Mary of CHRISTmas, a faithful sinner…

 

Luke 1:46-47 “And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”

 Luke 1:26-32 “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”

Mary of CHRISTmas, a faithful sinner…

In the drama of the first Christmas there is a perfect example of walking by faith. God begins in Luke 1:26 – “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary, The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.'” A name above all names! In no other name is salvation found.

Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

God’s request to Mary was that she walk by faith and trust Him. He asked her to take His hand and allow Him to lead her into something amazing. Mary did not insist that she see some piece of evidence before she accept God’s plan. We must understand that in the Jewish culture of those days a woman was stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock. Now think about the faith it took to obey.

God was leading her into a situation where she was suddenly and miraculously pregnant. And who’s going to believe that God is doing this? How about the arguments that may have gone through her head? She has a lot to lose if she walks by faith and goes where God wants to take her. She may lose her reputation as the “nice girl of Nazareth.” She may lose the man she loves when he hears she is expecting and he knows he’s not the father. The wedding she has dreamed about from an early age may never happen. And since, in the Jewish culture of that day, they stoned women for sexual sin, obedience could even cost Mary her life.

But Mary was a woman of faith. Listen to her response, “I am the Lord’s servant.” Those words show her heart. If Mary’s identity is, “I’m Joseph’s girl,” there’s no way she’s going

to do what God wants. If her image as the “nice girl of Nazareth” is her identity, she won’t do this. But Mary bases her identity on one thing and one thing alone. With open hands, open arms,

face looking up, she declares, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as You have said.” And because of that surrendered spirit and surrendered future, Mary carries God’s only Son in her body.

God’s most special assignments are for those who will let go of their fears and begin the walk of faith. When you know that God is asking you do something, and then the choice is; do I serve Jesus or my fears and desires? It may be to share His love with someone who has never heard (Mat 28:19, 20). It may be to develop and use your God given spiritual gift(s) for His glory. It may be to give up something very precious to you for the benefit of another (Agape Love).

It may be to turn the other cheek. It may be to be the salt that lovingly calls sin for what it is even in the face of much opposition. It may be to set aside the occupation the world and family and self gave you and take up the one Jesus has for you.

This Christmas season, take your Father’s hand and with child-like faith, tell Him, “Lord, take me wherever You want me to go.”

Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…”

If you are serious about walking by faith then take the time to check out Eph 2:8,9, Rom 12:1,2, Luke 9:23 and Phil 4:13

Advertisements

Who is the Author of the Bible…

Author of Scripture

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and wisdom and is John the author? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. The thoughts, words and wisdom in scripture are from whom is the question.

Are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and philosophies of God and not the books of men? If they are the words of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need to find truth!!  One of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night that those red letters means that God is speaking. God inspired and protects the words in black print also.

I don’t know about you but the scripture takes on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!!

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect
thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Who’s writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

While we are on the topic of scriptures Author and the importance it plays in our lives listen and heed the following.

Rev 22:18-20 “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

Spiritual Food for the Soul…

Are you spiritually hungry or spiritually starving this morning? There is only One place to go to be filled, spiritually.

Spiritual Food for the soul…

Isaiah 40:11 “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead…”

If you are a child of the King (born again) as an indicator that you are one of His you will…

I Pet 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby…”

So, do you desire to know God’s word?

Along with the desire comes the command to study God’s word. Which only makes sense being as it is our one source of truth that we can trust.

II Tim 2:15 “Study to show yourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

What areas of my life is God’s word beneficial for?
 
II Tim 3:16,17  “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so
that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

ALL…

If you do not have the desire you may not be one of His children. Not everyone who says to God that they are one of His truly are one of His. Check out the gospel of John…

Matt 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

 Romans 8:9 “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.”

John 3:3 “For truly I say unto you, except a man is born again he cannot
enter the Kingdom of God.”

And then go to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to be fed!!!!!!!!!!!

John 3:16-18 “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”

Mat 11:28 “Come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest…”

Where to find Absolute Truth….

Where to find Absolute Truth!

We all want answers to the troubles of life. So, where do you go when you need an answer? How about the Bible? Some say the Bible was and is just the writings of men as are millions of books found in the local library. Is that the case?

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and John’s wisdom? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and Paul’s wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. Just who’s thoughts, words and wisdom are they? The question is are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and truths of God or of men? If they are the truths of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need for directing our paths through life!! And if the authors are human then the thoughts conveyed there are merely that, only the thoughts of men.

Also, one of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night (kids program at church) that those red letters mean that God is speaking to us. With that thought process they unknowingly were thinking that all the other words were not from God. The truth is that God inspired and protects the words in black print also. I don’t know about you but the scriptures take on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!! Listen to what God declares about His word and then you decide.

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then the question arises about how God did it. Now listen to how our Lord recorded His word.

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The lives that God used to reveal His word to us do have significance. Those individuals and their lives had an awesome privilege in that God used their lives to point out His direction and truth for our lives. In the Bible God used the lives of 40 different people to reveal His truths. The important thing is that they are God’s truths and wisdom and not those of the scribes. The truths of scripture are God’s truths which only He allowed to be recorded as such and protects down through the ages. God also promises to protect His truths down through the ages so that no man can change them and so that every generation has them. The jot and tittle noted in Mat 5:18 are small puncuation marks in the languages God used to record His word and even those will not be lost down through the ages so that we have all the truth to make eternal decisions by.

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

One great example of how God revealed His truths is recorded in the last book of the Bible. Listen to how God revealed it to us.

Rev 1:911a “ I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Who’s writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Take a minute to thank our God this morning for giving us His word and protecting it through the ages so we can have the same truths that were revealed and recorded years ago. Yes, it is encouraging and challenging to think that God has given us truths to live by. Now it’s up to us to read and follow…………….

66 Books, 40 Scribes and ONE AUTHOR……………….WOW!

Bible Interpretation – Can I…

Bible Interpretation – Can I…

Many people today feel they are inadequate in and of themselves to interpret scripture. Some have been taught that way and some are simply lazy understanding that it takes a time commitment to do so. Either way both are wrong according to the word of God itself. Noted below are some principles for interpreting scripture that have helped me along my journey to love, honor and obey God.

Can I interpret scripture or am I dependent upon someone else to provide me with God’s truths as they see them? The answer is yes you can, but our Lord as with all questions provides some guidelines in doing so. First keep in mind that Jesus Church as defined in scripture was instituted by God and designed by Him. In it He gives some members the Spiritual Gift of Pastor, some Teacher and some of the other gifts designed to aid in our search for understanding His truths. They were not placed in the Church to dictate our beliefs but to help us in our quest to find, love, worship and obey God. Our responsibility is to check out our teachers say using scripture to do so. We are to take advantage of those persons using those Gifts and what our Lord will teach us through them.

But as you will note in the principles identified below if for some reason beyond our control we are not able to attend a biblically sound Church with those members teaching, then God the Holy Spirit says that He will teach us. So the bottom line is that God will teach me if I truly seek Him. I will need to present myself to studying scripture and then God will provide me with the truths of His word that I need for my life.

  • I John 2:27a But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you;…”
    • The anointing mentioned comes from God the Holy Spirit to ‘born again’ believers. If you have not yet trusted Jesus as your Savior you do not have the anointing.

The Principles for Bible Interpretation;

  1. Must be ‘born again’ which is when the Holy Spirit comes into us.
  2. As ‘born again’ believers the Holy Spirit becomes our Teacher and uses many means to teach us.
  3. The Church was designed by God to be one of our teachers by those within it using their Spiritual Gifts to do so. The Church if doctrinally sound supports the family teaching and interpreting of scripture.
  4. Scripture never contradicts itself so you can never take one verse all by itself to prove a point. The rest of scripture must support the point or modify it so that they all agree.
  5. You need to understand the context of the passage surrounding the verse in question as to whom it is written to, when it was written, the situation the hearers were in, etc. Most of the NT is written to ‘born again’ believers.
  6. The Bible is not solely a history book. It truths are relevant for all ages. The unsaved will see scripture and the study of it as foolishness.
  7. Bible interpretation requires study. We are to study the scripture daily to please God as those in Berea did.
  8. God’s truths never change so base your acceptance of a Church or an individual’s teaching on God’s word. No Church teaching can change or replace it. It requires you pray for God’s wisdom and your study so God can provide it.
  9. It requires faith to trust in the Holy Spirit to be our interpreter just as it requires faith to be ‘born again’.
  10. God will protect His truths or scriptures down through the ages so we always have them to live by.

The following are some Bible passages supporting these principles;

  1. Must be ‘born again’ which is when the Holy Spirit comes into us. No Holy Spirit = no salvation.
    1. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
    2. Acts 16:30b, 31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
    3. Rom 8:9 “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.”
  2. As ‘born again’ believers the Holy Spirit becomes our Teacher and uses many means to teach us.
    1. John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
  3. The Church was designed by God to be one of our teachers and those within it using their Spiritual Gifts to do so. The Church if doctrinally sound supports the family teaching and interpreting of scripture. Infallibility (Church clergy speaking for and as God) is not taught in scripture. Jesus Church is not any one denomination but is made up of all ‘born again’ believers. The only Church name or denomination mentioned in scripture is ‘the Way’.
    1. Heb 10:25 “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
    2. Rom 8:9 “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.”
    3. Acts 24:14 “But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.”
  4. Scripture never contradicts itself so you can never take one verse all by itself to prove a point. The rest of scripture must support the point in question. All scriptures are in agreement.
    1. The best example would be taking James 2:17 (faith without works is dead) all by itself. If we do we can say that salvation includes works after we accept Jesus as our Savior. Other scriptures like Eph 2:8, 9, Titus 3:5 note that salvation is by Grace through faith and not by any of our works. Gal 2:21 notes that if we can add works to what we must do to be saved than Jesus sacrifice for our sins was done in vain.
    2. Both salvation passages taken together bring us God’s wisdom. What God is saying in James 2:17 when interpreting scripture is that real saving faith will be displayed by our works as a sign of our salvation.
  5. You need to understand the context of the passage surrounding the verse in question as to whom it is written to, when it was written, the situation the hearers were in, etc. Most of the NT is written to ‘born again’ believers and must be read with that in mind.
  6. The Bible is not solely a history book. It truths are relevant for all ages. The unsaved will see scripture and the study of it as foolishness.
    1. I Cor 2:14 “But the natural man (unsaved man) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
  7. Bible interpretation requires study. We are to study the scripture daily to please God as those in Berea did.
    1. Acts 17:11 “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
  8. God’s truths never change so base your acceptance of a Church or an individual’s teaching on God’s word. No Church teaching can change or replace it. It requires you pray for God’s wisdom and your study so God can provide it.
    1. Mal 3:6A“For I am the Lord, I do not change;”
    2. James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
  9. It requires faith to trust in the Holy Spirit to be our interpreter just as it requires faith to be ‘born again’.
    1. Eph 2:8, 9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    2. Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
  10. God will protect His truths or scriptures down through the ages so we always have them to live by.
    1. Mat 5:18 18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Be sure to check out the scriptures I noted above to see if they are true using the principles noted above………..

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

Teaching Another Christ…..

2 Cor 11:13, 14 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

Teaching Another Christ

Are there church denominations today that have the name of Jesus in them but are not teaching the same Jesus of the Bible? The answer is a loud YES. And in our world one of satans biggest tools of error is mixing truth with error which also keeps mankind from recognizing and calling doctrinal error the heresy it is.

The master deceiver is good at what he does. He, satan, lied to Adam and Eve and has been lying to mankind ever since. He even tried to trick Jesus by using some scripture mixed with lies but Jesus countered him with; ‘it is written’. Jesus used scripture truth to expose satan’s lies. We must use the same scripture which fortunately never changes.

We live in a country where if you are seen as intolerant to any person or in this case religious denomination you are in the vast minority and seen as very dangerous. That thought process does not surprise me when I remind myself that the world we live in and many of its churches or denominations are not from our God but are from the god of this world, satan (II Cor 4:3, 4).

What ‘born again’ Christians must keep in mind is that the god of this world today can be partially victorious by keeping us from being the salt and light (Mat 5) that God intends us to be. Also we must remember that our God’s truths never change (Mal 3:6). Jesus proclaimed in scripture that He is the only way to restoring a broken relationship with God that sin breaks. That in our worlds view is seen as very narrow and dangerous to world unity. The truth is that most people will reject God’s truths (Mat 7:13,14). It is through Him alone that we can restore that relationship (John 14:6). That is a very narrow way but wonderful way (Rom 10:9, 10) and that truth never changes through the ages. If God’s truths change then they would not be absolute truth but temporary and intended only for the age or culture they were proclaimed in. Fortunately for us God’s word does not change through the ages as some teach. Some religions even teach that new truths are revealed down through the ages and only certain men are able to discern and record them. The bottom line is that if any view or doctrine differs from scripture it is not of God and demonic.

Those who teach ‘Another Jesus’ teach that world unity allows for many beliefs and Saviors. That also is not of God and demonic. Anyone who stands for God’s truths and not those of this world are typically persecuted both mentally and physically. We typically do not like any form of persecution which aids satan and his battle strategy to neutralize our relation with Jesus and His purpose for our lives. If our desire is to never have any spiritual opposition in our lives then that aids satan and his work to deceive manking by teaching ‘Another Jesus’ or one who’s death, burial and resurrection is not sufficient for our salvation.

One of his biggest lies and one of the hardest ones to confront is when he adds the name of Jesus to a religion along with works to be ‘born again’. When we hear a church denomination mentioning Jesus we automatically assume they are of God and that is dangerous.

The first church shortly after its being formed had that issue so it does not amaze me that we would have the same issue today. In the Book to the church at Galatia (Galatians) God the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul marveled at the fact that some were turning away from the doctrine of Grace and adding works along with accepting Jesus as being needed for salvation. Some teachers said that if the Gentiles were to be added to the church which consisted of primarily ‘born again’ Jews at that time they needed to be circumcised along with believing on the Lord Jesus to be saved. It was a ‘Jesus plus works’ doctrine to be ‘born again’. It was, ‘Another Jesus’.

Today we have some church denominations with one of them being one of the biggest our world has that teaches Jesus plus works. The works include church membership, baptism within that church, weekly attendance requirements, prayer to saints and persons along with those to God. They teach that in addition to Jesus other works are needed to be ‘born again’. That is different from but very similar to the early churches first major issue on being ‘born again’.

There are also church denominations who have the name of Jesus in them but teach that he was a great man and a prophet but was and is not God. They also need to read the scriptures in total and not just a few verses. Jesus proclaimed that he and the Father are one. Also in the Book of Revelation we see Jesus being worshipped while John bowed down to worship an Angel and the Angel told him not to do that and that we should only worship God. Jesus allows and accepts that worship in scripture which is just one of the many places proclaiming Jesus is God.

  • I John 10:28-30 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.””
  • Rev 20:8, 9 “I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!””
  • Mat 28:8, 9 “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.””

The early church had its first church council in Acts 15 to confront the issue of attaching any work to Jesus for salvation. In the Book to the Galatian church and us Paul confronted Peter for the same issue. Peter had been swayed by other Jews but to his credit when he heard the truth of the Gospel of Grace he turned away from the error. The bottom line is that God’s doctrine of what we must do to be saved has not changed based on the age we are in, the culture around us or the race or family we were born in.

Those who teach such heresy are teaching ‘Another Jesus’. Think about the church denominations around us today. Because a church denomination has the name of Jesus in its teachings does not mean it is teaching God’s truths. That is where the rubber meets the road as the saying goes. As the Bible says, ‘by their fruits you shall know them’. And I think that speaks to church denominations as well as individuals.

So how are we to tell those denominations who are in error? The best way I know is to ask any church you are reviewing what their doctrine of salvation is. And do they believe that Jesus is one part of God. A simple question like, ‘what do you teach on where you go when you die and what is needed to get there’, provides the answer. Listen to their answer very carefully. Do they add anything to Jesus sacrifice as needed to enter heaven? If they do, then regardless of the fact that they have some teachings about Jesus in their church they are still False Teachers as the Holy Spirit tells us in 2 Cor 11:13, 14 to the church at Corinth and us. “I say it once again, because a church denomination has the name of Jesus in it does not mean they are teaching what Jesus taught.”

Check out the following passages of scripture. And note how strongly God the Holy Spirit confronts doctrinal error or heresy.

Only One Gospel

Gal 16-10 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.  As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ

Paul, by God the Holy Spirits power;

Gal 2:11-16, 21 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.  And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

How God feels about those teaching error

Titus 1:12-16 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”  This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not, giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.  To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.  They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

 II Cor 11:1-4,12-15 I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me!  I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.  But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

In summary, not all church denominations with the name of Jesus in them are teaching the Jesus of the Bible. The acid test is whether or not they add anything to Jesus sacrifice as being needed to be ‘born again’. Judge wisely based on God’s word.

John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The Ragman – The Price for my life…..

II Cor 5:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that
we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him!”

THE RAGMAN – The Price for my life…..

I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like
nothing my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me
for.

Hush, child, hush, now, and I will tell it to you.

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man,
handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an
old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in
a clear, tenor voice; “Rags!” Ah, the air was foul and the first light
filthy to be crossed by such sweet music.

“Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!”

“Now this is a wonder,” I thought to myself, for the man stood
six-feet-four, and His arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and
His eyes flashed intelligence. Could He find no better job than this, to
be a ragman in the inner city?

I followed Him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn’t
disappointed.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was
sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her
knees and elbows made a sad X. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was
breaking.

The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, He walked to the woman,
stepping around tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers. “Give me your rag,”
He said gently, “and I will give you another.”

He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and He
laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She
blinked from the gift to the giver.

Then, as He began to pull the cart again, the Ragman did a
strange thing; He put her stained handkerchief to His own face; and then
He began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, His shoulders
shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.

“This is a wonder,” I breathed to myself, and I followed the
sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from mystery.

“Rags! Rags! New rags for old!”

In a little while, when the sky showed gray behind the roof tops
and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the
Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes
were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down
her cheek.

Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and He
drew a lovely bonnet from his cart. “Give me your rag,” He said, tracing
His own line on her cheek, “and I will give you mine”.

The child could only gaze at Him while He loosened the bandage,
removed it, and tied it to His own head. The bonnet He set on hers. And
I gasped at what I saw; for with the bandage went the wound! Against His
brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood – His own!

“Rags! Rags! I take old rags!” cried the sobbing, bleeding,
strong, intelligent Ragman.

The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed
more and more to hurry.

“Are you going to work?” He asked a man who leaned against a
telephone pole. The man shook his head. The Ragman pressed him: “Do you
have a job?”

“Are you crazy?” sneered the other. He pulled away from the
pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket. He had no arm.

“So,” said the Ragman. “Give me your jacket, and I will give you
mine.”

Such quiet authority in his voice!

The one armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman – and I
trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman’s arm stayed in the sleeve, and
when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but
the Ragman had only one.

“Go to work,” he said

After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army
blanket, an old man hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and
wrapped it around himself, but for the> drunk He left new cloths.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though He was
weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling His
cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again,
exhausted, old, old, and sick, yet He with terrible speed. On spider’s
legs He skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the
next, until He came to its limits, and then He rushed beyond.

I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow.
And yet I needed to see where He was going in such haste, perhaps to
know what drove Him so.

The little old Ragman – He came to a landfill. He came to the
garbage pits. And then I wanted to help Him in what He did, but I hung
back, hiding. He climbed a hill. Then He sighed. He lay down. He
pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones
with an army blanket. And He died.

Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped in a junked car
and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope – because I had come to
love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man,
and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.

I did not know – how could I know? – that I slept through Friday
night and Saturday and its night, too. But then, on Sunday morning, I
was awakened by violence.

Light – pure, hard, demanding light – slammed against my sour
face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first
wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully,
a scar on His forehead, but alive!!!! And, besides that, healthy! There
was no sign of sorrow nor of age and all the rags that he had gathered
shined for cleanliness.

Well, then I lowered my head and, trembling for all that I had
seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame,
for I was a sorry figure next to Him. Then I took off all my clothes in
that place, and I said to Him with dear yearning in my
voice: “Dress me.”

He dressed me. My Lord, He put new rags on me, and I am a wonder
because of Him.

The Ragman, the Ragman, the (my) Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John 3:16-18 “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.”

 II Cor 5:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that
we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him!”

Psalm 55:22a “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you…”