The Grace of God

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

Posts Tagged ‘sin’

The Necessity of Change, Part 2

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 22, 2016

My last post was about the necessity of change (repentance) in order to be saved. This post will focus on why we need to continue to be open to changing after we are born again.

When we are first born again, we are essentially blank slates, ready to be written on by God. Our past is forgiven, and we have turned from our old ways, and readied ourselves to learn how to do good as little children (Isa. 1:16-17). God’s law is written upon our hearts, and we now commit to cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, so as to perfect holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1).

Before I go on, it is necessary for me to qualify what God does NOT mean by “perfecting holiness.

He does not mean that after your conversion, you can still be living in open rebellion against God and yet “blameless in His sight.” That idea is deception. I’ve met fornicators, drunks, etc. who have no intention of giving up their sins, who claim they are saved yet “being sanctified gradually,” as if you can gradually give up these willful sins over the space of decades. “God’s not finished with me yet,” they may say. Well, they haven’t even been born into His family unless they’ve ceased from the obvious sins which they know He hates.

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation, which will devour the adversaries. (Heb. 10:26-27)

Or, they may have had an honest conversion followed by a return to their old sins, in which case they are worse off now than before they believed–

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. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Pet. 2:21-22)

So, we have established that “perfecting holiness” is not remaining in or returning to old sins. A person who does this is headed for judgment despite his excuses and religious pretenses.

However there is a “perfecting of holiness” that needs to happen in the believer’s life, and this does require constantly being willing to change as God reveals His will. Just as little children do not know everything, but learn gradually as they mature, we need to mature as Christian saints. (Note: little children may not know everything, but they are required to obey those things they do know and are capable of obeying.) Maturing spiritually requires washing our minds with the Word of God and consistently seeking God’s will in every matter of life. It also requires being willing to change our understanding of who God is, what pleases Him, and how we should behave, as we search out His Word and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18). It requires being humble and teachable at all times, never assuming that we have arrived and have nothing more to learn.

When I was a newborn believer, I immediately gave up fornication and drunkenness, knowing God was displeased with these sins and required my repentance. I also began to cry out to be delivered from cigarettes, which I overcame by the time I was baptized. I began to study the Bible in order to learn more fully what would please God. I went to church and started putting money in the offering plate, as an act of obedience to what I thought would please Him. At this time, I had no idea the prosperity message was evil, how many false teachers were ruining God’s flock, how much false doctrine I actually believed (having grown up in various churches), that nationalism didn’t please God, that I should dress more modestly (the women in my church were less modest than I was), etc. God fully accepted me in this rough state, because I was a child ready and willing to learn all that He had to teach. He didn’t download everything I needed to learn at once, just like we don’t teach a 3 year old the same things we teach a 17 year old. What God required was ears that hear, and willingness to change old beliefs and patterns of behavior.

Eventually I had figured out alot of true vs. false doctrine, was much more selective in fellowship, dressed more modestly, turned away from things I now recognized as idolatry, made sure my money went to help the poor and evangelize rather than to finance a bigger church building, etc. Even though I was born again and walking with God, I had to repent of many things as I learned they were against God’s will. I was much more mature, but certainly hadn’t arrived.

At this time, I fell in with a certain group of Christians who stressed the need to be holy, but often overlooked carnality among themselves. They were very particular about doctrine, and zealous to evangelize, which is what first attracted me.  But eventually I realized they were no longer willing to examine themselves or find fault with themselves, or…change. They could not hear reproof from anyone. Because of this, they began to give teachings that justified their carnality, instead of repenting.   And I was troubled, seeing that we can be so easily deceived by our past changes and our knowledge.  I began to ask the Father for wisdom concerning this, as I wondered if I was as blind as they seemed to be.

The Lord began to address some issues in my heart that no man could see. He showed me that although this holiness group would accept me based on my dress and my core beliefs, there were things He wanted to change in my heart to make me acceptable to Him. He showed me how these heart issues sometimes spilled over at home with my closest family members, and if I did not change, I could not think I was holy. This was a deep and painful experience that lasted a long time. I had to continually hearken to the Lord’s voice and agree with Him about what He was finding in me. He was also showing me some pitfalls I could avoid if I would be careful to listen to Him rather than following the crowd (not even the holiness crowd should be followed blindly; they too can err.) I had already separated from so many people, I did not want to experience any more separation, yet here it was. I could follow them or follow Him. And I chose to follow Him. These changes were not totally comfortable, but they were necessary. If I had allowed myself to think I’d arrived at the pinnacle of Christianity, I would have deafened myself to the Lord’s instruction.

Have you stagnated in your Christian life because you feel you’ve arrived at all knowledge and cleaned up your flesh? Are you judging yourself by others instead of judging yourself by Christ? Are you patterning yourself after some group you belong to instead of after Christ? Comfortable in their acceptance, and no longer asking Jesus if He is pleased with your direction? Certainly we can learn from others, but we must not let the camaraderie lead us away from Jesus, and it can ever so easily. Not everyone who comes in His Name also comes in His Spirit.

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Cor. 7:1)

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

It can be very convenient for us to stop at cleansing ourselves of the filthiness of the flesh, while leaving our spirit contaminated, especially if our fellowship group is also neglecting this. Their spirits can easily contaminate ours (Prov. 13:20). Some have become haughty in their condemnation of those with filthy flesh, while their own spirits remain in need of tremendous changes. The Pharisee who thanked God he wasn’t like other men comes to mind; with such an attitude, how can God show us where we still need to change?

Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. (I Tim. 5:24)

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits. (Prov. 16:2)

We do well to remember that God weighs the spirits of men. While we may have been held up as a Christian example by others, and perhaps even developed a large following; God knows our motives, our thoughts, and any contamination of spirit. (Very often our families at home know some of this also, and they are not impressed with our reputation among other people! If we can’t consistently walk in kindness and mercy toward our family members, we should not deceive ourselves that we are holy.)

David knew God, but didn’t content himself with what he had already accomplished through God. He knew there could be a wicked way in him that he could not yet see–

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psa. 139:23-24)

Dear friends, to walk with God requires ongoing submission to His Word, a teachable spirit, and a readiness to change. Let’s not assume we are more than what we are. Without constant connection to the Vine, our life would dry up and we would be twigs destined for fire just like others. We are the sheep of His pasture, and must follow His leading (sometimes changing direction). We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), not arrogance and pride. It will take consistent diligence in adding good things to our character to make our calling and election sure–

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.  Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 1:5-11)

But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. (Prov. 4:18)

God bless you as you continually gaze upon Jesus and are changed into His image!

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor. 3:18)

Advertisements

Posted in Christian Leadership, Christian Life, Repentance | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Course of this World

Posted by israeliteindeed on November 1, 2014

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. (Eph. 2:1-3)

Every day you can see the course of this world and people simply walking in it. This is especially obvious during the holidays, during which Americans spend billions of dollars on things that have no value.

It doesn’t take self-denial to follow the course of this world. You just go where the world leads (away from Christ and toward other things), and as long as you walk in that mainstream toward the other things, the world accepts you.

A quick look at the news, and a look around us at the devastation in people’s lives, reveals that the course most are walking in is not headed to a good place. Hopefully we ourselves have cried out to the Savior, and the Lord Jesus Christ has made us alive and delivered us from “the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” If we truly have been delivered from that spirit, we are now walking with the Spirit who works in those who obey God! There is a sharp division between children of disobedience, and children who obey God. It is the difference between death and life.

It is interesting to me, this new obsession with the “zombie apocalypse.” People are storing food and learning self-defense, fearing that zombies may one day attack them. They do not realize that they themselves are the zombies because they are dead in their trespasses and sins (as I also once was), and they will never be able to live by bread alone. Even those who quit their televisions and learn how to “live off the land” (both good things in themselves) are still in darkness and death if they do not have Jesus, and if Jesus does not “make them alive.” And so we are surrounded by those who are dead, and who feed on death. Halloween with all of its glorification of evil and darkness is just one of many fruits on the tree that is rooted in death, and headed for destruction. It is one symptom of a society that has embraced death by sin.

It is horrifying to see that the mainstream has channeled right through the western church and swept away multitudes of so-called Christians. And the wolves–ever multiplying in our “judge not” and “tickle my ears” churches–are getting much more bold in their lies. In spite of God’s many warnings that we must not love this world nor follow its ways, these teachers tell us we can do so without consequence, and even that God will be pleased to use us in our compromise. They have managed to turn the truth on its head for those who did not receive a love of the truth. Such people, who first turned away their ears from sound doctrine, hurry like lemmings onto that wide road, assured by their fable-teachers that God does not object. But these are not hapless victims; they have rebelled against the Truth and strengthened one another in evil rather than taking God’s Word seriously.

Meanwhile, those who speak the real truth to them are legalists and Pharisees and other names which qualify them for mockery and rejection.

Jesus warned this would happen. He said the time was coming when the mainstream church would abuse the people of God (Matt. 10:17; 23:34). This is because the mainstream church is moving along with the course of this world. This world hates the people of God, especially when they testify that its works are evil (Jn. 7:7, 15:18-19, 17:14; I Jn. 3:13).

If you have light and life, hold onto these and let no man take your crown. Abide in Jesus, the narrow Way that leads to life. Steadfastly endure whatever comes and do not change course one degree. The course of this world will–literally–run its course, and destruction will be at the end. And then will come the hour in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:28-29)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (I Jn. 2:15-17)

.

Posted in Apostasy, False Teachers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Named Israel, Named Sodom and Gomorrah

Posted by israeliteindeed on August 19, 2014

The name Israel seems to have several interrelated meanings, such as “May God prevail” and “He struggles with God” and “God rules” and “One who prevails with God” and “A prince with God.” It was given to Jacob after he struggled with the Angel of the Lord, was overcome by Him, and yet received the blessing of the Lord through perseverance. It became the name of a nation that was originally ruled by God until that nation decided it wanted earthly kings like other nations–a decision which God declared was a rejection of Him. Over a period of many years, individuals were “cut off from Israel” when they rejected His rule. They may not have always been forcibly and visibly evicted from the land, but God always knew who was His. Those who were truly His were the “Israel of God.” Those who were not truly His were merely the “Israel after the flesh.”

The blessing of Israel–and name change– comes to all those who struggle with God and learn to be mastered by Him. Many Gentiles were grafted into the true Vine of Israel (Jesus) under the Old Testament/Covenant. From the time Israel left Egypt with Egyptians in tow, to the saving of Rahab’s family in Jericho, to the grafting in of Ruth the Moabitess–by the time Christ walked the earth, there were already many “proselytes”–Gentile followers of the God of Israel. Though they were not native born, they were considered Israelites and Jews. The laws were the same for the native born or the “stranger,” and the stranger was considered one of God’s people unless he violated God’s covenant (Num. 15:30; Josh. 8:32-34). Strangers were to be well treated and accepted as “one born among you” (Lev. 19:33-34; Deut. 10:19). In fact, Israelites were to help strangers live among them if they desired to (Lev. 25:35), and anyone who perverted the justice due the stranger would be cursed (Deut. 27:19).

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Paul and Barnabas eventually declared that most Jews had judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life, and that they would now turn their full attention to the Gentiles. This was not the first time Gentile branches were grafted into the Olive Tree, but it did throw open the door wider than ever before. Mobilized by the great commission and persecution, Jewish believers and their Gentile converts began to spread out and preach with great boldness the way into the Kingdom of God (God’s Israel). And the predominantly Jewish writers of the New Testament gave us many teachings that clear up the misconceptions many Jews had adopted and were teaching others–namely that their physical lineage to Abraham gave them special rights with God. They taught the spiritual nature of the Israel of God, the heavenly Jerusalem contrasted with the earthly, and how a true Jew has a circumcised heart.

Listen to what our brother John wrote:

He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. (Rev. 3:12)

Those who “overcome” (like Jacob/Israel) will become pillars in God’s temple, nevermore to leave it! And what name is written on them?–“New Jerusalem.”

But what about those who do not overcome? What about those of natural Israel who do not struggle with God and persevere through trial to receive the blessing of God?

Jeremiah spoke of natural Israel’s sin extensively.  I have just completed a study of Jeremiah 1-23, and the following is a quick survey of those chapters, showing what natural Israel looked like to God while in disobedience:

Israel’s sin was marked before God (2:22) and He had divorced them (3:8), but would remain married only to the remnant who would return to Him (3:14). They had perverted their way (3:21) and only repentance could save them (4:14). Should He not avenge Himself on such a nation as this (5:9, 29), in spite of their insistence that He never would? (5:12-13)

Were they not deceitful, greedy, and unconcerned with the needs of the fatherless and the needy? (5:25-31) Was this not a city to be punished, full of oppression and welling up with wickedness? (6:6-7) Didn’t they have uncircumcised ears, and didn’t they have no delight in God’s Word ?(6:10) Weren’t they given to covetousness (6:13) and unashamed of their sins (6:15)?

The Lord rejects them, declares the prophet! (6:30) Did they think they could steal, murder, commit adultery and worship false gods and then use God’s name, saying, “We are delivered to do all these abominations?” (7:9-10) Hadn’t God already shown He would punish a land where He put His name if the people were wicked? (6:12)

Wasn’t it obedience God wanted (7:23)? Yet this nation would not obey (7:28). They instead held fast to deceit (8:7). They claimed the law of God was with them while they, in fact, rejected God’s Word (8:8-9). “Peace, peace,” they cried, but how can there be peace to wicked people who aren’t even ashamed of their sins? (8:11-12)

The natural vine/fig tree is barren, and the things God gave them shall pass away from them! (8:13) God’s devouring horses of judgment would come to destroy them (8:14-16).

They were not valiant for truth (9:3) and refused to know God (9:6). God would scatter them among the nations and send a sword after them (9:16) in hopes that they would learn to mourn appropriately for their sin, and come to understand and know God in truth (8:20-24). For every uncircumcised heart will be punished, regardless of nationality! (9:25-26).

The inhabitants of the land would be thrown out (10:18), for those who don’t obey God’s covenant are CURSED not blessed (11:1-5). Without repentance and obedience, the olive tree would have branches broken off, and there would be DOOM pronounced on what God had planted (11:6-17–compare this to the olive tree teaching of Romans 11). God would fill them with drunkenness and destroy them (13:12-14), and no prayer, fasting, or offerings made for them would help (14:11-12). Because their hearts were determined to sin, they would lose the heritage God previously gave them! (17:1-4) All who forsake God will be ashamed (17:13).

Obedience would cause the city to remain forever (17:25) but disobedience would bring an unquenchable fire (17:27). For the Potter is sovereign, and His blessing on a nation is conditional and revocable (18:1-10). The people had made Israel “an alien place” and filled it with innocent blood (19:4-5), thus the vessel would be broken by the Potter (19:11). God Himself would fight against them (21:5) because of their sin (21:12-14). The “house” would become a desolation (22:5–fulfilled according to Jesus in Matt. 23:38 after the nation, as a whole, again rejected God).

Woe to those who build by unrighteousness and injustice (22:13); for truly knowing God is doing righteousness and justice, and caring for the poor and needy (22:15-16). God would pluck the unrepentant off and cast them out (22:24-26). Even the shepherds, prophets and priests were profane, and their wickedness was found “in God’s house” (23:1-11). The hands of evildoers are strengthened by them, so that none repent; ALL OF THEM ARE LIKE SODOM TO ME, AND HER INHABITANTS LIKE GOMORRAH (23:14).

I will stop here at this climax in Jer. 23:14, in which the prophet declares that what was supposed to be “Israel” is actually like Sodom and Gomorrah to God. Why? God calls it like He sees it, dear friends. Those who sin like the devil are “children of the devil”–not children of Abraham, nor children of God (John 8:41-44). Those who sin like Sodom and Gomorrah are like Sodom and Gomorrah to Him. Even if He has at one time placed His name on a person/place, He will destroy that person/place if obedience is not maintained. There is no racial once-saved-always-saved. There is no national once-saved-always-saved. There is no “once an Israelite, always an Israelite” if we are talking about the Israel of God. The land of God has always been able to vomit out transgressors, and always will be. There is no blessing once procured from the Potter that makes a vessel immune to His wrath, should that vessel later reject His authority. You can be “Israel” one day, and “Sodom” the next, if you turn away from the Living God.

The Old and New Testament prophets knew this and declared it to their countrymen, despite the hatred and persecution it brought upon them.

In light of this, what shall we think of the modern state of Israel, which is growing and maintaining its border with theft, lies, oppression, and bloodshed? Should we “bless” them? Should we defend what they do, or help them do it? Should we malign those who call for justice and righteousness, and silence those who expose their wicked works (as the prophets did)? Should we believe and profess that God is doing a great work there through guns and bombs and savagery? God forbid! The name of “Israel” is not for the wicked. The name of “the New Jerusalem” is not for thieves and murderers, but for overcomers who have learned to lay down their own lives for Jesus and His righteous kingdom (Rev. 3:12). Those of the synagogue of satan, who say they are Jews but are not, but lie–they are known by their works!! Even if your eschatology allows for an end-times revival of Jews, surely this group of evil-doers called “zionists” is NOT THAT, and must not ever receive the blessing of the saints so long as wicked works are done by them.

In closing, I want to draw your attention to Rev. 11:8–

And their dead bodies (the bodies of the two witnesses) will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Now, which city is here called spiritually Sodom and Egypt? In which city was our Lord crucified? Was it not Jerusalem? And by what right does our brother John rename the earthly Jerusalem “Sodom and Egypt” spiritually? Think about that, friends. Often what the world accepts as a “holy place” is a hotbed of idolatry and the very seat of satan. The time is upon us that believers must worship God in Spirit and truth, not on this mountain or that mountain (Jn. 4:21-24).

May God help us to be faithful to the truth, and to continue in true righteousness as we abide in Jesus.

He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” him the people will curse; nations will abhor him. But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. (Prov. 24:24-25)

Posted in "Christian" Zionism, Apostasy, End Times | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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)

Posted in Christian Life | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Apostate Church & How We Got Here

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 21, 2014

At one time I attended a church that seemed to me more conservative than most. In time, I realized the pastor was contradicting himself on the issue of obedience to Christ. He would say we must obey and that disobedience was unacceptable. But later he would say disobedience can never cancel grace. (False grace message refuted here.)

This pastor even taught that Samson had committed suicide; therefore we can be sure that some people who commit suicide die saved (a dangerous lie–Samson wanted to die, but left his fate in God’s hands). I confronted the pastor on this teaching, and was quickly labeled a Pharisee. Sadly, a couple years after I left this church, one of the young people committed suicide by purposely laying his head on train tracks.

There was a children’s Sunday School teacher brazenly teaching the children, including my son, that they were “once saved always saved.” When I asked the pastor why this teacher was allowed to teach contrary to official church doctrine, I never got an answer. As far as I know, the false grace teacher continued to teach long after I left. Perhaps he was a good tither.

Recently I saw pictures of the pastor’s daughter, who has grown to adulthood since I left the church. She and the assistant pastor’s daughter both have public pictures of themselves in the most revealing, immodest clothes, complete with pouty lips and seductive poses. How tragically sad, this road that they are on.

I was told by someone, “You can’t blame the church.”

Well, I know that free will plays a huge part in what our kids do. Not every parent or church is to blame for their choices. God Himself is a perfect parent whose children go astray.

Yet I think this is a fair question: What role did the church’s false doctrine play in these kids going astray? A friend of mine has written a good article on this subject entitled “Careless Doctrines Damn.” Read it here.

Did the young man who ended his life on a train track think he was about to be welcomed into heaven–even though he was not enduring to the end of his life in hope?

Could phrases from the pulpit like “You cannot out-sin the grace of God” cause young girls to think that playing with the sins of seduction and immorality will have no real consequences? I say they can.

Incidentally, shortly after I rebuked one of these young ladies for being a poor role-model for younger girls (among other things), another girl from the church–maybe 12 or 13 years old–expressed her approval of the picture. This child has found her Brittany Spears to follow, not on the world’s stage, but in her church. With church “family” like this, who needs the world to lead them astray? Now our kids can all go astray together, take communion on Sunday morning, and think all is well. After all, nobody is correcting their behavior because they are afraid of being called legalists and Pharisees. Keep yourself unspotted from the world?! That’s for religious people. We’re all about relationship here, baby.

But what does Scripture say?–

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Eph. 5:3)

There must not be even a hint!! Oh, that Apostle Paul; he was quite the legalist! If only we could throw HIM out of our church and get away with it.

Some say if America doesn’t turn around, America is doomed. They say this quite piously because they go to church and have conservative values like “I disagree with homosexual marriage.” Meanwhile their own kids–sometimes churched and homeschooled–are becoming prostitutes right before their eyes. And that’s just the tip of the noticeable iceberg. Under strong delusion, you don’t realize how big the problem is until your boat starts sinking, and the shock and horror of it all causes your heart to melt. Once the labor pains begin, the unrighteous harvest you’ve been sowing all along is brought forth, ready or not (Isa. 13:6-8). But for now, we are for the most part content to lament the good old days of America, and hope that our church attendance and/or voting records mean something.

Apostate Jerusalem pats herself on the back and says, “Thank God I am not like the Gentiles” even as she herself rejects God’s Word. But I do not speak of the Jews; I speak of the apostate New Testament church, who has followed her older sister down the same careless path. She does not see her paupery, her nakedness or her need for repentance. When her children are destroyed, she laments and asks, “Why?!” But she cannot receive the truthful answer that it is her fault for mishandling the Word and allowing leaven to spread unchecked. She can’t accept the truth–that she is drunk with the world and its ways, and the blood of the true saints who tried in vain to correct her.

Thus the necessity of continuing to blame those rotten liberals for all of her problems.

Posted in Apostasy, Christian Leadership | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Biblical Confession

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 12, 2014

The word, “confession” may conjure up all kinds of definitions in people’s minds, depending upon their religious background. Some believe that confession is merely saying “sorry” for your sins, and that this can be done once daily or weekly while sin is ongoing. It is generally believed that as long as this “confession” is being done, God is ignoring the sin. Others believe that confession is listing as many sins as can be remembered to a priest so that he can forgive those sins which are listed. Some believe that if some type of penance is added to the confession, or money is given to a church, this increases the likelihood of finding forgiveness.

I am thankful that despite our different religious backgrounds, we can know the Truth, and the Truth can set us free. We can be forgiven and redeemed, but we must learn what God requires. Following are some biblical truths about the confession God accepts.

1. When we realize we have sinned, we must humbly confess our own unfaithfulness to God, confess that God has justly judged us, and accept our guilt (and its consequences.) For many, they confess without humility, with excuses, and hoping only to escape the just judgments they are reaping in their lives. “Yes, I sinned, but here is why I am justified, and why I don’t deserve my circumstances.” This is not acceptable to God.

But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt—then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land. (Lev. 26:40-42)

2. Confession involves being fully exposed and honest, hiding nothing, coupled with forsaking what was done. If we are still hiding things from God or others we have wronged, we have not properly confessed.

I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Psa. 32:5)

He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. (Psa. 28:13)

3. Biblical confession is accompanied by turning from sin and being willing to learn from God how we should walk (repentance).

When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk. (I Kings 8:35-36)

4. Confession is accompanied by doing God’s will and separating from evildoers who will lead us astray. If we continue to keep evil company, we will continue in sinful habits (I Cor. 15:33). Someone who insists on being the companion of fools will be destroyed (Prov. 13:20) because he will be led away from doing God’s will.

Now therefore, make confession to the Lord God of your fathers, and do His will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the pagan wives. (Ezra 10:11)

5. Biblical confession should be accompanied by making restitution whenever possible. If we stole something, we should pay back with extra to prove we understand how unjust the theft was. If we lied about someone, we should do what we can to restore the person’s reputation. The “extra” demonstrates that we know we are indebted to the person we wronged. If we are truly humbled before the Lord, He will guide us in how to make restitution when it is possible. The restitution does not cancel our sin (this comes through God’s forgiveness and mercy), but proves our hearts are changed.

When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit in unfaithfulness against the Lord, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess the sin which he has committed. He shall make restitution for his trespass in full, plus one-fifth of it, and give it to the one he has wronged. (Num. 5:6-7)

Zacchaeus said to the Lord, “Look, Lord…if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house…” (Lk. 19:8-9)

6. Confession includes acknowledgement that Jesus is alive today even though He was crucified for your sins, and the honest profession that He is the legitimate LORD (Master) of your life.

…That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom. 10:9,10)

7. Proper confession, as it is defined by Scripture, is one of the conditions of receiving God’s forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I Jn. 1:9)

8. Biblical confession (along with its accompanying humility, forsaking sin, submission to God, etc.) must come before baptism. Baptism of an unrepentant, unchanged person means nothing to God (despite what many churches teach!)

Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. (Matt. 3:5-6; also Mark 1:5; Acts 19:8)

9. Biblical confession will be done by all people, sooner or later. But only those who voluntarily humble themselves and confess Biblically in this life will be saved. God is just, and will make all men acknowledge how they have rebelled and resisted His Truth. Isn’t it wise to make peace with Him now–through the means of salvation He has offered (Jesus)? Today is the day of salvation if you can hear His voice. He will not strive with rebels forever, but will close the door of salvation and punish them.

For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Rom. 14:11; also Phil. 2:11)

10. After we are redeemed, we need to confess personal as well as corporate sin. This involves examining ourselves regularly to judge (discern) the rightness or wrongness of our actions. If we determine what we have done any wrong, we confess and repent. We should also acknowledge any sin the church is doing as a whole. There is no room, in Christ, for walking in darkness and hiding sin. Too many churches are covering up sin rather than exposing it. This is dishonoring to God, and brings injury and spiritual confusion to many people. We have the examples of godly men, Daniel and Nehemiah–

Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God…(Dan. 9:20)

…Hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. (Neh. 1:6)

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (I John 1:7)

11. All believers are priests in the spiritual kingdom the God (I Pet. 2:9), and as such, can confess sin to one another. This is for the purpose of accountability, praying for one another, and teaching one another (Rom. 15:14; Col. 3:16).

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (Jam. 5:16)

Please note: Nowhere in the New Testament are sinners commanded to confess their sins to a priest in order to be forgiven. Our healing, forgiveness and redemption comes from God, through our High Priest Jesus, not from any other man. Jesus is the only mediator between God and men (I Tim. 2:5). He alone is able to save, and we must come to God through Him. (Heb. 2:17; 4:15-16; 5:9; 7:24-25) If any person or organization teaches that you must come to God through a man (whether he calls himself a priest or not), do not believe it or submit to it. Believe the Scriptures.

God bless you!

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

Perishing From the Assembly

Posted by israeliteindeed on May 25, 2014

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. (Jn. 10:14)

In the rebellion of Korah, the dissenters falsely declared that the Lord was among “every one of them.” (Num. 16:3) Moses responded that the Lord would show who was His and who is holy, and He would cause the one He chooses to come near to Him (vs. 5). It was clear to Moses that the Lord was not, in fact, among every one of them. The Lord demonstrated who were His and who were not by swallowing the rebels alive into a pit. They perished from among the assembly (vss. 32-33).

Today there are so many who claim that the Lord is among them while they rebel against God’s chosen Leader (Jesus Christ). But what did Jesus say? He knows His sheep, and they know Him. They believe He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, so they follow Him (Jn. 10:27).

I remember telling a young man who unashamedly admitted living in fornication that he was not the Lord’s sheep. He kept telling me how sad it made him feel for me to say such a thing, and he pressed me to confess that he was the Lord’s sheep based on his having prayed a prayer at one time to be saved. I refused. How could I claim he was the Lord’s sheep when Jesus said His sheep know His voice and follow Him, refusing to obey the voice of a stranger? (Jn. 10:4-5) After trying for two years to get this young man to come to a place of repentance, he still defended his sinful lifestyle and wicked heart. He still argued against holiness and obedience to the Lord every chance he got, most often while “fellowshiping” with other Christians. The true sheep do not do these things, and such “fellowship” is worthless, as light is forever divided from darkness. When we figure out we are in the presence of an unrepentant Korah, we need to, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” (Num. 16:26)

The Apostle Paul may have been referring back to the rebellion of Korah when he wrote the following:

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)

Despite the deceitful words and conjured-up doctrines of religious rebels, the Lord does know those who are His. He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver, testing and proving and perfecting that which is real (Mal. 3:3). His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matt. 3:12)

Who shall draw near to the Lord? Is the Lord with us just because we insist He is? Can we be close to the Lord while disregarding His Word?

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. (Psa. 24:3-6)

What about the disobedient who insist that God is with them?

To these He says,

What right have you to declare My statutes, or take My covenant in your mouth, seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you? (Psa. 50:16-17)

Just as Korah perished from the assembly, so these will perish from God’s assembly if they do not repent. They may hang around the congregation of the righteous, but they will not remain there. The wheat will be gathered to Christ, and the chaff will be thrown in unquenchable fire. They may fool some people for a time, but they will not fool the searching eye of the Lord. Many will go alive into the pit with choir robes on.

Religious people who feverishly work to draw more disobedient disciples after themselves are often admired and followed by many. They can have the biggest churches and appear to have thriving ministries. Nevertheless, they are late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots…for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever (Jude 12-13). Don’t be fooled by appearances; one day after Korah made his bold claims against God’s authority, he was destroyed. The Lord knows those who are His.

Blessed is 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.

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psa. 1)

Posted in Apostasy, Judgment of God, Once Saved Always Saved | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Arise and Depart, For This is Not Your Rest

Posted by israeliteindeed on March 3, 2014

Arise and depart, for this is not your rest; because it is defiled, it shall destroy, Yes, with utter destruction. (Micah 2:10)

This earth is not our rest. This country is not our rest. The church building down the street is not our rest. The homes we live in or fellowship in are not our rest. The bodies that now clothe and encumber our souls are not our rest.

“Arise and depart, for this is not your rest.”

We are in the world, but not of the world (John 17:14-16.) We are living in a country, but we dwell in it as in a foreign country, looking for that city whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:9-10). We know that God’s temple is in His sanctified people, not in buildings made with hands (Acts 7:48; I Cor. 3:16; 6:19). And yet even these flesh and blood bodies that, by some miracle of God, house the Holy Spirit, are being sown in corruption. We must one day be clothed with an imperishable body (I Cor. 15:50-54). None of these earthly things can ever be our true Rest.

Samson, resting so comfortably in the arms of the one who will betray you, arise out the lap of Delilah, for there is not your rest but your destruction. When God commissions a man to rise up against His enemies, and instead he cavorts with them, will not the Lord eventually depart from him? (Judg. 16:20) Much of the called “Church” is like Samson, resting in the arms of the betrayer–the world. Called to confront the sin of the world, the judges refuse to judge, and it displeases God (Isa. 59:15). They instead partake of carnal pleasures in Delilah’s lap, and lead the people of God into further captivity. Will not such a church become “worthless salt” fit only to be trodden under foot by man unless there is repentance?

Christian wanting to be the friend of the world, this world is not your rest. For anyone who wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God, and God will destroy His enemies, including and especially all hypocrites. What looks like rest now will turn out for your destruction. Be crucified unto this world, and let this world be crucified unto you through the cross of Jesus Christ (Gal. 6:14), that your sufferings and labors for Jesus now may turn out for your deliverance later (Phil. 1:12-21). For whoever desires to save his life in this world will lose it, but whoever loses his life in this world for Jesus’ sake will find it (Matt. 16:25).

Doomsday prepper, what will you do when the food runs out? What will your silver and gold medallions buy? Will they deliver you from God’s wrath? They cannot deliver you from the wrath of God. (Ezek. 7:19) The only Savior is Jesus Christ, and the only way out of the death and corruption brought about by your sin is death with Christ–to sin and the world–by His cross. The sin of others (the government, Monsanto, etc.) is not your biggest problem. Your own sin is your biggest problem, and it must be dealt with at the cross. This alone leads to everlasting life. To walk this narrow path that leads to life, you must give up your obsession with this life, and this body. To remain carnally minded is death. Contrary to what some say, Jesus did not die to give you your best life now.

How many music/sport/movie idols have come and gone? They rise and fall, and finally succumb to the same weakness of all men, despite all their money and plastic surgery and opportunities. Their paid image consultants told them how to please men, but could not tell them how to please God. Finally they lie still, stripped of glory, unable to fight off the weakest worms that invade their graves. And people still worship them. Even people professing to love Christ follow every move of these lost servants of the devil. Is there no living, immortal God to worship?! Arise and depart! What agreement does the temple of God have with idols?…Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. (2 Cor. 6:16-17) Are there conditions to being received by God? There certainly are. You must arise and depart from what is evil.

Before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, setting them forth as an example of suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 7), He sent messengers to warn the righteous to get out.

Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. (Gen. 19:12-14)

It seems to me that many today also think God’s messengers are joking. They find the doomed “city” restful enough and refuse to heed God’s warnings. They say things like, “I believe God is a loving God. He doesn’t mind that I participate in x, y, and z.” They willfully forget that He is a holy God and a God who will not at all aquit the wicked (Nahum 1:3).

But today, if you can hear His voice telling you to flee from the wrath to come, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion (Heb. 3:15.) Flee to Christ and obey Him as Lord. There is a rest for the people of God, and it is only in Christ. To whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey Him? (Heb. 3:18) So, let us be diligent to enter that rest lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience (Heb. 4:11). Can God see your sin? And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.(Heb. 4:13) Forsake your sin and seek the Lord’s mercy (Prov. 28:13).

This world is increasingly wicked. Scripture says the earth as we know it sways to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut. It’s transgression shall be heavy upon it. It will fall and not rise again. (Isa. 2:20)

Even in the sanctuaries that are supposed to be holy, there is all kinds of defilement. False teaching has so permeated what is called “the Church,” it’s hard to find someone teaching right things, much less a whole family of real believers with whom to fellowship. It seems the whole earth is coming under judgment. Most of the churches are just carnal institutions that have had their lampstands removed (Rev. 2:5). To whom can we go? Who has the words of life that bring rest to our souls?

But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. (Gen. 8:9)

This Scripture is about Noah and his little dove during a time of world-wide judgment. We can see in it the beautiful picture of Christ, the real Ark of Salvation. There is no resting place here, but only utter destruction. We must go to Jesus–return into the Ark to Him. He will take us and draw us into the Ark of Salvation to Himself. He alone has the words of life, and He is the rest we seek.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt. 11:28-29)

Posted in Christian Life, Repentance | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Song of Freedom

Posted by israeliteindeed on February 17, 2014

Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. (John 5:25)

If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

The words of the following song, written by Fanny Crosby, have been a blessing to me. I hope they bless you too.

Out of Bondage

Arise, come ye forth, and forever break the chain,
That long had oppressed you with sorrow and pain;
Arise, come ye forth, hear the blessèd Lord’s command,
And He Himself will guide you with a strong, strong hand.

Refrain:
Come forth, come forth, and shout the jubilee,
Come forth, come forth, the Lord will make you free;
Come forth from your bonds, hear the blessèd Lord’s command,
And He Himself will guide you with a strong, strong hand.

Arise, come ye forth; will ye spend your life for naught,
When Jesus Who loves you a ransom has bought?
The price of His blood, O receive it while you may;
Behold the promised time is now; O come away.

Refrain

Arise, come ye forth, and be slaves to sin no more,
How oft your Deliv’rer has called you before;
Come forth from your bonds, and your liberty receive,
Your willing hearts to Jesus give; repent, believe.

Refrain

Posted in Christian Life, Repentance | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Our Troops Are Women

Posted by israeliteindeed on September 23, 2013

Nahum 3:13
Behold, your troops
are women in your midst.
The gates of your land
are wide open to your enemies;
fire has devoured your bars.

It has been my observation that many spiritual realities play themselves out in the natural. For example, when there is a famine of spiritual bread in the land, there very often is a famine of natural bread also. When spiritual destruction is falling on a people, “natural disasters” seem to increase.

Many decry the allowance of homosexuals and women in the military, but could this be a picture of what has happened to our people spiritually? Our “mighty men” have become women, and I am not just referring to homosexuals. I refer to the lack of spiritual manliness in our nation and the church. 

How many fathers are taking seriously their responsibility to lead their families spiritually? So few– even among those who profess Christ!

Women also are out of order, chasing the supposed “freedom from responsibility” their men only seem to have. They reject being keepers at home and motherhood, and pursue self- sufficiency through careers that sap them of energy they might have poured into their families. Could the new “liberated woman” killing herself and destroying her children be a picture of a greater spiritual reality?

If so, what other parallels and lessons can we draw from these things? I plead with Jesus to give us His eye salve that we can see.

The gates of our land are indeed wide open to our enemies. And if we think denying homosexuals and women entrance in the military will solve the problem, we are still thinking carnally. 

Our land is full of “soldiers” who are women, and silly women at that. Most who claim to be spiritual people are fighting a carnal battle with carnal weapons against flesh and blood enemies with a carnal motive, but they think because they shout “glory to God,” their carnality is thus baptized. 

The professing American church is in such a deep sleep spiritually, she imagines keeping “In God We Trust” on our currency would be a tremendous victory for God. But God does not support lies, and we cannot be healed by patching up surface wounds with band aids when our whole head is sick and our whole heart is faint (Isa. 1:5-6).

In like manner, the church has sought to validate herself by an outcry against homosexuality and females in the military, and other surface symptoms of national decay.

But she doesn’t look deeper lest she indict herself. 

If she would present her wound-covered body before the ever searching eye of the Lord in true humility and acknowledgment that she has destroyed herself by forsaking His ways, He would again have mercy on her.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: