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Archive for October, 2012

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him (2 John 1:10)

Did you know that the Vatican’s Catechism declares Muslims are saved? Here is an excerpt from the book, “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” second addition, promulgated by Pope John Paul II:

841: The Church’s Relationship with the Muslims.

“The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

Friends and family, we need to identify the problem with this doctrine. Muslims do not believe in Christ’s Lordship, His Sonship, that He is the Savior, or that He died on the cross. The Bible cannot be any clearer: Jesus is God, He is the Son of God, He is the only way to salvation, and He died for the purpose of saving us. His Resurrection from the dead is the proof that all these things are true. Anyone who rejects even one of these truths is not saved.

The Bible is Explicit:

  • I and My Father are one (John 10:30)
  • “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6)
  • Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:22-23)
  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1 + 14)

If the Catechism is wrong on this major doctrinal point, where else has it erred? The notion that Muslims, or anyone else for that matter, are saved merely because they acknowledge the Creator is ludicrous.  Understand that satan (and his minions) also acknowledge the Creator and he likely knows the Bible better than you or I, but we’re all quite confident in declaring that he will not be in Heaven!

 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! (James 2:19)

In direct contrast to what God teaches us in the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church goes on to say that baptism saves (it does not), we can work to save ourselves (we cannot), we can offer up further sacrifices for sins (there’s no need to), and that we can be saved through Mary (we cannot). This is not my opinion; it’s the Bible that disputes these false claims. All these things have been made up by man and do not align themselves with God’s word; they are not God-breathed. They’ve added things to the Bible that God had not intended to be there and both the Old Testament and the New Testament are clear on the issue of adding to God’s word.

You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book (Revelation 22:18)

It is the love of Jesus that compels me to tell you the truth; I don’t doubt your faith or your salvation necessarily. Frankly, some of you [that I know] are extremely faithful; you wholeheartedly believe Jesus died for your sins and that He is the only way to Heaven. My concern is that the Catholic church is teaching falsehoods that are leading some towards eternal damnation. We can know this to be true by what the Catechism teaches in regards to Muslims being saved by acknowledgement. That is a about as plain a lie as one can tell.

“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19

Please listen

I know how deep Catholic roots go and I also know how difficult it is to leave a church you love — I did so many years ago because I discovered I was being lied to. I knew I was saved, but when I learned that I wasn’t being instructed in the whole truth, the Holy Spirit led me to a church where the Bible and the Bible alone was being taught. I believe that if you are Catholic (or Muslim for that matter), and you have found your way to this blog today, it is no accident — your Father in Heaven wanted you to hear the truth too.

Please pray that the Lord will settle your heart in this regard and that He would lead you away from the Catechism of the Catholic church and to a place where the entire counsel of God is being presented. If you need help in locating a church in your area where  the Bible is being taught, leave a comment below and I will do all I am able to assist you.

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. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

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You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Exodus 20:7

The story has been told of the tribesman who ventured into the city for the first time. Of all the trappings, he was most captivated by the city lights. He was determined to bring this miraculous thing back to his people and went about obtaining a light bulb, a socket, and a light switch. Returning to his village he climbed the highest tree and hung the light. His fellow tribesmen inquired, “What are you doing?” but all he said was,

Wait until dark and you shall see!”

As word spread and as the sun set, the entire village gathered around the tree eagerly waiting for this thing to be seen. As darkness covered the people, the tribesman held the switch high above his head. When the crowd gasped, he flicked the switch.

We Know What Happened

Nothing.

Nothing happened because the light bulb was not connected to a source of power. The light bulb the man brought back to his village was in fact a light bulb, but it was a light bulb in name only. Because it was not plugged-in, it was worthless for the purpose for which it was designed and worthy only of the village trash heap.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:4

What’s Your Name?

The text from John 15 is very clear; if we are not plugged into the source of power in Christ Jesus, we are Christians in name only. Remember, we too were made for a specific purpose. I believe that when the Law came down off the mountain, this is what the Father meant when He said to not take the Lord’s name in vain.

Consider the definition of the word vain from Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

  1. Empty; worthless; having no substance, value or importance
  2. Fruitless; ineffectual. All attempts, all efforts were vain.
  3. Proud of petty things, or of trifling attainments.
  4. Unreal
  5. Showy; ostentatious.
  6. Unsatisfying. The pleasures of life are vain.
  7. False; deceitful; not genuine; spurious.

If we call ourselves by His name, then the action implies a desire to be connected to the power associated with the name, hence emptiness becomes profusion, pride turns to humility, and falsehood yields to truth. Conversely, taking Christ’s name in vain is to akin to denying the Son in order to maintain depravity. Frankly, I could make the case that those guilty of this are also lying adulterers, after all, the church is the bride of Christ.
What would you call a wife who takes her husbands name, but continues to carry on in a worldly fashion as if not married at all?

This is what Jesus says,

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!’ Matthew 7:22-23

It doesn’t have to be that way. Confess the sin for what it is, turn away from it and turn towards Jesus, and start walking in His ways and not your own. You’re married…start acting like it.

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Are you mad at God for taking your loved-one away?

Jesus is telling you now,

 “But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you.”

And perhaps it is your loved-one now saying,

 “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me — the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return. Please come as soon as you can.” 

Anger is a reality; it is in fact a God-given emotion. For the believer it is this raw emotion that brings us to a fork in the road whereby decisions for or against Christ Jesus are made. God the Father came to this place — Angry at a sinful world, He made a choice: ‘Do I condemn them all ~or~ do I provide the solution to save them all?’

We all know what God decided.

It was at the cross-road, God sacrificed His Son.

Anger brings us to a similar place. And each time we arrive we find Jesus is already there offering us rest. The direction we go is still our choice, but He says, “Keep a clear mind, don’t be afraid of the suffering, and work at bringing others to Me. Complete the ministry I have given you.”

One of the things I truly love about Jesus is that if we choose the wrong path (and we all will at one time or another), He will meet us again and again at each and every fork in the road, lovingly guiding us towards the way home. Remember, anger just might be the vehicle by which your Father brings you to the Son. Don’t make the mistake of staying in it when you see Jesus.

Watch this video from Greg Laurie:

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(Quotes are from: 2 Timothy 4:5-9NLT)

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Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:1-2)

I’m hesitant to declare that Psalm 51 is my favorite Psalm, but it is right up there near the top. It speaks to the time when King David came before the Lord and confessed his wickedness regarding Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah and [David’s] subsequent redemption.  It also speaks directly to gratitude.

Today, as I poured through the Song once again, I selahed at verse 13:

Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. 

I found myself asking the question, “What will it take for us to teach the LORD’s ways to the transgressor?  The following inquiry was gleaned (and personalized) from the text preceding that thirteenth verse:

  1. Have you acknowledged your transgressions?
  2. Have you been purged with hyssop?
  3. Are you now clean, washed, and whiter than snow?
  4. Are your sins now hidden and your iniquities blotted out?
  5. Has He created in you a clean heart? 
  6. Has He renewed a steadfast spirit within you?
  7. Are you welcome in His presence? 
  8. Has He given you His Holy Spirit?
  9. Do you possess the joy of salvation?
  10. Are you upheld by His generosity? 
Hopefully you responded in the affirmative to each of those queries. If you have, then guess what? It’s time for you to make known the riches of this glorious mystery: Christ in you, the hope of glory. And remember, a lion is the happiest when it is let out of the cage.

“His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not.”  (Jeremiah 20:9b)

If you do not know Jesus Christ as both God and Savior, then click HERE. And please know, God is not interested in making converts, He desires that we would willingly follow Him, not because He is needy, but because we are.

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“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-5)

The verse is explicit: our minds (our will; our thinking) should line-up with God‘s will. The only question that remains is,

What is the will of God?

The first clue comes directly from the Ephesians passage. When the Apostle Paul instructs us, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others,” he is effectively saying, “As it pertains to God’s will, don’t be selfish.” 

However, we’re still left with the question of God’s specific will for the individual. On that issue we turn to Second Peter.

“The Lord is…not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Before we go any further, do you believe the truth revealed in John 3:16-17?

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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

If you do, and if you want your will to be aligned with God’s will, then do as I have done and reverently insert your name into the 2 Peter 3:9 passage:

“The Lord and (Dave) are not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Let this mind be in you!

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And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together…Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” Genesis 22:8, 13-14
~
Jehovah Jireh = The LORD Will Provide

As I have shared before, I use both the New King James and the King James versions of the Bible for my study. The NKJV is easier to read, but occasionally the KJV provides a better translation and although I have quoted the NKJV above, today’s Bible passage in the KJV correctly omits the word ‘for‘ and simply reads, “God will provide Himself.”  That might not seem like a big deal initially, but may you come to realize the huge significance it has both symbolically and doctrinally.

What Does God Provide?

Fact: this Isaac incident is a symbolic, albeit real, depiction of what God the Father and Jesus the Son will later do on Calvary. It’s born out in the text above; God declares that He will provide a surrogate for Isaac in the form of a lamb, but then a ram is produced.

Did God make a mistake or was He making a statement?

Since we know that God cannot a blunder make, we know that latter to be true. God is saying in no uncertain terms, ‘I will not provide a lamb, but the Lamb in the form of Myself.’

Make no mistake about it; the ram is not a lamb on purpose.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

The Lamb Becomes a Worm

The Lamb Becomes a Worm,’ is the first teaching I ever heard Pastor Jon Courson teach and every time I have heard it since it never fails to give me a spiritual shiver. Most of us acquainted with Jesus and the Bible know that when Christ calls from the cross, “My God, why have you forsaken Me,” He is in fact quoting Psalm 22, which speaks prophetically of Himself. If you did not realize that, read through Psalm 22 with that understanding.

Now consider this verse…

But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. Psalm 22:6

What on Earth Does That Mean?

The Hebrew word for worm is ‘towla’ and while it is literally translated to mean worm, it also means scarlet. There is in reality a towla worm and back in the day these worms were ground-up to produce the color scarlet, hence the double meaning. What is incredibly interesting about this worm is that as part of the reproduction process, it affixes itself to a tree where it ultimately dies. In due time, the young then feed on the flesh. When the experience is over, all that remains is a crimson stain on the wood. Almost miraculously, in a few days the scarlet spot dries up and flakes-off like snow. I am not surprised that God employed this seemingly bizarre imagery to illustrate what His Son would ultimately do for us on the cross.

Come now, and let us reason together, ” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18

What Happens to Isaac?

So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. Genesis 22:19

It is quite clear that Isaac’s life is spared, but what happens to him in the Bible text? One moment God steps in and saves his life and the next we see Abraham walking off with the two servants, with no mention of Isaac. Amazingly, God is providing yet another symbol. The next Genesis passage bears witness to that as we learn of Nahor’s descendants. At first the genealogy seems out-of-place, but then we recognize a familiar name in verse 23…

And Bethuel begot Rebekah.

“So what,” you say?

  1. Like Jesus, Isaac rises from his symbolic death on the third day (he and his dad journeyed three days to reach this place).
  2. Like Jesus, Isaac is mysteriously absent after the resurrection. We know Jesus ascended into Heaven to, among other things, prepare a place for His Bride. Where does Isaac go?
  3. Like Jesus, Issac returns for his bride (Rebekah). She is as much a picture of the church as Isaac is a picture of Jesus.

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Overcoming The Times

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

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For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

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