Something smelly in the wilderness


In Hebrews chapter 3, Paul gives us a warning,


Take heed, brethren,

lest there be in any of you

an evil heart of unbelief,

in departing from the living God.


 then a pleading exhortation.


But exhort one another daily,

while it is called To day;

lest any of you be hardened

through the deceitfulness of sin.

For we are made partakers of Christ,

if we hold the beginning of our confidence

stedfast unto the end;


We are called to hold fast our faithful repentance in Christ just as we did in the beginning.

If we fail to to this, we allow sin through disobedience to re-enter our lives and risk our hearts being darkened and hardened, bringing unbelief and eventually separation from the God.

This is not a break in fellowship as some believe but departure from the Living God.


Souls in Peril


While it is said,

Today if ye will hear his voice,

harden not your hearts,

as in the provocation.

For some, when they had heard,

did provoke:

howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

But with whom was he grieved forty years?


All but two of the adult Israelites delivered from Egypt perished in the wilderness (figuratively speaking, in sin). The two delivered, Joshua and Caleb, followed the exhortation and did not harden their hearts.

They also had the benefit of an enriched faith, moral uprightness, and godly character.

Either way you cut it, the example God gave us in Hebrews reveals very poor odds for those initially delivered from sin through faith in Christ.

The Israelites knew, saw, and lived with the truth and promises of God. They were fed living water, manna, and were provided for. All these were shadows of what Jesus does for us now.

Why was God grieved with them and why did so many perish?


was it not with them that had sinned,

whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

And to whom sware he

that they should not enter into his rest,

but to them that believed not?

So we see

that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

~ Hebrews 3:12-19


They Perished because they did not heed his voice and obey his word. Rather, they chose return to sin, fell into unbelief, and hardened their hearts.

Instead of entering into His rest, they entered into judgment.

This is our example today. Do not continue in sin, guard your heart, and believe God can change both your heart and your (sinful) nature.

Or, like the Israelites, you run the risk of having your body left rotting in the wilderness only to be fed on by the birds of destruction.


Jesus died so we could live. Here is His exhortation.


Take my yoke upon you

and learn from me,

for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

~ Matthew 11:29


We get on our knees before the cross, repent of our sins, believe in Christ. We walk away from our sins and follow His lead preparing ourselves to be obedient to Him and to live, truly live.

Here is Jesus’ warning to His servants who fail to do this.


And that servant, which knew his lord’s will,

and prepared not himself,

neither did according to his will,

shall be beaten with many stripes.

~ Luke 12:47


Let His stripes purify your heart. 

For many will be beaten with many stripes because of hardened and darkened hearts and disobedient unbelief in the knowledge and faith in Christ.


The choice is yours.

The only question is,

What kind of servant are you?


Take His yoke

and learn from Him,

you will find rest for your soul.



Let us therefore fear, lest,

a promise being left us

of entering into his rest,

any of you should seem to come short of it. 

~ Hebrews 4:1

The Woes of Sin



The Curse of God


The fount of sin in Lucifer’s heart

billows out plumes of darkness

 to angels fallen and hearts of man

———–

In all God’s creation, harmony disturbed

like ripples in a pond

from a stone just thrown,

Sin troubles waters, obscuring our views

————-

Waves of iniquity move like a storm

weakened souls and worn hearts in man.

————-

All those subject to its reign,

are at enmity with God

in armies arrayed.

————-

Angels darkened by it were stripped,

of their heavenly and glory ‘quipped.

Man in toils in dust and swallows its seed

his life removed from God’s sweet Eden

————-

The flames of Hell flicker higher

stoked by sin in its fire,

Woe to those falling to its depths.

 plagued by wages that bring death,

The Earth is drenched, alone in its blood

a Sodom of wealth and enticements a flood.

————-

It pollutes our eyes and defiles our ears,

our mouths blaspheme and curse the years.

————-

Who can plead aright for it’s cause?

Who can stand and its defend its laws?

————

But there is hope in one just name

A God, a Son, a holy one

He’s come to destroy His enemy

to give us truth and make us free

Rejoice, rejoice all that see

and take your hope to eternity.


The Judgement and Command


Thanks be to God, Jesus came to redeem us from sin and all its ways . . . 

Neither do I condemn thee:

go, and sin no more . . .

 . . . I am the light of the world:

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

but shall have the light of life . . .

————-

Again Jesus said in His righteous judgment

Ye are from beneath;

I am from above:

ye are of this world;

I am not of this world. 

I said therefore unto you,

that ye shall die in your sins:

for if ye believe not that I am he,

ye shall die in your sins . . . 

————-

If ye continue in my word,

then are ye my disciples indeed; 

and ye shall know the truth,

and the truth shall make you free.


Jesus offers complete freedom; to eternally break the curse and bondage of sin. He said that we can be truly free from if we know (live) the truth. Partial freedom is not what He has to give. He wants all of you and you to have all of Him.

We must hunger and thirst after righteousness (Jesus) as a deer pants in order to drink of His life giving water.

He is our life’s blood. In Him is purity known. Nothing impure abides in Him, Abide in Him, and He will abide in you.

Whosoever believes on Him should not abide in darkness. If the word of God abides in you, then ye have overcome the wicked one.


I write unto you, fathers,

because ye have known him that is from the beginning.

I write unto you, young men,

because ye have overcome the wicked one.

I write unto you, little children,

because ye have known the Father. 

I have written unto you, fathers,

because ye have known him that is from the beginning.

I have written unto you, young men,

because ye are strong,

and the word of God abideth in you,

and ye have overcome the wicked one. 

Love not the world,

neither the things that are in the world.

If any man love the world,

the love of the Father is not in him.

~ 1 John 2:13-15


The life-long journey in this wilderness will one day come to an end.

Whosoever has sinned, and has any wickedness, must purify himself in the light of God; even so, this must be done today, and every day until this journey in the wilderness ends. Numbers 31:19-20

 


A Blessing of Peace and Hope


And the peace of God,

which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus . . .

 . . . For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;

but righteousness, and peace,

and joy in the Holy Ghost . . .

 . . . Now the God of hope fill you

with all joy and peace in believing,

that ye may abound in hope,

through the power of the Holy Ghost . . .

. . . For God is not the author of confusion,

but of peace,

as in all churches of the saints . . .

. . . Be perfect, be of good comfort,

be of one mind, live in peace;

and the God of love and peace shall be with you . . .

. . . And as many as walk according to this rule,

peace be on them, and mercy,

and upon the Israel of God . . .

 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Amen.

By works a man is justified, and not by faith only.


Many do not like the title of this post for what it implies, but it is taken directly from scripture and intimated to be as important as faith. For within an active faith are found works to be shown reflective of genuine repentance.

Controversy aside, we are called unto good works as a Christian and commanded to hold fast our profession of faith. We are also told that those who profess Christ but are impure, sinful, and live with unbelief perform works unto eternal punishment.


 

This is why I am posting some of my favorite verses that necessitate a life devoted to God.

They are in no particular order but speak volumes to those willing to listen and obey God’s word and not adhere to a particular doctrine that denies works of righteousness as a necessary part of a disciple’s life.

Our church is drenched in antinomianism and is teaching us to live in the wicked mire of sin. If this doctrine remains in our heart and lives, we will perish in our sin.


Romans 11:21-22

For if God spared not the natural branches,

take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Behold therefore the goodness

and severity of God:

on them which fell, severity;

but toward thee, goodness,

if thou continue in his goodness:

otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.


1 Corinthians 10:1-12

Moreover, brethren,

I would not that ye should be ignorant,

how that all our fathers were under the cloud,

and all passed through the sea;

And were all baptized unto Moses

in the cloud and in the sea;

And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

And did all drink the same spiritual drink:

for they drank of that spiritual Rock

that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

But with many of them

God was not well pleased:

for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things were our examples,

to the intent we should not lust after evil things,

as they also lusted.

Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them;

as it is written,

The people sat down to eat and drink,

and rose up to play.

Neither let us commit fornication,

as some of them committed,

and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Neither let us tempt Christ,

as some of them also tempted,

and were destroyed of serpents.

Neither murmur ye,

as some of them also murmured,

and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Now all these things happened unto them

for ensamples:

and they are written for our admonition,

upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth

take heed lest he fall.


2 Peter 2:4-9

For if God spared not the angels that sinned,

but cast them down to hell,

and delivered them into chains of darkness,

to be reserved unto judgment;

And spared not the old world,

but saved Noah the eighth person,

a preacher of righteousness,

bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha

into ashes condemned them with an overthrow,

making them an ensample

unto those that after should live ungodly;

And delivered just Lot,

vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

(For that righteous man dwelling among them,

in seeing and hearing,

vexed his righteous soul from day to day

with their unlawful deeds;)

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly

out of temptations,

and to reserve the unjust

unto the day of judgment to be punished:


Jude 1:5

I will therefore put you in remembrance,

though ye once knew this, how that the Lord,

having saved the people out of the land of Egypt,

afterward destroyed them that believed not.


James 2:14-26

What doth it profit, my brethren,

though a man say he hath faith,

and have not works?

can faith save him? 

If a brother or sister be naked,

and destitute of daily food, 

and one of you say unto them,

Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled;

notwithstanding ye give them not those things

which are needful to the body;

what doth it profit? 

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead,

being alone. 

Yea, a man may say,

Thou hast faith, and I have works:

shew me thy faith without thy works,

and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 

Thou believest that there is one God;

thou doest well:

the devils also believe, and tremble. 

But wilt thou know, O vain man,

that faith without works is dead? 

Was not Abraham our father justified by works,

when he had offered Isaac

his son upon the altar? 

Seest thou how faith wrought with his works,

and by works was faith made perfect?

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith,

Abraham believed God,

and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:

and he was called the Friend of God. 

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified,

and not by faith only. 

Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot

justified by works,

when she had received the messengers,

and had sent them out another way? 

For as the body without the spirit is dead,

so faith without works is dead also.


Some are already withering believing their current state is acceptable to God.  Take heed lest ye fall. It is not just belief or faith alone that will save you. We are to:

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance

(John the Baptist)


Whereupon, O king Agrippa,

I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

but shewed first unto them of Damascus,

and at Jerusalem,

and throughout all the coasts of Judæa,

and then to the Gentiles,

that they should repent and turn to God,

and do works meet for repentance

(Paul the Apostle)


God can deliver you if you seek after Him like you do your most precious treasures . . . for in this, He is found.

Take heed lest ye fall: Israelites first, Christians second.


How far can we fall?


Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth

take heed lest he fall.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:12


Can we fall from the promise of heavenly heights to the depths of hell? There is currently no known way which we can measure the expanse between Heaven and Hell.

Take the example from 1 Corinthians, chapter 10. Moses was the mediator of the Israelites. The Israelites with Moses were baptized into the Mosaic covenant. As a result, they were obligated to follow all the precepts of the covenant.

They were obligated to follow all the precepts of the Mosaic covenant and their example was Moses. He was a foreshadow of Jesus, our mediator. We are baptized into Christ and His covenant.

Thus, we are obligated to follow all the precepts of the Gospel. We have our example, which is Christ Jesus. I am afraid nearly all of us have failed at the very first thing we are suppose to do as followers of Christ.

The first thing is genuine repentance. Repent: Μετανοήσατε – Metanoēsate means to change one’s mind, purpose, and ways for the better. To heartily amend and abhor one’s past sins.

In Ezekiel 14:6 the Israelites are told to, Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!

In the Septuagint, the underlying idea is translated sub by epi (apo-)strepho meaning, to turn about, or to turn away from..

So, a genuine repentance is a complete abandonment of both sinful intentions and their accompanying evil deeds. Our motives and conduct is completely reversed as far as a predisposition to sin, loving our neighbor, and loving God.

A good example is Isaiah 1:16-17:

Wash you, make you clean;

put away the evil of your doings

from before mine eyes;

cease to do evil; learn to do well;

seek judgment, relieve the oppressed,

judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.


This is the first step in stopping us from our current free-fall or restoring us to a place pleasing to our LORD.

Take Paul’s example:


 I am verily a man which am a Jew,

born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia

yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel,

and taught according to the perfect manner

of the law of the fathers,

and was zealous toward God,

as ye all are this day.

~ Acts 22:3


Paul killed and tortured hundreds of Christians. Our works as Christians under the influence of sin harm others in much more subtle ways. But the outcome is the same. If we cause our brother to stumble and perish, we have helped kill his eternal soul.

We have already failed if we have not truly, utterly, and completely repented of our sins.

To repent in the Gospel means to turn from ALL sin. Have you turned from all your sin and are you striving never to sin again? I mean never!

The whole of scripture resounds in a chorus exhorting and pleading for us to do so. The following are examples, exhortations, explanations, and the final role sin is to (no longer) have in our life,


Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple,

and said unto him, Behold,

thou art made whole:

sin no more,

lest a worse thing come unto thee.

~ John 5:14

————-

She said, No man, Lord.

And Jesus said unto her,

Neither do I condemn thee: go,

and sin no more.

~ John 8:11 

————-

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received

the knowledge of the truth,

there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

~ Hebrews 10:26


We are commanded to repent. It is a holy duty to abandon sin and all of its influence over us. Jesus would not have told us to sin no more unless it were possible.


Knowing this,

that our old man is crucified with him,

that the body of sin might be destroyed,

that henceforth we should not serve sin

~ Romans 6:6

————-

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,

that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

~ Romans 6:12

————-

For sin shall not have dominion over you:

for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

~ Romans 6:14

————-

What then? shall we sin,

because we are not under the law,

but under grace?

God forbid.

~ Romans 6:15

————-

Awake to righteousness,

and sin not;

for some have not the knowledge of God:

I speak this to your shame.

~ 1 Corinthians 15:34

————-

But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ,

we ourselves also are found sinners,

is therefore Christ the minister of sin?

God forbid.

~ Galatians 2:17

————-

Them that sin rebuke before all,

that others also may fear.

~ 1 Timothy 5:20


If we profess to be a Christian and willfully choose to live in sin, the fall to perdition is certain. We can begin aright again and cease from our sin with sincere and vigilant repentance.

The following is one of the gospel’s greatest exhorting us faithful obedience. This is how far we are called to go in repentance, avoidance of sin, and it eternal consequences.


Ye have not yet resisted unto blood,

striving against sin.

And ye have forgotten the exhortation

which speaketh unto you as unto children 

~ Hebrews 12:4-5a 


This is a sobering and deadly serious subject not to be taken lightly. We need to take heed.

Heed – βλεπέτω – blepetō – means to see, be observant (watchful). 991 (blépō). To see something physical, with spiritual results (perception), eternal damnation if the heed to live in a state of repentance is ignored.

If we have this perception to understand what can happen beyond the grave, then we can take the needed action, respond, remain alert, and continue to make the right choice(s).


Please read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Absorb the context. Heed the warning, memorize verse 13, protect, and keep it close to your heart. Walk in it.

Strive to enter in at the strait gate:

for many, I say unto you,

will seek to enter in,

and shall not be able.

~ Luke 13:24


For wide is the gate that leads to destruction and sin is crouching at its door. Turn your head and heart from it.

Working out our Salvation

I hear much talk of different isms: Calvinism, Arminianism, Methodism, Catholicism, Baptist(ism), New Evangelicalism, etc. Where does it all comes from? Our carnality. Even so, most “isms” of our day have strayed far from what Paul and Appollos was preaching. Sure there is much truth in some and less in others but; even in our current divisions, there are divers errors that divide us within our errors.


While we work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:11-13), we should consider the verse below. If this applies, there is yet much work to be done on a personal level. No one can work out their salvation on a corporate level, so it doesn’t really matter what your church organization believes. It can’t save you. Only the word of God living and working in you can do that.


“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?” (1 Corinthians 3:3-5).


If we are not working out our salvation with fear and trembling, I plead with you reader, please go back to the Bible and see what was missed . . . because something was.


“Trembling for fear lest you miscarry and come short. Be careful to do every thing in religion in the best manner, and fear lest under all your advantages you should so much as seem to come short . . . Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:1,11).


Here is an excerpt from Matthew Henry Commentary that explains this concept further.

I. He exhorts them to diligence and seriousness in the Christian course: Work out your own salvation. It is the salvation of our souls (1 Pet. 1:9), and our eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9), and contains deliverance from all the evils sin had brought upon us and exposed us to, and the possession of all good and whatsoever is necessary to our complete and final happiness. Observe, It concerns us above all things to secure the welfare of our souls: whatever becomes of other things, let us take care of our best interests. It is our own salvation, the salvation of our own souls. It is not for us to judge other people; we have enough to do to look to ourselves; and, though we must promote the common salvation (Jude 1:3) as much as we can, yet we must upon no account neglect our own. We are required to work out our salvation, katergazesthe. The word signifies working thoroughly at a thing, and taking true pains. Observe, We must be diligent in the use of all the means which conduce to our salvation. We must not only work at our salvation, by doing something now and then about it; but we must work out our salvation, by doing all that is to be done, and persevering therein to the end. Salvation is the great thing we should mind, and set our hearts upon; and we cannot attain salvation without the utmost care and diligence. He adds, With fear and trembling, that is, with great care and circumspection: “Trembling for fear lest you miscarry and come short. Be careful to do every thing in religion in the best manner, and fear lest under all your advantages you should so much as seem to come short,” Heb. 4:1. Fear is a great guard and preservative from evil.


Are you working out your salvation with fear and trembling? Or are you already confident? Think about that for a moment. Don’t seek guidance from others (or me for that matter) who will reinforce your confidence or current belief system. Who knows how much ism has already crept in. Rather, seek to understand the whole council of God unencumbered by preconceived bias. I am trying hard to do this and some of what I am coming up with is not popular even among my Christian brethren.

Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Apostles spoke a great deal about why people should have fear and trembling, namely Hell. In the New Testament, the realities of Hell was primarily spoken to the religious, followers of Christ, believers, and those who perceived they were following after God. Hell was not spoken much to unbelievers. That reality in and of itself should cause us to ponder.


The Biblical concept of working out our salvation by implicit definition means; it is not yet complete.

An Invitation to Abide

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples (John 15:1-8).


In this passage Jesus is talking to those who have made themselves clean by believing in Him. This audience had become washed by the words of Jesus. Now, He exhorts them to abide (to continue, to endure) in him and bear fruit in order to prove they are His disciples.


Abide means to signify to endure, to adhere to, maintain defend, or stand to, as to abide by a promise, or by a friend; or to suffer the consequences, as to abide by the event, that is, to be fixed or permanent in a particular condition.

When we no longer abide, we leave the place or position we once held. According to Jesus, this is a reality that happens to some of His followers that at one point were washed by His word but did not abide or endure to the end. We see this truth repeated here, here, here, here, and here.


Jesus’ words above are a fulfillment of John the Baptist’ exhortation, “and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

To repent means so much more than we sometimes realize. Repentance is an abandoning of our ways, the natural inclinations of our sinful nature; turning away from everything that is not reflecting God’s truth: For most of us this means we have to rip away many things that have become a part of us. Our world before repentance is a wilderness, a beautiful deception. It is void of any sustaining satisfaction and ultimately leads to eternal destruction in the Lake of Fire with the Devil, beast, and the false prophet shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Repentance helps us to realize that we are in a wilderness. Repentance causes us to change our heart, to a change in our actions, and to become disciples of Jesus.

When we truly repent, we stop doing that is displeasing to God and start doing what is pleasing to God.


Repentance cannot be separated from abiding in Jesus. If we are repentant of our sins, we are abiding in Him, and He in us. If we are not, He is not.


Telling someone that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life without telling them what they need to consider is doing them a great disservice. The reality of discipleship, genuine repentance, and turning away from their sins are all necessary components of saving faith. Without this, knowledge abiding and obedient faith as well as works worthy of repentance may not define their life, which are characteristic of Christ’s disciples.


When we share only the positive or the “appealing” side of the gospel, this is no small error we are committing. In doing this, we are building a house made out of wood, hay, and stubble. It may burn. God forbid, we see some souls who thought they were Christians perish in the Lake of Fire while we enter heaven singed by the smoke of their sulfur because they did not realize the cost of serving Christ. Our foundation as well as those we witness to should be built upon Christ and adorned with gold, silver, and precious stones that will not burn at the final judgment.


Abide in Him, especially when carrying out the great commission of making disciples.

 

There is one thing unconditional about our Salvation, that is: It is conditional.

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (Matthew 7:21-24)

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)


And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. (Luke 8:21)


Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:29)

 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28) To pluck (harpazo) means a power other than our own here and here. It does not refer to our sin or willingness to walk away. That is under our power.


Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God.” (Romans 2:4-11)

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the fleshFor if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall liveFor as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Rom 8:12-14)


Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” (1 Cor 15:1-2)

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1) “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by loveYe did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (5:6-7)


Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sinFor we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the endwhile it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.” (Heb 3:12-15)

(This one is about Jesus), “though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 5:8-10)


Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”  (1 John 2:23-25)

And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” (1 John 2:28-29)


Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:10-11)

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)

Those that overcame often had to suffer pain and torturous death. Surely we can abstain from sin and obey God’s commandments as revealed by Jesus and His apostles. We have not even come close to what they suffered. We live in wealth and prosperity while half of the world lives in abject poverty. Everyone in the church will one day be called to give a report of his or her life either into eternal judgment or God’s Kingdom. Many of those entering judgment will be professing Christians. Will you be ready? Will I? Will Christ find faith on Earth when He returns? I pray He does and I pray for you, reader.


Yet, we must endure unto the end.

“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” (Proverbs 26:11)

“But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:22)


 

This Post is About Erring from the Truth of Scripture, the Sin that Ensues, and The Battle to Overcome

“Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20

When we err from the truth, it is not just one sin we commit. When we err, from the truth, we set into motion a cascade if sins that multiply, repeat, and reproduce themselves. Erring from the truth is not necessarily the same thing as willfully committing sin.

Here is one example of erring from the truth. I use to believe as many do today: that our sins past, present, and future are forgiven the moment we trust in Jesus with all our heart. That is what I was taught, so I believed it.


In reading about this subject, I never saw the Bible say our future sins are forgiven. Nevertheless, I went on living this particular error of truth. I committed a multitude of sins, spoiled my mind, and darkened my soul. God’s ability to work through me was deeply compromised. I was walking on a precipice teetering on eternal judgment. I now stay far away from the edge of that cliff. You should too.


Here are some scriptural proofs showing that our future sins are not automatically forgiven and can change our walk with God even causing us to lose our salvation.

“Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of men’s sins: keep thyself pure . . . Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.” (1 Timothy 5:22,23,25)

“but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren” (James 1:14-16)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) This is present tense and written to believers.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1) If we walk after the flesh, there IS condemnation for those which are in Christ Jesus. Many Bibles have taken out the last half of this verse because of the doctrine of once saved always saved. These same scholars and many pastors following their works will tell you it was because of “higher criticism”.

Those scholars have removed scripture and changed the meaning of God’s word. If they don’t repent of this sin, they have a curse from God awaiting them upon their mortal death: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19)


So our names can be taken out of the book of life:

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Revelation 3:5) Once again, the inverse: if anyone does not overcome He will blot out his name out of the book of life.

We need to overcome the world and all the corruption Satan has cast upon us. This is not works, but we do this with faith in Jesus. We have to act on our faith and do not have dead faith. If we have faith we do well, but faith without works is dead. I would venture to go further and say that faith without works produces sin and sin produces death.


What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith onlyLikewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:14-26)


“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-20)


Once again: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Our bodies our not our own to do as we please. They belong to God. When we do what we want with them, we are stealing from God. This is a sin that must be repented of like all others. Fear the consequences of your sin.

We cannot, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” (Romans 6:12). This is the whole nature of overcoming the world. God’s spirit reign in our bodies, minds, and souls producing fruit. We war against our sinful nature and must overcome it. The moment we accept Jesus we are saved. It is the sin we incur that can entrap us later. Our body must be inhabited by the Holy Ghost and not defiled by sin.

Once again, these are all to believers:
“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:17)
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Believing that our future sins are forgiven, is a grave and terrible error

If someone errs in believing this, they run the risk of not repenting and living in sin. Not identifying, repenting, and turning from “routine” sin (it becomes routine because of habituation) is a grievous mistake that can quench the Holy Ghost and lead to spiritual death.

Do you see how erring from the truth can cause a multitude of sins? (James 5:20)

When we fall into error of truth or choose to practice willful sin. When we follow Christ, we find that no one can separate us from the love of Christ. This refers to being separated by a power outside ourselves, like when we will get raptured and taken up. It does not refer to our own power or choice to live in sin. We have strayed ourselves bringing our souls into spiritual death. Scripture promises God’s children security in Christ when we are walking in him, following Him, listening to Him, not when we are putting the cross of Christ to shame by crucifying Him all over again.

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren” (James 1:14-16).

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:20-22).

“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).”

Do not be drawn into sin leading to perdition and damnation, to Hell. There is no liberty in sin. There is no liberty to sin. Those that teach we have liberty to sin have been warned in scripture. To accept sin as a normal part if our Christian life comes from the teaching of Balaam, which God hates.

There are sins not unto death, sins unto death, and blaspheming the Holy Ghost (subject for a later post). Live in a manner that you avoid them all!!!

“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22) Because our sinful nature wars against our soul. This, we must overcome.


We are in a war against ourselves. God has provided us a way to escape and overcome. Be not dismayed or distracted, fight the good fight unto the end.

~ D

Lot and His Compromise

As Christians, we should not choose to allow or incorporate any worldly desires that compromise our walk with God. Compromise in any area, be it enticements from lust of our eyes, the lust of our flesh, or our pride of life, can cause our spirit to be overcome by our sinful nature.


The following is an example God gave to us as a warning against allowing our spirit to become attached to the seductions of this world. When we do, sin gets a foothold that can lead to darkness and death.

The story of Lot in the city of iniquity:

Genesis 19:15-20
15 “And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”


Lot was commanded to immediately gather his family so he could protect them from the wrath of God by leaving the city. This is also a picture leading up to the day of the Lord and His second coming. When the enemies of God have started pouring out terror and death upon God’s elect, He will give us a warning.

When we see these things, God will commands us to stand fast in the teaching of His word. God assures us that if we are living soberly in faith and love, He will  deliver us before he begins to pour out His wrath.


16 “And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.”


Do you see the power that sin and compromise had on Lot? He lingered and almost stayed until it was too late! As Christians we must be able to hear God’s voice and obey His instructions. Compromise that leads to sin can bring death and perdition if we don’t let God’s grace teach us hope unto everlasting life. Unbelief or a shipwrecked faith is dangerous thing to a Christian.


17 “And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. ”


The angels warned Lot and his family not to look back while escaping but Lot’s wife could not resist the pull that Sodom and Gomorrah had on her sinful nature. Her spirit was overcome and she looked back. God judged her, turned her body into a pillar of salt, and sent her to everlasting punishment.


18 “And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. ”


Lot’s love for the things of this world caused him to continue in disobedience and he rationalized his desire to go into another nearby city. The city was much more attractive than a mountain with caves.


Let us not continue or fall into the same type of compromise lest we reap the consequences Lot’s family sowed. There is more to the story that reveals Lot’s continued compromise producing bad fruit. There was no leadership, vision, or hope of salvation; only shipwrecked lives.

You see, his family lost direction in their continued downward spiral into compromise. Sin blinded them and made them deaf to the voice of God. What were the fruits of their labor? The Moabites and Ammonites; and we don’t hear from Lot again.

This is a good example for us. Please pray for your family and others.

Lucifer

The Devil


. . . Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.


Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God;
every precious stone was thy covering,
the sardius, topaz, and the diamond,
the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper,
the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold:
the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes
was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.


Can you imagine, Lucifer was in the Garden of Eden, which was not created until the 6th day. So, he may have possibly seen the glory of God’s creation before he fell; since there is no indication in scripture that speaks when iniquity was found in him. We do know that it was there when he spoke to Eve some time after the 6th day. This description here seems to indicate he was not yet fallen.

This scripture indicates that iniquity was found in him when he was not in heaven. Was he in the garden? Possibly.I would not be surprised if it were so. It would be a fitting place for the greatest angel to fall and try to bring everyone else down with him starting with God’s other greatest creation, Adam and Eve.


In the creation account, the sixth day shows that there was no corruption. The heavens and the earth were perfect. There is no indication that Lucifer had not yet fallen.

And God saw every thing that he had made,

and, behold, it was very good.

And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

~ Genesis 1:31.


There may have been angelic music in the garden before he fell. We really don’t know. We do know God made him with tabrets and pipes, which are musical in nature. Music has powerful transforming power. We should be very careful when we choose to place any music before our ears. Don’t let the Devil get in edgewise in his area of expertise.

We don’t know exactly how long Lucifer was in the garden on Earth before he fell. It was more than 6 days and definitely less than 130 years according to Genesis 5:3. That’s a pretty wide gap, and no, I do not believe in the Gap Theory of 1814, which has no clear biblical support. I believe in the literal, historical interpretation of the God’s word. It is a plain fundamentalist approach. If the Bible says it, I believe it, simple.


Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so:
thou wast upon the holy mountain of God;
thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.


Lucifer originally served God closely. Cherubims were used to protect the tree of life, as a covering of the Ark of the Covenent. The Lord rode upon a cherub to save David and they were also used to represent God’s protecting angels in Solomon’s temple. What Lucifer covered we are not told but it was something God cherished.

The holy mountain of God refers to His dwelling place both in heaven, on Earth past, and in the new heavens and Earth future. Lucifer was in God’s dwelling place and walked among the stones of fire. Throughout scripture stones are used to describe how our fathers rested and built things for God, were used for judgment, and to identify God’s own. Additionally, rocks were used to describe Christ who supports and builds us up in both the OT and NT respectively.

Fire was used as a method to bring offerings to God, to purify, and to consume in judgment.  It was used to utterly purge any and all imperfections from of God’s sight.


Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created,
till iniquity was found in thee.


God had no role or place in Lucifer’s decision to sin. Satan did it all by himself and then got some help from his friends, a third of the angels following him. Most are with us today influencing our world. Some of the worst are bound and awaiting release during the tribulation in order to kill at least 2 billion people.


By the multitude of thy merchandise
they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned:
therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God:
and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub,
from the midst of the stones of fire.

Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty,
thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness:
I will cast thee to the ground,
I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.


We know why Lucifer fell and it holds immense value to help us maintain our walk with God. His beauty brought pride to his heart. There are many things in this world that we hold attachments to that can cause haughtiness and pride. He also was brought down because of his great wisdom. We cannot let our own wisdom of the Bible or anything of this world fool us into the sin of pride. Without God we are nothing, we know nothing, and have no beauty except that of Christ crucified. He will one day shower upon us  His reigning glory and blessings forevermore. Amen


Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities,
by the iniquity of thy traffick;
therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee,
it shall devour thee,
and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth
in the sight of all them that behold thee.


His iniquity will be manifested in all its decimating horror during Daniel’s 70th week. One only has to look at our church history during the dark ages and recent 20th century democide to get a glimpse of his fruit death and destruction. These are a preview of what is to come to those saints who abide until the coming of the Lord during the Great Tribulation.


All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee:
thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.


Hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels not necessarily for us. Nevertheless, all will see him and his destruction in God’s final judgment casting Satan into the Lake of Fire to be tormented day and night for ever and ever and all who’s names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

We know what our duty and calling is: to help those who do not yet have their names written in that great and awesome Book of Life. Also, we are exhort others to work out their salvation with fear and trembling lest they defile our garments and have their names removed from the book.

Remember brothers and sisters; God is faithful to His servants unto the end if we hold true to His word. Nothing can keep us from His love if we overcome when we stand before Him.

Take a lesson from a former cherub and beware how far we can fall. He was most likely the highest of all the angels, greatest in wisdom and beauty.

Ezekiel 28:12-19