First Principles 3


Why do we accept that his righteousness passes to us by Eating his Flesh and Drinking his Blood symbolically or otherwise?

I’m answering these not to fight with you – indeed, I’m not striving with you. I’m answering gently, understanding the pain of indecision.

His righteousness does not pass to us by the Last Supper at all. It passes to us by belief.

By acceptance.

Abraham believed by faith, and it was reckoned him as righteousness.

And that’s how God set it up.

It’s so easy, we instinctively believe it can’t be right. We WANT to be able to do it our way.

Why? Pride.

If I can earn my righteousness somehow, by crawling to the Ganges river on our knees, we can stand with pride, “I did it.”

Christians say, “I didn’t do it. Jesus Christ did it, and offered it as a free gift. I just took it.”

Why is pride wrong?

Becuase, as I heard in a sermon today, pride made a Satan out of Lucifer. Your hands are polluted, dripping with the bloddguiltiness of your own sin. Everything you put your hands to take that, like the leper in the Torah who had to cover his lip and call out, “unclean! Unclean!” His house bacame unclean. His clothes became unclean.

Everything I touched became unclean by my sin. So any deed I did, such as spinning a thousand prayer wheels like the Tibetan Buddhists, is unclean as well. “Our righteousness as as filthy rags.”

So, you are powerless to save yourself.

Caiaphas examined Jesus Christ and pronounced him fit to die for the nation. Since prophecy included the Gentiles in with the Jews, and since a mixed multitude went up out of Egypt and recieved the Law along with the Jews… Gentiles too are included in this Jewish religion.

Christ died for your sins. All you have to do, like Abraham… is believe.

You’re in agony over this. I understand. When I was in Judaism, I knew it couldn’t help me. I begged God for a way, I rejected the faith of my people, walked away, and began a search through every religion I could find out about in the books.

I became convinced that Jesus Christ was the only way. But I couldn’t wrap my head around the Trniity. Once I was able to do that, I was able to cry out, “Abba! Father!”

And Jesus Christ saved me.

My salvation night was horrific. I wept for hours. I begged for forgiveness for what seemed like hours. And then I reached a point where I could no longer strive with God all night, like Jacob. And like my great great grandfather Jacob, I too said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me!”

And He did.

Stop striving. Accept. Repent.

Believe.

And be free.

Advertisements

First Principles 2


If the bible says in several places that no one person can be punished for another’s sins, and that the sins debts of the father cannot be passed to the son, as the righteousness of the father doesn’t either…

Logical, but not what the Bible says.

Let’s review two of the fundamental laws on how to interpret the Bible.

  1. We must compare spiritual with spiritual – all scripture on a topic must be compared before we derive our doctrine
  2. Less clear passages give way to more clear.

These are well established rules of Biblical Interpretation, and the person speaking who I’m adressing is well acquainted with them.

Here’s what to take away from the passage in Ezekiel you’re reading. Part of what you’re struggling with is this – you keep talking about sin. Think about that.

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12 (KJV)

15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. Romans 5:15 (KJV)

The issue is, the existence of sin and the curse of death entered by Adam. However, Ezekiel, the passage you’re referring to, says you will die for your own sins.

4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:4 (KJV)

You are asking in effect, “Can I not then atone for my own sins?”

How?

22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)

Without blood, without something dying in your place, your sins cannot atone for.

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 (KJV)

That’s why you cannot atone for your sins.

Then why do we believe in The Indwelling Sin Curse of Adam that passes to all humanity from birth?

That part already I’ve answered. I think what it is, is that you’ve had an incorrect understanding of atonement, redemption, propitiation, and sin. You’ve had, rather, the Roman Catholic understanding that we all are corrupt and will go to hell for Adam’s sin. Rather, the Bible says “…by one man sin entered the world.” This is the curse of sin, and the penalty of. Death. All will die, now that death has entered the world. And all will go into Hell, without forgiveness, atonement, and propitiation.

It sounds like semantics, but it’s not.

Why do we accept that our sins can be laid on another and paid for?

Why is it that in the OT the accepted sacrifice was fully consumed by either fire or eating, but christ was allowed to be resurrected and his body not destroyed?

You’re misunderstanding the offerings. We do not eat the sin offerings. THe blood of the sin offering, and certain parts of the sin offerings, were poured out onto the altar, and the fats burned. THe blood atoned for the sins, and the fats were as prayers, as God said it was a sweet smelling savour unto Him.

The offerings we ate were festival offerings. It was a communal meal, one with another.

Now, here’s the part that I never noticed while I was in Judaism. The blood atoned for the sins… but the Bible did not say “the blood of the bull will atone for the sins.”

The Bull or the goat died in your place. THe lamb died in your place. One offering could not, once and for all, take away all your sins. else the High Priest would have offered them once and for all. Indeed, before Aaron and his sons could function as priests, THEY had to be atoned for! So their ministry obviously was not a perpetual one. Their offerings were temporary.

Our sins can be laid on another because God said so. Your hand was placed upon the offering’s head, a prayer was said so that it was an effectual transfer, and then the animal died in your place.

Now, here’s what you’re asking.

“Jesus Christ was a man, so how could he die in my place?”

The obvious answer is – he wasn’t a man. He was fully man and fully God.

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:6-11 (KJV)

Jesus Christ is both the party aggrieved, as He is God… and He is the atonement, the offering, the perfect man without sin. Thus, He was not only the perfect sacrifice, being utterly without blemish…

…but the High Priest even examined him, and pronounced Him fit for the sacrifice.

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. John 11:49-50 (KJV)

We’ll finish this up tomorrow.

First Principles – Who is God?


Before I get into answering all of the other questions this person asked – let’s look at God. Who is God?

We can ignore the question of ‘if there is a God’. because the Watchmaker logic problem makes the demand. That’s another reason I started this with Pascal’s wager, by the way.

The watchmaker argument says… “If there is a watch, I know there is a watchmaker.” The standard cosmology arguments do not answer HOW the Universe is created. And Newtonian physics demand that an action has a source. The Universe is in motion, therefore, someone set it in motion.

So, we turn to the Bible. Who is God?

He is master. 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. John 13:13 (KJV)

He is teacher. 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. John 3:2 (KJV)

  • God is self-existent. Exod. 3:13-14 2.
  • God is self-sufficient. Ps. 50:10-12 3.
  • God is eternal. Deut. 33:27; Ps. 90:2 4.
  • God is infinite. 1 Kings 8:22-27; Jer. 23:24 5.
  • God is omnipresent. Ps. 139:7-12 6
  • God is omnipotent. Gen. 18:14; Rev. 19:6 7.
  • God is omniscient. Ps. 139:2-6; Isa. 40:13-14 8.
  • God is wise. Prov. 3:19; 1 Tim. 1:17 9.
  • God is immutable. Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8 10.
  • God is sovereign. Isa. 46:9-11 11.
  • God is incomprehensible. Job 11:7-19; Rom. 11:33 12.
  • God is holy. Lev. 19:2; 1 Pet. 1:15 13.
  • God is righteous and just. Ps. 119:137 14.
  • God is true. John 17:3; Titus 1:1-2 15.
  • God is faithful. Deut. 7:9; Ps. 89:1-2 16.
  • God is light. James 1:17; 1 John 1:5 17.
  • God is good. Ps. 107:8 18.
  • God is merciful. Ps. 103:8-17 19.
  • God is gracious. Ps. 111:4; 1 Pet. 5:10 20.
  • God is love. John 3:16; Rom. 5:8 21.
  • God is spirit. John 4:24 22.
  • God is one. Deut. 6:4-5; Isa. 44:6-8 23.
  • God is a Trinity. Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14

H. L. Willmington, The Complete Book of Bible Lists, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1987), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 121.

It may not seem to someone who is suffering through something that God is merciful. I once told my congregation, “If I were God, I would allow you one million times to sin. One million. And then my patience would run out, and I’d wipe you off the face of the earth.”

Assuming I sinned 50 times a day (a fairly low estimate, considering how Jesus Christ describes mild anger as being the same as murder, and coveting the same as theft) – you’d hit that total in 7.3 years. So, if the age of accountability was 8, then… nobody’d make it past 16 years of age.

God is merciful. You can sin again and again and again. God has amazing patience. Far more than I do. Yes, one sin will send you to Hell. But an examination of Adolph Hitler’s life, and Stalin’s life, shows that they lived to advanced ages – and God did not in anger wipe them off the face of the earth.

WHY???

Because God was hoping they’d repent. They’d realize their lost condition. That they’d repent, and ask God humbly to save them, to confess their sins to God. And beg forgiveness.

Church Planting and Gospel Overhaul


I understand that sermon illustrations are the windows that let in light into the sermon.

Okay, let’s try one – mostly because I need the practice, but what have you. It’s an oldie but goodie.

A painter is hired to paint a church. As he’s finishing the last wall, he realizes he didn’t buy enough paint. “I’ll thin the paint with water, and it’ll last.” he thinks.

He adds water, and starts painting. But it’s still not enough, and now the paint isn’t covering well. He adds more water, but now it’s running, it’s not covering, and he still doesn’t have enough paint.

Finally the pastor walks by, and apprises the situation. “Repaint.” He orders. “and thin no more.”

Okay, I was just going through my voluminous research stuff. When I entered second year of Seminary (a traumatic year, because you finish the first year thinking, “now I have all the answers!” By the end of the second year, you’re convinced you don’t know ANYTHING!) I began researching church planting, in case that was the way the Lord wanted me to go. I hope not, because that seems like an awful lot of hard work, and years before you get the returns – but I didn’t want to find myself unprepared if that’s what the Lord orders.

I’ve written several blog posts on the material I’ve dug up, and a few days ago I wrote one up on steps for your church…

…but today I’d like to revisit that with some extra points.

I was going through a powerpoint on church planting, and it was talking about “21 church planting models”.

Me, I thought there was just one. But okay…

It of course starts by recommending the Purpose Driven Church model. right away, I was thinking, we got a problem.

Whatever happened to – start a church?

“Well, what program model are you using?”

“I was thinking, I don’t know, the Biblical model, like Paul talks about a lot.”

“Oh, no, that’s not going to work…”

“Well, it worked for 2,000 years…”

The issue is – we’re fighting so hard to make a church that the unSaved will feel comfortable in. I know, the loud rock music is enjoyable. Hey, so is alcohol! We could put a bar with bartenders in the church, too!

And a bakery! Why, everyone likes cake!

Wow, I hate to say it, but the last idea actually sounded good to me! Because inside my slightly overweight body is a fat man just screaming for cake, with inch thick frosting.

Everyone likes frosting.

You could have a football church, a baseball church, a rodeo church, and a GI Joe church!

Except these things have nothing to do with God.

I’m going to lay it out, very simple. Everyone out there who’s thinking of how to get the unsaved comfortable in their church. The issue is really this – I don’t want them comfortable!

I want them SAVED.

If they’re comfortable, they’re not going to get SAVED. They’re too busy being entertained, enjoying the loud music and dance numbers, the rappers, the DJ’s, the acrobats and juggling walruses…

So, here’s some more action plan stuff.

Point Number One: GET STRONG ON BIBLE DOCTRINE. THe Pastor has to be strong on Bible doctrine. So, your first step should be… to get strong on Bible doctrine.

If anyone’s confused on the first step, let me know. I’ll put it up there again.

Point Number Two: PREACH THE GOSPEL. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The Wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ out Lord. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Christ was crucified, buried, and rose again. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the light – no man cometh not the Father but by Him.

That’s the Gospel. If you’ve been whitewashing it – repaint, and thin no more.

Point Number Three – start a church. Tell people its a church. Evangelize the community.

What kind of church? Probably a nice church, painted. Or not painted. You could stain the wood. Try New England Architecture. I don’t care. Stained glass, no glass, broken glass. I don’t care. Whatever. Make it a church. Christ is preached, and Him crucified. You know, Bible stuff.

When your unSaved person comes in, explain the Gospel and put forward the invitation. If they don’t accept it… here’s the hard part – oh well.

That’s hard for me. If I could give cake away to get people saved, I’d do it. If all it took was giving people money, I’d do it.

it’s not about rock bands, pop tarts, GI Joes or cake… or money. It’s about a person realizing their need to be saved. If they don’t understand that, they’re not saved. They’re just saying whatever it takes to get cake.

People talk about, “Hey, that’s the kind of church I want to attend – loud music and a light show!” Great. You know, if it was in the Bible, hey, I’m all for it. But it’s not.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:4-10 (KJV)

Really think about those verses. What kind of abomination has the churches become in this day? Hasn’t anyone ever read Revelation 3?

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:19-22 (KJV)

Think about that! The Lord is showing that in the Laodecian age, He is SHUT OUT of our churches!!!

Look at your watch. uh-oh, it’s half past Laodecian.

Rapture’s coming, people. If you want to do something for the LORD, Get busy. But first… repent. And sin no more. Seek the LORD while He may be found.

We don’t have time for you to be backsliding. There’s too much for each and every one of you to do, and time’s ticking. It’s only an hour to closing time, and we want to be able to say to the Lord, “Lord, I made a terrible mess of things… but at least I tried,”

Every one of you reading this – get busy.

for those of you who aren’t saved that are reading the blog – time’s running out. The seven years after the Rapture are going to be horrific. I cannot emphasize the fact that you stand less than a 25% chance of surviving it. Get saved. Do not get left behind.

what must I do to be saved


30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30 (KJV)

This is the really easy part.

Nothing.

Every other religion on earth has you doing SOMETHING. In Christianity, it is not DO – it is DONE.

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31 (KJV)

Believing is the first step – you have to believe that Jesus Christ is God. Because only God can save you.

26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? 27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. Luke 18:26-27 (KJV)

Belief in a man cannot save you.

If you were drowning, and were about to die, could you at that panicky moment confess every sin you’d ever committed? At the moment you really understand that you are a sinner, your sins have cut you off from God, and that you are facing an eternity in Hell… in that moment, you are not emotionally really in a state when you can dispassionately say, “Well, when I was 9 years old…”

No, in that moment, it is the heartfelt, “what must I do to be saved?”

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 (KJV)

You have to be born again. This is the process of admit you are a sinner, repent of being a sinner, believe Jesus Christ can save you, and…  ask him to save you. Let’s look at such a prayer…

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:42-43 (KJV)

Wow. complicated, huh? how about “Save me!!!!” “have mercy on me, a sinner…” “Lord, I’ve sinned against you, I’m sorry, please save me…”

There’s no formula. Repeating someone else’s prayer is not your prayer. it’s dangerous. You risk hearing “I never knew ye.”

I’ve read one theory where someone suggested you didn’t use the right formula. That’s witchcraft, because now you’re relying on an incantation.

It’s simple. Allow Jesus to do the work. Just admit you’re a sinner, and asked to be saved.

He does everything.

Really.


Just when I was thinking about writing about something else, an article on SermonAudio got me going.

“Should Pre-tribbers give up?” Okay, wait a  minute. Should we give up what? Believing in a sound, obviously Biblical doctrine? Give up speaking about it? Give up defending it? Give up writing about it? What??? Speak up!

Okay, let’s try this headline and see if it makes any sense to you… “Should Bible Believers give up?” Makes no sense, does it?

The little of the article that SermonAudio listed seemed flawed from its very premise. Perhaps it was supporting the Rapture. I don’t know. All I know is that it made the claim (incorrect) that the vast majority of Christians are Dispensational, Pre-trib believers. No, that’s not quite the case.  The last statistic I saw on it  showed that slightly more than half of Christians have that doctrinal stance. And no wonder its not “most Christians”, because we’re smack dab in the Laodecian age, and correct doctrinal understanding is fading fast.

We may yet see the vast majority of “Christians” reject a belief in the Bible, the deity of Christ, and the virgin birth before the year is out!

The slipping belief in the Pre-trib rapture, as I wrote just a couple of days ago, is a canary. If you begin to believe in mid-trib or post trib or “pre-wrath”, it’s a huge warning sign that you’re slipping doctrinally.

And I fully expect mainstream Christianity to find themselves caught flat footed by the Rapture. Many, many, many will discover they were left behind because they followed unScriptural Evangelism messages, and trusted in a formula, or walking up an aisle. or raising your hand, or writing your name on an envelope, or getting your forehead wet as a baby. So it’s no surprise that it’s not an overwhelming majority that believes in the Pre-trib rapture, because the overwhelming majority of mainstream Christianity probably is not saved.

It’s been discussed a lot that when “Crusades” supposedly get 10,000 signatures, but only 3 or 4 actually show up in churches for more than a month, that you only got 3 or 4 converts. I don’t care how many cards got filled out.

So, there’s millions and millions of people in the US that think because you walked an aisle, or heard sad music play while emotional appeals were made to be saved and they got emotional and walked an aisle, and were coached in a “repeat after me” prayer they really didn’t understand or mean… that they’re saved.

Guess who’s going to be in total shock an hour after the Rapture? Yup. All of them.

Funny thing is, there’s going to be a lot of very embarrassed Baptists who did get raptured, and had put up WordPress blogs insisting on only believing in a “pre-wrath” position.

Trust me if you’re one, I’m going to poke fun at you while we’re seated at the Marriage Supper together. good news is, you’re going to laugh along.