jesus help a Muslim?”  This is the question this devoted Muslim asked after Jesus made a point of helping him. This, he says, was not his conversion, but was the start of his “confusion.”  I pray that we too will walk in the heart of Christ toward all people, causing them a holy confusion about what they once confidently believed.

This is one of the most beautiful conversion stories I’ve ever seen. Please take the time to watch both videos below.

Also, please read this encouraging article, which shows how even the evil of ISIS is being used by God for good.   One Christian leader is quoted as saying his organization “can barely keep up with the desire of refugees to learn about Christ and the Bible.” Jesus was telling the Truth when He told his disciples to look on the fields, which were white already to harvest (Jn. 4:35). He also said this–

The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.  (Matt. 9:37-38)

Are we trying to learn how to be laborers in His harvest? Or are we seeking to save our own lives in this world?

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Those Who Are of Faith are Sons of Abraham

Posted by israeliteindeed on March 18, 2015

If we don’t believe what Paul has written, we are denying the truth of Scripture and rejecting the words of God (I Thess. 4:8).

Most Christians say they believe the whole Bible, but they approach certain passages with blinders on. This is admittedly easy to do after years and years of false indoctrination by the apostate church! Yet God will teach us if we are teachable. It is very important that we interpret the Old Testament in the greater light of the New Testament, just as Paul did. This is not to say that the Old Testament is invalid (Paul used it continually in his preaching), but only that Truth has been more fully manifested in the New.

With this necessary introduction, let us look at Galatians 3, written by Paul the Apostle to Gentile Christians who were being led astray by Judaizers.

From this short text, I will highlight 3 important points.

Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. (6-9)

>>>1. ONLY those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. ONLY. Do you believe this? Or do you think that people born of the fleshly line of Abraham are sons of Abraham too?

Do we need another witness? Here is one–

Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matt. 3:8-10) This was John the Baptist speaking to a Jewish audience. He told them not to even think Abraham was their father unless they repented of their evil!

And here is another–

They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father [the devil].” (John 8:39-41) Jesus agrees with Paul and John the Baptist (or rather, they agree with Him!) Only those who do righteous deeds can be considered Abraham’s children.

>>>2. The GOSPEL was preached to Abraham in these words, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” This wasn’t just some earthly “I’m going to give you land and a family.” This was the gospel of Jesus Christ being preached, which has been preached since the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15) This promise also foresaw that the Gentiles would be grafted in. To be sure, many Jews over the years have been blinded to the gospel (2 Cor. 3:14-16), and so they have used the Old Testament to stake an earthly claim (Abraham did not do this–Heb. 11:9-16; the early Jewish Christians did not do this–Acts 4:34-35). What is even more unfortunate is that professing Christians have been just as blind to the gospel which was preached to Abraham, and have sought to “help” Jews focus on what is earthly rather than what is spiritual. They have become a hindrance to the truth, and a hindrance to all people.

>>>3. Those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Only those who are of faith! It can’t get any clearer, friends. These, and these alone, inherit the promises given to Abraham.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus called Nathaniel “an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit”? (John 1:47) Nathaniel was born a Jew and lived in Israel. Didn’t that make him an automatic Israelite? Jesus seemed to be differentiating between an Israelite in name only, and an Israelite INDEED. Nathaniel’s identifying characteristic was that he was an honest man, and his deeds matched his profession to be a member of God’s people. While Jesus called Nathaniel an Israelite indeed, He told other Jews that Abraham was not their father!

Think about this, pray about this, and ask the Lord to help you read the Old Testament without the veil which many have gladly accepted from Judaizers. It is my heart’s desire that all Jews and Gentiles repent of their sins and be willingly grafted into the only Vine that will remain in the end.

God bless you!

See also Who the Jews are; How and Where They Live
Children of Abraham and Sarah
Jesus, the Door to the Promises
The New Covenant Attitude Toward Land Possession
The Works of Abraham
The True Vine

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Stranger in the World, Citizen of Heaven

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 27, 2014

I am a stranger in the world
And this is what I see:
The earth reeling like a drunkard,
Tottering like a hut,
Its transgression heavy upon it.
Soon to fall and never to rise again.
For He treads down the peoples–
The rebellious peoples who refuse to fear Him
And love Him, though He is lovely–
He treads them down in His anger.
They are made drunk in His fury
Intoxicated with lies
Because they despised Truth.
Their strength–
The strength of their flesh–
Is waning.
He brings down their strength to the earth,
That He may set all on fire together.

I am a citizen of heaven,
And this is what I see:
Mount Zion is inhabited by
A people in white linen
Purifying themselves in hope.
They have been raised up together
And made to sit together in heavenly places.
Their eyes always behold the Lamb of God,
Their hearts bow before Him.
They despise not His chastening,
For His Spirit in them cries “Father.”
They pursue peace with all people,
And holiness.
They shine like stars,
Blameless and harmless,
Without rebuke among the crooked and perverse,
Holding forth the Word of Life,
To turn many to righteousness.

The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, And shall totter like a hut; Its transgression shall be heavy upon it, And it will fall, and not rise again. (Isa. 24:20)

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess. 2:9-12)

I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their strength to the earth. (Isa. 63:5)

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. (2 Pet. 3:10)

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:20)

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. (Heb. 12:22)

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (I Jn. 3:2-3)

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:4-6)

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. (Heb. 12:5-6)

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14)

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life. (Phil. 2:14-16)

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Dan. 12:3)

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The Unfolding Revelation of Salvation

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 25, 2014

The more I read the Scriptures, the more I realize the Book of God is one progressive written revelation–a revelation of God’s plan of salvation for all people.

Even the word “revelation” has within it a progression from something that is not yet revealed, to something that becomes manifest. Between the unrevealed and the revealed is the progression. In Scripture, the “manifold” (many folds) wisdom of God is peeled back layer by layer, to gradually reveal both His justice and His mercy, His authority and His voluntary humility, His unequaled greatness and His willingness to condescend to help the helpless. Reading and grasping the big picture in a progression of real historical events leaves one overwhelmed at the creative genius of our God.

All Scripture points to Jesus, the means of Salvation! But as you journey from Genesis to Revelation, Redemption is opened bit by bit.

Let’s begin in Genesis.

When there were only two human beings on the earth that needed redemption, God began His redemption story. When they brought sin into the world by their disobedience, He convicted them, subjected them to severe consequences, and promised–in Gen. 3:15–that there would be enmity between satan and the woman’s Seed, but the Seed would win the battle. This “Seed” was the first mention of Jesus Christ, the only Redeemer and Savior for sinners. The covering of skin over Adam and Eve’s nakedness pictured the covering we receive when our sins are atoned for and forgiven–a costly covering bought with the death of the Innocent and Holy God. “The woman” figuratively was the Church. God’s Church–those who belonged to God by faith–would go on to bring forth the Seed who would bruise the serpent’s head and rescue sinners from his kingdom.

The first two children born on the earth became a picture of the division that exists between those who seek to please God and those who don’t. Cain slew Abel because his brother’s deeds were righteous, and the Church’s first martyr was safely deposited under the altar of God, to rest there until the full number of his righteous brethren were also killed. (Rev. 6:9-11)

In the days of Noah, the Lord revealed His hatred for sin and many aspects of His means of redemption and the future final judgment. Only those who believe His warnings and work out their salvation with fear and trembling–in accordance with His commands–would be saved. Noah was the only patriarch of his time with ears to hear, signifying that comparatively few will be saved. He followed the Lord’s blueprint exactly, and his family survived to enjoy the new world. The ark was a type of salvation in Christ. When God shut the door on the ark, He demonstrated that the “day of salvation” would come to an end; thus the only safe time to get right with God is “Today.” The human rejection of salvation in Noah’s day, while two of each animal were saved, pictures how Jesus came to His own, but most of His own received Him not–and Gentiles were saved instead. Noah’s family pictured God’s Church (throughout all of history) issuing the invitation, and storing up such food as would sustain believers while they waited for the new world. And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. (Lk. 17:26-27) Yes, the days of Noah pointed to future days, days which seem to be fast approaching.

Why did the Lord choose Abraham? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him. (Gen. 18:19) Here was another man seeking God, and he was also chosen to be an instrument of God’s grace. He believed the Word of God that he would have a child, he obeyed God’s command to leave his people and become a sojourner, and his faith was counted as righteousness. A promise was made to him that because of his obedience, in his Seed, all nations will be blessed (Gen. 22:18). It was, from the beginning, a promise with global implications. He would be the father not just of one nation, but of many (Gen. 17:4). Now who do you suppose this Seed was by whom all nations would be blessed? Yes, back in Genesis 3, we learned of a Seed who would crush satan’s head. The apostle Paul later identifies this same Seed as Christ. He tells us the promises to Abraham are fulfilled in Christ, and anyone who is Christ’s is Abraham’s seed and inherits the promise (Gal. 3:16; 29). Paul stated that in making the promises to Abraham, God had preached the gospel to him and foretold how Gentiles would be saved (Gal. 3:8). The beautiful, glorious GOSPEL, my friends! It was being unfolded in Abraham’s day and Abraham understood it, keeping himself as a foreigner even in “the land of promise,” always waiting for the heavenly city.

Next we come to Isaac, who was chosen over Ishmael even though both sons came from Abraham. God did not choose by blood or tradition; a faith response to His promises is what He looked for. Sarah foolishly tried to make God’s promise come true before the proper time by “helping” her husband father the child Ishmael through Hagar. Poor Hagar was caught in Sarah’s foolish act of the flesh, but God took care of her and her child, and continued with His plan, using each event to teach us. Isaac was born by a miracle of God, and received the blessing of Abraham’s inheritance. And what do these things mean? Years later, the mystery is explained by Paul. Hagar and Ishmael represent children born according to the flesh–Jews who think they are Abraham’s children by blood or religious ritual alone, who count upon having the letter of the law without having the Spirit who wrote it. (Though Paul applied it to the Jews of his day, I believe it also applies to Gentiles who think they are saved through the same fleshly means.) Sarah and Isaac represent the TRUE CHURCH–those who are born by a miracle of God and receive Abraham’s inheritance–salvation–by faith! Sarah herself pictured the “Jerusalem Above,” the mother of the free (for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom). And so the very gospel that brings salvation to those who are born of the Spirit–not the flesh–came even more into view. (Gal. 4:22-31)

Jacob wrestled with God. He had desired the birthright of his brother Esau and deceived him to get it. As a man living a real life in God’s history, he needed to be broken and fully submitted to God, but his story became yet another picture of the gospel. The “birthright” of salvation can be taken from us and given to another who wants it more, if we place too little value upon it. Esau became a picture of those who sell the birthright (salvation) for temporary pleasure (Heb. 12:16). Again, bloodline did not seal anyone in the promise. God has always retained the right to choose only those who seek Him and place value upon His Word. Jacob later saw in a vision a ladder reaching from earth to heaven. Upon awaking, he exclaimed that he was in “the house of God.” (Gen. 28:12-17) This dream foretold the mediation of the Savior, who would come to earth and be the Way by which men are reconciled to God. Those thus reconciled would be His House, His very dwelling place!

Jacob had twelve sons, one of which became a picture of the Messiah/Seed. Joseph dreamed his brothers bowed down to him, and he was hated for this and his father’s favoritism toward him. Clothed in a coat of many colors, perhaps depicting the international scope of Christ’s ministry, Joseph’s close relationship with his father became unbearable to his brothers. Rather than doing what was right themselves, they wanted to kill the one who exposed their own unrighteousness. When they sold him to traveling merchants to be rid of him, they could not have known that in time, the Jews would “sell” their very Deliverer–the promised Seed–to be crucified, thus fulfilling the unfolding picture. In spite of much personal suffering, Joseph went on to become the unlikely savior of Egypt and all who would come to him for food–unfolding the truth that Jesus is the Savior of the world and all must come to Him for the bread of life. Even Israel (Jacob) had to come to Joseph to live, showing that even that nation must be saved by Jesus. Joseph’s brothers did bow before him, looking for mercy, just as all Jesus’ “brothers” must do to be saved. As Joseph, Jesus was “fruitful in the land of His affliction”–the earth. The Word of God has accomplished what He was sent to do.

When the children of Jacob/Israel were in bondage in Egypt, God raised up a deliverer, the humble Moses. The bondage of Israel represents the slavery to sin all sinners labor beneath. Pharaoh represents the cruel king of this dark kingdom–satan. He is a harsh taskmaster, forcing sinners to attempt what will always be impossible. Moses was saved from infanticide just as the Seed/Christ would later be saved–the dragon/satan always nipping at His heels and trying to abort the ministry of the One who would bruise his head. Moses, as a picture of Christ, battled against Pharoah–not with carnal weapons, but with the Word of the Lord and signs and plagues sent from heaven. The Exodus he led out of Egypt was a picture of the glorious Lord Jesus leading those who trust in Him out of the world and into the kingdom of God. The Israelites crossed the Jordan river safely, while Pharaoh and his army were drowned; this pictured the baptism into death God’s people must undergo to be saved, and also pictured the ultimate overthrowing of satan and those who hate God’s people.

Aaron, the High Priest of the wilderness tabernacle, was a direct picture of Jesus–the High Priest to come who would pass through the very heavens to mediate for His people (Heb. 4:14). While Moses was a shepherd and a prophet, a humble man who was willing to die for his people, Aaron sprinkled innocent blood on the mercy seat to atone for the nation’s sins. Both men, fallible as they were, were foreshadowing the works of the Seed/Messiah to come.

The sacrifices of animals were never able to atone for sin (Heb. 10:4). This sacrificial system given to the Hebrew family, including the blueprint for the tabernacle, was given as a copy of a reality which already existed in heaven (Heb. 8:5). The veil which kept the people from the inner sanctuary signified that the Way into the Most Holy place was not yet revealed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. It was a mere illustration of the reality which would soon be manifest. Christ would come and officiate in the “more perfect tabernacle not made with hands…not of this creation” (Heb. 9:7-11). As Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus redeemed even the sins committed under the first covenant (Heb. 9:15). Thus He fulfilled the Old Testament shadow and became the Savior of everyone who ever lived, or would live, a life of repentance and faith.

By the time Joshua led the Hebrews into Canaan, there had already been a huge “cutting off” of those who did not have faith. The older generation, with exception of Joshua and Caleb, perished and never inherited the shadow of promise. They did not believe God, and they continually tested Him in spite of His past faithfulness. Neither their lineage nor their participation in the tabernacle rituals were able to secure for them an entrance into “the promised land”; thus they became an example to those who would come after, that we must overcome temptations and obey the Lord if we want to inherit the real promise (I Cor. 10:1-13). Joshua was a type of Christ, leading the people in battle as Christ leads those soldiers who side with Him (2 Tim. 2:33). Remember, however, that Joshua himself worshiped the Commander of the Army of the Lord, Who refused to be identified as fighting for either Joshua or the enemy. He fought only for the Lord (Josh. 5:13-15), signifying that God’s work is for His own glory, and He is not a respecter of persons. Joshua’s rescue of the Gentile Rahab from the city of Jericho was an early example of God’s grafting Gentiles into His spiritual nation. Heb. 11:31 declares that Rahab was saved by her faith!

David was chosen from among his more likely brothers to be king of Israel, demonstrating again that God looks upon the heart in His choices. As a shepherd who risked his life battling bear and lion to save his sheep, David demonstrated the heart of the coming Messiah who would lay down His life for His friends. As the youth armed with boyish weapons courageously facing the giant, he demonstrated how Christ would defeat satan with unlikely weapons because God was with Him. As the anointed king living like a refugee in the wilderness, hunted incessantly by jealous Saul, and supported by his faithful “mighty men,” he again demonstrated aspects of Jesus’ ministry. Before His time to die had come, there were unsuccessful attempts on Jesus’ life. Those seeking power in this world were and still are jealous of Jesus; they can no longer kill this overcoming King, so they persecute and kill His followers. Nevertheless Jesus’ disciples are His “mighty men.” They might not look like much in the world’s eyes, but those who know their God (Jesus) do exploits (Dan. 11:32).

For the sake of time, I will mention only two more collections of men that manifested the glory of God’s salvation–the judges and prophets of Israel.

The judges of Israel rose in a time when men were doing “what was right in their own eyes.” Rather than allowing the old covenant to lead them to faith in their Savior (Gal. 3:24), many were leaving God for the idols of the heathen. They continued to “honor God with their lips,” while withholding their hearts from the Spirit’s gracious influence (Isa. 29:13). They continued to circumcise their flesh, but would not circumcise their hearts. Judges were raised up by God to win battles and bring stability to the nation. Jesus promised His disciples that they would sit on twelve thrones judging Israel. I believe they are already on those thrones judging the Israel of God (the church). Some of His disciples were used to give us the New Testament Scriptures, by which we today judge all matters in the church. And in some sense, all God’s church members are called to judge in the church (I Cor. 5). Through righteous judgment, we rebuke impurity in those who say they are God’s, but do what is right in their own eyes, and we overcome the lies that continually try to lead God’s people off course.

Next came the prophets, pleading for Israel’s repentance and warning of God’s judgment if they should refuse. God’s people was His Bride, and she was meant to be faithful to Him. But most (thankfully, not all) under the old covenant were unfaithful, and turned God’s glorious unfolding gospel on its head by saying God had delivered them so they could now sin with impunity (Jer. 7:1-15). They insisted they could not be destroyed because they were “the people of God” and God was with them, deliberately forgetting that the promises had always included curses on the disobedient. (Does this sound familiar? The same sin-excusing doctrine is preached in many churches today–Jude 3-4). They persecuted, and sometimes killed, the prophets sent to them. Ultimately, Jesus would be THE Prophet Moses said would come, to bless the people by turning them away from their sins (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:26). As the prophets came with the word of the Lord in the Old Testament, God has now spoken to us “in these last days” through Jesus (Heb. 1:1-2). He was crucified by those He came to save. Jesus taught that His disciples would also be mistreated like the prophets, but such are blessed and will inherit the kingdom of God (Matt. 5:10-12).

After years of prophetic silence, John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah and anounced that the Kingdom of God was here–not just in type, but in reality! The time for wishy-washiness was over; repent and believe the gospel or be banished from the kingdom! Only the repentant would be accepted.

Jesus came also calling for repentance. He did many miracles to support His claim to be God come in the flesh. He rebuked and corrected His enemies, who were perverting the truth with their professed adherence to the letter of the Law and purposeful ignoring of its spiritual intent. He openly declared that all things written in the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms about Him would be fulfilled (Lk. 24:44).

The layers that had been unfolding over time suddenly revealed to the world the Plan of Salvation in all of its manifold beauty. He was lifted up, and He drew all men to Himself. The King of Glory didn’t look like much to carnal eyes, but the spiritually reborn had found the One whom their soul loved. Those who stumbled over Him, being disobedient, found themselves on the outside of a supernatural kingdom that can only be entered by the supernatural Door. And thus the Story reached its grand climax.

The examples I shared in this paper suffice to show us that Scripture is one beautiful unfolding revelation of one plan of salvation offered to all people. In the next post, I will try to explain why many people do not recognize the seemlessness of this beautiful redemption story in Scripture, but instead think there are two groups of “chosen people” and two “plans of salvation.” But for now, I want to end this writing focused on the amazing Truth–

God’s Kingdom/Church has been established on His holy mountain. The Seed of Gen. 3 has come and bruised the serpent’s head. God’s King is on His throne never to be de-throned, and His kingdom is advancing by the Word of Truth, by the power of God, and by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left (2 Cor. 6:7). As a kingdom which is not of this world, it is neither defended nor destroyed by anything the god of this world can create. Jerusalem Above is the eternal city of refuge to which poor sinners can, forsaking their sins, flee in good faith that they will find mercy and life.

The Gospel message of salvation–something Paul called “the revelation of the mystery”– has been fully opened to our minds by Jesus Christ, who fulfilled all things. The Old Testament prophets had “the Spirit of Christ in them,” and they prophesied of “the grace that would come to you,” says Peter (I Pet. 1:10-12). John called it “the everlasting Gospel” (Rev. 14:6) and referred to Jesus as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:7). The Book of Revelation wraps up what began in Genesis–the story of how the Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world, defeats every enemy including death, and inherits the nations. Praise be to Him forever!

Posted in "Christian" Zionism, Preach the Gospel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Abel Still Speaks

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 17, 2014

If I had to choose a subheading for this post, it would be, “Why I Write.”

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. (Heb. 11:4)

The man Abel has been a huge encouragement to me. One day, I will tell him so.

Just think: He “preached” (through his actions) to a mission field of one person–his brother Cain. Cain murdered him because his own works were evil and his brother’s righteous (I Jn. 3:12). Abel’s ministry didn’t last very long, and the only person he tried to influence refused to repent. Into the grave went Abel, seemingly a total failure if judged by carnal standards.

But God has not deemed him a failure, nor allowed his testimony to go silent. Abel, being dead, still speaks. And through God, his mission field went from one person to millions. That is the power of God that comes to us through the gospel! Not even death can stop the work of the Lord. God’s Truth continues to march on and fill the earth with His glory, and He has somehow been able to incorporate the voices of many different peoples over many generations in many different regions into one great chorus that no one can ever silence!

I have an advantage Abel never had–the internet. Unless the powers that be somehow erase my words from this technological world, they will continue to be here–one small candle in a dark place. My hope is that they will help some to find Jesus–the Light of the world–and remain with Him. And even if my little offerings are removed from the internet world, or I am silenced in some other way, I know that God will cause my testimony to go on. Being dead, I will also continue to speak.

And that is my heart’s desire–to sing my part in God’s great choir, and to sing it well, and to sing it forever–not to glorify myself, but to glorify my King.

Posted in Preach the Gospel | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

God’s Witnesses–Their Commission & Their Deliverance

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 6, 2014

God has always commissioned witnesses to speak for Him on the earth. These are people who obey His command–

Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. Matt. 10:27

Although God, by His Spirit, comforts and strengthens His witnesses for their work, many are their afflictions. But the Lord delivers them out of them all! (Psa. 34:19).

When commissioned, the prophet Jeremiah was insecure in his youth and speaking ability, but God spoke this to him,

Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you…Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” (Jer. 1:7-10)

The whole chapter of Ezekiel 3 contains that prophet’s commission. He was commanded to fill himself with the Word of God and go speak those words to the people of Israel (the professing but apostate “church” of his day). He was told they would not listen, but he must fearlessly fulfill his ministry anyway!

But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house…Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. And go…speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse. (Ezek. 3:7-11)

Ezekiel was further told that if he failed to deliver the message, he would be held responsible for their deaths! But if he obeyed the Lord, he would deliver his own soul–even though, it might appear to others that his ministry was a failure.

The apostle Paul was commissioned similarly:

But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ (Acts 26:16-18)

And finally, every disciple of Jesus is commissioned to be God’s witnesses:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20)

Some common themes I notice in both the Old and New Testament commissions: We are not to fear, God will be with us and empower us, we are to speak God’s Word exactly as it is, and many will not listen–yet our responsibility remains! And, most encouragingly, God will deliver us from the ungodly.

Jesus told us that just as people would reject the Old Testament prophets’ messages, they will reject ours:

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake. (John 15:18-21)

But we are blessed in our obedience to the commission, even if we are persecuted like the Old Testament prophets:

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt. 5:10-12)

What is the blessed hope that God’s witnesses have? Is it that we will journey to heaven on a bed of roses? Is it that all men will love us?–No, woe to us if they do, says Jesus! (Luke 6:26) Our hope is that no matter what men do to us, God will deliver us! We are not to fear them, their looks, their words, or their rejection of us or our message. And we are not to fear losing our bodies, because we trust that we shall again be raised. We fear only the Lord, the very Lord who has redeemed us and given us our assignment.

The truth is that although every saint will be delivered from the ungodly, many will be delivered through death. This has always been the case. Jesus was ultimately delivered from His enemies when God raised Him from the dead and set Him back on the eternal throne, never to die again.

Remember Paul was promised by Jesus Himself that he would be delivered from his Jewish and Gentile enemies (Acts 26:17). He wrote of his deliverance with absolute faith:

And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. (2 Tim. 4:18)

And he wrote of ours:

And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. (I Cor. 6:14)

Both Paul and the Lord Jesus were delivered from physical death, so long as there remained work for them to do on the earth. They were ultimately delivered by God’s power–never to be harassed by the ungodly again–only after physical martyrdom. Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s (Rom. 14:8). The two witnesses of Rev. 11:3-12 are delivered when they are raised to life after their martyrdom. When God says, “Come up here,” to His faithful witnesses, no force in the universe can pluck them from His hand. Their deliverance is absolutely certain. The martyred souls beneath the altar of God are delivered from evil even as they wait for final justice (Rev. 6:9-11). Isn’t this good news?!

And so I say to myself and to every other believer who hears God’s voice and takes “the Great Commission” seriously:

Obey your commission. Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching….Be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim. 4:2,5)

I know it seems like people aren’t listening. I know we are told that honey catches more flies than vinegar when we refuse to leave out the warnings of Scripture. I know that many who profess to be our brothers and sisters are speaking a totally different message, thereby making us look like fools. I know the work can be wearying, and the dark night can make us feel like the morning will never come (it will). I know we are assailed by doubts–fears and fightings without and within (2 Cor. 7:5). But our God is faithful, and His Word is truth, and all things will come to pass exactly as written. Let us offer ourselves as His living sacrifices, voluntarily bound to the horns of the altar, because we know that if we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified and reign with Him (Rom. 8:17; 2 Tim. 2:12).

I believe the time prophesied, when people will reject sound teaching and cleave unto lies, has already come (at least in my country). It may be that–when we speak the Word’s promises and warnings–people won’t listen. But whether they hear, or whether they forbear, we must be faithful witnesses. Noah’s many years of evangelism seemed to produce precious little “fruit” in his time. Only 8 saved! And yet his success was in his obedience.

And no matter what happens, we can be assured of this:

Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered. (Prov. 11:21)

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The Message of the Church

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 4, 2014

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev. 22:17)

To what do the Spirit and the Bride say, “Come”?

Do they say, “Come and fill our pews”?
Do they say, “Come and support our programs”?
Do they say, “Come and reform your life a little”?
Do they say, “Come and add a little religion to your weekly to-do list”?
Do they say, “Come and be part of a club that will make you feel better about yourself”?

While many who profess to be the Bride–the Church–are saying these things to the unsaved, the Spirit is not saying these things to the unsaved.

The Spirit of God is calling unbelievers to come and take the water of life, which is Jesus and His so-great salvation. He specifically addresses His invitation to the thirsty and the desirous, for the “doing just fine, thank-you” crowd has no need of a Physician, but those who know they are sick.

For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jer. 2:13)

I may sound like a broken record, but it’s true–many churches in America today are broken cisterns which hold no water. In the name of the Lord, people have left Him and done their own thing for Him–a thing He has not commanded, and which will not profit. If the thirsty go to their services, they find nothing to drink. If the hungry go, they find no bread. In fact, surrounding them on the pews are mostly people who don’t really want true food and drink. They are fed the worthless junk food that keeps the coffers full and the show showing, and they love to have it so (Jer. 5:31). They eat and eat this food, but never grow; they are always learning but never coming to a knowledge of the Truth. They have a name that they are alive, but they are the walking dead, because Jesus and His Living Water is not among them. If they evangelize, their converts are worse off than they are. Those who came thirsty and hungry eventually join their desensitized and malnourished ranks, or leave in search of true food, depending upon how bad they want it.

O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, The fountain of living waters.” (Jer. 17:13)

Jesus said to the woman at the well,

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water…Whoever drinks of this (physical) water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:10-14)

Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38)

To what or to whom should the desperate, needy, poor, and thirsty come? They must come to Jesus. They must believe on Him exactly as the Scripture has declared Him, not as their imaginations or traditions have painted Him.

And to truly believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life will of necessity cause a dramatic change in a person. He will stop creating broken cisterns (repent), and will instead drink deeply of Jesus–the Word of God. Out of his heart will flow rivers of living waters, rather than evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, & blasphemies (Matt. 15:19). He will be born again and see the kingdom of God in all of its glory–the absolute right-ness of the benevolent authority of God, and the absolute wrongness of rebellion.

Many religious voices are saying “Everyone come to this or that church program, even if you’re not thirsty,” in the hopes that they can “grow the church” with people who are not even living stones. But the Lord only adds to the Church those who are being saved (Acts 2:47). The register of these forgiven souls is in heaven, not on the church membership list (Heb. 12:23), because the Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim. 2:19). He does not build His church with unconverted people, regardless of how good it might feel to fill an auditorium with them in His Name.

Other religious voices are saying to the self-seeking, “Come, bring money and sow into what God is doing, and then He will bless you,” only furthering them in their idolatrous love of pleasure. And still more cry, “Come and feel peace, peace” to those who are still at war with God, making them feel just good enough to never repent (Jer. 6:14; 8:11). These are all false messages creating false converts and false churches. We cannot stay in step with the Spirit while saying things He does not say to the ungodly.

If we are the Bride–the true Church–let us keep our message Scriptural. “Let the one who thirsts (after righteousness), and desires (forgiveness and a new life) come to Jesus and receive the water of life freely.

Posted in Preach the Gospel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Religion of Morality

Posted by israeliteindeed on May 25, 2014

Before getting started, I want to make very clear that I believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ makes the most moral people on earth, and without holiness no man will see the Lord. Antinomianism (lawlessness) is the devil’s doctrine, and immoral people are not accepted in the family of God. We must be born again, and those who are born again will not live immoral lives.

The purpose of this paper is to expose a subtle deception satan offers to those who are willing to accept any particular moral code for their behavior. It is a religion of morality void of the born again experience, and void of a living relationship with the Living God. One of the signs that someone is walking in this false religion is that his morality is based on a system created by men, though it may include elements of true religion, and almost always cloaks hypocrisy of some sort.

Ask professing American Christians to define this false religion, and most likely they will refer to the Pharisees in the Bible, and say that Jesus was against them but loved to eat with sinners. There is some truth in this statement, yet not the whole truth, and therein lies the deception. I have written more about Phariseeism here: LINK

Unfortunately, many who profess Christ as Lord think that by refusing to judge between good and evil, they have sided with the sinner-loving Savior. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are commanded to judge between good and evil, and to choose the good and reject the evil.

However, the way of Christ is the way of the cross, and the cross requires a complete crucifixion of the self, not a mere moral tweaking of the old man. When Jesus told Nicodemus he had to be born again, He was not speaking to a male prostitute but to a devoutly religious man whose morality was not enough. And while many pride themselves in being far, far from Pharisaical due to their refusal to judge between good and evil, they are in fact Pharisaical because they think their particular form of morality has made them right with God while they do not know God or follow Him from the heart.

Buddhism offers man a moral code that forbids killing people, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxication. Hidden beneath that “moral” covering, however, is a heart that remains selfish because a man cannot be born again without the Spirit of God indwelling him when he repents of sin and turns to Jesus in obedient faith. The Buddhist may refrain from drinking alcohol, but he will meditate until he reaches a mental trance state that offers him the same “escape from reality” that alcohol or drugs would. Buddhism has also redefined “sexual misconduct” so that fornication is not classified as misconduct so long as there is “mutual love.” This is contrary to the commands of God, who has forever outlawed fornication. This is a good example of how men rewrite “morality” according to what they think is right. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts. (Prov. 21:2)

Islam offers man another moral code by which to live. One site claims that “Islam…furnishes us with the means to determine good and evil conduct.” (LINK) Of course, this is a standard written by men and not God. So while condemning hypocrisy, for example, Islam forces people to convert against their own wills, perpetuating more hypocrisy. While strict dress codes at least appear more moral than the near nudity other societies accept, history is replete with examples of Islamic people who were not truly moral (including their revered prophet). Repetitive prayers give an appearance of godliness, but none of this gives the Muslim assurance that his sins are forgiven, and there are many testimonies of ex-Muslims on youtube that bear this out.

Even the Masons, satanic at core, practice a form of moralism. They deliberately draw into their lodges people who seem to be upstanding, morally responsible citizens. These highly visible to the public, low-level initiates are deliberately kept ignorant of what is going on at higher levels, where open Lucifer-worship is embraced without apology. Most people therefore see the Masons as a “do good” organization. Even satan will do good short-term, if it helps him perpetuate evil in the long term.

And now I must digress a little into less comfortable waters. The average professing American Christian has no problem picking out the problems in Buddhism or Islam. They might even concede that Masonry is suspect. They may agree that Catholicism or Mormonism or some other group is wrong. But rarely will the evangelical protestant look in the evangelical protestant camp and discern the difference between true religion and the religion of morality.

I attended a church for some time that had made up its own code of morality. This code wasn’t written out in their official doctrines; rather it was a sort of unspoken status-quo. Those who adhered to this status-quo were considered spiritual (and given awards!), and those who did not–for whatever reason–were seen as inferior Christians. This moral code included strict attendance to several services per week (where is that in Scripture?), being a cog in the machine of their “programs” no matter how unbiblical the programs were, and supporting the “building fund” monetarily (even though the present building was only sometimes at capacity by their bringing in as many unbelievers as possible, and it was not yet paid for. Adding on unnecessary debt and filling the church with tares are both unbiblical practices.)

In “Sunday School,” which people had to attend or be subjected to constant hounding, every person had to fill out a card designating “points” for reading the lesson, being on time, memorizing a verse, doing some sort of outreach that week, etc. Those who accumulated enough points got an award and their name called out in Church. Now, keep in mind that many people filling out their points cards were not even saved. They had been visited by someone from the church, pressured to come, subsequently pressured to attend Sunday School, and pressured to fill out the points card. Some of these people went on to be recognized in the church and to receive rewards before men, yet a quick look at their personal lives revealed a frank denial of true discipleship. Some real saints had jobs that required them to be away (not having perfect attendance), or sick children or spouses to tend to at home, and these saints were not recognized because they had not acquired enough points.

Now I ask you…is this not a religion of morality? Does this kind of churchianity really advance the Kingdom of God? Or does it fill a building with hypocrites who are learning to judge themselves by a false standard?

I recall one time a dear brother questioned the points system, and he was told that “at least we aren’t asking you if you are looking at pornography. We are just asking you if you did your lesson or got to church on time.” This brother responded by saying he WANTS to be asked, rather, if he is looking at pornography. How much does the leadership care about its people if it’s only concerned with externals?

You see, it is very easy to check some external boxes. Many churches that don’t utilize this blatant point system still have a series of boxes they expect their congregants to check, and once those are checked, the congregants are assumed holy. There is actually very little real accountability going on, sometimes because the congregants are not even saved, and sometimes because there isn’t time or energy–after jumping through all the moral boxes–to pursue a more intimate relationship with the Body of Christ. After “going to church” 3 times in a week and “doing the program” that doesn’t seem to be working, who wants to pursue more? The real believers are exhausted, and the unbelievers who–for whatever reason–submit to the church’s code are distracted from what they really need to do (be born again.) The gospel might be preached occasionally (usually a watered-down version), but these churched unbelievers instinctively realize that the church will accept them if they just fall in line with the man-made code.

This is happening all over America. The moral codes and levels of coercion vary, but the result is always the same. People have established for themselves ANOTHER JUDGE of their morality other than the Word of God. Add to this varying degrees of false doctrine, and apostasy is in full bloom. The pornography watcher no longer needs to fear that his sin will take him to hell, since he has perfect attendance and a doctrinal defense some of the “experts” agree with. And since he doesn’t look at pornography IN CHURCH (he knows that would be wrong), he is accepted by all. He may also have a habit of swearing when he gets angry, or cheating on his taxes, but his association with a supposed house of worship makes him feel supremely safe. No doubt he draws the line at certain sins (just like Buddhists, Muslims, etc. also do).

One specific way I see this false Christianity spreading is through the so-called “Religious Right.” Now no true Christian wants to see babies murdered by abortion or homosexuality being embraced. However, truly reforming society has never come by laws. True reformation begins at the grass-roots level where people embrace the gospel and are changed. Because they are changed (no longer wanting to kill babies or practice homosexuality), they stop asking for laws that permit them to do evil.

The Religious Right is made up of a conglomeration of people who are deceived into thinking that the “complete package morality” offered in the born again experience is of secondary importance to the forced specific morality imposed by laws–laws that are again subject to change at any time, according to the whims of the people. Millions of dollars are spent to fight laws that later give way to even worse laws. Let us be honest. How many babies have been saved by the Religious Right, with all of its money and unending rhetoric? How many homosexuals have been converted from the errors of their ways through this means? I am not saying a Christian should not abhor the gross wickedness of child-murder and perverted sexuality. I am saying we have been deceived into thinking God’s program for changing the world has changed. It hasn’t and it won’t.

What happens when Christian superstars rally people to fight on the hill of morality?

All of the efforts of Christians go to fighting those one or two moral evils. And it’s not too harsh to say that many of these Christians are hypocrites who defend other moral evils. But as long as they think they are “fighting evil,” they feel relieved of the responsibility to examine their own lives and see if they are really in the faith of Jesus Christ.

When did Jesus set up laws in the government by which to curb the evils of His day? When did His apostles take on this extraordinary work?–Never. It is not enough to chop the dead limbs of abortion and homosexuality off the tree of mankind; the axe must be laid to the root, and it can only be laid with the Gospel. The root is self-will. The root is not abortion, homosexuality, or the removal of prayer from schools. These are fruits that sprang from the root of self-will. The great commission is to teach people to obey Jesus rather than themselves. If the root is struck, a change in fruit will follow.

Yet today it is considered vogue for Christians to enter bitter political debates which they think somehow advances the cause of Christian morality on the earth. Dear Reader, do not be deceived. Though I hate child-murder with all of my being (and go to clinics to stand against it), outlawing child murder will not make us a Christian nation. The reason child murder is protected is because people have murder in their hearts. They need new hearts.

If a person decides not to murder, but never gives up the self-will to Jesus, how long will it be before murder is again on the table? It won’t be long. Sometimes a man who won’t murder his own child will go murder someone else’s child if only his “morally superior” country’s leaders tell him to.

Consider this: every nation on the earth, including America, has propagandized its own people to believe that its own ideals and interests are morally superior to those of other countries. Early in American history, the “religous right” (though not called that yet) justified the killing of Native Americans (and other crimes) in the name of “Manifest Destiny.” This was the belief that God had given an elite group of people the right and mandate to take the whole country from the east coast to the west coast, even if that goal could only be reached through violence. Oh, there were apologists even then who preached this message in the churches. And there were pew-warmers that were accepted because they checked their various boxes at the appropriate time. But none of this is the faith handed to us by Christ and His apostles and prophets. Yet this seriously bastardized version of Christianity is still being promoted by the notoriously war-hungry religious right. Many well-meaning Christians get caught up in their rhetoric, not understanding that this partisan group does not and cannot represent Christ, even if they do appear to give lip-service to a few of His morals.

Let us remember that when Puritans were putting to death “heretics” (who were sometimes real Christians) in Boston, they were at the same time enforcing a code of strict morality. But it wasn’t the faith of the Lord Jesus that drove them to murder their neighbors.

Early in Martin Luther’s ministry, he taught that Christians could not kill their enemies. Later his doctrine changed, and he began justifying killing in certain circumstances. What caused him to change his stance? Was it new illumination in the Scriptures?–No, his personal power base was threatened. And this is the same hypocrisy manifest in the Religious Right today. There are loud claims of moral superiority, but the reality is there is as much corruption on the right as there is on the left. Often, “conservatives” are more ready than “liberals” to kill complete strangers if there is something in it for them. I have recently done a great deal of research, and what I find in the government of this nation is sweeping corruption of the most vile kinds, including drug trafficking, people trafficking, prostitution, pornography production and promotion, and pedophilia. Do not be deceived into thinking that only the other party is participating.

And what is it that professing Christians are really after in America, I wonder, when they rail against how things are. Are they zealous for Jesus? If so, why aren’t they teaching people Jesus’ words rather than the words of Patrick Henry? Do they really care for their unborn neighbors?–Why aren’t they gathering outside abortion clinics to plead with mothers not to kill their children and offer help? Do they really want homosexuals to receive the new birth in Jesus Christ and be set free? How many are actively sharing the faith once delivered with such people? It can be so pleasing to the flesh to stand on a moral high ground and declare that all our trouble was caused by someone else. It’s alot less pleasing to the flesh to empty self, become a servant to all, and live Jesus’ words day by day among friends and enemies.

I believe that the average Joe Christian is not really that concerned with the spread of sin, except where it infringes on his own personal piece of the American Pie. We want the rewards of capitalism, and freedom to do what we want. Who doesn’t want these things? And these things aren’t inherently evil, but they become evil when we are willing to deny the teachings of Jesus to have them. And our hypocrisy is exposed when we “fight to get America back” to what it was before, and don’t acknowledge that what it was before was merely a more moral society that was still plunging headlong into hell, chasing the idols of materialism and freedom to do as one pleases.

Everywhere we hear the lament about the good old days. The good old days weren’t as good as we think. The unrighteousness had not fully bloomed and fruited yet, but it was surely being planted. Isn’t it telling that we cry when the harvest comes in, but we didn’t cry when we (as a nation) were having fun planting it?

My heart cries for there to be real repentance among those professing to be saved in this country. At some point we have to stop pointing out the other denominations and look at our own. We have to stop blaming one political party and excusing another. We must go beyond our propensity to view our country as superior to others, and realize we have all sinned grievously in myriad ways. We must look past our record of attendance at church, and look at how much we attend upon the Lord Jesus and obey His Words from the heart. We must stop sneering at the unchurched sinner while excusing the love of the world that has gripped most of our churched children (and adults!) The hypocrisy must stop. If there is to be any lasting moral change in this nation, it will begin with real born again believers who subject their lives to Jesus Christ and live according to His teachings in such a way that their holiness is indisputable.

But this–true religion–is not for the faint of heart. When you begin to chop at the root of things with a spiritual axe, and point out the hypocrisies of the various groups, you will burn bridges behind you. No longer will you fit in with them or find a semblance of rest in their numbers. If you don’t join their acceptable moral crusades, they will cast you out because you don’t further their agendas (and they do have agendas which are very different from God’s Kingdom agenda). Remember that any number of Jews would have been glad to have Jesus lead them physically against the Romans, and would have rallied behind Him. But who wants to follow someone who is leading His disciples to crucifixion and death and being the perpetual offscouring of the earth? (I Cor. 4:13) Who wants to, for the (future) joy set before him, endure the painful cross (right now)?

Yet this is the ONLY way to bring true moral change to mankind. All other religions are vain, and that includes nominal Christianity as it is known today in its compromised and impotent state. It may pick and choose a few moral hills to rally on, but it won’t deny the Self entirely and obey the Lord Jesus in all of His teaching. Such a morality can never save. It is just another road that leads to death.

Posted in apostasy, Christian Life, False Teachers, Preach the Gospel, Repentance | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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