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Charge Some

CHARGE SOME: Paul's instructions about false doctrines in his first epistle to Timothy

CHARGE SOME: Paul’s instructions about false doctrine in his first epistle to Timothy

In his first epistle to Timothy Paul instructed Timothy to charge some that they teach no other doctrine in the church that was in Ephesus.  False doctrine was rearing its ugly head through the proliferation of false teaching.  This false doctrine, as is always the case, was in complete contradiction to the good doctrine that God has reserved for us in His Word, the Bible.  After his exhortation to Timothy, Paul then gives examples of false doctrine and its deadly effects.  Paul’s commandment to Timothy to charge some that they teach no other doctrine was rooted in love for the brethren and love for God.

3As I urged you when I went into Macedonia-remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.  5Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.  8But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully.  1 Timothy 1:3-8

 Those who are in positions of leadership in the church must reject fables which cause disputes to occur between brethren rather than godly mutual edification.  However, in recent history some “Christian” leaders have done the exact opposite.  Their support of three recent films from Hollywood geared towards the “Christian” market reveals their duplicity in the faith.  Each of these films was based upon fables, things that are made up, rather than the truth from the Scriptures.   Some leaders within the “Christian” community promoted the pictures, encouraging “Christians” to pay to see these fallacious films.  They actually joined in making merchandise of believers, sharing in the sins of others, something Paul warned Timothy against.   These fables were not fabricated out of thin air; instead the premise for the films was taken from Scripture.  Like these films, much of what is being promoted within the visible church today takes grains of truth from the Bible and then puffs them up, distorting them with the foolish beliefs, vain ideologies, worldly philosophies and devilish doctrines utilized to distort God’s Word and lead many astray.  This promotion of fables leads to discord and disputes among the body, where faith and love are cast aside, along with the Word of God, and instead fleshly behavior reigns supreme.  Those who try to warn others with the Word of God are castigated and spurned, being labeled haters, when the truth is those who hold to these fables are the dividers and haters, rejecting biblical faith and godly fellowship which centers around Jesus Christ and His Word and results in loving edification.  At the other end of the continuum of false doctrine is the teaching of the law in the place of grace and love found in and through Christ Jesus.

5Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.  8But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9knowing this:  that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,11according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.  1 Timothy 1:5-11

 Trying to know, love and serve God through the observance of the law is impossible.  The law exposes our sin; the law is designed to show us our need for Christ and lead us to Him as we despair of ever being adequate to make ourselves worthy of the love of God and right in His sight.  The law makes us feel guilty and alienated from God.  It is only faith in Jesus Christ that makes us righteous in God’s sight.  He is our righteousness.  Those who try to resort to the law and use it to exhort others to godly living are placing a burden upon the hearts and lives of those they are enslaving with an instrument that is meant to condemn us because of indwelling sin.


 “Those who exhort God’s children with the law are brutalizing them with an impossible obligation that can never be met by man.  Jesus Christ sets us free from the law’s requirements and establishes us in His grace through faith.”


The law is good but we are slaves to sin and incapable of living lives pleasing to God since the law actually excites sin within us because of the depravity of our sin natures.  Those who exhort God’s children with the law are brutalizing them with an impossible obligation that can never be met by man.  Jesus Christ sets us free from the law’s requirements and establishes us in His grace through faith.  He gives us the promised Holy Spirit and as we walk by faith in the power of the Spirit we faithfully please God and are not under the law.  Self-righteousness through observance of the law feeds the flesh and brings condemnation.  Instead walking in the Spirit and walking in love, which is a fruit of the Spirit, brings us out from under the law and then fulfills the heart and intent of the law.  It is necessary to quote numerous Scripture to endorse the biblical doctrine that I have written.

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  20Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  Romans 3:19-20

22But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.  23But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.  24Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  25But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  Galatians 3:22-26

4Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another-to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.  5For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.  6But now that we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.  7What shall we say then?  Is the law sin?  Certainly not!  On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law.  For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”  8But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire.  For apart from the law sin was dead.  9I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.  10And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.  11For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.  12Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.  13Has then what is good become death to me?  Certainly not!  But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.  14For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.  Romans 7:4-14

 1There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  3For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin:  He condemned sin the flesh, 4that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  Romans 8:1-4 

 30But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-31that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  2 Corinthians 5:21

 16I say them:  Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to on another so that you do not do the things that you wish.  18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.  Galatians 5:16-18

 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  Galatians 6:8

 8Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.  9For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  10Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  Romans 13:8-10

 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

 Legalistic law teaching is practiced within much of the visible church today; the homeschooling movement is especially prone to this error which causes much harm.  Children reared under the tutelage of the law do not learn about the love of God given to them in Christ Jesus.  They do not learn about the grace of God given to them in Christ Jesus.  They serve a hard taskmaster that only grimaces at them and whips them as they fail, and fail they do for the invalid flesh fruitlessly fights to control sin through the law.  Unabated flesh flourishes under legalistic teaching so that all manner of wickedness abounds.  These are those who have a form of godliness but deny its power.  We are to turn away from these false teachers who enslave others by the wrongful use of the law because they have no confidence in the victory over sin that is ours in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:5)

There is an abundance of those who endorse fables, teach legalism and listen to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.  The apostasy within the visible church is deep and wide.  The false doctrines that abound are too numerous to list, but they all originate from the father of lies, Satan.  He deceives and leads astray.  These heresies are whispered in the ears of those who are primed for deception because they do not love the truth, God’s Holy Word, the Bible.  Instead they lust after the latest greatest thing that will cause a sensation and bring them a following.

1Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines o demons, 2speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  4For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  6If 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.  7But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.  1 Timothy 4:1-7

 Our protection against the onslaught of false teaching is to build ourselves up on our most holy faith by godly living and adherence to the truth, which is the Word of God.  We can protect ourselves from the lies of the enemy by being informed through diligent study of God’s Word and rejection of teaching that doesn’t conform to the godly doctrine of the Scriptures.  That means meticulous study of the Scriptures so that we understand the Word of God by the Holy Spirit and then can reject the lies, reprove the liars, and exhort all with the Holy Scriptures of God, including our own selves.

Those who teach lies reject the words of Jesus Christ and teach doctrine that is contrary to godly living.  Instead their prideful, ignorant false teaching results in disputes, arguments, envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions and useless wranglings.  They are in it for the money and care nothing for Christ or for His precious flock.  This aptly depicts what is happening in many churches today and throughout the “Christian” community.  What a sad and deplorable situation for those who claim to be believers in Jesus Christ.  We must reject these false teachers and remove ourselves from their sphere of influence.

3If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.  From such withdraw yourself.  1 Timothy 6:3-5

 Finally false teachers and false brethren falsely profess knowledge and so leave behind the faith they once professed.  This knowledge can come from seminary, theological works, “Christian” seminars and conventions.  This knowledge can come from the scientific community, the popular culture, the New Age, or any other information stream that teaches what is contrary to the Holy Scriptures.  This false knowledge is foolish, rejects the truth and tries to place the ignorance of man over the wisdom of God found in the Bible.  The end result will be the same no matter the source, falling from the faith that was once professed.  Paul exhorts Timothy, and us, guard what is committed to our trust.  Guard the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.  Hold fast to sound doctrine!  Cling to the Word of God!  Cry out to God for His protection and deliverance!  These are perilous times in which we live in.  Truth is condemned as false; and falsehood is elevated as truth.  This is happening within the visible church.  Take care that no man deceives you!  May God’s grace be with us to protect and guide us in these perilous times.

20O Timothy!  Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge-21by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.  Grace be with you.  Amen.  1 Timothy 6:20-21

by Eliza

image: ETPR

Originally posted at Holding Forth His Word: Charge Some

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Filed under: Biblical Teachings, End Time Deception, END TIMES PREPARATION, Eternal Salvation through Jesus Christ, False Messiahs and False Christs, Good News/Gospel, , , , , , , , ,

Deliberate Determined Deception

DELIBERATE DETERMINED DECEPTION: Wolves in the Church who pretend to be godly.

DELIBERATE DETERMINED DECEPTION: Wolves in the Church who pretend to be godly.

Why is there so much false teaching in the visible church?  If we go to Scriptures with our question we can find the answer.  Paul tells us one of the main reasons for this deception in the following verses in Acts chapter twenty:

27 “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.  28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.  29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves.  31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.”   Acts 20:27-31

  Carefully examining this passage from God’s Word we can see the motivations and methods off false teachers and God’s directions for protecting the flock from false teachers.

First false teachers are savage wolves caring nothing for the flock of God, destroying the flock, they want to have their own following and they do this by teaching contrary to what the Word of God says, perverse things that lead people astray, ultimately destroying them.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…  John 10:10 

 These wolves steal sheep from God’s fold for their own aggrandizement.  They peddle the Word of God to draw away disciples after themselves, for their own material gain, appearing as ministers of righteousness.

For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God;… 2 Corinthians 2:27

 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; … 2 Peter 2:3 

 14 And no wonder!  For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.  15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness,… 2 Corinthians 11:14-15

 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them.  Galatians 4:17

 These evil workers perform the work of the devil deceiving the simple with smooth words and flattering speech.

For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.  Romans 16:18 

 They are deliberate in their deception, not just wrong, but follow the desires of the flesh as Satan leads them in their apostasy.  God will destroy these apostates

…for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.  2 Peter 2:3

The passage from Acts, and the other verses, may shed light on false teachers, but we need more information to understand why false teaching is predominating within the church today.  We are warned about the current situation within Christianity from the Bible in

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,…  1 Timothy 4:1-2

 The Holy Spirit of truth tells us that these apostates turn away from the faith and listen to devilish doctrines, spreading the lies while pretending to be genuine.  They are able to make so much progress because not only are they empowered by Satan, but they also have a willing and ready audience eagerly listening to their lies.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.  2 Timothy 4:3-4 


 It takes a mighty miracle of God to deliver the deceived from the damning deception.”


Few escape from this deadly deception.  How can these escape destruction?  Only by the grace and power of God in His merciful working can such be saved from the damning delusion.

19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.  20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.  21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.  22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb:  “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”  2 Peter 2:19-22   

 It takes a mighty miracle of God to deliver the deceived from the damning deception.

 Another reason false teaching is endemic within the church is that the overseers are not exercising the responsibility that God has given them to watch over the flock of God and to protect them from false teachers.

1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds:  “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves!  Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?  3 You eat the fat and clothe ourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock.  4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who are sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.  5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd ; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered.  6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”  7 ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:  8 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed my flock”-9 ‘therefore , O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord!  10 ‘Thus says the Lord God:  “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds will feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”  11 ‘For thus says the Lord God:  “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.”  Ezekiel 34:1-11   

 15 “I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God.  16 “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”  Ezekiel 34:15-16 

 God will judge those called to lead His flock,  who refuse to do as Paul exhorted in Acts 20:27-31, to take care to protect the flock from error both from without and within, and to diligently follow the example that Paul gave them of warning and exhorting the flock to be true to the Lord Jesus Christ and His true Word.  There are so few in leadership today who take this command from the Word of God seriously.  Why is this one of the very last things that Paul said to the leaders in the church in Ephesus if it isn’t vitally important?  Why do so many pastors and teachers quote false teachers rather than exposing them?  They are showing by their actions that they are not true shepherds of the sheep.  There is one who is the true shepherd of the sheep, though, Jesus Christ.

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.  Hebrews 13:20-21 

 Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled the prophesy in Ezekiel 34:15-16.  As Jesus withstood the false shepherds in the days of His flesh, He exposed them as evil workers, and He Himself took care of His sheep.

10The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  11 I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.  12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.  13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14  I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.  15 As the Father knows me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.  17 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.  18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This command I have received from My Father.”  19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings.  20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad.  Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon.  Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”  22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.  23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.  24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt?  If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe.  The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of me.  26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.  27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  29 “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  30 I and My Father are One.  John 10:10-30 

Jesus referred to the Jewish leaders when He walked this earth as thieves, hirelings, and ultimately, wolves.  They cared only for themselves and were just like the shepherds described in Ezekiel 34.  Today, the majority of those in positions of leadership within the visible church are just like the false leaders that Jesus rebuked.  They care for themselves and do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ by caring for the sheep.  They don’t know His voice and don’t faithfully teach and preach the whole counsel of God like the apostle Paul.  Paul was a genuine shepherd of the sheep, he knew Jesus Christ and followed the Lord’s example.  Jesus is the true shepherd who cares for His sheep doing His Father’s will, being One with the Father.  He does rescue His own from the wiles of the devil and feeds them in the pastures of the provision of His Spirit and His Word, the Bible.

9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Luke 19:9-10

In contrast to the salvation, protection and loving leadership of our Lord Jesus Christ, the vast majority of church leaders today do not reveal the false teachers by exposing their teaching and giving their names;  they then become complicit in the deliberate determined deception of false teachers in the visible church.  Another reason why there is so much false teaching in the visible church.

by Eliza

image: ETPR/Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Originally posted at Holding Forth His Word: Deception in the Church

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Filed under: Biblical Teachings, End Time Deception, END TIMES PREPARATION, Eternal Salvation through Jesus Christ, False Messiahs and False Christs, Good News/Gospel, , , , , , , ,

Deception in the Church

DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH: Do not be deceived.

DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH: Do not be deceived.

Brethren, be on your guard for deception has crept into the church wholesale.  It has crept into the church through false teachers and false brethren.

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.  2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.   3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.  2 Peter 2:1-3

 6 “My people have been lost sheep.  Their shepherds have led them astray; They have turned them away on the mountains.  They have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place.  7 All who found them have devoured them; And their adversaries said, ‘We have not offended, Because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice, The Lord, the hope of their fathers.”  Jeremiah 50:6-7

 28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.  29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.  Acts 20:28-30

 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jude 4

 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.  Jude 19

 Looking at these verses we can identify the marks of false teachers.  They secretly bring in destructive heresies and deny the Lord Jesus Christ.  Destructive heresies are doctrines that oppose the sound teaching of the Scriptures.  They will rely on books and the opinions of men rather than the pure Word of God.  They deny Jesus Christ by denying He is God, or claimed to be God; they say His redemptive work on the cross isn’t sufficient and must be added to by our works, baptism, the works of others, suffering in purgatory, or rule keeping.  They are greedy and look at believers as a means of lining their coffers.  They use books, symposiums, seminars, schools, the pastorate, videos, music, movies, supposedly “good works” and all manner of merchandise to enrich themselves.  They talk much about money, using guilt to convince those who listen to them to hand over their hard earned money.  They extort and abuse the elderly and those who are entering their twilight years.  These are evil vile abusers of those who desire to know and obey Jesus Christ.  These false teachers are the greatest hypocrites and should be avoided at all costs.  False teachers lead the people away from God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ and instead draw them away after themselves through their false teaching and perversion of the Scriptures.  They are ungodly and count on others extending grace and forgiveness to them so they can continue in their wickedness.  They encourage others to continue in wickedness and sin and don’t exhort others that the Beloved of the Lord depart from unrighteousness and sin.  They can only live in the flesh since they are devoid of the Spirit and are led by the devil.  God’s Word commands that we separate ourselves from these false teachers, and that means avoiding their assemblies, concerts, seminars, books, music, whatever the enemy uses to lead the vast majority of those who claim to be Christians astray.

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 an 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


 “Brethren, be on your guard for deception has crept into the church wholesale.  It has crept into the church through false teachers and false brethren.”


We have to remember that deception has also entered the church through false brethren.

9 That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the Lord; 10 Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.  11 Get out of the way, Turn aside from the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”  Isaiah 30:9-11

 6 My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.  Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.   Hosea 4:6

 12 I have written for him the great things of My law, But they were considered a strange thing.  Hosea 8:12

 You have plowed wickedness;  You have reaped iniquity.  You have eaten the fruit of lies, because you trusted in your own way, in the multitude of your mighty men.  Hosea 10:13

 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;  4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.   2 Timothy 4:3-4

 “For My people have committed two evils:  They have forsaken Me , the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water.  Jeremiah 2:13

 10…and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  11 And for his reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  2 Thessalonians 2:10-11

 False brethren reject the Lord and His Word, the Bible.  They reject the knowledge that comes from knowing Jesus Christ and His Word and substitute the empty opinions of men which have their origins in the doctrines of demons.  Rejecting God and His truth they embrace the lie, because they have pleasure in unrighteousness and therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion.  They desire their own way and will not submit to God’s way.  They turn away from the truth and away from God.  They are of the flesh and do not have the Holy Spirit just like the false teachers.   We can try to bring these back to the faith by the power of God, but if they still reject the truth regarding Jesus Christ and His Word, then we must leave them to God.

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that  he who turns a sinner from  the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.   James  5:19-20

 Deception has entered the church through the enemy, through false teachers and false brethren.  The enemy has always used this tactic against the people of God through the ages.  When we read the Old and New Testament, we see prophets warning the children of God over and over again to turn away from idols and lies and to cling to God and His truth.  The distinguishing marks of those who truly know Jesus Christ are their love for God, love for God’s Word and love for God’s children.  Those who are false will always reject those who are true.  Those who are true must reprove those who stray from the faith, seek to restore them to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and then reject those who refuse correction.  May God empower us for this task as we seek to live to God’s glory holding fast to His truth, His Son and His children.

by Eliza

image: ETPR/Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Originally posted at Holding Forth His Word: Deception in the Church

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Filed under: Biblical Teachings, END TIMES PREPARATION, False Messiahs and False Christs, , , , , , , , , , ,

In Name

CINO: Christians in name only.

ARE YOU A CINO: Christian in name only.

1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.  2 O my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.”  3 As for the saints who are on the earth, “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”   4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, Nor take up their names on my lips.  5 O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.  6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.  7 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.  8 I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.  9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.  10 For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow your Holy One to see corruption.  11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16 

These words penned by David under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit show the essence of those who have been redeemed by God Almighty by grace through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.   The believer’s life is found in God.  His supply is from God. His salvation comes from God.  His joy, glory, blessing and trust stem from his intimate relationship with God.  Those who follow after false gods have only multiple sorrows for their lot and inheritance.

There is a God given difference between the redeemed and the nominal Christian.  I want to look at a number of those differences from Scripture to give clarity for the reason that bedlam reigns within much of “Christianity” today.  First and foremost one must have experienced the providential sovereign work of God in their lives by the Holy Spirit.  Without God initiating and procuring salvation there would not be any among the redeemed.

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  5 Jesus answered , “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.  So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”  10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?  11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.”  John 3:3-11

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.  12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  John 1:10-13

It is the flesh that conjures up distractions, devilish doctrines, deadly vice.  It is the flesh that must be condemned, put to death.  It is only through the work of Jesus Christ, His death on the cross for our sins and His resurrection from the dead that delivers us from the futility and falsehood of the flesh.  Any who have not believed in the biblical testimony regarding Jesus Christ, believed in Who He is and what He has done, realizing that they are sinners justly condemned to eternal damnation for their willful rebellion against God Almighty, repented of their sin and received Him are not born of the Spirit and so are damned in the sins of their flesh and under the delusion of the devil.

8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.  Romans 8:8-9

The confusion and babble of false doctrines that are endemic within the visible church are the result of the work of Satan in the flesh of those who are not redeemed.  Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil and deliver us from Satan’s power and kingdom.

13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.  Colossians 1:13-14

 15 “So I said, ‘Who are You Lord?’  And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.   16 But arise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.  17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. ’  Acts 26:15-18 

 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.  9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.  10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest:  Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.  11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother.  And why did he murder him?  Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.  1 John 3:8-12 

 The sin of teaching false doctrine which contradicts the doctrine that accords with godliness found within the pages of the Bible proves that those who practice such wickedness are of the devil and are doing his bidding.  These are the ones who hate those who reprove them with the Word of God and will not repent and turn to the truth.  These men and women of the flesh practice sin under the auspices of their lord the devil and they hate those who are truly redeemed by Jesus Christ.  They cause divisions through the promulgation of their heresies, leading multitudes astray and pleasing the fleshly desires of those who listen to and support them.  Rather than loyalty to Jesus Christ and His Word they are enamored by the philosophies and intellectual wranglings of those who are bereft of the truth being citizens of the world system.

Believers in Jesus Christ have no confidence in the flesh and reject idle and profane babblings of the intelligentsia of this fallen world system.   Those who profess to know Christ but tear down the walls of separation between the world and genuine saving faith by embracing the varied and complex thought systems of this world organization headed by the devil prove they are bound for hell.  These false brethren will always persecute those who belong to Jesus Christ through biblical faith in Him.

16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  17 These things I command you, that you love one another.  18 If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own.  Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.  If they kept My word, the will keep yours also.  21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.  22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.  23 He who hates Me hates My Father also.  24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.  25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’  26 But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, He will testify of Me.  27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”  John 15:16-27


 “Work centered faith traditions, liberal belief systems, mystical practices, ecumenical assertions all deny Jesus Christ and His Holy work on our behalf and so emanate from the worldly religious structure led by Satan.”


  The worldly religious system inculcated in any and all religious belief traditions that deny the veracity of the Scriptures by rejection, supplementation or twisting also reject Jesus Christ and so are enemies of God.  That is why the Scriptures enjoin us to not love the world!

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16 For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world.  17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.  1 John 2:15-17 

 13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.  14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.  He who does not love his brother abides in death.  1 John 3:13-14 

 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.  3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome.  4 For whatever is born of God overcome the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.  5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  1 John 5:2-5 

 18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.  19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.  20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ.  This is the true God and eternal life.  21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.  Amen  1 John 5:18-21

It is obvious that false religions are of the world, but perhaps less clear are the corruptions within the visible church that deny the truth of the Scriptures regarding God’s work done in this world through His Son Jesus Christ.  Work centered faith traditions, liberal belief systems, mystical practices, ecumenical assertions all deny Jesus Christ and His Holy work on our behalf and so emanate from the worldly religious structure led by Satan.  If you are in such a body and profess to know Christ then get out!  You have no business consorting with the enemy.

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 an 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   

 If you have opportunity to share the truth with these lost souls then ask God to empower you by the Holy Spirit as you share the truth of God’s Word with them.

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death ad cover a multitude of sins.  James 5:19-20 

 As the beloved of the Lord let us prove our salvation by avoiding those who treacherously teach lies and reach out with the truth of Jesus Christ to those caught up in falsehood and deception.  We, the children of God, are His through the salvation He has given us when He opened our eyes to our lost condition, being bound by Satan and captive to this world system, and turned us to believe in His Son Jesus Christ.  Let us live as the children we are

 13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  2 Thessalonians 2:13-14

Let us throw off the works of darkness and refuse to be named with the nominal.

by Eliza

image: PD

Originally posted at Holding Forth His Word: In Name

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

God’s Call to Sinners

SINNER, WILL YOU HEED THE CALL TO REPENT?  Put your faith in Jesus Christ.

SINNER, WILL YOU HEED THE CALL TO REPENT? Put your faith in Jesus Christ.

God sent judgment upon the Israelites as they complained against God and Moses yet another time after God gave them a major victory over their enemies.

4 Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way.  5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses:  “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?  For there is no food and no water and our soul loathes this worthless bread.”  6 So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.  7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “we have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.”  So Moses prayed for the people.  8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”  9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.  Numbers 21:4-9

 Jesus references this episode in the historical account of the wanderings of the people of Israel found in Numbers when explaining to Nicodemus the way of salvation in John chapter 3.

14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  John 3:14-18

Notice that the Israelites confessed their sin and asked Moses to pray for them.  God instructed Moses to make a fiery serpent, set it on a pole, and then tell the people of Israel to look at the serpent and be saved.  God, once again demonstrated His mercy, love and forgiveness to His wayward children.  In the same way, sinners who confess their sin, turn from sin and believe in Jesus Christ are saved from the judgment of God in hell.  Just as there were Israelites who died after being bitten by the fiery serpents, there will be those who will refuse to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and so will perish in hell.


 “So dear sinner, will you heed the call and repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ?  His mercy and grace given to us in the gospel, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins and His resurrection from the dead, are sufficient to save the most wretched sinner.”


In Second Peter chapter three, Peter writes about the return of Jesus Christ and says the supposed delay is due to God’s mercy.

8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:8-9

In Ezekiel chapter 18 after the prophet has warned the people of Israel to turn from sin to live, and exhorted those who were righteous to continue in righteousness so they would not be judged, God expresses His heart toward the rebellious.

30 “Therefore I will judge you. O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways,” says the Lord God.  “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.  31 “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.  For why should you die, O house of Israel?  32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of the one who dies,” says the Lord God.  “Therefore turn and live!”  Ezekiel 18:30-32

God wants all to turn from their sin and turn to Him so they may have eternal life.  The Father in Heaven wants all to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ, placing their faith in Him as their Lord and Savior.

Twice in both the first and second chapters of 1 Timothy Paul reveals the mercy and grace that God has in store for sinners who turn to Him and turn from their sin.

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.  15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.  16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.  17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen.  1 Timothy 1:12-17

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle-I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying-a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.  1 Timothy 2:3-7  

This comports exactly with what Jesus said in Matthew the eleventh chapter:

27 “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29 Take my yoke upon you  and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you  will find rest for your souls.  30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:27-30

God has said in so many different ways that His will and desire is for sinners to repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior so they may have eternal life and be saved from God’s just judgment in hell.  Those who repent of their sin and believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and rose again from the dead have eternal life.

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  26 “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.  Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,”… Acts 3:19

So dear sinner, will you heed the call and repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ?  His mercy and grace given to us in the gospel, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins and His resurrection from the dead, are sufficient to save the most wretched sinner.  Won’t you trust your loving Savior and Lord Jesus Christ?  God bless you.

by Eliza

image: PD

Originally posted at Holding Forth His Word: God’s Call to Sinners

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

Do You Love the Sinner?

Do you love the sinner?  Do you treat others the way you want to be treated?  Do you follow the example of Jesus Christ who showed His love to sinners?  If you have the Spirit of Christ indwelling you then you will love the sinner.  Jesus instructed us how we should love the sinner.  We can see where we stand if we compare our behavior with the commandments of Christ.  We can see if we do love the sinner.

Jesus not only told us how to love the sinner, He also modeled that behavior for us.  When He was hanging upon the cross, dying for the sins of the world, dying to reconcile us to God, He said these statements from the cross showing His love for the sinner.

33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right had and the other on the left.  34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  And they divided His garments and cast lots.  Luke 23:33-34

Later on He assured one of the criminals of eternal life for his faith in Jesus Christ.

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”  40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?  41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”  42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.  43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  Luke 23:39-43

 Showing us how to love our family members, the sinners in our families, He reached out to His mother while hanging on the cross.

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!”  26 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!”  And from that hour that disciple took her to his home.  John 19:25-27

 In each instance He showed no concern for Himself, only for the sinners that He ministered to while dying on the cross, a death that for Him was unjust, but for us, our justification.  He did not retaliate; He did not cry out, He did not call curses on or threaten those who were persecuting Him.  He asked the Father to forgive them because the crucified Him in ignorance.  He assured the dying criminal of eternal life because of his statement of faith.  He delivered His mother to His beloved disciple so that she would be taken care of in the faith.  He did all for others, He did all for sinners.  Do you love the sinner?

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught sinners how to love sinners through many amazing exhortations beginning in Matthew chapter five.

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’  22 “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.  And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council.  But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.  23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.  25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.  26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.  27 You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.  30 “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you ; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for you whole body to be cast into hell.  31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’  32 “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.  33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’  34 “But I say to you, do not swear at all; neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.  36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.  37 “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’  For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.  38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  39 “But I tell you not to resist an evil person.  But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.  41 “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.  42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.  43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?  Do not even the tax collectors do so?  48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heave is perfect.”  Matthew 5:21-48

 Our relationship to the sinner is to mirror Christ’s love for the sinner and God’s gracious mercy given to all, the wicked as well as the righteous.  We must love the sinner from the heart for that is where all behavior originates.  We must be severe with ourselves so we can love the sinner with purity and God’s grace.  Our conduct must be honest and humble.  This high and lofty standard is impossible for any but the ones who have been born again by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ and His awesome work on the cross for us and resurrection from the dead and who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  Additionally, we cannot obey God’s commands if we are in fellowship with false teachers and compromisers because we will be led by the flesh, and flesh begets flesh.  We must walk in the light as He is in the light in order to obey and love the sinner.  Do you love the sinner?

God continues to give His exhortation to love the sinner in the epistles; and in 1 Peter chapter three we are given glorious commands that embody true love for the sinner, the saved and the lost.

8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.  10 For “He who would love life and see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.  11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and purse it.  12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?  14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.  “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”  15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.  1 Peter 3:8-16

 Ultimately we love the sinner by doing good.  If our brothers or sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ sin against us, we must ask the Lord to bless them.  We can seek to reconcile with them, but it must be done on the Lord’s terms with grace and forgiveness.  If unbelievers attack our good conduct in Christ Jesus, we must stand our ground and continue to do good, sharing the truth about Jesus Christ and His gospel as we have opportunity.

21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps:  22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”,23  who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;  24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we having died to sins, might lie for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed.  25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:21-25

 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.  1 Peter 4:19

 Our commitment to doing good and loving the sinner bears witness to our understanding that we are doing the will of God and He is leading us in all of life.  As we love the sinner, we exemplify the glory of Jesus Christ and His love for mankind.  Let us do good to all around us that God may be glorified and the sinner saved.  During the past few years, my wonderful Father has given my husband and me the opportunity to love a sinner, a family member who has gone astray.  We have seen Jesus answer prayers and make provision as we have served Him in loving the sinner.  Do you love the sinner?  May we remember the example that Jesus Christ our beloved Lord and Savior has given us, and love the sinner as He gives us grace and opportunity.  May the Lord bless us for this blessed task.

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

Our Friend

Jesus is the friend of sinners.  What an amazing declaration!  God, the Son of God, is our friend and has done everything possible for us to know Him as our Friend.  The religious and self-righteous will never understand nor desire His friendship.  But sinners, who know their need, greatly desire and delight in Jesus Christ’s friendship.

We have recorded for us the wonderful love of our Savior in the gospels.  What a delight it is to look at these verses and be reminded of Jesus Christ’s love for the sinner, which is the most powerful revelation of the love of God towards mankind.

9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office.  And He said to him, “Follow Me.”  So he arose and followed Him.  10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.  11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does you Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  13 But go and learn what this means:  ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’  For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”  Matthew 9:9-13

 Jesus Christ perfectly displays the love of God the Father for mankind.  He sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  Jesus Christ called Matthew, a tax collector, one of the most despised people of all Israel because of his vocation, and then Jesus ate with more tax collectors and other sinners.  What was His response to the criticism levied against Him by the Pharisees because of this audacious neglect of proper religious protocol?  He declared without apology that He came for the sinner, to bring them to repentance and reconcile them to God.  Our disease of sin has separated us from God and Jesus Christ has taken the full holy judgment due us when He died upon the cross for our sins so that we can be forgiven, and He demonstrated with power that He is the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead, and that He alone has the authority to give eternal life to whomever He pleases.  Jesus is the friend of sinners!  What should the sinner’s response be to Jesus Christ?  I love the verses out of Matthew chapter eight.

1 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.  2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, I You are willing, you can make me clean.”  3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.”  Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.  Matthew 8:1-3

 Just like the leper who was untouchable because of his physical defilement, we too, as sinners, can come to Jesus supplicating Him to make us clean from our sin.  He is willing!  Just as He confirmed to the leper His willingness to cleanse him of his leprosy, so too our Savior makes it clear throughout the Scriptures that He is willing to declare the sinner cleansed of the defilement of sin, when the sinner repents of his/her sin and puts his/her faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord.  He has taken care of our greatest need, our need to be forgiven for our sins that we may be reconciled to God the Father.  He died upon the cross for our forgiveness and rose from the dead for our justification.  Jesus is the friend of sinners!

1 So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city.  2 Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed.  When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”  3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”  4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?  5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? 6  “But that you may know that the Son of Man as power on earth to forgive sins”-then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”  7 And he arose and departed to his house.  Matthew 9:1-7

 Jesus first forgave the paralytic, and then to confirm His power to forgive sins, He healed the paralytic merely by commanding him to arise, take up his bed and go to his house.  What an amazing display of God’s glorious mercy, grace and love.  The ones who questioned Him in their hearts were the scribes, the keepers of the Scripture.  They didn’t even recognize the One Whom the Scriptures reveal, nor did they know that they too were sinners and needed forgiveness.  Jesus Christ demonstrated His power to forgive sins as God in this passage, first by forgiving the paralytic, then by knowing what the scribes were thinking in their hearts, and finally by healing the paralytic.  He knows our hearts, and those who truly see their sin, believe what the Scriptures say about the Savior, and desire their sins to be forgiven, He will not turn away.  Jesus is the friend of sinners!

In both of the gospels of Matthew and Luke the general accusation given against Jesus Christ is that He is a friend of tax collectors and sinners.  Immediately after this revelation in the gospel of Luke, Jesus again demonstrates His love for sinners.

34 “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’  35 “But wisdom is justified by all her children.”  36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him.  And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat.  37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,  38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.  39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”  40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something  to say to you.”  So he said, “Teacher, say it.”  41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors.  One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both.  Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”  And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”  44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman?  I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.  45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet sine the time I came in.  46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil.  47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.  But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”  48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”  Luke 7:34-48

 The religious elites unaware of their own wickedness and oblivious to the mercy of God kept their distance from “sinners”, never realizing they too needed God’s forgiveness for their sins.  Jesus though came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).  Jesus came to save sinners, because that is the good pleasure of God the Father.  Jesus Christ demonstrated His love for sinners by accepting the love and worship of this woman who was a sinner and then forgiving her.  He also demonstrated His love towards those blinded by their religious labors, trusting in their own works to justify themselves before Holy God, by revealing the truth to them about God and His desire for all to be saved.  Jesus is the friend of sinners!

There are many passages throughout the New Testament books that attest to this love of God for the sinner demonstrated to us through His Son Jesus Christ.  I would like to focus on verses that were written by the apostle John as God gave him revelation by His Holy Spirit.

9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  12 No one has seen God at any time.  If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.  13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.  15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  1 John 4:9-15

 14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”  John 3:14-21

When any sinner, by God’s gracious mercy, repents of their sin and places their faith in Jesus Christ, their sins are forgiven and they are reconciled to God Almighty.  No longer are they under the bondage of sin, Satan, and sure damnation.  They are forgiven and given eternal life and can live for God’s glory as they trust and obey Him.  All because of the love of God the Father who sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins and rise again from the dead so that we can walk in newness of life.  When we see Jesus, the friend of sinners, we see the Father and can know that our sins are forgiven and we are the beloved of God, and all those who have like precious faith as we have are our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ.  We have a heavenly godly family with God our Father watching over us, Jesus Christ interceding for us, and the Holy Spirit indwelling us.  All because Jesus is the friend of sinners!


ED. NOTE: Who was it that called Jesus a “friend of the sinners?”

“The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.”
Matthew 11:19

“And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? hey are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.

“The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!”
Luke 7:31-34

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