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Enduring Faith

Enduring Faith

ENDURING FAITH

Jesus asked this rhetorical question in Luke chapter 18:

…”Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”  Luke 18:8

Why would Jesus Christ ask this question about faith?  Jesus asked this question right after describing His return to earth and the general tenor of the times before His return.  He refers to Noah and Lot when describing the activities and heart interests of the human race prior to His return to illustrate that mankind will not be thinking about His return and the sure judgment they will experience.

26 “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:  27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot:  They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, the built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.  30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”   Luke 17:26-30

It is noteworthy to consider that just a very few people were saved when God sent the flood upon the world in the days of Noah and rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah.  The days will be spent in mundane and “normal” human activity without a thought about God or about the condition of the soul, much as we see the situation around us today, keeping in mind that this also applies to those who are religious.

Jesus goes on to give two parables after this warning about His return, one before the question we are considering and one following.  I don’t want to get into the details of either parable, but I do want to make the point that there will be severe persecution of believers before the return of Jesus Christ, and those who belong to Christ acknowledge their sin before an holy and awesome, but merciful God.

6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.  7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?  8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.  Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:6-8

9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’  13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’  14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18:9-14

Although, this parable doesn’t directly relate to the days before Christ comes, it does relate to faith, and it is this faith Jesus is asking about in Luke 18:8.  We see much of the self-righteousness displayed by religious people who love themselves, but don’t love God or their neighbors.  We see few who humbly call upon God confessing to be sinners. We live in the times described by Paul in

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than loves of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such turn away!  2 Timothy 3:1-5


 “[Jesus] refers to Noah and Lot when describing the activities and heart interests of the human race prior to His return to illustrate that mankind will not be thinking about His return and the sure judgment they will experience.”


We see these attitudes and behaviors in churches all around us today!

In the thirteenth chapter of Mark, Jesus Christ again warns about the proliferation of evil before His return.

5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say:  “Take heed that no one deceives you.  6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many.  7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.  8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles.  These are the beginnings of sorrows.  9 But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues.  You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.  10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.  11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak.  But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.  12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.  13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Mark 13:5-13

21 “Then if anyone says to you. ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.  22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.” Mark 13:21-23

Jesus is specifically warning His followers, those who belong to Him that deception and persecution are going to be rampant before His return.  Jesus definitely spent a great deal of His teaching ministry warning both believers and unbelievers about persecution and deception.

When Jesus Christ began His teaching ministry He taught His disciples and the religious about His kingdom and He also warned them about deceit and deception.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.  15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.  16  will know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?  17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.  21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’  Matthew 7:13-23

So Jesus Himself constantly warned His disciples and others about self-deceit and deception of others.

Deception surrounds us like cellophane covering a package.  It has been ushered in by many but there is a common thread that joins the religiously deceptive together, that is they divorce faith from the Word of God, the Bible.  Friedrich Schleiermacher wrote On Religion in the late 1700’s where he divorced faith from the teaching of the Scriptures, and so it has gone on and on and on.  Today many Christians follow the writings of those who despise the Scriptures.  One such highly esteemed individual, C. S. Lewis, wrote what is considered to be a treatise on the Christian faith, Mere Christianity, without once quoting the Bible.  It seems odd that a “Christian apologist” would defend the Christian faith without reference to the Bible.  This seems particularly strange when we are told in Scriptures:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21

22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.  The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”  Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.  1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.  1 Peter 1:22-2:3

16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory:  “This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”  18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.  19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  2 Peter 1:16-21

That Satan has raised up these false teachers who divorce faith from the sure Word of God should cause us all to be very careful about whom we give our allegiance to and to make sure that we heed the warnings of Scripture and the Holy Spirit so we are not led astray and away from biblical faith.

So we can see and understand the urgency of Jesus Christ’s question in Luke chapter 18:

…”Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”  Luke 18:8

Based upon the deceit of the human heart, the deception that we daily imbibe, the persecution of Jesus’ elect, and the evil of the world, is genuine faith even possible?

26 And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”  27 But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”  Luke 18:26-27

And so like the humble tax collector we need to throw ourselves upon the mercy of God pleading for the gift of faith, knowing we deserve only the evil of this world for we also are vile wicked sinners who merit only God’s just judgment and wrath.  We need to beseech God our Father to deliver us from the deception of the devil that lies hidden in the works of false teachers.  We need to plead with our Savior Jesus Christ to bless our hearts with a love of His Word that shuts out the barrage of evil from the world.  We need to implore the Holy Spirit to raise up the truth of God’s Word as a bastion of faith against the wiles and lies of the evil one.  These are the prayers that we must entreaty the Father with due to the wickedness of these times.  Yet, those who continue in the deceit of their hearts and the deception of this world are justly receiving what they have earned and do not realize that the condemnation of God in this life is tempered by His mercy and grace for His elect, but in everlasting judgment there is only fiery wrath and torment with no relief or respite.

by Eliza

image: Arvind Balaraman, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Originally posted at Holding Forth His WordEnduring Faith

 

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Belief: The Content of Our Faith

BELIEF: The Content of Faith

BELIEF: The Content of Faith

During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ encountered the same types of unbelief that are prevalent today within the church.  He was opposed by those who rejected the Scriptures as the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, the Sadducees, whose counterparts today embrace liberal theology; He was opposed by those who added to or took away from the revelation of God in the Holy Scriptures, the Pharisees, whose counterparts today include all branches of Christendom; Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, and Evangelicals; He was opposed by those who studied the Word of God through the grid of man-made doctrines, the scribes, whose counterparts today are the theologians who twist the Scriptures to make their pet doctrines fit within the confines of Sacred Writ.  Listen to what Jesus Christ has to say to those who rejected the truth and Him, and followed the enemy of our souls in their unbelief.

 13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.  14 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers.  Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.  15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.  Matthew 23:13-15

 25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.  26 Blind Pharisees, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside may be clean also.  27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.  28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.  Matthew 23:25-28

 These unbelievers have no place in the kingdom God and they also keep others out through their false teaching.  These unbelievers are children of hell and those they convert are even greater sons of hell.  These unbelievers look righteous on the outside, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.  They have an appealing appearance, but inwardly they are dead and evil.  These religious deceivers are hypocrites!

Jesus warned His disciples against the teaching of these wicked workers, and by extension warns us also.

 “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Matthew 16:6

 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Matthew 16:12 

 This same warning is repeated in the Scriptures multiple times by Jesus Christ, the apostles and the prophets.  It is important to remember that what we believe signifies whether or not we have genuine saving faith.  We cannot divorce belief from faith.  If we believe things that contradict the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints then we believe a lie and are devoid of saving faith.  Jesus Christ warned us to be on our guard and to beware of those who would deceive us.  He actually uttered this exhortation right after the disciples asked Him about the end of the age.


 “During His earthly ministry, Jesus Christ encountered the same types of unbelief that are prevalent today within the church.”


3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be?  And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”  4 And Jesus answered and said to them:  “Take heed that no one deceives you.”  Matthew 24:3-4

 It is significant that the very first thing He says is take heed and do not be deceived.  The hallmark of the time before Jesus Christ returns is deception within the church and apostasy.

Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,…  2 Thessalonians 2:3

 In order for the Antichrist to deceive the whole world, the church must be rendered ineffective and blind so they too follow this evil one and give him acclaim.  The false teaching and error that has pervaded the church ultimately makes the church the supporter of the Antichrist.  As the apostle John wrote in 1 John chapter 2:

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know it is the last hour.  1 John 2:18

 These antichrists, the purveyors of false teaching and false doctrine within the church, who are not of the truth, are preparing the way for the Antichrist and the one thing that defines the multifaceted deception of these many antichrists is their love of the lie and rejection of the truth.

11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but has pleasure in unrighteousness.  2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.  1 John 2:19 

 They reject the truth, embrace the lie.  They are the enemies of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and must be rejected and exposed by all those who love Jesus Christ and abide in His truth, the Word of God, by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 The anointing from God our Father by the Holy Spirit protects us from the lies of the evil one and his cohorts.  The truth of the Word of God that tells us all about Jesus Christ, all we need to know and understand about Him, is our faithful guide and protector.  We are protected from the lies of the antichrists as we hold fast to the doctrine that is taught in the Scriptures and reject the vain and empty opinions of man as they teach contrary to the Word of God, led by the devil.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.  21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.  22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?  He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.  23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either, he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.  24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.  If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.  25 And this is the promise that He has promised us-eternal life.  27 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.  28 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you , and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.   1 John 2:20-28

 We must judge everything we believe by the standard of the Word of God, our very souls are at stake.  Any doctrine or teaching that negates what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ must be rejected!  We must judge everything that we are taught by the faithful Word of God, the integrity of the gospel is at stake.  We must rely on the Holy Spirit to teach us as we study God’s Word so we may share the truth for the sake of the world and the glory of God.

by Eliza

image: Arvind Balaraman, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Originally posted at Holding Forth His WordBelief: The Content of Our Faith

 

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Faith: Belief in Action

FAITH: Belief in Action

FAITH: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.  Hebrews 11:1-2. 

 Faith, as discussed before, is believing what God has said in His Word.  However, this belief is not static, but it is very dynamic as illustrated for us by the famous Hall of Faith given in Hebrews 11.  Each individual that is commended for their faith demonstrated it by their actions as recorded in Hebrews 11.  As James said in James chapter 2

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  James 2:17

 So genuine faith will result in works that verify that faith.  James mentions two individuals who demonstrated their faith by their works, whereas, there are numerous individuals who are extolled for their faith in Hebrews 11.  I would like to focus on one of the individuals who is promoted by both James and Paul, the harlot Rahab.

Rahab is always linked with her vocation whenever she is referenced in the New Testament, except when named in the lineage of Jesus Christ.  Because of her profession she would seem to be a very unlikely candidate for being a glowing example of faith, but that is just what she is.  We learn about Rahab in Joshua chapter 2.


 “So genuine faith will result in works that verify that faith.”


1 Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. 2  And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.” 3  So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.”  4 Then the woman took the two men and hid them.  So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.  5 “And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out.  Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.”  6 (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.)  7 Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords.  And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.  8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the men:  “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.  10 “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.  11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.  12 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token.  13 And spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”  14 So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours.  And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.”  15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall.  16 And she said to them, “Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you.  Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned.  Afterward you may go your way.” 17 So the men said to her:  “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, 18 unless when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home.  19 So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless.  And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him.  20 And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath which you made us swear.”  21 Then she said, “According to your words, so be it.”  21 And she sent tem away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.  Joshua 2:1-21

 22 But Joshua had said to the two men who had spied out the country, “Go into the harlot’s house, and from there bring out the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her.” 23  And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had.  So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel.  Joshua 6:22-23

 So the spies, prompted by Joshua the leader of the Israelites, honored the covenant they had made with Rahab.  She later married Salmon and begot Boaz who is in the lineage of King David and of Jesus Christ.

Rahab displayed extraordinary faith in sheltering the spies, protecting them from the king’s men, requesting protection for herself and her family members, sending them out another way, and tying the scarlet rope in her window as a covenant sign between herself and the spies.  Her actions were motivated by her belief that God is God in heaven and on the earth.  She was fearful like her fellow countrymen, but unlike them, she didn’t turn to the idols of the land to save her.  Instead, she turned to the One true God who rules over heaven and earth, and she didn’t request salvation for herself alone, but also for her whole family.   By God’s mercy and grace the testimony that she gave to her family members was believed by them and so they too were saved from God’s wrath upon that heathen city.  Read the commendation given to her in James 2 and Hebrews 11:

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?  James 2:25 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.  Hebrews 11:31

 This work of faith by the harlot Rahab is repeated over and over in the lives of those who turn from the lie and embrace the truth of the gospel, being saved from God’s just wrath, and serve Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Who do not continue in the vain opinions of men and the doctrines of demons but rely wholly on the Scriptures as their source of the truth of God.  Who boldly proclaim the gospel to all for God’ glory and the salvation of those who hear and believe.

8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place.  Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.  9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.  1 Thessalonians 1:8-10&

 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.  1 Thessalonians 2:13

May our Father in heaven be pleased with our work of faith as we serve Him, turning from the lies of the enemy to His truth in His Word the Bible in obedient faith, and sharing the glorious gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

by Eliza

image: Arvind Balaraman, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Originally posted at Holding Forth His Word: Faith: Belief in Action

 

 

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Faith: Belief in God

FAITH:

FAITH: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Faith is not some force, nor principle that we exercise and somehow receive what we speak.  Faith in its biblical definition is belief in God.  Even more specifically, faith is belief in God as He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures and through His Son Jesus Christ.

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher?  15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent?  As it is written:  “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel.  For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”  17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:14-17

 Faith is belief in what the living God has declared in His Word the Bible about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation.  Zeroing in on faith as revealed in the Scriptures we can understand it in even finer detail.

6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “’Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  8 But what does it say?  “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):  9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”  Romans 10:6-11

 Faith is believing what the Scripture says, that Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and was buried, and rose again from the dead the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4  This is faith, believing what God has told us in the Scriptures about His Son, Jesus Christ and the gospel of His Son.  Faith is believing in our hearts the truth about Jesus Christ, the Son of God and confessing our belief in Him to others.

Faith set against the backdrop of unbelief is brought into sharp relief as the Lord teaches us about faith from the Scriptures.

16 For who, having heard, rebelled?  Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses?  17 Now with whom was He angry forty years?  Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?  18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?  19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.   1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.  2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.  3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:  “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’”…  Hebrews 3:16-4:3


 “Faith…believes the revealed Word of God, the gospel of our salvation, resulting in obedience and the bountiful blessings of God the Father upon us through His Son Jesus Christ.”


Unbelief is rebellion against the revealed Word of God, the gospel of our salvation, and ushers in sin, disobedience, and the outpouring of the wrath of God.  Faith, in contrast, believes the revealed Word of God, the gospel of our salvation, resulting in obedience and the bountiful blessings of God the Father upon us through His Son Jesus Christ.

There are times that God specifically speaks to us regarding a work that He has appointed for us to do for His honor, glory and the furtherance of the gospel.  He will make it abundantly clear that He has called us to this task.  I believe that this guidance from our Heavenly Father by the Holy Spirit for our God given assignment will be met in our hearts by the gift of faith for that specific work.  Twice God has assured me that He is with me Father, Son and Holy Spirit before He called me to stand up for His truth against the error that rages against the pure and holy Word of God and the gospel of our salvation.  This is another legitimate exercise of faith that is bequeathed to us by the Holy Spirit, as believers, for the furtherance of God’s kingdom.  We believe what God has told us and set about doing His will as He enables us by the Holy Spirit.

1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers:  Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Acts 13:1-2

 We can know this is the work of God because it will agree with the Scriptures and we will see God work through us.  We will rely on God the Holy Spirit and He will strengthen us in our faith for the work and the trials that will accompany the work.  We will give all glory and credit to the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him for the outcome of our obedience.

So faith is specifically belief in the One True Living God and His Son Jesus Christ Who gave Himself as our ransom by His blood shed on the cross and is our justification through His resurrection from the dead and has poured out upon us His Holy Spirit so that we can be equipped to serve Him in this evil fallen world.  Faith is belief in what God has told us in His Holy Word, the Bible about His Son, and the gospel of our salvation.

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-unless you believed in vain.  3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:  that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,4  and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,… 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

  Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.  1 Corinthians 15:11

 22 “Therefore, having obtained help from God to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come-23 that the Christ would suffer, the He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”  Acts 26:22-23

 Let us believe what God tells us in His Word, and set upon the work that He has called us to do.

by Eliza

image: Arvind Balaraman, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Originally posted at Holding Forth His Word: Faith: Belief in God

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The Bible Informs Our Faith

THE BIBLE INFORMS THE FAITH OF THE BELIEVER

THE BIBLE INFORMS THE FAITH OF THE BELIEVER

In two places in Luke chapter 24, Jesus explained Himself to His disciples using Scripture.

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.  Luke 24:27

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”  45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.  46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem.  48 And you are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:44-48

Even though Peter had extensive interaction with Jesus Christ and experienced His divine revelation first hand he still appealed to the Scripture and pointed believers to the sure Word of Scripture.  Read what Peter wrote in 2 Peter the first chapter:


 “Let us daily read and study the Scriptures to strengthen our faith and love for the Lord Jesus Christ in these dark and dangerous times. “


16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.  19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  2 Peter 1:16-21

For our faith to honor Jesus Christ it must be built upon the Scripture, the Word of God, the Bible.  We must resort to the Bible to strengthen our faith and walk with Jesus Christ.  We must rely on Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit to illumine our understanding of the Bible.  Resorting to the vain opinions of man to bolster our faith leads only to confusion, darkness, bitterness and unbelief.

14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,  15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:14-17

Let us daily read and study the Scriptures to strengthen our faith and love for the Lord Jesus Christ in these dark and dangerous times.  Let us rely upon the Holy Spirit to illumine our understanding and comprehension of God’s Holy Word, the Bible, so we may honor our beloved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and stay true to Him.

 

by Eliza

image: Arvind Balaraman, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Originally posted at Holding Forth His Word: The Bible Informs our Faith

 

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Filed under: Biblical Teachings, END TIMES PREPARATION, Eternal Salvation through Jesus Christ, Good News/Gospel, , , , , , , ,

What in the World?

When Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan in the Garden of Eden the world fell into futility and evil.

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it’:  “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.  Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat of the herb of the field.”  Genesis 3:17-18

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of GodRomans 8:20-21

 Not only did their disobedience bring corruption and sin into the world, but by listening to Satan rather than God, the enemy of our souls became the god of this world.

“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”  Genesis 3:15

 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.  Luke 4:5-6

 …in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,…  Ephesians 2:2

 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.  1 John 5:19

 Additionally, through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, the stage was set for the battle between those who belong to God through faith in Jesus Christ and those who belong to the devil through sinful rebellion and unbelief as stated above in Genesis 3:15 and in the following passage from 2 Corinthians chapter four.

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

 However, we need to keep in mind that those deceived by Satan are not the primary ones we battle, we battle the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:11-12

 Then he said to me,  “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.”  While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.  Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.  “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.”  Daniel 9:12-14

 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  1 Peter 5:8

 This unbelieving world is actually the field that we labor in, seeking to bring many to the obedience of the faith.   What are the weapons of our warfare?  Are they the tactics of the world around us, or are they of divine origin, powerful and successful in the battle.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints- Ephesians 6:13-18

 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.  But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.  To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever.  Amen.  1 Peter 5:6-11

Adulterers and adulteresses!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself the enemy of God.  Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit Who dwells in us yearns jealously”?  But He gives more grace.  Therefore He says:  “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”  Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep!  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.  James 4:4-10

 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.  “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the deathRevelations 12:10-11

 In the verses quoted above we see the manner in which we overcome the assault of Satan in his various attacks upon us.  The most important truth we must keep in mind is that we overcome his evil designs against us by holding fast to God our Father, our Savior Jesus Christ, our faith in Him and our reliance upon the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, powerful indeed!

We are promised that things are not going to improve as we see the Day of Christ approaching, on the contrary things will grow worse and worse.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such turn away!  2 Timothy 3:1-5 

 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  2 Timothy 3:13

 Evil within the “church” and without is going to increase to a fevered pitch.  We must realize that those who worship false gods, false christs and follow false teachers, are actually worshipping the devil and following the devil, so of course things will grow more and more wicked.

“They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot…Leviticus 17:7

 They sacrificed to demons, not to God, To gods they did not know, To new gods, new arrivals That your fathers did not fear.  Deuteronomy 32:17

 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.  1 Corinthians 10:20  

 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,…1 Timothy 4:1

 As those who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ, God the Son of God, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1), and let us continue in the things we have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom we have learned them, and know the Holy Scriptures which are able to make us wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17. 

 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 1 Timothy 1:18-19  

 As we rely upon Jesus Christ through the indwelling Spirit, hold fast to the truth of the Scriptures, and share the gospel of our beloved Savior with the lost, we will be able to further the work of God until Christ returns and sets His kingdom up on this earth.  Even so come Lord Jesus Christ!

Filed under: Biblical Teachings, END TIMES PREPARATION, Eternal Salvation through Jesus Christ, Good News/Gospel, , , , , , , , ,

Discernment

DISCERNMENT: The truth has been graciously given to us by God our Father in His Holy Word the Bible. We are commanded by God to know and obey it. So since we have the truth given to us in God’s Word our need is to be discerning so that we can hold fast to the truth and avoid error.

DISCERNMENT: The truth has been graciously given to us by God our Father in His Holy Word the Bible. We are commanded by God to know and obey it. So since we have the truth given to us in God’s Word our need is to be discerning so that we can hold fast to the truth and avoid error.

In keeping with the theme of a previous post “Avoiding Error” I was going to title this post “Pursuing Truth” until the Lord Jesus Christ reminded me of an incident that occurred at a church we attended.   As I was being diligent to stand up for the truth and encouraging the leadership at our church to do likewise the elder said to me, “We are pursuing the truth with you,” when he was all the while rejecting it, unbeknownst to me at that time.  After he said that I thought, we have the truth in the Scriptures, and we can know it through the Holy Spirit, so why must we pursue it?  The truth has been graciously given to us by God our Father in His Holy Word the Bible.  We are commanded by God to know and obey it.  So since we have the truth given to us in God’s Word our need is to be discerning so that we can hold fast to the truth and avoid error.  Unfortunately there are so many within the church who are not discerning and are willing accomplices with the enemy who is spreading lies, confusion, compromise and apostasy.

The state of the “church” was made abundantly clear to me this week while I made a strong effort to defend the Word of God from the attack of a false believer.  I will quote what this person said:

When did Jesus say that He hand picked Paul to reveal these mysteries? I know Paul said it, but when did Jesus say it? Did a voice from heaven say, “This is my servant, Paul, with whom I am well pleased, listen to him”? Paul certainly earned the right to speak by all he suffered, but I don’t think we should elevate his words to the status of a prophet. He never claimed to be a prophet. He was a church planter. We Protestants criticize Catholics for ascribing inerrancy to their Popes and yet we do the same with Paul. As you know, Paul was well-steeped in the teachings and traditions of the Pharisees, and ingrained teachings die hard. Perhaps that is why Jesus told His disciples to beware the yeast of the Pharisees. Perhaps that is why God said to Peter, James and John, “This is my Son, whom I love, listen to Him!” If I new how to italicize in comments, I would emphasize the pronoun HIM! 

P.S. Read my reply to Freedomborn before you quote 2 Timothy 3:16-17 to me.

This was a comment posted on Pastor Joe Quatrone Jr. wordpress site on the post “How Can I Recognize a False Teacher”.   The woman posting, The Reluctant Baptist (RB), requested that her posts be deleted and Pastor Joe removed almost all of my replies but left up his rebuke of me.  I had two concerns about her comments, first and foremost she attacked God’s Word, and second, Pastor Joe not only gave her a pass but put a smiley face on her link to her heretical post on her site.  I reproved and rebuked both of them for their wicked attack upon the truth of God and wrote the post “Beloved Brother Paul” to stand up to her corrupting work.  She (RB) showed no discernment in her handling of the Word of God, and Pastor Joe, showed absolutely no discernment in his tactic approval of her heresy.   Godly discernment is a work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds, while those who are undiscerning are actually sinning according to the Word of God.


“The truth has been graciously given to us by God our Father in His Holy Word the Bible. We are commanded by God to know and obey it. So since we have the truth given to us in God’s Word our need is to be discerning so that we can hold fast to the truth and avoid error.”


 

The lack of discernment is listed as a sin that accompanies rebellious sinners in Romans chapter one.  I want to quote from both the KJV and NKJV to give a good rendering of the word used and to show that God indeed does call lack of discernment sin.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting:  29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.  Romans 1:28-32

 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.  Romans 1:28-32

Being without understanding, or undiscerning, is the default position of all of humanity, and nobody gets a pass; we can’t say to God, “I didn’t know!”  The sad fact that the church at large lacks discernment is extremely distressing for those of us who love God, love His Son Jesus Christ, love His Word and love His Body, the called out ones.  The ones who represent themselves as servants of Jesus Christ, called to minister to His body, but lack discernment, are in a perilous place.  First, because they are misrepresenting Jesus Christ by saying that He has called them, and second, by promulgating error within the Body of Christ.  Woe to those false prophets who despise the truth of God and condone heresy.  God our Father calls all of us to discern between truth and error, good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness.  The Bible is God’s book that teaches us how to discern what is pleasing to Him and what is a grievous offense to Him, incurring His wrath and judgment.

26 “Her priest have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and the unholy, nor have they made know the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.  27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain.  28 Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ when the Lord had not spoken.  29 The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger.  So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.  31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them;  I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.  Ezekiel 22:26-31

When the leaders of the church do not make a distinction between what is true and false; calling out and reproving the liars, and standing true to God’s Word then all manner of evil befalls the church and the nation.  Does anybody else see the parallels our nation is experiencing with this prophesy?

All believers are commanded by God to know His truth, properly handle it, and turn away the error proffered by false teachers, heretics, apostates and false brethren.  God’s Word tells us how to do this in Hebrews chapter five and numerous verses in 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Jude and 2 Corinthians.

12 For by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  Hebrews 5:12-14 

As believers we must be completely convinced about the doctrine of our salvation.  If we are steadfast in Christ then we can handle the word of righteousness, which not only corrects ungodly behavior but also ungodly doctrine, and we will be able to discern between good and evil.

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer.  6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.  7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 1 Timothy 4:1-7

 Turning from fables and following the good doctrine of the Word of God will protect us from the doctrines of demons and those hypocrites who speak lies from a seared conscience because we will be taught by the Holy Spirit to discern between the truth and falsehood.  Of course, this is only viable for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, and believe that He died on the cross for their sins and rose again from the dead for their eternal life and so are born again, being filled with His Spirit.

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.  16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.  2 Timothy 2:15-16

 We must turn away from the apostasy of the world and hold fast the truth of God, the Bible, handling it according to its truth.  We must turn away from professed believers if what they profess denies the authority, inerrancy, infallibility, and/or inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.  We must turn away from those self-professed leaders who do not fight valiantly for the truth against error.

12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 12-17

Those of us who stand for the truth will suffer persecution by those who reject the standard of the Bible.  These heretics will become more and more evil as they overthrow the faith of some through their hypocrisy and sophistry.  If a leader within the church is not using the word of God to reprove one who brings error into the arena of their domain then you can be convinced that person is not a man of God.  We can avoid such by being grounded in the truth of God’s holy Word the Bible.

7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.  Titus 1:7-9

 Although this passage is addressed to the leaders in God’s church, as believers, we can know God’s Word and then seek to correct those who contradict His truth and also protect ourselves and others from error.  Again, God’s word commands those who are leaders within the church to reprove, exhort, and convict those who contradict what God’s Word says.  How much better would it have been if Pastor Joe had corrected RB, and then those of us who love God’s Word, could have just come alongside his spiritual ministry and added to what he had shared from God’s Word.  Instead he reproved the one who stood for the truth and championed the heretic.  This is a disgrace and he needs to repent.

19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.  20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.  24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

We keep ourselves from the lies of the wicked by relying on the Holy Spirit, being obedient to God (not allowing any error within our lives), and looking forward to seeing Jesus Christ.  There are those who are believers and only need gentle persuasion to reject error, while there are others who are stubborn in their rebellion and need more stringent measures to deliver their souls from hell.  We can do these things because we are confident in God our Savior who will not allow us to stumble or fall and will bring us home to be with Him for eternity.

Finally, what should our stance be with those who continue to walk in lies and work the works of the flesh, being led by the devil?  God gives us His answer in 2 Corinthians chapter six.

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness?  15 And what accord has Christ with Belial?  Or what part has a believer with and unbeliever?  16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For you are the temple of the living God.  As God has said:  “I will dwell in them And walk among them.  I will be their God, And they shall be My people.  17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”  18 I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”  2 Corinthians 6:14-18

 Those who do not reject error and/or approve  those who promote error are proving by their behavior that they are unbelievers.  We must turn away from them.  God has promised to receive us and to be our Father if we will separate ourselves from the liars, deceivers, heretics, compromisers, and apostates.  Who do you want to serve, Christ or Belial?  As we use the discernment given to us by God’s grace through belief in His Word and the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit in our lives, let us throw off the works of darkness, reprove the promoters of error and stand valiant for the truth.  May Jesus Christ bless us as we seek to serve Him.  God bless you.

Here are two links that are pertinent to this post.

http://holdingforthhisword.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/beloved-brother-paul/

https://endtimesprophecyreport.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/end-times-prophecy-headlines-july-16-2014/

by Eliza

image: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitialPhotos.net/ETPR

Originally posted at Holding Forth His Word: Discernment

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Filed under: Biblical Teachings, End Time Deception, The Apostate American Church, , , , , , , , ,

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”

“And many false prophets shall arise and deceive many.”

–Matthew 24:11

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FEAR of the LORD

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–Proverbs 16:6

Watchmen on the Walls

"Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;"

watchman-wall-pd "Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand."

--Ezekiel 33:1-6

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