The Grace of God

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

Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

The Way You Know

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 2, 2016

“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” ~Jesus (John 14:4)

Jesus is the Way. If you truly know Him, you know the Way.

There are many voices in this world wanting to be followed as potential “ways.” Entirely false religions as well as false voices claiming to be from Christ, seeking to lead us by degrees to other gods. Prophets and dreamers, false accusers and soothsayers.  Even well-meaning people with blind spots can be used by the enemy to divert us from the course He has given us.  Our own thoughts and feelings can be shifting sand. Don’t be distracted by all the noise. Don’t turn to the right or to the left. Look unto the Word of God, your Redeemer, your Rock of Salvation.

If you know Jesus, if He has saved you, if it is Him–the Living Word–you are following, then the way you know. The way may be hard, but the way you know. There may be people who despise, condemn, or misunderstand you; but the way you know. You may not know exactly how the current trial will play out, but the way you know. You may not know what will happen to your country, your family, or your own body; but the way you know!  If you are truly His, I pray this fills you with holy comfort.

A beloved sister, Patricia White, maintains a faithful witness at the blog Hoshi’ana. She has been enduring trials recently, and shared a testimony with friends of how the Lord has been faithful, and how she will continue to stand in Him. Here it is:

Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So!

I will follow Jesus until the day I die. No devil in hell, no liar or wicked person, whether they be male or female, family or friend, politician, religious leader or teacher, will cause me to veer off course, will remove me from this Highway of Holiness, or will take my crown; though they try, oh how they try!

Jesus Christ rescued me from the pits of hell; He gave me His Name; He gave me His Holy Spirit; He gave me His Word and His promises. Jesus healed my body in more ways than I can count and opened my barren womb and gave me a son. He taught me the Truth and gave me revelation of the scriptures. He taught me holiness and repentance; faith and endurance; joy and peace.

The best day of my life was when, in a vision, I saw His face and received my calling. That event taught me the fear of the Lord in a greater way than I had already known and caused me to walk even closer to my Savior. Since that day, the trials of my faith appeared and continue to. Sometimes the cross is exceedingly heavy to carry, but He is faithful and comes along and lifts the burden from my heart. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Jesus opened the door to true fellowship and through the years I have been blessed by godly relationships, some near and some far. I have found friends that stick closer than a brother and have taught me through their patience and humility. Thank you for their lives, Lord.

Please let this not be seen as my boasting of self. Let it not be seen as I am anything at all, but that all glory and thanksgiving goes to my Lord. It is He who died for me, and it is He who redeemed me. This is a simple proclamation of faith and testimony to share with you all today – that, as many of you do know – God is good. His mercy endures forever. Keep climbing that Holy Mount friends. The end of our faith isn’t far away.

Peace be with you.

Praise God for the faith of the saints. Though they endure sufferings, they cling unto the One they know! He has been faithful in the past, and He will be faithful yet again.

Samuel raised a stone called Ebenezer to remind God’s people of the Lord’s faithfulness thus far:

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” (I Sam. 7:12)

“Here I raise my Ebenezer,
Hither by Thy help I’ve come,
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God,
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.”

From “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

Raise your Ebenezer today, saints of the Lord. Recount how the Lord sent His Word to heal you, how He rescued you from Egypt, how He overcame your enemies, how He filled your mouth with truth, and your heart with joy and peace. Between here and eternity are struggles; but we know the Way! Keep to the Way, and you will make it home.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

Paul knew that in every city, chains and tribulations awaited him (Acts 20:23), yet he confidently raised his Ebenezer before King Agrippa, a faithful witness to the end–

Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great… (Acts 26:22)

May you always do the same! The Way you know; the Way is Jesus!

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

Striving Against Sin

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 26, 2016

30217You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. Heb. 12:4

My family knew a man who told us he was “struggling against the sin of pornography.”

It turned out he kept a big box of porn under his bed. He opened it when the urge hit, and then he felt some guilt afterward because he knew it was wrong, but his guilty feelings never drove him to change. When challenged with Scripture, he justified his sins by saying we all sin.

My friends, this is not striving against sin. This is making provision for the flesh and living after the flesh. He provided for his flesh by keeping the box beneath the bed when he already knew it was wrong. And he lived after the flesh by repeatedly obeying the urge to open the box. This man deceived himself that he was a Christian involved in the “struggle against sin.” He was actually a repeat-sinner in ongoing rebellion against God, experiencing worldly sorrow–a sorrow that does not lead to repentance and salvation (I Cor. 7:9-11).

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Rom. 13:14)

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Rom. 8:13)

Can it get any clearer? Unless we put on the LORD Jesus Christ, and put to death and mortify the deeds of the body, we will die. Period.

I could post the whole chapter of Romans 6 here. But here are some highlights–

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (1-2)

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. (5-7)

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (12-16)

Either we are dead to sin and no longer living in it, or we are still obeying sin and headed to an eternal DEATH. We have a choice to make. To whom will we present the members of our bodies?–Sin or God? To truly be under grace is to be freed from the dominion of sin. If you are under the dominion of sin, you are separated from grace and need to die with Christ that you may also live with Him.

Jesus depicted the struggle against sin very graphically–

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matt. 5:29-30)

If you are offering your eye, your hand, your mouth, or your mind to sin, dare you believe that Jesus will accept your excuses after this stern warning about the peril of sin and its consequences?

“We all sin…”
“If my spouse/parents/children/problems were different, then I’d be different…”
“People hurt me, so I can’t help…”

Jesus won’t accept these excuses. He said cut off the hand or pluck out the eye. Do whatever you have to do to escape being cast into hell. Because you WILL be cast into hell unless you get the victory over sin. And the victory over sin comes through Him, but He doesn’t hand you victory on a silver platter while that wicked box is still under your bed, friend. Until you truly sorrow over your sin to the point that you are ready to fight to the death, the victory will not come.

Do you want to strive against sin and win? Here’s what that looks like–

March into your bedroom and pull that wretched box out. Take it outside and set it on fire. Confess to the Lord that you have done wicked things He hates. Confess that you deserve His judgment and there is no excuse. Ask Him to break your heart as His is broken over sin. Ask Him to show you how your sin exploits and hurts others (He will). Call up a strong Christian and tell him what you just did. Ask him to check up on you regularly and hold your feet to the fire. Give him access to your future internet searches. Search out and find every verse that exposes and condemns that sin, and post them around the house. Memorize verses about holiness, obedience, and victory in Jesus. Make a covenant with your eyes that you will not look lustfully at women (Job 31:1), and daily walk out that covenant. When you want to stop at the convenience store that sells dirty magazines, REFUSE to stop. In fact, don’t go to those stores. Don’t hang around people who look at porn. When you drive past a seductive billboard or half-dressed woman, train your eyes to look away, refusing to offer your eyes to unrighteousness. When you accidentally see an image that tempts you, immediately replace the image with Scripture or a remembrance of what Jesus did for you on the cross. Pray and take the way out by obeying Jesus no matter how strong the temptation is. Teach others that porn will take them to hell. If the internet is a problem, GET IT SHUT OFF. This is not too harsh, friend. This is not yet resisting to blood, and you have to be serious in the fight if you want to overcome.

When’s the last time you fasted from food and meditated on Scripture all day, so as to bring your body completely under subjection and get the victory over that evil thing you keep doing? It may take that. Do whatever it takes.

When you’re engaged in this kind of struggle, you can be sure that the Lord will come down and fight for you. He will not let you be tempted beyond your endurance, but will provide a way out. But too many are offered a way out and don’t take it. You must train yourself to take the way out. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Sin crouches at the door and desires to rule over you, but YOU MUST RULE OVER IT. You must! And you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, but if you ignore the way out provided and make provision for your flesh, you will fail of the grace of God.

I was delivered from cigarettes many years ago, when I cried out to the Lord and He told me to crush my cigarettes to bits and discard them. I had been praying for deliverance for a couple months, while asking my spouse to leave me a few cigarettes per day. As long as I made that provision for my flesh, I couldn’t quit.  But when I acted on the Lord’s command and crushed them up, told my spouse not to leave me any more, and also refused to ever buy a pack ever again, that was it. I never smoked again.

Of course the tempter tried to get me to return to my vomit. A few months later, I woke up on a summer night. The first thought that popped into my mind was, “There’s a pack of cigarettes on the counter (my spouse still smoked.) If you get up and smoke one on the porch, no one will ever know.” At that point, I had a choice to make. I could smoke it and blame my spouse for tempting me. Or I could resist the devil and REFUSE to even get out of bed. I chose the latter. Staying in bed was the way out. And I’m happy to say the tempter fled and the urge passed. God’s Word is true.

A dog  feeling a bit sad about devouring his vomit, and a washed pig “sorry” to have fallen in the mud again, is not a struggling Christian. Such a person was better off before knowing the truth–

For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 2 Pet. 2:20-21

Now maybe you don’t drink, smoke or chew, or go with girls who do. Maybe you pride yourself in that porn is not a problem for you. My question to you is this:  How is your character? Is it like the character of Jesus Christ? Are you rude to your coworkers? Do you steal time from your employer by being lazy? Are you impatient with your spouse or children? Do you let ungodliness come out of your mouth when you’re irritated? Do you have road rage? Do you harbor unforgiveness toward others? Do you threaten others, rather than entreat them? It’s easy to judge ourselves by a few externals and think we are doing ok compared to others. But comparing ourselves to others is not wise. Let us compare ourselves to Jesus, and the standards given to New Testament believers. Let us not be happy with external changes if our hearts are still darkened. White washed tombs are still filled with death. Let us pray that God will show us any wicked way in ourselves, and then begin to earnestly strive against sin.

If you are lustful, angry, violent, unthankful, lazy, greedy, impatient, unkind, etc., it’s time to crucify your flesh with its passions and desires. It’s time to fight like you’ve never fought before. It’s time to cry out to Jesus like you never have before. It’s time to flush your deceitful excuses and make humble confession to those you’ve been hurting. It’s time to stop hiding in the shadows and step into the light; God is not fooled, and those close to you are probably not fooled either. It’s time to fill your mind with all the Scriptures that apply TO YOU, not to your neighbor. It’s time to meditate on the Word day and night, and stop letting your mind fill with thoughts that lead to sin. It’s time to figure out what the way out looks like, and start taking it. It’s time to cut off the hand, pluck out the eye, memorize Scripture, become accountable to strong believers, fast, agonize, make it right with all those you’ve offended, and learn to do good.

If you continue in sin,

Your professed faith in Christ won’t save you.
Your excuses won’t save you (ie “The woman you gave me…”)
Your church attendance won’t save you.
Your exposure of false churches won’t save you.
Your doctrinal knowledge won’t save you.
Your Christian friendships won’t save you.
Your good reputation before others won’t save you.
Your exposure of OTHER people’s sins won’t save you.
Your “balancing the scale” with some good works won’t save you.

You might even have a blog like this one, and work hard to expose all sorts of things. You might witness on the streets or give money to missionaries. But if you don’t deal with that sin that you know about, and if you don’t change your behavior, Jesus’ stern warning about hell applies to you.

Sin desires to have you, but YOU MUST RULE OVER IT (Genesis 4:7). It is not those who hear the Word of God, but those who do it, who will be saved.

Posted in Backslider, Once Saved Always Saved, Repentance | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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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High Above All Nations

Posted by israeliteindeed on December 27, 2014

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. (Deut. 28:1)

This promise opens a whole chapter which plainly teaches that obedience to God’s voice brings blessing, while disobedience to God’s voice brings a curse. Yes, to the earthly Israel was given a promise that IF-IF-IF they obeyed God’s voice, they would inherit blessing and be “high above all the nations on earth.”

When we consider how this chapter has played out in history–all recorded in Scripture for our learning, it should become obvious that some in the nation obeyed the Lord’s voice, and some did not–all the way up until the vineyard was taken from most of the original tenants of the land and given to others who would produce its fruit (Matt. 21:33-46).

In other words, of the original tenants, some DID inherit the promises, and they WERE set high above all the nations on earth. Those who did not obey, forfeited everything.

Look at this promise given to Jeremiah:

Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “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. 1:9-10)

Not only was Jeremiah set over his own nation as a prophet and spiritual judge, he was also set over the surrounding nations. In the flesh, we see only a lowly prophet who was considered a threat to national security, thrown in a well, and/or largely ignored. In the Spirit, he was over all the nations, and none could dislodge him so long as he obeyed the voice of the Lord. Certainly, Jeremiah inherited the conditional promises of blessing.

God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. (Psa. 47:8)

For the kingdom is the Lord’s, And He rules over the nations. (Psa. 22:28)

This kingdom, which rules over the nations, was preached by Jesus and His disciples and apostles (Lk 8:1-2; Mk 1:14-15; Acts 20:25, 28:30-31). This is the kingdom into which we must all press if we are to be saved. Those who will inherit this kingdom are described in Matthew 5, in what is commonly called “The Beatitudes.” Strangely, many professing Christians deny that the Beatitudes have any authority over how we behave with relation to the nations. Instead they choose the ways of the world–exalting themselves through lies or violence or both. A textbook example would be the Crusaders fighting the Muslims over Jerusalem, claiming to be serving the Lord by their evil, but there are many other such examples in our modern times. Such may appear to be ruling over others for a time, but they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Those who inherit the kingdom, like Jeremiah, may appear to be the biggest losers while this earth still stands in its present form. Yet, they are promised to reign with Christ.

So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matt. 19:28)

Some see this verse as still entirely future. But the Son of Man is already seated on His throne of glory.

But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:55-56)

Stephen was essentially testifying that Jesus was already on His throne with the Father, confirming Jesus’ earlier testimony that all authority had been given to Him in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). John also testified that the Lamb (Jesus) could be seen “in the midst of the throne” (Rev. 5:6). See also Psalm 110 & Daniel 7:9-14.

I believe that all men who have been regenerated (born again) are already seated high above the nations in the kingdom of God, as Paul wrote here–

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)

Paul was clearly speaking by the Spirit about spiritual things–things which are very real, even if we cannot see them with carnal observation.

Those who are born again are presently seated with Christ in His kingdom! And from this safe place, no kingdom on earth can hurt them. Because their life is hid with Christ in God, they too are “high above all nations.” This is why we are not to fear those who can kill the body, but cannot touch the soul. (Matt. 10:28) The two witnesses were slain in the body, but their souls were safely caught up to heaven. Even the martyrs are found where?–in a safe place, resting, comforted by the Lord (Rev. 6:9-11).

It requires spiritual eyes to see and embrace these truths. One who isn’t born again cannot even see the kingdom. One who doesn’t come humbly, as a child, cannot enter it. God Himself lifts up the humble of the earth and sets them at His table, in a city made by His own hands. In this city there is neither Jew nor Gentile, nor any other proud faction. There are only the Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. They are the lowly of the earth who put their trust in Jesus, and in nothing else. These, God has lifted up and made His children.

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Knowing God

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 28, 2014

“Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice, who uses his neighbor’s service without wages and gives him nothing for his work, who says, ‘I will build myself a wide house with spacious chambers, and cut out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion.’ Shall you reign because you enclose yourself in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Was not this knowing Me?” says the Lord. “Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, and practicing oppression and violence.” (Jer. 22:13-17)

This message was given to a son of Josiah, king of Judah. He was promised that he would die a captive and “see this land no more.” Notice God’s complaint about him–unrighteousness and injustice, covetousness, shedding innocent blood, oppression and violence. God compared him to his father, who had done “justice and righteousness,” and asked, “Was not this (doing justice and righteousness) knowing Me?”

All throughout Scripture, knowing God is equated with carefully doing what is right.

For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. (Jer. 4:22)

To know God is to understand right and wrong, and to do good!

Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord. (Jer. 9:23-24)

Wisdom, power, and wealth are nothing in which to glory. Through all of the world’s “wisdom,” it did not know God (I Cor. 1:21). Solomon, even with his supernatural wisdom, still allowed his heart to be led astray to idol worship; if he understood all mysteries, he did not maintain an enduring love for the Lord. Armies with all of their power can be drowned in the sea the moment they have outlived their usefulness in God’s hand. Riches make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven (Prov. 23:5). Let us not glory in any of these things.

To understand and know God is to know that He delights in lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness, and to walk in the same. He keeps covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments (Deut. 7:9), but curses those who do not obey (Deut. 11:28).

The Lord brought a charge against Israel, saying:

There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. (Hos. 4:1)

Why did He say there was no knowledge of God in the land?

By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint, with bloodshed upon bloodshed. (Hos. 4:2)

He knew by their evil deeds that they did not know Him. And because they “rejected knowledge,” He would reject those evildoers from being priests before Him (Hos. 4:6). Israel would cry, “My God, we know You!” (Hos. 8:2) But their actions showed otherwise–“They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God…they do not know the Lord.” (Hos. 5:4)

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. (Dan. 11:32)

Covenant breakers can be corrupted by the flattery of the devil’s servants–they stumble, being disobedient to the Word (I Pet. 2:8). But those who truly know God and know His heart will also know how to behave in difficult times. Even if they should fall by sword, flame, captivity or plundering (Dan. 11:33), they will do no evil, but will overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).

Knowing God is no small matter. It is equated with having eternal life (Jn. 17:3; I Jn. 5:20). This has been God’s goal from the beginning, that a people would know Him, obey His Word, and be wholly His.

But what happens when what may be known of God is manifest, and the people to whom He is manifest do not like to retain God in their knowledge? They are given over to a debased mind to do things which are evil, and to approve of the evil of others. (Rom. 1:18-31) There are many in the professing church today who approve of and participate in evil! Through deceit, they refuse to know God (Jer. 9:6).

Paul testified that his countrymen had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge–they were ignorant of God’s righteousness. Thinking they could establish their own form of righteousness, they tried to be acceptable to God through traditions, while not truly knowing Him or living pleasing to Him. Many were continuing to reject and rebel against God’s Word even after experiencing His judgments through exile, and His mercy in sending Christ to them (Rom. 10). To such unbelieving Jews, Jesus said, ” You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known my Father also.” (Jn. 8:19) Anyone who knows the Father also recognizes the Son; all who know God keep His Word.

We can know God by looking into the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). When we see the Son, we see also the Father (Jn. 14:9). What did Jesus teach, how did He teach, how did He respond to people and circumstances? We must deny ourselves (and whatever empty traditions we have received from our fathers) and follow Him. When we abide in Him, keeping all His sayings from our hearts, we also abide in the Father and possess eternal life.

As in Old Testament times, in New Testament times there are still those who claim to know God but follow after sin. Ongoing sin is still the primary evidence of not knowing God.

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (I Jn. 2:3-4)

Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. (I Cor. 15:34)

They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. (Titus 1:16)

Paul admonishes the Church to awake to righteousness, lest we deny Him by our disobedience! With spiritual weapons, we must cast down any argument that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:4-5). Through knowledge of Him, we have received all things that pertain to life and godliness, and can be partakers of the divine nature of holiness (I Pet. 1:2-4). A person who knows God will obey the teachings of the apostles who gave us Scripture (I Jn. 4:6), and he will walk in love–“Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (I Jn. 4:7-8) This love always includes keeping God’s commands (I Jn. 5:2).

The Church should be increasing in the knowledge of God–till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). Paul prayed for the Colossians that “you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Col. 1:9-10)

And what will be the end of those who do not know God and do not obey His gospel?

“…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thess. 1:7-9)

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Hear & Do the Sermon on the Mount

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 30, 2014

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matt. 7:24-29)

Thus ends the “Sermon on the Mount” which began in Matthew 5.

When Jesus instructed His listeners to “hear these sayings of Mine” and DO them, or else be destroyed, He was teaching them as “one having authority.” Do His sayings carry that much weight? They do.

So what are the sayings we must do from the Sermon on the Mount? (If you’d rather read Jesus’ actual words than my summary following, please read Matt. 5-7, then skip ahead to the bold type at the bottom of this writing. Otherwise, keep reading.)

Here is a summary of what we must do, in my own words:

1. We must be “poor in spirit” to enter the kingdom of heaven. (5:3)

2. We must mourn appropriately to be comforted. (5:4)

3. We must be meek to inherit the earth. (5:5)

4. We must hunger and thirst for righteousness to be filled. (5:6)

5. We must be merciful to obtain mercy. (5:7)

6. We must be pure in heart to see God. (5:8)

7. We must be peacemakers to be called sons of God. (5:9)

8. We must be willing to suffer for righteousness’ sake to gain heaven. (5:10-12)

9. As “the salt of the earth,” we must not lose our flavor and become good for nothing. (5:13)

10. As “the light of the world,” we must be willing to challenge the darkness with our light, rather than hiding it away as if ashamed. (5:14-16)

11. We must not break “the least of these commandments” or teach men so. (5:17-19)

12. Our righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees and scribes; we must be inwardly clean, not just outwardly clean. (5:20)

13. We must go beyond the letter of the law to the Spirit of it in our obedience. Example: in addition to not murdering or committing adultery, we must not allow hatred or lust in our hearts. (5:21-28)

14. We must attempt to be reconciled to our brother if he has something against us, or else our worship of God will not be accepted. (5:22-26)

15. We must deal with our own temptations and sins to the point of hurt unless we want to be cast into hell. (5:29-30) “Make no provision for the flesh” (Rom. 13:14). “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed striving against sin.” (Heb. 12:4)

16. Except in cases of sexual immorality, we must not divorce lest we cause another to commit adultery. (5:31-32)

17. We must not swear by anything; we must be people who keep our word. (5:33-37)

18. We must not “resist an evil person,” but turn the other cheek even if he is violent. “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” is not to be the creed of the New Covenant Christian. (5:38-39)

19. If we are sued, we must be willing to give up more than was asked. (5:40)

20. If we are compelled to go a mile, we must be willing to go two. (5:41)

21. We must not turn away from those who ask for charity or to borrow from us. (5:42)

22. We must love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who use or persecute us. We must go beyond the “goodness” of the world, which loves friends and hates enemies. We must emulate the Father, who blesses both good and evil people in this life. (5:43-48)

23. We must not do charity with a motive of being praised by men, but instead a motive to please God. Secrecy is a safeguard against hypocrisy. (6:1-4)

24. Our prayers must not be motivated by a desire to look spiritual before men, but to please the Father. Secrecy is a safeguard against hypocrisy. (6:5-6)

25. We must not pray with “vain repetition” as if, by it, we can coerce God with many words. (6:7-8)

26. Our prayers should acknowledge God’s glory and kingdom, our submission to His will, our trust in His providence, active forgiveness of others and asking forgiveness, and asking for strength to overcome temptation. (6:9-13)

27. We must forgive others, or we will not be forgiven! (6:14-15)

28. Fasting must not be used as a show of pretended spirituality, but is between us and the Father. Secrecy is a safeguard against hypocrisy. (6:16-18)

29. We must value and store up heavenly treasure rather than earthly treasure. (6:19-21)

30. We must keep “a good eye” (focus on what is heavenly) lest we be filled with darkness. (6:22-23)

31. We must not attempt to serve both God and money. We must love one and hate the other. (6:24)

32. We must not worry about even necessities (food and clothes), but trust God will provide what is needed. (6:25-32)

33. We must have as our highest priority the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, not our basic necessities. (6:32-34)

34. We must not judge others hypocritically, while ignoring our own sins. (7:1-5)

35. We must discern to whom we should “cast pearls.” Forcing truth on those who do not value it will only hurt us. (7:6)

36. In our pursuit of God’s kingdom and righteousness, we must ask, seek, and knock, trusting that God will respond by giving us the good things we need. (7:7-11)

37. We must consider how we want to be treated, and treat others accordingly. Sincere benevolence toward God and men fulfills both the Law and the Prophets. (7:12)

38. We must choose the narrow way and difficult road that leads to life, even though only comparatively few others will be on it. To choose the easier, more popular way will end in destruction. (7:13-14)

39. We must beware of false prophets, and judge them by their fruits, lest we be destroyed like sheep ravaged by wolves. (7:15-20)

40. We must go beyond calling Jesus “Lord” and prophesying/doing wonders in His name. We must do the will of God and refuse to practice lawlessness/disobedience. Otherwise we will not be allowed entrance into heaven. (7:21-23)

These are the sayings from the Sermon on the Mount that we must hear and do lest our house be destroyed!

I have been told that I take this Sermon “too literally.” I am urged to accept either the American version or the Dispensational version of this Sermon, instead of the actual Sermon Jesus delivered.

The American version twists it to make it more accessible to the lawless, the haughty (proud to be an American), the non-meek (who take the earth by force), the unmerciful, the non-peacemaker, the lover of earth’s treasure, the pretender at spirituality, the despiser of the poor and the stranger, the unforgiving, and the one who places his own earthly needs above the kingdom of God. It does this by claiming Jesus did not mean what He said, but meant something different. Meekness, peacemaking, mercy, etc., are said to be applicable only in situations where being such doesn’t cost much. How very convenient! (One commenter on this blog said that if I would not literally pluck out my tempted eye, then I also did not have to literally love my enemies. This ridiculous logic is destructive and reveals a purposeful disobedience to Christ.)

The dispensational version of this Sermon simply claims that only physical Jews need obey it! Even more convenient! With this version, we don’t even have to rationalize away this or that uncomfortable part; we can just reject the whole thing outright as long as we are Gentiles. Oh, how the western church has sought out many inventions!

I reject those adulterated versions of Christ’s Sermon as lies from the devil!

I reject the notion that I can take Jesus less seriously than I do, and still live.

I reject the notion that Jesus respects self-centered American ideals more than He respects the selfless ideals of His own kingdom.

I reject the notion that we can try to have both, and still please the King of heaven.

I reject the notion that Christ’s words are for some other people group other than those who hear His words.

The words of Jesus are spirit and life. If I hear them and do them, my house will stand firm. If I do not, my house will be destroyed. I believe the same applies to YOU, no matter who you are.

As Jesus would say, “He that has ears to hear, let him hear.”

And let the one who hears also DO–lest, hearing only, he deceive himself!

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Whatever He Says, Do

Posted by israeliteindeed on March 3, 2014

So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” (Gen. 41:55)

Here, Joseph is an Old Testament picture of the Son of God. When all the world is famished and on the brink of perishing, there is only one Savior capable of giving true help. “Go to Joseph” or “Go to Jesus; whatever he says to you, do.”

Mary, falsely worshiped by catholics as co-redeemer and co-mediator, recognized this truth about Jesus.

His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:5)

Do we have to do the things Jesus says to be saved from perishing? Remember His teaching about the man who hears Jesus’ sayings and does them, versus the man who hears Jesus’ sayings and does not do them. The first man’s life is preserved, while the disobedient man’s life is destroyed. (Matt. 7:24-27)

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (Matt. 7:21)

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? (Lk. 6:46)

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets preached, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds.”’ But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the Lord. (Zech. 1:3-4)

Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you. (Jer. 26:13)

It is wholly true that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matt. 4:4) A man at variance with God’s Word is still abiding in death. It doesn’t matter how religious he is, or how many times he has prayed the prayer, or whether his whole church accepts him as a man of God. If he is not in submission to God’s chosen King–Jesus–he is still dead in trespasses and sins.

Jesus, God in flesh, demonstrated His absolute obedience to the Father’s will, giving us an example of the Spirit-led life. He did nothing and said nothing but what His Father told Him to do and say (Heb. 10:9; Jn. 5:17, 19; Jn. 4:34; Jn. 7:16). The Holy Spirit is given to all who obey God (Acts 5:32) and He leads us into all Truth, both in doctrine and practice. Everything we do and everything we say/teach is to be guided by the Father through the Spirit of Jesus in us. Any other “Christian life” is a counterfeit.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Rom. 12:2)

Why do we need to prove what is the will of God?–So that we can do it. Peter said–

But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. (Acts 10:35)

Today we have multitudes of teachers saying that we can do as we please, and as long as we give lip-service to God (calling Him Lord but refusing to work the righteousness that is His will), He still accepts us. Or they demonstrate–by accepting anyone into their churches that tithes or signs a piece of paper–that outward conformity is enough to be accepted. Not so. Unless a man is born again, and there is evidence of all things becoming new (as they come into conformity with God’s commands), that man is not yet in the Kingdom of God. He can’t even see it, let alone be part of it. Many attend church on Sunday mornings who don’t even seek out the will of God, let alone set the course of their lives to do it. Such people are not accepted by God.

And how is a man born again?–By the incorruptible Word of God when it is received into an obedient heart (I Pet. 1:22-23). And now we are to be “obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (I Pet. 1:14-16) The holiness required is the fruit that comes from the union of the Word of God and an obedient heart, out of which will naturally flow practical, observable righteousness.

If there is no obedience, there will be no life.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (Jam. 1:21-25)

Therefore, dear reader, whatever Jesus says to you, do it!

*A word of caution: there are some that create a Jesus of their own imagination. This Jesus is always whispering in their ear things that are questionable when held up to the light of the Written Word. Remember we have the “more sure word of prophecy,” the Scriptures. Test the spirits–test all voices in your head–test every voice that comes through a speaker–by the written Word. Jesus Himself demonstrated a reliance on what was already written when He was tempted (Matt. 4:1-11). We must do likewise.

There are many commands already written in Scripture that are easy to understand. There is much–again, already written–to be obeyed. Some run ahead of the doctrines of Christ and seek out “new revelations” so that they can appear more spiritual to themselves and others. They are deceiving themselves by focusing on unclear things rather than obeying what is already clear. They claim to be obeying Jesus, but in reality they are obeying a created idol in their imaginations that keeps them always learning but never knowing the Truth. Beware that the voice you are hearing never contradicts what is already written. (See I Jn. 4:1; Isa. 8:20)

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Dead Works vs. Good Works

Posted by israeliteindeed on March 24, 2013

Hebrews 6:1-2 contains a list of foundational principles of the doctrine (teaching) of Christ. In order, they are:  repentance from dead works, faith toward God, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

So…what exactly is repentance from dead works?

I have heard it taught that this refers to a repenting of doing good works, and that one must be sure not to do good works when they are seeking salvation.

The gospel, presented with this particular understanding of repentance from dead works, looks like this:

You must repent of doing good works (often called “self-righteousness”) and you must understand there is nothing you can do. Then have faith in Jesus and He will do it all.

This explanation of the gospel is woefully inadequate and dangerous. Some people who hear this message conclude that their works (good or bad) don’t matter at all, and that trying to live a life pleasing to the Father is sinful. They think it would be a better expression of faith if they stop (repent of) trying to do good, and just go with the flow, trusting the mercy of God to cover them. I believe this false understanding is a recipe for spiritual shipwreck.

While it is true that we can’t earn salvation with good works, I do not think this is what the writer of Hebrews had in mind. By dead works, I believe he meant works that lead to death–or in other words, sin.  Remember, the wages of sin is death. We are required to repent of sin/iniquity (2 Tim. 2:19).  We are to repent of dead works, and we begin to do the good works that glorify our Father (Matt. 5:16) which God has ordained for us to walk in (Eph. 2:10). We don’t begin to do those good works in order to earn our salvation, but because we have been converted from the heart to love righteousness and hate wickedness as our Father does.  [For more detail on the necessity of biblical repentance and what it looks like, please read Repentance Toward God.]

Hebrews 9:13-14 also contains the phrase dead works. Look at how it is used–

For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Do we need our conscience cleansed in the blood of Christ from righteous works or from evil works? Evil works offend our conscience and weigh us down with guilt. Notice we go from doing these dead works to serving the living God. In other words, we go from doing evil (serving the flesh and idols) to doing good (serving God.)

Another interesting verse is Rev. 9:20–

But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.

Notice that the works which mankind was expected to repent of was the worship of demons and idols. They were not condemned because they were trying too hard to please God with good works. They were condemned because they wouldn’t stop worshiping demons and idols.

Elsewhere in Scripture, dead works are referred to as wicked works (Neh. 9:35; Psa. 141:4; Col. 1:21), evil works (Jonah 3:10; John 7:7; 2 Tim. 4:14; I Jn. 3:12), abominable works (Psa. 14:1), works done in the dark (Isa. 29:15), works that are as nothing or vain (Isa. 41:29), works of iniquity that leave a man naked and vulnerable to judgment (Isa. 59:6), works of darkness (Rom. 13:12; Eph. 5:11), and works of the flesh that will exclude us from the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21).

Let us remember that Scripture was given that the man of God can be perfect and thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  Jesus died for us to redeem us from iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people who are zealous for good works (Titus 2:14).  What sets us apart from the world and makes us peculiar is that we are zealous for good works rather than for evil works!  Christians are to consider how to provoke one another to love and good works (Heb. 10:24), and we are urged to maintain (continually do) good works (Titus 3:8,14).

Our good works do not atone for the dead works we have done while we were yet children of wrath. We (believers) do not do good works for the purpose of atoning for our sins;  we do them because we love our Redeemer and agree with His ways.

Nevertheless, God commands all men everywhere to repent–to turn from their evil ways and works. Every evildoer is called to repent, and turn from all his transgressions, so that iniquity will not be his ruin (Ezek. 18:30).  Do not let the false explanation of some teachers water down the seriousness of the Bible’s warnings. Repenting of works that lead to death is foundational to the Christian faith, and unless we do repent, we will perish according to Jesus (Luke 13:3-5).

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Pleading for Baal

Posted by israeliteindeed on February 12, 2013

Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years…So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord because of the Midianites, that the Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. Also I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.” But you have not obeyed My voice.’”  (Jud. 6:1-10)

Israel–the “people of God” separated unto Himself–had not obeyed His voice.  They loved the idols of the heathen, so they were delivered into the hand of Midian.

American “people of God” need to see that we also are delivered into the hands of God’s enemies because of our disobedience. It is not that God can’t or won’t help us. It is that we will not obey.

I believe God has sent some prophets to the people of America. They are men and women who have the testimony of Jesus and keep His commandments. (Rev. 12:17)  While others are bitterly blaming the Midianites, these are rightly assessing the problem–the problem of disobedience in the professing people of God.

Gideon was not told to start a petition to make the Midianites obey God’s law. Instead, he was told to tear down the altar to Baal that was in his own back yard.

To do so, he would have to stand against his own family, for his father owned the altar and the wooden image beside it. Frightened as he was, Gideon did as God asked. He tore down the false altar and set the wooden image ablaze, and sacrificed his father’s bull to the Lord.

When the men of the city saw what had been done, they wanted to kill Gideon. How does a culture that once declared, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods” (Josh. 24:16) switch to calling for the death of a man who tore down a false altar in their midst?  The deceitfulness of sin!  Israel would go on to kill and crucify and scourge and persecute many of its prophets, including its own Messiah.

Surprisingly, Gideon’s father protected his life by saying that if Baal was a god, let Baal plead for himself against Gideon. Perhaps Gideon’s father was convicted by Gideon’s bold obedience to the Lord and repented.

Today among the people of God, we have many pleading for Baal. If you touch their false altars or their idols, they are angry enough to kill you.  They will brand you a heretic, a legalist, or a Pharisee, in hopes that others won’t listen to you.  When you tell them to love the Lord with all their heart, they confess it perfectly impossible to love the Lord. They cannot love the Lord and they cannot cease from sin because they love their idols. They are doubleminded and unstable in all their ways.

I am not talking about the Midianites, but about the professing people of God.

By and large, the American church is modern-day Laodicea, fully deceived about our condition before God. We don’t know that we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. How can this be? The deceitfulness of sin!

We have called good evil, and called evil good, in an attempt to serve God and idols simultaneously. Sincere obedience is now the new legalism. The gospel message we preach is powerless because we add and take away from the Word of God. We don’t require true repentance lest someone be offended at God. We don’t require endurance to the end in obedient faith, lest we contradict some man-made doctrine in a man-made creed.  We have reduced the “born again” experience to a repeated prayer that changes nothing–the old has not gone and the new has not come. The same old sinners carry their Bibles to church and encourage one another in their evil deeds. Brother, we all sin every day. Thank God for His grace, eh?  So religious, so void of power.

You know it is true. Look at the youth group in your church;  how many young people are living holy to the Lord?  How many are truly set apart from this world?  Where is the power? I will tell you where it is. It has departed, and we are turned over to our enemies. We plant and the enemy burns up the whole crop.  ICHABOD is written across the doors of most churches, but the show goes on. The majority of the people have never known the true power of the Lord, and so they don’t miss it. Those who know something is missing weep in secret.

If you have a heart for the Lord and zeal for His kingdom and righteousness, be like Gideon. Be prepared to obey the voice of the Lord when He asks you to prove your devotion to Him by tearing down a false altar that has been in your family–or your country–for years. Religious people will come out against you. They will destroy your reputation.  They will put you out of their churches. They will unite “Christians” against you, and they will plead for Baal.  Know that it is for the Lord’s sake that you suffer. Know that if you would be the friend of God, you must bear a small portion of His burden. Know that there is only one worth pleading for, and you are His ambassador and witness. Be faithful and endure hardness for His sake.

God bless you.

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Speaking Sound Doctrine

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 13, 2012

Titus 2 begins with “As for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine,” and ends with “Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” Sandwiched in between are teachings that constitute the “sound doctrine” which ought to be spoken.

In brief, the chapter includes requirements for character and conduct for older men, younger men, older women and younger women. Then it gives the proper definition of saving grace, and sums up how we should live in the present age with these three words: soberly, righteously, and godly. It ends with a reminder that Jesus died to redeem us from every lawless deed (He saves His people from their sins not just the penalty of sin), and His goal is to purify for Himself a peculiar people who are zealous for good works.

In today’s apostate religious environment, it is almost impossible to speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine without being labelled a pharisee, a legalist, a person working for salvation, or a false teacher who doesn’t understand grace.  Standards for character and conduct are considered outdated.  The grace of God has become a cover behind which we can sin willfully, rather than the gift of God’s teaching to an obedient disciple that it really is.  And God forbid you are zealous for good works; people will shake their heads at your misplaced zeal and call you a heretic for sure.

When apostasy from the truth is wide-sweeping and extreme, a person going against the flow by embracing and teaching the truth will seem like the extreme one.  He will have to be content to be the “odd man out” and the heretic and the pharisee, because most will not receive him. Yes, he will be beaten in the synagogues (figuratively, if not physically) and rejected. His name will be cast out as evil for the Son of Man’s sake. He will speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine–the doctrine which accords with godliness (I Tim. 6:3)–and because he has done so, he will be rejected as the worst kind of sinner. This is because in many of today’s apostate religious circles, the greatest sin is to stop sinning, and the surest sign of your salvation is your willingness to admit that you never stop sinning.  It is both ironic and heartbreaking to see people embracing such strong delusion because they have pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess 2:11-12) and do not want to repent.

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Tim. 2:19)  Make no mistake;  wicked behavior and the excusing of wicked behavior are both contrary to sound doctrine (I Tim. 1:9-10).  Those who continue in such can expect the judgment and fiery indignation that God is going to pour out on His adversaries (Heb. 10:26-31).

Sincere disciple of Jesus–

  • Continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine as the early church did (Acts 2:42).
  • Obey the doctrine to which you have been delivered, that you may be freed from the slavery of sin, and live as a slave of righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18).
  • Hold fast the faithful Word as you have been taught, that you may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict (Titus 1:9).
  • Teach this sound doctrine and no other (I Tim. 1:3-4).
  • Note people who seek to divide you from this doctrine (the doctrines of Christ, His apostles and prophets recorded in all Scripture–2 Tim. 3:16-17) and avoid them (Rom. 6:17).
  • Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables (2 Tim. 4:2-4).
  • Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you (I Tim. 4:16).
  • Abide in the doctrine of Christ and do not transgress, lest you no longer have the Father or the Son (2 John 1:9).

God bless you!

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