Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Exchanged Liffe



This term was the title of a recent article I read by Jim Watt about the life of Hudson Taylor. I was especially interested in the letter Mr. Taylor had written to his sister shortly after receiving this further revelation about his life in Christ. He lived during the later half of the 1800's and died in 1905.

It was during this time that the so-called "Holiness Movement" became popular among Evangelical Christian leaders, and produced such men as Hudson Taylor and A B Simpson, the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, (C&MA) denomination. Many other men like John Wesley and General William Booth had their roots in this movement as well. It seems that since the beginning of the 1900's the emphasis has changed from Sanctification leading to Holiness, to other things. In the last decades of the 20th century since I have been part of the "Church", I have witnessed a continual decline in preaching and teaching on the subject of holiness. I'm nor sure of the reason for this, but it could tie in with the way our NA culture has changed. All the electronic gadgets that have come out in the last few years have caught the attention of many people and they have less time for God and His Word. He gets crowded out of our daily schedules, and is replaced with i pads, smart phones, emails, face book etc. Instead of having more time to spend with Him we have much less!


What can we do about this problem? I expect the answer to this question will involve a return to the subject of an "Exchanged Life" as Hudson Taylor refers to here. The Apostle Paul probably writes more about this topic than any other NT writer. When as Saul of Tarsus he met Jesus on the road to Damascus (see Acts 9:1-9), he was completely changed from a religious Pharisee, to a "new creature in Christ" (2 Cor 5:17). Later after spending several years in the deserts of Arabia alone with the Lord, he became Paul the apostle and the writer of much of the NT scriptures. In (Eph 3:1-10) he was given by God the revelation of the "Church" which had remained a mystery until Paul came on the scene. When he wrote the letters Ephesians and Colossians, he explained more about who Jesus was and still is, and what it means to us when we trust Him completely. In (Gal 2:20-21) Paul explains the place of Christ in his life, that he "had been crucified with Christ" (past tense), but he now lived by"faith in the Son of God. This is a model we can follow if we want to live an "Exchanged Life"!!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer                                                                                  


Monday, February 6, 2017

The Radical Relocation Of GOD



The basis for this article came from notes I had made at a visit to Saint John by Jerry Cook many years ago. He was contrasting the way God is presented to us in the Old Testament, as opposed to the New Testament. Basically in the OT, God existed outside of human society, and so a religious system consisting of an official Priesthood was necessary, to handle the Tabernacle or Temple where sacrifices were offered to this "distant" God. This OT God was not considered to be someone you could come to know personally, in fact He was considered to be so awesome and holy that they would not even mention Him by name. Some people think that the OT is now obsolete and not to be considered as being important to us today, but that is not correct! It was not wrong, but only incomplete, so God introduced the NT!


God has always wanted to have an intimate relationship with us humans. Just think of how He came down in the cool of the evening and visited with Adam and Eve in the garden. (Gen 3:8) But Adam's disobedience brought sin into the picture, and changed everything! (Rom 5:12) God's plan of redemption was then put into motion, so that this relationship could be restored. This involved Jesus the Son of God leaving His place with the Father, to become the baby in Mary's womb. This miracle of the "incarnation", allowed Jesus to take on human flesh, and become the perfect man, "the Lamb of God", whose death on the cross would pay the debt of sin for whoever would receive Him as Savior! In the words of Jerry Cook, our God in "His unlimited dimensional Reality, stepped out of this dimension and into our 3 dimensional realm"! Since Jesus came to earth the first time, we now have a perfect picture of what God is really like. "For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body." (Col 2:9) NLT If that is not a "radical relocation", then I don't know what the term means! Then just before Jesus returned to His rightful place at Father's side, He gave some very important instructions to His followers. For example, in (John 14:15-17), He tells them about what the "holy Spirit" will do when He comes to take His place  on earth. In the last of verse 17 He is quoted as saying "He lives with you now and later will be in you." NLT. This is a tremendous truth, the very Presence of God was dwelling with them in the person of Jesus at the time, but shortly after that on the Day of Pentecost, the promised Holy Spirit came to indwell the 120 believers in the upper room. (Acts 2:1-4)!!

Sincerely submitted

Dave Jamer.

The Restrainer



One of the key points in the teaching that Jesus will rapture His Church before the last 7 year period, known as "Daniel's 70th week" (Dan 9:24-27), is that the Holy Spirit, who resides in believers, is the "Restrainer" mentioned by Paul in (2 Thess 2:7). This has been taken as a "proof text" to fit in with their theory of a "secret rapture". The Holy Spirit is defined by Jesus, as fulfilling different roles in the life of believers when He comes, but restrainer is not one of them! Check it out for yourself in chapters 14, 15, and 16 of the Gospel of John, where the words of Jesus are recorded. Depending on which translation you use, you will find words such as, Advocate, Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Strengthener,----but not Restrainer. This role for Him has been added to scripture by those who are trying to prove that the Church will not go through the time of "great tribulation" at the hands of the Antichrist, during the last half of this 7 year period. Various scriptures clearly teach this, including the words of Jesus, Paul, and John, and yet these people invent a theory that attempts to prove their false teaching!


There is only one person mentioned in scripture, that I am aware of, who could fill this role of restraining evil until the time set by God to let the Antichrist start his persecution of Israel and the Church. That person is the archangel "Michael", who has been given the specific task of protecting God's people, as mentioned many times in scripture. The most important reference, relating to the subject at hand, would have to be (Dan 12:1), where he is confirmed as the one who protects the nation of Israel. At the middle of this 7 year period, we are told he will "arise", and then the Antichrist will begin his reign of terror against the people of God (Rev 13:5-10). The word here translated arise, or stand up, in most English translations could be translated as "stand still", since it is the same root word that is used to describe the miracle of the sun and the moon stopping, or standing still, so that Joshua and his warriors could complete the battle against their enemy. (Josh 10:13) By letting scripture explain scripture, we can often prevent being led into error by those who are trying to prove some theory. Let's keep in mind that God must allow His Church to be purified, and changed from their present condition, before they are ready to be raptured! This purification can only come about through a time of persecution, such as much of the Church are already experiencing in other parts of the world! Why should God exempt the church in our Western world, and keep us from this time of persecution, that He has planned to make us ready to be raptured? That doesn't make any sense to me!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer