Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

A timely repost…

Sadly, what is mostly offered to the world as “The Church of Jesus Christ” is in truth nothing more than an apostate whoring religious system which, though naming the name of Jesus Christ, has succumbed to the worldly wisdom of marketing experts in order to increase their numbers. To avoid offending the attending ignorant, they eagerly embrace the latest fashionable watered down translations of Holy Writ reducing God’s word into a flimsy weapon useless against the adversary and too dull to pierce the heart of unrepentant sinners . . . many who already proudly boast in their illusion of “salvation.” Have they forgotten the warning “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life?” Or are they just so arrogant and lacking of fear?

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Trips to the Tomb

I know it;s an old post, but since it is Easter this coming Sunday I figured it would be a good repost it once more for those who may have missed it. I hope it blesses you.

For centuries there has been much confusion when people try to reason the different accounts of Jesus’ resurrection as recorded by the apostles. The fact that they all seem to have a different story to tell does not help. Perhaps, a good way to consider their seemingly different reports is to view them like transparent overlays, similar to the one’s we have seen in books showing the skeleton, then the nerves and blood vessels, organs, muscular and finally the skin and hair.

The Gospels, similarly, are each reporting different events which had taken place around a major singular occurrence, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fact is that these different events are recorded in God’s word and are therefore true. Perhaps the answer to the confusion is to consider that there were multiple trips made to the tomb.

The best way to determine the possible order of these trips to the tomb is to consider the different details that have been given about the time of day and light of the sun. Was the sun going down or coming up? These questions are actually quite easy to answer. However, we must remember that the Sabbath, like all the other biblical days, began and ended with sundown, see Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 and Lev. 23:32.

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“Do you love me more than these,” Jesus asked of Peter who had not too long before boldly stated before all the disciples “Though all men forsake Thee, I will not.”

Here Jesus was graciously administering some much needed comfort and healing to Peter because of his earlier three denials with three precious opportunities to confirm his love for Christ. Yet Jesus takes Peter further as He continues with His instruction to Peter as to how He wants Peter to love Him; 1. Feed my Sheep and 2. Follow me. What a blessing it is that the Lord instructs us how to pray, love, serve and worship Him.

Certainly nobody could deny Peter loved Christ in view of the fact that he had been willing to lay down his life for Jesus who tells us there is no greater love than that . . . however, love needs to be . . . no, actually love must be given to the honoring of its proclaimed point of affection. Godly love doesn’t merely seek its own expression; rather it pursues the gratification of the other. (more…)

Sometimes it seems life takes you in circles, different people but the same ole’ situations whereby you witness other believers hearts being harden against the truth because of their pride. That is why I am reposting this article again. Brothers and sisters, we must always remember our battles must always be fought in a spirit of humility if they are to truly be won, for that is the path of righteousness the Captain of our salvation showed us as he openly defeated His enemies by willingly enduring the cross. Therefore, let us too pick up our crosses and follow Him into victory.

Ephesians 4:1  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.

James 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

Re-posted article –

It has been several months that I felt the Lord has been speaking to me about faith, faithfulness and forgiveness. Throughout it all I have found myself wanting to write about what He has been showing me regarding having “faith as a grain of a mustard seed” where Jesus tells His disciples, “you might say unto this sycamine tree, ‘Be you plucked up by the root, and planted in the sea,’ and it should obey you.” I have sought various opportunities of late to so write concerning faith and a few other topic concerning spiritual things that I might leave my own children a record of what I feel the Lord has revealed to me pertaining to the promises and conditions of the Kingdom of God of which Jesus testified “every man presses into it.” However, I have felt restrained by His Spirit prior till now that it wasn’t time to write. Why, I am not really sure, the Lord knows though. Perhaps so will I when I am finished.

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(I am presently writing an article today on a passage the Lord has laid heavily on my heart. It is not a message that I have any desire or eagerness to give; saving it may stir some out of their lukewarmness into repentance and absolute surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. However, while praying over what God has placed upon my heart, I felt the need to repost this older one as a prelude for those who may have ears to hear…)

Sadly, what is mostly offered to the world as “The Church of Jesus Christ” is in truth nothing more than an apostate whoring religious system which, though naming the name of Jesus Christ, has succumbed to the worldly wisdom of marketing experts in order to increase their numbers. To avoid offending the attending ignorant, they eagerly embrace the latest fashionable watered down translations of Holy Writ reducing God’s word into a flimsy weapon useless against the adversary and too dull to pierce the heart of unrepentant sinners . . . many who already proudly boast in their illusion of “salvation.” Have they forgotten the warning “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life?” Or are they just so arrogant and lacking of fear?

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There was a time in my life as a believer where my walk was very far removed from the Lord. I had found myself more than entangled in several sins. I remembered one night being so overwhelmed and burdened to the point of utter despair, literally fearing that I could die in my sleep and would be forever lost. I cried out to what seemed to be heavens of brass, my prayer barely out of my lips only to be falling to the ground. All this after only a couple of years  after having been promoted through a local church fellowship to be a deacon, then elder-ship and then shortly before leaving the church I was made assistant pastor.

My last message I shared with the church before I left (to the surprise of many) was about Paul’s exhortation in Galatians to those who are spiritual to restore those who were overtaken by a fault. However, at the time I wasn’t preaching to the congregation, rather I was crying out against my fellow leadership. My emphasis wasn’t about restoring the one overtaken, but rather whether those who were leaders were “spiritual” enough to even discern when a brother was over taken. There I was discourage, oppressed by the adversary, walking with sin in my life and about to begin what was to be a dark journey that almost ended in my destruction . . . and they didn’t even know it.

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I hear it all the time, how God loves us all unconditionally. Over the years of having conducted services at a mandatory rehab for people whose crimes were drug related, ministered at homeless shelters and having countless conversations with “believers” who readily admit they are not walking with God as they should, I frequently run into those who enthusiastically confess to me how they know, absolutely know, that God loves them unconditionally and that He accepts them just as they are.

This has led me into many discussions with people about what it means to “believe” and what exactly this “grace” is that these people are boasting about since they know they are saved because of it.  Sadly, many have no real understanding of what grace really is, they simply repeat what they were once told, “It is unmerited favor.” It is as if people are convinced that when God looks at them He has on some special “Jesus only” colored glasses because they think God only sees Jesus when He looks at them and not themselves for how they truly are.

Grace is truly an amazing gift of God given to the believer, but there are four things about grace we can readily know from scripture –

1. Grace is sufficient

2. Grace can be frustrated

3. Grace while working similarly in all God’s children, still has a uniqueness to it purpose as it is given to each of us

4. Grace can be received in vain.

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(Click poster or link below)

Coffee House 9-18
Legality versus Legalism

Note: In this message I state “grace is not unmerited favor.” For clarification my intent was to express how is grace is not just unmerited favor, it is much much more than that. By grace are we saved, therefore we need to understand God’s grace if we are to fully utilize it and not frustrate it or exhaust its sufficiency before it completes the task God gives it to accomplish in our hearts. Therefore, grieve not the Spirit of Grace and lay hold of the power of the Gospel which makes dead men live and to turns sinners into saints.

Run the race He has set before you lawfully . . .

1Cor 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Ga 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Php 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Heb 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

The following is a repost from http://www.watchmanscry.com. Brother Nathan Neal wrote this back in 09/27/09 and just reposted it with the following intro – 

Dearest Brethren,

As many of you know we are facing some great challenges in the coming future. The economy is teetering on the edge of a cliff. The drums of war are sounding. Fukushima Reactor 4 is being held together by the mercy of God. The threats of upheaval are pronounced and they are many. With all of these issues facing us, one can become overwhelmed with despair. But despair can only thrive in our hearts and minds if we overlook God. Beyond all of the fog of events, we must not forget that God is still on His throne. He is watching us. He also has His Mercy and Grace freely available to any of us that seek it. So in light of the present time, I felt led to share with you a very special sermon that the Holy Spirit gave me to preach several years ago. This message is applicable now more than ever. I pray that it will be a blessing to you all and also, please share it with others.

In Christ,

Nathan Leal
Watchman’s Cry

Get Your House in Order

Today’s message is about a Biblical character that is found in the Old Testament. This person worked for God and one day something happened to him!

……Something unexpected!

On this day, he had a visitation. God said something. It was a message.

Most likely, the day of this message began like any other day; He woke up in the morning.  He said, “Hello” to his family. He ate his breakfast. He got dressed and he went to work.

As he walked by his neighbors, he probably said, “Hello and good morning,” to them.

But this day was not a typical day because on this day he received a message that would change everything for him.

Who was this person? His name was Aaron. He was the brother of Moses and he was also the High Priest of Israel.

As the High Priest, his duty was to minister to God on behalf of the children of Israel who were dwelling in the wilderness.

This Biblical account is found in Numbers, chapter 20.

“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying, Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.”                                                          Numbers 20:23 – 24

The water of Meribah; this was the place where the children of Israel were in need of water. They complained to Moses that they had no water and as usual, they blamed him for it.

Moses took the matter to God. God instructed Moses to speak to a large rock at Meribah and water would then flow out of it.

Unfortunately, Moses was angry at the people for complaining and in his anger, he failed to speak to the rock. Instead, he struck it! And worse, he struck it twice!

Because of this disobedience, God became angry with Moses. (The reason for God’s anger is an entire other sermon, but in summary, the rock represented Our Savior Jesus and His death on the cross. It was not to be struck twice.)

This brings us to where we are in this account.

As we just read, God delivered a message to Moses;

“…Aaron shall be gathered unto his people…”

As Moses received this message, can you picture Aaron’s reaction? Aaron may have been standing next to Moses or nearby, when he got the news of his life.

I can imagine his thoughts after he heard those words, Uh… gathered? What does that mean?”

God explained more…

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(Sorry for the posting confusion over this post.) 

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments. As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalm 133:1-3)

I am currently writing a series of articles now about unity which I hope to complete in the next couple of days. The subject is one that has been on my heart for a long time, years . . .  and to be honest, I am greatly sadden by the fact that biblical unity is something I have rarely experienced as a Christian. Certainly not to the degree it is displayed in Psalm above; which is actually the core text for the final article I am writing. Since it is one of the “Songs of Degrees” in Psalms, I will also post on just what that means and why the journey to Jerusalem was required of all male Jews three times a year.

But just think about it, unity as a precious ointment? On the head, bread and garment of the high priest? Certainly you can see the magnificent significance. Yet at best I have only encountered what seem to be brief moments of such unity before it was spoiled either by the rise religious egos or successfully battered spiritually with demonic assaults of false accusations and suspicions. I know there are many who may feel they’ve experience unity, but I would ask simply if it met the test of the verse 2 above, was it truthfully a godly unity (I pray so), or was it just another comfortable carnal/religious compromise saturated with warm humanistic love that was nonetheless failing to wholly embrace the offense of the cross to their flesh?

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Trips to the Tomb

I have posted this before, but since it is Easter this coming Sunday I figured it would be a good repost for those who may have missed it. I hope it blesses you.

For centuries there has been much confusion when people try to reason the different accounts of Jesus’ resurrection as recorded by the apostles. The fact that they all seem to have a different story to tell does not help. Perhaps, a good way to consider their seemingly different reports is to view them like transparent overlays, similar to the one’s we have seen in books showing the skeleton, then the nerves and blood vessels, organs, muscular and finally the skin and hair.

The Gospels, similarly, are each reporting different events which had taken place around a major singular occurrence, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The fact is that these different events are recorded in God’s word and are therefore true. Perhaps the answer to the confusion is to consider that there were multiple trips made to the tomb.

The best way to determine the possible order of these trips to the tomb is to consider the different details that have been given about the time of day and light of the sun. Was the sun going down or coming up? These questions are actually quite easy to answer. However, we must remember that the Sabbath, like all the other biblical days, began and ended with sundown, see Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31 and Lev. 23:32.

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Ps 23:3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Part of the restoration process is the tearing down phase where God works to be sure we have a good foundation from which to rebuild. For that reason in my last few articles I reviewed a variety of topics in Luke which Jesus addressed before the Pharisees and His disciples, each having great significance. I have now come to the end of my recent scholastic yoyage and journalism to this place in scripture where Jesus tells us ‘If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you might say unto this sycamine tree, Be plucked up by the root, and be  planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”

Lord, grant us such faith.

In addition to the topics I’ve recently examined, there are equally significant others that Jesus’ shared deserving of a brief review. Such as when He asked lawyers and Pharisees which one of them would not rescue their ox or donkey if it had fallen into a ditch, even if it was on the Sabbath? Even though they couldn’t defend their own actions, they couldn’t avoid the hypocritical judgment that stirred in their hearts against Jesus when He then healed a man on the Sabbath before them.

While at the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread with them, Luke tells us that all these lawyers and Pharisees “watched” Him, meaning they insidiously and scrupulously observed Jesus looking for fault with Him. With purer judgment than theirs, Jesus openly acknowledged how all they all had taken seats of honor straightway when they came, risking shame and humiliation by possibly having their place taken from them for another more deserving. When invited to affairs such as a wedding Jesus explained, it was more prudent to take the lower place whereby they might receive respect from the host with honor as he publicly calls them up to better positions.

Luke 14:11 “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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This is not intended to be a debate or a refutation of anything per se; it is simply an effort to share some facts about certain points of scripture that are aggressively used in debates regarding the nature of God and the divinity of Jesus Christ. It is a long post, but still one I feel worthy of the consideration of others who are prayerfully laboring through these issues. However, before getting into the topics, I would like to start by sharing a quote by John H. Leith, who compiled a book concerning Christian doctrine from the Bible days to the present entitled “Creeds of the Churches”

 “. . . the nature of man is an intelligent being. Just because of intelligence the Christian, of all men, has to learn to discern with agonizing clarity what is conceivable by him about God Himself. What cannot be thought through critically and expressed with reasonable clarity cannot demand the allegiance of man’s whole being. Understanding is necessary for man’s full commitment. Hence faith must be spoken and made intelligible. That is not to say faith must be enclosed within the limits of reason, but it does mean that faith must never require neither the closing of the mind nor the sacrifice of the integrity of the mind.”

This statement is one that has probably influenced me more than any other man’s words of wisdom, compelling me to always try my best to understand every man’s profession of faith and in turn to share mine as simply and clearly as possible. That is why before I present the following information; I would like to clarify that I am not what most Trinitarians would readily call an “Oneness” believer, at least not in the sense that they would define it. For those who do not understand what “Oneness” supposedly is according to the Trinitarian definition, it is the heretical belief where one denies the coexistence of three “persons” of the “Godhead.” Be assured, I absolutely believe we all have but one Creator and Father who sent His only begotten Son Jesus, The Christ, as a sin-offering for the sins of the world. Who having returned back to heaven has sent to His Church the Comforter, the Holy Spirit of Truth to guide them into all truth . . . if they would but follow.

There are those on the Oneness side who aggressively assert the biblical truth that there is only one God as expressed in the verse below to the point of denying any distinction between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.

Some oneness believers even go so far trying to defend and explain their position to the point of saying that when the voice from heaven came testifying that Jesus was in fact God’s Son in whom He was well pleased that Jesus was actually throwing His voice back up into heaven. I would quickly assert they “do err not knowing,” as Jesus said “the scriptures or the power of God.

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In Luke chapter 16 Jesus tells His disciples about a certain rich man who had a steward who had wasted his goods. The setting for this discourse is that He was speaking to His disciples, but not only to them, for Luke also says in verse 14 that “the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided Him.” Now Luke doesn’t share what exactly the Pharisees were saying, but the Greek word translated “deride” was only used twice in the NT, with the second place being in Luke as well when Jesus was on the cross.-

Lu 23:35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided Him, saying, He saved others; let Him save Himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

In both places it is noteworthy that such was the response towards Jesus. There wasn’t any dignified attempt to reason or refute Jesus; it was an eruption out of the abundance of their hearts of iniquity as they spoke, a blatant display of arrogance by corrupt religious leaders against the greatest Rabbi of eternity. Their outburst of unashamed scoffing and ridicule was meant to convey their total rejection of Him. What makes this even more shameful is they were doing it in a vain attempt to justify their own selves. I am sad to say I have witnessed this type of behavior with the same motive among those professing to be Christian, leaders included.

Lu 16:15 And He said unto them, “You are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

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It has been several months that I felt the Lord has been speaking to me about faith, faithfulness and forgiveness. Throughout it all I have found myself wanting to write about what He has been showing me regarding having “faith as a grain of a mustard seed” where Jesus tells His disciples, “you might say unto this sycamine tree, ‘Be you plucked up by the root, and planted in the sea,’ and it should obey you.” I have sought various opportunities of late to write so concerning faith and a few other things that I might leave my own children a record of what I feel the Lord has revealed to me pertaining to the promises and conditions of the Kingdom of God of which Jesus testified “every man presses into it.” However, I have felt restrained by His Spirit prior till now that it wasn’t time to write. Why, I am not really sure, the Lord knows though. Perhaps so will I when I am finished.

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