The Gospel

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

[Paul, writing to Christians @ Corinth, 1 Cor. 15:1-4]

Friday, May 11, 2018

HEBREWS 11:1

Title:  Faith

Faith is based on evidence.  Faith is not self-will.  Faith is from God in the measure of grace given us.

There is no such thing as blind faith.  Faith is not a guessing game.  Beyond reasonable doubt, faith is the assurance that what has been promised will come to pass in their proper time because these are anchored in confidence in God rather than in self-confidence.

Faith is based on evidence in the testimony of creation, the hand of God in history, in the lives of men who lived for God, in fulfilled prophecies, in the inerrancy of God’s Word.

Faith is reliance in the gospel of the Lord Jesus and commitment to the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit, and results in the outpouring of good works which pleases and glorifies God.

PSALM 73:1

Title:  My feet had almost slipped

To a point we must admit that many Christians are perplexed with their situation in life.  This could be traced to a comparison between the flourishing state of the wicked and the struggles of the godly man as perceived through envious and troubled eyes.  We cannot set aside the premature conclusion that arrogant men are prospering, knowing also that God does well for His people who resemble Him, but this must never lead us to feel as if our feet were almost gone, or lose our footing that we are no longer planted in the truth, and reckon that the Lord is not doing right.  Up to this point in our intolerant understanding, we have to grasp the final destiny of both through the faculties of worship, prayer, meditation, for us to remain grounded that the struggles of an obedient believer is just a prelude to eternal glory, as the carefree life of the wicked is prelude to their eternal condemnation.

WAS THE MESSAGE OF “PEACE” WHEN THE LORD JESUS WAS BORN FOR ALL MEN? (Luke 2:14)


Of course not!

Peace, in this verse, means “to join,” “to set at one again”; the Lord Jesus reconciling man to God through His sacrificial death on the cross.  And this atonement applies only to those who would believe (obey, trust, love) the Lord Jesus, who are actually God’s people (Matt. 1:21).

According to the angel of the Lord, peace is not assured to all, but only to those pleasing to God. (Luke 2:14 was mistranslated in the KJV)

Ergo, only those who would believe (trust, obey, love) the Lord Jesus would be reconciled/ have peace with God.


PEACE:  (to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity: - one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one again.

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(Matthew 1:21)

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

(LUKE 2:1-20)
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

THE LORD JESUS DIED FOR ALL MEN?


THAT IS A LIE!

THE MAJOR LIE MAINSTREAM CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS ARE TEACHING:

THAT THE LORD JESUS’ DEATH WAS FOR ALL MEN

[Firstly, we have to acknowledge that GOD DOESN’T LOVE ALL MEN, AND WILL REVEAL HIMSELF ONLY TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM!
(John 14:21-24)]

Let us put to the test this false teaching (in the light of Scriptures), that the Lord Jesus died for all men;

Concerning (John ch. 17), the Lord’s Prayer, a solemn petition the Lord Jesus uttered before He was crucified, and how much truth we can glean from it:

1] (v.2) the Lord Jesus will give eternal life ONLY TO THOSE whom the Father has given Him, (in conjunction with JOHN 6:44)

2] (v.6) the Lord Jesus reveals the Father only to those whom the Father has given Him out of the world; not the entire world


3] (v.8) only those who had been chosen will accept God’s word

4] (v.9) the Lord Jesus is praying only for those whom the Father has given him (v.20)

5] (v.11) God’s protection applies only to those whom He has chosen

6] (v.13) only those whom God has chosen will experience the joy of the Lord Jesus

7] (v.15) those whom God has chosen will not be taken out of the world (no Secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture)

8] (v.15) only those whom God has chosen will be protected from the evil one

9] (v.18) only those whom God has chosen will be commissioned to preach the gospel

10] (v.19) only those whom God has chosen will separate themselves from the world and be made holy

11] (v.21) only they will be united

12] (v.22) only they will be one with the Father and the Lord Jesus

13] (v.22) only they will be given glory

14] (v.23) only they will be loved by God

15] (v.26) only they will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit

[(John 14:21-24)

21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.]

[(John 6:44)

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.]

[(Matthew 1:21)

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”]

[(John ch.17)

1After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”]

That God loves all men, and that the Lord Jesus died for all men is not a Christian doctrine.  Not because the Bible uses the word “ALL” does it refer to all men, but is qualified to all those whom God has chosen (Mark 14:24; Luke 2:31; John 12:19; Acts 20:26; 1Cor. 6:12; 1Cor. 15:22,23; Col. 1:28).

Don’t take Christianity lightly, friends; for it is not simplistic as you would want to think it is.

"NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU; NEVER WILL I FORSAKE YOU"? (Hebrews 13:5)


In reality this should read: "NO, I will NEVER leave thee; NOT I; I will NEVER, NEVER cast thee off."
But only applicable to Christians who:
1) Have no love for money
2) Are content with what they have

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[(ADAM CLARKE commentary)
There are no less than FIVE NEGATIVES in this short sentence, and these connected with two verbs and one pronoun twice repeated. To give a literal translation is scarcely possible; it would run in this way: “No, I will not leave thee; no, neither will I not utterly forsake thee.” Those who understand the genius of the Greek language, and look at the manner in which these negatives are placed in the sentence, will perceive at once how much the meaning is strengthened by them, and to what an emphatic and energetic affirmative they amount.]

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“NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU; NEVER WILL I FORSAKE YOU”? (HEB. 13:5)
To whom does this verse apply?
According to the Written Word of God, the Bible, it APPLIES ONLY to Christians who:
1) Have no love for money
2) Are content with what they have
Being content means NOT COMPLAINING about your present economic situation and consider it as sufficient, thanking God for His blessings. But that doesn’t mean you may not work for gain; but you work hard not because you are discontented with your present situation, rather you work for advancement so you may serve God with what more you have gathered by your labor.
God will always be by the side of the Christian who has no love for money and is content with what God has given him, that is, what he has NOW.
So be careful in quoting this verse. If your purpose in life is to be rich for yourself because you are not content and have complaints about your present financial status, this verse doesn’t apply to you.
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(Hebrews 13:5)
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

CONTENT (G714) arkeo: be satisfactory; be enough; suffice; be sufficient; to avail
LEAVE (G447) aniemi: to let up; desert
FORSAKE (G1459) egkataleipo: to leave behind; leave

WHAT HAS THE LORD GOD PROMISED HIS CHILDREN? (1 John 2:25)


Only ETERNAL LIFE!
According to the Written Word of God, the Bible, the only thing God promised His children was eternal life.
God did not promise the Christian wealth or fame or continued good health (knowing that many Christians have died due of various illnesses) or our BEST LIFE NOW. The only thing we’ve been promised is eternal life. To a Christian, the good life comes later, in the kingdom, which will be ushered in by the Parousia, the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus, after the Period of Tribulation, when God will “wipe every tear from their eyes. And there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Rev.21:4)
But until the moment the Lord Jesus returns to earth, there will be tears and death and mourning and crying and pain in the lives of both the believer and the unbeliever.
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(1 John 2:25)
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

(Revelation 21:3-4)
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

(Job 14:1-2)
“Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.

(John 16:33)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

(Acts 14:21-22)
They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Oratorio

Our love dwells
in its own light,
blossoms in its own garden
of delight,
moves about in an
unguarded cadence,
listens to the silence
of stars in heavenly places,
dances the waltz of the wind
on warm hills
and leaning grass,

plays in the rain
from higher clouds,

touches lower clouds
with earthly sounds,

sings the masterpieces
of our best years,

comes home,
in and out
the day,
and 
settles
there.