Tuesday, December 28, 2010
1Co 7:20 Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called.
1Co 7:21 Wast thou called being a bondservant? Care not for it: nay, even if thou canst become free, use it rather.
1Co 7:22 For he that was called in the Lord being a bondservant, is the Lord's freedman: likewise he that was called being free, is Christ's bondservant.
1Co 7:23 Ye were bought with a price; become not bondservants of men.
1Co 7:24 Brethren, let each man, wherein he was called, therein abide with God.
Gal 4:4 but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
Gal 4:5 that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 So that thou art no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. (ASV)
I have, for some time now, signed my letters and my email with the note, Bond Servant and I teach that we, Christians have been purchased with the price of Christ's blood on the cross and have often been astonished at the attitude of a large number of folks in the Christian community. I am often informed that people will accept that they are the child of God but never His slave! In response to these folks I give them the above scriptures and the note that if they will just study the Epistles of Paul that they will notice that he, like myself and many others, was proud to be purchased and bound to Christ.
Jesus taught us that His yoke was easy.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
When my mother married my dad after my father had denied me I accepted the unearned love and committed myself to him, just as if he were my birth parent. As my dad there were certain things, that at the age of ten, I was expected to do. I took out the trash, set the can on the curb on trash day and a few other small items for which I received 25 cents every week that I performed my duties. I was paid for my service in the performance of these tasks.
And then here were things like cleaning his car, for which I was not responsible and did not receive a wage. My dad was in the Air Force and was a Veteran of the Seventh Cavalry in the Pacific Campaign of WW II. I felt honored to be able to prepare his car so that when he drove through the gate at the base, he was sharp and clean, just like a good soldier should look. I was his adopted son, he had no other, and it was more than a duty to be able to serve him... I served because when no man loved me, he did.
In like manor, I returned from my service in Vietnam was so disliked that my best friends, the men that I had grown up with, the same men that threw me a send off party, were slow to just go with me to have a beer with me at my expense. Tormented, for twenty years I did my best to prove myself just as evil as my peers, singing, drinking and fornicating in the Juke Joints of SE Texas. I had been spoken to by God in November of “66 and for all of this time, 23 years, I fought with the Holy Spirit. Being a Fool's Folly, I finally yielded and submitted to His call on my life, I became a son of God but I also became His bond servant, just as I had with my dad.
I'm not about to tell anyone that he or she is or isn't saved but I do call everyone to ask themselves this question after reading their Bible, “If I am to good to serve my Father, am I really His?”
Monday, December 27, 2010
There is a very disturbing trend in the Christian family today, even more disturbing than our prominent inability to get along. When we read the Book of The Acts of The Apostles we see that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, descended upon them. As we read the letters we also see that when Gentiles were saved, the Spirit descended upon them also. And as a Christian Teacher in a Southern Baptist Church, I know and I teach that when a man or a woman are saved, they are indwelt by the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.
I have had folks, proclaiming to be saved, both in class and on the Internet tell me that not everyone can be as holy as I am! I always have and still do teach that I have no righteousness in me without the Imputed Righteousness of my Savior. If I am only found to be righteous through Him then it follows that without Him I have no holiness either. Now, if we flip this around and examine my condition carefully, in light of the revealed nature of God, in the scriptures, we see that any saved man or woman will have the same Holy Spirit to lead their lives.
I was recently informed, by an eighty-three year old "ex-pastor?” who is also an exprof that taught the Bible, that I should never hit him with "this HS Stuff,” when explaining why I had posted a message or I had stated a specific thing in a message. His explanation, as I recall, is that he had both preached and taught the Bible and he knew better!
As we all should know, God does not force any to do anything, evidenced by the fact that His perfect will is that None should perish (2Pet. 3:9) but that all should come to repentance and be saved and yet we know that the penalty for sin and failing to repent of it is death. (Rom. 6:23) And then we are taught by Jesus that there are two ways to live our lives and these are represented by the wide and the narrow gates. (Matt. 7:13) For, even the newest Christian, Hell is a real place and because they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God they will understand and affirm the teaching that the Second Death. (Rev. 20:14-15)
So, because we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit when we are saved we have a choice to make, we can follow His leading or, because God is not a cosmic bully, as some have suggested, we can deny Him and not be saved but still call ourselves Christian and no matter the good works we perform, work ourselves into Hell.
I will be rebuked by folks because of this message but it does not matter, the truth of the scriptures is just that, the truth! Many teachers, in and out of the church, are not God's teachers but are motivated by the all mighty dollar and any number of other purposes and they are very busy leading the deluded into Hell. In the scriptures we see Paul applauding the Bereans for their diligence. They accepted nothing that he taught without checking him and his teaching against the Bible! Today, it is no less important than it was then to test another's teaching against the scriptures and to rely on our memory to accomplish this is a Fool's Folly! One's memory is frail and easily deceived.
My prayer is that you take this message to heart. May God bless each of you abundantly.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Who is God? In todays world the answer most often is some form of God is love. This statement, while true, is, also, a lie! It is true in the sense that God loves His creation but without the explanation that God will have no part with sin and that God is also a Just God, the statement becomes false by the omission of the remaining facts. God will judge the unrepentant and send them into eternal suffering.
In Luke 18:18 we find the story of the Rich Young Ruler and his quest for eternal life. Jesus did not handle this young man in the manor that we are generally are taught to do today. The Evangelical Christian today would have led him in a prayer for salvation and sent him on his way. Jesus, first pointed him to the Commandments to see his sin, which he did not see, and then instructed him to replace his love of his possessions with the Love of God.
This brings up a very important question, “Is Jesus, the Christ, our leader or have we become smarter than he is?” It seems that, today, people tend to believe that the prayer for salvation will save people. That's not true! That's also. I believe, a good part of why we see folks make professions of faith, get baptized and disappear, never to darken the door of the church again. Neither a prayer of no substance nor a baptism will save a person!
On the web, all of my signatures include the notice that I am a bondslave. I have been known to teach that as a Christian, men and women become the bondslaves of the Christ because the was a transaction of purchase fulfilled on the cross that day. Many, many men and women have rebuked me for this teaching with statements such as, “I'm a child of God and I'm nobodies slave.”
It would appear that for the large part of America, the Hollywood and the fiction writers portrayal of Early American Slavery is the working definition for the world today of swlavery. In Deu. 15:15-17 we see that slavery included masters that were very good to their work-force just as some employers are today. We know that God is good, He gave His Only begotten Son to pay the price none of us could pay. And we would not pay homage to Him by Eternal Service, owning nothing and depending only on Him? That is exactly what the rich, young ruler was asked to do. When he refused, he walked away a lost man!
There is a message in this lesson that is taught in Mark and Matthew also. The very idea that God has had the lesson repeated in His Word to us lends emphases but that the lesson is told to us three times... This is a very important lesson! I tell you that God will not have divided devotion. Today, you must make up your mind, “Whose slave are you?” If you do not serve God, you are by default, the slave of Satan! To belong to the Good Master costs you your devotion. Just as Jesus said, it's a easy yoke to bare and the other leads to eternal suffering but being the Servant, the Slave of God leads to eternal bliss in Heaven.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Exo 20:2 I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor 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.
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me,
Exo 20:6 and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. (ASV)
Remember when you met your mate? You could not spend enough time on the phone with them and there was never enough time to be together and going to your separate homes was torture! That's how God feels about you if you are saved! In the World today we have relegated our Savior into some club where He is referred to as J. C. and the boys when speaking of him and the Disciples that followed Him. And then, on the Internet I notice the lose of caps in people's typing and it is so inclusive that we fail to reverence God and the Christ to the point that they are referred to as god and the christ as if they are no different than our gmc truck or our chevy impala.
I am almost rebuked by people claiming the name of the Christ, Jesus as their Savior for pointing this out to folks on the Internet and they assure me that no disrespect was probably intended. The sad thing is that they are correct, in most cases, the disrespect was not intentional, but it is always disrespectful to leave the Capital off of the first letter off of anyone's name or title.
So, we must ask ourselves, is this a problem or is it a symptom of a much larger condition? Consider. for just a moment, all Adam did was eat the fruit off of a tree that his wife had already eaten... and she did not die! Do you see how easy it is to justify disobedience? In just about every house in the US there is a Television and people spend twenty-one to thirty-five or better hours a week with it as the center of their focus. The problem is so bad that it causes divorces because people would rather watch the Idiot-Tube than to spend time pleasing their mate and being pleased by their mate. But even worse, people do not read their Bibles and therefore sever their connection with God! Without even thinking, they divorce God.
Before I was saved and since that time I have read some great novels but I read a novel and I place it on a shelf where it resides for the rest of my life or I give it away. On the other hand I own a Bible and I began reading it twenty-one years ago at the end of December and have not stopped reading it since. The Bible is the single most exciting piece of literature in the world. It is a true story of wars, subversion and adventure. And for the true committed believer it is very easy to understand because the author of the book lives in their hearts.
On top of all this it is the Living Word of God and is Love Story of God and all of His people... even you! Just as my pastor points out,. When we think of prophecy we immediately think of the End Time. And when we think of that... it is the Saved man and woman's future ad God has spelled it all out for us to read and learn about.
Disrespect is, perhaps, the easiest thing in the world to do and it requires no thought at all. It is my hope that many will find this to be Food For thought. May God bless every one of you.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Num 22:28 And Jehovah opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
Num 22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me, I would there were a sword in my hand, for now I had killed thee.
Num 22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden all thy life long unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.
Num 22:31 Then Jehovah opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of Jehovah standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face.
In Numbers 22 we find one of the favorite children's stories that is easily taught by most any Children's Teacher. From the story it is easily taught that God is so Omnipotent that He can use a Donkey or a Jackass to speak through or just cause the animal to speak a language understood by men. For our children, if taught properly, this is a great and entertaining lesson about God and the unusual manor in which He is known to work but for the Atheist and New Christian it poses a question that most long term Christians cannot answer even though the answer is clear through the Holy Spirit's teaching and influence.
Num 22:12 And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people; for they are blessed.
In this verse we see that God has forbidden Balaam to go to Balak for the purpose of cursing the descendants or Israel. Then we see that God gives Balaam permission to go;
Num 22:20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men are come to call thee, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak unto thee, that shalt thou do.
From here and the opening passage we see what is seen by some as the scriptures contradicting themselves. Now, every Christian can Parrot the proper response to this assertion, “There are no conflicts in, nor does scripture contradict itself,” but there are very few that can defend this position in relation to this passage. When we read the scriptures, unlike the Movies and the One-Eyed Monster, we must think to understand or to perceive the truth of what is being said.
In verse 20 we all pick up that God gave Balaam permission to go with the Princes to Balak but most folks seem to just slide over the important and pertinent portion of this verse, there is a condition added to the permission, Balaam could only say what God would tell him to say. At this point God's Omniscience becomes important. (Psa. 33:13-22, Isa. 40:13,14) Remembering that God does not make mistakes, that God knows what we will do say or, even, think before we do it and then the nature of mankind. Balaam had been offered a fortune for cursing the Israelites and although it is not explained and it is true that I am going to go beyond what scripture states but I'm going to tell you that Balaam got greedy and was thinking of the treasure he would be given for cursing these people.
I might have come to the wrong conclusion but I do have a very close and moment to moment association with the Holy Spirit and I do not feel the correcting hand of the Spirit of God on this matter. God did not disapprove of Balaam going because He had given him permission to go but only to speak what He, God, had for him to say and God did not intend to curse His chosen.
My prayer is not as much that you will use this example as it that you would learn to analyze scripture in the clear light of other scripture and to walk closer to God.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Joh 14:15 If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments.
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
If you inquire of the members of the Church today, in private, you will find that there is almost no limit to the things that Christianity does and does not include. The truth is that the average man or woman naming the name of Christ today has no idea what the Bible actually has to say about anything! We have a few thousand radio and television preachers, right, here in the U.S. I've heard, with my own ears, everything from God has no poor converts to the rich man is damned by his wealth, both are lies. In the prosperity gospel I heard a certain preacher teach that if you drive anything less than a Mercedes that you cannot be saved and I heard people of the Jim Jones and David Koresh ilk teach that if you have any wealth, property and virgin daughters that you have not surrendered to them, you can not possibly enter into the Kingdom of God.
Then, today, we have the Joseph Smith followers of the Mormon Church and of late, the LDS Church that teach the heresy that Jesus, the Christ is a created being and his brother is Satan but that any "man” can become a god and these are closely followed by the Jehovah's Witness' who freely admit to having no Heavenly hope and also teach that Jesus was never, is not now nor will ever be God. Both of these major groups of heretics are now claiming to be Christians. How does the seeker know the difference?
And just as you believe you've struck pay-dirt and have found a surviving fundamental Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist or Bible Teaching Independent Church, one of the life-long members drinks a beer and everyone pulls out their .357 and shoots him dead because he fell into sin. (The above is a figure of speech but they might as well have shot him, his Christian life is over as far as they are concerned.)
This message is depressing if you do not understand that these things were foreknown by our God and that He prepared the Way for us anyway. On some forums, this message will sit there, ignored, as folks do their best to ignore the impact of it and on others I will be slam-dunked for being Judgmental and in violation of the "most sacred” Christian fundamental. A few will be brave enough to speak up and admit that they, at some point in the past have fallen into this trap... on one end or the other! Over the past 21 years of my walk with the Christ I have found myself getting ready to pull that trigger and once I was dismissed from the Church I and my family were attending and although we were run off by the ?pastor? because of his sin, that was not the perception by some, especially by those helping him to sin against God.
This will be short but sweet tonight. The point is that as the followers of Christ it is our duty to follow His lead. Remember old foot in the mouth Peter? Jesus picked the servants ear up off the ground and I'll bet with a funny look at Peter put the man's ear back on his head, right where Peter had just lopped it off from. And when Peter denied Jesus three times that same night... Jesus, after He rose from the grave restored Peter to his former position. As the followers of Christ we will be so busy lifting our brothers and sisters up and restoring them that we will have no time to sin if we obey Him.
By the time we find out enough to discern who is genuine and who to let walk we'll need teams to hand the fallen over to as we look into the state of the one's just fallen, since. God bless.
Friday, December 3, 2010
5 Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate. 6 But I hope that ye shall know that we are not reprobate.
7 Now we pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we may appear approved, but that ye may do that which is honorable, though we be as reprobate. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we rejoice, when we are weak, and ye are strong: this we also pray for, even your perfecting. 10 For this cause I write these things while absent, that I may not when present deal sharply, according to the authority which the Lord gave me for building up, and not for casting down.
When I enlisted in the US Army I had a long list of rules I was expected to learn and to obey. I had, after all, signed a contract that I would submit for, at least three years to their leadership. For this reason, it was incumbent upon me to keep check on the condition, that I might cause my superiors to be pleased with my service, that I might be considered for advancement.
When a Christian, literally, devotes his or her life to the service of Jesus, there is not a contract signed with a pen and ink, rather, there is a purchase transaction that takes place. Jesus died on the cross for the purpose of giving us the opportunity to return to the Service of God. When we do this, the purchase is completed and with that purchase there is an adoption that takes place. (Romans 8)
Now, with this in mind, we need to remember our childhood. I know that when I was a small child I wanted my father to love me and I feared disappointing him. Now as Christians, we have a father that will never fail us and as members of His Family, we need to do as the opening passage suggests. We must do a Spiritual Inventory of ourselves and remain faithful.
In addition to that we must not, and I do repeat, we must not conform to this world! As members of the family we have a responsibility to help one another. When we encounter or discover a brother that is straying we must be bold enough to step forward and to help him. It does not matter that the world has fallen in love with Matt. 7:1 and ignores the rest of the book, we are no longer of the world, our home is in the Kingdom of Heaven and our Father is God, we are not to become more like the world.
I have this, nasty, according to the world, habit of confronting people when I see a possibility of helping them. As a result I find myself banned from a number of Christian Websites. I recently suggested that a particular gentleman do a Spiritual Inventory and I am now banned from one more website, calling itself Christian. It seems to me that the world is filled with people that are willing to name the name of the Christ... as long as it does not interfere with their personal wants.
I will still stand the ground I was saved on... I hope and I pray you all will.