Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Spirit Behind The Words

Act 19:13  But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches."
Act 19:14  Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.
Act 19:15  And the evil spirit answered and said to them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?"

Some people think that if words are in line with Scripture, we can use them to worship God or teach truth. This argument was used at a church we were members of in regard to singing songs in corporate worship. Our argument was that we should not be singing songs written by unbelievers like Roman Catholic monks (or Word of Faith leaders like John Wimber, who's song was in our hymnal). The elders, after nine months, finally got back to us on this issue and stated as long as the words are in line with the Bible, it doesn't concern them who wrote the words. However, that is not what Scripture states.

Acts 19:13-15 is an example of how mere words--in this case the name of Jesus--is not enough. It is the spirit behind the words that matter. The demon did not recognize the Jewish high priests sons who used the name of Jesus to exorcise demons because they were not in Christ Jesus.

Also, it's tantamount to offering strange fire to God in worship.

Exo 30:9  "You shall not offer any strange incense on this altar, or burnt offering or meal offering; and you shall not pour out a drink offering on it.

Lev 10:1  Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them.
Lev 10:2  And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.
Lev 10:3  Then Moses said to Aaron, "It is what the LORD spoke, saying, 'By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'" So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.

This shows the lack of reverence, fear, and faith in God. Attempting to worship God in the flesh is not pleasing to God. What is not of Christ, what is not wrought by the HOLY Spirit, is simply unacceptable to God. A song that is written with "right" words but is written in the flesh, out of an UNHOLY spirit, is unacceptable to God and we cannot join ourselves to it and then call it "worship". it is spiritual harlotry.

Co 6:14  Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2Co 6:15  Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
2Co 6:16  Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
2Co 6:17  "Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE," says the Lord. "AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.

Joh 4:24  "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Friday, December 22, 2017

Seek To Be A Blessing To Others, Not Self-Advancement

Do not try to draw attention to yourself, to make people know that you did this or that beautiful thing. Be content to pour your rich life into other wasted, weary lives, and see them blessed and made more holy--and then withdraw and let Christ have the honor. Work for God's approval, and even then, do not think much about reward. Seek to be a blessing to others--and never think of self-advancement. Do not worry about credit for your work, or about building monuments to yourself; be content to do good in Christ's name. ~JR Miller

Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

To Comfort God's Afflicted People

If we are to comfort God’s afflicted people, we must, first, be afflicted ourselves. Tribulation will make our wheat fit to be bread for saints. Adversity is the choicest book in our library, printed in black letters, but majestically illuminated.
Job makes a glorious comforter and preacher of patience, but no one turns either to Bildad, Zophar or Eliphaz, who were “miserable comforters” because they had never been miserable.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Genuine Faith- Don't Deceive Yourself

"Genuine faith produces good works. They who think themselves to be savingly trusting in the blood of the Lamb, while disregarding His commandments, are fatally deceiving themselves."
~ Arthur Pink, "Interpretation of the Scriptures"

Remember Dear Christian

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The "Gospel" Coalition Pushes Sodomy

The "Gospel" Coalition continues to push acceptance of homosexuality by attempting to subtlely (although it isn't subtle at all) blur the lines between "attraction" and action of sodomy. It seeks to remove the labels and claims Scripture places on homosexual desires and behavior (Romans 1) by re-naming it as "non-straight Christians" and appealing to emotions (they just see beauty in the same sex). This is another attempt at guilting Christians away from "traditional" views of sodomy and to one of acceptance. It is the same old argument of recent years that one can be a homosexual of the heart and yet be a Christian. This is  a lie according to Romans 1. Moreover, it has the flavor of the Hegelian dialectic method; that is, Mao's Law of the Unity and Struggle of Opposites.  "Between the opposites in a contradiction there is at once unity and struggle, and it is this that impels things to move and change.” This is also used by Rick Warren in his inter-faith attempts.

Here are some excerpts from TGC's article by Ed Shaw reviewing a new book from Nate Collins in All But Invisible: Exploring Identity Questions at the Intersection of Faith, Gender, and Sexuality. It's worth noting the article bio of Shaw: "Ed Shaw is the pastor of Emmanuel City Centre in Bristol, England, and part of the editorial team at Living OutHe loves his family and friends, church and city, gin and tonic, and music and books. He is the author of Same-Sex Attraction and the Church: The Surprising Plausibility of the Celibate Life (IVP)"


These complex and subtle differences require deep thought, and Collins’s book is an important entry in this category. He provides new vistas in this conversation which deserve our attention. Though he lands in some different places than we do (for instance, in how we choose to label our sexual orientation), we both benefited from reading his book....

The most important idea is Collins’s presentation of aesthetic orientation. He argues that viewing gayness and straightness through the primary lens of sex urges misrepresents the experience of gay people and furthers the stereotypes of gays and lesbians as sexual deviants. Instead, he proposes placing the locus [sic]of orientation in beauty, rather than sex. This move has at least two strong positives that are desperately needed in the conservative church.
First, it militates against both shame and stereotype: we don’t need to feel guilty when we notice God-given same-gender beauty; we do need to confess sin when we imagine having sex with the beautiful person in question. Moral culpability is rightly placed on our response to temptation, not on the presence of temptation itself.
Second, it rightly captures the nuance of attraction. That pull toward another human is so much more than physical, and those of us who experience same-sex attraction deal with this pull in many ways.
However, the label of “aesthetic orientation” also presents some mild problems. It relies heavily on the subjective experience of each person’s attraction, and may overemphasize the difference between straight and gay responses to beauty on this basis...
End quote.

He also says,
Notably, Collins acknowledges that one of [his] main arguments in this book is that being gay (understood as an aesthetic orientation) is not sinful in itself” (303). 
The biggest weakness of All But Invisible is its academic tone.
End quote.
I have said previously on this issue:
I consider this book and author and teaching to be another attempt at shaming Christians for their rightful disdain for sodomy. It is an attempt at trying to shame a normal reaction to such utter perverted wickedness such as sodomy (and in increasingly with pedophilia). It is to side with the world on this, even if he claims that he's in the "non-affirming" camp. That, by the way, isn't the same as rejecting all of homosexuality. It's a step down to seem more "balanced" and not as sharply against it. God however, is against sodomy and sodomites: it is a damning sin and one so wicked and perverted that He destroyed entire cities (at least three or four) because of it.
God's condemnation of homosexuality is abundantly clear--He opposes it in every age.
- In the patriarchs (Genesis 19:1-28)
- In the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:2220:13)
- In the Prophets (Ezekiel 16:46-50)
- In the New Testament (Romans 1:18-271 Corinthians 6:9-10Jude 7-8)
God says that even the desires of homosexuality is perverted (see Romans 1).
In Matt. 5 Jesus says that the lusts in the heart are tantamount to doing the sin with the body before God. Moreover in Romans 1 sodomy is listed as "LUSTS of their HEARTS" that God finally turned those who refused to acknowledge Him, over to; that He gave them up to "a debase MIND".Scripture also lists sodomy as "unnatural", "dishonorable passions", and"consumed with passion for one another". Such is the description of those who refuse to acknowledge God as Creator. For those in Christ, they DO acknowledge Him as Creator and moreover, love and obey Him, therefore they don't suffer such hardness of hearts. They have a NEW heart at regeneration. Previously I posted on God's plan for the homosexual agenda. In it I quoted John MacArthur [his note of where Scripture condemns homosexuality] and I think it bears repeating: God's condemnation of homosexuality is abundantly clear--He opposes it in every age. - In the patriarchs (Genesis 19:1-28) - In the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13) - In the Prophets (Ezekiel 16:46-50) - In the New Testament (Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Jude 7-8)
So if God is so clear on homosexuality, there is no way to accept it on any level, but that's what the liberals are doing as they secretly sneak in among us and then redefine things by trying to cloud the issue regarding sodomy. They try to use "science" and psychology, and even try to equalize the unnatural passion and lust of sodomy as if its like any other sin. That way they can play the victim and say it's merely a struggle like, say, drinking (eternal victimhood is a play right out of psychology's playbook---you never have victory over the sin or its desire but rather always struggle, thus always "recovering" but never recovered).... If liberals can't get sodomy into the churches by full frontal attack, they'll do it by a more subtle means--incrementalism, psychology, the great sin-equalizer, and victimization....
Yet in all cases homosexuality and it's lusts of the heart are condemned throughout all of Scripture. It is a damnable sin according to  1 Corinthians 6:9-10Jude 7-8.
More on articles I've posted on the issue of sodomy and Evangelicalism here.
Here I posted on the sin of sodomy desires.
The Gospel Coalition should be renamed The Great Compromise. It no longer stands for the biblical Gospel and frankly it hasn't for quite some time.

Scripture, Salvation, and Sanctification

Never believe the Roman Catholic lie that without her, Christians didn't have the Bible. God Himself has not only preserved His Word, but it is through that Word that we are born again and sanctified. Without Scripture, neither can happen.

1Pe 1:23  for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 
1Pe 1:25  BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER." And this is the word which was preached to you.

Joh 17:17  "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Unbelief Is Not Passive Nor Neutral

"Unbelief is much more than a lack of believing or failure to assent unto the Truth; more than an error of the judgment. It is not simply an infirmity of human nature, but a vicious and culpable thing. Unbelief is a virulent and vicious principle of opposition to God. So far from being passive, it is an operative and active principle. It has a rooted aversion of God: “They did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Rom 1: 28). It is that which causes the wicked to say unto God, “Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways” (Job 21:14). It has an inveterate hatred against a life of holiness (Pro 1:29; 5:12, etc.)."
~ Arthur Pink, "Brethren, Beware!"

Sunday, December 10, 2017

God's Word

"Gods Word is to be received with childlike simplicity and not quibbled over: received as a whole, and not merely those parts which appeal to us or accord with our views.....Where a prejudiced mind and a caviling spirit obtain, argument is useless; and we can but leave them unto the sovereign mercy of the Lord.....When God has spoken, that settles the matter. No room is left for debating or reasoning. It is vain for us to discuss and dispute. Our duty is to submit. The Word itself must regulate our worship and service, as well as everything else. Human opinions, human traditions, custom, convenience, have nothing to do with it. Divine revelation is our only Court of Appeal."
~ Arthur Pink 1886-1952

Growing In Grace

Not an intellectual pursuit. Not knowing Greek or Hebrew. Not knowing *about* God & doctrine. Not a tagline. Not a commodity to make a career in saying such things. But actual, real, living humility before God MORE than when we first begun.