Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘gospel’

Song: I Am The Way, The Truth, I Am The Life

Posted by Job on February 1, 2012


A song based on the Gospel of John, more specifically the 7 “I AM” statements.

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From Handel’s Messiah: Behold I Tell You A Mystery/The Trumpet Shall Sound!

Posted by Job on April 13, 2011

For those not predisposed to Christian rap, perhaps this will be more to your liking :-)!

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Romans 4:17 – Speaking Those Things That Are Not As Though They Were!

Posted by Job on April 8, 2011

Rom 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Suffer me while I provide three examples of YHWH speaking those things that are not as though they were.

1. Creation

Genesis 1:1 reads “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” In the beginning of what? Space, time, matter, all of creation, the entirety of the existence of all things apart from YHWH Himself, for YHWH alone is I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14). How did God accomplish creation? Well, by Jesus Christ were all things made (Hebrews 1:2 and John 1:3) and Jesus Christ is none other than the Word of God (John 1:1). So, when God said (among other things) “Let there be light”, YHWH accomplished creatio ex nihilo, which means that He made something out of nothing. Before God spoke, there was nothing. This means that with respect to creation, God spoke things that were not as though they were.

Let there be light: and there was light. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God called the firmament Heaven. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion … over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female!

After God spoke, these things were. Before God spoke, these things were not! God called these things before they were!

2. Sin

After God created Adam, He gave the commandment: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Note that God did not say “if you eat of it, you will surely die.” God said “in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” We cannot hedge concerning this meaning. It likely did not mean that Adam would drop dead on the very day that he ate it, for that did not happen. Adam lived to be 930 years old. Instead, it was a prediction. God knew that Adam would eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil! God knew that the fall would take place! Do not be deceived. When God spoke those words in Genesis 2:17, He foretold the fall of Adam – and through Adam mankind – into sin though it had not yet happened. Adam ate thereof, and because of this in Adam all die (1 Corinthians 15:22). And for all who die in Adam, their fate is the second death; eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). So, with regards to Adam and all those in him, God spoke things that were not as though they were when He said or in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die! For Adam and those in him are not yet cast into the lake of fire, but rest assured: they will be.

3. Salvation

But do not despair! 1 Corinthians 15:22 also says that in Christ all live! Yes, that text was written after Jesus Christ came, endured His passion, resurrected and returned to God the Father in accordance with the scriptures. But immediately after the fall, in what is called the protoevangelium, God bore witness of this great salvation thousands of years before it occurred! Before the martyrdom of Abel, before the translation of Enoch, before the calling of Abraham, before Moses led Israel out of Egypt, before the star prophecy of Balaam, before the Davidic line was formed, before the children of Israel came out of exile and began longing for the Messianic hope, God spoke a thing that was not as though it were!

To Satan after the fall in Genesis 3:15, YHWH said “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” God did not say “this woman”, referencing Eve, for Eve is the mother of all humanity, both elect and non-elect, both the Godly seed and Satan’s seed (those of Adam). He said “the woman.” Which woman? Revelation 12:1-2 reads “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” And who is this woman’s seed? It is given in Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” And who is the dragon of Revelation 12:17? Revelation 12:9 tells us. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” So, clearly in Genesis 3:15, God called the mystery of the salvation obtained for the elect by Jesus Christ – something that was not because Jesus Christ was not yet come into the world and lifted up on the cross as payment for sins – as though it was.

Revelation 21:1-7 gives us a picture of the fulfillment of what God spoke in Genesis 3:15, of what His only begotten Son obtained for His elect, those called out before the foundation of the world. Indeed, that is yet another thing that God spoke that was not as though it were, for God decreed the salvation of those that were elect before they were even born; before they even were!

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Why can only God call things that are not as though they were? It is because God is the only One that is capable of making those things that are not be! Only God has the power to transform that which is not into something that is! With this body of facts at your disposal, how can you resist so great a salvation … one that is so great precisely because of the greatness of the One who makes it a reality for all who believe?

Do not be deceived: this has been the plan of YHWH from before the foundation of the world. Evidence of this is God’s creating man in His image and His likeness, and this makes man unique among all creation, including even the angels for whom there is no remedy, no avoidance of eternal damnation, for those who fell. God made man in His own image precisely so that upon His Word’s coming to the world in human flesh as 100% God and 100% man when He was born of a virgin by the Name Jesus Christ, He would so perfectly reveal God the Father to the extent that to look upon Jesus Christ was as looking upon God the Father! So by making Adam in His image, God called the redemption of those who would believe before Adam even plunged creation into sin in the first place. Though salvation through Jesus Christ was not, God called – God planned – as though it were.

So, now that you are confronted with this overpowering evidence, I urge and implore you to resist this Truth no longer. Instead, be saved by the One who speaks things that are not as though they were, and by doing so makes those things reality! Lest you perish in an eternal lake of fire, repent of your sins and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ by:

Following The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in Bible, Christianity, devotional, evangelism, Jesus Christ, prophecy, religion, salvation, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Proverb 18:21 – Death And Life Are In The Power Of The Tongue

Posted by Job on April 7, 2011

According to the Bible, our words have power, even unto life and death. That is why we should not be idle, vain, careless or irreverent with our words, but instead always speak with caution and with purpose. What are some of the ways that we speak death?

Taking the Lord’s Name in vain (Exd 20:7), lying (Exd 20:16), cursing and swearing (Jam 5:12), gossip (Lev 19:16), ranting, promoting unlawful division and vain arguing (1Ti 6:4), subversive speech (Gal 5:19) vulgar/profane speech (Gal 5:20), jealous speech (Gal 5:21) and spreading heretical doctrines (Gal 5:21) are but some examples of sinful speech.

Speech such as this causes sinful and destructive thoughts and deeds in both the speaker and the hearer. Consider as an example the great damage done by the words of Jonadab, which planted into the heart of Amnon a plot by which he could rape his half-sister Tamar as recounted in 2 Samuel 13. Jonadab’s words helped conceive and bring forth gross sin by Amnon, which caused great pain to Tamar, a coup attempt against David by his son Absalom, and the deaths of many people, including Amnon and Absalom.

Another set of examples with even worse consequences was the evil speech of the children of Israel during their wanderings in the desert. Faithlessness, ingratitude, lustings, idolatry, coveting, lying, strifes and seditions were just some of their wicked talk, and of course wicked behavior followed. A particular occasion was the evil report brought by 10 of the 12 spies (Numbers 13:32). This caused a revolt against Moses, the result of which was that none of the adults in that generation were suffered by YHWH to enter the promised land.

A greater still example: the words of the serpent, the dragon, Satan to Eve. They were not many. “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Yet they were cunning, filled with malicious intent, and had their malicious effect: the fall of man; original sin.

The greatest example of evil words? “Hail master.” Those were spoken by Judas Iscariot when he revealed the identity of Jesus Christ to those who came to arrest and ultimately murder Him (Mat 26:49)! It did not take many words, and their literal meaning – of honor and respect – belied their abhorrent intent. Despite our attempts to cleverly disguise our words and distance ourselves from their consequences, with words as with actions, God knows the heart (Acts 15:8)! Above all men who ever walked the face of the earth, the wicked speech of Judas Iscariot demonstrates that one can sin with his words, and that the consequences of said sin is death because the soul that sinneth shall die (Ezekiel 18:20)! For who else did Jesus Christ say of but Judas Iscariot that it would have been good for him had he never been born (Mark 14:21)? Proverb 18:21 says that death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof! Do not be as Judas Iscariot and speak death! Instead, speak life!

But how can one speak life? By bearing witness of the truth (John 18:37). What is truth? The word of God, ‘specially the gospel of Jesus Christ. Psalm 119:130 says the entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of testimony, which is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). When we speak the gospel, we are not speaking mere words, but we are speaking Jesus Christ Himself (1Cr 1:23, Phl 1:15, Phl 1:16, Act 5:42, Act 17:3, chiefly 2Cr 4:5)! When we give a full, true and legitimate gospel, we are not speaking about Jesus Christ, we are speaking Jesus Christ! And what is Jesus Christ but life? Have you not read John 1:4? In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Go back to Psalm 119:130. God’s Words are Jesus Christ. The entrance of God’s Word into a human heart that is good soil brings light, which John 1:4 tells us is Jesus Christ. And when Jesus Christ enters that good soil, it brings understanding of spiritual things to babes (Luk 10:21)! The gospel is foolishness to those who do not believe (1Cr 1:18), but it takes a carnal man that is dead to spiritual things and resurrects him (1Cr 2:14)! We know that this is so because when the Word of God goes forth, He does not fail, but accomplishes what God the Father wishes, and prospers in the thing that God the Father sent it to (Isa 55:11)!

So then, why are not all who hear the gospel receive this life? Because though many are called, few are chosen (Mat 22:14). It is only God’s sheep that the Father called out from before the foundation of the world (1Pe 1:20). It is only those sheep who hear Jesus Christ and come to Him in repentance and obedience when He calls to them by way of gospel preaching and Holy Spirit drawing (John 10:27). Those who forbear are not the sheep that God the Father gave to God the Son (John 10:26). The gospel of Jesus Christ never fails. Instead, it prospers in bringing in God’s sheep. It brings life in the dead hearts of those called out by God the Father, which is precisely the thing that God sent His only begotten Son to do (John 3:16)!

Now granted, there are other words that contain a measure or form of virtue, goodness and positive content which can bring forth an edifying result. Against speaking such things there is no law. However, those things should not be spoken to replace the gospel. Those things should not be spoken of besides the gospel. Those things should not be spoken in competition with the gospel. And those things certainly must not be spoken because the gospel is being rejected or because its speaking causes persecution. Why? Because speaking the gospel is speaking Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God, and the first commandment is that God comes first and has no competitor and no equal or rival (Exodus 20:3). Uttering anything else in place of the gospel is sinful speech, and the soul that sinneth shall die! If you are ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, then Jesus Christ will be ashamed of us on judgment day. While there is virtue in other words, virtue is not life. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16)!

A key text on why Christians have the mandate to speak life:

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How 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? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Now after being confronted with Romans 10:8-17, gentlemen, where is there room or need for any more debate? The gospel of Jesus Christ is the Word of faith, and preaching that Word brings life. So gentle Christian reader, you have a choice. Death and life are in the power of your tongue! You can either speak death by giving utterance to lawless, sinful things. Or you can speak life by proclaiming Jesus Christ and Him crucified. With all urgency and sincerity, I entreat and implore you to choose life today, and continue in that choice from this moment forth.

If you are not yet a Christian, please know this: only in Jesus Christ is there life. As a payment for sins, Jesus Christ was slain and then raised from the dead on the third day in accordance with the scriptures. This is a fact beyond dispute, because it was confirmed with the testimony of over 500 eyewitnesses, many of them well known, prominent and reliable people in their day and time. Thus, those who possess unbelief of this fact are without excuse, and they will receive an eternal, everlasting punishment for this belief: death in a lake of fire. Know that Jesus Christ did not come to bring death, but He came to bring life. You can receive the life that Jesus Christ came to bring by repenting of your sins and believing His gospel. You can – and should – do so immediately by:

Following The Three Step Salvation Plan!

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How Grace Deals With Sin By Dr. Iain Campbell

Posted by Job on January 1, 2011

Original sermon here.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan Today!

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Jesus Saves By Daryl Coley: Why I Love This Song

Posted by Job on July 19, 2010

I know, some of my Reformed brothers and sisters may view this as being irreverent, trivial worship. And no, this song is not theologically deep. However, if you consider the context of the musical tradition that this song is a part of, one cannot deny this song’s artistic merit. Also, despite the lack of deep doctrinal depth, the song’s message and goal is powerful: that Christians must evangelize.

This song is all about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Simply, Jesus saves. However, so many people do not know what is meant by salvation, the meaning of “so great a salvation.” They believe that it means personal or societal reform or improvement, or salvation by works. Not only are these notions heresy, but they exclude a lot of people. In order to believe that this type of salvation is possible, one has to believe that they already possess, that they already bring to the table a degree or amount of inherent virtue and self-worth as a starting point BEFORE such a person has an encounter with Jesus Christ. If you believe in a gospel of personal improvement or in salvation by works, you have to be a pretty good person to start with.  Or if you believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ improves society, what Barack Hussein Obama refers to as collective salvation, well the society needs to be moral and functional on some level before it can improve. First, you need the moral standing and good sense to WANT to improve, but you also need a degree of worth, goodness and accomplishment to have the confidence that you CAN improve, plus a sense of knowledge of right and wrong/good and evil to know what constitutes improvement in the first place. So, it is a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” gospel.

Well, that may be the gospel according to some people – an ecumenical pluralistic interfaith gospel of ethics and good works that changes to suit what man chooses to define as ethics and good works throughout the centuries (i.e. then slavery good, homosexuality bad, now homosexuality good but slavery bad) but it is not the gospel of the Bible. And it is the gospel of the Bible that this song talks about. Instead of being a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” gospel, it is a gospel for people who don’t have boots, or for that matter don’t have feet or legs, and for this reason need to rely totally on Jesus Christ. Rather than being a “God helps those who help themselves” gospel, it is a “God helps those who CAN’T help themselves” gospel. Rather than being the “from each according to his ability to each according to his need” gospel of Jim Wallis, it is a gospel for people who have no ability, and whose need is too great to be met by human hands or by any government that such hands can build.

The key is the refrain “Jesus saves to the uttermost.” For the uninitiated, “to the uttermost” is “church-speak” in some circles. A longer form of it is “from the guttermost (bums and derelicts sleeping in the gutter) to the uttermost.” It puts into modern vernacular what Jesus Christ meant when He stated that those who are well don’t go to a doctor, only those who are sick, and in that same manner, He came not to save good people but sinners. (There is a background here where many believed that the Messiah would ingather the devout Jews to the Holy Land and call together armies of the righteous to liberate Jerusalem and Israel from the Romans and set up a human kingdom. So where the people with the false messianic beliefs thought that the messiah would come seeking only the righteous and use them in his armies to destroy the wicked, the true Messiah had an opposite mission: to seek the lost and save them. Also, the Pharisees in particular expected the Messiah to reward them for their piety only to have Jesus Christ state that A. He came for those who were penitent, not those who were justified in their own eyes and B. that the Pharisees weren’t nearly as pious as they believed themselves to be.)

So, Jesus Christ saving to the uttermost has a dual meaning. First, it refers to the target of this so great a salvation. It is NOT people who have some inherent goodness or virtue, or who have some goodness, ethics or knowledge as a starting point. Instead, it is for the worst of sinners, the totally depraved. It is not for good people who want to work at getting better. It is for bad people who know that they cannot become good in any sense even if they were to work as hard as they could for eternity. This is no “man progressing to godhood” gospel of Glenn Beck, because it recognizes that what sinners need is not progression but regeneration, transformation. So, it is not for the decent, good and moral person who wants to get rid of a few character flaws and bad traits to become better. It is for the serial murderer, the rapist, the child molester, the pornography addict, the drug dealer, the extortionist, the traitor, the homosexual, the adulterer, the prostitute, the pimp, the corrupt Wall Street executive, the partial-birth abortion doctor, the Muslim, the Wiccan, the Hindu, the Satanist, the hypocritical family values religious right politician. And it is for all the good, nice, moral people – from little girls who are all sugar and spice to sweet little old ladies – who know that but for the grace of God they would be just as overtly bad as those people because of the sin in their hearts and natures.  So when God saves to the uttermost, He doesn’t  save good people who need to be better, but He transforms evil, wretched sinister failed people into the image of His Son! God saved Nebuchadnezzar, a figure that was comparable to Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Usama bin Laden or Benito Mussolini. And God also saved Paul, who had the blood of many innocent Christians on his hands. Why? How? Because God saves TO THE UTTERMOST. His salvation extends from the person who has attended church all their lives and done their best to achieve ethical moral productive existences but did not know the meaning of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to people that have done the most evil, wicked, contemptible, vile things imaginable and for that reason have been totally rejected by society.

And yet, there is a second dimension: the extent to this salvation. “To the uttermost” doesn’t mean simply getting better, merely improving. It isn’t like Gru in “Despicable Me” who goes from being evil to less evil. Or like the “self help teacher” on “The Simpsons” who helped an alcoholic go from dozens of bottles of alcohol a day to “one highly concentrated glass of wine.” It isn’t taking the fornicator and getting him to be outwardly physically chaste while redirecting his desires to pornography, or taking the racist and teaching him political correctness. That would not be “so great a salvation”, because taking something that was bad and making it APPEAR less bad is not only great, but it isn’t even truly salvation. Instead, saving to the uttermost means taking that which was corrupt, flawed, marred, broken and useless and totally transforming it into something that is acceptable by God. God cannot accept sin. That is why merely rehabilitating the sinner doesn’t work. The rehabilitated, new and improved sinner who is under new management with space age features and shiny new packaging is still a sinner, meaning that God cannot accept Him. Instead, the “so great a salvation” means having your sins paid for and declared sin free through identification with Jesus Christ and His atoning death and resurrection, and being placed in Christ. It is only that “so great a salvation” that allows you to be reconciled with God, because that is the only salvation that results in a liar no longer being a liar, a murderer no longer being a murderer, a homosexual no longer being a homosexual, or a pagan no longer being a pagan. It is true that what falls significantly short of “so great a salvation” is accepted in the world’s eyes. You can see that practically every day on television, especially the talk shows. But only “so great a salvation” is acceptable to God. Yet, this “so great a salvation” is possible because God Himself accomplishes it for those whom God wishes to save.

As great as that all is, this STILL is not the point of the song. Why? Because the people listening to this song know it already! That is the rub. This isn’t a song by Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Elton John, Lil’ Wayne, Rihanna, Lady Gaga or Sting. This is a gospel song that Christians who know the Bible and the gospel will hear and sing. So, it is “preaching to the choir.” Of course, we ought to sing worship and praise songs to the God who alone is worthy for His mighty and loving deeds. However, this is not really a “praise” song that preaches to the choir. It is an ACTION song. The ACTION that this song wants us to take? EVANGELISM! The complete refrain tells us, who know and are participating in this already that WE HAVE TO LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT JESUS SAVES TO THE UTTERMOST!

How many people are there out there who don’t know that so great a salvation is available to them no matter what they have done? How many people know that not merely self improvement but a complete and total transformation from sinner to righteousness, from death to life, is available? And how many people out there don’t know that being good, moral and ethical isn’t good enough because they will still die in their sins and receive the same eternal punishment as mass murderers? And the latter is particularly the case for those who believe that another religious tradition (i.e. Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, shintoism, Scientology and yes liberal Christianity) gives them morality and ethics and allows them to be “good people” that are all worshiping the same god and are simply on different paths to the same place. We have to go take the gospel to all nations, from the utmost to the uttermost, to let them know that they are all indeed worshiping the same god, but it is not the God of Heaven but rather the god of this world, Satan, and that they are indeed all on different paths to the same place, but that place isn’t heaven but destruction, the lake of fire!

So, how will people know that Jesus saves unless we tell them (Romans 10:14)? That is what this song is about, and that is why it is a good one even if your “theology of worship” claims otherwise. Or should I say: to what effect is having a proper theology of worship if you are not out letting the world know that Jesus saves, and saves to the uttermost?

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Killing The Fuzzy Gospel

Posted by Job on November 20, 2009

Killing the Fuzzy Gospel – We’ve Got a Problem (Pt. 1)

Killing the Fuzzy Gospel – Moving Forward (Pt. 2)

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Nothing But The Blood

Posted by Job on September 7, 2009

Nothing but the blood.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement. Leviticus 17:11

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood. Revelation 1:5

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 1 Peter 1:18-19

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. Romans 5:9

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28

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Think That You Are Going To Heaven? Take This Interactive Test To Find Out!

Posted by Job on August 24, 2009

How Does Someone Get To Heaven?

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Regarding Abortion, Jesus Christ, Joseph And Mary: What If Mary Had Chosen Abortion?

Posted by Job on February 23, 2009

This powerful post on the topic of abortion from brother Laz caused me to ponder on the whole anti – abortion political movement and its influence on evangelical Christianity, particularly the fact that a great deal of tolerance is bestowed by evangelical political leaders upon those who profess to be Christian so long as they are sufficiently pro – life no matter what other flaws these “Christian pro – lifers” have in their doctrinal systems and lifestyles. Truthfully, other than perhaps the work of Billy Graham (and before him John Wesley), nothing has been more effective at uniting evangelical Protestants with Roman Catholics and (lately) Mormons and not to mention the wealthy, powerful decadent “Christian in name only” personalities active in politics and politiically driven media than the pro – life movement, which itself is but a part of the “family values theology” which again is part of the “Christian culture/Christian nation theology.”  

So, I recounted during Election 2008 that presidential candidate John Edwards (who despite his support for abortion and homosexuality and – more important – his personally being an adulterer, making him no different from plenty of abortion and gay rights opponents who are also adulterers and fornicators, claims to be a devout Christian of Southern Baptist leanings) hired viciously anti – Christian atheist Amanda Marcotte to publicize his campaign. Among many of the “witty gems” that Marcotte produced was something to the effect of: what if Mary was on Plan B (the abortion pill) when Jesus Christ was conceived. (Actually, Marcotte’s words were much more mocking of God and vulgar.) Yet, this evil woman’s point was a good one: that the agenda of the “religious right” was not religious at all, but a cultural and political agenda. Now it is true that many of these people have indeed integrated culture and politics into their theological worldview, but the result is something that teeters on being a false religion that rejects the reason why Jesus Christ came (to die on the cross for our sins) and before then why Israel and Judaism were formed (so that Jesus Christ could come to die on the cross for our sins) in the first place. 

After all, Marcotte was somewhat correct in her mocking: abortion pills and other modern forms of contraception were not available to Mary at the time that Jesus Christ was conceived and in the nation and culture that Jesus Christ was born into. Now from the perspective of a political (worldly and carnal by definition) Christian, the response would be to imagine if it had been and gasp with horror at what might have been were our abortion pill culture had been in existence in Mary’s Roman Empire, and had Mary availed herself of it. And you know what? That is not only a perspective that rejects faith, but also history.

For the Roman Empire that Jesus Christ was born into was not a “Christian nation” and it was also not a “moral family values” one. Instead, there were multitudes of religions and bizarre abominable practices. For instance, homosexuality was commonly practiced, and if a man did not want his family, not only could he easily receive a divorce, but if he did not want to bother with divorce proceedings provided that he was a Roman citizen he could simply have the entire family –  his wife and children and everyone living in his house – killed. So, the world, the western culture that Jesus Christ was born into was not a family values culture. Furthermore, it was still not a family values culture when He finished His work and ascended into heaven. It was wicked before Jesus Christ came, was wicked when He departed, and will be wicked when He returns. Jesus Christ stated that this world and its cultures would always reject Him and those who truly know and represent Him. The “family values/Christian culture” theologians get around this by claiming “oh, Jesus Christ wasn’t talking about OUR culture and nation when He said that … He was only talking about the Pharisees, Sadduccees, and the rest of those wicked Jews.”

And so, in the decidedly “anti – family” that was the Roman Empire, do you know what else was available? A primitive form of abortion, along with infanticide and primitive contraception. So what if Mary had decided to avail herself of what was available and commonly practiced in the culture and gotten an abortion? After all, though betrothed, she was still technically single. She was also impoverished, belonged to a marginal class even among Jews, and her being pregnant would ruin practically any chance of getting married, which was her only practical hope of financial security and/or social mobility. Oh yes, there was also the fact that under Jewish law, she could have been killed by stoning. So, Mary had every reason to furtively seek out the Romans to receive an abortion, a decision which of our last several presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama have stated that they would have fully supported. (Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush made no such statements, but Bush was on record as opposing the overturn of Roe v. Wade and Reagan for his part signed America’s most liberal abortion bill into law as governor of California, and, as he himself was a divorcee, signed a no – fault divorce bill into law as well.) But Mary did not.

Joseph for his part had his options as well. He could have handed Mary over to be stoned. Or he could have divorced and abandoned her and the child. And keep in mind: there is no scriptural evidence that Joseph had the full benefit of knowledge that Mary did. The Bible does not relate Joseph being told that Mary’s child was the Son of God and the Messiah. The Bible only records Joseph being told that the child was of the Holy Spirit. (And keep in mind this context: Judaism taught that ALL conceptions were the work of the Holy Spirit.) Also, Joseph was not given this information in an awesome angelic visitation as was Mary. It came to him in a dream that would have been very easy to later deny and reject as part of justifying his decision to rid himself of responsibility for a child that was not his, and of the woman who became impregnated with such a child while she was engaged to him. After all, consider this fellow’s plight. The fact that Mary was pregnant before they were officially married with a child that was not his … how do you keep something like that secret, and prevent being the subject of gossip, scorn, ridicule and rejection, especially from your own family? But like Mary, Joseph did the right thing. 

And why did Mary and Joseph both do the right thing concerning Jesus Christ, ensuring not only His birth, but that His birth that would fulfill prophecies that would demonstrate to the Jews and to the world His identity? Simple: they were righteous people that obeyed God. Their righteousness was not the product of growing up in a “Christ honoring culture in a Christian nation with Christian values encoded in their system of laws.” In other words, it was not due to abortion being unavailable to Mary, not an option for her legally or practically. Mary had every opportunity to do wrong, but chose to do right.

For Joseph, the opposite was actually true. For him, the right thing to do according to the Torah would have been to take Mary to the priests and other religious and legal authorities to be stoned to death. Even though many who have studied Jewish history during the period state that stonings for adultery and other violations of the Sinai code had become exceedingly rare during that time, by taking Mary to the priests, Joseph would have fulfilled his own responsibility under the law. And further, it can be argued that Joseph’s plans to divorce Mary secretly without exposing her to public shame – or threat of death – qualified as his understanding Jesus Christ’s teachings of the weightier matters of the law, which are judgment, mercy, and faith.

But instead, Joseph and Mary did the right thing, which was to trust and obey God. Mary did not need a “Judeo – Christian set of laws” or a  “values based society” in order to keep her from sinning by abortion or anything else. She merely needed to be righteous, to love God by keeping His commandments. And Joseph would have actually been conforming to his Jewish legal and cultural context, righteous according to the externals of the law, by turning Mary over the authorities. The fact that he was pondering how to exceed the external righteousness of his religious and cultural systems in the first place, that he was trying to do more than what was required of him to be counted as righteous and just in the eyes of man, was evidence of his love for God, and the fact that he heeded the dream and made Mary and the child his responsibility was evidence of his faith. 

Mary and Joseph did not obtain their righteousness and faith from being born into a nation that loved and honored Yahweh and had a system of laws that reflected His nature. This would not have been possible, as the nation and culture that was the Roman Empire was as bad as our own of today, if not worse. Instead, they obtained their righteousness and faith from God. Consider the plight of Elijah, who was running from Jezebel and Ahab, the latter two of whom had led Israel into pagan idolatrous apostasy and killed the prophets. God’s statement to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:18: Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

In the midst of the wickedness of the nation and culture, God preserved for Himself a people for His Name. These people were not righteous because of the world, because they were called out of the world, just as Israel was chosen from among the nations. They were called by God, predestined and elected to righteousness by God, and placed in that particular place and time by God for the purposes of serving Him and bringing glory to His Name.

The same is true of this Mary and Joseph. No matter what sort of culture or nation that they were born in, they would have still fulfilled their duties that came with bringing Jesus Christ into the world. Regardless of whether their external environment was good or evil according to its laws, culture and religion, Mary and Joseph were inevitably going to do the right thing because they were righteous. The reason is that their righteousness was not due to governments and cultures – which are the works of men – because if they were, then men should be able to boast about contributing to their own justification. Instead, their righteousness was due to God’s making them so, and predestining that they would be so. And where man’s nations and systems will inevitably fail, God’s divine sovereign decrees cannot and will not fail. This is with respect to man’s salvation and everything else. That is the meaning of the doctrines of grace.

Make no mistake. Abortion is a great abomination, a great evil, that should be outlawed in any society that considers itself civilized. The same is true of homosexual marriage. However, it was not the absence of legal abortion that prevented Mary from aborting Jesus Christ. (And as stated earlier, Joseph actually opposed the religious and cultural views of the day to obey his dream from God to make Mary his wife and to adopt Jesus Christ as his son.) Instead, it was the fact that Mary – and Joseph – was righteous. Mary and Joseph were not righteous because they were born in a Christian nation. They were not righteous because they were born to a church going family. They were not righteous because they were baptized as infants. They were not righteous because they raised their hands or came forward in response to an altar call (not that I in any way oppose invitations; I support them 100%!), said a prayer, or had their names added to a church roll. Instead, they were righteous because God made them so by virtue of His divine predestination and election. They were righteous because God called them out of this world to be part of His ekklesia. And their righteousness was not demonstrated or proven by their nationality, religious or political affiliation, cultural norms, or even their stated beliefs, but by their behavior, which was unyielding obedience to God and His Word in the face of all obstacles and in spite of all opposition. 

So, despite the evil that goes on in the world (or perhaps because of it) our goal is not to transform the world, to change the culture. In “The Visitation”, the Frank Peretti novel, the protagonist informed a young naive pastor that the job of the church was not to “take the town for Christ” because not even Christ Himself “took a town for Christ!” No, not only did Jerusalem reject Jesus Christ, but the place where Jesus Christ had the least honor, the fewest followers and believers, was His own country, and even His own brothers born in His house did not believe in Him! Instead, our job is to evangelize. To spread the gospel. To preach, teach, minister, disciple, and to baptize. Our job is to be the vessels for the sovereign God to use to call others out of this wicked world just as He called us out of it. And anything that distracts or hinders or redirects us from that task is just that: a barrier erected that opposes the will and righteousness of God. It must, by definition then, be considered sinful, evil, a work of Satan, the adversary, and not of God. 

Christians are not called to transform the world into Christ’s image. Christians are called to reject the world so that we might be fully effective in being used by Jesus Christ to go after His lost sheep. The sad fact that this world is sinful, that people are born in sin, and that people are going to sin. However, the joyful fact that opposes this is that if we would just obey God, He will use us to bring people out of sin and into salvation so that He will transform them, transform His people, transform His church, into righteousness. The issue is not to transform a sinful world, but rather to go after the people that God will conform into the image of His Son. If you profess yourself to be a Christian, please, go about the business of that issue today and every day. Maranantha!

Posted in abomination, abortion, abortion rights, Christianity, Jesus Christ, politics, pro choice, pro life, religious right, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , | 37 Comments »

What Is The Gospel Of Jesus Christ Supposed To Transform?

Posted by Job on December 23, 2008

Well, the news breaks from Apprising Ministries that James Dobson and Focus on the Family is promoting  Mormonism. (And that they also denounce people who oppose Roman Catholicism.) Really, this is no surprise. Allow me to explain why by asking a question: what is the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it to transform lives by saving souls? Or is it to transform nations and cultures by spreading values and norms? Many would say that either/or is a false choice when the answer is both. What those people ignore is that so often those two goals find themselves in conflict, and when they do it is much easier and more expedient to “focus on” transforming the nation and the culture than it is getting people saved. Tending to the nation and culture is far less difficult and produces quicker, more broad based results than crawling on your belly and face over the sharp rocks on craggy cliffsides and through the thick briars and brambles trying to find that one lost sheep, and then discipling that sheep so that he doesn’t run off again. It would imagine that it pays a lot better too, even if Focus on the Family has had to resort to layoffs lately. It is easier to focus on the family than to focus on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, so any offense that results from fighting false cultural battles will be far less.

So, when the time comes that the path to salvation is not through the false gospel of Mormonism or through a Roman Catholic Church that is now teaching religious pluralism, Dobson must stand down and count such people as his allies. Why? Because Mormons and Roman Catholics have good values, and are too useful allies in the culture wars over gay marriage and abortion to turn your backs on. So instead of telling Glen Beck that he needs to repent or spend eternity in the lake of fire, Focus on the Family promotes his allegedly Christian testimony

So in times like these, the truth be told: it is not the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform the world, which includes cultures and nations. Instead, the purpose of the gospel is to save God’s elect from the world. Evidence of this is found in the very book of Revelation that amillennialists and dominionists love to reject with a “spiritual interpretation.” Even upon His return, Jesus Christ does not transform the world. Instead, He smites it and rules it with a rod of iron. See Revelation 19:15. Why does He do this? Because the world does not submit to His rule. The world is still trying to rebel, still trying to reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the Sovereignty of God. That is why when Satan is released, he has no problem finding allies for his final and futile effort as recorded in Revelation 20:7-9

Even after the final rebellion of Satan is crushed and this accuser is cast into the lake of fire, Jesus Christ does not set about transforming the nations and cultures. Instead, Jesus Christ judges them, they are destroyed with fire, and there is a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 21:1 – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Now the Roman Catholics have the statement which goes to the effect “world without end amen amen.” But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible clearly states in Revelation and in the other eschatological passages that this world is coming to an end. So why bother trying to transform it? Why polish the brassware of a sinking ship? That would only divert the energies from getting as many people as you can off the ship and into lifeboats. The gospel is the lifeboat. It cannot be meant as both a lifeboat and some attempt to plug the leak in the boat. Why? Because those are two aims at cross purposes. If the gospel was meant to transform the world, there would be no need to save men from it. Also, make no mistake: it was God who put the hole in the boat to begin with. Indeed, it is God Himself that will judge the world for its wickedness. 

Also, if the role of the gospel is to transform the world, then the Bible itself would declare the gospel to be a failure. Why? Because the Bible makes it clear: the world is never transformed. It is never subdued. It remains wicked and rebellious to the very end. So if the gospel fails at the goal of transforming the world and the culture, of say, making the government respect the Ten Commandments and making the culture respect traditional family values, then why should the gospel succeed in saving any Christian from the eternity in the lake of fire? 

This is not some bold new theological innovation here. Instead, it can be found in a simple Frank Peretti novel “The Visitation.” In it, the protagonist, a burned out pastor, is confronted with his new, eager, inexperienced replacement, and the latter states “we are taking this town for Christ.” To which, the protagonist replied “how are you going to take any town for Christ when not even Christ took a town for Christ. Have you ever asked this town if it wants to be taken for Christ?” Taking towns for Christ was never Christ’s job. Thus, transforming the world and culture was never the job of the gospel or of the church. The very Bible itself declares that the world and culture will not be transformed, so if that was ever the goal of the gospel, then the Bible which declares the gospel would declare that gospel to be a failure, making the Word of God a failure, and Jesus Christ’s going to the cross to be in vain. 

The idea that it we should be trying to use the gospel to give life to things that are doomed to die instead of using the gospel so that people could be born again is a great deception. It transforms the unchangeable truth of God into a lie, and takes the all powerful all knowing God and uses His own revelation to declare Him to be weak, a failure, as if Revelation depicts God as destroying the world only after being frustrated by His many attempts to save it; that not even sacrificing His own Son on a cross and sending that Son to Personally rule the world was enough. And what could be more Satanic, more anti – Christ, than that? 

So we are left with the truth that the purpose of the gospel was to transform lives, to save souls, and to spare them the judgment that awaits the nations and their cultures. And we should reject anyone who comes promoting a different aim using a different gospel that represents a different Jesus.

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Why The Law Is Not A Curse

Posted by Job on December 16, 2008

The Law Is Not A Curse: Romans 7:7-25

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God Helps Those Who Cannot Help Themselves

Posted by Job on November 24, 2008

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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