Fruit or No Fruit???

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13 (NKJV).

…Late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots…“ This of course, speaking of trees which have had the leaves boasting of something to give; having leaves all season long, but never producing fruit. If you will remember the time when Jesus cursed the fig tree (Matthew 21; Mark 11). The leaves on the tree boasted of having fruit, but it was barren.

That is the case for these apostate heretics. It seems in the day we live it is unpopular to call certain teachings heresy, but that is exactly what much of that we see on some so called “Christian Television” stations is proclaiming. Sadly, it is being proclaimed in many pulpits of the nation as well. It is mostly so in the United States of America.

The disciple of Jesus Christ is one who will bear fruit. The individual who has come to Christ by grace through faith will have an almost immediate change in their lives. They will notice the change. It will be a change for the better. They will love God, His Son Jesus. They will love God’s Word, and desire to grow in Him. They will also desire to tell others of what God has done for them.

The apostate will boast of a power they do not have. They will also boast of “Liberty” or “Freedom” in Christ which they have not experienced and will lead others into the bondage of sinful living an antinomian, antichrist like lifestyle. They will lead others into seeking the material things of the world, rather than the glory of Jesus Christ and the eternal life to come in His presence. They will lead others into believing that all the blessings of the Bible are material, ie., health, wealth, etc…

Christian friend; stand your guard. Guard your heart. Guard what you read. Guard what you hear from “Christian Television” and from the pulpits of the churches of your land. If they are not magnifying the Lord Jesus, His cross, death, burial and resurrection and the promise of His soon coming, then they know not Jesus Christ; or at the least are desperately deceived. They are fruitless rebels, in need of Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Read the Word of God. Study it, and let it study you. Pray, pray, and pray. Stand your guard.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Hope Without Hope; Clouds Without Water

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13 (NKJV).

In the same verses that we looked at previously we find that these apostates of which Jude writes were likened to “clouds without water, carried about by the winds”. In droughted areas where they are dependent on the rains and much of it, waterless clouds are sometimes very disappointing. In this day of bank failures, job losses, and many an economic worry we need the truth and hope that only Jesus Christ gives. “Our hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

In the Midwest United States and the Southern States, we are all dependent upon rainfall. Most of the United States is dependent upon rainfall, as a matter of fact. The only place that might not be is some parts of California where they use irrigation year round to grow their crops.

These “clouds without water” offer hope, but give nothing. The apostates teaching heresy offered much spiritual growth, but there was none. They told lies, and their lives were deceptions. They are full of themselves and have nothing of God. The true shepherd of God, and shepherd of the people do not “shun to declare the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27); were Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders. Some of the “Pastors” of what has been called “Mega-churches”, and some small churches are ‘clouds without water’, because they fail to expound and reveal the dangers of sin, and the glory of Christ power over sin.

They, the apostates, seek a following for themselves in the name of Christ, but do not preach what Jesus preached. What did Jesus preach? “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17). If you are not preaching what Jesus preached and taught, then you preach contrary to Him. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

If there is any preacher reading this right now who has been preaching those easy, encouraging, non condemning things, and leaving out repentance – turning from sin to Jesus Christ – then you aren’t preaching what Jesus preached. You are those “clouds without water”. You need to repent. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

May God bless you today by your turning from your sins, believing Jesus, preaching Jesus crucified, buried, resurrected, and coming again.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Rocks Under The Surface

“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 12-13 (NKJV).

Consider a ship at sea. Now, I have never been on a ship at sea, or even a small boat at sea, but I am sure that the captain of a ship has eyes watching, even though he may know the sea, eyes are watching for hidden obstacles in those waters. Remember the Titanic? The crew slipped up; they were sailing the unsinkable ship, overloaded with passengers on its first and last cruise. The Titanic sank to the bottom of the sea, and over 1,500 souls were lost.

Jude likens the heretics, these false teachers, these liars, and deceivers to hidden spots, rocks, just underneath the surface. They pretended to be Christians, but denied the faith, denied Jesus, denied the truth oofGod’s Word, and the authority of the apostles. These claim to believe in Jesus, but they twist the true Scriptures to suit their own understanding. Some times those who receive them need to go deeper than just their words. What is their view of Jesus? Is He deity? What about the cross? What about grace and faith? They were with many churches as Jude was writing this and he is warning us of them.

These enjoy the gathering with the true believers in their breaking of the bread and drinking of the cup; and their fellowship meals. The Lord’s Supper, communion as it is also called is right and good for the worship of the Lord, but heretics can come in under false pretenses, and leave uncorrected, undisturbed. “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.”

This is also a problem within the Christian churches today. You can identify these false teachers by their denying of the power of the cross, they deny the work of Jesus Christ. There are many pastors in the pulpits who never preach against sins of greed, lust, sexual immorality in adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality or any other form of perversion. Never show the glory of Christ Jesus over the sin in their lives. If there is no revelation of sin in our lives there can be no glory of the power of Christ over sin.

When heretics come into the Churches of our Lord Jesus it should be with fear of being exposed for the heresy they teach. Stay in God’s Word, pray, asking for God’s wisdom and knowledge. He will give it to you.

The Lord willing, there will be more on these verses for your reading.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Woe To Apostate Teachers, and Followers

“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Jude 11 (NKJV).

The apostate, heretics of which Jude has been warning us are going to be held to the ultimate judgment. “Woe” is the warning of such judgment being held for them. It is a sad thing for Christians of today, when they will more readily accept the teaching of the “Name it and claim it” bunch, than they will the plain and clear teaching of the Word of the Lord where the cross of Jesus Christ, His deity, His shedding of His own blood, His burial carrying our sins away, and the plain and clear teaching of His bodily resurrection fulfilling the Word which He spoke.

These apostates follow the way of Cain (the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel); in that they deny the power of the blood of the cross of Christ by their teaching that it is for material gain, applying their own works to the work of Christ. They follow the “error of Balaam” by seeking gain for themselves. Balaam was a false prophet who sought profit by the pretense serving God. He deemed that the Israelites were not worthy of God’s blessing and so cursed them by showing the enemy their weakness (Numbers 25:1-17; 31:16), bringing a plague into the camp, stayed only by the quick hand of Phineas, who was the grandson of Aaron. Balaam eventually was killed by the children before they entered the promised land. Then, there is Korah, the rebellious one who led Dathan and Abiram in a rebellious act against Moses. They spoke ill of Moses, thus were speaking against God. We put our lives on a very thin layer when we speak ill of our leaders, especially the spiritual leaders. Korah, Dathan and Abiram were swallowed up by the ground opening and taking them, and those who stood with them, alive into the belly of the earth. Read Numbers 16.

We are given ample warning in Scripture of following false teachers and leaders. The one’s who expose heresy are not the ones who are causing the problem. The problem lies in those who teach error, and seek to lead people astray. If you know God, and know His Word you know who the false teachers and their false teachings are. If you don’t know the God of the Bible nor His Word you will be deceived, and led astray becoming just like your leader. Finding your own way, always for gain and profit, and no true spiritual leader will ever be right, but you are.

Guard your spiritual life. Know the God of the Bible by turning to His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross that you might live. He was buried carrying your sins away, and He rose bodily from that grave, and He ever lives to make intercession for you. Read His Word – the Bible – learn Him, know Him, trust Him with all of your life.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Corrupted Brute Beasts

“But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.” Jude 10 (NKJV).

Those who would, do, and will pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ have a self made knowledge. They have a knowledge of Scripture, and philosophy, based on their education, but not according to the wisdom and knowledge of God. That is, the wisdom and knowledge which comes only from God.

They claim an authority over the spiritual world which is not of man, thus they do damage to the true message of the cross and of Christ. You will find this in those who claim to speak for God with a new revelation from God, thus they add to the Word of God. Of this God warns us in the final verses of the Revelation of Jesus Christ 22:18-19. Some of the same ones that “do not know”, are taking away from the Word of God the very thing which God honors and magnifies. The deity of the Lord Jesus Christ; the Immutability of God and His Word; the teaching of the Triune God. They claim it cannot be understood, so they deny it.

To deny any one of those things takes the “teacher” out of the realm of true Christianity, and puts them in the realm of the “Cultic kingdom”. These same one’s who deny these things often claim a power of knowledge of Scripture which they do not have. They do not have the Spirit of God in them or on them.

There are many people today who make the claim that, “It doesn’t matter what you believe; as long as you believe something”; and nothing could be further from the truth. The way you truly believe will affect the way you live. If you follow false doctrines and beliefs you will live a false life, which is hypocrisy, leading to sinfulness, immorality, etc..

As, “brute beasts”, they live however they choose. They take advantage of those who do not have. They speak of living in grandeur, mansions, fancy cars, fine clothes, living in the lap of luxury. They do it by grabbing , taking advantage of the little that others have and taking it for themselves.

Christian brother and sister heed the message of the Word of the Lord. Do not be deceived by the liar and deceiver who wants you to know what is unknowable, or to do the undoable. Those who claim faith that is Christless, crossless, and senseless are out to take from your pocket to theirs.

Follow Jesus Christ, and not men or women.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Contending With The Devil

“Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” Jude 9 (NKJV).

The writer – Jude – has been dealing with the actions of apostates who are against the work of Jesus Christ, His cross, burial and bodily resurrection. Those who speak against any dignitaries, and now he even includes demons.

There are those in Christian circles who are teaching of speaking directly to the devil. God’s Word never tells us to deal directly with the devil or his legions of demons. In the name of Jesus we rebuke them. Michael the archangel, never spoke directly to the devil, but said only, “The Lord rebuke you”. We have no greater power than that.

There was a battle that raged between Michael and the devil over the body of Moses. Moses was buried by God, in a place unknown to any man. God was most likely protecting the body of Moses from becoming an object of worship, which would have been the reason for the devil’s procuring of the body, if he would have been permitted to have it. The devil has a way of using things that are material to gain a following for himself.

There is no doubt that the devil and his demons attack the people of God. The devil loves the endeavor of trying to rob us of our joy, peace, and love in Christ Jesus. He will afflict us, condemn us, attack us with various problems; and yet the child of God through faith in Jesus Christ will be held up by the power of the cross of Christ. Remember, we are to speak to the Father through the Son. We are to only rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus our Lord.

No Christian has any right using offensive words against the devil or his demons. The Lord in His intervening power will defeat them. As a matter of fact they are already defeated. We are not fighting for the victory, because the victory was won on the cross, and proven by the resurrection. We are, in fact fighting from victory, till that day we see our Savior face to face. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Trust in Him and never be afraid or ashamed.

We have authority to name the devil only the names which God has called him. To curse and revile him is not of God for us. That is our Lord’s work. The devil has a place to which he will be going for all eternity, and it won’t be heaven before the throne of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Guard Against Filthy Dreamers

“Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.” Jude 8 (NKJV).

We must look backwards in the text to see the meaning of the “Likewise”. The apostates who lived in unbelief, rebellion, and immoral conduct were also “filthy” (KJV) dreamers. They had no regard for the Word of God. They reject all authority, and spoke evil of those who had leadership.

In rejecting leadership this most likely means that of God’s Word, His leaders, and spoke evil of angels as well – the angels of God especially; probably assigning themselves power over angels. Giving dreams, and visions as much authority as the Word of God. Any messenger of God would have been evil spoken of.

The ones of whom Jude writes were probably saying they had a message from God, when all along their message was opposed to God.

Hear what Peter said of this very act:

“…Especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries…“ 2 Peter 2:10 (NKJV).

These that speak evil of dignitaries are those who have no love for Jesus, nor much care for truth. They are given to whatever makes them feel fulfilled. “If it feels good that must be the right thing”. Could this also be dealing with those who have authority over us in government positions? “They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries…

With spirituality on the rise we as Christians must continue to guard our hearts and minds against the teachings of many who profess to know Christ, but do not, and teach in a manner which cries for the temporal fulfillment of the here and now; with not desire for the eternal, and living for Christ Jesus now.

Beware of those who pretend to know Christ, but deny the cross of Christ, deny His deity, deny His resurrection, and His coming again. These also will deny the full, completed revelation of the written Word of God. The truth of Jesus Christ is that He died on the cross for our sins, and the victory was won on the cross, He was buried carrying our sins away, and He arose from that grave bodily to show forth the victory over sin, death, hell and the grave.

Trust in the power and the authority of Jesus Christ.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Immorality, Judgment and Mercy

“…As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 7 (NKJV).

Since verse five Jude has written of the perils of apostasy, and named things of the commission of apostasy. Unbelief – the unbelief of those who were delivered from Egypt, but would not believe God’s provision, power, mercy and grace. The rebellion of the angels who left their God appointed estate for their own reward. Then, Jude writes of the cities of the plain who were destroyed with fire and brimstone because of their immorality, their gross immorality.

The sin of each of these groups are similar in that they departed from God. Their judgments will also be similar.

One of the clearest signs of a society which has departed from God is the approval of that society for immoral conduct. Not many in leadership positions within politics wants to expose immorality for what it is. It is a sign of that societies departure from God. Sexual immorality within a society is God’s judgment on that society for turning from Him. We are in grave danger of not seeing the hand of God’s judgment in the USA. It is judgment when society gives approval to greed, lust, and stealing from the poor. When God’s people turn a deaf ear to God, His prophets/preachers, and His Word; then, God will allow our own sins to judge us (Jeremiah 2:19).

As Christians in a society where sexual immorality is running rampant, approval of homosexuality is abounding, we must stand on the power of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus our Lord and Savior, and the Word of God. Let’s not back away from the truth of God’s Word. Trusting the Lord during debaucherous times, relying on His Spirit within us, and the authority of His Word to instruct us, correct us, and rebuke us; we stand as examples of Jesus Christ, His love and grace. Adultery, premarital sex relationships, and homosexual activities are all under the category of unbelief, rebellion, and immorality equaling apostasy. As Christians, followers of Jesus Christ; we are to have no part in it.

 

God does not desire that any perish (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9), and the God of the New Testament is as loving in the Old Testament. Hear the prophet Ezekiel,

“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” Ezekiel 18:23 (KJV); and

“For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Ezekiel 18:32 (KJV).

Jesus Christ took the wrath and judgment of God that belonged to you and me. He died on the cross, was buried taking our sin, guilt and shame away, then He bodily arose from the grave, and through Him we have fellowship with our Father/God. Let us love with the love of Jesus Christ. The love of Jesus means revealing sin where it stands opposed to all that is unholy, and unrighteous, and giving our lives for the purpose of seeing the lost and condemned in sin come to a saving faith of Him who died and rose again. Also, giving hope through the power of Jesus Christ. Power to deliver. Power to change. Power to become the sons of God.

Turn from immorality to Jesus Christ today, and live.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Reserved For Darkness

“And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;” Jude 6 (NKJV).

Apostasy is a horrible thing. It even affected the very first beings which God has made, and that is the angels. There was one angel who was evidently more beautiful to look upon than all the others, and that was the one named Lucifer. Read Ezekiel 28:11-19. He eventually got too full of himself, and led others to follow him in rebellion in heaven, and it has been said that one third of the angels followed him. Read Revelation 12:7-12.

Isaiah the prophet mentions Lucifer; “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12ff). Five times following, he shows his rebellious heart, and says he will take the throne of God, he says, “I will be like the Most High”. If there was ever a case for “I” trouble he had it.

The angels of heaven had a home in the presence of eternal God, their Creator. One led one third to be cast out, and are awaiting the judgment of God. Lucifer, ie., the devil knows that he has but a short time, and in this day is working to condemn the souls of men, women, boys and girls to eternal torment. Let us never begin to take the devil too lightly. He does not care, nor does he have an inkling or concern for our problems. He is a thief, robber, murderer, and does not desire to do anything but to “steal, kill, and destroy” you. He knows his destination is the Lake of Fire, and he and his minions are out to snare, trap, and lead you there with them.

The proper, God made domain for the angels was in the presence of the LORD. God’s proper domain for you and I is to be eternally in the presence of God. Let us never think, though, that just because we were the ones made in the “Image of God” that that destiny is secure. It is only secure in the shed blood of Jesus Christ; shed on the cross for our sins. When we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then and only then, is that destination secured. He holds us in His strong hands, and will never let us go. Praise Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Peril Of Unbelief

“But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” Jude 5 (NKJV).

There is not much said, either in written form, or speech from the pulpits of our churches (those who still have pulpits), anything concerning apostates or apostasy. It is almost like they do not exist. It seems to have been the thinking in Jude’s day as well, because they need to be reminded of those who never made it to the Promised Land following their deliverance from Egypt.

There were many who murmured and complained all along the journey. They would murmur about having no water, they would complain about having nothing to eat. They mumbled and groaned about the leadership of Moses. God dealt with each of these situations in His power and glory. In one instance, the one which kept them in the wilderness for 38 extra years, they came to a place called Kadesh Barnea, twelve surveyors (spies) were sent into Canaan to search the land, its people, and any problems they might encounter (Numbers 13). When the men returned ten of them said, “The land is just as was spoken, but there are giants in the land, and in their eyes we are as grasshoppers.” Isn’t it amazing what that little three letter word can do to faith, ie., “but”. There were two men who said, “God has given us the land, Let us go up at once, and possess it…” (Numbers 13:30). The people rebelled, said no, and because of their unbelief they did not enter. No one over the age of twenty at this rebellion, except for Joshua and Caleb, would enter the Promised Land. “They entered not in because of unbelief”. Read Hebrews chapters three and four.

How could we describe or define “Unbelief”? The unbelief spoken of concerning apostates, and apostasy is just an out and out denial, refusing to believe what God has said. Refusing to act on the promises of God, and not trusting in Him alone. What has been seen previously in Jude – the turning of the grace of God into lewdness [lasciviousness], denying the cross and work of Jesus – turning the things of God into reasons for pleasure, and unruliness. God is not pleased with the lewd behavior, and those who practice such are living in unbelief, and have no part with God. The Peril of Unbelief is destruction, and eternal damnation.

Beware of those who can teach and lead you away from the God of mercy, grace, love, and holiness, righteousness, and justice.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Grace Into Lewdness

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 4 (NKJV).

Yes! This is the same verse as yesterday’s. However it seems prudent to deal a little more on that part of the verse which is in bold print.

It is sad that there seems to be a growing number of professing Bible teachers who call themselves or have been called “Free Gracers”. Grace is free from our loving God and Savior, however, the fact of its being free to us does not give us freedom to live without control. That is usually what is meant by those who believe in “Free Grace”. It is usually meant that when you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or they would just say Savior, then you have the “Liberty of conscience, or spirit” to live as you so please.

In affect, they turn the “grace of God into lewdness”, and the idea of Christian liberty is taken beyond what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is; there is liberty”. We are free in Christ.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Romans 6:12-18 (KJV)

The freedom which we have in Jesus Christ is not freedom to live as we please, but freedom from the law of condemnation, and freedom to live for Christ and unbound by sin. Before salvation we were servants of sin. Having Jesus as our Lord and Savior unbinds us from sin, then, to serve our Lord Jesus, and to live in the way that will glorify His precious and holy name.

It is not in the heart of a child of God to continue in disobedient, rebellious sin against our Lord. Jesus is Lord of the true believer, the true child of God. If the heart of the individual professing Jesus as Savior is not prone to glorify God by living for Him, then, that heart is not redeemed, and needs Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The heart of the truly saved individual desires to live in such a fashion that Jesus’s name will be glorified in their life. It is not given to the disobedience of sin.

The teacher who teaches such heresy is not a teacher of God, but is one of those who has come in “unnoticed” or “Unawares”. Take heed to what every teacher, who is teaching, teaches. Use the spiritual discernment which the Spirit of God gives you, along side the Word of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Sneaky Men Of Condemnation

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 4 (NKJV).

Hopefully most Christians have noticed that there is a whole lot of religious rhetoric in the world, and most of that on what you will see for what poses as “Christian Television”. The aim of many in these supposed ministries is not the promotion of the glory of Jesus Christ, but to fill their pocket books, and tell you things like, “If you are sick you have sinned”. They may not be so brash as to say that as clearly as that, but that is what they mean.

These are apostates. They actually hate the truth of Jesus Christ. They deny Jesus Christ by changing the meaning of His death on the cross, and will tell you things, such as, “On the cross Jesus was just a little wimp who couldn’t do anything.” The truth of that is that the victory of Jesus was the cross. It was on the cross where Satan, and Hell and sin were defeated. During that three hours of darkness there was the greatest war which has ever taking place that ever took place in eternity. Jesus was the victor.

The men and women who proclaim that your life should be without sickness, you should always be victorious, and always have a full bank account; and if you don’t you have sinned; are liars and are following their father the devil. They are deceivers and antichrist.

Beware of those teachers who call on you to give money to them, “And you will be blessed a hundred fold”. Jesus warned, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ’; and shall deceive many.” Now, these apostates may not be actually saying they are Christ, but they are denying the very power of Christ, and His cross. When you deny the power of His cross you deny Him.

These teachers are condemned people. They will have a place in eternity, but not with Jesus Christ. Be aware of false teachers. Believe the Word of God, and trust Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Please NOTE: I will not have any further posts until at least October 30.

Contend Earnestly

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning ouor common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3 (NKJV).

Contending can be called “fighting”. “We Christians are not supposed to fight.” If you have ever said that, thought that, or heard someone else say that, then it was wrong. We are, of course to be peaceable, in matters of living with others. However, when it comes to “truth” and/or “faith” we are to stand against its opposition

Jude seems to have had another purpose for writing this letter when he first set out to write. Being led by the Holy Spirit that intent was changed to call the saints to action for contending for the faith.

Though this letter of Jude was written hundreds, and actually nearly two thousand years ago it is still applicable for the day. Some may say, “Well we live in new era of time. People, and things have changed.” “We are more civilized today.” O, are we?

There is a whole lot of spirituality without Christ Jesus. There is a whole world of lies that are being taught in this world and millions of people being deceived by them, even professing Christians. Just because a person is spiritual does not make them right with God. Every one is spiritual in one way or another.

The world is headed into a new “Dark ages”. An age where superstition rules. An age of witchcraft, worship of false deities, drug use, spirituality, and the elite rule. Christian we are called to defend the faith that has been given us by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who can deliver us from this darkness.

We must in these last days “Earnestly contend for the faith”. Who are the “saints”? All those who have called on the name of Jesus, and are trusting Him for their eternal salvation. You are a saint of God. You are to earnestly contend for the faith.

Mercy, Peace, and Love

“Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” Jude 2 (NKJV).

Three words which are related to Christianity, and living a life that magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Mercy” is what God gives those who are deserving of justice, and judgment. Mercy is what the world receives from its Creator each and every day. The world is reeling, and moaning in torment crying out for redemption (Romans 8:19-22). There are storms, from which are spawned tornadoes, straight winds of destruction. Earthquakes cause us to feel the tremors of this earth, and economics and health. God is merciful, and calls for the repentance of those who are against Him. Many refuse, but He still gives them a breath of air, a beat of the heart, one more step. That is mercy. As Christians we extend mercy as well, by calling for our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors to come to Christ by faith.

“Peace” is not necessarily the absence of conflict. Peace is mostly an attitude in one’s heart and mind. If one is not at peace with God, there will not be peace in one’s self. There will be conflict, torment, and war. Most of the reasons for marriage failures is due to a lack of peace within one or both individuals – the man or the woman, or both. Most of the time it is both. God desires to give peace to all people. However, when the rulers of nations plot to overthrow the throne of heaven, there will not be peace. Paul the apostle wrote, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Romans 5:1). Without faith there can be no peace in the heart of individuals or on earth.

“Love” is of God. The love spoken of here is a God-trait or character. It comes exclusively from Him. As John the apostle wrote, “God is love”. Someone added to this and said, “So, love is God”. That is complete heresy. The love God is, is unconditional. His love requires nothing from us. His love in us does however, change those who have received it. We have not only been changed, but we also want to express it, give it, and a like spirit is found among those who are likeminded in Christ Jesus. We tend to move toward one another. We are not told by the apostle that we will one day love one another, but that we “love each other” (1 John 3:13-15). It is in the present tense. And we will continue loving one another.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Preserved, Called and Sanctified

“Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preseved in Jesus Christ.” Jude 1 (NKJV).

 

Jude was a half brother of the Lord Jesus. Mary was his mother, and Joseph his father. Jude does not, now even consider himself to be worthy of calling himself “the Lord’s brother”; because he had at first rejected Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 7:5). He instead, calls himself the “brother of James” who also is a half-brother of Jesus. That is the James who wrote the Bible book of James. Jude did not believe until after Jesus had risen from the grave.

Notice to whom this letter is written. To “those who are called”. The called are those to whom the Father has saved by His grace. This is not speaking of an invitation, but an already chosen people who have been delivered from their sins, by faith in the Perfect One who died for the sins of the world.

The called are also one’s who are “sanctified”, set apart, beloved, and continually growing in the faith of Christ Jesus. These are also “preserved” which means kept by the hands of the one who called them. And, He keeps them from falling.

To make it even clearer. The called of God are secure, safe, and set apart for all eternity, and nothing shall be able to take you from the Father’s hands. NOTHING. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

Saved, secure, forever; held in the Father’s hands.

-Tim A. Blankenship