Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Bible declares…

The Bible declares…
– that there is a God. It also declares that there is a Devil…Satan.
(Gen. 1:1; Acts 17:24; 1 Chron. 21:1; Zech. 3:1; Rev. 12:9-10)
– that their purpose is mutual: both want your soul! 
(1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Peter 5:8)
– that Satan portrays himself as God; but God NEVER portrays Himself as Satan.
(2 Thess. 2:3-12)
– that God encourages discussion and investigation of His words; Satan calls this vanity.
Isa. 1:18; 41:1; 43:26; Rom. 1:21; 2 Kings 17:15; Jer. 2:5; Eph. 4:17-18
– that God HAS never; and WILL never, deceive you to solicit your service.
Titus 1:2; 2 Tim. 2:13; Heb. 6:28
– that Satan always HAS; and always WILL, deceive you for the same purpose.
(John 8:44)
Some, in the Bible, called the Son of God, Satan; and some called Satan, God.
John 19:20; Rev. 14:9, 11
For the Bible declares…
that there is TRUTH and there is ERROR. 
(1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 4:6)
That God has angels, apostles, ministers, and servants; so also, does Satan (Matt. 25:41; 2 Cor. 11:13, 15; Rom. 6:16).
Therefore, the PREACHING from their ministers bears many resemblances, but there is ONE glaring difference!
The reason for this ONE difference is because only ONE proclaims truth, for there is only ONE true gospel message. (Gal. 1:6-9)
Both have motives for advancing their message.
The one with a message of error always gives himself away; and always in the same manner…by IMITATION of the one with a message of truth.
The ones with the ERROR imitate the ones with the truth; but the ones with the truth NEVER imitate the ones with the ERROR.
(Jer. 2:13; 12:16; Gal. 2:14)
The ones with the error advance their cause by force, intimidation, and deceit;
Those with truth, promote their cause by honesty and patient overtness.
(Jer. 8:8; Prov. 7:5; 2 Cor. 4:2; 6:7; 2 Tim. 4:2)
Likewise, some call Satan’s ministers ‘gospel preachers’ and ‘gospel preachers’, ministers of Satan. In doing so, their true nature and true love are revealed – John 3:19-21; Matt. 10:24-25; John 8:39; 2 Thess. 2:10
It is why the Lord warned:
“Take heed WHAT ye hear” ~ Mark 4:24
“Take heed HOW ye hear” ~ Luke 6:38

It is why DOCTRINE MATTERS!

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Monday, August 19, 2019

BEING A FOOL AND BEING FOOLISH

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN BEING FOOLISH AND BEING A FOOL.
A fool has a great confidence that some find attractive.
The fool has an enormous talent to sense the needs of another and then transform himself into the kind of person that other person wants.
The fool will use his tongue to flatter others, to convince them that he alone understands them, and that others have misunderstood them and treated them badly.
They have a fun way about themselves that makes you drop your guard because of your natural desire to have fun and feel that you belong.

For the fool this is all a show, an act of hypocrisy, so that he might gain a temporary goal at the expense of another and then cast off the one he has used. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15) He may be bold and love to express his opinion, but he does not know where he is going.

One of the great mistakes a person can make is to get in the way of a fool and his folly. “Better to meet a she-bear robbed of its cubs than to confront a fool immersed in folly.” (Proverbs 17:12)

God warns us in many ways not to even try to teach a fool. “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.” (Proverbs 23:9)


A fool will threaten you if he perceives that you are getting in the way. He will threaten to slander you and will carry out that threat if you do not submit to him.


There is a big difference in being a fool and being foolish. All of us have been foolish and learned, but the fool will not. This is the very person that Jesus warned about: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)


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Monday, August 12, 2019

Did the Bible actually prophesy about the WATERGATE scandal?

CONTEXT - it matters!
I remember a TV preacher from years ago, (during the Nixon presidency) saying that the Bible predicted the Watergate scandal...quoting passages such as Neh. 8:1, 3 which only contained the words "water" and "gate" in them, without regard for the context in which 'water' and 'gate'.

Nehemiah also mentioned the HORSE gate; the FOUNTAIN gate; the REFUSE gate, the VALLEY gate OLD gate, FISH gate, SHEEP gate, EAST gate, INSPECTION gate, OLD gate, GATE of EPHRAIM and GATE of the GUARD in Nehemiah chapter 3. These were simply the various ENTRANCES (gates) of the city of Jerusalem. WATER gate was one of the entrances to the city, NOT a prophecy of political scandal to occur in the 1970's, as this preacher applied. it.

A similar DISREGARD for CONTEXT could be made from a statement of Job. "If I have looked at the sun when it shone...that...would have been an iniquity...for I would have denied God above." ~ Job 31:26-28. Without regard for CONTEXT, some might conclude that looking at the sun would be a sin...

However, if you read the missing words in these 3 verses (vss. 26-28), as well as the entire chapter, Job's words are a declaration that he has NOT concealed his sin by doing any of the "if's" in this chapter.


Also, by consideration of earlier chapters in the book, Job's friends had accused him of this very thing...secret sins. This is why a study of context is crucial to teaching truthfully from the Bible.

CONTEXT MATTERS!
Jesus taught:
"Take heed WHAT ye hear" ~ Mark 4:24
"Take heed HOW ye hear" ~ Luke 6:38

If context is perverted; doctrine will also be perverted. CONTEXT makes a difference, because DOCTRINE MATTERS!

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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Rightly Dividing God's Word: Alleged Bible Contradictions...some considerations...

Rightly Dividing God's Word: Alleged Bible Contradictions...some considerations...: Consider 4 eye-witness accounts of an accident; here are their statements: Witness #1 – These two drivers hit head on Witness #2 – Th...

Alleged Bible Contradictions...some considerations.

Consider 4 eye-witness accounts of an accident; here are their statements:
Witness #1 – These two drivers hit head on
Witness #2 – This truck came across the yellow line and hit the other driver
Witness #3 – The woman turn right into the path of that man
Witness #4 – This red VW was hit by a white truck

Contradictions, or simply four detailed accounts of the same incident, each giving partial, yet differing details?
To understand the truth in regard to the accident, ALL the evidence must be considered.
LAW OF CONTRADICTION
…also implies that a proposition cannot, with reference to the same matter, be both true and false. To say that Jane Smith is a wife, and then assert that Jane Smith is not a wife is a contradiction. But, to say that Jane Smith is a wife, and then add that she is a mother, does not constitute a contradiction. The two terms, although different, supplement each other, but do not contradict each other.

“It is sometimes possible, by means of close study, to show without forcing the issue that two supposedly contradictory passages are really complementary.”
It must be absolutely impossible to harmonize two statements before we conclude that they are contradictory.
“It is the first principle of historical science that any solution which affords a possible method of harmonizing any two statements is preferable to th:e assumption of inaccuracy or error – whether these statements are found in the same or different writers. To act on any other basis, it is clearly acknowledged, is to assume, not prove, error.”
Two statements are not contradictory unless it is impossible for both to be true. “…that if, on any rational hypothesis, they both can be supposed true, they both may be true, and no contradiction is made out.
This rule is made necessary by the fact that writers and speakers often omit details, the absence of which gives their statements the appearance of inconsistency, whereas their presence in the narrative would have prevented this appearance.
It is unjust to refuse any writers the benefit of this rule; for in doing so we are liable to charge with falsehood the most truthful writers, and with incorrect information those best informed.”
The absence of a solution to so-called contradictions does not constitute evidence that there is no solution. It is possible that many of us may be unable to solve many of the difficulties which have been pointed out by infidels as contradictions, while others who have delved more deeply into the scriptures have little trouble solving the difficulty.
As with the accident stories given above, compare from the Bible 4 accounts from the gospels of what was written and placed on the cross of Jesus:
Matt. 27:37 – This is Jesus the King of the Jews.
Mark 15:26 – the King of the Jews.
Luke 23:38 – This is the King of the Jews.
John 19:19 – Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.
Conclusion: This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.
Contradictions???
The psalmist stated long ago, "The SUM [entirety] of Thy word is truth..." ~ Psalm 119:160


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Friday, June 21, 2019

A Sinner's Prayer

A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. "Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions." ~ Psalm 51:1

This prayer of David was a 'sinner's prayer', but NOT for David to become a physical Israelite; he already was an Israelite because he had obeyed the command of Moses to be circumcised in the flesh (Gen. 17;11, 14). He had, as an Israelite, broken one of the commandments (Exod. 20:14). This prayer was to be restored to the covenant relationship. 

There are some lessons for us from this prayer of David:
~ One does not become a spiritual Israelite (Rom. 9:6-8) by praying a prayer.
~ One can sin, after being in covenant relationship, thereby breaking the relationship they entered by obeying the command of Jesus to be circumcised in the heart. (Rom. 2:29)

God offered Israel a covenant relationship with Him upon these terms: "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people...". (Exodus 19:6) The people responded as follows: "All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD." (Exodus 19:8).

Moses reminded them of the blessings for their continued obedience in Canaan, as well as the punishment for continued disobedience in Deuteronomy 28. This 'continued' disobedience would eventually cause the nation to be destroyed, with only a remnant being spared (Romans 9:29).

Whenever the covenant was broken, the remedy was confession of their sin, returning in repentance to God, and be obedient to the terms of the covenant. At the dedication of the temple, Solomon  spoke these words, “When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to a land far off or near, if they take thought in the land where they are taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have committed iniquity and have acted wickedly’; if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been taken captive, and pray toward their land which You have given to their fathers and the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name, then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, their prayer and supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people who have sinned against You." (2 Chron. 6:36-39).

Please notice that this is a prayer that is commanded to be prayed BY GOD'S PEOPLE...NOT ANYONE WHO IS NOT IN A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM! It is NOT a prayer to become one of God's people! The next chapter in 2 Chronicles contains a verse that is often misapplied, and used in support of a prayer for salvation by an alien sinner. It is chapter 7:14, and reads, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." Did you catch the phrase, "MY PEOPLE"? This is NOT referring to an alien sinner!

To have a right to pray to God, one must be in covenant relationship. So today, prayer is NOT for the purpose of becoming a child of God (i.e., Christian); it is a resource whereby a child of God may petition God for forgiveness when he breaks the terms of the covenant.

His relationship and responsibilities are stated in 1 John 1:7-9, "...but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Again, this text is NOT speaking of an alien sinner, nor is it the 'sinner's prayer' to become a child of God.

David's prayer was to be restored after his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. David was not praying to become an Israelite. This prayer (if you read the remainder of the chapter, contains David's confession of sin, and avowed repentance.

The new birth of John 3:3-5 is the means whereby one is born 'anew'. It is by means of water and the Spirit, not by a prayer. As Solomon said of prayer, it is for "MY PEOPLE".

Let us distinguish between "ye must be born again", and a prayer to be restored to fellowship, after being born again.

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Friday, June 7, 2019

FEAR vs LOVE in PREACHING

Why do some preach differently on the "form of doctrine" (Romans 6:17-18) regarding God's plan of salvation?
Because of the CHIEF TRAIT of a false teacher: FEAR OF PERSECUTION FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST [Gal. 6:12, "Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, SIMPLY SO THAT THEY WILL NOT BE PERSECUTED FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST."]
Otherwise, they would preach what the Lord's apostles preached when telling a sinner, [under conviction] how to "call upon the name of the Lord".
The apostle Paul here is addressing false teachers! It is THEIR fear of suffering persecution FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST!
This is not just persecution in that it is hardship in general; this is persecution over what you preach on how to be saved.

What was the answer given IN THE BIBLE, that will cause persecution FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST? It is to preach BELIEF, REPENTANCE, CONFESSION OF FAITH, BAPTISM FOR REMISSION.
Find a preacher who is not preaching THAT "form of doctrine", and you will find a preacher who fears to do so because he fears persecution FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST!
To be saved by the Lord, is to be saved by the preaching that the Lord authorized and commanded the apostles to preach (for which they suffered persecution FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST - 2 Tim. 2:9).

A preacher who fears to preach truth on how to be saved is likened to the 'hireling' of which Jesus spoke of in John 10:11-13, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep."
The apostle Paul attributed his persecutions FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST, to preachers who preached, not out of love for lost souls, but to stop him from preaching FAITH, REPENTANCE, CONFESSION, AND BAPTISM. He explained this in his letter to the Philippians in chapter 1:12-17, "Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear. Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment."

Preach anything other than this "form of doctrine" [BELIEF, REPENTANCE FROM SIN, CONFESSION OF FAITH, & BAPTISM FOR REMISSION OF SINS]; and there will be no persecution FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST. However, in doing so, you will declare before God your own fear of persecution FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST. You will place yourself in the company of those of John 12:43, who, “loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God”.

But if you preach this “form of doctrine” [BELIEF, REPENTANCE FROM SIN, CONFESSION OF FAITH, & BAPTISM FOR REMISSION OF SINS]; you will declare: your love for truth; for lost souls; that you are “set for the defense of the gospel”; and you will be in company with Timothy, fighting “the good fight of faith” [1 Tim. 6:12, 18].

Jesus said it this way, "For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” [John 3:20-21].

The apostle Paul warned of those who would preach so as to make disciples of themselves, rather than of the Lord. He said, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, TO DRAW AWAY DISCIPLES AFTER THEM. [Acts 20:29-30]

The church that Jesus promised to “build” (Matt. 16:18); has become divided into denominational bodies because of this change in the “form of doctrine” on how to be saved.
The sinner doesn’t know that there is a “form of doctrine” that will save him, nor does he know that there is “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6-9). But the preacher who reads what “form of doctrine” the apostles’ preached in the book of Acts, will know. Should he THEN continue to preach “another gospel”, God’s curse is upon him.
The “FORM OF DOCTRINE”, that a preacher preaches regarding HOW a sinner is saved, reveals which is stronger in that preacher’s life; his FEAR OF the truth, or his LOVE FOR the truth.

Let each preacher ask himself in regard to his preaching on the “form of doctrine”, the questions asked by the apostle Paul in Gal. 1:10: “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Haddon Robinson observed:
Men have preached a lie, knowing it's a lie if, in preaching it, they have put gold in their pockets.
Men have preached a lie, knowing it's a lie if, when preaching it, they have achieved power and authority.
But men do NOT preach a lie, knowing it's a lie if, every time they preach it, they are courting imprisonment, persecution, poverty, and death.
It is contrary to all human experience for men to go out and spend their lives preaching a lie, knowing it's a lie, if every time they preach it, they are ostracized from the community, hounded by the authorities, and turned into the laughingstock of society.
And yet THAT is precisely the penalty the early Christians paid for preaching that salvation was ONLY possible by faith thru repentance from sin, confession of Jesus as the Christ, and immersion in water into the death of Jesus Christ.
This was the "form of doctrine" (Romans 6:17-18) preached to a sinner throughout the book of Acts.
Note carefully that it was NOT until this was OBEYED that forgiveness came to them ~ "...being THEN made free from sin....NOT BEFORE OBEDIENCE!


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