November 30, 2011
If Christians do not stand firm on the fact that God’s Word really is God’s Word, then deception is going to spread so quickly that it will actually be easy for the antichrist to rise to power. We must know God’s Word and through it come to personally know the God who wrote it. We cannot do this without studying it diligently and without pursuing a relationship with Him fervently.
So many people, including spiritual teachers and preachers, are teaching whatever they want or whatever has been handed down to them. They are not teaching Truth, for they are not teaching the whole Truth. So many are attacking Scripture in one way or another, and this they do, so that they can promote the doctrines that suit them. Please read a very important warning (posted today) here:
Here is an except:
“Attacking the Scriptures is pretty common in our day, but it is not so common to hear someone who preaches “Follow Jesus” attack them.
I quote Jan (aka Justice) Boshoff in his writing entitled, “Why the Bible is NOT the Word of God” (all caps and parentheses his)–
“THE BIBLE CANNOT BE THE WORD OF GOD. There are messages that might be from God, but that is why God sent us the Holy Spirit, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, to guide us into all truth, to confirm to us WHICH OF THOSE WORDS written by men and spoken by men WERE REALLY FROM GOD. Because not all those words were from God. Everything that Paul wrote and said is not the gospel, they are his own words….So dear friends, this (Bible) is not the Word of God. This is a book, it is just the scriptures and it contains the truth also but it needs to be verified by the Holy Spirit… All of this (Bible) was not spoken by God, it was spoken by men. The words that God spoke will happen the way God spoke them, but all that is written here (Bible) is not the word of God, its the words of men, that have recorded, some words of God sometimes.”
This erroneous teaching leaves everyone open to determine for themselves WHICH of the words in the Bible are REALLY FROM GOD. After all…”
November 29, 2011
Jillian has a way of making even the most nauseating experiences sound exciting! I hope my readers are going to her blogspot –address being:
Also, there are some totally adorable photos of her when she was little, one where she’s standing outside of their home which I remember they sometimes called “the haystack”. To see her in those photos, click here (and click on the photos themselves to enlarge them):
May we all remember that there are multitudes of people living without clear understanding of the marvelous freedom we’re invited to walk in by walking in Christ Jesus, the victorious Lord of all, and thus do our part in bringing them this Great News. For each and every person on the face of this globe is deeply loved by Him who “created each spirit and knit each of us in our mother’s womb.” (See Ps. 139:13) He loves them (us) all so much that He came to pay sin’s penalty (death –Rom. 6:23), by becoming sin (2 Cor. 5:21) which we were soaked in, and rising so that we might rise in Him as new creations (Rom. 6:3,4 & 2 Cor. 5:17) –able to live in the power (over sin) of the new creation! (Rom. 6:5-7) For though we used to be slaves to sin, we’ve been set free from sin by His blood. (v. 17,18 & Rev. 1:5)
May this marvelous Gospel be taken to the ends of the earth, as well as to the neighbors next door. For as Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” (Matt. 9:37,38)
November 28, 2011
There are many commands in the Word of God. Are we obeying them, and are we doing so by the Spirit? We are told to examine and test ourselves to identify whether or not we are abiding in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5) and living out the Truth. (John 14:6 & 17:17 & 3 John 1:3) Therefore we should scrutinize ourselves often, even daily. For to objectively match our behavior, words, and thoughts against Scripture’s commands will enable us to see if we are remaining in Christ, our Eternal Life, or… if we are not. (See John 15:1-6 & 1 John 5:20)
In 1 Tim. 4:7 we are told to train ourselves to be godly. The word train can be translated as “exercise”, for our spiritual schooling is often likened to a race, and one which requires grueling and painful preparation and discipline. But as verse 8 says by which to encourage us, “For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come.” What could spur us on any better than hearing this?! Godliness is profitable to us in everything? –Here on this earth and for all eternity? Well — ! ! ! I should think we all would then want to vigorously exercise ourselves unto spiritual maturity!
The context surrounding this verse informs us that one reason we’d want to be training ourselves to be strong spiritually, is because of the prevalent evil which is trying to seduce us with lies. If we get lured and entrapped, this will reserve for us an eternal abode with all the others who resist or fall away from the Truth. Do we want to chance that? Of course not. Then why are so many people not taking the precautions necessary?
2 Tim. 2:15 gives us another direct command: “Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth.” Again, this verse’s context shows us that our diligence is necessary so that we will not be swayed by godless chatter and false doctrine and their effects; and the verse itself is telling us that it is our responsibility to prepare ourselves for presentation before God.
To whom is this command being given? Just the preachers and pastors such as Timothy? Absolutely not. Anyone who has signed up to follow Jesus is required to be a workman whose work and character is approved –that is, when God conducts the evaluation– and one who does not need to be ashamed at having fallen short of exemplary. For exemplary is indeed the bar for all who are fighting to take firm hold of eternal life. (1 Tim. 6:11-14)
What is the deciding factor in 2 Tim. 2:15 which constitutes whether we are found approved or shamed? It is that we correctly handled the Word of Truth –which means we studied it diligently, we taught it to others and taught it correctly, and we disciplined ourselves toward godliness by applying it to our own lives, practicing what we learned with utmost effort so that we would not be labeled by God to be a hypocrite (Matt. 23:28) and consigned to Hell with them. (24:51)
Yes, there are many commands in God’s Word. Are we obeying them by correctly handling the whole Truth? This is the crucial question.
November 27, 2011
My sister’s husband and their daughter, Jillian, are right now in Africa visiting the people group they took the Gospel to many years ago. Jillian has created a blog to write about their experiences and ministries on this trip and I’m posting her blog address here as she is a great writer and there are many wonderful photos, including of her. Jillian is about the sweetest girl a person could ever meet and she is planning to have in the future some kind of career helping the poor overseas.
Here is the address for Jillian’s very interesting blog:
Also… below is a photo of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party we celebrated on Sept. 17 this year, and of which I wrote about that day. Not only were we celebrating a 50 year marriage, but also 50 years of their dedicated service for the Lord: Translating the New Testament for a previously unwritten language, serving the Agta with love, friendship, health care, defense of their land rights, training them in literacy, and teaching them to follow Christ, as well as their service in preparing younger missionaries through culture classes and counsel. At the long table is: My mom, my dad, my brother, my sister, and me. The other photo is of Jillian talking with a guest, and of me with two of my other nieces.
November 26, 2011
Believing we believe in Christ… claiming we follow Him… teaching the Bible… promoting the Gospel… saying we love Jesus… worshipping God in church… These are not enough to receive entrance into Heaven. Here is the only way to be given right of entry: To be found in Christ when we die (Heb. 9:27) or when He comes with His holy angels to judge all people. (2 Thes. 1:7-10)
The way we enter into Christ, the Door (John 10:9), is to repent of all sin with finality and believe the Gospel. In doing so, we get off the train of Self, the world, sin, and the kingdom of darkness, and get on the train of Eternal Life, the Person (1 John 5:20), giving up everything else. (Luke 14:33) For once we’ve chosen to enter through the Door and travel this “train” or “road” (Matt. 7:13,14), we are not to look back (Luke 9:62), but are to remain in Him consistently. (John 15:4)
The proof that we are remaining on the train and are not jumping off –which many do indeed do because of their love for sin (2 Thes. 2:12) or because of allowing themselves to become deceived (v.10 & Eph. 5:6 & 2 Tim. 4:3,4) or weighed down by the enticements or troubles of the world (Luke 8:14)– is that we will be “producing fruit consistent with repentance” (see Matt. 3:8) which means we will be proving our change of heart by our deeds. (Acts 26:20)
This kind of fruit is that which the Spirit Himself, in whom we are walking (Gal. 5:16), produces through us, and it is the complete opposite of what the sinful nature produces. (v. 17) And since those who are in Christ have crucified the sinful nature (v. 24) along with its desires (same verse), then the only fruit able to be produced by the person who is truly “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8) is this type: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22,23) In short, –righteousness. And righteousness means right actions, as 1 John 3:6-10 confirms.
There is a warning given in Matt. 3:10 for those whose fruits (actions / lifestyle / works / deeds) do not remain consistent with a supposedly cleansed, born anew creation: “The ax is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.” This warning is not only for those who produce bad fruit, but also for those who have no fruit, or fruit which remains immature. (Luke 8:14 & John 15:2,6 & Rev. 3:15,16) For even good deeds can be found incomplete (Rev. 3:2) and thus inadequate to complete faith. (James 2:22) For without true, mature, complete faith we cannot please God (Heb. 11:6 & James 1:2-8) –which means we remain hostile to Him. (Rom. 8:7,8)
Eph. 5:8-10 similarly informs us: What pleases the Lord is that we live as children of light in Him, doing so by producing “the fruit of the light which consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.” Therefore, it should be realized: Producing this fruit is the only means by which we will be found in Christ and be granted admittance into Heaven.
November 25, 2011
The Lord has multitudes of great and marvelous promises in His Word, all of which He expects us to believe. Believing does mean praying them in by faith, however, and while submitted to His Spirit and thus His timing. God’s Word does not teach us that we can snap our fingers and get the promises we choose. No, we choose to pray certain promises in at certain times always while under the leading of the Spirit for the furtherance of God’s glory and purposes. Then we will know that all we ask of Him, He will answer. (1 John 5:14,15)
How do we discern whether or not we are praying by the Spirit and thus in the will of the Father? We discern only by repeatedly seeking and inquiring of the Lord, doing this by meditating on His Word with a repentant heart and an ear tuned to His Spirit’s voice. Seeking the Lord the way He requires us to (–fervently –Jer. 29:13), will bring us into intimate friendship with Him and we will thereby come to understand what, or what not, He is wanting us to pray (or say or do) for a given time or particular situation.
Ps. 34:4 says, “I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” This is a wonderful promise, for most of us are quite often assaulted with fears –fear of the unknown, of harm, of evil people, of being rejected or mocked, of remaining unforgiven by God… However, the moment these fears attack, we have a Shield: Our God who died for us. Therefore, we should immediately run to Him; and the more we’ve accustomed ourselves to this practice, the quicker we will find Him –His tangible presence with His comforting voice, instructions, and available power.
So, for all our many, many needs, this verse alone, not to mention all the other promises in God’s Word, should give us a huge boost of courage and relief. For it is pledging that if we seek and inquire after the Lord, He will obligate Himself to pay attention, to listen, to give us an audience with Him, to hear us out… and to deliver us from our distress. This doesn’t mean that God will immediately remove the cause of our anxiety and trouble, but He does promise to bring us calmness, rest, and freedom from our fear even while still in the midst of it. For experiencing His presence makes all the difference in soothing our otherwise frightened heart. (Ps. 23:4)
Then, when God sees we’ve passed the testing of our faith, He leads us to pray in yet another of His promises: “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles.” (Ps. 34:17) Our heart’s distress can melt immediately in His arms, for He never wants us to walk in fear. But the troubles, which are likely His training for us, will dissolve too, but only after He’s used them to accomplish in us what He wills for our eternal good. This knowledge then, in itself, can keep us calm and encouraged, strong and joyful, and we’ll even learn to pray by His Spirit that the troubles remain with us if they be God’s way to make us more useful and beautiful for the benefit of others and for the honor of His Name.
Because… if we believe, we will receive all that we ask of Him in prayer (Matt. 21:22) –the prayer prayed by His own Spirit within us. (Rom. 8:26,27 & Eph. 6:18)
November 24, 2011
Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving to the Lord. We are commanded to do this –and in rejoicing– continually and in all situations. (Phil. 4:4,6 & 1 Thes. 5:16,18) But the only way we can offer such thanks to the Lord is to have a heart that is truly and deeply grateful. However, such genuine gratefulness comes only from being in Christ and being filled up to overflowing with His Spirit; and that, of course, comes only from walking in obedience to His Word –which, in turn, only comes from being filled with His Word.
So here it is:
~~Filled with His Word leads to…
~~Obedience to His Word, which leads to being…
~~Filled with His Spirit, which leads to being…
~~Filled with gratefulness, which leads to being…
~~Filled with cheerfulness and rejoicing, which leads to being…
~~Filled with thanksgiving, which makes us exceptionally…
~~Pleasing to the Lord. (Ps. 69:30,31)
And what then? Well, we are rewarded with more blessings from the Lord. Spiritual blessings especially. Such as being given His presence even more so. Being given His comfort, peace, and victory even more so, as well as protection and provision. Being given continual reason to proclaim these: The goodness of the Lord, His kindnesses to us, His gracious and merciful deeds, His love and compassions toward us, and all the ways He has carried us safely through our distresses (Isa. 63:7-9) –guiding us to our desired haven (Ps. 107:30), our inheritance of Light. (Col. 1:12)
It begins with: Feeding off His Word. The goal is: To please Him with our joyful thanksgiving.