Thursday, May 17, 2018

Introduction (SD00)

           'Sound Doctrine'

Heresies in the Early Church
Acts 20:29-30 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
    Paul was so sure that after his death, savage wolves (false prophets and false teachers) who were Christian leaders, would destroy the faith of the sheep with distorted truth and heresies (speaking perverse things). These heresies would deceive disciples of Jesus, who unknowingly were misled to become disciples of these wolves. These deceptions resulted to Christians accepting all types of wrong doctrines, which created the many denominational walls since the early church.

Whole Counsel of God
Acts 20:27-30 "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
     Paul ensured that the church leaders (all chosen and appointed by the Holy Spirit) understand fully the whole counsel of God. Paul insisted that these leaders must understand the whole counsel of God so that they will be able to recognize distorted truth and heresies. Then they will be able to disciple their flocks and ensure that the flocks are knowledgeable concerning the whole counsel of God otherwise they will easily be deceived by the false prophets and false teachers, who are also church leaders.
Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves."

Meaning of counsel
Counsel (noun) - formal advice
synonyms:  advice, guidance, direction, instruction, information, enlightenment.

The whole counsel of God will comprise of the following:-
1. Everlasting Gospel,
2. Message of the Cross,
3. God's will, plan, teachings, etc.
4. God's Attributes.
5. OT was the covenant with God.
6. NT is the covenant with Jesus.
7. Apostle's Epistles in NT.

Recognizing Wrong Doctrine
    Any doctrine, teaching,  instruction, interpretation, etc. that contradicts any of the above whole counsel of God (complete truth of God) is flawed, and needs further clarification, revelation, enlightenment and understanding from Him.
Brethren, if your doctrine makes our Lord Jesus to appear as a sinner or liar (unrighteous) then you are likely believing in heresy. Stop reading any more of such types of books. Instead, while in prayer and fasting, seek guidance from the Lord by fervently searching His word and truth.

What Are Sound Doctrines? (SD01)

John 7:16-17 Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority."
    Sound doctrines are doctrines of God, and only those who are prepared to obey Him and do His will and commands will be able to understand His doctrines. Our Lord taught sound doctrines to His disciples.
Note - All sound doctrines must conform to the whole counsel of God or truth in the word of God.

Eph 2:20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
     Sound doctrines are the very foundation of the Apostles, which is Christ centered. Only those who teaches and practices sound doctrines can enter the new Jerusalem or the Kingdom of heaven.
Rev 21:14 Now the wall of the city (new Jerusalem) had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Lead to Godliness
1Tim 6:3-6 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
    Sound doctrines lead to godliness but doctrines of men and heresies are the results of disputes and arguments over words (esp. those using Hebrew and Greek to justify their own ideas). These heresies and worldly wisdom give no consideration to God's attributes, will, sayings, teachings, promises, covenants, words, and the epistles of the Apostles.

Edifies our Faith
1Tim 1:3-4 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia -- remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
   Sound doctrines edifies our faith, but wrong doctrines, fables, etc. destroy our faith in Him and His word.

Exhort and Convict
Tit 1:9-11 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.
    Sound doctrines exhort us and also convict us of our ignorance in believing heresies.

Heresies - Worship in Vain
Mat 15:8-9 "'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
    Brethren when we are not teaching sound doctrines, God will not accept our worship (including thanksgivings, praises, offerings, prayers, requests, intercessions, etc.), so please forget and destroy all teachings, commandments or doctrines of men taken from books, writings, videos, etc. Let's try to find the sound doctrine of each topic together by studying only the scriptures in the bible. With our submission to the Spirit of truth, we believe that He will guide us into all truth so that we will be able to expose distorted truth, wrong doctrines and heresies.

Saved By Faith (SD02)

Both the New and Old Testaments are covenants, which require at least two parties.

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    It is by the grace of God that we are saved. This grace is the unconditional forgiveness of sins freely given to all mankind by God.
    But in order that our sins are forgiven (salvation), we must have faith in God. So
    Salvation = Grace + Faith
Note - Faith is the response of their belief in the Grace given by God.
    Though grace is given freely to all men, yet only Christians who responded by having, expressing or displaying their faith in God's grace receive salvation.

Not of Works
    Many try to appease God by sacrifices, offerings and doing charities, etc. hoping that these good works can save them. To the Almighty God, these are dead works (Heb 6:1, 9:14) for He has already given to everyone the equal chance of salvation through His grace.

What is faith towards God?
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    Faith is the substance (action) expressing the hope or belief in God. We have to walk (perform, work, do, action, response, etc,) by faith towards God in accordance to His words, commands, covenant, will, promise, etc.
2Cor 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
   The building of the ark (response or work) to save his family was the faith of Noah towards God.

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
    Abraham leaving Ur (response or work) was his faith towards God.

Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
    Offering of Isaac as sacrifice (response or work) was Abraham's faith towards God.
Jam 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

Heb 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
    Rahab receiving the spy with peace (response or work) was her faith towards the God of Abraham.
Jam 2:25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

Jam 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
    The demons too believe that there is one God, but did not respond nor confess nor accept it (no work), because Satan himself wants to be God.

Jam 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Faith = Belief + Work(response)
    We are saved by faith, i.e believe in Jesus as the propitiation of our sins and accept (response or work) Him as our Lord and Saviour.
   Brethren, no matter how much we can sacrifice to please God - with all types of good offerings and righteous works, there is no salvation besides the grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb of God.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Gospel of Jesus Christ (SD03)

Mark 11:1-2 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You."
    The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the complete New Testament including the four gospels and all the epistles. These will include the everlasting gospel (message of the cross), sanctification or purification to holiness, transformation into His image, and the glorification as His bride, etc.

Everlasting Gospel (Salvation)
Luke 24:46-47 Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
   Our Lord sends us to preach the everlasting gospel to all nations. The gist of the gospel of salvation (message of the cross) is as follows:-
    Christ was the Word made flesh, born of the virgin Mary and was named Jesus, who was betrayed by the priesthood. He was scourged and crucified under Pontius Pilate as the sacrificial Lamb of God for the propitiation of our sins. He descended to Hades and overcame death thus setting us free from the fear of death. On the third day, He was resurrected, and the Spirit who resurrected Him will also help us to be glorified in Him.
    The Apostle's Creed is a good example of the everlasting gospel.

Mat 16:20-21 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!"
    Though His disciples confessed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God yet they were not saved because they only believed that He was the coming King (prosperity and blessings only), but refused to accept Him as the sacrificial Lamb for the propitiation of their sins (everlasting gospel)
    Similarly all those who had confessed and accepted Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God in evangelistic meetings, but had not believed the everlasting gospel, they may not be saved nor born again.

Mark 16:13-14 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
    His disciples did not believe that Jesus came as the Lamb of God nor His resurrection even after hearing their testimonies of His resurrection, until after He personally revealed Himself to them.

John 20:20-22 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
    After His disciples had believed His resurrection and the gospel, they were saved and only then He gave them the indwelling Holy Spirit as the seal of redemption, which is the sign of being born again.

Brethren, get your sheep to believe, understand and memorize the Apostle's Creed, which will start their long life journey with the Lord into His everlasting Kingdom.

The Saving Grace Of God (SD04)

Tit 2:11-13 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 the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
    The grace of God is given freely to all men so that whosoever responses to His grace will be saved. Whoever believes the everlasting gospel will be saved for God is faithful in keeping His part of the covenant. If anyone claims that he is a born again Christian but still is unable to deny ungodliness, worldly lust, etc. nor to live soberly nor righteously, then he may be unsaved in the first place.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
    The Saving Grace of God is our faith (believing, accepting and confessing) in Christ Jesus as the Lamb of God, who died as the propitiation for our sins, etc. and His resurrection (found also in the Apostle Creed)
Eph 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Eph 1:12-13 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
    This saving Grace does not only redeem us by forgiving our sins but also gives us the Holy Spirit as a seal of redemption.
    Saving Grace = Salvation
     + Holy Spirit as the Seal
The Holy Spirit (by the Grace of God) will help us to understand His attributes, will, words, truth, etc. and also to know sins, righteousness, judgment, etc. The gifts of the Holy Spirit will empower us in our works and ministries. However, the unsaved, without the Holy Spirit, cannot understand scriptures thus resulting to them teaching wrong doctrines and distorted truth.

1Cor 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
    Whenever we sin, our body is filled with our sins. The Holy Spirit dwelling inside our body will be completely immersed in our foul and nauseating sins (Imagine yourself thrown into the foul, revolting and nauseating pond filled with excreta with worms getting into your nose, eyes and ears). Even under such great sufferings and grief, the Holy Spirit will not leave us otherwise we will lose our salvation.
Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    We thank God for the conviction of our sins by the Holy Spirit so that immediately after our repentance, all our sins will be cleansed and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us will not have to suffer the horrific and revolting sins nor be grieved any further.

Brethren, it is easy to recognize wrong doctrines and heresies for they will always contradict God's attributes, and Jesus' promises, words, teachings, etc. (at times these heresies reduce our Lord Jesus to be a deceiver or liar).

He Gives More Grace (SD05)

           'Sound Doctrine'

Jam 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
    What are these more or extra grace that He will give to us on condition that we are humble.

Predestination of Saving Grace
Eph 1:3-4, 7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will...In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
    God before the foundation of the world had already destined that the Word was to be made flesh (in the Person of Jesus Christ) for the salvation of all men (not angels).
Note -there are two fallen creations - men and the fallen angels.

God's Plan of Salvation
Luke 24:46-47 Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
    God has given a fair chance to every man who is humble enough to believe the gospel and accept Jesus as the Christ will be saved. When God seals him with the Holy Spirit of redemption, he becomes a born again Christian.
Eph 1:7, 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

More Grace to the humble
John 14:15-17a, 26; 16:13 "If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth... But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you... However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
The OT and NT are covenants God. When we fulfill our part of the covenant, He will fulfill His part, for He is faithful to His words and commitment. He is also a righteous God and He cannot and will not sin.
    So when a Christian keeps His commandments, God will have to admit that he loves God and He will grant him another Helper, the Spirit of truth, who will guide him into all truth so that he is free from the bondages of this wicked world, deceptions, lies, heresies.
(John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.")
The Spirit of truth will also tell (teach) him the end time signs and prophecies.

Grace overcomes the Flesh
2Cor 6:1,4-10 We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain... But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes... by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God... as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Gospel and Water Baptism (SD06)

              'Sound Doctrine'

The Everlasting Gospel
1Cor 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you -- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
1. Christ - the Word made flesh,
2. Jesus died for our sins,
3. He was buried,
4. He was resurrected on 3rd day.

There are 3 Types of Baptisms
Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
1. Water Baptism by Leaders
2. Holy Spirit Baptism by Jesus
3. Fire Baptism by Jesus

John's Water Baptism
Act 19:1-6 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism." Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

a) Baptism of Repentance
    When Paul found that some disciples had not heard of the Holy Spirit, he knew that they were not saved for they did not have the seal of the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist taught them to believe Jesus, the Son of God as the Lamb of God and the baptism of repentance and remission of sins. John did not preach the whole gospel as he was unaware of Jesus resurrection and the promise of the Holy Spirit. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the disciples of John was not born again nor saved, since they did not believe the everlasting or true gospel of Jesus. Similarly, many so-called Christians are not saved nor born again even though they were baptized. Brethren, ensure that our children and sheep are saved by encouraging, teaching and helping them to believe the true gospel (read the apostle creed with them once in a while)

Born Again of John's Disciples
   John's disciples were taught the gospel of salvation and after they had understood and believed the resurrection of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit, they were saved. After being baptized in Jesus' Name (or in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), some of them manifested the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Note - when we are saved and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we can manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

2. Baptism with the Holy Spirit
    Please note that only our Lord can baptize us with the Holy Spirit.

3. Baptism with Fire
    This will be the baptism of suffering and martyrdom where we lay down our lives, just as our Lord Jesus died for us (found in the lives of His Apostles)

Brethren, anyone who has not believed the everlasting gospel is without the Holy Spirit and is still unsaved, just like the disciples of John the Baptist

The Covenants Of God (SD07)

Gen 6:5-6 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
     When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the free will to choose. But Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the garden of Eden, and since then men started to become more and more wicked until God destroyed the earth with the deluge. The descendants of the righteous Noah did not take long to become wicked again, until God had to make the covenant with the descendants of Jacob with the Ten Commandments written on stone tablets.
Deu 5:2 "The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb."

Old Testament Covenant
In the OT, the Temple of God was built in order that the Israelites can observe Moses Laws (Judaism) to fulfill their part of the covenant (esp. sacrifices and Jewish feasts). In return, God will be their God and they will be His holy people, etc.
Deu 11:26-28 "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known."
    God required the Israelites to fulfill their part of the covenant and then He will fulfill His promises. Blessings for obedience but curses and disasters for disobedience or rebellion.

Old Testament was Unbearable
Act 15:5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses."
Act 15:8-10 "So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?"
    Since the Jews were not able to keep the Laws, God removed Judaism by destroying the temple of God to start His new covenant of Grace in Christ Jesus out of His love for men.

New Testament Covenant
   The NT is also a covenant of God so that His abundant grace in Christ Jesus will be fairly given to men, that whoever believes in Him will be saved.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
   All Christians are justified by the faith in Christ Jesus. They must not follow any part of the law otherwise they will put themselves to be under the curse.
Gal 3:10-11 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith."

Recognising Sins from the Law
Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."
    However, it is from the law that we recognise sin. Christians must read the OT to recognise sins (according to God's law), and also to understand His attributes, will, thoughts, ways, powers, majesty and pleasures so that we can be able to worship, adore and please Him.

A New Covenant (SD08)

Heb 8:13 In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
    Jeremiah prophesied the New Covenant which would made their existing covenant then, based on the Law of Moses (Judaism) obsolete.  This will mean that those in the new covenant must not follow the old covenant which had become obsolete and unacceptable to God.
  What is this New Covenant?

Jer 31:31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
    In the New Covenant, God lays down the following conditions:-

1. I will put My law in their minds
2. I will write it on their hearts;
3. They shall be My people, and I will be their God.
4. No more shall every man teach his neighbor... they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,
5. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."*
6. I will put a new spirit within them,
7. They may walk in My statutes
8. keep My judgments and do them
Jer 11:19-20 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.

Fulfillment of the New Covenant
Luke 24:46 Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
    Once a Jew (Peter, Paul, John (or anyone else) has accepted the gospel of Jesus, he is a born again Christian. He must immediately discard all his former belief and practices of Judaism found in the OT (or other religions) and obey the commandments of our Lord Jesus and the Epistles of His Apostles for:-
1. All his sins are cleansed by the blood of Jesus
2. He is sealed with the Holy Spirit
3. He becomes a child (people) of God.
4. The Spirit of truth will guide, lead and teach him all truth.
John 14:15-17a, 26; 16:13 "If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth... But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you... However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

The New Covenant prophesied by Jeremiah is the Grace of God in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Holy Spirit In Old & New Testaments (SD09)

Psalm 51:11-12 Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
    Just like any born again Christian, David was anointed and had the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to priesthood, prophets and Israelites (Jews) during the anointing.
Isa 63:10-11 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; so He turned Himself against them as an enemy, and He fought against them. Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying: "Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them?

Some Gifts of the Holy Spirit

1. Gifts of prophecy
1Sam 19:20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
    All three groups of messengers (Jews) who were filled with the Spirit of God prophesied.
Act 19:5 -6 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

2. Gifts of Signs and Wonders
Judg 14:6 And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.
   Many sign and wonders were also performed by Moses in the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.
Act 5:12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's Porch.

3. Gifts for various Ministries
Exo 31:3-5 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.
    Spiritual gifts were given to help to build the Temple of God and today in the various ministries in churches.
1Cor 12:28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

Saul prophesied in nakedness
1Sam 19:23-24 So he went there to Naioth in Ramah. Then the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he also stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"
   Though Saul was rejected by God because of his many sins (1Sam 15), still he could prophesy, but in complete nakedness.
Nakedness is used by God to reveal the sinful life of King Saul
    Just like God exposing King Saul's wickedness, He will also reveal the nakedness (bad fruit - covetous, carnal, worldly, adulterous, gays, proud, selfish, lies, etc.) of these false teachers, false prophet today.

Spirit of Truth
    Since the kings, prophets and priests in the OT were anointed with the Holy Spirit, yet they were unable to refrain from sins. So our Lord, out of His abundant Grace, give His obedient Christians, the Spirit of truth to help them overcome temptations and the freedom from worldly bondages.

Sins Of David And Saul (SD10)

Psalm 51:2-3 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
    Psalm 51, was the prayer of repentance of David after Nathan the prophet confronted him for committing adultery with Bathsheba.

David's abominable sins
    In 2Sam 11:3-5, when David found that Uriah's wife Bethsheba was pregnant, he sent for Uriah. After getting him drunk, David sent him home to his wife but he refused. With his deception a failure, he sent him back to the battlefield. David instructed Joab to send Uriah to the front line and get him killed by withdrawing the other soldiers.

2Sam 12:11-12 Thus says the Lord: 'Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.'"
    The prophet Nathan told King David that the unborn child would die and all his wives would be taken by another in the sight of all because of his many abominable sins.

2Sam 12:13-14 So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die."
    When David humbled himself, repented of his sins and gracefully accepted the extremely painful, sorrowful and harsh judgements of God, God forgave all his abominable sins.

Saul's disobedience and sins
1Sam 13:12-13 then I said, 'The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.' Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering." And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.
    Saul blamed Samuel for coming late and gave many excuses, he did not sincerely accept nor confess his sins.

1Sam 15:20-21 And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord... But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal."
   Again Saul blamed his people and said that these animals were taken as sacrifices to God.

1Sam 15:22-23 So Samuel said: "Has the Lord as great, delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king."

Brethren, let's be like David, humble ourselves before God, accept our mistakes and weaknesses, repent of our sins, keep the word of God as truth and His chastisements as our refinements, so that He can continue to use us mightily for His glory. Let's not be wise in our own understanding, like the arrogant Saul, but faithfully keep Jesus' words and teachings without doubt.
    If we reject His words, He will reject us as His servants. No wonder they are so many depraved (covetous, worldly, carnal, sensual, homosexual and heretic) Christians leaders today.

New Spirit - Spirit Of Christ (SD11)

Jer 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
    In the OT, the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit were given to the Jews for anointing, empowering, gifts, seal of salvation, etc. Even the empowering of the Holy Spirit was not good enough to help his people (Jews) repent and overcome their great wickedness.

1. I will put My Spirit within you
    So in this new covenant, on top of the Holy Spirit for salvation, God will also give His people a New Spirit so that they will be empowered with knowledge, understanding and truth of His words, will, teachings.

2. to walk in His statues
John 5:19-20 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
    Whatever our Lord Jesus saw or heard from the Father, He will completely obey them by teaching, practicing or performing them (i.e His words, will, teachings, works).

3. Keep His judgement and do them
John 5:30 "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me."
   Our Lord Jesus judged according to the judgment of God. When we obey His will, our judgment will always be righteous, but if we follow our own will (normally selfishness, worldly, carnal, etc), our judgment will be partial, unacceptable and sinful

4. I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh
    With the New Spirit of truth dwelling in us, He will be able to teach us His words and guide us into all truth. The truth will set us free worldliness, rebellion and selfishness. The Spirit of truth will also fill us with the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, kindness, mercy, long-suffering, etc.)

Spirit of Christ
Mat 20:18-19 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again."
   Christ came in the flesh, suffered humiliation, stripes, chastisements, and was crucified. Having overcame death the Spirit of Christ resurrected Him, so that all godly Christians with the Spirit of Christ will be be able to overcome all trials, temptations, sufferings and even martyrdom.
Rom 8:9-11 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

1Cor 2:15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
   Brethren, just like our Lord Jesus and His Apostles, all those baptized with the Spirit of Christ must teach truth and to judge and expose the wrong doctrines and heresies in churches.

A New Heart of Love (SD12)

Eze 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
   God demonstrated this new heart of flesh in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wickedness of Men's Heart
Gen 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
    Since the fall of Adam, men has been getting more and more wicked, that even our Jesus did not trust men. Yet out of His great love for us, He died for us, who are unworthy of His trust.
John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

Stiff-necked and Rebellious Jews
Deu 9:6-7 "Therefore understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people. Remember! Do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD."
    Even His anointed Jewish Priesthood and servants with the Holy Spirit were not able to keep Moses' Law, thus needing a new heart of love.
Mat 23:2-3 saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do."

Grace through our Lord Jesus
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
    The Word was made flesh in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was full of:-
Grace - love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, generosity, etc.
Truth - wisdom, understanding, knowledge of God, and set free from worldliness, lusts, lies, wickedness.

Spirit of  Christ
Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
    Brethren, With the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us, we will have His grace and truth (new heart filled with His love) so that we will be kind, gracious, helpful, merciful to our brethren and to forgive, protect, support, provide, encourage and most of all to love one another as our Lord Jesus Christ had loved us.
1John 3:16-17 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

1John 2:4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
    Many Christians, pastors and church leaders claim that they know and love God, and even memorize and constantly teach His attributes, promises and miracles, but God called them liars, because they did not keep His commandments nor words.

Salt and Light of the World (SD13)

Be the Salt of the Earth
Mat 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men."
    How can salt loses its flavor? What is this salt which must be ingested before we can taste it's saltiness?
Mark 9:49 "For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt."

Gen 4:4-5, 7a "..but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. "If you do well, will you not be accepted?..."
    Cain was rejected for his unacceptable attitude (unwilling, insincere, selfish, merciless, covetous, etc.) in the offering to God. Whenever anyone gives with a cheerful heart, this is an expression of love and mercy.
2Cor 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Rom 12:8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
    This salt in the offering to God will be our delight and joy that we are able to give (out of love, sincerity and mercy) to God's ministries, the poor and needy.
Lev 2:13 'And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.'

Be the Light of the World
John 8:12  Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
    Jesus Christ was the light of the world and He promised us that whoever follows Him will have this light of life to become the light of the world.
Mat 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

1 John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
    Brethren, to be the light of the world we need to walk as Jesus walked - in humility, love, grace, truth, trustworthy, compassionate, faithful and with many miracles, which were seen in Jesus.

How to follow Jesus?
1. Deny Oneself
Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
2 Sell All to give Alms
Mat 19:21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
3. Serve Him
John 12:26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor."

Light and Salt
All those who follow Jesus will be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, who will always be joyfully living in peace, faith, hope and love.

Great Reward in Following Him
Mat 19:27-28 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?" So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Monday, May 14, 2018

Jewish Feasts and Christ (SD14)

               'Sound Doctrine'

Col 2:16-17 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
    Jewish Feasts are only a shadow of things to come.

Deu 16:16 "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed.
    Three times a year Jews must appear before God at His tabernacle (temple) for these feasts.
Note -  the destruction of the temple of God in Jerusalem in 70 AD ended Judaism and all Jewish feasts.

1. Feast of Unleavened Bread
Lev 23:5-6 'On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD'S Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread.'
   After the Passover Lamb was sacrificed, all Jews must keep the Feast of the Unleavened bread for seven days.
    The crucifixion of our Lord Jesus as the Passover Lamb started the new covenant. Christians must now abide in His Word the Bread of life, thus fulfilling the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

2. Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)
Lev 23:10, 15 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest... 'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed."
    The Jews must bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of harvest to the priest. *Our Lord Jesus was the firstfruits who rose from the dead* thus fulfilling the firstfruits of harvest.
1 Cor 15:20  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Acts 2:1, 41 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place... Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
    The last day (50th day) of the Feast of Weeks will be the celebration of first harvest in the land. On Pentecost, the last day of the Feast of Weeks, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit resulted in most of those present receiving gifts of the Holy Spirit and also the first harvest of three thousand souls fulfilling the Feast of Weeks.

3. Feast of Tabernacles
Lev 23:34, 42 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord... You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths,"
    All Jews must dwell in booths (tabernacles) during the Feast of the Tabernacle.
   When our Lord Jesus was killed, His body (temple) was destroyed.
John 2:19, 21 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up"... But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

Christians are Tabernacles of God
John 20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."
    After His resurrection on the third day, He gave the Holy Spirit, thus making the physical bodies of the Apostles to be tabernacles (temples) of God, thus fulfilling the Feast of Tabernacles.

Outer Court of Temple (SD15)

Heb 10:1, 5 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect... Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.
    Since the Temple of God is also a shadow, let's see how our Lord Jesus can prepare us to be a body (temple) just like His own Body.

The Outer Court
Exo 40:29-30 And he put the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered upon it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He set the laver between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar, and put water there for washing;
    In the Outer Court are the Bronze Altar (where burnt offerings were offered for the remission of sins and also the free will offerings of thanksgiving and gratitude to Him) and the Bronze Laver of water for the washing of the priests.

Bronze Altar of Burnt Offerings
Lev 7:37 This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering, the consecrations, and the sacrifice of the peace offering, (Please read Lev 1-9)
    At the bronze Altar, the priest accepted the sacrifices of the Israelites and then prayed for the remission of sin, thanksgivings, healings, blessings, requests, etc.
    Similarly, our Lord Jesus (Lamb of God ) was offered on the cross just outside the walls of Jerusalem (the holy city of God) fulfilling the 'Altar of burnt offerings.' So whoever believes Jesus as the Lamb of God shall be saved. Then as Christians, we can also offer gifts, thanksgivings praises and worship to Him.
Heb 3:11-13 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

Bronze Laver of Water
Exo 40:30-31 He set the laver between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar, and put water there for washing; and Moses, Aaron, and his sons would wash their hands and their feet with water from it.
    Before the priest could enter the Holy Place, he must first washed (sanctify) himself at the laver and then put on the priesthood garments in the Holy Place. We thank God that in Christ Jesus, all born-again Christians are called to become His royal priesthood.
1Pet 2:9-10 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Mat 22:14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."
    Unfortunately few are chosen to be His servants (disciples) because most Christians refuse to sanctify themselves by keeping His words. Since they did not fulfill the covenant, God cannot choose them.
    Having been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, let us allow the Holy Spirit to further help you us by guiding us to holiness through the washing with pure water by obeying the word of God.
Heb 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.