Monday, August 30, 2010
We read in (2 Cor 5:19) NLT "For God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation". Our man-made theology has completely destroyed the truth of this passage of God's Word! Read it again carefully from any translation and the truth will be clear and plain! God the Father was there on the cross with Jesus when He died to pay the price for our redemption.. We have been told that God abandoned His Son at that moment, because He could not look on our sin that Jesus took upon Himself. We have been told that (Matt 27:45) proves this, but scripture never contradicts scripture, so both of these scriptures can't be true. I believe the passage from Matthew must refer to His feelings as a human being, because He was completely human, although completely Divine at the same time. He had already submitted His will to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. So this was only a human reaction, and He and the Father were still one at that time, as Paul clearly states!
This false concept that God cannot allow Himself to be associated with evil, appears in many of our church doctrines. One in particular that comes to mind has to do with a person being "demonized". This means a person who is a carrier of one or more demon spirits. The KJV translation uses the term "demon possession" in various places when it should use demonized. The meaning is that we can posses a demon, but the demon doesn't posses us. This has caused a lot of confusion in church circles over the years. Jesus spent a lot of His ministry time, as recorded in the gospels, casting demons out of people. And He gave His disciples authority and the assignment to do the same. (Matt 10:5-8). Certain church denominations have a doctrine that declares a born again believer cannot possibly posses a demon, because the Holy Spirit dwells within them, and an evil spirit and the Holy Spirit couldn't both inhabit a human body at the same time. If we believed this, then a sinner could never be saved, because they often have more than one demon that has been controlling their sinful behavior. When the Holy Spirit convicts them of sin, and the need to receive Jesus as Savior, we know that He becomes part of their life. (John 3:5-7), and (2 Cor 5:17). Jesus said that when we receive the Spirit, He will never leave us, but abide with us forever. This doctrine cannot possibly be true, and has robbed people of deliverance by the power of the Name of Jesus! This is only one of many church doctrines that are not based on God's Word, but merely on the words of man, in my opinion.
Monday, August 16, 2010
GOD'S TWO FAMILIES
In the beginning God----God has always existed as a family or community---Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Gen 1:1) "Elohim" is a plural form in Hebrew. He desired to enlarge His family---first Adam, then Eve, so they could reproduce and replenish the earth. (Gen 1:26-28) Through Abraham and Sarah God promised their descendants through Isaac, the son of promise, would be as the sands of the seashore (earthly), and as the stars of the heaven (heavenly) (Gen 22:17) Through the prophet Nathan. God spoke to David and promised his "seed" (Christ) would build Him a "house" that will last "forever" (2 Sam 7:4-16). This promise is one of those that has a "duel meaning", or a "near / far" fulfillment. In other words it has one application to "the present" (Solomon), and another application in the distant "future". (Christ). Read (Luke 1:31-33) for the message given to Mary by the angel Gabriel.
Jesus came to earth not only to become our "Redeemer", but also to establish a "community of the King" on planet earth! We know this to be His church, composed of "born again" believers from all ages and every nation. This church was birthed in the upper room on the evening of the day Jesus rose from the tomb (John 20:19-23). All the people present were Jewish, or part of the "earthly descendants" of Abraham. They became the first members of the "church" which is made up of the "heavenly descendants" of Abraham. The church expanded to include "Gentiles", a term for anyone who was not Jewish. Paul was given a revelation of the true church, and was used by God to pass on this revelation to us through his many NT letters. (Rom 9, 10 and 11, Gal 5:16-29, Eph 2:11-22)
It would appear that God's intention is that throughout eternity He will continue to have His "two families". His earthly family will be living on planet earth and His heavenly family living in the "new Jerusalem" which will be positioned just above the earthly city of Jerusalem. (Rev 21). Some people believe God takes us to a place called heaven where we will spend eternity, but the Bible teaches us that He will bring heaven down to earth! The most complete description of heaven is found in (Rev 21) which describes the "holy city, the new Jerusalem" which God will bring down to earth as His Dwelling place for eternity! Read your Bible to check this out! (Acts 17:11)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
The first requirement of a candidate is that they are a "born again" child of God who has a desire for more of the Holy Spirit, since He came into their life the moment they received Jesus as their Savior. The second requirement is that they have a real hunger for more of God, as Jesus explains in (John 7:37-39) There are three words that will aid in the receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they are relax, receive, and respond. We will briefly look at each one.
1/ Relax---Many people become tense when they think about anything to do with the Holy Spirit, but this only hinders the work of the Spirit. So just relax physically first, sit back in a comfortable chair, and you are more apt to relax spiritually and emotionally. You are safely in the hands of Jesus, who is the baptizer, (Acts 1:4-5) and you can trust Him!
2/ Receive---Note the words of Jesus as recorded by Luke in (Luke 11:13) "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." So simply ask in faith for Jesus to baptize you in His Holy Spirit, and expect Him to answer your prayer. "What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them." (Mark 11:24). This is not an emotional experience, but a spiritual experience, which may or may not have an emotional component connected to it.
3/ Respond---The sense of the Spirit should be very real as He begins to fill you with His presence. As you breathe in air, imagine you are taking in more of the spirit with each breath, and as you exhale each breath, let it be words of praise and thanksgiving to God. When you run out of words in English, yield your tongue to the Spirit to give you new words that might sound strange to you. On the day of Pentecost they were given a new language "They began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:4) Notice "they" began to speak, and the miracle was that He gave them the words. You may only have one or two words at first, but your vocabulary will increase as you use this new language daily. Remember Paul says "He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself." (1 Cor 14:4), this means being built up in your faith, and who doesn't need this?
Monday, August 2, 2010
1/ Baptism "into Christ" or the body of Christ—(Gal 3: 27), (1 Cor 12: 13) This is the first thing a sinner does to become a follower of Jesus. We must be "born again" (John 3:3), (2 Cor 5:17), (Eph 2:1-10), which is the same thing as being baptized into the body of Christ, in my opinion.
2/ Baptism in water---(Matt 3:13-17), (Acts 8:35-38), (Rom 6:1-6)
This is the second thing a person should do, as soon after becoming "born again" possible. There has been some controversy over the mode of baptism, whether it should be done in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, or in the Name of Jesus. To me they are the same, because Jesus is the only Name in the Godhead, Father and Holy Spirit are titles and not names. An understanding of this would eliminate the controversy.
3/ Baptism "in or with" the Holy Spirit--- (Matt 3:11), (Acts1:1-8)
This can happen at any time after the first two, when a person yields completely to the Holy Spirit, and confesses every known sin, and those that were unknown until God makes them known. This often takes some time of spiritual growth after conversion! (Eph 4:11-13) Some people claim that speaking in "tongues" always accompanies baptism in the Holy Spirit as the "initial sign" or evidence. But others have believed there should be many signs of a "Spirit filled" life besides the gift of tongues, See (Eph 5:18-21) where Paul describes what being filled with the Spirit really means. The Greek word translated here as "be filled", means to keep on continually being filled, and is not a one time experience! The danger as I see it is that if people are expecting any sort of a sign or experience, they might be deceived by Satan who can counterfeit gifts. But if they are seeking Jesus, who is the baptizer, and not some experience, they are safe. I believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the first step in a spirit filled life, and the two terms mean the same thing. The baptism never needs to be repeated, but we need to be filled daily. And the initial biblical evidence of the baptism is speaking in a language you have never learned as the Spirit gives this ability.(Acts 2:4) Once a person is baptized in the Spirit, they need to keep being filled daily, by constantly hungering and thirsting after God!