Find the Way of Escape

the-serpent

Find the Way of Escape

Paul reproved, rebuked, and exhorted the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1 for falling into sin. By conforming to the world’s standards, they were prevented from avoiding sin and pursuing holiness. They even risked losing their fear of the Lord.

First the reprove/rebuke:

“O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.”

They had become carnal and were conformed to the world. They were fellowshipping with those who knew not salvation and watered down the apostle’s doctrine. The snares of their culture shaped their church, their understanding, and their ways.

Then the correction; to stop and repent:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? . . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;

The Exhortation: . . . and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Jesus also exhorts us, who are believers, to continue and stand firm in the apostles’ teaching and that alone, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast” (Rev. 3:3).

Our standard for faith and practice is found solely in the Bible: not in a denomination, not in the early church fathers, not a popular preacher, nor a historic statement of faith. Rather, our authority was written 2,000 years ago and it is the pastors’ and deacons’ responsibility to adhere to it. The believers are also wise to compare what they hear with scripture (Acts 17:11) and act accordingly.

The church has no authority to change or modify any New Testament teaching in order to make it fit today’s culture. Jesus says a great deal about this in Revelations 2 and 3. We’d be wise to heed His words and prepare ourselves for the rest of what is coming, lest we fall leaning on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Today’s world is so sophisticated we sometimes fail to see the snares around us and those already entrapping us.

I pray we have eyes to see and the wisdom to avoid temptations leading to sin, we must consider the source, mark it, and consciously decide not to let it overtake us. Sometimes that means staying away from the influence altogether. Jesus promised that we can overcome the temptations of this world and we have a holy and solemn responsibility to do so.

So, find the way of escape. He has made a way. His promise is always with us if we search it out like treasures of gold and precious silver.

This is the promise:

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

This is something I am personally working on. As I find verses pertaining specifically to this, I will add them below in hopes that others may be encouraged as well!

a) “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).

A Testimony of Sorts . . .

This is a testimony of my recent “awakening” of nearly 30 years a Christian. When I was young, my family read the King James Bible (KJV). When I became a Christian at my sister Marge’s, I also used the KJV. Later, when I returned home, I found a Bible church and started reading from the NASV because that was what they used. Things were good for a while (spiritually speaking) but slowly they began to change. Some friends fell under the influence of Calvinism causing a split within my Christian circle. Silently and insidiously, the simplicity and purity of my Christianity began to darken. It was so subtle that I did not realize it until nearly 30 years later!

20 years ago, I moved from a my small Bible church to a much larger Calvary Chapel (CC) shortly before I married to my lovely wife Virginia. Unfortunately, this church allowed me to be anonymous and less accountable.

Over the years we became inconsistent in our attendance and my faith wavered. Not one church goer or worker seemed to notice or say anything about our behavior or missing church. So we drifted, we were anonymous. Many things contributed to this but it boiled down to my own weaknesses of the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. I pursued the things of the world. A nice house, education, and participated in the norms of our modern American culture.

God has a way of reminding us of the important things and recently, He began tugging at my heart. That’s when my testimony changed. I realized that I needed a refreshing new start since I was making such a disaster of everything on my own. I needed God. Thanks be to Him, I didn’t know how badly.

I was done with CC since I never really produced much fruit going there and Chuck Smith was gone. It was clear there was a change going on in CC. I finally realized the influence that new evangelicalism and the emerging church was having. Then there were the other revelations I learned. Chuck Smith ordained a pastor who was homosexual (Lonnie Frisbee) who had a huge influence on the growth and direction the denomination took in its early years. This is troubling and reflective of the impact experiential charismatic/pentecostalism holds over doctrinal truth.

Here is another disturbing example: Last Tuesday I was listening to KWVE and a CC pastor was discussing a movie he watched, Minority Report. He commented on his carnality and continued to use the divination in the movie as an example associated with God’s omniscience. He did not provide a warning. The wisdom of using divination and comparing it to God’s foreknowledge is questionable. More importantly, how can any pastor give tacit approval and disregard content in a movie that includes soft porn, drug use, and graphic violence to his congregation?

Please don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good Christians and pastors in CC and I do love the church but I remember too many days when had to look away from the stage during worship on Sunday because one or more of the women singing on the stage was dressed too provocatively. There needs to be standards of holiness in the church or else Christian growth is compromised and to be honest that just wasn’t happening there. The constant reminder of carnal Christianity permeated everything.

Its one thing to accept and invite anyone to church and we should be doing this daily. People need the Lord more than anything. As a matter of fact, my wife, daughter, and I will be going out Saturday inviting people to who may need a ride church on one of our buses. We understand many people are having a hard time and need love and encouragement in order to grow and mature in Christ. It is our duty to serve in whatever capacity we are in our walk in Christ.

The point is that Christianity is not a static experience. We should not give silent approval of ongoing and perpetual, sinful behavior of church attendees or deny biblical church discipline to its members. We should exhort others to grow and when necessary, offer rebuke and reproof always in the spirit of truth and love for Christ and His bride.

Another issue I found that needed change in my life was my Bible.

Just like my Mom who got saved at the Crystal Cathedral, most modern versions of the Bible are effective at getting one saved and learning about God and devotion as a Christian. Based on the different versions; Living Bible, Good News, CEV, etc., 70-95% (based on my speculation of interpretive methodologies) of the content is the word of God. Why am I so critical here? After all, all Bibles are pretty much the same right? We’ll no, they are not and it’s well beyond the scope of this post, so I will only summarize briefly focusing primarily on the New Testament.

All of our bibles come from basically one of two manuscript sources.  The Tyndale Bible, Geneva, Wycliffe, and King James all come from one source known as the Received Text, or Majority Text, or more commonly known as the Byzantium or Textus Receptus. This string of manuscripts came out of the Byzantine, Antioch region of the world and have been handed down, preserved, and copied over and over again since the times of the Apostles.

The Roman Catholic (RC) church tried for centuries to destroy this string of texts. You can look at the history of the inquisition and the persecution of the Waldenses to get a taste of the horrific evils the RC perpetuated on Bible believing Christians and their scripture. Whole communities and libraries were destroyed over and over again. The sentence was death by fire if you were found with any Bible manuscripts. It is estimated that the RC church may have killed between 50 and 500 million people during their long course of persecutions.

Tribulation not withstanding, God promised to preserve His word. And this we can be assured! Here are some of those promises:

  • 1 Peter 1:23  “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.”
  • Psalm 12:6-7  “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever.”
  • Ps. 111:7-8  “The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.”
  • Is. 40:8  “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
  • Ps. 117:2 “… the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.”
  • Ps. 119:152 “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
  • Ps 119:160  “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” *

Since the RC couldn’t destroy or control God’s word, they decided to replace it. They utilized two manuscripts, The Codex Sinaiticus  discovered in Egypt in the 1700s and the Codex Vaticanus which was found in 1481 in the Vatican library in Rome. These two manuscripts  make up the majority of what is known as the Wescott and Hort text and more recently, the Nestle-Aland Greek text (New Testament).

All our modern English and foreign language Bibles are derived from these Roman Catholic influenced texts. Both of these manuscripts were probably the product of Eusebius’ 50 corrupted Bibles Constantine ordered to satisfy both Pagans and Christians when he “legalized”  Christianity and began to mix the two belief systems in the 4th century.

In 1881,  the RSV (Revised Standard Version) was printed to replace the KJV using Wescott/Hort text. They were very successful. Nearly all Bible societies and Bible translation organizations now use this corrupted Greek text to translate bibles. The Hebrew is another story for another time. Some Bible versions that use this corrupted Greek text include the NASV, NIV, ESV, NLT. Nearly all with the exception of the NKJV, amalgamates both manuscript lines.

This is part of the larger ecumenical push from the same vein of corruption and compromise Satan has been working on from the beginning.

That is why it is so important for me to use the KJV as my primary source of scriptural reference? All my studies have shown that the KJV most eloquently and accurately completely translates the the preserved copies of the original scriptures and is void of modern cultural and political sensitivities.

Because if these corruptions and the doctrine of antinomianism I believed (carnal Christianity) I slowly and increasingly began to doubt the Bible and the truths of God’s word and promises.

Going back to the KJV has produced a significant change in my faith, fruits, and understanding of God. 

I still use other versions but only as tools.

This may be a strange testimony, but it is a testimony of discovery.

Modern textual criticism has decimated the wholeness and holiness of God’s church especially here in America. The beauty is that God is preserving His word in the church no matter what the Devil tries to do.

So, I onto more discovery and building of a testimony.

I sure hope God is working great things in your heart as you seek to discover Him and labor in truth.

God bless,

~ D

* AV1611.com

The Play Dress

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I found this nice site while searching for modest clothing for my daughter. I found the bloomers to be irresistibly adorable and ordered a couple for her. The dresses are beautiful as well and all are fashioned after the same pattern. I would like to see what type of material she has. The dark one posted on her site is beautiful but is no longer available.

The bloomers should work well under her skirts and dresses, for play, around the house, and to keep her legs warm. They also will help with the principle we are recently trying to foster; biblical modesty in our children . . . being an example is no easy feat either. As a Dad, I know I am far from that goal. But it won’t stop me from trying and from laying a foundation for my family. My son already wants to wear a tie and coat when he goes to church!

We may stumble along the way but transforming the heart is key. Understanding God’s love and holiness demands we walk like Him and not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2). Every word He has given us is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16).

It all begins and ends with the heart . . .

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.