Every Thought into Captivity


“Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:1–5, KJV)

What do we key in here in this passage?

Paul begins this by contrasting his boldness among the Corinthians with the meekness and Gentleness of Jesus Christ. He’s almost apologizing for this.

Why?

The object lesson he’s trying to teach us is that we should be base among the peoples. Base means mean, of lowly stature, of little importance. We should me meek, humble.

That doesn’t translate well in American culture. Meekness in your demeanor is perceived by most people as weakness. But the man who first boldly witnessed to me about Jesus Christ used to growl at people, “Don’t mistake my meekness for weakness.” I’d have to make the same statement!

Let’s key in on the next part, and then we’ll get to the very lesson I want to impart today.

We do not walk according to the flesh. Seriously, this chapter needs to be discussed from every Evangelical pulpit in the US, because I can honestly tell you that the vast majority of false teachers out there are telling Christians they MUST walk according to the flesh, in direct contradiction to the Bible.

For though we walk in the flesh…. Yes, I’m a man living in a fleshly body. And I know that in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18, KJV)

So, obviously, the Bible tells us that walking in the flesh is a BAD thing. Christians can tell when they’re walking in the flesh – things blow up around us. We backslide at an amazing rate. You start thinking of the things of your former life in the flesh. You argue with people. But because you’re a Christian, you’re held to a different standard.

So, how to avoid that?

Do not war after the flesh. Do not walk in the flesh. Walk in the spirit.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7, KJV)

If you sew to the flesh, you shall reap of the flesh. That ALWAYS backfires to Christians.

Sew to the spirit. Spend time listening to sermons. Spend time watching Godly videos, like David Cloud’s video series on Bible study (I link to them on this web site). Listen to Alexander Scourby reading the Bible. Faith comes by hearing the word of God.

Where’s the primary battle fought?

Right in the verse I wanted to teach on today.

Bringing into captivity every thought…

Every thought.

Your battle is fought and won or lost in your thoughts foremost. This is something the Lord taught the Pharisees, and it’s funny that some of the Rabbi’s in the Talmud later on taught this. Gee, wonder where they got it?
When a fleshly thought comes into your mind, immediately recite a Bible verse in your head. The thoughts you’re battling may be your own evil inclination, or they may be from external sources. I’ve heard

Fundamentalist preachers like Danny Castle preach this, so it’s not just a Charismatic teaching. It’s Biblical.

Think a Bible verse. Is this hocus pocus? Nope.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, That I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11, KJV)

Do this. Get your thoughts right. Yes, it seems like every trap that Satan can raise against you when you decide to do this seems to happen. But be grimly dedicated to this.

Walk after the spirit. Bring into captivity every thought. Sew to your spirit, and your spirit shall get stronger. But sew to your flesh, and you lose the battle, time and again.

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Get Back To The Bible


Pretty much ending my series for now on revival and getting back to a Biblical Christianity, lets… get back to a Biblical Christianity.
It’s not hard.There’s nothing controversial about it.

We as Christians simply need to repent. If it’s a doctrine that can’t be found in a Bible, it needs to be tossed. Centering prayer, contemplative prayer, Joel Osteen visualizing, reincarnation, karma, universalism, evangelicalism, cooperating with the unsaved, accepting all religions as teaching the same truths, mantra chanting, reiki healing, chakras, auras, healing touch, blab it and grab it, salvation by baptism, salvation by predestination, these are all UNBIBLICAL and PAGAN.

We need to separate from these teachings. If you have books that advocate them, throw them away, donate them, or burn them (unless you are collecting them for apologetics purposes for research – it’s a little known fact David Cloud has a huge library of false Christian teachings which he uses to look up sources).

All that old, boring stuff that the older generations call Christianity – yup, that was Christianity, and we need to get back to it.

When I got saved, I turned to looking for, “what part of Christianity is known for sticking to the Bible?” I found it was the Baptists. So I searched for a Bible believing Baptist church. I’ve told that story before, but here’s my point – we need to toss anything out of the churches that is not Biblical.
Bottom line – let’s get back to God.

Longing for the Ministry


I’ve spent years preparing for the pulpit, praying for it, studying for it, working on advancing my knowledge of it.

PreachPhoto by Andrew Yardley on Unsplash

One of the biggest disappointments of my life is the realization that this may not be what God has in store for me.

I’m really not sure, but I really would have thought that after 5 years of doing this blog, that a church somewhere would have contacted me and said, “Hey, you’re exactly the kind of pastor we’ve been looking for.”

Especially after my series’ on church planting, pastoring, sermon writing, etc.In 2015 I put a lot of work into articles on how any man can start the process of being a pastor. What it entails. How to prepare. How even to get into a seminary. How to study the bible. How to preach. How to name a church.

It’s leading me to believe that perhaps the ministry I’ve been praying for.. Is the one I’ve been doing all along.

This blog.

That realization hit me hard. I did break down and weep when I realized it. But very often, the people in the Bible prayed to be able to do one thing, and eventually had to bow to God’s will, not their own.

If God wanted me to pastor, then it would have happened already. So what I’ve got is probably this.

The essential part of the Christian life is that some get to choose what ministry they want to perform for the Lord. Others do not.
And submission to what God wants is a major part of the Christian life.

It’s truly painful to realize it.

But God’s will be done.

The Lord has allowed this ministry to me, and I’m thankful for it.

7 Reasons to Contend For the Faith


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Christianity has its share of detractors, many of whom have simply made up their minds in advance what they think Christianity is, and they’re opposed to it. They often don’t want to be bothered with facts – their minds are made up already!

To contend for the faith requires simply prayer, a little study, a few tools, and lots and lots of patience. Don’t pray for patience – that’s a bad idea.

But putting yourself in the line of fire doesn’t sound like fun! So, why should you jump out there and do this?

  1. The Lord commanded you to. For most of Christianity, the Great Commission has become the Great Omission. You really don’t have any choice in the matter. If you’re a Christian, this is something the Lord has commanded you to do. These are orders, not suggestions.
  2. You were witnessed to by someone. Very few people just decide to become Christians for no reason, Usually there’s someone who just won’t take no for an answer.If nobody witnessed to you ever, then… how would you ever have gotten saved? What if the person who witnessed to you simply decided “That’s for someone else to do – I’m going to coast!” Where would you spend eternity?
  3. You have no excuses not to. It’s been said nobody needs to show they’re called to missions – rather, the burden is on Christians to show they’re called to stay home!
  4. The Lord witnessed to those who were willing to hear. Since Jesus Christ did many things as an example to us, then obviously we should follow in His steps!
  5. Spiritually, you will wither if you do not! Christians feel the best when they’re actively involved in learning and sharing. When we first got saved, my wife and I spent a lot of time listening to preaching. Every night. And we were ordering tracts and leaving them all over town. When we stopped doing it, it felt like part of us died. Get back to your first love.
  6. Heaven is real. No, I don’t need Todd Burpo telling me it’s real, because what he wrote down about Heaven bears little resemblance to the Bible’s depictions of Heaven, so I disregard his story as well… made up. But this is important to keep in mind! You’re going there. Others are not…
  7. Hell is Real. Here’s the ultimate reason to contend for the faith. If you do nothing, then people will suffer forever. Think about the people whom you care about. You want that to happen to them? If you do nothing, I guarantee that’s what’s going to happen to them.
Conclusion

Contending for the faith is part of your Christian faith. It’s part of what Christians are required to do. Do it now! He who winneth souls is wise.

The State of Christianity


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Photo by Jay Ruzesky on Unsplash

One key element of my blog has been to examine the state of Christianity.

Whenever I do this, I go into rants.

Today, it’s time to explode a little.

Dealing with Faithlife, the parent company for Logos has shown me that what I dislike about Faithlife is pretty much the tip of the iceberg of Christianity.

What do I mean?

The prevailing attitudes I see evidenced in Faithlife are pretty much representative in modern Christianity.

Roman Catholicism is not Christianity.
Roman Catholicism (by the time you’re really done analyzing it) is anti-Christianity! Christianity is salvation by faith through grace. Roman Catholicism is salvation by works.

Christianity is praying to God through Jesus Christ. Roman catholicism is about praying to saints, who will intercede on your behalf to Mary, who takes the prayers to God.

Christianity has the Bible for sole authority of faith and practice. Roman Catholicism has Church tradition and the magisterium.

By the time you really analyze it, Roman Catholicism is not Christianity, but rather a modified form of Hinduism!

Yet most Christians today consider Roman Catholics to be Christians! This is so great an error among Evangelical Christians today, that it really deserves its own rant!

Seventh Day Adventism is not Christianity
Just as you can buy the Verbum software for Roman Catholics, you can buy the Logos package for the SDA, with such great SDA teachers as…

Wait. Anyone see a problem with this? They believe Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael. We rightly reject the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult for believing this, but we turn a blind eye to the SDA. We call the Jehovah’s witnesses a cult for believing in soul sleep, but we turn a blind eye to the SDA. We call the Jehovah’s witnesses a cult for rejecting a literal hell, but then we turn a blind eye to the SDA.

By the time we’re done with it, the only real difference between the JW’s and the SDA really is vegetarianism (SDA) and blood transfusions (JW’s).

But one is a cult, and the other a denomination. Listen, if the one is a cult then so is the other.

Church of Christ (Campbellite) is salvation by works
If we reject other cults for salvation by works, then we should reject all groups that preach salvation by works as well. It violates the Bible, and the Bible calls it a damnable heresy to teach you must work your way into heaven.

The only real issue with Campbellites is that they claim baptism saves us. Baptism is a work. It’s the first essential sign, the first essential work you perform to PROVE you’re saved.

They’re absolutely right when you say that if you refuse to be baptized you’re not saved. But it’s not the BAPTISM that saves – it’s faith in Jesus Christ as the atoning sacrifice!

By transferring the faith from Jesus Christ to a work you yourself perform… you have gone from faith to works.

Famous People
There’s a lot of famous people who claim to be Christians. One thing that astounds me is when Christians tell me Jane Fonda is a Christian. Her own remark after supposedly getting saved was, “I’m not one of those born again Christian types.” Then… you’re not a Christian!

There’s a football player who made millions selling his autobiography about how Christian he is. Technically, if he mentioned his conviction for animal cruelty in his book for dog fighting, he’s in violation of the law – you cannot legally make a profit writing about your crime. I’m not going to mention any names, but there’s ample evidence he’s an active gang member. I’m sorry, that’s not really evidence of a changed life.

Are you Christian?
The numbers I’m seeing in polls are shocking. Most Christians today evidence beliefs that 30 years ago mainstream Christianity would have decried as not being Christian!

Have you read your Bible all the way through, at least once?

If I were to drag you into court to prove you were a Christian, would the evidence of your life show you were a Christian? There has to be some kind of evidence!

Do you believe that there is only one way to heaven? Hint – John 14:4…
Do you believe the righteous of every faith will wake up in heaven, surprised and a little embarrassed about how wrong they were? Or do you believe that if you are not born again, there remains no other fate for you than eternal hellfire? (hint – the answer to this is far more revealing than you believe!)

Do you believe your Bible is inerrant, inspired, the preserved word of God? Or do you assume your Bible has errors, and only the Scholars can really decipher what the Bible really says? (this answer reveals a lot)

Most people who think they’re Christians are in for a horrible surprise. Guess what? Eternity is not going to be good.

Let’s see how you do…

  • Do you believe in salvation by grace through faith alone?
  • Do you believe in Jesus Christ as God in human flesh, eternally the Son of God, died on the Cross and rose again, one third of the trinity?
  • Do you believe Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven?
  • Do you believe the only propitiation for sin is the atoning blood of Jesus Christ?
  • Do you believe Jesus Christ is not just a man, and never was just a manDo you believe in a literal six day creation?
  • Do you believe in a literal flood that covered the entire earth?
  • Do you believe that no matter what, you cannot earn your salvation?
  • Do you believe your Bible is the preserved word of God without error?
  • Do you have one moment in your life you can point to where you came to Jesus for salvation, and that there was a change in your life after that?

“Yes” answers are good. There should have been no “No” answers in that list.

If you have one or more “No” answers… can you tell me why you think you’re a Christian? Because your definition of what a Christian is and what the Bible teaches one is apparently are two different things!

I’d keep going with this one, but I’m worn out after the work week I had!

7 Important Bible Chapters to Study!


When it comes to Bible study, many of us are clueless about where to start. Very often, we end up just using whatever current chapter we’re in in our devotional reading, That’s good – but if you slack off the habit, you may have missed the more important Bible chapters to really dig into!
I’ve tried to lessen that slightly by my lessons in Hebrews, and Galatians. However, essentially you have to read the Bible for yourself, read the words and apply the rules I’ve given you on it.
So, which chapters are the ones to ensure you have studied? There,s 1189 chapters to read in the whole Bible!

  1. John 3. Absolutely. Study this chapter in detail. We’re so used to hearing this chapter that often we miss out on the fact that this chapter teaches a LOT about Christianity we must really understand – and as you read on my blog the other day about how I just don’t recognize Evangelical Christianity any longer, you’re aware of my often repeated points that most of us not only don’t read the Bible, only a few actually understand what they’re reading!
  2. Ephesians 5. Important chapter about how to walk as a Christian.Try copying this passage into Evernote, and breaking it up into a checklist of do’s and don’ts. For those people who blather on and on about how you don’t want life to be a series of do’s and don’ts rules, I’ll give you a hint – you’re on the left hand side at the Great White Throne judgment -Go back and read John 3.
  3. Romans 6. Another essential chapter to study on how to walk as a Christian. I’ve got most of this chapter highlighted in my Logos.
  4. 1 Timothy 2. This chapter gives essential information to pastors on how their congregations should behave. Tim Laheye includes this chapter in his list of Bible chapters to study for a Christian.
  5. Romans 8. The New Life. This explains the reasons why Ephesians 5 and Romans 6 were written!
  6. 1 Thessalonians 4. It’s not just a Rapture chapter! It has information on how to live as Christians as well.
  7. Isaiah 53. Every detailed study of the Bible must at some point include a study of the person of Jesus Christ. There are many Christological patterns throughout the Bible – but Isaiah 53 is so clear cut that if you can get someone to read it and ask them who it’s talking about, you only get ONE answer. Study this!
Conclusion

These are just the starting point, and there’s many more for sure! But these seven mark important chapters and topics to study!

Psalm 22:16


They pierced my hands and feet. Kari כָּ֝אֲרִ֗י can be K’ari, “like a lion” or the Aramaic Kari, “they have pierced”. which is it? it’s clear from context that the Aramaic makes more sense (“Like a lion my hands and feet” lack the clear sense that “They have pierced” has) – but even if you’re a purist, okay! Let’s look at the Hebrew and ask a simple question – what does that mean? “They did to my hands and feet like a lion did… either claw and rend, or more likely, bite. Tigers shred, lions bite. Lions prefer to jump at you, dig their claws in only to keep you from getting away, then start biting. So, what would that mean, “they did to my hands and feet what a lion would do?”

It would mean… “they have pierced.”

Argument over.