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Jesus quoted verse 9 of Psalm 41 in John 13:16-19. Jesus was referring to Judas when he quoted the verse to His disciples.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.”
The occasion of this Psalm was manifestly some sore disease or affliction which God had inflicted upon David, and which gave his enemies opportunity to discover their hatred and malice against him.
David showeth God’s care of the poor, Ps 41:1-3. He confesseth his sins, and complaineth of his enemies’ treachery, Ps 41:4-9; but fleeth to God for succour, Ps 41:10-13.
—Matthew Poole’s Commentary
For the believer, Psalm 41, like all of the psalms, is a source of comfort and strength in a time of trouble.
Do you have a source of strength for the coming time of trouble?
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ”
–1 Corinthians 15:1-8
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
In John’s second and third epistles we are given sound criteria for discerning whether or not the church we are visiting can become our church home. These two epistles give the doctrinal and behavioral characteristics of a sound body, and the aberrations that attend a church that isn’t serving the Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to consider each epistle one at a time and then sum up what is revealed about faithful and unfaithful churches at the end of this post.
1The Elder, To the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, 2because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: 3Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 4I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. 5And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. 6This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 7For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-Christ. 8Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. 9Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11for he who greets him share in his evil deeds. 12Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 13The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.
“Again, this brings us back to the elders of the church being devoted preachers and teachers of God’s Word so that His commandments, and especially the commandment to repent of our sin and place our faith in Jesus Christ, are taught during every opportunity. This means the Bible is opened and taught from rather than books written under human inspiration.”
Churches eligible to become our church home are characterized by truth and love. The two must go together hand in hand. The church must be built upon the truth that is found only in God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant Word, the Bible. God’s truth endures to all generations, as He has promised in His Word, and so churches throughout time that are His have always been built upon the Bible. The truth of God gives us the gospel of Jesus Christ which establishes us in the grace, mercy and peace of God that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
We are established in truth and love through faith in Jesus Christ, and so any church walking with Christ through faith in Him will hold fast to the truth and bear the fruit of love. Love for one another is a natural result of walking in the commandments of God. Again, this brings us back to the elders of the church being devoted preachers and teachers of God’s Word so that His commandments, and especially the commandment to repent of our sin and place our faith in Jesus Christ, are taught during every opportunity. This means the Bible is opened and taught from rather than books written under human inspiration.
This also means the New Testament epistles are given special consideration since they clarify the doctrine of our faith and the behavior God commands from those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. Teaching exclusively from the Scriptures will not only edify believers but will also protect the flock of God from deceivers that are rampant throughout the visible church. Churches that are safe havens for believers will teach and warn God’s children about the false teachers who are ready to pounce on them and bring them into bondage.
They will warn their beloved brethren to beware of those who make a show of declaring that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh while at the same time opposing what He has clearly revealed in the Scriptures. Such evil workers are anti-Christ. The elders of a faithful church will embrace the whole of the doctrine of Christ taught throughout the Scriptures, and warn against those who attack and contradict what the Bible teaches about God’s beloved Son, and will not refrain from naming names. These loyal shepherds will be respecters of God, fearing Him, and will not be those who respect men, being ensnared in the trap of fearing man. Elders of a God-fearing church will reject the profane person, no matter his/her reputation within the visible church and will warn against supporting that person in their sin against God and His Son Jesus Christ.
They will preach and teach the Word of God with a fervent desire to glorify God and edify His people because they love Jesus Christ, love His Word the Bible, and love His body, His called out ones. The conduct of the eldership and the church is also as important as what they teach.
1The elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: 2Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 5Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, 6who have born witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, 7because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. 8We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth. 9I wrote the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. 11Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. 12Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true. 13I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; 14but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.
Those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and love His people, always desire the best for them. Genuine godly leaders rejoice over the well-being of their flock and are especially joyous when Christ’s disciples are walking in the truth of the Word of God. They have heart-felt gratitude and delight when the people of their pasture are serving one another in love and faithfully ministering to other believers, even those whom they do not know.
The church that is serving the Lord will be busy promoting the gospel of Jesus Christ and supporting those who are doing the work of sharing His gospel anywhere in the world. The leadership of such a church will have a good reputation for serving the Lord Jesus Christ and being under His authority through obedience to His Word handed down through His servants the apostles and prophets, preserved for us in the Bible by God’s special providential care.
They will believe and teach that the Bible we have today, handed down through the Majority Text, is the extant inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. The elders will not join in with those who love to promote their own opinions and intellectual attainments, claiming they are authorities, they will instead humbly and faithfully follow the Scriptures as they are led by the Holy Spirit. These men of God will not promote division by preaching and teaching the doctrines of fallen man, but will rightly divide the Word of truth, relying upon the Holy Spirit to teach them and lead them in their study of the Word of God.
Therefore, they won’t open the Bible to promote some man-made doctrine but will instead expound upon what God has said in His Word, clarifying and elucidating the great treasures of truth, wisdom, the godly doctrine all centered upon our glorious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. A church that can become home to us will encourage us in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, pointing us to Him and will support our desire to love one another. The leaders of such a church will be a wonderful example of those with faith in Jesus Christ who are walking in truth and love. They will encourage believers in their love for Jesus Christ, trust in the Bible and love for one another.
7Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:7-8
There will be churches that we consider that are promoting the works of man through what they teach and what they do. They will not be comfortable with declaring that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God. The leadership will not be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ, and they will fear man rather than God. The work of the flesh will be evident because genuine love will be absent and there will not be a consensus on the repository of the truth.
The church will be characterized by those who are following one teacher or another and want their brand of Christianity taught from the pulpit. There will be disharmony and disunity and every work of the flesh. The eldership will not encourage faith in Jesus Christ and will try to manipulate the members of the fellowship often times straight from the pulpit. They will be deceitful workers in it for the money, glory or some other nefarious reason. This is definitely a church to run away from.
1But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such turn away! 2 Timothy 3:1-5
3For 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, 4and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
“What they are in effect saying is that they don’t believe we have the Bible extant today and therefore they can play fast and loose with its interpretations. Beware of such churches!”
A church that we can call home will be characterized by love for the truth, love for the Savior Jesus Christ, love for His people and love for the sinner that motivates them to share the gospel and be gracious givers. They will love their leader, but will not so highly esteem him that he becomes their focal point rather than the Lord Jesus Christ. Their elders will exhort and teach them from the Word of God the Bible and they will not use the modern versions but will instead use the versions that are translated from the Majority Text. The believers of the church will believe that God works in their lives through His Holy Spirit, and the Spirit uses His Word to encourage His children in their faith and walk with the Lord and love for one another.
Before you even decide to attend a church, you can check out its website and see what it has to say about the Bible, and whether or not it has any of the catch phrases that are popular with many of the churches that are following the examples of either the post-modern, contemplative or church growth trends. One clear indication that they might not be a church worth visiting is the statement that they believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God in the original manuscripts. What they are in effect saying is that they don’t believe we have the Bible extant today and therefore they can play fast and loose with its interpretations. Beware of such churches!
Another item to be wary of is if they promote certain man-made doctrines which cause division and turn away those who want to put their faith in Jesus Christ because of their unbiblical over-emphasis on God’s sovereign election without emphasizing God’s gracious call to sinners to repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ and His glorious work for us upon the cross when He died for our sins and then rose again from the dead for our salvation. By knowing the Bible and being led by the Holy Spirit we can find fellowship with other believers for our mutual edification and progress in our faith. May God graciously grant us godly fellowship with one another.
Within John 12:1-11 abides a microcosm of the spectrum of human response to Jesus Christ. As we examine each type of response we must ask ourselves which one represents me?
1Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 4But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5”Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. 7But Jesus said, “Let her alone she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always”. 9Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus. John 12:1-11
Mary with selfless abandon poured out her love upon her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by anointing His feet with costly spikenard and drying His feet with her hair. Her devotion was pure and profound. She gave no thought to her surroundings or the audience around her, her act of devoted love was for an audience of One. Her heart belonged to Jesus; given the opportunity she spent many wonderful moments at His feet learning from Him. She did this act of worship in response to what she knew was coming. She believed what He said and knew that He would soon die. She was preparing His body for burial.
We are told in the gospels of Matthew and Mark that she also anointed His head. She loved Him so much and was unashamed to humbly worship Him bowing at His feet with holy adoration. Are we like Mary? Do we love Jesus more than any other? Are we willing to unabashedly express our devotion for Him and to Him regardless of how others view us? Do we constantly resort to His Word the Bible so that we can learn from Him? Lord God Almighty may we please have unquenchable devotion for you.
38Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus feet and heard His word. 40But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
1Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. John 11:1-5
Jesus Christ had a special relationship with Lazarus, and his sisters, Mary and Martha. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus was welcomed by them and that He loved them. He revealed Himself to them through the death and resurrection of Lazarus. He turned a trial of great sorrow into a triumph of His mercy, grace, love and power, showing those He loved in an unmistakable way His authority over all.
When Jesus called Lazarus from the grave He revealed His signature as the Lord over all creation. Death has no power over our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ or over those who belong to Him by faith. He has His beloved in His grasp for time and for eternity and no one or anything can snatch them out of His hand.
Are we like Lazarus, Mary and Martha held firm in the grasp of our loving Savior and Lord Jesus Christ? Have we welcomed Him into our lives as the only Lord of glory, sent by the Father for the redemption of His called out ones? Have we responded to the gospel call of turning from sin and turning to Him by believing what God has told us about His Son Jesus Christ in the Bible?
Lord may You bring about the transformation of sinners to saints as they believe in Your wonderful Son Jesus Christ and the gospel of salvation; that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, according to the Scriptures, was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. As You have said, all who call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved.
When Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead He gave great witness to His power over death. Many who witnessed Christ calling for Lazarus to come forth believed in Him. The Jews who were there to support Martha and Mary during their grief were witness to the power and glory of Jesus Christ when He raised Lazarus from the dead.
17So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house.21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25Jesus 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?” 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”….
32Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in spirit and was troubled. 34And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus wept. 36Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” 37And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” 38Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43Now when He has said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and His face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.” 45Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things that Jesus did, believed in Him. 46But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. John 11:17-27 & 32-46
This miracle of raising a man who was four days in the grave to life brought many to believe in Jesus Christ. Additionally, as word spread other Jews came to see for themselves Lazarus raised from the dead and also believed in Jesus Christ because of this mighty miracle He performed when He spoke and Lazarus obeyed and came back to life and exited the cave that had been his grave.
Have we placed our faith in Jesus Christ through believing the testimony of the Scriptures regarding God’s Son? Have we responded to people being transformed by the power of Jesus Christ by believing in Him? Has our faith in our Lord and Savior strengthened as we have learned of His mighty miracles recorded for us in the Bible? Have we believed the testimony that Jesus Christ gives us eternal life?
Lord Jesus Christ You are Lord over all creation and the Savior of the world. Who has the power to save and give eternal life, but You alone? You are able to do exceedingly more than we can ask or think, may we glorify You as we believe You and obey.
Jesus’ disciples were with Him at the supper given for Him at Simon’s house. These men who had followed Him and stayed true to Him during His trials here on earth were strengthened in their faith. That was why Jesus delayed in getting to Bethany on Lazarus’ behalf.
11These thing He said, and after that He said to them, ”Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” 12Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” John 11:11-15
Everything that Jesus did was for His Father’s glory, to bear witness to the truth and for the blessing of His disciples. Despite outward appearances, His plan was for the testimony of the truth to the glory of the Father and the benefit of His chosen ones. He still works for these purposes. Are we like the disciples relying on Jesus Christ to strengthen our faith during the many incomprehensible experiences in our lives? Do we believe that everything works together for good for us as His chosen ones? Heavenly Father please help us to trust You even when what is happening in our lives doesn’t seem to make sense and is exceedingly distressful.
28And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28-29
But among the disciples was one who couldn’t benefit from the many mighty proofs that God had given about His Son Jesus Christ, Judas Iscariot. He was an unbeliever, confirmed in his apostasy. He didn’t love Jesus; he was in it for the money. He appeared to be one of the disciples, so that he fooled them, but inwardly Judas cared only about lining his pockets. The Lord allowed him the position he coveted so he would be confirmed in his treasonous faithlessness. In all three accounts of Mary’s devotion, it is recorded that Judas complained. He even led others of the disciples to also speak against this waste. The difference is they did it in sincerity, caring for the poor, he did it hypocritically caring about the loss of stolen revenue.
How despicable that Judas could betray the Lord of glory for a few measly coins. What a wretched and deceived apostate. He is the example of any and all who attach themselves to Jesus Christ for worldly gain. Are we following the Lord for worldly gain? Are we like Judas ones who have every appearance as a true disciple and can betray our Lord with a kiss? Are we apostates who have rejected the truth and believed the lie? Do we love power, prestige and possessions all the while feigning loyalty to our Lord?
Dear Lord Jesus deliver us from the deceitfulness of worldly gain, may we gladly lay aside all in our allegiance to You. If we are betraying you through adherence to falsehood deliver us from the lie by the power of Your truth.
Even though every miracle our Lord performed was incontestable, the religious establishment refused to believe and instead hated Jesus Christ with a virulent hatred. Jesus reproved them because of their wickedness, and rather than repent and believe in Him, they detested Him. They tried many times to trap Him so they could either discredit Him or have a reason to turn Him over to the Roman authorities, but they always failed because Jesus knew their hearts and their wicked schemes.
46But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation perish. 51Now this he did not say on his own authority, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. 53Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.John 11:46-53
We know from the Scriptures they succeeded in their evil plot to kill Jesus. We know that Judas aided them in their murderous scheme. We also know from Scripture that this was the will of God, and what they meant for evil God used to bring about the greatest act of deliverance and salvation the world has ever known. Jesus Christ crucified is our hope of glory! Jesus Christ risen is our guarantee of eternal life! However, many religious people hate the Biblical Christ and reject Who He is and what He, Jesus Christ, has done for us. Do we believe the biblical message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? Do we know that we have sinned against a holy God and are desperately in need of the salvation that is offered to us through His Son’s death and resurrection? Do we believe that eternal life is the gift given to those who place faith in Jesus Christ, but eternal damnation awaits all who reject God’s Son and do not obey His gospel?
Lord Jesus Christ thank you for that greatest act of love ever performed when You died upon the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead for my justification. Lord Jesus Christ, thank you that I am reconciled to God through You being the propitiation for my sins. I praise you and love you Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you Father for the gift of eternal life through faith in Your Son!
In that amazing passage of Scripture we see the gamut of human response to Jesus Christ the Son of God. So the question is where do you recognize yourself? Which one are you? Ask the Lord to reveal your heart to yourself so you can either rejoice or repent. There is a final group not represented in that passage, but scurrying about in that historic day, the hordes of humanity who never even gave nor today give Jesus Christ a single thought. May we who have proven to love the Lord Jesus Christ reach out to them with the truth of the gospel and trust God for their salvation.
30And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in the book; 31but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31
The message of salvation through faith has been maligned and attacked from all quarters. Religionists give a man-made definition of this biblical truth and one of the main areas of attack is to remove justification by faith from the equation. Faith is minimized and grace is over-emphasized so those who are saved are passive recipients of salvation; they are barely even required to believe what God has told us in His Word.
Or faith is minimized and work centered grace is taught. One of my favorite examples of the difference between faith and unbelief, because of its clarity, is given in Numbers chapters 13 and 14 where only two faithful witnesses were found to encourage the Israelites that they could indeed go into the Promised land and possess it, for God was well able to give it to them.
25And they returned from spying out the land after forty days. 26Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittities, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” 30Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.
1So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2And all the children complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt? 4So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.” 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9“Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us.” 10And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.11Then the Lord said to Moses “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?” Numbers 13:25-14:11
So it is today within the visible church that is in gross rebellion against God establishing a bad report about the grace of God given to us in Christ Jesus by spreading lies about salvation, faith, justification, imputed righteousness, sanctification, eternal security, election, depravity, and every doctrine that undergirds salvation. The lack of faith in Christ Jesus and what He has accomplished for us finds its co-conspirators in the myriad of damnable doctrines given by satan to willing evil workers bent on deceiving and destroying God’s flock.
The human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and so the doctrine of justification by faith is railed against by those who can’t believe what God has told us in His Word, the Bible.
8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
1Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-unless you believed in vain.3For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and the He was buried, 4and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 9For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was in me. 11Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9receiving the end of your faith-the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:1-9
1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2
21But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, 26to demonstrate His righteousness because in His forbearance God had previously passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27Where is the boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31Do we then make void the law through? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. Romans 3:21-31
4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6But 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) 7or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But 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): 9that 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. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11For Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is not distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 14How 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? 15And how shall they hear without a preacher? 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!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:4-17
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
1O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4Have you suffered so many things in vain-if indeed it was in vain? 5Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?-
6Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. 10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” 11But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:1-11
The children of Augustine, the Catholic church and the Calvinists do not like the doctrine of the justification by faith of the sinner taught in the Word of God, because this doctrine overthrows their false teaching. They both over-emphasize grace; one teaches grace plus our efforts, the other teaches grace that envelopes the sinner so faith is barely necessary.
Without a doubt we are saved by the righteous work of Christ on our behalf, but just like the Israelites, we must believe what God says in His Word about His Son for that work to benefit us. Without belief in the gospel, faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we cannot be saved because we are still in our sins and trespasses and so condemned before our holy God.
Any teaching originating in the hearts of fallen man is false and always attacks the gospel of our salvation. We are counted righteous and forgiven of our sins because of Christ’s righteous work of salvation on the cross and resurrection from the dead. His work saves us, our sins are covered and God receives us as His beloved children, when we put our faith in Jesus.
1What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
4Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And who sins are covered; 8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” Romans 4:1-8
Dems get a second helping of carbon pain – No, actually the “Dems” won’t receive any such pain. The ones receiving the “carbon pain” will be all those whose electric bills will “necessarily skyrocket” (Obama’s words before the 2008 election)–and that’s when electricity will be available.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Why is the USA the only country where seemingly “random” rampages and killing sprees occur? Bonus question: And why is this a fairly recent phenomena?
So, who knew such a supposedly ultra-lib Corporate Media member like Mother Jones would be acting as a mouthpiece for the XL Pipeline folks? Because it’s clear that’s what this article is. Wonder if the article will be counted among their paid advertising?
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
-–1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – (h/t:B)
Did Christians get Gay Marriage Right – Totally clueless analysis by a writer clearly out of his element–not that it matters. The Corporate Media is not interested in “getting it right.” The CM is only interested in getting Christians–as will soon be apparent to even the most disinterested of observers.
The Catholic Church doesn’t want its adherents to read the Bible. The Church is afraid the people will misconstrue what they read without the interpretation of a priest. What’s there to misinterpret about 2 Corinthians 11:14?
Used to enjoy listening to Chris Rosebrough’s Fighting for the Faith program. Then it was noticed that for someone supposedly contending for the faith, Rosebrough offered comfort to the enemy.
The first disturbing moment came when Rosebrough interviewed Jonathan Cahn (of the Harbinger). A bigger softball, puff piece interview could not be imagined. Frankly, it was shocking and made this writer re-think Fighting for the Faith.
But anyone can make a mistake.
Then it was noticed that Rosebrough picked particularly easy targets. All of the time. Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, emergent church: Rosebrough’s a bulldog on the obviously apostate.
Not much was said about the easy targets (Joel Osteen, Word of Faith, emergent church, Church of Satan) providing the basis for a whole industry of false discernment ministries. But it appears to be the subject for a necessary future article.
In fact, Rosebrough gave comfort and support to Cris Putnam–a dealer of poison to the Body of Christ and one of the New Science Fiction Prophets. That was the third strike.
It’s not that Rosebrough can’t do good work, he can. And that’s the problem. When you know that they know better–and yet they don’t. Still, Truth + Error = Error. That’s Satan’s equation for corrupting the Church, whether people follow it knowingly or not. Steer clear of Fighting for the Faith and Pirate Christian Radio.
Google Glass users gang up on restaurant after ban – Here is the media portraying all who wear the Google Glass–the absolute latest in personal surveillance technology–as cutting edge, cool-beyond-words rebels. And if the reader will only purchase and wear Google Glass, the reader can also be a cutting edge, cool-beyond words rebel.
Some might say, “But that’s not what I read.”
Fair enough. But remember who this article is written for. It’s written for future potential purchasers of Google Glass, of whom many, coincidentally, happen to identify with the self-assertive nerd class.
Some of his portraits—even those in which the model is clothed—might shock 2010 sensibilities, but by Victorian standards they were… well, rather conventional. Photographs of nude children sometimes appeared on postcards or birthday cards, and nude portraits—skillfully done—were praised as art studies […]. Victorians saw childhood as a state of grace; even nude photographs of children were considered pictures of innocence itself.
You see how they do that? Naked kids? No big deal. Everybody was doing it back then.
In fact, the evidence is so overwhelming that even this pedophile puff piece has to admit “The evidence for Carroll’s possible pedophilia is highly suggestive but hardly conclusive.”
That’s right, on Christmas Day of 2009, when just about every business in the country was closed, numerous real estate transactions for the amount of $0.00 (free) took place in and around the town, most of which included families or public figures, such as Gene Rossen, who were in some way connected to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Christian Smith, professor of sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, oversees a continuing studying of the religious beliefs of teenagers called the National Study of Youth and Religion. After interviewing hundreds of teens about religion, God, faith, prayer, and other spiritual practices, Smith and his colleagues have identified the common beliefs that the average teenager holds:
It’s inevitable. In casual conversation, someone innocently asks what degree I’m pursuing. I say, “I’m studying for my Master’s in Biblical Studies.” And they reply, “Oh, so you want to be a pastor, then?” Sigh.
There are a great number of people who are attributing a great many things to the “Holy Spirit.” This spirit of which they speak will not speak of Jesus in any meaningful way. This spirit will not speak the gospel message.
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:“
Be aware, that in this message from Heidi Baker there is no talk about sin. No call for repentance. There is not a single line spoken about the true meaning of the atoning death of the Messiah on the cross. Why He shed His blood for our sins.
Heidi Baker present the “blood of Jesus” as the “cup of suffering and joy”. That is not the cup from Calvary hill, not the blood of Jesus of the Bible.
What if My God is bigger than Your God? – There are many idols today. A great many people believe them to be God Almighty. How many people has the reader heard say, “My god wouldn’t do this” or “My god wouldn’t do that”?
One of the consequence of the pre-trib doctrine, is a claim that it is God’s intention to separate the “Church” and “Israel”. The love for Israel is not supposed to be everlasting, as the Word of God proclaim. We are told that the Church and Israel is not supposed to stand in unity, and that their destiny is totally different. The new covenant is not for the House of Jacob. Not for the tribe of Judah.
SWITZERLAND: Swiss to allow for assisted dying for elderly who are not ill – A recipe for disaster? A generation raised on the insatiable appetites of “Me, me, me” meets the inconvenient elderly. Of course, the generation of the elderly were raised on sacrificing inconvenient babies on the altar of convenience, so perhaps it’s poetic justice?
IRAN: Supreme Leader: Jihad will continue until America is no more – The puppets in Iran and the puppets in Washington are all on the same team. The puppet in Iran’s statement was intentionally provocative. The statement was intended to stir up fear and loathing in Americans.Are you scared? Are you angry? Do you hate Iran? Do you hate Muslims?
If you answered “Yes,” you are in luck. The puppet-masters are soon to take the USA to war with the Muslim Middle East. It will help immensely if Americans are screaming “Nuke ’em!” when it happens.
EUROPEAN UNION: This is one peasants revolt that Brussels can’t just brush aside – We will see. The political forces in the EU–as they have been doing in the USA–have been whipping the citizenry into a frenzy by its outrageously favoring illegal immigrants over the native population. This has caused the rise of ultra-nationalist (Neo-Nazi) parties, which voters flock to because the mainstream puppet parties have ignored their concerns.
The Corporate Media–an arm of the government–has shamelessly promoted anger and hatred by its relentless trumpeting of extra-legal rights for those who disdain the countries in which they have settled. The endgame? Neo-Nazi ultra-nationalist parties get stronger while anger and hatred grow as a remedy for bureaucrats and non-responsive government.
It’s all a dress rehearsal for the United States, which is in the formative stages of such manipulation now.
Former Sen. John Edwards came within a few electoral votes of being vice president of the United States. But now, after a loss in the 2004 election, a brief run in 2008 ended by spectacular adultery and love-child scandal, a hung jury in a multiple-felony campaign-finance case, and the death of wife Elizabeth, Edwards has returned to the occupation in which he first made his name: the practice of personal injury law.
Edwards actually was on the short list of two to be Barack Obama’s vice president in 2008. Then the National Enquirer cornered Edwards in the Beverly Hilton with his mistress and love child. Back in the day when this writer was a heathen, the Enquirer pursued Edwards and we pursued them both.
QUESTION: IS the candlelight vigil the most useless of modern American institutions?
What does it accomplish? It is like so many other ceremonies in America: it allows people to feel involved without having to actually do anything. It allows Americans to feel like they are “taking action” without taking any action that matters.
In this regard, it is very similar to the endless pro-life marches.
The candlelight vigils resemble the rocking chair: they both give a person something to do, but no one ever goes anywhere.
At an Internet aggregator called Christian Homophobia, a variety of linked articles purporting to demonstrate that Christians hate homosexuals. The author, one Gerrit Visser, is at an immediate disadvantage due to the title of his site. There are homophobes and there are Christians, but the term “Christian homophobe” is itself a contradiction in terms.
If the person hates homosexuals, that person is committing as great a sin as the homosexual. A true Christian is not to exhibit hatred, which is the same as murder in the eyes of God. A person who has hate in his heart is separated from God.
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
—1 John 3:15
Now, there are the Westboro Baptist folks (“God hates fags“)–who are neither Baptists nor Christians–and other of their ilk who do what they do. Someone is paying the Westboro cult very good money to do what they do–which is to bring reproach to the name of Christ. But again, they are not Christians. They are a group of no more than two dozen who profit handsomely from their ungodly behavior.
Christians are commanded to love the homosexual, but they are also commanded to hate sin. Jesus died for the homosexuals just as he did for all sinners who will turn from their sin and believe on Him.
Just as He loves all of His creation, God does not desire that any should perish. God loves homosexuals–right up until the moment they die. Then the Perfect Judge must judge perfectly. Christians are to tell the homosexual of his sin and, more importantly, that God in His mercy, made a way for them to be free of sin’s shackles through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Mr. Visser defines his own terms as far as what constitutes a “homophobe.” In so doing, he rejects Biblical authority and creates his own basis for his authority.
“The existence of christian homophobia is fueled by bible interpretation. It is expressed in the condemnation of homosexual behavior. Christian homophobes label the homosexual orientation as sin. As a consequence christian fundamentalists don’t fully accept LGBT identities as categories.”
Ironically, this rejection of Biblical authority places Gerrit Visser on the same level as the Westboro performers. Perhaps if he tires of running his Christian Homophobia website, Mr. Visser might make a little money on the side by joining the Phelps clan to do a little Westboro-style preaching about hatred?
The Supernatural Worldview – Ah, the “Christian apologist” Cris Putnam! Putnam shows his true colors by penning a book in which he completes his public transformation into an apologist for the occult. Putnam had previously set up the deception by mainstreaming occultism into Christianity under the guise of breathless reporting (see Petrus Romanus).
1. Misinformed or misguided Christians – The Supernatural Worldview seeks to encourage Christians to consider that perhaps the things they THOUGHT they understood about the supernatural world might not be a complete or accurate scriptural understanding. Putnam challenges notions firmly held by many Christians today. Are all matters related to ghosts, hauntings, psi phenomena etc demonically driven, or does the Bible itself provide us with alternate ways to view such events? Putnam challenges the accepted answers, and uses sound logic as well as ample scripture references to cause one to consider other possibilities.
A quick look at his M.O. will show that Mr. Putnam’s “challenges” to anyone disagreeing with his unbiblical assertions usually consists of Putnam repeatedly asking “What are your credentials?” instead of simply responding to any questions.
Which is all he can do really. How badly he can torture the Scripture he uses to give his work that deceptive christian veneer appears to be Putnam’s primary use for the Bible.
Putnam–along with co-defendant Tom Horn–has been a shameless promoter for the occult, pagan and gnostic worldviews hiding behind a mask of Christianity. In this latest effort, he simply drops all pretenses and makes it official.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
-–1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – (h/t:B)
Why is Christianity Today ignoring Billy Graham’s end times prophecy? – 1- Because Billy Graham is no prophet; and, 2- unless Graham has repented of various public statements he has made over the last several years, Billy is not even a Christian. Of course, the Christian mass media pretends they don’t know about Graham’s heretical statements that there are ways to heaven other than Jesus–even though he made one of them on CNN’s Larry King before a national audience. This article continues the pretending. Although there are claims of Graham’s organization addressing his Freemasonry, Graham himself has never has addressed the issue that we’re aware of.