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Showing posts from 2015

Christmas Day

There are primarily three views among professing Christians concerning the observance of Christmas Day.  1)A holy day that should be faithfully observed   2)A pagan festival that should be faithfully rejected (Catholic system is full of paganism)  3)A cultural tradition that is harmless so long as it is not observed in a way that dishonors God and His word. In other words it is an issue of personal liberty. I personally view it as a great opportunity to witness (tell people WHY He came) and spend quality time with family. It is not a religious day for me. I esteem every day alike. 
God gave Israel various holy days in the Law (Christmas wasn’t one of them) but He did not give the Body of Christ any holy days under grace (Col. 2:8-17). So, what about all the professing Christians that esteem days like Sunday, Christmas, and Easter above other days. There is a difference between those who are weak in the faith and therefore do not fully understand and appreciate their liberty in Christ (Rom…

Woe to the World! Christ is Coming Again

Revelation 19:11-21

The Son of God was born into this world about 2,000 years ago in literal fulfillment of prophecy. The prophecies became more and more specific as God progressively revealed His plan. He foretold that the coming Redeemer would be:

1. Of the human race (Gen. 3:15)
2. From a section of that race- Shem (Gen. 9:26)
3. From a nation of that section- Hebrew (Gen. 12:3)
4. From a tribe of that nation- Judah (Gen. 49:10)
5. From a family of that tribe- David (2 Sam. 7:16)
6. Born of a member of that family- virgin woman (Isa. 7:14)
7. Born in a village of that family- Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2)

And there are MANY more prophecies about the first coming of Christ into the world (His life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, ascension). Isaiah 53 contains about 30 prophecies of Christ in just 12 verses! His crucifixion was described in detail about a 1,000 years in advance in Psalm 22. Prophecy proves the inspiration of scripture (2 Pet. 1:19-21; Isa. 46:9-10).

Jesus Christ, who is the t…

The Problem and the Solution

After God made the "heavens and the earth, which are now" (2 Pet. 3:7), He "saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). But as we look at the world around us we see MANY things that are very bad. The world is full of trouble, suffering, sorrow, and death. What happened? Who's to blame? 
The Devil (that name means slanderer) wants man to blame God for his problems. After all, if God was so loving why would He allow all this suffering? Have you ever noticed the stark contrast in the way the book of Genesis opens and closes? It opens with a man walking with God in paradise but the last verse of the book refers to a dead man in a coffin in Egypt (Gen. 50:26)! How did that happen? The third chapter of Genesis reveals the answer. Suffering and death are the results of SIN (Rom. 6:23) and sin entered the world through MAN (Rom. 5:12). Man is to blame. 
The failure to believe the pure word of God brought about the fall of man. After casti…

Romans 6

I.Declaration (vs.1-2) – We are dead to sin (sin as a nature) II.Description (vs.3-10) – How it is that we are dead to sin (standing) III.Application (vs.11-23) – How this truth is to be lived out in daily life (state)
There are three key words in this chapter: "know" (v.3, 6, 9), "reckon" (v.11), and "yield" (v.13, 16, 19). I believe v.17 is a key verse on how to live the Christian life. God seeks to transform us from the inside out (Rom. 12:2).  Doctrine > Know > Spirit > Head (vs.1-10) Heart > Reckon > Soul > Heart (vs.11) Obey > Yield > Body > Hand (vs.12-23)  
Declaration (vs.1-2)  Paul anticipates and answers the wrong response to what he just stated (5:20-21). He knew that the natural mind that cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God would reason, “If grace is reigning in this age of grace, and the more I sin, the more grace God bestows, why not just continue in sin?” That is not the mindset of a true child of God that be…

Fall Away?

There are certain passages of scripture on which theological battles have been fought for hundreds of years. Perhaps the chief battle ground on which the issue of the eternal security of the believer has been fought is Hebrews 6:4-6. (4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
(5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
(6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Is it possible for a member of the Body of Christ to “fall away” and lose salvation? There are many Bible teachers out there who persistently claim that this is the correct interpretation of this and other passages of scripture. The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12). When it is handled correctly it is the most beneficial thing there is. However, when it is handle…

Acts 2 (part 3)

In our last post we considered the apostle Peter’s message to the men of Israel on the day of Pentecost (vs.14-40) in which he proved from the scriptures that the same Jesus that they rejected and crucified was raised and exalted by God and that He is both Lord and Christ. The end of the chapter records the response of the Jews to that message (v.41) and the manner of living of the church at Jerusalem (v.42-47). 
The Response (v.41)
3,000 Jews gladly received Peter’s invitation to repent and be baptized. They had been pricked in the heart and were troubled by their guilt of crucifying their Messiah and so when they heard that they could receive the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost they GLADLY responded. That 3,000 were saved on Pentecost is usually held up as example of great revival. However, there was a great multitude that heard the message and the majority did not repent. The whole nation needed to repent (note "every one of you" in v.38) and although 3,…

Acts 2 (part 2)

A simple outline of Peter's message in vs.14-40:

I. Introduction: Explanation of what was Taking Place (14-21)
II. Theme: Proof that Jesus is Lord and Christ (22-36)
III. Application and Conclusion (37-40) The apostle Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost as he preached this message. These are not his words but God’s words thru him. Surely this is an example of what God expects preaching to be. The sermon is: Pointed (directly addresses the audience)Plain (clear and easy to understand, no complicated theological terms)Powerful (v.37 - based on the word - Heb. 4:12) Notice that there aren't any frivolous stories, jokes, or wasted words. It is very different from the average sermon preached in churches today.    Introduction (vs.14-21) (v.14) - Peter was appointed by Christ to be the leader among the 12 apostles (Matt. 16:19). The same man who in fear and confusion had denied the Lord is now going to speak with great boldness and authority for the Lord. The explanation for this transf…

Acts 2 (part 1)

Acts 2 is one of the most misunderstood and abused chapters in the Bible. For example, the Charismatics try to use this chapter as a basis to teach that believers should seek "the-baptism-of-the-Holy-Ghost" with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues (2:4). Then there is the so-called “Church of Christ” and other groups that try to use this chapter to teach a sinner cannot be saved without water baptism (2:38). There are a number of false doctrines based on a misinterpretation of Acts 2. The reason for all this confusion is a failure to obey the divine rule of Bible study given in 2 Tim. 2:15. When we rightly divide the word of truth we understand that the present mystery dispensation in which we are living was not even revealed in Acts 2. If the Church which is the Body of Christ began in Acts 2 (as many claim), nobody knew about it at that time because it was a mystery revealed through Paul (Eph. 3:1-13) and he was not even saved until Acts 9. The basis upon which God…

Basics of Dispensational Truth

The following notes are taken from handwritten notes in the back of my Bible that I have often used in teaching others about right division. Keys to Bible Study: 1. Believe the scriptures (1Thess. 2:13) 2. Search the scriptures (Acts 17:11) 3. Compare the scriptures (1 Cor. 2:13) 4. Consider the scriptures written by Paul (2 Tim. 2:7) 5. Rightly divide the scriptures (2 Tim. 2:15) God never changes in His person, principles, and promises (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8) but He does change in His dealings with man. All scripture is profitable for us (2 Tim. 3:16) but in order to gain the profit from God’s word that He has placed in it for us, we must study it His way (2 Tim. 2:15). Notice three things in 2 Timothy 2:15: 1. What we are to do - STUDY 2. Why we are to do it - to shew thyself approved of God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed  3. How we are to do it - rightly dividing the word of truth  Note: The modern versions totally mess up this key verse. They change "study" to something l…

Five Words

Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. (1 Cor. 14:19) The gift of tongues was for a sign to the unbelieving Jews (1 Cor. 1:22; 14:21-22) during the transition period (from Israel to the Body of Christ) recorded in the book of Acts. After the transition period, and the completion of the word of God, the sign gifts CEASED for this present age (1 Cor. 13:8-13). In 1 Cor. 14 (written during the transition period) the apostle Paul taught that it was pointless to speak in an unknown tongue (a language that the speaker and hearers did not know) in the church if there was nobody present with the gift of interpretation. The purpose of speaking in the local church is to TEACH others in a way they can understand for their edification, exhortation, and comfort (v.3). He said it is better to speak FIVE WORDS that can be understood than 10,000 words in an unknown tongue. What cou…

Living Reality or Empty Dogma?

From time to time on this blog I may share a small excerpt from a book I'm reading that I find to be spiritually edifying. Many of the books in my library are out of print and cannot be found in the average "Christian bookstore." The following quote is from C.H. Mackintosh (1820-1896). "We are passing through a world of misery, of sin and death and sorrow. We are surrounded by broken hearts and crushed spirits, if we would only look them out.  Yes; this is the point; if we would only look them out. It is easy for us to close our eyes to such things, to turn away from, to "forget" that there are such things always within reach of us. We can sit in our easy chair, and speculate about truth, doctrines, and the letter of scripture; we can discuss the theories of Christianity, and split hairs about prophecy and dispensational truth, and, all the while, be shamefully failing in the discharge of our grand responsibilities as Christians. We are in imminent danger of…

Flesh vs. Spirit: Our Responsibilities

The believer has two natures: the flesh (old) and the Spirit (new). These two natures being opposite as to origin, character, and destiny produces a conflict in the believer (Gal. 5:17). 

Salvation is of the Lord. It is God’s responsibility to save us from the flesh and give us His Spirit. He takes us out of Adam and put us in Christ. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Eph. 2:10). He makes us a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). God alone is responsible for our standing in Christ. However, this does not mean that we are without responsibilities in this matter. Christ gave us the victory by His grace but we will not enjoy it if we do not fulfill our responsibilities in the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit. While God alone is responsible for our standing in Christ we are responsible for our state in this life (practical daily walk). The goal is to get our state lined up with our standing. Our practical daily walk must be in the power of the Spirit but that…

The Believer's Two Natures

... were by NATURE the children of wrath... (Eph. 2:3) ... ye might be partakers of the divine NATURE... (2 Pet. 1:4) Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines nature as being, "The essence, essential qualities or attributes of a thing, which constitute what it is." The word of God teaches that every believer has two natures. It is important that believers learn about this doctrine as soon as possible lest they become confused, discouraged, and defeated. Upon salvation the believer immediately enjoys the “newness of life” that is in Christ. With a heart full of gratitude for salvation and the price that Christ paid for that salvation the new believer desires to live as pure and right as possible. However, it does not take very long for him to realize that the fleshly desires are not gone and that he is still tempted to commit the same sins he lived in before salvation. Without an understanding of what the Bible teaches concerning the two natures the new believer will lose the joy …

Is 2 Chron. 7:14 the Answer for America?

The common practice in preaching today is to isolate a text from its context and then just use it however you want. Ignorant and arrogant preachers actually think they “make the Bible come to life” with their story-filled sermons. The word of God is quick and powerful (Heb. 4:12). It certainly does not need our assistance! Very few actually “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2) in context and rightly divided (2 Tim. 2:15). 
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. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

This is a well-known verse that is usually used by preachers when preaching on the need for revival in America. It will no doubt be the text for many sermons on this Fourth of July weekend. But does America have any right to claim the promises in this verse? 

Let’s consider the context. In chapter 6 king Solomon blesses the congregation of Isra…