The Grace of God

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

Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

God Sees Your Sin, Pt. 3

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 23, 2011

In the previous post, I wrote out some Scriptures from the Old Testament that demonstrate that once being chosen and favored by God does not make one exempt from living a life pleasing to Him. After entering into covenant with God, one’s future sins are not invisible to God. Many members of “the chosen people” did not inherit the promise because they did not continue to obey the Lord; their carcasses fell in the wilderness, and these things were recorded to warn us that such can happen to us (I Cor. 10:1-12).  Now I would like to examine some New Testament texts that confirm our need for obedience to the Lord after being born into His family, and the consequences for disobedience.

A favorite doctrinal component of Calvinism is that if you have ever believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, or ever had a moment of true faith, His personal righteousness has been imputed to your account once-for-all, and is the only thing God will ever see when He looks at you in the future. In other words, even if you live a wicked life after that and die in sin, God can’t see it; all He sees is Jesus when He looks at you.  If such were true, then not only will He continue to see us as obedient when we disobey, He will be mocked.  He said we would reap what we sow, but we really won’t! He said the wages of sin was death, but we have found a loophole whereby we can sow to our flesh and not reap corruption! He is not only blind, He can’t chastise His children when they do wrong, since He can’t see their sin!

Complete hogwash!

One wonders how God could ever see the righteous acts of the saints, if He can’t see their sin! Do NOT be deceived by these teachings; God will not be mocked. If we sow to our flesh we WILL reap corruption, and God DOES chastise His children when they do wrong. (Gal. 6:7-8; Heb. 12:7) The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good. (Prov. 15:3) The Lord is wearied when people falsely say that evildoers are good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them (Mal. 2:17). People who do what is wicked are wicked; only he that does righteousness is considered righteous in the eyes of the Lord (I John 2:29; 3:7).

Jesus taught the following:

The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves…shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (Jn. 5:28-29)

In Matthew 7:21, Jesus taught the importance of DOING the Father’s will (righteousness), not just acknowledging or SAYING “Lord, Lord.” So important is it to DO the teachings of Christ, that the man who DOES them is likened to a house that survives a storm, while the man who does not DO them is likened to a house that is destroyed in the storm for lack of a proper foundation.  Friend, you ARE that house, and you are determining the final destiny of your house by whether or not you are submitting to Christ and doing God’s will. This is FOUNDATIONAL to your spiritual life.  Remember, King Jesus will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend (cause sin) and all persons who do iniquity, and cast them into the furnace of fire (Matt.13:41-42). So serious it is to get the sin out of your life, Christian, that Jesus said it would be better to cut off an offending body-part than to have your whole body “cast into hell.” (Matt. 5: 29-30)

So what if you don’t do as Jesus said, and deal a death blow to the sin in your own life?  Is all automatically forgiven because of His blood shed on the cross?

If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:   of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb. 10:26-29)

Friends, this Scripture destroys the license-to-sin doctrine.  If you willfully continue to sin after being sanctified, you are treating the precious blood of Jesus as an unholy thing!  God sees it and views you as worthy of much sorer punishment than the punishments inflicted on those who disobeyed Moses’ law!  When Ananias and Sapphira sinned in the church, was their sin hidden from God’s view? On the contrary, Peter, speaking by the Holy Ghost, rebuked them publicly. Their judgment was swift, and caused the fear of God to fall on the people who heard about it. Paul instructed Timothy to deal with sin in the church in like manner:

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.   I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.   Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.  (I Tim. 5:20-22)

Instead of following the right ways of the Lord, many in the church instead excuse or overlook flagrant sin, letting it spread like leaven through the whole lump. After all, if a person is considered positionally righteous even when they are doing unrighteous things, then who are they to judge?  False teaching is so dangerous!! Paul instructed the Corinthian church to put the sinner out of the church until he repents!! (I Cor. 5)  To refuse to do so is to be a partaker in other men’s sins and to become defiled.  Remember, the pure religion that pleases God includes keeping oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27); this presupposes that God sees when we become “spotted.”

In Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus–who is God–addresses the church. Does He only see His own righteousness when He looks at them, or does He assess them exactly according to their own works, and command repentance when necessary?  Indeed, Jesus makes some startling threats toward those who will not repent!

“Thou hast left thy first love.  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Rev. 2:4-5)

But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.   Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. (Rev. 2:14-16)

I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.  Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.   Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.  Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.   He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.  (Rev. 3:1-5)

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  (Rev. 3:15-19)

Please study those two chapters in full, and you cannot fail to see that all the beautiful promises of God are specifically for overcomers. We must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). There is no easy way; the easy way taken by most is the wide road that leads to destruction. We must die to ourselves, and strive [make every effort, agonize] to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. (Luke 13:24)

Peter wrote that because the judgment of God is coming, and because we look forward to a new heaven and earth where only righteousness dwells, we must be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless…and beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Pet. 3:14, 17)  The righteous can be led away with the error of the wicked and fall? Yes!

Paul wrote of those who swerved away from love, a clean conscience, and sincere faith, and so had left the path of life and had only “vain jangling” or “meaningless talk”–the emptiness of religion without God (I Tim. 1:5-6). He wrote that some who had not held onto faith and a “good conscience” (they defiled and hardened their conscience by disobedience), had shipwrecked their faith! (I Tim. 1:19) He wrote that any who refused to provide financially for their own widows had, by his wickedness, denied the faith, and was worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8). He wrote that some younger widows, being idle and gossipers, had already turned aside after Satan. (I Tim. 5:15)  In fact, Paul recognized that he himself was not immune to falling away:

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.   And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.   I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:   But I keep under my body [keep my flesh crucified], and bring it into subjection [to God’s will]: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (I Cor. 9:24-27, brackets mine)

Paul recognized he could be cast away even after all his dedicated service to God! Just as a man who wants to win a race must be disciplined, so must the Christian life be disciplined, for “if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” (2 Tim. 2:5)  It is possible to begin the spiritual race and not finish the course, which is why we are urged to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and…run with patience [endurance].” (Heb. 12:1)  It is possible to engage in “the good fight” and not compete lawfully, being finally disqualified.

In 2 Peter 2, Peter wrote of false teachers who bring in damnable heresies [such as once-saved-always-saved or “God doesn’t see your sin”], even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  Peter describes these false teachers as having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices. Beware if your spiritual teacher shamelessly claims he cannot cease from sin, and that we must all sin every day in thought, word and deed! They teach such lies because they themselves are spiritually adulterous, loving the things of this world, especially the adoration and financial support of others who love sin and wish to have their ears tickled with sin-excusing lies.  Such teachers allure through the lusts of the flesh those who were clean escaped from them who live in error.  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. And so these wolves pretending to be ministers teach the flock of God that they have “liberty in Christ” to sin all they want! But when a man serves sin, he becomes the slave of sin! His so-called liberty is false! Don’t be deceived. Peter called these who had at first escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and were again entangled therein and overcome worse off than they were before they knew the Lord!  They were like dogs returning to lick up the vomit they had expelled, or pigs washed from their filthiness returning to their filth.  Truly this is receiving the grace of God in vain!

Dear reader, it is possible to deny the Lord by your disobedient works (Titus 1:16). Consider this carefully:

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Tim. 2:19)

This is the foundation of the Lord, and will not change despite the empty promises of false teachers.  How do you then depart from iniquity? David said a man could cleanse his way by taking heed to God’s Word (Psa. 119:9)  It is by abiding in Christ that His good fruit will be manifest in your life (John 15).   I John 3:6 teaches that whoever abides in Jesus does not sin! When you go astray, it is directly due to your not abiding in Christ.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  (John 15:7)

Paul said, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:2-3)  We must CHOOSE the things above or the things of this earth. We must CHOOSE to mortify our members which are on this earth, and to follow the things that please the Lord, because the wrath of God is coming on the children of disobedience (Col. 3:5-6).

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy post!  I hope it is clear to you that in both Old and New Testaments, God’s covenants with men are conditional. If you have not already, please study both testaments on your own, asking God to open your understanding to the Truth. He has promised wisdom to those who ask, and He has promised to be found of those who seek Him with their whole heart.  He is the God of love, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and purify for Himself a peculiar people zealous for good works. His grace teaches us to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:11-14). I pray that you do not receive the grace of God in vain! I will leave you with this powerful statement by the Apostle Paul:

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Rom. 8:13)

God bless you!

Posted in Backslider, Calvinism, Christian Life, Once Saved Always Saved, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

God Sees Your Sin, Pt. 2

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 21, 2011

In this post, I would like to present you with Old Testament Scriptures which demonstrate that God deals with people on a day-to-day basis. He makes conditional covenants (agreements) with people, but if the people violate the conditions for blessing and refuse to repent, God is not bound to bless them still. The covenant has essentially been broken. Though God is merciful and loves to forgive, He does not blind Himself to the future sins of His people, allowing them to sin all they want and still remain under His protection and grace.

Some will argue that the Old Testament has no bearing on the lives of New Covenant believers, but this is error. We must remember that Jesus and all the New Testament teachers taught new believers from the Old Testament! It is applicable because God changes not. His character in the Old Testament is still the character He has today. There is a newer and better covenant in place, with a greater High Priest and more precious promises, but God remains the same covenant God, whose conditions must be met if one is to remain in His favor.

The Old Testament Judaic law was a shadow of things to come (Heb. 10:1)–meaning it was a type, from which we can draw truth and parallels relating directly to the present gospel time. Paul wrote exactly that in I Cor. 10:1-12, warning Christians that although the Old Testament Israelites had exited Egypt (symbolically: separated from the world), lived under the cloud (symbolically: enjoyed the protection of God), were baptized in the cloud and the sea (symbolically: old man crucified in baptism, resurrection to a new life as God’s child), ate spiritual meat (symbolically: partook of the True Bread, Jesus), and drank of the Rock who is Christ (received living waters), most were still overthrown in the wilderness before reaching the Promised Land. Why? They lusted, committed idolatry, fornicated, tempted Christ, and murmured in continual complaint, being unthankful. All these things happened to them, and were carefully recorded for examples to us, according to Paul!!

Therefore, we under the New Covenant can be sure that if we do the same things the Old Covenant people did, we will suffer the same fate. Though we have at one time separated from the world, enjoyed God’s protection, been baptized in Jesus, and feasted at the table of God, it is possible that because of our future sins, we will not receive the promise.  For this reason, the writer of Hebrews admonishes us,

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (Heb. 10:36)

It is imperative for those of us who have faith in the promise of God to DO THE WILL OF GOD with PATIENCE–BEFORE we receive the promise!

Listen to the promise of God given to Israel in Deut. 31:8–

And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Right after Moses delivered this wonderful promise to Israel, God gave him a snapshot of the future; Israel would “rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.” What would happen next? Would God overlook their future sin and “never forsake them”?–

Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? (Deut. 31:16, 17)

When Joshua’s men suffered defeat at Ai, he sought answers of the Lord. Hadn’t the Lord promised to be with them? Why was He not keeping His promise? The Lord’s answer:

Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.  Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. (Josh. 7:11, 12)

Clearly, God’s promise to be with Israel was conditioned upon their remaining separate from “accursed things.”  God’s present favor is not a promise of unconditional future favor, no matter what you do.

If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. (Josh. 24:20)

The same warning was given to Solomon, a man gifted with wisdom from God:

Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.  (I Chron. 28:9)

Azariah, speaking by the Spirit of God, said the following to King Asa, and the people of Judah and Benjamin:

The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. (2 Chron. 15:2)

Let us not forget David, the man after God’s own heart, the shepherd king chosen to replace the backsliding King Saul. When he took another man’s wife and had her husband killed, “the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.” (2 Sam. 11:27)  The Lord did not overlook the sins of the man He had chosen. Many people believe that David remained in a perfectly safe, “saved” condition during the long period of time before he repented, but the Bible does not make this claim–contrarily, it claims that unrepentant adulterers and murders will not inherit the Kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:9; Rev. 21:8). Certainly, God’s mercy was extended to David in that he did not die in an unrepentant state, and His hand was heavy on David leading him to repentance. David could have hardened his heart at Nathan’s rebuke; thankfully, he did not.  We should not conclude from this story that David was an adulterer who was saved (unbiblical), but that God saw David’s sin and expected repentance.

In Ezekiel 8, the prophet was encouraged by God to look upon the wicked abominations–and greater abominations than these–being committed in the house of God. Was this not the house that once had the glory of the Lord resting upon it? (I Kings 8:11) But now God was angry at what the people were doing, so angry that He said,

Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. (Ezek. 8:18)

Dear reader, God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day (Psa. 7:11).  He does not turn a blind eye to the future deeds of those who are presently considered “righteous.” In fact, He declared that if a righteous person turns from past righteousness  to future sin, none of his past righteousness will even be remembered! (Ezek. 3:20; 18:24-26; 33:12) A righteous person’s future sins are not invisible to God! Dare you say to the all-seeing God, “You can’t see what I’m doing”?

Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? (Isa. 29:15)

The Lord says to His chosen people that turn to sin, “I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins.” (Amos 5:12) Not only does He know them, but “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Eccl. 12:14)  If you cover your sins (perhaps with unbiblical arguments like “God doesn’t see my sin”), you will NOT PROSPER, but if you confess AND FORSAKE them, you will have mercy (Prov. 28:13).

Although Israel had a covenant agreement with God whereby his sins could be covered and forgotten, his refusal to obey God’s voice, and his continuation in wickedness made his iniquity to be remembered (Ezek. 21:24). Because the people refused to restrain their wandering feet, the Lord no longer accepted them, but would now “remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.” (Jer. 4:10)

This doctrine that “God doesn’t see my sin” grieves the heart of God, who desires to heal backsliders of their ways if only they would “consider…in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.” (Hos. 7:1-2)

Apostasy was so rampant when the prophet Jeremiah was preaching, that the Lord directly said to the people, “I will utterly forget you…I will forsake you…and cast you out of my presence.” (Jer. 23:39)  Because the people transgressed the covenant and “cast off the thing that is good,” counting the “great things” of His law “a strange thing,” the Lord would no longer accept them, but would remember their iniquity and send them back to Egypt! (Hos. 8:3, 12, 13)  Because the people went whoring away from the God who loved them, and insisted upon corrupting themselves, He would “drive them out of His house,” “love them no more,” and “cast them away.” (Hos. 9)

The Israelites were taught by God, through the Levitical system, how costly sin was by seeing their innocent beasts die for their sins. Whatever sins were remitted by the shedding of blood would not be remembered against them. It was not a one-time deal, but a lifestyle of obeying God’s voice, examining themselves, and making appropriate offerings to God while seeking His forgiveness and favor. A man who became careless with the things of God was “cut off from his people.” Although the blood of animals cannot take away sins, these things were written for examples to us, and for our admonition (I Cor. 10:11).  Our offering for sin is the blood of Jesus Christ (shed once for all time), but this does not negate the fact that we must live lifestyles of obeying God’s voice, heeding His correction, examining ourselves sincerely, confessing and forsaking sin while seeking the Lord’s forgiveness, and looking to the crucified & risen Lamb of God with faith in His blood.  Carelessness and callousness can still result in being “cut off.” I will discuss this same theme in New Testament Scriptures in the next post.

God bless you!

Go to Part 3

Posted in Backslider, Calvinism, Christian Life, Once Saved Always Saved | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Put Away Your Whoredoms

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 16, 2011

Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever. (Ezek. 43:9)

When you find yourself lacking the presence of God–and indeed, by your sins, you have erected a wall between you and Him (Ezek. 43:8), there is only one thing to do–put away your whoredoms and the carcasses of your kings. God is holy. Those wicked things you are embracing while professing to be the Bride of Christ testify against you. Do you think God doesn’t see your whoredoms?–He certainly does!

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Prov. 15:3)

Those movies you watched that dishonored the Lord, those websites you visited that you KNOW are evil, those impure thoughts you entertained, those close friendships you are cultivating with people in the world that hate God, that God-less music you have developed affection for, the lust for material things that you have bowed down to, the refusal to give God first place in your heart, and the stubborn hardening of your heart at His gracious reproofs–these are your whoredoms.

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.  (James 4:4)

Those evil things you have allowed to rule over you, those sins you have refused to crucify and insisted you had to serve, your own flesh which you have obeyed when you ought to have made it subject to the law of God–these are the “kings” you must slay by the power of the Spirit.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.   Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Rom. 6:12-13)

There is only one King who has the right and authority to rule over you, and that is King Jesus. Has He not proven that He is a good King, worthy of your single-hearted love and devotion? Has anyone else, so highly exalted, ever given so much to save you–you who, by your continuation in rebellion, would crucify Him again?!

Has He not proved to you that all other kings are harsh taskmasters, and that the “pleasures of sin for a season” are fleeting, and end only in death?

Have you not reaped what you sowed, just as He said you would?

When you wore His good yoke, was it not a much easier yoke than the yoke of sin?

Wasn’t a clean conscience much easier to bear than the guilt that weighs upon your soul now?

Wasn’t it better, dear Prodigal, back when you served your Father? What have you gained by insisting on your own way?

Wouldn’t it be better for you now to go back, humble yourself before Him, admit you are no longer worthy to be called a son, and ask for His mercy?

Aren’t His servants faring better than you are now, while you eat food fit for pigs and sit covered in shame?

Come to your senses and stop sinning! Return to your Father, and humble yourself. He will run to you, wash your sins away, and reinstate you as more than a servant–as His child.  All of heaven will rejoice with Him when you repent–when you put away your whoredoms!

Thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.  Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.  Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth? (Jer. 3:2-4)

Hear the Father’s heart–even now He desires you to cry unto Him, to remember how He guided you in days gone by, to be ashamed of your idolatry and PUT IT AWAY FROM YOU. Do not have a “whore’s forehead”–brazenly refusing to be ashamed, citing some false doctrine like “once saved always saved” to excuse what cannot be excused. You cannot continue to fellowship with “pigs,” feasting on the same food (partaking of the same sins) they do, and also fellowship with God!  He will not be one of your many gods.  You must choose you this day whom you will serve.  You must come out of the pig pen and begin the journey home!

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?…  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Cor. 6:14-18)

Dear reader, if you are backslidden, I pray you will turn at God’s loving reproof. Today is the day of salvation.

Posted in Backslider, Christian Life, Judgment of God, Once Saved Always Saved | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Field is the World

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 15, 2011

When discussing the rampant sin in the professing church, how often have you heard, “The church is full of wheat and tares. We can’t tell the difference between the two, so we just have to wait until the end and let God remove the tares.”

I submit to you that this is a wrong interpretation of the passage in question, Matt. 13:24-30. Let us examine it.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:  but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.   But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.   So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?   He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.   Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Notice that when tares appeared, the servants of the householder immediately recognized them as tares rather than wheat.  Servants of God can recognize the children of the devil and the children of God. “For every tree is known by his own fruit.” (Lk. 6:44)

Later in the chapter, when the disciples asked Jesus to help them understand this parable, Jesus declared the following:

He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;  the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;  the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.   As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;   and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.   Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (vss. 37-43)

The field is not the church. I repeat, THE FIELD IS NOT THE CHURCH!  The place where wheat and tares must be allowed to co-mingle until the end is THE WORLD.  In the world, there will always be wicked people and righteous people. If the righteous were to go about “gathering up” the tares (killing them!) before the appointed time, it would bring hurt to the wheat. Instead, the righteous must wait patiently for the angels to gather “all things that offend, and them which do iniquity” and cast them into the furnace of fire.  Vengeance is the Lord’s, and He will repay. Untold harm has come to the testimony of the church when “holy wars” have been carried out in the name of Christ. These are the premature “gathering of tares” to which Christ was referring. While the door of salvation stands open, it is still possible for the children of the devil to repent and believe, and become children of God. In the meantime, the servants of God must be content to allow the wheat and tares to grow up together in THE WORLD (not the church!)

Now it is true that wicked men have crept into the church unawares, perverting the doctrines of God (Jude 4), but that is another subject.  The subject at hand is whether or not the righteous (wheat) and the wicked (tares) are permitted to grow up and produce fruit together in the church.

The belief that the the field of wheat and tares is the church, rather than the world as Christ taught, has caused leaven to spread unchecked in the church. This parable has been wrongfully used to ignore the Apostle Paul’s admonitions in I Cor. 5 to:

MOURN over sin in the church (vs 2),

JUDGE the deeds of wicked men in the church (vs 3, 12),

DELIVER sinners to satan for the destruction of the flesh (vs 5),

PURGE the leaven of sin out of the church (vs 7),

STOP having fellowship with wicked people who profess to be Christians (vss 9-11), and

PUT such people “away from among yourselves” (vs 13).

If we are to do all these things, is it not obvious that we must first judge the tree by its own fruit?–that we must discern whose works are inspired by the devil?

Paul asks in I Cor. 6:3-5,

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?

Paul is reproving the church for failing to judge appropriately! Is there no one in the church who is wise enough to judge between what is good and evil? How can this be, among the very people who will judge angels?

Again, in Eph. 5:3-7, Paul writes:

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;  neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.   Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.   Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

We, the saints, are not to allow wicked people to remain “among us” in the church, turning a blind eye to their wicked works, saying “God will deal with the tares in His own time.” We are to purposefully refuse to be partakers in other men’s sins, and to keep ourselves pure (I Tim. 5:22). This means there must be church discipline. The sinner must be confronted in love, and commanded to repent. If he does not repent, we must separate from his company. There is not to be a mixing of holy and profane in the house of God, but a distinct difference between the two. It is this very mixing of holy and profane that has caused untold reproaches to fall unjustly on the name of Christ!

When sin is rampant in the church, and you hear the tired excuse, “God will deal with the tares in His own time,” and “it isn’t for me to judge,” remember that Jesus said THE FIELD IS THE WORLD.  Stand against the false teaching that the field is the church. The Bride of Christ that Jesus will come for is a pure Bride that lives in daily communion with Him, hearing His voice and following Him, and having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness that the children of the devil continue to produce.  Obey the Holy Ghost-inspired words of Paul–“Put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

God bless you!

 

Posted in Calvinism, Christian Life, Judgment of God | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Legalism, Obedience, and the Apostle Paul

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 14, 2011

If you are a Bible-believing Christian who loves Jesus, keeps His commandments, and teaches others to keep His commandments, you’ve probably been called a “legalist.” According to those who bring this charge against you, the Apostle Paul would have called you a legalist too.

The argument goes something like this: If you think you have an obligation to obey God, you have a works-based salvation. You can’t earn your salvation, so you can’t lose it no matter how much you disobey God. Believing and teaching that you must obey God is legalism.

This is an astonishing charge, since part of the great commission is teaching others to obey Jesus’ commands! (Matt. 28:19-20)

It is assumed by many people that the Apostle Paul equated careful, love-motivated obedience to God’s moral law with legalism, but this is simply not true. Where Paul taught that “the law” has no bearing on salvation, he was not  referring to loving adherence to God’s moral commands, but to the keeping of the Judaic law.

Paul taught repentance and faith to every person (Acts 20:21). A person who repents (God’s first requirement) is a person who turns away from known lawbreaking (sin) and submits to the law of God, indeed has the law of God written on his heart. Without this heart change from rebellion to submissive obedience, there is no salvation possible. When Paul taught repentance, he was essentially teaching transgressors to return to obedience to God.

Where Paul asks, “Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Gal. 3:2) he is reminding the Galatians that they were not saved by attending to Jewish ceremonial laws (such as circumcision), but by receiving the Word of God with real faith (the kind of faith that is not a hearer only, but a doer of the Word–James 1:22). Paul had to spend considerable time refuting the troublesome Judaizers, who confused new Gentile converts by teaching them that unless they became good Jews–celebrating the correct feasts, being circumcised, etc.–they could not be saved. While there is nothing wrong with attending to such Jewish practices, and there is some spiritual benefit for those who recognize their typological significance, they remain only shadows of the true spiritual heritage we have in Christ, and are not mandatory for salvation. Anyone who attempts to make these old covenant requirements, or some other man-made requirements, binding for salvation is a legalist in the true Biblical sense.

The truth is that Paul himself would be considered a legalist by many today, if only they would pay close attention to all that he wrote! Unfortunately, many teachers today wrest some of his teachings from their context, while ignoring others, in order to uphold their false, sin-excusing doctrines.  Apparently men were already wresting Paul’s teachings to their own destruction in Peter’s time, and Peter acknowledged that some of Paul’s writings could be hard to understand (2 Pet. 3:16). However, there can be no doubt that Paul taught Christians to obey God’s moral law, which is the same law summed up by Jesus as love to God and love to neighbor, upon which all the law and prophets hang (Matt. 22:37-40).

Notice that Paul taught the Jewish rite of circumcision has no bearing on salvation, while obedience to God’s commands is extremely important.

Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. (I Cor. 7:19)

Please examine these important teachings by Paul:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise. (Eph. 6:1-2)

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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (I Cor. 6:9-10)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:19-21)

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience…But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. (Col. 3:5-9)

Noting the highlighted portions of the previous verses, it should be clear that Paul taught people they must obey their parents, must not have any gods before the Lord (idolatry), must not covet, must not lie, must not steal, must not murder, must not take the Lord’s name in vain (blasphemy), and must not commit adultery (among other things). Paul has here upheld 8 of the 10 moral commandments, and has clearly stated that some of these sins will exclude one from the kingdom of God! Here is the ninth:

If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. (I Cor. 16:22)

Is Paul not teaching that we must LOVE the Lord our God (the first commandment) or be cursed?

Truly, the law of God was written on Paul’s heart, and he taught others to obey God. His problem with “legalists” was with those who wrongfully insisted that Gentiles convert to Jewish ways, not with those who obeyed God’s moral law from the heart!

 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Rom. 6:16

What? Obedience leads to righteousness? Indeed it does, and here Paul agrees with John, who wrote that only those who DO RIGHT are considered righteous! (I Jn. 3:7) Paul also wrote the following:

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Rom. 8:13

That’s a big IF, friends. According to Paul, you have to mortify the deeds of your body by the power of the Spirit if you want to retain spiritual life. And Paul lived what he preached–he kept his own body under subjection lest after preaching to others he himself should be a castaway (I Cor. 9:27).

One last, very important passage by Paul:

God, who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:  for there is no respect of persons with God. (Rom. 2:6-11)

What did Paul say would happen to those who do not OBEY truth?–They will have indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish! What did Paul say one must do to receive eternal life?–Patiently continue in well-doing (doing what is right or LAWFUL according to God’s standards!)

It truly is amazing that anyone would believe or teach that lawlessness is permissible in the Kingdom of God. To be part of this kingdom, one must faithfully serve its King!! Remember dear friends, Jesus Himself testified:

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom ALL THINGS THAT OFFEND, AND ALL THEM WHICH DO INIQUITY;and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 13:41-42)

God bless you!

Posted in Calvinism, Christian Life, Judgment of God, Legalism, Once Saved Always Saved | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Space to Repent

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 12, 2011

Right after delivering the powerful directive, “Unless you repent, you will perish,” Jesus told an important parable:

A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: and if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. (Luke 13:6-9)

The Lord wants fruit. In the parable of the four soils, He taught that there are four types of people to whom the Word of God comes, and only one of those four soils produces fruit “with patience.” (Luke 8:5-15) Of the three nonproductive soils, one has the Seed/Word of God stolen by satan before it can even germinate, one receives the Word with joy and believes for a while but in time of testing falls away, and one “brings no fruit to perfection,” being choked with “cares and riches, and pleasures of this life.”  It is very important that we examine ourselves to see if we are now in the faith–or if the soil of our heart is currently producing “fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Rom. 6:22)

It is not enough to have had a moment of faith sometime in the past–to have received the Word with joy, to have believed for a while, or to have produced immature fruit which has never been brought to perfection. In John 15, Jesus taught that we must abide (remain) in Him in order to continue to produce fruit. Attached to this command is a warning: all branches that stop abiding in the Vine will become fruitless and wither away. What will be their end?–being cast into the fire!

Returning to the parable in Luke 13, I notice that for three years the owner of the vineyard sought fruit on a certain fig tree. Finding none, he opted to cut it down, lest it overwork the ground for nothing. But the dresser of the vineyard pleaded for one more year, in which he would do everything in his power to make this tree fruitful–loosening the soil around the tree, fertilizing it, etc. This tree had one last chance to produce fruit or be cut down; this tree had “a space to repent.”

The false prophetess in the church of Thyatira had a space to repent, but she had not repented, and she would be judged. She had been teaching believers they could fornicate and partake of the table of demons as well as the table of God (Rev. 2:18-23). These same false teachings are abundant in our churches today, and many have been deceived by them, “having itching ears” that desire to live in sin while professing to know God–they profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.(Titus 1:16)

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Tim. 2:19)

There is a space to repent of these wicked works and wicked teachings–only a space, and a space has an end. There is a day in which we must “seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” (Isa. 55:6) In Noah’s day, there was a space to repent that lasted 120 years, while Noah preached righteousness and worked out his own salvation with fear and trembling, obeying God’s instructions carefully. Jesus taught that the end will come “as in the days of Noah”–while people are at ease, not considering the end of their careless rebellion against God, judgment will come upon them suddenly, and they will find to their horror that the door of salvation has been closed to them.

With Paul, I beseech you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, even as others have done to their own destruction. (2 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 3:15) To hear His voice when you know you have been lukewarm and fruitless, is to receive a merciful space to repent. Remember the lesson in I Cor. 10:1-12–many came out of Egypt, were baptized in the sea, and drank of Christ, only to be overthrown in the wilderness because they did not hold fast to the truth and continue to produce the good fruit of holiness to the Lord.

John the Baptist spoke to the Pharisees, “Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matt. 3:9) I say to my readers, “Think not to say within yourselves, I have had a good beginning and have served in the church, and I don’t need to repent of my lukewarm and divided heart or my friendship with the world–for I say unto you that Christ will spew out the lukewarm and cut down the fruitless!”

While your space to repent remains, draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded.Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (James 4:8-10)

Begin today to bring forth the fruits consistent with repentance! “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Matt. 3:10) The axe is laid, even now, dear reader!

May God bless you.

Posted in Christian Life, Judgment of God, Once Saved Always Saved | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

If We Do Not Give Up (Lessons from the Garden Part 1)

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 4, 2011

At the start of spring this year, I planted some heirloom vegetable seeds in trays which I kept by a warm window. I dutifully watered them and watched them grow. When they began to look spindly and sick, I started putting them outside in ever increasing intervals to be strengthened and hardened by the sun and wind.  My husband had plowed up a garden plot for me, and when the time seemed right, I dug rows and trenches with a shovel by hand.  I mulched the trenches carefully to inhibit weed growth and planted my seedlings, carefully adding some cow manure to each hole in which a seedling would begin its new life. Then I watered my new outdoor garden carefully, expectantly.

Within a week, there was clearly something wrong with the plants. I saw to my dismay that they had spots on them and were yellowing and sickly. What could have gone wrong? Immediately, great discouragement descended on my heart like a heavy cloud. God didn’t care about me, my good dreams, or my hard labor–so said a little voice that I quickly hushed, knowing the voice was lying.  Still, despite knowing God loved and cared for me, my garden was so disappointing after so much work, I ignored it for 2 days, thinking I might even abandon the project.

On the third day, I woke up with a new determination not to give up. There was still life out there; there were things I hadn’t done yet. I had some ideas I had to try.

As I went out into a very hot day and began working that garden, the joy of the Lord washed over me.

I almost wept as the Holy Spirit reminded me, “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Gal. 6:9) I felt His pleasure; He was pleased that I had not given up. He cared about me, and was using my garden to remind me of great spiritual truth.

Isaiah sang a song about his Beloved’s vineyard in Isa. 5–

My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

The Lord knows what it’s like to work hard and expect good grapes, yet see only the “wild grapes” of disobedience.  Thankfully, He does not give up easily. Though judgments would fall upon this vineyard that had not produced the fruits of righteousness, there was yet hope, and He would one day “see the travail of His soul, and…be satisfied,” for by His knowledge He would justify many and would bear the iniquities of those who would repent and believe (Isa. 53:11).  He would not simply turn His back on the human race, these sheep who insisted upon going astray. He would do everything possible to save them first.  Not only would He give His own life for them, but He would teach others to do the same–to labor hard, to suffer long, to feel the bitterness of disappointment, and to wait patiently in hope.

As we work as co-laborers in the harvest fields of the Lord, let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not–or if we do not give up.

I know that despair threatens to engulf us as wisdom cries from our bellies, and we see so many foolish people refusing to hear the word of the Lord. But we must not give up.

I know it sometimes seems hopeless, but love ALWAYS hopes, and is willing to suffer long–we must not give up.

As our Lord looked through the cross to “the joy set before Him,” so must we–“Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Heb. 12:3)

Today, my garden is thriving. It had a very troubled beginning, but now it is possibly the loveliest garden I’ve ever had. A friend reminded me that this describes God’s people–troubled beginnings that turn into lovely and fruitful gardens under His patient care.  How true!

God bless you!

Immature Roma tomatoes growing in my garden.

Posted in Christian Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Consent Thou Not

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 2, 2011

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. (Prov. 1:10)

I really love short phrases in the Bible that are easy to remember right in the moment of temptation. This phrase–“Consent thou not”–is one such phrase.

Professing Christians sometimes tell me that they can’t stop sinning against the Lord, and they are continually in a cycle of backsliding. Often they have wicked friends they refuse to stop spending time with. Because they spend time with these friends, they are influenced to do this or that. After all, refusing to do this or that might get them labeled a “holier-than-thou”! Besides, what’s wrong with having a couple of drinks? What’s wrong with listening to a secular radio station? What’s wrong with a little “harmless” flirting with a worldly person of the opposite sex? What’s wrong with this movie that takes God’s name in vain?–after all it has some good morals in it!

As Christians, we shouldn’t be asking, “What’s wrong with…” but rather “What’s RIGHT with this?”…”Will this help me to be closer to God?”…”Will this help my neighbor to be holier?”  If the answer isn’t a clear YES, the truly wise man will reject the activity rather than risk hurting his relationship with God, or stumbling his neighbor. If you are seeking to justify questionable activities, rather than actively pursuing activities that are unquestionably pure, you have a divided heart.

Professing Christian, you must work out your own salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING (Phil. 2:12). This is no game. The Lord is testing your heart and your mind (Psa. 7:9) to see if you love Him more than your life on this earth, including your friends and your fleshly desires. If you love the world or the things in the world, the love of God is not in you (I Jn. 2:15), but you have become an enemy of God (James 4:4).

You certainly CAN stop sinning–for you can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens you–and you MUST separate from those who are stumbling you. Come out from among such people and STOP touching unclean things, and THEN God will receive you and be a father to you! (2 Cor. 6:17-18) If you think you are accepted while you continue to choose the vile over the good, you are deceived. You are not tempted more than any other person, and God is faithful to not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability to withstand; He provides a way out of every temptation, but you must take that WAY (I Cor. 10:13)–you must choose the good and reject the evil.

Often the Way out of temptation is simply this: “If sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” You must say no to sin. You must, at times, say no to friends, family, & co-workers. You must make a covenant with God in your heart that you will not join sinners in their sin, and that you will separate from those who continually tempt you–“Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 13:14)

If your friend asks you to go to the bar for a few drinks, consent thou not.

If your friend asks you to look at a perverted web page, consent thou not.

If your friend wants you to laugh at a dirty joke, consent thou not.

If your friend wants you to cheat or lie, consent thou not.

If your friend wants you to stop living for Jesus in any way, shape, or form, consent thou not.

Who will be like a fruitful and green tree, bringing forth holy fruit in season? The man who “walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psa. 1:1-2)

Remember–If sinners entice you, Consent Thou Not.

God bless you!

Posted in Christian Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Spiritual Drunkenness, Part 1–A Blessing or a Curse?

Posted by israeliteindeed on February 20, 2010

From the Kansas City Prophets to Rodney Howard Browne–the self-proclaimed “Holy Ghost Bartender”, to the Lakeland “revival” led by unrepentant adulterer Todd Bentley, to the almost unbelievable blasphemies of John Crowder and Benjamin Dunn, all are held together by the not-so-invisible thread of spiritual drunkenness. They claim their drunken or “high” state is the joy of the Holy Spirit, and they label those who biblically question it as judgmental Pharisees or “people who won’t let God be God.” Thinking they have wisely “let God out of the box,” they don’t even realize their own blind pride and the slander they heap on all who lean not on fleshly feelings for answers, but instead look to the Rock–searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11).

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. I Jn. 4:1

Those who refuse to “try the spirits” are going to be led astray. It is my purpose to examine spiritual drunkenness in this paper by the Bible alone. For simplicity’s sake, I will be posting only the parts of verses which are applicable to our study, but I encourage you to use your Bible or Bible program to check the verses for yourself. I will begin with the Biblical condemnation of drunkenness.

Drunkenness Condemned in the Bible

But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. Luke 12:45-46

But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Luke 21:34-45

The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Rom. 13:12-14

But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. I Cor. 5:11

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed… I Cor. 6:9-11 (Clearly, drunkenness is condemned and those who practice it have no hope of heaven.)

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are….drunkenness…of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal. 5:19-21

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. Eph 5:18

For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. I Peter 4:3

So a quick summary of these verses reveals that drunkenness is a “work of darkness” and a “work of the flesh,” and those who participate in it will not inherit God’s kingdom.

Now the proponents of spiritual drunkenness claim that while physical drunkenness is forbidden, the Holy Ghost wants to make us spiritually drunk–and they even go so far as to say that this helps them overcome sin and the world. I intend to prove here that the Holy Spirit of God does not produce such evil fruit, and He is not manifesting Himself in drunkenness, which is forbidden.

Does the Bible ever speak of spiritual drunkenness? YES! And it is always a CURSE from the Lord! This curse is sent by God to help the rebellious destroy themselves! If they don’t repent and follow God’s numerous commands to “be sober,” they will indeed bring about their own destruction as surely as any alcoholic eventually destroys himself.

Spiritual Drunkenness as a Judgment in the Bible

Please read the following Scriptures in humility and the fear of the Lord.

He [God] takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man. Job 12:24-25

The princes of Zoan have become fools; the princes of Noph are deceived…The LORD has mingled a perverse spirit in her midst; and they have caused Egypt to err in all her work, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit. Isa. 19:13-14

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

Woe…to the drunkards of Ephraim…to those who are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord…will bring them down to the earth with His hand…the drunkards of Ephraim, will be trampled underfoot. Isa. 28:1-3

Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. Isa. 29:9-10

I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth. Isa. 63:6

Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land—even the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness!…I will not pity nor spare nor have mercy, but will destroy them.” Jer. 13:13-14

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Drink, be drunk, and vomit! Fall and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.” Jer. 25:27

Make him drunk, because he exalted himself against the LORD. Jer. 48:26

Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore the nations are deranged. Jer. 51:7

In their excitement I will prepare their feasts; I will make them drunk, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep and not awake,” says the LORD. Jer. 51:39

What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it…For while tangled like thorns, and while drunken like drunkards, they shall be devoured like stubble fully dried. Nahum 1:9-10

And to the Rodney Howard Browne’s, Todd Bentley’s, and John Crowder’s, who claim they are filled with “glory”–

Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness! You are filled with shame instead of glory. You also—drink! And be exposed as uncircumcised! The cup of the LORD’s right hand will be turned against you, and utter shame will be on your glory. Hab. 2:15-16

Is it not crystal clear that spiritual drunkenness is never a blessing from the Lord, but always a curse?!

Could you imagine my saying that physical fornication and adultery are forbidden, but spiritual fornication and adultery are good and encouraged by the Holy Spirit? How could these abominations ever be called holy? Yet this is what some are saying about drunkenness! Drunkenness is condemned–period. But those who having itching ears that want to hear that they can be drunk, are going to have their ears tickled by some false teacher who brings the message they crave! Enter Rodney Howard Browne, Todd Bentley, and John Crowder!!

If a man should walk in a false spirit and speak a lie, saying, I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,’ even he would be the prattler of this people. Micah 2:11

Please notice these prophets are walking in a “false spirit”! This is why we must believe not every spirit, but test them by the Word of God.  The true fruit of the Holy Spirit is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Gal. 5:22-23  Are these false prophets walking in and promoting self-control? Anyone who has seen these people staggering, laughing hysterically, gyrating, etc. should be able to see that this fruit is NOT from the Holy Spirit!

God is not playing, nor has He ever retracted any of His words about drunkenness. If you turn away from the Truth, He is going to give you a lie.

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

Do you have pleasure in unrighteousness? Do you have pleasure in drunkenness even though God has condemned it? Do you stubbornly reject the Word of the Lord, exalting yourself and your experiences over His truth and will for you? God will send you a strong delusion, that you may be condemned. If you still have ears to hear, please repent while there is time.

Go to Part 2 “Be Sober”

God bless you.

Posted in False Teachers, Judgment of God | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

All that the Father Gives Me will Come to Me

Posted by israeliteindeed on December 5, 2009

In this paper, I would like to examine a favorite “proof text” for the false doctrine of unconditional election, John 6:37 and 44, in light of other Scriptures.

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.  John 6:37

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44

Yes, Jesus taught that those who come to Him must be given Him or drawn by the Father.  Does this mean that God the Father arbitrarily chooses some for salvation and others for damnation, regardless of any choices a person might make in his life, as Calvinism teaches?

Calvinists build a false view of God, beginning right here in their misinterpretation of this passage and others.   By the time you follow their reasoning to its end, you are left to believe God callously pre-determines the fates of all human beings, a teaching which is a direct attack on the truth that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). I believe this passage has a very simple explanation that Calvinists completely miss because they are reading what they already believe into the Scriptures, and failing to note the context of what Jesus said.

The context is this:  Jesus was speaking to His critics and pointing out that they were backslidden from God although they were claiming to be the people of God. They assumed because their forefathers were God’s “chosen people,” that they too were automatically God’s “chosen people” simply because of their natural bloodline and historical heritage. Most were apostate from God!  The reason they rejected God’s messenger (Jesus) was because they had first rejected God Himself. God will not show His salvation to those who hate Him and disregard His commands.

To him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God. Psalm 50:23

Here we see that it is the conduct of a man–not a predetermined, arbitrary choosing on God’s part–that determines if God will show him His Salvation (Jesus).

Will God claim to offer salvation to “whosoever” (as He does in numerous Scriptures), and yet damn the majority through no fault of their own? Astonishingly, Calvinism accuses God of this very thing.

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Gen. 18:25

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. Eze. 18:20

Clearly, God testifies that each man is responsible for his own death, which he reaps by sowing his own sin.

Does God take pleasure when wicked men die?  It is “his pleasure,” says Calvin, for God to “doom to destruction” the wicked. Let God Himself prove Calvin a liar:

“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”  Eze. 18:23

‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ Eze. 33:11

God declares that He has NO PLEASURE in the death of the wicked, but rather desires all men to repent and be saved (Acts 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9).

If God desires and commands all men to repent and be saved, it follows that He has created man with the ability to repent and be saved; otherwise He is an evil tyrant, commanding what He has made impossible.  Even the soon-to-be-murderer Cain was told that if he did right, he would be accepted! (Gen. 4:7) Why then are some never saved? Why do so many refuse to come to Jesus for salvation? Why has the Father not “given” or “drawn” that person to Jesus?

But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. John 10:26

The Calvinist, well-trained in the interpretations of other men, reads this Scripture and quickly assumes that God has indiscriminately predetermined who His sheep will be. But was Jesus saying that?

Before the Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us, those who were faithful to God—that is those who were right with God according to the provisions of the Old Covenant—were called God’s sheep:

Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3

When Jesus said, “You are not of my sheep,” He was claiming ownership of God’s sheep! He was, in effect, claiming to be equal with God. He was also openly accusing His detractors of being apostate from God–no longer His sheep.

Those Jews who had remained faithful to God through the Old Covenant, or who had recognized their backslidden condition and repented at the preaching of John the Baptist and Jesus, were prepared to receive and follow Jesus.

The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the LORD.  Isa. 59:20

Those Jews who merely honored God with their lips, but kept their hearts far from Him, did not believe on Jesus when He came. A prime example of this is the Pharisees, as Jesus testified:

“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matt. 15:7-9

The unbelieving Pharisees were not “God’s sheep” because they were not faithful to the Old Testament covenant, which was the light they had already been given. They were transgressing the commandments of God to carry out their traditions (Matt. 15:6); neglecting justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matt. 23:13); filled with extortion and self-indulgence on the inside (Matt. 23:25); and only appeared clean on the outside—inside they were full of dead man’s bones, uncleanness, hypocrisy, and iniquity (Matt. 23:27-28).

The Pharisees claimed to follow Moses, yet Moses had prophesied thus:

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’  “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good.  I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.  And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” Deut. 18:15-19

The Pharisees and other unbelieving Jews had rejected the Prophet—Jesus—whom Moses said they must listen to, proving they did not truly love and obey God—nor even listen to Moses!  If they loved God, they would have recognized His Messiah/Prophet.  If they were faithful to the light they had received, God would have given them more light.

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.” John 8:42

“But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.” John 5:42

“It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” John 6:45

Jesus was not saying, as Calvinists falsely claim, that God pre-picked—apart from any personal choices—who would come to Jesus and who would be damned.  Jesus was emphasizing that the unbelieving Jews were apostate—they had refused to hear and learn from the Father, even though they claimed to be God’s people.  He was telling them the reason why they did not receive Him—it was because they were so far from God that they could not receive anything from God, not even His own Son. (See the parable Jesus spoke concerning the Pharisees in Mark 12:1-12.)

Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.  If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.” John 7:16-17

Jesus taught that those who sincerely wanted to do God the Father’s will would be able to recognize that He Himself was true.  Those who had a teachable spirit toward God the Father would be pointed to Jesus Christ—the very Word of God—by God.  Those who accepted God’s witness through Moses, the law, and the prophets; would also accept Jesus Christ, since He Himself had come from God.  Those who were in rebellion against God the Father would naturally not listen to Jesus Christ any more than they listened to the earlier witnesses.  Jesus said of those who rejected the testimony of the earlier prophets,

“If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”  Luke 16:31

Such needed to REPENT toward God first, and then He would draw them to the Son whom He had sent!

In Hosea 5:4, the backslidden people of Israel were thus accused:

They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God, for the spirit of harlotry is in their midst, and they do not know the LORD.

Here we see that “directing our deeds toward turning to our God” is an important step toward salvation. This is repentance from evil deeds. Those who refuse to “direct their deeds toward turning to their God” will not “know the LORD,” just as many Jews did not know Him when He was standing right in front of them.

Does this principle apply only to the Jews, or does it apply to Gentiles also?

Concerning the gospel message, Paul said in Acts 20:20-21:

I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks,

#1—repentance toward God and

#2—faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Repentance toward GOD is here listed before faith toward the Lord Jesus! It is significant that both John the Baptist and Jesus began their ministries preaching repentance toward God.  In fact, Jesus claimed:

“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5

Without repentance, then, there is no salvation according to Jesus!  Trying to “receive Jesus” without first repenting of your sins is like trying to grow seed in rocky, weedy, untilled soil.

Again, Paul testified before Agrippa that he preached to everyone that “they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” (Acts 26:20-21) Repentance is first!

Thus says the LORD: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. “ Isa. 56:1

Here, God was telling the Old Testament sheep to keep a clean slate with God because the Messiah was about to come!

God … now commands all men everywhere to repent. Acts 17:30

To him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God. Psalm 50:23

Who is the salvation of God whom God will show to the one who first orders his conduct aright?

Salvation is “in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:10). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life through whom men can be saved (John 14:6).

Nor is there salvation in any other [than Jesus Christ], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

While Jesus Christ is the only Way to be reconciled to God, it can also be said that repentance toward God is the way to Jesus Christ. A man still holding onto his sins does not yet realize how desperately vile they are, so how can he appreciate how much he needs Jesus Christ?  (The lack of repentance in today’s popular “gospel” message is a major reason why so many professors of Christianity are still in their sins! They remain unsaved.)

A wonderful illustration of the truth that God will show His salvation to the one who “orders his conduct aright”  is the story of the Gentile Cornelius in Acts 10. Cornelius was said to be “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” (vs. 2) This man was divinely instructed by an angel to seek out the apostle Peter, and to “hear words from him.” Those words included the testimony of Jesus Christ. After the Gentiles present heard those words, the Holy Spirit fell on them, showing that God’s salvation was for Gentiles as well as for Jews.  Peter testified:

In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.  But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. Acts 10:34-35

Who is accepted? The one who fears GOD and works righteousness (repents of evil deeds.) Cornelius feared God first, then God sent him to Peter so that Peter could teach him that “whoever believes in Him (Jesus) will receive remission of sins.” (vs. 43)  Would Cornelius have been open to this message of having his sins remitted through Jesus Christ if he had not feared God first?

The one who seeks God with the whole heart is promised to find Him. If you seek after God, God will make the Way to Himself open to you. He will lead you to Jesus Christ, through Whom you can be saved. If a man does not seek God, neither will he have any true regard for Jesus.  This is the message Jesus was relaying in John 6: 37, 44.

Those who reject the light they’ve already been given will lose whatever light they had.

Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you…While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. John 12:35-36

Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him. Luke 8:18

Stephen–a man “full of the Holy Spirit”–testified to the unbelieving Jews that stoned him,

You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Acts 7:51

Did God indiscriminately keep the unbelieving Jews from Jesus, or were those Jews guilty of resisting the Holy Spirit of God? Friends, the truth is that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” but we reap what we sow.  (I Tim. 2:4, Gal. 6:7)

In Romans 1:18-25, we see the progression into error by those who reject what God has already revealed to them:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.  Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Paul testified to the men of Athens:

And He [God] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. Acts 17:26-27

Clearly, God WANTS all men to “grope for Him and find Him.” Unfortunately, many reject the light they already have—the dual witness of creation and their own conscience—and darkness overtakes them.

Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek Your statutes. Psalm 119:155

Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. John 12:35

There are many promises in Scripture that those who seek God with all their heart will find Him. The promise is open to everyone!

But from there [when you are in distress] you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut. 4:29

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13

You who seek God, your hearts shall live. Psa. 69:32

Seek Me and live. Amos 5:4

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. Prov. 8:17

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Luke 11:9-10

Friend, those who repent of sin and seek God with their whole heart will be led to place their faith in and follow the Word of God, who is Jesus!  Salvation is open to all who meet God’s requirements!

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

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. Rom. 10:13

Whoever believes in Him [Jesus] will receive remission of sins. Acts 10:43

Come to Me [Jesus], all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28

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.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. Luke 9:23-24

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Rom. 1:16

Those who come He shall cause to take root in Jacob; Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit. Isa 27:5

God bless you!

Posted in Calvinism, False Teachers, Once Saved Always Saved | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: