Hearing and Doing

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, ‘If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31-32 (KJB)

“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47

Verses 31 and 32 were spoken to seems to have believed in Him, but they could not see themselves as being in bondage; even while they as a people were enslaved to the Roman empire.

The words of verse 47 seems to show that they were not hearing God’s word to the point that Jesus was teaching. To “Continue” in His word is to live, to abide in it; making it every bit a part of one’s life.  Many of these leaders of religion could quote the whole law, but did not rest in neither trust their God and only Savior.

They were in fact still bound by the law which condemns them, and shows them their is only one hope.  That hope is found by means of a single sacrifice for sin.

That single sacrifice for sin was given when Jesus went to the cross and died for the sins of the world.

Do you want to be free, truly free?  Then, the only way is through the death, burial, and resurrection of the God-Man Christ Jesus.  He forever lives.  This is God’s grace.  Grace is not free.  It was paid for with the life of God’s own Son.

Now, what are you going to do with that information?

The Teaching of Jesus

“And He taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy Him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.” Luke 19:47-48 (KJB)

During the final week of the life of Jesus as the God-Man walking among men He spent His days teaching in the temple, going out at night to the Mount of Olives to rest and pray (Luke 21:37).

In reading Luke 19 – 21 today I noticed many things about His teaching.  He taught some new parables of the kingdom, some warning the religious rulers of their impending loss of the kingdom.

He also took note of the generous heart of a widow who gave more than all, because she gave all she had.  People listened.  They were attentive; you might even say they hung onto every word He said.

No man taught like this Man; neither do any of 2019 in any part of the world; though some probably think they do.

I tend to believe that those who were seeking to destroy Him were jealous of His power of conviction, passion for God and His word, and love for the people.

Do you love the teachings of Jesus?  There might be some who will say, “But how can I hear the teachings of Jesus?”  There is only one answer to that question.  Pick up the Scriptures called the Holy Bible, and start reading, then you will hear the teachings  of Jesus.  If you are new to reading the Bible, then begin with the Gospels – Matthew through John.  You will be drawn to Him if you have a sincere heart to know Him.

Jesus came to die for you and me.  He died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again.  Hear Him, believe Him, trust Him.

Take It By Force

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12 (KJB)

I am going to let the exposition of John Gill give you an explanation of the above verse.

From John Gills Exposition of the Bible…
And from the days of John the Baptist until now,…. From the time that he began to preach, to the then present time,
the kingdom of heaven, the Gospel, and the ministry of it, first by John, then by Christ and his apostles,
suffereth violence; or “comes with force”, and power upon the souls of men: it was attended with the demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; as appeared by its being the means of quickening persons that were dead in trespasses and sins; enlightening the blind; causing the deaf to hear; melting and softening hearts of stone; making, of enemies, friends to God and Christ; turning men from the power of Satan unto God; setting at liberty such as were slaves and vassals to their own corruptions; and, in a word, in being the power of God unto salvation, to many souls: and which was further seen, in the manner it did all this; suddenly, secretly, powerfully, and effectually, and yet not against the wills of men; and by such instruments as the apostles were, poor, sinful, mortal men; despised by the world, and attended with opposition and persecution: or “suffers violence”; which may be understood, either of the vast numbers, that pressed and crowded to hear the Gospel preached: great numbers followed John, when he first began to preach, and baptize: still a greater number followed Christ, some to hear his doctrine, others to see his miracles, others to behold his person, others out of selfish ends; and some behaved rudely and indecently: or of the ardour and fervency of spirit, which appeared in some, to the ministry of John and Christ, and in their desires and expectations of the kingdom of the Messiah: or of the Gospel’s suffering violence by the persecutions of its enemies opposing and contradicting it, reproaching it, intimidating the professors of it, and seeking to take away the life of Christ, the great subject of it:
and the violent take it by force; meaning either publicans, and harlots, and Gentile sinners; who might be thought to be a sort of intruders: or rather the same persons, as being powerfully wrought upon under the ministry of the Gospel; who were under violent apprehensions of wrath and vengeance, of their lost and undone state and condition by nature; were violently in love with Christ, and eagerly desirous of salvation by him, and communion with him; and had their affections set upon the things of another world: these having the Gospel preached to them, which is a declaration of God’s love to sinners, a proclamation of peace and pardon, and a publication of righteousness and life by Christ, they greedily catched at it, and embraced it.

Saved by grace, through faith, that works (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Teaching a Young Pastor

“But you speak the things which become sound doctrine: that the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.  The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, discretion, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.  Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
In all things showing yourself a pattern of good works: in doctrine uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.  Servants to be obedient unto their own masters, to please well in all; not answering again; not stealing, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise you.”  Titus 2:1-15

REFERENCES: 1 Timothy 2:9; 4:12; 1 Peter 3:3; 5:3; Ephesians 5:24; 6:24; Nehemiah 5:9; Matthew 5:16; Luke 3:6; Romans 5:15; Acts 24:15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 9:28

They Watched Him

Jesus had a way, His way of aggravating the religious crowd of His day.  That religion was steeped in legalism, and little mercy or grace.  It seemed they knew nothing about grace for their people; but allowed much, with loopholes around some of their traditions for themselves.

When the disciples with Jesus were walking through a field of grain, and they were scooping their fingers through the heads freeing the grains seeds from the tops, rolling the grain in their hands to free the good from the chaff, then blowing the chaff away with a strong breath; and they were doing it on the sabbath day [Saturday]; then, the scribes and Pharisees considered that a violation of the sabbath.

On another sabbath day Jesus had entered a synagogue to worship, and there was a man there with a withered right hand.  The Pharisees and the scribes watched Jesus to see what He would do.  Our verse today…

“And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against Him.” Luke 6:7  (KJB)

They watched Him with ill intent.  They watched Him to bring harm.  They watched Him to eventually kill Him.  Why?  They hated Him, His life, His teaching, and probably His boldness and authority with which He spoke.  He put religion on notice as well.

Those who follow Jesus, are faithful to Him, and His teaching- His doctrine will be watched too.  Sometimes for the same reasons as those who were watching Jesus. What are we to do?  Live faithfully for Christ.  Put Him on daily (Romans 13:12;  Galatians 3:27;  Ephesians 4:24; 6:11) all the things of Christ Jesus.  Do not fear; be faithful.

I will leave with you a quote from the Matthew Henry Commentary on Luke 6:7…

“Among those who were the hearers of Christ’s excellent doctrine, and the eye-witnesses of his glorious miracles, there were some who came with no other design than to pick quarrels with him, Luk_6:7. The scribes and Pharisees would not, as became generous adversaries, give him fair warning that, if he did heal on the sabbath day, they would construe it into a violation of the fourth commandment, which they ought in honour and justice to have done, because it was a case without precedent (none having ever cured as he did), but they basely watched him, as the lion does his prey, whether he would heal on the sabbath day, that they might find an accusation against him, and surprise him with a prosecution.” From the MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY

When You Hear the Father

“It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” John 6:45-47

When you hear the Father; that is Jehovah [YHWH]; then you will know Jesus the Christ.  If or when you know Jesus you will hear and know the Father.

He Preached With Authority

“And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. And they were astonished at His doctrine: for His word was with power.” Luke 4:31-32 (KJB)

Speaking of Jesus of course; He spoke amazing things.  His doctrine [teaching] was with power and authority which is probably a redundancy, but for strength and clarity it is repeated.

I pray that I will grow so in love with the Lord Jesus and His word and walk [live] in the fullness of His Spirit [the Holy Spirit] that I too will have that authority.  I do not desire it for myself, but for His name’s sake; and that others might come to know Him as their own personal Lord and Savior.  I pray this for every pastor, every man and woman of God, and every youth who has given their lives to Him.

Let us grow in the Spirit and power of Christ our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Beware of the Hypocrite Authorities

“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples, saying, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.’
” Matthew 23:1-12  (KJB)

The “Seat of Moses'” was the authority given to the teachers of the Law of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy).  These teachers had the responsibility to teach it.  They were responsible for being able to quote it without reading it.  They need to be applauded for the work of memory required to do that. However, they laid a load of condemnation on their people, and did little of nothing for their own holiness, and sanctification.

Most of the good works they did was for popularity with the people; to be seen of them. They sought the higher places to be seen of men.

Jesus tells His disciples, the multitude, and us, “Do what they teach according to the Law of Moses; but do not as the Pharisees do.”  Instead of exalting God; they exalted themselves.

As Christians, as followers of Jesus Christ we are to live to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.  When we exalt Him we exalt the Father.

Believe Him

Finding the Knowledge of God

You Shall Find the Knowledge of God – Proverbs 2:1-9

Verses 1 – 5 –  “…If thou wilt receive my words…”  The “ifs” of learning and instruction.  Using the affectionate term “my son” the parent, the teacher continues the instruction.  The “ifs” state a conditional teaching.

“Receive” means to seize, take hold of when they are heard and taught.  It is as though to be taken and applied as it is your very own. “Hide” to hoard them, protect them; meaning do not let anything pervert or change them.  This word is used again in verse 7 as “Layeth up”.

The “commandments” are those things which are being taught; the Law, Ordinances, precepts.

These should be sought as though it was the most excellent treasure; “silver” “hid treasures”.  When these “ifs”; ie. these conditions are met, then you will “find the knowledge of God” (v. 5).

Verse 6 –  “The LORD giveth wisdom”  The source of wisdom and knowledge.  Since it is the LORD who gives wisdom, it must be clear that knowledge and understanding; closely associated with wisdom; then must also be given by the LORD through wisdom.

“…Out of His mouth”  The study note from the MacArthur Study Bible states,

“His mouth. The words of His mouth are contained in Scripture.  It is there that God speaks (cf. Heb. 1:1-2;  2 Pet. 1:20, 21).  Wisdom comes only by revelation.”

Knowledge in our current society is associated with having received an education at a college, university, etc.  The knowledge we read of here is that knowledge which only God Himself gives.

Verse 7 –  “He layeth up sound wisdom”  The Hebrew word for “layeth up” is the same as that for hide as in verse 1.  Sound wisdom is thus stored up by God for the righteous.

It could have much to do with Amos’s words,

“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets.”  Amos 3:7

and even Jesus’s words to Peter at his confession of Christ (Matthew 16:17).

“He is a buckler” – Buckler is a shield, a form of defense.   The LORD is a defense, our whole defense against the wicked and the peril of the wicked.

Verses 8 – 9 –  “He keepeth the paths..”  The LORD guards and maintains.   From the Pulpit Commentary this note,

“It is God who “keepeth the paths of judgment,” as he alone has the power to do so. He watches over all that walk therein, guides, superintends, and protects them.”  e-Sword edition.

“Preserveth the way of His saints” is as the LORD putting a hedge around to protect the righteous as they walk in Him.

Verse 9 then, tells us that in His keeping and preserving (Hedging us in) we “understand” righteousness, judgment, and equity (which is equality, or fairness).

Our understanding of equality, righteousness, judgment; God’s keeping us, and preserving us must come from the wisdom of God.  When we receive correct instruction we should hide it within our hearts and minds; keeping it for use in life’s situations.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Salvation Preaching, Hearing, and Unbelief

Salvation, Preaching, and Unbelief

Romans 10:9-21

The leaders of Israel had been so blinded by their religion that they missed the very one for whom their Scriptures had foretold. It seems they had been searching, searching, looking in the stars, over the seas, over lands, and in their own righteousness, but to no avail. Paul tell them and us that it is near, “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;“ v. 8 ; Deut. 30:12-13 (KJV). Jesus even told them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:39-40 (KJV). They had the truth of Jesus before their faces and missed it.

SO WHAT IS NEEDED FOR SALVATION?

“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.” Romans 10:9-11 (KJV).

Confession – this includes an admission of one’s sins; it also includes confession of God,

“…a deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is that person’s own master or sovereign. This phrase includes the repenting from sin, trusting in Jesus for salvation, and submitting to Him as Lord.” The MACARTHUR Study Bible pg. 1712 study notes.

Believe the resurrection as the validation of the ministry of Jesus Christ; it proves beyond doubt that Jesus is all and everything He claimed to be.

For those who will confess and believe there is no shame.

All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

THE NEED FOR PREACHING.

“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.” Romans 10:14-17 (KJV)

If we are going to preach we must be sure of the message we proclaim.

Those who know the truth of the Gospel have a responsibility to proclaim it.

God has called every saved individual to live as a witness, and proclaim the Gospel to the people they know and come in contact with.

Those who hear the Word and believe have received faith by grace through hearing the Word of God.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” v. 17.

THE PERIL OF UNBELIEF

“But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.  But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.  But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” Romans 10:18-21 (KJV)

Israel was a Nation who had been born under the message of their Messiah, yet when He came they would not believe Him. They had Moses telling them (Deut.32:21), and the prophets; Isaiah which is mentioned by Paul here (Isaiah 65:1).

God’s patience with Israel is not without notice.

Because of their blindness their hearts have been hardened

Unbelief is a peril that leads to darkness.

Page after page of the Old Testament is filled with His patient call to return. His promise of sustenance for them. His promises of returning them to their land. Yet, they harden their hearts. God has always had a remnant.

No Christian can or will abide in unbelief.

-Tim A. Blankenship

No People Group Left Out

NO PEOPLE LEFT OUT
Romans 9:25-33

There may have been accusations against Paul’s teaching, claiming that He was preaching an unjust and unrighteous God. That is not what Paul preached, nor is it the teaching of Scripture.

Because God is holy, righteous, and just He has every right to be “Merciful to whom He will be merciful” and to “Have compassion on whom He will have compassion”. He has did everything that His glory, holiness, righteousness, and justness allowed Him to do in order that the lost might be saved.
Hosea’s wife Gomer is brought into this picture of God’s salvation. She had become a harlot, yet God commanded Hosea to love her, and redeem her from her slavery (Hosea 2:1-22; 3:1-5). Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah saying, “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: for He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth”. (vv. 27-28; Isaiah 10:22-23). These quotations make it quite plain that God’s intentions has always been to save people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. He has blessed the nation of Israel with the blessing of giving the world His Word and the Living Word [His Son Jesus], and is blessing them again, by bringing them back to Himself, though they have strayed, and not believed Him. (See Isaiah 1:9 and 13:9).

Hosea 2:23 Paul has given as the Word of God for calling people for Himself from the Gentile nations.

Vv. 25-26 — The quotation from Hosea concerning those not “My people” and called “Children of the living God”;

Vv. 27-29 — The numerous number of Israel shows God’s fulfillment to make of them a “Great Nation”, however, due to their unfaithfulness, there will only be a small number (a remnant) from that number who will be delivered; thus, He will finish the things which He has said concerning Israel, and He will fulfill His word in short order. Except the Lord saved a remnant the Nation would have been like Sodom and Gomorrha, in destruction;

Vv. 30-32 — You can almost begin to see that there have been questions concerning the Jews about what Paul is teaching, and he is answering them; “What about these Gentiles who never pursued righteousness, and now are righteous?” It is theirs because of faith, ie., trusting God implicitly, and no other – no works – just a simple faith that realizes that it is solely by grace through faith we are saved. Israel, on the other hand, had the law, pursuing it by their works, and deeds and failed to attain righteousness by the law. The reason Israel failed is they were seeking to obtain it by the keeping of the law, rather than trusting the Lord and His grace; they had not the faith; and when it came to Jesus, their Messiah/Christ, He was a “Stumbling stone”;

v. 33 — In Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16 the prophet tells us basically what Paul is quoting; Jesus, the One who died on the cross to may a way for “His own”, and the nations, was rejected, because the cross was and still is an “Offense”. It is not only an offense to the Jew it is an offense to many who are Gentiles.

In 1993 the Barna Research Group conducted a poll on beliefs among those who professed being born again, as compared to the total population. The statement, “All good people, whether they consider Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior or not, will live in Heaven after they die on earth” was read to those who participated. Of those who professed to be “Born again” thirty two percent [32%] agreed with the statement. Forty eight [48%] of those churched agreed, along with forty four percent [44%] of the total population.
“All good people, whether they consider Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior or not will live in Heaven after they die on earth.”

Professing Born again …. 32 percent agreed;

Those who attend church …. 48 percent agreed;

Total population …. 44 percent agreed.

It is evident even today [2007] that this has not improved. It has most likely worsened. How terrible it would be to stand before Jesus one day and have our only answer being, “I thought I could make it on my own. I was a good man/woman.” Then, to hear Jesus say, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you worker of iniquity”.

There will be no shame for those who take God at His Word and believe in Jesus. We will be able to stand before Him with confidence in His finished work and all the glory will belong solely to Him, and that will be our glorification.

The Way of the Wayward

“Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Jude 1:11 (KJV)

Verse 8 of Jude explains who the “Them” are of verse 11.  “Filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” The study continues…

It is a very important time for Christian leaders to stand up and teach the truth of God’s word and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is important in every day, every era of time, but as the time of the coming of Christ draws nearer we ought to give very earnest heed to the truth.  It does make a difference what you believe.  What you believe is how you will live.

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 teachings 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 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 of Israel before they entered the promised land. Then, there is Korah (Core of Jude 11), 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 ones 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. At least in your own mind.

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.  To walk in the Way of the Wayward will lead to death.  The way of God and His Son Jesus leads to life everlasting.

Who is Jesus Christ?

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 1:7-9 (KJV)

It does matter how we see Jesus.  If you see Jesus as a good teacher, a prophet, or a good man, and deny His teachings – such as – “My Father and I are One” (John 10:30). Then how do you believe He was a good teacher, a prophet, or a good man?  If He lied about the things He teaches of Himself, then He was a liar.  “Let God be true, and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).  If Jesus is the Son of God as He said then He is Divine and is Incarnate God.

There is one thing that identifies the fellowship of Christ from other so called fellowships.  The love that has Jesus Christ as its basis, its standard, and foundation.

Some teachers and teachings declare that Jesus was only a spirit being – similar to the angels that appear as men.  If that was true then there was no actual body that died on the cross, and no resurrection.  The Scriptures say, “… He took not on Him the nature of angels: but He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:16).  He became flesh.  To deny Jesus became flesh [God Incarnate] is to deny the truth.

Those who teach a different Jesus are deceivers, even antichrists.  Paul writes, “…Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).  The fact must be stressed over and over again that false teaching is harmful and deadly to the individual Christian, and to the whole body of Christ [the Church] if it is allowed in our churches and lives.

There are many religions that profess to be “Christian”.  If they deny that Jesus Christ is God in flesh they are a deceiver and liars.  If they declare His deity, yet claim that it is something all mankind can attain as well (that is deity, and that we can all become gods), then that robs the glory that belongs only to Jesus, and that is reserved solely for Him; and those who teach such are “antichrist” deceivers.

“The doctrine of Christ” (v. 9) is the pure Bible doctrine [teaching] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, God become flesh (John 1:1, 14), and God the Son.  Anyone or any group denying this doctrine, or equating Godhood to any other is a liar and antichrist.  He or they are not of God.  They are not to be accepted in the fellowship of Christ or His Church.

In the following verses of 2 John 1:10-11 the apostle John warns followers of Jesus Christ not even to allow the teachers of the antichrist doctrine into their homes; neither to tell them “Goodbye”.  To tell them “Goodbye” is to tell them “Godspeed” or “God bless you”.

It really does make a difference what you believe about Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son.

Christmas Day Forty Seven

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to always be the type of man who will listen to and accept the wise instruction and teaching from those who know better than I on a subject; and to live in the instruction and wisdom given me.

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:9 (KJV)

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 357

What do I want for Christmas?

I want every pastor who believes the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible word of God, and that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God; and God the Living Son to begin writing on a weblog [Blog] such as this; and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the possibility of reaching millions, maybe billions of souls for the name of Christ.

Jesus said,

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)

The Word of God at Work

“And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: and Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” Nehemiah 8:5-8 (KJV)

The book Nehemiah speaks of in the verses is the Word of God, the law, the commandments. Of course it was in the form of a scroll. When he opened the book in the sight of the people, they stood to their feet. It was a matter of respect for God and His Word. They were believing it. God had told them through the prophets that they would go into captivity, and then return after 70 years. Thus, they had indeed.

The temple had been rebuilt. The wall around Jerusalem was restored. They would worship, and glorify the LORD.

There is much need today for the people of God to believe the Book; the Word of God. We need for the people of God to respect the Book. We ought to stand when it is read. Even more importantly we need to hear what is read, and apply it to our daily lives. It is the Word of God that gives us life. It is by the Word of God that we are to live.

Notice that the spiritual leaders read “distinctly” = clarify; “gave a sense” = explaining the meaning; and “caused them to understand”. These are matters of responsibility of every pastor and preacher of the Word of the LORD. And to teach the people to do so too.

Hide the word of God in your heart that you might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

The Teaching of the Father

“Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught of God.’ Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”  ~Jesus (John 6:43-51)

Day 84 – Instructions To a Young Preacher

The title does not mean that I am giving instructions to young preachers.  God knows I still need instruction.  There are many young pastors and preachers who are better instructed, than myself, and do so much better a job than myself, and some other older pastors I know.

Paul, in giving instructions to Timothy instructs all who will hear God’s call and follow Him.  My reading today was in the first two Pastoral Epistles – First and Second Timothy.  They are “Instructions To a Young Preacher” that we all need to hear and heed.  There is much sorrow on my mind and life for the many things I have not done according to these instructions.

First we can see that Timothy must have been struggling a bit with timidity and fear.  We hear Paul say to him,

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God…” 2 Timothy 1:6-8 (KJV)

As you can see this is addressed in the second epistle.  It was probably a problem with Timothy from the first, though it could have also have became a problem following some time in ministry.  Timothy needed encouragement from his teacher, the apostle Paul; and Paul was giving it.

In these letters the apostle addresses several issues; prayer, leadership, and praying for those in authority.  He addresses the matter of women teaching men.  Because of the cultural prostitution, there is even instruction for women concerning the way they dress.  Do not dress like prostitutes.  Which, still needs to be heard.   It is a matter of creation  order, not equality that we should realize.  It was not a cultural issue it is a life issue for every culture.   The apostle Paul addresses the qualifications of pastors and deacons.  Who can fully measure up to these, but by the grace of God?

The apostle reveals Jesus Christ as “the man” in Heaven,

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”  1 Timothy 2:5-6

The young pastor is also instructed to “Flee youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22).  The young pastor, preacher; and the old pastor/preacher needs to heed this cautions.  Youthful lust is not the only problem.  Old men can lust too.  There have been far too many pastors and preachers, young and old who have fallen to the seductive calling of applause, approval, and power.

There is much in these two letters for us to read, to hear and to heed.  Let me leave you with these last verses,

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”  2 Timothy 4:1-2

It is needed by the world of 2012 just as much; if not more than in the first century A.D.  Let us all be faithful to preaching the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

What Manner Of Man – Communicator

“And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.  And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,  Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:  And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.  And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:  But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.  And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.  And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”  Mark 4:1-12 (KJV)

Someone defined a parable as “An earthly story with a heavenly meaning”, and I think that is a good definition if I do say so.  They may or may not be fictional to point out a truth.  Jesus used many of them to make points, and even to conceal the truth from some.

From what I have seen I know people like a good story.  That is why novels sell so well.  The Christian novel market is booming.  Christian fiction is one of the hottest selling items going.  When Frank E. Perretti wrote “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing The Darkness” it started the boom in Christian fiction novels.  Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins co-authored the “Left Behind” series and it was and is a wonderful story of the last days.  Many years ago a man in Southwest Missouri wrote “The Shepherd of the Hills” and it is a wonderful story.  Harold Bell Wright wrote the story for his church and that book has become more popular in recent years.

When I was in school I would be assigned a novel to read and all I would do is scan it.  I would read the first page of a chapter, a middle page and the final page of a chapter and then I would write a composition on it.  It is no wonder my grades were no better than they were.  Until I decided to read “This Present Darkness” I did not know what I had been missing.  Now I will read at least one novel per year and sometimes even more.

The greatest story ever told, though, is the story of God, His creation, man and his fall away from God, God’s pursuit of fallen man through the death burial and resurrection of His Son, and bringing it all to a conclusion in that great day when we will all be forgiven, cleansed, and in the presence of Jesus for all eternity.   That story tells us of the wickedness of fallen mankind, and the wonderful grace of Almighty God who created all that is.

Jesus tells the story of the soils and the seeds.  For the people to whom He was speaking agricultural language, because that is the language they would understand.   It is probably best called the “Parable of the Sower”.  He was faithful in sowing the seed and leaves the results to God.

There are four types of soil represented here.  In the first place some seed fell by the “wayside” onto hard ground, and the birds came and ate it up.  The second type of soil was “stony ground” which had shallow soil and no way for the crop to take root.  The third place where the seed fell was on “thorny soil”, and when the seed came up from the ground it was choked out by the thorns.  It received no light from the sun, therefore could not grow as it ought.  The fourth and final type of soil was good.  The seed fell upon the good soil and brought forth an abundant crop.

Jesus uses parables to teach those who really want to know Him.  If they are not interested in Him they will not understand the parables.  “He that has ears to hear, let him hear” is the statement of such.  Those who love Jesus or who are wanting to really know Him will listen, hear and obey what He has to say.

The parables Jesus told us many years ago are still applicable to the day we live and everyday in the lives of those who are willing to hear them and obey.

This same Jesus died on the cross for you, was buried carrying away all the sins of the world and the weight of guilt, and its condemnation, then rose from death’s grave overcoming the power of sin, death, and hell.  Call on His name today.  Trust His work He did for you.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Jesus – Ministry

The Gospel of Mark has for a theme, “I came not to be ministered [served]; unto, but to minister and give My life a ransom for many” and that is what Jesus did all of His three years of ministry.  Jesus defines service, by His life, and work.

Mark 1:21-45

VV. 21 – 34  —   PROOFS AND EVIDENCE OF THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF OUR LORD.

In these verses we find religious leaders who are amazed and the people who are amazed by the teachings of Jesus.  He did not teach theories, and philosophy.  He taught the teachings and Word of God like He knew it.  He was the One who had spoken the world into existence, and hung the stars and planets in place and gave them order in their revolutions.  No one can speak the Word of God with authority except they have received it from God and His Son.

We see the uselessness of intellectual knowledge in religion.  The demons cry out to Jesus in recognition of who He is.  Jesus commands their silence.  Someone so holy can not be rightly announced by what is unholy.  Satan, the enemy of God and man – especially saved men and women – know who Jesus is, but they are not redeemed.   The demons  “Believe and tremble” (James 2:19), so when a man or woman say they believe in God, they are doing no more than the demons.  It does not mean they have been redeemed by the life blood of Jesus Christ.  You would not ever find a more “religious” lot than the demon lot condemned to Hell.  Knowledge of who Jesus Christ does not save.  Without trusting Jesus as Savior and Lord of one’s life you stand condemned.

Jesus commanded this “unclean spirit” to come out and he came out.  This man who was possessed by this “demon” was brought to the right person.  Have you ever asked yourself why a demon possessed man was at the synagogue in the first place.  Could it be that the man still had some sense of the need of deliverance, and the providence of God put him there that very day for his deliverance and salvation?  Could be.

The Lord provides complete and perfect cure when He heals Simon’s [Peter’s] mother in law.  As soon as she is raised from her sickness she is in full health, and goes to serving the guests.  Jesus has a heart for serving the people and giving them health.  The most important health He provides and gives is spiritual/soul health.  There is no better health than a healthy soul, and heart that is in tune with Jesus.

Jesus went about after these things and healed the sick and delivered captured souls.  What a wonderful Servant/Savior we have.

VV. 35 – 39  —   LOOK AT OUR LORD’S PRAYER LIFE.

To look at His prayer life is to get a perfect example of what a prayer life ought to be.  First of all,

“His very perfection was a perfection kept through the exercise of prayer”. J. C. Ryle study of Mark’s Gospel

We ought to learn from that and realize that if we would pray we would become stronger against Satan and sin, and temptation.  Secondly,

“To be prayerless is to be Christless, Godless, and in the high road to destruction”. J. C. Ryle study of Mark’s Gospel

It is by God’s Word that we can keep from sin through the power of prayer.  The Word of God, hidden in our heart, and the commitment of prayer will strengthen us against sin.

The Lord came into this world to ultimately provide salvation for sinners by dying for mankind’s sin on the cross, being buried, and rising  from the dead.  He came to minister by preaching the truth of God.   The Lord Jesus would have been the greatest preacher to ever live.  He gave honor to the position of the preacher.  It is sad that there are some who cause that honor to stink, and then it is no more honor.  Our Lord was a preacher, and that gives it the highest honor possible, no matter what some may do.

VV. 40 – 45  —   JESUS CARES FOR THE UNCLEAN.

The disease of leprosy was a dreaded, even feared disease.  It would cause sores on the body, and the skin and flesh would rot on the body.  The Old Testament condemns them as “unclean”.  The person who had leprosy was not allowed to live with his or her family, they became “outcast”.  Of course, family often cared for them, without getting near them; providing them food, and probably clothing and needed items.  Here Jesus does something that was ceremonially forbidden.  He touched the “Unclean”.  Jesus was guilty.  He was guilty of loving and giving His life.  That is what He was guilty of.

As soon as Jesus touched the leper, and said, “I will; be thou clean”, the leprosy was gone and he was clean.  The power of Jesus’ healing is wondrous, it is Almighty.  It is great knowing that such a Man even cares for those who are “Unclean”.  We were unclean by sin.  We were as the leper.  We were vile, desparate, and in need of healing, then Jesus came and He touched us, healed us and cleansed us.  Notice, the leper came to Him.  He was drawn by what he had heard.  He was delivered by faith in the Lord, not by any work he had done.  It was the Lord who touched him, and He was clean.  He was healed.  He was made whole.  What a Savior.  What a Great Physician.

When Jesus had healed and cleansed the leprous man, He told him to be silent about what had taken place in his life.  Rather than being silent about it, though, he went and told every one he saw.  Doing this crippled the ministry of Jesus to the people.  There is a time for silence.  Since the resurrection of Jesus we have been commanded to go and tell all that we have seen and heard of Jesus.  The day of silence is over when it comes to talking about Jesus.  There are still times we should remain silent.  Jesus even told us not to cast our pearls before swine.  Would that not be giving the gospel to those who do not want to hear it?  Those who are imprisoned in self-righteousness?  Those who are enamored in their own goodness, thinking God will have a scale and weigh their good deeds against their bad deeds, and the good will out weigh the bad?  Those who are enjoying their wickedness are not ready for the truth of God’s Word, nor the gospel. These are the people who bask in their self righteousness.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Fiery Salvation

“…But others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Jude 23 (NKJV).

There are a couple of ways of approaching these two verses, ie. verses 22 and 23. Some see three groups of people who are being associated with the apostates, yet it seems to me that there are only two. The first being those who need compassion from those who are holding to the truths of God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ; and the other group being those who are so heavily involved in the worship of “Faith” that they need more than compassion, but hasteful warnings, as though snatching them from a fire.

We are often warned about being too hasty in some matters. There are some times, and some people who may require our haste. For example; Suppose you are driving down your road from home, and pass by a neighbor’s home, and you see fire where fire is not supposed to be. Do you drive on? Do you stop and investigate? In the investigation you find if the fire is allowed to continue it could very well burn the neighbor’s house down. You knock on the door, but there is no response. Do you just leave? A good neighbor would do their best to stop that fire, call the fire department, and do what is necessary to save the home and any possible lives who may be inside, if any. That requires a bit of haste.

We look at the lives of people involved in these false religions, ensnared by the false teachings, because these teachings make them feel so good about themselves; and it is actually a fire, a spiritual fire which is burning, taking the very souls of these individuals further away from truth and the Lord GOD. We should be caring enough to take time and address these matters. Sure there is going to be offense, but doesn’t the lies, the deception, the false teaching of the apostates, and their pride offend the true gospel of Jesus Christ, denying the power of the cross of Christ and His resurrection.

When will those professing Christ learn, and realize that being a Christian is not about achieving this world’s goods. The Christian life is about the praise and glory of the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The glory of God is done through the power of the cross, His burial, and resurrection, and the promise of His coming again. The glory of God is seen in His power to work in the trials and troubles of every Christian’s life. God is glorified in the life of a Christian who despite cancer and dying from it continues to give praise to the name of Jesus throughout the whole ordeal, then goes on to be with Jesus in Heaven. The glory of God is seen in a man and wife who loves the Lord despite financial hardship, and even into bankruptcy.

That is not what the false teachers are teaching. That is not what they want you to hear. That is, however, what God teaches us in His Word, and it is what He wants you to know and hear.
It is with great urgency we should deal with those engrained in the lies of false teaching and teachers. It is also with “fear” that we should consider our own faith in Jesus as we deal with them. Prayer, daily being in the Word of God, and walking with God daily is the only way to confront them, with the truth and love of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Distinct Compassion

“And on some have compassion, making a distinction…” Jude 22 (NKJV).

We will be looking today at a group on whom Jude is calling for Christians to have compassion. There are times when we Christians are seen as being without compassion. The definition for “compassion” is: ’sympathetic feeling: PITY, MERCY.’ That is according to THE MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICTIONARY. It is for those who have experienced mercy to give or show mercy.

We have already seen that we are all responsible for our own growth in our Lord Jesus Christ. There are, however, many who have fallen victim to false teaching, and the teachers of it. These victims of apostate teachers need us to show them great mercy, because they are some who have not reached a firm conviction of who Jesus truly is, about eternal life, and they remain unsure, doubtful, and could be persuaded of the truth of the identity of Jesus Christ.

Most Christians probably know some who have sit, or presently are sitting under the teaching of a man, or a woman, who is leading them away from the truth of Jesus Christ. These teachers proclaim, in the name of Jesus, things that lessen the power of the cross of Christ. They magnify “faith” over truth. Magnifying “faith” over truth is done by focusing more on what you can have, ie., wealth, health, etc., but there is no teaching on growing in the Lord Jesus and becoming more like Him. These apostate teachers may in fact, teach that you can become “Christ”. I recently heard of an apostate group who believe that the universe revolves around the earth, and that the King James Version of the Bible is God in written form.

We must have “compassion” on those who have fallen into these cultic practices, and beliefs. It is tragic that there are those who would develop followers unto themselves, and lead them astray from the Lord Jesus. I have always said, and believe, that I want no one to elevate me, or see me in a position of grandeur. I am solely a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God, through the death – shed blood of Jesus Christ, His burial, and resurrection. And I, like most Christians; am looking forward to the day when we can see Jesus our Lord and Savior face to face, and live in His eternal presence.

When we see those who have been led astray; we must have compassion, give them the truth; in love; and trust the Holy Spirit of God to show them the way. When someone has sit under false teaching for a long time it may take much compassion, and patience with good Bible teaching to deliver them from the snare of the apostates.

Let us be strong. Let us be compassionate. Let us let others see the true Jesus and His truth in us. There are doubters in this world that are still open to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us love them like Jesus would. Let us show mercy with our words and our lives.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

God Speaks Through The Apostles

“But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Jude 17 (NKJV).

After having dealt some very hard words concerning those who have attempted, and at times came into some of the churches with their poisonous words, their deceit, their division, and heresy; Jude now comes back to the one’s he is writing this letter to.

The reader, who is the “beloved” of Jude. The “beloved”, of course, are those who know the Lord Jesus Christ. They have heard the words of the Lord Jesus as spoken by the apostles, and written in their letters. The writings of the apostles are indeed the word of the Lord to His Church.

How important is it that we remember the words spoken by the apostles? It is very important if we are to grow strong in the faith of the Lord. It is very important if we are to know the truth. It is of the utmost importance if there is a false teaching which is infiltrating the Church, and leading the people away from Christ, and into false worship, and into immoral living and immoral lifestyles. In short; the writings of the apostles; such as Peter, James, John, and Paul are the very words of our Lord for knowing the Lord Jesus and growing in Him.

With the apostles writings (Letters) we can know the teachings of Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification. We can know also the teachings of the sinfulness of mankind, and his eternal destiny. We can know what is true from what is false. We can know that there are many Jesus’es in the world, and the one who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, who rose bodily from the grave, and left us the promise of His coming again is the true one. We can know that the one who said, “I and My Father are one”, and “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”, and “Before Abraham was, I am” is the true Jesus Christ. Any other Jesus is not the true one.

We can know that anyone or any group, angel or church, who teaches any other Jesus is not a true worshipping body of Jesus Christ. We can know that there should be shame on anyone calling themselves “Pastor”, “Teacher”, or “Preacher” who will not expose these false teachers and teachings; and is ashamed of the truth, a coward, and most likely does not know Him.

Do not listen to those who tell you, “We cannot know the absolute truth”. The absolute truth is found in the pages of the Word of God. That is the writings of the apostles and the prophets. The Old and the New Testaments are the Word of God. The prophets wrote of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, and they longed to see His day. We have before us the written Word of God which tells us of a day He will come again, and that we will behold Him face to face.

Hear the Word of God. Trust God and His Word. Believe and act according to His Word and will. Glorify the Lord Jesus.

-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

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

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

One Greater Than the Sabbath

Greater Than the Sabbath

“At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” Matthew 12:1-8 (KJV).

It seems that there are several times in the gospels where Jesus is doing something on the Sabbath day. In doing so He gains the attention of the religious leaders, where He evidently doesn’t in His teaching and preaching, or in the miracles that he does. These religious leaders believe in the Sabbath day celebrations, and worship. It is odd, but it was for their violations of the Sabbaths that Israel went into Babylonian captivity. At least that was one partial reason. They were in Babyonian captivity one year for each Sabbath which had been violated. This includes the sabbaths of the land, jubilees, and other (Read Leviticus 26). There is much said about Israel profaning the holy things in Ezekiel 20 – 23. One of those holy things is the Sabbaths of the LORD. When the LORD is speaking to them, warning them of the the dangers of disobedience He told them, “I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scater you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.” Leviticus 26:32-34 (KJV). This warning was carried out according to Jeremiah the prophet, “…To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil three score and ten years.” 2 Chronicles 36:21.

It could be because of the past that these Jewish leaders had taken such a strong stance on the sabbath. Not a good excuse or reason. It is nothing short of blindness. They are really not so concerned with the keeping of the sabbath day or special sabbaths as they are their power and authority. They were more concerned with popularity, than truth. The reason I make that judgment is because Jesus Himself told them they were blind, and in the above passage they seem to be unfamiliar with the Scriptures they are so fond of. They had the written truth, were familiar with the truth, but when the Truth was standing before them, they knew Him not.

“For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” How can religious leaders be telling the Creator that it is unlawful to walk through a field on the sabbath day, “harvesting and eating” grain? It is a very foolish effort on their part. Being the Creator He is greater than the sabbath day. He is the greatest rest. When we know Him we rest from our foolish attempts at righteousness, and rest in His righteousness alone.

Jesus is accused of profaning the sabbath and it happened many times. He dealt with His accusers justly, and with righteous judgment, and for the good of the people. The accusations of profaning the sabbath day was more rejection; and had no merit. The “righteous-guilty” are really the one’s who are first to condemn those who are really most righteous. Despite overwhelming evidence these self-righteous men continue to be bound by the one Jesus called their father.

Many of the people who came to Jesus, the multitudes who were fed of the five thousand and the four thousand, would later turn from Him. Many seek to follow wonders and signs, then, reject the Lord. To ask the Lord for signs in order to believe is not faith.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Like The Animals???

Like the Animals???

It is so very sad to look around at society and see things going to the dogs. With a man being sentenced to prison time for killing dogs, even though, he was unjustly and illegally fighting them is a sign of worse things to come.

We are human beings created in the image of God. We have been given, by God, the rule and dominion of this earth. The man I speak of may have deserved a fine, maybe some loss of time from playing on the team he was on, and maybe even a fine from the NFL for the bad name against them.

It is so unhuman to give greater power and authority to the animal kingdom than to the human being. It is when we begin acting like animals that we begin treating humanity more like animals.

Hear the word of the Lord spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

“How can you say, ‘I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals?’ Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done–a restless young camel running here and there, a wild donkey used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her. Keep your feet from going undshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘It is hopeless, for I have loved foreigners, and after them I will go.’ Jeremiah 2:23-25 (ESV).

Many reading this will probably think, “Well how is this relative or practical for our society today?” I personally think that is an easy answer. When we have parents wanting to do things to protect their daughters from sexually immoral living by having them take a shot to protect them from a form of cancer that can be gotten only by pre-marital sex at too young of an age, then we are telling our children, “Your urges are uncontrollable, just follow your ‘heart'”. In other words your sexual drive is stronger than your mind and will. Just go with how you feel and this vaccine will protect you. People we are more than animals. We have a will. We can make moral choices. Animals do not.

This was the problem with the people in Jeremiah’s day. They were giving themselves to Baal worship and this involved all sorts of immoral conduct. Then, they would say on the Sabbath day as they pretended to worship the Lord GOD, “We have not gone after the Baals”.

I do not mean to sound brash in what I am about to write here, but there are many of our young ladies and young men who go around acting like animals in heat. This is not pleasing to our Lord. Even sadder to say is that many of these doing this profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

What is the answer for our society today? We need to quit giving our young people the okay for sexual immorality. When birth control pills are given them, and a vaccine is provided to them to protect them from pregnancy and disease; we are in fact giving our okay to them. Let’s stop doing that. Let’s teach them the law of God’s Word. Let’s teach them by our own personal examples. The youth of America appreciate honesty, straight forward truth, and they will respect you for it. They will not respect “Hemming and Hawing around” about matters to get to the point.  As the people of God we who are adult Christians need to practice what we preach and teach. We should always be seeking the Lord to lead in our lives, and to give us the mind of Christ.

There is a lot of loose living in society. We as Christians should live a tight knit life in Christ, love our spouses, and be always faithful, and worship God and God alone through His Son Jesus Christ.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Being A Disciple of Jesus

Being A Disciple of Jesus

Matthew 8:18-23

Disciple making is the business of the local church. It is the call of God for every Christian to be a faithful, follower of Jesus, and to make disciples of Jesus Christ. The Great Commission says just that, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” and that word “teach” is for making disciples. Disciples are made by teaching them. The disciplemaking of Christ is teaching people to follow Him.

Let no one think that following Jesus is a life of ease, comfort, popularity, or praise. Jesus gives us ample warning of the trials and tribulations that come into the Christian disciple’s life in the following portion of Scripture we see some of those things which come, or are part of the Christian disciple’s life. I am saying “Christian disciple” because there are “Disciples” of other causes, of religions, and men; and need to differentiate between the follower of Jesus Christ and the riff raff of the world.

“Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” Matthew 8:18-22 (KJV).

One of the things we can see about Jesus and His ministry is that He had no desire for popularity. His sole desire was to be pleasing to the Father and fulfill His will and Word. The reason we can know this is because when many had already been to Him for healing of their sicknesses and diseases, and deliverance from demons He called to His disciples to “depart to the other side”.

On the other side was a place of rest. It was a place where Gentiles dominated the lands. That is evident because of the herd of swine mentioned in verse 30. No law abiding Jew would be raising pork. The reason for Jesus’s departure to the other side was partially rest, and to get away from the crowds. There are many false teachers who love the crowds, at least love their accolades and praises. They also love the huge offerings a large crowd can provide them for their lush homes, fancy cars and clothing. You will never hear a false teacher revealing the sins of the people’s hearts and lives. The crowds will not come to hear the truth.

Every where Jesus went His presence drew a crowd. He saw people hurting, and ministered health to them, and that is why many sought Him out; and when He started preaching on the hard things, they departed (John 6:1-59ff.). “Will you also go away?” Jesus asked His disciples.

A scribe breaks ranks with the other scribes and does seek Jesus out asking to be His disciple; at least he is looking into the possibility. This scribe must have been fairly well off. Jesus knows all men’s hearts, and surely this man’s heart was set on his security in having a home, a secure place to live, sleep, eat, entertain, and to be comfortable. This scribe soon learned that the life of a disciple was a life of sacrifice. Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head”, as saying if you are going to follow me you can have no ties to this world that will keep you from doing My will. It is a life with no house, no comforts, no securities. In Matthew 10:16 we read, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16; saying to us that all we have is what Jesus and the Father gives us. Sheep have no protection except the Shepherd. Sheep have no sustenance except by the wisdom of the Shepherd. Sheep have no shelter, but by the Shepherd.

Jesus also said, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” Matthew 10:39. The scribe evidently did not approve of the cost of being a follower of Jesus. We never hear of this man again. We are not even given his name, just, “A certain scribe” as though he were only a parable; an illustration so as not to pattern one’s life in the same fashion. What is the cost of discipleship? Let’s hear what Jesus says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” Matthew 16:24-25.

There was another disciple who came to Jesus seeming to be willing to follow Jesus. We see that he was wanting, though, to wait for a more convenient time. He says, “Let me first bury my father”, but his father was not dead. What he was asking was for the ability to wait until dear old Dad was gone, and then, he would inherit the inheritance. He was still tied to his family; basically the family inheritance. He is evidently the elder son of the family who was the one whose responsibility it was to care for the father’s estate.

When the call comes to follow Jesus, that is the time to go, and follow Jesus. Family, and/or family inheritance is no excuse for putting it off. Are we being told to neglect our wives, children, elderly parents, etc.? Definitely not. Jesus is telling us that following Him is of the highest priority. We can be faithful disciples of Jesus, and as a matter of fact are the most faithful; when we disciple our families into Christ, as well as others. The disciple’s seeing to it that his/her family follows Jesus is the disciple’s greatest achievement. If we were to win the world and lose our own children what have we achieved?

I know of faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have served as pastors, loved and cherished their children, and those children depart from the faith. I mean to place no guilt on any faithful follower of Jesus, only to stress that we must begin at our homes.

As disciples of Jesus we must value the eternal over the temporal – that which is only temporary. The first man [the scribe] must have decided that the cost was too high. He could not give up the life of comfort and ease that he had been living. He had a nice home, a place to lay his head, and it was his. He could not part with the security of a walled home, and the protection he thought he had in it. The second man, giving him the benefit of the doubt, shows that he has concern for his family. It would be more beneficial for him to follow Jesus, for in following Jesus his whole family could and might also come to Jesus.

Remember Jesus’s words, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” Matthew 16:24-25 (KJV). The life of the follower of Jesus is a crucified life as Paul the apostle described it, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” Gal 2:20 (KJV).