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    Tired of all the fighting that goes on in facebook groups? Are you ready for a community where you can talk about things of God and the Bible without getting branded a heretic? Well, we are glad you found us. Why don't you give us a try and see how friendly and different we are. - BroMatt

  • Unity "in" Christ

    I and my Father are one. (John 10:30) And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that [they may be one, even AS we are one]: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:22-23) Does John 10:30 teach us that Jesus did NOT claim to be Deity when proclaimed that He and His Father are ONE -- because we may also be ONE "even as" they are ONE? Why are there so many doctrinal disagreements within the Body of Christ if the Holy Spirit dwells in all genuine believers who possess the Truth? Jesus could not make the statement He made in John 10:30 if He were not God -- which the gospel of John makes crystal clear from the very first verses:
     
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-5)  It is folly to discuss the Bible with unbelievers (unless they are truly seeking for salvation) or even with wayward believers involved in cult-like organizations, because such people have no respect for the Bible's authority (1 Cor.1:18; 2:14-15). Presenting them with the correct meaning of a Bible verse is liking placing a pearl before an angry hog. The word "one" is the numeral in Greek as in English, but as in English what it means has to be determined by the context. In Hebrew, adopted by the New Testament, God being "one" means God being "unique", and does not mean that Jesus and the Father are the same Person. As believers, we have come to "share in the divine essence" (2 Pet.1:4) because of our unity with Christ -- but we are NOT God. So our unity has to be different in quality and scale than that of the Trinity. The Trinity have never had an argument -- because they are perfectly aligned in their will even though God is three in person. Human beings are different and there have never been two human beings who have agreed on absolutely everything. Our unity as believers has to do with us "fighting on the same team", putting each other first before ourselves, and striving to do all we can to see that the whole team is successful "as one" by helping each other out through our spiritual gifts and ministries (cf. Ps. 133:1; Acts 2:44-45; 4:32; Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 1:10; 10:16-17; 12:4-11,27; Eph. 2:22; 4:13,16,25; Phil. 1:27; 4:14; Col. 3:15; Heb. 10:24-25) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith [goal], and of the knowledge (epignosis) of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16) [verse 13] "unity" = enotes.  Literally, "oneness", here Paul uses this word to refer to the goal as collective growth, a theme near and dear to Paul's heart and returned to in this passage and in many occasions as well at the end where the body of Christ is to "the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love". This is all about spiritual growth if the Body of Christ is functioning properly as it ought to; as Christ Himself being the head as a collective organism whose purpose is to stimulate the growth of all of its parts so that by mutual support in order that all Christians grows up to spiritual maturity, progresses in their walk with Christ, and in turn helps (through the ministries and spiritual gifts and effects given by God) the rest of the Body of Christ to mature as well – ideally (e.g., Rom. 15:5; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 4:3; Phil. 2:2-4; Col. 3:14; cf. 1 Pet. 3:8-9).
    God Bless!

    (Omega)
    (Omega)
    The Lounge

    If You're New Here Please Read

    The Truth

    You cannot be saved by being a 'good person':

    "For by grace are ye saved through faith...Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8a-9 KJV)

    And there are not 'many paths? to God, there's only One:

    "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 KJV)

    The Bible tells us that everyone is a sinner:

    "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23 KJV)

    You must realize that there is a punishment for sin:

    "For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23a KJV)

    This does not mean only physical death, but also spiritual death:

    "...fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28b KJV)

    Jesus died on the cross for your sins:

    "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 KJV)

    And then He rose from the dead, conquering death:

    "Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly;" (Acts 10:40 KJV)

    Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, eternal life becomes a free gift from God:

    "...by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Romans 5:18b KJV)

    "...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23b KJV)

    But just like any gift, it doesn't become yours until you receive it. To receive God's gift of eternal life, you must call on the name of the Lord:

    "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13 KJV)

    Time is growing short and you should not put off your decision. The Bible tells us:

    "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)" (2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV)

    There is no other way to be saved than by Jesus, and there is no better time than now to receive salvation...

    Keifer
    Keifer
    The Lounge 706

    'Apologiz-ing' (1 Pet. 3:15) to Muslims and Islam

    'Apologiz-ing' (1 Pet. 3:15) to Muslims and Islam

    (witnessing to Muslims) I have these materials on file, and have studied in the religion of Islam, and can help in these areas, and over 1,000 pages of material on various subjects, sources, etc for those desiring it, and I will share some later.

    An overview (brief) History of Muhammad (Abu al Qasim [father of Qasim]) and Islam:

    AD 570 - Muhammad born [supposedly, ancestry really unknown, no one knows the Muhammad for sure]

    AD 610 - Muhammad [40 years old] met 'Jibril' in the Hira cave

    AD 610 - 622 - Received 'Meccan' verses

    AD 621 - Muhammad has the 'Mi'raj' to the 7 Heavens [5 Prayers/As-Salat]

    AD 622 - 'Hijra' [Migration] from Mecca to Medina

    AD 622 - 632 - Received 'Medinan' verses

    AD 624 - There were no mosques prior to AD 624, Qibla [direction of prayer changed, from Jerusalem to Mecca [Al-Masjid-Al-Haram]], specifically to the Ka'bah [building and the blackstone [god] thereof], Qur'an surah 2 [Al-Baqarah], ayah 142-150

    Qur'an - Al-Hilali-Khan; Surah 2:142-150 -
      "… [v. 142] The fools among the people (pagans, hypocrites, and Jews) will say, "What has turned them (Muslims) from the Qiblah [prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)] to which they used to face in prayer." Say, (O Muhammad) "To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the Straight Way." [v. 143] Thus We have made you [true Muslims – real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah (legal ways)], a just (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind [1] and the Messenger (Muhammad) be a witness over you. And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e. disobey the Messenger). indeed it was great (heavy) except for those whom Allah guided. And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e. your prayers offered towards Jerusalem). Truly, Allah is full of Kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind. [v. 144] Verily! We have see the turning of your (Muhammad's) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid-Al-Haram (at Makkah [Mecca]). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scripture (i.e. Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka'bah at Makkah [Mecca] in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do. [v. 145] And even if you were to bring to the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) all of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they would not follow your Qiblah (prayer direction), nor are you going to follow their Qiblah (prayer direction). And they will not follow each other's Qiblah (prayer direction). Verily, if you follow their desires after that which you have received of knowledge (from Allah), then indeed you will be one of the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers). [v.146] Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognise him (Muhammad or the Ka'bah at Makkah [Mecca]) as they recognise their sons. But verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it – [i.e. the qualities pf Muhammad which are written in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] [v.147] (This is) the truth from your Lord. So be you not one of those who doubt. [v.148] For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). So hasten towards all that is good. Wheresoever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is Able to do all things. [v.149] And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid-Al-Haram (at Makkah [Mecca]), that is indeed the truth from your Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. [v.150] And from wheresoever you start forth (your prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid-Al-Haram (at Makkah [Mecca]), and wheresoever you are, turn your faces towards it (when you pray) so that men may have no argument against you except those of them that are wrong-doers, so fear them not, but fear Me! – And so that I may complete My Blessings on you and that you may be guided. ..."   AD 630 - Conquered Mecca 'peacefully', in the area of the Hijaz [Roman controlled province]

    AD 632 - Died horribly of accumulated effects of poisoning [from the battle of Kaybar], there was as yet no official written or totally compiled [into one source] qur'an.

    AD 632 - 634 - Abu Bakr [Father of Aishah, favorite wife of Muhammad], Rightly Guided Caliph of Muhammad, takes over

    AD 634 - 644 - Umar [daughter Hafsa], starts conquering other cities - Bozrah, Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo

    AD 642 - The 5 Great cities of the Levant - Basra, Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, are now under Arab [not Muslim] control. Also Alexandria, Aden, Merat and Nishapur.

    AD 644 - 656 - Uthman [Othman], he has the various qur'anic materials [like Hafsa's, daughter of Umar] compiled into one official [Zaid ibn Thabit, secretary of Muhammad, re-write and correct, and if any difficulty, use the Qur'aishi language, language of Muhammad's Ummah people, along with three other men], and burns all of the rest which differed, or were lost, had additions, etc.

    4 main Uthman copies were made, [1] Medina, [2] Basra, [3] Baghdad, [4] Damascus,
    of which two are supposed to be still around, the Topkapi Mushaf [in Turkey, Istanbul, mid - 8th century] and the Sammarqand Mushaf [Tashkent early - mid 8th century], but they are not that old, but later [Umayyad period, 8th century], and contain errors, and are only half manuscripts.

    Others are the:
      [1] Ma'il [Britain, Hijazi text], [2] Petropolitanus [Paris, see Francois Deroche 2009:172-177], [3] Houseini [al-Mashhad al-Husayni] Cairo, Egypt, see Tayyar Altikulac Al Mushaf Al Sharif 2007:36, footnote 14a], [4] San'aa manuscripts, see the book Al Mushaf Al Sharif, Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and Dr. Tayyar Altikulac.
    AD 650 - Official Uthmanic recension of the various qur'ans compiled into one, all others destroyed

    AD 656 - 661 - Ali [Adopted son of Muhammad], whom the Shia adhere to as the rightful heir

    AD 661 - North Africa controlled by the Arabs, and goes into Spain, then to the east, in India

    AD 685 - 705 - Abd al'Malik, comes to power

    AD 685 - coins with Muhammad's name on them, no other record of this name before this date, that is known

    AD 691 - dome of the rock,:
      [1] first Arab inscription referencing 'Muhammad' [Volker Popp-Ohlig & Puin, 2010:53]; [2] the first reference to 'Muslims' is in the 690's [Chronicle of John of Niku' – 1602], [3] the first Arab reference to 'Muslim' if just prior to AD 749 [Nevo & Koren, 2003:234], otherwise they re simply 'Saracen' [Arab], 'Hagarene', 'Ishmaelite', 'Maghraye', 'Muhajiroun' [in exodus, nomad]; [4] the first reference to 'Islam' is not until AD 691 [Dome of the Rock] [Volker Popp-Ohlig & Puin, 2010:71], [5] the first reference to 'Mecca' is not until AD 741 [Patricia Crone 1987:134-136 [found in Apocalypse of pseudo-Methodius Continuatio Byzantia Arabica, early reign of caliph Hisham]; Hoyland 1997:426; Tom Holland, In the Shadow of the Sword, 2012:303], [6] the first Biography of 'Muhammad' within Islamic sources is not until AD 833 [Ibn Isham, citing the earlier non-extant work of Ibn Ishaq, AD 765], [7] the earliest maps do not show or place 'Mecca' until AD 900, of which Patricia Crone, found Greek trading documents with Ta'if [South-East of Mecca], Yathrib [later Medina], Kaybar, but never Mecca. Historical Criticism:

    Wansbrough, Hawting, Patricia Crone, Andrew Rippin, Robert Hoyland, Yehuda Nevo, Luling, Gerd R Puin, Von Bothmer, Karl-Heinz Ohlig, Francois Deroche, Bowering, Conrad, Peters, Stein, Showmaker, [even Islamic Awareness, Islam site], Dan Brubaker, see the book Al Mushaf Al Sharif, Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and Dr. Tayyar Altikulac.etc. "... Islam, and the prophet's life, as we know it, was not derived from the 7th century, but evolved over a period of 200-300 years, and then redacted back on to the prophet's life, and compiled in the 9th century ..." [Humphreys 1991:71,83-89]   "... The Qur'an probably was not revealed to one man in 22 years, but likely evolved over a period of 50-100 years ..." [Rippin 1985:155, 1990:3,25,60; Lester 99:44-45; Wansbrough 1977:160-163] The conclusion of a few is that the history of Islam, at least from the time of the Caliph Abd al-Malik (AD 685-705) and before, is a later fabrication/redaction [Cook 1983:65; Robinson 1996:47]

    AD 705 - Jacob of Edessa

    AD 765 - Ibn Ishaq, writes the first known 'siratul Rasu'allah' [life [history] of the 'prophet' of allah [Muhammad]]

    AD 790 - Ma'il qur'an

    AD 833 - Ibn Isham, rewrites Ibn Ishaq's account, altering it

    AD 870 - al-Bukhari, compiles the first Sahih aHadith [sayings of Muhammad, using a chain of narration system], from 600,000 sayings, narrowed to 7,397 sayings in 9 Volumes, throwing out 98%.

    AD 923 - al-Tabari, compiles the first great Tafsir [commentary on the qur'an]

    Quranic Translations (of the Uthmanic rescension): [1] Al-Hilali-Khan [official Saudi, Salafi], [2] Yusuf-Ali, [3] Shakir, [4] Pickthal, [5] Dawood, [6] Sarwar, [7] Sahih International, etc ... There are actually over 31 differing Arabic qur'ans (I did not say 31 translations), various lengths, changes in words, meanings, tenses, etc., and not merely translation of the 'Uthmanic' rescension (as above), but different from it.

    aHadith's [sayings, chains of narration, of Muhammad] [Sahih [correct/accepted as valid]]: [1] al-Bukhari, - https://d1.islamhouse.com/data/en/ih_books/single/en_Sahih_Al-Bukhari.pdf

    [2] Muslim, - https://d1.islamhouse.com/data/en/ih_books/single/en_Sahih_Muslim.pdf

    [3] Sunan an-Nasa'i, - https://archive.org/details/sunan-an-nasa-i-volume-1-6

    [4] Sunan ibn Majah, - https://archive.org/details/SunanIbnMajahVol.11802EnglishArabic

    [5] Sunan Abu Dawud, - https://archive.org/details/SunanAbuDawudVol.111160EnglishArabic

    [6] Jami at-Tirmidhi - https://archive.org/details/JamiAtTirmidhiVol.632913956EnglishArabic Tafsir's [commentaries] [Ta'rikh, histories]: [1] al-Tabari, - https://archive.org/details/TabariEnglish

    [2] al-Qurtubi [Volume 1, English], - https://ia801709.us.archive.org/7/items/TafsirAlQurtubiVolI/Tafsir al Qurtubi - Vol I.pdf

    [3] al-Jalalain, - http://www.altafsir.com/Books/Al_Jalalain_Eng.pdf

    [4] Ibn Kathir, - https://ia601408.us.archive.org/0/i...afsir Ibn Kathir - Volume 01-10 - English.pdf

    etc [i.e., al-Suyuti [Al Itqan Fi Ulum Al Qur'an, PDF], Baidawi, Zamakshari, and others] - https://ia800607.us.archive.org/1/items/AlItqanFiUlumAlQuran/AlItqanFiUlumAlQuran-SuyutiEnglish.pdf Histories: [1] Ibn Ishaq, - https://ia801702.us.archive.org/25/...dGuillaume/The_Life_Of_Mohammed_Guillaume.pdf

    [2] Ibn Isham, [a revision of Ibn Ishaq's]

    [3] Battles of the Prophet by Ibn Kathir, - https://ebooks.worldofislam.info/ebooks/History/The Battles of the Prophet.pdf

    [4] Biographies of the rightly guided Caliphs - https://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/books/Biographies of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs.pdf ******* For original source data-mining only [becareful what you read, how often you read, how long you read, etc it is deadly poison, no joke, full hazmats on]:

    The Uthmanic Qur'an, English translations - IslamAwakened

    The Sunnah of Islam [aHadith, etc] - Sunnah.com - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)

    Various Tafsirs - English Tafseer Of The Noble Quran

    Ibn Ishaq's sira'tul rasulallah, the biographical life of Muhammad - https://ia801702.us.archive.org/25/...dGuillaume/The_Life_Of_Mohammed_Guillaume.pdf

    Reliance of the Traveller, Official Sharia Code Book [Islamic Law] [the owner is removing these from the net, get them while you can] - Wayback Machine

    Wayback Machine

    Wayback Machine

    The book of Jihad - https://ia800904.us.archive.org/30/...IbnNuhass/The Book of Jihad by Ibn Nuhass.pdf

    An Index to the Qur'an, by Harun Yahya - https://ia802305.us.archive.org/23/items/AnIndexToTheQuran/kuran_fihristi_en.pdf

    Edward William Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon - https://lanelexicondotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/lane-an-arabic-english-lexicon.pdf

    The classical 'apologetical' of Al Kindi, a Christian response to Muslim - https://www3.nd.edu/~reynolds/nehc20624/al-kindi.pdf

    23 Years by Ali Dashti - http://1400years.org/books/twentythreeyearsEN.pdf

    Jesus warned of many false prophets, and even gave a location for some of them (and to beware of the desert):

    Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

    Matthew 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.

    Matthew 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

    EvangAlived
    EvangAlived
    False Religions
  • Trust in the Lord

    Psalms 37:1-5, “Trust in the Lord.”   Verse 1 – 5, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”   David was King over the nation of Israel. He was not a pastor, a religious leader, or a priest. He was a man who trusted in God and God anointed him become King. David trusted in God and in the promises in the Bible. So, God lifted him up in his life.    A lot of people commit evil. We see, or hear; people do evil, commit crimes, war, deceit or other bad things. Sometimes we see evil people become famous or rich. Sometimes this causes us to worry or to envy them. God says not to worry or fret. Why? They will perish like the grass one day and spend eternity in hell.   Instead of worrying, or being jealous, we need to trust in God and do good.   Verse 9 says, “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”   The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5   All of us have desires in our lives. We have plans and hopes for our lives, our jobs and our families. God can help us overcome obstacles so we can have these desires. God wants to bless us. We need to know and enjoy the things of God as written in the Bible. 1 John 4:4 says, “Ye are of God, little children and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”   In order for God to bless us, we need to decide to commit our lives to Him. God knows our situation and when we trust in Him, He can give us our needs and desires. Jesus is Lord. When we trust in Christ as our Saviour, He promised to give us eternal life in heaven. Titus 1:2 says, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.”   God knows the situation of this world. He knows that it is full of evil. So often, because we see the wicked prosper, we forget God. God knows that the wicked will be punished in God’s proper time. By studying the Bible, we can know God. We can know how He will punish the evildoer in the future. And, because we have Christ in our hearts we can overcome the Devil and the world. So, we need to trust in God and not worry. He will bless us when we trust in Him.   May God bless all of you. Alan

    Alan
    Alan
    Devotionals 8

    Analyzing the Chinese word, 'Righteousness.'

    Analyzing the Chinese word Righteousness 「義的分析」 by Alan Introduction The Chinese written language is very unique. The Chinese words are called, “Characters,” and use a visual, or pictograph, series of lines, called, “strokes,” that represent a word, or a thought, or an action.   In written Chinese, we have an example of the righteousness of God through His Son, the Lord Jesus, in the word, “righteousness.” In Chinese, the word righteousness is written as, 「義」 The Chinese word righteousness is composed of two major words; the word Lamb「羊」 on the top and the word Me 「我」or Us 「我們」on the bottom. The word Me 「我」or Us 「我們」is composed of two words: the hand 「手」 and a spear「戈」   Righteousness is very important. God is holy and will not allow sin into heaven. A person needs to be reconciled to God, or to become righteous, in the sight of God, in order to escape the punishment of hell and enter into everlasting life in heaven. Before a person is a Christian in the sight of God he is unrighteous. The Apostle Paul said, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10 Therefore, in order for a person to have eternal life in heaven, in the presence of God, he must be righteous. He must have his sins forgiven.   We will analyze the Chinese word for righteousness and look at an example of how we can become righteous by God’s principles. In order to understand righteousness in the sight of God, we must turn to the word of God; the Bible. The Bible is God’s word and we can trust it. First 「羊」 A Lamb A sinless sacrifice must be made to forgive sins. And, it must be according to what God says. The Bible says that the blood of animals cannot take away the sins of mankind. Hebrews 10:4 says, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” The animal sacrifices of the world cannot take away a persons sins. This includes the Muslims in the Middle East, and the sacrifices of the Buddhist, Confucianists and Taoists of the East. Hebrews 10:4, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” The sacrificial lambs that God required by the Jews under the Law of Moses in the Old Testament did not take away sins; they were an object lesson of the sacrificial sacrifice for sins by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. They were a guide, or a teacher, for the sacrifice of Christ. Galatians 3:24, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”   The Lord Jesus was sinless and perfect. In contrasting the sacrifices of the Jews under the Levitical law, the Old Testament, and the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus as our priest and sacrifice for sins, the author of the book of Hebrews makes this statement. “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. … For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,and made higher than the heavens. Who needed not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for his he did once, when he offered up himself.” Hebrews 7:22, 26 & 27   The Lord Jesus was sinless and totally righteous. A Chinese proverb says,「義刑於色」Translated, that means, “Righteousness manifested in one's appearance.”   Wang Ming-Tao says, “Yes, our Lord is completely holy. You can not find anything that He did without any blemish or unrighteousness. When He was on the earth no matter if it was a disciple, or if it was an enemy, including anybody else that had anything to do with Him, they all gave a clear testimony that He did not have even a little bit of sin or unrighteousness. 王明道:「是、我們的主就是那樣完全聖潔。你不能在他的身上找出一點污穢不義來。他在世上行走的時候、無論是他的門徒、他的仇敵、以及與他毫無關係的人、都證明他沒有少許的罪惡不義。」i A free translation by the author.   The Lord Jesus was like a lamb sacrificed for us. John the Baptist said, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29 The Lord Jesus died on the cross, like a harmless lamb, and shed His blood as a sacrifice.   As with the Jews in the Old Testament the eternal salvation of the soul is by the imputation of righteousness the moment a person, by faith, trusts in God. When a person realizes that he has sinned against God, and deserves to spend eternity in hell, and believes by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his payment for sins, than God imputes, or gives, His righteousness to that individual. “For what saith the scriptures? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Romans 4:3 Second 「我」 Me,  「我們」or Us Why did Jesus become a sacrifice? In order to redeem us. So we can obtain eternal salvation. To reconcile us to God. Before a person is saved he is a sinner and His relationship with God is severed . The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus is the only way we can be reconciled with God. The Lord Jesus was sinless. He became sin for us while on the cross in order for us to become righteous.2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Third 「手」The Hand God made us. He made our hands. We can use our hands for good or for evil. God gave us the ability, the will, to either serve Him or the Devil. The decision is ours. Matthew 27:1&2, “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontus Pilate the governor.”   Because of our sins, the hand of man apprehended the Lord Jesus Christ. The hand of man hit Jesus. The hand of man took a whip and whipped Jesus. The hand of man took a nail in one hand and a hammer in the other hand and nailed Jesus on the cross. The hand of man caused the blood of Jesus to be shed. The Lord Jesus allowed men to crucify Him so His blood could be shed for our sins.   The apostle Peter testified, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Acts 2:23 We can either use our hands for good or for wickedness. Fourth「戈」 A Spear The hand of man took a spear and pierced the side of Jesus and more blood flowed from the body of Jesus. John 19:34 says, “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” Jesus died for us! The Lord Jesus became a sacrificial lamb to die for the penalty of our sins on the cross of Calvary.   John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” We need to have a repentant heart and believe on the Lord Jesus as our Saviour! Conclusion The Lord Jesus was righteous in every aspect. When a person repents and trust in Jesus as their Saviour then God imputes the righteousness of Jesus to that person. The Lord Jesus becomes our righteousness. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”   Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary we can have forgiveness of our sins, escape the punishment of hell, and obtain eternal life in heaven. The Lord Jesus left the glory of heaven, became a man, to die on the cross as a sacrificial lamb, to shed His blood, so we could be saved and the righteousness of God imputed to us. So we can be reconciled with God.   i Wang Ming Tao, Treasuries of Wang Ming Tao, Volume II The Hard Road, (Touliu, Taiwan: Conservative Baptist Press, 1996), Page 93. 王明道,王明道文庫,第二冊,小徑(臺灣斗六:浸宣出版社,1996),93頁。

    Alan
    Alan
    Devotionals 8

    The Characteristics Of Love

    The Characteristics of Love

    1. Love desires reciprocation.
    A one-sided love promotes frustration and discontent.
    Love desires company (companionship). 1 John 4:19.

    2. Love is unbiased, without prejudice.
    It is unconditional;
    Conditioned love is mock love.

    3. Love is eternal.
    There is no “falling out of love”;
    Nothing can replace true love, as it has no end.

    4. Love cannot be described.
    No words adequate enough to describe love. (“so much” as in John 3:16)
    Love is seen in action, not in words. (Calvary).

    5. Love is not self-seeking.
    There is no pride in love; no self seeking.
    Love is “others” minded, it gives and asks nothing in return.

    6. Love is pure.
    Real love promotes chastity.

    7. Love is powerful.
    Love brings the strongest and most nOBle of men to their knees.

    8. Love is motivational.
    It promotes Truth;
    Love demands action.

    irishman
    irishman
    Devotionals 3

    Psalm 19:1 Integrity

     “Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool” Proverbs 19:1   The meaning of integrity is moral soundness or purity; incorruptness, uprightness; honesty.   Job is an excellent man of integrity. Job 2:3, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth [ hate ] evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”   Job eschewed, or hated, evil. Job was upright, morally pure, incorrupt in business, and honest in his dealings.   A person who hates sin, and stays away from sin, is a person of integrity. Psalms 97:10, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.” Job, a man of God, was a man of integrity.   “... than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool”   The meaning of perverse is: to be obstinate; in the wrong; disposed to be contrary; or stubborn.   Balaam, a false prophet, because his way of life was contrary to God, was perverse. Numbers 22:31 & 32, “Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me.”   Balaam, and other false teachers, are obstinate, contrary, and stubborn against the ways and doctrines of God as written in the scriptures. They are fools and perverse in the sight of God. Jude 11, “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” See also 2 Peter 2:1-22   Conclusion   Job is a fine example of a man of integrity. Job maintained his integrity in spite of intense physical, mental, social (his three friends), and spiritual testing. In these last days of spiritual unrest, false teachers, political uncertainty, wars and rumors of war, legal persecution, verbal animosity, and other trials of these perilous last days, we need to maintain our integrity. May God bless you all.

    Alan
    Alan
    Devotionals 7

    Biblical Repentance

    Biblical Repentance Before I dive into the doctrine of repentance let me just say that I am very aware of the importance of judging myself before judging anyone else and I try to walk in the light. In case you are wondering “who are you to reprove others?” I am only a sinner saved by God’s amazing grace. In fact, I am less than nothing apart from the Lord. BUT, Like Jeremiah, God’s Word burns in me and I cannot keep quiet. If there is a doctrine that is seriously lacking in today’s churches it is repentance. It typically won’t build a big church so it is no wonder the majority of pastors today don’t preach it in an illustrated plain manner. I believe another reason why some earnest Gospel preachers are almost afraid of, and generally ignore, the terms “repent” and “repentance” in their evangelizing is that they fear that their hearers might misunderstand these terms and think of them as implying something meritorious on the part of the sinner. But nothing could be further from the mark. There is no saving merit in owning my true condition. There is no healing in acknowledging the nature of my illness. And repentance, as I will clearly show, is just this very thing. And it is not enough to just tell your people to repent (though that is a lot more than a lot of people today). Lost people (which fill many churches today and I am not talking about the visitors) need some detailed illustrations about what real repentance is along with some hellfire preaching. I am afraid that most people could not give a Biblical definition of repentance. Dear reader, my goal here is to bring some clarity on what real repentance is and that you will start to preach and teach repentance boldly and in a way so that your hearer truly understands that “except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3. The problem today is the easy believism… 123 repeat after me sinners prayer type of evangelism, then giving them assurance they are saved without ever seeing their changed life. Giving people assurance of salvation without seeing the evidence of salvation is of the Devil as far as I am concerned. Preaching repentance and telling those who are lost to turn from their sin in a plain manner will drop your “saved” numbers dramatically. But who cares about an inflated report anyways! I want someone that I can disciple and you cannot truly disciple a professor who does not have a change in attitude toward God and their sin. I understand that there will always be some false converts, it is inevitable, but my based on my experience and diligent research on the topic, not preaching repentance is the reason for the majority of false converts. Like myself in the past, the majority want God to give them salvation but they keep doing their own thing. That is not Biblical salvation. If what you believe doesn’t change the way you live, I wouldn’t give ten cents for your faith. In plainer words, the Lord Jesus Christ did not die on the cross so that you can live any ole way you want. Dear reader, you don’t believe that (or you’re fooling yourself) and I don’t believe that because scripture says the opposite. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. So then why is the preaching of repentance so neglected? I think it is because there are a bunch of cowardly compromisers behind the pulpit who fear the people more than they fear Almighty God and who care more about their individual bottom line than about the truth. For example, Dr. Robert Morris at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX has a three part series called “The Blessed Life.” I was forced to watch it on two occasions while at the Faith Based Dorm at Hutchins State Jail. Not ONE time does Morris ever mention the word repentance. Not once did he ever tell his people in order to live a blessed life they would need to continue to confess and forsake sin! See 1 John 1:9 and Proverbs 28:13. He did say that if you tithe you will get material gain and if you don’t that God would curse you and you would have demons unleashed on you. Don’t get me wrong, I believe we are commanded to tithe and I myself do. BUT, we tithe not because we think it is a way to gain wealth in this world. It is simply because we are commanded to do so and it puts God first in your life. But this is a whole other topic for another time. Some preachers rarely rebuke sin and preach repentance because they just don’t want to “beat anybody up.” I find that to be quite a revealing thing that literally flies in the face of hundreds of verses in the Bible… Was the Lord Jesus Christ “beating people up” when he told the Pharisees “except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish?” Was the Apostle Paul being too rough on the crowd when he said “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”? Acts 17:30 Fact is rebuking sin and urging people to turn from their sin is not beating them up but is the most loving and compassionate thing you can do. This self esteem mad generation we live in today confuses Biblical correction with persecution. Scripture commands us to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” 2 Tim 4:2 Then there is this business of giving people assurance of salvation without seeing the evidence of true repentance. We cannot give people assurance period. You can’t see that person’s heart only God can. We can have a pretty good idea later on based on their fruit and testimony (changed life) and we will do well to pray that God will give us discernment so that we can have a good idea whether someone is still lost or not and how God wants us to deal with that person etc. They can have assurance through the scriptures and the Holy Spirit alone. Before I was saved out of a drug addiction and wretched lifestyle in 2013, I thought I was saved (or hoped I was) simply because I “believed.” I used to hang onto John 3:16 because after all, it said whosoever believeth shall not perish. How convenient, I could just believe and keep on living any ole way I want. There is a verse that plainly describes that person and its Titus 1:16 “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Repentance and Faith Author and Missionary David Cloud says: “Some men point to John 3:16 and Acts 16:31, claiming that it is not necessary to preach repentance since we don’t see it in these passages. ‘It seems to me, though, that this is a strange way to use the Bible, since it is so obvious from other passages that repentance is necessary. Jesus said it is necessary (Luke 13:1-5); Paul said it is necessary (Acts 17:30, etc.); Peter said it is necessary (2 Pet. 3:9). If preaching repentance is not necessary and we only need to preach faith, why did Christ Himself preach repentance? ‘I would say to the issue of why verses such as John 3:16 and Acts 16:31 don’t mention repentance is that proper saving faith includes repentance and proper repentance includes faith. I say this because repentance and faith are sometimes spoken of in Scripture as both being necessary for salvation (i.e., Acts 20:21; Heb. 6:1), while at other times only one or the other is said to be necessary. ‘Salvation is referred to as coming to repentance with no mention of faith in Matthew 9:13; 11:20-21; 21:32; Mark 1:4; 2:17; 6:12; Luke 15:7; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 11:18; 26:20; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:25; and 2 Peter 3:9. ‘Then in other passages, such as John 3:16 and Acts 16:31, salvation is referred to as believing and repentance is not mentioned. ‘By comparing Scripture with Scripture (rather than isolating Scripture, which is the method used by false teachers), I conclude that saving faith includes repentance.” Examples of Repentance in the Bible     “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham” (Lk. 19:8,9). Zacchaeus repented and it resulted in a hatred of evil and a love of righteousness. Also we see here that he who truly repents will surely seek to make right any wrong he has done to his fellows, though he knows that he never can make up for the wrong done to God. “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (Lk. 15:17-20) Here we see the Prodigal Son confessing his sin towards God and making a 180 u-turn forsaking his sin. “For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9). Notice they turned to God from idols not from idols to God. There is a difference. In plainer words, you cannot straddle the fence. Turning to God is a 180 and the old life of sin is now behind you, the cross before you. “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.” The word repentance isn’t in the Jonah passage, but they did turn, and that is what repentance is. In Matthew 12:31 Jesus confirmed that they indeed repented. It was obvious that the people of Nineveh had repented based on their actions. “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.” (Ezekiel 14:6) No thinking person would come to the conclusion that God would be pleased with the people just changing their minds without changing their actions! What Repentance is Not Repentance is not a work, works are the fruit of repentance. Repentance is not reformation either. There have been several people by their own free will that quit drinking, stop using drugs, stop stealing etc. but never got saved. They never confessed their sin to Almighty God and trusted in the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. Reformation is merely an outward change. Repentance is a work of God in the soul. The Apostle Paul explains exactly what true repentance is in 2 Corinthians 7:10. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” Dear reader listen to me carefully, it is very important that you get this. The difference between sorrow of the world and Godly sorrow is this… WORLDLY SORROW ENDS AS SOON AS THE AFFLICTION IS REMOVED. AS SOON AS THE AFFLICTION IS OVER, AS SOON AS YOUR MARRIAGE IS HEALED, AS SOON AS YOUR BODY IS HEALED, AS SOON AS YOUR PROBLEMS ARE GONE, AS SOON AS YOU GET OUT OF PRISON/JAIL AND YOU DRIFT RIGHT BACK INTO THE WORLD THAT YOU CAME OUT OF. THAT’S WORLDLY SORROW THAT LEADS TO DEATH. Godly sorrow of repentance to salvation grows and develops into conviction and perseverance and a relationship with the Lord and joy and fruitfulness in your life to where a change takes place, a real change that lasts past an altar prayer or a day or two in church or some revival meeting that you went to and felt good for a little while. If you have real godly sorrow it will work the effect where God becomes God in your life. Your attitude towards sin has changed. Once you get right with God you begin to see yourself as you really are. The Holy Spirit begins to open you up like a tin of beans. Once you right with God you’ll be shocked at the stuff you will be confessing and repenting of. Once you ever really get serious with God, stuff is going start coming out of your heart that you didn’t even know was in there because we have a way of covering stuff over, everybody’s got tunnel vision when it comes to their own sinfulness. You can see anothers sin real good but you have a difficult time seeing your own. What Great Preachers of the Past and Present Have to Say About Repentance “Biblical repentance as preached by John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostles, is A CHANGE OF MIND TOWARD GOD AND SIN THAT RESULTS IN A CHANGE OF LIFE. IT IS A SPIRIT-WROUGHT CHANGE OF MIND THAT LEADS TO A CHANGE OF LIFE. It is not a change of life. That would be a works salvation. It is a radical, Spirit-wrought change of mind toward sin and God, such a dramatic change of mind that it changes one’s actions.” (David Cloud “Biblical Repentance” wayoflife.org) “But God’s holy eye discerns the sinfulness of every heart and calls upon all to take sides with Him against themselves. Until this is done, saving faith is an impossibility. This is not to limit grace. It is to make way for it. And be it remembered, repentance is not a state automatically produced. It is the inwrought work of the Holy Spirit effected by faithful preaching of the Word. But how seldom today do we hear the cry, “Except ye repent.”” (Harry Ironside page 17 “Repent Ye”) “…repentance … is a turning from sin, a loathing of it; and if thou hast that, thou hast sure repentance; but not else. Repentance is also a sense of shame for having lived in it, and a longing to avoid it. It is a change of the mind with regard to sin–a turning of the man right round. That is what it is; and it is wrought in us by the grace of God. Let none therefore mistake what true repentance is” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Mistaken Notions about Repentance,” Metropolitan Tabernacle, London, England, April 20, 1879). “What then is repentance? So far as possible I desire to avoid the use of all abstruse or pedantic terms, for I am writing not simply for scholars, but for those Lincoln had in mind when he said, “God must have thought a lot of the common people, for He made so many of them.” Therefore I wish, so far as possible, to avoid citing Greek or Hebrew words. But here it seems almost necessary to say that it is the Greek word metanoia, which is translated “repentance” in our English Bibles, and literally means a change of mind. This is not simply the acceptance of new ideas in place of old notions. But it actually implies a complete reversal of one’s inward attitude. How luminously clear this makes the whole question before us! To repent is to change one’s attitude toward self, toward sin, toward God, toward Christ. And this is what God commands. John came preaching to publicans and sinners, hopelessly vile and depraved, “Change your attitude, for the kingdom is at hand.” To haughty scribes and legalistic Pharisees came the same command, “Change your attitude,” and thus they would be ready to receive Him who came in grace to save. To sinners everywhere the Saviour cried, “Except ye change your attitude, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Harry Ironside “Repent Ye”) “Repentance is a godly sorrow for sin. Repentance is a forsaking of sin. Real repentance is putting your trust in Jesus Christ so you will not live like that anymore. Repentance is permanent. It is a lifelong and an eternity-long experience. You will never love the devil again once you repent. You will never flirt with the devil as the habit of your life again once you get saved. You will never be happy living in sin; it will never satisfy; and the husks of the world will never fill your longing and hungering in your soul. Repentance is something a lot bigger than a lot of people think. It is absolutely essential if you go to heaven” (Lester Roloff, Repent or Perish, 1950s). “Saving faith includes repentance. Repentance is not doing anything. It is not a deed, act, work, or rite. Rather, it is a change of the direction of one’s heart. It basically means an attitude of the heart in turning from sin and self and turning to God. That’s what Paul was referring to in Acts 20:21 when he referred to ‘repentance toward God and faith in [toward] our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Saving faith is the human heart turning to God and then trusting in Jesus Christ. … Even as there is the part of trusting Christ, there is also the part of turning to Him. That may seem inconsequential, but I believe that here is a spiritual reason that some go through the motions of believing in Christ but are not really born again. They seemingly want the fire escape but there is no interest in turning to God. There is no interest in repentance. They have the attitude, ‘God, gimme salvation, but I’m gonna keep on doing my own thing.’ … However, if there is no real turning to God from the heart, they have missed the prerequisite for actually trusting Christ” (Sorenson, Training Your Children to Turn out Right, 1995). “The hand that clutches the assassin’s knife must open ‘ere it can grasp the gift its intended victim proffers; and opening that hand, though a single act, has a double aspect and purpose. Accepting the gift implies a turning from the crime the heart was bent on, and it was the gift itself that worked the change. Faith is the open hand, relatively to the gift; repentance is the same hand, relatively, not only to the gift but more especially to the dagger that is flung from it” (James Stewart, Evangelism, pp. 48,49). Not once do we find in scripture someone repeating a sinners prayer. I am not saying there isn’t a time for that if one is under deep conviction of sin. Salvation is a personal thing and I treat everyone individually. For example when my brother got saved I spent the first two days talking about repentance, the overcomer, and hell. He came under deep conviction and I told him that he needed to call out to God in prayer confessing himself a sinner and to ask God through Jesus Christ to change him and to trust the finished work of the cross for forgiveness of sins. He did and was radically changed. Salvation is a supernatural miracle and there will be a testimony and you will change and other people will notice. If you don’t then you have never repented. This is NOT lordship salvation either. God will do the changing but the sinner must surrender and be willing to allow that to happen. In short, it’s turn or burn. To preach repentance in a bold and illustrated way won’t likely build a big church but “except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3  

    Twoedged Sword
    Twoedged Sword
    Devotionals 3

    Right in the Sight of the Lord

    1 Kings 15:11-15, “Right in the Sight of the Lord”    11 "And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. 
     12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 
     13 And also Maachah his mother, even her he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa destroyed her idol, and burnt it by the brook Kidron. 
     14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days. 
     15 And he brought in the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which himself had dedicated, into the house of the LORD, silver, and gold, and vessels."   The heart of King Asa was perfect in the sight of the LORD. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 All of the issues of life; eternal salvation from hell, service to the Lord, and our relationship with others, are determined with the attitude of our hearts. Like Asa, we need to have a perfect heart in the sight of the Lord.   God established King Asa   For 41 years, King Asa reigned in Jerusalem. King Asa did the will of God as recorded in the scripture. God blessed him and established him. God is also willing to establish us in our homes, our jobs, in our spiritual life is we do His will.   Colossians 2:6 & 7, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Salvation is by faith in the Lord Jesus as ones personal Saviour. As we obtained salvation by faith, after we get saved, we need to walk with Jesus by faith. The Lord Jesus is the root of the tree. A person cannot see the root of the tree. The root establishes the tree. The Apostle Paul is teaching that as we take deep root in the Lord Jesus, the Lord builds us up and establishes us in the faith. As we discover these wonderful truths, as Paul said, we need to have a thankful heart.   God uses the scriptures to establish us and to teach us His will. This includes correct doctrine, holiness and righteousness in our lives. We need to listen to and study the scriptures in order to be established.   King Asa Followed God   Asa trusted in and loved God. As King, Asa determined to fear God and do what is right in the sight of God and not man, or society. Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” When we put our trust in God, and do those things that are right in His sight, than we are safe. We have a safe home in eternity and God will protect us on the earth. The fear of man brings a snare. When a person fears man, or society, he caught in the snare of the devil. False religion is the snare of the devil.   When we fear God and trust in Jesus as our Savior then God will bless us. Deuteronomy 12:28, “Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou dost that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.”   1 John 3:22, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” When we obey the Lord Jesus then the Lord Jesus will answer our prayers.   One of the reasons why the Lord Jesus does not answer our prayers is because we miss-use His name, we say, ‘Lord Jesus,’ but, we do not do what is pleasing in His sight. We need to do what is pleasing in His sight, not ours. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”  James 4: 4   King Asa knew the history of King David and did as King David did. King David is a good example for all of us.   King Asa removed the Sodomites and the idols   King Asa was a very moral person and righteous in his authority. The physical act of sodomy is vile, unnatural, destroys society and the family. King Asa obeyed the commandment of God in removing the Sodomites and the idols from the land of Israel. “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” Deuteronomy 23:17   Exodus 20:3 & 4 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”   In the New Testament, we read that an idolater will not enter into heaven. Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”   King Asa removed the evil things in the kingdom of Israel. We need to get remove evil things, thoughts, beliefs, personal agendas, and desires, from our lives.   Dedication   God blessed King Asa with wealth. King Asa brought the dedicated things into the House of the Lord. Three items are mentioned: Silver, gold, and vessels. King Asa knew his wealth came from the blessings of God.   In our age, the visible house of the Lord is the local church. We need to dedicate our lives to the Lord Jesus and to the furtherance of the gospel. 1 Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Every Christian needs to learn how to behave themselves in the church. The church is not an entertainment center, or a social club.   When a person loves the Lord Jesus, he will love the church. If a person loves the Lord Jesus, he will learn how to behave in the church. In a local New Testament, Bible believing, independent, fundamental, Baptist church you will find the doctrinal truth of the scriptures and practical behaviour that pleases the Lord.   The Removal of the Queen   The Queen of Jerusalem, Maachah, was King Asa’s mother. King Asa’s own mother was involved with idolatry. Because King Asa wanted to do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, instead of doing that which is right in the sight of man, King Asa removed his own mother from being Queen.   So often, in churches, in politics, in the affairs of this world, people who know to do right do not do right because they fear man and want to please a person, or an organization, or a denomination, or the lay people of the church. This was the attitude of King Saul. “And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.” 1 Samuel 15:24 “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25   The Chief Shepherd of the local, New Testament Church, is the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” The pastor of every church has only one person he must be accountable too; the Lord Jesus. The pastor obeys the Lord Jesus through the scriptures.   Like King Asa, good pastors will remove any false teacher, false bibles, or individuals following the gods of this world (music, methods, a denominational hierarchy, or anything contrary to scripture), from any church office. The Apostle Paul gave us an example in 1 Timothy 1:19 & 20, “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they learn not to blaspheme.” The blasphemy of Hymenaeus and Alexander was a departure of the faith; they were heretics.   Concluding Thoughts   King Asa was a good king. He loved the Lord in heaven as David loved God. King Asa removed evil from the Israel as David removed evil. King Asa had a perfect heart with God. We need to have a perfect heart with God.  

    Alan
    Alan
    Alan 9
  • Our picks

    • Today many have no conception of Hell, Sheol in the Hebrew, or Hades , Tartarus, and Gehenna in the Greek language. It is a literal place where men are in the process of dying but never succumbing to death, subjected to incessant agony and physical torment. Churches need to unapologetically preach the clear truth about Hell. Christians need to be able to witness about Heaven to others, and plainly delineating about the horror of an authentic place called Hell. All men must come to terms with an actual place called Hell and the hope of eternity with Christ.
      The book of Revelation tells us “He has the keys to Hell and death.” Life and death are in the power of His nail torn hands because His sacrificial death for our sins on the cross took away the power of death, giving us the gift of salvation and eternal life.
      The following verse proves His deity over time; past, present and future, He is not bound or limited by time as man is. This verse plainly declares there is a literal heaven and likewise, or opposite, a literal hell.
      I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:18)
      Hell has been described as being a place that:
      · Man will have a memory that will NEVER fail.
      · It is a place that EVERY request will be denied.

      · It is a place of HATRED.
      · It is a place located DOWNWARD, NOT UPWARDS towards eternity
      · A place of Outer DARKNESS
      · A PRISON in chains
      · It is a place of UNQUENCHABLE THIRST, a thirst for spiritual things of Christ that can never be

      quenched.
      · It is a place of ever LONGING.
      · It is a place of FIRE that is NEVER extinguished.
      · A place where the worm DIETH NOT, sinners never die.
      · A place of EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION.
      · A place of NO REST day and night.
      · A place of TORMENT day and night for eternity.
      • 1 reply
    • I ask this for your opinions, thoughts, and insights.

       

      I sometimes post on another board and (hopefully its ok) I would like to link a thread that is going on over there. NOT so that we can all march over there and say "huzzah! you're wrong!" but rather I would like to have this discussion on here. I will probably be starting another thread I would like to get some more opinions on that is in tandem to this thread but worthy of a secondary set of thought patterns.

       

      Without futher ado this is the link:
      Click me! 

      So the thread there is pretty simple: 

      Apparently DBS is "Fractured" due to Riplingers divorces (although Dean burgeon has been a TR-Only group not  KJVO group but anyway)
      Ruckman has passed away
      Steven Anderson is a menace (which I don't disagree with)
      Etc..

      Do you see the KJB issue still in full force or not?
       
      • 48 replies
    • Let's start this thread to pray for each other on the Lord's Day. When reading this thread, pray for the church and pastor.

      What church are you attending this week, and what's the pastor's name? 

      I'll be at Highpoint Baptist Church, and the pastors name is Matt Souza (me 🙂 ).
      • 13 replies
    • Here's just a few heretical "quotes" that I've seen on the signs in front of some of the local Baptist churches in my area...
       
      LIVE RIGHT,
      OR YOU'LL BE LEFT!
       
       
      THE ONLY THING THAT LASTS FOREVER IS GOD'S LOVE
       
       
      DIRECTIONS TO HEAVEN:
      TURN RIGHT, THEN GO STRAIGHT
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      • 43 replies
    • I'm curious to what everyone's thoughts are of the Bristol Revival that is currently going on by Evangelist CT Townsend. Is this something you would be a part of? 

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bek-2Dnrszg
      • 3 replies
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