ARE YOU SAVED BY ASKING JESUS INTO YOUR HEART

January 23, 2020

There are those who say that all you have to do is ask Jesus into your heart and you will be saved. Those are the words of man. The words of man should always be tested with the Words of God. The Word of God is the Bible, so what does the Bible say about that claim?

God says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16 NIV) The verse seems somewhat softened by the second part of it. If you do not want to believe the first part, then because it does not say ‘Those who do not believe and are not baptized will be condemned’ one might think baptism is not necessary. If that is the way you read the verse, then ask yourself why God would include baptism in the second part of the verse? If one doesn’t believe in the sacrifice of Jesus then why in the world would they allow someone to baptize them? It would be redundant to repeat baptism in the second part of the verse.

Those that claim that you only must say Jesus come into my heart and that will save you must do something with baptism, because God’s Word says much about baptism and therefore they realize it is necessary to somehow nullify it. So, they make the claim that it is only symbolic in nature! Again, what does the Word of God say? Does it agree that it is only symbolic, or does it say baptism actually has the power to change someone?

“(All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)” (Luke 7:29&30 NIV)

You see that baptism is not symbolic, but powerful to add understanding to those who believe and are baptized.

If that animal Satan can convince you that baptism is not necessary then he has accomplished his goal, which is to deceive you and cause you to be condemned as Mark 16:16 states.

Jesus told his disciples go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mat 28:19 NIV). If you are listening to some one who is telling you that all you have to do is invite Jesus into your heart, then he or she is not doing what Jesus said to do and they are in great danger and they are also placing you in danger as well.

Baptism makes straight the way for the Lord. It washes away sin so the one without sin (Jesus) can become one with one that has, or rather had sin. It is necessary so that Jesus does not become unequally yoked to someone who has sin. That is not to say that we will no longer sin, but for an instant we are clean and at that instant the Spirit of life can become one with us and not violate the Law.

Go, be baptized and be saved.


IS IT DISGRACEFUL FOR A WOMAN TO SPEAK IN CHURCH?

November 27, 2019

First Corinthians fourteen verses thirty-three thru thirty-eight has always puzzled and annoyed me. It just didn’t make any sense that God would stop anyone from speaking in the Church. It seemed to me that it was not fair and just to say that it was disgraceful for a woman to speak in Church. It belittles women and does not follow the Golden Rule of do to others as you would have them do to you. Paul would not like it if someone told him that it would be disgraceful for him to speak in the Church, so he should not have said it about anyone else.

God has finally revealed the answer to me, only because it seemed wrong to me and I keep asking, not because I am any more special than any of His children. I have to laugh, because the answer as always been there and just as plain as the belittlement: even in the same verse! Do you see the answer? It is the last phrase: as the Law says!

Paul spent much time declaring that we, who have been baptized, are now free from the Law. However, he would still place women under the Law!

We all look at Eve and condemn her for being tricked by Satan, but as Christians we should have compassion instead of condemnation for Eve. Adam was right there at the time Eve was tricked (Gen 3:6) and he did nothing to keep it from happening. He also was tricked by Satan and was just as guilty as Eve: maybe more so as he did nothing to stop it. All of us who condemn Eve have also been tricked by Satan, but we, both men and women, also blame others for our mistakes! Like little children that say ‘he did it first’: as if that makes us innocent!

How great is the grief of Eve for being the first to sin, but instead of sharing her grief we blame and condemn her! That doesn’t say much for our Christianity does it?

Paul says, “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.” (James 2:1) and then he shows favoritism toward men! Women are part of the body, just as men are, (Gal 3:27&28 NIV) “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Paul also says, (1 Tim 2:11-14 NIV) “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.” I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

I would say that a man should also learn in quietness and full submission, so what is the difference? Adam was formed first, so what? Eve was formed from Adam, not from anything else. Actually, Adam was formed from dirt, so because Eve was formed from Adam, she was a little farther from dirt than Adam was. Paul was wrong about Adam when he said Adam was not the one deceived, of course Adam was deceived and became a sinner.

Now, Paul says, (1 Cor 14:37&38 NIV) “If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.” If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.

Well, I do think that I am spiritually gifted, but I do not believe that what Paul wrote is the Lord’s command. The commands of Jesus are only two,”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” He says nothing about condemning women. So, I will side with my Lord and if I am ignored because of it, then so be it. After all no one but God and I know who I am, so who will you ignore?

All of God’s children sin. That includes Paul, although it is bold of me to point it out, still it was wrong and very inconsistent of his other teachings to belittle women. Paul’s statement about it being disgraceful for a woman to speak in church is Paul’s command not our Lord’s command. He says it clearer in (1 Tim 2:12 NIV) “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” The key word there is “I”. God certainly permits women to have authority over men as He appointed Deborah as a leader of all Israel.

So, if you are a woman, do not let others belittle you by quoting just one verse from the Word of God. If someone should do so they do not yet understand.


WHY DO CHRISTIANS HAVE TO SUFFER?

November 11, 2019

As Christians we understand that God is all knowing and all powerful, so why does He allow His children to suffer? We have all asked that question when we or other Christians suffer. We know that God can end the suffering with only a word, but He does not and those whose faith is weak are further weakened.

Satan whispers in the ears of believers and unbelievers ‘If there is a God then He would heal His followers and not allow them to suffer’.

Christians pray to be healed and released from the pain and suffering. They seem to think that God does not hear them and some even ask others to pray for them, as if that would make a difference!

I have had this question myself and so I asked God why. Now, I know that the Spirit of God lives in me and I know that the Spirit was given to me to teach me all things. That is to say I believe God, so when I asked there was a small thought somewhere, in the back of my mind that I am sure came from the Spirit. He asked me, “How would anyone know what they were saved from, if they did not experience it?” This question answered my question. If we do not experience pain and suffering then they would be only words and we would be saved from only words. Our salvation would mean nothing.

However, as I thought about it more I understand that because God lives in me, when I feel pain He also feels the same pain right along with me. We tend to think that God is somewhere in Heaven, sitting on His throne, aloof from the earth. However, I know that He lives in me and is part of me and I understand, because of that He knows and also feels the same pain; maybe even more than I do. It was necessary for Jesus to suffer and so our Father let it happen, though He could have stopped it. It must have been doubly hard for Him. Because He also loves all of His children it must be very hard on Him to hear one beg Him to take the pain away.

Having said this I am sure that He will take all of our pain and suffering away when He sees it is time. He will take us home and we will never feel pain and we will never suffer again. Those who are left will look at our body and think God took our life and did not heal us and Satan will affirm their thoughts. But the one that is taken will know that God keeps His Word and heals His children.


THE SABBATH AS I UNDERSTAND IT

November 9, 2019

Has anyone else wondered why and what the Sabbath is? Why did God command Israel to do no work on the Sabbath?

Yes, we all know that God said that the Sabbath was holy to Him (Exo 16:23), but does no one wonder why a day of no work would be considered holy?

So, I believe that the Sabbath rule that God gave Israel pointed to, or was a symbol of this day, just as sacrificing a lamb was a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus. It seems to me that all of the Law of Moses was symbolic.

I must start my explanation with the very first verses in the Bible. I understand, because God gave me this understanding, that the days revealed as the seven days of creation are days of God’s time frame; not man’s 24 hour days. They cannot be days of man’s time frame, because the two great lights that mark the days of man were not created until the third day of creation. God’s days are marked by what He set out to accomplish. They are not the 24 hour days that are marked by the sun and moon, which are the length of man’s days.

If you think about it you can see that everything that was created before verse 5 was created before the first day. There can be no morning before there was light. After light was created it was possible to have an evening, so when the Bible says. “And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day”, you can see that the sky was created on the first day and everything that was created before verse 5 was created before the first day.

Understanding this one can see that man was made on the fifth day, not the sixth day. Most people think man was made on the sixth day. I see the sixth day as everything that happened and is explained after verse 31, until Jesus came as the sixth day.

Scripture says, (Mat 4:15&16 NIV) “”Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles–” “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.””

I believe that was the dawn of the seventh day. There could be a different meaning, but the concept certainly fits with what I believe.

So, now I can explain what I believe the symbolic meaning of the Sabbath is. This is the day when no work can be done to add to God’s work of salvation. One might ask ‘Why is it important to God that one should not try to add to God’s plan of salvation?’ and my answer is, because God suffered greatly to implement His plan. That is right, we seem to think of God sitting on His throne, aloof from the world and its problems, but that is not true. To attempt to add something to God’s plan is to attempt to claim credit for part of it and no one can truthfully do so.

Viewing this attempt from God’s point of view, I can understand why it would anger Him.

Because I understand that we live in the Sabbath of God’s days (God’s time frame) if I were to observe the seventh day of mans days (man’s time frame) as special, I would be guilty of not observing the Sabbath. In other words every day that I live I live in God’s Sabbath and I know that I did not and cannot add anything to the work of God. Every day is the Sabbath and every day I acknowledge that I did nothing but accept His grace. So I actually observe the Sabbath every day.


SHOULD WE PRAY FOR SOMEONE TO BE PHYSICALLY HEALED?

July 29, 2019

Well, at first glance it certainly seems the right thing to do, but the obvious is not always the right choice of action. I am going to make another strange statement, just as you knew I would. I do not believe God wants us to pray for someone to be physically healed.

Yes, I know that I seem to always say something that sounds wrong, but what I say always makes sense to me and if you think about it, I believe it will make sense to you as well.

I am aware that there are verses that say we should pray for the sick. James 5:14-20 is such an example. It seems clear to me that these verses are referring to someone who is spiritually ill, not to someone who is physically ill.

I asked myself, who is really sick and dying? Is it the Christian that is lying in bed with cancer and the doctor said he has only a few days to live? Or is it the athlete that is in perfect health, but does not know God? I would say it is the athlete that is facing death. No, already dead in his sins and will surly die the second death if he doesn’t repent and allow himself to be baptized. We all must die the first death, it is the second death, separation from God, that we have some control over and it is real death.

Here is the way I view the question. First I state the basics to myself. I believe that when I pass from this phase of my existence I will ascend to Heaven where there will be no sickness, worry, or problems that we face now. So, believing this, why would I try to stay here?

A long time ago I used to attend a small Bible study at a large church. One of the members was in charge of visitation. He once told me that some of the patients that he visited, who were very ill, would say to him, “I don’t understand why God doesn’t just take me” and I burst out laughing! You see they buy health insurance, have checkups, take any medicine that the doctor prescribes, have operations, and do anything else that they can do in order to stay here and then say “I don’t know why God doesn’t just take me”! Well, maybe it is because they were fighting like hell to keep Him from it!

(Isa 57:1 NIV) “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.”

So, I have to ask myself “Is it right to ask God to heal the physically ill and subject them to more evil, or is it right to just trust in His judgment and not ask?”

I am not perfect so I may start to feel ill and ask God to heal me, because no one wants to feel bad, but I know that what ever happens, it happens for my and your good. May God’s will be done; not mine.

There is an example in the Bible where someone prayed for physical healing and received it, even though it was not the will of God.

Consider Hezekiah, King of Judah. (2 Ki 18:5 NIV) “Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.”

Hezekiah became sick and God sent Isaiah to inform him that he was going to die. Hezekiah, because of his lack of faith in God, had a fit and God heard his prayer and granted him fifteen more years of life on this earth. During those fifteen years Hezekiah showed all of the treasurers of Judah to the envoys of Babylon and they came back, after Hezekiah had died and took those treasurers. They also killed many Jews and made slaves out of those they did not kill.

In those fifteen years Hezekiah also fathered Manasseh who was such a bad king that provoked God so much that He said He would wipe out Judah; and He did.

Hezekiah got what he asked for, but all of Judah suffered because he did! If Hezekiah had just accepted what God said then the Babylonians would not have known about the treasurers of Judah and Manasseh would have never existed.

(Gal 1:3-5 NIV) “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

To leave this earth is to be rescued from this evil age. To stay here only endangers us as Satan is always trying to thwart God’s plan for us.

I am old now and I am not in perfect health. I have prayed that God would heal me, but I am not going to have a fit. What ever God has in store for me is the best thing for me and for others also. So, do not pray for my physical healing and I will not pray for yours as well. Let us place our faith in God and not in what we want, or what we think is best.


DOES A CHRISTIAN HAVE TO STAND FOR JUDGMENT?

June 14, 2019

Well, I usually have a different understanding than others and this is no exception.

My answer to this question is “No”, because a Christian has already stood before God, pled guilty to sin, and asked for mercy! To stand before God, to be judged for sin again would be “Double Jeopardy”.

Now, there are those who will point to (2 Cor 5:10 NIV) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” And again I would say that we have already appeared before the judgment seat and pled guilty. Because we were honest with God and we asked to be forgiven, God has honored His Word, and granted mercy to us.

Others will point to Revelation 20:11-15 and say we must all stand for judgment and again I say “A Christian has already stood before God, pled guilty to sin, and asked for mercy”. These verses do not apply to a Christian, because they say the dead will stand to be judged, but we are not dead. (John 3:36 NIV) “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

Then there are those who would point to Matthew 10:15 and say that there is only one day when all men will be judged, but it would not be possible to judge all men in one 24 hour day. I believe the day declared in Matthew 10:15 is a day of God’s time and God’s days are defined by what He has set out to accomplish, not by time as man’s days are numbered.

I believe that we are in the morning of the seventh day of God’s time. The day began when Jesus was born. (Mat 4:16 NIV) “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” This is the seventh day, the Day of Judgment, and also the Day of Salvation, the Sabbath Day, the day when no work for salvation can be done, because God has done all of that work. Later this day God will transform this earth and everything will be made perfect, then He will enter His rest.

Consider the story of the beggar named Lazarus in the Book of Luke. The rich man had already been judged and sent to Hell where he was in torment, so his day of judgment had past and yet he asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers to warn them. You see, if there is only one day of man’s time, when all men will be judged, then it would not be possible for the rich man to have been judged and not his brothers.

To sum this up I will say this. God loves me and I do not believe He will make me stand before all of mankind and reveal my sins to them. He would derive no pleasure from humiliating me like that, because I am His child and fathers only want what is best for their children. He doesn’t even want to look at my sin, so it makes no sense that He would want others to view them.


Believe God

May 16, 2019

I am somewhat depressed, because I am surrounded by people that believe in God, but they do not believe God!

What I mean is that my peers believe there is one God and that is the God of the Bible, but even Satan believes that! They say that they believe God, but their actions show otherwise.

Everyone uses guidelines to reach understanding about any subject. Usually those guidelines include common sense and understanding God’s Word is no different. Reaching understanding of the Word of God demands that one first believe God and then one can apply common sense. It is amiss to apply common sense first and think that belief will then be the result.

God must be seen as all knowing, all powerful, and in charge of everything. If one will start their search with those beliefs about God they will come to different conclusions than one who starts their quest with the thought that they can find understanding by their own efforts.

Please, let me illustrate some of the errors I see my Christian brothers and sisters make, because they rely on their own understanding.

A very basic error is praying in public. God says do not pray in public (Mat 5:5&6), but my brothers and sisters, using their own logic, pray in public every chance they get. Instead of believing God and then seeking an answer as to why God said “Go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father”, they say to themselves and anyone that listens “It is right to pray in public”! They do not believe God when He says pray in private, because it makes no sense to them. And it makes no sense because they have not placed God first. They have placed their own understanding before God’s Words! It is really a shame, because they could say “Let us praise” instead of “Let us pray”. It is never wrong to praise God in public and always wrong to pray to God in public.

Then there is the question of who is in charge when it comes to appointing the authorities. I live in the United States and all my brothers and sisters believe that we elect (appoint) the authorities. God says He appoints the authorities (Romans 13:1). Someone is wrong, either God is wrong or we are wrong. If one puts God first, that is to say believes God over their own understanding then it becomes clear who is wrong.

I attend a small Bible Study and one of the phrases that I hear over and over is “Well, we can’t know everything”! However, when I read God’s Word it says that we have received the Spirit of God to teach us “All things” (John 14:26). Again someone is wrong. Who do you think is wrong?

Then there is Tithing. One can give ten percent to the Church, but no one can Tithe. Tithing was based on the increase of the land of Israel. If one was an Israelite and owned no land, then they paid no Tithe. You may throw rocks at me, but I believe that money is the best tool that Satan has and therefore I think a poor Church is much better off than a rich one. I base that on what God says about the wealthy and the poor; not on my own logic.

Then there is the Church service as a whole. God’s word says there should be more than one leader (Cor 14:26-31). However, it is customary in my part of the woods to have only one leader of the service. Therefore, we hear Scripture from only one point of view, one man’s view and no man has a perfect understanding. My brothers and sisters rely on a man for understanding when they have the gift of the Holy Spirit to teach them all things!

Well, I could go on and on, but I am writing this to explain why I am slightly depressed. I write about subjects of God that differ from the normal way that others understand Scripture. Others, believing that they are right, because they see Scripture from a different point of view, do not accept what I say and that is the right way to approach my view of my understanding. However, my peers do not ask the Spirit within them if what I say is true. It seems to me that if others relied on the Spirit to teach them then they would also sound like me.

If God says that He appoints the authorities, then I will believe Him. And if someone or everyone says something different it does not matter to me. I will believe God not man. I have a hard time understanding why someone will say they believe God and then demonstrate by their actions that they do not. It is depressing, because I would like for everyone to believe and understand our Father.

Take everything that I say as a question; not an answer. I am not the Spirit who has all of the answers; along with the ability to teach everything to anyone. Look to man for the questions and to God for the answers. Always start your search for understanding with the basic premise that God is right, not that you are right. But then when you agree with God, you also can be right!