Submit to Governing Authorities

    Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 10:04 AM [General]

    When Jesus was presented before His accusers in His last trial before the Sanhedrin, before Pilate, and before Herod, He did not make any arguments.  When Paul stood before Agrippa and Felix he was very polite in his presentation.  The Roman empire could be very cruel and unforgiving, but Paul told the people to be subject to the governing authorities, because true authority was instituted by God.  Consider some teachings from Romans chapter 13 (from the ESV).

    Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

    5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.  6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.  7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

    When things aren’t right, liberals want to blame the conservatives and conservatives want to blame the liberals.  All in all we are to blame neither.  Adam sought to blame Eve and Eve sought to blame the serpent, but all in all, they would not have been in their predicament if they had only heeded God and not a serpent or each other.  People always want to play the blame game, but we are not to blame each other, or the government.  We are to look to our Creator to make all things submissive to Him, and He will act in the proper time.  If things get bad (and they are bad and will get worse), then we are to be patient and do as best we know how what the Lord wills, and leave the rest to Him.

    Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    Some people misinterpret Paul here when he says, “Owe no one anything …”  In times past humble, hard working Jews went into debt; humble, hard working Christians have gone into debt.  In saying, “Owe no one anything,” Paul is saying to keep your debts (as in taxes which he mentioned earlier) paid up as best as possible, yet consider the debt of love as never being fully paid.  We can never repay the debt of love we owe to Jesus for all He’s done, and will do for us.  We are to ever hold before us that debt of love as we strive to love the world as God so loved the world.  Loving the ‘world’ in this sense means loving the sinner, not the sin.  World is translated from various Hebrew and Greek terms, so there is ‘this world system’ which is ruled by Satan, but also ‘this world full of people’ who are in need of God’s love and mercy.  Why is this world ruled by Satan?  Remember, when God created mankind, God gave Adam and Eve dominion over all in this world.  Mankind turned the dominion of ‘this world’ over to Satan when they bow down and submit to Satan’s temptations to sin.  God did not take back what He had given.  He gave to Adam, then Adam, through eating of the forbidden fruit, gave to Satan.  Everyone since has sinned as there is none righteous, therefore everyone in falling to temptation leaves that dominion in Satan’s power.  But God will return and restore those who humbly come to Him through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Jesus, in His fleshly body, never submitted to Satan’s temptations, and Jesus died to pay the penalty for our falling to Satan’s temptations.  This allows Jesus to bring us to our Heavenly Father.

    Romans 13:11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.  For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.  12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand.  So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

    Satan’s work is the work of darkness, but Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Light of this world.  The salvation that is nearer to us now is that appearing of our Savior to call us home.  We need to wrap ourselves in that ‘armor of light’ which is Christ showing us the way and stay alert for His coming.  Satan knows this and is fighting ever harder to weaken the children of the Light (Christians) and to deeper enslave the children of ‘this world’, the worldly system that Satan still rules.  Satan is (to us, not to the Lord) a formidable foe and that is why we must constantly look to the Light of His Word and strengthen our faith so that we do not slip into weakness.

    Some may fall, but they will not stay fallen, because our Lord is the Good Shepherd Who seeks out the sheep who have fallen.  He will not lose one of His flock.  That is why, once saved, always saved.  We will not lose that which He has given us, because even if we fall, He will search out His sheep who have fallen from their way.  But those who never knew Him have no hope.  That is why spreading our Savior’s message is so vital to those of ‘this world’, whom God so loves is important.  And if our debt of love is never paid, we should strive to show as much of that love as possible, because the time is short.

    People, be aware!  Things in this world are not as they appear.  Things are rough, and you need to know that things will get much more rough as the time draws near and Satan is lashing out in his fiercest anger.

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    Some on Law & Faith

    Monday, April 6, 2015, 2:52 PM [General]

    Previous posts could help in understanding this post, but I will try to explain my position as best as possible.  Remember, I ask no one to believe in me, but believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart, and search the Scriptures to see what you truly believe in your own soul (self).  I used to label which translation of the Scriptures that I would paste into my posts, but several posts ago I mentioned (just a reminder for now- some may not have read that post) that I think I will mostly be using the English Standard Version.  I love the King James Version, but there are some words that may be better understood from the original languages that I believe are better phrased in the ESV.  Language changes, and certain things that may be taken for granted in one language (or translation) may be better expressed as people’s understanding of the language changes.  Also, idioms (and all languages have idioms, figures of speech, and other expressions that are not meant to be a literal word meaning) change, so an expression that means something in one language may not mean the same if translated to another language.  When the KJV was translated (1611) the language changed so much in less than 200 hundred years that it had to be rewritten in 1789, which is the same version we use today.  Now it has been well over 200 years since that version, and the language has changed more.  Certain idioms that were used when the KJV was written may be better worded in idioms (that have the same meaning/connotation, of course) that are used today.  I will certainly try to remember to make note if I use a different version than the ESV.

    Romans 9:30 What shall we say, then?  That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law.  32 Why?  Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.  They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."

    10:1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them (for Israel/the Jews) is that they may be saved.  2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.  4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

    9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."

    Jesus said that God’s law would never change.  That is true, but there is still the issue that no man may be saved by that law.  That is why Jesus took the penalty that we should have expected upon Himself, so that we, through our Lord Jesus Christ, might be counted worthy to come to our Heavenly Father.  So, in a legal sense, we are worthy because we (through the blood of Jesus) have been declared worthy, but it is not a worthiness that we have earned or deserved.

    Romans 9:30 What shall we say then?  That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.  31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  32 Wherefore?  Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.  For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  (KJV)

    We who are saved will never lose that salvation.  We are to strive to live a perfect life, as Jesus instructed, but we will not attain perfection in this earthly body.  Failing to keep the law does not result in loss of salvation, because it is not the law that saved us, but His grace.  Failing to observe the law will certainly result in a loss of our purpose in God’s good works that He prepared for us (Ephesians 2: 10).  Failing to observe God’s laws may certainly cause us to encounter God’s chastening and scourging (Hebrews 12: 6), and may even be turned over to Satan for the destruction of the body (1st Corinthians 5: 5), but this is a far cry from losing that eternal life that Christians have “sealed” by the Holy Spirit within us.  Remember, we have our mental (or spiritual) being and our earthly/fleshly body that do not always cooperate, as Paul taught in Romans 7.  We are to strive to have that law of Christ in our mind to overcome that law of sin in the flesh (Romans 7-8), but that does not mean that we are already in that state of eternal righteousness that comes with the new body that we will obtain when we meet our Lord in the air.  We will be given a new body that will not be subject to that sin that tears so ferociously at this earthly body.  The law did not save us, and that law will not destroy that salvation, because it is by His mercy that we are saved; and it is His mercy that will keep us.

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    Previous Post- Part 2

    Sunday, April 5, 2015, 4:48 PM [General]

    Suggested that read two posts on Romans chapter 7 in order, and post immediately prior to this for background.  Man, in the flesh, fell from his Creator’s expectations, and is no longer worthy of going to live for eternity with Him in Heaven, but doomed to eternal separation from Him in torments.  Man could never restore that relationship.  In spite of this, God (Yahweh, our Creator- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) loved man so much that He took the punishment of those who would earnestly seek Him out, believing in Him, upon Himself.  He, in the flesh of Jesus (Yahsuah) took upon Himself the penalty that we had brought on ourselves.  He came to us, showing His love, yet mankind despised Him, mistreated Him, and hung Him on a cross to take the punishment that was meant for us.  But He was more powerful than death, and rose again three days afterward.  All who come to Him, believing (having faith to trust in Him, and in that trust seek out His teachings and seek to live as He would have us) can be saved from our everlasting punishment and live forever in His kingdom.

    Romans 5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    1st Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.

    Jesus was in the flesh.  He went forty days in the wilderness without earthly food and then was tempted by Satan.  But if He was fully human, then how could He go forty days without food?  Could man today go forty days without earthly food?  Jesus said that if you had the faith of a grain of mustard seed, you could move a mountain.  I don’t know how much faith that is, but what if you had more faith than that.  Do you believe that with enough faith, you could go forty days without earthly food, and still thrive?  I believe that it wouldn’t take as much faith to do that as it would to move a mountain, but I don’t think my faith is that strong.  Jesus was fully human, but He had far more faith.

    1st John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

    Do you believe that Jesus Christ came from God, being in the beginning with God and being God (from John 1 pasted in my previous post), in the flesh, being fully in the flesh (that is being fully human), therefore, fully God and fully human?

    Hebrews 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

    I have faith, but my faith is so weak that I often feel like that man at the foot of the mountain who said, “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.”  (Mark 9: 24)  So my prayer remains, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.  Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.”

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    How Many Parts Make a Whole?

    Sunday, April 5, 2015, 1:11 PM [General]

    Christians do not question the fullness of our Creator in Christ, or the fullness of His being fully in the flesh.  It is something beyond our earthly, human comprehension how He could be both fully our Creator and at the same time be fully in the flesh.  But when we look carefully at ourselves, then we can somewhat see a comparison.  We have a mind that thinks.  Not everything that we think is seen in our fleshly earthly bodies.  So we have a mind that thinks, and a body that does, but they may not always do what we think, or think what we do.  (Have you never done or said something without thinking?)  Then there is the Holy Spirit.  How are the three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One and the Same in Being?

    We look at a piece of rich chocolate cake.  Something inside us craves that cake.  We want it really bad.  Our stomach may tell us that we are full and have no more room.  Yet something inside us says we can make it fit.  At the same time, our reasoning mind tells us that it is not very healthy, it will make us fat, and that we are already so full that if we eat it, it will make us sick.  So, maybe we eat it anyway.  One person’s mind may not always be in agreement with what he should or shouldn’t do.  Then he may or may not do it.  But our physical, fleshly body must endure whatever decision we make.  So we have a physical body that sees the cake with the eyes, smells the cake with our nose, hands that may or may not pick up the fork, and a mouth that may or may not taste and eat that cake.  Yet we have a mind that tells us we should not, and at the same time we have another part of us that tells us we want it so badly.  So what part of us is really a real part of us, and what part of us could we do without?  In a manner of speaking, are we not many parts, but all our parts together make one whole.  So could not the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together make One Whole Creator?

    So this relates to my earlier two posts on Romans chapter 7, in that we have a mind that thinks what it thinks, but a fleshly body that may go contrary to sound reasoning that our mind may think.  This is, I believe, what Paul was referring to when he said, with the mind, I serve the law of Christ, but with the body the law of sin.  This can be a frustrating struggle.  We can overcome, but the struggle is ever present, and we sometimes fall.  Now this mystery of the mind not always ruling the body, if the mind is from Christ shows that we are, at the very least, like two people put together as one person.  At the same time, this is an analogy of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being One Creator, however, in Him is no imperfection that causes a struggle.  In Him all is One in agreement and perfection.

    There is much more to say about this, but in keeping the posts from being too lengthy, then it has to be broken into more than one post.  I always say, don’t believe what I teach, but search the Scriptures for yourself to see what is true.  I could just list the references so they could be looked up, but I try to copy and paste passages to make it easier, so I’ve pasted some passages below, and plan to include others in the next post.  It may be helpful if you read or had already read my two previous posts on Romans chapter 7.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 He was in the beginning with God.  3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

    4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    Romans 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    1st Timothy 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

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    Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 7:27 PM [General]

    QUESTION????    Just curious- Has anyone heard or read a sermon or post on the following Bible verses from a rich mega-church preacher?  I never read or listen to them, but decided to check out some more on some of their web-sites to see if I could find anything about their teaching on the following verses, but came up empty.  A lot of web-sites have Bibles that you can study the whole Bible on-line, from many translations, including Greek and Hebrew, and Bible commentaries and dictionaries, but did not find them on the mega-rich church sites I tried.  The only Bible Studies I found on their sites were for sell.  There are sites that offer free Bible study programs you can download to your computer, but not that I could find from the several mega church sites I tried.  The verses below are from the KJV.

    Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

    Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

    John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

    Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    2nd Corinthians 1:7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

    2nd Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

    2nd Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    1st Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

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